FILIPINAS ENGINEERING AND MACHINE SHOP, Petitioner, vs. HON. JAIME N. FERRER, LINO PATAJO et. Al. Cuevas J.
In preparation for the national elections of November 11, 1969, then respondent Commissioners of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued an INVITATION TO BID CALL No. 127 on September 16, 1969 calling for the submission of sealed proposals for the manufacture and delivery of 1 1,000 units of voting booths. Among the seventeen bidders who submitted proposals in response to the said INVITATION were the herein petitioner, Filipinos Engineering and Machine Shop, (Filipinas for short) and the private respondent, Acme Steel Manufacturing Company, (Acme for short). the COMELEC issued a Resolution awarding the contract (for voting booths) to Acme, subject to the condition, among others, that "(Acme) improves the sample submitted in such manner as it would be rust proof or rust resistant. On October 11, 1969, the COMELEC issued Purchase Order No. 682 for the manufacture and supply of the 11,000 Units of voting booths in favor of Acme. Acme accepted the terms of the purchase.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library On October 16, 1969, Filipinas filed an Injunction suit with the then Court of First Instance of Manila, docketed as Civil Case No. 77972, against herein public respondents COMELEC Commissioners, chairman and members of the Comelec Bidding Committee, and private respondent Acme.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Filipinas also applied for a writ of preliminary injunction. After hearing petitioner's said application, the respondent Judge in an order dated October 20, 1969 denied the writ prayed for. Acting on the motion (to dismiss), the respondent Judge issued the questioned Order dismissing Civil Case No. 77972. Filipinas' motion for reconsideration was denied for lack of merit.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Hence, the instant appeal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Issues:
Whether or not the lower court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of a suit involving an order of the COMELEC dealing with an award of contract arising from its invitation to bid; Whether or not Filipinas, the losing bidder, has a cause of action under the premises against the COMELEC and Acme, the winning bidder, to enjoin them from complying with their contract.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library s virtual law library
The Supreme Court resolved the first issue in the affirmative. By constitutional mandate- chanrobles virtual law library The Commission on Elections shall have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections and shall exercise all other functions which may be conferred upon it by law Hence it has been consistently held 9 that it is the Supreme Court, not the Court of First Instance, which has exclusive jurisdiction to review on certiorari final decisions, orders or rulings of the COMELEC relative to the conduct of elections and enforcement of election laws.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library We are however, far from convince that an order of the COMELEC awarding a contract to a private party, as a result of its choice among various proposals submitted in response to its invitation to bid comes within the purview of a "final order" which is exclusively and directly appealable to this court on certiorari. What is contemplated by the term "final orders, rulings and decisions" of the COMELEC reviewable by certiorari by the Supreme Court as provided by law are those rendered in actions or proceedings before the COMELEC and taken cognizance of by the said body in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual On the second issue, We rule that Filipinas, the losing bidder, has no cause of action under the premises to enjoin the...