Surigao Mineral Reservation Board issued an Invitation to Bid for the exploration and development of mineral deposits in a certain portion in the Province of Surigao. It was joined by two (2) bidders. After evaluation, both were disqualified and their subsequent motions denied. One of the (failed) bidder filed a petition at the Court of First Instance of Manila seeking relief. After the petitioners here (respondents in the said case) answered the petition, Judge Gaudencio Cloribel of CFI issued a restraining order to petitioners here (respondent in the petition to Judge Cloribel) to avert from their action in the bidding process. Petitioners here seek a writ of preliminary injunction to the Supreme Court on the assailed action of Judge Cloribel due to his alleged grave abuse of discretion on the subject matter.
Whether or not Judge Cloribel had committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction.
YES. Costs against the respondent.
There is no “cause of action” as a basis of the judge to issue the restraining order. Invitation to Bid is not an “offer” from which deemed “accepted” by the other party in their submission of bids. In fact, there is still no contract unless the bid is determined to be the most advantageous offer to the government. What was accepted by the bidder was the condition, inter alia, that “the government reserves the right to reject any and all bids, waive any defect of form or accept such bid as may be deemed advantageous to it”. As a consequence, the bidder (one of respondent here) is in estoppel to object or to assail the exercise of the said “right” by the petitioner as the Board.