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L-14279 October 31, 1961 THE COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS and THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, petitioners, vs. EASTERN SEA TRADING, respondent. Office of the Solicitor General for petitioners. Valentin Gutierrez for respondent. CONCEPCION, J.: Petition for review of a judgment of the Court of Tax Appeals reversing a decision of the Commissioner of Customs. Respondent Eastern Sea Trading was the consignee of several shipments of onion and garlic which arrived at the Port of Manila from August 25 to September 7, 1954. Some shipments came from Japan and others from Hong Kong. In as much as none of the shipments had the certificate required by Central Bank Circulars Nos. 44 and 45 for the release thereof, the goods thus imported were seized and subjected to forfeiture proceedings for alleged violations of section 1363(f) of the Revised Administrative Code, in relation to the aforementioned circulars of the Central Bank. In due course, the Collector of Customs of Manila rendered a decision on September 4, 1956, declaring said goods forfeited to the Government and — the goods having been, in the meantime, released to the consignees on surety bonds, filed by the same, as principal, and the Alto Surety & Insurance Co., Inc., as surety, in compliance with orders of the Court of First Instance of Manila, in Civil Cases Nos. 23942 and 23852 thereof — directing that the amounts of said bonds be paid, by said principal and surety, jointly and severally, to the Bureau of Customs, within thirty (30) days from notice. On appeal taken by the consignee, said decision was affirmed by the Commissioner of Customs on December 27, 1956. Subsequently, the consignee sought a review of the decision of said two (2) officers by the Court of Tax Appeals, which reversed the decision of the Commissioner of Customs and ordered that the aforementioned bonds be cancelled and withdrawn. Hence, the present petition of the Commissioner of Customs for review of the decision of the Court of Tax Appeals. The latter is based upon the following premises, namely: that the Central Bank has no authority to regulate transactions not involving foreign exchange; that the shipments in question are in the nature of "no-dollar" imports; that, as such, the aforementioned shipments do not involve foreign exchange; that, insofar as a Central Bank license and a certificate authorizing the importation or release of the goods under consideration are required by Central Bank Circulars Nos. 44 and 45, the latter are null and void; and that the seizure and forfeiture of the goods imported from Japan cannot be justified under Executive Order No. 328,1 not only because the same seeks to implement an executive agreement2 — extending the effectivity of our3 Trades and Financial Agreements4 with Japan — which (executive agreement), it believed, is of dubious validity, but, also, because there is no governmental agency authorized to issue the import license required by the aforementioned executive order. The authority of the Central Bank to regulate no-dollar imports and the validity of the aforementioned Circulars Nos. 44, and 45 have already been passed upon and repeatedly upheld by this Court (Pascual vs. Commissioner of Customs, L-10979 [June 30, 1959]; Acting Commissioner of Customs vs. Leuterio, L-9142 [October 17, 1959] Commissioner of Customs vs. Pascual, L-9836 [November 18, 1959]; Commissioner of Customs vs. Serree Investment Co., L-12007 [May 16, 1960]; Commissioner of Customs vs. Serree Investment Co., L-14274 [November 29, 1960]), for the reason that the broad powers of the Central Bank, under its charter, to maintain our monetary stability and to preserve the international value of our currency, under section 2 of Republic Act No. 265, in relation to section 14 of said Act — authorizing the bank to issue such rules and regulations as it may consider necessary for the effective discharge of the responsibilities and the exercise of the powers assigned to the
Monetary Board and to the Central Bank — connote the authority to regulate no-dollar imports, owing to the influence and effect that the same may and do have upon the stability of our peso and its international value. The Court of Tax Appeals entertained doubts on the legality of the executive agreement sought to be implemented by Executive Order No. 328, owing to the fact that our Senate had not concurred in the making of said executive agreement. The concurrence of said House of Congress is required by our fundamental law in the making of "treaties" (Constitution of the Philippines, Article VII, Section 10), which are, however, distinct and different from "executive agreements," which may be validly entered into without such concurrence. Treaties are formal documents which require ratification with the approval of two thirds of the Senate. Executive agreements become binding through executive action without the need of a vote by the Senate or by Congress. xxx xxx xxx
. . . 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. xxx xxx xxx
Agreements with respect to the registration of trade-marks have been concluded by the Executive with various countries under the Act of Congress of March 3, 1881 (21 Stat. 502). Postal conventions regulating the reciprocal treatment of mail matters, money orders, parcel post, etc., have been concluded by the Postmaster General with various countries under authorization by Congress beginning with the Act of February 20, 1792 (1 Stat. 232, 239). Ten executive agreements were concluded by the President pursuant to the McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 (26 Stat. 567, 612), and nine such agreements were entered into under the Dingley Tariff Act 1897 (30 Stat. 151, 203, 214). A very much larger number of agreements, along the lines of the one with Rumania previously referred to, providing for most-favored-nation treatment in customs and related matters have been entered into since the passage of the Tariff Act of 1922, not by direction of the Act but in harmony with it. xxx xxx xxx
International agreements involving political issues or changes of national policy and those involving international arrangements of a permanent character usually take the form of treaties. But international agreements embodying adjustments of detail carrying out well-established national policies and traditions and those involving arrangements of a more or less temporary nature usually take the form of executive agreements. xxx xxx xxx
Furthermore, the United States Supreme Court has expressly recognized the validity and constitutionality of executive agreements entered into without Senate approval.
255. vs. . there was. while still others. the registration of trademarks and copyrights. 81 L. such as tariff acts. 651. Upon the abolition of said Commission. the decision appealed from is hereby reversed and another one shall be entered affirming that of the Commissioner of Customs. Vol. Constitutional Law.S. 537-540. the duty to provide means and ways for the accomplishment of said objectives had merely to be discharged directly by the Monetary Board and the Central Bank. Eastern Sea Trading. High Commissioner to the Philippines.]. international claims. which otherwise had to be undertaken by these two (2) agencies. Hundreds of executive agreements. hence. and that they have abundant precedent in our history. 301 U. Belmont. Indeed. In fact. Curtis-Wright Export Corporation. 1405. International Law Digest. 753-754) (See. U. Vol. California Law Review. 324. U. and commercial relations generally." (39 Columbia Law Review. 210-218. Ozanic vs. prior thereto. 86 L. V. vs. I [2d ed. They sometimes take the form of exchanges of notes and at other times that of more formal documents denominated "agreements" time or "protocols". 390-407). 81 L. customs matters. ed. 25. also. 2d. U. It is so ordered. may sometimes be difficult of ready ascertainment. that they are not treaties.S. to refer to certain classes of agreements heretofore entered into by the Executive without the approval of the Senate. (Emphasis supplied. Vol. 1134. said court believed. said in his work on "The Constitutionality of Trade Agreement Acts": Agreements concluded by the President which fall short of treaties are commonly referred to as executive agreements and are no less common in our scheme of government than are the more formal instruments — treaties and conventions.S. no agency authorized to issue the aforementioned license. Francis B. 315 U.S. It would seem to be sufficient. 670675. the admission of civil aircraft. They cover such subjects as the inspection of vessels.) The validity of the executive agreement in question is thus patent. pp. concluded from time to time. 2.S. .) In this connection. ed. the lower court held that it would be unreasonable to require from respondent-appellee an import license when the Import Control Commission was no longer in existence and. other than those entered into under the trade-agreements act. Willoughby on the U. navigation dues. Yale Law Journal. 1416-1418. ed.S. WHEREFORE. Moore. 328 provided for export or import licenses "from the Central Bank of the Philippines or the Import Control Administration" or Commission.(39 Columbia Law Review. pp. Hackworth. the subject of an executive agreement. were concluded independently of any legislation. U. pp. pp. 288. have been negotiated with foreign governments. income tax on shipping profits. It would be useless to undertake to discuss here the large variety of executive agreements as such. The point where ordinary correspondence between this and other governments ends and agreements — whether denominated executive agreements or exchanges of notes or otherwise — begin. 304. pp. the so-called Parity Rights provided for in the Ordinance Appended to our Constitution were.S. 796. etcetera.S. Lastly. 188 F. pp. for the authority to issue the aforementioned licenses was not vested exclusively upon the Import Control Commission or Administration. International Law Digest. This conclusion is untenable. 755. Pink. Vol. 15. Vol. in order to show that the trade agreements under the act of 1934 are not anomalous in character. even if the aforementioned Executive Order had been silent thereon. Hyde on International Law [Revised Edition]. 299 U. the latter was created only to perform the task of implementing certain objectives of the Monetary Board and the Central Bank. former U. pp. vs. madewithout the concurrence of two-thirds (2/3) of the Senate of the United States. Vol. particularly those with respect of the settlement of claims against foreign governments. postal matters. . Executive Order No. . pp. with cost against respondents defendantappellee. Sayre. 203.S. 1905-1906. Some of them were concluded not by specific congressional authorization but in conformity with policies declared in acts of Congress with respect to the general subject matter.. V.
instead of being remitted to the United States. Of the millions so transferred. yearly installments totaling of P33. Army. the Philippine Government badly needed funds for its activities. . but unexpanded by. operation and maintenance of the Army of the Philippines.500. On July 26. and third. In compliance with the Agreement. the U.000. hereafter called Usaffe Veterans. Government as a result of the induction of the Philippine Armed Forces into the U.S. the money delivered to the U. that Philippine foreign Secretary Carlos P.S. After protracted negotiations the deal was concluded. pursuant to the power reserved to him under Public Law 353 above-quoted. for itself and for many other Filipino veterans of World War II. John W. It simply set aside 200 million dollars for the Army for the fiscal year ending June 30. 1949 about 35 million dollars. .S.S. For the expenses incident to such incorporation. (Emphasis Ours. the latter amount to be determined as provided in Article II hereof. the USAFFE Veterans Associations Inc. 301 (79th Congress) known as the Rescission Act. J. 740 of President Quezon on August 10. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines further agrees to pay the dollar amount payable hereunder to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States in ten annual installments. . by two special orders. Principal stipulation therein was this paragraph: 3. Snyder. the Congress of the United States provided in its Appropriation Act of December 17. defendants-appellees. No.I.000. 1959 USAFFE VETERANS ASSOCIATION. General Douglas MacArthur. L-10500 June 30. President Roosevelt issued on January 3.) In subsequent Acts. They insists: first. the first nine payments to be in the amount of S3. In this appeal. BENGZON.000 officers and soldiers. 9011". and the RomuloSnyder Agreement was signed in Washington on November 6. There is no reason to doubt that subsequent budgets failed to make the corresponding appropriations for other installments.: The central issue in this litigation concerns the validity of the Romulo-Snyder Agreement (1950) whereby the Philippine Government undertook to return to the United States Government in ten annual installments. In October 1954. 353. and then heard the case merits. and of its operations beginning in 1941.. Thereafter. for the fiscal years ending June 30. second. their basic propositions. which shall be available for payment to the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines upon its written request. that payments thereunder be declared illegal and that defendants as officers of the Philippine Republic be restrained from disbursing any funds in the National Treasury in pursuance of said Agreement. this Government has appropriated by law and paid to the United States up to and including 1954. . provided in its article II for an audit by appropriate officers to compute the exact amount due. and such purposes as he may deem proper. and the then American Secretary of the Treasury.000.) Out of the total amounts thus appropriated by the United States Congress as above itemized. and S100. but shall be expanded and accounted for in the manner prescribed by the President of the United States. the National Defense Forces of the Philippines. The complaint rested on plaintiff's three propositions: first. 1941.. mobilization and activities. had no authority to retake such funds from the P. 77th Congress) as follows: For all expenses necessary for the mobilization. should be turned over to the Finance Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the payment of all pending claims of the veterans represented by plaintiff. actually delivered to the Philippine Government and actually owned by said Government.R. by the then Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs.663. Said Usaffe Veterans further asked that the moneys available. President Franklin D. Romulo. 1941. INC. as authorized by the Commanding General. 1946. 1943. Carlos P. all the organized military forces of the Philippine Commonwealth. plaintiff-appellant. Part of these obligations consisted in the claims of Filipino USAFFE soldiers for arrears in pay and in the charges for supplies used by them and the guerrillas. his executive Order No. United States Army Forces in the Far East.. called into the service of the Armed Forces of the United States. a total of about 35-million dollars advanced by the United States to. and such expenditures will be accounted for in accordance with procedures established by the Philippine Commonwealth Laws and regulations. Government the retention of the 35-million dollars as a loan.S. to the Armed Forces of the Philippine Island . As at that time.1 The last pertinent appropriation was Public law No.000. vs. . ex-members of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) prayed in its complaint before the Manila court of first instance that said Agreement be annulled.S. Secretary Snyder of the Treasury.24. Romulo had no authority to return or promise to return the aforesaid sums of money through the so-called Romulo-Snyder Agreement. through Governor Miguel Cuaderno of the Central Bank proposed to the corresponding officials of the U. 1950. THE TREASURER OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1942. Congress appropriated moneys in language identical to the above: S28. the Usaffe Veterans reiterated with extended arguments. that U. .000. Roosevelt. P570. including expenses connected with calling into the service of the armed forces of the United States the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. either in advance of or in reimbursement for all or any part of the estimated or actual costs. His order was published here by Proclamation No. United States Army Forces in the Far East.000 each year. In October 1941. foreseeing the War in the Pacific. upheld the validity of the Agreement and dissolved the preliminary injunction i had previously issued. This amount was used (mostly) to discharge in the Philippine Islands the monetary obligations assumed by the U.187. . S269. . 9011 prescribing partly as follows: 2. (a) Necessary expenditures from funds in the Philippine Treasury for the purposes authorized by the Act of December 17. it dismissed the complaint. of necessary expenses for the purposes aforesaid. 1946. and for its repayment in ten annual installments. Commanding General of the United States Army Forces in the Far East (known as USAFFE) placed under his command all the Philippine Army units including the Philippine Constabulary. made on the basis of the parties' belief that S35-million was the outstanding balance. about 100. Government. 1945. (Emphasis Ours. alleging Governmental immunity from suit. 1944. ET AL. The plaintiff appealed. and his determination thereon shall be final and conclusive upon the accounting officers of the Philippine Government. to remain available until June 30. It should be added that the agreement. that the funds to be "returned" under the Agreement were funds appropriated by the American Congress for the Philippine army.00 and the final residual payment to be in the amount determined by deducting the total of the previous principal payments from the total amount of dollars to be paid to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. will be made by disbursing officers of the Army of the Philippines on the approval of authority of the Commanding General. . 1941. President Quirino. and June 30. 1941 (Public Law No. there remained unexpended and uncommitted in the possession of the Philippine Armed Forces as of December 31.313. for the duration of the emergency.863. 1943. Now.00 for the fiscal year ending June 30.00. June 30.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.00 was transferred directly to the Philippines Armed Forces by means of vouchers which stated "Advance of Funds under Public law 353-77th Congress and Executive Order No. But the court required an answer. The defendants moved to dismiss.
amended by Republic Act No. There are now various forms of such pacts or agreements entered into by and between sovereign states which do not necessarily come under the strict sense of a treaty and which do not require ratification or consent of the legislative body of the State. that there was no legislative authorization. Now then. S. . See also McDougal and Lans. these ideas of "funds advanced" to meet such expenditures of the Philippine Army as may be approved by the USAFFE Commanding-General. and Sinco. 711-713) it has been shown that there had been more executive agreements entered into by States than treaties (Hudson. 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 (Hackworth. 653. See also Hackworth. Instead of returning such amount in one lump sum. Consequently... et seg. S. indeed. MS Dept. it is undeniable that upon a final rendition of accounts by the Philippine Government. it is hereby maintained that the Romulo-Snyder Agreement was legally and validly entered into to conform to the second category. executive agreements may be entered with other states and are effective even without the concurrence of the Senate (Sinco. Sec. but we do not stop to check the authorities above listed nor test the conclusions derived therefrom in order to render a definite pronouncement. its agencies or instrumentalities (Republic Act No. II. Pink. S.. supra. In the leading case of Altman vs. 203. is conceded. there was nothing to return. Hackworth. J. All the vouchers signed upon receipt of the money state clearly. a superabit resulted of at least 35 million dollars in favor of the U. supra. Op. file 711. Hence the two-pronged attack: (a) no obligation to repay. I. 224 U. 301 U. there is no doubt that President Quirino approved the negotiations. 29 Am. The first ground has proved untenable. which may be termed as presidential agreements and (2) agreements entered into in pursuants of acts of Congress. In fact. having been fixed as the deadline for the presentation and/or payment of such claims. Belmont. Philippine Political Law. United States. " Advance of funds under Public law 353-7th Congress and Executive Order No. arguendo. Even granting. The Law of Nations. Executive Agreements fall into two classes: (1) agreements made purely as executive acts affecting external relations and independent of or without legislative authorization.2 who are presumed to know their business. 342. December 31. and passed into the absolute control of such Government. rests on the lack of ratification of the Agreement by the Senate of the Philippines to make it binding on this Government. "Treaties and Executive Agreements 54 Yale Law Journal 181. op. August 23. either in advance of or in reimbursement for all or any part of the estimated or actual costs" of operation.) Law Supp. "agreements entered into purely as executive acts without legislative authorization. International Legislation. Int. 2nd ed. 10 (7). In a survey of the practice of States made by Harvard Research in the Draft Convention in the Law of Treaties (1935. Nature of Executive Agreements. The agreement was never submitted to the Senate for concurrence (Art. for the reason that our Senate Resolution No. Furthermore." This second category usually includes money agreements relating to the settlement of pecuniary claims of citizens. return of unexpended balance. S. September 18. In fact. June 1. Constitution of the Philippines.. U. U. vs. With regard to the first point. is a treaty both internationally although as an executive agreement it is not technically a treaty requiring the advice and consent of the Senate. and consequently. 69 F. Yet plaintiff attempts to block such repayment because many alleged claims of veterans have not been processed and paid. (2d) 44. 353) appropriating S269-million expressly said the amount "shall be available for payment to the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines upon its written request.S. (b) the officers who promised to repay had no authority to bind this Government. 303. against such advances. 1948). 153 practically admits the validity and binding force of such Agreement. In any system of accounting. Tañada and Fernando. it requires as a condition sine qua non that all expenditures shall first be approved by the Commanding General. It may be said that this method of settling such claims has come to be the usual way of dealing with matters of this kind (Memorandum of the Solicitor of the Department of State (Nielson) sent to Senator Lodge by the Under-Secretary of State (Philip). However.S. and second.. pp. For the grant of the treaty-making power to the Executive and the Senate does not exhaust the power of the government over international relations. have consistently regarded the money as funds advanced. but nevertheless. 583. it must be noted that treaty is not the only form that an international agreement may assume. Senate either. United States vs. The most important argument. Now. 9011. our Executive Department arranged for its repayment in ten annual installments. 318. outlined the procedure whereby advanced funds shall be accounted for. 583. Congress of the Philippines specifically authorized the President of the Philippines to obtain such loans or incur such indebtedness with the Government of the United States.. 395. supra. 4th ed. 1941 (Public Law No. the Romulo-Snyder Agreement was void because it was not binding on the Philippine Government for lack of authority of the officers who concluded the same. namely. 304. the respective army officers of both nations. Note carefully. Digest of International Law.were straight payments for military services. S. the Congressional law itself required accounting "in the manner prescribed by the President of the U. 489). Vol. S. the unexpended sums to be returned later. Vol. On the second. in connection with the requirement of accounting therefor evidently contradict appellant's thesis that the moneys represented straight payments to the Philippine Government for its armed services. S. 1947 ed. Comment. amending the Republic Act No. 1055). II. mobilization and maintenance of the Philippine Army. nothing to consider as a loan. 1946. citing U. 16. 1949. 204-205. given the obligation to return-which we know exists. of State. the Agreement was not submitted to the U. 305) "The distinction between so-called executive agreements" and "treaties" is purely a constitutional one and has no international legal significance" (Research in International Law Draft Convention on the Law of Treaties (Harvard Law School). 224. 1922. Altman & Co. it might manage to persuade the powers-that-be extend the deadline anew. et seq. it was held that "an international compact negotiated between the representatives of two sovereign nations and made in the name and or behalf of the contracting parties and dealing with important commercial relations between the two countries. McDougal and Lans. Prima facie such arrangement should raise no valid objection. ." and said President in his Executive Order No. the defendants explain as follows: That the agreement is not a "treaty" as that term is used in the Constitution. 391). . 10th ed. however. 897. advances of funds for expenditures contemplate disbursements to be reported. are considered valid international agreements. which have been designated as Congressional-Executive Agreements (Sinco. 16.) The Romulo-Snyder Agreement may fall under any of these two classes. National City Bank of New York. and credited if approved. United States Army Forces Army Forces in the Far East. cit. 315 U. 5. vs. to be subsequently accounted for — which means submission of expenditures. On this matter. it must be remembered that the first Congressional Act of December 17. cit. Such considerations seems persuasive. (Herbert Briggs. 1946. p. And he had power to contract budgetary loans under Republic Act No. VII. the money is to handled to the Philippine Government either in advance of expenditures or in reimbursement thereof. Hyke. International Law.00/98a). It is observed in this connection that from the point of view of the international law. 9011". 213. Vol. ownership thereof vested in the Philippine Government upon delivery. State of Russia vs. and if approved. Plaintiff obviously calculates that if the return is prevented and the money kept here. 390.. p. 213. for precisely on September 18. the acts of Congress Appropriating funds for the yearly installments necessary to . ixii-xcvii). Furthermore.
. no constitutional principle having been invoked to restrict Congress' plenary power to appropriate funds-loan or no loan. properly denied.comply with such Agreements constitute a ratification thereof. which places the question the validity out of the Court's reach. failed to make a clear case for the relief demanded. plaintiff. to say the least. In conclusion. its petition was therefore.
6 Among others.. the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and the Scarborough Shoal. CZARINA MAY ALTEZ. and MARCELINO VELOSO III. UNCLOS III prescribes the water-land ratio. IN HIS CAPACITY AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NATIONAL MAPPING & RESOURCE INFORMATION AUTHORITY.3 This law followed the framing of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone in 1958 (UNCLOS I). JR. .versus HON. RA 3046 remained unchanged for nearly five decades..: The Case This original action for the writs of certiorari and prohibition assails the constitutionality of Republic Act No. MENDOZA. J. ENRIK FORT REVILLAS. RODRIGO FAJARDO III. HARRY C. RAOULLE OSEN FERRER. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT. HON. NICHOLAS SANTIZO. GIRLIE FERRER. CARLA REGINA GREPO. 4 codifying. JAKLYN HANNA PINEDA. Congress passed Republic Act No. IN HIS CAPACITY AS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES TO THE UNITED NATIONS. WILLIAM RAGAMAT. BERSAMIN. MERLIN M. MARIA LUISA MANALAYSAY. as ―regimes of islands‖ whose islands generate Promulgated: their own applicable maritime zones. ALBERTO ROMULO. EDUARDO ERMITA.8 Complying with these requirements. and contour of baselines of archipelagic States like the Philippines 7 and sets the deadline for the filing of application for the extended continental shelf. RUBY AMOR BARRACA. PROF.R No. IRISH KAY KALAW. 95221 (RA 9522) adjusting the country‘s archipelagic baselines and classifying the baseline regime of nearby territories. Petitioners. RISA HONTIVEROS. was left undetermined.. save for legislation passed in 1968 (Republic Act No. AKBAYAN PARTY-LIST REP. length. optimized the location of some basepoints around the Philippine archipelago and classified adjacent territories. July 16. among others. and SERENO. FRANCIS ALVIN ASILO. JJ. MELISSA CHRISTINA SANTOS. Congress amended RA 3046 by enacting RA 9522. 2011 x -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x G. IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS. VANN ALLEN DELA CRUZ. MICHAEL OCAMPO. ABAD. PEREZ. RENE DELORINO. JOHANN FRANTZ RIVERA IV. namely. CARPIO.‖ the breadth of which. ANNA MARIE CECILIA GO. DIONY VENTURA. and HON. HILARIO DAVIDE. Attempts to fill this void during the second round of negotiations in Geneva in 1960 (UNCLOS II) proved futile. the sovereign right of States parties over their ―territorial sea. JR. MARIA ESTER VANGUARDIA. The Antecedents In 1961. VILLARAMA.. MARICAR RAMOS. JOSE JAVIER BAUTISTA. DECISION CARPIO. JR.. HON. PERALTA. CRISTINE MAE TABING. C. DIANNE MARIE ROA. Thus. MIGUEL RAFAEL MUSNGI. domestically. ROMINA BERNARDO. BRION. 3046 (RA 3046)2 demarcating the maritime baselines of the Philippines as an archipelagic State. VALERIE PAGASA BUENAVENTURA. MARY ANN JOY LEE.J. EDAN MARRI CAÑETE. . VOLTAIRE ALFERES. however. VANESSA ANNE TORNO. JAMES MARK TERRY RIDON. SHERYL BALOT.EN BANC Respondents. CHRISTIAN RIVERO. ALITHEA BARBARA ACAS. VELASCO. AND UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES COLLEGE OF LAW STUDENTS. HON. JR. 5446 [RA 5446]) correcting typographical errors and reserving the drawing of baselines around Sabah in North Borneo. DEL CASTILLO. the statute now under scrutiny. IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY. SHARON ESCOTO.5 which the Philippines ratified on 27 February 1984. ROLANDO ANDAYA. MAGALLONA. In March 2009. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. PROF. The change was prompted by the need to make RA 3046 compliant with the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III). 187167 Present: CORONA. PAULYN MAY DUMAN. ROQUE. RA 9522 shortened one baseline.
Nonetheless. We left unacted petitioners‘ prayer for an injunctive writ. On the Threshold Issues Commenting on the petition. the reach of the Philippine state‘s sovereign power. we recognize petitioners‘ locus standi as citizens with constitutionally sufficient interest in the resolution of the merits of the case which undoubtedly raises issues of national significance necessitating urgent resolution. in their respective capacities as ―citizens. and Whether the writs of certiorari and prohibition are the proper remedies to assail the constitutionality of RA 9522. Respondents add that RA 9522 does not undermine the country‘s security. petitioners facially attack RA 9522 for what it excluded and included – its failure to reference either the Treaty of Paris or Sabah and its use of UNCLOS III‘s framework of regime of islands to determine the maritime zones of the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal. of petitioners‘ assertion that what Spain ceded to the United States under the Treaty of Paris were the islands one of the requirements for granting citizenship standing. 2. 13 Paris. taxpayers or x x x legislators. Indeed. The Issues The petition raises the following issues: 1. owing to the peculiar nature of RA 9522. namely: (1) RA 9522 reduces Philippine maritime territory.12 and (2) RA 9522 opens the country‘s waters landward of the baselines to maritime pa ssage by all vessels and aircrafts. Preliminarily – 1. In addition. and damaging marine resources. Petitioners Possess Locus Standi as Citizens Petitioners themselves undermine their assertion of locus standi as legislators and taxpayers because the petition alleges neither infringement of legislative prerogative15 nor misuse of public funds. preserving Philippine territory over the KIG or Scarborough Shoal. in violation of Article 1 of the 1987 Constitution. On the merits. petitioners contend that RA 9522‘s treatment of the KIG as ―regime of islands‖ not only results in the loss of a large maritime area but also prejudices the livelihood of subsistence fishermen. in violation of relevant constitutional provisions. we hold that (1) petitioners possess locus standi to bring this suit as citizens and (2) the writs of certiorari and prohibition are proper remedies to test the constitutionality of RA 9522. thus satisfying Respondents also question the normative force. 2. On the merits.17 .10 embodying the terms of the Treaty of Paris11 and ancillary treaties.16 occasioned by the passage and implementation of RA 9522.and all the waters found within the boundaries of the rectangular area drawn under the Treaty of Petitioners. contravening the country‘s nuclear-free policy. and logically. law students and a legislator. The Ruling of the Court On the threshold issues. assail the constitutionality of RA 9522 on two principal grounds.14 To buttress their argument of territorial diminution. it is understandably difficult to find other litigants possessing ―a more direct and specific interest‖ to bring the su it. On the merits. under international law. professors of law. whether RA 9522 is unconstitutional. respondents defended RA 9522 as the country‘s compliance with the terms of UNCLOS III.‖9 as the case may be. respondent officials raised threshold issues questioning (1) the petition‘s compliance with the case or controversy requirement for judicial review grounded on petitioners‘ alleged lack oflocus standi and (2) the propriety of the writs of certiorari and prohibition to assail the constitutionality of RA 9522. we find no basis to declare RA 9522 unconstitutional. undermining Philippine sovereignty and national security. environment and economic interests or relinquish the Philippines‘ claim over Sabah. Whether petitioners possess locus standi to bring this suit.
this gives notice to the rest of the international community of the scope of the maritime space and submarine areas within which States parties exercise treaty-based rights. carry such relevance in the life of this nation that the Court inevitably finds itself constrained to take cognizance of the case and pass upon the issues raised. exclusive economic zone [200 nautical miles from the baselines]). either straight or contoured. In turn. and constitutional power of judicial review. the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf . the exercise of sovereignty over territorial waters (Article 2). to serve as geographic starting points to measure the RA 9522 is Not Unconstitutional breadth of the maritime zones and continental shelf. by tradition. that Spain supposedly ceded to the United States.20 Issues of constitutional import are sometimes crafted out of statutes which. however. viewed the writs of certiorari and prohibition as proper remedial vehicles to test the constitutionality of negotiations among United Nations members to codify norms regulating the conduct of States in statutes. drawn. the petitioners.. baselines laws are nothing but statutory mechanisms for UNCLOS III States parties to delimit with precision the extent of their maritime zones and continental shelves. When this Court exercises its the baselines]. and sanitation laws in the contiguous zone (Article 33). The statute sought to be reviewed here is one States parties to mark-out specific basepoints along their coasts from which baselines are such law.e. Petitioners argue that from the Treaty of Paris‘ technical description. Petitioners theorize that this constitutional definition trumps any treaty or statutory provision denying the Philippines sovereign control over waters. namely. (Emphasis supplied) Thus. contiguous zone [24 nautical miles from Respondents‘ submission holds true in ordinary civil proceedings. quasi-judicial or Petitioners‘ theory fails to persuade us.19 and indeed. Measurement of the breadth of the territorial sea. among others. Philippine States like ours could not be any clearer: Article 48. recognizing coastal and archipelagic States‘ graduated continental shelves that UNCLOS III delimits. successively encoded in the definition of national territory under the 1935. fiscal. the jurisdiction to enforce customs. not to Delineate Philippine Territory Petitioners submit that RA 9522 ―dismembers a large portion of the national territory‖21 because it discards the pre-UNCLOS III demarcation of Philippine territory under the Treaty of Paris and related treaties. of acts of other branches of government. the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf shall be measured from archipelagic baselines drawn in accordance with article 47. and the right to the world‘s oceans and submarine areas. Article 48 of UNCLOS III on archipelagic RA 9522 is a Statutory Tool to Demarcate the Country’s Maritime Zones and Continental Shelf Under UNCLOS III. immigration. 1973 and 1987 Constitutions.The Writs of Certiorari and Prohibition Are Proper Remedies to Test the Constitutionality of Statutes sovereignty over territorial waters extends hundreds of nautical miles around the Philippine archipelago. the territorial waters [12 nautical miles from the baselines]. 22 In praying for the dismissal of the petition on preliminary grounds. we have. baselines laws such as RA 9522 are enacted by UNCLOS III with the letter of procedural rules notwithstanding. 18 multilateral treaty regulating. the contiguous zone.23 UNCLOS III was the culmination of decades-long . It is a ministerial powers on the part of respondents and resulting prejudice on the part of petitioners. non-compliance On the other hand. UNCLOS III has nothing to do with the acquisition (or loss) of territory. beyond the territorial sea recognized at the time of the Treaty of Paris. – The breadth of the territorial sea. sea-use rights over maritime zones (i. embracing the rectangular area delineated in the Treaty of Paris. while having no bearing on the personal interests of authority over a limited span of waters and submarine lands along their coasts. the contiguous zone. respondents seek a strict observance of the offices of the writs of certiorari and prohibition. noting that the writs cannot issue absent any showing of grave abuse of discretion in the exercise of judicial.
Territorial claims to land features are outside UNCLOS III. This undeniable cartographic fact takes the wind out of petitioners‘ argument branding RA 9522 as a statutory renunciation of the Philippines‘ claim over UNCLOS III and its ancillary baselines laws play no role in the acquisition.106 Exclusive Economic Zone TOTAL 440. cession and prescription.‖ prejudicing the livelihood of subsistence fishermen. On the contrary.exploit the living and non-living resources in the exclusive economic zone (Article 56) and continental shelf (Article 77). Petitioners‘ assertion of loss of ―about 15. as under RA 9522.858 171. and are instead governed by the rules on general international law.000 square nautical miles of territorial waters. ―weakens our territorial claim‖ over that area.669 586. belie this view. lose) territory through occupation. coupled with a reading of the 25 the KIG.216 square nautical miles. but from the ―outermost islands and drying reefs of the archipelago. by optimizing the location of basepoints.increased the Philippines‘ total maritime space (covering its internal waters.000 square nautical miles of territorial waters‖ under RA 9522 is similarly unfounded both in fact and law. the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal lie outside of the baselines drawn around the Philippine archipelago. territorial sea and exclusive economic zone) by 145.210 . vis-à-vis the Philippines‘ obligations under UNCLOS III.26 RA 9522’s Use of the Framework of Regime of Islands to Determine the Maritime Zones of the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal. Even under petitioners‘ theory that the Philippine territory embraces the islands and all the waters within the rectangular area delimited in the Treaty of Paris. accretion.28 A comparison of the configuration of the baselines drawn under RA 3046 and RA 9522 and the extent of maritime space encompassed by each law. not Inconsistent with the Philippines’ Claim of Sovereignty Over these Areas Petitioners next submit that RA 9522‘s use of UNCLOS III‘s regime of islands framework to draw the baselines. enlargement or. The baselines cannot be drawn from the boundaries or other portions of the rectangular area delineated in the Treaty of Paris. diminution of territory. and to measure the breadth of the applicable maritime zones of the KIG. States acquire (or conversely. assuming that baselines are relevant for this purpose. text of RA 9522 and its congressional deliberations. save for at least nine basepoints that RA 9522 skipped to optimize the location of basepoints and adjust the length of one baseline (and thus comply with UNCLOS III‘s limitation on the maximum length of baselines).994 382. Under traditional international law typology.136 32. taking into account the Treaty of Paris‘ delimitation (in square nautical miles) Internal or archipelagic waters Extent of maritime area using RA 9522.27 Petitioners add that the KIG‘s (and Scarborough Shoal‘s) exclusion from the Philippine archipelagic baselines results in the loss of ―about 15.435 Territorial Sea 274. taking into account UNCLOS III (in square nautical miles) 166.‖24 The configuration of the baselines drawn under RA 3046 and RA 9522 shows that RA 9522 merely followed the basepoints mapped by RA 3046. as amended. RA 9522. Under RA 3046. the baselines of the Philippines would still have to be drawn in accordance with RA 9522 because this is the only way to draw the baselines in conformity with UNCLOS III. as shown in the table below:29 Extent of maritime area using RA 3046. not by executing multilateral treaties on the regulations of sea-use rights or enacting statutes to comply with the treaty‘s terms to delimit maritime zones and continental shelves. as petitioners claim.
there will have to be a delineation of maritime boundaries in accordance with UNCLOS III. We see that our archipelago is defined by the orange line which [we] call archipelagic baseline. The baselines in the following areas over which the Philippines likewise exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction shall be determined as ―Regime of Islands‖ under the Republic of the Philippines consistent with Article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS): a) The Kalayaan Island Group as constituted under Presidential Decree No. as the map below shows. Of course.‖ save for three per cent (3%) of the total number of baselines which can reach up to 125 nautical miles.‖ The principal sponsor of RA 9522 in the Senate.30 SEC. the reach of the exclusive economic zone drawn under RA 9522 even extends way beyond the waters covered by the rectangular demarcation under the Treaty of Paris. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. tingnan ninyo ang maliit na circle doon sa itaas. Article 47 (3) of UNCLOS III requires that ―[t]he drawing of such baselines shall not depart to any appreciable extent from the general configuration of the archipelago. petitioners‘ argument that the KIG now lies outside Philippine territory because the baselines that RA 9522 draws do not enclose the KIG is negated by RA 9522 itself. dapat magkalapit ang mga islands. that is Scarborough Shoal. took pains to emphasize the foregoing during the Senate deliberations: What we call the Kalayaan Island Group or what the rest of the world call the Spratlys and the Scarborough Shoal are outside our archipelagic baseline because if we put them inside our baselines we might be accused of violating the provision of international law which states: “The drawing of such baseline shall not depart to any appreciable extent from the general configuration of the archipelago. First. This is called contested islands outside our configuration. (Emphasis supplied) Had Congress in RA 9522 enclosed the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal as part of the Philippine archipelago.” So sa loob ng ating baseline.Thus. 1596 and b) Bajo de Masinloc. hindi natin masasabing malapit sila sa atin although we are still allowed by international law to claim them as our own. itong malaking circle sa ibaba. adverse legal effects would have ensued. 2. 31 Although the Philippines has consistently claimed sovereignty over the KIG32 and the Scarborough Shoal for several decades. also known as Scarborough Shoal. Article 47 (2) of UNCLOS III requires that ―the length of the baselines shall not exceed 100 nautical miles. The Philippines would have committed a breach of two provisions of UNCLOS III. Section 2 of the law commits to text the Philippines‘ continued claim of sovereignty and jurisdiction over the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal: .‖ Second. where there are overlapping exclusive economic zones of opposite or adjacent States. 33 such that any straight baseline loped around them from the nearest basepoint will inevitably ―depart to an appreciable extent from the general configuration of the archipelago. that is Kalayaan Group Further. these outlying areas are located at an appreciable distance from the nearest shoreline of the Philippine archipelago. Ngayon. Dahil malayo ang Scarborough Shoal.
‖ such as portions of the KIG. UNCLOS III affirms this: Article 49. Accordingly. which is above water at high tide. in violation of the Constitution. regardless of their depth or distance from the coast. (Emphasis supplied) UNCLOS III and RA 9522 not Incompatible with the Constitution’s Delineation of Internal Waters As their final argument against the validity of RA 9522. This exceeds the maximum length allowed under Article 47(2) of the [UNCLOS III]. 38 2.A. not on low-water line and drying reefs as prescribed by Article 47. – 1. At least 9 basepoints can be skipped or deleted from the baselines system. Under Article 121 of UNCLOS III. and in addition. 5446. Petitioners extrapolate that these passage rights indubitably expose Philippine internal waters to nuclear and maritime pollution hazards. became imperative as discussed by respondents: [T]he amendment of the baselines law was necessary to enable the Philippines to draw the outer limits of its maritime zones including the extended continental shelf in the manner provided by Article 47 of [UNCLOS III]. any ―naturally formed area of land. Malayo na sila sa ating archipelago kaya kung ilihis pa natin ang dating archipelagic baselines para lamang masama itong dalawang circles. This will enclose an additional 2. Finally. 3. The length of the baseline across Moro Gulf (from Middle of 3 Rock Awash to Tongquil Point) is 140. situated in North Borneo. Legal status of archipelagic waters. Congress‘ decision to classify the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal as ―‗Regime[s] of Islands‘ under the Republic of the Philippines consistent with Article 121‖36 of UNCLOS III manifests the Philippine State‘s responsible observance of its pacta sunt servanda obligation under UNCLOS III.34 (Emphasis supplied) Statutory Claim Over Sabah under RA 5446 Retained Petitioners‘ argument for the invalidity of RA 9522 for its failure to textualize the Philippines‘ Similarly. The definition of the baselines of the territorial sea of the Philippine Archipelago as provided in this Act is without prejudice to the delineation of the baselines of the territorial sea around the territory of Sabah. keeps open the door for drawing the baselines of Sabah: current maps.06 nautical miles x x x. to wit: 1.195 nautical miles of water. and not established by geodetic survey methods. described as archipelagic waters.or the Spratlys. claim over Sabah in North Borneo is also untenable. The sovereignty of an archipelagic State extends to the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines drawn in accordance with article 47. including overflight. which states that ―The length of such baselines shall not exceed 100 nautical miles. qualifies under the category of ―regime of islands. . particularly along the west coasts of Luzon down to Palawan were later found to be located either inland or on water. the Philippines exercises sovereignty over the body of water lying landward of the baselines. as amended by R. including the air space over it and the submarine areas underneath.‖ whose islands generate their own applicable maritime zones. of the air space over archipelagic waters and of their bed and subsoil. the baselines suffer from some technical deficiencies.37 Whether referred to as Philippine ―internal waters‖ under Article I of the Constitution 39 or as ―archipelagic waters‖ under UNCLOS III (Article 49 ). hence subjecting these waters to the right of innocent and sea lanes passage under UNCLOS III.A. far from surrendering the Philippines‘ claim over the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal. 3046.‖ The selection of basepoints is not optimal. which RA 9522 did The need to shorten this baseline. the length of one baseline that RA 3046 drew exceeded UNCLOS III‘s limits. Hence. except that up to 3 per cent of the total number of baselines enclosing any archipelago may exceed that length. over which the Republic of the Philippines has acquired dominion and sovereignty. hindi na sila magkalapit at baka hindi na tatanggapin ng United Nations because of the rule that it should follow the natural configuration of the archipelago.35 Section 2. some of the points. Section 2 of RA 5446. to optimize the location of basepoints using not repeal. up to a maximum length of 125 nautical miles. surrounded by water. petitioners contend that the law unconstitutionally ―converts‖ internal waters into archipelagic waters. the basepoints were drawn from maps existing in 1968. As defined by R.
including the sea lanes.‖49 Article II provisions serve as guides in formulating and interpreting implementing legislation. 47 xxxx 4. preserves the traditional freedom of navigation of other States that attached to this zone beyond the territorial sea before UNCLOS III. Thus. ―do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights x x x. the demarcation of the baselines enables the Philippines to delimit its exclusive economic zone. subjecting these waters to the rights of other States under UNCLOS III. UNCLOS III creates a sui generis maritime space – the exclusive economic zone – in waters previously part of the high seas. the recognition of archipelagic States‘ archipelago and the waters enclosed by their baselines as one cohesive entity prevents the treatment of their islands as separate islands under UNCLOS III. In fact. and the resources contained therein. Our present state of jurisprudence considers the provisions in Article II as mere legislative guides. subject to the treaty‘s limitations and conditions for their exercise. Section 752).43 thus automatically incorporated in the corpus of Philippine law. if not marginal.40 Indeed. now codified in UNCLOS III. bills drawing nautical highways for sea lanes passage are now pending in Congress.2. absent enabling legislation. The other In the absence of municipal legislation. and the resources contained therein. The imposition of these passage rights through archipelagic waters under UNCLOS III was a concession by archipelagic States. regardless of their depth or distance from the coast.53 UNCLOS III. . expeditious international navigation. however. international law norms. bed and subsoil. to the right of innocent passage and the right of transit passage through international straits. Factoran50 treated the right to a healthful and balanced ecology under Section 16 of Article II as an exception. in their territorial sea. or the exercise by the archipelagic State of its sovereignty over such waters and their air space. UNCLOS III grants new rights to coastal States to exclusively exploit the resources found within this zone up to 200 nautical miles. This sovereignty extends to the air space over the archipelagic waters. 42 Significantly. reserving solely to the Philippines the exploitation of all living and non-living resources within such zone. may pass legislation designating routes within the archipelagic waters to regulate innocent and sea lanes passage. The fact that for archipelagic States. consistent with the international law principle of freedom of navigation. as well as in interpreting executory provisions of the Constitution. the present petition lacks factual basis to substantiate the claimed constitutional violation. relating to the protection of marine wealth (Article XII. their archipelagic waters are subject to both the right of innocent passage and sea lanes passage45 does not place them in lesser footing vis-àvis continental coastal States which are subject. Section 2. however. in the competent discharge of their constitutional powers.44 No modern State can validly invoke its sovereignty to absolutely forbid innocent passage that is exercised in accordance with customary international law without risking retaliatory measures from the international community. which. (Emphasis supplied) The fact of sovereignty. the right of innocent passage is a customary international law. the political branches of the Philippine government. as archipelagic waters subject to theirterritorial UNCLOS III favors States with a long coastline like the Philippines. sovereignty. paragraph 251) and subsistence fishermen (Article XIII. operate to grant innocent passage rights over the territorial sea or archipelagic waters. provisions petitioners cite. domestically. More importantly.41 Petitioners‘ invocation of non-executory constitutional provisions in Article II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies)48 must also fail. Such a maritime delineation binds the international community since the delineation is in strict observance of UNCLOS III. burdens in the interest of maintaining unimpeded. placing the waters between islands separated by more than 24 nautical miles beyond the States‘ territorial sovereignty. are not violated by RA 9522. does not preclude the operation of municipal and international law norms subjecting the territorial sea or archipelagic waters to necessary. in exchange for their right to claim all the waters landward of their baselines. the international community will of course reject it and will refuse to be bound by it. If the maritime delineation is contrary to UNCLOS III. The regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage established in this Part shall not in other respects affect the status of the archipelagic waters. Although Oposa v. as well as to their bed and subsoil.46 Separate islands generate their own maritime zones.
Congress was not bound to pass RA 9522. as embodied in RA 9522. This is recipe for a twofronted disaster: first. based on the permissive text of UNCLOS III. an archipelagic State like the Philippines will find itself devoid of internationally acceptable baselines from where the breadth of its maritime zones and continental shelf is measured. Absent an UNCLOS III compliant baselines law. not to this Court. Nevertheless. the prerogative of choosing this option belongs to Congress. RA 9522 is therefore a most vital step on the part of the Philippines in safeguarding its maritime zones.54 We have looked at the relevant provision of UNCLOS III55 and we find petitioners‘ reading plausible. and second. These are consequences Congress wisely avoided. the luxury of choosing this option comes at a very steep price. we DISMISS the petition. Moreover. consistent with the Constitution and our national interest. allows an internationally-recognized delimitation of the breadth of the Philippines‘ maritime zones and continental s helf. it weakens the country‘s case in any international dispute over Philippine maritime space. WHEREFORE. it sends an open invitation to the seafaring powers to freely enter and exploit the resources in the waters and submarine areas around our archipelago.RA 9522 and the Philippines’ Maritime Zones Petitioners hold the view that. SO ORDERED. The enactment of UNCLOS III compliant baselines law for the Philippine archipelago and adjacent areas. .
bed and subsoil and the resources therein.A.A. which grants innocent passage rights over the territorial sea or archipelagic waters. 9522 constitutional and is consistent with the Philippine‘s national interest. If the Philippines or any country shall invoke its sovereignty to forbid innocent passage. subject to the treaty‘s limitations and conditions for their exercise. Furthermore. the Philippines has no choice but to comply with the international law norms. It is further stated that the regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage will not affect the status of its archipelagic waters or the exercise of sovereignty over waters and air space. 9522. ISSUE: Whether or not R. an archipelagic State has sovereign power that extends to the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines. Contrary to the contention of the petitioners. Petitioners. due to the absence of its own legislation regarding routes within the archipelagic waters to regulate innocent and sea lanes passage. 9522 is unconstitutional for converting internal waters into archipelagic waters HELD: Petition DISMISSED. optimized the location of some basepoints around the Philippine archipelago and classified adjacent territories such as the Kalayaan Island Ground (KIG) and the Scarborough Shoal as ―regimes of islands‖ whose islands generate their own applicable maritime zones.al G. No. Such compliance shortened one baseline.al v. 1984. R. Such disaster was avoided through the R.A. IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY. Petitioners have contended that these passage rights will violate the Constitution as it shall expose Philippine internal waters to nuclear and maritime pollution hazard. if the Philippines did not comply with the baselines law. et. The Court finds R.A. the compliance to UNCLOS III through the R.A. The Philippines is subject to UNCLOS III. it shall risk retaliatory measures from the international community. HON. regardless of their depth or distance from the coast. 187167. taxpayers or legislators‖ assail the constitutionality of R. With compliance to UNCLOS III and the enactment of R. it will find itself devoid of internationally acceptable baselines from where the breadth of its maritime zones and continental shelf is measured and which will produce two-fronted disaster: (1) open invitation to the seafaring powers to freely enter and exploit the resources in the waters and submarine areas around the archipelago and (2) it shall weaken the country‘s case in any international dispute over Philippine maritime space.PROF. The Court also finds that the conversion of internal waters into archipelagic waters will not risk the Philippines as affirmed in the Article 49 of the UNCLOS III. MERLIN M. 9522. 9522 was enacted by the Congress in March 2009 to comply with the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III). 9522 will not expose Philippine internal waters to nuclear and maritime pollution hazard. is automatically incorporated in the corpus of Philippine law. thus. J.A. regardless of their depth or distance from the coast. the Congress has avoided such conflict. Aside from being a vital step in safeguarding the country‘s maritime zones. thus subjecting these waters to the right of innocent and sea lanes passage under UNCLOS III. 16 July 2011. et.R. . being a customary international law. EN BANC (Carpio. As a matter of fact. including overflight. 9522 with one of their arguments contending that the law unconstitutionally ―converts‖ internal waters into archipelagic waters. which the Philippines ratified on February 27. MAGALLONA. the law also allows an internationally-recognized delimitation of the breadth of the Philippine‘s maritim e zones and continental shelf. the right of innocent passage. EDUARDO ERMITA.) The conversion of internal waters into archipelagic waters will not risk the Philippines because an archipelagic State has sovereign power that extends to the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines. in their capacities as ―citizens.A.
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