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Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. v. Department of Health [Philippines] [August 03, 2012]
This is a new resolution denying the government's motion for reconsideration, so the August 26, 2011 decision stands. The Court of Appeals ruled there were no new arguments raised in the motion for reconsideration to warrant a reversal of its prior ruling. This resolution repeats the appellate court's opinion that domestic law distinguishes promotions from advertising and sponsorship. The resolution reiterates its holding that the FCTC is not self-executing and cannot provide a legal basis for a full ban on promotional, advertising and sponsorship activities absent domestic law implementing the treaty.
Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. v. Department of Health [Philippines] [August 26, 2011]
A tobacco manufacturer sought to set aside the two government agencies decision to deny the manufacturer’s application for a sales promotion permit. The agencies denied the application under a federal law which prohibits all promotions, advertisements and/or sponsorships of tobacco products. The manufacturer argued that the agencies’ actions were an abuse of discretion. The court determined that the federal law gives an interagency tobacco committee exclusive power to administer and implement the provisions. The other agencies did not have any authority to enforce the provisions of the federal law. The court also noted that the FCTC provides for gradual elimination of tobacco while taking into account the legal environment of the country. The court ruled against the agencies and granted the manufacturer’s claim. However, the court could not require the agencies to accept the promotional application since the interagency committee had sole authority.
Philippine Tobacco Institute v. Dep't of Health [Philippines] [July 04, 2011]
The Philippine Tobacco Institute sued for declaratory relief, seeking to set aside the "Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Republic Act No. 9711" (otherwise known as the "Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009") seeking to prohibit the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines from implementing the IRR "insofar as it relates to the regulation of Tobacco Products."
Petitioners argued that the new law would cause "grave and irreparable injury" if the IRR went into effect, because it "invalidly expands and modifies the Food and Drug Administration Act as well as the Tobacco Regulation Act by placing the regulation and supervision of tobacco products under the FDA. The Tobacco Institute further argued that it would "be exposed to an invalid and baseless regulation by government agencies, particularly the DOH and the FDA, which were deprived of any authority and jurisdiction over tobacco products and will consequently entail additional regulatory costs that are neither contemplated under the Food and Drug Administration Act nor the Tobacco Regulation Act." They also argued that it would be exposed to hefty administrative penalties for possible violations of the IRR even though FDA has no jurisdiction over tobacco products.
In rejecting Petitioners' application for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction, the Court found that the Tobacco Institute "failed to establish an existing right that was violated" and that any "alleged damage or injury the subject IRR would cause is merely speculative and prospective in nature." Because there was no definite or immediate harm to rectify, the Court stated that the law would be presumed constitutional until "otherwise declared by judicial interpretation."
PMFTC v. Dept. of Health [Philippines] [September 28, 2010]
PMFTC, a joint venture between Fortune Tobacco Company (FTC) and Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc., filed a petition against the Philippines Department of Health asking the court to void Administrative Order 2010-0013. The Department of Health ("DOH") argued the case should be dismissed because FTC and PMFTC were the same entity. The DOH also argued that FTC and PFMTC represented the same interest of having Administrative Order 2010-0013 annulled in this case and in City of Makati v. Municipality (now City) of Taguig. Using the two different courts violated the rules against forum shopping. In reaching the decision to grant DOH's motion, the court held that in this case and City of Makati, PMFTC and FTC represented the same interests. If the courts ruled differently on the Administrative Order, it would lead to much confusion. However, the court refused to find FTC liable holding that while PMFTC and FTC had similar business interests, the two corporations were not the same corporate entity.
Telengtan Brothers & Sons, Inc. v. Ona, et al. [Philippines] [September 08, 2010]
A tobacco manufacturer challenged the Department of Health’s (DOH) requirements to use graphic and text health warnings on its tobacco packaging. The company sought an injunction preventing the regulations from taking effect, arguing the regulations were outside the authority of the DOH and would take the company’s property. The court considered the regulations in combination with the FCTC and the authority granted to the DOH under the tobacco control law. The court ultimately held that the regulations were issued in excess of the authority of DOH and granted the injunction sought by the tobacco company.
Mighty Corp. v. Dept. of Health [Philippines] [July 29, 2010]
In this case the court determined the propriety of an earlier preliminary injunction. The earlier injunction had restrained the Department of Health, the defendant, from implementing Administrative Order No. 2010-0013. This order required the use of graphic health information on tobacco product packaging. The plaintiff, Mighty Corporation, argued that the administrative order infringed upon the plaintiff’s liberty and property causing irreparable injury and unwarranted expenses in enforcement. The court recognized that while the Order was meant to protect consumers against deceptive and unfair sales, the additional warning requirements would negatively affect the plaintiff’s business. Since the Administrative Order seemed to conflict with the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, the court decided to issue the preliminary injunction.
The Court also considered the defendant’s motion for reconsideration. The Department of Health thought the initial preliminary injunction violated its right to due process since a hearing was never held. The Court found that the order did not preclude the defendant from filing relevant motions nor a comment to the court. Thus the defendant was not denied due process, and the preliminary injunction was legal.
Fortune Tobacco Co. v. Dept. of Health [Philippines] [July 01, 2010]
Suit by Fortune Tobacco Company for a temporary restraining order against the Dep't of Health's Administrative Order 2010-0013, based on its contention that the order (which seeks to bring the Philippine's existing Tobacco Control Law into compliance with the FCTC) is null and void and without legal effect because it is in contravention to an already existing statute, namely R.A. No. 9211, known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003. Claiming that AO 2010-0013 was issued as an "invalid exercise and usurpation of legislative power," petitioners specifically took issue with the provisions of the AO that required additional graphical warnings.
Finding that preliminary injunctions are provisional remedies intended merely to preserve the status quo until the issue could be fully litigated on the merits before a trial court, the Court ruled the interest of justice would be "better served if the status quo is maintained." The Court thus granted a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the implementation of the AO, and requiring a 5,000,000 peso bond to compensate the DOH in the event that the ultimate court decision was unfavorable.
Office of Administrative Services v. Domingo, et al. (Re: Smoking at the Fire Exit Area at the Back of the Public Information Office) [Philippines] [February 26, 2010]
Three attorneys were accused by a co-worker of smoking in a stairwell at the courthouse, thereby violating an internal office order as well as a Civil Service Commission memorandum prohibiting smoking on the court's premises. The Court approved the recommendation by the administrative investigator that warnings be issued to the attorneys, noting that the stricter reprimands advised by the civil service rules were not warranted in this case because the Chief Administrative Officer had failed to designate smoking areas on the premises prior to this infraction as required by the order and memorandum. The Court additionally noted that, although the attorneys technically had violated the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 (Act), which banned smoking in the court's stairwells, they could not be held liable under the Act because they were charged only with violations of the office regulations and were not provided an opportunity to defend against accusations under the Act.
Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. v. Hon. Winlove Dumayas, et al. [Philippines] [September 22, 2008]
A smoker sued a tobacco company alleging that the company tempted him through television advertisements to begin smoking at the age of fourteen, which resulted in addiction to cigarettes and subsequent contraction of lung cancer. The defendant moved to dismiss the complaint on procedural grounds, which the trial court denied. This Court held that the trial court had not gravely abused its discretion so as to call into question the jurisdiction of the court over the issue. The Court further noted that prescription had not expired prior to commencement of the suit.
Fortune Tobacco Corp. v. Inter-Agency Committee - Tobacco [Philippines] [February 14, 2008]
A tobacco company petitioned the Court for a declaratory judgment regarding a tobacco control law that regulated or prohibited tobacco advertisements, except those located within point-of-sale premises. The petitioner requested clarification of three issues: (1) the meaning of "premises" as used in the regulation; (2) the extent of regulation on point-of-sale-advertising materials; and (3) the identities of parties who would be held criminally liable for violations of the regulation. The Court held that "premises" denoted the entire tract of land on which a point-of-sale establishment rested, that the regulation placed no restrictions on advertising materials located within point-of-sale premises, and that the question of criminal liability was reserved for the prosecution to argue during criminal proceedings.
The Court of Appeals later said that procedural rules required the appeal be brought to the Supreme Court rather than the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals was required to dismiss the appeal outright.