Tanada vs.

Angara 272 SCRA 18 FACTS: The suit was filed to nullify the concurrence of the Philippines Senate to the President’s Ratification of the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization. It was contended that the agreement places nationals and products of member countries on the same footing as Filipinos and local products in contravention of the Filipino First Policy. Petitioners maintained that this Agreement was an assault on the sovereign powers of the Philippines because it meant that Congress could not pass legislation that would be good for national interest and general welfare if such legislation would not conform to the WTO Agreement. ISSUE: Whether the provisions of the WTO Agreement and its annexes limit, restrict, or impair the exercise of legislative power by Congress. HELD: While sovereignty has traditionally been deemed absolute and all-encompassing on the domestic level, it is however subject to limitations and restrictions voluntarily agreed to by the Philippines as a member of the family of nations. One of the oldest and most fundamental rules in international law is pacta sunt servanda — international agreements must be performed in good faith. “A treaty engagement is not a mere moral obligation but creates a legally binding obligation on the parties xxx. A state which has contracted valid international obligations is bound to make in its legislation such modifications as may be necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken. By their inherent nature, treaties really limit or restrict the absoluteness of sovereignty. By their voluntary act, nations may surrender some aspects of their state power in exchange for greater benefits granted by or derived from a convention or pact. After all, states, like individuals live with coequals, and in pursuit of mutuality covenanted objectives and benefits, they also commonly agree to limit the exercise of their otherwise absolute rights. The sovereignty of a state therefore cannot in fact and in reality be considered absolute. Certain restrictions enter into the picture: (1) limitations imposed by the very nature of membership in the family of nations and (2) limitations imposed by treaty stipulations. SANLAKAS VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY [421 SCRA 656; G.R. No. 159085; 3 Feb 2004] Friday, January 30, 2009 Posted by CoffeeholicWrites Labels: Case Digests, Political Law Facts: During the wee hours of July 27, 2003, some three-hundred junior officers and enlisted men of the AFP, acting upon instigation, command and direction of known and unknown leaders have seized the Oakwood Building in Makati. Publicly, they complained of the corruption in the AFP and declared their withdrawal of support for the government, demanding the resignation of the President, Secretary of Defense and the PNP Chief. These acts constitute a violation of Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code, and by virtue of Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4, the Philippines was declared under the State of Rebellion. Negotiations took place and the officers went back to their barracks in the evening of the same day. On August 1, 2003, both the Proclamation and General Orders were lifted, and Proclamation No. 435, declaring the Cessation of the State of Rebellion was issued. In the interim, however, the following petitions were filed: (1) SANLAKAS AND PARTIDO NG MANGGAGAWA VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, petitioners contending that Sec. 18 Article VII of the Constitution does not require the declaration of a state of rebellion to call out the AFP, and that there is no factual basis for such proclamation. (2)SJS Officers/Members v. Hon. Executive Secretary, et al, petitioners contending that the proclamation is a circumvention of the report requirement under the same Section 18, Article VII, commanding the President to submit a report to Congress within 48 hours from the proclamation of martial law. Finally, they contend that the

15. Miguel Castillo. andDionisio Mayor were candidates voted for the position of members of the National Assembly for the first district of Tayabas. petitioners contending that there was usurpation of the power of Congress granted by Section 23 (2). Angara and the respondents Pedro Ynsua. Legal standing or locus standi has been defined as a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged. he took his oath of office. It is not disputed that the President has full discretionary power to call out the armed forces and to determine the necessity for the exercise of such power. 1935. Suplico et al. The issue of the circumvention of the report is of no merit as there was no indication that military tribunals have replaced civilcourts or that military authorities have taken over the functions of CivilCourts. was merely exercising a wedding of her Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief powers. and as long as a valid warrantless arrest is present. 8. Article VII does not expressly prohibit declaring state or rebellion. and Sen. On Dec. et al. fixed the last date to file . Pimentel. since his office confers a right to participate in the exercise of the powers of that institution. 17. 7. so is the power of each member thereof. Article VI. The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges "such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of Issue upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. Article VI of the Constitution. vested on the President by Sections 1 and 18. These are purely executive powers. (3) Rep. 1935. The President in addition to its Commander-in-Chief Powers is conferred by the Constitution executive powers. Romulo. It sustained its decision in Philippine Constitution Association v. have standing to challenge the subject issuances. (4) Pimentel v. v. Based on the foregoing. President Macapagal-Arroyo and Executive Secretary Romulo. 1935. Electoral Commission 63 PHIL 143 FACTS: In the elections of Sept. Issues: (1) Whether or Not Proclamation No. as Members of Congress. the provincial board of canvassers proclaimed Angara as member-elect of the NationalAssembly and on Nov. none of the petitioners here have. that the extent the powers of Congress are impaired. as opposed to the delegated legislative powers contemplated by Section 23 (2). The issue of usurpation of the legislative power of the Congress is of no moment since the President. On Oct. supported their assertion that the President acted without factual basis.presidential issuances cannot be construed as an exercise ofemergency powers as Congress has not delegated any such power to the President. since any person may be subject to this whether there is rebellion or not as this is a crime punishable under the Revised Penal Code. While the Court may examine whether the power was exercised within constitutional limits or in a manner constituting grave abuse of discretion. petitioner fears that the declaration of a state of rebellion "opens the door to the unconstitutional implementation of warrantless arrests" for the crime of rebellion. The fear on warrantless arrest is unreasonable. and SJS Officers/Members have no legal standing to sue. in declaring a state of rebellion and in calling out the armed forces. petitioner Jose A. the National Assembly passed Resolution No. Section 18. Only petitioners Rep. 4 are constitutional? (2) Whether or Not the petitioners have a legal standing or locus standi to bring suit? Held: The Court rendered that the both the Proclamation No. Article VII. which in effect. 427 and General Order No. Enriquez. 427 and General Order No. Angara vs. 4 are constitutional. by way of proof. 1935. Suplico et al. petitioners Sanlakas and PM. 3.

it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature. and is supreme within its own sphere. not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed "judicial supremacy" which properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution. but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. On Dec. 1935. but also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must respect the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislativedepartments of government. ISSUES: (1) Whether or not the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commision and the subject matter of the controversy upon the foregoing related facts. our Constitution is of course lacking perfection and perfectability. among other things.electionprotests. it does not assert any superiority over the other departments. When the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries. Even then. 1935. that instrument which is the expression of their sovereignty however limited. The Constitution itself has provided for the instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. On Dec. As any human production. In case of conflict. 9. 8. and in the affirmative. that Ynsua be named/declared elected Member of the National Assembly or that the election of said position be nullified. the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the integral and constituent units thereof. But it does not follow from that fact that the three powers are to be kept separate and that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely restrained and independent of each other. 9. . It obtains not through a single provision but by actual division in our Constitution that each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction. acting through their delegates to so provide. Courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments. (2) Whether or not the said Electoral Commission acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in assuming to take cognizance of the protest filed against the election of the herein petitioner notwithstanding the previous confirmation of such election by resolution of the National Assembly RULING: On the issue of jurisdiction of the Supreme Court The separation of powers is a fundamental principle of a system of government. under a system of checks and balances and subject to the specific limitations and restrictions provided in the saidinstrument. Ynsua filed before the Electoral Commission a "Motion of Protest" against Angara and praying. The Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government. but as much as it was withinthe power of our people. has established a republican government intended to operate and function as a harmonious whole. 6) stating that last day for filing of protests is on Dec. the Electoral Commission adopted a resolution (No. this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. Angara contended that the Constitution confers exclusive jurisdiction upon the Electoral Commission solely as regards the merits of contested elections to the National Assembly and the Supreme Court therefore has no jurisdiction to hear the case.

the Electoral Commission had not yet met. the Electoral Commission met for the first time and approved a resolution fixing said date as the last day for the filing of election protests. and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the election. returns. it is as effective a restriction upon the legislative power as an express prohibition in the Constitution. when acting within the limits of its authority. The Electoral Commission is not a separate department of the government. 1935. to an independent and impartial tribunal. and qualifications of members of the National Assembly. 9. The Electoral Commission is a constitutional creation. Therefore. scope. 1935. returns. must be deemed by necessary implication to have been lodged also in the Electoral Commission. and that the resolution of the National Assembly on Dec. And thus.In the case at bar. an independent organ. conflicting claims of authority under the fundamental law between departmental powers and agencies of the government are necessarily determined by the judiciary in justiciable and appropriate cases. invested with the necessary authority in the performance and exercise of the limited and specific function assigned to it by the Constitution. the National Assembly passed its resolution of Dec. returns. Although the Electoral Commission may not be interfered with. therefore. Angara. The grant of power to the Electoral Commission to judge all contests relating to the election. and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. the incidental power to promulgate such rules necessary for the proper exercise of its exclusive power to judge all contests relating to the election." On the issue of jurisdiction of the Electoral Commission The creation of the Electoral Commission was designed to remedy certain errors of which the framers of our Constitution were cognizant. when and while acting wihtin the limits of its authority. confirmation alone by the legislature cannot be construed as depriving the Electoral Commission of the authority incidental to its constitutional power to be "the sole judge of all contests. to all intents and purposes. When. The express lodging of that power in the Electoral Commission is an implied denial in the exercise of that power by the National Assembly.". While there might have been good reason for the legislative practice of confirmation of the election of members of the legislature at the time the power to decide election contests was still lodged in the legislature. and even if it were. it does not follow that it is beyond the reach of the constitutional mechanism adopted by the people and that it is not subject to constitutional restrictions. The creation of the Electoral Commission carried with it ex necessitate rei the power regulative in character to limit the time within which protests instructed to its cognizance should be filed. The court has jurisdiction over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the present controversy for the purpose of determining the character... 1935. 3. and qualifications of members of the National Assembly. neither does it appear that said body had actually been organized. 3. Pedro Ynsua against he election of the herein petitioner. It appears that on Dec. The purpose was to transfer in its totality all the powers previously exercised by the legislature in matters pertaining to contested elections of its members. HELD: The Electoral Commission is acting within the legitimate exercise of its constitutional prerogative in assuming to take cognizance of the protest filed by the respondent. is intended to be as complete and unimpaired as if it had remained originally in the legislature. and the Electoral Commission on the other. Jose A. cannot in any manner toll the . to fix the time for the filing of said election protests. confirming the election of the petitioner to the National Assembly. it is. here is then presented an actual controversy involving as it does a conflict of a grave constitutional nature between the National Assembly on the one hand. Although it is not a power in our tripartite scheme of government.

when they were confiscated by the police station commander of Barotac Nuevo. . The court also declined to rule on the constitutionality of the executive order. The Senate adopted a resolution committing Arnault to the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms and imprisoned “until he shall have purged the contempt by revealing to the Senate . 1 The petitioner sued for recovery. Arnault refused to reveal the identity of said representative. petitioner appealed the decsion to IAC with the following contentions: . FACTS: Petitioner was charged of violation of EO 626 when he transported six carabaos in a pump boat from Masbate to Iloilo on January 13.time for filing protest against the election. as raised by the petitioner. During the Senate investigation. Integrated National Police. nor prevent the filing of protests within such time as the rules of the Electoral Commission might prescribe. since they could no longer be produced. Nazareno Inquiry in Aid of Legislation This case arose from the legislative inquiry into the acquisition by the Philippine Government of the Buenavista and Tambobong estates sometime in 1949. ordered the confiscation of the bond. a lawyer who delivered a partial of the purchase price to a representative of the vendor. Arnault. Petitioner raised the issue of EO’s constituitonality and filed case in the lower court. returns. Iloilo.respondents Type of petition filed: PETITION FOR CERTIORARI ISSUE: Whether Executive Order No. for violation of the above measure. 1984. as well as answer other pertinent questions in connection therewith. Iloilo & the Regional Director.000. at the same time invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination. But it must be herein established that a witness who refuses to answer a query by the Committee may be detained during the term of the members imposing said penalty but the detention should not be too long as to violate the witness’ right to due process of law. the court sustained the the confiscation of the carabaos and. an owner of carabaos Station Commander.” Arnault petitioned for a writ of Habeas Corpus ISSUE: Can the senate impose penalty against those who refuse to answer its questions in a congressional hearing in aid of legislation. Among the witnesses called to examined by the special committee created by a Senate resolution was Jean L. 626-A is constitutional or not. . Barotac Nuevo. and the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City issued a writ of replevin upon his filing of a supersedeas bond of P12. Arnault Vs. Bureau of Animal Industry. Therefore. and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. However. Ynot vs IAC . Region IV.A case Digest RESTITUTO YNOT -petitioner. the name of the person to whom he gave the P440. HELD: It is the inherent right of the Senate to impose penalty in carrying out their duty to conduct inquiry in aid of legislation.000.00.

(PHILEX) to purchase sugar allocated for export to the United States and to other foreign markets. Inc. and a Real Estate Mortgage in favor of PNB.R. by the Office of the President.40 piculs marked for export. they produced 70. DECISION QUISUMBING. 2001] SPOUSES ALEJANDRO MIRASOL and LILIA E. in CA-G. denying petitioners’ motion for reconsideration. 128448. Exercising his law-making powers under Martial Law. THE COURT OF APPEALS. as gleaned from the records.D. overhead expenses and liabilities had been deducted.501. The challenged decision reversed the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City. is as follows: [1] The Mirasols are sugarland owners and planters.696. Due process is violated because the owner is denied the right to be heard in his defense and was immedeiately condemned and punish [G. after commissions. Branch 42 in Civil Case No. Properties involved were not even inimical per se as to require theirinstant destrcution 3. with 23.08 piculs of sugar. petitioners. were more than enough to pay their obligations.662. The factual background of this case. and finally.00 per picul. 25. February 1. The Chattel Mortgage empowered PNB as the petitioners’ attorney-in-fact to negotiate and to sell the latter’s sugar in both domestic and export markets and to apply the proceeds to the payment of their obligations to it. and PHILIPPINE EXCHANGE CO.) No.: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals dated July 22. 1973-1974 and 1974-1975 under a crop loan financing scheme. yielding 65. HELD: Petiton is GRANTED with the following justifications: 1.. the decree directed that whatever profit PHILEX might realize from sales of sugar abroad was to be remitted to a special fund of the national government. CV No. a Chattel Mortgage on Standing Crops. their acreage planted to the same crop was lower. MIRASOL. petitioners asked PNB for an accounting of the . These crop loans and similar obligations were secured by real estate mortgages over several properties of the Mirasols and chattel mortgages over standing crops. EO is unconstitutional as confiscation is outright 2. respondents.R..1. 14725. 1997. if properly accounted for.100 piculs of sugar. Private respondent Philippine National Bank (PNB) financed the Mirasols’ sugar production venture for crop years. Case involved ‘roving commission’ and invalid delegation of powers and invalid exercise of police power 4. The decree authorized private respondent Philippine Exchange Co. The government offices and entities tasked by existing laws and administrative regulations to oversee the sugar export pegged the purchase price of export sugar in crop years 1973-1974 and 1974-1975 at P180. Right of the petitioner to question for constitutionality is valid as there’s no exigency showing to justify the exercise of this extraordinary power of the President 2. the Department of Trade and Industry. as well as of its resolution of January 23. PNB continued to finance the sugar production of the Mirasols for crop years 1975-1976 and 1976-1977. Finally.. PNB. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK. In 1973-1974. Raises a challenge to the improper exercise of the legislative power by the former President. Under said scheme. No. vs. The price and quantity was determined by the Sugar Quota Administration. Believing that the proceeds of their sugar sales to PNB. J. 38607. 579 in November. 3. then President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree [2] (P. The following crop year. 1996. INC. The decree further authorized PNB to finance PHILEX’s purchases. Measure should have not been presumed 4.36 of which were assigned for export. the Mirasols signed Credit Agreements. Penalty is invalid as it is imposed without the owner's right to be heard before a competent and impartial court. 1974.

“2.410. Meanwhile. and 1192. as well as policies.00 as attorney’s fees. On August 9. as well as the foreclosure of their mortgaged properties. Also faulted was the trial court’s failure to award them the full money claims and damages sought from both PNB and PHILEX. the trial court decided as follows: “WHEREFORE. Despite demands.00 already paid in advance plus the allowable deductions in service fees and other charges. the foregoing premises considered. PNB then proceeded to extrajudicially foreclose the mortgaged properties. same plaintiffs the whole amount corresponding to the unpaid actual price of 14. Petitioners continued to ask PNB to account for the proceeds of the sale of their export sugar for crop years 19731974 and 1974-1975. PNB still had a deficiency claim of P12. the Mirasols filed a suit for accounting..00 per picul already paid by the defendants in advance and the allowable deducting (sic) in service fees and other charges. 1979.” The same was. unconstitutional and therefore. The constitutionality and/or legality of Presidential Decrees numbered 338.466.551. deducting therefrom however.000. be interpreted without prejudice to whatever benefits that may have accrued in favor of the plaintiffs with the passage and approval of Republic Act 7202 otherwise known as the ‘Sugar Restitution Law. could offset their outstanding obligations with the bank.proceeds of the sale of their export sugar. [5] “SO ORDERED. plaintiffs the sum of P50. the complaint was amended to implead PHILEX as party-defendant.R.’ authorizing the restitution of losses suffered by the plaintiffs from Crop year 1974-1975 to Crop year 1984-1985 occasioned by the actuations of government-owned and controlled agencies. Inc.93. which added the following paragraph: “This decision should however. orders and other issuances issued in furtherance thereof. faulting the trial court for not nullifying the dacion en pago and the mortgage contracts. if properly liquidated. 1977. docketed as CA-G. plaintiffs the whole amount corresponding to the residue of the unliquidated actual cost price of 25. On August 10. the sum of P180. the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court as follows: . and damages against PNB with the Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City. 1996.00 by way of dacion en pago. 1992. PNB then asked petitioners to settle their due and demandable accounts.252. PNB remained adamant in its stance that under P. On July 22. 14725. (PHILEX): (1)Declaring Presidential Decree 579 enacted on November 12. The determination of the total amount allegedly due the plaintiffs from the defendants corresponding to the [3] allege(d) unliquidated cost price of export sugar during crop years 1973-1974 and 1974-1975. No. docketed as Civil Case No. the balance of outstanding sugar crop and other loans owed by petitioners to PNB stood at P15. (2) Ordering defendants PNB and PHILEX to pay.00 per picul.” After trial on the merits.000. there was nothing to account since under said law. 579.D.252. After applying the proceeds of the auction sale of the mortgaged realties. however. modified by a Resolution of the trial court dated May 14. PNB ignored the request. On June 16.513. shall earn the legal rate of interest at 12% per annum computed from the date this action was instituted until fully paid.964. plus the costs of this litigation. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants Philippine National Bank (PNB) and Philippine Exchange Co.00 in moral damages and the amount of P50. specific performance. NULL and VOID being in gross violation of the Bill of Rights. 1974 and all circulars. petitioners continued to avail of other loans from PNB and to make unfunded withdrawals from their current accounts with said bank. the Mirasols failed to settle said due and demandable accounts.596 piculs of export sugar for crop year 1974-1975 at an average rate of P214. leaving an unpaid overdrawn account of P1. all earnings from the export sales of sugar pertained to the National Government and were subject to the disposition of the President of the Philippines for public purposes. 1987.93. jointly and severally. and. “The unliquidated amount of money due the plaintiffs but withheld by the defendants.14 per picul minus however. insisting that said proceeds. As a result of these demands for payment. CV No. 579. 1982.662 piculs in export sugar for crop year 1973-1974 at an average price of P300. petitioners on August 4. conveyed to PNB real properties valued at P1. jointly and severally.347. [4] “SO ORDERED.78. for the same defendants to pay. the amount of P180. The parties agreed at pre-trial to limit the issues to the following: “1. (3) And also. (Underscoring in the original). 38607. jointly and severally.” The Mirasols then filed an appeal with the respondent court. finally – (4) Directing the defendants PNB and PHILEX to pay.

order. 478. v. Section 3 of the Rules of Court provides: “SEC. Notice to Solicitor General. “2. since petitioners had not complied with Rule 64. presidential decree.” or “ought” are employed. 129 grants Regional Trial Courts the authority to rule on the conformity of laws or treaties with the Constitution.“WHEREFORE. B. with petitioners submitting the following issues for our resolution: “1. 1996. or regulation not only in this Court.” “must.P. No. 1997. the word “shall” is used. “4. Whatever the result of the recomputation of Mirasols’ account. “4. – Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction: (1) In all civil actions in which the subject of the litigations is incapable of pecuniary estimation. executive order. 3 SCRA 696 (1961) we held: “Plainly. Whether PD 579 and subsequent issuances thereof are unconstitutional. Tuason and Co. which we must address. the outstanding balance or the excess payment shall be governed by the pertinent provisions of RA 7202. Whether the Honorable Court of Appeals committed manifest error in not awarding damages to [8] petitioners grounds relied upon the allowance of the petition. Rule 64. (Underscored in the original)” On the first issue. specific performance.M. but in all Regional Trial Courts. of the Rules of Court. Ordering the PNB to render an accounting of the sugar account of the Mirasol*s+ specifically stating the indebtedness of the latter to the former and the proceeds of Mirasols’ 1973-1974 and 1974-1975 sugar production sold pursuant to and in accordance with P.” It is basic legal construction that where words of command such as “shall. Petitioners’ contentions are bereft of merit. Whether the Trial Court has jurisdiction to declare a statute unconstitutional without notice to the Solicitor General where the parties have agreed to submit such issue for the resolution of the Trial Court. Section 3. It is settled that Regional Trial Courts have the authority and jurisdiction to consider the [9] constitutionality of a statute. is whether it was proper for the trial court to have exercised judicial review. which the appellate court denied on January 23. this Court renders judgment REVERSING the appealed Decision and entering the following verdict: “1. for it speaks of appellate review of final judgments of inferior courts in cases [11] where such constitutionality happens to be in issue.D. as in Rule 64. where. [7] “2. Functions and Organizations – (1) The Office of the Solicitor General shall…have the following specific powers and functions: xxx “*c+ Appear in any court in any action involving the validity of any treaty. Petitioners argue that the Court of Appeals erred in finding that it was improper for the trial court to have declared [12] P. 3. “3. Petitioners contend that said Rule specifically refers only to actions for declaratory relief and not to an ordinary action for accounting. – In any action which involves the validity of a statute.” [13] This should be read in relation to Section 1 [c] of P. presidential decree. petitioners moved for reconsideration. which the courts ought to enforce. Whether the Honorable Court of Appeals committed manifest error in upholding the validity of the foreclosure on petitioners property and in upholding the validity of the dacion en pago in this case. and damages. Ordering the PNB to recompute in accordance with RA 7202 Mirasols’ indebtedness to it crediting to the latter payments already made as well as the auction price of their foreclosed real estate and stipulated value of their properties ceded to PNB in the dacon (sic) en pago. 579 unconstitutional. [6] “SO ORDERED. thus: “SECTION 19.D. Thus. No. In J. Declaring the dacion en pago and the foreclosure of the mortgaged properties valid. which states in part: “SECTION 1. or executive order. and shall be entitled to be heard upon such question. Jurisdiction in civil cases. the Solicitor General shall be notified by the party attacking the statute. Section 3 of the Rules of Court.” The pivotal issue. [10] instruction. ordinance. a mandatory duty is imposed. . Blg. or regulation.D. the Constitution contemplates that the inferior courts should have jurisdiction in cases involving constitutionality of any treaty or law. Whether the Honorable Court of Appeals committed manifest error in not applying the doctrine of piercing the corporate veil between respondents PNB and PHILEX. the instant petition. or executive order or regulation. The Constitution vests the power of judicial review or the power to declare a law. “5.” Furthermore. Hence. law.” On August 28. international or executive agreement. “3. they [14] are generally and ordinarily regarded as mandatory. Court of Appeals. treaty. 579 and the issuances therefrom. executive order or proclamation. rule or regulation when in his judgment his intervention is necessary or when requested by the court.

[15] Where there is no ambiguity in the words used in the rule. if the controversy can be settled on other [17] grounds.A. A perusal of the text of R. This presumption is based on the doctrine of separation of powers. No.D. 7202 affirms that under P. it being undisputed that PNB acted as petitioners’ agent. The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that PNB’s obligation to render an accounting is an issue. No.A. treaty. Second. The governing law should be the law on agency. Section 3 is to enable the Solicitor General to decide whether or not his intervention in the action assailing the validity of a law or treaty is necessary.D. the courts will not resolve the constitutionality of a law.D. To doubt is to sustain. 579.” Findings of fact by the Court of Appeals are conclusive and binding upon this Court unless said findings are not [23] supported by the evidence. there is no room for construction. R. notice to the Solicitor General is mandatory. No. the person challenging the validity of the act must have standing to challenge. the Court of Appeals did not err in holding that lack of the required notice made it improper for the trial court to pass upon the constitutional validity of the questioned presidential decrees.A. To deny the Solicitor General such notice would be tantamount to depriving him of his day in court. 579 unconstitutional.A. 14725.D. 579. petitioners ask us to apply the doctrine of piercing the veil of corporate fiction with respect to PNB and PHILEX.D. In fact there is nothing in P. In other words. the mandatory notice requirement is not limited to actions involving declaratory relief and similar remedies. PNB and PHILEX are separate juridical persons and there is no reason to pierce the veil of corporate personality. which can be determined. We note.The purpose of the mandatory notice in Rule 64. No. No. order. Jurisprudence has laid down the following requisites for the exercise of this power: First. No. In all actions assailing the validity of a statute. They had separate operations and different purposes [22] and powers. 579. [19] Petitioners further contend that the passage of R. presidential decree. No. or proclamation. No. Both existed by virtue of separate organic acts. Hence. Fourth. the question of constitutionality must have been raised at the earliest opportunity. We must stress that.D. Third. 579. that the appellate court made the following finding of fact: “1. In this case. To resolve the third issue. the due process clause of the Constitution and the right of the sugar planters not to be deprived of their property without just compensation were violated. In addition. there must be before the Court an actual case calling for the exercise of judicial review. said repeal is not a legislative declaration finding the earlier law unconstitutional. without having to rule on the constitutionality of P. 579 and its implementing issuances are void for violating the due process clause and the prohibition against the taking of private property without just compensation. The present case was instituted primarily for accounting and specific performance. 579. No. In view of the aforequoted . No. the issue of [16] constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. Thus we cannot rule on the constitutionality of P. the power to declare a law unconstitutional does not lie with [21] the legislature. The policy of the courts is to avoid ruling on constitutional questions and to presume that the acts of the political departments are valid. but with the courts. Our jurisdiction in a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court is limited [24] only to reviewing questions of law and factual issues are not within its province. Petitioners now ask this Court to exercise its power of judicial review. No. contrary to petitioners’ stand. petitioners contend that P. and lastly. As regards the second issue.D.” [20] The settled rule of statutory construction is that repeals by implication are not favored. 579. since R. 10. 7202 shows that the repealing clause of said law merely reads: “SEC. the Solicitor General was never notified about Civil Case No. acts. absent a clear and unmistakable showing to the contrary. Petitioners submit that PHILEX was a wholly-owned subsidiary of PNB prior to the latter’s privatization. All laws. As a rule. executive orders and circulars in conflict herewith are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. Assuming arguendo that R. however.D.A. the question before the Court must be ripe for adjudication. the requisite that the constitutionality of the law in question be the very lis mota of the case is absent. which is applicable to PNB’s intransigence in refusing to give an accounting. Nor did the trial court ever require him to appear in person or by a representative or to file any pleading or memorandum on the constitutionality of the assailed decree. 7202 rendered P. 7202 cannot be deemed to have repealed P. The rule itself provides that such notice is required in “any action” and not just actions involving declaratory relief. No. This means that the measure had first been carefully studied by the legislative and executive departments and found to be in accord with the [18] Constitution before it was finally enacted and approved. 7202 did indeed repeal P.

it is necessary: (1) That each one of the obligors be bound principally. (3) That the two debts are due. The account relative to the Mirasol’s current account Numbers 5186 and 5177 involving the amount of THREE MILLION FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND Pesos (P3.” Petitioners now claim that the dacion en pago and the foreclosure of their mortgaged properties were void for want of consideration. the appellate court found that there were two sets of accounts between petitioners and PNB.. No. On the fourth issue. and Seizure Order (ASSO). x x x After deducting its commission of two and one-half (2-1/2%) percent of gross sales. “2. 16) On the question of how much the PNB lent the Mirasols for crop years 1973-1974 and 1974-1975. (5) That over neither of them there be any retention or controversy. 1278. no manifest error is chargeable to the respondent court for refusing to pierce the veil of corporate fiction. and the Mirasols accepted. pp. they be of the same kind. It is also averred that they agreed to the dacion only by virtue of a martial law Arrest. PNB proposed. We find petitioners’ arguments unpersuasive. set-off or compensation cannot take place between the parties because: First. (PNB’s Brief. Compensation shall take place when two persons. as correctly found by the Court of Appeals. (2) That both debts consist in a sum of money. the PNB foreclosed the Mirasols’ mortgaged properties realizing therefrom in 1982 THREE MILLION FOUR HUNDRED THIRTEEN THOUSAND Pesos (P3. or if the things due are consumable.D. “there was nothing with which PNB was supposed to have off-set [27] Mirasols’ admitted indebtedness. 1279. is still the subject of litigation. since the mortgages were already fully discharged. Search. The accounts relative to the loan financing scheme entered into by the Mirasols with PNB (PNB’s Brief. as profits which shall be paid to a special fund of the National Government subject to the disposition of the President for public purposes. Under P. 579 prescribed where the profits from the sales are to be paid. For legal compensation to take place.000. as in the instant case. neither PNB nor PHILEX could retain any difference claimed by the Mirasols in the price of sugar sold by the two firms.D. P.410. a dacion en pago scheme by which the Mirasols conveyed to PNB pieces of property valued at ONE MILLION FOUR HUNDRED TEN THOUSAND FOUR [25] HUNDRED SIXTY-SIX Pesos (Ps1. as [28] the same cannot be deemed liquidated. Both the lower court and the appellate court found that the Mirasols [26] admitted that they were indebted to PNB in the sum stated in the latter’s counterclaim. the evidence recited by the lower court in its decision was deficient.finding of fact.252. Petitioners’ argument has no basis in law.00) PNB claims against the Mirasols. the requirements set forth in Articles 1278 and 1279 of the Civil Code must be present. 17) “In regard to the first set of accounts. . the foreclosure was invalid and of no effect. the balance of the proceeds of sugar trading operations for every crop year shall be set aside by the Philippine Exchange Company. p.” Thus.00).466. and also of the same quality if the latter has been stated. compensation cannot take place where one claim.400.000. (4) That they be liquidated and demandable.” In the present case. besides the proceeds from PNB’s sale of sugar (involving the defendant PHILEX in relation to the export portion of the stock). Hence. are creditors and debtors of each other.00) (PNB’s Brief. 579. in their own right. 16-17). No. We are offered (sic) PNB the amount of FIFTEEN MILLION NINE HUNDRED SIXTY FOUR THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FIFTY TWO PESOS and NINETY THREE Centavos (Ps15.413. commenced by third persons and communicated in due time to the debtor.” Second. Inc. to wit: “SECTION 7. neither of the parties are mutually creditors and debtors of each other. namely: “1. “Art. p. In order that compensation may be proper. and that he be at the same time a principal creditor of the other. the PNB itself having acquired the properties as the highest bidder. Said articles read as follows: “Art. “As to the second set of accounts.964. Petitioners insist that the loans granted them by PNB from 1975 to 1982 had been fully paid by virtue of legal compensation. Petitioners nonetheless insist that the same can be offset by the unliquidated amounts owed them by PNB for crop years 1973-74 and 1974-75.93) but this is the alleged balance the Mirasols owe PNB covering the years 1975 to 1982.

both the trial court and the Court of Appeals found that there was no evidence to support said claim. and similar injury. Buena. however.R. considering that the appellate court found PNB breached its duty as an agent to render an accounting to petitioners. the trial court awarded petitioners P50. Respondents have declared that the Justice Department and the police authorities intend to obtain regularwarrants of arrests from the courts for all acts committed prior to and until May 1. They also contend that they are allegedly faced with impending warrantless arrests and unlawful restraint being that hold departure orders were issued against them. Under Section 5. Warrantless arrests of several alleged leaders and promoters of the “rebellion” were thereafter effected. G. 1ordering the AFP and the PNP to suppress the rebellion in the NCR. 38) on May 1. Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. 38 and the warrantless arrests allegedly effected by virtue thereof. are liable for damages. No. however. moral damages may be recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendant’s wrongful act or omission. JJ. petitioners have not proven bad faith on the part of PNB and PHILEX. 2006. Petitioners furthermore pray that the appropriate court. petitioners have failed to show malice or bad faith on the part of PNB in failing to render an accounting.000. or with ill motive. On the fifth issue. serious anxiety. attorney’s fees are allowed in the absence of stipulation only if “the defendant acted in gross and evident bad faith in refusing to satisfy the plaintiff’s plainly valid. and demandable claim. Under Article 2208 (5) of the Civil Code. Petitioner filed for prohibition. the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed decision of the respondent court in CA-G. Nor can we restore the award of attorney’s fees and costs of suit in favor of petitioners. Political Law Facts: President Macapagal-Arroyo declared a State of Rebellion (Proclamation No.With respect to the duress allegedly employed by PNB. which states: “Those who in the performance of their obligations are guilty of fraud. January 30. Though incapable of pecuniary computation. moral damages cannot be awarded. affirmed by the appellate court. is always presumed and any person who seeks to be awarded damages due to the acts of another has the burden of proving that the latter acted in bad faith. and those who in any manner contravene the tenor thereof. authorities may only resort to warrantless . No.. fright. besmirched reputation. Factual [29] findings of the trial court. injunction. would desist arraignment and trial until this instant petition is resolved. moral shock. and De Leon. Costs against petitioners. wherein the information against them were filed.R.00 in moral damages and P50. are conclusive upon this Court. The erring agent is liable for damages under Article 1170 of the Civil Code.” Moral damages are explicitly authorized in breaches of contract where the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad [31] faith. [30] An agent’s failure to render an accounting to his principal is contrary to Article 1891 of the Civil Code. must be construed in relation to Article 2217 of said Code which reads: “Moral damages include physical suffering. negligence. 147780 . 38 is valid. along with the warrantless arrests and hold departure orders allegedly effected by the same. (Chairman). WHEREFORE. In the [32] instant case. or delay. Issue: Whether or Not Proclamation No. Petitioners assail the declaration of Proc. 2001 as well as General Order No. 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests. mandamus and habeas corpus with an application for the issuance of temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. Held: President Macapagal-Arroyo ordered the lifting of Proc.000.. Bellosillo. Petitioners now theorize that it was error for the Court of Appeals to have deleted these awards. concur. which impugned petitioners’ consent to the dacion en pago. social humiliation. 2001.10 May 2001] Friday. 38 on May 6. LACSON VS. accordingly the instant petition has been rendered moot and academic. PEREZ [357 SCRA 756. Absent such showing. CV 38607 AFFIRMED.00 in attorney’s fees. Mendoza.” Article 1170 of the Civil Code. mental anguish. SO ORDERED. just.” As earlier stated. No. wounded feelings. with malice. Jr. Good faith.

but directed against a particular family. and all persons acting in their behalf.R. Petitioners’ prayer for relief regarding their alleged impending warrantless arrests ispremature being that no complaints have been filed against them for any crime. No. . by Victor Lovely in the series of bombings in Metro Manila. There must be sufficient evidence to sustain a prima facie case or that probable cause exists to form a sufficient belief as to the guilt of the accused. political discussion will only constitute prima facie evidence of membership in a subversive organization if such discussion amounts to conferring with officers or other members of such association or organization in furtherance of any plan or enterprise thereof. 38. Protection is especially mandated for political discussions. 2001 siege of Malacañang. In the case. Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code. are hereby enjoined from arresting Petitioners without the required judicialwarrants for all acts committed in relation to or in connection with the May 1. providing for preliminary investigation. In the case at bar. RATIO The opinion is nothing but a legitimate exercise of freedom of thought and expression. providing for the period in which a warrantlessly arrested person must be delivered to the proper judicial authorities. To declare the hold departure orders null and void ab initio must be made in the proper proceedings initiated for that purpose. ISSUE:Whether or not alleged remarks are protected by the freedom of speech. He allegedly opined about the likelihood of a violent struggle in the Philippines if reforms are not instituted immediately by then President Marcos. MDREYES. the writ of habeas corpus is uncalled for since its purpose is to relieve unlawful restraint which Petitioners are not subjected to. If the detention should have no legal ground. representatives. He was tagged by Lovely in his testimony as the leader of subversive organizations for two reasons (1)because his house was used as a and (2) because of his remarks during the party of Raul Daza in Los Angeles. together with their agents. It cannot be the basis of criminal indictments. Such a statement negates any politically motivated or subversive assignment. Political discussion is essential to the ascertainment of political truth. Cruz-Pano G. the arresting officer can be charged with arbitrary detention. not prejudicial to claim of damages under Article 32 of the Civil Code.Salonga vs. L-59524 Feb. OBITER DICTUM: To withhold the right to preliminary investigation. The constitutional guaranty may only be proscribed when such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action. there is no proof that such discussion was in furtherance of any plan to overthrow the government through illegal means. In PD 885. thus the warrantless arrests are not based on Proc. otherwise the officer responsible for such may be penalized for the delay of the same. No. along with other 39 accused. Petitioners were neither assailing the validity of the subject hold departure orders. HELD Yes. consistent and congruent with their undertaking earlier adverted to. Jr. there is no threat against the government. it is not enough that the preliminary investigation is conducted to satisfy the due process clause.. Petition is dismissed. The petition is dismissed. it would be to transgress constitutional due process. However. 1985 Gutierrez. Petitioner’s prayer for mandamus and prohibition is improper at this time because an individual warrantlessly arrested has adequate remedies in law: Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. J.arrests of persons suspected of rebellion in suppressing the rebellion if the circumstances so warrant. nor were they expressing any intention to leave the country in the near future. Lovely also declared that his bombing mission was not against the government.: FACTS:Jovito Salonga was charged with the violation of the Revised Anti-Subversion Act after he was implicated. 18. Respondents. furthermore.

The present petition fails to discharge such heavy burden. The local police forces are the ones in charge of the visibility patrols at all times. However. Art. as there is no evidence to support the assertion that there exists no justification for calling out the armed forces. Zamora G. invasion or rebellion. 18. and not with the military. Hence. Issues: (1) Whether or not the President’s factual determination of the necessity of calling the armed forces is subject to judicial review (2) Whether or not the calling of the armed forces to assist the PNP in joint visibility patrols violates the constitutional provisions on civilian supremacy over the military and the civilian character of the PNP Held: When the President calls the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence. January 25.141284. No. In view of the constitutional intent to give the President full discretionary power to determine the necessity of calling out the armed forces. the real authority belonging to the PNP Moreover. the framers of the Constitution would have simply lumped together the 3 powers and provided for their revocation and review without any qualification. The IBP filed a petition seeking to declare the deployment of the Philippine Marinesnull and void and unconstitutional. II of the Constitution.IBP vs. and thus necessitating safeguards by Congress and review by the Court. until such time when the situation shall have improved. 2000 Sunday. 3. there can be noappointment to civilian position to speak of. the deployment of the Marines to assist the PNP does not unmake the civilian character of the police force. August 15. Political Law Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Facts: Invoking his powers as Commander-in-Chief under Sec. the President directed the AFP Chief of Staff and PNP Chief to coordinate with each other for the properdeployment and utilization of the Marines to assist the PNP in preventing or suppressing criminal or lawless violence. The Court disagrees to the contention that by the deployment of theMarines. VII of the Constitution. 2009 Labels: Case Digests. VII of the Constitution. The real authority in the operations is lodged with the head of a civilian institution. it is incumbent upon the petitioner to show that the President’s decision is totally bereft of factual basis. The President declared that the services of the Marines in the anti-crime campaign are merely temporary in nature and for a reasonable period only. 18. the civilian task of law enforcement is “militarized” in violation of Sec.The calling of the Marines constitutes permissible use of military assets for civilian law enforcement. the deployment of the Marines in the joint visibility patrols does not destroy the civilian character of the PNP. . there is no such equivalent provision dealing with the revocation or review of the President’s action to call out the armed forces. Art. The reason for the difference in the treatment of the said powers highlights the intent to grant the President the widest leeway and broadest discretion in using the power to call out because it isconsidered as the lesser and more benign power compared to the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the power to impose martial law. Art. the PNP. Since none of the Marines was incorporated or enlisted as members of the PNP. he necessarilyexercises a discretionary power solely vested in his wisdom. The distinction places the calling out power in a different category from the power to declare martial law and power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.R. The deployment of theMarines does not constitute a breach of the civilian supremacy clause. otherwise. both of which involve the curtailment and suppression of certain basic civil rights and individual freedoms. Under Sec. Congress may revoke such proclamation of martial law or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the Court may review the sufficiency of the factual basis thereof.

On April 28. PD No. 1997. Ramos. confirmed the JVA. 1085 transferring to PEA the "lands reclaimed in the foreshore and offshore of the Manila Bay" under the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road and Reclamation Project (MCCRRP). Aquino issued Special Patent No. granting and transferring to PEA "the parcels of land so reclaimed under the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road and Reclamation Project (MCCRRP) containing a total area of one million nine hundred fifteen thousand eight hundred ninety four (1. 1977. 3. On December 5. and 7312.Chavez v PEA and AMARI G. 1084 tasked PEA "to reclaim land. the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel. 2002. invoking Section 28. 6." Issue: The issues raised by petitioner. then President Corazon C. On January 19. 133250. approved the JVA. PEA and AMARI are as follows: 1. 365 creating a Legal Task Force to conduct a study on the legality of the JVA in view of Senate Committee Report No. Whether petitioner has locus standi. then President Fidel V. Whether the reliefs prayed for are moot and academic because of subsequent events. contrary to the conclusions reached by the Senate Committees. in its Resolution No. petitioner now prays that on "constitutional and statutory grounds the renegotiated contract be declared null and void. 1084 creating PEA. 4. in the name of PEA. 560. and Section 7. the Register of Deeds of the Municipality of Parañaque issued Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. Among the conclusions of their report are: (1) the reclaimed lands PEA seeks to transfer to AMARI under the JVA are lands of the public domain which the government has not classified as alienable lands and therefore PEA cannot alienate these lands. Parañaque City. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 7309." Subsequently. covering the three reclaimed islands known as the "Freedom Islands" located at the southern portion of the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road. 2. On April 27.894) square meters. petitioner Frank I. acquire. lease and sell any and all kinds of lands. The Legal Task Force upheld the legality of the JVA. Whether the petition should be dismissed for non-exhaustion of administrative remedies. and the Government Corporate Counsel. (2) the certificates of title covering the Freedom Islands are thus void. reclaimed and still to be reclaimed violate the 1987 Constitution.915. improve. through then Executive Secretary Ruben Torres. Due to the approval of the Amended JVA by the Office of the President. filed the instant Petition for Mandamus with Prayer for the Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order. including foreshore and submerged areas.R. No. Whether the constitutional right to information includes information on on-going neogtiations BEFORE a final agreement. Petitioner prays that PEA publicly disclose the terms of any renegotiation of the JVA." On the same date. and (3) the JVA itself is illegal. July 9. Ramos issued Presidential Administrative Order No. Article II. 1988. PEA and AMARI entered into the JVA through negotiation without public bidding. 1997. the Board of Directors of PEA. 1995. then President Fidel V. 560 dated September 16. 1998. Chavez ("Petitioner" for brevity) as a taxpayer. on April 9. Article III. 5. 7311. of the 1987 Constitution on the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. 1995. Petitioner contends the government stands to lose billions of pesos in the sale by PEA of the reclaimed lands to AMARI. Whether the petition should be dismissed for failing to observe the principle of governing the heirarchy of courts. Whether the stipulations in the amended joint venture agreement for the transfer to AMARI of certain lands. and . then President Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. On June 8. 1988. 1245. 3517. 07/06/2010 0 Comments Facts: On February 4. then President Ferdinand E. The Senate Committees reported the results of their investigation in Senate Committee Report No." and "to develop. The members of the Legal Task Force were the Secretary of Justice.

Article XII of the Constitution. Considering that PEA had an affirmative statutory duty to make the public disclosure. however.' and if they 'immediately affect the social. the instant petition is a case of first impression being a wholly government owned corporation performing public as well as proprietary functions. petitioner had the right to seek direct judicial intervention. Petitioner's principal basis in assailing the renegotiation of the JVA is its violation of the Section 3. not of a public bidding. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. Second is the application of a constitutional provision intended to insure the equitable distribution of alienable lands of the public domain among Filipino Citizens. There are two constitutional issues involved here. Also. raises constitutional issues of transcendental importance to the public. First is the right of citizens to information on matters of public concern.5 hectares of reclaimed lands and submerged areas of Manila Bay to a single private corporation. the instant case is a petition for mandamus which falls under the original jurisdiction of the Court under Section 5. We rule that the signing and of the Amended JVA by PEA and AMARI and its approval by the President cannot operate to moot the petition and divest the Court of its jurisdiction. PEA is obligated to transfer to AMARI the latter's seventy percent proportionate share in the reclaimed areas as the reclamation progresses. 3. 2. Lastly. which prohibits the government from alienating lands of the public domain to private corporations. The prayer to enjoin the signing of the Amended JVA on constitutional grounds necessarily includes preventing its implementation if in the meantime PEA and AMARI have signed one in violation of the Constitution. Also. Ordinary taxpayers have a right to initiate and prosecute actions questioning the validity of acts or orders of government agencies or instrumentalities. Article VIII of the Constitution. The law obligated PEA make this public disclosure even without demand from petitioner or from anyone. if the issues raised are of 'paramount public interest. The petitioner has standing to bring this taxpayer's suit because the petition seeks to compel PEA to comply with its constitutional duties. like the Amended JVA. The Court can resolve this case without determining any factual issue related to the case. or its counterpart provision in the 1973 Constitution. compelling PEA to comply with a constitutional duty to the nation. We rule that the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies does not apply in the instant case. Under the Amended JVA. PEA failed to make this public disclosure because the original JVA. economic and moral well being of the people. covered agricultural lands sold to private corporations which acquired the lands from private parties. 4. Whether the Court has jurisdiction over the issue whether the amended JVA is grossly disadvantageous to the government Held: 1. PEA and AMARI have still to implement the Amended JVA. The Amended JVA is not an ordinary commercial contract but one which seeks to transfer title and ownership to 367. there is a need to resolve immediately the constitutional issue raised in this petition because of the possible transfer at any time by PEA to AMARI of title and ownership to portions of the reclaimed lands. The thrust of the second issue is to prevent PEA from alienating hundreds of hectares of alienable lands of the public domain in violation of the Constitution. The principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies does not apply when the issue involved is a purely legal or constitutional question. and was even in breach of this legal duty.' . All previous decisions of the Court involving Section 3. The instant case. PEA was under a positive legal duty to disclose to the public the terms and conditions for the sale of its lands. We resolve to exercise primary jurisdiction over the instant case. was the result of a negotiated contract. The Amended JVA even allows AMARI to mortgage at any time the entire reclaimed area to raise financing for the reclamation project.7. The principal issue in the instant case is the capacity of AMARI to acquire lands held by PEA in view of the constitutional ban prohibiting the alienation of lands of the public domain to private corporations.

being neither timber nor mineral land. without being of general public use. Article II of the Constitution. This class of property constituted property of public dominion although employed for some economic or commercial activity to increase the national wealth. Property of public dominion is — 1. and that of a similar character. Requiring a consummated contract will keep the public in the dark until the contract. industrial. and mines. becomes a fait accompli. The exercise of the right is also subject to reasonable regulations to protect the integrity of the public records and to minimize disruption to government operations. until granted to private individuals. when no longer devoted to public use or to the defense of the territory. is employed in some public service. The rationale behind this State policy is obvious. fortresses. That belonging exclusively to the State which. ports and bridges constructed by the State. the petitioner has the requisite locus standi. torrents. Property of public dominion. Act No. shall become a part of the private property of the State. but also to property not so used but employed to develop the national wealth. Otherwise." Certainly. 341. of these lands to private parties. or the executive department pursuant to law. rivers. This State policy is expressed in Section 28.Property of public dominion referred not only to property devoted to public use. 2. documents and papers at his expense. One who exercises the right must copy the records." This provision. summaries and the like relating to the renegotiation of the JVA. which may be grossly disadvantageous to the government or even illegal. 2874 of the Philippine Legislature Sec. The State always . thus: “Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law. This is the reason the government prohibited the sale. however. However. abstracts. and shall be open to disposition or concession. shall be classified as suitable for residential purposes or for commercial. 34 The right only affords access to records. must declare the property no longer needed for public use or territorial defense before the government could lease or alienate the property to private parties. 5. shall be disposed of under the provisions of this chapter. it may be too late for the public to expose its defects. roadsteads. and if one is consummated. documents and papers. Property devoted to public use referred to property open for use by the public. foreshore and marshy public lands for non-agricultural purposes retain their inherent potential as areas for public service. 339. canals. a consummated contract is not a requirement for the exercise of the right to information. like rules specifying when and how to conduct the inspection and copying. "Art. the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest. In contrast. and other works for the defense of the territory. which means the opportunity to inspect and copy them. The legislature. and not otherwise. and only allowed the lease. Government reclaimed. Any tract of land of the public domain which. such as roads. brought by a citizen.We rule that since the instant petition. the right to information does not compel PEA to prepare lists. was not self-executing. or in the development of the national wealth. That devoted to public use. such as walls. The State policy of full transparency in all transactions involving public interest reinforces the people's right to information on matters of public concern. 6. shores. or other productive purposes other than agricultural purposes. involves the enforcement of constitutional rights — to information and to the equitable diffusion of natural resources — matters of transcendental public importance." Contrary to AMARI's contention. property devoted to public service referred to property used for some specific public service and open only to those authorized to use the property. 55. Article 339 of the Civil Code of 1889 defined property of public dominion as follows: "Art. riverbanks. the commissioners of the 1986 Constitutional Commission understood that the right to information "contemplates inclusion of negotiations leading to the consummation of the transaction. the people can never exercise the right if no contract is consummated.

Section 79 of PD No. such as the seas or bays. under Section 79 of PD No. 1085. An individual could even hide his ownership of a corporation by putting his nominees as stockholders of the corporation. legislative authority granted to PEA to sell its lands. 525 for PEA to sell its reclaimed lands. the property may be sold at a private sale at such price as may be fixed by the same committee or body concerned and approved by the Commission. and are inalienable pursuant to Section 2. otherwise known as the Government Auditing Code. 525 declared that lands reclaimed by PEA "shall belong to or be owned by PEA. Like the 1973 Constitution. foreshore and marshy alienable lands of the public domain is still CA No. DENR is vested with the power to authorize the reclamation of areas under water. could only be leased and not sold to private parties because of Act No. while EO No. . the mere physical act of reclamation by PEA of foreshore or submerged areas does not make the reclaimed lands alienable or disposable lands of the public domain. 141. . 1445." PEA's charter. managed. Moreover. The constitutional ban on private corporations from acquiring alienable lands of the public domain does not apply to the sale of PEA's patrimonial lands. the reclaimed Freedom Islands necessarily fall under the classification of agricultural lands of the public domain. coupled with President Aquino's actual issuance of a special patent covering the Freedom Islands. dispose. expressly tasks PEA "to develop. individuals who already acquired the maximum area of alienable lands of the public domain could easily set up corporations to acquire more alienable public lands." 87 (Emphasis supplied) There is. the government is required to sell valuable government property through public bidding. The 1987 Constitution continues the State policy in the 1973 Constitution banning private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain. 1085 merely transferred "ownership and administration" of lands reclaimed from Manila Bay to PEA. government reclaimed and marshy lands. Being neither timber. . Without the constitutional ban. lease and sell any and all kinds of lands . In short." However. are "waters . 2874. There is no express authority under either PD No. However. PEA may sell to private parties its patrimonial properties in accordance with the PEA charter free from constitutional limitations. improve. PD No. owned. while PEA is vested with the power to undertake the physical reclamation of areas under water whether directly or through private contractors. . much less patrimonial lands of PEA. Under the 1987 Constitution. the mere transfer by the National Government of lands of the public domain to PEA does not make the lands alienable or disposable lands of the public domain. The original JVA. mineral. the general law governing the lease to private corporations of reclaimed. therefore. acquire. much less patrimonial lands of PEA. Clearly. All other natural resources. On the other hand.. deal in. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. sell or lease the reclaimed alienable lands of the public domain. An individual could own as many corporations as his means would allow him. subdivide. owned by the State" forming part of the public domain.reserved these lands for some future public service. PEA is tasked to develop. 1445 mandates that:. it also granted an option to AMARI to reclaim another 350 hectares. the 1987 Constitution allows private corporations to hold alienable lands of the public domain only through lease. Likewise. nor national park lands. 1085 or EO No. The corporation is a convenient vehicle to circumvent the constitutional limitation on acquisition by individuals of alienable lands of the public domain. agricultural lands of the public domain are the only natural resources that the State may alienate to qualified private parties. . "In the event that the public auction fails. administer. whether patrimonial or alienable lands of the public domain. the original JVA dated April 25. DENR is also empowered to classify lands of the public domain into alienable or disposable lands subject to the approval of the President. is equivalent to an official proclamation classifying the Freedom Islands as alienable or disposable lands of the public domain. controlled and/or operated by the government. 1995 covered not only the Freedom Islands and the additional 250 hectares still to be reclaimed. PD No.. however. although subject to classification as disposable public agricultural lands. As in the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions.

the petition is GRANTED. The grant of legislative authority to sell public lands in accordance with Section 60 of CA No. The Public Estates Authority and Amari Coastal Bay Development Corporation are PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from implementing the Amended Joint Venture Agreement which is hereby declared NULL and VOID ab initio. Otherwise. are alienable lands of the public domain. The failure of public bidding on December 10. The alienable lands of the public domain must be transferred to qualified private parties. 1991. any and all kinds of lands. enlarged the reclamation area to 750 hectares." The 157. is not a valid justification for a negotiated sale of 750 hectares. . there is no necessity to rule on this last issue. 7. the Court is not the trier of facts. before these lands can become private or patrimonial lands. Jurisprudence holding that upon the grant of the patent or issuance of the certificate of title the alienable land of the public domain automatically becomes private land cannot apply to government units and entities like PEA. the constitutional ban will become illusory if Congress can declare lands of the public domain as private or patrimonial lands in the hands of a government agency tasked to dispose of public lands. 141 does not automatically convert alienable lands of the public domain into private or patrimonial lands. To allow vast areas of reclaimed lands of the public domain to be transferred to PEA as private lands will sanction a gross violation of the constitutional ban on private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain. Considering that the Amended JVA is null and void ab initio. involving only 407. . PEA may lease these lands to private corporations but may not sell or transfer ownership of these lands to private corporations. or to government entities not tasked to dispose of public lands. Besides.a negotiated contract. now covered by certificates of title in the name of PEA. almost double the area publicly auctioned. WHEREFORE.84 hectares.84 hectares of reclaimed lands comprising the Freedom Islands. This scheme can even be applied to alienable agricultural lands of the public domain since PEA can "acquire . and this last issue involves a determination of factual matters. .

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