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(Sec.16, Art. II, 1987 Constitution)
OPOSA v. FACTORAN, JR.
G.R. No. 101083 FACTS:
July 30, 1993
The petitioners, all minors duly represented and joined by their respective parents, filed a petition to cancel all existing timber license agreements (TLAs) in the country and to cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving new timber license agreements. This case is filed not only on the appellants’ right as taxpayers, but they are also suing in behalf of succeeding generations based on the concept of “intergenerational responsibility” in so far as the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is concerned. Together with the Philippine Ecological Network, Inc. (PENI), the petitioners presented scientific evidence that deforestation have resulted in a host of environmental tragedies. One of these is the reduction of the earth’s capacity to process carbon dioxide, otherwise known as the “greenhouse effect”. Continued issuance by the defendant of TLAs to cut and deforest the remaining forest stands will work great damage and irreparable injury to the plaintiffs. Appellants have exhausted all administrative remedies with the defendant’s office regarding the plea to cancel the said TLAs. The defendant, however, fails and refuses to cancel existing TLAs. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the petitioners have legal standing on the said case 2. Admitting that all facts presented are true, whether or not the court can render a valid judgment in accordance to the prayer of the complaints 3. Whether or not the TLAs may be revoked despite the respondents standing that these cancellation of these TLAs are against the non-impairment clause of the Constitution HELD: The petitioners have locus standi (legal standing) on the case as a taxpayers’ (class) suit. The subject matter of complaint is of common and general interest to all the citizens of the Philippines. The court found difficulty in ruling that the appellants can, for themselves, and for others file a class suit. The right of the petitioners to a balanced and healthful ecology has been clearly stated. A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty or obligation to respect or protect the same gives rise to a cause of action. The granting of the TLAs, as the petitioners claim to be done with grave abuse of discretion, violated their right to a balanced and healthful ecology hence, the full protection thereof requires that no TLAs should be renewed or granted. The appellants have also submitted a document with the sub-header CAUSE OF ACTION which is adequate enough to show, prima facie, the violation of their rights. On this basis, these actions must therefore be granted, wholly or partially. Despite the Constitution’s non-impairment clause, TLAs are not contracts, rather licenses; thus, the said clause cannot be invoked. Even if these are protected by the said clause, these can be revoked if the public interest so required as stated in Section 20 of the Forestry Reform Code (P.D. No. 705). Furthermore, Section 16 of Article II of the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that: “The State shall protect the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.” The right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the government. The said right is also clear as the DENR’s duty – under its mandate and by virtue of its powers and functions under Executive Order No. 192 and the Administrative Code of 1987 to protect and advance the said right. Needless to say, all licenses may thus be revoked or rescinded. It is not a contract, property or property right protected by the due process clause of the Constitution.
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Self executing/Non self executing Provisions The Filipino First Policy
(Sec.10(2), Art. XII, 1987 Constitution)
Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS
GR. No. 122156 Facts:
February 3, 1997
The controversy arose when respondent Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation No. 50 dated 8 December 1986, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the issued and outstanding shares of respondent Manila Hotel Corporation. In a close bidding held on 18 September 1995 only two (2) bidders participated: petitioner Manila Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which bid for the same number of shares at P44.00 per share, or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner. Pending the declaration of Renong Berhad as the winning bidder/strategic partner and the execution of the necessary contracts, matched the bid price of P44.00 per share tendered by Renong Berhad. On 17 October 1995, perhaps apprehensive that respondent GSIS has disregarded the tender of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be hastened by respondent GSIS and consummated with Renong Berhad, petitioner came to this Court on prohibition and mandamus. In the main, petitioner invokes Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987 Constitution and submits that the Manila Hotel has been identified with the Filipino nation and has practically become a historical monument which reflects the vibrancy of Philippine heritage and culture. It is a proud legacy of an earlier generation of Filipinos; to all intents and purposes, it has become a part of the national patrimony. Petitioner also argues that since 51% of the shares of the MHC carry with it the ownership of the business of the hotel which is owned by respondent GSIS, a government-owned and controlled corporation, the hotel business of respondent GSIS being a part of the tourism industry is unquestionably a part of the national economy. However, respondent argues that Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987 Constitution is merely a statement of principle and policy since it is not a self-executing provision and requires implementing legislation(s) . . . Thus, for the said provision to Operate, there must be existing laws "to lay down conditions under which business may be done." Also that Manila Hotel does not fall under the term national patrimony as cited in the first and second paragraphs of Sec. 2, Art. XII, 1987 Constitution. Issue: 1. Whether or not Sec.10 (2) of Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision 2. Whether or Not the sale of Manila Hotel to Renong Berhad is violative of the Constitutional provision of Filipino First policy and is therefore null and void. Held: Admittedly, some constitutions are merely declarations of policies and principles. Their provisions command the legislature to enact laws and carry out the purposes of the framers who merely establish an outline of government. A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Art. II of the 1987 Constitution, is usually not self-executing. But a provision which is complete in itself and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is self-executing. Thus a constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so that they can be determined by an examination and construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature for action. Unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate, the presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution are self-executing. Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII of the of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement.
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The Manila Hotel or 51% of the MHC, is not just any commodity to be sold to the highest bidder solely for the sake of privatization. The Manila Hotel has played and continues to play a significant role as an authentic repository of twentieth century Philippine history and culture. The Manila Hotel is a piece of heritage, worthy to be made a part of the national patrimony. The Filipino First Policy is a product of Philippine nationalism. It is embodied in the 1987 Constitution not merely to be used as a guideline for future legislation but primarily to be enforced; so must it be enforced. This is the plain and simple meaning of the Filipino First Policy provision of the Philippine Constitution. And this Court, heeding the clarion call of the Constitution and accepting the duty of being the elderly watchman of the nation, will continue to respect and protect the sanctity of the Constitution. It was thus ordered that GSIS accepts the matching bid of petitioner MANILA PRINCE HOTEL CORPORATION to purchase the subject 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation at P44.00 per share and thereafter to execute the necessary clearances and to do such other acts and deeds as may be necessary for purpose.
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Self executing/Non self executing Provisions Sovereignty; Generally accepted principles of International Law TANADA, ET. AL vs. ANGARA, ET.AL
Gr. No. 118295 FACTS: Sen. Wigberto Tanada, together with other lawmakers, taxpayers, and various NGO’s, as petitioners, filed a petition before the Supreme Court, to decide the validity of the action of the President of the Philippines, Fidel V. Ramos, and the Senate in ratifying the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement and its three (3) annexes, due to grave abuse of discretion on the part therein. The petitioners believe that this will be detrimental to the growth of our National Economy and against to the “Filipino First” policy. ISSUES: 1. Does the petition present a justiciable controversy? Otherwise stated, does the petition involve a political question over which the court has no jurisdiction? 2. Do the provisions of the WTO agreement and its three (3) annexes contravene section 19, Article II, and sections 10 and 12, Article XII, of the Philippine Constitution? 3. Do the provisions of the said agreement and its annexes limit, restrict, or impair the exercise of legislative power by congress? 4. Do said provisions unduly impair or interfere with the exxercise of judicial power by this court in promulgating rules of evidence? 5. Was the concurrence of the senate in the WTO Agreement and its annexes sufficient and/or valid, considering that it did not include the Final Act, Ministerial Declarations and Decisions, and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services? HELD: 1. The petition raises justiciable controversy in seeking to nullify the act of the Philippine Senate on the ground that it contravenes the Constitution. The question thus posed is judicial rather than political. Its the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. 2. The WTO provisions do not contravene with our Constitution. The charter provisions in the Constitution are not self-executing, rather, just declaration of principles which are not ready for enforcement through the courts and only serve as guides by the judiciary in their exercise of judicial review, and as an aid by the legislatures in its enactment of laws. Constitution does not rule out foreign competition. It also favors consumers, and not industries or enterprises. Lastly, Constitution was designed to meet future events and contingencies. 3. International treaties and agreements like this, by their inherent nature really limit or restrict the absoluteness of sovereignty. Nations by their voluntary act, may surrender some aspects of their state power in exchange for greater benefits derived from that treaty or agreement. 4. WTO Agreement provisions in article 34 of TRIPS, does not contain an unreasonable burden, consistent as it is with due process and the concept of adversarial dispute settlement inherent in our judicial system. 5. A Final Act, sometimes called protocol de cloture, is a summary of the proceedings over several years, therefore, need not to be ratified. The assailed Senate resolution no.97 expressed concurrence in exactly what the Final Act required from its signatories namely, concurrence of the senate in the WTO Agreement. The Ministerial Declarations and Decisions were deemed adopted without need for ratification. This court will not review the wisdom of the President and the Senate in enlisting the country into the WTO. Hence, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. May 2, 1997
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Amendments or Revisions
(Art. XVII, 1987 Constitution)
DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO vs. COMELEC
G.R. No. 127325 Facts:
March 19, 1997
Private respondent Atty. Jesus Delfin, president of People’s Initiative for Reforms, Modernization and Action (PIRMA), filed with COMELEC a petition to amend the constitution to lift the term limits of elective officials, through People’s Initiative. He based this petition on Article XVII, Sec. 2 of the 1987 Constitution, which provides for the right of the people to exercise the power to directly propose amendments to the Constitution. Subsequently the COMELEC issued an order directing the publication of the petition and of the notice of hearing and thereafter set the case for hearing. At the hearing, Senator Roco, the IBP, Demokrasya-Ipagtanggol ang Konstitusyon, Public Interest Law Center, and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino appeared as intervenors-oppositors. Senator Roco filed a motion to dismiss the Delfin petition on the ground that one which is cognizable by the COMELEC. The petitioners herein Senator Santiago, Alexander Padilla, and Isabel Ongpin filed this civil action for prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court against COMELEC and the Delfin petition rising the several arguments, such as the following: (1) The constitutional provision on people’s initiative to amend the constitution can only be implemented by law to be passed by Congress. No such law has been passed; (2) The people’s initiative is limited to amendments to the Constitution, not to revision thereof. Lifting of the term limits constitutes a revision, therefore it is outside the power of people’s initiative. The Supreme Court granted the Motions for Intervention. Issues: 1. Whether or not Sec. 2, Art. XVII of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing provision. 2. Whether or not COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 regarding the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution is valid, considering the absence in the law of specific provisions on the conduct of such initiative. 3. Whether the lifting of term limits of elective officials would constitute a revision or an amendment of the Constitution. Held: Sec. 2, Art XVII of the Constitution is not self executory, thus, without implementing legislation the same cannot operate. Although the Constitution has recognized or granted the right, the people cannot exercise it if Congress does not provide for its implementation. The portion of COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 which prescribes rules and regulations on the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution, is void. It has been an established rule that what has been delegated, cannot be delegated (potestas delegata non delegari potest). The delegation of the power to the COMELEC being invalid, the latter cannot validly promulgate rules and regulations to implement the exercise of the right to people’s initiative. The lifting of the term limits was held to be that of a revision, as it would affect other provisions of the Constitution such as the synchronization of elections, the constitutional guarantee of equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibiting political dynasties. A revision cannot be done by initiative. However, considering the Court’s decision in the above Issue, the issue of whether or not the petition is a revision or amendment has become academic.
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Whether or not the Vatican is a State Immunity from suit HOLY SEE v. JUDGE ROSARIO
Gr. No. 101949 December 1, 1994
Facts: Petitioner is the Holy See who exercises sovereignty over the Vatican City in Rome, Italy, and is represented in the Philippines by the Papal Nuncio. While private respondent, Starbright Sales Enterprises, Inc., is a domestic corporation engaged in the real estate business. This petition arose from a controversy over a parcel of land consisting of 6,000 SQM (Lot 5-A) located in the Municipality of Parañaque, Metro Manila and registered in the name of petitioner. The three lots were sold to Ramon Licup, through Msgr. Domingo A. Cirilos, Jr., acting as agent to the sellers. Later, Licup assigned his rights to the sale to private respondent. A dispute arose as to who of the parties has the responsibility of evicting and clearing the land of squatters. Complicating the relations of the parties was the sale by petitioner of Lot 5-A to Tropicana Properties and Development Corporation (Tropicana). On January 23, 1990, private respondent filed a complaint with the RTC, Branch 61, Makati, Metro Manila for annulment of the sale of the three parcels of land, and specific performance and damages against petitioner, represented by the Papal Nuncio, and three other defendants: Msgr. Domingo A. Cirilos, Jr., the PRC and Tropicana. On June 8, 1990, petitioner and Msgr. Cirilos separately moved to dismiss the complaint — petitioner for lack of jurisdiction based on sovereign immunity from suit, and Msgr. Cirilos for being an improper party. An opposition to the motion was filed by private respondent. The trial court denied the petitioner’s motion to dismiss; hence, petitioner forthwith elevated the matter to us. In its petition, petitioner invokes the privilege of sovereign immunity only on its own behalf and on behalf of its official representative, the Papal Nuncio. Issues: 1. Whether or not the Vatican is a State 2. Whether or not the Holy See, represented by the Papal Nuncio, has immunity from suit Held: In 1929, Italy and the Holy See entered into the Lateran Treaty, where Italy recognized the exclusive dominion and sovereign jurisdiction of the Holy See over the Vatican City. It also recognized the right of the Holy See to receive foreign diplomats, to send its own diplomats to foreign countries, and to enter into treaties according to International Law (Garcia, Questions and Problems In International Law, Public and Private 81 ). Consequently, the Republic of the Philippines has accorded the Holy See the status of a foreign sovereign. The Holy See, through its Ambassador, the Papal Nuncio, has had diplomatic representations with the Philippine government since 1957 (Rollo, p. 87). This appears to be the universal practice in international relations. The Vatican City fits into none of the established categories of states, and the attribution to it of "sovereignty" must be made in a sense different from that in which it is applied to other states (Fenwick, International Law 124-125 ; Cruz, International Law 37 ). In a community of national states, the Vatican City represents an entity organized not for political but for ecclesiastical purposes and international objects. Despite its size and object, the Vatican City has an independent government of its own, with the Pope, who is also head of the Roman Catholic Church, as the Holy See or Head of State, in conformity with its traditions, and the demands of its mission in the world. Indeed, the world-wide interests and activities of the Vatican City are such as to make it in a sense an "international state" (Fenwick, supra., 125; Kelsen, Principles of International Law 160 ). There are two conflicting concepts of sovereign immunity. According to the classical or absolute theory, a sovereign cannot, without its consent, be made a respondent in the courts of another sovereign. According to the newer or restrictive theory, the immunity of the sovereign is recognized only with regard to public acts or acts jure imperii of a state, but not with regard to private/commercial acts or acts jure gestionis. (United States of America v. Ruiz,
136 SCRA 487 ; Coquia and Defensor-Santiago, Public International Law 194 ).
Lot 5-A was acquired by petitioner as a donation from the Archdiocese of Manila. The donation was made not for commercial purpose, but for the use of petitioner to construct thereon the official place of residence of the Papal Nuncio. The right of a foreign sovereign to acquire property, in a receiving state, necessary for the creation and maintenance of its diplomatic mission, is recognized in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, concurred by the Philippine Senate on 1965. In Article 31(a) of the Convention, a diplomatic envoy is granted immunity from the civil and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving state over any real action relating to private immovable property situated in the territory of the receiving state. In addition, the privilege of sovereign immunity in this case was sufficiently established by the Memorandum and Certification of the Department of Foreign Affairs. WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is GRANTED and the complaint in Civil Case No. 90-183 against petitioner is DISMISSED.
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The concept of an Associated State The Right to Self-Determination of Peoples THE PROVINCE OF NORTH COTABATO v. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE PANEL ON ANCESTRAL DOMAIN (GRP)
Gr. No. 183591 Facts: On 8 August 2008, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), represented by the GRP Peace Panel and the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAPP), and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were scheduled to sign the Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) Aspect of the previous GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The MOA-AD included, among others, a stipulation that creates the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE), to which the GRP grants the authority and jurisdiction over the ancestral domain and ancestral lands of the Bangsamoro—defined as the present geographic area of the ARMM constituted by Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, and Marawi City, as well as the municipalities of Lanao del Norte which voted for inclusion in the ARMM in the 2001 plebiscite. The BJE is then granted the power to build, develop, and maintain its own institutions. The MOA-AD also described the relationship of the GRP and the BJE as “associative,” characterized by shared authority and responsibility. It further provides that its provisions requiring “amendments to the existing legal framework” shall take effect upon signing of a Comprehensive Compact. Before the signing, however, the Province of North Cotabato sought to compel the respondents to disclose and furnish it with complete and official copies of the MOA-AD, as well as to hold a public consultation thereon, invoking its right to information on matters of public concern. A subsequent petition sought to have the City of Zamboanga excluded from the BJE. The Court then issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on 4 August 2008, directing the public respondents and their agents to cease and desist from formally signing the MOA-AD. Issues and Ruling: 1. W/N the President has the power to pursue reforms that would require new legislation and constitutional amendments. YES. However, the stipulation in the MOA-AD that virtually guarantees that necessary changes shall be effected upon the legal framework of the GRP must be struck down as unconstitutional as it is inconsistent with the limits of the President’s authority to propose constitutional amendments. Because although the President’s power to conduct peace negotiations is implicitly included in her powers as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief, and, in the course of conducting peace negotiations, may validly consider implementing even those policies that require changes to the Constitution, she may not unilaterally implement them without the intervention of Congress, or act in any way as if the assent of that body were assumed as a certainty. 2. W/N there is a violation of the people’s right to information on matters of public concern (1987 Constitution, Art. III, Sec. 7) under a state policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest (1987 Constitution, Art. II, Sec. 28), including public consultation under RA No. 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991). YES. At least three pertinent laws animate these constitutional imperatives and justify the exercise of the people’s right to be consulted on relevant matters relating to the peace agenda: EO No. 3, which enumerates the functions and responsibilities of the PAPP, is replete with mechanics for continuing consultations on both national and local levels and for a principal forum for consensus-building. In fact, it is the duty of the PAPP to conduct regular dialogues to seek relevant information, comments, advice, and recommendations from peace partners and concerned sectors of society; RA No. 7160 (LGC) requires all national offices to conduct consultations before any project or program critical to the environment and human ecology including those that may call for the eviction of a particular group of people residing in such locality, is implemented therein. The MOA-AD is one peculiar program that unequivocally and unilaterally vests ownership of a vast territory to the Bangsamoro people, which could pervasively and drastically result to the diaspora or displacement of a great number of inhabitants from their total environment; October 14, 2008
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RA No. 8371 (IPRA) provides for clear-cut procedure for the recognition and delineation of ancestral domain, which entails, among other things, the observance of the free and prior informed consent of the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICC/IP). 3. W/N the GRP Peace Panel and the PAPP committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. YES. The PAPP committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent consultation process, as mandated by EO No. 3, RA No. 7160, and RA No. 8371. The furtive process by which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal authority, and amounts to a whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary, and despotic exercise thereof. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined. 4. W/N the MOA-AD is constitutional. NO. It cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws. Not only its specific provisions, but the very concept underlying them, namely, the associative relationship envisioned between the GRP and the BJE, are unconstitutional, for the concept presupposes that the associated entity is a state and implies that the same is on its way to independence. While there is a clause in the MOA-AD stating that the provisions thereof inconsistent with the present legal framework will not be effective until that framework is amended, the same does not cure its defect. The inclusion of provisions in the MOA-AD establishing an associative relationship between the BJE and the Central Government is, itself, a violation of the Memorandum of Instructions From The President addressed to the government peace panel. Moreover, as the clause is worded, it virtually guarantees that the necessary amendments to the Constitution and the laws will eventually be put in place. Neither the GRP Peace Panel nor the President herself is authorized to make such a guarantee. Upholding such an act would amount to authorizing a usurpation of the constituent powers vested only in Congress, a Constitutional Convention, or the people themselves through the process of initiative, for the only way that the Executive can ensure the outcome of the amendment process is through an undue influence or interference with that process. 5. W/N the GRP can invoke executive privilege. NO. Respondents effectively waived such defense after it unconditionally disclosed the official copies of the final draft of the MOA-AD, for judicial compliance and public scrutiny. The people’s right to information on matters of public concern under Sec. 7, Art. III of the Constitution is in splendid symmetry with the state policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest under Sec. 28, Art. II of the 1987 Constitution. The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand information, while the policy of public disclosure recognizes the duty of officialdom to give information even if nobody demands. The IPRA does not grant the Executive Department or any government agency the power to delineate and recognize an ancestral domain claim by mere agreement or compromise. An association is formed when two states of unequal power voluntarily establish durable links. In the basic model, one state, the associate, delegates certain responsibilities to the other, the principal, while maintaining its international status as a state. Free associations represent a middle ground between integration and independence. The recognized sources of international law establish that the right to self-determination of a people is normally fulfilled through internal self-determination—a people’s pursuit of its political, economic, social, and cultural development within the framework of an existing state. A right to external self-determination (which in this case potentially takes the form of the assertion of a right to unilateral secession) arises only in the most extreme of cases and, even then, under carefully defined circumstances. That the authority of the President to conduct peace negotiations with rebel groups is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution does not mean that she has no such authority. The President has authority, as stated in her oath of office, only to preserve and defend the Constitution. Such presidential power does not, however, extend to allowing her to change the Constitution, but simply to recommend proposed amendments or revision. As long as she limits herself to recommending these changes and submits to the proper procedure for constitutional amendments and revision, her mere recommendation need not be construed as an unconstitutional act.
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What comprises the National Territory PROF. MERLIN MAGALLONA, et.al. v. ERMITA
Gr. No. 187167 Facts: July 16, 2011
In March 2009, Congress amended RA 3046 by enacting RA 9522, the statute now under scrutiny. The change was prompted by the need to make RA 3046 compliant with the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which the Philippines ratified on 27 February 1984. Among others, UNCLOS III prescribes the water-land ratio, length, and contour of baselines of archipelagic States like the Philippines and sets the deadline for the filing of application for the extended continental shelf. Complying with these requirements, RA 9522 shortened one baseline, optimized the location of some basepoints around the Philippine archipelago and classified adjacent territories, namely, the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and the Scarborough Shoal, as “regimes of islands” whose islands generate their own applicable maritime zones. Petitioners, professors of law, law students and a legislator, in their respective capacities as “citizens, taxpayers or x x x legislators,” as the case may be, assail the constitutionality of RA 9522 on two principal grounds, namely: (1) RA 9522 reduces Philippine maritime territory, and logically, the reach of the Philippine state’s sovereign power, in violation of Article 1 of the 1987 Constitution, embodying the terms of the Treaty of Paris and ancillary treaties, and (2) RA 9522 opens the country’s waters landward of the baselines to maritime passage by all vessels and aircrafts, undermining Philippine sovereignty and national security, contravening the country’s nuclear-free policy, and damaging marine resources, in violation of relevant constitutional provisions. Issue: Whether or not RA 9522 is unconstitutional Held: No, RA 9522 is not unconstitutional. UNCLOS III has nothing to do with the acquisition (or loss) of territory. It is a multilateral treaty regulating, among others, sea-use rights over maritime zones. Baselines laws such as RA 9522 are enacted by UNCLOS III States parties to mark-out specific basepoints along their coasts from which baselines are drawn, either straight or contoured, to serve as geographic starting points to measure the breadth of the maritime zones and continental shelf. Baselines laws are nothing but statutory mechanisms for UNCLOS III States parties to delimit with precision the extent of their maritime zones and continental shelves. Further, petitioners’ argument that the KIG now lies outside Philippine territory because the baselines that RA 9522 draws do not enclose the KIG is negated by RA 9522 itself. Section 2 of the law commits to text the Philippines’ continued claim of sovereignty and jurisdiction over the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal: SEC. 2. The baselines in the following areas over which the Philippines likewise exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction shall be determined as “Regime of Islands” under the Republic of the Philippines consistent with Article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS): a) The Kalayaan Island Group as constituted under Presidential Decree No. 1596 and b) Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal. (Emphasis supplied) Hence, far from surrendering the Philippines’ claim over the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal, Congress’ decision to classify the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal as “‘Regime[s] of Islands’ under the Republic of the Philippines consistent with Article 121”36 of UNCLOS III manifests the Philippine State’s responsible observance of its pacta sunt servanda obligation under UNCLOS III. Under Article 121 of UNCLOS III, any “naturally formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is above water at high tide,” such as portions of the KIG, qualifies under the category of “regime of islands,” whose islands generate their own applicable maritime zones.
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Disclosure of Information v. Executive Privilege SENATE v. ERMITA
Gr. No. 169777 FACTS: This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition proffer that the President has abused power by issuing E.O. 464 “Ensuring Observance of the Principles of Separation of Powers, Adherence to the Rule on Executive Privilege and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in Legislative Inquiries in Aid of Legislation Under the Constitution, and for Other Purposes”. Petitioners pray for its declaration as null and void for being unconstitutional. In the exercise of its legislative power, the Senate of the Philippines, through its various Senate Committees, conducts inquiries or investigations in aid of legislation which call for, inter alia, the attendance of officials and employees of the executive department, bureaus, and offices including those employed in Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP). The Committee of the Senate issued invitations to various officials of the Executive Department for them to appear as resource speakers in a public hearing on the railway project, others on the issues of massive election fraud in the Philippine elections, wire tapping, and the role of military in the so-called “Gloriagate Scandal”. Said officials were not able to attend due to lack of consent from the President as provided by E.O. 464, Section 3 which requires all the public officials enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress. ISSUE: Is Section 3 of E.O. 464, which requires all the public officials, enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress, valid and constitutional? HELD: No. The enumeration in Section 2 (b) of E.O. 464 is broad and is covered by the executive privilege. The doctrine of executive privilege is premised on the fact that certain information must, as a matter of necessity, be kept confidential in pursuit of the public interest. The privilege being, by definition, an exemption from the obligation to disclose information, in this case to Congress, the necessity must be of such high degree as to outweigh the public interest in enforcing that obligation in a particular case. Congress undoubtedly has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought in aid of legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is privileged, it must so assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must be respected. The infirm provisions of E.O. 464, however, allow the executive branch to evade congressional requests for information without need of clearly asserting a right to do so and/or proffering its reasons therefor. By the mere expedient of invoking said provisions, the power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is frustrated. April 20, 2006
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Generally Accepted Principles Of International Law USA v. GUINTO
Gr. No. 76607 Facts: This is a consolidation of the following cases: USA v. Guinto; USA v Rodrigo; USA v. Ceballos; USA v. Vergara. These cases have been consolidated because they all involve the doctrine of state immunity. 1. US VS GUINTO (GR No. 76607) The private respondents are suing several officers of the US Air Force in Clark Air Base in connection with the bidding conducted by them for contracts for barber services in the said base which was won by a certain Dizon. The respondents wanted to cancel the award to the bid winner because they claimed that Dizon had included in his bid an area not included in the invitation to bid, and subsequently, to conduct a rebidding. 2. US VS RODRIGO (GR No 79470) Genove, employed as a cook in the Main Club at John Hay Station, was dismissed after it had been ascertained in an investigation that he poured urine in the soup stock. Genove filed a complaint for damages against the club manager who was also an officer of USAF. 3. US VS CEBALLOS (GR No 80018) Luis Bautista, a barracks boy in Camp O’Donnel, was arrested following a buy-bust operation conducted by petitioners who were USAF officers and special agents of the Air Force Office. A trial ensued where petitioners testified against respondent Bautista. As a result of the charge, Bautista was dismissed from his employment. He then filed for damages against petitioners claiming that because of the latter’s acts, he was removed from his job. 4. US VS ALARCON VERGARA (GR No 80258) Complaint for damages was filed by private respondents against individual petitioners for injuries allegedly sustained by handcuffing and unleashing dogs on them by the latter. The individual petitioners, US military officers, deny this stressing that the private respondents were arrested for theft but resisted arrest, thus incurring the injuries. In all these cases, the individual petitioners claimed they were just exercising their official functions. The USA was not impleaded in the complaints but has moved to dismiss on the ground that they are in effect suits against it to which it has not consented. ISSUE: Is the doctrine of state immunity applicable in the cases at bar? HELD: A state may not be sued without its consent. This doctrine is not absolute and does not say the state may not be sued under any circumstance. The rule says that the state may not be sued without its consent, which clearly imports that it may be sued if it consents. The consent of the state to be sued may be manifested expressly or impliedly. Express consent may be embodied in a general law or a special law. Consent is implied when the sate enters into a contract or it itself commences litigation. When the government enters into a contract, it is deemed to have descended to the level of the other contracting party and divested itself of its sovereign immunity from suit with its implied consent. Waiver is also implied when the government files a complaint, thus opening itself to a counterclaim. The USA, like any other state, will be deemed to have impliedly waived its non-suability if it has entered into a contract in its proprietary or private capacity. US VS GUINTO (GR No 76607) The court finds the barbershops subject to the concessions granted by the US government to be commercial enterprises operated by private persons. The petitioners cannot plead any immunity from the complaint, the contract in question being decidedly commercial. Thus, the petition is DISMISSED and the lower court directed to proceed with the hearing and decision of the case. 1. February 26, 1990
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US VS RODRIGO (GR No 79470) The restaurant services offered at the John Hay Station operated for profit as a commercial and not a government activity. The petitioners cannot invoke the doctrine of self immunity to justify the dismissal of the damage suit filed by Genove. Not even the US government can claim such immunity because by entering into the employment contract with Geneove in the discharge of its proprietary functions, it impliedly divested itself of its sovereign immunity from suit. Still, the court holds that the complaint against petitioners in the lower court be dismissed. There was nothing arbitrary about the proceedings in the dismissal of Genove, the petitioner acted quite properly in terminating the private respondent’s employment for his unbelievably nauseating act of polluting the soup stock with urine. US VS CEBALLOS (GR No 80018) It was clear that the individually-named petitioners were acting in the exercise of their official functions when they conducted the buy-bust operation and thereafter testified against the complainant. For discharging their duties as agents of the United States, thay cannot be directly impleaded for acts imputable to their principal, which has not given its consent to be sued. The conclusion of the trial court that the answer filed by the special counsel of Clark Air Base was a submission of the US government to its jurisdiction is rejected. Express waiver cannot be made by a mere counsel of the government but must be effected through a duly-enacted statute. Neither does it come under the implied form of consent. Thus, the petition is granted and the civil case filed in the lower court dismissed. US VS ALARCON VERGARA (GR No 80258) The contradictory factual allegations in this case need a closer study of what actually happened. The record were too meager to indicate that the defendants were really discharging their official duties or had actually exceeded their authority when the incident occurred. Only after the lower court shall have determined in what capacity the petitioners were acting will the court determine, if still necessary, if the doctrine of state immunity is applicable. 4. 3.
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Generally Accepted Principles Of International Law: The Yogyakarta Principle ANG LADLAD LGBT PARTY v. COMELEC
Gr. No. 190582 Facts: April 8, 2010
This is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, with an application for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction, filed by Ang Ladlad LGBT Party (Ang Ladlad) against the Resolutions of the COMELEC dated November 11, 2009 and December 16, 2009 in SPP No. 09-228 (PL) (collectively, the Assailed Resolutions). The case has its roots in the COMELEC’s refusal to accredit Ang Ladlad as a party-list organization under Republic Act (RA) No. 7941, otherwise known as the Party-List System Act. Ang Ladlad first applied for registration with the COMELEC in 2006. The application for accreditation was denied on the ground that the organization had no substantial membership base. On August 17, 2009, Ang Ladlad again filed a Petition5 for registration with the COMELEC. Before the COMELEC, petitioner argued that the LGBT community is a marginalized and under-represented sector that is particularly disadvantaged because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The COMELEC dismissed the Petition on moral grounds, citing that the group tolerates immorality which offends religious beliefs. Petitioner should likewise be denied accreditation not only for advocating immoral doctrines but likewise for not being truthful when it said that it "or any of its nominees/party-list representatives have not violated or failed to comply with laws, rules, or regulations relating to the elections." Issue: Held: We find that Ang Ladlad has sufficiently demonstrated its compliance with the legal requirements for accreditation. Indeed, aside from COMELEC’s moral objection and the belated allegation of non-existence, nowhere in the records has the respondent ever found/ruled that Ang Ladlad is not qualified to register as a party-list organization under any of the requisites under RA 7941 or the guidelines in Ang Bagong Bayani. The difference, COMELEC claims, lies in Ang Ladlad’s morality, or lack thereof. Our Constitution provides in Article III, Section 5 that "[n]o law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." At bottom, what our non-establishment clause calls for is "government neutrality in religious matters." 24 Clearly, "governmental reliance on religious justification is inconsistent with this policy of neutrality." 25 We thus find that it was grave violation of the non-establishment clause for the COMELEC to utilize the Bible and the Koran to justify the exclusion of Ang Ladlad. The COMELEC posits that the majority of the Philippine population considers homosexual conduct as immoral and unacceptable, and this constitutes sufficient reason to disqualify the petitioner. Unfortunately for the respondent, the Philippine electorate has expressed no such belief. No law exists to criminalize homosexual behavior or expressions or parties about homosexual behavior. Indeed, even if we were to assume that public opinion is as the COMELEC describes it, the asserted state interest here – that is, moral disapproval of an unpopular minority – is not a legitimate state interest that is sufficient to satisfy rational basis review under the equal protection clause. This position gains even more force if one considers that homosexual conduct is not illegal in this country. It follows that both expressions concerning one’s homosexuality and the activity of forming a political association that supports LGBT individuals are protected as well. We refer now to the petitioner’s invocation of the Yogyakarta Principles (the Application of International Human Rights Law In Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity),51 which petitioner declares to reflect binding principles of international law. At this time, we are not prepared to declare that these Yogyakarta Principles contain norms that are obligatory on the Philippines. There are declarations and obligations outlined in said Principles which are not reflective of the current state of international law, and do not find basis in any of the sources of international law enumerated under Article 38(1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. 52 Petitioner has not undertaken any objective and rigorous analysis of these alleged principles of international law to ascertain their true status. WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby GRANTED. The Resolutions of the Commission on Elections dated November 11, 2009 and December 16, 2009 in SPP No. 09-228 (PL) are hereby SET ASIDE. The Commission on Elections is directed to GRANT petitioner’s application for party-list accreditation. Whether or not the Ang Ladlad complied with the requirements of the Constitution and of RA 7941
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Civilian Supremacy Clause IBP vs. Zamora
G.R. No.141284 Facts: Invoking his powers as Commander-in-Chief under Sec. 18, Art. VII of the Constitution, the President directed the AFP Chief of Staff and PNP Chief to coordinate with each other for the proper deployment and utilization of the Marines to assist the PNP in preventing or suppressing criminal or lawless violence. 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, until such time when the situation shall have improved. The IBP filed a petition seeking to declare the deployment of the Philippine Marines null and void and unconstitutional. Issues: Whether or not the President’s factual determination of the necessity of calling the armed forces is subject to judicial review 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, invasion or rebellion, he necessarily exercises a discretionary power solely vested in his wisdom. Under Sec. 18, Art. VII of the Constitution, 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. However, there is no such equivalent provision dealing with the revocation or review of the President’s action to call out the armed forces. 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, otherwise, the framers of the Constitution would have simply lumped together the 3 powers and provided for their revocation and review without any qualification. 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 is considered 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, both of which involve the curtailment and suppression of certain basic civil rights and individual freedoms, and thus necessitating safeguards by Congress and review by the Court. In view of the constitutional intent to give the President full discretionary power to determine the necessity of calling out the armed forces, it is incumbent upon the petitioner to show that the President’s decision is totally bereft of factual basis. The present petition fails to discharge such heavy burden, as there is no evidence to support the assertion that there exists no justification for calling out the armed forces. The Court disagrees to the contention that by the deployment of the Marines, the civilian task of law enforcement is “militarized” in violation of Sec. 3, Art. II of the Constitution. The deployment of the Marines does not constitute a breach of the civilian supremacy clause. The calling of the Marines constitutes permissible use of military assets for civilian law enforcement. The local police forces are the ones in charge of the visibility patrols at all times, the real authority belonging to the PNP Moreover, the deployment of the Marines to assist the PNP does not unmake the civilian character of the police force. The real authority in the operations is lodged with the head of a civilian institution, the PNP, and not with the military. Since none of the Marines was incorporated or enlisted as members of the PNP, there can be no appointment to civilian position to speak of. Hence, the deployment of the Marines in the joint visibility patrols does not destroy the civilian character of the PNP. August 15, 2000
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Academic Freedom of Institutions of Higher Learning MIRIAM COLLEGE FOUNDATION, INC v. CA
Gr. No. 127930 Facts: The members of the editorial board of the Miriam College Foundation’s school paper were subjected to disciplinary sanction by the College Discipline Committee after letters of complaint were filed before the Board following the publication of the school paper that contains obscene, vulgar, and sexually explicit contents. Prior to the disciplinary sanction to the defendants they were required to submit a written statement to answer the complaints against them to the Discipline Committee but the defendants, instead of doing so wrote to the Committee to transfer the case to the DECS which they alleged to have the jurisdiction over the issue. Pushing through with the investigation ex parte the Committee found the defendants guilty and imposed upon them disciplinary sanctions. Defendants filed before the court for prohibition with preliminary injunction on said decision of the Committee questioning the jurisdiction of said Discipline Board over the defendants. Issue: Held: Whether or not the Discipline Board of Miriam College has jurisdiction over the defendants. December 15, 2000
The court resolved the issue before it by looking through the power of DECS and the Disciplinary Committee in imposing sanctions upon the defendants. Section 5 (2), Article XIV of the Constitution guarantees all institutions of higher learning academic freedom. This institutional academic freedom includes the right of the school or college to decide for itself, its aims and objectives, and how best to attain them free from outside coercion or interference save possibly when the overriding public welfare calls for some restraint. Such duty gives the institution the right to discipline its students and inculcate upon them good values, ideals and attitude. The right of students to free speech in school is not always absolute. The court upheld the right of students for the freedom of expression but it does not rule out disciplinary actions of the school on the conduct of their students. Further, Sec. 7 of the of the Campus Journalism Act provides that the school cannot suspend or expel a student solely on the basis of the articles they write EXCEPT when such article materially disrupts class work of involve substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others. Therefore the court ruled that the power of the school to investigate is an adjunct of its power to suspend or expel. It is a necessary corollary to the enforcement of rules and regulations and the maintenance of a safe and orderly educational environment conducive to learning. That power, like the power to suspend or expel, is an inherent part of the academic freedom of institutions of higher learning guaranteed by the Constitution. The court held that Miriam College has the authority to hear and decide the cases filed against respondent students.1âwph
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Academic Freedom of Institutions of Higher Learning UNIVERSITY OF SAN AGUSTIN, INC v. CA
Gr. No. 100588 Facts: March 7, 1994
Private respondents Antonio Marco Ho, Ma. Elaine Magante, Roy D. Sancho, Michael Kim So and Bernardita Cainoy were third year Nursing students of petitioner University of San Agustin (USA) who were refused re-admission in the summer classes of 1989 and last two semesters of school year 1989-1990 on the alleged ground that they failed to meet the retention policy of the school, as a consequence, the school refused to re-admit them. They filed a petition for mandamus before the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City, to command petitioner USA to re-admit them. Petitioner’s answered the petition by relying on Section 9(2) of the Education Act of 1982 (B.P. Blg. 232) which recognizes the right of students to freely choose their field of study subject to existing curricula, and arguing that since petitioner USA is a private educational institution not performing public functions and duties, under the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools, petitioner USA enjoys the right to academic freedom; hence, private respondents have no cause of action for mandamus. The trial court was not persuaded that private respondents are entitled to the relief sought, ruling that the petitioner’s were right and have academic freedom not to re-admit them. The Court of Appeals, however, disagreed with the trial court, ruling that the stipulation between petitioners and respondent USA to the effect that a grade of at least 80% in all major nursing subjects and two (2) minor subjects is a prerequisite for re-admission is repugnant to public policy and is consequently unavailing to defeat the constitutionally guaranteed right of petitioners to re-admission, absent any academic deficiency or violation of rules of discipline. During appeal, private respondents filed a motion for dismissal of appeal 4 averring, inter alia, that the appeal has become moot and academic because private respondents have enrolled in and graduated in another college. However, the appellate court denied their motion for dismissal on the ground that the issues involved are important. Hence, the present petition. Issue: whether or not the petitioner is well within its academic freedom to deny re-admission; whether or not mandamus is applicable in this case; Held: We find the challenged regulation of petitioner USA reasonable and relevant to its objective. Equally mandated by Article XIV, Section 5(2) of the 1987 Constitution is that academic freedom shall be enjoyed in all institutions of higher learning. Academic freedom of educational institutions has been defined as the right of the school or college to decide for itself, its aims and objectives, and how best to attain them — free from outside coercion or interference save possibly when the overriding public welfare calls for some restraint. It has a wide sphere of autonomy certainly extending to the choice of students. Said constitutional provision is not to be construed in a niggardly manner or in a grudging fashion. That would be to frustrate its purposes and nullify its intent. The Court recognizes the expertise of educational institutions in the various fields of learning. Thus, they are afforded ample discretion to formulate reasonable rules and regulations in the admission of students, including setting of academic standards. Within the parameters thereof, they are competent to determine who are entitled to admission and re-admission. As to the issue of mandamus, the court ruled that the special civil action of mandamus is not available in this instance. Mandamus is employed to compel the performance, when refused, of a ministerial duty, this being its main objective. It does not lie to require anyone to fulfill contractual obligations or to compel a course of conduct, 11 nor to control or review the exercise of discretion. In the present case, private respondents have failed to satisfy the prime and indispensable requisites of a mandamus proceeding. There is no showing that they possess a clear legal right to be enrolled in petitioner USA. Moreover, assuming that petitioner USA has an imperative duty to enroll them, it does not appear to this Court that the duty is merely ministerial; rather, it is a duty involving the exercise of discretion.
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Academic Freedom of Institutions of Higher Learning ISABELO, JR. v. PERPETUAL HELP COLLEGE OF RIZAL, INC
Gr. No. 103142 Facts: Manuelito Isabelo, Jr. was enrolled at the Perpetual Help College of Rizal ("PHCR") for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Criminology. He was elected PRO of the Supreme Student Council some time in August 1990; and later he was the hold-over PRO and acting secretary. Prior to the May 8, 1991 meeting, he was asked by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Grace De Leon, to sign Resolution No. 105 that would implement, among other things, a 20% tuition fee increase for the school year 1991-1992. Manuelito refused to sign the resolution; instead he asked for a 2-week period to take the matter up with fellow officers. When the meeting date arrived the student council presented their proposal regarding the tuition fee increase. However, on August 6, 1991, PHCR announced the 20% tuition fee increase; the student council appealed to the DECS and the latter in its letter to the president of PHCR advised that the tuition fee increase be held in abeyance pending the resolution of the matter. In the meantime, the CMT commandant furnished PHCR a memorandum, dated 20 August 1991, containing a list of PHCR CMT students (Manuelito included) who were dropped during the first semester of school year 1991-1992, with a recommendation that appropriate action be taken on said students. Manuelito then wrote a letter to the DECS regarding his dropping from the rolls. DECS issued an order that the students dropped in the rolls be readmitted and allowed to attend class pending the resolution of the matter. PHCR did not comply with the directive. Hence this recourse. Issue/s: whether or not PHCR's act of voiding his enrollment is proper and within the scope of academic freedom Held: The term "academic freedom" 15 encompassing not only "the freedom to determine . . . . on academic grounds who may teach, what may be taught (and) how it shall be taught," but likewise "who may be admitted to study." We have thus sanctioned its valid invocation by a school in rejecting students who are academically delinquent. Like any other right, however, academic freedom has never been meant to be an unabridged license. It is a privilege that assumes a correlative duty to exercise it responsibly. The punishment of expulsion appears to us rather disproportionate to his having had some deficiencies in his CMT course. Indeed the DECS itself is conceding to the grant of the instant petition. The circumstances lend truth to the petitioner's claim that the private respondent has strongly been influenced by his active participation in questioning PHCR's application for tuition fee increase. November 8, 1993
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Academic Freedom of Institutions of Higher Learning UP BOARD OF REGENTS v. CA
G.R. No. 134625 Facts: Private respondent Arokiaswamy William Margaret Celine is a citizen of India and holder of a Philippine visitor's visa. Sometime in April 1988, she enrolled in the doctoral program in Anthropology of the University of the Philippines College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP) in Diliman, Quezon City. After completing the units of course work required in her doctoral program, private respondent went on a two-year leave of absence to work. On December 22, 1992, Dr. Realidad S. Rolda, chairperson of the U.P. Department of Anthropology, wrote a letter to Dr. Maria Serena Diokno, CSSP Associate Dean and Graduate Program Director, certifying that private respondent had finished her dissertation and was ready for her oral defense. After private respondent’s oral defense, 4 out of 5 of the panel a passing mark for her oral defense, with some remarks as to improper citation and acknowledgment of a portion of the dissertation. Private respondent then requested a meeting to discuss the amendments suggested by the panel members during the oral defense. On March 24, 1993, the CSSP College Faculty Assembly approved private respondent's graduation pending submission of final copies of her dissertation; however, the latter did not comply with the amendments. Dean Paz's letter to Dr. Milagros Ibe, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, requesting the exclusion of private respondent's name from the list of candidates for graduation did not reach the Board of Regents on time, because the next day, April 22, 1993, the Board approved the University Council's recommendation for the graduation of qualified students, including private respondent. Two days later, April 24, 1993, private respondent graduated with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology. In a letter addressed to Dean Paz, dated May 1, 1993, Dr. Medina formally charged private respondent with plagiarism and recommended that the doctorate granted to her be withdrawn. After due investigation, on September 19, 1994, Chancellor Posadas obtained the Zafaralla Committee's report, signed by its chairman, recommending the withdrawal of private respondent's doctorate degree since she was found guilty of plagiarism. On August 10, 1995, private respondent then filed a petition for mandamus with a prayer for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction and damages. She alleged that petitioners had unlawfully withdrawn her degree without justification and without affording her procedural due process. The trial court dismissed her petition for mandamus on grounds of academic freedom, but the court of appeals reversed the decision on denial of due process of the private respondent; hence, this petition. Issue: whether or not she was denied due process Held: Where it is shown that the conferment of an honor or distinction was obtained through fraud, a university has the right to revoke or withdraw the honor or distinction it has thus conferred. An institution of higher learning cannot be powerless if it discovers that an academic degree it has conferred is not rightfully deserved. Nothing can be more objectionable than bestowing a university's highest academic degree upon an individual who has obtained the same through fraud or deceit. The pursuit of academic excellence is the university's concern. It should be empowered, as an act of self-defense, to take measures to protect itself from serious threats to its integrity. In the case at bar, the Board of Regents determined, after due investigation conducted by a committee that private respondent committed no less than ninety (90) instances of intellectual dishonesty in her dissertation. On the other hand, private respondent was afforded the opportunity to be heard and explain her side but failed to refute the charges of plagiarism against her. What U.P., through the Board of Regents, sought to do is to protect its academic integrity by withdrawing from private respondent an academic degree she obtained through fraud, which is well within the ambit of academic freedom. August 31, 1999
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Doctrine of State Immunity from Suit DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE v NLRC
Gr. No. 104269 Facts: November 11, 1993
Petitioner Department of Agriculture (DA) and Sultan Security Agency entered into a contract for security services to be provided by the latter to the said governmental entity. Pursuant to their arrangements, guards were deployed by Sultan Security Agency in the various premises of the DA. Thereafter, several guards filed a complaint for underpayment of wages, nonpayment of 13th month pay, uniform allowances, night shift differential pay, holiday pay, and overtime pay, as well as for damages against the DA and the security agency. The Labor Arbiter rendered a decision finding the DA jointly and severally liable with the security agency for the payment of money claims of the complainant security guards. The DA and the security agency did not appeal the decision. Thus, the decision became final and executory. The Labor Arbiter issued a writ of execution to enforce and execute the judgment against the property of the DA and the security agency. Thereafter, the City Sheriff levied on execution the motor vehicles of the DA. Issue: Whether or not the doctrine of non-suability of the State applies in the case Held: The basic postulate enshrined in the Constitution that “the State may not be sued without its consent” reflects nothing less than a recognition of the sovereign character of the State and an express affirmation of the unwritten rule effectively insulating it from the jurisdiction of courts. It is based on the very essence of sovereignty. A sovereign is exempt from suit based on the logical and practical ground that there can be no legal right as against the authority that makes the law on which the right depends. The rule is not really absolute for it does not say that the State may not be sued under any circumstances. The State may at times be sued. The State’s consent may be given expressly or impliedly. Express consent may be made through a general law or a special law. Implied consent, on the other hand, is conceded when the State itself commences litigation, thus opening itself to a counterclaim, or when it enters into a contract. In this situation, the government is deemed to have descended to the level of the other contracting party and to have divested itself of its sovereign immunity. But not all contracts entered into by the government operate as a waiver of its non-suability; distinction must still be made between one which is executed in the exercise of its sovereign function and another which is done in its proprietary capacity. A State may be said to have descended to the level of an individual and can this be deemed to have actually given its consent to be sued only when it enters into business contracts. It does not apply where the contract relates to the exercise of its sovereign functions. In the case, the DA has not pretended to have assumed a capacity apart from its being a governmental entity when it entered into the questioned contract; nor that it could have, in fact, performed any act proprietary in character. But, be that as it may, the claims of the complainant security guards clearly constitute money claims. Act No. 3083 gives the consent of the State to be sued upon any moneyed claim involving liability arising from contract, express or implied. Pursuant, however, to Commonwealth Act 327, as amended by PD 1145, the money claim must first be brought to the Commission on Audit.
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Doctrine of State Immunity from Suit LANSANG v. CA
Gr. No. 102667 Facts: February 23, 2000
Private respondents General Assembly of the Blind, Inc. (GABI) and Jose Iglesias were allegedly awarded a verbal contract of lease in 1970 to occupy a portion of Rizal Park by the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), a government initiated civic body engaged in the development of national parks. Private respondents were allegedly given office and library space as well as kiosks area selling food and drinks. Private respondent GABI was to remit to NPDC 40% of the profits derived from operating the kiosks. After the EDSA Revolution, petitioner Lansang, the new Chairman of the NPDC, sought to clean up Rizal Park. Petitioner terminated the socalled verbal agreement with GABI and demanded that the latter vacate the premises and the kiosks it ran privately within the public park. On the day of the supposed eviction, GABI filed an action for damages and injunction against petitioner. Issue: Whether or not the complaint filed against the petitioner is in reality a complaint against the State, which could not prosper without the State’s consent Held:
The doctrine of state immunity from suit applies to complaints filed against public officials for acts done in the performance of their duties. The rule is that the suit must be regarded as one against the state where satisfaction of the judgment against the public official concerned will require the state itself to perform a positive act, such as appropriation of the amount necessary to pay the damages awarded to the plaintiff. The rule does not apply where the public official is charged in his official capacity for acts that are unlawful and injurious to the rights of others. Public officials are not exempt, in their personal capacity, from liability arising from acts committed in bad faith. Neither does its apply where the public official is clearly being sued not in his official capacity but in his personal capacity, although the acts complained of may have been committed while he occupied a public position. In the case, the petitioner is being sued not in his capacity as NPDC chairman but in his personal capacity. It is also evident the petitioner is sued allegedly for having personal motives in ordering the ejectment of GABI from Rizal Park. The important question to consider is whether or not petitioner abused his authority in ordering the ejectment of GABI. The Court found no evidence of such abuse of authority. Rizal Park is beyond the commerce of man and, thus, could not be the subject of lease contract. That private respondents were allowed to occupy office and kiosk spaces in the park was only a matter of accommodation by the previous administrator. This being so, petitioner may validly discontinue the accommodation extended to private respondents, who may be ejected from the park when necessary. Private respondents cannot and do not claim a vested right to continue to occupy Rizal Park.
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Doctrine of State Immunity from Suit REPUBLIC v. SANDOVAL
Gr. No. 84607 Facts: Farmer-rallyists marched to Malacanang calling for a genuine land reform program. There was a marchers-police confrontation which resulted in the death of 12 rallyists and scores were wounded. As a result, then Pres. Aquino issued AO 11 creating the Citizens Mendiola Commission for the purpose of conducting an investigation. The most significant recommendation of the Commission was for the heirs of thedeceased and wounded victims to be compensated by the government. Based on such recommendation, the victims of Mendiola massacre filed an action for damages against the Republic and the military/police officers involved in the incident. Issues: 1. Whether or not there is a valid waiver of immunity 2.Whether or not the State is liable for damages Held: March 19, 1993
The Court held that there was no valid waiver of immunity as claimed by the petitioners. The recommendation made by the Commission to indemnify the heirs of the deceased and the victims does not in any way mean that liability attaches to the State. AO 11 merely states the purpose of the creation of the Commission and, therefore, whatever is the finding of the Commission only serves as the basis for a cause of action in the event any party decides to litigate the same. Thus, the recommendation of the Commission does not in any way bind the State. The State cannot be made liable because the military/police officers who allegedly were responsible for the death and injuries suffered by the marchers acted beyond the scope of their authority. It is a settled rule that the State as a person can commit no wrong. The military and police officers who were responsible for the atrocities can be held personally liable for damages as they exceeded their authority, hence, the acts cannot be considered official.
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Doctrine of State Immunity cannot be used to perpetrate injustice EPG CONSTRUCTION vs. VIGILAR
G.R. No. 131544 FACTS: March 16, 2001
(1983) The herein petitioners-contractors, under contracts with DPWH, constructed 145 housing units but coverage of construction and funding under the said contracts was only for 2/3 of each housing unit. Through the verbal request and assurance of then DPWH Undersecretary Canlas, they undertook additional constructions for the completion of the project, but said additional constructions were not issued payment by DPWH. With a favorable recommendation from the DPWH Asst. Secretary for Legal Affairs, the petitioners sent a demend letter to the DPWH Secretary. The DPWH Auditor did not object to the payment subject to whatever action COA may adopt. (1992) Through the request of then DPWH Secretary De Jesus, the DBM released the amount for payment but (1996) respondent DPWH Secreatry Vigilar denied the money claims prompting petitioners to file a petition for mandamus before the RTC which said trial court denied. Hence, this petition. Among others, respondent-secretary argues that the state may not be sued invoking the constitutional doctrine of Non-suability of the State also known as the Royal Prerogative of Dishonesty. ISSUE: HELD: Whether or not the Principle of State Immunity is applicable in the case at bar.
The principle of state immunity finds no application in this case. Under the circumstances, respondent may not validly invoke the Royal Prerogative of Dishonesty and hide under the state’s cloak of invincibility against suit. Considering that this principle yields to certain settled exceptions. The rule is not absolute for it does not say that the state may not be sued under any circumstance. The doctrine of governmental immunity from suit cannot serve as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice on a citizen. It is just as important that there be fidelity to legal norms on the part of officialdom if the rule of law is to be maintained. The ends of justice would be subverted if we were to uphold, in this instance, the state’s immunity from suit. This court - as the staunch guardian of the citizen’s rights and welfare- cannot sanction an injustice so patent on its face, and allow itself to be an instrument of perpetration thereof. Justice and equity sternly demand that the state’s cloak of invincibility against suit be shred in this particular instance and that petitionerscontractors be duly compensated , on the basis of quantum meruit, for construction done on the public works housing project Petition GRANTED.
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