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G.R. No. 200238
exemptions on the interest income of depositors who are non-residents and are not engaged in trade or business in the Philippines; Whereas, making absolute the protective cloak of confidentiality over such foreign currency deposits, exempting such deposits from tax, and guaranteeing the vested rights of depositors would better encourage the inflow of foreign currency deposits into the banking institutions authorized to accept such deposits in the Philippines thereby placing such institutions more in a position to properly channel the same to loans and investments in the Philippines, thus directly contributing to the economic development of the country. (Emphasis supplied) Thus, PD No. 1246 expressly declares that the secrecy of foreign currency deposits under Section 8 of RA No. 6426 is intended to protect “depositors who are nonresidents” because the purpose of the secrecy is to “encourage the inflow of foreign currency deposits” to Philippine banks from such “depositors who are non-residents.” This express intent of PD No. 1246 was affirmed by the Supreme Court in several cases. In Salvacion v. Central Bank,7 decided in 1997, this Court ruled: In his Comment, the Solicitor General correctly opined, thus: xxx It is evident from the above [Whereas clauses] that the Offshore Banking system and the Foreign Currency Deposit System were designed to draw deposits from foreign lenders and investors (Vide second whereas of PD No. 1034; third whereas of PD No. 1035). It is these deposits that are induced by the two laws and given protection and incentives by them. (Emphasis supplied) In Salvacion, the Court emphatically stressed that the deposits protected under the Foreign Currency Deposit System are “deposits fromforeign lenders and investors.” Likewise, in China Banking Corporation v. Court of Appeals,8 decided in 2006, the Court declared: It must be remembered that under the whereas clause of Presidential Decree No. 1246 which amended Sec. 8 of Republic Act No. 6426, the Foreign Currency Deposit System including the Offshore Banking System under Presidential Decree 1034 were intended to draw deposits fromforeign lenders and investors, and we quote: Whereas, in order to assure the development and speedy growth of the Foreign Currency Deposit System and the Offshore Banking System in the Philippines, certain incentives were provided for under the two Systems such as confidentiality of deposits subject to certain exceptions and tax
PHILIPPINE SAVINGS BANK and PASCUAL M. GARCIA III, as representative of Philippine Savings Bank and in his personal capacity, Petitioners, versus – SENATE IMPEACHMENT COURT, consisting of the Senators of the Republic of the Philippines, acting as Senator Judges, namely: Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Vicente C. Sotto III, Alan Peter S. Cayetano, Edgardo J. Angara, Joker P. Arroyo, Pia S. Cayetano, Franklin M. Drilon, Francis G. Escudero,Teofisto Guingona III, Gregorio B. Honasan II, Panfilo M. Lacson, Manuel M. Lapid, Loren B. Legarda, Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., Sergio R. Osmena III, Kiko Pangilinan, Aquilino Pimentel III, Ralph G. Recto, Ramon Revilla, Jr., Antonio F.Trillanes IV, Manny Villar, and the Honorable Members of the Prosecution Panel of the House of Representatives, Respondents. Promulgated: February 9, 2012 x---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DISSENTING OPINION CARPIO, J.: I dissent because the majority ruling makes a mockery of all existing laws designed to insure transparency and good governance in public service. The majority ruling in effect advises all government officials and employees that they can legally evade reporting their actual assets in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, which is required by the Constitution1 and RA Nos. 30192 and 6713,3 by simply opening foreign currency deposit accounts with local banks. The majority holds that under Section 8 of RA No. 6426,4 foreign currency deposits of government officials and employees are absolutely confidential, even in impeachment or bribery cases filed against them. The majority declares that foreign currency deposit accounts can be opened in any judicial, administrative, legislative, or impeachment inquiry only if the account owner himself consents in writing to open his account to his prosecutors or investigators. The world will now know that Philippine foreign currency deposit accounts provide a much better safe haven for ill-gotten wealth than Swiss bank accounts. Former President Ferdinand Marcos was wrong in depositing hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in Swiss bank accounts.5 Had he deposited, even in his own name, the money in foreign currency accounts with local banks under RA No. 6426, as amended by his three Presidential Decrees,6 he would have gotten away with his loot under this ruling of the majority. Is this the intention of Section 8 of RA No. 6426 when it mandates the secrecy of foreign currency deposits? The answer is clearly no. Section 8 was inserted by PD No. 1246, whose last two Whereas clauses provide: Whereas, in order to insure the development and speedy growth of the Foreign Currency Deposit System and the Offshore Banking System in the Philippines, certain incentives were provided for under the two Systems such as confidentiality of deposits subject to certain exceptions and tax
exemptions on the interest income of depositors who are nonresidents and are not engaged in trade or business in the Philippines; Whereas, making absolute the protective cloak of confidentiality over such foreign currency deposits, exempting such deposits from tax, and guaranteeing the vested rights of depositors would better encourage the inflow of foreign currency deposits into the banking institutions authorized to accept such deposits in the Philippines thereby placing such institutions more in a position to properly channel the same to loans and investments in the Philippines, thus directly contributing to the economic development of the country. (Emphasis supplied) Thus, in China Banking Corporation, the Court again stressed that “the Foreign Currency Deposit System including the Offshore Banking System under Presidential Decree 1034 were intended to draw deposits from foreign lenders and investors.” Even GSIS v. Court of Appeals,9 decided in 2011, which the majority cites in its ruling, also declared that “Republic Act No. 6426 was intended to encourage deposits from foreign lenders and investors.” Clearly, the secrecy of foreign currency deposits in Section 8 of RA No. 6426, a special law, applies only to “foreign depositors and investors.” What secrecy then applies to Philippine citizens who hold foreign currency deposits with local banks? Such deposits of Philippine citizens are governed by RA No. 1405,10 the general law on secrecy of bank deposits, which provides: Section 2. All deposits of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions in the Philippines including investments in bonds issued by the Government of the Philippines, its political subdivisions and its instrumentalities, are hereby considered as of an absolutely confidential nature and may not be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office, except upon written permission of the depositor, or in cases of impeachment, or upon order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials, or in cases where the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the litigation. (Emphasis supplied) Under Section 2 of RA No. 1405, “all deposits of whatever nature with banks xxx may be examined, inquired or looked into xxx in cases of impeachment.” Thus, there is no question that the impeachment court can pry open the foreign currency accounts of impeachable officers. There is even a more compelling legal ground why the foreign currency accounts in question are not confidential. Section 8 of RA No. 6713, as amended, mandates the disclosure of the assets of government officials and employees who “have an obligation” to disclose their assets. Moreover, Section 8 expressly states that “the public has the right to know the assets” of government officials and employees. Section 8 of RA No. 6713 provides: Sec. 8. Statements and Disclosure. Public officials and employees have an obligation to accomplish and submit declarations under oath of, and
the public has the right to know, the assets, liabilities, net worth and financial and business interests including those of their spouses and of unmarried children under eighteen (18) years of age and living in their households. (Emphasis supplied) Thus, government officials and employees have the “obligation” to disclose their assets to the public, and the public has “the right to know” the assets of government officials and employees. This “obligation” of government officials and employees to disclose all their assets is absolute and has no exception. The right of the public to know the assets of government officials and employees is also absolute and has no exception. What the majority has ruled is that government officials and employees have no obligation to disclose their foreign currency accounts, and that the public has no right to know such foreign currency accounts. This completely violates Section 8 of RA No. 6713. The majority ruling invents an exception that is not found in Section 8 of RA 6713. This exception renders Section 8 of RA 6713 useless. Government officials and employees can simply open foreign currency accounts and deposit all their cash in such accounts. Then they no longer have the “obligation” to disclose their cash assets, and the public no longer has “the right to know” such assets. Section 8 of RA No. 671311 is a much later law than Section 8 of RA No. 6426.12 The repealing clause of RA No. 6713 states that “all laws, decrees and orders or parts thereof inconsistent herewith, are deemed repealed or modified accordingly, unless the same provide for a heavier penalty.”13 Since there is an irreconcilable inconsistency between Section 8 of RA No. 6713 and Section 8 of RA No. 6426, the later law, which is RA No. 6713, prevails. In short, the government officials and employees’ “obligation” to disclose their assets, and the people’s “right to know” such assets, as expressly mandated by Section 8 of RA No. 6713, prevails over the secrecy of foreign currency deposits under Section 8 of RA No. 6426, granting that such secrecy applies to Philippine citizens. Incidentally, Chief Justice Renato C. Corona has publicly admitted that he owns the foreign currency accounts in question. ThePhilippine Star news report entitled “Disclosure in Due Time, Says CJ”, written by Perseus Escheminada on 11 February 2012, states in part: MANILA, Philippines - Chief Justice Renato Corona yesterday admitted having dollar accounts and vowed to disclose them in due time. Corona belied insinuations that his bid in the Supreme Court to stop the subpoena of the Senate impeachment court on his foreign currency accounts in Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) was a sign of guilt or obvious move to conceal the truth. “I will make the disclosure in due time,” the Chief Justice told The STAR in a text message. He explained that he filed an urgent petition seeking the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the impeachment trial, including the
subpoena on his dollar accounts, because his rights were being violated in the proceedings. Corona said he just wanted legal issues to be resolved first before the disclosure of his dollar accounts. With this admission that he owns the foreign currency accounts in question, Chief Justice Corona has the “obligation” to disclose these foreign currency assets to the people, who have “the right to know” his assets. The Constitution mandates that “public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people.”14 A government official or employee who refuses to be accountable to the people by not disclosing assets he admittedly owns, despite his “obligation” to so disclose to the people, who have “the right to know” his assets, puts himself beyond accountability to the people. Accordingly, since the foreign currency accounts in question are not covered by Section 8 of RA No. 6426, and petitioners will not suffer grave and irreparable injury, I vote to DENY petitioners’ prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order. NEYPES, ET AL. vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 141524, September 14, 2005 (EN BANC Facts: T he p e ti ti o ne r s f i l e d a n ac t i o n f o r a nn ul me n t o f j ud g me n t a nd t i t l e s o f l an d an d /o r r e co nve ya nce a n d /o r r e v e r s io n w i th p r e l imin ar y i n j u nc ti o n b e fo r e the RTC against the Bureau of Forest Development, Bureau of Lands, Land Bank of the P h i li p p i ne s a n d t h e he ir s o f B e r na r d o d e l Mu nd o . In t h e co ur s e o f t h e p r o ce e d ing s both parties filed various motions with the RTC. Among there were: (1) motion filed by petitioners to declare the respondent heirs, the Bureau of Lands and the Bureau of Forest Development in default and (2) motions to dismiss filed by the respondent h e i r s a n d t he L an d B a nk o f t he P h il i p p ine s. T he t r i al c o u r t g r a nt e d t he p e ti t io ne r ’ s m o t io n to d e c lar e t h e r e s p o nd e nts i n d e f au lt b u t d e nie d a s a g a in s t t he h e i r s o f d e l Mundo because the substituted service of summons was improper; the Land Bank’s motion to dismiss for lack of cause of action was denied; and the motion to dismiss f i l e d b y r e sp o nd e nt he ir s o f d e l M un d o , b a se d o n p r e scr ip t io n, w as a l s o d e n ie d . On February 12, 1998 the trial court dismissed the petitioners’ complaint on the ground o f p r e scr ip tio n . Pe t i t i o ne r s a l l e g e d ly r e ce i ve d t he o r d e r o f d is mi ss al o n M a r c h 3 , 1998 and, on the 15th day or on March 18, 1998, filed a motion for reconsideration. O n J u l y 1 , 1 9 9 8 , t h e t r i a l c o u r t i s s u e d a n o t h e r o r d e r d i s m i s s i n g t h e m o t i o n f o r reconsideration which petitioners received on July 22, 1998. Five days later, on July27, 1998, petitioners filed a notice of appeal and paid the appeal fees on August 3, 1 99 8 . O n A u g u st 4 , 1 9 98 , t h e C A d e nie d t he n o t ic e o f ap p e a l, h o l d i ng t h a t i t w as filed eight days late. This was received by petitioners on July 31, 1998. Petitionersf i l e d a m o t i o n f o r r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n b u t t h i s t o o w a s d e n i e d i n a n o r d e r d a t e d September 3, 1998. ISSUE:
Did the CA err in ruling that the petitioners’ Notice of Appeal was filed out of time? RULING: The SC ruled in favor of the petitioners. To standardize the appeal periods p r o v id e d i n t he R ul e s a nd t o a f fo r d l i t ig an ts f a i r o p p o r tuni ty t o a p p e a l t he ir c a se s , Th e C o ur t d e e ms i t p r a ct ic al to a l l o w a fr e s h p e r io d o f 1 5 d ay s w i t hi n w h ic h to f i le t h e no ti ce o f ap p e al i n t he R e g io na l Tr ia l C o ur t, c o u nt e d f r o m r e ce ip t o f t h e o r d e r d i sm is si ng a m o t io n f o r a n e w t r ia l o r m o t io n f o r r e co ns id e r at io n . He nc e fo r th , t h i s “fresh period rule” shall also apply to Rule 40 governing appeals from the Municipal T r i al C o ur t s to t he R e g io na l Tr ia l C o ur ts ; R ul e 4 2 o n p e t it i o n s f o r r e vi e w f r o m t he Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Appeals; Rule 43 on appeals from quasi-judicial agencies to the Court of Appeals and Rule 45 governing appeals by certiorari to the Supreme Court. The new rule aims to regiment or make the appeal period uniform, to be counted from receipt of the order denying the motion for new trial, motion for reconsideration (whether full or partial) or any final order or resolution. The petitioners seasonably filed their notice of appeal within the fresh period of 15days, counted from July 22, 1998, the date of receipt of notice denying their motion fo r r e co n sid e r a tio n. To r e c ap it ul at e , a p ar ty l i t i g a nt ma y e i t he r f i l e h i s no ti ce o f a p p e a l w i t hi n 1 5 d ay s f r o m r e ce ip t o f t h e R e g io na l T r i al C o ur t’ s d e c is io n o r f i le i t w i th in 1 5 d ay s f r o m r e ce ip t o f t he o r d e r ( t he “ f i n a l o r d e r ”) d e n yi ng h i s mo ti o n f o r n e w t r i al o r m o t io n fo r r e co n sid e r a tio n. Ob vi o us ly , t h e ne w 1 5 -d a y p e r io d m ay b e a v a i le d o f only i f e i th e r m o t io n i s f i l e d ; o t he r w ise , t h e d e c is io n b e co me s f in a l a n d executory after the lapse of the original appeal period provided in Rule 41, Section3 . P e t i ti o ne r s h e r e f i le d t h e i r no ti ce o f appeal on July 27, 1 9 98 or five days from receipt of the order denying their motion for reconsideration on July 22, 1 9 9 8 . He n ce , t h e n o t ic e o f a p p e a l w as w e ll w i t hi n t h e f r e sh ap p e a l p e r io d o f 1 5 d a y s , a s already discussed. NATIONAL HOME MORTGAGE FINANCE CORPORATION VS ABAYARI Facts: Petitioner, National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation is a GOCC with its own charter has in its employ respondents, mostly rank-in-file who claim they were hired after June 30, 1989. They claim additional benefits as provided by R.A. No.6758. To implement the law the DBM issued a circular excluding those who were already incumbent as of June 30, 1989 and who were actually receiving the said benefits. Petitioners filed a petition for mandamus with the trial court which subsequently granted it. The conflict arose when the DBM sent a letter to petitioner disallowing certain allowances, including those granted by the trial court. Respondents then filed for the execution of the trial court’s decision, which it subsequently granted. They sought for the garnishment of petitioners’ funds under the custody of the Land Bank of the Philippines. Petitioner appealed through certiorari, citing grave abuse of discretion with the Court of Appeals, the latter dismissed the same finding the case lacking in merit. Issue: Whether or not the execution of the judgment is allowed in this case. Ruling:
No, a favorable judgment rendered in a special civil action for mandamus is i n t he n a t ur e o f a sp e c ia l j ud g me nt . A s s u ch , i t r e q uir e s t h e p e r fo r mance o f a no t h e r a c t t h a n t h e p a y m e n t o f m o n e y o r t h e s a l e o r d e l i v e r y o f r e a l o r p e r s o n a l property the execution of which is governed by Section 11, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court which states: “Execution of Special Judgment.— When the judgmentrequires the performance of any a c t o t h e r t h a n t h o s e m e n t i o n e d i n t h e t w o preceding sections, a certified copy of the judgment shall be attached to the writ of execution and shall be served by the officer upon the party against whom the same i s rendered, or upon any other person required thereby, or by l a w , t o o b e y t h e s a me , a n d s u ch p ar ty o r p e r so n ma y b e p u ni sh e d f o r c o n te mp t i f he d i so b e ys s u ch judgment.”W hi le t h e Ap r i l 1 7 , 20 0 1 D e c is i o n o f t h e t r ia l c o ur t o r d e r ed p e t it io ne r t o p a y t h e benefits claimed by respondents, it by no means ordered the payment of a specific sum of money and instead merely directed petitioner to extend to respondents the benefits under R.A. No. 6758 and its implementing rules. Being a special judgment, t h e decision may not be executed in the same way as a j u d g m e n t f o r m o n e y h a nd e d d o w n i n a n o r d inar y ci v i l ca s e g o ve r ne d b y S e ct io n 9 , R u le 3 9 o f t he R ul e s o f Court which sanctions garnishment of debts and credits to satisfy a monetary award. Garnishment is proper only when the judgment to be enforced is one for payment of a sum of money. It cannot be employed t o i m p l e m e n t a s p e c i a l judgment such as that rendered in a special civil action for mandamus. ST. MARTIN FUNERAL HOME vs. NLRC G.R. No. 130866 September 16, 1998 Facts: :Private respondent alleges that he started working as Operations Manager of petitioner St. Martin Funeral Home. However, there was no contract of employment e x e c u t e d b e t w e e n h i m a n d p e t i t i o n e r n o r was hisname included in the semi-monthly payroll. Respondent was dismissed from his employment for alleged l y mi s ap p r o p r iat ing P 38 , 0 0 0 .0 0 w h ic h w as i n t e nd e d fo r p a ym e nt b y p e t it i o ne r o f i t s VAT to BIR..P e t i t i o n e r o n t h e other hand claims that private respondent was not its employee. Labor arbiter rendered a decision in favor of petitioner on declaring that no employer-employee relationship existed. On appeal, the NLRC rendered aresolution setting aside the questioned de cision prompting petitioner to file a motion for reconsideration which was however denied. Hence, p e t i t i o n e r f i l e d a p e t it i o n fo r ce r t io r ar i u n d e r r u le 6 5 a l l e g i ng t h a t t he NL RC co mmit te d g r av e a b u se of discretion. Issue: Whether or not the SC is the proper forum to review the decision of the NLRC Ruling: No. R.A. No. 7902 ( March 18, 1995) Sec. 9. Jurisdiction. — The Court of Appeals shallexercise: E x c l u s i v e a p p e l l a t e j u r i s d i c t i o n o v e r a l l f i n a l j u d g m e n t s , decisions, resolutions, orders or awards of Regional Trial Courts a n d q u a s i - j u d i c i a l a g e n c i e s , i n s t r u m e n t a l i t i e s , b o a r d s o r c o m m i s s i o n s , i n c l u d i n g t h e S e c u r i t i e s a n d E x c h a n g e Commission, the Social Security Commission, the Employee
s C o mp e nsa ti o n C o mmi ss io n a n d t h e C iv i l S e r vi ce C o mmis si o n ,e x c e p t t h o s e f a l l i n g w i t h i n t h e a p p e l l a t e j u r i s d i c t i o n o f t h e S up r e me C o ur t i n ac co r d a nce w i th t he C o n st i tu t io n, t he L ab o r C od e o f t h e P h i li p p i ne s u nd e r P r e si d e n ti al D e c r e e No . 4 4 2 , a s am e nd e d , t he p r o v is io n s o f t h i s A c t , a nd o f s u b p ar ag r ap h ( 1 ) of t h e t h i r d p a r a g r a p h a n d s u b p a r a g r a p h ( 4 ) o f t h e f o u r t h paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.P a r a g r a p h ( 3 ) , S e c t i o n 9 o f B . P . N o . 1 2 9 n o w g r a n t s e x c l u s i v e a p p e l l a t e jurisdiction to the Court of Appeals over all final adjudications of the Regional TrialC o ur t s a nd t h e q u as i -j ud i ci al a g e nc ie s g e ne r a ll y o r s p e ci fi ca ll y r e f e r r e d t o t he r e i nexcept, among others, "those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the SupremeC o ur t i n a cc o r d ance w i t h . . . t h e L a b o r C o d e o f t he P h i li p p i ne s un d e r P r e si d e nt ia lDecree No. 442, as amended, . . . ." T h e r e f o r e , a l l r e f e r e n c e s i n t h e a m e n d e d S e c t i o n 9 o f B . P . N o . 1 2 9 t o supposed appeals from the NLRC to the Supreme Court are interpreted and herebydeclared to mean and refer to petitions for certiorari under Rule 65. Consequently,all such petitions should hence forth be initially filed in the Court of Appeals in stricto b se r va nce o f t h e d o c tr ine o n t h e h i e r ar ch y o f co ur t s a s t he a p p r o p r iate fo r um fo rthe relief desired. Ang Tibay vs Court of Industrial Relations EN BANC G.R. No. L-46496 February 27, 1940 Due Process – Admin Bodies – CIR Teodoro Toribio owns and operates Ang Tibay a leather company which supplies the Philippine Army. Due to alleged shortage of leather, Toribio caused the lay off of members of National Labor Union Inc. NLU averred that Toribio’s act is not valid as it is not within the CBA. That there are two labor unions in Ang Tibay; NLU and National Worker’s Brotherhood. That NWB is dominated by Toribio hence he favors it over NLU. That NLU wishes for a new trial as they were able to come up with new evidence/documents that they were not able to obtain before as they were inaccessible and they were not able to present it before in the CIR. ISSUE: Whether or not there has been a due process of law. HELD: The SC ruled that there should be a new trial in favor of NLU. The SC ruled that all administrative bodies cannot ignore or disregard the fundamental and essential requirements of due process. They are; (1) The right to a hearing which includes the right of the party interested or affected to present his own case and submit evidence in support thereof. (2) Not only must the party be given an opportunity to present his case and to adduce evidence tending to establish the rights which he asserts but the tribunal must consider the evidence presented. (3) While the duty to deliberate does not impose the obligation to decide right, it does imply a necessity which cannot be disregarded, namely, that of having something to support its decision. A decision with absolutely nothing to support it is a nullity, a place when directly attached.
(4) Not only must there be some evidence to support a finding or conclusion but the evidence must be “substantial.” Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. (5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected. (6) The Court of Industrial Relations or any of its judges, therefore, must act on its or his own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy, and not simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision. (7) The Court of Industrial Relations should, in all controversial questions, render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the vario issues involved, and the reasons for the decisions rendered. The performance of this duty is inseparable from the authority conferred upon it. G.R. No. 88211, September 15, 1989 Marcos, petitioner VS. Manglapus, respondent (Part 1) Facts: Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos was deposed from the presidency via the nonviolent “people power” revolution and was forced into exile. Marcos, in his deathbed, has signified his wish to return to the Philippines to die. But President Corazon Aquino, considering the dire consequences to the nation of his return at a time when the stability of government is threatened from various directions and the economy is just beginning to rise and move forward, has stood firmly on the decision to bar the return of Marcos and his family. Aquino barred Marcos from returning due to possible threats & following supervening events: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 1. 2. failed Manila Hotel coup in 1986 led by Marcos leaders channel 7 taken over by rebels & loyalists plan of Marcoses to return w/ mercenaries aboard a chartered plane of a Lebanese arms dealer. This is to prove that they can stir trouble from afar Honasan’s failed coup Communist insurgency movements secessionist movements in Mindanao devastated economy because of accumulated foreign debt plunder of nation by Marcos & cronies
According to the Marcoses, such act deprives them of their right to life, liberty, property without due process and equal protection of the laws. They also said that it deprives them of their right to travel which according to Section 6, Article 3 of the constitution, may only be impaired by a court order. Issue: 1. Whether or not, in the exercise of the powers granted by the Constitution, the President may prohibit the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines. 2. Whether or not the President acted arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she determined that the return of the Marcoses to the Philippines poses a serious threat to national interest and welfare and decided to bar their return. Decision: No to both issues. Petition dismissed. Ratio: Separation of power dictates that each department has exclusive powers. According to Section 1, Article VII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, “the executive power shall be vested in the President of the Philippines.” However, it does not define what is meant by “executive power” although in the same article it touches on exercise of certain powers by the President, i.e., the power of control over all executive departments, bureaus and offices, the power to execute the laws, the appointing power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons… (art VII secfs. 14-23). Although the constitution outlines tasks of the president, this list is not defined & exclusive. She has residual & discretionary powers not stated in the Constitution which include the power to protect the general welfare of the people. She is obliged to protect the people, promote their welfare & advance national interest. (Art. II, Sec. 4-5 of the Constitution). Residual powers, according to Theodore Roosevelt, dictate that the President can do anything which is not forbidden in the Constitution (Corwin, supra at 153), inevitable to vest discretionary powers on the President (Hyman, American President) and that the president has to maintain peace during times of emergency but also on the day-to-day operation of the State. The rights Marcoses are invoking are not absolute. They’re flexible depending on the circumstances. The request of the Marcoses to be allowed to return to the Philippines cannot be considered in the light solely of the constitutional provisions guaranteeing liberty of abode and the right to travel, subject to certain exceptions, or of case law which clearly never contemplated situations even remotely similar to the present one. It must be treated as a matter that is appropriately addressed to those residual unstated powers of the President which are implicit in and correlative to the paramount duty residing in that office to safeguard and protect general welfare. In that context, such request or demand should submit to the exercise of a broader discretion on the part of the President to determine whether it must be granted or denied. For issue number 2, the question for the court to determine is whether or not there exist factual basis for the President to conclude that it was in the national interest to bar the return of the Marcoses in the Philippines. It is proven that there are factual bases in her decision. The supervening events that happened before her decision are factual. The President must take preemptive measures for the self-preservation of the country & protection of the people. She has to uphold the Constitution.
Marcos filed for a petition of mandamus and prohibition to order the respondents to issue them their travel documents and prevent the implementation of President Aquino’s decision to bar Marcos from returning in the Philippines. Petitioner questions Aquino’s power to bar his return in the country. He also questioned the claim of the President that the decision was made in the interest of national security, public safety and health. Petitioner also claimed that the President acted outside her jurisdiction.
Fernan, Concurring 1. 2. 3. The president’s power is not fixed. Limits would depend on the imperatives of events and not on abstract theories of law. We are undergoing a critical time and the current problem can only be answerable by the President. Threat is real. Return of the Marcoses would pose a clear & present danger. Thus, it’s the executive’s responsibility & obligation to prevent a grave & serious threat to its safety from arising. We can’t sacrifice public peace, order, safety & our political & economic gains to give in to Marcos’ wish to die in the country. Compassion must give way to the other state interests.
and his family pose a threat to national interest and welfare and in prohibiting their return to the Philippines. On September 28, 1989, Marcos died in Honolulu, Hawaii. President Corazon Aquino issued a statement saying that in the interest of the safety of those who will take the death of Marcos in widely and passionately conflicting ways, and for the tranquility and order of the state and society, she did not allow the remains of Marcos to be brought back in the Philippines. A motion for Reconsideration was filed by the petitioners raising the following arguments: 1. 2. 3. Issue: Whether or not the motion for reconsideration that the Marcoses be allowed to return in the Philippines be granted. Decision: No. The Marcoses were not allowed to return. Motion for Reconsideration denied because of lack of merit. Ratio: 1. Petitioners failed to show any compelling reason to warrant reconsideration. 2. Factual scenario during the time Court rendered its decision has not changed. The threats to the government, to which the return of the Marcoses has been viewed to provide a catalytic effect, have not been shown to have ceased. Imelda Marcos also called President Aquino “illegal” claiming that it is Ferdinand Marcos who is the legal president. 3. President has unstated residual powers implied from grant of executive power. Enumerations are merely for specifying principal articles implied in the definition; leaving the rest to flow from general grant that power, interpreted in conformity with other parts of the Constitution (Hamilton). Executive unlike Congress can exercise power from sources not enumerates so long as not forbidden by constitutional text (Myers vs. US). This does not amount to dictatorship. Amendment No. 6 expressly granted Marcos power of legislation whereas 1987 Constitution granted Aquino with implied powers. 4. It is within Aquino’s power to protect & promote interest & welfare of the people. She bound to comply w/ that duty and there is no proof that she acted arbitrarily Tolentino vs. COMELEC Parties Petitioners: Arturo Tolentino, Arturo MojicaRespondents: COMELEC, Ralph Recto, Gregorio Honasan- Ponente: Carpio Background Barring their return would deny them their inherent right as citizens to return to their country of birth and all other rights guaranteed by the Constitution to all Filipinos. The President has no power to bar a Filipino from his own country; if she has, she had exercised it arbitrarily. There is no basis for barring the return of the family of former President Marcos.
Cruz, Dissenting 1. 2. 3. As a citizen of this country, it is Marcos’ right to return, live & die in his own country. It is a right guaranteed by the Consti to all individuals, whether patriot, homesick, prodigal, tyrant, etc. Military representatives failed to show that Marcos’ return would pose a threat to national security. Fears were mere conjectures. Residual powers – but the executive’s powers were outlined to limit her powers & not expand.
Paras, Dissenting 1. 2. 3. AFP has failed to prove danger which would allow State to impair Marcos’ right to return to the Philippines. . Family can be put under house arrest & in the event that one dies, he/she should be buried w/in 10 days. Untenable that without a legislation, right to travel is absolute & state is powerless to restrict it. It’s w/in police power of the state to restrict this right if national security, public safety/health demands that such be restricted. It can’t be absolute & unlimited all the time. It can’t be arbitrary & irrational. No proof that Marcos’ return would endanger national security or public safety. Fears are speculative & military admits that it’s under control. Filipinos would know how to handle Marcos’ return.
Padilla, Dissenting Sarmiento, Dissenting 1. President’s determination that Marcos’ return would threaten national security should be agreed upon by the court. Such threat must be clear & present. G.R. No. 88211, October 27, 1989 Marcos, petitioner VS. Manglapus, respondent (Part 2) Facts: In its decision dated September 15, 1989, the Court by a vote of eight to seven, dismissed the petition, after finding that the President did not act arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion in determining that the return of former President Marcos
This is a petition for prohibition to set aside the COMELEC’s Resolutions which proclaimed official and final the 13candidates elected as Senators in the May 14 2001 elections. Facts of the Case In Fe b 2 0 0 1, a S e na te se a t fo r a te r m e x p i r i ng o n J u n e 30 2 0 0 4 w a s v a c a te d w / t h e ap p o in tme n t o f t he n S e n.Guingona as VP of the PI.Th e S e n ate t he n a d o p te d Re so lu ti o n # 8 4 w c : 1 ) c e r ti fi e d t he e x i s te nce o f a v a ca nc y i n t he S e n at e & 2 ) ca l le d t h eCOMELEC to fill up the said vacancy through a special election to be held simultaneously w/ the regular election onMay 14 2001, and 3) declared the senatorial candidate garnering the 13th highest number of votes shall serve only for t h e unexpired term of former Sen. Guingona. Accdg to the Senate, this Resolutn is for t h e “ g u i d a n c e ” & “implementatn” of the COMELEC, &that it had NO discretion to alter the said procedure.No b o d y f i le d a c e r ti fi ca t e o f c a nd id ac y to f i l l t h e p o s it io n o f s e na t o r t o se r v e t he u ne xp ir e d 3 y r t e r m i n t he sp e c ia l electn. All the senatorial candidates filed the certificates of candidacy for the 12 regular Senate seats w/ a 6yr termeach. COMELEC distributed nationwide official documents (eg Voter Info Sheet, List of Candidates, Sample Ballot).The List of Candidates DID NOT provide 2 different categories of Senate seats to be voted, namely the 12 regular 6-year term seats & the single 3-year term seat. Nor did the ballots provide a separate space for the candidate to bevoted in the special election & instead provided 13 spaces for 13 senatorial seats.Without any COMELEC resolution/notice on the time, place & manner of the special election, the special election washeld on the scheduled May 14 2001 regular elections.A single canvassing of votes for a single list of senatorial candidates was also done.Petitioners assailed the manner by which the special election was conducted for violating the precedents set by the1951 & 1955 special elections, both of wc were held simultaneously & yet distinctly w/ the regular general elections.Thus, they pray that the Court declare that 1) NO special elections were held & that 2) Comelec’s Resolutions thatproclaim the Senatorial candidate who obtained the 13th highest # of votes as a duly elected be declared NULL&VOID Issue/s Procedural Issues 1) WON the Court has no jurisdiction over the matter bec respondents say it is a quo warranto proceeding (a proceeding wc determines the right of a public officer in the exercise of his office & to oust him from it if his claim is not well-founded), where only the Senate Electoral Tribunal can serve as judge. 2) WON the petition is MOOT 3) WON the petitioner have locus standi Substantive Issue WON a special election to fill a vacant 3-yr term Senate seat was validly held on May14 2001, despite the lack of a “call” for such an election & for lack of notice from COMELEC Ratio Decidendi The petition HAS NO MERIT. Procedural Issues 1 ) Y ES , t he C o ur t c a n p r o p e r ly e xe r c ise j u r i sd ict io n b e c w ha t t h e p e t i ti o ne r s a r e q ue st io ni nghere is the validity of the special election in wc Honasan was elected, NOT his right in the exercise of his
office asSenator. His election is merely incidental to the petitioner’s case of action. 2 ) A l t ho ug h t he p e ti ti o n ma y b e mo o t, i t i s n o b a r fo r t h e C o ur t to d e c id e o n i t s r e so lu tio n b e c t h e q u e s ti o n o f t he validity of a special election is likely to be repeated 3 ) Y ES , t he C o ur t s h a ll b e l ib e r al i n ap p l yi ng i t s r ul e o f lo cu s s t a n d i b e c t he i s s ue s r ai s e d a r e o f tr a ns ce nd e nt alsignificance & paramount importance to the people, for it involves the people’s right for suffrage. Substantive Issue YES, a special election to fill a vacant 3-yr term Senate seat was validly held on May 14 2001. Although COMELECDID NOT COMPLY w/ the requirements of RA 6645, either strictly or substantially, it does NOT invalidate the specialelection. WHY? A) Bec although no calls for special election were made by COMELEC, Sec 2 of RA 6645, as amended by RA 7166a l r e ad y p r o vid e s t h a t i n c a se o f v a c an cy i n t he S e n ate , t he s p e ci al e le ct io n t o f i l l s uc h v a c an cy s h a l l b e he ld si mul ta ne o u sl y w / t he n e x t s u cc e e d ing r e g ul ar e le ct io n. T he l aw a lr e ad y c ha r g e s t h e v o te r s w / k no w le d ge o f t h i s s t a tu t o r y n o t ic e & C OM EL EC ’ s f a il ur e t o g i ve a d d it io n al no ti ce d i d no t n e g ate t h e c a ll in g o f s uc h s p e ci al e le ct io n,much less invalidate it. B ) M o r e o ve r , t he r e i s n o p r o o f t h a t t h e C OM EL EC ’ s f a i lu r e t o g iv e a f o r ma l n o t ic e o f t h e O f f ic e to b e f i l l e d & t he manner of determining the winner in the special election actually misled voters & thereby changed the results of theelection. After all, the voters can be duly notified through other sources such as media reports & election propagandaduring the campaign. C) Our election laws DO NOT require that a separate documentation or canvassing of votes be made for a specialelection. COMELEC acted w/in its constitutional powers when it chose to abandon the precedents of the 1951 &1955special elections & instead adopted the Senate’s Resolution 84 wc shall award to the senatorial candidate garneringthe 13th highest number of votes, the unexpired Senate term of Sen. Guingona. The Court shall not interfere. note: the Senate (through Roco’s suggestion), in Resolution 84 felt that giving the 3year term to the candidate w/ the 13th highest number of votes was being practical & economical) In fine, the Court is loathe to annul elections despite certain irregularities unless it is impossible to distinguish wc laws are lawful & wc are not. This is to acknowledge the fact that suffrage is one form of people’s direct participation ingovernment, & it is thus indispensable in a democratic society like ours. ***REMINDER to COMELEC*** : the Court however, reminded the COMELEC to not take chances anymore in futureelections. COMELEC reminded to next time, comply strictly w/ all the requirements of the law regarding both regular & special elections. Appendix: 1) Puno’s Dissenting Opinion (joined by Davide, Vitug, Ynares-Santiage & Tinga) T he e le cto r at e s ho uld h a ve b e e n i n fo r me d o f t he t i me , p la ce & m an ne r o f co nd uc t o f t h e M a y 1 4 2 0 0 1 s p e ci al election for the
single senatorial seat for the unexpired term of VP Guingona. The cases of Tolentino, UNIDO, BloUmpar Adiong & Hassan all deepened the doctrine that a meaningful exercise of the right of suffrage in a genuinelyfree, orderly&honest election is predicated upon an informed electorate.The cases of Bince & Benito also teach ust h a t co r r e c t a s c e r t ai nme n t o f t h e w il l o f t h e p e o p le i s e q u al ly ne ce s sa r y . In no t a l lo w ing t h e v o te r to se p a r a te l yindicate the candidate he voted for the 3yr senatorial term, the voter was deprived of his right to make an informed judgment based on his own reasons&valuations. Thus, his true will in the special election was not ascertained.It is the ponencia’s argument that RA 6645, as amended by RA 7166 already provides that in case of vacancy in theSenate, the special election to fill such vacancy shall be held simultaneously w/ the next succeeding regular election.However, this is NOT the intention of the said laws, for they still require that the COMELEC issue an official notice of call of special elections. Likewise, neither RA 6645 nor RA 7166 contemplates the integration of the special electioni n t o t h e r e g ul ar e le ct io n w he r e b y c a nd id a te s w ho f i le d c e r ti fi ca t e s o f c an d id ac y f o r t he r e g ul ar e le ct io n s a l s oautomatically stand as candidates in the special election. The Omnibus Election Code is clear that a candidate canrun for only 1 position in an election.The ponencia likewise cites the Duquette case to lend support to its thesis that statutory notice suffices. In Duquette,it was held that in the absence of an official notice of the special election mandated by law to be held simultaneouslyw / t he r e g u lar e l e c ti o n , t he r e s h o u ld b e a c t ua l no ti ce o f t he e l e c to r a te , a s p r o ve n b y t he v o ti ng o f a s i g n if ic an tpercentage of the electorate. In the case at bar however, the number of votes cast for the special election cannot beascertained as the ballot did not indicate separately the votes for special election. Thus, there is neither official noticenor proof of actual notice.The Senate’s observation that the procedure for the special election that it adopted would be lost costly for the govta s t h e b al lo ts ne e d n o t b e p r in te d se p a r a te ly d o e s n o t j us t i f y t h e m an ne r o f t h e M a y 1 4 2 0 0 1 sp e c ia l e le ct io n. We cannot bargain the electorate’s fundamental right to vote intelligently w/ of the coin of convenience. Besides, even w/the Senate observation, the regular ballot had to be modified anyway, to include a 13th space. R e l ia nc e o n R A 6 6 45 a s am e nd e d b y R A 7 16 6 i s ER R ONEO US , f o r un d e r i t , i t i s t he C OM EL EC a nd NOT t h e Senate wc is supposed to call & hold special elections in case of vacancy. The Senate has NO POWER to impose on the COMELEC the procedure for the special election. In f i ne , t h e p o ne nc ia ’s r ul in g w i ll n o t o nl y b e a s t e p b ac k i n t i me b u t a l s o c o n s ti t u te a f a l l i n t he na t i o n ’s r i s e t o d e mo cr acy . Fr e e e l e c ti o ns d o e s no t o nl y me an t h a t t h e v o te r i s n o t p h ys ic al l y r e s tr ai ne d fr o m g o ing to t he p o l li ng booth but also that the voter is unrestrained by the bondage of ignorance. 2)1951 & 1955 elections In the 1951 & 1955 elections, wc were supposed to serve as models for special elections:a) a separate space was provided in the official ballot for senatorial candidates running for the 2yr term, b) candidatesf o r t he s i n g le S e n at e term of 2 yr s f i l e d s e p ar a te & d i s t in ct c e r ti fi ca t e s of c an d id ac y, c ) t a l l yi ng & c an va s s in g w e r eseparated for the regular&special elections.
G.R. No. 192935 December 7, 2010 LOUIS "BAROK" C. BIRAOGO, Petitioner, vs. THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010, Respondent. x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x G.R. No. 193036 REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN, REP. RODOLFO B. ALBANO, JR., REP. SIMEON A. DATUMANONG, and REP. ORLANDO B. FUA, SR., Petitioners, vs. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR. and DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT SECRETARY FLORENCIO B. ABAD, Respondents. When the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. --- Justice Jose P. Laurel Facts: The genesis of the foregoing cases can be traced to the events prior to the historic May 2010 elections, when then Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III declared his staunch condemnation of graft and corruption with his slogan, "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap." The Filipino people, convinced of his sincerity and of his ability to carry out this noble objective, catapulted the good senator to the presidency. The first case is G.R. No. 192935, a special civil action for prohibition instituted by petitioner Louis Biraogo (Biraogo) in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer. Biraogo assails Executive Order No. 1 for being violative of the legislative power of Congress under Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution as it usurps the constitutional authority of the legislature to create a public office and to appropriate funds therefor. The second case, G.R. No. 193036, is a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition filed by petitioners Edcel C. Lagman, Rodolfo B. Albano Jr., Simeon A. Datumanong, and Orlando B. Fua, Sr. (petitioners-legislators) as incumbent members of the House of Representatives. Thus, at the dawn of his administration, the President on July 30, 2010, signed Executive Order No. 1 establishing the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (Truth Commission). Issues: 1. Whether or not the petitioners have the legal standing to file their respective petitions and question Executive Order No. 1; 2. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the principle of separation of powers by usurping the powers of Congress to create and to appropriate funds for public offices, agencies and commissions; 3. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 supplants the powers of the Ombudsman
and the DOJ; 4. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the equal protection clause; and 5. Whether or not petitioners are entitled to injunctive relief. Held:
Commission, the Feliciano Commission and the Zenarosa Commission, its findings would, at best, be recommendatory in nature. And being so, the Ombudsman and the DOJ have a wider degree of latitude to decide whether or not to reject the recommendation. These offices, therefore, are not deprived of their mandated duties but will instead be aided by the reports of the PTC for possible indictments for violations of graft laws. Violation of the Equal Protection Clause
Legal Standing of the Petitioners The Court, however, finds reason in Biraogo’s assertion that the petition covers matters of transcendental importance to justify the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court. There are constitutional issues in the petition which deserve the attention of this Court in view of their seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents. Where the issues are of transcendental and paramount importance not only to the public but also to the Bench and the Bar, they should be resolved for the guidance of all.Undoubtedly, the Filipino people are more than interested to know the status of the President’s first effort to bring about a promised change to the country. The Court takes cognizance of the petition not due to overwhelming political undertones that clothe the issue in the eyes of the public, but because the Court stands firm in its oath to perform its constitutional duty to settle legal controversies with overreaching significance to society. Power of the President to Create the Truth Commission The Chief Executive’s power to create the Ad hoc Investigating Committee cannot be doubted. Having been constitutionally granted full control of the Executive Department, to which respondents belong, the President has the obligation to ensure that all executive officials and employees faithfully comply with the law. With AO 298 as mandate, the legality of the investigation is sustained. Such validity is not affected by the fact that the investigating team and the PCAGC had the same composition, or that the former used the offices and facilities of the latter in conducting the inquiry. Power of the Truth Commission to Investigate The distinction between the power to investigate and the power to adjudicate was delineated by the Court in Cariño v. Commission on Human Rights.59 Thus: The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by step by patient inquiry or observation. To trace or track; to search into; to examine and inquire into with care and accuracy; to find out by careful inquisition; examination; the taking of evidence; a legal inquiry;" "to inquire; to make an investigation," "investigation" being in turn described as "(a)n administrative function, the exercise of which ordinarily does not require a hearing. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. 257; x x an inquiry, judicial or otherwise, for the discovery and collection of facts concerning a certain matter or matters." In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. To determine finally. Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially, to decide, settle or decree, or to sentence or condemn. x x. Implies a judicial determination of a fact, and the entry of a judgment." Finally, nowhere in Executive Order No. 1 can it be inferred that the findings of the PTC are to be accorded conclusiveness. Much like its predecessors, the Davide The petitioners assail Executive Order No. 1 because it is violative of this constitutional safeguard. They contend that it does not apply equally to all members of the same class such that the intent of singling out the "previous administration" as its sole object makes the PTC an "adventure in partisan hostility." Thus, in order to be accorded with validity, the commission must also cover reports of graft and corruption in virtually all administrations previous to that of former President Arroyo. The equal protection clause is aimed at all official state actions, not just those of the legislature. Its inhibitions cover all the departments of the government including the political and executive departments, and extend to all actions of a state denying equal protection of the laws, through whatever agency or whatever guise is taken. Applying these precepts to this case, Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the equal protection clause. The clear mandate of the envisioned truth commission is to investigate and find out the truth "concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous administration"only. The intent to single out the previous administration is plain, patent and manifest. Mention of it has been made in at least three portions of the questioned executive order. Decision The issue that seems to take center stage at present is - whether or not the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its constitutionally mandated power of Judicial Review with respect to recent initiatives of the legislature and the executive department, is exercising undue interference. Is the Highest Tribunal, which is expected to be the protector of the Constitution, itself guilty of violating fundamental tenets like the doctrine of separation of powers? Time and again, this issue has been addressed by the Court, but it seems that the present political situation calls for it to once again explain the legal basis of its action lest it continually be accused of being a hindrance to the nation’s thrust to progress. WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. Executive Order No. 1 is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it is violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. As also prayed for, the respondents are hereby ordered to cease and desist from carrying out the provisions of Executive Order No. 1. SO ORDERED. NALTDRA vs. CSC (1993) Facts: Garcia is a Law graduate and was appointed as Deputy Register of Deeds VII with a permanent status. However, she was later assigned as Deputy Register of Deeds II with a temporary status pursuant to EO No. 649 which authorized the
restructuring of LRC to NALTDRA and required membership of the Bar for the position of Deputy Register of Deeds. She was later terminated because she was not qualified under the EO requirement. CSC directed that she be restored to her position under the vested right theory saying that the qualification under the EO applies only to new applicants. Hence this petition by NALTDRA. Held: the requirement of Bar membership to qualify for key positions in the NALTDRA was imposed to meet the changing circumstances and new development of the times. Garcia who formerly held the position of Deputy Register of Deeds II did not have such qualification. It is thus clear that she cannot hold any key position in the NALTDRA, The additional qualification was not intended to remove her from office. Rather, it was a criterion imposed concomitant with a valid reorganization measure. A final word, on the "vested right theory" advanced by respondent Civil Service Commission. There is no such thing as a vested interest or an estate in an office, or even an absolute right to hold it. Except constitutional offices which provide for special immunity as regards salary and tenure, no one can be said to have any vested right in an office or its salary. Villegas vs Subido Political Law – Women Workers Then Mayor Villegas approved the appointing of 91 women street sweepers in the City of Manila. But the appointing would still have to be approved by the Office of Civil Service Commission under Subido. Subido on the other hand refused to extend approval to such appointments on the ground that appointing women to manual labor is against Memorandum Circular No. 18 s 1964. Villegas however pointed out that the said Memo has already been set aside by the Office of the President hence the same is no longer in effect. HELD: The reliance of then respondent Commissioner was not on any law or rule but simply on his own concept of what policy to pursue, in this instance in accordance with his own personal predilection. Here he appeared to be unalterably convinced that to allow women laborers to work outside their offices as street sweepers would run counter to Filipino tradition. A public official must be able to point to a particular provision of law or rule justifying the exercise of a challenged authority. Nothing is better settled in the law than that a public official exercises power, not rights. The government itself is merely an agency through which the will of the state is expressed and enforced. Its officers therefore are likewise agents entrusted with the responsibility of discharging its functions. As such there is no presumption that they are empowered to act. There must be a delegation of such authority, either express or implied. In the absence of a valid grant, they are devoid of power. What they do suffers from a fatal infirmity. That principle cannot be sufficiently stressed. In the appropriate language of Chief Justice Hughes: ‘It must be conceded that departmental zeal may not be permitted to outrun the authority conferred by statute.’ Neither the high dignity of the office nor the righteousness of the motive then is an acceptable substitute. Otherwise the rule of law becomes a myth. Such an eventuality, we must take all pains to avoid. G.R. No. L-27714 (November 5, 1981) Equality between women and men is the emphasis of this case; particularly, equality in the workplace. In this case, the Supreme Court recognized the equal worth of the work put forth by both women and men. This case is an example of a classification that heightens, instead of lessens, the inequality between the two. Because of the intention of the memorandum to ‘protect’ the ‘traditional dignity’ of women it sought to prohibit them from working. It should be remembered that recognizing the
distinction between women and men must aim at equalizing their opportunities, and not to further discriminate one over the other. Facts: The case involves the employment of women as street sweepers in the City of Manila, contrary to the provisions of Memorandum Circular No. 18, s. 1964, on the subject: “Women in Laborer Positions.” Pursuant to said Memorandum Circular, “[the] Office [shall] disapprove all appointments extended to females as street sweepers, when the same are submitted to [the] Office. In view thereof, and to prevent disbursement of city funds for illegal employment and to preclude injustice to these female employees who may later be required to refund whatever they may have received as salary or wages, it is requested that the salaries or wages of all women street sweepers or women laborers employed as such be withheld immediately.” The pertinent portion of such memorandum is worded thus: “This Office has observed that some offices which employ women laborers make them perform work in the street alongside men workers. While it cannot be denied that those occupying laborer positions should be made to perform the duties properly belonging to such positions, it is the opinion of this Office that the practice of making them perform manual labor outside office premises exposes them to contempt and ridicule and constitutes a violation of the traditional dignity and respect accorded Filipino womanhood. x x x In view of the above, it is directed that agencies affected put a stop immediately to the practice referring to above; otherwise, this Office shall, except for justifiable reasons, be constrained to withhold approval of any or all appointments to laborer positions extended to women and shall accordingly, bring the matter to the attention of the General Auditing Office.” Held: The situation thus presented is one akin to that found in another case between the same parties, likewise entitled Villegas v. Subido. There, as well as here, reliance of then respondent Commissioner was not on any law or rule but simply on his own concept of what policy to pursue—in this instance, in accordance with his own personal predilection. Here, he appeared to be unalterably convinced that to allow women laborers to work outside their offices as street sweepers would run counter to Filipino tradition. The sincerity of his conviction is conceded, but that does not suffice. A public official must be able to point to a particular provision of law or rule justifying the exercise of a challenged authority. So it was correctly held in the decision on appeal. For the past six years (at least), Filipino women have contributed, along with the male employees, in keeping Metro Manila clean, attractive, and hygienic. There has been no offense to the well-known Filipino tradition of holding women in high esteem and respect. Moreover, the trend towards greater and greater recognition of equal rights for both sexes under the shelter of the equal protection clause argues most strongly against this kind of discrimination. CANORECO VS. TORRES G.R.NO.127249Feb 27, 1998 FACTS: W i t h t h e f o r e g o i n g p r o b l e m s o f t h e o f f i c e r s o f CANOR ECO, the President of the Philippines issued Memorandum Order No. 409 constituting an Ad Hoc Committee to temporarily take over and manage the affairs of CANORECO, which the petitioners questions its validity. ISSUE:
WON the Office of the President validly constitute an ad hoc committee to take over and manage the affairs of a n electric cooperative. HELD: W hi le p o l ice p o w e r m a y b e d e le g at e d t o t h e P r e si d e n t by law, RA 6939 and PD 260, as amended, do not authorize the Pr e s id e n t o r a n y o t he r a d m in is tr at i ve b o d y, to take o ve r t he i n t e r n a l m a n a g e m e n t o f a c o o p e r a t i v e . A c c o r d i n g l y , M e m o r a n d u m O r d e r N o . 4 0 9 , i s s u e d b y t h e P r e s i d e n t , constituting an ad hoc committee to temporarily take over and manage the affairs of CANORECO is invalid. The instant petition is GRANTED. MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 155650 July 20, 2006 Facts: MIAA received Final Notices of Real Estate Tax Delinquency from the City of Parañaque for the taxable years 1992 to 2001. MIAA’s real estate tax delinquency was estimated at P624 million. The City of Parañaque, through its City Treasurer, issued notices of levy and warrants of levy on the Airport Lands and Buildings. The Mayor of the City of Parañaque threatened to sell at public auction the Airport Lands and Buildings should MIAA fail to pay the real estate tax delinquency. MIAA filed with the Court of Appeals an original petition for prohibition and injunction, with prayer for preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order. The petition sought to restrain the City of Parañaque from imposing real estate tax on, levying against, and auctioning for public sale the Airport Lands and Buildings. Paranaque’s Contention: Section 193 of the Local Government Code expressly withdrew the tax exemption privileges of “government-owned and-controlled corporations” upon the effectivity of the Local Government Code. Respondents also argue that a basic rule of statutory construction is that the express mention of one person, thing, or act excludes all others. An international airport is not among the exceptions mentioned in Section 193 of the Local Government Code. Thus, respondents assert that MIAA cannot claim that the Airport Lands and Buildings are exempt from real estate tax. MIAA’s contention: Airport Lands and Buildings are owned by the Republic. The government cannot tax itself. The reason for tax exemption of public property is that its taxation would not inure to any public advantage, since in such a case the tax debtor is also the tax creditor. Issue: WON Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA are exempt from real estate tax under existing laws? Yes. Ergo, the real estate tax assessments issued by the City of Parañaque, and all proceedings taken pursuant to such assessments, are void. Held:
1. MIAA is Not a Government-Owned or Controlled Corporation MIAA is not a government-owned or controlled corporation but an instrumentality of the National Government and thus exempt from local taxation. MIAA is not a stock corporation because it has no capital stock divided into shares. MIAA has no stockholders or voting shares. MIAA is also not a non-stock corporation because it has no members. A non-stock corporation must have members. MIAA is a government instrumentality vested with corporate powers to perform efficiently its governmental functions. MIAA is like any other government instrumentality, the only difference is that MIAA is vested with corporate powers. When the law vests in a government instrumentality corporate powers, the instrumentality does not become a corporation. Unless the government instrumentality is organized as a stock or non-stock corporation, it remains a government instrumentality exercising not only governmental but also corporate powers. Thus, MIAA exercises the governmental powers of eminent domain, police authority and the levying of fees and charges. At the same time, MIAA exercises “all the powers of a corporation under the Corporation Law, insofar as these powers are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Executive Order.” 2. Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA are Owned by the Republic a. Airport Lands and Buildings are of Public Dominion The Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA are property of public dominion and therefore owned by the State or the Republic of the Philippines. No one can dispute that properties of public dominion mentioned in Article 420 of the Civil Code, like “roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by the State,” are owned by the State. The term “ports” includes seaports and airports. The MIAA Airport Lands and Buildings constitute a “port” constructed by the State. Under Article 420 of the Civil Code, the MIAA Airport Lands and Buildings are properties of public dominion and thus owned by the State or the Republic of the Philippines. The Airport Lands and Buildings are devoted to public use because they are used by the public for international and domestic travel and transportation. The fact that the MIAA collects terminal fees and other charges from the public does not remove the character of the Airport Lands and Buildings as properties for public use. The charging of fees to the public does not determine the character of the property whether it is of public dominion or not. Article 420 of the Civil Code defines property of public dominion as one “intended for public use.” The terminal fees MIAA charges to passengers, as well as the landing fees MIAA charges to airlines, constitute the bulk of the income that maintains the operations of MIAA. The collection of such fees does not change the character of MIAA as an airport for public use. Such fees are often termed user’s tax. This means taxing those among the public who actually use a public facility instead of taxing all the public including those who never use the particular public facility.
b. Airport Lands and Buildings are Outside the Commerce of Man The Court has also ruled that property of public dominion, being outside the commerce of man, cannot be the subject of an auction sale. Properties of public dominion, being for public use, are not subject to levy, encumbrance or disposition through public or private sale. Any encumbrance, levy on execution or auction sale of any property of public dominion is void for being contrary to public policy. Essential public services will stop if properties of public dominion are subject to encumbrances, foreclosures and auction sale. This will happen if the City of Parañaque can foreclose and compel the auction sale of the 600-hectare runway of the MIAA for non-payment of real estate tax. c. MIAA is a Mere Trustee of the Republic MIAA is merely holding title to the Airport Lands and Buildings in trust for the Republic. Section 48, Chapter 12, Book I of the Administrative Code allows instrumentalities like MIAA to hold title to real properties owned by the Republic. n MIAA’s case, its status as a mere trustee of the Airport Lands and Buildings is clearer because even its executive head cannot sign the deed of conveyance on behalf of the Republic. Only the President of the Republic can sign such deed of conveyance. d. Transfer to MIAA was Meant to Implement a Reorganization The transfer of the Airport Lands and Buildings from the Bureau of Air Transportation to MIAA was not meant to transfer beneficial ownership of these assets from the Republic to MIAA. The purpose was merely toreorganize a division in the Bureau of Air Transportation into a separate and autonomous body. The Republic remains the beneficial owner of the Airport Lands and Buildings. MIAA itself is owned solely by the Republic. No party claims any ownership rights over MIAA’s assets adverse to the Republic. e. Real Property Owned by the Republic is Not Taxable Sec 234 of the LGC provides that real property owned by the Republic of the Philippines or any of its political subdivisions except when the beneficial use thereof has been granted, for consideration or otherwise, to a taxable person following are exempted from payment of the real property tax. However, portions of the Airport Lands and Buildings that MIAA leases to private entities are not exempt from real estate tax. For example, the land area occupied by hangars that MIAA leases to private corporations is subject to real estate tax. Pollution Adjudication Board vs. CA et al. G.R. No. 93891, 11 March 1991 Third Division, Feliciano (J), 4 concur FACTS: Respondent, Solar Textile Finishing Corporation was involved in bleaching, rinsing and dyeing textiles with wastewater being directly discharged into a canal leading to the adjacent Tullahan- Tinerejos River. Petitioner Board, an agency of the Government charged with the task of determining whether the effluents of a particular industrial establishment comply with or violate applicable anti-pollution statutory and regulatory provisions, have been remarkably forbearing in its efforts to
enforce the applicable standards vis-a-vis Solar. Solar, on the other hand, seemed very casual about its continued discharge of untreated, pollutive effluents into the river. Petitioner Board issued an ex parte Order directing Solar immediately to cease and desist from utilizing its wastewater pollution source installations. Solar, however, with preliminary injunction against the Board, went to the Regional Trial Court on petition for certiorari, but it was dismissed upon two (2) grounds, i.e., that appeal and not certiorari from the questioned Order of the Board as well as the Writ of Execution was the proper remedy, and that the Board's subsequent Order allowing Solar to operate temporarily had rendered Solar's petition moot and academic. Dissatisfied, Solar went on appeal to the Court of Appeals, which reversed the Order of dismissal of the trial court and remanded the case to that court for further proceedings. In addition, the Court of Appeals declared the Writ of Execution null and void. At the same time, the CA said that certiorari was a proper remedy since the Orders of petitioner Board may result in great and irreparable injury to Solar; and that while the case might be moot and academic, "larger issues" demanded that the question of due process be settled. Petitioner Board moved for reconsideration, without success. Arguing that that the ex parte Order and the Writ of Execution were issued in accordance with law and were not violative of the requirements of due process; and the ex parte Order and the Writ of Execution are not the proper subjects of a petition for certiorari, Oscar A. Pascua and Charemon Clio L. Borre for petitioner asked the Supreme Court to review the Decision and Resolution promulgated by the Court of Appeals entitled "Solar Textile Finishing Corporation v. Pollution Adjudication Board," which reversed an order of the Regional Trial Court. In addition, petitioner Board claims that under P.D. No. 984, Section 7(a), it has legal authority to issue ex parte orders to suspend the operations of an establishment when there is prima facie evidence that such establishment is discharging effluents or wastewater, the pollution level of which exceeds the maximum permissible standards set by the NPCC (now, the Board). Petitioner Board contends that the reports before it concerning the effluent discharges of Solar into the River provided prima facie evidence of violation by Solar of Section 5 of the 1982 Effluent Code. Solar, on the other hand, contends that under the Board's own rules and regulations, an ex parte order may issue only if the effluents discharged pose an "immediate threat to life, public health, safety or welfare, or to animal and plant life." In the instant case, according to Solar, the inspection reports before the Board made no finding that Solar's wastewater discharged posed such a threat. ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the trial court on the ground that Solar had been denied due process by the Board. HELD: The Court found that the Order and Writ of Execution were entirely within the lawful authority of petitioner Board. Ex parte cease and desist orders are permitted by law and regulations in situations like here. The relevant pollution control statute and implementing regulations were enacted and promulgated in the exercise of that pervasive, sovereign power to protect the safety, health, and general welfare and comfort of the public, as well as the protection of plant and animal life, commonly designated as the police power. It is a constitutional commonplace that the ordinary requirements of procedural due process yield to the necessities of protecting vital public interests like those here involved, through the exercise of police power. Hence, the trial court did not err when it dismissed Solar's petition for certiorari. It follows that the proper remedy was an appeal from the trial court to the Court of Appeals, as Solar did in fact appeal. The Court gave due course on the Petition for Review and the Decision of the Court of Appeals and its Resolution were set aside.
The Order of petitioner Board and the Writ of Execution, as well as the decision of the trial court were reinstated, without prejudice to the right of Solar to contest the correctness of the basis of the Board's Order and Writ of Execution at a public hearing before the Board. FIRST DIVISION
On May 7, 1999 at about 11 p.m., the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) conducted simultaneous raids at the Royal Flame Club, Space World and Narcissus Club which are all located in Ermita, Manila as a result of which 20 female Chinese nationals were caught “in the act of entertaining customers and guests.” No Alien Employment Permits or Alien Employment Registration Certificates having been presented by these nationals, they were turned over to the BI for custody and verification of their alien status. They were thereupon confined at the BI Detention Center at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig, Metro Manila on May 8, 1999. On May 17, 1999, Chinese National Ma Jing, one of the 20 apprehended Chinese, filed a petition for habeas corpus at the Pasig Regional Trial Court (RTC) which was raffled to Branch 151 thereof. The caption of the petition did not name any respondent but it alleged as follows: xxx xxx xxx
[A.M. No. RTJ-99-1510. November 6, 2000]
COMMISSIONER RUFUS B. RODRIGUEZ, complainant, vs. JUDGE RODOLFO R. BONIFACIO, RTC, Branch 151, Pasig City, respondent. RESOLUTION YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: For allegedly granting improvidently a petition for Habeas Corpus in Special Proceeding No. 10931 entitled “In the Matter of the Petition for Habeas Corpus of Ma Jing,” respondent was charged in a verified complaint with Violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, Grave Misconduct, Gross Ignorance of the Law, Gross Incompetence, Gross Inefficiency and Knowingly Rendering An Unjust Judgment relative to the above-mentioned case. The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) referred the verified complaint to respondent judge for his comment thereon within ten (10) days from notice. On July 30, 1999, respondent judge filed his comment denying the charges against him and prayed for the dismissal of the case against him “for utter lack of merit.” The case was subsequently referred to the OCA for evaluation, report and recommendation. In an evaluation report dated September 21, 1999, the OCA recommended the dismissal of the administrative complaint against respondent judge for being sub judice, pointing out that the issues therein are the same as those pending resolution by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 53425 entitled “Rufus B. Rodriguez v. Hon. Rodolfo R. Bonifacio, et al.” The Court of Appeals subsequently promulgated a Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 53425 dated May 4, 2000 setting aside for lack of legal basis the assailed Order of respondent Judge dated June 24, 1999 which found herein complainant guilty of indirect contempt. In the meantime, in a Resolution dated November 24, 1999, the Court resolved to: 1.] docket the case as a regular administrative proceeding; and 2.] refer the case to Court of Appeals Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales for investigation, report and recommendation within ninety (90) days from notice. In compliance with the foregoing directive, Justice Morales submitted a Report summarizing the factual antecedents of the case thus:
2. On or about 07 May 1999 at about 10:00 o’clock in the evening, petitioner, a temporary visitor in the Philippines from the People’s Republic of China, was taken from a nightclub (Royal Flame) in Metro Manila by individuals who represented themselves as Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) and/or Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and since then confined, restrained and deprived her of her liberty and [is] now confined at the BID Detention Center, Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig, Metro Manila. 3. In spite of the fact that petitioner has been confined from then on, to date, no formal complaint or accusation for any specific offenses has been filed against her nor any judicial writ or order for her commitment has at any time been issued so far. 4. According to reliable information, the petitioner is now being unlawfully detained and deprived of her liberty by the Warden and/or Chief of the BID Detention Center, at Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Tagig, Metro Manila at the behest of the Chief of a special operation unit of the NBI combined with BID and DOLE agents and whose office is at NBI, NBI Bldg., Taft Ave., Manila. (emphasis and underscoring supplied) Acting Presiding Judge Rodolfo Bonifacio of Branch 151 of the Pasig RTC issued a writ. On May 21, 1999, Atty. Rommel J. de Leon, Technical Assistant, Commissioner’s Office, BI, submitted a RETURN OF THE WRIT alleging, inter alia: xxx xxx xxx
4. That an investigation was conducted by Special Prosecutor Ramoncito L. Tolentino by (sic) the Bureau of Immigration;
5. That during the said investigation the subject foreign nationals including the petitioner failed to produce any travel documents while the National Bureau of Investigation showed their Affidavit of Arrest, pictures taken at Royal Flame Club and other evidences in support of their claim, copy of said Affidavit of Arrest and pictures are attached hereto as Annexes B and C respectively; 6. That on May 13, 1999, Special Prosecutor Ramon L. Tolentino issued a Charge Sheet charging said alien for violation of Section 37 (a)  of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended, a copy of the charge sheet is attached hereto as Annex D; 7. That during the hearing at the Bureau of Immigration on May 20, 1999, the Counsel for petitioner and a certain Willy Ang manifested that the petitioner together with her companion are going to submit [an] application for Voluntary Deportation; 8. That based on the foregoing premises it is crystal clear that the petitioner is lawfully detained by the Bureau of Immigration; and 9. That moreso (sic), if ever the petitioner would submit an application for Voluntary Deportation as manifested by his Counsel Atty. San Pedro and their representative Mr. Willy Ang this petition would already be moot and academic. After conducting a hearing on the petition for habeas corpus, Judge Bonifacio, by Order of May 27, 1999, held: xxx xxx xxx
IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, the Court finds no cogent reason to hold petitioner under continued detention so that Ma Jing’s immediate release is hereby ordered, unless otherwise held on a different case and/or valid judicial process. The following day, May 28, 1999 “respondent Bureau of Immigration … by counsel Atty. Rommel J. de Leon, Technical Assistant, Commissioner’s Office” filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the May 27, 1999 [Order]. On May 31, 1999, Ma Jing not having been released from detention, filed a “Motion to Declare Parties Guilty of Contempt” naming BI Commissioner Rufus B. Rodriguez, Atty. de Leon, BI Detention Center Warden Enrico R. Paner and BI employees Mar Novales and Richie Galvadores as contemnors. By Order of June 15, 1999, Judge Bonifacio denied the BI’s Motion for Reconsideration of the Order of May 27, 1999 and directed BI Commissioner Rodriguez and his co-respondents in the Motion to hold them in contempt of court for failure to obey the Order of May 27, 1999. In the same Order of June 15, 1999, Judge Bonifacio ordered Commissioner Rodriguez and co-respondents to immediately release Ma Jing in accordance with his May 27, 1999 Order. Also on June 15, 1999, the BI issued a summary deportation order to Ma Jing who refused to receive it. The following day or on June 16, 1999, the BI filed at Branch 151 of the RTC Pasig a Notice of Appeal (to the Court of Appeals) of the May 27, 1999 Order and the June 15, 1999 Order. On June 18, 1999, Commissioner Rodriguez and his co-respondents, in compliance with the show cause order, filed an Explanation dated June 17, 1999 stating, inter alia, that they were never ordered in the May 17, 1999 Order to release Ma Jing; that except for Commissioner Rodriguez, the other respondents had no authority to release Ma Jing from the Detention Center; “that the contempt proceedings in the case at bar was not initiated by the Court motu propio, hence, the indirect contempt should be commenced by a verified petition and not by merely filing a Motion as was done in the instant case,” following Sec. 4 of Rule 71 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure which they therein quoted; and that the Motion for Reconsideration of the May 17, 1999 Order stayed the execution thereof as did the Notice of Appeal (filed on June 17, 1999) of the same order. In the meantime, the other Chinese nationals’ petitions for voluntary deportation were, by separate orders, granted by the BI. By June 24, 1999, Judge Bonifacio found Commissioner Rodriguez and corespondents guilty of indirect contempt and ordered their arrest and detention at the Pasig City jail until they have complied with the Order dated May 27, 1999 in the light of the following disquisition: xxx proceedings in habeas corpus are separate and distinct from any deportation proceedings taking place at the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation. They
Upon due inquiry, the Court finds that the petitioner is not really an undocumented alien as she has a valid PROC passport No. 1437777 and Visa No. 1201 issued by the Philippine Embassy on March 18, 1999. Her stay in the Philippines has been duly extended up to June 30, 1999 under O.R. No. M 7922945. The Charge Sheet, however, remains as a mere accusation, i.e. that petitioner is a mere suspect, working as a Guest Relation Officer at the Royal Flame Club without securing the necessary working permit/visa from the Bureau of Immigration. She was not notified though of the charges against her nor was she afforded due process. No commitment order was issued by the Commissioner of Immigration or any competent authority to justify her continued detention. xxx xxx xxx
In Dramayo, the Supreme Court has ruled categorically that accusation is not synonymous with guilt. The strongest suspicion must not be permitted to sway judgment (People vs. Austria, 195 SCRA 700). The illegal arrest of petitioner without warrant of arrest or seizure on 07 May 1999 and arbitrary detention, to date, is not remedied by the supposed filing in a Charge Sheet dated 13 May 1999 but assumably filed only on 14 May 1999. Petitioner had been detained without any valid charge from 07 May 1999 to 14 May 1999. The filing of the Charge Sheet did not (sic) the illegal detention of the petitioner. xxx Accordingly the said Order of May 27, 1999 disposed:
(habeas corpus proceedings) rarely, if ever, touch the merits of the deportation case and require no pronouncement with respect thereto. In its May 27, 1999 Order, this Court ordered the immediate release of petitioner Ma Jing, principally upon the following reasons: (i) the petitioner was unlawfully arrested without any warrant of arrest and, thereafter, arbitrarily detained, in disregard of her rights, even as an alien, to due process of law; and (ii) a warrant of arrest issued by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration, to be valid, must be for the sole purpose of executing a final order of deportation. xxx xxx xxx
The writ of habeas corpus was devised as a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint, and as the best and only sufficient defense of personal freedom. Therefore, only an injunction from a Higher Court could restrain enforceability of the May 27, 1999 Order which, by its unmistakable language, directed the “immediate release” of petitioner Ma Jing. 4. There is also a puerile claim that the contempt proceeding was improper because it was commenced by mere motion and not by a verified petition. The Revised Rules of Court (should be 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure) cannot be any clearer. The appropriate section is quite explicit.: “After a charge in writing has been filed, and an opportunity given to the respondent to comment thereon within such period as may be fixed by the court and to be heard by himself or counsel, a person guilty of any of the following acts may be punished for indirect contempt… (b) Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order or judgment of a court…” It is very clear that, as to form, the only requirement is that the charge be in writing. xxx xxx xxx xxx
1. It is not correct to say that the May 27, 1999 Order should not be obeyed because it did not specifically direct Hon. Rufus D (sic) Rodriguez, P/Supt. Angelito O. Tan, Mar Navales and Richie Galvadores as the persons who should obey the said Order. The Writ of Habeas Corpus dated May 17, 1999 as directed, among others, to “The Chief of the Special Operation Unit–NBI and/or the Warden or Chief of the BID Detention Center, Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig, Metro, Manila.” As such, all the respondents fall under the classification “BID Agents” and are thus included in the persons to whom the writ of habeas corpus is directed. xxx xxx xxx
2. Neither is the Court impressed with the argument that P/Supt. Angelito O. Tan, Atty. Rommel J. de Leon, Enrico R. Paner, Mar Navales and Richie Galvadores do not have the authority to release the petitioner from the BID Detention Center, such authority pertaining only to the Commissioner, BID. The authority for the release of petitioner Ma Jing is precisely the May 27, 1999 Order of this Court which directs her immediate release. There can be no doubt on the jurisdiction of this Court on habeas corpus cases, as the case at bar, and the validity of its lawful orders issued pursuant to the exercise of such jurisdiction. It is significant that Hon. Rufus Rodriguez has not disauthorized or revoked or in any way disowned the refusal of his subordinates to obey the subject court order, as he would certainly have done if his authority had been improperly invoked. xxx xxx xxx
5. On the claim that the Notice of Appeal filed by BID on June 17 stayed execution of the May 27, 1999 Order, suffice it to say that, as already discussed above, being a writ of liberty, habeas corpus proceedings are always characterized by promptness or speed. Therefore, the May 27, 1999 Order of release was inherently immediately executory, and only an injunction from a Higher Court could restrain its immediate enforceability. 6. Finally, the respondents submit the argument that it is no longer legally possible for the BID to order the release of the petitioner because of the issuance of a Summary Deportation Order against her. The first time the respondents first disobeyed the May 27, 1999 Order was on May 28, 1999. There was no deportation order yet at that time. The Court cannot accede to the proposition that the subsequent issuance of the deportation order should have the effect of erasing or pardoning the contempt already committed by the respondents as early as May 28, 1999. Moreover, the release of petitioner Ma Jing is not really a primordial consideration insofar as the pending incident is concerned. The ultimate purpose of this inquiry is to determine whether the respondents are guilty of indirect contempt, i.e., ‘disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, or judgment of a court’. The Court finds that such disobedience has been indubitably established by the various Sheriff’s Reports extant in the records of this case, and that the ‘reasons’ advanced by the respondents in their ‘Explanation’ dated June 17, 1999 are not the real reasons which impelled said disobedience, as the same conclusively stems from
3. Neither is this Court persuaded by the argument that the May 27, 1999 Order was not yet executory because BID’s Motion for Reconsideration stayed its execution. By its very nature, habeas corpus proceedings are always characterized by promptness or speed. It is always timely to recall this categorical affirmation in the ponencia of Justice Malcolm in the landmark case of Villavicencio v. Lukban, supra:
the perception of the Hon. Rufus Rodriguez and his subalterns that the Court has no authority to order the release of petitioner Ma Jing. Even assuming that the respondents were of the opinion that the subject Order was grossly erroneous, they could have availed of the remedy of certiorari immediately after its promulgation. But they, certainly, cannot adamantly and belligerently defy the Order of the Courts simply because they have a contrary opinion. Confronted with the mandatory directive of May 27, 1999 to release petitioner Ma Jing, the obstinate refusal of the respondents to obey the same constitutes indirect contempt.” (Underscoring supplied). On June 25, 1999, a Friday, at about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Commissioner Rodriguez, et al. were, pursuant to the June 24, 1999 Order, arrested by the NBI whose Director was specifically ordered by Judge Bonifacio to serve the warrant. Commissioner Rodriguez et al. lost no time in filing at the Court of Appeals on June 25, 1999 an Urgent Petition for Certiorari against Judge Bonifacio, docketed as CAG.R. No. 53425, followed by an Amended Petition, assailing the Judge’s Order of June 24, 1999. By Order of June 25, 1999, the Court of Appeals issued a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction commanding the immediate release of Commissioner Rodriguez et al. after posting a bond and directing Judge Bonifacio to file his comment on the petition. At 10:00 p.m. of June 25, 1999, Commissioner Rodriguez, et al. were released after posting a bond. On the basis of the foregoing facts, the Investigating Justice recommends respondent judge be fined Fifty Thousand (P50,000.00) Pesos for gross ignorance of the law and warned that a repetition or the commission of a similar infraction will be dealt with more severely, reasoning thus: Under Rule 71 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, contempt proceedings may be commenced as follows: SEC. 4. How proceedings commenced. - Proceedings for indirect contempt may be initiated motu proprio by the court against which the contempt was committed by an order or any other formal charge requiring the respondent to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt. In all other cases, charges for indirect contempt shall be commenced by a verified petition with supporting particulars and certified true copies of the documents or papers involved therein, and upon full compliance with the requirements for filing initiatory pleadings for civil actions in the court concerned. If the contempt charges arose out of or are related to a principal action pending in the court, the petition for contempt shall allege that fact but said petition shall be docketed, heard and decided separately, unless the court in its discretion orders the consolidation of the contempt charge and the principal action for joint hearing and decision.
The petition for habeas corpus alleged that Ma Jing was “[a]ccording to reliable” information being unlawfully deprived of her liberty “by the Warden and/or Chief of the BID Detention Center at the behest of the Chief of a special operations unit of the NBI combined with BID and DLE agents whose office is at NBI.” It did not name herein complainant as respondent. Neither did the May 27, 1999 Order direct herein complainant to release Ma Jing. It was when Ma Jing filed on May 31, 1999 a Motion to Cite in Contempt that herein complainant’s name was for the first time drawn in the case. Under the circumstances, compliance with the second mode of initiating a petition for contempt under Sec. 4 of Rule 71 of the 1997 Code of Civil Procedure, - filing a “verified petition with supporting particulars and certified true copies of documents or papers involved therein, and upon full compliance with the requirements for initiating pleadings for civil action in the court concerned” – was in order. It is in this light that the undersigned investigator finds that respondent ERRED in giving due course to the mere motion to cite in contempt and finding herein complainant guilty thereof by Order of June 24, 1999, especially given the fact that in the Explanation– Answer to the show cause Order of respondent herein, complainant et al. quoted Sec. 4 of Rule 71 and alleged that as “[t]he contempt proceedings … w[ere] not initiated by the Court motu proprio, … the indirect contempt should be commenced by a verified petition and not by mere filing [of a] motion as was done in the instant case.” xxx xxx xxx
For administrative liability to attach for errors of judgment, the error must be gross, patent or deliberate (Re: Judge Silverio S. Tayao, A.M. No. 93-8-1204, 229 SCRA 723 . For administrative liability to attach for gross ignorance of the law and/or knowingly rendering an unjust order or judgment, it must be established that the order or judgment is not only erroneous but [that] he was actuated by bad faith, dishonesty, hatred, revenge, corrupt purpose or some other like motive (Guerrero v. Villamor, A.M. No. RTJ-90-617, 296 SCRA 88 ). For a judge may not be held administratively accountable for every erroneous order or decision he renders (Rodrigo v. Quijano, 79 10 ) [sic] otherwise it would “render judicial office untenable for no one called upon to try the facts or interpret the law in the process of administering justice can be infallible (vide Lopez v. Corpus, 78 SCRA 374  (sic); Pilipinas Bank v. Tirona-Liwag, 190 SCRA 834 ). The undersigned finds that respondent’s error in giving due course to the “Motion to Declare Parties Guilty of Contempt” was patent, given that circumstances mentioned above. Respondent’s invoking of Sec. 3 of the same Rule 71 (of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, not revised Rules of Court as he stated) which to him clearly shows that “the only requirement is that the charge be in writing, citing Tomas C. Aguador v. Malcolm S. Enerio, et al., G.R. No. L-20383, January 30, 1971, betrays his ignorance that this Aguador case was decided in 1971, long before Sec. 4, Rule 71, which is a new provision, was incorporated in the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
And, as from the following portion of respondent’s Order of June 24, 1999, to wit: Incidentally, the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation is not a sovereign entity where the commissioner reigns supreme. It is a mere Bureau and a becoming modesty of inferior offices demands a conscious realization of the position that they occupy in the interrelation and operation of the huge governmental bureaucracy. Most decidedly, this Court does not believe that the Honorable Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation – however exalted he may personally feel his position to be – is beyond the processes of Courts of the land.” it is gathered that he was actuated by anger or hatred in so acting on the motion for contempt, administrative liability attaches for his gross ignorance of the law. As for the rest of the assailed Orders – bases of the other charges at bar, complainant’s charge that they violate the law and the jurisprudence he cited not being indubitable in the light of respondent’s own citations of the law and jurisprudence, the undersigned does not find respondent to have acted arrantly. The issue thus becomes judicial in character and would not warrant faulting him administratively (Godinez v. Alano, 303 SCRA 259 ). The Court agrees with the investigating Justice that respondent judge should indeed be sanctioned, but finds the recommended penalty not commensurate to the gravity of respondent’s malfeasance for the following reasons: First, the degree of restraint respondent should have observed in the exercise of his contempt powers leaves much to be desired, given the prevailing facts of this case much more so, considering that the same bears with it the taint of personal hostility and passion against the party to whom it is directed. Time and again magistrates have been reminded that – …the salutary rule is that the power to punish for contempt must be exercised in the preservative not vindictive principle, and on the corrective not retaliatory idea of punishment. The courts and other tribunals vested with the power of contempt must exercise the power for contempt for purposes that are impersonal, because that power is intended as a safeguard not for the judges as persons but for the functions that they exercise. Besides the basic equipment of possessing the requisite learning in the law, a magistrate must exhibit that hallmark judicial temperament of utmost sobriety and self-restraint which are indispensable qualities of every judge. A judge anywhere should be the last person to be perceived as a petty tyrant holding imperious sway over his domain. Such an image is, however, evoked by the actuations of respondent judge in this case. It has time and again been stressed that the role of a judge in relation to those who appear before his court must be one of temperance, patience and courtesy. A judge who is commanded at all times to be mindful of his high calling and his mission as a dispassionate and impartial arbiter of justice is expected to be “a cerebral man who deliberately holds in check the tug and pull of purely personal preferences which he shares with his fellow mortals.” Judges have been admonished to observe judicial decorum which requires that a magistrate must at all times be temperate in his language refraining from
inflammatory or excessive rhetoric or from resorting “to the language of vilification.” In this regard, Rule 3.04 of the Code of Judicial Conduct states that – Rule 3.04. A judge should be patient, attentive and courteous to all lawyers, especially the inexperienced, to litigants, witnesses, and others appearing before the court. A judge should avoid unconsciously falling into the attitude of mind that the litigants are made for the courts instead of the courts for the litigants. Respondent judge needs to be reminded that government service is peopleoriented. Patience is an essential part of dispensing justice and courtesy is a mark of culture and good breeding. Belligerent behavior has no place in government service where personnel are enjoined to act with self-restraint and civility at all times even when confronted with rudeness and insolence. Second, it is imperative that judges be conversant with basic legal principles. The Code of Judicial Conduct, in fact, enjoins judges to “be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence.” Respondent judge owes it to the public and to the legal profession to know the law he is supposed to apply in a given controversy. Indeed – A judge is called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules; it is imperative that he be conversant with basic legal principles and aware of well-settled authoritative doctrines. He should strive for excellence exceeded only by his passion for truth, to the end that he be the personification of justice and the Rule of Law. In this case, respondent judge displayed a deplorable deficiency in his grasp of the basic principles governing contempt. As defined, indirect contempt is one committed out of or not in the presence of the court that tends to belittle, degrade, obstruct or embarrass the court and justice. On the other hand, direct contempt consists of or is characterized by “misbehavior committed in the presence of or so near a court or judge as to interrupt the proceedings before the same” within the meaning of Section 1, Rule 71 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. There is no question that disobedience or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, judgment or command of a court or injunction granted by a court or judge constitutes indirect contempt. Section 4, Rule 71 of the Rules, provides for two (2) modes of commencing proceedings for indirect contempt, to wit: 1.] It may be initiated motu proprio by the court against which the contempt was committed by an order or any other formal charge requiring the respondent to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt. 2.] In all other cases, charges for indirect contempt shall be commenced by a verified petition with supporting particulars and certified true copies of documents or papers involved therein, and upon full compliance with the requirements for filing initiatory pleadings for civil actions in the court concerned. (all initiatory pleadings should be accompanied with a certificate of non-forum shopping, Sec. 5 Rule 7). As can be gleaned from the records of the case, the contempt proceedings commenced by Ma Jing was made through a motion and not a verified petition as required by the above-cited Section. Respondent Judge relied on Section 3, Rule 71
of the Rules, completely disregarding the provisions of Section 4 which explicitly lays down the manner in which indirect contempt proceedings may be filed. Contempt of court has been distinctly described as an offense against the State and not against the judge personally. To reiterate, a judge must always remember that the power of the court to punish for contempt should be exercised for purposes that are not personal, because that power is intended as a safeguard, not for judges as persons, but for the functions they exercise. Viewed vis-à-vis the foregoing circumscription of a court’s power to punish for contempt, it bears stressing that the court must exercise the power of contempt judiciously and sparingly with utmost self-restraint with the end in view of utilizing the same for correction and preservation of the dignity of the court, not for retaliation or vindication. In this case, respondent judge failed to observe the procedure expressly spelled out in Section 4, Rule 71 of the Rules. As stated earlier, a judge is called upon to exhibit more than a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules; it is imperative that he be conversant with basic legal principles. Canon 4 of the Canon of Judicial Ethics requires that a judge should be studious of the principles of law and Canon 18 mandates that he should administer his office with due regard to the integrity of the system of the law itself, remembering that he is not a depositary of arbitrary power, but a judge under the sanction of law. “Observance of the law which he is bound to know and sworn to uphold is required of every judge. When the law is sufficiently basic, a judge owes it to his office to simply apply it; anything less than that would be constitutive of gross ignorance of the law.” In short, when the law is so elementary, not to be aware of it constitutes gross ignorance of the law. Third, assuming ex gratia argumenti that there was indeed a valid contempt charge filed against herein complainant, the validity of the charge will not extricate respondent judge from his predicament. The records disclose that the Return of the Writ stated that a Charge Sheet was filed on May 13, 1999 against Ma Jing for violation of Section 37 [a] (7) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940. Despite this, respondent judge issued an Order dated May 27, 1999 directing Ma Jing’s immediate release. It was grievous error for respondent judge, in the face of these factual circumstances disclosed by the records, to give due course to the petition for habeas corpus despite the pendency of a deportation case against Ma Jing. Where the BID had not yet completed its hearing and investigation proceedings with respect to an alien and there is no showing that it is unduly delaying its decision, habeas corpus proceedings are premature and should be dismissed. Along the same vein, when an alien is detained by the BID pursuant to an order of deportation, as in this case where a Summary Deportation Order had already been issued by the BID, Courts of First Instance, now Regional Trial Courts, have no power to release the said alien on bail even inhabeas corpus proceedings, because there is no law authorizing it. It, furthermore, must be pointed out that on May 28, 1999, complainantrespondent filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the said order but respondent judge denied the same in an Order dated June 15, 1999, and required complainant and his co-respondents to show cause why they should not be cited in contempt. On the same date, a Summary Deportation Order was issued in the BID Case against Ma Jing. The filing of the motion for reconsideration effectively tolled the period within which to appeal respondent judge’s decision dated May 27, 1999. It was not a pro forma motion, as respondent judge himself did not say so in the June 15, 1999 order denying the motion. The two-day period to appeal provided in Section 39, B.P. Blg.
129 certainly did not proscribe the filing of the motion for reconsideration of the judgment in the habeas corpuscase. The motion for reconsideration was filed on May 28, 1999, a day after the decision dated May 27, 1999 was received by complainant. The Notice of Appeal, on the other hand was filed on June 17, 1999. Complainant and co-respondents received the order dated June 15, 1999 of respondent judge on June 16, 1999. Since under Section 15, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court, the prisoner shall be released if the officer or person detaining him does not desire to appeal, complainant did not commit indirect contempt because of the timely filing of the motion for reconsideration and later the notice of appeal. Be that as it may, there was a valid judicial process justifying Ma Jing’s detention even before respondent judge rendered his decision as shown by the Return of the Writ which averred, among others, that a Charge Sheet was filed against Ma Jing. Even granting that the arrest of Ma Jing was initially illegal, the filing of the Charge Sheet cured whatever incipient infirmity there was in her arrest. Respondent judge therefore had no authority to release the party who was thus committed. Section 4, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court provides: SEC. 4. When writ not allowed or discharge authorized. – If it appears that the person to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge; or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, and that court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make the order, the writ shall not be allowed; or if the jurisdiction appears after the writ is allowed, the person shall not be discharged by reason of any informality or defect in the process, judgment or order. Nor shall anything in this rule be held to authorize the discharge of a person charged with or convicted of an offense in the Philippines, or of a person suffering imprisonment under lawful judgment. Once a person detained is duly charged in court, he may no longer question his detention through a petition for issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. His remedy would be to quash the information and/or the warrant of arrest duly issued. The writ of habeas corpus should not be allowed after the party sought to be released had been charged before any court. The term “court” includes quasi-judicial bodies like the Deportation Board of the Bureau of Immigration. It is significant to note vis-à-vis the foregoing disquisitions that in it Decision dated May 4, 2000in CA-G.R. SP No. 53425, the Court of Appeals faulted respondent judge with grave abuse of discretion and gross ignorance of the law in issuing the June 24, 1999 Order on similar grounds. In castigating respondent judge, the appellate court minced no words: When the inefficiency springs from a failure to consider so basic and elemental a rule, a law or a principle in the discharge of his duties, a judge is either too incompetent and undeserving of the position and title he holds or is too vicious that the oversight or omission was deliberately done in bad faith and in grave abuse of judicial authority xxx Thus, when the law transgressed is elementary – the failure to know to observe it, constitute gross ignorance of the law. To be able to render substantial justice and to maintain public confidence in the legal system, judges are expected to keep abreast of all laws and prevailing jurisprudence, consistent with the standard that magistrates must be the embodiments of competence, integrity and independence. Lastly, it appears from the record that respondent judge’s malfeasance is not merely confined to the abuse of his judicial prerogatives and ignorance of basic legal
precepts but also to the predilection of making false representations to suit his ends. Nowhere is this propensity more evident in this case than in the attendant circumstances upon which he based the Order dated June 28, 1999 denying the complainant’s Notice of Appeal. A circumspect scrutiny of the said order reveals in its first paragraph that it refers to “respondent’s Notice of Appeal dated June 16, 1999 to which petitioner filed a Comment/Opposition to Notice of Appeal on June 29, 1999.” A careful examination of the Comment/Opposition itself discloses that the pleading was filed on June 29, 1999. No satisfactory explanation has been given for this judicial aberration. Needless to state, the allusion contained in an order to a pleading filed after its issuance can lead to no other conclusion than that the said order was antedated and, thus, falsified in the absence of any explanation to shed light on the discrepancy. The foregoing act not only seriously undermines and adversely reflects on the honesty and integrity of respondent judge as an officer of the court; it also betrays a character flaw which speaks ill of his person. Suffice it to state in this regard that “[M]aking false representations is a vice which no judge should imbibe. As the judge is the visible representation of the law, and more importantly justice, he must therefore, be the first to abide by the law and weave an example for the others to follow.” A verification with the OCA discloses that aside from the instant complaint, respondent judge has other pending administrative complaints filed against him for the same or similar offenses. In A.M. No. RTJ-99-845, respondent judge stands charged with Serious Misconduct Re: JDRC Case No. 2913, while in A.M. No. RTJ-00972 he stands indicted for Gross Ignorance of the Law, Bias, Abuse of Authority and Malicious Intent to Hinder and Frustrate the Administration of Justice by Interfering with Orders and Processes of a Co-equal Court. Needless to state, these circumstances only further erode the people’s faith and confidence in the judiciary for it is the duty of all members of the bench to avoid any impression of impropriety to protect the image and integrity of the judiciary which in recent times has been the object of criticism and controversy. Taking into account the prevailing circumstances of this case, the Court believes that in lieu of the fine recommended by the investigating Justice, a three (3) month suspension without pay would be a more appropriate penalty. WHEREFORE, respondent Judge Rodolfo R. Bonifacio is SUSPENDED from the service for three (3) months, without pay, effective upon his receipt of this Resolution, with a STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar infraction shall be dealt with more severely.
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