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MANILA PRINCE HOTEL vs.

GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, MANILA HOTEL CORPORATION, COMMITTEE ON PRIVATIZATION and OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATE COUNSEL. G.R. NO. 122156, February 3, 1997. BELLOSILLO, J.: Facts: The GSIS decided to sell 30-51% of the Manila Hotel Corporation. In a close bidding held in September 1995, two bidders participated- Manila Prince Hotel and Malaysian Firm, Renong Berhad. MPHs bid was at P41.58/per share while RBs bid was at P44.00/share. RB was the highest bidder hence it was logically considered as the winning bidder but is yet to be declared so. Pending declaration, MPH matches RBs bid and invoked the Filipino First policy enshrined under par. 2, Sec. 10, Art. 12 of the 1987 Constitution, but GSIS refused to accept. In turn MPH filed a Temporary Restraining Order to avoid the perfection/consummation of the sale to RB. RB then assailed the TRO issued in favor of MPH arguing among others that: 1. Par. 2, Sec. 10, Art. 12 of the 1987 Constitution needs an implementing law because it is merely a statement of principle and policy (not self-executing); 2. Even if said passage is self-executing, Manila Hotel does not fall under national patrimony. ISSUE: Whether or not RB should be admitted as the highest bidder and hence be proclaimed as the legit buyer of shares. RULING: No. MPH should be awarded the sale pursuant to Art 12 of the 1987 Const. This is in light of the Filipino First Policy. RATIO DECIDENDI: In accordance to Par. 2, Sec. 10, Art. 12 of the 1987 Constitution , The Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract. Manila Hotel falls under national patrimony. When the Constitution speaks of national patrimony, it refers not only to the natural resources of the Philippines, as the Constitution could have very well used the term natural resources, but also to the cultural heritage of the Filipinos. It also refers to our intelligence in arts, sciences and letters. Therefore, we should develop not only our lands, forests, mines and other natural resources but also the mental ability or faculty of our people. Note that, for more than 8 decades (9 now) Manila Hotel has bore mute witness to the triumphs and failures, loves and frustrations of the Filipinos; its existence is impressed with public interest; its own historicity associated with our struggle for sovereignty, independence and nationhood. Herein resolved as well is the term Qualified Filipinos which not only pertains to individuals corporations as well and other juridical entities/personalities. The term qualified Filipinos means that preference shall be given to those citizens who can make a viable contribution common good, because of credible competence and efficiency. In the granting of economic but to simply to the rights,

privileges, and concessions, when a choice has to be made between a qualified foreigner and a qualified Filipino, the latter shall be chosen over the former. In stated in Section 10, the Congress shall, upon recommendation of the economic and planning agency, when the national interest dictates, reserve to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens, or such higher percentage as Congress may prescribe, certain areas of investments. The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos. In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.