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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

POLITICAL LAW REVIEWER SUPPLEMENT FOR 4-D

ARTICLE II - DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND self-executing and, therefore, cannot give rise to a cause of
STATE POLICIES action in the courts; they do not embody judicially enforceable
constitutional rights.
Section 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to
health of the people and instill health consciousness Some of the constitutional provisions invoked in the present
among them. case were taken from Article II of the Constitution -- specifically,
Sections 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15 and 18 -- the provisions of which
Doctrines the Court categorically ruled to be non self-executing in the
Some provisions of the Health Sector Reform Agenda are aforecited case of Tañada v. Angara.
challenged on the ground that they violate 15, 18 of Article II;
Moreover, the records are devoid of any explanation of how the
Section 1 of Article III; Sections 11 and 14 of Article XIII; and
HSRA supposedly violated the equal protection and due
Sections 1 and 3(2) of Article XV, all of the 1987 Constitution,
process clauses that are embodied in Section 1 of Article III of
which directly or indirectly pertain to the duty of the State to
the Constitution. There were no allegations of discrimination or
protect and promote the people’s right to health and well-being.
of the lack of due process in connection with the HSRA. Since
However, these provisions are not self-executory. Tondo
Medical Center Employees v. CA. G.R. No. 167324, July 17, they failed to substantiate how these constitutional guarantees
were breached, petitioners are unsuccessful in establishing the
2007.
relevance of this provision to the petition, and consequently, in
annulling the HSRA.
TONDO MEDICAL CENTER EMPLOYEES V. CA
In the remaining provisions, Sections 11 and 14 of Article XIII
President Estrada issued Executive Order No. 102, entitled and Sections 1 and 3 of Article XV, the State accords
“Redirecting the Functions and Operations of the Department of recognition to the protection of working women and the
Health,” which provided for the changes in the roles, functions, provision for safe and healthful working conditions; to the
and organizational processes of the DOH. Under the assailed adoption of an integrated and comprehensive approach to
executive order, the DOH refocused its mandate from being the health; to the Filipino family; and to the right of children to
sole provider of health services to being a provider of specific assistance and special protection, including proper care and
health services and technical assistance, as a result of the nutrition. Like the provisions that were declared as non self-
devolution of basic services to local government units. executory in the cases of Basco v. Philippine Amusement and
Gaming Corporation and Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, they
Issue: WON EO102 is constitutional?
are mere statements of principles and policies. As such, they
Held: YES. Petitioners allege that the HSRA should be declared are mere directives addressed to the executive and the
void, since it runs counter to the aspiration and ideals of the legislative departments. If unheeded, the remedy will not lie with
Filipino people as embodied in the Constitution. They claim that the courts; but rather, the electorate’s displeasure may be
the HSRA’s policies of fiscal autonomy, income generation, and manifested in their votes.
revenue enhancement violate Sections 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15 and
18 of Article II, Section 1 of Article III; Sections 11 and 14 of
Article XIII; and Sections 1 and 3 of Article XV of the 1987 Section 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of
Constitution. Such policies allegedly resulted in making the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord
inaccessible free medicine and free medical services. This with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
contention is unfounded.
Doctrines
As a general rule, the provisions of the Constitution are The LTFRB and the DOTC cannot order owners of PUV to use
considered self-executing, and do not require future legislation CNG as an alternative to gasoline. Mandamus is available only
for their enforcement. For if they are not treated as self- to compel the doing of an act specifically enjoined by law as a
executing, the mandate of the fundamental law can be easily duty. Here, there is no law that mandates the respondents
nullified by the inaction of Congress. However, some provisions LTFRB and the DOTC to order owners of motor vehicles to use
have already been categorically declared by this Court as non CNG. Henares v. LTFRB, GR 158290, October 23, 2006.
self-executing.
HENARES V. LTFRB
In Basco v. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation,
this Court declared that Sections 11, 12, and 13 of Article II;
Petitioners challenge this Court to issue a writ of mandamus
Section 13 of Article XIII; and Section 2 of Article XIV of the
commanding respondents LTFRB and DOTC to require PUVs to
1987 Constitution are not self-executing provisions. In Tolentino
use compressed natural gas (CNG) as alternative fuel.
v. Secretary of Finance, the Court referred to Section 1 of Article
Asserting their right to clean air, petitioners contend that the
XIII and Section 2 of Article XIV of the Constitution as moral
bases for their petition for a writ of mandamus to order the
incentives to legislation, not as judicially enforceable rights.
LTFRB to require PUVs to use CNG as an alternative fuel, lie in
These provisions, which merely lay down a general principle,
Section 16, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, our ruling in
are distinguished from other constitutional provisions as non

TRUTH. HONOR. EXCELLENCE. 1


POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

Oposa v. Factoran, Jr., and Section 4 of Republic Act No. 8749 specific statutory remedy to the complex environmental
otherwise known as the "Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999." problems bared by herein petitioners before any judicial
recourse by mandamus is taken.
Issue: WON LTFRB CAN BE COMPELLED TO REQUIRE
PUVs TO USE CNG THROUGH A WRIT OF MANDAMUS? 
Held: NO. Petitioners invoke the provisions of the Constitution
and the Clean Air Act in their prayer for issuance of a writ of
mandamus commanding the respondents to require PUVs to ARTICLE III - BILL OF RIGHTS
use CNG as an alternative fuel. Although both are general
mandates that do not specifically enjoin the use of any kind of Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or
fuel, particularly the use of CNG, there is an executive order property without due process of law, nor shall any
implementing a program on the use of CNG by public vehicles. person be denied the equal protection of the laws.
Executive Order No. 290, entitled Implementing the Natural Gas
Vehicle Program for Public Transport (NGVPPT), took effect on Doctrines
February 24, 2004. A thorough reading of the executive order An EO ordering the closure of bus terminals in the city is an
assures us that implementation for a cleaner environment is unreasonable exercise of police power. Moreover, even if the
being addressed. To a certain extent, the instant petition had E.O. were valid, the MMD is the wrong person to carry it out
been mooted by the issuance of E.O. No. 290. since this matter has been given by law to DOTC. MMDA v.
Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 170657, August 15, 2007;
Regrettably, however, a writ of mandamus is unavailing. Lucena Grand Central Terminal, Inc. v. JAC Liner, Inc., G.R.
Mandamus is available only to compel the doing of an act No. 148339, February 23, 2005, 452 SCRA 174, 185.
specifically enjoined by law as a duty. Here, there is no law that
mandates the respondents LTFRB and the DOTC to order The PD that orders discontinuance of a pension of a retired
owners of motor vehicles to use CNG. Further, mandamus will military officer if he becomes a citizen of another country does
not generally lie from one branch of government to a coordinate not violate equal protection. Parreño v. COA, G.R. 162224 June
branch, for the obvious reason that neither is inferior to the 7, 2007
other. The need for future changes in both legislation and its
implementation cannot be preempted by orders from this Court, MMDA V. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
especially when what is prayed for is procedurally infirm.
Besides, comity with and courtesy to a coequal branch dictate PGMA issued the E.O. “Providing for the Establishment of
that we give sufficient time and leeway for the coequal branches Greater Manila Mass Transport System.” As the E.O. noted, the
to address by themselves the environmental problems raised in primary cause of traffic congestion in Metro Manila has been the
this petition. numerous buses plying the streets and the inefficient
In the same manner that we have associated the fundamental connectivity of the different transport modes; and the MMDA
right to a balanced and healthful ecology with the twin concepts had “recommended a plan to decongest traffic by eliminating the
of "inter-generational responsibility" and "inter-generational bus terminals now located along major Metro Manila
justice" in Oposa, where we upheld the right of future Filipinos thoroughfares and providing more and convenient access to the
to prevent the destruction of the rainforests, so do we recognize, mass transport system to the commuting public through the
in this petition, the right of petitioners and the future generation provision of mass transport terminal facilities” which plan is
to clean air. In Oposa we said that if the right to a balanced and referred to under the E.O. as the Greater Manila Mass
healthful ecology is now explicitly found in the Constitution even Transport System Project. The E.O. thus designated the MMDA
if the right is "assumed to exist from the inception of humankind, as the implementing agency for the Project.
it is because of the well-founded fear of its framers [of the Pursuant to the E.O., the Metro Manila Council (MMC), the
Constitution] that unless the rights to a balanced and healthful governing board and policymaking body of the MMDA, issued
ecology and to health are mandated as state policies by the Resolution No. 03-07 series of 2003 expressing full support of
Constitution itself, thereby highlighting their continuing the Project. Recognizing the imperative to integrate the
importance and imposing upon the state a solemn obligation to different transport modes via the establishment of common bus
preserve the first and protect and advance the second, the day parking terminal areas, the MMC cited the need to remove the
would not be too far when all else would be lost not only for the bus terminals located along major thoroughfares of Metro
present generation, but also for those to come." Manila.
It is the firm belief of this Court that in this case, it is timely to Issue: WHETHER OR NOT 179 IS CONSTITUTIONAL?
reaffirm the premium we have placed on the protection of the
environment in the landmark case of Oposa. Yet, as serious as Held: No, the petition fails. EO179 is null and void for being ultra
the statistics are on air pollution, with the present fuels deemed vires. Petitioners submit that the real issue concerns the
toxic as they are to the environment, as fatal as these pollutants President’s authority to undertake or to cause the
are to the health of the citizens, and urgently requiring resort to implementation of the Project. They assert that the authority of
drastic measures to reduce air pollutants emitted by motor the President is derived from E.O. No. 125, “Reorganizing the
vehicles, we must admit in particular that petitioners are unable Ministry of Transportation and Communications Defining its
to pinpoint the law that imposes an indubitable legal duty on Powers and Functions and for Other Purposes,” her residual
respondents that will justify a grant of the writ of mandamus power and/or E.O. No. 292, otherwise known as the
compelling the use of CNG for public utility vehicles. It appears Administrative Code of 1987. They add that the E.O. is also a
to us that more properly, the legislature should provide first the valid exercise of the police power.

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

EO125 mandated the DOTC to be the primary policy, planning, even be more effective in easing the traffic situation. So would
programming, coordinating, implementing, regulating and the strict enforcement of traffic rules and the removal of
administrative entity to promote, develop and regulate networks obstructions from major thoroughfares.
of transportation and communications. The grant of authority to
the DOTC includes the power to establish and administer LUCENA TERMINAL, INC. V. JAC LINER, INC.
comprehensive and integrated programs for transportation and
communications. Further, the Minister (now Secretary) of the JAC Liner, Inc. assails City Ordinance Nos. 1631 and 1778 as
DOTC is vested with the authority and responsibility to exercise unconstitutional on the ground that, inter alia, the same
the mandate given to the department. Accordingly, the DOTC constituted an invalid exercise of police power, an undue taking
Secretary is authorized to issue such orders, rules, regulations of private property, and a violation of the constitutional
and other issuances as may be necessary to ensure the prohibition against monopolies. These ordinances, by granting
effective implementation of the law. Since, under the law, the an exclusive franchise for twenty five years, renewable for
DOTC is authorized to establish and administer programs and another twenty five years, to one entity for the construction and
projects for transportation, it follows that the President may operation of one common bus and jeepney terminal facility in
exercise the same power and authority to order the Lucena City, to be located outside the city proper, were
implementation of the Project, which admittedly is one for professedly aimed towards alleviating the traffic congestion
transportation. Such authority springs from the President’s alleged to have been caused by the existence of various bus
power of control over all executive departments as well as the and jeepney terminals within the city. Respondent, who had
obligation for the faithful execution of the laws under Article VII, maintained a terminal within the city, was one of those affected
Section 17 of the Constitution. This constitutional provision is by the ordinances.
echoed in Section 1, Book III of the Administrative Code of
Issue: WHETHER POLICE POWER WAS PROPERLY
1987.
EXERCISED WHEN THE SUBJECT ORDINANCES WERE
The authority of the President to order the implementation of the ENACTED?
Project notwithstanding, the designation of the MMDA as the
Held: NO. The ordinances assailed herein are characterized by
implementing agency for the Project may not be sustained. It is
overbreadth. They go beyond what is reasonably necessary to
ultra vires, there being no legal basis therefor. By designating
solve the traffic problem. Additionally, since the compulsory use
the MMDA as the implementing agency of the Project, the
of the terminal operated by petitioner would subject the users
President clearly overstepped the limits of the authority
thereof to fees, rentals and charges, such measure is unduly
conferred by law, rendering E.O. No. 179 ultra vires.
oppressive, as correctly found by the appellate court. What
In light of the administrative nature of its powers and functions, should have been done was to determine exactly where the
the MMDA is devoid of authority to implement the Project as problem lies and then to stop it right there. The true role of
envisioned by the E.O; hence, it could not have been validly Constitutional Law is to effect an equilibrium between authority
designated by the President to undertake the Project. It follows and liberty so that rights are exercised within the framework of
that the MMDA cannot validly order the elimination of the law and the laws are enacted with due deference to rights. A
respondents’ terminals. due deference to the rights of the individual thus requires a
more careful formulation of solutions to societal problems.
Even assuming arguendo that police power was delegated to
the MMDA, its exercise of such power does not satisfy the two As for petitioner’s argument that the challenged ordinances
tests of a valid police power measure, viz: (1) the interest of the were enacted pursuant to the power of the Sangguniang
public generally, as distinguished from that of a particular class, Panlungsod to "[r]egulate traffic on all streets and bridges;
requires its exercise; and (2) the means employed are prohibit encroachments or obstacles thereon and, when
reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose necessary in the interest of public welfare, authorize the
and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. Stated differently, removal of encroachments and illegal constructions in public
the police power legislation must be firmly grounded on public places": Absent any showing, nay allegation, that the terminals
interest and welfare and a reasonable relation must exist are encroaching upon public roads, they are not obstacles. The
between the purposes and the means. buses which indiscriminately load and unload passengers on
the city streets are. The power then of the Sangguniang
Notably, the parties herein concede that traffic congestion is a
Panlungsod to prohibit encroachments and obstacles does not
public concern that needs to be addressed immediately. But
extend to terminals.
are the means employed appropriate and reasonably necessary
for the accomplishment of the purpose. Are they not duly Neither are terminals public nuisances as petitioner argues. For
oppressive? their operation is a legitimate business which, by itself, cannot
be said to be injurious to the rights of property, health, or
This Court fails to see how the prohibition against the existence
comfort of the community.
of respondents’ terminals can be considered a reasonable
necessity to ease traffic congestion in the metropolis. On the But even assuming that terminals are nuisances due to their
contrary, the elimination of respondents’ bus terminals brings alleged indirect effects upon the flow of traffic, at most they are
forth the distinct possibility and the equally harrowing reality of nuisance per accidens, not per se. Unless a thing is nuisance
traffic congestion in the common parking areas, a case of per se, however, it may not be abated via an ordinance, without
transference from one site to another. Less intrusive measures judicial proceedings, as was done in the case at bar.
such as curbing the proliferation of “colorum” buses, vans and
taxis entering Metro Manila and using the streets for parking
and passenger pick-up points, as respondents suggest, might

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

PARREÑO V. COA Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their


persons, houses, papers, and effects against
Salvador Parreño served in the AFP for 32 years. In 1982, unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature
petitioner retired, availed, and received payment, of a lump sum and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search
pension equivalent to three years pay. In 1985, he started warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon
receiving his monthly pension. He migrated to Hawaii and probable cause to be determined personally by the judge
became a naturalized American citizen. In January 2001, the after examination under oath or affirmation of the
AFP stopped petitioner’s monthly pension in accordance with complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
Section 27 of PD1638, providing that a retiree who loses his particularly describing the place to be searched and the
Filipino citizenship shall be removed from the retired list and his persons or things to be seized.
retirement benefits terminated upon loss of Filipino citizenship.
Parreno then requested for reconsideration but the Judge Doctrines
Advocate General of the AFP denied the request. Q. EO 420 orders all government agencies and government
owned and controlled corporations to streamline and harmonize
He then filed a claim before the COA for the continuance of his
their ID systems. The EO is challenged on the ground that (1) it
monthly pension. COA denied petitioner’s claim for lack of
requires legislation and (2) it violates the right to privacy.
jurisdiction. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration.
A. (1) EO 420 applies only to executive entities that issue ID
Petitioner alleged that the COA has the power and authority to
cards as part of their functions under existing laws. These
incidentally rule on the constitutionality of Section 27 of PD
government entities have already been issuing ID cards even
1638, as amended. Petitioner alleged that a direct recourse to
prior to EO 420.
the court would be dismissed for failure to exhaust
(2) EO 420 does not establish a national ID card system. EO
administrative remedies. Petitioner further alleged that since his
420 does not compel all citizens to have an ID card. EO 420
monthly pension involves government funds, the reason for the
applies only to government entities that under existing laws are
termination of the pension is subject to COA’s authority and
already collecting data and issuing ID cards as part of their
jurisdiction. governmental functions. KMU v. Director General, G.R. No.
COA denied the motion. It ruled that the doctrine of exhaustion 167798, April 19, 2006.
of administrative remedies does not apply if the administrative
body has, in the first place, no jurisdiction over the case. COA NOTE: A private entity may be held liable for illegal search
also ruled that assuming it has jurisdiction over the claim, under Article 32 of the Civil Code. Silahis Internatinal v. Soluta,
petitioner’s entitlement to the retirement benefits he was G.R. 163087, February 20, 2006.
previously receiving must necessarily cease upon the loss of his
Filipino citizenship in accordance with Section 27 of PD 1638, KMU V. DIRECTOR GENERAL
as amended.
Under EO 420, the President directs all government agencies
Issue: Whether COA has jurisdiction to rule on the and government-owned and controlled corporations to adopt a
constitutionality of PD 1638? uniform data collection and format for their existing identification
Held: NO. Under Commonwealth Act No. 327, as amended by (ID) systems. Petitioners allege that EO 420 is unconstitutional
Presidential Decree No. 1445, money claims against the because it constitutes usurpation of legislative functions by the
government shall be filed before the COA. The jurisdiction of the executive branch of the government. Furthermore, they allege
COA over money claims against the government does not that EO 420 infringes on the citizen’s right to privacy.
include the power to rule on the constitutionality or validity of Issues/Held:
laws. The 1987 Constitution vests the power of judicial review 1. WON EO 420 IS A USURPATION OF LEGISLATIVE
or the power to declare unconstitutional a law, treaty, POWER BY THE PRESIDENT.
international or executive agreement, presidential decree, order,
instruction, ordinance, or regulation in this Court and in all NO. The President may by executive or administrative order
Regional Trial Courts. Petitioner’s money claim essentially direct the government entities under the Executive department
involved the constitutionality of Section 27 of PD 1638, as to adopt a uniform ID data collection and format. Under her
amended. Hence, COA did not commit grave abuse of constitutional power of control, the President can direct all
discretion in dismissing petitioner’s money claim. government entities, in the exercise of their functions under
existing laws, to adopt a uniform ID data collection and ID
Petitioner submits that the COA has the authority to order the format to achieve savings, efficiency, reliability, compatibility,
restoration of his pension even without ruling on the and convenience to the public.
constitutionality of Section 27 of PD 1638, as amended.
However, COA effectively denied petitioner’s claim because of Of course, the President’s power of control is limited to the
the loss of his Filipino citizenship. Petitioner failed to overcome Executive branch of government and does not extend to the
the presumption of constitutionality of Section 27 of PD 1638, as Judiciary or to the independent constitutional commissions.
amended. Unless the provision is amended or repealed in the Thus, EO 420 does not apply to the Judiciary, or to the
future, the AFP has to apply Section 27 of PD 1638, as COMELEC which under existing laws is also authorized to issue
amended. voter’s ID cards. This only shows that EO 420 does not
establish a national ID system because legislation is needed to
establish a single ID system that is compulsory for all branches
of government.

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

Clearly, EO 420 is well within the constitutional power of the entities under the Executive department. If government entities
President to promulgate. The President has not usurped under the Executive department decide to unify their existing ID
legislative power in issuing EO 420. EO 420 is an exercise of data collection and ID card issuance systems to achieve
Executive power - the President’s constitutional power of control savings, efficiency, compatibility and convenience, such act
over the Executive department. EO 420 is also compliance by does not involve the exercise of any legislative power. Thus, the
the President of the constitutional duty to ensure that the laws issuance of EO 420 does not constitute usurpation of legislative
are faithfully executed. power.
Legislative power is the authority to make laws and to alter or
2. WON EO 420 INFRINGES ON RIGHT TO PRIVACY?
repeal them. In issuing EO 420, the President did not make,
alter or repeal any law but merely implemented and executed NO. On its face, EO 420 shows no constitutional infirmity
existing laws. EO 420 reduces costs, as well as insures because it even narrowly limits the data that can be collected,
efficiency, reliability, compatibility and user-friendliness in the recorded and shown compared to the existing ID systems of
implementation of current ID systems of government entities government entities. EO 420 further provides strict safeguards
under existing laws. Thus, EO 420 is simply an executive to protect the confidentiality of the data collected, in contrast to
issuance and not an act of legislation. the prior ID systems which are bereft of strict administrative
safeguards.
The act of issuing ID cards and collecting the necessary
personal data for imprinting on the ID card does not require The right to privacy does not bar the adoption of reasonable ID
legislation. Private employers routinely issue ID cards to their systems by government entities. Some one hundred countries
employees. Private and public schools also routinely issue ID have compulsory national ID systems, including democracies
cards to their students. Even private clubs and associations such as Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Greece,
issue ID cards to their members. The purpose of all these ID Luxembourg, and Portugal. Other countries which do not have
cards is simply to insure the proper identification of a person as national ID systems, like the United States, Canada, Australia,
an employee, student, or member of a club. These ID cards, New Zealand, Ireland, the Nordic Countries and Sweden, have
although imposed as a condition for exercising a privilege, are sectoral cards for health, social or other public services. Even
voluntary because a person is not compelled to be an with EO 420, the Philippines will still fall under the countries that
employee, student or member of a club. do not have compulsory national ID systems but allow only
sectoral cards for social security, health services, and other
What require legislation are three aspects of a government
specific purposes.
maintained ID card system. First, when the implementation of
an ID card system requires a special appropriation because Petitioners have not shown how EO 420 will violate their right to
there is no existing appropriation for such purpose. Second, privacy. Petitioners cannot show such violation by a mere facial
when the ID card system is compulsory on all branches of examination of EO 420 because EO 420 narrowly draws the
government, including the independent constitutional data collection, recording and exhibition while prescribing
commissions, as well as compulsory on all citizens whether they comprehensive safeguards. Ople v. Torres is not authority to
have a use for the ID card or not. Third, when the ID card hold that EO 420 violates the right to privacy because in that
system requires the collection and recording of personal data case the assailed executive issuance, broadly drawn and devoid
beyond what is routinely or usually required for such purpose, of safeguards, was annulled solely on the ground that the
such that the citizen’s right to privacy is infringed. subject matter required legislation. As then Associate Justice,
now Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban noted in his
In the present case, EO 420 does not require any special
concurring opinion in Ople v. Torres, "The voting is decisive only
appropriation because the existing ID card systems of
on the need for appropriate legislation, and it is only on this
government entities covered by EO 420 have the proper
ground that the petition is granted by this Court."
appropriation or funding. EO 420 is not compulsory on all
branches of government and is not compulsory on all citizens. EO 420 applies only to government entities that already
EO 420 requires a very narrow and focused collection and maintain ID systems and issue ID cards pursuant to their regular
recording of personal data while safeguarding the confidentiality functions under existing laws. EO 420 does not grant such
of such data. In fact, the data collected and recorded under EO government entities any power that they do not already possess
420 are far less than the data collected and recorded under the under existing laws. In contrast, the assailed executive issuance
ID systems existing prior to EO 420. in Ople v. Torres sought to establish a "National Computerized
Identification Reference System," a national ID system that did
EO 420 does not establish a national ID card system. EO 420
not exist prior to the assailed executive issuance. Obviously, a
does not compel all citizens to have an ID card. EO 420 applies
national ID card system requires legislation because it creates a
only to government entities that under existing laws are already
new national data collection and card issuance system where
collecting data and issuing ID cards as part of their
none existed before.
governmental functions. Every government entity that presently
issues an ID card will still issue its own ID card under its own In the present case, EO 420 does not establish a national ID
name. The only difference is that the ID card will contain only system but makes the existing sectoral card systems of
the five data specified in Section 3 of EO 420, plus the government entities like GSIS, SSS, Philhealth and LTO less
fingerprint, the agency ID number, and the common reference costly, more efficient, reliable and user-friendly to the public.
number which is needed for cross-verification to ensure integrity Hence, EO 420 is a proper subject of executive issuance under
and reliability of identification. the President’s constitutional power of control over government
entities in the Executive department, as well as under the
There is nothing legislative about unifying existing ID systems of
all courts within the Judiciary. The same is true for government

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

President’s constitutional duty to ensure that laws are faithfully in a private capacity without the participation of the State, is
executed. admissible. The issue in the present civil case, however, is
whether respondent individual can recover damages for
SILAHIS INTERNATIONAL V. SOLUTA violation of constitutional rights. As reflected above, Article 32,
in relation to Arts. 2219(6) and (10) of the Civil Code, allows so.
Marijuana was allegedly found in the Union Office by officers of
the Corporation. As a result of the discovery of marijuana, and
after the police conducted an investigation of the incident, a Section 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of
complaint against the 13 union officers for violation of Republic speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the
Act (R.A.) No. 6425 or the Dangerous Drugs Act. Soluta and his people peaceably to assemble and petition the government
fellow union officers, together with the union, thereafter filed for redress of grievances.
before the Manila RTC a Complaint for malicious prosecution
and violation of their constitutional right against illegal search. Doctrines
Lower court adjudged that there was an illegal search and that Q. Petitioners assail B.P. No. 880, “The Public Assembly Act of
the officers of the Corporation were civilly liable under Article 32 1985,” either in toto or in some parts, as being violative of
of the Civil Code which provides civil liability for private the right of assembly and petition. They also assail the
individuals who violate the right to be secure against policy of “calibrated preemptive response.”
unreasonable searches and seizures. A. Calibrated preemptive response has been denied by Ermita.
At any rate, it has no place in the constitutional firmament.
Issue: WON THERE WAS AN ILLEGAL SEARCH?
As to BP 880, it codifies the JBL Reyes case. But BP’s
Held: YES, hence the petitioners are civilly liable. Petitioners order to set up freedom parks must be followed and
had, by their own claim, already received reports in late 1987 of implemented within 30 days, otherwise all public parks in
illegal activities allegedly undertaken in the union office and the local unit concerned will be considered freedom parks.
Maniego conducted surveillance of the union officers. Yet, Bayan v Ermita, G.R. No. 169838, April 25, 2006.
petitioners and their companions barged into and searched the
union office without a search warrant, despite ample time for Q. GMA Network aired a telecast by Rey Vidal reporting the
them to obtain one, and notwithstanding the objection of Babay. case filed by members of the Medical Board Exams
reporting alleged anomalies in the Medical Board exams.
As for petitioners’ contention that property rights justified the The report was based on the court pleadings but it was
search of the union office, the same does not lie. For accompanied by an old file video of doctors in black
respondents, being the lawful occupants of the office, had the armbands parading in front of PGH. Was the video report
right to raise the question of validity of the search and seizure. libelous?
While it is doctrinal that the right against unreasonable searches A. The report based on the content of the complaint was
and seizures is a personal right which may be waived expressly privileged. The file video did not constitute malice. Malice
or impliedly, a waiver by implication cannot be presumed. There means the offender is prompted by ill-will or spite with intent
must be clear and convincing evidence of an actual intention to to injure. GMA Network v. Bustos, G.R. 146848, October
relinquish it to constitute a waiver thereof.28 There must be 17, 2006.
proof of the following: (a) that the right exists; (b) that the person
involved had knowledge, either actual or constructive, of the BAYAN V. ERMITA
existence of such right; and, (c) that the said person had an
actual intention to relinquish the right. In other words, the waiver Petitioners assail Batas Pambansa No. 880, some of them in
must be voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently made. The toto and others only Sections 4, 5, 6, 12, 13(a), and 14(a), as
evidence shows otherwise, however. well as the policy of CPR. They seek to stop violent dispersals
Article 32 speaks of an officer or employee or person "directly or of rallies under the "no permit, no rally" policy and the CPR
indirectly" responsible for the violation of the constitutional rights policy recently announced. B.P. No. 880, "The Public Assembly
and liberties of another. Hence, it is not the actor alone who Act of 1985," provides:
must answer for damages under Article 32; the person indirectly
Sec. 4. Permit when required and when not required. A written permit shall be required
responsible has also to answer for the damages or injury
for any person or persons to organize and hold a public assembly in a public place.
caused to the aggrieved party.30 Such being the case, However, no permit shall be required if the public assembly shall be done or made in a
petitioners, together with Maniego and Villanueva, the ones who freedom park duly established by law or ordinance or in private property, in which case
orchestrated the illegal search, are jointly and severally liable for only the consent of the owner or the one entitled to its legal possession is required, or in
actual, moral and exemplary damages to herein individual the campus of a government-owned and operated educational institution which shall be
respondents in accordance with Article 32, in relation to Article subject to the rules and regulations of said educational institution. Political meetings or
2219(6) and (10) of the Civil Code. rallies held during any election campaign period as provided for by law are not covered
by this Act.
Petitioners cite People v. Marti31 to support their thesis that the
Sec. 5. Application requirements. All applications for a permit shall comply with the
determinants in the validity of the constitutional right against following guidelines:
searches and seizure cannot be invoked against private (a) The applications shall be in writing and shall include the names of the leaders or
individuals. But the ruling of this Court in Marti, a criminal case, organizers; the purpose of such public assembly; the date, time and duration
bears on the issue of whether "an act of a private individual, thereof, and place or streets to be used for the intended activity; and the probable
allegedly in violation of [one’s] constitutional rights, [may] be number of persons participating, the transport and the public address systems to
invoked against the State." In other words, the issue in that case be used.
was whether the evidence obtained by a private person, acting (b) The application shall incorporate the duty and responsibility of the applicant under
Section 8 hereof.

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(c) The application shall be filed with the office of the mayor of the city or municipality in (b) Arbitrary and unjustified denial or modification of a permit in violation of the
whose jurisdiction the intended activity is to be held, at least five (5) working days provisions of this Act by the mayor or any other official acting in his behalf;
before the scheduled public assembly. (c) The unjustified and arbitrary refusal to accept or acknowledge receipt of the
(d) Upon receipt of the application, which must be duly acknowledged in writing, the application for a permit by the mayor or any official acting in his behalf;
office of the city or municipal mayor shall cause the same to immediately be (d) Obstructing, impeding, disrupting or otherwise denying the exercise of the right to
posted at a conspicuous place in the city or municipal building. peaceful assembly;
(e) The unnecessary firing of firearms by a member of any law enforcement agency or
Sec. 6. Action to be taken on the application. any person to disperse the public assembly;
(a) It shall be the duty of the mayor or any official acting in his behalf to issue or grant a (f) Acts in violation of Section 10 hereof;
permit unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the public assembly will (g) Acts described hereunder if committed within one hundred (100) meters from the
create a clear and present danger to public order, public safety, public area of activity of the public assembly or on the occasion thereof:
convenience, public morals or public health. 1. the carrying of a deadly or offensive weapon or device such as firearm,
(b) The mayor or any official acting in his behalf shall act on the application within two pillbox, bomb, and the like;
(2) working days from the date the application was filed, failing which, the permit 2. the carrying of a bladed weapon and the like;
shall be deemed granted. Should for any reason the mayor or any official acting in 3. the malicious burning of any object in the streets or thoroughfares;
his behalf refuse to accept the application for a permit, said application shall be 4. the carrying of firearms by members of the law enforcement unit;
posted by the applicant on the premises of the office of the mayor and shall be 5. the interfering with or intentionally disturbing the holding of a public
deemed to have been filed. assembly by the use of a motor vehicle, its horns and loud sound systems.
(c) If the mayor is of the view that there is imminent and grave danger of a substantive
evil warranting the denial or modification of the permit, he shall immediately STATEMENT OF EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO
inform the applicant who must be heard on the matter. ERMITA – “The rule of calibrated preemptive response is now in
(d) The action on the permit shall be in writing and served on the applica[nt] within force, in lieu of maximum tolerance. The authorities will not
twenty-four hours.
(e) If the mayor or any official acting in his behalf denies the application or modifies the
stand aside while those with ill intent are herding a witting or
terms thereof in his permit, the applicant may contest the decision in an unwitting mass of people and inciting them into actions that are
appropriate court of law. inimical to public order, and the peace of mind of the national
(f) In case suit is brought before the Metropolitan Trial Court, the Municipal Trial Court, community.”
the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, the Regional Trial Court, or the Intermediate
Appellate court, its decisions may be appealed to the appropriate court within Petitioners contend that Batas Pambansa No. 880 is clearly a
forty-eight (48) hours after receipt of the same. No appeal bond and record on violation of the Constitution and the International Covenant on
appeal shall be required. A decision granting such permit or modifying it in terms Civil and Political Rights and other human rights treaties of
satisfactory to the applicant shall be immediately executory. which the Philippines is a signatory.
(g) All cases filed in court under this section shall be decided within twenty-four (24)
hours from date of filing. Cases filed hereunder shall be immediately endorsed to Issue: WON BP 880 IS CONSTITUTIONAL?
the executive judge for disposition or, in his absence, to the next in rank.
(h) In all cases, any decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Held: YES. B.P. No. 880 was enacted after this Court rendered
(i) Telegraphic appeals to be followed by formal appeals are hereby allowed. its decision in Reyes. The provisions of B.P. No. 880 practically
codify the ruling in Reyes. It is very clear, therefore, that B.P.
Sec. 11. Dispersal of public assembly with permit. No public assembly with a permit No. 880 is not an absolute ban of public assemblies but a
shall be dispersed. However, when an assembly becomes violent, the police may restriction that simply regulates the time, place and manner of
disperse such public assembly as follows:
(a) At the first sign of impending violence, the ranking officer of the law enforcement
the assemblies. This was adverted to in Osmeña v. Comelec
contingent shall call the attention of the leaders of the public assembly and ask where the Court referred to it as a "content-neutral" regulation of
the latter to prevent any possible disturbance; the time, place, and manner of holding public assemblies.
(b) If actual violence starts to a point where rocks or other harmful objects from the
participants are thrown at the police or at the non-participants, or at any property
A fair and impartial reading of B.P. No. 880 thus readily shows
causing damage to such property, the ranking officer of the law enforcement that it refers to all kinds of public assemblies that would use
contingent shall audibly warn the participants that if the disturbance persists, the public places. The reference to "lawful cause" does not make it
public assembly will be dispersed; content-based because assemblies really have to be for lawful
(c) If the violence or disturbance prevailing as stated in the preceding subparagraph causes, otherwise they would not be "peaceable" and entitled to
should not stop or abate, the ranking officer of the law enforcement contingent protection. Neither are the words "opinion," "protesting" and
shall audibly issue a warning to the participants of the public assembly, and after "influencing" in the definition of public assembly content based,
allowing a reasonable period of time to lapse, shall immediately order it to since they can refer to any subject. The words "petitioning the
forthwith disperse;
(d) No arrest of any leader, organizer or participant shall also be made during the public government for redress of grievances" come from the wording
assembly unless he violates during the assembly a law, statute, ordinance or any of the Constitution, so its use cannot be avoided. Finally,
provision of this Act. Such arrest shall be governed by Article 125 of the Revised maximum tolerance is for the protection and benefit of all
Penal Code, as amended; rallyists and is independent of the content of the expressions in
(e) Isolated acts or incidents of disorder or breach of the peace during the public the rally.
assembly shall not constitute a ground for dispersal.
Furthermore, the permit can only be denied on the ground of
Sec. 12. Dispersal of public assembly without permit. When the public assembly is held clear and present danger to public order, public safety, public
without a permit where a permit is required, the said public assembly may be peacefully
convenience, public morals or public health. This is a
dispersed.
recognized exception to the exercise of the right even under the
Sec. 13. Prohibited acts. The following shall constitute violations of the Act: Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International
(a) The holding of any public assembly as defined in this Act by any leader or organizer Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
without having first secured that written permit where a permit is required from the
office concerned, or the use of such permit for such purposes in any place other Not every expression of opinion is a public assembly. The law
than those set out in said permit: Provided, however, That no person can be refers to "rally, demonstration, march, parade, procession or
punished or held criminally liable for participating in or attending an otherwise any other form of mass or concerted action held in a public
peaceful assembly; place." So it does not cover any and all kinds of gatherings.

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Neither is the law overbroad. It regulates the exercise of the provided under B.P. No. 880. If, after that period, no such parks
right to peaceful assembly and petition only to the extent are so identified in accordance with Section 15 of the law, all
needed to avoid a clear and present danger of the substantive public parks and plazas of the municipality or city concerned
evils Congress has the right to prevent. shall in effect be deemed freedom parks; no prior permit of
whatever kind shall be required to hold an assembly therein.
There is, likewise, no prior restraint, since the content of the
The only requirement will be written notices to the police and the
speech is not relevant to the regulation.
mayor’s office to allow proper coordination and orderly activities.
As to the delegation of powers to the mayor, the law provides a
precise and sufficient standard - the clear and present danger
test stated in Sec. 6(a). The reference to "imminent and grave GMA NETWORK V. BUSTOS
danger of a substantive evil" in Sec. 6(c) substantially means
the same thing and is not an inconsistent standard. As to The Board of Medicine of the Professional Regulation
whether respondent Mayor has the same power independently Commission (PRC) conducted the physicians’ licensure
under Republic Act No. 7160 is thus not necessary to resolve in examinations. Out of the total 2,835 examinees who took the
these proceedings, and was not pursued by the parties in their examinations, 941 failed. A certain Abello and over 200 other
arguments. unsuccessful examinees filed a Petition for Mandamus before
the RTC of Manila to compel the PRC and the board of medical
Finally, for those who cannot wait, Section 15 of the law examiners to re-check and reevaluate the test papers.
provides for an alternative forum through the creation of
freedom parks where no prior permit is needed for peaceful As news writer and reporter of petitioner GMA Network, Inc.
assembly and petition at any time. assigned to gather news from courts, among other beats, Rey
Vidal covered the filing of the mandamus petition. After securing
Considering that the existence of such freedom parks is an a copy of the petition, Vidal composed and narrated the news
essential part of the law’s system of regulation of the people’s coverage for the evening news edition of GMA’s Channel 7
exercise of their right to peacefully assemble and petition, the Headline News.
Court is constrained to rule that after thirty (30) days from the
finality of this Decision, no prior permit may be required for the Stung by what they claim to be a false, malicious and one-sided
exercise of such right in any public park or plaza of a city or report filed and narrated by a remorseless reporter, the herein
municipality until that city or municipality shall have complied respondents instituted a damage suit against Vidal and GMA
with Section 15 of the law. For without such alternative forum, to Network, Inc., then known as the Republic Broadcasting
deny the permit would in effect be to deny the right. Advance System, Inc. They added that, as a measure to make a forceful
notices should, however, be given to the authorities to ensure impact on their audience, the defendants made use of an
proper coordination and orderly proceedings. unrelated and old footage (showing physicians wearing black
armbands) to make it appear that other doctors were supporting
The Court now comes to the matter of the CPR. As stated and sympathizing with the complaining unsuccessful
earlier, the Solicitor General has conceded that the use of the examinees. According to the plaintiffs, the video footage in
term should now be discontinued, since it does not mean question actually related to a 1982 demonstration staged by
anything other than the maximum tolerance policy set forth in doctors and personnel of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH)
B.P. No. 880. regarding wage and economic dispute with hospital
At any rate, the Court rules that in view of the maximum management. Lower court dismissed the action, but the CA
tolerance mandated by B.P. No. 880, CPR serves no valid reversed and ordered respondents to pay damages.
purpose if it means the same thing as maximum tolerance and
is illegal if it means something else. Accordingly, what is to be Issues/Held:
followed is and should be that mandated by the law itself, (1) WON THE TELEVISED NEWS REPORT IN QUESTION ON
namely, maximum tolerance, meaning “the highest degree of THE FILING OF THE PETITION FOR MANDAMUS
restraint that the military, police and other peace keeping AGAINST THE RESPONDENTS IS LIBELOUS?
authorities shall observe during a public assembly or in the NO. An award of damages under the premises presupposes the
dispersal of the same.” commission of an act amounting to defamatory imputation or
The so-called calibrated preemptive response policy has no libel, which, in turn, presupposes malice. Libel is the public and
place in our legal firmament and must be struck down as a malicious imputation to another of a discreditable act or
darkness that shrouds freedom. It merely confuses our people condition tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt
and is used by some police agents to justify abuses. On the of a natural or juridical person. Liability for libel attaches present
other hand, B.P. No. 880 cannot be condemned as the following elements: (a) an allegation or imputation of a
unconstitutional; it does not curtail or unduly restrict freedoms; it discreditable act or condition concerning another; (b) publication
merely regulates the use of public places as to the time, place of the imputation; (c) identity of the person defamed; and (d)
and manner of assemblies. Far from being insidious, "maximum existence of malice.
tolerance" is for the benefit of rallyists, not the government. The Malice or ill-will in libel must either be proven (malice in fact) or
delegation to the mayors of the power to issue rally "permits" is may be taken for granted in view of the grossness of the
valid because it is subject to the constitutionally-sound "clear imputation (malice in law). Malice is a term used to indicate the
and present danger" standard. fact that the offender is prompted by personal ill-will or spite and
In this Decision, the Court goes even one step further in speaks not in response to duty, but merely to injure the
safeguarding liberty by giving local governments a deadline of reputation of the person defamed. Malice implies an intention to
30 days within which to designate specific freedom parks as do ulterior and unjustifiable harm. It is present when it is shown

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that the author of the libelous or defamatory remarks made the observation that "the use of file footage in TV news reporting is
same with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard a standard practice." At any rate, the absence of the
as to the truth or falsity thereof. accompanying character-generated words "file video" would not
change the legal situation insofar as the privileged nature of the
Conceding hypothetically that some failing specifically against
audio-video publication complained of is concerned. For, with
the respondents had been ascribed in that news telecast, it
the view we take of the state of things, the video footage was
bears to stress that not all imputations of some discreditable act
not libel in disguise; standing without accompanying sounds or
or omission, if there be any, are considered malicious thus
voices, it was meaningless, or, at least, conveyed nothing
supplying the ground for actionable libel. For, although every
derogatory in nature.
defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, the
presumption does not exist in matters considered privileged. In In all, the Court holds and so rules that the subject news report
fine, the privilege destroys the presumption. was clearly a fair and true report, a simple narration of the
allegations contained in and circumstances surrounding the
Privileged matters may be absolute or qualified. Absolutely filing by the unsuccessful examinees of the petition for
privileged matters are not actionable regardless of the existence mandamus before the court, and made without malice. Thus, we
of malice in fact. In absolutely privileged communications, the
find the petitioners entitled to the protection and immunity of the
mala or bona fides of the author is of no moment as the
rule on privileged matters under Article 354 (2) of the Revised
occasion provides an absolute bar to the action. Examples of Penal Code. It follows that they too cannot be held liable for
these are speeches or debates made by Congressmen or damages sought by the respondents, who, during the period
Senators in the Congress or in any of its committees. On the
material, were holding public office.
other hand, in qualifiedly or conditionally privileged
communications, the freedom from liability for an otherwise
defamatory utterance is conditioned on the absence of express Section 7. The right of the people to information on matters
malice or malice in fact. The second kind of privilege, in fine, of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official
renders the writer or author susceptible to a suit or finding of records, and to documents and papers pertaining to
libel provided the prosecution established the presence of bad official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as to
faith or malice in fact. To this genre belongs "private government research data used as basis for policy
communications" and "fair and true report without any development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to
comments or remarks" falling under and described as such limitations as may be provided by law.
exceptions in Article 354 of the Revised Penal Code.
To be sure, the enumeration under the aforecited Article 354 is Doctrines
not an exclusive list of conditional privilege communications as Q. Petitioners’ counsel requested public respondent to allow
the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the speech and of the Atty. Paredes to personally check the records of the
press has expanded the privilege to include fair commentaries intestate case. Acting on the request, the Officer-In-
on matters of public interest. Charge/Legal Researcher of the court advised petitioners’
counsel in writing that “per instruction of the Hon. Presiding
In the case at bench, the news telecast in question clearly falls Judge, only parties or those with authority from the parties
under the second kind of privileged matter, the same being the are allowed to inquire or verify the status of a case pending
product of a simple narration of the allegations set forth in the in this Court,” and that they may be “allowed to go over the
mandamus petition of examinees Abello, et al., devoid of any records of the above-entitled case upon presentation of
comment or remark. Both the CA and the trial court in fact found written authority from the administratrix.” Correct?
the narration to be without accompanying distortive or A. Decisions and opinions of a court are, of course, matters of
defamatory comments or remarks. What at bottom petitioners public concern or interest. Unlike court orders and
Vidal and GMA Network, Inc., then did was simply to inform the decisions, however, pleadings and other documents filed by
public of the mandamus petition filed against the respondent parties to a case need not be matters of public concern or
doctors who were admittedly the then chairman and members of interest. They are filed for the purpose of establishing the
the Board of Medicine. It was clearly within petitioner Vidal’s job basis upon which the court may issue an order or a
as news writer and reporter assigned to cover government judgment affecting their rights and interests.
institutions to keep the public abreast of recent developments In fine, access to court records may be permitted at the
therein. It must be reiterated that the courts a quo had discretion and subject to the supervisory and protective
determined the news report in question to be qualifiedly powers of the court, after considering the actual use or
privileged communication protected under the 1987 purpose for which the request for access is based and the
Constitution. obvious prejudice to any of the parties. Hilado et al vs.
Judge Reyes, G.R. No. 163155, July 21, 2006.
(2) WON INSERTION OF OLD FILM FOOTAGE
CONSTITUTES MALICE TO WARRANT DAMAGES? The refusal of the Comelec to reveal the names of the nominees
NO. Contrary to the CA’s findings, the identifying character- for party-list seats violates the right of the people to information
generated words "file video" appeared to have been on maters of public concern. It also violate the rule on
superimposed on screen, doubtless to disabuse the minds of transparency in II,27. Ba-Ra 7941 v. Comelec, GR 177271, May
televiewers of the idea that a particular footage is current. In the 4, 2007.
words of the trial court, the phrase "file video" was "indicated on
screen purposely to prevent misrepresentation so as not to
confuse the viewing public." The trial court added the

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public concern or interest. For they are filed for the purpose of
HILADO ET AL VS. JUDGE REYES establishing the basis upon which the court may issue an order
or a judgment affecting their rights and interests.
Julita Campos Benedicto, the surviving spouse of the deceased
In thus determining which part or all of the records of a case
Roberto S. Benedicto, was appointed Administratrix of the
may be accessed to, the purpose for which the parties filed
estate of Benedicto, and letters of administration were thereafter
them is to be considered. In intestate proceedings, the heirs file
issued in her favor. Herein petitioners had, during the lifetime of
pleadings and documents for the purpose of establishing their
Benedicto, filed two complaints for damages or collection of
right to a share of the estate. As for the creditors, their purpose
sums of money, against Roberto Benedicto et al. In the initial
is to establish their claim to the estate and be paid therefor
inventory of the estate which private respondent submitted in
before the disposition of the estate. Information regarding the
the case before the Manila RTC, she listed, among other
financial standing of a person at the time of his death and the
liabilities of the estate, the claims of petitioners subject of the
manner by which his private estate may ultimately be settled is
above-said Bacolod RTC cases. From January 2002 until
not a matter of general, public concern or one in which a citizen
November 2003, the Branch Clerk of Court of Branch 21 of the
or the public has an interest by which its legal rights or liabilities
Manila RTC allowed petitioners through counsel Sedigo and
maybe affected. Granting unrestricted public access and
Associates to regularly and periodically examine the records of
publicity to personal financial information may constitute an
the case and to secure certified true copies thereof.
unwarranted invasion of privacy to which an individual may have
By December 2003, however, Atty. Grace Carmel Paredes, an an interest in limiting its disclosure or dissemination. If the
associate of petitioners’ counsel, was denied access to the last information sought then is not a matter of public concern or
folder-record of the case which, according to the court’s clerical interest, denial of access thereto does not violate a citizen’s
staff, could not be located and was probably inside the constitutional right to information.
chambers of public respondent for safekeeping.
The accessory right to access public records may, however, be
In their petition, petitioners contend that the records of the case restricted on a showing of good cause. How "good cause" can
are public records to which the public has the right to access, be determined, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in
inspect and obtain official copies thereof, recognition of which Republican Company v. Appeals Court teaches: “The public’s
right is enjoined under Section 7, Article III of the Constitution right of access to judicial records, including transcripts,
and Section 2, Rule 135 and Section 11, Rule 136 of the Rules evidence, memoranda, and court orders, maybe restricted, but
of Court. only on a showing of "good cause." "To determine whether good
cause is shown, a judge must balance the rights of the parties
Issue: WON the petitioner’s right to information was violated?
based on the particular facts of each case." In so doing, the
Held: Insofar as the right to information relates to judicial judge "must take into account all relevant factors, including, but
records, the term "judicial record" or "court record" does not only not limited to, the nature of the parties and the controversy, the
refer to the orders, judgment or verdict of the courts. It type of information and the privacy interests involved, the extent
comprises the official collection of all papers, exhibits and of community interest, and the reason for the request.” And
pleadings filed by the parties, all processes issued and returns even then, the right is subject to inherent supervisory and
made thereon, appearances, and word-for-word testimony protective powers of every court over its own records and files.
which took place during the trial and which are in the
In fine, this Court finds the petition for mandamus meritorious,
possession, custody, or control of the judiciary or of the courts
petitioners being "interested persons" who have a legitimate
for purposes of rendering court decisions. It has also been
reason or purpose for accessing the records of the case.
described to include any paper, letter, map, book, other
document, tape, photograph, film, audio or video recording,
court reporter’s notes, transcript, data compilation, or other
BA-RA 7941 VS. COMELEC
materials, whether in physical or electronic form, made or
received pursuant to law or in connection with the transaction of
Atty. Emilio Capulong, Jr. and ex-Senator Jovito R. Salonga, in
any official business by the court, and includes all evidence it
their own behalves and as counsels of petitioner Rosales,
has received in a case.
forwarded a letter to the Comelec formally requesting action
It bears emphasis that the interest of the public hinges on its and definitive decision on Rosales’ earlier plea for information
right to transparency in the administration of justice, to the end regarding the names of several party-list nominees. Invoking
that it will serve to enhance the basic fairness of the judicial their constitutionally-guaranteed right to information, Messrs.
proceedings, safeguard the integrity of the fact-finding process, Capulong and Salonga at the same time drew attention to the
and foster an informed public discussion of governmental banner headline adverted to earlier, with a request for the
affairs. Decisions and opinions of a court are of course matters Comelec, “collectively or individually, to issue a formal
of public concern or interest for these are the authorized clarification, either confirming or denying … the banner headline
expositions and interpretations of the laws, binding upon all and the alleged statement of Chairman Benjamin Abalos, Sr.
citizens, of which every citizen is charged with knowledge. xxx” Evidently unbeknownst then to Ms. Rosales, et al., was the
Justice thus requires that all should have free access to the issuance of Comelec en banc Resolution 07-0724 under date
opinions of judges and justices, and it would be against sound April 3, 2007 virtually declaring the nominees’ names
public policy to prevent, suppress or keep the earliest confidential and in net effect denying petitioner Rosales’ basic
knowledge of these from the public. disclosure request. In its relevant part, Resolution 07-0724
reads as follows: “RESOLVED, moreover, that the Commission
Unlike court orders and decisions, however, pleadings and other will disclose/publicize the names of party-list nominees in
documents filed by parties to a case need not be matters of connection with the May 14, 2007 Elections only after 3:00 p.m.
JEN LAYGO 4D 2007 TRUTH. HONOR. EXCELLENCE. 10
POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

on election day.“ Petitioners commonly seek to compel the


Comelec to disclose or publish the names of the nominees of METROBANK V. ASB HOLDINGS
the various party-list groups named in the petitions.
Metrobank is a creditor bank of respondent corporations,
ISSUE: WON COMELEC, BY REFUSING TO REVEAL THE
collectively known as the ASB Group of Companies, owner and
NAMES OF THE NOMINEES OF THE VARIOUS PARTY-
developer of condominium and real estate projects. The loans
LIST GROUPS, HAS VIOLATED THE RIGHT TO
were secured by real estate mortgages.
INFORMATION AND FREE ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS?
ASB Group of Companies filed with the SEC a Petition For
Held: YES. Complementing and going hand in hand with the
Rehabilitation With Prayer For Suspension Of Actions And
right to information is another constitutional provision
Proceedings Against Petitioners, pursuant to Presidential
enunciating the policy of full disclosure and transparency in
Decree (P.D.) No. 902-A, as amended. ASB Group of
Government. We refer to Section 28, Article II of the
Companies submitted to the SEC for its approval a
Constitution reading: “Sec. 28. Subject to reasonable conditions
Rehabilitation Plan, to which Metrobank objected, specifically as
prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of
to the arrangement concerning the mode of payment by
full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public
respondents ASB Realty Corporation and ASB Development
interest.”
Corporation of their loan obligations.
The right to information is a public right where the real parties in
The SEC Hearing Panel, finding petitioner bank’s objections
interest are the public, or the citizens to be precise. And for
unreasonable, approved the Rehabilitation Plan. Metrobank
every right of the people recognized as fundamental lies a
then filed with the SEC En Banc a Petition for Certiorari, alleging
corresponding duty on the part of those who govern to respect
that the SEC Hearing Panel, in approving the Rehabilitation
and protect that right. This is the essence of the Bill of Rights in
Plan, committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
a constitutional regime. Without a government’s acceptance of
excess of jurisdiction; and praying for the issuance of a
the limitations upon it by the Constitution in order to uphold
temporary restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary
individual liberties, without an acknowledgment on its part of
injunction to enjoin its implementation. Subsequently, the ASB
those duties exacted by the rights pertaining to the citizens, the
Group of Companies filed their Opposition to the petition, to
Bill of Rights becomes a sophistry.
which petitioner bank filed its Reply. SEC En Banc denied
Like all constitutional guarantees, however, the right to petitioner bank’s Petition for Certiorari and affirmed the SEC
information and its companion right of access to official records Hearing Panel’s approval of the plan. Metrobank assails the
are not absolute. As articulated in Legaspi, the people’s right to respondent’s personality to sue as a legal entity.
know is limited to “matters of public concern” and is further
Issue: WON ASB Group of Companies may sue?
subject to such limitation as may be provided by law. Similarly,
the policy of full disclosure is confined to transactions involving Held: Petitioner bank also argues that "ASB Group of
“public interest” and is subject to reasonable conditions Companies" is merely a generic name used to describe
prescribed by law. Too, there is also the need of preserving a collectively various companies and as such, it is not a legal
measure of confidentiality on some matters, such as military, entity with juridical personality and cannot be a party to a suit.
trade, banking and diplomatic secrets or those affecting national True, "ASB Group of Companies" is merely used in this case as
security. a generic name, for brevity, to collectively describe the various
companies/corporations that filed a Petition For Rehabilitation
If, as in Legaspi, it was the legitimate concern of a citizen to
with the SEC. However, in their petition, all the respondent
know if certain persons employed as sanitarians of a health
corporations are individually named as petitioners, not "ASB
department of a city are civil service eligibles, surely the identity
Group of Companies."
of candidates for a lofty elective public office should be a matter
of highest public concern and interest.
As may be noted, no national security or like concerns is Section 9. Private property shall not be taken for public use
involved in the disclosure of the names of the nominees of the without just compensation.
party-list groups in question. Doubtless, the Comelec committed
grave abuse of discretion in refusing the legitimate demands of Doctrines
the petitioners for a list of the nominees of the party-list groups Where the lots taken were not included in the expropriation
subject of their respective petitions. Mandamus, therefore, lies. proceeding, the lots should be returned to the rightful owner.
Where lots were taken under a compromise agreement but the
government did not perform its part, the agreement is abrogated
Section 8. The right of the people, including those
and there is obligation on the part of the government to return
employed in the public and private sectors, to form
the property to its owner.
unions, associations, or societies for purposes not
contrary to law shall not be abridged. For the unauthorized use of a lot after the Lahug Airport was
abandoned and after plaintiff tendered her repurchase price,
Doctrine and for the illegal encroachment and occupation of another by
A rehabilitation plan approved by statute which merely the government, the government must pay rental.
suspends the actions for claims does not violate the contract
Since land acquisition under either Presidential Decree No. 27
clause. Metrobank v ASB Holdings, GR 166197, February 27,
and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law govern the
2007.
extraordinary method of expropriating private property, the law

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

must be strictly construed. Faithful compliance with legal The CAMC FTAA grants in favor of CAMC the right of
provisions, especially those which relate to the procedure for possession of the Exploration Contract Area, the full right of
acquisition of expropriated lands should therefore be observed. ingress and egress and the right to occupy the same. It also
Jugalbot v. CA, GR 170346, March 12, 2007. bestows CAMC the right not to be prevented from entry into
private lands by surface owners or occupants thereof when
When the right of way enforced by the state results in making prospecting, exploring and exploiting minerals therein. Is this
adjoining property unusable, just compensation is due. compensable taking for public use?
Republic v. Andaya, G.R. No. 160656, June 15, 2007.
A. Yes. The entry referred to in Section 76 is not just a simple
The general rule in determining “just compensation” in eminent right-of-way which is ordinarily allowed under the provisions
domain is the value of the property as of the date of the filing of of the Civil Code. Here, the holders of mining rights enter
the complaint. Normally, the time of the taking coincides with private lands for purposes of conducting mining activities
the filing of the complaint for expropriation. such as exploration, extraction and processing of minerals.
All these will definitely oust the owners or occupants of the
The general rule, however, admits of an exception. Simply
affected areas the beneficial ownership of their lands.
stated, the exception finds the application where the owner
Without a doubt, taking occurs once mining operations
would be given undue incremental advantages arising from the
commence. And the mining industry is of great public
use to which the government devotes the property expropriated
interest. Didipio Earth Savers v. DENR, G.R. No. 157882,
-- as for instance, the extension of a main thoroughfare which
March 30, 2006
increased the value of the property after it was taken but before
expropriation petition was filed. NPC v. Lucman Ibrahim, G.R.
Q. Can the establishment of an easement be equivalent to a
No. 168732, June 29, 2007.
taking, even if title does not pass, and therefore require
compensation?
Q. The city authorized the taking of private property to be
A. Yes, as in this case Here the easement of right-of-way is
converted into a sports facility for the benefit of a small
definitely a taking under the power of eminent domain.
community which seeks to have its own sports and
Considering the nature and effect of the installation of the
recreational facility, notwithstanding that there is such a
230 KV Mexico-Limay transmission lines, the limitation
recreational facility only a short distance away. Is such
imposed by NPC against the use of the land for an
taking public use?
indefinite period deprives private respondents of its ordinary
A. No. The purpose is not clearly and categorically public.
use. NPC v. San Pedro, G.R. No. 170945, September 26,
Masikip v. Pasig, G.R. No. 136349, January 23, 2006.
2006.
Q. MIA occupied a piece of private land for the extension of its
NOTE: the exercise of the power of eminent domain by a local
runway but without expropriating it. After lapse of many
government unit is now governed by Section 19 of Republic Act
years the owner seeks compensation and rental. How
7160. For properties under expropriation, the law now requires
much is due?
the deposit of an amount equivalent to fifteen percent (15%) of
A. For purposes of compensation the value of the land should
the fair market value of the property based on its current tax
be based on what it was worth at the time of entry and not
declaration. Knecht v. Municipality of Cainta, G.R. No. 145254,
its value after many years. Beyond the payment for the
July 20, 2006.
value of the land the owner is entitled to legal interest, not
rental. MIAA v. Rodriguez, G.R. No. 161836, February 28,
JUGALBOT V. CA
2006.
An Emancipation Patent was issued to Nicolas Jugalbot based
Q. Section 75 of R.A. 7942 reads:
on the latter’s claim that he was the tenant of Lot 2180-C. On a
Easement Rights. - When mining areas are so situated
Certification issued by DAR, the subject property was declared
that for purposes of more convenient mining operations it is
to be tenanted as of 1972 and primarily devoted to rice and
necessary to build, construct or install on the mining areas or
corn. In 1988, the Emancipation Patent was registered and
lands owned, occupied or leased by other persons, such
Nicolas Jugalbot was issued TCT.
infrastructure as roads, railroads, mills, waste dump sites,
tailing ponds, warehouses, staging or storage areas and port Heirs of Virginia A. Roa, herein private respondents, filed before
facilities, tramways, runways, airports, electric transmission, the DARAB a Complaint for Cancellation of Title, Recovery of
telephone or telegraph lines, dams and their normal flood Possession and Damages against Nicolas Jugalbot. DARAB
and catchment areas, sites for water wells, ditches, canals, Provincial Adjudicator dismissed, MR was denied.
new river beds, pipelines, flumes, cuts, shafts, tunnels, or
Petition for review before the CA was filed and granted. The
mills, the contractor, upon payment of just compensation,
appellate court reversed the DARAB Central Office on four
shall be entitled to enter and occupy said mining areas or
grounds: (1) the absence of a tenancy relationship; (2) lack of
lands.
notice to Virginia Roa by the DAR; (3) the area of the property
which was less than one hectare and deemed swampy, rainfed
Section 76 provides:
and kangkong-producing; and (4) the classification of the
Entry into private lands and concession areas –
subject property as residential, outside the coverage of PD27.
Subject to prior notification, holders of mining rights shall not
be prevented from entry into private lands and concession ISSUE: Whether a tenancy relationship exists between
areas by surface owners, occupants, or concessionaires petitioners Heirs of Nicolas Jugalbot, and private respondents,
when conducting mining operations therein.
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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

Heirs of Virginia A. Roa, under PD27. Simply stated, are The Board then reported that the project would affect a total of
petitioners de jure tenants of private respondents? 10k sqm of Andaya’s properties, 4k sqm of which will be for the
60-meter easement. The Board also reported that the easement
HELD: NO. The petitioners are not de jure tenants of private
would diminish the value of the remaining 6k sqms. As a result,
respondents under Presidential Decree No. 27 due to the
it recommended the payment of consequential damages
absence of the essential requisites that establish a tenancy
amounting to P2.8M for the remaining area.
relationship between them.
ISSUE: Is the Republic liable for just compensation if in
Firstly, the taking of subject property was done in violation
enforcing the legal easement of right-of-way on a property, the
of constitutional due process. Virginia A. Roa was denied
remaining area would be rendered unusable and uninhabitable?
due process because the DAR failed to send notice of the
impending land reform coverage to the proper party. The HELD: It is undisputed that there is a legal easement of right-of-
records show that notices were erroneously addressed and sent way in favor of the Republic. Section 112 of the Public Land Act
in the name of Pedro N. Roa who was not the owner, hence, not provides that lands granted by patent shall be subject to a right-
the proper party in the instant case. The ownership of the of-way not exceeding 60 meters in width for public highways,
property, as can be gleaned from the records, pertains to irrigation ditches, aqueducts, and other similar works of the
Virginia A. Roa. Notice should have been therefore served on government or any public enterprise, free of charge, except only
her, and not Pedro N. Roa. for the value of the improvements existing thereon that may be
affected.
Secondly, there is no concrete evidence on record sufficient to
establish that Nicolas Jugalbot or the petitioners personally We are, however, unable to sustain the Republic’s argument
cultivated the property under question or that there was sharing that it is not liable to pay consequential damages if in enforcing
of harvests, except for their self-serving statements. the legal easement on Andaya’s property, the remaining area
would be rendered unusable and uninhabitable. “Taking,” in
Neither was there any evidence that the landowner, Virginia A. the exercise of the power of eminent domain, occurs not
Roa, freely gave her consent, whether expressly or impliedly, to only when the government actually deprives or
establish a tenancy relationship over her paraphernal property. dispossesses the property owner of his property or of its
Thirdly, the fact of sharing alone is not sufficient to establish a ordinary use, but also when there is a practical destruction
tenancy relationship. All the requisites must concur in order to or material impairment of the value of his property. Using
create a tenancy relationship between the parties and the this standard, there was undoubtedly a taking of the remaining
absence of one or more requisites does not make the alleged area of Andaya’s property. True, no burden was imposed
tenant a de facto tenant as contradistinguished from a de jure thereon and Andaya still retained title and possession of the
tenant. This is so because unless a person has established his property. But, as correctly observed by the Board and affirmed
status as a de jure tenant he is not entitled to security of tenure by the courts a quo, the nature and the effect of the floodwalls
nor is he covered by the Land Reform Program of the would deprive Andaya of the normal use of the remaining areas.
Government under existing tenancy laws. The security of tenure It would prevent ingress and egress to the property and turn it
guaranteed by our tenancy laws may be invoked only by tenants into a catch basin for the floodwaters coming from the Agusan
de jure, not by those who are not true and lawful tenants. River. For this reason, in our view, Andaya is entitled to
payment of just compensation, which must be neither more nor
Finally, it is readily apparent in this case that the property under less than the monetary equivalent of the land.
dispute is residential property and not agricultural property.
Zoning Certification clearly shows that the subject property is Finally, we affirm the findings of the Court of Appeals and the
located within the Residential 2 District in accordance with trial court that just compensation should be paid only for 5,937
paragraph (b), Section 9, Article IV of Zoning Ordinance No. square meters of the total area of 10,380 square meters.
880, Series of 1979 issued by the City Planning and Admittedly, the Republic needs only a 10-meter easement or an
Development Office of Cagayan de Oro City. equivalent of 701 square meters. Yet, it is also settled that it is
legally entitled to a 60-meter wide easement or an equivalent of
4,443 square meters. Clearly, although the Republic will use
REPUBLIC V. ANDAYA only 701 square meters, it should not be liable for the 3,742
square meters, which constitute the difference between this
Respondent Ismael Andaya is the registered owner of two area of 701 square meters and the 4,443 square meters to
parcels of land in Bading, Butuan City. These properties are which it is fully entitled to use as easement, free of charge
subject to a 60-meter wide perpetual easement for public except for damages to affected existing improvements, if any,
highways, irrigation ditches, aqueducts, and other similar works under Section 112 of the Public Land Act.
of the government or public enterprise, at no cost to the
In effect, without such damages alleged and proved, the Republic is
government, except only the value of the improvements existing
liable for just compensation of only the remaining areas consisting
thereon that may be affected.
of 5,937 square meters, with interest thereon at the legal rate of 6%
Petitioner Republic negotiated with Andaya to enforce the 60- per annum from the date of the writ of possession or the actual
meter easement of right-of-way. The negotiations failed so taking until full payment is made. For the purpose of determining
Republic instituted an action to enforce the easement of right-of- the final just compensation, the case is remanded to the trial court.
way or eminent domain. RTC issued a writ of possession and Said court is ordered to make the determination of just
constituted a Board of Commissioners to determine the just compensation payable to respondent Andaya with deliberate
compensation. dispatch.

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The case is hereby REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court of thus expropriated, are entitled to a just compensation which
Butuan City, Branch 33 for the determination of the final just should be neither more nor less, whenever it is possible to make
compensation of the compensable area consisting of 5,937 the assessment, than the money equivalent of said property.
square meters, with interest thereon at the legal rate of 6% per
The entitlement of respondents to just compensation having
annum from the date of the writ of possession or actual taking
been settled, the issue now is on the manner of computing the
until fully paid.
same. In this regard, petitioner claims that the basis for the
computation of the just compensation should be the value of the
NPC V. LUCMAN IBRAHIM
property at the time it was taken in 1978.
Ibrahim and his co-heirs claimed that they were owners of To allow petitioner to use the date it constructed the tunnels as
several parcels of land. Sometime in 1978, NAPOCOR, through the date of valuation would be grossly unfair. First, it did not
alleged stealth and without respondents’ knowledge and prior enter the land under warrant or color of legal authority or with
consent, took possession of the sub-terrain area of their lands intent to expropriate the same. In fact, it did not bother to notify
and constructed therein underground tunnels. The existence of the owners and wrongly assumed it had the right to dig those
the tunnels was only discovered in July 1992 by respondents tunnels under their property. Secondly, the “improvements”
and then later confirmed by NAPOCOR itself. Respondents introduced by petitioner, namely, the tunnels, in no way
demanded that NAPOCOR pay damages and vacate the sub- contributed to an increase in the value of the land. The trial
terrain portion of their lands but the latter refused to vacate court, therefore, as affirmed by the CA, rightly computed the
much less pay damages. valuation of the property as of 1992, when respondents
discovered the construction of the huge underground tunnels
Disputing respondents’ claim, NAPOCOR claimed that
beneath their lands and petitioner confirmed the same and
respondents have no cause of action because they failed to
started negotiations for their purchase but no agreement could
show proof that they were the owners of the property, and the
be reached.
tunnels are a government project for the benefit of all and all
private lands are subject to such easement as may be As to the amount of the valuation, the RTC and the CA both
necessary for the same. used as basis the value of the adjacent property, Lot 1 (the
property involved herein being Lots 2 and 3 of the same
RTC denied plaintiffs’ prayer for NAPOCOR to dismantle the
subdivision plan), which was valued at P1,000 per sq. meter as
underground tunnels but ordered defendant to pay to plaintiffs
of 1990. Petitioner has not shown any error on the part of the
the fair market value of said 70,000 square meters of land and a
CA in reaching such a valuation. Furthermore, these are factual
reasonable monthly rental of P0.68 per square meter of the total
matters that are not within the ambit of the present review.
area of 48,005 square meters effective from its occupancy of
the foregoing area in 1978.
MASIKIP V. PASIG
ISSUE: WON respondents are entitled to just compensation?
Petitioner Lourdes Dela Paz Masikip is the registered owner of a
HELD: The ownership of land extends to the surface as well as
parcel of land in Pasig City. In a letter, the City of Pasig notified
to the subsoil under it. Petitioner contends that the underground
petitioner of its intention to expropriate a 1,500 square meter
tunnels in this case constitute an easement upon the property of
portion of her property to be used for the “sports development
respondents which does not involve any loss of title or
and recreational activities” of the residents of Barangay
possession. The manner in which the easement was created by
Caniogan. This was pursuant to Ordinance enacted by the then
petitioner, however, violates the due process rights of Sangguniang Bayan of Pasig.
respondents as it was without notice and indemnity to them and
did not go through proper expropriation proceedings. Petitioner Petitioner sent a reply to respondent stating that the intended
could have, at any time, validly exercised the power of eminent expropriation of her property is unconstitutional, invalid, and
domain to acquire the easement over respondents’ property as oppressive, as the area of her lot is neither sufficient nor
this power encompasses not only the taking or appropriation of suitable to “provide land opportunities to deserving poor sectors
title to and possession of the expropriated property but likewise of our community.”
covers even the imposition of a mere burden upon the owner of
Respondent reiterated that the purpose of the expropriation of
the condemned property.
petitioner’s property is “to provide sports and recreational
In disregarding this procedure and failing to recognize facilities to its poor residents.”
respondents’ ownership of the sub-terrain portion, petitioner
ISSUES: WON THERE WAS A GENUINE NECESSITY FOR
took a risk and exposed itself to greater liability with the
EXPROPRIATION?
passage of time. It must be emphasized that the acquisition of
the easement is not without expense. The underground tunnels HELD: NO. Judicial review of the exercise of eminent domain is
impose limitations on respondents’ use of the property for an limited to the following areas of concern: (a) the adequacy of
indefinite period and deprive them of its ordinary use. Based the compensation, (b) the necessity of the taking, and (c) the
upon the foregoing, respondents are clearly entitled to the public use character of the purpose of the taking.
payment of just compensation. Notwithstanding the fact that
petitioner only occupies the sub-terrain portion, it is liable to pay In this case, petitioner contends that respondent City of Pasig
not merely an easement fee but rather the full compensation for failed to establish a genuine necessity which justifies the
land. This is so because in this case, the nature of the condemnation of her property. While she does not dispute the
easement practically deprives the owners of its normal intended public purpose, nonetheless, she insists that there
beneficial use. Respondents, as the owners of the property must be a genuine necessity for the proposed use and
purposes. According to petitioner, there is already an

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established sports development and recreational activity center rental for the property from 1972 to 1998; the purchase price of
at Rainforest Park in Pasig City, fully operational and being the property occupied by it; and exemplary damages.
utilized by its residents, including those from Barangay
ISSUE: WHAT POINT IN TIME SHOULD BE THE BASIS FOR
Caniogan. Respondent does not dispute this. Evidently, there
JUST COMPENSATION?
is no “genuine necessity” to justify the expropriation.
HELD: Where actual taking was made without the benefit of
The right to take private property for public purposes necessarily
expropriation proceedings, and the owner sought recovery of
originates from “the necessity” and the taking must be limited to
such necessity. The very foundation of the right to exercise the possession of the property prior to the filing of expropriation
eminent domain is a genuine necessity and that necessity proceedings, the Court has invariably ruled that it is the value of
must be of a public character. Moreover, the ascertainment the property at the time of taking that is controlling for purposes
of compensation.
of the necessity must precede or accompany and not follow, the
taking of the land. The necessity within the rule that the Undeniably, the MIAA’s illegal occupation for more than 20
particular property to be expropriated must be necessary, does years has resulted in pecuniary loss to Rodriguez and his
not mean an absolute but only a reasonable or practical predecessors-in-interest. Such pecuniary loss entitles him to
necessity, such as would combine the greatest benefit to the adequate compensation in the form of actual or compensatory
public with the least inconvenience and expense to the damages, which in this case should be the legal interest (6%)
condemning party and the property owner consistent with such on the value of the land at the time of taking, from said point up
benefit. to full payment by the MIAA. This is based on the principle that
interest “runs as a matter of law and follows from the right of the
Applying this standard, we hold that respondent City of Pasig
landowner to be placed in as good position as money can
has failed to establish that there is a genuine necessity to
accomplish, as of the date of the taking.”
expropriate petitioner’s property. Our scrutiny of the records
shows that the Certification issued by the Caniogan Barangay The award of interest renders unwarranted the grant of back
Council, the basis for the passage of Ordinance No. 42 s. 1993 rentals as extended by the courts below. In Republic v. Lara, et
authorizing the expropriation, indicates that the intended al., the Court ruled that the indemnity for rentals is inconsistent
beneficiary is the Melendres Compound Homeowners with a property owner’s right to be paid legal interest on the
Association, a private, non-profit organization, not the residents value of the property, for if the condemnor is to pay the
of Caniogan. It can be gleaned that the members of the said compensation due to the owners from the time of the actual
Association are desirous of having their own private playground taking of their property, the payment of such compensation is
and recreational facility. Petitioner’s lot is the nearest vacant deemed to retroact to the actual taking of the property; and,
space available. The purpose is, therefore, not clearly and hence, there is no basis for claiming rentals from the time of
categorically public. The necessity has not been shown, actual taking.
especially considering that there exists an alternative facility for
sports development and community recreation in the area, Petitioners claim that Rodriguez is a buyer in bad faith since
which is the Rainforest Park, available to all residents of Pasig prior to his purchase he was aware of the MIAA’s occupation of
City, including those of Caniogan. the property and therefore proceeded with the purchase in
anticipation of enormous profits from the subsequent sale to the
MIAA V. RODRIGUEZ MIAA. The point is irrelevant. Regardless of whether or not
Rodriguez acted in bad faith, all that he will be entitled to is the
In the early 70’s, petitioner Manila International Airport Authority value of the property at the time of the taking, with legal interest
(MIAA), the government-owned and controlled corporation thereon from that point until full payment of the compensation by
managing and operating the Ninoy Aquino International Airport the MIAA. Besides, assuming the question is of any
Complex, implemented expansion programs for its runway. This consequence, the circumstances surrounding Rodriguez’s
necessitated the acquisition and occupation of some of the purchase may not even amount to bad faith. There is nothing
properties surrounding its premises. Expropriation proceedings wrongful or dishonest in expecting to profit from one’s
were thus initiated over most of the properties. investment. However, Rodriguez can fault but only himself for
taking an obvious risk in purchasing property already being
In 1996, the MIAA through its then GM, petitioner Francisco used for a public purpose. It was a self-inflicted misfortune
Atayde, received a letter from respondent Joaquin Rodriguez that his investment did not generate the windfall he had
proposing to sell at P2,350.00 per sqm, one of the lots already expected. For ostensibly little did he know that he could not
occupied by the expanded runway but assumed as not yet acquire more rights than the previous owners had since the
expropriated by the MIAA. The proposal did not ripen to a deal. government taking had taken place earlier.
Subsequently, Rodriguez bought the bigger lot a portion of
which was occupied by the runway, as well as all the rights to DIDIPIO EARTH SAVERS V. DENR
claim reasonable rents and damages for the occupation, from its
owner then, Buck Estate, Inc. President Aquino promulgated EO279 which authorized the
DENR Secretary to accept, consider and evaluate proposals
In a letter, Rodriguez, through counsel, demanded from the
from foreign-owned corporations or foreign investors for
MIAA full payment for the property and back rentals for 27
contracts of agreements involving either technical or financial
years. As he did not reach an agreement with the MIAA,
assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and
Rodriguez filed a case for accion reinvindicatoria with
utilization of minerals, which, upon appropriate recommendation
damages. Finding that the MIAA had illegally taken possession
of the Secretary, the President may execute with the foreign
of the property, the trial court ordered defendant to pay plaintiff
proponent.

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In 1995, then President Ramos signed into law RA7942 There is also no basis for the claim that the Mining Law and its
otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. implementing rules and regulations do not provide for just
compensation in expropriating private properties. Section 76 of
DENR Sec. Victor O. Ramos issued DENR AO23, Series of
Rep. Act No. 7942 and Section 107 of DAO 96-40 provide for
1995, containing the implementing guidelines of RA7942.
the payment of just compensation: Section 76. xxx Provided,
Previously, however, President Ramos executed an FTAA with that any damage to the property of the surface owner, occupant,
AMC over a total land area of 37,000 hectares covering the or concessionaire as a consequence of such operations shall be
provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino. Included in this area properly compensated as may be provided for in the
is Barangay Dipidio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. implementing rules and regulations. Section 107. Compensation
of the Surface Owner and Occupant- Any damage done to the
In 2001, counsels for petitioners filed a demand letter addressed property of the surface owners, occupant, or concessionaire
to then DENR Secretary Heherson Alvarez, for the cancellation thereof as a consequence of the mining operations or as a
of the CAMC FTAA for the primary reason that Rep. Act No. result of the construction or installation of the infrastructure
7942 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations DAO 96-40 mentioned in 104 above shall be properly and justly
are unconstitutional. The Office of the Executive Secretary was compensated. Such compensation shall be based on the
also furnished a copy of the said letter. There being no agreement entered into between the holder of mining rights and
response to both letters, another letter of the same content the surface owner, occupant or concessionaire thereof, where
dated 17 June 2002 was sent to President Gloria Macapagal appropriate, in accordance with P.D. No. 512.
Arroyo. This letter was indorsed to the DENR Secretary and
eventually referred to the Panel of Arbitrators of the Mines and Power of Courts to Determine Just Compensation
Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Regional Office No. 02,
Tuguegarao, Cagayan, for further action. The question on the judicial determination of just compensation
has been settled in the case of Export Processing Zone
ISSUE: WON RA7942 AND THE CAMC FTAA ARE VOID Authority v. Dulay wherein the court declared that the
BECAUSE THEY ALLOW THE UNJUST AND UNLAWFUL determination of just compensation in eminent domain cases is
TAKING OF PROPERTY WITHOUT PAYMENT OF JUST a judicial function. Even as the executive department or the
COMPENSATION , IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 9, ARTICLE legislature may make the initial determinations, the same cannot
III OF THE CONSTITUTION? prevail over the court’s findings.
Implementing Section 76 of Rep. Act No. 7942, Section 105 of
HELD: NO.
DAO 96-40 states that holder(s) of mining right(s) shall not be
Taking in Eminent Domain Distinguished from prevented from entry into its/their contract/mining areas for the
Regulation in Police Power purpose of exploration, development, and/or utilization. That in
According to noted constitutionalist, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, in cases where surface owners of the lands, occupants or
the exercise of its police power regulation, the state restricts the concessionaires refuse to allow the permit holder or contractor
use of private property, but none of the property interests in the entry, the latter shall bring the matter before the Panel of
bundle of rights which constitute ownership is appropriated for Arbitrators for proper disposition. Section 106 states that
use by or for the benefit of the public. Use of the property by voluntary agreements between the two parties permitting the
the owner was limited, but no aspect of the property is used by mining right holders to enter and use the surface owners’ lands
or for the public. The deprivation of use can in fact be total and shall be registered with the Regional Office of the MGB. In
it will not constitute compensable taking if nobody else acquires connection with Section 106, Section 107 provides that the
use of the property or any interest therein. compensation for the damage done to the surface owner,
occupant or concessionaire as a consequence of mining
If, however, in the regulation of the use of the property, operations or as a result of the construction or installation of the
somebody else acquires the use or interest thereof, such infrastructure shall be properly and justly compensated and that
restriction constitutes compensable taking. While the power of such compensation shall be based on the agreement between
eminent domain often results in the appropriation of title to or the holder of mining rights and surface owner, occupant or
possession of property, it need not always be the case. Taking concessionaire, or where appropriate, in accordance with
may include trespass without actual eviction of the owner, Presidential Decree No. 512. In cases where there is
material impairment of the value of the property or prevention of disagreement to the compensation or where there is no
the ordinary uses for which the property was intended such as agreement, the matter shall be brought before the Panel of
the establishment of an easement. Arbitrators. Section 206 of the implementing rules and
The CAMC FTAA grants in favor of CAMC the right of regulations provides an aggrieved party the remedy to appeal
possession of the Exploration Contract Area, the full right of the decision of the Panel of Arbitrators to the Mines Adjudication
ingress and egress and the right to occupy the same. It also Board, and the latter’s decision may be reviewed by the
bestows CAMC the right not to be prevented from entry into Supreme Court by filing a petition for review on certiorari.
private lands by surface owners or occupants thereof when An examination of the foregoing provisions gives no indication
prospecting, exploring and exploiting minerals therein. that the courts are excluded from taking cognizance of
While this Court declares that the assailed provision is a taking expropriation cases under the mining law. The disagreement
provision, this does not mean that it is unconstitutional on the referred to in Section 107 does not involve the exercise of
ground that it allows taking of private property without the eminent domain, rather it contemplates of a situation wherein
determination of public use and the payment of just the permit holders are allowed by the surface owners entry into
compensation. the latters’ lands and disagreement ensues as regarding the
proper compensation for the allowed entry and use of the
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private lands. Noticeably, the provision points to a voluntary The court held: We do not see how applying a strictly literal or
sale or transaction, but not to an involuntary sale. verba legis interpretation of paragraph 4 could inexorably lead
to the conclusions arrived at in the ponencia. First, the drafters’
Although Section 105 confers upon the Panel of Arbitrators the
choice of words -- their use of the phrase agreements x x x
authority to decide cases where surface owners, occupants,
involving either technical or financial assistance -- does not
concessionaires refuse permit holders entry, thus, necessitating
indicate the intent to exclude other modes of assistance. The
involuntary taking, this does not mean that the determination of
drafters opted to use involving when they could have simply
the just compensation by the Panel of Arbitrators or the Mines
said agreements for financial or technical assistance, if that was
Adjudication Board is final and conclusive. The determination is
their intention to begin with. In this case, the limitation would be
only preliminary unless accepted by all parties concerned.
very clear and no further debate would ensue. In contrast, the
There is nothing wrong with the grant of primary jurisdiction by
use of the word “involving” signifies the possibility of the
the Panel of Arbitrators or the Mines Adjudication Board to
inclusion of other forms of assistance or activities having to do
determine in a preliminary matter the reasonable compensation
with, otherwise related to or compatible with financial or
due the affected landowners or occupants. The original and
technical assistance. The word “involving” as used in this
exclusive jurisdiction of the courts to decide determination of
context has three connotations that can be differentiated thus:
just compensation remains intact despite the preliminary
one, the sense of “concerning,” “having to do with,” or
determination made by the administrative agency.
“affecting”; two, “entailing,” “requiring,” “implying” or
“necessitating”; and three, “including,” “containing” or
Sufficient Control by the State Over Mining Operations
“comprising.”
Petitioners charge that Rep. Act No. 7942, as well as its
Implementing Rules and Regulations, makes it possible for Plainly, none of the three connotations convey a sense of
FTAA contracts to cede over to a fully foreign-owned exclusivity. Moreover, the word “involving,” when understood in
corporation full control and management of mining enterprises, the sense of “including,” as in including technical or financial
with the result that the State is allegedly reduced to a passive assistance, necessarily implies that there are activities other
regulator dependent on submitted plans and reports, with weak than those that are being included. In other words, if an
review and audit powers. It has already been held in the case agreement includes technical or financial assistance, there is
of La Bugal, that: Overall, considering the provisions of the apart from such assistance -- something else already in, and
statute and the regulations just discussed, we believe that the covered or may be covered by, the said agreement.
State definitely possesses the means by which it can have the
In short, it allows for the possibility that matters, other than
ultimate word in the operation of the enterprise, set directions
those explicitly mentioned, could be made part of the
and objectives, and detect deviations and noncompliance by the
agreement. Thus, we are now led to the conclusion that the use
contractor; likewise, it has the capability to enforce compliance
of the word “involving” implies that these agreements with
and to impose sanctions, should the occasion therefor arise. In
foreign corporations are not limited to mere financial or technical
other words, the FTAA contractor is not free to do whatever it
assistance. The difference in sense becomes very apparent
pleases and get away with it; on the contrary, it will have to
when we juxtapose “agreements for technical or financial
follow the government line if it wants to stay in the enterprise.
assistance” against “agreements including technical or financial
Ineluctably then, RA 7942 and DAO 96-40 vest in the
assistance.” This much is unalterably clear in a verba legis
government more than a sufficient degree of control and
approach.
supervision over the conduct of mining operations.
NPC V. SAN PEDRO
Proper Interpretation of the Constitutional Phrase “Agreements
Involving Either Technical or Financial Assistance
For the construction of its San Manuel-San Jose 500 KV
In interpreting the first and fourth paragraphs of Section 2, Transmission Line and Tower No. SMJ-389, NPC negotiated
Article XII of the Constitution, petitioners set forth the argument with Maria Mendoza San Pedro, then represented by her son,
that foreign corporations are barred from making decisions on Vicente, for an easement of right of way over her property. The
the conduct of operations and the management of the mining payment voucher for the residential portion of the lot valued at
project. P6M was then processed. However, the NPC Board of
Directors approved Board Resolution No. 97-246 stating that it
Again, this issue has already been succinctly passed upon by
would pay only a lesser amount.
this Court in La Bugal-B’Laan Tribal Association, Inc. v. Ramos.
In discrediting such argument, the Court ratiocinated: Petitioners Hence, NPC filed a complaint for eminent domain in the
claim that the phrase “agreements x x x involving either RTC. According to NPC, in order to construct and maintain its
technical or financial assistance” simply means technical Northwestern Luzon Transmission Line Project, it was
assistance or financial assistance agreements, nothing more necessary to acquire several lots in the Municipalities of San
and nothing else. They insist that there is no ambiguity in the Jose del Monte and Norzagaray, Bulacan for an easement of
phrase, and that a plain reading of paragraph 4 quoted above right of way in the total area of more or less 35,288.5 sq m.
leads to the inescapable conclusion that what a foreign-owned
During the pre-trial, the parties agreed that the only issue for
corporation may enter into with the government is merely an
resolution was the just compensation for the property. The
agreement for either financial or technical assistance only, for
court appointed a committee of commissioners to ascertain and
the large-scale exploration, development and utilization of
recommend to the trial court the just compensation for the
minerals, petroleum and other mineral oils; such a limitation,
properties. RTC then approved the valuation of just
they argue, excludes foreign management and operation of a
compensation as found by the board.
mining enterprise.

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

ISSUE: WON THE LOWER COURT RULING WAS PROPER? decided in favor of UCC. The judgment in favor of UCC,
however, could not be immediately implemented because PCIB,
HELD: YES. The constitutional limitation of “just compensation”
during the pendency of the case foreclosed on the mortgage.
is considered to be the sum equivalent to the market value of Rose Packing tried to stop the foreclosure by filing a separate
the property, broadly described to be the price fixed by the seller case but the trial court denied its prayer for TRO or preliminary
in open market in the usual and ordinary course of legal action injunction. PCIB subsequently purchased the lot in the
and competition or the fair value of the property as between one
foreclosure sale, consolidated its title over the property and had
who receives, and one who desires to sell it, fixed at the time of it registered in its name. Rose Packing questioned the validity of
the actual taking by the government. To determine the just the foreclosure in the CA but the CA ruled in favor of PCIB.
compensation to be paid to the landowner, the nature and When the case was elevated to this Court, however, we
character of the land at the time of its taking is the principal
invalidated the foreclosure, in effect reverting the title to Rose
criterion. Packing.
The commissioners found that the property was located in a
Interpreting our decision as removing the impediment to the
highly-developed area and was accessible through an all-
execution of judgment, UCC moved for the execution of the
weather road. The fact that the property had potential for full
1969 decision. RTC ordered the issuance of an alias writ of
development as shown by the existence of building projects in
execution in favor of UCC. Such issuance is now being
the vicinity, and the long-term effect of the expropriation on the
questioned.
lives, comfort and financial condition of petitioners was likewise
considered. The report also took into account the ocular In the meantime, Municipality of Cainta filed a complaint for
inspection conducted by the commissioners on May 11, 1999. expropriation against PCIB and Rose Packing. The
The tax declaration of the subject property, the NPC sketch expropriation complaint was based on Sangguniang Bayan
plan, the location plan, the zoning certificates, the zonal Resolution No. 89-020 which sought to purchase the land as the
valuation of the BIR, and the opinion values were also site of the municipal administration compound and SB
considered. Resolution No. 89-021 which called for the condemnation of
said land if the negotiation for its voluntary sale failed. The
On the question as to whether petitioner shall pay only an
negotiation did fail, hence, the complaint for expropriation.
easement fee to respondent’s heirs, the following
pronouncement in National Power Corporation v. Aguirre- Rose Packing moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state
Paderanga is enlightening: Indeed, expropriation is not limited to a cause of action. Subsequently, Rose Packing filed a
the acquisition of real property with a corresponding transfer of supplemental motion to dismiss alleging that it never received a
title or possession. The right-of-way easement resulting in a formal offer to purchase from the municipality. It also averred
restriction or limitation on property rights over the land traversed that it could no longer be sued in view of its dissolution in 1986.
by transmission lines, as in the present case, also falls within It added that the property sought to be expropriated was under
the ambit of the term “expropriation.” In the case at bar, the litigation and its expropriation would only complicate matters.
easement of right-of-way is definitely a taking under the power RTC-Antipolo denied Rose Packing’s motion to dismiss the
of eminent domain. Considering the nature and effect of the expropriation case. Trial court issued an order directing the
installation of the 230 KV Mexico-Limay transmission lines, the Municipality of Cainta to deposit 10% of the provisional value of
limitation imposed by NPC against the use of the land for an the property.
indefinite period deprives private respondents of its ordinary
Then, RTC-Antipolo issued a condemnation order declaring that
use.
the Municipality of Cainta had the lawful right to expropriate the
Similarly, in this case, the commissioners’ observation on the property. On the same date, the trial court issued another order
reported constant loud buzzing and exploding sounds granting the municipality’s motion for a writ of possession.
emanating from the towers and transmission lines, especially on
The present petition is intended to achieve only one thing: to
rainy days; the constant fear on the part of the landowners that
frustrate the execution of the decision awarding the property to
the large transmission lines looming not far above their land and
UCC.
the huge tower in front of their lot will affect their safety and
health; and the slim chance that no one would be interested to Issue: WON the decision awarding the property to UCC may be
buy the remaining portions on each side of the residential lot enforced despite the expropriation of the same land?
affected by the project, to the damage of the landowners, both
as to future actual use of the land and financial gains to be Held: YES. There is no doubt that the judgment in Civil Case
derived therefrom, makes the instant case fall within the ambit No. 9165 became final and executory. That this judgment is still
of expropriation. enforceable was decided with finality by this Court in G.R. No.
109385.
KNECHT V. MUNICIPALITY OF CAINTA We, however, have to correct the erroneous reliance of RTC-
Antipolo on Presidential Decree (PD) 1533 in the expropriation
In 1965, Rose Packing Co., Inc. sold 3 parcels of land in Cainta case of the Municipality of Cainta. Its order dated June 16, 1992
to United Cigarette Corporation (UCC). The largest parcel was in Civil Case No. 90-1817 mandated the deposit of 10% of the
covered by a TCT while the two other parcels were assessed value of the property.
unregistered. The TCT was mortgaged to.
In Export Processing Zone Authority v. Dulay, a 1987 case, we
When Rose Packing refused to comply with its commitments struck down PD 1533 as unconstitutional. Moreover, the
under the contract, UCC filed a suit for specific performance and exercise of the power of eminent domain by a local government
damages against it and its president, Rene Knecht. RTC unit is now governed by Section 19 of Republic Act 7160. For

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

properties under expropriation, the law now requires the deposit the lower court is a “money claim against an estate not based
of an amount equivalent to fifteen percent (15%) of the fair on judgment.”
market value of the property based on its current tax
Respondent judge was in clear and serious error when he
declaration.
concluded that the filing fees should be computed on the basis
In conclusion, we once and for all declare that UCC ought to of the schematic table of Section 7(a), as the action involved
reap the fruits of the 1969 decision in its favor. Its interest in the pertains to a claim against an estate based on judgment.
property sought to be expropriated having been clearly
The rules of comity, utility and convenience of nations have
established. Knecht, Inc./Rose Packing was correctly excluded
established a usage among civilized states by which final
from the case since its interest in the subject property had
judgments of foreign courts of competent jurisdiction are
already passed onto UCC.
reciprocally respected and rendered efficacious under certain
UCC’s interest likewise prevails over that of PCIB since PCIB’s conditions that may vary in different countries. This principle
foreclosure sale of the same property was already invalidated was prominently affirmed in the leading American case of Hilton
with finality by this Court. v. Guyot and expressly recognized in our jurisprudence
beginning with Ingenholl v. Walter E. Olsen & Co. The
conditions required by the Philippines for recognition and
Section 11. Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial enforcement of a foreign judgment were originally contained in
bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied Section 311 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which was taken
to any person by reason of poverty. from the California Code of Civil Procedure which, in turn, was
derived from the California Act of March 11, 1872. Remarkably,
Doctrines the procedural rule now outlined in Section 48, Rule 39 of the
Q. Petitioners filed a petition for enforcement of foreign Rules of Civil Procedure has remained unchanged down to the
judgment granting compensation for human rights violation last word in nearly a century.
during the Marcos years but were required to file a fee of
There is an evident distinction between a foreign judgment in an
P472,000,000.00. The amount was based on the dollar
action in rem and one in personam. For an action in rem, the
amount granted by the foreign court. Petitioners appealed
foreign judgment is deemed conclusive upon the title to the
to Section 11.
thing, while in an action in personam, the foreign judgment is
A. The judge made an incorrect reading of the rules on filing
presumptive, and not conclusive, of a right as between the
fees. He calculated on the basis of an amount sought
parties and their successors in interest by a subsequent title.
against an estate not based on a judgments. The Court,
However, in both cases, the foreign judgment is susceptible to
however, decided the case not on the basis of Section 11
impeachment in our local courts on the grounds of want of
(completely ignored) but on the rules for enforcement of
jurisdiction or notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear
foreign judgment. Mijares v. Ranada, G.R. No. 139325.
mistake of law or fact. Thus, the party aggrieved by the foreign
April 12, 2005.
judgment is entitled to defend against the enforcement of such
decision in the local forum. It is essential that there should be an
MIJARES V. RANADA
opportunity to challenge the foreign judgment, in order for the
court in this jurisdiction to properly determine its efficacy.
The petitioners in this case are prominent victims of human
rights violations during the Marcos regime. The clash has been It is clear then that it is usually necessary for an action to be
for now interrupted by a trial court ruling, seemingly comported filed in order to enforce a foreign judgment, even if such
to legal logic, that required the petitioners to pay a whopping judgment has conclusive effect as in the case of in rem actions,
filing fee of over P472M in order that they be able to enforce a if only for the purpose of allowing the losing party an opportunity
judgment awarded them by a foreign court. to challenge the foreign judgment, and in order for the court to
properly determine its efficacy. Consequently, the party
Petitioners invoke Section 11, Article III of the Bill of Rights of
attacking a foreign judgment has the burden of overcoming the
the Constitution, which provides that “Free access to the courts
presumption of its validity.
and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall
not be denied to any person by reason of poverty,” a mandate The rules are silent as to what initiatory procedure must be
which is essentially defeated by the required exorbitant filing undertaken in order to enforce a foreign judgment in the
fee. The adjudicated amount of the filing fee, as arrived at by Philippines. But there is no question that the filing of a civil
the RTC, was characterized as indisputably unfair, inequitable, complaint is an appropriate measure for such purpose.
and unjust.
The jurisprudential standard in gauging whether the subject
Issue: WON the respondent Judge erred in dismissing the case matter of an action is capable of pecuniary estimation is well-
for non-payment of filing fees? entrenched. The Marcos Estate cites Singsong v. Isabela
Sawmill and Raymundo v. Court of Appeals, which ruled: “[I]n
Held: An examination of Rule 141 of the Rules of Court readily
determining whether an action is one the subject matter of
evinces that the respondent judge ignored the clear letter of the
which is not capable of pecuniary estimation this Court has
law when he concluded that the filing fee be computed based on
adopted the criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the
the total sum claimed or the stated value of the property in
principal action or remedy sought. If it is primarily for the
litigation. In dismissing the complaint, the respondent judge
recovery of a sum of money, the claim is considered capable of
relied on Section 7(a), Rule 141 as basis for the computation of
pecuniary estimation, and whether jurisdiction is in the municipal
the filing fee of over P472 Million. The relevant question for
courts or in the courts of first instance would depend on the
purposes of the present petition is whether the action filed with
amount of the claim. However, where the basic issue is

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something other than the right to recover a sum of money, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are
where the money claim is purely incidental to, or a consequence prohibited.
of, the principal relief sought, this Court has considered such (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of
actions as cases where the subject of the litigation may not be this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in
estimated in terms of money, and are cognizable exclusively by evidence against him.
courts of first instance (now Regional Trial Courts).” (4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for
violations of this section as well as compensation to the
An examination of Section 19(6), B.P. 129 reveals that the rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices,
instant complaint for enforcement of a foreign judgment, even if and their families.
capable of pecuniary estimation, would fall under the jurisdiction
of the Regional Trial Courts, thus negating the fears of the
Doctrine
petitioners. Indeed, an examination of the provision indicates
Where the appellant did not voluntarily surrender to the police
that it can be relied upon as jurisdictional basis with respect to
but was “invited” by SPO2 Gapas to the police station and was
actions for enforcement of foreign judgments, provided that no
detained from 11 o’clock in the morning of 22 October 1995 up
other court or office is vested jurisdiction over such complaint:
to the morning of 23 October 1995 before his alleged
Sec. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. — Regional Trial Courts shall
extrajudicial confession was taken appellant should have been
exercise exclusive original jurisdiction: xxx (6) In all cases not
informed of his constitutional rights as he was already
within the exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or
considered a suspect, contrary to the finding of the trial court
body exercising jurisdiction or any court, tribunal, person or
that the mandatory constitutional guidelines only attached when
body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
the investigators started to propound questions to
Thus, we are comfortable in asserting the obvious, that the appellant. People v. Rapeza, GR 169431, April 3, 2007.
complaint to enforce the US District Court judgment is one
capable of pecuniary estimation. But at the same time, it is also
an action based on judgment against an estate, thus placing it PEOPLE V. RAPEZA
beyond the ambit of Section 7(a) of Rule 141. What provision
then governs the proper computation of the filing fees over the An unidentified woman went to the Culion Municipal Station and
instant complaint? For this case and other similarly situated reported a killing that had taken place in Sitio Cawa-Cawa.
instances, we find that it is covered by Section 7(b)(3), involving Upon information supplied by a certain Mr. Dela Cruz that
as it does, “other actions not involving property.” appellant had wanted to confess to the crimes, SPO2 Gapas set
out to look for appellant. He found appellant fishing in Asinan
Notably, the amount paid as docket fees by the petitioners on Island and invited the latter for questioning. Appellant expressed
the premise that it was an action incapable of pecuniary his willingness to make a confession in the presence of a
estimation corresponds to the same amount required for “other lawyer. Appellant was then brought to the police station after
actions not involving property.” The petitioners thus paid the which SPO2 Gapas requested Kagawad Arnel Alcantara to
correct amount of filing fees, and it was a grave abuse of provide appellant with a lawyer. The following day, appellant
discretion for respondent judge to have applied instead a clearly was brought to the house of Atty. Roberto Reyes, the only
inapplicable rule and dismissed the complaint. available lawyer in the municipality. The typewriter at the police
Finally, petitioners also invoke Section 11, Article III of the station was out of order at that time and Atty. Reyes could not
Constitution, which states that “[F]ree access to the courts and go to the police station as he was suffering from rheumatism. At
quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be the house of Atty. Reyes, in the presence of Vice-Mayor
denied to any person by reason of poverty.” Since the provision Emiliano Marasigan of Culion, 2 officials of the Sangguniang
is among the guarantees ensured by the Bill of Rights, it Barangay, SPO2 Cuizon and an interpreter, SPO2 Gapas
certainly gives rise to a demandable right. However, now is not proceeded with the custodial investigation of appellant who was
the occasion to elaborate on the parameters of this assisted by Atty. Reyes. Appellant was expressly advised that
constitutional right. Given our preceding discussion, it is not he was being investigated for the death of Libas and Ganzon.
necessary to utilize this provision in order to grant the relief Appellant mainly contends that the extrajudicial confession upon
sought by the petitioners. It is axiomatic that the constitutionality which the trial court placed heavy emphasis to find him guilty
of an act will not be resolved by the courts if the controversy can suffers from constitutional infirmity as it was extracted in
be settled on other grounds or unless the resolution thereof is violation of the due process guidelines. Specifically, he claims
indispensable for the determination of the case. that he affixed his thumbmark through violence and intimidation.
He stresses that he was not informed of his rights during the
time of his detention when he was already considered a suspect
Section 12. as the police had already received information of his alleged
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission of involvement in the crimes. Neither did a competent and
an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right independent counsel assist him from the time he was detained
to remain silent and to have competent and independent until trial began. Assuming Atty. Reyes was indeed designated
counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person as counsel to assist appellant for purposes of the custodial
cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be investigation, said lawyer, however, was not appellant’s
provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except personal choice.
in writing and in the presence of counsel.
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any Appellant likewise maintains that although the Sinumpaang
other means which vitiate the free will shall be used Salaysay states that his rights were read to him, there was no
against him. Secret detention places, solitary, showing that his rights were explained to him in a way that an

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

uneducated person like him could understand. On the For one thing, SPO2 Cuizon did not mention Abad as one of the
assumption that the confession is admissible, appellant asserts persons present during the interrogation. For another, the
that the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation was prosecution did not present Abad as witness. Abad would have
not amply proven as the trial court merely relied on his alleged been in the best position to prove that he indeed made the
confession without presenting any other proof that the translation from Tagalog to Waray for appellant to understand
determination to commit the crime was the result of meditation, what was going on. This significant circumstance lends
calculation, reflection or persistent attempt. credence to appellant’s claim that he had never met Abad.
Issue: WON THE EXTRA-JUDICIAL ADMISSION IS VALID The extra-judicial confession was allegedly made in Tagalog
AND ADMISSIBLE? when accused-appellant is admittedly not well versed in said
language. Even if the confession was made in the presence of
Held: NO. Appellant was not informed of his constitutional rights
an interpreter, there is no showing that the rights of a person
in custodial investigation. A person under custodial investigation
under investigation were effectively explained and/or interpreted
essentially has the right to remain silent and to have competent
to accused-appellant. The interpreter was not even presented in
and independent counsel preferably of his own choice and the
Court to prove that said rights were translated in a language
Constitution requires that he be informed of such rights. We
understood by accused-appellant.
note that appellant did not voluntarily surrender to the police but
was "invited" by SPO2 Gapas to the police station. There he Moreover, confession was not made with the assistance of
was detained from 11 o clock in the morning of 22 October competent and independent counsel of appellant’s choice.
1995 up to the morning of 23 October 1995 before his Appellant denies that he was ever assisted by a lawyer from the
extrajudicial statement was allegedly taken. At this juncture, moment he was arrested until before he was arraigned. On the
appellant should have been informed of his constitutional rights other hand, the prosecution admits that appellant was provided
as he was already considered a suspect, contrary to the finding with counsel only when he was questioned at the house of Atty.
of the trial court that the mandatory constitutional guidelines Reyes to which appellant was allegedly taken from the police
only attached when the investigators started to propound station.
questions to appellant on 23 October 1995 in the house of Atty.
The constitutional requirement obviously had not been
Reyes. Custodial investigation refers to the critical pre-trial
observed. Settled is the rule that the moment a police officer
stage when the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into
tries to elicit admissions or confessions or even plain
an unsolved crime but has begun to focus on a particular person
information from a suspect, the latter should, at that juncture, be
as a suspect.
assisted by counsel, unless he waives this right in writing and in
It is stated in the alleged confession that prior to questioning the presence of counsel. Appellant did not make any such
SPO2 Gapas had informed appellant in Tagalog of his right to waiver.
remain silent, that any statement he made could be used in
Assuming that Atty. Reyes did assist appellant, still there would
evidence for or against him, that he has a right to counsel of his
be grave doubts as to his competence and independence as
own choice, and that if he cannot afford the services of one, the
appellant’s counsel for purposes of the custodial investigation.
police shall provide one for him. However, there is no showing
The meaning of "competent counsel" and the standards therefor
that appellant had actually understood his rights. He was not
were explained in People v. Deniega as follows: “The lawyer
even informed that he may waive such rights only in writing and
called to be present during such investigations should be as far
in the presence of counsel.
as reasonably possible, the choice of the individual undergoing
In order to comply with the constitutional mandates, there questioning. If the lawyer were one furnished in the accused’s
should likewise be meaningful communication to and behalf, it is important that he should be competent and
understanding of his rights by the appellant, as opposed to a independent, i.e., that he is willing to fully safeguard the
routine, peremptory and meaningless recital thereof. Since constitutional rights of the accused, as distinguished from one
comprehension is the objective, the degree of explanation who would be merely be giving a routine, peremptory and
required will necessarily depend on the education, intelligence, meaningless recital of the individual’s constitutional rights. In
and other relevant personal circumstances of the person People v. Basay, this Court stressed that an accused s right to
undergoing investigation. be informed of the right to remain silent and to counsel
"contemplates the transmission of meaningful information rather
In this case, it was established that at the time of the
than just the ceremonial and perfunctory recitation of an
investigation appellant was illiterate and was not well versed in
abstract constitutional principle."
Tagalog. This fact should engender a higher degree of scrutiny
in determining whether he understood his rights as allegedly Ideally therefore, a lawyer engaged for an individual facing
communicated to him, as well as the contents of his alleged custodial investigation (if the latter could not afford one) "should
confession. be engaged by the accused (himself), or by the latter’s relative
or person authorized by him to engage an attorney or by the
The prosecution underscores the presence of an interpreter in
court, upon proper petition of the accused or person authorized
the person of Abad to buttress its claim that appellant was
by the accused to file such petition." Lawyers engaged by the
informed of his rights in the dialect known to him. However, the
police, whatever testimonials are given as proof of their probity
presence of an interpreter during the interrogation was not
and supposed independence, are generally suspect, as in many
sufficiently established. Although the confession bears the
areas, the relationship between lawyers and law enforcement
signature of Abad, it is uncertain whether he was indeed present
authorities can be symbiotic.
to assist appellant in making the alleged confession.
The competent or independent lawyer so engaged should be
present from the beginning to end, i.e., at all stages of the

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interview, counseling or advising caution reasonably at every defense, but on humanitarian grounds of old age and
turn of the investigation, and stopping the interrogation once in a illness. The CA also granted a new trial.
while either to give advice to the accused that he may either A. The grant of new trial does not negate strong evidence of
continue, choose to remain silent or terminate the interview. guilt as found by the lower court. Humanitarian ground on
the mere say so of illness or old age is not ground for
The standards of "competent counsel" were not met in this case
discretionary grant of bail. This is specially so were there is
given the deficiencies of the evidence for the prosecution.
a finding on record that the accused may repeat the offense
Although Atty. Reyes signed the confession as appellant’s (pedophilia). People v Fitzgerald, G.R. 149723, October
counsel and he himself notarized the statement, there is no
27, 2006.
evidence on how he assisted appellant. The confession itself
and the testimonies of SPO2 Gapas and SPO2 Cuizon bear no
In a bail proceeding in non-bailable crimes an accused has the
indication that Atty. Reyes had explained to appellant his
right to present evidence to contradict evidence of the
constitutional rights. Atty. Reyes was not even presented in prosecution. Santos v. Judge How, A.M/ RTJ-05-1946, January
court to testify thereon whether on direct examination or on
27, 2007.
rebuttal. It appears that his participation in the proceeding was
confined to the notarization of appellant’s confession. Such
The Court (in bail hearings) cannot ignore the following trends in
participation is not the kind of legal assistance that should be
international law: (1) the growing importance of the individual
accorded to appellant in legal contemplation.
person in public international law who, in the 20th century, has
Furthermore, Atty. Reyes was not appellant’s counsel of choice gradually attained global recognition; (2) the higher value now
but was picked out by the police officers allegedly through the being given to human rights in the international sphere; (3) the
barangay officials. Appellant’s failure to interpose any objection corresponding duty of countries to observe these universal
to having Atty. Reyes as his counsel cannot be taken as human rights in fulfilling their treaty obligations; and (4) the duty
consent under the prevailing circumstances. of this Court to balance the rights of the individual under our
fundamental law, on one hand, and the law on extradition, on
the other. If bail can be granted in deportation cases, we see no
Section 13. All persons, except those charged with justification why it should not also be allowed in extradition
offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when cases. After all, both are administrative proceedings where the
evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be innocence or guilt of the person detained is not in issue. Gov’t of
bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on Hongkong v Olalia, GR 153675, April 19, 2007.
recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail
shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ
of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not RODRIGUEZ V. JUDGE
be required.
The case stemmed from the petition for extradition filed by the
Doctrines US government through the Department of Justice (DOJ)
Q. First, in an extradition case, is prior notice and hearing against the petitioners. After their arrest, petitioners applied for
required before bail is cancelled? Second, what constitutes bail which the trial court granted. The bail was set for P1M for
a “special circumstance” to be exempt from the no-bail rule each. Petitioners then posted cash bonds. The US government
in extradition cases? moved for reconsideration of the grant of bail, but the motion
A. Prior notice is not required before issuance of warrant of was denied by the trial court. Unsatisfied, the US government
arrest. So said Secretary of Justice v. Lantion on filed a petition for certiorari with this Court.
reconsideration. Prospective extraditees are entitled to
Thereafter, we directed the trial court to resolve the matter of
notice and hearing only when the case is filed in court and
bail which shall be subject to whatever ruling that this Court may
not during the process of evaluation.
have in the similar case of Mark Jimenez. In compliance with
If after his arrest and if the trial court finds that he is not a
our directive, the trial court, without prior notice and hearing,
flight risk, it grants him bail. The grant of the bail,
cancelled the cash bond of the petitioners and ordered the
presupposes that the co-petitioner has already presented
issuance of a warrant of arrest.
evidence to prove her right to be on bail, that she is no flight
risk, and the trial court had already exercised its sound Issue: WON in an extradition case, is prior notice and hearing
discretion and had already determined that under the required before bail is cancelled?
Constitution and laws in force, co-petitioner is entitled to
Held: The issue of prior notice and hearing in extradition cases
provisional release. We emphasize that bail may be
is not new. In Secretary of Justice v. Lantion, by a vote of nine
granted to a possible extraditee only upon a clear and
to six, we initially ruled that notice and hearing should be
convincing showing (1) that he will not be a flight risk or a
afforded the extraditee even when a possible extradition is still
danger to the community, and (2) that there exist special,
being evaluated. The Court, deliberating on a motion for
humanitarian and compelling circumstances, as in this
reconsideration also by a vote of nine to six, qualified and
case. Rodriguez v. Judge, G.R. No. 157977, February
declared that prospective extraditees are entitled to notice and
27,2006.
hearing only when the case is filed in court and not during the
process of evaluation.
Q. The Court of appeals granted bail to one charged with an
offense punishable by reclusion perpetua not on the ground In the later case of Purganan, eight justices concurred that a
that the evidence of guilt was not strong, as claimed by the possible extraditee is not entitled to notice and hearing before
the issuance of a warrant of arrest while six others dissented.

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Now, we are confronted with the question of whether a


PEOPLE V FITZGERALD
prospective extraditee is entitled to notice and hearing before
the cancellation of his or her bail.
Fitzgerald, an Australian citizen, was charged with violation of
The issue has become moot and academic insofar as petitioner Art. III, Section 5, paragraph (a), subparagraph (5) of RA7610,
Eduardo Rodriguez is concerned. He is now in the USA facing when actuated by lust, and by the use of laced drugs
the charges against him. But co-petitioner Imelda Gener ("vitamins") he induced complainant a minor, 13 years of age, to
Rodriguez is here and stands on a different footing. We agree engage in prostitution by then and there showering said minor
that her bail should be restored. with gifts, clothes and food and thereafter having carnal
knowledge of her in violation of the aforesaid law and to her
In Purganan, we said that a prospective extraditee is not entitled damage and prejudice. RTC found him guilty and Fitzgerald
to notice and hearing before the issuance of a warrant of arrest, applied for bail which the RTC denied. He appealed to the CA
because notifying him before his arrest only tips him of his which affirmed the RTC Decision. He filed a Motion for New
pending arrest. But this is for cases pending the issuance of a Trial and a Supplement to Accused's Motion for New Trial on
warrant of arrest, not in a cancellation of a bail that had been the ground that new and material evidence not previously
issued after determination that the extraditee is a no-flight risk. available had surfaced. The CA granted the Motion for New
The policy is that a prospective extraditee is arrested and Trial.
detained to avoid his flight from justice. On the extraditee lies
the burden of showing that he will not flee once bail is granted. If The People filed a Motion for Reconsideration while Fitzgerald
after his arrest and if the trial court finds that he is no flight risk, filed a Motion to Fix Bail with Manifestation. Both Motions were
it grants him bail. The grant of the bail, presupposes that the co- denied by the CA. In denying Fitzgerald's bail application, the
petitioner has already presented evidence to prove her right to CA cited Section 7, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court which
be on bail, that she is no flight risk, and the trial court had provides: "Sec. 7. Capital Offense or an offense punishable by
already exercised its sound discretion and had already reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, not bailable. No person
determined that under the Constitution and laws in force, co- charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by
petitioner is entitled to provisional release. reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment when evidence of guilt is
strong shall be admitted to bail regardless of the stage of the
Under these premises, and with the trial court’s knowledge that criminal procecution." It reasoned that the maximum imposable
in this case, co-petitioner has offered to go on voluntary penalty in accordance with RA7610 otherwise known as the
extradition; that she and her husband had posted a cash bond Special Protection of Children against Child Abuse, Exploitation
of P1 million each; that her husband had already gone on and Discrimination Act is reclusion perpetua. It held that the
voluntary extradition and is presently in the USA undergoing evidence of guilt is strong, hence, his motion for bail was not
trial; that the passport of co-petitioner is already in the granted. It was also held that “With regard to his alleged
possession of the authorities; that she never attempted to flee; physical condition, let it be stressed that accused-appellant is
that there is an existing hold-departure order against her; and not precluded from seeking medical attention if the need arises
that she is now in her sixties, sickly and under medical provided the necessary representations with the proper
treatment, we believe that the benefits of continued temporary authorities are made.”
liberty on bail should not be revoked and their grant of bail
should not be cancelled, without the co-petitioner being given CA then issued the herein assailed Resolution granting
notice and without her being heard why her temporary liberty Fitzgerald's bail application, thus: “While We maintain that the
should not be discontinued. evidence of guilt is strong, We have taken a second look at
appellant's plea for temporary liberty considering primarily the
We emphasize that bail may be granted to a possible extraditee fact that appellant is already of old age and is not in the best of
only upon a clear and convincing showing (1) that he will not be health. Thus, it is this Court's view that appellant be GRANTED
a flight risk or a danger to the community, and (2) that there temporary liberty premised not on the grounds stated in his
exist special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances. Motion for Bail but in the higher interest of substantial justice
The trial court’s immediate cancellation of the bail of petitioners and considering the new trial granted in this case.“
is contrary to our ruling in Purganan, and it had misread and Issue: WON THE CA ERRED IN GRANTING BAIL?
misapplied our directive therein.
Held: YES. Implementing Sec. 13, Article III of the 1987
Finally, considering that remanding the case to the court a quo Constitution, Sections 4 and 5, Rule 114 of the 2000 Rules of
will only delay the final resolution of the case as in all probability Criminal Procedure set forth substantive and procedural rules
it would only end up with us again, we will decide if Imelda’s bail on the disposition of bail applications. Sec. 4 provides that bail
was validly cancelled. In Purganan, we held also that the is a matter of right to an accused person in custody for an
grounds used by the highest court in the requesting state for the offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life
grant of bail may be considered, under the principle of imprisonment, but a matter of discretion on the part of the court,
reciprocity. Considering that she has not been shown to be a concerning one facing an accusation for an offense punishable
flight risk nor a danger to the community, she is entitled to by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment when the
notice and hearing before her bail could be cancelled. Based on evidence of his guilt is strong. As for an accused already
the record, we find that, absent prior notice and hearing, the convicted and sentenced to imprisonment term exceeding six
bail’s cancellation was in violation of her right to due process. years, bail may be denied or revoked based on prosecution
evidence as to the existence of any of the circumstances under
Sec. 5, paragraphs (a) to (e), to wit:

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

Sec. 5. Bail, when discretionary. Upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an does not prevent him from seeking medical attention while
offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, confined in prison.
admission to bail is discretionary. The application for bail may be filed and acted
upon by the trial court despite the filing of a notice of appeal, provided it has not
SANTOS V. JUDGE HOW
transmitted the original record to the appellate court. However, if the decision of
the trial court convicting the accused changed the nature of the offense from non-
bailable to bailable, the application for bail can only be filed with and resolved by Complainants are Barangay officials presently detained without
the appellate court. bail as accused in criminal cases involving the successive
Should the court grant the application, the accused may be allowed to 'ambush' incidents against two sons of Manila Assistant City
continue on provisional liberty during the pendency of the appeal under the same Prosecutor Domingo I. Orda, Jr.
bail subject to the consent of the bondsman.
If the penalty imposed by the trial court is imprisonment exceeding six During trial, Respondent Judge held that he would resolve the
(6) years, the accused shall be denied bail, or his bail shall be cancelled upon a petition for bail on the basis of the evidence presented by the
showing by the prosecution, with notice to the accused, of the following or other prosecution. When complainants manifested that they would
similar circumstances: (a) That he is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual present one witness to identify the documents on record,
delinquent, or has committed the crime aggravated by the circumstance of respondent branded the request as 'misplaced.' He even
reiteration; (b) That he has previously escaped from legal confinement, evaded
sentence, or violated the conditions of his bail without valid justification; (c) That
rejected outright the request of the defense counsel to make a
he committed the offense while under probation, parole, or conditional pardon; (d) tender of proof and instead declared the petition deemed
That the circumstances of his case indicate the probability of flight if released on submitted for resolution, subject to the filing of memorandum by
bail; or (e) That there is undue risk that he may commit another crime during the the parties within five (5) days.
pendency of the appeal.
The appellate court may, motu proprio or on motion of any party, review On 29 December 2004, respondent issued an Order denying
the resolution of the Regional Trial Court after notice to the adverse party in either bail to the accused. Complainants assail the order for being
case. based on a one-sentence conclusion that the evidence of guilt is
strong, without any supporting evaluation or consideration of the
issues raised.
It will be recalled that herein respondent was charged with In his Comment, respondent professes impartiality in handling
violation of Section 5, par. (a), sub-paragraph (5), Article III of the subject criminal cases. He asserts that he had explained to
R.A. No. 7610, a crime which carries the maximum penalty of the parties that, for purposes of bail hearing, only the
reclusion perpetua. He was later convicted by the RTC for a prosecution is required to present evidence since it is not yet a
lesser crime which carried a sentence of imprisonment for an trial of the main case and the court is only preliminarily tasked to
indeterminate term of 8 years and 1 day of prision mayor as determine if the evidence of guilt is strong.
minimum, to 17 years, 4 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal
as maximum. Respondent argues that, even granting the accused may be
allowed to present their evidence but the Judge did not allow it,
These circumstances are not altered when the CA granted a the disallowance cannot be considered partiality or misconduct.
new trial. The CA retained appellate jurisdiction over the case He claims that he believed in good faith that he would fairly and
even as it ordered the remand of the original records thereof to correctly resolve the petition for bail by evaluating it based
the RTC for reception of evidence. In retaining appellate solely on the evidence of the prosecution; and that allowing both
jurisdiction, it set aside only its own September 27, 1999 parties to present their evidence would mean resolving the
Decision but left unaltered the May 7, 1996 RTC Decision. The merits of the case itself. He contends that if ever he committed
May 7, 1996 RTC Decision, therefore, remained operative. And any error, it was an error of judgment committed in good faith for
under said Decision, respondent stood sentenced to an which complainants have remedies under the Rules.
imprisonment term exceeding six years.
Issue: WON the acts committed by respondent judge constitute
It is bad enough that the CA granted bail on grounds other than gross ignorance of the law, manifest partiality and serious
those stated in the Motion filed by respondent; it is worse that it misconduct.
granted bail on the mere claim of the latter's illness. Bail is not a
sick pass for an ailing or aged detainee or prisoner needing Held: NO. The act of respondent in denying the complainants
medical care outside the prison facility. A mere claim of illness is the right to present evidence constitutes simple ignorance of the
not a ground for bail. It may be that the trend now is for courts to law; but in the absence of malice, corrupt motives or improper
permit bail for prisoners who are seriously sick. There may also considerations on the part of the respondent, the penalty of
be an existing proposition for the "selective decarceration of reprimand recommended by the OCA is just and reasonable.
older prisoners" based on findings that recidivism rates
When the grant of bail is discretionary, the prosecution has the
decrease as age increases. But, in this particular case, the CA
burden of showing that the evidence of guilt against the accused
made no specific finding that respondent suffers from an ailment
is strong. However, the determination of whether or not the
of such gravity that his continued confinement during trial will
evidence of guilt is strong, being a matter of judicial discretion,
permanently impair his health or put his life in danger. It merely
remains with the judge. This discretion, by the very nature of
declared respondent not in the best of health even when the
things, may rightly be exercised only after the evidence is
only evidence on record as to the latter's state of health is an
submitted to the court at the hearing. Since the discretion is
unverified medical certificate stating that, as of August 30, 2000,
directed to the weight of the evidence and since evidence
respondent's condition required him to "xxx be confined in a
cannot properly be weighed if not duly exhibited or produced
more sterile area xxx." That medical recommendation was even
before the court, it is obvious that a proper exercise of judicial
rebuffed by the CA itself when, in its November 13, 2000
discretion requires that the evidence of guilt be submitted to the
Resolution, it held that the physical condition of respondent
court, the petitioner having the right of cross examination and to
introduce his own evidence in rebuttal.

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Records show that during the hearing of the application for bail, Private respondent Muñoz was charged before the Hong Kong
complainants' counsel insisted on presenting their evidence to Court with 3 counts of the offense of "accepting an advantage
disprove the allegations of the prosecution. However, as agent." He also faces 7 counts of the offense of conspiracy
respondent argued that the prosecution has to establish to defraud. Warrants of arrest were then issued against him. If
evidence against the accused because if he will go to the convicted, he faces a jail term of 7 to 14 years for each charge.
defense evidence, there will be no way of stopping it, it will go
Petitioner Hong Kong Special Administrative Region filed with
through and through, as if, he is already hearing the main case.
the RTC of Manila a petition for the extradition of private
This line of argument by respondent is misplaced considering
respondent. For his part, private respondent filed, in the same
that what the complainants were asking is for their evidence,
case, a petition for bail which was opposed by petitioner. RTC
which is already a part of the record, to be presented and
issued an Order denying the petition for bail, holding that there
admitted as tender of proof.
is no Philippine law granting bail in extradition cases and that
The reasons given by respondent that for purposes of bail private respondent is a high "flight risk." On reconsideration,
hearing, only the prosecution is required to present evidence private respondent was allowed to post bail. Hong Kong seeks
since it is not yet a trial of the main case; that the court is only reversal.
preliminarily tasked to determine if the evidence of guilt is
Issue: WON BAIL APPLIES IN EXTRADITION?
strong; and that to allow complainants to present their evidence
would mean resolving the merits of the case itself, are not Held: YES. In the case of Mark Jimenez (Gov’t of USA v.
plausible. In effect, Respondent deprived the accused of their Purganan) this court held that the constitutional provision on bail
right to present rebuttal evidence which to our mind is a clear does not apply to extradition proceedings. It is "available only in
violation of their right to due process and equal protection of the criminal proceedings." The provision in the Constitution stating
law. It is clear from the foregoing that respondent is remiss in that the "right to bail shall not be impaired even when the
his responsibility to endeavor at all times to avoid such actions privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended" does not
as would impress upon litigants the disregard of due process. detract from the rule that the constitutional right to bail is
In this case, respondent's act of cutting short the hearing after available only in criminal proceedings. It must be noted that the
the prosecution presented its evidence, without affording the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus finds
defense to adduce evidence in rebuttal together with his outright application "only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or
denial of complainants’ request to offer proof, is a clear offenses inherent in or directly connected with invasion" (Sec.
disregard of the right of the accused to disprove that the 18, Art. VIII, Constitution). Hence, the second sentence in the
evidence of guilt is strong. It is of no moment that respondent constitutional provision on bail merely emphasizes the right to
required complainants to submit their memorandum. What is bail in criminal proceedings for the aforementioned offenses. It
significant is that complainants were deprived of their cannot be taken to mean that the right is available even in
constitutional right to present evidence during the hearing which extradition proceedings that are not criminal in nature.
the respondent may intelligently appreciate and evaluate in the
light of the circumstances then obtaining. At first glance, the above ruling applies squarely to private
respondent’s case. However, this Court cannot ignore the
Nothing in the records suggests that respondent was motivated following trends in international law: (1) the growing importance
by malice or corrupt motives to deny the application for bail. of the individual person in public international law who, in the
Complainants failed to substantiate their other allegations with 20th century, has gradually attained global recognition; (2) the
competent proof besides their own bare allegations. higher value now being given to human rights in the
Respondent did what he thought was right under the law and international sphere; (3) the corresponding duty of countries to
established principles. Hence, respondent could not be held observe these universal human rights in fulfilling their treaty
liable for manifest partiality and serious misconduct. The Court obligations; and (4) the duty of this Court to balance the rights of
cannot presume partiality based on the circumstances alleged in the individual under our fundamental law, on one hand, and the
the complaint. law on extradition, on the other.
On denying bail based on a one-sentence conclusion that the The modern trend in public international law is the primacy
evidence of guilt is strong, we agree with the OCA that although placed on the worth of the individual person and the sanctity of
there was no categorical discussion on how the conclusion, that human rights. While not a treaty, the principles contained in the
the evidence of guilt is strong, was reached, the same does not Universal Declaration on Human Rights are now recognized as
make it less a reasonable conclusion. The inadequacy of customarily binding upon the members of the international
expression of the questioned Order is outweighed by its community. Thus, in Mejoff v. Director of Prisons, this Court, in
substantial compliance with the requirements for an Order granting bail to a prospective deportee, held that under the
granting or denying bail. Constitution, the principles set forth in that Declaration are part
of the law of the land. In 1966, the UN General Assembly also
adopted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
GOV’T OF HONGKONG V OLALIA which the Philippines signed and ratified. Fundamental among
the rights enshrined therein are the rights of every person to life,
The Republic of the Philippines and the then British Crown liberty, and due process.
Colony of Hong Kong signed an "Agreement for the Surrender
of Accused and Convicted Persons," which took effect on June The Philippines, along with the other members of the family of
20, 1997. Thereafter, Hong Kong reverted back to the People’s nations, committed to uphold the fundamental human rights as
Republic of China and became the Hong Kong Special well as value the worth and dignity of every person. This
Administrative Region. commitment is enshrined in Section II, Article II of our

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Constitution which provides: "The State values the dignity of liberty on the part of the potential extraditee and (b) the means
every human person and guarantees full respect for human employed to attain the purpose of extradition is also "the
rights." The Philippines, therefore, has the responsibility of machinery of criminal law." This is shown by Section 6 of P.D.
protecting and promoting the right of every person to liberty and No. 1069 (The Philippine Extradition Law) which mandates the
due process, ensuring that those detained or arrested can "immediate arrest and temporary detention of the accused" if
participate in the proceedings before a court, to enable it to such "will best serve the interest of justice." We further note that
decide without delay on the legality of the detention and order Section 20 allows the requesting state "in case of urgency" to
their release if justified. In other words, the Philippine authorities ask for the "provisional arrest of the accused, pending receipt of
are under obligation to make available to every person under the request for extradition;" and that release from provisional
detention such remedies which safeguard their fundamental arrest "shall not prejudice re-arrest and extradition of the
right to liberty. These remedies include the right to be admitted accused if a request for extradition is received subsequently."
to bail. While this Court in Purganan limited the exercise of the
Obviously, an extradition proceeding, while ostensibly
right to bail to criminal proceedings, however, in light of the
administrative, bears all earmarks of a criminal process. A
various international treaties giving recognition and protection to
potential extraditee may be subjected to arrest, to a prolonged
human rights, particularly the right to life and liberty, a
restraint of liberty, and forced to transfer to the demanding state
reexamination of this Court’s ruling in Purganan is in order.
following the proceedings. "Temporary detention" may be a
First, we note that the exercise of the State’s power to deprive necessary step in the process of extradition, but the length of
an individual of his liberty is not necessarily limited to criminal time of the detention should be reasonable.
proceedings. Respondents in administrative proceedings, such
While our extradition law does not provide for the grant of bail to
as deportation and quarantine, have likewise been detained.
an extraditee, however, there is no provision prohibiting him or
Second, to limit bail to criminal proceedings would be to close her from filing a motion for bail, a right to due process under the
our eyes to our jurisprudential history. Philippine jurisprudence Constitution.
has not limited the exercise of the right to bail to criminal
The time-honored principle of pacta sunt servanda demands
proceedings only. This Court has admitted to bail persons who
that the Philippines honor its obligations under the Extradition
are not involved in criminal proceedings. In fact, bail has been
Treaty it entered into with the Hong Kong Special Administrative
allowed in this jurisdiction to persons in detention during the
Region. However, it does not necessarily mean that in keeping
pendency of administrative proceedings, taking into cognizance
with its treaty obligations, the Philippines should diminish a
the obligation of the Philippines under international conventions
potential extraditee’s rights to life, liberty, and due process.
to uphold human rights.
More so, where these rights are guaranteed, not only by our
Clearly, the right of a prospective extraditee to apply for bail in Constitution, but also by international conventions, to which the
this jurisdiction must be viewed in the light of the various treaty Philippines is a party. We should not, therefore, deprive an
obligations of the Philippines concerning respect for the extraditee of his right to apply for bail, provided that a certain
promotion and protection of human rights. Under these treaties, standard for the grant is satisfactorily met.
the presumption lies in favor of human liberty. Thus, the
In his Separate Opinion in Purganan, then Associate Justice,
Philippines should see to it that the right to liberty of every
now Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, proposed that a new
individual is not impaired.
standard which he termed "clear and convincing evidence"
Section 2(a) of PD 1069 (The Philippine Extradition Law) should be used in granting bail in extradition cases. According
defines "extradition" as "the removal of an accused from the to him, this standard should be lower than proof beyond
Philippines with the object of placing him at the disposal of reasonable doubt but higher than preponderance of evidence.
foreign authorities to enable the requesting state or government The potential extraditee must prove by "clear and convincing
to hold him in connection with any criminal investigation directed evidence" that he is not a flight risk and will abide with all the
against him or the execution of a penalty imposed on him under orders and processes of the extradition court.
the penal or criminal law of the requesting state or government."
In this case, there is no showing that private respondent
Extradition has thus been characterized as the right of a foreign
presented evidence to show that he is not a flight risk.
power, created by treaty, to demand the surrender of one
Consequently, this case should be remanded to the trial court to
accused or convicted of a crime within its territorial jurisdiction,
determine whether private respondent may be granted bail on
and the correlative duty of the other state to surrender him to
the basis of "clear and convincing evidence."
the demanding state. It is not a criminal proceeding. Even if the
potential extraditee is a criminal, an extradition proceeding is not
by its nature criminal, for it is not punishment for a crime, even
Section 14.
though such punishment may follow extradition. It is sui generis,
(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense
tracing its existence wholly to treaty obligations between
without due process of law.
different nations. It is not a trial to determine the guilt or
(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be
innocence of the potential extraditee. Nor is it a full-blown civil
presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and
action, but one that is merely administrative in character. Its
shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and
object is to prevent the escape of a person accused or
counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the
convicted of a crime and to secure his return to the state from
accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial,
which he fled, for the purpose of trial or punishment.
and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and
But while extradition is not a criminal proceeding, it is to have compulsory process to secure the attendance
characterized by the following: (a) it entails a deprivation of of witnesses and the production of evidence in his

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed duly taken into account. The proof against him must survive the
notwithstanding the absence of the accused: Provided, test of reason; the strongest suspicion must not be permitted to
that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear sway judgment.
is unjustifiable.
When a crime is committed, it is the duty of the prosecution to
Doctrine prove the identity of the perpetrator of the crime beyond
reasonable doubt for there can be no conviction even if the
Where conspiracy is not alleged in the Information, it is
commission of the crime is established. Indeed, the State, aside
imperative that the prosecution prove direct participation in the
killing of the victim. People v. Galvez, GR157221, Mar 20, 2007. from showing the existence of a crime, has the burden of
correctly identifying the author of such crime. Both facts must be
proved by the State beyond reasonable doubt on the strength of
PEOPLE V. GALVEZ
its evidence and without solace from the weakness of the
defense.
Information was filed against Galvez, a member of the PNP for
the Murder of Rosalio Enojarda. Despite the fact that the While the Court agrees that in criminal cases, an offer of
Information failed to allege conspiracy and the aggravating compromise by the accused may be received in evidence as an
circumstances of nocturnity and armed band, the RTC still implied admission of guilt, such principle is not applicable in this
convicted Galvez of murder based on conspiracy since Galvez case. Galvez’s supposed offer of compromise was not formally
was seen by two witnesses at the scene of the crime carrying a offered and admitted as evidence during the trial. The victim’s
firearm together with his unidentified armed companions. The widow or any prosecution witness did not testify on any offer of
trial court also held that the offer of Galvez to have the case compromise made by Galvez. We have held that when the
settled out of court is an indication of his guilt. Galvez was evidence on the alleged offer of compromise is amorphous, the
further stripped of all the military rank. same shall not benefit the prosecution in its case against the
accused.
Galvez appealed the case to the CA, which affirmed his guilt but
modifying the penalty to be imposed. CA held that the RTC The Court also recognizes that there may be instances when an
erred in holding Galvez criminally liable based on conspiracy offer of compromise will not amount to an admission of guilt.
when such fact was not alleged in the Information. However, it Thus, in People v. Godoy, the Court pronounced that: “In
still found Galvez guilty of Murder. criminal cases, an offer of compromise is generally admissible
as evidence against the party making it. It is a legal maxim,
Issue: WON GALVEZ SHOULD BE ACQUITTED? which assuredly constitutes one of the bases of the right to
penalize, that in the matter of public crimes which directly affect
Held: YES. Conspiracy must be alleged in the information in
the public interest, no compromise whatever may be entered
order that an accused may be held liable for the acts of his co-
into as regards the penal action. It has long been held, however,
accused. In the absence of any averment of conspiracy in the
that in such cases the accused is permitted to show that the
information, an accused can only be made liable for the acts
offer was not made under a consciousness of guilt, but merely
committed by him alone and such criminal responsibility is
to avoid the inconvenience of imprisonment or for some other
individual and not collective. Since conspiracy was not alleged
reason which would justify a claim by the accused that the offer
in the Information in this case, it is imperative that the
to compromise was not in truth an admission of guilt or an
prosecution prove Galvez’s direct participation in the killing of
attempt to avoid the legal consequences which would ordinarily
the victim. This, the prosecution failed to do.
ensue therefrom.”
The CA, in holding Galvez guilty of Murder, gave weight to the
In this case, the presumption of innocence of Galvez prevails
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses Rellios and Perez that
over the alleged implied admission of guilt. In Godoy, the Court,
they saw Galvez fire an armalite rifle in their direction on the
in acquitting the accused, explained that: “It frequently happens
night in question. The positive identification of these witnesses,
that in a particular case two or more presumptions are involved.
the CA ruled, has more weight than the negative results of the
Sometimes the presumptions conflict, one tending to
paraffin and ballistic tests. We disagree. The prosecution
demonstrate the guilt of the accused and the other his
witnesses never actually saw Galvez shoot the victim.
innocence. In such case, it is necessary to examine the basis
Time and again, this Court has faithfully observed and given for each presumption and determine what logical or social basis
effect to the constitutional presumption of innocence which can exists for each presumption, and then determine which should
only be overcome by contrary proof beyond reasonable doubt be regarded as the more important and entitled to prevail over
one which requires moral certainty, a certainty that convinces the other. It must, however, be remembered that the existence
and satisfies the reason and conscience of those who are to act of a presumption indicating his guilt does not in itself destroy the
upon it. As we have so stated in the past - Accusation is not, presumption against innocence unless the inculpating
according to the fundamental law, synonymous with guilt, the presumption, together with all the evidence, or the lack of any
prosecution must overthrow the presumption of innocence with evidence or explanation, is sufficient to overcome the
proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. To meet this standard, presumption of innocence by proving the defendant’s guilt
there is need for the most careful scrutiny of the testimony of the beyond a reasonable doubt. Until the defendant’s guilt is shown
State, both oral and documentary, independently of whatever in this manner, the presumption of innocence continues.”
defense is offered by the accused. Only if the judge below and
It is true that a negative finding in a paraffin test is not a
the appellate tribunal could arrive at a conclusion that the crime
conclusive proof that one has not fired a gun, as held by this
had been committed precisely by the person on trial under such
Court in People v. Pagal and People v. Teehankee which were
an exacting test should the sentence be one of conviction. It is
cited by the CA in its Decision, since it is possible for a person
thus required that every circumstance favoring innocence be

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

to fire a gun and yet bear no traces of nitrate or gunpowder as Army Inspector General to conduct an investigation to
when the hands are bathed in perspiration or washed determine: 1) the circumstances attending Major Aquino’s
afterwards. Such principle, however, has no bearing in the alleged withdrawal of support; 2) the veracity of reports anent
present case. Thus, while it is true that the negative results of the alleged troop movement of some Philippine Military
the paraffin and ballistic tests do not conclusively prove that personnel from their respective stations to Manila to join the
Galvez did not shoot the victim, the same negative results protest march at EDSA with Brigadier General Danilo Lim; and
cannot be used as circumstantial evidence against Galvez to 3) the participation, responsibility and culpability of all Philippine
prove that he shot Enojarda. To do otherwise would violate the Military personnel involved, if any. For this purpose, a panel of
basic precepts of criminal law which presumes the innocence of investigators was formed. During the investigation, Major
the accused. Every circumstance favoring an accused s Aquino denied the accusations hurled against him. He
innocence must be duly taken into account, the proof against intimated, inter alia, that he had no plan nor did he make any
him must survive the test of reason, and the strongest suspicion pronouncement of withdrawing support from the chain of
must not be permitted to sway judgment. command, and that he pledged to continue to support the same
and the duly constituted authorities.

Section 15. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall The panel of investigators submitted its Investigation Report to
not be suspended except in cases of invasion or the Commanding General of the Philippine Army. In its report,
rebellion, when the public safety requires it. the panel of investigators found that the troop movement by
some military personnel from their respective stations to Manila
Doctrines was illegal, implicating Major Aquino therein. Further, the
panel’s Investigation Report was referred by Lt. Gen. Esperon to
It is contended that in his confinement, Major Aquino was not
the Judge Advocate General’s Office (JAGO) of the Philippine
restricted to his barracks, quarters or tent as mandated by
Army for review. JAGO found the existence of probable cause
Article 70 of the Articles of War; rather, he was placed in solitary
against Major Aquino, among other military officers, for
confinement in a maximum security detention cell. When
violations of Article 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a
petitioner proceeded to the detention cell, the wife alleged that
Gentleman), Article 97 (Disorders and Neglects Prejudicial to
she was restricted from visiting her husband. Petitioner asserts
Good Order and Military Discipline), and Article 67 (Attempting
that these are extreme punishments akin to treating Major
to Begin or Create Mutiny) of the Articles of War.
Aquino as a convicted criminal.
On the basis of JAGO’s recommendations, Col. Jose R.
In Alejano v. Cabuay, lawyers of soldiers and pre-trial detainees Recuenco (Col. Recuenco), then Army Provost Marshal, signed
accused of coup d’etat before the Regional Trial Court of Makati under oath a charge sheet against Major Aquino, charging the
came to this Court bewailing the regulations adopted by the latter with violations of Article 67 (Attempting to Begin or Create
Chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Mutiny) and Article 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and
Philippines (ISAFP) who had custody over their clients. Therein Gentleman) of the Articles of War, which was indorsed to the
petitioners claimed that their constitutional rights were violated Chief of Staff of the AFP.
because they were prevented from seeing the detainees—their
clients—at any time of the day or night. They also alleged that Petitioner filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus with the Court of
the detainees’ constitutional right to privacy of communication Appeals, praying that the AFP Chief of Staff and the
were violated because ISAFP officials opened and read the Commanding General of the Philippine Army, or whoever are
personal letters of some of the detainees. They also challenged, acting in their place and stead, be directed to immediately
as unusual and excessive punishment, the presence of the bars produce the body of Major Aquino and explain forthwith why he
separating the detainees from their visitors and the boarding of should not be set at liberty without delay. After hearing, the
the iron grills in their cells with plywood. In denying the petition, Court of Appeals rendered a Decision, denying the Petition for
this Court declared that the fact that the restrictions inherent in Habeas Corpus. The Court of Appeals held that the remedy of
detention intrude into the detainees’ desire to live comfortably the writ of habeas corpus is futile because charges had already
does not convert those restrictions into punishment. been preferred against Major Aquino.
Issue: WON MAJOR AQUINO’S CONFINEMENT IS LEGAL?
This Court has declared that habeas corpus is not the proper
mode to question conditions of confinement. Moreover, a basic Held: YES. As a regular officer of the Armed Forces of the
rule is that once charges have been filed in court, habeas Philippines, Major Aquino falls squarely under Article 2 of the
corpus is no longer available. In re Major Aquino, G.R. No. Articles of War. Consequently, he is subject to the applicable
174994, August 21, 2007. provisions of the Articles of War and Executive Order No. 178;
or the Manual for Courts-Martial, Philippine Army.
IN RE MAJOR AQUINO Perforce, we do not find that the Court of Appeals erred in
denying petitioner’s Petition for Habeas Corpus for the person of
Major Aquino, along with several military men allegedly met at Major Aquino. A writ of habeas corpus extends to all cases of
the resthouse of Captain Aldomovar to plot a breach of the illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived
Camp Defense Plan of Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo and to of his liberty, or by which the rightful custody of any person is
take over Camp Aquinaldo, as well as the Headquarters of the withheld from the person entitled to it. As a general rule, the
Philippine Army. In the wake of the group’s alleged withdrawal writ of habeas corpus will not issue where the person alleged to
of support from the AFP chain of command and the current be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under a
administration of PGMA, Major Aquino was ordered arrested process issued by the court which has jurisdiction to do so. Its
and confined. On the same day, Lt. Gen. Esperon ordered the essential object and purpose is to inquire into all manner of

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

involuntary restraint and to relieve a person from it if such abandoned and dismissed the case on August 23, 2005.
restraint is illegal. In the case at bar, Major Aquino stands Thereafter, the appellate court elevated the records of the case
charged in court martial proceedings for alleged violations of to this Court for automatic review.
Article 67 (Attempting to Begin or Create Mutiny) and Article 96
Issue: WON the CA erred in dismissing the case of automatic
(Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Gentleman) of the Articles
review?
of War. The legality of Major Aquino’s restraint having been
settled, the privilege of the writ is unavailing. Held:YES. Except in criminal cases where the penalty imposed
is reclusion perpetua or death, all appeals to this Court are not a
We reiterate the pronouncement of this Court in Alejano: The
matter of right but of sound judicial discretion. Conversely,
ruling in this case, however, does not foreclose the right of
appeal in criminal cases where the penalty of reclusion perpetua
detainees and convicted prisoners from petitioning the courts for
or death is imposed, is a matter of right. This is specially true in
the redress of grievances. Regulations and conditions in
death penalty cases where a review of the trial court’s judgment
detention and prison facilities that violate the Constitutional
of conviction is automatic and does not depend on the whims of
rights of the detainees and prisoners will be reviewed by the
the death convict. It is mandatory and leaves the reviewing court
courts on a case-by-case basis. The courts could afford
without any option.
injunctive relief or damages to the detainees and prisoners
subjected to arbitrary and inhumane conditions. However, In recognition of the value of human life and as a way of
habeas corpus is not the proper mode to question conditions of ensuring utmost circumspection before imposing death or life
confinement. The writ of habeas corpus will only lie if what is imprisonment, the Court provided an intermediate appeal or
challenged is the fact or duration of confinement. review in favor of the accused. Thus, the Court pronounced in
People v. Mateo: “If only to ensure utmost circumspection
before the penalty of death, reclusion perpetua or life
Section 19. imprisonment is imposed, the Court now deems it wise and
(1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, compelling to provide in these cases a review by the Court of
degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither Appeals before the case is elevated to the Supreme Court.
shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling Where life and liberty are at stake, all possible avenues to
reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress determine his guilt or innocence must be accorded an accused,
hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already and no care in the evaluation of the facts can ever be overdone.
imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua. A prior determination by the Court of Appeals on, particularly,
(2) The employment of physical, psychological, or the factual issues, would minimize the possibility of an error of
degrading punishment against any prisoner or detainee judgment. If the Court of Appeals should affirm the penalty of
or the use of substandard or inadequate penal facilities death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, it could then
under subhuman conditions shall be dealt with by law. render judgment imposing the corresponding penalty as the
circumstances so warrant, refrain from entering judgment and
Doctrine elevate the entire records of the case to the Supreme Court for
Q. Sentenced to death for rape, accused failed to file his its final disposition.”
appellant’s brief. The Court of Appeals, exercising its new
power to review death sentences, considered the case Review by the Court of Appeals of the trial court’s judgment
abandoned and dismissed the case. Proper? imposing the death penalty is now automatic and mandatory.
A. No. Review of death sentences is mandatory. Neither the Rule 122, Sections 3(d) and 10 of the Rules of Court, as
Court of Appeals nor the Supreme Court nor the accused amended by A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC, expressly provides: Sec. 3.
can waive the need for review. People v. Lagua, G.R. How appeal taken. – “ (d) No notice of appeal is necessary in
170565, January 31, 2006. cases where the Regional Trial Court imposed the death
penalty. The Court of Appeals shall automatically review the
NOTE: Review by the Court of Appeals of the trial court’s judgment as provided in Section 10 of this Rule.”
judgment imposing the death penalty is now automatic and Sec. 10 of Rule 122 provides: “Transmission of records in case
mandatory. It may not be waived by the accused nor by the of death penalty. – In all cases where the death penalty is
Court of Appeals. People v. Lagua, G.R. No. 170565, January imposed by the trial court, the records shall be forwarded to the
31, 2006. Court of Appeals for automatic review and judgment within
twenty days but not earlier than fifteen days from the
PEOPLE V. LAGUA promulgation of the judgment or notice of denial of a motion for
new trial or reconsideration. The transcript shall also be
Accused Isidro Flores y Lagua was charged with 181 counts of forwarded within ten days after the filing thereof by the
rape committed against his minor ward. He pleaded not guilty stenographic reporter.”
when arraigned, and trial ensued. The trial court then rendered
judgment finding accused guilty as charged and imposed the The power to automatically review a decision imposing the
death penalty on him for each count of rape. death penalty cannot be waived either by the accused or by the
courts. The fundamental law makes the review of all death
Accused filed a motion for new trial/reconsideration but the penalty cases mandatory regardless of the wish of the accused
same was denied and the records of the case were ordered or the will of the court. Neither can it be repudiated by the
transmitted to the Court of Appeals for its review pursuant to this accused nor evaded by the court.
Court’s decision in People v. Mateo.
For accused’s failure to file his appellant’s brief despite notice to
his counsel, the Court of Appeals declared his appeal as
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Doctrine/Notes: Court of Appeals shall review cases imposing


The contention has no merit. As early as the start of the last
capital punishment, such automatic review cannot be waived,
century, this Court had ruled that a single act or incident might
not even by the accused himself.
offend against two or more entirely distinct and unrelated
provisions of law thus justifying the prosecution of the accused
NOTE: BUT FR. B MENTIONED THAT IN A 2007 CASE, IN
for more than one offense. The only limit to this rule is the
CASES OF RECLUSION PERPETUA AND LIFE SENTENCE,
Constitutional prohibition that no person shall be twice put in
IT MAY BE WAIVED. (PEOPLE V. ROCHA AND RAMOS)
jeopardy of punishment for "the same offense." In People v.
Doriquez, we held that two (or more) offenses arising from the
Section 21. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of same act are not "the same” : if one provision [of law] requires
proof of an additional fact or element which the other does not, x
punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by
a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under x x. Phrased elsewise, where two different laws (or articles of
either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same code) define two crimes, prior jeopardy as to one of
the same act. them is no obstacle to a prosecution of the other, although both
offenses arise from the same facts, if each crime involves some
important act which is not an essential element of the other.”
Doctrines
An order granting an accused’s demurrer to evidence is a Here, double jeopardy is not at issue because not all of its
resolution of the case on the merits, and it amounts to an elements are present. However, for the limited purpose of
acquittal. The prosecution can reopen the case only (1) if the controverting petitioners’ claim that they should be charged with
state had been denied due process or (2) the dismissal was a one offense only, we quote with approval Branch 94 s
grave abuse of discretion. People v. Lagua, G.R. No. 170565, comparative analysis of PD 1067, PD 984, RA 7942, and Article
January 31, 2006. 365 of the RPC showing that in each of these laws on which
petitioners were charged, there is one essential element not
Q. A single act violates four different statutes each requiring required of the others, thus:
different elements for conviction. Is there double jeopardy if
four charges are filed? In P.D. 1067 (Philippines Water Code), the additional element to
A. No. Since the different statutes require different evidence at be established is the dumping of mine tailings into the
least in one respect, they are not the same offense [unless, Makulapnit River and the entire Boac River System without prior
of course, one is necessarily included or necessarily permit from the authorities concerned. The gravamen of the
includes another]. Loney et al v. People, G.R. 153644, offense here is the absence of the proper permit to dump said
February 10, 2006. mine tailings. This element is not indispensable in the
prosecution for violation of PD 984 (Anti-Pollution Law), [RA]
LONEY ET AL V. PEOPLE 7942 (Philippine Mining Act) and Art. 365 of the Revised Penal
Code. One can be validly prosecuted for violating the Water
Loney, et al. are the corporate officers of Marcopper Mining Code even in the absence of actual pollution, or even [if] it has
Corporation, a corporation engaged in mining in the province of complied with the terms of its Environmental Compliance
Marinduque. Marcopper had been storing tailings from its Certificate, or further, even [if] it did take the necessary
operations in a pit in Mt. Tapian, Marinduque. At the base of the precautions to prevent damage to property.
pit ran a drainage tunnel leading to the Boac and Makalupnit In P.D. 984 (Anti-Pollution Law), the additional fact that must be
rivers. It appears that Marcopper had placed a concrete plug at proved is the existence of actual pollution. The gravamen is the
the tunnel’s end. On 24 March 1994, tailings gushed out of or pollution itself. In the absence of any pollution, the accused
near the tunnel’s end. In a few days, the Mt. Tapian pit had must be exonerated under this law although there was
discharged millions of tons of tailings into the Boac and unauthorized dumping of mine tailings or lack of precaution on
Makalupnit rivers. its part to prevent damage to property.
DOJ separately charged petitioners with violation of the Water In R.A. 7942 (Philippine Mining Act), the additional fact that
Code of the Philippines or PD 1067, the National Pollution must be established is the willful violation and gross neglect on
Control Decree of 1976 or PD984, the Philippine Mining Act of the part of the accused to abide by the terms and conditions of
1995 or RA7942, and Reckless Imprudence Resulting in the Environmental Compliance Certificate, particularly that the
Damage to Property under the RPC. Marcopper should ensure the containment of run-off and silt
Issue: Whether all the charges filed against petitioners except materials from reaching the Mogpog and Boac Rivers. If there
one should be quashed for duplicity of charges and only the was no violation or neglect, and that the accused satisfactorily
charge for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to proved [sic] that Marcopper had done everything to ensure
Property should stand? containment of the run-off and silt materials, they will not be
liable. It does not follow, however, that they cannot be
Held: NO. Petitioners contend that they should be charged with prosecuted under the Water Code, Anti-Pollution Law and the
one offense only Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to RPC because violation of the Environmental Compliance
Property because (1) all the charges filed against them Certificate is not an essential element of these laws.
"proceed from and are based on a single act or incident of
polluting the Boac and Makalupnit rivers thru dumping of mine On the other hand, the additional element that must be
tailings" and (2) the charge for violation of Article 365 of the established in Art. 365 is the lack of necessary or adequate
RPC "absorbs" the other charges since the element of "lack of precaution, negligence, recklessness and imprudence on the
necessary or adequate protection, negligence, recklessness part of the accused to prevent damage to property. This element
and imprudence" is common among them. is not required under the previous laws. Unquestionably, it is

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different from dumping of mine tailings without permit, or


causing pollution to the Boac river system, much more from Q. Does this mean “dual allegiance.”
violation or neglect to abide by the terms of the Environmental A. The oath is silent about allegiance to a foreign country. But
Compliance Certificate. Moreover, the offenses punished by it does say that the Philippines has “supreme authority.”
special law are mala prohibita in contrast with those punished
by the Revised Penal Code which are mala in se.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9225
Consequently, the filing of the multiple charges against
AN ACT MAKING THE CITIZENSHIP OF PHILIPPINE
petitioners, although based on the same incident, is consistent
CITIZENS WHO ACQUIRE FOREIGN CITIZENSHIP
with settled doctrine.
PERMANENT, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE
On petitioners’ claim that the charge for violation of Article 365 COMMONWEALTH ACT NO. 63, AS AMENDED, AND FOR
of the RPC "absorbs" the charges for violation of PD 1067, PD OTHER PURPOSES.
984, and RA 7942, suffice it to say that a mala in se felony
(such as Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Section 1. Short Title. — This Act shall be known as the
Property) cannot absorb mala prohibita crimes (such as those "Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003."
violating PD 1067, PD 984, and RA 7942). What makes the
former a felony is criminal intent (dolo) or negligence (culpa); Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy. — It is hereby declared the
what makes the latter crimes are the special laws enacting policy of the State that all Philippine citizens who become
them. citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost
their Philippine citizenship under the conditions of this Act.
Thus, People v. Relova is no authority for petitioners’ claim
against multiple prosecutions based on a single act not only Sec. 3. Retention of Philippine Citizenship. — Any provision of
because the question of double jeopardy is not at issue here, law to the contrary notwithstanding, natural-born citizens of
but also because, as the Court of Appeals held, petitioners are the Philippines who have lost their Philippine citizenship by
being prosecuted for an act or incident punished by four national reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country
statutes and not by an ordinance and a national statute. In are hereby deemed to have re-acquired Philippine
short, petitioners, if ever, fall under the first sentence of Section citizenship upon taking the following oath of allegiance to
21, Article III which prohibits multiple prosecution for the same the Republic:
offense, and not, as in Relova, for offenses arising from the "I _________________, solemnly swear (or affirm) that I
same incident. will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of
the Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders
 promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the
Philippines, and I hereby declare that I recognize and
accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and will
ARTICLE IV - CITIZENSHIP maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; and that I impose
this obligation upon myself voluntarily without mental
Section 3. Philippine citizenship may be lost or reacquired reservation or purpose of evasion."
in the manner provided by law. Natural-born citizens of the Philippines who, after the
effectivity of this Act, become citizens of a foreign country
Q. Does the Philippines allow dual citizenship? shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the
A. Yes. For instance, a Filipino may have dual citizenship if he aforesaid oath.
is made a citizen of another country by simply operation of
law, eg. If a child of Filipino parents is born in a country Sec. 4. Derivative Citizenship. — The unmarried child,
which applies jus soli. whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted, below eighteen
(18) years of age, of those who re-acquire Philippine
Q. May a Filipino aquire dual citizenship by choice? citizenship upon effectivity of this Act shall be deemed
A. Yes. R.A. 9225 says: “Any provision of law to the contrary citizens of the Philippines.
notwithstanding, Filipinos who have lost their natural-born
citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a Sec. 5. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities. — Those who
foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-acquired retain or re-acquire Philippine citizenship under this Act
Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance to shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all
the Republic . . . attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws
“Natural born citizens of the Philippines who, after the of the Philippines and the following conditions:
effectivity of this Act, become citizens of a foreign country (1) Those intending to exercise their right of suffrage
shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the must meet the requirements under Sec. 1, Article V
aforesaid oath.” of the Constitution, Republic Act No. 9189, otherwise
known as "The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of
Q. Whaat does the oath say? 2003" and other existing laws;
A. It says: "I _____________________, solemnly swear (or (2) Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines
affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the shall meet the qualifications for holding such public
Republic of the Philippines . . . and I hereby declare that I office as required by the Constitution and existing
recognize and accept the supreme authority of the laws and, at the time of the filing of the certificate of
Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance candidacy, make a personal and sworn renunciation
thereto; . . ."
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of any and all foreign citizenship before any public A. Then he is deemed disqualified to vote for having lost his
officer authorized to administer an oath; domicile in the Philippines.
(3) Those appointed to any public office shall subscribe
and swear to an oath of allegiance to the Republic of Q. May a former natural born Filipino citizen who has reacquired
the Philippines and its duly constituted authorities Filipino citizenship under the Dual Citizenship law (9225)
prior to their assumption of office: provided, that they vote?
renounce their oath of allegiance to the country A. Yes, provided that he or she satisfy the requirements of the
where they took that oath; Absentee Voting Law as authorized by the Constitution.
(4) Those intending to practice their profession in the Nicolas-Lewis v Comelec, G.R. No. 162759, August 4,
Philippines shall apply with the proper authority for a 2006.
license or permit to engage in such practice; and
(5) That right to vote or be elected or appointed to any Q. May a former natural born Filipino citizen who has
public office in the Philippines cannot be exercised reacquired Filipino citizenship under the Dual Citizenship law
by, or extended to, those who: vote even without the required (six month) residence?
(a) are candidates for or are occupying any public A. Yes, provided the person files the affidavit as required in the
office in the country of which they are Absentee Voting Law as authorized by the Constitution. Lewis v
naturalized citizens; and/or Comelec, G.R. No. 162759, August 4. 2006.
(b) are in active service as commissioned or non-
commissioned officers in the armed forces of Q. Who may be repatriated?
the country which they are naturalized A. Under current law only (1) women who lost citizenship by
citizens. marriage and (2) those who lost citizenship for political or
economic reasons may be repatriated. Tabasa v. CA, August
Sec. 6. Separability Clause. — If any Sec. or provision of this 29, 2006
Act is held unconstitutional or invalid, any other Sec. or
provision not affected thereby shall remain valid and Republic Act 9189
effective. AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A SYSTEM OF OVERSEAS
ABSENTEE VOTING BY QUALIFIED CITIZENS OF THE
Sec. 7. Repealing Clause. — All laws, decrees, orders, rules PHILIPPINES ABROAD, APPROPRIATING FUNDS
and regulations inconsistent with the provisions of this Act THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
Sec. 4. Coverage. All citizens of the Philippines abroad, who are
Sec. 8. Effectivity Clause. — This Act shall take effect after
not otherwise disqualified by law, at least eighteen (18) years of
fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official
age on the day of elections, may vote for president, vice-
Gazette or two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
president, senators and party-list representatives.
 Sec. 5. Disqualifications. The following shall be disqualified from
voting under this Act:
ARTICLE V - SUFFRAGE 1. Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship in accordance
with Philippine laws;
Section 1. Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the 2. Those who have expressly renounced their Philippine
Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at citizenship and who have pledged allegiance to a foreign
least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in country;
the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place 3. Those who have committed and are convicted in a final
wherein they propose to vote, for at least six months judgment by a court or tribunal of an offense punishable by
immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, imprisonment of not less than one (1) year, including those
or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the who have committed and been found guilty of Disloyalty as
exercise of suffrage. defined under Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code, such
disability not having been removed by plenary pardon or
Doctrines amnesty; Provided, however, That any person disqualified to
Q. May an immigrant or permanent resident recognized as vote under this subsection shall automatically acquire the
such by the country where he lives vote in a Philippine election. right to vote upon expiration of five (5) years after service of
A. According to R.A. 9189 he may provided that he files an sentence; Provided, further, That the Commission may take
affidavit “prepared for the purpose by the Commission declaring cognizance of final judgments issued by foreign courts or
that he/she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in tribunals only on the basis of reciprocity and subject to the
the Philippines not later than three (3) years from approval of formalities and processes prescribed by the Rules of Court on
his/her registration under this Act.” execution of judgments;
4. An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as
Q. What is the significance of the affidavit? such in the host country, unless he/she executes, upon
A. It is an indication that he never intended to abandon his registration, an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the
domicile in the Philippines. Commission declaring that he/she shall resume actual
physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than
Q. What happens if he never files such affidavit? three (3) years from approval of his/her registration under this
Act. Such affidavit shall also state that he/she has not applied

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for citizenship in another country. Failure to return shall be the prohibited acts described in this section are electoral offenses
cause for the removal of the name of the immigrant or and punishable in the Philippines.
permanent resident from the National Registry of Absentee
The penalties imposed under Section 264 of the Omnibus
Voters and his/her permanent disqualification to vote in
Election Code, as amended, shall be imposed on any person
absentia.
found guilty of committing any of the prohibited acts as defined
5. Any citizen of the Philippines abroad previously declared
in this section: Provided, That the penalty of prision mayor in its
insane or incompetent by competent authority in the
minimum period shall be imposed upon any person found guilty
Philippines or abroad, as verified by the Philippine embassies,
of Section 24.3 hereof without the benefit of the operation of the
consulates or foreign service establishments concerned,
Indeterminate Sentence Law. If the offender is a public officer or
unless such competent authority subsequently certifies that
a candidate, the penalty shall be prision mayor in its maximum
such person is no longer insane or incompetent.
period. In addition, the offender shall be sentenced to suffer
perpetual disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of
Sec. 24. Prohibited Acts. In addition to the prohibited acts
the right to vote.
provided by law, it shall be unlawful:
24.1. For any officer or employee of the Philippine government Immigrants and permanent residents who do not resume
to influence or attempt to influence any person covered by residence in the Philippines as stipulated in their affidavit under
this Act to vote, or not to vote, for a particular candidate. Section 5(d) within three (3) years after approval of his/her
Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to prohibit free registration under this Act and yet vote in the next elections
discussion regarding politics or candidates for public office. contrary to the said section, shall be penalized by imprisonment
24.2. For any person to deprive any person of any right secured of not less than one (1) year, and shall be deemed disqualified
in this Act, or to give false information as to his/her name, as provided in Section 5(c) of this Act. His/her passport shall be
address, or period of residence for the purposes of stamped "not allowed to vote".
establishing his/her eligibility or ineligibility to register or
vote under this Act; or to conspire with another person for NICOLAS-LEWIS V COMELEC
the purpose of encouraging the giving of false information
in order to establish the eligibility or ineligibility of any Petitioners are successful applicants for recognition of
individual to register or vote under this Act; or, to pay, or Philippine citizenship under R.A. 9225 which accords to such
offer to pay, or to accept payment either for application to applicants the right of suffrage, among others. Long before the
vote in absentia or for voting; May 2004 national and local elections, petitioners sought
24.3. For any person to tamper with the ballot, the mail registration and certification as "overseas absentee voter" only
containing the ballots for overseas absentee voters, the to be advised by the Philippine Embassy in the United States
election returns, including the destruction, mutilation and that, per a COMELEC letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs
manipulation thereof; dated September 23, 2003, they have yet no right to vote in
24.4. For any person to steal, destroy, conceal, mutilate or alter such elections owing to their lack of the one-year residence
any record, document or paper as required for purposes of requirement prescribed by the Constitution. The same letter,
this Act; however, urged the different Philippine posts abroad not to
24.5. For any deputized agent to refuse without justifiable discontinue their campaign for voter’s registration, as the
ground, to serve or continue serving, or to comply with residence restriction adverted to would contextually affect
his/her sworn duties after acceptance of his/her merely certain individuals who would likely be eligible to vote in
appointment; future elections.
24.6. For any public officer or employee who shall cause the
preparation, printing, distribution of information material, or Issue: WON petitioners and others who might have meanwhile
post the same in websites without the prior approval of the retained and/or reacquired Philippine citizenship pursuant to
Commission; R.A. 9225 may vote as absentee voter under R.A. 9189?
24.7. For any public officer or employee to cause the transfer, Held: YES. As may be noted, there is no provision in the dual
promotion, extension, recall of any member of the foreign citizenship law - R.A. 9225 - requiring "duals" to actually
service corps, including members of the attached agencies, establish residence and physically stay in the Philippines first
or otherwise cause the movement of any such member before they can exercise their right to vote. On the contrary,
from his current post or position one (1) year before and R.A. 9225, in implicit acknowledgment that “duals” are most
three (3) months after the day of elections, without securing likely non-residents, grants under its Section 5(1) the same right
the prior approval of the Commission; of suffrage as that granted an absentee voter under R.A. 9189.
24.8. For any person who, after being deputized by the It cannot be overemphasized that R.A. 9189 aims, in essence,
Commission to undertake activities in connection with the to enfranchise as much as possible all overseas Filipinos who,
implementation of this Act, shall campaign for or assist, in save for the residency requirements exacted of an ordinary
whatever manner, candidates in the elections; voter under ordinary conditions, are qualified to vote.
24.9. For any person who is not a citizen of the Philippines to
participate, by word or deed, directly or indirectly through Considering the unison intent of the Constitution and R.A. 9189
qualified organizations/associations, in any manner and at and the expansion of the scope of that law with the passage
any stage of the Philippine political process abroad, of R.A. 9225, the irresistible conclusion is that "duals" may now
including participation in the campaign and elections. exercise the right of suffrage thru the absentee voting scheme
and as overseas absentee voters.
The provision of existing laws to the contrary notwithstanding, While perhaps not determinative of the issue tendered herein,
and with due regard to the Principle of Double Criminality, the we note that the expanded thrust of R.A. 9189 extends also to

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what might be tag as the next generation of "duals". This may To reiterate, the only persons entitled to repatriation under RA
be deduced from the inclusion of the provision on derivative 8171 are the following: (a) Filipino women who lost their
citizenship in R.A. 9225. Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens; and (b) Natural-born
Filipinos including their minor children who lost their Philippine
It is very likely that a considerable number of those
citizenship on account of political or economic necessity.
unmarried children below eighteen (18) years of age had
never set foot in the Philippines. Now then, if the next Petitioner theorizes that he could be repatriated under RA 8171
generation of "duals" may nonetheless avail themselves the because he is a child of a natural-born Filipino, and that he lost
right to enjoy full civil and political rights under Section 5 of the his Philippine citizenship by derivative naturalization when he
Act, then there is neither no rhyme nor reason why the was still a minor. Petitioner overlooks the fact that the privilege
petitioners and other present day "duals," provided they meet of repatriation under RA 8171 is available only to natural-born
the requirements under Section 1, Article V of the Constitution in Filipinos who lost their citizenship on account of political or
relation to R.A. 9189, be denied the right of suffrage as an economic necessity, and to the minor children of said natural-
overseas absentee voter. Congress could not have plausibly born Filipinos. This means that if a parent who had renounced
intended such absurd situation. his Philippine citizenship due to political or economic reasons
later decides to repatriate under RA 8171, his repatriation will
also benefit his minor children according to the law. This
TABASA V. CA includes a situation where a former Filipino subsequently had
children while he was a naturalized citizen of a foreign country.
Joevanie Arellano Tabasa was a natural-born citizen of the The repatriation of the former Filipino will allow him to recover
Philippines. In 1968, when petitioner was seven years old, his his natural-born citizenship and automatically vest Philippine
father, Rodolfo Tabasa, became a naturalized citizen of the citizenship on his children of jus sanguinis or blood relationship:
United States. By derivative naturalization (citizenship derived the children acquire the citizenship of their parent(s) who are
from that of another as from a person who holds citizenship by natural-born Filipinos. To claim the benefit of RA 8171,
virtue of naturalization), petitioner also acquired American however, the children must be of minor age at the time the
citizenship. Petitioner arrived in the Philippines in 1995, and was petition for repatriation is filed by the parent. This is so because
admitted as a “balikbayan” for one year. Thereafter, petitioner a child does not have the legal capacity for all acts of civil life
was arrested and detained by agent Wilson Soluren of the BID, much less the capacity to undertake a political act like the
pursuant to a letter from the Consul General of the US Embassy election of citizenship. On their own, the minor children cannot
that his passport had been revoked by the US State Dept. apply for repatriation or naturalization separately from their
Hence, Tabasa became an undocumented and undesirable parents.
alien and summarily deported pursuant to Law and Intelligence
In the case at bar, there is no dispute that petitioner was a
Instructions No. 53 issued by then Commissioner Miriam
Filipino at birth. In 1968, while he was still a minor, his father
Defensor Santiago to effect his deportation.
was naturalized as an American citizen; and by derivative
Petitioner filed a Supplemental Petition alleging that he had naturalization, petitioner acquired U.S. citizenship. Petitioner
acquired Filipino citizenship by repatriation in accordance with now wants us to believe that he is entitled to automatic
Republic Act No. 8171 (RA 8171), and that because he is now a repatriation as a child of natural-born Filipinos who left the
Filipino citizen, he cannot be deported or detained by the country due to political or economic necessity. This is absurd.
respondent Bureau. Petitioner was no longer a minor at the time of his “repatriation”
on June 13, 1996. The privilege under RA 8171 belongs to
Issue: WON petitioner has validly reacquired Philippine
children who are of minor age at the time of the filing of the
citizenship under RA 8171. (If there is no valid repatriation, then
petition for repatriation.
he can be summarily deported for his being an undocumented
alien.) Neither can petitioner be a natural-born Filipino who left the
country due to political or economic necessity. Clearly, he lost
Held: NO. RA 8171, “An Act Providing for the Repatriation of
his Philippine citizenship by operation of law and not due to
Filipino Women Who Have Lost Their Philippine Citizenship by
political or economic exigencies. It was his father who could
Marriage to Aliens and of Natural-Born Filipinos,” was enacted
have been motivated by economic or political reasons in
on October 23, 1995. It provides for the repatriation of only two
deciding to apply for naturalization. The decision was his
(2) classes of persons, viz:
parent’s and not his. The privilege of repatriation under RA
Filipino women who have lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens and 8171 is extended directly to the natural-born Filipinos who could
natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship, including their minor prove that they acquired citizenship of a foreign country due to
children, on account of political or economic necessity, may reacquire Philippine political and economic reasons, and extended indirectly to the
citizenship through repatriation in the manner provided in Section 4 of minor children at the time of repatriation.
Commonwealth Act No. 63, as amended: Provided, That the applicant is not a:
(1) Person opposed to organized government or affiliated with any In sum, petitioner is not qualified to avail himself of repatriation
association or group of persons who uphold and teach doctrines under RA 8171. However, he can possibly reacquire Philippine
opposing organized government; citizenship by availing of the Citizenship Retention and Re-
(2) Person defending or teaching the necessity or propriety of violence,
acquisition Act of 2003 (Republic Act No. 9225) by simply taking
personal assault, or association for the predominance of their ideas;
(3) Person convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude; or an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.
(4) Person suffering from mental alienation or incurable contagious Petitioner Tabasa, whose passport was cancelled after his
diseases.
admission into the country, became an undocumented alien
who can be summarily deported. His subsequent “repatriation”

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cannot bar such deportation especially considering that he has standards for delegation. Gerochi v.DENR, G.R. No. 159796,
no legal and valid reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. July 17, 2007

 GEROCHI V. DENR

Congress enacted the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of


ARTICLE VI - THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT 2001 (EPIRA) on June 8, 2001; on June 26, 2001, it took effect.

Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the National Power Corporation-Strategic Power Utilities Group
Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a (NPC-SPUG) filed with respondent Energy Regulatory
Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the Commission (ERC) a petition for the availment from the
extent reserved to the people by the provision on Universal Charge of its share for Missionary Electrification.
initiative and referendum. NPC filed another petition with ERC, docketed as ERC Case
No. 2002-194, praying that the proposed share from the
Doctrine Universal Charge for the Environmental charge of P0.0025 per
The Epira Law says: SECTION 34. Universal Charge. — Within kilowatt-hour (/kWh), or a total of P119,488,847.59, be approved
one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act, a universal charge to for withdrawal from the Special Trust Fund (STF) managed
be determined, fixed and approved by the ERC, shall be by respondent Power Sector Assets and Liabilities
imposed on all electricity end-users for the following purposes: Management Group (PSALM) for the rehabilitation and
(a) Payment for the stranded debts in excess of the amount management of watershed areas.
assumed by the National Government and stranded
contract costs of NPC and as well as qualified stranded ERC then issued an Order in ERC Case No. 2002-165
contract costs of distribution utilities resulting from the provisionally approving the computed amount of P0.0168/kWh
restructuring of the industry; as the share of the NPC-SPUG from the Universal Charge for
(b) Missionary electrification; Missionary Electrification and authorizing the National
(c) The equalization of the taxes and royalties applied to Transmission Corporation (TRANSCO) and Distribution Utilities
indigenous or renewable sources of energy vis-à-vis to collect the same from its end-users on a monthly basis.
imported energy fuels; On the basis of the said ERC decisions, respondent Panay
(d) An environmental charge equivalent to one-fourth of one Electric Company, Inc. (PECO) charged petitioner Romeo P.
centavo per kilowatt-hour (P0.0025/kWh), which shall Gerochi and all other end-users with the Universal Charge as
accrue to an environmental fund to be used solely for reflected in their respective electric bills starting from the month
watershed rehabilitation and management. Said fund of July 2003.
shall be managed by NPC under existing arrangements;
and Issues/Held:
(e) A charge to account for all forms of cross-subsidies for a (1) WON the Universal Charge under the EPIRA is a tax?
period not exceeding three (3) years.
NO. The power to tax is an incident of sovereignty and is
The universal charge shall be a non-bypassable charge which unlimited in its range, acknowledging in its very nature no limits,
shall be passed on and collected from all end-users on a so that security against its abuse is to be found only in the
monthly basis by the distribution utilities. responsibility of the legislature which imposes the tax on the
constituency that is to pay it. It is based on the principle that
The ultimate issues in the case at bar are: taxes are the lifeblood of the government, and their prompt and
1) Whether or not, the Universal Charge imposed under Sec. 34 certain availability is an imperious need. Thus, the theory behind
of the EPIRA is a tax; and the exercise of the power to tax emanates from necessity;
2) Whether or not there is undue delegation of legislative power without taxes, government cannot fulfill its mandate of
to tax on the part of the ERC promoting the general welfare and well-being of the people.
The conservative and pivotal distinction between these two On the other hand, police power is the power of the state to
powers rests in the purpose for which the charge is made. If promote public welfare by restraining and regulating the use of
generation of revenue is the primary purpose and regulation is liberty and property. It is the most pervasive, the least limitable,
merely incidental, the imposition is a tax; but if regulation is the and the most demanding of the three fundamental powers of the
primary purpose, the fact that revenue is incidentally raised State. The justification is found in the Latin maxims salus populi
does not make the imposition a tax. est suprema lex (the welfare of the people is the supreme law)
and sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas (so use your property
From the aforementioned purposes, it can be gleaned that the as not to injure the property of others). As an inherent attribute
assailed Universal Charge is not a tax, but an exaction in the of sovereignty which virtually extends to all public needs, police
exercise of the State's police power. Public welfare is surely power grants a wide panoply of instruments through which the
promoted. State, as parens patriae, gives effect to a host of its regulatory
Moreover, it is a well-established doctrine that the taxing power powers.
may be used as an implement of police power. We have held that the power to "regulate" means the power to
The Court finds that the EPIRA, read and appreciated in its protect, foster, promote, preserve, and control, with due regard
entirety, in relation to Sec. 34 thereof, is complete in all its for the interests, first and foremost, of the public, then of the
essential terms and conditions, and that it contains sufficient utility and of its patrons.

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The conservative and pivotal distinction between these two Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty
powers rests in the purpose for which the charge is made. If thousand, or each province, shall have at least one
generation of revenue is the primary purpose and regulation is representative.
merely incidental, the imposition is a tax; but if regulation is the (4) Within three years following the return of every census,
primary purpose, the fact that revenue is incidentally raised the Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative
does not make the imposition a tax. districts based on the standards provided in this section.
In exacting the assailed Universal Charge through Sec. 34 of Doctrine
the EPIRA, the State's police power, particularly its regulatory
Q. What is the formula to follow for determining the number of a
dimension, is invoked. Such can be deduced from Sec. 34
additional seats a party is entitled to beyond the first two?
which enumerates the purposes for which the Universal Charge
A. We reiterate that the prevailing formula for the computation of
is imposed and which can be amply discerned as regulatory in
additional seats for party-list winners is the formula stated in the
character.
landmark case of Veterans, viz:
No. of votes of /
(2) Whether or not there is undue delegation of legislative power Additional seats concerned party No. of additional
to tax on the part of the ERC? for concerned = ------------------------ x seats allocated to
party No. of votes of the first party
All that is required for the valid exercise of this power of b first party
subordinate legislation is that the regulation be germane to the
objects and purposes of the law and that the regulation be not in
contradiction to, but in conformity with, the standards prescribed PARTIDO NG MANGGAGAWA V. COMELEC
by the law. These requirements are denominated as the
completeness test and the sufficient standard test. Section 11(b) and Section 12 of R.A. 7941 (Party-List System
st Act) provide that "the parties, organizations, and coalitions
Under the 1 test, the law must be complete in all its terms and
conditions when it leaves the legislature such that when it receiving at least 2% of the total votes cast for the party-list
reaches the delegate, the only thing he will have to do is to system shall be entitled to one seat each, provided that those
nd garnering more than 2% of the votes shall be entitled to
enforce it. The 2 test mandates adequate guidelines or
limitations in the law to determine the boundaries of the additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes…”
delegate's authority and prevent the delegation from running Several party-list participants sent queries to COMELEC
riot. regarding the formula to be adopted in computing the additional
The Court finds that the EPIRA is complete in all its essential seats for the party-list winners in the May 10, 2004 elections. In
terms and conditions, and that it contains sufficient standards. response, Comelec issued Resolution 6835, adopting the
As to the second test, provisions of the EPIRA such as, among simplified formula of "one additional seat per additional two
others, “to ensure the total electrification of the country and the percent of the total party-list votes."
quality, reliability, security and affordability of the supply of On the other hand, the following formulas were applied by the
electric power” and “watershed rehabilitation and management” SC in Veterans Federation Party vs. COMELEC:
meet the requirements for valid delegation, as they provide the - For the party-list candidate garnering the highest number of
limitations on the ERC’s power to formulate the IRR. These are votes:
sufficient standards.
Number of votes of first party Proportion of votes of first
----------------------------------------- = party relative to total votes
Total votes for party-list system for the party-list system
Section 5.
(1) The House of Representatives shall be composed of not
- For additional seats of other parties who reached the
more than two hundred and fifty members, unless
required 2% mark:
otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from
legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, No. of votes of Concerned party No. of additional
cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance -------------------------------------------- x seats allocated to
No. of votes of first party the first party
with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on
the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those
who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party- Such formula was reiterated in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor
Party vs. COMELEC, et al. and Bayan Muna vs. COMELEC.
list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral
But in granting the MR in Bayan Muna v. Comelec, SC adopted
parties or organizations.
(2) The party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per the simplified Comelec formula of 1 additional seat per
centum of the total number of representatives including additional 2% of the total party-list votes garnered. It declared
BUHAY entitled to 1 additional seat for garnering 4.46%.
those under the party list. For three consecutive terms
after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the Petitioners PM and BUTIL, together with CIBAC, filed a Joint
seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, Motion for Immediate Proclamation with Comelec en banc. They
as provided by law, by selection or election from the prayed that they be declared also as entitled to 1 additional seat
labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural each. As basis, they cited the formula used by the Court in Ang
communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. COMELEC.
may be provided by law, except the religious sector.
(3) Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as Issue: What formula should be applied in computing for
practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory. additional seats for winners in the party-list elections?

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

Held: The formula in the landmark case of Veterans prevails.


VINZONS-CHATO V. COMELEC
Step One. Rank all the participating parties, organizations and
coalitions from the highest to the lowest based on the number
Petitioner Chato and respondent Renato J. Unico were among
of votes they each received.
the candidates for the lone congressional district of Camarines
Step Two. Determine the number of seats the first party is Norte during the May 10, 2004 synchronized national and local
entitled to. Since the distribution is based on proportional elections.
representation, the number of seats to be allotted to the other
During the canvassing of the election returns before the
parties cannot possibly exceed that to which the first party is
Municipal Board of Canvassers of Labo (MBC Labo) Chato
entitled by virtue of its obtaining the most number of votes.
st raised several objections and pointed to manifest errors or
Apply the following formula to get the number of seats of the 1
obvious discrepancies in the election returns.
party:
Her objections were denied, and PBC stated that pre-
Number of votes of first party Proportion of votes of proclamation controversy was not allowed for the election of
---------------------------------------------- = first party relative to total Members of the House.
Total votes for Party-List System votes for party-list system
Then, PBC proclaimed respondent Unico as representative-
If the proportion of votes received by the first party without elect of the lone congressional district of Camarines
rounding it off is equal to at least six percent of the total valid Norte. Petitioner Chato filed with the COMELEC a Petition
votes cast for all the party list groups, then the first party shall alleging manifest errors.
be entitled to two additional seats or a total of three seats
Comelec initially ordered the suspension of the effects of the
overall. If the proportion of votes without a rounding off is equal
proclamation of respondent Unico. But it afterwards lifted the
to or greater than four percent, but less than six percent, then
said order on the ground that respondent Unico’s proclamation
the first party shall have one additional or a total of two seats.
and taking of oath of office had not only divested the
And if the proportion is less than four percent, then the first party
Commission of any jurisdiction to pass upon his election,
shall not be entitled to any additional seat.
returns, and qualifications, but also automatically conferred
Step Three. Solve for the number of additional seats that the jurisdiction to another electoral tribunal.
other qualified parties are entitled to, based on proportional
In the assailed Resolution dated March 17, 2006, the
representation. The formula is encompassed by the following
COMELEC en banc denied Chato’s MR, ruling that the
complex fraction:
Commission already lost jurisdiction over the case in view of the
No. of votes of Concerned party No. of additional fact that Unico had already taken his oath.
-------------------------------------------------- x seats allocated to Issue: WON Comelec committed grave abuse?
No. of votes of first party the first party
Held: NO. It is not disputed that respondent Unico has already
been proclaimed and taken his oath of office. Hence, Comelec
Section 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives had already lost jurisdiction over Chato’s petition. The issues
shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the raised by petitioner Chato essentially relate to the canvassing of
sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, returns and alleged invalidity of respondent Unico’s
and qualifications of their respective Members. Each proclamation. These are matters that are best addressed to the
Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, sound judgment and discretion of the HRET. Significantly, the
three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to allegation that respondent Unico’s proclamation is null and void
be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six does not divest the HRET of its jurisdiction.
shall be Members of the Senate or the House of Further, for the Court to take cognizance of petitioner Chato’s
Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be election protest against respondent Unico would be to usurp the
chosen on the basis of proportional representation from constitutionally mandated functions of the HRET. Petitioner
the political parties and the parties or organizations Chato’s remedy would have been to file an election protest
registered under the party-list system represented before the said tribunal, not this petition for certiorari. The
therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall special civil action of certiorari is available only if there is
be its Chairman. concurrence of the essential requisites, to wit: (1) the tribunal,
board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has
Doctrine acted without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of
Where it is no disputed that respondent has already been discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, and (b) there is no
proclaimed and taken his oath of office as a Member of the appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
House of Representatives the Comelec no longer has ordinary course of law to annul or modify the proceeding. There
jurisdiction. Vinzons-Chato v. Comelec, GR 172131, April 2, must be capricious, arbitrary and whimsical exercise of power
2007. for certiorari to prosper.
Doctrine/Notes: Taking of oath (not proclamation) is the
operative act that vests jurisdiction on HRET. If proclaimed but
has not yet taken oath, Comelec still has jurisdiction.

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of power to the committees. Father Bernas, in his Commentary


Section 21. The Senate or the House of Representatives or on the 1987 Constitution, correctly pointed out its significance:
any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries “It should also be noted that the Constitution explicitly
in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published recognizes the power of investigation not just of Congress but
rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in, or also of “any of its committees.” This is significant because it
affected by, such inquiries shall be respected. constitutes a direct conferral of investigatory power upon the
committees and it means that the means which the Houses can
Doctrine take in order to effectively perform its investigative function are
Q. The following provision is found in Proc. 1 of Cory Aquino also available to the Committees.”
issued in February 1986: ““No member or staff of the
Section 4(b) is directly repugnant with Article VI, Section 21.
Commission shall be required to testify or produce
Section 4(b) exempts the PCGG members and staff from the
evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative
Congress’ power of inquiry. Nowhere in the Constitution is any
proceeding concerning matters within its official
provision granting such exemption. Congress’ power of inquiry,
cognizance.” Is this still in effect?
being broad, encompasses everything that concerns the
A. No. This is incompatible with the power of legislative
administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly
investigation, with the character of public office as a public
needed statutes. It even extends “to government agencies
trust, and with the right to information. It is deemed
created by Congress and officers whose positions are within the
repealed by the 1986 Constitution. Sabio v. Gordon, G.R.
power of Congress to regulate or even abolish.” PCGG belongs
174340, October 12, 2006.
to this class. Certainly, a mere provision of law cannot pose a
limitation to the broad power of Congress, in the absence of any
SABIO V. GORDON
constitutional basis.
President Aquino issued Executive Order No. 1, creating the One important limitation on the Congress’ power of inquiry is
Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). Sec. that “the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such
4(b) of EO1 provides that: “No member or staff of the inquiries shall be respected.” This is just another way of saying
Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in that the power of inquiry must be “subject to the limitations
any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning placed by the Constitution on government action.” As to the right
matters within its official cognizance.” to privacy, it is not absolute where there is an overriding
compelling state interest. In Morfe v. Mutuc, the Court, in line
Senator Defensor Santiago introduced Resolution 455,
with Whalen v. Roe, employed the rational basis relationship
“directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous
test when it held that there was no infringement of the
losses incurred by the Phil. Overseas Telecommunications
individual’s right to privacy as the requirement to disclosure
Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite
information is for a valid purpose, i.e., to curtail and minimize
Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and PHILCOMSAT Holdings
the opportunities for official corruption, maintain a standard of
Corporation (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in their
honesty in public service, and promote morality in public
operations by their respective Board of Directors.”
administration. In Valmonte v. Belmonte, the Court remarked
Chief of Staff Inocencio, under authority of Senator Richard J. that as public figures, the Members of the former Batasang
Gordon, wrote Chairman Sabio of the PCGG, inviting him to be Pambansa enjoy a more limited right to privacy as compared to
one of the resource persons in the public meeting jointly ordinary individuals, and their actions are subject to closer
conducted by the Committee on Government Corporations and scrutiny. Taking this into consideration, the Court ruled that the
Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. The right of the people to access information on matters of public
purpose of the public meeting was to deliberate on Senate Res. concern prevails over the right to privacy of financial
No. 455. transactions.
Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior Under the present circumstances, the alleged anomalies in the
commitment. At the same time, he invoked Section 4(b) of EO1. PHILCOMSAT, PHC and POTC, ranging in millions of pesos,
A Subpoena Ad Testificandum was thus issued by the Senate and the conspiratorial participation of the PCGG and its officials
Committee. Again, Chairman Sabio refused to appear. Senate are compelling reasons for the Senate to exact vital information
thus issued an Order directing its Sergeant-At-Arms to place from the directors and officers of Philcomsat Holdings
Chairman Sabio and his Commissioners under arrest for Corporations, as well as from Chairman Sabio and his
contempt Chairman Sabio then filed a petition for habeas Commissioners to aid it in crafting the necessary legislation to
corpus. prevent corruption and formulate remedial measures and policy
determination regarding PCGG’s efficacy. There being no
Issue: WON Sec4(b) of EO1 is repealed by the Constitution?
reasonable expectation of privacy on the part of those directors
Held: YES. The 1987 Constitution recognizes the power of and officers over the subject covered by Senate Res. No. 455, it
investigation, not just of Congress, but also of “any of its follows that their right to privacy has not been violated by the
committee.” It constitutes a direct conferral of investigatory Senate Committees.
power upon the committees and it means that the mechanisms
Anent the right against self-incrimination, it must be emphasized
which the Houses can take in order to effectively perform its
that this right maybe invoked by the said directors and officers
investigative function are also available to the committees.
of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation only when the incriminating
Article VI, Section 21 grants the power of inquiry not only to the question is being asked, since they have no way of knowing in
Senate and the House of Representatives, but also to any of advance the nature or effect of the questions to be asked of
their respective committees. Clearly, there is a direct conferral them.” That this right may possibly be violated or abused is no

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ground for denying respondent Senate Committees their power (a) Nature and Scope. - The rule of confidentiality based on executive privilege is
of inquiry. The consolation is that when this power is abused, fundamental to the operation of government and rooted in the separation of powers
such issue may be presented before the courts. under the Constitution (Almonte vs. Vasquez, G.R. No. 95367, 23 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
Section 22. The heads of departments may, upon their own reason of their office and not made available to the public to prejudice the public
initiative, with the consent of the President, or upon the interest.
request of either House, as the rules of each House shall Executive privilege covers all confidential or classified information between the
provide, appear before and be heard by such House on President and the public officers covered by this executive order, including:
any matter pertaining to their departments. Written i. Conversations and correspondence between the President and the public
questions shall be submitted to the President of the official covered by this executive order;
ii. Military, diplomatic and other national security matters which in the interest of
Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives at
national security should not be divulged;
least three days before their scheduled appearance. iii. Information between inter-government agencies prior to the conclusion of
Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions, treaties and executive agreements;
but may cover matters related thereto. When the security iv. Discussion in close-door Cabinet meetings;
of the State or the public interest so requires and the v. Matters affecting national security and public order.
President so states in writing, the appearance shall be
conducted in executive session. (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;
Doctrine ii. Generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and such
Q. What is the difference between Section 21 and Section 22? other officers who in the judgment of the Chief of Staff are covered by the
A. Article VI, Section 21 is about legislative investigations in aid executive privilege;
of legislation. Anyone may be summoned, even department iii. Philippine National Police (PNP) officers with rank of chief superintendent or
heads. Section 22 is institutionalization of “oversight function.” higher and such other officers who in the judgment of the Chief of the PNP are
Department secretaries may not be compelled. covered by the executive privilege;
But whether in Section 21 or Section 22, executive privilege iv. Senior national security officials who in the judgment of the National Security
may be raised by the President or by authority of the President. Adviser are covered by the executive privilege; and
v. Such other officers as may be determined by the President.
The claim must be specific. The Court ultimately judges
whether there is executive privilege. Executive privilege simply SECTION 3. Appearance of Other Public Officials Before Congress. – All public officials
means the right of the President to withhold information about enumerated in Section 2 (b) hereof shall secure prior consent of the President prior to
some types of information. Only the President has authority by appearing before either House of Congress to ensure the observance of the principle of
reason of office to claim executive privilege. Senate v. Ermita, separation of powers, adherence to the rule on executive privilege and respect for the
G.R. No. 169777, April 20. 2006. rights of public officials appearing in inquiries in aid of legislation.

SENATE V. ERMITA Hence, Drilon received from Ermita a copy of E.O. 464, and
another letter informing him “that officials of the Executive
In September 2005, the Committee of the Senate as a whole Department invited to appear at the hearing will not be able to
issued invitations to various officials of the Executive attend the same without the consent of the President, pursuant
Department for them to appear as resource speakers in a public to E.O. 464” and that “said officials have not secured the
hearing on the railway project of the North Rail Project. The required consent from the President.”
public hearing was sparked by a privilege speech of Senator Despite the communications received from Ermita and Gen.
Juan Ponce Enrile urging the Senate to investigate the alleged Senga, the investigation scheduled by the Committee on
overpricing and other unlawful provisions of the contract National Defense and Security pushed through, with only Col.
covering the North Rail Project. Balutan and Brig. Gen. Gudani attending. For defying President
The Senate Committee on National Defense and Security Arroyo’s order barring military personnel from testifying before
likewise issued invitations to officials of the AFP on another legislative inquiries without her approval, Brig. Gen. Gudani and
matter. Col. Balutan were relieved from their military posts and were
made to face court martial proceedings.
Thereafter, Senate President Drilon received from Executive
Secretary Ermita a letter requesting postponement of the All the petitions pray for the issuance of a Temporary
hearing but Drilon wrote back that it was too late to postpone it. Restraining Order enjoining respondents from implementing,
enforcing, and observing E.O. 464.
The President then issued E.O. 464, containing the ff
provisions: Issue: Whether E.O. 464 is constitutional?
SECTION 1. Appearance by Heads of Departments Before Congress. – In accordance Held: SECTION 1 IS CONSTITUTIONAL. Section 1 of EO 464
with Article VI, Section 22 of the Constitution and to implement the Constitutional specifically applies to department heads. It does not, unlike
provisions on the separation of powers between co-equal branches of the government, Section 3, require a prior determination by any official whether
all heads of departments of the Executive Branch of the government shall secure the they are covered by E.O. 464. The President herself has,
consent of the President prior to appearing before either House of Congress. through the challenged order, made the determination that they
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.
are. Further, unlike also Section 3, the coverage of department
heads under Section 1 is not made to depend on the
SECTION. 2. Nature, Scope and Coverage of Executive Privilege. – department heads’ possession of any information which might
be covered by executive privilege. In fact, in marked contrast to

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Section 3 vis-à-vis Section 2, there is no reference to executive between the President and the public officers covered by this
privilege at all. Rather, the required prior consent under Section executive order.”
1 is grounded on Article VI, Section 22 of the Constitution on
Absent then a statement of the specific basis of a claim of
what has been referred to as the question hour.
executive privilege, there is no way of determining whether it
When Congress merely seeks to be informed on how falls under one of the traditional privileges, or whether, given the
department heads are implementing the statutes which it has circumstances in which it is made, it should be respected. The
issued, its right to such information is not as imperative as that claim of privilege under Section 3 of E.O. 464 in relation to
of the President to whom, as Chief Executive, such department Section 2(b) is thus invalid per se. It is not asserted. It is
heads must give a report of their performance as a matter of merely implied. Instead of providing precise and certain
duty. In such instances, Section 22, in keeping with the reasons for the claim, it merely invokes E.O. 464, coupled with
separation of powers, states that Congress may only request an announcement that the President has not given her consent.
their appearance. Nonetheless, when the inquiry in which It is woefully insufficient for Congress to determine whether the
Congress requires their appearance is “in aid of legislation” withholding of information is justified under the circumstances of
under Section 21, the appearance is mandatory. each case. It severely frustrates the power of inquiry of
Congress. In fine, Section 3 and Section 2(b) of E.O. 464 must
When Congress exercises its power of inquiry, the only way for
be invalidated.
department heads to exempt themselves therefrom is by a valid
claim of privilege. They are not exempt by the mere fact that SECTION 2[A] IS CONSTITUTIONAL. No infirmity, however,
they are department heads. Only one executive official may be can be imputed to Section 2(a) as it merely provides guidelines,
exempted from this power — the President on whom executive binding only on the heads of office mentioned in Section 2(b),
power is vested, and members of the Supreme Court. on what is covered by executive privilege. It does not purport to
be conclusive on the other branches of government. It may thus
Section 1, in view of its specific reference to Section 22 of
be construed as a mere expression of opinion by the President
Article VI of the Constitution and the absence of any reference
regarding the nature and scope of executive privilege.
to inquiries in aid of legislation, must be construed as limited in
its application to appearances of department heads in the AS TO WHO MAY INVOKE PRIVILEGE: Petitioners, however,
question hour contemplated in Section 22 of Article VI. The assert as another ground for invalidating the challenged order
requirement then to secure presidential consent under Section the alleged unlawful delegation of authority to the heads of
1, limited as it is only to appearances in the question hour, is offices in Section 2(b). Petitioner Senate of the Philippines
valid on its face. claims that only the President can assert executive privilege to
withhold information from Congress.
SECTION 3 AND SECTION 2[B] ARE UNCONSTITUIONAL.
Section 3 of E.O. 464 requires all the public officials enumerated Section 2(b) in relation to Section 3 virtually provides that, once
in Section 2(b) to secure the consent of the President prior to the head of office determines that a certain information is
appearing before either house of Congress. The enumeration is privileged, such determination is presumed to bear the
broad. It covers all senior officials of executive departments, all President’s authority and has the effect of prohibiting the official
officers of the AFP and the PNP, and all senior national security from appearing before Congress, subject only to the express
officials who, in the judgment of the heads of offices designated pronouncement of the President that it is allowing the
in the same section (i.e. department heads, Chief of Staff of the appearance of such official. These provisions thus allow the
AFP, Chief of the PNP, and the National Security Adviser), are President to authorize claims of privilege by mere silence.
“covered by the executive privilege.”
Such presumptive authorization, however, is contrary to the
The enumeration also includes such other officers as may be exceptional nature of the privilege. In light of this highly
determined by the President. In view thereof, whenever an exceptional nature of the privilege, the Court finds it essential to
official invokes E.O. 464 to justify his failure to be present, such limit to the President the power to invoke the privilege. She may
invocation must be construed as a declaration to Congress that of course authorize the Executive Secretary to invoke the
the President, or a head of office authorized by the President, privilege on her behalf, in which case the Executive Secretary
has determined that the requested information is privileged, and must state that the authority is “By order of the President,” which
that the President has not reversed such determination. Such means that he personally consulted with her. The privilege
declaration, however, even without mentioning the term being an extraordinary power, it must be wielded only by the
“executive privilege,” amounts to an implied claim that the highest official in the executive hierarchy. In other words, the
information is being withheld by the executive branch, by President may not authorize her subordinates to exercise such
authority of the President, on the basis of executive privilege. power. There is even less reason to uphold such authorization
Verily, there is an implied claim of privilege. in the instant case where the authorization is not explicit but by
mere silence. Section 3, in relation to Section 2(b), is further
By its very nature, the implied claim authorized by Section 3 of
invalid on this score.
E.O. 464 is not accompanied by any specific allegation of the
basis thereof (e.g., whether the information demanded involves SECTION 21 SECTION 22
military or diplomatic secrets, closed-door Cabinet meetings, Power of Inquiry Oversight Function
etc.). While Section 2(a) enumerates the types of information Who may be summoned? Anyone Who may be called? Only members of
that are covered by the privilege under the challenged order, except the president and SC justices. the executive branch – department
Congress is left to speculate as to which among them is being heads.
referred to by the executive. The enumeration is not even Mandatory Mere request by Congress
intended to be comprehensive, but a mere statement of what is Excuse: executive privilege Excuse: executive privilege
included in the phrase “confidential or classified information

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 Article VII applies only to heads of executive departments, their


undersecretaries and assistant secretaries; it does not cover
ARTICLE VII - EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT other public officials given the rank of Secretary,
Undersecretary, or Assistant Secretary.
Section 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of
the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not, He also claims that it is Sec.7, par. 2, Article IX-B that should be
unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any applied to the case. This provision would allow a public officer
other office or employment during their tenure. They shall to hold multiple positions if (1) the law allows the concurrent
not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly, practice any appointment of the said official; and (2) the primary functions of
other profession, participate in any business, or be either position allows such concurrent appointment.
financially interested in any contract with, or in any Issue: WON the appointments violates the prohibition against
franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government multiple offices in Section 13, Article VII and Section 7, par. 2,
or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution?
including government-owned or controlled corporations or
their subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of Held: YES. In Quimson v. Ozaeta, SC ruled that, “there is no
interest in the conduct of their office. legal objection to a government official occupying 2 gov’t offices
The spouse and relatives by consanguinity or and performing the functions of both as long as there is no
affinity within the fourth civil degree of the President shall incompatibility.” The crucial test in determining whether
not, during his tenure, be appointed as Members of the incompatibility exists between two offices was laid out in People
Constitutional Commissions, or the Office of the v. Green - whether one office is subordinate to the other, in the
Ombudsman, or as Secretaries, Undersecretaries, chairmen sense that one office has the right to interfere with the other.
or heads of bureaus or offices, including government- Incompatibility between two offices, is an inconsistency in the
owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. functions of the two. The offices must be subordinate, one over
the other, and they must, per se, have the right to interfere, one
Doctrine with the other, before they are incompatible at common law.
Q. The Chief Presidential Legal Counsel has the duty of giving In this case, an incompatibility exists between the positions of
independent and impartial legal advice on the actions of the the PCGG Chairman and the CPLC. The duties of the CPLC
heads of various executive departments and agencies and include giving independent and impartial legal advice on the
to review investigations involving heads of executive actions of the heads of various executive departments and
departments and agencies, as well as other Presidential agencies and to review investigations involving heads of
appointees. The PCGG, for its part, is charged with the executive departments and agencies, as well as other
responsibility, under the President, of recovering ill-gotten Presidential appointees. The PCGG is, without question, an
wealth. May the two offices be held by the same person. agency under the Executive Department. Thus, the actions of
A. No. The two offices are incompatible. Without question, the the PCGG Chairman are subject to the review of the CPLC.
PCGG is an agency under the Executive Department.
Thus, the actions of the PCGG Chairman are subject to the As CPLC, respondent Elma will be required to give his legal
review of the CPLC. Public Interest Group v Elma, G. R. opinion on his own actions as PCGG Chairman and review any
No. 138965, June 30, 2006. investigation conducted by the Presidential Anti-Graft
Commission, which may involve himself as PCGG Chairman. In
PUBLIC INTEREST GROUP V. ELMA such cases, questions on his impartiality will inevitably be
raised. This is the situation that the law seeks to avoid in
Magdangal Elma was appointed and took his oath of office as imposing the prohibition against holding incompatible offices.
Chairman of the PCGG. Thereafter, during his tenure as PCGG While Section 7, Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution applies in
Chairman, respondent Elma was appointed as Chief general to all elective and appointive officials, Section 13, Article
Presidential Legal Counsel. He took his oath of office but VII, thereof applies in particular to Cabinet secretaries,
waived any remuneration that he may receive as CPLC. undersecretaries and assistant secretaries. The persons cited in
Petitioners contend that respondent Elma’s concurrent Article VII are the “Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and
appointments as PCGG Chairman and CPLC contravenes assistants.” These terms must be given their common and
Section 13, Article VII and Section 7, par. 2, Article IX-B of the general acceptation as referring to the heads of the executive
1987 Constitution. They also maintain that respondent Elma departments, their undersecretaries and assistant secretaries.
was holding incompatible offices. Public officials given the rank equivalent to a Secretary,
Undersecretary, or Assistant Secretary are not covered by the
Art. VII Sec. 13: “The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their prohibition, nor is the Solicitor General affected thereby. Thus,
deputies or assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any
other office or employment during their tenure.”
the strict prohibition under Sec13, Article VII is not applicable to
the PCGG Chairman nor to the CPLC, as neither of them is a
Art. IX-B. Sec. 7: “No elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in secretary, undersecretary, nor an assistant secretary, even if
any capacity to any public office or position during his tenure. xxx Unless otherwise the former may have the same rank as the latter positions.
allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no appointive official shall
hold any other office or employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency or In Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary, the Court
instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their stressed that the language of Section 13, Article VII is a definite
subsidiaries.” and unequivocal negation of the privilege of holding multiple
On the other hand, Elma alleges that the strict prohibition offices or employment. The Court cautiously allowed only two
against holding multiple positions provided under Section 13, exceptions to the rule against multiple offices: (1) those

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

provided for under the Constitution, such as Section 3, Article Eventually, during the term of President Fidel V. Ramos, the
VII, authorizing the Vice-President to become a member of the CCP Board included the Endriga group.
Cabinet; or (2) posts occupied by the Executive officials
President Estrada then appointed 7 new trustees (the Rufino
specified in Section 13, Article VII without additional
group) to the CCP Board to replace the Endriga group. The
compensation in an ex-officio capacity as provided by law and
Rufino group took their respective oaths of office and
as required by the primary functions of said officials’ office. The
assumed their duties in early January 1999.
Court further qualified that additional duties must not only be
closely related to, but must be required by the official’s primary Endriga group filed a petition for quo warranto questioning
functions. Moreover, the additional post must be exercised in Estrada’s appointment. They alleged that under Section 6(b) of
an ex-officio capacity, which “denotes an act done in an official PD 15, vacancies in the CCP Board “shall be filled by election
character, or as a consequence of office, and without any other by a vote of a majority of the trustees held at the next regular
appointment or authority than that conferred by the office.” meeting.” They claimed that it is only when the CCP Board is
Thus, it will not suffice that no additional compensation shall be entirely vacant may the President fill such vacancies, acting in
received by virtue of the second appointment, it is mandatory consultation with the ranking officers of the CCP. They refused
that the second post is required by the primary functions of the to accept that the CCP was under the supervision and control of
first appointment and is exercised in an ex-officio capacity. the President, citing Sec3 of PD 15, which states that the CCP
“shall enjoy autonomy of policy and operation.”
Doctrine/Notes: List of officials under Article VII Section 13 is
exclusive. The Rufino group asserted that the law could only delegate to
the CCP Board the power to appoint officers lower in rank than
the trustees of the Board. The law may not validly confer on the
Section 16. The President shall nominate and, with the CCP trustees the authority to appoint their fellow trustees, for
consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the the latter are of equal rank and not of lower rank.
heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other Issue: WON the president may appoint members of the CCP
public ministers and consuls, or officers of the armed board?
forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other
officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Held: YES. The power to appoint is the prerogative of the
Constitution. He shall also appoint all other officers of the President, except in those instances when the Constitution
Government whose appointments are not otherwise provides otherwise. Under Section 16, Article VII of the 1987
provided for by law, and those whom he may be authorized Constitution, the President appoints three groups of officers.
by law to appoint. The Congress may, by law, vest the The first group refers to the heads of the Executive
appointment of other officers lower in rank in the President departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls,
alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments, officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval
agencies, commissions, or boards. captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in
The President shall have the power to make the President by the Constitution. The second group refers to
appointments during the recess of the Congress, whether those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint.
voluntary or compulsory, but such appointments shall be The third group refers to all other officers of the Government
effective only until disapproved by the Commission on whose appointments are not otherwise provided by law. Under
Appointments or until the next adjournment of the the same Section 16, there is a fourth group of lower-ranked
Congress. officers whose appointments Congress may by law vest in the
heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards.
Doctrine The President appoints the first group of officers with the
Q. May the Board of the Cultural Center of the Philippines be consent of the Commission on Appointments. The President
authorized to fill a vacancy in the Board. appoints the second and third groups of officers without the
A. No. Section 16 says: “The Congress may, by law, vest the consent of the Commission on Appointments. The President
appointment of other officers lower in rank in the President appoints the third group of officers if the law is silent on who is
alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments, the appointing power, or if the law authorizing the head of a
agencies, commissions, or boards.” It is the chairman who department, agency, commission, or board to appoint is
may be given authority; but even he can appoint only declared unconstitutional. Thus, if Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15
officers lower in rank, not officers equal in rank with the is found unconstitutional, the President shall appoint the
appointing authority. Rufino v Endriga, G.R. No. 139554, trustees of the CCP Board because the trustees fall under the
July 21, 2006. third group of officers.
RUFINO V ENDRIGA The framers of the 1987 Constitution clearly intended that
Congress could by law vest the appointment of lower-ranked
PD 15 created the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) for officers in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or
the primary purpose of propagating arts and culture in the boards. The clear intent is that inferior or lower in rank officers
Philippines. PD 15 created a Board of Trustees (“Board”) to are the subordinates of the heads of departments, agencies,
govern the CCP. commissions, or boards who are vested by law with the power
to appoint. The conclusion is that the officers whom the heads
After EDSA1, President Aquino asked for the courtesy of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards may appoint
resignations of the then incumbent CCP trustees and appointed must be of lower rank than those vested by law with the power
new trustees to the Board. to appoint.

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Congress has the discretion to grant to, or withhold from, the reorganization measures under a broad authority of law. Anak
heads of agencies, commissions, or boards the power to Mindanao v. Executive Sec, G.R. No. 166052 , August 29,
appoint lower-ranked officers. If it so grants, Congress may 2007.
impose certain conditions for the exercise of such legislative
Executive Order No. 102 reorganizing the health sector is
delegation, like requiring the recommendation of subordinate
challenged on the ground that it cannot be done by th President
officers or the concurrence of the other members of the
but should be done by the legislture. This Court has already
commission or board. This is in contrast to the President’s
ruled in a number of cases that the President may, by executive
power to appoint which is a self-executing power vested by the
or administrative order, direct the reorganization of government
Constitution itself and thus not subject to legislative limitations
entities under the Executive Department. This is also sanctioned
or conditions. The power to appoint conferred directly by the
under the Constitution, as well as other statutes.Section 17,
Constitution on the Supreme Court en banc and on the
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, clearly states: “[T]he
Constitutional Commissions is also self-executing and not
president shall have control of all executive departments,
subject to legislative limitations or conditions.
bureaus and offices.” Section 31, Book III, Chapter 10 of
Thus, the Chairman of the CCP Board is the “head” of the CCP Executive Order No. 292, also known as the Administrative
who may be vested by law, under Section 16, Article VII of the Code of 1987. G.R. No. 167324, July 17, 2007. Tondo Medical
1987 Constitution, with the power to appoint lower-ranked Center Employees v. CA. G.R. No. 167324, July 17, 2007.
officers of the CCP. The CCP, being governed by a board, is not
The President has the authority to carry out a reorganization of
an agency but a board for purposes of Section 16, Article VII of
the Department of Health under the Constitution and statutory
the 1987 Constitution.
laws. This authority is an adjunct of his power of control under
Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is thus irreconcilably inconsistent Article VII, Sections 1 and 17 of the 1987 Constitution, viz.:
with Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. Section In Canonizado v. Aguirre, we held that reorganization “involves
6(b) and (c) of PD 15 empowers the remaining trustees of the the reduction of personnel, consolidation of offices, or abolition
CCP Board to fill vacancies in the CCP Board, allowing them to thereof by reason of economy or redundancy of functions.” It
elect their fellow trustees. On the other hand, Section 16, alters the existing structure of government offices or units
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution allows heads of departments, therein, including the lines of control, authority and responsibility
agencies, commissions, or boards to appoint only “officers lower between them. While the power to abolish an office is generally
in rank” than such “heads of departments, agencies, lodged with the legislature, the authority of the President to
commissions, or boards.” This excludes a situation where the reorganize the executive branch, which may include such
appointing officer appoints an officer equal in rank as him. abolition, is permissible under our present laws. Malaria
Thus, insofar as it authorizes the trustees of the CCP Board to Employees v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 160093, July 31,
elect their co-trustees, Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15 is 2007.
unconstitutional because it violates Section 16, Article VII of the
1987 Constitution. OROSA V. ROA
The CCP is part of the Executive branch. No law can cut off the
Orosa, a dentist by profession, charged Roa, also a dentist, with
President’s control over the CCP in the guise of insulating the
the crime of libel. The complaint stemmed from an article
CCP from the President’s influence. By stating that the
entitled “Truth vs. Rumors: Questions against Dr. Orosa” written
“President shall have control of all the executive offices,” the
by Orosa and published in the March-April 1996 issue of the
1987 Constitution empowers the President not only to influence
Dental Trading Post, a bi-monthly publication of the Dental
but even to control all offices in the Executive branch, including
Exchange Co., Inc. In gist, the article delved into the possibility
the CCP. Control is far greater than, and subsumes, influence.
of a father, who happened to be an examiner in a licensure
examination for dentistry where his sons were examinees,
Doctrine/Notes: It is the head of the board, not the board itself,
manipulating the examinations or the results thereof to enable
who should appoint officers lower in rank.
his children to top the same.
Petitioner alleged that the article in question is defamatory as it
Section 17. The President shall have control of all the besmirched his honor and reputation as a dentist and as the
executive departments, bureaus, and offices. He shall topnotcher in the dental board examinations held in May 1994.
ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.
Respondent denied the accusation, claiming that the article
Doctrine constitutes a “fair and accurate report on a matter of both public
and social concern.” He averred that the article in question was
Q. Is the resolution of the Secretary of Justice directing the
not written with malice but with a sincere desire to contribute to
prosecutor to withdraw an information in a criminal case
the improvement of the integrity of professional examinations.
reviewable by the Court of Appeals under Rule 43 of the
1997 Rules of Court? After preliminary investigation, Pasig City Prosecutor dismissed
A. No. The DOJ’s act is an exercise of the power of control. the petitioner's complaint. Orosa appealed to the DOJ. Acting
Appeal should first be made to the Office of the President in on the appeal, Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño issued a
order to exhaust administrative remedies. Decision of the Resolution setting aside the findings of the City Prosecutor and
Office of the President may then be appealed. Orosa v. directing the latter to file an Information for libel against
Roa, GR 14047, July 14, 2006. respondent. Accordingly, in the RTC of Pasig City, an
Information for libel was filed against respondent.
The Constitution’s express grant of the power of control to the
President justifies an executive action to carry out
JEN LAYGO 4D 2007 TRUTH. HONOR. EXCELLENCE. 43
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Respondent thus appealed to the Secretary of Justice. Then is that if an appeal or remedy obtains or is available within the
Justice Secretary Serafin Cuevas reversed the Zuño Resolution administrative machinery, this should be resorted to before
and directed the City Prosecutor of Pasig to withdraw the resort can be made to the courts. Immediate recourse to the
Information earlier filed with the RTC. In compliance therewith, a court would be premature and precipitate subject to defined
“Motion to Withdraw Information” was accordingly filed in court exception, a case is susceptible of dismissal for lack of cause of
by the Pasig City Prosecution Office. action should a party fail to exhaust administrative remedies.
Petitioner seasonably moved for a reconsideration but his Notably, Section 1 of Rule 43 includes the Office of the
motion was denied by the Secretary of Justice in his Resolution President in the agencies named therein, thereby accentuating
of May 12, 1999. Petitioner then went to the CA on a petition for the fact that appeals from rulings of department heads must first
review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. However, be taken to and resolved by that office before any appellate
the CA dismissed the petition on the ground that the Pasig City recourse may be resorted to.
Prosecution Office and the DOJ are not among those quasi-
judicial agencies included in Section 1 of Rule 43 whose final ANAK MINDANAO V. EXECUTIVE SEC
orders are subject to review by the CA.
Petitioners Anak Mindanao Party-List Group (AMIN) and
Section 1 of Rule 43 provides that: Section 1. Scope.― This Rule shall Mamalo Descendants Organization, Inc. (MDOI) assail the
apply to appeals from judgments or final orders of the Court of Tax Appeals, and from constitutionality of Executive Order (E.O.) Nos. 364 and 379.
awards, judgments, final orders or resolutions of or authorized by any quasi-judicial
agency in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions. Among these agencies are the Civil EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 364
Service Commission, Central Board of Assessment Appeals, Securities and Exchange TRANSFORMING THE DAR INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND REFORM
Commission, Office of the President, Land Registration Authority, Social Security SECTION 1. The Department of Agrarian Reform is hereby transformed into the
Commission, Civil Aeronautics Board, Bureau of Patents, Trademarks and Technology Department of Land Reform. It shall be responsible for all land reform in the country,
Transfer, National Electrification Administration, Energy Regulatory Board, National including agrarian reform, urban land reform, and ancestral domain reform.
Telecommunications Commission, Department of Agrarian Reform under Republic Act
No. 6657, Government Service and Insurance System, Employees' Compensation SECTION 2. The PCUP is hereby placed under the supervision and control of the
Commission, Agricultural Inventions Board, Insurance Commission, Philippine Atomic Department of Land Reform. The Chairman of the PCUP shall be ex-officio
Energy Commission, Board of Investments, Construction Industry Arbitration Undersecretary of the Department of Land Reform for Urban Land Reform.
Commission, and voluntary arbitrators authorized by law.
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 379
Issues/Held: AMENDING EO 364 ENTITLED TRANSFORMING THE DEPARTMENT OF
1. W/N PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION IS QUASI-JUDICIAL AGRARIAN REFORM INTO THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND REFORM
IN NATURE.
Section 1. Amending Section 3 of Executive Order No. 364. Section 3 of Executive
No. The prosecutor in a preliminary investigation does not Order No. 364, dated September 27, 2004 shall now read as follows: “Section 3. The
determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. He does not National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) shall be an attached agency of the
exercise adjudication nor rule-making functions. Preliminary Department of Land Reform.”
investigation is merely inquisitorial, and is often the only means
of discovering the persons who may be reasonably charged with Issue: WON placing the Presidential Commission for the Urban
a crime and to enable the prosecutor to prepare his complaint or Poor (PCUP) under the supervision and control of the DAR, and
information. It is not a trial of the case on the merits and has no the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) under
purpose except that of determining whether a crime has been the DAR as an attached agency was proper?
committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that
the accused is guilty thereof. While the prosecutor makes that Held: YES. AMIN contends that since the DAR, PCUP and
determination, he cannot be said to be acting as a quasi-court, NCIP were created by statutes, they can only be transformed,
for it is the courts, ultimately that pass judgment on the accused, merged or attached by statutes, not by mere executive orders.
not the fiscal prosecutor. While AMIN concedes that the executive power is vested in the
President who, as Chief Executive, holds the power of control of
2. W/N THE DECISION OF THE CITY PROSECUTOR AND all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices, it posits that
THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE IS SUBJECT TO REVIEW this broad power of control including the power to reorganize is
OF THE CA. qualified and limited, for it cannot be exercised in a manner
No. The exclusion of the DOJ from Rule 43 is deliberate being contrary to law, citing the constitutional duty of the President to
in consonance with the constitutional power of control lodged in ensure that the laws, including those creating the agencies, be
the President over executive departments, bureaus and offices. faithfully executed.
This power of control, which even Congress cannot limit, let AMIN cites the naming of the PCUP as a presidential
alone withdraw, means the power of the Chief Executive to commission to be clearly an extension of the President, and the
review, alter, modify, nullify, or set aside what a subordinate had creation of the NCIP as an “independent agency under the
done in the performance of their duties and to substitute the Office of the President.” It thus argues that since the legislature
judgment of the former for that of the latter. Being thus under had seen fit to create these agencies at separate times and with
the control of the President, the Secretary of Justice is subject distinct mandates, the President should respect that legislative
to review of the former. disposition.
In fine, recourse from the decision of the Secretary of Justice In fine, AMIN contends that any reorganization of these
should be to the President, instead of the CA, under the administrative agencies should be the subject of a statute.
established principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies. AMIN’s position fails to impress.
The thrust of the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies

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The Constitution confers, by express provision, the power of


control over executive departments, bureaus and offices in the MALARIA EMPLOYEES V. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
President alone. And it lays down a limitation on the legislative
power. The Constitution’s express grant of the power of control In question is the validity of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 102, the
in the President justifies an executive action to carry out law Redirecting the Functions and Operations of the
reorganization measures under a broad authority of law. Department of Health. Then President Joseph E. Estrada issued
E.O. No. 102 pursuant to the Administrative Code of 1987, and
In enacting a statute, the legislature is presumed to have
the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 1998. E.O. No. 102
deliberated with full knowledge of all existing laws and
provided for structural changes and redirected the functions and
jurisprudence on the subject. It is thus reasonable to conclude
operations of the Department of Health.
that in passing a statute which places an agency under the
Office of the President, it was in accordance with existing laws Pursuant to such reorganization, certain employees were
and jurisprudence on the President’s power to reorganize. affected. Petitioner Malaria Employees and Workers Association
of the Philippines, Inc. (MEWAP) is a union of affected
In establishing an executive department, bureau or office, the
employees in the Malaria Control Service of the Department of
legislature necessarily ordains an executive agency’s position in
Health. MEWAP filed a complaint, seeks to nullify Department
the scheme of administrative structure. Such determination is
Memorandum No. 157, the NOSCA and the Placement List of
primary, but subject to the President’s continuing authority to
Department of Health Personnel and other issuances
reorganize the administrative structure. As far as bureaus,
implementing E.O. No. 102.
agencies or offices in the executive department are concerned,
the power of control may justify the President to deactivate the Issue: Whether Executive Order No. 102 is null and void.
functions of a particular office. Or a law may expressly grant the
Held: NO. The President has the authority to carry out a
President the broad authority to carry out reorganization
reorganization of the Department of Health under the
measures. The Administrative Code of 1987 is one such law:
Constitution and statutory laws. This authority is an adjunct of
SEC. 30. Functions of Agencies under the Office of the President.– Agencies under the his power of control under Article VII, Sections 1 and 17 of the
Office of the President shall continue to operate and function in accordance with their 1987 Constitution.
respective charters or laws creating them, except as otherwise provided in this Code or
by law. “The general rule has always been that the power to abolish a
public office is lodged with the legislature. This proceeds from
SEC. 31. Continuing Authority of the President to Reorganize his Office.– The
President, subject to the policy in the Executive Office and in order to achieve simplicity, the legal precept that the power to create includes the power to
economy and efficiency, shall have continuing authority to reorganize the administrative destroy. A public office is either created by the Constitution, by
structure of the Office of the President. For this purpose, he may take any of the statute, or by authority of law. Thus, except where the office was
following actions: created by the Constitution itself, it may be abolished by the
(1) Restructure the internal organization of the Office of the President Proper, same legislature that brought it into existence. xxx The
including the immediate Offices, the Presidential Special Assistants/Advisers exception, however, is that as far as bureaus, agencies or
System and the Common Staff Support System, by abolishing, consolidating, offices in the executive department are concerned, the
or merging units thereof or transferring functions from one unit to another;
(2) Transfer any function under the Office of the President to any other
President’s power of control may justify him to inactivate the
Department or Agency as well as transfer functions to the Office of the functions of a particular office, or certain laws may grant him the
President from other Departments and Agencies; and broad authority to carry out reorganization measures.”
(3) Transfer any agency under the Office of the President to any other department
or agency as well as transfer agencies to the Office of the President from other
The President’s power to reorganize the executive branch is
departments or agencies. also an exercise of his residual powers under the Administrative
Code, which grants the President broad organization powers to
In carrying out the laws into practical operation, the President is implement reorganization measures.
best equipped to assess whether an executive agency ought to The residual powers granted to the President under Section 20,
continue operating in accordance with its charter or the law Title I, Book III are too broad to be construed as having a sole
creating it. This is not to say that the legislature is incapable of application to the Office of the President. As correctly stated by
making a similar assessment and appropriate action within its respondents, there is nothing in E.O. No. 292 which provides
plenary power. The Administrative Code of 1987 merely that the continuing authority should apply only to the Office of
underscores the need to provide the President with suitable the President. If such was the intent of the law, the same should
solutions to situations on hand to meet the exigencies of the have been expressly stated. To adopt the argument of
service that may call for the exercise of the power of control. petitioners would result to two conflicting provisions in one
As thus provided by law, the President may transfer any agency statute. It is a basic canon of statutory construction that in
under the Office of the President to any other department or interpreting a statute, care should be taken that every part
agency, subject to the policy in the Executive Office and in order thereof be given effect, on the theory that it was enacted as an
to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency. Gauged against integrated measure and not as a hodge-podge of conflicting
these guidelines, the challenged executive orders may not be provisions. The rule is that a construction that would render a
said to have been issued with grave abuse of discretion or in provision inoperative should be avoided; instead, apparently
violation of the rule of law. inconsistent provisions should be reconciled whenever possible
as parts of a coordinated and harmonious whole.
Be that as it may, the President must exercise good faith in
carrying out the reorganization of any branch or agency of the
executive department. Reorganization is effected in good faith if

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it is for the purpose of economy or to make bureaucracy more detained shall be judicially charged within three days,
efficient. R.A. No. 6656 provides for the circumstances which otherwise he shall be released.
may be considered as evidence of bad faith in the removal of
civil service employees made as a result of reorganization, to Doctrine
wit: (a) where there is a significant increase in the number of Q. When the President declares a state of emergency and calls
positions in the new staffing pattern of the department or agency out the Armed Forces, does such an act give to the
concerned; (b) where an office is abolished and another President additional powers?
performing substantially the same functions is created; (c) A. The declaration of a state of emergency is merely a
where incumbents are replaced by those less qualified in terms description of a situation which authorizes her to call out the
of status of appointment, performance and merit; (d) where Armed Forces to help the police maintain law and order. It
there is a classification of offices in the department or agency gives no new power to her, nor to the military, nor to the
concerned and the reclassified offices perform substantially the police. Certainly it does not authorize warrantless arrests
same functions as the original offices; and (e) where the or control of media. David v. Ermita, G.R. No. 171409, May
removal violates the order of separation. 3, 2006.
We agree with the ruling of the Court of Appeals that the
Q. May the President as Commander in Chief prevent an Army
President did not commit bad faith in the questioned
General from appearing in a legislative investigation and, if
reorganization.
disobeyed, is the general subject to court martial?
A. The General is subject to court martial and must justify his
disobedience to the President as Commander in Chief.
Section 18. The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief
However, Congress may challenge the President’s order
of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it
before the Supreme Court. Gudani v. Senga, G.R. No.
becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to
170165, August 15, 2006.
prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.
In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety
requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days,
DAVID V. ERMITA
suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place
the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law. Within
On February 24, 2006, as the nation celebrated the 20th
forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or
Anniversary of the Edsa People Power I, President Arroyo
the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
issued PP 1017 declaring a state of national emergency, thus:
corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in
writing to the Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by a NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the
vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or Philippines and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, by virtue of
special session, may revoke such proclamation or 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)
suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the
armed forces to prevent or suppress. . .rebellion. . .,” and in my capacity as their
President. Upon the initiative of the President, the Commander-in-Chief, do hereby command the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to
Congress may, in the same manner, extend such maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of
proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined lawless violence as well as any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience
by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally
and public safety requires it. or upon my direction; and as provided in Section 17, Article 12 of the Constitution do
The Congress, if not in session, shall, within hereby declare a State of National Emergency.
twenty-four hours following such proclamation or
suspension, convene in accordance with its rules without She then issued General orders 5 implementing PP 1017,
need of a call. stating:
The Supreme Court may review, in an NOW, THEREFORE, I GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, by virtue of the powers vested
appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency in me under the Constitution as President of the Republic of the Philippines, and
of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or No. 1017 dated February 24, 2006, do hereby call upon the Armed Forces of the
the extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), to prevent and suppress
acts of terrorism and lawless violence in the country;
thereon within thirty days from its filing. I hereby direct the Chief of Staff of the AFP and the Chief of the PNP, as well as the
A state of martial law does not suspend the officers and men of the AFP and PNP, to immediately carry out the necessary and
operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning appropriate actions and measures to suppress and prevent acts of terrorism and lawless
of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize violence.”
the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and
agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to Exactly one week after the declaration of a state of national
function, nor automatically suspend the privilege of the writ emergency and after all these petitions had been filed, the
of habeas corpus. President lifted PP1017 via Proclamation 1021 which reads:
The suspension of the privilege of the writ of “NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO,
habeas corpus shall apply only to persons judicially President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the
charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in, or directly powers vested in me by law, hereby declare that the state of
connected with, invasion. national emergency has ceased to exist.”
During the suspension of the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus, any person thus arrested or

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Issues/Held: Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of


(1) WHETHER THE SUPREME COURT CAN REVIEW THE Representatives.” To be sure, neither Martial Law nor a state of
FACTUAL BASES OF PP 1017? rebellion nor a state of emergency can justify President Arroyo’s
exercise of legislative power by issuing decrees.
YES. While the Court considered the President’s “calling-out”
power as a discretionary power solely vested in his wisdom, it
GUDANI V. SENGA
stressed that “this does not prevent an examination of whether
such power was exercised within permissible constitutional
Petitioners are high-ranking officers of the AFP. They were
limits or whether it was exercised in a manner constituting grave
invited by Sen. Biazon to appear at a public hearing before the
abuse of discretion.” As to how the Court may inquire into the
Senate Committee, concerning the 2004 elections and the Hello
President’s exercise of power, Lansang adopted the test that
Garci Tape. The Chief of Staff of the AFP then approved their
“judicial inquiry can go no further than to satisfy the Court not
requests for travel authority.
that the President’s decision is correct,” but that “the President
did not act arbitrarily.” Thus, the standard laid down is not Then on the evening of 27 September 2005, at around 10:10
correctness, but arbitrariness. In Integrated Bar of the p.m., a message was transmitted to the PMA Superintendent
Philippines, this Court further ruled that “it is incumbent upon the from the office of Gen. Senga, stating that President Arroyo has
petitioner to show that the President’s decision is totally bereft of instructed that no AFP personnel shall appear before the
factual basis.” This Petitioners failed to show. A reading of the congressional hearing without her approval.
Solicitor General’s Consolidated Comment and Memorandum
The following day, Gen. Senga sent another letter to Sen.
shows a detailed narration of the events leading to the issuance
Biazon, this time informing the senator that “no approval has
of PP 1017, with supporting reports forming part of the records.
been granted by the President to any AFP officer to appear”
Mentioned are the escape of the Magdalo Group, their
before the hearing scheduled on that day. Nonetheless, both
audacious threat of the Magdalo D-Day, the defections in the
Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan were present as the hearing
military, particularly in the Philippine Marines, and the reproving
started, and they both testified as to the conduct of the 2004
statements from the communist leaders. There was also the
elections.
Minutes of the Intelligence Report and Security Group of the
Philippine Army showing the growing alliance between the NPA Both officers were subjected to courts martial for defiance of the
and the military. Petitioners presented nothing to refute such orders.
events. Thus, absent any contrary allegations, the Court is
convinced that the President was justified in issuing PP 1017 Issue: WON the President prevent a member of the armed
calling for military aid. forces from testifying before a legislative inquiry?
Held: YES, the Court in Senate v. Ermita declared both Section
(2) WON PP1017 AND GO5 ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL? 2(b) and Section 3 void. But the impression may have been left
The first provision pertains to the President’s calling-out by Senate that it settled as doctrine, that the President is
power. Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution grants the prohibited from requiring military personnel from attending
President, as Commander-in-Chief, a “sequence” of graduated congressional hearings without having first secured prior
powers. From the most to the least benign, these are: the presidential consent. That impression is wrong.
calling-out power, the power to suspend the privilege of the writ We hold that the President has constitutional authority to do so,
of habeas corpus, and the power to declare Martial Law. by virtue of her power as commander-in-chief, and that as a
The only criterion for the exercise of the calling-out power is that consequence a military officer who defies such injunction is
“whenever it becomes necessary,” the President may call the liable under military justice. At the same time, we also hold that
armed forces “to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion any chamber of Congress which seeks the appearance before it
or rebellion.” Under the calling-out power, the President may of a military officer against the consent of the President has
summon the armed forces to aid him in suppressing lawless adequate remedies under law to compel such attendance. Any
violence, invasion and rebellion. This involves ordinary police military official whom Congress summons to testify before it may
action. But every act that goes beyond the President’s calling- be compelled to do so by the President. If the President is not
out power is considered illegal or ultra vires. so inclined, the President may be commanded by judicial order
to compel the attendance of the military officer. Final judicial
However, as to the provision in PP1017 which states in orders have the force of the law of the land which the President
part: “to enforce obedience to all the laws and decrees x x x has the duty to faithfully execute.
promulgated by me personally or upon my direction,” this is
unconstitutional. The President is granted only Ordinance In Senate, the Court recognized the considerable limitations on
Powers under the Administrative Code of 1987, where she may executive privilege, and affirmed that the privilege must be
issue only executive orders, administrative orders, formally invoked on specified grounds. However, the ability of
proclamations, memorandum orders, memorandum circulars the President to prevent military officers from testifying before
and general or special orders. She cannot issue decrees similar Congress does not turn on executive privilege, but on the Chief
to those issued by Former President Marcos under PP 1081. Executive’s power as commander-in-chief to control the actions
and speech of members of the armed forces. The President’s
This Court rules that the assailed PP 1017 is unconstitutional prerogatives as commander-in-chief are not hampered by the
insofar as it grants President Arroyo the authority to promulgate same limitations as in executive privilege.
“decrees.” Legislative power is peculiarly within the province of
the Legislature. Section 1, Article VI categorically states that Doctrine/Notes: Senate v. Ermita ruling was decided based on
“the legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the executive privilege, but does not apply to military personnel

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(governed by commander-in-chief provision), who must still which a state confirms and accepts the provisions of a treaty
seek approval from president. concluded by its representative. It is generally held to be an
executive act, undertaken by the head of the state or of the
government.
Section 21. No treaty or international agreement shall be
valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two- Under our Constitution, the power to ratify is vested in the
President, subject to the concurrence of the Senate. The role of
thirds of all the Members of the Senate.
the Senate, however, is limited only to giving or withholding its
consent, or concurrence, to the ratification. Hence, it is within
Doctrine
the authority of the President to refuse to submit a treaty to the
Q. President Estrada signed the Treaty on the Internatinal
Senate or, having secured its consent for its ratification, refuse
Criminal Court before he was ousted. But he did not submit
to ratify it.
it to the Senate for concurrence. May the Executive

Department be compelled by mandamus to submit it to the
Senate?
A. No. Entering into a treaty is a prerogative solely of the
ARTICLE VIII - JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
President. Pimentel v Ermita, G.R. No. 158088, July 6,
2005
Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following
powers:
PIMENTEL V. ERMITA
(1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting
ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and
The Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court.
over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus,
Philippines signed the Statute on December 28, 2000 through
quo warranto, and habeas corpus.
Charge d’ Affairs Manalo of the Philippine Mission to the UN. Its
(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or
provisions, however, require that it be subject to ratification,
certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide,
acceptance or approval of the signatory states.
final judgments and orders of lower courts in:
Petitioners filed the instant petition to compel the respondents (a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of
Executive Secretary and Secretary of Foreign Affairs to transmit any treaty, international or executive agreement,
the signed text of the treaty to the Senate of the Philippines for law, presidential decree, proclamation, order,
ratification. instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question.
(b) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost,
It is the theory of the petitioners that ratification of a treaty, assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in
under both domestic law and international law, is a function of relation thereto.
the Senate. Moreover, petitioners submit that the Philippines (c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court
has a ministerial duty to ratify the Rome Statute under treaty law is in issue.
and customary international law, invoking the Vienna (d) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is
Convention on the Law of Treaties enjoining the states to refrain reclusion perpetua or higher.
from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of a treaty (e) All cases in which only an error or question of law is
when they have signed the treaty prior to ratification unless they involved.
have made their intention clear not to become parties thereto. (3) Assign temporarily judges of lower courts to other
stations as public interest may require. Such temporary
Issue: Whether the Executive Secretary and the Department of assignment shall not exceed six months without the
Foreign Affairs have a ministerial duty to transmit to the Senate consent of the judge concerned.
the copy of the Rome Statute signed by a member of the (4) Order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a
Philippine Mission to the United Nations even without the miscarriage of justice.
signature of the President? (5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and
Held: NO. While the President has the sole authority to enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice,
negotiate and enter into treaties, the Constitution provides a and procedure in all courts, the admission to the
limitation to his power by requiring the concurrence of 2/3 of all practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal assistance
the members of the Senate for the validity of the treaty entered to the under-privileged. Such rules shall provide a
into by him. Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy
provides that “no treaty or international agreement shall be valid disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of
and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or
Members of the Senate.” modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of
special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain
In filing this petition, the petitioners interpret Section 21, Article effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.
VII of the 1987 Constitution to mean that the power to ratify (6) Appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary in
treaties belongs to the Senate. We disagree. Petitioners’ accordance with the Civil Service Law.
arguments equate the signing of the treaty by the Philippine
representative with ratification. The signature is primarily Doctrines
intended as a means of authenticating the instrument and as a Q. Rule 67 says that entry into expropriated property may be
symbol of the good faith of the parties. It is usually performed made even before full payment provided a deposit is made
by the state’s authorized representative in the diplomatic of an amount fixed by the court. R.A. 8974 requires full
mission. Ratification, on the other hand, is the formal act by

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payment before entry in public works projects. May proposed that Congress cannot pass a law contrary to the rules
Congress amend Rules of Court. of court as established by the SC]
A. Rule 67 involves both procedural and substantive matter.
Issue: WON Congress can amend rules of procedure (rules of
Substantive rules are always subject to legislation.
Republic v. Gingoyon, G.R. 166429, February 1, 2006. court) by passing a law, even when substantive rights are
affected?
NOTE: Review by the Court of Appeals of the trial court’s Held: YES. This point was already addressed in the Decision,
judgment imposing the death penalty is now automatic and which noted that the determination of the appropriate standards
mandatory under Rule 122, Sections 3(d) and 10 of the Rules of for just compensation is a substantive matter well within the
Court, as amended by A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC, People v. Lagua, province of the legislature to fix. As held in Fabian v. Desierto, if
G.R. No. 170565, January 31, 2006. the rule takes away a vested right, it is not procedural, and so
the converse certainly holds that if the rule or provision creates
NOTE: The challenge of Francisco to the Flag Scheme was a right, it should be properly appreciated as substantive in
dismissed (1) for want of standing and (2) for raising a question nature. Indubitably, a matter is substantive when it involves the
of fact before the Supreme Court. Francisco v. Bayani creation of rights to be enjoyed by the owner of property to be
Fernando, G.R. No. 166501, November 16, 2006. expropriated. The right of the owner to receive just
compensation prior to acquisition of possession by the State of
A taxpayer is allowed to sue where there is a claim that public the property is a proprietary right, appropriately classified as a
funds are illegally disbursed, or that public money is being substantive matter and, thus, within the sole province of the
deflected to any improper purpose, or that there is a wastage of legislature to legislate on.
public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or
unconstitutional law. Significantly, a taxpayer need not be a It is possible for a substantive matter to be nonetheless
party to the contract to challenge its validity. Abaya et al v. embodied in a rule of procedure, and to a certain extent, Rule
Ebdane et al, GR 167919, February 14, 2007. 67 does contain matters of substance. Yet the absorption of the
substantive point into a procedural rule does not prevent the
Section 5(5), Article VIII of the Constitution gives this Court the substantive right from being superseded or amended by statute,
power to "[p]romulgate rules concerning the protection and for the creation of property rights is a matter for the legislature to
enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice and enact on, and not for the courts to decide upon. Indeed, if the
procedure in all courts." It is within the inherent power of the position of the Government is sustained, it could very well lead
Court to suspend its own rules in particular cases in order to do to the absurd situation wherein the judicial branch of
justice. Lim et al v. CA, G.R. No. 149748, November 16, 2006. government may shield laws with the veneer of irrepealability
simply by absorbing the provisions of law into the rules of
The rule for the review of decisions of lower courts imposing procedure. When the 1987 Constitution restored to the judicial
death or reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment are not the branch of government the sole prerogative to promulgate rules
same. In case the sentence is death, there is automatic review concerning pleading, practice and procedure, it should be
by the Court of Appeals and ultimately by the Supreme Court. understood that such rules necessarily pertain to points of
This is mandatory and neither the accused nor the courts may procedure, and not points of substantive law.
waive the right of appeal. In the case of the sentence of
reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, however, although the FRANCISCO V. BAYANI FERNANDO
Supreme Court has jurisdiction to review them, the review is not
mandatory. Therefore review in these later cases may be Petitioner prays for the Prohibition writ to enjoin respondents
waived and appeal may be withdrawn. People v. Rocha and Bayani F. Fernando, Chairman of the MMDA and the MMDA
Ramos, G.R. No. 173797, August 31, 2007. from further implementing its “wet flag scheme” (“Flag
Scheme”). Petitioner contends that the Flag Scheme: (1) has no
REPUBLIC V. GINGOYON legal basis because the MMDA’s governing body, the Metro
Manila Council, did not authorize it; (2) violates the Due Process
In the Resolution dated 21 January 2004 in Agan v. PIATCO SC Clause because it is a summary punishment for jaywalking; (3)
held that PIATCO, as builder of the NAIA 3 facilities, must first disregards the Constitutional protection against cruel,
be justly compensated in accordance with law for the degrading, and inhuman punishment; and (4) violates
Government to take over the facilities. “pedestrian rights” as it exposes pedestrians to various potential
hazards.
The Government was required to first pay PIATCO the amount
of 3.02 Million Pesos before it may acquire physical possession Issue: WON the SC should take cognizance?
over the facilities. This directive enjoining payment is in Held: NO. The petition ultimately calls for a factual
accordance with Republic Act No. 8974, and under the determination of whether the Flag Scheme is a reasonable
mechanism established by the law the amount to be initially paid enforcement of anti-jaywalking ordinances and similar
is that which is provisionally determined as just compensation. enactments. This Court is not a trier of facts. The petition
The provisional character of this payment means that it is not proffers mere surmises and speculations on the potential
yet final, yet sufficient under law to entitle the Gov’t to the writ of hazards of the Flag Scheme. This Court cannot determine the
possession over the expropriated property. reasonableness of the Flag Scheme based on mere surmises
However, the Government contends in this MR, that Rep. Act and speculations.
No. 8974 could not repeal Rule 67 of the Rules of Court, since Petitioner violated the doctrine of hierarchy of courts when he
the deposit of the assessed value is a procedural matter. [It is filed this petition directly with us. This Court’s jurisdiction to

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POLITICAL LAW REVIEW THE WOMEN OF ALEITHEIA FR. JOAQUIN BERNAS, S.J.

issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, is a wastage of public funds through the enforcement of an
and habeas corpus, while concurrent with the Regional Trial invalid or unconstitutional law. Significantly, a taxpayer need
Courts and the Court of Appeals, does not give litigants not be a party to the contract to challenge its validity.
unrestrained freedom of choice of forum from which to seek
In the present case, the petitioners are suing as taxpayers.
such relief. We relax this rule only in exceptional and
They have sufficiently demonstrated that, notwithstanding the
compelling circumstances. This is not the case here.
fact that the CP I project is primarily financed from loans
obtained by the government from the JBIC, nonetheless,
taxpayers’ money would be or is being spent on the project
ABAYA ET AL V. EBDANE ET AL
considering that the Philippine Government is required to
allocate a peso-counterpart therefor. The public respondents
The CPI project is one of the four packages comprising the
themselves admit that appropriations for these foreign-assisted
project for the rehabilitation of the Catanduanes Circumferential
projects in the GAA are composed of the loan proceeds and the
Road. The project is between the Japan Bank for International
peso-counterpart. The counterpart funds, the Solicitor General
Cooperation (JBIC) and the Government of the Republic of the
explains, refer to the component of the project cost to be
Philippines. The Exchange of Notes provided that the loans to
financed from government-appropriated funds, as part of the
be extended by the Government of Japan to the Philippines
government’s commitment in the implementation of the project.
consisted of two loans.
Hence, the petitioners correctly asserted their standing since a
Subsequently, the DPWH, as the government agency tasked to part of the funds being utilized in the implementation of the CP I
implement the project, caused the publication of the “Invitation project partakes of taxpayers’ money.
to Prequalify and to Bid” for the implementation of the CP I
project. DPWH, with the approval of then Acting Secretary
Soriquez, issued the assailed Resolution recommending the LIM ET AL V. CA
award in favor of private respondent China Road & Bridge
Corporation. A Contract of Agreement was entered into by and Petitioners filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 with the
between the DPWH and private respondent China Road & Court of Appeals, in relation to a labor case. Said petition was
Bridge Corporation for the implementation of the CP I project. dismissed outright in the CA's assailed Resolution, based on the
following grounds:
Petitioner Plaridel M. Abaya claims that he filed the instant
(1) The Verification and Certification of Non-Forum Shopping
petition as a taxpayer, former lawmaker, and a Filipino citizen.
are signed by counsel and not by the petitioner[s] which
Petitioner Plaridel C. Garcia likewise claims that he filed the suit
is in violation of the Supreme Court [r]uling in Escorpizo
as a taxpayer, former military officer, and a Filipino citizen.
v. University of Baguio (306 SCRA 497);
Issue: WON petitioners have locus standi?
(2) Petitioner[s'] counsel, in the Verification as to Material
Held: YES, as a taxpayer’s suit. Petitioners assert that they Dates, only alleged the date of receipt of the December
have standing or locus standi to file the instant petition. They 11, 2000 NLRC Resolution denying the motion for
claim that as taxpayers and concerned citizens, they have the reconsideration but failed to allege the date of receipt of
right and duty to question the expenditure of public funds on the June 6, 2000 NLRC Resolution;
illegal acts.
(3) The IBP Official Receipt Number as well as the date of its
According to the public respondents, a taxpayer’s locus standi issuance to petitioner[s'] counsel are not current, in
was recognized in the following cases: (a) where a tax measure violation of the SC En Banc Resolution dated September
is assailed as unconstitutional; (b) where there is a question of 26, 2000 in Bar Matter No. 287; and
validity of election laws; (c) where legislators questioned the
(4) The petition does not contain a written explanation on the
validity of any official action upon the claim that it infringes on
mode of service as required under Section 11, Rule 13 of
their prerogatives as legislators; (d) where there is a claim of
the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
illegal disbursement or wastage of public funds through the
enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law; (e) where it
Petitioners filed their Motion for Reconsideration on May 10,
involves the right of members of the Senate or House of
2001 which was likewise denied for being filed out of time.
Representatives to question the validity of a presidential veto or
condition imposed on an item in an appropriation bill; or (f) Private respondents belabor the fact that petitioners filed their
where it involves an invalid law, which when enforced will put petition for certiorari with the CA: a) with its verification and
the petitioner in imminent danger of sustaining some direct certification of non-forum shopping signed by counsel instead of
injury as a result thereof, or that he has been or is about to be the parties; b) without a statement of the date of receipt of the
denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or June 6, 2000 NLRC Resolution; c) with their counsel's IBP
that he is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by Official Receipt Number being outdated; and d) without a written
reason of the statute complained of. None of the above explanation on the mode of service as required under Section
considerations allegedly obtains in the present case. 11, Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Private
respondents point out that petitioners' motion for
The prevailing doctrine in taxpayer’s suits is to allow taxpayers
reconsideration with the CA was filed 27 days after the last day
to question contracts entered into by the national government or
for filing the same. Private respondent M&S also questions
government- owned or controlled corporations allegedly in
petitioners' resort to a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the
contravention of law. A taxpayer is allowed to sue where there
Rules of Court with this Court. It contends that the proper
is a claim that public funds are illegally disbursed, or that public
money is being deflected to any improper purpose, or that there

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remedy with this Court from the resolution of the CA is an


appeal by certiorari under Rule 45. PEOPLE V. ROCHA AND RAMOS
Issue: WON THE CASE SHOULD BE GIVEN DUE COURSE?
Trumpeta, Cenita and herein accused-appellants Rocha and
Held: YES. It is within the inherent power of the Court to Ramos were found guilty of the crime of Robbery with Homicide,
suspend its own rules in particular cases in order to do justice. and imposing upon them the penalty of reclusion
In Kathy-O Enterprises v. NLRC, the Court held: When proper, perpetua. They appealed to this court, which pursuant to the
no serious impediment bars the allowance of tardy appeals Decision of this Court in People v. Mateo, was transferred to the
under the Rules of Court, in recognition of this Court's inherent Court of Appeals. CA affirmed the conviction. Thereafter, Rocha
power to suspend adjective rules. It is a different matter, and Ramos, through the Public Attorney’s Office, appealed the
however, when the period to appeal is provided by statute, as in Decision of the Court of Appeals to this Court.
labor cases. For obvious reasons, this Court cannot ordinarily
Rocha, having been detained for more than 17 years, filed a
suspend the statute's operation. x x x Nevertheless, if only to be
Motion to Withdraw Appeal, stating that he intends to apply for
able to dispense substantial justice, strict observance of the
parole. He also manifested that his co-accused on this case,
period to appeal may not be exacted. Thus, in Firestone Tire
Romeo Trumpeta and Estaquio Cenita, had already withdrawn
and Rubber Co. of the Philippines v. Lariosa, an appeal in a
their appeal. Ramos followed suit and filed his own
labor dispute was given due course despite the lapse of 14 days
Manifestation with Motion to Withdraw Appeal. He likewise
from notice of the decision, due to the fact that the Notice of
manifested that he had already served 14 years in prison and
Decision received by Lariosa's lawyer advised the parties that
that all his other co-accused had already withdrawn their
the appeal could be taken to the NLRC within 10 "working" days
appeal, and applied for executive clemency to avail himself of
— not calendar days — from notice of the decision. For the
parole.
same reason was the appeal in Chong Guan Trading v. NLRC
allowed. While in City Fair Corporation v. NLRC, we ruled that Issue: WON the Motions to Withdraw Appeal of accused-
the NLRC did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it appellants Rocha and Ramos should be granted.
entertained an appeal filed 1 day late considering that the "facts
Held: YES. The confusion in the case at bar seems to stem from
and circumstances of the case warrant liberality considering the
the effects of the Decision of this Court in People v. Mateo. In
amount and the issue involved." In the same case, the Court
Mateo, as quoted by plaintiff-appellee, it was stated that “[w]hile
likewise explained that the underlying purpose behind the
the Fundamental Law requires a mandatory review by the
principle that the perfection of an appeal within the statutory or
Supreme Court of cases where the penalty imposed is reclusion
reglementary period is not only mandatory, but jurisdictional,
perpetua, life imprisonment, or death, nowhere, however, has it
and failure to do so renders the questioned decision final and
proscribed an intermediate review.” A closer study of Mateo,
executory is to prevent needless delay -- a circumstance which
however, reveals that the inclusion in the foregoing statement of
would allow the employer to wear out the efforts and meager
cases where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua and life
resources of the worker to the point that the latter is constrained
imprisonment was only for the purpose of including these cases
to settle for less than what is due him.
within the ambit of the intermediate review of the Court of
In the case at bar, applying the Rules strictly would result in the Appeals: “[this] Court now deems it wise and compelling to
pernicious delay sought to be avoided. At stake is the provide in these cases [cases where the penalty imposed is
protection of the rights of almost a hundred employees to the reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment or death] review by the
satisfaction of a judgment that has become final and executory Court of Appeals before the case is elevated to the Supreme
in a decision rendered by us more than 7 years ago. A scheme Court.”
to thwart the execution of our final and executory decision is
We had not intended to pronounce in Mateo that cases where
extant in the records. Moreover, barring the instant petition on
the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment
technical grounds would leave the workers without recourse
are subject to the mandatory review of this Court. In Mateo,
since the subject real properties were levied due to the
these cases were grouped together with death penalty cases
insufficiency of judgment debtor CTCI's money and personal
because, prior to Mateo, it was this Court which had jurisdiction
properties to satisfy the decision sought to be executed.
to directly review reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment and
Petitioners' resort to a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 is death penalty cases alike. The mode of review, however, was
proper considering that petitioners are assailing the resolutions different. Reclusion perpetua and life imprisonment cases were
of the CA dismissing their petition outright. Ordinarily, the brought before this Court via a notice of appeal, while death
proper recourse of an aggrieved party from a decision of the CA penalty cases were reviewed by this Court on automatic review.
is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules Thus, the erstwhile Rule 122, Sections 3 and 10, provided as
of Court. However, if the error alleged is one of jurisdiction, or follows:
the act complained of was perpetrated by a court with grave
SEC. 3. How appeal taken.—
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, (c) The appeal to the Supreme Court in cases where the penalty imposed by the
the proper remedy available to the aggrieved party is a petition Regional Trial Court is reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, or where a lesser
for certiorari under Rule 65 of the said Rules. penalty is imposed but for offenses committed on the same occasion or which arose
out of the same occurrence that gave rise to the more serious offense for which the
Be that as it may, in view of the pendency of this case for more penalty of death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment is imposed, shall be by
than a decade and the delay in its execution for more than filing a notice of appeal in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section.
seven (7) years, we shall treat the instant case as an appeal
under Rule 45 and resolve the petition on the merits considering SEC. 10. Transmission of records in case of death penalty.— In all cases where the
death penalty is imposed by the trial court, the records shall be forwarded to the
that the entire records of the case have been elevated to us.
Supreme Court for automatic review and judgment within five (5) days after the fifteenth

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(15) day following the promulgation of the judgment or notice of denial of a motion for
new trial or reconsideration. The transcript shall also be forwarded within ten (10) days Section 7.
after the filing thereof by the stenographic reporter. (1) No person shall be appointed Member of the Supreme
Court or any lower collegiate court unless he is a
After the promulgation of Mateo on 7 June 2004, this Court natural-born citizen of the Philippines. A Member of the
promptly caused the amendment of the foregoing provisions, Supreme Court must be at least forty years of age, and
but retained the distinction of requiring a notice of appeal for must have been for fifteen years or more, a judge of a
reclusion perpetua and life imprisonment cases and lower court or engaged in the practice of law in the
automatically reviewing death penalty cases. Thus, Rule 122, Philippines.
Sections 3 and 10, as amended by A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC (which (2) The Congress shall prescribe the qualifications of
took effect on 15 October 2004), now provides: judges of lower courts, but no person may be
SEC. 3. How appeal taken.— appointed judge thereof unless he is a citizen of the
(c)The appeal in cases where the penalty imposed by the Regional Trial Court is Philippines and a member of the Philippine Bar.
reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, or where a lesser penalty is imposed but for (3) A Member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven
offenses committed on the same occasion or which arose out of the same competence, integrity, probity, and independence.
occurrence that gave rise to the more serious offense for which the penalty of death,
reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment is imposed, shall be by notice of appeal in
Doctrine
accordance with paragraph (a) of this Rule.
(d) No notice of appeal is necessary in cases where the Regional Trial Court imposed Before Gregory Ong can accept appointment to the Supreme
the death penalty. The Court of Appeals automatically review the Judgment provided Court he must correct the entry in his birth certificagte saying he
in section 10 of this Rule. is an alien. Kilosbayan v. Ermita, G.R. No. 177721, July 3,
2007.
SEC. 10. Transmission of records in case of death penalty.— In all cases where the
death penalty is imposed by the trial court, the records shall be forwarded to the Court
of Appeals for automatic review and judgment within twenty days but not earlier than It behooves every prospective appointee to the Judiciary to
fifteen days from the promulgation of the judgment or notice of denial of a motion for apprise the appointing authority of every matter bearing on his
new trial or reconsideration. The transcript shall also be forwarded within ten (10) days fitness for judicial office, including such circumstances as may
after the filing thereof by the stenographic reporter. reflect on his integrity and probity. These are qualifications
specifically required of appointees to the Judiciary by Sec. 7(3),
Neither does the Constitution require a mandatory review by this
Article VIII of the Constitution.
Court of cases where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua
or life imprisonment. The constitutional provision quoted in In this case, Judge Quitain failed to disclose that he had been
Mateo merely gives this Court jurisdiction over such cases: administratively charged and dismissed from the service for
grave misconduct per A.O. No. 183 dated April 10, 1995 by no
Up until now, the Supreme Court has assumed the direct
less than the former President of the Philippines. He insists that
appellate review over all criminal cases in which the penalty
on November 26, 2001 or before he filed with the JBC his
imposed is death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment (or
verified PDS in support of his application for RTC Judge, he had
lower but involving offenses committed on the same occasion or
no knowledge of A.O. No. 183; and that he was denied due
arising out of the same occurrence that gave rise to the more
process. He further argues that since all the criminal cases filed
serious offense for which the penalty of death, reclusion
against him were dismissed on August 2, 1995 and July 17,
perpetua, or life imprisonment is imposed). The practice finds
2000, and considering the fact that he resigned from office, his
justification in the 1987 Constitution, Article VIII, Section 5.
administrative case had become moot and academic. In re JBC
v. Judge Quitain, JBC No. 013, August 22, 2007.
In this provision, only paragraphs (1) and (2) speak of
jurisdiction over cases. However, this Constitutional provision
KILOSBAYAN V. ERMITA
does not enumerate cases involving mandatory review. Indeed,
it would almost be silly to claim that this Court is mandatorily
Executive Secretary Ermita announced an appointment in favor
required to review all cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower
of Gregory S. Ong as Associate Justice of the Supreme
court is in issue. Instead, the significance of the enumeration of
Court. Petitioners objected, claiming that respondent Ong is a
this Court’s jurisdiction in paragraphs (1) and (2) is that while
Chinese citizen, and that his own birth certificate indicates his
Section 2 of the same Article VIII of the Constitution gives to
Chinese citizenship.
Congress the power to define, prescribe and apportion the
jurisdiction of various courts, it denies to Congress the power to As to his citizenship, respondent Ong traces his ancestral lines
deprive this Court of jurisdiction over cases enumerated in to one Maria Santos, who was allegedly a Filipino citizen who
Section 5. married Chan Kin, a Chinese citizen; that they had a son, Juan
Santos; that Chan Kin died in China, as a result of which Maria
Since the case of accused-appellants is not subject to the
Santos reverted to her Filipino citizenship; that at that time Juan
mandatory review of this Court, the rule that neither the accused
Santos was a minor; that Juan Santos thereby also became a
nor the courts can waive a mandatory review is not applicable.
Filipino citizen; that respondent Ong’s mother, Dy Guiok Santos,
Consequently, accused-appellants’ separate motions to
is the daughter of the spouses Juan Santos and Sy Siok Hian, a
withdraw appeal may be validly granted.
Chinese citizen; that, respondent’s mother was a Filipino citizen
at birth; that Dy Guiok Santos later married a Chinese citizen,
Eugenio Ong Han Seng, thereby becoming a Chinese citizen;
that when respondent Ong was 11. his father, Han Seng, was
naturalized, and as a result he, his brothers and sisters, and his
mother were included in the naturalization.

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Respondent Ong subsequently obtained from the Bureau of was indeed dismissed from the service for Grave Misconduct for
Immigration and the DOJ a certification and an identification that falsifying or altering the amounts reflected in disbursement
he is a natural-born Filipino citizen under Article IV, Sections 1 vouchers in support of his claim for reimbursement of expenses.
and 2 of the Constitution, since his mother was a Filipino citizen
Judge Quitain denied having committed any misrepresentation
when he was born.
before the JBC. He alleged that during his interview, the
Issue: WON respondent Ong a natural-born Filipino citizen? members thereof only inquired about the status of the criminal
cases filed by the NAPOLCOM before the Sandiganbayan, and
Held: In his petition to be admitted to the Philippine bar, Ong
not about the administrative case simultaneously filed against
alleged that he is qualified to be admitted because, he is a
him. He also alleged that he never received from the Office of
Filipino citizen; and that he is a Filipino citizen because his
the President an official copy of A.O. No. 183 dismissing him
father, Eugenio Ong Han Seng, a Chinese citizen, was
from the service.
naturalized in 1964 when he, respondent Ong, was a minor of
11 years and thus he, too, thereby became a Filipino citizen. Respondent explained that during the investigation of his
His birth certificate states that he was a Chinese citizen at birth administrative case by the NAPOLCOM Ad Hoc Committee, one
and that his mother, Dy Guiok Santos, was a Chinese citizen of its members suggested to him that if he resigns from the
and his father, Eugenio Ong Han Seng, was also a Chinese government service, he will no longer be prosecuted; that
citizen. following such suggestion, he tendered his irrevocable
resignation from NAPOLCOM which was immediately accepted
It is clear that from the records, respondent Ong is a naturalized
by the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local
Filipino citizen. The alleged subsequent recognition of his
Governments; that he did not disclose the case in his PDS
natural-born status by the BOI and the DOJ cannot amend the
because he was of the “honest belief” that he had no more
final decision of the trial court stating that respondent Ong and
pending administrative case by reason of his resignation; that
his mother were naturalized along with his father.
his resignation “amounted to an automatic dismissal” of his
No substantial change or correction in an entry in a civil register administrative case considering that “the issues raised therein
can be made without a judicial order, and, under the law, a became moot and academic”; and that had he known that he
change in citizenship status is a substantial change. Substantial would be dismissed from the service, he should not have
corrections to the nationality or citizenship of persons recorded applied for the position of a judge since he knew he would never
in the civil registry should, therefore, be effected through a be appointed.
petition filed in court under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.
As borne out by the records, Judge Quitain deliberately did not
The issues herein entail factual assertions that need to be disclose the fact that he was dismissed from the government
threshed out in proper judicial proceedings so as to correct the service. At the time he filled up and submitted his Personal
existing records on his birth and citizenship. Until this is done, Data Sheet with the Judicial and Bar Council, he had full
respondent Ong cannot accept an appointment to this Court, knowledge of the subject administrative case, as well as
and may be prevented by injunction from doing so. Administrative Order No. 183 dismissing him from the
government service.
Issue: WON Quitain should be dismissed?
IN RE JBC V. JUDGE QUITAIN
Held: YES. It behooves every prospective appointee to the
Judge Jaime Vega Quitain was appointed Presiding Judge of Judiciary to apprise the appointing authority of every matter
the Davao RTC. The Office of the Court Administrator received bearing on his fitness for judicial office, including such
confidential information that administrative and criminal charges circumstances as may reflect on his integrity and probity. These
were filed against Judge Quitain in his capacity as then are qualifications specifically required of appointees to the
Assistant Regional Director, National Police Commission Judiciary by Sec. 7(3), Article VIII of the Constitution.
(NAPOLCOM), as a result of which he was dismissed from the
In this case, Judge Quitain failed to disclose that he was
service per Administrative Order.
administratively charged and dismissed from the service for
In the Personal Data Sheet (PDS) submitted to the Judicial and grave misconduct per A.O. No. 183 dated April 10, 1995 by no
Bar Council (JBC), Judge Quitain declared that there were five less than the former President of the Philippines. He insists that
criminal cases filed against him before the Sandiganbayan, on November 26, 2001 or before he filed with the JBC his
which were all dismissed. No administrative case was disclosed verified PDS in support of his application for RTC Judge, he had
by Judge Qutain in his PDS. no knowledge of A.O. No. 183; and that he was denied due
process. He further argues that since all the criminal cases filed
To confirm the veracity of the information, then Deputy Court
against him were dismissed on August 2, 1995 and July 17,
Administrator requested from the Sandiganbayan certified
2000, and considering the fact that he resigned from office, his
copies of the Orders dismissing the criminal cases. Letters were
administrative case had become moot and academic.
also sent to the NAPOLCOM requesting for certified true copies
Respondent’s contentions utterly lack merit.
of documents relative to the administrative complaints filed
against Judge Quitain, particularly AO183, dismissing him from No amount of explanation or justification can erase the fact that
the service. Likewise, DCA required Judge Quitain to explain Judge Quitain was dismissed from the service and that he
the alleged misrepresentation and deception he committed deliberately withheld this information. His insistence that he had
before the JBC. no knowledge of A.O. No. 183 is belied by the newspaper items
published relative to his dismissal. Neither can we give
NAPOLCOM furnished the Office of the Court Administrator
credence to the contention that he was denied due process.
(OCA) a copy of A.O. No. 183 showing that respondent Judge

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The documents submitted by the NAPOLCOM to the OCA


reveal that Commissioner Alexis C. Canonizado, Chairman Ad ARTICLE IX
Hoc Committee, sent him summons informing him that an
administrative complaint had been filed against him and A. COMMON PROVISIONS
required him to file an answer. Then on March 29, 1993,
respondent, through his counsel, Atty. Pedro Castillo, filed an Section 5. The Commission shall enjoy fiscal autonomy.
Answer. In administrative proceedings, the essence of due Their approved annual appropriations shall be
process is simply an opportunity to be heard, or an opportunity automatically and regularly released.
to explain one’s side or opportunity to seek a reconsideration of
the action or ruling complained of. Where opportunity to be Doctrine
heard either through oral arguments or through pleadings is NOTE: The obligation of the Department of Budget Department
accorded, there is no denial of due process. Furthermore, as we to automatically release amounts appropriated for offices with
have earlier mentioned and which Judge Quitain ought to fiscal autonomy means that DBM may not retain a portion of the
know, cessation from office by his resignation does not warrant amount or program. Civil Service Commission v Department of
the dismissal of the administrative complaint filed against him Budget, G.R. No. 158791, February 10, 2006.
while he was still in the service nor does it render said
administrative case moot and academic. Judge Quitain was CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION V. DEPT. OF BUDGET
removed from office after investigation and was found guilty of
grave misconduct. His dismissal from the service is a clear proof The DBM assails this Court’s interpretation of Article IX (A)
of his lack of the required qualifications to be a member of the Section 5 of the Constitution and Sections 62, 63, and 64 of the
Bench. FY 2002 General Appropriations Act (R.A. No. 9162). It claims
that the constitutional mandate to automatically and regularly
More importantly, it is clear that Judge Quitain deliberately
release funds does not preclude the implementation of a cash
misled the JBC in his bid to gain an exalted position in the
payment schedule for all agencies, including those belonging to
Judiciary. Thus, we find respondent guilty of dishonesty.
the constitutional fiscal autonomous group (CFAG).
“Dishonesty” means “disposition to lie, cheat or defraud;
unworthiness; lack of integrity.” The schedule was explained as thus: Ideally, the Notice of Cash
Allocation (NCA) should cover in full the monthly allotment of
By his concealment of his previous dismissal from the public
the agency. The reality, however, is that every national budget
service, which the Judicial and Bar Council would have taken
is based on revenue projections, and that there is an ever
into consideration in acting on his application, Judge Cube
present risk that these revenue targets are not met in full during
committed an act of dishonesty that rendered him unfit to be
the course of the budget year. It thus becomes imperative for
appointed to, and to remain now in, the Judiciary he has
the Executive Department, through the DBM, to manage the
tarnished with his falsehood.
release of funds through implementation of cash payment
WHEREFORE, Judge Enrique A. Cube of the Metropolitan Trial schedules. For instance, if collections for a given month meet
Court of Manila is DISMISSED with prejudice to his the monthly revenue target, then the NCA for that month shall
reappointment to any position in the government, including cover 100% of the allotment. If, however, collections do not
government-owned or controlled corporations, and with meet the monthly revenue target, then the NCA to be released
forfeiture of all retirement benefits. This decision is immediately may not cover 100% of the allotment. Add a few more
executory. variables, such as amount of deficit and total disbursement of
agencies, then one gets a cash payment schedule that varies
We cannot overemphasize the need for honesty and integrity on on a monthly basis.
the part of all those who are in the service of the Judiciary. We
have often stressed that the conduct required of court
personnel, from the presiding judge to the lowliest clerk of court, Issue: WON the cash payment schedule violates fiscal
must always be beyond reproach and circumscribed with the autonomy?
heavy burden of responsibility as to let them be free from any
Held:YES, because the DBM is given undue discretion in
suspicion that may taint the Judiciary. We condemn, and will
releasing the funds of the CFAG. The Court finds that the DBM,
never countenance any conduct, act or omission on the part of
in fact, exercised discretion denied it by the constitutional
all those involved in the administration of justice, which would
mandate to automatically release such funds. Understandably,
violate the norm of public accountability and diminish or even
a shortfall in revenue in a given year would constrain the DBM
just tend to diminish the faith of the people in the Judiciary.
not to release the total amount appropriated by the GAA for the
 government as a whole during that year. However, the DBM is
certainly not compelled by such circumstance to proportionately
reduce the funds appropriated for each and every agency.
Given a revenue shortfall, it is still very possible for the DBM to
release the full amount appropriated for the agencies with fiscal
autonomy, especially since, as noted in the Decision, the total
appropriation for such agencies in recent years does not even
reach 3% of the national budget. That the full amount is, in
fact, not fully released during a given fiscal year is plainly due to
a policy decision of the DBM. Such a decision, whether it goes
by the label of “cash payment schedule” or any other term,

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cannot be reconciled with the constitutional mandate that the are allowed to receive each month. Above all, Section 13
release to these agencies should be automatic. expressly states that they shall receive no compensation other
than the specified per diems. The prohibition cannot be any
clearer. Thus, both De Jesus and Baybay hold that P.D. No.
B. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION 198 authorizes the directors of water districts to receive only per
diems, and no other compensation or allowance in whatever
Section 8. No elective or appointive public officer or form.
employee shall receive additional, double, or indirect
compensation, unless specifically authorized by law, nor Doctrine/Notes: CSC has jurisdiction over matters of
accept without the consent of the Congress, any present, compensation of water district personnel, especially when the
emolument, office, or title of any kind from any foreign case involves violations of the Code of Conduct and Ethical
government. Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713).
Pensions or gratuities shall not be considered as Settled is the rule that when a law confers jurisdiction, all the
additional, double, or indirect compensation. incidental powers necessary for its effective exercise are
included in the conferment.
Doctrine
Q. The compensation allocated for Directors of Water Districts is
C. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
only per diem. May they be given bonuses?
A. No. Bonuses would violate the rule against additional
Sec. 2. The Commission on Elections shall exercise the
compensation. Cabili v. CSC, G.R. No. 156503, June 22, 2006.
following powers and functions:
(1) Enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative
CABILI V. CSC
to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative,
referendum, and recall.
Local Water Utilities Administration Employees Association for
(2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests
Progress (LEAP) filed a complaint before the CSC against
relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of
Camilo P. Cabili and Antonio R. De Vera, Chairman of the
all elective regional, provincial, and city officials, and
Board of Trustees and Administrator, respectively, of the Local
appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving
Water Utilities Administration (LWUA). The complaint prayed
elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of
for investigation on the validity of the multiple directorship of
general jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay
LWUA Deputy Administrator Rodolfo de Jesus and his
officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction.
entitlement to per diems, representation and transportation
Decisions, final orders, or rulings of the
allowance (RATA), discretionary fund, and other extraordinary
Commission on election contests involving elective
and miscellaneous expenses (EME) from the Olongapo City
municipal and barangay offices shall be final,
Water District where he was designated as member of the
executory, and not appealable.
board of directors. He received these monetary benefits in
(3) Decide, except those involving the right to vote, all
addition to his compensation as Deputy Administrator of LWUA.
questions affecting elections, including determination
CSC ruled that it is illegal for any LWUA officer or employee of the number and location of polling places,
who sits as a member of the board of directors of a water district appointment of election officials and inspectors, and
to receive any additional or indirect compensation. The CSC registration of voters.
relied on Section 8, Article IX(B) of the 1987 Constitution which (4) Deputize, with the concurrence of the President, law
states that “No elective or appointive public officer or employee enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the
shall receive additional, double, or indirect compensation, Government, including the Armed Forces of the
unless specifically authorized by law.” Philippines, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free,
orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections.
Issue: WON CSC can rule on compensation matters of water (5) Register, after sufficient publication, political parties,
district personnel? organizations, or coalitions which, in addition to other
Held: YES. We affirm the CSC’s jurisdiction in promulgating requirements, must present their platform or program
policies on compensation matters of water district personnel. of government; and accredit citizens' arms of the
We held in De Jesus v. CSC, viz: “The present case involves Commission on Elections. Religious denominations
the acts of LWUA officials who are concurrently designated as and sects shall not be registered. Those which seek to
members of the boards of directors of water districts. This Court achieve their goals through violence or unlawful
has consistently ruled that water districts are government- means, or refuse to uphold and adhere to this
owned and controlled corporations with original charters, since Constitution, or which are supported by any foreign
they have been created pursuant to PD 198. Hence, they are government shall likewise be refused registration.
under the jurisdiction of the CSC.” Financial contributions from foreign governments
and their agencies to political parties, organizations,
On the issue of compensation and other monetary benefits, we coalitions, or candidates related to elections, constitute
rule that all allowances and benefits, other than per diems, are interference in national affairs, and, when accepted,
prohibited to directors of water districts. The compensation of shall be an additional ground for the cancellation of
directors of water districts is governed by Section 13 of P.D. No. their registration with the Commission, in addition to
198, as amended. ection 13 of P.D. No. 198 specifies per diem other penalties that may be prescribed by law.
as the compensation of members of the board of directors of (6) File, upon a verified complaint, or on its own initiative,
water districts. It even limits the total amount of per diems they petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of voters;

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investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of While automatic elevation of a case erroneously filed with the
violations of election laws, including acts or omissions Division to En Banc is not provided in the COMELEC Rules of
constituting election frauds, offenses, and Procedure, such action is not prohibited. Mutilan v Comelec,
malpractices. G.R. 1712468, April 2, 2007.
(7) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to
minimize election spending, including limitation of
places where propaganda materials shall be posted, PLANAS V COMELEC
and to prevent and penalize all forms of election
frauds, offenses, malpractices, and nuisance Planas and Cabochan filed their respective certificates of
rd
candidacies. candidacy for representative of the 3 District of QC. Cabochan
(8) Recommend to the President the removal of any officer filed her certificate of candidacy on Jan. 5, 2004, notarized on
or employee it has deputized, or the imposition of any the same date by Atty. Fernandez whose commission as Notary
other disciplinary action, for violation or disregard of, Public was “Until December 31, 2003.”
or disobedience to, its directive, order, or decision.
(9) Submit to the President and the Congress, a Ramil Cortiguerra, a registered voter of QC, filed before the
comprehensive report on the conduct of each election, COMELEC a “Petition to Deny Due Course and/or Cancellation
plebiscite, initiative, referendum, or recall. of the Certificate of Candidacy of Congressional Candidate
Cabochan.” Cabochan withdrew her COC and Matias Defensor,
Jr. filed his in substitution of Cabochan.
Doctrine
NOTE: The general rule is that the proclamation of a Comelec en banc in a minute resolution, gave due course to,
congressional candidate divests COMELEC of jurisdiction in among other things, the certificate of candidacy of Cabochan
favor of the HRET – unless the proclamation was invalid. Planas and that of Defensor. In the meantime, elections were held.
v Comelec, G.R. No. 167594, March 10, 2006. Planas filed with the QC Board of Canvassers a Petition for
Suspension of Canvassing of Votes in favor of Defensor.
IX,C,02
The Court considered and acted on the following issues. COMELEC First Division then granted Cortiguerra’s petition and
Whether the Comelec has jurisdiction over the Drilon petition in accordingly denied due course and cancelled Cabochan’s
Comelec Case asking for invalidatin of election of Atienza? Certificate of Candidacy and declared invalid Defensor’s
(Yes, 7-6) substitution for her.
Whether the Daza amendment to the Liberal party Constitution Planas’ counsel submitted to the QC Board of Canvassers a
was validly ratified? (9-5, Yes) copy of the Resolution of the COMELEC First Division on
Whether the Comelec had jurisdiction to order the Liberal Party Cortiguerras’s petition and moved that the votes in favor of
to hold elections of its officers? (Academic) Defensor be no longer read. His motion was, denied on the
Liberal Party (Drilon) v. Comelec, GR 174992, April 17, 2007. ground that there was yet no order from the COMELEC Central
Office disqualifying Defensor.
IX,C,02(1)
The Comelec cannot be compelled to hold a third barangay Defensor was proclaimed as the winning candidate for the
special election. For the reasons given, there was no abuse of congressional seat of the Third District of Quezon City.
discretion. Macacua v. Comelec, GR 175390, May 8, 2007. Issue: Whether COMELEC was divested of its jurisdiction by
virtue of Defensor’s proclamation and assumption of office as
member of the House of Representatives?
IX,C,02(2)
The Comelec has the power to review decisions of municipal Held: The general rule is that the proclamation of a
courts on municipal election contests. And when it does so, the congressional candidate divests COMELEC of jurisdiction in
entire case is not opened as happens in appleas on criminal favor of the HRET. This rule, however, is not without exception.
cases. Manzala v. Comelec, GR 176211m May 8, 2007. As held in Mutuc v. Comelec: “It is indeed true that after
proclamation the usual remedy of any party aggrieved in an
IX,C,03 election is to be found in an election protest. But that is so only
Q. May the Comelec en banc decide an election case still on the assumption that there has been a valid proclamation.
pending before a division? Where as in the case at bar the proclamation itself is illegal, the
A. No. Election contests are first decided in division. Muñoz v assumption of office cannot in any way affect the basic issues. “
Comelec, G.R. 170678, JULY 17, 2006.
In the case at bar, at the time of the proclamation of Defensor
who garnered the highest number of votes, the Division
The rule is that a motion to reconsider a decision, resolution,
Resolution invalidating his certificate of candidacy was not yet
order, or ruling of a COMELEC Division shall be elevated to the
final, hence, he had at that point in time remained qualified.
COMELEC En Banc. However, a motion to reconsider an
Therefore, his proclamation was valid or legal.
interlocutory order of a COMELEC Division shall be resolved by
the division which issued the interlocutory order, except when Following Mutuc then, as at the time of Defensor’s proclamation
all the members of the division decide to refer the matter to the the denial of his COC due course was not yet final, his
COMELEC En Banc. Soriano et al v Comelec, GR 164496-505, proclamation was valid or legal and as he in fact had taken his
April 2, 2007. oath of office and assumed his duties as representative, the
COMELEC had been effectively divested of jurisdiction over the
case.

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Thereafter, Comelec issued a Resolution denying or dismissing


LIBERAL PARTY (DRILON) V. COMELEC with finality any and all motions for the holding/conduct of a third
and/or another special election in Barangay Guiawa for the
The Court considered and acted on the following issues: position of Mayor of Kabuntalan, Maguindano in view of the
1. Whether the COMELEC has jurisdiction over the Drilon failure of the second special election held thereat on 6 May
petition in COMELEC Case SPP No. 06-002; 2006. ACCORDINGLY, the hiatus created by this decision in the
2. Whether the Daza-Drilon amendments to the Salonga herein contested position shall be filled in accordance with the
Liberal Party Constitution were validly ratified; and provisions of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the
3. Whether the COMELEC has jurisdiction to order the Liberal Local Government Code.
Party to hold the election of its officers.
Issue: Whether or not the Public Respondent COMELEC [en
banc] committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
On the first issue, the Court voted 7-6 that the COMELEC has
excess of jurisdiction in promulgating the questioned Resolution
jurisdiction over the Drilon petition. On the second issue, the
on November 20, 2006, disallowing the holding of a third
Court voted 9-5 that the Daza-Drilon amendments were validly
Special Election for lack of funds?
ratified. In view of the voting on the second issue, the third
issue has become academic. Held: NO, the COMELEC en banc’s decision not to hold a third
special election in Barangay Guiawa for the position of Mayor of
MACACUA V. COMELEC Kabuntalan, Maguindanao cannot be characterized as
capricious, whimsical or arbitrary since it was based on the
Petitioner Alimudin A. Macacua and private respondent Mike A. following considerations: (1) lack of available funds for holding
Fermin were candidates for Kabuntalan, Maguindanao Mayor in another special election in Barangay Guiawa; (2) the
the May 2004 local elections. The Municipal Board of anomalies that transpired during the regular and two special
Canvassers of Kabuntalan proclaimed Fermin as winner. elections which all resulted in failure of election do not inspire
COMELEC, however, annulled the proclamation due to the assurance that the will of the voters in the area will be upheld
failure of clustered polling precincts to function. Thus, the in another special election; and (3) the next regular elections
COMELEC scheduled a special election in such clustered scheduled on May 14, 2007 is close-by.
precincts.
The COMELEC en banc enunciated that it would be impractical
In the special election, Macacua was proclaimed as the winning in terms of time, effort and money to declare the holding of a
candidate for Mayor. Fermin challenged the special election due third special election in Barangay Guiawa, and it would be
to alleged procedural infirmities. COMELEC nullified the special disadvantageous to the government, specifically to the
election. Macacua’s proclamation was set aside and Vice Commission.
Mayor-elect temporarily assumed the mayoralty post.
The decision of the COMELEC en banc should not be taken as
nd
COMELEC scheduled a 2 special election. It was peaceful an abdication of its duty to conduct elections, but a judgment
and orderly at the onset. However, at about 1:45 p.m., the call by the Commission based on lack of available funds to hold
election was disrupted when two persons, in the queue where another special election, the peculiar circumstances of this
the voters’ verification was being made, engaged in a heated case, and the fast approaching regular elections on May 14,
argument and began pushing each other. They were later 2007 that would render the result of another special election
pacified. But before the special election could be concluded at moot.
3pm, Chairman Suan-Radam stopped the election upon the
advice of P/S Supt. Lumala Gunting, head of the PNP Based on the foregoing, the COMELEC en banc did not gravely
contingent, that armed elements were seen in the vicinity of the abuse its discretion in issuing the Resolution dated November
barangay. There were still 31 voters lined up to vote in the 20, 2006, denying petitioner’s motion to hold a third special
precinct when the election was stopped. election in Barangay Guiawa for the position of Mayor of
Kabuntalan, Maguindanao.
Per canvass, petitioner obtained 136 votes, while private
respondent garnered 39 votes. When the election results were
added, petitioner and private respondent got 2,208 votes each, MANZALA V. COMELEC
ending in a tie.
Petitioner Manzala and private respondent Monton were
The SMBOC notified the parties concerned that a Special Public
mayoralty candidates in the Municipality of Magdiwang,
Hearing would be held to break the tie pursuant to Sec. 240 of
Romblon, during the May 10, 2004 National and Local
the Omnibus Election Code. Petitioner filed with the COMELEC
Elections. On May 13, 2004, the Municipal Board of
en banc an Extremely Urgent Omnibus Motion to hold in
Canvassers proclaimed Monton as the duly elected Municipal
abeyance the hearing, which was granted.
Mayor.
Despite the Order, the Special Public Hearing pushed through
Manzala filed an election protest with the RTC of Romblon for
and the SMBOC proclaimed private respondent as the duly
fraud, serious irregularities, and willful violation of the Omnibus
elected Mayor. Petitioner filed a Manifestation and Motion to
Election Code. A revision of ballots was later conducted. In its
nullify the proclamation of private respondent.
decision, the trial court rendered judgment in favor of petitioner,
COMELEC en banc issued an Order, which annulled the annulling the previous proclamation of Monton.
proceedings of the Special Public Hearing and set aside the
On appeal, Former Second Division of the COMELEC reversed
proclamation of private respondent.
and set aside the decision of the trial court. It found that Monton

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obtained 2,560 votes, or a margin of 17 votes, over Manzala’s Private respondent filed with the COMELEC a petition to annul
2,543 votes. Manzala’s MR was denied. the proclamation of the petitioner for being premature and
illegal. The case was docketed as SPC No. 04-124 and raffled
Consequently, COMELEC en banc directed the implementation
to the COMELEC First Division.
of the writ of execution ordering Manzala to cease and desist
from discharging the powers and functions of the Office of the COMELEC First Division rendered a Resolution in SPC No. 04-
Municipal Mayor of Magdiwang, Romblon; to relinquish and 124 granting the petition to annul the proclamation. Petitioner’s
vacate the post in favor of Monton. motion for reconsideration was denied for lack of merit by the
COMELEC En Banc.
Issue: WON Comelec’s reversal of the RTC was proper?
Issue: WON the proclamation of petitioner was valid?
Held: YES. Section 2 (2) of Article IX-C of the Consti provides
COMELEC with quasi-judicial power to exercise exclusive Held: NO, COMELEC First Division correctly annulled the
original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections, proclamation of the petitioner. Time and again, this Court has
returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial, and given its imprimatur on the principle that COMELEC is with
city officials, and appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving authority to annul any canvass and proclamation which was
elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of general illegally made. At the time the proclamation was made, the
jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided by COMELEC First Division had not yet resolved SPC No. 04-087.
trial courts of limited jurisdiction. Decisions, final orders, or Pursuant to Section 36(i) of COMELEC Resolution No. 6669,
rulings of the Commission on election contests involving elective which finds basis in Section 20(i) of RA7166, the MBC should
municipal & barangay offices shall be final, executory, and not have proclaimed petitioner as the winning candidate absent
unappealable. the authorization from the COMELEC. Any proclamation made
under such circumstances is void ab initio.
Clearly, from the decision of the trial court, the COMELEC
exercises appellate jurisdiction to review, revise, modify, or even We likewise do not agree with petitioner’s contention that the
reverse and set aside the decision of the former and substitute it proclamation was valid as the contested ERs will not affect the
with its own decision. In the exercise of its adjudicatory or results of the election. Section 20(i) of R.A. No. 7166 reads:
quasi-judicial powers, the Constitution also mandates the ”Sec. 20. Procedure in Disposition of Contested Election
COMELEC to hear and decide cases first by division and upon Returns. – (i) The board of canvassers shall not proclaim any
motion for reconsideration, by the COMELEC en banc. Election candidate as winner unless authorized by the Commission after
cases cannot be treated in a similar manner as criminal cases the latter has ruled on the objections brought to it on appeal by
where, upon appeal from a conviction by the trial court, the the losing party. Any proclamation made in violation hereof
whole case is thrown open for review and the appellate court shall be void ab initio, unless the contested returns will not
can resolve issues which are not even set forth in the adversely affect the results of the election.”
pleadings.
The phrase “results of the election” is not statutorily defined.
Moreover, the appreciation of the contested ballots and election However, it had been jurisprudentially explained: “The net result
documents involves a question of fact best left to the of the election in the rest of the precincts in a given
determination of the COMELEC, a specialized agency tasked constituency, such that if the margin of a leading candidate over
with the supervision of elections all over the country. that of his closest rival in the latter precincts is less than the total
COMELEC is the constitutional commission vested with the number of votes in the precinct where there was failure of
exclusive original jurisdiction over election contests involving election, then such failure would certainly affect “the result of the
regional, provincial and city officials, as well as appellate election.” In the case at bar, petitioner obtained a margin of 762
jurisdiction over election protests involving elective municipal votes over respondent based on the canvass of the uncontested
and barangay officials. Consequently, in the absence of grave ERs whereas the total number of votes is 5,178, higher than the
abuse of discretion or any jurisdictional infirmity or error of law, 762-lead of the petitioner over private respondent. Clearly, the
the factual findings, conclusions, rulings and decisions rendered results of the election would be adversely affected by the
by the said Commission on matters falling within its competence uncanvassed returns.
shall not be interfered with by this Court.
SORIANO ET AL V COMELEC
MUÑOZ V COMELEC
Petitioners and private respondents were candidates for City
Petitioner and private respondent were candidates for mayor of Council for the First and Second Districts of Muntinlupa City in
Camalig, Albay in the May 10, 2004 election. At 6pm of May 10, the 10 May 2004 elections.
2004, the Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBC) convened and
After the elections, the Muntinlupa City Board of Canvassers
canvassed the election returns. Lawyers of private respondent
proclaimed private respondents as the duly elected Councilors
objected to the inclusion of the 26 ERs.
of the Muntinlupa City Council. Petitioners individually and
MBC denied the objections and ruled to include the objected separately filed election protest cases against private
ERs. Private respondent appealed to the COMELEC and was respondents, contesting the results of the elections in all the 603
docketed as SPC No. 04-087 and raffled to the COMELEC First precincts of the First District and the 521 precincts of the
Division. Second District of Muntinlupa City.
Despite the pendency of the appeal, petitioner was proclaimed COMELEC First Division issued two identical orders. The first
on May 19, 2004 by the MBC as the winning candidate for order directed petitioners (protestants) to deposit P454,020
mayor of Camalig, Albay. each to the COMELEC Cash Division to defray expenses under

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Section 8, Rule 20 of the COMELEC Rules, in the revision of Repol is when the interlocutory order of a COMELEC Division is
603 protested precincts in the First District of Muntinlupa City. a patent nullity because of absence of jurisdiction to issue the
The order also directed respondents (protestees) to deposit interlocutory order, as where a COMELEC Division issued a
P454,020 each to the COMELEC Cash Division in the revision temporary restraining order without a time limit, which is the
of 603 counter-protested precincts in the First District of Repol case, or where a COMELEC Division admitted an answer
Muntinlupa City. with counter-protest which was filed beyond the reglementary
period, which is the Kho case.
The second order directed petitioners (protestants) to deposit
P408,990 each to the COMELEC Cash Division in the revision It is the decision, order or ruling of the COMELEC En Banc that,
of 521 protested precincts in the Second District of Muntinlupa. in accordance with Section 7, Art. IX-A of the Constitution, may
The order also directed respondents (protestees) to deposit be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari.” The exception
P408,990 each to the COMELEC Cash Division in the revision provided in Kho and Repol is unavailing in this case because
nd
of 521 counter-protested precincts in the 2 District of unlike in Kho and Repol, the assailed interlocutory orders of the
Muntinlupa. COMELEC First Division in this case are not a patent nullity.
The assailed orders in this case involve the interpretation of the
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the Orders dated
COMELEC Rules of Procedure. Neither will the Rosal case
26 June 2004. The COMELEC First Division denied the motion.
apply because in that case the petition for certiorari questioning
Petitioners filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the interlocutory orders of the COMELEC Second Division and
prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction or the petition for certiorari and prohibition assailing the Resolution
temporary restraining order. Petitioners alleged that the Orders of the COMELEC En Banc on the main case were already
dated 26 June 2004 of the COMELEC First Division were issued consolidated.
with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
The Court also notes that the COMELEC First Division has
jurisdiction.
already issued an Order dismissing the protests and counter-
Petitioners maintain that the cash deposit of P454,020 to defray protests for failure of the protestants and protestees to pay the
the expenses for the revision of the ballots for the First District required cash deposits. Thus, we have this peculiar situation
of Muntinlupa should be paid jointly by all the protestants for the where the interlocutory order of the COMELEC First Division is
First District and that to require them to pay P454,020 each pending before this Court but the main case has already been
constitutes grave abuse of discretion. In the same manner, the dismissed by the COMELEC First Division. This situation is
cash deposit of P408,990 to defray the expenses for the precisely what we are trying to avoid by insisting on strict
revision of the ballots for the Second District of Muntinlupa compliance of the rule that an interlocutory order cannot by
should be paid jointly by all the protestants for the Second itself be the subject of an appeal or a petition for certiorari.
District and that to require them to pay P408,990 each
constitutes grave abuse of discretion. MUTILAN V COMELEC
Issue: Whether a writ of certiorari will lie in this case? Mutilan and private respondent Ampatuan were candidates for
Held: NO. The rule is that a motion to reconsider a decision, Governor during the election of regional officials held on 8
resolution, order, or ruling of a COMELEC Division shall be August 2005 in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao
elevated to the COMELEC En Banc. However, a motion to (ARMM). Private respondent was proclaimed as the duly
reconsider an interlocutory order of a COMELEC Division shall elected Governor of the ARMM.
be resolved by the division which issued the interlocutory order, Petitioner filed an Electoral Protest and/or Petition to Annul the
except when all the members of the division decide to refer the Elections. He contested the results of the elections in
matter to the COMELEC En Banc. Maguindanao, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, and Sulu on the ground that
Also, the general rule is that a decision or an order of a no actual election was conducted in the precincts in these
COMELEC Division cannot be elevated directly to this Court provinces. Petitioner alleged that the voters did not actually vote
through a special civil action for certiorari. Furthermore, a and that the ballots were filled up by non-registered voters.
motion to reconsider a decision, resolution, order, or ruling of a Petitioner also contested the results in 7 municipalities in Lanao
COMELEC Division shall be elevated to the COMELEC En del Sur where massive substitute voting allegedly took place.
Banc. However, a motion to reconsider an interlocutory order of COMELEC Second Division dismissed the petition. The Division
a COMELEC Division shall be resolved by the division which stated that during the initial hearing of the case, petitioner’s
issued the interlocutory order, except when all the members of counsel admitted that the petition was not an election protest
the division decide to refer the matter to the COMELEC En but one for annulment of elections and sought for elevation of
Banc. the case to the Comelec En Banc. The COMELEC Second
Thus, in general, interlocutory orders of a COMELEC Division Division ruled that jurisdiction over petitions for annulment of
are not appealable, nor can they be proper subject of a petition elections is vested in the COMELEC En Banc. However, the
for certiorari. To rule otherwise would not only delay the elevation of the case to the COMELEC En Banc is not
disposition of cases but would also unnecessarily clog the Court sanctioned by the rules or by jurisprudence. Thus, the
docket and unduly burden the Court. This does not mean that COMELEC Second Division dismissed the petition for lack of
the aggrieved party is without recourse if a COMELEC Division jurisdiction. Comelec En Banc affirmed upon MR.
denies the motion for reconsideration. The aggrieved party can Issue: Whether the COMELEC Second Division acted in excess
still assign as error the interlocutory order if in the course of the of its jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion amounting
proceedings he decides to appeal the main case to the to lack or excess of jurisdiction in dismissing the petition to
COMELEC En Banc. The exception enunciated in Kho and

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annul elections and in not elevating the petition to the elections on the grounds of massive disenfranchisement,
COMELEC En Banc. substitute voting, and farcical and statistically improbable
results. Petitioner alleges that no actual election was conducted
Held: The COMELEC Second Division is Not Prohibited from
because the voters did not actually vote and the ballots were
Elevating the Petition to the COMELEC En Banc. Under Section
filled up by non-registered voters.
3, Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution, all election cases,
including pre-proclamation controversies, must be heard and
decided by a division of the COMELEC.
D. THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT
The COMELEC Second Division ruled that automatic elevation
of the case to the En Banc is not sanctioned by the rules or by Section 1.
jurisprudence. Petitioner argues that the COMELEC Second (1) There shall be a Commission on Audit composed of a
Division should have elevated the petition to the COMELEC En Chairman and two Commissioners, who shall be natural-
Banc instead of dismissing the petition for lack of jurisdiction. born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their
appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, Certified
We agree with petitioner. While automatic elevation of a case Public Accountants with not less than ten years of
erroneously filed with the Division to En Banc is not provided in auditing experience, or members of the Philippine Bar
the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, such action is not who have been engaged in the practice of law for at
prohibited. Section 4, Rule 2 of the COMELEC Rules of least ten years, and must not have been candidates for
Procedure provides: “Means to Effect Jurisdiction. - All auxiliary any elective position in the elections immediately
writs, processes and other means necessary to carry into effect preceding their appointment. At no time shall all
its powers or jurisdiction may be employed by the Commission; Members of the Commission belong to the same
and if the procedure to be followed in the exercise of such profession.
power or jurisdiction is not specifically provided for by law or (2) The Chairman and the Commissioners shall be
these rules, any suitable process or proceeding may be appointed by the President with the consent of the
adopted.” Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years
Hence, there is nothing in the COMELEC Rules of Procedure to without reappointment. Of those first appointed, the
prevent the COMELEC Second Division from referring the Chairman shall hold office for seven years, one
petition to annul the elections to the COMELEC En Banc. Commissioner for five years, and the other
Commissioner for three years, without reappointment.
Nevertheless, the petition must still fail. In his Electoral Protest Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the
and/or Petition to Annul the Elections, petitioner alleged that no unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor. In no
actual election was conducted in the contested areas. Petitioner case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a
further alleged that the voters did not actually vote and the temporary or acting capacity.
ballots were filled up by non-registered voters. Petitioner also
alleged massive disenfranchisement and substitute voting. Doctrines
Petitioner argued that the irregularities warrant the annulment COA can settle money claims based on laws. But if a money
and setting aside of the elections in the contested areas. claim is denied by a law, COA has no authority to pass
There are three instances where a failure of elections may be judgment on the constitutionality of the law. Parreño v. COA,
declared, thus: G.R. 162224 June 7, 2007
(a) the election in any polling place has not been held on the
date fixed on account of force majeure, violence, NOTE: The obligation of the Department of Budget to
terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes; automatically release amounts appropriated for offices with
(b) the election in any polling place has been suspended fiscal autonomy means that DBM may not retain a portion of the
before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting amount. CSC v. DBM, G.R. No. 158791, February 10, 2006.
on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or
other analogous causes; or When the law says that money generated by a school may be
(c) after the voting and during the preparation and used for “other programs/projects of the university or college,” it
transmission of the election returns or in the custody or is not authorization for giving additional or double
canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect compensation. Benguet State U v. Colting, G.R. No. 169637,
on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud or June 8, 2007.
other analogous causes.
PARREÑO V. COA
In all three instances, there is a resulting failure to elect. In the
first instance, the election has not been held. In the second Salvador Parreño served in the AFP for 32 years. In 1982,
instance, the election has been suspended. In the third petitioner retired, availed, and received payment, of a lump sum
instance, the preparation and the transmission of the election pension equivalent to three years pay. In 1985, he started
returns give rise to the consequent failure to elect; the third receiving his monthly pension.
instance is interpreted to mean that nobody emerged as a Petitioner migrated to Hawaii and became a naturalized
winner. American citizen. In January 2001, the AFP stopped petitioner’s
None of the three instances is present in this case. In this case, monthly pension in accordance with Section 27 of PD1638,
the elections took place. In fact, private respondent was providing that a retiree who loses his Filipino citizenship shall be
proclaimed the winner. Petitioner contests the results of the removed from the retired list and his retirement benefits
terminated upon loss of Filipino citizenship. Petitioner
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requested for recon-sideration but the Judge Advocate General present risk that these revenue targets are not met in full during
of the AFP denied the request. the course of the budget year. It thus becomes imperative for
the Executive Department, through the DBM, to manage the
Petitioner filed a claim before the COA for the continuance of his
release of funds through implementation of cash payment
monthly pension. COA denied petitioner’s claim for lack of
schedules. For instance, if collections for a given month meet
jurisdiction.
the monthly revenue target, then the NCA for that month shall
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. Petitioner alleged cover 100% of the allotment. If, however, collections do not
that the COA has the power and authority to incidentally rule on meet the monthly revenue target, then the NCA to be released
the constitutionality of Section 27 of PD 1638, as amended. may not cover 100% of the allotment. Add a few more
Petitioner alleged that a direct recourse to the court would be variables, such as amount of deficit and total disbursement of
dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. agencies, then one gets a cash payment schedule that varies
Petitioner further alleged that since his monthly pension involves on a monthly basis.
government funds, the reason for the termination of the pension
Issue: WON the cash payment schedule violates fiscal
is subject to COA’s authority and jurisdiction.
autonomy?
COA denied the motion. It ruled that the doctrine of exhaustion
Held:YES, because the DBM is given undue discretion in
of administrative remedies does not apply if the administrative
releasing the funds of the CFAG. The Court finds that the DBM,
body has, in the first place, no jurisdiction over the case. COA
in fact, exercised discretion denied it by the constitutional
also ruled that assuming it has jurisdiction over the claim,
mandate to automatically release such funds. Understandably,
petitioner’s entitlement to the retirement benefits he was
a shortfall in revenue in a given year would constrain the DBM
previously receiving must necessarily cease upon the loss of his
not to release the total amount appropriated by the GAA for the
Filipino citizenship in accordance with Section 27 of PD 1638,
government as a whole during that year. However, the DBM is
as amended.
certainly not compelled by such circumstance to proportionately
Issue: Whether COA has jurisdiction to rule on the reduce the funds appropriated for each and every agency.
constitutionality of PD 1638? Given a revenue shortfall, it is still very possible for the DBM to
release the full amount appropriated for the agencies with fiscal
Held: NO. Under Commonwealth Act No. 327, as amended by autonomy, especially since, as noted in the Decision, the total
Presidential Decree No. 1445, money claims against the appropriation for such agencies in recent years does not even
government shall be filed before the COA. The jurisdiction of the reach 3% of the national budget. That the full amount is, in
COA over money claims against the government does not fact, not fully released during a given fiscal year is plainly due to
include the power to rule on the constitutionality or validity of a policy decision of the DBM. Such a decision, whether it goes
laws. The 1987 Constitution vests the power of judicial review by the label of “cash payment schedule” or any other term,
or the power to declare unconstitutional a law, treaty, cannot be reconciled with the constitutional mandate that the
international or executive agreement, presidential decree, order, release to these agencies should be automatic.
instruction, ordinance, or regulation in this Court and in all
Regional Trial Courts. Petitioner’s money claim essentially Doctrine/Notes: Automatic release in the Constitution means
involved the constitutionality of Section 27 of PD 1638, as FULL release.
amended. Hence, COA did not commit grave abuse of
discretion in dismissing petitioner’s money claim. BENGUET STATE U V. COLTING
Petitioner submits that the COA has the authority to order the Congress passed Ra8292, or the Higher Education
restoration of his pension even without ruling on the Modernization Act of 1997. Pursuant to Section 4 (d) of the said
constitutionality of Section 27 of PD 1638, as amended. law, the Board of Regents of BSU passed and approved Board
However, COA effectively denied petitioner’s claim because of Resolution 794, granting rice subsidy and health care allowance
the loss of his Filipino citizenship. Petitioner failed to overcome to BSU’s employees. The sums were taken from the income
the presumption of constitutionality of Section 27 of PD 1638, as derived from the operations of BSU and were given to the
amended. Unless the provision is amended or repealed in the employees at different periods in 1998.
future, the AFP has to apply Section 27 of PD 1638, as
amended. The grant of this rice subsidy and health care allowance in the
total amount of P4,350,000.00 was disallowed in audit under
CSC V. DBM Notice of Disallowance 99-001-STF(98), stating that RA8292
does not provide for the grant of said allowance to employees
The DBM assails this Court’s interpretation of Article IX (A) and officials of the university.
Section 5 of the Constitution and Sections 62, 63, and 64 of the
BSU requested the lifting of the disallowance with the COA
FY 2002 General Appropriations Act (R.A. No. 9162). It claims
Regional Office but it was denied in COA-CAR Decision No.
that the constitutional mandate to automatically and regularly
2000-3 dated January 26, 2000. Citing Section 55 (2) of R.A.
release funds does not preclude the implementation of a cash
No. 8522 or the General Appropriation Act of 1998, it held that a
payment schedule for all agencies, including those belonging to
non-existent item, project, activity, purpose, or object of
the constitutional fiscal autonomous group (CFAG).
expenditure cannot be funded by augmentation from savings or
The schedule was explained as thus: Ideally, the Notice of Cash by the use of appropriations. It further held that the grant
Allocation (NCA) should cover in full the monthly allotment of of said allowances lacked statutory basis, transgressed
the agency. The reality, however, is that every national budget the constitutional proscription on additional, double, or indirect
is based on revenue projections, and that there is an ever

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compensation and ran counter to the provisions of the Salary Unfortunately for BSU, it failed to present any sound legal basis
Standardization Law. that would justify the grant of these additional benefits to its
employees.
BSU thereafter filed a petition for review of Decision No. 2000-3
with the COA, which petition was denied in Decision No. 2003- 
112. A motion for reconsideration was filed but was denied.
Issue: WON COA erred in disallowing the rice subsidy and
health care? ARTICLE X - LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Held: NO. It bears noting that what was filed before this Court is Section 5. Each local government unit shall have the power
a petition captioned as a Petition for Review on Certiorari. We to create its own sources of revenues and to levy taxes,
point out that a petition for review on certiorari is not the proper fees and charges subject to such guidelines and
mode by which the COA’s decisions are reviewed by this Court. limitations as the Congress may provide, consistent with
Under Rule 64, Section 2 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the basic policy of local autonomy. Such taxes, fees, and
a judgment or final order of the COA may be brought by an charges shall accrue exclusively to the local
aggrieved party to this Court on certiorari under Rule 65. Thus, governments.
it is only through a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 that the
COA's decisions may be reviewed and nullified by us on the Doctrines
ground of grave abuse of discretion or lack or excess of Q. Summarize the interplay of the inherent power of Congress
jurisdiction. to tax and the constitutionally delegated power of local
What is clear from Section 4 (d) of R.A. No. 8292 cited by BSU governments to tax.
as legal basis of its claim as well as from its implementing rules A. Local governments no longer receive its power to tax from
is that income generated by the university may be disbursed by Congress. The Constitution has given it to them. However,
its Governing Board for “instruction, research, extension, or Congress retains its inherent and superior power. Thus
other programs/projects of the university or colleges.” Congress can give tax exemptions which local
governments must follow.
BSU theorizes that the phrase “other programs/projects of the Historically, after the effectivity of the 1987
university or college” in Section 4 (d) covers all projects and Constitution, the Local Government Code withdrew
programs of the university, including those designed to uplift previously granted exemptions. Because of this, local
the economic plight of the employees. It is not limited to those governments were able to tax previously exempted
programs which the university may specifically undertake in subjects. Subsequently, however, Congress restored tax
pursuance of its primary objective to achieve quality education, exemptions in some cases. This subsequent law prevails.
contrary to the interpretation of the COA. We disagree. Quezon City v Bayantel, G.R. No. 162015, March 6, 2006.
Under the principle of ejusdem generis, where a statute
describes things of a particular class or kind accompanied by Q. Are the Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA exempt from
words of a generic character, the generic word will usually be real estate tax under existing laws.
limited to things of a similar nature with those particularly A. They are. First, MIAA is not a government-owned or
enumerated, unless there be something in the context of the controlled corporation but an instrumentality of the National
statute which would repel such inference. The COA correctly Government and is thus exempt from local taxation.
ruled that the “other programs/projects” under R.A. No. 8292 Second, the real properties of MIAA are owned by the
and its Implementing Rules should be of the same nature as Republic of the Philippines and thus exempt from real
instruction, research, and extension. In BSU's case, the estate tax. Manila International Airport v. Court of Appeals,
disbursements were for rice subsidy and health care allowances G.R. 155650, July 20, 2006.
which are, in no way, intended for academic programs similar
to instruction, research, or extension. Section 4 (d) cannot, The inherent taxing power of Congress can limit the
therefore, be relied upon by BSU as the legal basis for the grant constitutionally delegated taxing power of local
of the allowances. governments. Digital v Pangasinan, GR 152534, February 23,
2007.
Furthermore, a reading of the entire provision supports the
COA’s interpretation that the authority given to the Governing QUEZON CITY V. BAYANTEL
Board of state universities and colleges is not plenary and
absolute. It is clear in Section 4 that the powers of the Bayantel is a legislative franchise holder under RA32594 to
Governing Board are subject to limitations. This belies BSU's establish and operate radio stations for domestic
claim of plenary and absolute authority. telecommunications, radiophone, broadcasting and telecasting.
Section 14 of its franchise states:
Neither can BSU find solace in the academic freedom clause of “(a) The grantee shall be liable to pay the same taxes on its real estate, buildings and
the Constitution. Academic freedom as adverted to in the personal property, exclusive of the franchise, as other persons or corporations are now
Constitution and in R.A. No. 8292 only encompasses the or hereafter may be required by law to pay. (b) The grantee shall further pay to the
freedom of the institution of higher learning to determine for Treasurer of the Philippines each year, within ten days after the audit and approval of
itself, on academic grounds, who may teach, what may be the accounts as prescribed in this Act, one and one-half per centum of all gross receipts
taught, how it shall be taught, and who may be admitted to from the business transacted under this franchise by the said grantee.”
study. The guaranteed academic freedom does not grant an
institution of higher learning unbridled authority to disburse its
funds and grant additional benefits sans statutory basis.

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Under the LGC or RA7160 - concrete terms, the realty tax exemption heretofore enjoyed by
SEC. 232. Power to Levy Real Property Tax. A province or city or a municipality within Bayantel under its original franchise, but subsequently
the Metropolitan Manila Area may levy an annual ad valorem tax on real property such withdrawn by force of Section 234 of the LGC, has been
as land, building, machinery and other improvements not hereinafter specifically restored by Section 14 of RA7633.
exempted.
The Court has taken stock of the fact that by virtue of Section 5,
SEC. 234 - Exemptions from Real Property Tax. The following are exempted from Article X of the 1987 Constitution, local governments are
payment of the real property tax: empowered to levy taxes. And pursuant to this constitutional
Except as provided herein, any exemption from payment of real property tax previously
granted to, or enjoyed by, all persons, whether natural or juridical, including
empowerment, juxtaposed with Section 2329 of the LGC, the
government-owned-or-controlled corporations is hereby withdrawn upon effectivity of Quezon City government enacted in 1993 its local Revenue
this Code. Code, imposing real property tax on all real properties found
within its territorial jurisdiction. And as earlier stated, the City’s
Barely few months after the LGC took effect, Congress enacted Revenue Code, just like the LGC, expressly withdrew, under
RA7633, amending Bayantel’s original franchise. It stated: Section 230 thereof, supra, all tax exemption privileges in
“SEC. 11. The grantee, its successors or assigns shall be liable to pay the same taxes general.
on their real estate, buildings and personal property, exclusive of this franchise, as other
persons or corporations are now or hereafter may be required by law to pay. In addition This thus raises the question of whether or not the City’s
thereto, the grantee, its successors or assigns shall pay a franchise tax equivalent to Revenue Code pursuant to which the city treasurer of Quezon
three percent (3%) of all gross receipts of the telephone or other telecommunications City levied real property taxes against Bayantel’s real properties
businesses transacted under this franchise by the grantee, its successors or assigns located within the City effectively withdrew the tax exemption
and the said percentage shall be in lieu of all taxes on this franchise or earnings thereof. enjoyed by Bayantel under its franchise, as amended.
Provided, That the grantee, its successors or assigns shall continue to be liable for
income taxes payable under Title II of the National Internal Revenue Code.” Bayantel answers the poser in the negative arguing that once
again it is only "liable to pay the same taxes, as any other
In 1993, the government of Quezon City, pursuant to the taxing persons or corporations on all its real or personal properties,
power vested on local government units by Section 5, Article X exclusive of its franchise." Bayantel’s posture is well-taken.
of the 1987 Constitution, in relation to Section 232 of the LGC, While the system of local government taxation has changed with
enacted a City Ordinance otherwise known as the Quezon City the onset of the 1987 Constitution, the power of local
Revenue Code, imposing a real property tax on all real government units to tax is still limited.
properties in Quezon City, and, reiterating the withdrawal of
Clearly then, while a new slant on the subject of local taxation
exemption from real property tax under Section 234 of the LGC.
now prevails in the sense that the former doctrine of local
Furthermore, much like the LGC, the QCRC, under its Section
government units’ delegated power to tax had been effectively
230, withdrew tax exemption privileges in general.
modified with Article X, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution now
in place, .the basic doctrine on local taxation remains essentially
Meanwhile, RA7925, otherwise known as the "Public
the same. For as the Court stressed in Mactan, "the power to
Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines," envisaged to
tax is [still] primarily vested in the Congress."
level the playing field among telecommunications companies,
took effect. Section 23 of the Act provides: This new perspective is best articulated by Fr. Joaquin G.
“SEC. 23. Equality of Treatment in the Telecommunications Industry. Any advantage, Bernas, S.J., himself a Commissioner of the 1986 Constitutional
favor, privilege, exemption, or immunity granted under existing franchises, or may Commission which crafted the 1987 Constitution, thus:
hereafter be granted, shall ipso facto become part of previously granted What is the effect of Section 5 on the fiscal position of municipal
telecommunications franchises and shall be accorded immediately and unconditionally
to the grantees of such franchises: Provided, however, That the foregoing shall neither
corporations? Section 5 does not change the doctrine that
apply to nor affect provisions of telecommunications franchises concerning territory municipal corporations do not possess inherent powers of
covered by the franchise, the life span of the franchise, or the type of service authorized taxation. What it does is to confer municipal corporations a
by the franchise.” general power to levy taxes and otherwise create sources of
revenue. They no longer have to wait for a statutory grant of
Issue: Whether or not Bayantel’s real properties in Quezon City these powers. The power of the legislative authority relative to
are exempt from real property taxes under its legislative the fiscal powers of local governments has been reduced to the
franchise? authority to impose limitations on municipal powers. Moreover,
Held: YES. Bayantel’s franchise being national in character, the these limitations must be "consistent with the basic policy of
"exemption" thus granted under Section 14 of RA3259 applies local autonomy." The important legal effect of Section 5 is thus
to all its real or personal properties found anywhere within the to reverse the principle that doubts are resolved against
Philippine archipelago. municipal corporations. Henceforth, in interpreting statutory
provisions on municipal fiscal powers, doubts will be resolved in
However, with the LGC’s taking effect on January 1, 1992, favor of municipal corporations. It is understood, however, that
Bayantel’s "exemption" from real estate taxes for properties of taxes imposed by local government must be for a public
whatever kind located within the Metro Manila area was, by purpose, uniform within a locality, must not be confiscatory, and
force of Section 234 of the Code, expressly withdrawn. But, not must be within the jurisdiction of the local unit to pass.
long thereafter, however, or on July 20, 1992, Congress passed
RA7633 amending Bayantel’s original franchise. Worthy of note In net effect, the controversy presently before the Court
is that Section 11 of RA7633 is a virtual re-enacment of the tax involves, at bottom, a clash between the inherent taxing power
provision, i.e., Section 14 of Bayantel’s original franchise under of the legislature, which necessarily includes the power to
RA3259. Stated otherwise, Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 3259 exempt, and the local government’s delegated power to tax
which was deemed impliedly repealed by Section 234 of the under the aegis of the 1987 Constitution.
LGC was expressly revived under Section 14 of RA7633. In

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Indeed, the grant of taxing powers to local government units Government Code requires persons exempt from real estate tax
under the Constitution and the LGC does not affect the power of to show proof of exemption. The OGCC opined that Section 21
Congress to grant exemptions to certain persons, pursuant to a of the MIAA Charter is the proof that MIAA is exempt from real
declared national policy. The legal effect of the constitutional estate tax.
grant to local governments simply means that in interpreting
MIAA filed with the Court of Appeals an original petition for
statutory provisions on municipal taxing powers, doubts must be
prohibition and injunction, with prayer for preliminary injunction
resolved in favor of municipal corporations.
or temporary restraining order. The petition sought to restrain
As we see it, then, the issue in this case no longer dwells on the City of Parañaque from imposing real estate tax on, levying
whether Congress has the power to exempt Bayantel’s against, and auctioning for public sale the Airport Lands and
properties from realty taxes by its enactment of RA7633 which Buildings. CA dismissed the petition.
amended Bayantel’s original franchise. The more decisive
Issue: WON the Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA are
question turns on whether Congress actually did exempt
exempt from real estate tax under existing laws?
Bayantel’s properties at all by virtue of Section 11 of RA7633.
Held: YES. We rule that MIAA’s Airport Lands and Buildings are
Admittedly, RA7633 was enacted subsequent to the LGC.
exempt from real estate tax imposed by local governments.
Perfectly aware that the LGC has already withdrawn Bayantel’s
former exemption from realty taxes, Congress opted to pass First, MIAA is not a government-owned or controlled corporation
RA7633 using, under Section 11 thereof, exactly the same but an instrumentality of the National Government and thus
defining phrase "exclusive of this franchise" which was the basis exempt from local taxation. Second, the real properties of MIAA
for Bayantel’s exemption from realty taxes prior to the LGC. In are owned by the Republic of the Philippines and thus exempt
plain language, Section 11 of RA 7633 states that "the grantee, from real estate tax.
its successors or assigns shall be liable to pay the same taxes
on their real estate, buildings and personal property, exclusive There is no dispute that a government-owned or controlled
of this franchise, as other persons or corporations are now or corporation is not exempt from real estate tax. However, MIAA
hereafter may be required by law to pay." The Court views this is not a government-owned or controlled corporation.
subsequent piece of legislation as an express and real intention A government-owned or controlled corporation must be
on the part of Congress to once again remove from the LGC’s "organized as a stock or non-stock corporation." MIAA is not
delegated taxing power, all of the franchisee’s (Bayantel’s) organized as a stock or non-stock corporation. MIAA is not a
properties that are actually, directly and exclusively used in the stock corporation because it has no capital stock divided into
pursuit of its franchise. shares. MIAA has no stockholders or voting shares. Under its
Charter, MIAA does not have capital stock that is divided into
MIAA V. CA shares. MIAA is also not a non-stock corporation because it has
no members. Section 87 of the Corporation Code defines a non-
Petitioner Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) operates stock corporation as "one where no part of its income is
the NAIA Complex in Parañaque City under EO903, otherwise distributable as dividends to its members, trustees or officers." A
known as the Revised Charter of the Manila International Airport non-stock corporation must have members. Even if we assume
Authority. As operator of the international airport, MIAA that the Government is considered as the sole member of MIAA,
administers the land, improvements and equipment within the this will not make MIAA a non-stock corporation. Non-stock
NAIA Complex. The MIAA Charter transferred to MIAA corporations cannot distribute any part of their income to their
approximately 600 hectares of land, including the runways and members. Section 11 of the MIAA Charter mandates MIAA to
buildings ("Airport Lands and Buildings") then under the Bureau remit 20% of its annual gross operating income to the National
of Air Transportation. The MIAA Charter further provides that no Treasury. This prevents MIAA from qualifying as a non-stock
portion of the land transferred to MIAA shall be disposed of corporation.
through sale or any other mode unless specifically approved by
the President of the Philippines. Since MIAA is neither a stock nor a non-stock corporation, MIAA
does not qualify as a government-owned or controlled
The Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) corporation. What then is the legal status of MIAA within the
issued Opinion 061, stating that the Local Government Code of National Government?
1991 withdrew the exemption from real estate tax granted to
MIAA under Section 21 of the MIAA Charter. Thus, MIAA MIAA is a government instrumentality vested with corporate
negotiated with respondent City of Parañaque to pay the real powers to perform efficiently its governmental functions. MIAA is
estate tax imposed by the City. MIAA then paid some of the real like any other government instrumentality, the only difference is
estate tax already due. that MIAA is vested with corporate powers. Section 2(10) of the
Introductory Provisions of the Administrative Code defines a
However, MIAA became delinquent and the City of Parañaque, government "instrumentality" as follows:
through its City Treasurer, issued notices of levy and warrants SEC. 2. General Terms Defined. (10) Instrumentality refers to any agency of the
of levy on the Airport Lands and Buildings. The Mayor of the National Government, not integrated within the department framework, vested with
City of Parañaque threatened to sell at public auction the Airport special functions or jurisdiction by law, endowed with some if not all corporate powers,
Lands and Buildings should MIAA fail to pay the real estate tax administering special funds, and enjoying operational autonomy, usually through a
delinquency. MIAA thus sought a clarification of OGCC Opinion charter.
No. 061. When the law vests in a government instrumentality corporate
OGCC issued Opinion No. 147 clarifying OGCC Opinion No. powers, the instrumentality does not become a corporation.
061. The OGCC pointed out that Section 206 of the Local Unless the government instrumentality is organized as a stock
or non-stock corporation, it remains a government

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instrumentality exercising not only governmental but also


corporate powers. Thus, MIAA exercises the governmental DIGITAL V. PANGASINAN
powers of eminent domain, police authority and the levying of
fees and charges. At the same time, MIAA exercises "all the Section 137 of the Local Government Code, in principle,
powers of a corporation under the Corporation Law, insofar as withdrew any exemption from the payment of a tax on
these powers are not inconsistent with the provisions of this businesses enjoying a franchise. Expressly, it authorized local
Executive Order." governments to impose a franchise tax on businesses enjoying
a franchise within its territorial jurisdiction. Section 232 likewise
Likewise, when the law makes a government instrumentality
authorizes the imposition of an ad valorem tax on real property
operationally autonomous, the instrumentality remains part of
by the local government of a province, city or municipality within
the National Government machinery although not integrated
the Metropolitan Manila Area wherein the land, building,
with the department framework. The MIAA Charter expressly
machinery and other improvement not thereinafter specifically
states that transforming MIAA into a "separate and autonomous
exempted.
body" will make its operation more "financially viable."
Petitioner DIGITEL was granted, under Provincial Ordinance
A government instrumentality like MIAA falls under Section
No. 18-92, a provincial franchise to install, maintain and operate
133(o) of the Local Government Code, which states: “SEC. 133.
a telecommunications system within the territorial jurisdiction of
Common Limitations on the Taxing Powers of Local
respondent Province of Pangasinan. Under the said provincial
Government Units. Unless otherwise provided herein, the
franchise, the grantee is required to pay franchise and real
exercise of the taxing powers of provinces, cities, municipalities,
property taxes.
and barangays shall not extend to the levy of the following: (o)
Taxes, fees or charges of any kind on the National Government, Pursuant to the mandate of Sections 137 and 232 of the Local
its agencies and instrumentalities and local government units.” Government Code, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of
respondent Province of Pangasinan enacted Provincial Tax
Section 133(o) recognizes the basic principle that local
Ordinance No. 1, entitled "The Real Property Tax Ordinance of
governments cannot tax the national government, which
1992." Section 4 thereof imposed a real property tax on real
historically merely delegated to local governments the power to
properties located within the territorial jurisdiction of the
tax. While the 1987 Constitution now includes taxation as one of
province. The particular provision, however, technically
the powers of local governments, local governments may only
expanded the application of Sec. 6 of the provincial franchise of
exercise such power "subject to such guidelines and limitations
petitioner DIGITEL to include machineries and other
as the Congress may provide."
improvements, not thereinafter exempted.
When local governments invoke the power to tax on national
Thereafter, Provincial Tax Ordinance No. 4, otherwise known as
government instrumentalities, such power is construed strictly
"The Pangasinan Franchising Ordinance of 1993," was similarly
against local governments. The rule is that a tax is never
ratified. Sections 4, 5 and 6 thereof, positively imposed a
presumed and there must be clear language in the law imposing
franchise tax on businesses enjoying a franchise within the
the tax. Any doubt whether a person, article or activity is taxable
territorial jurisdiction of respondent Province of Pangasinan.
is resolved against taxation. This rule applies with greater force
when local governments seek to tax national government Petitioner DIGITEL was then granted by RA7678, a legislative
instrumentalities. franchise authorizing the grantee to install, operate and maintain
telecommunications systems, this time, throughout the
Another rule is that a tax exemption is strictly construed against
Philippines. Under its legislative franchise, particularly Sec. 5
the taxpayer claiming the exemption. However, when Congress
thereof, petitioner DIGITEL became liable for the payment of a
grants an exemption to a national government instrumentality
franchise tax "as may be prescribed by law of all gross receipts
from local taxation, such exemption is construed liberally in
of the telephone or other telecommunications businesses
favor of the national government instrumentality.
transacted under it by the grantee,"8 as well as real property tax
There is, moreover, no point in national and local governments "on its real estate, and buildings "exclusive of this franchise."
taxing each other, unless a sound and compelling policy
Later, Pangasinan, in its examination of its record found that
requires such transfer of public funds from one government
petitioner DIGITEL had a franchise tax deficiency.
pocket to another.
In the interregnum, Congress passed RA7925, otherwise known
There is also no reason for local governments to tax national
as "The Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the
government instrumentalities for rendering essential public
Philippines." Section 23 of this law entitled Equality of
services to inhabitants of local governments. The only exception
Treatment in the Telecommunications Industry, provided for the
is when the legislature clearly intended to tax government
ipso facto application to any previously granted
instrumentalities for the delivery of essential public services for
telecommunications franchises of any advantage, favor,
sound and compelling policy considerations. There must be
privilege, exemption or immunity granted under existing
express language in the law empowering local governments to
franchises, or those still to be granted, to be accorded
tax national government instrumentalities. Any doubt whether
immediately and unconditionally to earlier grantees.
such power exists is resolved against local governments.
Issue: WON DIGITEL’s real properties found within the territorial
jurisdiction of respondent Province of Pangasinan are exempt
from the payment of real property taxes by virtue of the phrase
"exclusive of this franchise" found in Section 5 of its legislative
franchise?

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Held: YES. However, it is with the caveat that such exemption A. Yes. The decision declaring him not elected is of no
solely applies to those real properties actually, directly and practical consequence because he has already served.
exclusively used by the grantee in its franchise. Ong v. Alegre, G.R. No. 163295, January 23, 2006.
The present issue actually boils down to a dispute between the
The fact that a person served as Mayor for a whole term even if
inherent taxing power of Congress and the delegated authority
he had been declared not elected, such fact does not interrupt
to tax of the local government borne by the 1987 Constitution.
that running of three consecutive terms, as in Ong v. Alegre.
We already sustained the power of Congress to grant Rivera III v. Morales, GR 167591, May 9, 2007.
exemptions over and above the power of the local
government s delegated taxing authority notwithstanding the
ONG V. ALEGRE
source of such power.
Indeed, the grant of taxing powers to local government units In the May 1998 elections, Alegre and Ong opposed each other,
under the Constitution and the LGC does not affect the power of with the latter being subsequently proclaimed by COMELEC
Congress to grant exemptions to certain persons, pursuant to a winner in that contest. Alegre subsequently filed an election
declared national policy. The legal effect of the constitutional protest. RTC declared Alegre as the duly elected mayor in that
grant to local governments simply means that in interpreting 1998 mayoralty contest, albeit the decision came out only on
statutory provisions on municipal taxing powers, doubts must be July 4, 2001, when Ong had fully served the 1998-2001
resolved in favor of municipal corporations. mayoralty term and was in fact already starting to serve the
2001-2004 term as mayor-elect of the municipality of San
Succinctly put, had the Congress of the Philippines intended to Vicente.
tax each and every real property of petitioner DIGITEL,
regardless of whether or not it is used in the business or Now, private respondent Alegre and petitioner Ong were once
operation of its franchise, it would not have incorporated a again candidates for mayor of San Vicente, Camarines Norte in
qualifying phrase, which such manifestation admittedly is. And, the 2004 elections. Alegre filed with the COMELEC Provincial
to our minds, "the issue in this case no longer dwells on whether Office a Petition to Disqualify, Deny Due Course and Cancel
Congress has the power to exempt" petitioner DIGITEL’s Certificate of Candidacy of Ong. The petition to disqualify was
properties from realty taxes by its enactment of RA7678 which predicated on the three-consecutive term rule, Ong having,
contains the phrase "exclusive of this franchise," in the face of according to Alegre, ran in the May 1995, May 1998, and May
the mandate of the Local Government Code. The more pertinent 2001 mayoralty elections and have assumed office as mayor
issue to consider is whether or not, by passing RA7678, and discharged the duties thereof for 3 consecutive full terms
Congress intended to exempt petitioner DIGITEL’s real corresponding to those elections.
properties actually, directly and exclusively used by the grantee
Comelec denied the petition. Undaunted, Alegre filed a timely
in its franchise.
motion for reconsideration. COMELEC en banc issued a
resolution reversing and thereby (a) declaring Ong "as
The fact that Republic Act No. 7678 was a later piece of
disqualified to run for mayor of San Vicente, Camarines Norte in
legislation can be taken to mean that Congress, knowing fully
the 2004 elections"; (b) ordering the deletion of Ong’s name
well that the Local Government Code had already withdrawn
from the official list of candidates; and (c) directing the
exemptions from real property taxes, chose to restore such
concerned board of election inspectors not to count the votes
immunity even to a limited degree.
cast in his favor.
In view of the unequivocal intent of Congress to exempt from
Issue: WON petitioner Francis Ong’s assumption of office as
real property tax those real properties actually, directly and
Mayor of San Vicente, Camarines Norte for the mayoralty term
exclusively used by petitioner DIGITEL in the pursuit of its
1998 to 2001 should be considered as full service for the
franchise, respondent Province of Pangasinan can only levy real
purpose of the three-term limit rule.
property tax on the remaining real properties of the grantee
located within its territorial jurisdiction not part of the above- Held: YES, he is thus barred from running again as he falls
stated classification. Said exemption, however, merely applies under the three-term limit rule. For the three-term limit for
from the time of the effectivity of petitioner DIGITEL’s legislative elective local government officials to apply, two conditions or
franchise and not a moment sooner. requisites must concur, to wit: (1) that the official concerned has
been elected for three (3) consecutive terms in the same local
government post, and (2) that he has fully served three (3)
Section 8. The term of office of elective local officials, consecutive terms.
except barangay officials, which shall be determined by
law, shall be three years and no such official shall serve With the view we take of the case, the disqualifying requisites
are present herein, thus effectively barring petitioner Francis
for more than three consecutive terms. Voluntary
from running for mayor of San Vicente, Camarines Norte in the
renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not
May 10, 2004 elections. There can be no dispute about
be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his
service for the full term for which he was elected. petitioner Francis Ong having been duly elected mayor of that
municipality in the May 1995 and again in the May 2001
elections and serving the July 1, 1995- June 30, 1998 and the
Doctrine
July 1, 2001-June 30, 2004 terms in full. The herein controversy
Q. After serving a full third year term, Alegre was declared to
revolves around the 1998-2001 mayoral term, albeit there can
have been invalidly elected to his third term. Should that
also be no quibbling that Francis ran for mayor of the same
term be counted for purposes of the three term limit?
municipality in the May 1998 elections and actually served the

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1998-2001 mayoral term by virtue of a proclamation initially 2001; and (b) He was preventively suspended by the
declaring him mayor-elect of the municipality of San Vicente. Ombudsman in an anti-graft case from January 16, 1999 to July
The question that begs to be addressed, therefore, is whether or 15, 1999.
not Francis Ong’s assumption of office as Mayor of San Vicente,
COMELEC Second Division rendered its Resolution finding
Camarines Norte from July 1, 1998 to June 30, 2001, may be
respondent Morales disqualified to run for the position of
considered as one full term service in the context of the
municipal mayor on the ground that he had already served 3
consecutive three-term limit rule.
consecutive terms. Accordingly, his Certificate of Candidacy
We hold that such assumption of office constitutes, for Francis, was cancelled.
"service for the full term", and should be counted as a full term
On May 24, 2004, after respondent Morales was proclaimed the
served in contemplation of the three-term limit prescribed by the
duly elected mayor of Mabalacat for the term commencing July
constitutional and statutory provisions, supra, barring local
1, 2004 to June 30, 2007, petitioner Anthony Dee, also a
elective officials from being elected and serving for more than
candidate for mayor, filed with the RTC a petition for quo
three consecutive term for the same position.
warranto against the said respondent. Petitioner alleged that
It is true that the RTC-Daet, Camarines Norte ruled in Election respondent Morales, having served as mayor for three
Protest Case No. 6850,17 that it was Francis Ong’s opponent consecutive terms, is ineligible to run for another term or fourth
(Alegre) who "won" in the 1998 mayoralty race and, therefore, term.
was the legally elected mayor of San Vicente. However, that
In his answer, respondent Morales raised the following
disposition, it must be stressed, was without practical and legal
defenses: (a) He was not validly elected for the term 1998 to
use and value, having been promulgated after the term of the
contested office has expired. Petitioner Francis contention that 2001 since the RTC, Branch 57, Angeles City declared in its
Decision that his proclamation as mayor of Mabalacat was void.
he was only a presumptive winner in the 1998 mayoralty derby
Petitioner Dee was then proclaimed the duly elected mayor; and
as his proclamation was under protest did not make him less
(b) He was preventively suspended for six months by the
than a duly elected mayor. His proclamation by the Municipal
Ombudsman, during the same term in an anti-graft case, an
Board of Canvassers of San Vicente as the duly elected mayor
interruption in the continuity of his service as municipal mayor of
in the 1998 mayoralty election coupled by his assumption of
Mabalacat.
office and his continuous exercise of the functions thereof from
start to finish of the term, should legally be taken as service for In its Decision RTC dismissed petitioner Dee’s petition for quo
a full term in contemplation of the three-term rule. warranto on the ground that respondent Morales did not serve
the three-term limit since he was not the duly elected mayor of
The absurdity and the deleterious effect of a contrary view is not
Mabalacat, but petitioner Dee in the May 1998 elections for the
hard to discern. Such contrary view would mean that Alegre
term 1998 to 2001.
would under the three-term rule - be considered as having
served a term by virtue of a veritably meaningless electoral It is undisputed that respondent Morales was elected to the
protest ruling, when another actually served such term pursuant position of mayor of Mabalacat for the following consecutive
to a proclamation made in due course after an election. terms:
a) July 1, 1995 to June 30, 1998
b) July 1, 1998 to June 30, 2001
RIVERA III V. MORALES c) July 1, 2001 to June 30, 2004
d) July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2007
In the May 2004 Synchronized National and Local Elections,
respondent Marino "Boking" Morales ran as candidate for mayor Issue: WON the Morales’ 2nd term from 1998 to 2001 may be
of Mabalacat, Pampanga for the term commencing July 1, 2004 considered as fully served?
to June 30, 2007. Prior thereto or on January 5, 2004, he filed Held: YES. Here, respondent Morales was elected for the term
his Certificate of Candidacy. July 1, 1998 to June 30, 2001. He assumed the position. He
On January 10, 2004, Attys. Venancio Q. Rivera and served as mayor until June 30, 2001. He was mayor for the
Normandick De Guzman, petitioners, filed with the Second entire period notwithstanding the Decision of the RTC in the
Division of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) a petition electoral protest case filed by petitioner Dee ousting him
to cancel respondent Morales’ Certificate of Candidacy on the (respondent) as mayor. To reiterate, as held in Ong v. Alegre,
ground that he was elected and had served three previous such circumstance does not constitute an interruption in serving
consecutive terms as mayor of Mabalacat. the full term.

In his answer to the petition, respondent Morales admitted that Section 8, Article X of the Constitution can not be more clear
he was elected mayor of Mabalacat for the term commencing and explicit: “The term of the office of elected local officials x x
July 1, 1995 to June 30, 1998 (first term) and July 1, 2001 to x, shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more
June 30, 2004 (third term), but he served the second term from than three consecutive terms.”
July 1, 1998 to June 30, 2001 only as a "caretaker of the office" Upon the other hand, Section 43 (b) of R.A. No. 7160 (the Local
or as a "de facto officer" because of the following reasons: (a) Government Code) clearly provides: “No local official shall serve
He was not validly elected for the second term 1998 to 2001 for more than three consecutive terms in the same position.”
since his proclamation as mayor was declared void by the
Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 57, Angeles City in its Respondent Morales is now serving his fourth term. He has
Decision dated April 2, 2001 in Election Protest Case (EPC) No. been mayor of Mabalacat continuously without any break since
98-131. The Decision became final and executory on August 6, July 1, 1995. In just over a month, by June 30, 2007, he will
have been mayor of Mabalacat for 12 continuous years.
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power of the CSC to administer the civil service system. Any


Respondent Morales maintains that he served his second term
unwarranted and unreasonable restriction on its discretionary
(1998 to 2001) only as a "caretaker of the office" or as a "de
authority, such as what the CSC did when it issued Opinion No.
facto officer." Section 8, Article X of the Constitution is violated
44, s. 2004, is constitutionally and legally infirm.
and its purpose defeated when an official serves in the same
position for three consecutive terms. Whether as "caretaker" or Issue: WON the Ombudsman may provide the qualifications for
"de facto" officer, he exercises the powers and enjoys the its own personnel, independent from the CSC?
prerequisites of the office which enables him "to stay on
Held: YES. The CSC’s opinion that the Director II positions in
indefinitely". Respondent Morales should be promptly ousted
the Central Administrative Service and the Finance and
from the position of mayor of Mabalacat.
Management Service of the Office of the Ombudsman are
 covered by the CES is wrong. The CES covers presidential
appointees only.
Under the Constitution, the Ombudsman is the appointing
ARTICLE XI - ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS authority for all officials and employees of the Office of the
Ombudsman, except the Deputy Ombudsmen. Thus, a person
Section 6. The officials and employees of the Office of the occupying the position of Director II in the Central Administrative
Ombudsman, other than the Deputies, shall be appointed Service or Finance and Management Service of the Office of the
by the Ombudsman, according to the Civil Service Law. Ombudsman is appointed by the Ombudsman, not by the
President. As such, he is neither embraced in the CES nor does
Doctrine he need to possess CES eligibility.
Under the Constitution, the Office of the Ombudsman is an
independent body. As a guaranty of this independence, the To classify the positions of Director II in the Central
Ombudsman has the power to appoint all officials and Administrative Service and the Finance and Management
employees of the Office of the Ombudsman, except his Service of the Office of the Ombudsman as covered by the CES
deputies. This power necessarily includes the power of setting, and require appointees thereto to acquire CES or CSE eligibility
prescribing and administering the standards for the officials and before acquiring security of tenure will lead to unconstitutional
personnel of the Office. and unlawful consequences. It will result either in (1) vesting the
appointing power for said position in the President, in violation
To further ensure its independence, the Ombudsman has been of the Constitution or (2) including in the CES a position not held
vested with the power of administrative control and supervision by a presidential appointee, contrary to the Administrative Code.
of the Office. This includes the authority to organize such Section 6, Article XI of the Constitution provides: “Sec. 6. The
directorates for administration and allied services as may be officials and employees of the Office of the Ombudsman, other
necessary for the effective discharge of the functions of the than the Deputies, shall be appointed by the Ombudsman
Office, as well as to prescribe and approve its position structure according to the Civil Service Law.” This is complemented by
and staffing pattern. Necessarily, it also includes the authority to RA[13] 6770, otherwise known as “The Ombudsman Act of
determine and establish the qualifications, duties, functions and 1989.” Section 11 thereof states: “Sec. 11. Structural
responsibilities of the various directorates and allied services of Organization. – The authority and responsibility for the exercise
the Office. This must be so if the constitutional intent to of the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman and for the
establish an independent Office of the Ombudsman is to remain discharge of its power and functions shall be vested in the
meaningful and significant. The Civil Service Commission has Ombudsman, who shall have supervision and control of the said
no power over this. Ombudsman v. CSC, G.R. No. 162215, Office. xxx (1) The Office of the Ombudsman may organize
July 30, 1007. such directorates for administration and allied services as may
be necessary for the effective discharge of its functions. xxx
OMBUDSMAN V. CSC Those appointed as directors or heads shall have the rank and
salary of line bureau directors. Xxx (5) The position structure
This controversy traces its roots to Ombudsman Simeon V. and staffing pattern of the Office of the Ombudsman, including
Marcelo’s lette to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) the Office of the Special Prosecutor, shall be approved and
requesting the approval of the amendment of qualification prescribed by the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman shall appoint
standards for Director II positions in the Central Administrative all officers and employees of the Office of the Special
Service and Finance and Management Service of the Office of Prosecutor, in accordance with the civil service law, rules and
the Ombudsman. regulations.”

Acting thereon, the CSC issued Opinion No. 44, s. 2004, Under the Constitution, the Office of the Ombudsman is an
disapproving the request. The Office of the Ombudsman, independent body. As a guaranty of this independence, the
claiming that its constitutional and statutory powers were unduly Ombudsman has the power to appoint all officials and
curtailed, now seeks to set aside and nullify CSC Opinion No. employees of the Office of the Ombudsman, except his
44, s. 2004 via this petition for certiorari. deputies. This power necessarily includes the power of setting,
prescribing and administering the standards for the officials and
The Office of the Ombudsman asserts that its specific, exclusive personnel of the Office.
and discretionary constitutional and statutory power as an
independent constitutional body to administer and supervise its To further ensure its independence, the Ombudsman has been
own officials and personnel, including the authority to administer vested with the power of administrative control and supervision
competitive examinations and prescribe reasonable qualification of the Office. This includes the authority to organize such
standards for its own officials, cannot be curtailed by the general directorates for administration and allied services as may be

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necessary for the effective discharge of the functions of the outright for lack of verification and certification against forum
Office, as well as to prescribe and approve its position structure shopping.
and staffing pattern. Necessarily, it also includes the authority to
DECS-Region VI received the requisite verification and
determine and establish the qualifications, duties, functions and
certification. This case was entitled "Faculty and Department
responsibilities of the various directorates and allied services of
Heads of the Ramon Torres National High School, Bago City v.
the Office. This must be so if the constitutional intent to
Heidi Estandarte."
establish an independent Office of the Ombudsman is to remain
meaningful and significant. (After so many procedural matters), the CA held that the
Ombudsman (Visayas) acted without or in excess of jurisdiction
Qualification standards are used as guides in appointment and
when it took over the case after it issued a memorandum
other personnel actions, in determining training needs and as
considering the case closed and terminated and after
aid in the inspection and audit of the personnel work programs.
jurisdiction had already been vested in the Special Investigating
They are intimately connected to the power to appoint as well as
Committee. Such act violates the doctrine of primary jurisdiction.
to the power of administrative supervision. Thus, as a corollary
Once jurisdiction is acquired by or attached to a proper
to the Ombudsman’s appointing and supervisory powers, he
investigative body or agency, such jurisdiction continues until
possesses the authority to establish reasonable qualification
the termination of the case. Citing Fabella v. Court of Appeals
standards for the personnel of the Office of the Ombudsman.
and Emin v. de Leon, the CA held that Rep. Act No. 4670
specifically covers and governs administrative proceedings
Section 12. The Ombudsman and his Deputies, as involving public school teachers, and jurisdiction over such
protectors of the people, shall act promptly on cases is originally and exclusively lodged with the Investigating
complaints filed in any form or manner against public Committee created pursuant to Section 9 of Rep. Act No. 4670.
officials or employees of the Government, or any The appellate court further held that, assuming the Ombudsman
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including (Visayas) has jurisdiction, the assailed decision and order would
government-owned or controlled corporations, and shall, have to be set aside because Estandarte was denied her right
in appropriate cases, notify the complainants of the to substantive and procedural due process. It pointed out that
action taken and the result thereof. she was denied the right to a formal investigation and the
opportunity to be heard. Following the Court’s ruling in Tapiador
Doctrine v. Office of the Ombudsman, the CA held that the Ombudsman
The jurisdiction of the Ombudsman over disciplinary cases (Visayas) has no authority to directly impose the penalty of
against government employees, which includes public school dismissal on those who are the subject of its investigation
teachers, is vested by no less than Section 12, Article XI of the because its power is merely recommendatory.
Constitution. However, Section 9 of Rep. Act No. 4670,
otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Public School Issue: WON Ombudsman had jurisdiction?
Teachers, provides that it must first go to a committee appointed Held: YES, but even if we hold that the Ombudsman (Visayas)
by the Secretary of Education. Ombudsman v. Estandarte, GR had concurrent jurisdiction over the administrative case, we
168670, April 13, 2007. would still sustain the DECS’ authority to decide the
administrative case. The Magna Carta for Public School
OMBUDSMAN V. ESTANDARTE Teachers, provides that it must first go to a committee appointed
by the Secretary of Education
People’s Graftwatch, through its Chairman, Dr. Patricio Y. Tan,
referred to the Office of the Ombudsman, for immediate The jurisdiction of the Ombudsman over disciplinary cases
investigation, a complaint of the Faculty Club and Department against government employees, which includes public school
Heads of the Ramon Torres National High School against Heidi teachers, is vested by no less than Section 12, Article XI of the
Estandarte, the school principal. The complaint consisted of 33 Constitution which states: “Sec. 12. The Ombudsman and his
allegations of improprieties ranging from illegal handling of Deputies, as protectors of the people, shall act promptly on
school funds, irregular financial transactions, perjury, and abuse complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or
of authority. However, the complaint was not subscribed and employees of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or
sworn to by the complainant, and not supported by the sworn instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or
statements of witnesses. The complaint also lacked a statement controlled corporations, and shall, in appropriate cases, notify
of non-forum shopping as required. the complainants of the action taken and the result thereof.”

The Ombudsman forwarded the complaint to the DECS and the In a case of recent vintage, the Court held that the Ombudsman
Commission on Audit (COA) for appropriate action pursuant to has full administrative disciplinary authority over public officials
Section 15(2) of Republic Act No. 6770, otherwise known as the and employees of the government, thus: “All these provisions in
Ombudsman Act of 1989. DECS-Region VI found that the Republic Act No. 6770 taken together reveal the manifest intent
complaint did not comply with the formalities under EO292, of the lawmakers to bestow on the Office of the Ombudsman full
otherwise known as The Administrative Code of 1987. Thus, it administrative disciplinary authority. These provisions cover the
dismissed the complaint, without prejudice to the filing of an entire gamut of administrative adjudication which entails the
appropriate one. authority to, inter alia, receive complaints, conduct
investigations, hold hearings in accordance with its rules of
Undaunted, the Faculty Club filed a formal complaint, sworn and procedure, summon witnesses and require the production of
subscribed to by the complainants, with DECS-Region VI. documents, place under preventive suspension public officers
However, in a letter, the said office dismissed the complaint and employees pending an investigation, determine the

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appropriate penalty imposable on erring public officers or


employees as warranted by the evidence, and necessarily, Section 13. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the
impose the said penalty.” following powers, functions, and duties:
(1) Investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person,
However, Section 9 of Rep. Act No. 4670, otherwise known as any act or omission of any public official, employee,
the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, provides that: office or agency, when such act or omission appears to
“Section 9. Administrative Charges. Administrative charges be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient.
against a teacher shall be heard initially by a committee (2) Direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any public
composed of the corresponding School Superintendent of the official or employee of the Government, or any
Division or a duly authorized representative who would at least subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well
have the rank of a division supervisor, where the teacher as of any government-owned or controlled corporation
belongs, as chairman, a representative of the local or, in its with original charter, to perform and expedite any act
absence, any existing provincial or national teacher’s or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct
organization and a supervisor of the Division, the last two to be any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties.
designated by the Director of Public Schools. The committee (3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action
shall submit its findings, and recommendations to the Director of against a public official or employee at fault, and
Public Schools within thirty days from the termination of the recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine,
hearings: Provided, however, That, where the school censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance
superintendent is the complainant or an interested party, all the therewith.
members of the committee shall be appointed by the Secretary (4) Direct the officer concerned, in any appropriate case,
of Education.” and subject to such limitations as may be provided by
Republic Act No. 6770, the Ombudsman Act of 1989, provides law, to furnish it with copies of documents relating to
that the Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary contracts or transactions entered into by his office
authority over all elective and appointive officials of the involving the disbursement or use of public funds or
Government and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and properties, and report any irregularity to the
agencies, including members of the Cabinet, local government, Commission on Audit for appropriate action.
government-owned or controlled corporations and their (5) Request any government agency for assistance and
subsidiaries except over officials who may be removed by information necessary in the discharge of its
impeachment or over Members of Congress, and the Judiciary. responsibilities, and to examine, if necessary, pertinent
However, in Fabella v. Court of Appeals, it was held that R.A. records and documents.
No. 4670, the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, (6) Publicize matters covered by its investigation when
specifically covers and governs administrative proceedings circumstances so warrant and with due prudence.
involving public school teachers. (7) Determine the causes of inefficiency, red tape,
mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in the
Undoubtedly, the DECS-Region VI first assumed jurisdiction Government and make recommendations for their
over the administrative complaint against the respondent. It elimination and the observance of high standards of
should be recalled that when People’s Graftwatch forwarded the ethics and efficiency.
complaint to the Ombudsman (Visayas), the latter treated it as a (8) Promulgate its rules of procedure and exercise such
request for assistance and referred it to the DECS-Region VI other powers or perform such functions or duties as
and COA for appropriate action. After it had resolved to upgrade may be provided by law.
the matter to an administrative case, the Ombudsman decided
not to take cognizance of the same and refer it, instead, to the Doctrine
DECS-Region VI pursuant to Section 23(2) of R.A. 6770. Q. What is the scope of the investigatory power of the
We do not agree with petitioner’s contention that it could Ombudsman?
assume jurisdiction over the administrative case after the A. Based on Secton 13, the Office of the Ombudsman exercises
DECS-Region VI had voluntarily relinquished its jurisdiction over jurisdiction over public officials/ employees of GOCCs with
the same in favor of the petitioner. Jurisdiction is a matter of original charters. This being so, it can only investigate and
law. Jurisdiction once acquired is not lost upon the instance of prosecute acts or omissions of the officials/employees of
the parties but continues until the case is terminated. When the government corporations. Therefore, although the government
complainants filed their formal complaint with the DECS-Region later on acquired the controlling interest in PAL, the fact remains
VI, jurisdiction was vested on the latter. It cannot now be that the latter did not have an “original charter” and its
transferred to petitioner upon the instance of the complainants, officers/employees could not be investigated and/or prosecuted
even with the acquiescence of the DECS and petitioner. by the Ombudsman. Khan, Jr v Ombudsman, G.R. No. 125296,
July 20. 2006.
Considering that the respondent is a public school teacher who
is covered by the provisions of Rep. Act No. 4670, the Magna We see no reason to deviate from these rulings. They are
Carta for Public School Teachers, the DECS-Region VI is in a consistent with our earlier observation that unlike the “classical
better position to decide the matter. Moreover, the DECS has Ombudsman model” whose function is merely to “receive and
already commenced proceedings over the administrative case process the people’s complaints against corrupt and abusive
by constituting the Special Investigating Committee pursuant to government personnel,” the Philippine Ombudsman — as
Section 9 of Rep. Act No. 4670. protector of the people, is armed with the power to prosecute
erring public officers and employees, giving him an active role in
the enforcement of laws on anti-graft and corrupt practices and

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such other offenses that may be committed by such officers and Clearly, under RA 6770 the Ombudsman has the power to
employees. The legislature has vested him with broad powers impose directly administrative penalty on public officials or
to enable him to implement his own actions. Ombudsman v. CA, employees. Hence, the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that
G.R. No. 167844, November 22, 2006. petitioner has no power to impose directly administrative
penalties on public officials or employees. Ombudsman v. CA,
The finding of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 83356 G.R. No. 168079, July 17, 2007.
that there is sufficient evidence of respondent Farida T. Lucero’s
NOTE: But according to Local Government Code, elective
guilt for dishonesty is AFFIRMED. However, the appellate
officials may be dismissed only by the proper court.
court’s declaration that the Ombudsman has no power to order
her removal or dismissal from office is SET ASIDE.
Ombudsman has rule making power. The finality and execution
Consequently, the decision of the Ombudsman dismissing
respondent Lucero is AFFIRMED. Ombudsman v. Lucero, G.R. of decisions of the Ombudsman are governed by Rules the
Ombudsman is authorized to promulgate. Buencamino v. CA,
No. 168718, November 24, 2006.
GR 175895,April 4, 2007.
Q. Does the Ombudsman have the power to impose the penalty
KHAN, JR V OMBUDSMAN
of suspension?
A. Yes. The enumeration of the powers of the Ombudsman in
Private respondents Rosauro Torralba and Celestino Bandala
the Constitution is not exclusive. Congress may add additional
charged petitioners before the Deputy Ombudsman (Visayas)
powers. In conjunction therewith, Section 19 of Republic Act No.
6770 grants to the Ombudsman fuller authority. Ombudsman v. for violation of RA 3019. In their complaint, private respondents
CA, G.R. No. 160675, June 16, 2006. accused petitioners of using their positions in PAL to secure a
contract for Synergy Services Corporation, a corporation
engaged in hauling and janitorial services in which they were
Q. May the Special Prosecutor file an information without
shareholders.
authority from the Ombudsman?
A. No. Republic Act No. 6770, by conferring upon the Petitioners filed an omnibus motion to dismiss the complaint on
Ombudsman the power to prosecute, likewise grants to the the following grounds: (1) the Ombudsman had no jurisdiction
Ombudsman the power to authorize the filing of over them since PAL was a private entity and (2) they were not
informations. A delegated authority to prosecute was also public officers, hence, outside the application of RA 3019.
given to the Deputy Ombudsman, but no such delegation
exists to the Special Prosecutor. Nor is there an implied Issue: WON Ombudsman has jurisdiction?
delegation. The doctrine of qualified political agency Held: NO. Based on Article XI Section 13(2) of the Constitution,
governing the relation between department secretaries and the Office of the Ombudsman exercises jurisdiction over public
the President does not apply to the relation between the officials/ employees of GOCCs with original charters. This being
Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor. The Special so, it can only investigate and prosecute acts or omissions of
Prosecutor prosecutes only when authorized by the the officials/employees of government corporations. Therefore,
Ombudsman. Perez v. Sandigabayan, G.R. No. 166062, although the government later on acquired the controlling
September 26, 2006. interest in PAL, the fact remains that the latter did not have an
"original charter" and its officers/employees could not be
The powers of the Ombudsman are found in Article XI of the investigated and/or prosecuted by the Ombudsman.
1987 Constitution, which states in part that the Ombudsman
shall “exercise such other powers or performs such functions or OMBUDSMAN V. CA
duties as may be provided by law.” This refers to Sections 15,
21, and 25 of Republic Act No. 6770 (RA 6770), otherwise Respondent Santos belonged to the clerical staff of the Director
known as the Ombudsman Act of 1989. of LTFRB Region VII, Mandaue City, Cebu. In November 1998,
While Section 15(3) of RA 6770 states that the Ombudsman has respondent was designated as concurrent acting “Special
the power to “recommend x x x removal, suspension, demotion Collection/Disbursing Officer.” COA audited respondent’s cash
x x x” of government officials and employees, the same Section and accounts. After inspecting respondent’s records, the COA’s
15(3) also states that the Ombudsman in the alternative may examining auditors noted a shortage of P34k in respondent’s
“enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21” of accounts. Although respondent acknowledged the shortage, she
RA 6770. The word “or” in Section 15(3) before the phrase failed to explain the same. Respondent remitted the missing
“enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21” amount. COA required respondent to explain the discrepancy.
grants the Ombudsman this alternative power. Instead of explaining, respondent merely confirmed the cash
Section 21 of RA 6770 vests in the Ombudsman “disciplinary shortage.
authority over all elective and appointive officials of the
Government,” except impeachable officers, members of COA charged respondent in the Office of the Ombudsman,
Congress, and the Judiciary. And under Section 25 of RA Visayas (“Ombudsman Visayas”) with Dishonesty. In her
6770, the Ombudsman may impose in administrative counter-affidavit, respondent claimed that the missing funds
proceedings the “penalty ranging from suspension without pay comprised her collections for 11 June 1999. Respondent stated
for one year to dismissal with forfeiture of benefits or a fine that during the auditing on 21 June 1999, she kept the
ranging from five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) to twice the collections, which allegedly included two fake P500 bills, in her
amount malversed, illegally taken or lost, or both at the vault. Respondent explained, for the first time, that she did not
discretion of the Ombudsman x x x.” turn over the collections to the COA auditors because of the

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fake bills. Respondent added that had the COA auditors asked,
Held: YES. We agree with the ratiocination of public
she would have produced the funds.
respondents. Several reasons militate against a literal
In its Decision dated 28 October 2002, the Ombudsman Visayas interpretation of the subject constitutional provision. Firstly, a
found respondent guilty as charged and dismissed her from cursory reading of Tapiador reveals that the main point of the
service. case was the failure of the complainant therein to present
substantial evidence to prove the charges of the administrative
In its Decision dated 31 January 2005, the Court of Appeals,
case. The statement that made reference to the power of the
while finding respondent liable for “malversation of funds,”
Ombudsman is, at best, merely an obiter dictum and, as it is
lowered respondent’s administrative offense to Neglect of Duty
unsupported by sufficient explanation, is susceptible to varying
due to attendant “mitigating circumstances.” Further, the Court
interpretations, as what precisely is before us in this case.
of Appeals sustained respondent’s contention on the
Hence, it cannot be cited as a doctrinal declaration of this Court
Ombudsman’s powers and held that the latter’s “jurisdiction and
nor is it safe from judicial examination.
authority in administrative cases is only recommendatory.”
Thus, the Court of Appeals “recommended” to the LTFRB The issue raised in this Court has already been resolved in
respondent’s suspension from service for six months. Office of the Ombudsman v. Court of Appeals. In that case, the
Court declared that in the exercise of its administrative
Issue: WON the Ombudsman had authority to directly impose a
disciplinary authority under Section 12, Article XI of the 1987
penalty in the admin case?
Constitution and RA6770, the Office of the Ombudsman is
Held: YES. Giving a literal interpretation to the word empowered not merely to recommend, but to impose the
“recommend” in the provisions concerning the functions of the penalty of removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or
Ombudsman, the Court of Appeals concluded that petitioner prosecution of a public officer or employee found to be at fault.
could do no more. This is error.
The legislative history of RA6770 bears out the conclusion that
In Ledesma v. Court of Appeals, we rejected such interpretation the Office of the Ombudsman was intended to possess full
as unduly restrictive and not “consistent with the wisdom and administrative disciplinary authority, including the power to
spirit behind the creation of the Office of the Ombudsman.” impose penalty of removal, suspension, demotion, fine,
Instead, we held that “[b]y stating x x x that the Ombudsman censure, or prosecution of a public officer or employee. The
‘recommends’ the action to be taken against an erring officer or lawmakers envisioned the Office of the Ombudsman to be “an
employee, the provisions in the Constitution and in RA 6770 activist watchman,” not merely a passive one.
intended [only] that the implementation of the order be coursed
through the proper officer.” OMBUDSMAN V. CA
In our recent ruling in Office of the Ombudsman v. Court of Joan and Thomas Corominas, and Maria Constancia
Appeals, we reiterated Ledesma and expounded that taken Corominas-Lim filed with the Office of the Ombudsman a
together, the relevant provisions of RA 6770 vested petitioner criminal complaint for violation of Article 281 (Other Forms of
with “full administrative disciplinary authority” including the Trespass) of the Revised Penal Code against herein Arregadas,
power to “determine the appropriate penalty imposable on erring et al, all employees of the DENR. The same criminal complaint
public officers or employees as warranted by the evidence, and, was also treated by the Office of the Ombudsman as an
necessarily, impose the said penalty.” administrative complaint for abuse of authority and misconduct.
OMBUDSMAN V. LUCERO It was alleged that the above-named DENR employees
conspired to enter the parcel of land owned by the Corominas
Petitioner Farida T. Lucero was appointed as Clerk II of the family without seeking permission from the latter or their
Land Transportation Office, Regional Office No. VII, and was representative and despite the big "NO TRESPASSING" sign
assigned at the Chief Finance Division in order to augment the attached to the perimeter fences enclosing the said property.
personnel complement thereat. In a Memorandum which was
By way of refutation, respondents alleged that they entered the
issued by Regional Director Isabelo K. Apor, she was likewise
Corominas landholding pursuant to the Order of the RTC of
directed to assist the Regional Cashier in collecting and
Cebu City, involving a complaint for annulment and cancellation
receiving miscellaneous fees/revenues.
of title.
Then OIC-Regional Director Porferio I. Mendoza of the LTO,
Office of the Ombudsman dismissed the criminal complaint for
Regional Office No. VII, Cebu City requested COA to conduct
lack of probable cause. However, in the administrative case, the
an audit in the Cash Section of the Operations Division of their
Office of the Ombudsman rendered the Decision finding that,
office in order to determine the extent of malversation of funds
except for Arregadas, the other named DENR employees are
just discovered covering the period from November 18, 1999 up
guilty of simple misconduct and imposed on them the penalty of
to September 30, 2000.
suspension for one month.
An audit was conducted, revealing Petitioner to have issued
Issue: WON Ombudsman had authority?
sixty-nine (69) altered miscellaneous receipts. Thereafter, an
administrative case for dishonesty was filed against the Held: In Acop v. Office of the Ombudsman, the Court
Petitioner in the Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas). recognized that the foregoing enumeration is not exclusive and
that the framers of the Constitution had given Congress the
On July 20, 2003, the Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas)
leeway to prescribe, by subsequent legislation, additional
rendered its Decision finding the Petitioner guilty of dishonesty.
powers to the Ombudsman. Congress thus enacted Republic
Issue: WON Ombudsman has authority? Act No. 6770 to provide for the functional and structural

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organization of the Office of the Ombudsman. It substantially


reiterates the constitutional provisions relating to the Office of PEREZ V. SANDIGABAYAN
the Ombudsman.
Office of the Deputy Ombudsman filed charges of violation of
The authority of the Ombudsman to conduct administrative
RA 3019 against petitioners, Mayor Salvador M. Perez, and
investigations is beyond cavil. It is mandated by no less than
Municipal Treasurer Juanita Apostol for buying a personal
Section 13(1), Article XI of the Constitution. In conjunction
computer through their own canvassing. It was alleged that the
therewith, Section 19 of RA6770 grants to the Ombudsman the
acquisition clearly indicated that the public officials involved
authority to act on all administrative complaints.
gave the supplier, unwarranted benefits, advantage or
Section 2230 thereof vests in the Office of the Ombudsman the preference through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross
power to investigate any serious misconduct in the office inexcusable negligence by paying much more than the
allegedly committed by officials removable by impeachment, for prevailing price for a comparable computer set in the market,
the purpose of filing a verified complaint for impeachment, if and against the rules of procurement.
warranted. Such power, likewise, includes the investigation of
In filing the information, the Special Prosecutor had not prior
private persons who conspire with public officers and
authority or approval of the Ombudsman, and such filing was in
employees. Section 2331 requires that the administrative
fact against the latter’s instructions.
investigations conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman shall
be in accordance with its rules of procedure and consistent with Issue: WON Special Prosecutor may file the Amended
due process. The Office of the Ombudsman is, however, given Information without authority from or the approval of the
the option to refer certain complaints to the proper disciplinary Honorable Ombudsman, and against the latter’s specific
authority for the institution of appropriate administrative instruction?
proceedings against erring public officers or employees.
Held: NO. When one considers that by express mandate of
Still in connection with their administrative disciplinary authority, paragraph 8, Section 13, Article XI of the Constitution, the
the Ombudsman and his deputies are expressly given the Ombudsman may “exercise such other powers or perform
power to preventively suspend public officials and employees functions or duties as may be provided by law,” it is indubitable
facing administrative charges in accordance with Sec.24 of then that Congress has the power to place the Office of the
RA6770. Special Prosecutor under the Office of the Ombudsman, as was
done in the Ombudsman Act. In the same vein, Congress may
Under PD807, the penalties that may be imposed by the
remove some of the powers granted to the Tanodbayan by P.D.
disciplining authority in administrative disciplinary cases are
No. 1630 and transfer them to the Ombudsman; or grant the
removal from the service, transfer, demotion in rank, suspension
Office of the Special Prosecutor such other powers and
for not more than one year without pay, fine in an amount not
functions and duties as Congress may deem fit and wise. This
exceeding six months salary, or reprimand.
Congress did through the passage of R.A No. 6770.
Findings of facts by the Office of the Ombudsman when
RA6770, by conferring upon the Ombudsman the power to
supported by substantial evidence are conclusive. Any order,
prosecute, likewise grants to the Ombudsman the power to
directive or decision imposing the penalty of public censure or
authorize the filing of informations. As to the Special
reprimand, suspension of not more than one month’s salary
Prosecutor, respondent People invokes the aforesaid authority
shall be final and unappealable.
of the Ombudsman in Section 15(10) to delegate his powers,
All these provisions in RA6770 taken together reveal the and claim that there was a general delegation of the authority to
manifest intent of the lawmakers to bestow on the Office of the approve the filing of informations in Office Order No. 03-97,
Ombudsman full administrative disciplinary authority. These series of 2003 (dated 15 September 2003), and Office Order
provisions cover the entire gamut of administrative adjudication No. 40-05, series of 2005 (dated 4 April 2005).
which entails the authority to, inter alia, receive complaints,
Contrary to the contention of respondent People, the delegation
conduct investigations, hold hearings in accordance with its
of the power to authorize the filing of informations under Office
rules of procedure, summon witnesses and require the
Order No. 40-05 was only made to Deputy Ombudsmen, and
production of documents, place under preventive suspension
not to the Special Prosecutor. All that was delegated to the
public officers and employees pending an investigation,
Special Prosecutor was the discretional authority to review and
determine the appropriate penalty imposable on erring public
modify the Deputy Ombudsmen-authorized information, but
officers or employees as warranted by the evidence, and,
even this is subject to the condition that such modification must
necessarily, impose the said penalty.
be “without departing from, or varying in any way, the contents
Clearly, the Philippine Ombudsman departs from the classical of the basic Resolution, Order or Decision.” Even the title of
Ombudsman model whose function is merely to receive and Office Order No. 40-05 betray the contention of delegation to
process the people’s complaints against corrupt and abusive the Special Prosecutor: “DELEGATION OF FINAL APPROVING
government personnel. The Philippine Ombudsman, as AUTHORITY TO THE DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FOR LUZON,
protector of the people, is armed with the power to prosecute DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FOR VISAYAS AND DEPUTY
erring public officers and employees, giving him an active role in OMBUDSMAN FOR MINDANAO.”
the enforcement of laws on anti-graft and corrupt practices and
There being no express delegation of the power to prosecute,
such other offenses that may be committed by such officers and
we are constrained to go back to our main query: Is there an
employees. The legislature has vested him with broad powers to
implied delegation of the power to prosecute under Republic Act
enable him to implement his own actions.
No. 6770, such that Special Prosecutors are presumed to have

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been delegated such power, in the absence of a prohibition from


the Ombudsman? OMBUDSMAN V. CA
Springing from the power of control is the doctrine of qualified
Respondents were charged and found guilty by the
political agency, wherein the acts of a subordinate bears the
Ombdusman of neglect of duty for apparent shortages in
implied approval of his superior, unless actually disapproved by
collections. On appeal, CA affirmed but held that Ombudsman
the latter. Thus, taken with the powers of control and
had no power to impose directly sanctions against government
supervision, the acts of Department Secretaries in the
officials and employees who are subject of its investigation.
performance of their duties are presumed to be the act of the
President, unless and until the President alters, modifies, or Issue: WON Ombudsman has the power to impose directly
nullifies the same. By arguing that “[w]hat is important is that administrative penalties on public officials or employees?
the amended Information has not been withdrawn, and or
Held: YES. The Court upholds the Office of the Ombudsman’s
recalled by the Honorable Ombudsman, [a] clear showing that
power to impose the penalty of removal, suspension, demotion,
the latter acknowledged/upheld the act of the Special
fine, censure, or prosecution of a public officer or employee
Prosecutor in signing the Amended Information,” respondent
found to be at fault, in the exercise of its administrative
People claims that the doctrine of qualified political agency
disciplinary authority. The exercise of such power is well
should be applied as well to the relationship between the
founded in the Constitution and Republic Act No. 6770.
Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor.
The legislative history of RA6770 bears out the conclusion that
After serious reflection, we have decided to sustain the
the Office of the Ombudsman was intended to possess full
contention of the government in this case on the broad
administrative disciplinary authority, including the power to
proposition, albeit not suggested, that under the presidential
impose the penalty of removal, suspension, demotion, fine,
type of government which we have adopted and considering the
censure, or prosecution of a public officer or employee found to
departmental organization established and continued in force by
be at fault. The lawmakers envisioned the Office of the
paragraph 1, section 12, Article VII, of our Constitution, all
Ombudsman to be “an activist watchman,” not merely a passive
executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the
one.
Executive Department, the heads of the various executive
departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive, While Section 15(3) of RA 6770 states that the Ombudsman has
and, except in cases where the Chief Executive is required by the power to “recommend x x x removal, suspension, demotion
the Constitution or the law to act in person or the exigencies of x x x” of government officials and employees, the same Section
the situation demand that he act personally, the multifarious 15(3) also states that the Ombudsman in the alternative may
executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive “enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21” of
are performed by and through the executive departments, and RA 6770. The word “or” in Section 15(3) before the phrase
the acts of the secretaries of such departments, performed and “enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21”
promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless grants the Ombudsman this alternative power.
disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive,
presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive. Section 21 of RA 6770 vests in the Ombudsman “disciplinary
authority over all elective and appointive officials of the
While we do not underestimate the quantity of work in the hands Government,” except impeachable officers, members of
of the Office of the Ombudsman, the same simply does not Congress, and the Judiciary. And under Section 25 of RA
measure up to the workload of the Office of the President as to 6770, the Ombudsman may impose in administrative
necessitate having the Special Prosecutor as an alter ego of the proceedings the “penalty ranging from suspension without pay
Ombudsman. In any case, the Office of the Ombudsman could for one year to dismissal with forfeiture of benefits or a fine
very well make a general delegation of powers to the Special ranging from five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) to twice the
Prosecutor, if it is so desired. An examination of the office amount malversed, illegally taken or lost, or both at the
orders issued by the Ombudsman, however, reveal that there discretion of the Ombudsman.”
had been no such intention to make a general delegation.
Clearly, under RA 6770 the Ombudsman has the power to
Indeed, a statute granting powers to an agency created by the impose directly administrative penalty on public officials or
Constitution should be liberally construed for the advancement employees. Hence, the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that
of the purposes and objectives for which it was created. Yet, the petitioner has no power to impose directly administrative
Ombudsman would be severely hampered from exercising his penalties on public officials or employees.
power of control if we are to allow the Special Prosecutor to
authorize the filing of informations in the first instance. This is
because while the Ombudsman has full discretion to determine BUENCAMINO V. CA
whether or not a criminal case should be filed in the
Sandiganbayan, once the case has been filed with said court, it Petitioners were charged of Graft and Corruption for demanding
is the Sandiganbayan, and no longer the Ombudsman, which payment (without official receipt) of a "pass way" fee or a
has full control of the case so much so that the informations regulatory fee of P1,000.00 for every delivery truck that passes
may not be dismissed, without the approval of the said court. the territorial jurisdiction of San Miguel, Bulacan. Ombudsman
declared petitioner administratively liable.
Petitioner filed a petition for review with application for the
issuance of a temporary restraining order and a writ of
preliminary injunction in the CA, praying that the Ombudsman
be enjoined from implementing its Decision during the pendency

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of his appeal. CA issued a TRO but subsequently denied the been amended by Administrative Order No. 17, thus: “Sec. 7.
application for preliminary injunction. Finality and execution of decision. - Where the respondent is
absolved of the charge, and in case of conviction where the
Petitioner alleges that in denying his application for a
penalty imposed is public censure or reprimand, suspension of
preliminary injunction, the Court of Appeals gravely abused its
not more than one month, or a fine not equivalent to one month
discretion; that pursuant to Section 7, Rule III of Administrative
salary, the decision shall be final, executory and unappealabe.
Order No. 07, the Decision of the Office of the Ombudsman
In all other cases, the decision may be appealed to the Court of
suspending him from office is not immediately executory; and
Appeals on a verified petition for review under the requirements
that in enforcing its Decision suspending him from the service
and conditions set forth in Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, within
during the pendency of his appeal, the Office of the
fifteen (15) days from receipt of the written Notice of the
Ombudsman violated Section 27 of the Ombudsman Act.
Decision or Order denying the Motion for Reconsideration.”
Ombudsman countered that the Court of Appeals did not
An appeal shall not stop the decision from being executory. In
gravely abuse its discretion in issuing the assailed Resolutions;
case the penalty is suspension or removal and the respondent
and that the cases cited by petitioner are not applicable to this
wins such appeal, he shall be considered as having been under
case, the same having been overturned by the ruling of this
preventive suspension and shall be paid the salary and such
Court in "In the Matter to Declare in Contempt of Court Hon.
other emoluments that he did not receive by reason of the
Simeon A. Datumanong, Secretary of DPW;" and that Section 7,
suspension or removal.
Rule III of Administrative Order No. 07 has been amended by
Administrative Order No. 17, thus: “this Honorable Court A decision of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative
emphatically declared that Section 7, Rule III of the Rules of cases shall be executed as a matter of course. The Office of the
Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman was already Ombudsman shall ensure that the decision shall be strictly
amended by Administrative Order No. 17 wherein the pertinent enforced and properly implemented. The refusal or failure by
provision on the execution of the Ombudsman’s decision any officer without just cause to comply with an order of the
pending appeal is now similar to Section 47 of the "Uniform Office of the Ombudsman to remove, suspend, demote, fine, or
Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service" that is, censure shall be a ground for disciplinary action against said
decisions of the Ombudsman are immediately executory even officer.
pending appeal.”
Clearly, considering that an appeal under Administrative Order
Issue: WON the Ombudsman may promulgate its own rules No. 17, the amendatory rule, shall not stop the Decision of the
providing that its decisions are immediately executory? Office of the Ombudsman from being executory, we hold that
the Court of Appeals did not commit grave abuse of discretion in
Held: YES. Section 7, Rule III of Administrative Order No. 07,
denying petitioner’s application for injunctive relief.
relied upon by petitioner, provides: “Sec. 7. Finality of Decision.
Where the respondent is absolved of the charge and in case of It bears stressing at this point that Section 13(8), Article XI of
conviction where the penalty imposed is public censure or the Constitution authorizes the Office of the Ombudsman to
reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a fine promulgate its own rules, thus: “Section 13. The Office of the
not equivalent to one month salary, the decision shall be final Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions, and
and unappealable. In all other cases, the decision shall become duties: xxx (8) Promulgate its own rules of procedure and
final after the expiration of ten (10) days from receipt thereof by exercise such other powers or perform such functions or duties
the respondent, unless a motion for reconsideration or petition as may be provided by law.”
for certiorari, shall have been filed by him as prescribed in
In turn, Section 18 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 provides:
Section 27 of R.A. 6770.”
“Section 18. Rules of Procedure. (1) The Office of the
In interpreting the above provision, this Court held that "only Ombudsman shall promulgate its rules of procedure for the
orders, directives or decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman effective exercise or performance of its powers, functions and
in administrative cases imposing the penalties of public censure, duties.” Furthermore, under Section 27 of R.A. No. 6770, the
reprimand or suspension of not more than one month or a fine Office of the Ombudsman has the power to amend or modify its
not equivalent to one month salary shall be final and rules as the interest of justice may require.
unappealable hence, immediately executory. In all other
disciplinary cases where the penalty imposed is other than 
public censure, reprimand, or suspension of not more than one
month, or a fine not equivalent to one month salary, the law
gives the respondent the right to appeal. In these cases, the ARTICLE XII - NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY
order, directive or decision becomes final and executory only
after the lapse of the period to appeal if no appeal is perfected, Section 1. The goals of the national economy are a more
or after the denial of the appeal from the said order, directive or equitable distribution of opportunities, income, and
decision. It is only then that execution shall perforce issue as a wealth; a sustained increase in the amount of goods and
matter of right. The fact that the Ombudsman Act gives parties services produced by the nation for the benefit of the
the right to appeal from its decisions should generally carry with people; and an expanding productivity as the key to
it the stay of these decisions pending appeal. Otherwise, the raising the quality of life for all, especially the under-
essential nature of these judgments as being appealable would privileged.
be rendered nugatory." The State shall promote industrialization and full
employment based on sound agricultural development
However, as aptly stated by the Office of the Ombudsman in its and agrarian reform, through industries that make full
comment, Section 7, Rule III of Administrative Order No. 07 has

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and efficient use of human and natural resources, and lands shall revert to the public domain and be subject to
which are competitive in both domestic and foreign disposition under the provisions of this Act.”
markets. However, the State shall protect Filipino
enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade Unlike Proclamation No. 369, Commonwealth Act No. 137 vests
practices. solely in the President, with the concurrence of the National
In the pursuit of these goals, all sectors of the Assembly, the power to withdraw forest reserves found to be
economy and all regions of the country shall be given more valuable for their mineral contents than for the purpose for
optimum opportunity to develop. Private enterprises, which the reservation was made and convert the same into non-
including corporations, cooperatives, and similar forest reserves. A similar provision can also be found in
collective organizations, shall be encouraged to broaden Presidential Decree No. 463 dated 17 May 1974, with the
the base of their ownership. modifications that (1) the declaration by the President no longer
requires the concurrence of the National Assembly and (2) the
Doctrines DENR Secretary merely exercises the power to recommend to
the President which forest reservations are to be withdrawn
Q. How are forest reserves converted into non-forest reserve?
from the coverage thereof. Section 8 of Presidential Decree No.
A. Unlike Proclamation No. 369, Commonwealth Act No. 137
463 reads: “SEC. 8. Exploration and Exploitation of Reserved
vests solely in the President, with the concurrence of the
Lands. – When lands within reservations, which have been
National Assembly, the power to withdraw forest reserves
established for purposes other than mining, are found to be
found to be more valuable for their mineral contents than
more valuable for their mineral contents, they may, upon
for the purpose for which the reservation was made and
recommendation of the Secretary be withdrawn from such
convert the same into non-forest reserves. A similar
reservation by the President and established as a mineral
provision can also be found in Presidential Decree No. 463
reservation.”
dated 17 May 1974, with the modifications that (1) the
declaration by the President no longer requires the Against the backdrop of the applicable statutes which govern
concurrence of the National Assembly and the DENR the issuance of DAO No. 66, this Court is constrained to rule
Secretary merely exercises the power to recommend to the that said administrative order was issued not in accordance with
President which forest reservations are to be withdrawn the laws. Inescapably, DAO No. 66, declaring 729 hectares of
from the coverage thereof. Apex Mining v. Southeast the areas covered by the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest
Mindanao Gold, G.R. No. 152613 & No. 152628, June 23, Reserve as non-forest land open to small-scale mining
2006. operations, is null and void as, verily, the DENR Secretary has
no power to convert forest reserves into non-forest reserves.
APEX MINING V. SOUTHEAST MINDANAO GOLD

In 1931, Governor General Dwight F. Davis issued Proclamation Section 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals,
No. 369, establishing the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest coal, petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of
Reserve consisting of approximately 1,927,400 hectares. DENR potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife,
secretary issued DAO No. 66, declaring 729 hectares of the flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned
areas covered by the Agusan-Davao-Surigao Forest Reserve as by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all
non-forest land open to small-scale mining operations. other natural resources shall not be alienated. The
exploration, development, and utilization of natural
Issue: WON DENR Secretary has authority to issue DAO66?
resources shall be under the full control and supervision
Held: NO. The Court of Appeals theorizes that DAO No. 66 was of the State. The State may directly undertake such
issued beyond the power of the DENR Secretary since the activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint
power to withdraw lands from forest reserves and to declare the venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino
same as an area open for mining operation resides in the citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per
President. centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens. Such
agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-
Under Proclamation No. 369 dated 27 February 1931, the five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years,
power to convert forest reserves as non-forest reserves is and under such terms and conditions as may be provided
vested with the DENR Secretary. Proclamation No. 369 partly by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water
states: “From this reserve shall be considered automatically supply fisheries, or industrial uses other than the
excluded all areas which had already been certified and which development of water power, beneficial use may be the
in the future may be proclaimed as classified and certified lands measure and limit of the grant.
and approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural The State shall protect the nation's marine wealth
Resources.” in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive
However, a subsequent law, Commonwealth Act No. 137, economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment
otherwise known as “The Mining Act” which was approved on 7 exclusively to Filipino citizens.
November 1936 provides: “Sec. 14. Lands within reservations The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale
for purposes other than mining, which, after such reservation is utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as
made, are found to be more valuable for their mineral contents well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to
than for the purpose for which the reservation was made, may subsistence fishermen and fish- workers in rivers, lakes,
be withdrawn from such reservations by the President with the bays, and lagoons.
concurrence of the National Assembly, and thereupon such The President may enter into agreements with
foreign-owned corporations involving either technical or

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financial assistance for large-scale exploration,


development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and Held: YES. It has been held that a complaint for reversion
other mineral oils according to the general terms and involves a serious controversy, involving a question of fraud and
conditions provided by law, based on real contributions misrepresentation committed against the government and it is
to the economic growth and general welfare of the aimed at the return of the disputed portion of the public domain.
country. In such agreements, the State shall promote the It seeks to cancel the original certificate of registration, and
development and use of local scientific and technical nullify the original certificate of title, including the transfer
resources. certificate of title of the successors-in-interest because the same
The President shall notify the Congress of every were all procured through fraud and misrepresentation. Thus,
contract entered into in accordance with this provision, the State, as the party alleging the fraud and misrepresentation
within thirty days from its execution. that attended the application of the free patent, bears that
burden of proof. Fraud and misrepresentation, as grounds for
Doctrine cancellation of patent and annulment of title, should never be
presumed but must be proved by clear and convincing
Q. X is in possession of patented land which the government
evidence, mere preponderance of evidence not even being
claims to be part of the forest domain. In such a situation,
adequate.
the action to be taken by government is an action for
reversion on the ground of fraud and misrepresentation. It is but judicious to require the Government, in an action for
Who has the burden of proof? reversion, to show the details attending the issuance of title over
A. The government. Fraud and misrepresentation is never the alleged inalienable land and explain why such issuance has
presumed. In applying the regalian doctrine the paramount deprived the State of the claimed property.
values of fairness and due process must be observed.
Saad-Agro Industries vs. Republic, G.R. No. 152570, In concluding that the subject parcel of land falls within the
September 27, 2006. timberland or forest reserve, the Court of Appeals relied on the
testimony of Isabelo R. Montejo that as it had remained
SAAD-AGRO INDUSTRIES VS. REPUBLIC unclassified until 1980 and consequently became an
unclassified forest zone, it was incapable of private
Orcullo applied and was issued a free patent over a parcel of appropriation.
land. Orcullo subsequently sold the land to SAAD Agro In one case, the SC held that although it is not disputed that the
Industries Inc. Thereafter, the Republic of the Philippines, aforesaid Land Classification Project No. 3, classifying the 22-
through the Solicitor General, filed a complaint for annulment of hectare area as timberland, was certified by the Director of
title and reversion of the lot covered by the Free Patent and the Lands only on December 22, 1924, whereas the possession
reversion of such to the mass of the public domain, on the thereof by private respondents and their predecessor-in-interest
ground that the issuance of the said free patent was irregular commenced as early as 1909. While the Government has the
and erroneous, following the discovery that the lot is allegedly right to classify portions of public land, the primary right of a
part of the timberland and forest reserve of Sibonga, Cebu. private individual who possessed and cultivated the land in good
RTC dismissed the complaint, finding that respondent failed to faith much prior to such classification must be recognized and
show that the subject lot is part of the timberland or forest should not be prejudiced by after-events which could not have
reserve or that it has been classified as such before the been anticipated. Thus, We have held that the Government, in
issuance of the free patent and the original title. According to the first instance may, by reservation, decide for itself what
the trial court, the issuance of the free patent and title was portions of public land shall be considered forestry land, unless
regular and in order, and must be accorded full faith. private interests have intervened before such reservation is
Considering the validity of the free patent and the OCT, made.
petitioner’s purchase of the property was also declared legal Obviously, private interests have intervened before classification
and valid. was made pursuant to P.D. No. 705. Not only has Orcullo by
On appeal, CA reversed, holding that the timber or forest lands, herself and through her predecessors-in-interest cultivated and
to which the subject lot belongs, are not subject to private possessed the subject lot since 1930, a free patent was also
ownership, unless these are first classified as agricultural lands. awarded to her and a title issued in her name as early as 1971.
Thus, absent any declassification of the subject lot from forest to In fact, it appears that the issuance of the free patent and
alienable and disposable land for agricultural purposes, the certificate of title was regular and in order. Orcullo complied
officers erred in approving Orcullo’s free patent application and with the requisites for the acquisition of free patent provided
in issuing the OCT; hence, title to the lot must be cancelled. under Commonwealth Act No. 141 (Public Land Act), as
Consequently, the Court of Appeals invalidated the sale of the certified by the Director of Lands and approved by the Secretary
lot to petitioner. of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Petitioner asserts that respondent failed to show that the subject The Regalian doctrine is well-enshrined not only in the present
lot is inside the timberland block, thereby casting doubt on the Constitution, but also in the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions. The
accuracy of the survey conducted by the Bureau of Forestry and Court has always recognized and upheld the Regalian doctrine
the opinions of DENR officers. Since respondent is the original as the basic foundation of the State's property regime.
plaintiff in the reversion case, the burden is on it to prove that Nevertheless, in applying this doctrine, we must not lose sight of
subject lot is part of the timberland block, petitioner adds. the fact that in every claim or right by the Government against
one of its citizens, the paramount considerations of fairness and
Issue: WON the government has the burden of proof that the lot due process must be observed. Respondent in this case failed
is part of timberland? to show that the subject lot is part of timberland or forest reserve

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it adverted to. In the face of the uncontroverted status of Free We ruled in PEA that “alienable lands of public domain must be
Patent No. 473408 and OCT No. 0-6667 as valid and regular transferred to qualified private parties, or to government entities
issuances, respondent’s insistence on the classification of the not tasked to dispose of public lands, before these lands can
lot as part of the forest reserve must be rejected. become private or patrimonial lands (emphasis supplied).” To
lands reclaimed by PEA or through a contract with a private
person or entity, such reclaimed lands still remain alienable
Section 3. Lands of the public domain are classified into lands of public domain which can be transferred only to Filipino
agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands and national citizens but not to a private corporation. This is because PEA
parks. Agricultural lands of the public domain may be under PD 1084 and EO 525 is tasked to hold and dispose of
further classified by law according to the uses to which alienable lands of public domain and it is only when it is
they may be devoted. Alienable lands of the public transferred to Filipino citizens that it becomes patrimonial
domain shall be limited to agricultural lands. Private property.
corporations or associations may not hold such alienable On the other hand, the NHA is a government agency not tasked
lands of the public domain except by lease, for a period to dispose of public lands under its charter—The Revised
not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more Administrative Code of 1987. The NHA is an “end-user agency”
than twenty-five years, and not to exceed one thousand authorized by law to administer and dispose of reclaimed lands.
hectares in area. Citizens of the Philippines may lease The moment titles over reclaimed lands based on the special
not more than five hundred hectares, or acquire not more patents are transferred to the NHA by the Register of Deeds,
than twelve hectares thereof, by purchase, homestead, or they are automatically converted to patrimonial properties of the
grant. State which can be sold to Filipino citizens and private
Taking into account the requirements of corporations, 60% of which are owned by Filipinos. The reason
conservation, ecology, and development, and subject to is obvious: if the reclaimed land is not converted to patrimonial
the requirements of agrarian reform, the Congress shall land once transferred to NHA, then it would be useless to
determine, by law, the size of lands of the public domain transfer it to the NHA since it cannot legally transfer or alienate
which may be acquired, developed, held, or leased and lands of public domain. More importantly, it cannot attain its
the conditions therefor. avowed purposes and goals since it can only transfer
patrimonial lands to qualified beneficiaries and prospective
Doctrines buyers to raise funds for the SMDRP.
Q. Can an unclassified forested area be acquired by continuous From the foregoing considerations, we find that the 79-hectare
possession? reclaimed land has been declared alienable and disposable land
A. No because it is inalienable. Republic v. Naguiat, G.R. No. of the public domain; and in the hands of NHA, it has been
134209. January 24, 2006. reclassified as patrimonial property. Chavez v. NHA, G.R. No.
164527, August 15, 2007.
The prerogative of classifying public lands pertains to
administrative agencies which have been specially tasked by REPUBLIC V. NAGUIAT
statutes to do so and the courts will not interfere on matters
which are addressed to the sound discretion of government Naguiat applied for registration of a parcel of land, alleging that
and/or quasi-judicial agencies entrusted with the regulation of she is the owner of the said land having acquired them by
activities coming under their special technical knowledge and purchase from the LID Corporation which likewise acquired the
training. Republic v. Mendoza, GR 153727. March 28, 2007. same from Demetria Calderon, Josefina Moraga and Fausto
Monje and their predecessors-in-interest who have been in
Reclaimed lands are alienable after being classified as such. possession thereof for more than 30 years; and that to the best
The reclaimed land in this case are alienable because they had of her knowledge, said lots suffer no mortgage or encumbrance
been declared alienable by presidential proclamation. When of whatever kind nor is there any person having any interest,
President Aquino issued MO 415 conveying the land covered by legal or equitable, or in possession thereof.
the Smokey Mountain Dumpsite is to the National Housing
Republic opposed on the ground that neither the applicant nor
Authority as well as the area to be reclaimed across R-10, the
her predecessors-in interest have been in open, continuous,
coneyance implicitly carried with it the declaration that said
exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of the
lands are alienable and disposable. Otherwise, the NHA cannot
lands; that the applicant’s claim of ownership in fee simple on
effectively use them in its housing and resettlement project.
the basis of Spanish title or grant can no longer be availed of;
President Ramos made similar conveyances to the NHA.
and that the parcels of land applied for are part of the public
Apropos the requisite law categorizing reclaimed land as
domain belonging to the Republic of the Philippines not subject
alienable or disposable, we find that RA 6957 as amended by
to private appropriation.
RA 7718 provides ample authority for the classification of
reclaimed land. RTC rendered judgment in favor of Naguiat, adjudicating unto
While RA 6957 as modified by RA 7718 does not expressly her the parcels of land in question and decreeing the
declare that the reclaimed lands that shall serve as payment to registration thereof in her name. CA affirmed.
the project proponent have become alienable and disposable
lands and opened for disposition; nonetheless, this conclusion is Issue: WON an unclassified forested area be acquired by
necessarily implied, for how else can the land be used as the continuous possession?
enabling component for the Project if such classification is not Held: NO. Public forest lands or forest reserves, unless
deemed made? declassified and released by positive act of the Government so
that they may form part of the disposable agricultural lands of

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the public domain, are not capable of private appropriation. As Natural Resources, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of
to these assets, the rules on confirmation of imperfect title do the Development Bank of the Philippines, the Undersecretary of
not apply. Given this postulate, the principal issue to be Natural Resources, and the Directors of the Bureaus of Fishery,
addressed turns on the question of whether or not the areas in Forestry, and Lands, respectively, thereby constituting a
question have ceased to have the status of forest or other continuing committee to accomplish the following:
inalienable lands of the public domain. 1. Identify the exact locations and area of these 700,000 hectares of fishpond areas on
or before February 28, 1967. x x x.
Forests, in the context of both the Public Land Act and the 2. Within the month of March 1967, all these fishpond areas shall be released by the
Constitution classifying lands of the public domain into Bureau of Forestry to the Bureau of Lands as alienable and disposable, but subject
"agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands and national parks," to the disposal of the Bureau of Fisheries for fishpond purposes.
do not necessarily refer to a large tract of wooded land or an
Thereafter, Mendoza, Sr. filed an application for sales patent to
expanse covered by dense growth of trees and underbrush. As purchase the area covered by Ordinary Fishpond Permit. Then
we stated in Heirs of Amunategui – “A forested area classified Acting Director of Forestry Jose Viado issued a Letter
as forest land of the public domain does not lose such
Certification addressed to the Director of Lands, stating that the
classification simply because loggers or settlers have stripped it
land in Silot is within the Timberland Block, but since it has been
of its forest cover. Parcels of land classified as forest land may certified as available for fishpond development and is thus no
actually be covered with grass or planted to crops by kaingin longer needed for forest purposes, the same was certified and
cultivators or other farmers. "Forest lands" do not have to be on
released as Alienable or Disposable for fishpond purposes only
mountains or in out of the way places. xxx. The classification is
pursuant to the directive of the President, subject ti certain
merely descriptive of its legal nature or status and does not conditions.
have to be descriptive of what the land actually looks like.”
In compliance with the process for sales patent application,
Under Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution, which embodies Democrito Mendoza, Sr. secured and submitted separate
the Regalian doctrine, all lands of the public domain belong to
certifications from concerned government. Subsequently,
the State the source of any asserted right to ownership of
notices of sale were published.
land. All lands not appearing to be clearly of private dominion
presumptively belong to the State. Accordingly, public lands not In the interim, Presidential Decree No. 43, Providing for the
shown to have been reclassified or released as alienable Accelerated Development of the Fishery Industry of the
agricultural land or alienated to a private person by the State Philippines, was issued, whereupon all public lands, such as
remain part of the inalienable public domain. Under Section 6 of tidal swamps, mangrove and other swamps, marshes, ponds
the Public Land Act, the prerogative of classifying or and streams within public lands, including public lands left dry
reclassifying lands of the public domain, i.e., from forest or during the lowest low tide and covered by water during the
mineral to agricultural and vice versa, belongs to the Executive highest tide; and which are not needed for forestry purposes
Branch of the government and not the court. Needless to stress, were declared available for fishpond purposes and automatically
the onus to overturn, by incontrovertible evidence, the transferred to the Bureau of Fisheries for its administration and
presumption that the land subject of an application for disposition.
registration is alienable or disposable rests with the applicant.
A day before the scheduled auction sale of the disputed
Here, respondent never presented the required certification from property, then Liloan Mayor Cesar Bugtai filed a letter-protest
the proper government agency or official proclamation with the Director of Lands objecting to the proposed sale of the
reclassifying the land applied for as alienable and disposable. property. According to Mayor Bugtai, the area was intended for
Matters of land classification or reclassification cannot be development by the local government as a tourist attraction.
assumed. It calls for proof. Aside from tax receipts, respondent Despite said opposition by the municipal mayor, the District
submitted in evidence the survey map and technical Land Office of Cebu City proceeded with the scheduled auction
descriptions of the lands, which, needless to state, provided no sale, wherein Democrito Mendoza, Sr. was declared winner,
information respecting the classification of the property. As the being the sole bidder thereat.
Court has held, however, these documents are not sufficient to
In the meantime, the 1973 Constitution came into force,
overcome the presumption that the land sought to be registered
providing that the purchase of lands of the public dominion was
forms part of the public domain.
limited to 24 hectares per individual. However, despite such, the
It cannot be overemphasized that unwarranted appropriation of application for patent was granted.
public lands has been a notorious practice resorted to in land
Issue: WON the issuance of the patent was proper?
registration cases. For this reason, the Court has made it a point
to stress, when appropriate, that declassification of forest and Held: YES. Under Opinion No. 64, series of 1973, it has been
mineral lands, as the case may be, and their conversion into held that "even sales application already awarded are not to be
alienable and disposable lands need an express and positive exempted from constitutional injunction regarding the acquisition
act from the government. of public lands for the reason that other requirements have still
to be satisfied before a patent may be issued". In the case of
REPUBLIC V. MENDOZA the abovementioned application, while the land covered thereby
was sold at public auction in which the applicant is the
Democrito T. Mendoza, Sr. was accorded Ordinary Fishpond successful bidder and has been considerably improved and
Permit for an area within Silot Bay, which was previously leased developed, no formal award has up to now been issued by this
by his father who waived the leasehold rights in his favor. Office. In other words, the applicant may be considered not
Meanwhile, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued a having acquired vested rights over the land applied for prior to
Memorandum addressed to the Secretary of Agriculture and

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the advent of the New Constitution which will entitle him to patents, the Mendozas were able to acquire original certificates
exemption from the constitutional limitation. of tile from the Registry of Deeds. Without any allegation and
evidence that these government officials committed any
From the abovequoted Opinion, it can be deduced that had it
mistake, error or irregularity in the approval of the sales patent
not been for circumstance beyond the applicant’s control, i.e.,
applications and issuance of the certificates of title in the name
the adoption of the 1973 Constitution during the pendency of the
of the Mendozas, then their acts in relation thereto estop the
sales patent application of Democrito T. Mendoza, Sr., there
Republic from questioning the validity of the said sales patents
would not have been any obstacle for its approval by the Office
and the certificates of title.
of the President. Hence, taking into account the fact that
Democrito T. Mendoza, Sr. had complied with all the necessary Finally, it should be borne in mind that that the contested areas
requirements for the issuance of sales patent covering the and titles thereto had already passed on to third parties who
disputed area, then Acting Director of the Bureau of Lands acquired the same from the Mendozas in good faith and for
Ramon N. Casanova recommended the approval of said value. When the Mendozas’ sales patents were registered, they
application in the spirit of justice and equity. were brought under the operation of Presidential Decree No.
11529, otherwise know as the Land Registration Decree.
It is worth noting that in order to conform to the prohibitions
imposed by the 1973 Constitution which limits the purchase of
CHAVEZ V. NHA
lands of the public dominion to 24 hectares per individual,
Democrito Mendoza, Sr., subdivided the property in question
Pres. Aquino issued Memorandum Order 161 approving and
into four, each comprising an area not more than 24 hectares,
directing the implementation of the Comprehensive and
and assigned his rights over three parts to his three children.
Integrated Metropolitan Manila Waste Management Plan. The
Accordingly, Democrito Mendoza, Sr. amended his sales patent
Metro Manila Commission, in coordination with various
application while his three children filed their own applications
government agencies, was tasked as the lead agency to
for their respective parts. The area applied for in each of the
implement the Plan as formulated by the Pres’l Task Force on
Mendozas’ sales patent applications were, by then, well-within
Waste Management created by Memorandum Circular 39.
the constitutional limitation. Such subdivision of the area
originally applied for by Democrito Mendoza, Sr. was made with A day after, MO 161-A was issued, containing the guidelines
the full knowledge and the subsequent approval of all the which prescribed the functions and responsibilities of 15 various
appropriate government authorities. There is nothing to suggest government departments and offices tasked to implement the
that it was done illicitly or fraudulently. That the subdivision was Plan. Respondent NHA was ordered to “conduct feasibility
executed overtly actually establish the good faith of the studies and develop low-cost housing projects at the dumpsite
Mendozas to comply with the Constitutional and statutory and absorb scavengers in NHA resettlement/low-cost housing
provisions on sales patent applications. projects.” On the other hand, the DENR was tasked to “review
and evaluate proposed projects under the Plan with regard to
In the absence of any evidence of fraud or violation of law, the
their environmental impact, conduct regular monitoring of
title of the Mendozas over the disputed property has now
activities of the Plan to ensure compliance with environmental
become indefeasible, even as against the petitioner Republic.
standards and assist DOH in the conduct of the study on
While the general rule is that the State cannot be put in estoppel
hospital waste management.”
by the mistakes or errors of its officials or agents, like all general
rules, this is also subject to exceptions. We recognized such Pursuant to MO 161-A, NHA prepared the feasibility studies of
exceptions in Republic v. Court of Appeals, to wit – “The general the Smokey Mountain low-cost housing project which resulted in
rule is that the State cannot be put in estoppel by the mistakes the formulation of the “Smokey Mountain Development Plan and
or errors of its officials or agents. However, like all general rules, Reclamation of the Area Across R-10” or the Smokey Mountain
this is also subject to exceptions, viz: Estoppels against the Development and Reclamation Project (SMDRP; the Project).
public are little favored. They should not be invoked except in The Project aimed to convert the Smokey Mountain dumpsite
rare and unusual circumstances, and may not be invoked where into a habitable housing project, inclusive of the reclamation of
they would operate to defeat the effective operation of a policy the area across R-10, adjacent to the Smokey Mountain as the
adopted to protect the public. They must be applied with enabling component of the project. Once finalized, the Plan was
circumspection and should be applied only in those special submitted to President Aquino for her approval, which was
cases where the interests of justice clearly require it. granted.
Nevertheless, the government must not be allowed to deal
Issue: WON the reclaimed foreshore and submerged parcels of
dishonorably or capriciously with its citizens, and must not play
land are inalienable public lands which are beyond the
an ignoble part or do a shabby thing; and subject to limitations x
commerce of man?
x x the doctrine of equitable estoppel may be invoked against
public authorities as well as against private individuals." Held: NO, they are alienable once declared by the government
as such. Secs. 2 and 3, Art. XII of the Constitution declare that
In the Petition at bar, the Mendozas were given clearances and
all natural resources are owned by the State and they cannot be
certifications on the lack of objections to their sales patent
alienated except for alienable agricultural lands of the public
applications by the Director of Forestry, Provincial Engineer of
domain. One of the State’s natural resources are lands of
Cebu, the District Engineer of Cebu, the Municipal Council of
public domain which include reclaimed lands.
Liloan, Cebu, and the Commissioner of Customs, and the
Secretary of Public Works and Highways. Subsequently, their Petitioner contends that for these reclaimed lands to be
sales patent applications were approved by the Director of the alienable, there must be a law or presidential proclamation
Bureau of Lands, the Secretary of the Department of Natural officially classifying these reclaimed lands as alienable and
Resources, and the President of the Republic. Based on their disposable and open to disposition or concession. Absent such

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law or proclamation, the reclaimed lands cannot be the enabling It may be argued that the grant of authority to sell public lands,
component or consideration to be paid to RBI as these are pursuant to PEA, does not convert alienable lands of public
beyond the commerce of man. We are not convinced of domain into private or patrimonial lands. We ruled in PEA that
petitioner’s postulation. “alienable lands of public domain must be transferred to
qualified private parties, or to government entities not tasked to
The reclaimed lands across R-10 were classified alienable and
dispose of public lands, before these lands can become private
disposable lands of public domain of the State for the following
or patrimonial lands.” To lands reclaimed by PEA or through a
reasons, viz: First, there were 3 presidential proclamations
contract with a private person or entity, such reclaimed lands
classifying the reclaimed lands across R-10 as alienable or
still remain alienable lands of public domain which can be
disposable hence open to disposition or concession. Secondly,
transferred only to Filipino citizens but not to a private
Special Patents issued by the DENR anchored on
corporation. This is because PEA under PD 1084 and EO 525
Proclamations Nos. 39 and 465 issued by President Ramos,
is tasked to hold and dispose of alienable lands of public
without doubt, classified the reclaimed areas as alienable and
domain and it is only when it is transferred to Filipino citizens
disposable. Admittedly, it cannot be said that MO 415,
that it becomes patrimonial property. On the other hand, the
Proclamations Nos. 39 and 465 are explicit declarations that the
NHA is a government agency not tasked to dispose of public
lands to be reclaimed are classified as alienable and
lands under its charter—The Revised Administrative Code of
disposable. We find however that such conclusion is derived
1987. The NHA is an “end-user agency” authorized by law to
and implicit from the authority given to the NHA to transfer the
administer and dispose of reclaimed lands. The moment titles
reclaimed lands to qualified beneficiaries.
over reclaimed lands based on the special patents are
The query is, when did the declaration take effect? It did so only transferred to the NHA by the Register of Deeds, they are
after the special patents covering the reclaimed areas were automatically converted to patrimonial properties of the State
issued. It is only on such date that the reclaimed lands became which can be sold to Filipino citizens and private corporations,
alienable and disposable lands of the public domain. This is in 60% of which are owned by Filipinos. The reason is obvious: if
line with the ruling in PEA where said issue was clarified and the reclaimed land is not converted to patrimonial land once
stressed: PD No. 1085, coupled with President Aquino’s actual transferred to NHA, then it would be useless to transfer it to the
issuance of a special patent covering the Freedom Islands, is NHA since it cannot legally transfer or alienate lands of public
equivalent to an official proclamation classifying the Freedom domain. More importantly, it cannot attain its avowed purposes
Islands as alienable or disposable lands of the public domain. and goals since it can only transfer patrimonial lands to qualified
PD No. 1085 and President Aquino’s issuance of a land patent beneficiaries and prospective buyers to raise funds for the
also constitute a declaration that the Freedom Islands are no SMDRP.
longer needed for public service. The Freedom Islands are thus
alienable or disposable lands of the public domain, open to
disposition or concession to qualified parties. Section 7. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no
private lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to
Thus, MO 415 and Proclamations Nos. 39 and 465 cumulatively individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to
and jointly taken together with Special Patent Nos. 3591, 3592, acquire or hold lands of the public domain.
and 3598 more than satisfy the requirement in PEA that “[t]here
must be a law or presidential proclamation officially classifying Q. Maria, a Filipina, married Klaus, a German, in Germany.
these reclaimed lands as alienable or disposable and open to Later they settled in the Philippines. Klaus sold the
disposition or concession.” property in Germany which he had inherited and with the
Apropos the requisite law categorizing reclaimed land as proceeds he bought a lot in Antipolo but, knowing that he
alienable or disposable, we find that RA 6957 as amended by could not acquire land in the Philippines, registered it in the
RA 7718 provides ample authority for the classification of name of Maria. With the rest of the money he constructed
reclaimed land in the SMDRP for the repayment scheme of the a house. Upon the dissolution of the community of property
BOT project as alienable and disposable lands of public Klaus does not claim ownership of the land but
domain. Sec. 6 of RA 6957 as amended by RA 7718 provides: reimbursement in equity on the theory that Maria merely
“For the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of held the property in trust. Can he?
any infrastructure projects undertaken through the build- A. No. To claim equity he must come with clean hands. Klaus
operate-and transfer arrangement or any of its variations knew he was violating the law when he purchased the land.
pursuant to the provisions of this Act, the project proponent x x x Muller v Muller, G.R. No. 149615, August 29, 2006.
may likewise be repaid in the form of a share in the revenue of
the project or other non-monetary payments, such as, but not MULLER V. MULLER
limited to, the grant of a portion or percentage of the reclaimed
land, subject to the constitutional requirements with respect to The issue for resolution is whether respondent is entitled to
the ownership of the land.” reimbursement of the funds used for the acquisition of the
Antipolo property.
While RA 6957 as modified by RA 7718 does not expressly
declare that the reclaimed lands that shall serve as payment to Respondent was aware of the constitutional prohibition and
the project proponent have become alienable and disposable expressly admitted his knowledge thereof to this Court. He
lands and opened for disposition; nonetheless, this conclusion is declared that he had the Antipolo property titled in the name of
necessarily implied, for how else can the land be used as the petitioner because of the said prohibition. His attempt at
enabling component for the Project if such classification is not subsequently asserting or claiming a right on the said property
deemed made? cannot be sustained. Thus, in the instant case, respondent
cannot seek reimbursement on the ground of equity where it is
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clear that he willingly and knowingly bought the property despite Doctrine
the constitutional prohibition. Water Districts are public utilities covered by XII, 11.
Metropolitan Cebu Water v. Adala, G.R. No. 168914, July 4,
Further, the distinction made between transfer of ownership as
2007.
opposed to recovery of funds is a futile exercise on
respondent’s part. To allow reimbursement would in effect
METROPOLITAN CEBU WATER V. ADALA
permit respondent to enjoy the fruits of a property which he is
not allowed to own. Thus, it is likewise proscribed by law.
Respondent filed an application with the NWRB for the issuance
As expressly held in Cheesman v. Intermediate Appellate of a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) to operate and
Court:”Finally, the fundamental law prohibits the sale to aliens of maintain waterworks system in sitios San Vicente, Fatima, and
residential land. Section 14, Article XIV of the 1973 Constitution Sambag in Barangay Bulacao, Cebu City. In its Opposition,
ordains that, “Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private petitioner prayed for the denial of respondent’s application on
land shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals, the following grounds: (1) petitioner’s Board of Directors had not
corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands consented to the issuance of the franchise applied for, such
of the public domain.” Petitioner Thomas Cheesman was, of consent being a mandatory condition pursuant to P.D. 198, (2)
course, charged with knowledge of this prohibition. Thus, the proposed waterworks would interfere with petitioner’s water
assuming that it was his intention that the lot in question be supply which it has the right to protect, and (3) the water needs
purchased by him and his wife, he acquired no right whatever of the residents in the subject area was already being well
over the property by virtue of that purchase; and in attempting to served by petitioner.
acquire a right or interest in land, vicariously and clandestinely,
Issue: WON the term franchise as used in Section 47 of PD198,
he knowingly violated the Constitution; the sale as to him was
means a franchise granted by Congress through legislation only
null and void. In any event, he had and has no capacity or
or does it also include in its meaning a certificate of public
personality to question the subsequent sale of the same
convenience issued by the National Water Resources Board for
property by his wife on the theory that in so doing he is merely
the maintenance of waterworks system or water supply service?
exercising the prerogative of a husband in respect of conjugal
property. To sustain such a theory would permit indirect
Held: Petitioner contends that “franchise” should be broadly
controversion of the constitutional prohibition. If the property
interpreted, such that the prohibition against its grant to other
were to be declared conjugal, this would accord to the alien
entities without the consent of the district’s board of directors
husband a not insubstantial interest and right over land, as he
extends to the issuance of CPCs. A contrary reading, petitioner
would then have a decisive vote as to its transfer or disposition.
adds, would result in absurd consequences, for it would mean
This is a right that the Constitution does not permit him to have.”
that Congress’ power to grant franchises for the operation of
As already observed, the finding that his wife had used her own waterworks systems cannot be exercised without the consent of
money to purchase the property cannot, and will not, at this water districts.
stage of the proceedings be reviewed and overturned. But even
Petitioner’s position that an overly strict construction of the term
if it were a fact that said wife had used conjugal funds to make
“franchise” as used in Section 47 of P.D. 198 would lead to an
the acquisition, the considerations just set out to militate, on
absurd result impresses. If franchises, in this context, were
high constitutional grounds, against his recovering and holding
strictly understood to mean an authorization issuing directly
the property so acquired, or any part thereof. And whether in
from the legislature, it would follow that, while Congress cannot
such an event, he may recover from his wife any share of the
issue franchises for operating waterworks systems without the
money used for the purchase or charge her with unauthorized
water district’s consent, the NWRB may keep on issuing CPCs
disposition or expenditure of conjugal funds is not now inquired
authorizing the very same act even without such consent. In
into; that would be, in the premises, a purely academic exercise.
effect, not only would the NWRB be subject to less constraints
than Congress in issuing franchises. The exclusive character of
the franchise provided for by Section 47 would be illusory.
Section 11. No franchise, certificate, or any other form of Nonetheless, while the prohibition in Section 47 of P.D. 198
authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be applies to the issuance of CPCs for the reasons discussed
granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to above, the same provision must be deemed void ab initio for
corporations or associations organized under the laws of being irreconcilable with Article XIV Section 5 of the 1973
the Philippines, at least sixty per centum of whose capital Constitution which was ratified on January 17, 1973 – the
is owned by such citizens; nor shall such franchise, constitution in force when P.D. 198 was issued on May 25,
certificate, or authorization be exclusive in character or for 1973. Thus, Section 5 of Art. XIV of the 1973 Constitution
a longer period than fifty years. Neither shall any such reads: “SECTION 5. No franchise, certificate, or any other form
franchise or right be granted except under the condition of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be
that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or
by the Congress when the common good so requires. The associations organized under the laws of the Philippines at least
State shall encourage equity participation in public utilities sixty per centum of the capital of which is owned by such
by the general public. The participation of foreign investors citizens, nor shall such franchise, certificate, or authorization be
in the governing body of any public utility enterprise shall exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years.
be limited to their proportionate share in its capital, and all Neither shall any such franchise or right be granted except
the executive and managing officers of such corporation or under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment,
association must be citizens of the Philippines. alteration, or repeal by the Batasang Pambansa when the public
interest so requires. The State shall encourage equity
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participation in public utilities by the general public. The No. 1017 dated February 24, 2006, do hereby call upon the Armed Forces of the
participation of foreign investors in the governing body of any Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), to prevent and suppress
public utility enterprise shall be limited to their proportionate acts of terrorism and lawless violence in the country;
I hereby direct the Chief of Staff of the AFP and the Chief of the PNP, as well as the
share in the capital thereof.” This provision has been
officers and men of the AFP and PNP, to immediately carry out the necessary and
substantially reproduced in Article XII Section 11 of the 1987 appropriate actions and measures to suppress and prevent acts of terrorism and lawless
Constitution, including the prohibition against exclusive violence.”
franchises. Exactly one week after the declaration of a state of national
In view of the purposes for which they are established, water emergency and after all these petitions had been filed, the
districts fall under the term “public utility” as defined in the case President lifted PP1017 via Proclamation 1021 which reads:
of National Power Corporation v. Court of Appeals: A “public “NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO,
utility” is a business or service engaged in regularly supplying President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the
the public with some commodity or service of public powers vested in me by law, hereby declare that the state of
consequence such as electricity, gas, water, transportation, national emergency has ceased to exist.”
telephone or telegraph service.
Issue: Whether the President can take over private businesses?
It bears noting, moreover, that as early as 1933, the Court held
that a particular water district – the Metropolitan Water District – Held: A distinction must be drawn between the President’s
is a public utility. authority to declare “a state of national emergency” and to
exercise emergency powers. To the first, Section 18, Article VII
Since Section 47 of P.D. 198, which vests an “exclusive
grants the President such power, hence, no legitimate
franchise” upon public utilities, is clearly repugnant to Article
constitutional objection can be raised. But to the second,
XIV, Section 5 of the 1973 Constitution, it is unconstitutional and
manifold constitutional issues arise.
may not, therefore, be relied upon by petitioner in support of its
President Arroyo could validly declare the existence of
opposition against respondent’s application for CPC and the
a state of national emergency even in the absence of a
subsequent grant thereof by the NWRB.
Congressional enactment. But the exercise of emergency
powers, such as the taking over of privately owned public utility
Section 17. In times of national emergency, when the public or business affected with public interest, is a different matter.
interest so requires, the State may, during the emergency This requires a delegation from Congress.
Generally, Congress is the repository of emergency
and under reasonable terms prescribed by it, temporarily
powers. This is evident in the tenor of Section 23 (2), Article VI
take over or direct the operation of any privately-owned
public utility or business affected with public interest. authorizing it to delegate such powers to the President.
Certainly, a body cannot delegate a power not reposed upon it.
However, knowing that during grave emergencies, it may not be
Doctrine
possible or practicable for Congress to meet and exercise its
Q. When the President declares a state of emergency, does
powers, the Framers of our Constitution deemed it wise to allow
she acquire the power to take over the operation of public
Congress to grant emergency powers to the President, subject
utilities?
to certain conditions, thus: (1) There must be a war or other
A. No. Article XII, Section 17 must be read with Article VI,
emergency; (2) The delegation must be for a limited period only;
Section 23. Section 17 gives the power to the State not to
(3) The delegation must be subject to such restrictions as the
the President. The President acquires emergency powers
Congress may prescribe; and (4) The emergency powers must
when given to her by Congress in a state of emergency
be exercised to carry out a national policy declared by
declared by Congress. Obiter in David v. Ermita, G.R. No.
Congress.
171409, May 3, 2006.
Section 17, Article XII must be understood as an aspect of
the emergency powers clause. The taking over of private
DAVID V. ERMITA
business affected with public interest is just another facet of the
emergency powers generally reposed upon Congress. Thus,
On February 24, 2006, as the nation celebrated the 20th
when Section 17 states that the “the State may, during the
Anniversary of the Edsa People Power I, President Arroyo
emergency and under reasonable terms prescribed by it,
issued PP 1017 declaring a state of national emergency, thus:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately
Philippines and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, by virtue of owned public utility or business affected with public interest,” it
the powers vested upon me by Section 18, Article 7 of the Philippine Constitution which refers to Congress, not the President. Now, whether or not the
states that: “The President. . . whenever it becomes necessary, . . . may call out (the) President may exercise such power is dependent on whether
armed forces to prevent or suppress. . .rebellion. . .,” and in my capacity as their Congress may delegate it to him pursuant to a law prescribing
Commander-in-Chief, do hereby command the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to the reasonable terms thereof.
maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of Following our interpretation of Section 17, Article XII,
lawless violence as well as any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience
invoked by President Arroyo in issuing PP 1017, this Court rules
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 that such Proclamation does not authorize her during the
hereby declare a State of National Emergency. emergency to temporarily take over or direct the operation of
She then issued General orders 5 implementing PP 1017, any privately owned public utility or business affected with public
stating: interest without authority from Congress.
NOW, THEREFORE, I GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, by virtue of the powers Let it be emphasized that while the President alone
vested in me under the Constitution as President of the Republic of the Philippines, and can declare a state of national emergency, however, without
Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation legislation, he has no power to take over privately-owned

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public utility or business affected with public interest. The Constitutional proscription against "reasonable restraint of trade
President cannot decide whether exceptional circumstances or occupation." The pertinent provision of the Constitution is
exist warranting the take over of privately-owned public utility or quoted hereunder. Section 19 of Article XII of the 1987
business affected with public interest. Nor can he determine Constitution is relevant.
when such exceptional circumstances have ceased. Likewise,
First off, restraint of trade or occupation embraces acts,
without legislation, the President has no power to point out the
contracts, agreements or combinations which restrict
types of businesses affected with public interest that should be
competition or obstruct due course of trade. Now to the basics.
taken over. In short, the President has no absolute authority to
From the wordings of the Constitution, truly then, what is
exercise all the powers of the State under Section 17, Article VII
brought about to lay the test on whether a given agreement
in the absence of an emergency powers act passed by
constitutes an unlawful machination or combination in restraint
Congress.
of trade is whether under the particular circumstances of the
case and the nature of the particular contract involved, such
Section 19. The State shall regulate or prohibit monopolies contract is, or is not, against public interest.
when the public interest so requires. No combinations in Thus, restrictions upon trade may be upheld when not contrary
restraint of trade or unfair competition shall be allowed. to public welfare and not greater than is necessary to afford a
fair and reasonable protection to the party in whose favor it is
Doctrine imposed. Even contracts which prohibit an employee from
Contracts requiring exclusivity are not per se void. Each engaging in business in competition with the employer are not
contract must be viewed vis-à-vis all the circumstances necessarily void for being in restraint of trade.
surrounding such agreement in deciding whether a restrictive
practice should be prohibited as imposing an unreasonable In sum, contracts requiring exclusivity are not per se void. Each
restraint on competition. Avon v. Luna, G. R. No. 153674, contract must be viewed vis-à-vis all the circumstances
December 20, 2006. surrounding such agreement in deciding whether a restrictive
practice should be prohibited as imposing an unreasonable
Digest restraint on competition.
AVON V. LUNA The question that now crops up is this, when is a restraint in
trade unreasonable? Authorities are one in declaring that a
Respondent Luna has been working for Beautifont, Inc. since restraint in trade is unreasonable when it is contrary to public
1972, which later became Avon Cosmetics, Inc. (Avon). By policy or public welfare. Plainly put, public policy is that principle
virtue of the execution of the aforequoted Supervisors of the law which holds that no subject or citizen can lawfully do
Agreement, respondent Luna became part of the independent that which has a tendency to be injurious to the public or against
sales force of petitioner Avon. the public good. As applied to contracts, in the absence of
Sometime in the latter part of 1988, respondent Luna was express legislation or constitutional prohibition, a court, in order
invited by a former Avon employee who was then currently a to declare a contract void as against public policy, must find that
Sales Manager of Sandré Philippines, Inc., a domestic the contract as to the consideration or thing to be done, has a
corporation engaged in direct selling of vitamins and other food tendency to injure the public, is against the public good, or
supplements, to sell said products. Respondent Luna apparently contravenes some established interests of society, or is
accepted the invitation as she then became a Group Franchise inconsistent with sound policy and good morals, or tends clearly
Director of Sandré Philippines, Inc. concurrently with being a to undermine the security of individual rights, whether of
Group Supervisor of petitioner Avon. As Group Franchise personal liability or of private property.
Director, respondent Luna began selling and/or promoting From another perspective, the main objection to exclusive
Sandré products to other Avon employees and friends. dealing is its tendency to foreclose existing competitors or new
In a letter, petitioner Avon notified respondent Luna of the entrants from competition in the covered portion of the relevant
termination or cancellation of her Supervisor’s Agreement with market during the term of the agreement. Only those
petitioner Avon. Aggrieved, respondent Luna filed a complaint arrangements whose probable effect is to foreclose competition
for damages before the RTC. RTC rendered judgment in favor in a substantial share of the line of commerce affected can be
of respondent Luna. considered as void for being against public policy. The
foreclosure effect, if any, depends on the market share involved.
Issue: WON THE CA COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR IN The relevant market for this purpose includes the full range of
DECLARING THAT THE SUPERVISOR S AGREEMENT selling opportunities reasonably open to rivals, namely, all the
EXECUTED BETWEEN AVON AND RESPONDENT LUNA AS product and geographic sales they may readily compete for,
NULL AND VOID FOR BEING AGAINST PUBLIC POLICY? using easily convertible plants and marketing organizations.
Held: At the crux of the issue is the validity of paragraph 5 of the Applying the preceding principles to the case at bar, there is
Supervisor’s Agreement, viz: “The Company and the Supervisor nothing invalid or contrary to public policy either in the
mutually agree: xxx 5) That the Supervisor shall sell or offer to objectives sought to be attained by paragraph 5, i.e., the
sell, display or promote only and exclusively products sold by exclusivity clause, in prohibiting respondent Luna, and all other
the Company.” In business parlance, this is commonly termed Avon supervisors, from selling products other than those
as the "exclusivity clause." This is defined as agreements which manufactured by petitioner Avon. We quote with approval the
prohibit the obligor from engaging in "business" in competition determination of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Board of
with the obligee. This exclusivity clause is more often the Trade of Chicago v. U.S. that "the question to be determined is
subject of critical scrutiny when it is perceived to collide with the whether the restraint imposed is such as merely regulates and

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perhaps thereby promotes competition, or whether it is such as


may suppress or even destroy competition."
ARTICLE XIII - SOCIAL JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Such prohibition is neither directed to eliminate the competition
like Sandré Phils., Inc. nor foreclose new entrants to the market. Section 2. The promotion of social justice shall include the
In its Memorandum, it admits that the reason for such exclusion commitment to create economic opportunities based on
is to safeguard the network that it has cultivated through the freedom of initiative and self-reliance.
years. Admittedly, both companies employ the direct selling
method in order to peddle their products. By direct selling, Doctrine
petitioner Avon and Sandre, the manufacturer, forego the use of
A retirement plan imposing automatic retirement after 35 years
a middleman in selling their products, thus, controlling the price
of service before the statutory retirement age of 65 is valid if
by which they are to be sold. The limitation does not affect the
voluntarily entered into by the employee. Jaculbe v. Silliman U,
public at all. It is only a means by which petitioner Avon is able
GR 156934, March 16,2007.
to protect its investment.
It was not by chance that Sandré Philippines, Inc. made Digest
respondent Luna one of its Group Franchise Directors. It doesn’t JACULBE V. SILLIMAN U.
take a genius to realize that by making her an important part of
its distribution arm, Sandré Philippines, Inc., a newly formed Respondent, through its Human Resources Development
direct-selling business, would be saving time, effort and money Office, informed petitioner that she was approaching her 35th
as it will no longer have to recruit, train and motivate supervisors year of service with the university and was due for automatic
and dealers. Respondent Luna, who learned the tricks of the retirement on November 18, 1993, at which time she would be
trade from petitioner Avon, will do it for them. This is tantamount 57 years old. This was pursuant to respondent’s retirement plan
to unjust enrichment. Worse, the goodwill established by for its employees which provided that its members could be
petitioner Avon among its loyal customers will be taken automatically retired "upon reaching the age of 65 or after 35
advantaged of by Sandre Philippines, Inc. It is not so hard to years of uninterrupted service to the university."
imagine the scenario wherein the sale of Sandré products by
Petitioner filed a complaint in the NLRC for "termination of
Avon dealers will engender a belief in the minds of loyal Avon
service with preliminary injunction and/or restraining order."
customers that the product that they are buying had been
Thereafter, respondent compulsorily retired petitioner.
manufactured by Avon. In other words, they will be misled into
thinking that the Sandré products are in fact Avon products. Issue: did respondent’s retirement plan imposing automatic
From the foregoing, it cannot be said that the purpose of the retirement after 35 years of service contravene the security of
subject exclusivity clause is to foreclose the competition, that is, tenure clause in the 1987 Constitution and the Labor Code?
the entrance of Sandré products in to the market. Therefore, it
Held: NO. Retirement plans allowing employers to retire
cannot be considered void for being against public policy. How
can the protection of one s property be violative of public employees who are less than the compulsory retirement age of
65 are not per se repugnant to the constitutional guaranty of
policy? Sandré Philippines, Inc. is still very much free to
security of tenure. Article 287 of the Labor Code provides: “ART.
distribute its products in the market but it must do so at its own
287. Retirement - Any employee may be retired upon reaching
expense. The exclusivity clause does not in any way limit its
the retirement age established in the collective bargaining
selling opportunities, just the undue use of the resources of
agreement or other applicable employment contract.” By its
petitioner Avon.
express language, the Labor Code permits employers and
It has been argued that the Supervisor’s Agreement is in the employees to fix the applicable retirement age at below 60
nature of a contract of adhesion; but just because it is does not years.
necessarily mean that it is void. A contract of adhesion is so-
However, after reviewing the assailed decision together with the
called because its terms are prepared by only one party while
rules and regulations of respondent’s retirement plan, we find
the other party merely affixes his signature signifying his
that the plan runs afoul of the constitutional guaranty of security
adhesion thereto. Such contract is just as binding as ordinary
of tenure contained in Article XIII, also known as the provision
contracts. "It is true that we have, on occasion, struck down
on Social Justice and Human Rights.
such contracts as void when the weaker party is imposed upon
in dealing with the dominant bargaining party and is reduced to The CA held: “The records disclose that the private respondents
the alternative of taking it or leaving it, completely deprived of Retirement Plan has been in effect for more than 30 years. The
the opportunity to bargain on equal footing. Nevertheless, said plan is deemed integrated into the employment contract
contracts of adhesion are not invalid per se and they are not between private respondent and its employees as evidenced by
entirely prohibited. The one who adheres to the contract is in the latter’s voluntary contribution through monthly salary
reality free to reject it entirely, if he adheres, he gives his deductions. Previous retirees have already enjoyed the benefits
consent." In the case at bar, there was no indication that of the retirement plan, and ever since the said plan was
respondent Luna was forced to sign the subject agreement. effected, no questions or disagreement have been raised, until
Being of age, financially stable and with vast business the same was made to apply to the petitioner.” The problem with
experience, she is presumed to have acted with due care and to this line of reasoning is that a perusal of the rules and
have signed the assailed contract with full knowledge of its regulations of the plan shows that participation therein was not
import. Under the premises, it would be difficult to assume that voluntary at all.
she was morally abused. She was free to reject the agreement if
she wanted to. From the language of the retirement plan rules, the compulsory
 nature of both membership in and contribution to the plan

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debunked the CA’s theory that petitioner’s "voluntary peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in
contributions" were evidence of her willing participation therein. accordance with law. They shall be entitled to security of
It was through no voluntary act of her own that petitioner tenure, humane conditions of work, and a living wage. They
became a member of the plan. In fact, the only way she could shall also participate in policy and decision-making
have ceased to be a member thereof was if she stopped processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be
working for respondent altogether. Furthermore, in the rule on provided by law.
contributions, the repeated use of the word "shall" ineluctably The State shall promote the principle of shared
pointed to the conclusion that employees had no choice but to responsibility between workers and employers and the
contribute to the plan (even when they were on leave). preferential use of voluntary modes in settling disputes,
including conciliation, and shall enforce their mutual
According to the assailed decision, respondent’s retirement plan
compliance therewith to foster industrial peace.
"ha(d) been in effect for more than 30 years." What was not The State shall regulate the relations between
pointed out, however, was that the retirement plan came into workers and employers, recognizing the right of labor to its
being in 1970 or 12 years after petitioner started working for just share in the fruits of production and the right of
respondent. In short, it was not part of the terms of employment
enterprises to reasonable returns to investments, and to
to which petitioner agreed when she started working for expansion and growth.
respondent. Neither did it become part of those terms shortly
thereafter, as the CA would have us believe.
Doctrine
Retirement is the result of a bilateral act of the parties, a Q. Does the policy of the employer banning spouses from
voluntary agreement between the employer and the employee working in the same company violate the rights of the
whereby the latter, after reaching a certain age agrees to sever employee under the Constitution and the Labor Code or is it
his or her employment with the former. In Pantranco North a valid exercise of management prerogative?
Express, Inc. v. NLRC, to which both the CA and respondent A. We employ the standard of reasonableness of the company
refer, the imposition of a retirement age below the compulsory policy which is parallel to the bona fide occupational
age of 65 was deemed acceptable because this was part of the qualification requirement. In the recent case of Duncan
CBA between the employer and the employees. The consent of Association of Detailman-PTGWO and Pedro Tecson v.
the employees, as represented by their bargaining unit, to be Glaxo Wellcome Philippines, Inc., we held that Glaxo had a
retired even before the statutory retirement age of 65 was laid right to guard its trade secrets, manufacturing formulas,
out clearly in black and white and was therefore in accord with marketing strategies and other confidential programs and
Article 287. information from competitors. We considered the prohibition
against personal or marital relationships with employees of
In this case, neither the CA nor the respondent cited any competitor companies upon Glaxo’s employees reasonable
agreement, collective or otherwise, to justify the latter’s under the circumstances because relationships of that
imposition of the early retirement age in its retirement plan, nature might compromise the interests of Glaxo. We do not
opting instead to harp on petitioner’s alleged "voluntary" find a reasonable business necessity in the case at bar.
contributions to the plan, which was simply untrue. The truth Petitioners’ sole contention that “the company did not just
was that petitioner had no choice but to participate in the plan, want to have two (2) or more of its employees related
given that the only way she could refrain from doing so was to between the third degree by affinity and/or consanguinity” is
resign or lose her job. It is axiomatic that employer and lame. Star Corporation v. Ongsitco, G.R. No. 164774, April
employee do not stand on equal footing, a situation which often 12, 2006.
causes an employee to act out of need instead of any genuine
acquiescence to the employer. This was clearly just such an
instance. STAR CORPORATION V. ONGSITCO
As already stated, an employer is free to impose a retirement
age less than 65 for as long as it has the employees’ consent. Whether the policy of the employer banning spouses from
Stated conversely, employees are free to accept the employer’s working in the same company violates the rights of the
offer to lower the retirement age if they feel they can get a better employee under the Constitution and the Labor Code or is a
deal with the retirement plan presented by the employer. Thus, valid exercise of management prerogative.
having terminated petitioner solely on the basis of a provision of Issue: WON the policy/regulation is violative of the constitutional
a retirement plan which was not freely assented to by her, rights towards marriage and the family of employees and of
respondent was guilty of illegal dismissal. Article 136 of the Labor Code?
 Held: YES. Respondents submit that their dismissal violates the
above provision. Petitioners allege that its policy "may appear to
be contrary to Article 136 of the Labor Code" but it assumes a
LABOR new meaning if read together with the first paragraph of the rule.
The rule does not require the woman employee to resign. The
Section 3. The State shall afford full protection to labor, employee spouses have the right to choose who between them
local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and should resign. Further, they are free to marry persons other than
promote full employment and equality of employment co-employees. Hence, it is not the marital status of the
opportunities for all. employee, per se, that is being discriminated. It is only intended
It shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self- to carry out its no-employment-for-relatives-within-the-third-
organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, and

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degree-policy which is within the ambit of the prerogatives of requirements of the job would justify the same, but not on the
management. ground of a general principle, such as the desirability of
spreading work in the workplace. A requirement of that nature
It is true that the policy of petitioners prohibiting close relatives
would be valid provided it reflects an inherent quality reasonably
from working in the same company takes the nature of an anti-
necessary for satisfactory job performance.”
nepotism employment policy. Companies adopt these policies to
prevent the hiring of unqualified persons based on their status The cases of Duncan and PT&T instruct us that the requirement
as a relative, rather than upon their ability. These policies focus of reasonableness must be clearly established to uphold the
upon the potential employment problems arising from the questioned employment policy. The employer has the burden to
perception of favoritism exhibited towards relatives. prove the existence of a reasonable business necessity. The
burden was successfully discharged in Duncan but not in PT&T.
With more women entering the workforce, employers are also
We do not find a reasonable business necessity in the case at
enacting employment policies specifically prohibiting spouses
bar. Petitioners’ sole contention that "the company did not just
from working for the same company. We note that two types of
want to have two (2) or more of its employees related between
employment policies involve spouses: policies banning only
the third degree by affinity and/or consanguinity" is lame. That
spouses from working in the same company (no-spouse
the second paragraph was meant to give teeth to the first
employment policies), and those banning all immediate family
paragraph of the questioned rule is evidently not the valid
members, including spouses, from working in the same
reasonable business necessity required by the law.
company (anti-nepotism employment policies).
It is significant to note that in the case at bar, respondents were
We note that since the finding of a bona fide occupational
hired after they were found fit for the job, but were asked to
qualification justifies an employer’s no-spouse rule, the
resign when they married a co-employee. Petitioners failed to
exception is interpreted strictly and narrowly by these state
show how the marriage of Simbol, then a Sheeting Machine
courts. There must be a compelling business necessity for
Operator, to Alma Dayrit, then an employee of the Repacking
which no alternative exists other than the discriminatory
Section, could be detrimental to its business operations. Neither
practice. To justify a bona fide occupational qualification, the
did petitioners explain how this detriment will happen in the case
employer must prove two factors: (1) that the employment
of Wilfreda Comia, then a Production Helper in the Selecting
qualification is reasonably related to the essential operation of
Department, who married Howard Comia, then a helper in the
the job involved; and, (2) that there is a factual basis for
cutter-machine. The policy is premised on the mere fear that
believing that all or substantially all persons meeting the
employees married to each other will be less efficient. If we
qualification would be unable to properly perform the duties of
uphold the questioned rule without valid justification, the
the job.
employer can create policies based on an unproven
The concept of a bona fide occupational qualification is not presumption of a perceived danger at the expense of an
foreign in our jurisdiction. We employ the standard of employee’s right to security of tenure.
reasonableness of the company policy which is parallel to the
bona fide occupational qualification requirement. In the recent 
case of Duncan Association of Detailman-PTGWO and Pedro
Tecson v. Glaxo Wellcome Philippines, Inc., we passed on the
validity of the policy of a pharmaceutical company prohibiting its AGRARIAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES REFORM
employees from marrying employees of any competitor
company. We held that Glaxo has a right to guard its trade Section 4. The State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian
secrets, manufacturing formulas, marketing strategies and other reform program founded on the right of farmers and
confidential programs and information from competitors. We regular farmworkers who are landless, to own directly or
considered the prohibition against personal or marital collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other
relationships with employees of competitor companies upon farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof.
Glaxo’s employees reasonable under the circumstances To this end, the State shall encourage and undertake the
because relationships of that nature might compromise the just distribution of all agricultural lands, subject to such
interests of Glaxo. In laying down the assailed company policy, priorities and reasonable retention limits as the Congress
we recognized that Glaxo only aims to protect its interests may prescribe, taking into account ecological,
against the possibility that a competitor company will gain developmental, or equity considerations, and subject to
access to its secrets and procedures. the payment of just compensation. In determining
retention limits, the State shall respect the right of small
The requirement that a company policy must be reasonable landowners. The State shall further provide incentives for
under the circumstances to qualify as a valid exercise of voluntary land-sharing.
management prerogative was also at issue in the 1997 case of
Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Company v. NLRC. In said Doctrines
case, the employee was dismissed in violation of petitioner’s What lands are outside the coverage of CARL?
policy of disqualifying from work any woman worker who A. Lands not devoted to agricultural activity are outside the
contracts marriage. We held that the company policy violates coverage of CARL. These include lands previously
the right against discrimination afforded all women workers converted to non-agricultural uses prior to the effectivity of
under Article 136 of the Labor Code, but established a CARL by government agencies other than respondent
permissible exception, viz.: “[A] requirement that a woman DAR. In its Revised Rules and Regulations Governing
employee must remain unmarried could be justified as a "bona Conversion of Private Agricultural Lands to Non-Agricultural
fide occupational qualification," or BFOQ, where the particular Uses, DAR itself defined "agricultural land" thus —

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x x x Agricultural lands refers to those devoted to production centers, church sites and convents appurtenant thereto, mosque sites and
agricultural activity as defined in R.A. 6657 and not Islamic centers appurtenant thereto, communal burial grounds and cemeteries, penal
classified as mineral or forest by the Department of colonies and penal farms actually worked by the inmates, government and private
research and quarantine centers and all lands with eighteen percent (18%) slope and
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its
over, except those already developed shall be exempt from the coverage of this Act.
predecessor agencies, and not classified in town plans and
zoning ordinances as approved by the Housing and Land In the main, REMMAN hinges its application for exemption on
Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and its preceding the ground that the subject lands had ceased to be agricultural
competent authorities prior to 15 June 1988 for residential, lands by virtue of the zoning classification by the Sangguniang
commercial or industrial use. Bayan of Dasmariñas, Cavite, and approved by the HSRC,
[The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission specifying them as residential.
confirm this limitation. “Agricultural lands” are only those
As emphasized, the reclassification of lands to non-agricultural
lands which are “arable and suitable agricultural lands” and
cannot be applied to defeat vested rights of tenant-farmers
“do not include commercial, industrial and residential
under Presidential Decree No. 27. In the case at bar, it appears
lands.” ] Remman Enterprises v. C.A.,G.R. No. 132073,
on record that petitioners in were issued their respective
September 26, 2006
emancipation patents on various dates. However, as was noted
by the DAR Secretary in his Order of 5 June 1996, there is a
The challenge in this case was decided mainly by referring to
pending action involving the subject parcels of land. The same
the earlier Small Landowners case as stare decisis.
action similarly involves the annulment of the Certificates of
Confederation of Sugar Producers v. DAR. GR 169514, March
Land Transfer (CLT) and the emancipation patents issued to
30, 2007.
Eduardo Adriano.
REMMAN ENTERPRISES V. C.A. At any rate, DARAB Case No. IV-Ca. 0087-92, involves, inter
alia, the validity of the emancipation patents issued to tenant-
REMMAN is a private domestic corporation engaged in the farmers, Eduardo Adriano, et al., who are the petitioners in G.R.
business of developing subdivisions. On 17 August 1995, No. 132361, and the private respondents in G.R. No. 132073.
REMMAN filed with the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Inasmuch as the consolidated petitions before us raise the
Reform (DAR), through the Socialized Housing One-Stop question of the exemption of the subject parcels of land from
Processing Center (SHOPC), an application for exemption from CARP, which parcels of land are similarly covered by existing
the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program emancipation patents, it behooves this Court to hold in
(CARP) over 17 parcels of land with a total land area of 46.9180 abeyance the judgment on the propriety of the exemption
hectares located at Bo. San Jose, Dasmariñas, Cavite. sought by REMMAN, until after the issue as to the validity of the
emancipation patents (which precisely cover most of the subject
Issue: Whether the subject parcels of land are exempted from
parcels of land) has been conclusively and finally determined.
the coverage of the CARP.
The issues are inextricably linked. We cannot decide on the
Held: Republic Act No. 6657, otherwise referred to as the
question of exemption without causing a preemption on the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), was enacted as
question of the validity of the aforesaid emancipation patents.
a piece of social legislation pursuant to the policy of the State to
To ensure that our judgment on REMMAN’s application for
pursue a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. It became
exemption is complete, the parties, and especially, the tenant-
effective on 15 June 1988. Section 4 thereof, specifies the
farmers, Eduardo Adriano, et al., must be afforded due
lands covered by the CARP, thus:
SECTION 4. Scope – The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 shall cover, opportunity to ventilate their defenses in support of the
regardless of tenurial arrangement and commodity produced, all public and private emancipation patents issued in their names in the proceedings
agricultural lands as provided in Proclamation No. 131 and Executive Order No. 229, before the DARAB, in particular, DARAB Case No. IV-Ca. 0087-
including other lands of the public domain suitable for agriculture. 92. This is especially significant in light of the principles and
policies behind the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.
More specifically, the following lands are covered by the
Indeed, Section 2 of Republic Act No. 6657, pronounces in no
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program:
uncertain terms that the welfare of the landless farmers and
(a) All alienable and disposable lands of the public domain devoted to or suitable for
agriculture. No reclassification of forest or mineral lands to agricultural lands shall farmworkers will receive the highest consideration to promote
be undertaken after the approval of this Act until Congress, taking into account social justice and to move the nation toward sound rural
ecological, developmental and equity considerations, shall have determined by development and industrialization, and the establishment of
law, the specific limits of the public domain; owner cultivatorship of economic-size farms as the basis of
(b) All lands of the public domain in excess of the specific limits as determined by Philippine agriculture.
Congress in the preceding paragraph;
(c) All other lands owned by the Government devoted to or suitable for agriculture;
and
(d) All private lands devoted to or suitable for agriculture regardless of the agricultural
CONFEDERATION OF SUGAR PRODUCERS V. DAR
products raised or that can be raised thereon.
Confederation of Sugar Producers Association, Inc., et al. It
The exemption and exclusions of Republic Act No. 6657 are seeks, inter alia, to enjoin the Department of Agrarian Reform,
contained in Section 10 thereof, viz: the Land Bank of the Philippines, and the Land Registration
SECTION 10. Exemptions and Exclusions – Lands actually, directly and exclusively Authority from "subjecting the sugarcane farms of Petitioner
used and found to be necessary for parks, wildlife, forest reserves, reforestration, fish Planters to eminent domain or compulsory acquisition without
sanctuaries and breeding grounds, watersheds and mangroves, national defense,
school sites and campuses including experimental farm stations operated by public or
filing the necessary expropriation proceedings pursuant to the
private schools for educational purposes, seeds and seedlings research and pilot provisions of Rule 67 of the Rules of Court and/or without the

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application or conformity of a majority of the regular non quieta movere which means "to adhere to precedents, and
farmworkers on said farms." not to unsettle things which are established." Under the
doctrine, when the Supreme Court has once laid down a
The petitioners assail the Court s Decision in Association of
principle of law as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will
Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of
adhere to that principle, and apply it to all future cases, where
Agrarian Reform which affirmed the constitutionality of RA 6657.
facts are substantially the same; regardless of whether the
They describe the Decision as a "riddle wrapped in an enigma."
parties and property are the same. The doctrine of stare decisis
They refer to pronouncements made therein that are allegedly
is based upon the legal principle or rule involved and not upon
inconsistent with its conclusion, i.e., affirming the validity of RA
the judgment which results therefrom. In this particular sense
6657, including paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of Section 16. For
stare decisis differs from res judicata which is based upon the
example, while the Decision, citing EPZA, pronounced that "[t]o
judgment.
be sure, the determination of just compensation is a function 
addressed to the courts of justice and may not be usurped by
any other branch or official of the government" and that "the
determination made by the DAR is only preliminary unless URBAN LAND REFORM AND HOUSING
accepted by all parties concerned," these pronouncements are
allegedly irreconcilable with paragraphs (d) and (e) which allow Section 9. The State shall, by law, and for the common
the DAR, through summary administrative proceeding, "to take good, undertake, in cooperation with the private sector, a
immediate possession of the land" and cause "the cancellation continuing program of urban land reform and housing
of the certificate of title of the landowner." which will make available at affordable cost, decent
Issue: WON RA6657 is constitutional? housing and basic services to under-privileged and
homeless citizens in urban centers and resettlement
Held: YES. The validity of Section 16, including paragraphs (d), areas. It shall also promote adequate employment
(e) and (f), of RA 6657, which sets forth the manner of opportunities to such citizens. In the implementation of
acquisition of private agricultural lands and ascertainment of just such program the State shall respect the rights of small
compensation, has already been affirmed in Association of property owners.
Small Landowners.
Where the State itself is the expropriator, it is not necessary for Section 10. Urban or rural poor dwellers shall not be
it to make a deposit upon its taking possession of the evicted nor their dwelling demolished, except in
condemned property, as "the compensation is a public charge, accordance with law and in a just and humane manner.
the good faith of the public is pledged for its payment, and all No resettlement of urban or rural dwellers shall be
the resources of taxation may be employed in raising the undertaken without adequate consultation with them and
amount." the communities where they are to be relocated.
A reading of the aforecited Section 16(d) will readily show that it
does not suffer from the arbitrariness that rendered the Doctrine
challenged decrees constitutionally objectionable. Although the The due process guarantee cannot be invoked when no vested
proceedings are described as summary, the landowner and right has been acquired. The period during which petitioners
other interested parties are nevertheless allowed an opportunity occupied the lots, no matter how long, did not vest them with
to submit evidence on the real value of the property. But more any right to claim ownership since it is a fundamental principle
importantly, the determination of the just compensation by the of law that acts of possessory character executed by virtue of
DAR is not by any means final and conclusive upon the license or tolerance of the owner, no matter how long, do not
landowner or any other interested party, for Section(f) clearly start the running of the period of acquisitive prescription. It
provides: “(f) Any party who disagrees with the decision may bears recalling that BATAHAI was formed precisely to enable
bring the matter to the court of proper jurisdiction for final the Bagong Tanyag settlers, including petitioners, to purchase
determination of just compensation.” the lots they were occupying.
The invocation of Article XIII, 9 & 10, does not help petitioners.
The determination made by the DAR is only preliminary unless Petitioners’ obstinancy in not complying with the BATAHAI and
accepted by all parties concerned. Otherwise, the courts of NHMFC requirements had delayed the release of the loan to
justice will still have the right to review with finality the said BATAHAI to the detriment of the other BATAHAI members who,
determination in the exercise of what is admittedly a judicial like petitioners, are also urban poor dwellers but who complied
function. with the requirements and even agreed to be relocated in case
On the matter of when transfer of possession and ownership of the construction of roads for the common interest required the
the land to the Government is reckoned, Association of Small demolition of their houses or structures. To grant the petition
Landowners instructs: “The CARP Law, for its part, conditions would, instead of promoting, defeat social justice. Espinocilla et
the transfer of possession and ownership of the land to the al. v Bagong Homeowners, G.R. No. 151019, August 9, 2007.
government on receipt by the landowner of the corresponding
payment or the deposit by the DAR of the compensation in cash
or LBP bonds with an accessible bank. Until then, title also ESPINOCILLA ET AL. V BAGONG HOMEOWNERS
remains with the landowner. No outright change of ownership is
contemplated either.” Respondent corporation, the Bagong Tanyag Homeowners’
Association, Inc. (BATAHAI), was in 1989 incorporated to
The foregoing disquisition is binding and applicable to the enable the occupants of the land owned by Fortune
present case following the salutary doctrine of stare decisis et Development Corporation, Guillermo Tantuco, and Daniel

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Ignacio and located in Bagong Tanyag, Taguig to purchase the


respective lots they were occupying under the Community Doctrine
Mortgage Program (CMP) of the National Home Mortgage Q. Does the Commission on Human Rights enjoy fiscal
Finance Corporation (NHMFC). autonomy?
A. No. Fiscal autonomy is given only to Commissions found in
Under the CMP, BATAHAI could obtain a loan from NHMFC to
Article IX. The Commission on Human Rights is not of the
purchase the land from its owners and subdivide it among its
same rank. CHR Employees v CHR, G.R. No. 155336,
member-beneficiaries, subject to the supervision and guidance
July 21, 2006. (NOTE: But see Section 17(4).)
of the National Housing Administration (NHA). In turn, each
member-beneficiary would pay amortizations of the loan to
CHR EMPLOYEES V CHR
BATAHAI.
The BATAHAI Code of Policies (the Code) named as first Congress passed the General Appropriations Act of 1998. It
priority beneficiaries the owners of houses or structures that provided for Special Provisions Applicable to All Constitutional
were part of the census survey conducted in October 1984 in Offices Enjoying Fiscal Autonomy. The last portion of Article
Bagong Tanyag and who were members of BATAHAI. The XXXIII covers the appropriations of the CHR, authorizing the
Code named as second priority beneficiaries members of same to formulate and implement the organizational structures
BATAHAI who were part of the census survey as lessees or of their respective offices to fix and determine the salaries,
rent-free occupants (“nangungupahan na may bayad, nakikitira, allowances and other benefits of their respective personnel and
o nakikisama”) of houses or structures in Bagong Tanyag. whenever public interest so requires, make adjustments in the
personnel services itemization including, but not limited to, the
Under the Code, each beneficiary is entitled to only one lot, that transfer of item or creation of new positions in their respective
on which his or her house or structure stands. Petitioners, offices: PROVIDED, That officers and employees whose
however, wanted to claim the vacant lots adjacent to theirs on positions are affected by such reorganization or adjustments
which vacant lots they planted crops or put up fences and other shall be granted retirement gratuities and separation pay in
improvements. accordance with existing laws, which shall be payable from any
For failure to comply with the requirements, their applications unexpanded balance of, or savings in the appropriations of their
were denied and they were removed from the list of prospective respective offices.
beneficiaries. By virtue of such law, the CHR issued its own scheme,
Issue: WON the CA erred in not declaring the act of the upgrading and augmenting the commensurate amount
respondents as contrary to the express mandate of Article XIII, generated from savings under Personal Services. Annexed to
Section 9 and 10 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines and said resolution is the proposed creation of ten additional plantilla
the laws passed in relation thereto, particularly Republic Act No. positions. CHR then issued Resolution No. A98-055 providing
7279? for the upgrading or raising of salary grade of some positions in
the Commission.
Held: Petitioners invoke Article XIII and the social justice
provisions of the Constitution. The invocation does not help their The CHR forwarded said staffing modification and upgrading
cause. Petitioners’ obstinancy in not complying with the scheme to the Department of Budget and Management [DBM]
BATAHAI and NHMFC requirements had delayed the release of with a request for its approval, but the DBM secretary Benjamin
the loan to BATAHAI to the detriment of the other BATAHAI Diokno denied the request.
members who, like petitioners, are also urban poor dwellers but It was further held that “being a member of the fiscal autonomy
who complied with the requirements and even agreed to be group does not vest the agency with the authority to reclassify,
relocated in case the construction of roads for the common upgrade, and create positions without approval of the DBM.
interest required the demolition of their houses or structures. To While the members of the Group are authorized to formulate
grant the petition would, instead of promoting, defeat social and implement the organizational structures of their respective
justice. offices and determine the compensation of their personnel, such
 authority is not absolute and must be exercised within the
parameters of the Unified Position Classification and
Compensation System established under RA 6758 more
HUMAN RIGHTS popularly known as the Compensation Standardization Law. We
Section 17. therefore reiterate our previous stand on the matter.”
(1) There is hereby created an independent office called the
Commission on Human Rights. In light of the DBM’s disapproval of the proposed personnel
(2) The Commission shall be composed of a Chairman and modification scheme, the CSC-National Capital Region Office,
four Members who must be natural-born citizens of the through a memorandum recommended to the CSC-Central
Philippines and a majority of whom shall be members Office that the subject appointments be rejected owing to the
of the Bar. The term of office and other qualifications DBM’s disapproval of the plantilla reclassification.
and disabilities of the Members of the Commission
Meanwhile, the officers of petitioner Commission on Human
shall be provided by law.
Rights Employees’ Association [CHREA], in representation of
(3) Until this Commission is constituted, the existing
the rank and file employees of the CHR, requested the CSC-
Presidential Committee on Human Rights shall
Central office to affirm the recommendation of the CSC-
continue to exercise its present functions and powers.
Regional Office. CHREA stood its ground in saying that the
(4) The approved annual appropriations of the Commission
DBM is the only agency with appropriate authority mandated by
shall be automatically and regularly released.

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law to evaluate and approve matters of reclassification and the fiscal autonomy of the Judiciary; the constitutional
upgrading, as well as creation of positions. commissions, namely, the Civil Service Commission, the
Commission on Audit, and the Commission on Elections; and
Issue: Does the Commission on Human Rights enjoy fiscal
the Office of the Ombudsman. Respondent is conspicuously left
autonomy?
out of the enumeration.
Held: NO. Constitutional commissions are granted fiscal
On the main issue of whether or not the approval by the DBM is
autonomy by the 1987 Constitution in Article IX, Part A, Section
a condition precedent to the enactment of an upgrading,
5, a provision applied in common to all constitutional
reclassification, creation and collapsing of plantilla positions in
commissions. The Office of the Ombudsman enjoys fiscal
the CHR, this Court staunchly holds that as prescinding from the
autonomy by virtue of Article XI, Section 14, of the 1987
legal and jurisprudential yardsticks discussed in length in the
Constitution.
assailed Decision, the imprimatur of the DBM must first be
Each of the afore-quoted provisions consists of two sentences sought prior to implementation of any reclassification or
stating that: (1) The government entity shall enjoy fiscal upgrading of positions in government.
autonomy; and (2) its approved annual appropriation shall be
Regardless of whether or not respondent enjoys fiscal
automatically and regularly released. The respondent anchors
autonomy, this Court shares the stance of the DBM that the
its claim to fiscal autonomy on the fourth paragraph of Article
grant of fiscal autonomy notwithstanding, all government offices
XIII, Section 17, according to wit: “(4) The approved annual
must, all the same, kowtow to the Salary Standardization Law.
appropriations of the Commission shall be automatically and
This Court is of the same mind with the DBM on its standpoint,
regularly released.”
thus: “Being a member of the fiscal autonomy group does not
As compared to the previously quoted Article VIII, Section 3; vest the agency with the authority to reclassify, upgrade, and
Article IX, Part A, Section 5; and Article XI, Section 14 of the create positions without approval of the DBM. While the
1987 Constitution on the Judiciary, the constitutional members of the Group are authorized to formulate and
commissions, and the Office of the Ombudsman, respectively, implement the organizational structures of their respective
Article XIII, Section 17(4) on the Commission of Human Rights offices and determine the compensation of their personnel, such
(CHR) evidently does not contain the first sentence on the authority is not absolute and must be exercised within the
express grant of fiscal autonomy, and reproduces only the parameters of the Unified Position Classification and
second sentence on the automatic and regular release of its Compensation System established under RA 6758 more
approved annual appropriations. Question now arises as to the popularly known as the Compensation Standardization Law.”
significance of such a difference in the way the said provisions
are worded. 
To settle this ambiguity, a perusal of the records of the
Constitutional Commission (ConCom) is enlightening. After ARTICLE XIV - EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY,
reviewing the deliberations of the ConCom on Article XIII, ARTS, CULTURE AND SPORTS
Section 17(4), of the 1987 Constitution, in its entirety, not just
bits and pieces thereof, this Court is convinced that the EDUCATION
ConCom had intended to grant to the respondent the privilege
of having its approved annual appropriations automatically and Section 1. The State shall protect and promote the right of
regularly released, but nothing more. While it may be conceded all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take
that the automatic and regular release of approved annual appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.
appropriations is an aspect of fiscal autonomy, it is just one of
many others. Doctrine
This Court has already defined the scope and extent of fiscal The Constitution itself does not establish the parameters of
autonomy in the case of Bengzon v. Drilon, as follows- “As state protection to marriage as a social institution and the
envisioned in the Constitution, the fiscal autonomy enjoyed by foundation of the family. It remains the province of the
the Judiciary, the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on legislature to define all legal aspects of marriage and prescribe
Audit, the Commission on Elections, and the Office of the the strategy and the modalities to protect it, based on whatever
Ombudsman contemplates a guarantee of full flexibility to socio-political influences it deems proper. While it may appear
allocate and utilize their resources with the wisdom and dispatch that the judicial denial of a petition for declaration of nullity is
that their needs require. It recognizes the power and authority to reflective of the constitutional mandate to protect marriage, such
levy, assess and collect fees, fix rates of compensation not action in fact merely enforces a statutory definition of marriage,
exceeding the highest rates authorized by law for compensation not a constitutionally ordained decree of what marriage is.
and pay plans of the government and allocate and disburse Indeed, if circumstances warrant, Sections 1 and 2 of Article XV
such sums as may be provided by law or prescribed by them in need not be the only constitutional considerations to be taken
the course of the discharge of their functions. Fiscal autonomy into account in resolving a petition for declaration of nullity.
means freedom from outside control.” Antonio v Reyes, G.R. No. 155800, March 10.

The foregoing excerpt sufficiently elucidates that the grant of ANTONIO V REYES
fiscal autonomy is more extensive than the mere automatic and
regular release of approved annual appropriations of the Petitioner and respondent married in 1990. Petitioner filed a
government entity. It is also worth stressing herein that in petition to have his marriage to respondent declared null and
Bengzon v. Drilon, this Court, ruling En Banc, only recognized void. He anchored his petition for nullity on Article 36 of the

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Family Code alleging that respondent was psychologically also falls on the legislature to put into operation the
incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of constitutional provisions that protect marriage and the family.
marriage. He asserted that respondent’s incapacity existed at This has been accomplished at present through the enactment
the time their marriage was celebrated and still subsists up to of the Family Code, which defines marriage and the family,
the present. spells out the corresponding legal effects, imposes the
limitations that affect married and family life, as well as
As manifestations of respondent’s alleged psychological
prescribes the grounds for declaration of nullity and those for
incapacity, petitioner claimed that respondent persistently lied
legal separation. While it may appear that the judicial denial of a
about herself, the people around her, her occupation, income,
petition for declaration of nullity is reflective of the constitutional
educational attainment and other events or things, to wit:
mandate to protect marriage, such action in fact merely
(1) She concealed the fact that she previously gave birth to an illegitimate son, and
instead introduced the boy to petitioner as the adopted child of her family. She only enforces a statutory definition of marriage, not a constitutionally
confessed the truth about the boy s parentage when petitioner learned about it from ordained decree of what marriage is. Indeed, if circumstances
other sources after their marriage. warrant, Sections 1 and 2 of Article XV need not be the only
(2) She fabricated a story that her brother-in-law, Edwin David, attempted to rape and constitutional considerations to be taken into account in
kill her when in fact, no such incident occurred. resolving a petition for declaration of nullity.
(3) She misrepresented herself as a psychiatrist to her obstetrician, Dr. Consuelo
Gardiner, and told some of her friends that she graduated with a degree in psychology, 
when she was neither.
(4) She claimed to be a singer or a free-lance voice talent affiliated with Blackgold
Recording Company (Blackgold); yet, not a single member of her family ever witnessed
her alleged singing activities with the group. In the same vein, she postulated that a ARTICLE XVI - GENERAL PROVISIONS
luncheon show was held at the Philippine Village Hotel in her honor and even presented
an invitation to that effect but petitioner discovered per certification by the Director of Section 6. The State shall establish and maintain one police
Sales of said hotel that no such occasion had taken place. force, which shall be national in scope and civilian in
(5) She invented friends named Babes Santos and Via Marquez, and under those character, to be administered and controlled by a national
names, sent lengthy letters to petitioner claiming to be from Blackgold and touting her police commission. The authority of local executives over
as the "number one moneymaker" in the commercial industry worth P2 million.
the police units in their jurisdiction shall be provided by
Petitioner later found out that respondent herself was the one who wrote and sent the
letters to him when she admitted the truth in one of their quarrels. He likewise realized law.
that Babes Santos and Via Marquez were only figments of her imagination when he
discovered they were not known in or connected with Blackgold. Doctrines
(6) She represented herself as a person of greater means, thus, she altered her payslip From the foregoing, it appears clear to us that the INP was
to make it appear that she earned a higher income. She bought a sala set from a public never, as posited by the petitioners, abolished or terminated out
market but told petitioner that she acquired it from a famous furniture dealer. She spent of existence by R.A. No. 6975. For sure, nowhere in R.A. No.
lavishly on unnecessary items and ended up borrowing money from other people on 6975 does the words “abolish” or “terminate” appear in
false pretexts.
reference to the INP. Instead, what the law provides is for the
(7) She exhibited insecurities and jealousies over him to the extent of calling up his
officemates to monitor his whereabouts. When he could no longer take her unusual “absorption,” “transfer,” and/or “merger” of the INP, as well as
behavior, he separated from her in August 1991. He tried to attempt a reconciliation but the other offices comprising the PC-INP, with the PNP. To
since her behavior did not change, he finally left her for good in November 1991. “abolish” is to do away with, to annul, abrogate or destroy
completely; to “absorb” is to assimilate, incorporate or to take in.
Taking exception to the appellate court’s pronouncement, “Merge” means to cause to combine or unite to become legally
petitioner elevated the case to this Court. He contends herein absorbed or extinguished by merger while “transfer” denotes
that the evidence conclusively establish respondent’s movement from one position to another. Clearly, “abolition”
psychological incapacity. cannot be equated with “absorption.”
Held: Now is also opportune time to comment on another With the conclusion herein reached that the INP was not in fact
common legal guide utilized in the adjudication of petitions for abolished but was merely transformed to become the PNP,
declaration of nullity under Article 36. All too frequently, this members of the INP which include the herein respondents
Court and lower courts, in denying petitions of the kind, have are, therefore, not excluded from availing themselves of the
favorably cited Sections 1 and 2, Article XV of the Constitution, retirement benefits accorded to PNP retirees under Sections 74
which respectively state that "[t]he State recognizes the Filipino and 75 of R.A. No. 6975, as amended by R.A. No. 8551. It may
family as the foundation of the nation. Accordingly, it shall be that respondents were no longer in the government service
strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total at the time of the enactment of R.A. No. 6975. This fact,
developmen[t]," and that "[m]arriage, as an inviolable social however, without more, would not pose as an impediment to the
institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected respondents’ entitlement to the new retirement scheme set forth
by the State." These provisions highlight the importance of the under the aforecited sections. Department of Budget v. Manila’s
family and the constitutional protection accorded to the Finest, GTR 169466, May 9, 2007.
institution of marriage.
But the Constitution itself does not establish the parameters of DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET V. MANILA’S FINEST
state protection to marriage as a social institution and the
foundation of the family. It remains the province of the PD765 was issued constituting the Integrated National Police
legislature to define all legal aspects of marriage and prescribe (INP) to be composed of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) as
the strategy and the modalities to protect it, based on whatever the nucleus and the integrated police forces as components
socio-political influences it deems proper, and subject of course thereof. Complementing P.D. No. 765 was P.D. No. 1184 issued
to the qualification that such legislative enactment itself adheres
to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This being the case, it
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to professionalize the INP and promote career development Indeed, were the legislative intent was for the INP’s abolition
therein. such that nothing would be left of it, the word "abolish" or what
passes for it could have easily found its way into the very text of
RA6975, referred to as PNP Law, was enacted. Under Section
the law itself, what with the abundant use of the word during the
23 of said law, the PNP would initially consist of the members of
legislative deliberations. But as can be gleaned from said
the INP, created under P.D. No. 765, as well as the officers and
deliberations, the lawmakers’ concern centered on the fact that
enlisted personnel of the PC.
if the entire PC-INP corps join the PNP, then the PC-INP will
Later, RA6975 was amended by R.A. No. 8551, otherwise necessarily be abolished, for who then would be its members?
known as the "PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE REFORM AND Of more consequence, the lawmakers were one in saying that
REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1998." Among other things, the there should never be two national police agencies at the same
amendatory law reengineered the retirement scheme in the time.
police organization. Relevantly, PNP personnel, under the new
With the conclusion herein reached that the INP was not in fact
law, stood to collect more retirement benefits than what INP
abolished but was merely transformed to become the PNP,
members of equivalent rank, who had retired under the INP
members of the INP which include the herein respondents are,
Law, received.
therefore, not excluded from availing themselves of the
Hence, all INP retirees filed a petition for declaratory relief. The retirement benefits accorded to PNP retirees under Sections 74
petition alleged in gist that INP retirees were equally situated as and 75 of R.A. No. 6975, as amended by R.A. No. 8551. It may
the PNP retirees but whose retirement benefits prior to the be that respondents were no longer in the government service
enactment of R.A. No. 6975, as amended by R.A. No. 8551, at the time of the enactment of R.A. No. 6975. This fact,
were unconscionably and arbitrarily excepted from the higher however, without more, would not pose as an impediment to the
rates and adjusted benefits accorded to the PNP retirees. respondents’ entitlement to the new retirement scheme set forth
RTC held that the INP Retirees entitled to the same or identical under the aforecited sections. As correctly ratiocinated by the
retirement benefits and such other benefits being granted, CA to which we are in full accord:
accorded and bestowed upon the PNP Retirees under the PNP
For sure, R.A. No. 6975 was not a retroactive statute since it did
Law (RA No. 6975, as amended).
not impose a new obligation to pay the INP retirees the
Issue: WON CA ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF difference between what they received when they retired and
THE TRIAL COURT NOTWITHSTANDING THAT IT IS what would now be due to them after R.A. No. 6975 was
CONTRARY TO LAW AND ESTABLISHED JURISPRUDENCE. enacted. Even so, that did not render the RTC’s interpretation of
R.A. No. 6975 any less valid. The [respondents’] retirement prior
Held: NO. In the main, it is petitioners’ posture that R.A. No. to the passage of R.A. No. 6975 did not exclude them from the
6975 clearly abolished the INP and created in its stead a new benefits provided by R.A. No. 6975, as amended by R.A. No.
police force, the PNP. Prescinding therefrom, petitioners 8551, since their membership in the INP was an antecedent fact
contend that since the PNP is an organization entirely different that nonetheless allowed them to avail themselves of the
from the INP, it follows that INP retirees never became PNP benefits of the subsequent laws. R.A. No. 6975 considered
members. Ergo, they cannot avail themselves of the retirement them as PNP members, always referring to their membership
benefits accorded to PNP members under R.A. No. 6975 and its and service in the INP in providing for their retirement benefits.
amendatory law, R.A. No. 8551.
The INP was never, as posited by the petitioners, abolished or 
terminated out of existence by R.A. No. 6975. For sure,
nowhere in R.A. No. 6975 does the words "abolish" or
"terminate" appear in reference to the INP. Instead, what the ARTICLE XVII
law provides is for the "absorption," "transfer," and/or "merger" AMENDMENTS OR REVISIONS
of the INP, as well as the other offices comprising the PC-INP,
with the PNP. To "abolish" is to do away with, to annul, abrogate Section 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise
or destroy completely; to "absorb" is to assimilate, incorporate be directly proposed by the people through initiative
or to take in. "Merge" means to cause to combine or unite to upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total
become legally absorbed or extinguished by merger while number of registered voters, of which every legislative
"transfer" denotes movement from one position to another. district must be represented by at least three per centum
Clearly, "abolition" cannot be equated with "absorption." of the registered voters therein. No amendment under
this section shall be authorized within five years
True it is that Section 90 of R.A. No. 6975 speaks of the INP following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener
"[ceasing] to exist" upon the effectivity of the law. It ought to be than once every five years thereafter.
stressed, however, that such cessation is but the logical The Congress shall provide for the implementation
consequence of the INP being absorbed by the PNP. Far from of the exercise of this right.
being abolished then, the INP, at the most, was merely
transformed to become the PNP, minus of course its military Doctrine
character and complexion. There is as yet no law authorizing constitutional amendment by
By removing the police force from under the control and initiative and referendum. Even if there were, the authenticity of
supervision of military officers, the bill seeks to restore and the signatures still have to be verified. Lambino v. Comelec,
underscore the civilian character of police work - an otherwise G.R. No. 174153October 25, 2006. Puno dissents. Affirmed in
universal concept that was muddled up by the martial law years. Resolution, November 2, 2006.

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the people must first see the full text of the proposed
LAMBINO V. COMELEC amendments before they sign to signify their assent, and that
the people must sign on an initiative petition that contains the
"Lambino Group," with other groups and individuals, full text of the proposed amendments.
commenced gathering signatures for an initiative petition to
Moreover, "an initiative signer must be informed at the time of
change the 1987 Constitution. The Group filed a petition with
signing of the nature and effect of that which is proposed" and
the COMELEC to hold a plebiscite that will ratify their initiative
failure to do so is "deceptive and misleading" which renders the
petition under Section 5(b) and (c) and Section 7 of Republic
initiative void.
Act No. 6735 or the Initiative and Referendum Act ("RA 6735").
Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution does not expressly
Issue: Whether the Lambino Group's initiative petition complies
state that the petition must set forth the full text of the proposed
with Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution on amendments
amendments. However, the deliberations of the framers of our
to the Constitution through a people's initiative.
Constitution clearly show that the framers intended to adopt the
Held: NO. The Lambino Group miserably failed to comply with relevant American jurisprudence on people's initiative. In
the basic requirements of the Constitution for conducting a particular, the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission
people's initiative. Thus, there is even no need to revisit explicitly reveal that the framers intended that the people must
Santiago, as the present petition warrants dismissal based first see the full text of the proposed amendments before they
alone on the Lambino Group's glaring failure to comply with the sign, and that the people must sign on a petition containing such
basic requirements of the Constitution. For following the Court's full text. Indeed, Section 5(b) of Republic Act No. 6735, the
ruling in Santiago, no grave abuse of discretion is attributable to Initiative and Referendum Act that the Lambino Group invokes
the Commision on Elections. as valid, requires that the people must sign the "petition x x x as
signatories."
The Initiative Petition Does Not Comply with Section 2, Article
The Initiative Violates Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution
XVII of the Constitution on Direct Proposal by the People
Disallowing Revision through Initiatives
The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission vividly
A people's initiative to change the Constitution applies only to
explain the meaning of an amendment "directly proposed by the
an amendment of the Constitution and not to its revision. In
people through initiative upon a petition.” Clearly, the framers of
contrast, Congress or a constitutional convention can propose
the Constitution intended that the "draft of the proposed
both amendments and revisions to the Constitution.
constitutional amendment" should be "ready and shown" to the
people "before" they sign such proposal. The framers plainly Article XVII of the Constitution speaks of three modes of
stated that "before they sign there is already a draft shown to amending the Constitution. The first mode is through Congress
them." The framers also "envisioned" that the people should upon three-fourths vote of all its Members. The second mode is
sign on the proposal itself because the proponents must through a constitutional convention. The third mode is through a
"prepare that proposal and pass it around for signature." people's initiative.
The essence of amendments "directly proposed by the people Section 1 of Article XVII, referring to the first and second modes,
through initiative upon a petition" is that the entire proposal on applies to "[A]ny amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution."
its face is a petition by the people. This means two essential In contrast, Section 2 of Article XVII, referring to the third mode,
elements must be present. First, the people must author and applies only to "[A]mendments to this Constitution." This
thus sign the entire proposal. No agent or representative can distinction was intentional as shown by the deliberations of the
sign on their behalf. Second, as an initiative upon a petition, the Constitutional Commission. The framers of the Constitution
proposal must be embodied in a petition. intended, and wrote, a clear distinction between "amendment"
and "revision" of the Constitution. The framers intended, and
These essential elements are present only if the full text of the
wrote, that only Congress or a constitutional convention may
proposed amendments is first shown to the people who express
propose revisions to the Constitution. The framers intended, and
their assent by signing such complete proposal in a petition.
wrote, that a people's initiative may propose only amendments
Thus, an amendment is "directly proposed by the people
to the Constitution. Where the intent and language of the
through initiative upon a petition" only if the people sign on a
Constitution clearly withhold from the people the power to
petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments.
propose revisions to the Constitution, the people cannot
The full text of the proposed amendments may be either written propose revisions even as they are empowered to propose
on the face of the petition, or attached to it. If so attached, the amendments.
petition must state the fact of such attachment. This is an
Similarly, in this jurisdiction there can be no dispute that a
assurance that every one of the several millions of signatories to
people's initiative can only propose amendments to the
the petition had seen the full text of the proposed amendments
Constitution since the Constitution itself limits initiatives to
before signing. Otherwise, it is physically impossible, given the
amendments. There can be no deviation from the
time constraint, to prove that every one of the millions of
constitutionally prescribed modes of revising the Constitution. A
signatories had seen the full text of the proposed amendments
popular clamor, even one backed by 6.3 million signatures,
before signing.
cannot justify a deviation from the specific modes prescribed in
The framers of the Constitution directly borrowed the concept of the Constitution itself.
people's initiative from the United States where various State
The question is, does the Lambino Group's initiative constitute
constitutions incorporate an initiative clause. In almost all States
an amendment or revision of the Constitution? If the Lambino
which allow initiative petitions, the unbending requirement is that
Group's initiative constitutes a revision, then the present petition

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should be dismissed for being outside the scope of Section 2, Constitution. Merging the legislative and executive branches is a
Article XVII of the Constitution. radical change in the structure of government.
Courts have long recognized the distinction between an The abolition alone of the Office of the President as the locus of
amendment and a revision of a constitution. One of the earliest Executive Power alters the separation of powers and thus
cases that recognized the distinction described the fundamental constitutes a revision of the Constitution. Likewise, the abolition
difference in this manner: “[T]he very term "constitution" implies alone of one chamber of Congress alters the system of checks-
an instrument of a permanent and abiding nature, and the and-balances within the legislature and constitutes a revision of
provisions contained therein for its revision indicate the will of the Constitution.
the people that the underlying principles upon which it rests, as
By any legal test and under any jurisdiction, a shift from a
well as the substantial entirety of the instrument, shall be of a
Bicameral-Presidential to a Unicameral-Parliamentary system,
like permanent and abiding nature. On the other hand, the
involving the abolition of the Office of the President and the
significance of the term "amendment" implies such an addition
abolition of one chamber of Congress, is beyond doubt a
or change within the lines of the original instrument as will effect
revision, not a mere amendment. On the face alone of the
an improvement, or better carry out the purpose for which it was
Lambino Group's proposed changes, it is readily apparent that
framed.”
the changes will radically alter the framework of government as
Revision broadly implies a change that alters a basic principle in set forth in the Constitution.
the constitution, like altering the principle of separation of
Father Joaquin Bernas, S.J., a leading member of the
powers or the system of checks-and-balances. There is also
Constitutional Commission, writes: “An amendment envisages
revision if the change alters the substantial entirety of the
an alteration of one or a few specific and separable provisions.
constitution, as when the change affects substantial provisions
The guiding original intention of an amendment is to improve
of the constitution. On the other hand, amendment broadly
specific parts or to add new provisions deemed necessary to
refers to a change that adds, reduces, or deletes without
meet new conditions or to suppress specific portions that may
altering the basic principle involved. Revision generally affects
have become obsolete or that are judged to be dangerous. In
several provisions of the constitution, while amendment
revision, however, the guiding original intention and plan
generally affects only the specific provision being amended.
contemplates a re-examination of the entire document, or of
In California where the initiative clause allows amendments but provisions of the document which have over-all implications for
not revisions to the constitution just like in our Constitution, the entire document, to determine how and to what extent they
courts have developed a two-part test: the quantitative test and should be altered. Thus, for instance a switch from the
the qualitative test. The quantitative test asks whether the presidential system to a parliamentary system would be a
proposed change is "so extensive in its provisions as to change revision because of its over-all impact on the entire
directly the 'substantial entirety' of the constitution by the constitutional structure. So would a switch from a bicameral
deletion or alteration of numerous existing provisions." The system to a unicameral system be because of its effect on other
court examines only the number of provisions affected and does important provisions of the Constitution.”
not consider the degree of the change.
Since a revision of a constitution affects basic principles, or
The qualitative test inquires into the qualitative effects of the several provisions of a constitution, a deliberative body with
proposed change in the constitution. The main inquiry is recorded proceedings is best suited to undertake a revision. A
whether the change will "accomplish such far reaching changes revision requires harmonizing not only several provisions, but
in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to a also the altered principles with those that remain unaltered.
revision." Whether there is an alteration in the structure of Thus, constitutions normally authorize deliberative bodies like
government is a proper subject of inquiry. Thus, "a change in constituent assemblies or constitutional conventions to
the nature of [the] basic governmental plan" includes "change in undertake revisions. On the other hand, constitutions allow
its fundamental framework or the fundamental powers of its people's initiatives, which do not have fixed and identifiable
Branches." A change in the nature of the basic governmental deliberative bodies or recorded proceedings, to undertake only
plan also includes changes that "jeopardize the traditional form amendments and not revisions.
of government and the system of check and balances."
The irreconcilable inconsistency envisioned in the proposed
Under both the quantitative and qualitative tests, the Lambino Section 2 of the Transitory Provisions is not between a provision
Group's initiative is a revision and not merely an amendment. in Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and a provision in the
Quantitatively, the Lambino Group's proposed changes proposed changes. The inconsistency is between a provision in
overhaul two articles - Article VI on the Legislature and Article Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and the "Parliamentary
VII on the Executive - affecting a total of 105 provisions in the system of government," and the inconsistency shall be resolved
entire Constitution. Qualitatively, the proposed changes alter in favor of a "unicameral parliamentary form of government."
substantially the basic plan of government, from presidential to
parliamentary, and from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature.
A change in the structure of government is a revision of the DISSENTING OPINION - PUNO, J.:
Constitution, as when the three great co-equal branches of
government in the present Constitution are reduced into two. • The doctrine of stare decisis does not bar the reexamination
This alters the separation of powers in the Constitution. A shift of Santiago.
from the present Bicameral-Presidential system to a • A reexamination of R.A. 6735 will show that it is sufficient to
Unicameral-Parliamentary system is a revision of the implement the people's initiative.

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o First. The text of R.A. 6735 is replete with references to


the right of the people to initiate changes to the
Constitution.
o Second. The legislative history of R.A. 6735 also reveals
the clear intent of the lawmakers to use it as the
instrument to implement people's initiative.
o Third. The sponsorship speeches by the authors of R.A.
6735 similarly demonstrate beyond doubt this intent. In
his sponsorship remarks, the late Senator Raul Roco
(then a Member of the House of Representatives)
emphasized the intent to make initiative as a mode
whereby the people can propose amendments to the
Constitution.
• The proposed constitutional changes, albeit substantial, are
mere amendments and can be undertaken through people's
initiative.
• The argument that the people through initiative cannot
propose substantial amendments to change the Constitution
turns sovereignty on its head. At the very least, the
submission constricts the democratic space for the exercise
of the direct sovereignty of the people. It also denigrates the
sovereign people who they claim can only be trusted with the
power to propose "simple" but not "substantial" amendments
to the Constitution. According to Sinco, the concept of
sovereignty should be strictly understood in its legal meaning
as it was originally developed in law. Legal sovereignty, he
explained, is "the possession of unlimited power to make
laws. Its possessor is the legal sovereign. It implies the
absence of any other party endowed with legally superior
powers and privileges. It is not subject to law 'for it is the
author and source of law.' Legal sovereignty is thus the
equivalent of legal omnipotence."
• At the very least, the power to propose substantial
amendments to the Constitution is shared with the people.
We should accord the most benign treatment to the sovereign
power of the people to propose substantial amendments to
the Constitution especially when the proposed amendments
will adversely affect the interest of some members of
Congress. A contrary approach will suborn the public weal to
private interest and worse, will enable Congress (the
delegate) to frustrate the power of the people to determine
their destiny (the principal).
• All told, the teaching of the ages is that constitutional clauses
acknowledging the right of the people to exercise initiative
and referendum are liberally and generously construed in
favor of the people. Initiative and referendum powers must be
broadly construed to maintain maximum power in the people.
We followed this orientation in Subic Bay Metropolitan
Authority v. Commission on Elections. There is not an iota of
reason to depart from it.


- end -

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