666 Phil. 122
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
LIFTING THE SUSPENSION OF THE APPLICATION OF THE TARIFF REDUCTION SCHEDULE ON PETROCHEMICALS AND CERTAIN PLASTIC PRODUCTS UNDER THE COMMON EFFECTIVE PREFERENTIAL TARIFF (CEPT) SCHEME FOR THE ASEAN FREE TRADE AREA (AFTA)WHEREAS, Executive Order 234 dated 27 April 2000, which implemented the 2000-2003 Philippine schedule of tariff reduction of products transferred from the Temporary Exclusion List and the Sensitive List to the Inclusion List of the accelerated CEPT Scheme for the AFTA, provided that the CEPT rates on petrochemicals and certain plastic products will be reduced to 5% on 01 January 2003;
WHEREAS, Executive Order 161 issued on 9 January 2003 provides for the suspension of the application of the tariff reduction schedule on petrochemicals and certain products in 2003 and 2004 only;
WHEREAS, the government recognizes the need to provide an enabling environment for the naphtha cracker plant to attain international competitiveness;
WHEREAS, the NEDA Board approved the lifting of the suspension of the aforesaid tariff reduction schedule on petrochemicals and certain plastic products and the reversion of the CEPT rates on these products to EO 161 (s.2003) levels once the naphtha cracker plant is in commercial operation;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, pursuant to the powers vested in me under Section 402 of the Tariff and Customs Code of 1978 (Presidential Decree No. 1464), as amended, do hereby order:
SECTION 1. The articles specifically listed in Annex "A" (Articles Granted Concession under the CEPT Scheme for the AFTA) hereof, as classified under Section 104 of the Tariff and Customs Code of 1978, as amended, shall be subject to the ASEAN CEPT rates in accordance with the schedule indicated in Column 4 of Annex "A". The ASEAN CEPT rates so indicated shall be accorded to imports coming from ASEAN Member States applying CEPT concession to the same product pursuant to Article 4 of the CEPT Agreement and Its Interpretative Notes.
SECTION 2. In the event that any subsequent change is made in the basic (MFN) Philippine rate of duty on any of the article listed in Annex "A" to a rate lower than the rate prescribed in Column 4 of Annex ""A, such article shall automatically be accorded the corresponding reduced duty.
SECTION 3. From the date of effectivity of this Executive Order, all articles listed in Annex "A" entered into or withdrawn from warehouses in the Philippines for consumption shall be imposed the rates of duty therein prescribed subject to qualification under the Rules of Origin as provided for in the Agreement on the CEPT Scheme for the AFTA signed on 28 January 1992.
SECTION 4. The Department of Trade and Industry, in coordination with National Economic and Development Authority, the Department of Finance, the Tariff Commission and the Bureau of Customs, shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations that will govern the reversion of the CEPT rates on petrochemicals and plastic products to EO 161 (s.2003) levels once the naphtha cracker plant is in commercial operation.
SECTION 5. All presidential issuances, administrative rules and regulations, or parts thereof, which are contrary to or inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby revoked or modified accordingly.
SECTION 6. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately following its complete publication in two (2) newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.
Done in the City of Manila, this 12th day of January in the year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Six. (emphasis supplied)
Sec. 2. Petition for Prohibition. - When the proceedings of any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person, whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions, are without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent to desist from further proceedings in the action or matter specified therein, or otherwise granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require. (emphasis supplied)
A petition for prohibition is also not the proper remedy to assail an IRR issued in the exercise of a quasi-legislative function. Prohibition is an extraordinary writ directed against any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person, whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions, ordering said entity or person to desist from further proceedings when said proceedings are without or in excess of said entity’s or person’s jurisdiction, or are accompanied with grave abuse of discretion, and there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Prohibition lies against judicial or ministerial functions, but not against legislative or quasi-legislative functions. Generally, the purpose of a writ of prohibition is to keep a lower court within the limits of its jurisdiction in order to maintain the administration of justice in orderly channels. Prohibition is the proper remedy to afford relief against usurpation of jurisdiction or power by an inferior court, or when, in the exercise of jurisdiction in handling matters clearly within its cognizance the inferior court transgresses the bounds prescribed to it by the law, or where there is no adequate remedy available in the ordinary course of law by which such relief can be obtained. Where the principal relief sought is to invalidate an IRR, petitioners’ remedy is an ordinary action for its nullification, an action which properly falls under the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court. In any case, petitioners’ allegation that “respondents are performing or threatening to perform functions without or in excess of their jurisdiction” may appropriately be enjoined by the trial court through a writ of injunction or a temporary restraining order. (emphasis supplied)
The rule is, however, circumscribed by well-defined exceptions, such as (a) where the order is a patent nullity, as where the court a quo had no jurisdiction; (b) where the questions raised in the certiorari proceeding have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court; (c) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable; (d) where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless; (e) where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief; (f) where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is improbable; (g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; (h) where the proceedings were ex parte, or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and (i) where the issue raised is one purely of law or where public interest is involved.  (emphasis supplied)
In Social Security Commission v. Judge Bayona, we ruled that a law is presumed constitutional until otherwise declared by judicial interpretation. The suspension of the operation of the law is a matter of extreme delicacy because it is an interference with the official acts not only of the duly elected representatives of the people but also of the highest magistrate of the land.
In Younger v. Harris, Jr., the Supreme Court of the United States emphasized, thus:Federal injunctions against state criminal statutes, either in their entirety or with respect to their separate and distinct prohibitions, are not to be granted as a matter of course, even if such statutes are unconstitutional. No citizen or member of the community is immune from prosecution, in good faith, for his alleged criminal acts. The imminence of such a prosecution even though alleged to be unauthorized and, hence, unlawful is not alone ground for relief in equity which exerts its extraordinary powers only to prevent irreparable injury to the plaintiff who seeks its aid. 752 Beal v. Missouri Pacific Railroad Corp., 312 U.S. 45, 49, 61 S.Ct. 418, 420, 85 L.Ed. 577.
And similarly, in Douglas, supra, we made clear, after reaffirming this rule, that:
"It does not appear from the record that petitioners have been threatened with any injury other than that incidental to every criminal proceeding brought lawfully and in good faith . . ." 319 U.S., at 164, 63 S.Ct., at 881.
The possible unconstitutionality of a statute, on its face, does not of itself justify an injunction against good faith attempts to enforce it, unless there is a showing of bad faith, harassment, or any other unusual circumstance that would call for equitable relief. The "on its face" invalidation of statutes has been described as "manifestly strong medicine," to be employed "sparingly and only as a last resort," and is generally disfavored.
To be entitled to a preliminary injunction to enjoin the enforcement of a law assailed to be unconstitutional, the party must establish that it will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of injunctive relief and must demonstrate that it is likely to succeed on the merits, or that there are sufficiently serious questions going to the merits and the balance of hardships tips decidedly in its favor. The higher standard reflects judicial deference toward "legislation or regulations developed through presumptively reasoned democratic processes." Moreover, an injunction will alter, rather than maintain, the status quo, or will provide the movant with substantially all the relief sought and that relief cannot be undone even if the defendant prevails at a trial on the merits. Considering that injunction is an exercise of equitable relief and authority, in assessing whether to issue a preliminary injunction, the courts must sensitively assess all the equities of the situation, including the public interest. In litigations between governmental and private parties, courts go much further both to give and withhold relief in furtherance of public interest than they are accustomed to go when only private interests are involved. Before the plaintiff may be entitled to injunction against future enforcement, he is burdened to show some substantial hardship. (emphasis supplied)
Under Section 3, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court, an application for a writ of preliminary injunction may be granted if the following grounds are established, thus: virtual law library
(a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the whole or part of such relief consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the act or acts complained of, or in requiring the performance of an act or acts, either for a limited period or perpetually;
(b) That the commission, continuance or non-performance of the act or acts complained of during the litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant; or
(c) That a party, court, agency or a person is doing, threatening, or is attempting to do, or is procuring or suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in violation of the rights of the applicant respecting the subject of the action or proceeding, and tending to render the judgment ineffectual.
And following jurisprudence, these requisites must be proved before a writ of preliminary injunction, be it mandatory or prohibitory, will issue:
(1) The applicant must have a clear and unmistakable right to be protected, that is a right in esse;
(2) There is a material and substantial invasion of such right;
(3) There is an urgent need for the writ to prevent irreparable injury to the applicant; and
(4) No other ordinary, speedy, and adequate remedy exists to prevent the infliction of irreparable injury. (emphasis supplied)
Before a writ of preliminary injunction may be issued, there must be a clear showing by the complaint that there exists a right to be protected and that the acts against which the writ is to be directed are violative of the said right. It must be shown that the invasion of the right sought to be protected is material and substantial, that the right of complainant is clear and unmistakable and that there is an urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage. Moreover, an injunctive remedy may only be resorted to when there is a pressing necessity to avoid injurious consequences which cannot be remedied under any standard compensation. (emphasis supplied)
The input tax is not a property or a property right within the constitutional purview of the due process clause. A VAT-registered person’s entitlement to the creditable input tax is a mere statutory privilege.
The distinction between statutory privileges and vested rights must be borne in mind for persons have no vested rights in statutory privileges. The state may change or take away rights, which were created by the law of the state, although it may not take away property, which was vested by virtue of such rights.  (emphasis supplied)
Damages are irreparable within the meaning of the rule relative to the issuance of injunction where there is no standard by which their amount can be measured with reasonable accuracy (Crouc v. Central Labor Council, 83 ALR, 193). "An irreparable injury which a court of equity will enjoin includes that degree of wrong of a repeated and continuing kind which produce hurt, inconvenience, or damage that can be estimated only by conjecture, and not by any accurate standard of measurement" (Phipps v. Rogue River Valley Canal Co., 7 ALR, 741). An irreparable injury to authorize an injunction consists of "a serious charge of, or is destructive to, the property it affects, either physically or in the character in which it has been held and enjoined, or when the property has some peculiar quality or use, so that its pecuniary value will not fairly recompense the owner of the loss thereof" (Dunker v. Field and Tub Club, 92 P., 502). (emphasis supplied)
An injury is considered irreparable if it is of such constant and frequent recurrence that no fair and reasonable redress can be had therefor in a court of law, or where there is no standard by which their amount can be measured with reasonable accuracy, that is, it is not susceptible of mathematical computation. It is considered irreparable injury when it cannot be adequately compensated in damages due to the nature of the injury itself or the nature of the right or property injured or when there exists no certain pecuniary standard for the measurement of damages. (emphasis supplied)