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Basis (Republic vs. Villasor, 54 SCRA 83)
How may consent of the State to be sued given?
When is a suit against a public official deemed to be a suit against the State?
What are the instances when a suit against the State is proper?
May the government validly invoke the doctrine of State immunity from suit if its invocation will serve as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice on a citizen?
Leslie Riego Balgemino Master of Arts in Teaching Social Science Advance Constitution
Such execution will require another waiver. The doctrine is also available to foreign states insofar as they are sought to be sued in the courts of the local state. 327 as amended by P. under which one state cannot assert jurisdiction over another in violation of the maxim par in parem non habet imperium. express or implied. The added basis in this case is the principle of the sovereign equality of states. 54 SCRA 83) The Doctrine of State Immunity sometimes called “the royal prerogative of dishonesty” as declared in the Constitution affirms.A. To do so would “unduly vex the peace of nations. The general law providing for the standing consent of the State to be sued is Act No.” Under C. 3083. Villasor. Implied consent is given when the State itself commences litigation or when it enters into a contract. 2. This provision is merely recognition of the sovereign character of the state and an express affirmation of the unwritten rule insulating it from the jurisdiction of the courts of justice. Another justification is the practical consideration that the demands and inconveniences of litigation will divert the time and resources of the state from the more pressing matters demanding its attention. Basis (Republic vs. According to Justice Holmes the doctrine of non-suability is based not on any formal conception or obsolete theory but on the logical and practical ground that there can be no legal right against the authority. Express consent may be manifested either through a general law or a special law. which makes the law on which the right depends. a claim against the government must first be filed with the Commission on Audit. “ The state may not be sued without its consent”. The express consent of the State to be sued must be embodied in a duly enacted statute and may not be given by a mere counsel of the government. lacking which the decision cannot be enforced against the State. It should also be observed that when the State gives its consent to be sued.Answer 1. which must act upon it within sixty (60) days. declaring that “the Government of the Philippine Islands hereby consents and submits to be sued upon any moneyed claim involving liability arising from contract.D. 1445. it does not thereby also to the execution of the judgment against it. No. 2 . to the prejudice of the public welfare. How may consent of the State to be sued given? The consent of the state to be sued may be given expressly or impliedly. No. which could serve as a basis of civil action between private parties. Rejection of the claim will authorize the claimant to elevate the matter to the Supreme Court on certiorari and in effect sue the state with its consent.
An incorporated agency has a charter of its own that invests it with a separate juridical personality. 4. or to recover from him taxes unlawfully assessed or collected. A public officer may be impleaded to require him to do a duty required by law. express or implied. its express consent should be ask and be manifested through a general law or a special law. enforcement thereof will require an affirmative act from the State. It has been held also that where an action is filed against a public officer for recovery only of title or possession of property claimed to be held by him in his official capacity. It is important then. If this is shown. To sue the State. the said action is not a suit against the State for which prior waiver of immunity is required. On the other hand. inasmuch as it allowance would require the government to appropriate the necessary amount for the satisfaction of the judgment. such as the appropriation of the needed amount to satisfy the judgment. has given its consent to be sued. the action can be dismissed as a suit against the State unless its immunity had been previously waived. as the principal that may ultimately be held liable. Assuming the decision is rendered against the public officer impleaded. while the implied consent is given when the State commences litigation or the state entering into a contract. it must be ascertained whether or not the State. These are: When the Republic is sued by name. If suit is filed against one of the government entities. like the Social Security System. to determine if the State is the real party in interest. the officer impleaded may by himself alone comply with the decision of the court without the necessity o involving the State. that is.3. the suit is one against the State and its inclusion as party defendant is necessary. Lastly. What are the instances when a suit against the State is proper? Three instances are considered suit against the state. But it is different where there is an addition a claim for recovery of damages. which could serve as a basis of civil action between private parties. When is a suit against a public official deemed to be a suit against the State? Because actions are rarely instituted directly against the Republic of the Philippines. then the suit can prosper against him and will not be considered a claim against the State. such as accrued rentals. The general law that provides for the consent of the State to be sued is Act No. any injury caused by him is his own personal liability and cannot be imputed to the State. If it does. 3083 (“the Government of the Philippine Islands hereby consents and submits to be sued upon any moneyed claim involving liability arising from contract. When an Unincorporated government agency is sued. when a public officer acts without or in excess of jurisdiction.”). There are many instances when a public officer may be sued in his official capacity without the necessity of first obtaining the consent of the State to be sued. This ascertainment will depend in the first instance on whether the government agency impleaded is incorporated or unincorporated. If on the other hand. the usual practice is to file such claims not against the State itself but against the officer of the government who is supposed to discharge the responsibility or grant the redressed demanded. or to restrain him from doing an act alleged to be unconstitutional or illegal. the University of the Philippines and the City of Manila. that the claim if proved will be a direct liability of the State and not merely of the officer impleaded. the unincorporated agency has no separate juridical 3 .
In fine. the Bureau of Mines and the Government Printing Office.personality but is merged in the general machinery of the government. it would mean loss of government property. First is that it must require the government to disburse public funds to satisfy any award in that case or an amount is appropriated. or incidentally in proprietary enterprises. This being so. Unincorporated agency. May the government validly invoke the doctrine of State immunity from suit if its invocation will serve as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice on a citizen? Although the doctrine of State immunity is sometimes called “the royal prerogative of dishonesty”. like the Department of Justice. Three denominators are common among these three considerations. it must be observed in fairness that the State does not often avail itself of this rule to take undue advantage of parties that may have legitimate claims against it. The principle fortunately has a built-in qualification: the state may. In such cases. as a sideline. if it so desires. as there would be no charter and no separate juridical personality to consult. 4 . the state may be sued if it gives its consent. The non-suability of the State is available to the agency even if it is shown that it is engaged not only in governmental functions but also. They are subject to suit even in the performance of such functions because their charter provides that they can sue and be sued. Municipal corporations like provinces and cities. are agencies of the State when they are engaged in governmental functions and therefore should enjoy the sovereign immunity from suits. any suit filed against it is necessarily an action against the Philippine Government of which it is part of. The test in every case is the nature of the primary functions being discharged. it is necessary to determine the nature of the functions in which the agency is engaged. divest itself of its sovereign immunity and thereby voluntarily open itself to suit. the test of its suability is found in its charter. 5. so as to hold it suable if they are proprietary and not suable if they are governmental. If the agency is incorporated. Second. it is important to determine if the State is real party in interest. and this is true regardless of the functions it is performing. When a public officer is sued in the performance of his official acts and the ultimate liablity rest upon the State. such as the claim if proved will be a direct liability of the State and not merely of the officer impleaded. The simple rule is that it is suable if its charter says so.
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