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Aquino v.

Enrile, 59 SCRA 183, September 17, 1974


En Banc (all Justices wrote their opinion)

Petitioners are: Ninoy, Mitra, F. Rordrigo, N. Rama, J. Roces, Locsin, Fadul, Galang,
Go Eng Guan, Maximo Soliven, Constantino, Luis Mauricio, Jose Diokno and wife,
Carmen, Voltaire Garcia (case were withdrawn bec. Petitioner died), Yuyitung, Tan
Chin Hian, Doronila, Mercado, Abaya, Granada, Beltran, Bren Guiao, Cusipag,
Ordonez, Almario, Baun, Guiao and T. Guiao (also died) and Rondon.

Respondents are: Enrile as Sec. Nat’l Defense, Espino as Chief of Staff AFP, Ramos
as Chief, Phil. Constabulary

FACTS

According to Chief Justice Makalintal:

These nine cases are all about the petitions for habeas corpus, the petitioners having
been arrested and detained unlawfully by the military by virtue of Proclamation no.
1081 dated September 21, 1972 through the President exercising his powers he
assumed by virtue of Martial Law.

The petitioners were arrested pursuant to Gen. Order no 2 “for being participants or
for having giving aid and comfort in the conspiracy to seize political and state power
in the country and to take over the Government by force…” (September 22, 1972).

The provision of the 1935 constitution reads “the President shall be commander-in-
chief of all armed forces in the Philippines and, whenever it becomes necessary, he
may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion,
insurrection or rebellion. In case of invasion, insurrection, or rebellion, or imminent
danger thereof, when the public safety requires it, he may suspend the privilege of
writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.”
Art VII Section 10(2)

Accdg to Castro, J.:

On Sept 21 1972, the country was placed under Martial Law. From Sept 22 to 30,
petitioners were arrested by the military authorities and detained, some at Fort
Bonifacio, Rizal, Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame. They aver that the arrest and
detention were illegal having been effected without valid order of a court of justice.
Writ of habeas corpus were directed by the Court directing respondents to produce
the bodies of the petitioners in Court. Respondents, through the Solicitor General,
answered that such arrests were legally ordered by the President pursuant to
Proclamation of Martial Law as “participant or as having giving aid and comfort in the
conspiracy to seize political and state power and to take the government by force.”
Hearings were held on 26 and 29 September and October 6. Meanwhile, some of the
petitioners, with leave of Court, withdrew their petitions, others were released from
custody under certain restrictive conditions. Voltaire died after his release, the action
was deemed abated.
Only Diokno AND Benigno Aquino was still in military custody (September 9, 1972—
the date of the supposed promulgation of the nine cases.) On September 11 1972,
the petitioner Diokno was released. Eleven members voted to dismiss Diokno’s
petition as being “moot and academic” except Castro, who find Diokno’s derogatory
imputations grave and highly insulting.
On August 23 1973, petitioner Ninoy filed an action for certiorari and prohibition with
this Court, alleging that on 11 August 1973 charges of murder, subversion and illegal
possession of firearm were filed against him, that his trial held on August 27, 29, 31
was illegal because the proclamation of Martial law was unconstitutional and that he
could not expect a fair trial because the President could reverse any judgment of
acquittal by the military court and sentence him to death. “Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. vs.
Military Commission No. 2”
On the other hand, December 28 1973, Jose Diokno filed a motion to withdraw his
petition filed in his behalf, imputing the (1) delay in the disposition of the case, (2)
that the decision of the Court in the Ratification cases contrary to the Court’s ruling
that the 1973 Constitution was not validly ratified and (3) the action of the members
of the Court taking an oath to the new Constitution and which becomes a different
court in which he filed his petition.
Diokno asserts that “a conscience that allows man to rot behind bars for more than
one year and three months without trial—of course, without any charges at all—is a
conscience that has become stunted, if not stultified..” and “… I can not continue to
entrust my case to them; and I have become thoroughly convinced that our quest
for justice in my case is futile.”

Issue(s):

1. Whether or not this court may inquire into the validity of Proclamation no
1081. Is the existence of conditions claimed to justify the exercise of power to
declare martial law subject to judicial inquiry? Is the question political or
justiciable in character?

Ruling:

YES. Five justices held that the question is political and should not be determined by
court. (Makasiar, Antonio, Esguerra, Fernandez and Aquino) Fernandez adds that as
a member of the 1973 Convention he believes that “the as a member of the
Convention, they have put an imprimatur on the proposition of the validity of a
martial law proclamation…” Barredo believes that political question are not per se
beyond the court’s jurisdiction, judicial power vested in it by the Constitution being
all-embracing and plenary but as a matter of policy should abstain from interfering
with the Executive’s Proclamation. Esguerra finds that the declaration of martial law
is final and conclusive upon the courts. Antonio finds that there is no dispute as to
the existence of a state of rebellion and on that premise emphasizes the factor of
necessity for the exercise of the president under the 1935 Constitution to declare
martial law.

Four on the side of justiciability: Castro, Fernando, Teehanke and Munoz Palma. The
constitutional sufficiency may be inquired into by court and would thus apply the
principle laid down by Lansang although the case refers to the power of President to
suspend habeas corpus. The recognition of justiciability in Lansang is there
distinguished from the power of judicial review and is limited to ascertaining whether
the President has gone beyond the constitutional limits of his jurisdiction, not to
exercise the power vested in him or to determine the wisdom of the act. The Test is
whether in suspending the writ of habeas corpus, the president he did or did not
acted arbitrarily (bias, capricious). Applying the test, the Justices find no
arbitrariness in the President’s proclamation of martial law pursuant to the 1935
Constitution. The bases for the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus,
with regards to the existence of a state rebellion in the country, had not disappeared
but had even worsened.

The question of the validity of the Proclamation no 1081 has been foreclosed by the
transitory provision of the 1973 Constitution (Art XVII. Sec 3 (2)) that “all
proclamations, orders, decrees, instructions, and acts promulgated, issued or done
by the incumbent President shall be part of the law of the land and shall remain
valid, legal, binding and effective even after … the ratification of this Constitution.”

The political or justiciable question controversy has become moot and purposeless as
a consequence of the referendum of July 27-28, 1973. The question which was
overwhelmingly voted upon by a majority of voters, even between 15 and 18 years
of age in affirmative: “Under the 1973 Constitution, the President, if he so desires,
can continue in office beyond 1973 and finish the reforms he initiated under martial
law?”

***If you want a more “nakaka-nosebleed” facts of the Case, refer to page 326 up to 336…

2. Whether or not the petitions for writ of habeas corpus should be suspended
contending that the proclamation of Martial Law was unconstitutional.

YES. The petitions should be dismissed with respect to petitioners who have been
released from detention but have not withdrawn their petitions because they are still
subject to certain restrictions. Implicit in the state of martial law is the suspension of
the privilege of writ of habeas corpus with respect to persons arrested or detained
for acts related to the basic objective of the proclamation: to suppress invasion,
insurrection, rebellion or to safeguard public safety against imminent danger thereof.

RULING SUMMARIZED (Castro):

1. That the proclamation of Martial Law in September 1972 by the President was
within the 1932 Constitution
2. That because the Communist rebellion had not been abated and instead the
subversion had proliferated throughout the country, the imposition of martial
law was an “imperative of national survival.”
3. that the arrest and detention of the persons who were “participants or gave
aid and comfort in the conspiracy to seize political and state power in the
country and to take over the Government by force” were not unconstitutional
nor arbitrary
4. that subsumed in the declaration of martial law is the suspension of the writ
of habeas corpus
5. that the fact that the regular courts are open cannot be accepted as evidence
that rebellion and insurrection no longer imperil the safety of the state
6. that actual armed combat has been and still raging in parts of Mindanao, Bicol
and Cagayan
7. that the hosts of doubts with respect to the validity of the ratification and
effectivity of the 1973 Constitution has been dispelled by the national
referendum of July 1973
8. that the issue of the validity and constitutionality of the arrest and detention
of all the petitioners and of the restrictions imposed upon those who were
freed, is now foreclosed by the transitory provision of 1973 CONSTITUTION
(Article XVII Sec 3 (2)) which validates all acts made by the President.
**Habeas Corpus- the purpose of the writ is to inquire into the cause or reason why a person is being
restrained of his liberty against his will and if there is no legal and/or valid justification shown for such
restraint the writ will forthwith issue to restore to that person his liberty or freedom.

***The complete provision of Proclamaccion numero 1081, page 343-359…


LANSANG VS. COURT OF APPEALS
326 SCRA 259 25 FEBRUARY 2000
QUISIMBING, J.

FACTS:

Private respondents General Assembly of the Blind (GABI) were


allegedly awarded a “verbal contract of lease” in 1970 by the National
Parks Development Committee (NPDC), a government initiated civic
body engaged in the development of national perks including Rizal
Park. No document or instrument appears on record to show the
grantor of the verbal license to private respondents to occupy a
portion of the government park. They were given office and library
space as well as kiosks for selling food and drinks along TM Kalaw. 40
% of the profits derived from the kiosks were to remit to NPDC again
without anything shown on the record.
With the change of the Government after the EDSA Revolution, a
new chairman of the NPDC, Amado J. Lansang (herein petitioner),
sought to clean up Rizal Park. Petitioner terminated the so-called
verbal agreement with GABI and demanded that the latter vacate the
premises and the kiosks it ran privately within the park. Notice was
given March 5, 1988 and respondents were given until March 8 to
vacate. The notice was signed by Jose Iglesias, GABI president,
allegedly to indicate his conformity to its contents. However, Iglesias,
who was totally blind, claims that he was deceived into signing the
notice. GABI filed an action for damages and injunction in the Regional
Trial Court against petitioner. The trial court issued a TRO and expired
on March 28, 1988. The following day GABI was finally evicted by
NPDC.

RTC’s ruling: The case was dismissed ruling that the complaint was
against the state which could not be sued without its consent.

Court of Appeal’s ruling: Reversed the decision. The mere allegation


that the government official is being sued in his official capacity is not
enough to protect such official from liability for acts done without or in
excess of his authority.
ISSUES:

1. W/N respondent court erred in not holding that private


respondents’ complaint against petitioner, as chairman of NPDC,
and his co-defendants in civil case no. 88-43887, is in effect a
suit against the state which cannot be sued without its consent.
2. W/N respondent court erred in not holding that petitioner’s act of
terminating respondent GABI’s concession is valid and done in
the lawful performance of official duty.

HELD:

The rule does not apply where the public official is charged in his
official capacity for acts that are unlawful and injurious to the rights
of others. Public officials are not exempt, in their personal capacity,
from liability arising from acts committed in bad faith. There is no
question in the capacity of the petitioner as NPDC chairman and his
authority to terminate the agreement. The question now is whether
or not the petitioner abused his authority in ordering the ejectment
of the private respondents.
However, no evidence of such abuse of authority is on record.
Rizal part is beyond the commerce of man, thus could not be
subject to lease of contract. Private respondents cannot and does
nit claim a vested right to continue to occupy Rizal Park.
However, the petitioners cannot be awarded with moral and
exemplary damages as well as attorney’s fees. There is no evidence
on record to support Iglesia’s claim that he suffered moral injury as
a result of GABI’s ejectment from Rizal Park. ]
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED and the decision of
the Court of Appeals is set aside.

Ruffy vs. Chief of Staff


75 Phil 875 August 20, 1946
Tuason, J.

Facts:
• Outbreak of the war against Japanese invaders
• Ramon Ruffy, Prudente Francisco and Andres Fortus, petitioners
herein, were the Provincial Commander, a junior officer and a
corporal of the Philippine Constabulary garrison stationed in
Mindoro, respectively
• Japanese forces came to Mindoro which made Ruffy’s troop
retreat to the mountains and organized a guerilla outfit called
the Bolo Combat Team or the Bolo Area
• Civilians Jose Garcia, Dominador Adeva and Victoriano Dinglasan
also became members of the Bolo Area
• Petitioners were promoted: Ruffy was named the Commanding
Officer of the Bolo Area, Dinglasan became the Finance Officer,
Garcia was named Captain while Adeva and Francisco were
named 3rd Lt. and 2nd Lt, respectively
• Change in the command of the Bolo Area was effected relieving
Ruffy of his position by Capt. Beloncio
• Capt. Beloncio was allegedly slain by petitioners

Issue:
Whether or not petitioners were subject to military law at the
time the offense for which they had been placed on trial was
committed

Held:
Yes, petitioners were still subject to military law at the time the
offense was committed. The Court ruled that members of the Armed
Forces were still covered by the National Defense Act, Articles of War
and other laws relating to the Armed Forces even during the Japanese
occupation. The act of unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, in
defiance of the 95the Article of War, held subjects liable to military
jurisdiction and trial. Moreover, petitioners were officers of the Bolo
Area and the 6th Military District, operating under orders of duly
established and duly appointed commanders of the US Army. Aside
from that, and in response to petitioners’ argument that courts-martial
have no jurisdiction over the case, the Court ruled that courts-martial
do have authority, being agencies of executive character. Petition is
denied.

Dissenting Opinion:
Perfecto, J.
The fact that enemy occupation does not relieve petitioners from
their sworn duties as well as from the punishment they must incur for
their conduct is affirmed. However, petition must be granted on the
grounds that final judgments should come from the Supreme Court
who has the authority to review, revise, reverse or modify judgments
by military tribunals. Courts-martial are, in fact, inferior courts
established by law.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES
SANTIAGO VS. COMELEC
270 SCRA 106, MARCH 19, 1997

FACTS:

Private respondent Delfin filed with the COMELEC a “Petition to Amend the Constitution, to Lift
Term Limits of Elective Officials, by People’s amendments to the Constitution granted under
Section 2, Art. Xii of the 1987 Constitution. R.A. 6735 and COMELEC Resolution No. 2300. The
proposed amendments consist of the submission of this proposition to the people –“Do you
approve the lifting of the term limits of all elective officials, amending for the purpose section 4
and 7 of Art. VI, Section 4 of Art. VII, and Section of Art. X of the Philippine Consitution?”

The COMELEC issued an order directing the publication of the petition and the notice of hearing
and thereafter set the case for hearing. At the hearing, Senator Raul Roco, the IBP, Demokrasya-
Ipagtanggol ang Konstitusyon (DIK), Public Interest Law Center, and Laban ng Demokratikong
Pilipino (LABAN) appeared as intervenors-oppositors. Senator Roco movedto dismiss the Delfin
Petition on the ground that it is not initiatory party cognizable by the COMELEC.

Petitioners filed a special civil action directing respondents COMELEC and DElfin’s Petition to
directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the system of initiative under sec.2 of
Art. XVII of the 1987 Constitution. Petitioners raise the following arguments:

1. The constitutional provision on people’s initiative to amend the Constitution can only be
implemented by law to be passed by Congress. No such law has been passed.
2. R.A. 6735 failed to provide subtitle initiative on the Constitutions, unlike in the other
modes of initiative. It only provides for the effectivity of the law after the publication in
print media indicating that the Act covers only laws and not constitutional amendments
because the latter takes effect only upon ratification and not after publication.
3. COMLEC Resolution No.2300, adopted on January 16, 1991 to govern the “conduct of
initiative on the Constitution and initiative and referendum on national and local laws”, is
ultra vires insofar as initiative or amendments to the Constitution are concerned since the
COMELEC has no power to provide rules and regulation for the exercise of the right of
initiative to amend the Constitution. Only the Congress is authorized by the Constitution
to pass the implementing law.
4. The people’s initiative is limited to amendments to the Constitution, to the revision
thereof. Extending or lifting of the term limits constitutes a revision and is therefore
outside the power of the people’s initiative.
5. Finally, Congress has not yet appropriated funds for people’s initiative, neither the
COMELEC nor any other department, agency or office of the government has realigned
funds for the purpose.
The Supreme Court gave due course to this petition and granted the Motions for Intervention filed
by Petitioners-Intervenors DIK, MABINI, IBP, LABAN, and Senator Roco.

ISSUES:
1. Whether Sec. 2, art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision?
2. Whether R.A. 6735 is a sufficient statutory implementation of the said constitutional
provision?
3. Whether the COMELEC resolution is valid?
4. Whether the lifting of term limits of elective national and local officials as proposed would
constitute a revision, or an amendment to the Constitution?

HELD:
1. NO. Although the mode of amendment which bypasses congressional action, in the last
analysis, it is still dependent on congressional action. While the Constitution has
recognized or granted that right, the people cannot exercise it if the Congress for
whatever reason, does not provide for its implementation.
2. NO. R.A. 6735 is insufficient and incomplete to fully comply with the power and duty of
the Congress to enact the statutory implementation of sec.2, Art. XVII of the Constitution.
Although said Act intended to include the system of initiative on amendments to the
Constitution, it is deemed inadequate to cover that system and accordingly provide for a
local initiative required for proposing Constitutional changes.
3. NO. The COMELEC Resolution insofar as it prescribes rules and regulations on the
conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution is void, as expressed in the Latin
maxim “Potestas delegate non delegari potest.” In every case of permissible delegation, it
must be shown that the delegation itself is valid.
4. The resolution of this issue is held to be unnecessary, it not academic, as the proposal to
lift the term limits of elective local and national officials is an amendment to the
Constitution and not a revision. Thus, the petition was granted, and the COMELEC is
permanently enjoined from taking cognizance of any petition for initiative on amendments
to the Constitution until a sufficient law shall have been validly enacted to provide for the
implementation of the system.