FIRST DIVISION [G.R. No. L-30637. July 16, 1987.] LIANGA BAY LOGGING, CO., INC. LIANGA BAY LOGGING, CO., INC., petitioner , vs. HON. MANUEL LOPEZ ENAGE, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch II of LOPEZ ENAGE, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch II of the Court of First Instance of Agusan and AGO TIMBER the Court of First Instance of Agusan and AGO TIMBER CORPORATION CORPORATION, respondents . SYLLABUS 1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; REVISED ADMINISTRATIVE CODE; BUREAU OF FORESTRY; VESTED WITH THE JURISDICTION AND AUTHORITY OVER DEMARCATION OF ALL PUBLIC FOREST AND FOREST RESERVES. — Respondent Judge erred in taking cognizance of the complaint filed by respondent Ago, asking for the determination anew of the correct boundary line of its licensed timber area, for the same issue had already been determined by the Director of Forestry, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Office of the President, administrative officials under whose jurisdictions the matter properly belongs. Section 1816 of the Revised Administrative Code vests in the Bureau of Forestry, the jurisdiction and authority over the demarcation, protection, management, reproduction, reforestation, occupancy, and use of all public forests and forest reserves and over the granting of licenses for game and fish, and for the taking of forest products, including stone and earth therefrom. The Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, as department head, may repeal or modify the decision of the Director of Forestry when advisable in the public interests, whose decision is in turn appealable to the Office of the President. 2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; COURTS OF JUSTICE DEVOID OF JURISDICTION TO TAKE COGNIZANCE PURELY ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS. — In giving due course to the complaint below, the respondent court would necessarily have to assess and evaluate anew all the evidence presented in the administrative proceedings, which is beyond its competence and jurisdiction. For the respondent court to consider and weigh again the evidence already presented and passed upon by said officials would be to allow it to substitute its judgment for that of said officials who are in a better position to consider and weigh the same in the light of the authority specifically vested in them by law. Such a posture cannot be entertained, for it is a well-settled doctrine that the courts of justice will generally not interfere with purely administrative matters which are addressed to the sound discretion of government agencies and their expertise unless there is a clear showing that the latter acted arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion or when they have acted in a capricious and whimsical manner such that their action may amount to an excess or lack of jurisdiction.
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