Constitutional Law (case digest 3) Concept of State
*the following case digests are not mine (sources are linked) please correct me if I included wrong cases thank you! :) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1. People Citizenship Distinguished from nationality Modes of Acquiring citizenship Citizens of the Philippines -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------G.R. No. L-21289 October 4, 1971

MOY YA LIM YAO alias EDILBERTO AGUINALDO LIM and LAU YUEN YEUNG, petitionersappellants, vs. THE COMMISSIONER OF IMMIGRATION, respondent-appellee.

FACTS: Plaintiff-appellant, a temporary alien visitor, whose authorized stay in the Philippines was to expire, claims herself to be lawfully naturalized by virtue of her marriage with co-plaintiff, a Filipino citizen. Solicitor General opposes on the ground that the mere marriage of a Filipino citizen to an alien does not automatically confer on the latter Philippine citizenship, because record shows that the same does not posses all the qualifications required of applicants for naturalization (CA 473), even if she has proven that she does not suffer any disqualification there under. ISSUE: Whether or not an alien who married a naturalized Filipino is lawfully naturalized. HELD: Yes, an alien woman marrying a Filipino, native-born or naturalized, becomes ipso facto a Filipina provided she is not disqualified to be a citizen of the Philippines (Sec. 15 and 4, CA 473). Sources: Full text of case Case digest ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

G.R. No. 99358

January 30, 1995



Facts: Bernard Banez, the husband of Marina Cabael, went to Indonesia as a contract worker. On April 3, 1974, he embraced and was converted to Islam. On May 17, 1974, he married petitioner in accordance with Islamic rites. He returned to the Philippines in January 1979. On January 13, 1979, petitioner and her two children with Banez, arrived in Manila as the "guests" of Banez. The latter made it appear that he was just a friend of the family of petitioner and was merely repaying the hospitability extended to him during his stay in Indonesia. When petitioner and her two children arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on January 13, 1979, Banez, together with Marina Cabael, met them.As "guests," petitioner and her two children lived in the house of Banez. Petitioner and her children were admitted to the Philippines as temporary visitors under Section 9(a) of the Immigration Act of 1940. In 1981, Marina Cabael discovered the true relationship of her husband and petitioner. On March 25, 1982, the immigration status of petitioner was changed from temporary visitor to that of permanent resident under Section 13(a) of the same law. On April 14, 1982, petitioner was issued an alien certificate of registration. Not accepting the set-back, Banez' eldest son, Leonardo, filed a letter complaint with the Ombudsman, who subsequently referred the letter to the CID. On the basis of the said letter, petitioner was detained at the CID detention cell. The CID issued an order revoking the status of permanent resident given to petitioner, the Board found the 2nd marriage irregular and not in accordance with the laws of the Phils. There was thus no basis for giving her the status of permanent residence, since she was an Indonesian citizen and her marriage with a Filipino Citizen was not valid. Thus this petition for certiorari Issue: Whether or not the courts may review deportation proceedings Held : Yes. Section 1 of Article 8 says Judicial Power includes 1) settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable 2) determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. We need not resolve the validity of petitioner's marriage to Banez, if under the law the CID can validly deport petitioner as an "undesirable alien" regardless of her marriage to a Filipino citizen. Generally, the right of the President to expel or deport aliens whose presence is deemed inimical to the public interest is as absolute and unqualified as the right to prohibit and prevent their entry into the country. However, under clause 1 of Section 37(a) of the Immigration Act of 1940 an "alien who enters the Philippines after the effective date of this Act by means of false and misleading statements or without inspection and admission by the immigration authorities at a designated port of entry or at any place other than at a designated port of entry" is subject to deportation. The deportation of an alien under said clause of Section 37(a) has a prescriptive period and "shall not be effected ... unless the arrest in the deportation proceedings is made within five years after the

cause for deportation arises". Tolling the prescriptive period from November 19, 1980, when Leonardo C. Banez informed the CID of the illegal entry of petitioner into the country, more than five years had elapsed before the issuance of the order of her deportation on September 27, 1990.

Sources: Full text of case Case digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Election of Philippine citizenship -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC BAR MATTER No. 914 October 1, 1999


KAPUNAN, J.: Can a legitimate child born under the 1935 Constitution of a Filipino mother and an alien father validly elect Philippine citizenship fourteen (14) years after he has reached the age of majority? This is the question sought to be resolved in the present case involving the application for admission to the Philippine Bar of Vicente D. Ching. The facts of this case are as follows: Vicente D. Ching, the legitimate son of the spouses Tat Ching, a Chinese citizen, and Prescila A. Dulay, a Filipino, was born in Francia West, Tubao, La Union on 11 April 1964. Since his birth, Ching has resided in the Philippines. On 17 July 1998, Ching, after having completed a Bachelor of Laws course at the St. Louis University in Baguio City, filed an application to take the 1998 Bar Examinations. In a Resolution of this Court, dated 1 September 1998, he was allowed to take the Bar Examinations, subject to the condition that he must submit to the Court proof of his Philippine citizenship. In compliance with the above resolution, Ching submitted on 18 November 1998, the following documents: 1. Certification, dated 9 June 1986, issued by the Board of Accountancy of the Professional Regulations Commission showing that Ching is a certified public accountant;

2. Voter Certification, dated 14 June 1997, issued by Elizabeth B. Cerezo, Election Officer of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Tubao La Union showing that Ching is a registered voter of the said place; and 3. Certification, dated 12 October 1998, also issued by Elizabeth B. Cerezo, showing that Ching was elected as a member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Tubao, La Union during the 12 May 1992 synchronized elections. On 5 April 1999, the results of the 1998 Bar Examinations were released and Ching was one of the successful Bar examinees. The oath-taking of the successful Bar examinees was scheduled on 5 May 1999. However, because of the questionable status of Ching's citizenship, he was not allowed to take his oath. Pursuant to the resolution of this Court, dated 20 April 1999, he was required to submit further proof of his citizenship. In the same resolution, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) was required to file a comment on Ching's petition for admission to the bar and on the documents evidencing his Philippine citizenship. The OSG filed its comment on 8 July 1999, stating that Ching, being the "legitimate child of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother born under the 1935 Constitution was a Chinese citizen and continued to be so, unless upon reaching the age of majority he elected Philippine citizenship" 1 in strict compliance with the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 625 entitled "An Act Providing for the Manner in which the Option to Elect Philippine Citizenship shall be Declared by a Person Whose Mother is a Filipino Citizen." The OSG adds that "(w)hat he acquired at best was only an inchoate Philippine citizenship which he could perfect by election upon reaching the age of majority." 2 In this regard, the OSG clarifies that "two (2) conditions must concur in order that the election of Philippine citizenship may be effective, namely: (a) the mother of the person making the election must be a citizen of the Philippines; and (b) said election must be made upon reaching the age of majority." 3 The OSG then explains the meaning of the phrase "upon reaching the age of majority:" The clause "upon reaching the age of majority" has been construed to mean a reasonable time after reaching the age of majority which had been interpreted by the Secretary of Justice to be three (3) years (VELAYO, supra at p. 51 citing Op., Sec. of Justice No. 70, s. 1940, Feb. 27, 1940). Said period may be extended under certain circumstances, as when a (sic) person concerned has always considered himself a Filipino (ibid., citing Op. Nos. 355 and 422, s. 1955; 3, 12, 46, 86 and 97, s. 1953). But in Cuenco, it was held that an election done after over seven (7) years was not made within a reasonable time. In conclusion, the OSG points out that Ching has not formally elected Philippine citizenship and, if ever he does, it would already be beyond the "reasonable time" allowed by present jurisprudence. However, due to the peculiar circumstances surrounding Ching's case, the OSG recommends the relaxation of the standing rule on the construction of the phrase "reasonable period" and the allowance of Ching to elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with C.A. No. 625 prior to taking his oath as a member of the Philippine Bar. On 27 July 1999, Ching filed a Manifestation, attaching therewith his Affidavit of Election of Philippine Citizenship and his Oath of Allegiance, both dated 15 July 1999. In his Manifestation, Ching states: 1. I have always considered myself as a Filipino;

2. I was registered as a Filipino and consistently declared myself as one in my school records and other official documents; 3. I am practicing a profession (Certified Public Accountant) reserved for Filipino citizens;


I participated in electoral process[es] since the time I was eligible to vote;

5. I had served the people of Tubao, La Union as a member of the Sangguniang Bayan from 1992 to 1995; 6. 625; 7. I elected Philippine citizenship on July 15, 1999 in accordance with Commonwealth Act No.

My election was expressed in a statement signed and sworn to by me before a notary public;

8. I accompanied my election of Philippine citizenship with the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the Government of the Philippines; 9. I filed my election of Philippine citizenship and my oath of allegiance to (sic) the Civil Registrar of Tubao La Union, and 10. I paid the amount of TEN PESOS (Ps. 10.00) as filing fees.

Since Ching has already elected Philippine citizenship on 15 July 1999, the question raised is whether he has elected Philippine citizenship within a "reasonable time." In the affirmative, whether his citizenship by election retroacted to the time he took the bar examination. When Ching was born in 1964, the governing charter was the 1935 Constitution. Under Article IV, Section 1(3) of the 1935 Constitution, the citizenship of a legitimate child born of a Filipino mother and an alien father followed the citizenship of the father, unless, upon reaching the age of majority, the child elected Philippine citizenship. 4 This right to elect Philippine citizenship was recognized in the 1973 Constitution when it provided that "(t)hose who elect Philippine citizenship pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of nineteen hundred and thirty-five" are citizens of the Philippines. 5 Likewise, this recognition by the 1973 Constitution was carried over to the 1987 Constitution which states that "(t)hose born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority" are Philippine citizens. 6 It should be noted, however, that the 1973 and 1987 Constitutional provisions on the election of Philippine citizenship should not be understood as having a curative effect on any irregularity in the acquisition of citizenship for those covered by the 1935 Constitution. 7 If the citizenship of a person was subject to challenge under the old charter, it remains subject to challenge under the new charter even if the judicial challenge had not been commenced before the effectivity of the new Constitution. 8 C.A. No. 625 which was enacted pursuant to Section 1(3), Article IV of the 1935 Constitution, prescribes the procedure that should be followed in order to make a valid election of Philippine citizenship. Under Section 1 thereof, legitimate children born of Filipino mothers may elect Philippine citizenship by expressing such intention "in a statement to be signed and sworn to by the party concerned before any officer authorized to administer oaths, and shall be filed with the nearest civil registry. The said party shall accompany the aforesaid statement with the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the Government of the Philippines." However, the 1935 Constitution and C.A. No. 625 did not prescribe a time period within which the election of Philippine citizenship should be made. The 1935 Charter only provides that the election should be made "upon reaching the age of majority." The age of majority then commenced upon reaching twenty-one (21) years. 9 In the opinions of the Secretary of Justice on cases involving the validity of election of Philippine citizenship, this dilemma was resolved by basing the time period on the decisions of this Court prior to the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution. In these decisions, the proper period for electing Philippine citizenship was, in turn, based on the pronouncements of the

Department of State of the United States Government to the effect that the election should be made within a "reasonable time" after attaining the age of majority. 10 The phrase "reasonable time" has been interpreted to mean that the election should be made within three (3) years from reaching the age of majority. 11 However, we held in Cuenco vs. Secretary of Justice, 12 that the three (3) year period is not an inflexible rule. We said: It is true that this clause has been construed to mean a reasonable period after reaching the age of majority, and that the Secretary of Justice has ruled that three (3) years is the reasonable time to elect Philippine citizenship under the constitutional provision adverted to above, which period may be extended under certain circumstances, as when the person concerned has always considered himself a Filipino. 13 However, we cautioned in Cuenco that the extension of the option to elect Philippine citizenship is not indefinite: Regardless of the foregoing, petitioner was born on February 16, 1923. He became of age on February 16, 1944. His election of citizenship was made on May 15, 1951, when he was over twenty-eight (28) years of age, or over seven (7) years after he had reached the age of majority. It is clear that said election has not been made "upon reaching the age of majority." 14 In the present case, Ching, having been born on 11 April 1964, was already thirty-five (35) years old when he complied with the requirements of C.A. No. 625 on 15 June 1999, or over fourteen (14) years after he had reached the age of majority. Based on the interpretation of the phrase "upon reaching the age of majority," Ching's election was clearly beyond, by any reasonable yardstick, the allowable period within which to exercise the privilege. It should be stated, in this connection, that the special circumstances invoked by Ching, i.e., his continuous and uninterrupted stay in the Philippines and his being a certified public accountant, a registered voter and a former elected public official, cannot vest in him Philippine citizenship as the law specifically lays down the requirements for acquisition of Philippine citizenship by election. Definitely, the so-called special circumstances cannot constitute what Ching erroneously labels as informal election of citizenship. Ching cannot find a refuge in the case of In re: Florencio Mallare, 15 the pertinent portion of which reads: And even assuming arguendo that Ana Mallare were (sic) legally married to an alien, Esteban's exercise of the right of suffrage when he came of age, constitutes a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship. It has been established that Esteban Mallare was a registered voter as of April 14, 1928, and that as early as 1925 (when he was about 22 years old), Esteban was already participating in the elections and campaigning for certain candidate[s]. These acts are sufficient to show his preference for Philippine citizenship. 16 Ching's reliance on Mallare is misplaced. The facts and circumstances obtaining therein are very different from those in the present case, thus, negating its applicability. First, Esteban Mallare was born before the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution and the enactment of C.A. No. 625. Hence, the requirements and procedures prescribed under the 1935 Constitution and C.A. No. 625 for electing Philippine citizenship would not be applicable to him. Second, the ruling in Mallare was an obiter since, as correctly pointed out by the OSG, it was not necessary for Esteban Mallare to elect Philippine citizenship because he was already a Filipino, he being a natural child of a Filipino mother. In this regard, the Court stated: Esteban Mallare, natural child of Ana Mallare, a Filipina, is therefore himself a Filipino, and no other act would be necessary to confer on him all the rights and privileges attached to Philippine

citizenship (U.S. vs. Ong Tianse, 29 Phil. 332; Santos Co vs. Government of the Philippine Islands, 42 Phil. 543, Serra vs. Republic, L-4223, May 12, 1952, Sy Quimsuan vs. Republic, L-4693, Feb. 16, 1953; Pitallano vs. Republic, L-5111, June 28, 1954). Neither could any act be taken on the erroneous belief that he is a non-filipino divest him of the citizenship privileges to which he is rightfully entitled. 17 The ruling in Mallare was reiterated and further elaborated in Co vs. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives, 18 where we held: We have jurisprudence that defines "election" as both a formal and an informal process. In the case of In re: Florencio Mallare (59 SCRA 45 [1974]), the Court held that the exercise of the right of suffrage and the participation in election exercises constitute a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship. In the exact pronouncement of the Court, we held: Esteban's exercise of the right of suffrage when he came of age constitutes a positive act of Philippine citizenship. (p. 52: emphasis supplied) The private respondent did more than merely exercise his right of suffrage. He has established his life here in the Philippines. For those in the peculiar situation of the respondent who cannot be excepted to have elected Philippine citizenship as they were already citizens, we apply the In Re Mallare rule. xxx xxx xxx

The filing of sworn statement or formal declaration is a requirement for those who still have to elect citizenship. For those already Filipinos when the time to elect came up, there are acts of deliberate choice which cannot be less binding. Entering a profession open only to Filipinos, serving in public office where citizenship is a qualification, voting during election time, running for public office, and other categorical acts of similar nature are themselves formal manifestations for these persons. An election of Philippine citizenship presupposes that the person electing is an alien. Or his status is doubtful because he is a national of two countries. There is no doubt in this case about Mr. Ong's being a Filipino when he turned twenty-one (21). We repeat that any election of Philippine citizenship on the part of the private respondent would not only have been superfluous but it would also have resulted in an absurdity. How can a Filipino citizen elect Philippine citizenship? 19 The Court, like the OSG, is sympathetic with the plight of Ching. However, even if we consider the special circumstances in the life of Ching like his having lived in the Philippines all his life and his consistent belief that he is a Filipino, controlling statutes and jurisprudence constrain us to disagree with the recommendation of the OSG. Consequently, we hold that Ching failed to validly elect Philippine citizenship. The span of fourteen (14) years that lapsed from the time he reached the age of majority until he finally expressed his intention to elect Philippine citizenship is clearly way beyond the contemplation of the requirement of electing "upon reaching the age of majority." Moreover, Ching has offered no reason why he delayed his election of Philippine citizenship. The prescribed procedure in electing Philippine citizenship is certainly not a tedious and painstaking process. All that is required of the elector is to execute an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and, thereafter, file the same with the nearest civil registry. Ching's unreasonable and unexplained delay in making his election cannot be simply glossed over.

Philippine citizenship can never be treated like a commodity that can be claimed when needed and suppressed when convenient. 20 One who is privileged to elect Philippine citizenship has only an inchoate right to such citizenship. As such, he should avail of the right with fervor, enthusiasm and promptitude. Sadly, in this case, Ching slept on his opportunity to elect Philippine citizenship and, as a result. this golden privilege slipped away from his grasp. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the Court Resolves to DENY Vicente D. Ching's application for admission to the Philippine Bar. SO ORDERED. Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Purisima, Pardo, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes and Ynares-Santiago, JJ., concur.

Sources: Full text -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Doctrine of implied election -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------G.R. Nos. 92191-92 July 30, 1991 ANTONIO Y. CO, petitioner, vs. ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND JOSE ONG, JR., respondents.

G.R. Nos. 92202-03 July 30, 1991 SIXTO T. BALANQUIT, JR., petitioner, vs. ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND JOSE ONG, JR., respondents.

Facts: The HRET declared that respondent Jose Ong, Jr. is a natural born Filipino citizen and a resident of Laoang, Northern Samar for voting purposes. The congressional election for the second district of NorthernSamar was held. Among the candidates who vied for the position of representative in the second legislativedistrict are the petitioners, Sixto Balinquit and Antonio Co and the private respondent, Jose Ong, Jr. RespondentOng was proclaimed the duly elected representative of the second district of Northern Samar. The petitioners filed election protests on the grounds that Jose Ong, Jr. is not a natural born citizen of thePhilippines and not a resident of the second district of Northern Samar. Issue: Whether or not Jose Ong, Jr. is a citizen of the Philippines. Held:

Yes. In the year 1895, the private respondent’s grandfather, Ong Te, arrived in the Philippines fromChina and established his residence in the municipality of Laoang, Samar. The father of the private respondent, Jose Ong Chuan was born in China in 1905 but was brought by Ong Te to Samar in the year 1915, he filed withthe court an application for naturalization and was declared a Filipino citizen.In 1984, the private respondent married a Filipina named Desiree Lim. For the elections of 1984 and1986, Jose Ong, Jr. registered himself as a voter of Laoang, Samar, and voted there during those elections.Under the 1973 Constitution, those born of Filipino fathers and those born of Filipino mothers with analien father were placed on equal footing. They were both considered as natural born citizens. Besides, privaterespondent did more than merely exercise his right of suffrage. He has established his life here in thePhilippines.On the issue of residence, it is not required that a person should have a house in order to establish hisresidence and domicile. It is enough that he should live in the municipality or in a rented house or in that of afriend or relative. To require him to own property in order to be eligible to run for Congress would be tantamountto a property qualification. The Constitution only requires that the candidate meet the age, citizenship, votingand residence requirements. Sources: Full text of case Case digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Natural-born citizens -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------G.R. No. 142840 May 7, 2001 ANTONIO BENGSON III, petitioner, vs. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL and TEODORO C. CRUZ, respondents.

Facts: Respondent Teodoro Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. He was born in San Clemente, Tarlac, on April 27, 1960, of Filipino parents. The fundamental law then applicable was the 1935 Constitution. On November 5, 1985, however, respondent Cruz enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and without the consent of the Republic of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the United States. As a Consequence, he lost his Filipino citizenship for under Commonwealth Act No. 63, section 1(4), a Filipino citizen may lose his citizenship by, among other, "rendering service to or accepting commission in the armed forces of a foreign country.” He was naturalized in US in 1990. On March 17, 1994, respondent Cruz reacquired his Philippine citizenship through repatriation under Republic Act No. 2630. He ran for and was elected as the Representative of the Second District of Pangasinan in the May 11, 1998 elections. He won over petitioner Antonio Bengson III, who was then running for reelection. Issue: Whether or Not respondent Cruz is a natural born citizen of the Philippines in view of the constitutional requirement that "no person shall be a Member of the House of Representative unless he is a natural-born citizen.” Held: Respondent is a natural born citizen of the Philippines. As distinguished from the lengthy process of naturalization, repatriation simply consists of the taking of an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippine and registering said oath in the Local Civil Registry of the place where the person concerned resides or last resided. This means that a naturalized Filipino who lost his

citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other hand, if he was originally a natural-born citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former status as a natural-born Filipino.

Sources: Full text of case Case digest ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Facts: Victorino X. Fornier, petitioner initiated a petition before the COMELEC to disqualify FPJ and to deny due course or to cancel his certificate of candidacy upon the thesis that FPJ made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by claiming to be a natural-born Filipino citizen when in truth, according to Fornier, his parents were foreigners; his mother, Bessie Kelley Poe, was an American, and his father, Allan Poe, was a Spanish national, being the son of Lorenzo Pou, a Spanish subject. Granting, petitioner asseverated, that Allan F. Poe was a Filipino citizen, he could not have transmitted his Filipino citizenship to FPJ, the latter being an illegitimate child of an alien mother. Petitioner based the allegation of the illegitimate birth of respondent on two assertions - first, Allan F. Poe contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez before his marriage to Bessie Kelley and, second, even if no such prior marriage had existed, Allan F. Poe, married Bessie Kelly only a year after the birth of respondent. Issue: Whether or Not FPJ is a natural born Filipino citizen. Held: It is necessary to take on the matter of whether or not respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen, which, in turn, depended on whether or not the father of respondent, Allan F. Poe, would have himself been a Filipino citizen and, in the affirmative, whether or not the alleged illegitimacy of respondent prevents him from taking after the Filipino citizenship of his putative father. Any conclusion on the Filipino citizenship of Lorenzo Pou could only be drawn from the presumption that having died in 1954 at 84 years old, Lorenzo would have been born sometime in the year 1870, when the Philippines was under Spanish rule, and that San Carlos, Pangasinan, his place of residence upon his death in 1954, in the absence of any other evidence, could have well been his place of residence before death, such that Lorenzo Pou would have benefited from the "en masse Filipinization" that the Philippine Bill had effected in 1902. That citizenship (of Lorenzo Pou), if acquired, would thereby extend to his son, Allan F. Poe, father of respondent FPJ. The 1935 Constitution, during which regime respondent FPJ has seen first light, confers citizenship to all persons whose fathers are Filipino citizens regardless of whether such children are legitimate or illegitimate. But while the totality of the evidence may not establish conclusively that respondent FPJ is a naturalborn citizen of the Philippines, the evidence on hand still would preponderate in his favor enough to hold that he cannot be held guilty of having made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in violation of Section 78, in relation to Section 74, of the Omnibus Election Code.

Sources: Full text of case Case digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Dual citizenship & dual allegiance ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

G.R. No. 135083. May 26, 1999 ERNESTO S. MERCADO, petitioner, vs. EDUARDO BARRIOS MANZANO and the COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondents.

FACTS: Manzano and Mercado are vice-mayoral candidates Makati City in the May 11, 1998 elections. Manzano got the highest number votes while Mercado bagged the second place. However, Manzano’s proclamation was suspended in view of a pending petition for disqualification on the ground that he is an American citizen. In his answer, Manzano admitted that he is registered as a foreigner with the Bureau of Immigration and alleged that he is a Filipino citizen because he was born in 1955 of a Filipino father and a Filipino mother. He was born in the United States (San Francisco, CA) on Sept. 14, 1955 and is considered an American citizen under US laws (jus soli). But notwithstanding his registration as an American citizen, he did not lose his Filipino citizenship. The Second Division of the COMELEC granted the petition and cancelled Manzano’s certificate of candidacy on the ground that he is a dual citizen. Under the Local Government Code (sec. 40), dual citizens are disqualified from running for any position. The COMELEC en banc reversed the division’s ruling. In its resolution, it said that Manzano was both a US citizen and a Filipino citizen. It further ruled that although he was registered as an alien with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration and was using an American passport, this did not result in the loss of his Philippine citizenship, as he did not renounce Philippine citizenship and did not take an oath of allegiance to the US. Moreover, the COMELEC found that when respondent attained the age of majority, he registered himself as a Philippine voter and voted as such, which effectively renounced his US citizenship under American law. Under Philippine law, he no longer had US citizenship. Hence, this petition for certiorari. ISSUES:
 

Whether or not Manzano was no longer a US citizen Whether or not Manzano is qualified to run for and hold elective office HELD:

DUAL CITIZENSHIP AS A GROUND FOR DISQUALIFICATION Dual Citizenship vs. Dual Allegiance To begin with, dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. The former arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. For instance, such a situation may arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows the doctrine of jus soli. Such a person, ipso facto and without any voluntary act on his part, is concurrently considered a citizen of both states. Considering the citizenship clause (Art. IV) of our Constitution, it is possible for the following classes of citizens of the Philippines to possess dual citizenship: Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli; Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their fathers’ country such children are citizens of that country; Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter’s country the former are considered citizens, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine citizenship. There may be other situations in which a citizen of the Philippines may, without performing any act, be also a citizen of another state; but the above cases are clearly possible given the constitutional provisions on citizenship. Dual allegiance, on the other hand, refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While dual citizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an individual’s volition. LGC prohibits “Dual Allegiance” not “Dual Citizenship” The phrase “dual citizenship” in the LGC must be understood as referring to “dual allegiance.” Consequently, persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under this disqualification. Unlike those with dual allegiance, who must, therefore, be subject to strict process with respect to the termination of their status, for candidates with dual citizenship, it would suffice if, upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy, they elect Philippine citizenship to terminate their status as persons with dual citizenship considering that their condition is the unavoidable consequence of conflicting laws of different states. By Electing Philippine Citizenship, the Candidate forswear Allegiance to the Other Country By electing Philippine citizenship, such candidates at the same time forswear allegiance to the other country of which they are also citizens and thereby terminate their status as dual citizens. It may be that, from the point of view of the foreign state and of its laws, such an individual has not effectively renounced his foreign citizenship. That is of no moment. PETITIONER’S ELECTION OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP The COMELEC en banc’s ruling was that Manzano’s act of registering himself as a voter was an effective renunciation of his American citizenship. This ruling is in line with the US Immigration and Nationality Act wherein it is provided that “a person who is a national of the United States, whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by: (e) Voting in a political election in a foreign state or participating in an election or plebiscite to determine the sovereignty over foreign territory.” But this provision was declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Nevertheless, our SC

held that by filing a certificate of candidacy when he ran for his present post, private respondent elected Philippine citizenship and in effect renounced his American citizenship. To recapitulate, by declaring in his certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen; that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant of another country; that he will defend and support the Constitution of the Philippines and bear true faith and allegiance thereto and that he does so without mental reservation, private respondent has, as far as the laws of this country are concerned, effectively repudiated his American citizenship and anything which he may have said before as a dual citizen. On the other hand, private respondent’s oath of allegiance to the Philippines, when considered with the fact that he has spent his youth and adulthood, received his education, practiced his profession as an artist, and taken part in past elections in this country, leaves no doubt of his election of Philippine citizenship. His declarations will be taken upon the faith that he will fulfil his undertaking made under oath. Should he betray that trust, there are enough sanctions for declaring the loss of his Philippine citizenship through expatriation in appropriate proceedings. In Yu v. Defensor-Santiago, we sustained the denial of entry into the country of petitioner on the ground that, after taking his oath as a naturalized citizen, he applied for the renewal of his Portuguese passport and declared in commercial documents executed abroad that he was a Portuguese national. A similar sanction can be taken against any one who, in electing Philippine citizenship, renounces his foreign nationality, but subsequently does some act constituting renunciation of his Philippine citizenship.

Sources: Full text of case Case digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Res judicata in citizenship cases Doctrine of Indelible Allegiance -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Naturalization


G.R. No. 104654

June 6, 1994


This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court in relation to R.A. No. 5440 and Section 25 of the Interim Rules,filed by the Republic of the Philippines: (1) to annul the Decision datedFebruary 27, 1992 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 28, Manila, in SPProc. No. 91-

58645, which re-admitted private respondent as a Filipinocitizen under the Revised Naturalization Law (C.A. No. 63 as amendedby C.A. No. 473); and (2) to nullify the oath of allegiance taken byprivate respondent on February 27, 1992.On September 20, 1991, petitioner filed a petition for naturalizationcaptioned: "In the Matter of Petition of Juan G. Frivaldo to be Re-admitted as a Citizen of the Philippines under Commonwealth Act No.63" (Rollo, pp. 17-23).In an Order dated October 7, 1991 respondent Judge set the petitionfor hearing on March 16, 1992, and directed the publication of the saidorder and petition in the Official Gazette and a newspaper of generalcirculation, for three consecutive weeks, the last publication of whichshould be at least six months before the said date of hearing. Theorder further required the posting of a copy thereof and the petition ina conspicuous place in the Office of the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court, Manila (Rollo, pp. 24-26).On January 14, 1992, private respondent filed a "Motion to Set HearingAhead of Schedule," where he manifested his intention to run for publicoffice in the May 1992 elections. He alleged that the deadline for filingthe certificate of candidacy was March 15, one day before thescheduled hearing. He asked that the hearing set on March 16 becancelled and be moved to January 24 (Rollo, pp. 2728). The motion was granted in an Order dated January 24, 1992, whereinthe hearing of the petition was moved to February 21, 1992. The saidorder was not published nor a copy thereof posted.On February 21, the hearing proceeded with private respondent as thesole witness. He submitted the following documentary evidence: (1)Affidavit of Publication of the Order dated October 7, 1991 issued bythe publisher of The Philippine Star (Exh. "A"); (2) Certificate of Publication of the order issuedby the National Printing Office (Exh. "B"); (3) Notice of Hearing of Petition (Exh. "B-1"); (4) Photocopy of a Citation issued by the NationalPress Club with private respondent’s picture (Exhs. "C" and "C-2"); (5) Certificate of Appreciation issued by the Rotary Club of Davao (Exh."D"); (6) Photocopyof a Plaque of Appreciation issued by the Republican College, QuezonCity (Exh. "E"); (7) Photocopy of a Plaque of Appreciation issued by theDavao-Bicol Association (Exh. "F"); (8) Certification issued by theRecords Management and Archives Office that the record of birth of private respondent was not on file (Exh. "G"); and (8) Certificate of Naturalization issued by the United States District Court (Exh. "H").Six days later, on February 27, respondent Judge rendered the assailedDecision, disposing as follows:WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. Petitioner JUAN G.FRIVALDO, is re-admitted as a citizen of the Republic of thePhilippines by naturalization, thereby vesting upon him, allthe rights and privileges of a natural born Filipino citizen(Rollo, p. 33).On the same day, private respondent was allowed to take his oath of allegiance before respondent Judge (Rollo, p. 34).On March 16, a "Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene and to AdmitMotion for Reconsideration" was filed by Quiterio H. Hermo. He allegedthat the proceedings were tainted with jurisdictional defects, andprayed for a new trial to conform with the requirements of theNaturalization Law.After receiving a copy of the Decision on March 18, 1992, the SolicitorGeneral interposed a timely appeal directly with the Supreme Court.

Sources: Full text of case Case digest *not sure if this is the right case please verify! thanks -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Loss of citizenship - By naturalization in a foreign country ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

G.R. No. 87193 June 23, 1989 JUAN GALLANOSA FRIVALDO, petitioner, vs.


Facts: Petitioner Juan G. Frivaldo was proclaimed governor-elect of the province of Sorsogon on January 22, 1988, and assumed office in due time. On October 27, 1988, the League of Municipalities, Sorsogon Chapter, represented by its President, Estuye, who was also suing in his personal capacity, filed with the COMELEC a petition for the annulment of Frivaldo; election and proclamation on the ground that he was not a Filipino citizen, having been naturalized in the United States on January 20, 1983. In his answer dated May 22, 1988, Frivaldo admitted that he was naturalized in the United States as alleged but pleaded the special and affirmative defenses that he had sought American citizenship only to protect himself against President Marcos. His naturalization, he said, was "merely forced upon himself as a means of survival against the unrelenting persecution by the Martial Law Dictator's agents abroad." He added that he had returned to the Philippines after the EDSA revolution to help in the restoration of democracy. In their Comment, the private respondents reiterated their assertion that Frivaldo was a naturalized American citizen and had not reacquired Philippine citizenship on the day of the election on January 18, 1988. He was therefore not qualified to run for and be elected governor. They also argued that their petition in the Commission on Elections was not really for quo warranto under Section 253 of the Omnibus Election Code. The ultimate purpose was to prevent Frivaldo from continuing as governor, his candidacy and election being null and void ab initio because of his alienage. Speaking for the public respondent, the Solicitor General supported the contention that Frivaldo was not a citizen of the Philippines and had not repatriated himself after his naturalization as an American citizen. As an alien, he was disqualified from public office in the Philippines. His election did not cure this defect because the electorate of Sorsogon could not amend the Constitution, the Local Government Code, and the Omnibus Election Code. He also joined in the private respondent's argument that Section 253 of the Omnibus Election Code was not applicable because what the League and Estuye were seeking was not only the annulment of the proclamation and election of Frivaldo. He agreed that they were also asking for the termination of Frivaldo's incumbency as governor of Sorsogon on the ground that he was not a Filipino. Issue: Whether or Not petitioner Juan G. Frivaldo was a citizen of the Philippines at the time of his election on January 18, 1988, as provincial governor of Sorsogon. Held: The reason for this inquiry is the provision in Article XI, Section 9, of the Constitution that all public officials and employees owe the State and the Constitution "allegiance at all times" and the specific requirement in Section 42 of the Local Government Code that a candidate for local elective office must be inter alia a citizen of the Philippines and a qualified voter of the constituency where he is running. Section 117 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that a qualified voter must be, among other qualifications, a citizen of the Philippines, this being an indispensable requirement for suffrage under Article V, Section 1, of the Constitution. In the certificate of candidacy he filed on November 19, 1987, Frivaldo described himself as a "natural-born" citizen of the Philippines, omitting mention of any subsequent loss of such status. The evidence shows, however, that he was naturalized as a citizen of the United States in 1983 per the following certification from the United States District Court, Northern District of California, as duly authenticated by Vice Consul Amado P. Cortez of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, California, U.S.A. The Court sees no reason not to believe that the petitioner was one of the enemies of the Marcos dictatorship. Even so, it cannot agree that as a consequence thereof he was coerced into embracing

American citizenship. His feeble suggestion that his naturalization was not the result of his own free and voluntary choice is totally unacceptable and must be rejected outright. This Court will not permit the anomaly of a person sitting as provincial governor in this country while owing exclusive allegiance to another country. The fact that he was elected by the people of Sorsogon does not excuse this patent violation of the salutary rule limiting public office and employment only to the citizens of this country. The qualifications prescribed for elective office cannot be erased by the electorate alone. The will of the people as expressed through the ballot cannot cure the vice of ineligibility, especially if they mistakenly believed, as in this case, that the candidate was qualified. Obviously, this rule requires strict application when the deficiency is lack of citizenship. If a person seeks to serve in the Republic of the Philippines, he must owe his total loyalty to this country only, abjuring and renouncing all fealty and fidelity to any other state. It is true as the petitioner points out that the status of the natural-born citizen is favored by the Constitution and our laws, which is all the more reason why it should be treasured like a pearl of great price. But once it is surrendered and renounced, the gift is gone and cannot be lightly restored. This country of ours, for all its difficulties and limitations, is like a jealous and possessive mother. Once rejected, it is not quick to welcome back with eager arms its prodigal if repentant children. The returning renegade must show, by an express and unequivocal act, the renewal of his loyalty and love. Petition Dismissed. Petitioner JUAN G. FRIVALDO is hereby declared not a citizen of the Philippines and therefore disqualified from serving as Governor of the Province of Sorsogon. Accordingly, he is ordered to vacate his office and surrender the same to the duly elected Vice-Governor of the said province once this decision becomes final and executory.

Sources: Full text of case Case digest ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

G.R. No. 86564 August 1, 1989 RAMON L. LABO, JR., petitioner, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (COMELEC) EN BANC AND LUIS L. LARDIZABAL, respondents

Facts: Petitioner and Respondent were candidates for the office of the Mayor of Baguio City during Elections. Having garnered the highest number of votes, Petitioner was elected and proclaimed winner while Respondent garnered the second highest number of votes. Subsequently Respondent filed a petition for quo warranto contesting the election of the Petitioner on the ground that the latter is a naturalized Australian citizen and was divested of his Philippine citizenship having sworn allegiance to the Queen of Australia. Petitioner opposes to the contrary. Section 42 of the Local Government Code provides for the qualifications that an elective official must be a citizen of the Philippines. From the evidence adduced, it was found out that citizenship requirements were not possessed by the petitioner during elections. He was disqualified from running as mayor and, although elected, is

not now qualified to serve as such. Issue: WON private respondent, having garnered the 2nd highest number of votes, can replace the petitioner as mayor. Held: No. The simple reason is that he obtained only the second highest number of votes in the election, he was obviously not the choice of the people of Baguio City. The fact that the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes is later declared to be disqualified or not eligible for the office to which he was elected does not necessarily entitle the candidate who obtained the second highest number of votes to be declared the winner of the elective office.

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Dual citizenship is not a bar in running for elections, dual allegiance is. Mere repatriation is not enough to run for elections. A written certification of an oath of allegiance to the Philippines must be attached together with the COC. Sources: Full text of case Case digest ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ By express renunciation or expatriation -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------G.R. No. L-83882 January 24, 1989 IN RE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF WILLIE YU, petitioner, vs. MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO, BIENVENIDO P. ALANO, JR., MAJOR PABALAN, DELEO HERNANDEZ, BLODDY HERNANDEZ, BENNY REYES and JUN ESPIRITU SANTO, respondent. FACTS: Petitioner Yu, originally a Portuguese national, was naturalized as a Philippine citizen on 10February 1978. However, on 21 July 1981, petitioner applied for and was issued a renewed PortuguesePassport No. 35/81 serial N. 1517410 by the Consular Section of the Portuguese Embassy in Tokyo. SaidConsular Office certifies that his Portuguese passport expired on 20 July 1986.The CID detained the petitioner pending his deportation case. The petitioner, in turn, filed a petition forhabeas corpus. An internal resolution of 7 November 1988 referred the case to the Court en banc. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner’s acts constitute renunciation of his Philippine citizenship HELD: Yes. Philippine citizenship, it must be stressed, is not a commodity or were to be displayed whenrequired and suppressed when convenient. Petitioner, while still a citizen of the Philippines who hadrenounced, upon his naturalization, "absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreignprince, potentate, state or sovereignty" and pledged to "maintain true faith and allegiance to theRepublic of the Philippines," he declared his nationality as Portuguese in commercial documents

hesigned, specifically, the Companies registry of Tai Shun Estate Ltd. 20 filed in Hongkong sometime inApril 1980. Express renunciation was held to mean a renunciation that is made known distinctly andexplicitly and not left to inference or implication. Petitioner, with full knowledge, and legal capacity,after having renounced Portuguese citizenship upon naturalization as a Philippine citizen resumed orreacquired his prior status as a Portuguese citizen, applied for a renewal of his Portuguese passport andrepresented himself as such in official documents even after he had become a naturalized Philippinecitizen. Such resumption or reacquisition of Portuguese citizenship is grossly inconsistent with hismaintenance of Philippine citizenship.WHEREFORE, premises considered, petitioner's motion for release from detention is DENIED.Respondent's motion to lift the temporary restraining order is GRANTED. This Decision is immediatelyexecutory.While still a citizen of the Philippines who had renounced, upon his naturalization, "absolutely andforever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty" and pledged to"maintain true faith and allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines," he declared his nationality asPortuguese in commercial documents he signed, specifically, the Companies registry of Tai Shun EstateLtd. filed in Hongkong sometime in April 1980. Sources: Full text of case Case digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Reacquisition of citizenship, RA 8171 Re acquisition of Citizenship -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Promotion of health and ecology Retroactivity of Repatriation *case already given (Frivaldo vs. COMELEC) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Suffrage -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------G.R. No. 147066 26 March 2001 AKBAYAN - Youth, SCAP, UCSC, MASP, KOMPIL II - Youth, ALYANSA, KALIPI, PATRICIA Q. PICAR, MYLA GAIL Z. TAMONDONG, EMMANUEL E. OMBAO, JOHNNY ACOSTA, ARCHIE JOHN TALAUE, RYAN DAPITAN, CHRISTOPHER OARDE, JOSE MARI MODESTO, RICHARD M. VALENCIA, EDBEN TABUCOL, petitioners vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTION, respondents. Facts: Petitioners in this case represent the youth sector and they seek to seek to direct COMELEC to conduct a special registration before the May 14, 2001 General Elections, of new voters ages 18 to 21. According to them, around fourmillion youth failed to register on or before the December 27, 2000 deadline set by the respondent COMELEC. However,the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 3584 disapproving the request for additional registration of voters on the groundthat Section 8 of R.A. 8189 explicitly provides that no registration shall be conducted during the period starting onehundred twenty (120) days before a regular election and that the Commission has no more time left to accomplish allpre-election activities.Aggrieved by the denial, petitioners filed before the SC the Section 8 of R. A. 8189 unconstitutional insofar as said provision effectivelycauses the disenfranchisement of petitioners and others similarly situated. Likewise, petitioners pray for the issuance of a writ of mandamus directing respondent COMELEC to conduct a special registration of new voters and to admit forregistration petitioners and other similarly situated young Filipinos to qualify them to vote in the May 14, 2001 GeneralElections.

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Issues: Whether or not respondent COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing COMELEC Resolution Whether or not the SC can compel respondent COMELEC to conduct a special registration of new voters duringthe May 14, 2001 generalelections. Held: No. The right of suffrage invoked by petitioners is not at all absolute. The exercise of the right of suffrage, as in theenjoyment of all other rights is subject to existing substantive and procedural requirements embodied in ourConstitution, statute books and other repositories of law. As to the procedural limitation, the right of a citizen tovote is necessarily conditioned upon certain procedural requirements he must undergo: among others, the processof registration. Specifically, a citizen in order to be qualified to exercise his right to vote, in addition to the minimumrequirements set by the fundamental charter, is obliged by law to register, at present, under the provisions of Republic Act No. 8189, otherwise known as the Voter's Registration Act of 1996 Section 8, of the R.A. 8189,explicitly provides that No registration shall, however, be conducted during the period starting one hundred twenty (120) days before a regular election and ninety (90) days before a special election. The 100-day prohibitive periodserves a vital role in protecting the integrity of the registration process. Without the prohibitive periods, theCOMELEC would be deprived of any time to evaluate the evidence on the application. If we compromise on thesesafety nets, we may very well end up with a ghosts

Sources: Full text of case Case digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------G.R. No. 157013 July 10, 2003 ATTY. ROMULO B. MACALINTAL, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, HON. ALBERTO ROMULO, in his official capacity as Executive Secretary, and HON. EMILIA T. BONCODIN, Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, respondents.

FACTS:This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by Romulo B. Macalintal, a member of thePhilippine Bar, seeking a declaration that certain provisions of Republic Act No. 9189 ( The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 suffer from constitutional infirmity. Claiming that he has actual and material legal interest in the subject matter of this case in seeing to it that public funds are properlyand lawfully used and appropriated, petitioner filed the instant petition as a taxpayer and as a lawyer.

ISSUES: (A.) Does Section 5(d) of Rep. Act No. 9189 allowing the registration of voters who are immigrants or permanent residents in other countries by their mere act of executing an affidavit expressing their intention to return to the Philippines, violate the residency requirement in Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution?

(B.) Does Section 18.5 of the same law empowering the COMELEC to proclaim the winning candidates for national offices and party list representatives including the President and the VicePresident violate the constitutional mandate under Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution that the winning candidates for President and the Vice-President shall beproclaimed as winners by Congress?

(C.) May Congress, through the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created in Section25 of Rep. Act No. 9189, exercise the power to review, revise, amend, and approve the Implementing Rules and Regulations that the Commission on Elections shall promulgate without violating the independence of the COMELEC under Section 1, Article IX-A of the Constitution?

HELD:In resolving the issues , the application of the rules in Statutory Construction must be applied: 1. All laws are presumed to be constitutional 2. The constitution must be construed as a whole 3.In case of doubt in the interpretation of the provision of the constitution, suchmeaning must be deduced from the discussions of the members of theconstitutional commission. A.) Does Section 5(d) of Rep. Act No. 9189 violate Section 1, Article V of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines?

SEC. 4. Coverage All citizens of the Philippines abroad, who are not otherwise disqualifiedby law, at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of elections, may vote for president,vice-president, senators and party-list representatives.which does not require physical residency in the Philippines; and Section 5 of the assailedlaw which enumerates those who are disqualified, to wit: SEC. 5. Disqualifications The following shall be disqualified from voting under this Act: a) Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws; b) Those who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship and who have pledgedallegiance to a foreign country; c) Those who have committed and are convicted in a final judgment by a court or tribunal ofan offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year, including those whohave committed and been found guilty of Disloyalty as defined under Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code , such disability not having been removed by plenary pardon oramnesty: Provided ,however , That any person disqualified to vote under this subsection shallautomatically acquire the right to vote upon expiration of five (5) years after service of sentence;Provided ,further , That the Commission may take cognizance of final judgments issued by foreign courts or tribunals only on the basis of reciprocity and subject to the formalities and processes prescribed by the Rules of Court on execution of judgments;

d) An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country,unless he/she executes, upon registration, an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the Commission declaring that he/she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three (3) years from approval of his/her registration under this Act.Such affidavit shall also state that he/she has not applied for citizenship in another country.Failure to return shall be cause for the removal of the name of the immigrant or permanent resident from the National Registry of Absentee Voters and his/her permanent disqualification to vote in absentia. e) Any citizen of the Philippines abroad previously declared insane or incompetent bycompetent authority in the Philippines or abroad, as verified by the Philippine embassies,consulates or foreign service establishments concerned, unless such competent authoritysubsequently certifies that such person is no longer insane or incompetent.As finally approved into law, Section 5(d) of R.A. No. 9189 specifically disqualifies an immigrant or permanent resident who is "recognized as such in the host country" because immigration or permanent residence in another country implies renunciation of one’s residence in his country of origin. However, same Section allows an immigrant and permanent resident abroad to register asvoter for as long as he/she executes an affidavit to show that he/she has not abandoned his domicilein pursuance of the constitutional intent expressed in Sections 1 and 2 of Article V that "all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law" must be entitled to exercise the right of suffrage and, that Congress must establish a system for absentee voting; for otherwise, if actual, physical residence in the Philippines is required, there is no sense for the framers of the Constitution to mandate Congress to establish a system for absentee voting.

B.Is Section 18.5 of R.A. No. 9189 in relation to Section 4 of the same Act in contravention of Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution ?

Section 4 of R.A. No. 9189 provides that the overseas absentee voter may vote forpresident, vicepresident, senators and party-list representatives.Section 18.5 of the same Act provides: SEC. 18. On-Site Counting and Canvassing. 18. 5 The canvass of votes shall not cause the delay of the proclamation of a winning candidate if the outcome of the election will not be affected by the results thereof.Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Commission is empowered to order the proclamation of winning candidates despite the fact that the scheduled election has not taken place in a particular country or countries, if the holding of elections therein has been rendered impossible by events, factors and circumstances peculiar to such country or countries, in which events, factors and circumstances are beyond the control or influence of theCommission. (Emphasis supplied)SEC. 4 . . .The returns of every election for President and Vice-President, duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province or city, shall be transmitted to the Congress, directed to thePresident of the Senate. Upon receipt of the certificates of canvass, the President of the Senate shall, not later than thirty days after the day of the election, open all the certificates in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives in joint public session, and the Congress, upon determination of the authenticity and due execution thereof in the manner provided by law, canvass the votes.The person having the highest number of votes shall be proclaimed elected, but in case two or more shall have an equal and highest number of votes, one of them shall forthwith be chosen by the vote of a majority of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress, voting separately. The Congress shall promulgate its rules for the canvassing of the certificates.. . .Such provision gives the Congress the duty to canvass the votes and proclaim the winningcandidates for president and vice-president.It was held that this provision must be harmonized with paragraph 4, Section 4, Article VII ofthe Constitution and should

be taken to mean that COMELEC can only proclaim the winningSenators and party-list representatives but not the President and Vice-President. The phrase, proclamation of winning candidates, in Section 18.5 of R.A. No. 9189 is far too sweeping that it necessarily includes the proclamation of the winning candidates for the presidency and the vice presidency.clashes with paragraph 4, Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution which provides that there turns of every election for President and Vice-President shall be certified by the board ofcanvassers to Congress.

Congress could not have allowed the COMELEC to usurp a power that constitutionallybelongs to it or, as aptly stated by petitioner, to encroach "on the power of Congress to canvass thevotes for president and vice-president and the power to proclaim the winners for the said positions."The provisions of the Constitution as the fundamental law of the land should be read as part of The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 and hence, the canvassing of the votes and the proclamation of the winning candidates for president and vice-president for the entire nation must remain in the hands of Congress.

C.Are Sections 19 and 25 of R.A. No. 9189 in violation of Section 1, Article IX-A of the Constitution?

Section 1. The Constitutional Commissions, which shall be independent, are the Civil ServiceCommission, the Commission on Elections, and the Commission on Audit. SEC. 17. Voting by Mail For the May, 2004 elections, the Commission shall authorize voting by mail in not more than three (3) countries, subject to the approval of the Congressional Oversight Committee.Voting by mail may be allowed in countries that satisfy the following conditions: a) Where the mailing system is fairly well-developed and secure to prevent occasion for fraud; b) Where there exists a technically established identification system that would preclude multiple or proxy voting; and c) Where the system of reception and custody of mailed ballots in the embassies, consulates and other foreign service establishments concerned are adequate and well-secured.Thereafter, voting by mail in any country shall be allowed only upon review and approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee . . . . . . . . . (Emphasis supplied)

Such provision is unconstitutional as it violates Section 1, Article IX-A mandating the independence of constitutional commissions.The phrase, "subject to the approval of the Congressional Oversight Committee" in the first sentence of Section 17.1 which empowers the Commission to authorize voting by mail in not more than three countries for the May, 2004 elections; and the phrase, "only upon review and approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee" found in the second paragraph of the same section are unconstitutional as they require review and approval of voting by mail in any country after the 2004elections. Congress may not confer upon itself the authority to approve or disapprove the countries wherein voting by mail shall be allowed, as determined by the COMELEC pursuant to the conditions provided for in Section 17.1 of R.A. No. 9189. Otherwise, Congress would overstep the bounds ofits constitutional mandate and intrude into the independence of the COMELEC.

WHEREFORE, the petition is partly GRANTED. The following portions of R.A. No. 9189 aredeclared VOID for being UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Sources: Full text of case Case digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2. Territory Philippine Archipelago; Archipelago Doctrine; UN Convention on the Law of the Sea -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3. Government Functions Constituent functions are those which constitute the very bonds of society and are compulsory in nature. Examples are keeping of order and providing for the protection of persons and property; the fixing of the legal relations between man and wife, and between parents and child; the regulation of property and the determination of contract rights; the definition and punishment of crime, the administration of justice, the determination of political duties, privileges, and relations of citizens, dealings of the state with foreign powers, the preservation of the state from external danger and the advancement of international interest. Ministrant functions are those that are undertaken only by way of advancing the general interests of society and are merely optional. Examples are public works, public education, public charity, health and safety regulations and regulations of trade and industry. Source: Functions of Govt. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Laissez-faire vs. Welfare State LAISSEZ_FAIRE is French for "leave alone" which means that the government leaves the people alone regarding all economic activities. It is the separation of economy and state. There are two ways that a government typically is tempted to interfere with the economy. The first is through the initiation of force, and the second is through socialized industries. Neither of these activities are aligned with the proper role of government, and are both unacceptable. "Laissez Faire Capitalism" is actually redundant, due to the nature of Capitalism. Therefore, simply "Capitalism" is sufficient to get the point across although historically it has been misrepresented as compatible with government economic interference.

A WELFARE STATE is a concept of government where the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to

avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life. The general term may cover a variety of forms of economic and social organization. There are two main interpretations of the idea of a welfare state: A model in which the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. This responsibility in theory ought to be comprehensive, because all aspects of welfare are considered and universally applied to citizens as a "right". Welfare state can also mean the creation of a "social safety net" of minimum standards of varying forms of welfare. There is some confusion between a "welfare state" and a "welfare society," and debate about how each term should be defined. In many countries, especially in the United States, some degree of welfare is not actually provided by the state, but directly to welfare recipients from a combination of independent volunteers, corporations (both non-profit charitable corporations as well as for-profit corporations), and government services. This phenomenon has been termed a "welfare society," and the term "welfare system" has been used to describe the range of welfare state and welfare society mixes that are found. The welfare state involves a direct transfer of funds from the public sector to welfare recipients, but indirectly, the private sector is often contributing those funds via redistributionist taxation; the welfare state has been referred to as a type of "mixed economy".

Source: Laissez-faire vs. Welfare state -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Doctrine of Parens Patriae ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

G.R. No. L-9959 December 13, 1916 THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, represented by the Treasurer of the Philippine Islands, plaintiff-appellee, vs. EL MONTE DE PIEDAD Y CAJA DE AHORRAS DE MANILA, defendant-appellant.

FACTS:Contributions were collected during the Spanish regime for the relief of the victims of an earthquake. The Monte de Piedad, a charitable institution, in need for more working capital, petitioned the Governor-General for the transfer of $80,000 as a loan. In June 1893, the Department of Finance called upon the Monte de Piedad to return the $80,000. The Monte declined to comply with this order upon the ground that only the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands and not the Department of Finance had the right to order the reimbursement. On account of various petitions of the persons, the Philippine Islands, through the Attorney-General, bring suit against the Monte de Piedad for a recover of the $80,000, together with interest, for the benefit of those persons or their heirs. After due trial, judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiff for the sum of $80,000 gold or its equivalent in Philippine currency, together with legal interest from February 28, 1912, and the costs of the cause. The defendant appealed. One of the assignment of errors made by the defendant was to question the competence of the plaintiff (government) to bring the action, contending that the suit could be instituted only by the intended beneficiaries themselves or by their heirs. ISSUE: Who may sue to recover the loan?

HELD:The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment appealed from and upheld the right of the Government to file the case as parens patriae in representation of the legitimate claimants. The legislature or government of the State, as parens patriae, has the right to enforce all charities of public nature, by virtue of its general superintending authority over the public interests, where no other person is entrusted with it. -------♥------The Doctrine of Parens Patriae

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. It is a most beneficient functions, and often necessary to be exercised in the interest of humanity, and for the prevention of injury to those who cannot protect themselves. The beneficiaries of charities, who are often in capable of vindicating their rights, and justly look for protection to the sovereign authority, acting as parens patriae. They show that this beneficient functions has not ceased to exist under the change of government from a monarchy to a republic; but that it now resides in the legislative department, ready to be called into exercise whenever required for the purposes of justice and right, and is a clearly capable of being exercised in cases of charities as in any other cases whatever. Besides, the beneficiaries, consisting of the original sufferers and their heirs, are quite numerous. It would be impracticable for them to institute an action or actions either individually or collectively to recover the $80,000. The only course that can be satisfactorily pursued is for the Government to again assume control of the fund and devote it to the object for which it was originally destined. The impracticability of pursuing a different course, however, is not the true ground upon which the right of the Government to maintain the action rests. The true ground is that the money being given to a charity became, in a measure, public property, only applicable, it is true, to the specific purposes to which it was intended to be devoted, but within those limits consecrated to the public use, and became part of the public resources for promoting the happiness and welfare of the Philippine Government. To deny the Government's right to maintain this action would be contrary to sound public policy. The doctrine of parens patriae “is a concept of standing utilized to protect . . . quasi-sovereign interests, such as ‘health, comfort, and welfare’ of the people,” when such interests are threatened and state government intervention may be needed. Gibbs v. Titelman, 369 F. Supp. 38, 54 (E.D. Pa. 1973), rev’d on other grounds, 502 F.2d 1107 (3d Cir. 1974). The parens patriae doctrine differs from the in loco parentis doctrine, the later involving care that is “temporary in character and not to be likened to [the permanent situation of] adoption.” Griego v. Hogan, 377 P.2d 953, 955-56 (N.M. 1963). The in loco parentis doctrine can be applied to both governmental and non-governmental entities, and is implicated “when a person [or legal entity] undertakes the care and control of another [person of legal incapacity] in the absence of such supervision by the latter’s natural parents and in the absence of formal legal approval.” Id. One of the more common situations where there may be threatened interests requiring state intervention involves the interests of minors and others of legal incapacity. Blackstone noted that under early English common law, the English sovereign was “'general guardian of all infants, lunatics, idiots.’” Fontain v. Ravenel, 58 U.S. 369 392-93 (1854) (Taney, J. concurring)(citing 3 W. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 48 (1769)). English royalty originally enjoyed virtually unlimited power over the minors of their subjects. Over time, however, the Crown’s power became circumscribed by the rule of law, through the Magna Carta, the Writ of Habeas Corpus, and the continual evolution of the common law.

The United States Constitutional system of Ordered Liberty included additional safeguards. Article I, Section 9, guaranteed access to the Writ of Habeas Corpus. The Tenth Amendment created a vertical system of checks and balances, thereby distributing some powers to federal government, some to state government, and the remainder to the People. Parens patriae power of standing was reserved to the state governments, and could not properly be exercised by the federal government. See Fontain, 58 U.S. at 379, 384, 393; Mormon Church v. United States, 136 U.S. 1, 57-58 (1890)(parens patriae authority of Crown devolved upon the state legislatures); American Loan & Trust Co. v. Grand Rivers Co., 159 F. 775, 782 (W.D. Ky. 1908). The First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Amendments afforded affirmative protections of individual liberty, which further constrained the practical reach of parens patriae. State government exercises of parens patriae power are also subject to the United States Constitutional system of Ordered Liberty. See Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 290 (1923)("Determination by the Legislature of what constitutes proper exercise of police power is not final or conclusive but is subject to supervision by the courts."). Particularly after the enactment of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Supreme Court applied due process principles and strict scrutiny analysis to limit state invocations of its parens patriae power. Liberty in “matters relating to marriage, procreation, . . . family relationships, and child rearing and education” are “’fundamental’” and “'implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’ as described in Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319 (1937).” Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, 713 (1976). “In these areas . . . there are limits on the state’s power to substantively regulate conduct.” Id. “[T]he admonition to function in a ‘parental’ relationship [of standing] is not an invitation to procedural arbitrariness.” Kent v. United States, 383 U.S. 541, 555 (1965). States may not exercise such power in a manner that has “all-encompassing scope and . . . sweeping potential for broad and unforeseeable application.” Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 234 (1972). With respect to school teachers, they have only such portion of parental authority as a parent may choose to temporarily commit to the teacher's charge, in order to answer the purposes for which the parent has initiated the employment. Vernonia School District 47J v. Action, 515 U.S. 646, 654-55 (1995)(quoting 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 441 (1769)). State governments may not properly override parental decisions or terminate custody, unless 1) parents delegate their authority to the state voluntarily and knowingly, or 2) the state demonstrates through appropriate due process that there is clear and convincing evidence that the parents have triggered state parens patriae interests by placing their children in clear and present danger. C.f. Croft v. Westmoreland County Children & Youth Servs., 103 F.3d 1123 (3d. Cir. 1997).

Sources: Full text of case Case digest Doctrine of Paren Patriae -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------G.R. No. L-25843 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 daughter’s 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."

Sources: Full text of case Case digest -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Classification

De jure (in Classical Latin de iure) is an expression that means "concerning law". De jure = 'Legally' The terms de jure and de facto are used instead of "in law" and "in practice", respectively, when one is describing political or legal situations. In a legal context, de jure is also translated as "concerning law". A practice may exist de facto, where for example the people obey a contract as though there were a law enforcing it, yet there is no such law. A process known as "desuetude" may allow de facto practices to replace obsolete de jure laws. On the other hand, practices may exist de jure and not be obeyed or observed by the people. De facto (English pronunciation: /diː ˈfæktoʊ/, /deɪ/,[1] Latin pronunciation: [deː ˈfaktoː]) is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure (which means "concerning the law") when referring to matters of law, governance, or technique (such as standards) that are found in the common experience as created or developed without or contrary to a regulation. When discussing a legal situation, de jure designates what the law says, while de facto designates action of what happens in practice. It is analogous and similar to the expressions "for all intents and purposes" or "in fact". The term can also be used in the context of conducting activity as a "matter of course" e.g. copying an individual on an email de facto.

Source: De Jure De facto -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------G.R. No. 73748 - May 22, 1986 LAWYERS LEAGUE FOR A BETTER PHILIPPINES vs. AQUINO 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 Aquino government 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 Armed Forces 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 Sources:

Case digest http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1986/oct1986/gr_76180_1986.html -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4. Sovereignty Effects of Change in sovereignty - People v. Perfecto, 43 Phil. 887 *we already discussed this case - Macariola v. Asuncion, 114 SCRA 77 *we already discussed this case Effects of Belligerent Occupation Doctrine of Jus Postliminium Dominium vs. Imperium Derogation of Philippine Sovereignty; The Visiting Forces Agreement

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------G. R. No. 138570 October 10, 2000 BAYAN (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan), a JUNK VFA MOVEMENT, BISHOP TOMAS MILLAMENA (Iglesia Filipina Independiente), BISHOP ELMER BOLOCAN (United Church of Christ of the Phil.), DR. REYNALDO LEGASCA, MD, KILUSANG MAMBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS, KILUSANG MAYO UNO, GABRIELA, PROLABOR, and the PUBLIC INTEREST LAW CENTER, petitioners, vs. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY RONALDO ZAMORA, FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY DOMINGO SIAZON, DEFENSE SECRETARY ORLANDO MERCADO, BRIG. GEN. ALEXANDER AGUIRRE, SENATE PRESIDENT MARCELO FERNAN, SENATOR FRANKLIN DRILON, SENATOR BLAS OPLE, SENATOR RODOLFO BIAZON, and SENATOR FRANCISCO TATAD, respondents. Facts: The United States panel met with the Philippine panel to discussed, among others, 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. Pres. Joseph Estrada ratified the VFA on October 5, 1998 and on May 27, 1999, the senate approved it by (2/3) votes. Cause of Action: Petitioners, among others, assert that Sec. 25, Art XVIII of the 1987 constitution is applicable and not Section 21, Article VII. Following the argument of the petitioner, 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? Held: Section 25, Article XVIII, which specifically deals with treaties involving foreign military bases, troops or facilities should apply in the instant case. To a certain extent and in a limited sense, however, the provisions of section 21, Article VII will find applicability with regard to the issue and for the sole purpose of determining the number of votes required to obtain the valid concurrence of the senate. The Constitution, makes no distinction between “transient” and “permanent.” We find nothing in section 25, Article XVIII that requires foreign troops or facilities to be stationed or placed permanently in the Philippines. It is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive agreement because, under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Visiting Forces Agreement, for which Senate concurrence was sought and received on May 27, 1999, is the subject of a number of Constitutional challenges. Issue 1: Do the Petitioners have legal standing as concerned citizens, taxpayers, or legislators to question the constitutionality of the VFA? Petitioners Bayan Muna, etc. have no standing. A party bringing a suit challenging the Constitutionality of a law must show not only that the law is invalid, but that he has sustained or is in immediate danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not merely that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way. Petitioners have failed to show that they are in any danger of direct injury as a result of the VFA. As taxpayers, they have failed to establish that the VFA involves the exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending powers. A taxpayer’s suit refers to a case where the act complained of directly involves the illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation. Before he can invoke the power of judicial review, he must specifically prove that he has sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation and that he will sustain a direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the questioned statute or contract. It is not sufficient that he has merely a general interest common to all members of the public. Clearly, inasmuch as no public funds raised by taxation are involved in this case, and in the absence of any allegation by petitioners that public funds are being misspent or illegally expended, petitioners, as taxpayers, have no legal standing to assail the legality of the VFA. Similarly, the petitioner-legislators (Tanada, Arroyo, etc.) do not possess the requisite locus standi to sue. In the absence of a clear showing of any direct injury to their person or to the institution to which they belong, they cannot sue. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is also stripped of standing in these cases. The IBP lacks the legal capacity to bring this suit in the absence of a board resolution from its Board of Governors authorizing its National President to commence the present action.

Notwithstanding, in view of the paramount importance and the constitutional significance of the issues raised, the Court may brush aside the procedural barrier and takes cognizance of the petitions. Issue 2: Is the VFA governed by section 21, Art. VII, or section 25, Art. XVIII of the Constitution? Section 25, Art XVIII, not section 21, Art. VII, applies, as the VFA involves the presence of foreign military troops in the Philippines. The Constitution contains two provisions requiring the concurrence of the Senate on treaties or international agreements. Section 21, Article VII reads: “[n]o treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.” Section 25, Article XVIII, provides:”[a]fter the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America concerning Military Bases, foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.” Section 21, Article VII deals with treaties or international agreements in general, in which case, the concurrence of at least two-thirds (2/3) of all the Members of the Senate is required to make the treaty valid and binding to the Philippines. This provision lays down the general rule on treaties. All treaties, regardless of subject matter, coverage, or particular designation or appellation, requires the concurrence of the Senate to be valid and effective. In contrast, Section 25, Article XVIII is a special provision that applies to treaties which involve the presence of foreign military bases, troops or facilities in the Philippines. Under this provision, the concurrence of the Senate is only one of the requisites to render compliance with the constitutional requirements and to consider the agreement binding on the Philippines. Sec 25 further requires that “foreign military bases, troops, or facilities” may be allowed in the Philippines only by virtue of a treaty 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 recognized as such by the other contracting state. On the whole, the VFA is an agreement which defines the treatment of US troops visiting the Philippines. It provides for the guidelines to govern such visits of military personnel, and further defines the rights of the US and RP government in the matter of criminal jurisdiction, movement of vessel and aircraft, import and export of equipment, materials and supplies. Undoubtedly, Section 25, Article XVIII, which specifically deals with treaties involving foreign military bases, troops, or facilities, should apply in the instant case. To a certain extent, however, the provisions of Section 21, Article VII will find applicability with regard to determining the number of votes required to obtain the valid concurrence of the Senate. It is specious to argue that Section 25, Article XVIII is inapplicable to mere transient agreements for the reason that there is no permanent placing of structure for the establishment of a military base. The Constitution makes no distinction between “transient” and “permanent”. We find nothing in Section 25, Article XVIII that requires foreign troops or facilities to be stationed or placed permanently in the Philippines. When no distinction is made by law; the Court should not distinguish. We do not subscribe to the argument that Section 25, Article XVIII is not controlling since no foreign military bases, but merely foreign troops and facilities, are involved in the VFA. The proscription covers “foreign military bases, troops, or facilities.” Stated differently, this prohibition is not limited to the entry of troops and facilities without any foreign bases being established. The clause does not refer to “foreign military bases, troops, or facilities” collectively but treats them as separate and independent subjects, such that three different situations are contemplated — a military treaty the subject of which could be either (a) foreign bases, (b) foreign troops, or (c) foreign facilities — any of the three standing alone places it under the coverage of Section 25, Article XVIII.

Issue 3: Was Sec 25 Art XVIII’s requisites satisfied to make the VFA effective? Section 25, Article XVIII disallows foreign military bases, troops, or facilities in the country, unless the following conditions are sufficiently met: (a) it must be under a treaty; (b) the treaty must be duly concurred in by the Senate and, when so required by Congress, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum; and (c) recognized as a treaty by the other contracting state. There is no dispute as to the presence of the first two requisites in the case of the VFA. The concurrence handed by the Senate through Resolution No. 18 is in accordance with the Constitution, as there were at least 16 Senators that concurred. As to condition (c), the Court held that the phrase “recognized as a treaty” means that the other contracting party accepts or acknowledges the agreement as a treaty. To require the US to submit the VFA to the US Senate for concurrence pursuant to its Constitution, is to accord strict meaning to the phrase. Well-entrenched is the principle that the words used in the Constitution are to be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed, in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. Its language should be understood in the sense they have in common use. The records reveal that the US Government, through Ambassador Hubbard, has stated that the US has fully committed to living up to the terms of the VFA. For as long as the US accepts or acknowledges the VFA as a treaty, and binds itself further to comply with its treaty obligations, there is indeed compliance with the mandate of the Constitution. Worth stressing too, is that the ratification by the President of the VFA, and the concurrence of the Senate, should be taken as a clear and unequivocal expression of our nation’s consent to be bound by said treaty, with the concomitant duty to uphold the obligations and responsibilities embodied thereunder. Ratification is generally held to be an executive act, undertaken by the head of the state, through which the formal acceptance of the treaty is proclaimed. A State may provide in its domestic legislation the process of ratification of a treaty. In our jurisdiction, the power to ratify is vested in the President and not, as commonly believed, in the legislature. The role of the Senate is limited only to giving or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to the ratification. With the ratification of the VFA it now becomes obligatory and incumbent on our part, under principles of international law (pacta sunt servanda), to be bound by the terms of the agreement. Thus, no less than Section 2, Article II declares that the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation and amity with all nations.

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