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Costitutional Law: Cabanas v Pilapil

58 SCRA 94, July 25, 1974 MELCHORA CABANAS, plaintiff-appellee, vs.FRANCISCO PILAPIL, defendant-appellant.

Facts: Deceased Florentino Pilapil, the husband of Melchora Cabanas and the father of Millian Pilapil, left an insurance having his child as the beneficiary and authorized his brother, Francisco Pilapil, to act as trustee during his daughters minority. The lower court decided to give the mother of the child the right to act as trustee while her child is a minor citing the appropriate provisions in the Civil Code. The welfare of the child is the paramount consideration here, and the mother resides with the child so she is the rightful trustee. The judiciary pursuant to its role as an agency of the State parens patriae, called for the mother to take responsibility. The defendant appealed for the case. He claims the retention of the amount in question by invoking the terms of the insurance policy. He is the rightful trustee of the insurance policy.
Issue: Whether the mother or the uncle should be entitled to act as a trustee of a minor beneficiary of the proceeds of an insurance policy from her deceased father? Whether the trial court erred in its decision to give the right to the mother? Ruling: The decision is affirmed with costs against the defendant-appellant. The provisions of Article 320 and 321 of the Civil Code became the basis of the decision. The former provides that the father, or in his absence the mother, is the legal administrator of the property pertaining to the child under parental authority. If the property is worth more than two thousand pesos, the father or mother shall give a bond subject to the approval of the Court of First Instance." The latter provides that "The property which the unemancipated child has acquired or may acquire with his work or industry, or by any lucrative title, belongs to the child in ownership, and in usufruct to the father or mother under whom he is under parental authority and whose company he lives; ... With the added circumstance that the child stays with the mother, not the uncle, without any evidence of lack of maternal care, the decision arrived at can stand the test of the strictest scrutiny. The appealed decision is supported by another cogent consideration. It is buttressed by its adherence to the concept that the judiciary, as an agency of the State acting as parens patriae, is called upon whenever a pending suit of litigation affects one who is a minor to accord priority to his best interest This prerogative of parens patriae is inherent in the supreme power of every State, whether that power is lodged in a royal person or in the legislature, and has no affinity to those arbitrary powers which are sometimes exerted by irresponsible monarchs to the great detriment of the people and the destruction of their liberties." What is more, there is this constitutional provision vitalizing this concept. It reads: "The State shall strengthen the family as a basic social institution." 10 If, as the Constitution so wisely dictates, it is the family as a unit that has to be strengthened, it does not admit of doubt that even if a stronger case were presented for the uncle, still deference to a constitutional mandate would have led the lower court to decide as it did.

The trust, insofar as it is in conflict with the above quoted provision of law, is pro tanto null and void. In order, however, to protect the rights of the minor, Millian Pilapil, the plaintiff should file an additional bond in the guardianship proceedings, Sp. Proc. No. 2418-R of this Court to raise her bond therein to the total amount of P5,000.00

LAWYERS LEAGUE FOR A BETTER PHILIPPINES vs. AQUINO (G.R. No. 73748 - May 22, 1986) FACTS: 1.On February 25, 1986, President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation No. 1 announcingthat she and Vice President Laurel were taking power. 2.On March 25, 1986, proclamation No.3 was issued providing the basis of the Aquinogovernment assumption of power by stating that the "new government was installed througha direct exercise of the power of the Filipino people assisted by units of the New ArmedForces of the Philippines."
ISSUE: Whether or not the government of Corazon Aquino is legitimate. HELD: Yes.The legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter but belongs to the realmof politics where only the people are the judge.The Court further held that: 1.The people have accepted the Aquino government which is in effective control of the entirecountry; 2.It is not merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure government; and 3.The community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the new government.

BACANI VS.NACOCO 100 Phil. 468 (1956) . FACTS: Plaintiffs herein are court stenographers assigned in Branch VI of the Court of FirstInstance of Manila. During the pendency of Civil Case No. 2293 of said court, entitled Francisco Sycip vs. National Coconut Corporation, Assistant Corporate Counsel FedericoAlikpala, counsel for Defendant, requested said stenographers for copies of the transcriptof the stenographic notes taken by them during the hearing. Plaintiffs complied with therequest by delivering to Counsel Alikpala the needed transcript containing 714 pages andthereafter submitted to him their bills for the payment of their fees. The National CoconutCorporation paid the amount of P564 to Leopoldo T. Bacani and P150 to Mateo A. Matotofor said transcript at the rate of P1 per page. However, the Auditor General disallowed thep a y m e n t o f t h e s e f e e s a n d o r d e r e d t h a t i t s h a l l b e r e i m b u r s e d f o r t h e r e a s o n t h a t NACOCO, being a public corporation, is exempted from the fees. For reimbursement totake place, it was further ordered that the amount of P25 per payday be deducted fromthe salary of Bacani and P10 from the salary of Matoto. Hence, this petition

ISSUE: Whether or not NACOCO is a government entity RULING: N O . T h e r e a r e f u n c t i o n s w h i c h o u r g o v e r n m e n t i s r e q u i r e d t o e x e r c i s e t o promote its objectives as expressed in our Constitution and which are exercised by it as an attribute of sovereignty (constituent) , a n d t h o s e w h i c h i t m a y e x e r c i s e t o p r o m o t e merely the welfare, progress and prosperity of the people (ministrant). To this latter class belongs the organization of those corporations owned or controlled by the government t o promote certain aspects of the economic life of our people such as the National. These are what we call government-owned or controlled corporations which may take on the form of a private enterprise or one organized with powers and formal characteristics of private corporations under the Corporation Law. They do not acquire the status of a government entity for the simple reason that they do not come under the classification of municipal or public corporation. NACOCO is a GOCC. Thus, not part of the government.

President Wilson enumerates the constituent functions as follows: 1. The keeping of order and providing for the protection of persons and property from violence and robbery 2. The fixing of the legal relations between man and wife and between parents and children. 3. The regulation of the holding, transmission, and interchange of property, and the determination of its liabilities for debt or for crime. 4. The determination of contract rights between individuals. 5. The definition and punishment of crime .6. The administration of justice in civil cases. 7. The determination of the political duties, privileges, and relations of citizens. 8. Dealings of the state with foreign powers: the preservation of the state from external danger or encroachment and the advancement of its international interests. The most important of the ministrant functions are: public works, public education, public charity, health and safety regulations, and regulations of trade and industry. The principles determining whether or not a government shall exercise certain of these optional functions are: (1) that a government should do for the public welfare those things which private capital would not naturally undertake and

(2) that a government should do these things which by its very nature it is better equipped to administer for the public welfare than is any private individual or group of individuals that a government should do these things which by its very nature it is better equipped to administer for the public welfare than is any private individual or group of individuals


Facts: The Philippines and the United States entered into a Mutual Defense Treaty on August 30, 1951, To further strengthen their defense and security relationship. Under the treaty, the parties agreed to respond to any external armed attack on their territory, armed forces, public vessels, and aircraft. On September 16, 1991, the Philippine Senate rejected the proposed RP-US Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Security which, in effect, would have extended the presence of US military bases in the Philippines. On July 18, 1997 RP and US exchanged notes and discussed, among other things, the possible elements of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).This resulted to a series of conferences and negotiations which culminated on January 12 and 13, 1998. Thereafter, President Fidel Ramos approved the VFA, which was respectively signed by Secretary Siazon and United States Ambassador Thomas Hubbard. On October 5, 1998, President Joseph E. Estrada, through respondent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, ratified the VFA. On October 6, 1998, the President, acting through respondent Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora, officially transmitted to the Senate of the Philippines,the Instrument of Ratification, the letter of the President and the VFA, for concurrence pursuant to Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. Petitions for certiorari and prohibition, petitioners as legislators, non-governmental organizations, citizens and taxpayers assail the constitutionality of the VFA and impute to herein respondents grave abuse of discretion in ratifying the agreement. Petitioner contends, under they provision cited, the foreign military bases, troops, or facilities may be allowed in the Philippines unless the following conditions are sufficiently met: a) it must be a treaty,b) it must be duly concurred in by the senate, ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a national referendum held for that purpose if so required by congress, and c) recognized as such by the other contracting state. Respondents, on the other hand, argue that Section 21 Article VII is applicable so that, what is requires for such treaty to be valid and effective is the concurrence in by at least two-thirds of all the members of the senate.

Issue: Is the VFA governed by the provisions of Section 21, Art VII or of Section 25, Article XVIII of the Constitution?

Ruling: Section 25, Article XVIII, which specifically deals with treaties involving foreign military bases, troops or facilities should apply in the instant case. The 1987 Philippine Constitution contains two provisions requiring the concurrence of the Senate on treaties or international agreements. Sec. 21 Art. VII, which respondent invokes, reads: No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least 2/3 of all the Members of the Senate. Sec. 25 Art. XVIII provides : After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the RP and the US concerning Military Bases, foreign military bases, troops or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in and when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the Senate by the other contracting state. The first cited provision applies to any form of treaties and international agreements in general with a wide variety of subject matter. All treaties and international agreements entered into by the Philippines, regardless of subject matter, coverage or particular designation requires the concurrence of the Senate to be valid and effective. In contrast, the second cited provision applies to treaties which involve presence of foreign military bases, troops and facilities in the Philippines. Both constitutional provisions share some common ground. The fact that the President referred the VFA to the Senate under Sec. 21 Art. VII, and that Senate extended its concurrence under the same provision is immaterial.