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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I

File No. 1

I. INTRODUCTION

PREAMBLE

We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of


Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society,
and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals
and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and
develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our
posterity, the blessings of independence and democracy
under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice,
freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and
promulgate this Constitution.

1. POLITICAL LAW

Is that branch of public law which deals with the organization and
operation of the governmental organs of the State and defines the
relations of the state with the inhabitants of its territory (Macariola vs.
Asuncion, 114 SCRA 77).

Constitution – the document which serves as the fundamental law of


the state; that written instrument enacted by direct action of the
people by which the fundamental powers of the government are
established, limited and defined, and by which those powers are
distributed among the several departments for their safe and useful
exercise for the benefit of the body politic.

Constitutional Law – designates the law embodied in the


Constitution and the legal principles growing out of the interpretation
and application of its provisions by the courts in specific cases.

2. STATE

a. Definition, distinguished from nation.


State – a community of persons, more or less numerous, permanently
occupying a definite portion of territory, independent of external
control, and possessing a government ti which a great body of the
inhabitants render habitual obedience; a politically organized
sovereign community independent of outside control bound by ties of
nationhood, legally supreme within its territory, acting through a
government functioning under a regime of law (CIR v. Campos Rueda, 42
SCRA 23).

State is a political and geopolitical entity; while, Nation is a


cultural and/ or ethnic entity.

While the distinction may be useful for purposes of political sociology,


it is of little consequence for purpose of constitutional law (Bernas)

b. Territory

ARTICLE I
NATIONAL TERRITORY

The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago,


with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other
territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or
jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial and aerial
domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil,
the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters
around, between, and connecting the islands of the
archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form
part of the internal waters of the Philippines.

The national territory of the Philippines comprises:


1) the Philippine archipelago
2) all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or
jurisdiction

Philippine Archipelago – that body of water studded with islands


which is delineated in the Treaty of Paris (1898), as amended by the
Treaty of Washington (1900) and the Treaty with Great Britain (1930).

- consists of its
a. Terrestrial
b. Fluvial
c. Aerial domains

- including its
a. Territorial sea
b. The seabed
c. The subsoil
d. The insular shelves; and
e. The other submarine areas

Internal Water – the waters around, between and connecting the


island of the archipelago, regardless of their breath and dimensions.

All other Territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty


or jurisdiction – includes any territory that presently belongs or might
in the future belong to the Philippines through any of the accepted
international modes of acquiring territory.

Archipelagic Principle

Two elements:
1. The definition of internal waters (supra)
2. The straight baseline method of delineating the territorial sea –
consists of drawing straight lines connecting the outermost points
on the coast without departing to any appreciable extent from the
general direction of the coast.

Important distances with respect to the waters around the


Philippines
Territorial Sea 12 nautical miles (n.m.)
Contiguous Zone 12 n.m. from the edge of the
Exclusive Economic Zone territorial sea
200 n.m. from the baseline
(Includes T.S. and C.Z.)

Note: There can be a Continental Shelf without an EEZ, but not an


EEZ without a Continental Shelf.

Territorial Sea – the belt of the sea located between the coast and
internal waters of the coastal state on the one hand, and the high seas
on the other, extending up to 12 nautical miles from the low water
mark. (LOS)

Contiguous Zone – extends up to 12 nautical miles from the


territorial sea. Although not part of the territory, the coastal State may
exercise jurisdiction to prevent infringement of customs, fiscal,
immigration or sanitary laws.

Exclusive Economic Zone – body of water extending up to 200


nautical miles, within which the state may exercise sovereign rights to
explore, exploit, conserve and manage the natural resources.

The State in the EEZ exercises jurisdiction with regard to:

1. the establishment and use of artificial island,


installation, and structures;
2. marine scientific research;
3. the protection and preservation of marine
environment

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

The Convention has substantial provision which help in the


understanding of the constitutional text. Some important concept
found are the following;

Archipelagic State - means a State constituted wholly by one or


more archipelagos and may include other island.

Archipelago – means a group of islands… form an intrinsic


geographical economic and political entity, or which historically have
been regarded as such.

Territorial Sea - (supra)

Baselines - is the law-water line along the coast as mark on large


scale charts officially recognized by the coastal State.

A state exercises sovereignty over its territorial sea subject to the right
of innocent passage by other states.

Innocent passage -is a passage not prejudicial to the


interests of the coastal State nor contrary to recognized
principles of international law.

Article 53 of the Convention says that “ archipelagic State may


designate sea lanes and air routes there above, suitable for the
continuous and expeditious passage of foreign ships and aircraft
through or over its archipelagic waters and the adjacent territorial
sea.”
c. Sovereignty and jurisdiction – Article II, Sec. 1-2,
CONSTITUTION

Section 1. The Philippines is a democratic and republican


State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government
authority emanates from them.

Section 2. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of


national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of
international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to
the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation,
and amity with all nations.

i. Sovereignty – definition, aspects, situs,


essential qualities

• Definition

Sovereignty - is the power of the State to regulate matters within its


own territory.

Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority


emanates from them. This power resides in the “people” understood
as those who have a direct hand in the formulation, adoption, and
amendment or alteration of the Constitution.

Political writer distinguish between legal sovereignty and political


sovereignty. The former is described as the supreme power to make
laws and the latter as the sum total of all the influences in a state,
legal and non-legal, which determine the course of law.

Sovereign authority, moreover, is not always directly exercised by the


people. It is normally delegated by the people to the government and
to the concrete persons in whose hands the powers of government
temporarily reside. Such authority continues with the consent of the
people.

Finally, is recognition by other states a constitutive element of a state


such that even it has all four elements of the Montevideo Convention it
is not a state if it has not been recognized? In International law, there
are two views on this. One view, the constitutive theory, is that
recognition “constitutes” a state. The other view, “the declaratory
theory, is that recognition is merely “declaratory” of the existence of
the state. In practice, however, whether recognize or not is largely a
political decision.

Republican State - It is one wherein all government authority


emanates form the people and is exercised by representatives chosen
by the people.

Democratic State – This merely emphasizes that the Philippines has


some aspect of direct democracy such as initiative and referendum.

• Aspects

Effect of Belligerent Occupation – No change in sovereignty. However,


political laws, except those of treason, are suspended; municipal laws
remain in force unless changed by the belligerent occupant.

Principle of Jus Postiminium – At the end of the occupation, political


laws are automatically revived.

Effect of Change of Sovereignty – political laws of the former


sovereign, whether compatible or nor with those of the new sovereign,
are automatically abrogated, unless they are expressly re-enacted by
the affirmative act of the new sovereign. Municipals laws remain in
force (Macariola v. Asuncion, 114 SCRA 77).

• Situs

• Essential qualities

CASES

• The Court held: “Section 21, Article VII deals with treaties or
international agreements in general, in which case, the
concurrence of at least two-thirds (2/3) of all the Members of the
Senate is required to make the subject treaty, or international
agreement, valid and binding on the part of the Philippines. This
provision lays down the general rule on treaties or international
agreements and applies to any form of treaty with a wide variety
of subject matter, such as, but not limited to, extradition or tax
treaties or those economic in nature. All treaties or international
agreements entered into by the Philippines, regardless of subject
matter, coverage, or particular designation or appellation,
requires the concurrence of the Senate to be valid and effective.
In contrast, Section 25, Article XVIII is a special provision that
applies to treaties which involve the presence of foreign military
bases, troops or facilities in the Philippines. Under this provision,
the concurrence of the Senate is only one of the requisites to
render compliance with the constitutional requirements and to
consider the agreement binding on the Philippines. Section 25,
Article XVIII further requires that "foreign military bases, troops,
or facilities" may be allowed in the Philippines only by virtue of a
treaty duly concurred in by the Senate, ratified by a majority of
the votes cast in a national referendum held for that purpose if
so required by Congress, and recognized as such by the other
contracting state.

It is our considered view that both constitutional provisions, far


from contradicting each other, actually share some common
ground. In both instances, the concurrence of the Senate is
indispensable to render the treaty or international agreement
valid and effective.

It is a finely-imbedded principle in statutory construction that a


special provision or law prevails over a general one. Lex specialis
derogat generali. Thus, where there is in the same statute a
particular enactment and also a general one which, in its most
comprehensive sense, would include what is embraced in the
former, the particular enactment must be operative, and the
general enactment must be taken to affect only such cases
within its general language which are not within the provision of
the particular enactment.

Moreover, it is inconsequential whether the United States treats


the VFA only as an executive agreement because, under
international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a
treaty. To be sure, as long as the VFA possesses the elements of
an agreement under international law, the said agreement is to
be taken equally as a treaty: they are equally binding
obligations upon nations.

Worth stressing too, is that the ratification, by the President, of


the VFA and the concurrence of the Senate should be taken as a
clear and unequivocal expression of our nation's consent to be
bound by said treaty, with the concomitant duty to uphold the
obligations and responsibilities embodied thereunder.

In our jurisdiction, the power to ratify is vested in the President


and not, as commonly believed, in the legislature. The role of the
Senate is limited only to giving or withholding its consent, or
concurrence, to the ratification.

Beyond this, Article 13 of the Declaration of Rights and Duties of


States adopted by the International Law Commission in 1949
provides: "Every State has the duty to carry out in good faith its
obligations arising from treaties and other sources of
international law, and it may not invoke provisions in its
constitution or its laws as an excuse for failure to perform this
duty."

Equally important is Article 26 of the Convention which provides


that "Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and
must be performed by them in good faith." This is known as the
principle of pacta sunt servanda which preserves the sanctity of
treaties and have been one of the most fundamental principles of
positive international law, supported by the jurisprudence of
international tribunals (Bayan vs. Zamora, GR 138570, Oct. 10, 2000).”

ii) Jurisdiction – concept, classes

• Concept

Jurisdiction – is the manifestation of sovereignty.

• Classes

1. Territorial – authority to have all persons and things within its


territorial limits be completely subject to its control and protection.

2. Personal – authority over its nationals, their persons, property, or


acts, whether within or outside its territory.

3. Extraterritorial – authority over persons, things or acts, outside its


territorial limits by reason of their effects to its territory.

CASES

• The jurisdiction of a nation within its own territory is


necessarily exclusive and absolute. It is susceptible of no
limitation imposed by itself. Any restriction upon it, deriving
validity from an external source, would imply a diminution of its
sovereignty (Reagan vs. CIR, 30 SCRA 968).
• Principle of auto – limitation: “any state may, by its
consent, express or implied, submit to a restriction of its
sovereign rights. A state then, if it chooses to, may
refrain from the exercise of what otherwise is illimitable
competence. Philippine government has not abdicated it
sovereignty over the American bases in the Philippine as part of
the Philippine territory (People vs. Gozo, 53 SCRA 476).

d. Prerogatives

i) imperium – Article II, Secs. 3-8,


CONSTITUTION

Section 3. Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the


military. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector
of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the
sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national
territory.

Section 4. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and


protect the people. The Government may call upon the people
to defend the State and, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens
may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render
personal, military or civil service.

Section 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection


of life, liberty, and property, and promotion of the general
welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the
blessings of democracy.

Section 6. The separation of Church and State shall be


inviolable.

STATE POLICIES

Section 7. The State shall pursue an independent foreign


policy. In its relations with other states, the paramount
consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial
integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination.
Section 8. The Philippines, consistent with the national
interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear
weapons in its territory.

Imperium - the State’s authority to govern embraced in the


concept of sovereignty: includes passing laws governing a territory,
maintaining peace and order over it, and defending it against foreign
invasion.

CASES

• Every sovereign power has the inherent power to exclude aliens


from its territory upon such grounds as it may deem proper for
its self – preservation or public interest. It is a police measure
against undesirable aliens whose continued presence in the
country is found to be injurious to the public good and the
domestic tranquility of the people (Harvey vs. Commissioner, 162 SCRA
840).

• Issue: R.A. No. 1180 violated the UN Charter and the Philippine –
Chinese Treaty of Amity, therefore against the principle of Pacta
sunt servanda. The Court held that the Treaty of Amity between
the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of China
guarantees equality of treatment to the Chinese nationals ‘upon
the same term as the nationals of any other country. But the
nationals of China are not discriminated against because
nationals of all other countries, except those of the United
States, who are granted special rights by the Constitution, are all
prohibited from engaging in the retail trade. The Retail Trade
Nationalization Law is not unconstitutional because it was passed
in the exercise of the police power which cannot be bargained
away through the medium of a treaty (Ichong vs. Hernandez, 101 Phil
155).

Principle of Pacta sunt servanda – “Every treaty in


force is binding upon the parties to it and must be
performed by them in good faith.”

• Issue: Validity or the constitutionality of a Letter of Instruction


No. 299, issued by President Ferdinand E. Marcos, premised and
based on the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Sings and
Signals. The Court held that the LOI in question is deemed not
unconstitutional as it was in the exercise of police power as such
was established to promote public welfare and public safety. In
fact, the LOI is based on the constitutional provision of adopting
to the generally accepted principles of international law as part
of the law of the land (Agustin vs. Edu, 88 SCRA 195).

• Issue: The validity of the National Defense Law which


establishes compulsory military service is unconstitutional. The
Court held that the National Defense Law does not go against
this constitutional provision but is, on the contrary, in faithful
compliance therewith. The duty of the Government to defend
the State cannot be performed except through an army. To
leave the organization of an army to the will of the citizens would
be to make this duty of the Government excusable should there
be no sufficient men who volunteer to enlist therein (People vs.
Lagman, et al., 66 Phil 13).

• Issue: Deployment of US troops in Basilan


and Mindanao as part of “Balikatan” exercises for being illegal
and in violation of the Constitution. The Court held that “in the
absence of concrete proof , petitioners’ allegation that the Arroyo
government is engaged in “doublespeak” in trying to pass off as
a mere training exercise an offensive effort by foreign troops on
native soil. The petitions invite us to speculate on what is really
happening in Mindanao. Wherefore, the petition and the
petition-in-intervention were dismissed (Lim vs. Exec. Sec’y., GR
151445, April 11, 2002).”

ii) Dominium

Dominium – the capacity of the State to own and acquire property.

Regalian Doctrine – all lands of the public domain belong to the State
– the source of any asserted rights to ownership of land. All lands not
appearing to be clearly of public dominium presumptively belong to
the State.

Public Dominion - are those property intended for public use for
public service. They are outside the commerce of men and therefore
not subject for appropriation.

Note:
• Property of public dominion when no longer
needed for public use or public service, shall form part of the
patrimonial property of the state.
• Public Land is equivalent to Public Domain.

• Government Lands include public land and all


other lands of the government already reserved or devoted to
public use or subject to private rights.

Classification of Lands of the Public Domain:


1. Agricultural Lands
2. Forest or Timber Lands
3. Mineral Lands
4. National Parks

CASES

• Issue: The provision of the joint venture agreement for transfer


of title to AMARI of some of the submerged land which had been
reclaimed were unconstitutional. The Court held that such lands
were “alienable or disposable lands of the public domain” which
could be disposed of by PEA under certain conditions (such as public
bidding). However such lands could only be disposed of by means
of an absolute transfer to private individuals who were Philippine
citizens, Under Sec.3, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution a disposal to
a corporation could only be by way of a lease, not a sale.
Accordingly the JVA was declared null and void ab initio (Chavez vs.
PEA & AMARI, GR 133250, July 9, 2002).

• Issue: Whether the agreement entered into by Pasay City


Council and the Republic Real Estate Corporation which involved the
transfer of reclaimed foreshore lands is constitutional. The Court
held that the agreement cannot operate to give title to
“foreshores”, the areas between the high tide and low tide marks,
rendering the agreement null and void for being ultra vires (Republic
vs CA, GR No. 103882, Nov. 25, 1998).

• The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA) was challenged


as unconstitutional for allegedly colliding with the principle of jura
regalia (Regalian Doctrine). Under IPRA, indigenous peoples may
obtain the recognition of their right of ownership over ancestral
lands and ancestral domains by virtue of native title. Seven
members of the Supreme Court voted to dismiss the petition while
seven others voted to grant the same. As the votes were equally
divided, the petition was dismissed pursuant to Sec. 7, Rule 56 of
the Rules of Court with the result that the constitutionality of the
IPRA is deemed upheld (Cruz vs DENR, GR No. 135385, Dec. 06, 2000).
• Issue: R.A. 7942 otherwise known as the Philippine Mining
Act, along with DENR AO No. 96-04 and the Financial and Technical
Assistance Agreement (FTAA) is unconstitutional for: allowing
foreign-owned companies to extend more than mere financial or
technical assistance to the State, and even permitting to “operate
and manage mining activities”; and allowing both technical and
financial assistance, instead of “either technical or financial
assistance.” The Court held certain provisions of RA 7942, DAO No.
96-40, as well as of the entire FTAA as unconstitutional, mainly on
the finding that FTAAs are “service contracts” prohibited by the
1987 Constitution for being antithetical to the principle of
sovereignty over our natural resources, because they allowed
foreign control over the exploitation of our natural resources, to the
prejudice of Filipino nation ( La Bugal-B’laan TA vs DENR, GR No. 127882, Jan.
27, 2004).

iii)

parens patriae – Article II, Secs. 9-28,

CONSTITUTION

Section 9. The State shall promote a just and dynamic social


order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the
nation and free the people from poverty through policies that
provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a
rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all.

Section 10. The State shall promote social justice in all phases
of national development.

Section 11. The State values the dignity of every human


person and guarantees full respect for human rights.
Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and
shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous
social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother
and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and
primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth
for civic efficiency and the development of moral character
shall receive the support of the Government.

Section 13. The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in
nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical,
moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall
inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and
encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.

Section 14. The State recognizes the role of women in nation-


building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the
law of women and men.

Section 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to
health of the people and instill health consciousness among
them.

Section 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of
the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with
the rhythm and harmony of nature.

Section 17. The State shall give priority to education, science


and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism
and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total
human liberation and development.

Section 18. The State affirms labor as a primary social


economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and
promote their welfare.

Section 19. The State shall develop a self-reliant and


independent national economy effectively controlled by
Filipinos.

Section 20. The State recognizes the indispensable role of the


private sector, encourages private enterprise, and provides
incentives to needed investments.

Section 21. The State shall promote comprehensive rural


development and agrarian reform.
Section 22. The State recognizes and promotes the rights of
indigenous cultural communities within the framework of
national unity and development.

Section 23. The State shall encourage non-governmental,


community-based, or sectoral organizations that promote the
welfare of the nation.

Section 24. The State recognizes the vital role of


communication and information in nation-building.

Section 25. The State shall ensure the autonomy of local


governments.

Section 26. The State shall guarantee equal access to


opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties
as may be defined by law.

Section 27. The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in


the public service and take positive and effective measures
against graft and corruption.

Section 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by


law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full public
disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.

Doctrine of Parens Patriae – government as guardian of the rights


of people (Gov’t. of Phil. Island v. El Monte de Piedad).

CASES

• The funds collected as a result of the national subscription


opened in Spain by royal order of the Spanish Government and
which were remitted to the Philippine government to be distributed
among the earthquake sufferers by the Central Relief Board
constituted, under article 1 of the law of June 20, 1849, and article 2
of the instructions of April 27, 1875, a special charity of a temporary
nature as distinguished from a permanent public charitable
institution. As the Spanish Government initiated the creation of the
fund and as the donors turned their contributions over to that
Government, it became the duty of the latter, under article 7 of the
instructions, to exercise supervisions and control over the monies
thus collected to the end that the will of the donors should be
carried out. The relief board had no power whatever to dispose of
the funds confided to its charge for other purposes than to
distribute them among the sufferers, because paragraph 3 of article
11 of the instructions conferred the power upon the secretary of the
interior of Spain, and no other, to dispose of the surplus funds,
should there be any, by assigning them to some other charitable
purpose or institution. The secretary could not dispose of any of the
funds in this manner so long as they were necessary for the specific
purpose for which they were contributed. The secretary had the
power, under the law above mentioned to appoint and totally or
partially change the personnel of the relief board and to authorize
the board to defend the rights of the charity in the courts. The
secretary of the interior, as the representative of His Majesty's
Government, exercised these powers and duties through the
Governor-General of the Philippine Islands. The Governments of
Spain and of the Philippine Islands in complying with their duties
conferred upon them by law, acted in their governmental capacities
in attempting to carry out the intention of the contributors. It will
thus be seen that those governments were something more, as we
have said, than mere trustees of the fund.

Effect of laws on transfer of sovereignty: there is abrogation


of laws in conflict with the political character of the substitute
sovereign (political law); great body of municipal law regarding
private and domestic rights continue in force until abrogated or
changed by new ruler (Gov’t of PI vs. Monte de Piedad, 35 Phil 728).

• Issue: Questioning the validity of EO No. 30 creating a trust


under the name and style of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The petition was dismissed. The Court held that the funds
administered by the Center came from donations and contributions,
not by taxation. The duty of caring for governmental property is
neither judicial nor legislative in character is it as surely executive.
In behalf of the State as parens patriae, the President has authority
to implement for the benefit of the Filipino people to administer the
private contributions and donations. It would be an unduly narrow
or restrictive view of such a principle if the public funds that
accrued by way of donation from the US and financial contributions
for the Cultural Center project could not be legally considered as
“governmental property” (Gonzales vs Marcos, 65 SCRA 624).

• Issue: Whether the rules and regulations promulgated by the


Director of Public Works prohibiting animal-drawn vehicles from
passing along specifically designated place and time infringe upon
the constitutional precept regarding the promotion of social justice
to insure the well-being and economic security of all people. The
Court held that social justice must be founded on recognition of the
necessity of interdependence diverse units of a society and of the
protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups
as a combined force in our social and economic life, consistent with
the fundamental and paramount objective of the State of promoting
the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about
“the greatest good to the greatest number” (Calalang vs Williams, 70
Phil 726).

• Issue: Whether the CHR has the power to issue the “order to
desist” against the demolition of Fermo et. al.'s stalls, and to cite
Mayor Simon et. al. for contempt for proceeding to demolish said
stalls despite the CHR order. The Court held as a reiteration in
Export Processing Zone Authority vs CHR that “the constitutional provision
directing the CHR to 'provide for preventive measures and legal aid
services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been
violated or need protection' may not be construed to confer
jurisdiction on the Commission to issue a restraining order or writ of
injunction for, if that were the intention, the Constitution would have
expressly said so. Jurisdiction is conferred only by the Constitution
of by law. It is never derived by implication. Not being a court of
justice, the CHR has no jurisdiction to issue the writ, for a writ of
preliminary injunction may only be issued by the judge of any court
in which the action is pending, or by a Justice of the Court of
Appeals, or of the Supreme Court (Simon vs CHR, GR No. 100150, January
5, 1994).

• Issue: Whether or not the exercise of the freedom of assembly


on the part of a certain students could be a basis for their being
barred from enrollment. The Court held that respect for the
constitutional rights of peaceable assembly and free speech could
not be a basis for barring students from enrollment. The academic
freedom enjoyed by “institutions of higher learning” includes the
right to set academic standards. Once it has done so, however, that
standard should be followed meticulously and cannot be utilized to
discriminate against those students which exercise their
constitutional rights to peaceable assembly and free speech. The
constitutional provision also maintains “a system of free public
elementary education and, in areas where finances permit,
establish and maintain a system of free public education (Villar vs TIP,
135 SCRA 706).

• Issue: Whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding that


respondent's doctoral degree cannot be recalled without violating
her right to enjoyment of intellectual property and to justice and
equity. The Court held that academic freedom is guaranteed to
institutions of higher learning by Art. XIV of the 1987 Constitution.
This freedom includes deciding whom a university will confer
degrees on. If the degree is procured by error or fraud then the
Board of Regents, subject to due process being followed, may
cancel that degree. The CA decision was wrong and was reversed
(UP Bd. Of Regents vs. CA, GR No. 134625, August 31, 1999).

• Issue: Whether the trial court erred in upholding respondent's


contention that they qualify as small property owners and are thus
exempt from expropriation. The question now is whether
respondents qualify as “small property owners” as defined in Sec. 3
(q) of RA 7279. “Small-property owners” are defined by two
elements: (1) those owners of real property whose property
consists of residential lands with an area of not more than 300
square meters in highly urbanized cities and 800 square meters in
other urban areas; and (2) that they do not own real property other
than the same. The share of each respondents did not exceed 300,
and they also claim that the subject lots are their only real property.
Thus, the Court denied the petition (Mandaluyong vs. Francisco, GR No.
137152, January 29, 2001).

• The deceased insured himself and instituted as beneficiary, his


child, with his brother to act as trustee during her minority. Upon
his death, the proceeds were paid to him. Hence filed complaint by
the mother, with whom the child is living, seeking the delivery of
such sum. The lower court rendered a decision ordering the uncle
to deliver the proceeds of the policy in question to the mother. In
an appeal from a question of law, the Supreme Court affirmed the
decision of the lower court, emphasizing that “the State shall
strengthen the family as a basic social institution. If , as the
Constitution so wisely dictates, it is the family as a unit that has to
be strengthened, it does not admit of doubt that even if a stronger
case were presented for the uncle, still deference to a constitutional
mandate would have led the lower court to decide as it did (Cabanas
vs Pilapil, 58 SCRA 94).

• A college, or any school for that matter, has a dual responsibility


to its students. One is to provide opportunities for learning and the
other is to help them grow and develop into mature, responsible,
effective and worthy citizens of the community. Discipline is one of
the means to carry out the second responsibility. The general rule
is that the authority of the school is co-extensive with its territorial
jurisdiction, or its school grounds, so that any action taken for acts
committed outside the school premises should, in general, be left to
the police authorities, the court of justice, and the family concerned.
However, this rule is subject to following exceptions: (1) violations
of school policies and regulations occurring in connection with a
school-sponsored activity off-campus; and (2) misconduct of
student involves his status as a student or affects the good name or
reputation of the school. The true test of a school's right to
investigate, or otherwise, suspend or expel a student for a
misconduct committed outside the school premises and beyond
school hours is not the time or place of the offense, but its effect
upon the morale and efficiency of the school and whether it, in fact,
is adverse to the school's good order welfare and advancement of
its students (Angeles vs Judge Sison, 112 SCRA 26).

• The concern of the government is not necessarily to maintain


profits of business firms. In the ordinary sequence of events, it is
profits that suffer as a result of Government regulation. The
interest of the State is to provide a decent living to its citizen. The
government has convinced the court that it is its intent. The Court
did not find the impugned Order to be tainted with grave abuse of
discretion (PASEI vs Drilon, 163 SCRA 386).

• The right of government employees to organize does not include


the right to strike. But the current ban on them against strikes is
statutory and may be lifted by statute (SSSEA vs. CA, 175 SCRA 686).

• Every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that


rhythm and harmony for the full enjoyment of a balanced and
healthful ecology. The case at bar is the minors’ assertion of their
right to a sound environment, and at the same time, the
performance of their obligation to ensure the protection of that
right for the generation to come (Oposa vs Factoran, GR No. 101083, July
30, 1993).

• The United States Supreme Court liberalizes abortion laws up to


the sixth month of pregnancy at the discretion of the mother
anytime during the first six months when it can be done without
danger to the mother (Roe vs. Wade, 410 US 113).

• The constitutional right to information on matters of public


concern is self-executing without the need for any ancillary act of
legislation. When the question is one of public right and the object
of mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a public duty, the
people are regarded as the real party interest, and the person at
whose instigation the proceeding are instituted need not show that
he is a citizen and as such interested in the execution of the laws
(Legaspi vs CSC, 150 SCRA 530).
• Issue: The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was
challenged as an unconstitutional treaty for placing foreign
investors on the same level as Filipinos. The Court held that while
the Constitution mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods,
services, labor and enterprises, at the same time, it recognizes the
need for business exchange with the rest of the world on the bases
of equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino interests
only against foreign competition and trade practices that are
unfair. The constitutional policy of a “self-reliant and independent
national economy” does not necessarily rule out the entry of
foreign investments, goods and services. It contemplates neither
“economic seclusion” nor “mendicancy in the international
community (Tanada vs Angara, GR No. 118295, May 02, 1997).”

• The interconnection which has been required of PLDT is a form of


‘intervention’ with property rights dictated by ‘the objective of the
government to promote the rapid expansion of telecommunications
services in all areas of the Philippines… at an acceptable standard
of service at reasonable cost.’… The decisive considerations are
public need, public interest, and the common good…. A modern
and dependable communications network rendering efficient and
reasonably priced services is also indispensable for accelerated
economic recovery and development to these public and national
interests, public utility companies must bow and yield (PLDT vs
NTC,190 SCRA 717).

• The applicable provision of law requiring publication in the


Official Gazette is found in Art, 2 of the New Civil Code of the
Philippines. The court succinctly construed that cited provision of
law in point, holding that “all statutes including those of local
application and private laws, shall be published as a condition for
their effectively, which shall begin 15 days after publication unless
a different effectively date is fixed by the legislature. Covered by
this rule are presidential decrees and executive orders.
Administrative rules and regulations must also be published if their
purpose is to enforce or implement existing law pursuant to a valid
delegation. Interpretative regulations and those merely internal in
nature, that is, regulating only the personnel of the administrative
agency and not the public, need not be published (De Jesus vs. COA,
GR 1090023, August 12, 1998).