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Kuroda v. Jalandoni, G.R. No. L-2662, March 26, 1949 DECISION (En Banc) MORAN, C.J.: I.

THE FACTS

conformity with the generally accepted and policies of international law which are part of the our Constitution. xxx xxx xxx

Petitioner Shigenori Kuroda, the Commanding General of the Japanese Imperial Forces in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation, was charged before the Philippine Military Commission of war crimes. He questioned the constitutionality of E.O. No. 68 that created the National War Crimes Office and prescribed rules on the trial of accused war criminals. He contended the Philippines is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on Rules and Regulations covering Land Warfare and therefore he is charged of crimes not based on law, national and international. II. THE ISSUES

Petitioner argues that respondent Military Commission has no jurisdiction to try petitioner for acts committed in violation of the Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention because the Philippines is not a signatory to the first and signed the second only in 1947. It cannot be denied that the rules and regulation of the Hague and Geneva conventions form, part of and are wholly based on the generally accepted principals of international law. In facts these rules and principles were accepted by the two belligerent nations the United State and Japan who were signatories to the two Convention. Such rule and principles therefore form part of the law of our nation even if the Philippines was not a signatory to the conventions embodying them for our Constitution has been deliberately general and extensive in its scope and is not confined to the recognition of rule and principle of international law as contained in treaties to which our government may have been or shall be a signatory. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-2662 March 26, 1949

Was E.O. No. 68 valid and constitutional? III. THE RULING [The Court DENIED the petition and upheld the validity and constitutionality of E.O. No. 68.] YES, E.O. No. 68 valid and constitutional. Article 2 of our Constitution provides in its section 3, that The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy and adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the nation. In accordance with the generally accepted principle of international law of the present day including the Hague Convention the Geneva Convention and significant precedents of international jurisprudence established by the United Nation all those person military or civilian who have been guilty of planning preparing or waging a war of aggression and of the commission of crimes and offenses consequential and incidental thereto in violation of the laws and customs of war, of humanity and civilization are held accountable therefor. Consequently in the promulgation and enforcement of Execution Order No. 68 the President of the Philippines has acted in

SHIGENORI KURODA, petitioner, vs. Major General RAFAEL JALANDONI, Brigadier General CALIXTO DUQUE, Colonel MARGARITO TORALBA, Colonel IRENEO BUENCONSEJO, Colonel PEDRO TABUENA, Major FEDERICO ARANAS, MELVILLE S. HUSSEY and ROBERT PORT, respondents. Pedro Serran, Jose G. Lukban, and Liberato B. Cinco for petitioner. Fred Ruiz Castro Federico Arenas Mariano Yengco, Jr., Ricardo A. Arcilla and S. Melville Hussey for respondents. MORAN, C.J.: Shigenori Kuroda, formerly a Lieutenant-General of the Japanese Imperial Army and Commanding General of the Japanese Imperial Forces in The Philippines during a

period covering 19433 and 19444 who is now charged before a military Commission convened by the Chief of Staff of the Armed forces of the Philippines with having unlawfully disregarded and failed "to discharge his duties as such command, permitting them to commit brutal atrocities and other high crimes against noncombatant civilians and prisoners of the Imperial Japanese Forces in violation of the laws and customs of war" comes before this Court seeking to establish the illegality of Executive Order No. 68 of the President of the Philippines: to enjoin and prohibit respondents Melville S. Hussey and Robert Port from participating in the prosecution of petitioner's case before the Military Commission and to permanently prohibit respondents from proceeding with the case of petitioners. In support of his case petitioner tenders the following principal arguments. First. "That Executive Order No. 68 is illegal on the ground that it violates not only the provision of our constitutional law but also our local laws to say nothing of the fact (that) the Philippines is not a signatory nor an adherent to the Hague Convention on Rules and Regulations covering Land Warfare and therefore petitioners is charged of 'crimes' not based on law, national and international." Hence petitioner argues "That in view off the fact that this commission has been empanelled by virtue of an unconstitutional law an illegal order this commission is without jurisdiction to try herein petitioner." Second. That the participation in the prosecution of the case against petitioner before the Commission in behalf of the United State of America of attorneys Melville Hussey and Robert Port who are not attorneys authorized by the Supreme Court to practice law in the Philippines is a diminution of our personality as an independent state and their appointment as prosecutor are a violation of our Constitution for the reason that they are not qualified to practice law in the Philippines. Third. That Attorneys Hussey and Port have no personality as prosecution the United State not being a party in interest in the case. Executive Order No. 68, establishing a National War Crimes Office prescribing rule and regulation governing the trial of accused war criminals, was issued by the President of the Philippines on the 29th days of July, 1947 This Court holds that this order is valid and constitutional. Article 2 of our Constitution provides in its section 3, that The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy and adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the of the nation.

In accordance with the generally accepted principle of international law of the present day including the Hague Convention the Geneva Convention and significant precedents of international jurisprudence established by the United Nation all those person military or civilian who have been guilty of planning preparing or waging a war of aggression and of the commission of crimes and offenses consequential and incidental thereto in violation of the laws and customs of war, of humanity and civilization are held accountable therefor. Consequently in the promulgation and enforcement of Execution Order No. 68 the President of the Philippines has acted in conformity with the generally accepted and policies of international law which are part of the our Constitution. The promulgation of said executive order is an exercise by the President of his power as Commander in chief of all our armed forces as upheld by this Court in the case of Yamashita vs. Styer (L-129, 42 Off. Gaz., 664) 1 when we said War is not ended simply because hostilities have ceased. After cessation of armed hostilities incident of war may remain pending which should be disposed of as in time of war. An importance incident to a conduct of war is the adoption of measure by the military command not only to repel and defeat the enemies but to seize and subject to disciplinary measure those enemies who in their attempt to thwart or impede our military effort have violated the law of war. ( Ex parte Quirin 317 U.S., 1; 63 Sup. Ct., 2.) Indeed the power to create a military commission for the trial and punishment of war criminals is an aspect of waging war. And in the language of a writer a military commission has jurisdiction so long as a technical state of war continues. This includes the period of an armistice or military occupation up to the effective of a treaty of peace and may extend beyond by treaty agreement. (Cowles Trial of War Criminals by Military Tribunals, America Bar Association Journal June, 1944.) Consequently, the President as Commander in Chief is fully empowered to consummate this unfinished aspect of war namely the trial and punishment of war criminal through the issuance and enforcement of Executive Order No. 68. Petitioner argues that respondent Military Commission has no Jurisdiction to try petitioner for acts committed in violation of the Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention because the Philippines is not a signatory to the first and signed the second only in 1947. It cannot be denied that the rules and regulation of the Hague and Geneva conventions form, part of and are wholly based on the generally accepted principals of international law. In facts these rules and principles were accepted by the two belligerent nation the United State and Japan who were signatories to the two Convention, Such rule and principles therefore form part of the

law of our nation even if the Philippines was not a signatory to the conventions embodying them for our Constitution has been deliberately general and extensive in its scope and is not confined to the recognition of rule and principle of international law as continued inn treaties to which our government may have been or shall be a signatory. Furthermore when the crimes charged against petitioner were allegedly committed the Philippines was under the sovereignty of United States and thus we were equally bound together with the United States and with Japan to the right and obligation contained in the treaties between the belligerent countries. These rights and obligation were not erased by our assumption of full sovereignty. If at all our emergency as a free state entitles us to enforce the right on our own of trying and punishing those who committed crimes against crimes against our people. In this connection it is well to remember what we have said in the case of Laurel vs. Misa (76 Phil., 372): . . . The change of our form government from Commonwealth to Republic does not affect the prosecution of those charged with the crime of treason committed during then Commonwealth because it is an offense against the same sovereign people. . . . By the same token war crimes committed against our people and our government while we were a Commonwealth are triable and punishable by our present Republic. Petitioner challenges the participation of two American attorneys namely Melville S. Hussey and Robert Port in the prosecution of his case on the ground that said attorney's are not qualified to practice law in Philippines in accordance with our Rules of court and the appointment of said attorneys as prosecutors is violative of our national sovereignty. In the first place respondent Military Commission is a special military tribunal governed by a special law and not by the Rules of court which govern ordinary civil court. It has already been shown that Executive Order No. 68 which provides for the organization of such military commission is a valid and constitutional law. There is nothing in said executive order which requires that counsel appearing before said commission must be attorneys qualified to practice law in the Philippines in accordance with the Rules of Court. In facts it is common in military tribunals that counsel for the parties are usually military personnel who are neither attorneys nor even possessed of legal training. Secondly the appointment of the two American attorneys is not violative of our nation sovereignty. It is only fair and proper that United States, which has submitted the vindication of crimes against her government and her people to a tribunal of our

nation should be allowed representation in the trial of those very crimes. If there has been any relinquishment of sovereignty it has not been by our government but by the United State Government which has yielded to us the trial and punishment of her enemies. The least that we could do in the spirit of comity is to allow them representation in said trials. Alleging that the United State is not a party in interest in the case petitioner challenges the personality of attorneys Hussey and Port as prosecutors. It is of common knowledge that the United State and its people have been equally if not more greatly aggrieved by the crimes with which petitioner stands charged before the Military Commission. It can be considered a privilege for our Republic that a leader nation should submit the vindication of the honor of its citizens and its government to a military tribunal of our country. The Military Commission having been convened by virtue of a valid law with jurisdiction over the crimes charged which fall under the provisions of Executive Order No. 68, and having said petitioner in its custody, this Court will not interfere with the due process of such Military commission. For all the foregoing the petition is denied with costs de oficio. Paras, Feria, Pablo, Bengzon, Tuason, Montemayor and Reyes, JJ., concur.

Ichong vs Hernandez Case Digest LAO H. ICHONG, in his own behalf and in behalf of other alien residents, corporations and partnerships adversely affected. by Republic Act No. 1180, petitioner, vs. JAIME HERNANDEZ, Secretary of Finance, and MARCELINO SARMIENTO, City Treasurer of Manila, respondents. G.R. No. L-7995 May 31, 1957 FACTS: Republic Act No. 1180 is entitled "An Act to Regulate the Retail Business." In effect it nationalizes the retail trade business. The main provisions of the Act are: (1) a prohibition against persons, not citizens of the Philippines, and against associations, partnerships, or corporations the capital of which are not wholly owned by citizens of the Philippines, from engaging directly or indirectly in the retail trade; (2) an exception from the above prohibition in favor of aliens actually engaged in said business on May 15, 1954, who are allowed to continue to engaged therein, unless their licenses are forfeited in accordance with the law, until their death or voluntary retirement in case of natural persons, and for ten years after the approval of the Act or until the expiration of term in case of juridical persons; (3) an exception there from in favor of citizens and juridical entities of the United States; (4) a provision for the forfeiture of licenses for violation of the laws on nationalization, control weights and measures and labor and other laws relating to trade, commerce and industry; (5) a prohibition against the establishment or opening by aliens actually engaged in the retail business of additional stores or branches of retail business, (6) a provision requiring aliens actually engaged in the retail business to present for registration with the proper authorities a verified statement concerning their businesses, giving, among other matters, the nature of the business, their assets and liabilities and their offices and principal offices of judicial entities; and (7) a provision allowing the heirs of aliens now engaged in the retail business who die, to continue such business for a period of six months for purposes of liquidation. Petitioner, for and in his own behalf and on behalf of other alien resident,s corporations and partnerships adversely affected by the provisions of Republic Act. No. 1180, brought this action to obtain a judicial declaration that said Act is unconstitutional, and to enjoin the Secretary of Finance and all other persons acting under him, particularly city and municipal treasurers, from enforcing its provisions. Petitioner attacks the constitutionality of the Act, contending that it denies to alien residents the equal protection of the laws and deprives of their liberty and property without due process of law.

ISSUE: Whether or not R.A. No. 1180 denies equal protection of laws and due process? HELD: The Court cited the following reason in upholding the constitutionality and validity of R.A. No. 1180 which does not violate the equal protection of laws and due process. We hold that the disputed law was enacted to remedy a real actual threat and danger to national economy posed by alien dominance and control of the retail business and free citizens and country from dominance and control; that the enactment clearly falls within the scope of the police power of the State, thru which and by which it protects its own personality and insures its security and future. The present dominance of the alien retailer, especially in the big centers of population, therefore, becomes a potential source of danger on occasions of war or other calamity. We do not have here in this country isolated groups of harmless aliens retailing goods among nationals; what we have are well organized and powerful groups that dominate the distribution of goods and commodities in the communities and big centers of population. They owe no allegiance or loyalty to the State, and the State cannot rely upon them in times of crisis or emergency. While the national holds his life, his person and his property subject to the needs of his country, the alien may even become the potential enemy of the State. The law does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution because sufficient grounds exist for the distinction between alien and citizen in the exercise of the occupation regulated. Aliens are under no special constitutional protection which forbids a classification otherwise justified simply because the limitation of the class falls along the lines of nationality. That would be requiring a higher degree of protection for aliens as a class than for similar classes than for similar classes of American citizens. Broadly speaking, the difference in status between citizens and aliens constitutes a basis for reasonable classification in the exercise of police power. DUE PROCESS The due process of law clause is not violated because the law is prospective in operation and recognizes the privilege of aliens already engaged in the occupation and reasonably protects their privilege; that the wisdom and efficacy of the law to carry out its objectives appear to us to be plainly evident as a matter of fact it seems not only appropriate but actually necessary and that in any case such matter

falls within the prerogative of the Legislature, with whose power and discretion the Judicial department of the Government may not interfere. The guaranty of due process demands only that the law shall not be unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, and that the means selected shall have a real and substantial relation to the subject sought to be attained. So far as the requirement of due process is concerned and in the absence of other constitutional restriction a state is free to adopt whatever economic policy may reasonably be deemed to promote public welfare, and to enforce that policy by legislation adapted to its purpose. The courts are without authority either to declare such policy, or, when it is declared by the legislature, to override it. If the laws passed are seen to have a reasonable relation to a proper legislative purpose, and are neither arbitrary nor discriminatory, the requirements of due process are satisfied, and judicial determination to that effect renders a court functus officio. . . . To justify the state in thus interposing its authority in behalf of the public, it must appear, first, that the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require such interference; and second, that the means are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose, and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. The real question at issue, therefore, is not that posed by petitioner, which overlooks and ignores the facts and circumstances, but this, Is the exclusion in the future of aliens from the retail trade unreasonable?; Arbitrary capricious, taking into account the illegitimate and pernicious form and manner in which the aliens have heretofore engaged therein? As thus correctly stated the answer is clear. The law in question is deemed absolutely necessary to bring about the desired legislative objective, i.e., to free national economy from alien control and dominance. It is not necessarily unreasonable because it affects private rights and privileges (11 Am. Jur. pp. 1080-1081.) The test of reasonableness of a law is the appropriateness or adequacy under all circumstances of the means adopted to carry out its purpose into effect (Id.) Judged by this test, disputed legislation, which is not merely reasonable but actually necessary, must be considered not to have infringed the constitutional limitation of reasonableness.

G.R. No. L-7995

May 31, 1957

LAO H. ICHONG, in his own behalf and in behalf of other alien residents, corporations and partnerships adversely affected. by Republic Act No. 1180, petitioner, vs. JAIME HERNANDEZ, Secretary of Finance, and MARCELINO SARMIENTO, City Treasurer of Manila, respondents. Ozaeta, Lichauco and Picazo and Sycip, Quisumbing, Salazar and Associates for petitioner. Office of the Solicitor General Ambrosio Padilla and Solicitor Pacifico P. de Castro for respondent Secretary of Finance. City Fiscal Eugenio Angeles and Assistant City Fiscal Eulogio S. Serrano for respondent City Treasurer. Dionisio Reyes as Amicus Curiae. Marcial G. Mendiola as Amicus Curiae. Emiliano R. Navarro as Amicus Curiae. LABRADOR, J.: I. The case and issue, in general This Court has before it the delicate task of passing upon the validity and constitutionality of a legislative enactment, fundamental and far-reaching in significance. The enactment poses questions of due process, police power and equal protection of the laws. It also poses an important issue of fact, that is whether the conditions which the disputed law purports to remedy really or actually exist. Admittedly springing from a deep, militant, and positive nationalistic impulse, the law purports to protect citizen and country from the alien retailer. Through it, and within the field of economy it regulates, Congress attempts to translate national aspirations for economic independence and national security, rooted in the drive and urge for national survival and welfare, into a concrete and tangible measures designed to free the national retailer from the competing dominance of the alien, so that the country and the nation may be free from a supposed economic dependence and bondage. Do the facts and circumstances justify the enactment? II. Pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 1180

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC

Republic Act No. 1180 is entitled "An Act to Regulate the Retail Business." In effect it nationalizes the retail trade business. The main provisions of the Act are: (1) a prohibition against persons, not citizens of the Philippines, and against associations, partnerships, or corporations the capital of which are not wholly owned by citizens of the Philippines, from engaging directly or indirectly in the retail trade; (2) an exception from the above prohibition in favor of aliens actually engaged in said business on May 15, 1954, who are allowed to continue to engaged therein, unless their licenses are forfeited in accordance with the law, until their death or voluntary retirement in case of natural persons, and for ten years after the approval of the Act or until the expiration of term in case of juridical persons; (3) an exception therefrom in favor of citizens and juridical entities of the United States; (4) a provision for the forfeiture of licenses (to engage in the retail business) for violation of the laws on nationalization, control weights and measures and labor and other laws relating to trade, commerce and industry; (5) a prohibition against the establishment or opening by aliens actually engaged in the retail business of additional stores or branches of retail business, (6) a provision requiring aliens actually engaged in the retail business to present for registration with the proper authorities a verified statement concerning their businesses, giving, among other matters, the nature of the business, their assets and liabilities and their offices and principal offices of judicial entities; and (7) a provision allowing the heirs of aliens now engaged in the retail business who die, to continue such business for a period of six months for purposes of liquidation. III. Grounds upon which petition is based-Answer thereto Petitioner, for and in his own behalf and on behalf of other alien residents corporations and partnerships adversely affected by the provisions of Republic Act. No. 1180, brought this action to obtain a judicial declaration that said Act is unconstitutional, and to enjoin the Secretary of Finance and all other persons acting under him, particularly city and municipal treasurers, from enforcing its provisions. Petitioner attacks the constitutionality of the Act, contending that: (1) it denies to alien residents the equal protection of the laws and deprives of their liberty and property without due process of law ; (2) the subject of the Act is not expressed or comprehended in the title thereof; (3) the Act violates international and treaty obligations of the Republic of the Philippines; (4) the provisions of the Act against the transmission by aliens of their retail business thru hereditary succession, and those requiring 100% Filipino capitalization for a corporation or entity to entitle it to engage in the retail business, violate the spirit of Sections 1 and 5, Article XIII and Section 8 of Article XIV of the Constitution.

In answer, the Solicitor-General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila contend that: (1) the Act was passed in the valid exercise of the police power of the State, which exercise is authorized in the Constitution in the interest of national economic survival; (2) the Act has only one subject embraced in the title; (3) no treaty or international obligations are infringed; (4) as regards hereditary succession, only the form is affected but the value of the property is not impaired, and the institution of inheritance is only of statutory origin. IV. Preliminary consideration of legal principles involved a. The police power. There is no question that the Act was approved in the exercise of the police power, but petitioner claims that its exercise in this instance is attended by a violation of the constitutional requirements of due process and equal protection of the laws. But before proceeding to the consideration and resolution of the ultimate issue involved, it would be well to bear in mind certain basic and fundamental, albeit preliminary, considerations in the determination of the ever recurrent conflict between police power and the guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws. What is the scope of police power, and how are the due process and equal protection clauses related to it? What is the province and power of the legislature, and what is the function and duty of the courts? These consideration must be clearly and correctly understood that their application to the facts of the case may be brought forth with clarity and the issue accordingly resolved. It has been said the police power is so far - reaching in scope, that it has become almost impossible to limit its sweep. As it derives its existence from the very existence of the State itself, it does not need to be expressed or defined in its scope; it is said to be co-extensive with self-protection and survival, and as such it is the most positive and active of all governmental processes, the most essential, insistent and illimitable. Especially is it so under a modern democratic framework where the demands of society and of nations have multiplied to almost unimaginable proportions; the field and scope of police power has become almost boundless, just as the fields of public interest and public welfare have become almost all-embracing and have transcended human foresight. Otherwise stated, as we cannot foresee the needs and demands of public interest and welfare in this constantly changing and progressive world, so we cannot delimit beforehand the extent or scope of police power by which and through which the State seeks to attain or achieve interest or welfare. So it is that Constitutions do not define the scope or extent of the police

power of the State; what they do is to set forth the limitations thereof. The most important of these are the due process clause and the equal protection clause. b. Limitations on police power. The basic limitations of due process and equal protection are found in the following provisions of our Constitution: SECTION 1.(1) No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. (Article III, Phil. Constitution) These constitutional guarantees which embody the essence of individual liberty and freedom in democracies, are not limited to citizens alone but are admittedly universal in their application, without regard to any differences of race, of color, or of nationality. (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, 30, L. ed. 220, 226.) c. The, equal protection clause. The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile discrimination or the oppression of inequality. It is not intended to prohibit legislation, which is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by territory within which is to operate. It does not demand absolute equality among residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. The equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons within such class, and reasonable grounds exists for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do not. (2 Cooley, Constitutional Limitations, 824-825.) d. The due process clause.

private interest? These are the questions that we ask when the due process test is applied. The conflict, therefore, between police power and the guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws is more apparent than real. Properly related, the power and the guarantees are supposed to coexist. The balancing is the essence or, shall it be said, the indispensable means for the attainment of legitimate aspirations of any democratic society. There can be no absolute power, whoever exercise it, for that would be tyranny. Yet there can neither be absolute liberty, for that would mean license and anarchy. So the State can deprive persons of life, liberty and property, provided there is due process of law; and persons may be classified into classes and groups, provided everyone is given the equal protection of the law. The test or standard, as always, is reason. The police power legislation must be firmly grounded on public interest and welfare, and a reasonable relation must exist between purposes and means. And if distinction and classification has been made, there must be a reasonable basis for said distinction. e. Legislative discretion not subject to judicial review. Now, in this matter of equitable balancing, what is the proper place and role of the courts? It must not be overlooked, in the first place, that the legislature, which is the constitutional repository of police power and exercises the prerogative of determining the policy of the State, is by force of circumstances primarily the judge of necessity, adequacy or reasonableness and wisdom, of any law promulgated in the exercise of the police power, or of the measures adopted to implement the public policy or to achieve public interest. On the other hand, courts, although zealous guardians of individual liberty and right, have nevertheless evinced a reluctance to interfere with the exercise of the legislative prerogative. They have done so early where there has been a clear, patent or palpable arbitrary and unreasonable abuse of the legislative prerogative. Moreover, courts are not supposed to override legitimate policy, and courts never inquire into the wisdom of the law. V. Economic problems sought to be remedied

The due process clause has to do with the reasonableness of legislation enacted in pursuance of the police power. Is there public interest, a public purpose; is public welfare involved? Is the Act reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the legislature's purpose; is it not unreasonable, arbitrary or oppressive? Is there sufficient foundation or reason in connection with the matter involved; or has there not been a capricious use of the legislative power? Can the aims conceived be achieved by the means used, or is it not merely an unjustified interference with

With the above considerations in mind, we will now proceed to delve directly into the issue involved. If the disputed legislation were merely a regulation, as its title indicates, there would be no question that it falls within the legitimate scope of legislative power. But it goes further and prohibits a group of residents, the aliens, from engaging therein. The problem becomes more complex because its subject is a

common, trade or occupation, as old as society itself, which from the immemorial has always been open to residents, irrespective of race, color or citizenship. a. Importance of retail trade in the economy of the nation. In a primitive economy where families produce all that they consume and consume all that they produce, the dealer, of course, is unknown. But as group life develops and families begin to live in communities producing more than what they consume and needing an infinite number of things they do not produce, the dealer comes into existence. As villages develop into big communities and specialization in production begins, the dealer's importance is enhanced. Under modern conditions and standards of living, in which man's needs have multiplied and diversified to unlimited extents and proportions, the retailer comes as essential as the producer, because thru him the infinite variety of articles, goods and needed for daily life are placed within the easy reach of consumers. Retail dealers perform the functions of capillaries in the human body, thru which all the needed food and supplies are ministered to members of the communities comprising the nation. There cannot be any question about the importance of the retailer in the life of the community. He ministers to the resident's daily needs, food in all its increasing forms, and the various little gadgets and things needed for home and daily life. He provides his customers around his store with the rice or corn, the fish, the salt, the vinegar, the spices needed for the daily cooking. He has cloths to sell, even the needle and the thread to sew them or darn the clothes that wear out. The retailer, therefore, from the lowly peddler, the owner of a small sari-sari store, to the operator of a department store or, a supermarket is so much a part of day-to-day existence. b. The alien retailer's trait. The alien retailer must have started plying his trades in this country in the bigger centers of population (Time there was when he was unknown in provincial towns and villages). Slowly but gradually be invaded towns and villages; now he predominates in the cities and big centers of population. He even pioneers, in far away nooks where the beginnings of community life appear, ministering to the daily needs of the residents and purchasing their agricultural produce for sale in the towns. It is an undeniable fact that in many communities the alien has replaced the native retailer. He has shown in this trade, industry without limit, and the patience and forbearance of a slave.

Derogatory epithets are hurled at him, but he laughs these off without murmur; insults of ill-bred and insolent neighbors and customers are made in his face, but he heeds them not, and he forgets and forgives. The community takes note of him, as he appears to be harmless and extremely useful. c. Alleged alien control and dominance. There is a general feeling on the part of the public, which appears to be true to fact, about the controlling and dominant position that the alien retailer holds in the nation's economy. Food and other essentials, clothing, almost all articles of daily life reach the residents mostly through him. In big cities and centers of population he has acquired not only predominance, but apparent control over distribution of almost all kinds of goods, such as lumber, hardware, textiles, groceries, drugs, sugar, flour, garlic, and scores of other goods and articles. And were it not for some national corporations like the Naric, the Namarco, the Facomas and the Acefa, his control over principal foods and products would easily become full and complete. Petitioner denies that there is alien predominance and control in the retail trade. In one breath it is said that the fear is unfounded and the threat is imagined; in another, it is charged that the law is merely the result of radicalism and pure and unabashed nationalism. Alienage, it is said, is not an element of control; also so many unmanageable factors in the retail business make control virtually impossible. The first argument which brings up an issue of fact merits serious consideration. The others are matters of opinion within the exclusive competence of the legislature and beyond our prerogative to pass upon and decide. The best evidence are the statistics on the retail trade, which put down the figures in black and white. Between the constitutional convention year (1935), when the fear of alien domination and control of the retail trade already filled the minds of our leaders with fears and misgivings, and the year of the enactment of the nationalization of the retail trade act (1954), official statistics unmistakably point out to the ever-increasing dominance and control by the alien of the retail trade, as witness the following tables: XXX (Estimated Assets and Gross Sales of Retail Establishments, By Year and Nationality of Owners, Benchmark: 1948 Census, issued by the Bureau of Census and Statistics, Department of Commerce and Industry; pp. 18-19 of Answer.)

The above statistics do not include corporations and partnerships, while the figures on Filipino establishments already include mere market vendors, whose capital is necessarily small.. The above figures reveal that in percentage distribution of assests and gross sales, alien participation has steadily increased during the years. It is true, of course, that Filipinos have the edge in the number of retailers, but aliens more than make up for the numerical gap through their assests and gross sales which average between six and seven times those of the very many Filipino retailers. Numbers in retailers, here, do not imply superiority; the alien invests more capital, buys and sells six to seven times more, and gains much more. The same official report, pointing out to the known predominance of foreign elements in the retail trade, remarks that the Filipino retailers were largely engaged in minor retailer enterprises. As observed by respondents, the native investment is thinly spread, and the Filipino retailer is practically helpless in matters of capital, credit, price and supply. d. Alien control and threat, subject of apprehension in Constitutional convention. It is this domination and control, which we believe has been sufficiently shown to exist, that is the legislature's target in the enactment of the disputed nationalization would never have been adopted. The framers of our Constitution also believed in the existence of this alien dominance and control when they approved a resolution categorically declaring among other things, that "it is the sense of the Convention that the public interest requires the nationalization of the retail trade; . . . ." (II Aruego, The Framing of the Philippine Constitution, 662-663, quoted on page 67 of Petitioner.) That was twenty-two years ago; and the events since then have not been either pleasant or comforting. Dean Sinco of the University of the Philippines College of Law, commenting on the patrimony clause of the Preamble opines that the fathers of our Constitution were merely translating the general preoccupation of Filipinos "of the dangers from alien interests that had already brought under their control the commercial and other economic activities of the country" (Sinco, Phil. Political Law, 10th ed., p. 114); and analyzing the concern of the members of the constitutional convention for the economic life of the citizens, in connection with the nationalistic provisions of the Constitution, he says: But there has been a general feeling that alien dominance over the economic life of the country is not desirable and that if such a situation should remain, political independence alone is no guarantee to national stability and strength. Filipino private capital is not big enough to wrest from alien hands the control of the national economy. Moreover, it is but of recent formation and hence, largely inexperienced,

timid and hesitant. Under such conditions, the government as the instrumentality of the national will, has to step in and assume the initiative, if not the leadership, in the struggle for the economic freedom of the nation in somewhat the same way that it did in the crusade for political freedom. Thus . . . it (the Constitution) envisages an organized movement for the protection of the nation not only against the possibilities of armed invasion but also against its economic subjugation by alien interests in the economic field. (Phil. Political Law by Sinco, 10th ed., p. 476.) Belief in the existence of alien control and predominance is felt in other quarters. Filipino businessmen, manufacturers and producers believe so; they fear the dangers coming from alien control, and they express sentiments of economic independence. Witness thereto is Resolution No. 1, approved on July 18, 1953, of the Fifth National convention of Filipino Businessmen, and a similar resolution, approved on March 20, 1954, of the Second National Convention of Manufacturers and Producers. The man in the street also believes, and fears, alien predominance and control; so our newspapers, which have editorially pointed out not only to control but to alien stranglehold. We, therefore, find alien domination and control to be a fact, a reality proved by official statistics, and felt by all the sections and groups that compose the Filipino community. e. Dangers of alien control and dominance in retail. But the dangers arising from alien participation in the retail trade does not seem to lie in the predominance alone; there is a prevailing feeling that such predominance may truly endanger the national interest. With ample capital, unity of purpose and action and thorough organization, alien retailers and merchants can act in such complete unison and concert on such vital matters as the fixing of prices, the determination of the amount of goods or articles to be made available in the market, and even the choice of the goods or articles they would or would not patronize or distribute, that fears of dislocation of the national economy and of the complete subservience of national economy and of the consuming public are not entirely unfounded. Nationals, producers and consumers alike can be placed completely at their mercy. This is easily illustrated. Suppose an article of daily use is desired to be prescribed by the aliens, because the producer or importer does not offer them sufficient profits, or because a new competing article offers bigger profits for its introduction. All that aliens would do is to agree to refuse to sell the first article, eliminating it from their stocks, offering the new one as a substitute. Hence, the producers or importers of the prescribed article, or its consumers, find the article suddenly out of the prescribed article, or its consumers, find the article suddenly out of circulation. Freedom of trade is thus curtailed and free enterprise correspondingly suppressed.

f. Law enacted in interest of national economic survival and security. We can even go farther than theoretical illustrations to show the pernicious influences of alien domination. Grave abuses have characterized the exercise of the retail trade by aliens. It is a fact within judicial notice, which courts of justice may not properly overlook or ignore in the interests of truth and justice, that there exists a general feeling on the part of the public that alien participation in the retail trade has been attended by a pernicious and intolerable practices, the mention of a few of which would suffice for our purposes; that at some time or other they have cornered the market of essential commodities, like corn and rice, creating artificial scarcities to justify and enhance profits to unreasonable proportions; that they have hoarded essential foods to the inconvenience and prejudice of the consuming public, so much so that the Government has had to establish the National Rice and Corn Corporation to save the public from their continuous hoarding practices and tendencies; that they have violated price control laws, especially on foods and essential commodities, such that the legislature had to enact a law (Sec. 9, Republic Act No. 1168), authorizing their immediate and automatic deportation for price control convictions; that they have secret combinations among themselves to control prices, cheating the operation of the law of supply and demand; that they have connived to boycott honest merchants and traders who would not cater or yield to their demands, in unlawful restraint of freedom of trade and enterprise. They are believed by the public to have evaded tax laws, smuggled goods and money into and out of the land, violated import and export prohibitions, control laws and the like, in derision and contempt of lawful authority. It is also believed that they have engaged in corrupting public officials with fabulous bribes, indirectly causing the prevalence of graft and corruption in the Government. As a matter of fact appeals to unscrupulous aliens have been made both by the Government and by their own lawful diplomatic representatives, action which impliedly admits a prevailing feeling about the existence of many of the above practices. The circumstances above set forth create well founded fears that worse things may come in the future. The present dominance of the alien retailer, especially in the big centers of population, therefore, becomes a potential source of danger on occasions of war or other calamity. We do not have here in this country isolated groups of harmless aliens retailing goods among nationals; what we have are well organized and powerful groups that dominate the distribution of goods and commodities in the communities and big centers of population. They owe no allegiance or loyalty to the State, and the State cannot rely upon them in times of crisis or emergency. While the national holds his life, his person and his property subject to the needs of his country, the alien may even become the potential enemy of the State. We are fully satisfied upon a consideration of all the facts and circumstances that the disputed law is not the product of racial hostility, prejudice or discrimination, but the expression of the legitimate desire and determination of the people, thru their authorized representatives, to free the nation from the economic situation that has unfortunately been saddled upon it rightly or wrongly, to its disadvantage. The law is clearly in the interest of the public, nay of the national security itself, and indisputably falls within the scope of police power, thru which and by which the State insures its existence and security and the supreme welfare of its citizens. VI. The Equal Protection Limitation a. Objections to alien participation in retail trade. The next question that now poses solution is, Does the law deny the equal protection of the laws? As pointed out above, the mere fact of alienage is the root and cause of the distinction between the alien and the national as a trader. The alien resident owes allegiance to the country of his birth or his adopted country; his stay here is for personal convenience; he is attracted by the lure of gain and profit. His aim or purpose of stay, we admit, is neither illegitimate nor immoral, but he is naturally lacking in that spirit of loyalty and enthusiasm for this country where he temporarily stays and makes his living, or of that spirit of regard, sympathy and consideration for his Filipino customers as would prevent him from taking advantage of their weakness and exploiting them. The faster he makes his pile, the earlier can the alien go back to his beloved country and his beloved kin and countrymen. The experience of the country is that the alien retailer has shown such utter disregard for his customers and the people on whom he makes his profit, that it has been found necessary to adopt the legislation, radical as it may seem. Another objection to the alien retailer in this country is that he never really makes a genuine contribution to national income and wealth. He undoubtedly contributes to general distribution, but the gains and profits he makes are not invested in industries that would help the country's economy and increase national wealth. The alien's interest in this country being merely transient and temporary, it would indeed be illadvised to continue entrusting the very important function of retail distribution to his hands. The practices resorted to by aliens in the control of distribution, as already pointed out above, their secret manipulations of stocks of commodities and prices, their utter disregard of the welfare of their customers and of the ultimate happiness of the

people of the nation of which they are mere guests, which practices, manipulations and disregard do not attend the exercise of the trade by the nationals, show the existence of real and actual, positive and fundamental differences between an alien and a national which fully justify the legislative classification adopted in the retail trade measure. These differences are certainly a valid reason for the State to prefer the national over the alien in the retail trade. We would be doing violence to fact and reality were we to hold that no reason or ground for a legitimate distinction can be found between one and the other. b. Difference in alien aims and purposes sufficient basis for distinction. The above objectionable characteristics of the exercise of the retail trade by the aliens, which are actual and real, furnish sufficient grounds for legislative classification of retail traders into nationals and aliens. Some may disagree with the wisdom of the legislature's classification. To this we answer, that this is the prerogative of the law-making power. Since the Court finds that the classification is actual, real and reasonable, and all persons of one class are treated alike, and as it cannot be said that the classification is patently unreasonable and unfounded, it is in duty bound to declare that the legislature acted within its legitimate prerogative and it can not declare that the act transcends the limit of equal protection established by the Constitution. Broadly speaking, the power of the legislature to make distinctions and classifications among persons is not curtailed or denied by the equal protection of the laws clause. The legislative power admits of a wide scope of discretion, and a law can be violative of the constitutional limitation only when the classification is without reasonable basis. In addition to the authorities we have earlier cited, we can also refer to the case of Linsey vs. Natural Carbonic Fas Co. (1911), 55 L. ed., 369, which clearly and succinctly defined the application of equal protection clause to a law sought to be voided as contrary thereto: . . . . "1. The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not take from the state the power to classify in the adoption of police laws, but admits of the exercise of the wide scope of discretion in that regard, and avoids what is done only when it is without any reasonable basis, and therefore is purely arbitrary. 2. A classification having some reasonable basis does not offend against that clause merely because it is not made with mathematical nicety, or because in practice it results in some inequality. 3. When the classification in such a law is called in question, if any state of facts reasonably can be conceived that would sustain it, the existence of that state of facts at the time the law was enacted must be assumed. 4.

One who assails the classification in such a law must carry the burden of showing that it does not rest upon any reasonable basis but is essentially arbitrary." c. Authorities recognizing citizenship as basis for classification. The question as to whether or not citizenship is a legal and valid ground for classification has already been affirmatively decided in this jurisdiction as well as in various courts in the United States. In the case of Smith Bell & Co. vs. Natividad, 40 Phil. 136, where the validity of Act No. 2761 of the Philippine Legislature was in issue, because of a condition therein limiting the ownership of vessels engaged in coastwise trade to corporations formed by citizens of the Philippine Islands or the United States, thus denying the right to aliens, it was held that the Philippine Legislature did not violate the equal protection clause of the Philippine Bill of Rights. The legislature in enacting the law had as ultimate purpose the encouragement of Philippine shipbuilding and the safety for these Islands from foreign interlopers. We held that this was a valid exercise of the police power, and all presumptions are in favor of its constitutionality. In substance, we held that the limitation of domestic ownership of vessels engaged in coastwise trade to citizens of the Philippines does not violate the equal protection of the law and due process or law clauses of the Philippine Bill of Rights. In rendering said decision we quoted with approval the concurring opinion of Justice Johnson in the case of Gibbons vs. Ogden, 9 Wheat., I, as follows: "Licensing acts, in fact, in legislation, are universally restraining acts; as, for example, acts licensing gaming houses, retailers of spirituous liquors, etc. The act, in this instance, is distinctly of that character, and forms part of an extensive system, the object of which is to encourage American shipping, and place them on an equal footing with the shipping of other nations. Almost every commercial nation reserves to its own subjects a monopoly of its coasting trade; and a countervailing privilege in favor of American shipping is contemplated, in the whole legislation of the United States on this subject. It is not to give the vessel an American character, that the license is granted; that effect has been correctly attributed to the act of her enrollment. But it is to confer on her American privileges, as contra distinguished from foreign; and to preserve the Government from fraud by foreigners; in surreptitiously intruding themselves into the American commercial marine, as well as frauds upon the revenue in the trade coastwise, that this whole system is projected." The rule in general is as follows:

Aliens are under no special constitutional protection which forbids a classification otherwise justified simply because the limitation of the class falls along the lines of nationality. That would be requiring a higher degree of protection for aliens as a class than for similar classes than for similar classes of American citizens. Broadly speaking, the difference in status between citizens and aliens constitutes a basis for reasonable classification in the exercise of police power. (2 Am., Jur. 468-469.) In Commonwealth vs. Hana, 81 N. E. 149 (Massachusetts, 1907), a statute on the licensing of hawkers and peddlers, which provided that no one can obtain a license unless he is, or has declared his intention, to become a citizen of the United States, was held valid, for the following reason: It may seem wise to the legislature to limit the business of those who are supposed to have regard for the welfare, good order and happiness of the community, and the court cannot question this judgment and conclusion. In Bloomfield vs. State, 99 N. E. 309 (Ohio, 1912), a statute which prevented certain persons, among them aliens, from engaging in the traffic of liquors, was found not to be the result of race hatred, or in hospitality, or a deliberate purpose to discriminate, but was based on the belief that an alien cannot be sufficiently acquainted with "our institutions and our life as to enable him to appreciate the relation of this particular business to our entire social fabric", and was not, therefore, invalid. In Ohio ex rel. Clarke vs. Deckebach, 274 U. S. 392, 71 L. ed. 115 (1926), the U.S. Supreme Court had under consideration an ordinance of the city of Cincinnati prohibiting the issuance of licenses (pools and billiard rooms) to aliens. It held that plainly irrational discrimination against aliens is prohibited, but it does not follow that alien race and allegiance may not bear in some instances such a relation to a legitimate object of legislation as to be made the basis of permitted classification, and that it could not state that the legislation is clearly wrong; and that latitude must be allowed for the legislative appraisement of local conditions and for the legislative choice of methods for controlling an apprehended evil. The case of State vs. Carrol, 124 N. E. 129 (Ohio, 1919) is a parallel case to the one at bar. In Asakura vs. City of Seattle, 210 P. 30 (Washington, 1922), the business of pawn brooking was considered as having tendencies injuring public interest, and limiting it to citizens is within the scope of police power. A similar statute denying aliens the right to engage in auctioneering was also sustained in Wright vs. May, L.R.A., 1915 P. 151 (Minnesota, 1914). So also in Anton vs. Van Winkle, 297 F. 340 (Oregon, 1924), the court said that aliens are judicially known to have different interests, knowledge, attitude, psychology and loyalty, hence the prohibitions of issuance of licenses to them for the business of pawnbroker, pool, billiard, card room, dance hall, is not an infringement of constitutional rights. In Templar vs. Michigan State Board of Examiners, 90 N.W. 1058 (Michigan, 1902), a law prohibiting the licensing of aliens as barbers was held void, but the reason for the decision was the court's

findings that the exercise of the business by the aliens does not in any way affect the morals, the health, or even the convenience of the community. In Takahashi vs. Fish and Game Commission, 92 L. ed. 1479 (1947), a California statute banning the issuance of commercial fishing licenses to person ineligible to citizenship was held void, because the law conflicts with Federal power over immigration, and because there is no public interest in the mere claim of ownership of the waters and the fish in them, so there was no adequate justification for the discrimination. It further added that the law was the outgrowth of antagonism toward the persons of Japanese ancestry. However, two Justices dissented on the theory that fishing rights have been treated traditionally as natural resources. In Fraser vs. McConway & Tarley Co., 82 Fed. 257 (Pennsylvania, 1897), a state law which imposed a tax on every employer of foreign-born unnaturalized male persons over 21 years of age, was declared void because the court found that there was no reason for the classification and the tax was an arbitrary deduction from the daily wage of an employee. d. Authorities contra explained. It is true that some decisions of the Federal court and of the State courts in the United States hold that the distinction between aliens and citizens is not a valid ground for classification. But in this decision the laws declared invalid were found to be either arbitrary, unreasonable or capricious, or were the result or product of racial antagonism and hostility, and there was no question of public interest involved or pursued. In Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, 70 L. ed. 1059 (1925), the United States Supreme Court declared invalid a Philippine law making unlawful the keeping of books of account in any language other than English, Spanish or any other local dialect, but the main reasons for the decisions are: (1) that if Chinese were driven out of business there would be no other system of distribution, and (2) that the Chinese would fall prey to all kinds of fraud, because they would be deprived of their right to be advised of their business and to direct its conduct. The real reason for the decision, therefore, is the court's belief that no public benefit would be derived from the operations of the law and on the other hand it would deprive Chinese of something indispensable for carrying on their business. In Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, 30 L. ed 220 (1885) an ordinance conferring powers on officials to withhold consent in the operation of laundries both as to persons and place, was declared invalid, but the court said that the power granted was arbitrary, that there was no reason for the discrimination which attended the administration and implementation of the law, and that the motive thereof was mere racial hostility. In State vs. Montgomery, 47 A. 165 (Maine, 1900), a law prohibiting aliens to engage as hawkers and peddlers was declared void, because the discrimination bore no reasonable and just relation to the act in respect to which the classification was proposed.

The case at bar is radically different, and the facts make them so. As we already have said, aliens do not naturally possess the sympathetic consideration and regard for the customers with whom they come in daily contact, nor the patriotic desire to help bolster the nation's economy, except in so far as it enhances their profit, nor the loyalty and allegiance which the national owes to the land. These limitations on the qualifications of the aliens have been shown on many occasions and instances, especially in times of crisis and emergency. We can do no better than borrow the language of Anton vs. Van Winkle, 297 F. 340, 342, to drive home the reality and significance of the distinction between the alien and the national, thus: . . . . It may be judicially known, however, that alien coming into this country are without the intimate knowledge of our laws, customs, and usages that our own people have. So it is likewise known that certain classes of aliens are of different psychology from our fellow countrymen. Furthermore, it is natural and reasonable to suppose that the foreign born, whose allegiance is first to their own country, and whose ideals of governmental environment and control have been engendered and formed under entirely different regimes and political systems, have not the same inspiration for the public weal, nor are they as well disposed toward the United States, as those who by citizenship, are a part of the government itself. Further enlargement, is unnecessary. I have said enough so that obviously it cannot be affirmed with absolute confidence that the Legislature was without plausible reason for making the classification, and therefore appropriate discriminations against aliens as it relates to the subject of legislation. . . . . VII. The Due Process of Law Limitation. a. Reasonability, the test of the limitation; determination by legislature decisive. We now come to due process as a limitation on the exercise of the police power. It has been stated by the highest authority in the United States that: . . . . And the guaranty of due process, as has often been held, demands only that the law shall not be unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, and that the means selected shall have a real and substantial relation to the subject sought to be attained. . . . . xxx xxx xxx

reasonably be deemed to promote public welfare, and to enforce that policy by legislation adapted to its purpose. The courts are without authority either to declare such policy, or, when it is declared by the legislature, to override it. If the laws passed are seen to have a reasonable relation to a proper legislative purpose, and are neither arbitrary nor discriminatory, the requirements of due process are satisfied, and judicial determination to that effect renders a court functus officio. . . . (Nebbia vs. New York, 78 L. ed. 940, 950, 957.) Another authority states the principle thus: . . . . Too much significance cannot be given to the word "reasonable" in considering the scope of the police power in a constitutional sense, for the test used to determine the constitutionality of the means employed by the legislature is to inquire whether the restriction it imposes on rights secured to individuals by the Bill of Rights are unreasonable, and not whether it imposes any restrictions on such rights. . . . xxx xxx xxx

. . . . A statute to be within this power must also be reasonable in its operation upon the persons whom it affects, must not be for the annoyance of a particular class, and must not be unduly oppressive. (11 Am. Jur. Sec. 302., 1:1)- 1074-1075.) In the case of Lawton vs. Steele, 38 L. ed. 385, 388. it was also held: . . . . To justify the state in thus interposing its authority in behalf of the public, it must appear, first, that the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require such interference; and second, that the means are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose, and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. . . . Prata Undertaking Co. vs. State Board of Embalming, 104 ALR, 389, 395, fixes this test of constitutionality: In determining whether a given act of the Legislature, passed in the exercise of the police power to regulate the operation of a business, is or is not constitutional, one of the first questions to be considered by the court is whether the power as exercised has a sufficient foundation in reason in connection with the matter involved, or is an arbitrary, oppressive, and capricious use of that power, without substantial relation to the health, safety, morals, comfort, and general welfare of the public.

So far as the requirement of due process is concerned and in the absence of other constitutional restriction a state is free to adopt whatever economic policy may

b. Petitioner's argument considered. Petitioner's main argument is that retail is a common, ordinary occupation, one of those privileges long ago recognized as essential to the orderly pursuant of happiness by free men; that it is a gainful and honest occupation and therefore beyond the power of the legislature to prohibit and penalized. This arguments overlooks fact and reality and rests on an incorrect assumption and premise, i.e., that in this country where the occupation is engaged in by petitioner, it has been so engaged by him, by the alien in an honest creditable and unimpeachable manner, without harm or injury to the citizens and without ultimate danger to their economic peace, tranquility and welfare. But the Legislature has found, as we have also found and indicated, that the privilege has been so grossly abused by the alien, thru the illegitimate use of pernicious designs and practices, that he now enjoys a monopolistic control of the occupation and threatens a deadly stranglehold on the nation's economy endangering the national security in times of crisis and emergency. The real question at issue, therefore, is not that posed by petitioner, which overlooks and ignores the facts and circumstances, but this, Is the exclusion in the future of aliens from the retail trade unreasonable. Arbitrary capricious, taking into account the illegitimate and pernicious form and manner in which the aliens have heretofore engaged therein? As thus correctly stated the answer is clear. The law in question is deemed absolutely necessary to bring about the desired legislative objective, i.e., to free national economy from alien control and dominance. It is not necessarily unreasonable because it affects private rights and privileges (11 Am. Jur. pp. 10801081.) The test of reasonableness of a law is the appropriateness or adequacy under all circumstances of the means adopted to carry out its purpose into effect (Id.) Judged by this test, disputed legislation, which is not merely reasonable but actually necessary, must be considered not to have infringed the constitutional limitation of reasonableness. The necessity of the law in question is explained in the explanatory note that accompanied the bill, which later was enacted into law: This bill proposes to regulate the retail business. Its purpose is to prevent persons who are not citizens of the Philippines from having a strangle hold upon our economic life. If the persons who control this vital artery of our economic life are the ones who owe no allegiance to this Republic, who have no profound devotion to our free institutions, and who have no permanent stake in our people's welfare, we are not really the masters of our destiny. All aspects of our life, even our national security, will be at the mercy of other people. In seeking to accomplish the foregoing purpose, we do not propose to deprive persons who are not citizens of the Philippines of their means of livelihood. While this bill seeks to take away from the hands of persons who are not citizens of the Philippines a power that can be wielded to paralyze all aspects of our national life and endanger our national security it respects existing rights. The approval of this bill is necessary for our national survival. If political independence is a legitimate aspiration of a people, then economic independence is none the less legitimate. Freedom and liberty are not real and positive if the people are subject to the economic control and domination of others, especially if not of their own race or country. The removal and eradication of the shackles of foreign economic control and domination, is one of the noblest motives that a national legislature may pursue. It is impossible to conceive that legislation that seeks to bring it about can infringe the constitutional limitation of due process. The attainment of a legitimate aspiration of a people can never be beyond the limits of legislative authority. c. Law expressly held by Constitutional Convention to be within the sphere of legislative action. The framers of the Constitution could not have intended to impose the constitutional restrictions of due process on the attainment of such a noble motive as freedom from economic control and domination, thru the exercise of the police power. The fathers of the Constitution must have given to the legislature full authority and power to enact legislation that would promote the supreme happiness of the people, their freedom and liberty. On the precise issue now before us, they expressly made their voice clear; they adopted a resolution expressing their belief that the legislation in question is within the scope of the legislative power. Thus they declared the their Resolution: That it is the sense of the Convention that the public interest requires the nationalization of retail trade; but it abstain from approving the amendment introduced by the Delegate for Manila, Mr. Araneta, and others on this matter because it is convinced that the National Assembly is authorized to promulgate a law which limits to Filipino and American citizens the privilege to engage in the retail trade. (11 Aruego, The Framing of the Philippine Constitution, quoted on pages 66 and 67 of the Memorandum for the Petitioner.)

It would do well to refer to the nationalistic tendency manifested in various provisions of the Constitution. Thus in the preamble, a principle objective is the conservation of the patrimony of the nation and as corollary the provision limiting to citizens of the Philippines the exploitation, development and utilization of its natural resources. And in Section 8 of Article XIV, it is provided that "no franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of the public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines." The nationalization of the retail trade is only a continuance of the nationalistic protective policy laid down as a primary objective of the Constitution. Can it be said that a law imbued with the same purpose and spirit underlying many of the provisions of the Constitution is unreasonable, invalid and unconstitutional? The seriousness of the Legislature's concern for the plight of the nationals as manifested in the approval of the radical measures is, therefore, fully justified. It would have been recreant to its duties towards the country and its people would it view the sorry plight of the nationals with the complacency and refuse or neglect to adopt a remedy commensurate with the demands of public interest and national survival. As the repository of the sovereign power of legislation, the Legislature was in duty bound to face the problem and meet, through adequate measures, the danger and threat that alien domination of retail trade poses to national economy. d. Provisions of law not unreasonable. A cursory study of the provisions of the law immediately reveals how tolerant, how reasonable the Legislature has been. The law is made prospective and recognizes the right and privilege of those already engaged in the occupation to continue therein during the rest of their lives; and similar recognition of the right to continue is accorded associations of aliens. The right or privilege is denied to those only upon conviction of certain offenses. In the deliberations of the Court on this case, attention was called to the fact that the privilege should not have been denied to children and heirs of aliens now engaged in the retail trade. Such provision would defeat the law itself, its aims and purposes. Beside, the exercise of legislative discretion is not subject to judicial review. It is well settled that the Court will not inquire into the motives of the Legislature, nor pass upon general matters of legislative judgment. The Legislature is primarily the judge of the necessity of an enactment or of any of its provisions, and every presumption is in favor of its validity, and though the Court may hold views inconsistent with the wisdom of the law, it may not annul the legislation if not palpably in excess of the legislative power. Furthermore, the test of the validity of a law attacked as a violation of due process, is not its reasonableness, but its unreasonableness, and we find the provisions are not unreasonable. These

principles also answer various other arguments raised against the law, some of which are: that the law does not promote general welfare; that thousands of aliens would be thrown out of employment; that prices will increase because of the elimination of competition; that there is no need for the legislation; that adequate replacement is problematical; that there may be general breakdown; that there would be repercussions from foreigners; etc. Many of these arguments are directed against the supposed wisdom of the law which lies solely within the legislative prerogative; they do not import invalidity. VIII. Alleged defect in the title of the law A subordinate ground or reason for the alleged invalidity of the law is the claim that the title thereof is misleading or deceptive, as it conceals the real purpose of the bill which is to nationalize the retail business and prohibit aliens from engaging therein. The constitutional provision which is claimed to be violated in Section 21 (1) of Article VI, which reads: No bill which may be enacted in the law shall embrace more than one subject which shall be expressed in the title of the bill. What the above provision prohibits is duplicity, that is, if its title completely fails to appraise the legislators or the public of the nature, scope and consequences of the law or its operation (I Sutherland, Statutory Construction, Sec. 1707, p. 297.) A cursory consideration of the title and the provisions of the bill fails to show the presence of duplicity. It is true that the term "regulate" does not and may not readily and at first glance convey the idea of "nationalization" and "prohibition", which terms express the two main purposes and objectives of the law. But "regulate" is a broader term than either prohibition or nationalization. Both of these have always been included within the term regulation. Under the title of an act to "regulate", the sale of intoxicating liquors, the Legislature may prohibit the sale of intoxicating liquors. (Sweet vs. City of Wabash, 41 Ind., 7; quoted in page 41 of Answer.) Within the meaning of the Constitution requiring that the subject of every act of the Legislature shall be stated in the tale, the title to regulate the sale of intoxicating liquors, etc." sufficiently expresses the subject of an act prohibiting the sale of such liquors to minors and to persons in the habit of getting intoxicated; such matters being properly included within the subject of regulating the sale. (Williams vs. State, 48 Ind. 306, 308, quoted in p. 42 of Answer.)

The word "regulate" is of broad import, and necessarily implies some degree of restraint and prohibition of acts usually done in connection with the thing to be regulated. While word regulate does not ordinarily convey meaning of prohibit, there is no absolute reason why it should not have such meaning when used in delegating police power in connection with a thing the best or only efficacious regulation of which involves suppression. (State vs. Morton, 162 So. 718, 182 La. 887, quoted in p. 42 of Answer.)

freedom of their subjects (Hans Kelsen, The Law of the United Nations, 1951 ed. pp. 29-32), and the Declaration of Human Rights contains nothing more than a mere recommendation or a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations (Id. p. 39.) That such is the import of the United Nations Charter aid of the Declaration of Human Rights can be inferred the fact that members of the United Nations Organizations, such as Norway and Denmark, prohibit foreigners from engaging in retail trade, and in most nations of the world laws against foreigners engaged in domestic trade are adopted. The Treaty of Amity between the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of China of April 18, 1947 is also claimed to be violated by the law in question. All that the treaty guarantees is equality of treatment to the Chinese nationals "upon the same terms as the nationals of any other country." But the nationals of China are not discriminating against because nationals of all other countries, except those of the United States, who are granted special rights by the Constitution, are all prohibited from engaging in the retail trade. But even supposing that the law infringes upon the said treaty, the treaty is always subject to qualification or amendment by a subsequent law (U. S. vs. Thompson, 258, Fed. 257, 260), and the same may never curtail or restrict the scope of the police power of the State (plaston vs. Pennsylvania, 58 L. ed. 539.) X. Conclusion Resuming what we have set forth above we hold that the disputed law was enacted to remedy a real actual threat and danger to national economy posed by alien dominance and control of the retail business and free citizens and country from dominance and control; that the enactment clearly falls within the scope of the police power of the State, thru which and by which it protects its own personality and insures its security and future; that the law does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution because sufficient grounds exist for the distinction between alien and citizen in the exercise of the occupation regulated, nor the due process of law clause, because the law is prospective in operation and recognizes the privilege of aliens already engaged in the occupation and reasonably protects their privilege; that the wisdom and efficacy of the law to carry out its objectives appear to us to be plainly evident as a matter of fact it seems not only appropriate but actually necessary and that in any case such matter falls within the prerogative of the Legislature, with whose power and discretion the Judicial department of the Government may not interfere; that the provisions of the law are clearly embraced in the title, and this suffers from no duplicity and has not misled the legislators or the segment of the population affected; and that it cannot be said to be void for supposed

The general rule is for the use of general terms in the title of a bill; it has also been said that the title need not be an index to the entire contents of the law (I Sutherland, Statutory Construction, See. 4803, p. 345.) The above rule was followed the title of the Act in question adopted the more general term "regulate" instead of "nationalize" or "prohibit". Furthermore, the law also contains other rules for the regulation of the retail trade which may not be included in the terms "nationalization" or "prohibition"; so were the title changed from "regulate" to "nationalize" or "prohibit", there would have been many provisions not falling within the scope of the title which would have made the Act invalid. The use of the term "regulate", therefore, is in accord with the principle governing the drafting of statutes, under which a simple or general term should be adopted in the title, which would include all other provisions found in the body of the Act. One purpose of the constitutional directive that the subject of a bill should be embraced in its title is to apprise the legislators of the purposes, the nature and scope of its provisions, and prevent the enactment into law of matters which have received the notice, action and study of the legislators or of the public. In the case at bar it cannot be claimed that the legislators have been appraised of the nature of the law, especially the nationalization and the prohibition provisions. The legislators took active interest in the discussion of the law, and a great many of the persons affected by the prohibitions in the law conducted a campaign against its approval. It cannot be claimed, therefore, that the reasons for declaring the law invalid ever existed. The objection must therefore, be overruled. IX. Alleged violation of international treaties and obligations Another subordinate argument against the validity of the law is the supposed violation thereby of the Charter of the United Nations and of the Declaration of the Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. We find no merit in the Nations Charter imposes no strict or legal obligations regarding the rights and

conflict with treaty obligations because no treaty has actually been entered into on the subject and the police power may not be curtailed or surrendered by any treaty or any other conventional agreement. Some members of the Court are of the opinion that the radical effects of the law could have been made less harsh in its impact on the aliens. Thus it is stated that the more time should have been given in the law for the liquidation of existing businesses when the time comes for them to close. Our legal duty, however, is merely to determine if the law falls within the scope of legislative authority and does not transcend the limitations of due process and equal protection guaranteed in the Constitution. Remedies against the harshness of the law should be addressed to the Legislature; they are beyond our power and jurisdiction. The petition is hereby denied, with costs against petitioner. Paras, C.J., Bengzon, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Endencia and Felix, JJ., concur.

GONZALES v. HECHANOVA Facts: Then President Diosdado Macapagal entered into two executive agreements with Vietnam and Burma for the importation of rice without complying with the requisite of securing a certification from the Natl Economic Council showing that there is a shortage in cereals. Hence, Hechanova authorized the importation of 67000 tons of rice from abroad to the detriment of our local planters. Gonzales, then president of the Iloilo Palay and Corn Planters Association assailed the executive agreements. Gonzales averred that Hechanova is without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, because RA 3452 prohibits the importation of rice and corn by the Rice and Corn Administration or any other government agency. ISSUE: Whether or not RA 3452 prevails over the 2 executive agreements entered into by Macapagal. HELD: Under the Constitution, the main function of the Executive is to enforce laws enacted by Congress. The former may not interfere in the performance of the legislative powers of the latter, except in the exercise of his veto power. He may not defeat legislative enactments that have acquired the status of laws, by indirectly repealing the same through an executive agreement providing for the performance of the very act prohibited by said laws. In the event of conflict between a treaty and a statute, the one which is latest in point of time shall prevail, is not applicable to the case at bar, Hechanova not only admits, but, also, insists that the contracts adverted to are not treaties. No such justification can be given as regards executive agreements not authorized by previous legislation, without completely upsetting the principle of separation of powers and the system of checks and balances which are fundamental in our constitutional set up. As regards the question whether an executive or 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 that the SC 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 All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, law, ordinance, or executive order or re gulation 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.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-21897 October 22, 1963

RAMON A. GONZALES, petitioner, vs. RUFINO G. HECHANOVA, as Executive Secretary, MACARIO PERALTA, JR., as Secretary of Defense, PEDRO GIMENEZ, as Auditor General, CORNELIO BALMACEDA, as Secretary of Commerce and Industry, and SALVADOR MARINO, Secretary of Justice, respondents. Ramon A. Gonzales in his own behalf as petitioner. Office of the Solicitor General and Estanislao Fernandez for respondents. CONCEPCION, J.: This is an original action for prohibition with preliminary injunction. It is not disputed that on September 22, 1963, respondent Executive Secretary authorized the importation of 67,000 tons of foreign rice to be purchased from private sources, and created a rice procurement committee composed of the other respondents herein1 for the implementation of said proposed importation. Thereupon, or September 25, 1963, herein petitioner, Ramon A. Gonzales a rice planter, and president of the Iloilo Palay and Corn Planters Association, whose members are, likewise, engaged in the production of rice and corn filed the petition herein, averring that, in making or attempting to make said importation of foreign rice, the aforementioned respondents "are acting without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction", because Republic Act No. 3452 which allegedly repeals or amends Republic Act No. 220 explicitly prohibits the importation of rice and corn "the Rice and Corn Administration or any other government agency;" that petitioner has no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law; and that a preliminary injunction is necessary for the preservation of the rights of the parties during the pendency this case and to prevent the judgment therein from coming ineffectual. Petitioner prayed, therefore, that said petition be given due course; that a writ of preliminary injunction be forthwith issued restraining respondent their agents or representatives from implementing the decision of the Executive Secretary to import the aforementioned foreign rice; and that, after due hearing, judgment be rendered making said injunction permanent.

Forthwith, respondents were required to file their answer to the petition which they did, and petitioner's pray for a writ of preliminary injunction was set for hearing at which both parties appeared and argued orally. Moreover, a memorandum was filed, shortly thereafter, by the respondents. Considering, later on, that the resolution said incident may require some pronouncements that would be more appropriate in a decision on the merits of the case, the same was set for hearing on the merits thereafter. The parties, however, waived the right to argue orally, although counsel for respondents filed their memoranda. I. Sufficiency of petitioner's interest. Respondents maintain that the status of petitioner as a rice planter does not give him sufficient interest to file the petition herein and secure the relief therein prayed for. We find no merit in this pretense. Apart from prohibiting the importation of rice and corn "by the Rice and Corn Administration or any other government agency". Republic Act No. 3452 declares, in Section 1 thereof, that "the policy of the Government" is to "engage in the purchase of these basic foods directly from those tenants, farmers, growers, producers and landowners in the Philippines who wish to dispose of their products at a price that will afford them a fair and just return for their labor and capital investment. ... ." Pursuant to this provision, petitioner, as a planter with a rice land of substantial proportion,2 is entitled to a chance to sell to the Government the rice it now seeks to buy abroad. Moreover, since the purchase of said commodity will have to be effected with public funds mainly raised by taxation, and as a rice producer and landowner petitioner must necessarily be a taxpayer, it follows that he has sufficient personality and interest to seek judicial assistance with a view to restraining what he believes to be an attempt to unlawfully disburse said funds. II. Exhaustion of administrative remedies. Respondents assail petitioner's right to the reliefs prayed for because he "has not exhausted all administrative remedies available to him before coming to court". We have already held, however, that the principle requiring the previous exhaustion of administrative remedies is not applicable where the question in dispute is purely a legal one",3 or where the controverted act is "patently illegal" or was performed without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction,4 or where the respondent is a department secretary, whose acts as an alter-ego of the President bear the implied or assumed approval of the latter,5 unless actually disapproved by him,6 or where there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention. 7 The case at bar fails under each one of the foregoing exceptions to the general rule. Respondents' contention is, therefore, untenable.

III. Merits of petitioner's cause of action. Respondents question the sufficiency of petitioner's cause of action upon the theory that the proposed importation in question is not governed by Republic Acts Nos. 2207 and 3452, but was authorized by the President as Commander-in-Chief "for military stock pile purposes" in the exercise of his alleged authority under Section 2 of Commonwealth Act No. 1;8 that in cases of necessity, the President "or his subordinates may take such preventive measure for the restoration of good order and maintenance of peace"; and that, as Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces, "the President ... is duty-bound to prepare for the challenge of threats of war or emergency withoutwaiting for any special authority". Regardless of whether Republic Act No. 3452 repeals Republic Act No. 2207, as contended by petitioner herein - on which our view need not be expressed we are unanimously of the opinion - assuming that said Republic Act No. 2207 is still in force that the two Acts are applicable to the proposed importation in question because the language of said laws is such as to include within the purview thereof all importations of rice and corn into the Philippines". Pursuant to Republic Act No. 2207, "it shall be unlawful for any person, association, corporation orgovernment agency to import rice and corn into any point in the Philippines", although, by way of exception, it adds, that "the President of the Philippines may authorize the importation of these commodities through any government agency that he may designate", is the conditions prescribed in Section 2 of said Act are present. Similarly, Republic Act No. 3452 explicitly enjoins "the Rice and Corn Administration or any government agency" from importing rice and corn. Respondents allege, however, that said provisions of Republic Act Nos. 2207 and 3452, prohibiting the importation of rice and corn by any "government agency", do not apply to importations "made by the Government itself", because the latter is not a "government agency". This theory is devoid of merit. The Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as well as respondents herein, and each and every officer and employee of our Government, our government agencies and/or agents. The applicability of said laws even to importations by the Government as such, becomes more apparent when we consider that: 1. The importation permitted in Republic Act No. 2207 is to be authorized by the "President of the Philippines" and, hence, by or on behalf of the Government of the Philippines; 2. Immediately after enjoining the Rice and Corn administration and any other government agency from importing rice and corn, Section 10 of Republic Act No. 3452 adds "that the importation of rice and corn is left to private parties upon

payment of the corresponding taxes", thus indicating that only "private parties" may import rice under its provisions; and 3. Aside from prescribing a fine not exceeding P10,000.00 and imprisonment of not more than five (5) years for those who shall violate any provision of Republic Act No. 3452 or any rule and regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, Section 15 of said Act provides that "if the offender is a public official and/or employees", he shall be subject to the additional penalty specified therein. A public official is an officer of the Government itself, as distinguished from officers or employees of instrumentalities of the Government. Hence, the duly authorized acts of the former are those of the Government, unlike those of a government instrumentality which may have a personality of its own, distinct and separate from that of the Government, as such. The provisions of Republic Act No. 2207 are, in this respect, even more explicit. Section 3 thereof provides a similar additional penalty for any "officer or employee of the Government" who "violates, abets or tolerates the violation of any provision" of said Act. Hence, the intent to apply the same to transactions made by the very government is patent. Indeed, the restrictions imposed in said Republic Acts are merely additional to those prescribed in Commonwealth Act No. 138, entitled "An Act to give native products and domestic entities the preference in the purchase of articles for the Government." Pursuant to Section 1 thereof: The Purchase and Equipment Division of the Government of the Philippines and other officers and employees of the municipal and provincial governments and the Government of the Philippines and of chartered cities, boards, commissions, bureaus, departments, offices, agencies, branches, and bodies of any description, including government-owned companies, authorized to requisition, purchase, or contract or make disbursements for articles, materials, and supplies for public use, public buildings, or public works shall give preference to materials ... produced ... in the Philippines or in the United States, and to domestic entities, subject to the conditions hereinbelow specified. (Emphasis supplied.) Under this provision, in all purchases by the Government, including those made by and/or for the armed forces,preference shall be given to materials produced in the Philippines. The importation involved in the case at bar violates this general policy of our Government, aside from the provisions of Republic Acts Nos. 2207 and 3452. The attempt to justify the proposed importation by invoking reasons of national security predicated upon the "worsening situation in Laos and Vietnam", and "the recent tension created by the Malaysia problem" - and the alleged powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces in the Philippines, under

Section 2 of the National Defense Act (Commonwealth Act No. 1), overlooks the fact that the protection of local planters of rice and corn in a manner that would foster and accelerate self-sufficiency in the local production of said commodities constitutes a factor that is vital to our ability to meet possible national emergency. Even if the intent in importing goods in anticipation of such emergency were to bolster up that ability, the latter would, instead, be impaired if the importation were so made as to discourage our farmers from engaging in the production of rice. Besides, the stockpiling of rice and corn for purpose of national security and/or national emergency is within the purview of Republic Act No. 3452. Section 3 thereof expressly authorizes the Rice and Corn Administration "to accumulate stocks as a national reserve in such quantities as it may deem proper and necessary to meet any contingencies". Moreover, it ordains that "the buffer stocks held as a national reserve ... be deposited by the administration throughout the country under the proper dispersal plans ... and may be released only upon the occurrence of calamities or emergencies ...". (Emphasis applied.) Again, the provisions of Section 2 of Commonwealth Act No. 1, upon which respondents rely so much, are not self-executory. They merely outline the general objectives of said legislation. The means for the attainment of those objectives are subject to congressional legislation. Thus, the conditions under which the services of citizens, as indicated in said Section 2, may be availed of, are provided for in Sections 3, 4 and 51 to 88 of said Commonwealth Act No. 1. Similarly, Section 5 thereof specifies the manner in which resources necessary for our national defense may be secured by the Government of the Philippines, but only " during a national mobilization",9which does not exist. Inferentially, therefore, in the absence of a national mobilization, said resources shall be produced in such manner as Congress may by other laws provide from time to time. Insofar as rice and corn are concerned, Republic Acts Nos. 2207 and 3452, and Commonwealth Act No. 138 are such laws. Respondents cite Corwin in support of their pretense, but in vain. An examination of the work cited10 shows that Corwin referred to the powers of the President during "war time"11 or when he has placed the country or a part thereof under "martial law".12 Since neither condition obtains in the case at bar, said work merely proves that respondents' theory, if accepted, would, in effect, place the Philippines under martial law, without a declaration of the Executive to that effect. What is worse, it would keep us perpetually under martial law. It has been suggested that even if the proposed importation violated Republic Acts Nos. 2207 and 3452, it should, nevertheless, be permitted because "it redounds to the benefit of the people". Salus populi est suprema lex, it is said.

If there were a local shortage of rice, the argument might have some value. But the respondents, as officials of this Government, have expressly affirmed again and again that there is no rice shortage. And the importation is avowedly for stockpile of the Army not the civilian population. But let us follow the respondents' trend of thought. It has a more serious implication that appears on the surface. It implies that if an executive officer believes that compliance with a certain statute will not benefit the people, he is at liberty to disregard it. That idea must be rejected - we still live under a rule of law. And then, "the people" are either producers or consumers. Now as respondents explicitly admit Republic Acts Nos. 2207 and 3452 were approved by the Legislature for the benefit of producers and consumers, i.e., the people, it must follow that the welfare of the people lies precisely in the compliance with said Acts. It is not for respondent executive officers now to set their own opinions against that of the Legislature, and adopt means or ways to set those Acts at naught. Anyway, those laws permit importation but under certain conditions, which have not been, and should be complied with. IV. The contracts with Vietnam and Burma It is lastly contended that the Government of the Philippines has already entered into two (2) contracts for the Purchase of rice, one with the Republic of Vietnam, and another with the Government of Burma; that these contracts constitute valid executive agreements under international law; that such agreements became binding effective upon the signing thereof by representatives the parties thereto; that in case of conflict between Republic Acts Nos. 2207 and 3452 on the one hand, and aforementioned contracts, on the other, the latter should prevail, because, if a treaty and a statute are inconsistent with each other, the conflict must be resolved under the American jurisprudence in favor of the one which is latest in point of time; that petitioner herein assails the validity of acts of the Executive relative to foreign relations in the conduct of which the Supreme Court cannot interfere; and the aforementioned contracts have already been consummated, the Government of the Philippines having already paid the price of the rice involved therein through irrevocable letters of credit in favor of the sell of the said commodity. We find no merit in this pretense. The Court is not satisfied that the status of said tracts as alleged executive agreements has been sufficiently established. The parties to said contracts do not pear to have regarded the same as executive agreements. But, even assuming that said contracts may properly considered as executive agreements, the same are

unlawful, as well as null and void, from a constitutional viewpoint, said agreements being inconsistent with the provisions of Republic Acts Nos. 2207 and 3452. Although the President may, under the American constitutional system enter into executive agreements without previous legislative authority, he may not, by executive agreement, enter into a transaction which is prohibited by statutes enacted prior thereto. Under the Constitution, the main function of the Executive is to enforce laws enacted by Congress. The former may not interfere in the performance of the legislative powers of the latter, except in the exercise of his veto power. He may not defeat legislative enactments that have acquired the status of law, by indirectly repealing the same through an executive agreement providing for the performance of the very act prohibited by said laws. The American theory to the effect that, in the event of conflict between a treaty and a statute, the one which is latest in point of time shall prevail, is not applicable to the case at bar, for respondents not only admit, but, alsoinsist that the contracts adverted to are not treaties. Said theory may be justified upon the ground that treaties to which the United States is signatory require the advice and consent of its Senate, and, hence, of a branch of the legislative department. No such justification can be given as regards executive agreements not authorized by previous legislation, without completely upsetting the principle of separation of powers and the system of checks and balances which are fundamental in our constitutional set up and that of the United States. 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 alleged consummation of the aforementioned contracts with Vietnam and Burma does not render this case academic, Republic Act No. 2207 enjoins our Government not from entering into contracts for the purchase of rice, but from importing rice, except under the conditions Prescribed in said Act. Upon the other hand, Republic Act No. 3452 has two (2) main features, namely: (a) it requires the Government to purchase rice and corn directly from our local planters, growers or landowners; and (b) it prohibits importations of rice by the Government, and leaves such importations

to private parties. The pivotal issue in this case is whether the proposed importation which has not been consummated as yet is legally feasible. Lastly, a judicial declaration of illegality of the proposed importation would not compel our Government to default in the performance of such obligations as it may have contracted with the sellers of the rice in question, because, aside from the fact that said obligations may be complied with without importing the commodity into the Philippines, the proposed importation may still be legalized by complying with the provisions of the aforementioned laws. V. The writ of preliminary injunction. The members of the Court have divergent opinions on the question whether or not respondents herein should be enjoined from implementing the aforementioned proposed importation. However, the majority favors the negative view, for which reason the injunction prayed for cannot be granted. WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered declaring that respondent Executive Secretary had and has no power to authorize the importation in question; that he exceeded his jurisdiction in granting said authority; said importation is not sanctioned by law and is contrary to its provisions; and that, for lack of the requisite majority, the injunction prayed for must be and is, accordingly denied. It is so ordered. Bengzon, CJ, Padilla, Labrador, Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon and Makalintal, JJ., concur. Paredes and Regala, JJ., concur in the result.

In RE: Garcia 2 SCRA 984 FACTS: Arturo Garcia applied for admission to the practice of law in the Philippines without submitting to the required bar examinations. In his verified petition, he asserts that he is a Filipino citizen born in Bacolod City, of Filipino parentage. He had taken and finished the course of Bachillerato Superior in Spain and was approved, selected and qualified by the Insitututo de Cervantes for admission to the Central University of Madrid where he studied and finished the law course, graduating there as Licenciado en derecho. Thereafter he was allowed to practice the law profession in Spain. He claims that under the provisions of the Treaty on Academic Degrees and the Exercise of Profession between the Republic of the Philippines and the Spanish State, he is entitled to the practice the law profession in the Philippines without submitting to the required bar examinations. ISSUE: Whether treaty can modify regulations governing admission to the Philippine Bar RULING: The Court resolved to deny the petition. The provision of the Treaty on Academic Degrees and the Exercise of Professions between the Republic of the Philippines and the Spanish state cannot be invoked by the applicant. Said Treaty was intended to govern Filipino citizens desiring to practice the legal in Spain, and the citizens of Spain desiring to practice the legal profession in the Philippines. Applicant is a Filipino citizen desiring to practice the legal profession in the Philippines. He is therefore subject to the laws of his own country and is not entitled to the privileges extended to Spanish nationals desiring to practice in the Philippines. The privileges provided in the Treaty invoked by the applicant are made expressly subject to the laws and regulations of the contracting state in whose territory it is desired to exercise the legal profession.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC August 15, 1961 IN RE: PETITION OF ARTURO EFREN GARCIA for admission to the Philippine Bar without taking the examination. ARTURO EFREN GARCIA, petitioner. RESOLUTION BARRERA, J.: Arturo E. Garcia has applied for admission to the practice of law in the Philippines without submitting to the required bar examinations. In his verified petition, he avers, among others, that he is a Filipino citizen born in Bacolor City, Province of Negros Occidental, of Filipino parentage; that he had taken and finished in Spain, the course of "Bachillerato Superior"; that he was approved, selected and qualified by the "Instituto de Cervantes" for admission to the Central University of Madrid where he studied and finished the law course graduating there as "Licenciado En Derecho"; that thereafter he was allowed to practice the law profession in Spain; and that under the provision of the Treaty of Academic Degrees and the Exercise of Professions between the Republic of the Philippines and the Spanish state, he is entitled to practice the law profession in the Philippines without submitting to the required bar examinations. After due consideration, the Court resolved to deny the petition on the following grounds: (1) the provisions of the Treaty on Academic Degrees and the Exercise of Professions between the Republic of the Philippines and the Spanish State can not be invoked by applicant. Under Article 11 thereof; The Nationals of each of the two countries who shall have obtained recognition of the validity of their academic degrees by virtue of the stipulations of this Treaty, can practice their professions within the territory of the Other, . . . . (Emphasis supplied). from which it could clearly be discerned that said Treaty was intended to govern Filipino citizens desiring to practice their profession in Spain, and the citizens of Spain desiring to practice their professions in the Philippines. Applicant is a Filipino citizen desiring to practice the legal profession in the Philippines. He is therefore

The aforementioned Treaty, concluded between the Republic of the Philippines and the Spanish state could not have been intended to modify the laws and regulations governing admission to the practice of law in the Philippines, for reason that the Executive Department may not enroach upon the consitutional prerogative of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules for admission to the practice of law in the Philippines, and the power to repeal, alter or supplement such rules being reserved only to the Congress of the Philippines.

subject to the laws of his own country and is not entitled to the privileges extended to Spanish nationals desiring to practice in the Philippines. (2) Article I of the Treaty, in its pertinent part, provides . The nationals of both countries who shall have obtained degree or diplomas to practice the liberal professions in either of the Contracting States, issued by competent national authorities, shall be deemed competent to exercise said professions in the territory of the Other, subject to the laws and regulations of the latter. . . .. It is clear, therefore, that the privileges provided in the Treaty invoked by the applicant are made expressly subject to the laws and regulations of the contracting State in whose territory it is desired to exercise the legal profession; and Section 1 of Rule 127, in connection with Sections 2,9, and 16 thereof, which have the force of law, require that before anyone can practice the legal profession in the Philippine he must first successfully pass the required bar examinations; and (3) The aforementioned Treaty, concluded between the Republic of the Philippines and the Spanish State could not have been intended to modify the laws and regulations governing admission to the practice of law in the Philippines, for the reason that the Executive Department may not encroach upon the constitutional prerogative of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules for admission to the practice of law in the Philippines, the lower to repeal, alter or supplement such rules being reserved only to the Congress of the Philippines. (See Sec. 13, Art VIII, Phil. Constitution). Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Labrador, Reyes, J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon, De Leon and Natividad, JJ., concur. Bautista Angelo, J., on leave, took no part. Concepcion, J., took no part.

Reyes Vs. Bagatsing 125 SCRA 553 L-65366 November 9, 1983 Facts: Petitioner sought a permit from the City of Manila to hold a peaceful march and rally on October 26, 1983 from 2:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, starting from the Luneta to the gates of the United States Embassy. Once there, and in an open space of public property, a short program would be held. The march would be attended by the local and foreign participants of such conference. That would be followed by the handing over of a petition based on the resolution adopted at the closing session of the Anti-Bases Coalition. There was likewise an assurance in the petition that in the exercise of the constitutional rights to free speech and assembly, all the necessary steps would be taken by it "to ensure a peaceful march and rally. However the request was denied. Reference was made to persistent intelligence reports affirming the plans of subversive/criminal elements to infiltrate or disrupt any assembly or congregations where a large number of people is expected to attend. Respondent suggested that a permit may be issued if it is to be held at the Rizal Coliseum or any other enclosed area where the safety of the participants themselves and the general public may be ensured. An oral argument was heard and the mandatory injunction was granted on the ground that there was no showing of the existence of a clear and present danger of a substantive evil that could justify the denial of a permit. However Justice Aquino dissented that the rally is violative of Ordinance No. 7295 of the City of Manila prohibiting the holding of rallies within a radius of five hundred (500) feet from any foreign mission or chancery and for other purposes. Hence the Court resolves. Issue: Whether or Not the freedom of expression and the right to peaceably assemble violated. Held: Yes. The invocation of the right to freedom of peaceable assembly carries with it the implication that the right to free speech has likewise been disregarded. It is settled law that as to public places, especially so as to parks and streets, there is freedom of access. Nor is their use dependent on who is the applicant for the permit, whether an individual or a group. There can be no legal objection, absent the existence of a clear and present danger of a substantive evil, on the choice of Luneta as the place where the peace rally would start. Time immemorial Luneta has been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions.

Such use of the public places has from ancient times, been a part of the privileges, immunities, rights, and liberties of citizens. With regard to the ordinance, there was no showing that there was violation and even if it could be shown that such a condition is satisfied it does not follow that respondent could legally act the way he did. The validity of his denial of the permit sought could still be challenged. A summary of the application for permit for rally: The applicants for a permit to hold an assembly should inform the licensing authority of the date, the public place where and the time when it will take place. If it were a private place, only the consent of the owner or the one entitled to its legal possession is required. Such application should be filed well ahead in time to enable the public official concerned to appraise whether there may be valid objections to the grant of the permit or to its grant but at another public place. It is an indispensable condition to such refusal or modification that the clear and present danger test be the standard for the decision reached. Notice is given to applicants for the denial.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-65366 November 9, 1983 JOSE B.L. REYES, in behalf of the ANTI-BASES COALITION (ABC), petitioner, vs. RAMON BAGATSING, as Mayor of the City of Manila, respondent. Lorenzo M. Taada Jose W. Diokno and Haydee B. Yorac for petitioner. The Solicitor General for respondent.

FERNANDO, C.J.:+.wph!1 This Court, in this case of first impression, at least as to some aspects, is called upon to delineate the boundaries of the protected area of the cognate rights to free speech and peaceable assembly, 1 against an alleged intrusion by respondent Mayor Ramon

Bagatsing. Petitioner, retired Justice JB L. Reyes, on behalf of the Anti-Bases Coalition sought a permit from the City of Manila to hold a peaceful march and rally on October 26, 1983 from 2:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, starting from the Luneta, a public park, to the gates of the United States Embassy, hardly two blocks away. Once there, and in an open space of public property, a short program would be held. 2 During the course of the oral argument, 3 it was stated that after the delivery of two brief speeches, a petition based on the resolution adopted on the last day by the International Conference for General Disbarmament, World Peace and the Removal of All Foreign Military Bases held in Manila, would be presented to a representative of the Embassy or any of its personnel who may be there so that it may be delivered to the United States Ambassador. The march would be attended by the local and foreign participants of such conference. There was likewise an assurance in the petition that in the exercise of the constitutional rights to free speech and assembly, all the necessary steps would be taken by it "to ensure a peaceful march and rally." 4 The filing of this suit for mandamus with alternative prayer for writ of preliminary mandatory injunction on October 20, 1983 was due to the fact that as of that date, petitioner had not been informed of any action taken on his request on behalf of the organization to hold a rally. On October 25, 1983, the answer of respondent Mayor was filed on his behalf by Assistant Solicitor General Eduardo G. Montenegro. 5 It turned out that on October 19, such permit was denied. Petitioner was unaware of such a fact as the denial was sent by ordinary mail. The reason for refusing a permit was due to police intelligence reports which strongly militate against the advisability of issuing such permit at this time and at the place applied for." 6 To be more specific, reference was made to persistent intelligence reports affirm[ing] the plans of subversive/criminal elements to infiltrate and/or disrupt any assembly or congregations where a large number of people is expected to attend." 7 Respondent Mayor suggested, however, in accordance with the recommendation of the police authorities, that "a permit may be issued for the rally if it is to be held at the Rizal Coliseum or any other enclosed area where the safety of the participants themselves and the general public may be ensured." 8 The oral argument was heard on October 25, 1983, the very same day the answer was filed. The Court then deliberated on the matter. That same afternoon, a minute resolution was issued by the Court granting the mandatory injunction prayed for on the ground that there was no showing of the existence of a clear and present danger of a substantive evil that could justify the denial of a permit. On this point, the Court was unanimous, but there was a dissent by Justice Aquino on the ground that the holding of a rally in front of the US Embassy would be violative of Ordinance No. 7295 of the City of Manila. The last sentence of such minute resolution reads: "This

resolution is without prejudice to a more extended opinion." 9 Hence this detailed exposition of the Court's stand on the matter. 1. It is thus clear that the Court is called upon to protect the exercise of the cognate rights to free speech and peaceful assembly, arising from the denial of a permit. The Constitution is quite explicit: "No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for redress of grievances." 10 Free speech, like free press, may be Identified with the liberty to discuss publicly and truthfully any matter of public concern without censorship or punishment. 11 There is to be then no previous restraint on the communication of views or subsequent liability whether in libel suits, 12prosecution for sedition, 13 or action for damages, 14 or contempt proceedings 15 unless there be a clear and present danger of a substantive evil that [the State] has a right to prevent." 16 Freedom of assembly connotes the right people to meet peaceably for consultation and discussion of matters Of public concern. 17 It is entitled to be accorded the utmost deference and respect. It is hot to be limited, much less denied, except on a showing, as 's the case with freedom of expression, of a clear and present danger of a substantive evil that the state has a right to prevent. 18 Even prior to the 1935 Constitution, Justice Maicolm had occasion to stress that it is a necessary consequence of our republican institutions and complements the right of free speech. 19 To paraphrase opinion of Justice Rutledge speaking for the majority of the American Supreme Court Thomas v. Collins, 20 it was not by accident or coincidence that the right to freedom of speech and of the press were toupled in a single guarantee with the and to petition the rights of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for redress of grievances. All these rights, while not Identical, are inseparable. the every case, therefo re there is a limitation placed on the exercise of this right, the judiciary is called upon to examine the effects of the challenged governmental actuation. The sole justification for a limitation on the exercise of this right, so fundamental to the maintenance of democratic institutions, is the danger, of a character both grave and imminent, of a serious evil to public safety, public morals, public health, or any other legitimate public interest. 21 2. Nowhere is the rationale that underlies the freedom of expression and peaceable assembly better expressed than in this excerpt from an opinion of Justice Frankfurter: "It must never be forgotten, however, that the Bill of Rights was the child of the Enlightenment. Back of the guaranty of free speech lay faith in the power of an appeal to reason by all the peaceful means for gaining access to the mind. It was in order to avert force and explosions due to restrictions upon rational modes of communication that the guaranty of free speech was given a generous scope. But utterance in a context of violence can lose its significance as an appeal to reason and

become part of an instrument of force. Such utterance was not meant to be sheltered by the Constitution." 22 What was rightfully stressed is the abandonment of reason, the utterance, whether verbal or printed, being in a context of violence. It must always be remembered that this right likewise provides for a safety valve, allowing parties the opportunity to give vent to their-views, even if contrary to the prevailing climate of opinion. For if the peaceful means of communication cannot be availed of, resort to non-peaceful means may be the only alternative. Nor is this the sole reason for the expression of dissent. It means more than just the right to be heard of the person who feels aggrieved or who is dissatisfied with things as they are. Its value may lie in the fact that there may be something worth hearing from the dissenter. That is to ensure a true ferment of Ideas. There are, of course, well-defined limits. What is guaranteed is peaceable assembly. One may not advocate disorder in the name of protest, much less preach rebellion under the cloak of dissent. The Constitution frowns on disorder or tumult attending a rally or assembly. resort to force is ruled out and outbreaks of violence to be avoided. The utmost calm though is not required. As pointed out in an early Philippine case, penned in 1907 to be precise, United States v. Apurado: 23 "It is rather to be expected that more or less disorder will mark the public assembly of the people to protest against grievances whether real or imaginary, because on such occasions feeling is always wrought to a high pitch of excitement, and the greater the grievance and the more intense the feeling, the less perfect, as a rule, will be the disciplinary control of the leaders over their irresponsible followers." 24 It bears repeating that for the constitutional right to be invoked, riotous conduct, injury to property, and acts of vandalism must be avoided, To give free rein to one's destructive urges is to call for condemnation. It is to make a mockery of the high estate occupied by intellectual liberty in our scheme of values. 3. There can be no legal objection, absent the existence of a clear and present danger of a substantive evil, on the choice of Luneta as the place where the peace rally would start. The Philippines is committed to the view expressed in the plurality opinion, of 1939 vintage, of Justice Roberts in Hague v. CIO: 25 Whenever the title of streets and parks may rest, they have immemorially been held in trust for the use of the public and, time out of mind, have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions. Such use of the streets and public places has, from ancient times, been a part of the privileges, immunities, rights, and liberties of citizens. The privilege of a citizen of the United States to use the streets and parks for communication of views on national questions may be regulated in the interest of all; it is not absolute, but relative, and must be exercised in subordination to the general comfort and convenience, and in consonance with peace and good order; but it must not, in the guise of regulation, be abridged or denied. 26 The above excerpt was quoted with approval in Primicias v.

Fugoso. 27 Primicias made explicit what was implicit in Municipality of Cavite v. Rojas," 28 a 1915 decision, where this Court categorically affirmed that plazas or parks and streets are outside the commerce of man and thus nullified a contract that leased Plaza Soledad of plaintiff-municipality. Reference was made to such plaza "being a promenade for public use," 29 which certainly is not the only purpose that it could serve. To repeat, there can be no valid reason why a permit should not be granted for the or oposed march and rally starting from a public dark that is the Luneta. 4. Neither can there be any valid objection to the use of the streets, to the gates of the US Embassy, hardly two block-away at the Roxas Boulevard. Primicias v. Fugoso has resolved any lurking doubt on the matter. In holding that the then Mayor Fugoso of the City of Manila should grant a permit for a public meeting at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, this Court categorically declared: "Our conclusion finds support in the decision in the case of Willis Cox vs. State of New Hampshire, 312 U.S., 569. In that case, the statute of New Hampshire P. L. chap. 145, section 2, providing that 'no parade or procession upon any ground abutting thereon, shall 'De permitted unless a special license therefor shall first be explained from the selectmen of the town or from licensing committee,' was construed by the Supreme Court of New Hampshire as not conferring upon the licensing board unfettered discretion to refuse to grant the license, and held valid. And the Supreme Court of the United States, in its decision (1941) penned by Chief Justice Hughes affirming the judgment of the State Supreme Court, held that 'a statute requiring persons using the public streets for a parade or procession to procure a special license therefor from the local authorities is not an unconstitutional abridgment of the rights of assembly or of freedom of speech and press, where, as the statute is construed by the state courts, the licensing authorities are strictly limited, in the issuance of licenses, to a consideration of the time, place, and manner of the parade or procession, with a view to conserving the public convenience and of affording an opportunity to provide proper policing, and are not invested with arbitrary discretion to issue or refuse license, ... " 30 Nor should the point made by Chief Justice Hughes in a subsequent portion of the opinion be ignored, "Civil liberties, as guaranteed by the Constitution, imply the existence of an organized society maintaining public order without which liberty itself would be lost in the excesses of unrestricted abuses. The authority of a municipality to impose regulations in order to assure the safety and convenience of the people in the use of public highways has never been regarded as inconsistent with civil liberties but rather as one of the means of safeguarding the good order upon which they ultimately depend. The control of travel on the streets of cities is the most familiar illustration of this recognition of social need. Where a restriction of the use of highways in that relation is designed to promote the public convenience in the

interest of all, it cannot be disregarded by the attempted exercise of some civil right which in other circumstances would be entitled to protection." 31 5. There is a novel aspect to this case, If the rally were confined to Luneta, no question, as noted, would have arisen. So, too, if the march would end at another park. As previously mentioned though, there would be a short program upon reaching the public space between the two gates of the United States Embassy at Roxas Boulevard. That would be followed by the handing over of a petition based on the resolution adopted at the closing session of the Anti-Bases Coalition. The Philippines is a signatory of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations adopted in 1961. It was concurred in by the then Philippine Senate on May 3, 1965 and the instrument of ratification was signed by the President on October 11, 1965, and was thereafter deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations on November 15. As of that date then, it was binding on the Philippines. The second paragraph of the Article 22 reads: "2. The receiving State is under a special duty to take appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity. " 32 The Constitution "adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. ..." 33 To the extent that the Vienna Convention is a restatement of the generally accepted principles of international law, it should be a part of the law of the land. 34 That being the case, if there were a clear and present danger of any intrusion or damage, or disturbance of the peace of the mission, or impairment of its dignity, there would be a justification for the denial of the permit insofar as the terminal point would be the Embassy. Moreover, respondent Mayor relied on Ordinance No. 7295 of the City of Manila prohibiting the holding or staging of rallies or demonstrations within a radius of five hundred (500) feet from any foreign mission or chancery and for other purposes. Unless the ordinance is nullified, or declared ultra vires, its invocation as a defense is understandable but not decisive, in view of the primacy accorded the constitutional rights of free speech and peaceable assembly. Even if shown then to be applicable, that question the confronts this Court. 6. There is merit to the observation that except as to the novel aspects of a litigation, the judgment must be confined within the limits of previous decisions. The law declared on past occasions is, on the whole, a safe guide, So it has been here. Hence, as noted, on the afternoon of the hearing, October 25, 1983, this Court issued the minute resolution granting the mandatory injunction allowing the proposed march and rally scheduled for the next day. That conclusion was inevitable ill the absence of a clear and present danger of a substantive, evil to a legitimate public interest. There was no justification then to deny the exercise of the constitutional rights of tree speech and peaceable assembly. These rights are assured by our Constitution and

the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 35 The participants to such assembly, composed primarily of those in attendance at the International Conference for General Disbarmament, World Peace and the Removal of All Foreign Military Bases would start from the Luneta. proceeding through Roxas Boulevard to the gates of the United States Embassy located at the same street. To repeat, it is settled law that as to public places, especially so as to parks and streets, there is freedom of access. Nor is their use dependent on who is the applicant for the permit, whether an individual or a group. If it were, then the freedom of access becomes discriminatory access, giving rise to an equal protection question. The principle under American doctrines was given utterance by Chief Justice Hughes in these words: "The question, if the rights of free speech and peaceable assembly are to be preserved, is not as to the auspices under which the meeting is held but as to its purpose; not as to The relations of the speakers, but whether their utterances transcend the bounds of the freedom of speech which the Constitution protects." 36There could be danger to public peace and safety if such a gathering were marked by turbulence. That would deprive it of its peaceful character. Even then, only the guilty parties should be held accountable. It is true that the licensing official, here respondent Mayor, is not devoid of discretion in determining whether or not a permit would be granted. It is not, however, unfettered discretion. While prudence requires that there be a realistic appraisal not of what may possibly occur but of what may probably occur, given all the relevant circumstances, still the assumption especially so where the assembly is scheduled for a specific public place is that the permit must be for the assembly being held there. The exercise of such a right, in the language of Justice Roberts, speaking for the American Supreme Court, is not to be "abridged on the plea that it may be exercised in some other place."37 7. In fairness to respondent Mayor, he acted on the belief that Navarro v. Villegas 38 and Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawang Pilipino (PMP.) v. Bagatsing, 39 called for application. While the General rule is that a permit should recognize the right of the applicants to hold their assembly at a public place of their choice, another place may be designated by the licensing authority if it be shown that there is a clear and present danger of a substantive evil if no such change were made. In the Navarro and the Pagkakaisa decisions, this Court was persuaded that the clear and present danger test was satisfied. The present situation is quite different. Hence the decision reached by the Court. The mere assertion that subversives may infiltrate the ranks of the demonstrators does not suffice. Not that it should be overlooked. There was in this case, however, the assurance of General Narciso Cabrera, Superintendent, Western Police District, Metropolitan Police Force, that the police force is in a position to cope with such emergency should it arise That is to comply with its duty to extend protection to the participants of such peaceable assembly. Also from him came the commendable admission that there were the least five

previous demonstrations at the Bayview hotel Area and Plaza Ferguson in front of the United States Embassy where no untoward event occurred. It was made clear by petitioner, through counsel, that no act offensive to the dignity of the United States Mission in the Philippines would take place and that, as mentioned at the outset of this opinion, "all the necessary steps would be taken by it 'to ensure a peaceful march and rally.' " 40Assistant Solicitor General Montenegro expressed the view that the presence of policemen may in itself be a provocation. It is a sufficient answer that they should stay at a discreet distance, but ever ready and alert to cope with any contingency. There is no need to repeat what was pointed out by Chief Justice Hughes in Cox that precisely, it is the duty of the city authorities to provide the proper police protection to those exercising their right to peaceable assembly and freedom of expression. 8. By way of a summary The applicants for a permit to hold an assembly should inform the licensing authority of the date, the public place where and the time when it will take place. If it were a private place, only the consent of the owner or the one entitled to its legal possession is required. Such application should be filed well ahead in time to enable the public official concerned to appraise whether there may be valid objections to the grant of the permit or to its grant but at another public place. It is an indispensable condition to such refusal or modification that the clear and present danger test be the standard for the decision reached. If he is of the view that there is such an imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil, the applicants must be heard on the matter. Thereafter, his decision, whether favorable or adverse, must be transmitted to them at the earliest opportunity. Thus if so minded, then, can have recourse to the proper judicial authority. Free speech and peaceable assembly, along with the other intellectual freedoms, are highly ranked in our scheme of constitutional values. It cannot be too strongly stressed that on the judiciary, even more so than on the other departments rests the grave and delicate responsibility of assuring respect for and deference to such preferred rights. No verbal formula, no sanctifying phrase can, of course, dispense with what has been so felicitiously termed by Justice Holmes "as the sovereign prerogative of judgment." Nonetheless, the presumption must be to incline the weight of the scales of justice on the side of such rights, enjoying as they do precedence and primacy. Clearly then, to the extent that there may be inconsistencies between this resolution and that of Navarro v. Villegas, that case is pro tanto modified. So it was made clear in the original resolution of October 25, 1983. 9. Respondent Mayor posed the issue of the applicability of Ordinance No. 7295 of the City of Manila prohibiting the holding or staging of rallies or demonstrations within a radius of five hundred (500) feet from any foreign mission or chancery and for other purposes. It is to be admitted that it finds support In the previously quoted

Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. There was no showing, however, that the distance between the chancery and the embassy gate is less than 500 feet. Even if it could be shown that such a condition is satisfied. it does not follow that respondent Mayor could legally act the way he did. The validity of his denial of the permit sought could still be challenged. It could be argued that a case of unconstitutional application of such ordinance to the exercise of the right of peaceable assembly presents itself. As in this case there was no proof that the distance is less than 500 feet, the need to pass on that issue was obviated, Should it come, then the qualification and observation of Justices Makasiar and Plana certainly cannot be summarily brushed aside. The high estate accorded the rights to free speech and peaceable assembly demands nothing less. 10. Ordinarily, the remedy in cases of this character is to set aside the denial or the modification of the permit sought and order the respondent official, to grant it. Nonetheless, as there was urgency in this case, the proposed march and rally being scheduled for the next day after the hearing, this Court. in the exercise of its conceded authority, granted the mandatory injunction in the resolution of October 25, 1983. It may be noted that the peaceful character of the peace march and rally on October 26 was not marred by any untoward incident. So it has been in other assemblies held elsewhere. It is quite reassuring such that both on the part of the national government and the citizens, reason and moderation have prevailed. That is as it should be. WHEREFORE, the mandatory injunction prayed for is granted. No costs. Concepcion, Jr., Guerrero, Melencio-Herrera, Escolin, Relova and Gutierrez, , Jr.,JJ., concur. De Castro, J, is on leave.

Bayan v. Zamora, G.R. No. 138570, October 10, 2000

DECISION (En Banc) BUENA, J.: I. THE FACTS

There is no dispute as to the presence of the first two requisites in the case of the VFA. The concurrence handed by the Senate through Resolution No. 18 is in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution . . . the provision in [in 25, Article XVIII] requiring ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a national referendum being unnecessary since Congress has not required it. xxx xxx xxx

The Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America entered into an agreement called the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The agreement was treated as a treaty by the Philippine government and was ratified by then-President Joseph Estrada with the concurrence of 2/3 of the total membership of the Philippine Senate. The VFA defines the treatment of U.S. troops and personnel visiting the Philippines. It provides for the guidelines to govern such visits, and further defines the rights of the U.S. and the Philippine governments in the matter of criminal jurisdiction, movement of vessel and aircraft, importation and exportation of equipment, materials and supplies. Petitioners argued, inter alia, that the VFA violates 25, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution, which provides that foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate . . . and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State. II. THE ISSUE

This Court is of the firm view that the phrase recognized as a treaty means that the other contracting party accepts or acknowledges the agreement as a treaty. To require the other contracting state, the United States of America in this case, to submit the VFA to the United States Senate for concurrence pursuant to its Constitution, is to accord strict meaning to the phrase. Well-entrenched is the principle that the words used in the Constitution are to be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed, in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. Its language should be understood in the sense they have in common use. Moreover, it is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive agreement because, under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty. To be sure, as long as the VFA possesses the elements of an agreement under international law, the said agreement is to be taken equally as a treaty. xxx xxx xxx

Was the VFA unconstitutional? III. THE RULING [The Court DISMISSED the consolidated petitions, held that the petitioners did not commit grave abuse of discretion, and sustained the constitutionality of the VFA.] NO, the VFA is not unconstitutional. Section 25, Article XVIII disallows foreign military bases, troops, or facilities in the country, unless the following conditions are sufficiently met, viz: (a) it must be under a treaty; (b) the treaty must be duly concurred in by the Senate and, when so required by congress, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum; and (c) recognized as a treaty by the other contracting state.

The records reveal that the United States Government, through Ambassador Thomas C. Hubbard, has stated that the United States government has fully committed to living up to the terms of the VFA. For as long as the United States of America accepts or acknowledges the VFA as a treaty, and binds itself further to comply with its obligations under the treaty, there is indeed marked compliance with the mandate of the Constitution.

EN BANC [G.R. No. 138570. October 10, 2000]

BAYAN (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan), a JUNK VFA MOVEMENT, BISHOP TOMAS MILLAMENA (Iglesia Filipina Independiente), BISHOP ELMER BOLOCAN (United Church of Christ of the Phil.), DR. REYNALDO LEGASCA, MD, KILUSANG MAMBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS, KILUSANG MAYO UNO, GABRIELA, PROLABOR, and the PUBLIC INTEREST LAW CENTER, petitioners, vs. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY RONALDO ZAMORA, FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY DOMINGO SIAZON, DEFENSE SECRETARY ORLANDO MERCADO, BRIG. GEN. ALEXANDER AGUIRRE, SENATE PRESIDENT MARCELO FERNAN, SENATOR FRANKLIN DRILON, SENATOR BLAS OPLE, SENATOR RODOLFO BIAZON, and SENATOR FRANCISCO TATAD, respondents. [G.R. No. 138572. October 10, 2000] PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION, INC.(PHILCONSA), EXEQUIEL B. GARCIA, AMADOGAT INCIONG, CAMILO L. SABIO, AND RAMON A. GONZALES, petitioners, vs. HON. RONALDO B. ZAMORA, as Executive Secretary, HON. ORLANDO MERCADO, as Secretary of National Defense, and HON. DOMINGO L. SIAZON, JR., as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, respondents. [G.R. No. 138587. October 10, 2000] TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR., RAUL S. ROCO, and SERGIO R. OSMEA III, petitioners, vs. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA, RONALDO B. ZAMORA, DOMINGO L. SIAZON, JR., ORLANDO B. MERCADO, MARCELO B. FERNAN, FRANKLIN M. DRILON, BLAS F. OPLE and RODOLFO G. BIAZON, respondents. [G.R. No. 138680. October 10, 2000] INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES, Represented by its National President, Jose Aguila Grapilon, petitioners, vs. JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA, in his capacity as President, Republic of the Philippines, and HON. DOMINGO SIAZON, in his capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, respondents. [G.R. No. 138698. October 10, 2000] JOVITO R. SALONGA, WIGBERTO TAADA, ZENAIDA QUEZONAVENCEA, ROLANDO SIMBULAN, PABLITO V. SANIDAD, MA. SOCORRO I. DIOKNO, AGAPITO A. AQUINO, JOKER P. ARROYO, FRANCISCO C. RIVERA JR., RENE A.V. SAGUISAG, KILOSBAYAN, MOVEMENT OF ATTORNEYS FOR BROTHERHOOD, INTEGRITY AND NATIONALISM, INC. (MABINI), petitioners, vs. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, THE SECRETARY

OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, SENATE PRESIDENT MARCELO B. FERNAN, SENATOR BLAS F. OPLE, SENATOR RODOLFO G. BIAZON, AND ALL OTHER PERSONS ACTING THEIR CONTROL, SUPERVISION, DIRECTION, AND INSTRUCTION IN RELATION TO THE VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT (VFA), respondents. DECISION BUENA, J.: Confronting the Court for resolution in the instant consolidated petitions for certiorari and prohibition are issues relating to, and borne by, an agreement forged in the turn of the last century between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America -the Visiting Forces Agreement. The antecedents unfold. On March 14, 1947, the Philippines and the United States of America forged a Military Bases Agreement which formalized, among others, the use of installations in the Philippine territory by United States military personnel. To further strengthen their defense and security relationship, the Philippines and the United States entered into a Mutual Defense Treaty on August 30, 1951. Under the treaty, the parties agreed to respond to any external armed attack on their territory, armed forces, public vessels, and aircraft.[1] In view of the impending expiration of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement in 1991, the Philippines and the United States negotiated for a possible extension of the military bases agreement. On September 16, 1991, the Philippine Senate rejected the proposed RP-US Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Security which, in effect, would have extended the presence of US military bases in the Philippines.[2] With the expiration of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement, the periodic military exercises conducted between the two countries were held in abeyance. Notwithstanding, the defense and security relationship between the Philippines and the United States of America continued pursuant to the Mutual Defense Treaty. On July 18, 1997, the United States panel, headed by US Defense Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia Pacific Kurt Campbell, met with the Philippine panel, headed by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rodolfo Severino Jr., to exchange notes on the complementing strategic interests of the United States and the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific region. Both sides discussed, among other things, the possible elements of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA for brevity). Negotiations by both panels on the VFA led to a consolidated draft text, which in turn resulted to a final

series of conferences and negotiations[3] that culminated in Manila on January 12 and 13, 1998. Thereafter, then President Fidel V. Ramos approved the VFA, which was respectively signed by public respondent Secretary Siazon and Unites States Ambassador Thomas Hubbard on February 10, 1998. On October 5, 1998, President Joseph E. Estrada, through respondent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, ratified the VFA.[4] On October 6, 1998, the President, acting through respondent Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora, officially transmitted to the Senate of the Philippines,[5] the Instrument of Ratification, the letter of the President[6] and the VFA, for concurrence pursuant to Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. The Senate, in turn, referred the VFA to its Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by Senator Blas F. Ople, and its Committee on National Defense and Security, chaired by Senator Rodolfo G. Biazon, for their joint consideration and recommendation. Thereafter, joint public hearings were held by the two Committees.[7] On May 3, 1999, the Committees submitted Proposed Senate Resolution No. 443[8] recommending the concurrence of the Senate to the VFA and the creation of a Legislative Oversight Committee to oversee its implementation. Debates then ensued. On May 27, 1999, Proposed Senate Resolution No. 443 was approved by the Senate, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote[9] of its members. Senate Resolution No. 443 was then renumbered as Senate Resolution No. 18.[10] On June 1, 1999, the VFA officially entered into force after an Exchange of Notes between respondent Secretary Siazon and United States Ambassador Hubbard. The VFA, which consists of a Preamble and nine (9) Articles, provides for the mechanism for regulating the circumstances and conditions under which US Armed Forces and defense personnel may be present in the Philippines, and is quoted in its full text, hereunder: Article I Definitions As used in this Agreement, United States personnel means United States military and civilian personnel temporarily in the Philippines in connection with activities approved by the Philippine Government.

Within this definition: 1. The term military personnel refers to military members of the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. 2. The term civilian personnel refers to individuals who are neither nationals of, nor ordinary residents in the Philippines and who are employed by the United States armed forces or who are accompanying the United States armed forces, such as employees of the American Red Cross and the United Services Organization. Article II Respect for Law It is the duty of the United States personnel to respect the laws of the Republic of the Philippines and to abstain from any activity inconsistent with the spirit of this agreement, and, in particular, from any political activity in the Philippines. The Government of the United States shall take all measures within its authority to ensure that this is done. Article III Entry and Departure 1. The Government of the Philippines shall facilitate the admission of United States personnel and their departure from the Philippines in connection with activities covered by this agreement. 2. United States military personnel shall be exempt from passport and visa regulations upon entering and departing the Philippines. 3. The following documents only, which shall be presented on demand, shall be required in respect of United States military personnel who enter the Philippines: (a) personal identity card issued by the appropriate United States authority showing full name, date of birth, rank or grade and service number (if any), branch of service and photograph; (b) individual or collective document issued by the appropriate United States authority, authorizing the travel or visit and identifying the individual or group as United States military personnel; and

(c) the commanding officer of a military aircraft or vessel shall present a declaration of health, and when required by the cognizant representative of the Government of the Philippines, shall conduct a quarantine inspection and will certify that the aircraft or vessel is free from quarantinable diseases. Any quarantine inspection of United States aircraft or United States vessels or cargoes thereon shall be conducted by the United States commanding officer in accordance with the international health regulations as promulgated by the World Health Organization, and mutually agreed procedures. 4. United States civilian personnel shall be exempt from visa requirements but shall present, upon demand, valid passports upon entry and departure of the Philippines. 5. If the Government of the Philippines has requested the removal of any United States personnel from its territory, the United States authorities shall be responsible for receiving the person concerned within its own territory or otherwise disposing of said person outside of the Philippines. Article IV Driving and Vehicle Registration 1. Philippine authorities shall accept as valid, without test or fee, a driving permit or license issued by the appropriate United States authority to United States personnel for the operation of military or official vehicles. 2. Vehicles owned by the Government of the United States need not be registered, but shall have appropriate markings. Article V Criminal Jurisdiction 1. Subject to the provisions of this article:

2. (a) Philippine authorities exercise exclusive jurisdiction over United States personnel with respect to offenses, including offenses relating to the security of the Philippines, punishable under the laws of the Philippines, but not under the laws of the United States. (b) United States authorities exercise exclusive jurisdiction over United States personnel with respect to offenses, including offenses relating to the security of the United States, punishable under the laws of the United States, but not under the laws of the Philippines. (c) For the purposes of this paragraph and paragraph 3 of this article, an offense relating to security means: (1) treason; (2) sabotage, espionage or violation of any law relating to national defense. 3. In cases where the right to exercise jurisdiction is concurrent, the following rules shall apply: (a) Philippine authorities shall have the primary right to exercise jurisdiction over all offenses committed by United States personnel, except in cases provided for in paragraphs 1(b), 2 (b), and 3 (b) of this Article. (b) United States military authorities shall have the primary right to exercise jurisdiction over United States personnel subject to the military law of the United States in relation to. (1) offenses solely against the property or security of the United States or offenses solely against the property or person of United States personnel; and (2) offenses arising out of any act or omission done in performance of official duty.

(a) Philippine authorities shall have jurisdiction over United States personnel with respect to offenses committed within the Philippines and punishable under the law of the Philippines. (b) United States military authorities shall have the right to exercise within the Philippines all criminal and disciplinary jurisdiction conferred on them by the military law of the United States over United States personnel in the Philippines.

(c) The authorities of either government may request the authorities of the other government to waive their primary right to exercise jurisdiction in a particular case. (d) Recognizing the responsibility of the United States military authorities to maintain good order and discipline among their forces, Philippine authorities will, upon request by the United States, waive their primary right to exercise jurisdiction

except in cases of particular importance to the Philippines. If the Government of the Philippines determines that the case is of particular importance, it shall communicate such determination to the United States authorities within twenty (20) days after the Philippine authorities receive the United States request. (e) When the United States military commander determines that an offense charged by authorities of the Philippines against United states personnel arises out of an act or omission done in the performance of official duty, the commander will issue a certificate setting forth such determination. This certificate will be transmitted to the appropriate authorities of the Philippines and will constitute sufficient proof of performance of official duty for the purposes of paragraph 3(b)(2) of this Article. In those cases where the Government of the Philippines believes the circumstances of the case require a review of the duty certificate, United States military authorities and Philippine authorities shall consult immediately. Philippine authorities at the highest levels may also present any information bearing on its validity. United States military authorities shall take full account of the Philippine position. Where appropriate, United States military authorities will take disciplinary or other action against offenders in official duty cases, and notify the Government of the Philippines of the actions taken. (f) If the government having the primary right does not exercise jurisdiction, it shall notify the authorities of the other government as soon as possible. (g) The authorities of the Philippines and the United States shall notify each other of the disposition of all cases in which both the authorities of the Philippines and the United States have the right to exercise jurisdiction. 4. Within the scope of their legal competence, the authorities of the Philippines and United States shall assist each other in the arrest of United States personnel in the Philippines and in handling them over to authorities who are to exercise jurisdiction in accordance with the provisions of this article. 5. United States military authorities shall promptly notify Philippine authorities of the arrest or detention of United States personnel who are subject of Philippine primary or exclusive jurisdiction. Philippine authorities shall promptly notify United States military authorities of the arrest or detention of any United States personnel. 6. The custody of any United States personnel over whom the Philippines is to exercise jurisdiction shall immediately reside with United States military authorities, if they so request, from the commission of the offense until completion of all judicial

proceedings. United States military authorities shall, upon formal notification by the Philippine authorities and without delay, make such personnel available to those authorities in time for any investigative or judicial proceedings relating to the offense with which the person has been charged in extraordinary cases, the Philippine Government shall present its position to the United States Government regarding custody, which the United States Government shall take into full account. In the event Philippine judicial proceedings are not completed within one year, the United States shall be relieved of any obligations under this paragraph. The one-year period will not include the time necessary to appeal. Also, the one-year period will not include any time during which scheduled trial procedures are delayed because United States authorities, after timely notification by Philippine authorities to arrange for the presence of the accused, fail to do so. 7. Within the scope of their legal authority, United States and Philippine authorities shall assist each other in the carrying out of all necessary investigation into offenses and shall cooperate in providing for the attendance of witnesses and in the collection and production of evidence, including seizure and, in proper cases, the delivery of objects connected with an offense. 8. When United States personnel have been tried in accordance with the provisions of this Article and have been acquitted or have been convicted and are serving, or have served their sentence, or have had their sentence remitted or suspended, or have been pardoned, they may not be tried again for the same offense in the Philippines. Nothing in this paragraph, however, shall prevent United States military authorities from trying United States personnel for any violation of rules of discipline arising from the act or omission which constituted an offense for which they were tried by Philippine authorities. 9. When United States personnel are detained, taken into custody, or prosecuted by Philippine authorities, they shall be accorded all procedural safeguards established by the law of the Philippines. At the minimum, United States personnel shall be entitled: (a) To a prompt and speedy trial; (b) To be informed in advance of trial of the specific charge or charges made against them and to have reasonable time to prepare a defense; (c) To be confronted with witnesses against them and to cross examine such witnesses;

(d) To present evidence in their defense and to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses; (e) To have free and assisted legal representation of their own choice on the same basis as nationals of the Philippines; (f) To have the service of a competent interpreter; and (g) To communicate promptly with and to be visited regularly by United States authorities, and to have such authorities present at all judicial proceedings. These proceedings shall be public unless the court, in accordance with Philippine laws, excludes persons who have no role in the proceedings. 10. The confinement or detention by Philippine authorities of United States personnel shall be carried out in facilities agreed on by appropriate Philippine and United States authorities. United States Personnel serving sentences in the Philippines shall have the right to visits and material assistance. 11. United States personnel shall be subject to trial only in Philippine courts of ordinary jurisdiction, and shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of Philippine military or religious courts. Article VI Claims 1. Except for contractual arrangements, including United States foreign military sales letters of offer and acceptance and leases of military equipment, both governments waive any and all claims against each other for damage, loss or destruction to property of each others armed forces or for death or injury to their military and civilian personnel arising from activities to which this agreement applies. 2. For claims against the United States, other than contractual claims and those to which paragraph 1 applies, the United States Government, in accordance with United States law regarding foreign claims, will pay just and reasonable compensation in settlement of meritorious claims for damage, loss, personal injury or death, caused by acts or omissions of United States personnel, or otherwise incident to the noncombat activities of the United States forces.

Article VII Importation and Exportation 1. United States Government equipment, materials, supplies, and other property imported into or acquired in the Philippines by or on behalf of the United States armed forces in connection with activities to which this agreement applies, shall be free of all Philippine duties, taxes and other similar charges. Title to such property shall remain with the United States, which may remove such property from the Philippines at any time, free from export duties, taxes, and other similar charges. The exemptions provided in this paragraph shall also extend to any duty, tax, or other similar charges which would otherwise be assessed upon such property after importation into, or acquisition within, the Philippines. Such property may be removed from the Philippines, or disposed of therein, provided that disposition of such property in the Philippines to persons or entities not entitled to exemption from applicable taxes and duties shall be subject to payment of such taxes, and duties and prior approval of the Philippine Government. 2. Reasonable quantities of personal baggage, personal effects, and other property for the personal use of United States personnel may be imported into and used in the Philippines free of all duties, taxes and other similar charges during the period of their temporary stay in the Philippines. Transfers to persons or entities in the Philippines not entitled to import privileges may only be made upon prior approval of the appropriate Philippine authorities including payment by the recipient of applicable duties and taxes imposed in accordance with the laws of the Philippines. The exportation of such property and of property acquired in the Philippines by United States personnel shall be free of all Philippine duties, taxes, and other similar charges. Article VIII Movement of Vessels and Aircraft 1. Aircraft operated by or for the United States armed forces may enter the Philippines upon approval of the Government of the Philippines in accordance with procedures stipulated in implementing arrangements. 2. Vessels operated by or for the United States armed forces may enter the Philippines upon approval of the Government of the Philippines. The movement of vessels shall be in accordance with international custom and practice governing such vessels, and such agreed implementing arrangements as necessary.

3. Vehicles, vessels, and aircraft operated by or for the United States armed forces shall not be subject to the payment of landing or port fees, navigation or over flight charges, or tolls or other use charges, including light and harbor dues, while in the Philippines. Aircraft operated by or for the United States armed forces shall observe local air traffic control regulations while in the Philippines. Vessels owned or operated by the United States solely on United States Government non-commercial service shall not be subject to compulsory pilotage at Philippine ports. Article IX Duration and Termination This agreement shall enter into force on the date on which the parties have notified each other in writing through the diplomatic channel that they have completed their constitutional requirements for entry into force. This agreement shall remain in force until the expiration of 180 days from the date on which either party gives the other party notice in writing that it desires to terminate the agreement. Via these consolidated[11] petitions for certiorari and prohibition, petitioners - as legislators, non-governmental organizations, citizens and taxpayers - assail the constitutionality of the VFA and impute to herein respondents grave abuse of discretion in ratifying the agreement. We have simplified the issues raised by the petitioners into the following: I Do petitioners have legal standing as concerned citizens, taxpayers, or legislators to question the constitutionality of the VFA? II Is the VFA governed by the provisions of Section 21, Article VII or of Section 25, Article XVIII of the Constitution? III Does the VFA constitute an abdication of Philippine sovereignty? a. Are Philippine courts deprived of their jurisdiction to hear and try offenses committed by US military personnel?

b. Is the Supreme Court deprived of its jurisdiction over offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua or higher? IV Does the VFA violate: a. the equal protection clause under Section 1, Article III of the Constitution? b. the Prohibition against nuclear weapons under Article II, Section 8? c. Section 28 (4), Article VI of the Constitution granting the exemption from taxes and duties for the equipment, materials supplies and other properties imported into or acquired in the Philippines by, or on behalf, of the US Armed Forces? LOCUS STANDI At the outset, respondents challenge petitioners standing to sue, on the ground that the latter have not shown any interest in the case, and that petitioners failed to substantiate that they have sustained, or will sustain direct injury as a result of the operation of the VFA.[12] Petitioners, on the other hand, counter that the validity or invalidity of the VFA is a matter of transcendental importance which justifies their standing.[13] A party bringing a suit challenging the constitutionality of a law, act, or statute must show not only that the law is invalid, but also that he has sustained or in is in immediate, or imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not merely that he suffers thereby in some indefinite way. He must show that he has been, or is about to be, denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled, or that he is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute complained of.[14] In the case before us, petitioners failed to show, to the satisfaction of this Court, that they have sustained, or are in danger of sustaining any direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the VFA. As taxpayers, petitioners have not established that the VFA involves the exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending powers.[15] On this point, it bears stressing that a taxpayers suit refers to a case where the act complained of directly involves the illegal disbursement of public funds derived

from taxation.[16] Thus, in Bugnay Const. & Development Corp. vs. Laron[17], we held: x x x it is exigent that the taxpayer -plaintiff sufficiently show that he would be benefited or injured by the judgment or entitled to the avails of the suit as a real party in interest. Before he can invoke the power of judicial review, he must specifically prove that he has sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation and that he will sustain a direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the questioned statute or contract. It is not sufficient that he has merely a general interest common to all members of the public. Clearly, inasmuch as no public funds raised by taxation are involved in this case, and in the absence of any allegation by petitioners that public funds are being misspent or illegally expended, petitioners, as taxpayers, have no legal standing to assail the legality of the VFA. Similarly, Representatives Wigberto Taada, Agapito Aquino and Joker Arroyo, as petitioners-legislators, do not possess the requisite locus standi to maintain the present suit. While this Court, in Phil. Constitution Association vs. Hon. Salvador Enriquez,[18] sustained the legal standing of a member of the Senate and the House of Representatives to question the validity of a presidential veto or a condition imposed on an item in an appropriation bull, we cannot, at this instance, similarly uphold petitioners standing as members of Congress, in the absence of a clear showing of any direct injury to their person or to the institution to which they belong. Beyond this, the allegations of impairment of legislative power, such as the delegation of the power of Congress to grant tax exemptions, are more apparent than real. While it may be true that petitioners pointed to provisions of the VFA which allegedly impair their legislative powers, petitioners failed however to sufficiently show that they have in fact suffered direct injury. In the same vein, petitioner Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is stripped of standing in these cases. As aptly observed by the Solicitor General, the IBP lacks the legal capacity to bring this suit in the absence of a board resolution from its Board of Governors authorizing its National President to commence the present action.[19] Notwithstanding, in view of the paramount importance and the constitutional significance of the issues raised in the petitions, this Court, in the exercise of its sound discretion, brushes aside the procedural barrier and takes cognizance of the

petitions, as we have done in the early Emergency Powers Cases,[20] 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. 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 definitely, brushing aside, if we must, technicalities of procedure. We have since then applied the exception in many other cases. (Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Sec. of Agrarian Reform, 175 SCRA 343). (Underscoring Supplied) This principle was reiterated in the subsequent cases of Gonzales vs. COMELEC,[21] Daza vs. Singson,[22] and Basco vs. Phil. Amusement and Gaming Corporation,[23] where we emphatically held: Considering however the importance to the public of the case at bar, and in keeping with the Courts duty, under the 1987 Constitution, to determine whether or not the other branches of the government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws and that they have not abused the discretion given to them, the Court has brushed aside technicalities of procedure and has taken cognizance of this petition. x x x Again, in the more recent case of Kilosbayan vs. Guingona, Jr.,[24] thisCourt ruled that in cases of transcendental importance, 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. Although courts generally avoid having to decide a constitutional question based on the doctrine of separation of powers, which enjoins upon the departments of the government a becoming respect for each others acts,[25] this Court nevertheless resolves to take cognizance of the instant petitions. APPLICABLE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION One focal point of inquiry in this controversy is the determination of which provision of the Constitution applies, with regard to the exercise by the senate of its constitutional power to concur with the VFA. Petitioners argue that Section 25, Article XVIII is applicable considering that the VFA has for its subject the presence

of foreign military troops in the Philippines. Respondents, on the contrary, maintain that Section 21, Article VII should apply inasmuch as the VFA is not a basing arrangement but an agreement which involves merely the temporary visits of United States personnel engaged in joint military exercises. The 1987 Philippine Constitution contains two provisions requiring the concurrence of the Senate on treaties or international agreements. Section 21, Article VII, which herein respondents invoke, reads: No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. Section 25, Article XVIII, provides: After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America concerning Military Bases, foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State. Section 21, Article VII deals with treatise or international agreements in general, in which case, the concurrence of at least two-thirds (2/3) of all the Members of the Senate is required to make the subject treaty, or international agreement, valid and binding on the part of the Philippines. This provision lays down the general rule on treatise or international agreements and applies to any form of treaty with a wide variety of subject matter, such as, but not limited to, extradition or tax treatise or those economic in nature. All treaties or international agreements entered into by the Philippines, regardless of subject matter, coverage, or particular designation or appellation, requires the concurrence of the Senate to be valid and effective. In contrast, Section 25, Article XVIII is a special provision that applies to treaties which involve the presence of foreign military bases, troops or facilities in the Philippines. Under this provision, the concurrence of the Senate is only one of the requisites to render compliance with the constitutional requirements and to consider the agreement binding on the Philippines. Section 25, Article XVIII further requires that foreign military bases, troops, or facilities may be allowed in the Philippines only by virtue of a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate, ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a national referendum held for that purpose if so required by Congress, and recognized as such by the other contracting state.

It is our considered view that both constitutional provisions, far from contradicting each other, actually share some common ground. These constitutional provisions both embody phrases in the negative and thus, are deemed prohibitory in mandate and character. In particular, Section 21 opens with the clause No treaty x x x, and Section 25 contains the phrase shall not be allowed. Additionally, in both instances, the concurrence of the Senate is indispensable to render the treaty or international agreement valid and effective. To our mind, the fact that the President referred the VFA to the Senate under Section 21, Article VII, and that the Senate extended its concurrence under the same provision, is immaterial. For in either case, whether under Section 21, Article VII or Section 25, Article XVIII, the fundamental law is crystalline that the concurrence of the Senate is mandatory to comply with the strict constitutional requirements. On the whole, the VFA is an agreement which defines the treatment of United States troops and personnel visiting the Philippines. It provides for the guidelines to govern such visits of military personnel, and further defines the rights of the United States and the Philippine government in the matter of criminal jurisdiction, movement of vessel and aircraft, importation and exportation of equipment, materials and supplies. Undoubtedly, Section 25, Article XVIII, which specifically deals with treaties involving foreign military bases, troops, or facilities, should apply in the instant case. To a certain extent and in a limited sense, however, the provisions of section 21, Article VII will find applicability with regard to the issue and for the sole purpose of determining the number of votes required to obtain the valid concurrence of the Senate, as will be further discussed hereunder. It is a finely-imbedded principle in statutory construction that a special provision or law prevails over a general one. Lex specialis derogat generali. Thus, where there is in the same statute a particular enactment and also a general one which, in its most comprehensive sense, would include what is embraced in the former, the particular enactment must be operative, and the general enactment must be taken to affect only such cases within its general language which are not within the provision of the particular enactment.[26] In Leveriza vs. Intermediate Appellate Court,[27] we enunciated: x x x that another basic principle of statutory construction mandates that general legislation must give way to a special legislation on the same subject, and generally

be so interpreted as to embrace only cases in which the special provisions are not applicable (Sto. Domingo vs. de los Angeles, 96 SCRA 139), that a specific statute prevails over a general statute (De Jesus vs. People, 120 SCRA 760) and that where two statutes are of equal theoretical application to a particular case, the one designed therefor specially should prevail (Wil Wilhensen Inc. vs. Baluyot, 83 SCRA 38). Moreover, it is specious to argue that Section 25, Article XVIII is inapplicable to mere transient agreements for the reason that there is no permanent placing of structure for the establishment of a military base. On this score, the Constitution makes no distinction between transient and permanent. Certainly, we find nothing in Section 25, Article XVIII that requires foreign troops or facilities to be stationed or placed permanently in the Philippines. It is a rudiment in legal hermenuetics that when no distinction is made by law, the Court should not distinguish- Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguire debemos. In like manner, we do not subscribe to the argument that Section 25, Article XVIII is not controlling since no foreign military bases, but merely foreign troops and facilities, are involved in the VFA. Notably, a perusal of said constitutional provision reveals that the proscription covers foreign military bases, troops, or facilities. Stated differently, this prohibition is not limited to the entry of troops and facilities without any foreign bases being established. The clause does not refer to foreign military bases, troops, or facilities collectively but treats them as separate and independent subjects. The use of comma and the disjunctive word or clearly signifies disassociation and independence of one thing from the others included in the enumeration,[28] such that, the provision contemplates three different situations a military treaty the subject of which could be either (a) foreign bases, (b) foreign troops, or (c) foreign facilities - any of the three standing alone places it under the coverage of Section 25, Article XVIII. To this end, the intention of the framers of the Charter, as manifested during the deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, is consistent with this interpretation: MR. MAAMBONG. I just want to address a question or two to Commissioner Bernas. This formulation speaks of three things: foreign military bases, troops or facilities. My first question is: If the country does enter into such kind of a treaty, must it cover

the three-bases, troops or facilities-or could the treaty entered into cover only one or two? FR. BERNAS. Definitely, it can cover only one. Whether it covers only one or it covers three, the requirement will be the same. MR. MAAMBONG. In other words, the Philippine government can enter into a treaty covering not bases but merely troops? FR. BERNAS. Yes. MR. MAAMBONG. I cannot find any reason why the government can enter into a treaty covering only troops. FR. BERNAS. Why not? Probably if we stretch our imagination a little bit more, we will find some. We just want to cover everything.[29] (Underscoring Supplied) Moreover, military bases established within the territory of another state is no longer viable because of the alternatives offered by new means and weapons of warfare such as nuclear weapons, guided missiles as well as huge sea vessels that can stay afloat in the sea even for months and years without returning to their home country. These military warships are actually used as substitutes for a land-home base not only of military aircraft but also of military personnel and facilities. Besides, vessels are mobile as compared to a land-based military headquarters. At this juncture, we shall then resolve the issue of whether or not the requirements of Section 25 were complied with when the Senate gave its concurrence to the VFA. Section 25, Article XVIII disallows foreign military bases, troops, or facilities in the country, unless the following conditions are sufficiently met, viz: (a) it must be under a treaty; (b) the treaty must be duly concurred in by the Senate and, when so required by congress, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum; and (c) recognized as a treaty by the other contracting state. There is no dispute as to the presence of the first two requisites in the case of the VFA. The concurrence handed by the Senate through Resolution No. 18 is in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, whether under the general requirement in Section 21, Article VII, or the specific mandate mentioned in Section 25, Article XVIII, the provision in the latter article requiring ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a national referendum being unnecessary since Congress

has not required it.

Having resolved that the first two requisites prescribed in Section 25, Article XVIII are present, we shall now pass upon and delve on the requirement that the VFA should be recognized as a treaty by the United States of America. Petitioners content that the phrase recognized as a treaty, embodied in section 25, Article XVIII, means that the VFA should have the advice and consent of the United States Senate pursuant to its own constitutional process, and that it should not be considered merely an executive agreement by the United States. In opposition, respondents argue that the letter of United States Ambassador Hubbard stating that the VFA is binding on the United States Government is conclusive, on the point that the VFA is recognized as a treaty by the United States of America. According to respondents, the VFA, to be binding, must only be accepted as a treaty by the United States. This Court is of the firm view that the phrase recognized as a treaty means that the other contracting party accepts or acknowledges the agreement as a treaty.[32] To require the other contracting state, the United States of America in this case, to submit the VFA to the United States Senate for concurrence pursuant to its Constitution,[33] is to accord strict meaning to the phrase. Well-entrenched is the principle that the words used in the Constitution are to be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed, in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. Its language should be understood in the sense they have in common use.[34] Moreover, it is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive agreement because, under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty.[35] To be sure, as long as the VFA possesses the elements of an agreement under international law, the said agreement is to be taken equally as a treaty. A treaty, as defined by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, is an international instrument concluded between States in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments, and whatever its particular designation.[36] There are many other terms used for a treaty or international agreement, some of which are: act, protocol, agreement, compromis d arbitrage, concordat, convention, declaration, exchange of notes, pact, statute, charter and modus vivendi. All writers, from Hugo Grotius onward, have pointed out that the names or titles of international agreements

As to the matter of voting, Section 21, Article VII particularly requires that a treaty or international agreement, to be valid and effective, must be concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate. On the other hand, Section 25, Article XVIII simply provides that the treaty be duly concurred in by the Senate. Applying the foregoing constitutional provisions, a two-thirds vote of all the members of the Senate is clearly required so that the concurrence contemplated by law may be validly obtained and deemed present. While it is true that Section 25, Article XVIII requires, among other things, that the treaty-the VFA, in the instant case-be duly concurred in by the Senate, it is very true however that said provision must be related and viewed in light of the clear mandate embodied in Section 21, Article VII, which in more specific terms, requires that the concurrence of a treaty, or international agreement, be made by a two -thirds vote of all the members of the Senate. Indeed, Section 25, Article XVIII must not be treated in isolation to section 21, Article, VII. As noted, the concurrence requirement under Section 25, Article XVIII must be construed in relation to the provisions of Section 21, Article VII. In a more particular language, the concurrence of the Senate contemplated under Section 25, Article XVIII means that at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate favorably vote to concur with the treaty-the VFA in the instant case. Under these circumstances, the charter provides that the Senate shall be composed of twenty-four (24) Senators.[30] Without a tinge of doubt, two-thirds (2/3) of this figure, or not less than sixteen (16) members, favorably acting on the proposal is an unquestionable compliance with the requisite number of votes mentioned in Section 21 of Article VII. The fact that there were actually twenty-three (23) incumbent Senators at the time the voting was made,[31] will not alter in any significant way the circumstance that more than two-thirds of the members of the Senate concurred with the proposed VFA, even if the two-thirds vote requirement is based on this figure of actual members (23). In this regard, the fundamental law is clear that twothirds of the 24 Senators, or at least 16 favorable votes, suffice so as to render compliance with the strict constitutional mandate of giving concurrence to the subject treaty.

included under the general term treaty have little or no legal significance. Certain terms are useful, but they furnish little more than mere description.[37] Article 2(2) of the Vienna Convention provides that the provisions of paragraph 1 regarding the use of terms in the present Convention are without prejudice to the use of those terms, or to the meanings which may be given to them in the internal law of the State. Thus, in international law, there is no difference between treaties and executive agreements in their binding effect upon states concerned, as long as the negotiating functionaries have remained within their powers.[38] International law continues to make no distinction between treaties and executive agreements: they are equally binding obligations upon nations.[39] In our jurisdiction, we have recognized the binding effect of executive agreements even without the concurrence of the Senate or Congress. In Commissioner of Customs vs. Eastern Sea Trading,[40] we had occasion to pronounce: x x x the right of the Executive to enter into binding agreements without the necessity of subsequent congressional approval has been confirmed by long usage. From the earliest days of our history we have entered into executive agreements covering such subjects as commercial and consular relations, most-favored-nation rights, patent rights, trademark and copyright protection, postal and navigation arrangements and the settlement of claims. The validity of these has never been seriously questioned by our courts. x x x x x x x x x Furthermore, the United States Supreme Court has expressly recognized the validity and constitutionality of executive agreements entered into without Senate approval. (39 Columbia Law Review, pp. 753-754) (See, also, U.S. vs. Curtis Wright Export Corporation, 299 U.S. 304, 81 L. ed. 255; U.S. vs. Belmont, 301 U.S. 324, 81 L. ed. 1134; U.S. vs. Pink, 315 U.S. 203, 86 L. ed. 796; Ozanic vs. U.S. 188 F. 2d. 288; Yale Law Journal, Vol. 15 pp. 1905-1906; California Law Review, Vol. 25, pp. 670675; Hyde on International Law [revised Edition], Vol. 2, pp. 1405, 1416-1418; willoughby on the U.S. Constitution Law, Vol. I [2d ed.], pp. 537-540; Moore, International Law Digest, Vol. V, pp. 210-218; Hackworth, International Law Digest, Vol. V, pp. 390-407). (Italics Supplied) (Emphasis Ours)

The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission which drafted the 1987 Constitution is enlightening and highly-instructive: MR. MAAMBONG. Of course it goes without saying that as far as ratification of the other state is concerned, that is entirely their concern under their own laws. FR. BERNAS. Yes, but we will accept whatever they say. If they say that we have done everything to make it a treaty, then as far as we are concerned, we will accept it as a treaty.[41] The records reveal that the United States Government, through Ambassador Thomas C. Hubbard, has stated that the United States government has fully committed to living up to the terms of the VFA.[42] For as long as the united States of America accepts or acknowledges the VFA as a treaty, and binds itself further to comply with its obligations under the treaty, there is indeed marked compliance with the mandate of the Constitution. Worth stressing too, is that the ratification, by the President, of the VFA and the concurrence of the Senate should be taken as a clear an unequivocal expression of our nations consent to be bound by said treaty, with the concomitant duty to uphold the obligations and responsibilities embodied thereunder. Ratification is generally held to be an executive act, undertaken by the head of the state or of the government, as the case may be, through which the formal acceptance of the treaty is proclaimed.[43] A State may provide in its domestic legislation the process of ratification of a treaty. The consent of the State to be bound by a treaty is expressed by ratification when: (a) the treaty provides for such ratification, (b) it is otherwise established that the negotiating States agreed that ratification should be required, (c) the representative of the State has signed the treaty subject to ratification, or (d) the intention of the State to sign the treaty subject to ratification appears from the full powers of its representative, or was expressed during the negotiation.[44] In our jurisdiction, the power to ratify is vested in the President and not, as commonly believed, in the legislature. The role of the Senate is limited only to giving or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to the ratification.[45] With the ratification of the VFA, which is equivalent to final acceptance, and with the exchange of notes between the Philippines and the United States of America, it now becomes obligatory and incumbent on our part, under the principles of

international law, to be bound by the terms of the agreement. Thus, no less than Section 2, Article II of the Constitution,[46] declares that the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation and amity with all nations. As a member of the family of nations, the Philippines agrees to be bound by generally accepted rules for the conduct of its international relations. While the international obligation devolves upon the state and not upon any particular branch, institution, or individual member of its government, the Philippines is nonetheless responsible for violations committed by any branch or subdivision of its government or any official thereof. As an integral part of the community of nations, we are responsible to assure that our government, Constitution and laws will carry out our international obligation.[47] Hence, we cannot readily plead the Constitution as a convenient excuse for non-compliance with our obligations, duties and responsibilities under international law. Beyond this, Article 13 of the Declaration of Rights and Duties of States adopted by the International Law Commission in 1949 provides: Every State has the duty to carry out in good faith its obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law, and it may not invoke provisions in its constitution or its laws as an excuse for failure to perform this duty.[48] Equally important is Article 26 of the convention which provides that Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith. This is known as the principle of pacta sunt servanda which preserves the sanctity of treaties and have been one of the most fundamental principles of positive international law, supported by the jurisprudence of international tribunals.[49] NO GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION In the instant controversy, the President, in effect, is heavily faulted for exercising a power and performing a task conferred upon him by the Constitution-the power to enter into and ratify treaties. Through the expediency of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, petitioners in these consolidated cases impute grave abuse of discretion on the part of the chief Executive in ratifying the VFA, and referring the same to the Senate pursuant to the provisions of Section 21, Article VII of the Constitution. On this particular matter, grave abuse of discretion implies such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction, or, when the

power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, and it must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of positive duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law.[50] By constitutional fiat and by the intrinsic nature of his office, the President, as head of State, is the sole organ and authority in the external affairs of the country. In many ways, the President is the chief architect of the nations foreign policy; his dominance in the field of foreign relations is (then) conceded.[51] Wielding vast powers an influence, his conduct in the external affairs of the nation, as Jefferson describes, is executive altogether."[52] As regards the power to enter into treaties or international agreements, the Constitution vests the same in the President, subject only to the concurrence of at least two-thirds vote of all the members of the Senate. In this light, the negotiation of the VFA and the subsequent ratification of the agreement are exclusive acts which pertain solely to the President, in the lawful exercise of his vast executive and diplomatic powers granted him no less than by the fundamental law itself. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude, and Congress itself is powerless to invade it.[53] Consequently, the acts or judgment calls of the President involving the VFA-specifically the acts of ratification and entering into a treaty and those necessary or incidental to the exercise of such principal acts - squarely fall within the sphere of his constitutional powers and thus, may not be validly struck down, much less calibrated by this Court, in the absence of clear showing of grave abuse of power or discretion. It is the Courts considered view that the President, in ratifying the VFA and in submitting the same to the Senate for concurrence, acted within the confines and limits of the powers vested in him by the Constitution. It is of no moment that the President, in the exercise of his wide latitude of discretion and in the honest belief that the VFA falls within the ambit of Section 21, Article VII of the Constitution, referred the VFA to the Senate for concurrence under the aforementioned provision. Certainly, no abuse of discretion, much less a grave, patent and whimsical abuse of judgment, may be imputed to the President in his act of ratifying the VFA and referring the same to the Senate for the purpose of complying with the concurrence requirement embodied in the fundamental law. In doing so, the President merely performed a constitutional task and exercised a prerogative that chiefly pertains to the functions of his office. Even if he erred in submitting the VFA to the Senate for concurrence under the provisions of Section 21 of Article VII, instead of Section 25 of Article XVIII of the Constitution, still, the President may not be faulted or scarred,

much less be adjudged guilty of committing an abuse of discretion in some patent, gross, and capricious manner. For while it is conceded that Article VIII, Section 1, of the Constitution has broadened the scope of judicial inquiry into areas normally left to the political departments to decide, such as those relating to national security, it has not altogether done away with political questions such as those which arise in the field of foreign relations.[54] The High Tribunals function, as sanctioned by Article VIII, Section 1, is merely (to) check whether or not the governmental branch or agency has gone beyond the constitutional limits of its jurisdiction, not that it erred or has a different view. In the absence of a showing (of) grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, there is no occasion for the Court to exercise its corrective powerIt has no power to look into what it thinks is apparent error.[55] As to the power to concur with treaties, the constitution lodges the same with the Senate alone. Thus, once the Senate[56] performs that power, or exercises its prerogative within the boundaries prescribed by the Constitution, the concurrence cannot, in like manner, be viewed to constitute an abuse of power, much less grave abuse thereof. Corollarily, the Senate, in the exercise of its discretion and acting within the limits of such power, may not be similarly faulted for having simply performed a task conferred and sanctioned by no less than the fundamental law. For the role of the Senate in relation to treaties is essentially legislative in character;[57] the Senate, as an independent body possessed of its own erudite mind, has the prerogative to either accept or reject the proposed agreement, and whatever action it takes in the exercise of its wide latitude of discretion, pertains to the wisdom rather than the legality of the act. In this sense, the Senate partakes a principal, yet delicate, role in keeping the principles of separation of powers and of checks and balances alive and vigilantly ensures that these cherished rudiments remain true to their form in a democratic government such as ours. The Constitution thus animates, through this treaty-concurring power of the Senate, a healthy system of checks and balances indispensable toward our nations pursuit of political maturity and growth. True enough, rudimentary is the principle that matters pertaining to the wisdom of a legislative act are beyond the ambit and province of the courts to inquire. In fine, absent any clear showing of grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondents, this Court- as the final arbiter of legal controversies and staunch sentinel of the rights of the people - is then without power to conduct an incursion and meddle with such affairs purely executive and legislative in character and nature. For the Constitution no less, maps out the distinct boundaries and limits the metes

and bounds within which each of the three political branches of government may exercise the powers exclusively and essentially conferred to it by law. WHEREFORE, in light of the foregoing disquisitions, the instant petitions are hereby DISMISSED. SO ORDERED. Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Kapunan, Quisumbing, Purisima, Pardo, GonzagaReyes, Ynares-Santiago, and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur. Melo, and Vitug, JJ., join the dissent of J. Puno. Puno, J., see dissenting opinion. Mendoza, J., in the result. Panganiban, J., no part due to close personal and former professional relations with a petitioner, Sen. J.R. Salonga.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-45892 July 13, 1938 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. TRANQUILINO LAGMAN, defendant-appellant. ----------------------------G.R. No. L-45893 July 13, 1938 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. PRIMITIVO DE SOSA, defendant-appellant. Severino P. Izon for appellants. Office of the Solicitor-General Tuason for appellee. AVANCEA, J.: In these two cases (G.R. Nos. L-45892 and 45893), the appellants Tranquilino and Primitivo de Sosa are charged with a violation of section 60 of Commonwealth Act No. 1, known as the National Defense Law. It is alleged that these two appellants, being Filipinos and having reached the age of twenty years in 1936, willfully and unlawfully refused to register in the military service between the 1st and 7th of April of said year, notwithstanding the fact that they had been required to do so. The evidence shows that these two appellants were duly notified by the corresponding authorities to appear before the Acceptance Board in order to register for military service in accordance with law, and that the said appellants, in spite of these notices, had not registered up to the date of the filing of the information. The appellants do not deny these facts, but they allege in defense that they have not registered in the military service because Primitivo de Sosa is fatherless and has a mother and a brother eight years old to support, and Tranquilino Lagman also has a father to support, has no military learnings, and does not wish to kill or be killed. Each of these appellants was sentenced by the Court of First Instance to one month and one day of imprisonment, with the costs. In this instance, the validity of the National Defense Law, under which the accused were sentenced, is impugned on the ground that it is unconstitutional. Section 2, Article II of the Constitution of the Philippines provides as follows: SEC. 2. The defense of the state is a prime duty of government, and in the fulfillment of this duty all citizens may be required by law to render personal military or civil service. The National Defense Law, in so far as it establishes compulsory military service, does not go against this constitutional provision but is, on the contrary, in faithful

compliance therewith. The duty of the Government to defend the State cannot be performed except through an army. To leave the organization of an army to the will of the citizens would be to make this duty of the Government excusable should there be no sufficient men who volunteer to enlist therein.1vvphl.nt In the United States the courts have held in a series of decisions that the compulsory military service adopted by reason of the civil war and the world war does not violate the Constitution, because the power to establish it is derived from that granted to Congress to declare war and to organize and maintain an army. This is so because the right of the Government to require compulsory military service is a consequence of its duty to defend the State and is reciprocal with its duty to defend the life, liberty, and property of the citizen. In the case of Jacobson vs. Massachusetts (197 U.S., 11; 25 Sup. Ct. Rep., 385), it was said that, without violating the Constitution, a person may be compelled by force, if need be, against his will, against his pecuniary interests, and even against his religious or political convictions, to take his place in the ranks of the army of his country, and risk the chance of being shot down in its defense. In the case of United States vs. Olson (253 Fed., 233), it was also said that this is not deprivation of property without due process of law, because, in its just sense, there is no right of property to an office or employment. The circumstance that these decisions refer to laws enacted by reason on the actual existence of war does not make our case any different, inasmuch as, in the last analysis, what justifies compulsory military service is the defense of the State, whether actual or whether in preparation to make it more effective, in case of need. The circumstance that the appellants have dependent families to support does not excuse them from their duty to present themselves before the Acceptance Board because, if such circumstance exists, they can ask for determent in complying with their duty and, at all events, they can obtain the proper pecuniary allowance to attend to these family responsibilities (secs. 65 and 69 of Commonwealth Act No. 1). The appealed judgment rendered in these two cases is affirmed, with the costs to the appellants. So ordered. Villa-Real, Imperial, Diaz, Laurel and Concepcion, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC DECISION July 28, 1947 G.R. No. L-322 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. PEDRO MANAYAO, ET AL., defendants. PEDRO MANAYAO, appellant. J. Antonio Araneta for appellant. Hilado, J.: Appellant Pedro Manayao and Filomeno Flores and Raymundo Flores were charged with the high crime of treason with multiple murder in the Peoples Court. Th e Floreses not having been apprehended, only Manayao was tried. Convicted of the offense charged against him with the aggravating circumstances of (1) the aid of armed men and (2) the employment or presence of a band in the commission of the crime, he was sentenced to death, to pay a fine of P20,000, an indemnity of P2,000 to the heirs of each of the persons named in the third paragraph of the decision, and the costs. He has appealed from that decision to this Court. On or about the 27th of January, 1945, the guerrillas raided the Japanese in Sitio Pulong Tindahan, Municipality of Angat, Province of Bulacan. In reprisal, Japanese soldiers and a number of Filipinos affiliated with the Makapili, among them the instant appellant, conceived the diabolical idea of killing the residents of Barrio Banaban of the same municipality (Exhibits A, C, and C-1). Pursuant to this plan, said Japanese soldiers and their Filipino companions, armed with rifles and bayonets, gathered the residents of Banaban behind the barrio chapel on January 29, 1945. Numbering about sixty or seventy, the residents thus assembled included men, women and children mostly women (Exhibits A, C, amd C-1; pp. 3-16, 29, 30, 65, 102, t.s.n.). The children were placed in a separate group from the men and women the prosecution star witnesses, Maria Paulino and Clarita Perez, were among the children (pp. 3, 40, t.s.n. ). Presently, the Japanese and their Filipino comrades set the

surrounding houses on fire (pp. 14, 48, 70, 71, 103, t.s.n.), and proceeded to butcher all the persons assembled, excepting the small children, thus killing, among others, those known by the following names: Patricia, Dodi, Banda, Tana, Uyang, Mina, Marta, Sana, Eufemia, Doroteo, Andres, Perly, Tisiang, Urado, Pisan, Dorang, Felisa, and Eulalia (pp. 8, 10, 13, 14, 31, 32, 47, 48, 61, 63, t.s.n.). Appellant alone killed about six women, two of whom were Patricia and Dodi whom he bayoneted to death in the presence of their daughters, Maria Paulino and Clarita Perez, respectively (pp. 8, 10, 13, 31, 32, 35, 47, 48, t.s.n.). Patricia and Dodi pleaded with appellant for mercy, he being their relative, but he gave the callous answer that no mercy would be given them because they were wives of guerrillas (pp. 10, 42, 43, 49, t.s.n.). Appellant would also have killed the small children including Clarita Perez and Maria Paulino if he had been allowed to have his way. For when all but the small ones had been butchered, he proposed to kill them too, but the Japanese soldiers interceded, saying that the children knew nothing of the matter (pp. 15, 49, 51, 66, 67, t.s.n.). Appellant insisted in his proposal, arguing that the children would be wives of guerrillas later when they grew up, but the Japanese decided to spare them (p. 22, t.s.n.). The foregoing facts have been clearly established by the testimony of eye-witnesses Clarita Paulino, Maria Perez, and Policarpio Tigas to the ruthless massacre of Banaban. There is a complete absence of evidence tending to show motive on the part of these witnesses for falsely testifying against appellant such a motive is not even insinuated by the defendant. Indeed, appellants counsel frankly states (p. 3, brief) that he does not dispute the findings of fact of the Peoples Court. Speaking of the testimony of Clarita and Maria, both aged ten years, the Peoples Court, who heard, observed and saw them testify, had the following to say: The testimony of the last two in particular is entitled to very great weight. They are simple barrio girls, only ten years old, whose minds have not yet been tainted by feelings of hatred or revenge or by any desire to be spectacular or to exaggerate. They were straight-forward and frank in their testimony and did not show any intention to appeal to the sentiments of the court. They could not have been mistaken as to the presence and identity of the accused for they know him so well that they referred to him by his pet name of Indong Pintor or Pedro, the painter. They could not have erred in the narration of the salient phases of the tragic events of January 29, 1945, in Banaban, for they were forced eye-witnesses to and were involved in the whole tragedy, the burning of the houses and the massacre committed by the accused and his Japanese masters took place in broad daylight and were not consummated in

a fleeting moment but during a time sufficient for even girls of tender age to retain a trustworthy mental picture of the unusual event they could not help but witness. Not only this, but the testimony of Clarita Perez and Maria Paulino is so clear, positive and convincing that it would be sufficient for conviction without any further corroboration. Yet, there is ample corroborative proof. Thus, Tomas M. Pablo declared that he had seen the corpses of the massacred residents of Banaban shortly after the happening of the heinous crime (p. 136, t.s.n.). And appellant himself admitted his participation in the massacre in two sworn statements one made on August 28, 1945, before Lt. Jesus Cacahit, Detachment Commander of the Angat 23d MP Command (Exhibit A; pp. 75-77, t.s.n.) and another made on September 5, 1945 before Feliciano F. Torres, Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Bulacan (Exhibits C, C-1; pp. 150-159, t.s.n.). In No. 1 of his assignment of errors, appellants counsel cont ends that appellant was a member of the Armed Forces of Japan, was subject to military law, and not subject to the jurisdiction of the Peoples Court; and in No. 2 he advances the theory that appellant had lost his Philippine citizenship and was therefore not amenable to the Philippine law of treason. We cannot uphold either contention. We are of the considered opinion that the Makapili, although organized to render military aid to the Japanese Army in the Philippines during the late war, was not a part of said army. It was an organization of Filipino traitors, pure and simple. As to loss of Philippine citizenship by appellant, counsels theory is absolutely untenable. He invokes in its support paragraphs 3, 4, and 6 of section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 63, providing: . . . A Filipino citizen may lose his citizenship in any of the following ways and/or events: xxxxxxxxx (3) By subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the constitution or laws of a foreign country upon attaining twenty-one years of age or more; (4) By accepting commission in the military, naval or air service of a foreign country; xxxxxxxxx (6) By having been declared, by competent authority, a deserter of the Philippine Army, Navy, or Air Corps in time of war, unless subsequently a plenary pardon or amnesty has been granted.

There is no evidence that appellant has subscribed to an oath of allegiance to support the constitution or laws of Japan. His counsel cites (Brief, 4) the fact that in Exhibit A he subscribed an oath before he was admitted into the Makapili association, the aim of which was to help Japan in its fight against the Americans and her allies. And the counsel contends from this that the oath was in fact one of allegiance to support the constitution and laws of Japan. We cannot uphold such a far-fetched deduction. The members of the Makapili could have sworn to help Japan in the war without necessarily swearing to support her constitution and laws. The famed Flying Tiger who so bravely and resolutely aided China in her war with Japan certainly did not need to swear to support the Chinese constitution and laws, even if they had to help China fight Japan. During the first World War the National Volunteers were organized in the Philippines, pledged to go to Europe and fight on the side of the Allies, particularly of the United States. In order to carry out that mission although the war ended before this could be done they surely did not have to take an oath to support the constitution or laws of the United States or any of its allies. We do not multiply these examples, for they illustrate a proposition which seems self-evident. Neither is there any showing of the acceptance by appellant of a commission in the military, naval, or air service of Japan. Much less is there a scintilla of evidence that appellant had ever been declared a deserter in the Philippine Army, Navy or Air Corps nor even that he was a member of said Army, Navy, or Air Corps. Further, appellants contention is repugnant to the most f undamental and elementary principles governing the duties of a citizen toward his country under our Constitution. Article II, section 2, of said constitution ordains: SEC. 2. The defense of the State is a prime duty of government, and in the fulfillment of this duty all citizens may be required by law to render personal, military or civil service. (Emphasis supplied.). This constitutional provision covers both time of peace and time of war, but it is brought more immediately and peremptorily into play when the country is involved in war. During such a period of stress, under a constitution enshrining such tenets, the citizen cannot be considered free to cast off his loyalty and obligations toward the Fatherland. And it cannot be supposed, without reflecting on the patriotism and intelligence of the Legislature, that in promulgating Commonwealth Act No. 63, under the aegis of our Constitution, it intended (but did not declare) that the duties of the citizen solemnly proclaimed in the above-quoted constitutional precept could be effectively cast off by him even when his country is at war, by the simple expedient

of subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the constitution or laws of a foreign country, and an enemy country at that, or by accepting a commission in the military, naval or air service of such country, or by deserting from the Philippine Army, Navy, or Air Corps. It would shock the conscience of any enlightened citizenry to say that this appellant, by the very fact of committing the treasonous acts charged against him, the doing of which under the circumstances of record he does not deny, divested himself of his Philippine citizenship and thereby placed himself beyond the arm of our treason law. For if this were so, his very crime would be the shield that would protect him from punishment. But the laws do no admit that the bare commission of a crime amounts of itself to a divestment of the character of citizen, and withdraws the criminal from their coercion. They would never prescribe an illegal act among the legal modes by which a citizen might disfranchise himself; nor render treason, for instance, innocent, by giving it the force of a dissolution of the obligation of the criminal to his country. (Moore, International Law Digest, Vol. III, p. 731.) 696. No person, even when he has renounced or incurred the loss of his nationality, shall take up arms against his native country; he shall be held guilty of a felony and treason, if he does not strictly observe this duty. (Fiores International Law C odified, translation from Fifth Italian Edition by Borchard.) As to the third assignment of error, the Solicitor General agrees with counsel that it is improper to separately take into account against appellant he aggravating circumstances of (1) the aid of armed men and (2) the employment of a band in appraising the gravity of the crime. We likewise are of the same opinion, considering that under paragraph 6 of article 14 of the Revised Penal Code providing that whenever more than three armed malefactors shall have acted together in the commission of an offense it shall be deemed to have been committed by a band, the employment of more than three armed men is an essential element of and inherent in a band. So that in appreciating the existence of a band the employment of more than three armed men is automatically included, there being only the aggravating circumstance of band to be considered. As to appellants fourth assignment of error, the contention is clearly unacceptable that appellant acted in obedience to an order issued by a superior and is therefore exempt from criminal liability, because he allegedly acted in the fulfillment of a duty incidental to his service for Japan as a member of the Makapili. It is obvious that paragraphs 5 and 6 of article 11 of our Revised Penal Code compliance with duties to or orders from a foreign sovereign, any more than obedience to an illegal order. The

construction contended for by appellant could entail in its potentialities even the destruction of this Republic. The contention that as a member of the Makapili appellant had to obey his Japanese masters under pain of severe penalty, and that therefore his acts should be considered as committed under the impulse of an irresistible force or uncontrollable fear of an equal or greater injury, is no less repulsive. Appellant voluntarily joined the Makapili with full knowledge of its avowed purpose of rendering military aid to Japan. He knew the consequences to be expected if the alleged irresistible force or uncontrollable fear subsequently arose, he brought them about himself freely and voluntarily. But this is not all; the truth of the matter is, as the Solicitor General well remarks, that the appellant actually acted with gusto during the butchery of Banaban. He was on that occasion even bent on more cruelty than the very ruthless Japanese masters so fate willed it were the very ones who saved the little girls, Clarita Perez and Maria Paulino, who were destined to become the star witnesses against him on the day of reckoning. Conformably to the recommendation of the Solicitor General, we find appellant guilty of the crime of treason with multiple murder committed with the attendance of one aggravating circumstance, that of armed band, thus discarding the first aggravating circumstance considered by the trial court. A majority of the Court voted to affirm the judgment appealed from, imposing the death penalty, convicting defendant and appellant to pay a fine of P20,000, an indemnity of P2,000 to the heirs of each of the victims named in the third paragraph of the lower courts decision, and the costs. But due to the dissent of Mr. Justice Perfecto from the imposition of the death penalty, in accordance with the applicable legal provisions we modify the judgment appealed from as regards the punishment to be inflicted, and sentence defendant and appellant Pedro Manayao to the penalty of reclusion perpetua, with the accessories of article 41 of the Revised Penal Code, to pay a fine of P20,000, an indemnity of P2,000 to the heirs of each of the victims named in the third paragraph of the lower courts decision, and the costs. So ordered. Moran, C.J., Feria, Pablo, Bengzon, Briones, Hontiveros, Padilla, and Tuason, JJ., concur. PARAS, J.: I concur in the result because I am convinced that the appellant is guilty of multiple murder and he even deserves the maximum penalty. Separate Opinions

PERFECTO, J., concurring and dissenting: The main facts in this case upon which the prosecution relies are based on the testimonies of three witnesses, two ten-year-old girls, Clarita Perez and Maria Paulino, and Policarpio Tigas. From the testimony of Maria Paulino we quote: Q. You said that you are ten years old, do you know what is the meaning of telling a lie? A. I do not know. Q. Do you know the difference between falsity and truth? A. I do not know. xxxxxxxxx Q. Do you know how to read? What, Sir? Q. How to read. A. No, Sir. Q. Do you know how to pray? A. I forgot how to pray.(Pages 44 and 45, t.s.n.) From the testimony of Clarita Perez, we quote: Q. Please state your name and your personal circumstances. A. Clarita Perez, 10 years of age, and resident of the Sitio of Banaban. Q. What town? A. I do not know. JUDGE NEPOMUCENO: Q. Is Banaban a sitio in the town of Malolos, or Quigua, or Bigaa? A. I do not know, sir. Q. You do not know? A. I do not know, sir. JUDGE ABAD SANTOS: Q. What province? A. I do not know, sir. (Page 4, t.s.n.) Witness Policarpio Tigas, municipal policeman, testified that about sixty persons, including his sister Eufemia, were killed in Banaban, but he was not killed because I was with my guerrilla outfit then. He saw the killing because on the 29th day of January, I came down from the mountains and went to the barrio to see my family to take them away from the place, but upon arriving there I saw that the people were being gathered and placed behind the chapel. After placing the people behind the

chapel I saw the massacre of the group begun. In my interest to ascertain the fate of my sister and so that I would not be seen, I crept to a creek and stayed there to find out what would be the end of it all. While I was thus hiding in that creek I saw my sister killed by Pedro Manayao, the painter. After that, convinced of the fate of my sister and knowing the one who killed her was Pedro Manayao, and because I was afraid that if I stayed there longer I might be caught by the people and knowing that if I would be caught I would also be killed, I left the place. (Page 102, t.s.n.) He was fifty meters away from the place of the massacre. The dead bodies were burned. I left to go to the mountains. I first put my mother in a safe place, and after that I joined my companions and together we returned to the town. Eufemia was buried by my father on the second day after the killing. (P. 103, t.s.n.) The above are the facts testified in the direct testimony of the witness. That he should come from the mountains and arrive at the place at the very instant when the massacre was about to be executed; that he should have remained hidden in a creek, fifty meters away, to find out the final fate of his sister; that, instead of remaining to witness the gory scene, he did not depart to call his co-guerrilleros who, according to him, were well armed, in order to attack the mass killers and try to save those who were gathered to be killed; that he left precisely after he saw his sister decapitated, notwithstanding which he testified that the corpses were burned but that the body of his sister was buried by his father the day after the killing, these, besides other details, are things that lead us to doubt the veracity of the testimony of this witness, thus leaving to be considered only the testimonies of the two girls. Although we are inclined to believe that the appellant must have been seen by the two girls at the place of the massacre in the company of the Japanese, we cannot reconcile ourselves in believing all the details as narrated by them, so as to justify the inflicting of the supreme penalty upon appellant. Although we are constrained to believe in the substantial truthfulness of the two grills, considering their tender age which makes them highly susceptible to suggestions, and the additional significant fact that Maria Paulino does not know the meaning of telling a lie nor the difference between falsity and truth, and history and experience have time and again shown that human fallibility is more pronounced in children of tender age, we vote for the modification of the appealed decision in the sense that appellant be sentenced to reclusion perpetua.

Gerona, et. al v SEC. OF EDUCATION 106 Phil 2 Aug. 12, 1959 FACTS: 1. Petitioners belong to the Jehovas Witness whose children were expelled from their schools when they refused to salute, sing the anthem, recite the pledge during the conduct of flag ceremony. DO No. 8 issued by DECS pursuant to RA 1265 which called for the manner of conduct during a flag ceremony. The petitioners wrote the Secretary of Education on their plight and requested to reinstate their children. This was denied. 2. As a result, the petitioners filed for a writ of preliminary injunction against the Secretary and Director of Public Schools to restrain them from implementing said DO No. 8. 3. The lower court (RTC) declared DO 8 invalid and contrary to the Bill of Rights. ISSUE: Whether or not DO 8 is valid or constitutional DO 8 is valid. Saluting the flag is not a religious ritual and it is for the courts to determine, not a religious group, whether or not a certain practice is one. 1. The court held that the flag is not an image but a symbol of the Republic of the Philippines, an emblem of national sovereignty, of national unity and cohesion and of freedom and liberty which it and the Constitution guarantee and protect. Considering the complete separation of church and state in our system of government, the flag is utterly devoid of any religious significance. Saluting the flag consequently does not involve any religious ceremony. After all, the determination of whether a certain ritual is or is not a religious ceremony must rest with the courts. It cannot be left to a religious group or sect, much less to a follower of said group or sect; otherwise, there would be confusion and misunderstanding for there might be as many interpretations and meanings to be given to a certain ritual or ceremony as there are religious groups or sects or followers. 2. The freedom of religious belief guaranteed by the Constitution does not and cannot mean exemption form or non-compliance with reasonable and nondiscriminatory laws, rules and regulations promulgated by competent authority. In enforcing the flag salute on the petitioners, there was absolutely no compulsion

involved, and for their failure or refusal to obey school regulations about the flag salute they were not being persecuted. Neither were they being criminally prosecuted under threat of penal sacntion. If they chose not to obey the flag salute regulation, they merely lost the benefits of public education being maintained at the expense of their fellow citizens, nothing more. According to a popular expression, they could take it or leave it. Having elected not to comply with the regulations about the flag salute, they forfeited their right to attend public schools. 3. The Filipino flag is not an image that requires religious veneration; rather it is symbol of the Republic of the Philippines, of sovereignty, an emblem of freedom, liberty and national unity; that the flag salute is not a religious ceremony but an act and profession of love and allegiance and pledge of loyalty to the fatherland which the flag stands for; that by authority of the legislature, the Secretary of Education was duly authorized to promulgate Department Order No. 8, series of 1955; that the requirement of observance of the flag ceremony or salute provided for in said Department Order No. 8, does not violate the Constitutional provision about freedom of religion and exercise of religion; that compliance with the non-discriminatory and reasonable rules and regulations and school discipline, including observance of the flag ceremony is a prerequisite to attendance in public schools; and that for failure and refusal to participate in the flag ceremony, petitioners were properly excluded and dismissed from the public school they were attending.

EBRALINAG VS. DIVISION SUPERINTENDENT OF CEBU [219 SCRA 256 ; G.R. NO. 95770; 1 MAR 1993] Saturday, February 07, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: Two special civil actions for certiorari, Mandamus and Prohibition were filed and consolidated for raising same issue. Petitioners allege that the public respondents acted without or in excess of their jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion. Respondents ordered expulsion of 68 HS and GS students of Bantayan, Pinamungajan, Caracar, Taburan and Asturias in Cebu. Public school authorities expelled these students for refusing to salute the flag, sing the national anthem and recite the Panatang Makabayan required by RA1265. They are Jehovahs Witnesses believing that by doing these is religious worship/devotion akin to idolatry against their teachings. They contend that to compel transcends constitutional limits and invades protection against official control and religious freedom. The respondents relied on the precedence of Gerona et al v. Secretary of Education. Gerona doctrine provides that we are a system of separation of the church and state and the flag is devoid of religious significance and it doesnt involve any religious ceremony. The freedom of religious belief guaranteed by the Constitution does not mean exception from non-discriminatory laws like the saluting of flag and singing national anthem. This exemption disrupts school discipline and demoralizes the teachings of civic consciousness and duties of citizenship. Issue: Whether or Not religious freedom has been violated. Held: Religious freedom is a fundamental right of highest priority. The 2 fold aspect of right to religious worship is: 1.) Freedom to believe which is an absolute act within the realm of thought. 2.) Freedom to act on ones belief regulated and translated to external acts. The only limitation to religious freedom is the existence of grave and present danger to public safety, morals, health and interests where State has right to prevent. The expulsion of the petitioners from the school is not justified. The 30 yr old previous GERONA decision of expelling and dismissing students and teachers who refuse to obey RA1265 is violates exercise of freedom of speech and religious profession and worship. Jehovahs Witnesses may be exempted from observing the flag ceremony but this right does not give them the right to disrupt such ceremonies. In the case at bar, the Students expelled were only standing quietly during ceremonies. By observing the ceremonies quietly, it doesnt present any danger so evil and imminent to justify their expulsion. What the petitione rs request

is exemption from flag ceremonies and not exclusion from public schools. The expulsion of the students by reason of their religious beliefs is also a violation of a citizens right to free education. The non-observance of the flag ceremony does not totally constitute ignorance of patriotism and civic consciousness. Love for country and admiration for national heroes, civic consciousness and form of government are part of the school curricula. Therefore, expulsion due to religious beliefs is unjustified. Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition is GRANTED. Expulsion is ANNULLED.

Pamil v. Teleron G.R. No. L-34854 November 20, 1978 Facts: 1. In 1971, Private respondent, Father Margarito R. Gonzaga, was elected and duly proclaimed as mayor of Alburquerque, Bohol. Petitioner filed a suit for quo warranto, to disqualify respondent based on Section 2175 of the Administrative Code provision: "In no case shall there be elected or appointed to a municipal office ecclesiastics, soldiers in active service, persons receiving salaries or compensation from provincial or national funds, or contractors for public works of the municipality." 2. The suit did not prosper, with the lower court held that the ineligibility was impliedly repealed by the Election Code of 1971. The matter was then elevated to this Tribunal by petitioner. It is his contention that there was no such implied repeal, that it is still in full force and effect. Thus was the specific question raised. ISSUE: Whether or not an ecclesiastic was eligible to an elective municipal position NO. The attack on the continuing effectivity of Section 2175 having failed, it must be, as noted at the outset, given full force and application. Section 2175 of the Revised Administrative Code, as far as ecclesiastics are concerned, must be accorded respect. The presumption of validity calls for its application. Under the circumstances, certiorari lies. Facts: Fr. Margarito Gonzaga was elected as Municipal Mayor in Alburquerque, Bohol. Petitioner, also an aspirant for said office, then filed a suit for quo warranto for Gonzagas disqualification based on the Administrative Code provision: In no case shall there be elected or appointed to a municipal office ecclesiastics, soldiers in active service, persons receiving salaries or compensation from provincial or national funds, or contractors for public works of the municipality." The respondent Judge, in sustaiing Fr. Gonzagas right to the office, ruled that the provision had already been impliedly repealed by the Election Code of 1971. Petitioner on the other hand argues that there was no implied repeal. Issues: (1) Whether or Not Fr. Gonzaga is eligible for the position of municipal mayor,

according to law. (2) Whether or Not the prohibition regarding elected or appointed ecclesiastics is constitutional. Held: The court was divided. Five voted that the prohibition was not unconstitutional. Seven others voted that the provision was impliedly repealed. However, the minority vote overruled the seven. According to the dissenting seven, there are three reasons for the said provision to be inoperative. First, the 1935 Constitution stated, No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. Second, said section 2175 is superseded by the Constitution. Third, section 2175 has been repealed by Sec. 23 of the Election Code (1971): Appointive public office holders and active members of the Armed Forces are no longer disqualified from running for an elective office. Ecclesiastics were no longer included in the enumeration of persons ineligible under the said Election Code. On the other hand, the controlling five argued: Section 2175 of the Administrative Code deals with a matter different from that of section 23 of the Election Code. Also, section 2175 of the Administrative Code did not violate the right to freedom of religion because it did not give any requirement for a religious test. The view of the dissenting seven failed to obtain a vote of eight members, so it was not controlling. The provision of the Administrative Code remained operative.

German vs Barangan on December 4, 2011 Political Law Religious Freedom vs Clear and Present Danger German et al went to JP Laurel St to pray and worship in St Luke Chapel. But they were barred by General Barangan and his underlings from entering the church because the same is within the vicinity of the Malacanang. And considering that Germans group is expressively known as the August Twenty One Movement who were wearing yellow shirts with clench fists, Barangan deemed that they were not really there to worship but rather they are there to disrupt the ongoings within the Malacanang. ISSUE: Whether or not the bar disallowing petitioners to worship and pray at St. Luke is a violation of their freedom to worship and locomotion. HELD: In the case at bar, German et al are not denied or restrained of their freedom of belief or choice of their religion, but only in the manner by which they had attempted to translate the same into action. There has been a clear manifestation by Barangan et al that they allow the German et al to practice their religious belief but not in the manner that German et al impress. Such manner impresses clear and present danger to the executive of the state hence the need to curtail it even at the expense of curtailing ones freedom to worship. Dissenting Opinions J. Fernando - It would be an unwarranted departure then from what has been unanimously held in the J.B.L. Reyes decision if on such a basic right as religious freedom -clearly the most fundamental and thus entitled to the highest priority among human rights, involving as it does the relationship of man to his Creator -this Court will be less vigilant in upholding any rightful claim. More than ever, in times of stress -and much more so in times of crisis -it is that deeply-held faith that affords solace and comfort if not for everyone at least for the majority of mankind. Without that faith, mans very existence is devoid of meaning, bereft of significance. J. Teehankee - The right to freely exercise ones religion is guaranteed in Section 8 of our Bill of Rights. 7 Freedom of worship, alongside with freedom of expression and speech and peaceable assembly along with the other intellectual freedoms, are highly ranked in our scheme of constitutional values. It cannot be too strongly stressed that on the judiciary -even more so than on the other departments -rests the grave and delicate responsibility of assuring respect for and deference to such preferred rights. No verbal formula, no sanctifying phrase can, of course, dispense with what has been so felicitously termed by Justice Holmes as the sovereign prerogative of judgment. Nonetheless, the presumption must be to incline the weight

of the scales of justice on the side of such rights, enjoying as they do precedence and primacy. J. Makasiar With the assurances aforestated given by both petitioners and respondents, there is no clear and present danger to public peace and order or to the security of persons within the premises of Malacaang and the adjacent areas, as the respondents has adopted measures and are prepared to insure against any public disturbance or violence.

German v. Barangan G.R. No. L-68828 March 27, 1985 Escolin, J.: Facts: 1. In the afternoon of October 2, 1984, petitioners, composed of about 50 businessmen, students and office employees converged at J.P. Laurel Street, Manila, for the purpose of hearing Mass at the St. Jude Chapel which adjoins the Malacaang grounds located in the same street. Wearing yellow T-shirts, they started to march down with raised clenched fists and shouts of anti-government invectives. The marchers were barred by respondent Major Lariosa, upon orders of his superiors and co-respondent Gen. Santiago Barangan, from proceeding any further, on the ground that St. Jude Chapel was located within the Malacaang security area. Despite plea, they were not allowed in the church. 2. Because of the alleged warning given them by respondent Major Lariosa that any similar attempt by petitioners to enter the church in the future would likewise be prevented, petitioners took this present recourse. 3. Petitioners' alleged purpose in converging at J.P. Laurel Street was to pray and hear mass at St. Jude church. At the hearing of this petition, respondents assured petitioners and the Court that they have never restricted, and will never restrict, any person or persons from entering and worshipping at said church. They maintain, however, that petitioners' intention was not really to perform an act of religious worship, but to conduct an anti-government demonstration at a place close to the very residence and offices of the President of the Republic. 4. Invoking their constitutional freedom to religious worship and locomotion, petitioners seek the issuance of [1] a writ of mandamus to compel respondents to allow them to enter and pray inside St. Jude Chapel located at J.P. Laurel Street,

Manila; and [2] a writ of injunction to enjoin respondents from preventing them from getting into and praying in said church. ISSUE: Whether or not the restriction to petitioners to attend church is a violation of their freedom to religious worship NO. 1. The restriction imposed on the use of J.P. Laurel Street, was established in the interest of national security. Petitioners are not denied or restrained of their freedom of belief or choice of their religion, but only in the manner by which they had attempted to translate the same into action. This curtailment is in accord with the pronouncement of this Court in Gerona v. Secretary of Education. 2. While it is beyond debate that every citizen has the undeniable and inviolable right to religious freedom, the exercise thereof, and of all fundamental rights for that matter, must be done in good faith. As Article 19 of the Civil Code admonishes: "Every person must in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties ... observe honesty and good faith."

Estrada vs. Escritor A.M. P-02-1651 August 4, 2003 Facts: In a sworn letter-complaint, Alejandro Estrada, complainant, wrote to Judge Caoibes Jr. requesting for an investigation of rumors that respondent Soledad Escritor, court interpreter of Las Pias, is living with a man not her husband. Judge Caoibes referred the letter to Escritor, who stated that there is no truth as to the veracity of the allegation and challenged Estrada, to appear in the open and prove his allegation in the proper court. Judge Caoibes set a preliminary conference and Escritor move for inhibition to avoid bias and suspicion in hearing her case. In the conference, Estrada confirmed that he filed a letter-complaint for disgraceful and immoral conduct under the Revised Administrative Code against Escritor for that his frequent visit in the Hall of Justice in Las Pias learned Escritor is cohabiting with another man not his husband. Escritor testified that when she entered judiciary in 1999, she was already a widow since 1998. She admitted that shes been living with Luciano Quilapo Jr. without the benefit of marriage for 20 years and that they have a son. Escritor asserted that as a member of the religious sect known as Jehovahs Witnesses, and having executed a Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness (which allows members of the congregation who have been abandoned by their spouses to enter into marital relations) jointly with Quilapo after ten years of living together, her conjugal arrangement is in conformity with her religious beliefs and has the approval of the congregation, therefore not constituting disgraceful and immoral conduct. Issue: Whether or not Escritor is administratively liable for disgraceful and immoral conduct. Ruling: Escritor cannot be penalized. The Constitution adheres to the benevolent neutrality approach that gives room for accommodation of religious exercises as required by the Free Exercise Clause, provided that it does not offend compelling state interests. The OSG must then demonstrate that the state has used the least intrusive means possible so that the free exercise clause is not infringed any more than necessary to achieve the legitimate goal of the state. In this case, with no iota of evidence offered, the records are bereft of even a feeble attempt to show that the state adopted the least intrusive means. With the Solicitor General utterly failing to prove this element of the test, and under these distinct circumstances, Escritor cannot be penalized.

The Constitution itself mandates the Court to make exemptions in cases involving criminal laws of general application, and under these distinct circumstances, such conjugal arrangement cannot be penalized for there is a case for exemption from the law based on the fundamental right to freedom of religion. In the area of religious exercise as a preferred freedom, man stands accountable to an authority higher than the state.