[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Political Law Instructions; 2016 Political Law Questions: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]
Several concerned residents of the areas fronting Manila Bay, among them a group of students who are minors,filed a suit against the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department o f Health (DOH), the Department o f Agriculture (DA), the Department o f Education (DepEd), the Department o f Interior and Local Government (DILG), and a number of other executive agencies, asking the court to order them to perform their duties relating to the cleanup, rehabilitation and protection of Manila Bay. The complaint alleges that the continued neglect by defendants and their failure to prevent and abate pollution in Manila Bay constitute a violation of the petitioners’ constitutional right to life, health and a balanced ecology.
[a] If the defendants assert that the students/petitioners who are minors do not have locus standi to file the action, is the assertion correct? Explain your answer. (2.5%)
[b] In its decision which attained finality, the Court ordered the defendants to clean up, rehabilitate and sanitize Manila Bay within eighteen (18) months, and to submit to the Court periodic reports of their accomplishment, so that the Court can monitor and oversee the activities undertaken by the agencies in compliance with the Court’s directives. Subsequently, a resolution was issued extending the time periods within which the agencies should comply with the directives covered by the final decision. A view was raised that the Court’s continued intervention after the case has been decided violates the doctrine of separation of powers considering that the government agencies all belong to the Executive Department and are under the control of the President. Is this contention correct? Why or why not? (2.5%)