SECOND DIVISION [G.R. No. 119602. October 6, 2000] WILDVALLEY SHIPPING CO., LTD. petitioner, vs.

COURT OF APPEALS and PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT LINES INC., respondents. DECISION
BUENA, J.:

This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals which reversed the decision of the lower court in CA-G.R. CV No. 36821, entitled "Wildvalley Shipping Co., Ltd., plaintiff-appellant, versus Philippine President Lines, Inc., defendant-appellant." The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: Sometime in February 1988, the Philippine Roxas, a vessel owned by Philippine President Lines, Inc., private respondent herein, arrived in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, to load iron ore. Upon the completion of the loading and when the vessel was ready to leave port, Mr. Ezzar del Valle Solarzano Vasquez, an official pilot of Venezuela, was designated by the harbour authorities in Puerto Ordaz to navigate the Philippine Roxas through the Orinoco River. He was asked to pilot the said vessel on February 11, 1988 boarding it that night at 11:00 p.m. The master (captain) of the Philippine Roxas, Captain Nicandro Colon, was at the bridge together with the pilot (Vasquez), the vessel's third mate (then the officer on watch), and a helmsman when the vessel left the port at 1:40 a.m. on February 12, 1988. Captain Colon left the bridge when the vessel was under way. The Philippine Roxas experienced some vibrations when it entered the San Roque Channel at mile 172. The vessel proceeded on its way, with the pilot assuring the watch officer that the vibration was a result of the shallowness of the channel. Between mile 158 and 157, the vessel again experienced some vibrations. These occurred at 4:12 a.m. It was then that the watch officer called the master to the bridge. The master (captain) checked the position of the vessel and verified that it was in the centre of the channel. He then went to confirm, or set down, the position of the vessel on the chart. He ordered Simplicio A. Monis, Chief Officer of the President Roxas, to check all the double bottom tanks. At around 4:35 a.m., the Philippine Roxas ran aground in the Orinoco River, thus obstructing the ingress and egress of vessels.

As a result of the blockage, the Malandrinon, a vessel owned by herein petitioner Wildvalley Shipping Company, Ltd., was unable to sail out of Puerto Ordaz on that day. Subsequently, Wildvalley Shipping Company, Ltd. filed a suit with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch III against Philippine President Lines, Inc. and Pioneer Insurance Company (the underwriter/insurer of Philippine Roxas) for damages in the form of unearned profits, and interest thereon amounting to US $400,000.00 plus attorney's fees, costs, and expenses of litigation. The complaint against Pioneer Insurance Company was dismissed in an Order dated November 7, 1988. At the pre-trial conference, the parties agreed on the following facts: "1. The jurisdictional facts, as specified in their respective pleadings; "2. That defendant PPL was the owner of the vessel Philippine Roxas at the time of the incident; "3. That defendant Pioneer Insurance was the insurance underwriter for defendant PPL; "4. That plaintiff Wildvalley Shipping Co., Inc. is the owner of the vessel Malandrinon, whose passage was obstructed by the vessel Philippine Roxas at Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, as specified in par. 4, page 2 of the complaint; "5. That on February 12, 1988, while the Philippine Roxas was navigating the channel at Puerto Ordaz, the said vessel grounded and as a result, obstructed navigation at the channel; "6. That the Orinoco River in Puerto Ordaz is a compulsory pilotage channel; "7. That at the time of the incident, the vessel, Philippine Roxas, was under the command of the pilot Ezzar Solarzano, assigned by the government thereat, but plaintiff claims that it is under the command of the master; "8. The plaintiff filed a case in Middleburg, Holland which is related to the present case; "9. The plaintiff caused the arrest of the Philippine Collier, a vessel owned by the defendant PPL; "10. The Orinoco River is 150 miles long and it takes approximately 12 hours to navigate out of the said river; "11. That no security for the plaintiff's claim was given until after the Philippine Collier was arrested; and "12. That a letter of guarantee, dated 12-May-88 was issued by the Steamship Mutual Underwriters Ltd."

The trial court rendered its decision on October 16, 1991 in favor of the petitioner, Wildvalley Shipping Co., Ltd. The dispositive portion thereof reads as follows: "WHEREFORE, judgment is rendered for the plaintiff, ordering defendant Philippine President Lines, Inc. to pay to the plaintiff the sum of U.S. $259,243.43, as actual and compensatory damages, and U.S. $162,031.53, as expenses incurred abroad for its foreign lawyers, plus additional sum of U.S. $22,000.00, as and for attorney's fees of plaintiff's local lawyer, and to pay the cost of this suit. "Defendant's counterclaim is dismissed for lack of merit. "SO ORDERED." Both parties appealed: the petitioner appealing the non-award of interest with the private respondent questioning the decision on the merits of the case. After the requisite pleadings had been filed, the Court of Appeals came out with its questioned decision dated June 14, 1994, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: "WHEREFORE, finding defendant-appellant's appeal to be meritorious, judgment is hereby rendered reversing the Decision of the lower court. Plaintiff-appellant's Complaint is dismissed and it is ordered to pay defendant-appellant the amount of Three Hundred Twenty-three Thousand, Forty-two Pesos and Fifty-three Centavos (P323,042.53) as and for attorney's fees plus cost of suit. Plaintiff-appellant's appeal is DISMISSED. "SO ORDERED." Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied for lack of merit in the resolution
dated March 29, 1995.

Hence, this petition. The petitioner assigns the following errors to the court a quo: 1. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN FINDING THAT UNDER PHILIPPINE LAW NO FAULT OR NEGLIGENCE CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE MASTER NOR THE OWNER OF THE "PHILIPPINE ROXAS" FOR THE GROUNDING OF SAID VESSEL RESULTING IN THE BLOCKAGE OF THE RIO ORINOCO; 2. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN REVERSING THE FINDINGS OF FACTS OF THE TRIAL COURT CONTRARY TO EVIDENCE; 3. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE "PHILIPPINE ROXAS" IS SEAWORTHY;

4. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN DISREGARDING VENEZUELAN LAW DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE SAME HAS BEEN SUBSTANTIALLY PROVED IN THE TRIAL COURT WITHOUT ANY OBJECTION FROM PRIVATE RESPONDENT, AND WHOSE OBJECTION WAS INTERPOSED BELATEDLY ON APPEAL; 5. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN AWARDING ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS TO PRIVATE RESPONDENT WITHOUT ANY FAIR OR REASONABLE BASIS WHATSOEVER; 6. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT PETITIONER'S CAUSE IS MERITORIOUS HENCE, PETITIONER SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO ATTORNEY'S FEES, COSTS AND INTEREST. The petition is without merit. The primary issue to be determined is whether or not Venezuelan law is applicable to the case at bar. It is well-settled that foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of them. Like any other fact, they must be alleged and proved. A distinction is to be made as to the manner of proving a written and an unwritten law. The former falls under Section 24, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, as amended, the entire provision of which is quoted hereunder. Where the foreign law sought to be proved is "unwritten," the oral testimony of expert witnesses is admissible, as are printed and published books of reports of decisions of the courts of the country concerned if proved to be commonly admitted in such courts. Section 24 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, as amended, provides: "Sec. 24. Proof of official record. -- The record of public documents referred to in paragraph (a) of Section 19, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if the record is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer has the custody. If the office in which the record is kept is in a foreign country, the certificate may be made by a secretary of the embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office." (Underscoring supplied) The court has interpreted Section 25 (now Section 24) to include competent evidence like the testimony of a witness to prove the existence of a written foreign law. In the noted case of Willamette Iron & Steel Works vs. Muzzal, it was held that:

"… Mr. Arthur W. Bolton, an attorney-at-law of San Francisco, California, since the year 1918 under oath, quoted verbatim section 322 of the California Civil Code and stated that said section was in force at the time the obligations of defendant to the plaintiff were incurred, i.e. on November 5, 1928 and December 22, 1928. This evidence sufficiently established the fact that the section in question was the law of the State of California on the above dates. A reading of sections 300 and 301 of our Code of Civil Procedure will convince one that these sections do not exclude the presentation of other competent evidence to prove the existence of a foreign law. "`The foreign law is a matter of fact …You ask the witness what the law is; he may, from his recollection, or on producing and referring to books, say what it is.' (Lord Campbell concurring in an opinion of Lord Chief Justice Denman in a well-known English case where a witness was called upon to prove the Roman laws of marriage and was permitted to testify, though he referred to a book containing the decrees of the Council of Trent as controlling, Jones on Evidence, Second Edition, Volume 4, pages 3148-3152.) x x x.” We do not dispute the competency of Capt. Oscar Leon Monzon, the Assistant Harbor Master and Chief of Pilots at Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, to testify on the existence of the Reglamento General de la Ley de Pilotaje (pilotage law of Venezuela) and the Reglamento Para la Zona de Pilotaje No 1 del Orinoco (rules governing the navigation of the Orinoco River). Captain Monzon has held the aforementioned posts for eight years. As such he is in charge of designating the pilots for maneuvering and navigating the Orinoco River. He is also in charge of the documents that come into the office of the harbour masters. Nevertheless, we take note that these written laws were not proven in the manner provided by Section 24 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. The Reglamento General de la Ley de Pilotaje was published in the Gaceta Oficialof the Republic of Venezuela. A photocopy of the Gaceta Oficial was presented in evidence as an official publication of the Republic of Venezuela. The Reglamento Para la Zona de Pilotaje No 1 del Orinoco is published in a book issued by the Ministerio de Comunicaciones of Venezuela. Only a photocopy of the said rules was likewise presented as evidence. Both of these documents are considered in Philippine jurisprudence to be public documents for they are the written official acts, or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority, official bodies and tribunals, and public officers of Venezuela. For a copy of a foreign public document to be admissible, the following requisites are mandatory: (1) It must be attested by the officer having legal custody of the records or by his deputy; and (2) It must be accompanied by a certificate by a secretary of the embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consular or consular agent or foreign service officer, and with the seal of his office. The latter requirement is not a mere technicality but is intended to justify the giving of full faith and credit to the genuineness of a document in a foreign country.

It is not enough that the Gaceta Oficial, or a book published by the Ministerio de Comunicaciones of Venezuela, was presented as evidence with Captain Monzon attesting it. It is also required by Section 24 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court that a certificate that Captain Monzon, who attested the documents, is the officer who had legal custody of those records made by a secretary of the embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in Venezuela, and authenticated by the seal of his office accompanying the copy of the public document. No such certificate could be found in the records of the case. With respect to proof of written laws, parol proof is objectionable, for the written law itself is the best evidence. According to the weight of authority, when a foreign statute is involved, the best evidence rule requires that it be proved by a duly authenticated copy of the statute. At this juncture, we have to point out that the Venezuelan law was not pleaded before the lower court. A foreign law is considered to be pleaded if there is an allegation in the pleading about the existence of the foreign law, its import and legal consequence on the event or transaction in issue. A review of the Complaint revealed that it was never alleged or invoked despite the fact that the grounding of the M/V Philippine Roxas occurred within the territorial jurisdiction of Venezuela. We reiterate that under the rules of private international law, a foreign law must be properly pleaded and proved as a fact. In the absence of pleading and proof, the laws of a foreign country, or state, will be presumed to be the same as our own local or domestic law and this is known as processual presumption. Having cleared this point, we now proceed to a thorough study of the errors assigned by the petitioner. Petitioner alleges that there was negligence on the part of the private respondent that would warrant the award of damages. There being no contractual obligation, the private respondent is obliged to give only the diligence required of a good father of a family in accordance with the provisions of Article 1173 of the New Civil Code, thus: “Art. 1173. The fault or negligence of the obligor consists in the omission of that diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the circumstances of the persons, of the time and of the place. When negligence shows bad faith, the provisions of articles 1171 and 2201, paragraph 2, shall apply. “If the law or contract does not state the diligence which is to be observed in the performance, that which is expected of a good father of a family shall be required.”

The diligence of a good father of a family requires only that diligence which an ordinary prudent man would exercise with regard to his own property. This we have found private respondent to have exercised when the vessel sailed only after the "main engine, machineries, and other auxiliaries" were checked and found to be in good running condition; when the master left a competent officer, the officer on watch on the bridge with a pilot who is experienced in navigating the Orinoco River; when the master ordered the inspection of the vessel's double bottom tanks when the vibrations occurred anew. The Philippine rules on pilotage, embodied in Philippine Ports Authority Administrative Order No. 03-85, otherwise known as the Rules and Regulations Governing Pilotage Services, the Conduct of Pilots and Pilotage Fees in Philippine Ports enunciate the duties and responsibilities of a master of a vessel and its pilot, among other things. The pertinent provisions of the said administrative order governing these persons are quoted hereunder: “Sec. 11. Control of Vessels and Liability for Damage. -- On compulsory pilotage grounds, the Harbor Pilot providing the service to a vessel shall be responsible for the damage caused to a vessel or to life and property at ports due to his negligence or fault. He can be absolved from liability if the accident is caused by force majeure or natural calamities provided he has exercised prudence and extra diligence to prevent or minimize the damage. “The Master shall retain overall command of the vessel even on pilotage grounds whereby he can countermand or overrule the order or command of the Harbor Pilot on board. In such event, any damage caused to a vessel or to life and property at ports by reason of the fault or negligence of the Master shall be the responsibility and liability of the registered owner of the vessel concerned without prejudice to recourse against said Master. “Such liability of the owner or Master of the vessel or its pilots shall be determined by competent authority in appropriate proceedings in the light of the facts and circumstances of each particular case. “x x x “Sec. 32. Duties and Responsibilities of the Pilots or Pilots’ Association. -- The duties and responsibilities of the Harbor Pilot shall be as follows: “x x x “f) A pilot shall be held responsible for the direction of a vessel from the time he assumes his work as a pilot thereof until he leaves it anchored or berthed safely; Provided, however, that his responsibility shall cease at the moment the Master neglects or refuses to carry out his order." The Code of Commerce likewise provides for the obligations expected of a captain of a vessel, to wit:

“Art. 612. The following obligations shall be inherent in the office of captain: “x x x "7. To be on deck on reaching land and to take command on entering and leaving ports, canals, roadsteads, and rivers, unless there is a pilot on board discharging his duties. x x x.” The law is very explicit. The master remains the overall commander of the vessel even when there is a pilot on board. He remains in control of the ship as he can still perform the duties conferred upon him by law despite the presence of a pilot who is temporarily in charge of the vessel. It is not required of him to be on the bridge while the vessel is being navigated by a pilot. However, Section 8 of PPA Administrative Order No. 03-85, provides: “Sec. 8. Compulsory Pilotage Service - For entering a harbor and anchoring thereat, or passing through rivers or straits within a pilotage district, as well as docking and undocking at any pier/wharf, or shifting from one berth or another, every vessel engaged in coastwise and foreign trade shall be under compulsory pilotage. “xxx.” The Orinoco River being a compulsory pilotage channel necessitated the engaging of a pilot who was presumed to be knowledgeable of every shoal, bank, deep and shallow ends of the river. In his deposition, pilot Ezzar Solarzano Vasquez testified that he is an official pilot in the Harbour at Port Ordaz, Venezuela, and that he had been a pilot for twelve (12) years. He also had experience in navigating the waters of the Orinoco River. The law does provide that the master can countermand or overrule the order or command of the harbor pilot on board. The master of the Philippine Roxas deemed it best not to order him (the pilot) to stop the vessel, mayhap, because the latter had assured him that they were navigating normally before the grounding of the vessel. Moreover, the pilot had admitted that on account of his experience he was very familiar with the configuration of the river as well as the course headings, and that he does not even refer to river charts when navigating the Orinoco River. Based on these declarations, it comes as no surprise to us that the master chose not to regain control of the ship. Admitting his limited knowledge of the Orinoco River, Captain Colon relied on the knowledge and experience of pilot Vasquez to guide the vessel safely. “Licensed pilots, enjoying the emoluments of compulsory pilotage, are in a different class from ordinary employees, for they assume to have a skill and a knowledge of navigation in the particular waters over which their licenses extend superior to that of the master; pilots are bound to use due diligence and reasonable care and skill. A pilot's ordinary skill is in proportion to the pilot's responsibilities, and implies a knowledge and observance of the usual rules of navigation, acquaintance with the waters piloted in their ordinary condition, and nautical skill in avoiding all known obstructions. The character of the skill and knowledge required of a pilot in charge of a vessel on the rivers of a country is very different from that which enables a navigator to carry a

for in such a case the master acts voluntarily. but is forced upon them. For the said doctrine to apply. And it will make no difference in the case that the pilot. or other dangers of the way. and the owner also. by whose negligence any injury happens to a third person or his property: as. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur does not apply to the case at bar because the circumstances surrounding the injury do not clearly indicate negligence on the part of the private respondent. bulletin on the buoys. But the pilot of a river vessel. is liable for any injury done by the negligence of the crew employed in the ship. for in such a case the pilot cannot be deemed properly the servant of the master or the owner. We. then. In the case of Homer Ramsdell Transportation Company vs. On the other hand. and in such case. is required to be a licensed pilot. if he is bound to do so under penalty. while there was none. a knowledge of the rules of navigation." We find that the grounding of the vessel is attributable to the pilot. soundings of the river. and. although he is necessarily required to select from a particular class. are the main elements of a pilot's knowledge and skill. and pilot Vasquez replied that "(they) were in the middle of the channel and that the vibration was as (sic) a result of the shallowness of the channel. caused damage to the vessel. depth of the river. and . for example. dangerous shores. is selected for the individual's personal knowledge of the topography through which the vessel is steered. we find that. a fortiori. the following conditions must be met: (1) the accident was of such character as to warrant an inference that it would not have happened except for defendant's negligence. to wit: contacting the radio marina via VHF for information regarding the channel. (2) the accident must have been caused by an agency or instrumentality within the exclusive management or control of the person charged with the negligence complained of. at his pleasure. river traffic. Ezzar Solarzano Vasquez. La Compagnie Generale Transatlantique. When the vibrations were first felt the watch officer asked him what was going on. if any is employed. he should have been aware of the portions which are shallow and which are not. and the maxim Qui facit per alium facit per se does not apply. The same doctrine will apply to the case of a pilot employed by the master or owner." Pilot Ezzar Solarzano Vasquez was assigned to pilot the vessel Philippine Roxas as well as other vessels on the Orinoco River due to his knowledge of the same. if it is compulsive upon the master to take a pilot. In his experience as a pilot. therefore. 406.vessel safely in the ocean. neither he nor the owner will be liable for injuries occasioned by the negligence of the pilot. the voyage has been sufficiently planned and monitored as shown by the following actions undertaken by the pilot. provided the master is at liberty to take a pilot. occasioned by his negligence." (Underscoring supplied) Anent the river passage plan. 182 U. or not. The officer on watch also monitored the voyage. it was held that: “x x x The master of a ship. like the harbor pilot. by a collision with another ship. Thus. we hold him as negligent and liable for its grounding. His failure to determine the depth of the said river and his decision to plod on his set course.S. do not find the absence of a river passage plan to be the cause for the grounding of the vessel. with charts that disclose the places of hidden rocks. in all probability. On the ocean.

The vessel is fit to travel even with defects? Is that what you mean? Explain. "WITNESS "A Yes. "COURT What do you mean by that? You explain. wherein recommendations were made on the top side tank. and she is fit to travel during that voyage. a marine surveyor. are absent. did top side tank have any bearing at all to the seaworthiness of the vessel? "A Well." The same would not have been issued had not the vessel been built according to the standards set by Lloyd's. MISA Before we proceed to other matter. at Lloyd's Register of Shipping testified thus: "Q Now.e. two of the requisites necessary for the doctrine to apply. As to the claim that the ship was unseaworthy. your Honor.(3) the accident must not have been due to any voluntary action or contribution on the part of the person injured. it means that the vessel is fit to travel even with those defects on the ship. there was a temporary shift of control over the ship from the master of the vessel to the pilot on a compulsory pilotage channel. the vessel was class or maintained. 1988 by finding that "the above named ship (Philippine Roxas) maintained the class "+100A1 Strengthened for Ore Cargoes. 2 and 8 Holds may be empty (CC) and +LMC" from 31/12/87 up until the time of casualty on or about 12/2/88. negligence and control. and also basing on the class record of the vessel.. and it was given sufficient time to be repaired. Because the class society which register (sic) is the third party looking into the condition of the vessel and as far as their record states. to render the respondent liable. we hold that it is not. mean? "WITNESS . i. will you kindly tell us what is (sic) the 'class +100A1 Strengthened for Ore Cargoes'. Nos. Thus. as a surveyor. The Lloyd’s Register of Shipping confirmed the vessel’s seaworthiness in a Confirmation of Class issued on February 16. As has already been held above. in your opinion. Samuel Lim." “x x x "ATTY. judging on this particular vessel.

contemplated by the parties to the policy. machineries and all other auxiliaries and found them all to be in good running condition and ready for maneuvering. meaning? "A Meaning she is fit to travel. 2208. or seaworthy. 8 holds empty. your Honor. we find the award of attorney’s fee justified. and to encounter the ordinary perils of the voyage. To be seaworthy."A Plus 100A1 means that the vessel was built according to Lloyd's rules and she is capable of carrying ore bulk cargoes. In the absence of stipulation. “x x x "COURT The vessel is classed. "Q. we quote the deposition of pilot Vasquez: "Q Was there any instance when your orders or directions were not complied with because of the inability of the vessel to do so? "A No. he checked and prepared the main engine. cannot be recovered. Engineer Mata also prepared the fuel for consumption for maneuvering and checked the engine generators. except: “x x x "(11) In any other case where the court deems it just and equitable that attorney's fees and expenses of litigation should be recovered. attorney's fees and expenses of litigation. That same day the main engine. Mata. bridge and engine telegraph and steering gear motor were also tested. . As further evidence that the vessel was seaworthy. a ship must be reasonably fit to perform the services. but she is particularly capable of carrying Ore Cargoes with No. other than judicial costs.” Eduardo P. Article 2208 of the New Civil Code provides that: "Art. Finally." It is not required that the vessel must be perfect. Second Engineer of the Philippine Roxas submitted an accident report wherein he stated that on February 11. 1988. The vessel was navigating normally. 2 and No. Was the vessel able to respond to all your commands and orders? "A.

Camarines Sur. 36821 is AFFIRMED. 1927 to September 30. CV No.. The Facts The deceased Lorenzo N. in Nabua. JJ. SO ORDERED. concur. Camarines Sur. Jr. FIRST DIVISION [G. Llorente was an enlisted serviceman of the United States Navy from March 10. Llorente (herinafter referred to as “Alicia”). Before the outbreak of the Pacific War.: The Case The case raises a conflict of laws issue. Iriga City declaring respondent Alicia F. respondents. No. Lorenzo departed for the United States and Paula stayed in the conjugal home in barrio Antipolo. Nabua. petitioner. COURT OF APPEALS and ALICIA F. Camarines Sur. (Chairman).R. LLORENTE. vs. What is before us is an appeal from the decision of the Court of Appeals modifying that of the Regional Trial Court. thus the award of attorney’s fees was proper. DECISION PARDO. Llorente (hereinafter referred to as “Lorenzo”) may have acquired during the twenty-five (25) years that they lived together as husband and wife. Branch 35. the petition is DENIED and the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G. 1937. the private respondent was unjustifiably forced to litigate. 2000] PAULA T.. WHEREFORE.“x x x” Due to the unfounded filing of this case. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. Quisumbing.R. Bellosillo. On February 22. Mendoza. as co-owners of whatever property she and the deceased Lorenzo N. 124371. J. Roman Catholic Church. November 23. LLORENTE. 1957. Lorenzo and petitioner Paula Llorente (hereinafter referred to as “Paula”) were married before a parish priest. . and De leon.

(2) they would dissolve their marital union in accordance with judicial proceedings. On December 4. 1958. John Riley. S. all surnamed Llorente. Ceferino Llorente. 1981. Navy. for the County of San Diego found all factual allegations to be true and issued an interlocutory judgment of divorce. On January 16. 1952. From 1958 to 1985. Paula gave birth to a boy registered in the Office of the Registrar of Nabua as “Crisologo Llorente. Raul. Luz and Beverly. Lorenzo married Alicia F. 1951. Lorenzo and Alicia lived together as husband and wife. The agreement was notarized by Notary Public Pedro Osabel. Upon the liberation of the Philippines by the American Forces in 1945. and actively participated in the proceedings. On December 4. On March 13. the Superior Court of the State of California. The agreement was signed by both Lorenzo and Paula and was witnessed by Paula’s father and stepmother. In the meantime. Alicia had no knowledge of the first marriage even if they resided in the same town as Paula. to visit his wife and he visited the Philippines. Southern District of New York. Lorenzo executed a Last Will and Testament. Lorenzo returned to the United States and on November 16.On November 30. Lorenzo was granted an accrued leave by the U. Llorente in Manila. On November 27. the divorce decree became final. Lorenzo refused to forgive Paula and live with her. Lorenzo was admitted to United States citizenship and Certificate of Naturalization No. He discovered that his wife Paula was pregnant and was “living in” and having an adulterous relationship with his brother. 1943. In fact. 1945. Apparently. Occiano.” with the certificate stating that the child was not legitimate and the line for the father’s name was left blank. duly signed by Lorenzo with attesting . The will was notarized by Notary Public Salvador M. Paula was represented by counsel. the couple drew a written agreement to the effect that (1) all the family allowances allotted by the United States Navy as part of Lorenzo’s salary and all other obligations for Paula’s daily maintenance and support would be suspended. 1951 filed for divorce with the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of San Diego. Lorenzo returned to the Philippines. (3) they would make a separate agreement regarding their conjugal property acquired during their marital life. and (4) Lorenzo would not prosecute Paula for her adulterous act since she voluntarily admitted her fault and agreed to separate from Lorenzo peacefully. 5579816 was issued in his favor by the United States District Court. Their twenty-five (25) year union produced three children. 1946. on February 2. who did not oppose the marriage or cohabitation.

my real properties located in Quezon City Philippines. ceded. Barangay Baras. Lorenzo filed with the Regional Trial Court. whether real or personal properties. Nabua. specifically my real properties located at Barangay Aro-Aldao. Camarines Sur. FORTUNO to be the sole executor of this my Last Will and Testament. and Barangay Paloyon. Sitio Nalilidong. Luz F. Fortuno and unto my children. Llorente. Iriga. codicils.witnesses Francisco Hugo. all my real properties whatsoever and wheresoever located. Camarines Sur. by me. if of age. “(7) I hereby revoke any and all my other wills. Llorente. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. Barangay Paloyon. including ALL the personal properties and other movables or belongings that may be found or existing therein. “(4) That their respective shares in the above-mentioned properties. ceded. signed. and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No.” On December 14. in equal shares. “(3) I likewise give and bequeath exclusively unto my wife Alicia R. Llorente and Beverly F. Luz F. 1983. Sitio Puga. Philippines. In the will. Nabua. a petition for the probate and allowance of his last will and testament wherein Lorenzo moved that Alicia be appointed Special Administratrix of his estate. conveyed and disposed of by and among themselves. any of my children in the order of age. in equal shares. 124196 and 165188. 188652. Llorente and Beverly F. Camarines Sur. Nabua. “(2) I give and bequeath exclusively to my wife Alicia R. to wit: “(1) I give and bequeath to my wife ALICIA R. shall not be disposed of. Francisco Neibres and Tito Trajano. Lorenzo bequeathed all his property to Alicia and their three children. FORTUNO exclusively my residential house and lot. Raul F. Camarines Sur. Camarines Sur. “(6) I hereby direct that the executor named herein or her lawful substitute should served (sic) without bond. “(5) I designate my wife ALICIA R. Llorente. both of the Registry of Deeds of the province of Rizal. Nabua. . Philippines. Nabua. Llorente. Fortuno and to my children. sold and conveyed to any other persons. no relatives of mine in any degree in the Llorente’s Side should ever bother and disturb in any manner whatsoever my wife Alicia R. or testamentary dispositions heretofore executed. Fortunato and my children with respect to any real or personal properties I gave and bequeathed respectively to each one of them by virtue of this Last Will and Testament. but could only be sold. located at San Francisco. Camarines Sur. or published. and in her default or incapacity of the latter to act. Philippines. and my lands in Antipolo. Raul F. “(8) It is my final wish and desire that if I die. Rizal.

On December 13. On October 14. Lorenzo died. No. 1987. 1985. for them to partition in equal shares and also entitled to the remaining free portion in equal shares. a petition for the issuance of letters testamentary. On May 18. the Regional Trial Court issued a joint decision. 1985. Lorenzo Llorente. the trial court gave due course to Paula’s petition in Sp. encroaching on her legitime and 1/2 share in the conjugal property. 1985. before the proceedings could be terminated. “On the other hand. 13 and 20. without terminating the testate proceedings. Paula contended (1) that she was Lorenzo’s surviving spouse. and so declares the intrinsic disposition of the will of Lorenzo Llorente dated March 13. IR-755). “Petitioner. On November 6. This being so the petition of Alicia F. Llorente for the issuance of letters testamentary is denied. Likewise. and estate which shall at any time . As such let the corresponding letters of administration issue in her favor upon her filing a bond in the amount ( sic) of P100. 739 (1). considering that this court has so found that the divorce decree granted to the late Lorenzo Llorente is void and inapplicable in the Philippines. Llorente is also entitled to one-third of the estate and then one-third should go to the illegitimate children. Proc. 1985. 1984. therefore the marriage he contracted with Alicia Fortunato on January 16. 1981 as void and declares her entitled as conjugal partner and entitled to one-half of their conjugal properties.On January 18. Paula filed with the same court a petition for letters of administration over Lorenzo’s estate in her favor. Alicia filed in the testate proceeding (Sp.00 conditioned for her to make a return to the court within three (3) months a true and complete inventory of all goods. chattels. and as primary compulsory heir. IR-888. rights. she is not entitled to receive any share from the estate even if the will especially said so her relationship with Lorenzo having gained the status of paramour which is under Art. Proc. (3) that Lorenzo’s will disposed of all his property in favor of Alicia and her children. 1958 at Manila is likewise void. the order was published in the newspaper “Bicol Star”. Raul. the trial court admitted the will to probate. meritorious. No.000. thus: “Wherefore. On January 24. 1985. Paula Llorente is appointed legal administrator of the estate of the deceased. all surname ( sic) Llorente. 1984. and credits. Luz and Beverly. On September 4. the trial court denied the motion for the reason that the testator Lorenzo was still alive. the court finds the petition of Paula Titular Llorente. (2) that the various property were acquired during their marriage. On June 11. finding that the will was duly executed. Paula T.

On March 21. the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that Alicia is declared as co-owner of whatever properties she and the deceased may have acquired during the twenty-five (25) years of cohabitation. the Court of Appeals. legacies and charges on the same. Alicia filed with the trial court a motion for reconsideration of the aforequoted decision. Amending its decision of May 18. to render a true and just account of her administration to the court within one (1) year. 1995. 1987. 1995. 1987. Who are entitled to inherit from the late Lorenzo N. the issue is simple. “SO ORDERED. stating that Raul and Luz Llorente are not children “legitimate or otherwise” of Lorenzo since they were not legally adopted by him. and at any other time when required by the court and to perform all orders of this court by her to be performed. Hence.” On August 25.” In time. On September 28. denied the motion for lack of merit. entitling her to one-third (1/3) of the estate and onethird (1/3) of the free portion of the estate. and from the proceeds to pay and discharge all debts. or such dividends thereon as shall be decreed or required by this court. “SO ORDERED. On July 31. petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a motion for reconsideration of the decision. “On the other matters prayed for in respective petitions for want of evidence could not be granted. this petition. The Issue Stripping the petition of its legalese and sorting through the various arguments raised. 1996. Llorente? . the trial court denied Alicia’s motion for reconsideration but modified its earlier decision. affirming with modification the decision of the trial court in this wise: “WHEREFORE. 1987. the trial court declared Beverly Llorente as the only illegitimate child of Lorenzo.come to her possession or to the possession of any other person for her. the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision. respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals. On September 14.

Llorente became an American citizen long before and at the time of: (1) his divorce from Paula. There is no such law governing the validity of testamentary provisions in the United States. even though living abroad. intestate and testamentary succession. the Court of Appeals did not admit the foreign law. issues arising from these incidents are necessarily governed by foreign law.We do not agree with the decision of the Court of Appeals. Philippine law. whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. First. is duly established. condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines. shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. and (4) death. both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions. The "national law" indicated in Article 16 of the Civil Code cannot possibly apply to general American law. Thus. there is no such thing as one American law. The Civil Code clearly provides: “Art. 16. or to the status. We note that while the trial court stated that the law of New York was not sufficiently proven. Laws relating to family rights and duties. (2) marriage to Alicia. where the case was “referred back” to the law of the decedent’s domicile. albeit equally unproven statement that “American law follows the ‘domiciliary theory’ hence. 15. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated.” ( emphasis ours) True. Like any other fact. admitted and undisputed. It can therefore refer to no other than the law of the State of which the decedent . they must be alleged and proved. Each State of the union has its own law applicable to its citizens and in force only within the State. “However. (3) execution of his will. Philippine law applies when determining the validity of Lorenzo’s will. We remand the case to the trial court for ruling on the intrinsic validity of the will of the deceased. in the same breath it made the categorical. “Art. The Applicable Law The fact that the late Lorenzo N. While the substance of the foreign law was pleaded. as a rule. in this case. The Court of Appeals and the trial court called to the fore the renvoi doctrine. foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of them.

We hold that the divorce obtained by Lorenzo H. we held that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code.was a resident. The Court of Appeals also disregarded the will. It declared Alice entitled to one half (1/2) of whatever property she and Lorenzo acquired during their cohabitation. In Pilapil v. In the same case. the Court ruled that aliens may obtain divorces abroad. only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces. There. is fatal. Jr. the effects of this divorce (as to the succession to the estate of the decedent) are matters best left to the determination of the trial court. already probated as duly executed in accordance with the formalities of Philippine law. and other public instruments shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they are executed . with nothing. there is no showing that the application of the renvoi doctrine is called for or required by New York State law. Court of Appeals. Llorente from his first wife Paula was valid and recognized in this jurisdiction as a matter of comity. The hasty application of Philippine law and the complete disregard of the will. The trial court threw the will out. Second. and her two children. especially in light of the factual and legal circumstances here obtaining . Raul and Luz. Validity of the Will The Civil Code provides: “Art. wills. Romillo. The trial court held that the will was intrinsically invalid since it contained dispositions in favor of Alice. the Federal Republic of Germany. who in the trial court’s opinion was a mere paramour. Citing this landmark case. that once proven that respondent was no longer a Filipino citizen when he obtained the divorce from petitioner. 17. leaving Alice. the Court held in Quita v. the same being considered contrary to our concept of public policy and morality. we stated that divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines insofar as respondent is concerned in view of the nationality principle in our civil law on the status of persons. For failing to apply these doctrines. provided they are valid according to their national law. applying Article 144 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. the ruling in Van Dorn would become applicable and petitioner could “very well lose her right to inherit” from him. The forms and solemnities of contracts. Ibay-Somera. we recognized the divorce obtained by the respondent in his country. . Now. the decision of the Court of Appeals must be reversed. Validity of the Foreign Divorce In Van Dorn v.

In fact. SO ORDERED. and Hofilena. SP. 1952. In lieu thereof. and Ynares-Santiago. R. Torres. JJ. the trial court should note that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes. not covered by our laws on “family rights and duties. Lipana-Reyes +. Having thus ruled.. Kapunan. Congress specifically left the amount of successional rights to the decedent's national law. since he was a foreigner. Jr. R. (Chairman). Congress did not intend to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals.” Whether the will is intrinsically valid and who shall inherit from Lorenzo are issues best proved by foreign law which must be pleaded and proved. We do not wish to frustrate his wishes. SP No.“When the acts referred to are executed before the diplomatic or consular officials of the Republic of the Philippines in a foreign country. concurring. 1995 is SET ASIDE. Whether the will was executed in accordance with the formalities required is answered by referring to Philippine law. concur.” ( underscoring ours) The clear intent of Lorenzo to bequeath his property to his second wife and children by her is glaringly shown in the will he executed. 1995. No costs. C. The Fallo WHEREFORE.. Further. the will was duly probated. we find it unnecessary to pass upon the other issues raised. No. ponente. the solemnities established by Philippine laws shall be observed in their execution. Davide. Llorente’s will and determination of the parties’ successional rights allowing proof of foreign law with instructions that the trial court shall proceed with all deliberate dispatch to settle the estate of the deceased within the framework of the Rules of Court. 17446 promulgated on July 31. the Court REMANDS the cases to the court of origin for determination of the intrinsic validity of Lorenzo N. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CAG..J. the Court REVERSES the decision of the Regional Trial Court and RECOGNIZES as VALID the decree of divorce granted in favor of the deceased Lorenzo N. condition and legal capacity. Puno. As a guide however. Jr. status. In CA-G. made final on December 4. the petition is GRANTED. .. JJ. promulgated on July 31. 17446. Llorente by the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of San Diego.. J.

1987. Exh. Petition No. 147. p. 60. Docketed as Spec. Trial Court Folder of Exhibits. p. Decision. Llorente. “A”. Ibid. IR-888 (Petition for the Grant of Letters of Administration for the Estate of Lorenzo N. Trial Court Folder of Exhibits. 52. 52. 52. Rollo. Exh. IR-755 (In the Matter of the Probate and Allowance of the Last Will and Testament of Lorenzo N. 37. Proc. “A”. Rollo. Exh. Comment. Court of Appeals. Rollo. Paula T. Ibid. 157. dated May 18. IR-755. Proc. Trial Court Folder of Exhibits. p. No. Docketed as Spec. RTC. 4708849. Rollo. Court. Trial Court Folder of Exhibits.In Spec. Rollo. Decision. Rollo. p. Court of Appeals. Decision. Exh. 159. 51. Trial Court Folder of Exhibits. Petitioner) and Spec. 51. 61. p. 62. Court of Appeals. Lorenzo N. Trial Court Folder of Exhibits. 61. No. p. Llorente. p. pp. Judge Esteban B. Ibid. “B”. Decision. Llorente. Exh. “H” and “H-3” Trial Court Folder of Exhibits. p. 3-4. Trial Court Folder of Exhibits. Ibid. Proc. p. Exh. Court of Appeals. Exhs.S. 69. No. p. “D”. 63-64. “B”. Rollo. “B-1” Trial Court Folder of Exhibits. 148. IR-888. Exh. p. Decision. No. “E”. Decision. Court of Appeals. filed with the U. p. presiding. . Proc. p. p. Petitioner). “F”. This was issued pursuant to Lorenzo’s petition. Llorente. pp. Exh. Abonal.

RTC Decision. pp. Jr. Joint Record on Appeal. Rollo. Docketed as CA-G.. Aznar v. “The following cannot adopt: xxx (3) a married person. In Re: Estate of Edward Christensen. Rollo. Court of Appeals. Collector of Internal Revenue v. 37. 53. Torres. p. 1996. Celia Lipana-Reyes + and Hector Hofilena for “gross ignorance of the law. Fisher. p. p. pp. p. 1995. 144 of the Civil Case has been repealed by Arts. the trial court reasoned that since the divorce obtained by Lorenzo did not dissolve his first marriage with Paula. Rollo. 52. Petitioner alleges (1) That the Court of Appeals lost its jurisdiction over the case when it issued the resolution denying the motion for reconsideration. 9-36. p. IR-755 and 888. Court of Appeals. petitioner also filed with this Court a verified complaint against the members of the Special Thirteenth Division. Rollo. concurred in by Associate Justices Justo P. Regional Trial Court in Spec. p. as Paula did not give her consent to it. 52-53. Nos. Order. Decision. and Hector Hofilena (Former Special Thirteenth Division). Rollo. 17446.Decision. 686 (1961). Helen Garcia. 96 (1963). Proc. then the adoption of Raul and Luz was void. Associate Justices Justo P. Court of Appeals. Torres. Filed on May 10. Rollo. (2) That Art. 110 Phil. without the consent of the other spouse.” Again with Associate Justice Celia Lipana-Reyes+. Regional Trial Court. 46. ponente. 255. p. Ibid. 38.. R. 117 Phil.. Rollo. p. 47. 19). p. 253 and 147 of the Family Code and (3) That Alicia and her children not are entitled to any share in the estate of the deceased ( Rollo. . 15). which states. Ibid. Rollo. p. manifest incompetence and extreme bias (Rollo. p. 56. Jr. Citing Article 335 of the Civil Code. RTC. On August 31. xxx”. 40. Decision. Order. SP No.

NACHURA. The ruling in the case of Tenchavez v.” (Underscoring ours) Bellis v. or to the status. 726 (1967).. 174 SCRA 653 (1989). . 126 Phil. condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines. Article 15.. Civil Code provides “Laws relating to family rights and duties. 752 [1965]) that provides that “a foreign divorce between Filipino citizens sought and decreed after the effectivity of the present civil code is not entitled to recognition as valid in this jurisdiction” is NOT applicable in the case at bar as Lorenzo was no longer a Filipino citizen when he obtained the divorce. No. 149177 Present: YNARES-SANTIAGO. and REYES. . LTD. THIRD DIVISION KAZUHIRO HASEGAWA and NIPPON ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS CO. Bellis. even though living abroad. JJ. Chairperson. J.R. CHICO-NAZARIO. G. Escano (122 Phil.139 SCRA 139 (1985). Petitioners. 300 SCRA 406 (1998)..versus AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ.

Respondent. petitioner Nippon Engineering Consultants Co.MINORU KITAMURA. 1999. 2001 Resolution denying the motion for reconsideration thereof. 2001 Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. 2007 x------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION NACHURA. Promulgated: November 23. SP No.R. and the July 25.. a Japanese consultancy firm providing technical and management . 60827. J. Ltd. On March 30. (Nippon).: Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court assailing the April 18.

1. requested a negotiation conference and demanded that he be assigned to the BBRI . Nippon then assigned respondent to work as the project manager of the Southern Tagalog Access Road (STAR) Project in the Philippines. respondent. entered into an Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA) with respondent Minoru Kitamura. The agreement provides that respondent was to extend professional services to Nippon for a year starting on April 1. through his lawyer. on January 28. 2000. following the company's consultancy contract with the Philippine Government. 2000. On February 28. this time for the detailed engineering and construction supervision of the Bongabon-Baler Road Improvement (BBRI) Project. the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) engaged the consultancy services of Nippon. 2000. Respondent was named as the project manager in the contract's Appendix 3. Nippon's general manager for its International Division. 1999.support in the infrastructure projects of foreign governments. just in time for the ICA's expiry. When the STAR Project was near completion. His services would be engaged by the company only up to the substantial completion of the STAR Project on March 31. petitioner Kazuhiro Hasegawa. Threatened with impending unemployment. a Japanese national permanently residing in the Philippines. informed respondent that the company had no more intention of automatically renewing his ICA.

on June 20. As he was not able to generate a positive response from the petitioners. 2000. on August 14. Kotake as project manager of the BBRI Project. 2000. For their part. their first Petition for . respondent consequently initiated on June 1. petitioners. the DPWH approved Nippon's request for the replacement of Kitamura by a certain Y. Frank that matters connected with the performance of contracts are regulated by the law prevailing at the place of performance. In the meantime. 2000.project. On June 29. invoking our ruling in Insular Government v. 2000 Civil Case No. and refused to negotiate for the renewal of the ICA. prompting them to file with the appellate court. They asserted that the claim for improper pretermination of respondent's ICA could only be heard and ventilated in the proper courts of Japan following the principles of lex loci celebrationis and lex contractus. contending that the ICA had been perfected in Japan and executed by and between Japanese nationals. 00-0264 for specific performance and damages with the Regional Trial Court of Lipa City. The trial court subsequently denied petitioners' motion for reconsideration. denied the motion to dismiss. moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. the RTC. Nippon insisted that respondent’s contract was for a fixed term that had already expired.

2000. 2000. among others. 60205]. .R. Petitioners' motion for reconsideration was subsequently denied by the CA in the assailed July 25.Certiorari under Rule 65 [docketed as CA-G. SP No. An Entry of Judgment was later issued by the appellate court on September 20. 2001 Resolution. was docketed as CA-G. On August 23. which substantially raised the same issues as those in the first. on September 19. The CA thus declared that the trial court was correct in applying instead the principle of lex loci solutionis.R. the appellate court rendered the assailed April 18. the CA resolved to dismiss the petition on procedural grounds—for lack of statement of material dates and for insufficient verification and certification against forum shopping. 2000. petitioners filed with the CA. The CA ruled. that the principle of lex loci celebrationis was not applicable to the case. Ruling on the merits of the second petition. 60827. a second Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 already stating therein the material dates and attaching thereto the proper verification and certification. because nowhere in the pleadings was the validity of the written agreement put in issue. still within the reglementary period. SP No. 2001 Decision finding no grave abuse of discretion in the trial court's denial of the motion to dismiss. This second petition. Aggrieved by this development.

The pivotal question that this Court is called upon to resolve is whether the subject matter jurisdiction of Philippine courts in civil cases for specific performance and damages involving contracts executed outside the country by foreign nationals may be assailed on the principles of lex loci celebrationis. lex contractus. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE TRIAL COURT VALIDLY EXERCISED JURISDICTION OVER THE INSTANT CONTROVERSY. However. JAPAN.” or forum non conveniens. we must first dispose of the procedural matters raised by the respondent. DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE CONTRACT SUBJECT MATTER OF THE PROCEEDINGS A QUO WAS ENTERED INTO BY AND BETWEEN TWO JAPANESE NATIONALS.Remaining steadfast in their stance despite the series of denials. WRITTEN WHOLLY IN THE JAPANESE LANGUAGE AND EXECUTED IN TOKYO. B. the “state of the most significant relationship rule. . THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN OVERLOOKING THE NEED TO REVIEW OUR ADHERENCE TO THE PRINCIPLE OF LEX LOCI SOLUTIONIS IN THE LIGHT OF RECENT DEVELOPMENT[S] IN PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAWS. petitioners instituted the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari imputing the following errors to the appellate court: A. before ruling on this issue.

In other words. When the CA dismissed CA-G. petitioners can re-file the petition. 60205 has already barred the filing of the second petition docketed as CA-G. or file a second petition attaching thereto the appropriate verification and certification —as they. SP No. it was a dismissal without prejudice. 60205 on account of the petition's defective certification of non-forum shopping. on the same subject matter and theory. 60827 (fundamentally raising the same issues as those in the first one) and the instant petition for review thereof. and even if petitioners still indicated in the verification and certification of the second certiorari petition that the first had already been dismissed on procedural grounds.Kitamura contends that the finality of the appellate court's decision in CAG. We do not agree. in fact did—and stating therein the material dates. The dismissal being without prejudice.R. SP No. Rule 65 of the said Rules. within the prescribed period in Section 4. The same holds true in the CA's dismissal of the said case due to defects in the formal requirement of verification and in the other requirement in Rule 46 of the Rules of Court on the statement of the material dates. because the said dismissal is without prejudice and has no res judicata effect. petitioners are no .R. SP No. The dismissal of a case without prejudice signifies the absence of a decision on the merits and leaves the parties free to litigate the matter in a subsequent action as though the dismissed action had not been commenced.R. Necessarily. the termination of a case not on the merits does not bar another action involving the same parties.

not by the company's board of directors. It will not warrant the dismissal and nullification of the entire proceedings. Hasegawa is truly not authorized to act on behalf of Nippon in this case. In any case. is not a fatal defect. The aforesaid September 4. As respondent pointed out. 2000. however. the status of the aforesaid first petition before the CA. True. the certiorari petition filed with the CA and not the instant petition. the Authorization dated September 4. and to which we agree. 2000 Authorization and even the subsequent August 17. not even its officers. as in the present case. thus. can bind the corporation. in the absence of authority from the board. no person. Given that petitioners herein sufficiently explained their misgivings on this point and appended to their Reply an updated Authorization for Hasegawa to act on behalf of the company in the instant petition. on behalf of Nippon. 2001 Authorization were issued only by Nippon's president and chief executive officer. is limited in scope—its wordings indicate that Hasegawa is given the authority to sign for and act on behalf of the company only in the petition filed with the appellate court. considering that the evils sought to be prevented by the said certificate are no longer present. Considering that Hasegawa verified and certified the petition only on his behalf and not on . In a plethora of cases. an omission in the certificate of non-forum shopping about any event that will not constitute res judicata and litis pendentia. which is attached to the second certiorari petition and which is also attached to the instant petition for review. However. this Court has liberally applied the Rules or even suspended its application whenever a satisfactory explanation and a subsequent fulfillment of the requirements have been made. we have ruled that corporate powers are exercised by the board of directors. and that authority cannot extend to the instant petition for review. the Court finds the same as sufficient compliance with the Rules. the Court cannot extend the same liberal treatment to the defect in the verification and certification. In not a few cases. The Court also finds no merit in respondent's contention that petitioner Hasegawa is only authorized to verify and certify.longer required by the Rules to indicate in their certification of non-forum shopping in the instant petition for review of the second certiorari petition .

Thus. Further. The Court notes that petitioners adopted an additional but different theory when they elevated the case to the appellate court. and written wholly in the Japanese language. This brings us to the discussion of the substantive issue of the case. to elevate the entire case by appeal in due course. While technical rules of procedure are designed not to frustrate the ends of justice. Office of the Ombudsman. petitioners posit that local courts have no substantial relationship to the parties following the [state of the] most significant relationship rule in Private International Law. and cannot be the subject of the extraordinary petition for certiorari or mandamus. petitioners' case does not fall among them. they are intended to effect the proper and orderly disposition of cases and effectively prevent the clogging of court dockets. It is a well-established rule that an order denying a motion to dismiss is interlocutory. The appropriate recourse is to file an answer and to interpose as defenses the objections raised in the motion. nonetheless. the petition has to be denied pursuant to Loquias v. Asserting that the RTC of Lipa City is an inconvenient forum. They merely argued that the . Japan. in case of an adverse decision.behalf of the other petitioner. and. While there are recognized exceptions to this rule. to proceed to trial. Substantial compliance will not suffice in a matter that demands strict observance of the Rules. In the Motion to Dismiss filed with the trial court. by Japanese nationals. the Court has observed that petitioners incorrectly filed a Rule 65 petition to question the trial court's denial of their motion to dismiss. petitioners question its jurisdiction to hear and resolve the civil case for specific performance and damages filed by the respondent. The ICA subject of the litigation was entered into and perfected in Tokyo. petitioners never contended that the RTC is an inconvenient forum.

jurisdiction and choice of law are two distinct concepts. maintained the forum non conveniens defense. choice of law. choice of law asks the further question whether the application of a substantive law which will determine the merits of the case is fair to both parties. petitioners on certiorari significantly invoked the defense of forum non conveniens. While not abandoning this stance in their petition before the appellate court.applicable law which will determine the validity or invalidity of respondent's claim is that of Japan. petitioners dropped their other arguments. three consecutive phases are involved: jurisdiction. Jurisdiction considers whether it is fair to cause a defendant to travel to this state. Be that as it may. as explained in Philippine Ports Authority v. On petition for review before this Court. in the judicial resolution of conflicts problems. and introduced their new argument that the applicable principle is the [state of the] most significant relationship rule. following the principles of lex loci celebrationis and lex contractus. The power to exercise jurisdiction does not automatically give a state constitutional authority to apply forum law. and recognition and enforcement of judgments. The question of whether the law of a state can be applied to a . To elucidate. We only pointed out petitioners' inconstancy in their arguments to emphasize their incorrect assertion of conflict of laws principles. While jurisdiction and the choice of the lex fori will often coincide. this Court is not inclined to deny this petition merely on the basis of the change in theory. Corresponding to these phases are the following questions: (1) Where can or should litigation be initiated? (2) Which law will the court apply? and (3) Where can the resulting judgment be enforced? Analytically. the “minimum contacts” for one do not always provide the necessary “significant contacts” for the other. City of Iloilo.

indeed. petitioners are actually referring to subject matter jurisdiction. In this case. . and the “state of the most significant relationship rule. Jurisdiction.transaction is different from the question of whether the courts of that state have jurisdiction to enter a judgment. has various aspects. For a court to validly exercise its power to adjudicate a controversy. In the instant case. Jurisdiction over the subject matter in a judicial proceeding is conferred by the sovereign authority which establishes and organizes the court. It is further determined by the allegations of the complaint irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to all or some of the claims asserted therein. however. To succeed in its motion for the dismissal of an action for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the claim. in their motion to dismiss. the movant must show that the court or tribunal cannot act on the matter submitted to it because no law grants it the power to adjudicate the claims. In assailing the trial court's jurisdiction herein. over the subject matter. 00-0264 for specific performance and damages is one not capable of pecuniary estimation and is properly cognizable by the RTC of Lipa City. it must have jurisdiction over the plaintiff or the petitioner. petitioners.” The Court finds the invocation of these grounds unsound. only the first phase is at issue—jurisdiction. What they rather raise as grounds to question subject matter jurisdiction are the principles of lex loci celebrationis and lex contractus. over the issues of the case and. over the defendant or the respondent. It is given only by law and in the manner prescribed by law. over the res or the thing which is the subject of the litigation. Civil Case No. in cases involving property. do not claim that the trial court is not properly vested by law with jurisdiction to hear the subject controversy for.

and validity of the contract and it may pertain to the law voluntarily agreed upon by the parties or the law intended by them either expressly or implicitly. as the only issue in this case is that of jurisdiction. construction. Since these three principles in conflict of laws make reference to the law applicable to a dispute. first there should exist a conflict of laws situation requiring the application of the conflict of laws rules. place of business. . This rule takes into account several contacts and evaluates them according to their relative importance with respect to the particular issue to be resolved. when the law of a foreign country is invoked to provide the proper rules for the solution of a case.Lex loci celebrationis relates to the “law of the place of the ceremony” or the law of the place where a contract is made. was to be performed. the choice of law. In a case involving a contract. The doctrine of lex contractus or lex loci contractus means the “law of the place where a contract is executed or to be performed. the court should consider where the contract was made. Before determining which law should apply. the existence of such law must be pleaded and proved. They determine which state's law is to be applied in resolving the substantive issues of a conflicts problem. and the domicile. petitioners' premature invocation of choice-of-law rules is exposed by the fact that they have not yet pointed out any conflict between the laws of Japan and ours. choice-of-law rules are not only inapplicable but also not yet called for. Further. or place of incorporation of the parties. they are rules proper for the second phase. Also.” to ascertain what state law to apply to a dispute.” It controls the nature. the court should determine which state has the most substantial connection to the occurrence and the parties. Necessarily. Under the “state of the most significant relationship rule. was negotiated.

It should be noted that when a conflicts case. is brought before a court or administrative agency. or (3) assume jurisdiction over the case and take into account or apply the law of some other State or States. there are three alternatives open to the latter in disposing of it: (1) dismiss the case. one involving a foreign element. While it may choose to recognize laws of foreign nations. . The court’s power to hear cases and controversies is derived from the Constitution and the laws. the court is not limited by foreign sovereign law short of treaties or other formal agreements. even in matters regarding rights provided by foreign sovereigns. either because of lack of jurisdiction or refusal to assume jurisdiction over the case. (2) assume jurisdiction over the case and apply the internal law of the forum.

In this case. First. since the RTC is vested by law with the power to entertain and hear the civil case filed by respondent and the grounds raised by petitioners to assail that jurisdiction are inappropriate. the petition for review on certiorari is DENIED. Accordingly. hence. Third. Rule 16 of the Rules of Court does not include it as a ground. the trial and appellate courts correctly denied the petitioners’ motion to dismiss.Neither can the other ground raised. forum non conveniens. WHEREFORE. . whether a suit should be entertained or dismissed on the basis of the said doctrine depends largely upon the facts of the particular case and is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court. this conflicts principle is more properly considered a matter of defense. it is not a proper basis for a motion to dismiss because Section 1. the RTC decided to assume jurisdiction. Second. be used to deprive the trial court of its jurisdiction herein. the propriety of dismissing a case based on this principle requires a factual determination. premises considered.

CHICO-NAZARIO Associate Justice . ANTONIO EDUARDO B. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ Associate Justice MINITA V. NACHURA Associate Justice WE CONCUR: CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO Associate Justice Chairperson MA.SO ORDERED.

CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO Associate Justice Chairperson. REYES Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest 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’s Division.RUBEN T. Third Division .

Id. Id. at 121-148. Id. at 109. at 53-57. Id. 84. Id. 37-44. Reyes. . 60827). p. at 116-120. at 85.CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. pp. PUNO Chief Justice Penned by Associate Justice Bienvenido L. at 46-47. Id. SP No. 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. at 32-36. Verzola and Associate Justice Marina L. concurring. CA rollo (CA-G. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson's Attestation. rollo. Id. at 39-41. REYNATO S. Id. Buzon.R. Id. Id. at 166-171. with the late Associate Justice Eubulo G. at 38.

39-98 dated August 18. Id. The August 23. the avoidance of forum shopping itself. Thus. Supra note 1. of the complaint or initiatory pleading. and independent of. pp.R. while the latter is a ground for summary dismissal thereof and constitutes direct contempt. CA rollo (CA-G.Id. Bello. with the concurrence of Associate Justices Eloy R. Id.R. 376 Phil. in which the Supreme Court ruled that compliance with the certification against forum shopping is separate from. CA rollo (CA-G. at 15. Insular Government v. 60827). at 44. as required in Section 3. Id.R. id. SP No. 13 Phil. Moreover. pp. Rollo. SP No. the [petition] is DENIED due course and DISMISSED outright. 204. Frank. 236 (1909). Supra note 2. the verification and certification of non-forum shopping was executed by petitioner Kazuhiro Hasegawa for both petitioners without any indication that the latter had authorized him to file the same. The former is merely a cause for the dismissal. pp. pp. without prejudice. paragraph 2. 3-35.” Id. 1998 of the Supreme Court. at 222. Asuncion (dismissed) pertinently provides as follows: “A cursory reading of the petition indicates no statement as to the date when the petitioners filed their motion for reconsideration and when they received the order of denial thereof. 60205). at 240. 213-214 (1999). 2-42. “WHEREFORE. See also Philippine . Jr. 60827). at 42-43. Court of Appeals. 2-24. SP No. there is a difference in the treatment—in terms of imposable sanctions—between failure to comply with the certification requirement and violation of the prohibition against forum shopping. See Spouses Melo v. 2000 Resolution penned by Associate Justice Delilah VidallonMagtolis (retired). (retired) and Elvi John S. at 27-28. “SO ORDERED. 25-26. at 45. CA rollo (CA-G. Rule 46 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure as amended by Circular No. Id.

Rule 46 of the Rules of Court pertinently states that “x x x [i]n actions filed under Rule 65. and noncompliance therewith does not necessarily render it fatally defective. No. 154235-36. vs. CA rollo (CA-G.Radiant Products. Mr. Fourth Judicial Region-Branch 85. Court of Appeals. 60827).R. Inc. 430 (2001). 60827). order or resolution.R. G.R. Court of Appeals. Castro.R.R. G. acts and deals which may be necessary and proper for the attainment of the said objectives” [Underscoring ours]. July 6. Rule 65 that “[t]he petition may be filed not later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment. 2004. to sign and act for and in behalf of Nippon Engineering Consultants Co. Section 3. See Torres v. p. 415. 2006.. 95.. was filed and when notice of the denial thereof was received. December 21. SP No. Court of Appeals. Minoru Kitamura and Hon. 2005. 21. x x x” Estrera v.. The Rules of Court pertinently provides in Section 4. Rollo. December 9. August 16. President and Chief Executive Officer of NIPPON ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS CO. June 30. Fuentebella v.” and to do such other things. 150865. 2000 pertinently reads: “I. Ltd. In case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed. KEN TAKAGI. when a motion for new trial or reconsideration. see Roxas v. The Authorization dated September 4. in which the Court ruled that the dismissal due to failure to append to the petition the board resolution authorizing a corporate officer to file the same for and in behalf of the corporation is without prejudice. G. Nos. in which the Court made the pronouncement that the requirement of verification is simply a condition affecting the form of pleadings. Court of Appeals. hereby authorize its International Division General Manager. No. Ltd. Kazuhiro Hasegawa. 193-194. CA rollo (CA-G. G. 2006. 149634. Japan. So is the dismissal of the petition for failure of the petitioner to append thereto the requisite copies of the assailed order/s. and Spouses Melo v. the petition shall further indicate the material dates showing when notice of the judgment or final order or resolution subject thereof was received. 163569. 477 SCRA 299. 463-464. 499 SCRA 86. v. 433 SCRA 455. SP No. Specialized Packaging Development Corporation. with principal address at 3-23-1 Komagome. if any. x x x” Delgado v.. whether such motion is required or not. Toshima-ku Tokyo. Avelino C. Lipa City. LTD. at 214. 314. the sixty (60) day period shall be counted from notice of the denial of said motion. Demetria of the Regional Trial Court.R. a corporation duly organized and existing in accordance with the corporation laws of Japan. 494 SCRA 183. . 2004. supra note 27.R. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company. p. for purposes of filing a Petition for Certiorari before the proper tribunal in the case entitled: “Kazuhiro Hasegawa and Nippon Engineering Consultants Co. p. 23. 33. 447 SCRA 402. No. No. 415 Phil.. 137881. Inc. G..

155236. G. Bank of America NT & SA v. 192-203. Dated June 5. May 26. SP No. Id. G. 193 (2003). at 234-245. No. 603-604 (2000). Court of Appeals. G.R. 159653. Dated October 11. Id. 392 Phil. 2001. 459 SCRA 147. 60827). 492 SCRA 192. July 8. No. Inc. No. Dated August 17. 83. 2001. 2005. March 31. Tomas. Loquias v. p. id. 596. Monter. Court of Appeals . Yutingco v. June 22. Expertravel & Tours. under certain situations resort to certiorari is considered appropriate when: (1) the trial court issued the order without or in excess of jurisdiction. Sendiong. 2006. Id.R. 160. 92 (2002). G. Santos v. 480 SCRA 137. 142. v. 181. rollo. No. 41. at 604. Barcenas v. 54 (2001). 454 SCRA 593. at 202. 413 Phil. 147749. 152392. id.R. San Pablo Manufacturing Corporation v. Court of Appeals . pp. G. Commissioner of Internal Revenue . Orbeta v. Inc. 2000. (2) there is patent grave abuse of discretion by the trial court. pp. 2005. 199-200. at 55. No. 2005. Court of Appeals. Office of the Ombudsman. v.R.R. Rollo. 453 Phil. Rollo. As stated herein. in which the Court ruled that the agent's signing therein of the verification and certification is already covered by the provisions of the general power of attorney issued by the principal. . or (3) appeal would not prove to be a speedy and adequate remedy as when an appeal would not promptly relieve a defendant from the injurious effects of the patently mistaken order maintaining the plaintiff’s baseless action and compelling the defendants needlessly to go through a protracted trial and clogging the court dockets with another futile case.R. January 25. CA rollo (CA-G. 2006. 604. 228. 435 Phil. 53-57. 197. 927. pp. 19-28.Cf. 448 Phil. 463 SCRA 180. LDP Marketing. 150321. 934 (2003). at 14.

pp. Court of Appeals. <http://web2.Scoles. 258. De La Santa. 2007). 1242 (1958). 2004. 489 SCRA 521.10&action=Search&fn=_top&sv=Split& method=TNC&query=CA(+lex+loci+contractus+)&db=DIBLACK&utid=%7bD0AE3BEE91BC-4B2B-B788-3FB4D963677B%7d&vr=2. 374 Phil. citing Hay. . Court of Appeals. 161 (1979). 418 Phil. Dela Rosa.wl&mt=WLIGeneralSubscription>(visited October 22. 3. 8th Revised Ed. Shaffer v. Court of Appeals. G.com/search/default. Garcia v.wl? rs=WLW7. Recio. Nos. 2006. 235. July 13. p. 64. Philippine Export and Foreign Loan Guarantee Corporation v. V. Supra note 53.com/search/default.. See In Re: Calloway.S. 214-215. Board of Commissioners (CID) v. Ct.. Id. Remedial Law Compendium. 729 (2001). L. 28 Int'l. 434 SCRA 202. Denckla. 530. No. Sec.Ct. & Comp. 864 (1999). 3rd ed. 888. Inc. Inc. 1995 ed. Bokingo v. Hay. Rule 16.S. 433 U. <http://web2.0&rp=%2fsearch %2fdefault.wl? rs=WLW7. 2585 (1977). 97 S. Court of Appeals. Symeonides. (2000). 7-8. 2569. G. citing Justice Black's Dissenting Opinion in Hanson v. p. May 4. 215. Tomas Claudio Memorial College.Q. 197 SCRA 853. 1228. Heitner. 22.R. 12 (1901). Conflicts Law. The Interrelation of Jurisdictional Choice of Law in U.wl&mt=WLIGeneralSubscription> (visited October 22. supra note 59. v. Vol. at 162.0&rp=%2fsearch %2fdefault.. See RULES OF COURT.R. 140047. 1. 357 U.S. Inc. 1 Phil. May 31. Bokingo v. 859. 25-26 (1907). Conflict of Laws. Radio Communications of the Phils. at 531-533. Borchers. 62. 11. 95122-23. G. 1991.10&action=Search&fn=_top&sv=Split& method=TNC&query=CA(+lex+loci+celebrationis+)&db=DIBLACK&utid=%7bD0AE3BEE91BC-4B2B-B788-3FB4D963677B%7d&vr=2. v. 435 Phil. 161739. 2007). Eusebio Construction. U. 723. 186.S. Conflict of Laws.westlaw. 68-69 (2002).P. Coquia and Aguiling-Pangalangan. v. 78 S. 9 Phil. 1. See Regalado.westlaw.R. No.

place of incorporation and place of business of the parties. 676 F. Hamburg-American Line . G. 778 F. supra note 45. The contacts which were taken into account in this case are the following: (a) the place where the injury occurred. Unisys Corporation. Court of Appeals. See Auten v. 44. 1997. Nos. 101 (1987). 358 Phil. 99. residence. 127 (1998). Court of Appeals . 113. 413. Bank of America NT & SA v. 42 Phil. 187 SCRA 797. Jr. June 19.. at 117-118. Court of Appeals. between the parties is centered. No. at 196. Garcia.wl? rs=WLW7. 308 N.Y 155. p. 1990.wl&mt= WLIGeneralSubscription> (visited October 22. a practice known as forum shopping. Veitz. in conflicts cases. 159-160 (1954). Bank of America NT & SA v. July 25. 103493. (4) the inadequacy of the local judicial machinery for effectuating the right sought to be maintained. citing Randall v. 274 SCRA 102. supra note 45. 432 [2001]).R. Philsec Investment Corporation v. The court may refuse to entertain a case for any of the following practical reasons: (1) the belief that the matter can be better tried and decided elsewhere. if any. Auten. may refuse impositions on its jurisdiction where it is not the most “convenient” or available forum and the parties are not precluded from seeking remedies elsewhere ( Bank of America NT & SA v. 855 (1918). 92013 and 92047. at 64-65. nationality. 405 Phil.com/search/default. 810-811.10&action=Search&fn=_top&sv=Split& method=TNC&query=CA(+most+significant+relationship+)&db=DIBLACK&utid= %7bD0AE3BEE-91BC-4B2B-B788-3FB4D963677B%7d&vr=2.<http://web2. and (d) the place where the relationship. at 196). Court of Appeals. 1995 ed. Zabarte. 2007).R. Court of Appeals . supra note 54. a court. 845. Oil. (3) the unwillingness to extend local judicial facilities to non-residents or aliens when the docket may already be overcrowded. Co.0&rp=%2fsearch %2fdefault. (c) the domicile. (2) the belief that the non-resident plaintiff sought the forum. . Saudi Arabian Airlines v. either because the main aspects of the case transpired in a foreign jurisdiction or the material witnesses have their residence there. Under this rule. v. merely to secure procedural advantages or to convey or harass the defendant. (b) the place where the conduct causing the injury occurred. G. Laurel v. 2d 1146 (1985). Private International Law. Supp.westlaw.. 105. International Harvester Company in Russia v. Arabian Am. supra note 45. Salonga. at 197. and (5) the difficulty of ascertaining foreign law (Puyat v. Supra note 53.

. SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. 2008 x----------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION TINGA. No.* Acting Chairperson. JR.SECOND DIVISION RAYTHEON INTERNATIONAL.R. JR.: . 162894 Present: CARPIO. STOCKTON W. INC..versus CARPIO MORALES.. J.. ROUZIE. and VELASCO. Promulgated: February 26. J. JJ. G. Petitioner.** . TINGA. Respondent.

Browning for alleged nonpayment of commissions. Rodney C. respondent secured a service contract with the Republic of the Philippines on behalf of BMSI for the dredging of rivers affected by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption and mudflows. Espiritu. 67001 and the dismissal of the civil case filed by respondent against petitioner with the trial court. the NLRC reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter and . Jr. Gilbert and Walter G. Rouzie. Jr. an American citizen. Inc. and respondent Stockton W. entered into a contract whereby BMSI hired respondent as its representative to negotiate the sale of services in several government projects in the Philippines for an agreed remuneration of 10% of the gross receipts. Labor Arbiter Pablo C.R. On 11 March 1992. SP No. rendered judgment ordering BMSI and RUST to pay respondent’s money claims. United States of America. On 16 July 1994. On 28 September 1995. Upon appeal by BMSI. Inc. (RUST). As culled from the records of the case. (BMSI).. the following antecedents appear: Sometime in 1990. illegal termination and breach of employment contract. respondent filed before the Arbitration Branch of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) a suit against BMSI and Rust International. Brand Marine Services. a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the State of Connecticut.Before this Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure which seeks the reversal of the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.

1192-BG. The Resolution became final and executory on 09 November 1998. Petitioner also denied combining with BMSI and RUST for the purpose of assuming the alleged obligation of the said companies. Inc. On 8 January 1999. Respondent elevated the case to this Court but was dismissed in a Resolution dated 26 November 1997. In its Answer. it was a foreign corporation duly licensed to do business in the Philippines and denied entering into any arrangement with respondent or paying the latter any sum of money. instituted an action for damages before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bauang. as well as BMSI and RUST. Petitioner also referred to the NLRC decision which disclosed that per the written agreement between respondent and BMSI and RUST. petitioner alleged that contrary to respondent’s claim. denominated as “Special Sales Representative Agreement. named as defendants herein petitioner Raytheon International. The complaint also averred that BMSI and RUST as well as petitioner itself had combined and functioned as one company. respondent. The Complaint.dismissed respondent’s complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. La Union. then a resident of La Union. The complaint essentially reiterated the allegations in the labor case that BMSI verbally employed respondent to negotiate the sale of services in government projects and that respondent was not paid the commissions due him from the Pinatubo dredging project which he secured on behalf of BMSI.” the rights and obligations of the parties shall be governed by the laws . the two corporations impleaded in the earlier labor case. docketed as Civil Case No.

assuming the same to be admitted. Thus. Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the order.of the State of Connecticut. the trial court denied petitioner’s motion. petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion for Preliminary Hearing Based on Affirmative Defenses and for Summary Judgment seeking the dismissal of the complaint on grounds of forum non conveniens and failure to state a cause of action. the deposition of Walter Browning was taken before the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago. Pending the resolution of the omnibus motion. It also ruled that the principle of forum non conveniens was inapplicable because the trial court could enforce judgment on petitioner. it being a foreign corporation licensed to do business in the Philippines. On 18 May 1999. In an Order dated 31 July 2001. Respondent opposed the same. Petitioner sought the dismissal of the complaint on grounds of failure to state a cause of action and forum non conveniens and prayed for damages by way of compulsory counterclaim. The trial court held that the factual allegations in the complaint. were sufficient for the trial court to render a valid judgment thereon. In an Order dated 13 September 2000. which motion was opposed by respondent. it filed a Rule 65 Petition with the Court of Appeals . the RTC denied petitioner’s omnibus motion.

the Court of Appeals rendered the assailed Decision denying the petition for certiorari for lack of merit. it found the evidence presented by petitioner. Thus. it held that the issue should be threshed out during trial. the deposition of Walter Browning. It also denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration in the assailed Resolution issued on 10 March 2004. Moreover. Hence. including petitioner. The appellate court also stated that it could not rule one way or the other on the issue of whether the corporations. that is. insufficient for purposes of determining whether the complaint failed to state a cause of action. this petition raising the following issues: . The appellate court held that although the trial court should not have confined itself to the allegations in the complaint and should have also considered evidence aliunde in resolving petitioner’s omnibus motion. On 28 August 2003. named as defendants in the case had indeed merged together based solely on the evidence presented by respondent.praying for the issuance of a writ of certiorari and a writ of injunction to set aside the twin orders of the trial court dated 13 September 2000 and 31 July 2001 and to enjoin the trial court from conducting further proceedings. the appellate court deferred to the discretion of the trial court when the latter decided not to desist from assuming jurisdiction on the ground of the inapplicability of the principle of forum non conveniens.

counsel on record for respondent. Petitioner mainly asserts that the written contract between respondent and BMSI included a valid choice of law clause. had severed relations with the law firm even before the filing of the instant petition and that it could no longer find the whereabouts of Atty. WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN REFUSING TO DISMISS THE COMPLAINT ON THE GROUND OF FORUM NON CONVENIENS. The Ceferino Padua Law Office. Rogelio Karagdag. Incidentally. The instant petition lacks merit. that is. Karagdag or of respondent despite diligent efforts. INC. In a Resolution dated 20 November 2006. manifested that the lawyer handling the case. It also mentions the presence of foreign elements in the dispute – namely.WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN REFUSING TO DISMISS THE COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST RAYTHEON INTERNATIONAL. respondent failed to file a comment despite repeated notices. . the parties and witnesses involved are American corporations and citizens and the evidence to be presented is located outside the Philippines – that renders our local courts inconvenient forums. that the contract shall be governed by the laws of the State of Connecticut. the Court resolved to dispense with the filing of a comment. Atty.

1192-BG is an action for damages . choice of law. the Court outlined three consecutive phases involved in judicial resolution of conflicts-of-laws problems. Jurisdiction over the nature and subject matter of an action is conferred by the Constitution and the law and by the material allegations in the complaint. Thus. the following requisites had to be proved: (1) that the Philippine Court is one to which the parties may conveniently resort. and (3) that the Philippine Court has or is likely to have the power to enforce its decision. (2) that the Philippine Court is in a position to make an intelligent decision as to the law and the facts. and recognition and enforcement of judgments. the parties and the res. namely: jurisdiction. Recently in Hasegawa v. This is an exercise of sovereign prerogative of the country where the case is filed. Civil Case No. it may or can proceed to try the case even if the rules of conflict-of-laws or the convenience of the parties point to a foreign forum. Kitamura. irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover all or some of the claims or reliefs sought therein. On the matter of jurisdiction over a conflicts-of-laws problem where the case is filed in a Philippine court and where the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter.Petitioner theorizes that the foreign elements of the dispute necessitate the immediate application of the doctrine of forum non conveniens. in the instances where the Court held that the local judicial machinery was adequate to resolve controversies with a foreign element.

arising from an alleged breach of contract. That the subject contract included a stipulation that the same shall be governed by the laws of the State of Connecticut does not suggest that the Philippine courts. a court. are precluded from hearing the civil action. As regards jurisdiction over the parties. Jurisdiction and choice of law are two distinct concepts. that is. the trial court acquired jurisdiction over herein respondent (as party plaintiff) upon the filing of the complaint. in conflicts-of-laws cases. On the other hand. Jurisdiction considers whether it is fair to cause a defendant to travel to this state. Under the doctrine of forum non conveniens. The choice of law stipulation will become relevant only when the substantive issues of the instant case develop. or any other foreign tribunal for that matter. Undoubtedly. the nature of the action and the amount of damages prayed are within the jurisdiction of the RTC. after hearing on the merits proceeds before the trial court. jurisdiction over the person of petitioner (as party defendant) was acquired by its voluntary appearance in court. may refuse impositions on its jurisdiction where it is not the most “convenient” or available forum and the parties are not precluded from seeking . choice of law asks the further question whether the application of a substantive law which will determine the merits of the case is fair to both parties.

the elementary test for failure to state a cause of action is whether the complaint alleges facts which if true would justify the relief demanded. 1192-BG and the parties involved. the propriety of dismissing a case based on the principle of forum non conveniens requires a factual determination. the Court defers to the sound discretion of the lower courts because their findings are binding on this Court. No. Moreover. . 1192-BG failed to state a cause of action against petitioner.remedies elsewhere. Failure to state a cause of action refers to the insufficiency of allegation in the pleading. the Court of Appeals respected its conclusion that it can assume jurisdiction over the dispute notwithstanding its foreign elements. Petitioner’s averments of the foreign elements in the instant case are not sufficient to oust the trial court of its jurisdiction over Civil Case No. it is more properly considered as a matter of defense. it should do so only after vital facts are established. In the same manner. to determine whether special circumstances require the court’s desistance. Petitioner also contends that the complaint in Civil Case No. hence. Finding no grave abuse of discretion on the trial court. While it is within the discretion of the trial court to abstain from assuming jurisdiction on this ground. As a general rule.

On this score. thus: x x x Our examination of the deposition of Mr. Petitioner contends that the deposition of Walter Browning rebutted this allegation. the resolution of the Court of Appeals is instructive. .The complaint alleged that petitioner had combined with BMSI and RUST to function as one company. Walter Browning as well as other documents produced in the hearing shows that these evidence aliunde are not quite sufficient for us to mete a ruling that the complaint fails to state a cause of action.

.] Inc. Costs against petitioner. Inc. Other documents already submitted in evidence are likewise meager to preponderantly conclude that Raytheon International. convincing and conclusive proofs that Raytheon Engineers and Constructors. WHEREFORE. the instant petition for review on certiorari is DENIED..Annexes “A” to “E” by themselves are not substantial. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. the question of whether petitioner. have combined into one company. SO ORDERED. after Rust International ceased to exist after being absorbed by REC. 67001 are hereby AFFIRMED. and Brand Marine Service. Inc. Rust International[. the surviving company (if at all) may be held liable for the obligation of BMSI to respondent Rouzie for unpaid commissions. BMSI and RUST merged together requires the presentation of further evidence. so much so that Raytheon International. (REC) assumed the warranty obligations of defendant Rust International in the Makar Port Project in General Santos City. Inc. SP No.. which only a full-blown trial on the merits can afford. As correctly pointed out by the Court of Appeals. Inc.R. Neither these documents clearly speak otherwise.

CARPIO Associate Justice Acting Chairperson ANGELINA SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. JR. TINGA Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. . VELASCO.DANTE O. Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest 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.

and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. REYNATO S. 84-2007. CARPIO Associate Justice Acting Chairperson CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. Article VIII of the Constitution. it is hereby certified 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. PUNO Chief Justice *Acting Chairperson. Quisumbing who inhibited himself per Administrative Circular No. **As replacement of Justice Leonardo A.ANTONIO T. .

Id. Id. Id. at 61-62. at 48-54. at 48-49. Id. penned by Associate Justice Arsenio J. 42-46. Dated 10 March 2004. Id. and Rebecca De Guia-Salvador. Acting Chairperson of the Special Ninth Division. Id. Id. Magpale and concurred in by Associate Justices Bienvenido L. at 96. Reyes. Dated 28 August 2003. at 75-90. at 91-99. Id. Id.Rollo. at 63-74. . pp. at 47. at 97-98. Id. at 94.

Id. Id. Records. . at 191. Rollo. at 150-151. Vol. 127-131. Id. at 162. pp.Id. at 100-111. I. 180-238. at 130. Id. at 132-149. pp. Id. at 163-192. Id. Supra note 1. Supra note 2.

274 SCRA 102. 162890. G. See Arcelona v.R. 19 June 1997. No. G. at 44. 491. 329 Phil.. 16-17 (2000). 22 November 2005. 103493. Puyat v. v. No. No. Id. CONFLICT OF LAWS (Private International Law). Court of Appeals. 397 Phil. Communication Materials and Design. 756. 475 SCRA 743. CA. 168. 140973. at 318. 413 (2001). Heirs of Alberto Cruz . G. 442 SCRA 156. RUBEN E. 11 November 2004. 23 November 2007. NLRC. 487. CA. Id. Bank of America NT & SA v. 2004 Ed. Zabarte. The Manila Hotel Corp. 448 Phil. 345 Phil.R. 405 Phil. Inc. Abellana. 250.Id. . 510-511 (1996). 267 (1997). AGPALO. 149177. at 18.R. G. 181 (2003). Court of Appeals . p. No. 1. v. Heirs of Julian Dela Cruz and Leonora Talaro v. Philsec Investment Corporation v.R. Laresma v.

Bank of America NT & SA v. Tenchavez. ET AL. 73. Binamira & F. p. L-19671 November 29.Hasegawa v. in its Civil Case No. for legal separation and one million pesos in damages against his wife and parents- . 1965 PASTOR B. 44. Kitamura. I.R. REYES. on factual and legal questions.R. supra note 27. ESCAÑO. Philsec Investment Corporation v. TENCHAVEZ..B.. vs. Court of Appeals. denying the claim of the plaintiff-appellant. B. defendants-appellees. supra note 27 at 113. from the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Cebu. plaintiff-appellant.L. G. V. supra note 26. J. Court of Appeals. Court of Appeals. Court of Appeals. 143896. Pastor B.: Direct appeal. Bank of America NT & SA v. R-4177. supra note 27 at 194. 8 July 2005. Jalandoni & Jarnir for defendants-appellees. No. J. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Rollo. Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank v. VICENTA F. Barria for plaintiff-appellant. 463 SCRA 64. No.

are the following: Missing her late afternoon classes on 24 February 1948 in the University of San Carlos.n. Cebu City. they started saving money in a piggy bank. "1-Escaño"). Vicente. Father Reynes suggested a recelebration to validate what he believed to be an invalid marriage. supported by the evidence of record. and they reconciled. "M"). Vicenta had brought some of her clothes to the room of Pacita Noel in St. whose name he claims he does not remember. The marriage was the culmination of a previous love affair and was duly registered with the local civil register. To facilitate the elopement. who got wind of the intended nuptials. Vicenta was taken home where she admitted that she had already married Pastor. because on 26 February 1948 Mamerto Escaño was handed by a maid. her mother. was not as endearing as her previous letters when their love was aflame. Vicenta returned the engagement ring and accepted another suitor. their engagement was broken. The recelebration did not take place. Vicenta translated the letter to her father. vol.1 all surnamed "Escaño. without the knowledge of her parents. their matchmaker and go-between.2 The facts. She fondly accepted her being called a "jellyfish.. she pleaded for his return." respectively. exchanged marriage vows with Pastor Tenchavez. Although planned for the midnight following their marriage. Vicenta was bred in Catholic ways but is of a changeable disposition. Vicenta Escaño. and thereafter would not agree to a new marriage. Vicenta and Pastor met that day in the house of Mrs. pp. and his to her. because Pastor never asked for the hand of Vicente. 1105-06). Thereafter. Pacita Noel.in-law. 27 years of age (scion of a well-to-do and socially prominent Filipino family of Spanish ancestry and a "sheltered colegiala"). III. in the house of one Juan Alburo in the said city.s. the elopement did not. Mamerto and Mena. Her letter of 22 March 1948 (Exh. before the marriage. while still solicitous of her husband's welfare. indicate that the couple were deeply in love. due to the lack of authority from the Archbishop or the parish priest for the officiating chaplain to celebrate the marriage. This time they planned to get married and then elope. The following morning. Joseling Lao. they had planned out their marital future whereby Pacita would be the governess of their first-born. and Pastor knew it. from the standpoint of the Church. before a Catholic chaplain. Pilar Mendezona. the defendants-appellees. which was their usual trysting place. Moises Lavares. materialize because when Vicente went back to her classes after the marriage. ex-army officer and of undistinguished stock. was already waiting for her at the college. Her love for Pastor beckoned. Mamerto and Mena Escaño were surprised. however. but her letters became less frequent as the days . Vicenta's letters to Pastor. the Escaño spouses sought priestly advice. 32 years of age. and were disgusted because of the great scandal that the clandestine marriage would provoke (t. Vicenta continued living with her parents while Pastor returned to his job in Manila. Lt. a letter purportedly coming from San Carlos college students and disclosing an amorous relationship between Pastor Tenchavez and Pacita Noel. Mary's Hall." She was not prevented by her parents from communicating with Pastor (Exh. where she was then enrolled as a second year student of commerce. an engineer. Together with a friend. A few weeks before their secret marriage.

has begotten children. In 1951 Mamerto and Mena Escaño filed a petition with the Archbishop of Cebu to annul their daughter's marriage to Pastor (Exh. The application was approved. The case was dismissed without prejudice because of her non-appearance at the hearing (Exh. and plaintiff resorted directly to this Court. while her parents denied that they had in any way influenced their daughter's acts. On 10 September 1954. She acquired American citizenship on 8 August 1958. There. Escaño. Vicenta claimed a valid divorce from plaintiff and an equally valid marriage to her present husband. and alienating her affections.. "B-4"). The appellant ascribes. But on 30 July 1955. and that she intended to return after two years. "D"). Misamis Occidental. Russell Leo Moran. but freed the plaintiff from supporting his wife and to acquire property to the exclusion of his wife. she filed a verified complaint for divorce against the herein plaintiff in the Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada in and for the County of Washoe. On 24 June 1950. 1948 the newlyweds were already estranged (Exh. and. a lawyer filed for her a petition. She did not sign the petition (Exh. "2-Escaño"). she applied for a passport. that her purpose was to study. indicating in her application that she was single. entirely mental in character.passed. In not declaring legal separation. 2. It allowed the counterclaim of Mamerto Escaño and Mena Escaño for moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees against the plaintiff-appellant. as errors of the trial court. "D"-2). in not holding defendant Vicenta F. in Nevada. As of June. to annul her marriage. Mamerto and Mena Escaño. by him. Russell Leo Moran. on the ground of "extreme cruelty. and she left for the United States. In not holding the defendant parents Mamerto Escano and the heirs of Doña Mena Escaño liable for damages. without informing her husband. decreed the annulment of the marriage. the following: 1. and asked for legal separation and one million pesos in damages.. to the extent of P45. against Vicenta F. a decree of divorce. through its Diocesan Tribunal. Escaño liable for damages and in dismissing the complaint. and amended on 31 May 1956. drafted by then Senator Emmanuel Pelaez. and she was domiciled in Cebu City. .000. Vicenta had gone to Jimenez.00. whom he charged with having dissuaded and discouraged Vicenta from joining her husband. was issued in open court by the said tribunal. Vicenta sought papal dispensation of her marriage (Exh. her parents. and counterclaimed for moral damages. Vicenta married an American. On 13 September 1954. "B-5"). The appealed judgment did not decree a legal separation. Tenchavez had initiated the proceedings at bar by a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Cebu. She now lives with him in California." On 21 October 1950. for having. "final and absolute". On 22 August 1950. and against the Roman Catholic Church. to escape from the scandal that her marriage stirred in Cebu society.

739. Jason. Even granting. 4. No marriage shall be declared invalid because of the absence of one or several of the formal requirements of this Act if.3 and this is emphasized by section 27 of said marriage act. Pastor Tenchavez. not essential to give the marriage civil effects. which was performed by a Catholic priest (army chaplain Lavares) in the presence of competent witnesses. is clearly established by the record before us. and. 448). and both consented to the marriage. 442. but merely voidable. Francisco vs. and the defendant-appellee. Defendant Vicenta Escaño argues that when she contracted the marriage she was under the undue influence of Pacita Noel. doubts as to the authority of the solemnizing priest arose only after the marriage. and assuming that Vicenta's consent was vitiated by fraud and undue influence. Essential requisites. That on 24 February 1948 the plaintiff-appellant. 1. This was never done. 745. 45 Phil. Both parties were then above the age of majority. for argument's sake. such vices did not render her marriage ab initio void. the spouses or one of them believed in good faith that the person who solemnized the marriage was actually empowered to do so. Dee Tim. The chaplain's alleged lack of ecclesiastical authorization from the parish priest and the Ordinary. Essential requisites for marriage are the legal capacity of the contracting parties and consent. not only because of the separation of Church and State but also because Act 3613 of the Philippine Legislature (which was the marriage law in force at the time) expressly provided that — SEC. therefore. as required by Canon law. 60 Phil. Moreover. (Emphasis supplied) The actual authority of the solemnizing officer was thus only a formal requirement. which provided the following: SEC. It is nowhere shown that said priest was not duly authorized under civil law to solemnize marriages. 27. from the standpoint of our civil law. Failure to comply with formal requirements.3 In holding the plaintiff liable for and requiring him to pay the damages to the defendant parents on their counterclaims. and the marriage remained valid until annulled by a competent civil court. Vicenta Escaño. were validly married to each other. whom she charges to have been in conspiracy with appellant Tenchavez. the very act of Vicenta in abandoning her original action for annulment and subsequently suing for divorce implies an admission that her marriage to plaintiff was valid and binding. The good faith of all the parties to the marriage (and hence the validity of their marriage) will be presumed until the contrary is positively proved (Lao vs. and. the truth of that contention. . Vicenta's suit for annulment in the Court of First Instance of Misamis was dismissed for non-prosecution. and admittedly. It is well to note here that in the case at bar. and that the marriage was perfectly legal. when Vicenta's parents consulted Father Reynes and the archbishop of Cebu. is irrelevant in our civil law. when it was performed. In dismissing the complaint and in denying the relief sought by the plaintiff. and otherwise qualified.

the present Civil Code only provides for legal separation (Title IV. It follows. Even more. From this point of view. now in force. Act No. 1).4 She was then subject to Philippine law. subpar. to the detriment of those members of our polity whose means do not permit them to sojourn abroad and obtain absolute divorces outside the Philippines. even in that case.It is equally clear from the record that the valid marriage between Pastor Tenchavez and Vicenta Escaño remained subsisting and undissolved under Philippine law. Instead of divorce. in effect. it is irrelevant that appellant Pastor Tenchavez should have appeared in the Nevada divorce court.). 97 to 108). and Article 15 of the Civil Code of the Philippines (Rep. 579). 106. the grant of effectivity in this jurisdiction to such foreign divorce decrees would. to further emphasize its restrictive policy on the matter. for her previous union to plaintiff Tenchavez must be declared to be existent and undissolved. specially in view of the third paragraph of Article 17 of the Civil Code that prescribes the following: Prohibitive laws concerning persons. their acts or property. Vicenta Escaño. 386). was still a Filipino citizen. expressly provided: Laws relating to family rights and duties or to the status. 95 Phil. entirely mental in character. . even though living abroad." At the time the divorce decree was issued. does not admit absolute divorce. give rise to an irritating and scandalous discrimination in favor of wealthy citizens. State of Nevada. like her husband. Arts. 17. or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. on grounds of "extreme cruelty. From the preceding facts and considerations. and her denial of consortium and her desertion of her husband constitute in law a wrong caused through her fault. there flows as a necessary consequence that in this jurisdiction Vicenta Escaño's divorce and second marriage are not entitled to recognition as valid. quo ad vinculo matrimonii. Javier. notwithstanding the decree of absolute divorce that the wife sought and obtained on 21 October 1950 from the Second Judicial District Court of Washoe County. and in fact does not even use that term. Primarily because the policy of our law cannot be nullified by acts of private parties (Civil Code. shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated. and. The Civil Code of the Philippines. policy and good customs.Art. likewise. because the mere appearance of a non-resident consort cannot confer jurisdiction where the court originally had none (Area vs. and those which have for their object public order. jam quot. condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon the citizens of the Philippines. Book 1. that her refusal to perform her wifely duties. it expressly prescribes that "the marriage bonds shall not be severed" (Art. in contrast to the preceding legislation that admitted absolute divorce on grounds of adultery of the wife or concubinage of the husband (Act 2710). For the Philippine courts to recognize and give recognition or effect to a foreign decree of absolute divorce betiveen Filipino citizens could be a patent violation of the declared public policy of the state. and additionally. already in force at the time.

for which the husband is entitled to the corresponding indemnity (Civil Code, Art. 2176). Neither an unsubstantiated charge of deceit nor an anonymous letter charging immorality against the husband constitute, contrary to her claim, adequate excuse. Wherefore, her marriage and cohabitation with Russell Leo Moran is technically "intercourse with a person not her husband" from the standpoint of Philippine Law, and entitles plaintiff-appellant Tenchavez to a decree of "legal separation under our law, on the basis of adultery" (Revised Penal Code, Art. 333). The foregoing conclusions as to the untoward effect of a marriage after an invalid divorce are in accord with the previous doctrines and rulings of this court on the subject, particularly those that were rendered under our laws prior to the approval of the absolute divorce act (Act 2710 of the Philippine Legislature). As a matter of legal history, our statutes did not recognize divorces a vinculo before 1917, when Act 2710 became effective; and the present Civil Code of the Philippines, in disregarding absolute divorces, in effect merely reverted to the policies on the subject prevailing before Act 2710. The rulings, therefore, under the Civil Code of 1889, prior to the Act above-mentioned, are now, fully applicable. Of these, the decision in Ramirez vs. Gmur, 42 Phil. 855, is of particular interest. Said this Court in that case: As the divorce granted by the French Court must be ignored, it results that the marriage of Dr. Mory and Leona Castro, celebrated in London in 1905, could not legalize their relations; and the circumstance that they afterwards passed for husband and wife in Switzerland until her death is wholly without legal significance. The claims of the very children to participate in the estate of Samuel Bishop must therefore be rejected. The right to inherit is limited to legitimate, legitimated and acknowledged natural children. The children of adulterous relations are wholly excluded. The word "descendants" as used in Article 941 of the Civil Code cannot be interpreted to include illegitimates born of adulterous relations. (Emphasis supplied) Except for the fact that the successional rights of the children, begotten from Vicenta's marriage to Leo Moran after the invalid divorce, are not involved in the case at bar, the Gmur case is authority for the proposition that such union is adulterous in this jurisdiction, and, therefore, justifies an action for legal separation on the part of the innocent consort of the first marriage, that stands undissolved in Philippine law. In not so declaring, the trial court committed error. True it is that our ruling gives rise to anomalous situations where the status of a person (whether divorced or not) would depend on the territory where the question arises. Anomalies of this kind are not new in the Philippines, and the answer to them was given in Barretto vs. Gonzales, 58 Phil. 667: The hardship of the existing divorce laws in the Philippine Islands are well known to the members of the Legislature. It is the duty of the Courts to enforce the laws of divorce as written by Legislature if they are constitutional. Courts have no right to say that such laws are too strict or too liberal. (p. 72) The appellant's first assignment of error is, therefore, sustained.

However, the plaintiff-appellant's charge that his wife's parents, Dr. Mamerto Escaño and his wife, the late Doña Mena Escaño, alienated the affections of their daughter and influenced her conduct toward her husband are not supported by credible evidence. The testimony of Pastor Tenchavez about the Escaño's animosity toward him strikes us to be merely conjecture and exaggeration, and are belied by Pastor's own letters written before this suit was begun (Exh. "2Escaño" and "Vicenta," Rec. on App., pp. 270-274). In these letters he expressly apologized to the defendants for "misjudging them" and for the "great unhappiness" caused by his "impulsive blunders" and "sinful pride," "effrontery and audacity" [sic]. Plaintiff was admitted to the Escaño house to visit and court Vicenta, and the record shows nothing to prove that he would not have been accepted to marry Vicente had he openly asked for her hand, as good manners and breeding demanded. Even after learning of the clandestine marriage, and despite their shock at such unexpected event, the parents of Vicenta proposed and arranged that the marriage be recelebrated in strict conformity with the canons of their religion upon advice that the previous one was canonically defective. If no recelebration of the marriage ceremony was had it was not due to defendants Mamerto Escaño and his wife, but to the refusal of Vicenta to proceed with it. That the spouses Escaño did not seek to compel or induce their daughter to assent to the recelebration but respected her decision, or that they abided by her resolve, does not constitute in law an alienation of affections. Neither does the fact that Vicenta's parents sent her money while she was in the United States; for it was natural that they should not wish their daughter to live in penury even if they did not concur in her decision to divorce Tenchavez (27 Am. Jur. 130-132). There is no evidence that the parents of Vicenta, out of improper motives, aided and abetted her original suit for annulment, or her subsequent divorce; she appears to have acted independently, and being of age, she was entitled to judge what was best for her and ask that her decisions be respected. Her parents, in so doing, certainly cannot be charged with alienation of affections in the absence of malice or unworthy motives, which have not been shown, good faith being always presumed until the contrary is proved. SEC. 529. Liability of Parents, Guardians or Kin. — The law distinguishes between the right of a parent to interest himself in the marital affairs of his child and the absence of rights in a stranger to intermeddle in such affairs. However, such distinction between the liability of parents and that of strangers is only in regard to what will justify interference. A parent isliable for alienation of affections resulting from his own malicious conduct, as where he wrongfully entices his son or daughter to leave his or her spouse, but he is not liable unless he acts maliciously, without justification and from unworthy motives. He is not liable where he acts and advises his child in good faith with respect to his child's marital relations in the interest of his child as he sees it, the marriage of his child not terminating his right and liberty to interest himself in, and be extremely solicitous for, his child's welfare and happiness, even where his conduct and advice suggest or result in the separation of the spouses or the obtaining of a divorce or annulment, or where he acts under mistake or misinformation, or where his advice or interference are indiscreet or unfortunate, although it has been held that the parent is liable for consequences resulting from recklessness. He may in good faith take his child into his home and afford him or her protection and support, so long as he has not maliciously enticed his child away, or does not maliciously entice or cause him or her to stay away, from his or her spouse. This

rule has more frequently been applied in the case of advice given to a married daughter, but it is equally applicable in the case of advice given to a son. Plaintiff Tenchavez, in falsely charging Vicenta's aged parents with racial or social discrimination and with having exerted efforts and pressured her to seek annulment and divorce, unquestionably caused them unrest and anxiety, entitling them to recover damages. While this suit may not have been impelled by actual malice, the charges were certainly reckless in the face of the proven facts and circumstances. Court actions are not established for parties to give vent to their prejudices or spleen. In the assessment of the moral damages recoverable by appellant Pastor Tenchavez from defendant Vicente Escaño, it is proper to take into account, against his patently unreasonable claim for a million pesos in damages, that (a) the marriage was celebrated in secret, and its failure was not characterized by publicity or undue humiliation on appellant's part; (b) that the parties never lived together; and (c) that there is evidence that appellant had originally agreed to the annulment of the marriage, although such a promise was legally invalid, being against public policy (cf. Art. 88, Civ. Code). While appellant is unable to remarry under our law, this fact is a consequence of the indissoluble character of the union that appellant entered into voluntarily and with open eyes rather than of her divorce and her second marriage. All told, we are of the opinion that appellant should recover P25,000 only by way of moral damages and attorney's fees. With regard to the P45,000 damages awarded to the defendants, Dr. Mamerto Escaño and Mena Escaño, by the court below, we opine that the same are excessive. While the filing of this unfounded suit must have wounded said defendants' feelings and caused them anxiety, the same could in no way have seriously injured their reputation, or otherwise prejudiced them, lawsuits having become a common occurrence in present society. What is important, and has been correctly established in the decision of the court below, is that said defendants were not guilty of any improper conduct in the whole deplorable affair. This Court, therefore, reduces the damages awarded to P5,000 only. Summing up, the Court rules: (1) That a foreign divorce between Filipino citizens, sought and decreed after the effectivity of the present Civil Code (Rep. Act 386), is not entitled to recognition as valid in this jurisdiction; and neither is the marriage contracted with another party by the divorced consort, subsequently to the foreign decree of divorce, entitled to validity in the country; (2) That the remarriage of divorced wife and her co-habitation with a person other than the lawful husband entitle the latter to a decree of legal separation conformably to Philippine law; (3) That the desertion and securing of an invalid divorce decree by one consort entitles the other to recover damages; (4) That an action for alienation of affections against the parents of one consort does not lie in the absence of proof of malice or unworthy motives on their part.

WHEREFORE, the decision under appeal is hereby modified as follows; (1) Adjudging plaintiff-appellant Pastor Tenchavez entitled to a decree of legal separation from defendant Vicenta F. Escaño; (2) Sentencing defendant-appellee Vicenta Escaño to pay plaintiff-appellant Tenchavez the amount of P25,000 for damages and attorneys' fees; (3) Sentencing appellant Pastor Tenchavez to pay the appellee, Mamerto Escaño and the estate of his wife, the deceased Mena Escaño, P5,000 by way of damages and attorneys' fees. Neither party to recover costs. Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P. and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.

Footnotes
1

The latter was substituted by her heirs when she died during the pendency of the case in the trial court.
2

The original complaint included the Roman Catholic Church as a defendant, sought to be enjoined from acting on a petition for the ecclesiastical annulment of the marriage between Pastor Tenchavez and Vicenta Escaño; the case against the defendant Church was dismissed on a joint motion.
3

In the present Civil Code the contrary rule obtains (Art. 53). She was naturalized as an American citizen only on 8 August 1958.

4

The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation

FIRST DIVISION

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,

G.R. No. 154380

Present:

Davide, Jr., C.J., - versus (Chairman), Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago,

Carpio, and
Azcuna, JJ. CIPRIANO ORBECIDO III, Respondent. Promulgated: October 5, 2005 x --------------------------------------------------x

DECISION
QUISUMBING, J.:

Given a valid marriage between two Filipino citizens, where one party is later naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a valid divorce decree capacitating him or her to remarry, can the Filipino spouse likewise remarry under Philippine law? Before us is a case of first impression that behooves the Court to make a definite ruling on this apparently novel question, presented as a pure question of law. In this petition for review, the Solicitor General assails the Decision[1] dated May 15, 2002, of the Regional Trial Court of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur, Branch 23 and its Resolution[2] dated July 4, 2002 denying the motion for reconsideration. The court a quo had declared that herein respondent Cipriano Orbecido III is capacitated to remarry. The fallo of the impugned Decision reads: WHEREFORE, by virtue of the provision of the second paragraph of Art. 26 of the Family Code and by reason of the divorce decree obtained against him by his American wife, the petitioner is given the capacity to remarry under the Philippine Law. IT IS SO ORDERED.[3] The factual antecedents, as narrated by the trial court, are as follows. On May 24, 1981, Cipriano Orbecido III married Lady Myros M. Villanueva at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in Lam-an, Ozamis City. Their

marriage was blessed with a son and a daughter, Kristoffer Simbortriz V. Orbecido and Lady Kimberly V. Orbecido.

In 1986, Cipriano’s wife left for the United States bringing along their son Kristoffer. A few years later, Cipriano discovered that his wife had been naturalized as an American citizen. Sometime in 2000, Cipriano learned from his son that his wife had obtained a divorce decree and then married a certain Innocent Stanley. She, Stanley and her child by him currently live at 5566 A. Walnut Grove Avenue, San Gabriel, California. Cipriano thereafter filed with the trial court a petition for authority to remarry invoking Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code. No opposition was filed. Finding merit in the petition, the court granted the same. The Republic, herein petitioner, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), sought reconsideration but it was denied. In this petition, the OSG raises a pure question of law: WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT CAN REMARRY UNDER ARTICLE 26 OF THE FAMILY CODE[4] The OSG contends that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code is not applicable to the instant case because it only applies to a valid mixed marriage; that is, a marriage celebrated between a Filipino citizen and an alien. The proper remedy, according to the OSG, is to file a petition for annulment or for legal separation.[5] Furthermore, the OSG argues there is no law that governs

respondent’s situation. The OSG posits that this is a matter of legislation and not of judicial determination.[6]

For his part, respondent admits that Article 26 is not directly applicable to his case but insists that when his naturalized alien wife obtained a divorce decree which capacitated her to remarry, he is likewise capacitated by operation of law pursuant to Section 12, Article II of the Constitution. [7]

At the outset, we note that the petition for authority to remarry filed before the trial court actually constituted a petition for declaratory relief. connection, Section 1, Rule 63 of the Rules of Court provides: RULE 63 DECLARATORY RELIEF AND SIMILAR REMEDIES In this

Section 1. Who may file petition—Any person interested under a deed, will, contract or other written instrument, or whose rights are affected by a statute, executive order or regulation, ordinance, or other governmental regulation may, before breach or violation thereof, bring an action in the appropriate Regional Trial Court to determine any question of construction or validity arising, and for a declaration of his rights or duties, thereunder. ... The requisites of a petition for declaratory relief are: (1) there must be a justiciable controversy; (2) the controversy must be between persons whose interests are adverse; (3) that the party seeking the relief has a legal interest in the controversy; and (4) that the issue is ripe for judicial determination. [8]

This case concerns the applicability of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 to a marriage between two Filipino citizens where one later acquired alien citizenship, obtained a divorce decree, and remarried while in the U.S.A. The interests of the parties are

The issue raised is also ripe for judicial determination inasmuch as when respondent remarries. 37. a private citizen. except those prohibited under Articles 35. otherwise known as the “Family Code.also adverse. Executive Order No. amending Articles 26. does Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code apply to the case of respondent? Necessarily. and 38. then President Corazon Aquino signed into law Executive Order No. 227 was likewise signed into law. 1988. Respondent.” which took effect on August 3. amended. 36. has legal interest in the controversy. praying for relief. as petitioner representing the State asserts its duty to protect the institution of marriage while respondent. Article 26 thereof states: All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized. 1987. we must dwell on how this provision had come about in the first place. and valid there as such. shortly after the signing of the original Family Code. shall also be valid in this country. and 39 of the Family Code. litigation ensues and puts into question the validity of his second marriage. it now provides: A second paragraph was added to Article 26. Coming now to the substantive issue. insists on a declaration of his capacity to remarry. 209. As so . 1987. On July 17. and what was the intent of the legislators in its enactment? Brief Historical Background On July 6.

the parties were two Filipino citizens. Noteworthy. This is the beginning of the recognition of the validity of divorce even for Filipino citizens.A. These spouses who are divorced will not be able to re-marry. (5) and (6). but later on. and indeed she remarried an American citizen while residing in the U. 36. and valid there as such. The instant case is one where at the time the marriage was solemnized. It seems to apply only to cases where at the time of the celebration of the marriage. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized. (Emphasis supplied. the wife was naturalized as an American citizen and subsequently obtained a divorce granting her capacity to remarry. We propose that this be deleted and made into law only after more widespread consultation. the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law . For those whose foreign spouses validly divorce them abroad will also be considered to be validly divorced here and can re-marry. (Emphasis supplied) On its face.S. (4). 26. except those prohibited under Articles 35(1). . It discriminates against those whose spouses are Filipinos who divorce them abroad. the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) registered the following objections to Paragraph 2 of Article 26: 1.) 2. the parties are a Filipino citizen and a foreigner. while the spouses of foreigners who validly divorce them abroad can. shall also be valid in this country. the foregoing provision does not appear to govern the situation presented by the case at hand. Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry.ART. in the Report of the Public Hearings [9] on the Family Code. 37 and 38. The rule is discriminatory.

Court of Appeals. is no longer married to the Filipino spouse. Paragraph 2 of Article 26 traces its origin to the 1985 case of Van Dorn v. by way of obiter dictum. but later on. Jr. and consequently. that a Filipino divorced by his naturalized foreign spouse is no longer married under Philippine law and can thus remarry.Legislative Intent Records of the proceedings of the Family Code deliberations showed that the intent of Paragraph 2 of Article 26. according to Judge Alicia Sempio-Diy. after obtaining a divorce. Does the same principle apply to a case where at the time of the celebration of the marriage. taking into consideration the legislative intent and applying the rule of reason. Thus. The Court held therein that a divorce decree validly obtained by the alien spouse is valid in the Philippines. as in this case. Romillo. The wife became a naturalized American citizen in 1954 and obtained a divorce in the same year. the parties were. one of them obtains a foreign citizenship by naturalization? The jurisprudential answer lies latent in the 1998 case of Quita v. Interestingly.[10] The Van Dorn case involved a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner. the Filipino spouse is capacitated to remarry under Philippine law. we hold that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 should be interpreted to include .[11] In Quita. the parties were Filipino citizens. a member of the Civil Code Revision Committee. is to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who. Filipino citizens when they got married. The Court therein hinted.

but later on. then the instant case must be deemed as coming within the contemplation of Paragraph 2 of Article 26. The Filipino spouse should likewise be allowed to remarry as if the other party were a foreigner at the time of the solemnization of the marriage. at the time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens.cases involving parties who. we state the twin elements for the application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 as follows: 1. after obtaining a divorce is no longer married to the Filipino spouse. In view of the foregoing. disregarding as far as necessary the letter of the law. so long as they come within its spirit or intent. Where the interpretation of a statute according to its exact and literal import would lead to mischievous results or contravene the clear purpose of the legislature. 2.[12] If we are to give meaning to the legislative intent to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who. it should be construed according to its spirit and reason. one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a divorce decree. . and A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry. A statute may therefore be extended to cases not within the literal meaning of its terms. To rule otherwise would be to sanction absurdity and injustice. There is a valid marriage that has been celebrated between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner.

hence. and in this particular case. legal separation would not be a sufficient remedy for it would not sever the marriage tie. In this case. for his plea to prosper. respondent herein must prove his allegation that his wife was naturalized as an American citizen. not even feasible. should be allowed to remarry. before a foreign divorce decree can be recognized by our own courts. but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry. Annulment would be a long and tedious process. the twin requisites for the application of Paragraph 2 of Article 26 are both present in this case. It is settled rule that one who alleges a fact has the burden of proving it and mere allegation is not evidence. the legally separated Filipino spouse would still remain married to the naturalized alien spouse. Likewise. As fate would have it. we note that the records are bereft of competent evidence duly submitted by respondent concerning the divorce decree and the naturalization of respondent’s wife. [13] Accordingly. there was still a valid marriage that has been celebrated between her and Cipriano. However. We are also unable to sustain the OSG’s theory that the proper remedy of the Filipino spouse is to file either a petition for annulment or a petition for legal separation.The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the celebration of the marriage. when Cipriano’s wife was naturalized as an American citizen. considering that the marriage of the parties appears to have all the badges of validity. On the other hand. the “divorced” Filipino spouse. the naturalized alien wife subsequently obtained a valid divorce capacitating her to remarry. Clearly. Thus Cipriano. the party pleading it .

No.O.must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it. Such declaration could only be made properly upon respondent’s submission of the aforecited evidence in his favor. had obtained a divorce decree and had remarried an American. who has been divorced by a spouse who had acquired foreign citizenship and remarried. Zamboanga del Sur. Nevertheless. considering that in the present petition there is no sufficient evidence submitted and on record. Otherwise. SO ORDERED. respondent must also show that the divorce decree allows his former wife to remarry as specifically required in Article 26. also to remarry.O. that respondent is now capacitated to remarry. such laws must be alleged and proved. we are unable to declare. of the Regional Trial Court of Molave. No. Like any other fact. However. Branch 23. . there would be no evidence sufficient to declare that he is capacitated to enter into another marriage. the petition by the Republic of the Philippines is GRANTED. as amended by E. No pronouncement as to costs. 2002. 2002. 209. ACCORDINGLY.[14] Such foreign law must also be proved as our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. 227). who was naturalized as an American citizen. should be interpreted to allow a Filipino citizen.[15] Furthermore. The assailed Decision dated May 15. we are unanimous in our holding that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code (E. and Resolution dated July 4. based on respondent’s bare allegations that his wife. are hereby SET ASIDE.

DAVIDE. QUISUMBING Associate Justice WE CONCUR: HILARIO G. AZCUNA Associate Justice . Chief Justice Chairman CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO Associate Justice ANTONIO T. JR. CARPIO Associate Justice ADOLFO S.LEONARDO A.

CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, 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’s Division.

HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR. Chief Justice

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Rollo, pp. 20-22. Id. at 27-29. Id. at 21-22. Id. at 105. Id. at 106-110. Id. at 110. Sec. 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.

Office of the Ombudsman v. Ibay, G.R. No. 137538, 3 September 2001, 364 SCRA 281, 286, citing Galarosa v. Valencia, G.R. No. 109455, 11 November 1993, 227 SCRA 729, 737.
[8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

Held on January 27 and 28, 1988 and February 3, 1988. No. L-68470, 8 October 1985, 139 SCRA 139. G.R. No. 124862, 22 December 1998, 300 SCRA 406. Lopez & Sons, Inc. v. Court of Tax Appeals, No. L-9274, 1 February 1957, 100 Phil. 850, Cortes v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 121772, 13 January 2003, 395 SCRA 33, 38. Garcia v. Recio, G.R. No. 138322, 2 October 2001, 366 SCRA 437, 447. Id. at 451.

855.
[13] [14] [15]

THIRD DIVISION [G.R. No. 138322. October 2, 2001] GRACE J. GARCIA, a.k.a. GRACE J. GARCIA-RECIO, petitioner, vs. REDERICK A. RECIO, respondent. DECISION PANGANIBAN, J.: A divorce obtained abroad by an alien may be recognized in our jurisdiction, provided such decree is valid according to the national law of the foreigner. However, the divorce decree and the governing personal law of the alien spouse who obtained the divorce must be proven. Our courts do not take judicial notice of foreign laws and judgments; hence, like any other facts, both the divorce decree and the national law of the alien must be alleged and proven according to our law on evidence. The Case Before us is a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, seeking to nullify the January 7, 1999 Decision and the March 24, 1999 Order of the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City, Branch 28, in Civil Case No. 3026–AF. The assailed Decision disposed as follows:

“WHEREFORE, this Court declares the marriage between Grace J. Garcia and Rederick A. Recio solemnized on January 12, 1994 at Cabanatuan City as dissolved and both parties can now remarry under existing and applicable laws to any and/or both parties.” The assailed Order denied reconsideration of the above-quoted Decision. The Facts Rederick A. Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson, an Australian citizen, in Malabon, Rizal, on March 1, 1987. They lived together as husband and wife in Australia. On May 18, 1989, a decree of divorce, purportedly dissolving the marriage, was issued by an Australian family court. On June 26, 1992, respondent became an Australian citizen, as shown by a “Certificate of Australian Citizenship” issued by the Australian government. Petitioner -- a Filipina -- and respondent were married on January 12, 1994 in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Cabanatuan City. In their application for a marriage license, respondent was declared as “single” and “Filipino.” Starting October 22, 1995, petitioner and respondent lived separately without prior judicial dissolution of their marriage. While the two were still in Australia, their conjugal assets were divided on May 16, 1996, in accordance with their Statutory Declarations secured in Australia. On March 3, 1998, petitioner filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage in the court a quo, on the ground of bigamy -- respondent allegedly had a prior subsisting marriage at the time he married her on January 12, 1994. She claimed that she learned of respondent’s marriage to Editha Samson only in November, 1997. In his Answer, respondent averred that, as far back as 1993, he had revealed to petitioner his prior marriage and its subsequent dissolution. He contended that his first marriage to an Australian citizen had been validly dissolved by a divorce decree obtained in Australia in 1989; thus, he was legally capacitated to marry petitioner in 1994. On July 7, 1998 -- or about five years after the couple’s wedding and while the suit for the declaration of nullity was pending -- respondent was able to secure a divorce decree from a family court in Sydney, Australia because the “marriage ha[d] irretrievably broken down.” Respondent prayed in his Answer that the Complaint be dismissed on the ground that it stated no cause of action. The Office of the Solicitor General agreed with respondent. The court marked and admitted the documentary evidence of both parties. After they submitted their respective memoranda, the case was submitted for resolution. Thereafter, the trial court rendered the assailed Decision and Order. Ruling of the Trial Court

The trial court declared the marriage dissolved on the ground that the divorce issued in Australia was valid and recognized in the Philippines. It deemed the marriage ended, but not on the basis of any defect in an essential element of the marriage; that is, respondent’s alleged lack of legal capacity to remarry. Rather, it based its Decision on the divorce decree obtained by respondent. The Australian divorce had ended the marriage; thus, there was no more marital union to nullify or annul. Hence, this Petition. Issues Petitioner submits the following issues for our consideration: “1 The trial court gravely erred in finding that the divorce decree obtained in Australia by the respondent ipso facto terminated his first marriage to Editha Samson thereby capacitating him to contract a second marriage with the petitioner. “2 The failure of the respondent, who is now a naturalized Australian, to present a certificate of legal capacity to marry constitutes absence of a substantial requisite voiding the petitioner’s marriage to the respondent “3 The trial court seriously erred in the application of Art. 26 of the Family Code in this case. “4 The trial court patently and grievously erred in disregarding Arts. 11, 13, 21, 35, 40, 52 and 53 of the Family Code as the applicable provisions in this case. “5 The trial court gravely erred in pronouncing that the divorce decree obtained by the respondent in Australia ipso facto capacitated the parties to remarry, without first securing a recognition of the judgment granting the divorce decree before our courts.” The Petition raises five issues, but for purposes of this Decision, we shall concentrate on two pivotal ones: (1) whether the divorce between respondent and Editha Samson was proven, and (2) whether respondent was proven to be legally capacitated to marry petitioner. Because of our ruling on these two, there is no more necessity to take up the rest. The Court’s Ruling

The Petition is partly meritorious. First Issue: Proving the Divorce Between Respondent and Editha Samson Petitioner assails the trial court’s recognition of the divorce between respondent and Editha Samson. Citing Adong v. Cheong Seng Gee, petitioner argues that the divorce decree, like any other foreign judgment, may be given recognition in this jurisdiction only upon proof of the existence of (1) the foreign law allowing absolute divorce and (2) the alleged divorce decree itself. She adds that respondent miserably failed to establish these elements. Petitioner adds that, based on the first paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, marriages solemnized abroad are governed by the law of the place where they were celebrated (the lex loci celebrationis). In effect, the Code requires the presentation of the foreign law to show the conformity of the marriage in question to the legal requirements of the place where the marriage was performed. At the outset, we lay the following basic legal principles as the take-off points for our discussion. Philippine law does not provide for absolute divorce; hence, our courts cannot grant it. A marriage between two Filipinos cannot be dissolved even by a divorce obtained abroad, because of Articles 15 and 17 of the Civil Code. In mixed marriages involving a Filipino and a foreigner, Article 26 of the Family Code allows the former to contract a subsequent marriage in case the divorce is “validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry.” A divorce obtained abroad by a couple, who are both aliens, may be recognized in the Philippines, provided it is consistent with their respective national laws. A comparison between marriage and divorce, as far as pleading and proof are concerned, can be made. Van Dorn v. Romillo Jr. decrees that “aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law.” Therefore, before a foreign divorce decree can be recognized by our courts, the party pleading it must prove the divorce as a fact and demonstrate its conformity to the foreign law allowing it. Presentation solely of the divorce decree is insufficient. Divorce as a Question of Fact Petitioner insists that before a divorce decree can be admitted in evidence, it must first comply with the registration requirements under Articles 11, 13 and 52 of the Family Code. These articles read as follows: “ART. 11. Where a marriage license is required, each of the contracting parties shall file separately a sworn application for such license with the proper local civil registrar which shall specify the following: xxx xxx xxx

“(5) annulled; xxx

If previously married, how, when and where the previous marriage was dissolved or xxx x x x”

“ART. 13. In case either of the contracting parties has been previously married, the applicant shall be required to “ART. 13. In case either of the contracting parties has been previously married, the applicant shall be required to furnish, instead of the birth or baptismal certificate required in the last preceding article, the death certificate of the deceased spouse or the judicial decree of the absolute divorce, or the judicial decree of annulment or declaration of nullity of his or her previous marriage. x x x. “ART. 52. The judgment of annulment or of absolute nullity of the marriage, the partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, and the delivery of the children’s presumptive legitimes shall be recorded in the appropriate civil registry and registries of property; otherwise, the same shall not affect their persons.” Respondent, on the other hand, argues that the Australian divorce decree is a public document -a written official act of an Australian family court. Therefore, it requires no further proof of its authenticity and due execution. Respondent is getting ahead of himself. Before a foreign judgment is given presumptive evidentiary value, the document must first be presented and admitted in evidence. A divorce obtained abroad is proven by the divorce decree itself. Indeed the best evidence of a judgment is the judgment itself. The decree purports to be a written act or record of an act of an official body or tribunal of a foreign country. Under Sections 24 and 25 of Rule 132, on the other hand, a writing or document may be proven as a public or official record of a foreign country by either (1) an official publication or (2) a copy thereof attested by the officer having legal custody of the document. If the record is not kept in the Philippines, such copy must be (a) accompanied by a certificate issued by the proper diplomatic or consular officer in the Philippine foreign service stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept and (b) authenticated by the seal of his office. The divorce decree between respondent and Editha Samson appears to be an authentic one issued by an Australian family court. However, appearance is not sufficient; compliance with the aforementioned rules on evidence must be demonstrated. Fortunately for respondent’s cause, when the divorce decree of May 18, 1989 was submitted in evidence, counsel for petitioner objected, not to its admissibility, but only to the fact that it had not been registered in the Local Civil Registry of Cabanatuan City. The trial court ruled that it was admissible, subject to petitioner’s qualification. Hence, it was admitted in evidence and accorded weight by the judge. Indeed, petitioner’s failure to object properly rendered the divorce decree admissible as a written act of the Family Court of Sydney, Australia.

Compliance with the quoted articles (11, 13 and 52) of the Family Code is not necessary; respondent was no longer bound by Philippine personal laws after he acquired Australian citizenship in 1992. Naturalization is the legal act of adopting an alien and clothing him with the political and civil rights belonging to a citizen. Naturalized citizens, freed from the protective cloak of their former states, don the attires of their adoptive countries. By becoming an Australian, respondent severed his allegiance to the Philippines and the vinculum juris that had tied him to Philippine personal laws. Burden of Proving Australian Law Respondent contends that the burden to prove Australian divorce law falls upon petitioner, because she is the party challenging the validity of a foreign judgment. He contends that petitioner was satisfied with the original of the divorce decree and was cognizant of the marital laws of Australia, because she had lived and worked in that country for quite a long time. Besides, the Australian divorce law is allegedly known by Philippine courts; thus, judges may take judicial notice of foreign laws in the exercise of sound discretion. We are not persuaded. The burden of proof lies with “the party who alleges the existence of a fact or thing necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action.” In civil cases, plaintiffs have the burden of proving the material allegations of the complaint when those are denied by the answer; and defendants have the burden of proving the material allegations in their answer when they introduce new matters. Since the divorce was a defense raised by respondent, the burden of proving the pertinent Australian law validating it falls squarely upon him. It is well-settled in our jurisdiction that our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws. Like any other facts, they must be alleged and proved. Australian marital laws are not among those matters that judges are supposed to know by reason of their judicial function. The power of judicial notice must be exercised with caution, and every reasonable doubt upon the subject should be resolved in the negative. Second Issue: Respondent’s Legal Capacity to Remarry Petitioner contends that, in view of the insufficient proof of the divorce, respondent was legally incapacitated to marry her in 1994. Hence, she concludes that their marriage was void ab initio. Respondent replies that the Australian divorce decree, which was validly admitted in evidence, adequately established his legal capacity to marry under Australian law. Respondent’s contention is untenable. In its strict legal sense, divorce means the legal dissolution of a lawful union for a cause arising after marriage. But divorces are of different types. The two basic ones are (1) absolute divorce or a vinculo matrimonii and (2) limited divorce or a mensa et thoro. The first kind terminates the marriage, while the second suspends it and leaves the bond in full force. There is no showing in the case at bar which type of divorce was procured by respondent.

Respondent presented a decree nisi or an interlocutory decree -- a conditional or provisional judgment of divorce. It is in effect the same as a separation from bed and board, although an absolute divorce may follow after the lapse of the prescribed period during which no reconciliation is effected. Even after the divorce becomes absolute, the court may under some foreign statutes and practices, still restrict remarriage. Under some other jurisdictions, remarriage may be limited by statute; thus, the guilty party in a divorce which was granted on the ground of adultery may be prohibited from marrying again. The court may allow a remarriage only after proof of good behavior. On its face, the herein Australian divorce decree contains a restriction that reads: “1. A party to a marriage who marries again before this decree becomes absolute (unless the other party has died) commits the offence of bigamy.” This quotation bolsters our contention that the divorce obtained by respondent may have been restricted. It did not absolutely establish his legal capacity to remarry according to his national law. Hence, we find no basis for the ruling of the trial court, which erroneously assumed that the Australian divorce ipso facto restored respondent’s capacity to remarry despite the paucity of evidence on this matter. We also reject the claim of respondent that the divorce decree raises a disputable presumption or presumptive evidence as to his civil status based on Section 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, for the simple reason that no proof has been presented on the legal effects of the divorce decree obtained under Australian laws. Significance of the Certificate of Legal Capacity Petitioner argues that the certificate of legal capacity required by Article 21 of the Family Code was not submitted together with the application for a marriage license. According to her, its absence is proof that respondent did not have legal capacity to remarry. We clarify. To repeat, the legal capacity to contract marriage is determined by the national law of the party concerned. The certificate mentioned in Article 21 of the Family Code would have been sufficient to establish the legal capacity of respondent, had he duly presented it in court. A duly authenticated and admitted certificate is prima facie evidence of legal capacity to marry on the part of the alien applicant for a marriage license. As it is, however, there is absolutely no evidence that proves respondent’s legal capacity to marry petitioner. A review of the records before this Court shows that only the following exhibits were presented before the lower court: (1) for petitioner: (a) Exhibit “A” – Complaint; (b) Exhibit “B” – Certificate of Marriage Between Rederick A. Recio (Filipino-Australian) and Grace J. Garcia (Filipino) on January 12, 1994 in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; (c) Exhibit “C” – Certificate of Marriage Between Rederick A. Recio (Filipino) and Editha D. Samson (Australian) on March 1, 1987 in Malabon, Metro Manila; (d) Exhibit “D” – Office of the City

Registrar of Cabanatuan City Certification that no information of annulment between Rederick A. as above discussed. SO ORDERED. (Chairman).Amended Answer. 1995. which show petitioner’s legal capacity to marry petitioner. Id. p. if any. it may turn out that under Australian law. to prove his legal capacity to contract the second marriage. or at the very least. (d) Exhibit “4” – Decree Nisi of Dissolution of Marriage in the Family Court of Australia Certificate. Recio. 37.Statutory Declaration of the Legal Separation Between Rederick A. Hence. there being already in evidence two existing marriage certificates. No costs. Recio and Editha D. Garcia Recio since October 22. 1994. was legally capacitated to marry petitioner on January 12. p. pp. Recio and Grace J. one in Malabon. Rollo. in Cabanatuan City dated January 12. 10. Melo. and (e) Exhibit “E” – Certificate of Australian Citizenship of Rederick A. Failing in that. Buenaventura. 7-9. we believe that the most judicious course is to remand this case to the trial court to receive evidence. (c) Exhibit “3” – Certificate of Australian Citizenship of Rederick A. and failing in that. Penned by Judge Feliciano V. Ibid. We agree with petitioner’s contention that the court a quo erred in finding that the divorce decree ipso facto clothed respondent with the legal capacity to remarry without requiring him to adduce sufficient evidence to show the Australian personal law governing his status. concur. then the court a quo may declare a nullity of the parties’ marriage on the ground of bigamy. and Sandoval-Gutierrez. which were both obtained in the Philippines. 1987 and the other. Neither can we grant petitioner’s prayer to declare her marriage to respondent null and void on the ground of bigamy.. (2) for respondent: (a) Exhibit “1” -. we cannot conclude that respondent. Metro Manila dated March 1. Samson was in its records. . After all. p. and Exhibit “5” -. (b) Exhibit “2” – Family Law Act 1975 Decree Nisi of Dissolution of Marriage in the Family Court of Australia.. 47. rollo.. JJ. Based on the above records. who was then a naturalized Australian citizen. WHEREFORE. he was really capacitated to marry petitioner as a direct result of the divorce decree. p. we REMAND the case to the court a quo for the purpose of receiving evidence which conclusively show respondent’s legal capacity to marry petitioner.. Ibid. 1994. 9. in the interest of orderly procedure and substantial justice. of declaring the parties’ marriage void on the ground of bigamy. Rollo. p. 44. Vitug. Recio.

43. wills. 1998. 48. 25. pp. pp. records. “ART. 43 Phil. p. Balane. No. 242-243. had been filed on December 10. and other public instruments shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they are executed. See Annexes “3” and “4” of Respondent’s Comment. Id. 2000. condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines. 1999. p. pp. p. or to the status. even though living abroad. 43. pp. temporary rollo. TSN.. “Family Courts and Significant Jurisprudence in Family Law. The case was deemed submitted for decision on January 11. 39. p. p. 48-51. 49. signed by Atty. 33-35. 1-8.” “ART. 15. pp. The forms and solemnities of contracts. The Memorandum for respondent. XXVII. March 3. Olivia Velasco-Jacoba. Ruben F. Petitioner’s Memorandum. Vol. Laws relating to family rights and duties. RTC Order of December 16.” Journal of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines... 203. rollo. 36.Id. upon this Court’s receipt of the Memorandum for petitioner. p. December 16. 9. Id. The couple secured an Australian “Statutory Declaration” of their legal separation and division of conjugal assets. Id. Rollo. signed by Atty. 2. rollo. rollo. 1998. 8-9. 1. 1922. ibid. Id. Amended Answer. xxx xxx xxx . p. 1st & 2nd Quarters.. 39. Annex “1”.. Gomez of Gomez and Associates. 2001. p. pp. 172-179. 17. p. pp. Gloria V.. 77-78.

Romillo Jr. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized. 1989.—For the purpose of their presentation in evidence.“Prohibitive laws concerning persons. IbaySomera. p. Vol. Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence provides that “when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document. their acts or property. June 30. 362. Private International Law. p.— For the purpose of their presentation in evidence. 1987) Cf. Barretto Gonzalez v. (71a) “Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry. “SEC.” (As amended by EO 227. Public documents are: . 26. 19. Van Dorn v. (4). 139 SCRA 139. documents are either public or private. November 29. and 38. or of a foreign country. 37. Romillo Jr. 67. “Art. 143. whether in the Philippines. supra. 1933. documents are either public or private..” Burr W. and (6).” Tenchaves v. 174 SCRA 653.. xxx xxx x x x. IV. the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law. 16. or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority. “Public documents are: “(a) The written official acts. 71-72.. Gonzalez. and Pilapil v. 295300. 1995 ed. and those which have for their object public order. Vitug. (5). Classes of documents. Escano 15 SCRA 355. October 8. 1926 ed. except those prohibited under Articles 35(1). Ibid. pp.” “SEC. Classes of documents. 36. March 7. public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated.. 3511. and public officers. Commentaries on the Law of Evidence in Civil Cases. 19. §3. 143-144. or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. 1985. 663. For a detailed discussion of Van Dorn. See also Jose C. official bodies and tribunals. 58 Phil. and valid there as such. Van Dorn v. p. see Salonga.. Compendium of Civil Law and Jurisprudence. Jones. July 27. shall also be valid in this country. 1993 ed. no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself. 1965. prom.

November 10. or by his deputy. p. 945. Ibid. April 18. The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: A Commentary. 176). 1998. whether in the Philippines. 133-134. 1. consul. p. p. or a specific part thereof. v. 516. Ricardo J. Yatco. Marella v. 97 Phil. p. but only photocopies of the same documents were attached to the records (Records. Index of Exhibits. xxx xxx x x x. official bodies and tribunals. Art. De la Torre v. if the record is not kept in the Philippines. 8-9. September 25. 1998. v. Court of Appeals. People v. records. Francisco. 12 Phil. 294 SCRA 196.” See also Asiavest Ltd. TSN. 24. 7. 1. 384. 178. 271 SCRA 504. p. 3. Court of Appeals. 7. Reyes. or if he be the clerk of a court having a seal. 2000.. 15.. 161 SCRA 122. and public officers. If the office in which the record is kept is in a foreign country. Pacific Asia Overseas Shipping Corp. 1998. Diaz. consul general. People v. p.). 1997. 114942. viceconsul. Evidence: Rules of Court in the Philippines. 382. under the seal of such court. pp. . Joaquin Bernas.” “Sec. p. if there be any. second edition. May 6. August 14. 1996 ed. What attestation of copy must state. 1988. 1998. p. the certificate may be made by a secretary of the embassy or legation. 178.—The record of public documents referred to in paragraph (a) of Section 19. with a certificate that such officer has the custody. or of a foreign country.” “Sec. December 15. December 16. or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept. v. GR No.. 941. National Labor Relations Commission. records. the attestation must state. – Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested for the purpose of evidence. 203-204. when admissible for any purpose. Civil Code. p. November 27. 296 SCRA 539. or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority. 5. as the case may be. Proof of official record. may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record. in substance. The transcript of stenographic notes states that the original copies of the divorce decrees were presented in court (TSN. Court of Appeals. Inc. 25. TSN. Maunlad Savings & Loan Asso. records. that the copy is a correct copy of the original. November 28. The attestation must be under the official seal of the attesting officer. December 16. and accompanied. and authenticated by the seal of his office. p.(a) The written official acts. 1998. 550-551. 1908. 566. 1955.

120-126.. Court of Appeals. Effect of foreign judgments or final orders. p. p. or clear mistake of law or fact. 625. fraud. 170-171.. 7. (Vitug.” In passing. 27A CJS. “In either case. pp. . Under Article 4 of the Family Code. Compendium. §162. Melencio Sta. p. pp. 42. 1959. 2000. p. 27A CJS. Handbook on the Family Code of the Philippines.) Records.. 36. 180. an irregularity will not affect the validity of a marriage celebrated on the basis of a marriage license issued without that certificate. 5. p. 1997 reprint.—The effect of a judgment or final order of a tribunal of a foreign country.. collusion. §1. Maria Jr. 48. Ibid. “SEC. 4. Id. Rufus Rodriguez. p. 15-17. the judgment or final order is presumptive evidence of a right as between the parties and their successors in interest by a subsequent title. October 6. pp. p. Id. 29. 611-613. Sempio-Diy. Ltd. Francisco. The Family Code of the Philippines Annotated.. 84-89.Wildvalley Shipping Co. p. v.. 839. pp. pp.. p. 119602. 17. Rollo. 1999 ed. 181-182. the judgment or final order may be repelled by evidence of a want of jurisdiction... Cabahug. we note that the absence of the said certificate is merely an irregularity in complying with the formal requirement for procuring a marriage license. 1-3. 1990 ed. §161. Id.. Persons and Family Relations Law. having jurisdiction to render the judgment or final order is as follows: xxx xxx xxx “(b) In case of a judgment or final order against a person. December 29. GR No. Ibid. want of notice to the party. 106 Phil. p. 146.. Id. citing De los Angeles v. Id.

1999 of public respondent Judge Josefina Guevara-Salonga. 1981 and October 25. 183. No.. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. on December 11. 1987. 96-1389.: At the core of the present controversy are issues of (a) grave abuse of discretion allegedly committed by public respondent and (b) lack of jurisdiction of the regional trial court. Germany.Arellano Law Foundation G. Presiding Judge of Makati RTC. Presiding Judge of Makati Regional Trial Court. a Filipina. The assailed orders partially set aside the trial court’s order dismissing Civil Case No. ROEHR. Negros Oriental. JUDGE JOSEFINA GUEVARASALONGA. 1980 in Hamburg.. 2003 WOLFGANG O.Id. vs. petitioner assails (a) the order1 dated September 30. MARIA CARMEN D. Id. HON. petitioner. 184-187. 40-41. ROEHR vs. p. Petitioner Wolfgang O. pp. In this special civil action for certiorari. MARIA CARMEN D. J. RODRIGUEZ.FULL TEXT The Lawphil Project . 1996. 2003 WOLFGANG O. On August 28. and (b) the order3 dated March 31. RODRIGUEZ. private respondent filed a petition5 for declaration of nullity of . 96-1389 for declaration of nullity of marriage. 142820 June 20. in matters that spring from a divorce decree obtained abroad by petitioner.R. pp. Id. 142820 June 20. No.R. Their marriage was subsequently ratified on February 14.4 Out of their union were born Carolynne and Alexandra Kristine on November 18. Branch 149. respondents.2 Branch 149. ET AL. PHILIPPINE JURISPRUDENCE .. in Civil Case No. married private respondent Carmen Rodriguez. Roehr. 2000 denying his motion for reconsideration. a German citizen and resident of Germany. QUISUMBING. 1981 in Tayasan. for the purpose of resolving issues relating to the property settlement of the spouses and the custody of their children. respectively.

Private respondent filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration. Hamburg-Blankenese. The litigation expenses shall be assumed by the Parties. petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. On July 14. Carmen D. 1998. On August 18. On February 6. but was also denied in an order8 dated August 13.6 but it was denied by the trial court in its order7 dated May 28. 1997. born on 25 October 1987 is granted to the father. petitioner obtained a decree of divorce from the Court of First Instance of Hamburg-Blankenese. The decree provides in part: [T]he Court of First Instance. Rodriguez had already been severed by the decree of divorce promulgated by the .9 In view of said decree. the appellate court denied the petition and remanded the case to the RTC. 1997: The marriage of the Parties contracted on 11 December 1980 before the Civil Registrar of Hamburg-Altona is hereby dissolved. On June 5. petitioner filed a Second Motion to Dismiss on May 20. petitioner filed a motion to dismiss.marriage before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City. born 18 November 1981 Alexandra Kristine Roehr. petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. Meanwhile. 1997. 1999 on the ground that the trial court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action or suit as a decree of divorce had already been promulgated dissolving the marriage of petitioner and private respondent. 1999. Branch 513. 1997. Judge Guevara-Salonga issued an order granting petitioner’s motion to dismiss. On November 27. 1997. an Opposition to the Motion for Partial Reconsideration was filed by the petitioner on the ground that there is nothing to be done anymore in the instant case as the marital tie between petitioner Wolfgang Roehr and respondent Ma. 1997. The parental custody for the children Carolynne Roehr. 1997. 1999. promulgated on December 16. On September 5. with a prayer that the case proceed for the purpose of determining the issues of custody of children and the distribution of the properties between petitioner and private respondent. has ruled through Judge van Buiren of the Court of First Instance on the basis of the oral proceedings held on 4 Nov.

through the implementation of the mandate of Article 26 of the Family Code. the Order dismissing this case is partially set aside with respect to these matters which may be ventilated in this Court. and the custody of the children had already been awarded to Petitioner Wolfgang Roehr. and considering further the effects of the termination of the marriage under Article 43 in relation to Article 50 and 52 of the same Code. 2000. Respondent Maria Carmen Rodriguez by her motion for Partial Reconsideration had recognized and admitted the Divorce Decision obtained by her ex-husband in Hamburg. 1999 dismissing the instant case is not allowed by 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.12 Petitioner ascribes lack of jurisdiction of the trial court and grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondent judge. The pertinent portion of said order provides: Acting on the Motion for Partial Reconsideration of the Order dated July 14.15 Pertinent in this case before us are the following issues: .13 2. respondent judge issued the assailed order partially setting aside her order dated July 14. He cites as grounds for his petition the following: 1. Germany. 1999.11 (Emphasis supplied. 1999 filed by petitioner thru counsel which was opposed by respondent and considering that the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code was included as an amendment thru Executive Order 227.Court of First Instance of Hamburg. Partially setting aside the order dated July 14. SO ORDERED. Germany on December 16. On September 30.14 3. 1999 for the purpose of tackling the issues of property relations of the spouses as well as support and custody of their children. which was denied by respondent judge in an order dated March 31. There is nothing left to be tackled by the Honorable Court as there are no conjugal assets alleged in the Petition for Annulment of Marriage and in the Divorce petition.10 endowing the petitioner with the capacity to remarry under the Philippine law. 1999. 1997 and in view of the fact that said decree of divorce had already been recognized by the RTC in its order of July 14. to avoid the absurd situation of a Filipino as being still married to his or her alien spouse though the latter is no longer married to the Filipino spouse because he/she had obtained a divorce abroad which is recognized by his/her national law. 1999.) Petitioner filed a timely motion for reconsideration on October 19. which include the dissolution of the property relations of the spouses. and the support and custody of their children.

upon such terms as may be just. 1999. which partially modified her order dated July 14. Rule 16. argues that the RTC can validly reconsider its order dated July 14. deny the motion. Sec. In every case. or less than all of the matters in controversy. the court may dismiss the action or claim. and 2. If the court finds that excessive damages have been awarded or that the judgment or final order is contrary to the evidence or law.—The trial court may set aside the judgment or final order and grant a new trial.) It is clear from the foregoing rules that a judge can order a partial reconsideration of a . given the timely filing of respondent’s motion for reconsideration. 3. 1999 because it had not yet attained finality. the resolution shall state clearly and distinctly the reasons therefor. which provides: Sec. denying the motion. 7. 1999. Resolution of motion . On the first issue. The court shall not defer the resolution of the motion for the reason that the ground relied upon is not indubitable. 3. which provides: Sec. Partial new trial or reconsideration. it may amend such judgment or final order accordingly. or ordering the amendment of the pleading. the court may order a new trial or grant reconsideration as to such issues if severable without interfering with the judgment or final order upon the rest. Rule 37 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. of the parties to it. Pertinent to this issue is Section 3 in relation to Section 7. (Emphasis supplied. Whether or not respondent judge gravely abused her discretion in issuing her order dated September 30. Rules of Civil Procedure. Action upon motion for new trial or reconsideration. Whether or not respondent judge gravely abused her discretion when she assumed and retained jurisdiction over the present case despite the fact that petitioner has already obtained a divorce decree from a German court. on her part. Private respondent.—If the grounds for a motion under this Rule appear to the court to affect the issues as to only a part. or order the amendment of the pleading. (Emphasis supplied.1.) Petitioner avers that a court’s action on a motion is limited to dismissing the action or claim. or less than all.After the hearing. petitioner asserts that the assailed order of respondent judge is completely inconsistent with her previous order and is contrary to Section 3. or may deny the motion. or only one.

provided such decree is valid according to the national law of the foreigner. but the legal effects thereof. having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment is as follows: (a) In case of a judgment upon a specific thing. . Relevant to the present case is Pilapil v. Considering that private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration within the reglementary period. 1999. despite the fact that petitioner has already obtained a divorce decree from the Court of First Instance of Hamburg. Anent the second issue. In Garcia v.18 In our view. 1999 can still be modified. in Sañado v. petitioner claims that respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion when she partially set aside her order dated July 14.16 we held that the court could modify or alter a judgment even after the same has become executory whenever circumstances transpire rendering its decision unjust and inequitable. the trial court's decision of July 14. must still be determined by our courts.19 Van Dorn v. the Federal Republic of Germany. the divorce decree issued by the German court dated December 16. as where certain facts and circumstances justifying or requiring such modification or alteration transpired after the judgment has become final and executory17 and when it becomes imperative in the higher interest of justice or when supervening events warrant it. Romillo.21 we consistently held that a divorce obtained abroad by an alien may be recognized in our jurisdiction. As a general rule. the judgment is conclusive upon . In fact. Thus. Section 48.22 where this Court specifically recognized the validity of a divorce obtained by a German citizen in his country.g. Germany. Section 50 of the Rules of Court (now Rule 39.23 Before our courts can give the effect of res judicata to a foreign judgment. thereby endowing private respondent the capacity to remarry. as in this case. Carolynne and Alexandra Kristine. 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure). Jr. the present controversy mainly relates to the award of the custody of their two children. care and support of the children. Court of Appeals.. it must be shown that the parties opposed to the judgment had been given ample opportunity to do so on grounds allowed under Rule 39. such as the award of custody to petitioner by the German court. Recio. Ibay-Somera.20 and Llorente v. e. Court of Appeals. divorce decrees obtained by foreigners in other countries are recognizable in our jurisdiction. judgment has not yet attained finality. In this case. to petitioner. to wit: SEC. 50. Effect of foreign judgments. even the trial court recognized said decree to be valid and binding. there are even more compelling reasons to do so when. Moreover. We held in Pilapil that a foreign divorce and its legal effects may be recognized in the Philippines insofar as respondent is concerned in view of the nationality principle in our civil law on the status of persons.The effect of a judgment of a tribunal of a foreign country. on custody.case that has not yet attained finality. 1997 has not been challenged by either of the parties. save for the issue of parental custody.

or clear mistake of law or fact. Private respondent herself has admitted in Par. The divorce decree itself states that neither has she commented on the proceedings25 nor has she given her opinion to the Social Services Office. fraud. (b) In case of a judgment against a person. collusion. but the judgment may be repelled by evidence of a want of jurisdiction.26 Unlike petitioner who was represented by two lawyers.27 More importantly. This is in consonance with the provision in the Child and Youth Welfare Code that the child’s welfare is always the paramount consideration in all questions concerning his care and custody. The proceedings in the German court were summary. respondent judge has no basis to assert jurisdiction . care. as such. the judgment is presumptive evidence of a right as between the parties and their successors in interest by a subsequent title. 1996 filed with the RTC of Makati. the trial court was correct in setting the issue for hearing to determine the issue of parental custody. the divorce judgment was issued to petitioner by virtue of the German Civil Code provision to the effect that when a couple lived separately for three years. subject of this case. petitioner asserts that public respondent exceeded the bounds of her jurisdiction when she claimed cognizance of the issue concerning property relations between petitioner and private respondent. a foreign judgment merely constitutes prima facie evidence of the justness of the claim of a party and. in order for the court in this jurisdiction to properly determine its efficacy. Absent any finding that private respondent is unfit to obtain custody of the children. support and education mindful of the best interests of the children. the marriage is deemed irrefutably dissolved.24 In the present case. In this jurisdiction. Basic is the rule that a court shall grant relief warranted by the allegations and the proof. as distinguished from actions in rem. that: "[p]etitioner and respondent have not acquired any conjugal or community property nor have they incurred any debts during their marriage. 14 of her petition for declaration of nullity of marriage dated August 26. 28 On the matter of property relations. private respondent had no counsel to assist her in said proceedings. It is essential that there should be an opportunity to challenge the foreign judgment.30 Given the factual admission by the parties in their pleadings that there is no property to be accounted for. As to what was the extent of private respondent’s participation in the proceedings in the German court. is subject to proof to the contrary. our Rules of Court clearly provide that with respect to actions in personam. want of notice to the party. it cannot be said that private respondent was given the opportunity to challenge the judgment of the German court so that there is basis for declaring that judgment as res judicata with regard to the rights of petitioner to have parental custody of their two children."29 Herein petitioner did not contest this averment. The decree did not touch on the issue as to who the offending spouse was.the title to the thing. the records remain unclear.

at 147. issued on September 30. Bellosillo. 1999 and March 31. we find that respondent judge may proceed to determine the issue regarding the custody of the two children born of the union between petitioner and private respondent. and valid there as such. Footnotes 1 Rollo. Let the records of this case be remanded promptly to the trial court for continuation of appropriate proceedings. however. Judge Josefina Guevara-Salonga signed as Executive Judge. shall also be valid in this country. Id. No pronouncement as to costs. Id.in this case to resolve a matter no longer deemed in controversy. p. We hereby declare that the trial court has jurisdiction over the issue between the parties as to who has parental custody. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Art. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines. p.. Rollo. at 1-4. which is not at issue. including the care. 5-6.. Id. p. SO ORDERED. 15. Records. WHEREFORE. (Chairman). the orders of the Regional Trial Court of Makati. 26. support and education of the children. JJ. Id. in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized. on official leave. Branch 149. 16. in claiming cognizance to settle the matter of property relations of the parties. 33. pp. In sum. Rollo.. J. except those prohibited under Articles . Austria-Martinez. at 165. namely Carolynne and Alexandra Kristine Roehr. concur. Private respondent erred. 2000 are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. and Callejo. Sr. at 19-28.

17 April 2001. 366 SCRA 437. No. No. at 55-56. 601. 19 20 21 22 23 24 Philsec Investment Corporation v. (4). G. 719. 108338. 12 13 14 15 16 17 David v. 103493. 663. 315 SCRA 461. 18 People v. (As amended by E. 8 October 1985. G.R. 116773. 138322. 37 and 38. 124371. 139 SCRA 139. No. No. Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry.R. supra at 602.R. Ibid. Court of Appeals. O. G. p. 316 SCRA 710.R. G. 57. 143. 274 SCRA 102. 16 January 1997. No. No. 561. 227. Llorente v. 124736. Court of Appeals.R.35 (1). 13 October 1999. Rollo. G. note 3.R. p.R. dated July 17. 447. Id. No. 356 SCRA 546. 19 June 1997. Supra. G.R. (5) and (6). 2 October 2001. 80116. 463. 174 SCRA 653. 29 September 1999. note 1. 1987. No. 6. at 8. No. 23 November 2000. Sagala-Eslao v. 30 June 1989. 36. G. 115821. 266 26 27 28 . 345 SCRA 592. Id. Court of Appeals. the Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.) 11 Supra. No. 25 Rollo. Gallo. Court of Appeals. G. L-68470. Ibid. 110.

603. and .. No. (Chairperson) . Child’s Welfare Paramount. CALLEJO.R. education and property of the child. 8.R. Petitioner. The Lawphil Project . SR. No. The Child and Youth Welfare CodeArt. Inc.J. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. . 20 November 2000. P.SCRA 317.Arellano Law Foundation FIRST DIVISION ALONZO Q.D. No. 321.In all questions regarding the care. 124293.versus ∗YNARES-SANTIAGO. Court of Appeals. p. ANCHETA. his welfare shall be the paramount consideration. 139868 Present: PANGANIBAN. v. custody. C. 8. G. 19. 154. G. 29 Rollo. 30 JG Summit Holdings. 345 SCRA 143. citing Art.

The will was admitted to probate before the Orphan’s Court of Baltimore. 2006 x ........... Promulgated: June 8.. On July 29. Kimberly and Kevin. The court also named Atty. JJ.. Richard married Candelaria Guersey-Dalaygon (respondent) with whom he has two children.... Audrey died.. Maryland.. U..-x DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. 1979. In 1981. Ancheta (petitioner) of the Quasha Asperilla Ancheta Pena & Nolasco Law Offices as ancillary administrator... .. leaving a will. Alonzo Q. Respondent.. Phillips as executor due to Richard’s renunciation of his appointment..S... Richard Guersey (Richard) were American citizens who have resided in the Philippines for 30 years.. J...: Spouses Audrey O’Neill (Audrey) and W. Kyle Guersey Hill (Kyle).... CANDELARIA GUERSEYDALAYGON.. namely. They have an adopted daughter......A... which named James N. who was also designated as executor... In it..CHICO-NAZARIO..... she bequeathed her entire estate to Richard....

directing the Register of Deeds of Makati to cancel TCT No. . Atty. wherein he bequeathed his entire estate to respondent. The motion and project of partition was granted and approved by the trial court in its Order dated February 12.A. Inc. worth P64. a project of partition of Audrey’s estate. Makati. Richard died. The trial court also issued an Order on April 7. shares. and directing the Citibank to release the amount of P12. M-888. 48. 1987.417.444 shares of stock in A/G Interiors. and James N. Metro Manila. U.313. Branch 138. who in turn.333 shares to the Estate of W. petitioner filed in Special Proceeding No. 1987.111 shares to Kyle. and (3) 64. 9625. in Special Proceeding No. 1988. Inc. Richard Guersey and 16. Forbes Park. and P9.49 in cash.333 shares in A/G Interiors. a motion to declare Richard and Kyle as heirs of Audrey. Inc. leaving a will. Audrey’s will was also admitted to probate by the then Court of First Instance of Rizal.. as ancillary administrator. Phillips was likewise appointed as executor. Richard’s will was then submitted for probate before the Regional Trial Court of Makati. William Quasha or any member of the Quasha Asperilla Ancheta Pena & Nolasco Law Offices. Quasha was appointed as ancillary administrator on July 24. The will was also admitted to probate by the Orphan’s Court of Ann Arundel. Pasig.. valued at P764. and Kyle. 9625. Richard Guersey (¾ undivided interest) and Kyle (¼ undivided interest). directing the Secretary of A/G Interiors.97 to the ancillary administrator for distribution to the heirs. On October 19. Petitioner also filed on October 23. 16.00. with Richard being apportioned the ¾ undivided interest in the Makati property. (2) a current account in Audrey’s name with a cash balance of P12.00 (Makati property).417. save for his rights and interests over the A/G Interiors. 1988. and P3. the ¼ undivided interest in the Makati property.48 from the Citibank current account.865.S. Seventh Judicial District.111 shares in A/G Interiors.97. 1986. As administrator of Audrey’s estate in the Philippines. Branch 25.444. which he left to Kyle. 69792 in the name of Richard and to issue a new title in the joint names of the Estate of W. Inc.On October 12. 1982.104. Maryland. docketed as Special Proceeding No. to transfer 48. 1984. designated Atty. Inc. On July 20. petitioner filed an inventory and appraisal of the following properties: (1) Audrey’s conjugal share in real estate with improvements located at 28 Pili Avenue.

1988. respondent filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) an amended complaint for the annulment of the trial court’s Orders dated February 12. TCT No. 9625. to respondent. the ancillary administrator in Special Proceeding No. . This was opposed by respondent on the ground that under the law of the State of Maryland. and not merely ¾ thereof. 155823 in the names of the Estate of W. Petitioner contended that he acted in good faith in submitting the project of partition before the trial court in Special Proceeding No. and since Richard left his entire estate.. except for his rights and interests over the A/G Interiors. M-888 also filed a project of partition wherein 2/5 of Richard’s ¾ undivided interest in the Makati property was allocated to respondent. 1988.” Since Richard left his entire estate to respondent. and in its Order dated December 6. Petitioner alleged that he believed that it is to the “best interests of the surviving children that Philippine law be applied as they would receive their just shares. issued in Special Proceeding No. then the entire Makati property should now pertain to respondent. Richard Guersey and Kyle. Meanwhile. and cannot be set aside. disapproved the project of partition insofar as it affects the Makati property. 9625. Inc. as he had no knowledge of the State of Maryland’s laws on testate and intestate succession. shares. “a legacy passes to the legatee the entire interest of the testator in the property subject of the legacy. The trial court found merit in respondent’s opposition. Respondent contended that petitioner willfully breached his fiduciary duty when he disregarded the laws of the State of Maryland on the distribution of Audrey’s estate in accordance with her will. while 3/5 thereof were allocated to Richard’s three children. On October 20. 1991. then the Makati property should be wholly adjudicated to him. The trial court also adjudicated Richard’s entire ¾ undivided interest in the Makati property to respondent. the Register of Deeds of Makati issued on June 23. Inc. 1988 and April 7.” Petitioner also alleged that the orders sought to be annulled are already final and executory. Respondent argued that since Audrey devised her entire estate to Richard.Consequently. Petitioner filed his Answer denying respondent’s allegations. then his entire ¾ undivided interest in the Makati property should be given to respondent. except for his rights and interests over the A/G Interiors. 1993.

15583 of the Makati City Registry and the issuance of a new title in the name of the estate of W. 1988 and April 7. ARE VALID AND BINDING AND HAVE LONG BECOME FINAL AND HAVE BEEN FULLY IMPLEMENTED AND EXECUTED AND CAN NO LONGER BE ANNULLED. 1998 and April 7. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. Richard Guersey. in lieu thereof. SO ORDERED. 1988. The dispositive portion of the assailed Decision provides: WHEREFORE. in Special Proceeding No. the CA rendered the assailed Decision annulling the trial court’s Orders dated February 12. 9625. 9625 “IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR PROBATE OF THE WILL OF THE DECEASED AUDREY GUERSEY. a new one is entered ordering: (a) The adjudication of the entire estate of Audrey O’Neill Guersey in favor of the estate of W. but this was denied by the CA per Resolution dated August 27. Hence. . ANCHETA. ANCILLARY ADMINISTRATOR”. ALONZO Q.On March 18. the herein petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court alleging that the CA gravely erred in not holding that: A) THE ORDERS OF 12 FEBRUARY 1988 AND 07 APRIL 1988 IN SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS NO. 1999. 1988 are hereby ANNULLED and. 1999. Richard Guersey. the assailed Orders of February 12. and (b) The cancellation of Transfer Certificate of Title No.

stating that as early as 1984. as far as the parties to the proceedings are concerned. DID NOT COMMIT FRAUD. Petitioner also contends that that he acted in good faith in performing his duties as an ancillary administrator. such that the partition was made in accordance with Philippine laws. which is “conclusive upon the administration as to all matters involved in such judgment or order. AND THAT NO FRAUD. he was not aware of the relevant laws of the State of Maryland. Petitioner reiterates his arguments before the CA that the Orders dated February 12. IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES AS ANCILLARY ADMINISTRATOR OF AUDREY O’NEIL GUERSEY’S ESTATE IN THE PHILIPPINES. He maintains that at the time of the filing of the project of partition. WAS EMPLOYED BY [HIM] IN PROCURING SAID ORDERS. EITHER EXTRINSIC OR INTRINSIC. and his denial of knowledge of the laws of Maryland cannot stand because petitioner is a senior partner in a prestigious law firm and it was his duty to know the relevant laws. petitioner was duty-bound to follow the express terms of Aubrey’s will. and will determine for all time and in all courts. . all matters therein determined.B) THE ANCILLARY ADMINISTRATOR HAVING ACTED IN GOOD FAITH. he already apprised respondent of the contents of the will and how the estate will be divided. 1988 can no longer be annulled because it is a final judgment.” and the same has already been executed. EITHER EXTRINSIC OR INTRINSIC. Respondent argues that petitioner’s breach of his fiduciary duty as ancillary administrator of Aubrey’s estate amounted to extrinsic fraud. 1988 and April 7. Petitioner also imputes knowledge on the part of respondent with regard to the terms of Aubrey’s will. According to respondent.

A decree of distribution of the estate of a deceased person vests the title to the land of the estate in the distributees. Respondent. In the present case. Once it becomes final. Ancheta filed a project of partition in Special Proceeding No. its binding effect is like any other judgment in rem.Respondent also states that she was not able to file any opposition to the project of partition because she was not a party thereto and she learned of the provision of Aubrey’s will bequeathing entirely her estate to Richard only after Atty.P. 1993. Kyle Guersey Hill. The petition for annulment was filed before the CA on October 20. the applicable law is Batas Pambansa Blg.P. petitioner should have distributed Aubrey’s estate in accordance with the terms of her will. 129 may be based on the ground that a judgment is void for want of jurisdiction or that the judgment was obtained by extrinsic fraud. justified her lack of immediate action by saying that she had no opportunity to question petitioner’s acts since she was not a . Petitioner contends that respondent’s cause of action had already prescribed because as early as 1984. the Court ruled that a party interested in a probate proceeding may have a final liquidation set aside when he is left out by reason of circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or inadvertence not imputable to negligence. it has to be extrinsic or actual. The CA also found that petitioner was prompted to distribute Audrey’s estate in accordance with Philippine laws in order to equally benefit Audrey and Richard Guersey’s adopted daughter. if erroneous may be corrected by a timely appeal. respondent was already well aware of the terms of Audrey’s will. An annulment of judgment filed under B. Further. respondent alleged extrinsic fraud as basis for the annulment of the RTC Orders dated February 12. The CA found merit in respondent’s cause and found that petitioner’s failure to follow the terms of Audrey’s will. amounted to extrinsic fraud. and the complaint was filed only in 1993. Ortuzar. it is the national law of the decedent that is applicable. 129) or the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980. M-888 for the settlement of Richard’s estate. a final decree of distribution of the estate may be set aside for lack of jurisdiction or fraud. despite the latter’s declaration of good faith. on the other hand. hence. 129 (B. The CA ruled that under Article 16 of the Civil Code. 1988 and April 7. 1988. hence. in Ramon v. in exceptional cases. For fraud to become a basis for annulment of judgment. and must be brought within four years from the discovery of the fraud. before the issuance of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. which. However.

and the order of the trial court disallowing the project of partition in Special Proceeding No. or real contest. Records bear the fact that the filing of the project of partition of Richard’s estate. Fraud is extrinsic where the unsuccessful party has been prevented from exhibiting fully his case. whereby the defeated party has been prevented from exhibiting fully his side of the case by fraud or deception practiced on him by his opponent. these and similar cases which show that there has never been a real contest in the trial or hearing of the case are reasons for which a new . 9 par. omission. clearly. not pertaining to the judgment itself. extrinsic fraud refers to any fraudulent act of the prevailing party in the litigation which is committed outside of the trial of the case. respondent had no other recourse under the circumstances but to file the annulment case. being kept in ignorance by the acts of the plaintiff. Fraud takes on different shapes and faces. or from presenting all of his case to the court. or where the defendant never had any knowledge of the suit. Rather. the Court stated that “man in his ingenuity and fertile imagination will always contrive new schemes to fool the unwary. the four-year period should be counted from the time of respondent’s discovery thereof. 129.P. Ancheta filed the project of partition in Special Proceeding No. but to the manner in which it was procured so that there is not a fair submission of the controversy. Since the action for annulment was filed in 1993. 9625. Respondent’s knowledge of the terms of Audrey’s will is immaterial in this case since it is not the fraud complained of. In Cosmic Lumber Corporation v. It should be pointed out that the prescriptive period for annulment of judgment based on extrinsic fraud commences to run from the discovery of the fraud or fraudulent act/s. it is petitioner’s failure to introduce in evidence the pertinent law of the State of Maryland that is the fraudulent act. Court of Appeals. alleged to have been committed against respondent.party to Special Proceeding No. Obviously. M-888. or where an attorney fraudulently or without authority connives at his defeat. a false promise of a compromise. In other words. and it was only after Atty. Blg. M-888 were all done in 1991. (2). M-888 that she came to comprehend the ramifications of petitioner’s acts. or where it operates upon matters. Respondent cannot be faulted for letting the assailed orders to lapse into finality since it was only through Special Proceeding No. where it is one the effect of which prevents a party from hearing a trial. the same has not yet prescribed. the opposition thereto. and therefore. as by keeping him away from court. or in this case. by fraud or deception practiced on him by his opponent. reducing her inheritance in the estate of Richard that she was prompted to seek another counsel to protect her interest. of B.” There is extrinsic fraud within the meaning of Sec.

serves as the standard by which his conduct is to be judged. he occupies a position of the highest trust and confidence. It is undisputed that Audrey Guersey was an American citizen domiciled in Maryland. especially with regard as to who are her heirs.e. is governed by her national law. The overriding consideration when extrinsic fraud is alleged is that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant prevented a party from having his day in court.suit may be sustained to set aside and annul the former judgment and open the case for a new and fair hearing.A.A. she was residing in the Philippines but is domiciled in Maryland. Maryland. as provided in Article 16 of the Civil Code. and the will was authenticated by the Secretary of State of Maryland and the Vice Consul of the Philippine Embassy. 1988. Being a foreign national. 1988 and April 7.. During the reprobate of her will in Special Proceeding No. U. Petitioner’s failure to proficiently manage the distribution of Audrey’s estate according to the terms of her will and as dictated by the applicable law amounted to extrinsic fraud. among others..S.A. care and judgment which a person of a fair average capacity and ability exercises in similar transactions of his own. Petitioner is the ancillary administrator of Audrey’s estate. 9625.. and he is required to exercise reasonable diligence and act in entire good faith in the performance of that trust. her Last Will and Testament dated August 18. 1979.S. must be upheld. Hence the CA Decision annulling the RTC Orders dated February 12. which was duly authenticated and certified by the Register of Wills of Baltimore City and attested by the Chief Judge of said court. to wit: . the intrinsic validity of Audrey’s will. U. yet the same degree of prudence.S. 1972 was executed and probated before the Orphan’s Court in Baltimore. that at the time of Audrey’s death. the will was admitted by the Orphan’s Court of Baltimore City on September 7. it was shown. i. the law of the State of Maryland. U. As such. Although he is not a guarantor or insurer of the safety of the estate nor is he expected to be infallible.

shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. after the payment of just debts and expenses of administration. Rule 77 of the Rules of Court on Allowance of Will Proved Outside the Philippines and Administration of Estate Thereunder. shall be disposed of as is provided by law in cases of estates in the Philippines belonging to persons who are inhabitants of another state or country. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. However. whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found.” As a corollary rule. as ancillary administrator of Audrey’s estate. Such estate. the court shall grant letters testamentary. 4.—When a will is thus allowed. shall be disposed of according to such will. The obvious result was that . if any. 16.Art. or letters of administration with the will annexed. both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions. the trial court peremptorily applied Philippine laws and totally disregarded the terms of Audrey’s will. Estate. Section 4. how administered. petitioner. and merely relied on the presumption that such law is the same as the Philippine law on wills and succession. so far as such will may operate upon it. was duty-bound to introduce in evidence the pertinent law of the State of Maryland. states: SEC. and the residue. however. (Emphasis supplied) Article 1039 of the Civil Code further provides that “capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent. Thus. Petitioner admitted that he failed to introduce in evidence the law of the State of Maryland on Estates and Trusts. shall extend to all the estate of the testator in the Philippines. (Emphasis supplied) While foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of them. and such letters testamentary or of administration. intestate and testamentary succession.

Petitioner insists that his application of Philippine laws was made in good faith. with a “big legal staff and a large library. 82 Phil. and the court has the power to except a particular case from the operation of the rule whenever the purposes of justice require it. the fact remains that the trial court failed to consider said law when it issued the assailed RTC Orders dated February 12.. Yatco. It was incumbent upon him to exercise his functions as ancillary administrator with reasonable diligence. This eventually prejudiced respondent and deprived her of her full successional right to the Makati property. and to discharge the trust reposed on him faithfully. it was already brought to fore that Audrey was a U. 1988. whom petitioner believed should equally benefit from the Makati property. As asserted by respondent. however. 205. The CA aptly noted that petitioner was remiss in his responsibilities as ancillary administrator of Audrey’s estate. Inc. In GSIS v. 30. petitioner is a senior partner in a prestigious law firm.. How can petitioner honestly presume that Philippine laws apply when as early as the reprobate of Audrey’s will before the trial court in 1982. its rigors must be relaxed to admit exceptions thereto and to prevent a miscarriage of justice. The CA correctly stated. citizen. Moreover. Bengson Commercial Bldgs. Ancheta invokes the principle which presumes the law of the forum to be the same as the foreign law (Beam vs. declaring Richard and Kyle as Audrey’s heirs. petitioner failed to perform his fiduciary duties.there was no fair submission of the case before the trial court or a judicious appreciation of the evidence presented. the Court held that when the rule that the negligence or mistake of counsel binds the client deserts its proper office as an aid to justice and becomes a great hindrance and chief enemy. thus: In claiming good faith in the performance of his duties and responsibilities. 38) in the absence of evidence adduced to prove the latter law (Slade Perkins vs. which the Court adopts. whether his omission was intentional or not.” He had all the legal resources to determine the applicable law. it appears that the defendant lost sight of the fact that his primary responsibility as ancillary administrator was to distribute the subject estate in accordance . In defending his actions in the light of the foregoing principle. domiciled in the State of Maryland. 57 Phil. Unfortunately. defendant Alonzo H. The CA likewise observed that the distribution made by petitioner was prompted by his concern over Kyle. 210). Perkins.S. and distributing Audrey’s estate according to the project of partition submitted by petitioner. 1988 and April 7. The Court cannot accept petitioner’s protestation.

She was in no position to analyze the legal implications of petitioner’s omission and it was belatedly that she realized the adverse consequence of the same. the fiduciary nature of the said defendant’s position. Ancheta’s omission to prove the national laws of the decedent and to follow the latter’s last will. however. as well as the resultant frustration of the decedent’s last will. in sum. While there is claim of good faith in distributing the subject estate in accordance with the Philippine laws. to wit: x x x It would seem. It does not rest upon petitioner’s pleasure as to which law should be made applicable under the circumstances. that no clear effort was made to prove the national law of Audrey O’Neill Guersey during the proceedings before the court a quo. . resulted in the procurement of the subject orders without a fair submission of the real issues involved in the case. Defendant Alonzo H. (Emphasis supplied) This is not a simple case of error of judgment or grave abuse of discretion. The record reveals. His onus is clear. While such breach of duty admittedly cannot be considered extrinsic fraud under ordinary circumstances. it goes without saying that the defendant was also duty-bound to prove the pertinent laws of Maryland on the matter.with the will of Audrey O’Neill Guersey. therefore. Respondent was thus excluded from enjoying full rights to the Makati property through no fault or negligence of her own. The end result was a miscarriage of justice. as petitioner’s omission was beyond her control. the courts have the legal and moral duty to provide judicial aid to parties who are deprived of their rights. combine to create a circumstance that is tantamount to extrinsic fraud. Ancheta’s action appears to have breached his duties and responsibilities as ancillary administrator of the subject estate. as well as the citizenship and the avowed domicile of the decedent. Ancheta’s concern that the subject realty equally benefit the plaintiff’s adopted daughter Kyle Guersey. that the eventual distribution of the estate of Audrey O’Neill Guersey was prompted by defendant Alonzo H. defendant Alonzo H. Well-intentioned though it may be. the defendant appears to put his actuations in a different light as indicated in a portion of his direct examination. In cases like this. but a total disregard of the law as a result of petitioner’s abject failure to discharge his fiduciary duties. Considering the principle established under Article 16 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.

1950 before Judge Rafael Amparo (see Records. Court of First Instance.n. the entire Makati property should have then passed on to respondent. Therein. a legacy passes to the legatee the entire interest of the testator in the property which is the subject of the legacy”.: We have. bequeathed his entire estate to respondent. of course.s. Title 3. especially Section 9905. All these properties passed on to Richard upon Audrey’s death. Vol. The Court held. viz. pp. This. Inc. Bohanan. Audrey devised to Richard her entire estate. 24-44.97. Sub-Title 3 of the Annotated Code of the Public General Laws of Maryland on Estates and Trusts. 1991 in Special Proceeding No. Richard. was introduced in evidence by appellants' (herein) counsel as Exhibit "2" (See pp.00. 1954 of the motion of Magdalena C. Section 7-101. Nevertheless. Sub-Title 1. Again said law was presented by the counsel for the executor and admitted by the Court as Exhibit "B" during the hearing of the case on January 23. the Court may take judicial notice thereof in view of the ruling in Bohanan v. the Court took judicial notice of the law of Nevada despite failure to prove the same. assumes the proposition that the law of the State of Maryland which allows “a legacy to pass to the legatee the entire estate of the testator in the property which is the subject of the legacy. (2) the cash amount of P12. consulted the records of the case in the court below and we have found that during the hearing on October 4. consisting of the following: (1) Audrey’s conjugal share in the Makati property. Meanwhile. Title 7. as follows: Under Section 1-301. . declares that “a personal representative is a fiduciary” and as such he is “under the general duty to settle and distribute the estate of the decedent in accordance with the terms of the will and the estate of decedents law as expeditiously and with as little sacrifice of value as is reasonable under the circumstances”. and (3) 64. “all property of a decedent shall be subject to the estate of decedents law. When Richard subsequently died. Court of First Instance).The trial court in its Order dated December 6.417. Bohanan for withdrawal of P20. in his will.” while Section 4-408 expressly provides that “unless a contrary intent is expressly indicated in the will. shares. II. on the other hand. which he left to Kyle.000 as her share. 9625.” was sufficiently proven in Special Proceeding No. and t. the foreign law. 1). however. except for his rights and interests over the A/G Interiors. Records. who shall hold the legal title for administration and distribution. M-888 noted the law of the State of Maryland on Estates and Trusts.444. worth P64.444 shares of stock in A/G Interiors. In her will. Inc. Compiled Nevada Laws. Vol. 77-79. and upon his death shall pass directly to the personal representative.

In addition. petitioner’s motive in equitably distributing Audrey’s estate cannot prevail over Audrey’s and Richard’s wishes. In this case. Manarang. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones. Under all the above circumstances. Its provisions have substantially the same force and effect in the probate court as if the testator stood before the court in full life making the declarations by word of mouth as they appear in the will. does not dispute the existence or validity of said law. Congress has not intended to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. permitted them to do so x x x All doubts must be resolved in favor of the testator's having meant just what he said. can be taken judicial notice of by us. Bellis: x x x whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes. especially Section 9905 of the Compiled Nevada Laws of 1925. in his dissenting opinion in Santos v. by the creation of that instrument. we are constrained to hold that the pertinent law of Nevada. not to mention that petitioner or any other interested person for that matter. inter alia. For it has specifically chosen to leave. Decades ago. to the decedent's national Law. do not dispute the above-quoted provision of the laws of the State of Nevada. without proof of such law having been offered at the hearing of the project of partition. Justice Moreland. then Audrey’s and Richard’s estate should be distributed according to their respective wills. As stated in Bellis v. . children of the testator. Honorable as it seems. M-888 appropriately took note of the same in disapproving the proposed project of partition of Richard’s estate. the entire Makati property belongs to respondent. the other appellants. That was the special purpose of the law in the creation of the instrument known as the last will and testament. Men wished to speak after they were dead and the law. and the trial court in Special Proceeding No. wrote: A will is the testator speaking after death. and not according to the project of partition submitted by petitioner. the amount of successional rights. given that the pertinent law of the State of Maryland has been brought to record before the CA. Consequently.

In any case. that attended the acquisition by the Guerseys of the Makati property is now inconsequential. since the Makati property had already passed on to respondent who is a Filipino. 1999 of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED. as the objective of the constitutional provision to keep our lands in Filipino hands has been achieved. the flaw in the original transaction is considered cured and the title of the transferee is rendered valid. Petitioner is ADMONISHED to be more circumspect in the performance of his duties as an official of the court. Section 14. which re-opened to American citizens and business enterprises the right in the acquisition of lands of the public domain. development and utilization of natural resources of the Philippines. and other natural resources of the Philippines.Before concluding. exploitation. In this case. Article XII. Sections 1 and 4 of the 1935 Constitution. the petition is denied. the Court has also ruled that if land is invalidly transferred to an alien who subsequently becomes a citizen or transfers it to a citizen. with the exception of private lands acquired by hereditary succession and when the transfer was made to a former natural-born citizen. were reserved to Filipinos and entities owned or controlled by them. . Quasha. The Decision dated March 18. the Court notes the fact that Audrey and Richard Guersey were American citizens who owned real property in the Philippines. as provided in Section 15. The prohibition against acquisition of private lands by aliens was carried on to the 1973 Constitution under Article XIV. if any. Article XIV. In Republic v. does not include the acquisition or exploitation of private agricultural lands. except only by way of legal succession or if the acquisition was made by a former natural-born citizen. the disposition. although records do not show when and how the Guerseys acquired the Makati property. then whatever flaw. and to operate public utilities. Sections 7 and 8 of the 1986 Constitution explicitly prohibits non-Filipinos from acquiring or holding title to private lands or to lands of the public domain. the privilege to acquire and exploit lands of the public domain. 1999 and the Resolution dated August 27. No pronouncement as to costs. As it now stands. the Court clarified that the Parity Rights Amendment of 1946. WHEREFORE. Under Article XIII.

SO ORDERED. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ARTEMIO V. PANGANIBAN Chief Justice Chairperson (On leave) . MA.

Associate Justice MINITA V. ARTEMIO V. 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’s Division. Article VIII of the Constitution. CHICO-NAZARIO Associate Justice CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. SR. PANGANIBAN Chief Justice .CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO Associate Justice ROMEO J. CALLEJO.

Id. CA rollo. 93-94. at 114-116. pp. CA rollo. Id. Id. at 107. Rollo. at 99-100. RTC Order dated December 6. Penned by Associate Justice Fermin A. Supra. Id. Umali (retired). Id. 84-88. Id. Id. pp. Id. at 71-81. 48. at 92. at 101. pp. Id. (retired). 1991. at 89-91. at 104-106. (now Associate Justice of this Court) and Mariano M. CA rollo. 553. at 108-109. Martin.∗ On leave. Callejo. 117-121. Sr. Id. Id. note 2. 36. . at 95-98. CA rollo. p. p. Id. at 102-103. p. at 174. and concurred in by Associate Justices Romeo J. CA rollo. Id. at 617-618. Jr.

207 SCRA 600.Id. Article 1391. p. The City of Legaspi. CA rollo. Court of Appeals. 137 SCRA 77. 194-198. G. 730 (1951). L-56451. Lao v. at 183. Id. Bohanan. 342 (2000). Reyes v. 183. Court of Appeals. Ybañez v. 111 (2002). No. Civil Code. Court of Appeals. pp. 1992. 222 (2000). Pael v. Id. 156. 879 (1999). Kilayko v. 551-553. Tengco. 1991. L-45425. June 19. 426 Phil. Barretto-Datu. Bohanan case. CA rollo. 399 Phil. at 157-158. 948 (1996). 997 (1960). Genato. March 27.. 46. Id. 332 Phil. note 38. 336 (2002). 323 Phil. 89 Phil. CA rollo. 106 Phil. Court of Appeals. Bohanan v. Teodoro v. 125 Phil 501 (1967). No. at 741. Llorente v. . 1985. 382 Phil. p. G. See RTC-Branch 138 Order dated December 6.R. Rollo. at 961-962. Supra. pp.R. 643 (1996). 48. Rollo. 374 Phil. p. Stilianpulos v. 437 Phil.

L-34672. petitioner. 152716. Fehr on March 14.R. 350 Phil. DECISION PUNO. respondent. BRUNO FEHR. the conjugal partnership of property existing between the parties is dissolved and in lieu thereof. a regime of complete separation of property between the said spouses is established in accordance with the pertinent provisions of the Family Code.: This case arose from a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity to comply with the essential marital obligations under Article 36 of the Family Code filed by petitioner Elna Mercado-Fehr against respondent Bruno Fehr before the Regional Trial Court of Makati in March 1997. Republic. Id. 1998 states: WHEREFORE. the marriage between Elna D. United Church Board of World Ministries v. she being the innocent spouse. 1988. No. 140 (1972). Halili v. 418 Phil. is hereby awarded to petitioner. Custody over the two minor children. March 30. 2003] ELNA MERCADO-FEHR. After due proceedings. Court of Appeals. The dispositive portion of the Decision dated January 30. THIRD DIVISION [G. . Lee v. J. 209 (1914). vs. 1985 is hereby declared null and void on the ground of psychological incapacity on the part of respondent to perform the essential obligations of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code.27 Phil. October 23. 906 (1998). 726 (1967). 150-B Phil. 793 (2001). 159 SCRA 446. No. in the light of the foregoing. Mercado and Bruno F. MICHAEL BRUNO MERCADO FEHR and PATRICK FRANZ FEHR. 126 Phil. Accordingly. the trial court declared the marriage between petitioner and respondent void ab initio under Article 36 of the Family Code and ordered the dissolution of their conjugal partnership of property. without prejudice to the rights previously acquired by creditors. at 732. Sebastian.

and covered by Condominium Certificate of Title NO. LCG Condominium.Let a copy of this Decision be duly recorded in the proper civil and property registries in accordance with Article 52 of the Family Code. thus: xxx xxx xxx After a careful scrutiny of the inventory of properties submitted by both parties. considering that the same was purchased on installment basis by respondent with his exclusive funds prior to his marriage. Nissan Sentra with Plate No. T-137232. covered by Condominium Certificate of Title No. Herminio Mercado and Catalina D. . the conjugal properties of the petitioner and respondent shall be distributed in the following manner: TO PETITIONER ELNA MERCADO: a. namely: a) the Bacolod property covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. the Court finds the following properties to be excluded from the conjugal properties. petitioner is hereby directed to transfer ownership of Suite 204 in the name of respondent. LCG Condominium with an area of 113. as evidenced by a Contract to Sell dated July 26. Upper Basement. m. 14734. covered by Condominium Certificate of Title No. being respondent’s exclusive property. The Order pertained to the properties held by the parties. and b. Ground Floor.81 sq. On August 24. and b. SO ORDERED. Mercado xxx and b) Suite 204 of the LCG Condominium covered by Condominium Certificate of Title No. 14733. Tamaraw FX (1995 model) TO RESPONDENT BRUNO FRANZ FEHR: a. acquired prior to his marriage. BRUNO FRANZ FEHR. FDJ-533 (1994 model) Furthermore. xxx Accordingly. Suite 204. LCG Condominium. with an area of 671.. Accordingly. 14735.54 sq. 1999. m. 14735. m. the trial court issued an Order resolving the various motions filed by respondent after the case had been decided. and covered by Condominium Certificate of Title No.84 sq. 1983. 14735 is hereby declared the EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY of respondent. with an area of 180. considering that the same is owned by petitioner’s parents.

. dismissed the petition for certiorari for lack of merit. all leased by Bar 4 Corporation. the rules on coownership should apply in the liquidation and partition of the properties they own in common pursuant to Article 147 of the Family Code. after deducting all expenses for Income Taxes. Municipal License fees. food and medical expenses. clearances. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of said Order with respect to the adjudication of Suite 204. 2000 that since the marriage between petitioner and respondent was declared void ab intio. the parties shall own and enjoy their respective share of the monthly rentals derived from the properties adjudicated to them as stated above.Anent the monthly rentals prior to the issuance of this Order of the subject properties. Petitioner further claimed that it would not be in the best interests of the children if she would be made to demand periodically from respondent his share in the support of the children. however. Accordingly. in its Decision dated October 26. On January 12. in proportion to one-half each or share and share alike. the trial court held in an Order dated October 5. noted that the parties have already agreed in principle to divide the properties and/or proceeds from the sale thereof proportionately among them and their children as follows: 1/3 for petitioner. 2001. not a petition for certiorari. 2000 Order of the trial court. It also affirmed its previous ruling that Suite 204 of LCG Condominium was acquired prior to the couple’s cohabitation and therefore pertained solely to respondent. Thereafter. Business Permits. petitioner withdrew the notice of appeal and instead filed on the following day a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals. Ground Floor Rear Apartment and Upper Basement at LGC Condominium. namely the Ground Floor Front (Friday’s Club). the same shall be shared by the parties in common. The Petitioner and Respondent are further enjoined to jointly support their minor children. The court. On November 28. for their education. 2000. Resolving said motion. petitioner is hereby directed to deliver to respondent the following: a) the balance of his share of the monthly rentals from February 1998 to May 1998. Realty Taxes. LCG Condominium and the support of the children. The appellate court stated that petitioner has not shown any reason to warrant the issuance of a writ of certiorari as the errors she raised were mere errors of judgment which were the proper subject of an ordinary appeal. She instead proposed that the Upper Basement and the Lower Ground Floor of the LCG Condominium be adjudicated to her so that she could use the income from the lease of said premises for the support of the children. Respondent filed an Opposition to the Notice of Appeal. 2001. 1/3 for respondent and 1/3 for the children. etc. and b) his one-half share (1/2) of the monthly rentals of the aforesaid properties from June 1998 up to this date. hence the rules on co-ownership should apply in accordance with Article 147 of the Family Code. 2000. petitioner filed a notice of appeal questioning the October 5. uniforms. questioning the findings of the trial court in its Order dated October 5. Petitioner alleged that Suite 204 was purchased on installment basis at the time when petitioner and respondent were living exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. The Court of Appeals. Michael and Patrick Fehr.

As a general rule. nor any plain speedy. and adequate remedy at law. board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction. also constituted grave abuse of discretion. Furthermore. as allegedly agreed by the parties during a conference with the trial court judge on May 3. He also submits that the division of the properties into three and the distribution of 1/3 share each to the petitioner. whether the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the special civil action for certiorari filed by petitioner. and there were no other speedy and adequate remedies available. or four. 147 and 148 of the Family Code mandating the delivery of the presumptive legitime of the common children upon dissolution of the property regime. 1983. the respondent. 1985. prior to their marriage on March 14. Respondent. 1998 became final and executory. any supposed error committed by it will . although it was established that they lived together as husband and wife beginning March 1983. 51. and their children was proper. which was also denied by the appellate court. 2) The Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the questioned orders were errors of judgment and not of jurisdiction. contends that petitioner may no longer avail of any remedy. 2000. or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction and there is no appeal. whether an appeal or a petition for certiorari. Hence this petition. 1983. the trial court’s ruling dividing their properties into three. on the other hand. He argues that the Order of the trial court dated October 5. instead of two as provided under Article 147 of the Family Code. A petition for certiorari is the proper remedy when any tribunal. before the execution of the Contract to Sell on July 26. We shall first address the procedural issue. She asserts that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion when it held that Suite 204 of the LCG Condominium was the exclusive property of respondent. Grave abuse of discretion is defined as the capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. 1998. as she had lost all the right to appeal from the time the Decision of January 30. As long as a court acts within its jurisdiction and does not gravely abuse its discretion in the exercise thereof. Branch 149 in the Court of Appeals in view of the fact that the questioned orders were issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of or lack of jurisdiction. in accordance with Articles 50. a petition for certiorari will not lie if an appeal is the proper remedy such as when an error of judgment or procedure is involved. Respondent further claims Suite 204 of LCG Condominium to be his exclusive property as it was acquired on July 26.Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of said Decision. Petitioner argues that the filing of a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals was proper because the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in the issuance of its Order dated October 5. Petitioner raises the following arguments: 1) Petitioner correctly filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the Regional Trial Court of Makati. 2000. 2000 is no longer assailable because it was merely issued to execute the final and executory Decision of January 30.

and as such it may be appealed by the aggrieved party to the Court of Appeals via ordinary appeal. the provisions of the Rules of Court which are technical rules may be relaxed. The issue on the validity of the marriage of petitioner and respondent has long been settled in the main Decision and may no longer be the subject of review. as found by the trial court. We have held that where a rigid application of the rule that certiorari cannot be a substitute for appeal will result in a manifest failure or miscarriage of justice. 1983 executed by respondent as the buyer and J. 1998 became final and executory. 1998 Decision of the trial court declaring the marriage between petitioner and respondent void ab initio on the ground of psychological incapacity. incidental matters that had to be addressed regarding the dissolution of the property relations of the parties as a result of the declaration of nullity of their marriage. We reject respondent’s submission that all the appellate remedies of petitioner have been foreclosed when the Decision dated January 30. considering the merits of the case. Petitioner also signed the contract as witness. in certain exceptional cases. 1983. but the Order of the trial court dated October 5. that in March 1983. Their relations bore fruit and their first child. The couple got married on March 14. the title to the condominium unit was issued in the name of petitioner. or where there may be danger of clear failure of justice. There were. The crux of the petition is the ownership of Suite 204 of LCG Condominium and how the properties acquired by petitioner and respondent should be partitioned. was born on December 3. the Court believes that a blind adherence to the general rule will result in miscarriage of justice as it will divest the petitioner of her just share in their common property. using the name “Elna Mercado Fehr”. and affirming its previous ruling that Suite 204 of LCG Condominium is the exclusive property of respondent. 1/3 to respondent and 1/3 to their children. deprive her of a significant source of income to support their children whom the court had entrusted to her care. In the meantime. It appears from the facts. the provisions of the Rules of Court which are technical rules may be relaxed. We now go to the substantive issues. at LCG Condominium. as evidenced by a Contract to Sell dated July 26. The exception applies to the case at bar. However. . or where an ordinary appeal would simply be inadequate to relieve a party from the injurious effects of the judgment complained of. 1985. Said Order is a final Order as it finally disposes of the issues concerning the partition of the common properties of petitioner and respondent. Santos Commercial Corporation as the seller. Certiorari has been deemed to be justified. petitioner left Cebu City and moved in with respondent in the latter’s residence in Metro Manila. however. where the rigid application of such rule will result in a manifest failure or miscarriage of justice. The questioned Order pertained to the division and distribution of the common properties of petitioner and respondent. after two years of longdistance courtship. 2000 dividing the common properties of petitioner and respondent into three—1/3 to petitioner. However. they purchased on installment a condominium unit. What is being questioned in this petition is not the January 30. Upon completion of payment. Michael Bruno Fehr. Suite 204.amount to nothing more than an error of judgment reviewable by a timely appeal and not assailable by a special civil action of certiorari. for instance.V. and thus. pursuant to the court’s directive in its main decision to dissolve the conjugal partnership. in order to prevent irreparable damage and injury to a party where the trial judge has capriciously and whimsically exercised his judgment.

suffering no legal impediment to marry each other. This provision creates a co-ownership with respect to the properties they acquire during their cohabitation. as in the case at bar. the share of the party in bad faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their common children. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other. Quezon City: This peculiar kind of co-ownership applies when a man and a woman. The Family Code provides: Article 147. under Article 147 of the Family Code. i. but whose marriage is nonetheless void. said property should be governed by the rules on co-ownership.. so exclusively live together as husband and wife under a void marriage or without the benefit of marriage. For purposes of this Article. (emphasis supplied) Article 147 applies to unions of parties who are legally capacitated and not barred by any impediment to contract marriage. until after the termination of their cohabitation. In the absence of proof to the contrary.e. When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith. In case of default of or waiver by any or all of the common children or their descendants. without the consent of the other. any “male or female of the age of eighteen years or upwards not under any of the impediments mentioned in Article 37 and 38” of the Code.In light of these facts. Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter vivos of his or her share in the property acquired during cohabitation and owned in common. Under this property regime. Br. Any property acquired during the union is prima facie presumed to have been obtained through their joint efforts.” . We held in Valdes vs. Regional Trial Court. properties acquired while they lived together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts. property acquired by both spouses through their work and industry shall be governed by the rules on equal co-ownership. A party who did not participate in the acquisition of the property shall still be considered as having contributed thereto jointly if said party’s “efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family household. live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage. 102. and shall be owned by them in equal shares. a party who did not participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to have contributed jointly to the acquisition thereof if the former’s efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of their family and of the household. The term “capacitated” in the provision (in the first paragraph of the law) refers to the legal capacity of a party to contract marriage. their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares and the property acquired by both of them through their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership. work or industry. we give more credence to petitioner’s submission that Suite 204 was acquired during the parties’ cohabitation. Accordingly. each vacant share shall belong to the respective surviving descendants.

138-144. Moreover. Hence. Petitioner. 97-573. no part. alleges in her petition before this Court that the parties have agreed on a four-way division of the properties—1/4 share each to the petitioner and the respondent. it should be considered as common property of petitioner and respondent. The case is hereby REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court of Makati. pp. 1998 penned by Judge Josefina Guevara Salonga.. Original Records. Sandoval-Gutierrez. the man and the woman: (1) must be capacitated to marry each other. Carpio-Morales. There is nothing in the records that support the pronouncement of the trial court that the parties have agreed to divide the properties into three—1/3 share each to the petitioner. Suite 204 of LCG Condominium. and 1/4 share each to their two children. Branch 149 for liquidation of the properties of petitioner and respondent in accordance with this Court’s ruling. Docketed as Civil Case No. Their marriage. Id. and (3) their union is without the benefit of marriage or their marriage is void. JJ. (2) live exclusively with each other as husband and wife. In sum. The disputed property.e. at 143-144. They lived exclusively with each other as husband and wife when petitioner moved in with respondent in his residence and were later united in marriage. All these elements are present in the case at bar. we hold that the Civil Code provisions on co-ownership should apply. 1-10. i. Decision dated January 30. SO ORDERED. pp. We hold that Suite 204 of LCG Condominium is a common property of petitioner and respondent and the property regime of the parties should be divided in accordance with the law on co-ownership. 1983. at the time when petitioner and respondent were already living together.Thus. for Article 147 to operate. . Original Records. the petition is GRANTED.. IN VIEW WHEREOF. concur. It has not been shown that petitioner and respondent suffered any impediment to marry each other. was purchased on installment basis on July 26. As regards the settlement of the common properties of petitioner and respondent. however. respondent’s argument that the three-way partition is in accordance with Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code does not hold water as said provisions relate only to voidable marriages and exceptionally to void marriages under Article 40 of the Family Code. Panganiban. was found to be void under Article 36 of the Family Code because of respondent’s psychological incapacity to comply with essential marital obligations. and Corona. J.. we rule in favor of the petitioner. the respondent and their children. the declaration of nullity of a subsequent marriage contracted by a spouse of a prior void marriage before the latter is judicially declared void. in fact.

and (3) Motion to Deposit Rentals in Court. (2) Motion for Distribution of Rental Income. 97-573. at 124-129. Quezon City. which were all opposed by petitioner. pp. Id. Cariño. 260 SCRA 221 (1996). supra. Valdes vs. Philippine Export Processing Zone. See also Caraan vs. Id. 2-14. Id. Rollo. Original Records. Br. 349 SCRA 240 (2001). 147-158. Cariño vs. Estate of Salud Jimenez vs. Id. pp. See Decision. Id. pp. Court of Appeals. CA Rollo. Petition. at 576-577. at 381-387. at 578. 288 SCRA 267 (1998). at 153. Id. pp. Regional Trial Court. Court of Appeals. Rollo. Id. Civil Case No. 102.Respondent filed the following motions: (1) Motion for Approval of Inventory of Property of the Petitioner and Respondent. 289 SCRA 579 (1998). 1-4. 351 SCRA 127 (2001). 19-20. 325-326. Comment. BF Corporation vs. Id. pp. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC . at 14-27. at 581-584. at 608.

LEE. he secured the most number of valid votes. 1995 2 and another Resolution of the Comelec en banc promulgated February 23. but who claims that the votes cast in favor of Frivaldo should be considered void. 123755 June 28. by the ineligibility of Frivaldo. vs. Frivaldo. 1996 JUAN G. 123755 This is a special civil action under Rules 65 and 58 of the Rules of Court for certiorari and preliminary injunction to review and annul a Resolution of the respondent Commission on Elections (Comelec). 1 promulgated on December 19. that the electorate should be deemed to have intentionally thrown away their ballots. petitioner.R. or (iii) The incumbent Vice-Governor. (ii) Raul R. but who according to prevailing jurisprudence should take over the said post inasmuch as. 1996 RAUL R.G. petitioner. PANGANIBAN. the Court lays down new doctrines on repatriation. and who now claims to have re-assumed his lost Philippine citizenship thru repatriation. vs.:p The ultimate question posed before this Court in these twin cases is: Who should be declared the rightful governor of Sorsogon (i) Juan G.R. No. respondents. and upholds the superiority of substantial justice over pure legalisms. clarifies/reiterates/amplifies existing jurisprudence on citizenship and elections. who obviously was not voted directly to the position of governor.R. FRIVALDO. respondents. LEE. 1996 3 denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Lee. FRIVALDO. a "permanent vacancy in the contested office has occurred"? In ruling for Frivaldo. 120295 June 28. G. who was the second placer in the canvass. and RAUL R. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and JUAN G. First Division. . who unquestionably obtained the highest number of votes in three successive elections but who was twice declared by this Court to be disqualified to hold such office due to his alien citizenship. and that legally. G. Oscar G. No. J. Deri. No.

304 Isagani P.D. filed a petition 4 with the Comelec docketed as SPA No. Lee filed in said SPA No. . and that his Certificate of Candidacy be canceled. So. The Provincial Board of Canvassers completed the canvass of the election returns and a Certificate of Votes 8 dated May 27. Lee was proclaimed governor of Sorsogon. 1995. Ocampo 1. In an order 10 dated June 21. 1995. the Comelec en banc 7 affirmed the aforementioned Resolution of the Second Division. On May 11. 95-028. Escudero. 1995. at 8:30 in the evening of June 30. this Division resolves to GRANT the petition and declares that respondent is DISQUALIFIED to run for the Office of Governor of Sorsogon on the ground that he is NOT a citizen of the Philippines. but promulgated according to the petition "only on June 29. 95-317. petitioner Raul R. 11 docketed as SPC No. 1995. 1995. 1995. 95-028 praying that Frivaldo "be disqualified from seeking or holding any public office or position by reason of not yet being a citizen of the Philippines". respondent's certificate of candidacy is canceled. Frivaldo filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the office of Governor of Sorsogon in the May 8.The Facts On March 20. Lee 53. 1995 elections. On May 1.060 Juan G. 1995.440 Raul R. a (supplemental) petition 9 praying for his proclamation as the duly-elected Governor of Sorsogon. . Frivaldo filed with the Comelec a new petition. On March 23. the Second Division of the Comelec promulgated a Resolution 5 granting the petition with the following disposition 6: WHEREFORE. praying for the annulment of the June 30. 1995. Lee." Accordingly. 1995 proclamation of Lee and for his own proclamation. 1995 was issued showing the following votes obtained by the candidates for the position of Governor of Sorsogon: Antonio H. another candidate. Accordingly. private respondent Juan G. On July 6. The Motion for Reconsideration filed by Frivaldo remained unacted upon until after the May 8. 1995 elections. 51. 1995. at 2:00 in the afternoon. his candidacy continued and he was voted for during the elections held on said date. 725 which he filed with the Special Committee on Naturalization in . 1995 .925 On June 9. he took his oath of allegiance as a citizen of the Philippines after "his petition for repatriation under P. Frivaldo 73. 1995. Jr. He alleged that on June 30." the Comelec en banc directed "the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Sorsogon to reconvene for the purpose of proclaiming candidate Raul Lee as the winning gubernatorial candidate in the province of Sorsogon on June 29.

725 and. the COMELEC acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance of and deciding said petition. thus. 1995. the present petition was filed. (is) qualified to hold the office of governor of Sorsogon". he not having garnered the highest number of votes to warrant his proclamation. . he averred that pursuant to the two cases of Labo vs. Frivaldo as the duly elected Governor of Sorsogon having garnered the highest number of votes. the proclamation of Raul R. . Lee filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the Comelec en banc in its Resolution 14 promulgated on February 23. Blg. and he having reacquired his Filipino citizenship by repatriation on June 30. 1995 under the provisions of Presidential Decree No. and . therefore RESOLVES to GRANT the Petition. the Clerk of the Commission is directed to notify His Excellency the President of the Philippines. On December 26.not Lee . 1995) (of the Comelec) .should occupy said position of governor. "not having garnered the highest number of votes. Consistent with the decisions of the Supreme Court. proclaim petitioner Juan G. there was no more legal impediment to the proclamation (of Frivaldo) as governor . thus: PREMISES CONSIDERED." was not legally entitled to be proclaimed as duly-elected governor. On February 26. . this Court issued on February 27. the Commission (First Division). . being contrary to law. the Comelec First Division promulgated the herein assailed Resolution 13 holding that Lee. No.The initiatory petition below was so far insufficient in form and substance to warrant the exercise by the COMELEC of its jurisdiction with the result that. . 12 the Vice-Governor . 1995. . 1996. and that Frivaldo. . 123755 Petitioner Lee's "position on the matter at hand may briefly be capsulized in the following propositions" 15: First -. . 1995 at 5:30 o'clock in the evening. on the basis of the completed canvass. 725 . and the Secretary of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Sorsogon of this resolution immediately upon the due implementation thereof. Upon the finality of the annulment of the proclamation of Raul R. Lee as Governor of Sorsogon is hereby ordered annulled.R. when "the said order (dated June 21. Acting on the prayer for a temporary restraining order. in effect. was released and received by Frivaldo on June 30. 1996 a Resolution which inter alia directed the parties "to maintain the status quo prevailing prior to the filing of this petition. having reacquired his Filipino citizenship by repatriation on June 30. . 881).P. Comelec. qualified to hold the office of Governor of Sorsogon.September 1994 had been granted". "having garnered the highest number of votes." The Issues in G. 1995 under the provisions of Presidential Decree No. Conformably with Section 260 of the Omnibus Election Code ( B. the Provincial Board of Canvassers is directed to immediately reconvene and. As such." In the alternative. Lee. On December 19. 1996.

123755. the first two of which are also at issue in G. By Resolution on March 12. promulgated also on May 11.R.Second -. 1996. disqualifying Frivaldo from running for governor of Sorsogon in the May 8.. 1995. G.) the Comelec had no jurisdiction to issue said Resolutions because they were not rendered "within the period allowed by law" i. Frivaldo. Frivaldo assails the above-mentioned resolutions on a different ground: that under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. and Fourth -.R. which is reproduced hereinunder: Sec. . among others. 123755. -. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided. Resolution 16 of the Second Division. and 3. 120295 and 123755 since they are intimately related in their factual environment and are identical in the ultimate question raised.R. not later than fifteen days before the election .R. Frivaldo contends that the failure of the Comelec to act on the petition for disqualification within the period of fifteen days prior to the election as provided by law is a jurisdictional defect which renders the said Resolutions null and void. 1995. 120295 This is a petition to annul three Resolutions of the respondent Comelec. 2. promulgated on May 11. 1995 suspending the proclamation of. No. as follows: 1.." Otherwise stated. No. The Facts and the Issue The facts of this case are essentially the same as those in G. Nos. Petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy . Third -.Correctly read and applied. viz.The alleged repatriation of respondent was neither valid nor is the effect thereof retroactive as to cure his ineligibility and qualify him to hold the Office of Governor. 1995 elections "on the ground that he is not a citizen of the Philippines".A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. who should occupy the position of governor of the province of Sorsogon. to be elected to and to hold the Office of Governor. the Court consolidated G. Resolution 17 of the Comelec en banc. the Labo Doctrine fully supports the validity of petitioner's proclamation as duly elected Governor of Sorsogon.The judicially declared disqualification of respondent was a continuing condition and rendered him ineligible to run for. (Emphasis supplied. promulgated on May 1. No. However.e. after notice and hearing. 78. Resolution 18 of the Comelec en banc. "not later than fifteen days before the election.

Is Frivaldo's "judicially declared" disqualification for lack of Filipino citizenship a continuing bar to his eligibility to run for. vice mayor or member of the sangguniang panlungsod of highly urbanized cities must be at least twenty-three (23) years of age on election day. Qualifications. vice governor or member of the sangguniang panlalawigan. an election protest or a quo warranto case"? 4. did it seasonably cure his lack of citizenship as to qualify him to be proclaimed and to hold the Office of Governor? If not.. The Local Government Code of 1991 19 expressly requires Philippine citizenship as a qualification for elective local officials. sangguniang panlungsod. a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election. a registered voter in the barangay. 1995. The Consolidated Issues From the foregoing submissions. the Court heard oral argument from the parties and required them thereafter to file simultaneously their respective memoranda. "not later than fifteen days before the elections"? The First Issue: Frivaldo's Repatriation The validity and effectivity of Frivaldo's repatriation is the lis mota. and able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect. . Did the respondent Commission on Elections exceed its jurisdiction in promulgating the assailed Resolutions. including that of provincial governor. Was the proclamation of Lee. Did the respondent Comelec have jurisdiction over the initiatory petition in SPC No. valid and legal in light of existing jurisprudence? 5. the consolidated issues may be restated as follows: 1. municipality. thus: Sec. All the other matters raised are secondary to this. the district where he intends to be elected. or sangguniang bayan. in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan. all of which prevented Frivaldo from assuming the governorship of Sorsogon. be elected to or hold the governorship of Sorsogon? 3. a runner-up in the election. 95-317 considering that said petition is not "a pre-proclamation case. or mayor. may it be given retroactive effect? If so. city. 39. or province or. from when? 2. viz. considering that they were not rendered within the period referred to in Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code. Was the repatriation of Frivaldo valid and legal? If so.On March 19. (b) Candidates for the position of governor. -.(a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines. the threshold legal issue in this case.

clearly and unquestionably. 7160). That he took his oath of allegiance under the provisions of said Decree at 2:00 p." 23 . Jr. Brillantes. forbade the grant of citizenship by Presidential Decree or Executive Issuances as the same poses a serious and contentious issue of policy which the present government. President Aquino directed them "to cease and desist from undertaking any and all proceedings within your functional area of responsibility as defined under Letter of Instructions (LOI) No." In the same case. Twice. this time. 57. with no less than the Solicitor General himself. should best leave to the judgment of the first Congress under the 1987 Constitution". as amended. No. to the "maneuvers of his political rivals. he was judicially declared a non-Filipino and thus twice disqualified from holding and discharging his popular mandate.000 votes in the 1988 elections.xxx xxx xxx Inasmuch as Frivaldo had been declared by this Court 20 as a non-citizen. 1975. Despite his lack of Philippine citizenship.R. in fine. who was the prime opposing counsel in the previous cases he lost. Frivaldo told this Court in G. asserting that "then President Corazon Aquino exercising legislative powers under the Transitory Provisions of the 1987 Constitution. by naturalization or by repatriation. No. 104654 22 and during the oral argument in this case that he tried to resume his citizenship by direct act of Congress. he comes to us a third time. according to him. he now boasts of having successfully passed through the third and last mode of reacquiring citizenship: by repatriation under P.should have been proclaimed as the duly-elected governor of Sorsogon when the Provincial Board of Canvassers met at 8:30 p. with a fresh vote from the people of Sorsogon and a favorable decision from the Commission on Elections to boot. 21 citizenship may be reacquired by direct act of Congress. 725.). 1987 to the members of the Special Committee on Naturalization constituted for purposes of Presidential Decree No. his attempt at naturalization was rejected by this Court because of jurisdictional. he insists that he -. as counsel for co-respondent Comelec. on June 30. that he possesses the qualifications prescribed under the said statute (R.m. Hence. arguing the validity of his cause (in addition to his able private counsel Sixto S. but that the bill allowing him to do so "failed to materialize. adding that in her memorandum dated March 27.D.D.m. and 20.000 in 1992. he garnered the highest number of votes in the elections and since at that time.A. substantial and procedural defects. which we shall now discuss in seriatim. Frivaldo was overwhelmingly elected governor by the electorate of Sorsogon. 725. Now. it is therefore incumbent upon him to show that he has reacquired citizenship. 725 had "been effectively repealed".not Lee -.000 in 1995 over the same opponent Raul Lee. En contrario. Moreover. Lee tells us that P. Under Philippine law. First. notwithstanding the endorsement of several members of the House of Representatives" due. No. Lee argues that Frivaldo's repatriation is tainted with serious defects. 1995 is not disputed. 270 dated April 11. with a margin of 27. he already reacquired his citizenship. on the said date since. in the exercise of prudence and sound discretion.

. through a Manifestation 28 filed on April 3. 1996. Any other interpretation of the said Presidential Memorandum. . An implied repeal will not be allowed "unless it is convincingly and unambiguously demonstrated that the two laws are clearly repugnant and patently inconsistent that they cannot co-exist". 1987 24 cannot by any stretch of legal hermeneutics be construed as a law sanctioning or authorizing a repeal of P. he filled up and re-submitted the FORM that the Committee required. Anent Lee's charge that the "sudden reconstitution of the Special Committee on Naturalization was intended solely for the personal interest of respondent. the Special Committee was reactivated only on June 8. 725 but left it to the first Congress -. . 725 was being repealed or was being rendered without any legal effect. such as is now being proffered to the Court by Lee. No.D. 26 The memorandum of then President Aquino cannot even be regarded as a legislative enactment." asserting that Frivaldo's application therefor was "filed on June 29. for not every pronouncement of the Chief Executive even under the Transitory Provisions of the 1987 Constitution can nor should be regarded as an exercise of her law-making powers. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones 25 and a repeal may be express or implied. At best. would visit unmitigated violence not only upon statutory construction but on common sense as well.D. In other words. 1995. It is obvious that no express repeal was made because then President Aquino in her memorandum -. On the other hand. which "prevented a judicious review and evaluation of the merits thereof. This is confirmed by the Solicitor General.This memorandum dated March 27. On June 29. . it is a basic rule of statutory construction that repeals by implication are not favored.once created -. 1995 . (and) was approved in just one day or on June 30. However. If she had intended to repeal such law. the former President did not repeal P." Frivaldo counters that he filed his application for repatriation with the Office of the President in Malacañang Palace on August 17. 1995. it could not be said that there was "indecent haste" in the processing of his application. she should have unequivocally said so instead of referring the matter to Congress. she did not even mention it specifically by its number or text. . 725. In fact.based on the copy furnished us by Lee -. Lee also argues that "serious congenital irregularities flawed the repatriation proceedings. it could be treated as an executive policy addressed to the Special Committee to halt the acceptance and processing of applications for repatriation pending whatever "judgment the first Congress under the 1987 Constitution" might make. 1995 .D.". Second.did not categorically and/or impliedly state that P. in the exercise of prudence and sound discretion" to leave the matter of repeal to the new Congress. 1994. when presumably the said Committee started processing his application. Under these circumstances. The fact is she carefully couched her presidential issuance in terms that clearly indicated the intention of "the present government." 27 the Solicitor General explained during the oral argument on March 19. a list of whom was submitted by him to this Court. 1996 that such allegation is simply baseless as there were many others who applied and were considered for repatriation.to deal with the matter.

104654 30 which held that "both the Local Government Code and the Constitution require that only Philippine citizens can run and be elected to public office.and NOT the effective date thereof. after the fall of the dictator and the reestablishment of democratic space. the fact that ten other persons. municipality. and. . this was a mere obiter as the only issue in said case was whether Frivaldo's naturalization was valid or not -. where he intends to be elected. in repatriation the applicant is a former natural-born Filipino who is merely seeking to reacquire his previous citizenship.R. or province .D. * a registered voter in the barangay. and even the rules and regulations to implement the said decree were left to the Special Committee to promulgate. Since the Court held his naturalization to be invalid. pursuant to the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies. Lee further contends that assuming the assailed repatriation to be valid. In fact. were granted repatriation argues convincingly and conclusively against the existence of favoritism vehemently posited by Raul Lee. unlike in naturalization where an alien covets a first-time entry into Philippine political life. 725 29 itself requires very little of an applicant. In the case of Frivaldo. 725 are not difficult to comply with. if not when the certificate of candidacy is filed. The mere fact that the proceedings were speeded up is by itself not a ground to conclude that such proceedings were necessarily tainted. "(a)n elective local official must be: * a citizen of the Philippines. Which question we shall now directly rule on. the requirements of repatriation under P. 39 of the Local Government Code.On the basis of the parties' submissions. then the issue of when an aspirant for public office should be a citizen was NOT resolved at all by the Court.D. P. No. * a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election. . This is not unusual since. wasted no time in returning to his country of birth to offer once more his talent and services to his people. 1995 whereas the citizenship qualification prescribed by the Local Government Code "must exist on the date of his election. . At any rate. however.m. So too.and who. in the Office of the President." citing our decision in G. we are convinced that the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty and the presumption of legality in the repatriation of Frivaldo have not been successfully rebutted by Lee. city. of June 30. Under Sec.a naturalization he insists was made necessary only to escape the iron clutches of a dictatorship he abhorred and could not in conscience embrace -. any contest on the legality of Frivaldo's repatriation should have been pursued before the Committee itself." Obviously. as certified to by the Solicitor General. Third. nevertheless it could only be effective as at 2:00 p. After all. he was undoubtedly a natural-born citizen who openly and faithfully served his country and his province prior to his naturalization in the United States -. failing there. nor are they tedious and cumbersome.

to hold such office and to discharge the functions and responsibilities thereof as of said date. Philippine citizenship is an indispensable requirement for holding an elective public office. 33 if the purpose of the citizenship requirement is to ensure that our people and country do not end up being governed by aliens. then it would not have made citizenship .much less a validly registered one -. Giap and Li Seng Giap & Sons. on June 30.. After all. such qualifications -unless otherwise expressly conditioned. i. And. The answer to this problem again lies in discerning the purpose of the requirement. * In addition. apart from requiring the official to be a citizen. i. must be at least twenty-three (23) years of age on election day.the very day 32 the term of office of governor (and other elective officials) began -.if he was not a citizen at the time of such registration. even from a literal (as distinguished from liberal) construction. Why then should such qualification be required at the time of election or at the time of the filing of the certificates of candidacies.e. . that he be a "registered voter". From the above.* able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect.in this case. no person owing allegiance to another nation. persons owing allegiance to another nation.he was therefore already qualified to be proclaimed. Now. Frivaldo could not have been a voter -. Since Frivaldo re-assumed his citizenship on June 30. he was already qualified to govern his native Sorsogon. also specifies as another item of qualification.. i. life and meaning to our law on qualifications consistent with the purpose for which such law was enacted. under the law 35 a "voter" must be a citizen of the Philippines. not of candidates. So therefore. at that time. In short. This is the liberal interpretation that should give spirit. at the time he is proclaimed and at the start of his term -. it will be noted that the law does not specify any particular date or time when the candidate must possess citizenship. . Section 39. unlike that for residence (which must consist of at least one year's residency immediately preceding the day of election) and age (at least twenty three years of age on election day). as Lee insists? Literally. an official begins to govern or to discharge his functions only upon his proclamation and on the day the law mandates his term of office to begin. as in the case of age and residence -. that aim or purpose would not be thwarted but instead achieved by construing the citizenship qualification as applying to the time of proclamation of the elected official and at the start of his term.. 1995 -. So too. it should be noted that Section 39 of the Local Government Code speaks of "Qualifications" of "ELECTIVE OFFICIALS". 1995. If the law intended the citizenship qualification to be possessed prior to election consistent with the requirement of being a registered voter. shall govern our people and our country or a unit of territory thereof.e.e. But perhaps the more difficult objection was the one raised during the oral argument 34 to the effect that the citizenship qualification should be possessed at the time the candidate (or for that matter the elected official) registered as a voter. 31 and the purpose of the citizenship qualification is none other than to ensure that no alien.should thus be possessed when the "elective [or elected] official" begins to govern. "candidates for the position of governor . Paraphrasing this Court's ruling in Vasquez vs.

" It should be emphasized that the Local Government Code requires an elective official to be a registered voter. then he voted again in 1995. 1995). not to reiterate the need for nationality but to require that the official be registered as a voter IN THE AREA OR TERRITORY he seeks to govern. 39 of the Local Government Code. . Juan G. Such remedy of Quo Warranto can be availed of "within ten days after proclamation" of the winning candidate.and not anywhere else. In other words.m. at the very moment of Lee's proclamation (8:30 p. In fact. But to remove all doubts on this important issue. He has voted in 1987. registration -. The law abhors a redundancy. municipality. . the opportunity to question the ELIGIBILITY (or the disloyalty) of a candidate. Hence. June 30.e. i. 1995. having taken his oath of allegiance earlier in the afternoon of the same day. it is only at such time that the issue of ineligibility may be taken cognizance of by the Commission. Before this Court. Hence. his counsel steadfastly maintained that "Mr. not necessarily the date of election or date of filing of the certificate of candidacy.is the core of this "qualification". Hence." 37 It is thus clear that Frivaldo is a registered voter in the province where he intended to be elected. the law's purpose in this second requirement is to ensure that the prospective official is actually registered in the area he seeks to govern -. In fact. . he voted in all the previous elections including on May 8. . city. And since." 36 So too.. Frivaldo has repeatedly emphasized -. There is yet another reason why the prime issue of citizenship should be reckoned from the date of proclamation. 1988. Section 253 of the Omnibus Election Code 38 gives any voter. at such time. the law states: "a registered voter in the barangay.not the actual voting -. It therefore stands to reason that the law intended CITIZENSHIP to be a qualification distinct from being a VOTER.a SEPARATE qualification. It does not require him to vote actually. he was no longer ineligible. . and his registration as a voter has been sustained as valid by judicial declaration . This is the only provision of the Code that authorizes a remedy on how to contest before the Comelec an incumbent's ineligibility arising from failure to meet the qualifications enumerated under Sec. where he intends to be elected.and Lee has not disputed -that he "was and is a registered voter of Sorsogon. 1994. then he should have been the candidate proclaimed as he unquestionably garnered the highest number of votes in the immediately preceding elections and such oath had already cured his previous "judicially-declared" alienage. 1995. 1992. presumably including the defeated candidate. his eligibility as a voter was questioned. Frivaldo was already and indubitably a citizen. even if being a voter presumes being a citizen first. Frivaldo has always been a registered voter of Sorsogon. he cast his vote in his precinct on May 8. we also hold that the repatriation of Frivaldo RETROACTED to the date of the filing of his application on August 17. It also stands to reason that the voter requirement was included as another qualification (aside from "citizenship").. but the court dismissed (sic) his eligibility as a voter and he was allowed to vote as in fact. during the oral argument. or province .

said statute also provided a new remedy and a new right in favor of other "natural born Filipinos who (had) lost their Philippine citizenship but now desire to re-acquire Philippine citizenship". . and also provides for a new remedy. By their very nature. in its preamble. such as when the statute is CURATIVE or REMEDIAL in nature or when it CREATES NEW RIGHTS.D. those statutes relating to remedies or modes of procedure. CA. curative statutes are retroactive. 725 such former Filipinos would have had to undergo the tedious and cumbersome process of naturalization. 63. They operate on conditions already existing." On the other hand. . Thus.It is true that under the Civil Code of the Philippines." because "such provision of the new Constitution does not apply to Filipino women who had married aliens before said constitution took effect.D.D. nor within the general rule against the retrospective operation of statutes. curative statutes are retroactive . 725 granted a new right to these women -. 725 they could now re-acquire their Philippine citizenship under the simplified procedure of repatriation. P. According to Tolentino. under the existing law (C. but with the advent of P.A. and curb certain evils. ." But there are settled exceptions 40 to this general rule. No.D. (DBP vs. On the other hand. . .. 725 immediately shows that it creates a new right. says that curative statutes are "healing acts . 43 A reading of P. . 725. . . which right did not exist prior to P. curing defects and adding to the means of enforcing existing obligations . because prior to the promulgation of P. abridge superfluities in existing laws (Del Castillo vs.the right to re-acquire Filipino citizenship even during their marital coverture. unless the contrary is provided. 725 expressly recognizes the plight of "many Filipino women (who) had lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens" and who could not. The Solicitor General 44 argues: By their very nature. acts of public officers. 42 on the other hand. . 39 "(l)aws shall have no retroactive effect. . or private deeds and contracts which otherwise would not produce their intended consequences by reason of some statutory disability or failure to comply with some technical requirement. but only operate in furtherance of the remedy or confirmation of such rights. 41 curative statutes are those which undertake to cure errors and irregularities.D.e. . i. Agpalo. thereby filling certain voids in our laws. . P. remedial or procedural laws. as amended) avail of repatriation until "after the death of their husbands or the termination of their marital status" and who could neither be benefitted by the 1973 Constitution's new provision allowing "a Filipino woman who marries an alien to retain her Philippine citizenship .D. abridge superfluities in existing laws. 96 SCRA 342). (and) reach back to past events to correct errors or irregularities and to render valid and effective attempted acts which would be otherwise ineffective for the purpose the parties intended. and are necessarily retroactive in operation. ordinarily do not come within the legal meaning of a retrospective law. which do not create new or take away vested rights. (and) are intended to supply defects. thereby validating judicial or administrative proceedings." Thus. since they are intended to supply defects.

63 wherein married Filipino women are allowed to repatriate only upon the death of their husbands..D.in order to benefit the greatest number of former Filipinos possible thereby enabling them to enjoy and exercise the constitutionally guaranteed right of citizenship. and applied for repatriation even later. Presidential Decree No. 1994. events and transactions not otherwise covered by prevailing law and jurisprudence. 725) which is to be given retroactive effect.D. 725 must be given the fullest effect possible. then there is all the more reason to have the law apply in a retroactive or retrospective manner to situations. And inasmuch as it has been held that citizenship is a political and civil right equally as important as the freedom of speech. 119) and curb certain evils (Santos vs. 725 provided a remedy for the aforementioned legal aberrations and thus its provisions are considered essentially remedial and curative. "(I)t has been said that a remedial statute must be so construed as to make it effect the evident purpose for which it was enacted . or from the terms thereof. nevertheless.D. but even the repatriation granted under said law to Frivaldo on June 30." 46 This is all the more true of P. and prescinding from the wording of the preamble. 725. situations and transactions existing even before the law came into being -. In this case. therefore the legislative intent to give retrospective operation to P. At this point. events and transactions subsequent to the passage of such law . P. 1994? While it is true that the law was already in effect at the time that Frivaldo became an American citizen. The reason for this is simply that if. it is unarguable that the legislative intent was precisely to give the statute retroactive operation. then it will be so applied although the statute does not in terms so direct. "(A) retrospective operation is given to a statute or amendment where the intent that it should so operate clearly appears from a consideration of the act as a whole. unless to do so would impair some vested right or violate some constitutional guaranty. 96 Phil. 725 was enacted to cure the defect in the existing naturalization law. 1995 can and should be made to take effect as of date . Duata. on August 17. 1995 is to be deemed to have retroacted to the date of his application therefor. and such legislative intention is to be given the fullest effect and expression.i. and natural-born Filipinos who lost their citizenship by naturalization and other causes faced the difficulty of undergoing the rigid procedures of C.Securities and Exchange Commission.A. it is not only the law itself (P. so that if the reason of the statute extends to past transactions . the repatriation granted to Frivaldo on June 30. while Frivaldo lost his Filipino citizenship much later. as in this case. the right against unreasonable searches and seizures and other guarantees enshrined in the Bill of Rights. 63 for reacquisition of Filipino citizenship by naturalization. it was the intent of the legislative authority that the law should apply to past events -. as well as to those in the future." 45 It is obvious to the Court that the statute was meant to "reach back" to those persons. which did not specify any restrictions on or delimit or qualify the right of repatriation granted therein. 14 SCRA 1041). 1975.D. 725 benefit Frivaldo considering that said law was enacted on June 5.D.A. specifically C. That is. August 17. a valid question may be raised: How can the retroactivity of P. No. on January 20. 1983. No. liberty of abode.e. In light of the foregoing.

Another argument for retroactivity to the date of filing is that it would prevent prejudice to applicants. This should not be. direct prejudice to the government is possible only where a person's repatriation has the effect of wiping out a liability of his to the government arising in connection with or as a result of his being an alien. all questions about his possession of the nationality qualification -. 1995) or the date of election (May 8. 1994. as Frivaldo -having already renounced his American citizenship -. already twice frustrated. and the Special Committee decides not to act. and accruing only during the interregnum between application and approval. 1994.. the Special Committee was able to process. it is to be presumed that the law-making body intended right and justice to prevail. and there is no showing that damage or prejudice to anyone. 1983 Frivaldo became an American. Inasmuch as he is considered as having been repatriated -. there is nothing in the law that would bar this or would show a contrary intention on the part of the legislative authority. there is nothing unjust or iniquitous in treating Frivaldo's repatriation as having become effective as of the date of his application. his Filipino citizenship restored -. In case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws. or anything unjust or injurious would result from giving retroactivity to his repatriation. should now prevail. Would the retroactivity of his repatriation not effectively give him dual citizenship. to delay the processing of applications for any substantial length of time..was. any question regarding Frivaldo's status as a registered voter would also be deemed settled. i.of his application.whether at the date of proclamation (June 30.e. It is not disputed that on January 20. 1995) would become moot. 47 And as experience will show. on August 17. 1995) or date of filing his certificate of candidacy (March 20. then the former Filipinos who may be stateless. his previous registration as a voter is likewise deemed validated as of said date.e. 725 were not to be given retroactive effect. a situation that is not present in the instant case. 40 of the Local Government Code would disqualify him "from running for any elective . Neither has Lee shown that there will result the impairment of any contractual obligation. And it is but right and just that the mandate of the people. This being so. Being a former Filipino who has served the people repeatedly..e. which under Sec.D. 48 The fact that such interregna were relatively insignificant minimizes the likelihood of prejudice to the government as a result of giving retroactivity to repatriation. to the mind of the Court. i. As earlier mentioned. Under the circumstances.i. act upon and grant applications for repatriation within relatively short spans of time after the same were filed. If P. Besides. may be prejudiced for causes outside their control. disturbance of any vested right or breach of some constitutional guaranty. Frivaldo deserves a liberal interpretation of Philippine laws and whatever defects there were in his nationality should now be deemed mooted by his repatriation.as of August 17. Based on the foregoing.

Lee adds that this Court's two rulings (which Frivaldo now concedes were legally "correct") declaring Frivaldo an alien have also become final and executory way before the 1995 elections. 1995).R. 87193 disqualifying Frivaldo was rendered in connection with the 1988 elections while that in G. Frivaldo was stateless in the interim -. 1995. absent any showing of capriciousness or arbitrariness or abuse. No. before Lee "was proclaimed as the elected governor on June 30. 1995 (implemented on June 30. It should be noted that our first ruling in G. in 1992. 104654 was in connection with the 1992 elections. 1995. 1995: 51 By the laws of the United States." We do not agree. as there is cogent reason to hold that Frivaldo was really STATELESS at the time he took said oath of allegiance and even before that. directing the proclamation of Raul R." 50 On this point. Lee. However. no restraining order having been issued by this Honorable Court. What the Commission said in its Order of June 21. was . No. we quote from the assailed Resolution dated December 19.when he abandoned and renounced his US citizenship but before he was repatriated to his Filipino citizenship. and holding any public office in the Philippines. Frivaldo wrote that he "had long renounced and had long abandoned his American citizenship -. there was already a final and executory judgment disqualifying" Frivaldo.local position?" 49 We answer this question in the negative." These factual findings that Frivaldo has lost his foreign nationality long before the elections of 1995 have not been effectively rebutted by Lee. Furthermore.R. 52 The Second Issue: Is Lack of Citizenship a Continuing Disqualification? Lee contends that the May 1. In his Comment. In the words of the respondent Commission (Second Division) in its assailed Resolution: 55 The records show that the Honorable Supreme Court had decided that Frivaldo was not a Filipino citizen and thus disqualified for the purpose of the 1988 and 1992 elections. That he was disqualified for such elections is final and can no longer be changed. it is basic that such findings of the Commission are conclusive upon this Court. 54 Hence. At best. 1995. and in 1995. Every certificate of candidacy contains an oath of allegiance to the Philippine Government. 1995 elections. petitioner Frivaldo lost his American citizenship when he took his oath of allegiance to the Philippine Government when he ran for Governor in 1988.long before May 8. there is no record of any "final judgment" of the disqualification of Frivaldo as a candidate for the May 8. when he ran for governor in 1988. 1995 "became final and executory after five (5) days or on May 17. 95-028 as affirmed in toto by Comelec En Banc in its Resolution of May 11. and these "judicial pronouncements of his political status as an American citizen absolutely and for all time disqualified (him) from running for. 1995 Resolution 53 of the Comelec Second Division in SPA No.

Frivaldo's "recourse was to file either an election protest or a quo warranto action. suffice it to say that this Court has invariably recognized the Commission's authority to hear and decide petitions for annulment of proclamations -. decisions declaring the acquisition or denial of citizenship cannot govern a person's future status with finality. ( citing Aguam vs." This declaration of the Supreme Court. 1995 -. was in connection with the 1992 elections. COMELEC. however. . 95-317 because the only "possible types of proceedings that may be entertained by the Comelec are a pre-proclamation case.that Frivaldo was not a Filipino citizen "having been declared by the Supreme Court in its Order dated March 25. 95-317 Lee also avers that respondent Comelec had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition in SPC No. officials. The Constitution 57 has given the Comelec ample power to "exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections." This argument is not meritorious. 170 SCRA 513. Rimando. a preproclamation controversy is no longer viable." Hence.) The Court however cautioned that such power to annul a proclamation must "be done within ten (10) days following the proclamation. Salvacion vs.) This rule. in the exercise of its constitutional prerogatives. . COMELEC. . 59 we ruled: The petitioner argues that after proclamation and assumption of office. 23 SCRA 883. in Mentang vs. 95-317 obviously is one. we are aware of cases holding that pre-proclamation controversies may no longer be entertained by the COMELEC after the winning candidate has been proclaimed. 187 SCRA 463. Indeed. not a citizen of the Philippines . returns and qualifications of all elective . . 1995. Indeed. COMELEC. Agbayani vs. 171 SCRA 468. COMELEC. as the occasion demands. 186 SCRA 484. COMELEC. 58 Thus. in Lee vs. is premised on an assumption that the proclamation is no proclamation at all and the proclaimed candidate's assumption of office cannot deprive the COMELEC of the power to make such declaration of nullity. Commissioner of Immigration." Inasmuch as Frivaldo's petition was filed only six (6) days after Lee's proclamation. there is no question that the Comelec correctly acquired jurisdiction over the same. The Third Issue: Comelec's Jurisdiction Over The Petition in SPC No. Lee reminds us that he was proclaimed on June 30." Instead of dwelling at length on the various petitions that Comelec. Casimiro vs. an election protest or a quo warranto case". Again. 56 we held: Everytime the citizenship of a person is material or indispensable in a judicial or administrative case.of which SPC No. or for that matter lose. whatever the corresponding court or administrative authority decides therein as to such citizenship is generally not considered res judicata. Hence. hence it has to be threshed out again and again. This is because a person may subsequently reacquire."beyond the 5-day reglementary period. his citizenship under any of the modes recognized by law for the purpose. according to him. . however. 1995 but that Frivaldo filed SPC No. may entertain. (citing Gallardo vs. provincial . 95-317 questioning his (Lee's) proclamation only on July 6.

In such case.and not Lee -.claimed. Lee anchors his claim to the governorship on the pronouncement of this Court in the aforesaid Labo 62 case. he was. in spite of their voting for him. since in losing the election. there has been no sufficient evidence presented to show that the electorate of Sorsogon was "fully aware in fact and in law" of Frivaldo's alleged disqualification as to "bring such awareness within the realm of notoriety. "obviously not the choice of the people" of Sorsogon. much less the electorate as having known of such fact. just that. and none was alleged. 60 "the fact remains that he (Lee) was not the choice of the sovereign will. On the contrary. . it is that the vicegovernor -. If Labo has any relevance at all. for which reason Comelec issued an (omnibus) resolution declaring that Frivaldo (like Labo in 1992) and several others can still be voted for in the May 8. COMELEC. he was ineligible. . that petitioner Labo was notoriously known as an ineligible candidate. is: the ineligibility of a candidate receiving majority votes does not entitle the eligible candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to be declared elected. COMELEC. But such holding is qualified by the next paragraph. This is the emphatic teaching of Labo: The rule." and in Aquino vs.The Fourth Issue: Was Lee's Proclamation Valid? Frivaldo assails the validity of the Lee proclamation. petitioner Labo was even allowed by no less than the Comelec itself in its resolution dated May 10. thus: But this is not the situation obtaining in the instant dispute. 61 Lee is "a second placer. . It has not been shown. To paraphrase this Court in Labo vs. in which case. would nonetheless cast their votes in favor of the ineligible candidate. is the ruling appropriate in this case because Frivaldo was in 1995 in an identical situation as Labo was in 1992 when the Comelec's cancellation of his certificate of candidacy was not yet final on election day as there was in both cases a pending motion for reconsideration. unfortunately for Lee. therefore. A minority or defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected to the office." In spite of this. the eligible candidate obtaining the next higher number of votes may be deemed elected. . 1992 to be voted for the office of the city Payor as its resolution dated May 9. that the voters intentionally wasted their ballots knowing that. the electorate may be said to have waived the validity and efficacy of their votes by notoriously misapplying their franchise or throwing away their votes. as follows: The rule would have been different if the electorate fully aware in fact and in law of a candidate's disqualification so as to bring such awareness within the realm of notoriety. to paraphrase Labo again. a second placer. 1995 election. 1992 denying due course to petitioner Labo's certificate of candidacy had not yet become final and subject to the final outcome of this case.should be pro. The last-quoted paragraph in Labo. Furthermore. as in fact." in other words. We uphold him for the following reasons: First. Lee was.

the esteemed Mr. as urged by Lee) of P. Petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy .Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for. 1995 disqualifying him for want of citizenship should be annulled because they were rendered beyond the fifteen (15) day period prescribed by Section 78. As we have earlier declared Frivaldo to have seasonably reacquired his citizenship and inasmuch as he obtained the highest number of votes in the 1995 elections. may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. -. 6646 authorizes the Commission to try and decide petitions for disqualifications even after the elections. "(u)nder CA No. No. not later than fifteen days before the election .A. he -. of the Omnibus Election Code which reads as follows: Sec. Hence. Justice Davide's Dissent In his dissenting opinion.A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false.. 1995 and the confirmatory en banc Resolution of May 11.D. He also contends that by allowing .not Lee -. 473 and P. 78. (Emphasis supplied. No. 1995.D. Frivaldo claims that the assailed Resolution of the Comelec (Second Division) dated May 1.R. Philippine citizenship maybe reacquired by . Lee's proclamation was patently erroneous and should now be corrected. At any rate. 1996. No. which both upheld his election. . affirmed en banc 63 on February 23. -.Second. Justice Hilario G. 120295.D.should be proclaimed. argues that President Aquino's memorandum dated March 27. 1987 should be viewed as a suspension (not a repeal. 64 viz. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election. But whether it decrees a suspension or a repeal is a purely academic distinction because the said issuance is not a statute that can amend or abrogate an existing law. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided after notice and hearing.) This claim is now moot and academic inasmuch as these resolutions are deemed superseded by the subsequent ones issued by the Commission (First Division) on December 19. 63 as amended by CA No. inquiry or protest and upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor. Effect of Disqualification Case. thus: Sec. (emphasis supplied) Refutation of Mr. the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action. Jr. Davide. it is obvious that Section 78 is merely directory as Section 6 of R. 725. The existence and subsistence of P. 725 were recognized in the first Frivaldo case. 6. and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. . repatriation". The Fifth Issue: Is Section 78 of the Election Code Mandatory? In G. 725.

but only in the 1995 elections. 120295". Justice Davide nonetheless votes to "DISMISS G. 1995 and May 11. Our point is that Frivaldo was in error in his claim in G.A. Since our courts are charged only with the duty of determining who are Philippine nationals. Such retroactivity did not change his disqualifications in 1988 and 1992. as quoted in the dissent. 120295 that the Comelec Resolutions promulgated on May 1. 65 The issue here is: the Comelec made a finding of fact that Frivaldo was stateless and such finding has not . Loong. The present case however deals with the period during which the Comelec may decide such petition. He argues that such retroactivity "dilutes" our holding in the first Frivaldo case. Citing Loong. Our learned colleague also disputes our holding that Frivaldo was stateless prior to his repatriation. No. No. as discussed earlier. Justice Davide also believes that Quo Warranto is not the sole remedy to question the ineligibility of a candidate. that Section 78 "is merely directory". The retroactivity of his repatriation.not who are the citizens of other countries." In spite of his disagreement with us on this point. No. Justice Davide also disagrees with the Court's holding that. One other point. teaches that a petition to deny due course under Section 78 must be filed within the 25-day period prescribed therein. 6646 authorizes the Comelec to try and decide disqualifications even after the elections. But the first (and even the second Frivaldo) decision did not directly involve repatriation as a mode of acquiring citizenship.not in 1988 or 1992. we note that just like us. Mr.e.Frivaldo to register and to remain as a registered voter. we hold that the Comelec did not commit grave abuse of discretion because "Section 6 of R.R. 120295. Mr. repatriation may be given retroactive effect. saying that "informal renunciation or abandonment is not a ground to lose American citizenship". there is no question that Frivaldo was not a Filipino for purposes of determining his qualifications in the 1988 and 1992 elections. 1995 were invalid because they were issued "not later than fifteen days before the election" as prescribed by Section 78.R. we cannot rule on the legal question of who are or who are not Americans. legally cured whatever defects there may have been in his registration as a voter for the purpose of the 1995 elections. There is no inconsistency nor conflict. citing the Comelec's authority under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code allowing the denial of a certificate of candidacy on the ground of a false material representation therein as required by Section 74. In dismissing the petition in G. Mr. We do not see such abetting or mockery. That is settled. he then states his disagreement with our holding that Section 78 is merely directory. we rule that a decision promulgated by the Comelec even after the elections is valid but Loong held that a petition filed beyond the 25-day period is out of time. If we may repeat. It is basic in international law that a State determines ONLY those who are its own citizens -. We really have no quarrel. i. Here.. given the unique factual circumstances of Frivaldo. which were the subjects of such previous rulings. But his supervening repatriation has changed his political status -. the Comelec and in effect this Court abetted a "mockery" of our two previous judgments declaring him a non-citizen. And we hold that it may be decided even after the fifteen day period mentioned in Section 78.R.

there is absolutely no empirical evidence for such "public" knowledge. during and after the 1995 elections. First. the question really boils down to a choice of philosophy and perception of how to interpret and apply laws relating to elections: literal or liberal. were already taken up rather extensively earlier in this Decision. and not elected officials. Secondly. even the Comelec and now this Court were/are still deliberating on his nationality before. legal syllogism or substantial justice.e.been shown by Lee to be arbitrary or whimsical. Third. even if there is. Justice Davide submits that Section 39 of the Local Government Code refers to the qualifications of elective local officials. if Congress had meant that the citizenship qualification should be possessed at election day or prior thereto. par. If the qualifications under par. We do not question what the provision states. We see it differently." We agree -. Section 39. candidates. Mr. How then can there be such "public" knowledge? Mr.we must all follow the rule of law. (a) thereof speaks of "elective local official" while par. harshly against or gently in favor of the . Thus. in isolation or in the context of social conditions. etc. But that is NOT the issue here. The dissenting opinion also submits that Lee who lost by chasmic margins to Frivaldo in all three previous elections. the letter or the spirit. Justice Davide caps his paper with a clarion call: "This Court must be the first to uphold the Rule of Law. In any event. (a) from the rest of the paragraphs. not merely at the commencement of the term. which reacquisition (or repatriation) is deemed for all purposes and intents to have retroacted to the date of his application therefor. but by election day at the latest. the same way it did in pars.. the legislature would have said so. such knowledge can be true post facto only of the last two previous elections. following settled case law. 725 suggest non-retroactivity. among others. and that the citizenship qualification [under par. Mr. it would have specifically stated such detail. should be declared winner because "Frivaldo's ineligibility for being an American was publicly known". Justice Davide also questions the giving of retroactive effect to Frivaldo's repatriation on the ground. the naked provision or its ultimate purpose. Second. mayor. We hold however that the provision should be understood thus: that after taking the oath of allegiance the applicant is deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship. so it can rule! At balance. Justice Davide's thesis that the very wordings of P. The issue is how should the law be interpreted and applied in this case so it can be followed. instead of differentiating par. our "so too" argument regarding the literal meaning of the word "elective" in reference to Section 39 of the Local Authority Code. i. (b) to (f) refer to "candidates". as well as regarding Mr. such finding is binding and final. (b) to (f) far other qualifications of candidates for governor.D. that the law specifically provides that it is only after taking the oath of allegiance that applicants shall be deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship. (a) of that section] must be possessed by candidates. (a) were intended to apply to "candidates" and not elected officials.

Moreover. his registration as a voter of Sorsogon is deemed to have been validated as of said date as well. not having been suspended or repealed expressly nor impliedly at any time. Furthermore. the petitioner must clearly demonstrate that the ineligibility is so patently antagonistic 68 to constitutional and legal principles that . and Frivaldo's repatriation by virtue thereof to have been properly granted and thus valid and effective. he having given up his U. 1994. since his reacquisition of citizenship retroacted to August 17. defense and refuge. . 725 to be in full force and effect up to the present.S. as well as his unique situation of having been forced to give up his citizenship and political aspiration as his means of escaping a regime he abhorred. Otherwise stated. (L)aws governing election contests must be liberally construed to the end that the will of the people in the choice of public officials may not be defeated by mere technical objections (citations omitted). for it is merely sound public policy to cause elective offices to be filled by those who are the choice of the majority. we rule that the citizenship requirement in the Local Government Code is to be possessed by an elective official at the latest as of the time he is proclaimed and at the start of the term of office to which he has been elected. And once again.D. by reason of the remedial or curative nature of the law granting him a new right to resume his political status and the legislative intent behind it. he possessed the vital requirement of Filipino citizenship as of the start of the term of office of governor. it would be far better to err in favor of popular sovereignty than to be right in complex but little understood legalisms. Indeed. this Court must exert utmost effort to resolve the issues in a manner that would give effect to the will of the majority. No. Indeed. in deference to the popular will. This Court has time and again liberally and equitably construed the electoral laws of our country to give fullest effect to the manifest will of our people. . this Court has repeatedly stressed the importance of giving effect to the sovereign will in order to ensure the survival of our democracy. 67 The law and the courts must accord Frivaldo every possible protection. are precisely consistent with our holding that lack of the citizenship requirement is not a continuing disability or disqualification to run for and hold public office. We further hold P. his repatriation is to be given retroactive effect as of the date of his application therefor. we have held: . 66 for in case of doubt.voters' obvious choice. Thus. political laws must be interpreted to give life and spirit to the popular mandate freely expressed through the ballot. Consistently. legal niceties and technicalities cannot stand in the way of the sovereign will. and should have been proclaimed instead of Lee. In any action involving the possibility of a reversal of the popular electoral choice. EPILOGUE In sum. The foregoing. of course. to inflict a thrice rejected candidate upon the electorate of Sorsogon would constitute unmitigated judicial tyranny and an unacceptable assault upon this Court's conscience. To successfully challenge a winning candidate's qualifications. we emphasize herein our previous rulings recognizing the Comelec's authority and jurisdiction to hear and decide petitions for annulment of proclamations. in contemplation of law. nationality. In applying election laws. during the pendency of which he was stateless.

Thus. Frivaldo was assured of a life of ease and plenty as a citizen of the most powerful country in the world. single-mindedly insisted on returning to and serving once more his struggling but beloved land of birth. Concededly. technical and sometimes harsh anachronisms of the law in order to evoke substantial justice in the larger social context consistent with Frivaldo's unique situation approximating venerability in Philippine political life. . (2) The petition in G. Lee has miserably failed. No. But he opted. WHEREFORE. nay. And in the final analysis. The assailed Resolutions of the respondent Commission are AFFIRMED. he returned to this land. legalistic. Or. the indomitable people of Sorsogon most certainly deserve to be governed by a leader of their overwhelming choice. it could have disputed the factual findings of the Comelec that he was stateless at the time of repatriation and thus hold his consequent dual citizenship as a disqualification "from running for any elective local position. in fact and in truth than any legal technicality. of his consuming intention and burning desire to re-embrace his native Philippines even now at the ripe old age of 81 years.R. He therefore deserves every liberal interpretation of the law which can be applied in his favor. No costs. it has no merit. After all. The Court could have refused to grant retroactivity to the effects of his repatriation and hold him still ineligible due to his failure to show his citizenship at the time he registered as a voter before the 1995 elections. In Frivaldo's case. his demonstrated tenacity and sheer determination to re-assume his nationality of birth despite several legal set-backs speak more loudly. 123755 is hereby DISMISSED. And let it not be overlooked. would ultimately create greater prejudice to the very democratic institutions and juristic traditions that our Constitution and laws so zealously protect and promote. In any event. He took an oath of allegiance to this Republic every time he filed his certificate of candidacy and during his failed naturalization bid. he sought American citizenship only to escape the clutches of the dictatorship. At this stage. we cannot seriously entertain any doubt about his loyalty and dedication to this country. in spirit. In this undertaking. Mortals of lesser mettle would have given up.overriding such ineligibility and thereby giving effect to the apparent will of the people.R. Such loyalty to and love of country as well as nobility of purpose cannot be lost on this Court of justice and equity. No. The people of Sorsogon overwhelmingly voted for him three times. it would have been technically easy to find fault with his cause. in consideration of the foregoing: (1) The petition in G." But the real essence of justice does not emanate from quibblings over patchwork legal technicality. and sought to serve his people once more. 120295 is also DISMISSED for being moot and academic. It proceeds from the spirit's gut consciousness of the dynamic role of law as a brick in the ultimate development of the social edifice. over and above Frivaldo himself. At the first opportunity. the Court struggled against and eschewed the easy.

took no part. J. Vitug and Kapunan." The same principle served as the bedrock of our 1973 and 1935 Constitutions.J.S. Upholding the sovereign will of the people which is the be-all and the end-all of republicanism. J. The sovereignty of our people is the primary postulate of the 1987 Constitution. our 1987 Constitution is more people-oriented. Constitution makes it a duty of the Federal government to guarantee to every state a "republican form of government. 1 It is one of the few principles whose truth has been cherished by the Americans as self-evident. it appears as the first in our declaration of principles and state policies. Article IV of the U. the American authorities imposed republicanism as the cornerstone of our 1935 Constitution then being crafted by its Filipino framers." With understandable fervor.. Melo. Thus.SO ORDERED.. JJ. section 4 of Article II provides as a state policy that the prime . 2 Borne out of the 1986 people power EDSA revolution. and Torres. Hermosisima. Romero. section 1 of Article II of our fundamental law proclaims that "[t]he Philippines is a democratic and republican State. concurs in the result. C. concur. Bellosillo. Regalado. Padilla. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. Thus. Jr. concurring: I concur with the path-breaking ponencia of Mr.. it rests on a foundation that will endure time and its tempest. JJ. and Mendoza. Narvasa.. Separate Opinions PUNO. Section 4. Francisco. Jr.. For this reason. Justice Panganiban which is pro-people and pierces the myopia of legalism.

Article XI also provides that ". 6 he adds that a more amplified definition of sovereignty is that of "a final power of final legal adjustment of all legal issues . Section 5(2) of Article XVI mandates that "[t]he state shall strengthen the patriotic spirit and nationalist consciousness of the military. . . I appreciate the vigorous dissent of Mr. a government run by and for the people. The essence of republicanism is representation and renovation. for it is the author and source of law. 7 where it held that ". by whom and for whom all government exists and acts. Supreme Court expressed the same thought in the landmark case of Yick Wo v. . not derivative." Sections 15 and 1 of Article XIII define the role and rights of people's organizations. . serving for a limited period only. at the option of their principal. while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government. ." And section 2 of Article XVII provides that "amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative . The purpose of a republican government it is almost needless to state. all the time. 3 Former Dean Vicente Sinco 4 states that an essential quality of sovereignty is legal omnipotence." All these provisions and more are intended to breathe more life to the sovereignty of our people. according to the Constitution.: "Legal theory establishes certain essential qualities inherent in the nature of sovereignty. 9 For this reason. This means that the sovereign is legally omnipotent and absolute in relation to other legal institutions. . "at all times be accountable to the people" they are sworn to serve . the entire electorate votes for our senators but only our district electorates vote ." 5 Citing Barker. Its metes and bounds are familiar to the framers of our Constitutions. It is not a pure democracy where the people govern themselves directly. but in our system. It is the sole judge of what it should do at any given time. ." The U." Section 1. . the absolute right to govern. after which they are replaced or retained. must at all times be accountable to the people . To be sure. The first is legal omnipotence. the people established a representative democracy as distinguished from a pure democracy. Thus. not subject to law . a republican government is a responsible government whose officials hold and discharge their position as a public trust and shall." In our Constitution. Obviously. Justice Davide. I agree that sovereignty is indivisible but it need not always be exercised by the people together. sovereignty is meant to be supreme. the sovereignty of our people is not a kabalistic principle whose dimensions are buried in mysticism. They knew that in its broadest sense. is the promotion of the common welfare according to the will of the people themselves . viz. . . and respect for people's rights in the performance of their duty.S. Its powers are original. sovereignty itself is. sovereignty itself remains with the people. public officers . Justice Isagani Cruz explains: 8 xxx xxx xxx A republic is a representative government. of course. Hopkins. the Constitution and our laws provide when the entire electorate or only some of them can elect those who make our laws and those who execute our laws. the selection by the citizenry of a corps of public functionaries who derive their mandate from the people and act on their behalf. the jus summi imperu.duty of the Government is "to serve and protect the people. It has the power to determine exclusively its legal competence.

The ponencia of Mr. Justice Davide that my opinion can bring about ill effects to the State. Justice Davide dissents. And even our jurisprudence has not settled the issue when a candidate should possess the qualification of citizenship. Frivaldo's name was in the list of candidates allowed by COMELEC to run for governor. an offense against the sovereignty of our people. courts have been sharply divided by this mind boggling issue. Mr. Mr. on this legal issue cannot be denied. Also. 10 there are two (2) principal schools of thought on the matter. only our provincial electorates vote for the members of our provincial boards. I do not concede this assumption for as stressed above. we cannot prosecute them "because of the doctrine of people's sovereignty. I cannot imagine how it will be disastrous for the State if we tilt the balance in the case at bar in favor of the people of Sorsogon. and only our municipal electorates vote for our mayors. Rather. I emphasize the honest-to-goodness difference in interpreting our law on the matter for this is vital to dispel the fear of Mr. the analogy is not appropriate. The other ventures the view that the candidate should satisfy the qualifications at the time he assumes the powers of the office. only our city electorates vote for our city councilors. rebellion is concededly a crime. the issue is: whether the will of the voters of Sorsogon clearly choosing Frivaldo as governor ought to be given a decisive value considering the uncertainty of the law on when a candidate ought to satisfy the qualification of citizenship. both here and abroad. In the case at bar. and only our municipal electorates vote for our councilors. it cannot be held with certitude that the people of Sorsogon violated the law by voting for Frivaldo as governor . In his hypothetical case. I am unaware of any Philippine decision that has squarely resolved this difficult question of law. Given this schism. At that time too. a violation of Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code. Frivaldo was taking all steps to establish his Filipino citizenship. it cannot be claimed that said sovereignty has been fragmented. Justice Panganiban adhered to the second school of thought while Mr. the entire electorate votes for our President and Vice-President but only our provincial electorates vote for our governors. Since the meaning of the law is arguable then and now. I do not see how we can derogate on the sovereignty of the people by according more weight to the votes of the people of Sorsogon. Justice Davide warns that should the people of Batanes stage a rebellion." With due respect. . The uncertainty of law and jurisprudence. By defining and delimiting the classes of voters who can exercise the sovereignty of the people in a given election. only our city electorates vote for our mayors. One espouses the view that a candidate must possess the qualifications for office at the time of his election.for our congressmen. In the United States. Justice Davide's fear is based on the assumption that Frivaldo continues to be disqualified and we cannot allow him to sit as governor without transgressing the law. It is my respectful submission that the issue in the case at bar is not whether the people of Sorsogon should be given the right to defy the law by allowing Frivaldo to sit as their governor.

in 1995. issuances and rules and regulations. In my view. P. as amended. Aquino's 27 March 1987 memorandum "effectively repealed" P. Frivaldo is the overwhelming choice of the people of Sorsogon. For three (3) times. No. the said memorandum only suspended the implementation of the latter decree by divesting the Special Committee on Naturalization of its authority to further act on grants of citizenship under LOI No. in 1992. but not on the ground that President Corazon C. are hereby directed to cease and desist from undertaking any and all proceedings within your functional area of responsibility. In election cases. No.000. and P.D. Clearly then. 270. ". Justice Laurel. The power of President Aquino to suspend these issuances by virtue of the 27 . and any other related laws. P. Justice Artemio V. For two (2) times. as amended. he posted a margin of 20. 270 dated April 11. orders. we should strive to align the will of the legislature as expressed in its law with the will of the sovereign people as expressed in their ballots.000. as amended. I find myself unable to join him. approve or disapprove) applications under the said decree. For law to reign.. No.D. No. as amended. 836. 270 to receive and act on (i.D. you as Chairman and members of the Special Committee on Naturalization. unprecedented in our political history. 1379. Mr. orders. Panganiban." 11 The choice of the governed on who shall be their governor merits the highest consideration by all agencies of government.. we must not only be legally right but also politically correct. 1975. No. DAVIDE.In sum.000.D. . I I agree with petitioner Lee that Frivaldo's repatriation was void. 1978. and "any other related laws. they gave him a winning spread of 57. 836 dated December 3. 1379.D. dissenting: After deliberating on the re-formulated issues and the conclusions reached by my distinguished colleague. (emphasis supplied) It is self-evident that the underscored clause can only refer to those related to LOI No. For in the eloquent prose of Mr. I respectfully submit that the sovereign will of our people should be resolutory of the case at bar which is one of its kind. P. In 1988. Frivaldo ran as governor of the province of Sorsogon. 1379 dated May 17. issuances and rules and regulations. The people never waffled in their support for Frivaldo. it must respect the will of the people." A reading of the last paragraph of the memorandum can lead to no other conclusion. We cannot fail by making the people succeed. 836. Presidential Decree No. and Presidential Decree No. an enfranchised citizen is a particle of popular sovereignty and is the ultimate source of established authority. 270. thus: In view of the foregoing.e. J. In cases where the sovereignty of the people is at stake. . 1975. relative to the grant of citizenship under the said laws. There is no doubt in my mind that P. JR. No. as defined in Letter of Instruction No. 725. The people of Sorsogon voted for him as their governor despite his disqualification. they gave him a winning margin of 27. 725 is one such "related law" as it involves the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship by repatriation and designates the Special Committee on Naturalization created under LOI No. he was disqualified on the ground of citizenship.D..

not elected -. on 30 June 1995 and the term of office of Governor commenced at 12:00 noon of that day. city. the revocation of the cease and desist order and the reactivation or revival of the Committee can be done only by legislative fiat. while the second refers to a victorious candidate for an elective office. or province or. II Even assuming arguendo that Frivaldo's repatriation is valid. -. Qualifications. and in light of Sections 1(4) and 3. Accordingly." Considering that Congress has not seen it fit to do so. the Committee cannot validly accept Frivaldo's application for repatriation and approve it.m. 725 are clearly legislative acts. P. Article IV of the 1987 Constitution (naturalization and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship shall be in accordance with law)." and not an exercise of legislative power. 725. i." I depart from the view in the ponencia that Section 39 of the Local Government Code of 1991 does not specify the time when the citizenship requirement must be met. Marcos in the exercise of his legislative powers -. since the President had long lost his authority to exercise "legislative power. and paragraph (a) thereof begins with the phrase "An elective local official.. as the ponencia seems to suggest. complied with the citizenship requirement. 39. No. the creation of the Special Committee on Naturalization by LOI No. In the first place. municipality. 1379 and "any other related laws.not executive power." such as P. in the case of a . therefore.D. I disagree with the view expressed in the ponencia that the memorandum of 27 March 1987 was merely a declaration of "executive policy. he had. therefore.D. in the exercise of executive power. The section unquestionably refers to elective -. The first refers to the nature of the office. were issued by President Ferdinand E.D. Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution.e. and that being the case.March 1987 memorandum is beyond question considering that under Section 6. It falls under Title Two entitled ELECTIVE OFFICIALS. In the same vein.(a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines. It reads as follows: Sec. 270 and the conferment of the power to accept and act on applications under P. the President cannot. since Frivaldo "reassumed" his Philippine citizenship at 2:00 p. a registered voter in the barangay. These adjectives are not synonymous. it is indubitable that these subjects are a matter of legislative prerogative.D. No. she exercised legislative power until the Congress established therein convened on the fourth Monday of July 1987. 836. A multo fortiori. No. lift the cease and desist order nor reactivate/reconstitute/revive the Committee. under Chapter 1 entitled Qualifications and Election. it did not "cure his lack of citizenship." while paragraphs (b) to (f) thereof speak of candidates.local officials. 270. Section 39 actually prescribes the qualifications of elective local officials and not those of an elected local official. by Congress. which requires the process of voting by the electorate involved. No. P. These laws relate to the acquisition (by naturalization) and reacquisition (by repatriation) of Philippine citizenship. then it suffices that citizenship be possessed upon commencement of the term of the office involved. LOI No.

Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law. a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election. (b) Candidates for the position of governor. Article V thereof provides: Sec. . not merely at the commencement of the term. and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. vice governor or member of the sangguniang panlalawigan.P. or mayor. who shall have resided in the Philippines for one year and in the city or municipality wherein he proposes to vote for at . it is not at all true that Section 39 does not specify the time when the citizenship requirement must be possessed. Section 39 is not at all ambiguous nor uncertain that it meant this to be. No less than the Constitution makes it the first qualification.member of the sangguniang panlalawigan. and able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect. . Blg. as Section 1. in no way may the section be construed to mean that possession of qualifications should be reckoned from the commencement of the term of office of the elected candidate. (c) Candidates for the position of mayor or vice mayor of independent component cities. . or that Philippine citizenship must be possessed. 1. CITY OR PROVINCE . (f) Candidates for the sangguniang kabataan must be at least fifteen (15) years of age but not more than twenty-one (21) years of age on election day (emphasis supplied) It is thus obvious that Section 39 refers to no other than the qualifications of candidates for elective local offices and their election. . not otherwise disqualified by law. (e) Candidates for the position of punong barangay or member of the sangguniang barangay must be at least eighteen (18) years of age on election day. or sangguniang bayan. (d) Candidates for the position of member of the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan must be at least eighteen (18) years of age on election day. (emphasis supplied) And Section 117 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines (B. 117 Qualifications of a voter. the district where he intends to be elected. as one basic qualification of an elective local official is that he be "A REGISTERED VOTER IN THE BARANGAY.Every citizen of the Philippines. For another. MUNICIPALITY. eighteen years of age or over. I submit that the requirement must be satisfied. sangguniang panlungsod. . but at an earlier time. WHERE HE INTENDS TO VOTE. Hence." This simply means that he possesses all the qualifications to exercise the right of suffrage. The fundamental qualification for the exercise of this sovereign right is the possession of Philippine citizenship. 881) expressly provides for the qualifications of a voter. who are at least eighteen years of age. or municipalities must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age on election day. Thus: Sec. -. component cities. the latest being election day itself. vice mayor or member of the sangguniang panlungsod of highly urbanized cities must be at least twenty-three (23) years of age on election day.

a COMELEC order to cancel his registration as a voter or the physical destruction of his voter's certificate. De la Rosa. requires that the person filing the certificate of candidacy must state. and May 1995. This disqualification inexorably nullified Frivaldo's registration as a voter and declared it void ab initio. Our judgments therein were self-executory and no further act. Neither act made him a Filipino citizen nor nullified the judgments of this Court. he was never considered a registered voter for the elections of May 1992. The petition under Section 78 may be filed at any time not later than 25 days from the filing of the certificate of candidacy . On the contrary. e. in turn. hence it was equally void ab initio. but from the date of proclamation.this did not make him a Filipino citizen. Thus.he was DISQUALIFIED to be elected as such and to serve the position (Frivaldo vs. inter alia. (emphasis supplied) It is undisputed that this Court twice voided Frivaldo's election as Governor in the 1988 and 1992 elections on the ground that for lack of Philippine citizenship -. may be filed only within ten days from proclamation and not earlier. or on the physical destruction of his certificate of registration as a voter which. of course. 174 SCRA 245 [1989]. Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code allows the filing of a petition to deny due course to or cancel the certificate of candidacy on the ground that any material representation contained therein. The section reads in full as follows: . that he is eligible for the office. Clearly. under Section 253 of the Omnibus Election Code. fulfilling the citizenship requirement) and none of the disqualifications as provided by law. is false. Even if he did -. quo warranto is not the sole remedy available to question a candidate's ineligibility for public office. The second reason in the ponencia as to why the citizenship disqualification should be reckoned not from the date of the election nor the filing of the certificate of candidacy. which means that he has all the qualifications (including.he being a naturalized citizen of the United States of America -. That he filed his certificate of candidacy for the 1995 elections and was even allowed to vote therein were of no moment.g. and abet the COMELEC's incompetence in failing to cancel Frivaldo's registration and allowing him to vote. For the Court now to validate Frivaldo's registration as a voter despite the judgments of disqualification is to modify the said judgments by making their effectivity and enforceability dependent on a COMELEC order cancelling his registration as a voter. Republic of the Philippines vs. 232 SCRA 785 [1994]).least six months immediately preceding the election.. of course. said acts made a mockery of our judgments. may be a registered voter. Section 74. is that the only available remedy to question the ineligibility (or disloyalty) of a candidate is a petition for quo warranto which. was never our intention. to sanction Frivaldo's registration as a voter would be to sacrifice substance in favor of form (the piece of paper that is the book of voters or list of voters or voter's ID). Moreover. as required by Section 74. as there is no showing that Frivaldo registered anew as a voter for the latter elections. I beg to differ.in obvious defiance of his decreed disqualification -. Commission on Elections. was necessary for the ineffectivity.

xxx xxx xxx Sec. Likewise. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided. Grounds for Disqualification. 3. 78. viz. as provided under Section 253 of the Code.Disqualification of Candidates Sec. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy . is Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code mandatory? The answer is provided in Loong. While the validity of this rule insofar as it concerns petitions for disqualification on the ground of lack of all qualifications may be doubtful. "any day after the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy but not later than the date of proclamation. if a person qualified to file a petition to disqualify a certain candidate fails to file the petition within the 25-day period Section 78 of the Code for whatever reasons. Period to File Petition. The petition may be filed within ten (10) days from the date the respondent is proclaimed (Section 2).Sec.. Rule 21 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure similarly provides that any voter contesting the election of any regional. 1. its invalidity is not in issue here. where this Court held: Thus. a petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed even beyond the 25-day period . after due notice and hearing. Rule 25 of the Revised COMELEC Rules of Procedure allows the filing of a petition for disqualification on the ground of failure to possess all the qualifications of a candidate as provided by the Constitution or by existing laws. This remedy was recognized in Loong vs. We also do not find merit in the contention of respondent Commission that in the light of the provisions of Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. the election laws do not leave him completely helpless as he has another chance to raise the disqualification of the candidate by filing a petition for quo warranto within ten (10) days from the proclamation of the results of the election. 768 [1992]). In this connection. The petition shall be filed any day after the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy but not later than the date of proclamation . Act No. Commission on Elections (216 SCRA 760. not later than fifteen days before the election." Sections 1 and 3 thereof provide: Rule 25 -.A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. Any candidate who does not possess all the qualifications of a candidate as provided for by the Constitution or by existing law or who commits any act declared by law to be grounds for disqualification may be disqualified from continuing as a candidate. provincial or city official on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines may file a petition for quo warranto with the Electoral Contest Adjudication Department. -. it would seem appropriate to take up the last issue grappled within the ponencia. Section 1. 6646.

rebellion or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months or for a crime involving moral turpitude. Any person who has been declared by competent authority insane or incompetent. the proper court or the COMELEC are granted the authority to continue hearing the case after the election.A. No. Effect of Disqualification case. Sections 12. unless he has been given plenary pardon or granted amnesty. as long as it is filed within a reasonable time from the discovery of the ineligibility. and Section 253 on petitions for quo warranto. Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. already discussed. 7. the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action. 68. Sec. Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for.day period prescribed by Section 78 of the Code for filing the appropriate action to cancel a certificate of candidacy on account of any false representation made therein. Act No. and 72 of the Code provide: Sec. It will be noted that nothing in Sections 6 or 7 modifies or alters the 25. if the evidence against him is strong. insurrection. This is because there are provisions in the Code which supply the periods within which a petition relating to disqualification of candidates must be filed. such as Section 78. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election. 881. Act No. I submit that Section 6 refers to disqualifications under Sections 12 and 68 of the Omnibus Election Code and consequently modifies Section 72 thereof. 6646 also makes the effects referred to in Section 6 applicable to disqualification cases filed under Section 78 of the Code. 6646 authorizes the COMELEC to try and decide petitions for disqualification even after elections. As such. may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. The procedure hereinabove provided shall apply to petitions to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy as provided in Section 78 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 6. suspend the proclamation of the victorious candidate. inquiry or protest and. Disqualifications. and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. said Section 7 affirms and reiterates Section 78 of the Code. 6646 is mention made of the period within which these disqualification cases may be filed. On the contrary. and during the pendency of the case. The disqualifications to be a candidate herein provided shall be deemed removed upon declaration by competent authority that said insanity or incompetence had been removed . upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor. We note that Section 6 refers only to the effects of a disqualification case which may be based on grounds other than that provided under Section 78 of the Code. Nowhere in Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. Act No. or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion. 6646 are here re-quoted: Sec. 12. I then disagree with the asseveration in the ponencia that Section 78 is merely directory because Section 6 of R. shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office. But Section 7 of Rep. Petition to Deny Due Course To or Cancel a Certificate of Candidacy.prescribed by Section 78 of the Code.

Any candidate who. but a mere privilege. 85. 63). No. his violation of the provisions of the preceding sections shall not prevent his proclamation and assumption to office.or after the expiration of a period of five years from his service of sentence.D. 1971 EC) Sec. xxx xxx xxx Sec. 725 expressly provides that repatriation takes effect only after taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. Turning now to the letter of the law. shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate. 725 expanded this to include Filipino women who lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens even before the death of their alien husbands. e. 97 and 104. a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election. in an action or protest in which he is a party is declared by final decision of a competent court guilty of. 725. unless within the same period he again becomes disqualified. Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for. or if he has been elected. 25. 96. (Sec. and cc. and the votes cast for him shall not be counted.D. v. P. C. induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions. 72. 725. Effects of disqualification cases and priority. The spirit adheres to the principle that acquisition or re-acquisition of Philippine citizenship is not a right. k. (b) committed acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy. unless said person has waived his status as permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country in accordance with the residence requirement provided for in the election laws. received or made any contribution prohibited under Sections 89. 95. or found by the Commission of having (a) given money or other material consideration to influence. 68. No. if for any reason. No. No. or (e) violated any of Sections 80.D.D. The Commission and the courts shall give priority to cases of disqualification by reason of violation of this Act to the end that a final decision shall be rendered not later than seven days before the election in which the disqualification is sought. (d) solicited. Before the advent of P. or the termination of their marital status and to natural-born Filipino citizens who lost their Philippine citizenship but subsequently desired to reacquire the latter. from holding the office. Nevertheless. 86 and 261.A. I am not persuaded by the arguments in support of the thesis that Frivaldo's repatriation may be given retroactive effect. 83. thus: . and (b) a woman who lost her citizenship by reason of her marriage to an alien after the death of her spouse (Section 2[2]. III Still assuming that the repatriation is valid. sub-paragraph 6. as such goes against the spirit and letter of P. Any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office under this Code. paragraphs d. P. or Air Corps deserters. only the following could apply for repatriation: (a) Army. NO. Disqualifications. (c) spent in his election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by this Code. Navy.

The rule in regard to curative statutes is that if the thing omitted or failed to be done. Second ed." as the ponencia cannot but concede. . nay primordial. and curb certain evils. before the enactment of the statute. but has failed of expected legal consequence by reason of some statutory disability or irregularity in their own action. 270-271. it may do so by a subsequent one. 725 can be given retroactive effect is its alleged curative or remedial nature. [1990]. such would retroact to the filing of the petition for naturalization or the bill granting him Philippine citizenship. then it should not have explicitly provided otherwise. citations omitted). They make valid that which.D. then it would also mean that if Frivaldo had chosen and reacquired Philippine citizenship by naturalization or through Congressional action. if their applications are approved. allegiance to the Philippines. and (3) taking of the oath of allegiance if the application is approved. and. (emphasis and capitalization supplied) Clearly then. right of citizenship. The other reason adduced in the ponencia in support of the proposition that P. . may reacquire Philippine citizenship . I disagree. . No. 725 be characterized as a curative or remedial statute: Curative or remedial statutes are healing acts. P. it means. the acquisition of " a new right. It is only UPON TAKING THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE that the applicant is deemed ipso jure to have reacquired Philippine citizenship. . the steps to reacquire Philippine citizenship by repatriation under the decree are: (1) filing the application. 725 provides for the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship lost through the marriage of a Filipina to an alien and through naturalization in a foreign country of natural-born Filipino citizens. This is a proposition which both the first and second Frivaldo cases soundly rejected.D. was invalid. Again. (2) action by the committee. is something the legislature might have dispensed with by a previous statute. They are intended to enable a person to carry into effect that which they have designed and intended. It involves then the substantive. They are remedial by curing defects and adding to the means of enforcing existing obligations. If the decree had intended the oath taking to retroact to the date of the filing of the application. (RUBEN E. abridge superfluities in existing laws. Therefore. Curative statutes are intended to supply defects. This theory in the ponencia likewise dilutes this Court's pronouncement in the first Frivaldo case that what reacquisition of Filipino citizenship requires is an act "formally rejecting [the] adopted state and reaffirming . Statutory Construction. To those for whom it is intended. by no stretch of legal hermeneutics may P. and which constitutes the defect sought to be removed or made harmless. AFTER WHICH THEY SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE REACQUIRED PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP. by applying with the Special Committee on Naturalization created by Letter of Instruction No. If we now take this revision of doctrine to its logical end. No." That act meant nothing less than taking of the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. 270. In the first place. . taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines . . AGPALO. No.D.. in reality. it may not be said to merely remedy or cure a defect considering that one who has lost Philippine citizenship does .

in accordance with Section 40 (d) of the Local Government Code.S. "(b) Taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state" (SIDNEY KANSAS. U. 3. once lost. he was disqualified to run for Governor for yet another reason: possession of dual citizenship. nineteen hundred and seventy five. V .. For under the laws of the United States of America. viz. (a) as an American citizen. Statutory Construction. Frivaldo remained an American national until he renounced his citizenship and allegiance thereto at 2:00 p. it is only after taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines that the applicant is DEEMED TO HAVE REACQUIRED PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP. It follows then that on election day and until the hour of the commencement of the term for which he was elected . the same could not be said insofar as it concerned the United States of America. Section 401 of the Nationality Act of 1940 of the United States of America provides that a person who is a national of the United States of America. Thus: This Decree shall take effect immediately. Done in the city of Manila. IV Assuming yet again. if the retroactivity is to relate only to the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship.. in the year of Our Lord.not have the right to reacquire it. then nothing therein supports such theory. on 30 June 1995.m. loses his nationality by. of which he was a citizen. it would be an inexcusable error to give it a retroactive effect since it explicitly provides the date of its effectivity. that P. may only be reacquired in the manner provided by law. 725 is curative or remedial statute. Hence. when he took his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. whether by birth or naturalization. Nevertheless. Third ed. it has also been observed that: The idea is implicit from many of the cases that remedial statutes are statutes relating to procedure and not substantive rights. No.D. however. [1948] 341-342). §5704 at 74. for as the decree itself unequivocally provides. Immigration Exclusion and Deportation and Citizenship of the United States of America.noon of 30 June 1995 as per Section 43 of the Local Government Code . (Sutherland. inter alia. citations omitted). this 5th day of June. As earlier stated. and (b) as a Filipino citizen through the adoption of the theory that the effects of his taking the oath of allegiance were retrospective. [1943]. for the sake of argument. that taking the oath of allegiance retroacted to the date of Frivaldo's application for repatriation. If we grant for the sake of argument. Third ed. the Constitution provides that citizenship. Moreover. Vol.Frivaldo possessed dual citizenship.

2(3). albeit imprecisely. pro-people (Article II. Nevertheless. 3. Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Regarding the Status of Stateless Persons (Philippine Treaty Series. 2. 11. Section 12). 3. Article XV)." I would even go further by saying that this Constitution is proGod (Preamble). 14. Yorac. vol. Conflict of Laws Cases. Sections 9. 7. 21. which is the status of individuals stripped of their nationality by their former government without having an opportunity to acquire another. and who are commonly. 13. Puno. or de facto. Sections 1. 6. 15. 10. Sections 1. self-serving allegation. never did the status of a STATELESS person attach to Frivaldo. 11. Article XIII. The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. informal renunciation or abandonment is not a ground to lose American citizenship. 9. Materials and Comments. Sections 1. VI Finally. referred to as refugees (JORGE R. 4(2). which is the status of individuals possessed of a nationality whose country does not give them protection outside their own country. Section 1. I am absolutely happy to join him in his statement that "[t]he sovereignty of our people is the primary postulate of the 1987 Constitution" and that the said Constitution is "more people-oriented. simply put. thus: Sec. pro-poor (Article II. 1985" . Section 11). second. The doctrine of people's sovereignty is founded on the principles of democracy and republicanism and refers exclusively to the sovereignty of the people of the Philippines. I find it in order to also express my view on the concurring opinion of Mr. 16. Article XVI. Justice Reynato S. 13). 4.long before May 8. 4. 1. 290). Article XII. 18. et al. 5. 16. Sections 5(2). 6). pro-life (Article II. it has not been shown that the United States of America ever ceased to consider Frivaldo its national at any time before he took his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines on 30 June 1995. Article XII. 5. 18. .. Section 12. 15.The assertion in the ponencia that Frivaldo may be considered STATELESS on the basis of his claim that he "had long renounced and had long abandoned his American citizenship . COQUIA. and third. Article XIV. a stateless person is defined as "a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law. Sections 1.. pro-Filipino (Article XII. 11. Specifically. Sections 1. I cannot be with him in carrying out the principle of sovereignty beyond what I perceive to be the reasonable constitutional parameters. Article XIII. Article XVI. Section 1 of Article II is quite clear on this." However. 1995 ed. Statelessness may be either de jure. 10. 6. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. Sections 1. III. 12. 10. for the following reasons: first. it is based on Frivaldo's unproven. and pro-family (Article II. Compiled and Annotated by Haydee B. Article XI. under Chapter 1. 363).is untenable." "borne [as it is] out of the 1986 people power EDSA revolution. 9. Sections 1.

So it is in this case if we follow the thesis in the concurring opinion. or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature. Upholding the sovereign will of the people which is . national policy. for instance. but even the final and binding decisions of this Court affecting him. Thus. i. I vote then to DISMISS G. or the execution of a judgment by the courts. simply because Frivaldo had obtained a margin of 20. this Court would provide the formula for the division and destruction of the State and render the Government ineffective and inutile.R. naval. of any of their powers or prerogatives. Separate Opinions PUNO. a vast majority of the voters of Sorsogon had expressed their sovereign will for the former. Justice Panganiban which is pro-people and pierces the myopia of legalism. or other armed forces. if. for Frivaldo. the sovereign Filipino people . To illustrate the evil. or judgment must not be enforced. this sovereignty is an attribute of the Filipino people as one people. then this Court must yield to that will and must. may be disastrous to the Nation." Thus. 123755. J.. the vast majority of the people of Batanes rise publicly and take up arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to the said Government or its laws. Indeed. one body. No. allow to be set aside.000 votes over his closest rival. This Court must be the first to uphold the Rule of Law. . neither can we convert and treat every fragment as the whole. then those who did so -. . That sovereign power of the Filipino people cannot be fragmentized by looking at it as the supreme authority of the people of any of the political subdivisions to determine their own destiny. it would necessarily follow that the law. No. Lee.R. or executed in the said province or municipality. we may consider the enforcement of laws or the pursuit of a national policy by the executive branch of the government. or even a municipality.e.And the Preamble makes it clear when it solemnly opens it with a clause "We. In such a case.a political subdivision -.cannot be prosecuted for or be held guilty of rebellion in violation of Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code because of the doctrine of peoples' sovereignty. implemented. not just the laws on qualifications of candidates and elective officials and naturalization and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. or any body of land. the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof. If these are opposed by the overwhelming majority of the people of a certain province. concurring: I concur with the path-breaking ponencia of Mr.. wholly or partially. therefore.and which are composed of the vast majority of the people of Batanes -. More concretely. 120295 and GRANT G. the expansion of the doctrine of sovereignty by investing upon the people of a mere political subdivision that which the Constitution places in the entire Filipino people.

The first is legal omnipotence." With understandable fervor. 3 Former Dean Vicente Sinco 4 states that an essential quality of sovereignty is legal omnipotence." The U. but in our system. it appears as the first in our declaration of principles and state policies. public officers . Article IV of the U. 1 It is one of the few principles whose truth has been cherished by the Americans as self-evident. The sovereignty of our people is the primary postulate of the 1987 Constitution. it rests on a foundation that will endure time and its tempest. . . viz. the American authorities imposed republicanism as the cornerstone of our 1935 Constitution then being crafted by its Filipino framers. sovereignty itself remains with the people. the people established a representative democracy as distinguished from a pure democracy. our 1987 Constitution is more people-oriented. Section 4. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. Supreme Court expressed the same thought in the landmark case of Yick Wo v.: "Legal theory establishes certain essential qualities inherent in the nature of sovereignty. 2 Borne out of the 1986 people power EDSA revolution. sovereignty is meant to be supreme. It is the sole judge of what it should do at any given time. section 4 of Article II provides as a state policy that the prime duty of the Government is "to serve and protect the people. This means that the sovereign is legally omnipotent and absolute in relation to other legal institutions. . by whom and for whom all government exists and acts. the absolute right to govern." Sections 15 and 1 of Article XIII define the role and rights of people's organizations. Its powers are original. section 1 of Article II of our fundamental law proclaims that "[t]he Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Article XI also provides that "." In our Constitution. . while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government. Justice Isagani Cruz explains: 8 . sovereignty itself is." 5 Citing Barker." All these provisions and more are intended to breathe more life to the sovereignty of our people. the sovereignty of our people is not a kabalistic principle whose dimensions are buried in mysticism." Section 1. Constitution makes it a duty of the Federal government to guarantee to every state a "republican form of government.S. . the jus summi imperu. . of course. They knew that in its broadest sense." And section 2 of Article XVII provides that "amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative . It has the power to determine exclusively its legal competence. Thus. must at all times be accountable to the people . for it is the author and source of law. .S. . . not derivative. not subject to law . Thus. 6 he adds that a more amplified definition of sovereignty is that of "a final power of final legal adjustment of all legal issues . 7 where it held that ". . Hopkins. For this reason. and respect for people's rights in the performance of their duty. Section 5(2) of Article XVI mandates that "[t]he state shall strengthen the patriotic spirit and nationalist consciousness of the military. Its metes and bounds are familiar to the framers of our Constitutions.the be-all and the end-all of republicanism." The same principle served as the bedrock of our 1973 and 1935 Constitutions. To be sure.

the Constitution and our laws provide when the entire electorate or only some of them can elect those who make our laws and those who execute our laws. I do not see . Given this schism. I agree that sovereignty is indivisible but it need not always be exercised by the people together. both here and abroad. Obviously. Justice Davide. Justice Davide that my opinion can bring about ill effects to the State. The essence of republicanism is representation and renovation. One espouses the view that a candidate must possess the qualifications for office at the time of his election. according to the Constitution. The uncertainty of law and jurisprudence. Justice Davide's fear is based on the assumption that Frivaldo continues to be disqualified and we cannot allow him to sit as governor without transgressing the law. Also. and only our municipal electorates vote for our mayors. the entire electorate votes for our President and Vice-President but only our provincial electorates vote for our governors. I do not concede this assumption for as stressed above. Justice Davide dissents. Justice Panganiban adhered to the second school of thought while Mr. courts have been sharply divided by this mind boggling issue. is the promotion of the common welfare according to the will of the people themselves . It is my respectful submission that the issue in the case at bar is not whether the people of Sorsogon should be given the right to defy the law by allowing Frivaldo to sit as their governor. Mr. only our provincial electorates vote for the members of our provincial boards. Rather. it cannot be claimed that said sovereignty has been fragmented. the issue is: whether the will of the voters of Sorsogon clearly choosing Frivaldo as governor ought to be given a decisive value considering the uncertainty of the law on when a candidate ought to satisfy the qualification of citizenship. I am unaware of any Philippine decision that has squarely resolved this difficult question of law. It is not a pure democracy where the people govern themselves directly. The purpose of a republican government it is almost needless to state. only our city electorates vote for our mayors. all the time. a republican government is a responsible government whose officials hold and discharge their position as a public trust and shall. after which they are replaced or retained. on this legal issue cannot be denied. The ponencia of Mr. The other ventures the view that the candidate should satisfy the qualifications at the time he assumes the powers of the office. By defining and delimiting the classes of voters who can exercise the sovereignty of the people in a given election. and only our municipal electorates vote for our councilors. I appreciate the vigorous dissent of Mr. Thus. 10 there are two (2) principal schools of thought on the matter. the entire electorate votes for our senators but only our district electorates vote for our congressmen. "at all times be accountable to the people" they are sworn to serve . In the United States. at the option of their principal. only our city electorates vote for our city councilors. a government run by and for the people. 9 For this reason. the selection by the citizenry of a corps of public functionaries who derive their mandate from the people and act on their behalf.xxx xxx xxx A republic is a representative government. serving for a limited period only. I emphasize the honest-to-goodness difference in interpreting our law on the matter for this is vital to dispel the fear of Mr.

but not on the ground that President Corazon C.D. Mr. The people never waffled in their support for Frivaldo. In sum. In the case at bar. . Frivaldo's name was in the list of candidates allowed by COMELEC to run for governor. it cannot be held with certitude that the people of Sorsogon violated the law by voting for Frivaldo as governor . a violation of Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code. Frivaldo was taking all steps to establish his Filipino citizenship. In my view. 836. Since the meaning of the law is arguable then and now. an enfranchised citizen is a particle of popular sovereignty and is the ultimate source of established authority. And even our jurisprudence has not settled the issue when a candidate should possess the qualification of citizenship. unprecedented in our political history. For two (2) times. in 1995. he posted a margin of 20. P. rebellion is concededly a crime. Justice Davide warns that should the people of Batanes stage a rebellion.how we can derogate on the sovereignty of the people by according more weight to the votes of the people of Sorsogon. J. dissenting: After deliberating on the re-formulated issues and the conclusions reached by my distinguished colleague. JR. For in the eloquent prose of Mr. they gave him a winning spread of 57." With due respect. Justice Laurel. I cannot imagine how it will be disastrous for the State if we tilt the balance in the case at bar in favor of the people of Sorsogon. 725. in 1992.. No. he was disqualified on the ground of citizenship. No. Panganiban. We cannot fail by making the people succeed. .D. For three (3) times. an offense against the sovereignty of our people. I respectfully submit that the sovereign will of our people should be resolutory of the case at bar which is one of its kind. In 1988. I find myself unable to join him. Aquino's 27 March 1987 memorandum "effectively repealed" P. as amended. Mr.. the analogy is not appropriate. Frivaldo ran as governor of the province of Sorsogon. Justice Artemio V." 11 The choice of the governed on who shall be their governor merits the highest consideration by all agencies of government. I I agree with petitioner Lee that Frivaldo's repatriation was void. ". Frivaldo is the overwhelming choice of the people of Sorsogon. In his hypothetical case. we cannot prosecute them "because of the doctrine of people's sovereignty. as . The people of Sorsogon voted for him as their governor despite his disqualification. For law to reign.000.000. In cases where the sovereignty of the people is at stake. it must respect the will of the people. Clearly then. At that time too. 270. the said memorandum only suspended the implementation of the latter decree by divesting the Special Committee on Naturalization of its authority to further act on grants of citizenship under LOI No. we must not only be legally right but also politically correct.000. DAVIDE. we should strive to align the will of the legislature as expressed in its law with the will of the sovereign people as expressed in their ballots. they gave him a winning margin of 27. In election cases.

No. relative to the grant of citizenship under the said laws. No." such as P. 1379. and "any other related laws. as defined in Letter of Instruction No. Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution. 725 is one such "related law" as it involves the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship by repatriation and designates the Special Committee on Naturalization created under LOI No. thus: In view of the foregoing. by Congress. she exercised legislative power until the Congress established therein convened on the fourth Monday of July 1987. No. and in light of Sections 1(4) and 3.D. 725." I depart from the view in the ponencia that Section 39 of the Local Government Code of 1991 does not specify the time when the citizenship requirement must be met." A reading of the last paragraph of the memorandum can lead to no other conclusion.D. 1379 and "any other related laws. LOI No. the creation of the Special Committee on Naturalization by LOI No. 270. 270 to receive and act on (i. then it suffices that citizenship be possessed . it did not "cure his lack of citizenship. Marcos in the exercise of his legislative powers -. I disagree with the view expressed in the ponencia that the memorandum of 27 March 1987 was merely a declaration of "executive policy. 270 dated April 11. and P. 1975. orders. are hereby directed to cease and desist from undertaking any and all proceedings within your functional area of responsibility. 1978.D. and Presidential Decree No. P. approve or disapprove) applications under the said decree. the President cannot." Considering that Congress has not seen it fit to do so. 725 are clearly legislative acts. i. P. The power of President Aquino to suspend these issuances by virtue of the 27 March 1987 memorandum is beyond question considering that under Section 6.D..e. 1975. 836. II Even assuming arguendo that Frivaldo's repatriation is valid.D. P. No. orders. A multo fortiori.D. (emphasis supplied) It is self-evident that the underscored clause can only refer to those related to LOI No. 836. 836 dated December 3. 270 and the conferment of the power to accept and act on applications under P. issuances and rules and regulations. There is no doubt in my mind that P." and not an exercise of legislative power. No.amended. you as Chairman and members of the Special Committee on Naturalization.D. issuances and rules and regulations. and that being the case.. since the President had long lost his authority to exercise "legislative power. These laws relate to the acquisition (by naturalization) and reacquisition (by repatriation) of Philippine citizenship. were issued by President Ferdinand E. No.D. No. it is indubitable that these subjects are a matter of legislative prerogative. 270.e. Accordingly. as amended. in the exercise of executive power. No. lift the cease and desist order nor reactivate/reconstitute/revive the Committee. the revocation of the cease and desist order and the reactivation or revival of the Committee can be done only by legislative fiat. In the same vein. Presidential Decree No. 1379 dated May 17. and any other related laws. 1379. as amended. the Committee cannot validly accept Frivaldo's application for repatriation and approve it. P. Article IV of the 1987 Constitution (naturalization and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship shall be in accordance with law).not executive power.

which requires the process of voting by the electorate involved. Qualifications. the latest being election day itself. (f) Candidates for the sangguniang kabataan must be at least fifteen (15) years of age but not more than twenty-one (21) years of age on election day (emphasis supplied) It is thus obvious that Section 39 refers to no other than the qualifications of candidates for elective local offices and their election. component cities. or province or. sangguniang panlungsod. as one basic . a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election. complied with the citizenship requirement. as the ponencia seems to suggest. For another. Hence. or mayor.local officials. under Chapter 1 entitled Qualifications and Election." while paragraphs (b) to (f) thereof speak of candidates. These adjectives are not synonymous. (e) Candidates for the position of punong barangay or member of the sangguniang barangay must be at least eighteen (18) years of age on election day. on 30 June 1995 and the term of office of Governor commenced at 12:00 noon of that day. the district where he intends to be elected. In the first place.not elected -. I submit that the requirement must be satisfied. (d) Candidates for the position of member of the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan must be at least eighteen (18) years of age on election day. he had. -. and able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or dialect. since Frivaldo "reassumed" his Philippine citizenship at 2:00 p. therefore. not merely at the commencement of the term. vice mayor or member of the sangguniang panlungsod of highly urbanized cities must be at least twenty-three (23) years of age on election day. but at an earlier time. or that Philippine citizenship must be possessed. Section 39 is not at all ambiguous nor uncertain that it meant this to be. it is not at all true that Section 39 does not specify the time when the citizenship requirement must be possessed.upon commencement of the term of the office involved. (b) Candidates for the position of governor. therefore.m. The section unquestionably refers to elective -. or sangguniang bayan. and paragraph (a) thereof begins with the phrase "An elective local official. 39. in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan.(a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines. city. It falls under Title Two entitled ELECTIVE OFFICIALS. municipality. a registered voter in the barangay. It reads as follows: Sec. (c) Candidates for the position of mayor or vice mayor of independent component cities. The first refers to the nature of the office. while the second refers to a victorious candidate for an elective office. in no way may the section be construed to mean that possession of qualifications should be reckoned from the commencement of the term of office of the elected candidate. or municipalities must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age on election day. vice governor or member of the sangguniang panlalawigan. Section 39 actually prescribes the qualifications of elective local officials and not those of an elected local official.

On the contrary.this did not make him a Filipino citizen.qualification of an elective local official is that he be "A REGISTERED VOTER IN THE BARANGAY.he was DISQUALIFIED to be elected as such and to serve the position (Frivaldo vs. and May 1995. Commission on Elections. was necessary for the ineffectivity. eighteen years of age or over.Every citizen of the Philippines. Moreover. Blg. who shall have resided in the Philippines for one year and in the city or municipality wherein he proposes to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. 117 Qualifications of a voter. WHERE HE INTENDS TO VOTE. Thus: Sec. who are at least eighteen years of age. e. Even if he did -. For the Court now to validate Frivaldo's registration as a voter despite the judgments of disqualification is to modify the said judgments by making their effectivity and enforceability dependent on a COMELEC order cancelling his registration as a voter. 174 SCRA 245 [1989].he being a naturalized citizen of the United States of America -. (emphasis supplied) And Section 117 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines (B. Neither act made him a Filipino citizen nor nullified the judgments of this Court.g.. The second reason in the ponencia as to why the citizenship disqualification should be reckoned not from the date of the election nor the filing of the certificate of candidacy. . 232 SCRA 785 [1994]). ." This simply means that he possesses all the qualifications to exercise the right of suffrage. Article V thereof provides: Sec. hence it was equally void ab initio. MUNICIPALITY. . Thus. was never our intention. Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law. That he filed his certificate of candidacy for the 1995 elections and was even allowed to vote therein were of no moment. Republic of the Philippines vs. Our judgments therein were self-executory and no further act. This disqualification inexorably nullified Frivaldo's registration as a voter and declared it void ab initio. he was never considered a registered voter for the elections of May 1992. 881) expressly provides for the qualifications of a voter. of course.P. as Section 1.in obvious defiance of his decreed disqualification -. not otherwise disqualified by law. and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No less than the Constitution makes it the first qualification. and abet the COMELEC's incompetence in failing to cancel Frivaldo's registration and allowing him to vote. -. The fundamental qualification for the exercise of this sovereign right is the possession of Philippine citizenship. to sanction Frivaldo's registration as a voter would be to sacrifice substance in favor of form (the piece of paper that is the book of voters or list of voters or voter's ID). . CITY OR PROVINCE . (emphasis supplied) It is undisputed that this Court twice voided Frivaldo's election as Governor in the 1988 and 1992 elections on the ground that for lack of Philippine citizenship -. may be a registered voter. said acts made a mockery of our judgments. or on the physical destruction of his certificate of registration as a voter which. . De la Rosa. 1. a COMELEC order to cancel his registration as a voter or the physical destruction of his voter's certificate. . as there is no showing that Frivaldo registered anew as a voter for the latter elections.

is false. Section 74. fulfilling the citizenship requirement) and none of the disqualifications as provided by law. Likewise. I beg to differ. the election laws do not leave him completely helpless as he has another chance to raise the disqualification of the candidate by filing a petition for quo warranto within ten (10) days from the proclamation of the results of the election. The petition under Section 78 may be filed at any time not later than 25 days from the filing of the certificate of candidacy . This remedy was recognized in Loong vs. 768 [1992]). inter alia. in turn. as required by Section 74. if a person qualified to file a petition to disqualify a certain candidate fails to file the petition within the 25-day period Section 78 of the Code for whatever reasons. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy . is that the only available remedy to question the ineligibility (or disloyalty) of a candidate is a petition for quo warranto which. Any candidate who does not possess all the qualifications of a candidate as provided for by the Constitution or by existing law or who . 1. provincial or city official on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines may file a petition for quo warranto with the Electoral Contest Adjudication Department.but from the date of proclamation. where this Court held: Thus. Clearly. Rule 21 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure similarly provides that any voter contesting the election of any regional.A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code allows the filing of a petition to deny due course to or cancel the certificate of candidacy on the ground that any material representation contained therein. "any day after the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy but not later than the date of proclamation. The petition may be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be decided. The petition may be filed within ten (10) days from the date the respondent is proclaimed (Section 2). may be filed only within ten days from proclamation and not earlier. requires that the person filing the certificate of candidacy must state. The section reads in full as follows: Sec. quo warranto is not the sole remedy available to question a candidate's ineligibility for public office." Sections 1 and 3 thereof provide: Rule 25 -. Rule 25 of the Revised COMELEC Rules of Procedure allows the filing of a petition for disqualification on the ground of failure to possess all the qualifications of a candidate as provided by the Constitution or by existing laws. that he is eligible for the office. under Section 253 of the Omnibus Election Code. as provided under Section 253 of the Code. Grounds for Disqualification. -. which means that he has all the qualifications (including. not later than fifteen days before the election. of course.Disqualification of Candidates Sec. 78. after due notice and hearing. Commission on Elections (216 SCRA 760. Section 1.

6646 are here re-quoted: Sec. may during the pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong. Petition to Deny Due Course To or Cancel a Certificate of Candidacy. Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for. Period to File Petition. viz. But Section 7 of Rep..day period prescribed by Section 78 of the Code for filing the appropriate action to cancel a certificate of candidacy on account of any false representation made therein. Act No. While the validity of this rule insofar as it concerns petitions for disqualification on the ground of lack of all qualifications may be doubtful. a petition to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed even beyond the 25-day period prescribed by Section 78 of the Code.commits any act declared by law to be grounds for disqualification may be disqualified from continuing as a candidate. the Court or Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the action. The petition shall be filed any day after the last day for filing of certificates of candidacy but not later than the date of proclamation . On the contrary. its invalidity is not in issue here. This is because there are provisions in the Code which supply the . it would seem appropriate to take up the last issue grappled within the ponencia. 881. xxx xxx xxx Sec. It will be noted that nothing in Sections 6 or 7 modifies or alters the 25. Act No. Act No. upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor. Nowhere in Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election. Effect of Disqualification case. is Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code mandatory? The answer is provided in Loong. as long as it is filed within a reasonable time from the discovery of the ineligibility. said Section 7 affirms and reiterates Section 78 of the Code. Sec. Act No. 6646 also makes the effects referred to in Section 6 applicable to disqualification cases filed under Section 78 of the Code. 6646 is mention made of the period within which these disqualification cases may be filed. The procedure hereinabove provided shall apply to petitions to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy as provided in Section 78 of Batas Pambansa Blg. inquiry or protest and. Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. We also do not find merit in the contention of respondent Commission that in the light of the provisions of Sections 6 and 7 of Rep. In this connection. 6. We note that Section 6 refers only to the effects of a disqualification case which may be based on grounds other than that provided under Section 78 of the Code. and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. 3. 6646. 7.

or found by the Commission of having (a) given money or other material consideration to influence. Any candidate who. 72. e. and Section 253 on petitions for quo warranto. insurrection. 68. and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. in an action or protest in which he is a party is declared by final decision of a competent court guilty of. 85. and cc. Nevertheless. or (e) violated any of Sections 80. Any person who has been declared by competent authority insane or incompetent. 6646 authorizes the COMELEC to try and decide petitions for disqualification even after elections. and during the pendency of the case. I submit that Section 6 refers to disqualifications under Sections 12 and 68 of the Omnibus Election Code and consequently modifies Section 72 thereof. or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion. 97 and 104.periods within which a petition relating to disqualification of candidates must be filed. unless he has been given plenary pardon or granted amnesty. 96. xxx xxx xxx Sec. . unless said person has waived his status as permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign country in accordance with the residence requirement provided for in the election laws. (b) committed acts of terrorism to enhance his candidacy. 95. 25. if for any reason. (d) solicited. 1971 EC) Sec. Disqualifications. (c) spent in his election campaign an amount in excess of that allowed by this Code. shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office. sub-paragraph 6. k. induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing electoral functions. such as Section 78. shall be disqualified from continuing as a candidate. paragraphs d. 12. As such. already discussed. rebellion or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months or for a crime involving moral turpitude. his violation of the provisions of the preceding sections shall not prevent his proclamation and assumption to office. received or made any contribution prohibited under Sections 89.A. and 72 of the Code provide: Sec. No. Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for. Sections 12. Disqualifications. a candidate is not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such election. 83. the proper court or the COMELEC are granted the authority to continue hearing the case after the election. Effects of disqualification cases and priority. (Sec. if the evidence against him is strong. unless within the same period he again becomes disqualified. I then disagree with the asseveration in the ponencia that Section 78 is merely directory because Section 6 of R. suspend the proclamation of the victorious candidate. from holding the office. or if he has been elected. 86 and 261. The disqualifications to be a candidate herein provided shall be deemed removed upon declaration by competent authority that said insanity or incompetence had been removed or after the expiration of a period of five years from his service of sentence. 68. Any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office under this Code. v. The Commission and the courts shall give priority to cases of disqualification by reason of violation of this Act to the end that a final decision shall be rendered not later than seven days before the election in which the disqualification is sought.

725 expanded this to include Filipino women who lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens even before the death of their alien husbands. No. I disagree. . If the decree had intended the oath taking to retroact to the date of the filing of the application. 725. . P. then it would also mean that if Frivaldo had chosen and reacquired Philippine citizenship by naturalization or through Congressional action. by applying with the Special Committee on Naturalization created by Letter of Instruction No. or the termination of their marital status and to natural-born Filipino citizens who lost their Philippine citizenship but subsequently desired to reacquire the latter. by no stretch of legal hermeneutics may P. The spirit adheres to the principle that acquisition or re-acquisition of Philippine citizenship is not a right. In the first place.D.D.D. 725 be characterized as a curative or remedial statute: . This is a proposition which both the first and second Frivaldo cases soundly rejected. Again. This theory in the ponencia likewise dilutes this Court's pronouncement in the first Frivaldo case that what reacquisition of Filipino citizenship requires is an act "formally rejecting [the] adopted state and reaffirming . P. and (3) taking of the oath of allegiance if the application is approved. and. No. I am not persuaded by the arguments in support of the thesis that Frivaldo's repatriation may be given retroactive effect. taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines . Before the advent of P. AFTER WHICH THEY SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE REACQUIRED PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP. (2) action by the committee. Turning now to the letter of the law. allegiance to the Philippines. C. . but a mere privilege. such would retroact to the filing of the petition for naturalization or the bill granting him Philippine citizenship. . .III Still assuming that the repatriation is valid. only the following could apply for repatriation: (a) Army. may reacquire Philippine citizenship . as such goes against the spirit and letter of P. It is only UPON TAKING THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE that the applicant is deemed ipso jure to have reacquired Philippine citizenship. the steps to reacquire Philippine citizenship by repatriation under the decree are: (1) filing the application. or Air Corps deserters. 63).D. . If we now take this revision of doctrine to its logical end. The other reason adduced in the ponencia in support of the proposition that P. 725. 725 can be given retroactive effect is its alleged curative or remedial nature. NO. No. thus: . then it should not have explicitly provided otherwise." That act meant nothing less than taking of the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. and (b) a woman who lost her citizenship by reason of her marriage to an alien after the death of her spouse (Section 2[2]. No. Navy.A.D. if their applications are approved. (emphasis and capitalization supplied) Clearly then. 270. No. 725 expressly provides that repatriation takes effect only after taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. No.D.

in reality. (Sutherland. before the enactment of the statute. however. 3.D.D. If we grant for the sake of argument. Statutory Construction. abridge superfluities in existing laws. it would be an inexcusable error to give it a retroactive effect since it explicitly provides the date of its effectivity. it means. Moreover. [1990]. it has also been observed that: The idea is implicit from many of the cases that remedial statutes are statutes relating to procedure and not substantive rights. for as the decree itself unequivocally provides. 725 is curative or remedial statute. the Constitution provides that citizenship. this 5th day of June. Thus: This Decree shall take effect immediately. Done in the city of Manila.m. [1943]. To those for whom it is intended. is something the legislature might have dispensed with by a previous statute. on 30 June 1995. As earlier stated. the same could not be said insofar as it concerned the United States of America. citations omitted). may only be reacquired in the manner provided by law. Nevertheless. in the year of Our Lord. . 270-271. IV Assuming yet again. nay primordial. No. nineteen hundred and seventy five. that taking the oath of allegiance retroacted to the date of Frivaldo's application for repatriation. §5704 at 74. Therefore. It involves then the substantive. (RUBEN E. then nothing therein supports such theory. They make valid that which. for the sake of argument. AGPALO. but has failed of expected legal consequence by reason of some statutory disability or irregularity in their own action. it may do so by a subsequent one. No. Second ed." as the ponencia cannot but concede. Curative statutes are intended to supply defects. The rule in regard to curative statutes is that if the thing omitted or failed to be done. and which constitutes the defect sought to be removed or made harmless. was invalid. it is only after taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines that the applicant is DEEMED TO HAVE REACQUIRED PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP. right of citizenship. They are remedial by curing defects and adding to the means of enforcing existing obligations. Third ed. that P. it may not be said to merely remedy or cure a defect considering that one who has lost Philippine citizenship does not have the right to reacquire it. if the retroactivity is to relate only to the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship. 725 provides for the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship lost through the marriage of a Filipina to an alien and through naturalization in a foreign country of natural-born Filipino citizens.Curative or remedial statutes are healing acts. citations omitted). They are intended to enable a person to carry into effect that which they have designed and intended. For under the laws of the United States of America. the acquisition of " a new right. Frivaldo remained an American national until he renounced his citizenship and allegiance thereto at 2:00 p. once lost. of which he was a citizen. and curb certain evils. Statutory Construction. Vol. P.

Immigration Exclusion and Deportation and Citizenship of the United States of America. VI Finally. it is based on Frivaldo's unproven.S. Yorac.. and who are commonly. Materials and Comments. 4. a stateless person is defined as "a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law. informal renunciation or abandonment is not a ground to lose American citizenship. referred to as refugees (JORGE R. Section 401 of the Nationality Act of 1940 of the United States of America provides that a person who is a national of the United States of America. "(b) Taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state" (SIDNEY KANSAS. inter alia. 9. 1985" . 290). 5. Section . 16. or de facto. Article XI. self-serving allegation. Puno.. et al.noon of 30 June 1995 as per Section 43 of the Local Government Code . 363). loses his nationality by." However. albeit imprecisely. which is the status of individuals possessed of a nationality whose country does not give them protection outside their own country. simply put.long before May 8..is untenable. and third. Justice Reynato S. [1948] 341-342). Compiled and Annotated by Haydee B. and (b) as a Filipino citizen through the adoption of the theory that the effects of his taking the oath of allegiance were retrospective. Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Regarding the Status of Stateless Persons (Philippine Treaty Series. which is the status of individuals stripped of their nationality by their former government without having an opportunity to acquire another.when he took his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. Statelessness may be either de jure. (a) as an American citizen. III. pro-people (Article II.. Sections 1. he was disqualified to run for Governor for yet another reason: possession of dual citizenship. for the following reasons: first. Conflict of Laws Cases." "borne [as it is] out of the 1986 people power EDSA revolution.Frivaldo possessed dual citizenship. viz. Third ed. never did the status of a STATELESS person attach to Frivaldo." I would even go further by saying that this Constitution is proGod (Preamble). in accordance with Section 40 (d) of the Local Government Code. second. V The assertion in the ponencia that Frivaldo may be considered STATELESS on the basis of his claim that he "had long renounced and had long abandoned his American citizenship . I am absolutely happy to join him in his statement that "[t]he sovereignty of our people is the primary postulate of the 1987 Constitution" and that the said Constitution is "more people-oriented. 1995 ed. 15. I find it in order to also express my view on the concurring opinion of Mr. It follows then that on election day and until the hour of the commencement of the term for which he was elected . Hence. vol. U. it has not been shown that the United States of America ever ceased to consider Frivaldo its national at any time before he took his oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines on 30 June 1995. under Chapter 1. 3. COQUIA. whether by birth or naturalization. Specifically.

and pro-family (Article II. Article XIII. we may consider the enforcement of laws or the pursuit of a national policy by the executive branch of the government. 18. or the execution of a judgment by the courts.000 votes over his closest rival. of any of their powers or prerogatives. 11. . the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof. if. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. not just the laws on qualifications of candidates and elective officials and . neither can we convert and treat every fragment as the whole. or executed in the said province or municipality. . To illustrate the evil.a political subdivision -. pro-Filipino (Article XII." Thus. Section 1 of Article II is quite clear on this. 2. 6). 15. Sections 1. thus: Sec. Section 12. Article XVI. 5. 2(3). Article XII. the expansion of the doctrine of sovereignty by investing upon the people of a mere political subdivision that which the Constitution places in the entire Filipino people. 10. Sections 1. Article XII. 21. a vast majority of the voters of Sorsogon had expressed their sovereign will for the former. or even a municipality. may be disastrous to the Nation. 9. or any body of land. implemented. 18. I cannot be with him in carrying out the principle of sovereignty beyond what I perceive to be the reasonable constitutional parameters. the sovereign Filipino people . 13). Indeed. or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature. then this Court must yield to that will and must. Sections 1. 12. one body. 1. And the Preamble makes it clear when it solemnly opens it with a clause "We. i. Section 11). pro-life (Article II. 13. If these are opposed by the overwhelming majority of the people of a certain province. So it is in this case if we follow the thesis in the concurring opinion. Nevertheless. it would necessarily follow that the law. The doctrine of people's sovereignty is founded on the principles of democracy and republicanism and refers exclusively to the sovereignty of the people of the Philippines. Sections 1. 4. Sections 5(2). Thus. 16. 6.cannot be prosecuted for or be held guilty of rebellion in violation of Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code because of the doctrine of peoples' sovereignty. The Philippines is a democratic and republican State.1. 14. or judgment must not be enforced. allow to be set aside. Sections 1. or other armed forces. 10. 4(2).and which are composed of the vast majority of the people of Batanes -. Section 12). naval. Sections 9. this Court would provide the formula for the division and destruction of the State and render the Government ineffective and inutile. More concretely. Lee. 10. national policy. That sovereign power of the Filipino people cannot be fragmentized by looking at it as the supreme authority of the people of any of the political subdivisions to determine their own destiny. 3. for instance. then those who did so -. Article XIV. pro-poor (Article II. 6. Article XIII. Article XVI. therefore. the vast majority of the people of Batanes rise publicly and take up arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to the said Government or its laws. Article XV). this sovereignty is an attribute of the Filipino people as one people. for Frivaldo. simply because Frivaldo had obtained a margin of 20.. wholly or partially. 7.e. 11. 11. In such a case. Sections 1.

Desamito. by reason of such naturalization. respondent. 86-87. Salazar-Fernando. the Supreme Court in G. 12 211 SCRA 297 (July 3. Graduacion A.R. Frivaldo vs. No. pp. pp. Chairman Pardo certified that "Commissioner Julio F. the Supreme Court. CoFootnotesmm. 13 Rollo. Regalado E. 56-57." Rollo. Desamito the right to submit a dissenting opinion. p. 8 Rollo. Desamito was on official travel at the time of the deliberation and resolution of this case. 110129. Remedios A. petitioner." 11 Rollo. concurring. and Comm. pp. Desamito and Teresita Dy-Liaco Flores. Maambong. 9 Rollo. De la Rosa. 1989). vs. 159-171. Lee. Frivaldo. 1 Composed of Pres. Raul R. . Regalado E. The Comelec considered the votes cast for Frivaldo as "stray votes". Gorospe. 87193. and thus Lee was held as having garnered the "highest number of votes. Comm. 1992. but even the final and binding decisions of this Court affecting him. et al. rollo. SalazarFernando. 4 Rollo. dissenting. Gorospe ("on official business"). 10 Rollo. 232 SCRA 785 (June 6. Maambong. the Commission has reserved to Comm. Pardo. However. 1983. 88-97. 1989). concurring. Republic of the Philippines vs. 1992) and 176 SCRA 1 (August 1. In G. 1994). namely. 6 Frivaldo was naturalized as an American citizen on January 20.R. Commission on Elections. pp. Remedios A. Comm. Manolo B. However. 110-128. the Regional Trial Court of Manila granted the petition for naturalization of Frivaldo. 104654. Claravall.R. Graduacion A. This is the forerunner of the present case. pp. pp. overturned this grant. 61-67. ponente. 123755. 120295 and GRANT G. No. declared Frivaldo "not a citizen of the Philippines and therefore DISQUALIFIED from serving as Governor of the Province of Sorsogon. 14 Rollo.naturalization and reacquisition of Philippine citizenship.R." On February 28. Regalado E. pp. Comm. 95-317. This Court must be the first to uphold the Rule of Law. No. pp. rollo. 7 Signed by Chairman Bernardo P. Julio F. The Second Division was composed of Pres. Manolo B. Julio F. 95-028. 50-55. Reyes-Claravall. 3 Signed by Chairman Bernardo P. Pardo and the six incumbent commissioners.R. ponente. 2 In SPC No. Comms. and Frivaldo was "declared not a citizen of the Philippines" and ordered to vacate his office. pp. entitled Juan G. the Comelec disqualified Frivaldo in SPA No. No. Manolo B. 174 SCRA 245 (June 23. Maambong. pp. Gorospe and Teresita Dy-Liaco Flores. Salazar-Fernando. Teresita Dy-Liaco Flores.. I vote then to DISMISS G. and Comm. 159-170. 5 Rollo. 46-49. Remedios A. 60. On the basis of this latter Supreme Court ruling.

In view of the foregoing. in the exercise of prudence and sound discretion. 5. 27.D. 16 Rollo. 6. No. 1379 dated May 17. Presidential Decree No. and the derivative administrative authority thereof. 7160. and Presidential Decree No. 18 Rollo. 1975. are hereby directed to cease and desist from undertaking any and all proceedings within your functional area of responsibility. 29. rollo.R. p. issuances and rules and regulations. supra. pp. pp. 836 dated December 3." 22 Supra. This is signed also by the Chairman and the six other Comelec Commissioners. 270 dated April 11. 16-17. p. poses a serious and contentious issue of policy which the present government. 17 Rollo.) Corazon C. as amended. 7. pp. March 27. 25 Art. and any other related laws. you as Chairman and members of the Special Committee on Naturalization. 794. should best leave to the judgment of the first Congress under the 1987 Constitution. Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by direct act of Congress. by naturalization. 1975. or by repatriation. p. 23 Petition. 16-17. This is the same resolution referred to in footnote no. 725. 24 The full text of said memorandum reads as follows: MEMORANDUM TO : The Solicitor General The Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs The Director-General National Intelligence Coordinating Agency The previous administration's practice of granting citizenship by Presidential Decree or any other executive issuance. 14-15.A. pp. No. relative to the grant of citizenship under the said laws. 10-15.A. as defined in Letter of Instructions No. this Court in G. 1978. 21 In debunking Frivaldo's claim of citizenship. Civil Code of the Philippines. as amended. 254. petition. 473 and P. (Sgd. 63 as amended by C. observed that "(i)f he (Frivaldo) really wanted to disavow his American citizenship and reacquire Philippine citizenship. 20 See footnote no. pp. orders. . No. 7. supra.15 Rollo. petitioner should have done so in accordance with the laws of our country. This is the same resolution referred to in footnote no. 87193. 1987. p. Under C. Aquino Manila. 18-21. 19 Republic Act No.

Terry Herrera and Antonio Ching 903 5.R. Juan Gallanosa Frivaldo R-000900 2.D. 27 Petition. et al. she is deemed under the law to have renounced her Philippine citizenship. p.26 Cf. Nelly Dessalla Ty 902 4. p. since June 8. hereby manifests that the following persons have been repatriated by virtue of Presidential Decree No. such provision of the new Constitution does not apply to Filipino women who had married aliens before said constitution took effect. WHEREAS. . Trampe. 1995). Felicilda Otilla Sacnanas-Chua 910 29 The text of P. there are many Filipino women who had lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens. Juan Leonardo Collas. Winthrop Santos Liwag 905 7. Samuel M. Jr.. WHEREAS. 725. Ma. Joselito Holganza Ruiz 907 9. rollo. G. vs. 117577 (December 1. 28 The aforesaid Manifestation reads as follows: MANIFESTATION The Solicitor General. Roberto Salas Benedicto 904 6. 909 11. 1995: 1. Manuel Reyes Sanchez 901 3. Ty. 28. while the new Constitution allows a Filipino woman who marries an alien to retain her Philippine citizenship unless by her act or omission. et al. Buyco 906 8. 725 PROVIDING FOR REPATRIATION OF FILIPINO WOMEN WHO HAD LOST THEIR PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE TO ALIENS AND OF NATURAL BORN FILIPINOS. as Chairman of the Special Committee on Naturalization. No. 30. 725 is reproduced below: PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. Samuel Villanueva 908 10.

1992). there is no qualification requirement insofar as citizenship is . taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.WHEREAS. No. This Decree shall take effect immediately. 33 96 Phil. as amended) allows the repatriation of Filipino women who lost their citizenship by reason of their marriage to aliens only after the death of their husbands or the termination of their marital status. . 34 The following are excerpts from the transcript of stenographic notes of the oral argument held on March 19. it is required that he must be a citizen at the time of proclamation and not only that. supra. 63. by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution.A. Jr. President of the Philippines. if their applications are approved. Your Honor. The Commission on Immigration and Deportation shall thereupon cancel their certificate of registration. and (3) natural born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship may reacquire Philippine citizenship through repatriation by applying with the Special Committee on Naturalization created by Letter of Instructions No. MARCOS. . Your Honor. Local Government Code. 447. Comelec. nineteen hundred and seventyfive. BRILLANTES: Yes. do hereby decree and order that: (1) Filipino women who lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens. 30 See footnote no. 32 The term of office of all local elective officials elected after the effectivity of this Code shall be three (3) years. from the time of the date of the election. from the time of the filing of the certificate. 453 (1955). . Done in the City of Manila. the existing law (C. Your Honor. BRILLANTES: Yes. there are natural born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship but now desire to reacquire Philippine citizenship. 43. . and WHEREAS. THEREFORE. Labo. 211 SCRA 297 (July 3.P. for purposes of age. The aforesaid Special Committee is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regulations and prescribe the appropriate forms and the required fees for the effective implementation of this Decree. and. 6. at the time that he assumes the office he must have the continuing qualification as a citizen. there are positions taken that it should be reckoned from the date of certificate of candidacy as in the case of qualification for Batasang Pambansa before under B. Counsel. 1992 or such date as may be provided for by law. Now. 31 Cf. this 5th day of June.it says that for purposes of residence it must be reckoned . But when we go over all the provisions of law under current laws. I. FERDINAND E. in the year of Our Lord. it is your position then that the candidate should be a citizen at the time of proclamation? ATTY. JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: Should that not be reckoned from the time of filing of certificate of candidacy or at least the day of the election? ATTY. starting from noon of June 30. 270. 53 . after which they shall be deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship." Sec. vs. . 1996: JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: Mr.

Your Honor. there is no express provision. one of which is Filipino citizenship. Your Honor. the law does not specify when citizenship should be possessed by the candidate. ATTY. provides for the various qualifications of voters. otherwise known as "The Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines". BRILLANTES: Yes. BRILLANTES: That is right. There was a ruling by the Municipal Court. 36 Comment. so he voted. He has voted in 1987. then he voted again in 1995. is that not correct? ATTY. Mr. The fact is. as amended. JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: And is it your contention that under the law. particularly the Local Autonomy Code. JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: I am also asking you that under the Local Autonomy Code the candidate for governor or for other local positions should be a voter and to be a voter one must be a citizen? ATTY. 259. (TSN. . there was a ruling by the Regional Trial Court and he was sustained as a valid voter. JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: But the fact that he voted does not make him a citizen. p. March 19. the matter of his eligibility to vote as being a registered voter was likewise questioned before the judiciary. Batas Pambansa Blg. JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: I raised this question in connection with your contention that citizenship should be determined as of the time of proclamation and not as of the time of the election or at the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy. Your Honor. p. Your Honor. BRILLANTES: That is true.concern(ed) as to when. but the fact of voting is not an issue here because he was allowed to vote and he did in fact vote and in fact. 1988. 881. we admit that he has been twice declared not citizen and we admit the ruling of the Supreme Court is correct but the fact is. 33. as to when you should be a citizen of the Philippines and we say that if there is no provision under any existing law which requires that you have to be a citizen of the Philippines on the date of the filing or on the date of election then it has to be equitably interpreted to mean that if you are already qualified at the time that the office is supposed to be assumed then you should be allowed to assume the office. in fact. 1992. 1996. Your Honor. JUSTICE PANGANIBAN: Is it not also true that under the Local Autonomy Code the candidate should also be a registered voter and to be a registered voter one must be a citizen? ATTY. 1995. his eligibility as a voter was questioned but the Court dismissed ( sic) his eligibility as a voter and he was allowed to vote as in fact. 11. ATTY. In fact. Your Honor. Frivaldo has always been a registered voter of Sorsogon. BRILLANTES: That is right. 37 See footnote no. rollo.) 35 Section 117. he voted in all the previous elections including on May 8. he was a registered voter. he was declared not a citizen by this Court twice. BRILLANTES: That is true.

208. XVIII. 94 Phil. 1978 EC). regional.Any voter contesting the election of any member of the Congress. Statutory Construction. Vol. it appears that. 354. Any voter contesting the election of any municipal or barangay officer on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines shall file a sworn petition for quo warranto with the regional trial court or metropolitan or municipal trial court. 489. 121. 351. 4. 259. p. See also Gallardo vs. 189. 25. -. p. 270-271. BP 697.38 Section 253 reads as follows: Sec. p. or city officer on the ground of ineligibility or of disloyalty to the Republic of the Philippines shall file a sworn petition for quo warranto with the Commission within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election. Sec. 2. Disqualifications. -. rollo. Sec. par. the swiftest action was a same-day approval.. Sec. provincial. (3) in case of curative statutes. 42 Agpalo. 12. 1996 filed by the Solicitor General. p. Borromeo. emphasis supplied. 45 73 Am Jur 2d. Petition for quo warranto.Statutes can be given retroactive effect in the following cases: (1) when the law itself so expressly provides. Art.The following persons are disqualified from running for any elective local position: xxx xxx xxx (d) Those with dual citizenship. 41 Id. 60. 39 Art. Sagales. 11. 40. XVIII. 189. 49 Sec. 488. (2) in case of remedial statutes. Civil Code of the Philippines. Sec. New Civil Code. excluding the case of Frivaldo. p. 490. p. 1990 ed. 354. (4) in case of laws interpreting others. p. Court of Appeals. and (5) in case of laws creating new rights. 253. XIV. Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines . p. 1988). Sec.. (Art. 23 states: Exceptions to Rule. cited in Castro vs. 46 73 Am Jur 2d. 51 Resolution. p." 50 p. 161 SCRA 500 (May 25. 1990 ed. 1984).. 40 Tolentino. (Art. 44 Memorandum. pp. par. the longest interval between date of filing of an application for repatriation and its approval was three months and ten days. I. Sec. 128 SCRA 519 (April 2. . 48 Based on the "Corrected Compliance" dated May 16. 2. -. and Nilo vs. within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election. rollo. 1978 EC). 9. 10. 47 Art. 210 (1953). respectively. 43 73 Am Jur 2d.

since such certificate did not preclude his being " still a Filipino. p. was upheld. 63 See footnotes 2 and 3. 674 (February 4. 95-317 is entitled "Annulment of Proclamation" and contains the following prayer: WHEREFORE. 9. 2. Commission on Elections. he was still not disqualified from occupying the local elective post of governor.. Aquino. 1993). 55 Resolution promulgated on December 19. September 18. (Electoral Case No. 1995. it is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Commission that after due notice and hearing an Oder (sic) /Resolution/Decision be issued as follows: a) Annulling/setting aside the 30 June 1995 proclamation of respondent as the duly election ( sic). 210 SCRA 290 (June 23. 1994). 61 G. 1971. rollo. Jr. which specified that the age qualification must be possessed on the day of the elections. and . Commissioner of Immigration. 58 SPC No. 1992). 1971). at p. 1990) that even if Emilio "Lito" Osmeña held an Alien Certificate of Registration as an American citizen. xxx xxx xxx 59 229 SCRA 666. p. VI. this Division resolves to GRANT the petition and declares that respondent is DISQUALIFIED to run for the office of Provincial Governor of Sorsogon on the ground that he is not a citizen of the Philippines. 254 (June 23.52 Cf. 53 The dispositive portion of said Resolution reads: WHEREFORE. 64 174 SCRA 245. 65 Salonga and Yap. Senate Electoral Tribunal [SET]). b) Ordering the proclamation of the petitioner as duly elected governor of Sorsogon. Arao vs. Comelec (185 SCRA 703. IX. despite his not being of the required age on the day of the election. Governor of Sorsogon for being contrary to law. Sec. 116. 54 Petition. 66 In Espinosa vs. 228 SCRA 596 (December 17. p. Aquino. p. 56 42 SCRA 561." The holding in Aquino was subsequently nullified by the adoption of the 1987 Constitution (Art. citing Moy Ya Lim Yao vs. p. rollo. Accordingly respondent's certificate of candidacy is cancelled. in 1990. Commission on Elections. 309 (July 3. 3). Much later. 60 211 SCRA 297. the election of the late Senator Benigno S. 120265. 21. 1959). 57 Art. 1966 ed. 7. May 25. although he celebrated his thirty-fifth birthday before his proclamation. 1992). Sec. 312. 1995. Navarro vs. 19. this Court held in Aznar vs. 62 Supra. Public International Law. No. October 4. 239. L21289.R. 565 (December 20.

4 Dean of the UP College of Law. . pp. 63 AM JUR 2d 653. 6 Barker. concurring: 1 The 1987 Constitution added the word "democratic" in the statement of the principle. del Fierro.). 16 Phil. Collector of Customs.. provides that those with dual citizenship are disqualified from running for any elective local position. 7. 3 Words and Phrases. 69 Phil. 68 This antagonism was clearly present in the two earlier cases involving Frivaldo. 383 [1910]. later President of U. 6. R. 10 3 AM JUR 2d 889-890. 15 Phil. p. Philippine Political Law. 2 Section 24(a) of the Tydings-McDuffie Law which authorized the Filipino people to draft a Constitution in 1934 required that the "constitution formulated and drafted shall be republican in form. 1994). p.. 1992. 199. Commission on Elections. Vol. Principles of Social and Political Theory. 900. See footnote no. 5 Since. [1991 ed. 11 Moya v. 27 [1910]. EN BANC .P. Principles and Concepts.not on the day of the proclamation of the winners by the board of canvassers.. Philippine Political Law. 39 A. Southern Kan.]. 235 SCRA 436. 340 [1912]. and unless there exist provisions to the contrary. the Philippine Bill and the Jones Law have ". 23 Phil. 7 118 US 356. PUNO. J. 33 F. 906. Gov. 67 Benito vs. But the point is that to the extent possible." Roa v.. 67 CSJ 926. 40 of Republic Act No. . 68 citing Cherokee Nation v. 49. 315. On the other hand. p. 442 (August 17. 23-24. Sec. ed. the laws have always been interpreted to give fullest effect to the political will. and effectively overturns the ruling in Aznar. 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991) which took effect on January 1. Severino v." This Court has observed that even before the Tydings-McDuffie Law. and Delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention. US v.. cit. 1954.. op. p. General. 22. 9 Sinco. 366. Bull. Co. extended the powers of a republican form of government modeled after that of the United States to the Philippines. 59 (1952 ed. 8 Cruz.

GARCIA. SR. MACABENTA. SEGURITAN. OPENA.LOIDA NICOLAS-LEWIS.. CRUZ. TINGA. AZCUNA. QUISUMBING. ESCLAMADO. CARPIO-MORALES. . JR. and VELASCO. C. G. NATIVIDAD. No. JOSEFINA OPENA DISTERHOFT.. CORONA. MERCEDES V. SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. CORNELIO R. EVELYN D. 162759 Present: PANGANIBAN. CARPIO.versus - CALLEJO. REUBEN S. CHICO-NAZARIO. . TERESITA A.R. ARMANDO B. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. ERIC LACHICA FURBEYRE. YNARES-SANTIAGO. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. NATIVIDAD.. JJ.J. P etitioners. HEREDIA. ALEJANDRO A. GREGORIO B. PUNO.

J..-x DECISION GARCIA... the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003. be allowed to avail themselves of the mechanism provided under the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 (R.A....x. among others....A........ 9189) and that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) accordingly be ordered to allow them to vote and register as absentee voters under the aegis of R..... 9189...: In this petition for certiorari and mandamus.. 9225... pray that they and others who retained or reacquired Philippine citizenship under Republic Act (R.... petitioners........A.A.. 9225 which accords to such applicants the right of suffrage.. The facts: Petitioners are successful applicants for recognition of Philippine citizenship under R.... referring to themselves as "duals" or dual citizens..) No. petitioners sought . Long before the May 2004 national and local elections........

among others under Section 1. as the residence restriction adverted to would contextually affect merely certain individuals who would likely be eligible to vote in future elections.A. as Filipinos who have merely re-acquired their citizenship on 18 September 2003 at the earliest. petitioner Nicolas-Lewis et al. Faced with the prospect of not being able to vote in the May 2004 elections owing to the COMELEC's refusal to include them in the National Registry of Absentee Voters. . Hence. per a COMELEC letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs dated September 23. however. filed on April 1. it is the Commission's position that those who have availed of the law cannot exercise the right of suffrage given under the OAVL for the reason that the OAVL was not enacted for them. 2004 this petition for certiorari and mandamus.registration and certification as "overseas absentee voter" only to be advised by the Philippine Embassy in the United States that. COMELEC on the residency requirement. they have yet no right to vote in such elections owing to their lack of the one-year residence requirement prescribed by the Constitution. urged the different Philippine posts abroad not to discontinue their campaign for voter’s registration. Prodded for clarification by petitioner Loida Nicolas-Lewis in the light of the ruling in Macalintal vs. they are considered regular voters who have to meet the requirements of residency. Article 5 of the Constitution. 2003. and as law and jurisprudence now stand.. the COMELEC wrote in response: Although R. The same letter. 9225 enjoys the presumption of constitutionality ….

therein praying for the denial of the petition. indeed rendered the petition moot and academic. or on April 30. On May 20. 9189. but insofar only as petitioners’ participation in such political exercise is concerned. i. as the OSG pointed out. The broader and transcendental issue tendered or subsumed in the petition. the propriety of allowing “duals” to participate and vote as absentee voter in future elections. may do so” . therein stating that “all qualified overseas Filipinos. observing. the COMELEC filed a Comment.A little over a week before the May 10.e.. 2004.A.A. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a Manifestation (in Lieu of Comment). 2004. petitioners were not able to register let alone vote in said elections. including dual citizens who care to exercise the right of suffrage. The holding of the 2004 elections had. As may be expected. 2004 elections. . that the conclusion of the 2004 elections had rendered the petition moot and academic. Observing the petitioners’ and the COMELEC’s respective formulations of the issues. the same may be reduced into the question of whether or not petitioners and others who might have meanwhile retained and/or reacquired Philippine citizenship pursuant to R. 9225 may vote as absentee voter under R. remains unresolved. however. however.

be allowed to vote. Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law. implying that a non-resident may. SEC 2. who are at least eighteen years of age. We start off with Sections 1 and 2 of Article V of the Constitution. xxx. The Congress shall provide … a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad. this case is all about suffrage. A quick look at the governing provisions on the right of suffrage is. In esse. Section 2 authorizes Congress to devise a system wherein an absentee may vote. On the other hand. . as an exception to the residency prescription in the preceding section. and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election.The Court resolves the poser in the affirmative. the aforequoted Section 1 prescribes residency requirement as a general eligibility factor for the right to vote. and thereby accords merit to the petition. respectively reading as follows: SECTION 1. In a nutshell. indicated. therefore.

an affidavit prepared for the purpose by the Commission declaring that he/she shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines not later than three (3) years from approval of his/her registration under this Act. Coverage. upon registration. Such affidavit shall also state that he/she has not applied for citizenship in another country. Section 5. (d) An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country. senators and party-list representatives. may vote for president.In response to its above mandate. (c) Those who have … [been] convicted in a final judgment by a court or tribunal of an offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year. Disqualifications.A. unless he/she executes.identifying in its Section 4 who can vote under it and in the following section who cannot.the OAVL .. …. as follows: Section 4. at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of elections. Failure to return shall be the cause for the removal of the name of the immigrant or permanent resident from the National Registry of . 9189 . vice-president. Congress enacted R. disqualified from voting under this Act: – The following shall be (a) Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws. (b) Those who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship and who have pledged allegiance to a foreign country. including those who have … been found guilty of Disloyalty as defined under Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code. who are not otherwise disqualified by law. – All citizens of the Philippines abroad.

[The challenger] further argues that Section 1. (Words in bracket added. He claims that the right of suffrage should not be granted to anyone who. Section 5(d) of the enumeration respecting Filipino immigrants and permanent residents in another country opens an exception and qualifies the disqualification rule. Article V of the 1987 Constitution which requires that the voter must be a resident in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place where he proposes to vote for at least six months immediately preceding an election. Article V of the Constitution does not allow provisional registration or a promise by a voter to perform a condition to be qualified to vote in a political exercise. Article V of the Constitution. face a constitutional challenge on the ground that. it - … violates Section 1. (Words in bracket added. Section 5(d) would. Section 5 lists those who cannot avail themselves of the absentee voting mechanism. however. does not possess the qualifications provided for by Section 1. However.) Notably. Court of Appeals to support his claim [where] the Court held that a “green card” holder immigrant to the [US] is deemed to have abandoned his domicile and residence in the Philippines. [The challenger] cites … Caasi vs.) .Absentee Voters and his/her permanent disqualification to vote in absentia. as narrated in Macalintal. (e) Any citizen of the Philippines abroad previously declared insane or incompetent by competent authority …. that the legislature should not be allowed to circumvent the requirement of the Constitution on the right of suffrage by providing a condition thereon which in effect amends or alters the aforesaid residence requirement to qualify a Filipino abroad to vote. on the date of the election.

No. if actual. Thus. same Section allows an immigrant and permanent resident abroad to register as voter for as long as he/she executes an affidavit to show that he/she has not abandoned his domicile in pursuance of the constitutional intent expressed in Sections 1 and 2 of Article V that “ all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law” must be entitled to exercise the right of suffrage and. 9189 mainly on the strength of the following premises: As finally approved into law. Congress enacted R. but more significantly. there is no sense for the framers of the Constitution to mandate Congress to establish a system for absentee voting. that Congress must establish a system for absentee voting.A. 9225 the relevant portion of which reads: . the Court upheld the constitutionality of Section 5(d) of R.” Soon after Section 5(d) of R.A. it serves as an explicit expression that he had not in fact abandoned his domicile of origin. it is not correct to say that the execution of the affidavit under Section 5(d) violates the Constitution that proscribes “provisional registration or a promise by a voter to perform a condition to be qualified to vote in a political exercise. 9189 passed the test of constitutionality. However. the execution of the affidavit itself is not the enabling or enfranchising act.A. physical residence in the Philippines is required. for otherwise.A.As may be recalled. Contrary to the claim of [the challenger]. Section 5(d) of R. The affidavit required in Section 5(d) is not only proof of the intention of the immigrant or permanent resident to go back and resume residency in the Philippines. 9189 specifically disqualifies an immigrant or permanent resident who is “recognized as such in the host country” because immigration or permanent residence in another country implies renunciation of one's residence in his country of origin.

SEC. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities . 2. of those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship upon effectivity of this Act shall be deemed citizens of the Philippines. . Declaration of Policy. SEC. after the effectivity of this Act. SEC. below eighteen (18) years of age. SEC. otherwise known as “The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003” and other existing laws. 4. Retention of Philippine Citizenship . Republic Act No. become citizens of a foreign country shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the aforesaid oath. natural-born citizens of the Philippines who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the following oath of allegiance to the Republic: xxx xxx xxx Natural-born citizens of the Philippines who. Article V of the Constitution. illegitimate or adopted. 9189. – The unmarried child. whether legitimate. Derivative Citizenship. – Those who retain or re-acquire Philippine citizenship under this Act shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines and the following conditions: (1) Those intending to exercise their right of suffrage must meet the requirements under Section 1. – It is hereby declared the policy of the State that all Philippine citizens who become citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship under the conditions of this Act. – Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding. 3. 5.

and/or (b) are in active service as commissioned or non-commissioned officers in the armed forces of the country which they are naturalized citizens. specifically the right of suffrage. (4) xxx xxx xxx. 9189. (5) That right to vote or be elected or appointed to any public office in the Philippines cannot be exercised by. . or extended to. petitioners now invoke their right to enjoy … political rights. After what appears to be a successful application for recognition of Philippine citizenship under R. at the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy. make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship …. 3) xxx xxx xxx.(2) Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines shall meet the qualifications for holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws and. those who: (a) are candidates for or are occupying any public office in the country of which they are naturalized citizens.A. pursuant to Section 5 thereof.

9225. 9189 which grants a Filipino non-resident absentee voting rights. Having subsequently acquired a second citizenship ( i. The Court disagrees. decisively and definitely establish their domicile through positive acts.requiring "duals" to actually establish residence and physically stay in the Philippines first before they can exercise their right to vote. On the contrary. ‘DUALS’ MUST FIRST ESTABLISH THEIR DOMICILE/ RESIDENCE IN THE PHILIPPINES 4. as an adjunct to political rights.A. Filipino) then. The inclusion of such additional and specific requirements in RA 9225 is logical. there is no provision in the dual citizenship law . which.A.01. requires residency in the Philippines for a certain period. for purposes of voting. however. respondent COMELEC invites attention to the same Section 5 (1) providing that “duals” can enjoy their right to vote.R. The ‘duals.e. Article V of the Constitution. 9225 .A.. COMELEC argues: 4. to repeat. have practically and legally abandoned their domicile and severed their legal ties to the homeland as a consequence.’ upon renouncement of their Filipino citizenship and acquisition of foreign citizenship. in implicit acknowledgment that “duals” are most likely non-residents. first of all. only if they meet the requirements of Section 1. and R. As may be noted. R. 9189 and other existing laws.A. .Opposing the petitioners’ bid. Capitalizing on what at first blush is the clashing provisions of the aforecited provision of the Constitution. R. ‘duals’ must.

9189 aims. Mr. the strategic location of Section 2 indicates that the Constitutional Commission provided for an exception to the actual residency requirement of Section 1 with respect to qualified Filipinos abroad. was deliberated upon on the Senate floor.A. 9189. save for the residency requirements exacted of an ordinary voter under ordinary conditions. I think the sponsor and I would agree that the Constitution is supreme in any statute that we may enact. and consider them qualified as voters for the first time. to enfranchise as much as possible all overseas Filipinos who. It cannot be overemphasized that R. thus: Senator Arroyo. President. No. . 2104. wrote the Court in Macalintal: It is clear from these discussions of the … Constitutional Commission that [it] intended to enfranchise as much as possible all Filipino citizens abroad who have not abandoned their domicile of origin. By the doctrine of necessary implication in statutory construction.grants under its Section 5(1) the same right of suffrage as that granted an absentee voter under R. The Commission even intended to extend to young Filipinos who reach voting age abroad whose parents’ domicile of origin is in the Philippines. That Section 2 of Article V of the Constitution is an exception to the residency requirement found in Section 1 of the same Article was in fact the subject of debate when Senate Bill No.A. 9189. are qualified to vote. this bill should be looked into in relation to the constitutional provisions. It is in pursuance of that intention that the Commission provided for Section 2 [Article V] immediately after the residency requirement of Section 1. …. Thus. The same Commission has in effect declared that qualified Filipinos who are not in the Philippines may be allowed to vote even though they do not satisfy the residency requirement in Section 1. which became R.A. in essence. Article V of the Constitution.

If we read the Constitution and the suffrage principle literally as demanding physical presence. This is in compliance with the Constitution. with the constitutional mandate that we – that Congress – must provide a franchise to overseas Filipinos. President.” As the gentleman and I know. will make him qualified as a resident of the Philippines under this law. President. And the fact that a Filipino may have been physically absent from the Philippines and may be physically a resident of the United States. They have changed residence so they are barred under the Constitution. Mr. President. And this has been asked in various fora. Mr. This is consistent. President. the Constitution says. read Section 1. “who shall have resided in the Philippines. then there is no way we can provide for offshore voting to our offshore kababayan. the interpretation here of “residence” is synonymous with “domicile. Mr. Article V. but has a clear intent to return to the Philippines. This is why I asked whether this committee amendment which in fact does not alter the original text of the bill will have any effect on this? Senator Angara. Good question. of the xxx xxx xxx Now. . President. One. Mr. Mr. “domicile” is the intent to return to one's home. for example.Let me Constitution ….” They are permanent immigrants.

President. That is how restrictive our Constitution is. they cannot vote. anything that we may do or say in granting our compatriots abroad must be anchored on the proposition that they are qualified. he may do so. yes. ….” The key to this whole exercise. is “qualified. As I have said.” Mr. And “residents” (sic) is a qualification. if a voter in Makati would want to vote in Pateros. otherwise. But he must do so. in Section 2 of Article V. But one who votes in Makati cannot vote in Pateros unless he resides in Pateros for six months. President. Mr. I live in Makati. We are separated only by a creek.” In other words. President. it reads: “The Congress shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad. Absent the qualification. xxx xxx xxx . xxx xxx xxx Look at what the Constitution says – “In the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. Mr. he is not qualified to vote. My neighbor is Pateros …. all of us here have run (sic) for office.Senator Arroyo. when the Constitution says. make the transfer six months before the election.

That is the first principle. … is. And the reason Section 2 of Article V was placed immediately after the six-month/one-year residency requirement is to demonstrate unmistakably that Section 2 which authorizes absentee voting is an exception to the six-month/one-year residency requirement . Mr. that one must remember. no less than the COMELEC itself admits that the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act expanded the coverage of overseas absentee voting. It is a good point to raise.05 With the passage of RA 9225 the scope of overseas absentee voting has been consequently expanded so as to include Filipinos who are also citizens of other countries. is that under our jurisprudence … – “residency” has been interpreted as synonymous with “domicile. . President. which is quite ridiculous because that is exactly the whole point of this exercise – to enfranchise them and empower them to vote. President. citations omitted) Lest it be overlooked. Mr.Senator Angara. But it is a point already well-debated even in the constitutional commission of 1986. Mr. to the strict prerequisites indicated in the pertinent provisions of RA 9225. if we follow the interpretation of the gentleman. however. subject. then it is legally and constitutionally impossible to give a franchise to vote to overseas Filipinos who do not physically live in the country. President. The second reason. According to the poll body: 1.” But the third more practical reason. (Emphasis and words in bracket added.

who is abroad on the day of elections. 9189 extends also to what might be tag as the next generation of "duals".A. we note that the expanded thrust of R. illegitimate or adopted. While perhaps not determinative of the issue tendered herein.Considering the unison intent of the Constitution and R.A. 9189 defines the terms adverted to in the following wise: “Absentee Voting” refers to the process by which qualified citizens of the Philippines abroad exercise their right to vote. 4. “Overseas Absentee Voter” refers to a citizen of the Philippines who is qualified to register and vote under this Act. of those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship upon effectivity of this Act shall be deemed citizens of the Philippines. This may be deduced from the inclusion of the provision on derivative citizenship in R.A. the irresistible conclusion is that "duals" may now exercise the right of suffrage thru the absentee voting scheme and as overseas absentee voters. 9225. 9225 which reads: SEC. R.A. below eighteen (18) years of age. . whether legitimate. – The unmarried child. Derivative Citizenship.A. 9189 and the expansion of the scope of that law with the passage of R. not otherwise disqualified by law.

if the next generation of "duals" may nonetheless avail themselves the right to enjoy full civil and political rights under Section 5 of the Act. be denied the right of suffrage as an overseas absentee voter. Article V of the Constitution in relation to R. WHEREFORE. the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003.A. may exercise the right to vote under the system of absentee voting in Republic Act No. 9189. the Court rules and so holds that those who retain or re-acquire Philippine citizenship under Republic Act No. . Congress could not have plausibly intended such absurd situation. then there is neither no rhyme nor reason why the petitioners and other present day "duals." provided they meet the requirements under Section 1. 9225. Accordingly. Now then.It is very likely that a considerable number of those unmarried children below eighteen (18) years of age had never set foot in the Philippines. the instant petition is GRANTED. SO ORDERED. 9189. the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003.

GARCIA Associate Justice WE CONCUR: ARTEMIO V. QUISUMBING Associate Justice . PANGANIBAN Chief Justice REYNATO S.CANCIO C. PUNO Associate Justice LEONARDO A.

CARPIO Associate Justice MA. Associate Justice ADOLFO S. CALLEJO. AZCUNA Associate Justice . CORONA Associate Justice CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice ROMEO J.CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO Associate Justice ANGELINA SANDOVALGUTIERREZ Associate Justice ANTONIO T. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ Associate Justice RENATO C. SR.

Associate Justice . CHICO-NAZARIO Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. TINGA Associate Justice MINITA V. JR. VELASCO.DANTE O.

2003 of the Comelec to the Balane Tamase Alampay Law Office (counsel for petitioners). Rollo. Rollo. pp. No. p. 77-78. pp. ARTEMIO V. Rollo. 2003 issues of Today and Daily Tribune. Published in the February 16. Concluding paragraph of letter dated November 4. as then COMELEC Committee Chairman on Overseas Absentee Voting . Article VIII of the Constitution. 405 SCRA 614.. pp. . July 10. 92-112. therein authorizing Loida Nicolas Lewis to file the Petition. 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. PANGANIBAN Chief Justice Also known as Overseas Absentee Voting Law or “OAVL” for short. Rollo.R. 42-51. 2003. Signed by Florentino A. 53-67. The other petitioners executed deeds of Special Power of Attorney (SPA). 157013.CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. pp. Rollo. G. Tuason Jr. 33.

Id. CORDORA. at 645.G. Macalintal v. C. Section 1: … … … at least one year and in the place wherein they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election …. p. p. G.. YNARES-SANTIAGO. 191 SCRA 229. 641-644. 88831. QUISUMBING.R.R. 8 November 1990. supra. Constitution. Macalintal v. 4. appended to the Rollo. No. Petitioner.J. 176947 Present: PUNO. 6. No. at pp.* . COMELEC's Memorandum. COMELEC. supra. appended to the Rollo EN BANC GAUDENCIO M. COMELEC. COMELEC's Memorandum. Article V.

VELASCO.versus CARPIO MORALES. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. Respondents. and PERALTA. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. TAMBUNTING.: .CARPIO. CORONA. Promulgated: February 19. JR.** CHICO-NAZARIO.. BRION. JJ. J. .*** NACHURA. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and GUSTAVO S.x DECISION CARPIO. TINGA. 2009 x-------------------------------------------------.

The Commission on Elections’ (COMELEC) En Banc dismissed Cordora’s complaint in a Resolution dated 18 August 2006. 05-17. The present petition seeks to reverse the 18 August 2006 Resolution as well as the Resolution dated 20 February 2007 of the COMELEC En Banc which denied Cordora’s motion for reconsideration. In EO Case No. Gaudencio M. Tambunting (Tambunting) of an election offense for violating Section 74 in relation to Section 262 of the Omnibus Election Code. Cordora (Cordora) accused Gustavo S.The Case This is a petition for certiorari and mandamus. with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The Facts In his complaint affidavit filed before the COMELEC Law Department. Cordora asserted that Tambunting made false assertions in the following items: .

To disprove Tambunting’s claim of being a natural-born Filipino citizen. Cordora concluded: That Councilor Gustavo S. Tambunting claimed that he is an American: upon arrival in the Philippines on 16 December 2000 and upon departure from the Philippines on 17 June 2001. According to Cordora.That Annex A [Tambunting’s Certificate of Candidacy for the 2001 elections] and Annex B [Tambunting’s Certificate of Candidacy for the 2004 elections] state. No. 9. of years of Residence before May 14. 2000 at [sic] . (Boldface and capitalization in the original) Cordora stated that Tambunting was not eligible to run for local public office because Tambunting lacked the required citizenship and residency requirements. these travel dates confirmed that Tambunting acquired American citizenship through naturalization in Honolulu. Hawaii on 2 December 2000. 36 in the Philippines and 25 in the Constituency where I seek to be elected. particularly Nos. Tambunting contrary to the provision of Sec 74 (OEC): [sic] Re: CONTENTS OF CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY: which requires the declarant/affiant to state. 6. in two instances. Cordora presented a certification from the Bureau of Immigration which stated that.residence requirement which he lost when [he was] naturalized as an American Citizen on December 2. 12 – I am ELIGIBLE for the office I seek to be elected. among others. among others. 9 – No. under oath. as follows. 2001. 9 and 12 thereof: 1. 3. No. that he is a Filipino (No. 6 – I am a Natural Born/Filipino Citizen 2. 6). No. No.

Tambunting maintained that proof of his . has spoken the Filipino language. Tambunting presented a copy of his birth certificate which showed that he was born of a Filipino mother and an American father. and has been educated in Filipino schools.Honolulu. The certificate of citizenship conferred by the US government after Tambunting’s father petitioned him through INS Form I-130 (Petition for Relative) merely confirmed Tambunting’s citizenship which he acquired at birth. 9225 (R. Tambunting further stated that he has resided in the Philippines since birth. maintained that he did not make any misrepresentation in his certificates of candidacy. Tambunting further denied that he was naturalized as an American citizen. on the other hand. 9225). knowingly and willfully affirmed and reiterated that he possesses the above basic requirements under No. (Emphases in the original) Tambunting. 12 – that he is indeed eligible for the office to which he seeks to be elected. Tambunting also took an oath of allegiance on 18 November 2003 pursuant to Republic Act No. No. the contrary is indubitably established by his own statements before the Philippine Bureau of Immigration x x x. when in truth and in fact. or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003. Hawaii. Tambunting has imbibed the Filipino culture.A. To refute Cordora’s claim that Tambunting is not a natural-born Filipino. Tambunting’s possession of an American passport did not mean that Tambunting is not a Filipino citizen.

To refute Cordora’s claim that the number of years of residency stated in Tambunting’s certificates of candidacy is false because Tambunting lost his residency because of his naturalization as an American citizen.loyalty and devotion to the Philippines was shown by his service as councilor of Parañaque. Tambunting contended that the residency requirement is not the same as citizenship. The Ruling of the COMELEC En Banc . Cordora’s reliance on the certification of the Bureau of Immigration that Tambunting traveled on an American passport is not sufficient to prove that Tambunting is an American citizen. The Ruling of the COMELEC Law Department The COMELEC Law Department recommended the dismissal of Cordora’s complaint against Tambunting because Cordora failed to substantiate his charges against Tambunting.

premises considered. The COMELEC En Banc was convinced that Cordora failed to support his accusation against Tambunting by sufficient and convincing evidence. Commissioner Sarmiento pointed out that Tambunting could be considered a dual citizen. Moreover. Tambunting effectively renounced his American citizenship when he filed his certificates of candidacy in 2001 and 2004 and ran for public office. SO ORDERED.The COMELEC En Banc affirmed the findings and the resolution of the COMELEC Law Department. the instant complaint is hereby DISMISSED for insufficiency of evidence to establish probable cause. The dispositive portion of the COMELEC En Banc’s Resolution reads as follows: WHEREFORE. Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento (Commissioner Sarmiento) wrote a separate opinion which concurred with the findings of the En Banc Resolution. .

. the COMELEC En Banc dismissed Cordora’s motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. The Issue Cordora submits that the COMELEC acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it declared that there is no sufficient evidence to support probable cause that may warrant the prosecution of Tambunting for an election offense. Neither is the present petition an action to declare Tambunting a non-Filipino and a non-resident. The present petition seeks to prosecute Tambunting for knowingly making untruthful statements in his certificates of candidacy. In its Resolution promulgated on 20 February 2007. Cordora’s petition is not an action to disqualify Tambunting because of Tambunting’s failure to meet citizenship and residency requirements.Cordora filed a motion for reconsideration which raised the same grounds and the same arguments in his complaint.

Probable cause constitutes those facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed. Determining probable cause is an intellectual activity premised on the prior physical presentation or submission of documentary or .The Ruling of the Court The petition has no merit. We affirm the ruling of the COMELEC En Banc. Whether there is Probable Cause to Hold Tambunting for Trial for Having Committed an Election Offense There was no grave abuse of discretion in the COMELEC En Banc’s ruling that there is no sufficient and convincing evidence to support a finding of probable cause to hold Tambunting for trial for violation of Section 74 in relation to Section 262 of the Omnibus Election Code.

without mental reservation or purpose of evasion.testimonial proofs either confirming. Section 262 of the Omnibus Election Code. x x x the political party to which he belongs. — The certificate of candidacy shall state that the person filing it is announcing his candidacy for the office stated therein and that he is eligible for said office. Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code reads as follows: Contents of certificate of candidacy. passport size. shall constitute an election offense. and that the facts stated in the certificate of candidacy are true to the best of his knowledge. if he so desires. that he will obey the laws. his post office address for all election purposes. that he will support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto. on the other hand. provides that violation of Section 74. civil status. a statement in duplicate containing his bio-data and program of government not exceeding one hundred words. his date of birth. legal orders and decrees promulgated by the duly constituted authorities. that the obligation imposed by his oath is assumed voluntarily. negating or qualifying the allegations in the complaint. that he is not a permanent resident or immigrant to a foreign country. his profession or occupation. Tambunting’s Dual Citizenship . among other sections in the Code. xxx The person filing a certificate of candidacy shall also affix his latest photograph. residence.

The fact that Tambunting had dual citizenship did not disqualify him from running for public office.Tambunting does not deny that he is born of a Filipino mother and an American father. the same certification showed nine other trips where Tambunting claimed that he is Filipino. insists that Tambunting is a naturalized American citizen. Cordora. he is both Filipino and American by birth. it was no longer necessary for Tambunting to undergo the naturalization process to acquire American citizenship. However. . The process involved in INS Form I-130 only served to confirm the American citizenship which Tambunting acquired at birth. We agree with Commissioner Sarmiento’s observation that Tambunting possesses dual citizenship. on the other hand. Because of the circumstances of his birth. Neither does he deny that he underwent the process involved in INS Form I-130 (Petition for Relative) because of his father’s citizenship. The certification from the Bureau of Immigration which Cordora presented contained two trips where Tambunting claimed that he is an American. Tambunting claims that because of his parents’ differing citizenships. Clearly. Tambunting possessed dual citizenship prior to the filing of his certificate of candidacy before the 2001 elections.

but the above cases are clearly possible given the constitutional provisions on citizenship.Requirements for dual citizens from birth who desire to run for public office We deem it necessary to reiterate our previous ruling in Mercado v. such a situation may arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows the doctrine of jus soli. without performing any act. The former arises when. . loyalty to two or more states. on the other hand. by some positive act. unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine citizenship. is concurrently considered a citizen of both states. wherein we ruled that dual citizenship is not a ground for disqualification from running for any elective local position. (2) Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their fathers’ country such children are citizens of that country. a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. be also a citizen of another state. There may be other situations in which a citizen of the Philippines may. it is possible for the following classes of citizens of the Philippines to possess dual citizenship: (1) Those born of Filipino fathers and/or mothers in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli. To begin with. dual allegiance is the result of an individual’s volition. dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance. ipso facto and without any voluntary act on his part. IV) of our Constitution. (3) Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter’s country the former are considered citizens. Dual allegiance. refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes. as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states. For instance. Considering the citizenship clause (Art. While dual citizenship is involuntary. Such a person. Manzano.

page 17: “Any person with dual citizenship” is disqualified to run for any elective local position. pointed out: “[D]ual citizenship is just a reality imposed on us because we have no control of the laws on citizenship of other countries. 7854. it should suffice if.A. they elect Philippine citizenship to terminate their status as persons with dual citizenship considering that their condition is the unavoidable consequence of conflicting laws of different states. Bernas. someone whose mother is a citizen of the Philippines but his father is a foreigner is a natural-born citizen of the Republic. Suppose he carries only a Philippine passport but the country of origin or the country of the father claims that person. §20 must be understood as referring to “dual allegiance. SENATOR ENRILE. Under the present Constitution. No. Unlike those with dual allegiance. the phrase “dual citizenship” in R. But whether or not she is considered a citizen of another country is something completely beyond our control. persons with mere dual citizenship do not fall under this disqualification. . Mr.? No one can renounce. one of the most perceptive members of the Constitutional Commission. On the assumption that this person would carry two passports. Mr. who must. §40(d) and in R. No. the concern of the Constitutional Commission was not with dual citizens per se but with naturalized citizens who maintain their allegiance to their countries of origin even after their naturalization. President. upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy. as a citizen. from the point of view of the foreign state and of its laws. Mr. it only means that at the moment when he would want to run for public office.xxx [I]n including §5 in Article IV on citizenship.” By electing Philippine citizenship. There are such countries in the world. must elect or give up Philippine citizenship. one belonging to the country of his or her father and one belonging to the Republic of the Philippines.A. he has to repudiate one of his citizenships. President.” Consequently. President. be subject to strict process with respect to the termination of their status. Hence. We recognize a child of a Filipino mother. may such a situation disqualify the person to run for a local government position? SENATOR PIMENTEL. As Joaquin G. for candidates with dual citizenship. nevertheless. There is no requirement that such a natural-born citizen. 7160. I would like to ask clarification of line 41. such an individual has not effectively renounced his foreign citizenship. therefore. To my mind. That is of no moment as the following discussion on §40(d) between Senators Enrile and Pimentel clearly shows: SENATOR ENRILE. upon reaching the age of majority. It may be that. such candidates at the same time forswear allegiance to the other country of which they are also citizens and thereby terminate their status as dual citizens.

(Emphasis supplied) We have to consider the present case in consonance with our rulings in Mercado v. Well. possessed dual citizenship by the circumstances of their birth. and AASJS v. So.” SENATOR ENRILE. precisely. the very fact that he is running for public office would. the Constitution does not require an election. then he will probably fall under this disqualification. COMELEC. and that is the citizenship invested upon him or her in the Constitution of the Republic.SENATOR PIMENTEL. Mr. But we are talking from the viewpoint of Philippine law. in effect. But. be an election for him of his desire to be considered a Filipino citizen. the first thing he should do is to say in the Certificate of Candidacy that: “I am a Filipino citizen. Mercado and Valles involve similar operative facts as the present case. Manzano was born to Filipino parents in the United States which follows the doctrine of jus soli. for those desiring to run for public . President. That is true. President. like Tambunting. if he is really interested to run. He will always have one citizenship. and I have only one citizenship. Yes. But if he exercises acts that will prove that he also acknowledges other citizenships. SENATOR ENRILE. SENATOR PIMENTEL. Mr. Mr. then he is opening himself to question. SENATOR PIMENTEL. Valles v. President. at birth. Under the Constitution. President. Mr. Datumanong. What we are saying. Valles was born to an Australian mother and a Filipino father in Australia. is: Under the Gentleman’s example. a citizen without any overt act to claim the citizenship. if he does not renounce his other citizenship. Manzano and Valles. Our rulings in Manzano and Valles stated that dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance both by cause and. a person whose mother is a citizen of the Philippines is. Manzano.

solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines. on the other hand. 9225. Thus. No. and that I impose this obligation upon myself voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion.office. by effect. under R. and I hereby declare that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto.A.A. Dual allegiance. it is enough for a person with dual citizenship who seeks public office to file his certificate of candidacy and swear to the oath of allegiance contained therein. like any other natural-born Filipino. . Dual citizenship is involuntary and arises when. No. a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. was enacted years after the promulgation of Manzano and Valles. is brought about by the individual’s active participation in the naturalization process. as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states. R. The oath found in Section 3 of R. a Filipino who becomes a naturalized citizen of another country is allowed to retain his Filipino citizenship by swearing to the supreme authority of the Republic of the Philippines.A. The act of taking an oath of allegiance is an implicit renunciation of a naturalized citizen’s foreign citizenship. AASJS states that. No. 9225 reads as follows: I __________ . or the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003. 9225.

A. the twin requirements in R. Tambunting. did not subsequently become a naturalized citizen of another country. Velasco v.In Sections 2 and 3 of R. No. Tambunting’s residency . Section 5(3) of R. 9225 do not apply to him. all of which involve natural-born Filipinos who later became naturalized citizens of another country and thereafter ran for elective office in the Philippines. but with the status of naturalized citizens who maintain their allegiance to their countries of origin even after their naturalization. Dal and COMELEC. 9225 states that naturalized citizens who reacquire Filipino citizenship and desire to run for elective public office in the Philippines shall “meet the qualifications for holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws and. Hence. the framers were not concerned with dual citizenship per se. COMELEC. 9225. No. No. In the present case. COMELEC. at the time of filing the certificate of candidacy. and Japzon v.A. No. a natural-born Filipino.A. The twin requirements of swearing to an Oath of Allegiance and executing a Renunciation of Foreign Citizenship served as the bases for our recent rulings in Jacot v. 9225.A. make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath” aside from the oath of allegiance prescribed in Section 3 of R.

Cordora concluded that Tambunting failed to meet the residency requirement because of Tambunting’s naturalization as an American. Tambunting sufficiently proved his innocence of the charge filed against him. and is not dependent upon citizenship. residency. WHEREFORE. we DISMISS the petition. Moreover. Cordora’s reasoning fails because Tambunting is not a naturalized American. for the purpose of election laws. Tambunting is eligible for the office which he sought to be elected and fulfilled the citizenship and residency requirements prescribed by law. includes the twin elements of the fact of residing in a fixed place and the intention to return there permanently. On the contrary. 05-17. SO ORDERED. . We AFFIRM the Resolutions of the Commission on Elections En Banc dated 18 August 2006 and 20 February 2007 in EO Case No. In view of the above. we hold that Cordora failed to establish that Tambunting indeed willfully made false entries in his certificates of candidacy.

QUISUMBING CONSUELO YNARESSANTIAGO . CARPIO Associate Justice WE CONCUR: REYNATO S.ANTONIO T. PUNO Chief Justice (On official leave) LEONARDO A.

ALICIA AUSTRIAMARTINEZ Associate Justice RENATO C. CORONA Associate Justice CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice (On official leave) DANTE O. TINGA Associate Justice (On official leave) .Associate Justice Associate Justice MA.

VELASCO. PERALTA Associate Justice CERTIFICATION . BRION Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO Associate Justice ARTURO D. CHICO-NAZARIO Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. NACHURA Associate Justice TERESITA J.MINITA V. JR.

PUNO Chief Justice * ** *** On official leave. COMELEC. and Nicodemo T. Id. 132 (1999). 367 Phil. 345 Phil. v. with Chairman Benjamin S. Abalos. 147-149 (1999). Tuason. with Chairman Benjamin S. 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. 36-41. Sarmiento. Id. Romeo A. Romeo A. . 1173 (1997). Jr. See Valles v.. Id. Tuason. Sr. at 40. Brawner. 392 Phil. Ferrer concurring. 1141. 327 (2000). Jr. 132. Penned by Commissioner Florentino A. Id. Commissioners Resurreccion Z. Sarmiento. Inc. pp.Pursuant to Section 13. 327 (2000). Kilosbayan. Article VIII of the Constitution. Sr. at 44-47. Borra. Brawner.. 392 Phil. Abalos. at 29. Penned by Commissioner Rene V. Citations omitted.. 144-145. 367 Phil. Rollo. On official leave. Commissioners Resurreccion Z. On official leave. Borra. Rene V. Ferrer concurring. Florentino A. Commission on Elections. and Nicodemo T. REYNATO S. at 30..

119976. G.R. Id.R. See Romualdez-Marcos v.R. 19 January 2009. 29 November 2008. at 117. 11 May 2007. No.R. G.G. 248 SCRA 300. No. No. 24 December 2008. G. 160869. No. FIRST DIVISION . 523 SCRA 108. G. No. 180088. 179848. 180051. 18 September 1995. Commission on Elections.R.

J. JJ. Chairperson. THE PHILIPPINE AMERICAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY.R. C. FISHING Petitioner.FRABELLE CORPORATION. and GARCIA. G. 158560 Present: versus PUNO. No.. Respondents. PHILAM PROPERTIES CORPORATION and PERF REALTY CORPORATION. AZCUNA. Promulgated: August 17. CORONA. 2007 x -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x . SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ.

and services for the construction and development of Philamlife Tower. The facts are: Philam Properties Corporation. assailing the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated December 2. property. SP No. Philippine American Life Insurance Company. On May 8. as amended. 71389. herein respondents.R. and PERF Realty Corporation.DECISION SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. a 45-storey office condominium along Paseo de Roxas. respectively. Makati City. are all corporations duly organized and existing under Philippine laws.: Before us is the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. 1996. respondents entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (1996 MOA) whereby each agreed to contribute cash. 2002 and May 30. in CA-G. . J. 2003.

38-B located at the 38th floor of Philamlife Tower. petitioner Frabelle Fishing and respondents executed a Memorandum of Agreement (1998 MOA) to fund the construction of designated office floors in Philamlife Tower. development. The dispute between the parties started when petitioner found material concealment on the part of respondents regarding certain details in the 1996 DOA and 1998 MOA and their gross violation of their contractual obligations as condominium developers. 1998.On December 6. These violations are: (a) the non-construction of a partition wall between Unit No. petitioner herein. in turn. obligations and interests over Unit No. its rights. 1996. On March 9. The parties also stipulated that the assignee shall be deemed as a co-developer of the construction project with respect to Unit No. and subsequent ownership of Unit No. 38-B and the rest of the floor area. respondents executed a Deed of Assignment (1996 DOA) wherein they assigned to Frabelle Properties Corporation (Frabelle) their rights and obligations under the 1996 MOA with respect to the construction. assigned to Frabelle Fishing Corporation (Frabelle Fishing). 38-B. Frabelle. 38-B. and (b) the reduction of the net usable floor area from four .

among others.hundred sixty eight (468) square meters to only three hundred fifteen (315) square meters. Dissatisfied with its existing arrangement with respondents. petitioner. with the approval of HLURB Regional Director Jesse A. 2002. Set the initial preliminary hearing of this case on June 25. (PDRCI) for arbitration. in a letter dated November 7. 2002 at 10:00 A. . on October 22. 2001. After considering their respective memoranda. respondents’ plea for the outright dismissal of the present case is denied. Petitioner docketed as HLURB Case No. that the contracts do not reflect the true intention of the parties. issued an Order dated May 14. the dispositive portion of which reads: Accordingly. and that it is a mere buyer and not codeveloper and/or co-owner of the condominium unit. specific performance and damages against respondents. San Vicente. referred the matter to the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center. REM-021102-11791. Inc. respondents manifested their refusal to submit to PDRCI’s jurisdiction. However. 2002. Expanded National Capital Region Field Office a complaint for reformation of instrument. alleged. Dunstan T. 2001.M. On February 11. petitioner filed with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). HLURB Arbiter Atty. Obligacion.

Dunstan San Vicente and Jesse A. the petition is GRANTED. 71389. docketed as CA-G. Respondents then filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. Trial Court. Petitioner claimed. that the HLURB has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the controversy and that the contracts between the parties provide for compulsory arbitration. In dismissing petitioner’s complaint. REM-021102-11791. the Court of Appeals held that the HLURB has no jurisdiction over an action for reformation of contracts.IT IS SO ORDERED. The jurisdiction lies with the Regional . 2002. thus: WHEREFORE. premises considered. the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision granting the petition. Expanded National Capital Region Field Office are hereby permanently ENJOINED and PROHIBITED from further proceeding with and acting on HLURB Case No. Public respondents Atty. The order of May 14. On December 2. 2002 is hereby SET ASIDE and the complaint is DISMISSED. SP No. among others.R. Obligacion of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. SO ORDERED.

Declaring that the instruments executed by the complainant FRABELLE and respondent PHILAM to have been in fact a Contract to Sell. Petitioner claimed that the terms of the contract are not clear and prayed that they should be reformed to reflect the true stipulations of the parties. The parties are thereby governed by the provisions of P. specific performance and damages. The issues for our resolution are: (1) whether the HLURB has jurisdiction over the complaint for reformation of instruments. “Regulating the Sale of Subdivision Lots and Condominiums. 2003. a judgment be please rendered: 1. the instant petition for review on certiorari. Petitioner prayed: WHEREFORE. As the records show. Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof” as . in view of all the foregoing. 957 entitled.D.Forthwith. Hence. it is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Office that after due notice and hearing. the complaint filed by petitioner with the HLURB is one for reformation of instruments. and (2) whether the parties should initially resort to arbitration. petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied by the appellate court in its Resolution dated May 30. The petition lacks merit.

– Any person interested under a deed. executive order or regulation. will. (Emphasis ours) As correctly held by the Court of Appeals. as amended. An action for the reformation of an instrument. or any other governmental regulation may. . bring an action in the appropriate Regional Trial Court to determine any question of construction or validity arising. any disagreement as to the nature of the parties’ relationship which would require first an amendment or reformation of their contract is an issue which the courts may and can resolve without the need of the expertise and specialized knowledge of the HLURB. respectively. and for a declaration of his rights or duties thereunder. of a condominium unit and not as co-developer and/or co-owner of the same. petitioner’s complaint necessarily falls under the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court pursuant to Section 1. contract or other written instrument.buyer and developer. which provides: SECTION 1. or to consolidate ownership under Article 1607 of the Civil Code. ordinance. may be brought under this Rule. Who may file petition. to quiet title to real property or remove clouds therefrom. Rule 63 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. before breach or violation thereof. whose rights are affected by a statute. x x x (Emphasis supplied) We hold that being an action for reformation of instruments.

To brush aside a contractual agreement calling for arbitration in case of disagreement between the parties would therefore be a step backward. It bears stressing that such arbitration agreement is the law between the parties. This Court has previously held that arbitration is one of the alternative methods of dispute resolution that is now rightfully vaunted as “the wave of the future” in international relations. paragraph 4. . therefore. 71389 are AFFIRMED. SP No. we DENY the petition. and is recognized worldwide. WHEREFORE. Costs against petitioner.With regard to the second and last issue.2 of the 1998 MOA mandates that any dispute between or among the parties “shall finally be settled by arbitration conducted in accordance with the Rules of Conciliation and Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. expected to abide by it in good faith.R. The challenged Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. They are.” Petitioner referred the dispute to the PDRCI but respondents refused to submit to its jurisdiction.

AZCUNA Associate Justice . CORONA Associate Justice ADOLFO S. PUNO Chief Justice Chairperson RENATO C.SO ORDERED. ANGELINA SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ Associate Justice WE CONCUR: REYNATO S.

Paragraph 2 of the 1996 DOA reads. “Upon the effectivity and subject to the stipulations of this Assignment. 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’s Division. 207-215. Salazar-Fernando and concurred in by Associate Justice Ruben T. Article VIII of the Constitution. id. including but not limited to the . pp. GARCIA Associate Justice CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. the Assignee shall be deemed as a co-developer of the Project to the extent of the Assigned Office Space and Assigned Slots. rollo. Sundiam. Annex “1” of the petition.. 216-223. Annex “2” of the petition.CANCIO C. PUNO Chief Justice Penned by Associate Justice Remedios A. and in such capacity shall have all the rights and obligations of a co-developer under the MOA. Reyes (now a member of this Court) and Associate Justice Edgardo F. pp. REYNATO S.

” Annex “3” of the petition. pp. 288 SCRA 267. Inc. 327 SCRA 135.. pp. 224-243. pp.” supra at 228. Inc. pp. 36-50.. p... 143581 . Inc.R. 499 SCRA 332. Sea-Land Service. Id. G. G. id. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION KOREA TECHNOLOGIES CO. 319. 314-318. 286 (1998). March 2. citing BF Corporation v. Annex “A” of the petition. No. LTD. Id. G. Court of Appeals. rollo. Capitol Industrial Construction Groups. id.. 399 SCRA 562 (2003).obligation of providing funds to finance the cost of construction of the Assigned Office Space and Assigned Slots. Annex “G” of the petition. pp. Linberg Philippines. v.R. id. pp. 271-289... Court of Appeals. 293-294.. 179-183. No. Id. No. Annex “3. 184-211. August 18.. id. 2006. 260-270.. citing LM Power Engineering Corporation v.. 2000.R. Annex “L” of the petition. Annex “K” of the petition. and the right of receiving the Assigned Office Space and Assigned Slots upon completion of construction thereof. id.. Fiesta World Mall Corporation v. pp. 126212. 338. Annex “H” of the petition. 152471. pp.

J. LERMA. in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 256 of Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa City. Chairperson. Promulgated: January 7. HON. and VELASCO. J. JJ. Present: . 2008 x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION VELASCO.. TINGA.Petitioner.: . Respondents. CARPIO. ALBERTO A. JR. and PACIFIC GENERAL STEEL MANUFACTURING CORPORATION.versus - QUISUMBING.. CARPIO MORALES.. JR.

000. KOGIES would install and initiate the operation of the plant for which PGSMC bound itself to pay USD 306. (PGSMC) is a domestic corporation.530. instead of hastening the resolution of their dispute. PGSMC and KOGIES executed a Contract whereby KOGIES would set up an LPG Cylinder Manufacturing Plant in Carmona. The contract and its amendment stipulated that KOGIES will ship the machinery and facilities necessary for manufacturing LPG cylinders for which PGSMC would pay USD 1. the total contract price amounted to USD 1. KLP-970301 dated March 5. the parties executed.000 upon the plant’s production of the 11-kg. 1997. the parties wittingly or unwittingly prolonged the controversy.224.000. Arbitration along with mediation. Thus. particularly in civil and commercial disputes. The petition before us puts at issue an arbitration clause in a contract mutually agreed upon by the parties stipulating that they would submit themselves to arbitration in a foreign country. and negotiation. Regrettably. being inexpensive. Ltd. in Korea. Cavite. 1997 amending the terms of payment.. the policy is to favor alternative methods of resolving disputes. 1997. an Amendment for Contract No. conciliation. The contract was executed in the Philippines. On March 5. On April 7. Petitioner Korea Technologies Co.In our jurisdiction. (KOGIES) is a Korean corporation which is engaged in the supply and installation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Cylinder manufacturing plants. speedy and less hostile methods have long been favored by this Court. while private respondent Pacific General Steel Manufacturing Corp. . LPG cylinder samples.

The monthly rental was PhP 322.” Thus. after the installation of the plant. and installed in the Carmona plant. 1997. 1998 for PhP 4. thus forcing the parties to agree that KOGIES would be deemed to have completely complied with the terms and conditions of the March 5. 1998 for PhP 4. the initial operation could not be conducted as PGSMC encountered financial difficulties affecting the supply of materials. For the remaining balance of USD306.079-square meter property with a 4. and (2) BPI Check No. PGSMC issued two postdated checks: (1) BPI Check No. the machineries. Subsequently. 0316413 dated March 30.032-square meter warehouse building to house the LPG manufacturing plant. 22 in .500.000. and facilities for the manufacture of LPG cylinders were shipped. PGSMC paid KOGIES USD 1. However.500. PGSMC entered into a Contract of Lease with Worth Properties.000. KOGIES sent a demand letter to PGSMC threatening criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. gleaned from the Certificate executed by the parties on January 22.000 for the installation and initial operation of the plant.224. 1998 with a 10% annual increment clause. When KOGIES deposited the checks. (Worth) for use of Worth’s 5. Inc.On October 14. 1998. delivered. 1998.000. 1997 contract. 0316412 dated January 30. on May 8. these were dishonored for the reason “PAYMENT STOPPED.560 commencing on January 1. equipment.

On June 1.S. On the same date. President of KOGIES. 1998. and facilities installed in the Carmona plant. Five days later. On May 14. PGSMC informed KOGIES that PGSMC was canceling their Contract dated March 5. 1998. PGSMC replied that the two checks it issued KOGIES were fully funded but the payments were stopped for reasons previously made known to KOGIES. 98-03813 against Mr. 1998 to KOGIES’ President who was then staying at a Makati City hotel. KOGIES wrote PGSMC informing the latter that PGSMC could not unilaterally rescind their contract nor dismantle and transfer the machineries and equipment on mere imagined violations by KOGIES. the arbitration clause of their contract. She complained that not only did KOGIES deliver a different brand of hydraulic press from that agreed upon but it had not delivered several equipment parts already paid for. 1998. and that PGSMC would dismantle and transfer the machineries. equipment. No. 1997 on the ground that KOGIES had altered the quantity and lowered the quality of the machineries and equipment it delivered to PGSMC.case of nonpayment. the wife of PGSMC’s President faxed a letter dated May 7. It also insisted that their disputes should be settled by arbitration as agreed upon in Article 15. . Dae Hyun Kang. On June 15. PGSMC filed before the Office of the Public Prosecutor an Affidavit-Complaint for Estafa docketed as I.

which was subsequently extended until July 22. 1998. 1998. docketed as Civil Case No. 1998. The RTC granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) on July 4. as amended. On July 3. KOGIES instituted an Application for Arbitration before the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB) in Seoul. 1998. 15 of the Contract as amended. Korea pursuant to Art. 1998. by unilaterally rescinding the contract without resorting to arbitration. KOGIES alleged that PGSMC had initially admitted that the checks that were stopped were not funded but later on claimed that it stopped payment of the checks for the reason that “their value was not received” as the former allegedly breached their contract by “altering the quantity and lowering the quality of the machinery and equipment” installed in the plant and failed to make the plant operational although it earlier certified to the contrary as shown in a January 22. KOGIES averred that PGSMC violated Art. 1998 Certificate. Likewise. In its complaint. 1998 letter threatening that the machineries. on July 1. 1998.On June 23. 15 of their Contract. . 98-117 against PGSMC before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC). KOGIES filed a Complaint for Specific Performance. and facilities installed in the plant would be dismantled and transferred on July 4. PGSMC again wrote KOGIES reiterating the contents of its June 1. 1998. equipment. KOGIES also asked that PGSMC be restrained from dismantling and transferring the machinery and equipment installed in the plant which the latter threatened to do on July 4. Thus.

500. PGSMC filed an opposition to the TRO arguing that KOGIES was not entitled to the TRO since Art. 15 of the Contract as amended was invalid as it tended to oust the trial court or any other court jurisdiction over any dispute that may arise between the parties. the RTC held that Art. After the parties submitted their Memoranda.000 for altering the quantity and lowering the quality of the machineries and equipment. reasoning that PGSMC had paid KOGIES USD 1. the arbitration clause.224. 1998. 1998.On July 9. On July 17. and that KOGIES was liable for damages amounting to PhP 4. the value of the machineries and equipment as shown in the contract such that KOGIES no longer had proprietary rights over them. PGSMC filed its Answer with Compulsory Counterclaim asserting that it had the full right to dismantle and transfer the machineries and equipment because it had paid for them in full as stipulated in the contract.000 covered by the checks for failing to completely install and make the plant operational.920 in rent (covering January to July 1998) to Worth and it was not willing to further shoulder the cost of renting the premises of the plant considering that the LPG cylinder manufacturing plant never became operational.000. on July 23. And finally. 15. 1998. the RTC issued an Order denying the application for a writ of preliminary injunction.257. that KOGIES was not entitled to the PhP 9. was null and void for being against public policy as it ousts the local courts of jurisdiction over the instant controversy. KOGIES’ . PGSMC averred that it has already paid PhP 2. Moreover.000.

1998 and seeking dismissal of PGSMC’s counterclaims. It claimed that it had performed all the undertakings under the contract and had already produced certified samples of LPG cylinders. Incorporated at Carmona. this Court believes and so holds that no cogent reason exists for this Court to grant the writ of preliminary injunction to restrain and refrain defendant from dismantling the machineries and facilities at the lot and building of Worth Properties. After KOGIES filed a Supplemental Memorandum with Motion to Dismiss answering PGSMC’s memorandum of July 22. 1998. It averred that whatever was unfinished was PGSMC’s fault since it failed to procure raw materials due to lack of funds. KOGIES. 1998. relying on Chung Fu Industries (Phils.). and facilities it delivered to the plant. in view of the foregoing consideration. KOGIES filed its Reply to Answer and Answer to Counterclaim. The dispositive portion of the Order stated: WHEREFORE. KOGIES denied it had altered the quantity and lowered the quality of the machinery. Cavite and transfer the same to another site: and therefore denies plaintiff’s application for a writ of preliminary injunction. On July 29. filed its Motion for Reconsideration of the July 23. equipment. 1998 Order denying its application for an . insisted that the arbitration clause was without question valid. KOGIES. Court of Appeals.prayer for an injunctive writ was denied. v. Inc. on August 4.

000 such that the dismantling and transfer of the machinery and facilities would result in the dismantling and transfer of the very plant itself to the great prejudice of KOGIES as the still unpaid owner/seller of the plant. the trial court issued an Order (1) granting PGSMC’s motion for inspection. (2) denying KOGIES’ motion for reconsideration of the July 23. 1998. 15 of the Contract as amended was a valid arbitration stipulation under Art.000 but was for the sale of an “LPG manufacturing plant” consisting of “supply of all the machinery and facilities” and “transfer of technology” for a total contract price of USD 1. Moreover. 1998 RTC Order. KOGIES opposed the motion positing that the queries and issues raised in the motion for inspection fell under the coverage of the arbitration clause in their contract. Inc.224. and (3) denying KOGIES’ motion to dismiss PGSMC’s compulsory counterclaims as these counterclaims fell within the requisites of compulsory counterclaims. In the meantime.). KOGIES points out that the arbitration clause under Art. PGSMC filed a Motion for Inspection of Things to determine whether there was indeed alteration of the quantity and lowering of quality of the machineries and equipment. 2044 of the Civil Code and as held by this Court in Chung Fu Industries (Phils.530. . On September 21.injunctive writ claiming that the contract was not merely for machinery and facilities worth USD 1. and whether these were properly installed.

and transferring the machineries and equipment in the Carmona plant. 1998 RTC Orders and praying for the issuance of writs of prohibition.R. KOGIES asserted that the Branch Sheriff did not have the technical expertise to ascertain whether or not the . Ten days after. 1998 RTC Order granting inspection of the plant and denying dismissal of PGSMC’s compulsory counterclaims. 1998. without waiting for the resolution of its October 2. 1998. 1998 urgent motion for reconsideration. dismantling. 49249 informing the CA about the October 19. SP No. It also reiterated its prayer for the issuance of the writs of prohibition. KOGIES filed a Supplement to the Petition in CA-G. SP No. and to direct the RTC to enforce the specific agreement on arbitration to resolve the dispute. on October 19. 1998.R. mandamus. seeking annulment of the July 23.On October 2. 49249. 1998. Thereafter. on October 12. KOGIES filed before the Court of Appeals (CA) a petition for certiorari docketed as CA-G. 1998 RTC Order. In the meantime. 1998 and September 21. and preliminary injunction to enjoin the RTC and PGSMC from inspecting. KOGIES filed an Urgent Motion for Reconsideration of the September 21. the RTC denied KOGIES’ urgent motion for reconsideration and directed the Branch Sheriff to proceed with the inspection of the machineries and equipment in the plant on October 28. mandamus and preliminary injunction which was not acted upon by the CA.

The CA found that the RTC did not gravely abuse its discretion in issuing the assailed July 23. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court and declared the arbitration clause against public policy On May 30. 1998 and September 21.000 was for the whole plant and had not been fully paid was contrary to the finding of the RTC that PGSMC fully paid the price of USD 1. 1998 Orders.machineries and equipment conformed to the specifications in the contract and were properly installed. Moreover. which was for all the machineries and equipment. the Branch Sheriff filed his Sheriff’s Report finding that the enumerated machineries and equipment were not fully and properly installed. the CA rendered the assailed Decision affirming the RTC Orders and dismissing the petition for certiorari filed by KOGIES.000. this determination by the RTC was a factual finding beyond the ambit of a petition for certiorari.224. 1998. 2000. According to the CA. the CA reasoned that KOGIES’ contention that the total contract price for USD 1. . On November 11.530.

these cannot be the subject of a petition for certiorari. speedy. According to the CA. Furthermore. and adequate remedy available. the CA held that the counterclaims of PGSMC were compulsory ones and payment of docket fees was not required since the Answer with counterclaim was not an initiatory pleading. and that since the assailed orders were interlocutory. the CA said a certificate of non-forum shopping was also not required. 1998 RTC Order which was the plain. the CA held that the petition for certiorari had been filed prematurely since KOGIES did not wait for the resolution of its urgent motion for reconsideration of the September 21. we have this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45. the RTC must be given the opportunity to correct any alleged error it has committed. Hence. On the issue of nonpayment of docket fees and non-attachment of a certificate of non-forum shopping by PGSMC. the CA agreed with the lower court that an arbitration clause which provided for a final determination of the legal rights of the parties to the contract by arbitration was against public policy. For the same reason. The Issues .On the issue of the validity of the arbitration clause.

” The Court’s Ruling . INSTEAD. RULING THAT THE PETITION WAS FILED PREMATURELY WITHOUT WAITING FOR THE RESOLUTION OF THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE ORDER DATED SEPTEMBER 21. b. DISMISSING THE SAME FOR ALLEGEDLY “WITHOUT MERIT. DECLARING AS NULL AND VOID THE ARBITRATION CLAUSE IN ARTICLE 15 OF THE CONTRACT BETWEEN THE PARTIES FOR BEING “CONTRARY TO PUBLIC POLICY” AND FOR OUSTING THE COURTS OF JURISDICTION. e. d. 1998 NOT TO BE PROPER SUBJECTS OF CERTIORARI AND PROHIBITION FOR BEING “INTERLOCUTORY IN NATURE. NOT GRANTING THE RELIEFS AND REMEDIES PRAYED FOR IN HE (SIC) PETITION AND. 1998 OR WITHOUT GIVING THE TRIAL COURT AN OPPORTUNITY TO CORRECT ITSELF. AND CONCLUDING THAT THE TRIAL COURT’S FINDING ON THE SAME QUESTION WAS IMPROPERLY RAISED IN THE PETITION BELOW. c. PRONOUNCING THE QUESTION OF OWNERSHIP OVER THE MACHINERY AND FACILITIES AS “A QUESTION OF FACT” “BEYOND THE AMBIT OF A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI” INTENDED ONLY FOR CORRECTION OF ERRORS OF JURISDICTION OR GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF (SIC) EXCESS OF JURISDICTION. PROCLAIMING THE TWO ORDERS DATED JULY 23 AND SEPTEMBER 21. DECREEING PRIVATE RESPONDENT’S COUNTERCLAIMS TO BE ALL COMPULSORY NOT NECESSITATING PAYMENT OF DOCKET FEES AND CERTIFICATION OF NON-FORUM SHOPPING.” f.Petitioner posits that the appellate court committed the following errors: a.

“A compulsory counterclaim or a cross-claim that a defending party has at the time he files his answer shall be contained therein. and that its failure to do so was a fatal defect. 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. We disagree with KOGIES.The petition is partly meritorious. As aptly ruled by the CA. the rule that was effective at the time the Answer with Counterclaim was filed. The rules on the payment of docket fees for counterclaims and cross claims were amended effective August 16. 1998 in accordance with Section 8 of Rule 11. Sec. Before we delve into the substantive issues. 2004 KOGIES strongly argues that when PGSMC filed the counterclaims. the counterclaims of PGSMC were incorporated in its Answer with Compulsory Counterclaim dated July 17.” . 8 on existing counterclaim or cross-claim states. it should have paid docket fees and filed a certificate of non-forum shopping. we shall first tackle the procedural issues.

2004 under Sec. 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. hence. Gamboa involved the denial of a motion to acquit in a criminal case which was not assailable in an action for certiorari since the denial of a motion to quash required the accused to plead and to continue with the trial. PGSMC’s Answer is not an initiatory pleading which requires a certification against forum shopping under Sec. 5 of Rule 7.On July 17. 04-2-04-SC. docket fees are now required to be paid in compulsory counterclaim or crossclaims. as amended by A. Rule 141. however. As to the failure to submit a certificate of forum shopping. the courts a quo did not commit reversible error in denying KOGIES’ motion to dismiss PGSMC’s compulsory counterclaims. It is a responsive pleading. 7. Cruz. at the time PGSMC filed its Answer incorporating its counterclaims against KOGIES. Interlocutory orders proper subject of certiorari Citing Gamboa v. We stress. that effective August 16. it was not liable to pay filing fees for said counterclaims being compulsory in nature. No. 1998. the CA also pronounced that “certiorari and Prohibition are neither the remedies to question the propriety of an interlocutory order of the trial court. and whatever objections the .” The CA erred on its reliance on Gamboa.M.

. where the interlocutory order was issued without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law amply provides the basis for allowing the resort to a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. Also. The alleged grave abuse of discretion of the respondent court equivalent to lack of jurisdiction in the issuance of the two assailed orders coupled with the fact that there is no plain. the remedy is certiorari. appeals from interlocutory orders would open the floodgates to endless occasions for dilatory motions. the Court allows certiorari as a mode of redress. Pescarich Manufacturing Corporation. Thus. Allowing appeals from interlocutory orders would result in the ‘sorry spectacle’ of a case being subject of a counterproductive ping-pong to and from the appellate court as often as a trial court is perceived to have made an error in any of its interlocutory rulings. where the assailed interlocutory order was issued with grave abuse of discretion or patently erroneous and the remedy of appeal would not afford adequate and expeditious relief. Thus. However. incorporating in said appeal the grounds for assailing the interlocutory orders. we held: The proper remedy in such cases is an ordinary appeal from an adverse judgment on the merits. The general rule is that interlocutory orders cannot be challenged by an appeal.accused had in his motion to quash can then be used as part of his defense and subsequently can be raised as errors on his appeal if the judgment of the trial court is adverse to him. speedy. in Yamaoka v.

The reason behind the rule is “to enable the lower court. there is an urgent necessity to resolve the issue on the dismantling of the facilities and any further delay would prejudice the interests of KOGIES. 1998 RTC Order directing the branch sheriff to inspect the plant. KOGIES’ only remedy was to assail the RTC’s interlocutory order via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. in the first instance. Indeed. Thus. Moreover. equipment. 1998 RTC Order relating to the inspection of things.” The September 21. the petitioner must have filed a motion for reconsideration and said motion should have been first resolved by the court a quo. 1998 RTC Order which denied the issuance of the injunctive writ had already been denied. and facilities when he is not competent and knowledgeable on said matters is evidently flawed and devoid of any legal support. While the October 2.Prematurity of the petition before the CA Neither do we think that KOGIES was guilty of forum shopping in filing the petition for certiorari. and the allowance of the compulsory counterclaims has not yet been resolved. 1998 motion for reconsideration of KOGIES of the September 21. to pass upon and correct its mistakes without the intervention of the higher court. the circumstances in this case would allow an exception to the rule that before certiorari may be availed of. there is . Note that KOGIES’ motion for reconsideration of the July 23.

shall finally be settled by arbitration in Seoul.—All disputes. . We find the resort to certiorari based on the gravely abusive orders of the trial court sans the ruling on the October 2. The award rendered by the arbitration(s) shall be final and binding upon both parties concerned. Arbitration.) Petitioner claims the RTC and the CA erred in ruling that the arbitration clause is null and void. It provides: Article 15. Petitioner is correct. controversies. or differences which may arise between the parties. 15 of the Contract. the arbitration clause. (Emphasis supplied. The Core Issue: Article 15 of the Contract We now go to the core issue of the validity of Art.real and imminent threat of irreparable destruction or substantial damage to KOGIES’ equipment and machineries. Korea in accordance with the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board. 1998 motion for reconsideration to be proper. out of or in relation to or in connection with this Contract or for the breach thereof.

In Gonzales v. rescinded. The arbitration clause was mutually and voluntarily agreed upon by the parties. or annulled. “Any stipulation that the arbitrators’ award or decision shall be final. 2043. We find no reason why the arbitration clause should not be respected and complied with by both parties.. 2038. good customs. we likewise ruled that “[t]he provision to . It has not been shown to be contrary to any law. Therefore. Lex loci contractus. without prejudice to Articles 2038. is valid. Court of Appeals. or against morals. 2044 of the Civil Code sanctions the validity of mutually agreed arbitral clause or the finality and binding effect of an arbitral award. Art. 2044 provides. but these would not denigrate the finality of the arbitral award. There has been no showing that the parties have not dealt with each other on equal footing. we held that submission to arbitration is a contract and that a clause in a contract providing that all matters in dispute between the parties shall be referred to arbitration is a contract. or public policy. Climax Mining Ltd. and 2040 abovecited refer to instances where a compromise or an arbitral award. The contract in this case was perfected here in the Philippines. Art.Established in this jurisdiction is the rule that the law of the place where the contract is made governs. public order. Again in Del Monte Corporation-USA v. our laws ought to govern.) Arts.” (Emphasis supplied. as applied to Art. Nonetheless. 2044 pursuant to Art. 2039 and 2040. may be voided. 2039.

arbitration––along with mediation.” And in LM Power Engineering Corporation v. Juan Ysmael and Co. we held that “[i]n this jurisdiction. Brushing aside a contractual agreement calling for arbitration between the parties would be a step backward. we declared that: Being an inexpensive. arbitration has been held valid and constitutional. v. In BF Corporation v. 876 was adopted to supplement the New Civil Code’s provisions on arbitration.” Arbitration clause not contrary to public policy The arbitration clause which stipulates that the arbitration must be done in Seoul. and that the arbitral award is final and binding. conciliation and negotiation––is encouraged by the Supreme Court. Republic Act No.. It is thus regarded as the “wave of the future” in international civil and commercial disputes. arbitration also hastens the resolution of disputes.submit to arbitration any dispute arising therefrom and the relationship of the parties is part of that contract and is itself a contract. In the 1957 case of Eastboard Navigation Ltd. Inc. especially of the commercial kind. Even before the approval on June 19. Inc. 1953 of Republic Act No. is not contrary to public policy. this Court had occasion to rule that an arbitration clause to resolve differences and breaches of mutually agreed contractual terms is valid. speedy and amicable method of settling disputes. this Court has countenanced the settlement of disputes through arbitration. This Court has sanctioned the validity of arbitration clauses in a catena of cases.. . Capitol Industrial Construction Groups. Korea in accordance with the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the KCAB. Aside from unclogging judicial dockets.. 876. Court of Appeals.

the Philippines committed itself to be bound by the Model Law. an arbitral panel will be constituted in a foreign country and the arbitration rules of the foreign country would govern and its award shall be final and binding. the arbitration rules of our domestic arbitration bodies would not be applied. 1985. otherwise known as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004 entitled . (RA) 9285. We have even incorporated the Model Law in Republic Act No. Any doubt should be resolved in favor of arbitration. Having said that the instant arbitration clause is not against public policy. In case a foreign arbitral body is chosen by the parties. an order to arbitrate should be granted. we come to the question on what governs an arbitration clause specifying that in case of any dispute arising from the contract. As signatory to the Arbitration Rules of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in the New York Convention on June 21. Provided such clause is susceptible of an interpretation that covers the asserted dispute. RA 9285 incorporated the UNCITRAL Model law to which we are a signatory For domestic arbitration proceedings.Consistent with the above-mentioned policy of encouraging alternative dispute resolution methods. courts should liberally construe arbitration clauses. we have particular agencies to arbitrate disputes arising from contractual relations.

copy of which is hereto attached as Appendix “A”. RA 9285 is applicable to the instant case. 2004. Well-settled is the rule that procedural laws are construed to be applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the time of their passage. 1998 and it is still pending because no arbitral award has yet been rendered. As a general .INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION SEC.––In interpreting the Model Law. 19. 1985 entitled.” While RA 9285 was passed only in 2004. SEC. Interpretation of Model Law. KOGIES filed its application for arbitration before the KCAB on July 1.An Act to Institutionalize the Use of an Alternative Dispute Resolution System in the Philippines and to Establish the Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution. Adoption of the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. regard shall be had to its international origin and to the need for uniformity in its interpretation and resort may be made to the travaux preparatories and the report of the Secretary General of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law dated March 25. 9/264. 40/72 approved on December 11. it nonetheless applies in the instant case since it is a procedural law which has a retroactive effect. Thus. Likewise.––International commercial arbitration shall be governed by the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the “Model Law”) adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on June 21. 20. “International Commercial Arbitration: Analytical Commentary on Draft Trade identified by reference number A/CN. 1985 (United Nations Document A/40/17) and recommended for enactment by the General Assembly in Resolution No. 19 and 20 of Chapter 4 of the Model Law are the pertinent provisions: CHAPTER 4 . 1985. Secs. promulgated on April 2. and for Other Purposes. and are deemed retroactive in that sense and to that extent.

Referral to Arbitration. thus: SEC.––A court before which an action is brought in a matter which is the subject matter of an arbitration agreement shall. 24. Among the pertinent features of RA 9285 applying and incorporating the UNCITRAL Model Law are the following: (1) The RTC must refer to arbitration in proper cases Under Sec. inoperative or incapable of being performed. or upon the request of both parties thereafter.rule. 24. if at least one party so requests not later than the pre-trial conference. the retroactive application of procedural laws does not violate any personal rights because no vested right has yet attached nor arisen from them. the RTC does not have jurisdiction over disputes that are properly the subject of arbitration pursuant to an arbitration clause. and mandates the referral to arbitration in such cases. refer the parties to arbitration unless it finds that the arbitration agreement is null and void. (2) Foreign arbitral awards must be confirmed by the RTC .

on grounds of comity and reciprocity. 44.––The recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards not covered by the New York Convention shall be done in accordance with procedural rules to be promulgated by the Supreme Court. The applicant shall establish that the country in which foreign arbitration award was made in party to the New York Convention. the party shall supply a duly certified translation thereof into any of such languages. thus: SEC. 42. 35 of the UNCITRAL Model Law stipulates the requirement for the arbitral award to be recognized by a competent court for enforcement. If the award or agreement is not made in any of the official languages. The recognition and enforcement of such arbitral awards shall be filed with the Regional Trial Court in accordance with the rules of procedure to be promulgated by the Supreme Court. Sec. shall be recognized and enforced as a foreign arbitral award and not as a judgment of a foreign court.––A foreign arbitral award when confirmed by a court of a foreign country. 36 of the UNCITRAL Model Law may refuse recognition or enforcement on the grounds provided for. 42. The Court may. 43. Application of the New York Convention. . RA 9285 incorporated these provisos to Secs. which court under Sec. 47 and 48. Foreign Arbitral Award Not Foreign Judgment. Said procedural rules shall provide that the party relying on the award or applying for its enforcement shall file with the court the original or authenticated copy of the award and the arbitration agreement. Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards Not Covered by the New York Convention. recognize and enforce a nonconvention award as a convention award.––The New York Convention shall govern the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards covered by said Convention.Foreign arbitral awards while mutually stipulated by the parties in the arbitration clause to be final and binding are not immediately enforceable or cannot be implemented immediately. and 44 relative to Secs. 43. xxxx SEC. SEC.

The notice shall be sent al least fifteen (15) days before the date set for the initial hearing of the application. Therefore. and any application with a court for arbitration assistance and supervision shall be deemed as special proceedings and shall be filed with the Regional Trial Court (i) where arbitration proceedings are conducted. or (iv) in the National Judicial Capital Region. shall be enforced in the same manner as final and executory decisions of courts of law of the Philippines xxxx SEC. upon the instance of any party. like the National Labor Relations Commission and Mines Adjudication Board. it can be gleaned that the concept of a final and binding arbitral award is similar to judgments or awards given by some of our quasi-judicial bodies. whose final judgments are stipulated to be final and binding. are enforced as final and executory decisions of our courts of law. correction or modification of an arbitral award. the Court shall send notice to the parties at their address of record in the arbitration. and when confirmed. at the option of the applicant.––In a special proceeding for recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award. It is now clear that foreign arbitral awards when confirmed by the RTC are deemed not as a judgment of a foreign court but as a foreign arbitral award. Venue and Jurisdiction.––Proceedings for recognition and enforcement of an arbitration agreement or for vacations. Thus. Notice of Proceeding to Parties. . (iii) where any of the parties to the dispute resides or has his place of business. (ii) where the asset to be attached or levied upon.A foreign arbitral award. at such party’s last known address. but not immediately executory in the sense that they may still be judicially reviewed. setting aside. or the act to be enjoined is located. 48. SEC. the final foreign arbitral awards are similarly situated in that they need first to be confirmed by the RTC. 47. when confirmed by the Regional Trial Court. or if any part cannot be served notice at such address.

if it considers it proper. xxxx SEC.(3) The RTC has jurisdiction to review foreign arbitral awards Sec. Application of the New York Convention. 45 of RA 9285 designated and vested the RTC with specific authority and jurisdiction to set aside. Secs. 34(2) of the UNCITRAL Model Law. Rejection of a Foreign Arbitral Award. Said procedural rules shall provide that the party relying on the award or applying for its enforcement shall file with the court the original or authenticated copy of the award and the arbitration agreement.––The New York Convention shall govern the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards covered by said Convention. 42 in relation to Sec. The recognition and enforcement of such arbitral awards shall be filed with the Regional Trial Court in accordance with the rules of procedure to be promulgated by the Supreme Court. The applicant shall establish that the country in which foreign arbitration award was made is party to the New York Convention. on the application of the party claiming recognition or enforcement of the award. or vacate a foreign arbitral award on grounds provided under Art.––A party to a foreign arbitration proceeding may oppose an application for recognition and enforcement of the arbitral award in accordance with the procedures and rules to be promulgated by the Supreme Court only on those grounds enumerated under . reject. If the award or agreement is not made in any of the official languages. 42. vacate its decision and may also. If the application for rejection or suspension of enforcement of an award has been made. 42 and 45 provide: SEC. order the party to provide appropriate security. the Regional Trial Court may. 45. the party shall supply a duly certified translation thereof into any of such languages.

relied upon by KOGIES is applicable insofar as the foreign arbitral awards. still the foreign arbitral award is subject to judicial review by the RTC which can set aside. what this Court held in Chung Fu Industries (Phils. the grounds for setting aside. 34(2) of the UNCITRAL Model Law. rejecting or vacating the award by the RTC are provided under Art. while the RTC does not have jurisdiction over disputes governed by arbitration mutually agreed upon by the parties. while final and binding. Inc.). In this sense. are subject to judicial review on specific grounds provided for. Any other ground raised shall be disregarded by the Regional Trial Court. Chapter 7 of RA 9285 has made it clear that all arbitral awards. whether domestic or foreign. For foreign or international arbitral awards which must first be confirmed by the RTC. do not oust courts of jurisdiction since these arbitral awards are not absolute and without exceptions as they are still judicially reviewable. or vacate it. (4) Grounds for judicial review different in domestic and foreign arbitral awards The differences between a final arbitral award from an international or foreign arbitral tribunal and an award given by a local arbitral tribunal are the specific grounds or conditions that vest jurisdiction over our courts to review the awards. Thus. .Article V of the New York Convention. reject.

46. 46 of RA 9285 provides for an appeal before the CA as the remedy of an aggrieved party in cases where the RTC sets aside. (5) RTC decision of assailed foreign arbitral award appealable Sec. thus: SEC. vacates. which also need confirmation by the RTC pursuant to Sec.For final domestic arbitral awards. the CA decision may further be appealed or reviewed before this Court through a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Thereafter. or corrects an arbitral award. 23 of RA 876 and shall be recognized as final and executory decisions of the RTC. modifies. setting aside. vacating. PGSMC has remedies to protect its interests . rejects. they may only be assailed before the RTC and vacated on the grounds provided under Sec. Appeal from Court Decision or Arbitral Awards.—A decision of the Regional Trial Court confirming. 25 of RA 876. The losing party who appeals from the judgment of the court confirming an arbitral award shall be required by the appellate court to post a counterbond executed in favor of the prevailing party equal to the amount of the award in accordance with the rules to be promulgated by the Supreme Court. modifying or correcting an arbitral award may be appealed to the Court of Appeals in accordance with the rules and procedure to be promulgated by the Supreme Court.

While it may have misgivings on the foreign arbitration done in Korea by the KCAB. consequently. the award of which is not absolute and without exceptions. it has available remedies under RA 9285. stipulating that the arbitral award is final and binding. does not oust our courts of jurisdiction as the international arbitral award. it must be noted that there is nothing in the subject Contract which provides that the parties may dispense with the arbitration clause. Its interests are duly protected by the law which requires that the arbitral award that may be rendered by KCAB must be confirmed here by the RTC before it can be enforced. and not contrary to public policy. Unilateral rescission improper and illegal Having ruled that the arbitration clause of the subject contract is valid and binding on the parties. petitioner is correct in its contention that an arbitration clause. With our disquisition above. based on the foregoing features of RA 9285. is still judicially reviewable under certain conditions provided for by the UNCITRAL Model Law on ICA as applied and incorporated in RA 9285. Finally. being .Thus. PGSMC must submit to the foreign arbitration as it bound itself through the subject contract.

KOGIES instituted an Application for Arbitration before the KCAB in Seoul. and whether there was substantial compliance by KOGIES in the production of the samples. Where an arbitration clause in a contract is availing. Cavite. that the act of treating a contract as rescinded on account of infractions by the other contracting party is valid albeit provisional as it can be judicially assailed. and not through an extrajudicial rescission or judicial action. Korea pursuant to Art. is not applicable to the instant case on account of a valid stipulation on arbitration. it is incumbent upon PGSMC to abide by its commitment to arbitrate. the ownership of equipment and payment of the contract price. 1998. a party may not unilaterally rescind or terminate the contract for whatever cause without first resorting to arbitration. Thus. neither of the parties can unilaterally treat the contract as rescinded since whatever infractions or breaches by a party or differences arising from the contract must be brought first and resolved by arbitration. 15 of the Contract as amended. we note that on July 1.bound to the contract of arbitration. The issues arising from the contract between PGSMC and KOGIES on whether the equipment and machineries delivered and installed were properly installed and operational in the plant in Carmona. De Los Angeles and reiterated in succeeding cases. Indeed. given the alleged fact that PGSMC could not supply the raw materials required to produce the sample LPG cylinders. . are matters proper for arbitration. What this Court held in University of the Philippines v.

Petitioner’s position is untenable. 1998 and October 19. .530. whatever findings and conclusions made by the RTC Branch Sheriff from the inspection made on October 28. the KCAB in Korea. 1998. 1998. In addition.000 was for the whole plant and its installation is beyond the ambit of a Petition for Certiorari. the September 21. Issue on ownership of plant proper for arbitration Petitioner assails the CA ruling that the issue petitioner raised on whether the total contract price of USD 1.Corollarily. For these reasons. the trial court gravely abused its discretion in granting PGSMC’s Motion for Inspection of Things on September 21. is of no worth as said Sheriff is not technically competent to ascertain the actual status of the equipment and machineries as installed in the plant. as the subject matter of the motion is under the primary jurisdiction of the mutually agreed arbitral body. as ordered by the trial court on October 19. 1998 RTC Orders pertaining to the grant of the inspection of the equipment and machineries have to be recalled and nullified. 1998.

we find it to be in order considering the factual milieu of the instant case. Whether or not there was full payment for the machineries and equipment and installation is indeed a factual issue prohibited by Rule 65.It is settled that questions of fact cannot be raised in an original action for certiorari. 1998 Order denying the issuance of the injunctive writ paving the way for PGSMC to dismantle and transfer the equipment and machineries. The RTC’s determination of such factual issue constitutes grave abuse of discretion and must be reversed and set aside. RTC has interim jurisdiction to protect the rights of the parties Anent the July 23. . what appears to constitute a grave abuse of discretion is the order of the RTC in resolving the issue on the ownership of the plant when it is the arbitral body (KCAB) and not the RTC which has jurisdiction and authority over the said issue. However.

28.—(a) It is not incompatible with an arbitration agreement for a party to request. (c) The order granting provisional relief may be conditioned upon the provision of security or any act or omission specified in the order. Such relief may be granted: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) to prevent irreparable loss or injury. the party against whom the relief is requested. before constitution of the tribunal. and the evidence supporting the request. or to compel any other appropriate act or omission. may be made with the arbitral or to the extent that the arbitral tribunal has no power to act or is unable to act effectivity. describing in appropriate detail the precise relief. has accepted the nomination and written communication of said nomination and acceptance has been received by the party making the request. Grant of interim Measure of Protection . or modification thereof. (b) The following rules on interim or provisional relief shall be observed: Any party may request that provisional relief be granted against the adverse party. Sec. to provide security for the performance of any obligation. 28 pertinently provides: SEC.Firstly. the grounds for the relief. After constitution of the arbitral tribunal and during arbitral proceedings. (d) Interim or provisional relief is requested by written application transmitted by reasonable means to the Court or arbitral tribunal as the case may be and the party against whom the relief is sought. a request for an interim measure of protection. the request may be made with the Court . from a Court to grant such measure . . yet the RTC under Sec. 28 of RA 9285 has jurisdiction to hear and grant interim measures to protect vested rights of the parties. (e) The order shall be binding upon the parties. The arbitral tribunal is deemed constituted when the sole arbitrator or the third arbitrator. who has been nominated. while the issue of the proper installation of the equipment and machineries might well be under the primary jurisdiction of the arbitral body to decide. to produce or preserve any evidence.

or refrain from taking action that is likely to cause. (b) Take action that would prevent.(f) Either party may apply with the Court for assistance in implementing or enforcing an interim measure ordered by an arbitral tribunal. 17(2) of the UNCITRAL Model Law on ICA defines an “interim measure” of protection as: Article 17.) Art. by which. the arbitral tribunal orders a party to: (a) Maintain or restore the status quo pending determination of the dispute. (Emphasis ours. paid in obtaining the order’s judicial enforcement. or (d) Preserve evidence that may be relevant and material to the resolution of the dispute. 17 J of UNCITRAL Model Law on ICA also grants courts power and jurisdiction to issue interim measures: . current or imminent harm or prejudice to the arbitral process itself. whether in the form of an award or in another form. (c) Provide a means of preserving assets out of which a subsequent award may be satisfied. (g) A party who does not comply with the order shall be liable for all damages resulting from noncompliance. Art. and reasonable attorney's fees. including all expenses. at any time prior to the issuance of the award by which the dispute is finally decided. Power of arbitral tribunal to order interim measures xxx xxx xxx (2) An interim measure is any temporary measure.

Article 17 J. Court-ordered interim measures A court shall have the same power of issuing an interim measure in relation to arbitration proceedings, irrespective of whether their place is in the territory of this State, as it has in relation to proceedings in courts. The court shall exercise such power in accordance with its own procedures in consideration of the specific features of international arbitration.

In the recent 2006 case of Transfield Philippines, Inc. v. Luzon Hydro Corporation, we were explicit that even “the pendency of an arbitral proceeding does not foreclose resort to the courts for provisional reliefs.” We explicated this way:

As a fundamental point, the pendency of arbitral proceedings does not foreclose resort to the courts for provisional reliefs. The Rules of the ICC, which governs the parties’ arbitral dispute, allows the application of a party to a judicial authority for interim or conservatory measures. Likewise, Section 14 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 876 (The Arbitration Law) recognizes the rights of any party to petition the court to take measures to safeguard and/or conserve any matter which is the subject of the dispute in arbitration. In addition, R.A. 9285, otherwise known as the “Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004,” allows the filing of provisional or interim measures with the regular courts whenever the arbitral tribunal has no power to act or to act effectively.

It is thus beyond cavil that the RTC has authority and jurisdiction to grant interim measures of protection.

Secondly, considering that the equipment and machineries are in the possession of PGSMC, it has the right to protect and preserve the equipment and machineries in the best way it can. Considering that the LPG plant was nonoperational, PGSMC has the right to dismantle and transfer the equipment and machineries either for their protection and preservation or for the better way to make good use of them which is ineluctably within the management discretion of PGSMC.

Thirdly, and of greater import is the reason that maintaining the equipment and machineries in Worth’s property is not to the best interest of PGSMC due to the prohibitive rent while the LPG plant as set-up is not operational. PGSMC was losing PhP322,560 as monthly rentals or PhP3.87M for 1998 alone without considering the 10% annual rent increment in maintaining the plant.

Fourthly, and corollarily, while the KCAB can rule on motions or petitions relating to the preservation or transfer of the equipment and machineries as an interim measure, yet on hindsight, the July 23, 1998 Order of the RTC allowing the transfer of the equipment and machineries given the non-recognition by the lower courts of the arbitral clause, has accorded an interim measure of protection to PGSMC which would otherwise been irreparably damaged.

Fifth, KOGIES is not unjustly prejudiced as it has already been paid a substantial amount based on the contract. Moreover, KOGIES is amply protected by the arbitral action it has instituted before the KCAB, the award of which can be enforced in our jurisdiction through the RTC. Besides, by our decision, PGSMC is compelled to submit to arbitration pursuant to the valid arbitration clause of its contract with KOGIES.

PGSMC to preserve the subject equipment and machineries

Finally, while PGSMC may have been granted the right to dismantle and transfer the subject equipment and machineries, it does not have the right to convey or dispose of the same considering the pending arbitral proceedings to settle the differences of the parties. PGSMC therefore must preserve and maintain the subject equipment and machineries with the diligence of a good father of a family until final resolution of the arbitral proceedings and enforcement of the award, if any.

WHEREFORE, this petition is PARTLY GRANTED, in that:

(1)

The May 30, 2000 CA Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 49249 is

REVERSED and SET ASIDE;

(2)

The September 21, 1998 and October 19, 1998 RTC Orders in Civil

Case No. 98-117 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE;

(3)

The parties are hereby ORDERED to submit themselves to the

arbitration of their dispute and differences arising from the subject Contract before the KCAB; and

(4)

PGSMC is hereby ALLOWED to dismantle and transfer the

equipment and machineries, if it had not done so, and ORDERED to preserve and maintain them until the finality of whatever arbitral award is given in the arbitration proceedings.

No pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR. Associate Justice

WE CONCUR:

LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING Associate Justice

Chairperson

ANTONIO T. CARPIO Associate Justice

CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice

DANTE O. TINGA Associate Justice

ATTESTATION

I attest 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.

LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING

Associate Justice Chairperson

CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation, 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.

REYNATO S. PUNO Chief Justice

Id. at 58-65; signed by KOGIES’ President Dae Hyun Kang and PGSMC President Honorio Santiago. Id. at 94. Id. at 208-218; signed by PGSMC President Honorio Santiago and Worth President Wilson L. Chua. Id. at 95; signed by KOGIES’ President Dae Hyun Kang and PGSMC President Honorio Santiago.

Id. at 207. Id. at 221. Id. at 222. Id. at 47-51; dated July 1, 1998. Id. at 66-82. Id. at 97. Id. at 83-89. G.R. No. 96283, February 25, 1992, 206 SCRA 545. Rollo, pp. 108-111. Id. at 98-100. Supra note 12. Rollo, pp. 101-105. Id. at 113-115. Id. at 120-146; dated October 9, 1998. Id. at 119. Id. at 116-118. Id. at 266-268. Id. at 40. Penned by Associate Justice Elvi John S. Asuncion and concurred in by Associate Justices Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez and Portia Aliño-Hormachuelos. Id. at 16-17; original in boldface.

SEC. 5. Certification against forum shopping.––The plaintiff or principal party shall certify under oath in the complaint or other initiatory pleading asserting a claim for relief, or in a sworn certification annexed thereto and simultaneously filed therewith: (a) that he has not

R. Id. unless otherwise provided.R. G. No. 201 SCRA 343. The submission of a false certification or non-compliance with any of the undertakings therein shall constitute indirect contempt of court. and (c) if he should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending. G. Art. undue influence. (Emphasis supplied. I Regalado. Court of Appeals. November 21. L-56291. 1991. or falsity of documents is subject to the provisions of Article 1330 [voidable] of this Code. When the parties compromise generally on all differences which they might have with each other. no such other action or claim is pending therein. G. upon motion and after hearing. as well as a cause for administrative sanctions.theretofore commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in any court. a complete statement of the present status thereof. 85156. 1991. 1996. 680-681. La Tondeña Distillers. he shall report that fact within five (5) days therefrom to the court where his aforesaid complaint or initiatory pleading has been filed.R. 1998. to the best of his knowledge. 264 SCRA 540. Gumban. Inc. Mendoza v. Abesamis. Art. G. October 8.R. However. one of the parties cannot set up a mistake of fact as against the other if the latter. If the acts of the party or his counsel clearly constitute willful and deliberate forum shopping. No. A compromise in which there is mistake. February 5. intimidation. 128954. 1988. No. 193 SCRA 520. by virtue of the compromise. tribunal or quasi-judicial agency and. violence. p. fraud.R. 1991. July 20. June 27. 45.).R. No. Quisumbing v. has withdrawn from a litigation already commenced. without prejudice to the corresponding administrative and criminal actions. 361 SCRA 672. REMEDIAL LAW COMPENDIUM 502 (2002). 93875. 2038. March 22. September 5. v. No. . 195 SCRA 592. 146079. the discovery of documents referring to one or more but not to all of the questions settled shall not itself be a cause for annulment or rescission of the compromise. 2001. Court of Appeals. G.R. at 721 (8th rev. 2039. 162 SCRA 642. MB Finance Corporation v. G. G. No. No.) Failure to comply with the foregoing requirements shall not be curable by mere amendment of the complaint or other initiatory pleading but shall be cause for the dismissal of the case without prejudice. Rollo. citing Go v. (b) if there is such other pending action or claim. the same shall be ground for summary dismissal with prejudice and shall constitute direct contempt. 297 SCRA 574. ed. 81909. unless said documents have been concealed by one of the parties. 109656. Ponferrada.

August 4. 35(1) provides: Article 35. The provisions of the preceding Chapter upon compromises shall also be applicable to arbitrations. .R. 167994.R. either or both parties being unaware of the existence of the final judgment. 288 SCRA 267. 2003. No.But the compromise may be annulled or rescinded if it refers only to one thing to which one of the parties has no right. January 22. the compromise may be rescinded. 102 Phil. 286. 120105. to Provide for the Appointment of Arbitrators and the Procedure for Arbitration in Civil Controversies. 636-637. No. Adopted by the UNCITRAL on June 21. 512 SCRA 148. 446. G. upon application in writing to the competent court. 1 (1957). v. Id. March 26. a compromise should be agreed upon. No. Pasay Transportation Co. 154415. citing Calacala v.. February 7. Art. No. 497 SCRA 626. 2040. 40/72. March 27. Datumanong. irrespective of the country in which it was made. 136154. July 28. Republic. Ignorance of a judgment which may be revoked or set aside is not a valid ground for attacking a compromise. citations omitted.R. 57 Phil. Subsequently amended on July 7. 351 SCRA 373. 2005. 1985 (United Nations Document A/40/17) and recommended for enactment by the General Assembly in Resolution No. citing Manila Electric Co. as shown by the newly-discovered documents. 2007. If after a litigation has been decided by a final judgment. 2001. No. at 603. Art. G.R. Simeon A. 399 SCRA 562. G. 2006. and for Other Purposes” (1953). G. Secretary of DPWH. 600 (1932). G. 569-570. Art. In the Matter to Declare in Contempt of Court Hon. 1998. shall be recognized as binding and. 2006. 381.R. “An Act to Authorize the Making of Arbitration and Submission Agreements.R. No. 150274. G. 2043. 141833. 464 SCRA 438. shall be enforced subject to the provisions of this article and of article 36. approved on 11 December 1985. No. Id. Recognition and enforcement (1) An arbitral award. 161957 and G.R.

Court of Appeals. ANGELO REYES. v. 182 SCRA 564.. Inc. v.. 1998. February 15. September 14. 111238. 41. No. J. that judgment be rendered issuing a permanent writ of injunction and/or prohibition against the deployment of U. No. G. G. 146717. praying that respondents be restrained from proceeding with the so-called “Balikatan 02-1” and that after due notice and hearing. G.R. ALBERTO ROMULO. v. No. 145483. 2006. No. September 29. G. SANLAKAS and PARTIDO NG MANGGAGAWA. L-28602. troops in Basilan and Mindanao for being illegal and in violation of the Constitution. 1998.S. No. Genato. vs. November 19. 2000. 293 SCRA 496. Adelfa Properties. Bowe v. Cheng v. LIM and PAULINO R. Id. No. Inc . Inc. December 29. Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority v. DECISION DE LEON. 126812.: This case involves a petition for certiorari and prohibition as well as a petition-in-intervention.R. ERSANDO. No. G. Sec. 240 SCRA 565. NLRC. 300 SCRA 722. May 19. Court of Appeals. 1993.RA 9285.R. Cf. 151445. 1970. 35 SCRA 102. 20-21. 490 SCRA 14. Article 1173 of the Civil Code. Court of Appeals. G. July 31. v. . 325 SCRA 624. Suarez v. respondents. and HONORABLE ANGELO REYES in his capacity as Secretary of National Defense. 131680. No.R. Mars Construction Enterprises.R. EN BANC [G. 133909. respondents. February 23. G. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO. See Lorenzo Shipping Corp. 129760. 299 SCRA 141. 2002] ARTHUR D. March 19. No.R.R. 2004. JR. BJ Marthel International. G. No. No. 340 SCRA 359. January 25. Lim v. 1998. 40. No. vs. April 11. 1990. G. Sec. petitioners.R. HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY as alter ego of HER EXCELLENCY GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO. petitioners-intervenors. 95771. Inc. 85733. 443 SCRA 163. Goldenrod. 124723. . Court of Appeals. 1995.R.R.R. Universal International Group of Taiwan. 2000. G. G. 220 SCRA 158..R. November 24. 502. Philippine National Construction Corp.

Of no comparable historical parallels. In theory. a bilateral defense agreement entered into by the Philippines and the United States in 1951. by terrorists with alleged links to the al-Qaeda (“the Base”). Five days later. They likewise pray for a relaxation on the rules relative to locus standi citing the unprecedented importance of the issue involved. 2002 the Senate conducted a hearing on the “Balikatan” exercise wherein VicePresident Teofisto T. The Exercise shall be Consistent with the Philippine Constitution and all its activities shall be in consonance with the laws of the land and the provisions of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Bush in reaction to the tragic events that occurred on September 11. Guingona. in “Balikatan 02-1. a Muslim extremist organization headed by the infamous Osama bin Laden. attacking the constitutionality of the joint exercise. in conjunction with the Philippine military. these acts caused billions of dollars worth of destruction of property and incalculable loss of hundreds of lives. On February 1. lawyers and taxpayers. personnel from the armed forces of the United States of America started arriving in Mindanao to take part. The lack of consensus was eventually cured when the two nations concluded the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) in 1999. three (3) commercial aircrafts were hijacked. 2001. 2002. SANLAKAS and PARTIDO. the respective governments of the two countries agreed to hold joint exercises on a reduced scale.” These so-called “Balikatan” exercises are the largest combined training operations involving Filipino and American troops. flown and smashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon building in Washington.. On February 7. In the meantime. who filed a petition-in-intervention on February 11. on the other hand. and hence will be directly affected by the operations being conducted in Mindanao. . Jr.The facts are as follows: Beginning January of this year 2002. D. presented the Draft Terms of Reference (TOR). The entry of American troops into Philippine soil is proximately rooted in the international antiterrorism campaign declared by President George W. Prior to the year 2002. Lim and Ersando filed suit in their capacities as citizens. they are a simulation of joint military maneuvers pursuant to the Mutual Defense Treaty. 2002. Lim and Paulino P. he approved the TOR. POLICY LEVEL 1. They were joined subsequently by SANLAKAS and PARTIDO NG MANGGAGAWA. This was due to the paucity of any formal agreement relative to the treatment of United States personnel visiting the Philippines. Ersando filed this petition for certiorari and prohibition. who is concurrently Secretary of Foreign Affairs. both party-list organizations. which we quote hereunder: I. On that day. the last “Balikatan” was held in 1995. petitioners Arthur D.C. aver that certain members of their organization are residents of Zamboanga and Sulu.

RP and US participants shall comply with operational instructions of the APP during the FTX. Only 160 US Forces organized in 12-man Special Forces Teams shall be deployed with AFP field commanders. At no time shall US Forces operate independently within RP territory. 1. 9. EXERCISE LEVEL TRAINING a. . without prejudice to their right of self-defense. Company Tactical headquarters where they can observe and assess the performance of the APP Forces. 7. The US teams shall remain at the Battalion Headquarters and. and will be conducted on the Island of Basilan. US exercise participants shall not engage in combat. These terms of Reference are for purposes of this Exercise only and do not create additional legal obligations between the US Government and the Republic of the Philippines. classroom instruction and messing may be set up for use by RP and US Forces during the Exercise. 3. The Chief of Staff. II. Flight plans of all aircraft involved in the exercise will comply with the local air traffic regulations. 6. AFP. assisting and training exercises shall be conducted in Malagutay and the Zamboanga area. AFP shall direct the Exercise Co-Directors to wind up and terminate the Exercise and other activities within the six month Exercise period. Further advising. No permanent US basing and support facilities shall be established. assisting and training Exercise relative to Philippine efforts against the ASG.800 RP Forces. advising and training of RP and US Forces with the primary objective of enhancing the operational capabilities of both forces to combat terrorism. The Exercise shall be implemented jointly by RP and US Exercise Co-Directors under the authority of the Chief of Staff. The conduct of this training Exercise is in accordance with pertinent United Nations resolutions against global terrorism as understood by the respective parties. Temporary structures such as those for troop billeting. b.2. c. with the projected participation of 660 US personnel and 3. In no instance will US Forces operate independently during field training exercises (FTX). when approved. 4. The Exercise shall involve the conduct of mutual military assisting. AFP and US Unit Commanders will retain command over their respective forces under the overall authority of the Exercise Co-Directors. Related activities in Cebu will be for support of the Exercise. 8. The Exercise is a mutual counter-terrorism advising. 5. The exercise shall be conducted and completed within a period of not more than six months.

The briefing shall also promote the full cooperation on the part of the RP and US participants for the successful conduct of the Exercise. c. PUBLIC AFFAIRS a. Falcon and United States Charge d’ Affaires Robert Fitts signed the Agreed Minutes of the discussion between the Vice-President and Assistant Secretary Kelly. Medical evaluation shall be jointly planned and executed utilizing RP and US assets and resources. RP and US participants shall be given a country and area briefing at the start of the Exercise. b.2. 3. This briefing shall acquaint US Forces on the culture and sensitivities of the Filipinos and the provisions of the VFA. b. equipment and other assets. Contemporaneously. Legal liaison officers from each respective party shall be appointed by the Exercise Directors. Local media relations will be the concern of the AFP and all public affairs guidelines shall be jointly developed by RP and US Forces. Assistant Secretary for American Affairs Minerva Jean A. RP and US participating forces may share. in the use of their resources. Petitioners Lim and Ersando present the following arguments: I THE PHILIPPINES AND THE UNITED STATES SIGNED THE MUTUAL DEFENSE TREATY (MDT) in 1951 TO PROVIDE MUTUAL MILITARY ASSISTANCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ‘CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESSES’ OF EACH COUNTRY ONLY IN THE CASE OF AN ARMED ATTACK BY AN EXTERNAL AGGRESSOR. in accordance with their respective laws and regulations. ADMINISTRATION & LOGISTICS a. AFP in Camp Aguinaldo. Combined RP-US Information Bureaus shall be established at the Exercise Directorate in Zamboanga City and at GHQ. BY NO STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION CAN IT BE SAID THAT THE ABU SAYYAF BANDITS IN BASILAN CONSTITUTE AN EXTERNAL ARMED FORCE THAT HAS . Quezon City. They will use their respective logistics channels. Socio-Economic Assistance Projects shall be planned and executed jointly by RP and US Forces in accordance with their respective laws and regulations. and in consultation with community and local government officials. MEANING A THIRD COUNTRY AGAINST ONE OF THEM. c. d.

The Solicitor General asks that we accord due deference to the executive determination that “Balikatan 02-1” is covered by the VFA. The Solicitor General is of the view that since the Terms of Reference are clear as to the extent and duration of “Balikatan 02-1. the Solicitor General points to infirmities in the petitions regarding. The true object of the instant suit. Third. as we have done in the early Emergency Powers Cases. It is also contended that the petitioners are indulging in speculation. it is said.SUBJECT THE PHILIPPINES TO AN ARMED EXTERNAL ATTACK TO WARRANT U. the Solicitor General argues that first. brushes aside the procedural barrier and takes cognizance of the petitions. Substantially the same points are advanced by petitioners SANLAKAS and PARTIDO. Apart from these threshold issues.” the issues raised by petitioners are premature. II NEITHER DOES THE VFA OF 1999 AUTHORIZE AMERICAN SOLDIERS TO ENGAGE IN COMBAT OPERATIONS IN PHILIPPINE TERRITORY. In his Comment. in view of the paramount importance and the constitutional significance of the issues raised in the petitions. Anent their locus standi. Second. citing our ruling in Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. as well as the impropriety of availing of certiorari to ascertain a question of fact. MILITARY ASSISTANCE UNDER THE MDT OF 1951. this Court. Lim and Ersando’s standing to file suit. considering the President’s monopoly in the field of foreign relations and her role as commander-in-chief of the Philippine armed forces. inter alia. We agree. they may not file suit in their capacities as taxpayers inasmuch as it has not been shown that “Balikatan 02-1” involves the exercise of Congress’ taxing or spending powers. the prematurity of the action. in the exercise of its sound discretion. Zamora. Even petitioners’ resort to a special civil action for certiorari is assailed on the ground that the writ may only issue on the basis of established facts. The Court dismissed the objection that they were not proper parties and ruled that ‘transcendental importance to the public of these cases demands that they be settled promptly and . it will suffice to reiterate our view on this point in a related case: Notwithstanding. the Solicitor General claims that there is actually no question of constitutionality involved. their being lawyers does not invest them with sufficient personality to initiate the case. is to obtain an interpretation of the VFA.S. Given the primordial importance of the issue involved. NOT EVEN TO FIRE BACK “IF FIRED UPON”. as they are based only on a fear of future violation of the Terms of Reference. where we had occasion to rule: ‘x x x ordinary citizens and taxpayers were allowed to question the constitutionality of several executive orders issued by President Quirino although they were involving only an indirect and general interest shared in common with the public. Lim and Ersando have failed to demonstrate the requisite showing of direct personal injury.

Hence. Jr. xxx’ Again. Daza vs. to determine whether or not the other branches of the government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws that they have not abused the discretion given to them. until it was replaced by the Visiting Forces Agreement. Guingona.’ We have since then applied the exception in many other cases. The VFA provides the “regulatory mechanism” by which “United States military and civilian personnel [may visit] temporarily in the Philippines in connection with activities approved by the Philippine Government. this Court nevertheless resolves to take cognizance of the instant petitions. The lapse of the US-Philippine Bases Agreement in 1992 and the decision not to renew it created a vacuum in US-Philippine defense relations.. this court upheld the validity of the VFA. the “Balikatan” is the largest such training exercise directly supporting the MDT’s objectives. At any rate. [citation omitted] This principle was reiterated in the subsequent cases of Gonzales vs. brushing aside. where we emphatically held: ‘Considering however the importance to the public of the case at bar. movement of vessels and aircraft. Phil. by a vote of eleven to three. technicalities of procedure. Amusement and Gaming Corporation. Although courts generally avoid having to decide a constitutional question based on the doctrine of separation of powers. we treat with similar dispatch the general objection to the supposed prematurity of the action. It is this treaty to which the VFA adverts and the obligations thereunder which it seeks to reaffirm. and in keeping with the Court’s duty. this Court ruled that in cases of transcendental importance. if we must. 2000. The MDT has been described as the “core” of the defense relationship between the Philippines and its traditional ally. importation and exportation. under the 1987 Constitution. The holding of “Balikatan 02-1” must be studied in the framework of the treaty antecedents to which the Philippines bound itself. The first of these is the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT. Singson. the court may relax the standing requirements and allow a suit to prosper even where there is no direct injury to the party claiming the right of judicial review. driving and vehicle registration. the United States. that is. as well as the . the Court has brushed aside technicalities of procedure and has taken cognizance of this petition. for brevity). Its aim is to enhance the strategic and technological capabilities of our armed forces through joint training with its American counterparts.” It contains provisions relative to entry and departure of American personnel. petitioners' concerns on the lack of any specific regulation on the latitude of activity US personnel may undertake and the duration of their stay has been addressed in the Terms of Reference. It should be recalled that on October 10. in the more recent case of Kilosbayan vs.definitely. COMELEC. which enjoins upon the departments of the government a becoming respect for each others’ acts. and Basco vs. criminal jurisdiction. claims.

The expression is ambiguous. since the terminology employed is itself the source of the problem. There shall be taken into account. To resolve this. any subsequent practice in the application of the treaty which establishes the agreement of the parties regarding its interpretation. The sole encumbrance placed on its definition is couched in the negative. INTERPRETATION OF TREATIES Article 31 General rule of interpretation 1. any instrument which was made by one or more parties in connexion with the conclusion of the treaty and accepted by the other parties as an instrument related to the party. Its primary goal is to facilitate the promotion of optimal cooperation between American and Philippine military forces in the event of an attack by a common foe. A treaty shall be interpreted in good faith in accordance with the ordinary meaning to be given to the terms of the treaty in their context and in the light of its object and purpose. are fair game.” All other activities. unfortunately. in addition to the text. it is necessary to refer to the VFA itself.duration of the agreement and its termination. The context for the purpose of the interpretation of a treaty shall comprise. . in “activities. however. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. in other words. including its preamble and annexes: (a) (b) any agreement relating to the treaty which was made between all the parties in connexion with the conclusion of the treaty. and in particular. Not much help can be had therefrom. in that United States personnel must “abstain from any activity inconsistent with the spirit of this agreement. together with the context: (a) (b) any subsequent agreement between the parties regarding the interpretation of the treaty or the application of its provisions. which contains provisos governing interpretations of international agreements. from any political activity. state: SECTION 3. permitting a wide scope of undertakings subject only to the approval of the Philippine government. 2. on an impermanent basis. 3. The first question that should be addressed is whether “Balikatan 02-1” is covered by the Visiting Forces Agreement. We are not left completely unaided. The VFA permits United States personnel to engage. It is the VFA which gives continued relevance to the MDT despite the passage of years.” the exact meaning of which was left undefined.

no rigid temporal prohibition on resort to travaux préparatoires of a treaty was intended by the use of the phrase ‘supplementary means of interpretation’ in what is now Article 32 of the Vienna Convention. visiting US forces may sojourn in Philippine territory for purposes other than military. It is clear from the foregoing that the cardinal rule of interpretation must involve an examination of the text. and wholly ineffective. not an investigation ab initio into the intentions of the parties’. it was deliberately made that way to give both parties a certain leeway in negotiation. After studied reflection. in order to confirm the meaning resulting from the application of article 31. disaster relief operations. any relevant rules of international law applicable in the relations between the parties. As explained by a writer on the Convention. the Commission accordingly came down firmly in favour of the view that ‘the starting point of interpretation is the elucidation of the meaning of the text. autonomous method of interpretation divorced from the general rule. In this manner. which is presumed to verbalize the parties’ intentions. [t]he Commission’s proposals (which were adopted virtually without change by the conference and are now reflected in Articles 31 and 32 of the Convention) were clearly based on the view that the text of a treaty must be presumed to be the authentic expression of the intentions of the parties. The distinction between the general rule of interpretation and the supplementary means of interpretation is intended rather to ensure that the supplementary means do not constitute an alternative. The Terms of Reference rightly fall within the context of the VFA. . it appeared farfetched that the ambiguity surrounding the meaning of the word “activities” arose from accident.(c) 4. A special meaning shall be given to a term if it is established that the parties so intended. the joint exercises may include training on new techniques of patrol and surveillance to protect the nation’s marine resources. are relegated to a subordinate. As conceived. or the circumstances of its conclusion. The Convention likewise dictates what may be used as aids to deduce the meaning of terms. This is not to say that the travaux préparatoires of a treaty. including the preparatory work of the treaty and the circumstances of its conclusion. In our view. As Professor Briggs points out. sea search-and-rescue operations to assist vessels in distress. which it refers to as the context of the treaty. role. Article 32 Supplementary means of interpretation Recourse may be had to supplementary means of interpretation. or to determine the meaning when the interpretation according to article 31: (a) (b) leaves the meaning ambiguous or obscure. or leads to a result which is manifestly absurd or unreasonable. as well as other elements may be taken into account alongside the aforesaid context.

the VFA gives legitimacy to the current Balikatan exercises. must be read in the context of the 1987 Constitution. in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1.” The indirect violation is actually petitioners’ worry. what may US forces legitimately do in furtherance of their aim to provide advice. In our considered opinion. assisting and training exercise. the Mutual Defense Treaty was concluded way . That is not the end of the matter.civic action projects such as the building of school houses. The target of “Balikatan 02-1. Granted that “Balikatan 02-1” is permitted under the terms of the VFA. and the like. Under these auspices.” the Abu Sayyaf. We state this point if only to signify our awareness that the parties straddle a fine line.” a “mutual anti-terrorism advising. cannot reasonably be expected to sit idly while the battle is brought to their very doorstep. A clear pronouncement on this matter thereby becomes crucial. medical and humanitarian missions. “Balikatan 02-1” is actually a war principally conducted by the United States government. neither the MDT nor the VFA allow foreign troops to engage in an offensive war on Philippine territory. as in all other treaties and international agreements to which the Philippines is a party. Both the history and intent of the Mutual Defense Treaty and the VFA support the conclusion that combat-related activities — as opposed to combat itself — such as the one subject of the instant petition. may American troops actually engage in combat in Philippine territory? The Terms of Reference are explicit enough. observing the honored legal maxim “Nemo potest facere per alium quod non potest facere per directum.” We wryly note that this sentiment is admirable in the abstract but difficult in implementation. that in reality.” falls under the umbrella of sanctioned or allowable activities in the context of the agreement. They cannot be expected to pick and choose their targets for they will not have the luxury of doing so. both the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement. xxx xxx xxx xxx In the same manner. and that the provision on self-defense serves only as camouflage to conceal the true nature of the exercise. are indeed authorized. xxx xxx xxx xxx 4. In particular. It is only logical to assume that “Balikatan 02-1. or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations. We bear in mind the salutary proscription stated in the Charter of the United Nations. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. though. to wit: Article 2 The Organization and its Members. shall act in accordance with the following Principles. Paragraph 8 of section I stipulates that US exercise participants may not engage in combat “except in self-defense. assistance and training in the global effort against terrorism? Differently phrased.

In its relations with other states the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty.before the present Charter. xxx xxx xxx xxx The Constitution also regulates the foreign relations powers of the Chief Executive when it provides that “[n]o treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate. Hence. foreign troops are allowed entry into the Philippines only by way of direct exception. justice. freedom. Court of Appeals. rules of international law are given a standing equal. though it nevertheless remains in effect as a valid source of international obligation. The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. v. to national legislation. when the Congress so requires. After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America concerning Military Bases. and the right to self-determination. . Conflict arises then between the fundamental law and our obligations arising from international agreements. troops or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and. and amity with all nations. ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose. The Philippines. the Transitory Provisions state: Sec. The aforequoted provisions betray a marked antipathy towards foreign military presence in the country.” Even more pointedly. Thus. or of foreign influence in general. in the Declaration of Principles and State Policies. adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in the country. and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting state. 8. foreign military bases. adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy. the fact that international law has been made part of the law of the land does not by any means imply the primacy of international law over national law in the municipal sphere. 25. A rather recent formulation of the relation of international law vis-à-vis municipal law was expressed in Philip Morris. consistent with the national interest. xxx xxx xxx xxx SEC. The present Constitution contains key provisions useful in determining the extent to which foreign military troops are allowed in Philippine territory. it is provided that: xxx xxx xxx xxx SEC. SEC. Inc. equality. 7. to wit: xxx Withal. territorial integrity. national interest. 2. not superior. cooperation. Under the doctrine of incorporation as applied in most countries.

This is not exactly helpful in solving the problem at hand since in trying to find a middle ground, it favors neither one law nor the other, which only leaves the hapless seeker with an unsolved dilemma. Other more traditional approaches may offer valuable insights. From the perspective of public international law, a treaty is favored over municipal law pursuant to the principle of pacta sunt servanda. Hence, “[e]very treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.” Further, a party to a treaty is not allowed to “invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty.” Our Constitution espouses the opposing view. Witness our jurisdiction as stated in section 5 of Article VIII: The Supreme Court shall have the following powers: xxx xxx xxx xxx

(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and order of lower courts in: (A) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question. xxx xxx xxx xxx

In Ichong v. Hernandez, we ruled that the provisions of a treaty are always subject to qualification or amendment by a subsequent law, or that it is subject to the police power of the State. In Gonzales v. Hechanova, xxx As regards the question whether an international agreement may be invalidated by our courts, suffice it to say that the Constitution of the Philippines has clearly settled it in the affirmative, by providing, in Section 2 of Article VIII thereof, that the Supreme Court may not be deprived “of its jurisdiction to review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal, certiorari, or writ of error as the law or the rules of court may provide, final judgments and decrees of inferior courts in —(1) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, law, ordinance, or executive order or regulation is in question.” In other words, our Constitution authorizes the nullification of a treaty, not only when it conflicts with the fundamental law, but, also, when it runs counter to an act of Congress. The foregoing premises leave us no doubt that US forces are prohibited from engaging in an offensive war on Philippine territory. Yet a nagging question remains: are American troops actively engaged in combat alongside Filipino soldiers under the guise of an alleged training and assistance exercise? Contrary to what petitioners would have us do, we cannot take judicial notice of the events transpiring down

south, as reported from the saturation coverage of the media. As a rule, we do not take cognizance of newspaper or electronic reports per se, not because of any issue as to their truth, accuracy, or impartiality, but for the simple reason that facts must be established in accordance with the rules of evidence. As a result, we cannot accept, in the absence of concrete proof, petitioners’ allegation that the Arroyo government is engaged in “doublespeak” in trying to pass off as a mere training exercise an offensive effort by foreign troops on native soil. The petitions invite us to speculate on what is really happening in Mindanao, to issue, make factual findings on matters well beyond our immediate perception, and this we are understandably loath to do. It is all too apparent that the determination thereof involves basically a question of fact. On this point, we must concur with the Solicitor General that the present subject matter is not a fit topic for a special civil action for certiorari. We have held in too many instances that questions of fact are not entertained in such a remedy. The sole object of the writ is to correct errors of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion. The phrase “grave abuse of discretion” has a precise meaning in law, denoting abuse of discretion “too patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty, or a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or act in contemplation of law, or where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and personal hostility.” In this connection, it will not be amiss to add that the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts. Under the expanded concept of judicial power under the Constitution, courts are charged with the duty “to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.” From the facts obtaining, we find that the holding of “Balikatan 02-1” joint military exercise has not intruded into that penumbra of error that would otherwise call for correction on our part. In other words, respondents in the case at bar have not committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. WHEREFORE, the petition and the petition-in-intervention are hereby DISMISSED without prejudice to the filing of a new petition sufficient in form and substance in the proper Regional Trial Court. SO ORDERED. Bellosillo, Melo, Mendoza, Quisumbing, and Carpio, JJ., concur. Davide, Jr., C.J., and Puno, J., join the main and separate opinion of J. Panganiban. Vitug, J., in the result. Kapunan, J., see dissenting opinion. Panganiban, J., see separate opinion. Ynares-Santiago, and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., join the dissenting opinion of J. Kapunan.

For ready reference, the text of the treaty is reproduced herein: “MUTUAL DEFENSE TREATY BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 30 August 1951 “The parties to this Treaty, “Reaffirming their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and their desire to live in peace with all peoples and all Governments, and desiring to strengthen the fabric of peace in the Pacific Area, “Recalling with mutual pride the historic relationship which brought their two peoples together in a common bond of sympathy and mutual ideals to fight side-by-side against imperialist aggression during the last war, “Desiring to declare publicly and formally their sense of unity and their common determination to defend themselves against external armed attack, so that no potential aggressor could be under the illusion that either of them stands alone in the Pacific Area, “Desiring further to strengthen their present efforts for collective defense for the preservation of peace and security pending the development of a more comprehensive system of regional security in the Pacific Area, “Agreeing that nothing in this present instrument shall be considered or interpreted as in any way or sense altering or diminishing any existing agreements or understandings between the United States of America and the Republic of the Philippines, “Have agreed as follows: “ARTICLE I. “The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international disputes in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purpose of the United Nations. “ARTICLE II. “In order more effectively to achieve the objective of this Treaty, the Parties separately and jointly by self-help and mutual aid will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack. “ARTICLE III.

“The Parties, through their Foreign Ministers or their deputies, will consult together from time to time regarding the implementation of this Treaty and whenever in the opinion of either of them the territorial integrity, political independence or security of either of the Parties is threatened by external armed attack in the Pacific. “ARTICLE IV. “Each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific Area on either of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common dangers in accordance with its constitutional processes. “Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall be immediately reported to the Security Council of the United Nations. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security. “ARTICLE V. “For the purpose of Article IV, an armed attack on either of the Parties is deemed to include an attack on the metropolitan territory of either of the Parties, or on the island territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific or on its armed forces, public vessels or aircraft used in the Pacific. “ARTICLE VI. “This Treaty does not affect and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations of the Parties under the Charter of the United Nations or the responsibility of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security. “ARTICLE VII. “This Treaty shall be ratified by the United States of America and the Republic of the Philippines in accordance with their respective constitutional processes and will come into force when instruments of ratification thereof have been exchanged by them at Manila. “ARTICLE VIII. “This Treaty shall remain in force indefinitely. Either Party may terminate it one year after notice has been given to the other party. “IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned Plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty. “DONE in duplicate at Washington this thirtieth day of August, 1951.” xxx xxx xxx xxx

The day before, the first petition in connection with the joint military enterprise was filed -- G.R. No. 151433, entitled “In the Matter of Declaration as Constitutional and Legal the ‘Balikatan’ RP-US Military Exercises.” Petitioner therein Atty. Eduardo B. Inlayo manifested that he would be perfectly “comfortable” should the Court merely “note” his petition. We did not oblige him; in a Resolution dated February 12, 2002, we dismissed his petition on the grounds of insufficiency in form and substance and lack of jurisdiction. After extending a hearty Valentine’s greeting to the Court en banc, Atty. Inlayo promised to laminate the aforesaid resolution as a testimonial of his “once upon a time” participation in an issue of national consequence. Annex 1 of the Comment. Annex 2 of the Comment. The Minutes state: “Secretary Guingona and Assistant Secretary Kelly welcomed the holding of Balikatan 02-1 exercise (‘the Exercise”) and the conclusion of the Terms of Reference for the Exercise. Assistant Secretary Kelly thanked Secretary Guingona for Secretary Guingona’s personal approval of the Terms of Reference. “Both Secretary Guingona and Assistant Secretary Kelly emphasized the importance of cooperating, within the bounds provided for by their respective constitutions and laws, in the fight against international terrorism. “Both Secretary Guingona and Assistant Secretary Kelly expressed the belief that the Exercise shall not in any way contribute to any escalation of other conflicts in Mindanao, shall not adversely affect the progress of ongoing peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and other parties, and shall not put at risk the friendly relations between the Philippines and its neighbors as well as with other states. Secretary Guingona stated that he had in mind the ongoing peace negotiations with the NDF and the MILF and he emphasized that it is important to make sure that the Exercise shall not in any way hinder those negotiations. “Both Secretary Guingona and Assistant Secretary Kelly stated that they look forward to the realization of the nearly US$100 million in security assistance for fiscal years 2001-2002 agreed upon between H.E. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and H.E. President George W. Bush last November 2001. “Secretary Guingona stated that the Philippines welcomes the assistance that the U.S. will be providing, saying that while Filipino soldier does not lack experience, courage and determination, they could benefit from additional knowledge and updated military technologies. “Assistant Secretary Kelly said that he is glad the U.S. is able to provide advice, assistance and training and reiterated the policy position expressed by H.E. President George W. Bush during his State of the Nation Address that U.S. forces are in the Philippines to advise, assist and train Philippine military forces.

“Both Secretary Guingona and Assistant Secretary Kelly reiterated that, as provided in the Terms of Reference, U.S. Forces shall not engage in combat during the Exercise, except in accordance with their right to act in self-defense. Both Secretary Guingona and Assistant Secretary Kelly reiterated that, pursuant to Article II of the Visiting Forces Agreement, U.S. forces are bound to respect the laws of the Philippines during the Exercise. “Both Secretary Guingona and Assistant Secretary Kelly recognized that, pursuant to Article VI of the Visiting Forces Agreement, both the U.S. and Philippine Governments waive any and all claims against the other for any deaths or injuries to their military and civilian personnel from the Exercise. “Secretary Guingona and Assistant Secretary Kelly designated Ambassador Minerva Falcon and Charge d’ Affaires, a.i. Robert Fitts to initial these minutes. “Both secretary Guingona and Assistant Secretary Kelly agreed to consult from time to time on matters relating to the Exercise as well as on other matters.” 338 SCRA 81, 100-101 (2000). BAYAN, et. al. v. Zamora, 342 SCRA 449 (2000). BAYAN, et. al. v. Zamora, et. al., 342 SCRA 449 (2000). Article I [Definitions], VFA. Article II [Respect for Law], VFA. I.M. SINCLAIR, THE VIENNA CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF TREATIES 71-72 (1973). “No one is allowed to do indirectly what he is prohibited to do directly.” Sec. 21, Art. VII. 224 SCRA 576, 593 (1993). Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, art. 26. Id, art. 27. However, this is without prejudice to the provisions of art. 46 of the convention, which provides: “1. A State may not invoke the fact that its consent to be bound by a treaty has been expressed in violation of a provision of its internal law regarding competence to conclude treaties as invalidating its consent unless that violation was manifest and concerned a rule of its internal law of fundamental importance.

“2. A violation is manifest if it would be objectively evident to any State conducting itself in the manner in accordance with normal practice and in good faith.” 101 Phil. 1155, 1191 (1957). 9 SCRA 230, 242 (1963). Pertinent sections of Rule 129 provide: “SECTION 1. Judicial notice, when mandatory.—A court shall take judicial notice, without the introduction of evidence, of the existence and territorial extent of states, their political history, forms of government and symbols of nationality, the law of nations, the admiralty and maritime courts of the world and their seals, the political constitution and history of the Philippines, the official acts of the legislative, executive and judicial departments of the Philippines, the laws of nature, the measure of time, and the geographical divisions.” Likewise, it is also provided in the next succeeding section: “SEC. 2. Judicial notice, when discretionary.—A court may take judicial notice of matters which are of public knowledge, or are capable of unquestionable demonstration, or ought to be known to judges because of their judicial functions.” Sanchez v. National Labor Relations Commission, 312 SCRA 727 (1999). Hervas v. Court of Appeals, 319 SCRA 776 (1999); Valmonte v. Court of Appeals, 303 SCRA 278 (1999). Article VIII, section 1. FIRST DIVISION [G.R. Nos. 160054-55. July 21, 2004] MANOLO P. SAMSON, petitioner, vs. HON. REYNALDO B. DAWAY, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 90, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and CATERPILLAR, INC., respondents. DECISION YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: Assailed in this petition for certiorari is the March 26, 2003 Order[1] of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 90, which denied petitioner’s – (1) motion to quash the information; and (2) motion for reconsideration of the August 9, 2002 Order denying his motion to suspend the arraignment and other proceedings in Criminal Case Nos. Q-02-108043-44. Petitioner also questioned its August 5, 2003 Order[2] which denied his motion for reconsideration. The undisputed facts show that on March 7, 2002, two informations for unfair competition under Section 168.3 (a), in relation to Section 170, of the Intellectual Property Code (Republic Act No. 8293), similarly worded save for the dates and places of commission, were filed against

petitioner Manolo P. Samson, the registered owner of ITTI Shoes. The accusatory portion of said informations read: That on or about the first week of November 1999 and sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in Quezon City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, above-named accused, owner/proprietor of ITTI Shoes/Mano Shoes Manufactuirng Corporation located at Robinson’s Galleria, EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Quezon City, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously distribute, sell and/or offer for sale CATERPILLAR products such as footwear, garments, clothing, bags, accessories and paraphernalia which are closely identical to and/or colorable imitations of the authentic Caterpillar products and likewise using trademarks, symbols and/or designs as would cause confusion, mistake or deception on the part of the buying public to the damage and prejudice of CATERPILLAR, INC., the prior adopter, user and owner of the following internationally: “CATERPILLAR”, “CAT”, “CATERPILLAR & DESIGN”, “CAT AND DESIGN”, “WALKING MACHINES” and “TRACK-TYPE TRACTOR & DESIGN.” CONTRARY TO LAW.[3] On April 19, 2002, petitioner filed a motion to suspend arraignment and other proceedings in view of the existence of an alleged prejudicial question involved in Civil Case No. Q-00-41446 for unfair competition pending with the same branch; and also in view of the pendency of a petition for review filed with the Secretary of Justice assailing the Chief State Prosecutor’s resolution finding probable cause to charge petitioner with unfair competition. In an Order dated August 9, 2002, the trial court denied the motion to suspend arraignment and other proceedings. On August 20, 2002, petitioner filed a twin motion to quash the informations and motion for reconsideration of the order denying motion to suspend, this time challenging the jurisdiction of the trial court over the offense charged. He contended that since under Section 170 of R.A. No. 8293, the penalty5 of imprisonment for unfair competition does not exceed six years, the offense is cognizable by the Municipal Trial Courts and not by the Regional Trial Court, per R.A. No. 7691. In its assailed March 26, 2003 Order, the trial court denied petitioner’s twin motions.6 A motion for reconsideration thereof was likewise denied on August 5, 2003. Hence, the instant petition alleging that respondent Judge gravely abused its discretion in issuing the assailed orders. The issues posed for resolution are – (1) Which court has jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases for violation of intellectual property rights? (2) Did the respondent Judge gravely abuse his discretion in refusing to suspend the arraignment and other proceedings in Criminal Case Nos. Q-02-108043-44 on the ground of – (a) the existence of a prejudicial question; and (b) the pendency of a petition for review with the Secretary of Justice on the finding of probable cause for unfair competition?

The repealing clause of R. Jurisdiction of Court.A. and Articles 188 and 189 of the Revised Penal Code. No. Repeals. as amended. Republic Act No.00). and Articles 188 and 189 of the Revised Penal Code. 165. 166. (Emphasis added) Notably. 170. – Independent of the civil and administrative sanctions imposed by law. All Acts and parts of Acts inconsistent herewith. unfair competition. 165. 8293. 163. Jurisdiction of Court of First Instance. is consistent and in harmony with Section 163 of R. No. 8293.A. 167. The use of the phrases “parts of Acts” and “inconsistent herewith” only means that the repeal pertains only to provisions which are repugnant or not susceptible of harmonization with R. We find no merit in the claim of petitioner that R. 166. as amended.7 Section 27 of R. 49. Penalties. 8293. 168 and 169 shall be brought before the proper courts with appropriate jurisdiction under existing laws. the criminal penalty for infringement of registered marks. Republic Act No. Section 163 of the same Code states that actions (including criminal and civil) under Sections 150. 155. 1998. as amended. to wit: SEC. No. 8293. is imprisonment from 2 to 5 years and a fine ranging from Fifty Thousand Pesos to Two Hundred Thousand Pesos. shall be imposed on any person who is found guilty of committing any of the acts mentioned in Section 155 [Infringement].A. No.” It would have removed all doubts that said specific laws had been rendered without force and effect. which took effect on January 1.A.” and it would have simply stated “Republic Act No. (Emphasis supplied) The existing law referred to in the foregoing provision is Section 27 of R. 166 in its entirety. including Presidential Decree No.A. 285. reads – SEC.1 [False Designation of Origin and False Description or Representation]. 166.000. No. 49. Had . false designation of origin and false description or representation. Corollarily. 166. 8293. No. 166 (The Trademark Law) which provides that jurisdiction over cases for infringement of registered marks. Presidential Decree No. false designation of origin and false description or representation. it would not have used the phrases “parts of Acts” and “inconsistent herewith.Under Section 170 of R.A.000. including Presidential Decree No. 27. thus – SEC. – All actions under Sections 150. Section 168 [Unfair Competition] and Section 169. unfair competition. 285.1. 164 and 166 to 169 shall be brought before the proper courts with appropriate jurisdiction under existing laws. is lodged with the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) – SEC. a criminal penalty of imprisonment from two (2) years to five (5) years and a fine ranging from Fifty thousand pesos (P50.A. the aforequoted clause did not expressly repeal R. 164.00) to Two hundred thousand pesos (P200. No. however.A. 239. – All actions under this Chapter [V – Infringement] and Chapters VI [Unfair Competition] and VII [False Designation of Origin and False Description or Representation]. as amended are hereby repealed. 166 was expressly repealed by R. hereof shall be brought before the Court of First Instance.A. more particularly Republic Act No. No. otherwise. are hereby repealed. as amended. 155. – 239. as amended. No. Presidential Decree No.

The case of Mirpuri v. The passing remark in Mirpuri on the repeal of R.A.8 In the case at bar.A. Moreover. Neither did he attach a copy of the complaint in Civil Case No. On June 17. he prayed for the reversal of the March 26. No. in the cases provided in Articles 32. No. 7691. 8293. jurisdiction over the instant criminal case for unfair competition is properly lodged with the Regional Trial Court even if the penalty therefor is imprisonment of less than 6 years.A. 2003 order which sustained the denial of his motion to suspend arraignment and other proceedings in Criminal Case Nos. In the case at bar.A. For unknown reasons.12 Under Rule 111. proceed independently of each other. 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code. No. 8293 was merely a backgrounder to the enactment of the present Intellectual Property Code and cannot thus be construed as a jurisdictional pronouncement in cases for violation of intellectual property rights. No. No. 02-1-11-SC dated February 19.10 Hence.11 invoked by petitioner finds no application in the present case. Neither did we make a categorical ruling therein that jurisdiction over cases for violation of intellectual property rights is lodged with the Municipal Trial Courts. R. Jurisdiction conferred by a special law to Regional Trial Courts must prevail over that granted by a general law to Municipal Trial Courts. Q02-108043-44. however.R. In fact. At any rate. according to law.A. a civil action for damages. and physical injuries. 33. 8293 is fraud. fraud.000.00.A. No. the latter must prevail. petitioner failed to substantiate his claim that there was a prejudicial question. 2002 designating certain Regional Trial Courts as Intellectual Property Courts. he made no discussion in support of said prayer in his petition and reply to comment. Court of Appeals. Anent the second issue. the Court further issued a Resolution consolidating jurisdiction to hear and decide Intellectual Property Code and Securities and Exchange Commission cases in specific Regional Trial Courts designated as Special Commercial Courts. 8293 and R. which is a general law. 166 by R. the independent civil action may be brought by the offended party. In his petition. there is no prejudicial question if the civil and the criminal action can. entirely separate and distinct from the .A.000.00 to P200. in cases of defamation. Section 3 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. to implement and ensure the speedy disposition of cases involving violations of intellectual property rights under R. No. or from 2 to 5 years and a fine ranging from P50. No. 2003. the settled rule in statutory construction is that in case of conflict between a general law and a special law. 8293 intended to vest jurisdiction over violations of intellectual property rights with the Metropolitan Trial Courts. 166 are special laws9 conferring jurisdiction over violations of intellectual property rights to the Regional Trial Court. 166 was repealed by R. No.13 Pursuant to Article 33 of the Civil Code.A. No. 8293.A. it would have expressly stated so under Section 163 thereof.A. the Court issued A. the common element in the acts constituting unfair competition under Section 168 of R. They should therefore prevail over R. Nowhere in Mirpuri did we state that Section 27 of R. It shall proceed independently of the criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. Q-00-41446 nor quote the pertinent portion thereof to prove the existence of a prejudicial question.M. No.

the trial court is bound to arraign the accused or to deny the motion to defer arraignment. is an independent civil action under Article 33 of the Civil Code. therefore. and other documents relevant or pertinent thereto. Civil Case No. So also. Indeed. It follows. Contents and filing of petition. such material portions of the record as are referred to therein. Provided. effect of non-compliance with requirements . In the instant case. 11. which as admitted14 by private respondent also relate to unfair competition. Rule 46 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. In sum. Rule 116 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. the factual background of the case. or the Office of the President. resolution. it will not operate as a prejudicial question that will justify the suspension of the criminal cases at bar. It shall be filed in seven (7) clearly legible copies together with proof of service thereof on the respondent with the original copy intended for the court indicated as such by the petitioner. order.15 Moreover. that after the expiration of said period. His pleadings and annexes submitted before the Court do not show the date of filing of the petition for review with the Secretary of Justice. Suspension of arraignment. He thus failed to discharge the burden of proving that he was entitled to a suspension of his arraignment and that the questioned orders are contrary to Section 11 (c). — The petition shall contain the full names and actual addresses of all the petitioners and respondents. Q-00-41446. While the pendency of a petition for review is a ground for suspension of the arraignment. the arraignment shall be suspended in the following cases – xxx xxx xxx (c) A petition for review of the resolution of the prosecutor is pending at either the Department of Justice. – Upon motion by the proper party. a concise statement of the matters involved. or ruling subject thereof. 2002 denying his motion to suspend was not appended to the petition. the age-old but familiar rule is that he who alleges must prove his allegations. Rule 116 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure provides – SEC. 3. the Order dated August 9. and shall be accompanied by a clearly legible duplicate original or certified true copy of the judgment.criminal action. As such. which states: SEC. that the period of suspension shall not exceed sixty (60) days counted from the filing of the petition with the reviewing office. and the grounds relied upon for the relief prayed for. pursuant to Section 3. may be brought by the injured party. the aforecited provision limits the deferment of the arraignment to a period of 60 days reckoned from the filing of the petition with the reviewing office. Section 11 (c). . the dismissal of the petition is proper considering that petitioner has not established that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion. his failure to attach documents relevant to his allegations warrants the dismissal of the petition. Hence. petitioner failed to establish that respondent Judge abused his discretion in denying his motion to suspend.

10 11 12 13 14 15 Manzano v. No. . JJ.. p. 25.J.R. Issued by Judge Reynaldo B. 4 November 1992. 26. p. Davide. [1] [2] [3] 5 Rollo.. No. G. in view of all the foregoing.. Quisumbing. pp. (Emphasis added) WHEREFORE. 2000 Edition.xxx xxx xxx The failure of the petitioner to comply with any of the foregoing requirements shall be sufficient ground for the dismissal of the petition. Valera. 47. Rollo. Daway.. Id. Faberge Incorporated v. p. 215 SCRA 316. Carpio. p. Imprisonment from two (2) years to five (5) years and a fine ranging from Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. 27-28.00) to Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (P200. Valera. People v.R. The Law on Trademark. 73. the petition is DISMISSED. The dispositive portion thereof states: “IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. Manzano v. 371. No. supra. 628 (1999). G. Rollo. 323. Consing.. (Chairman). Jr. the accused’s aforecited Motion To Quash Information and Motion For Reconsideration Of Order Denying Motion To Suspend is denied for lack of merit.00). 74. 71189. p. The petition and reply to comment do not disclose whether the issue of probable cause has already been resolved with finality.000. G. concur. 292 SCRA 66. Agpalo. p. pp. 1-2. 122068. SO ORDERED. 16 January 2003. Jr. 234.000.” (Rollo.R. C. 148193. 25) 6 7 8 9 Agpalo. Intermediate Appellate Court. 395 SCRA 366. Infringement and Unfair Competition. 8 July 1998. and Azcuna. 376 Phil. supra.

AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. No. CORONA.EN BANC GOVERNMENT OF HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION. Petitioner. SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ.versus CARPIO MORALES. SR. AZCUNA. . . represented by the Philippine Department of Justice. C. G. CARPIO.J..R. YNARES-SANTIAGO. CALLEJO. QUISUMBING.. 153675 Present: PUNO.

OLALIA. VELASCO. HON. CHICO-NAZARIO. Branch 8. 2007 Respondents. JR. and NACHURA. x------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. Manila (presided by respondent Judge Felixberto T.) . J.TINGA. JJ. seeking to nullify the two Orders of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). GARCIA. as amended. JR. Jr. Promulgated: April 19. and JUAN ANTONIO MUÑOZ. FELIXBERTO T.: For our resolution is the instant Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Olalia..

to post bail. the Republic of the Philippines and the then British Crown “Agreement for the Colony of Hong Kong signed an of Accused and Convicted Surrender Persons. 1995. 99-95773. The facts are: On January 30. 2002 denying the motion to vacate the said Order of December 20. 2001 allowing Juan Antonio Muñoz. On July 1. represented by the Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ). 1997.issued in Civil Case No.” It took effect on June 20. The petition alleges that both Orders were issued by respondent judge with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction as there is no provision in the Constitution granting bail to a potential extraditee. petitioner. Hong Kong reverted back to the People’s Republic of China and became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. and (2) the Order dated April 10. 1997. private respondent. These are: (1) the Order dated December 20. . 2001 filed by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

201 of Hong Kong.Private respondent Muñoz was charged before the Hong Kong Court with three (3) counts of the offense of “accepting an advantage as agent. That same day.” in violation of Section 9 (1) (a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. Manila issued an Order of Arrest against private respondent. he faces a jail term of seven (7) to fourteen (14) years for each charge. If convicted. 1997 and October 25. He also faces seven (7) counts of the offense of conspiracy to defraud. the RTC. in turn. Branch 19. 1999. On October 14. 1999. warrants of arrest were issued against him. Branch 19 an application for the provisional arrest of private respondent. the NBI agents arrested and detained him. The DOJ then forwarded the request to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) which. On September 23. filed with the RTC of Manila. the DOJ received from the Hong Kong Department of Justice a request for the provisional arrest of private respondent. penalized by the common law of Hong Kong. On August 23. 1999. private respondent filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari. On September 13. 1999. Cap. prohibition and .

. raffled off to Branch 10. On November 9. Jr. 99-95733. On December 18. 1999. For his part. Meanwhile. presided by Judge Ricardo Bernardo. 2001. private respondent filed. the DOJ filed with this Court a petition for review on certiorari. petitioner Hong Kong Special Administrative Region filed with the RTC of Manila a petition for the extradition of private respondent.mandamus with application for preliminary mandatory injunction and/or writ of habeas corpus questioning the validity of the Order of Arrest. 2000. 1999.R. this Court rendered a Decision granting the petition of the DOJ and sustaining the validity of the Order of Arrest against private respondent. docketed as Civil Case No. 1999. the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision declaring the Order of Arrest void. praying that the Decision of the Court of Appeals be reversed. No. On November 12. 140520. as early as November 22. The Decision became final and executory on April 10. docketed as G.

99-95733. inhibited himself from further hearing Civil Case No. 2001 allowing private respondent to post bail. The petition for bail is granted subject to the following conditions: 1. or on October 8. Bail is set at Php750..00 in cash with the condition that accused hereby undertakes that he will appear and answer the . holding that there is no Philippine law granting bail in extradition cases and that private respondent is a high “flight risk. It was then raffled off to Branch 8 presided by respondent judge. 2001. 2001. On October 30. thus: In conclusion. Judge Bernardo. Jr. After hearing. issued an Order denying the petition for bail. 2001.in the same case.a petition for bail which was opposed by petitioner.000.” On October 22. Jr. private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration of the Order denying his application for bail. This was granted by respondent judge in an Order dated December 20. this Court will not contribute to accused’s further erosion of civil liberties. Judge Bernardo.

3. at any time and day of the week. and 4. On December 21. with the condition that if the accused flees from his undertaking. The Department of Justice is given immediate notice and discretion of filing its own motion for hold departure order before this Court even in extradition proceeding. 2001.issues raised in these proceedings and will at all times hold himself amenable to orders and processes of this Court. real and personal. said assets be forfeited in favor of the government and that the corresponding lien/annotation be noted therein accordingly. Accused must surrender his valid passport to this Court. will further appear for judgment. petitioner filed an urgent motion to vacate the above Order. the instant petition. SO ORDERED. 2. Petitioner alleged that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or . manifest before this Court to require that all the assets of accused. and if they further desire. be filed with this Court soonest. If accused fails in this undertaking. the cash bond will be forfeited in favor of the government. Hence. Accused is required to report to the government prosecutors handling this case or if they so desire to the nearest office. but it was denied by respondent judge in his Order dated April 10. 2002.

be bailable by sufficient sureties. 13. Section 13. private respondent maintained that the right to bail guaranteed under the Bill of Rights extends to a prospective extraditee.excess of jurisdiction in admitting private respondent to bail. shall. that there is nothing in the Constitution or statutory law providing that a potential extraditee has a right to bail. All persons. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. before conviction. In his comment on the petition. the right being limited solely to criminal proceedings. Article III of the Constitution provides that the right to bail shall not be impaired. or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. and that extradition is a harsh process resulting in a prolonged deprivation of one’s liberty. Nonetheless. this is not the first time that this Court . Excessive bail shall not be required. Jurisprudence on extradition is but in its infancy in this jurisdiction. thus: Sec. except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong.

Panganiban.” thus: x x x. It follows that the constitutional provision on bail will not apply to a case like extradition. unless his guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt” ( De la Camara v. where the presumption of innocence is not at issue.” the constitutional provision on bail quoted above. and Mark B. It is “available only in criminal proceedings. a. as well as Section 4. Branch 42. the constitutional right to bail “flows from the presumption of innocence in favor of every accused who should not be subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be entitled to acquittal. this Court. Mario Batacan Crespo . later Chief Justice. speaking through then Associate Justice Artemio V. September 17. RTC of Manila. In Government of United States of America v. Moreover. applies only when a person has been arrested and detained for violation of Philippine criminal laws. The provision in the Constitution stating that the “right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas . As suggested by the use of the word “conviction. per Fernando. 1971..a. Guillermo G.has an occasion to resolve the question of whether a prospective extraditee may be granted bail. J. Enage. Presiding Judge. Jimenez. It does not apply to extradition proceedings because extradition courts do not render judgments of conviction or acquittal. Purganan. Hon. 41 SCRA 1. Rule 114 of the Rules of Court. later CJ). held that the constitutional provision on bail does not apply to extradition proceedings.k. 6.

(3) the corresponding duty of countries to observe these universal human rights in fulfilling their treaty obligations. 18. the second sentence in the constitutional provision on bail merely emphasizes the right to bail in criminal proceedings for the aforementioned offenses. on the other. this Court cannot ignore the following trends in international law: (1) the growing importance of the individual person in public international law who. At first glance. (2) the higher value now being given to human rights in the international sphere.corpus is suspended” does not detract from the rule that the constitutional right to bail is available only in criminal proceedings. and the law on extradition. Art. Slowly. has gradually attained global recognition. It cannot be taken to mean that the right is available even in extradition proceedings that are not criminal in nature. on one hand. and (4) the duty of this Court to balance the rights of the individual under our fundamental law. the recognition that the individual person may properly be a subject of international law is . However. The modern trend in public international law is the primacy placed on the worth of the individual person and the sanctity of human rights. Hence. in the 20 th century. the above ruling applies squarely to private respondent’s case. VIII. Constitution). It must be noted that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus finds application “only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with invasion” (Sec.

Director of Prisons. and crimes against humanity. the principles set forth in that Declaration are part of the law of the land. both international organizations and states gave recognition and importance to human rights. While not a treaty. The vulnerable doctrine that the subjects of international law are limited only to states was dramatically eroded towards the second half of the past century. in granting bail to a prospective deportee. These significant events show that the individual person is now a valid subject of international law. this Court. crimes against peace. the principles contained in the said Declaration are now recognized as customarily binding upon the members of the international community. On a more positive note. Recently. on December 10. held that under the Constitution. the United all the Nations other General Assembly rights adopted of every the Universal were Declaration of Human Rights in which the right to life. in Mejoff v. 1948. Thus. For one. the UN . the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials after World War II resulted in the unprecedented spectacle of individual defendants for acts characterized as violations of the laws of war.now taking root. In 1966. under the Nuremberg principle. also after World War II. Serbian leaders have been persecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the former Yugoslavia. liberty and fundamental person proclaimed. Thus.

Fundamental among the rights enshrined therein are the rights of every person to life. First.” The Philippines. a reexamination of this Court’s ruling in Purganan is in order. along with the other members of the family of nations. liberty. Respondents in . While this Court in Purganan limited the exercise of the right to bail to criminal proceedings. however. the Philippine authorities are under obligation to make available to every person under detention such remedies which safeguard their fundamental right to liberty. The Philippines.General Assembly also adopted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which the Philippines signed and ratified. in light of the various international treaties giving recognition and protection to human rights. In other words. Article II of our Constitution which provides: “The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights. This commitment is enshrined in Section II. These remedies include the right to be admitted to bail. and due process. to enable it to decide without delay on the legality of the detention and order their release if justified. has the responsibility of protecting and promoting the right of every person to liberty and due process. committed to uphold the fundamental human rights as well as value the worth and dignity of every person. we note that the exercise of the State’s power to deprive an individual of his liberty is not necessarily limited to criminal proceedings. ensuring that those detained or arrested can participate in the proceedings before a court. therefore. particularly the right to life and liberty.

After noting that the prospective deportee had committed no crime. such as deportation and quarantine. Go-Sioco is illustrative. Philippine jurisprudence has not limited the exercise of the right to bail to criminal proceedings only. the provisions relating to bail was applied to deportation proceedings. taking into cognizance the obligation of the Philippines under international conventions to uphold human rights. In this case. this Court ruled that foreign nationals against whom no formal criminal charges have been filed may be released on bail pending the finality of an . some of the machinery used “is the machinery of criminal law.” and that while deportation is not a criminal proceeding. bail has been allowed in this jurisdiction to persons in detention during the pendency of administrative proceedings. have likewise been detained. to limit bail to criminal proceedings would be to close our eyes to our jurisprudential history.” Thus. Second. This Court has admitted to bail persons who are not involved in criminal proceedings.administrative proceedings. In Mejoff v. a Chinese facing deportation for failure to secure the necessary certificate of registration was granted bail pending his appeal. Commission of Immigration. In fact. Director of Prisons and Chirskoff v. the Court opined that “To refuse him bail is to treat him as a person who has committed the most serious crime known to law. The 1909 case of US v.

order of deportation.D. 1069 (The Philippine Extradition Law) defines “extradition” as “the removal of an accused from the Philippines with the object of placing him at the disposal of foreign authorities to enable the requesting state or government to hold him in connection with any criminal investigation directed against him or the execution of a penalty . the Philippines should see to it that the right to liberty of every individual is not impaired. Section 2(a) of Presidential Decree (P. Clearly.) No. the presumption lies in favor of human liberty. As previously stated. If bail can be granted in deportation cases. we see no justification why it should not also be allowed in extradition cases. Under these treaties. considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights applies to deportation cases. the right of a prospective extraditee to apply for bail in this jurisdiction must be viewed in the light of the various treaty obligations of the Philippines concerning respect for the promotion and protection of human rights. Thus. there is no reason why it cannot be invoked in extradition cases. both are administrative proceedings where the innocence or guilt of the person detained is not in issue. After all. Likewise. the Court in Mejoff relied upon the Universal declaration of Human Rights in sustaining the detainee’s right to bail.

imposed on him under the penal or criminal law of the requesting state or government. but one that is merely administrative in Its object is to prevent the escape of a person accused or convicted of a crime and to secure his return to the state from which he fled.” Extradition has thus been characterized as the right of a foreign power. blown civil action. even though such punishment may follow extradition. for it is not punishment for a crime. it is characterized by the following: (a) it entails a deprivation of liberty on the part of the potential extraditee and (b) the means employed to attain the purpose of extradition is also “the machinery of criminal law. and the correlative duty of the other state to surrender him to the demanding state. for the purpose of trial or punishment. But while extradition is not a criminal proceeding. created by treaty. different nations. to demand the surrender of one accused or convicted of a crime within its territorial jurisdiction. Even if the potential extraditee is a criminal. . It is not a criminal proceeding. It is sui generis.D. tracing its existence wholly to treaty obligations between It is not a trial to determine the guilt or Nor is it a fullinnocence of the potential extraditee.” This is shown by Section 6 of P. an extradition proceeding is not by its nature criminal. character.

” and that release from provisional arrest “shall not prejudice re-arrest and extradition of the accused if a request for extradition is received subsequently. In other words. Records show that private respondent was arrested on September 23.No.” We further note that Section 20 allows the requesting state “in case of urgency” to ask for the “ provisional arrest of the accused. bears all earmarks of a criminal process. potential extraditee may be subjected to arrest. but the length of time of the detention should be reasonable. when the trial court ordered his admission to bail. By any . and remained incarcerated until December 20. an extradition proceeding. to a prolonged restraint of liberty. “Temporary detention” may be a necessary step in the process of extradition.” Obviously. 2001. he had been detained for over two (2) years without having been convicted of any crime. and forced to transfer to the demanding state following the proceedings. 1069 (The Philippine Extradition Law) which mandates the “immediate arrest and temporary detention of the accused” if such “will best serve the interest of justice. while ostensibly A administrative. 1999. pending receipt of the request for extradition.

Bearing in mind the purpose of extradition proceedings. The applicable standard of due process. In the latter. however. In fact. such an extended period of detention is a serious deprivation of his fundamental right to liberty. should not be the same as that in criminal proceedings. . it was this prolonged deprivation of liberty which prompted the extradition court to grant him bail. the standard of due process is premised on the presumption of innocence of the accused. the prospective extraditee thus bears the onus probandi of showing that he or she is not a flight risk and should be granted bail. Given the foregoing. it is from this major premise that the ancillary presumption in favor of admitting to bail arises. This is based on the assumption that such extraditee is a fugitive from justice. a right to due process under the Constitution. the premise behind the issuance of the arrest warrant and the “temporary detention” is the possibility of flight of the potential extraditee. While our extradition law does not provide for the grant of bail to an extraditee. there is no provision prohibiting him or her from filing a motion for bail.standard. As Purganan correctly points out. however.

not only by our Constitution. Failure to comply with these obligations is a setback in our foreign relations and defeats the purpose of extradition. However. the standard of substantial evidence used in administrative cases cannot likewise apply given the object of extradition law which is to prevent the prospective extraditee from fleeing our jurisdiction. deprive an extraditee of his right to apply for bail. the standard of proof required in granting or denying bail can neither be the proof beyond reasonable doubt in criminal cases nor the standard of proof of preponderance of evidence in civil cases. liberty. where these rights are guaranteed. While administrative in character. provided that a certain standard for the grant is satisfactorily met. it does not necessarily mean that in keeping with its treaty obligations. More so. proposed that a new standard which he termed “ clear and . then Associate Justice. and due process. We should not. Puno. An extradition proceeding being sui generis.The time-honored principle of pacta sunt servanda demands that the Philippines honor its obligations under the Extradition Treaty it entered into with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. In his Separate Opinion in Purganan. therefore. the Philippines should diminish a potential extraditee’s rights to life. but also by international conventions. now Chief Justice Reynato S. to which the Philippines is a party.

” WHEREFORE. In this case. there is no showing that private respondent presented evidence to show that he is not a flight risk. This case is REMANDED to the trial court to determine whether private respondent is entitled to bail on the basis of “clear and convincing evidence. Consequently. . The potential extraditee must prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that he is not a flight risk and will abide with all the orders and processes of the extradition court. this standard should be lower than proof beyond reasonable doubt but higher than preponderance of evidence.” If not.convincing evidence” should be used in granting bail in extradition cases. SO ORDERED. conduct the extradition proceedings with dispatch. we DISMISS the petition. the trial court should order the cancellation of his bail bond and his immediate detention. and thereafter. this case should be remanded to the trial court to determine whether private respondent may be granted bail on the basis of “clear and convincing evidence. According to him.

ANGELINA SANDOVALGUTIERREZ Associate Justice WE CONCUR: REYNATO S. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ Associate Justice . CARPIO Associate Justice MA. QUISUMBING Associate Justice CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO Associate Justice ANTONIO T. PUNO Chief Justice LEONARDO A.

AZCUNA Associate Justice MINITA V. CALLEJO.RENATO C. CORONA Associate Justice CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice ROMEO J. CHICO-NAZARIO Associate Justice DANTE O. Associate Justice . JR. Associate Justice ADOLFO S. SR. TINGA Associate Justice CANCIO C. GARCIA Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. VELASCO.

September 24. 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 . NACHURA Associate Justice CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13.ANTONIO EDUARDO B. 389 SCRA 623. 664. Article VIII of the Constitution. 2002. REYNATO PUNO Chief Justice S. No.R. 148571. G. .

108 So. . Supra. Benson v. Quigg. 932. Ct. 191 F2d. 905. 184 US 270. 246 Ala. Secretary of Justice v. G. 534. US. 2. Fitzpatrick v. October 17. 723. 1240. Hecht. Ames. 311 F2d. 101.Ct. Varholy v. 18 So. 273 US 969. 37 L. 234 SW 701. Ed. 153 Fla. Dominguez v. 484. Chase. Baker v. adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace. Ed. and amity with all nations. 490 (1909). State v. 47 S. 547.Ct. Factor v. 54 S. See State v. Jimenez v. McMahon. 572. State. Spatola v. Laubenheimer. State v. 54 NE2d. 15 So. 360. Crim. 413. 149 US 698. Strautz. 314 F2d. 71 L. 46 F2d. 40.R. US ex rel Oppenheim v. 234. 615. 362. 955. 256 (1951). 12 Phil. 290 US 276. equality.90 Phil. 48. 90 Phil. 197. Hutchinson. Sweat. 90 Tex. Affd. 252. cert den. cooperation. 315. affd. 741 F. 16 F2d. 127 US 457. Lantion. 22 S.Ed. US v. footnote 2. 386 lll. Ed. 107 So.Ed. 97 F. II states “The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy. 1016. 409. Supp. 139465. 13 S. 649. No. Fong Yue Ting v. 571. 78 L. stay den.2d. Supp. justice. freedom. US. Williams. 343 SCRA 377. 925 F2d. 32 L. Ct. 267. 8 S. Godwin. 441. bail is not available. 92.2d. 91 Fla. Sec. 46 L. 70 (1951). 2000. Terlindon v. 541. Aristequieta.” In cases involving quarantine to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Ct. 883. 91 Fla. Art.

866. . 554 F.. 27 ND 155. Remann. JJ. ANTONIO M. JR.Re Henderson. Beaulieu v. 165 Wash.* CARPIO MORALES. JR. Promulgated: VELASCO. G. TINGA. MANILA. J.R. AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF RTC. No.versus AUSTRIA MARTINEZ. Chairperson. State ex rel Tresoder v. Represented by THE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING COUNCIL (AMLC). 145 NW 574. 4 P2d. BRANCH 34.2d 1. Petitioner. 174629 Present: QUISUMBING. EUGENIO. and HON.. Hartigan.. 92. PANTALEON ALVAREZ and LILIA CHENG. . SECOND DIVISION REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES.

the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) wrote the AMLC requesting the latter’s assistance “in obtaining more evidence to completely reveal the financial trail of corruption . 2008 x ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION TINGA. which heard SP Case No.R. a series of investigations concerning the award of the NAIA 3 contracts to PIATCO were undertaken by the Ombudsman and the Compliance and Investigation Staff (CIS) of petitioner Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). J.Respondents. 06-114200 and the Court of Appeals. PIATCO nullifying the concession agreement awarded to the Philippine International Airport Terminal Corporation (PIATCO) over the Ninoy Aquino International Airport – International Passenger Terminal 3 (NAIA 3) Project. Following the promulgation of Agan. February 14. Tenth Division. 95198. Branch 24. Both cases arose as part of the aftermath of the ruling of this Court in Agan v. which heared CA-G. SP No. On 24 May 2005. The courts and cases in question are the Regional Trial Court of Manila.: The present petition for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 assails the orders and resolutions issued by two different courts in two different cases. I.

Series of 2005.” and also noting that petitioner Republic of the Philippines was presently defending itself in two international arbitration cases filed in relation to the NAIA 3 Project. Account to bank accounts in the Philippines maintained by Liongson and Cheng Yong. in violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. Wilfredo Trinidad. No. the AMLC filed an application to inquire into or examine the deposits or investments of Alvarez.” Under the authority granted by the Resolution. The CIS conducted an intelligence database search on the financial transactions of certain individuals involved in the award. including respondent Pantaleon Alvarez (Alvarez) who had been the Chairman of the PBAC Technical Committee. By this time. The rationale for the said resolution was founded on the cited findings of the CIS that amounts were transferred from a Hong Kong bank account owned by Jetstream Pacific Ltd. 3019. 75.” and to authorize the AMLC Secretariat “to conduct an inquiry into subject accounts once the Regional Trial Court grants the application to inquire into and/or examine the bank accounts” of those four individuals. the AMLC issued Resolution No. Trinidad. The search revealed that Alvarez maintained eight (8) bank accounts with six (6) different banks. On 27 June 2005. The resolution enumerated the particular bank accounts of Alvarez. The Resolution also noted that “[b]y awarding the contract to PIATCO despite its lack of financial capacity. or gross inexcusable negligence. and Cheng Yong.surrounding the [NAIA 3] Project. Liongson and Cheng Yong .A. evident bad faith. Alfredo Liongson. NAIA-IPT3 Project. Pantaleon Alvarez caused undue injury to the government by giving PIATCO unwarranted benefits. or preference in the discharge of his official administrative functions through manifest partiality. whereby the Council resolved to authorize the Executive Director of the AMLC “to sign and verify an application to inquire into and/or examine the [deposits] or investments of Pantaleon Alvarez.4 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations. 3019. advantage. and their related web of accounts wherever these may be found. as defined under Rule 10. Alvarez had already been charged by the Ombudsman with violation of Section 3(j) of R. Wilfredo Trinidad (Trinidad). Alfredo Liongson (Liongson) and Cheng Yong which were to be the subject of the inquiry.

” Pursuant to the Makati RTC bank inquiry order. Branch 138. Richard David C. Thereafter. the CIS proceeded to inquire and examine the deposits. D. Meanwhile.before the RTC of Makati. including one maintained by Alvarez with DBS Bank and two other accounts in the name of Cheng Yong with Metrobank. The Makati RTC heard the testimony of the Deputy Director of the AMLC. F. wrote a letter dated 2 November 2005. Liongson and Cheng Yong. Funk II. The application was docketed as AMLC No. Exhibits C. the trial court being satisfied that there existed “[p]robable cause [to] believe that the deposits in various bank accounts. and received the documentary evidence of the AMLC. which authorized the executive director of the AMLC to inquire into and examine the accounts named in the letter. details of which appear in paragraph 1 of the Application. The Resolution characterized the memorandum attached to the Special Prosecutor’s letter as “extensively justif[ying] the existence of probable cause that the bank accounts of the persons . investments and related web accounts of the four. E. requesting the AMLC to investigate the accounts of Alvarez. Trinidad. 121 Series of 2005. and several other entities involved in the nullified contract. Jr. 05-005. presided by Judge (now Court of Appeals Justice) Sixto Marella. Attached to the letter was a memorandum “on why the investigation of the [accounts] is necessary in the prosecution of the above criminal cases before the Sandiganbayan.” In response to the letter of the Special Prosecutor. are related to the offense of violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act now the subject of criminal prosecution before the Sandiganbayan as attested to by the Informations. The letter adverted to probable cause to believe that the bank accounts “were used in the commission of unlawful activities that were committed” in relation to the criminal cases then pending before the Sandiganbayan. the Makati RTC rendered an Order (Makati RTC bank inquiry order) granting the AMLC the authority to inquire and examine the subject bank accounts of Alvarez. the Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman. on 4 July 2005. the AMLC promulgated on 9 December 2005 Resolution No. Dennis Villa-Ignacio. PIATCO. and G.

Alvarez alleged that he fortuitously learned of the bank inquiry order. the Manila RTC issued an Order staying the enforcement of its bank inquiry order and giving the Republic five (5) days to respond to Alvarez’s motion. the Republic. 06-114200. 06-114200 and filed an Urgent Motion to Stay Enforcement of Order of January 12. Among said accounts were the DBS Bank account of Alvarez and the Metrobank accounts of Cheng Yong. presided by respondent Judge Antonio Eugenio. 9160. On 25 January 2006.A.” Authority was thus granted to the AMLC to inquire into the bank accounts listed therein. The case was raffled to Manila RTC. On 12 January 2006. Alvarez. and docketed as SP Case No. Branch 24. No. No. . as amended. Act No.2 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations. and he argued that nothing in R.. 26 January 2006. and in conformity with Section 11 of R. otherwise known as the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) of 2001 and Rules 11.A. 9160 authorized the AMLC to seek the authority to inquire into bank accounts ex parte. through counsel. the Manila RTC issued an Order (Manila RTC bank inquiry order) granting the Ex Parte Application expressing therein “[that] the allegations in said application to be impressed with merit. The day after Alvarez filed his motion. entered his appearance before the Manila RTC in SP Case No. filed an application before the Manila RTC to inquire into and/or examine thirteen (13) accounts and two (2) related web of accounts alleged as having been used to facilitate corruption in the NAIA 3 Project. as amended.” Following the December 2005 AMLC Resolution.and entities mentioned in the letter are related to the unlawful activity of violation of Sections 3(g) and 3(e) of Rep. 3019. 2006. through the AMLC.1 and 11. which was issued following an ex parte application. Jr.

In the omnibus order. the Manila RTC reiterated that the material allegations in the application for bank inquiry order filed by the Republic stood as “the probable cause for the investigation and examination of the bank accounts and investments of the respondents. 2006. the Manila RTC issued an Omnibus Order granting the Republic’s Motion for Reconsideration. on 11 May 2006. . Alvarez sought that the AMLC be immediately ordered to refrain from enforcing the Manila RTC bank inquiry order. On 2 May 2006. denying Alvarez’s motion to dismiss and reinstating “in full force and effect” the Order dated 12 January 2006. Alvarez filed an Urgent Motion and Manifestation wherein he manifested having received reliable information that the AMLC was about to implement the Manila RTC bank inquiry order even though he was intending to appeal from it.” Alvarez filed on 10 May 2006 an Urgent Motion expressing his apprehension that the AMLC would immediately enforce the omnibus order and would thereby render the motion for reconsideration he intended to file as moot and academic. On the premise that only a final and executory judgment or order could be executed or implemented. issued an Order requiring the OSG to file a comment/opposition and reminding the parties that judgments and orders become final and executory upon the expiration of fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof. Alvarez filed his Motion for Reconsideration of the omnibus order on 15 May 2006. For his part. Alvarez filed a Reply and Motion to Dismiss the application for bank inquiry order. the Manila RTC. as it is the period within which a motion for reconsideration could be filed. but the motion was denied by the Manila RTC in an Order dated 5 July On 11 July 2006. Acting on this motion.The Republic filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration of the 26 January 2006 Manila RTC Order and likewise sought to strike out Alvarez’s motion that led to the issuance of said order. thus he sought that the Republic be refrained from enforcing the omnibus order in the meantime.

the Manila RTC. the Republic filed an Urgent Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration dated 27 July 2006.” The Manila RTC reasoned that the other persons mentioned in AMLC’s application were not served with the court’s 12 January 2006 Order. 2006 Order of this Court.” On the same day.” In addition. urging that it be allowed to immediately enforce the bank inquiry order against . without notice to those other persons. otherwise. issued an Order directing the AMLC “to refrain from enforcing the order dated January 12. or one day after Alvarez filed his motion. the AMLC was ordered “not to disclose or publish any information or document found or obtained in [v]iolation of the May 11. 2006 can not be implemented against the deposits or accounts of any of the persons enumerated in the AMLC Application until the appeal of movant Alvarez is finally resolved. the Manila RTC issued an Order wherein it clarified that “the Ex Parte Order of this Court dated January 12. On 24 July 2006. Considering that the Manila RTC bank inquiry order was issued ex parte. the appeal would be rendered moot and academic or even nugatory. This 25 July 2006 Manila RTC Order is the first of the four rulings being assailed through this petition. 2006 until the expiration of the period to appeal. On 25 July 2006. he alleged having learned that the AMLC had began to inquire into the bank accounts of the other persons mentioned in the application for bank inquiry order filed by the Republic. Alvarez filed an Urgent Ex Parte Motion for Clarification. without any appeal having been filed. Therein. and that the AMLC be directed to refrain from using. Alvarez prayed that the AMLC be ordered to refrain from inquiring into any of the other bank deposits and alleged web of accounts enumerated in AMLC’s application with the RTC. In response. Alvarez filed a Notice of Appeal with the Manila RTC.On 12 July 2006. acting on Alvarez’s latest motion. disclosing or publishing in any proceeding or venue any information or document obtained in violation of the 11 May 2006 RTC Order.

that the bank inquiry order under the AMLA can only be granted in connection with violations of the AMLA and that the AMLA can not apply to bank accounts opened and transactions entered into prior to the effectivity of the AMLA or to bank accounts located outside the Philippines. and two conjugal bank accounts with Metrobank that are covered by the Manila RTC bank inquiry order. the Manila RTC issued an Order resolving to hold in abeyance the resolution of the urgent omnibus motion for reconsideration then pending before it until the resolution of Lilia Cheng’s petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. issued a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the Manila and Makati trial courts from implementing.. directed against the Republic of the Philippines through the AMLC. She identified herself as the wife of Cheng Yong with whom she jointly owns a conjugal bank account with Citibank that is covered by the Makati RTC bank inquiry order. . On even date. Lilia Cheng imputed grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Makati and Manila RTCs in granting AMLC’s ex parte applications for a bank inquiry order. The Court of Appeals Resolution directing the issuance of the temporary restraining order is the second of the four rulings assailed in the present petition. and Makati RTC Judge Marella.Alvarez and that Alvarez’s notice of appeal be expunged from the records since appeal from an order of inquiry is disallowed under the Anti money Laundering Act (AMLA). On 1 August 2006. Jr. respondent Lilia Cheng filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for Certiorari. the Court of Appeals. and the AMLC from enforcing and implementing such orders. enforcing or executing the respective bank inquiry orders previously issued. arguing among others that the ex parte applications violated her constitutional right to due process. Jr. Manila RTC Judge Eugenio. acting on Lilia Cheng’s petition. Meanwhile. Prohibition and Mandamus with Application for TRO and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction dated 10 July 2006.

. thereby constituting the fourth ruling assailed in the instant petition. acting on the Urgent Motion for Clarification dated 14 August 2006 filed by Alvarez. on respondents’ motion. Alvarez argued that the deletion of that paragraph would allow the AMLC to implement the bank inquiry orders and publish whatever information it might obtain thereupon even before the final orders of the Manila RTC could become final and executory. assailing the two Orders of the Manila RTC dated 25 July and 15 August 2006 and the Temporary Restraining Order dated 1 August 2006 of the Court of Appeals. It appears that the 1 August 2006 Manila RTC Order had amended its previous 25 July 2006 Order by deleting the last paragraph which stated that the AMLC “should not disclose or publish any information or document found or obtained in violation of the May 11. However. the Manila RTC reiterated that the bank inquiry order it had issued could not be implemented or enforced by the AMLC or any of its representatives until the appeal therefrom was finally resolved and that any enforcement thereof would be unauthorized. through a Resolution dated 11 December 2006. the Court of Appeals hearing Lilia Cheng’s petition had granted a writ of preliminary injunction in her favor. petitioner informed the Court that on 22 September 2006. the Court. The Court had initially granted a Temporary Restraining Order dated 6 October 2006 and later on a Supplemental Temporary Restraining Order dated 13 October 2006 in petitioner’s favor. In the 15 August 2006 Order. Thereafter. petitioner sought as well the nullification of the 22 September 2006 Resolution of the Court of Appeals. 2006 Order of this Court. The present Consolidated Petition for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 was filed on 2 October 2006.” In this new motion. suspended the implementation of the restraining orders it had earlier issued. Through an Urgent Manifestation and Motion dated 9 October 2006.The third assailed ruling was issued on 15 August 2006 by the Manila RTC. enjoining the implementation of the assailed rulings of the Manila RTC and the Court of Appeals.

in issuing its Resolution dated 1 August 2006. the parties were directed to file their respective memoranda. considering the pendency of CA G. Is it proper for this Court at this time and in this case to inquire into and pass upon the validity of the 1 July 2005 Order of the RTC-Makati and the 12 January 2006 Order of the RTC-Manila. which ordered the status quo in relation to the 1 July 2005 Order of the RTCMakati and the 12 January 2006 Order of the RTC-Manila. 95-198 (Lilia Cheng v. . and the Court of Appeals.R. 9160 (AMLA). commit grave abuse of discretion? (a) Is an application for an order authorizing inquiry into or examination of bank accounts or investments under Section 11 of the AMLA ex-parte in nature or one which requires notice and hearing? (b) What legal procedures and standards should be observed in the conduct of the proceedings for the issuance of said order? (c) Is such order susceptible to legal challenges and judicial review? 2. II. both of which authorized the examination of bank accounts under Section 11 of Rep. and the petition was thereafter deemed submitted for resolution. Republic) wherein the validity of both orders was challenged? After the oral arguments.Oral arguments were held on 17 January 2007. which they did. SP No. in issuing the Orders dated 25 July 2006 and 15 August 2006 which deferred the implementation of its Order dated 12 January 2006. The Court consolidated the issues for argument as follows: 1. Did the RTC-Manila. Act No.

“metamorphose into the requisite legal standing to seek redress for an imagined injury or to maintain an action in behalf of another. issued upon a finding of probable cause. Implicit in that position is the notion that the inquiry orders are valid. which effectively stayed the enforcement of the Manila and Makati RTCs bank inquiry orders.Petitioner’s general advocacy is that the bank inquiry orders issued by the Manila and Makati RTCs are valid and immediately enforceable whereas the assailed rulings. These conclusions flow from the posture that a bank inquiry order. according to petitioner. the Court will have to be satisfied that the subject . is immediately executory. the proximate question before the Court is whether a bank inquiry order issued in accordance with Section 10 of the AMLA may be stayed by injunction. if not indispensable. once issued. Yet in arguing that it does.” In the same breath. to test the viability of petitioner’s argument. Petitioner raises particular arguments questioning Lilia Cheng’s right to seek injunctive relief before the Court of Appeals. Her “cryptic assertion” that she is the wife of Cheng Yong cannot. petitioner argues that Alvarez cannot assert any violation of the right to financial privacy in behalf of other persons whose bank accounts are being inquired into. particularly those other persons named in the Makati RTC bank inquiry order who did not take any step to oppose such orders before the courts. as well as the provisions of the AMLA governing the issuance of such orders. and such notion is susceptible to review and validation based on what appears on the face of the orders and the applications which triggered their issuance. Ostensibly. are sullied with grave abuse of discretion. noting that not one of the bank inquiry orders is directed against her. may be issued ex parte and. Indeed. petitioner relies on what it posits as the final and immediately executory character of the bank inquiry orders issued by the Manila and Makati RTCs. to the AMLC in discharging its awesome responsibility regarding the effective implementation of the AMLA and that any restraint in the disclosure of such information to appropriate agencies or other judicial fora would render meaningless the relief supplied by the bank inquiry order. Petitioner further argues that the information obtained following the bank inquiry is necessarily beneficial.

the problem was addressed by the Philippine government through the issuance of various circulars by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. 9194 in 2003. which generally relate to the enforcement of the AMLA provisions and the initiation of legal actions authorized in the AMLA such as civil forefeiture proceedings and complaints for the prosecution of money laundering offenses. Yet ultimately. Section 7 creates the AMLC and defines its powers. especially with the inclusion of the Philippines in the Financial Action Task Force’s list of non-cooperative countries and territories in the fight against money laundering. even from a cursory examination of the applications for inquiry order and the orders themselves. However.A. A brief overview of the AMLA is called for.) No.” The section further provides the three modes through which the crime of money laundering is committed.inquiry orders are valid in the first place. was passed in 2001. thereby making them appear to have originated from legitimate sources. No. It was amended by R. . III. Republic Act (R.A. it is evident that the orders are not in accordance with law. Section 4 of the AMLA states that “[m]oney laundering is a crime whereby the proceeds of an unlawful activity as [defined in the law] are transacted.” Even before the passage of the AMLA. legislative proscription was necessary. 9160. Money laundering has been generally defined by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) `as “any act or attempted act to conceal or disguise the identity of illegally obtained proceeds so that they appear to have originated from legitimate sources. The original AMLA.

” the word “cases” generally understood as referring to actual cases pending with the courts. Since the AMLC could not make use of the bank inquiry order to determine whether there is evidentiary basis to prosecute the suspected malefactors. Thus Section 11 cannot be interpreted in a way that would emasculate the remedy it has established and encourage the unfounded initiation of complaints for money laundering. the AMLA also authorizes certain provisional remedies that would aid the AMLC in the enforcement of the AMLA. under such set-up the preferred strategy would be to allow or even encourage the indiscriminate filing of complaints under the AMLA with the hope or expectation that the evidence of money laundering would somehow surface during the trial. and agree instead with the then Solicitor General who conceded that the use of the phrase “in cases of” was unfortunate. and not that there are already cases pending in court concerning such violations. and thus would become less circumspect in filing complaints against suspect account holders. We are unconvinced by this proposition. yet submitted that it should be interpreted to mean “in the event there are violations” of the AMLA. Should that be the situation. and wholly inutile as a means for the government to ascertain whether there is sufficient evidence to sustain an intended prosecution of the account holder for violation of the AMLA. not filing any case at all would not be an alternative.In addition to providing for the definition and penalties for the crime of money laundering. Respondents posit that a bank inquiry order under Section 11 may be obtained only upon the pre-existence of a money laundering offense case already filed before the courts. and the “bank inquiry order” authorized under Section 11. then the bank inquiry order would be limited in purpose as a tool in aid of litigation of live cases. These are the “freeze order” authorized under Section 10. The conclusion is based on the phrase “upon order of any competent court in cases of violation of this Act. . After all. If the contrary position is adopted. Such unwholesome set-up should not come to pass. in all likelihood the AMLC would be virtually deprived of its character as a discovery tool.

It is evident that Section 11 does not specifically authorize. the issuance ex parte of the bank inquiry order. except that no court order shall be required in cases involving unlawful activities defined in Sections 3(i)1. as amended. 6426. Republic Act No. Republic Act No. as a general rule. There are several reasons why the AMLA does not generally sanction ex parte applications and issuances of the bank inquiry order. To ensure compliance with this Act. in accordance with the rules of examination of the BSP. (2) and (12). Authority to Inquire into Bank Deposits. the AMLC may inquire into or examine any particular deposit or investment with any banking institution or non bank financial institution upon order of any competent court in cases of violation of this Act. the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) may inquire into or examine any deposit of investment with any banking institution or non bank financial institution when the examination is made in the course of a periodic or special examination. 11. Section 11 also allows the AMLC to inquire into bank accounts without having to obtain a judicial order in cases where there is probable cause that the deposits or . it does not follow that such order may be availed of ex parte. (Emphasis supplied) Of course. even if the bank inquiry order may be availed of without need of a pre-existing case under the AMLA. and other laws. We quote the provision in full: SEC.Still. when it has been established that there is probable cause that the deposits or investments are related to an unlawful activity as defined in Section 3(i) hereof or a money laundering offense under Section 4 hereof. 8791. as amended. ― Notwithstanding the provisions of Republic Act No. IV. 1405.

Crucially. upon application ex parte by the AMLC and after determination that probable cause exists that any monetary instrument or property is in any way related to an unlawful activity as defined in Section 3(i) hereof. as it did with the freeze order under Section 10. Freezing of Monetary Instrument or Property. No. Since such special circumstances do not apply in this case. Section 10 uses specific language to authorize an ex parte application for the provisional relief therein. Section 10. our reference to Section 11 of the AMLA excludes said proviso. 10. . If indeed the legislature had intended to authorize ex parte proceedings for the issuance of the bank inquiry order.investments are related to kidnapping for ransom. there is no need for us to pass comment on this proviso. It might be argued that this silence does not preclude the ex parte issuance of the bank inquiry order since the same is not prohibited under Section 11. nothing in Section 11 specifically authorizes that such court order may be issued ex parte. is examined. a circumstance absent in Section 11. 6235. certain violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.A. destructive arson and murder. and for purposes of the succeeding discussion. The freeze order shall be for a period of twenty (20) days unless extended by the court. SEC. the proviso contemplates a situation distinct from that which presently confronts us. the freeze order under Section 10 and the bank inquiry order under Section 11 are similar in that they are extraordinary provisional reliefs which the AMLC may avail of to effectively combat and prosecute money laundering offenses. Although oriented towards different purposes. In the instances where a court order is required for the issuance of the bank inquiry order. ― The Court of Appeals. Suffice it to say. may issue a freeze order which shall be effective immediately. then it could have easily expressed such intent in the law. hijacking and other violations under R. Yet this argument falls when the immediately preceding provision.

explicitly points to an ex parte judicial procedure in the application for a bank inquiry order. 05-11-04-SC to enforce the provisions of the AMLA specifically authorize ex parte applications with respect to freeze . it was the AMLC. or even the available legislative record. through the same amendatory law. Even the Rules of Procedure adopted by this Court in A. not the Court of Appeals. promulgated upon the passage of R.Even more tellingly. an order from a competent court. It certainly would have been convenient.A. the implementing rules do expressly provide that the applications for freeze orders be filed ex parte. language to that effect would have been incorporated in the said Rules.A. but no similar clearance is granted in the case of inquiry orders under Section 11. That the AMLA does not contemplate ex parte proceedings in applications for bank inquiry orders is confirmed by the present implementing rules and regulations of the AMLA. With respect to freeze orders under Section 10. through the passage of R. It was through the same enactment that ex parte proceedings were introduced for the first time into the AMLA. Yet nothing in the provision itself. the Insurance Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission. No. No. unlike in the case of the freeze order. without exception. whereas a bank inquiry order always then required. 9194.M. and if it was the true belief of these institutions that inquiry orders could be issued ex parte similar to freeze orders. which had authority to issue a freeze order. the current language of Sections 10 and 11 of the AMLA was crafted at the same time. These implementing rules were promulgated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. in the case of the freeze order which now can only be issued by the Court of Appeals. This is stressed not because the implementing rules could authorize ex parte applications for inquiry orders despite the absence of statutory basis. No. Prior to the amendatory law. to allow a similar ex parte procedure in the case of a bank inquiry order had Congress been so minded. 9194. but rather because the framers of the law had no intention to allow such ex parte applications.

but are examined on particular details such as the account holder’s record of deposits and transactions. Said records are in the possession of the bank and therefore cannot be destroyed at the instance of the account holder alone as that would require the extraordinary cooperation and devotion of the bank.orders under Section 10 but make no similar authorization with respect to bank inquiry orders under Section 11. Unlike the assets subject of the freeze order. by its very nature. drastic in its name. The owner of such monetary instruments or property would thus be inhibited from utilizing the same for the duration of the freeze order. The monetary instruments or property deposited with such banks or financial institutions are not seized in a physical sense. The petition argues that the bank inquiry order is “a special and peculiar remedy. the records to be inspected under a bank inquiry order cannot be physically seized or hidden by the account holder. On the other hand. Interestingly. although the petition itself did devote some space for that argument. The Court could divine the sense in allowing ex parte proceedings under Section 10 and in proscribing the same under Section 11. To make such freeze order anteceded by a judicial proceeding with notice to the account holder would allow for or lead to the dissipation of such funds even before the order could be issued. be . a bank inquiry order under Section 11 does not necessitate any form of physical seizure of property of the account holder. What the bank inquiry order authorizes is the examination of the particular deposits or investments in banking institutions or non-bank financial institutions. and made necessary because of a public necessity… [t]hus. A freeze order under Section 10 on the one hand is aimed at preserving monetary instruments or property in any way deemed related to unlawful activities as defined in Section 3(i) of the AMLA. the application for an order or inquiry must necessarily. petitioner’s memorandum does not attempt to demonstrate before the Court that the bank inquiry order under Section 11 may be issued ex parte.

V. a requirement that the application for a bank inquiry order be done with notice to the account holder will alert the latter that there is a plan to inspect his bank account on the belief that the funds therein are involved in an unlawful activity or money laundering offense. Without such a consequence. allowing them the opportunity to contest the issuance of the order. in contrast to the legislature’s clear inclination to allow the ex parte grant of freeze orders under Section 10. The process of inquiring into the existence of probable cause would involve the function of determination reposed on the trial court. Still. Section 11 itself requires that it be established that “there is probable cause that the deposits or investments are related to unlawful activities. Determination clearly . the legislated distinction between ex parte proceedings under Section 10 and those which are not ex parte under Section 11 would be lost and rendered useless. the account holder so alerted will in fact be unable to do anything to conceal or cleanse his bank account records of suspicious or anomalous transactions. at least not without the wholehearted cooperation of the bank.ex parte. Without doubt.” This argument is insufficient justification in light of the clear disinclination of Congress to allow the issuance ex parte of bank inquiry orders under Section 11. There certainly is fertile ground to contest the issuance of an ex parte order.” and it obviously is the court which stands as arbiter whether there is indeed such probable cause. The necessary implication of this finding that Section 11 of the AMLA does not generally authorize the issuance ex parte of the bank inquiry order would be that such orders cannot be issued unless notice is given to the owners of the account. which inherently has no vested interest to aid the account holder in such manner.

requiring notice to the account holder should not. A constitutional warrant requires that the judge personally examine under oath or affirmation the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. as earlier stated. in any way." The court receiving the application for inquiry order cannot simply take the AMLC’s word that probable cause exists that the deposits or investments are related to an unlawful activity. Those are impositions which the legislative did not specifically prescribe . The account holder would be certainly capable of contesting such probable cause if given the opportunity to be apprised of the pending application to inquire into his account. We have examined the supposed analogy between a search warrant and a bank inquiry order yet we remain to be unconvinced by petitioner. compromise the integrity of the bank records subject of the inquiry which remain in the possession and control of the bank. equivalent to "the decision of a court of justice. The word "determination" implies deliberation and is. in normal legal contemplation. hence a notice requirement would not be an empty spectacle. The Constitution and the Rules of Court prescribe particular requirements attaching to search warrants that are not imposed by the AMLA with respect to bank inquiry orders. It will have to exercise its own determinative function in order to be convinced of such fact. and not a mechanical application of a standard pre-determination by some other body.implies a function of adjudication on the part of the trial court. a characteristic similar to a search warrant which is applied to and heard ex parte. Petitioner argues that a bank inquiry order necessitates a finding of probable cause. such examination being in the form of searching questions and answers. yet we fail to see any unreasonable burden cast by such circumstance. It may be so that the process of obtaining the inquiry order may become more cumbersome or prolonged because of the notice requirement. After all.

The Court’s construction of Section 11 of the AMLA is undoubtedly influenced by right to privacy considerations. The notion that the government could be so empowered is cause for concern of any individual who values the right to privacy which. If sustained. a right innately cherished by all notwithstanding the legally recognized exceptions thereto. Congress nonetheless disallowed ex parte applications for the inquiry order. and we cannot find sufficient legal basis to apply them to Section 11 of the AMLA. Congress chose instead to legislate a right to notice and a right to be heard— characteristics of judicial proceedings which are not ex parte. after all. VI. We can discern that in exchange for these procedural standards normally applied to search warrants. Even as the Constitution and the Rules of Court impose a high procedural standard for the determination of probable cause for the issuance of search warrants which Congress chose not to prescribe for the bank inquiry order under the AMLA. Absent any demonstrable constitutional infirmity. a bank inquiry order is not a search warrant or warrant of arrest as it contemplates a direct object but not the seizure of persons or property. there is no reason for us to dispute such legislative policy choices. petitioner’s argument that a bank account may be inspected by the government following an ex parte proceeding about which the depositor would know nothing would have significant implications on the right to privacy. embodies even the right to be “let .as to the bank inquiry order under the AMLA. Simply put.

(Emphasis supplied) Because of the Bank Secrecy Act. We decline to do so. that question has proved controversial in American jurisprudence. 1405 otherwise known as the Bank Secrecy Act of 1955. sufficient for our purposes. The source of such right is statutory. Moreover. One might assume that the constitutional dimension of the right to privacy.alone. and that such right finds application to the case at bar. warrants our present inquiry. Admittedly. the text of our Constitution has not bothered with the triviality of allocating specific rights peculiar to bank deposits. However. are hereby considered as of an absolutely confidential nature and may not be examined. the United States Supreme Court in U. or upon order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials. The right to privacy is enshrined in Section 2 of that law. bureau or office. including the AMLA.” the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized people. may have added exceptions to the Bank Secrecy Act. v. or in cases where the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the litigation. its political subdivisions and its instrumentalities.S. or in cases of impeachment. the confidentiality of bank deposits remains a basic state policy in the Philippines. as applied to bank deposits. we can assert there is a right to privacy governing bank accounts in the Philippines. yet the secrecy of bank deposits still lies as the general rule. inquired or looked into by any person. . to wit: SECTION 2. No. Subsequent laws. expressed as it is in R. Miller held that there was no legitimate expectation of privacy as to the bank records of a depositor. government official. except upon written permission of the depositor. Notably.A. All deposits of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions in the Philippines including investments in bonds issued by the Government of the Philippines.

Article III or under the requirement of full public disclosure under Section 28. The framers of the 1987 Constitution likewise recognized that bank accounts are not covered by either the right to information under Section 7. Unless the Bank Secrecy Act is repealed or . Article II.It falls within the zones of privacy recognized by our laws.

and there have been other similar recognitions as well. Any exception to the rule of absolute confidentiality must be specifically legislated. 3019. Section 8 of R. . bureau or office”. Section 2 of the Bank Secrecy Act itself prescribes exceptions whereby these bank accounts may be examined by “any person. the legal order is obliged to conserve the absolutely confidential nature of Philippine bank deposits. Act No. government official. the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. (2) in cases of impeachment.amended. (3) the examination of bank accounts is upon order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials.A. namely when: (1) upon written permission of the depositor. and (4) the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the litigation. has been recognized by this Court as constituting an additional exception to the rule of absolute confidentiality.

No. Nevertheless. it having been established that there is probable cause that the deposits or investments are related to unlawful activities as defined in Section 3(i) of the law.A. certain violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. There is disfavor towards construing these exceptions in such a manner that would authorize unlimited discretion on the part of the government or of any party seeking to enforce those exceptions and inquire into bank deposits. then there is no need for the AMLC to obtain a court order before it could inquire into such accounts. by force of statute. or a money laundering offense under Section 4 thereof.The AMLA also provides exceptions to the Bank Secrecy Act.” The orientation of the bank inquiry order is simply to serve as a provisional relief or remedy. Under Section 11. all bank deposits are absolutely confidential. hijacking and other violations under R. It cannot be successfully argued the proceedings relating to the bank inquiry order under Section 11 of the AMLA is a “litigation” encompassed in one of the exceptions to the Bank Secrecy Act which is when “the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of the litigation. 6235. in instances where there is probable cause that the deposits or investments are related to kidnapping for ransom. Further. the application for such does not entail a full-blown trial. and that nature is unaltered even by the legislated exceptions referred to above. destructive arson and murder. As earlier stated. just because the AMLA establishes additional exceptions to the Bank Secrecy Act it does not mean that the later law has dispensed with the general principle established in the older law that “[a]ll deposits of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions in the Philippines x x x are hereby considered as of an absolutely confidential nature.” Indeed. the AMLC may inquire into a bank account upon order of any competent court in cases of violation of the AMLA. If there are doubts in upholding the absolutely confidential nature of bank deposits .

against affirming the authority to inquire into such accounts. 75. that Lilia Cheng had no personality to assail the inquiry orders before the Court of Appeals because she was not the subject of said orders. While petitioner would premise that the inquiry into Lilia Cheng’s accounts finds root in Section 11 of the AMLA. expressly adverts to Citibank Account No. AMLC Resolution No. which served as the basis in the successful application for the Makati inquiry order. Even though she may not have been the subject of the inquiry orders. laying focus instead on the fact that she was not named as a subject of either the Makati or Manila RTC inquiry orders. it cannot be denied that the authority to inquire under Section 11 is only exceptional in character. 300852436-0 and 700149801-7. Such a stance would persist unless Congress passes a law reversing the general state policy of preserving the absolutely confidential nature of Philippine bank accounts. We are reasonably convinced that Lilia Cheng has sufficiently demonstrated her joint ownership of the three accounts. are accounts in the name of “Yong Cheng or Lilia Cheng. contrary as it is to the general rule preserving the secrecy of bank deposits. her bank accounts nevertheless were.. 88576248 “owned by Cheng Yong and/or Lilia G.” Petitioner does not specifically deny that Lilia Cheng holds rights of ownership over the three said accounts.A. The presence of this statutory right to privacy addresses at least one of the arguments raised by petitioner. then such doubts must be resolved in favor of the former. and she thus has the standing to vindicate the right to secrecy that attaches to said accounts and their owners. Cheng with Citibank N.” whereas Lilia Cheng’s petition before the Court of Appeals is accompanied by a certification from Metrobank that Account Nos. and such conclusion leads us to acknowledge that she has the standing to assail via certiorari the inquiry orders authorizing the examination of her bank accounts as the orders interfere with her statutory right to maintain the secrecy of said accounts. both of which are among the subjects of the Manila inquiry order. This statutory right to privacy will not prevent the courts from authorizing the inquiry anyway upon the fulfillment of the requirements set forth under Section .

Lilia Cheng argues that the AMLA.11 of the AMLA or Section 2 of the Bank Secrecy Act. 9164. As much was understood by the lawmakers since they deliberated upon the AMLA. she concludes. and no law may be construed in such fashion as to permit a criminal prosecution offensive to the ex post facto clause. her subject bank accounts. No ex post facto law may be enacted. Thus. In this jurisdiction. As applied to the AMLA. opened between 1989 to 1990. has no retroactive effect and the bank inquiry order could not apply to deposits or investments opened prior to the effectivity of Rep. Act No. we have defined an ex post facto law as one which either: . the owner of the accounts have the right to challenge whether the requirements were indeed complied with. There is a final point of concern which needs to be addressed. Does the proscription against ex post facto laws apply to the interpretation of Section 11. at the same time. being a substantive penal statute. it is plain that no person may be prosecuted under the penal provisions of the AMLA for acts committed prior to the enactment of the law on 17 October 2001. or on 17 October 2001. a provision which does not provide for a penal sanction but which merely authorizes the inspection of suspect accounts and deposits? The answer is in the affirmative. could not be the subject of the bank inquiry order lest there be a violation of the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws. and indeed there is no serious dispute on that point. VII.

we must note that the position submitted by Lilia Cheng is much broader than what we are willing to affirm. such as the protection of a former conviction or acquittal. or makes it greater than it was. in order that bank accounts could be examined. remove such accounts from the shelter of absolute confidentiality. and (6) deprives a person accused of a crime of some lawful protection to which he has become entitled. offensive as it is to the ex post facto clause. The passage of the AMLA stripped another layer off the rule on absolute confidentiality that provided a measure of lawful protection to the account holder. when (3) changes the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment than the law annexed to the crime when committed. by itself. and punishes such an act. For that reason. (5) assuming to regulate civil rights and remedies only. in effect imposes penalty or deprivation of a right for something which when done was lawful. or a proclamation of amnesty . (2) committed. (Emphasis supplied) Prior to the enactment of the AMLA. Prior to the AMLA. and authorizes conviction upon less or different testimony than the law required at the time of the commission of the offense. assuming that they were involved in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials. (4) alters the legal rules of evidence. the application of the bank inquiry order as a means of inquiring into records of transactions entered into prior to the passage of the AMLA would be constitutionally infirm. Still. She argues that the proscription against ex post facto laws goes as far as to prohibit any inquiry into deposits or investments included in bank accounts opened prior to the effectivity of the AMLA even if the suspect transactions were entered into when the law had .(1) makes criminal an act done before the passage of the law and which was innocent when done. aggravates a crime. there was need to secure either the written permission of the depositor or a court order authorizing such examination. the fact that bank accounts or deposits were involved in activities later on enumerated in Section 3 of the law did not. or in a case where the money deposited or invested was itself the subject matter of the litigation.

The Court recognizes that if this argument were to be affirmed. and the courts are inhibited from such a construction by the cardinal rule that “a law should be interpreted with a view to upholding rather than destroying it. There is a cited exchange between Representatives Ronaldo Zamora and Jaime Lopez where the latter confirmed to the former that “deposits are supposed to be exempted from scrutiny or monitoring if they are already in place as of the time the law is enacted. but it cannot yield any interpretation that records of transactions undertaken after the enactment of the AMLA are similarly exempt. Due to the absence of cited authority from the legislative record that unqualifiedly supports respondent Lilia Cheng’s thesis. there is no cause for us to sustain her interpretation of the AMLA.” That statement does indicate that transactions already in place when the AMLA was passed are indeed exempt from scrutiny through a bank inquiry order. . fatal as it is to the anima of that law. IX. it would create a horrible loophole in the AMLA that would in turn supply the means to fearlessly engage in money laundering in the Philippines. all that the criminal has to do is to make sure that the money laundering activity is facilitated through a bank account opened prior to 2001.already taken effect. We can hardly presume that Congress intended to enact a self-defeating law in the first place. nowhere in the legislative record cited by Lilia Cheng does it appear that there was an unequivocal intent to exempt from the bank inquiry order all bank accounts opened prior to the passage of the AMLA.” Besides. Lilia Cheng admits that “actual money launderers could utilize the ex post facto provision of the Constitution as a shield” but that the remedy lay with Congress to amend the law.

We are well aware that Lilia Cheng’s petition presently pending before the Court of Appeals likewise assails the validity of the subject bank inquiry orders and precisely seeks the annulment of said orders. SO ORDERED. TINGA Associate Justice . it is necessary for us to consider and rule on the same question which after all is a pure question of law. Still. No pronouncement as to costs. Our current declarations may indeed have the effect of preempting that0 petition. the PETITION is DISMISSED. WHEREFORE. DANTE O. in order for this Court to rule on the petition at bar which insists on the enforceability of the said bank inquiry orders.

QUISUMBING Associate Justice Chairperson MA. Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest 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’s Division. ALICIA AUSTRIA MARTINEZ CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. JR.WE CONCUR: LEONARDO A. VELASCO. .

QUISUMBING Associate Justice Chairperson. The Republic of the Philippines Represented by the Anti-Money Laundering Council. Carpio who inhibited himself per Administrative Circular No.LEONARDO A. 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’s Division. Article VIII of the Constitution. 84-2007. PUNO Chief Justice *As replacement of Justice Antonio T. Entitled “In the Matter of the Application for An Order Allowing An Inquiry Into Certain Bank Accounts or Investments and Related Web of Accounts.” . and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. REYNATO S. Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. Applicant.

Entitled “Lilia Cheng v. Corrupt practices of public officers. Makati City.” G. privilege or advantage. Id. 24. Eugenio. No. Hon.In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law. permit. . 3. or of a mere representative or dummy of one who is not so qualified or entitled. privilege or benefit in favor of any person not qualified for or not legally entitled to such license. and John Does. Sec. Id. As Presiding Judge of the RTC Manila..R. p. Br. at 99-100. as Presiding Judge of RTC. p. the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: (j) Knowingly approving or granting any license. 155001. Rollo. Sixto Marella. Id. at 96-100. Hon. at 97. Id. Antonio M. at 98. permit. 98. . Republic of the Philippines represented by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). Jr. Br. 96. 38. Rollo.

Id. See id. Id. at 27. at 104. Id. Id. . at 105-107. Id. at 109-110. Id. at 106. Id.Id. at 101. Id. at 99. Id.

Id. at 150. Id. at 111-117. Id. Id. Id. at 111. Id. at 109. at 118. Id. at 131-141. Id. at 146. Id. at 148-149. Id. Id. . at 119-130. at 111. at 142-147.

. Id. at 168-169. Id. at 167. Id. Id. at 175. at 174. Id. at 68-69. at 151-158. Id. Id. at 174-175. at 69.Id. Id. Id. . at 171. at 172-173.

at 200-201. at 285-287. Id. at 189. . at 73-77.Id. Id. at 78. Id. Id. Order dated 15 August 2006. Id. Id. Id. at 187-249. Id. Id. at 176-186. at 71. see id. Id. at 71. at 286. at 285-286.

at 3. at 299-304. See rollo. Id.asp. last visited 8 December 2007). 867-910. 786-828.B. at 752-753. . Id. See also J. at 310. (http://www. at 312-313. Id. TIROL.interpol.Id. 913-936. at 549-551. at 302. Id. See id.int/Public/ FinancialCrime/MoneyLaundering/default. Id. pp. 2007).M. Id. at 297-298. at 6-65. THE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LAW OF THE PHILIPPINES Annotated (2nd ed. See Funds derived from criminal activities (FOPAC) ..

10. 9. 8. . 9160 (2002). 11. 12. 9194 (2003). 809-810. The Financial Action Task Force was established in 1989 by the so-called Group of 7 countries to formulate and encourage the adoption of international standards and measures to fight money laundering and related activities. 9194. and violations of some provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. 14. Republic Act No. 15. Secs. 5. 10. R. Under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code.TIROL. and 16 thereof. Republic Act No. 11. Sec. 932. Sec. Id. See rollo. destructive arson and murder. 9194 (2003). 7(3) and (4). No. Sec.A. See Sec. at 28. Id. Republic Act No. 13. hijacking. at 4-6. 4. in connection with Section 3(i). supra note 64. 6. Unlike in the present law which authorizes the issuance without need of judicial order when there is probable cause that the deposits are involved in such specifically enumerated crimes as kidnapping. Republic Act No. 9160 (2002). at 600-601. pp. Particularly Sections 4.

A. 9160. Effective 15 December 2005. except in cases as provided under Rule 11. Revised Implementing Rules And Regulations R. 6426. No.1. Property. Republic Act No. Sec. Revised Implementing Rules And Regulations R. Or Relating To An Unlawful Activity Or Money Laundering Offense Under Republic Act No. 9160. (Emphasis supplied) See Rule 11. Rule Of Procedure In Cases Of Civil Forfeiture.1. AMLA). See Title VIII. 9194. As Amended.1. Republic Act No. Asset Preservation.A. 9194. Involving. Or Proceeds Representing.1.A. “Rule 11. as amended. when it has been established that there is probable cause that the deposits or investments involved are related to an unlawful activity as defined in Section 3(j) hereof or a money laundering offense under Section 4 hereof. As Amended By R. When the AMLC may apply for the freezing of any monetary instrument or property. No. 9160 (2002). Authority to Inquire into Bank Deposits With Court Order. 44. Sec. (a) after an investigation conducted by the AMLC and upon determination that probable cause exists that a monetary instrument or property is in any way related to any unlawful activity as defined under section 3(i).” Republic Act No. Notwithstanding the provisions of Republic Act No. the AMLC may inquire into or examine any particular deposit or investment with any banking institution or non-bank financial institution AND THEIR SUBSIDIARIES AND AFFILIATES upon order of any competent court in cases of violation of this Act. No. as amended. 11. 1405.” Rule 10.“Rule 10. 9160.A. . No. As Amended By R. the criminal proceedings involving the unlawful activity to which said monetary instrument or property is any way related. The AMLC may file an ex-parte application before the the Court of Appeals for the issuance of a freeze order on any monetary instrument or property subject thereof prior to the institution or in the course of. and other laws. 8791.2. Republic Act No. 9160 (See Section 18. And Freezing Of Monetary Instrument.

"in the application of a constitution. contain only information voluntarily conveyed to the banks and exposed to their employees in the ordinary course of business. 858.” Id. The checks are not confidential communications but negotiable instruments to be used in commercial transactions. rather than to the microfilm copies actually viewed and obtained by means of the subpoena.S. 435 (1976). dissenting in Olmstead v. Gonzales v. All of the documents obtained. to obtain disclosure in court of what is whispered in the closet…Moreover. Concurring and Dissenting. p. at 155. 498 SCRA 445. 2. brings into existence new conditions and purposes. The lack of any legitimate expectation of privacy concerning the information kept in bank records was assumed by Congress in enacting the Bank Secrecy Act. G. CONST. Perhaps the prophecy of Justice Brandeis. including financial statements and deposit slips.S. 2000 RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE. 1914). Ways may someday be developed by which the Government. our contemplation cannot be only of what has. The passage by the U. citing 12 Words and Phrases (1954 ed.S. p. Discovery and invention have made it possible for the Government.R.. 164007. Abaya. and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home.. 501. without removing papers from secret drawers.See J. 5." The progress of science in furnishing the Government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wiretapping. 478-479 and 1 BOUVIER'S LAW DICTIONARY (8th ed. 438. by means far more effective than stretching upon the rack. 473 (1928)." Ibid. been but of what may be. and regulatory investigations and proceedings. tax. III. 227 U.S." Subtler and more far-reaching means of invading privacy have become available to the Government.. can reproduce them in court. has come to pass: "[T]ime works changes. Sec. at 473-474. the expressed purpose of which is to require records to be maintained because they "have a high degree of usefulness in criminal. supra note 64. Sec. TIROL. 10 August 2006. Rule 126. we perceive no legitimate "expectation of privacy" in their contents.). “Even if we direct our attention to the original checks and deposit slips. Tinga. U. No. Art. Congress in 1978 of the Right to Financial Privacy Act was essentially in reaction to the Miller ruling. 425 U. .

as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development. Marquez remains good law. and to documents. Nos. interpreted this provision in line with the “absolutely confidential” nature of bank deposits under the Bank Secrecy Act. shall be afforded the citizen. et al. Act No. supra note 64. infra. 224 and 226. Sandiganbayan. 360 Phil. Rep. See Ople v. 412 Phil. subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. 46 Ateneo Law Journal 670.. Gancayco. . 157294-95. including the power to examine and have access to bank accounts and records. Desierto. or the Ombudsman Act of 1989 empowers the Ombudsman to “[a]dminister oaths. 30 November 2006. Hon." “Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law. See Ejercito v. 682. Access to official records. or decisions. the inspection limited to the subject matter of the pending case before the court of competent jurisdiction[." Chavez v. “The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. 161. 506-507 (1965). 948 (1998). and such inspection may cover only the account identified in the pending case. 133. 354 Phil. PCGG.A. G. Section 8 of R. issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum and take testimony in any investigation or inquiry. Act No.” Id.R. LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE ON SECRECY OF BANK DEPOSITS.] the account must be clearly identified.” See Sec. Torres. With respect to the Ombudsman’s power of inquiry into bank deposits. 122 Phil. citing V Record of the Constitutional Commission 25 (1986). 8.] the bank personnel and the account holder must be notified to be present during the inspection. 509 SCRA 190. 503. at 397. citing GABRIEL SINGSON. 6770 (1989).See TIROL. and papers pertaining to official acts. transactions. the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest. 6770. and mandated: “there must be a pending case before a court of competent jurisdiction[. National Bank v. See Phil. the Court. In Marquez v. 387 (2001).

. Rollo. EN BANC SPOUSES PNP DIRECTOR ELISEO D. 184849 . 818. 9. Rollo. No. 8. 6. 5. 98. 6132. 15. See also Tan v. 146 Phil.R. citing House Committee Deliberations on 26 September 2001. Sec.A. 10. 431-432 (1970). Barrios.) and MARIA FE C. III. 14. 2. No. Art. DELA PAZ (Ret. at 421. 13. 429. 18 October 1990. See id. 85481-82. Sec. G.R. 22. CONST. and 16 thereof. 1405 (1955). Nos. A copy of such certification was attached to Cheng’s Comment as Annex “2”. 703. 12. G. p. Interpretate fienda est ut res valeat quam pereat. Republic Act No. p. In the Matter of the Petition for the Declaration of the Petitioner’s Rights and Duties under Sec.Under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code. Particularly Sections 4. 8 of R.

AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. Promulgated: February 13. and PERALTA. 2009 . SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS and the SENATE SERGEANTAT-ARMS JOSE BALAJADIA.. VELASCO. Respondents. AZCUNA.DELA PAZ. JR. YNARES-SANTIAGO. . TINGA. C. JJ. Present: PUNO. BRION. CARPIO.versus CARPIO MORALES. JR. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. Petitioners. QUISUMBING.. CHICO-NAZARIO. CORONA..J. NACHURA.

Dela Paz) and Mrs. Defensor-Santiago (Senator Santiago).) Eliseo D. J. 2008 by petitionersspouses General (Ret. . and to enjoin Balajadia from implementing the verbal arrest order against them. The petition thus prays that respondent Committee be enjoined from conducting its hearings involving petitioners. (Balajadia) to immediately arrest petitioners during the Senate committee hearing last October 23. (1) denying petitioners’ Challenge to Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash Subpoenae and (2) commanding respondent Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Jose Balajadia. through its Chairperson. 2008.x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x RESOLUTION NACHURA. the orders of respondent Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator (respondent Miriam Committee). allegedly for having been rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Jr. dela Paz (Mrs.: This is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court filed on October 28. Dela Paz) assailing. dela Paz (Gen. Maria Fe C.

The antecedents are as follow – On October 6. was to retire from the PNP on October 9.000.000 euros [approximately P6.000 euros (roughly equivalent to P2. 2008. Petersburg from October 6-10. Dela Paz and the PNP delegation were allowed to . Dela Paz. After a few days. he was also found to have in his possession 45.970.00). 2008. Gen. then comptroller and special disbursing officer of the PNP. With the delegation was Gen. Petitioners were detained in Moscow for questioning. however. In addition. Gen. Dela Paz was apprehended by the local authorities at the Moscow airport departure area for failure to declare in written form the 105. a Philippine delegation of eight (8) senior Philippine National Police (PNP) officers arrived in Moscow. 2008. Russia to attend the 77th General Assembly Session of the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO)-INTERPOL in St.000.00] found in his luggage. 2008. On October 11. Gen.930. Dela Paz.

Awaiting them were subpoenae earlier issued by respondent Committee for the investigation it was to conduct on the Moscow incident on October 23. Dela Paz. 2008. 2008. Hence. Petitioners argue that respondent Committee is devoid of any jurisdiction to investigate the Moscow incident as the matter does not involve state to state relations as provided in paragraph 12. On October 23. Rule 10 of the Senate Rules of Procedure (Senate Rules). 2008. a few days after Mrs. Dela Paz arrived in Manila. petitioners filed with respondent Committee a pleading denominated Challenge to Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash Subpoena . this Petition. Instead of attending the hearing. but the Russian government confiscated the euros. On October 21. Senator Santiago emphatically defended respondent Committee’s jurisdiction and commanded Balajadia to arrest petitioners. respondent Committee held its first hearing. They further claim that respondent Committee violated . Section 13.return to the Philippines. Gen.

As such. . Section 16(3). except on a clear showing of such arbitrary and improvident use of the power as will constitute a denial of due process. 2009. and thus. Respondent Committee filed its Comment on January 22. adoption and promulgation of its own rules. The petition must inevitably fail.” This provision has been traditionally construed as a grant of full discretionary authority to the Houses of Congress in the formulation. First. cannot be used as the basis of any investigation involving them relative to the Moscow incident.the same Senate Rules when it issued the warrant of arrest without the required signatures of the majority of the members of respondent Committee. They likewise assail the very same Senate Rules because the same were not published as required by the Constitution. Article VI of the Philippine Constitution states: “Each House shall determine the rules of its proceedings. the exercise of this power is generally exempt from judicial supervision and interference.

asks this Court to inquire into a matter that is within the full discretion of the Senate. Even if it is within our power to inquire into the validity of the exercise of jurisdiction over the petitioners by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. raised by petitioner in the case at bench. an issue dependent upon the wisdom. or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. pursuant to this constitutional grant of virtually unrestricted authority to determine its own rules. under the Constitution. Thus. Further. Cuenco. in Tañada v. is to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity. we are convinced that . the Senate is at liberty to alter or modify these rules at any time it may see fit. of the Senate’s action.The challenge to the jurisdiction of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. it is not for this Court to intervene in what is clearly a question of policy. not the legality. voting and publication. subject only to the imperatives of quorum. in effect. The issue partakes of the nature of a political question that. Second. was characterized as a question which.

all international agreements. and overseas Filipinos. the United Nations Organization and its agencies. as a member of the Philippine delegation to the INTERPOL Conference in St. Paragraph 12. Gen. Rule 10 of the Senate Rules provides: 12) Committee on Foreign Relations. diplomatic and consular services. obligations and contracts. multi-lateral organizations.respondent Committee has acted within the proper sphere of its authority. the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. For his failure to . The Moscow incident could create ripples in the relations between the Philippines and Russia. carrying a huge amount of “public” money ostensibly to cover the expenses to be incurred by the delegation. Petersburg. – Fifteen (15) members. Section 13. A reading of the above provision unmistakably shows that the investigation of the Moscow incident involving petitioners is well within the respondent Committee’s jurisdiction. All matters relating to the relations of the Philippines with other nations generally. Dela Paz went to Moscow in an official capacity.

dealing The two conventions contain movement considerable . Furthermore. the matter affects Philippine international obligations.comply with immigration and currency laws. the Russian government confiscated the money in his possession and detained him and other members of the delegation in Moscow. We take judicial notice of the fact that the Philippines is a state-party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption provisions foreign and the United with the Nations Convention of Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Pursuant to paragraph 36. beyond cavil that the Blue Ribbon Committee can investigate Gen. Third. The Philippine Senate has decided that the legislative inquiry will be jointly conducted by the respondent Committee and the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon Committee). The Moscow incident would reflect on our country’s compliance with the obligations required of stateparties under these conventions. the Blue Ribbon Committee may conduct investigations on all matters relating in its office to by malfeasance. thus. and on any matter of public interest on its own initiative or brought to its attention by any of its members. . Section 13. Rule 10 of the Senate Rules. the respondent Committee can properly inquire into this matter. instrumentalities. misfeasance employees of subdivisions and the and nonfeasance government. branches. a retired PNP general and member of the official PNP delegation to the INTERPOL Conference in Russia.currency across borders. Dela Paz. particularly as to the source and purpose of the funds discovered in Moscow as this would involve the Philippines’ commitments under these conventions. officers and agencies. Thus. It is.

the Philippine Senate issued a formal written Order of arrest. The arrest order issued against the petitioners has been rendered ineffectual. Subsequent to Senator Santiago’s verbal command to Balajadia to arrest petitioners. In the legislative inquiry held on November 15. Furthermore. Dela Paz for . there was no longer any necessity to implement the order of arrest. jointly by the respondent Committee and the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. Senator Santiago granted the motion of Gen. Dela Paz to dispense with the presence of Mrs.who had with him millions which may have been sourced from public funds. in the same hearing. Dela Paz voluntarily appeared and answered the questions propounded by the Committee members. 2008. The Philippine Senate has already published its Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation in two newspapers of general circulation. Sixth. Gen. Fourth. Fifth. Having submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the Senate Committees. with the Senate President himself approving it. in accordance with the Senate Rules. signed by ten (10) senators.

. WHEREFORE. Consequently. the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit and for being moot and academic.humanitarian considerations. the order for her arrest was effectively withdrawn.

ANTONIO EDUARDO B. PUNO Chief Justice CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO LEONARDO A. NACHURA Associate Justice WE CONCUR: REYNATO S.SO ORDERED. QUISUMBING Associate Justice Associate Justice .

AZCUNA Associate Justice DANTE O. CHICO-NAZARIO Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. TINGA Associate Justice MINITA V.ANTONIO T. CORONA Associate Justice CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice ADOLFO S. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ Associate Justice RENATO C. JR. VELASCO. Associate Justice . CARPIO Associate Justice MA.

TERESITA J. BRION Associate Justice DIOSDADO M. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO Associate Justice ARTURO D. PERALTA Associate Justice CERTIFICATION .

Article VIII of the Constitution. 445. 100 Phil. Such measures may include a requirement that individuals and businesses report the cross border transfer of substantial quantities of cash and appropriate negotiable instruments. 37 O. pp. Bocar. 101 (1957). 3-21. I certify that the conclusions in the above Resolution had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court.Pursuant to Section 13.G. at 28. Art. Id. Id. The United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime provides – . See Morrero v. subject to safeguards to ensure proper use of information and without impeding in any way the movement of legitimate capital. at 126-137. REYNATO S. PUNO Chief Justice Rollo. 14(2) of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption provides – State parties shall consider implementing feasible measures to detect and monitor the movement of cash and appropriate negotiable instruments across their borders.

or association for the predominance of their ideas. 8171 An Act Providing For The Repatriation Of Filipinos Who Have Lost Their Philippine Citizenship By Marriage to Aliens And Of Natural-Born Filipinos Section 1. (3) Person convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude. (2) Person defending or teaching the necessity or propriety of violence. Each State Party: (a) Shall institute a comprehensive domestic and regulatory and supervisory regime for banks and non-bank financial institutions and. in order to deter and detect all forms of money-laundering. (Underscoring supplied. Publication was made in the October 31. personal assault. Repatriation shall be effected by taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and registration in the proper civil registry and in the Bureau . which regime shall emphasize requirements for customer identification. That the applicant is not a: (1) Person opposed to organized government or affiliated with any association or group of persons who uphold and teach doctrines opposing organized government. 63.) Rollo. 2008 issues of the Manila Daily Bulletin and the Malaya. as amended: Provided. p. 2. 7(2): State Parties shall consider implementing feasible measures to detect and monitor the movement of cash and appropriate negotiable instruments across their borders. where appropriate. Sec. 138-139. 7(1). on account of political or economic necessity. 143. Art. record-keeping and the reporting of suspicious transactions. subject to safeguards to ensure proper use of information and without impeding in any way the movement of legitimate capital. may reacquire Philippine citizenship through repatriation in the manner provided in Section 4 of Commonwealth Act No. including their minor children. pp. Republic Act No. Filipino women who have lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens and natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship. within its competence. Rollo. or (4) Person suffering from mental alienation or incurable contagious diseases.Art. other bodies particularly susceptible to money-laundering. Such measures may include a requirement that individuals and businesses report the cross-border transfer of substantial quantities of cash and appropriate negotiable instruments.

the twenty-eighth day of July.of Immigration. NO. or parts thereof inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or amended accordingly. 2003 AN ACT MAKING THE CITIZENSHIP OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENS WHO ACQUIRE FOREIGN CITIZENSHIP PERMANENT. 4. Section 3. Sec. Lapsed into law on July 3. Sec." Section 2. 63. 1995 without the President's signature. Short Title – this act shall be known as the "Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003. Article VI of the Constitution Congress of the Philippines Twelfth Congress Third Regular Session Begun held in Metro Manila on Monday. decrees.Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding. 27(1). AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE COMMONWEALTH ACT. Retention of Philippine Citizenship . two thousand three. 3. orders. All laws. natural-born citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the following oath of allegiance to the Republic: . pursuant to Sec. Declaration of Policy . rules and regulations. AS AMENDED AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: Section 1. The Bureau of Immigration shall thereupon cancel the pertinent alien certificate of registration and issue the certificate of identification as Filipino citizen to the repatriated citizen. 9225 August 29.It is hereby declared the policy of the State that all Philippine citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship under the conditions of this Act. Republic Act No. This Act shall take effect thirty (30) days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

Section 4.The unmarried child. (2) Those seeking elective public in the Philippines shall meet the qualification for holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws and. Article V of the Constitution. and/or (b) are in active service as commissioned or non-commissioned officers in the armed forces of the country which they are naturalized citizens. of those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship upon effectivity of this Act shall be deemed citizenship of the Philippines."I _____________________. (3) Those appointed to any public office shall subscribe and swear to an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and its duly constituted authorities prior to their assumption of office: Provided. . whether legitimate. those who: (a) are candidates for or are occupying any public office in the country of which they are naturalized citizens. Derivative Citizenship . and I hereby declare that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto. Republic Act No. and (5) That right to vote or be elected or appointed to any public office in the Philippines cannot be exercised by. otherwise known as "The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003" and other existing laws. and that I imposed this obligation upon myself voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. or extended to. 9189. illegitimate or adopted." Natural born citizens of the Philippines who.Those who retain or re-acquire Philippine citizenship under this Act shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines and the following conditions: (1) Those intending to exercise their right of surffrage must Meet the requirements under Section 1. at the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy. become citizens of a foreign country shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the aforesaid oath. make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to administer an oath. below eighteen (18) years of age. solemny swear (or affrim) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities . That they renounce their oath of allegiance to the country where they took that oath. Section 5. (4) Those intending to practice their profession in the Philippines shall apply with the proper authority for a license or permit to engage in such practice. after the effectivity of this Act.

the State adopts the principle of protecting the climate system for the benefit of humankind.1awphil As a party to the Hyogo . ESTABLISHING THE FRAMEWORK STRATEGY AND PROGRAM ON CLIMATE CHANGE. REPUBLIC ACT NO.Section 6. to fulfill human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment for current and future generations. As a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: Section 1. the State adopts the ultimate objective of the Convention which is the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system which should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change. – This Act shall be known as the “Climate Change Act of 2009”. Effectivity Clause – This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or two (2) newspaper of general circulation. In this light. to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.If any section or provision of this Act is held unconstitutional or invalid. Republic of the Philippines Congress of the Philippines Metro Manila Fourteenth Congress Third Regular Session Begun and held in Metro Manila.All laws. the twenty-seventh day of July. the State has adopted the Philippine Agenda 21 framework which espouses sustainable development. Repealing Clause . Declaration of Policy. on Monday. Section 8. any other section or provision not affected thereby shall remain valid and effective. Separability Clause . decrees. CREATING FOR THIS PURPOSE THE CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION. two thousand nine. on the basis of climate justice or common but differentiated responsibilities and the Precautionary Principle to guide decision-making in climate risk management. Towards this end. Section 2. Title. orders. – It is the policy of the State to afford full protection and the advancement of the right of the people to a healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature. 9729 AN ACT MAINSTREAMING CLIMATE CHANGE INTO GOVERNMENT POLICY FORMULATIONS. Section 7. rules and regulations inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

nongovernment organizations. Definition of Terms. which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. plans. the State shall integrate disaster risk reduction into climate change programs and initiatives. consolidate and institutionalize government initiatives to achieve coordination in the implementation of plans and programs to address climate change in the context of sustainable development. social or economic systems to adjust to climate change including climate variability and extremes. In view thereof. programs and projects are founded upon sound environmental considerations and the principle of sustainable development. It shall also be the policy of the State to incorporate a gender-sensitive. the State shall strengthen. changing landscapes. it is hereby declared the policy of the State to systematically integrate the concept of climate change in various phases of policy formulation. integrate. Recognizing the vulnerability of the Philippine archipelago and its local communities. local communities and the public to prevent and reduce the adverse impacts of climate change and. climate-related illnesses and diseases. poverty reduction strategies and other development tools and techniques by all agencies and instrumentalities of the government. maximize the benefits of climate change. businesses. Cognizant of the need to ensure that national and subnational government policies.Framework for Action. fires. the State shall cooperate with the global community in the resolution of climate change issues. to moderate or offset potential damages and to take advantage of associated opportunities with changes in climate or to cope with the consequences thereof. . increasing frequency and/or severity of droughts. (b) “Adaptive capacity” refers to the ability of ecological. Section 3. the following shall have the corresponding meanings: (a) “Adaptation” refers to the adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects. women. and economy. – For purposes of this Act. pro-children and pro-poor perspective in all climate change and renewable energy efforts. Further recognizing that climate change and disaster risk reduction are closely interrelated and effective disaster risk reduction will enhance climate change adaptive capacity. (c) “Anthropogenic causes” refer to causes resulting from human activities or produced by human beings. floods and storms. including disaster risk reduction. plans and programs. particularly the poor. biodiversity loss that affect the country’s environment. to potential dangerous consequences of climate change such as rising seas. at the same time. culture. and children. development plans. damage to ecosystems. It shall be the policy of the State to enjoin the participation of national and local governments. the State likewise adopts the strategic goals in order to build national and local resilience to climate change-related disasters.

nitrous oxide. . monitoring. (e) “Climate Variability” refers to the variations in the average state and in other statistics of the climate on all temporal and spatial scales beyond that of individual weather events. lessened vulnerability of people and property. (f) “Climate Risk” refers to the product of climate and related hazards working over the vulnerability of human and natural ecosystems. material.(d) “Climate Change” refers to a change in climate that can be identified by changes in the mean and/or variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period typically decades or longer. (i) “Gender mainstreaming” refers to the strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design. perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. economic or environmental losses and impacts which exceed the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources. whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. hydrofluorocarbons. (j) “Global Warming” refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans that is associated with the increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. (l) “Greenhouse gases (GHG)” refers to constituents of the atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect including. and improved preparedness for adverse events. (k) “Greenhouse effect” refers to the process by which the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere warms the Earth. but not limited to. (m) “Mainstreaming” refers to the integration of policies and measures that address climate change into development planning and sectoral decision-making. implementation. (h) “Disaster risk reduction” refers to the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyze and manage the causal factors of disasters. policies. (g) “Disaster” refers to a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human. It is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action. or programs in all areas and at all levels. wise management of land and the environment. economic. including legislation. carbon dioxide. methane. and evaluation of policies and programs in all political. including through reduced exposure to hazards.

The Commission shall be the sole policy-making body of the government which shall be tasked to coordinate. its sensitivity. (o) “Mitigation potential” shall refer to the scale of GHG reductions that could be made. (d) Secretary of the Department of Education. (q) “Vulnerability” refers to the degree to which a system is susceptible to. The Commission shall have an advisory board composed of the following: (a) Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. for a given level of carbon price (expressed in cost per unit of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions avoided or reduced). Creation of the Climate Change Commission. (b) Secretary of the Department of Energy. one of whom shall serve as the Vice Chairperson of the Commission. including ozone. Composition of the Commission. – The Commission shall be composed of the President of the Republic of the Philippines who shall serve as the Chairperson. monitor and evaluate the programs and action plans of the government relating to climate change pursuant to the provisions of this Act. (p) “Sea level rise” refers to an increase in sea level which may be influenced by factors like global warming through expansion of sea water as the oceans warm and melting of ice over land and local factors such as land subsidence. magnitude. The Commission shall be organized within sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act. (c) Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The Commission shall be an independent and autonomous body and shall have the same status as that of a national government agency. Section 5. It shall be attached to the Office of the President. Section 4. and three (3) Commissioners to be appointed by the President. – There is hereby established a Climate Change Commission.depleting substances and their substitutes. (e) Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs. hereinafter referred to as the Commission. Vulnerability is a function of the character. including climate variability and extremes. and its adaptive capacity. refers to human intervention to address anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all GHG. and rate of climate change and variation to which a system is exposed. . adverse effects of climate change.(n) “Mitigation” in the context of climate change. or unable to cope with. relative to emission baselines.

(s) President of the League of Municipalities. (p) Chairperson of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women. (k) Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. in his capacity as Chair of the National Disaster Coordinating Council. (v) Representative from the business sector. (r) President of the League of Cities. They shall serve for a term of six (6) years without reappointment unless their representation is withdrawn by the sector they represent. (g) Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. (i) Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways. (l) Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry. (h) Secretary of the Department of National Defense. (j) Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology. and (w) Representative from nongovernmental organizations.(f) Secretary of the Department of Health. At least one (1) of the sectoral representatives shall come from the disaster risk reduction community. (u) Representative from the academe. (m) Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications. in his capacity as Chair of the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development. (n) Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority. (q) President of the League of Provinces. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. (o) Director-General of the National Security Council. . The representatives shall be appointed by the President from a list of nominees submitted by their respective groups. (t) President of the Liga ng mga Barangay.

The Commissioners shall be experts in climate change by virtue of their educational background. Climate Change Office. residents of the Philippines. Section 7. The Vice Chairperson and the Commissioners shall have the rank and privileges of a Department Secretary and Undersecretary. That in case of a vacancy. rules and regulations. The Commission shall have the authority to determine the number of staff and create corresponding positions necessary to facilitate the proper implementation of this Act. respectively. Tenure. at least thirty (30) years of age at the time of appointment. That no person shall serve for more than two (2) consecutive terms: Provided. (c) Formulate a Framework Strategy on Climate Change to serve as the basis for a program for climate change planning. The Commissioners shall hold office for a period of six (6) years. subject to civil service laws. Section 9. finally. Section 8. – The Commission shall have the following powers and functions: (a) Ensure the mainstreaming of climate change. It shall be headed by a Vice Chairperson of the Commission who shall act as the Executive Director of the Office. Powers and Functions of the Commission. – The Commission shall meet once every three (3) months. further. training and experience: Provided. with at least ten (10) years of experience on climate change and of proven honesty and ntegrity. finally. Meetings of the Commission. in synergy with disaster risk reduction. – There is hereby created a Climate Change Office that shall assist the Commission. (b) Coordinate and synchronize climate change programs of national government agencies. Compensation of Commissioners. The officers and employees of the Commission shall be appointed by the Executive Director. The Chairperson may likewise call upon other government agencies for the proper implementation of this Act. research and development. extension. . Section 6. That in no case shall a Commissioner be designated in a temporary or acting capacity. and may be subjected to reappointment: Provided. – The Commissioners must be Filipino citizens. into the national. sectoral and local development plans and programs. Qualifications. That at least one (1) Commissioner shall be female: Provided. the new appointee shall fully meet the qualifications of a Commissioner and shall hold office for the unexpired portion of the term only: Provided.Only the ex officio members of the advisory board shall appoint a qualified representative who shall hold a rank of no less than an Undersecretary. and monitoring of activities on climate change. They shall be entitled to corresponding compensation and other emoluments and shall be subject to the same disqualifications. That in no case shall the Commissioners come from the same sector: Provided. further. or as often as may be deemed necessary by the Chairperson. That in no case shall any of the Commissioners appoint representatives to act on their behalf.

and infrastructure to ensure the achievement of national sustainable development goals. . (l) Formulate and update guidelines for determining vulnerability to climate change impacts and adaptation assessments and facilitate the provision of technical assistance for their implementation and monitoring. (k) In coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs.(d) Exercise policy coordination to ensure the attainment of goals set in the framework strategy and program on climate change. (i) Formulate strategies on mitigating GHG and other anthropogenic causes of climate change. and (p) Oversee the dissemination of information on climate change.sensitive sectors such as water resources. health. – The Commission shall constitute a national panel of technical experts consisting of practitioners in disciplines that are related to climate change. local vulnerabilities and risks. provinces. agriculture. (f) Recommend key development investments in climate. (n) Facilitate capacity building for local adaptation planning. relevant laws and protocols and adaptation and mitigation measures. including disaster risk reduction. represent the Philippines in the climate change negotiations. (g) Create an enabling environment for the design of relevant and appropriate risksharing and risk-transfer instruments. (h) Create an enabling environment that shall promote broader multi-stakeholder participation and integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation. (j) Coordinate and establish a close partnership with the National Disaster Coordinating Council in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness in reducing the people’s vulnerability to climate-related disasters. cities and municipalities. forestry. Panel of Technical Experts. policies. programs on and appropriations for climate change adaptation and mitigation and other related activities. (o) Promote and provide technical and financial support to local research and development programs and projects in vulnerable communities and areas. (e) Recommend legislation. strategies. implementation and monitoring of climate change initiatives in vulnerable communities and areas. coastal and marine resources. Section 10. (m) Coordinate with local government units (LGUs) and private entities to address vulnerability to climate change impacts of regions.

(d) Compliance with international commitments. and mitigation potential. the following components: (a) National priorities. (c) Policy formulation. National Climate Change Action Plan. (g) Academic programs. It shall provide resources for the operations and activities of the Panel. formulate a Framework Strategy on Climate Change. specific adaptation needs. Components of the Framework Strategy and Program on Climate Change. and (j) Gender mainstreaming. – The Commission shall formulate a National Climate Change Action Plan in accordance with the Framework within one (1) year after the formulation of the latter. but not limited to. The Framework shall be formulated based on climate change vulnerabilities. (h) Advocacy and information dissemination. vulnerability and adaptation assessments. extension. and monitoring of activities to protect vulnerable communities from the adverse effects of climate change. within six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act. – The Commission shall. The Framework shall serve as the basis for a program for climate change planning. or as may be deemed necessary. (i) Monitoring and evaluation. (b) Impact. The Framework shall be reviewed every three (3) years. technologies. research and development. and best practices for risk assessment and enhancement of adaptive capacity of vulnerable human settlements to potential impacts of climate change. capability building and mainstreaming. Framework Strategy and Program on Climate Change.The Panel shall provide technical advice to the Commission in climate science. . Section 11. The Commission shall set the qualifications and compensation for the technical experts. (e) Research and development. (f) Database development and management. Section 12. – The Framework shall include. and in accordance with the international agreements. Section 13.

Provincial governments shall provide technical assistance. (b) The identification of the most vulnerable communities/areas. any provision in the Local Government Code to the contrary notwithstanding. variability and extremes. (d) The assessment and management of risk and vulnerability. LGUs shall regularly update their respective action plans to reflect changing social. consistent with the provisions of the Local Government Code. Inter-local government unit collaboration shall be maximized in the conduct of climate. prioritization of appropriate adaptation measures for joint projects of national and local governments. Local Climate Change Action Plan. the Framework. modifications and revisions thereof. and the National Climate Change Action Plan. but not limited to. and (f) The identification of options.related activities. – The LGUs shall be the frontline agencies in the formulation. The LGU is hereby expressly authorized to appropriate and use the amount from its Internal Revenue Allotment necessary to implement said local plan effectively. including ecosystems to the impacts of climate change. as one of their regular functions. women and children. . It shall be the responsibility of the national government to extend technical and financial assistance to LGUs for the accomplishment of their Local Climate Change Action Plans. Section 14. Barangays shall be directly involved with municipal and city governments in prioritizing climate change issues and in identifying and implementing best practices and other solutions. (e) The identification of GHG mitigation potentials.The National Climate Change Action Plan shall include. and environmental conditions and emerging issues. The LGUs shall mobilize and allocate necessary personnel. planning and implementation of climate change action plans in their respective areas. economic. enforcement and information management in support of municipal and city climate change action plans. resources and logistics to effectively implement their respective action plans. The local chief executive shall appoint the person responsible for the formulation and implementation of the local action plan. Municipal and city governments shall consider climate change adaptation. the following components: (a) Assessment of the national impact of climate change. The LGUs shall furnish the Commission with copies of their action plans and all subsequent amendments. (c) The identification of differential impacts of climate change on men. within one (1) month from their adoption.

activities and investments. and the local action plans. relevant laws and protocols and adaptation and mitigation measures. policy. any provision in their respective charters to the contrary notwithstanding. (e) The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) shall disseminate information on climate change. recommend the approval of loans and monitor the use of said funds of LGUs. science. including on climate change risks. It shall likewise focus on women and children. Section 16. especially in the rural areas. – The Commission is hereby authorized to accept grants. they shall. provide preferential financial packages for climate changerelated projects. (d) The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) shall review international agreements related to climate change and make the necessary recommendation for ratification and compliance by the government on matters pertaining thereto. civic organizations. and (f) Government financial institutions. the Commission shall coordinate with the nongovernment organizations (NGOs). such as. donations. The Commission shall evaluate. The training program shall include socioeconomic. academe. sibika. institutions and LGUs. contributions. geophysical. – To ensure the effective implementation of the framework strategy and program on climate change. endowments. In consultation with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). basic climate change principles and concepts. (c) The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shall oversee the establishment and maintenance of a climate change information management system and network. bequests. (b) The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Local Government Academy shall facilitate the development and provision of a training program for LGUs in climate change. in collaboration with other concerned national government agencies. including textbooks. Coordination with Various Sectors. the private and corporate sectors and other concerned stakeholder groups. people’s organizations. history. – In the development and implementation of the National Climate Change Action Plan. but not limited to. shall. Section 17.Section 15. since they are the most vulnerable. biology. local vulnerabilities and risk. Role of Government Agencies. Authority to Receive Donations and/or Grants. primers and other educational materials. issue and promulgate the implementing guidelines therefor. within thirty (30) days from the effectivity of this Act. or gifts in cash. or in kind from local and foreign sources in support of the development and implementation of . concerned agencies shall perform the following functions: (a) The Department of Education (DepED) shall integrate climate change into the primary and secondary education curricula and/or subjects. and other content necessary to address the prevailing and forecasted conditions and risks of particular LGUs.

capacity building and direct intervention. (b) Conduct of assessment of vulnerabilities to climate change impacts. development. The proceeds shall be used to finance: (a) Research. Section 18. – There is hereby created a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee to monitor the implementation of this Act. resource inventory. It shall also include public awareness campaigns on the effects of climate change and energy-saving solutions to mitigate these effects. through educational and training programs and micro-credit schemes. further. including training. That in case of donations from foreign governments. where applicable and necessary. LGUs shall submit annual progress reports on the implementation of their respective local action plan to the Commission within the first quarter of the following year. . Section 20. – The Commission shall submit to the President and to both Houses of Congress. and initiatives. The Oversight Committee shall be composed of five (5) Senators and five (5) Representatives to be appointed by the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Funding Allocation for Climate Change. respectively. acceptance thereof shall be subject to prior clearance and approval of the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs: Provided. or upon the request of the Congressional Oversight Committee.climate change programs and plans: Provided. networking and communication activities in the conduct of information campaign. of their respective climate change programs and plans. Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. That such donations shall not be used to fund personal services expenditures and other operating expenses of the Commission. a report giving a detailed account of the status of the implementation of this Act.1avvphi1 Section 19. (c) Advocacy. demonstration and promotion of technologies. In subsequent budget proposals. Annual Report. the concerned offices and units shall appropriate funds for program/project development and implementation including continuing training and education in climate change. Its funding requirement shall be charged against the appropriations of Congress. and (d) Conduct of such other activities reasonably necessary to carry out the objectives of this Act. not later than March 30 of every year following the effectivity of this Act. development and implementation. and adaptation capability building. as may be defined by the Commission. respectively. a progress report on the implementation of the National Climate Change Action Plan and recommend legislation. – All relevant government agencies and LGUs shall allocate from their annual appropriations adequate funds for the formulation. especially for women in rural areas. The Oversight Committee shall be co-chaired by a Senator and a Representative to be designated by the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Separability Clause. Section 23. – Upon the organization of the Commission. Section 25. Section 26.00) is hereby appropriated as initial operating fund in addition to the unutilized fund of the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change. That the officers and employees thereof shall continue in a holdover capacity until such time as the new officers and employees of the Commission shall have been duly appointed pursuant to the provisions of this Act. Appropriations. the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change created under Administrative Order No. The sum shall be sourced from the President’s contingent fund. Section 24. Approved. All qualified regular or permanent employees who may be transferred to the Commission shall not suffer any loss in seniority or rank or decrease in emoluments. Section 22. the Commission shall. Effectivity. Repealing Clause. 171 and the InterAgency Committee on Climate Change created by virtue of Administrative Order No. Thereafter. and other issuances or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. – All laws. That their powers and functions shall be absorbed by the Commission: Provided. – The sum of Fifty million pesos (Php50.000. – Within ninety (90) days after the approval of this Act. 220. promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of this Act: Provided. rules and regulations. ordinances. Republic of the Philippines Congress of the Philippines Metro Manila Twelfth Congress Third Regular Session . private sector. upon consultation with government agencies. the amount necessary to effectively carry out the provisions of this Act shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act. further. – If for any reason any section or provision of this Act is declared as unconstitutional or invalid. shall be abolished: Provided. Implementing Rules and Regulations. NGOs and civil society. Transitory Provisions. LGUs.Section 21. the other sections or provisions hereof shall not be affected thereby. That failure to issue rules and regulations shall not in any manner affect the executory nature of the provisions of this Act. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after the completion of its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation. Any employee who cannot be absorbed by the Commission shall be entitled to a separation pay under existing retirement laws.000.

SEC. arbitrator. conciliator. arbitration. or any person exercising similar functions in any Alternative Dispute Resolution system.Begun and held in Metro Manila. the term "ADR practitioners" shall refer to individuals acting as mediator.For purposes of this Act. 3. Declaration of Policy. the twenty-eight day of July. Title." SEC. two thousand three. conciliator. 2.it is hereby declared the policy of the State to actively promote party autonomy in the resolution of disputes or the freedom of the party to make their own arrangements to resolve their disputes. conciliation. This Act shall be without prejudice to the adoption by the Supreme Court of any ADR system. as defined in this Act. (b) "ADR Provider" means institutions or persons accredited as mediator. AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: CHAPTER 1 . arbitrator. or any combination thereof as a means of achieving speedy and efficient means of resolving cases pending before all courts in the Philippines which shall be governed by such rules as the Supreme Court may approve from time to time. the State shall enlist active private sector participation in the settlement of disputes through ADR. mini-trial. . other than by adjudication of a presiding judge of a court or an officer of a government agency. mediation.GENERAL PROVISIONS SECTION 1. or any combination thereof. or neutral evaluator of their dispute. the State shall provide means for the use of ADR as an efficient tool and an alternative procedure for the resolution of appropriate cases. conciliation. Whenever reffered to in this Act. . arbitrator or neutral evaluator. the term: (a) "Alternative Dispute Resolution System" means any process or procedure used to resolve a dispute or controversy. Likewise. 2004 AN ACT TO INSTITUTIONALIZE THE USE OF AN ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION SYSTEM IN THE PHILIPPINES AND TO ESTABLISH THE OFFICE FOR ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION. 9285 April 2. This is without prejudice to the rights of the parties to choose nonaccredited individuals to act as mediator. As such. in which a neutral third party participates to assist in the resolution of issues. which includes arbitration. Republic Act No. conciliator. . the State shall encourage and actively promote the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as an important means to achieve speedy and impartial justice and declog court dockets. . Towards this end. neutral evaluator. such as mediation. Definition of Terms. on Monday.This act shall be known as the "Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004. early neutral evaluation.

participating. It shall include (1) communication. (e) "Arbitrator" means the person appointed to render an award. resolve a dispute by rendering an award. (2) an oral or written statement made or which occurs during mediation or for purposes of considering. including any memoranda. initiating. as defined in this Act. made in a dispute resolution proceedings.(c) "Authenticate" means to sign. expressly intended by the source not to be disclosed. with expertise in the subject in the substance of the dispute. intended to identity the authenticating party and to adopt. or encrypt a record in whole or in part. (n) "Early Neutral Evaluation" means an ADR process wherein parties and their lawyers are brought together early in a pre-trial phase to present summaries of their cases and receive a nonbinding assessment by an experienced. accept or establish the authenticity of a record or term. oral or written. (f) "Award" means any partial or final decision by an arbitrator in resolving the issue in a controversy. (l) "Court-Annexed Mediation" means any mediation process conducted under the auspices of the court. motions manifestations. neutral person. (i) "Convention Award" means a foreign arbitral award made in a Convention State. (k) "Court" as referred to in Article 6 of the Model Law shall mean a Regional Trial Court. conducting. and (3) pleadings. . relative to the subject of mediation or arbitration. (h) "Confidential information" means any information. reports filed or submitted in an arbitration or for expert evaluation. or obtained under circumstances that would create a reasonable expectation on behalf of the source that the information shall not be disclosed. or rules promulgated pursuant to this Act. (d) "Arbitration" means a voluntary dispute resolution process in which one or more arbitrators. notes or work product of the neutral party or non-party participant. (j) "Convention State" means a State that is a member of the New York Convention. in a dispute that is the subject of an arbitration agreement. execute or adopt a symbol. appointed in accordance with the agreement of the parties. whether contractual or not. after such court has acquired jurisdiction of the dispute. alone or with others. continuing of reconvening mediation or retaining a mediator. witness statements. (m) "Court-Referred Mediation" means mediation ordered by a court to be conducted in accordance with the Agreement of the Parties when as action is prematurely commenced in violation of such agreement. (g) "Commercial Arbitration" An arbitration is "commercial if it covers matter arising from all relationships of a commercial nature.

or private persons. office or officer. administrative. conferences and discovery. (r) "Mediator" means a person who conducts mediation. (q) "Mediation" means a voluntary process in which a mediator. selected by the disputing parties. (s) "Mediation Party" means a person who participates in a mediation and whose consent is necessary to resolve the dispute. (aa) "Proceeding" means a judicial. resource person or expert. that is vested by law with quasi-judicial power to resolve or adjudicate dispute involving the government. other than a party or mediator. .(o) "Government Agency" means any government entity. 71. It shall not include a domestic subsidiary of such international party or a coventurer in a joint venture with a party which has its place of business in the Philippines. facilitates communication and negotiation. (t) "Mediation-Arbitration" or Med-Arb is a step dispute resolution process involving both mediation and arbitration. The term foreigner arbitrator shall mean a person who is not a national of the Philippines. who participates in a mediation proceeding as a witness. (y) "Non-Convention State" means a State that is not a member of the New York Convention. or other adjudicative process. its agencies and instrumentalities. (v) "Model Law" means the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on 21 June 1985. (p) "International Party" shall mean an entity whose place of business is outside the Philippines. other than a court. (u) "Mini-Trial" means a structured dispute resolution method in which the merits of a case are argued before a panel comprising senior decision makers with or without the presence of a neutral third person after which the parties seek a negotiated settlement. including related pre-hearing motions. (x) "Non-Convention Award" means a foreign arbitral award made in a State which is not a Convention State. and assist the parties in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding a dispute. (z) "Non-Party Participant" means a person. (w) "New York Convention" means the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards approved in 1958 and ratified by the Philippine Senate under Senate Resolution No.

The provisions of this Act shall not apply to resolution or settlement of the following: (a) labor disputes covered by Presidential Decree No. SEC. CHAPTER 2 . (e) the jurisdiction of courts. and (h) those which by law cannot be compromised. (f) future legitime. 5. or a nonparty participant may refuse to disclose and may prevent any other person from disclosing a mediation communication. .The provisions of this Chapter shall cover voluntary mediation. (g) criminal liability. the policy of fostering prompt. SEC. evidence or information that is otherwise admissible or subject to discovery does not become inadmissible or protected from discovery solely by reason of its use in a mediation.MEDIATION SEC.Information obtained through mediation proceedings shall be subject to the following principles and guidelines: (a) Information obtained through mediation shall be privileged and confidential. as amended and its Implementing Rules and Regulations. . (b) A party. Book of the Administrative Code of 1987. 4. other than court-annexed. . (b) the civil status of persons. SEC. and (cc) "Roster" means a list of persons qualified to provide ADR services as neutrals or to serve as arbitrators. Application and Interpretation. However. . 6. economical. Electronic Signatures in Global and E-Commerce Act. whether judicial or quasi-judicial. (c) the validity of a marriage. . Exception to the Application of this Act. Liability of ADR Provider and Practitioner. consideration must be given to the need to promote candor or parties and mediators through confidentiality of the mediation process. (d) any ground for legal separation. 9. and the policy that the decision-making authority in the mediation process rests with the parties. 8.(bb) "Record" means an information written on a tangible medium or stored in an electronic or other similar medium. Scope. . SEC. a mediator. . and its implementing Rules and Regulations shall apply to proceeding contemplated in this Act. 442. Chapter 9. Confidentiality of Information. The term "mediation' shall include conciliation. (c) Confidential Information shall not be subject to discovery and shall be inadmissible if any adversarial proceeding.In applying construing the provisions of this Chapter. and amicable resolution of disputes in accordance with the principles of integrity of determination by the parties. SEC. otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines.The provisions of the Electronic Signatures in Global and E-Commerce Act.The ADR providers and practitioners shall have the same civil liability for the Acts done in the performance of then duties as that of public officers as provided in Section 38 (1). whether ad hoc or institutional. 7. retrievable form.

(2) available to the public or that is made during a session of a mediation which is open. (a) There is no privilege against disclosure under Section 9 if mediation communication is: (1) in an agreement evidenced by a record authenticated by all parties to the agreement. (5) any persons hired or engaged in connection with the mediation as secretary. Exceptions to Privilege. A privilege arising from the confidentiality of information may likewise be waived by a nonparty participant if the information is provided by such nonparty participant. (2) the mediator or mediators. SEC. . A mediator who is wrongfully subpoenaed shall be reimbursed the full cost of his attorney's fees and related expenses. (e) The protections of this Act shall continue to apply even of a mediator is found to have failed to act impartially. Waiver of Confidentiality. to the public. clerk or assistant. the following persons involved or previously involved in a mediation may not be compelled to disclose confidential information obtained during mediation: (1) the parties to the dispute. SEC. A person who discloses confidential information shall be precluded from asserting the privilege under Section 9 of this Chapter to bar disclosure of the rest of the information necessary to a complete understanding of the previously disclosed information. stenographer.A privilege arising from the confidentiality of information may be waived in a record. . (4) the nonparty participants. If a person suffers loss or damages in a judicial proceeding against the person who made the disclosure. 11. (3) a threat or statement of a plan to inflict bodily injury or commit a crime of violence. (3) the counsel for the parties. (f) a mediator may not be called to testify to provide information gathered in mediation. 10.(d) In such an adversarial proceeding. A person who discloses or makes a representation about a mediation is preclude from asserting the privilege under Section 9. and (6) any other person who obtains or possesses confidential information by reason of his/her profession. or is required by law to be open. or orally during a proceeding by the mediator and the mediation parties. to the extent that the communication prejudices another person in the proceeding and it is necessary for the person prejudiced to respond to the representation of disclosure.

(b) As permitted to be disclosed under Section 13 of this Chapter. that there is a need for the evidence that substantially outweighs the interest in protecting confidentiality. . abandonment. or commit a crime. nonparty participant. or representative of a party based on conduct occurring during a mediation. or conceal an ongoing crime or criminal activity. that the party seeking discovery of the proponent of the evidence has shown that the evidence is not otherwise available.A mediator may not make a report. (6) sought or offered to prove or disprove a claim or complaint of professional misconduct or malpractice filed against mediator in a proceeding. except: (a) Where the mediation occurred or has terminated. and the mediation communication is sought or offered in: (1) a court proceeding involving a crime or felony. but this exception does not apply where a child protection matter is referred to mediation by a court or a public agency participates in the child protection mediation. or (2) a proceeding to prove a claim or defense that under the law is sufficient to reform or avoid a liability on a contract arising out of the mediation. neglect. finding. after a hearing in camera.(4) internationally used to plan a crime. (d) If a mediation communication is not privileged under an exception in subsection (a) or (b). The admission of particular evidence for the limited purpose of an exception does not render that evidence. 12. or where a settlement was reached. only the portion of the communication necessary for the application of the exception for nondisclosure may be admitted. . attempt to commit. (c) A mediator may not be compelled to provide evidence of a mediation communication or testify in such proceeding. Prohibited Mediator Reports. SEC. or (7) sought or offered to prove or disprove a claim of complaint of professional misconduct of malpractice filed against a party. or other communication regarding a mediation to a court or agency or other authority that make a ruling on a dispute that is the subject of a mediation. or exploitation in a proceeding in which a public agency is protecting the interest of an individual protected by law. evaluation. assessment. or any other mediation communication. admissible for any other purpose. (5) sought or offered to prove or disprove abuse. finds. recommendation. (b) There is no privilege under Section 9 if a court or administrative agency.

Except as otherwise provided in this Act. SEC. 13. Participation in Mediation. This Act does not require that a mediator shall have special qualifications by background or profession unless the special qualifications of a mediator are required in the mediation agreement or by the mediation parties. 14. Enforcement of Mediated Settlement Agreement. Effect of Agreement to Submit Dispute to Mediation Under Institutional Rules. SEC. the latter shall prevail. an individual who is requested to serve as a mediator shall: (1) make an inquiry that is reasonable under the circumstances to determinate whether there are any known facts that a reasonable individual would consider likely to affect the impartiality of the mediator. . Place of Mediation. . SEC. . the place of mediation shall be any place convenient and appropriate to all parties. and (2) disclosure to the mediation parties any such fact known or learned as soon as is practical before accepting a mediation. 15. the parties. Further. the mediator shall disclose it as soon as practicable.An agreement to submit a dispute to mediation by any institution shall include an agreement to be bound by the internal mediation and administrative policies of such institution. At the request of a mediation party. .The mediation shall be guided by the following operative principles: .The parties are free to agree on the place of mediation. Failing such agreement. and nonparty participants to abide by such rules. A lawyer of this right shall be made in writing by the party waiving it. Mediator's Disclosure and Conflict of Interest. including a financial or personal interest in the outcome of the mediation and any existing or past relationship with a party or foreseeable participant in the mediation. 16. 17. a party may designate a lawyer or any other person to provide assistance in the mediation.The mediation shall be guided by the following operative principles: (a) Before accepting a mediation. SEC. (b) If a mediation learns any fact described in paragraph (a) (1) of this section after accepting a mediation. their respective counsel. . A waiver of participation or legal representation may be rescinded at any time. an agreement to submit a dispute to mediation under international mediation rule shall be deemed to include an agreement to have such rules govern the mediation of the dispute and for the mediator. an individual who is requested to serve as mediator shall disclose his/her qualifications to mediate a dispute. In case of conflict between the institutional mediation rules and the provisions of this Act.SEC.

in which case. notwithstanding the provisions of Executive Order No. CHAPTER 4 . in accordance with such rules of procedure as may be promulgated by the Supreme Court. if any. The parties and their respective counsels shall endeavor to make the terms and condition thereof complete and make adequate provisions for the contingency of breach to avoid conflicting interpretations of the agreement. the court shall proceed summarily to hear the petition. . regard shall be had to its international origin and to the need for uniformity in its interpretation and resort may be made to the travaux preparatories and the report of the Secretary General of the United Nations . they may deposit such settlement agreement with the appropriate Clerk of a Regional Trial Court of the place where one of the parties resides. shall sign the settlement agreement. copy of which is hereto attached as Appendix "A". a petition may be filed by any of the parties with the same court. (b) The parties and their respective counsels. or a combination thereof. (c) If the parties so desire.(a) A settlement agreement following successful mediation shall be prepared by the parties with the assistance of their respective counsel. 1985. and by the mediator. .OTHER ADR FORMS SEC. Interpretation of Model Law. 1008 for mediated dispute outside of the CIAC. . CHAPTER 3 . SEC. 1985 (United Nations Document A/40/17) and recommended approved on December 11.In interpreting the Model Law. Adoption of the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. For purposes of this Act.INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL ARBITRATION SEC. (c) mediation-arbitration. Where there is a need to enforce the settlement agreement. (d) The parties may agree in the settlement agreement that the mediator shall become a sole arbitrator for the dispute and shall treat the settlement agreement as an arbitral award which shall be subject to enforcement under Republic Act No. if any. otherwise known as the Arbitration Law. Referral of Dispute to other ADR Forms.International commercial arbitration shall be governed by the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (the "Model Law") adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on June 21. 876. 19. 18. 20. The mediator shall certify that he/she explained the contents of the settlement agreement to the parties in a language known to them. the use of other ADR forms shall be governed by Chapter 2 of this Act except where it is combined with arbitration in which case it shall likewise be governed by Chapter 5 of this Act.The parties may agree to refer one or more or all issues arising in a dispute or during its pendency to other forms of ADR such as but not limited to (a) the evaluation of a third person or (b) a mini-trial.

or the regular arbitration arbitration institution under whose rules the arbitration is agreed to be conducted. 25. 21. Confidential of Arbitration Proceedings. Legal Representation in International Arbitration. Where the parties have agreed to submit their dispute to institutional arbitration rules. licensing.". Provided. a party may be presented by any person of his choice. or upon the request of both parties thereafter. engineering. that the court in which the action or the appeal is pending may issue a protective order to prevent or prohibit disclosure of documents or information containing secret processes. that such representative. insurance. whether contractual or not.The arbitration proceedings. rail or road. the court shall have due regard to the policy of the law in favor of arbitration. SEC. consulting. they shall be deemed to have agreed to procedure under such arbitration rules for the selection and appointment of arbitrators. Relationships of a transactions: any trade transaction for the supply or exchange of goods or services. Where action is commenced by or against multiple parties. Referral to Arbitration. leasing. inoperative or incapable of being performed. Provided.A court before which an action is brought in a matter which is the subject matter of an arbitration agreement shall. one or more of whom are parties who are bound by the arbitration agreement although the civil action may continue as to those who are not bound by such arbitration agreement. 23."Appointing Authority" as used in the Model Law shall mean the person or institution named in the arbitration agreement as the appointing authority. sea.An arbitration is "commercial" if it covers matters arising from all relationships of a commercial nature. financing. . refer the parties to arbitration unless it finds that the arbitration agreement is null and void. research and other information where it is shown that the applicant shall be materially prejudiced by an authorized disclosure thereof. . including the records. however. . carriage of goods or passengers by air. or any other quasi-judicial body whether or not such appearance is in relation to the arbitration in which he appears. .Commission on International Trade Law dated March 25. commercial representation or agency. 9/264. shall be considered confidential and shall not be published except (1) with the consent of the parties. construction of works. ." SEC. joint venture and other forms of industrial or business cooperation.In interpreting the Act.In international arbitration conducted in the Philippines. SEC. developments. if at least one party so requests not later that the pre-trial conference. Interpretation of the Act. SEC. investment. 22. 1985 entitled. 24. SEC. evidence and the arbitral award. Meaning of "Appointing Authority. In ad hoc arbitration. banking. shall not be authorized to appear as counsel in any Philippine court. Commercial Arbitration. "International Commercial Arbitration: Analytical Commentary on Draft Trade identified by reference number A/CN. and unless they have agreed to a different procedure. or (2) for the limited purpose of disclosing to the court of relevant documents in cases where resort to the court is allowed herein. SEC. unless admitted to the practice of law in the Philippines. the default appointment of an arbitrator shall be made by the . factoring. distribution agreements. . 26.

The functions referred to in Articles 11(3). SEC. the party against whom the relief is requested. The arbitral tribunal is deemed constituted when the sole arbitrator or the third arbitrator who has been nominated. (3) The order granting provisional relief may be conditioned upon the provision of security or any act or omission specified in the order. unless the latter shall fail or refuse to act within thirty (30) days from receipt of the request in which case the applicant may renew the application with the Court. 13(3) and 14(1) of the Model Law shall be performed by the Appointing Authority. Grant of Interim Measure of Protection. (iii) to produce or preserve any evidence. may be made with the arbitral tribunal or to the extent that the arbitral tribunal has no power to act or is unable to act effectively. After constitution of the arbitral tribunal and during arbitral proceedings. and evidence supporting the request. SEC. What Functions May be Performed by Appointing Authority. or (iv) to compel any other appropriate act or omission. from a Court an interim measure of protection and for the Court to grant such measure.National President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) or his duly authorized representative. the request may be made with the Court. (a) It is not incompatible with an arbitration agreement for a party to request. (5) The order shall be binding upon the parties. . 28. 11(4). . describing in appropriate detail the precise relief. a request for an interim measure of protection or modification thereof. 27. the grounds for the relief. before constitution of the tribunal. has accepted the nomination and written communication of said nomination and acceptance has been received by the party making request. (4) Interim or provisional relief is requested by written application transmitted by reasonable means to the Court or arbitral tribunal as the case may be and the party against whom the relief is sought. (b) The following rules on interim or provisional relief shall be observed: (1) Any party may request that provision relief be granted against the adverse party: (2) Such relief may be granted: (i) to prevent irreparable loss or injury: (ii) to provide security for the performance of any obligation.

the language to be used shall be English in international arbitration. including the convenience of the parties shall decide on a different place of arbitration. other property or documents. and reasonable attorney's fees. . . 31. inspection of property that is the subject of the dispute in arbitration. unless otherwise specified therein. experts. or for inspection of goods. having regard to the circumstances of the case. unless the arbitral tribunal. appointment of receivers or detention. 29. for hearing witnesses. The term "domestic arbitration" as used herein shall mean an arbitration that is not international as defined in Article (3) of the Model Law. SEC. SEC. otherwise known as "The Arbitration Law" as amended by this Chapter. . CHAPTER 5 . 876.Domestic arbitration shall continue to be governed by Republic Act No.Unless otherwise agreed by the parties. 30. meet at any place it considers appropriate for consultation among its members.(6) Either party may apply with the Court for assistance in Implementing or enforcing an interim measure ordered by an arbitral tribunal. and English or Filipino for domestic arbitration.DOMESTIC ARBITRATION SEC. decision or other communication by the arbitral tribunal. Further Authority for Arbitrator to Grant Interim Measure of Protection . (7) A party who does not comply with the order shall be liable for all damages resulting from noncompliance. 32. or the parties. the place of arbitration shall be in Metro Manila. Failing such agreement. Such interim measures may include but shall not be limited to preliminary injuction directed against a party. paid in obtaining the order's judicial enforcement. including all expenses.The parties are free to agree on the place of arbitration.The parties are free to agree on the language or languages to be used in the arbitral proceedings. This agreement or determination. Language of the Arbitration. Failing such agreement. unless otherwise agreed by the parties. the arbitral tribunal may. shall apply to any written statement by a party. . any hearing and any award. order any party to take such interim measures of protection as the arbitral tribunal may consider necessary in respect of the subject matter of the dispute following the rules in Section 28. SEC. at the request of a party. Place of Arbitration. Either party may apply with the Court for assistance in implementing or enforcing an interim measures ordered by an arbitral tribunal. The arbitral tribunal may. Law Governing Domestic Arbitration. unless the arbitral tribunal shall determine a different or another language or languages to be used in the proceedings. paragraph 2. . preservation. The arbitral tribunal may order that any documentary evidence shall be accompanied by a translation into the language or languages agreed upon by the parties or determined in accordance with paragraph 1 of this section.

. . 10. or who are otherwise bound by. CHAPTER 6 . SEC.Article 8.The provisions of Sections 17 (d) of Chapter 2. 35. SEC. The parties may also agree in writing that. contractor. . . Appointment of Foreign Arbitrator. directly or by reference whether such parties are project owner. . 14. the mediator shall issue the settlement agreement in the form of an arbitral award. 33. otherwise known as the Constitution Industry Arbitration Law. and Section 28 and 29 of this Act shall apply to arbitration of construction disputes covered by this Chapter.By written agreement of the parties to a dispute. 36. SEC. an arbitration agreement.The Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC) shall promulgate rules to allow for the appointment of a foreign arbitrator or coarbitrator or chairman of a tribunal a person who has not been previously accredited by CIAC: Provided.SEC. 37. or he/she is the common choice of the two CIAC-accredited arbitrators first appointed one of whom was nominated by the international party. Authority to Act as Mediator or Arbitrator. That: (a) the dispute is a construction dispute in which one party is an international party (b) the person to be appointed agreed to abide by the arbitration rules and policies of CIAC. (c) he/she is either coarbitrator upon the nomination of the international party.Construction disputes which fall within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (the "Commission") shall include those between or among parties to. 34. . an arbitrator may act as mediator and a mediator may act as arbitrator. 11. 13. subcontractor. Arbitration of Construction Disputes: Governing Law.ARBITRATION OF CONSTRUCTION DISPUTES SEC. Applicability to Construction Arbitration. following a successful mediation. Coverage of the Law. bondsman or issuer of an insurance policy in a construction project. quantity surveyor.The arbitration of construction disputes shall be governed by Executive Order No. SEC. 38. Applicability to Domestic Arbitration. . 12. and (d) the foreign arbitrator shall be of different nationality from the international party. 1008. The Commission shall continue to exercise original and exclusive jurisdiction over construction disputes although the arbitration is "commercial" pursuant to Section 21 of this Act. 18 and 19 and 29 to 32 of the Model Law and Section 22 to 31 of the preceding Chapter 4 shall apply to domestic arbitration.

The confirmation of a domestic arbitral award shall be governed by Section 23 of R. unless both parties. If the award or agreement is not made in any of the official languages. The applicant shall establish that the country in which foreign arbitration award was made is a party to the New York Convention. 40. DOMESTIC AWARDS SEC. if it considers it proper. Vacation Award.A regional trial court which a construction dispute is filed shall. A domestic arbitral award when confirmed shall be enforced in the same manner as final and executory decisions of the Regional Trial Court. SEC. 42. CHAPTER 7 . the party shall supply a duly certified translation thereof into any of such languages. on the . shall submit to the regional trial court a written agreement exclusive for the Court. Court to Dismiss Case Involving a Construction Dispute. Confirmation of Award. 39. If the application for rejection or suspension of enforcement of an award has been made. . rather than the CIAC.JUDICIAL REVIEW OF ARBITRAL AWARDS A. FOREIGN ARBITRAL AWARDS SEC. .A party to a domestic arbitration may question the arbitral award with the appropriate regional trial court in accordance with the rules of procedure to be promulgated by the Supreme Court only on those grounds enumerated in Section 25 of Republic Act No. Application of the New York Convention. upon becoming aware. Any other ground raised against a domestic arbitral award shall be disregarded by the regional trial court. 876. B. 41.A. 1008. to resolve the dispute. that the parties had entered into an arbitration to be conducted by the CIAC. 876. The recognition and enforcement of such arbitral awards shall be filled with regional trial court in accordance with the rules of procedure to be promulgated by the Supreme Court. . vacate its decision and may also. The confirmation of a domestic award shall be made by the regional trial court in accordance with the Rules of Procedure to be promulgated by the Supreme Court.The New York Convention shall govern the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards covered by the said Convention.SEC.O. not later than the pretrial conference. the regional trial court may. . No. A CIAC arbitral award need not be confirmed by the regional trial court to be executory as provided under E. assisted by their respective counsel. Said procedural rules shall provide that the party relying on the award or applying for its enforcement shall file with the court the original or authenticated copy of the award and the arbitration agreement.

at such party's . 44. Venue and Jurisdiction. The losing party who appeals from the judgment of the court confirming an arbitral award shall required by the appealant court to post counterbond executed in favor of the prevailing party equal to the amount of the award in accordance with the rules to be promulgated by the Supreme Court. SEC. SEC. recognize and enforce a nonconvention award as a convention award. Rejection of a Foreign Arbitral Award. A foreign arbitral award. 47. SEC. and any application with a court for arbitration assistance and supervision shall be deemed as special proceedings and shall be filled with the regional trial court (i) where arbitration proceedings are conducted. . (ii) where the asset to be attached or levied upon. or (iv) in the National Judicial Capital Region. . the Court shall send notice to the parties at their address of record in the arbitration. 48.A foreign arbitral award when confirmed by a court of a foreign country. vacating. Appeal from Court Decisions on Arbitral Awards. A foreign arbitral award.Proceedings for recognition and enforcement of an arbitration agreement or for vacation. SEC. Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards Not Covered by the New York Convention. . order the party to provide appropriate security. setting aside. (iii) where any of the parties to the dispute resides or has his place of business. shall be recognized and enforced as a foreign arbitral award and not a judgment of a foreign court. SEC. . when confirmed by the regional trial court. SEC.The recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards not covered by the New York Convention shall be done in accordance with procedural rules to be promulgated by the Supreme Court. shall be enforced in the same manner as final and executory decisions of courts of law of the Philippines. correction or modification of an arbitral award. grounds of comity and reciprocity. at the option of the applicant.A decision of the regional trial court confirming. 45. The Court may. or the act to be enjoined is located. when confirmed by the regional trial court. modifying or correcting an arbitral award may be appealed to the Court of Appeals in accordance with the rules of procedure to be promulgated by the Supreme Court. 46. . . 43. Foreign Arbitral Award Not Foreign Judgment. or if any party cannot be served notice at such address. Any other ground raised shall be disregarded by the regional trial court. setting aside.A party to a foreign arbitration proceeding may oppose an application for recognition and enforcement of the arbitral award in accordance with the procedural rules to be promulgated by the Supreme Court only on those grounds enumerated under Article V of the New York Convention. shall be enforced as a foreign arbitral award and not as a judgment of a foreign court.application of the party claiming recognition or enforcement of the award. Notice of Proceeding to Parties.In a special proceeding for recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award.

SEC. and To assist the government to monitor.last known address. (c) To coordinate the development. SEC. . The executive director shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines. The committee. Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution.There is hereby established the Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution as an attached agency to the Department of Justice (DOJ) which shall have a Secretariat to be headed by an executive director. implementation. (b) To certify that such ADR practitioners and ADR service providers have undergone the professional training provided by the office. Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). . The notice shall be sent at least fifteen (15) days before the date set for the initial hearing of the application. monitoring. Powers and Functions of the Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution . 52. 49. and (e) To perform such acts as may be necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this Act. 51. study and evaluate the use by the public and the private sector of ADR. and recommend to Congress needful statutory changes to develop.The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be included in the General Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law and thereafter.The Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution shall have the following powers and functions: (a) To formulate standards for the training of the ADR practitioners and service providers. .Within one (1) month after the approval of this Act. Strengthen and improve ADR practices in accordance with world standards. the secretary of justice shall convene a committee that shall formulate the appropriate rules and regulations necessary for the implementation of this Act. (d) To charge fees for their services. develop and expand the use of ADR in the private and public sectors. CHAPTER 8 . The objective of the office are: (a) to promote.MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS SEC. and evaluation of government ADR programs. composed of representatives from: (a) the Department of Justice. . SEC. . Appropriations. 50.

decrees. SEC. . Effectivity. 55.All laws.This Act shall not be interpreted to repeal. . executive orders. and one (1) member each from the majority and minority of both Houses. SEC. 7160. . The Joint Oversight Committee shall become functus officio upon approval of the IRR. rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed. otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991. . Separability Clause. submit the IRR to the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee for review and approval. (e) A representative from the arbitration profession. chairman of the House Committee on Justice. all other parts or provisions not affected shall thereby continue to remain in full force and effect.If for any reason or reasons. (c) the Department of the Interior and Local Government. . The Oversight Committee shall be composed of the chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights. Applicability of the Katarungan Pambarangay. and (g) A representative from the ADR organizations shall within three (3) months after convening.(b) the Department of Trade and Industry. (d) the president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. amended or modified accordingly. and (f) A representative from the mediation profession. Repealing Clause. amend or modify the jurisdiction of the Katarungan Pambarangay under Republic Act No.This act shall take effect fifteen days (15) after its publication in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation. SEC. SEC. 56. 54. any portion or provision of this Act shall be held unconstitutional or invalid. 53.

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