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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS

(ARRANGED ACCORDING TO TOPIC)


STARE DECISIS

TALA REALTY SERVICES CORP VS. BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS


AND MORTGAGE BANK
GR 137980 JUNE 20, 2000

FACTS:

Respondent has a legal problem with regard to its real estate holdings.
The law requires that respondent’s real estate holdings should only be
50% of its net worth. This constituted a bar to the planned expansion
of respondent. To solve the predicament of the respondent, it created
a separate entity, which is petitioner, wherein the existing branch sites
would be unloaded and the said petitioner would also acquire new
branch sites for respondent and lease it to the latter. Pursuant to the
agreement between the two parties, the petitioner acquired properties
from respondent and then leased them to the latter. It was a part of
the agreement that petitioner only holds properties for the respondent
and that the said properties would be returned to respondent at its
pleasure.

There came a time when there was a disagreement between the two
parties on which of the 2 lease contracts of lease presented by each
party governs them. Petitioner contends that it is the 11-year contract
while the other presents a 20-year contract. Both contracts have been
allegedly notarized and executed on the same date.

Using the 11-year contract as basis, the petitioner filed a petition for
ejectment against respondent. However, the petitioner lost in all its
cases and appealed the case to the Court of Appeals. The CA
mentioned in its decision that the lower courts erred in refusing to
exercise jurisdiction, when the issue of possession and issue of validity
of contract is intertwined. Nonetheless, it dismissed the petition to
maintain judicial consistency and stability as other ejectment cases
like the one at bar have already been decided on. Petitioner filed MR
and was granted by ordering respondent to pay the unpaid rentals.
Subsequently, the respondent filed an MR and the CA reversed its
decision, which made petitioner file an appeal to the SC saying that
the CA erred in considering the ruling of the court in another case as
the law of the case between petitioner and respondent. Respondent

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then said that only decisions of the SC establish jurisprudence or
doctrines.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the principle of stare decisis should be applied to
the case at bar even if the parties and properties involved are
different?

HELD:

The stare decisis principle should be upheld.

There had been previously a decision by the SC involving the


same parties but different property, wherein it was upheld and decided
that the 20-year lease contract should prevail. It even mentioned in
its decision that the 11-year contract was forged and simulated as it
was never really notarized nor submitted to the Central Bank, as
required by law.

In the light of the aforementioned decision, the Court doesn’t


have any option but to uphold the 20-year lease contract, following the
principle of “stare decisis et non quieta movere (follow past precedents
and do not disturb what has been settled)”.

It is the policy of the Court to maintain judicial stability in


accordance to stare decisis. As in this case, the same questions
relating to the same even have been put forward by parties similarly
situated as in a previous case litigated and decided by a competent
court, the rule of stare decisis is a bar to any attempt to relitigate the
same issue. The ruling is final even as to parties who are strangers to
the original proceedings and not bound by the judgment under the res
judicata doctrine. Stare decisis should apply if the facts are
substantially the same even if the parties may be different.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
JM TUASON AND CO. INC. VS. MARIANO
GR 3314O OCTOBER 23, 1978

FACTS:

Respondents filed a complaint praying that they be declared


owners of a certain parcel of land located in Rizal. They alleged that
their father acquired this land with a Spanish title. They alleged that
petitioner fraudulently or included the land in an original certificate of
title. They also alleged that transfer certificates of title were issued to
petitioners irregularly. Given such, they are praying that the titles
derived therefrom be declared void due to irregular proceedings.

The lower court issued an order requiring the parties to produce


documents to support their allegations. With this, the petitioner filed a
petition for certiorari and prohibition, inter alia, that the lower court be
ordered to dismiss the complaint and enjoined from proceeding the
case.

Before this present complaint, the respondents had already filed


a complaint questioning the validity of the titles of petitioner, wherein
the lower court and the SC upheld its validity.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the titles can still be questioned by respondents?

HELD:

They cannot anymore question. Considering the principle of


stare decisis, the respondents cannot anymore continue with their
action without eroding the long settled holding of the courts of the
validity of the titles and no longer open to attack.

It is against public policy that matters already decided on the


merits be relitigated again and again, consuming the court’s time and
energies at the expense of other litigants.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
EL PUEBLO DE FILIPINAS VS. MARQUIDA
GR 953, SEPTEMBER 18, 1947

FACTS:
The case at bar is an appeal of respondent of the decision
rendered by the lower court, finding him guilty of the crime of treason.

Respondent was charged with the crime of treason for allegedly


helping out Japanese occupants in arresting and abducting of Filipinos
who were thought to be guerrillas. He was found guilty by the lower
court, using the testimony of many witnesses.

It is alleged that respondent cannot be found of guilty of treason


due to the indetermination of his citizenship or nationality. Following
the doctrine of stare decisis, wherein in a prior case, 2 were not found
to be citizens since during the time of birth, a limitation on the
application of jus soli for citizenship was established.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the principle of stare decisis should be applied to
the case at bar?

HELD:

No. Stare decisis doesn’t work up to the extent of perpetuating


an error. If it is found that in the past there was a mistake, stare
decisis shouldn’t bar the Court from correcting itself.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
JOSE TAN CHONG VS. SECRETARY OF LABOR
GR 47616 SEPTEMBER 16, 1947

LAM SWEE SANG VS. THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILS.


GR 47623 SEPTEMBER 16, 1947

FACTS:

Petitioners in the two cases are both of born of a Chinese father


and a Filipino mother. The first petitioner was granted writ of habeas
corpus since he was declared to be a Filipino citizen due to the doctrine
of jus soli, which says that when one is born in a country, he acquires
the citizenship of that country. Such has been said to be the same
with the second petitioner. Second petitioner’s petition for
naturalization was dismissed since he no longer needed to be
naturalized. The Solicitor General opposed such decision, saying that
the two are not citizens of the Philippines pursuant to the laws existing
during their time of birth.

Before this, the Court, with regard to cases like this, used the
principle of jus soli, adopted from the US Constitution, which says that
all those born and naturalized in the US and placed under its
jurisdiction is a citizen of the US.

The Solicitor General mentioned that the principle of jus soli


wasn’t extended to the Philippines. In a previous case wherein jus soli
was used was based in a prior case, which mentioned the principle of
jus soli but wasn’t actually the issue at hand. Furthermore, if ever the
principle of jus soli was extended, it had its limitations. The law that
prevailed then mentioned that if one was born after a certain date and
in accordance with other conditions, which would only be the time
when one is considered a citizen. Otherwise, they are not to be
considered citizens.

ISSUE:
Whether or not precedents regarding citizenship should be
upheld, following the principle of stare decisis?

HELD:

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No, the principle of stare decisis doesn’t mean being blind
adherence to precedents. Even if the doctrines laid down have been
followed for years, if it has been found to be contrary to law, it should
be abandoned or reconsidered. Principle of stare decisis shouldn’t be
applied if there is conflict between law and precedent.
Given that the law enforced during the time of birth of two
petitioners doesn’t allow them to be citizens of the Philippines, even if
precedence tells that they be allowed to be citizens of the Philippines,
cannot be declared Filipino citizens.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
FRANCISCO VS. HRET
GR 160261 NOVEMBER 11, 2003

FACTS:

The case at bar is a petition questioning the constitutionality of


the impeachment proceedings being held by the House of
Representatives against Chief Justice Davide.

The first impeachment proceeding brought against the Chief


Justice, together with other associate justices, is by Joseph Estrada,
for the alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public
trust, and other high crimes. It proceeded due to good form but was
later on dismissed due to lack of substance.

Another impeachment proceeding was being brought against the


Chief Justice, in a period less than the one-year bar provided by the
Constitution and the rules of the House of Representatives. This was
initiated by 2 representatives and was endorsed by many other
representatives.

This resulted to many petitions by many individuals as well as


associations questioning the constitutionality of such move by
Congress. The petitions were consolidated having raised similar
issues. The petitions contend that the second impeachment
proceeding was in culpable violation of the Constitution wherein there
is a one-year bar before one can initiate impeachment proceedings
against the same individual. The first proceeding was less than a year
away from the filing of the second proceeding.

Congress mainly contended that the Supreme Court had no


power to inquire about the impeachment proceedings as it is the
former which has the power to facilitate or administer impeachment
proceedings, as provided by the Constitution. If the Supreme Court
interrupts and inquires about the proceedings, it will disturb the
doctrine of separation of powers as well as the doctrine of checks and
balances. The impeachment proceeding is in itself under the power of
the Congress and is a political question.

ISSUE:

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Whether or not the second impeachment proceeding against
Davide is constitutional?

Whether or not the impeachment proceeding was a political


question wherein the SC cannot disturb it?

HELD:

On the first issue, it is prevalent that the second impeachment


proceeding against the Chief Justice is unconstitutional. Under Article
XI of our present Constitution, it is provided that with regard to the
impeachment of public officials such as the Chief Justice, there is a
one-year bar provided. No impeachment proceeding shall be initiated
against the same official within a period of one year. The term initiate
refers to the filing of the case against the official. It starts when a
complaint is filed with the Committee of Justice of the House of
Representatives. It is not initiated during the time when it is verified
by the other members of the House or when it is given to Senate for
hearing.

On the second issue, it is said that the SC cannot question or


inquire about the impeachment proceedings since it will disturb the
separation of power, check and balance between the branches of
government, and that the SC has vested interest in the issue.

The Constitution was equivocal in granting the judiciary,


moreover the SC, the duty to settle controversies that are legally
demandable and enforceable. It has been vested the duty to check if
there is any grave abuse of discretion on the part of any branch or
office of government. In this petition wherein the constitutionality of
the impeachment proceeding is questioned, no one has the power to
interpret the fundamental law of the land and answer the issue of
constitutionality other than the SC. Given such, even if the legislative
that commences and administers impeachment proceedings, it is not a
bar for the SC to inquire about their actions especially if
constitutionality is involved.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
URBANA VELASCO AROC VS. PHHC
GR L-39674 JANUARY 31, 1978

FACTS:

The case at bar in appeal of the decision to the CA the order of


the Court of First Instance dismissing on the ground of res judicata the
complaint to declare null and void the sale of a certain parcel of land.

Appellants are occupants of one-half of a parcel of land. They


constructed a house and made some improvements on the land. They
later on filed with appellee corporation application for the award and
sale of such portion of land. They did this for several times without
any action from appellee corporation. They later found out that the
parcel of land had been unlawfully and in bad faith awarded and sold
to appellee spouses, who according to appellants, are disqualified from
purchasing said land since they have prior purchased a land already
from appellee corporation together with other properties. Appellants
filed a case against the appellee corporation and spouses.

In defense of the spouses, they contend that the case should be


dismissed due to the ground of res judicata. A case was already
decided in their favor, wherein the issue was regarding quieting of
title. They contend that appellants are barred by prior judgment.

The Court of First Instance dismissed the complaint of the


appellants, using the ground raised by the appellees of res judicata. It
contended that the prior case had already been final and executory
and that there is nothing else for them to do but to dismiss the
complaint of the appellant.

ISSUE:
Whether or not res judicata is applicable in the case at bar?

HELD:

No, it is not. For the principle of res judicata to apply, four


requisites must be present: the former judgment must be final, it must
have been rendered by a court with proper jurisdiction over the case,
it must be a judgment on the merits, and there must be, between the
two cases, identity of parties, subject matter, and cause of action. In

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this case, it is only with regard to cause of action that the parties
disagree.

Cause of action is defined to be an act or omission of second


party in violation of the legal rights of the other, and its essential
elements are legal right of the plaintiff, correlative obligation of the
defendant, and act or omission of the defendant in violation of said
legal right.

In the prior judged case, the cause of action was for the quieting
of title or removing the cloud on the title of the land. While in the case
at bar, the cause of action was not only to ask for the nullification of
the award and sale of the parcel of land but also, it questions the
validity of appellee corporation’s award and sale of the parcel of land
to the spouses. Given such, the two causes of action are different
from one another.

In the application of the doctrine of res judicata wherein it is


sometimes doubtful whether there are same causes of action, the test
normally employed is to consider the identity of the facts or whether
the same evidence would sustain both. If the same facts and evidence
would sustain both, then the former would be a bar to any subsequent
action. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be. And with applying such test, it
is found that more evidence is needed to prove the second cause of
action.

Given aforementioned circumstances, the second cause of action


is remanded to the Court of First Instance for further proceedings.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
CAYANA VS. CA
GR 125607 MARCH 18, 2004

FACTS:

It appears that the petitioners and respondents’ father, with the


marital consent of his wife, sold two parcels of land to their son, one of
the respondents in this case. At the death of the father, the mother
filed an Affidavit of Adverse Claims pertaining to the two parcels of
land, alleging that the Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of their son were
forgeries. However, later on, she issued an affidavit withdrawing such
adverse claims.

Later on, together with petitioners of this case and respondent


Marceliano, they filed a case against respondent Pastor, for the
cancellation of the Deed of Absolute Sale and reconveyance of the two
parcels of land. Meanwhile, respondent Pastor entered into an
agreement of counter guaranty with respondent corporation using
second parcel of land; mortgaged first parcel to respondent bank and
sold first parcel of land to a certain Rosafina Reginaldo, who then
mortgaged the land to respondent bank.

As the civil case against respondents was ongoing, respondents


filed an answer but were found to be in default, the court allowed
petitioners to file evidence ex parte.

The court decided the civil case in favor of petitioners, declaring


the deed of absolute sale null and void but denied the prayer for
reconveyance saying that the mother was still the owner of the land.
No appeal was entered by respondents and the decision was deemed
final.

The mortgage on the first parcel of land was foreclosed and the
bank being the highest bidder, bought the property who then sold it to
respondent spouses Marceliano Cayabyab. The respondent spouses M.
Cayabyab then sold the land to respondent spouses Ramos.

The petitioners filed a verified complaint for the nullification and


cancellation of the deeds of absolute sale of the respondents. They
asked also for the possession of the 2 parcels of land due to the
alleged donation inter vivos of their mother.

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The trial court decided in favor of the petitioners, part of the
decision included the application of res judicata. Respondents
appealed this to the CA contending the misuse of res judicata. CA
decided in favor of the respondents. It held that res judicata was
inapplicable and also, declared the deeds of absolute sale and TCT’s
valid. CA mentioned that it was evident that there was an affidavit
withdrawing adverse claims over land, that the sale of parcels of land
were not simulated and not done in bad faith, and that there was no
evidence for the donation inter vivos being alleged by the petitioners.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the decision on the first civil case constitutes a
bar to the defenses and claims of respondents in the second case?

HELD:

Both the trial court and CA misread the provisions on the effect
of judgments or final orders as given by Rules of Civil Procedure:

SEC. 47. Effect of judgments or final orders.—The effect of a


judgment or final order rendered by a court of the Philippines, having
jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment or final order, may be as
follows:

(a) In case of a judgment or final order against a specific thing, or in


respect to the probate of a will, or the administration of the estate of a
deceased person, or in respect to the personal, political, or legal
condition or status of a particular person or his relationship to another,
the judgment or final order is conclusive upon the title to the thing,
the will or administration, or the condition, status or relationship of the
person; however, the probate of a will or granting of letters of
administration shall only be prima facie evidence of the death of the
testator or intestate;

(b) In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with respect to the
matter directly adjudged or as to any other matter that could have
been raised in relation thereto, conclusive between the parties and
their successors in interest by title subsequent to the commencement
to the action or special proceeding, litigating for the same thing and
under the same title and in the same capacity;

(c) In any other litigation between the same parties or their successors
in interest, that only is deemed to have been adjudged in a former
judgment or final order which appears upon its face to have been so

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adjudged, or which was actually and necessarily included therein or
necessarily thereto.

Res judicata and the bar of prior judgment is not applicable to


this case since the requisites for these two to apply are not present.
There is ‘bar by prior judgment’ when, between the first case where
the judgment was rendered and the second case which is sought to be
barred, there is identity of parties, subject matter and cause of action.
The judgment in the first case constitutes an absolute bar to the
subsequent action. It is final as to the claim or demand in controversy,
including the parties and those in privity with them, not only as to
every matter which was offered and received to sustain or defeat the
claim or demand, but as to any other admissible matter which might
have been offered for that purpose and of all matters that could have
been adjudged in that case. But where between the first and second
cases, there is identity of parties but no identity of cause of action, the
first judgment is conclusive in the second case, only as to those
matters actually and directly controverted and determined and not as
to matters merely involved therein. For res judicata to apply, there
must be (1) a former final judgment rendered on the merits; (2) the
court must have had jurisdiction over the subject matter and the
parties; and, (3) identity of parties, subject matter and cause of action
between the first and second actions. According to the appellate court,
the third requisite for the application of res judicata is not present in
this case.

The doctrine that should have been followed in this case is


conclusiveness of judgment--a fact or question which was in issue in a
former suit and there was judicially passed upon and determined by a
court of competent jurisdiction, is conclusively settled by the judgment
therein as far as the parties to that action and persons in privity with
them are concerned and cannot be again litigated in any future action
between such parties or their privies, in the same court or any other
court of concurrent jurisdiction on either the same or different cause of
action, while the judgment remains unreversed by proper authority.

The decision of the trial court, which was final, declaring the
deeds of absolute sale null and void, precluded the CA from further
adjudicating the validity of the deeds and titles.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES VS. INTEGRATED SILICON
TECHNOLOGY
GR154618 APRIL 14, 2004

FACTS:

Petitioner is a foreign corporation which doesn’t have license to


do business in the Philippines. Respondent is a private domestic
corporation which 100% foreign owned. They have a juridical
relationship, which can be traced to a 5-year Value-Added Assembly
Services Agreement (VAASA).

Respondent filed a case against petitioner for specific


performance and damages for breach of oral agreement to extend the
terms of VAASA. Petitioner on the other hand, filed a separate
complaint against respondent for specific performance, recovery of
possession, sum of money with replevin, preliminary mandatory
injunction, and damages. Petitioner is praying for a writ of replevin or
preliminary injunction for the return of equipment and other materials,
together with damages. On this complaint, respondent filed a motion
to dismiss on the ground of lack of capacity of petitioner to sue, litis
pendentia, forum shopping and lack of cause of action.

The trial court ordered a writ of replevin and with a motion for
reconsideration, respondent immediately appealed to the CA who then
set aside the said order and dismissed the case filed by petitioner.

ISSUE:
Whether or not there was reversible error on the part of the CA
when it dismissed the case of petitioner due to litis pendentia?

HELD:

Yes there was. It was erroneous on the part of the CA to say


that the lower court had no jurisdiction over second case because of
litis pendentia—a pending action doesn’t strip a court of its jurisdiction.

Furthermore, Litis pendentia as a ground for the dismissal of a


civil action refers to that situation wherein another action is pending
between the same parties for the same cause of action, such that the

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second action becomes unnecessary and vexatious. For litis pendentia
to be invoked, the concurrence of the following requisites is necessary:

(a) identity of parties or at least such as represent the same


interest in both actions;

(b) identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed for, the reliefs
being founded on the same facts; and

(c) the identity in the two cases should be such that the
judgment that may be rendered in one would, regardless of
which party is successful, amount to res judicata in the other.

The identity of the parties in the two cases notwithstanding,


there is want of the other 2 requisites for litis pendentia to apply.
There are distinct rights being asserted, two different causes of action
and reliefs prayed for. Moreover, there wouldn’t be any res judicata
since the two causes of action are different from another.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
BUAYA V. STRONGHOLD INSURANCE COMPANY, INC.
GR 139020 OCTOBER 11, 2000

FACTS:
On July 31, 1985, Stronghold Insurance Company, Inc. filed a
complaint against Paquito B. Buaya, a manager of their Cebu branch
for the collection of the principal amount of P678,076.83, which is
allegedly his unremitted premium collections owing to the Stronghold.
For failure of Buaya and his counsel to appear at the pre-trial, he was
defaulted and Stronghold was allowed to present his evidences,
without the other party. On the basis of Stronghold’s evidence, the
court decided on September 17, 1987, in favor of Stronghold.

Buaya appealed to the CA, and on March 30, 1990, decided in favor of
Buaya, annulling the decision and remanding the case to the lower
court for further proceedings. The lower court therefore set a hearing
on December 13, 1990 but Buaya filed a ‘Motion of Postponement’ of
the hearing and was granted. He repeated his motion and gave
several reasons to postpone the hearings. On July 26, 1991,
Stronghold opposed the motion, but the court granted Buaya’s motion
provided that the next time he does it, it will be considered a waiver of
his right to present evidence. Stronghold filed a motion to reinstate its
previous decision dated, September 17, 1987. Buaya filed a motion
for reconsideration but was denied. He files a ‘Petition for Certiorari’
assailing the orders of the court but was dismissed for lack of merit.
On June 28, 1993, the court’s decision has became final and executory
and thus denied all other appeals made before it.

ISSUES:
1. Can a decision of a Regional Trial Court which is annulled by the
Court of Appeals be reinstated by the trial court which rendered
the decision or any trial court for that matter and thereafter
order its execution?
2. When the decision of a trial court is annulled by the Court of
Appeals for having been rendered without notice to the Buaya of
the pre-trial and subsequent hearing and remanded to the court
of origin for further proceedings, does the jurisdiction of the trial
court merely require the presentation of evidence for Buaya and
without anymore requiring the presentation of Stronghold’s
evidence for cross-examination by the Buaya?

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RULING: This petition has no merit. DENIED.

RATIO:
1. Annulled Decision: The decision of the trial court was not
annulled by the CA, because his Appeal Brief stated that it had
merely been set aside. This shows that the trial court's Decision
was reversed and set aside, not annulled, by the appellate court.
Since it was merely set aside to enable petitioner to present his
evidence, then there was nothing wrong with the Order of the
trial court reinstating its original decision after he had failed to
take advantage of the ample opportunity given him to present
evidence. An authentic copy thereof should have been
submitted to support his claim that the Decision of the trial court
had indeed been annulled by that of the CA. Hence, a copy of
the latter is a "material portion of the record [that] would
support the petition." Failure to attach or submit it is sufficient
ground for this Petition's dismissal.
2. Final and Executory Judgment: Once a judgment becomes final
and executory, the prevailing party can have it executed as a
matter of right, it is axiomatic that once a decision attains
finality, it becomes the law of the case regardless of any claim
that it is erroneous. Having been rendered by a court of
competent jurisdiction acting within its authority, the judgment
may no longer be altered even at the risk of occasional legal
infirmities or errors it may contain. Litigations must end and
terminate sometime and somewhere. The effective and efficient
administration of justice requires that once a judgment has
become final, the prevailing party should not be deprived of the
fruits of the verdict by subsequent suits on the same issues filed
by the same parties.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGEST
ARGEL VS. JUDGE PASCUA
AM RTJ-94-1131 AUGUST 20, 2001

Facts:
Argel alleged in his complaint that Judge Pascua rendered a
decision convicting him of murder notwithstanding the fact that he had
already been previously acquitted by Pascua in her Decision. Argel
contends that respondent is guilty of gross ignorance of the law and of
violation his constitutional right against double jeopardy.

Pascua acquitted Argel of murder because she erroneously


thought that there was no witness that could have identified the
accused. Her mistake was brought about by the fact that the
testimony of the eyewitness was not attached to the records at the
time she wrote her decision. After reviewing, she revised her decision
finding Argel guilty of murder. Pascua ordered the police to bring
Argel to court to inform him of his liabilities arising from the crime.

Argel charged Pascua with gross negligence for not exercising


extreme caution in the preparation of her decision by making sure that
all the transcripts of stenographic notes were attached to the records
before writing the decision.

Issue: Is a decision once final no longer susceptible to amendment or


alteration?

Ruling: Yes.

Ratio:

Except to correct errors which are clerical in nature, to clarify


any ambiguity caused by an omission or mistake in the dispositive
portion, or to rectify a travesty of justice brought about by a moro-
moro or mock trial, a final decision is the law of the case and is
immutable and unalterable regardless of any claim of error or
incorrectness. In criminal cases, a judgment of acquittal is
immediately final upon its promulgation. It cannot be recalled for
correction or amendment except in the cases already mentioned nor
withdrawn by another order reconsidering the dismissal of the case
since the inherent power of a court to modify its order or decision does
not extend to a judgment of acquittal in a criminal case.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
ECHEGARAY VS. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE
301 SCRA 96, JANUARY 19, 1999

Facts:

Leo Echegaray was convicted and was to be executed by lethal


injection (RA 8177) The Supreme Court issued a temporary
restraining order restraining the execution of said party. Said
execution was set for Jan. 4, 1999 but the petitioner filed his Very
Urgent Motion for Issuance of TRO on Dec. 28, 1998. The Court was
in recess at the time but a Special Session was called to deliberate on
said matters. Furthermore, Congress was a new one with about 130
new members whose views on capital punishment were still
unexpressed. The suspension was temporary (until June 15, 1999,
unless it sooner becomes certain that no repeal or modification of the
law is going to be made). It was alleged that sine it is already final
and executory, the Supreme Court has lost its jurisdiction with the
case.

Issue:

Whether or not in issuing the temporary restraining order, the


Supreme Court has gone beyond its jurisdiction since the case is
already final.

Ruling:

It is not beyond the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. What


the SC could not do is alter the decision. In the case at hand, the SC
did nothing of the sort. Jurisprudence tells us “the finality of a
judgment does not mean that the Court has lost all its powers nor the
case. By the finality of the judgment, what the court loses is its
jurisdiction to amend, modify or alter the same. Even after the
judgment has become final, the court retains its jurisdiction to execute
and enforce it. There is a difference between the jurisdiction of the
court to execute its judgment and its jurisdiction to amend, modify or
alter the same. The former continues even after the judgment has
become final for the purpose of enforcement of judgment; the latter
terminates when the judgment becomes final. For after the judgment

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has become final, facts and circumstances may transpire which can
render the execution unjust or impossible.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTSs
FERNANDEZ VS. GRECIA
AC 3694 JUNE 17, 1993

Facts:

This is disbarment complaint against respondent for dishonesty


and grave misconduct in connection with the theft of pages from
medical papers, which was material evidence in the complaint of his
clients against petitioners.

A prior disbarment suit was filed with respondent before due to


his alliance with a judge in extortion of businessmen who had cases in
the judge’s court. Respondent was disbarred but given another
chance with the promise of mending his ways. And not a year has
passed, that respondent is charged with another disbarment
complaint.

His client was the husband of a patient who was a patient in St.
Luke’s Hospital where the petitioners are doctors. The patient had
complications alongside her pregnancy but was released during
Christmas day to be with her family. The next day, she was rushed
back to the hospital and she died later on together with the unborn
child.

The husband filed a case against the hospital and the doctors.
During one of the hearings, respondent borrowed the records from the
clerk of court and reaped of pages from the medical record. He then
handed this over to his driver. He was being followed by one of the
court’s staff due to suspicion and got from the driver the torn pages.
The driver then disappeared.

A complaint was filed against respondent and latter denied all


accusations.

Issue:

Whether or not the acts of respondent are unbecoming of a


lawyer as to warrant his disbarment?

Ruling:

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Yes. By stealing the pages of the medical records, he violated
Canon 1 and 7 of Professional Responsibility, which states:

Canon 1. . . .

Rule 1.01 — A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,


immoral and deceitful conduct.

Canon 7. A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and


dignity of the legal profession and support the activities of the
Integrated Bar

Integrity and good moral character is essential to a lawyer. By


stealing papers of the moral record, which was important in the
deciding of the case, respondent showed his moral unfitness to
become a lawyer.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
REGALA ET AL. VS. SANDIGANBAYAN
GR NO. 105938, SEPTEMBER 20, 1996

FACTS :

Clients consulted the petitioners, in their capacity as lawyers,


regarding the financial and corporate structure, framework and set-up
of the corporations in question. In turn, petitioners gave their
professional advice in the form of, among others, the deeds of
assignment covering their client's shareholdings.

Petitioners fear that identifying their clients would implicate them in


the very activity for which legal advice had been sought, i.e., the
alleged accumulation of ill-gotten wealth in the aforementioned
corporations.

1. July 31, 1987 – complaint before the Sandiganbayan of PCGG vs.


Eduardo M. Cojuangco, Jr., (principal defendant) et al. for recovery of
alleged ill-gotten wealth, i. e., shares of stocks in named corporations
in PCGG Case No. 33 (Civil Case No. 0033), entitled "R. P. v.
Cojuangco, et al."

2. Defendants named in the case are herein petitioners (plus private


respondent Raul S. Roco) - then partners of the law firm Angara,
Abello, Concepcion, Regala and Cruz Law Offices (ACCRA Law Firm).

3. ACCRA Law Firm – acquired info on assets of clients, personal and


business circumstances; assisted in organization and acquisition of
business associations and/or organizations (companies listed in Civil
Case 0033), where its members acted as incorporators, or simply, as
stockholders etc; delivered documents which substantiate the client's
equity holdings, i.e., (1) stock certificates endorsed in blank
representing the shares registered in the client's name, and (2) a
blank deed of trust or assignment covering said shares; acted as
nominees-stockholders of the said corporations involved in
sequestration proceedings (as office practice)

4. August 20, 1991 - respondent PCGG’s "Motion to Admit Third


Amended Complaint" and "Third Amended Complaint" excluded private
respondent Raul Roco from complaint in PCGG Case No. 33 because of
his undertaking that he will reveal the identity of the principal/s for

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whom he acted as nominee/stockholder in the companies involved in
PCGG Case No. 33.

5. Third Amended Complaint – said defendants conspired in helping


set up, through the use of the coconut levy funds, UCPB, UNICOM,
COCOLIFE, COCOMARK, CIC, and more than 20 other coconut levy
funded corporations, including the acquisition of San Miguel
Corporation shares

6. ACCRA Investments Corporation - became the holder of


approximately 15 million shares (roughly 3.3%) of total outstanding
capital stock of UCPB as of 31 March 1987; 44 among the top 100
biggest stockholders of UCPB (about 1,400,000 shareholders); a
wholly-owned investment arm

7. Edgardo J. Angara - holding approximately 3,744 shares as of


February, 1984 of UCPB

8. Expanded Amended Complaint of ACCRA – said that is only in


legitimate lawyering; became holders of shares of stock in the
corporations listed but do not claim any proprietary interest in the said
shares of stock; said Avelino V. Cruz an incorporator in 1976 of
Mermaid Marketing Corporation but for legitimate business purposes
and already transferred shares

9. Petitioner Paraja Hayudini - denied being onvolved in the alleged ill-


gotten wealth

10. "COMMENT AND/OR OPPOSITION" dated October 8, 1991 with


Counter-Motion of ACCRA – moving that respondent PCGG similarly
grant the same treatment to them (exclusion as parties-defendants)
as accorded Roco.

11. Conditions precedent for the exclusion of petitioners, namely


(PCGG’s Comment): (a) the disclosure of the identity of its clients; (b)
documents substantiating the lawyer-client relationship; and (c) deeds
of assignments petitioners executed for clients covering
shares

12. PCGG’s supposed proof to substantiate compliance by Roco: (a)


Letter to respondent PCGG of his the counsel reiterating previous
request for reinvestigation; (b) Affidavit as Attachment; (c) Letter of
the Roco, Bunag, and Kapunan Law Offices originally requesting the

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reinvestigation and/or re-examination of evidence of PCGG against
Roco

13. Roco did not refute petitioners' contention that he did actually not
reveal identity of the client, nor undertook to reveal the identity of the
client for whom he acted as nominee-stockholder.

14. March 18, 1992 - respondent Sandiganbayan promulgated


Resolution herein questioned, denying the exclusion of petitioners for
their refusal to comply with the conditions by PCGG

15. Hence, petition for certiorari, grounds: strict application of the law
of agency; absolutely no evidence that Mr. Roco had revealed, or had
undertaken to reveal, disclosure not constitute a substantial distinction
for equal protection clause, favoritism and undue preference; not
holding that, under the facts of this case, the attorney-client privilege
prohibits petitioners ACCRA lawyers from revealing the identity of their
client(s) and the other information requested by the PCGG;
unreasonable or unjust

ISSUE: Privileged Information

Whether or not the lawyer’s fiduciary duty (uberrimei fidei) may be


asserted in refusing to disclose the identity of clients [name of
petitioners' client(s)] under the facts and circumstances obtaining in
the instant case

HELD:

The High Court upheld that petitioners' right not to reveal the identity
of their clients under pain of the breach of fiduciary duty owing to their
clients, because the facts of the instant case clearly fall within
recognized exceptions to the rule that the client's name is not
privileged information. Sandiganbayan resolution annulled and set
aside. Petitioners excluded from complaint.

1. A lawyer may not invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the
name or identity of this client. Reasons: 1. Court has a right to know
that the client whose privileged information is sought to be protected
is flesh and blood. 2. Privilege begins to exist only after the attorney-
client relationship has been established. The attorney-client privilege
does not attach until there is a client. 3. Privilege generally pertains to
the subject matter of the relationship. 4. Due process considerations

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require that the opposing party should, as a general rule, know his
adversary.

2. BUT (Exceptions/Racio Decidendi): When the client's name itself


has an independent significance, such that disclosure would then
reveal client confidences

1. A strong probability exists that revealing the client's name would


implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the
lawyer's advice. (Baird exception for freedom of consultation)

2. Disclosure would open the client to civil liability. (case at bar)

3. Government's lawyers have no case against an attorney's client


unless, by revealing the client's name, the said name would furnish
the only link that would form the chain of testimony necessary to
convict an individual of a crime. (case at bar – BAIRD EXCEPTION)

4. Relevant to the subject matter of the legal problem on which the


client seeks legal assistance (case at bar)

5. Nature of the attorney-client relationship has been previously


disclosed and it is the identity which is intended to be confidential

3. Petitioners were impleaded by PCGG as co-defendants to force them


to disclose the identity of their clients, after the "bigger fish" as they
say in street parlance — the names of their clients in exchange for
exclusion from the complaint. (Primavera Farms, Inc., et al. vs. PCGG
Mario Ongkiko) - "so called client is Mr. Eduardo Cojuangco" (leverage
to nail clients)

4. No valid cause of action. It would seem that petitioners are merely


standing in for their clients as defendants in the complaint. Petitioners
are being prosecuted solely on the basis of activities and services
performed in the course of their duties as lawyers.

5. The nature of lawyer-client relationship is premised on the Roman


Law concepts of locatio conductio operarum (contract of lease of
services) where one person lets his services and another hires them
without reference to the object of which the services are to be
performed. Their services may be compensated by honorarium or for
hire, and mandato (contract of agency) wherein a friend on whom
reliance could be placed makes a contract in his name, but gives up all
that he gained by the contract to the person who requested him.
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6. OTHERS: Privileged Communication Laws Applicable

a. Old Code of Civil Procedure enacted by the Philippine Commission


on August 7, 1901. Section 383 "forbids counsel, without authority of
his client to reveal any communication made by the client to him or his
advice given thereon in the course of professional employment."

b. Rules of Court Sec. 24: “Disqualification by reason of privileged


communication. — The following persons cannot testify as to matters
learned in confidence in the following cases: “An attorney cannot,
without the consent of his client, be examined as to any
communication made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon
in the course of…”

c. Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states, Sec. 20: “duty of an attorney:
(e) to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself,
to preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept no compensation in
connection with his client's business except from him or with his
knowledge and approval.”

d. Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility: “A lawyer owes


fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust
and confidence reposed in him.”

e. Canon 15 of the Canons of Professional Ethics: The lawyers owes


"entire devotion to the interest of the client, warm zeal in the
maintenance and defense of his rights and the exertion of his utmost
learning and ability,"

7. Equal protection clause - a guarantee which provides a wall of


protection against uneven application of status and regulations. In the
broader sense, the guarantee operates against uneven application of
legal norms so that all persons under similar circumstances would be
accorded the same treatment.

8. Violates the equal protection guarantee and the right against self-
incrimination and subverts the lawyer-client confidentiality privilege.

SEPARATE OPINIONS (THREE OTHER JUSTICES: VITUG,


DAVIDE AND PUNO)

VITUG, J., concurring:

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1. Confidentiality of the lawyer-client relationship - allows the lawyer
and the client to institutionalize a unique relationship based on full
trust and confidence

2. A situation of what it could elicit from a counsel against his client,


unreasonable and with thinly disguised threat of incrimination.

DAVIDE, JR., J.: dissenting

1. Court must confine itself to the key issue, issue burried: whether or
not the Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion in not
excluding the defendants, the petitioners herein, from the Third
Amended Complaint in Civil Case No. 0033.

2. Sandiganbayan did not commit grave abuse of discretion in not


acting favorably on the petitioners' prayer to exclude them. The
prerogative to determine who shall be made defendants in a civil case
is initially vested in the plaintiff, or the PCGG in this case.

3. If Roco's revelation violated the confidentiality of a lawyer-client


relationship, he would be solely answerable therefor to his
principals/clients and, probably, to this Court in an appropriate
disciplinary action if warranted.

4. They have no right to make such a demand for until they shall have
complied with the conditions imposed for their exclusion, they cannot
be excluded except by way of a motion to dismiss.The rule of
confidentiality under the lawyer-client relationship is not a cause to
exclude a party. It is merely a ground for disqualification of a witness.

5. The revelation is entirely optional, discretionary, on their part. The


attorney-client privilege is not therefor applicable. The lawyer-client
privilege provides the petitioners no refuge. They are sued as principal
defendants for recovery of alleged ill-gotten wealth.

6. Wrong use of American jurisprudence in ponencia: 1. Issue of


privilege contested therein arose in grand jury proceedings on different
States. 2. In the cases cited by the majority, the lawyers concerned
were merely advocating the cause of their clients but were not indicted
for the charges against their said clients. Here, the counsel themselves
are co-defendants duly charged in court as co-conspirators.

7. Lawyer-client privilege is not a shield for the commission of a crime


or against the prosecution of the lawyer therefor.
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8. As a general rule, the identity of a defendant in a criminal
prosecution is a matter of public record and, thus, not covered by the
attorney-client privilege. Identity of a client is not within the lawyer-
client privilege in this manner because every litigant is in justice
entitled to know the identity of his opponents.

PUNO, J., dissenting:

1. MAIN POINT OF PUNO: Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of


discretion when it misdelineated the metes and bounds of the
attorney-client privilege by failing to recognize the exceptions. But
petitioners need to prove that prove they fall within the exceptions to
the general rule. Needs factual basis.

2. REASON: Attorney-client privilege is not a magic mantra whose


invocation will ipso facto and ipso jure drape he who invokes it with its
protection. Plainly put, it is not enough to assert the privilege.

3. Legal advice exception may be defeated through a prima facie: in


furtherance of present or intended continuing illegality, as where the
legal representation itself is part of a larger conspiracy. [like this case]

4. Atypical of the usual case where the hinge issue involves the
applicability of attorney-client privilege: petitioners included as
defendants and conspirators.

5. The issue of attorney-client privilege arose when PCGG agreed to


exclude petitioners from the complaint on condition they reveal the
identity of their client.

6. The issue poses a trilemma: need for courts to discover the truth,
need to protect adversary system of justice, need to keep inviolate the
constitutional right against self-incrimination and effective counsel in
criminal litigations.

7. Attorney-client privilege can never be used as a shield to commit a


crime or a fraud.

8. PCGG relented on its original stance as spelled out in its Complaint


that petitioners are co-conspirators in crimes and cannot invoke the
attorney-client privilege.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
MANALANG VS. RICKARDS (Tenant Ejectment Case)
GR L-11986 JULY 31, 1958

FACTS:

The City of Manila increased the assessment of the properties being


rented by petitioner –respondent thus increased the rentals of the lots.
Petitioners insisted to pay the former rent. This prompted respondent
to file ejectment cases against the 3 tenants in the Municipal Court of
Manila. Petitioner and others filed separate motions to dismiss
invoking the provisions of RA 1162. The trial court denied the motions
to dismiss and suspends the proceedings to 2 years or until further
order from the court.

When the judge then issued an order to set a date for hearing of the
case, petitioners tried to secure a reconsideration of the hearing order
but it was denied. They filed then a petition for certiorari and
prohibition with the CFI against Respondent – since the Petitioner
group did not want the case to be heard.

Respondent in defense argued that the order, which ordered the case
to suspended for 2 years or until further notice, is merely an
interlocutory order thus it cannot be reviewed by a petition for
certiorari. They argue that the case must be heard. CFI dismissed the
petition, grounded on the finding the lower court’s order was
interlocutory and that the case must be heard. CFI held that actions
for ejectment were filed before the enactment of RA1162. General
principle of Laws can only be enforced prospectively. Municipal Judge
saw it fit to suspend the proceedings with the expectation that the
question of the constitutionality of RA1162 will be discussed.

ISSUE:

Whether the order of the inferior court is interlocutory of not; and if


the lower court made a mistake in dismissing the petition for certiorari
and prohibition.

HELD:
YES. It was interlocutory since the dispositive portion of the order did
not provide a definite resolution to the case, instead it suspended the
hearing of the case. But, the Supreme Court affirms the order of the
lower court dismissing the appellants petition for certiorari and

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prohibition. Also, the lower court is given the power to reopen the trial
to finally determine the rights of the parties involved –to give
resolution to the case.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
PHILIPPINE HOMESITE AND HOUSING CORP. VS. HON. ERICTA
GR L-40675 AUGUST 17, 1983

Facts:

Private respondent has filed an action for specific performance


and prayed that petitioner to issue a deed of absolute sale of a
property in pursuant to RA 3802 wherein there is sale at cost to
registered tenants, just like respondent, and that past rentals would
be applied to the purchase price. The lower court decided in favor of
private respondent and its decision became final and executory.

Nonetheless, petitioner failed to execute the deed of absolute


sale, despite the two writs of execution ordered by the trial court. The
private respondent asked the court to execute the deed in behalf of
petitioner. Petitioner contested this, saying that the decision that
should be executed is the one found in the dispositive or decretal
portion. Nothing can be read in this portion of the purchase price of
the subject land.

Issue:

Whether or not judgment can only be found in the decretal


portion?

Ruling:

No, the petitioner’s contention is bereft of merit. The resolution


of the case is ordinarily embodied in the dispositive portion of the
case. Nonetheless, there are instances that the resolution or ruling is
embodied in other parts of the case. Style in decision-making and
preparation is personal to the writer. As long as it doesn’t violate
Article 7, Section 12 of the Constitution and Rule 35 of the Rules of
Court, there is no compelling reason to establish a stringent rule where
the judgment must be placed.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGEST
BROTHER MARIANO “ MIKE” VELARDE VS. SOCIAL JUSTICE
SOCIETY
G.R. NO. 159357 APRIL 28, 2004

Definitions important to understand the case at hand:


• Declaratory Relief
-A special civil action brought by a person interested under a
deed, will, contract or written instrument, or whose rights are
affected by a statute, executive order or regulation, or
ordinance, before breach or violation thereof, to determine any
question of construction or validity arising under the instrument
or statute and for a declaration of his rights or duties
thereunder- Section 1, Rule 64, Rules of Court
-Requisites for action: (1)there must be justiciable controversy;
(2) controversy must be between persons whose interests are
adverse; (3) party seeking declaratory relief must have legal
interest in the controversy; (4) issue involved must be ripe for
justiciable determination
• Justiciable Controversy
-One involving an active antagonistic assertion of a legal right on
one side and a denial thereof on the other concerning a real and
not a mere theoretical question or issue
• Legal Standing or locus standi
-A personal or substantial interest such that the party has
sustained or will sustain a direct injury as a result of an act
• Interest
-Material interest
• Dispositive Portion
-Order or judgment of the court in the case irrespective of
contrary statements arising therein
• Relief
-Refers to a specific coercive measure prayed for as a result of a
violation of the right of a plaintiff or a petitioner
• Cause of Action
-An act or omission of one party in violation of legal rights or
rights of another, causing injury to the latter
-Essential elements: (1) right in favor of petitioner; (2) an
obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or not
to violate such right; (3) act or omission that is violative of the
right of petitioner or constituting a breach of obligation of
defendant to petitioner

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Facts:
Main case
- On January 28, 2003, Social Justice Society (SJS) filed a petition
for declaratory relief1 against Velarde and other significant
religious leaders
- All accused filed answers2
- Motions to Dismiss and Motion for Reconsideration were both
dismissed, thus…

Case at hand
- Supreme Court found the following:3
: no justiciable controversy4
: the cause of action5 to which SJS insisted on is merely
speculated or anticipated
: the 5 page SJS Petition merely sought an opinion
: SJS does not have solid evidence showing that their interests
would be greatly affected6
: Lower courts that denied the Motions for Dismissal and
Reconsideration without explanation and without allowing the
parties to file their answers, respectively
: The earlier decisions did not have dispositive portions7

Issues Held and Ratio


Procedural
-whether or not petition for -No, there simply was no existing
Declaratory Relief raise Justiciable case or controversy8
Controversy
1
SJS’s concern was that these religious leaders are endorsing candidates of choice for an elective
office, as well as urging and/or requiring the members of their religious groups to vote for choice
candidate
2
Brother Eddie Villanueva submitted an answer within the time specified, Executive Minister Erano
Manalo and Brother Mike Velarde filed Motions to Dismiss, His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin filed a
comment and Brother Eli Soriano filed an answer within extended period and similarly prayed for
dismissal
3
The Supreme Court decided that SJS’s petition should have been dismissed from the very beginning.
The Supreme Court, however, also considered the issue at hand of paramount public interest because
it does not simply concern the definition of the separation between church and state but it also the
very governance of our country
4
SJS failed to assert an existing controversy between them and the religious leaders accused; the
petition did not also state any specific legal rights violated or particular acts the latter were in breach
of its rights
5
As in footnote 1
6
Presumed interest is impersonal in character, too vague, highly speculative and uncertain (SJS
merely points out that they their members are citizens-taxpayers-registered voters
7
Importance of dispositive portion was explained in Manalang vs de Rickards: “The resolution of the
Court on a given issue as embodied in the dispositive portion of the decision or order s the investitive
or controlling factor that determines and settles the rights of the parties and the questions presented
therein, notwithstanding the existence of statements ore declaration in the body of said order that
may be confusing”
8
As in footnote 4
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-whether or not it states a cause -No, their accusation were mere
of action anticipations and speculations
- whether or not the respondent -No, SJS failed to show injury
have any legal standing to file sustained or to be sustained9
Petition for Declaratory Relief

Substantive
-whether or not the RTC decision -No10
conform to the form and
substance required by the
Constitution, the law and Rules of
Court
-whether or not endorsements of -No definitive answer11
candidacies by religious leaders is
unconstitutional

Essential Parts of a Good Decision:


1. Statement of the Case
2. Statement of Facts
3. Issues or Assignment of Errors
4. The Court’s Ruling
5. The Disposition or Dispositive Portion

Proper Proceedings Before the Trial Court:


- Dismissal of cases without allegations. A complaint or petition
should contain clear facts on which pleading relies and clear
specification of relief sought
- If complaint is filed and forwarded, defendant is given 15 days to
answer. If not answered, relief is granted.
- If the answer sets forth a counter claim or cross claim, it must
be answered within 10 days from service to which consequently
a reply may again be filed within 10 days from service of the
pleading responded to
- Failure to answer gives the Court ability to direct judgment on
such pleading12 …
9
The SJS Petition for Declaratory Relief was dismissed for failure to state a cause of action, if they
were able to, their petition might have a chance to stand in court
10
The Supreme Court took this opportunity to discuss what standard procedure should have been
taken
-it was stated in the decision that the RTC judge be held under evaluation
11
In the decision of the Supreme Court, it stated: “Regrettably it is not legally possible for the Court
to take up, on the merits, the paramount question involving a constitutional principle. It is time-
honored rule that the constitutionality of a statute or act will be passed upon only if and to the extent
that it is directly and necessarily involved in a justiciable controversy and is essential to the protection
of the rights of the parties concerned”
12
Time for filing for motions are provided in Rules of Court
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- After the last pleading has been served anf filed, the case shall
be set for pre-trial13

13
Partied are required to attend pre-trial briefs wherein evidences will be presented. Failure to do so
results to dismissal of case with prejudice to the absent party
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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
FEDERICO C. SUNTAY VS. ISABEL AGUINALDO COJUANCO-
SUNTAY, ET AL.
G.R. NO. 132524 DECEMBER 29, 1998

Federico Suntay – Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay


|
Emilio Aguinaldo Suntay – Isabel Cojuanco-Suntay
|
(1)Margarita Guadalupe (2) Isabel Aguinaldo (3) Emilio Aguinaldo

Suntay Family Tree14


Facts:15
Main case
- Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay died without a will
- Isabel Aguinaldo Cojuanco-Suntay filed a petition for issuance of
Letter of Administration of grandmother’s estate (5 years after
death)16
- Federico Suntay filed an opposition saying that he has been
managing the properties even before death of wife
- Federico moved to dismiss the case alleging that Isabel is an
illegitimate child17 (almost 2 years after filing of Isabel’s case)
- Trial court denied motion to dismiss

Case at hand
- Federico filed a petition18

Issue:19
- Whether or not the court committed grave abuse of discretion20

Held:
- Petition dismissed

Ratio:

14
Because several names occur in the family tree, this will make understanding the case easier; those
highlighted are the ones involved in the case
15
In order of events
16
Take note of time because it is of significance to the court’s decision
17
Isabel’s parents’ marriage was declared null and void by the trial court
18
Grave abuse of discretion in denying his motion to dismiss
19
In consideration of what segment- ratio decidendi - of the course line the case is under (Ratio
decidendi-reasoning or principle upon which a case is based); also including the other issue- fallo- to
which ratio decidendi is being compared (fallo-dispositive part of the order)
-dispositive part of the order is the judgment of the court notwithstanding all the contrary
statements that arise in the body of the decision
20
… and therefore reverse earlier decision and reward the petitioner to dismiss the respondent’s
earlier petition to right of administration of grandmother’s properties
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- Under Section 1 Rule 1621, the time limit for petition to dismiss is
long overdue22
- Respondents are legitimate children23 which is clear under the
third paragraph of Article 85 of the New Civil Code24

21
Rules on Civil Procedure
22
Section1, Rule 16: Within the time for but before filing the answer to the complaint or pleading
asserting a claim
- the time when the court filed Isabel’s claim on her grandmother’s properties is not
provided, but it would seem that Federico’s petition to dismiss was too late since the higher
court found the earlier court’s ruling without grave abuse
23
Because the court’s decision on the respondent’s parents’ legal separation stated ‘null and void’,
the petitioner insists that the respondent is an illegitimate child
24
Article 85: A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the
marriage: (1)x ; (2)x ; (3) That either party, was of unsound mind, unless such party, after coming to
reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband or wife; … (6) x
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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
MERCADO VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
GR 149375, NOVEMBER 26, 2002
*RATIO DECIDENDI- THE PRINCIPLE WHICH THE CASE ESTABLISHES;
THE REASON FOR THE DECISION

Facts

Petition for review of accused Marvin Mercado in the Supreme Court


pursuant to the last par. Of Sec 13, Rule 124 of the 2000 Rules of
Criminal Procedure

• Marvin Mercado with Rommel Flores, Michael Cummins, Mark


Vasques, Enrile Bertumen—carnapping (RA 6538- Anti-
Carnapping Act of 1972)
• Sentence: 12 yrs. and 1 day minimum—17 yrs and 4 months of
reclusion temporal maximum
• In the Court of Appeals, sentence increased to 17 years and 4
months—30 yrs.
• Court of Appeals relying on People vs. Omotoy (charged with
arson, sentenced to reclusion perpetua as maximum- case taken
directly to Supreme Court)
• Carnapping of the Isuzu Trooper- joyride, no intention of stealing
• Car: quarter window broken
• Carnapping- special law (Anti-carnapping Act of 1972)… not
under Revised Penal Code

Issue

Whether the maximum sentence of 30 years given by the Court of


Appeals is considered to be within the range of reclusion perpetua
which will enable the case to be certified in the Supreme Court for a
reevaluation of the facts and evidence.

Ruling

The petition of Marvin Mercado for review in the Supreme Court is


denied. The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is affirmed
with a modification that the penalty to be imposed is reduced to
indeterminate prison term of 17 years and 4 months to 22 years,
no costs.

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There is no basis for the trial court’s decision of 12 years and 1 day
since RA 6538 sets minimum penalty for carnapping at 14 years
and 8 months. The crime committed is penalized by a special law
and not under The Revised Penal Code. Though the 30-yr period
falls within the range, reclusion perpetua is a single indivisible
penalty which cannot be divided into different periods. Relying on
the Omotoy case may not be ratio decidendi but it enunciates
fundamental procedural rule in the conduct of appeals. When the
Court of Appeals imposes penalties less than reclusion perpetua, a
review of the case may only be had by petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45 where only errors or questions of law may
be raised.

The petition was a review on certiorari and not questions of fact.


The findings of fact of the trial court, when affirmed by the Court of
Appeals are binding upon the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal’s
decision of 17 yrs and 4 months applies only to carnapping
committed by means of violence against or intimidation of any
person of force upon things. Evidence shows that there was force
upon the vehicle but does not merit the imposition of full penalty.
Thus, penalty was reduced.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. HON. MACADAEG
GR L-4316, MAY 28, 1952
*obiter dictum- passing or incidental statements; statements made or
decisions reached in a court opinion which were not necessary to the
disposition of the case; uttered by way, not upon the point or question
pending, as if turning aside from the main topic of the case to
collateral subjects; opinion of the court upon any point or principle
which it is not required to decide.

Facts:
Petition to prevent and restrain Seventh Guerilla Amnesty Commission
from taking jurisdiction and cognizance of a petition for amnesty filed
by respondent Antonio Guillermo a.k.a Silver

• Seventh Guerilla Amnesty Commission- Hons. Macadaeg,


Potenciano Pecson, Ramon R. San Jose
• Antonio Guillermo- convicted and sentenced for murder
• July 15, 1947- case filed in the Court of First Instance of Ilocos
Norte—Mar. 29, 1948- judgment.
• Appeal to the Supreme Court- judgment on May 19, 1950—
expressly ruled in the judgment of conviction that Guillermo is
not entitled to the benefits of amnesty because the murders
which he was convicted were committed “not in furtherance of
the resistance movement but in the course of a fratricidal strife
between two rival guerilla units.”
• Motion for reconsideration- June 5, 1950- denied July 13, 1950
• June 20, 1950- filed for suspension of the proceedings and
reference of the case to the Seventh Guerilla Amnesty
Commission- denied July 13, 1950
• Petition for amnesty- July 8, 1950

Issue:

Whether the pronouncement of the Court is obiter dictum and if the


Commission has jurisdiction over the petition for amnesty of the
convicted.

Ruling:

The petition for prohibition was granted and the preliminary injunction
issued by the Supreme Court on Nov. 24, 1950 made absolute with
costs against Guillermo. He may not raise again the issue in any

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tribunal, judicial or administrative and is now estopped from contesting
the judgment, of the jurisdiction of the court that rendered the
adverse ruling.

Seventh Guerilla Amnesty Commission can take cognizance only of


cases pending appeal in the Supreme Court on October 2, 1946, at
that time, during which date the Guillermo criminal case was still
pending in the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Norte. Guillermo’s case
was assigned to the Second GAC. Seventh GAC’s claim of jurisdiction
of the application was merely based on administrative Order no. 217
which expressly states “in view of the appointments of new Judges of
First Instances” and not for the purpose of setting forth cases
cognizable by each of the different commissions.

The courts are not excluded in deciding any claim for amnesty, thus
the Court has jurisdiction over the amnesty petition of Guillermo. It
was also found that the petition was an ill-advised attempt to delay
execution of the judgment of conviction which no court of justice will
countenance. The finding of the Court that Guillermo is not entitled to
the benefits of amnesty is final and conclusive, not an obiter dictum,
under the principle of res judicata.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
VILLANUEVA, JR. VS. COURT OF APPEALS & ROQUE
VILLADORES
GR 142927 MARCH 19, 2002

Facts:
-Petitioner Villanueva filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against
several parties including IBC-13, which the labor arbiter ruled in favor
of Villanueva. IBC-13 appealed to the NLRC, filing a surety bond
supposedly issued by BF General Insurance Company and a
confirmation letter from its President.
-Both documents were found to be falsified, so that criminal
informations for falsification of public documents against a number of
accused including respondent Villadores were filed.
-After Villadores was arraigned, the fiscal’s office submitted a Motion
to Admit Amended Informations with the following amendment: "to
the prejudice of Francisco N. Villanueva, Jr., and of public interest and
in violation of public faith and destruction of truth as therein
proclaimed.” (granted). Villadores filed a Motion for Reconsideration
(denied).
-Villadores then filed a petition for certiorari with the CA seeking to
annul the Order admitting the amended informations as well as the
Order denying his motion for reconsideration. Although the petition
was dismissed, the CA pronounced that Villanueva is not the offended
party in the cases and that he could not have sustained damages from
the falsifications.
-Villadores then moved in the trial court to disqualify Rico & Associates
as private prosecutor of Villanueva on the basis of the CA’s
pronouncement. Villanueva opposed the motion on the ground that the
pronouncement is mere obiter dictum. The trial court denied the
motion for disqualification. Villadores sought reconsideration (denied).
-Villadores then filed petition for certiorari with the CA seeking
annulment of the Order denying his motion for disqualification and the
Order denying reconsideration. The CA reversed the Orders and
directed that Villanueva’s name appearing as he offended party in the
criminal cases be stricken.
-Villanueva now comes to the Supreme Court on a petition for review
on certiorari.

Issue:
w/n the pronouncement of the appellate court that petitioner
Villanueva, Jr. is not an offended party in the criminal cases is obiter
dictum (opinion expressed by a court upon some question of law which

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is not necessary to the decision of the case before it, and as such is
not binding as precedent).

Ratio:
-The pronouncement touched upon a matter clearly raised by
Villadores in his petition assailing the admission of the amended
informations. Among the issues therein was w/n Villanueva is the
offended party.
-An adjudication on any point within the issues presented by the case
cannot be considered as obiter dictum; this rule applies to all pertinent
questions (even only incidentally involved) presented and decided in
the regular course of considering the case, and led to its conclusion (or
any statement on a matter on which the decision is based).

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
RUIZ VS. UCOL
GR L-45404, AUGUST 7, 1987

FACTS:

The laundrywoman of petitioner filed an administrative charge


against respondent. The respondent alleged that the laundrywoman
was just being used by petitioner as payback to the charges filed
against him by petitioner’s husband.

The administrative charge was dismissed. This time, petitioner


filed a case of libel against respondent, based on the allegations
fronted by respondent. The case was dismissed due since it couldn’t
be proven beyond reasonable doubt that respondent was guilty of
libel. Nevertheless, petitioner filed a case for damages, based on the
information found in the case of libel. The court dismissed the case
filed by petitioner using the ground of res judicata. Petitioner
appealed to the CA who in turn, certified the case to the SC.

On the other hand, respondent filed a petition for certiorari for


alleged grave abuse of discretion of the CA with regard to its
dissenting opinion.

ISSUE:
Whether or not one can file an appeal regarding a court’s
dissenting opinion?

HELD:
No. What comprises a decision which can be subject of appeal
or special civil action is the majority opinion of the court and not the
dissenting opinion. Never has it happen that the dissenting opinion
has been the one appealed of. Doing such is contrary to logic and
reason.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
NOLASCO VS. PAÑO
GR L-69803 JANUARY 30, 1987

FACTS:

The case at bar is for the motion for partial reconsideration of


both petitioners and respondents of the SC’s decision that the
questioned search warrant by petitioners is null and void, that
respondents are enjoined from introducing evidence using such search
warrant, but such personalities obtained would still be retained,
without prejudice to petitioner Aguilar-Roque.

Respondents contend that the search warrant is valid and that it


should be considered in the context of the crime of rebellion, where
the warrant was based.

Petitioners on the other hand, on the part of petitioner Aguilar-


Roque, contend that a lawful search would be justified only by a lawful
arrest. And since there was illegal arrest of Aguilar-Roque, the search
was unlawful and that the personalities seized during the illegal search
should be returned to the petitioner.

The respondents, in defense, concede that the search warrants


were null and void but the arrests were not.

The court decides to use the dissenting opinion of Teehankee


regarding this case.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the personalities seized using an illegal search
warrant be returned?

HELD:

Yes, it should be. Following the dissenting opinion of Teehankee


stated as follows:

... The questioned search warrant has correctly been


declared null and void in the Court's decision as a general
warrant issued in gross violation of the constitutional
mandate that 'the right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers and effects aqainst unreasonable

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searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any
purpose shall not be violated' (Bill of Rights, sec. 3). The
Bill of Rights orders the absolute exclusion of all illegally
obtained evidence: "Any evidence obtained in violation of
this . . . section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in
any proceeding" (Sec. 4[2]). This constitutional mandate
expressly adopting the exclusionary rule has proved by
historical experience to be the only practical means of
enforcing the constitutional injunction against
unreasonable searches and seizures by outlawing all
evidence illegally seized and thereby removing the
incentive on the part of state and police officers to
disregard such basic rights. What the plain language of the
Constitution mandates is beyond the power of the courts
to change or modify.

All the articles thus seized fag under the exclusionary rule
totally and unqualifiedly and cannot be used against any of
the three petitioners, as held by the majority in the recent
case of Galman vs. Pamaran (G.R. Nos. 71208-09, August
30, 1985). ...

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
TOLENTINO VS. ONGSIAKO
GR L-17938 APRIL 30, 1963

FACTS:

Plaintiff-appellant claims to be the successor-in-interest of the


late Severino Domingo, who was involved in a case against Ongsiako.
Plaintiff-appellant said that Domingo died without ever receiving the
decision of the case, and he has just found out of the decision, over 20
years since its promulgation. This prompted him to file a complaint for
the enforcement of the dissenting opinion. This was dismissed by the
trial court for lack of cause of action.

ISSUES:

Whether or not appellant’s claim that decision was erroneous


and unjust is tenable?

Whether or not one can move for the enforcement of the


dissenting opinion?

HELD:

On the first issue, it is untenable. Appellant is barred by res


judicata, the decision of the case being final and executory for a long
time already.

On the second issue, the enforcement of the dissenting opinion


is ridiculous as the dissenting opinion enforces no right, claim, or
whatsoever. It is just a dissent from the conclusion of the case.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS MIKAEL MALMSTEDT
“THE SWEDISH NATIONAL WITH HASHISH CASE”
198 SCRA 401 JUNE 19, 1991

Facts:

Mikael Malmstedt, a Swedish national, was found, via a routine


NARCOM inspection at Kilometer 14, Acop, Tublay Mountain Province,
carrying Hashish, a derivative of Marijuana. RTC La Trinidad found him
guilty for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. The accused filed a
petition to the Supreme Court for the reversal of the decision arguing
that the search and the arrest made was illegal because there was no
search warrant.

Issue:

Whether or not the decision of the trial court should be reversed


(or affirmed) because the accused argues that the search and arrest
was made without a warrant

Held:

The RTC decision is affirmed.

Ratio:

The constitution states that a peace officer or a private person


may arrest a person without a warrant when in his presence the
person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit an offense. The offense was recognized with the
warrantless search conducted by NARCOM prompted by probable
cause: (1) the receipt of information by NARCOM that a Caucasian
coming from Sagada had prohibited drugs in his possession and (2)
failure of the accused to immediately present his passport.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
BARNES VS. GLENN THEATRE
115 L.ED. 2D 504

Facts
The petitioner is the state of Indiana represented by Atty. Barnes,
while the respondents are The Kitty Kat lounge inc. and Glen theatre.

The respondents both wished to provide totally nude dancing as


entertainment, and previously accused the state of Indiana of violating
the1st amendment in applying the nudity prohibition on their
establishments. The petitioner contends that their restriction on nude
dancing, and the minimum requirement of pasties and g-strings for
dancers is a valid restriction.

However, the Court of Appeals concluded that non-obscene nude


dancing performed for entertainment is a protected right under the
first amendment (freedom of expression).

Atty. Barnes representing Indiana filed a petition of certiorari (asking


Supreme Court to review decision of court of appeals) on the decision
of the court of appeals, where the Supreme Court accepted the
request.

Issue
The issue lies within Indiana’s statutory of prohibited nudity and its’
infringement upon freedom of expression, and whether or not the
court was correct in stating that nude entertainment provided by
establishments such as the Kitty Kat lounge and Glen theatre is in fact
a form of expression protected under the 1st amendment of the United
States constitution.

Held
The judgment of the Court of Appeals was reversed, as the restriction
on nude dancing is a valid “time, place, or manner” restriction where
government regulation is justified

Indiana’s public indecency statute is justified despite its incidental


limitations on some expressive activity

Ratio
The “time, place or manner test” was developed for evaluating
restrictions on expression that take place on public property

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The US vs O’brien Case addressed justification of governmental
restrictions and limitations on first amendment freedoms (O’brien
burned his draftcard on the steps of South Boston courthouse in front
of a sizable crowd)

Government regulation is sufficiently justified within the constitutional


power of the government (further government interest):

1) if it furthers important or substantial government interest


- protect morals and public order, traditional police power of the
state is defined as t he authority to provide for public health,
safety, and morals
2) if the governmental interest is unrelated to the suppression of
free expression
- Since the state is providing for morals and public order, the
interest is unrelated to the suppression of free expression.
Respondents contend otherwise, saying Indiana seeks to prevent
the erotic message of such entertainment, when in fact it is not.
The states minimum requirement of pasties and a g-string for
dancers still allows for erotic messages, it is just less graphic.
Indiana does not contest erotic messages but public nudity
3) if the incidental restriction on alleged first amendment
freedoms is no greater than is essential to the furtherance of
that interest
- Governmental interest is upheld in the prohibition which
forwards the disapproval of nudity in public places among
strangers. It is not a means to some greater end, but an end in
itself

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
CHURCH OF LUKUMI BABALU AYE, INC. V. CITY OF HIALEAH
(508 U.S. 520)

FACTS:
• Petitioner Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. (Church) and
Ernesto Picardo its president filed an action against the city if
Hialeah and its city council named as defendants alleging violation
of the their rights under the Free Exercise Clause.
• In April 1987, the church announced plans to establish a house
of worship, school, cultural center, and museum with the goal to
bring the practice of the Santeria faith, including its ritual of animal
sacrifice, into the open.
• On June 9, 1987 and other subsequent days the Hialeah city
council held an emergency public session where several ordinances
and resolutions where passed in response to the distress of
members of the community regarding practices of the Santeria
religion specifically animal sacrifice.
(1) On June 9, Resolution 87-66, noted the "concern"
expressed by residents of the city "that certain religions may
propose to engage in practices which are inconsistent with
public morals, peace or safety," and declared that the City
reiterates its commitment to a prohibition against any and all
acts of any and all religious groups which are inconsistent
with public morals, peace or safety.
(2) On June 9, Ordinance 87-40, incorporated in full, except
as to penalty, Florida's animal cruelty laws which punishes
unnecessarily or cruelly killing of any animal. With the
consent of the attorney general of Florida the city attorney
assured that the prohibition of sacrificing of animals in a
religious practice or ritual is not inconsistent with the state
law therefore the city council can make ordinances against it.
(3) On August 11, Resolution 87-90 opposing ritual
sacrifices of animals within the City of Hialeah was passed.
(4) On Sept. 8, Ordinance 87-52 prohibiting public
ritualistic animal sacrifice, other than for the primary purpose
of food consumption was passed.
(5) On Sept. 22, Ordinance 87-71 stating that It shall be
unlawful for any person, persons, corporations or associations
to sacrifice any animal within the corporate limits of the City
of Hialeah, Florida where the word sacrifice shall mean: to
unnecessarily kill, torment, torture, or mutilate an animal in a

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public or private ritual or ceremony not for the primary
purpose of food consumption was passed.
(6) On Sept. 22, Ordinance 87-72 stating that it is unlawful
for any person, persons, corporations or associations to
slaughter any animal on any premises in the City of Hialeah,
Florida, except those properly zoned as a slaughter house,
and meeting all the health, safety and sanitation codes
prescribed by the City for the operation of a slaughter house
was passed.

• After a 9-day bench trial the District Courts favored the


defendants finding absolute immunity for their legislative acts and
that no violation of the petitioners’ rights were made finding four
compelling reasons: (1) that animal sacrifices present a substantial
health risk, both to participants and the general public, (2) that the
children who witness the sacrifice of animals suffer from emotional
injury, (3) that the city's interest in protecting animals from cruel
and unnecessary killing and (4) that the city's interest in restricting
the slaughter or sacrifice of animals to areas zoned for
slaughterhouse use.
• The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the
judgment in a one-paragraph per curiam opinion stating that the
ordinances were consistent with the Constitution.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Hialeah city council is in violation of the First
Amendment in enacting Ordinances 87-14, 87-52, 87-71 and 87-72.

HELD:
The Supreme Court decided in favor of the petitioner and reversed the
previous decisions concluding that that each of Hialeah's ordinances
pursues the city's governmental interests only against conduct
motivated by religious belief.

RATIONALE:
The US Constitution provides that the Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof through the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment
which was applied to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment.

Given that the Santeria is a religion, its beliefs such as animal sacrifice
“need not be acceptable, logical, consistent or comprehensible to
others in order to be protected by the First Amendment.

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To support the constitutional protection for free exercise of religion,
(a) neutrality and (b) general applicability in the law needs to be
established. A law failing to satisfy these requirements must be
justified by a compelling governmental interest, and must be narrowly
tailored to advance that interest even if it has the incidental effect of
burdening a particular religious practice. Employment Div., Dept. of
Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith. The ordinances of the Hialeah
city council fail to satisfy these Smith requirements.

(a) Neutrality need not only be facial (evident at the text


used in the law) but can also be supported by the equal
protection mode of analysis in the formulation of the law. The
ordinances were found to be inconsistent with these
requirements and led to the conclusion that the ordinances had
as their object the suppression of religion.

(b) General applicability needs to be establish with laws


burdening religious practice. The Free Exercise Clause
"protect[s] religious observers against unequal treatment and
inequality results when a legislature decides that the
governmental interests it seeks to advance are worthy of being
pursued only against conduct with a religious motivation. The
ordinances fall well below the minimum standard necessary to
protect First Amendments rights. The Ordinances 87-40, 87-52,
and 87-71 were claimed to advance two interests: protecting the
public health and preventing cruelty to animals but this may be
done not by prohibiting Santeria sacrifice alone and there are far
more greater ways to do this that would not discriminate the
practice of the Santeria religion.

Also a law burdening religious practice that is not neutral or not of


general application must undergo the most rigorous of scrutiny it must
satisfy ‘interests of the highest order,' and must be narrowly tailored in
pursuit of those interests. In this case the ordinances fail to satisfy
these requirements as well.

Lastly, the Free Exercise Clause commits government to religious


tolerance, and upon even slight suspicion that proposals for state
intervention stem from animosity to religion or distrust of its practices,
all officials must pause to remember their own high duty to the
Constitution and to the rights it secures.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
VILLABER VS. COMELEC
GR 148326 JANUARY 22, 2003

Facts:

Pablo C. Villaber, petitioner, and Douglas R. Cagas were rival


candidates for a congressional seat in the First District of Davao del
Sur during the 2001 elections. Cagas filed a consolidated petition to
disqualify Villaber and to cancel the latter’s certificate of candidacy.
Cagas alleged that Villaber was convicted by the Regional Trial Court
of Manila for violation of Batas pambansa Blg. 22 (Bouncing Checks
Law) which is a crime involving moral turpitude. Thus, under section
12 of the Omnibus Election Code, one is disqualified to run for any
public office. Villaber countered mainly that his conviction cannot be
the basis for his disqualification on the ground that violation of Batas
Pambansa Blg. 22 does not involve moral turpitude.

Issue: Whether or not the conviction of private respondent for BP22


constitutes moral turpitude and his disqualification from candidacy?

Ruling: The Supreme Court answered in the affirmative.

Rationale: The elements of the offense under Section 1 (checks


without sufficient funds) of B.P. Blg. 22 are:

1. The accused makes, draws or issues any check to apply to account


or for value;

2. The accused knows at the time of the issuance that he or she does
not have sufficient funds in, or credit with, the drawee bank for the
payment of the check in full upon its presentment; and

3. The check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for


insufficiency of funds or credit, or it would have been dishonored for
the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid reason,
ordered the bank to stop payment.

The presence of the second element manifests moral turpitude. In


People vs. Atty. Fe Tuanda the Supreme Court held that a conviction
for violation of B.P. BIg. 22 "imports deceit" and "certainly relates to
and affects the good moral character of a person.…" The effects of the
issuance of a worthless check, as held in the landmark case of Lozano
vs. Martinez, through Justice Pedro L. Yap, "transcends the private
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interests of the parties directly involved in the transaction and touches
the interests of the community at large. The mischief it creates is not
only a wrong to the payee or holder, but also an injury to the public"
since the circulation of valueless commercial papers "can very well
pollute the channels of trade and commerce, injure the banking
system and eventually hurt the welfare of society and the public
interest." Thus, paraphrasing Black's definition, a drawer who issues
an unfunded check deliberately reneges on his private duties he owes
his fellow men or society in a manner contrary to accepted and
customary rule of right and duty, justice, honesty or good morals.

The petitioner’s argument regarding the Court's pronouncement in


People v. Atty. Fe Tuanda, insofar as it states that conviction under
B.P. BIg. 22 involves moral turpitude, does not apply to him since he
is not a lawyer, is erroneous. Clearly, in Tuanda, the SC did not make
a distinction whether the offender is a lawyer or a non-lawyer.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
RECUERDO VS. PP
GR 133036 JANUARY 22, 2003

FACTS:
Recuerdo, petitioner, issued checks to Yolanda Floro in exchange
of a 3-karat loose diamond, 3 of which were cleared while the 5 were
dishonored due to the closure of the petitioner’s account. The check
when presented for payment within 90 days thereof was subsequently
dishonored by the drawee bank (Prudential) for the reason “ACCOUNT
CLOSED” and despite receipt of such dishonor the accused failed to
pay the said payee the face amount of the said check or to make an
arrangement for full payment within 5 banking days after receiving
said notice.

After trial, Branch 67 of the Makati MTC finds the accused guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of Violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 on
five (5) counts and therefore sentences the accused to suffer
imprisonment, and pay an amount to Miss Floro plus an amount as
damages to compensate the payment for attorney’s fees.

The RTC, on appeal, affirmed the decision of the MeTC. And the
court of Appeals affirmed that of RTC.

Petitioner contends in her appeal to the SC that she has been


convicted of an unconstitutional law and that the trial court erred in
not upholding her presumption of innocence as well as upholding the
evidence of prosecution even if it didn’t prove her guilt beyond
reasonable doubt.

ISSUES:
Whether or not Joy Lee Recuerdo violated Batas Pambansa Bilang 22
(Bouncing Checks Law) on 5 counts.

Whether or not BP 22 is constitutional?

RULING:
The Supreme Court AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION the decision of the
Court of Appeals finding the petitioner guilty of violating Batas
Pambansa Bilang 22. In lieu of imprisonment, Joy Lee Recuerdo, is
ordered to pay a FINE equivalent to double the amount of each
dishonored check subject of the five cases at bar. And she is also
ordered to pay private complainant Yolanda Floro, the amount of

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200,000.00 Pesos representing the total amount of the dishonored
checks.

RATIONALE:
These matters subject of petitioner’s contention have long been settled
in the landmark case of Lozano v. Martinez where this Court upheld
the constitutionality of B.P 22:

The gravamen of the offense punished by BP 22 is the act of making


and issuing a worthless check or a check that is dishonored upon its
presentation for payment. It is not the non-payment of an obligation
which the law punishes. The law punishes the act not as an offense
against property, but an offense against public order.

“A check issued as an evidence of debt, though not intended for


encashment, has the same effect like any other check. It is within the
contemplation of B.P 22, which is explicit that, “any person who makes
or draws and issues any check to apply for an account or for value,
knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in
or credit with the drawee bank which check is subsequently dishonored
shall be punished by imprisonment.”

“BP 22 does not appear to concern itself with what might actually be
envisioned by the parties, its primordial intention being instead ensure
the stability and commercial value of checks as being virtual
substitutes for currency. It is a policy that can be easily eroded if one
has yet to determine the reason for which checks are issued, of the
terms and conditions for their issuance, before an appropriate
application of the legislative enactment can be made.”

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
PHILIPPINE EXPORT AND FOREIGN LOAN GUARANTEE
CORPORATION VS. PHILIPPINE INFRASTRUCTURE INC.
GR 120384 JANUARY 13, 2004

Facts:
Respondents executed a Deed of Undertaking binding themselves to
jointly and severally pay or reimburse upon demand of such money or
to repair the damages, losses or penalties which petitioner may suffer
on account of its guarantees. Letters of Guarantee were issued in favor
of the Philippine National Bank as security. When PNB called upon the
respondents to pay their obligations, respondents refused to pay and
resulted the petitioner to secure services of the counsel and later incur
expenses.

Respondent BF Homes filed motion to dismiss on the ground of it


undergoing rehabilitation receivership in the SEC and PD 902–A. where
trial court has no jurisdiction --- granted RTC.

Respondents Phil Infra Inc. filed motion to dismiss on the ground that
complainant states no cause of action since it does not allege that
petitioner has suffered damages because of the guarantees on the
behalf of Phil Infra. --- denied RTC.

Petitioner filed a Motion to Amend Complaint to Conform to Evidence


because of the refusal of the respondents to comply with their
obligation that resulted for the petitioner to pay PNB P19.035,256.57.

Motion to Amend resulted dismissal of the case on the on the ground


of failure to state a cause of action - RTC. Motion for reconsideration –
denied RTC. Seek to set aside the Decision of RTC – denied Court of
Appeals. Motion for reconsideration – denied Court of Appeals.

Issue:
Whether or not the case should be dismissed on the ground of failure
to state cause of action.

Decision:
Petition is Granted. Earlier resolution of the Court of Appeals to dismiss
the case are reversed and set aside. Decision of the RTC to dismiss the
case and deny reconsideration are null and void and set aside.

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Rationale:
Petitioner’s cause of action stemmed from the obligation of the
respondents under their Deed of Undertaking, which is an indemnity
against liability, wherein the indemnitor’s liability arises as soon as the
liability of the person indemnified has risen whether or not he has
suffered actual loss. Allegation that the PNB had already called on the
guarantees of petitioner is sufficient to constitute a cause of action
against respondents.

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FYI’s

Facts:
PNB demanded from respondents
1. P20,959,526.36 for aggregate amount of guarantees of
petitioner
2. P351517.57 for various fees and charges

Petitioner wants respondents to also pay:


1. P21.311.046.93 (5,758,000 for Solid and 9,596,000 for
PBAC)
2. interest
3. penalty charges
4. 2M for attorney’s fees
5. 50,000 as exemplary damages

Motion to dismiss filed by BF Homes and Phil Infra – Judge Roberto


Lagman
Motion to Amend and Dismissal of case in RTC - Judge Joselito Dela
Rosa

Motion to Amend
Petitioner presented Rosauro Termulo, treasury department manager
of petitioner, and testified that 19M was paid by the petitioner through
the National Treasury for the principal loan and interest

After RTC denied motion for reconsideration, petitioner filed petition


for review on certiorari against RTC.RTC resolved to refer the case to
the Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals dismissed the case in the ff grounds


1. order of dismissal is a final order thus remedy is appeal not
by certiorari
2. real purpose of of petitioner is to introduce a cause of action
then non existing when complain was filed. not allowed in
such amendment
3. no prohibition for courts to reverse decision and granting
motion to dismiss

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
ASUFRIN VS. SAN MIGUEL CORP.
GR 156658 MARCH 10, 2004

Facts:

In February 1972, Asufrin was hired by SMC as a utility


/miscellaneous worker. In November 1973, he became a regular
employee paid on a daily basis as a Forklift Operator. In November
1981, he became a monthly paid employee promoted as Stock Clerk.
In 1984, the sales office and operations at the Sum-ag, Bacolod City
Sales Office were reorganized. Several positions were abolished
including the petitioner’s position as Stock Clerk. After reviewing
Asufrin’s qualifications, he was designated Warehouse Checker. In
April 1996, SMC implemented a new marketing system known as the
“pre-selling scheme”. As a consequence, all positions of route sales
and warehouse personnel were declared redundant. The employees
were informed that they can avail of respondent’s early retirement
package pursuant to the retrenchment program, while those who will
not avail of it would be redeployed or absorbed at the Brewery or
other sales office. Asufrin opted to remain and manifested to Acting
Personnel Abadesco his willingness to be assigned to any job. But his
request was ignored by Abadesco and even said that his name was
included in the list of employees who availed of the early retirement
package. Thus, petitioner filed a complaint for illegal dismissal.

Issue:

Whether or not the dismissal of petitioner is based on a just and


authorized cause.

Ruling:

Petitioner’s dismissal is declared illegal, and respondent is ordered to


reinstate him to his former or equivalent position, with full backwages
computed from April 1, 1996 up to his actual reinstatement.
Respondent is likewise ordered to pay petitioner the sum equivalent to
10% of his total monetary reward as attorney’s fees.

Rationale:

It is not enough for a company to merely declare that it has become


overmanned. It must produce adequate proof that such is the actual

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situation to justify the dismissal of the affected employees for
redundancy. And whether it be by redundancy or retrenchment or any
of the authorized causes, no employee may be dismissed without
observance of the fundamentals of good faith. The workingman’s most
important right is his constitutional right to security of tenure.

Persuasive as the explanation offered by respondent may be to justify


the dismissal of the petitioner, a number of disturbing circumstances,
however, leave us unconvinced. First, the petitioner clearly
manifested, through several letters, his desire to be redeployed to the
Sta. Fe Brewery or any sales office and for any position not necessarily
limited to that of a warehouse checker. Second, the petitioner was in
the payroll of the Sta. Fe Brewery and assigned to the Materials
Section, Logistics department, although he was actually posted in the
Sum-ag Warehouse. Thus, even assuming that his position in the
Sum-ag Warehouse became redundant, he should have been returned
to the Sta. Fe Brewery where he was actually assigned and where
there are vacant positions to accommodate him. Third, it appears that
the Sum-ag Sales office is still used for warehousing activities and as a
transit point where buyers and dealers get their stocks. Given the
nature of petitioner’s job as a Warehouse Checker, it is inconceivable
that respondent could not accommodate his services considering that
the warehousing operations has not shut down. Fourth, in selecting
employees to be dismissed, a fair and reasonable criteria must be
used. In the case at bar, no criterion was adopted by respondent in
dismissing petitioner.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
HERRERA VS. BARRETTO
25 PHIL 245 SEPTEMBER 10, 1913

FACTS:

Constancio Joaquin began action against Godofredo B. Herrera


as Caloocan municipal president when authorities refused to issue a
license to open and exploit a cockpit. Joaquin, plaintiff, asked the court
to issue a mandatory injunction directed to Herrera, the defendant, to
issue a provisional license for Joaquin to conduct his cockpit. The court
issued such order ex parte {from one side} without notice of Herrera
due to facts stated in complaint and annexed exhibits. Godofredo B.
Herrera then began a proceeding against Honorable Alberto Barretto
(judge of the Court of First Instance who had issued the mandatory
injunction re cockpit license) and Joaquin (cockpit licensee) for a writ
of certiorari {a document filed wherein the supreme court reviews the
decision made by a lower court}, alleging that the court had acted w/o
jurisdiction in the following statements.

Alberto Barretto exceeded his jurisdiction in issuing a mandatory


injunction because:

1. Cockpit licenses in Loma and Maypajo, Caloocan are issued by


the municipal council, not municipal president (Godofredo),
according to section 40j, of the Municipal Code and article 4 of
municipal ordinance No. 8 of Caloocan,
2. He did not give the municipal president opportunity to show
cause why such injunction should not be issued as required by
section 202 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
3. Cockpit license erroneously issued for Constancio has been
cancelled according to ordinance No. ____ of Caloocan,
approved by provincial board of Rizal.
4. There is another pending action between same parties, that the
Court had no jurisdiction to issue the mandatory injunction
because it renders null the final decision of court in civil case No.
8673.
5. Mandatory injunction tends to render inefficacious and null the
decision which the Honorable Richard Campbell will render in
civil case No. 986.
6. Constancio Joaquin has neither the license nor the right to run
the cockpit in Loma and Maypajo.

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Objection is based on Bertol and Tanquilina T against municipality to
declare null and void Caloocan ordinance No. 8, where complaint of
Constancio Joaquin and mandatory injunction was based on.

ISSUES:

Whether or not Alberto Barretto and his alleged act of exceeding


jurisdiction relative to issuance of mandatory injunction for the cockpit
license of Constancio Joaquin should be granted a writ of certiorari?

DECISION:

The Supreme Court denied the writ of certiorari and the proceeding is
dismissed.

RATIONALE:

A writ of certiorari will not be issued unless it clearly appears that the
court to which it is to be directed acted without or in excess of
jurisdiction. If the court has jurisdiction of the subject matter and of
the person, decisions upon all questions pertaining to the cause are
decision within its jurisdiction and, however irregular or erroneous
they may be, cannot be corrected by certiorari.

The Court of First Instance had jurisdiction in the present case to


resolve every question arising in such an action and to decide every
question presented to it which pertained to the cause, including
issuance of a mandatory injunction to stand until the final
determination of the action in which it is issued. While the issuance of
the mandatory injunction in this particular case may have been
irregular and erroneous, its issuance was within the jurisdiction of the
court and its action is not reviewable on certiorari. It is not sufficient to
say that it was issued wrongfully and without sufficient grounds and in
the absence of the other party.

It has been urged that the court exceeded its jurisdiction in requiring
the municipal president to issue the license, for the reason that he was
not the proper person to issue it and that, if he was the proper person,
he had the right to exercise discretion as to whom the license should
be issued. We do not believe that either of these questions go to the
jurisdiction of the court to act. One of the fundamental questions in a
mandamus against a public officer is whether or not that officer has
the right to exercise discretion in the performance of the act which the
plaintiff asks him to perform. In the case at bar no one denies the
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power, authority, or jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance to take
cognizance of an action for mandamus {mandate, an order of the
court} and to decide every question which arises in that cause and
pertains thereto. The contention that the decision of one of those
questions, if wrong, destroys jurisdiction involves an evident
contradiction.

Jurisdiction is the authority to hear and determine a cause —the right


to act in a case. Since it is the power to hear and determine, it does
not depend either upon the regularity of the exercise of that power or
upon the rightfulness of the decisions made. Jurisdiction should
therefore be distinguished from the exercise of jurisdiction. The
authority to decide a cause at all, and not the decision rendered
therein, is what makes up
jurisdiction.

The fact that another action may have been pending involving the
same subject matter and even between the same parties, which was
not the fact in this case, does not touch the jurisdiction of the court to
act.

A full and thorough examination of all the decided cases in this court
touching the question of certiorari and prohibition fully support the
proposition already stated that, where a Court of First Instance has
jurisdiction of the subject matter and of the person, its decision of any
question pertaining to the cause, however erroneous, cannot be
reviewed by certiorari, but must be corrected by appeal.

On JURISDICTION and ERRONEOUS DECISIONS: Chase vs.


Christianson: “…an erroneous decision of any of these other questions
could not impair the validity and binding force of the judgment when
brought in question collaterally.” Freeman vs. Thompson: “The
distinction is between a lack of power or want of jurisdiction in the
court, and a wrongful or defective execution of the power… In the first
instance the act or judgment of the court is wholly void, and is as
though it as though it had not been done; the second is wrong and
must be reversed upon error; the third is irregular and must be
corrected by motion." Hardin vs. Lee: “…In a word, error and nullity
are not legal equivalent or synonymous."

(See also: Hagerman vs. Sutton, Paine vs. Mooreland, Colton vs.
Beardsly, Wertheimer vs. Boonville, O'Rielly vs. Nicholson, Gray vs.
Bowles),

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On CERTIORARI: States vs. Second Judicial District: “…Certiorari may
not be used to correct errors committed within the jurisdiction of the
court." Lewis vs. Larson: “The judgment of a justice of the peace will
not be reversed on a common-law certiorari, if the justice had
jurisdiction to render it, no matter how irregular or erroneous it may
be."

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
PEOPLE VS. MARIANO
GR L-40527 JUNE 30, 1976

Facts:

Hermogenes Mariano, the appointed liason officer of a


municipality in the Province of Bulacan was charged with etsafa of
goods amounting to no more than 6,000 pesos. Mariano then filed with
the court a motion to quash all information. The respondent judge
then granted the motion on the basis that the court indeed had no
jurisdiction over the case, citing that a military commission had
already ruled on a malversation case against Mayor Nolasco involving
the same properties questioned at bar. The respondent judge noted
that case having been heard and decided by a competent tribunal
gives no jurisdiction to his court to pass anew judgment on the same
subject matter. The PEOPLE then appealed and the Supreme Court
having citing the Judicial Act of 1948 and the fact that Estafe and
Malversation are 2 different and distinct offense and that the military
commission has no authority over the charges placed on Mariano,
decided that lower court committed a grave error in saying that they
had no jurisdiction over the matter. As so ordered by the Supreme
Court the respondent judge was to continue the criminal case against
Mariano.

The issues presented:

Does the civil court & military commissions exercise concurrent


jurisdiction over the case of the estafa of goods amounting to no more
than 6,000 Pesos.

The Ruling:

Military commissions have no authority over estafa cases and


the court of first instance has original jurisdiction as so implied by the
Judicial Act of 1948.

Ratio:

The Judicial act of 1948 sec. 44 states that the Court of First
Instance shall have original jurisdiction in all criminal cases in which
the penalty provided by the law is imprisonment for more than six
months or a fine of over 200 pesos. Estafa more than meets with

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requirements needed for the Court of First Instance to acquire original
jurisdiction.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
SITCHON VS. PROVINCIAL SHERIFF
80 PHIL 397 FEBRUARY 27, 1948

FACTS:

Sitchon was declared in default due to his (the plaintiff) failure to


answer to the counter claims of the defendant within the time fixed by
the rules of court. He then appealed the default, asking that the issue
of the default be first handled before the case goes on.

ISSUES:

Whether or not the lower court acted correctly in issuing the


order that declared the plaintiff-appellant in default.

HELD:

The appeal is dismissed.

Dissenting Opinion of Perfecto, J., :

The appeal should not be dismissed.

Rationale of the Supreme Court:

The plaintiff should have filed a motion to set aside the order of
default under section 2, Rule 38, and if denied, to appeal from the final
judgment of the court on the merits of the counterclaim. Unless he has
filed said motion, the defaulting party can not appeal from a final
judgment on the merits. And on appeal, appellant may not only have
the judgment revised and corrected, but he may also raise the
question as to whether or not the order of default was correct or in
accordance with law and facts of the case, because the reversal of the
order of default will necessarily carry with it the invalidity of the
subsequent final judgment on the merits.

Rationale of Perfecto, J., :

Under the proceeding outlined in the majority resolution, the


parties will have to enter first in a trial and wait for a final decision,
before an appeal against the order of default can be taken, should the
order of default be reversed on appeal, the case will be remanded by
the appellate court to the lower court, where the parties will have to
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face and undergo a new trial and the lower court shall have to render
a second decision.

We disagree with the suggestion that, before plaintiff may


appeal against the order of default, they should have filed first a
motion to set aside the order of default under section 2 of Rule 38.
There is nothing in the rules nor in judicial precedents in support of the
suggestion. That majority, in making it, proceeded in effect to
introduce an amendment to the rules. We do not believe that the
Supreme Court can legislate by decisions. The rule-making power
granted to it by the Constitution (section 13, Art. VIII) must not be
exercised through decisions or resolutions in pending specific cases.
The Constitution requires that the rule "shall be uniform" and there
can not be any uniformity when for any specific case a new specific
rule is to be adopted.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
DAVID VS. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
(PP1017 CASE)

FACTS:

• On the 20th Anniversary of the Edsa People Power I, PGMA


issued PP 1017 and G.O. #5 declaring a state of national
emergency.

PP 1017:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,


President of the Republic of the Philippines and
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested upon me by
Section 18, Article 7 of the Philippine Constitution which
states that: “The President. . . whenever it becomes
necessary, . . . may call out (the) armed forces to prevent
or suppress. . .rebellion. . .,” and in my capacity as their
Commander-in-Chief, do hereby command the Armed
Forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order
throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all
forms of lawless violence as well as any act of
insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to
all the laws and to all decrees, orders and
regulations promulgated by me personally or upon
my direction; and as provided in Section 17, Article
12 of the Constitution do hereby declare a State of
National Emergency.

General Order No. 5:

NOW, THEREFORE, I GLORIA MACAPAGAL-


ARROYO, by virtue of the powers vested in me under the
Constitution as President of the Republic of the Philippines,
and Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of the Philippines,
and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1017 dated February 24,
2006, do hereby call upon the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP),
to prevent and suppress acts of terrorism and lawless
violence in the country;

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I hereby direct the Chief of Staff of the AFP and
the Chief of the PNP, as well as the officers and men of the
AFP and PNP, to immediately carry out the necessary
and appropriate actions and measures to suppress
and prevent acts of terrorism and lawless violence.

• PGMA cancelled all programs related to the celebration &


revoked any permits for rally which were issued earlier by local
gov’ts.
• Despite the revocation, there were groups that still rallied in
Edsa. They were violently dispersed by policemen. During
which, Randolf S. David and Ronald Llamas were arrested w/o
warrant.
• At 12:20 a.m. CIDG & PNP raided Daily Tribune offices and
surrounded the premises of Malaya & Abante. A statement was
issued thereafter warning the media to have “balance reporting”
or suffer the consequences.
• A week after the issuance of PP 1017, the President issued
Proclamation No. 1021 lifting the PP 1017 & declared that the
state of emergency has ceased to exist.
• A compound of petitioners filed cases against PGMA & Executive
Secretary Eduardo Ermita et al. for the unconstitutional issuance
of PP1017 as it had no factual bases and the unconstitutional
acts committed during the national state of emergency.
• During oral arguments four (4) days after issuance of PN. 1021,
the Solicitor General specified the factual bases (indicated in the
case) for issuance of PP 1017 which were not refuted by the
petitioners.

Issues presented in the case:

W/N the issuance of PP 1017 was justified and had factual bases.

Whether PP 1017 and G.O. No. 5 are unconstitutional.


b. Constitutional Basis
c. As Applied Challenge

Ruling of the Court:

Factual Bases:

The issuance of PP 1017 was indeed justified and had factual bases.

Constitutional Bases:
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On PP 1017:

The Court finds and so holds that PP 1017 is constitutional


insofar as it constitutes a call by the President for the AFP to prevent
or suppress lawless violence. The proclamation is sustained by
Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution and the relevant
jurisprudence discussed earlier. However, PP 1017’s extraneous
provisions giving the President express or implied power (1) to issue
decrees; (2) to direct the AFP to enforce obedience to all laws even
those not related to lawless violence as well as decrees promulgated
by the President; and (3) to impose standards on media or any form of
prior restraint on the press, are ultra vires and unconstitutional. The
Court also rules that under Section 17, Article XII of the Constitution,
the President, in the absence of legislation, cannot take over privately-
owned public utility and private business affected with public interest.

On G. O. No. 5:

In the same vein, the Court finds G.O. No. 5 valid. It is an


Order issued by the President – acting as Commander-in-Chief –
addressed to subalterns in the AFP to carry out the provisions of PP
1017. Significantly, it also provides a valid standard – that the
military and the police should take only the “necessary and
appropriate actions and measures to suppress and prevent acts
of lawless violence.” But the words “acts of terrorism” found in
G.O. No. 5 have not been legally defined and made punishable by
Congress and should thus be deemed deleted from the said G.O.
While “terrorism” has been denounced generally in media, no law has
been enacted to guide the military, and eventually the courts, to
determine the limits of the AFP’s authority in carrying out this portion
of G.O. No. 5.

Applied Challenge:

On the basis of the relevant and uncontested facts narrated


earlier, it is also pristine clear that (1) the warrantless arrest of
petitioners Randolf S. David and Ronald Llamas; (2) the dispersal of
the rallies and warrantless arrest of the KMU and NAFLU-KMU
members; (3) the imposition of standards on media or any prior
restraint on the press; and (4) the warrantless search of the Tribune
offices and the whimsical seizures of some articles for publication and
other materials, are not authorized by the Constitution, the law

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and jurisprudence. Not even by the valid provisions of PP 1017 and
G.O. No. 5.

Rationale of the aforementioned rulings:

Factual Bases:

Petitioners failed to show that President Arroyo’s exercise of the


calling-out power, by issuing PP 1017, is totally bereft of factual basis.
A reading of the Solicitor General’s Consolidated Comment and
Memorandum shows a detailed narration of the events leading to the
issuance of PP 1017, with supporting reports forming part of the
records.

Constitutional Bases:

PP 1017 Constitutional:

Article VII of the Constitution reproduced as follows:


Sec. 18. The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all
armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes
necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or
suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.

PP 1017 Unconstitutional:

This Court rules that the assailed PP 1017 is unconstitutional


insofar as it grants President Arroyo the authority to
promulgate “decrees.” Legislative power is peculiarly within the
province of the Legislature. Section 1, Article VI categorically states
that “[t]he legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of
the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of
Representatives.”

Section 23, Article VI of the Constitution reads:


SEC. 23. (1) The Congress, by a vote of two-thirds of both
Houses in joint session assembled, voting separately, shall have
the sole power to declare the existence of a state of war.
(2) In times of war or other national emergency, the
Congress may, by law, authorize the President, for a limited
period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to
exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared
national policy. Unless sooner withdrawn by resolution of the

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Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment
thereof.

Applied Challenge:

In the case of David:

Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure


provides:
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. - A peace
officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a
person:
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense.
(b) When an offense has just been committed and he has
probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of
facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has
committed it; and

*Neither of the two (2) exceptions mentioned above justifies petitioner


David’s warrantless arrest.

In the case of the dispersal of the rally:

Section 4 of Article III guarantees:


No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of
expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably
to assemble and petition the government for redress of
grievances.

In the case of the Daily Tribune:

Rule 126 of The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure lays down


the steps in the conduct of search and seizure. Section 4
requires that a search warrant be issued upon probable cause
in connection with one specific offence to be determined
personally by the judge after examination under oath or
affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may
produce. Section 8 mandates that the search of a house,
room, or any other premise be made in the presence of the
lawful occupant thereof or any member of his family or in the
absence of the latter, in the presence of two (2) witnesses of
sufficient age and discretion residing in the same locality. And
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Section 9 states that the warrant must direct that it be served
in the daytime, unless the property is on the person or in the
place ordered to be searched, in which case a direction may be
inserted that it be served at any time of the day or night.

* All these rules were violated by the CIDG operatives.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
PEOPLE V. MAURICIO
GR 133695 FEBRUARY 28, 2001

FACTS:

- Daniel Mauricio is the father of Jonalyn Mauricio.


- When she was 9 years old, her father raped her inside her
room.
- For 2 years, Daniel repeatedly molested and raped her
daughter.
- When Jonalyn was 11, she sought the help oh her neighbor
and called Bantay Bata 163 (Elmer Chavez answered)
- PNP crime laboratory result: laceration at 1 o’clock position;
girl is in a non-virgin state.
- Jonalyn gave statement to mandaluyong police.
- Daniel denied allegations but court found him guilty of rape
and attempted rape.
- He was sentenced to death.

ISSUES:

1. Whether or not Daniel is guilty of rape?


2. Whether or not Daniel is guilty of attempted rape?

RULING:

1. Art.335 of the Revised Penal Code states that the death


penalty shall be imposed if the crime of rape is committed
with any of the following circumstances:
- Victim is under 18 years of age
- Offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian,
relative within the 3rd civil degree, or the common-law
spouse of the victim’s parent
Both relationship and minority must be alleged in the
information given by the prosecution for the crime to qualify as
punishable by death. To hold otherwise would deny the accused
his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and the
cause of the accusations against him.
Thus, the court modifies the decision of the trial court. Daniel
Mauricio is guilty of rape under Art. 335 of the RPC and
sentenced him to reclusion perpetua instead of death.

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2. Under Art.6 of the RPC: There is an attempt when the
offender commences the commission of a felony directly by
overt acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution
which should produce the felony by reason of some cause
other than his own spontaneous circumstance.
Overt acts: some physical deed indicating the intention to
commit a crime, which if followed through its natural course,
would eventually lead to the perfection of the offense.
Daniel’s act of throwing Jonalyn cannot be classified as an
overt act because the act did not have a direct or necessary
connection with the crime he was about to commit.
The court reversed the decision of the trial court. Thus,
accused is acquitted of the attempted rape.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
TEXAS VS. JOHNSON
491 US 397 JUNE 21, 1969

Facts:

Johnson participated in a political demonstration during the Republican


National Convention.
During the protest, he burned an American flag to protest the re-
nomination of Ronald Reagan as President. He was charged and
convicted with the crime of desecration of a venerated object in
violation of the Tex. Penal Code. The Court of Appeals for the 5th
District of Texas affirmed the conviction however the Texas Court of
Criminal Appeals reversed the decision. The Texas Court of Criminal
Appeals stated that punishing Johnson for burning the flag in these
circumstances is inconsistent with the first amendment.

Issue:

Whether or not Johnson’s conviction is inconsistent with the First


Amendment?

Held:

Yes. Johnson was convicted for engaging in expressive conduct. The


State’s interest in preventing breaches of the peace does not support
his conviction because Johnson’s conduct did not threaten to disturb
the peace. Nor does the State’s interest in preserving the flag as a
symbol of nationhood and national unity justify criminal conviction for
engaging in political expression. The judgment of the Texas Court of
Criminal Appeals is therefore affirmed.

Ratio:

The principle underlying the First Amendment is that the government


may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society
finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable. The State’s argument
cannot depend on the distinction between written or spoken words and
nonverbal conduct. It should focus on the precise nature of the
expression.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
JOHNSON VS. TEXAS
509 US 350 JUNE 24, 1993

Facts:

Johnson was 19 years old when he was convicted of capital murder.


On deciding to whether convict him or not, the judge posed two
questions to the jury: one, was the conduct done deliberately and with
the expectation of death of the deceased or another will result; and
two, is there a possibility that accused would do criminal acts of
violence that would make him a continuing threat to society? If the
answer to the two questions is yes, the death penalty was going to be
imposed on petitioner. if it is otherwise, then it would be life
imprisonment.

Issue:

Whether or not the courts sentenced Johnson without adequate


consideration to his youth?

Whether or not the jury made a reasonable moral response to the


evidence of youth?

Held:

On the first issue, no, the Texas special issues allowed adequate
consideration of petitioner’s youth. There is no reasonable likelihood
that Johnson jury would have found itself foreclosed from considering
the relevant aspects of his youth, since it received the second special
issue instruction and was told to consider all mitigating evidence.
Youth’s ill effects are subject to change as a defendant ages and thus,
are rapidly comprehended as a mitigating factor in consideration of the
2nd special issue.

States are free to structure and shape consideration of mitigating


evidence in an effort to achieve a more rational and equitable
administration of the death penalty.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
PP VS. RODRIGUEZA
205 SCRA 791 FEBRUARY 4, 1992

Facts:

Accused has been charged with the violation of the Dangerous Drugs
Act. He was tipped off by an informer of the NARCOM and was
identified through entrapment or buy-bust operation. Though it should
be noted that he wasn’t arrested when he was caught red-handed.

Without an arrest warrant, he was arrested along with 2 more.


Without a search warrant, his house was searched and paraphernalia
were seized.

He was found guilty by the trial court.

Issue:

Whether or not Rodrigueza should be acquitted?

Held:

Yes. In a buy-bust operation or entrapment, the accused should be


caught red-handed and arrested then and there if caught in the act.
In this case, that didn’t happen since the accused wasn’t arrested
outright. Furthermore, there’s some contradictions with the
testimonies of the officers involved and the evidence presented against
accused. Also, with regard the evidence, it is inadmissible since it was
seized illegally and without a search warrant. The arrest of the
accused were also illegal. Thus, Rodrigueza should be acquitted.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
MINUCHER VS. CA
GR 142396 FEBRUARY 11, 2003

Facts:

Petitioner was charged with the violation of Dangerous Drugs Act. He


was arrested in his residence through a buy-bust operation where
allegedly, heroin was seized. The arrest was led by private respondent
Scalzo. Petitioner was later acquitted of the charges.

He then filed a civil case against Scalzo for damages on account of the
trumped up charges of drug trafficking done by the latter.

Petitioner iterated that he met private respondent through an


acquaintance and that the latter befriended him and even bought the
goods he was selling. Petitioner was engaged in selling imported
goods from Iran. Later on, when he was in his house and visited by
private respondent, he was invited to go outside. There, he was
handcuffed and arrested, without explanation. He then knew of the
allegations of drug trafficking. The arrest of petitioner was seen in
media in many countries. Also, he learned when he was released, that
valuable goods were taken from his house.

Private respondent was asking for the dismissal of the complaint since
he had diplomatic immunity. He even raised this concern to the SC
but the SC denied such and remanded the case to the trial court,
which later on found him guilty. Even if he was granted diplomatic
immunity, he was still responsible for acts outside of his official duties.
This was however reversed by the CA saying that he was clothed with
diplomatic immunity, excusing him from civil or criminal jurisdiction.

Issue:

Whether or not private respondent should be acquitted due to his


diplomatic immunity?

Held:

The main yardstick if one is a diplomat clothed with immunity, is the


determination of whether or not he was acting in a diplomatic nature.
There is no dispute that indeed Scalzo was clothed with diplomatic
immunity. Nonetheless, he was not acting within the scope of his

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official duties during the time of petitioner’s arrest. A diplomatic note
was his only support for his contention that he had been acting under
his official duties, which was insufficient. Thus, he couldn’t raise the
defense of diplomatic immunity.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
LIANG VS. PEOPLE
GR 125865 JANUARY 28, 2000

Facts:

A fellow ADB officer filed a case of grave oral defamation against


petitioner. The trial court received an office protocol from the DFA
saying that petitioner has immunity from suit, being an officer of the
ADB. This prompted the trial court to dismiss the case. The private
respondents then appealed this case to the RTC which then reversed
the decision of trial court and ordered that the warrant of arrest be
implemented. Petitioner appealed this to SC.

Issue:

Whether or not the DFA’s determination of immunity of petitioner is


binding upon the courts?

Whether or not private respondent should be acquitted due to his


diplomatic immunity?

Held:

On the first issue, no, the DFA’s determination of immunity is only


preliminary and not binding upon the courts. The trial court shouldn’t
have accepted the DFA’s advice ex parte and dismissing the case moto
propio. Such act violates the right of the prosecution to due process of
law. Due process of law is a right of the accused as well as the
prosecution. Furthermore, the mere invocation of immunity doesn’t
result to the ipso facto dropping of the cases against accused.

On the second issue, under Section 45 of the agreement between ADB


and the Philippines:

Officers and staff of the Bank including for the purpose of this
Article experts and consultants performing missions for the Bank
shall enjoy the following privileges and immunities:

a.) immunity from legal process with respect to acts


performed by them in their official capacity except when
the Bank waives the immunity.

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Immunity under this agreement is not absolute. It requires that the
acts done in official capacity. Slandering a person is not part of the
immunity given here.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
USA VS. REYES
GR 79253 FEBRUARY 14, 1992

Facts:

Private respondent sued private petitioner for damages due to the


oppressive and discriminatory acts done by the latter in excess of her
authority as store manager of NEX JUSMAG. Private petitioner
contends that case should be dismissed since she is clothed with
diplomatic immunity.

The trial court decided in favor of the private respondent and


petitioner appealed. She contends that even if she was acting ultra
vires of her official capacities, she is still immune from suit since the
law that public employees and officials sued in personal capacity for
ultra vires and tortuous acts is municipal and not international law.

Issue:

Whether or not Bradford’s diplomatic immunity constitutes a bar for


her to be sued by private respondent?

Held:

The doctrine of state immunity and the exceptions thereto are


summarized in Shauf vs. Court of Appeals, 40 thus:

I. The rule that a state may not be sued without its


consent, now expressed in Article XVI Section 3, of the
1987 Constitution, is one of the generally accepted
principles of international law that we have adopted as
part of the law of our land under Article II, Section 2. This
latter provision merely reiterates a policy earlier embodied
in the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions and also intended to
manifest our resolve to abide by the rules of the
international community. 41

While the doctrine appears to prohibit only suits against


the state without its consent, it is also applicable to
complaints filed against officials of the state for acts
allegedly performed by them in the discharge of their
duties. The rule is that if the judgment against such
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officials will require the state itself to perform an
affirmative act to satisfy the same, such as the
appropriation of the amount needed to pay the damages
awarded against them, the suit must be regarded as
against the state itself although it has not been formally
impleaded. 42 It must be noted, however, that the rule is
not so all-encompassing as to be applicable under all
circumstances.

It is a different matter where the public official is made to


account in his capacity as such for acts contrary to law and
injurious to the rights of plaintiff. As was clearly set forth
by Justice Zaldivar in Director of the Bureau of
Telecommunications, et al. vs. Aligaen, etc., et al. 43
"Inasmuch as the State authorizes only legal acts by its
officers, unauthorized acts of government officials or
officers are not acts of the State, and an action against the
officials or officers by one whose rights have been invaded
or violated by such acts, for the protection of his rights, is
not a suit against the State within the rule of immunity of
the State from suit. In the same tenor, it has been said
that an action at law or suit in equity against a State
officer or the director of a State department on the ground
that, while claiming to act or the State, he violates or
invades the personal and property rights of the plaintiff,
under an unconstitutional act or under an assumption of
authority which he does not have, is not a suit against the
State within
the constitutional provision that the State may not be sued
without its consent." 44 The rationale for this ruling is that
the doctrinaire of state immunity cannot be used as an
instrument for perpetrating an injustice. 45

Bradford was sued in her private or personal capacity for acts allegedly
done beyond the scope and even beyond her place of official functions,
said complaint is not then vulnerable to a motion to dismiss based on
the grounds relied upon by the petitioners because as a consequence
of the hypothetical admission of the truth of the allegations therein,
the case falls within the exception to the doctrine of state immunity.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
SEAFDEC-AQD VS. NLRC
GR 86773 FEBRUARY 14, 1992

Facts:

Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aqua Culture


Department is a department of SEAFD, an international institution
formed by an international agreement of Southeast Asian countries.

Private petitioner sent a letter to private respondent, informing him of


his termination due to financial restraints of the department. Latter
was informed that he was going to receive separation pay. Upon
failure of petitioner to give separation pay, private respondent filed a
complaint with the Labor Arbiter, which decided in favor of private
respondent amidst contention of petitioner that Labor Arbiter doesn’t
have jurisdiction over them. NLRC affirmed the decision of Labor
Arbiter.

Issue:

Whether or not public respondent has jurisdiction over petitioner?

Held:

Being an intergovernmental organization, SEAFDEC including its


Departments (AQD), enjoys functional independence and freedom
from control of the state in whose territory its office is located.

As Senator Jovito R. Salonga and Former Chief Justice Pedro L. Yap


stated in their book, Public International Law (p. 83, 1956 ed.):

Permanent international commissions and administrative


bodies have been created by the agreement of a
considerable number of States for a variety of international
purposes, economic or social and mainly non-political.
Among the notable instances are the International Labor
Organization, the International Institute of Agriculture, the
International Danube Commission. In so far as they are
autonomous and beyond the control of any one State, they
have a distinct juridical personality independent of the
municipal law of the State where they are situated. As
such, according to one leading authority "they must be
deemed to possess a species of international personality of
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their own." (Salonga and Yap, Public International Law, 83
[1956 ed.])

The then Minister of Justice likewise opined that Philippine Courts have
no jurisdiction over SEAFDEC-AQD in Opinion No. 139, Series of 1984

4. One of the basic immunities of an international


organization is immunity from local jurisdiction, i.e., that it
is immune from the legal writs and processes issued by the
tribunals of the country where it is found. (See Jenks, Id.,
pp. 37-44) The obvious reason for this is that the
subjection of such an organization to the authority of the
local courts would afford a convenient medium thru which
the host government may interfere in there operations or
even influence or control its policies and decisions of the
organization; besides, such subjection to local jurisdiction
would impair the capacity of such body to discharge its
responsibilities impartially on behalf of its member-states.
In the case at bar, for instance, the entertainment by the
National Labor Relations Commission of Mr. Madamba's
reinstatement cases would amount to interference by the
Philippine Government in the management decisions of the
SEARCA governing board; even worse, it could
compromise the desired impartiality of the organization
since it will have to suit its actuations to the requirements
of Philippine law, which may not necessarily coincide with
the interests of the other member-states. It is precisely to
forestall these possibilities that in cases where the extent
of the immunity is specified in the enabling instruments of
international organizations, jurisdictional immunity from
the host country is invariably among the first accorded.
(See Jenks, Id.; See also Bowett, The Law of International
Institutions, pp. 284-1285).

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
LAO H. ICHONG vs JAIME HERNANDEZ, ET AL
GR L-7995 MAY 20, 1999

FACTS:
- Ichong, filed a petition with regard to certain provisions
stipulated in Republic Act No. 1180, “An Act to Regulate the
Retail Business”, declaring such to be unconstitutional; and to
enjoin Hernandez, Secretary of Finance, et al., from enforcing its
provisions.
- Petitioner’s grounds:
o RA 1180 denies alien residents equal protection of law;
deprives them of their liberty and property without due
process of law
o subject not expressed in title thereof
 title is misleading or defective as it conceals the real
purpose of the bill which is to nationalize the retail
business and prohibit aliens from engaging therein
o Act violates international and treaty obligations of the
Republic of the Philippines
o Provision of the act against the transmission by aliens of
their retail business from hereditary succession, and those
requiring 100% Filipino capitalization for a corporation or
entity to entitle it to engage in retail business violates
constitution
- In answer, the Solicitor-General and the Fiscal of the City of
Manila contend that:
o The act was passed in the valid exercise of the police
power of the State, which exercise is authorized in the
Constitution in the interest of national economic survival
o The act has only one subject embraced in the title
o No treaty or international obligations are infringed
o As regards hereditary succession, only the form is affected
but the value of the property is not impaired, and the
institution of inheritance is only of statutory origin.

ISSUE/S:
- Whether or not the court shall grant Inchong’s petition with
regard to the validity and constitutionality of RA No. 1180

COURT RULING: Petition denied, with costs against petitioner

RATIO:

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- Court holds that the disputed law was enacted to remedy a real
actual threat and danger to national economy posed by alien
dominance and control of the retail business
o Court finds alien domination and control to be a fact, a
reality proved by official statistics, and felt by all sections
and groups that compose the Filipino community which
could endanger the national interest.
o Law is not a product of racial hostility, prejudice or
discrimination, but the expression of legitimate desire and
determination of the people, to free the nation from
economic situation that has unfortunately been saddled
upon it rightly or wrongly, to its disadvantage.
- Enactment clearly falls within the police power of the state
o Law is clearly in the scope of police power, thru which and
by which the State insures its existence and security and
the supreme welfare of its citizens
- Law doesn’t violate equal protection clause of the constitution
o Sufficient grounds exist for the distinction between alien
and citizen in the exercise of the occupation regulated.
These differences are certainly a valid reason for the State
to prefer the national over the alien.
- Law doesn’t violate the due process of law clause
o Because law is prospective in operation and recognizes the
privilege of alien already engaged in the occupation and
reasonably protects their privilege
- Wisdom and efficacy of law to carry its objective is evident
- Provisions of law are clearly embraced in title
o Suffers from no duplicity
o Has not misled legislators/population
- Cannot be said to be void for supposed conflict with treaty of
obligations
o No treaty has actually been entered into on the subject
o Police power may not be curtailed or surrendered by any
treaty or any conventional agreement

Padilla, J. Concurring and Dissenting:

- Agrees to the proposition, principle or rule that courts may not


inquire in to the wisdom of an act passed by the Congress and
duly approved by the President of the Republic. However courts
could still inquire and determine whether the Act is against a
provision/s of the Constitution
- Disagrees with the clause that prohibits associations and
partnerships to engage in retail business, specifically those with
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capital not wholly owned by citizen of the Philippines, after ten
years from the date of the approval of the Act, even before the
end of the term of their existence as agreed upon by the
associates and partners, and by alien heirs to whom the retail
business is transmitted by the death of an alien engaged in the
business, or by his executor, administration.
o Certain sections of the Act are thereby invalid for they
violate the due process of law and the equal protection of
the laws clauses of the Constitution.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
TIU VS. CA
GR 127410 JANUARY 20, 1999

Facts:

• Petition for review seeking the reversal of the Court of Appeals’


Decision and Resolution.
• Congress, w/ Pres. approval, passed into law RA 7227 entitled
“An Act Accelerating the Conversion of Military Reservations Into
Other Productive Uses, Creating the Bases Conversion and
Development Authority for this Purpose, Providing Funds
Therefore and for Other Purposes”
• Hence, creation of Subic Special Economic Zone (SSEZ)
• SSEZ has multiple benefits such as (1) free flow or movement of
goods and capital; (2) tax and duty-free importations of raw
materials, capital and equipment; (3) no exchange control
policy; (4) banking and finance shall be liberalized.
• RA 7227 included the City of Olongapo and the Municipality of
Subic, Province of Zambales, the lands occupied by the Subic
Naval bases Agreement and within the territorial jurisdiction of
the Municipalities of Morong and Hermosa, Province of Bataan as
secured areas of SSEZ and should, therefore, enjoy the same
privileges.
• After which, Pres. Ramos issued EO 97-A, specifying the areas
within which the tax-and-duty-free privilege was operative (only
in secured areas consisting of the presently fenced-in former
Subic Naval Base shall be the completely tax and duty-free area
in SSEZ – some of the citizens from areas no longer included in
the new delineated areas challenged the constitutionality of EO
97-A
• According to the citizens, EO 97-A excluded the residents of the
first two components of the zone from enjoying the benefits
granted by the law. It has effectively discriminated against them
without reasonable or valid standards, in contravention of the
equal protection guarantee.

Issue:

• Whether or not EO 97-A violates the equal protection clause of


the Constitution. Specifically the issue is whether the provisions
of EO 97-A confining the application of RA 7227 within the

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secured area and excluding the residents of the zone outside of
the secured area is discriminatory or not.

Ruling/Decision:

• The petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The assailed Decision


and Resolution are hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners.

Ratio:

• The equal-protection guarantee does not require territorial


uniformity of laws.
• The fundamental right of equal protection of the law is not
absolute, but is subject to reasonable classification.
• Classification, to be valid, must (1) rest on substantial
distinctions, (2) be germane to the purpose of the law, (3) not
be limited to existing conditions only, and (4) apply equally to all
members of the same class.
• Furthermore, RA 7227 clearly vests in the President the
authority to delineate the metes and bounds of the SSEZ.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
CRUZAN VS. MISSOURI DEPT. OF HEALTH

FACTS:

Nancy Beth Cruzan was left in a persistent vegetative state after


sustaining serious injuries in an automobile accident. She was
supported with an artificial life support system. After it was apparent
that she had no hopes of recovery, her parents asked the hospital
authorities to withdraw the life support system. The hospital
authorities wouldn’t heed such request if there is no court approval.
The parents sought and received authorization from the court. The
court found that a person in Nancy’s condition had a fundamental right
under the State and Federal Constitutions to refuse and direct the
withdrawal of death prolonging procedures. The court also found that
Nancy’s expressed thoughts at age 25 in somewhat a serious
conversation with her housemate friend that if sick or injured she
would not wish to continue her life unless she could live at least
halfway normally suggests that given her present condition she would
not wish to continue on with her nutrition and hydration. This decision
was reversed by the state Supreme Court.

ISSUE:
Did the State’s refusal to terminate the life support system of Cruzan
violate her right to due process and liberty interest rights to refuse
medical treatment?

Ruling:

The US Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling found that a person did have a
liberty interest under the due process clause of the 14th amendment to
refuse medical treatment, provided that they are competent and there
was clear and convincing evidence that the person didn’t want artificial
support to keep them alive. Petitioner Nancy Cruzan was rendered
incompetent due to her injuries from an automobile accident. Without
this evidence, a state obligation to uphold human life overrules the
wishes of patient or parents. The court found that the statements of
Nancy Cruzan under certain conditions were unreliable for the purpose
of determining her intent and thus insufficient to support co-guardians
claim to exercise substituted judgment on Nancy’s behalf. It rejected
the argument that Cruzan’s parents were entitled to order the
termination of the life support system, concluding that no person can
assume that choice of an incompetent in the absence of formalities

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required under Missouri’s Living Will Statutes or the clear and
convincing, inherently reliable evidence absent here. In this case, the
Cruzans had no clear or convincing evidence like a living will to
terminate the life support system.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
AYER PRODUCTIONS VS. CAPULONG
GR 82398 APRIL 29, 1988

FACTS:
In a letter dated December 16, 1987, Australian film maker and
petitioner Hal McElroy informed private respondent Juan Ponce Enrile
about the motion picture he intended to make, which was about the
EDSA Revolution. The respondent did not approve of the showing of
the film and filed a complaint with application for Temporary
Restraining Order (TRO) on February 23, 1988. On February 24, 1988,
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati, Branch 134, issued a TRO
and set for hearing the application for preliminary injunction. In
response, Hal McElroy filed a motion to dismiss with opposition to the
petition for preliminary injunction. Petitioner Ayer Productions also
filed its own Motion to Dismiss, alleging lack of cause of action as the
mini-series had not yet been completed. In an order dated March 16
1988, respondent court issued a writ of Preliminary Injunction against
the petitioners. On March 22 1988, petitioner Ayer Productions filed a
Petition for certiorari dated March 21 1988 with an urgent prayer for
Preliminary Injunction or Restraining Order. On March 23 1988,
petitioner Hal McElroy also filed separate Petition for certiorari with
Urgent prayer for a Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction, dated
March 22, 1988. By a Resolution dated March 24, 1988, the petitions
were consolidated and Enrile was required to file a consolidated
answer. The Court also granted a TRO partially enjoining the
implementation of the respondent Judge's Order of March 16 1988 and
the Writ of Preliminary Injunction issued therein, and allowing the
petitioners to resume producing and filming those portions of the
projected film that do not make any reference to private respondent or
his family or to any fictitious character based on the respondent. As a
result, Enrile filed his Consolidated Answer on April 6, 1988, invoking
his right of privacy. In a Manifestation dated March 30, 1988,
petitioner Hal McElroy informed the Court that a TRO dated March 25,
1988, was issued by Judge Teofilo Guadiz of the RTC of Makati, Branch
147, in Civil Case No. 88-413, entitled "Gregorio B. Honasan vs. Ayer
Productions Pty. Ltd., McElroy Film Productions, Hal McElroy, Lope
Juban and PMP Motion for Pictures Production. Private respondent filed
a Counter-Manifestation on April 13, 1988.

ISSUES:

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Whether or not the production and filming of the projected mini-
series would constitute an unlawful intrusion into the privacy of the
private respondent.

RESOLUTION:

The court concluded that the production and filming by petitioners of


the projected motion picture "The Four Day Revolution" does not, in
the circumstances of the case, constitute an unlawful intrusion upon
private respondent's "right of privacy."

a. The Petitions for Certiorari are granted due course, and the March
16, 1988 order of trial court granting a Writ of Preliminary Injunction is
set aside. The limited TRO granted by the Court on March 24, 1988 is
modified, enjoining unqualifiedly the implementation of respondent
Judge's order of March 16, 1988 and made PERMANENT

b) Treating the Manifestations of petitioners dated March 30, 1988 and


April 4, 1988 as separate Petitions for Certiorari with Prayer for
Preliminary Injunction or Restraining Order, the Court, in the exercise
of its plenary and supervisory jurisdiction, required Judge Teofilo
Guadiz of the RTC of Makati, Branch 147, TO DISMISS Civil Case No.
88-413 and to set aside and dissolve his TRO dated March 25 1988
and any Preliminary Injunction that may have been issued by him.

RATIONALE:

1. There was no "clear and present danger" or any violation of any


right to privacy that private respondent could lawfully assert.
2. The subject relates to a highly critical stage in the history of this
country and as such, must be regarded as having passed into
the public domain and as an appropriate subject for speech and
expression and coverage by any form of mass media.
3. The extent of the intrusion upon the life of private respondent
Juan Ponce Enrile that would be entailed by the production and
exhibition of "The Four Day Revolution" would be limited in
character.
4. The right of privacy of a "public figure" is necessarily narrower
than that of an ordinary citizen. Private respondent has not
retired into the seclusion of simple private citizenship. He
continues to be a "public figure.” He sits in a very public place,
the Senate of the Philippines.
5. The line of equilibrium in the specific context of the instant case
between the constitutional freedom of speech and of expression
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and the right of privacy may be marked out in terms of a
requirement that the proposed motion picture must be fairly
truthful and historical in its presentation of events.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
LAWRENCE et al. v TEXAS
US SUPREME COURT 02-102 JUNE 26, 2003

FACTS:

- Houston police entered petitioner Lawrence’s apartment and saw


him and another adult man, petitioner Garner, engaging in a
private, consensual sexual act.
- Petitioners were arrested, charged and convicted in violation of
Texas Statute - “A person commits an offense if he engages in
deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same
sex.”
- Petitioners were adult at the time of the alleged offense; conduct
was in private and consensual
- Complaints described their crime as: “deviate sexual intercourse
with member of same sex”
- Petitioners exercised right to a trial de novo, challenging the
statute as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment; contentions were however rejected;
petitioners were each fined $200 plus court costs.
- State Court of Appeals held that statute was not unconstitutional
under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
considering Bowers v. Hardwick; constitutional arguments still
rejected and convictions affirmed.
- Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals
for the Texas Fourteenth District; case remanded for further
proceedings.

ISSUE:
- Whether or not the Texas statute, making it a crime for two
persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual
conduct, is valid; or whether or not it violates the Due Process
Clause

HELD:
- The Texas statue making it a crime for two persons of the same
sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct violates the
Due Process Clause; unconstitutional

RATIONALE:

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- Liberty under the Due Process Clause –Liberty protects the
person from unwarranted government intrusions into a dwelling
or other private places. It presumes an autonomy of self that
includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, and certain
intimate conduct.
- Petitioners were free as adults to engage in the private conduct
in the exercise of their liberty under the Due Process Clause of
the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. Liberty of the
constitution allows homosexual persons the right to make this
choice.
- With respect to the issue presented whether the Constitution
confers a fundamental right upon homosexuals to engage in
sodomy, early American laws were not directed at homosexuals
as such but instead sought to prohibit nonprocreative sexual
activity more generally. This does not suggest approval of
homosexual conduct. It does tend to show that this particular
form of conduct was not thought of as a separate category from
like conduct between heterosexual persons.
- Certain deficiencies found as regards Bowers v Hardwick.
Historical grounds relied upon are overstated.
- Pattern of nonenforcement with respect to consenting adults
acting in private.
- Equal Protection Clause
o When homosexual conduct is made criminal by the law of
the State, that declaration in and of itself is an invitation to
subject homosexual persons to discrimination both in the
public and private spheres.
- Texas statute furthers no legitimate State interest which can
justify its intrusion into the individual’s personal and private life.
o Consistent with a general condemnation of nonprocreative
sex as it is with an established tradition of prosecuting acts
because of their homosexual character

Concurring opinion
Justice O’Connor
- Agrees with the Court that Texas’ sodomy law banning “deviate
sexual intercourse” between consenting adults of the same sex,
but not between consenting adults of different sexes is
unconstitutional; based conclusion of the Fourteenth
Amendment’s Equal Protection clause – “all persons similarly
situated should be treated alike.”

Dissenting opinion
Justice Scalia
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- Texas’s prohibition of sodomy does not infringe a “fundamental
right” (which the Court does not dispute). Fundamental rights,
as defined, are those deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and
tradition.
o Bowers held, homosexual sodomy do not implicate a
fundamental right under the Due Process Clause.
o Court failed to establish that the right to homosexual
sodomy is “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and
tradition.” On the contrary, Sodomy was a criminal
offense at common law and was forbidden by the laws of
the original 13 States when the ratified the Bill of Rights.
- Texas’s prohibition of sodomy is unsupported by a rational
relation to what the Constitution considers a legitimate state
interest.
o Due Process Clause prohibits states from infringing
fundamental liberty interest unless infringement is
narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest.
- Texas’s prohibition of sodomy does not deny equal protection of
the laws.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS EMPLOYEES ORGANIZATION VS.
PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS CO., INC.
51 SCRA 189

Facts:

Petitioner Philippine Blooming Employees Organization (PBMEO)


decided to stage a mass demonstration in front of Malacañang in order
to express their grievances against the alleged abuses of the Pasig
Police.

After learning about the planned mass demonstration, Philippine


Blooming Mills Inc., called for a meeting with the leaders of the
PBMEO. During the meeting, the planned demonstration was confirmed
by the union. But it was stressed that the demonstration was not a
strike against the company but was in fact an exercise of the laborers
inalienable constitutional right to freedom of expression, freedom of
speech and freedom for petition for redress of grievances.

The company asked them to cancel the demonstration for it would


interrupt the normal course of their business which may result in the
loss of revenue. This was backed up with the threat of the possibility
that the workers would lose their jobs if they pushed through with the
rally.

A second meeting took place where the company reiterated their


appeal that while the workers may be allowed to participate, those
from the 1st and regular shifts should not participate in the
demonstration, otherwise, they would be dismissed. Since it was too
late to pull back, the rally took place and the officers of the PBMEO
were eventually dismissed for a violation of the ‘No strike and No
lockout’ clause of their Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The lower court decided in favor of the company and the officers of the
PBMEO were found guilty of bargaining in bad faith. Their motion for
reconsideration was subsequently denied by the Court of Industrial
relations for being filed two days late.

Issue:

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1. Whether or not the workers constitutional rights to freedom of
expression, freedom of assembly and freedom to petition for redress of
grievances should be upheld over the company’s right to property.

2. Whether or not the mass demonstration of the PBMEO was a


violation of the company’s “No strike and No lockout”rule.

3. Whether or not the company was justified in dismissing the officers


of the PBMEO

4. Whether or not the Court of Industrial Relations was justified in


dismissing PBMEO’s motion for reconsideration on the ground that it
was filed two days late.

Held:

1. The workers acted well within their constitutional rights in staging


the rally. The fact that they were willing to sacrifice a day’s wage in
order to express their grievances against the Pasig police only goes to
show how important it was for them to fight for their rights. The
company was in fact informed by the union and it was stressed that
the rally was not against the company since they had no quarrel with
management. Thus, the demonstration was not a violation of the ‘No
strike and No lockout’ clause but was in fact a valid exercise of the
workers constitutional rights.

2. The company’s right to property should yield to the workers


Constitutional right to freedom of speech, freedom of expression and
freedom to petition for redress of grievances. The company’s loss of
unrealized profits for the day of the strike is not as important as the
workers fight their rights. In fact, they were even able to save money
on the operational expenses for that day.

3-4. The Court of Industrial Relations should not be confined by


technical and procedural rules in its quest for justice. Since the CIR is
a creature of the Legislature and even the rules of the legislature itself
must be liberally applied if strict adherence to it would result in the
denial of a person’s constitutional right, the CIR should not have
denied their motion for reconsideration. In doing so, the court divested
itself of their jurisdiction which renders their decision in favor of the
company null and void. The CIR rules against late filling cannot prevail
over basic Constitutional rights

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The eight officers of the PBMEO who were dismissed are thus
reinstated and are entitled to backwages.

Doctrines:

The rights of free expression, free assembly and petition are not only
civil rights but also political rights essential to man’s enjoyment of his
life, to his happiness and to his full and complete fulfillment.

Human rights are supreme over property rights since property rights
can be lost through prescription while human rights do not prescribe.

A constitutional or valid infringement of human rights requires a more


stringent criterion, namely EXISTENCE OF A GRAVE AND IMMEDIATE
DANGER OF A SUBSTANTIVE EVILWHICH THE STATE HAS THE RIGHT
TO PREVENT.

When a Court acts against the Constitution, its judgments and orders
become null and void.

A court may suspend its own rules whenever the purposes of justice
requires it.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
PEOPLE VS. CAYAT
68 PHIL 12 MAY 5, 1939

Facts: Cayat, being a member of the non-Christian tribes, was


accused for possessing one bottle of A-1-1 gin, an intoxicating liquor,
other than the so-called native wines and liquors which the members
of such tribes have been accustomed themselves to make prior to the
passage of Act No. 1639. The trial court found him guilty of the crime
charged and sentenced him to pay a fine of P50 or suffer subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency.

Issue: The accused challenges the constitutionality of the Act on the


following grounds:
(1) That it is discriminatory and denies the equal protection of the
laws;
(2) That it is violative of the due process clause of the Constitution;
and
(3) That it is an improper exercise of the police power of the state.

Held:

1. It is an established principle of constitutional law that the guaranty


of the equal protection of the laws is not violated by a legislation based
on reasonable classification. And the classification, to be reasonable,
(1) must rest on substantial distinctions; (2) must be germane to the
purposes of the law; (3) must not be limited to existing conditions
only; and (4) must apply equally to all members of the same class.

Act No. 1639 satisfies these requirements. The classification rests on


real or substantial, not merely imaginary or whimsical, distinctions. It
is not based upon "accident of birth or parentage," as counsel for the
appellant asserts, but upon the degree of civilization and culture. "The
term 'non-Christian tribes' refers, not to religious belief, but, in a way,
to the geographical area, and, more directly, to natives of the
Philippine Islands of a low grade of civilization, usually living in tribal
relationship apart from settled communities." (Rubi vs. Provincial
Board of Mindoro, supra.) This distinction is unquestionably
reasonable, for the Act was intended to meet the peculiar conditions
existing in the non-Christian tribes. The exceptional cases of certain
members thereof who at present have reached a position of cultural
equality with their Christian brothers, cannot affect the reasonableness
of the classification thus established.

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That it is germane to the purposes of law cannot be doubted. The
prohibition "to buy, receive, have in his possession, or drink any
ardent spirits, ale, beer, wine, or intoxicating liquors of any kind, other
than the so-called native wines and liquors which the members of such
tribes have been accustomed themselves to make prior to the passage
of this Act," is unquestionably designed to insure peace and order in
and among the non-Christian tribes. It has been the sad experience of
the past, as the observations of the lower court disclose, that the free
use of highly intoxicating liquors by the non-Christian tribes have often
resulted in lawlessness and crimes, thereby hampering the efforts of
the government to raise their standard of life and civilization.

The law is not limited in its application to conditions existing at the


time of its enactment. It is intended to apply for all times as long as
those conditions exist. The Act was not predicated, as counsel for
appellant asserts, upon the assumption that the non-Christians are
"impermeable to any civilizing influence." On the contrary, the
Legislature understood that the civilization of a people is a slow
process and that hand in hand with it must go measures of protection
and security.

Finally, that the Act applies equally to all members of the class is
evident from a perusal thereof. That it may be unfair in its operation
against a certain number of non-Christians by reason of their degree
of culture, is not an argument against the equality of its application.

2. Appellant contends that that provision of the law empowering any


police officer or other duly authorized agent of the government to
seize and forthwith destroy any prohibited liquors found unlawfully in
the possession of any member of the non-Christian tribes is violative
of the due process of law provided in the Constitution. But this
provision is not involved in the case at bar. Besides, to constitute due
process of law, notice and hearing are not always necessary. This rule
is especially true where much must be left to the discretion of the
administrative officials in applying a law to particular cases. Due
process of law means simply: (1) that there shall be a law prescribed
in harmony with the general powers of the legislative department of
the government; (2) that it shall be reasonable in its operation; (3)
that it shall be enforced according to the regular methods of procedure
prescribed; and (4) that it shall be applicable alike to all citizens of the
state or to all of a class. Thus a person's property may be seized by
the government in payment of taxes without judicial hearing; or

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property used in violation of law may be confiscated, or when the
Property constitutes corpus delicti, as in the instant case.

3. Neither is the Act an improper exercise of the police power of the


state. It has been said that the police power is the most insistent and
least limitable of all the powers of the government. It has been aptly
described as a power coextensive with self-protection and constitutes
the law of overruling necessity. Any measure intended to promote, the
health, peace, morals, education and good order of the people or to
increase the industries of the state, develop its resources and add to
its wealth and prosperity, is a legitimate exercise of the police power,
and unless shown to be whimsical or capricious as to unduly interfere
with the rights of an individual, the same must be upheld.

Act No. 1639, as above stated, is designed to promote peace and


order in the non-Christian tribes so as to remove all obstacles to their
moral and intellectual growth and, eventually, to hasten their
equalization and unification with the rest of their Christian brothers. Its
ultimate purpose can be no other than to unify the Filipino people with
a view to a greater Philippines.

The law, then, does not seek to mark the non-Christian tribes as "an
inferior or less capable race." On the contrary, all measures thus far
adopted in the promotion of the public policy towards them rest upon
a recognition of their inherent right to equality in the enjoyment of
those privileges now enjoyed by their Christian brothers. But as there
can be no true equality before the law, if there is, in fact, no equality
in education, the government has endeavored, by appropriate
measures, to raise their culture and civilization and secure for them
the benefits of their progress, with the ultimate end in view of placing
them with their Christian brothers on the basis of true equality. It is
indeed gratifying that the non-Christian tribes "far from retrograding,
are definitely asserting themselves in a competition world," as
appellant's attorney impressively avers, and that they are "a virile, up-
and-coming people eager to take their place in the world's social
scheme." As a matter of fact, there are now lawyers, doctors and other
professionals educated in the best institutions here and in America.
Their active participation in the multifarious welfare activities of
community life or in the delicate duties of government is certainly a
source of pride and gratification to people of the Philippines. But
whether conditions have so changed as to warrant a partial or
complete abrogation of the law, is a matter which rests exclusively
within the prerogative of the National Assembly to determine.

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In the constitutional scheme of our government, this court can go no
farther than to inquire whether the Legislature had the power to enact
the law. If the power exists, and we hold it does exist, the wisdom of
the policy adopted, and the adequacy under existing conditions of the
measures enacted to forward it, are matters which this court has no
authority to pass upon. And, if in the application of the law, the
educated non-Christians shall incidentally suffer, the justification still
exists in the all-comprehending principle of salus populi suprema est
lex. When the public safety or the public morals require the
discontinuance of a certain practice by a certain class of persons, the
hand of the Legislature cannot be stayed from providing for its
discontinuance by any incidental inconvenience which some members
of the class may suffer. The private interests of such members must
yield to the paramount interests of the nation.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
GASHEM SHOOKAT BAKSH VS. CA
GR 97336 FEBRUARY 19, 1993

Facts:

Private respondent filed a complaint against petitioner for breach of


their agreement that latter will marry her based on Article 21 of the
Civil Code.

Petitioner was an exchange student in the Philippines who courted and


promised marriage to private respondent. He asked her to live with
him and after he had took the virginity of private respondent, his
moods started to change and even became violent. He then wanted to
repudiate their agreement of marriage and confessed that he was
already married to someone else. This prompted private respondent
to file a case for damages wherein the trial court decided in her favor.
The trial court based its decision on (a) petitioner and private
respondent were lovers, (b) private respondent is not a woman of
loose morals or questionable virtue who readily submits to sexual
advances, (c) petitioner, through machinations, deceit and false
pretenses, promised to marry private respondent, d) because of his
persuasive promise to marry her, she allowed herself to be deflowered
by him, (e) by reason of that deceitful promise, private respondent
and her parents — in accordance with Filipino customs and traditions
— made some preparations for the wedding that was to be held at the
end of October 1987 by looking for pigs and chickens, inviting friends
and relatives and contracting sponsors, (f) petitioner did not fulfill his
promise to marry her and (g) such acts of the petitioner, who is a
foreigner and who has abused Philippine hospitality, have offended our
sense of morality, good customs, culture and traditions. CA affirmed
this decision.

Issue:

1. Whether or not Article 21 of the Civil Code is applicable to the case


at bar?

Held:

The existing rule is that a breach of promise to marry per se is not an


actionable wrong. Congress deliberately eliminated from the draft of
the New Civil Code the provisions that would have made it so. This

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notwithstanding, the said Code contains a provision, Article 21, which
is designed to expand the concept of torts or quasi-delict in this
jurisdiction by granting adequate legal remedy for the untold number
of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to specifically
enumerate and punish in the statute books. 20

As the Code Commission itself stated in its Report:

But the Code Commission had gone farther than the


sphere of wrongs defined or determined by positive law.
Fully sensible that there are countless gaps in the statutes,
which leave so many victims of moral wrongs helpless,
even though they have actually suffered material and
moral injury, the Commission has deemed it necessary, in
the interest of justice, to incorporate in the proposed Civil
Code the following rule:

Art. 23. Any person who wilfully causes loss or


injury to another in a manner that is contrary
to morals, good customs or public policy shall
compensate the latter for the damage.

An example will illustrate the purview of the foregoing


norm: "A" seduces the nineteen-year old daughter of "X".
A promise of marriage either has not been made, or can
not be proved. The girl becomes pregnant. Under the
present laws, there is no crime, as the girl is above
nineteen years of age. Neither can any civil action for
breach of promise of marriage be filed. Therefore, though
the grievous moral wrong has been committed, and though
the girl and family have suffered incalculable moral
damage, she and her parents cannot bring action for
damages. But under the proposed article, she and her
parents would have such a right of action.

Thus at one stroke, the legislator, if the forgoing rule is


approved, would vouchsafe adequate legal remedy for that
untold number of moral wrongs which it is impossible for
human foresight to provide for specifically in the statutes.
21

Article 2176 of the Civil Code, which defines a quasi-delict thus:

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Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another,
there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-
existing contractual relation between the parties, is called
a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this
Chapter.

is limited to negligent acts or omissions and excludes the notion


of willfulness or intent. Quasi-delict, known in Spanish legal
treatises as culpa aquiliana, is a civil law concept while torts is
an Anglo-American or common law concept. Torts is much
broader than culpa aquiliana because it includes not only
negligence, but international criminal acts as well such as assault
and battery, false imprisonment and deceit. In the general
scheme of the Philippine legal system envisioned by the
Commission responsible for drafting the New Civil Code,
intentional and malicious acts, with certain exceptions, are to be
governed by the Revised Penal Code while negligent acts or
omissions are to be covered by Article 2176 of the Civil Code. 22
In between these opposite spectrums are injurious acts which, in
the absence of Article 21, would have been beyond redress.
Thus, Article 21 fills that vacuum. It is even postulated that
together with Articles 19 and 20 of the Civil Code, Article 21 has
greatly broadened the scope of the law on civil wrongs; it has
become much more supple and adaptable than the Anglo-
American law on torts. 23

In the light of the above laudable purpose of Article 21, We are of the
opinion, and so hold, that where a man's promise to marry is in fact
the proximate cause of the acceptance of his love by a woman and his
representation to fulfill that promise thereafter becomes the proximate
cause of the giving of herself unto him in a sexual congress, proof that
he had, in reality, no intention of marrying her and that the promise
was only a subtle scheme or deceptive device to entice or inveigle her
to accept him and to obtain her consent to the sexual act, could justify
the award of damages pursuant to Article 21 not because of such
promise to marry but because of the fraud and deceit behind it and the
willful injury to her honor and reputation which followed thereafter. It
is essential, however, that such injury should have been committed in
a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public policy.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
VITARICH VS. NLRC
GR 121905, MAY 20, 1999

FACTS:

Private respondent was dismissed by petitioner due to the loss of trust


and confidence. This prompted the private respondent to file a case
against
petitioner for illegal dismissal. The Labor Arbiter decided in favor of
the private respondent, finding that there was indeed illegal dismissal
and absence of due process (as private respondent was never
informed through notice). This was appealed by the petitioner to the
NLRC, which decided intheir favor but later on abandoned its original
decision, in favor of the private respondent.l

ISSUE:
Whether or not the NLRC committed an abuse of discretion in
abandoning its original decision?

HELD:

No, the NLRC didn’t commit any abuse of discretion. Courts


have the inherent power to control and amend its processes and
orders as to make it comformable to law and justice, which includes
the right to amend its decisions, especially if it is its honest opinion
that it committed an error.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
RELAMPAGOS VS. CUMBA
GR 118861 APRIL 27, 1995

FACTS:

Petitioner and respondent are both candidates for a mayoralty


election in a certain town. In the said election, the latter was declared
the winner and this was protested by the petitioner in the trial court.

The trial court decided in favor of the petitioner, which prompted


the respondent to file a petition for appeal to the COMELEC.

The COMELEC then issued a resolution saying that they have the
exclusive jurisdiction over appeal concerning election cases and also, it
ordered for respondent to be reinstated to the position of mayor.

This was contested by petitioner saying that even if COMELEC’s


position is inherently compelling, its position should be given scant
consideration, given that the law wherein it based its contention was
only a temporary statute, only to be applied to a past Batasang
Pambansa election. Petitioner mentioned that COMELEC has
committed a grave abuse of its discretion.

ISSUE:
Whether or not there is merit to the stand of COMELEC having
exclusive jurisdiction over appeal of election cases?

HELD:

Yes there is. The COMELEC has been granted this through a
special law, Section 50 of BP 697:

B.P. Blg. 697, approved on March 14, 1984, is entitled "AN


ACT TO GOVERN THE ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF THE
BATASANG PAMBANSA ON MAY 14, 1984 AND THE
SELECTION OF SECTORAL REPRESENTATIVES
THEREAFTER, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND
FOR OTHER PURPOSES. Section 50 provides:

Sec. 50. Definition.— Pre-proclamation


controversy refers to any question pertaining
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to or affecting the proceedings of the Board of
Canvassers which may be raised by any
candidate, political party or coalition of political
parties before the board or directly with the
Commission.

The Commission Elections shall be the sole


judge and shall have exclusive jurisdiction over
all pre-proclamation controversies.

The Commission is hereby vested with exclusive authority


to hear and decide petitions for certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus involving election cases.(Emphasis supplied).

This special law wasn’t expressly repealed by the Omnibus


Election Code or is a temporary statute, as the petitioner wishes to
assert. In reference to the repealing clause of the Omnibus Election
Code:

Sec. 282. Repealing Clause. — Presidential Decree No.


1296 otherwise known as the The 1978 Election Code, as
amended, is hereby repealed. All other election Laws,
decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations or parts
thereof, inconsistent with the provisions of this Code is
hereby repealed, except Presidential Decree No. 1618 and
Batas Pambansa Blg. 20 governing the election of the
members of the Sangguniang Pampook of Regions IX and
XII. (Emphasis supplied)

The special law wasn’t expressly repealed and according to


jurisprudence, implied repeal of laws is frowned upon.

Furthermore, no body is more apt in entertaining appeals


through petitions of certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition other than
the COMELEC, which was vested by the Constitution to have exclusive
jurisdiction over appeal in election cases.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
ASTRAQUILLO VS. JAVIER
GR L-20034 JANUARY 30, 1965

FACTS:

The case at bar is an appeal of the decision of the CA to uphold


the trial court’s issuance of a writ of execution pending appeal.

The trial court, in a case filed by the petitioners against


respondents, decided in favor of the respondents, dismissing the
complaint and rendering the real estate mortgage void, and asking the
petitioners to pay respondents unpaid rentals, damages, and other
costs.

The petitioner filed with the court a notice of appeal, appeal


bond and record of appeal. The respondents then questioned the
record saying that it was incomplete and defective. The trial court
then ordered the appeal to be first perfected. While waiting for the
appeal to be perfected, the respondents moved for the issuance of a
writ of execution pending appeal, based on the alleged insolvency of
the petitioners.

The trial court approved this and it issued a writ of execution


prior appeal. This was appealed by the petitioners with the CA under
petition for certiorari. The CA on its original decision decided in favor
of petitioners and issued also a writ of preliminary injunction. On a
motion for reconsideration though by the respondents, the CA
reversed its decision and upheld the writ issued by the trial court.

This was questioned by the petitioners, saying that the


respondents didn’t raise any new issue in its motion for the CA to have
substantive reason to reverse its decision.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the CA erred in upholding the order of the trial
court to execute its decision pending appeal?

HELD:

The CA didn’t erred in upholding the writ of execution pending


appeal of the trial court.

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Under Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, it has been
established that it is discretionary upon the court if it will grant or deny
a motion and the appellate courts will not interfere to modify, control
or inquire upon such discretion unless there is abuse thereof.

In the case at bar, respondents were able to show records and


even the testimonies of the petitioners themselves to prove their
claims. The trial court acknowledged this and found it to be
substantial, moving it to use its power to grant the respondent’s
motion. The CA affirmed this in its disputed resolution.

The contention of the petitioners about the lack of substantial


reason for the CA to reverse its original decision is bereft of merit.
Under the Revised Rules of Court, courts have the power to amend
and control its orders and processes to make them conform to law and
justice. Courts have the right to reverse themselves especially when it
is their honest opinion that they have committed an error or mistake in
their judgment.

Furthermore, considering the facts are binding since in appeals


through Rule 45 the CA’s decision is conclusive with regard to facts
and cannot be disturbed by the SC, the SC finds that there has been
no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the SC in upholding the
writ of execution. Also, the insolvency of petitioner doesn’t need to be
proven directly, but it could be inferred through the circumstances
shown and raised.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
SERRANO VS. NLRC
GR 117040 MAY 04, 2000

FACTS:

Private respondent terminated petitioner along with other employees


under security checker due to the employment of cost-saving devices.
The employees, except for petitioner, were given one-month pay for
every year of service, their last salaries, and their proportionate 13th
money. Petitioner didn’t give his reaction to the offer as he didn’t
show up during the time the separation pay was given. He filed for
illegal dismissal and the Labor Arbiter decided in his favor, saying that
he wasn’t afforded due process. All he received was a dismissal later
saying he was being laid off due to retrenchment without any mention
that the laying off employees would lessen costs. The labor arbiter
decided for petitioner to be paid full backwages and be reinstated.

Private respondent appealed the decision to the NLRC, which reversed


the decision of the labor arbiter. The NLRC said that petitioner was
afforded due process. Article 283 or 284 mentions that for authorized
causes of termination, 30-day notice or in lieu thereof, 30 days pay.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the notice requirement has been complied with
to effectuate a legal dismissal?

HELD:

No. The law requires that a written notice should be served to


the employee who is about to be dismissed. The private respondent
doesn’t have the right to substitute the rights of his employees by
giving them 30-days pay than giving them notice. The written notice
shall afford time to employee of his eventual loss and for the DOLE to
ascertain if there was indeed an authorized cause for termination.
Furthermore, providing for the payment of full backwages for failure of
an employer to give notice, seeks to vindicate the employee's right to
notice before he is dismissed or laid off, while recognizing the right of
the employer to dismiss for any of the just causes enumerated in Art.
282 or to terminate employment for any of the authorized causes
mentioned in Arts. 283-284. 11 The order to pay full backwages is a
consequence of the employer's action in dismissing an employee
without notice which makes said dismissal ineffectual. 12 The employee

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is considered not to have been terminated from his employment until
it is finally determined that his dismissal/termination of employment
was for cause and, therefore, he should be paid his salaries in the
interim.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
PEOPLE VS. MAPA
20 SCRA 1164 (1967)

FACTS:

Accused was found in possession of a homemade gun without any


license or permit. A case was filed against him for violation of Section
878 of the New Administrative Code, or illegal possession of firearm
and ammunition. He was a secret agent for the provincial governor
and this he raised as defense for the possession of his firearm. The
trial court found him guilty of the offense.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the appointment as secret agent of a provincial
governor constitutes sufficient defense for the crime of illegal
possession of firearm and ammunition.

HELD:

No. The law is explicit that except as thereafter specifically


allowed, "it shall be unlawful for any person to . . . possess any
firearm, detached parts of firearms or ammunition therefor, or any
instrument or implement used or intended to be used in the
manufacture of firearms, parts of firearms, or ammunition."5 The next
section provides that "firearms and ammunition regularly and lawfully
issued to officers, soldiers, sailors, or marines [of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines], the Philippine Constabulary, guards in the
employment of the Bureau of Prisons, municipal police, provincial
governors, lieutenant governors, provincial treasurers, municipal
treasurers, municipal mayors, and guards of provincial prisoners and
jails," are not covered "when such firearms are in possession of such
officials and public servants for use in the performance of their official
duties.”

Furthermore, with regard to a prior ruling in People vs.


Macarandang wherein a secret agent was sustained as equivalent a
peace officer and thus, allowed to possess firearms and ammunition,
since it conflicts with this decision, it doesn’t anymore speak of
authority.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
2OTH CENTURY FOX FILM CORP. VS. CA
164 SCRA 655 (1988)

FACTS:

Petitioner sought assistance of NBI to conduct searches and seizures in


connection with the latter’s anti-piracy campaign. In its letter-
complaint, the petitioner alleged that certain videotape outlets all over
Metro Manila were engaged in the unauthorized sale and renting out of
copyrighted films, in violation of PD 449 or Decree on the Protection of
Intellectual Property.

Acting on the letter-complaint, the NBI conducted surveillance and


investigation of the outlets pinpointed by petitioner and subsequently
filed applications for search warrants. The desired search warrants
were issued.

But acting on a filed Motion to Lift Search Warrants, the trial court
withdrew the warrants. This was affirmed by the CA.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the search warrants were properly lifted due to
lack of probable cause?

HELD:

Section 2, Article 3 of the Constitution mentions that no warrant


shall be issue except upon probable cause. This constitutional
guarantee is a time-honored precept, which circumscribes government
action with regard to the pronouncement of a search warrant.

The court had occasion to define probable cause for a valid


search “as such facts and circumstances which would lead a
reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has
been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the
offense are in the place sought to be searched”. The court held that
the constitutional provision demands “no less than personal knowledge
by the complainant or his witnesses of the facts upon which the
issuance of the search warrant may be justified” in order to convince
the judge, not the individual making the affidavit and seeking the
issuance of the search warrant.

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In the case at bar, the lower courts lifted the warrants on the
ground that when they issued the warrants, it was due to the
misrepresentations of NBI agents that copyright infringement or a
piracy of a film was being committed. The court ruled that there was
no probable cause. As found by the lower court, there was no
personal knowledge on the part of the agents. It was only petitioner’s
counsel who had personal knowledge since he was present when the
searches were being done and identified the confiscated tapes as
taken from the master tapes of petitioner.

It was thus ruled that the master tapes be presented from which
the copyrighted films were allegedly copied, which was necessary for
the validity of the search warrants against those who allegedly
engaged in pirated films. The court cannot presume that the
duplicates were taken from the master tapes that petitioner owns.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
COLUMBIA PICTURES VS. CA
261 SCRA 144

FACTS:

Petitioner lodged a formal complaint with the NBI for violation of PD


49, as amended. Agents of the NBI made discreet surveillance on
various video establishments in Metro Manila, including private
respondent.

An application for search warrant was undertaken by NBI, whose


affidavits and depositions were taken. These were corroborated by
two other witnesses. The search warrant sought was duly issued and
a search was conducted by the NBI and in the course of the search,
they found and seized various video tapes of duly copyrighted films of
petitioner as well as equipment and materials.

A Motion To Lift Search Warrant was filed but was later denied.
Thereafter, a motion for reconsideration of the Order was filed. The
court granted the said motion and justified it on the ground that the
master tapes of the copyrighted films were never presented.

At appeal, the CA sustained the decision of the trial court.

ISSUES:

Whether or not the ruling in the 20th Century Fox case could be applied
in deciding the present case?

HELD:

No. Laws and judicial decisions should be applied prospectively,


unless the contrary is provided, as given by the Civil Code. The 20th
Century Fox ruling couldn’t be applied in this case since the incident in
this case happened before the ruling was ever upheld. Furthermore,
the ruling in the 20th Century Fox case should only serve as a
guidepost. It is not always necessary to present the master tapes
before one can ascertain probable cause.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASES
EBRALINAG VS. DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
219 SCRA 256 DECEMBER 29, 1995

FACTS:

Petitioners in the present case are children of parents who were


members of the religious sect Jehovah’s witnesses. They were
expelled from their schools, in violation of RA1265, which penalizes
educational institutions that refuses or doesn’t perform the flag
ceremony. The school children didn’t want to participate in the flag
ceremony and patriotic pledge. They didn’t want to participate since it
is their religious belief that such would amount to idolatry.

Respondent contends that his actions were just in accordance to


the ruling in the Gerona case:

The flag is not an image but a symbol of the Republic of the


Philippines, an emblem of national sovereignty, of national unity
and cohesion and of freedom and liberty which it and the
Constitution guarantee and protect. Considering the complete
separation of church and state in our system of government, the
flag is utterly devoid of any religious significance. Saluting the
flag consequently does not involve any religious ceremony. . . .

After all, the determination of whether a certain ritual is or is not


a religious ceremony must rest with the courts. It cannot be left to a
religious group or sect, much less to a follower of said group or sect;
otherwise, there would be confusion and misunderstanding for there
might be as many interpretations and meanings to be given to a
certain ritual or ceremony as there are religious groups or sects or
followers.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the students were validly expelled?

HELD:

No. The Gerona case was reexamined by the Court and


ruled that compelling one to take part in a flag ceremony would
undermine one’s constitutional rights, especially the Free Exercise
Clause. The Court likewise explained the 2-fold aspect of religious
freedom, (1) the absolute freedom to believe as long as such is limited
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within the realm of thought, (2) the freedom to act on one’s belief,
which may be regulated. It underscored the rule that the only
justification for relief is the existence of clear and present danger, both
grave and imminent, which is of serious evil to public interest.

In the case at bar, the Court held that the Jehovah’s Witnesses’
non-participation in the flag ceremony in no way poses a clear and
present danger to society. Thus, restraint on the part of the
government would be unjustified. Moreover, the petitioner’s right to
quality education, as granted by the Constitution was likewise violated
by effecting the expulsion.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW: CASE DIGESTS
SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. ERMITA
GR 169777 APRIL 20, 20006

FACTS:

This is a petition questioning the constitutionality of EO 464.

The Senate issued invitations to various officials of the Executive


Department to inquire about the unlawful provisions found in the
contract for the North Rail project and other concerns. These officials
issued replies which that they wouldn’t be able to show up due to
other pending matters they should cater to. This kind of incident was
repeated for several times. This prompted the Senate President to
deny the latest decline of Ermita to show up in Senate. After this,
EO464 was declared by the President. EO464 is as follows:

“ENSURING OBSERVANCE OF THE PRINCIPLE OF SEPARATION


OF POWERS, ADHERENCE TO THE RULE ON EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE
AND RESPECT FOR THE RIGHTS OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS APPEARING IN
LEGISLATIVE INQUIRIES IN AID OF LEGISLATION UNDER THE
CONSTITUTION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES,” which, pursuant to
Section 6 thereof, took effect immediately. The salient provisions of
the Order are as follows:

SECTION 1. Appearance by Heads of Departments Before


Congress. – In accordance with Article VI, Section 22 of
the Constitution and to implement the Constitutional
provisions on the separation of powers between co-equal
branches of the government, all heads of departments
of the Executive Branch of the government shall
secure the consent of the President prior to
appearing before either House of Congress.
When the security of the State or the public interest so
requires and the President so states in writing, the
appearance shall only be conducted in executive session.
SECTION. 2. Nature, Scope and Coverage of Executive Privilege.

(a) Nature and Scope. - The rule of confidentiality based
on executive privilege is fundamental to the operation of
government and rooted in the separation of powers under
the Constitution (Almonte vs. Vasquez, G.R. No. 95367, 23

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May 1995). Further, Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of
Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and
Employees provides that Public Officials and Employees
shall not use or divulge confidential or classified
information officially known to them by reason of their
office and not made available to the public to prejudice the
public interest.
Executive privilege covers all confidential or classified
information between the President and the public officers
covered by this executive order, including:
i. Conversations and correspondence
between the President and the public
official covered by this executive order
(Almonte vs. Vasquez G.R. No. 95367,
23 May 1995; Chavez v. Public Estates
Authority, G.R. No. 133250, 9 July
2002);
ii. Military, diplomatic and other national
security matters which in the interest of
national security should not be divulged
(Almonte vs. Vasquez, G.R. No. 95367,
23 May 1995; Chavez v. Presidential
Commission on Good Government, G.R.
No. 130716, 9 December 1998).
iii. Information between inter-government
agencies prior to the conclusion of
treaties and executive agreements
(Chavez v. Presidential Commission on
Good Government, G.R. No. 130716, 9
December 1998);
iv. Discussion in close-door Cabinet
meetings (Chavez v. Presidential
Commission on Good Government, G.R.
No. 130716, 9 December 1998);
v. Matters affecting national security and
public order (Chavez v. Public Estates
Authority, G.R. No. 133250, 9 July
2002).
(b) Who are covered. – The following are covered by this
executive order:
i. Senior officials of executive departments who
in the judgment of the department heads
are covered by the executive privilege;

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ii. Generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces
of the Philippines and such other officers who
in the judgment of the Chief of Staff are
covered by the executive privilege;
iii. Philippine National Police (PNP) officers with
rank of chief superintendent or higher and
such other officers who in the judgment of the
Chief of the PNP are covered by the executive
privilege;
iv. Senior national security officials who in the
judgment of the National Security Adviser are
covered by the executive privilege; and
v. Such other officers as may be determined by
the President.
SECTION 3. Appearance of Other Public Officials Before
Congress. – All public officials enumerated in Section
2 (b) hereof shall secure prior consent of the
President prior to appearing before either House of
Congress to ensure the observance of the principle of
separation of powers, adherence to the rule on executive
privilege and respect for the rights of public officials
appearing in inquiries in aid of legislation. (Emphasis and
underscoring supplied)

On the same date wherein EO464 was declared, Senate


President Drilon received a copy thereof from Ermita, mentioning that
the officials invited wouldn’t be able to attend because they don’t have
prior consent from the President, pursuant to EO464. Nonetheless,
the inquiry went on and the military officials who showed up were
relieved of their military posts and were due to Court Marshall.

This prompted the petitions filed with the Supreme Court,


alleging that EO 464 is unconstitutional as it violates certain
constitutional provisions.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not EO 464 contravenes the power to inquire by
Congress?
2. Whether or not EO 464 violates the right of the people to
information with regard to public concern?
3. Whether or not the implementation of EO 464 without prior
publication in a newspaper of general circulation constitutes
grave abuse of discretion.
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HELD:

To answer the first issue, general powers of inquiry of Congress


as well as the definition of executive privilege should be discussed.

General power of inquiry by Congress is mandated by the


Constitution, under Section 21, Article 6:
SECTION 21. The Senate or the House of Representatives
or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries
in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published
rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or
affected by such inquiries shall be respected.
(Underscoring supplied)

The power of inquiry of Congress is grounded to the fact that


information is necessity in legislation. If it is valuable to legislation,
executive department officials can then be called by Congress to
answer inquiries. On one hand, the Executive department might
invoke the executive privilege, which is grounded on the doctrine of
separation of powers. Even so, not all information can be under the
so-called executive privilege that the executive department will
preclude the power of inquiry of Congress.

To be able to directly answer the first issue, parts of EO464


should be analyzed individually.

With regard to Section 1 of EO464, it pertains to department


heads and unlike Section 3, there is no need for prior determination if
they are under the provisions of EO 464. Further, Section 1 doesn’t
pertain to any information and doesn’t invoke the executive privilege.
Furthermore, Section 1 is grounded on Article 6, Section 22 of the
Constitution which says:
SECTION 22. The heads of departments may upon their
own initiative, with the consent of the President, or upon
the request of either House, as the rules of each House
shall provide, appear before and be heard by such House
on any matter pertaining to their departments. Written
questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate
or the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least
three days before their scheduled appearance.
Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions, but
may cover matters related thereto. When the security of
the State or the public interest so requires and the
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President so states in writing, the appearance shall be
conducted in executive session

Following the intent and meaning of the abovementioned


section, it can be followed that there are two types of Congressional
inquiry—one is the question hour and the other is the inquiry in aid of
legislation. While it is discretionary for executive officials to show up
during question hours, it is mandatory for them to show up during
inquiries in aid of legislation. This power of Congress lies in the
doctrine of separation of powers. This doctrine strengthens the
essence of Congress inquiring with the executive branch, especially in
the performance of its legislative functions. Thus, Section 1 in its face
is valid, though it can only be invoked during inquiries in the question
hour, and not during inquiries for aid of legislation.

With regard to Section 2(b) and 3, the enumeration of public


officials that should get prior consent from the President before
appearing in Congress, and those officials by determination of their
heads are covered by executive privilege, is too broad. It also includes
other officials that may be determined by the President. Such is
underlined by executive privilege. In Section 2b, executive privilege is
being misused. It is used in context of persons wherein it should be in
context of information. Even so, it could just be implied that the
persons concerned hold such information.

It should be noted that in Section 2b and 3, there is implied


claim of executive privilege whenever an official invokes EO 464. But
accordingly, the claim of executive privilege shouldn’t be taken lightly.
There should be assertion of this claim as well as basis. Thus, with
regard to Section 3 wherein there is no mention of any basis on why
such invocation of executive privilege, it is invalid per se.

Furthermore, it should be invalidated due to the unlawful


delegation of authority exercised by heads of office, when they
determine that a certain information falls under the executive
privilege, there is presumption of the President’s authorization and has
the effect of prohibiting an official from showing up in Congress. Such
silent authorization is contrary to the essence of executive privilege. It
is limited to the President to determine if information is under
executive privilege. If he delegates such authority, it should still be by
his order.

On the second issue, there is difference between the right of


Congress to information, which underlies their power of inquiry and
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the right of the people to information due to public concern. When
officials unduly limit disclosures of information during inquiries in aid of
legislation, which are generally made public, consequentially, the
public’s right to information is being impaired. Thus, it is a
consequence of EO 464 that the right to information of the general
public is being impaired.

On the third issue, there was grave abuse of discretion. Even if


the order pertains to officials of the executive department, it is not an
excuse for it not to be published. Indirectly, it affects the general
public and thus general circulation should have been facilitated before
its implementation.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
PANAMA REFINING CO. V. RYAN
293 U.S. 388

FACTS:

• Historical background:
o One of the economic problems caused by the Great
Depression was faltering oil prices. This was due to
overproduction and a general economic slowdown.
o The oil industry sought Congressional intervention to
control the situation.
• President issued Executive Order 6199 on July 11, 1933, banning
interstate oil shipments if the oil was produced in excess of state
quotas.
o Basis for this EO was section 9(c) of title 1 of the National
Industrial Recovery Act, which authorizes the President to
prohibit transportation of excess oil and prescribes
punishment of a fine, imprisonment, or both.
• President issued Executive Order 6204 on July 14, 1933,
authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to exercise authority as
vested in the President in enforcing section 9(c) and EO 6199.
• Secretary of the Interior issued regulations to carry out EO 6199
and 6204 on July 15, 1933.
o Regulation IV: Every producer of petroleum should file a
monthly statement giving information on the company and
oil production.
o Regulation V: Every purchaser/shipper/refiner of
petroleum should file a monthly statement giving
information on the company and oil production.
o Regulation VII: Aforementioned should keep adequate
books and records of all transactions involving the
production and transportation of petroleum and petroleum
products.
• Further EOs:
o President issued “Petroleum Code” (Code of Fair
Competition for the Petroleum Industry) on August 19,
1933 regulating the production of petroleum as deemed
necessary by each state’s requirement.
o President issued an EO on August 28, 1933 designating the
Sec. of the Interior as the Administrator and the
Department of the Interior as the federal agency, to

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exercise on behalf of the President all powers vested in
him under that Act and Code.
• The Panama Refining Co. and the Amazon Petroleum Corp.
pressed suits on October 1933 to restrain the defendants
(federal officials) from enforcing the restrictions on the
production and disposition of oil.
• Court of three judges denied injunction and dismissed the bill as
against the defendants.
• District Judge granted a permanent injunction.
• Circuit Court of Appeals reversed decrees against the federal
officials and directed that the bills be dismissed.
• Cases came to the Supreme Court on writs of certiorari.

ISSUE:

Whether or not certain regulatory measures (EO 6199, 6204, and


regulations) have constitutional validity.

RULING:

EO 6199, 6204 and the regulations issued by the Sec. of the Interior
are without constitutional authority.

In trying to regulate the transportation of oil production in excess of


state permission, “the Congress has declared no policy, has
established no standard, has laid down no rule. There is no
requirement, no definition of circumstances and conditions in which
the transportation is to be allowed or prohibited.”

Congress had failed to provide a “primary standard” to guide the


executive branch. This oversight allowed the president to act as he
pleased rather than within an administrative role.

This gives the President “unlimited authority to determine the policy…


as he may see fit. And disobedience to his order is made a crime
punishable by fine and imprisonment.”

This “hot oil” provision was seen as an unconstitutional delegation of


legislative powers to the executive branch, thus violating the doctrine
of separation of powers.

RATIO:

From the U.S. Constitution:


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Article 1
Section 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a
Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and
House of Representatives.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
HOLY SEE VS. HON. ROSARIO
GR 101949 DECEMBER 1, 1999

FACTS:

Petitioner, a sovereign state due to the Lateran treaty, agreed to sell 3


parcels of land to Ramon Licup. The lots were donated to petitioner
for the residence of the papal nuncio. There was an agreement that
the earnest money will be given to the petitioner and it will clear the
land of squatters. Within the same period, Licup has assigned his
rights to the property to private respondent. The squatters refused to
leave and Msgr. Cirilos proposed that either the private respondent
take action for the eviction of the squatters or the earnest money
would be returned. The private respondent counter-proposed that if it
would undertake the eviction, the selling price should be lowered
down. Msgr. Cirilos returned the earnest money and wrote that
private respondent should pay the purchase price. Private
respondents returned the earnest money and later found out that the
lands were sold to Tropicana Corporation without their knowledge.
Private respondent is demanding rescission of the sale to Tropicana
and the reconveyance of the lots, to no avail. Private respondent
alleges that it incurred a big loss in profits since it had already made
plans of developing the lots but didn’t push through due to the sale to
Tropicana. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the case, contending it
has state immunity, but this was denied. The trial court said that
when the petitioner entered into the commercial transaction, it had
shed off its sovereign immunity.

ISSUES:

Whether or not the petitioner enjoys sovereign immunity?

HELD:

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations recognizes the right of


a foreign sovereignty to acquire property, either real or personal,
necessary to the creation and maintenance of its diplomatic mission.
It wasn’t disputed that the land sold wasn’t purchased for profit or
gain. It was actually donated by the Archdiocese of Manila for the
residence of the papal nuncio. Further, it has been provided in our
Constitution the general principle of law that a diplomatic envoy is
granted immunity from the civil and administrative jurisdiction of the

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receiving state over any real action relating to private immovable
property situated in the territory of the receiving state, which the
envoy holds on behalf of the sending state for purposes of the mission.
If this immunity is granted the envoy, all the more it is applicable as
regards the sovereign itself, which is the petitioner.

With regard to the intervention of the DFA in the case, and its
certification of the sovereign immunity of petitioner is a political
question and is conclusive upon the courts. When the plea of
sovereign immunity is affirmed and recognized by the executive
branch, courts should accept such claim as not to embarrass the
executive branch of the government.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA VS. VINZON
GR 154703 JUNE 26, 2003

FACTS:

Petitioner, through its counsel, has entered into a Maintenance


Agreement with the private respondent, for the maintenance of some
of their office equipment. Prior to the expiration of the agreement,
private respondent was informed that the continuance of the
agreement would depend on the decision of the incoming Chief
Administrator. Upon arrival of the new Chief administrator, it found
that the services rendered by private respondent were unsatisfactory
and thus, didn’t want to renew the Maintenance Agreement and it was
terminated. Private respondent contends that the termination was
arbitrary and unlawful, prompting him to sue the petitioner.

The petitioner moved for the case to dismiss, stating that it has
sovereign immunity. Private respondent opposes this by citing a
clause in the Agreement, which says “any legal action arising from the
Maintenance Agreement shall be settled according to the laws of the
Philippines and by the proper court of Makati City.”

The trial court denied the motion to dismiss and this was appealed to
the CA for the alleged grave abuse of discretion of the trial court. The
CA affirmed the decision to deny petitioner’s motion. The CA said that
the petitioner waived its sovereign immunity by agreeing to the
abovementioned clause.

ISSUES:

Whether or not the CA erred in upholding the decision of the trial court
in denying the motion to dismiss?

HELD:

Yes.

International law is founded on shared principles of comity, equality,


reciprocity, and independence of states, which is included in our
Constitution. The rule that a State cannot be sued without its consent
is in accordance to equality and independence of states. In the
changing and continuous evolution of international law though, there

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came a restrictive theory, wherein sovereign immunity only applies to
public acts or jure imperii, and not to private acts or jure gestionis.

In the present case, the mere entrance of a sovereign state into a


contract doesn’t automatically make it a test if the act was jure imperii
or jure gestionis. It should be asked if such was in accordance to the
creation or maintenance of the diplomatic mission. Also, the clause
wherein it mentions that any legal action arising from the Agreement
shall be settled in accordance to Philippine laws and in the proper
courts in Makati City, doesn’t necessarily mean that petitioner waived
its sovereign immunity already. Submission of a foreign state to
local jurisdiction should be clear and unequivocal. It should be
explicitly given or with necessary implication. None was present in the
agreement.

Furthermore, the establishment of a diplomatic mission is undisputedly


a jure imperii. Its establishment entails maintenance and upkeep.
Thus, the state can enter into contracts for the maintenance and
upkeep of its premises and equipment, to ensure the maintenance of
their diplomatic mission.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF EDUCATORS VS. QUISIMBING
GR 128845 JUNE 1, 2000

FACTS:

International School hires both foreign and local teachers to


accommodate its students of different nationalities and classifies the
two as foreign-hires and local-hires. The foreign-hires receive more
benefits and salaries than the local-hires, the argument of the private
respondent being to entice the foreign hires to stay and also the
dislocation factor.

The petitioner is the labor union of the local hires in the said school.
There came a deadlock in CBA negotiations between them and the
school, especially with regard to the compensation scheme. They filed
a notice to stike and the DOLE took jurisdiction of the case. The DOLE
decided in favor of the school, following that there was valid
classification of the foreign hires and local hires. Hence, the case at
bar.

ISSUES:

Whether or not the foreign hires should be given a higher pay than the
local hires?

HELD:

Public policy frowns against discrimination and inequality. This has


been enshrined not only in the fundamental law of the land but also in
the labor code. The Constitution clearly provides that it is the right of
workers for humane conditions in work. This doesn’t only pertain to
the physical workplace but also to how the employers treat their
employees. The discrepancy of treatment between the foreign hires
and local hires should be frowned at. They are doing the same
services of same value. Equal pay should be given to them for equal
work of equal value. It is bereft of merit to contend that the foreign
hires are given more than the local hires due to the dislocation factor,
limited tenure, and to attract them to teach in the school.
Discrimination in wages is abhorred in our Labor Code and
furthermore, wages shouldn’t be used by the school in attracting the
foreign hires.

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INTRODUCTION TO LAW CASE DIGESTS
SECRETARY OF JUSTICE VS. LANTION
GR 139465 JANUARY 18, 2000

FACTS:

An extradition request was given by the US government to the


Department of Justice of the Philippines for the extradition of Mark
Jimenez for accusation of several crimes in the US. This was in
accordance to the Extradition Treaty of the Philippines and US. Upon
the receipt of such request, the DOJ arranged for a panel of lawyers to
evaluate and assess such request.

Jimenez requested for a copy of the said extradition papers so that he


could have ample time to comment on the said accusations and he
also requested for the abeyance of the proceedings. This was denied
by petitioner, saying that the US requested that there be no
unauthorized disclosure of the papers, that it is too premature for
Jimenez to be furnished the papers, and also, that the DOJ doesn’t
have authority to hold abeyance proceedings in an extradition request
since in a treaty, there must be expeditious action upon a receipt of an
extradition request.

This prompted Jimenez to file with the trial court a writ of mandamus,
prohibition, and certiorari and the court issued a temporary restraining
order against petitioner. Hence, this case at bar.

ISSUES:

Whether or not one’s rights to due process is indispensable in


extradition proceedings?

Whether or not the accordance of due process to a future extraditee


constitutes a breach of the extradition treaty of the US and
Philippines? If yes, is one’s right to due process in conflict with the
treaty?

HELD:

On the first issue, no, an individual’s right to due process is not


dispensible even in extradition proceedings. It may not be mentioned
in the extradition treaty nor in the statute implementing it,
nonetheless, this does not mean that it should be foregone. A

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person’s right to due process—the procedural aspect—may only be
foregone in the following circumstances:

1. In proceeding where there is an urgent need for immediate action,


like the summary abatement of a nuisance per se (Article 704, Civil
Code), the preventive suspension of a public servant facing
administrative charges (Section 63, Local Government Code, B.P. Blg.
337), the padlocking of filthy restaurants or theaters showing obscene
movies or like establishments which are immediate threats to public
health and decency, and the cancellation of a passport of a person
sought for criminal prosecution;

2. Where there is tentativeness of administrative action, that is, where


the respondent is not precluded from enjoying the right to notice and
hearing at a later time without prejudice to the person affected, such
as the summary distraint and levy of the property of a delinquent
taxpayer, and the replacement of a temporary appointee; and

3. Where the twin rights have previously been offered but the right to
exercise them had not been claimed.

Using the abovementioned conditions, not one is satisfied by the


extradition proceedings. Furthermore, it may be absent in the statute
and treaty, but it constitutionally guaranteed. The constitution not
only guarantees one’s right to due process but also the right to
information regarding public concern.

On the second issue, there is a rule called pacta sunt servada in


international law, that requires the parties in a treaty to perform their
obligations. This has even been mentioned in our Constitution.
Under the doctrine of incorporation, international law forms part of the
land and no legislative action is needed to make it applicable in the
domestic sphere. This doctrine is used to settle conflicts in municipal
tribunals between international law and municipal law. The two should
be harmonize together but if it happens that it is irreconcilable, then
the international law should yield to municipal law for the reason that
such are organs of municipal law and accordingly bound by it in all
circumstances.

There is no conflict with regard to the treaty and municipal law, they
are actually intertwined. It doesn’t matter if the treaty is void on any
provision on one’s right to due process, nonetheless, then the rules of
fair play should be employed. An application of one’s right to notice
and hearing wouldn’t conflict anything with the extradition proceeding.
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In administrative proceedings, one has the right to explain himself and
seek consideration of whatever resolution was made.

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