Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-25052             March 15, 1968

DATU MARIGA DIRAMPATEN, petitioner,
vs.
HON. HADJI MADKI ALONTO, personally and as PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR OF LANAO DEL SUR, THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF LANAO DEL SUR, composed of HADJI MADKI ALONTO, as GOVERNOR, DATU MESUG CALACA as VICE GOVERNOR, DATU GASANARA LUCMAN and SHEIK ISMAEL LAUT as BOARD MEMBERS, SHEIK CAMPONG BASMAN as Officer-in-charge of the OFFICE OF THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR and HADJI ALIMODIN D. SUMPINGA, as VICE MAYOR of the Municipality of Taraka respondents.

Jose W. Diokno and Mamantil A. Tamano for petitioner.
Office of the Solicitor General for respondents.

R E S O L U T I O N

CASTRO, J.:

          On September 23, 1965 the respondent then Governor Hadji Madki Alonto of the province of Lanao del Sur issued Administrative Order No. 2, suspending the petitioner Datu Mariga Dirampaten from office as mayor of the municipality of Taraka, Lanao del Sur, effective September 24, 1965, pending investigation by the respondent provincial board of an administrative complaint filed against him for oppression, corruption and maladministration. On the same day, the respondent Governor designated the respondent vice-mayor Hadji Alimodin D. Sumpingan as acting mayor for the duration of the petitioner's suspension.

          On October 4, 1965 the petitioner came to this Court on the present petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with preliminary mandatory injunction, praying that

1. Administrative Order No. 2 be annulled for having been issued by the respondent Governor with grave abuse of discretion and in gross violation of law;

2. The designation of the respondent vice-mayor as acting mayor be declared illegal;

3. The respondent provincial board of Lanao del Sur be enjoined from continuing with the investigation of the administrative complaint against the petitioner;

4. The respondent Governor be enjoined from enforcing his directive to the respondent vice-mayor to assume the office of mayor for the duration of the suspension;

5. The respondent Governor be ordered to comply with section 2188 of the Revised Administrative Code by first conducting an investigation of the charges against the petitioner; and,

6. Pending final determination of the case, a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction be issued, ordering the respondents Governor and provincial board to restore the petitioner to the position of mayor of Taraka, Lanao del Sur.

          Two days later, or on October 6, 1965, this Court, upon petitioner's posting a bond of one thousand pesos (P1,000), issued the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction prayed for.

          On November 23, 1965 the respondents filed their answer, traversing the material allegations of the petition, and praying for the dismissal thereof and the dissolution of the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction.

          When the case was called for hearing on February 2, 1966, there was no appearance for the petitioner; Solicitor Camilo Quiason and Fiscal Luis Mata who appeared for the respondents submitted the case for decision.

          In the general elections held on November 14, 1967, the petitioner was re-elected mayor of Taraka. The respondents Alonto and Sumpingan did not run for re-election.

          On February 2, 1968 the petitioner filed a "manifestation and motion" to withdraw the instant petition on "the ground that the basic issue in the present petition has already been rendered moot and academic." On February 17, 1968 he submitted a certification dated February 15, 1968, and signed by Dominador P. Israel, Chief of the Statistics and Election Records Division of the Commission on Elections, which reads:

          This is to certify that no certificate of candidacy for the office of Governor of Lanao del Sur in connection with the November 14, 1967 elections for Madki Alonto is on file in this Office, and also, that as per record of file in this Office. Mariga Dirampaten was re-elected Mayor of Taraka, Lanao del Sur last November 14, 1967 elections.

          This is to certify further that as per records on file in this Office, Batugan T. Maruhon was elected Vice-Mayor of Taraka, Lanao del Sur last November 14, 1967 elections, and also that no certificate of candidacy for the office of Vice-Mayor of Taraka, Lanao del Sur in connection with said election for Alimodin Sumpingan is on file in this Commission.

          The above certification implies that the principal respondents Alonto and Sumpingan have ceased to hold their positions as Governor of Lanao del Sur and vice-mayor of Taraka, Lanao del Sur, respectively, in which capacities they were made respondents in the petition at bar. Verily, this supervening circumstance has rendered the instant petition moot and academic for all practical purposes. Having ceased as Governor, the respondent Alonto cannot anymore be bound by a decision of this Court in the present case. With respect to the respondent Sumpingan, the threat of his assuming the position of mayor vanished with the end of his term as vice-mayor and his failure to seek re-election. Considering the present conditions of the parties, particularly the principal respondent an eventual resolution of the present petition will serve no useful purpose.

          In passing, it is to be noted that the petitioner himself seeks the withdrawal of his petition, and it appears that if anyone will be prejudiced as a consequence of the withdrawal, it will be the petitioner, who will be reverted, at least theoretically, to the situation he was in prior to the issuance of the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction.

          ACCORDINGLY, the petitioner's motion of February 6, 1968, withdrawing the present petition, is granted. 1wph1.t

Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., Zaldivar, Sanchez, Angeles and Fernando, JJ., concur.
Concepcion, C.J., is on leave.


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