G.R. No.

160453

November 12, 2012

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, vs. ARCADIO IVAN A. SANTOS III, and ARCADIO C. SANTOS, JR., Respondents. DECISION BERSAMIN, J.: By law, accretion - the gradual and imperceptible deposit made through the effects of the current of the water- belongs to the owner of the land adjacent to the banks of rivers where it forms. The drying up of the river is not accretion. Hence, the dried-up river bed belongs to the State as property of public dominion, not to the riparian owner, unless a law vests the ownership in some other person. Antecedents Alleging continuous and adverse possession of more than ten years, respondent Arcadio Ivan A. Santos III (Arcadio Ivan) applied on March 7, 1997 for the registration of Lot 4998-B (the property) in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Parafiaque City. The property, which had an area of 1,045 square meters, more or less, was located in Barangay San Dionisio, Parañaque City, and was bounded in the Northeast by Lot 4079 belonging to respondent Arcadio C. Santos, Jr. (Arcadio, Jr.), in the Southeast by the Parañaque River, in the Southwest by an abandoned road, and in the Northwest by Lot 4998A also owned by Arcadio Ivan.1 On May 21, 1998, Arcadio Ivan amended his application for land registration to include Arcadio, Jr. as his co-applicant because of the latter’s co-ownership of the property. He alleged that the property had been formed through accretion and had been in their joint open, notorious, public, continuous and adverse possession for more than 30 years.2 The City of Parañaque (the City) opposed the application for land registration, stating that it needed the property for its flood control program; that the property was within the legal easement of 20 meters from the river bank; and that assuming that the property was not covered by the legal easement, title to the property could not be

registered in favor of the applicants for the reason that the property was an orchard that had dried up and had not resulted from accretion.3 Ruling of the RTC On May 10, 2000,4 the RTC granted the application for land registration, disposing: WHEREFORE, the Court hereby declares the applicants, ARCADIO IVAN A. SANTOS, III and ARCADIO C. SANTOS, JR., both Filipinos and of legal age, as the TRUE and ABSOLUTE OWNERS of the land being applied for which is situated in the Barangay of San Dionisio, City of Parañaque with an area of one thousand forty five (1045) square meters more or less and covered by Subdivision Plan Csd-00000343, being a portion of Lot 4998, Cad. 299, Case 4, Parañaque Cadastre, LRC Rec. No. and orders the registration of Lot 4998-B in their names with the following technical description, to wit: xxxx Once this Decision became (sic) final and executory, let the corresponding Order for the Issuance of the Decree be issued. SO ORDERED. The Republic, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), appealed. Ruling of the CA In its appeal, the Republic ascribed the following errors to the RTC,5 to wit: I THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT THE PROPERTY SOUGHT TO BE REGISTERED IS AN ACCRETION TO THE ADJOINING PROPERTY OWNED BY APPELLEES DESPITE THE ADMISSION OF APPELLEE ARCADIO C. SANTOS JR. THAT THE SAID PROPERTY WAS NOT FORMED AS A RESULT OF THE

GRADUAL FILLING UP OF SOIL THROUGH THE CURRENT OF THE RIVER. II THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GRANTING THE APPLICATION FOR LAND REGISTRATION DESPITE APPELLEE’S FAILURE TO FORMALLY OFFER IN EVIDENCE AN OFFICIAL CERTIFICATION THAT THE SUBJECT PARCEL OF LAND IS ALIENABLE AND DISPOSABLE. III THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT APPELLEES HAD SUFFICIENTLY ESTABLISHED THEIR CONTINUOUS, OPEN, PUBLIC AND ADVERSE OCCUPATION OF THE SUBJECT PROPERTY FOR A PERIOD OF MORE THAN THIRTY (30) YEARS. On May 27, 2003, the CA affirmed the RTC.6 The Republic filed a motion for reconsideration, but the CA denied the motion on October 20, 2003.7 Issues Hence, this appeal, in which the Republic urges that:8 I RESPONDENTS’ CLAIM THAT THE SUBJECT PROPERTY IS AN ACCRETION TO THEIR ADJOINING LAND THAT WOULD ENTITLE THEM TO REGISTER IT UNDER ARTICLE 457 OF THE NEW CIVIL CODE IS CONTRADICTED BY THEIR OWN EVIDENCE. II ASSUMING THAT THE LAND SOUGHT TO BE REGISTERED WAS "PREVIOUSLY A PART OF THE PARAÑAQUE RIVER WHICH BECAME AN ORCHARD AFTER IT DRIED UP," THE REGISTRATION OF SAID PROPERTY IN FAVOR OF RESPONDENTS CANNOT BE ALTERNATIVELY JUSTIFIED

UNDER ARTICLE 461 OF THE CIVIL CODE. III THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN NOT RULING THAT THE FAILURE OF RESPONDENTS TO FORMALLY OFFER IN EVIDENCE AN OFFICIAL CERTIFICATION THAT THE SUBJECT PROPERTY IS ALIENABLE AND DISPOSABLE IS FATAL TO THEIR APPLICATION FOR LAND REGISTRATION. IV THE FINDING OF THE COURT OF APPEALS THAT RESPONDENTS HAVE CONTINUOUSLY, OPENLY, PUBLICLY AND ADVERSELY OCCUPIED THE SUBJECT PROPERTY FOR MORE THAN THIRTY (30) YEARS IS NOT SUPPORTED BY WELLNIGH INCONTROVERTIBLE EVIDENCE. To be resolved are whether or not Article 457 of the Civil Code was applicable herein; and whether or not respondents could claim the property by virtue of acquisitive prescription pursuant to Section 14(1) of Presidential Decree No. 1529 (Property Registration Decree). Ruling The appeal is meritorious. I. The CA grossly erred in applying Article 457 of the Civil Code to respondents’ benefit Article 457 of the Civil Code provides that "(t)o the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects of the currents of the waters." In ruling for respondents, the RTC pronounced as follows: On the basis of the evidence presented by the applicants, the Court finds that Arcadio Ivan A. Santos III and Arcadio C. Santos, Jr., are

the owners of the land subject of this application which was previously a part of the Parañaque River which became an orchard after it dried up and further considering that Lot 4 which adjoins the same property is owned by applicant, Arcadio C. Santos, Jr., after it was obtained by him through inheritance from his mother, Concepcion Cruz, now deceased. Conformably with Art. 457 of the New Civil Code, it is provided that: "Article 457. To the owners of the lands adjoining the bank of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects of the current of the waters."9 The CA upheld the RTC’s pronouncement, holding: It could not be denied that "to the owners of the lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects of the current of the waters" (Article 457 New Civil Code) as in this case, Arcadio Ivan Santos III and Arcadio Santos, Jr., are the owners of the land which was previously part of the Parañaque River which became an orchard after it dried up and considering that Lot 4 which adjoins the same property is owned by the applicant which was obtained by the latter from his mother (Decision, p. 3; p. 38 Rollo).10 The Republic submits, however, that the application by both lower courts of Article 457 of the Civil Code was erroneous in the face of the fact that respondents’ evidence did not establish accretion, but instead the drying up of the Parañaque River. The Republic’s submission is correct. Respondents as the applicants for land registration carried the burden of proof to establish the merits of their application by a preponderance of evidence, by which is meant such evidence that is of greater weight, or more convincing than that offered in opposition to it.11 They would be held entitled to claim the property as their own and apply for its registration under the Torrens system only if they established that, indeed, the property was an accretion to their land. Accretion is the process whereby the soil is deposited along the banks of rivers.12 The deposit of soil, to be considered accretion, must

the unavoidable conclusion should then be that soil and sediments had meanwhile been deposited near Lot 4 by the current of the Parañaque River. and that Lot 4998-B came about only thereafter as the land formed between Lot 4 and the Parañaque River. Instead. There are several other causes. respondents argue that considering that Lot 4998-B did not yet exist when the original title of Lot 4 was issued in their mother’s name in 1920. They did not show that the gradual and imperceptible deposition of soil through the effects of the current of the river had formed Lot 4998-B. The drying up of the river bed was. and (c) taking place on land adjacent to the banks of rivers. the uniform conclusion of both lower courts herein.13 Accordingly. when Lot 4 was registered in the name of their deceased parent (at which time Lot 4998-B was not yet in existence) and the early 1950s (which respondents’ witness Rufino . it seems to be highly improbable that the large volume of soil that ultimately comprised the dry land with an area of 1. their evidence revealed that the property was the dried-up river bed of the Parañaque River. respondents did not discharge their burden of proof. However.045 square meters had been deposited in a gradual and imperceptible manner by the current of the river in the span of about 20 to 30 years – the span of time intervening between 1920. in fact. The argument is legally and factually groundless. Also. leading both the RTC and the CA to themselves hold that Lot 4998-B was "the land which was previously part of the Parañaque River xxx (and) became an orchard after it dried up. (b) made through the effects of the current of the water. resulting in the formation of Lot 4998-B." Still.be: (a) gradual and imperceptible. respondents should establish the concurrence of the elements of accretion to warrant the grant of their application for land registration. For one. respondents thereby ignore that the effects of the current of the river are not the only cause of the formation of land along a river bank. respondents did not establish at all that the increment of land had formed from the gradual and imperceptible deposit of soil by the effects of the current. In other words. including the drying up of the river bed.

we should apply the provision as its clear and categorical language tells us to. was bounded "on the SW along line 5-1 by Dried River Bed. there is no room for interpretation."14 That boundary line of "SW along line 5-1" corresponded with the location of Lot 4998-B. In accretion.17 The State exclusively owned Lot 4998-B and may not be divested of its right of ownership.’s own testimony to the effect that the property was previously a part of the Parañaque River that had dried up and become an orchard. The process of drying up of a river to form dry land involved the recession of the water level from the river banks. the water level did not recede and was more or less maintained. Axiomatic it is. 299. (Now Lot 4. which was described as "bounded by Lot 4079 Cad."15 The RTC and the CA grossly erred in treating the dried-up river bed as an accretion that became respondents’ property pursuant to Article 457 of the Civil Code. indeed. which was the gradual and imperceptible deposition of soil on the river banks through the effects of the current. 44687 confirmed the uniform conclusion of the RTC and the CA that Lot 4998-B had been formed by the drying up of the Parañaque River. That land was definitely not an accretion. Psd-13-002563) in the Northeast. 44687 recited that Lot 4 of the consolidated subdivision plan Pcs-13-002563. Jr. Confirming this explanation was Arcadio. (Lot 1.18 It . Jr. The only plausible explanation for the substantial increment was that Lot 4988-B was the dried-up bed of the Parañaque River. Considering that the clear and categorical language of Article 457 of the Civil Code has confined the provision only to accretion. We observe in this connection that even Arcadio. the lot therein described. there is only room for application. in the name of respondent Arcadio Santos.’s own Transfer Certificate of Title No. Transfer Certificate of Title No.Allanigue alleged to be the time when he knew them to have occupied Lot 4988-B). Hence. and the dried-up land did not equate to accretion.16 The first and fundamental duty of courts is then to apply the law. Psu-10676). Article 502 of the Civil Code expressly declares that rivers and their natural beds are public dominion of the State. respondents as the riparian owners had no legal right to claim ownership of Lot 4998-B. that where the language of the law is clear and categorical. Jr.

the Court finds and so holds that the applicants have satisfied all the requirements of law which are essential to a government grant and is. thus. publicly and adversely for more than 30 years based on their predecessor-in-interest being the adjoining owner of the parcel of land along the river bank. Cainglet. continue to belong to the State as its property of public dominion. So also. unless there is an express law that provides that the dried-up river beds should belong to some other person. Finally. therefore.19 II Acquisitive prescription was not applicable in favor of respondents The RTC favored respondents’ application for land registration covering Lot 4998-B also because they had taken possession of the property continuously.follows that the river beds that dry up. "L") which was duly approved by the Land Management Services and the fact that Engr. the fact that applicants paid its realty taxes. Chito B. the Court opts to grant the application. entitled to the issuance of a certificate of title in their favor. Furthermore. publicly and adversely for more than thirty (30) years because their predecessors-in-interest are the adjoining owners of the subject parcel of land along the river bank. the Court found that from the time the applicants became the owners thereof. Surveys Division Land Registration Authority. in the light of the evidence adduced by the applicants in this case and in view of the foregoing reports of the Department of Agrarian Reforms. oppositor failed to prove that the applicants are not entitled thereto. openly. not having . OIC–Chief. they took possession of the same property continuously. made a Report that the subject property is not a portion of the Parañaque River and that it does not fall nor overlap with Lot 5000. viz:20 In this regard. openly. Land Registration Authority and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. like Lot 4998-B. had it surveyed per subdivision plan Csd-00-000343 (Exh. It rendered the following ratiocination.

Both lower courts erred. namely: (a) that the land forms part of the disposable and alienable agricultural lands of the public domain. are accorded the highest degree of respect. the CA affirmed the RTC."22 Although it is well settled that the findings of fact of the trial court. applicants for confirmation of imperfect title must prove the following. 1945. and generally will not be disturbed on appeal. with such findings being binding and conclusive on the Court. In fine. 1529 (Property Registration Decree). continuous. — The following persons may file in the proper [Regional Trial Court] an application for registration of title to land. or earlier. and notorious possession and occupation of the land under a bona fide claim of ownership either since time immemorial or since June 12. continuous. openly. publicly and adversely for more than thirty (30) years.presented any witness. The relevant legal provision is Section 14(1) of Presidential Decree No. xxxx Under Section 14(1). the application is GRANTED.21 The Republic assails the findings by the lower courts that respondents "took possession of the same property continuously.23 the Court has consistently recognized exceptions to this rule. and (b) that they have been in open. then. exclusive. whether personally or through their duly authorized representatives: (1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-ininterest have been in open. which pertinently states: Section 14. especially when affirmed by the CA. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12. Who may apply. 1945. As already mentioned. including the .

(h) when the findings are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based. they took possession of the same property continuously. the fact that the applicant paid its realty taxes. had it surveyed per subdivision plan Csd-00-000343 (Exh. the Court opts to grant the application. (c) when there is grave abuse of discretion. thus. Chito B. absurd. the Court found that from the time the applicant became the owners thereof. or conjectures. (g) when the findings are contrary to those of the trial court. "L") which was duly approved by the Land Management Services and the fact that Engr. or its findings are contrary to the admissions of both the appellant and the appellee. or conjectures. open. and (j) when the findings of fact are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record. Cainglet. surmises. public and adverse possession of the land for more than 30 years. and that the inference made by the RTC and the CA was manifestly mistaken. or impossible. openly.24 Here. (b) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken. Furthermore. (e) when the findings of fact are conflicting. or impossible.following. (f) when in making its findings the CA went beyond the issues of the case. the findings of the RTC were obviously grounded on speculation. (d) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts. publicly and adversely for more than thirty years because their predecessor in interest are the adjoining owners of the subject parcel of land along the river banks. In finding that respondents had been in continuous. to wit: (a) when the findings are grounded entirely on speculation. The RTC apparently reckoned respondents’ period of supposed possession to be "more than thirty years" from the fact that "their predecessors in interest are the adjoining owners of the subject . Surveys Division Land Registration Authority. the Court should now review the findings. made a Report that the subject property is not a portion of the Parañaque River and that it does not fall nor overlap with Lot 5000. surmises. (i) when the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioner’s main and reply briefs are not disputed by respondent. the RTC declared: In this regard. Hence. OIC – Chief. absurd.

Absent that declaration. the payment of realty taxes did not conclusively prove the payor’s ownership of the land the taxes were paid for. that respondents possessed Lot 4998-B for more than thirty years in the character they claimed. 1997. Yet. The principle that the riparian owner whose land receives the gradual deposits of soil does not need to make an express act of possession. its decision nowhere indicated what acts respondents had performed showing their possession of the property "continuously. secondly. was not enough to justify the foregoing findings. On the other hand. The admission of respondents themselves that they declared the property for taxation purposes only in 1997 and paid realty taxes only from 199928 signified that their alleged possession would at most be for only nine years as of the filing of their application for land registration on March 7." Yet. public and adverse possession. they did not thereby acquire the land by prescription or by other means without any competent proof that the land was already declared as alienable and disposable by the Government. That. . Hence.25 the tax declarations and payments being mere indicia of a claim of ownership. openly.26 and. open. open. for the sake of argument. This is simply because Lot 4998-B was not formed through accretion. publicly and adversely" in that length of time.parcel of land. the ownership of the land adjacent to the river bank by respondents’ predecessor-in-interest did not translate to possession of Lot 4998-B that would ripen to acquisitive prescription in relation to Lot 4998-B. firstly. the claim of thirty years of continuous. even conceding. public and adverse possession of Lot 4998-B was not even validated or preponderantly established. to us. because. The decision mentioned only that they had paid realty taxes and had caused the survey of the property to be made. the land still belonged to the State as part of its public dominion. the causing of surveys of the property involved was not itself an of continuous. and that no acts of possession are necessary in that instance because it is the law itself that pronounces the alluvium to belong to the riparian owner from the time that the deposit created by the current of the water becomes manifest27 has no applicability herein.

namely: (a) those intended for public use. It is only after the Government has declared the land to be alienable and disposable agricultural land that the year of entry. shores. banks. roadsteads. including its natural bed. such as roads. the adverse possession which may be the basis of a grant of title in the confirmation of an imperfect title refers only to alienable or disposable portions of the public domain. the Salunayan Creek. Marcelina Basadre. And. and others of similar character. is a recess or arm extending from a river and participating in the ebb and flow of the sea. rivers. There the Court held: As for petitioner’s claim of ownership over the subject land. Whether the dried-up river bed may be susceptible to acquisitive prescription or not was a question that the Court resolved in favor of the State in Celestial v. under Articles 420(1) and 502(1) of the Civil Code. based on (1) her alleged long term adverse possession and that of her predecessor-ininterest.Article 419 of the Civil Code distinguishes property as being either of public dominion or of private ownership. the same must fail. cultivation and exclusive and adverse possession can be counted for purposes of an imperfect title. and (2) the right of accession under Art. 370 of the Spanish Civil Code of 1889 and/or Article 461 of the Civil Code. ports and bridges constructed by the State. torrents. Article 420 of the Civil Code lists the properties considered as part of public dominion. Since property of public dominion is outside the commerce of man and not susceptible to private appropriation and acquisitive prescription. admittedly a dried-up bed of the Salunayan Creek. even prior to October 22. that a .29 a case involving the registration of land found to be part of a dried-up portion of the natural bed of a creek. when she purchased the adjoining property from the latter. 1966. A creek. canals. is property of the public domain which is not susceptible to private appropriation and acquisitive prescription. absent any declaration by the government. Article 502 of the Civil Code declares that rivers and their natural beds are of public dominion. without being for public use. like the Salunayan Creek. and (b) those which belong to the State. As earlier mentioned. As such. and are intended for some public service or for the development of the national wealth. Cachopero.

Article 370 applies only if there is a natural change in the course of the waters. . xxx (Emphasis supplied) Furthermore." and the owners of the adjoining lots have the right to acquire them only after paying their value. not where the river simply dries up. by itself. it follows that Article 370 does not apply to the case at bar and. as found by both the Bureau of Lands and the DENR Regional Executive Director. Court of Appeals. xxxx Had the disputed portion of the Salunayan Creek dried up after the present Civil Code took effect. in Ronquillo v. both provisions pertain to situations where there has been a change in the course of a river. "river beds which are abandoned through the natural change in the course of the waters ipso facto belong to the owners of the land occupied by the new course. And both Article 370 of the Old Code and Article 461 of the present Civil Code are applicable only when "river beds are abandoned through the natural change in the course of the waters." It is uncontroverted.portion of the creek has dried-up does not. The dried-up portion of Estero Calubcub should thus be considered as forming part of the land of the public domain which cannot be subject to acquisition by private ownership. In the instant Petition. In such a situation. Considering our earlier finding that the dried-up portion of Estero Calubcub was actually caused by the active intervention of man. It leaves no room for interpretation. the subject land would clearly not belong to petitioner or her predecessor-in-interest since under the aforementioned provision of Article 461. alter its inalienable character. this Court held: The law is clear and unambiguous. the subject land became dry as a result of the construction an irrigation canal by the National Irrigation Administration. hence. however. it is not even alleged that the Salunayan Creek changed its course. Thus. that. the Del Rosarios cannot be entitled thereto supposedly as riparian owners. The rules on alluvion do not apply to manmade or artificial accretions nor to accretions to lands that adjoin canals or esteros or artificial drainage systems.

MONS 15 X 60CM All corners marked PS are cyl. from the Government. and which gives to the owners of the adjoining lots the right to acquire only the abandoned river beds not ipso facto belonging to the owners of the land affected by the natural change of course of the waters only after paying their value). 2. Nonetheless. (Bold emphases supplied) Indeed. respondents insist that the property was already classified as alienable and disposable by the Government. all lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State.30 No public land can be acquired by private persons without any grant. that there is a showing of a title from the State. It is indispensable. cannot ripen into ownership and be registered as a title.32 Subject to the exceptions defined in Article 461 of the Civil Code (which declares river beds that are abandoned through the natural change in the course of the waters as ipso facto belonging to the owners of the land occupied by the new course. Considering that Lot 4998-B was not shown to be already declared to be alienable and disposable.31 Occupation of public land in the concept of owner. . 1996. 007604-48 of the Regional Executive Director issued by the CENR-OFFICER dated Dec.commentators are of the opinion that the dry river bed remains property of public dominion. no matter how long. respondents could not be deemed to have acquired the property through prescription. therefore. CONC. under the Regalian doctrine. conc. They cite as proof of the classification as alienable and disposable the following notation found on the survey plan. express or implied. all river beds remain property of public dominion and cannot be acquired by acquisitive prescription unless previously declared by the Government to be alienable and disposable. to wit:33 NOTE ALL CORNERS NOT OTHERWISE DESCRIBED ARE OLD BL CYL. mons 15 x 60 cm Surveyed in accordance with Survey Authority NO.

To prove that the land subject of an application for registration is alienable. 2623. and a legislative act or a statute. As to the proofs that are admissible to establish the alienability and disposability of public land. investigation reports of the Bureau of Lands investigator. Until then. The applicant may also secure a certification from the government that the land claimed to have been possessed for the required number of years is alienable and disposable. or a legislative act or statute. executive order. Yap34 that: The burden of proof in overcoming the presumption of State ownership of the lands of the public domain is on the person applying for registration (or claiming ownership). administrative action. who must prove that the land subject of the application is alienable or disposable. the applicant must establish the existence of a positive act of the government such as a presidential proclamation or an executive order. Was the notation on the survey plan to the effect that Lot 4998-B was "inside" the map "classified as alienable/disposable by the Bureau of Forest Development on 03 Jan. we said in Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources v. an applicant must conclusively establish the existence of a positive act of the Government. 1968" sufficient proof of the property’s nature as alienable and disposable public land? To prove that the land subject of an application for registration is alienable.There must still be a positive act declaring land of the public domain as alienable and disposable.This survey is inside L. To overcome this presumption. such as a presidential proclamation. Proj. No. In the case at bar. . incontrovertible evidence must be established that the land subject of the application (or claim) is alienable or disposable. no such proclamation. Lot 4998-A = Lot 5883} Cad 299 Lot 4998-B = Lot 5884} Paranaque Cadastre. Map No. 3. 1968. an administrative action. 25 classified as alienable/disposable by the Bureau of Forest Dev’t. investigation reports of Bureau of Lands investigators. executive order.C. the rules on confirmation of imperfect title do not apply. on Jan.

35 which we reiterated in Republic v. Swo-13-000227). Map No. and other natural resources are owned by the State. statute. 1968. the Court cannot accept the submission that lands occupied by private claimants were already open to disposition before 2006. the portions of Boracay occupied by private claimants were subject of a government proclamation that the land is alienable and disposable. no matter how long. certified by the Bureau of Forestry on January 3. Sarmiento. Matters of land classification or reclassification cannot be assumed. the land sought to be registered remains inalienable. fisheries. Project No. 2623. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution." (Emphasis supplied) In Menguito v.36 we specifically resolved the issue of whether the notation on the survey plan was sufficient evidence to establish the alienability and disposability of public land. petitioners relied on the printed words which read: "This survey plan is inside Alienable and Disposable Land Area. flora and fauna. x x x. Section 2. Absent such evidence. Unless public land is shown to have been reclassified or alienated to a private person by the State.C. Republic. to wit: To prove that the land in question formed part of the alienable and disposable lands of the public domain. all forces of potential energy. petroleum. waters. In the present case. 27-B as per L. provides: "All lands of the public domain. The records are bereft of evidence showing that. it remains part of the inalienable public domain. or certification was presented to the Court. Absent such well-nigh incontrovertible evidence." To overcome such presumption. minerals. the applicant (petitioners in this case) must overcome the presumption that the land sought to be registered forms part of the public domain. wildlife. incontrovertible evidence must be shown by the applicant.administrative action. Indeed. report. This proof is not sufficient." appearing on Exhibit "E" (Survey Plan No. They call for proof. cannot ripen into ownership and be registered as a title. forests or timber. and other mineral oils. petitioners cite a surveyor-geodetic engineer’s . "occupation thereof in the concept of owner. prior to 2006." For the original registration of title. coal.

Verily.A. Such notation does not constitute a positive government act validly changing the classification of the land in question. viz: x x x it is not enough for the PENRO or CENRO to certify that a land is alienable and disposable. Even if the certifications are presumed duly issued and admissible in evidence. Only Torres. Respondent failed to do so because the certifications presented by respondent do not. petitioners have not sufficiently proven that the land in question has been declared alienable. FMS-DENR. Inc. and that the land subject of the application for registration falls within the approved area per verification through survey by the PENRO or CENRO. they have no probative value in establishing that the land is alienable and disposable. the applicant for land registration must present a copy of the original classification approved by the DENR Secretary and certified as a true copy by the legal custodian of the official records. 1âwphi1 xxxx The CENRO and Regional Technical Director. prove that the land is alienable and disposable. identified the certifications submitted by respondent. by themselves. a mere surveyor has no authority to reclassify lands of the public domain. The government officials who issued the certifications were not presented before the trial court to testify on their contents. In addition.. . The trial court should not have accepted the contents of the certifications as proof of the facts stated therein.notation in Exhibit "E" indicating that the survey was inside alienable and disposable land. (Emphasis supplied) In Republic v.N. By relying solely on the said surveyor’s assertion.37 we dealt with the sufficiency of the certification by the Provincial Environmental Officer (PENRO) or Community Environmental Officer (CENRO) to the effect that a piece of public land was alienable and disposable in the following manner. Properties. The applicant for land registration must prove that the DENR Secretary had approved the land classification and released the land of the public domain as alienable and disposable. T. These facts must be established to prove that the land is alienable and disposable. respondent’s Operations Manager.

Santos. situated in Barangay San Dionisio. Parañaque City. more or less. Such government certifications do not. WHEREFORE. LUCAS P. the Court REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals promulgated on May 27. 2003. SERENO Chief Justice TERESITA J. and Arcadio Ivan S. Accordingly. Respondents shall pay the costs of suit. by their mere issuance. Santos III respecting Lot 4998-B with a total area of 1.certifications do not prove that Lot 10705-B falls within the alienable and disposable land as proclaimed by the DENR Secretary. Cad-00-000343 to the effect that the "survey is inside a map classified as alienable/disposable by the Bureau of Forest Dev’t" did not prove that Lot 4998-B was already classified as alienable and disposable. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO Associate Justice BIENVENIDO L. Metro Manila. and DECLARES Lot 4998-B as exclusively belonging to the State for being part of the dried--up bed of the Parat1aque River. the certifications are prima facie evidence of their due execution and date of issuance but they do not constitute prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein. VILLARA Associate Justic . DISMISSES the application for registration of Arcadio C. SO ORDERED. prove the facts stated therein. A.045 square meters. Jr. BERSAMIN Associate Justice WE CONCUR: MARIA LOURDES P. Such government certifications may fall under the class of documents contemplated in the second sentence of Section 23 of Rule 132. respondents could not validly assert acquisitive prescription of Lot 4988-B. REYES Associate Justice CERTIFICATION MARTIN S. As such. (Emphasis supplied) These rulings of the Court indicate that the notation on the survey plan of Lot 4998-B.

at 255-258. L-61647. 14 Records. 13-15. p. 2 3 4 5 6 Id. 428 (Transfer Certificate of Title No. concurred by Associate Justice Jose L. p. 1984. 26. 105. February 12. 44687). 13 Republic v. G. Vol. SERENO Chief Justice Footnotes 1 Records. Records. p. CA Rollo.A. II. Article VIII of the Constitution. Intermediate Appellate Court. 132 SCRA 514. penned by Associate Justice B. No. 12 Heirs of Emiliano Navarro v. 681. MARIA LOURDES P. Id. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court's Division.R. 521-522. 1998. at 155. pp. 519-523. Records. Jr. Abdulwahid. pp. pp. No. at 99-107. 115625. Id. Sabio. 68166. G. 268 SCRA 74. 284 SCRA 673. 7 Id. 85. at 138-142. No. . October 12.R. 520.Pursuant to Section 13. Vol. Court of Appeals. CA Rollo. (retired/deceased) and Associate Justice Hakim S. pp. January 23. Rollo. A. Court of Appeals. 21-22. I. 8 9 10 11 Rivera v. 2. Vol. Vol. II. Adefuin-de la Cruz (retired). 1997.

20 Records. 712. 24116-17. 24 SCRA 708. G. Vol. October 16. 22 Rollo. L-26419. 138-139. It has no reference to a case where the river simply dries up. No. Alconaba. xxx 19 II Tolentino.R. 16 Cebu Portland Cement Company v. 155012. pp. it must continue to belong to the State. July 17. 1970. v. 21 Republic v. p. – The present article contemplates a case where a river bed is abandoned by a natural change in the course of the river. pp. opines: When River Dries Up. 277. which opens up a new bed. 17 Quijano v. G. 32-36. 522. Municipality of Naga. 164159. Nos. 1968. 617. 527 SCRA 23 . Under article 502 of the Code. pp. Yasuma. Jr. because there are no persons whose lands are occupied by the waters of the river. Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines. II. 2007. The following are of public dominion: (1) Rivers and their natural beds. Bulos.R.15 Records. April 14. it cannot be applied at all to the drying up of the river. Development Bank of the Philippines. the river bed will continue to remain property of public dominion. 137-138. 427 SCRA 611. Cebu. 35 SCRA 270. 18 The Civil Code states: Article. Vol. No. Who shall own the river bed thus left dry? We believe that in such case. August 22. 502. In fact. rivers and their natural beds are property of public dominion. 2004. In the absence of any provision vesting the ownership of the dried up river bed in some other person. 1994. No. 1.

No. 129682. 627. 2004. Court of Appeals. No. 74. 348 SCRA 128. 76792. G. 142595. No. No. 134308. No. 222. p. October 15. October 31. 25 Ebreo v. No.R. 33 Rollo.R. 630.R. March 12. Tarcela and Josefa Brusas v. 29 30 Republic v. Bartolome v. 27 I Tolentino.R.R. March 2. Heirs of Mariano. 383 SCRA 262. 2002. Juan.R. No. August 26. 725. G.R. 284 SCRA 617. 409. March 21.R. Ebreo. Intermediate Appellate Court. pp. supra. No. No. G. 28. G.R. Court of Appeals. 31 Gordula v. February 28. (formerly First National City Bank) v. 107903. 57667. Director of Lands v. 2008. 28 Rollo. Court of Appeals.727. San Miguel Corporation v. . No.R. 604. No. G. 167707 and G. 26 Ebreo v. 32 Pagkatipunan v. 1993. May 22. 191 SCRA 71. Sayo. 156132. 1990.R. 183 SCRA 102. 34 G. 1994. G. N. 192-193. 348. Sabeniano. No. 35 G. 737. 1990. 173775. 2003. 2006. October 8. 184. 126875. 148338. Del Rosario v. 88. No. No.R. G. G. 24 Citibank. 1999. 73246. G. January 22.R. 504 SCRA 378. 244 SCRA 218. 1990. December 14. June 6. 313 SCRA 176. 127296. 127382. No. 485-489. 1998. G. 2000. 139-140. 413 SCRA 469. 219 SCRA 339. G. 483 SCRA 583. Caballero. 436 SCRA 593. p. 160065. G. G. Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines. Court of Appeals. Ebreo. 185 SCRA 722. Intermediate Appellate Court.R. 379 SCRA 621. October 16.R. 2002. 274. Rivera v. May 28. 568 SCRA 164. 60413.A. Republic. Court of Appeals. Seriña v. 80-81. August 17. 2006. 594.R. No. 112. 1995.

on January 6. Then came an order from the Court of Tax Appeals submitting copies of legislation of Tangier that would manifest that the element of reciprocity was not lacking. 1958. who would hold respondent Antonio Campos Rueda. The Court of Tax Appeals answered the question in the negative. 1969 that the case was deemed submitted for decision. however. When the petition for review was filed on January 2. Azurin. Ramirez and Ortigas for respondent. 1962. as administrator of the estate of the late Estrella Soriano Vda. the deceased.) for petitioner. referred the matter back to the Court of Tax Appeals to determine whether the alleged law of Tangier did grant the reciprocal tax exemption required by the aforesaid Section 122.95 as deficiency estate and inheritance taxes for the transfer of intangible personal properties in the Philippines. Morocco from 1931 up to the time of her death in 1955.: The basic issue posed by petitioner Collector of Internal Revenue in this appeal from a decision of the Court of Tax Appeals as to whether or not the requisites of statehood. 1958. it was held by this Court that the aforesaid provision does not require that the "foreign country" possess an international personality . Four days thereafter.G. de Cerdeira. Assistant Solicitor General Jose P.874. No. petitioner. J. a Spanish national having been a resident of Tangier. and thus reversed the action taken by petitioner Collector. ANTONIO CAMPOS RUEDA. 1971 THE COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE. must be satisfied for a "foreign country" to fall within the exemption of Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code 1 is now ripe for adjudication. the basic issue raised was impressed with an element of novelty.. this Court on the assumption that the need for resolving the principal question would be obviated. (O. L-13250 October 29. FERNANDO. vs. In an earlier resolution promulgated May 30. or at least so much thereof as may be necessary for the acquisition of an international personality.G. Alejandro and Special Attorney Jose G.S. respondent. liable for the sum of P161.R. It was not until July 29.

308. petitioner requested for the reconsideration of the decision denying the claim for tax exemption of the intangible personal properties and the imposition of the 25% and 5% ad valorem penalties .791.90 were claimed as exempted from taxes." 3 Then came this portion: "On September 29. On November 17. respondent.49 representing deficiency estate and inheritance taxes including ad valorem penalties. Hence. However..24 . by reason of her marriage to a Spanish citizen and was a resident of Tangier. issued another assessment for estate and inheritance taxes in the amounts of P202.262. respondent demanded the payment of the sums of P239.. de Cerdeira (Maria Cerdeira for short) is a Spanish national.. 1956. wherein intangible personal properties with the value of P396.592... an amended return was filed .. . The decision of the Court of Tax Appeals.96 which tax liabilities were paid by petitioner . de Cerdeira.to come within its terms. 1955. or a total of P369. Maria de la Estrella Soriano Vda..84. In a letter dated February 8. assessing against and demanding from the former the sum P161.665. now under review. 1955. or a total of P469. pending investigation. in his letter dated May 5. on the transfer of intangible personal properties situated in the Philippines and belonging to said Maria de la Estrella Soriano Vda. respondent denied the request for exemption on the ground that the law of Tangier is not reciprocal to Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code. and received by . . . intangible personal properties in the Philippines.48.439.48 and P157. 1956. Morocco from 1931 up to her death on January 2. 2 Accordingly. sets forth the background facts as follows: "This is an appeal interposed by petitioner Antonio Campos Rueda as administrator of the estate of the deceased Doña Maria de la Estrella Soriano Vda. pending investigation. 1956 . among others. On November 23. respondent denied request. respondent.. At the time of her demise she left. 1955. 1955. surcharges.95 as deficiency estate and inheritance taxes. petitioner filed a provisional estate and inheritance tax return on all the properties of the late Maria Cerdeira.402. and received by respondent on the following day. from the decision of the respondent Collector of Internal Revenue. we have to affirm. de Cerdeira.. . In a letter dated January 11.. issued an assessment for state and inheritance taxes in the respective amounts of P111.40 and P267. interests and compromise penalties .. including interest and penalties.. respectively.383. On the same date.874.

" 5 Hence appeal to this court by petitioner.21 and P88.023. or whose law allows a similar exemption from such taxes. that the expression "foreign country". therefore.874.95 as deficiency estate and inheritance taxes including surcharges. for the time being. or a total of P161. used in the last proviso of Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code. this Court. 'movables' and 'movable property'.74 respectively. going . respondent demanded the payment of the sums of P73.petitioner on May 21. we believe. 'bienes muebles radicantes en Tanger'." 4 The matter was then elevated to the Court of Tax Appeals. The respective briefs of the parties duly submitted. It is. but as above indicated. although not an international person in the sense of international law. does not impose transfer or death upon intangible person properties of our citizens not residing therein. resolve to inquire further into the question of reciprocity and sent back the case to the Court of Tax Appeals for the motion of evidence thereon.851. refers to a government of that foreign power which. As there was no dispute between the parties regarding the values of the properties and the mathematical correctness of the deficiency assessments. not a foreign country. interests and compromise penalties. not necessary that Tangier should have been recognized by our Government order to entitle the petitioner to the exemption benefits of the proviso of Section 122 of our Tax. Code. the appealed decision states: "In fine. 1956. which was moreover] a mere principality. the principal question as noted dealt with the reciprocity aspect as well as the insisting by the Collector of Internal Revenue that Tangier was not a foreign country within the meaning of Section 122. In order that this Court may be able to determine whether the alleged laws of Tangier grant the reciprocal tax exemptions required by Section 122 of the Tax Code. instead of ruling definitely on the question. Consequently. on May 30. The dispositive portion of such resolution reads as follows: "While section 122 of the Philippine Tax Code aforequoted speaks of 'intangible personal property' in both subdivisions (a) and (b). In ruling against the contention of the Collector of Internal Revenue. and without. Respondent premised the denial on the grounds that there was no reciprocity [with Tangier. 1962. and so hold. the alleged laws of Tangier refer to 'bienes muebles situados en Tanger'.

1963. including furniture and personal effects as well as of securities. as used in the Tax Code.. the Court of Tax Appeals admitted evidence submitted by the administrator petitioner Antonio Campos Rueda. corporeal or incorporeal.. it is required in line with Pound's formulation that it be a politically organized sovereign community independent of outside control bound by penalties of nationhood. include or embrace 'intangible person property'.. It reads thus: "That no tax shall be collected under this Title in respect of intangible personal property (a) if the decedent at the time of his death was a resident of a foreign country which at the time of his death did not impose a transfer tax or death tax of any character in respect of intangible person property of the Philippines not residing in that foreign country. Respondent presented no evidence. or (b) if the laws of the foreign country of which the decedent was a resident at the time of his death allow a similar exemption from transfer taxes or death taxes of every character in respect of intangible personal property owned by citizens of the Philippines not residing in that foreign country." 8 The only obstacle therefore to a definitive ruling is whether or not as vigorously insisted upon by petitioner the acquisition of internal personality is a condition sine qua non to Tangier being considered a "foreign country". shares." It was further noted in an order of such Court referring the matter back to us that such were duly admitted in evidence during the hearing of the case on September 9. calls for an affirmance of the decision of the Court of Tax Appeals. to the payment of any death tax. were not subject. on that date and in said zone. It does not admit of doubt that if a foreign country is to be identified with a state. bonds. . as was made clear in the opening paragraph of this opinion. consisting of exhibits of laws of Tangier to the effect that "the transfers by reason of death of movable properties. 'movables' and 'movable properties as used in the Tangier laws.into the merits of the issues raised by the petitioner-appellant. Deference to the De Lara ruling. the case is [remanded] to the Court of Tax Appeals for the reception of evidence or proof on whether or not the words `bienes muebles'." 6 In line with the above resolution. whatever might have been the nationality of the deceased or his heirs and legatees. legally supreme within its ." 7 The controlling legal provision as noted is a proviso in Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code.

1958 in Collector of Internal Revenue v. as did the Tax Court. So Hyde did opine. international law do not exact independence as a condition of statehood. its people occupying a definite territory. hardly an international personality in the sense. this Court did commit itself to the doctrine that even a tiny principality. So it appears in an opinion of the Court by the then Acting Chief Justicem Bengson who thereafter assumed that position in a permanent capacity. 14 With the latter requisite satisfied." 12 This is to view it in the light of its historical development. acting through a government functioning under a regime of law." 17 There can be no doubt that California as a state in the American Union was in the alleged requisite of international personality. It bears repeating that four days after the filing of this petition on January 6. claiming within its allotted area a supremacy over all other institutions. that the Ancilliary Administrator is entitled the exemption from the inheritance tax on the intangible personal property found in the Philippines. 13 McIver similarly would point to the power entrusted to its government to maintain within its territory the conditions of a legal order and to enter into international relations. Nonetheless. politically organized. exercising by means of its government its sovereign will over the individuals within it and maintaining its separate international personality. it was held to be a foreign country within the meaning of Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code. 15 Even on the assumption then that Tangier is bereft of international personality. 9 It is thus a sovereign person with the people composing it viewed as an organized corporate society under a government with the legal competence to exact obedience to its commands. that of Liechtenstein. Laski could speak of it then as a territorial society divided into government and subjects. did fall under this exempt category. 11 Correctly has it been described by Esmein as "the juridical personification of the nation.territory. 16 it was specifically held by us: "Considering the State of California as a foreign country in relation to section 122 of our Tax Code we believe and hold. petitioner has not successfully made out a case. Collector of Internal . De Lara. in Kiene v. 18 What is undeniable is that even prior to the De Lara ruling. The stress is on its being a nation. 10 It has been referred to as a body-politic organized by common consent for mutual defense and mutual safety and to promote the general welfare.

Ludwig Kiene being a resident of Liechtestein when he passed away. JJ. 1. De Lara. Teehankee and Barredo. Decision of Court of Tax Appeals. who died outside of this country is subject to the estate tax. Castro." 20 Then came this definitive ruling: "The Collector — hereafter named the respondent — cites decisions of the United States Supreme Court and of this Court. 1957 is affirmed.. .. 813 (1958). 102 Phil. C. Such property is admittedly taxable here. 2-3. concurs in the result. p. 2 Collector of Internal Revenue v. J. And the exemption must be honored. Concepcion. Footnotes 1 Commonwealth Act No. 19 As was therein noted: 'The Board found from the documents submitted to it — proof of the laws of Liechtenstein — that said country does not impose estate. 3 Annex C. concur. the Board declared that pursuant to the exemption above established. Wherefore.. pp. holding that intangible personal property in the Philippines belonging to a non-resident foreigner." 21 WHEREFORE. J. Villamor and Reyes. 4 Ibid. the shares of stock owned here by the Ludwig Kiene would be concededly subject to estate and inheritance taxes. Zaldivar. Without the proviso above quoted. Makalintal. in disregard of the principle 'mobilia sequuntur personam'. JJ.L.Revenue.B. Nevertheless our Congress chose to make an exemption where conditions are such that demand reciprocity — as in this case. Without pronouncement as to costs. took no part.J. the decision of the respondent Court of Tax Appeals of October 30. no estate or inheritance taxes were collectible.. 466 as amended (1939).. Makasiar. inheritance and gift taxes on intangible property of Filipino citizens not residing in that country. Petition.

obligations. the transmission or transfer of any intangible personal property. 1 Cooley. 2. shares. or bonds issued by any corporation or sociedad anonima organized or constituted in the Philippines in accordance with its laws. 3 (1925). subject to the taxes prescribed in this Title. Willoughby. or bonds issued by any foreign corporation if such shares. Fundamental Concepts of Public Law. obligations. obligations. 8 Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code (1939) reads insofar as relevant: "For the purposes of this Title the terms 'gross estate' and 'gift' include real estate and tangible personal property. shares. p. 9. physically located in the Philippines. p. And provided. or mixed. franchise which must be exercised in the Philippines. 4-5. 6 Resolution. 11 Cf. or any personal property.5 Ibid. however. or (b) if the laws of the foreign country of which the decedent was a resident at the time of his death allow a similar exemption from transfer taxes or death taxes of every character in respect of intangible personal property owned by citizens of the Philippines not residing in that foreign country." II Jurisprudence. regardless of its location. obligations. or bonds have acquired a business situs in the Philippines. shares. located in the Philippines. 3 (1927). 346 (1959). 10 Cf. That in the case of a resident. 7 Order of November 19. . p. whether tangible or intangible. p. 1963 p. business or industry established in the Philippines. shares or rights in any partnership." 9 Cf. further. that no tax shall be collected under this Title in respect of intangible personal property (a) if the decedent at the time of his death was a resident of a foreign country which at the time of his death did not impose a transfer tax or death tax of any character in respect of intangible personal property of citizens of the Philippines not residing in that foreign country. Constitutional Limitations. or bonds issued by any foreign corporation eighty-five per centum of the business of which is located in the Philippines. pp. Pound: "The political organization of a society legally supreme within and independent of legal control from without. Provided.

22 (1945). Recent Theories of Sovereignty. The State. 17 Ibid. " 19 97 Phil. January 28. 352 (1955). International Law. 18 In the subsequent case of Collector of Internal Revenue v. Grammar of Polities.. 820. L-11622.                                       . McIver. 22 (1926). 15 Hyde. Treatise on the State. thus holding that Section 122 would not apply.12 Cf. this Court did find that the reciprocity found in the California statutes was partial not total. p. 13 Laski. 1961. p. 813 (1958). p. Cohen. 17 (1933). 16 102 Phil. Fisher. 15 (1937). 20 Ibid. p. p. without however reversing the doctrine that an international personality is not a requisite. p. 14 Cf. p. 354. 1 SCRA 93. 2nd ed. Pitamic speaks of it as a juridical organization of human beings. 25 (1934).

Lot 3 with 1. Cleopatra Llana. Municipality of San Fernando.C. HON. 1999 and May 23. The antecedent facts are. Regina Bustos. with 508 square meters. 2670. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT. bounded on the NE. L. 2001 SHIPSIDE INCORPORATED.. 1958. by the Foreshore. No. by an old Barrio Road. N-14012. Province of La Union.Lot 1 with 6. Transfer Certificate No. and Erlinda Balatbat in a deed of sale which was inscribed as Entry No. Lot No. 143377 February 20. with 16. 1960. Lots No. N-361. on the SW. Original Certificate of Title No. 1 and 4 were conveyed by Rafael Galvez in favor of Filipina Mamaril.L. by properties of Rafael Galvez (US Military Reservation Camp Wallace) and Policarpio Munar. 1 is described as: A parcel of land (Lot 1.R. 11'W.571 square meters. BRANCH 26 (San Fernando City.R. 0-381 was issued in favor of Rafael Galvez. being S. vs. 1960. undisputed: On October 29. Lot 2. 1. on the SE.777 square meters. dismissed a petition for certiorari and prohibition and thereafter denied a motion for reconsideration.0-381 on August 10. Consequently. petitioner. 2000. L.L. San Fernando. T-4304 was issued in favor of the buyers covering Lots No. Record No. MELO. On April 11. and on the NW. Plan PSU-159621. 74 deg. COURT OF APPEALS [Special Former Twelfth Division]. which respectively. 1 and 4.M. and Lot 4. thence .583 square meters. J.G. respondents. Beginning at a point marked "1" on plan.: Before the Court is a petition for certiorari filed by Shipside Incorporated under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure against the resolutions of the Court of Appeals promulgated on November 4.R. 9115 OCT No. La Union) & The REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES.36 from B. over four parcels of land . Case No. situated in the Barrio of Poro. by Public Land and property of the Benguet Consolidated Mining Company. THE HON.

1960. being S. Camp Wallace). 12 deg. 21 deg. 45'W. 45'W. San Fernando. 42. 1 and 4. 27.95 m. thence S. N. 52 deg.361 (LRC . 36... February 4-21. February 4-21.14 deg. L. S. 1 and 4 to Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company. to point 6.M. more or less.03 m. containing an area of SIX THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY . 23 deg. 45'W. 59'W. 134. to the point of beginning. Case No. by property of Pelagia Carino. situated in the Barrio of Poro.69 m. On August 16. 1957. bearings true. and on the NW by the property of Rafael Galvez (US Military Reservation. 24'W. to point 5. and marked on the ground.571) SQUARE METERS. N. et al.. The deed of sale covering the aforesaid property was inscribed as Entry No. 12 deg. unknown to Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company. issued an Order in Land Registration Case No. deg. S. 31'E. N-14012). to point 4. to the point of beginning. 12 deg. 66 deg.00 m. to point 7. Mamaril. 13.. sold Lots No. Subsequently. Beginning at a point marked "1" on plan. 26'E.L.90 m. All points referred to are indicated on the plan.92 m.79 m. 1963. Municipality of San Fernando.. 32'W.85 m.. 1957.R. Bounded on the SE by the property of the Benguet Consolidated Mining Company. 4 has the following technical description: A parcel of land (Lot 4. 69 deg. La Union. N. the Court of First Instance of La Union. to point 2. to point 3. from B. S.C.ONE (6. to point 2. 73. On February 1.00 m. T-4314 was issued in the name of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company as owner of Lots No. date of survey. Lot No. on the S. 21'W. T4304. Record No. 6.00 m. 106.. Second Judicial District. to point 3. bearings true.. Plan PSU-159621.S.R. 11. N. 2591. All points referred to are indicated in the plan and marked on the ground. N. more or less.. Transfer Certificate No. date of survey. 79 deg.01 m.. 1. 9173 on TCT No. 19'E. 75.. N.L. containing an area of FIVE HUNDED AND EIGHT (508) SQUARE METERS. N-361 L. 57'W.

nêt Thereafter. 12381. 1973. Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company sold to herein petitioner Lots No. 1âwphi1. are null and void. Eliza Bustos. 1973 became final and executory on October 23. Rafael Galvez filed his motion for reconsideration against the order issued by the trial court declaring OCT No.C. Movant" declaring OCT No. the Court of Appeals issued an Entry of Judgment. Transfer Certificate of Title No. with the deed being entered in TCT No. 1965. on January 14. it is hereby declared and this court so holds that both proceedings in Land Registration Case No. certifying that its decision dated August 14.R. 1974. On October 28. T5710 was thus issued in favor of the petitioner which starting since then exercised proprietary rights over Lots No. 1963.R. 1999. 1 and 4. 0-381 of the Registry of Deeds for the province of La Union issued in virtue thereof and registered in the name of Rafael Galvez. 4314 as entry No. San Fernando. 1974. Case No. without pronouncement as to costs.. 0-381 of the Registry of Deeds for the Province of La Union issued in the name of Rafael Galvez. with the foregoing. et al. On April 22. La Union on April 29. and ordered the cancellation thereof. N-361 and Original Certificate No. No. Republic of the Philippines. The motion was denied on January 25. Twenty four long years. Applicant. 0-381 null and void. N-361 issued a writ of execution of the judgment which was served on the Register of Deeds. the Office of .Record No. thereafter. 1973 in CAG. the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Republic of the Philippines in a Resolution promulgated on August 14. Parties-In-Interest. 36061-R. 1 and 4. the Register of Deeds for the Province of La Union is hereby ordered to cancel the said original certificate and/or such other certificates of title issued subsequent thereto having reference to the same parcels of land. The Order pertinently provided: Accordingly. the trial court in L. and without prejudice on the rights of incidental parties concerned herein to institute their respective appropriate actions compatible with whatever cause they may have. On appeal. N-14012) entitled "Rafael Galvez. null and void. In the meantime.

1999 from Mr. Floresca. versus Heirs of Rafael Galvez.C. (b) Elisa Bustos. 6346 entitled. Jesusito Galvez. 1999.R.the Solicitor General received a letter dated January 11. the Solicitor General argued that since the trial court in LRC Case No. the Office of the Solicitor General filed a complaint for revival of judgment and cancellation of titles before the Regional Trial Court of the First Judicial Region (Branch 26. N-361 have not been executed by the Register of Deeds. 3 of OCT No. 0-381. Regina Bustos and Erlinda Balatbat who are the registered owners of Lot No.6346. La Union) docketed therein as Civil Case No. Regina Bustos. Plaintiff. the defendants-successors-ininterest of Rafael Galvez have no valid title over the property covered by OCT No. Victor G. 0-381. petitioner Shipside." The evidence shows that the impleaded defendants (except the Register of Deeds of the province of La Union) are the successors-ininterest of Rafael Galvez (not Reynaldo Galvez as alleged by the Solicitor General) over the property covered by OCT No. 361 had ruled and declared OCT No. with a total area of 7. John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation. filed its Motion to Dismiss. and Teresita Tan who are the registered owners of Lot No. Inc. Filipina Mamaril. Erlinda Balatbat. 1999. 0-381. now covered by TCT No. stating that the aforementioned orders and decision of the trial court in L. In its complaint in Civil Case No. 0-381. which ruling was subsequently affirmed by the Court of Appeals. 2 of OCT No. San Fernando. 0-381 to be null and void. T -5710. and (c) Elisa Bustos. 1 and 4 covered by TCT No. represented by Teresita Tan.079 square meters. On July 22. La Union despite receipt of the writ of execution. San Fernando. with an area of 1. On April 21. T-4916. Shipside Incorporated and the Register of Deeds of La Union. namely: (a) Shipside Inc. based on the following grounds: (1) the complaint stated no cause of action because only final and executory judgments may be subject of . No. Vice-President. "Republic of the Philippines. Reynaldo Mamaril. and the subsequent Torrens titles issued in their names should be consequently cancelled. which is presently the registered owner in fee simple of Lots No. Defendants. Elisa Bustos.583 square meters.

1999. the trial court denied petitioner's motion to dismiss and on October 14.. 7227. was made without authority. An opposition to the motion to dismiss was filed by the Solicitor General on August 23.the plaintiff is not the real partyin-interest because the real property covered by the Torrens titles sought to be cancelled. (3) plaintiff's cause of action is barred by prescription. {4) twenty-five years having lapsed since the issuance of the writ of execution. its motion for reconsideration was likewise turned down. and (2) petitioner was unable to show that it had substantially complied with the rule requiring proof of authority to . such action may be brought only within ten (10) years from the time the judgment had been rendered. motion for reconsideration on the grounds that: (1) a complaint filed on behalf of a corporation can be made only if authorized by its Board of Directors. On May 23. allegedly part of Camp Wallace (Wallace Air Station). 1999. 1999. docketed therein as CA-G. 2000. the petition cannot prosper and be granted due course. there being no proof therein that Balbin was authorized to institute the petition for and in behalf and of petitioner.R. On August 31. and (2) prescription does not run against the State. On October 21. and in the absence thereof.R. SP No. SP No. on the ground that the orders of the trial court denying its motion to dismiss and its subsequent motion for reconsideration were issued in excess of jurisdiction. the Court of Appeals denied petitioner's. petitioner instituted a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals. (2) . 1999. the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition in CA-G. that: (1) the real party-in-interest is the Republic of the Philippines. alleging among others. tinder the signature of Lorenzo Balbin. Jr. no action for revival of judgment may be instituted because under Paragraph 3 of Article 1144 of the Civil Code. 1999. were under the ownership and administration of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) under Republic Act No. On November 4. 55535 on the ground that the verification and certification in the petition.an action for revival of judgment. 55535.

6346. Balbin had no authority to sign the petition despite the clarity of laws. in violation of clear laws and jurisprudence. Petitioner likewise adopted the arguments it raised in the petition' and comment/reply it filed with the Court of Appeals.institute an action or proceeding. 2000 enjoining the trial court from conducting further proceedings in Civil Case No. In order to preserve the rights of herein parties. jurisprudence and Secretary's certificate to the contrary. the Solicitor General moved for the dismissal of the instant petition based on the following considerations: (1) Lorenzo Balbin. attached to its petition as Exhibit "L" and "N". Hence. In support of its petition. respectively. in effect affirming the grave abuse of discretion committed by the lower court when it refused to dismiss the 1999 Complaint for Revival of a 1973 judgment. The Honorable Court of Appeals abused its discretion when it dismissed the petition. thus the latter court acted correctly in dismissing the same. The issues posited in this case are: (1) whether or not an authorization from petitioner's Board of Directors is still required in order for its resident manager to institute or commence a legal action for and in behalf of the corporation. who signed for and in behalf of petitioner in the verification and certification of non-forum shopping portion of the petition. the Court issued a temporary restraining order on June 26. Inc. and (2) whether or not the Republic of the Philippines can maintain the action for revival of judgment herein. (2) the real party-in-interest in the case at bar being the Republic of the Philippines. the instant petition. Shipside. . asseverates that: 1. 2. In his Comment. The Honorable Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion in dismissing the petition when it made a conclusive legal presumption that Mr. failed to show proof of his authorization to institute the petition for certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals. its claims are imprescriptible.

Inc. attaching to said motion a certificate issued by its "board secretary stating that on October 11. Verification is simply intended to secure an assurance that the allegations in the pleading are true and correct and not the product of . v. such as petitioner. there was no proof attached thereto that Balbin was authorized to sign the verification and non-forum shopping certification therein. the time petitioner's Resident Manager Balbin filed the petition. 1999. 1999. can be performed only by natural persons duly authorized for the purpose by corporate bylaws or by a specific act of the board of directors. CA. The Court has consistently held that the requirement regarding verification of a pleading is formal. Such requirement is simply a condition affecting the form of the pleading. A corporation. or ten days prior to the filing of the petition. as a consequence of which the petition was dismissed by the Court of Appeals. physical acts of the corporation. who was the signatory in the verification and certification on non-forum shopping. like the signing of documents. 136100. non-compliance with which does not necessarily render the pleading fatally defective. has no power except those expressly conferred on it by the Corporation Code and those that are implied or incidental to its existence. LandBank. Thus. No. Anent the first issue: The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for certiorari on the ground that Lorenzo Balbin. subsequent to such dismissal. July 24. It is undisputed that on October 21. G. Balbin had been authorized by petitioner's board of directors to file said petition. In turn. not jurisdictional (Uy v.R. However. it has been observed that the power of a corporation to sue and be sued in any court is lodged with the board of directors that exercises its corporate powers (Premium Marble Resources. In turn. the resident manager for petitioner. failed to show proof that he was authorized by petitioner's board of directors to file such a petition. 264 SCRA 11 [1996]).We find for petitioner. 2000). a corporation exercises said powers through its board of directors and/or its duly authorized officers and agents. petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration.

Roadway. the Court had dismissed Uy's petition for lack of verification and certification against non-forum shopping. On the other hand. the Court excused non-compliance with the requirement as to the certificate of nonforum shopping. (245 SCRA 477 [1995]). Court of Appeals. Inc. Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of civil Procedure provides that the failure of the petitioner to submit the required documents that should accompany the petition. Court of Appeals. (264 SCRA 696 [1996]). the merits of petitioner' case should be considered special circumstances or compelling reasons that justify tempering the requirement in regard to the certificate of non-forum shopping. including the certification against forum shopping. v. et. al. The court may order the correction of the pleading if verification is lacking or act on the pleading although it is not verified. LandBank. shall be sufficient ground for the dismissal thereof. however. the Court has allowed the belated filing of the certification.the imagination or a matter of speculation. Section 5. there were special circumstances or compelling "reasons that justified the relaxation of the rule requiring verification and certification on non-forum shopping. In "Uy v. With more reason should we allow the instant petition since petitioner herein did submit a certification on non-forum . In Roadway Express. et. in Loyola. the lack of certification. the Court considered the filing of the certification one day after the filing of an election protest as substantial compliance with the requirement. against forum shopping is generally not curable by the submission thereof after the filing of the petition. if the attending circumstances are such that strict compliance with the rules may be dispensed with in order that the ends of justice may thereby be served. In Loyola v. the Court allowed the filing of the certification 14 days before the dismissal of the petition. it subsequently reinstated the petition after Uy submitted a motion to admit certification and non-forum shopping certification. al. Moreover. supra. and Uy. However. The same rule applies to certifications against forum shopping signed by a person on behalf of a corporation which are unaccompanied by proof that said signatory is authorized to file a petition on behalf of the corporation. In the instant case. In all these cases. and that the pleading is filed in good faith. In certain exceptional circumstances.

not frustrate justice. Section 6. a judgment may be enforced by action. From the records of this. Rule 39 provides that a final and executory judgment or order may be executed on motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry. the granting of substantial justice is an even more urgent ideal. it is clear that the judgment sought to be revived became final on October 23. While the swift unclogging of court dockets is a laudable objective. The Solicitor General. technical rules of procedure should be used to promote. it is plain that an action for revival of judgment must be brought within ten years from the time said judgment becomes final. and before it is barred by the statute of limitations. NLRC. Hence. Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure. nonetheless the requirements must not be interpreted too literally and thus defeat the objective of preventing the undesirable practice of forum-shopping (Bernardo v. but that after the lapse of such time. case. Article 1144(3) provides that an action upon a judgment "must be brought within 10 years from the time the right of action accrues. Taking these two provisions into consideration.255 SCRA 108 [1996]). nonetheless. That petitioner subsequently submitted a secretary's certificate attesting that Balbin was authorized to file an action on behalf of petitioner likewise. of action in the cancellation of the land title issued to petitioner's predecessor-in-interest is imprescriptible because it is included in . argues that the State's cause . failing only to show proof that the signatory was authorized to do so." On the other hand. . the action is barred by extinctive prescription considering that 'such an action can be instituted only within ten (10) years from the time the cause of action accrues. Now to the second issue: The action instituted by the Solicitor General in the trial court is one for revival of judgment which is governed by Article 1144(3) of the Civil Code and Section 6.shopping. or more than twenty-five (25) years after the judgment had become final. Lastly. It must also be kept in mind that while the requirement of the certificate of non-forum shopping is mandatory. mitigates this oversight. 1973. the action for revival of judgment was instituted only in 1999. On the other hand.

issued on July 27. Consequently. 216. Nor may it raise the defense of imprescriptibility. Purposes of the Conversion Authority. otherwise known as the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992. the same being applicable only in cases where the government is a party in interest. Republic Act No. Section 2 of Proclamation No.All areas covered by the Wallace Air Station as embraced and defined by the 1947 Military Bases Agreement between the Philippines and the United States of America. While it is true that prescription does not run against the State. Wallace Air Station. created the Bases Conversion and Development Authority Section 4 pertinently provides: Section 4.. also provides: Section 2. Bataan) and those portions of Metro Manila military camps which may be transferred to it by the President. excluding those covered by Presidential Proclamations and some 25-hectare area for the radar and communication station of the Philippine Air Force. the same may not be invoked by the government in this case since it is no longer interested in the subject matter. are hereby transferred to the Bases Conversion Development Authority . While Camp Wallace may have belonged to the government at the time Rafael Galvez's title was ordered cancelled in Land Registration Case No. Transfer of Wallace Air Station Areas to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority. as amended. N-361. Sta. With the transfer of Camp Wallace to the BCDA. hold and/or administer the military reservations of John Hay Air Station.Camp Wallace. the Republic is not a real party in interest and it may not institute the instant action.. which belongs to the government. 1993. 7227.The Conversion Authority shall have the following purposes: (a) To own. O'Donnell Transmitter Station. . the government no longer has a right or interest to protect. San Miguel Naval Communications Station. the same no longer holds true today. . Mt. . Rita Station (Hermosa. The argument is misleading.

which stands to be benefited if the land covered by TCT No. it has been posited that the transfer of military reservations and their extensions to the BCDA is basically for the purpose of accelerating the sound and balanced conversion of these military reservations into alternative productive uses and to enhance the benefits to be derived from such property as a measure of promoting the economic and social development. And by real interest is meant a present substantial interest. Republic Act No. in general. the country's goal for enhancement (Section 2. 7227 reads: Section 3. as distinguished from a mere expectancy. or a future.Under Section 2 of Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. he must appear to be the present real owner of the right sought to enforced (Pioneer Insurance v. Section 3 of Republic Act No. . T-5710 issued in the name of petitioner is cancelled. 175 SCRA 668 [1989]). 7227). Creation of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority." To qualify a person to be a real party in interest in whose name an action must be prosecuted. 210 SCRA 526 [1992]). must not lose sight of the fact that the BCDA is an entity invested with a personality separate and distinct from the government. Being the owner of the areas covered by Camp Wallace. particularly of Central Luzon and.There is hereby created a body corporate to be known as the Conversion Authority which shall have the attribute of perpetual succession and shall be vested with the powers of a corporation. We. but simply a recognition of the need to create a body corporate which will act as its agent for the realization of its program. subordinate or consequential interest (Ibonilla v. Nonetheless. it is the Bases Conversion and Development Authority. contingent. not the Government. Province of Cebu. A real party in interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit. It is consequently asserted that the Republic remains to be the real party in interest and the Conversion Authority merely its agent. It is contended that the transfer of these military reservations to the Conversion Authority does not amount to an abdication on the part of the Republic of its interests. CA. or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. "every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest. however. .

It may not be amiss to state at this point that the functions of government have been classified into governmental or constituent and proprietary or ministrant. While public benefit and public welfare, particularly, the promotion of the economic and social development of Central Luzon, may be attributable to the operation of the BCDA, yet it is certain that the functions performed by the BCDA are basically proprietary in nature. The promotion of economic and social development of Central Luzon, in particular, and the country's goal for enhancement, in general, do not make the BCDA equivalent to the Government. Other corporations have been created by government to act as its agents for the realization of its programs, the SSS, GSIS, NAWASA arid the NIA, to count a few, and yet, the Court has ruled that these entities, although performing functions aimed at promoting public interest and public welfare, are not government-function corporations invested with governmental attributes. It may thus be said that the BCDA is not a mere agency of the Government but a corporate body performing proprietary functions. Moreover, Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7227 provides: Section 5. Powers of the Conversion Authority. - To carry out its objectives under this Act, the Conversion Authority is hereby vested with the following powers: (a) To succeed in its corporate name, to sue and be sued in such corporate name and to adopt, alter and use a corporate seal which shall be judicially noticed; Having the capacity to sue or be sued, it should thus be the BCDA which may file an action to cancel petitioner's title, not the Republic, the former being the real party in interest. One having no right or interest to protect cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court as a party plaintiff in an action (Ralla v. Ralla, 199 SCRA 495 [1991]). A suit may be dismissed if the plaintiff or the defendant is not a real party in interest. If the suit is not brought in the name of the real party in interest, a motion to dismiss may be filed, as was done by petitioner in this case, on the ground that the complaint states no cause of action (Tanpingco v. IAC, 207 SCRA 652 [1992]). However, E.B. Marcha Transport Co., Inc. v. IAC (147 SCRA 276

[1987]) is cited as authority that the Republic is the proper party to sue for the recovery of possession of property which at the time of the institution of the suit was no longer held by the national government but by the Philippine Ports Authority .In E.B. Marcha, the Court ruled: It can be said that in suing for the recovery of the rentals, the Republic of the Philippines, acted as principal of the Philippine Ports Authority, directly exercising the commission it had earlier conferred on the latter as its agent. We may presume that, by doing so, the Republic of the Philippines did not intend .to retain the said rentals for its own use, considering that by its voluntary act it had transferred the land in question to the Philippine Ports Authority effective July 11, 1974. The Republic of the Philippines had simply sought to assist, not supplant, the Philippine Ports Authority, whose title to the disputed property it continues to recognize, We may expect then that the said rentals, once collected by the Republic of the Philippines, shall be turned over by it to the Philippine Ports Authority conformably to the purposes of P.D. No. 857. E.B. Marcha is, however, not on all fours with the case at bar. In the former, the Court considered the Republic a proper party to sue since the claims of the Republic and the Philippine Ports Authority against the petitioner therein were the same. To dismiss the complaint in E.B. Marcha would have brought needless delay in the settlement of the matter since the PPA would have to refile the case on the same claim already litigated upon. Such is not the case here since to allow the government to sue herein enables it to raise the issue of imprescriptibility, a claim which is not available to the BCDA. The rule that prescription does not run against the State does not apply to corporations or artificial bodies created by the State for special purposes, it being said that when the title of the Republic has been divested, its grantees, although artificial bodies of its own creation, are in the same category as ordinary persons (Kingston v. LeHigh Valley Coal Co., 241 Pa 469). By raising the claim of imprescriptibility, a claim which cannot be raised by the BCDA, the Government not only assists the BCDA, as it did in E.B. Marcha, it even supplants the latter, a course of action proscribed by said case. Moreover, to recognize the Government as a proper party to sue in this case would set a bad precedent as it would allow the Republic to

prosecute, on behalf of government-owned or controlled corporations, causes of action which have already prescribed, on the pretext that the Government is the real party in interest against whom prescription does not run, said corporations having been created merely as agents for the realization of government programs. Parenthetically, petitioner was not a party to the original suit for cancellation of title commenced by the Republic twenty-seven years for which it is now being made to answer, nay, being made to suffer financial losses. It should also be noted that petitioner is unquestionably a buyer in good faith and for value, having acquired the property in 1963, or 5 years after the issuance of the original certificate of title, as a third transferee. If only not to do violence and to give some measure of respect to the Torrens System, petitioner must be afforded some measure of protection. One more point. Since the portion in dispute now forms part of the property owned and administered by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, it is alienable and registerable real property. We find it unnecessary to rule on the other matters raised by the herein parties. WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby granted and the orders dated August 31, 1999 and October 4, 1999 of the Regional Trial, Court of the First National Judicial Region (Branch 26, San Fernando, La Union) in Civil Case No. 6346 entitled "Republic of the Philippines, Plaintiff, versus Heirs of Rafael Galvez, et. al., Defendants" as well as the resolutions promulgated on November 4, 1999 and May 23, 2000 by the Court of Appeals (Twelfth Division) in CA-G.R. SP No. 55535 entitled "Shipside, Inc., Petitioner versus Ron. Alfredo Cajigal, as Judge, RTC, San Fernando, La Union, Branch 26, and the Republic of the Philippines, Respondents" are hereby reversed and set aside. The complaint in Civil Case No. 6346, Regional Trial Court, Branch 26, San Fernando City, La Union entitled "Republic of the Philippines, Plaintiff, versus Heirs of Rafael

Galvez, et al." is ordered dismissed, without prejudice to the filing of an appropriate action by the Bases Development and Conversion Authority. SO ORDERED. Vitug, Panganiban, Gonzaga-Reyes, and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

G.R. No. 143377 February 20, 2001 (Shipside Incorporated vs. Court of Appeals and Republic of the Philippines) SEPARATE OPINION VITUG, J.: I find no doctrinal difficulty in adhering to the draft ponencia written by our esteemed Chairman, Mr. Justice JARM, insofar as it declares that an action for revival of judgment is barred by extinctive prescription, if not brought within ten (10) years from the time the right of action accrues, pursuant to Article 1144(3) of the New Civil Code. It appears that the judgment in the instant case has become final on 23 October 1973 or well more than two decades prior to the action for its revival instituted only in 1999.
1âwphi1.nêt

With due respect, however, I still am unable to subscribe to the idea that prescription' may not be invoked by the government in this case upon the thesis that the transfer of Camp Wallace to the Bases Conversion Development Authority renders the Republic with no right or interest to protect and thus unqualified under the rules of procedure to be the real party-in-interest. While it is true that Republic Act 7227, otherwise known as the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992, authorizes the transfer of the military reservations and their extensions to the Conversion Authority, the same, however, is basically for the purpose of accelerating the sound and balanced conversion of these military reservations into

alternative productive uses and to enhance the benefits to be derived from such property as a measure of promoting the economic and social development, particularly, of Central Luzon and, In general, the country's goal for enhancement.1 The transfer of these military reservations to the Conversion Authority does not amount to an abdication on the part of the Republic of its interests but simply a recognition of the need to create a body corporate which will act as its agent for the realization of its program specified in the Act. It ought to follow that the Republic remains to be the real party-in-interest and the Conversion Authority being merely its agent. In E.B. Marcha Transport Co., Inc. vs. Intermediate Appellate Court,2 the Court succinctly resolved the issue of whether or not the Republic of the Philippines would be a proper party to sue for the recovery of possession of property which at the time of the institution of the suit was no longer being held by the national government but by the Philippine Ports Authority. The Court ruled: "More importantly, as we see it, dismissing the complaint on the ground that the Republic of the Philippines is not the proper party would result in needless delay in the settlement of this matter and also in derogation of the policy against multiplicity of suits. Such a decision would require the Philippine Ports Authority to refile the very same complaint already proved by the Republic of the Philippines and bring back the parties as it were to square one. "It can be said that in suing for the recovery of the rentals, the Republic of the Philippines, acted as principal of the Philippine Ports Authority, directly exercising the commission it had earlier conferred on the latter as its agent. We may presume that, by doing so, the Republic of the Philippines did not intend to retain the said rentals for its own use, considering that by its voluntary act it had transferred the land in question to the Philippine Ports Authority effective July 11, 1974. The Republic of the Philippines had simply sought to assist, not supplant, the Philippine Ports Authority, whose title to the disputed property it continues to recognize. We may exact then that the said rentals, once collected by the Republic of the Philippines, shall be turned over by it to the Philippine Ports Authority conformably to the purposes of P.D. No. 857."

2                                                               . Republic Act 7227. and it was only in 1992 that the subject military camp was transferred to the Conversion Authority.There would seem to be no cogent reason for ignoring that rationale specially when taken in light of the fact that the original suit for cancellation of title of petitioner's predecessor-in-interest was commenced by the Republic itself. 147 SCRA 276. Footnotes: 1 Section 2.

Defendant uncle appealed.:p The disputants in this appeal from a question of law from a lower court decision are the mother and the uncle of a minor beneficiary of the proceeds of an insurance policy issued on the life of her deceased father. defendant-appellant. Florentino Pilapil had a child. FERNANDO. is the brother of the deceased. Mendoza & Associates for plaintiff-appellee. the plaintiff. Millian Pilapil. Francisco Pilapil.R. We have to affirm. Seno. The dispute centers as to who of them should be entitled to act as trustee thereof.G. " 1 The insured. with a married woman. the former is likely to lavish more care on and pay greater attention to her. with an even greater stress on family unity under the present Constitution. 1964. it must have taken into account the principle that in cases of this nature the welfare of the child is the paramount consideration. 1974 MELCHORA CABANAS. J. As noted. vs. Jr. L-25843 July 25. did weigh in the balance the opposing claims and did come to the conclusion that the welfare of the child called for the mother to be entrusted with such responsibility. She was ten years old at the time the complaint was filed on October 10. Emilio Benitez. The appealed decision made clear: "There is no controversy as to the facts. It is not to be lost sight of either that the judiciary pursuant to its role as an agency of the State as parens patriae. even if the language of the law were not as clear. This is all the more likely considering that the child is with the mother. for defendant-appellant. the plaintiff in this case. FRANCISCO PILAPIL. the lower court acted the way it did following the specific mandate of the law. Melchora Cabanas. There are no circumstances then that did militate against what conforms to the natural order of things. The lower court applying the appropriate Civil Code provisions decided in favor of the mother. The defendant. No. The . In addition. plaintiff-appellee. It is not an unreasonable assumption that between a mother and an uncle.

therefore. 1965. 2418-R of this Court to raise her bond therein to the total amount of P5. or by any lucrative title. seeking the delivery of such sum. the lower court in a decision of May 10. Since under our law the usufructuary is entitled to possession. and in usufruct to the father or mother under whom he is under parental authority and whose company he lives. to protect the rights of the minor. 4 Conformity to such explicit codal norm is apparent in this portion of the appealed decision: "The insurance proceeds belong to the beneficiary. considering the above. Said property. the plaintiff is entitled to possession of the insurance proceeds. or in his absence the mother. is pro tanto null and void. Sp. The said minor lives with plaintiff or lives in the company of the plaintiff. Hence this complaint by the mother. is the legal administrator of the property pertaining to the child under parental authority. Upon his death. Its main reliance was on Articles 320 and 321 of the Civil Code. with whom the child is living.000. Proc. Millian Pilapil. No. and in usufruct to the plaintiff. belongs to the minor child in ownership. with his brother to act as trustee during her minority. the plaintiff should file an additional bond in the guardianship proceedings. her mother.deceased insured himself and instituted as beneficiary. The trust. his child.00. Defendant would justify his claim to the retention of the amount in question by invoking the terms of the insurance policy. belongs to the child in ownership." 3 The latter states: "The property which the unemancipated child has acquired or may acquire with his work or industry. rendered judgment ordering the defendant to deliver the proceeds of the policy in question to plaintiff. the father or mother shall give a bond subject to the approval of the Court of First Instance." 5 It is very clear. insofar as it is in conflict with the above quoted provision of law.. therefore. . her mother. the proceeds were paid to him. The former provides: "The father.. . In order. The beneficiary is a minor under the custody and parental authority of the plaintiff. however. If the property is worth more than two thousand pesos. that unless the applicability of the two cited Civil Code provisions can be disputed. The said minor acquired this property by lucrative title. 2 After trial duly had. She filed the bond required by the Civil Code.

The words are rather clear. without any evidence of lack of maternal care. que se refiere a la ley 24. the protection is supplied by the bond required. the source of Article 320 of the Civil Code. tit. this Court has left no doubt that where codal or statutory norms are cast in categorical language. the conclusion will remain unaltered. is the welfare of the child. that infidelity to the trust imposed by the deceased is much less in the case of a mother than in the case of an uncle. En nuestro Derecho antiguo puede decirse que se hallaba reconocida de una manera indirecta aquelia doctrina.the decision must stand. Even if it were a question of policy. con las limitaciones y requisitos de que trataremos mis adelante. as an agency of the State acting as parens patriae. was of that view: Thus "El derecho y la obligacion de administrar el Patrimonio de los hijos es una consecuencia natural y lógica de la patria potestad y de la presunción de que nadie cuidará de los bienes de acquéllos con mas cariño y solicitude que los padres. The appealed decision is supported by another cogent consideration. Time and time again. as mentioned at the outset. There is no ambiguity in the language employed. as it did occur . 6 So it must be in this case. y asi se desprende de la sentencia del Tribunal Supremeo de 30 de diciembre de 1864. the task before it is not one of interpretation but of application. 1. What is paramount. It is in consonance with such primordial end that Articles 320 and 321 have been worded. So it was in the appealed decision." 8 2. commenting on Article 159 of the Civil Code of Spain. both logical and natural. De la propia suerte aceptan en general dicho principio los Codigos extranjeros. It is buttressed by its adherence to the concept that the judiciary. not the uncle. In the event that there is less than full measure of concern for the offspring. It would take more than just two paragraphs as found in the brief for the defendant-appellant 7 to blunt the force of legal commands that speak so plainly and so unqualifiedly. Their meaning is unequivocal. is called upon whenever a pending suit of litigation affects one who is a minor to accord priority to his best interest. XIII de la Partida 5. With the added circumstance that the child stays with the mother. It may happen. the decision arrived at can stand the test of the strictest scrutiny. Manresa. There is recognition in the law of the deep ties that bind parent and child. It is further fortified by the assumption.

and has no affinity to those arbitrary powers which are sometimes exerted by irresponsible monarchs to the great detriment of the people and the destruction of their liberties. it does not admit of doubt that even if a stronger case were presented for the uncle. It reads: "The State shall strengthen the family as a basic social institution. Antonio. Ibid. It is a mother asserting priority. as the Constitution so wisely dictates. Record on Appeal. still deference to a constitutional mandate would have led the lower court to decide as it did. . 2 Cf. 27. Fernandez and Aquino. concur. 9 there is this quotation from an opinion of the United States Supreme Court: "This prerogative of parens patriae is inherent in the supreme power of every State. Barredo. 24-25. 24. Record on Appeal. that family relations may press their respective claims." What is more. JJ. it could have been different if the conflict were between father and mother." 10 If. whether that power is lodged in a royal person or in the legislature. In a recent case.. there is this constitutional provision vitalizing this concept. Costs against defendant-appellant. the decision of May 10.here. cannot remain insensible to the validity of her plea. 5 Decision. Footnotes 1 Decision. it is the family as a unit that has to be strengthened.. J. Zaldivar (Chairman). 4 Article 321 of the Civil Code (1950). took no part. Such is not the case at all. WHEREFORE. It would be more in consonance not only with the natural order of things but the tradition of the country for a parent to be preferred. Certainly the judiciary as the instrumentality of the State in its role of parens patriae. 1965 is affirmed. 3 Article 320 of the Civil Code (1950).

L-25659. Aug. 55 SCRA 261. 1974. L27455. Reparations Commission.. March 15. Davao Stevedore Terminal Co. March 1. March 28. 7 Brief for the Defendant-Appellant. 10 Article II. L-29203. La Peria Cigar and Cigarette Factory v. 28 SCRA 1085. Maritime Co. 1969. Central Bank. Pamaran. Dequito v. 1967. Pacific Oxygen & Acetylene Co. 1973. March 28. 31. 1971. Jalandoni v. 1972. Luzon Surety Co... Inc. 38 (1944). July 26. 8-9. Commissioner of Customs. 22 SCRA 1352. 28. 40 SCRA 70. 1969. Inc. June 29. July 31. 1973. L-27757. L-21881. De Garcia. 1969. 30 SCRA 111. v. Vda. v. 39 SCRA 269. Republic Flour Mills. Endaya. People vs. 30. L-28463. 27 SCRA 505. Gonzaga v. L-27489. 53 SCRA 139. Ariola. Sept. 438-439. v. City of Pasay L-24039. Padilla v. 1968. de Macabenta v.. Sept. L-26371. L-26808. 44 SCRA 431. 31. April 27. Lopez. L-23894. 29 SCRA 656. 23 SCRA 1349: Garcia v. Aug. Section of the Constitution. Court of Appeals. Mapa. 32 SCRA 553. L-29226. June 28. Vallangca v. May 31. 1971. 30. Vasquez. of the Phil.6 Cf. 1969. Pacis v. L-27641. 1968. L-23996. L-22301. Mobil Oil Phil. 1971. 40 SCRA 555. L-23096. L-27948 and 28001-11. 1974. Codigo Civil Español. 24. Inc. 8 2 Manresa. v. 20 SCRA 1164. 9 Nery v. Jan. 1968. Oct. v. Caparas. 1970. April 30. v.                             . Diocares. 51 SCRA 381. Commissioner of Customs. 22 SCRA 917. Lorenzo. Allied Brokerage Corp.

. there is no suspended allegiance. the accused adhered to the enemy by giving the latter aid and comfort. Regarding the change of government. it is either subsisting or eliminated and replaced. he claims that he cannot be tried under a change of sovereignty over the country since his acts were against the Commonwealth which was replaced already by the Republic. A citizen owes absolute and permanent allegiance to his government or sovereign. Misa 77 Phil. there is no such change since the sovereign – the Filipino people – is still the same.   Laurel vs. Also. No transfer of sovereignty was made. from Commonwealth to the Republic of the Philippines. rather. it was the exercise of sovereignty that was suspended. sovereignty cannot be suspended. During the Japanese occupation. 856 FACTS: The accused was charged with treason. What happened was a mere change of name of government. Moreover. it is presumed that the Philippine government still had the power. He claims that he cannot be tried for treason since his allegiance to the Philippines was suspended at that time. Sovereignty per se wasn’t suspended. HELD: The accused was found guilty. Thus. hence.

that the petitioner herein is being punished by a law created to serve the political purpose of the Japanese Imperial Army in the Philippines.” that the provisions of said Ordinance No. No. created in section 1 of Ordinance No. 7. 65 by section 9 thereof and section 5 of said Ordinance No. 157 of the Chairman of the Executive Commission. The petition for habeas corpus is based on the ground that the Court of Special and Executive Criminal Jurisdiction created by Ordinance No. Director of Prisons G. And the procedure followed in the trial was the summary one established in Chapter II of Executive Order No. assailed by the petitioner and the Solicitor General as impairing . 65 of the same Assembly. and “that the penalties provided for are much (more) severe than the penalties provided for in the Revised Penal Code.Peralta v. and therefore. made applicable to the trial violations of said Act No.” The features of the summary procedure adopted by Ordinance No. was prosecuted for the crime of robbery as defined and penalized by section 2 (a) of Act No. the aims and purposes of which are repugnant to those aims and political purposes of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.R. 7 are violative of the fundamental laws of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and “the petitioner has been deprived of his constitutional rights”. pursuant to the authority conferred upon him by the Constitution and laws of the said Republic. 7 promulgated by the President of the so-called Republic of the Philippines. null and void ab initio. He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonmentby the Court of Special and Exclusive Criminal Jurisdiction. 9 of the National Assembly of the so-called Republic of the Philippines. a member of the Metropolitan Constabulary of Manila charged with the supervision and control of the production. L-49 November 12. Facts: Petitioner-defendant. 7. 7 “was a political instrumentality of the military forces of the Japanese Imperial Army. J. as well as those of the United States of America. procurement and distribution of goods and other necessaries as defined in section 1 of Act No. 1945 Feria.

ceased to be valid upon the reoccupation of the islands by virtue of the principle or right of postliminium. the sentence which convicted the petitioner of a crime of a political complexion must be considered as having ceased to be valid ipso facto upon the reoccupation or liberation of the Philippines by General Douglas MacArthur. the cast of the occupant possess legal validity. he may be immediately convicted. Applying that doctrine to the present case.’ to acts of a political character. to sentences for ‘war treason’ and ‘war crimes. that if from the facts admitted at the preliminary interrogatory it appears that the defendant is guilty. no reparation is legally due for what has already been carried out. except in case of death penalty which cannot be executed unless and until reviewed and affirmed by a special division of the Supreme Court composed of three Justices. and under international law should not be abrogated by the subsequent government.the constitutional rights of an accused are: that court may interrogate the accused and witnesses before trial in order to clarify the points in dispute. Issue: whether Ordinance No. alienation of the domains of the State or the sovereign).g.. although good and valid during the military occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese . and that the sentence of the sentence of the court is not appealable. that the refusal of the accused to answer the questions may be considered unfavorable to him. But this rule does not necessarily apply to acts that exceed the occupant’s power (e. and to those that beyond the period of occupation. In general. 7 is functus officio by reason sentence of the reoccupation of the Philippines and the restoration therein of the Commonwealth Government Held: Yes. The punitive sentence under consideration. All judgments of political complexion of the courts during the Japanese regime. When occupation ceases.

.forces. ceased to be good and valid ipso facto upon the reoccupation of these Island and the restoration therein of the Commonwealth Government.

Dr. On April 20.: This is a petition for certiorari to annul and set aside the July 26. 1967 by the governments of Malaysia. ADMINISTRATIVE DIV.00 and a monthly .R. private respondent Juvenal Lazaga was employed as a Research Associate an a probationary basis by the SEAFDECAQD and was appointed Senior External Affairs Officer on January 5. Corpus for private respondent. 86773 February 14. 1988 decision of the National Labor Relations Commission sustaining the labor arbiter. DR. Caesar T. Ramon Encarnacion for petitioners. Rufil Cuevas and Ben de los Reyes liable to pay private respondent Juvenal Lazaga the amount of P126. vs.458. petitioners. respondents. and the resolution denying the petitioners' motion for reconsideration of said decision dated January 9. FLOR LACANILAO (CHIEF).000. NOCON. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and JUVENAL LAZAGA. BEN DELOS REYES (FINANCE OFFICER). J. 1992 SOUTHEAST ASIAN FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT CENTERAQUACULTURE DEPARTMENT (SEAFDEC-AQD). organized through an agreement entered into in Bangkok. Flor Lacanilao.). RUFIL CUEVAS (HEAD. Agreement Establishing the SEAFDEC). 1989. The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: SEAFDEC-AQD is a department of an international organization. Thailand on December 28. as separation pay and other post-employment benefits. 1986 until full payment thereof is made. Singapore. in holding herein petitioners Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD). 1975.G. Thailand.89 plus interest thereon computed from May 16. 1983 with a monthly basic salary of P8. No. Vietnam. the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. Indonesia and the Philippines with Japan as the sponsoring country (Article 1.

his services shall be terminated at the close of office hours on May 15.000.allowance of P4.). private respondent is not entitled to accrued sick leave benefits amounting to P44. premises considered. A formal hearing was conducted whereby private respondent alleged that the non-issuance of the clearances by the petitioners was politically motivated and in bad faith. Upon petitioner SEAFDEC-AQD's failure to pay private respondent his separation pay. the labor arbiter rendered a decision.00. 1986. On the other hand. 1987 a complaint against petitioners for non-payment of separation benefits plus moral damages and attorney's fees with the Arbitration Branch of the NLRC (Annex "C" of Petition for Certiorari). Id. p. the latter filed on March 18. Petitioners in their answer with counterclaim alleged that the NLRC has no jurisdiction over the case inasmuch as the SEAFDEC-AQD is an international organization and that private respondent must first secure clearances from the proper departments for property or money accountability before any claim for separation pay will be paid. judgment is hereby rendered ordering respondents: . Thereafter. 1986 and that he is entitled to separation benefits equivalent to one (1) month of his basic salary for every year of service plus other benefits (Rollo.000.11. On May 8. 153).532. 1988.00 due to his failure to avail of the same during his employment with the SEAFDEC-AQD (Annex "D". On January 12. Furthermore. petitioners alleged that private respondent has property accountability and an outstanding obligation to SEAFDEC-AQD in the amount of P27. petitioner Lacanilao in his capacity as Chief of SEAFDEC-AQD sent a notice of termination to private respondent informing him that due to the financial constraints being experienced by the department. he was appointed to the position of Professional III and designated as Head of External Affairs Office with the same pay and benefits. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. and which clearances had not yet been obtained by the private respondent.

(Annex "A". It was established by the Governments of Burma. SO ORDERED.1968. Japan. Republic of the Philippines. Malaysia.000. plus 10% attorney's fees. 28. (Rollo. said decision was affirmed by the Fifth Division of the NLRC except as to the award of P50. 1989. To pay complainant actual damages in the amount of P50. plus legal interest thereon computed from May 16. petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration (Annex "G". id. petitioners instituted this petition for certiorari alleging that the NLRC has no jurisdiction to hear and decide respondent Lazaga's complaint since SEAFDEC-AQD is immune from suit owing to its international character and the complaint is in effect a suit against the State which cannot be maintained without its consent. 2. The Republic of the Philippines became a signatory to the Agreement establishing SEAFDEC on January 16. Annex "E") On July 26. Thereafter. 1988.1. and through collaboration with international organizations . To pay complainant P126. Petition). p. 51. Its purpose is as follows: The purpose of the Center is to contribute to the promotion of the fisheries development in Southeast Asia by mutual co-operation among the member governments of the Center. Kingdom of Laos. hereinafter called the "Members". as separation pay and other post-employment benefits. Republic of Singapore.000. Republic of Indonesia.89. 1986 until full payment thereof is made. Petitioner Southeast Asian Fisheries Development CenterAquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD) is an international agency beyond the jurisdiction of public respondent NLRC.458.) On September 3. 1988.) which was denied on January 9.00 as actual damages and attorney's fees for being baseless. The petition is impressed with merit. Kingdom of Cambodia. Kingdom of Thailand and Republic of Vietnam (Annex "H". id. All other claims are hereby dismissed. p.

As such. ibid. No. Annex "H".and governments external to the Center.310.]) Pursuant to its being a signatory to the Agreement. SEAFDEC including its Departments (AQD). 5. Annex "H" Petition) (p. enjoys functional independence and freedom from control of the state in whose territory its office is located.). Public International Law." (Salonga and Yap. 83 [1956 ed. . Paragraph 1. ibid. according to one leading authority "they must be deemed to possess a species of international personality of their own. they have a distinct juridical personality independent of the municipal law of the State where they are situated. Among the notable instances are the International Labor Organization. the International Institute of Agriculture.D. Article 6 of the Agreement establishing SEAFDEC mandates: 1. id. (Agreement Establishing the SEAFDEC. In so far as they are autonomous and beyond the control of any one State. It expressly waived the application of the Philippine laws on the disbursement of funds of petitioner SEAFDEC-AQD (Section 2. 83. P.): Permanent international commissions and administrative bodies have been created by the agreement of a considerable number of States for a variety of international purposes. economic or social and mainly non-political. Par. Yap stated in their book.) and that its national laws and regulations shall apply only insofar as its contribution to SEAFDEC of "an agreed amount of money. 1. 1. Malaysia as one of the principal departments of SEAFDEC (Annex "I". Art. 1956 ed. Art. As Senator Jovito R. 11. movable and immovable property and services necessary for the establishment and operation of the Center" are concerned (Art.) to be established in Iloilo for the promotion of research in aquaculture. 1973 in Kuala Lumpur. Being an intergovernmental organization. The Council shall be the supreme organ of the Center and all powers of the Center shall be vested in the Council. 292). Public International Law (p. the International Danube Commission. Salonga and Former Chief Justice Pedro L. Rollo) SEAFDEC-AQD was organized during the Sixth Council Meeting of SEAFDEC on July 3-7. the Republic of the Philippines agreed to be represented by one Director in the governing SEAFDEC Council (Agreement Establishing SEAFDEC.

Madamba's reinstatement cases would amount to interference by the Philippine Government in the management decisions of the SEARCA governing board. 37-44) The obvious reason for this is that the subjection of such an organization to the authority of the local courts would afford a convenient medium thru which the host government may interfere in there operations or even influence or control its policies and decisions of the organization. 284-1285).. for instance. that it is immune from the legal writs and processes issued by the tribunals of the country where it is found. jurisdictional immunity from the host country is invariably among the first accorded. such subjection to local jurisdiction would impair the capacity of such body to discharge its responsibilities impartially on behalf of its memberstates. It is precisely to forestall these possibilities that in cases where the extent of the immunity is specified in the enabling instruments of international organizations. even worse. this Court held: A rule. Settled is the rule that the decision of a tribunal not vested with appropriate jurisdiction is null and void. pp. 139. The Law of International Institutions. One of the basic immunities of an international organization is immunity from local jurisdiction. (See Jenks..The then Minister of Justice likewise opined that Philippine Courts have no jurisdiction over SEAFDEC-AQD in Opinion No. See also Bowett. In the case at bar. it could compromise the desired impartiality of the organization since it will have to suit its actuations to the requirements of Philippine law. Id. The lack of . besides. Where there is none.e. Thus. no agreement of the parties can provide one. the entertainment by the National Labor Relations Commission of Mr. in Calimlim vs.. which may not necessarily coincide with the interests of the other member-states. Jurisdiction is conferred by law. Ramirez. Id. that had been settled by unquestioned acceptance and upheld in decisions so numerous to cite is that the jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter of the action is a matter of law and may not be conferred by consent or agreement of the parties. Series of 1984 — 4. Respondent Lazaga's invocation of estoppel with respect to the issue of jurisdiction is unavailing because estoppel does not apply to confer jurisdiction to a tribunal that has none over a cause of action. (See Jenks. i. pp.

of the SEAFDEC. that the holding in said case had been applied to situations which were obviously not contemplated therein. at 300. SO ORDERED. De Leon (147 SCRA 286 [1987]) to justify its assumption of jurisdiction over SEAFDEC is misplaced. the Court in said case explained why it took cognizance of the case. L34362.. finding SEAFDEC-AQD to be an international agency beyond the jurisdiction of the courts or local agency of the Philippine government. however.R. are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE for having been rendered without jurisdiction. respectively. The exceptional circumstances involved in Sibonghanoy which justified the departure from the accepted concept of non-waivability of objection to jurisdiction has been ignored and. On the contrary. even on appeal. 1988 and January 9. G. that the present petition relates to a controversy between two claimants to the same position. but rather the general rule.jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings. instead a blanket doctrine had been repeatedly upheld that rendered the supposed ruling in Sibonghanoy not as the exception. There is before us no question involving immunity from the jurisdiction of the Court. this is not a controversy between the SEAFDEC on the one hand. emphasis supplied). Ramirez. and an officer or employee. or by an official of SEAFDEC with the consent of SEAFDEC (Id. WHEREFORE. finally. 118 SCRA 399. there being no plea for such immunity whether by or on behalf of SEAFDEC. virtually overthrowing altogether the time-honored principle that the issue of jurisdiction is not lost by waiver or by estoppel. (Calimlim vs. 1989. It is to be regretted. Said the Court: We would note. the questioned decision and resolution of the NLRC dated July 26. . [1982]) Respondent NLRC'S citation of the ruling of this Court in Lacanilao v. No costs. This doctrine has been qualified by recent pronouncements which it stemmed principally from the ruling in the cited case of Sibonghanoy. on the other hand. or a person claiming to be an officer or employee. No.

G. 2003 KHOSROW MINUCHER. When the Shah of Iran was deposed by Ayatollah Khomeini. "The testimony of the plaintiff disclosed that he is an Iranian national. in due time. COURT OF APPEALS and ARTHUR SCALZO. under the regime of the Shah of Iran. Branch 19. an informer of the Intelligence Unit of the military. No. when the latter was brought to his house and introduced to him by a certain Jose Iñigo. J. Presiding Judge Eutropio Migrino rendered a decision acquitting the two accused. an Information for violation of Section 4 of Republic Act No. In 1976.R. 6425. become one of the principal witnesses for the prosecution. The criminal charge followed a "buy-bust operation" conducted by the Philippine police narcotic agents in the house of Minucher. Japan and Manila. On 03 August 1988. On 08 January 1988. where a quantity of heroin." was filed against petitioner Khosrow Minucher and one Abbas Torabian with the Regional Trial Court. He headed the Iranian National Resistance Movement in the Philippines. he was appointed Labor Attaché for the Iranian Embassies in Tokyo. "He came to know the defendant on May 13. 88-45691 before the Regional Trial Court (RTC). otherwise also known as the "Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. The Manila RTC detailed what it had found to be the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. Jose Iñigo. Crisanto . an Iranian national. HON. on the other hand. of Pasig City.: Sometime in May 1986. Branch 151. Philippines. He came to the Philippines to study in the University of the Philippines in 1974. DECISION VITUG. was said to have been seized. The narcotic agents were accompanied by private respondent Arthur Scalzo who would. of Manila for damages on account of what he claimed to have been trumped-up charges of drug trafficking made by Arthur Scalzo. petitioner. Minucher filed Civil Case No. a prohibited drug. 142396 February 11. was met by plaintiff at the office of Atty. 1986. vs. plaintiff became a refugee of the United Nations and continued to stay in the Philippines. respondents.

The defendant wanted to buy a pair of carpets which plaintiff valued at $27. Manila. and the latter.000. he requested the restaurant people to x x x place the same in the refrigerator. they agreed at $24. he bought two kilos of caviar from plaintiff and paid P10. Selling caviar. 1986. they agreed that defendant would come back the next day. however.000. he came back with his $24. Plaintiff brought the merchandize but for the reason that the defendant was not yet there. pistachio nuts and other Iranian products was his business after the Khomeini government cut his pension of over $3. however. "On May 19. The following day. Thereafter. Defendant. which showed that he is working at the US Embassy in the Philippines. "It was also during this first meeting that plaintiff expressed his desire to obtain a US Visa for his wife and the wife of a countryman named Abbas Torabian. .000. came and plaintiff gave him the caviar for which he was paid.00 for it. Department of Justice.00 per visa. aside from that of Persian carpets. the defendant gave the plaintiff his calling card. in turn. 1986. at 1:00 p. carpets and caviar.900.00. which he gave to the plaintiff. "During his first meeting with the defendant on May 13. the defendant promised to see plaintiff again. During their introduction in that meeting. was more concentrated on politics. The defendant told him that he [could] help plaintiff for a fee of $2. As a matter of fact.000.00. Then their conversation was again focused on politics and business. Their conversation. 1986. and gave his address as US Embassy. After some haggling. a lawyer for several Iranians whom plaintiff assisted as head of the anti-Khomeini movement in the Philippines. the defendant called the plaintiff and invited the latter for dinner at Mario's Restaurant at Makati. "On May 26. At the back of the card appears a telephone number in defendant’s own handwriting. of the United States. the number of which he can also be contacted.. He wanted to buy 200 grams of caviar.000. Pasig. as a special agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration. the defendant expressed his interest in buying caviar. upon the introduction of Jose Iñigo.Saruca.m.00.00 per month. For the reason that defendant did not yet have the money. defendant visited plaintiff again at the latter's residence for 18 years at Kapitolyo.

000. 1986. They also took plaintiff's wife who was at that time at the boutique near his house and likewise arrested Torabian. He also discovered missing upon his release his 8 pieces hand-made Persian carpets.000. He was handcuffed and after about 20 minutes in the street. he took something and placed it on the table in front of the plaintiff. all armed.000. especially his bedroom was invaded by defendant. his safe was opened where he kept the $24.00 the defendant paid for the carpets and another $8. his telephone was unplugged. were playing chess.000. who was playing chess with him in the bedroom and both were handcuffed together. "The plaintiff took note of the fact that when the defendant invited him to come out to meet his cousin. but the defendant told him to `shut up. Plaintiff opened his safe in the bedroom and obtained $2. . a painting he bought for P30. where the latter and his countryman. Plaintiff was not told why he was being handcuffed and why the privacy of his house. the defendant came back again to plaintiff's house and directly proceeded to the latter's bedroom. There was. He was in the company of about 30 to 40 Filipino soldiers with 6 Americans.nét "At about 3:00 in the afternoon of May 27. and without putting on his shirt as he was only in his pajama pants. valued at $65.00 which he also placed in the safe together with a bracelet worth $15.000.00 from it.00 together with his TV and betamax sets.00 and a pair of earrings worth $10. To his complete surprise. an American jumped out of the cab with a drawn highpowered gun.00.’ He was nevertheless told that he would be able to call for his lawyer who can defend him.000. Abbas Torabian. Without much ado. gave it to the defendant for the latter's fee in obtaining a visa for plaintiff's wife. He was not allowed to use the telephone.000.00. The defendant came out of the bedroom and out from defendant's attaché case. He asked for any warrant. He was made to sit down while in handcuffs while the defendant was inside his bedroom. The defendant told him that he would be leaving the Philippines very soon and requested him to come out of the house for a while so that he can introduce him to his cousin waiting in a cab. he followed the defendant where he saw a parked cab opposite the street.gave him the pair of carpets. He claimed that when he was handcuffed. 1awphi1. the defendant took his keys from his wallet. he was brought inside the house by the defendant. In fact.

The motion was denied by the court."1 During the trial. but also in America and in Germany. On 27 October 1988. where they were detained for three days without food and water. not only in the Philippines. the arrest of defendant and Torabian was likewise on television. in various newspapers. was beyond the processes of the court. Scalzo argued that in cases involving the United States government. nothing left in his house. x x x In fact. "That his arrest as a heroin trafficker x x x had been well publicized throughout the world. Scalzo filed another special appearance to quash the summons on the ground that he. in its order of 13 December 1988. The court a quo denied the motion for reconsideration in its order of 15 October 1989. The trial court granted the motion. they were brought to Camp Crame handcuffed together. filed a special appearance for Scalzo and moved for extension of time to file an answer pending a supposed advice from the United States Department of State and Department of Justice on the defenses to be raised. He was identified in the papers as an international drug trafficker. the law firm of Luna. America. as well as its agencies and officials. a motion for extension was peculiarly unavoidable due to the need (1) for both the Department of State and the Department of Justice to agree on the defenses to be raised and (2) to refer the case to a Philippine lawyer who would be expected to first review the case. . "After the arrest made on plaintiff and Torabian. contending that a motion for an extension of time to file an answer was not a voluntary appearance equivalent to service of summons since it did not seek an affirmative relief. not being a resident of the Philippines and the action being one in personam. His friends in said places informed him that they saw him on TV with said news. particularly in Australia.therefore. Scalzo filed a motion for reconsideration of the court order. Sison and Manas. holding that the filing by Scalzo of a motion for extension of time to file an answer to the complaint was a voluntary appearance equivalent to service of summons which could likewise be construed a waiver of the requirement of formal notice. Central Asia and in the Philippines.

No. vs. No. Hon. the trial court set the case for pre-trial. to this Court. Scalzo filed a petition for certiorari with injunction with this Court. In his answer. he was entitled to diplomatic immunity. docketed G." asking that the complaint in Civil Case No. . of Vice Consul Donna Woodward. 414 of the United States Embassy.. after almost two years since the institution of the civil case. Scalzo interposed a counterclaim of P100.Scalzo filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals. The case was referred to the Court of Appeals. 94257 and entitled "Arthur W. dated 09 February 1990. on 14 June 1990. however. being a special agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. 17023.R. The petition. Wenceslao Polo. Scalzo filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that. the trial court denied the motion to dismiss. Scalzo had failed to show that the appellate court was in error in its questioned judgment.R. No. docketed G. Scalzo. assailing the denial. et al. In an order of 25 June 1990. was denied for its failure to comply with SC Circular No. dated 29 May 1990. Granting the motion.R. there docketed CA-G. dated 06 October 1989. an order. in any event. the Court added. addressed to the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and a Certification. In a decision. was issued (a) declaring Scalzo in default for his failure to file a responsive pleading (answer) and (b) setting the case for the reception of evidence. Scalzo denied the material allegations of the complaint and raised the affirmative defenses (a) of Minucher’s failure to state a cause of action in his complaint and (b) that Scalzo had acted in the discharge of his official duties as being merely an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States Department of Justice.R. the appellate court denied the petition and affirmed the ruling of the trial court. 91173. dated 11 June 1990. Scalzo then elevated the incident in a petition for review on certiorari. Jr. On 12 March 1990. there docketed CA-G. Meanwhile.00 to answer for attorneys' fees and expenses of litigation. 88-45691 be ordered dismissed. He attached to his motion Diplomatic Note No. 1-88..000. On 27 July 1990. Then. certifying that the note is a true and faithful copy of its original. at the court a quo. Scalzo filed a motion to set aside the order of default and to admit his answer to the complaint.

the trial court reached a decision. The Manila RTC thus continued with its hearings on the case. attorney's fees in the sum of P200. judgment is hereby rendered for the plaintiff. No. appealing the judgment of the Court of Appeals. 22505. 414 and (b) that the complaint contained sufficient allegations to the effect that Scalzo committed the imputed acts in his personal capacity and outside the scope of his official duties and. absent any evidence to the contrary. against the defendant in the manner following: "`Adjudging defendant liable to plaintiff in actual and compensatory damages of P520. On 17 November 1995.000. penned by Justice (now Chief Justice) Hilario Davide. the Honorable Court of Appeals. docketed G.R.’"2 While the trial court gave credence to the claim of Scalzo and the evidence presented by him that he was a diplomatic agent entitled to immunity as such.000. moral damages in the sum of P10 million. it adjudged: "WHEREFORE." (cited in 214 SCRA 242). et. the issue on Scalzo’s diplomatic immunity could not be taken up. 97765 and entitled "Khosrow Minucher vs. al.00 plus costs.00. The remand was ordered on the theses (a) that the Court of Appeals erred in granting the motion to dismiss of Scalzo for lack of jurisdiction over his person without even considering the issue of the authenticity of Diplomatic Note No.. should be held . is ordered to take note of the lien of the Court on this judgment to answer for the unpaid docket fees considering that the plaintiff in this case instituted this action as a pauper litigant. On 31 October 1990. In a decision. Jr. this Court reversed the decision of the appellate court and remanded the case to the lower court for trial. per this Court’s resolution of 07 August 1990. the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision sustaining the diplomatic immunity of Scalzo and ordering the dismissal of the complaint against him. `The Clerk of the Regional Trial Court. and in view of all the foregoing considerations.SP No.000. dated 24 September 1992. exemplary damages in the sum of P100. Manila. it ruled that he. nevertheless.00. who successfully established his claim by sufficient evidence. Minucher filed a petition for review with this Court.

3 Even while one of the issues submitted in G.R. has not resolved that point with finality. Indeed. should have precluded the Court of Appeals from resolving the appeal to it in an entirely different manner.is also a pivotal question raised in the instant petition. 97765 .accountable for the acts complained of committed outside his official duties. The doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment. Hence. following the decision rendered by this Court in G. and 4) an identity of the parties. 97765."4 Scalzo contends that the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. 3) a judgment on the merits. On appeal. or its kindred rule of res judicata.R. the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court and sustained the defense of Scalzo that he was sufficiently clothed with diplomatic immunity during his term of duty and thereby immune from the criminal and civil jurisdiction of the "Receiving State" pursuant to the terms of the Vienna Convention. intelligent and fair resolution of the issue of diplomatic immunity. this recourse by Minucher. unequivocally states that he would present documentary evidence consisting of DEA records on his investigation and surveillance of plaintiff and on his position and duties as DEA special agent in Manila. the Court there has made this observation "It may be mentioned in this regard that private respondent himself. 97765. 2) a valid jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties on the part of the court that renders it. No. the barren self-serving claim in the belated motion to dismiss cannot be relied upon for a reasonable. grants him absolute immunity ."whether or not public respondent Court of Appeals erred in ruling that private respondent Scalzo is a diplomat immune from civil suit conformably with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations" . however. which is the basis for the alleged diplomatic immunity.R. to which the Philippines is a signatory. No. No. subject matter and causes of action. The instant petition for review raises a two-fold issue: (1) whether or not the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment. would require 1) the finality of the prior judgment. Having thus reserved his right to present evidence in support of his position. and (2) whether or not Arthur Scalzo is indeed entitled to diplomatic immunity. the ruling in G. in his Pre-trial Brief filed on 13 June 1990.

Branch 19 (the trial court).Diplomatic Note No. Legal Adviser.Diplomatic Note No. '2' . and (3) that the United States Embassy repeatedly urged the Department of Foreign Affairs to take . Exh. Jorge R. and 8. describing his functions as an agent of the United States Drugs Enforcement Agency as "conducting surveillance operations on suspected drug dealers in the Philippines believed to be the source of prohibited drugs being shipped to the U. (and) having ascertained the target. '5' . 2. Coquia. Exh. 833 dated 21 October 1988.5 The documents. '6' . Woodward dated 11 June 1990.Diplomatic Note No. (he then) would inform the Philippine narcotic agents (to) make the actual arrest." Scalzo has submitted to the trial court a number of documents 1. Department of Foreign Affairs.Certification of Vice Consul Donna K. '1' . would show that: (1) the United States Embassy accordingly advised the Executive Department of the Philippine Government that Scalzo was a member of the diplomatic staff of the United States diplomatic mission from his arrival in the Philippines on 14 October 1985 until his departure on 10 August 1988. (2) that the United States Government was firm from the very beginning in asserting the diplomatic immunity of Scalzo with respect to the case pursuant to the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. '7' ..Diplomatic Note No. Exh. Exh. 414 dated 29 May 1990. 3. appended to the 1st Indorsement (Exh.1st Indorsement of the Hon. '3'). 414. through Asst. '4' .Letter dated 18 November 1992 from the Office of the Protocol.S. Emmanuel Fernandez. Department of Foreign Affairs. addressed to the Chief Justice of this Court.from suit. 791 dated 17 November 1992. '8' . and 5. 757 dated 25 October 1991. Exh. 7. Sec. dated 27 June 1990 forwarding Embassy Note No. Exh.Diplomatic Note No. 4. Exh. 6. Exh. 414 to the Clerk of Court of RTC Manila. '3' . according to Scalzo.

In his Exhibit 12. Scalzo described the functions of the overseas office of the United States Drugs Enforcement Agency. on May 1986. affirmed by its Vice Consul. Scalzo additionally presented Exhibits "9" to "13" consisting of his reports of investigation on the surveillance and subsequent arrest of Minucher. 414. its rules of law had long become stable. through its Executive Department. Among the city states of ancient Greece. and (c) that the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs itself recognized that Scalzo during his tour of duty in the Philippines (14 October 1985 up to 10 August 1988) was listed as being an Assistant Attaché of the United States diplomatic mission and accredited with diplomatic status by the Government of the Philippines. 2) to establish and maintain liaison with the host country and counterpart foreign law enforcement officials. among the peoples of the Mediterranean . recognizing and respecting the diplomatic status of Scalzo. by the time of its ratification on 18 April 1961. The other documentary exhibits were presented to indicate that: (1) the Philippine government itself. and the special power of attorney executed by him in favor of his previous counsel6 to show (a) that the United States Embassy.. and 3) to conduct complex criminal investigations involving international criminal conspiracies which affect the interests of the United States.e. he investigated Minucher for alleged trafficking in a prohibited drug. formally advised the "Judicial Department" of his diplomatic status and his entitlement to all diplomatic privileges and immunities under the Vienna Convention. with the cooperation of the Philippine law enforcement officials and in the exercise of his functions as member of the mission. i. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations was a codification of centuries-old customary law and. (b) that. the certification of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States Department of Justice that Scalzo was a special agent assigned to the Philippines at all times relevant to the complaint. (1) to provide criminal investigative expertise and assistance to foreign law enforcement agencies on narcotic and drug control programs upon the request of the host country. and (2) the Department of Foreign Affairs itself authenticated Diplomatic Note No. acknowledged Scalzo to be a member of the diplomatic staff of the United States diplomatic mission from his arrival in the Philippines on 14 October 1985 until his departure on 10 August 1988.appropriate action to inform the trial court of Scalzo’s diplomatic immunity.

are accorded diplomatic rank. who represent their respective states in concerns of commerce and navigation and perform certain administrative and notarial duties. the administrative staff and the technical and service staff. thus impliedly withholding the same privileges from all others. technical and service staff of the mission. the official usually entrusted with the external affairs of the state. and (c) charges d' affairs12 accredited to the ministers of foreign affairs. the exercise of diplomatic intercourse among states was undertaken by the head of state himself.8 Traditionally. authentication of documents. Only "diplomatic agents. are vested with blanket diplomatic immunity from civil and criminal suits. It might bear stressing that even consuls. by and large." under the terms of the Convention.before the establishment of the Roman Empire. when the earliest treatises on diplomatic law were published. Where a state would wish to have a more prominent diplomatic presence in the receiving state. Even while the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations provides for immunity to the members of diplomatic missions. as well as members of the diplomatic staff. as being the preeminent embodiment of the state he represented. it would then send to the latter a diplomatic mission. nevertheless. it does so.9 The Convention lists the classes of heads of diplomatic missions to include (a) ambassadors or nuncios accredited to the heads of state.10 (b) envoys. with an understanding that the same be restrictively applied. and among the states of India. do not ordinarily enjoy the traditional diplomatic immunities and privileges accorded diplomats. Only the heads of missions. the person of the herald in time of war and the person of the diplomatic envoy in time of peace were universally held sacrosanct. excluding the members of the administrative. Conformably with the Vienna Convention. and the foreign secretary. the representation of the interests of the sending state and promoting friendly relations with the receiving state. The Convention defines "diplomatic agents" as the heads of missions or members of the diplomatic staff. the inviolability of ambassadors was firmly established as a rule of customary international law.11 ministers or internuncios accredited to the heads of states. mainly for the reason that they are not .7 By the end of the 16th century. such as the issuance of passports and visas. and administration of oaths.13 Comprising the "staff of the (diplomatic) mission" are the diplomatic staff. the functions of the diplomatic mission involve.

labor. on 29 May 1990. Scalzo asserted. nor are they normally designated as having diplomatic rank. who are detailed by their respective ministries or departments with the embassies such as the military. 757 and 791. The presentation did nothing much to alleviate the Court's initial reservations in G. other than the foreign ministry or department. the main yardstick in ascertaining whether a person is a diplomat entitled to immunity is the determination of whether or not he performs duties of diplomatic nature. There could also be a class of attaches belonging to certain ministries or departments of the government. the private respondent is clothed with diplomatic immunity. agricultural. 25 October 1991 and 17 November 1992. or the like. 414. respectively. Scalzo presented Diplomatic Notes Nos. but their main function is to observe. 88-45691 on the basis of an erroneous assumption that simply because of the diplomatic note. the public respondent gravely abused its discretion in dismissing Civil Case No. analyze and interpret trends and developments in their respective fields in the host country and submit reports to their own ministries or departments in the home government. No.14 These officials are not generally regarded as members of the diplomatic mission." that he was an Assistant Attaché of the United States diplomatic mission and was accredited as such by the Philippine Government. Attaches assist a chief of mission in his duties and are administratively under him.R. In an attempt to prove his diplomatic status. to the core issue . science. all issued post litem motam. administrative or financial affairs. "x x x x x x x x x "And now. commercial.charged with the duty of representing their states in political matters. 97765. naval. viz: "While the trial court denied the motion to dismiss. Indeed. An attaché belongs to a category of officers in the diplomatic establishment who may be in charge of its cultural. and customs attaches. press. thereby divesting the trial court of jurisdiction over his person. Setting aside for the moment the issue of .the alleged diplomatic immunity of the private respondent. air. particularly in his Exhibits "9" to "13.

The public respondent then should have sustained the trial court's denial of the motion to dismiss. 08. the hands of the courts are virtually tied. In World Health Organization vs." the supposed bases for the belated issuance. vesting a person with diplomatic immunity is a prerogative of the executive branch of the government. Amidst . the complaint for damages filed by petitioner cannot be peremptorily dismissed. Fernandez. Jr. in such matters. Verily. x x x. It should not have been overwhelmed by the self-serving Diplomatic Note whose belated issuance is even suspect and whose authenticity has not yet been proved." A significant document would appear to be Exhibit No. eight (8) months and seventeen (17) days from the time his counsel filed on 12 September 1988 a Special Appearance and Motion asking for a first extension of time to file the Answer because the Departments of State and Justice of the United States of America were studying the case for the purpose of determining his defenses. dated 08 November 1992. Arthur W. Scalzo. Concededly. before he could secure the Diplomatic Note from the US Embassy in Manila. Assistant Secretary. Aquino.15 the Court has recognized that. Nothing supports this self-serving claim other than the so-called Diplomatic Note.. issued by the Office of Protocol of the Department of Foreign Affairs and signed by Emmanuel C. and even granting for the sake of argument that such note is authentic. was presented in evidence. it should have been the most proper and appropriate recourse. during his term of office in the Philippines (from 14 October 1985 up to 10 August 1988) was listed as an Assistant Attaché of the United States diplomatic mission and was. in view of the fact that it took private respondent one (1) year. accredited diplomatic status by the Government of the Philippines. therefore." No certified true copy of such "records.authenticity raised by the petitioner and the doubts that surround such claim. The undue haste with which respondent Court yielded to the private respondent's claim is arbitrary. certifying that "the records of the Department (would) show that Mr. "x x x x x x x x x "There is of course the claim of private respondent that the acts imputed to him were done in his official capacity.

it is. that should particularly be no less than compelling. from States which do not issue such passports. with the emergence of democratic states. rather. but also distinctly to the state itself in its sovereign capacity. designed to gain exemption from the jurisdiction of courts. made to attach not just to the person of the head of state. If it should be ascertained that Arthur Scalzo was acting well within his assigned functions when he committed the acts alleged in the complaint. The State Department policy is to only concede diplomatic status to a person who possesses an acknowledged diplomatic title and "performs duties of diplomatic nature. has formulated its standards for recognition of a diplomatic agent.apprehensions of indiscriminate and incautious grant of immunity. the present controversy could then be resolved under the related doctrine of State Immunity from Suit.21 If the acts giving rise to a suit are those of a foreign . he worked for the United States Drug Enforcement Agency and was tasked to conduct surveillance of suspected drug activities within the country on the dates pertinent to this case.16 The government of the United States itself. being over twenty-one years of age. It might be recalled that the privilege is not an immunity from the observance of the law of the territorial sovereign or from ensuing legal liability. in its post litem motam issuances. The precept that a State cannot be sued in the courts of a foreign state is a long-standing rule of customary international law then closely identified with the personal immunity of a foreign sovereign from suit20 and. to be most circumspect. The Office of the Protocol would then assign each individual to the appropriate functional category. it was sufficiently established that.18 Diplomatic missions are requested to provide the most accurate and descriptive job title to that which currently applies to the duties performed. which Scalzo claims to be acting for."17 Supplementary criteria for accreditation are the possession of a valid diplomatic passport or. or his representative. a diplomatic note formally representing the intention to assign the person to diplomatic duties.19 But while the diplomatic immunity of Scalzo might thus remain contentious. and performing diplomatic functions on an essentially full-time basis. indeed. an immunity from the exercise of territorial jurisdiction. the holding of a non-immigrant visa. specifically its Department of Foreign Affairs. it should behoove the Philippine government.

in broad terms. and within the scope of their authority. Court of Appeals26 elaborates: "It is a different matter where the public official is made to account in his capacity as such for acts contrary to law and injurious to the rights of the plaintiff. It follows that for discharging their duties as agents of the United States. which has not given its consent to be sued. it is that government. It cannot for a moment be imagined that they were acting in their private or unofficial capacity when they apprehended and later testified against the complainant. although it has not been formally impleaded. Guinto. such as the appropriation of the amount needed to pay the damages decreed against him.23 In United States of America vs. possession and use of prohibited drugs.24 involving officers of the United States Air Force and special officers of the Air Force Office of Special Investigators charged with the duty of preventing the distribution. suing the state itself.government done by its foreign agent. The proscription is not accorded for the benefit of an individual but for the State. Thus. has its limitations. however. under the maxim . Suing a representative of a state is believed to be. x x x. As was clearly set forth by Justice Zaldivar in Director . this Court has ruled "While the doctrine (of state immunity) appears to prohibit only suits against the state without its consent. is that if the judgment against an official would require the state itself to perform an affirmative act to satisfy the award. [who were] responsible for their acts. and not the petitioners personally. but acting in his official capacity. in effect. although not necessarily a diplomatic personage. the suit must be regarded as being against the state itself. in whose service he is. they cannot be directly impleaded for acts imputable to their principal. non habet imperium . Shauf vs. it is also applicable to complaints filed against officials of the state for acts allegedly performed by them in the discharge of their duties. the complaint could be barred by the immunity of the foreign sovereign from suit without its consent.22 The implication.par in parem. x x x As they have acted on behalf of the government."25 This immunity principle.that all states are sovereign equals and cannot assert jurisdiction over one another.

Aligaen. and an action against the officials or officers by one whose rights have been invaded or violated by such acts. et al. under an unconstitutional act or under an assumption of authority which he does not have. it has been said that an action at law or suit in equity against a State officer or the director of a State department on the ground that. operating within a territory. can be cloaked with immunity from suit but only as long as it can be established that he is acting within the directives of the sending state. It is a well-settled principle of law that a public official may be liable in his personal private capacity for whatever damage he may have caused by his act done with malice and in bad faith or beyond the scope of his authority and jurisdiction. The rationale for this ruling is that the doctrine of state immunity cannot be used as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice. The cloak of protection afforded the officers and agents of the government is removed the moment they are sued in their individual capacity. "x x x x x x x x x "(T)he doctrine of immunity from suit will not apply and may not be invoked where the public official is being sued in his private and personal capacity as an ordinary citizen. for the protection of his rights.. (33 SCRA 368): `Inasmuch as the State authorizes only legal acts by its officers. While evidence is wanting to show any similar agreement between the governments of the Philippines and of the United States (for the latter to send its . stationed within Philippine territory. et al. vs. while claiming to act for the State. Guinto and Shauf both involve officers and personnel of the United States.of the Bureau of Telecommunications. The consent of the host state is an indispensable requirement of basic courtesy between the two sovereigns. is not a suit against the State within the rule of immunity of the State from suit. he violates or invades the personal and property rights of the plaintiff."27 A foreign agent. under the RP-US Military Bases Agreement. This situation usually arises where the public official acts without authority or in excess of the powers vested in him. In the same tenor. unauthorized acts of government officials or officers are not acts of the State. is not a suit against the State within the constitutional provision that the State may not be sued without its consent.

to the activities within Philippine territory of agent Scalzo of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. if not consent.J. the petition is DENIED. later acting as the poseur-buyer during the buy-bust operation. All told. pp. . Carpio and Azcuna. 39-42.. certifications from officials of both the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and the United States Embassy. may be inadequate to support the "diplomatic status" of the latter but they give enough indication that the Philippine government has given its imprimatur. (Chairman).. and then becoming a principal witness in the criminal case against Minucher. this Court is constrained to rule that respondent Arthur Scalzo. concur Footnotes 1 Rollo. The job description of Scalzo has tasked him to conduct surveillance on suspected drug suppliers and. Scalzo hardly can be said to have acted beyond the scope of his official function or duties. an agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency allowed by the Philippine government to conduct activities in the country to help contain the problem on the drug traffic. on the foregoing premises. C. Jr. however. SO ORDERED. WHEREFORE. as well as the participation of members of the Philippine Narcotics Command in the "buy-bust operation" conducted at the residence of Minucher at the behest of Scalzo. In conducting surveillance activities on Minucher. is entitled to the defense of state immunity from suit. JJ. No costs. The official exchanges of communication between agencies of the government of the two countries.agents and to conduct surveillance and related activities of suspected drug dealers in the Philippines). Ynares-Santiago. the consent or imprimatur of the Philippine government to the activities of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. can be gleaned from the facts heretofore elsewhere mentioned. Davide. after having ascertained the target.. to inform local law enforcers who would then be expected to make the arrest.

See Rollo. "Diplomatic Law. and developing their economic. 1-8." Central Lawbook Publishing. 143-155. 51. CA. 214 SCRA 242. 9 Article 3 of the Vienna Convention enumerates the functions of the diplomatic mission as (a) representing the sending State in the receiving State. A Glossary. pp. Co. pp. A Commentary on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. p. the head of . Gamboa. Court of Appeals." 2nd Edition. and reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State. "Elements of Diplomatic and Consular Practice. 8 Ibid. Claredon Press. as the case may be. This is the title of the head of legation as distinguished from an embassy. (b) protecting in the receiving State the interests of the sending State and of its nationals. within the limits permitted by international law.) 11 Envoys are diplomatic agents of the second class. Minucher vs. at 210.2 Rollo. 3 4 5 6 7 Eileen Denza. cultural and scientific relations. For Documentary Exhibits Nos. (Melquiades J. Oxford. p.. Linzag vs. as a rule with the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the Secretary of State. 1966. (c) negotiating with the Government of the receiving State. 19. 291 SCRA 304. 1998. (d) ascertaining by all lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State. 10 Ambassadors are diplomatic agents of the first class. see Rollo. 156-168. who deal. (e) promoting friendly relations between the sending State and the receiving State. 9-13. For documentary Exhibits Nos.

ministers plenipotentiary and envoys extraordinary.) 13 The classification of diplomatic representatives was considered significant before because direct communication with the head of state depended on the rank of the diplomat and. and ministers resident. He is the head of the legation in his own right and is not accredited to the head of State but to the foreign office. 244. Ibid. (Cruz. (Gamboa. According to Radloric. International Law. Brierly.. p.) 12 Charges d' Affairs are either en titre or ad interim. Like the Ambassador. the other three being ambassadors. (Gamboa. Charges d' affairs ad interim. 1985 Edition. 51-52. 18 . counselor or first secretary. at 16.which is called Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. pp. He is not accredited either to the Head of State or the Foreign Office. moreover. p. supra. Ibid. 6th Edition. 1963. "The Law of Nations.. supra. charges d' affairs are sometimes used to described a person who has been placed in custody of the archives and other property of a mission in a country with which formal diplomatic relations are not maintained.) 14 Gamboa. 15 16 J. in contrast are usually those second in command of the diplomatic mission – minister.L. 48 SCRA 242. the envoy is also accredited to the Head of State." Oxford University Press. only powerful states were regarded as entitled to send envoys of the highest rank. p. it has become the practice now for even the smallest and the weakest states to send diplomatic representatives of the highest rank. 32-33. 190. even to the major powers. 17 Denza. who are only temporarily in charge of the mission during the absence of the head of the mission. pp. Charges d' Affairs en titre are appointed on a permanent basis and belong to the fourth class of diplomatic envoys. Moreover. 145. At present however. diplomatic matters are usually discussed not with the head of state but with the foreign secretary regardless of the diplomat's rank..

W.. 119. as it could not be identified with the American government on the ground that undertaking maritime navigation and business as a commercial enterprise do not constitute a sovereign act. 26 February 1990.. any of its commercial activities. 1984. In the latter half of the 20th century. 3rd Edition (1948). 221. 191 SCRA 713 25 26 .19 Ibid.. etc. Grieg. 1970. p. "International Law." Appleton-Century-Crofts. "International Law." The consensus involves a more defined differentiation between public acts (juri imperii) and private acts (jure gestionis). 21 The international law on sovereign immunity of states from suit in the courts of another state has evolved from national court decisions with good deal of variance in perspectives. 307. at 55." London Butterworths. "International Law.R. and excludes. Fenwick. 1970. 76607. vs.) The United States for example. Grieg. p. Inc. At pp. 1948. cited in Charles G. p. et al. Maris. New York. (Gary L. 20 Charles G. does not claim immunity for its publicly owned or operated merchant vessels. that state immunity covers only acts which deal with the government functions of a state.. Even though national cases have been the major source of pronouncements on sovereign immunity. it should be noted that these constitute evidence of customary international law now widely recognized.e. 653-659. G. "International Law. 307-308. No. Fenwick. McFaddon. The Italian courts have rejected claims of immunity from the US Shipping Board.) 22 See Schooner Exchange vs. 7 Cranch 116 (1812). 221. although a state body. D.W. p.. "International Law. An Introduction. Guinto. i." University Press of America. et al. p. or activities not related to "sovereign acts. (D. 23 United States of America. 24 182 SCRA 644. a great deal of consensus on what is covered by sovereign immunity appears to be emerging." London Butterworths." New York.

00 which was later increased to P48. J. 1963 the corresponding real estate mortgage originally in the amount of P39. DAVID B. MELENCIO-HERRERA. The mortgagors. 1968. On July 9. and quoted by both petitioner 2 and private respondents 3: Sometime in March. Sto. Rosario. SOCORRO CONCIO CRUZ. and LORNA C. From the proceeds of the real estate loan the mortgagors constructed their residential house on the mortgaged property and were furnished by the SSS with a passbook to record the monthly payments of their amortizations (Exhibits B and B-1). as narrated by the Trial Court. respondents.R. Pursuant to this real estate ban said spouses executed on March 26.00 covering the aforementioned property as shown in their mortgage contract. plaintiffs herein.500. vs. L-41299 February 21. CRUZ. 1983 SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM. Cruz and Socorro Concio Cruz applied for and were granted a real estate loan by the SSS with their residential lot located at Lozada Street. Rizal covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. Exhibit A and 1. petitioner.G. Pateros. . complied with their monthly payments although there were times when delays were incurred in their monthly payments which were due every first five (5) days of the month (Exhibits 3-A to 3-N). among others: That the conditions of the mortgage have been broken since October. No. COURT OF APPEALS. CRUZ. Eribert D.000.: This Petition for Review on certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals 1 stems from the following facts. 2000 of the Register of Deeds of Rizal as collateral. The Solicitor General for petitioner. defendant SSS filed an application with the Provincial Sheriff of Rizal for the foreclosure of the real estate mortgage executed by the plaintiffs on the ground. adopted by the Court of Appeals. Socorro Concio Cruz and Lorna Cruz. 1963 the spouses David B. Ignacio for respondents David Cruz.

excluding interests thereon. among other things. 4 On July 24. Cruz. In answer to this letter defendant SSS sent a telegram to Atty. Atty. the SSS stressed its right to foreclose the mortgage executed in its favor by private respondents . After this first publication of the notice. 1968. 1968 and received on the same date by said entity demanding. 1968 (Exhibits "N-1 " and "O-1"). for said defendant SSS to withdraw the foreclosure and discontinue the publication of the notice of sale of their property claiming that plaintiffs were up-to-date in the payment of their monthly amortizations (Exhibits "E" and "E-1"). the notice of the Sheriff's Sale of the mortgaged property was initially published in the Sunday Chronicle in its issue of July 14. also secured by the said mortgage. and before the second publication of the notice. instituted before the Court of First Instance of Rizal an action for damages and attorney's fees against the Social Security System (SSS) and the Provincial Sheriff of Rizal alleging. Philippine Currency. the indebtedness to the mortgagee as of June. That by the terms of the contract herein above referred to. (Exhibit "C ") Pursuant to this application for foreclosure. Nothing came out of the telegraphic communications between the parties and the second and third publications of the notice of foreclosure were published successively in the Sunday Chronicle in its issues of July 21 and 28. In its Answer. 1968 amounts to Ten Thousand Seven Hundred Two Pesos & 58/100 (P10. all of the monthly installments due and payable thereafter up to the present date. Eriberto Ignacio requesting him to come to their office for a conference. that they had fully and religiously paid their monthly amortizations and had not defaulted in any payment.58). a letter dated July 19. "G-2"). 1968 announcing the sale at public auction of the said mortgaged property. 1968 (Exhibit "G " and "G-1 "). and. . Ignacio sent a telegraphic reply suggesting instead that a representative of the SSS be sent to him because his clients were the aggrieved parties (Exhibit-. plus 20% of the total amount of the indebtedness as attorney's fees.. among others. with counterclaim. the Cruz spouses. plaintiff herein thru counsel formally wrote defendant SSS.1967 with the default on the part of the mortgagor to pay in full the installments then due and payable on the principal debt and the interest thereon..702. together with their daughter Lorna C. To this telegraphic answer. This telegram was received by said counsel on July 23.

defendant SSS adopted a position of righteousness and followed the same course of action contending that no error has open committed.000.000. Defendant SSS shall further pay the costs. the Court believes plaintiffs are entitled to the amount of P5. on the third . Lastly. (c) P10. the Court believes defendant SSS should pay and indemnify plaintiffs jointly in the sum of P10. and made obviously with malice.by virtue of the automatic acceleration clause provided in the mortgage contract. calculated to cow plaintiffs into submission. judgment is rendered against defendant SSS. 5 In respect of the moral and temperate damages awarded. and (d) P5. as well as attorney's fees.00 as attorney's fees.00 as moral damage.00. On September 23.000. 1968.00 bond executed in favor of the SSS. The second publication of the notice of foreclosure is another matter. the Trial Court enjoined the SSS from holding the sale at public auction of private respondent's property upon their posting of a P2. On this score.000. Instead of taking any corrective measure to rectify its error.00 as exemplary or corrective damages. 1971. for malicious and baseless statements made by private respondents and published in the Manila Chronicle. the Court holds that the first publication of the notice was made in good faith but committed by defendant SSS in gross negligence considering the personnel at its command and the ease with which verifications of the actual defaulting mortgagors may be made. On this initial publication of the notice of foreclosure (Exhibits "M" and "M-1"). the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE.000. There was already notice by plaintiffs to defendant SSS that there was no reason for the foreclosure of their mortgaged property as they were never in default.00 as actual damage. The Trial Court rendered judgment on March 5. In its counterclaim. This act of defendant indeed was deliberate. the Trial Court stated: With respect to moral and temperate damages.000.00. (b) P35. directing it to pay plaintiffs the following amounts: (a) P2.500. the SSS prayed for actual and other damages. even after private respondents had paid their amortization installments.

The Court finds no extenuating circumstances to mitigate the irresponsible action of defendant SSS and for this reason.00 moral damages awarded on account of the initial publication of the foreclosure notice. 1975. plaintiffs are entitled to P35. The amount of P5... said defendant should pay exemplary and corrective damages in the sum of P10.publication of the notice of foreclosure. WHEREFORE. defendant SSS should compensate plaintiffs jointly in the sum of P20. but upon SSS's Motion for Reconsideration. 7 In so far as exemplary and corrective damages are concerned. SO ORDERED.000.00. the Court finds this continued publication an outright disregard for the reputation and standing of plaintiffs. All in all. The publication having reached a bigger segment of society and also done with malice and callous disregard for the rights of its clients. the SSS filed this Petition alleging —.00 .000. Upon denial of its Motion for Reconsideration by respondent Court. the Court of Appeals affirmed the lower Court judgment in a Decision promulgated on March 14.000.000. 1975 is hereby maintained with the sole modification that the amount of P5.00 should be deducted from the total damages awarded to the plaintiffs. we find that the negligence of the appellant is not so gross as to warrant moral and temperate damages. the Court of Appeals had this to say.00 awarded on account of the initial publication is eliminated so that the said amount should be deducted from the total damages awarded to the plaintiffs. To quote: xxx xxx xxx After a re-examination of the evidence. Respondent Court of Appeals erred in not finding that under . I.000. 6 On appeal. the decision promulgated on March 14. modified the judgment by the elimination of the P5.000.00 by way of moral damages.

IV. V.Condition No. Respondent Court of Appeals erred in holding that there is no extenuating circumstance to mitigate the liability of petitioner. The first issue revolves around the question of appreciation of the evidence by the lower Court as concurred in by the Court of Appeals. 8 For failure of the First Division to obtain concurrence of the five remaining members (Justices Plana and Gutierrez. 10 of the Mortgage contract. particularly considering that the real estate loan of P48. all amortizations and obligations of the mortgagors become ipso jure due and demandable if they at any time fail to pay any of the amortizations or interest when due. in fact. Cruz' as the defaulting borrower. III. which is a self-executing. The pivotal issues raised are: (1) whether the Cruz spouses had. much less should the SSS be made liable for their acts done without its knowledge and authority. the fault cannot be attributed to the SSS. the case was referred to the Court en banc.00 obtained by the Cruzes in March. and (2) whether or not the SSS can be held liable for damages. The appraisal should be left undisturbed following the general rule that factual findings of the Court of Appeals are not subject to review by this Court. Jr. was payable in . Cruz' for 'Socorro J. 1963. violated their real estate mortgage contract with the SSS as would have warranted the publications of the notices of foreclosure. assuming that there was negligence committed by subordinate employees of the SSS in staking 'Socorro C. could take no part). II. automatic acceleration clause. Respondent Court of Appeals erred in not holding that petitioner is not liable for damages not being a profit-oriented governmental institution but one performing governmental functions petitions. Respondent Court of Appeals erred in not holding that. 9 Accordingly.000. the present case not being one of the recognized exceptions to that rule. Respondent Court of Appeals erred in holding that a previous notice to the mortgagor was necessary before the mortgage could be foreclosed. we are upholding the finding of the Court of Appeals that the SSS application for foreclosure was not justified.

as published.58 at the time the application for foreclosure of real estate mortgage was filed Exhibits "BB" and "EE"). 14 These words "sue . 1968. Cruz' instead of the record of 'Socorro J.875. Cruz' who was in arrears in the amount of P10. David B. it is a fact that as of June 30. 10 A similar conclusion was reached by the trial Court.58.18. Having accepted the prior late payments of the monthly installments. the date of the first notice of foreclosure and sale. Cruz and Socorro Concio-Cruz.701. As a matter of fact plaintiffs were able to establish that the mortgagor who actually committed the violation of her mortgage loan was a certain 'Socorro J. Cruz and Socorro C. This Court is nonetheless convinced that the foreclosure proceedings should have been on the real estate mortgage of 'Socorro J. and that as of July 14. Cruz and Socorro Concio-Cruz were up-to-date and current in the payment of their monthly installments. Cruz' who was in arrears as of June. there should be no question on this score considering that the SSS is a juridical entity with a personality of its own. Defendant SSS. The appellant was not justified in applying for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage contract executed in its favor by the spouses. the exact amount mentioned in the application for foreclosure of real estate mortgage by defendant SSS. 12 It has corporate powers separate and distinct from the Government. the appellant could no longer suddenly and without prior notice to the mortgagors apply for the extra-judicial foreclosure of the mortgage in July 1968. Cruz. Defendant mortgagee must have committed an error in picking the record of plaintiff 'Socorro C. denied having committed any error and insists that their motion for foreclosure covers the real estate mortgage of spouses David E. 'A'.701. While it is true that the payments of the monthly installments were previously not regular. however. 1968 the appellee.06 and not P10. 1968 as per their application for foreclosure of real estate mortgage is a naive attempt to justify an untenable position. To our minds.58. the outstanding obligation was still P38. Defendant's contention that there was clerical error in the amount of the mortgage loan due as of June. 1968 in the amount of P10. Exh. David B. 11 We come now to the amendability of the SSS to judicial action and legal responsibility for its acts. 13 SSS' own organic act specifically provides that it can sue and be sued in Court.15 years with a monthly amortization of P425. Cruz'.702.

in this case. Whether the SSS performs governmental or proprietary functions thus becomes unnecessary to belabor. a private citizen may bring a suit against it for varied objectives. Justice Vicente Abad Santos. operated for profit. (See National Shipyards and Steel Corp. by virtue of the explicit provision of the aforecited enabling law.A. CIR. as it claims. 1963. the charter provision that the NPC can 'sue and be sued in any court' is without qualification on the cause of action and accordingly it can include a tort claim such as the one instituted by the petitioners. is that of Rayo vs. The proposition that the SSS is not profit-oriented was rejected in the case of SSS Employees' Association vs. the Government must be deemed to have waived immunity in respect of the SSS. it cannot be denied that. 3[d]). enjoys immunity from suit as an entity performing governmental functions.. in the main. 8 SCRA 78 1). Soriano. 15 So that. That statutoy law has given to the private-citizen a remedy for the enforcement and protection of his rights. Moreover. distinct and separate from that of the Government. Sec. Court of First Instance of Bulacan. the SSS enters into them for profit considering that the borrowers pay interest. it has a personality of its own. even assuming that the SSS. 110 SCRA 457 (1981).and be sued" embrace all civil process incident to a legal action. 17 But even conceding that the SSS is not. subject to its right to interpose any lawful defense. No. in so far as contractual loan agreements with private parties are concerned. August 31. For by that waiver. although it does not thereby concede its liability. ruled: It is not necessary to write an extended dissertation on whether or not the NPC performs a governmental function with respect to the management and operation of the Angat Dam. 6395. put money in it and has snowed it to sue and be sued in any court under its charter. such as. et al. involving the National Power Corporation. speaking through Mr. (R. to obtain compensation in damages arising from contract 16 and even for tort. vs. Hon. wherein this Court. A recent case squarely in point anent the principle. It is sufficient to say that the government has organized a private corporation. L-17874. which is money paid for . The SSS thereby has been required to submit to the jurisdiction of the Courts. As a government owned and controlled corporation.

20 Nor can the SSS be held liable for moral and temperate damages. For example. plus other charges. the latter should have a right of redress particularly when it arises from a purely private and contractual relationship between said individual and the System. The SSS was of the belief that it was acting in the legitimate exercise of its right under the mortgage contract in the face . whose funds are in the nature of public funds. We find the foregoing too speculative. it appears that private respondents' passports had already expired but that they made no effort to secure new passports. drawing a parallel with the NASSCO and the Virginia Tobacco Administration. Moreover.the use of money. 21 except that. suffice it to say. that expenditures of the System are not confined to the payment of social security benefits. 18 What is of paramount importance in this controversy is that an injustice is not perpetrated and that when damage is caused a citizen. however. the System also has to pay the salaries of its personnel. As concluded by the Court of Appeals "the negligence of the appellant is not so gross as to warrant moral and temperate damages". that under the circumstances of the case. the SSS cannot be held liable for the damages as awarded by the Trial Court and the Appellate Tribunal.000. In so far as it is argued that to hold the SSS liable for damages would be to deplete the benefit funds available for its covered members. There could have been other reasons why the trip did not materialize. Neither can we agree with the findings of both the Trial Court and respondent Court that the SSS had acted maliciously or in bad faith.00 instead of eliminating them. it has been held that those funds may even be made the object of a notice of garnishment. said Court reduced those damages by only P5. 19 Nor did they secure the necessary visas from the local consulates of foreign countries they intended to visit for their trip abroad. As basis for the award of actual damages. which was allegedly aborted because of the filing of the foreclosure application by the SSS. We find. Moreover. the Trial Court relied on the alleged expenses incurred by private respondents for the wardrobe they were supposed to use during their trip abroad.

Teehankee. as granted by the Trial and Appellate Courts. The filing alone of the foreclosure application should not be a ground for an award of moral damages in the same way that a clearly unfounded civil action is not among the grounds for moral damages. the judgment sought to be reviewed is hereby modified in that petitioner SSS shall pay private respondents: P3. but it adamantly refused to acknowledge its mistake. concurs in the result. Cruz for that of private respondent Socorro C. Cruz.000. Costs against petitioner Social Security System. particularly considering that private respondents were compelled to litigate for the prosecution of their interests.00 as nominal damages.J. no proof has been submitted that the SSS had acted in a wanton. Escolin ** and Gutierrez. 22 With the ruling out of compensatory. moral and temperate damages. Its attention was called to the error. Guerrero. 25 The circumstances of the case also justify the award of attorney's fees. C.. Vasquez and Relova.. 24 However. Fernando.00 as attorney's fees. This type of damages is not for the purpose of indemnifying private respondents for any loss suffered by them but to vindicate or recognize their rights which have been violated or invaded by petitioner SSS. the grant of exemplary or corrective damages should also be set aside.000.. 26 WHEREFORE.. and placed reliance on the automatic acceleration clause in the contract.of irregular payments made by private respondents. as found by both the Trial and Appellate Courts. *** JJ. concur. . Concepcion. SO ORDERED. The SSS can be held liable for nominal damages. JJ. took no part. De Castro. and P5. reckless and oppressive manner. Jr. 23 Moreover. Abad Santos. Jr. there was clear negligence on the part of SSS when they mistook the loan account of Socorro J. Plana..

MAKASIAR. concurring: I concur.. and that even after private respondents had brought to the attention of the petitioner's officers and employees their mistake. For the record is clear that petitioner's officers and employees were grossly negligent bordering on malice or bad faith in applying for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage contract executed in its favor by the spouses David B.000 as litigation expenses.. amounted to not simply a contractual breach but tort. the negligent acts committed by the officers and employees of the petitioner. I vote to award the private respondents the additional sum of P2. David B. dissenting: I dissent. instead of making the necessary rectifications. While it is true that the payments of the monthly installments were previously not regular. J. The award of moral damages is not justified under arts. Cruz and Socorro Concio-Cruz. Exh. which grossly negligent and oppressive acts caused damage to private respondents.Separate Opinions AQUINO. As found by the Court of Appeals: The appellant was not justified in applying for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage contract executed in its favor by the spouses David B. 1968 the appellees. 2219 and 2220 of the Civil Code. I To begin with. 'A'. Cruz and Socorro Concio-Cruz. Social Security System. Cruz and Socorro Concio-Cruz were up-to-date and current in the . they insisted on their course of action. it is a fact that as of June 30. J.

insisted on proceeding with the extra-judicial foreclosure by invoking alleged violations of the mortgage contract.. Under Article 2180. L-24837. Having accepted the prior late payments of the monthly installments. the applicable provision of law is Article 2180 in relation to Article 2176 of the New Civil Code. emphasis supplied). The remedy therefore of . a tortious act being involved.. 168169. the petitioner Social Security System as the instrumentality of the State to implement the social justice guarantee enunciated in the Constitution. 23 SCRA 1117. 1968. 54. It is obvious that the appellant applied for the extra-judicial foreclosure of the mortgage in question because of the gross negligence of its employees. rec. Hence. after being informed of the error. Sept. In the case at bar. 28. calculated to cow plaintiffs into submission and made obviously with malice (p. This negligence was aggravated when the appellant. the appellant could no longer suddenly and without prior notice to the mortgagors apply for the extra-judicial foreclosure of the mortgage in July. 1968.. does not bar the tort liability of the officers and employees of petitioner. . June 27. but not when the damage has been caused by the official to whom the task done properly pertains. The circumstance that there was a pre-existing contractual relationship between the herein contending parties. 1968.payment of their monthly installments. L-21438. 1119-20). in which case what is provided in Article 2176 shall be applicable. as in this case (Air France vs. the Social Security System cannot be liable for the damages caused by the tortious acts of its officers and employees while in the performance of their regular functions. The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special agent. But these violations are either too minor to warrant the drastic step of foreclosure or were deemed condoned when the appellant accepted late payments prior to June 30. did not act through a special agent. Carrascoso. Singson & Castillo vs. 18 SCRA 155. Hence the trial court did not err in concluding that 'the act of defendant indeed was deliberate. Consequently. Bank of the Philippine Islands. 1966. because tort liability may still exist despite presence of contractual relations as the act that breaks the contract may also be a tort.

It must be emphasized that the courts have as much duty as the Commission on .A. 1963. Ronquillo vs. This concept does not apply to any executive agent who is an employee of the active administration and who on his own responsibility performs the functions which are inherent in and naturally pertain to his office and which are regulated by law and the regulations. 64 SCRA 610. We have. Raymundo. C. time and again.. 51 SCRA 189. Blooming Mills Employees Organization. May 31.. 63 Phil. like Article 2180 of the New Civil Code. Phil.. Inc. While Article 2180 of the New Civil Code was not invoked by the petitioner as a defense. The responsibility of the State is limited by Article 1903 to the case wherein it acts through a special agent.. 633). In this case. Marasigan. this does not prevent this Tribunal from taking cognizance of the same. Further. Lufthansa German Airlines (June 30. failure to assign a defense as an error on appeal is a pure technicality that should not prevail over the substantial issues in a controversy as the same would not serve the interest of justice. Jr. 1975. For as held in the leading case of Merritt vs. 8 SCRA 143). among which is when the Court can take judicial notice of such defense. re-stated the rule that the Supreme Court can suspend its own rules to serve the ends of justice (Jose vs. et al. 1976. he executes the trust confided to him. 5 SCRA 304. 312-313. Ordoveza vs. . 1962. 311). Government of the Philippine Islands (34 Phil.private respondents is to proceed against the guilty officers and employees of petitioner Social Security System as mandated by Article 2176 of the New Civil Code. is merely a general rule which is subject to exceptions.. vs. We can take judicial notice of the law. The principle that a defense not expressly pleaded is deemed waived unless such failure is satisfactorily explained.. et al. if it finds that our consideration is necessary in arriving at a just decision of the case" (citing Saura & Export Co. PBM Co. L-38581. May 31... et al. so that in representation of the state and being bound to act as an agent thereof. vs. L-31195. 215. 275). March 31. and "this Court is clothed with ample authority to review matters even if they are not assigned as errors in the appeal. For as stressed in Ortigas.

" And the second paragraph of said Section 2 provides that the term "national government" refers to the central government as distinguished from the different forms of local government. But this does not remove it as an integral part of the national or central government.August to protect the public treasury from being mulcted or raided illegally. intimating that the national government does not include the Social Security System. the various arms through which political authority is made effective in the Philippines.. Any amount of damages illegally assessed against the Social Security System will deplete the benefit funds available to its covered members for the contingencies of sickness. For such corporate or juridical personality invested in it is more for facility and convenience in the attainment of the objectives for which it was created by the legislative. It cannot likewise be seriously questioned that the Social Security System is comprehended in the definition in Section 2 of the Revised Administrative Code of the term "Government of the Republic of the Philippines . as amended. It is true that the Social Security System has a corporate or juridical personality of its own. which refers to the corporate governmental entity through which the functions of government are exercised throughout the Philippine Islands. with the government merely giving some subsidy. disability. whether pertaining to the central Government or to the provincial or municipal branches or other forms of local government. And this becomes more imperative considering that a substantial portion of the funds of the petitioner comes from the contributions of. There is nothing therein nor in the Social Security Act. such corporate or juridical personality of the Social Security System and the express provision of the law creating the same that it can sue and be sued. have the effect of merely waiving its immunity from suit as an entity performing governmental functions. including.employees and workers in private firms and is therefore in the nature of a trust fund to be expended only for their welfare and benefit. Relatedly.. Such vesting of corporate or juridical personality in the Social Security System was never intended to destroy the shield from liability afforded it as an integral part of the State or Government by Article 2180 of the New Civil Code. save as the contrary appears from the context. Such waiver of its immunity from . retirement or death.

The Social Security System can only be held liable for damages arising from the tortious acts of its officers and employees only if it acts through a special agent. not profit-oriented. The areas which used to be left to private enterprise and initiative and which the government was called upon to enter optionally. is no longer controlling. hence. Nacoco (100 Phil. 468 [1956]) has been obliterated. For in 1969. have rendered this traditional classification of the functions of government quite unrealistic. the distinction between constituent and ministrant functions of the Government as laid down in the case of Bacani vs. WE held in the ACCFA case. Confederation of Unions in Government Corporations and Offices (CUGCO) [30 SCRA 649 (1969)].suit is not an admission of its liability. however. not to say obsolete. Soriano (7 SCRA 1016 [1963]) that the system is exercising proprietary functions. this Court in reexamining the aforesaid Bacani ruling observed that the trend has been to abandon and reject the traditional "Constituent. which is not true in the case at bar. In the case of Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA) vs. The 1963 doctrine in SSSEA vs. but always subject to the lawful defenses of the Social Security System one of which is Article 2180 of the New Civil Code as aforestated. Such waiver merely allows a private citizen a remedy for the enforcement and protection of his rights.Ministrant" criterion in governmental functions in favor of the more responsive postulate that the growing complexities of modern society have rendered the traditional classification of government functions unrealistic and obsolete. and only 'because it was better equipped to administer for the public welfare than is any private individual or groups of individuals.' continue to lose their well-defined boundaries . thus: The growing complexities of modern society. such waiver of immunity from suit is not equivalent to instant liability. II It must be finally stressed that the Social Security System cannot be liable for damages because it is an entity of government performing governmental functions. In other words.

With the decision reached by us today. would have to face a searching and rigorous scrutiny. For me at least. by the Constitution itself in its declaration of principle concerning the promotion of social justice. There is therefore full concurrence on my part to the opinion of the court. clarity and precision.faire concept. It is clear that their legitimacy cannot be challenged on the ground alone of their being offensive to the implications of the laissez. there is a definite rejection of the 'constituent-ministrant' criterion of governmental functions. distinguished by its high quality of juristic craftsmanship (pp. else. Unless there be a repugnancy then to the limitations expressly set forth in the Constitution to protect individual rights. followed in Bacani vs. Chief Justice Fernando. the tendency is undoubtedly towards a greater socialization of economic forces. this development was envisioned indeed adopted as a national policy.and to be absorbed within activities that the government must have undertaken in its sovereign capacity if it is to meet the increasing social challenges of the times. Here as almost everywhere. Of even greater significance. characterized with vigor. represents what for me is a clear tendency not to be necessarily bound by our previous pronouncements on what activities partake of a nature that is governmental. then Associate Justice. No doubts or misgivings need assail us that government efforts to promote the public wealth whether through regulatory legislation of vast scope and emplitude or through the undertaking of business activities. xxx xxx xxx 4. the . That indeed is cause for gratification. there is again full adherence to the basic philosophy of the Constitution as to the extensive and vast power lodged in our government to cope with the social and economic problems that even now sorely beset us. It constricting effect is consigned to oblivion. 666-667). the government is freed from the compulsion exerted by the Bacani doctrine of the 'constituent-ministrant' test as a criterion for the type of activity in which it may engage. National Coconut Corporation. in his concurring opinion stressed that: The decision reached by this Court so ably given expression in the opinion of Justice Makalintal. Here of course.

No. that is to manifest deference to the philosophy of our fundamental law. (pp. (Art. welfare. at least. Towards this end. maintain.682-683. emphasis supplied). The present 1973 Constitution provides under its Declaration of Principles and State Policies (Article 11). ownership. For me. the State shall regulate the acquisition. A. that The State shall promote social justice to ensure the dignity. the Social Security Act of 1954: . welfare. old age and death. and disposition of private property.government enjoys a much wider latitude of action as to the means it chooses to cope with grave social and economic problems that urgently press for solution. and The State shall establish. and social security to guarantee the enjoyment by the people of a decent standard of living. 1161 entitled "The Social Security Act of 1954.A. (Section 6). 1161. The promotion of social justice to insure the well being and economic security of all the people should be the concern of the State. employment. use. As stated in the Explanatory Note to the Bill that became R. 5. The strictly governmental function of the SSS is spelled out unmistakably in Section 2 of R. and ensure adequate social services in the field of education. Declaration of Principles). enjoyment. and equitably diffuse property ownership and profits. and shall provide protection against the hazards of disability. No. as announced at the outset. Hence my full concurrence. II. sickness. health. The 1935 Constitution declared: Sec. (Section 7). and security of all the people. establish gradually and perfect a social security system which shall be suitable to the needs of the people throughout the Philippines." thus: It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Republic of the Philippines to develop. housing.

promote and perfect a sound viable 'tax exempt social security service suitable to the needs of the people throughout the Philippines. old age and death' (Sec.. And one of its whereases expressly states that "the measure is necessary to effect reforms in SSS operations and to revitalize its structure as an important agency in the promotion of the social and economic development programs of the Government. 1 SCRA 10 [1961]). declared that "the Social Security Law was enacted pursuant to the 'policy of the Republic to develop. which the Social Security System seeks to perform and achieve are functions pursuant to the basic constitutional mandate directing the State to promote "social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all . especially to working women and minors. 1161. old age. sickness. sickness. as amended by said Decree. 1972. its section 2 now reads: "It is the policy of the Republic of the Philippines to establish. and is in full accord with the constitutional provisions on the 'promotion of social justice to insure the well being and economic security of all the people. And this Court. and similar emergencies to a greater or lesser degree by means of social security legislation in a variety of forms. and death. 1161) by Presidential Decree No. in Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila vs. 2. which shall provide to covered employees and their families protection against the hazards of disability. (emphasis supplied). as amended). 24 issued on October 19. Considering therefore that the establishment and maintenance of an adequate social security and social services. . such as unemployment. sickness requiring expensive medical treatment. SSS (L15045.It is a recognized principle in free societies that the State must help its citizens to make provision for emergencies beyond their control. establish gradually and perfect a social security system which shall be suitable to the needs of the people throughout the Philippines and provide protection to employees against the hazards of disability. It affords protection to labor.. with a view to promoting their well-being in the spirit of social justice" (emphasis supplied).A. Republic Act No. Such enactment is a legitimate exercise of the police power. develop. It is interesting to note that aforesaid pronouncement of this Court was incorporated in the Social Security Act (R. Thus.

MAKASIAR. dissenting: I dissent. Its funds are public funds and more importantly trust funds. the inescapable conclusion is that the function of the SSS is and has always been governmental. welfare and security of all the people" as well as the police power of the State. is not liable for the damages caused to private respondents by the tortious acts of its officers and employees to whom the task done properly pertained.000 as litigation expenses. under the obtaining facts and applicable laws in the case. amounted to not simply a contractual breach but tort..the people" (1935 Constitution) or "to insure the dignity. Separate Opinions AQUINO. I To begin with. It thus becomes clear that petitioner Social Security System. I vote to award the private respondents the additional sum of P2. For the record is clear that . 2219 and 2220 of the Civil Code. J. concurring: I concur. the negligent acts committed by the officers and employees of the petitioner. Social Security System. J.. The award of moral damages is not justified under arts. A contrary rule as that enunciated in the majority opinion invites conspiracy between officials and employees of the Social Security System and private parties to create financial liabilities against the System. which must be protected.

David B. calculated to cow plaintiffs into submission and made obviously with malice (p.petitioner's officers and employees were grossly negligent bordering on malice or bad faith in applying for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage contract executed in its favor by the spouses David B. Carrascoso. and that even after private respondents had brought to the attention of the petitioner's officers and employees their mistake.. 28. it is a fact that as of June 30. the appellant could no longer suddenly and without prior notice to the mortgagors apply for the extra-judicial foreclosure of the mortgage in July. Having accepted the prior late payments of the monthly installments. As found by the Court of Appeals: The appellant was not justified in applying for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage contract executed in its favor by the spouses David B. does not bar the tort liability of the officers and employees of petitioner. This negligence was aggravated when the appellant. The circumstance that there was a pre-existing contractual relationship between the herein contending parties. after being informed of the error. It is obvious that the appellant applied for the extra-judicial foreclosure of the mortgage in question because of the gross negligence of its employees. 54. Cruz and Socorro Concio-Cruz. instead of making the necessary rectifications. 18 SCRA 155. 1968 the appellees. insisted on proceeding with the extra-judicial foreclosure by invoking alleged violations of the mortgage contract. because tort liability may still exist despite presence of contractual relations as the act that breaks the contract may also be a tort. Hence the trial court did not err in concluding that 'the act of defendant indeed was deliberate. Cruz and Socorro Concio-Cruz were up-to-date and current in the payment of their monthly installments. as in this case (Air France vs. But these violations are either too minor to warrant the drastic step of foreclosure or were deemed condoned when the appellant accepted late payments prior to June 30. emphasis supplied). rec. While it is true that the payments of the monthly installments were previously not regular. which grossly negligent and oppressive acts caused damage to private respondents. L-21438. Sept. 1968. they insisted on their course of action. Exh. 'A'. Cruz and Socorro Concio-Cruz. 1966. 1968. 168- .

This concept does not apply to any executive agent who is an employee of the active administration and who on his own responsibility performs the functions which are inherent in and naturally pertain to his office and which are regulated by law and the regulations. The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special agent. . a tortious act being involved. June 27. but not when the damage has been caused by the official to whom the task done properly pertains.. 311). the Social Security System cannot be liable for the damages caused by the tortious acts of its officers and employees while in the performance of their regular functions. 64 SCRA 610. and "this Court is clothed with ample authority to review matters even if they are not . For as held in the leading case of Merritt vs. in which case what is provided in Article 2176 shall be applicable. this does not prevent this Tribunal from taking cognizance of the same. 633). For as stressed in Ortigas. 1119-20). Bank of the Philippine Islands.. 1968. Hence. vs. L-24837. Consequently. Singson & Castillo vs. The remedy therefore of private respondents is to proceed against the guilty officers and employees of petitioner Social Security System as mandated by Article 2176 of the New Civil Code. the petitioner Social Security System as the instrumentality of the State to implement the social justice guarantee enunciated in the Constitution. so that in representation of the state and being bound to act as an agent thereof.169. he executes the trust confided to him. 23 SCRA 1117. The responsibility of the State is limited by Article 1903 to the case wherein it acts through a special agent.. the applicable provision of law is Article 2180 in relation to Article 2176 of the New Civil Code.. While Article 2180 of the New Civil Code was not invoked by the petitioner as a defense. Jr. failure to assign a defense as an error on appeal is a pure technicality that should not prevail over the substantial issues in a controversy as the same would not serve the interest of justice. In the case at bar. . Lufthansa German Airlines (June 30. Government of the Philippine Islands (34 Phil. did not act through a special agent. 1975. Under Article 2180.

vs. It must be emphasized that the courts have as much duty as the Commission on August to protect the public treasury from being mulcted or raided illegally. if it finds that our consideration is necessary in arriving at a just decision of the case" (citing Saura & Export Co. 1976. We can take judicial notice of the law..employees and workers in private firms and is therefore in the nature of a trust fund to be expended only for their welfare and benefit. March 31. C. It cannot likewise be seriously questioned that the Social Security System is comprehended in the definition in Section 2 of the Revised Administrative Code of the term "Government of the Republic of the Philippines . et al.assigned as errors in the appeal. Any amount of damages illegally assessed against the Social Security System will deplete the benefit funds available to its covered members for the contingencies of sickness. L-38581.. et al. Phil. time and again. 8 SCRA 143). May 31.. re-stated the rule that the Supreme Court can suspend its own rules to serve the ends of justice (Jose vs. And this becomes more imperative considering that a substantial portion of the funds of the petitioner comes from the contributions of. 1962. Further. et al.. like Article 2180 of the New Civil Code. May 31. Ordoveza vs.. Ronquillo vs. L-31195. 5 SCRA 304.. We have.A. with the government merely giving some subsidy.." And the second paragraph of said Section 2 provides that the term "national government" refers to the central government as distinguished from the different forms of local government. Blooming Mills Employees Organization. 312-313. 215. . retirement or death. the various arms through which political authority is made effective in the Philippines. Inc. Marasigan. 275). which refers to the corporate governmental entity through which the functions of government are exercised throughout the Philippine Islands. 1963. among which is when the Court can take judicial notice of such defense. whether pertaining to the central Government or to the provincial or municipal branches or other forms of local government. There is nothing therein nor in the Social Security Act. In this case.. save as the contrary appears from the context. 51 SCRA 189. disability. Raymundo. The principle that a defense not expressly pleaded is deemed waived unless such failure is satisfactorily explained. PBM Co. including. is merely a general rule which is subject to exceptions. 63 Phil.

Confederation of Unions in Government Corporations and Offices (CUGCO) [30 SCRA 649 (1969)]. but always subject to the lawful defenses of the Social Security System one of which is Article 2180 of the New Civil Code as aforestated. 468 [1956]) has been obliterated. Such waiver merely allows a private citizen a remedy for the enforcement and protection of his rights.as amended. Such vesting of corporate or juridical personality in the Social Security System was never intended to destroy the shield from liability afforded it as an integral part of the State or Government by Article 2180 of the New Civil Code. such corporate or juridical personality of the Social Security System and the express provision of the law creating the same that it can sue and be sued. which is not true in the case at bar. Soriano (7 SCRA 1016 [1963]) that the system is exercising proprietary functions. The Social Security System can only be held liable for damages arising from the tortious acts of its officers and employees only if it acts through a special agent. such waiver of immunity from suit is not equivalent to instant liability. the distinction between constituent and ministrant functions of the Government as laid down in the case of Bacani vs. hence. For in 1969. Such waiver of its immunity from suit is not an admission of its liability. Nacoco (100 Phil. this Court in re- . The 1963 doctrine in SSSEA vs. For such corporate or juridical personality invested in it is more for facility and convenience in the attainment of the objectives for which it was created by the legislative. II It must be finally stressed that the Social Security System cannot be liable for damages because it is an entity of government performing governmental functions. It is true that the Social Security System has a corporate or juridical personality of its own. Relatedly. intimating that the national government does not include the Social Security System. not profit-oriented. In other words. is no longer controlling. have the effect of merely waiving its immunity from suit as an entity performing governmental functions. But this does not remove it as an integral part of the national or central government. In the case of Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA) vs.

Here of course. have rendered this traditional classification of the functions of government quite unrealistic. and only 'because it was better equipped to administer for the public welfare than is any private individual or groups of individuals. not to say obsolete. however. there is a definite rejection of the 'constituent-ministrant' criterion of governmental functions. For me at least. clarity and precision. Chief Justice Fernando. thus: The growing complexities of modern society.examining the aforesaid Bacani ruling observed that the trend has been to abandon and reject the traditional "Constituent. The areas which used to be left to private enterprise and initiative and which the government was called upon to enter optionally. then Associate Justice. WE held in the ACCFA case. Of even greater significance. by the Constitution itself in its declaration of principle concerning the promotion of social justice. There is therefore full concurrence on my part to the opinion of the court. the tendency is undoubtedly towards a greater socialization of economic forces. followed in Bacani vs. That indeed is cause for gratification. in his concurring opinion stressed that: The decision reached by this Court so ably given expression in the opinion of Justice Makalintal. there is again full adherence to the basic philosophy of the Constitution as to the extensive and vast power lodged in our government to cope with the social and economic problems that even now sorely beset us.' continue to lose their well-defined boundaries and to be absorbed within activities that the government must have undertaken in its sovereign capacity if it is to meet the increasing social challenges of the times. represents what for me is a clear tendency not to be necessarily bound by our previous pronouncements on what activities partake of a nature that is governmental. National Coconut Corporation. characterized with vigor. this development was envisioned indeed adopted as a national policy. Here as almost everywhere. else.Ministrant" criterion in governmental functions in favor of the more responsive postulate that the growing complexities of modern society have rendered the traditional classification of government functions unrealistic and obsolete. distinguished by its high quality of juristic .

No doubts or misgivings need assail us that government efforts to promote the public wealth whether through regulatory legislation of vast scope and emplitude or through the undertaking of business activities. (pp. the government is freed from the compulsion exerted by the Bacani doctrine of the 'constituent-ministrant' test as a criterion for the type of activity in which it may engage. the government enjoys a much wider latitude of action as to the means it chooses to cope with grave social and economic problems that urgently press for solution. that The State shall promote social justice to ensure the dignity. (Section 6). The 1935 Constitution declared: Sec. emphasis supplied). as announced at the outset. use. maintain. welfare. and The State shall establish. Towards this end. II. The promotion of social justice to insure the well being and economic security of all the people should be the concern of the State. and ensure adequate social . Declaration of Principles).faire concept. It constricting effect is consigned to oblivion. Hence my full concurrence. 666-667). Unless there be a repugnancy then to the limitations expressly set forth in the Constitution to protect individual rights. ownership. that is to manifest deference to the philosophy of our fundamental law. and security of all the people. The present 1973 Constitution provides under its Declaration of Principles and State Policies (Article 11). It is clear that their legitimacy cannot be challenged on the ground alone of their being offensive to the implications of the laissez.682-683. With the decision reached by us today. the State shall regulate the acquisition. xxx xxx xxx 4. at least. enjoyment. For me. would have to face a searching and rigorous scrutiny. 5.craftsmanship (pp. (Art. and disposition of private property. and equitably diffuse property ownership and profits.

It affords protection to labor. old age and death' (Sec. and similar emergencies to a greater or lesser degree by means of social security legislation in a variety of forms. 1 SCRA 10 [1961]). housing. old age and death. and is in full accord with the constitutional provisions on the 'promotion of social justice to insure the well being and economic security of all the people. The strictly governmental function of the SSS is spelled out unmistakably in Section 2 of R. 1161 entitled "The Social Security Act of 1954. welfare. 24 issued on October 19. its section 2 now reads: "It is the policy of the Republic of the Philippines to establish. No. As stated in the Explanatory Note to the Bill that became R. 1161.services in the field of education. especially to working women and minors. sickness. health." thus: It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Republic of the Philippines to develop. Republic Act No. such as unemployment. sickness requiring expensive medical treatment. A.A. develop. the Social Security Act of 1954: It is a recognized principle in free societies that the State must help its citizens to make provision for emergencies beyond their control. SSS (L15045. sickness. establish gradually and perfect a social security system which shall be suitable to the needs of the people throughout the Philippines. And this Court. and shall provide protection against the hazards of disability. employment. (Section 7). as amended). declared that "the Social Security Law was enacted pursuant to the 'policy of the Republic to develop. promote and . in Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila vs. No. as amended by said Decree. 1972. 2. 1161. Such enactment is a legitimate exercise of the police power. 1161) by Presidential Decree No. and social security to guarantee the enjoyment by the people of a decent standard of living. It is interesting to note that aforesaid pronouncement of this Court was incorporated in the Social Security Act (R. Thus.A. establish gradually and perfect a social security system which shall be suitable to the needs of the people throughout the Philippines and provide protection to employees against the hazards of disability.

with a view to promoting their well-being in the spirit of social justice" (emphasis supplied). and death. 2 pp. Petitioner's Brief. which shall provide to covered employees and their families protection against the hazards of disability. A contrary rule as that enunciated in the majority opinion invites conspiracy between officials and employees of the Social Security System and private parties to create financial liabilities against the System. Considering therefore that the establishment and maintenance of an adequate social security and social services. old age. And one of its whereases expressly states that "the measure is necessary to effect reforms in SSS operations and to revitalize its structure as an important agency in the promotion of the social and economic development programs of the Government.perfect a sound viable 'tax exempt social security service suitable to the needs of the people throughout the Philippines. (emphasis supplied). welfare and security of all the people" as well as the police power of the State. Fernandez and concurred in by Justices Efren I. . under the obtaining facts and applicable laws in the case. Footnotes 1 Penned by Justice Ramon C. Its funds are public funds and more importantly trust funds. sickness. It thus becomes clear that petitioner Social Security System. .. 3 pp. which the Social Security System seeks to perform and achieve are functions pursuant to the basic constitutional mandate directing the State to promote "social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all the people" (1935 Constitution) or "to insure the dignity. which must be protected.. 2-5. the inescapable conclusion is that the function of the SSS is and has always been governmental. is not liable for the damages caused to private respondents by the tortious acts of its officers and employees to whom the task done properly pertained. 3-7. Plana and Venicio Escolin. Respondents' Brief.

Evangelists & Co. 70-71. 18 NASSCO vs. Perido. 34. p. 19 T. 11 pp. De la Merced.n. Philippine Political Law. Moralde. 20. de Nieva. p. A-B. p.2 Resolution. 4 (k) PD 24. Brief for defendant-appellant. 74. 136. 17 9 SCRA 511 (1963). Inc. pp. vs. 15 Sinco.s. 54. 13 SSS Employees' Association vs. 6 pp. 59. Wolff & Co.. 91-101.4 pp. . 7 p. 51 SCRA 416. 9 SCRA 511 (1963). Rollo. 21 p. Record on Appeal. Court of Appeals. Vda. Brief for the Petitioner. Rollo. Alaras vs. 20 T. Perido vs. 5 p. Soriano. Record on Appeal. 8 pp. 10 p. p.. 8 SCRA 781 (1963). 58 SCRA 90. Record on Appeal. T. 16 See Noda vs. 73-74. 83 SCRA 595 (1978). Pabalan. Rollo. 101. 63 SCRA 98.. Rollo.. Ibid.n.J. 1969. 81 SCRA 624.72-73. Tiongco vs. Sec. 43 SCRA 473. Abad Santos. p.s. 4 (k) RA 1161. 12 SSS Employees' Association (PAFLU) vs. Court of Industrial Relations. 9 Talosig vs. 59.. PNB vs. Record on Appeal. Court of Appeals. 109 SCRA 218 (1981). 62 Rollo. August 20. Soriano. 14 Sec. Social Security System. 7 SCRA 1016(1963). 64 SCRA 671. Revised Ed. vs.

23 Art. *** Justice Hugo E. 55 SCRA 339 (1974). Ibid. 24 Art. 2221.16 (1960). . then Acting Solicitor General. -Jr..22 Malonzo vs. Plana and Venicio Escolin took part in the Decision under review. Civil Code. Ibid 26 Art. Ibid. Gutierrez. 2208. 2234. filed the Brief for petitioner. 2232. Enervida vs. Galang. ** Justices Efren I. 25 Art. 109 Phil. de la Torre.

No. be authorized to undertake . The Bureau of Printing is an office of the Government created by the Administrative Code of 1916 (Act No. it operates under the direct supervision of the Executive Secretary. Bureau of Printing Employees Association (NLU) G. and is “charged with the execution of all printing and binding. 1961 Gutierrez David. including work incidental to those processes. Office of the President. and its . Ponciano Arganda and Teodulo Toleran — filed by an acting prosecutor of the Industrial Court against herein petitioner Bureau of Printing. Facts: The action in question was — upon complaint of the respondents Bureau of Printing Employees Association (NLU) Pacifico Advincula. .. and Mariano Ledesma the Director of the Bureau of Printing. or coercing the employees of the Bureau of Printing particularly the members of the complaining association petition. J. Serafin Salvador. 1644. L-15751January 28. 2657). The complaint alleged that Serafin Salvador and Mariano Ledesma have been engaging in unfair labor practices by interfering with. Issue: whether the action against the BOP is a suit against the State without its consent Held: Yes. As such instrumentality of the Government. It has no corporate existence. Rev. the Acting Secretary of the Department of General Services. Code). . Adm.Bureau of Printing v.R. in the exercise of their right to self-organization an discriminating in regard to hire and tenure of their employment in order to discourage them from pursuing the union activities.” (See. Roberto Mendoza. required by the National Government and such other work of the same character as said Bureau may. by law or by order of the (Secretary of Finance) Executive Secretary.

and for printing of checks of private banking institutions. Anent the additional work it executes for private persons. and on the bank cheeks. only the Bureau of Printing can print the reproduction of the official documentary stamps appearing thereon. Adm. 566. and although such work may be deemed proprietary in character. in comparison with government jobs. but these facts do not justify the conclusion that its functions are “exclusively proprietary in nature. that the Bureau of Printing receives outside jobs and that many of its employees are paid for overtime work on regular working days and on holidays. Designed to meet the printing needs of the Government. it cannot be pretended that it is thereby an industrial or business concern. Rev.” Overtime work in the Bureau of Printing is done only when the interest of the service so requires (sec. with the approval of the Department Head” (sec. Adm. it is primarily a service bureau and obviously. so that it cannot be the basis for holding that the functions of said Bureau are wholly proprietary in character. Clearly. and only “as the requirements of Government work will permit” (sec. but such payment is discretionary with the head of the Bureau depending upon its current appropriations. while the Bureau of Printing is allowed to undertake private printing jobs. The volume of private jobs done. 1654. Code). there is no showing that the employees performing said proprietary function are separate and distinct from . As shown by the uncontradicted evidence of the petitioners. The additional work it executes for private parties is merely incidental to its function. and in computing the costs for work done for private parties. as distinguished from those solicited. 1655.). and “upon terms fixed by the Director of Printing. we find that such work is done upon request. As a matter of administrative policy. the overtime compensation may be paid. most of these works consist of orders for greeting cards during Christmas from government officials.appropriations are provided for in the General Appropriations Act. the Government seal. the Bureau does not include profit because it is not allowed to make any. On those greeting cards. as stated in the order complained of. Rev. id. Code). is embossed. of which only the Bureau of Printing is authorized to use. It is true. not engaged in business or occupation for pecuniary profit. is only one-half of 1 per cent.

and the rule is settled that the Government cannot be sued without its consent. 1. (Sec. Any suit. the Bureau of Printing cannot be sued. . if it were to produce any effect. action or proceeding against it.those employed in its general governmental functions. Rule 3. as an office of the Government. much less over its objection. would actually be a suit. Indeed. Rules of Court). without any corporate or juridical personality. action or proceeding against the Government itself.

1 dated 27 November 1991. docketed as NLRC Case No.R. denying the petition for injunction. 10-09-00455-90 (or 10-10-00519-90. et al. its original docket number). petitioner. dated 01 May 1990. of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).G. VITUG. vs. Cagayan de Oro City. uniform allowances. In this petition for certiorari. J. 4 before the Regional Arbitration Branch X of Cagayan de Oro City. non-payment of 13th month pay. 104269 November 11. On 13 September 1990. between the same parties.. guards were deployed by Sultan Agency in the various premises of the petitioner. against the Department of Agriculture and Sultan Security Agency. night shift differential pay. prohibition and mandamus that prays to enjoin permanently the NLRC's Regional Arbitration Branch X and Cagayan de Oro City Sheriff from enforcing the decision 2 of 31 May 1991 of the Executive Labor Arbiter and from attaching and executing on petitioner's property. THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. No. holiday pay and overtime pay. . Fifth Division. the same terms and conditions were also made to apply to another contract. the Department of Agriculture seeks to nullify the Resolution. Save for the increase in the monthly rate of the guards. as well as for damages. Roy Lago Salcedo for private respondents. The Department of Agriculture (herein petitioner) and Sultan Security Agency entered into a contract 3 on 01 April 1989 for security services to be provided by the latter to the said governmental entity. several guards of the Sultan Security Agency filed a complaint for underpayment of wages. 1993 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. respondents. Pursuant to their arrangements.: For consideration are the incidents that flow from the familiar doctrine of non-suability of the state.

e. effect. 10-10-00455-90. with prayer for preliminary writ of injunction was filed by the petitioner with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). 2. prohibition and mandamus. one (1) unit Toyota Mini Cruiser. viz: WHEREFORE. The petitioner and Sultan Security Agency did not appeal the decision of the Labor Arbiter. Meantime. inter alia. but not extending beyond the last quarter of calendar year 1991 to enable petitioner to source and raise funds to satisfy the judgment awards against it. premises considered. the NLRC promulgated its assailed resolution. one (1) unit Toyota Hi-Ace. more or less. The enforcement and execution of the judgments against petitioner in NLRC RABX Cases Nos. 10-10-0481-90 and 1010-00519-90 are temporarily suspended for a period of two (2) months. 5 commanding the City Sheriff to enforce and execute the judgment against the property of the two respondents. The petitioner also pointed out that the attachment or seizure of its property would hamper and jeopardize petitioner's governmental functions to the prejudice of the public good. therefore.The Executive Labor Arbiter rendered a decision on 31 May finding herein petitioner and jointly and severally liable with Sultan Security Agency for the payment of money claims. Forthwith. pending their sale at public auction or the final settlement of the case. and that. A petition for injunction.483.91. the decision became final and executory. and one (1) unit Toyota Crown. of the complainant security guards. alleging. petitioner is ordered and directed to source for funds . 6 These units were put under the custody of Zacharias Roa. the property custodian of the petitioner. Thus. Cagayan de Oro. the following orders are issued: 1. i. the Labor Arbiter issued a writ of execution. or on 19 July 1991. whichever would come first. aggregating P266. the decision of the Labor Arbiter was null and void and all actions pursuant thereto should be deemed equally invalid and of no legal. that the writ issued was effected without the Labor Arbiter having duly acquired jurisdiction over the petitioner. On 27 November 1991. the City Sheriff levied on execution the motor vehicles of the petitioner. On 18 July 1991.

if any. petitioner is likewise directed to put up and post sufficient surety and supersedeas bond equivalent to at least to fifty (50%) percent of the total monetary award issued by a reputable bonding company duly accredited by the Supreme Court or by the Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental to answer for the satisfaction of the money claims in case of failure or default on the part of petitioner to satisfy the money claims. subject to the conditions specified in the NLRC Sheriff. 3. In the meanwhile. the petition for injunction is Dismissed for lack of basis. Cagayan de Oro City within the same period for proper dispositions. The City Sheriff is ordered to immediately release the properties of petitioner levied on execution within ten (10) days from notice of the posting of sufficient surety or supersedeas bond as specified above. In order to ensure compliance with this order. a Temporary Stay of Execution is issued for a period of two (2) months but not extending beyond the last quarter of calendar year 1991.within the period above-stated and to deposit the sums of money equivalent to the aggregate amount. in connection with the execution of the judgments in the above-stated cases upon presentation of the appropriate claims or vouchers and receipts by the city Sheriff. Finally. 7. The writ of preliminary injunction previously issued is Lifted and Set Aside and in lieu thereof. it has been adjudged to pay jointly and severally with respondent Sultan Security Agency with the Regional Arbitration Branch X. the Executive Labor Arbiter of the Branch of origin may upon proper petition by any of the parties conduct arbitration proceedings for the purpose and thereby render his decision after due notice and hearings. (supra). petitioner is assessed to pay the costs and/or expenses incurred by the City Sheriff. In case of dispute between the judgment debtors. 4. The right of any of the judgment debtors to claim reimbursement against each other for any payments made in connection with the satisfaction of the judgments herein is hereby recognized pursuant to the ruling in the Eagle Security case. conditioned upon the posting of a surety or supersedeas bond by petitioner within ten (10) days from notice . subject to the conditions specified in the NLRC Manual of Instructions for Sheriffs. 5.

to explain in its defense. on the other hand. The motion to admit the complaint in intervention is Denied for lack of merit while the motion to dismiss the petition filed by Duty Sheriff is Noted SO ORDERED. the petitioner charges the NLRC with grave abuse of discretion for refusing to quash the writ of execution. the petitioner asserts. falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit. for the loss of governmental efficiency and the obstacle to the performance of its multifarious functions would be far greater in severity than the inconvenience that may be caused private parties. is derisively called "the royal prerogative of dishonesty" because it grants the state the prerogative to defeat any legitimate claim against it by simply invoking its non-suability. More importantly. if such fundamental principle is to be abandoned and the availability of judicial remedy is not to be accordingly restricted. but 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. 8 It is based on the very essence of sovereignty. it claims. 9 True. however. argue that the petitioner has impliedly waived its immunity from suit by concluding a service contract with Sultan Security Agency. The petitioner faults the NLRC for assuming jurisdiction over a money claim against the Department. The basic postulate enshrined in the constitution that "(t)he State may not be sued without its consent. not too infrequently. In this petition for certiorari. that a continued adherence to the doctrine of non-suability cannot be deplored. which. is not really absolute for it does not say that the . The private respondents. As has been aptly observed. a sovereign is exempt from suit. not because of any formal conception or obsolete theory. 11 The rule.pursuant to paragraph 3 of this disposition. by Justice Holmes." 7 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. the doctrine. the NLRC has disregarded the cardinal rule on the non-suability of the State. 10 We have had occasion. in any case.

Express consent may be made through a general law 13 or a special law. However." its clear import then is that the State may at times be sued. 14 In this jurisdiction. The result is that State immunity now extends only to acts jure imperii. xxx xxx xxx . is conceded when the State itself commences litigation. 18 In the Unites States of America vs. where the Philippine government "consents and submits to be sued upon any money claims involving liability arising from contract. This rule is a necessary consequence of the principles of independence and equality of States. however. relied upon by the NLRC and the private respondents. On the contrary. the rules of International Law are not petrified. it has been necessary to distinguish them — between sovereign and governmental acts ( jure imperii) and private. the United Kingdom and other states in Western Europe. Ruiz. express or implied. the government is deemed to have descended to the level of the other contracting party and to have divested itself of its sovereign immunity. Not all contracts entered into by the government operate as a waiver of its non-suability. 17 In this situation. 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. And because the activities of states have multiplied. This rule. commercial and proprietary act ( jure gestionisis)." 15 Implied consent. thus opening itself to a counterclaim 16 or when it enters into a contract. as correctly phrased. the doctrine only conveys. 12 The States' consent may be given expressly or impliedly. we held: The traditional rule of immunity exempts a State from being sued in the courts of another State without its consent or waiver. the general law waiving the immunity of the state from suit is found in Act No. 3083. "the state may not be sued without its consent. without qualification. is not. on the other hand. 19 where the questioned transaction dealt with improvements on the wharves in the naval installation at Subic Bay. which could serve as a basis of civil action between private parties. The restrictive application of State immunity is now the rule in the United States.state may not be sued under any circumstances. they are constantly developing and evolving.

. the Department of Agriculture has not pretended to have assumed a capacity apart from its being a governmental entity when it entered into the questioned contract." We fail to see any substantial conflict or inconsistency between the provisions of C. 327. the money claim first be brought to the Commission on Audit. vs. 1145. in Carabao..e. 327 and the Labor Code with respect to money .") No.A. however. In the instant case. be that as it may. No. i. arising from the Contract for Service. Pursuant. 3083. subject to the general limitation expressed in Section 7 thereof that "no execution shall issue upon any judgment rendered by any Court against the Government of the (Philippines). overtime pay and similar other items. to Commonwealth Act ("C. But. its commercial activities or economic affairs.") No. Act No. Stated differently. in fact. aforecited. Agricultural Productivity Commission. indisputably a function of the government of the highest order. they are not utilized for not dedicated to commercial or business purposes. . for underpayment of wages.D. holiday pay. and that the conditions provided in Commonwealth Act 327 for filing money claims against the Government must be strictly observed. gives the consent of the State to be "sued upon any moneyed claim involving liability arising from contract. 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. nor that it could have. as amended by Presidential Decree ("P. the claims of private respondents. clearly constitute money claims. express or implied. Thus. It does not apply where the contracts relates to the exercise of its sovereign functions. stating that Act 3083 stands now merely as the general law waiving the State's immunity from suit. performed any act proprietary in character. Inc. In this case the projects are an integral part of the naval base which is devoted to the defense of both the United States and the Philippines.A. .The restrictive application of State immunity is proper only when the proceedings arise out of commercial transactions of the foreign sovereign. 20 we ruled: (C)laimants have to prosecute their money claims against the Government under Commonwealth Act 327.

Disbursements of public funds must be covered by the correspondent appropriation as required by law.. in relation to Act No. Villasor 22 this Court. 23 WHEREFORE. No. dated 27 November 1991. provides the legal basis for the State liability but the prosecution. The writ of execution directed against the property of the Department of Agriculture is nullified. issuing and implementing any and all writs of execution issued pursuant to the decision rendered by the Labor Arbiter against said petitioner. in nullifying the issuance of an alias writ of execution directed against the funds of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to satisfy a final and executory judgment. has explained. Feliciano. SO ORDERED. it may limit the claimant's action "only up to the completion of proceedings anterior to the stage of execution" and that the power of the Courts ends when the judgment is rendered. that the State has a liability. concur. if it can. in effect. The Labor code. Bidin. tersely put. enforcement or satisfaction thereof must still be pursued in accordance with the rules and procedures laid down in C. the petition is GRANTED.D. Romero and Melo.A. .claims against the State. The resolution. is to give the other party an opportunity to prove. 21 In Republic vs. as appropriated by law. is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. When the state gives its consent to be sued. since government funds and properties may not be seized under writs or execution or garnishment to satisfy such judgments. 327. 3083. JJ. when the State waives its immunity. as amended by P. all it does. 1445. The functions and public services rendered by the State cannot be allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds from their legitimate and specific objects. it does thereby necessarily consent to unrestrained execution against it. thus — The universal rule that where the State gives its consent to be sued by private parties either by general or special law. and the public respondents are hereby enjoined permanently from doing. is based on obvious considerations of public policy.

as amended by Presidential Decree No. Ibid. 92 Phil. 205 U. 654. ed. p. 6 Annex "E". 2 Annex "C". Republic. Polyblank. 834. Santos. No.654 (1990). 57.S. Commonwealth Act No. 6060. 5 Annex "D". ibid. 7 Article XVI.A. 1445 (Sections 49-50). Rollo. 59. vs. 8 Isagani Cruz. 182 SCRA 644. Government of the Philippines. Petition. 29. 30 September 1950. vs. 311. 16 Froilan vs. 1991. Lyons vs.. Pan Oriental Shipping. 13 i. 9 Kawananakoa vs. 17 Santos vs.e. 10 U. 182 SCRA 644. 281. 327. 11 Providence Washington Ins. 34 Phil. 57-68. United States of . 353. sue the State thereby. 14 Merritt vs. 70. Rejection of the claim will authorize the claimant to elevate the matter to the Supreme Court on certiorari and. supra.# Footnotes 1 Annex "A". 23-52. 29 SCRA 598 12 Ibid.. Guinto. 51 L. 3 Rollo. 69. Philippine Political Law.R. Guinto. Ibid. Rollo.. G. 4 Ibid. 15 See United States vs. in effect. Co.S.. which requires that all money claims against the government must first be filed with the Commission on Audit which must act upon it within sixty-days. p. Section 3 of the Constitution.

Government. Guinto. Concepcion. 18 United States of America vs. supra. 550 (1919). 21 Cruz. Palacio. 19 136 SCRA 487. vs. 34 Phil.. 43 Phil. Republic. 23 SCRA 899 (1968). Visayan Refining Co. 311 (1916). Director of Commerce vs. 20 35 SCRA 224.America. 104 SCRA 593. 31 SCRA 616 (1970) citing others the following decisions: Merritt vs. Belleng vs. United States of America vs. . Camus. 40 Phil. 23 See also Commissioner of Public Highways vs. 44-45. 229 (1970). 384 (1922). Republic vs. 9 SCRA 6 (1963). 22 54 SCRA 84 (1973). 136 SCRA 487 (195). 182 SCRA 644. San Diego. Ruiz.

JR. The report on the hearing contained the observation that "Special Services management practices an autocratic form of supervision. vs. which includes the said station. J. HON.R. MOREAU. 3 as so was private respondent Wyer. the private respondents were advised that their employment had been converted from permanent full-time to permanent part-time. 1975. respondents. Department of Defense. petitioners. 4 They were both employed as gameroom attendants in the special services department of the NAVSTA. at the time the incident in question occurred. REGINO T." 7 In a letter addressed to petitioner Moreau on May 17. Once this question is decided. the other answers will fall into place and this petition need not detain us any longer than it already has. ANTHONY M. 6 Their reaction was to protest this conversion and to institute grievance proceedings conformably to the pertinent rules and regulations of the U. Branch I. 1 Petitioner Moreau was the commanding officer of the Subic Naval Base. VERIDIANO II.S. CRUZ.S. who died two years ago.S.G. Petitioner Sanders was. Olongapo City. 1988 DALE SANDERS. WYERS. 1975. L-46930 June 10. effective October 18. the special services director of the U. 1976 (Annex . The result was a recommendation from the hearing officer who conducted the proceedings for the reinstatement of the private respondents to permanent full-time status plus backwages. ROSSI and RALPH L. Naval Station (NAVSTA) in Olongapo City. 5 On October 3. Court of First Instance of Zambales. as Presiding Judge. AND A. the former having been hired in 1971 and the latter in 1969. 2 Private respondent Rossi is an American citizen with permanent residence in the Philippines.: The basic issue to be resolved in this case is whether or not the petitioners were performing their official duties when they did the acts for which they have been sued for damages by the private respondents. No.

Rossi and Wyers have proven." presumably of Moreau.S. 9 on the main ground that the petitioners had not presented any evidence that their acts were official in nature and not personal torts. in a motion to dismiss filed under a special appearance. the allegation in the complaint was that the defendants had acted maliciously and in bad faith. Jr. the motion was denied in an order dated March 8. the court had no jurisdiction over them under the doctrine of state immunity. 8 The plaintiffs claimed that the letters contained libelous imputations that had exposed them to ridicule and caused them mental anguish and that the prejudgment of the grievance proceedings was an invasion of their personal and proprietary rights. . according to their immediate supervisors. Moore. (they) placed the records in public places where others not involved in the case could hear. consequently. 1976. 1975. "by direction." b) "Messrs.B. moreover. aletter (Annex "B" of the complaint) purportedly corning from petitioner Moreau as the commanding general of the U. 1977. the private respondent filed in the Court of First Instance of Olongapo City a for damages against the herein petitioners on November 8. After extensive written arguments between the parties. before the start of the grievance hearings." On November 7. to be difficult employees to supervise. On the basis of these antecedent facts. However. The private respondents made it clear that the petitioners were being sued in their private or personal capacity. the petitioners argued that the acts complained of were performed by them in the discharge of their official duties and that. The letter contained the statements that: a ) "Mr. Naval Station in Subic Bay was sent to the Chief of Naval Personnel explaining the change of the private respondent's employment status and requesting concurrence therewith." and c) "even though the grievants were under oath not to discuss the case with anyone. The same order issued a writ of preliminary attachment. The letter did not carry his signature but was signed by W. Sanders disagreed with the hearing officer's report and asked for the rejection of the abovestated recommendation."A" of the complaint). Rossi tends to alienate most co-workers and supervisors.

that has since then suspended the proceedings in this case in the court a quo. on the contention that the abovenarrated acts of the respondent court are tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. This petition for certiorari. the mere invocation of official character will not suffice to insulate him from suability and liability for an act imputed to him as a personal tort committed without or in excess of his authority. 1977. which was filed by the petitioner's new lawyers. were denied by the respondent court on September 7. By the same token. Subsequently. . petitioner Moreau was declared in a default by the trial court in its order dated August 9. arguing that no such evidence was needed to substantiate their claim of jurisdictional immunity. the doctrine of state immunity. decided to proceed to trial to determine inter alia their precise character on the strength of the evidence to be submitted by the parties. These well-settled principles are applicable not only to the officers of the local state but also where the person sued in its courts pertains to the government of a foreign state.conditioned upon the filing of a P10. We return now to the basic question of whether the petitioners were acting officially or only in their private capacities when they did the acts for which the private respondents have sued them for damages. It is stressed at the outset that the mere allegation that a government functionary is being sued in his personal capacity will not automatically remove him from the protection of the law of public officers and. The respondent judge. we issued a temporary restraining order on September 26. The petitioners have objected. Pending resolution of this question. who allegedly was then about to leave the Philippines. and the motion for reconsideration of the denial of the motion to dismiss. apparently finding that the complained acts were prima facie personal and tortious. 1977. The motion to lift the default order on the ground that Moreau's failure to appear at the pretrial conference was the result of some misunderstanding. 1977. to make matters worse for the defendants. as in the present case. against the properties of petitioner Moreau. prohibition and preliminary injunction was thereafter filed before this Court. if appropriate.00 bond by the plaintiffs.000.

" . Ruiz. Only three years ago. 12 we set aside the denial by the lower court of a motion to dismiss a complaint for damages filed against the United States and several of its officials. It is not disputed that the letter he had written was in fact a reply to a request from his superior. The United States had also not waived its immunity from suit. it appearing that the act complained of was governmental rather than proprietary.In past cases. Such a proceeding would be superfluous. as director of the special services department of NAVSTA. 14 Moreover. for more information regarding the case of the private respondents. in United States of America v. 10 we held that a motion to dismiss a complaint against the commanding general of the Olongapo Naval Base should not have been denied because it had been sufficiently shown that the act for which he was being sued was done in his official capacity on behalf of the American government." where we sustained the order of the lower court granting a where we motion to dismiss a complaint against certain officers of the U. In these and several other cases 13 the Court found it redundant to prolong the other case proceedings after it had become clear that the suit could not prosper because the acts complained of were covered by the doctrine of state immunity. in Baer v. work assignments. and had a hand in their employment. armed forces also shown to be acting officially in the name of the American government. this Court has held that where the character of the act complained of can be determined from the pleadings exchanged between the parties before the trial. Tizon. Almeda Lopez. discipline. undoubtedly had supervision over its personnel. The United States had not given its consent to be sued. It was the reverse situation in Syquia v. he still was within his rights in reacting to the hearing officer's criticism—in effect a direct attack against him—-that Special Services was practicing "an autocratic form of supervision. even in the absence of such request.S. including the private respondents. Thus. dismissal and other related matters. and certainly not personal. Sanders. the other petitioner. It is abundantly clear in the present case that the acts for which the petitioners are being called to account were performed by them in the discharge of their official duties. it is not necessary for the court to require them to belabor the point at a trial still to be conducted. not to say unfair to the defendant who is subjected to unnecessary and avoidable inconvenience.

it is that government." 17 Our . So we have ruled not only in Baer but in many other decisions where we upheld the doctrine of state immunity as applicable not only to our own government but also to foreign states sought to be subjected to the jurisdiction of our courts. including the redesignation of the private respondents. As they have acted on behalf of that government. as Holmes put it. Given the official character of the above-described letters. 15 The practical justification for the doctrine. is that "there can be no legal right against the authority which makes the law on which the right depends. being sued as officers of the United States government. such award will have to be satisfied not by the petitioners in their personal capacities but by the United States government as their principal. Assuming that the trial can proceed and it is proved that the claimants have a right to the payment of damages. and not the petitioners personally. thus making the action a suit against that government without its consent. this act is clearly official in nature. the letter dealt with the financial and budgetary problems of the department and contained recommendations for their solution. 16 In the case of foreign states. There should be no question by now that such complaint cannot prosper unless the government sought to be held ultimately liable has given its consent to' be sued. we have to conclude that the petitioners were.As for Moreau. This will require that government to perform an affirmative act to satisfy the judgment. performed by Moreau as the immediate superior of Sanders and directly answerable to Naval Personnel in matters involving the special services department of NAVSTA In fact. and within the scope of their authority. legally speaking. the appropriation of the necessary amount to cover the damages awarded.what he is claimed to have done was write the Chief of Naval Personnel for concurrence with the conversion of the private respondents' type of employment even before the grievance proceedings had even commenced. There was nothing personal or private about it. Disregarding for the nonce the question of its timeliness. that is responsible for their acts. viz. the rule is derived from the principle of the sovereign equality of states which wisely admonishes that par in parem non habet imperium and that a contrary attitude would "unduly vex the peace of nations.

adherence to this precept is formally expressed in Article II. in general. as where. nor could it be validly impleaded as a party defendant. The case at bar. a register of deeds refuses to record a deed of sale. 23 where the Court held that a bureau director could be sued for damages on a personal tort committed by him when he acted without or in excess of authority in forcibly taking private property without paying just compensation therefor although he did convert it into a public irrigation canal. to repeat. as it was not responsible for the defendant's unauthorized act. 19 or to compel the national treasurer to pay damages from an already appropriated assurance fund. comes under the rule and not under any of the recognized exceptions. where we reiterate from our previous charters that the Philippines "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land." 22 This case must also be distinguished from such decisions as Festejo v. Section 2. It was not necessary to secure the previous consent of the state. We have also held that where the government itself has violated its own laws. It is clear that a public officer may be sued as such to compel him to do an act required by law. As it is the American government itself that will have to perform the affirmative act of appropriating the amount that may be adjudged for the private respondents. All this is not to say that in no case may a public officer be sued as such without the previous consent of the state. the aggrieved party may directly implead the government even without first filing his claim with the Commission on Audit as normally required. say. of our Constitution. for example. 21 or. to secure a judgment that the officer impleaded may satisfy by himself without the government itself having to do a positive act to assist him. as the doctrine of state immunity "cannot be used as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice. Fernando. the complaint must be dismissed for lack of . there are a number of well-recognized exceptions. from enforcing a law claimed to be unconstitutional. who cannot satisfy any judgment that may be rendered against them. 18 or to restrain a Cabinet member. To be sure. The government of the United States has not given its consent to be sued for the official acts of the petitioners. 20 or the commissioner of internal revenue to refund tax over-payments from a fund already available for the purpose.

the acts of the petitioners are protected by the presumption of good faith. We appreciate the assistance foreign decisions offer us. which has not been overturned by the private respondents.jurisdiction. 26 let alone the fact that the resented remarks are not defamatory by our standards. and always with our own concept of law and justice. they can at best be invoked only to support our own jurisprudence. it would seem only proper for the courts of this country to refrain from taking cognizance of this matter and to treat it as coming under the internal administration of the said base. applying now our own penal laws. . The petitioners' counsel have submitted a memorandum replete with citations of American cases. is well settled . 25 Furthermore. But we should not place undue and fawning reliance upon them and regard them as indispensable mental crutches without which we cannot come to our own decisions through the employment of our own endowments We live in a different ambience and must decide our own problems in the light of our own interests and needs. 24 This. It seems the private respondents have overstated their case. the letters come under the concept of privileged communications and are not punishable. While these decisions do have persuasive effect upon us. as if they were arguing before a court of the United States. The Court finds that. and not only from the United States but also from Spain and other countries from which we have derived some if not most of our own laws. and of our qualities and even idiosyncrasies as a people. A final consideration is that since the questioned acts were done in the Olongapo Naval Base by the petitioners in the performance of their official duties and the private respondents are themselves American citizens. Even mistakes concededly committed by such public officers are not actionable as long as it is not shown that they were motivated by malice or gross negligence amounting to bad faith. to. which we have developed and enriched on the basis of our own persuasions as a people. particularly since we became independent in 1946. even under the law of public officers. The Court is bemused by such attitude.

26.. 5. 3 Id.26-34. No costs. Even assuming that our own laws are applicable. 2 Ibid. pp.1977. The respondent court is directed to DISMISS Civil Case No. 9 Id.90-94. 5 Id. 91. are SET ASIDE. 6 Id. 27. of which they are all citizens and under whose jurisdiction the alleged offenses were committed. pp. Our Temporary restraining order of September 26. 5. Grino-Aquiño and Medialdea. 2077-O. JJ. 319. 1977. SO ORDERED.1977. pp.The private respondents must. pp. 28. 2... the petition is GRANTED. is made PERMANENT.. pursue their claim against the petitioners in accordance with the laws of the United States.1977. which therefore has not acquired the competence to act on the said claim. . and September 7. The challenged orders dated March 8. WHEREFORE. August 9. if they are still sominded. Footnotes 1 Rollo. 91.. 91. the United States government has not decided to give its consent to be sued in our courts.. pp.. 4. Concur. Gancayco. p. 7 Id. 8 Id. 4 Id. 10 57 SCRA 1.. p. Narvasa.

11 84 Phil. 312. 12 136 SCRA 487. 13 Lim v. Brownell, et al., 107 Phil. 344; Parreño v. McGranery, 92 Phil. 791; Lim v. Nelson, 87 Phil. 328; Marvel Building Corp. v. Philippine War Damage Commission, 85 Phil. 27. 14 Rollo, pp. 35-40. 15 Syquia v. Almeda Lopez, supra; Marvel Building Corp. v. Philippine War Damage Commission, supra; Lim v. Nelson, supra; Philippine Alien Property Administration v. Castelo, 89 Phil. 568; Parreño v. McGranery, supra; Johnson v. Turner, 94 Phil. 807-all cited in Baer case; United States of America v. Ruiz, supra. 16 Kawanakoa v. Polybank, 205 U.S. 349. 17 De Haber v. Queen of Portugal, 17 QB 171. 18 Krivenko v. Register of Deeds, 79 Phil. 461. 19 Javellana v. Executive Secretary, 50 SCRA 30: Ichong v. Hernandez, 101 Phil. 1155. 20 Treasurer of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L42805, August 31, 1987. 21 National Development Company v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 151 SCRA 472. 22 Amigable v. Cuenca, 43 SCRA 360, reiterating Ministerio v. Court of First Instance of Cebu, 40 SCRA 464. 23 50 O.G. 1556. 24 Philippine Racing Club, Inc., et al. v. Bonifacio, et al., 109 Phil. 233. 25 Cabungcal, et al. v. Cordova, et al., 11 SCRA 584, cited in Mabutol v. Pascual, 124 SCRA 867; Mindanao Realty Corp. v. Kintanar, 6 SCRA 814; U.S. v. Santos, 36 Phil. 853. 2'

G.R. No. L-35645 May 22, 1985 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CAPT. JAMES E. GALLOWAY, WILLIAM I. COLLINS and ROBERT GOHIER, petitioners, vs. HON. V. M. RUIZ, Presiding Judge of Branch XV, Court of First Instance of Rizal and ELIGIO DE GUZMAN & CO., INC., respondents. Sycip, Salazar, Luna & Manalo & Feliciano Law for petitioners. Albert, Vergara, Benares, Perias & Dominguez Law Office for respondents.

ABAD SANTOS, J.: This is a petition to review, set aside certain orders and restrain the respondent judge from trying Civil Case No. 779M of the defunct Court of First Instance of Rizal. The factual background is as follows: At times material to this case, the United States of America had a naval base in Subic, Zambales. The base was one of those provided in the Military Bases Agreement between the Philippines and the United States. Sometime in May, 1972, the United States invited the submission of bids for the following projects 1. Repair offender system, Alava Wharf at the U.S. Naval Station Subic Bay, Philippines. 2. Repair typhoon damage to NAS Cubi shoreline; repair typhoon damage to shoreline revetment, NAVBASE Subic; and repair to Leyte Wharf approach, NAVBASE Subic Bay, Philippines. Eligio de Guzman & Co., Inc. responded to the invitation and submitted bids. Subsequent thereto, the company received from the United States two telegrams requesting it to confirm its price

proposals and for the name of its bonding company. The company complied with the requests. [In its complaint, the company alleges that the United States had accepted its bids because "A request to confirm a price proposal confirms the acceptance of a bid pursuant to defendant United States' bidding practices." (Rollo, p. 30.) The truth of this allegation has not been tested because the case has not reached the trial stage.] In June, 1972, the company received a letter which was signed by Wilham I. Collins, Director, Contracts Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest Pacific, Department of the Navy of the United States, who is one of the petitioners herein. The letter said that the company did not qualify to receive an award for the projects because of its previous unsatisfactory performance rating on a repair contract for the sea wall at the boat landings of the U.S. Naval Station in Subic Bay. The letter further said that the projects had been awarded to third parties. In the abovementioned Civil Case No. 779-M, the company sued the United States of America and Messrs. James E. Galloway, William I. Collins and Robert Gohier all members of the Engineering Command of the U.S. Navy. The complaint is to order the defendants to allow the plaintiff to perform the work on the projects and, in the event that specific performance was no longer possible, to order the defendants to pay damages. The company also asked for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to restrain the defendants from entering into contracts with third parties for work on the projects. The defendants entered their special appearance for the purpose only of questioning the jurisdiction of this court over the subject matter of the complaint and the persons of defendants, the subject matter of the complaint being acts and omissions of the individual defendants as agents of defendant United States of America, a foreign sovereign which has not given her consent to this suit or any other suit for the causes of action asserted in the complaint." (Rollo, p. 50.) Subsequently the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint which included an opposition to the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction. The company opposed the motion. The trial court denied the motion and issued the writ. The defendants moved twice to

reconsider but to no avail. Hence the instant petition which seeks to restrain perpetually the proceedings in Civil Case No. 779-M for lack of jurisdiction on the part of the trial court. The petition is highly impressed with merit. The traditional rule of State immunity exempts a State from being sued in the courts of another State without its consent or waiver. This rule is a necessary consequence of the principles of independence and equality of States. However, the rules of International Law are not petrified; they are constantly developing and evolving. And because the activities of states have multiplied, it has been necessary to distinguish them-between sovereign and governmental acts (jure imperii) and private, commercial and proprietary acts (jure gestionis). The result is that State immunity now extends only to acts jure imperil The restrictive application of State immunity is now the rule in the United States, the United Kingdom and other states in western Europe. (See Coquia and Defensor Santiago, Public International Law, pp. 207-209 [1984].) The respondent judge recognized the restrictive doctrine of State immunity when he said in his Order denying the defendants' (now petitioners) motion: " A distinction should be made between a strictly governmental function of the sovereign state from its private, proprietary or non- governmental acts (Rollo, p. 20.) However, the respondent judge also said: "It is the Court's considered opinion that entering into a contract for the repair of wharves or shoreline is certainly not a governmental function altho it may partake of a public nature or character. As aptly pointed out by plaintiff's counsel in his reply citing the ruling in the case of Lyons, Inc., [104 Phil. 594 (1958)], and which this Court quotes with approval, viz.: It is however contended that when a sovereign state enters into a contract with a private person, the state can be sued upon the theory that it has descended to the level of an individual from which it can be implied that it has given its consent to be sued under the contract. ... xxx xxx xxx We agree to the above contention, and considering that the United States government, through its agency at Subic Bay, entered into a

contract with appellant for stevedoring and miscellaneous labor services within the Subic Bay Area, a U.S. Naval Reservation, it is evident that it can bring an action before our courts for any contractual liability that that political entity may assume under the contract. The trial court, therefore, has jurisdiction to entertain this case ... (Rollo, pp. 20-21.) The reliance placed on Lyons by the respondent judge is misplaced for the following reasons: In Harry Lyons, Inc. vs. The United States of America, supra, plaintiff brought suit in the Court of First Instance of Manila to collect several sums of money on account of a contract between plaintiff and defendant. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction over defendant and over the subject matter of the action. The court granted the motion on the grounds that: (a) it had no jurisdiction over the defendant who did not give its consent to the suit; and (b) plaintiff failed to exhaust the administrative remedies provided in the contract. The order of dismissal was elevated to this Court for review. In sustaining the action of the lower court, this Court said: It appearing in the complaint that appellant has not complied with the procedure laid down in Article XXI of the contract regarding the prosecution of its claim against the United States Government, or, stated differently, it has failed to first exhaust its administrative remedies against said Government, the lower court acted properly in dismissing this case.(At p. 598.) It can thus be seen that the statement in respect of the waiver of State immunity from suit was purely gratuitous and, therefore, obiter so that it has no value as an imperative authority. The restrictive application of State immunity is proper only when the proceedings arise out of commercial transactions of the foreign sovereign, its commercial activities or economic affairs. Stated differently, a State may be said to have descended to the level of an individual and can thus be deemed to have tacitly 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.

The defendants who were armed forces officers of the United States moved to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction in the part of the court. The plaintiffs sued to recover possession of the premises on the ground that the term of the leases had expired. Government. Moreover. It is clear hat the courts of the Philippines including the Municipal Court of Manila have no jurisdiction over the present case for unlawful detainer. The principles of law behind this rule are so elementary and of such . which renders more obvious the lack of jurisdiction of the courts of his country. Lopez. given its consent to the filing of this suit which is essentially against her. indisputably a function of the government of the highest order. That the correct test for the application of State immunity is not the conclusion of a contract by a State but the legal nature of the act is shown in Syquia vs. They also asked for increased rentals until the apartments shall have been vacated. Government. Government has not . The Municipal Court of Manila granted the motion to dismiss. The U. that any judgment for back or Increased rentals or damages will have to be paid not by defendants Moore and Tillman and their 64 co-defendants but by the said U. the present action must be considered as one against the U. The question of lack of jurisdiction was raised and interposed at the very beginning of the action. this is not only a case of a citizen filing a suit against his own Government without the latter's consent but it is of a citizen filing an action against a foreign government without said government's consent. Dollar already cited. sustained by the Court of First Instance. though not in name. the plaintiffs went to this Court for review on certiorari. they are not utilized for nor dedicated to commercial or business purposes. On the basis of the ruling in the case of Land vs.S.S. this Court said: On the basis of the foregoing considerations we are of the belief and we hold that the real party defendant in interest is the Government of the United States of America. In that case the plaintiffs leased three apartment buildings to the United States of America for the use of its military officials.S. and on what we have already stated. 312 (1949). 84 Phil.In this case the projects are an integral part of the naval base which is devoted to the defense of both the United States and the Philippines. In denying the petition.

In the case of Lyons vs. Inc. this Court further stated that inasmuch as ". 779-M in the defunct CFI (now RTC) of Rizal be allowed to continue therein.) In Syquia.. Relova. WHEREFORE. is dismissed. 323.S. Cuevas and Alampay. 593). entered into a contract with appellant for stevedoring and miscellaneous labor services within the Subic Bay area. Jr.J. it is evident that it can bring an action before our courts for any contractual liability that that political entity may assume . J. the United States of America (104 Phil. Government) involved stevedoring and labor services within the Subic Bay area. . the petition is granted. Concepcion. * Escolin. C. . through its agency at Subic Bay.) and the defendant (U. the questioned orders of the respondent judge are set aside and Civil Case No. Teehankee. Fernando. Gutierrez.. Jr. where the contract entered into between the plaintiff (Harry Lyons. Plana. Navy Reservation..general acceptance that we deem it unnecessary to cite authorities in support thereof. JJ. Costs against the private respondent. the United States Government. Melencio-Herrera.the United States concluded contracts with private individuals but the contracts notwithstanding the States was not deemed to have given or waived its consent to be sued for the reason that the contracts were for jure imperii and not for jure gestionis.S. (At p.. a U. Separate Opinions MAKASIAR. concur. Aquino. De la Fuente.. took no part. dissenting: The petition should be dismissed and the proceedings in Civil Case No.

therefore. To place such foreign government beyond the jurisdiction of the domestic courts is to give approval to the execution of unilateral contracts. through its agency at Subic Bay should not be allowed to take undue advantage of a party who may have legitimate claims against it by seeking refuge behind the shield of non-suability. foreign governments are beyond the jurisdiction of domestic courts of justice. 325: Although. Moral principles and principles of justice are as valid and applicable as well with regard to private individuals as with regard to governments either domestic or foreign. because one party gets the lion's share to the detriment of . Santos. 84 Phil. through its agency at Subic Bay." When the U. is implied from its act of entering into a contract (Santos vs. Almeda Lopez. it is deemed to have entered into a contract and thus waived the mantle of sovereign immunity from suit and descended to the level of the ordinary citizen.under the contract. as in the instant case. 284). Its consent to be sued. Appropriate are the words of Justice Perfecto in his dissenting opinion in Syquia vs. A contrary view would simply run against all principles of decency and violative of all tenets of morals. Once a foreign government enters into a private contract with the private citizens of another country. graphically described in Spanish as 'contratos leoninos'. Justice and fairness dictate that a foreign government that commits a breach of its contractual obligation in the case at bar by the unilateral cancellation of the award for the project by the United States government. 281. Government. such rule is inapplicable to cases in which the foreign government enters into private contracts with the citizens of the court's jurisdiction. such foreign government cannot shield its non-performance or contravention of the terms of the contract under the cloak of nonjurisdiction. confirmed the acceptance of a bid of a private company for the repair of wharves or shoreline in the Subic Bay area.S. 92 Phil. generally. helpless and without redress in his own country for violation of his rights committed by the agents of the foreign government professing to act in its name. 312. A contrary view would render a Filipino citizen.

becomes hollow and meaningless because big nations wielding economic and military superiority impose upon and dictate to small nations. and that such contracts are enforceable through the help of the courts of justice with jurisdiction to take cognizance of any violation of such contracts if the same had been entered into only by private individuals. The declaration in the United Nations Charter that its member states are equal and sovereign. Whether the parties are nations or private individuals. interest clashes with the interest of small nations. air or ground forces-because the difficulty. can always overwhelm small and weak nations. more often than not. including governments and the most powerful of them. if not impossibility. To give validity to such contract is to sanctify bad faith. looms large.S. fraud. Thus. The sanctity of upholding agreements freely entered into by the parties cannot be over emphasized. We prefer to adhere to the thesis that all parties in a private contract.S. deceit. Naval . the efficacy of the contract between the U. In the case at bar.the other. like the United States of America. One glaring fact of modern day civilization is that a big and powerful nation. always. are amenable to law. when U. Constant resort by a foreign state or its agents to the doctrine of State immunity in this jurisdiction impinges unduly upon our sovereignty and dignity as a nation. the American governmental agencies or its citizens invoke principles of international law for their own benefit. thereby hampering the growth of Filipino enterprises and creating a virtual monopoly in our own country by United States contractors of contracts for services or supplies with the various U.S. it is to be reasonably assumed and expected that the undertakings in the contract will be complied with in good faith. Its application will particularly discourage Filipino or domestic contractors from transacting business and entering into contracts with United States authorities or facilities in the Philippines whether naval. subverting their sovereignty and dignity as nations. offices and agencies operating in the Philippines. of enforcing a validly executed contract and of seeking judicial remedy in our own courts for breaches of contractual obligation committed by agents of the United States government.

1947. the United States government. 43 SCRA 360. Cuenca.. The result is disastrous to the Philippines. Ministerio vs.authorities at Subic Bay on one hand. and herein private respondent on the other. 1972. February 29.. It fosters economic imperialism and foreign political ascendancy in our Republic. 1968 to the aforesaid RP-US Military Bases Agreement. the United States agrees that the powers granted to it will not be used unreasonably. . was honored more in the breach than in the compliance The opinion of the majority will certainly open the floodgates of more violations of contractual obligations.. through its naval authorities at Subic Bay. The invocation by the petitioner United States of America is not in accord with paragraph 3 of Article III of the original RP-US Military Bases Agreement of March 14. 1971. Forces in the Philippines shall fill the needs . the United States Government agrees to accord preferential employment of Filipino citizens in the Bases." and "(B)elieving that an agreement will be mutually beneficial and will strengthen the democratic institutions cherished by both Governments. which recognizes "the need to promote and maintain sound employment practices which will assure equality of treatment of all employees . Under the doctrine of implied waiver of its non-suability. Court of First Instance.. Nor is such posture of the petitioners herein in harmony with the amendment dated May 27.. powers and authority. . can conveniently seek protective cover under the majority opinion.. This opinion of the majority manifests a neo-colonial mentality. L-31635. The doctrine of government immunity from suit cannot and should not serve as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice on a citizen (Amigable vs. August 31. ." (Emphasis supplied). American authorities or any foreign government in the Philippines for that matter. which states that "in the exercise of the above-mentioned rights. should be held amenable to lawsuits in our country like any other juristic person. thus (1) the U. L-26400. dealing with the citizens of this country. 40 SCRA 464). and continuing favorable employeremployee relations .S.

The foregoing duty imposed by the amendment to the Agreement is further emphasized by No. Neither does the invocation by petitioners of state immunity from suit express fidelity to paragraph 1 of Article IV of the aforesaid amendment of May 2 7.S. The United States shag take all measures within its authority to insure that they adhere to them (Emphasis supplied)." Reliance by petitioners on the non-suability of the United States Government before the local courts. 1979. etc. III on respect for Philippine law of the Memorandum of Agreement signed on January 7. the civilian component and their dependents. 1968 which directs that " contractors and concessionaires performing work for the U. actually clashes with No. Art.for civilian employment by employing Filipino citizens. and bargain collectively. IV on the economic and social improvement of areas surrounding the bases. " even though paragraph 2 thereof affirms that "nothing in this Agreement shall imply any waiver by either of the two Governments of such immunity under international law. I of the Amendment of May 27. the right to organize. and respect for the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines" (Emphasis supplied) The majority opinion seems to mock the provision of paragraph 1 of . 1968). 1968. VI on labor and taxation of the said amendment of January 6. which stresses that "it is the duty of members of the United States Forces. in particular. which directs that "moreover. also amending RP-US Military Bases Agreement. from any political activity in the Philippines. Armed Forces shall be required by their contract or concession agreements to comply with all applicable Philippine labor laws and regulations. "the discussions shall be conducted on the basis of the principles of equality of treatment." (Par. the United States Forces shall procure goods and services in the Philippines to the maximum extent feasible" (Emphasis supplied). to respect the laws of the Republic of the Philippines and to abstain from any activity inconsistent with the spirit of the Military Bases Agreement and. 1. Under No. 1979 in connection with the discussions on possible revisions or alterations of the Agreement of May 27.

where the contract entered into between the plaintiff (Harry Lyons. duties and responsibilities of both the Philippine and American Base Commanders that "in the performance of their duties. Emphasis supplied). 1978 that "the United States reaffirms that Philippine sovereignty extends over the bases and that Its base shall be under the command of a Philippine Base Commander.) and the defendant (U.S.S. 2 & par. In the case of Lyons vs. the United States of America (104 Phil. this Court further stated that . 1979. 593). territorial integrity and political independence of all States are fundamental principles which both countries scrupulously respect. under which "they affirm that sovereign equality. military operations on the other hand and that "they shall promote cooperation understanding and harmonious relations within the Base and with the general public in the proximate vicinity thereof" (par. President Ford of December 7. Inc. between Ambassador Richard W. the Philippine Base Commander and the American Base Commander shall be guided by full respect for Philippine sovereignty on the one hand and the assurance of unhampered U. 1975. Romulo. Government) involved stevedoring and labor services within the Subic Bay area. January 7. " which is supposed to underscore the joint Communique of President Marcos and U. and that "they confirm that mutual respect for the dignity of each nation shall characterize their friendship as well as the alliance between their two countries. 779-M in the defunct CFI (now RTC) of Rizal be allowed to continue therein. J.S. 3 of the Annex covered by the exchange of notes. Separate Opinions MAKASIAR. dissenting: The petition should be dismissed and the proceedings in Civil Case No. " The majority opinion negates the statement on the delineation of the powers. Murphy and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos P.the joint statement of President Marcos and Vice-President Mondale of the United States dated May 4..

Almeda Lopez. through its agency at Subic Bay should not be allowed to take undue advantage of a party who may have legitimate claims against it by seeking refuge behind the shield of non-suability.inasmuch as ". through its agency at Subic Bay. through its agency at Subic Bay. 281. Santos. . A contrary view would render a Filipino citizen. it is evident that it can bring an action before our courts for any contractual liability that that political entity may assume under the contract. 312. . Moral principles and principles of justice are as valid and applicable as well with regard to private individuals as with regard to governments either domestic or foreign. it is deemed to have entered into a contract and thus waived the mantle of sovereign immunity from suit and descended to the level of the ordinary citizen. 325: Although. such rule is inapplicable to cases in which the foreign government enters into private contracts with the citizens of the court's jurisdiction. Justice and fairness dictate that a foreign government that commits a breach of its contractual obligation in the case at bar by the unilateral cancellation of the award for the project by the United States government.S." When the U. A contrary view would simply run against all principles of decency and violative of all tenets of morals. confirmed the acceptance of a bid of a private company for the repair of wharves or shoreline in the Subic Bay area. entered into a contract with appellant for stevedoring and miscellaneous labor services within the Subic Bay area. as in the instant case. 92 Phil. generally. Navy Reservation. Government. is implied from its act of entering into a contract (Santos vs.S. the United States Government. Its consent to be sued. foreign governments are beyond the jurisdiction of domestic courts of justice. helpless and without redress in his own country for violation of his rights committed by the agents of the foreign government professing to act in its name. such foreign government cannot shield its non-performance . a U. Once a foreign government enters into a private contract with the private citizens of another country. therefore. Appropriate are the words of Justice Perfecto in his dissenting opinion in Syquia vs. 284). 84 Phil.

if not impossibility. deceit. becomes hollow and meaningless because big nations wielding economic and military superiority impose upon and dictate to small nations. including governments and the most powerful of them. thereby hampering the growth of Filipino enterprises and creating a virtual monopoly in our own country by United States contractors of contracts for services or supplies with the various U. always. We prefer to adhere to the thesis that all parties in a private contract. can always overwhelm small and weak nations. because one party gets the lion's share to the detriment of the other. Thus. subverting their sovereignty and dignity as nations. Its application will particularly discourage Filipino or domestic contractors from transacting business and entering into contracts with United States authorities or facilities in the Philippines whether naval. fraud. graphically described in Spanish as 'contratos leoninos'. of enforcing a validly executed contract and of seeking judicial remedy in our own courts for breaches of contractual obligation committed by agents of the United States government. Constant resort by a foreign state or its agents to the doctrine of State immunity in this jurisdiction impinges unduly upon our sovereignty and dignity as a nation.S. offices and agencies operating in the Philippines. and that such contracts are enforceable through the help of the courts of justice with jurisdiction to take cognizance of any violation of such contracts if the same had been entered into only by private individuals. looms large.or contravention of the terms of the contract under the cloak of nonjurisdiction. more often . it is to be reasonably assumed and expected that the undertakings in the contract will be complied with in good faith. The declaration in the United Nations Charter that its member states are equal and sovereign. One glaring fact of modern day civilization is that a big and powerful nation. The sanctity of upholding agreements freely entered into by the parties cannot be over emphasized. like the United States of America. are amenable to law. To place such foreign government beyond the jurisdiction of the domestic courts is to give approval to the execution of unilateral contracts. To give validity to such contract is to sanctify bad faith. Whether the parties are nations or private individuals. air or ground forces-because the difficulty.

when U. the efficacy of the contract between the U. the United States agrees that the powers granted to it will not be used unreasonably. 1971. which states that "in the exercise of the above-mentioned rights. This opinion of the majority manifests a neo-colonial mentality. Naval authorities at Subic Bay on one hand. 40 SCRA 464)." (Emphasis supplied). American authorities or any foreign government in the Philippines for that matter. It fosters economic imperialism and foreign political ascendancy in our Republic. The result is disastrous to the Philippines. The invocation by the petitioner United States of America is not in accord with paragraph 3 of Article III of the original RP-US Military Bases Agreement of March 14..S. was honored more in the breach than in the compliance The opinion of the majority will certainly open the floodgates of more violations of contractual obligations. interest clashes with the interest of small nations... 1972.S. . Cuenca. through its naval authorities at Subic Bay. L-26400. powers and authority. Nor is such posture of the petitioners herein in harmony with the amendment dated May 27. the United States government. dealing with the citizens of this country. In the case at bar.." and "(B)elieving that an agreement will be . can conveniently seek protective cover under the majority opinion. 1947. August 31. .than not. and continuing favorable employeremployee relations . which recognizes "the need to promote and maintain sound employment practices which will assure equality of treatment of all employees . 43 SCRA 360. Court of First Instance. Under the doctrine of implied waiver of its non-suability. the American governmental agencies or its citizens invoke principles of international law for their own benefit. Ministerio vs. L-31635. The doctrine of government immunity from suit cannot and should not serve as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice on a citizen (Amigable vs. and herein private respondent on the other. February 29. should be held amenable to lawsuits in our country like any other juristic person. 1968 to the aforesaid RP-US Military Bases Agreement.

the United States Forces shall procure goods and services in the Philippines to the maximum extent feasible" (Emphasis supplied). 1979. VI on labor and taxation of the said amendment of January 6. Neither does the invocation by petitioners of state immunity from suit express fidelity to paragraph 1 of Article IV of the aforesaid amendment of May 2 7. " even though paragraph 2 thereof affirms that "nothing in this Agreement shall imply any waiver by either of the two Governments of such immunity under international law." (Par. which stresses that "it is the duty of members of the United States Forces. Forces in the Philippines shall fill the needs for civilian employment by employing Filipino citizens.S. from any political activity in the Philippines. etc. 1968). "the discussions shall be conducted on the basis of the principles of equality of treatment. thus (1) the U. in particular. Armed Forces shall be required by their contract or concession agreements to comply with all applicable Philippine labor laws and regulations.mutually beneficial and will strengthen the democratic institutions cherished by both Governments. the civilian component and their dependents. . I of the Amendment of May 27. to respect the laws of the Republic of the Philippines and to abstain from any activity inconsistent with the spirit of the Military Bases Agreement and. 1968 which directs that " contractors and concessionaires performing work for the U. which directs that "moreover. The United States shag take all measures within its authority to insure that they adhere to them (Emphasis supplied). Under No.S. The foregoing duty imposed by the amendment to the Agreement is further emphasized by No." Reliance by petitioners on the non-suability of the United States Government before the local courts.. also amending RP-US Military Bases Agreement. 1968.. IV on the economic and social improvement of areas surrounding the bases. the United States Government agrees to accord preferential employment of Filipino citizens in the Bases. 1979 in connection with the discussions on possible revisions or alterations of the Agreement of May 27. III on respect for Philippine law of the Memorandum of Agreement signed on January 7. actually clashes with No. Art. 1. .

1975. Romulo. January 7. 1978 that "the United States reaffirms that Philippine sovereignty extends over the bases and that Its base shall be under the command of a Philippine Base Commander. Emphasis supplied). . territorial integrity and political independence of all States are fundamental principles which both countries scrupulously respect. and bargain collectively. " The majority opinion negates the statement on the delineation of the powers. between Ambassador Richard W. 1979. under which "they affirm that sovereign equality.S. 3 of the Annex covered by the exchange of notes. President Ford of December 7. and that "they confirm that mutual respect for the dignity of each nation shall characterize their friendship as well as the alliance between their two countries. the Philippine Base Commander and the American Base Commander shall be guided by full respect for Philippine sovereignty on the one hand and the assurance of unhampered U. military operations on the other hand and that "they shall promote cooperation understanding and harmonious relations within the Base and with the general public in the proximate vicinity thereof" (par.the right to organize. and respect for the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines" (Emphasis supplied) The majority opinion seems to mock the provision of paragraph 1 of the joint statement of President Marcos and Vice-President Mondale of the United States dated May 4. duties and responsibilities of both the Philippine and American Base Commanders that "in the performance of their duties.S. 2 & par. Murphy and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. " which is supposed to underscore the joint Communique of President Marcos and U.

San Diego. the Branch Clerk of Court on the very same day.: The crux of the instant controversy dwells on the liability of a bank for releasing its depositor's funds upon orders of the court. the bank delivered the garnished amount to the sheriff. who then issued a Notice of Garnishment addressed to the General Manager and/or Cashier of Rizal . 1988 RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION.G. The Solicitor General for respondents. Inc. Lourdes P. vs. then Presiding Judge. L-34548 November 29. versus Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration. who in turn delivered it to the judgment creditor. No. (hereinafter referred to as "BADOC") within 48 hours the aggregate amount of P206.76. CORTES. ordering the defendants therein to pay jointly and severally. petitioner. Q-12785 of the Court of First Instance of Rizal." which was an action for recovery of unpaid tobacco deliveries. the order of the court directing payment was set aside by the same judge. If in compliance with the court order. the plaintiff Badoc Planters. Judge San Diego who had just been elevated as a Justice of the Court of Appeals. 1970 by the Hon. et al.916. Quezon City Branch IX entitled "Badoc Planters. but subsequently.1970.R. THE HONORABLE PACIFICO P. with legal interests thereon. issued a Writ of Execution addressed to Special Sheriff Faustino Rigor. DE CASTRO and PHILIPPINE VIRGINIA TOBACCO ADMINISTRATION. BADOC filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion for a Writ of Execution of the said Partial Judgment which was granted on the same day by the herein respondent judge who acted in place of the Hon. an Order (Partial Judgment) was issued on January 15.. In Civil Case No. Meer & Meer for petitioner. respondents Meer. Inc. pursuant to a writ of garnishment. On January 26. Accordingly. should the bank be held solidarily liable with the judgment creditor to its depositor for reimbursement of the garnished funds? The Court does not think so. J.

p. Upon receipt of such Notice. setting aside the Orders of Execution and of Payment and the Writ of Execution and ordering petitioner and BADOC "to restore. the herein petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals from the said Orders. jointly and severally. petitioner delivered to Sheriff Rigor a certified check in the sum of P 206. 20. the respondent Judge issued an Order granting the ExParte Motion and directing the herein petitioner "to deliver in check the amount garnished to Sheriff Faustino Rigor and Sheriff Rigor in turn is ordered to cash the check and deliver the amount to the plaintiff's representative and/or counsel on record.Commercial Banking Corporation (hereinafter referred to as RCBC). This case was then certified by the Court of Appeals to this .1970 which was granted in an Order dated April 6." [Record on Appeal. p. 1970 filed by BADOC. RCBC notified PVTA thereof to enable the PVTA to take the necessary steps for the protection of its own interest [Record on Appeal." [Record on Appeal. 5.76. requesting a reply within five (5) days to said garnishment as to any property which the Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration (hereinafter referred to as "PVTA") might have in the possession or control of petitioner or of any debts owing by the petitioner to said defendant.] In compliance with said Order. p. the petitioner in this case.916. which was within the period for perfecting an appeal. the account of PVTA with the said bank in the same condition and state it was before the issuance of the aforesaid Orders by reimbursing the PVTA of the amount of P 206. 36] Upon an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion dated January 27. p. Respondent PVTA filed a Motion for Reconsideration dated February 26. Rollo. 1970 until fully paid to the account of the PVTA This is without prejudice to the right of plaintiff to move for the execution of the partial judgment pending appeal in case the motion for reconsideration is denied and appeal is taken from the said partial judgment. 1970 and on June 19. 916.76 with interests at the legal rate from January 27. 1970 filed by herein petitioner was denied in the Order of respondent judge dated June 10. 1970.1970. 58] The Motion for Reconsideration of the said Order of April 6.

Honorable Court, involving as it does purely questions of law. The petitioner raises two principal queries in the instant case: 1) Whether or not PVTA funds are public funds not subject to garnishment; and 2) Whether or not the respondent Judge correctly ordered the herein petitioner to reimburse the amount paid to the Special Sheriff by virtue of the execution issued pursuant to the Order/Partial Judgment dated January 15, 1970. The record reveals that on February 2, 1970, private respondent PVTA filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order/ Partial Judgment of January 15, 1970. This was granted and the aforementioned Partial Judgment was set aside. The case was set for hearings on November 4, 9 and 11, 1970 [Rollo, pp. 205-207.] However, in view of the failure of plaintiff BADOC to appear on the said dates, the lower court ordered the dismissal of the case against PVTA for failure to prosecute [Rollo, p. 208.] It must be noted that the Order of respondent Judge dated April 6, 1970 directing the plaintiff to reimburse PVTA t e amount of P206,916.76 with interests became final as to said plaintiff who failed to even file a motion for reconsideration, much less to appeal from the said Order. Consequently, the order to restore the account of PVTA with RCBC in the same condition and state it was before the issuance of the questioned orders must be upheld as to the plaintiff, BADOC. However, the questioned Order of April 6, 1970 must be set aside insofar as it ordered the petitioner RCBC, jointly and severally with BADOC, to reimburse PVTA. The petitioner merely obeyed a mandatory directive from the respondent Judge dated January 27, 1970, ordering petitioner 94 "to deliver in check the amount garnished to Sheriff Faustino Rigor and Sheriff Rigor is in turn ordered to cash the check and deliver the amount to the plaintiffs representative and/or counsel on record." [Record on Appeal, p. 20.] PVTA however claims that the manner in which the bank complied with the Sheriffs Notice of Garnishment indicated breach of trust and dereliction of duty on the part of the bank as custodian of government

funds. It insistently urges that the premature delivery of the garnished amount by RCBC to the special sheriff even in the absence of a demand to deliver made by the latter, before the expiration of the fiveday period given to reply to the Notice of Garnishment, without any reply having been given thereto nor any prior authorization from its depositor, PVTA and even if the court's order of January 27, 1970 did not require the bank to immediately deliver the garnished amount constitutes such lack of prudence as to make it answerable jointly and severally with the plaintiff for the wrongful release of the money from the deposit of the PVTA. The respondent Judge in his controverted Order sustained such contention and blamed RCBC for the supposed "hasty release of the amount from the deposit of the PVTA without giving PVTA a chance to take proper steps by informing it of the action being taken against its deposit, thereby observing with prudence the five-day period given to it by the sheriff." [Rollo, p. 81.] Such allegations must be rejected for lack of merit. In the first place, it should be pointed out that RCBC did not deliver the amount on the strength solely of a Notice of Garnishment; rather, the release of the funds was made pursuant to the aforesaid Order of January 27, 1970. While the Notice of Garnishment dated January 26, 1970 contained no demand of payment as it was a mere request for petitioner to withold any funds of the PVTA then in its possession, the Order of January 27, 1970 categorically required the delivery in check of the amount garnished to the special sheriff, Faustino Rigor. In the second place, the bank had already filed a reply to the Notice of Garnishment stating that it had in its custody funds belonging to the PVTA, which, in fact was the basis of the plaintiff in filing a motion to secure delivery of the garnished amount to the sheriff. [See Rollo, p. 93.] Lastly, the bank, upon the receipt of the Notice of Garnishment, duly informed PVTA thereof to enable the latter to take the necessary steps for the protection of its own interest [Record on Appeal, p. 36] It is important to stress, at this juncture, that there was nothing irregular in the delivery of the funds of PVTA by check to the sheriff, whose custody is equivalent to the custody of the court, he being a

court officer. The order of the court dated January 27, 1970 was composed of two parts, requiring: 1) RCBC to deliver in check the amount garnished to the designated sheriff and 2) the sheriff in turn to cash the check and deliver the amount to the plaintiffs representative and/or counsel on record. It must be noted that in delivering the garnished amount in check to the sheriff, the RCBC did not thereby make any payment, for the law mandates that delivery of a check does not produce the effect of payment until it has been cashed. [Article 1249, Civil Code.] Moreover, by virtue of the order of garnishment, the same was placed in custodia legis and therefore, from that time on, RCBC was holding the funds subject to the orders of the court a quo. That the sheriff, upon delivery of the check to him by RCBC encashed it and turned over the proceeds thereof to the plaintiff was no longer the concern of RCBC as the responsibility over the garnished funds passed to the court. Thus, no breach of trust or dereliction of duty can be attributed to RCBC in delivering its depositor's funds pursuant to a court order which was merely in the exercise of its power of control over such funds. ... The garnishment of property to satisfy a writ of execution operates as an attachment and fastens upon the property a lien by which the property is brought under the jurisdiction of the court issuing the writ. It is brought into custodia legis, under the sole control of such court [De Leon v. Salvador, G.R. Nos. L-30871 and L-31603, December 28,1970, 36 SCRA 567, 574.] The respondent judge however, censured the petitioner for having released the funds "simply on the strength of the Order of the court which. far from ordering an immediate release of the amount involved, merely serves as a standing authority to make the release at the proper time as prescribed by the rules." [Rollo, p. 81.] This argument deserves no serious consideration. As stated earlier, the order directing the bank to deliver the amount to the sheriff was distinct and separate from the order directing the sheriff to encash the said check. The bank had no choice but to comply with the order demanding delivery of the garnished amount in check. The very tenor of the order called for immediate compliance therewith. On the other

hand, the bank cannot be held liable for the subsequent encashment of the check as this was upon order of the court in the exercise of its power of control over the funds placed in custodia legis by virtue of the garnishment. In a recent decision [Engineering Construction Inc., v. National Power Corporation, G.R. No. L-34589, June 29, 1988] penned by the now Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan, this Court absolved a garnishee from any liability for prompt compliance with its order for the delivery of the garnished funds. The rationale behind such ruling deserves emphasis in the present case: But while partial restitution is warranted in favor of NPC, we find that the Appellate Court erred in not absolving MERALCO, the garnishee, from its obligations to NPC with respect to the payment of ECI of P 1,114,543.23, thus in effect subjecting MERALCO to double liability. MERALCO should not have been faulted for its prompt obedience to a writ of garnishment. Unless there are compelling reasons such as: a defect on the face of the writ or actual knowledge on the part of the garnishee of lack of entitlement on the part of the garnisher, it is not incumbent upon the garnishee to inquire or to judge for itself whether or not the order for the advance execution of a judgment is valid. Section 8, Rule 57 of the Rules of Court provides: Effect of attachment of debts and credits.—All persons having in their possession or under their control any credits or other similar personal property belonging to the party against whom attachment is issued, or owing any debts to the same, all the time of service upon them of a copy of the order of attachment and notice as provided in the last preceding section, shall be liable to the applicant for the amount of such credits, debts or other property, until the attachment be discharged, or any judgment recovered by him be satisfied, unless such property be delivered or transferred, or such debts be paid, to the clerk, sheriff or other proper officer of the court issuing the attachment. Garnishment is considered as a specie of attachment for reaching credits belonging to the judgment debtor and owing to him from a stranger to the litigation. Under the above-cited rule, the garnishee

[the third person] is obliged to deliver the credits, etc. to the proper officer issuing the writ and "the law exempts from liability the person having in his possession or under his control any credits or other personal property belonging to the defendant, ..., if such property be delivered or transferred, ..., to the clerk, sheriff, or other officer of the court in which the action is pending. [3 Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court 34 (1970 ed.)] Applying the foregoing to the case at bar, MERALCO, as garnishee, after having been judicially compelled to pay the amount of the judgment represented by funds in its possession belonging to the judgment debtor or NPC, should be released from all responsibilities over such amount after delivery thereof to the sheriff. The reason for the rule is self-evident. To expose garnishees to risks for obeying court orders and processes would only undermine the administration of justice. [Emphasis supplied.] The aforequoted ruling thus bolsters RCBC's stand that its immediate compliance with the lower court's order should not have been met with the harsh penalty of joint and several liability. Nor can its liability to reimburse PVTA of the amount delivered in check be premised upon the subsequent declaration of nullity of the order of delivery. As correctly pointed out by the petitioner: xxx xxx xxx That the respondent Judge, after his Order was enforced, saw fit to recall said Order and decree its nullity, should not prejudice one who dutifully abided by it, the presumption being that judicial orders are valid and issued in the regular performance of the duties of the Court" [Section 5(m) Rule 131, Revised Rules of Court]. This should operate with greater force in relation to the herein petitioner which, not being a party in the case, was just called upon to perform an act in accordance with a judicial flat. A contrary view will invite disrespect for the majesty of the law and induce reluctance in complying with judicial orders out of fear that said orders might be subsequently invalidated and thereby expose one to suffer some penalty or prejudice for obeying the same. And this is what will happen were the controversial orders to be sustained. We need not underscore the danger of this as a precedent.

212. No. 1968. L-30098. Rollo. In the Commissioner of Public Highways case [supra]. San Diego [G. Hon. February 18. The respondent Judge nevertheless held that the liability of RCBC for the reimbursement of the garnished amount is predicated on the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Commissioner of Public Highways v. it may be concluded that the charge of breach of trust and/or dereliction of duty as well as lack of prudence in effecting the immediate payment of the garnished amount is totally unfounded. it had no choice but to comply. which being an arm of the executive branch of the government. 1970. 31 SCRA 616] which he found practically on all fours with the case at bar. Confronted as it was with a mandatory directive. L-20322. Palacio [G. 23 SCRA 899] that government funds and properties may not be seized under writs of execution or garnishment to satisfy such judgment is definitely distinguishable from the case at bar. However. the funds involved belonged to the Bureau of Public Highways. The Court disagrees. charged as it was with knowledge of the nullity of the writ of execution and notice of garnishment against government funds. In the aforementioned case.R. The said case which reiterated the rule in Republic v. RCBC was already served with the Order requiring delivery of the garnished amount. disobedience to which exposed it to a contempt order. right on the very next day after its receipt of such notice. Upon receipt of the Notice of Garnishment.xxx xxx xxx [ Brief for the Petitioner. Emphasis supplied. May 29. The funds involved were government funds covered by the rule on exemption from execution. has no personality of its own separate from the National Government. p.] From the foregoing. RCBC duly informed PVTA thereof to enable the latter to take the necessary steps for its protection. This brings us to the first issue raised by the petitioner: Are the PVTA . No. the bank which precipitately allowed the garnishment and delivery of the funds failed to inform its depositor thereof.R.

A. it possesses the power "to sue and be sued" and "to acquire and hold such assets and incur such liabilities resulting directly from operations authorized by the provisions of this Act or as essential to the proper conduct of such operations. L33112. 1978. v. Accordingly. No. June 15. this Court has heretofore declared that the funds of the PVTA can be garnished since "funds of public corporation which can sue and be sued were not exempt from garnishment" [Philippine National Bank v. Republic Act No. No. No. 2265. August 31. No.] Among the specific powers vested in the PVTA are: 1) to buy Virginia tobacco grown in the Philippines for resale to local bona fide tobacco manufacturers and leaf tobacco dealers [Section 4(b)." [Section 3.] In National Shipyards and Steel Corp. attached or levied upon is untenable for. to exercise all the powers of a corporation under the Corporation Law. as a government-owned or controlled corporation. the National Coconut Corporation (NACOCO) . and 3) generally.R. 1964. 8 SCRA 781].A. Hence. 83 SCRA 595. This court has likewise ruled that other govemment-owned and controlled corporations like National Coal Company.funds public funds exempt from garnishment? The Court holds that they are not. with the Government of the Philippines or with any foreign government. R.R. firm or corporation. R. subject to existing laws [Section 4(h). CIR [G.A. the National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA). 2265]. Republic Act No.] From the foregoing. distinct and separate from that of the government. insofar as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act [Section 4(k). 22651. G. L-17874. 2265 created the PVTA as an ordinary corporation with all the attributes of a corporate entity subject to the provisions of the Corporation Law. 2265. it has a personality of its own. 598. No. R. 2) to contracts of any kind as may be necessary or incidental to the attainment of its purpose with any person. the same may not be garnished. this Court held that the allegation to the effect that the funds of the NASSCO are public funds of the government and that as such. it is clear that PVTA has been endowed with a personality distinct and separate from the government which owns and controls it. Pabalan.

734 (1941). it abandons its sovereign capacity and is to be treated like any other corporation [Manila Hotel Employees' Association v. and CIR. "garnishment was the appropriate remedy for the prevailing party which could proceed against the funds of a corporate entity even if owned or controlled by the government" inasmuch as "by engaging in a particular business thru the instrumentality of a corporation. L-32667. 319. CIR. January 31. February 27. L16223. for unpaid deliveries of tobacco). 583 (1924).] Accordingly. 4155. No.R No.e. Collector of Internal Revenue. Indebtedness of the Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration and the former Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration to FACOMAS and farmers and planters regarding . G. including the one sought to be enforced by plaintiff BADOC in this case (i. 471 (1956). separate and distinct from that of the government [National Coal Company v.] The rationale in vesting it with a separate personality is not difficult to find.] Furthermore. the government divests itself pro hac vice of its sovereign character. 4155 provides that this fund shall be expended for the support or payment of: 1. 73 Phil. as emphatically expressed by this Court in a 1978 decision. which discounted the erstwhile support given by the Central Bank to PVTA. the law has expressly allowed it funds to answer for various obligations. National Coconut Corporation et al. National Rice & Corn Corporation. 1962. Republic Act No. established in lieu thereof a "Tobacco Fund" to be collected from the proceeds of fifty per centum of the tariff or taxes of imported leaf tobacco and also fifty per centum of the specific taxes on locally manufactured Virginia type cigarettes. Section 5 of Republic Act No. 46 Phil. It is well-settled that when the government enters into commercial business. in the case of PVTA. G.R. 1978. 100 Phil.the National Rice and Corn Corporation (NARIC) and the Price Stabilization Council (PRISCO) which possess attributes similar to those of the PVTA are clothed with personalities of their own.. Bacani and Matoto v. 81 SCRA 314. 4 SCRA 418. Reotan v. so as to render the corporation subject to the rules of law governing private corporations" [Philippine National Bank v. Manila Hotel Co.

4155. with respect to the local Virginia tobacco industry. and the establishment of the Tobacco Research and Grading Institute. and the redrying plants trading within the purview of their contracts. 3. to encourage the production of local Virginia tobacco of the qualities needed and in quantities marketable in both domestic and foreign markets.] Inasmuch as the Tobacco Fund. and to create a climate conducive to local cigarette manufacture of the qualities desired by the consuming public. it follows that said funds may be proceeded against by ordinary judicial processes such as execution and garnishment. Indebtedness of the Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration and the former Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration to the Central Bank in gradual amounts regarding Virginia tobacco transactions in previous years. warehousing and disposal thereof. redrying. In said case. was by law. Operational. 2. [Emphasis supplied. a special fund. to establish this industry on an efficient and economic basis.] The Commissioner of Public Highways case is thus distinguishable from the case at bar. 4. blending imported and native Virginia leaf tobacco to improve the quality of locally manufactured cigarettes [Section 1. For it was declared to be a national policy. handling. then the purpose of the law in creating the PVTA would be defeated. its procurement. at the present support and subsidy prices.Virginia tobacco transactions in previous years. office and field expenses. earmarked specifically to answer obligations incurred by PVTA in connection with its proprietary and commercial operations authorized under the law. an agency of the government. the Philippine National Bank (PNB) as custodian of funds belonging to the Bureau of Public Highways. If such funds cannot be executed upon or garnished pursuant to a judgment sustaining the liability of the PVTA to answer for its obligations. Republic Act No. Continuation of the Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration support and subsidy operations including the purchase of locally grown and produced Virginia leaf tobacco. was chargeable with knowledge of the exemption of such government funds from execution and .

Finally. it had neither the personality nor the interest to assail or controvert the orders of respondent Judge. RCBC cannot rightfully resist a court order to enforce payment of such obligations. It had no choice but to obey the same inasmuch as it had no standing at all to impugn the validity of the partial judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff or of the processes issued in execution of such judgment. WHEREFORE.garnishment pursuant to the elementary precept that public funds cannot be disbursed without the appropriation required by law. As correctly pointed out by the petitioner. Since the funds in its custody are precisely meant for the payment of lawfully-incurred obligations. On the other hand. are in the nature of private funds insofar as their susceptibility to garnishment is concerned. SO ORDERED. the petition is hereby granted and the petitioner is ABSOLVED from any liability to respondent PVTA for reimbursement of the funds garnished. RCBC cannot therefore be compelled to make restitution solidarily with the plaintiff BADOC. That such court order subsequently turned out to have been erroneously issued should not operate to the detriment of one who complied with its clear order. Hence. the same cannot hold true for RCBC as the funds entrusted to its custody. only the plaintiff can be ordered to restore the account of the PVTA. . Plaintiff BADOC alone was responsible for the issuance of the Writ of Execution and Order of Payment and so. which belong to a public corporation. hence. jointly and severally with BADOC. RCBC cannot be charged with lack of prudence for immediately complying with the order to deliver the garnished amount. The questioned Order of the respondent Judge ordering the petitioner. the plaintiff alone should bear the consequences of a subsequent annulment of such court orders. it is contended that RCBC was bound to inquire into the legality and propriety of the Writ of Execution and Notice of Garnishment issued against the funds of the PVTA deposited with said bank. But the bank was in no position to question the legality of the garnishment since it was not even a party to the case. to restore the account of PVTA are modified accordingly.

RESOLUTION CORTÉS. 42. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. Inc.666.G. fixing the appraised value of the property at P5. It appears that the action for eminent domain was filed on May 20.. After this decision became final and executory. 13699. and SHERIFF SILVINO R. JR. petitioner. Roberto B. After due hearing where the parties presented their respective appraisal reports regarding the value of the property.00. 1986. Inc.00. HON. 1990 MUNICIPALITY OF MAKATI. respondent RTC judge rendered a decision on June 4. Branch CXLII ADMIRAL FINANCE CREDITORS CONSORTIUM.160.00 which was earlier released to private respondent. J. as Judge RTC of Makati.. vs. S/A 265-537154-3) had been opened with the PNB Buendia Branch under petitioner's name containing the sum of P417.R. DE GUZMAN. Attached to petitioner's complaint was a certification that a bank account (Account No. private respondent . Lugue for private respondent Admiral Finance Creditors' Consortium. Jo under TCT No.. made pursuant to the provisions of Pres. and ordering petitioner to pay this amount minus the advanced payment of P338. S-5499.: The present petition for review is an off-shoot of expropriation proceedings initiated by petitioner Municipality of Makati against private respondent Admiral Finance Creditors Consortium. 89898-99 October 1.291. Makati and registered in the name of Arceli P. PASTRANA. San Antonio Village. Jo. docketed as Civil Case No. Defante & Elegado for petitioner.. INC. involving a parcel of land and improvements thereon located at Mayapis St. Nos.510. Decree No. respondents. SALVADOR P. 1987. Home Building System & Realty Corporation and one Arceli P.

953. Inc. Respondent trial judge subsequently issued an order dated September 8. on the ground that the manner of payment of the expropriation amount should be done in installments which the respondent RTC judge failed to state in his decision. In compliance with this order. 1987. As a result of this. 1988 praying that an order be issued directing the bank to deliver to respondent sheriff the amount equivalent to the unpaid balance due under the RTC decision dated June 4. (3) ordered PSB and private respondent to execute the necessary deed of conveyance over the subject property in favor of petitioner. and.506. 1987. and the PNB Buendia Branch to reveal the amount in petitioner's account which was garnished by respondent sheriff. PSB and private respondent entered into a compromise agreement whereby they agreed to divide between themselves the compensation due from the expropriation proceedings. After several conferences. 1988 which: (1) approved the compromise agreement. Pending resolution of the above motions.moved for the issuance of a writ of execution. After issuance of the writ of execution. from the garnished account of petitioner. However. Pastrana upon the manager of the PNB Buendia Branch. . Private respondent filed its opposition to the motion.45 which corresponds to the balance of the appraised value of the subject property under the RTC decision dated June 4. private respondent filed a motion dated January 27. 1987. a Notice of Garnishment dated January 14. (2) ordered PNB Buendia Branch to immediately release to PSB the sum of P4. petitioner filed on July 20. This motion was granted by respondent RTC judge. PSB filed a manifestation informing the court that it had consolidated its ownership over the property as mortgagee/purchaser at an extrajudicial foreclosure sale held on April 20. respondent sheriff was informed that a "hold code" was placed on the account of petitioner. Petitioner filed a motion to lift the garnishment. 1988 was served by respondent sheriff Silvino R. (PSB) Respondent RTC judge issued an order requiring PSB to make available the documents pertaining to its transactions over the subject property. 1988 a "Manifestation" informing the court that private respondent was no longer the true and lawful owner of the subject property because a new title over the property had been registered in the name of Philippine Savings Bank.

and thus ordered his arrest and detention until his compliance with the said order. No. for to do so would result in the disbursement of public funds without the proper appropriation required under the law. 1988. Its motion for reconsideration having been denied by the Court of Appeals. S/A 265-537154-3 was an account specifically opened for the expropriation proceedings of the subject property pursuant to Pres.Petitioner's motion to lift the garnishment was denied. During the hearings conducted for the above motions.R. 23 SCRA 899]. L-20322. For its part. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. petitioner contended that its funds at the PNB Buendia Branch could neither be garnished nor levied upon execution. 1989. petitioner now files the present petition for review with prayer for preliminary injunction. Palacio [G. citing the case of Republic of the Philippines v. Respondent trial judge issued an order dated December 21. 42. Petitioner and the bank manager of PNB Buendia Branch then filed separate petitions for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. Respondent RTC judge likewise declared Mr. On the other hand. . Antonio Bautista. 1968. In a decision promulgated on June 28. Palacio did not apply to the case because petitioner's PNB Account No. the general manager of the PNB Buendia Branch. 265-537154-3. Decree No. a Mr. May 29. which was duly opposed by private respondent. Antonio Bautista guilty of contempt of court for his inexcusable refusal to obey the order dated September 8. 1988. sustained the jurisdiction of respondent RTC judge over the funds contained in petitioner's PNB Account No. and affirmed his authority to levy on such funds. informed the court that he was still waiting for proper authorization from the PNB head office enabling him to make a disbursement for the amount so ordered. for failure of the manager of the PNB Buendia Branch to comply with the order dated September 8. the Court of Appeals dismissed both petitions for lack of merit. which were eventually consolidated. private respondent filed two succeeding motions to require the bank manager to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court. 1988 denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration on the ground that the doctrine enunciated in Republic v.

S/A 263-530850-7 — for statutory obligations and other purposes of the municipal government. as of July 12. with a balance of P170. (2) Account No. 1989.743. 6-7. Petitioner not only reiterates the arguments adduced in its petition before the Court of Appeals. Admitting that its PNB Account No. while petitioner filed its reply.72. and strengthening its reliance on the doctrine that public funds are exempted from garnishment or execution as enunciated in Republic v.098. the Court resolved to issue a temporary restraining order enjoining respondent RTC judge.94.On November 20. the Court will give petitioner the benefit of the doubt. but also alleges for the first time that it has actually two accounts with the PNB Buendia Branch. to wit: xxx xxx xxx (1) Account No. 11-12. Palacio [supra.94. pp. it may fairly be asked whether the second account was opened only for the purpose of undermining the legal basis of the assailed orders of respondent RTC judge and the decision of the Court of Appeals. respondent sheriff. S/A 265-537154-3 — exclusively for the expropriation of the subject property. and proceed to resolve the principal issues presented based on the factual circumstances thus alleged by petitioner. pp.] At any rate. from enforcing and/or carrying out the RTC order dated December 21.] Because the petitioner has belatedly alleged only in this Court the existence of two bank accounts. xxx xxx xxx [Petition. 1989. However. Rollo. petitioner poses no objection to the garnishment or the levy under execution of the funds deposited therein amounting to P99. it is petitioner's main contention that . 1988 and the writ of garnishment issued pursuant thereto.421. S/A 265-537154-3 was specifically opened for expropriation proceedings it had initiated over the subject property. Private respondent then filed its comment to the petition.743. and their representatives. with an outstanding balance of P99.

L-30098. S/A 263-530850-7 are public funds of the municipal government. Ilocos Norte v. this is not to say that private respondent and PSB are left with no legal recourse.743. 61744. Absent a showing that the municipal council of Makati has passed an ordinance appropriating from its public funds an amount corresponding to the balance due under the RTC decision dated June 4. whether real or personal. supra. S/A 263-530850-7. Where a municipality fails or refuses.94. 52 (1926): The Municipality of Paoay. 629 (1950).94 deposited in Account No. Manaois.R.. June 25. which are necessary for public use cannot be attached and sold at execution sale to satisfy a money judgment against the municipality. 1970. Nevertheless. without justifiable reason. 1987. Palacio. More particularly. are exempted from execution without the proper appropriation required under the law. less the sum of P99. supra.743. the claimant may avail of the remedy of mandamus in order to compel the enactment and approval of the necessary appropriation ordinance. The Municipal Council of Iloilo. and the corresponding disbursement of municipal funds therefor [See Viuda De Tan Toco v. S/A 265-537154-3. well-settled is the rule that public funds are not subject to levy and execution. no levy under execution may be validly effected on the public funds of petitioner deposited in Account No. Fernandez. 107 Phil. are exempt from execution [See Viuda De Tan Toco v. 1099 . There is merit in this contention. G. The Municipal Council of Iloilo. 49 Phil. San Diego. Baldivia v. Lota.506. Municipal revenues derived from taxes. licenses and market fees. 86 Phil. to effect payment of a final money judgment rendered against it.R. the funds garnished by respondent sheriff in excess of P99. Bulacan v. 130 SCRA 56]. unless otherwise provided for by statute [Republic v. February 18. 1984. G.45. Municipality of San Miguel.inasmuch as the assailed orders of respondent RTC judge involved the net amount of P4. No. which are public funds earmarked for the municipal government's other statutory obligations. The funds deposited in the second PNB Account No. The foregoing rule finds application in the case at bar. In this jurisdiction. 31 SCRA 616]. The Commissioner of Public Highways v. No. and which are intended primarily and exclusively for the purpose of financing the governmental activities and functions of the municipality. the properties of a municipality.965.

WHEREFORE. the Court finds that the municipality has had more than reasonable time to pay full compensation. within the context of the State's inherent power of eminent domain. For three years now. Petitioner is hereby required to submit to this Court a report of its compliance with the foregoing order within a non-extendible period of SIXTY (60) DAYS from the date of receipt of this resolution. 1987. . August 15. Vda. August 27. considering that valuable property has been taken. 1988. 1987 is not disputed by petitioner. 77765. 153 SCRA 291].506. No.45. Petitioner has benefited from its possession of the property since the same has been the site of Makati West High School since the school year 19861987. G. In the case at bar. Inc. 108 Phil. G. In the case at bar. for three (3) years. No. . petitioner has enjoyed possession and use of the subject property notwithstanding its inexcusable failure to comply with its legal obligation to pay just compensation. No appeal was taken therefrom. . the compensation to be paid fixed and the municipality is in full possession and utilizing the property for public purpose.R. Without prompt payment. 247 (1960)]. This Court will not condone petitioner's blatant refusal to settle its legal obligation arising from expropriation proceedings it had in fact initiated. .953.(1960). The State's power of eminent domain should be exercised within the bounds of fair play and justice. 400.R. Gonzales. compensation cannot be considered "just" for the property owner is made to suffer the consequence of being immediately deprived of his land while being made to wait for a decade or more before actually receiving the amount necessary to cope with his loss [Cosculluela v. the Court Resolved to ORDER petitioner Municipality of Makati to immediately pay Philippine Savings Bank. See also Provincial Government of Sorsogon v. The Honorable Court of Appeals. 164 SCRA 393. It cannot be over-emphasized that. [j]ust compensation means not only the correct determination of the amount to be paid to the owner of the land but also the payment of the land within a reasonable time from its taking. the validity of the RTC decision dated June 4. and private respondent the amount of P4. 64037. de Villaroya. Yuviengco v.

1989 is MADE PERMANENT. Fernan.J.. is SET ASIDE and the temporary restraining order issued by the Court on November 20. 1988. Feliciano and Bidin.. Jr.. C. 13699.The order of respondent RTC judge dated December 21. which was rendered in Civil Case No. . SO ORDERED. JJ. Gutierrez. concur.

Suarez. L-61045 December 1. Jr. the petition for review on certiorari seeks the affirmance of the decision dated March 20. 1989 NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION. L-55963. IN-651. G. San Jose City along the Maharlika Highway.: In G. PARAS.M. 1980 of the then Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija. vs.R. 1982. As a result of the impact. an employee of said agency as its regular driver. this case was consolidated with G.R. for Spouses Fontanilla. Francisco Fontanilla and Restituto Deligo were injured and brought to the San Jose City . then driven officially by Hugo Garcia. The original appeal of this case before the Court of Appeals was certified to this Court and in the resolution of July 7. appellees. 61045.R.. 1976 at about 6:30 P. son of herein petitioners.R. And in the resolution of April 3. HONORABLE INOCENCIO D. respondent National Irrigation Administration seeks the reversal of the aforesaid decision of the lower court. petitioners. at Maasin. bumped a bicycle ridden by Francisco Fontanilla. L-55963 December 1. No.G. Branch VIII. MALIAMAN and NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION. a government agency bearing Plate No.R. Cecilio V. vs. J. at San Jose City and its modification with respect to the denial of petitioner's claim for moral and exemplary damages and attorneys fees. Felicisimo C. it was docketed with the aforecited number. SPOUSES JOSE FONTANILLA and VIRGINIA FONTANILLA. No. It appears that on August 21. No. a pickup owned and operated by respondent National Irrigation Administration. and Restituto Deligo. appellant. 55963. No. Villaflor for NIA. 1989 SPOUSES JOSE FONTANILLA AND VIRGINIA FONTANILLA. respondents. No. In G.

Instead of filing the required brief in the aforecited Court of Appeals case.Emergency Hospital for treatment. 132) Respondent National Irrigation Administration filed on April 21.389. 1978 against respondent NIA before the then Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija. petitioners filed the instant petition with this Court. p. 67237. its motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid decision which respondent trial court denied in its Order of June 13. . 1980. exemplary damages and attorney's fees is legally proper in a complaint for damages based on quasi-delict which . The sole issue for the resolution of the Court is: Whether or not the award of moral damages. P3. After trial.-G. No. the trial court rendered judgment on March 20. p. . . Judgment is here rendered ordering the defendant National Irrigation Administration to pay to the heirs of the deceased P12. and to pay the costs. .R) where it filed its brief for appellant in support of its position.R. (Brief for the petitioners spouses Fontanilla. SJC-56) instituted by petitioners-spouses on April 17. Garcia was then a regular driver of respondent National Irrigation Administration who.00 for the death of Francisco Fontanilla. 1980 which directed respondent National Irrigation Administration to pay damages (death benefits) and actual expenses to petitioners. for damages in connection with the death of their son resulting from the aforestated accident. Branch VIII at San Jose City. The dispositive portion of the decision reads thus: . at the time of the accident. was a licensed professional driver and who qualified for employment as such regular driver of respondent after having passed the written and oral examinations on traffic rules and maintenance of vehicles given by National Irrigation Administration authorities.000. Rollo. Fontanilla was later transferred to the Cabanatuan Provincial Hospital where he died. 4. 1980. The within petition is thus an off-shot of the action (Civil Case No. Respondent National Irrigation Administration thus appealed said decision to the Court of Appeals (C.00 which the parents of the deceased had spent for the hospitalization and burial of the deceased Francisco Fontanilla.A.

under paragraph 3 of Article 2206 of the New Civil Code which provides that the spouse. which should not be less than P50. 1979. exemplary damages and attorney's fees was based and not for the purpose of disturbing the other findings of fact and conclusions of law. the award should be made to each of petitioners-spouses individually and in varying amounts depending upon proof of mental and depth of intensity of the same. This petition has been filed only for the purpose of reviewing the findings of the lower court upon which the disallowance of moral damages. Petitioners are entitled to an award of attorney's fees.000. The Solicitor General. The award of moral damages is specifically allowable. 4. 2. by reason of the gross negligence of respondent. Should moral damages be granted. 2231 and 2229 of the New Civil Code.00 for each of them. The focal issue raised in respondent's appeal to the Court of Appeals involves the question as to whether or not the driver of the vehicle that bumped . victims. The filing of the instant petition is rot proper in view of the appeal taken by respondent National Irrigation Administration to the Court of Appeals against the judgment sought to be reviewed. The decision of the trial court had made an impression that respondent National Irrigation Administration acted with gross negligence because of the accident and the subsequent failure of the National Irrigation Administration personnel including the driver to stop in order to give assistance to the. 3. petitioners become entitled to exemplary damages under Arts.resulted in the death of the son of herein petitioners. taking up the cudgels for public respondent National Irrigation Administration. Thus. contends thus: 1. legitimate and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased. Petitioners allege: 1. the amount of which (20%) had been sufficiently established in the hearing of May 23.

No.R. is not proper.61045) of the respondent National Irrigation Administration before the Court of Appeals. Inconsistent procedures are manifest because while petitioners question the findings of fact in the Court of Appeals. not be borne by respondent government agency but by driver Garcia who should answer for the consequences of his act. Respondent National Irrigation Administration. sound discretion and in conformity with the law. 3.the victims was negligent in his operation of said vehicle. and G. Respondents do not assail petitioners' claim to moral and exemplary damages by reason of the shock and subsequent illness they suffered because of the death of their son. they present only the questions of law before this Court which posture confirms their admission of the facts. Even as the trial court touched on the failure or laxity of respondent National Irrigation Administration in exercising due diligence in the . avers that it cannot be held liable for the damages because it is an agency of the State performing governmental functions and driver Hugo Garcia was a regular driver of the vehicle. 2. 67237-R. the Solicitor General alleges that the trial court decision does not categorically contain such finding. No. not a special agent who was performing a job or act foreign to his usual duties. The filing of the "Appearance and Urgent Motion For Leave to File Plaintiff-Appellee's Brief" dated December 28. It thus becomes necessary that before petitioners' claim for moral and exemplary damages could be resolved. 6. the decision of the trial court has become final as to the petitioners and for this reason alone. is an explicit admission of said petitioners that the herein petition. the petition should be dismissed. R. Hence. there should first be a finding of negligence on the part of respondent's employee-driver. 5. Respondent Judge acted within his jurisdiction. 4. Hence. The fact that the parties failed to agree on whether or not negligence caused the vehicular accident involves a question of fact which petitioners should have brought to the Court of Appeals within the reglementary period. however. the liability for the tortious act should. In this regard. 1981 by petitioners in the appeal (CA-G.

Its private or business aspects (as when it engages in private enterprises) where it becomes liable as an ordinary employer. Annotated. 1986 Ed. Such fault or negligence. even the though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. is obliged to pay for damage done. 2176 shall be applicable. Its public or governmental aspects where it is liable for the tortious acts of special agents only. but not when the damage has been caused by the official to whom the task done properly pertains. The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special agent. if there is no pre-existing cotractual relation between the parties. In this jurisdiction. The sole legal question on whether or not petitioners may be entitled to an award of moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees can very well be answered with the application of Arts. 21 80 read as follows: Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. Art. 2176 thus provides: Whoever by act omission causes damage to another. (p. the matter of due diligence is not an issue in this case since driver Garcia was not its special agent but a regular driver of the vehicle. the State assumes a limited liability for the damage caused by the tortious acts or conduct of its special agent. namely: 1. 2176 and 2180 of theNew Civil Code.. ). Civil Code of the Philippines. The liability of the State has two aspects. there being fault or negligence. . 2. 961. in which case what is provided in Art. is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter Paragraphs 5 and 6 of Art.selection and supervision of its employee. Paras.

Name and domicile. Where the government commissions a private individual for a special governmental task. and is commissioned to perform nongovernmental functions. On the other hand. 1984 Ed. as to which there may be liability for the torts of agents within the scope of their employment. The National Irrigation Administration is an agency of the government exercising proprietary functions. by express provision of Rep. The State's agent. ThusSec. Section 2 of said law spells out some of the NIA's proprietary functions.-The NIA shall have the following powers and objectives: (a) x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x (b) x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x . it is acting through a special agent within the meaning of the provision. Act No. are more or less generally agreed to be "governmental" in character. 347. which shall be organized immediately after the approval of this Act. If the State's agent is not a public official.-A body corporate is hereby created which shall be known as the National Irrigation Administration. 2. and particularly when it collects revenues from it. and so the State is immune from tort liability. 2180. 3601. Sangco. must not only be specially commissioned to do a particular task but that such task must be foreign to said official's usual governmental functions. (Torts and Damages. Section 1 of said Act provides: Section 1. Powers and objectives. if a public official. It shall have its principal seat of business in the City of Manila and shall have representatives in all provinces for the proper conduct of its business. a service which might as well be provided by a private corporation. then the State assumes the role of an ordinary employer and will be held liable as such for its agent's tort.Under the aforequoted paragrah 6 of Art.) Certain functions and activities. p. hereinafter called the NIA for short. the function is considered a "proprietary" one. which can be performed only by the government. the State has voluntarily assumed liability for acts done through special agents.

5 of Art. it becomes answerable for damages. Since it is a corporate body performing non-governmental functions. The impact took place almost at the edge of the cemented portion of the road. incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objectives.(c) To collect from the users of each irrigation system constructed by it such fees as may be necessary to finance the continuous operation of the system and reimburse within a certain period not less than twenty-five years cost of construction thereof. The negligence referred to here is the negligence of supervision. the NIA assumes the responsibility of an ordinary employer and as such. the impact was so strong as shown by the fact that the vehicle suffered . the matter of due diligence on the part of respondent NIA becomes a crucial issue in determining its liability since it has been established that respondent is a government agency performing proprietary functions and as such. Indubitably. It will be noted from the assailed decision of the trial court that "as a result of the impact. Rollo] The lower court further declared that "a speeding vehicle coming in contact with a person causes force and impact upon the vehicle that anyone in the vehicle cannot fail to notice. and (d) To do all such other tthings and to transact all such business as are directly or indirectly necessary. is responsible for the damages caused by its employees provided that it has failed to observe or exercise due diligence in the selection and supervision of the driver. it now becomes liable for the damage caused by the accident resulting from the tortious act of its driver-employee. 2180. the NIA is a government corporation with juridical personality and not a mere agency of the government.) [page 26. it assumes the posture of an ordinary employer which. under Par. This assumption of liability. In this particular case. Francisco Fontanilla was thrown to a distance 50 meters away from the point of impact while Restituto Deligo was thrown a little bit further away. At this juncture. is predicated upon the existence of negligence on the part of respondent NIA. however. As a matter of fact." (Emphasis supplied.

respondent NIA is hereby directed to pay herein petitioners-spouses the amounts of P12. (L26810. Considering the foregoing. 597). thus showing imprudence and reckelessness on the part of both the driver and the supervisor in the group. Thus.00 for the death .L. there is a strong indication that driver Garcia was driving at a high speed. Ely Salonga. in the case of Vda. Bus Co. 34 SCRA 618). August 31. or take no step to avert further damage. (Maxion vs. failed to caution and make the driver observe the proper and allowed speed limit within the city. Rollo] It should be emphasized that the accident happened along the Maharlika National Road within the city limits of San Jose City. and his failure to keep a proper look out for reasons and objects in the line to be traversed constitutes negligence. the employer would still be liable. such negligence is further aggravated by their desire to reach their destination without even checking whether or not the vehicle suffered damage from the object it bumped.T. 1970.dents on the right side of the radiator guard. This is confirmed by the fact that the pick-up suffered substantial and heavy damage as abovedescribed and the fact that the NIA group was then "in a hurry to reach the campsite as early as possible". (Emphasis supplied) [page 29.000. this Court held that a driver should be especially watchful in anticipation of others who may be using the highway. Manila Railroad Co. still if he ratifies the wrongful acts. as shown by their not stopping to find out what they bumped as would have been their normal and initial reaction. an urban area. de Bonifacio vs. too. there was negligence in the supervision of the driver for the reason that they were travelling at a high speed within the city limits and yet the supervisor of the group. Significantly. 44 Phil. B.. the fender and a crack on the radiator as shown by the investigation report (Exhibit "E"). Evidently. this Court has ruled that even if the employer can prove the diligence in the selection and supervision (the latter aspect has not been established herein) of the employee. the hood. Under the situation. Considering the fact that the victim was thrown 50 meters away from the point of impact.

Padilla. J.000. Melencio. P3.00 as moral damages. concur.of Francisco Fontanilla. P8.389. is on leave.).000.00 for hospitalization and burial expenses of the aforenamed deceased. JJ. .00 as exemplary damages and attorney's fees of 20% of the total award.. Sarmiento and Regalado.Herrera (Chairperson.. SO ORDERED. P30.

183893 October 14. GEN. CLIMACO. ISABELLE G. Rep. GARCIA. vs. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE NEGOTIATING PANEL (GRP). LEAH ARMAMENTO. SEDFREY CANDELARIA. No.G. CELSO L. ATTY. represented by SEC. SEDFREY CANDELARIA. 183591 October 14. MA. vs. in his capacity as the present and duly appointed Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. x--------------------------------------------x G. petitioners. and Rep. No.R. LEAH ARMAMENTO. represented by SEC. and/or . in his capacity as the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process. No. 183752 October 14.R. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE PANEL ON ANCESTRAL DOMAIN (GRP). City Mayor of Zamboanga. JR. ATTY. RODOLFO GARCIA. 2008 THE PROVINCE OF NORTH COTABATO. ATTY. District 2. x--------------------------------------------x G. District 1. MARK RYAN SULLIVAN and/or GEN.. duly represented by GOVERNOR JESUS SACDALAN and/or VICE-GOVERNOR EMMANUEL PIÑOL. and in his personal capacity as resident of the City of Zamboanga. the latter in his capacity as the present and duly-appointed Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) or the so-called Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. petitioner. respondents. LEAH ARMAMENTO. LOBREGAT. vs. 2008 CITY GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBOANGA. for and in his own behalf. JR. MARK RYAN SULLIVAN and HERMOGENES ESPERON. RODOLFO GARCIA. MARK RYAN SULLIVAN. HERMOGENES ESPERON. 2008 THE CITY OF ILIGAN. ERICO BASILIO A. respondents. HERMOGENES ESPERON. FABIAN. SEDFREY CANDELARIA. ATTY.R.. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE PANEL ON ANCESTRAL DOMAIN (GRP). petitioners. duly represented by CITY MAYOR LAWRENCE LLUCH CRUZ. as represented by HON. as represented by RODOLFO C. City of Zamboanga.

ROLANDO E. SETH FREDERICK P. JALOSJOS. petitioners. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE NEGOTIATING PANEL [GRP]. respondents. CECILIA JALOSJOS CARREON. and AQUILINO L. JALOSJOS. GARCIA and HON. Congressman. 3rd Congressional District. No. LUZVIMINDA E. and Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Zamboanga del Norte. HON. vs. NORBIDEIRI B. in his capacity as Executive Secretary. HON. 2008 THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE. YEBES. petitioners. OLVIS. 183951 October 14. MACEDA. ANGELICA J. HON. JOSEPH BRENDO C. TORRINO. AJERO. vs. in his capacity as Provincial Governor. BOLANDO. HERMOGENES ESPERON. represented by its Chairman MOHAGHER IQBAL. GARCIA. Congresswoman. 2008 ERNESTO M. HON. BINAY. BAGUIO. CARREON and HON. in his capacity as the Presidential Adviser of Peace Process. HON. PIMENTEL III. as represented by HON. MEJORADA II. and the MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT PEACE NEGOTIATING PANEL. EDUARDO ERMITA. HON. FERNANDO R. respondents. DARUNDAY. FRANCIS H. HON. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PEACE NEGOTIATING PANEL. 183962 October 14. CABIGON.R.R. JEJOMAR C. HON.SEC. x--------------------------------------------x G. FELIXBERTO C. CESAR G. respondents. ZAMORAS. HON. HON. HON.. EDGAR J. ADRIATICO. RODOLFO C. x--------------------------------------------x G. No. HON. namely. CEDRIC L. as represented by HON. represented by its Chairman RODOLFO C. x--------------------------------------------x . HON. JR. 1st Congressional District. in his capacity as Vice-Governor and Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. ANECITO S. ULDARICO M. EDDING. HON. EDIONAR M.

for and in his own behalf and on behalf of Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao Not Belonging to the MILF. x--------------------------------------------x . petitioners-inintervention. petitioners-in-intervention. x-------------------------------------------x RUY ELIAS LOPEZ. x--------------------------------------------x MUNICIPALITY OF LINAMON duly represented by its Municipal Mayor NOEL N. SUHARTO T. JOSELITO C. DEANO. GOMEZ.FRANKLIN M. GERARDO S. NESARIO G. rep. DRILON and ADEL ABBAS TAMANO. AWAT. x--------------------------------------------x MARINO RIDAO and KISIN BUXANI. x--------------------------------------------x SEN. x--------------------------------------------x THE PROVINCE OF SULTAN KUDARAT. petitioners-in-intervention. JAGMIS. MANGUDADATU. BASILAN PROVINCE. MANUEL A. petitioner-inintervention. ALISUAG and RICHALEX G. ROXAS. x--------------------------------------------x THE CITY OF ISABELA. petitioners-in-intervention. SANTOS-AKBAR. by HON. in his capacity as Provincial Governor and a resident of the Province of Sultan Kudarat. x--------------------------------------------x CARLO B. petitioners-inintervention. DILIG. as citizens and residents of Palawan. represented by MAYOR CHERRYLYN P. petitioners-in-intervention. petitioner-in-intervention.

Malaysia. FACTUAL ANTECEDENTS OF THE PETITIONS On August 5. It must uncompromisingly delineate the bounds within which the President may lawfully exercise her discretion. respondent-in-intervention. the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF. but it must do so in strict adherence to the Constitution.: Subject of these consolidated cases is the extent of the powers of the President in pursuing the peace process. were scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 in Kuala Lumpur. x--------------------------------------------x MUSLIM MULTI-SECTORAL MOVEMENT FOR PEACE & DEVELOPMENT (MMMPD). 2008. J. the Court is tasked to perform a delicate balancing act. among others. While the facts surrounding this controversy center on the armed conflict in Mindanao between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). x--------------------------------------------x DECISION CARPIO MORALES. respondent-in-intervention. it splintered from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) then headed by Nur Misuari. through the Chairpersons of their respective peace negotiating panels. under the leadership of the late Salamat Hashim.MUSLIM LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION. on the ground. the legal issue involved has a bearing on all areas in the country where there has been a long-standing armed conflict. of what Salamat perceived to . lest its ruling unduly restricts the freedom of action vested by that same Constitution in the Chief Executive precisely to enable her to pursue the peace process effectively. I. Yet again. INC (MUSLAF). The MILF is a rebel group which was established in March 1984 when.

On July 18.2 Early on. the MILF . The Solicitor General. they signed the General Framework of Agreement of Intent on August 27. this Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the GRP from signing the same. however. initially responded with deep reservation. protect and respect human rights. it was evident that there was not going to be any smooth sailing in the GRP-MILF peace process. summarizes the MOA-AD by stating that the same contained. the military offensive against the MILF was suspended and the government sought a resumption of the peace talks. for upon motion of petitioners. among others. in March 2000. The MOA-AD was preceded by a long process of negotiation and the concluding of several prior agreements between the two parties beginning in 1996. according to a leading MILF member. it took control of the town hall of Kauswagan. but when President Arroyo asked the Government of Malaysia through Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad to help convince the MILF to return to the negotiating table. then President Joseph Estrada declared and carried out an "all-out-war" against the MILF. The MILF. 1997. the MILF attacked a number of municipalities in Central Mindanao and.be the manipulation of the MNLF away from an Islamic basis towards Marxist-Maoist orientations. who represents respondents. the GRP and MILF Peace Panels signed the Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities. when the GRP-MILF peace negotiations began. however. 1998. Lanao del Norte.1 The signing of the MOA-AD between the GRP and the MILF was not to materialize.3 In response. The following year. and refrain from the use of threat or force to attain undue advantage while the peace negotiations on the substantive agenda are on-going. When President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed office. negotiate with sincerity in the resolution and pacific settlement of the conflict. the commitment of the parties to pursue peace negotiations. specifically those who filed their cases before the scheduled signing of the MOAAD. Towards the end of 1999 up to early 2000.

there were many incidence of violence between government forces and the MILF from 2002 to 2003. the outcome of which was the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace (Tripoli Agreement 2001) containing the basic principles and agenda on the following aspects of the negotiation: Security Aspect. eventually.5 Formal peace talks between the parties were held in Tripoli. Libya from June 20-22." A second round of peace talks was held in Cyberjaya. 2003 and he was replaced by Al Haj Murad.4 The parties met in Kuala Lumpur on March 24. several exploratory talks were held between the parties in Kuala Lumpur. which was signed on May 7. II. This was followed by the Implementing Guidelines on the Humanitarian Rehabilitation and Development Aspects of the Tripoli Agreement 2001. then MILF Chairman Salamat Hashim passed away on July 13. With regard to the Ancestral Domain Aspect. 2001. Rehabilitation Aspect. the parties in Tripoli Agreement 2001 simply agreed "that the same be discussed further by the Parties in their next meeting. Murad's position as chief peace negotiator was taken over by Mohagher Iqbal. and Ancestral Domain Aspect. 2002 at Putrajaya. who was then the chief peace negotiator of the MILF. decided to meet with the GRP. STATEMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS Before the Court is what is perhaps the most contentious . Malaysia on August 5-7. 2001. which. Malaysia. with the talks being facilitated by the Malaysian government. 2001 which ended with the signing of the Implementing Guidelines on the Security Aspect of the Tripoli Agreement 2001 leading to a ceasefire status between the parties. as mentioned. The MILF thereafter suspended all its military actions. the parties signing on the same date the Agreement on the General Framework for the Resumption of Peace Talks Between the GRP and the MILF. eventually leading to the crafting of the draft MOA-AD in its final form. 2008.convened its Central Committee to seriously discuss the matter and.6 In 2005. Nonetheless. Meanwhile. was set to be signed last August 5.

Jr. Rep. 183893. Commonly impleaded as respondents are the GRP Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain7 and the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAPP) Hermogenes Esperon. docketed as G.13 The Court also required the Solicitor General to submit to the Court and petitioners the official copy of the final draft of the MOA-AD. 183752. 183951 and 183962.R. Ma. petitioners pray that the MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional.10 This initial petition was followed by another one. 2008.the MOA-AD which is assailed principally by the present petitions bearing docket numbers 183591. petitioners seek to compel respondents to disclose and furnish them the complete and official copies of the MOA-AD including its attachments.12 Mayor Celso Lobregat. No. 183591. 183893. if the same had already been signed. and that the . No. Petitioners herein moreover pray that the City of Zamboanga be excluded from the Bangsamoro Homeland and/or Bangsamoro Juridical Entity and.R. 2008. also for Mandamus and Prohibition11 filed by the City of Zamboanga. pending the disclosure of the contents of the MOA-AD and the holding of a public consultation thereon. praying that respondents be enjoined from signing the MOA-AD or."consensus" ever embodied in an instrument .9 Invoking the right to information on matters of public concern. Erico Basilio Fabian who likewise pray for similar injunctive reliefs. in the alternative. No. docketed as G. Supplementarily.14 to which she complied. and to prohibit the slated signing of the MOA-AD. the Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order commanding and directing public respondents and their agents to cease and desist from formally signing the MOA-AD. docketed as G. the City of Iligan16 filed a petition for Injunction and/or Declaratory Relief. that the MOA-AD be declared null and void. Isabelle Climaco and Rep. On July 23. from implementing the same. for Mandamus and Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order.R. the Province of North Cotabato8 and Vice-Governor Emmanuel Piñol filed a petition.15 Meanwhile. By Resolution of August 4. 183752.

Gerardo Dilig. . Rep. Rep. and Aquilino Pimentel III filed a petition for Prohibition. Jejomar Binay. both of Cotabato City. They pray. and nullifying the MOA-AD for being unconstitutional and illegal.R. Suharto Mangudadatu. the Municipality of Linamon in Lanao del Norte. The Province of Zamboanga del Norte. Roxas. and that respondents be enjoined from executing the MOA-AD. the Province of Sultan Kudarat22 and Gov. 183951. the City of Isabela21 and Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar. 2008 a petition for Certiorari. that the MOA-AD be declared null and void and without operative effect. Petitioners herein additionally implead Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita as respondent.17 Governor Rolando Yebes. Respondents filed Comments on the petitions. Various parties moved to intervene and were granted leave of court to file their petitions-/comments-in-intervention. The Muslim Legal Assistance Foundation. Cecilia Jalosjos-Carreon. all of Palawan City. Ernesto Maceda. Richalex Jagmis. Inc. and lawyers Carlo Gomez. Adel Tamano.MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional. while some of petitioners submitted their respective Replies. former Senate President Franklin Drilon and Atty.23 Ruy Elias Lopez of Davao City and of the Bagobo tribe. On August 19.20 docketed as G. No. Petitioners herein additionally implead as respondent the MILF Peace Negotiating Panel represented by its Chairman Mohagher Iqbal. 2008. By subsequent Resolutions. Cesar Jalosjos. inter alia. Sangguniang Panlungsod member Marino Ridao and businessman Kisin Buxani.19 docketed as G. and the members18 of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Zamboanga del Norte filed on August 15. (Muslaf) and the Muslim Multi-Sectoral Movement for Peace and Development (MMMPD) filed their respective Comments-in-Intervention. 183962. Mandamus and Prohibition. Vice-Governor Francis Olvis. Petitioners-inIntervention include Senator Manuel A. Joselito Alisuag. the Court ordered the consolidation of the petitions. No. Nesario Awat.R. praying for a judgment prohibiting and permanently enjoining respondents from formally signing and executing the MOA-AD and or any other agreement derived therefrom or similar thereto.

respondents' motion was met with vigorous opposition from petitioners. Whether respondent Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it negotiated and initiated the MOA visà-vis ISSUES Nos. the Government of the Republic of the Philippines would be BINDING itself . The cases were heard on oral argument on August 15. Whether there is a violation of the people's right to information on matters of public concern (1987 Constitution. 4 and 5. and (ii) insofar as the prohibition aspect involving the Local Government Units is concerned. 7160 (LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991)[. 2008. Sec. 2008 that tackled the following principal issues: 1. Article II.] If it is in the affirmative. and thus moved to dismiss the cases. by Manifestation and Motion of August 19. 4. Article III. stated that the Executive Department shall thoroughly review the MOA-AD and pursue further negotiations to address the issues hurled against it. whether prohibition under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is an appropriate remedy. in view of the disclosure of official copies of the final draft of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Whether the petitions have become moot and academic (i) insofar as the mandamus aspect is concerned. Sec. Whether the constitutionality and the legality of the MOA is ripe for adjudication. if it is considered that consultation has become fait accompli with the finalization of the draft. 7) under a state policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest (1987 Constitution. Whether by signing the MOA. In the succeeding exchange of pleadings. 22 and 29.Respondents. 5. 3. 28) including public consultation under Republic Act No. 2.

Whether the inclusion/exclusion of the Province of North Cotabato. particularly Section 3(g) & Chapter VII (DELINEATION. whether the Executive Branch has the authority to so bind the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. OVERVIEW OF THE MOA-AD As a necessary backdrop to the consideration of the objections raised in the subject five petitions and six petitions-in-intervention against the MOA-AD. Most of the parties submitted their memoranda on time. The MOA-AD identifies the Parties to it as the GRP and the MILF.] If in the affirmative.24 The Court. 6. but also two agreements between the GRP and the MNLF: the 1976 Tripoli Agreement. and 7. the Court takes an overview of the MOA. or a juridical. the MOA-AD includes not only four earlier agreements between the GRP and MILF. Iligan and Isabela. as well as the two comments-in-intervention in favor of the MOA-AD. b) to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to conform to the MOA. Whether desistance from signing the MOA derogates any prior valid commitments of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. Under the heading "Terms of Reference" (TOR). Cities of Zamboanga. territorial or political subdivision not recognized by law. RECOGNITION OF ANCESTRAL DOMAINS)[. thereafter. and the Final Peace Agreement on the . III. ordered the parties to submit their respective Memoranda.a) to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) as a separate state. 8371 (THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS ACT OF 1997). and the Municipality of Linamon. c) to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for ancestral domain in violation of Republic Act No. Lanao del Norte in/from the areas covered by the projected Bangsamoro Homeland is a justiciable question.

the organic act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)25 and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA). however. The first referred to those lands where Islamic laws held sway. maintained freedom of religion for Muslims. The MOA-AD includes as a final TOR the generic category of "compact rights entrenchment emanating from the regime of dar-ulmua'hada (or territory under compact) and dar-ul-sulh (or territory under peace agreement) that partakes the nature of a treaty device.Implementation of the 1976 Tripoli Agreement.the ILO Convention No. early Muslim jurists tended to see the world through a simple dichotomy: there was the dar-ul-Islam (the Abode of Islam) and dar-ul-harb (the Abode of War). As Muslim States entered into treaties with their neighbors. referred to countries which.28 It thus appears that the "compact rights entrenchment" emanating . though not bound by treaty with Muslim States. For instance. and the UN Charter. became more complex through the centuries as the Islamic world became part of the international community of nations. though under a secular regime. among others. even with distant States and inter-governmental organizations. maintained peaceful and cooperative relations with Muslim States. areas like dar-ulmua'hada (land of compact) and dar-ul-sulh (land of treaty) referred to countries which. on the other hand. while the second denoted those lands where Muslims were persecuted or where Muslim laws were outlawed or ineffective. signed on September 2. 1996 during the administration of President Fidel Ramos. Dar-ul-aman (land of order). having been bound to each other by treaty or agreement. the classical division of the world into dar-ul-Islam and dar-ul-harb eventually lost its meaning." During the height of the Muslim Empire. 169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries in relation to the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples.26 and several international law instruments . The MOA-AD also identifies as TOR two local statutes . New terms were drawn up to describe novel ways of perceiving non-Muslim territories.27 This way of viewing the world.

Concepts and Principles. and their descendants whether mixed or of full blood.33 The Bangsamoro people are acknowledged as having the right to self-governance. the concept of "Bangsamoro.that partake of the nature of a treaty device. The MOA-AD adds that the freedom of choice of indigenous peoples shall be respected. The MOA-AD proceeds to refer to the "Bangsamoro homeland. What this freedom of choice consists in has not been specifically defined. Territory. CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES This strand begins with the statement that it is "the birthright of all Moros and all Indigenous peoples of Mindanao to identify themselves and be accepted as ‘Bangsamoros.the Philippines being the land of compact and peace agreement .30 Thus.from the regime of dar-ul-mua'hada and dar-ul-sulh simply refers to all other agreements between the MILF and the Philippine government . "treaty" being broadly defined as "any solemn agreement in writing that sets out understandings. including their spouses. namely. A. and benefits for both parties which provides for a framework that elaborates the principles declared in the [MOA-AD]."29 The MOA-AD states that the Parties "HAVE AGREED AND ACKNOWLEDGED AS FOLLOWS. includes not only "Moros" as traditionally understood even by Muslims." as defined in this strand of the MOA-AD." and starts with its main body. The main body of the MOA-AD is divided into four strands. Resources. and Governance.32 Both parties to the MOAAD acknowledge that ancestral domain does not form part of the public domain." the ownership of which is vested exclusively in the Bangsamoro people by virtue of their prior rights of occupation.31 but all indigenous peoples of Mindanao and its adjacent islands. which right is said to be rooted on ancestral . obligations.'" It defines "Bangsamoro people" as the natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time of conquest or colonization.

particularly those known as Indians." hence. the MOA-AD. the territory defined as the Bangsamoro homeland was ruled by several sultanates and. by the Pat a Pangampong ku Ranaw. specifically in the case of the Maranao. The MOA-AD then mentions for the first time the "Bangsamoro Juridical Entity" (BJE) to which it grants the authority and jurisdiction over the Ancestral Domain and Ancestral Lands of the Bangsamoro. the core of the BJE is defined as the present geographic area of the ARMM .territoriality exercised originally under the suzerain authority of their sultanates and the Pat a Pangampong ku Ranaw. none of whom was supreme over the others.34 The MOA-AD thus grounds the right to self-governance of the Bangsamoro people on the past suzerain authority of the sultanates. The sultanates were described as states or "karajaan/kadatuan" resembling a body politic endowed with all the elements of a nation-state in the modern sense. TERRITORY The territory of the Bangsamoro homeland is described as the land mass as well as the maritime. As gathered.suggesting its exclusive entitlement to that designation departs from the Canadian usage of the term. by identifying the Bangsamoro people as "the First Nation" ." The term "First Nation" is of Canadian origin referring to the indigenous peoples of that territory. embracing the Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan geographic region. In Canada. fluvial and alluvial domains.38 More specifically. all of them are usually described collectively by the plural "First Nations. a confederation of independent principalities (pangampong) each ruled by datus and sultans.35 The MOA-AD goes on to describe the Bangsamoro people as "the ‘First Nation' with defined territory and with a system of government having entered into treaties of amity and commerce with foreign nations.37 B. including the aerial domain and the atmospheric space above it.thus constituting the following areas: . each of these indigenous peoples is equally entitled to be called "First Nation."36 To that extent. terrestrial.

authority and management over all natural resources.the Comprehensive Compact.44 The activities which the Parties are allowed to conduct on the territorial waters are enumerated. the BJE is to cover other provinces. years apart from each other. which are grouped into two categories. the BJE and the "Central Government" (used interchangeably with RP) shall exercise joint jurisdiction. the jurisdiction over the internal waters is not similarly described as "joint.43 Notably. and the enforcement of police and safety measures. through production sharing and economic cooperation agreement. in favor of the latter. Each of these areas is to be subjected to a plebiscite to be held on different dates. RESOURCES . are to be subjected to a plebiscite twenty-five (25) years from the signing of a separate agreement . Category A and Category B." which shall stretch beyond the BJE internal waters up to the baselines of the Republic of the Philippines (RP) south east and south west of mainland Mindanao. this core also includes certain municipalities of Lanao del Norte that voted for inclusion in the ARMM in the 2001 plebiscite.40 Category B areas. Category A areas are to be subjected to a plebiscite not later than twelve (12) months following the signing of the MOA-AD. regulation of shipping and fishing activities. also called "Special Intervention Areas.39 Outside of this core.42 that the BJE shall also have "territorial waters. among which are the exploration and utilization of natural resources. cities. C. Significantly.Lanao del Sur.41 The Parties to the MOA-AD stipulate that the BJE shall have jurisdiction over all natural resources within its "internal waters. Basilan. Thus.45 There is no similar provision on the sharing of minerals and allowed activities with respect to the internal waters of the BJE. Sulu. and Marawi City." The MOA-AD further provides for the sharing of minerals on the territorial waters between the Central Government and the BJE. Tawi-Tawi." on the other hand. Maguindanao. municipalities and barangays." defined as extending fifteen (15) kilometers from the coastline of the BJE area. and that within these territorial waters.

" the Central Government may.49 The MOA-AD provides that legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people arising from any unjust dispossession of their territorial and proprietary rights. are not to include aggression against the GRP.48 The sharing between the Central Government and the BJE of total production pertaining to natural resources is to be 75:25 in favor of the BJE. Such relationships and understandings. The Central Government is also bound to "take necessary steps to ensure the BJE's participation in international meetings and events" like those of the ASEAN and the specialized agencies of the UN. when public interest so requires.46 The external defense of the BJE is to remain the duty and obligation of the Central Government. assume or direct the operation of such resources. petroleum. The BJE may also enter into environmental cooperation agreements. customary land tenures. fossil fuel.The MOA-AD states that the BJE is free to enter into any economic cooperation and trade relations with foreign countries and shall have the option to establish trade missions in those countries.47 With regard to the right of exploring for. or their marginalization shall be acknowledged. "in times of national emergency. mining concessions. and obtaining all potential sources of energy. contracts or agreements. producing. however. The BJE is to be entitled to participate in Philippine official missions and delegations for the negotiation of border agreements or protocols for environmental protection and equitable sharing of incomes and revenues involving the bodies of water adjacent to or between the islands forming part of the ancestral domain." This right carries the proviso that. the jurisdiction and control thereon is to be vested in the BJE "as the party having control within its territorial jurisdiction.50 The BJE may modify or cancel the forest concessions. reparation is to be in such form as mutually determined by the Parties. for a fixed period and under reasonable terms as may be agreed upon by both Parties. timber licenses. mineral oil and natural gas. Mineral . Whenever restoration is no longer possible.

the MOA-AD was set to be signed on August 5. GOVERNANCE The MOA-AD binds the Parties to invite a multinational third-party to observe and monitor the implementation of the Comprehensive Compact. The BJE is granted the power to build. the details of which shall be discussed in the negotiation of the comprehensive compact. including those issued by the present ARMM. 2008 by Rodolfo Garcia and Mohagher Iqbal. electoral. police and internal security force. As will be discussed later. legislative. much of the present controversy hangs on the legality of this provision. with due regard to the non-derogation of prior agreements and within the stipulated timeframe to be contained in the Comprehensive Compact. Industrial Forest Management Agreements (IFMA). legal. economic. This compact is to embody the "details for the effective enforcement" and "the mechanisms and modalities for the actual implementation" of the MOA-AD. Chairpersons of the . and administrative institutions with defined powers and functions in the Comprehensive Compact. As stated early on. The MOA-AD explicitly provides that the participation of the third party shall not in any way affect the status of the relationship between the Central Government and the BJE. judicial. develop and maintain its own institutions inclusive of civil service. And it states that the structure of governance is to be based on executive. judicial system and correctional institutions. education. legislation." characterized by shared authority and responsibility.51 D. and other land tenure instruments granted by the Philippine Government. financial and banking.52 The "associative" relationship between the Central Government and the BJE The MOA-AD describes the relationship of the Central Government and the BJE as "associative.Production and Sharing Agreements (MPSA). The MOA-AD provides that its provisions requiring "amendments to the existing legal framework" shall take effect upon signing of the Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the aforesaid amendments.

56 An actual case or controversy involves a conflict of legal rights. IV. Malaysia. and not merely of the negotiating panels. Rais Bin Yatim. "ENDORSED BY" Ambassador Sayed Elmasry. Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Minister of Foreign Affairs.58 Related to the requirement of an actual case or controversy is the .Peace Negotiating Panels of the GRP and the MILF. Notably. Annexed to the MOA-AD are two documents containing the respective lists cum maps of the provinces. an assertion of opposite legal claims. respectively.57 The Court can decide the constitutionality of an act or treaty only when a proper case between opposing parties is submitted for judicial determination.55 The limitation of the power of judicial review to actual cases and controversies defines the role assigned to the judiciary in a tripartite allocation of power. Adviser to Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary General and Special Envoy for Peace Process in Southern Philippines. and SIGNED "IN THE PRESENCE OF" Dr. RIPENESS The power of judicial review is limited to actual cases or controversies. Secretary of Foreign Affairs of RP and Dato' Seri Utama Dr. susceptible of judicial resolution as distinguished from a hypothetical or abstract difference or dispute. Albert G. Romulo. There must be a contrariety of legal rights that can be interpreted and enforced on the basis of existing law and jurisprudence. all of whom were scheduled to sign the Agreement last August 5. the signature page of the MOA-AD states that it is "WITNESSED BY" Datuk Othman Bin Abd Razak. PROCEDURAL ISSUES A." meaning the GRP and MILF themselves. and barangays under Categories A and B earlier mentioned in the discussion on the strand on TERRITORY.53 In addition. to assure that the courts will not intrude into areas committed to the other branches of government. 2008. or mere academic questions. municipalities. the penultimate paragraph of the MOA-AD identifies the signatories as "the representatives of the Parties.54 Courts decline to issue advisory opinions or to resolve hypothetical or feigned problems.

59 For a case to be considered ripe for adjudication.62 The Solicitor General argues that there is no justiciable controversy that is ripe for judicial review in the present petitions.requirement of ripeness. it is a prerequisite that something had then been accomplished or performed by either branch before a court may come into the picture.61 He must show that he has sustained or is immediately in danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of the act complained of. reasoning that The unsigned MOA-AD is simply a list of consensus points subject to further negotiations and legislative enactments as well as constitutional processes aimed at attaining a final peaceful agreement. is merely imaginary and illusory apart from being unfounded and based on mere conjectures. (Underscoring supplied) The Solicitor General cites63 the following provisions of the MOA-AD: TERRITORY xxxx . if at all. it is respectfully submitted that this Honorable Court has no authority to pass upon issues based on hypothetical or feigned constitutional problems or interests with no concrete bases. Simply put. Considering the preliminary character of the MOA-AD. there are no concrete acts that could possibly violate petitioners' and intervenors' rights since the acts complained of are mere contemplated steps toward the formulation of a final peace agreement. the MOA-AD remains to be a proposal that does not automatically create legally demandable rights and obligations until the list of operative acts required have been duly complied with. A question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged has had a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it. Plainly. x x x xxxx In the cases at bar. petitioners and intervenors' perceived injury.60 and the petitioner must allege the existence of an immediate or threatened injury to itself as a result of the challenged action.

The Annex constitutes an integral part of this framework agreement. the Parties enter into the following stipulations: xxxx d. Any provisions of the MOA-AD requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall come into force upon the signing of a Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework with due regard to non-derogation of prior agreements and within the stipulated timeframe to be contained in the Comprehensive Compact. xxxx GOVERNANCE xxxx 7.64 (Underscoring supplied) The Solicitor General's arguments fail to persuade. Indeed. Without derogating from the requirements of prior agreements. Concrete acts under the MOA-AD are not necessary to render the present controversy ripe. The Parties agree that mechanisms and modalities for the actual implementation of this MOA-AD shall be spelt out in the Comprehensive Compact to mutually take such steps to enable it to occur effectively. the Parties shall endeavor to complete the negotiations and resolve all outstanding issues on the Comprehensive Compact within fifteen (15) months from the signing of the MOA-AD. even a . within twelve (12) months following the signing of the MOA-AD. v. Toward this end.65 this Court held: x x x [B]y the mere enactment of the questioned law or the approval of the challenged action. In Pimentel.2. the Government stipulates to conduct and deliver. Toward this end. using all possible legal measures. Aguirre. a plebiscite covering the areas as enumerated in the list and depicted in the map as Category A attached herein (the "Annex"). the dispute is said to have ripened into a judicial controversy even without any other overt act. Jr.

69 decided in 1992. or station. in the case of certiorari. when an act of the President.74 . when proper. in the case of prohibition.66 In Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe. United States. officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office. board. Mandamus and Prohibition are appropriate remedies to raise constitutional issues and to review and/or prohibit/nullify. board or officer has acted.68 That the law or act in question is not yet effective does not negate ripeness. For example. the United States Supreme Court held that the action by the State of New York challenging the provisions of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act was ripe for adjudication even if the questioned provision was not to take effect until January 1. corporation. without or in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. 1996.singular violation of the Constitution and/or the law is enough to awaken judicial duty. even if no public prayer had yet been led under the policy.73 Certiorari.72 Mandamus is a remedy granted by law when any tribunal. in New York v. acts of legislative and executive officials. who in our constitutional scheme is a coequal of Congress.70 The present petitions pray for Certiorari.71 Prohibition. and Mandamus. trust. Certiorari and Prohibition are remedies granted by law when any tribunal. because the parties agreed that New York had to take immediate action to avoid the provision's consequences. xxxx By the same token. or is proceeding. because the policy was being challenged as unconstitutional on its face. is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution and the laws x x x settling the dispute becomes the duty and the responsibility of the courts. or unlawfully excludes another from the use or enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled.67 the United States Supreme Court held that the challenge to the constitutionality of the school's policy allowing student-led prayers and speeches before games was ripe for adjudication.

3. No. and Mandamus. LOCUS STANDI For a party to have locus standi.75 The said executive order requires that "[t]he government's policy framework for peace. the petitions allege that the provisions of the MOA-AD violate the Constitution. the petitions make a prima facie case for Certiorari. 3 (E. Such act constitutes another violation of its authority. The MOA-AD provides that "any provisions of the MOA-AD requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall come into force upon the signing of a Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework. When an act of a branch of government is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution. Prohibition. and an actual case or controversy ripe for adjudication exists." implying an amendment of the Constitution to accommodate the MOA-AD. Furthermore. 2001. No. by itself. such omission. by violating their duties under E. This stipulation. issued on February 28.O. No.O."76 The present petitions allege that respondents GRP Panel and PAPP Esperon drafted the terms of the MOA-AD without consulting the local government units or communities affected.O. constitutes a departure by respondents from their mandate under E. As will be discussed in greater detail later. Again. it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. in effect.77 B. As the petitions allege acts or omissions on the part of respondent that exceed their authority. 3). these points will be discussed in more detail later.The authority of the GRP Negotiating Panel is defined by Executive Order No. guaranteed to the MILF the amendment of the Constitution. nor informing them of the proceedings. 3 and the provisions of the Constitution and statutes. one must allege "such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional . including the systematic approach and the administrative structure for carrying out the comprehensive peace process x x x be governed by this Executive Order.

the person complaining must allege that he has been or is about to be denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act complained of. the Court has discretion to relax the procedural . powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in his office. In any case.85 but the mere invocation by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any member of the legal profession of the duty to preserve the rule of law does not suffice to clothe it with standing.80 When the issue concerns a public right.87 Intervenors.81 For a taxpayer. it is sufficient that the petitioner is a citizen and has an interest in the execution of the laws.79 When suing as a citizen.86 As regards a local government unit (LGU). or in the success of either of the parties. and of the other LGUs. it can seek relief in order to protect or vindicate an interest of its own. an act of the Executive that injures the institution of Congress causes a derivative but nonetheless substantial injury that can be questioned by legislators. meanwhile. one is allowed to sue where there is an assertion that public funds are illegally disbursed or deflected to an illegal purpose. A member of the House of Representatives has standing to maintain inviolate the prerogatives."78 Because constitutional cases are often public actions in which the relief sought is likely to affect other persons. or that there is a wastage of public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law.83 In the case of a legislator or member of Congress.88 such as a legal interest in the matter in litigation. a preliminary question frequently arises as to this interest in the constitutional question raised.questions.82 The Court retains discretion whether or not to allow a taxpayer's suit. may be given legal standing upon showing of facts that satisfy the requirements of the law authorizing intervention.84 An organization may be granted standing to assert the rights of its members.

assert that government funds would be expended for the conduct of an illegal and unconstitutional plebiscite . In not a few cases. Considering their invocation of the transcendental importance of the issues at hand. Intervenors Franklin Drilon and Adel Tamano.R.technicality on locus standi. City of Isabela and Municipality of Linamon have locus standi in view of the direct and substantial injury that they.R.R.89 where technicalities of procedure were brushed aside. Macapagal-Arroyo. No. would suffer as their territories. 183951). the Court grants them standing. 183752) and petitioners-in-intervention Province of Sultan Kudarat. 183591) Province of Zamboanga del Norte (G. the Court. respectively. No. These petitioners allege that they did not vote for their inclusion in the ARMM which would be expanded to form the BJE territory. No.90 The Court's forbearing stance on locus standi on issues involving constitutional issues has for its purpose the protection of fundamental rights. 183893) and City of Zamboanga (G. given the liberal attitude it has exercised. The fact that they are a former Senator. petitioners Ernesto Maceda.R. as LGUs. highlighted in the case of David v.R. Jejomar Binay and Aquilino Pimentel III would have no standing as citizens and taxpayers for their failure to specify that they would be denied some right or privilege or there would be wastage of public funds. whether in whole or in part. City of Iligan (G. and a resident of Cagayan de Oro. No. petitioners Province of North Cotabato (G. No. novelty and weight as precedents. the constitutional issues raised being of paramount public interest or of transcendental importance deserving the attention of the Court in view of their seriousness. 183962. In G. however. has brushed aside technical rules of procedure. in keeping with its duty under the Constitution to determine whether the other branches of government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws and have not abused the discretion given them. is of no consequence. in alleging their standing as taxpayers. Petitioners' legal standing is thus beyond doubt.91 In the petitions at bar. an incumbent mayor of Makati City. are to be included in the intended domain of the BJE.

his standing is premised on his being a member of the Senate and a citizen to enforce compliance by respondents of the public's constitutional right to be informed of the MOA-AD. in the resolution of the petitions concerning the MOA-AD. With respect to Intervenors Ruy Elias Lopez. On that score alone. Their allegation that the issues involved in these petitions are of "undeniable transcendental importance" clothes them with added basis for their personality to intervene in these petitions. Carlo B. the Court exercises its discretion to relax the procedural technicality on locus standi given the paramount public interest in the issues at hand. as a former congressman of the 3rd district of Davao City. With regard to Senator Manuel Roxas. Such legal interest suffices to clothe them with standing. they can be given legal standing. He thus possesses the requisite standing as an intervenor. and prays for the denial of the petitions on the grounds therein stated. they failed to allege any proper legal interest in the present petitions. Marino Ridao. and Muslim Legal Assistance Foundation Inc. as taxpayer. as members of the IBP Palawan chapter. Gomez. as taxpayer.. or in the success or failure of either of the parties."92 In lending credence to this policy decision. an advocacy group for justice and the attainment of peace and prosperity in Muslim Mindanao. citizens and taxpayers. as well as on a genuine legal interest in the matter in litigation. a non-government organization of Muslim lawyers.. as the case may be. allege that they stand to be benefited or prejudiced. resident and member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cotabato City. B. Intervening respondents Muslim Multi-Sectoral Movement for Peace and Development. et al. and Kisin Buxani. Just the same. the Solicitor General .] the government will not sign the MOA. a taxpayer and a member of the Bagobo tribe. MOOTNESS Respondents insist that the present petitions have been rendered moot with the satisfaction of all the reliefs prayed for by petitioners and the subsequent pronouncement of the Executive Secretary that "[n]o matter what the Supreme Court ultimately decides[.to delineate the BJE territory.

it does not automatically deprive the tribunal of power to hear and determine the case and does not render the case moot especially when the plaintiff seeks damages or prays for injunctive relief against the possible recurrence of the violation. supervening events that would ordinarily have rendered the same moot notwithstanding.96 (c) the constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench. the need to have it signed or initialed by all the parties concerned on August 5. Thus. once a suit is filed and the doer voluntarily ceases the challenged conduct." especially given its nomenclature. It bears emphasis that the signing of the MOA-AD did not push through due to the Court's issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order.95 (b) the situation is of exceptional character and paramount public interest is involved. it will decide cases. but also in Province of Batangas v. Calderon101 where the Court similarly decided them on the merits. not only in David.93 In David v.98 Another exclusionary circumstance that may be considered is where there is a voluntary cessation of the activity complained of by the defendant or doer. Contrary too to respondents' position. if it finds that (a) there is a grave violation of the Constitution. 2008. the bar.94 this Court held that the "moot and academic" principle not being a magical formula that automatically dissuades courts in resolving a case. Romulo100 and Manalo v. Macapagal-Arroyo.points out that the President had already disbanded the GRP Peace Panel.97 and (d) the case is capable of repetition yet evading review. the MOA-AD cannot be considered a mere "list of consensus points. Petitions not mooted Contrary then to the asseverations of respondents. the non-signing of the MOA-AD and the eventual dissolution of the GRP Peace Panel did not moot the present petitions. The grounds cited above in David are just as applicable in the present cases as they were.99 The present petitions fall squarely into these exceptions to thus thrust them into the domain of judicial review. otherwise moot and academic. and the far-reaching . and the public.

As the issues therein involved specific government procurement policies and standard principles on contracts.103 where the Court did not "pontificat[e] on issues which no longer legitimately constitute an actual case or controversy [as this] will do more harm than good to the nation as a whole. et al. The assertion that the MOA-AD is subject to further legal enactments including possible Constitutional amendments more than ever provides impetus for the Court to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench. the government and its negotiating entity. In fact. Petitions are imbued with paramount public interest There is no gainsaying that the petitions are imbued with paramount public interest. in Suplico. in this case. what was assailed and eventually cancelled was a standalone government procurement contract for a national broadband network involving a one-time contractual relation between two parties-the government and a private foreign corporation." foremost of which is the creation of the BJE. be discussed. been rendered moot and academic simply by the public disclosure of the MOA-AD. the majority opinion in Suplico found nothing exceptional therein. there is a commitment on the part of respondents to amend and effect necessary changes to the existing legal framework for certain provisions of the MOA-AD to take effect. Primarily." The present petitions must be differentiated from Suplico. the present petitions are not confined to the terms and provisions of the MOA-AD. the bar. but to other on-going and future negotiations and agreements necessary for its realization. the public and. NEDA. involving a significant part of the country's territory and the wide-ranging political modifications of affected LGUs.102 the manifestation that it will not be signed as well as the disbanding of the GRP Panel not withstanding. Consequently. as what will. the factual circumstances being peculiar only to the transactions and parties involved in the controversy. Respondents cite Suplico v. The petitions have not.Constitutional implications of these "consensus points. therefore. in the main. The MOA-AD is part of a series of agreements .

Respondents invite the Court's attention to the separate opinion of then Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban in Sanlakas v. the . Rehabilitation and Development Aspect in May 2002. While G. Accordingly. "provided the party raising it in a proper case has been and/or continue to be prejudiced or damaged as a direct result of their issuance. which could contain similar or significantly drastic provisions. Reyes104 in which he stated that the doctrine of "capable of repetition yet evading review" can override mootness. GRP) is a petition for Injunction and Declaratory Relief. the bar." mootness will not set in in light of the terms of the Tripoli Agreement 2001. the present MOA-AD can be renegotiated or another one will be drawn up to carry out the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the Tripoli Agreement 2001.] the government will not sign the MOA[-AD]. in another or in any form.In the present controversy. 2008 to the Solicitor General. 183893 (City of Iligan v. the government in negotiating with the MILF regarding Ancestral Domain. in his Memorandum of August 28. While the Court notes the word of the Executive Secretary that the government "is committed to securing an agreement that is both constitutional and equitable because that is the only way that long-lasting peace can be assured." They contend that the Court must have jurisdiction over the subject matter for the doctrine to be invoked. most especially. even if the Executive Secretary. The MOA-AD which dwells on the Ancestral Domain Aspect of said Tripoli Agreement is the third such component to be undertaken following the implementation of the Security Aspect in August 2001 and the Humanitarian. has stated that "no matter what the Supreme Court ultimately decides[." it is minded to render a decision on the merits in the present petitions to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench.R. The present petitions all contain prayers for Prohibition over which this Court exercises original jurisdiction. the public and. Need to formulate principles-guidelines Surely. No. the MOA-AD is a significant part of a series of agreements necessary to carry out the Tripoli Agreement 2001.

as provided in Section 7. Indeed. the Cities of Zamboanga. the present petitions afford a proper venue for the Court to again apply the doctrine immediately referred to as what it had done in a number of landmark cases. viz: 1. will again be subjected to the same problem in the future as respondents' actions are capable of repetition. Zamboanga del Norte and Sultan Kudarat.105 At all events.Court will treat it as one for Prohibition as it has far reaching implications and raises questions that need to be resolved. V. copies of the MOAAD. 2008. one relating to the manner in which the MOA-AD was negotiated and finalized. Too. Iligan and Isabela. and the Municipality of Linamon. the Court has jurisdiction over most if not the rest of the petitions. Article III on the Bill of Rights: . or have procured for themselves. It is with respect to the prayers for Mandamus that the petitions have become moot. provided this Court and petitioners with official copies of the final draft of the MOA-AD and its annexes. there are basically two SUBSTANTIVE issues to be resolved. intervenors have been furnished. SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES As culled from the Petitions and Petitions-in-Intervention.106 There is a reasonable expectation that petitioners. by Compliance of August 7. Did respondents violate constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and the right to information when they negotiated and later initialed the MOA-AD? 2. the other relating to its provisions. in another or any form. Do the contents of the MOA-AD violate the Constitution and the laws? ON THE FIRST SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE Petitioners invoke their constitutional right to information on matters of public concern. respondents having. particularly the Provinces of North Cotabato.

undoubtedly. Hon. Information is needed to enable the members of society to cope with the exigencies of the times. As has been aptly observed: "Maintaining the flow of such information depends on protection for both its acquisition and its dissemination since. as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development. Access to official records. in a democracy. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. access to information of general interest aids the people in democratic decision-making by giving them a better perspective of the vital issues confronting the nation112 so that they may be able to criticize and participate in the affairs of the government in a responsible. the flow inevitably ceases. shall be afforded the citizen.107 As early as 1948. Judge Dimaano.108 the Court has recognized the statutory right to examine and inspect public records. if either process is interrupted. There can be no realistic perception by the public of the nation's problems. Ozaeta.Sec. and to documents." x x x111 In the same way that free discussion enables members of society to cope with the exigencies of their time. and papers pertaining to official acts. nor a meaningful democratic decision-making if they are denied access to information of general interest. subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. 7. It is by ensuring an unfettered and uninhibited exchange of ideas among a well-informed public that a government remains . or decisions. as enshrined in both the 1973 Constitution and the 1987 Constitution. has been recognized as a self-executory constitutional right.110 the Court ruled that access to public records is predicated on the right of the people to acquire information on matters of public concern since. x x x The incorporation of this right in the Constitution is a recognition of the fundamental role of free exchange of information in a democracy.109 In the 1976 case of Baldoza v. transactions. a right which was eventually accorded constitutional status. The right of access to public documents. reasonable and effective manner. the pubic has a legitimate interest in matters of social and political significance. in Subido v.

" Certainly. and if one is consummated. becomes fait accompli. the MOA-AD subject of the present cases is of public concern. We can allow neither an emasculation of a constitutional right.120 and the identity of partylist nominees. a consummated contract is not a requirement for the exercise of the right to information. effectively truncating a basic right enshrined in the Bill of Rights. involving as it does the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State. the people can never exercise the right if no contract is consummated. respondents admit that the MOA-AD is indeed of public concern. which directly affects the lives of the public at large. which may be grossly disadvantageous to the government or even illegal. In not distinguishing as to the executory nature or commercial character of agreements. the Court found that the regularity of real estate transactions entered in the Register of Deeds. Requiring a consummated contract will keep the public in the dark until the contract.116 the need for adequate notice to the public of the various laws. Such a requirement will prevent the citizenry from participating in the public discussion of any proposed contract.115 In previous cases.121 among others. This negates the State policy of full transparency on matters of public concern. are matters of public concern. Matters of public concern covered by the right to information include steps and negotiations leading to the consummation of the contract. Otherwise.118 the proper management of GSIS funds allegedly used to grant loans to public officials. In fact.117 the civil service eligibility of a public employee. the Court has categorically ruled: x x x [T]he right to information "contemplates inclusion of negotiations leading to the consummation of the transaction. Undoubtedly.113 The MOA-AD is a matter of public concern That the subject of the information sought in the present cases is a matter of public concern114 faces no serious challenge.119 the recovery of the Marcoses' alleged ill-gotten wealth. a situation which the framers of the Constitution could not have intended. it may be too late for the public to expose its defects. nor a .responsive to the changes desired by the people.

. sought clarification on the issue. And since this is not self-executory. SUAREZ. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law. Presiding Officer."122 (Emphasis and italics in the original) Intended as a "splendid symmetry"123 to the right to information under the Bill of Rights is the policy of public disclosure under Section 28. OPLE.126 These provisions are vital to the exercise of the freedom of expression and essential to hold public officials at all times accountable to the people.124 The policy of full public disclosure enunciated in above-quoted Section 28 complements the right of access to information on matters of public concern found in the Bill of Rights. the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest..retreat by the State of its avowed "policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.127 Whether Section 28 is self-executory. I would like to get some clarifications on this. after Commissioner Hilario Davide. I expect it to influence the climate of public ethics immediately but.125 The policy of public disclosure establishes a concrete ethical principle for the conduct of public affairs in a genuinely open democracy. is enlightening. with the people's right to know as the centerpiece. Mr. MR. It is a mandate of the State to be accountable by following such policy. the implementing law will have to be enacted by Congress. MR. 28. Jr.128 The following discourse. the records of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission so disclose: MR. while Section 28 recognizes the duty of officialdom to give information even if nobody demands. DAVIDE. The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand information. this policy will not be enunciated or will not be in force and effect until after Congress shall have provided it. Mr. of course. Article II of the Constitution reading: Sec.

I think so. Presiding Officer. does it not mean that this will immediately take effect and Congress may provide for reasonable safeguards on the sole ground national interest? MR. And lastly. Mr. An essential element of these freedoms is to keep open a continuing dialogue or process of communication between the government and the people. it was going to be self-executing. Congress here may no longer pass a law revoking it. did I get the Gentleman correctly as having said that this is not a self-executing provision? It would require a legislation by Congress to implement? MR. Originally. I said earlier that it should immediately influence the climate of the conduct of public affairs but.129 (Emphasis supplied) Indubitably. or if this is approved. OPLE. It is in the interest of the State that the channels for free political discussion be maintained to the end that the government may perceive and be responsive to the people's will. Presiding Officer. will the . Respondents cannot thus point to the absence of an implementing legislation as an excuse in not effecting such policy.131 Envisioned to be corollary to the twin rights to information and disclosure is the design for feedback mechanisms. it is merely directed to provide for "reasonable safeguards. but I accepted an amendment from Commissioner Regalado. ROSARIO BRAID." The complete and effective exercise of the right to information necessitates that its complementary provision on public disclosure derive the same self-executory nature. revoking this principle. Yes.Presiding Officer. Since both provisions go hand-in-hand. it is absurd to say that the broader130 right to information on matters of public concern is already enforceable while the correlative duty of the State to disclose its transactions involving public interest is not enforceable until there is an enabling law. But as worded. MS. DAVIDE. of course. the effectivity of the policy of public disclosure need not await the passing of a statute. Mr. Yes. OPLE. so that the safeguards on national interest are modified by the clause "as may be provided by law" MR. As Congress cannot revoke this principle. which is inconsistent with this policy. Yes.

but by all Filipinos as one community. nor by the different contending groups only. 3. 3 declares that there is a need to further enhance the contribution of civil society to the comprehensive peace process by institutionalizing the people's participation. So I do not think we are afraid that there will be another OMA in the making. values and principles important to all Filipinos" and "shall be defined not by the government alone. As a matter of fact. MR. No.132 (Emphasis supplied) The imperative of a public consultation. xxxx MS.O. There is a message and a feedback. both ways. One of the three underlying principles of the comprehensive peace process is that it "should be community-based.133 The preambulatory clause of E. I think through their elected representatives and that is how these courses take place. OPLE."134 Included as a component of the comprehensive peace process is consensus-building and empowerment for peace. we will put more credence or credibility on the private network of volunteers and voluntary community-based organizations. may I just make one last sentence? I think when we talk about the feedback network. Presiding Officer.people be able to participate? Will the government provide feedback mechanisms so that the people can participate and can react where the existing media facilities are not able to provide full feedback mechanisms to the government? I suppose this will be part of the government implementing operational mechanisms. as a species of the right to information. Mr. ROSARIO BRAID. Yes. we are not talking about public officials but also network of private business o[r] community-based organizations that will be reacting. The mechanics for the duty to disclose information and to conduct public consultation regarding the peace agenda and process is manifestly provided by E.O. is evident in the "marching orders" to respondents. reflecting the sentiments. which includes "continuing consultations on both national and local levels to build . No.

The Court may not. It may. comments."138 In fine. and the mobilization and facilitation of people's participation in the peace process. require the PAPP to conduct the consultation in a particular way or manner.consensus for a peace agenda and process.O. No. however. oppressive."135 Clearly. on the implementation of the comprehensive peace process. require him to comply with the law and discharge the functions within the authority granted by the President. capricious. PAPP Esperon committed grave abuse of discretion The PAPP committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent consultation. E. and amounts to a whimsical. 3 enumerates the functions and responsibilities of the PAPP. The furtive process by which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal authority. as a corollary to the constitutional right to information and disclosure. 3 contemplates not just the conduct of a plebiscite to effectuate "continuing" consultations. contrary to respondents' retort in justifying the denial of petitioners' right to be consulted. as well as for government[-]civil society dialogue and consensusbuilding on peace agenda and initiatives. one of which is to "[c]onduct regular dialogues with the National Peace Forum (NPF) and other peace partners to seek relevant information. 3 mandates the establishment of the NPF to be "the principal forum for the PAPP to consult with and seek advi[c]e from the peace advocates. E.O. 3 establishes petitioners' right to be consulted on the peace agenda. contrary to respondents' position that plebiscite is "more than sufficient consultation. No. recommendations as well as to render appropriate and timely reports on the progress of the comprehensive peace process. No. No.139 Petitioners are not claiming a seat at the negotiating table. E. peace partners and concerned sectors of society on both national and local levels. of course.O. arbitrary and despotic exercise thereof.O."136 Further."137 E. Respondents' stance manifests the manner by which they .

Such disregard of the express mandate of the President is not much different from superficial conduct toward token provisos that border on classic lip service. without a prayer for the document's disclosure in camera.143 (Italics and underscoring supplied) . By unconditionally complying with the Court's August 4.140 It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined. The LGC chapter on intergovernmental relations puts flesh into this avowed policy: Prior Consultations Required. 3 seeks to elicit relevant advice. 3 on people's participation. . 3's explicit provisions on continuing consultation and dialogue on both national and local levels. As for respondents' invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege.O. in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. and other concerned sectors of the community before any project or program is implemented in their respective jurisdictions"142 is well-taken.O. 2008 Resolution. The executive order even recognizes the exercise of the public's right even before the GRP makes its official recommendations or before the government proffers its definite propositions.No project or program shall be implemented by government authorities unless the consultations mentioned in Sections 2 (c) and 26 hereof are complied with. AT ALL EVENTS. Petitioners' assertion that the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991 declares it a State policy to "require all national agencies and offices to conduct periodic consultations with appropriate local government units.O. non-governmental and people's organizations.141 It bear emphasis that E. and prior approval of the sanggunian concerned is obtained: Provided. information. No. or without a manifestation that it was complying therewith ex abundante ad cautelam. respondents effectively waived the defense of executive privilege in view of their unqualified disclosure of the official copies of the final draft of the MOA-AD. No. No.treat the salient provisions of E. The argument defies sound reason when contrasted with E. That occupants in areas where such projects are to be implemented shall not be evicted unless appropriate relocation sites have been provided. comments and recommendations from the people through dialogue. it is not tenable under the premises.

While paragraph 7 on Governance suspends the effectivity of all provisions requiring changes to the legal framework. such clause is itself invalid.145 The MOA-AD is one peculiar program that unequivocally and unilaterally vests ownership of a vast territory to the Bangsamoro people. Hon.146 which could pervasively and drastically result to the diaspora or displacement of a great number of inhabitants from their total environment. v.147 The MOA-AD. even the heart of the MOA-AD is still subject to necessary changes to the legal framework. whose interests are represented herein by petitioner Lopez and are adversely affected by the MOA-AD. In proceeding to make a sweeping declaration on ancestral domain. respondents clearly transcended the boundaries of their authority. Among the programs and projects covered are those that are critical to the environment and human ecology including those that may call for the eviction of a particular group of people residing in the locality where these will be implemented. With respect to the indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples (ICCs/IPs).In Lina. Indeed. without complying with the IPRA. an instrument recognizing ancestral domain. ours is an open society. lives and destinies. The recognition of the ancestral domain is the raison d'etre of the MOAAD. among other things. the right to participate fully at all levels of decision-making in matters which may affect their rights. failed to justify its non-compliance with the clearcut mechanisms ordained in said Act. as will be discussed in the following section. As it seems. Jr. with all the acts of the government . Notably. under the IPRA.148 which entails. the ICCs/IPs have. 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. without which all other stipulations or "consensus points" necessarily must fail. which is cited as one of the TOR of the MOA-AD.144 the Court held that the above-stated policy and above-quoted provision of the LGU apply only to national programs or projects which are to be implemented in a particular local community. the observance of the free and prior informed consent of the ICCs/IPs. Paño.

Respondents have admitted as much in the oral arguments before this Court. the objections against the MOA-AD center on the extent of the powers conceded therein to the BJE. paragraph 11 on RESOURCES. For now.149 ON THE SECOND SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE With regard to the provisions of the MOA-AD. 4. and paragraph 4 on GOVERNANCE. Before assessing some of the specific powers that would have been vested in the BJE. that the MOA-AD most clearly uses it to describe the envisioned relationship between the BJE and the Central Government. however. Significantly. namely. the international law concept of association. In general.subject to public scrutiny and available always to public cognizance. This has to be so if the country is to remain democratic. counter that the MOA-AD is free of any legal infirmity because any provisions therein which are inconsistent with the present legal framework will not be effective until the necessary changes to that framework are made. however. and the MOA-AD itself recognizes the need to amend the existing legal framework to render effective at least some of its provisions. The validity of this argument will be considered later. indicating that the Parties actually framed its provisions with it in mind. the Court shall pass upon how The MOA-AD is inconsistent with the Constitution and laws as presently worded. nonetheless. the MOA-AD explicitly alludes to this concept. Respondents. and even go beyond those of the present ARMM. The relationship between the Central Government and the . it would be useful to turn first to a general idea that serves as a unifying link to the different provisions of the MOA-AD. there can be no question that they cannot all be accommodated under the present Constitution and laws. It is in the last mentioned provision. Petitioners assert that the powers granted to the BJE exceed those granted to any local government under present laws. Association is referred to in paragraph 3 on TERRITORY. with sovereignty residing in the people and all government authority emanating from them.

151 are associated states of the U. In the basic model.placed itself in an international legal context. the principal. legislative. indicating their very close ties with the U. such capacity extending to matters such as . given that there is a concept of "association" in international law. The currency in these countries is the U. the associate..S. A period of transition shall be established in a comprehensive peace compact specifying the relationship between the Central Government and the BJE. judicial and administrative institutions with defined powers and functions in the comprehensive compact. while maintaining its international status as a state.Bangsamoro juridical entity shall be associative characterized by shared authority and responsibility with a structure of governance based on executive. x x x150 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) For purposes of illustration.S. yet they issue their own travel documents. that concept of association may be brought to bear in understanding the use of the term "associative" in the MOA-AD. the Marshall Islands and the FSM generally have the capacity to conduct foreign affairs in their own name and right. pursuant to a Compact of Free Association. delegates certain responsibilities to the other.S.by its inclusion of international law instruments in its TOR. and the MOA-AD .administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. which is a mark of their statehood.S. According to their compacts of free association. Nonetheless. dollar. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) The nature of the "associative" relationship may have been intended to be defined more precisely in the still to be forged Comprehensive Compact. formerly part of the U. one state. Free associations represent a middle ground between integration and independence. the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Their international legal status as states was confirmed by the UN Security Council and by their admission to UN membership. Keitner and Reisman state that [a]n association is formed when two states of unequal power voluntarily establish durable links.

Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla.153 Back to the MOA-AD.S. the commitment of the Central Government to ensure the BJE's participation in meetings and events in the ASEAN and the specialized UN agencies. government. Vincent and Grenada. civil aviation. the U. free association is understood as an international association between sovereigns. the "associated state" arrangement has usually been used as a transitional device of former colonies on their way to full independence.-associated states to the UN in 1990. and each party may terminate the association consistent with the right of independence.S.S.S. It has been said that. government) regards as relating to or affecting either government. marine resources. Moreover. has the option of establishing and using military areas and facilities within these associated states and has the right to bar the military personnel of any third country from having access to these territories for military purposes. and cultural relations. with the admission of the U. It bears noting that in U.S. All have since become independent states. government. banking. In the event of attacks or threats against the Marshall Islands or the FSM. The U.S. government has the authority and obligation to defend them as if they were part of U. territory.S. postal.152 In international practice. Examples of states that have passed through the status of associated states as a transitional phase are Antigua. The Compact of Free Association is a treaty which is subordinate to the associated nation's national constitution. and the continuing responsibility of the Central Government over external defense. St. The U. the UN recognized that the American model of free association is actually based on an underlying status of independence. Lucia. specifically the following: the BJE's capacity to enter into economic and trade relations with foreign countries. it contains many provisions which are consistent with the international legal concept of association. trade.the law of the sea. Dominica. St. St. moreover. constitutional and international practice. when conducting its foreign affairs. is obligated to consult with the governments of the Marshall Islands or the FSM on matters which it (U. the BJE's right to participate in Philippine official .

specifically the following provisions of Article X: SECTION 1. and barangays. that the Parties aimed to vest in the BJE the status of an associated state or. already requires for its validity the amendment of constitutional provisions. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces. or municipality. at any rate. therefore. The Constitution. SECTION 15. not even the ARMM.missions bearing on negotiation of border agreements. These provisions of the MOA indicate. does not contemplate any state in this jurisdiction other than the Philippine State. environmental protection.S. There shall be autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as hereinafter provided. city. The concept of association is not recognized under the present Constitution No province. economic and social structures. among other things. a status closely approximating it. and sharing of revenues pertaining to the bodies of water adjacent to or between the islands forming part of the ancestral domain. however. It also implies the recognition of the associated entity as a state. cities. . and other relevant characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines. municipalities. Even the mere concept animating many of the MOA-AD's provisions. and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage. government on any foreign affairs matter affecting them. the concept implies powers that go beyond anything ever granted by the Constitution to any local or regional government. much less does it provide for a transitory status that aims to prepare any part of Philippine territory for independence. is recognized under our laws as having an "associative" relationship with the national government. municipalities. resembles the right of the governments of FSM and the Marshall Islands to be consulted by the U. cities. There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting of provinces. Indeed.

" (Emphasis supplied) As reflected above. Munai. the present geographic area of the ARMM and. But even assuming that it is covered by the term "autonomous region" in the constitutional provision just quoted. a permanent population. and a capacity to enter into relations with other states. in addition. the municipalities of Lanao del Norte which voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite . the spirit animating it which has betrayed itself by its use of the concept of association runs counter to the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic.154 namely. cities.Baloi. BJE is a state in all but name as it meets the criteria of a state laid down in the Montevideo Convention. Under paragraph 2(c) on TERRITORY in relation to 2(d) and 2(e).are automatically part of the BJE without need of another plebiscite. The defining concept underlying the relationship between the national government and the BJE being itself contrary to the present Constitution. Article X. Section 18 of the Constitution provides that "[t]he creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when approved by a majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose. Even assuming arguendo that the MOA-AD would not necessarily sever any portion of Philippine territory. the BJE is more of a state than an autonomous region. Nunungan. provided that only provinces. That the . a government. Pantar. the status of its relationship with the national government being fundamentally different from that of the ARMM. it is not surprising that many of the specific provisions of the MOA-AD on the formation and powers of the BJE are in conflict with the Constitution and the laws. a defined territory. in contrast to the areas under Categories A and B mentioned earlier in the overview. and geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous region. Tagoloan and Tangkal . Indeed.The BJE is a far more powerful entity than the autonomous region recognized in the Constitution It is not merely an expanded version of the ARMM. the MOA-AD would still be in conflict with it.

the MOA-AD would require an amendment that would expand the above-quoted provision. however. moreover. (2) Creation of sources of revenues. (6) Economic. 9 of said constitutional provision would not suffice. (Underscoring supplied) Again on the premise that the BJE may be regarded as an autonomous region. not the BJE. (8) Preservation and development of the cultural heritage. does not render another plebiscite unnecessary under the Constitution. (3) Ancestral domain and natural resources. Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national laws. and tourism development. and (9) Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region. precisely because what these areas voted for then was their inclusion in the ARMM. (5) Regional urban and rural planning development. The MOA-AD. Section 20 of the Constitution since that provision defines the powers of autonomous regions as follows: SECTION 20.present components of the ARMM and the above-mentioned municipalities voted for inclusion therein in 2001. (4) Personal. The mere passage of new legislation pursuant to sub-paragraph No. and property relations. the organic act of autonomous regions shall provide for legislative powers over: (1) Administrative organization. social. since any new law that might vest in the . would not comply with Article X. family. (7) Educational policies.

among which are R. and otherwise transact the business of foreign relations. enter into treaties. Besides being irreconcilable with the Constitution. to merely pass legislation vesting the BJE with treaty-making power in order to accommodate paragraph 4 of the strand on RESOURCES which states: "The BJE is free to enter into any economic cooperation and trade relations with foreign countries: provided. itself. While there may be a semblance of unity because of the associative ties between the BJE and the national government. that such relationships and understandings do not include aggression against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines x x x." Under our constitutional system. 9054156 or the Organic Act of the ARMM. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Article II. has generally been a preparation for independence.157 Article X. is certainly not conducive to national unity. however. maintain diplomatic relations. No. Section 3 of the Organic Act of the ARMM is a bar to . Section 22 of the Constitution must also be amended if the scheme envisioned in the MOA-AD is to be effected. being the head of state. Executive Secretary155 instructs: In our system of government. and the IPRA.A. comply with other provisions of the Constitution. in international practice. the President acts as the country's mouthpiece with respect to international affairs. the act of placing a portion of Philippine territory in a status which. it is only the President who has that power. the President. extend or withhold recognition. It would not do." (Underscoring supplied) An associative arrangement does not uphold national unity. is regarded as the sole organ and authority in external relations and is the country's sole representative with foreign nations. for instance. As the chief architect of foreign policy. That constitutional provision states: "The State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development. Pimentel v. the President is vested with the authority to deal with foreign states and governments. In the realm of treaty-making. the President has the sole authority to negotiate with other states.BJE the powers found in the MOA-AD must. Hence. the MOA-AD is also inconsistent with prevailing statutory law.

The MOA-AD's manner of delineating the ancestral domain of the Bangsamoro people is a clear departure from that procedure. as follows: "As used in this Organic Act. "[t]he Bangsamoro homeland and historic territory refer to the land mass as well as the maritime. fluvial and alluvial domains. rather than lumping together the identities of the Bangsamoro and other indigenous peoples living in Mindanao." Respecting the IPRA. The freedom of choice of the Indigenous people shall be respected. and political institutions. clearly distinguishes between Bangsamoro people and Tribal peoples." . Paragraph 1 on Concepts and Principles states: 1. the atmospheric space above it. it lays down the prevailing procedure for the delineation and recognition of ancestral domains. economic. embracing the Mindanao-Sulu-Palawan geographic region.the adoption of the definition of "Bangsamoro people" used in the MOA-AD. terrestrial. cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from other sectors of the national community. which. cultural. subject to the delimitations in the agreed Schedules. Section 3 of the Organic Act. The Bangsamoro people refers to those who are natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time of conquest or colonization of its descendants whether mixed or of full blood. These are citizens whose social. By paragraph 1 of Territory. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) This use of the term Bangsamoro sharply contrasts with that found in the Article X. Spouses and their descendants are classified as Bangsamoro. It is the birthright of all Moros and all Indigenous peoples of Mindanao to identify themselves and be accepted as "Bangsamoros". the phrase "indigenous cultural community" refers to Filipino citizens residing in the autonomous region who are: (a) Tribal peoples. and (b) Bangsa Moro people. These are citizens who are believers in Islam and who have retained some or all of their own social. and the aerial domain. the Parties simply agree that.

The process of delineating a specific perimeter may be initiated by the NCIP with the consent of the ICC/IP concerned.The identification and delineation of ancestral domains shall be done in accordance with the following procedures: xxxx b) Petition for Delineation. shall be immediately undertaken by the Ancestral Domains Office upon filing of the application by the ICCs/IPs concerned.Chapter VIII of the IPRA. or through a Petition for Delineation filed with the NCIP. .The official delineation of ancestral domain boundaries including census of all community members therein. and other documents directly or indirectly attesting to the possession or occupation of the area since time immemorial by such ICCs/IPs in the concept of owners which shall be any one (1) of the following authentic documents: 1) Written accounts of the ICCs/IPs customs and traditions.Proof of Ancestral Domain Claims shall include the testimony of elders or community under oath. 5) Survey plans and sketch maps. . 2) Written accounts of the ICCs/IPs political structure and institution. d) Proof Required. lays down a detailed procedure. including pacts and agreements concerning boundaries entered into by the ICCs/IPs concerned with other ICCs/IPs. as illustrated in the following provisions thereof: SECTION 52. by a majority of the members of the ICCs/IPs. burial grounds. c) Delineation Proper. Delineation Process. on the other hand. 3) Pictures showing long term occupation such as those of old improvements. 4) Historical accounts. . . Delineation will be done in coordination with the community concerned and shall at all times include genuine involvement and participation by the members of the communities concerned. . sacred places and old villages.

However. the Ancestral Domains Office shall require the submission of additional evidence: Provided. h) Endorsement to NCIP.6) Anthropological data. rivers. complete with technical descriptions. 8) Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional communal forests and hunting grounds. 7) Genealogical surveys. 9) Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional landmarks such as mountains. hills. if the proof is deemed insufficient. ridges. g) Notice and Publication. shall be prepared by the Ancestral Domains Office of the NCIP. . broadcasting in a radio station will be a valid substitute: Provided. A copy of the document shall also be posted at the local. creeks. and a description of the natural features and landmarks embraced therein. the Ancestral Domains Office shall prepare a report to the NCIP endorsing a favorable action upon a claim that is deemed to have sufficient proof. .A complete copy of the preliminary census and a report of investigation. the Ancestral Domains Office of the NCIP shall prepare a perimeter map. f) Report of Investigation and Other Documents. provincial and regional offices of the NCIP. That in areas where no such newspaper exists. That mere posting shall be deemed sufficient if both newspaper and radio station are not available. and 10) Write-ups of names and places derived from the native dialect of the community.Within fifteen (15) days from publication.On the basis of such investigation and the findings of fact based thereon.A copy of each document. That the Ancestral . . . and of the inspection process. e) Preparation of Maps. further. including a translation in the native language of the ICCs/IPs concerned shall be posted in a prominent place therein for at least fifteen (15) days. terraces and the like. and shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks to allow other claimants to file opposition thereto within fifteen (15) days from date of such publication: Provided.

containing the grounds for denial. That in case of rejection. xxxx To remove all doubts about the irreconcilability of the MOA-AD with the present legal system. furthermore. the Ancestral Domains Office shall cause the contending parties to meet and assist them in coming up with a preliminary resolution of the conflict. That in cases where there are conflicting claims among ICCs/IPs on the boundaries of ancestral domain claims. Similarly.158 held that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is part of the law of the land on account of which it ordered the release on bail of a detained alien of Russian descent whose deportation order had not been executed even after two years. but also of international law is in order. the Court in Agustin v. International law has long recognized the right to self-determination of "peoples. copy furnished all concerned. without prejudice to its full adjudication according to the section below." understood not merely as the entire population of a State but also a portion thereof. Edu159 applied the aforesaid constitutional provision to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals. the Ancestral Domains Office shall give the applicant due notice." Applying this provision of the Constitution. In considering the question of whether the people of Quebec had a right to unilaterally secede from Canada.Domains Office shall reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification: Provided. the Court. Director of Prisons. further. in Mejoff v. the Canadian Supreme Court in REFERENCE RE SECESSION OF QUEBEC160 had occasion to acknowledge that "the right of a people to self-determination is now so widely recognized in international conventions that the principle has acquired a status beyond ‘convention' and is considered a general principle of international . The denial shall be appealable to the NCIP: Provided. for Article II. Section 2 of the Constitution states that the Philippines "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. a discussion of not only the Constitution and domestic statutes.

Social and Cultural Rights162 which state. REFERENCE RE SECESSION OF QUEBEC is again instructive: "(ii) Scope of the Right to Self-determination 126. even then. (Emphasis added) 127. supra. and cultural development. social. however. The recognized sources of international law establish that the right to self-determination of a people is normally fulfilled through internal self-determination . The various international documents that support the existence of a people's right to self-determination also contain parallel statements supportive of the conclusion that the exercise of .a people's pursuit of its political. A distinction should be made between the right of internal and external self-determination. be understood as extending to a unilateral right of secession. x x x External self-determination can be defined as in the following statement from the Declaration on Friendly Relations. by virtue of the right of selfdetermination. the free association or integration with an independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of selfdetermination by that people. The international law principle of self-determination has evolved within a framework of respect for the territorial integrity of existing states. that all peoples. as The establishment of a sovereign and independent State.law. social and cultural development within the framework of an existing state. "freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic. in Article 1 of both covenants. economic." The people's right to self-determination should not. A right to external selfdetermination (which in this case potentially takes the form of the assertion of a right to unilateral secession) arises in only the most extreme of cases and." Among the conventions referred to are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights161 and the International Covenant on Economic. under carefully defined circumstances.

any more than it recognizes the . x x x x (Emphasis.is blocked from the meaningful exercise of its right to internal self-determination. to separate themselves from the State of which they form part by the simple expression of a wish. is subject to foreign domination or exploitation outside a colonial context. before resolving the question. The Council. executive and judicial institutions within Canada. namely.less definitely but asserted by a number of commentators . where a people is under colonial rule. italics and underscoring supplied) The Canadian Court went on to discuss the exceptional cases in which the right to external self-determination can arise. the right of disposing of national territory is essentially an attribute of the sovereignty of every State. Positive International Law does not recognize the right of national groups. appointed an International Committee composed of three jurists to submit an opinion on the preliminary issue of whether the dispute should. social and cultural development. as such. as the same is not under colonial rule or foreign domination. Sweden presented to the Council of the League of Nations the question of whether the inhabitants of the Aaland Islands should be authorized to determine by plebiscite if the archipelago should remain under Finnish sovereignty or be incorporated in the kingdom of Sweden. The exceptional nature of the right of secession is further exemplified in the REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF JURISTS ON THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE AALAND ISLANDS QUESTION. The Court ultimately held that the population of Quebec had no right to secession.163 There.such a right must be sufficiently limited to prevent threats to an existing state's territorial integrity or the stability of relations between sovereign states. even occupying prominent positions therein. and . nor is it being deprived of the freedom to make political choices and pursue economic. citing that Quebec is equitably represented in legislative. The Committee stated the rule as follows: x x x [I]n the absence of express provisions in international treaties. based on international law. be entirely left to the domestic jurisdiction of Finland.

exclusively. during the relevant time period. In light of these circumstances. In the midst of revolution. Any other solution would amount to an infringement of sovereign rights of a State and would involve the risk of creating difficulties and a lack of stability which would not only be contrary to the very idea embodied in term "State. in fact. A dispute between two States concerning such a question. anarchy. the legitimacy of the Finnish national government was disputed by a large section of the people. histories. and it had. The armed camps and the police were divided into two opposing forces. so abnormal that. for a considerable time. however. namely. under normal conditions therefore. found that Finland did not possess the right to withhold from a portion of its population the option to separate itself . The Committee. the grant or refusal of the right to a portion of its population of determining its own political fate by plebiscite or by some other method. nor by any other State. was a very narrow one. the conditions required for the formation of a sovereign State did not exist. The internal situation of Finland was. Turning now to the more specific category of indigenous peoples. been chased from the capital and forcibly prevented from carrying out its duties. If this right is not possessed by a large or small section of a nation.right of other States to claim such a separation. thereby applying the exception rather than the rule elucidated above." but would also endanger the interests of the international community. a "definitively constituted" sovereign state. is. regional. and civil war. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) The Committee held that the dispute concerning the Aaland Islands did not refer to a question which is left by international law to the domestic jurisdiction of Finland. Generally speaking.a right which sovereign nations generally have with respect to their own populations. this term has been used. Finland was not. in scholarship as well as international. therefore. . the Aaland Islands agitation originated at a time when Finland was undergoing drastic political transformation. according to the Committee. neither can it be held by the State to which the national group wishes to be attached. bears upon a question which International Law leaves entirely to the domestic jurisdiction of one of the States concerned. Its ground for departing from the general rule. and state practices. to refer to groups with distinct cultures. an attribute of the sovereignty of every State which is definitively constituted.

Article 4 Indigenous peoples. or communities are culturally distinctive groups that find themselves engulfed by settler societies born of the forces of empire and conquest. New Zealand. to wit: Article 3 Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. 2007. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic. and the U.and connections to land (spiritual and otherwise) that have been forcibly incorporated into a larger governing society. the UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP) through General Assembly Resolution 61/295. Canada. nations. These groups are regarded as "indigenous" since they are the living descendants of pre-invasion inhabitants of lands now dominated by others. encompassing the right to autonomy or selfgovernment. as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions. The vote was 143 to 4. and the four voting against being Australia. In a historic development last September 13. indigenous peoples.S. The Declaration clearly recognized the right of indigenous peoples to selfdetermination. As with the broader category of "peoples.165 but they do have rights amounting to what was discussed above as the right to internal self-determination. have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs.164 Examples of groups who have been regarded as indigenous peoples are the Maori of New Zealand and the aboriginal peoples of Canada. social and cultural development." indigenous peoples situated within states do not have a general right to independence or secession from those states under international law. the Philippines being included among those in favor. Article 5 . in exercising their right to self-determination. Otherwise stated.

Indigenous peoples have the right. vocational training and retraining. as used in international legal discourse pertaining to indigenous peoples. Article 21 1. (c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights. health and social security. has been understood as equivalent to "internal self-determination. . to the improvement of their economic and social conditions. inter alia. while retaining their right to participate fully. or of their cultural values or ethnic identities. social and cultural life of the State. economic. (e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic discrimination directed against them. in the political. housing. without discrimination. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture. employment. Self-government. sanitation. if they so choose. some of which are quoted hereunder: Article 8 1. social and cultural institutions. 2. economic. (d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration. legal. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of. and redress for: (a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples. territories or resources."166 The extent of self-determination provided for in the UN DRIP is more particularly defined in its subsequent articles.Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political. in the areas of education. including. (b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands.

2. Article 32 1. prior to using their lands or territories for military activities. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the . children and persons with disabilities. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs. where appropriate. Indigenous peoples have the right to own. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders. 3. territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use. through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions. 2.2. States shall take effective measures and. States shall undertake effective consultations with the indigenous peoples concerned. develop and control the lands. Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples. territories and resources which they have traditionally owned. 2. as well as those which they have otherwise acquired. territories and resources. youth. Article 30 1. special measures to ensure continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands. traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned. use. occupied or otherwise used or acquired. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands. Article 26 1. women. unless justified by a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous peoples concerned.

no requirement in the UN DRIP that States now guarantee indigenous peoples their own police and internal security force. States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities. social. Assuming that the UN DRIP. Article 37 1.a question which the Court need not definitively resolve here the obligations enumerated therein do not strictly require the Republic to grant the Bangsamoro people. economic. observance and enforcement of treaties. Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition. agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to have States honour and respect such treaties. There is. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as diminishing or eliminating the rights of indigenous peoples contained in treaties. particularly in connection with the development. through the instrumentality of the BJE. shall take the appropriate measures. cultural or spiritual impact. agreements and other constructive arrangements.indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources. 2. agreements and other constructive arrangements. Article 8 presupposes that it is the State which . to achieve the ends of this Declaration. allowing for flexibility in its application by the different States. must now be regarded as embodying customary international law . and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental. 3. Article 38 States in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples. like the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. utilization or exploitation of mineral. the particular rights and powers provided for in the MOA-AD. Indeed. Even the more specific provisions of the UN DRIP are general in scope. water or other resources. for instance. including legislative measures.

Nor is there in the UN DRIP an acknowledgement of the right of indigenous peoples to the aerial domain and atmospheric space. then surely the protection of rights less significant to them as such peoples would also be the duty of States. does not obligate States to grant indigenous peoples the near-independent status of an associated state. occupied or otherwise used or acquired. Section 2 of the Constitution. They cite paragraph 7 of the MOA-AD strand on GOVERNANCE quoted earlier. while upholding the right of indigenous peoples to autonomy.will provide protection for indigenous peoples against acts like the forced dispossession of their lands . the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States. If the protection of a right so essential to indigenous people's identity is acknowledged to be the responsibility of the State. clear that the MOA-AD contains numerous provisions that cannot be reconciled with the Constitution and the laws as presently worded. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State. therefore. Even if the UN DRIP were considered as part of the law of the land pursuant to Article II. It is. precisely because it stipulates that the provisions thereof inconsistent with the laws shall not take effect until these laws are amended. the UN DRIP. group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act contrary to the Charter of the United Nations or construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair. Respondents proffer. that the signing of the MOA-AD alone would not have entailed any violation of law or grave abuse of discretion on their part. What it upholds.a function that is normally performed by police officers. All the rights recognized in that document are qualified in Article 46 as follows: 1. people. is the right of indigenous peoples to the lands. territories and resources which they have traditionally owned. Moreover. it would not suffice to uphold the validity of the MOA-AD so as to render its compliance with other laws unnecessary. totally or in part. however. but which is reproduced below for convenience: . in Article 26 thereof.

The Parties agree that the mechanisms and modalities for the actual implementation of this MOA-AD shall be spelt out in the Comprehensive Compact to mutually take such steps to enable it to occur effectively." (Emphasis supplied) Establishing an associative relationship between the BJE and the Central Government is. however. Section 5(c). a preparation for independence. however. The authority of the GRP Peace Negotiating Panel to negotiate with the MILF is founded on E. or worse. respondents. Even apart from the above-mentioned Memorandum. 2001. While the word "Constitution" is not mentioned in the provision now under consideration or anywhere else in the MOA-AD. Any provisions of the MOA-AD requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall come into force upon signing of a Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework with due regard to non derogation of prior agreements and within the stipulated timeframe to be contained in the Comprehensive Compact. as discussed below. the foregoing stipulation keeps many controversial provisions of the MOA-AD from coming into force until the necessary changes to the legal framework are effected. Notwithstanding the suspensive clause. No. which states that there shall be established Government Peace Negotiating Panels for negotiations with different rebel groups to be "appointed by the . an implicit acknowledgment of an independent status already prevailing. for the reasons already discussed. Indeed. which states that the "negotiations shall be conducted in accordance with x x x the principles of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.7.O. have already violated the Memorandum of Instructions From The President dated March 1. the term "legal framework" is certainly broad enough to include the Constitution. 3. by their mere act of incorporating in the MOA-AD the provisions thereof regarding the associative relationship between the BJE and the Central Government. the MOA-AD is defective because the suspensive clause is invalid.

The components of the comprehensive peace process comprise the processes known as the "Paths to Peace". new legislation or even constitutional amendments." These negotiating panels are to report to the President. authorized them to "think outside the box. therefore. It bears noting that the GRP Peace Panel. This component involves the vigorous implementation of various policies. The Six Paths to Peace.O." so to speak. economic. and political reforms which may require new legislation or even constitutional amendments. in exploring lasting solutions to the Moro Problem through its negotiations with the MILF. No. 3 collectively refers to as the "Paths to Peace. of E. but may not be limited to. and political reforms which cannot. No.O. and which thus would require new legislation and constitutional amendments. reforms. 3.President as her official emissaries to conduct negotiations.O. .O. No. 3. programs and projects aimed at addressing the root causes of internal armed conflicts and social unrest. The E. and face-to-face discussions with rebel groups. One of the components of a comprehensive peace process. which E. This may require administrative action. the following: a. x x x x (Emphasis supplied) The MOA-AD. which reiterates Section 3(a).O. all be accommodated within the present legal framework. PURSUIT OF SOCIAL. the root causes of the armed conflict in Mindanao. through the PAPP on the conduct and progress of the negotiations. Sec. No. No. Hence. pursuant to this provision of E. 125. they negotiated and were set on signing the MOA-AD that included various social. They shall include. .O." is the pursuit of social. was not restricted by E. may reasonably be perceived as an attempt of respondents to address. 4(a) of E.167 states: SECTION 4. and must therefore be pursued simultaneously in a coordinated and integrated fashion. dialogues. however. economic. These component processes are interrelated and not mutually exclusive. ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL REFORMS. 3 only to those options available under the laws as they presently stand.

Thus. particularly those relating to the commander-in-chief clause. This is so.O. There. cannot stop here. because it must be asked whether the President herself may exercise the power delegated to the GRP Peace Panel under E. for the result was a limitation of specific powers of the President. Marcos. . 4(a). by a slim 8-7 margin. . at . The President cannot delegate a power that she herself does not possess. 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. In Sanlakas v. unstated residual powers which are implied from the grant of executive power and which are necessary for her to comply with her duties under the Constitution. May the President. 3. the Court. notwithstanding the avowed intent of the members of the Constitutional Commission of 1986 to limit the powers of the President as a reaction to the abuses under the regime of Mr. Manglapus. The Court held thus: "In her ponencia in Marcos v. but not a diminution of the general grant of executive power." however. Executive Secretary. Justice Cortes put her thesis into jurisprudence. The rationale for the majority's ruling rested on the President's . agree to pursue reforms that would require new legislation and constitutional amendments. the President's authority to declare a state of rebellion springs in the main from her powers as chief executive and. Sec. The powers of the President are not limited to what are expressly enumerated in the article on the Executive Department and in scattered provisions of the Constitution. No.The inquiry on the legality of the "suspensive clause.168 in issue was the authority of the President to declare a state of rebellion . upheld the President's power to forbid the return of her exiled predecessor.an authority which is not expressly provided for in the Constitution. in the course of peace negotiations. or should the reforms be restricted only to those solutions which the present laws allow? The answer to this question requires a discussion of the extent of the President's power to conduct peace negotiations.

to wit: x x x [T]he fact remains that a successful political and governance transition must form the core of any post-conflict peace-building mission. Professor Christine Bell. As we have observed in Liberia and Haiti over the last ten years. and as Commander-in-Chief. The constitution can be partly a peace agreement and partly a framework setting up the rules by which the new democracy will operate.the same time. more than 50 percent of states emerging from conflict return to conflict.169 As the experience of nations which have similarly gone through internal armed conflict will show. draws strength from her Commander-in-Chief powers. The design of a constitution and its constitution-making process can play an important role in the political and governance transition. On average. peace is rarely attained by simply pursuing a military solution. however. even where state-building is undertaken through technical electoral assistance and institution. the President has the general responsibility to promote public peace.170 In the same vein. As Chief Executive.or capacity-building. she has the more specific duty to prevent and suppress rebellion and lawless violence. in her article on the nature and legal status of peace agreements. a substantial proportion of transitions have resulted in weak or limited democracies. Constitution-making after conflict is an opportunity to create a common vision of the future of a state and a road map on how to get there. changes as farreaching as a fundamental reconfiguration of the nation's constitutional structure is required. The observations of Dr. conflict cessation without modification of the political environment. the President's power to conduct peace negotiations is implicitly included in her powers as Chief Executive and Commanderin-Chief. Oftentimes. Kirsti Samuels are enlightening. observed that the typical way that peace agreements establish or confirm mechanisms for demilitarization and demobilization is by linking them to new . is unlikely to succeed. Moreover. x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Similarly.

171 In the Philippine experience. it is working very well. been partly successful. I have only two questions. There are other speakers. and now by state policy. diminished a great deal of the problems. signed by then Undersecretary of National Defense Carmelo Z. OPLE. why do we have to go into something new? MR. Commissioner Yusup Abubakar is right that certain definite steps have been taken to implement the provisions of the Tripoli Agreement with respect to an autonomous region in Mindanao. I heard one of the Commissioners say that local autonomy already exists in the Muslim region. but there is no question that this is merely a partial response to the Tripoli Agreement itself and to the fuller standard of regional autonomy contemplated in that agreement. it has. solutions that may require changes to the Constitution for their implementation. in fact. I will reserve my right to ask them if they are not covered by the other speakers. namely.constitutional structures addressing governance. elections. then she must be given the leeway to explore. So. so. my question is: since that already exists. This is a good first step. the Filipino people are still faced with the reality of an on-going conflict between the Government and the MILF. although I have some more questions. May I answer that on behalf of Chairman Nolledo. ROMULO. Barbero and then MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari.173(Emphasis supplied) The constitutional provisions on autonomy and the statutes enacted pursuant to them have. Nonetheless. If the President is to be expected to find means for bringing this conflict to an end and to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao. in the course of peace negotiations. the Tripoli Agreement of 1976 between the GRP and the MNLF. MR. and legal and human rights institutions. Behind the provisions of the Constitution on autonomous regions172 is the framers' intention to implement a particular peace agreement. to the credit of their drafters. Being uniquely vested with the power to . the link between peace agreements and constitution-making has been recognized by no less than the framers of the Constitution.

if resolved. holding that "the urges of absolute necessity" compelled the President as the agent of the people to act as he did. bypassing the interim National Assembly which was the body vested by the 1973 Constitution with the power to propose such amendments. it will be recalled. Justice Teehankee's dissent. implicit in his opinion is a recognition that he would have upheld the President's action along with the majority had the President convened the interim National . but she may not be prevented from submitting them as recommendations to Congress. is not with regard to the point on which it was then divided in that controversial case. The Court's concern at present. President Marcos.as those powers may be exercised only by Congress. a Constitutional Convention. to propose the recommended amendments or revision to the people. if it is minded. unilaterally implement the solutions that she considers viable. however. or submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention. but on that which was not disputed by either side. The President may not. which could then. call a constitutional convention. may bring an end to hostilities.conduct peace negotiations with rebel groups. COMELEC.174 in issue was the legality of then President Marcos' act of directly submitting proposals for constitutional amendments to a referendum. Against this ruling.175 in particular. pursuant to Article XVII. never convened the interim National Assembly. Congress would have the option. Sections 1 and 3 of the Constitution. of course. In particular. In Sanidad v. While the President does not possess constituent powers . The majority upheld the President's act. the President is in a singular position to know the precise nature of their grievances which. or the people through initiative and referendum . Justices Teehankee and Muñoz Palma vigorously dissented.she may submit proposals for constitutional change to Congress in a manner that does not involve the arrogation of constituent powers. there being no interim National Assembly to propose constitutional amendments. act upon them pursuant to the legal procedures for constitutional amendment and revision. bears noting. While he disagreed that the President may directly submit proposed constitutional amendments to a referendum.

Assembly and coursed his proposals through it. Thus Justice Teehankee opined: "Since the Constitution provides for the organization of the essential departments of government, defines and delimits the powers of each and prescribes the manner of the exercise of such powers, and the constituent power has not been granted to but has been withheld from the President or Prime Minister, it follows that the President's questioned decrees proposing and submitting constitutional amendments directly to the people (without the intervention of the interim National Assembly in whom the power is expressly vested) are devoid of constitutional and legal basis."176 (Emphasis supplied) From the foregoing discussion, the principle may be inferred that the President - in the course of conducting peace negotiations - may validly consider implementing even those policies that require changes to the Constitution, but 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. Since, under the present Constitution, the people also have the power to directly propose amendments through initiative and referendum, the President may also submit her recommendations to the people, not as a formal proposal to be voted on in a plebiscite similar to what President Marcos did in Sanidad, but for their independent consideration of whether these recommendations merit being formally proposed through initiative. These recommendations, however, may amount to nothing more than the President's suggestions to the people, for any further involvement in the process of initiative by the Chief Executive may vitiate its character as a genuine "people's initiative." The only initiative recognized by the Constitution is that which truly proceeds from the people. As the Court stated in Lambino v. COMELEC:177 "The Lambino Group claims that their initiative is the ‘people's voice.' However, the Lambino Group unabashedly states in ULAP Resolution No. 2006-02, in the verification of their petition with the COMELEC, that ‘ULAP maintains its unqualified support to the

agenda of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for constitutional reforms.' The Lambino Group thus admits that their ‘people's' initiative is an ‘unqualified support to the agenda' of the incumbent President to change the Constitution. This forewarns the Court to be wary of incantations of ‘people's voice' or ‘sovereign will' in the present initiative." It will be observed that the President has authority, as stated in her oath of office,178 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. The foregoing discussion focused on the President's authority to propose constitutional amendments, since her authority to propose new legislation is not in controversy. It has been an accepted practice for Presidents in this jurisdiction to propose new legislation. One of the more prominent instances the practice is usually done is in the yearly State of the Nation Address of the President to Congress. Moreover, the annual general appropriations bill has always been based on the budget prepared by the President, which - for all intents and purposes - is a proposal for new legislation coming from the President.179 The "suspensive clause" in the MOA-AD viewed in light of the above-discussed standards Given the limited nature of the President's authority to propose constitutional amendments, she cannot guarantee to any third party that the required amendments will eventually be put in place, nor even be submitted to a plebiscite. The most she could do is submit these proposals as recommendations either to Congress or the people, in whom constituent powers are vested. Paragraph 7 on Governance of the MOA-AD states, however, that all provisions thereof which cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws "shall come into force upon signing of a

Comprehensive Compact and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework." This stipulation does not bear the marks of a suspensive condition - defined in civil law as a future and uncertain event - but of a term. It is not a question of whether the necessary changes to the legal framework will be effected, but when. That there is no uncertainty being contemplated is plain from what follows, for the paragraph goes on to state that the contemplated changes shall be "with due regard to non derogation of prior agreements and within the stipulated timeframe to be contained in the Comprehensive Compact." Pursuant to this stipulation, therefore, it is mandatory for the GRP to effect the changes to the legal framework contemplated in the MOAAD - which changes would include constitutional amendments, as discussed earlier. It bears noting that, By the time these changes are put in place, the MOA-AD itself would be counted among the "prior agreements" from which there could be no derogation. What remains for discussion in the Comprehensive Compact would merely be the implementing details for these "consensus points" and, notably, the deadline for effecting the contemplated changes to the legal framework. Plainly, stipulation-paragraph 7 on GOVERNANCE is inconsistent with the limits of the President's authority to propose constitutional amendments, it being a virtual guarantee that the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of the Philippines will certainly be adjusted to conform to all the "consensus points" found in the MOA-AD. Hence, it must be struck down as unconstitutional. A comparison between the "suspensive clause" of the MOA-AD with a similar provision appearing in the 1996 final peace agreement between the MNLF and the GRP is most instructive. As a backdrop, the parties to the 1996 Agreement stipulated that it would be implemented in two phases. Phase I covered a three-year transitional period involving the putting up of new administrative structures through Executive Order, such as the Special Zone of Peace and Development (SZOPAD) and the Southern Philippines

Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD), while Phase II covered the establishment of the new regional autonomous government through amendment or repeal of R.A. No. 6734, which was then the Organic Act of the ARMM. The stipulations on Phase II consisted of specific agreements on the structure of the expanded autonomous region envisioned by the parties. To that extent, they are similar to the provisions of the MOAAD. There is, however, a crucial difference between the two agreements. While the MOA-AD virtually guarantees that the "necessary changes to the legal framework" will be put in place, the GRP-MNLF final peace agreement states thus: "Accordingly, these provisions [on Phase II] shall be recommended by the GRP to Congress for incorporation in the amendatory or repealing law." Concerns have been raised that the MOA-AD would have given rise to a binding international law obligation on the part of the Philippines to change its Constitution in conformity thereto, on the ground that it may be considered either as a binding agreement under international law, or a unilateral declaration of the Philippine government to the international community that it would grant to the Bangsamoro people all the concessions therein stated. Neither ground finds sufficient support in international law, however. The MOA-AD, as earlier mentioned in the overview thereof, would have included foreign dignitaries as signatories. In addition, representatives of other nations were invited to witness its signing in Kuala Lumpur. These circumstances readily lead one to surmise that the MOA-AD would have had the status of a binding international agreement had it been signed. An examination of the prevailing principles in international law, however, leads to the contrary conclusion. The Decision on Challenge to Jurisdiction: Lomé Accord Amnesty180 (the Lomé Accord case) of the Special Court of Sierra Leone is enlightening. The Lomé Accord was a peace agreement signed on July 7, 1999 between the Government of Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a rebel group with which the Sierra Leone Government had been in armed conflict for around eight years at the time of signing. There were non-contracting signatories to the

agreement, among which were the Government of the Togolese Republic, the Economic Community of West African States, and the UN. On January 16, 2002, after a successful negotiation between the UN Secretary-General and the Sierra Leone Government, another agreement was entered into by the UN and that Government whereby the Special Court of Sierra Leone was established. The sole purpose of the Special Court, an international court, was to try persons who bore the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since November 30, 1996. Among the stipulations of the Lomé Accord was a provision for the full pardon of the members of the RUF with respect to anything done by them in pursuit of their objectives as members of that organization since the conflict began. In the Lomé Accord case, the Defence argued that the Accord created an internationally binding obligation not to prosecute the beneficiaries of the amnesty provided therein, citing, among other things, the participation of foreign dignitaries and international organizations in the finalization of that agreement. The Special Court, however, rejected this argument, ruling that the Lome Accord is not a treaty and that it can only create binding obligations and rights between the parties in municipal law, not in international law. Hence, the Special Court held, it is ineffective in depriving an international court like it of jurisdiction. "37. In regard to the nature of a negotiated settlement of an internal armed conflict it is easy to assume and to argue with some degree of plausibility, as Defence counsel for the defendants seem to have done, that the mere fact that in addition to the parties to the conflict, the document formalizing the settlement is signed by foreign heads of state or their representatives and representatives of international organizations, means the agreement of the parties is internationalized so as to create obligations in international law. xxxx

are not contracting parties and who do not claim any obligation from the contracting parties or incur any obligation from the settlement. 41. An international agreement in the nature of a treaty must create rights and obligations regulated by international law so that a breach of its terms will be a breach determined under international law which will also provide principle means of enforcement. law. nor from the obligation imposed by it. In this case. Such consequences such as action by the Security Council pursuant to Chapter VII arise from the situation and not from the agreement. The noncontracting signatories of the Lomé Agreement were moral guarantors of the principle that. An agreement such as the Lomé Agreement which brings to an end an internal armed conflict no doubt creates a factual situation of restoration of peace that the international community acting through the Security Council may take note of. "this peace agreement is implemented with integrity and in good faith by both parties". A breach of the terms of such a peace agreement resulting in resumption of internal armed conflict or creating a threat to peace in the determination of the Security Council may indicate a reversal of the factual situation of peace to be visited with possible legal consequences arising from the new situation of conflict created. presumably for avoidance of doubt. the parties to the conflict are the lawful authority of the State and the RUF which has no status of statehood and is to all intents and purposes a faction within the state. Almost every conflict resolution will involve the parties to the conflict and the mediator or facilitator of the settlement. will not convert it to an international agreement which creates an obligation enforceable in international. The Lomé Agreement created neither rights nor obligations capable of being regulated by international law. A peace agreement which settles an . as distinguished from municipal. It is recalled that the UN by its representative appended. an understanding of the extent of the agreement to be implemented as not including certain international crimes. in the terms of Article XXXIV of the Agreement. however. or persons or bodies under whose auspices the settlement took place but who are not at all parties to the conflict.40. Such action cannot be regarded as a remedy for the breach. That. 42. The moral guarantors assumed no legal obligation.

very specific. but public statements from its President. Australia challenged before the ICJ the legality of France's nuclear tests in the South Pacific.181 also known as the Nuclear Tests Case. concerning legal or factual situations. viz: 43. the ICJ held. The Lomé Agreement cannot be characterised as an international instrument. binding under international law. must be between two or more warring States. In another vein. France. decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). that its 1974 series of atmospheric tests would be its last. concern has been raised that the MOA-AD would amount to a unilateral declaration of the Philippine State. France refused to appear in the case.internal armed conflict cannot be ascribed the same status as one which settles an international armed conflict which. x x x" (Emphasis. Declarations of this kind may be. that intention confers on the declaration the character of a legal . amounted to a legal undertaking addressed to the international community. Cited as authority for this view is Australia v. that it would comply with all the stipulations stated therein. which required no acceptance from other States for it to become effective. persuaded the ICJ to dismiss the case. In the Nuclear Tests Case. italics and underscoring supplied) Similarly. and similar statements from other French officials including its Minister of Defence. When it is the intention of the State making the declaration that it should become bound according to its terms. Essential to the ICJ ruling is its finding that the French government intended to be bound to the international community in issuing its public statements. It is well recognized that declarations made by way of unilateral acts.182 Those statements. that the MOA-AD would have been signed by representatives of States and international organizations not parties to the Agreement would not have sufficed to vest in it a binding character under international law. with the result that it would have to amend its Constitution accordingly regardless of the true will of the people. essentially. may have the effect of creating legal obligations. and often are.

even though not made within the context of international negotiations. the French Government conveyed to the world at large. and from the circumstances attending their making. In these circumstances. and the confidence and trust which are so essential in the relations among States. that the legal implications of the unilateral act must be deduced. The validity of these statements and their legal consequences must be considered within the general framework of the security of international intercourse. The Court considers *270 that the President of the Republic. its intention effectively to terminate these tests. in deciding upon the effective cessation of atmospheric tests. and the Court holds that they constitute an undertaking possessing legal effect. is binding. including the Applicant. nor even any reply or reaction from other States. It was bound to assume that other States might take note of these statements and rely on their being effective. In announcing that the 1974 series of atmospheric tests would be the last. a restrictive interpretation is called for. x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) . nothing in the nature of a quid pro quo nor any subsequent acceptance of the declaration. the State being thenceforth legally required to follow a course of conduct consistent with the declaration. but a State may choose to take up a certain position in relation to a particular matter with the intention of being bound-the intention is to be ascertained by interpretation of the act. since such a requirement would be inconsistent with the strictly unilateral nature of the juridical act by which the pronouncement by the State was made. xxxx 51. if given publicly. and with an intent to be bound. not all unilateral acts imply obligation. The objects of these statements are clear and they were addressed to the international community as a whole. gave an undertaking to the international community to which his words were addressed. When States make statements by which their freedom of action is to be limited. is required for the declaration to take effect. 44. An undertaking of this kind. Of course. It is from the actual substance of these statements.undertaking.

51. para. in the Nuclear Tests cases. In order to assess the intentions of the author of a unilateral act.J. the ICJ held that the statement of Mali's President was not a unilateral act with legal implications.C. the French Government could not express an intention to be bound otherwise than by unilateral declarations. that Government's unilateral declarations had ‘conveyed to the world at large. the Court took the view that since the applicant States were not the only ones concerned at the possible continuance of atmospheric testing by the French Government. its intention effectively to terminate these tests‘ (I. 269. Unlike in the Nuclear Tests Case.As gathered from the above-quoted ruling of the ICJ. The public declaration subject of that case was a statement made by the President of Mali. there was nothing to hinder the Parties from . 53). in an interview by a foreign press agency. 474. including the Applicant. public statements of a state representative may be construed as a unilateral declaration only when the following conditions are present: the statements were clearly addressed to the international community. The circumstances of the present case are radically different. Mali. Plainly. para.183 also known as the Case Concerning the Frontier Dispute. For example. In the particular circumstances of those cases. p. The limited applicability of the Nuclear Tests Case ruling was recognized in a later case decided by the ICJ entitled Burkina Faso v. Reports 1974. Here. to wit: 40. unilateral declarations arise only in peculiar circumstances. It clarified that its ruling in the Nuclear Tests case rested on the peculiar circumstances surrounding the French declaration subject thereof. account must be taken of all the factual circumstances in which the act occurred. the state intended to be bound to that community by its statements. It is difficult to see how it could have accepted the terms of a negotiated solution with each of the applicants without thereby jeopardizing its contention that its conduct was lawful. that Mali would abide by the decision to be issued by a commission of the Organization of African Unity on a frontier dispute then pending between Mali and Burkina Faso. and that not to give legal effect to those statements would be detrimental to the security of international intercourse. p.

in the case of Malaysia.to the trust and confidence essential in the relations among States. it would not have amounted to a unilateral declaration on the part of the Philippine State to the international community. Here. the Chamber finds that there are no grounds to interpret the declaration made by Mali's head of State on 11 April 1975 as a unilateral act with legal implications in regard to the present case. they participated merely as witnesses or. The Philippine panel did not draft the same with the clear intention of being bound thereby to the international community as a whole or to any State. there was also nothing to hinder the Philippine panel. not to give legal effect to such commitments would not be detrimental to the security of international intercourse . and by an equally clear indication that the signatures of the participating statesrepresentatives would constitute an acceptance of that commitment. one way or another. as already discussed. the circumstances surrounding the MOAAD are closer to that of Burkina Faso wherein. As in that case. as facilitator. the Mali President's statement was not held to be a binding unilateral declaration by the ICJ. the peace settlement is signed by representatives of states and international organizations does not mean that the agreement is internationalized so as to create obligations in international law. to manifest that intention by formal agreement. While there were States and international organizations involved. had it really been its intention to be bound to other States.manifesting an intention to accept the binding character of the conclusions of the Organization of African Unity Mediation Commission by the normal method: a formal agreement on the basis of reciprocity. the mere fact that in addition to the parties to the conflict. As held in the Lomé Accord case. Entering into such a formal agreement would not have resulted in a . in the negotiation and projected signing of the MOA-AD. that formal agreement would have come about by the inclusion in the MOA-AD of a clear commitment to be legally bound to the international community. Since no agreement of this kind was concluded between the Parties. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Assessing the MOA-AD in light of the above criteria. Since the commitments in the MOA-AD were not addressed to States. but only to the MILF. not just the MILF. In one important respect.

so long as the change is not inconsistent with what. the MOA-AD may not be considered a unilateral declaration under international law. as a solution to the Moro Problem. a Constitutional Convention. by itself. may not preempt it in that decision. Upholding such an act would amount to authorizing a usurpation of the constituent powers vested only in Congress. respondents' almost consummated act of guaranteeing amendments to the legal framework is. The MOA-AD not being a document that can bind the Philippines under international law notwithstanding. or the people themselves through the process of initiative. the creation of a state within a state. The grave abuse lies not in the fact that they considered. Moreover. is known as Jus Cogens. No. . SUMMARY The petitions are ripe for adjudication. The sovereign people may. That the Philippine panel did not enter into such a formal agreement suggests that it had no intention to be bound to the international community. however. 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. sufficient to constitute grave abuse of discretion.loss of face for the Philippine government before the international community. respondents exceeded their authority by the mere act of guaranteeing amendments to the Constitution. On that ground. The failure of respondents to consult the local government units or communities affected constitutes a departure by respondents from their mandate under E.184 Respondents.O. which was one of the difficulties that prevented the French Government from entering into a formal agreement with other countries. 3. Any alleged violation of the Constitution by any branch of government is a proper matter for judicial review. but in their brazen willingness to guarantee that Congress and the sovereign Filipino people would give their imprimatur to their solution. go to the extent of giving up a portion of its own territory to the Moros for the sake of peace. if it so desired. for it can change the Constitution in any it wants. in international law.

(b) the exceptional character of the situation and paramount public interest. The complete and effective exercise of the right to information necessitates that its complementary provision on public disclosure derive the same self-executory nature. and (d) the fact that the case is capable of repetition yet evading review. Hence. the Court finds that the present petitions provide an exception to the "moot and academic" principle in view of (a) the grave violation of the Constitution involved. The MOA-AD is a significant part of a series of agreements necessary to carry out the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace signed by the government and the MILF back in June 2001. finds that the prayers for mandamus have been rendered moot in view of the respondents' action in providing the Court and the petitioners with the official copy of the final draft of the MOA-AD and its annexes. Macapagal-Arroyo. and the public. 28. the bar. The contents of the MOA-AD is a matter of paramount public concern . while Section 28 recognizes the duty of officialdom to give information even if nobody demands. (c) the need to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench. subject only to reasonable safeguards or limitations as may be provided by law. Article II of the Constitution. The Court. The people's right to information on matters of public concern under Sec.As the petitions involve constitutional issues which are of paramount public interest or of transcendental importance. the present MOA-AD can be renegotiated or another one drawn up that could contain similar or significantly dissimilar provisions compared to the original. The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand information. the Court grants the petitioners. however. 7. petitioners-in-intervention and intervening respondents the requisite locus standi in keeping with the liberal stance adopted in David v. Article 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. Contrary to the assertion of respondents that the non-signing of the MOA-AD and the eventual dissolution of the GRP Peace Panel mooted the present petitions.

7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 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. Three. advice. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 provides for clear-cut procedure for the recognition and delineation of ancestral domain. In declaring that the right to information contemplates steps and negotiations leading to the consummation of the contract. . and recommendations from peace partners and concerned sectors of society. it is the duty of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process to conduct regular dialogues to seek relevant information.O. No. which entails. The right to public consultation was envisioned to be a species of these public rights. Republic Act No. Republic Act No. E. is implemented therein. 3 itself is replete with mechanics for continuing consultations on both national and local levels and for a principal forum for consensus-building. among other things. the statute 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. which could pervasively and drastically result to the diaspora or displacement of a great number of inhabitants from their total environment. In fact. An essential element of these twin freedoms is to keep a continuing dialogue or process of communication between the government and the people. 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. comments. The MOA-AD is one peculiar program that unequivocally and unilaterally vests ownership of a vast territory to the Bangsamoro people. Corollary to these twin rights is the design for feedback mechanisms. Notably. Two.involving public interest in the highest order. One. the observance of the free and prior informed consent of the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples. jurisprudence finds no distinction as to the executory nature or commercial character of the agreement.

the associative relationship envisioned between the GRP and the BJE. arbitrary and despotic exercise thereof. It illustrates a gross evasion of positive duty and a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined.The invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege as a defense to the general right to information or the specific right to consultation is untenable. The various explicit legal provisions fly in the face of executive secrecy. Upholding such an act would amount to authorizing a usurpation of the constituent powers vested only in Congress. for the only way that the Executive can ensure the outcome of the amendment process is through an . 7160. for the concept presupposes that the associated entity is a state and implies that the same is on its way to independence. Moreover. 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. Neither the GRP Peace Panel nor the President herself is authorized to make such a guarantee. or the people themselves through the process of initiative. addressed to the government peace panel. as the clause is worded. In any event. In sum. The inclusion of provisions in the MOA-AD establishing an associative relationship between the BJE and the Central Government is. a Constitutional Convention. Not only its specific provisions but the very concept underlying them. 8371. a violation of the Memorandum of Instructions From The President dated March 1. and amounts to a whimsical. and Republic Act No. oppressive. it virtually guarantees that the necessary amendments to the Constitution and the laws will eventually be put in place. for judicial compliance and public scrutiny. respondents effectively waived such defense after it unconditionally disclosed the official copies of the final draft of the MOA-AD. the same does not cure its defect. namely. as mandated by E. No. Republic Act No. 3. The furtive process by which the MOA-AD was designed and crafted runs contrary to and in excess of the legal authority. 2001. itself. the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process committed grave abuse of discretion when he failed to carry out the pertinent consultation process. capricious.O. The MOA-AD cannot be reconciled with the present Constitution and laws. are unconstitutional.

CORONA Associate Justice DANTE O. CHICO-NAZARIO Associa ANTONIO EDUARDO B. by itself. The Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 is declared contrary to law and the Constitution. LEONARDO-D CASTRO Associate Justice . TINGA Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. While the MOA-AD would not amount to an international agreement or unilateral declaration binding on the Philippines under international law. respondents' act of guaranteeing amendments is. AZCUNA Associate J MINITA V.undue influence or interference with that process. WHEREFORE. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ A Justice ADOLFO S. CARPIO Associate Justice RENATO C. The main and intervening petitions are GIVEN DUE COURSE and hereby GRANTED. Associate Justice RUBEN T. already a constitutional violation that renders the MOA-AD fatally defective. QUISUMBING Associate Justice ANTONIO T. CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice WE CONCUR: REYNATO S. SO ORDERED. REYES Associate Justice CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO A Justice MA. JR. PUNO Chief Justice LEONARDO A. VELASCO. NACHURA Justice TERESITA J. respondents' motion to dismiss is DENIED.

10. it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above Decision were reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court.. PUNO Chief Justice Separate Concurring Opinion . Warlords and Ulama: A Reader on Muslim Separatism and the War in Southern Philippines 275 (1999).ARTURO D. .C.J. BRION Associate Justice CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. 2008. Article VIII of the Constitution. REYNATO S. Brion Separate Opinion . Velasco. Azcuna. J. Jr. Reyes Dissenting Opinion . 1011. J. J. J. Carpio Separate Concurring and Dissenting Opinion . 4 Vide Salah Jubair. 5 Memorandum of Respondents dated September 24. pp. 2 Memorandum of Respondents dated September 24. J. 3 Memorandum of Respondents dated September 24. Chico-Nazario. Puno.J. Ynares-Santiago. p.J. 12. The Long Road to Peace: Inside the GRP-MILF Peace Process 40-41 (2007). 2008. Nachura Footnotes 1 Eric Gutierrez and Abdulwahab Guialal. J. The Long Road to Peace: Inside the GRP-MILF Peace Process 35-36 (2007). Tinga. 2008. The Unfinished Jihad: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Peace in Mindanao in Rebels. p. 6 Vide Salah Jubair. Leonardo-De Castro. J.J.

Lobregat. No. 183752). 130-131. No. Atty. No. 11 Rollo (G.. 183591). Angelica Carreon. 183951).R.R. rollo (G. pp. Edionar Zamoras. 183962). Represented by Mayor Lawrence Lluch Cruz. 3-28. pp. 183591). 183752). No. Norbideiri Edding. Represented by Mayor Celso L. 15 Rollo (G. 16 17 18 Namely. 12 13 Rollo (G. Felixberto Bolando. Anecito Darunday. Suharto Mangudadatu. 143-162. Represented by Gov. Leah Armamento. with Mark Ryan Sullivan as Secretariat head. No. and members. 2008.R. 8 Represented by Governor Jesus Sacdalan and/or Vice-Governor Emmanuel Piñol.R.R.R. Jr. pp.R. 9 Rollo (G. Atty. 183752). 183752). rollo (G.R. Sec. 10 Supplement to Petition (with motion for leave) of August 11. pp. pp. No. 3-33.R. 14 Rollo (G. Joseph Brendo Ajero.20. Uldarico Mejorada II. 3-33.7 Composed of its Chairperson. pp. Edgar Baguio. pp. pp. Represented by Mayor Noel Deano. 183591). Rollo (G. Represented by Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar. 20 21 22 23 . pp. Represented by Governor Rolando Yebes. No. Seth Frederick Jaloslos. 173-246. rollo (G. No. No. 66-67. and Luzviminda Torrino. 3. 132-135. 68-71. 183591). No. Rodolfo Garcia. Cedric Adriatico. Fernando Cabigon. Sedfrey Candelaria. pp.R. 19 Rollo (G.

. http://www. as amended.milligazette..ii. Muslim World and the contemporary Ijma' on rules of governance . lecture delivered as part of the Ricardo Paras Lectures. 29 MOA-AD Terms of Reference.htm. An act to recognize.24 Rollo (G. 9054 entitled An Act to Strengthen and Expand the organic act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. a series jointly sponsored by the Commission on Bar Integration of the Supreme Court. http://www. 2008. 28 Ibid.R. Mamamlu sent to Kabungsuwan word of these things. entitled an act of providing for the autonomous region in muslim mindanao. September 24. pp. and for other purposes. creating a national commission on indigenous peoples. visited on September 18. 25 R. 183591).A.P. 26 R. No. appropriating funds therefor. 1. 6734. No. 451-453. Law Center. establishing implementing mechanisms. Muqtedar Khan Ph. 27 Cesar Adib Majul.A. visited on September 18. 2008.com/Archives/2004/01-15May04-PrintEdition/0105200471. and Syed Shahabuddin. 30 31 A traditional Muslim historical account of the acts of Shariff Kabungsuwan is quoted by historian Cesar Adib Majul in his book. par. Muslims in the Philippines (1973): After a time it came to pass that Mamalu.htm. 1997. journeyed to Cotabato. Concepts and Principles.com/khan04. who was the chief man next to Kabungsuwan. . October 29.islamfortoday. protect and promote the rights of indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples. as amended by R. The General Nature of Islamic Law and its Application in the Philippines. immigrant American Muslims and the Moral Dilemmas of Citizenship. vide M. He found there that many of the people had ceased to regard the teachings of the Koran and had fallen into evil ways. 6734. No. 8371.A. MOA-AD. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the U.A. 1977. Amending for the purpose republic act no.D.

Then he assembled together all the people. 4. adopted in 1985.Kabungsuwan with a portion of his warriors went from Malabang to Cotabato and found that the word sent to him by Mamamlu was true. 1. emphasis supplied). par. par. begins thus: "WE THE CHIEFS OF THE INDIAN FIRST NATIONS IN CANADA HAVING DECLARED: THAT our peoples are the original peoples of this land having been put here by the Creator. 2(c). prospered and increased." 37 Id. Those of them. Sultans of a Violent Land. Id. Id.. Id. MOA-AD. 6. . par. 3. x x x. 38 39 40 ... But the people of Kabungsuwan. (Citation omitted. with their wives and children. the leading advocacy group for the indigenous peoples of Canada. he drove out of the town into the hills. par. Warlords and Ulama: A Reader on Muslim Separatism and the War in Southern Philippines 99. who live to the east of Cotabato in the country into which their evil forefathers were driven. . in Rebels. par. and we Moros of today are their descendants. 36 The Charter of the Assembly of First Nations. who had done evilly and disregarded the teachings of the Koran thenceforth. Territory. 2(d).. Id. neither do they obey the teachings of the Koran . 33 34 35 Francisco L. par. And even to this day they worship not God. par. 2. Those wicked one who were thus cast out were the beginnings of the tribes of the Tirurais and Manobos. who regarded the teachings of the Koran and lived in fear of God. 32 Id.. Gonzales.. 103 (1999).

42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 "IN WITNESS WHEREOF. Court of Appeals. Cohen. Jr. 830. v.. No. 5.. 2(h). 157882. 3. US. 1950 (1968). 415. 219 U. Id. Ibid. par. par. March 30. par. Id. Id. par. 2(g)(1). par. Jr.R.41 Id. Gozun. House of Representatives. v. 219 US 346 (1911). 901-902 59 60 . Id. 4." 54 Vide 1987 Constitution. par. Vide Muskrat v. G.. 6. 485 SCRA 286. 354 Phil.] hereby affix their signatures.S. 2(e). Id. par. Id...S. 7. 2006.. Guingona.Ct. 1942. Id.. 2(i). 460 Phil. MOA-AD. MOA-AD. par.. 58 Vide U. Article VIII. Muskrat. 88 S. Id. 357 (1902). being the representatives of the Parties[. Section 1. Incorporated (DESAMA) v. Governance. par. 9. v. the undersigned. Flast v. 2(f).. Francisco. 55 56 57 Didipio Earth Savers' Multi-Purpose Association. 346. 427-428 (1998). par. Resources. par.

Vide Tañada v. 391 Phil. 183752. 77 78 . Baker v. Solicitor General's Comment to G. 186 (1962). 76 E.(2003) (citation omitted). supra note 74. Id. MOA-AD. Carr. Rule 65. 43 (2000). 338 Phil. Id. (2001).O. Angara. Secs. Vide Rules of Court. 9-11.R.S. Angara. Id. Sec. No. 1993. at 107-108. Rule 65. 3-7. at 526. 511 (1975). No. Sec. 3. 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 Although only one petition is denominated a petition for certiorari. 505 U. 3. 369 U. Vide id. 530 US 290 (2000). 72 Vide Rules of Court. pp. 10. 575 (1997). 61 Vide Warth v. 422 US 490. most petitions pray that the MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional/null and void. Seldin. pp. 73 74 75 Entitled Defining Policy and Administrative Structure for Government's Peace Efforts which reaffirms and reiterates Executive Order No. 546. 1 and 2.S. 144 (1992). at 175. 1. Tañada v. 125 of September 15. at 292.

Inc. 81 David v. Inc. 346 Phil. 410 Phil.R. Judge Revilla. 307. Amusement and Gaming Corp. 107921. Secretary of Energy.. v. Mendoza . 89 Supra note 81. 896 (2003). July 1. Integrated Bar of the Phils. Mathay. 171396. 223. Phil. Vide Compliance of September 1.79 Vicente V. 85 Vide NAACP v. 171 (1995). NHA. Hon. Inc. Court of Appeals. Perez. 2008 of respondents. Id. G. v. 489 SCRA 160. 392 Phil. Alabama. 618 (2000). 224 SCRA 236. 83 84 Del Mar v. 2006. 400 Phil. supra note 87. 328329 (2000) citing Phil. G. Jr. et al. 645 (1979).. 321 (1997). 830. 78 (2001). No. Macapagal-Arroyo. 2008 of respondents.R. G. May 27. 1993. Vide Manifestation of September 4. 372 Phil. Tatad v. v. No. citing Province of Batangas v. 357 U.R. Romulo. 82 Kilosbayan. 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 .. 460 Phil. Morato. Id. Romulo. May 3. v. v. Macasiano v. 152774. Zamora. v. 2004. 890 (1966). The House of Representatives. 88 Firestone Ceramics. supra note 80. Supra note 81. 180 Phil. 124 Phil. 80 Francisco. 429 SCRA 736. 320 Phil. 86 87 Province of Batangas v. Francisco. The House of Representatives. No. citing Lacson v. Judicial Review of Constitutional Questions 137 (2004). 401 (1999) citing Gibson v. Constitution Ass'n. 449 (1958).S. Jr.

July 14. 161400.S. Article III.S. 629 (1953). 478 Phil. September 2. 416 U. SANLAKAS v. October 15. 150 SCRA 530. Supra note 98.R. Dimaano. 343 Phil. supra note 87.97 Id. 308-310 (1897).R. G. Odegaard.T. Acop v. 2005. 43 (1944). Mirasol. Walling v. 476 (1997). Inc. 312 (1974). 106 Alunan III v. Civil Service Commission.S. 536 SCRA 290. 2006. PCGG. 466 Phil. No. 433 Phil. Legaspi v. Jr. 2008. Trans-Missouri Freight Assn. Chief Supt. May 29. August 22. 111 112 . 80 Phil. 863.S. Viola v. 372 U. 184 (1997). G. 99 US v. 383 (1948). Gray v. 178920. 941 (2004). 376 (1963). Guingona. v. No. 107 Constitution. G. Chavez v. 2007. No. 7. L-72119.. 368.. 868 (1976). 108 109 Legaspi v. No. Alunan III.. 323 U. citing Province of Batangas v. W. 37. 499 SCRA 434. Helmerich & Payne. 871 (1999). Civil Service Commission. Defunis v.R. 178830. 290. Baldoza v. Guingona Jr. 110 162 Phil.S. Grant Co. supra at 876. 447.. 166 U. supra note 98. Inc. 469 SCRA 388.R. 100 Supra note 87. 101 102 103 104 105 Ortega v. 482 (2004). 98 Id. Roble Arrastre. Executive Secretary Reyes. No. Quezon City Government. G. US v. citing Albaña v. Sanders. Villaflor. Chief Superintendent Acop v. 1987. supra note 109. 62 (2002).R. Sec. 342 Phil. 128509. Comelec. G. 345 U. Romulo. 366 Phil.

supra note 102. .. 122 Chavez v. 123 Vide V Record. G. Commission on Elections. Hon. Public Estates Authority. G. PCGG. PCGG. et al. 528 (1986). v. as it relates to or affects the public. 170 SCRA 256. 119 Valmonte v.113 Chavez v. 28. Sec. 124 Constitution. or simply because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen. 115 Respondents' Comment of August 4. 118 Legaspi v. Article II. PCGG. it is for the courts to determine on a case by case basis whether the matter at issue is of interest or importance. Tañada. Jr. et al. Tuvera. supra note 113. supra note 109 at 541.R. Ozaeta. February 13. 360 Phil 133. Civil Service Commission. 74930. 422 (1985). 220 Phil. 9. 164 (1998). v. supra note 108. Constitutional Commission 26-28 (September 24. `Public concern' like `public interest' is a term that eludes exact definition. Tuvera. 114 In Legaspi v. 177271. 506.. No. Belmonte. May 4. 2007. 532-533 (2002).R. 2008. Hon. p. In the final analysis. Civil Service Commission. 523 SCRA 1. 230 Phil. 1989. 1986) which is replete with such descriptive phrase used by Commissioner Blas Ople. Both terms embrace a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to know. 116 117 Tañada. Subido v. it was held that: In determining whether or not a particular information is of public concern there is no rigid test which can be applied. 120 Chavez v. Chavez v. supra note 109. 121 Bantay Republic Act or BA-RA 7941 v. either because these directly affect their lives. 433 Phil.

G. (Underscoring supplied) 131 Valmonte v. supra note 122. while the duty to allow access has a broader scope of information which embraces not only transactions involving public interest. Jr. Sec. 132 V Record." as proposed by Commissioner Davide [vide V Record. p. Constitutional Commission 28. supra note 119. 2007. 130 In Chavez v. 126 Vide Bernas. Constitutional Commission 25 (September 24. Sec. Executive Order No. Joaquin. 3 (2001). 3 (a). 44. Executive Order No. 331. Respondents' Memorandum of September 24. 8. August 15. 4 (b). 128 129 V Record. 134 135 136 137 138 . 530 SCRA 235. 1986). National Housing Authority. The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: A Commentary 100 (2003). 1986). par. Sec. The phrase "safeguards on national interest" that may be provided by law was subsequently replaced by "reasonable conditions. 6. 1986)]. Executive Order No. Joaquin. see also Sec. Sec. 3 (2001). Constitutional Commission 30 (September 24. but any matter contained in official communications and public documents of the government agency. 2008. 3 (2001). 30 (September 24. 164527.. V Record. The Intent of the 1986 Constitution Writers 155 (1995). 127 Vide Chavez v. 5 (b). the Court stated: x x x The duty to disclose covers only transactions involving public interest. 3 (2001). 133 Supra note 55. Executive Order No.125 Bernas. 10. 1986). Constitutional Commission 28-29 (September 24. Public Estates Authority. Belmonte.R. No.

. 27. 479 (2002). Reisman. supra note 120. 146 Vide MOA-AD "Concepts and Principles.M. 149 Tañada v. 151 "The former Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands is made up of the . 416 Phil. 16. Tuvera.. Board of Investments. 438 (2001). 508 SCRA 498. Republic Act No. 140 In their Memorandum. Cotabato. September 7. Sec.J. 39 Tex. 88637. 8371 or "The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997." Sec. p. 146 SCRA 446. 453 Phil. 13) 141 Cf. 2006. Public Estates Authority. No. November 29. G. No. 2 & 7 in relation to "Resources. (Memorandum of September 24. Cf. Chapter VIII. Sec.I. 3 (g). 177 SCRA 374. Chavez v. modification and review by the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity. on the acceptability of locating the registered enterprise within the community. Lanzanas. 456. PICOP Resources. inter alia. 2001 in Marawi City and Iligan City. Inc. and on January 18-19. 2001 in Midsayap. Sec. 1 (2003). G. Republic Act No. December 29.. 150 C. Int'l L.R. whenever necessary. vide Alvarez v. Free Association: The United States Experience. 2(c)." par. 142 143 144 145 Id. 147 Republic Act No. Bangus Fry Fisherfolk v." pars. 7160. No.139 Cf. 148 Id. 1989. 7160. on September 20.R. Keitner and W. 382-384 where it was held that the Omnibus Investment Code of 1987 mandates the holding of consultations with affected communities. L-63915. respondents made allegations purporting to show that consultations were conducted on August 30. 9 where vested property rights are made subject to the cancellation. 2008. Garcia v. 2002 in Metro Manila. 1986. 162243.

October 29. 2005. 3 (October 1920). 160. 462 SCRA 622.S. Establishing Implementing Mechanisms. which extend east of the Philippines and northeast of Indonesia in the North Pacific Ocean." (Ibid. the Marshall Islands.Caroline Islands. 70. 2nd ed.C. Hills. 26. Entitled ‘An Act Providing for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Resolving Indigenous Claims To SelfDetermination. 274 (1987). Haw. Creating A National Commission On Indigenous Peoples. 178-179 (1979). 156 An Act to Strengthen and Expand the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Dec. 158 90 Phil. 217 (1998).R. 164 Lorie M. 1976).N. 165 L. 171 (March 23. et al.. 3097.R. Special Supp.T. 1 (2004).N. 177 Phil. 6734. 1933.. Rev. And For Other Purposes. No. 73-74 (1951). 158088. 27 U.S. 632. Amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 155 G. Graham.T. 385 (2004). and the Northern Mariana Islands. 1997. International Law: Cases and Materials. 3 (January 3. L.T. 2001. 1976). Int'l & Comp. James . 159 160 161 162 163 League of Nations Official Journal. Free Association for Micronesia and the Marshall islands: A Political Status Model. Appropriating Funds Therefor. 10 ILSA J. 49 Stat. Protect And Promote The Rights Of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples. 19. No. Vide S. 2 S. 999 U. July 6.' as Amended. March 31. L. 154 Convention on Rights and Duties of States. 993 U.) 152 H. 153 Henkin.N.S. 157 An Act To Recognize.

Sec. 100 Am. 169 170 Kirsti Samuels. J." 165 Catherine J. Int'l L. Sections 15-21." 42 Tex. "Sovereignty Revisited: International Law And Parallel Sovereignty Of Indigenous Peoples. And The United Nations Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples. And. J. Soc'y Int'l L. Constitution. Superpower Attitudes Toward Indigenous Peoples And Group Rights. the U. the term indigenous is used in association with groups that maintain a continuity of cultural identity with historical communities that suffered some form of colonial invasion. J. Article VII. Self-Determination. 251 (1999): "In general.S. Proc. Article X.Anaya. 166 Federico Lenzerini. 172 Constitution. 663 (2006). 199 (1992). Peace Agreements: Their Nature And Legal Status. 482. Pa. all three terms should be considered virtually synonymous. 93 Am.'" 167 Defining The Approach And Administrative Structure For Government's Comprehensive Peace Efforts. 155 (2006). Int'l L. Res. September 15. Post-Conflict Peace-Building And ConstitutionMaking. Int'l L.J. Fromherz. statement to the UN on May 17. Iorns.' articulated in Article 4. Int'l L. L. is the core of the ‘self-determination. Indigenous Peoples' Courts: Egalitarian Juridical Pluralism. 519-520 (2004). 1993. 2007. 6 Chi. indeed. . Indigenous Peoples And Self Determination: Challenging State Sovereignty. 1341 (2008): "While Australia and the United States made much of the distinction between ‘self-government' and ‘selfdetermination' on September 13. 373 (2006). 18. 171 Christine Bell. 168 466 Phil. 156 U. under the DRIP [Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples]. Rev. Self-determination under the DRIP means ‘internal self-determination' when read in conjunction with Article 46. seems to use these two concepts interchangeably. and that by virtue of that continuity of cultural identity continue to distinguish themselves from others. 24 Case W. Vide Christopher J. 2004. and ‘self-government.

at 413. 180 (August 11. 2004]. Constitutional Commission.C. 280 (2006). 1986).). Constitution.C. Art.R. 183 1986 I. 303 (1976). Cases and Commentary. at 412. 1986 WL 15621 (I. 2006. 5. 1986.C.J. content. G. 249 (1973). The form. 505 SCRA 160.J. 253. and manner of preparation of the budget shall be prescribed by law. December 22. 182 M. 181 1974 I. Planas v. VII. 151 Phil.J. 3rd ed.C. 174153. Id.173 III Record. 174 175 176 177 178 179 Article VI. SCSL-2004-15AR72(E).J. No. 165 Phil. Noyes.). 1974 WL 3 (I. Sec. October 25. Kallon and Kamara [Case No. SCSL-2004-16-AR72(E). 264-265. COMELEC. Janis and J. 554. 217. Section 25 (1) of the Constitution states as follows: "The Congress may not increase the appropriations recommended by the President for the operation of the Government as specified in the budget." 180 Prosecutor v. Id. March 13. International Law. 184 .

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