Gonzales v. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

429 SCRA 533 (2004)

This suit is practically one to turn back the hands of time. Petitioner questioned the constitutionality of the creation of PAGCOR as well as the grant of franchises by PAGCOR to 1) Sports and Games Entertainment Corporation (SAGE) to engage in internet gambling, 2) Best World Gaming and Entertainment Corporation (BEST WORLD) to engage in computerized bingo gaming, and 3) Belle Jai-alai Corporation (BELLE) and Filipinas Gaming Entertainment Totalizator Corporation (FILGAME) to engage in jai-alai operations. The Court noted that the matter as against Belle  and Filgame was mooted by the decision in Del Mar v. Phil. Amusement and Gaming Corp., 346 SCRA 485 (2000) and 358 SCRA 768 (2001) and 363 SCRA 681, 683-682 (2001); Best World's operations were stopped by Presidential Directive while the Del Mar rulng was reiterated in Jaworski v. PAGCOR, 419 SCRA 31 (2004) in invalidating agreement with Sage.  In regard to the Charter of PAGCOR itself, the Court said that it was unable to accept petitioner's invitation to re-examine the previous cases by which PAGCOR's existence was upheld for the simple reason that the power conferred on it by the Constitution is limited to the adjudication of actual controversies and the determination of whether a branch or instrumentality of the government has acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The Court made the following significant concession on the limites of its authority: "Even with its expanded jurisdiction, it is beyond the powers of this Court to re-write history".