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  Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT  Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-54958 September 2, 1983   ANGLO-FIL TRADING CORPORATION, ADUANA STEVEDORING CORPORATION, ANDA STEVEDORING CORPORATION, BEN PAZ PORT SERVICE, INC., MANILA STEVEDORING CORPORATION, WATERFRONT STEVEDORING AND ARRASTRE SERVICES, INC., VANGUARD STEVEDORING AND ARRASTRE SERVICES, INC., and LUVIMIN STEVEDORING/ARRASTRE & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,  petitioners, vs. HON. ALFREDO LAZARO, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch XXV, of the Court of First Instance of Manila, PHILIPPINE PORTS AUTHORITY, COL. EUSTAQUIO S. BACLIG, JR., CDR. PRIMITIVO SOLIS, JR., and OCEAN TERMINAL SERVICES, INC.,  respondents. x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x G.R. No. L-54966   PHILIPPINE INTEGRATED PORT SERVICES, INC.,  petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE ALFREDO M. LAZARO, Judge of the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch XXV, PHILIPPINE PORTS AUTHORITY, COL. EUSTAQUIO S. BACLIG, JR., CDR. PRIMITIVO S. SOLIS, JR., and OCEAN TERMINAL SERVICES, INC.,  respondents. GUTIERREZ, JR.,  J .:  These two petitioners foe certiorari seek to annul the order of the Court of First Instance of Manila issued ex-parte, lifting the restraining orders it had previously issued. The setting aside of the restraining orders enabled the implementation of the Management Contract executed by and between respondents, providing for respondent Ocean Terminal Services, Inc. as the exclusive stevedoring contractor at the South Harbor, Port of Manila. Involved in these two petitions is the operation of stevedoring work in the South Harbor of the Port of Manila. Stevedoring, as the term is understood in the port business, consists of the handling of cargo from the hold of the ship to the dock, in case of pier-side unloading, or to a barge, in case of unloading at sea. The loading on the ship of outgoing cargo is also part of stevedoring work. Stevedoring charges at rates approved by the Government are assessed and collected for the services. The Philippines Ports Authority (PPA), the government agency charged with the management and control of all ports, was created by Presidential Decree No. 505, promulgated on July 11, 1974, later superseded by Presidential Decree No. 857 dated December 23, 1975. The PPA’s function is to carry out an integrated program for the planning, development, financing, and operation of ports and port districts throughout the country. Among other things, the powers, duties, and jurisdiction of the Bureau of Customs concerning arrastre operations were transferred to and vested in the PPA.  The Philippine Integrated Port Services, Inc., (PIPSI), petitioner in G.R. No. 54966, is a stevedoring operator at the Manila South Harbor. Anglo-Fil Trading Corporation, Aduana Stevedoring Corporation, Anda Stevedoring Corporation, Ben Paz Port Service, Inc., Manila Stevedoring and  Arrastre Services, Inc., (Anglo-Fil, et al.,) petitioners in G.R. No. 54958, are stevedoring and arrastre operators and contractors, likewise at Manila South Harbor, Port of Manila. Anglo-Fil, et al., are members of the Philippine Association of Stevedoring Operators and Contractors, Inc. (PASOC). Prior to the present controversy which arose as a result of the actions of the PPA, twenty-three (23) contractors competed at the South Harbor for the performance of stevedoring work. The licenses of these contractors had long expired when the PPA took over the control and management of ports but they continued to operate afterwards on the strength of temporary permits and hold-over authorities issued by PPA. On May 4, 1976, the Board of Directors of PPA passed Resolution No. 10, approving and adopting and adopting a set of policies on Port Administration, Management and Operation. The PPA adopted as its own the own the Bureau of Customs’ policy of p lacing on only one organization the responsibility for the operation of arrastre and stevedoring services in one port. On April 11, 1980, Presidential Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Letter of Instruction No. 1005-A which among other things, directed PPA; To expeditiously evaluate all recognized cargo-handling contractors and port-related service operators doing business in all Port Districts in the country under such criteria as PPA may set and to determine the qualified contractor or operator under said criteria in order to ensure effective utilization of port facilities, prevent pilferage and/or pinpoint responsibility for its and provide optimum services to major ports vital to the country’s trade and economy.   This was followed by the President’s memorandum t o respondent Bacling dated April 18, 1980, directing submission of a report on the integrated of the stevedoring operations in Manila South Harbor and emphasizing the need for such integration as well as the strengthening of the PPA in order to remedy the problems therein. In compliance therewith, PPA made a study evaluation of the arrastre and stevedoring industry in the ports where integration had not yet been achieved. A special committee was created on April 25, 1980 to make a final evaluation of existing operators in the South Harbor and to select the most qualified among them. On April 28, 1980, the committee submitted its report recommending the award of an exclusive contract for stevedoring services in the South Harbor to respondent Ocean Terminal Services, Inc. (OTSI) after finding it the best qualified among the existing contractors. The committee report and recommendation were indorsed by respondent Primitivo Solis, Jr., Port Manager of Manila, to respondent Baclig on April 30, 1980. On May 14, 1980, the latter approved the recommendation. In accordance with the President’s memorandum dated April 18, 1980, PPA submitted the committee report to him. On May 24, 1980, the President approved the recommendation to award an exclusive management contract to OTSI. On June 27, 1980, PPA and OTSI entered into a management contract which provided, among others, for a five-year exclusive operation by OTSI of stevedoring services in the South Harbor, renewable for another five (5) years. The contract set the commencement of the exclusive operation by OTSI upon proper determination by PPA which shall not be earlier that two (2) months from the approval of the contract by the Board of Directors of the PPA. The latter gave its approval on June 27, 1980.  On July 23, 1980, petitioner PIPSI instituted an action against PPA and OTSI for the nullification of the contract between the two, the annulment of the 10% of gross stevedoring revenue being collected by PPA, and injunction with preliminary injunction. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. 133477 in the Court of First Instance of Manila, provided over by respondent Judge Alfredo Lazaro. On July 29, 1980, the respondent court issued a restraining order ex-parte, enjoining respondents PPA and OTSI from implementing the exclusive contract of stevedoring between them. On August 21, 1980, with leave of court, petitioners, Anglo-Fil, et al., filed their complaint in intervention. The motion was granted and on August 22, 1980, respondent court issued another ex- parte  restraining order in the case to include the petitioners Anglo-Fil et al., under the benefits of such order. On August 30, 1980, PPA filed an urgent motion to lift the restraining orders in view of their long delay in the resolution of the injunction incident and the countervailing public interest involved. On September 1, 1980, respondent Judge issued an order, which reads: AS PRAYED FOR, the restraining orders issued by the this Court on July 29, 1980 and August 20, 1980, are hereby dissolved, lifted, and set aside without prejudice to the Court’s resolution on the propriety of issuing the writ of preliminary injunction prayed for by the petitioners. On September 5, 1980, PPA sent a letter to the General Manager of PIPSI informing him that due to the lifting of the temporary restraining order, it was withdrawing PIPSI’s hold -over authority to operate or provide stevedoring services at South Harbor effective September 7, 1980. Petitioners Anglo-Fil, et al., and PIPSI, therefore, filed the present petitions for certiorari with preliminary injunction alleging that the lifting of the retraining orders ex-parte by respondent Judge was clearly affected with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. They also applied for the issuance in the meantime of a restraining order. On September 9, 1980, we ordered the consolidation of the two cases and on August 12, 1980, heard the petitioners’ motions for a restraining order.  On September 15, 1980, the respondent court issued an order in Civil Case No. 133477 denying the application of petitioners for a writ of preliminary injunction and affirming its order of September 1, 1980 lifting the temporary restraining orders issued in the case. On the same day, the Katipunan ng mga Manggagawa sa Daungan (KAMADA), a labor federation and its thirteen (13) member labor organizations filed a petition to intervene in the consolidated cases. According to KAMADA, its members would lose their jobs if the contract was implemented. It also alleged that the collective bargaining contract between OTSI and PWUP would be prejudicial to workers because KAMADA members received greater benefits from the ousted contractors; On September 29, 1980, PIPSI filed a supplemental petition to annul the order of the respondent  judge denying the application for preliminary injunction and affirming the orders issued on July 29 and August 22, 1980. 1âwphi1  On October 14, 1980, PPA filed its comment with opposition to preliminary injunction stating that the lifting of the restraining orders by respondent judge was intended to preserve the status quo pending resolution of the preliminary injunction; that said orders were issued without hearing or bond, therefore, the dissolution was proper considering that it had been in force for one month and an early resolution of the motion for injunction was not in sight, and that in dissolving an injunction already issued, the court cannot be considered as having acted without jurisdiction or in excess thereof even  if dissolution had been made without previous notice to the adverse party and without a hearing. Furthermore, it argued that when the purpose of an administrative determination is to decide whether a right or privilege which an applicant does not possess shall be granted to him or withheld in the exercise of a discretion vested by statute, notice and hearing are not necessary. It also added that the policy of integration in the award by PPA to OTSI is impressed with public interest while what is involved as far as petitioners were concerned was merely their alleged right to operate stevedoring services, a property right the denial of which could easily be restored in the event the respondent court decided that petitioners are entitled to it. In their consolidated reply, Anglo-Fil, et al., argued that the temporary order in their favor was not issued ex-parte for the following reasons: a) it was issued when PIPSI and PPA were already conducting hearings on the petition for preliminary injunction; b) it was announced in open court; and c) PPA did not object to such issuance. Likewise, they argued that although a permit to operate is a privilege, its withdrawal must comply with due process of law just like the practice of law, medicine, or accountancy, and that not only property rights are involved but their very livelihood, their right to live. On October 21, 1980, we issued a resolution granting the temporary mandatory restraining order effective immediately ordering respondents to allow the workers represented by said petitioner-intervenors to render the stevedoring services performed by them on foreign vessels in the Manila South Harbor before the execution of the exclusive stevedoring contract of June 27, 1980 until further orders of the Court, the order of respondent Judge, dated September 1 and 15, 1980 as well as the implementing letter of Philippine Ports Authority of September 5, 1980 to the contrary notwithstanding. On October 24, 1980, PPA issued Memorandum Order No. 23 providing for guidelines in implementing the temporary mandatory restraining order of the Supreme Court dated October 21, 1980, to wit: x x x x x x x x x (1.) The Office of the Harbor Master shall determine which union has serviced a particular vessel for the period from January 1, 1980 to June 26, 1980. The number of services performed by a particular union for a given vessel shall be quantified for the said period after which each union shall be identified whether they are affiliated with PWUP or KAMADA. (2.) The most number of times that a union has serviced a particular vessel with its affiliation properly considered shall continue to service said vessel for its incoming calls or arrivals. (3.) If there is a tie in the number of services performed by both PWUP and KAMADA affiliated unions, the last union that serviced said vessel shall be allowed to continue servicing the same on all its incoming calls or arrivals. (4.) Once the union has been properly identified during the berthing meeting, the Harbor Master shall inform Ocean Terminal Services, Inc. accordingly and shall be authorized to negotiate with the union or the gang leader concerned on the number of gangs as may be required by the vessel or its agent. (5.) All unions in this order shall refer only to South Harbor stevedoring union. (6.) KAMADA shall have the duty and responsibility to certify that the stevedores deployed in any given vessel allowed for their work are bona fide members of their group and that they
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