Reagan v CIR, 30 SCRA 968

Facts: A question novel in character, the answer to which has far-reaching implications, is raised by petitioner William C.

Reagan, at one time a civilian employee of an American corporation providing technical assistance to the United States Air Force in the Philippines. He would dispute the payment of the income tax assessed on him by respondent Commissioner of Internal Revenue on an amount realized by him on a sale of his automobile to a member of the United States Marine Corps, the transaction having taken place at the Clark Field Air Base at Pampanga. It is his contention, seriously and earnestly pressed, that in legal contemplation the sale was made outside Philippine territory and therefore beyond our jurisdictional power to tax.

Issue: Whether or not the sale was made outside the Philippine territory and therefore beyond our jurisdictional function
to

tax.

Held: The Court held that nothing is better settled than that the Philippines being independent and sovereign, its authority

may be exercised over its entire domain. There is no portion there of that is beyond its power. Within its limits, its decrees are supreme, its commands paramount. Its laws govern therein, and everyone to whom it applies must submit to its terms. That is the extent of its jurisdiction, both territorial and personal. Necessarily, likewise, it has to be exclusive. If it were not thus, there is a diminution of its sovereignty. It is to be admitted that any state may, by its consent, express or implied, submit to a restriction of its sovereign rights. There may thus be a curtailment of what otherwise is a power plenary in character. That is the concept of sovereignty as auto-limitation, which, in the succinct language of Jellinek, "is the property of a state-force due to which it has the exclusive capacity of legal self-determination and self-restriction." 7 A state then, if it chooses to, may refrain from the exercise of what otherwise is illimitable competence. Its laws may as to some persons found within its territory no longer control. Nor does the matter end there. It is not precluded from allowing another power to participate in the exercise of jurisdictional right over certain portions of its territory. If it does so, it by no means follows that such areas become impressed with an alien character. They retain their status as native soil. They are still subject to its authority. Its jurisdiction may be diminished, but it does not disappear. So it is with the bases under lease to the American armed forces by virtue of the military bases agreement of 1947. They are not and cannot be foreign territory.

People v Gozo, 53 SCRA 476

Facts: Appellant seeks to set aside a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Zambales, convicting her of a violation of
an ordinance of Olongapo, Zambales, requiring a permit from the municipal mayor for the construction or erection of a building, as well as any modification, alteration, repair or demolition thereof. She questions its validity on the pretext that her house was constructed within the naval base leased to the American armed forces. While yielding to the well-settled doctrine that it does not thereby cease to be Philippine territory, she in effect seek to emasculate the State's sovereign rights by the assertion that the latter cannot exercise therein administrative jurisdiction.

Issue/s: Whether or not the State can exercise administrative jurisdiction within the naval base leased by the Philippines
to the American armed

forces.

Held: The Philippine Government has not abdicated its sovereignty over the bases as part of the Philippine territory or
divested itself completely of jurisdiction over offenses committed therein. Under the terms of the treaty, the United States Government has prior or preferential but not exclusive jurisdiction of such offenses. The Philippine Government retains not only jurisdictional lights not granted, but also all such ceded rights as the United States Military authorities for reasons of their own decline to make use of. The first proposition is implied from the fact of Philippine sovereignty over the bases; the second from the express provisions of the treaty." There was a reiteration of such a view in Reagan. Thus: "Nothing is better settled than that the Philippines being independent and sovereign, its authority may be exercised over its entire domain. There is no portion thereof that is beyond its power. Within its limits, its decrees are supreme, its commands paramount. Its laws govern therein, and everyone to whom it applies must submit to its terms. That is the extent of its jurisdiction, both territorial and personal. Necessarily, likewise, it has to be exclusive. If it were not thus, there is a diminution of it sovereignty." Then came this paragraph dealing with the principle of auto-limitation: "It is to be admitted that any state may,

ALITHEA BARBARA ACAS. PROF. If it does so. CARLA REGINA GREPO. WILLIAM RAGAMAT. EDAN MARRI CAÑETE. There may thus be a curtailment of what otherwise is a power plenary in character.. JR. JJ. AND UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES COLLEGE OF LAW STUDENTS. PAULYN MAY DUMAN. and SERENO. RUBY AMOR BARRACA. FRANCIS ALVIN ASILO. in the succinct language of Jellinek. which. SHERYL BALOT. not it appearance. MICHAEL OCAMPO. BERSAMIN. submit to a restriction of its sovereign rights. ANNA MARIE CECILIA GO. MIGUEL RAFAEL MUSNGI. CORONA. VALERIE PAGASA BUENAVENTURA. AKBAYAN PARTY-LIST REP. MARY ANN JOY LEE. Present: G. DEL CASTILLO. JAKLYN HANNA PINEDA. RENE DELORINO. VELASCO. CARPIO. if it chooses to. VANN ALLEN DELA CRUZ. CZARINA MAY ALTEZ. JAMES MARK TERRY BRION. express or implied. 187167 .by its consent." EN BANC PROF. They are not and cannot be foreign territory. It is not precluded from allowing another power to participate in the exercise of jurisdictional right over certain portions of its territory. GIRLIE FERRER. MARIA LUISA MANALAYSAY. RISA HONTIVEROS. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. may refrain from the exercise of what otherwise is illimitable competence. ENRIK FORT REVILLAS. PERALTA. it by no means follows that such areas become impressed with an alien character. HARRY C.' A state then. IRISH KAY KALAW. MERLIN M. C. VOLTAIRE ALFERES. MAGALLONA. SHARON ESCOTO. The words employed follow: "Its laws may as to some persons found within its territory no longer control. MARICAR RAMOS. but it does not disappear.R No. ROMINA BERNARDO. They are still subject to its authority. PEREZ. Its jurisdiction may be diminished.. ABAD. That is the concept of sovereignty as auto-limitation.J. JR. Nor does the matter end there. JR. RAOULLE OSEN FERRER. They retain their status as native soil. JOSE JAVIER BAUTISTA. 'is the property of a state-force due to which it has the exclusive capacity of legal self-determination and self-restriction. RODRIGO FAJARDO III. So it is with the bases under lease to the American armed forces by virtue of the military bases agreement of 1947. there is at the most diminution of jurisdictional rights." 16 The opinion was at pains to point out though that even then... MENDOZA. ROQUE. VILLARAMA.

IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY. HON. DIONY VENTURA. ROLANDO ANDAYA. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT. MELISSA CHRISTINA SANTOS. and HON. . HON. 2011 x -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION CARPIO. JR. ALBERTO ROMULO. MARIA ESTER VANGUARDIA. Petitioners.RIDON. IN HIS CAPACITY AS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES TO THE UNITED NATIONS. July 16. HON. J. CHRISTIAN RIVERO. Promulgated: Respondents. CRISTINE MAE TABING. DIANNE MARIE ROA. VANESSA ANNE TORNO. EDUARDO ERMITA. IN HIS CAPACITY AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NATIONAL MAPPING & RESOURCE INFORMATION AUTHORITY.. and MARCELINO VELOSO III. NICHOLAS SANTIZO.versus HON. JOHANN FRANTZ RIVERA IV.: . HILARIO DAVIDE. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

the statute now under scrutiny. 3046 (RA 3046) demarcating the maritime baselines of the 2 Philippines as an archipelagic State. namely. To 14 buttress their argument of territorial diminution.” the breadth of which. RA 3046 remained unchanged for nearly five decades. Congress amended RA 3046 by enacting RA 9522. was left undetermined. namely: (1) RA 9522 reduces Philippine maritime territory. optimized the location of some basepoints around the Philippine archipelago and classified adjacent territories. contravening the country‟s nuclear-free policy. 9522 (RA 9522) adjusting the country‟s archipelagic baselines and classifying the baseline regime of nearby 1 territories. the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and the Scarborough Shoal. Thus. petitioners facially attack RA 9522 for what it excluded and included – its failure to reference either the Treaty of Paris or Sabah and its use of UNCLOS III‟s framework of regime of islands to determine the maritime zones of the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal. in violation of relevant constitutional provisions. law students and a legislator. length. Congress passed Republic Act No. undermining Philippine sovereignty and national security. as “regimes of islands” whose islands generate their own applicable maritime zones. and (2) RA 9522 opens the country‟s waters landward of the baselines to 11 12 maritime passage by all vessels and aircrafts. and damaging marine resources. 5446 [RA 5446]) correcting typographical errors and reserving the drawing of baselines around Sabah in North Borneo. which the Philippines ratified on 27 February 1984. 13 In addition.The Case This original action for the writs of certiorari and prohibition assails the constitutionality of Republic Act No. RA 9522 shortened one baseline. and logically. In March 2009. taxpayers or x x x legislators. Petitioners. professors of law. and contour of baselines of archipelagic States like the Philippines and sets the deadline for the filing of application for the extended continental shelf. . UNCLOS III prescribes the water-land ratio. The Antecedents In 1961. domestically. save for legislation passed in 1968 (Republic Act No. the sovereign right of States parties 4 over their “territorial sea. in their respective capacities as “citizens. Attempts to fill this void during the second round of negotiations in Geneva in 1960 (UNCLOS II) proved futile.” as the case may be. the reach of the Philippine state‟s sovereign power. in violation of Article 1 of the 1987 Constitution. assail the constitutionality of RA 9522 on two principal 9 grounds. however. 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). embodying the terms of the Treaty 10 of Paris and ancillary treaties. Among 5 6 others. codifying. Complying 7 8 with these requirements. This law followed the framing of the Convention on the Territorial Sea 3 and the Contiguous Zone in 1958 (UNCLOS I). petitioners contend that RA 9522‟s treatment of the KIG as “regime of islands” not only results in the loss of a large maritime area but also prejudices the livelihood of subsistence fishermen. among others.

Nonetheless. Preliminarily – 1. we recognize petitioners‟ locus standi as citizens with constitutionally sufficient interest in the resolution of the merits of the case which undoubtedly raises issues of . Respondents also question the normative force. The Issues The petition raises the following issues: 1. On the merits. whether RA 9522 is unconstitutional. Whether the writs of certiorari and prohibition are the proper remedies to assail the constitutionality of RA 9522. we find no basis to declare RA 9522 unconstitutional. On the merits. preserving Philippine territory over the KIG or Scarborough Shoal. respondent officials raised threshold issues questioning (1) the petition‟s compliance with the case or controversy requirement for judicial review grounded on petitioners‟ alleged lack of locus standi and (2) the propriety of the writs of certiorari and prohibition to assail the constitutionality of RA 9522.Commenting on the petition. of peti tioners‟ assertion that what Spain ceded to the United States under the Treaty of Paris were the islands and all the waters found within the boundaries of the rectangular area drawn under the Treaty of Paris. environment and economic interests or relinquish the Philippines‟ claim over Sabah. under international law. On the Threshold Issues Petitioners Possess Locus Standi as Citizens Petitioners themselves undermine their assertion of locus standi as legislators and taxpayers because the petition alleges neither infringement of legislative prerogative nor misuse of public funds. and 2. On the merits. we hold that (1) petitioners possess locus standi to bring this suit as citizens and (2) the writs of certiorari and prohibition are proper remedies to test the constitutionality of RA 9522. We left unacted petitioners‟ prayer for an injunctive writ. occasioned by the 15 16 passage and implementation of RA 9522. 2. Respondents add that RA 9522 does not undermine the country‟s security. Whether petitioners possess locus standi to bring this suit. The Ruling of the Court On the threshold issues. respondents defended RA 9522 as the country‟s compliance with the terms of UNCLOS III.

quasi-judicial or ministerial powers on the part of respondents and resulting prejudice on the part of petitioners. that Spain supposedly ceded to the United States. not to Delineate Philippine Territory Petitioners submit that RA 9522 “dismembers a large portion of the national territory” because it discards the pre-UNCLOS III demarcation of Philippine territory under the Treaty of Paris and related treaties. 18 Respondents‟ submission holds true in ordinary civil proceedings. 17 The Writs of Certiorari and Prohibition Are Proper Remedies to Test the Constitutionality of Statutes In praying for the dismissal of the petition on preliminary grounds. The statute sought to be reviewed here is one such law. When this Court exercises its constitutional power of judicial review. beyond the territorial sea recognized at the time of the Treaty of Paris. carry such relevance in the life of this nation that the Court inevitably finds itself constrained to take cognizance of the case and pass upon the issues raised. RA 9522 is Not Unconstitutional RA 9522 is a Statutory Tool to Demarcate the Country’s Maritime Zones and Continental Shelf Under UNCLOS III. Philippine sovereignty over territorial waters extends hundreds of nautical miles around the Philippine archipelago. by tradition. noncompliance with the letter of procedural rules notwithstanding. embracing the rectangular area delineated in the Treaty of Paris. viewed the writs of certiorari and prohibition as proper remedial vehicles to test the constitutionality of statutes. thus satisfying one of the requirements for granting citizenship standing. it is understandably difficult to find other litigants possessing “a more direct and specific interest” to bring the suit. Issues of constitutional import are sometimes crafted out of statutes which. noting that the writs cannot issue absent any showing of grave abuse of discretion in the exercise of judicial. respondents seek a strict observance of the offices of the writs of certiorari and prohibition. and indeed. 21 22 .national significance necessitating urgent resolution. Petitioners argue that from the Treaty of Paris‟ technic al description. of acts of other branches of 19 government. Indeed. successively encoded in the definition of national territory under the 1935. however. while having no 20 bearing on the personal interests of the petitioners. owing to the peculiar nature of RA 9522. 1973 and 1987 Constitutions. Petitioners theorize that this constitutional definition trumps any treaty or statutory provision denying the Philippines sovereign control over waters. we have.

the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf. and continental shelves that UNCLOS III delimits. States acquire (or conversely. fiscal. the jurisdiction to enforce customs. In turn. On the other hand. 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. and sanitation laws in the contiguous zone (Article 33). namely.” 24 UNCLOS III and its ancillary baselines laws play no role in the acquisition. The baselines cannot be drawn from the boundaries or other portions of the rectangular area delineated in the Treaty of Paris. this gives notice to the rest of the international community of the scope of the maritime space and submarine areas within which States parties exercise treaty-based rights. – The breadth of the territorial sea. not by executing 25 multilateral treaties on the regulations of sea-use rights or enacting statutes to comply with the treaty‟s terms to delimit maritime zones and continental shelves. Even under petitioners‟ theory that the Philippine territory embraces the islands and all the waters within the rectangular area delimited in the Treaty of Paris. the territorial waters [12 nautical miles from the baselines]. among others. sea-use rights over maritime zones (i. the contiguous zone.e. either straight or contoured. immigration. and are instead governed by the rules on general international law. but from the “outermost islands and drying reefs of the archipelago. the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf shall be measured from archipelagic baselines drawn in accordance with article 47. (Emphasis supplied) Thus. It is a multilateral treaty regulating. diminution of territory. as petitioners claim. Territorial claims to land features are outside UNCLOS III. the baselines of the Philippines would still have to be drawn in accordance with RA 9522 because this is the only way to draw the baselines in conformity with UNCLOS III. the exercise of sovereignty over territorial waters (Article 2). 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. UNCLOS III was the 23 culmination of decades-long negotiations among United Nations members to codify norms regulating the conduct of States in the world‟s oceans and submarine areas. enlargement or. UNCLOS III has nothing to do with the acquisition (or loss) of territory. Article 48 of UNCLOS III on archipelagic States like ours could not be any clearer: Article 48. the contiguous zone. contiguous zone [24 nautical miles from the baselines]. and the right to exploit the living and non-living resources in the exclusive economic zone (Article 56) and continental shelf (Article 77). exclusive economic zone [200 nautical miles from the baselines]). accretion. lose) territory through occupation. 26 . recognizing coastal and archipelagic States‟ graduated authority over a limited span of waters and submarine lands along their coasts. Under traditional international law typology.. to serve as geographic starting points to measure the breadth of the maritime zones and continental shelf.Petitioners‟ theory fails to persuade us. cession and prescription. Measurement of the breadth of the territorial sea.

save for at least nine basepoints that RA 9522 skipped to optimize the location of basepoints and adjust the length of one baseline (and thus comply with UNCLOS III‟s limitation on the maximum length of baselines). belie this view.RA 9522’s Use of the Framework of Regime of Islands to Determine the Maritime Zones of the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal. The configuration of the baselines drawn under RA 3046 and RA 9522 shows that RA 9522 merely followed the basepoints mapped by RA 3046. On the contrary. Petitioners add that the KIG‟s (and Scarborough Shoal‟s) exclusion from the Philippine 27 archipelagic baselines results in the loss of “about 15. as amended. “weakens our territorial claim” over that area. vis-à-vis the Philippines‟ obligations under UNCLOS III. territorial sea and exclusive economic zone) by 145.000 square nautical miles of territorial waters” under RA 9522 is similarly unfounded both in fact and law. Petitioners‟ assertion of loss of “about 15.” prejudicing the livelihood of subsistence fishermen. as shown in the table below: Extent of maritime area using RA 3046. Under RA 3046. taking into account the Treaty of Paris‟ delimitation (in square nautical miles) Internal or archipelagic waters 166. and to measure the breadth of the applicable maritime zones of the KIG. not Inconsistent with the Philippines’ Claim of Sovereignty Over these Areas Petitioners next submit that RA 9522‟s use of UNCLOS III‟s regime of islands framework to draw the baselines.216 square nautical miles. by optimizing the location of basepoints.435 . A comparison of the configuration of the baselines drawn 28 under RA 3046 and RA 9522 and the extent of maritime space encompassed by each law.000 square nautical miles of territorial waters. increased the Philippines‟ total maritime space (covering its internal waters. coupled with a reading of the text of RA 9522 and its congressional deliberations. assuming that baselines are relevant for this purpose. This undeniable cartographic fact takes the wind out of petitioners‟ argument branding RA 9522 as a statutory renunciation of the Philippines‟ claim over the KIG. the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal lie outside of the baselines drawn around the Philippine archipelago. as under RA 9522.858 Extent of maritime area using RA 9522. RA 9522. taking into account UNCLOS III (in square nautical miles) 29 171.

” So sa loob ng . Article 47 (3) of UNCLOS III requires that “[t]he drawing of such baselines shall not depart to any appreciable extent from the general configuration of the archipelago. the reach of the exclusive economic zone drawn under RA 9522 even extends way beyond the waters covered by the rectangular demarcation under the Treaty of Paris. 30 Further. such that any straight baseline loped around them from the nearest 33 basepoint will inevitably “depart to an appreciable extent from the general configuration of the archipelago.” save for three per cent (3%) of the total number of baselines which can reach up to 125 nautical miles. 2. Section 2 of the law commits to text the Philippines‟ continued claim of sovereignty and jurisdiction over the KIG and the Scarborough S hoal: SEC. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. there will have to be a delineation of maritime boundaries in accordance with UNCLOS III. also known as Scarborough Shoal. 1596 and b) Bajo de Masinloc. took pains to emphasize the foregoing during the Senate deliberations: What we call the Kalayaan Island Group or what the rest of the world call[] the Spratlys and the Scarborough Shoal are outside our archipelagic baseline because if we put them inside our baselines we might be accused of violating the provision of international law which states: “The drawing of such baseline shall not depart to any appreciable extent from the general configuration of the archipelago.210 Thus.994 382. 32 31 Although the Philippines has consistently claimed sovereignty over the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal for several decades. (Emphasis supplied) Had Congress in RA 9522 enclosed the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal as part of the Philippine archipelago.” Second. The Philippines would have committed a breach of two provisions of UNCLOS III. Of course. adverse legal effects would have ensued.106 Exclusive Economic Zone TOTAL 440. Article 47 (2) of UNCLOS III requires that “the length of the baselines shall not exceed 100 nautical miles. where there are overlapping exclusive economic zones of opposite or adjacent States. First. these outlying areas are located at an appreciable distance from the nearest shoreline of the Philippine archipelago. petitioners‟ argument that the KIG now lies out side Philippine territory because the baselines that RA 9522 draws do not enclose the KIG is negated by RA 9522 itself.” The principal sponsor of RA 9522 in the Senate. as the map below shows.136 32. 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.Territorial Sea 274.669 586.

to optimize the location of basepoints using current maps. Accordingly. Section 2 of RA 5446. and in addition. This exceeds the maximum length allowed under Article 47(2) of the [UNCLOS III].” whose islands generate their own applicable maritime zones. qualifies under the category of “regime of islands. which RA 9522 did not repeal. Under Article 121 of UNCLOS III. as amended by R. became imperative as discussed by respondents: [T]he amendment of the baselines law was necessary to enable the Philippines to draw the outer limits of its maritime zones including the extended continental shelf in the manner provided by Article 47 of [UNCLOS III]. the baselines suffer from some technical deficiencies.” 2. to wit: 1. 35 Hence. up to a maximum length of 125 nautical miles. far from surrendering the Philippines‟ claim over the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal. which states that “The length of such baselines shall not exceed 100 nautical miles. 3046. hindi na sila magkalapit at baka hindi na tatanggapin ng United Nations because of the rule that it should follow the natural configuration of the archipelago . particularly along the west coasts of Luzon down to Palawan were later found to be located either inland or on water.195 nautical miles of water. 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” of UNCLOS III manifests the Philippine State‟s 36 responsible observance of its pacta sunt servanda obligation under UNCLOS III. Ngayon. which is above water at high tide. We see that our archipelago is defined by the orange line which [we] call[] archipelagic baseline.ating baseline. keeps open the door for drawing the baselines of Sabah: . Malayo na sila sa ating archipelago kaya kung ilihis pa natin ang dating archipelagic baselines para lamang masama itong dalawang circles. The selection of basepoints is not optimal.” such as portions of the KIG. that is Scarborough Shoal. (Emphasis supplied) 34 Similarly. and not established by geodetic survey methods. As defined by R. The need to shorten this baseline. 3. This is called contested islands outside our configuration. 37 Statutory Claim Over Sabah under RA 5446 Retained Petitioners‟ argument for the invalidity of RA 9522 for its failure to textualize the Philippines‟ claim over Sabah in North Borneo is also untenable. This will enclose an additional 2. the length of one baseline that RA 3046 drew exceeded UNCLOS III‟s limits. some of the points.A. any “naturally formed area of land. At least 9 basepoints can be skipped or deleted from the baselines system. the basepoints were drawn from maps existing in 1968. itong malaking circle sa ibaba. 5446. Finally. not on low-water line and drying reefs as prescribed by Article 47. dapat magkalapit ang mga islands. hindi natin masasabing malapit sila sa atin although we are still allowed by international law to claim them as our own.06 nautical miles x x x. surrounded by water. The length of the baseline across Moro Gulf (from Middle of 3 Rock Awash to Tongquil Point) is 140. that is Kalayaan Group or the Spratlys. except that up to 3 per cent of the total number of baselines enclosing any archipelago may exceed that length. tingnan ninyo ang maliit na circle doon sa itaas. Dahil malayo ang Scarborough Shoal.A.

The definition of the baselines of the territorial sea of the Philippine Archipelago as provided in this Act is without prejudice to the delineation of the baselines of the territorial sea around the territory of Sabah. 38 Whether referred to as Philippine “internal waters” under Article I of the Constitutio n or as “archipelagic 39 waters” under UNCLOS III (Article 49 [1]). regardless of their depth or distance from the coast. situated in North Borneo. xxxx 4. including the air space over it and the submarine areas underneath. of the air space over archipelagic waters and of their bed and subsoil. the political branches of the Philippine government. does not preclude the operation of municipal and international law norms subjecting the territorial sea or archipelagic waters to necessary. burdens in the interest of maintaining unimpeded. expeditious international navigation. petitioners contend that the law unconstitutionally “converts” internal waters into archipelagic waters. in the competent discharge of their constitutional powers. bed and subsoil. described as archipelagic waters. Thus. (Emphasis supplied) UNCLOS III and RA 9522 not Incompatible with the Constitution’s Delineation of Internal Waters As their final argument against the validity of RA 9522. The sovereignty of an archipelagic State extends to the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines drawn in accordance with article 47. may pass legislation designating routes within the archipelagic waters to regulate innocent and sea lanes passage. The regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage established in this Part shall not in other respects affect the status of the archipelagic waters. – 1. however. the Philippines exercises sovereignty over the body of water lying landward of the baselines. over which the Republic of the Philippines has acquired dominion and sovereignty. if not marginal. and the resources contained therein. (Emphasis supplied) The fact of sovereignty. UNCLOS III affirms this: Article 49. 41 . This sovereignty extends to the air space over the archipelagic waters. 2. in violation of the Constitution. domestically. Indeed. including overflight. consistent with the international law principle of freedom of navigation. or the exercise by the archipelagic State of its sovereignty over such waters and their air space. bills drawing nautical highways for 40 sea lanes passage are now pending in Congress. Petitioners extrapolate that these passage rights indubitably expose Philippine internal waters to nuclear and maritime pollution hazards. hence subjecting these waters to the right of innocent and sea lanes passage under UNCLOS III.Section 2. including the sea lanes. and the resources contained therein. as well as to their bed and subsoil. Legal status of archipelagic waters.

operate to grant innocent passage rights over the territorial sea or archipelagic waters. Although Oposa v. “do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights x x x. reserving solely to the Philippines the exploitation of all living and non-living resources within such zone. relating to the protection of marine wealth (Article XII.In the absence of municipal legislation. to the right of innocent passage and the right of transit passage through international straits. which. international law norms. Separate islands generate their own maritime zones. as well as in interpreting executory provisions of the Constitution. are not violated by RA 9522. paragraph 2 ) and subsistence 51 fishermen (Article XIII. the international community will of course reject it and will refuse to be bound by it. thus automatically incorporated in the corpus of Philippine law. in exchange for their right to claim all the waters landward of their baselines. absent enabling legislation. the recognition of archipelagic States‟ archipelago and the waters enclosed by their baselines as one cohesive entity prevents the treatment of their islands as separate islands under UNCLOS III. The fact that for archipelagic States. Such a maritime delineation binds the international community since the delineation is in strict observance of UNCLOS III. UNCLOS III creates a sui generis maritime space – the exclusive economic zone – in waters previously part of the high seas. The imposition of these passage rights through archipelagic waters under UNCLOS III was a concession by archipelagic States. placing the waters 46 between islands separated by more than 24 nautical miles beyond the States‟ territorial sovereignty. in their territorial sea. the right of innocent passage is a customary 42 international law. as archipelagic waters subject to their territorial sovereignty. the demarcation of the baselines enables the Philippines to delimit its exclusive economic zone. subjecting these waters to the rights of other States under UNCLOS III.” Article II provisions serve as guides in formulating and interpreting implementing 49 legislation. Factoran 50 treated the right to a healthful and balanced ecology under Section 16 of Article II as an exception. Section 2. If the maritime delineation is contrary to UNCLOS III. No modern State can 43 44 validly invoke its sovereignty to absolutely forbid innocent passage that is exercised in accordance with customary international law without risking retaliatory measures from the international community. The other provisions petitioners cite. subject to the treaty‟s limitations and conditions for their exercise. now codified in UNCLOS III. Section 7 ). UNCLOS III favors States with a long coastline like the Philippines. UNCLOS III grants new rights to coastal States to exclusively exploit the resources found within this zone up to 200 . regardless of their depth or distance from the coast. 47 Petitioners‟ invocation of non-executory constitutional provisions in Article II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies) must also fail. 52 In fact. More importantly. their archipelagic waters are subject to both the right of innocent passage and sea lanes passage does not place them in lesser footing vis-à-vis continental coastal States 45 which are subject. the present petition lacks factual basis to substantiate the claimed constitutional violation. Our present state of jurisprudence considers the provisions in Article II as 48 mere legislative guides. Significantly.

it weakens the country‟s case in any international dispute over Philippine maritime space. marine scientific research. SO ORDERED. an archipelagic State like the Philippines will find itself devoid of internationally acceptable baselines from where the breadth of its maritime zones and continental shelf is measured. allows an internationally-recognized delimitation of the breadth of the Philippines‟ maritime zones and continental shelf. it sends an open invitation to the seafaring powers to freely enter and exploit the resources in the waters and submarine areas around our archipelago. transfer of technology and the settlement of disputes relating to ocean matters. We have looked at the relevant provision of UNCLOS III and we find petitioners‟ reading 54 55 plausible. It enshrines the notion that all problems of ocean space are closely interrelated and need to be addressed as a whole. Congress was not bound to pass RA 9522. UNCLOS III. consistent with the Constitution and our national interest. not to this Court. it is the globally recognized regime dealing with all matters relating to the law of the sea. based on the permissive text of UNCLOS III. environmental control. These are consequences Congress wisely avoided. The Convention was opened for signature on 10 December 1982 in Montego Bay. The Convention entered into force in accordance with its article 308 on 16 November 1994. This marked the culmination of more than 14 years of work involving participation by more than 150 countries representing all regions of the world. and second. preserves the traditional freedom of navigation of other States that 53 attached to this zone beyond the territorial sea before UNCLOS III. as embodied in RA 9522. such as delimitation. Moreover. Absent an UNCLOS III compliant baselines law. The Convention also provided the framework for further development of specific areas of the law of the sea. all legal and political systems and the spectrum of socio/economic development. however. 12 months after the date of deposit of the sixtieth instrument of ratification or accession. the Convention embodied in one instrument traditional rules for the uses of the oceans and at the same time introduced new legal concepts and regimes and addressed new concerns. RA 9522 is therefore a most vital step on the part of the Philippines in safeguarding its maritime zones. the luxury of choosing this option comes at a very steep price. This is recipe for a two-fronted disaster: first.nautical miles. we DISMISS the petition. The Convention (full text) comprises 320 articles and nine annexes. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea lays down a comprehensive regime of law and order in the world's oceans and seas establishing rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources. Jamaica. Nevertheless. RA 9522 and the Philippines’ Maritime Zones Petitioners hold the view that. the prerogative of choosing this option belongs to Congress. governing all aspects of ocean space. The enactment of UNCLOS III compliant baselines law for the Philippine archipelago and adjacent areas. economic and commercial activities. . WHEREFORE. Today. At the time of its adoption.

to the International Court of Justice. as well as freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines. but in most cases they are obliged to grant consent to other States when the research is to be conducted for peaceful purposes and fulfils specified criteria. * Coastal States have sovereign rights in a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) with respect to natural resources and certain economic activities. they are obliged to adopt. * States Parties are obliged to settle by peaceful means their disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention. the shelf can extend at least 200 nautical miles from the shore. with proper regard for all legitimate interests. scientific research and fishing on the high seas. overflight. * All marine scientific research in the EEZ and on the continental shelf is subject to the consent of the coastal State. . * States are bound to prevent and control marine pollution and are liable for damage caused by violation of their international obligations to combat such pollution. * The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf shall make recommendations to States on the shelf's outer boundaries when it extends beyond 200 miles. * States are bound to promote the development and transfer of marine technology "on fair and reasonable terms and conditions". Conciliation is also available and.Some of the key features of the Convention are the following: * Coastal States exercise sovereignty over their territorial sea which they have the right to establish its breadth up to a limit not to exceed 12 nautical miles. * All States enjoy the traditional freedoms of navigation. have sovereignty over a sea area enclosed by straight lines drawn between the outermost points of the islands. the waters between the islands are declared archipelagic waters where States may establish sea lanes and air routes in which all other States enjoy the right of archipelagic passage through such designated sea lanes. or to arbitration. * Coastal States have sovereign rights over the continental shelf (the national area of the seabed) for exploring and exploiting it. measures to manage and conserve living resources. environmental and research policies and activities. * Disputes can be submitted to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea established under the Convention. but rocks which could not sustain human habitation or economic life of their own would have no economic zone or continental shelf. foreign vessels are allowed "innocent passage" through those waters. * The limits of the territorial sea. and exercise jurisdiction over marine science research and environmental protection. * Coastal States share with the international community part of the revenue derived from exploiting resources from any part of their shelf beyond 200 miles. and more under specified circumstances. * Ships and aircraft of all countries are allowed "transit passage" through straits used for international navigation. * Archipelagic States. the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of islands are determined in accordance with rules applicable to land territory. made up of a group or groups of closely related islands and interconnecting waters. The Tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction over deep seabed mining disputes. * States bordering enclosed or semi-enclosed seas are expected to cooperate in managing living resources. States bordering the straits can regulate navigational and other aspects of passage. highly migratory species of fish and marine mammals are accorded special protection. * Land-locked and geographically disadvantaged States have the right to participate on an equitable basis in exploitation of an appropriate part of the surplus of the living resources of the EEZ's of coastal States of the same region or sub-region. in certain circumstances. * All other States have freedom of navigation and overflight in the EEZ. or cooperate with other States in adopting. submission to it would be compulsory. * Land-locked States have the right of access to and from the sea and enjoy freedom of transit through the territory of transit States.