EN BANC

[G.R. No. 118295. May 2, 1997]

WIGBERTO E. TAÑADA and ANNA DOMINIQUE COSETENG, as members of the Philippine Senate and as taxpayers; GREGORIO ANDOLANA and JOKER ARROYO as members of the House of Representatives and as taxpayers; NICANOR P. PERLAS and HORACIO R. MORALES, both as taxpayers; CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, NATIONAL ECONOMIC PROTECTIONISM ASSOCIATION, CENTER FOR ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES, LIKAS-KAYANG KAUNLARAN FOUNDATION, INC., PHILIPPINE RURAL RECONSTRUCTION MOVEMENT, DEMOKRATIKONG KILUSAN NG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS, INC., and PHILIPPINE PEASANT INSTITUTE, in representation of various taxpayers and as non-governmental organizations, petitioners, vs.EDGARDO ANGARA, ALBERTO ROMULO, LETICIA RAMOSSHAHANI, HEHERSON ALVAREZ, AGAPITO AQUINO, RODOLFO BIAZON, NEPTALI GONZALES, ERNESTO HERRERA, JOSE LINA, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, ORLANDO MERCADO, BLAS OPLE, JOHN OSMEÑA, SANTANINA RASUL, RAMON REVILLA, RAUL ROCO, FRANCISCO TATAD and FREDDIE WEBB, in their respective capacities as members of the Philippine Senate who concurred in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization; SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ, in his capacity as Secretary of Budget and Management; CARIDAD VALDEHUESA, in her capacity as National Treasurer; RIZALINO NAVARRO, in his capacity as Secretary of Trade and Industry; ROBERTO SEBASTIAN, in his capacity as Secretary of Agriculture; ROBERTO DE OCAMPO, in his capacity as Secretary of Finance; ROBERTO ROMULO, in his capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs; and TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, in his capacity as Executive Secretary, respondents. DECISION

PANGANIBAN, J.:

The emergence on January 1, 1995 of the World Trade Organization, abetted by the membership thereto of the vast majority of countries has revolutionized international business and economic relations amongst states. It has irreversibly propelled the world towards trade liberalization and economic globalization. Liberalization, globalization, deregulation and privatization, the third-millennium buzz words, are ushering in a new borderless world of business by sweeping away as mere historical relics the heretofore traditional modes of promoting and protecting national economies like tariffs, export subsidies, import quotas, quantitative restrictions, tax exemptions and currency controls. Finding market niches and becoming the best in specific industries in a market-driven and export-oriented global scenario are replacing age-old “beggar-thyneighbor” policies that unilaterally protect weak and inefficient domestic producers of goods and services. In the words of Peter Drucker, the well-known management guru, “Increased participation in the world economy has become the key to domestic economic growth and prosperity.” Brief Historical Background To hasten worldwide recovery from the devastation wrought by the Second World War, plans for the establishment of three multilateral institutions -- inspired by that grand political body, the United Nations -- were discussed at Dumbarton Oaks and Bretton Woods. The firstwas the World Bank (WB) which was to address the rehabilitation and reconstruction of war-ravaged and later developing countries; thesecond, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which was to deal with currency problems; and the third, the International Trade Organization (ITO), which was to foster order and predictability in world trade and to minimize unilateral protectionist policies that invite challenge, even retaliation, from other states. However, for a variety of reasons, including its non-ratification by the United States, the ITO, unlike the IMF and WB, never took off. What remained was only GATT -- the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. GATT was a collection of treaties governing access to the economies of treaty adherents with no institutionalized body administering the agreements or dependable system of dispute settlement. After half a century and several dizzying rounds of negotiations, principally the Kennedy Round, the Tokyo Round and the Uruguay Round, the world finally gave birth to that administering body -- the World Trade Organization -- with the signing of the “Final Act” in Marrakesh, Morocco and the ratification of the WTO Agreement by its members.
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Like many other developing countries, the Philippines joined WTO as a founding member with the goal, as articulated by President Fidel V. Ramos in two letters to the Senate (infra), of improving “Philippine access to foreign markets, especially its major trading partners, through the reduction of tariffs on its exports, particularly agricultural and industrial products.” The President also saw in the WTO the opening of “new opportunities for the services sector x x x, (the reduction of) costs and uncertainty

associated with exporting x x x, and (the attraction of) more investments into the country.” Although the Chief Executive did not expressly mention it in his letter, the Philippines - - and this is of special interest to the legal profession - - will benefit from the WTO system of dispute settlement by judicial adjudication through the independent WTO settlement bodies called (1) Dispute Settlement Panels and (2) Appellate Tribunal. Heretofore, trade disputes were settled mainly through negotiations where solutions were arrived at frequently on the basis of relative bargaining strengths, and where naturally, weak and underdeveloped countries were at a disadvantage. The Petition in Brief Arguing mainly (1) that the WTO requires the Philippines “to place nationals and products of member-countries on the same footing as Filipinos and local products” and (2) that the WTO “intrudes, limits and/or impairs” the constitutional powers of both Congress and the Supreme Court, the instant petition before this Court assails the WTO Agreement for violating the mandate of the 1987 Constitution to “develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos x x x (to) give preference to qualified Filipinos (and to) promote the preferential use of Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally produced goods.” Simply stated, does the Philippine Constitution prohibit Philippine participation in worldwide trade liberalization and economic globalization? Does it prescribe Philippine integration into a global economy that is liberalized, deregulated and privatized? These are the main questions raised in this petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court praying (1) for the nullification, on constitutional grounds, of the concurrence of the Philippine Senate in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement, for brevity) and (2) for the prohibition of its implementation and enforcement through the release and utilization of public funds, the assignment of public officials and employees, as well as the use of government properties and resources by respondent-heads of various executive offices concerned therewith. This concurrence is embodied in Senate Resolution No. 97, dated December 14, 1994. The Facts On April 15, 1994, Respondent Rizalino Navarro, then Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (Secretary Navarro, for brevity), representing the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, signed in Marrakesh, Morocco, the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Negotiations (Final Act, for brevity). By signing the Final Act, Secretary Navarro on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, agreed:
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as it hereby concurs. 1994. Article VII of the Constitution. the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. the members of the Philippine Senate received another letter from the President of the Philippines likewise dated August 11. and (b) to adopt the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. Article VII of the Constitution. as appropriate. with a view to seeking approval of the Agreement in accordance with their procedures. the President of the Philippines certified the necessity of the immediate adoption of P.” The text of the WTO Agreement is written on pages 137 et seq.“(a) to submit. for brevity) as follows: [6] “ANNEX 1 Annex 1A: Multilateral Agreement on Trade in Goods General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 Agreement on Agriculture Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement on Textiles and Clothing Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade . 1083.” [3] On August 13.” [5] On December 14.” On August 12. stating among others that “the Uruguay Round Final Act is hereby submitted to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21. 2 and 3 thereto and collectively referred to as Multilateral Trade Agreements. the members of the Philippine Senate received a letter dated August 11. as it is hereby resolved. and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services are hereby submitted to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21. that the Senate concur.S. a resolution entitled “Concurring in the Ratification of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. 1994. of Volume I of the 36-volume Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and includes various agreements and associated legal instruments (identified in the said Agreement as Annexes 1. the Philippine Senate adopted Resolution No. 1994. 1994 from the President of the Philippines. the WTO Agreement for the consideration of their respective competent authorities. the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. 1994. 1994. which stated among others that “the Uruguay Round Final Act.” [4] On December 9. 97 which “Resolved. in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization.

President of the Republic of the Philippines. Morocco on 15 April 1994. be it known that I. after having seen and considered the aforementioned Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annexes one (1). two (2) and three (3) of that Agreement which are integral parts thereof. FIDEL V. the President of the Philippines signed the Instrument of Ratification. 1994. do hereby ratify and confirm the same and every Article and Clause thereof. signed at Marrakesh. RAMOS.” . declaring: [7] “NOW THEREFORE.Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 General Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the General on Tariffs and Trade 1994 Agreement on Pre-Shipment Inspection Agreement on Rules of Origin Agreement on Imports Licensing Procedures Agreement on Subsidies and Coordinating Measures Agreement on Safeguards Annex 1B: Annex 1C: General Agreement on Trade in Services and Annexes Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ANNEX 2 Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes ANNEX 3 Trade Policy Review Mechanism” On December 16.

After careful deliberation on respondents’ comment and petitioners’ reply thereto.” On December 29. In his Memorandum dated May 13. Bautista. 1996. The Court also requested the Honorable Lilia R.” After receipt of the foregoing documents. In a Compliance dated September 16. The Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services dwell on. as soon as possible. to submit a paper. the Court directed: “(a) the petitioners to submit the (1) Senate Committee Report on the matter in controversy and (2) the transcript of proceedings/hearings in the Senate. and the parties thereafter filed their respective memoranda. the Court resolved on December 12. Switzerland. notification procedures. hereafter referred to as “Bautista Paper. he listed the various . such as measures in favor of least developed countries. the Final Act signed by Secretary Navarro embodies not only the WTO Agreement (and its integral annexes aforementioned) but also (1) the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions and (2) the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services. and definitions of nonresident supplier of financial services. standstill or limitations and qualifications of commitments to existing nonconforming measures. national treatment. 1994. (1) providing a historical background of and (2) summarizing the said agreements.” On the other hand. the Solicitor General submitted a printed copy of the 36-volume Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. 1996. relationship of WTO with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). to file (1) a list of Philippine treaties signed prior to the Philippine adherence to the WTO Agreement. the Court said it would consider the case submitted for resolution.” for brevity.To emphasize. and in another Compliance dated October 24. the Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations stationed in Geneva. two (2) and three (3) of that Agreement which are integral parts thereof. the WTO Agreement ratified by the President of the Philippines is composed of the Agreement Proper and “the associated legal instruments included in Annexes one (1). to give due course to the petition. 1995. commercial presence and new financial service. market access. 1996. as counsel for respondents. 1996. [9] During the Oral Argument held on August 27. among other things. which derogate from Philippine sovereignty and (2) copies of the multi-volume WTO Agreement and other documents mentioned in the Final Act. the present petition was filed. and agreements on technical barriers to trade and on dispute settlement. and (b) the Solicitor General. the Solicitor General describes these two latter documents as follows: [8] “The Ministerial Decisions and Declarations are twenty-five declarations and decisions on a wide range of matters.

Whether the provisions of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization contravene the provisions of Sec. E. Article XII. Article VI. 1997. Whether the respondent members of the Senate acted in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when they voted for concurrence in the ratification of the constitutionally-infirm Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization.” Petitioners. Article II. C. 1996. Whether the petitioner members of the Senate who participated in the deliberations and voting leading to the concurrence are estopped from impugning the validity of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization or of the validity of the concurrence. restrict and impair Philippine sovereignty specifically the legislative power which. G. 10 and 12. D. 19.” On the other hand. the Solicitor General as counsel for respondents “synthesized the several issues raised by petitioners into the following”: [10] . F. petitioners summarized the issues as follows: “A. B. 1997. on January 30. 2. Ministerial Declaration and Decisions. Whether the petition presents a political question or is otherwise not justiciable. Whether provisions of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization unduly limit. under Sec. and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services. submitted their Compliance dated January 28. The Issues In their Memorandum dated March 11. Whether the respondent members of the Senate acted in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when they concurred only in the ratification of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. all of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.“bilateral or multilateral treaties or international instruments involving derogation of Philippine sovereignty. and Secs. Whether provisions of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization interfere with the exercise of judicial power. and not with the Presidential submission which included the Final Act. 1987 Philippine Constitution is ‘vested in the Congress of the Philippines’. on the other hand.

restrict or impair the exercise of legislative power by Congress. They probably realized that grave constitutional issues. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. they are also deemed to have waived the benefit of such issue. Article II and Sections 10 and 12. this Court resolved to deal with these three issues thus: (1) The “political question” issue -. Whether or not the concurrence of the Senate ‘in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization’ implied rejection of the treaty embodied in the Final Act. The foregoing notwithstanding. and being a matter that probes into the very jurisdiction of this Court to hear and decide this case -. spirit and intent of Section 19. even if ruled in respondents’ favor. who are not vulnerable to the defense of estoppel. 4. expenditures of public funds and serious international commitments of the nation are . in any event. will not cause the petition’s dismissal as there are petitioners other than the two senators. (2) The matter of estoppel will not be taken up because this defense is waivable and the respondents have effectively waived it by not pursuing it in any of their pleadings. (2) whether petitionermembers of the Senate (Wigberto E. two (2) and three (3) of that agreement’ cited by petitioners directly contravene or undermine the letter. Whether or not certain provisions of the Agreement impair the exercise of judicial power by this Honorable Court in promulgating the rules of evidence.was deliberated upon by the Court and will thus be ruled upon as the first issue. namely: (1) whether the petition presents a political question or is otherwise not justiciable. 2. this issue.“1. Whether or not the provisions of the ‘Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the Agreements and Associated Legal Instruments included in Annexes one (1). 3. Hence. and (3) whether the respondent-members of the Senate acted in grave abuse of discretion when they voted for concurrence in the ratification of the WTO Agreement. and (3) The issue of alleged grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondent senators will be taken up as an integral part of the disposition of the four issues raised by the Solicitor General. the Solicitor General has effectively ignored three.” By raising and arguing only four issues against the seven presented by petitioners. Whether or not certain provisions of the Agreement unduly limit.being very fundamental and vital. During its deliberations on the case. the Court noted that the respondents did not question the locus standi of petitioners. Tañada and Anna Dominique Coseteng) are estopped from joining this suit.

[11] To recapitulate. it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. rather than skirted or deflected by procedural matters. Where an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution. and that transcendental public interest requires that the substantive issues be met head on and decided on the merits. MINISTERIAL DECLARATIONS AND DECISIONS. The duty (to adjudicate) remains to assure that the supremacy of the Constitution is upheld. the petition no doubt raises a justiciable controversy.” [12] [13] The jurisdiction of this Court to adjudicate the matters raised in the petition is clearly set out in the 1987 Constitution. AND THE UNDERSTANDING ON COMMITMENTS IN FINANCIAL SERVICES? The First Issue: Does the Court Have Jurisdiction Over the Controversy ? In seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Senate on the ground that it contravenes the Constitution. it becomes a legal issue which the Court is bound by constitutional mandate to decide. OR IMPAIR THE EXERCISE OF LEGISLATIVE POWER BY CONGRESS? (4) DO SAID PROVISIONS UNDULY IMPAIR OR INTERFERE WITH THE EXERCISE OF JUDICIAL POWER BY THIS COURT IN PROMULGATING RULES ON EVIDENCE? (5) WAS THE CONCURRENCE OF THE SENATE IN THE WTO AGREEMENT AND ITS ANNEXES SUFFICIENT AND/OR VALID. AND SECS. ARTICLE XII. and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. DOES THE PETITION INVOLVE A POLITICAL QUESTION OVER WHICH THIS COURT HAS NO JURISDICTION? (2) DO THE PROVISIONS OF THE WTO AGREEMENT AND ITS THREE ANNEXES CONTRAVENE SEC.involved here. ARTICLE II. RESTRICT. OF THE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION? (3) DO THE PROVISIONS OF SAID AGREEMENT AND ITS ANNEXES LIMIT. “The question thus posed is judicial rather than political. 10 AND 12. as follows: [14] [15] “Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. 19. the issues that will be ruled upon shortly are: (1) DOES THE PETITION PRESENT A JUSTICIABLE CONTROVERSY? OTHERWISE STATED.” The foregoing text emphasizes the judicial department’s duty and power to strike down grave abuse of discretion on the part of any branch or instrumentality of .” Once a “controversy as to the application or interpretation of a constitutional provision is raised before this Court (as in the instant case). CONSIDERING THAT IT DID NOT INCLUDE THE FINAL ACT.

when proper. this Court will not review the wisdom of the decision of the President and the Senate in enlisting the country into the WTO. prohibition and mandamus are appropriate remedies to raise constitutional issues and to review and/or prohibit/nullify. [18] As the petition alleges grave abuse of discretion and as there is no other plain. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature. subsidies. instrumentality or department of the government. or pass upon the merits of trade liberalization as a policy espoused by said international body. the “flagship” constitutional provisions referred to are Sec. Article II. Specifically. of the Constitution. spirit and intent” of the Constitution mandating “economic nationalism” are violated by the so-called “parity provisions” and “national treatment” clauses scattered in various parts not only of the WTO Agreement and its annexes but also in the Ministerial Decisions and Declarations and in the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services. Indeed. “the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question of whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. Rather.government including Congress. taxes. Article XII. As explained by former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion. It is an innovation in our political law. Petitioners vigorously argue that the “letter. Neither will it rule on the propriety of the government’s economic policy of reducing/removing tariffs. agency. in deciding to take jurisdiction over this petition. and Secs. we have no equivocation. We should stress that.” [16] [17] As this Court has repeatedly and firmly emphasized in many cases. speedy or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. the main issue. Second Issue: The WTO Agreement and Economic Nationalism This is the lis mota. which are worded as follows: “Article II DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES . On this. acts of legislative and executive officials. raised by the petition. digress from or abandon its sacred duty and authority to uphold the Constitution in matters that involve grave abuse of discretion brought before it in appropriate cases. quantitative restrictions. we have no hesitation at all in holding that this petition should be given due course and the vital questions raised therein ruled upon under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. and other import/trade barriers. certiorari. 10 and 12. committed by any officer. it will not shirk. it will only exercise its constitutional duty “to determine whether or not there had been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction” on the part of the Senate in ratifying the WTO Agreement and its three annexes. 19.

The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos. 19. 1. 10.xx xx xx xx Sec. domestic materials and locally produced goods.” Petitioners aver that these sacred constitutional principles are desecrated by the following WTO provisions quoted in their memorandum: [19] “a) In the area of investment measures related to trade in goods (TRIMS. and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony. for brevity): “Article 2 National Treatment and Quantitative Restrictions. In the grant of rights. The State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor. Without prejudice to other rights and obligations under GATT 1994. . x x x. xx xx xx xx Sec. no Member shall apply any TRIM that is inconsistent with the provisions of Article III or Article XI of GATT 1994. The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. xx xx xx xx Article XII NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY xx xx xx xx Sec. privileges. the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos. 12. and adopt measures that help make them competitive.

2. Uruguay Round. TRIMS that are inconsistent with the obligation of national treatment provided for in paragraph 4 of Article III of GATT 1994 include those which are mandatory or enforceable under domestic law or under administrative rulings. and which restrict: (a) the importation by an enterprise of products used in or related to the local production that it exports. in terms of volume or value of products. in terms of volume or value of products.22121. or (c) the exportation or sale for export specified in terms of particular products. or in terms of proportion of volume or value of its local production.” (Annex to the Agreement on . whether specified in terms of particular products. 2. The Annex referred to reads as follows: “ANNEX Illustrative List 1. p. An Illustrative list of TRIMS that are inconsistent with the obligations of general elimination of quantitative restrictions provided for in paragraph I of Article XI of GATT 1994 is contained in the Annex to this Agreement. and which require: (a) the purchase or use by an enterprise of products of domestic origin or from any domestic source. or (b) that an enterprise’s purchases or use of imported products be limited to an amount related to the volume or value of local products that it exports. or compliance with which is necessary to obtain an advantage. or in terms of a preparation of volume or value of its local production. (b) the importation by an enterprise of products used in or related to its local production by restricting its access to foreign exchange inflows attributable to the enterprise.” (Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures. TRIMS that are inconsistent with the obligations of general elimination of quantitative restrictions provided for in paragraph 1 of Article XI of GATT 1994 include those which are mandatory or enforceable under domestic laws or under administrative rulings. Vol. emphasis supplied). Legal Instruments. 27. or compliance with which is necessary to obtain an advantage.

62 UMTS 82-84 in relation to paragraph 1(a) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994. 1. In the sectors inscribed in its schedule. . (par. offering for sale. The paragraph 4 of Article III of GATT 1994 referred to is quoted as follows: The products of the territory of any contracting party imported into the territory of any other contracting party shall be accorded treatment no less favorable than that accorded to like products of national origin in respect of laws. 31. distribution or use. 14 September 1948. Vol. Legal Instruments p. Uruguay Round. Agreement on Trade-Related Aspect of Intellectual Property rights. GATT 1947. regulations and requirements affecting their internal sale. in respect of all measures affecting the supply of services.177. transportation. “b) In the area of trade related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS. Article 3. A Member may meet the requirement of paragraph I by according to services and service suppliers of any other Member. as amended by the Protocol Modifying Part II. Legal Instruments. emphasis supplied). 2. treatment no less favourable than it accords to its own like services and service suppliers. and Article XXVI of GATT. and subject to any conditions and qualifications set out therein. p..Trade-Related Investment Measures. either formally identical treatment or formally different treatment to that it accords to its own like services and service suppliers. purchase. each Member shall accord to services and service suppliers of any other Member.25432 (emphasis supplied) “(c) In the area of the General Agreement on Trade in Services : National Treatment 1. emphasis supplied). p. Uruguay Round. 1. the provisions of this paragraph shall not prevent the application of differential internal transportation charges which are based exclusively on the economic operation of the means of transport and not on the nationality of the product. Vol. Vol. 27.22125.. for brevity): Each Member shall accord to the nationals of other Members treatment no less favourable than that it accords to its own nationals with regard to the protection of intellectual property.” (Article III. Uruguay Round Legal Documents.

[20] On the other hand. the disregard of which can give rise to a cause of action in the courts. XII. These principles in Article II are not intended to be self-executing principles ready for enforcement through the courts. respondents through the Solicitor General counter (1) that such Charter provisions are not self-executing and merely set out general policies. thus: [25] . and (4) that the WTO Agreement contains sufficient provisions to protect developing countries like the Philippines from the harshness of sudden trade liberalization. (3) that read properly. Incorporated vs. Vol. (2) that these nationalistic portions of the Constitution invoked by petitioners should not be read in isolation but should be related to other relevant provisions of Art. the principles and state policies enumerated in Article II and some sections of Article XII are not “self-executing provisions.” It is petitioners’ position that the foregoing “national treatment” and “parity provisions” of the WTO Agreement “place nationals and products of member countries on the same footing as Filipinos and local products. They do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights but guidelines for legislation. As held in the leading case of Kilosbayan. Article II of the Constitution is a “declaration of principles and state policies. (Article XVII. we held in Basco vs. Pagcor that broad constitutional principles need legislative enactments to implement them. domestic materials and locally produced goods. General Agreement on Trade in Services.” in contravention of the “Filipino First” policy of the Constitution. Morato. 1 and 13 thereof. and by the legislature in its enactment of laws. regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations as provided in the annexed agreements.22610 emphasis supplied).3. They allegedly render meaningless the phrase “effectively controlled by Filipinos. particularly Secs.” The constitutional conflict becomes more manifest when viewed in the context of the clear duty imposed on the Philippines as a WTO member to ensure the conformity of its laws. p. Uruguay Round Legal Instruments.” [21] [22] [23] [24] In the same light. They are used by the judiciary as aids or as guides in the exercise of its power of judicial review. Petitioners further argue that these provisions contravene constitutional limitations on the role exports play in national development and negate the preferential treatment accorded to Filipino labor.” The counterpart of this article in the 1935 Constitution is called the “basic political creed of the nation” by Dean Vicente Sinco. 28. the cited WTO clauses do not conflict with the Constitution. Declaration of Principles Not Self-Executing By its very title. We shall now discuss and rule on these arguments. Formally identical or formally different treatment shall be considered to be less favourable if it modifies the conditions of completion in favour of services or service suppliers of the Member compared to like services or service suppliers of any other Member.

before the trial court.a right cast in language of a significantly lower order of generality than Article II (15) of the Constitution -. petitioners can be expected to fall back . operable legal right. They were rather directives addressed to the executive and to the legislature. meaning a law should be passed by Congress to clearly define and effectuate such principles. It seems to me important that the legal right which is an essential component of a cause of action be a specific. Vol. there are due process dimensions to this matter. As such.“On petitioners’ allegation that P. II. suffice it to state also that these are merely statements of principles and policies.that is or may be violated by the actions. explained these reasons as follows: [26] “My suggestion is simply that petitioners must. (Bernas.” The reasons for denying a cause of action to an alleged infringement of broad constitutional principles are sourced from basic considerations of due process and the lack of judicial authority to wade “into the uncharted ocean of social and economic policy making. the available remedy was not judicial but political. the court should be understood as simply saying that such a more specific legal right or rights may well exist in our corpus of law. the 1935 provisions were not intended to be self-executing principles ready for enforcement through the courts.D. p. Factoran.. If the executive and the legislature failed to heed the directives of the article.where a specific violation of law or applicable regulation is not alleged or proved. The electorate could express their displeasure with the failure of the executive and the legislature through the language of the ballot. ‘In general. considering the general policy principles found in the Constitution and the existence of the Philippine Environment Code. for at least two (2) reasons. instead of aborting the proceedings on a motion to dismiss. Jr. Section 13 (Social Justice) of Article XIII and Section 2 (Educational Values) of Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution. they are basically not self-executing. Justice Florentino P. and that the trial court should have given petitioners an effective opportunity so to demonstrate. in other words. rather than a constitutional or statutory policy. imputed to the public respondent by petitioners so that the trial court can validly render judgment granting all or part of the relief prayed for. defendants may well be unable to defend themselves intelligently and effectively. 1869 violates Sections 11 (Personal Dignity) 12 (Family) and 13 (Role of Youth) of Article II. One is that unless the legal right claimed to have been violated or disregarded is given specification in operational terms. or failures to act. The second is a broader-gauge consideration -. show a more specific legal right -. 2). therefore. To my mind. Feliciano in his concurring opinion in Oposa vs.” Mr.

xxx Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. and an expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all. operable norms and standards are shown to exist. 10 and 12 of Article XII. Secs. a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people.’ (Emphases supplied) When substantive standards as general as ‘the right to a balanced and healthy ecology’ and ‘the right to health’ are combined with remedial standards as broad ranging as ‘a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform. then the policy making departments -. 1 and 13 thereof which read: “Section 1. and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.’ the result will be.must be given a real and effective opportunity to fashion and promulgate those norms and standards. The goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of opportunities. At least in respect of the vast area of environmental protection and management.on the expanded conception of judicial power in the second paragraph of Section 1 of Article VIII of the Constitution which reads: ‘Section 1. especially Secs.” Economic Nationalism Should Be Read with Other Constitutional Mandates to Attain Balanced Development of Economy On the other hand. and to implement them before the courts should intervene. apart from merely laying down general principles relating to the national economy and patrimony. should be read and understood in relation to the other sections in said article. income. and wealth. especially the underprivileged. through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources. it is respectfully submitted. and which are competitive in both . Where no specific. our courts have no claim to special technical competence and experience and professional qualification.the legislative and executive departments -. to propel courts into the uncharted ocean of social and economic policy making.

domestic and foreign markets. In the pursuit of these goals. A more equitable distribution of opportunities. the issue is whether. and 3. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation.. 13. privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony” and in the use of “Filipino labor. However. this Court held that “Sec. Sec. 2. An expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all especially the underprivileged. XII is self-executing or not.” [27] [28] [29] [30] It is true that in the recent case of Manila Prince Hotel vs. domestic materials and locally-produced goods”. as follows: 1.” In similar language.. (2) by mandating the State to “adopt measures that help make them competitive. as the constitutional provision itself states. 10 of Art. [31] . It is per se judicially enforceable. It refers to exceptions rather than the rule. the Constitution takes into account the realities of the outside world as it requires the pursuit of “a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity”. privileges and concessions covering national economy and patrimony” and not to every aspect of trade and commerce. A sustained increase in the amount of goods and services provided by the nation for the benefit of the people. all sectors of the economy and all regions of the country shall be given optimum opportunity to develop. The State shall pursue a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity. 10. second par. positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory. and (3) by requiring the State to “develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. the State shall protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices.” However. Government Service Insurance System. 1 lays down the basic goals of national economic development. Rather. as a rule. the Constitution then ordains the ideals of economic nationalism (1) by expressing preference in favor of qualified Filipinos “in the grant of rights. et al. x x x x x x x xxx x x Sec. The issue here is not whether this paragraph of Sec. it is enforceable only in regard to “the grants of rights. and speaks of industries “which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets” as well as of the protection of “Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices. income and wealth.” As pointed out by the Solicitor General. With these goals in context. Art.

it does not prohibit them either. Within the WTO. decisions are made on the basis of sovereign equality. Thus. the basic principles underlying the WTO Agreement recognize the need of developing countries like the Philippines to “share in the growth in international trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development.” These basic principles are found in the preamble of the WTO Agreement as follows: [34] “The Parties to this Agreement. goods and services in the development of the Philippine economy. which comprise the vast majority of its members. Amendments would require two thirds vote in general. . Any member may withdraw from the Agreement upon the expiration of six months from the date of notice of withdrawals. In fact. it allows an exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity. It did not shut out foreign investments. it recognizes the need for business exchange with the rest of the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino enterprises only against foreign competition and trade practices that are unfair. In other words. services. developing countries can form powerful blocs to push their economic agenda more decisively than outside the Organization.” [33] Hence. while the Constitution indeed mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods.there are enough balancing provisions in the Constitution to allow the Senate to ratify the Philippine concurrence in the WTO Agreement. labor and enterprises. This is not merely a matter of practical alliances but a negotiating strategy rooted in law. There is no WTO equivalent of the UN Security Council. And we hold that there are. frowning only on foreign competition that is unfair. poor countries can protect their common interests more effectively through the WTO than through one-on-one negotiations with developed countries. with each member’s vote equal in weight to that of any other. the Constitution did not intend to pursue an isolationist policy. Amendments to MFN provisions and the Amendments provision will require assent of all members. at the same time. “WTO decides by consensus whenever possible. decisions of the Ministerial Conference and the General Council shall be taken by the majority of the votes cast. Unlike in the UN where major states have permanent seats and veto powers in the Security Council. except in cases of interpretation of the Agreement or waiver of the obligation of a member which would require three fourths vote. otherwise. While the Constitution does not encourage the unlimited entry of foreign goods. services and investments into the country. [32] WTO Recognizes Need to Protect Weak Economies Upon the other hand. respondents maintain that the WTO itself has some built-in advantages to protect weak and developing economies. All told. in the WTO.

In respect to domestic subsidy. seeking both to protect and preserve the environment and to enhance the means for doing so in a manner consistent with their respective needs and concerns at different levels of economic development. therefore. and all of the results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. Resolved. Being desirous of contributing to these objectives by entering into reciprocal and mutually advantageous arrangements directed to the substantial reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade and to the elimination of discriminatory treatment in international trade relations. GATT requires developed countries to reduce domestic support to agricultural products by 20% over six (6) years. and especially the least developed among them. to develop an integrated. . secure ashare in the growth in international trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development. with respect to tariffs in general. x x x.including the Philippines -. Specifically. Determined to preserve the basic principles and to further the objectives underlying this multilateral trading system. Recognizing further that there is need for positive efforts designed to ensure that developing countries. as compared to only 13% for developing countries to be effected within ten (10) years. GATT requires an average tariff reduction rate of 36% for developed countries to be effected within a period of six (6) years while developing countries -. the WTO Agreement grants developing countries a more lenient treatment.are required to effect an average tariff reduction of only 24% within ten (10) years. preferential treatment is given to developing countries in terms of the amount of tariff reduction and theperiod within which the reduction is to be spread out. more viable and durable multilateral trading system encompassing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. while allowing for the optimal use of the world’s resources in accordance with the objective of sustainable development.) Specific WTO Provisos Protect Developing Countries So too. ensuring full employment and a large and steadily growing volume of real income and effective demand. Thus.Recognizing that their relations in the field of trade and economic endeavour should be conducted with a view to raising standards of living. the results of past trade liberalization efforts. the Solicitor General points out that pursuant to and consistent with the foregoing basic principles. giving their domestic industries some protection from the rush of foreign competition.” (underscoring supplied. and expanding the production of and trade in goods and services.

For developing countries.” As explained by Constitutional Commissioner Bernardo Villegas. local industries and enterprises will all be wiped out and that Filipinos will be deprived of control of the economy. GATT itself has provided built-in protection from unfair foreign competition and trade practices including anti-dumping measures.” and “trade without discrimination” cannot be struck down as unconstitutional as in fact they are rules of equality and reciprocity that apply to all WTO members.In regard to export subsidy for agricultural products. Independence refers to the freedom from undue foreign control of the national economy. the Court in taking jurisdiction of this case will not pass upon the advantages and disadvantages of trade liberalization as an economic policy.” thereby demonstrating a [37] . sponsor of this constitutional policy: [35] “Economic self-reliance is a primary objective of a developing country that is keenly aware of overdependence on external assistance for even its most basic needs. the constitutional policy of a “self-reliant and independent national economy” does not necessarily rule out the entry of foreign investments. thus. they have made a bold decision to steer the ship of state into the yet uncharted sea of economic liberalization. it means avoiding mendicancy in the international community. Moreover. Aside from envisioning a trade policy based on “equality and reciprocity. Quite the contrary. GATT requires developed countries to reduce their budgetary outlays for export subsidy by 36% and export volumes receiving export subsidy by 21% within a period of six (6) years. There is hardly therefore any basis for the statement that under the WTO. the Philippines can avail of these measures. countervailing measures and safeguards against import surges. It will only perform its constitutional duty of determining whether the Senate committed grave abuse of discretion. goods and services. Constitution Does Not Rule Out Foreign Competition Furthermore.” the fundamental law encourages industries that are “competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. Where local businesses are jeopardized by unfair foreign competition. however. rather.” “national treatment. especially in such strategic industries as in the development of natural resources and public utilities. the weaker situations of developing nations like the Philippines have been taken into account. the respondents have gravely abused their discretion. As earlier stated. the reduction rate is only two-thirds of that prescribed for developed countries and a longer period of ten (10) years within which to effect such reduction. It does not mean autarky or economic seclusion . It contemplates neither “economic seclusion” nor “mendicancy in the international community.” [36] The WTO reliance on “most favored nation. simply because we disagree with it or simply because we believe only in other economic policies. True. there would be no basis to say that in joining the WTO. But such decision cannot be set aside on the ground of grave abuse of discretion.

Filipino managers and Filipino enterprises have shown capability and tenacity to compete internationally. the United Nations was not yet in existence when the 1935 Constitution became effective. That does not mean however that the Charter is necessarily flawed in the sense that its framers might not have anticipated the advent of a borderless world of business. By the same token. Did that necessarily mean that the then Constitution might not have contemplated a diminution of the absoluteness of sovereignty when the Philippines signed the UN Charter. Such questions and the answers thereto are not subject to judicial pronouncements based on grave abuse of discretion.expand the country’s exports and generate more employment? Will it bring more prosperity. respondents claim that WTO/GATT aims to make available to the Filipino consumer the best goods and services obtainable anywhere in the world at the most reasonable prices. And given a free trade environment. purchasing power and quality products at the most reasonable rates to the Filipino public? The responses to these questions involve “judgment calls” by our policy makers. Consequently. thereby effectively surrendering part of its control over its foreign relations to the decisions of various UN organs like the Security Council? . On the other hand. Indeed. Filipino entrepreneurs and managers in Hongkong have demonstrated the Filipino capacity to grow and to prosper against the best offered under a policy of laissez faire. Will adherence to the WTO treaty bring this ideal (of favoring the general welfare) to reality? Will WTO/GATT succeed in promoting the Filipinos’ general welfare because it will -. but one in favor of the gradual development of robust industries that can compete with the best in the foreign markets. nor does it contain any specific pronouncement that Filipino companies should be pampered with a total proscription of foreign competition. employment. for which they are answerable to our people during appropriate electoral exercises. the question boils down to whether WTO/GATT will favor the general welfare of the public at large. Constitution Favors Consumers.clear policy against a sheltered domestic trade environment. Not Industries or Enterprises The Constitution has not really shown any unbalanced bias in favor of any business or enterprise. Constitution Designed to Meet Future Events and Contingencies No doubt.as promised by its promoters -. the WTO Agreement was not yet in existence when the Constitution was drafted and ratified in 1987.

specifically the legislative power which under Sec. regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations as provided in the annexed Agreements. rise full-grown from the brow of the Constitutional Convention. restricts and impairs Philippine sovereignty. nor can it conjure by mere fiat an instant Utopia. They should be interpreted to cover even future and unknown circumstances. the base and framework only of the edifice that is yet to rise. which is lodged in the Congress. Constitutions are designed to meet not only the vagaries of contemporary events.” Petitioners maintain that this undertaking “unduly limits. drawing from the vicissitudes of history the dynamism and vitality that will keep it. It must grow with the society it seeks to re-structure and march apace with the progress of the race. It is an assault on the sovereign powers of the Philippines because this means that Congress could not pass legislation that will be good for our national interest and general welfare if such legislation will not conform with the WTO Agreement. 2.” Third Issue: The WTO Agreement and Legislative Power The WTO Agreement provides that “(e)ach Member shall ensure the conformity of its laws. which not only relates to the trade in goods x x x but also to the flow of investments and money x x x as well as to a whole slew of agreements on socio-cultural matters x x x. As one eminent political law writer and respected jurist explains: [38] “The Constitution must be quintessential rather than superficial. tonnage and wharfage dues. import and export quotas. far from becoming a petrified rule. petitioners claim that said WTO proviso derogates from the power to tax.It is not difficult to answer this question. 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code. the root and not the blossom. [41] [42] Sovereignty Limited by International Law and Treaties . living law attuned to the heartbeat of the nation. It is but the core of the dream that must take shape. but slowly ‘in the crucible of Filipino minds and hearts. a pulsing. as in fact it did under Sec.” [39] [40] More specifically.’ where it will in time develop its sinews and gradually gather its strength and finally achieve its substance. like the goddess Athena. not in a twinkling by mandate of our delegates. the Constitution cannot. such authority is subject to “specified limits and x x x such limitations and restrictions” as Congress may provide. And while the Constitution allows Congress to authorize the President to fix tariff rates. and other duties or imposts. In fine. It is to the credit of its drafters that a Constitution can withstand the assaults of bigots and infidels but at the same time bend with the refreshing winds of change necessitated by unfolding events. Article VI of the 1987 Philippine Constitution is vested in the Congress of the Philippines.

the formation of alliances. Thus.This Court notes and appreciates the ferocity and passion by which petitioners stressed their arguments on this issue. After all. the sale or cession of territory. like individuals. which are considered to be automatically part of our own laws. the regulation of conduct of hostilities. By their voluntary act. In its Declaration of Principles and State Policies. treaties have been used to record agreements between States concerning such widely diverse matters as. “A treaty engagement is not a mere moral obligation but creates a legally binding obligation on the parties x x x. freedom. they also commonly agree to limit the exercise of their otherwise absolute rights. the laying down of rules governing conduct in peace and the establishment of international organizations. cooperation and amity. the termination of war. the lease of naval bases. as a member of the family of nations. nations may surrender some aspects of their state power in exchange for greater benefits granted by or derived from a convention or pact. The age of interdependence is here. the Constitution “adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. and adheres to the policy of peace. the Constitution did not envision a hermit-type isolation of the country from the rest of the world. live with coequals. and in pursuit of mutually covenanted objectives and benefits. Certain restrictions enter into the picture: (1) limitations imposed by the very nature of membership in the family of nations and (2) limitations imposed by treaty stipulations. it is however subject to restrictions and limitations voluntarily agreed to by the Philippines. the country is bound by generally accepted principles of international law. it consented to restrict its sovereign rights under the “concept of sovereignty as auto-limitation.” Such assistance includes payment of its corresponding share not merely in administrative expenses but also in expenditures for the peace-keeping operations of the organization. expressly or impliedly. while sovereignty has traditionally been deemed absolute and all-encompassing on the domestic level. “(a)ll members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter. for example. However. the regulation of commercial relations." By the doctrine of incorporation.” [46] [47] UN Charter and Other Treaties Limit Sovereignty Thus. As aptly put by John F. justice. “Today. no nation can build its destiny alone. equality. The age of self-sufficient nationalism is over. and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action. states. with all nations. Unquestionably.”47-A Under Article 2 of the UN Charter. Kennedy.” [43] [44] [45] By their inherent nature. One of the oldest and most fundamental rules in international law is pacta sunt servanda -international agreements must be performed in good faith. when the Philippines joined the United Nations as one of its 51 charter members. A state which has contracted valid international obligations is bound to make in its legislations such modifications as may be necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken. In its advisory . treaties really limit or restrict the absoluteness of sovereignty. the settling of claims. The sovereignty of a state therefore cannot in fact and in reality be considered absolute.

the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. Hence. Apart from the UN Treaty.opinion of July 20. the Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the United States. 1996. (b) Bilateral agreement with Belgium. as follows: “(a) Bilateral convention with the United States regarding taxes on income. So too. in said convention. where the Philippines agreed. It is compelled to appropriate funds whether it agrees with such peace-keeping expenses or not. among others. Another example: although “sovereign equality” and “domestic jurisdiction” of all members are set forth as underlying principles in the UN Charter.that involve limitations on Philippine sovereignty.both bilateral and multilateral -.the sovereign power to make a choice as to which of conflicting obligations. such provisos are however subject to enforcement measures decided by the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security under Chapter VII of the Charter. the Export/Import Bank of the United States. (c) Bilateral convention with the Kingdom of Sweden for the avoidance of double taxation. (d) Bilateral convention with the French Republic for the avoidance of double taxation.as a member -. In this sense. inspection fees and other duties or taxes . of the UN Charter. (e) Bilateral air transport agreement with Korea where the Philippines agreed to exempt from all customs duties. if any. providing. among others. thereby limiting again the exercise of sovereignty of members within their own territory. 1961. among others. the International Court of Justice held that money used by the United Nations Emergency Force in the Middle East and in the Congo were “expenses of the United Nations” under Article 17. to honor. to exempt from tax. “(i)n the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement. Likewise. paragraph 2. the Philippine Congress is restricted in its power to appropriate. their obligation under the present charter shall prevail. These are enumerated by the Solicitor General in his Compliance dated October 24. A final example: under Article 103. the Philippines has entered into many other international pacts -. wages. income received in the Philippines by. the UN and its representatives enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities. all its members must bear their corresponding share in such expenses.” thus unquestionably denying the Philippines -. salaries and similar remunerations paid by the United States to its citizens for labor and personal services performed by them as employees or officials of the United States are exempt from income tax by the Philippines. under Article 105 of the said Charter. for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on income.

. the Philippines agreed to be governed by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.aircrafts of South Korea and the regular equipment.” In the foregoing treaties. excise taxes. taxes and related charges. inspection fees and other similar duties. (k) Multilateral Convention on the Law of Treaties. (l) Declaration of the President of the Philippines accepting compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. would constitute a breach of international obligation. The same reciprocity characterizes the Philippine commitments under WTO-GATT. Special Missions are also exempted from customs duties. taxes or charges fuel. (j) Multilateral Convention on Special Missions. any question of international law. spare parts. spare parts and supplies arriving with said aircrafts. where the Philippines agreed to exempt from customs duties. (I) Bilateral agreement with France exempting French nationals from the requirement of obtaining transit and visitor visa for a sojourn not exceeding 59 days. (f) Bilateral air service agreement with Japan. stores on board Japanese aircrafts while on Philippine soil. In this convention. The underlying consideration in this partial surrender of sovereignty is the reciprocal commitment of the other contracting states in granting the same privilege and immunities to the Philippines. if established. the existence of any fact which. eminent domain and police power. lubricating oils. where the Philippines agreed that premises of Special Missions in the Philippines are inviolable and its agents can not enter said premises without consent of the Head of Mission concerned. The International Court of Justice has jurisdiction in all legal disputes concerning the interpretation of a treaty. regular equipment. (g) Bilateral air service agreement with Belgium where the Philippines granted Belgian air carriers the same privileges as those granted to Japanese and Korean air carriers under separate air service agreements. (h) Bilateral notes with Israel for the abolition of transit and visitor visas where the Philippines exempted Israeli nationals from the requirement of obtaining transit or visitor visas for a sojourn in the Philippines not exceeding 59 days. the Philippines has effectively agreed to limit the exercise of its sovereign powers of taxation. its officials and its citizens.

(T)rade treaties that structure relations by reference to durable. that any identical product when produced without the consent of the patent owner shall. a portion of sovereignty may be waived without violating the Constitution. it will be fruitful to restate its full text as follows: [51] “Article 34 Process Patents: Burden of Proof 1. Members shall provide. whether relating to nuclear disarmament. in at least one of the following circumstances.” Fourth Issue: The WTO Agreement and Judicial Power Petitioners aver that paragraph 1. But unless anarchy in international relations is preferred as an alternative. based on the rationale 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 x x x cooperation and amity with all nations. the environment. the judicial authorities shall have the authority to order the defendant to prove that the process to obtain an identical product is different from the patented process. human rights. if the subject matter of a patent is a process for obtaining a product. Article 34 of the General Provisions and Basic Principles of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) intrudes on the power of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules concerning pleading. [49] [50] To understand the scope and meaning of Article 34. practice and procedures. For the purposes of civil proceedings in respect of the infringement of the rights of the owner referred to in paragraph 1(b) of Article 28. in most cases we accept that the benefits of the reciprocal obligations involved outweigh the costs associated with any loss of political sovereignty.“International treaties. welldefined substantive norms and objective dispute resolution procedures reduce the risks of larger countries exploiting raw economic power to bully smaller countries.” [48] The point is that. smaller countries typically stand to gain disproportionately from trade liberalization. TRIPS. as shown by the foregoing treaties. This is due to the simple fact that liberalization will provide access to a larger set of potential new trading relationship than in case of the larger country gaining enhanced success to the smaller country’s market. by subjecting power relations to some form of legal ordering. or trade. In addition. Therefore. the law of the sea. be deemed to have been obtained by the patented process: . in the absence of proof to the contrary. constrain domestic political sovereignty through the assumption of external obligations.

(b) if there is a substantial likelihood that the identical product was made by the process and the owner of the patent has been unable through reasonable efforts to determine the process actually used.(a) if the product obtained by the patented process is new. . the legitimate interests of defendants in protecting their manufacturing and business secrets shall be taken into account. In the adduction of proof to the contrary. 60. a WTO Member is required to provide a rule of disputable (note the words “in the absence of proof to the contrary”) presumption that a product shown to be identical to one produced with the use of a patented process shall be deemed to have been obtained by the (illegal) use of the said patented process. using or selling of the article or product copying the patented design or utility model. as amended. otherwise known as the Patent Law. Infringement. 165. The foregoing should really present no problem in changing the rules of evidence as the present law on the subject. Such burden. Hence. or (2) where there is “substantial likelihood” that the identical product was made with the use of the said patented process but the owner of the patent could not determine the exact process used in obtaining such identical product. such owner still has to introduce evidence of the existence of the alleged identical product. properly understood. provides a similar presumption in cases of infringement of patented design or utility model. Republic Act No. thus: “SEC.Infringement of a design patent or of a patent for utility model shall consist in unauthorized copying of the patented design or utility model for the purpose of trade or industry in the article or product and in the making. 2. The foregoing notwithstanding. the patent owner still has the “burden of proof” since. actually refers to the “burden of evidence” (burden of going forward) placed on the producer of the identical (or fake) product to show that his product was produced without the use of the patented process.” From the above. the fact that it is “identical” to the genuine one produced by the patented process and the fact of “newness” of the genuine product or the fact of “substantial likelihood” that the identical product was made by the patented process. the “burden of proof” contemplated by Article 34 should actually be understood as the duty of the alleged patent infringer to overthrow such presumption. Any Member shall be free to provide that the burden of proof indicated in paragraph 1 shall be on the alleged infringer only if the condition referred to in subparagraph (a) is fulfilled or only if the condition referred to in subparagraph (b) is fulfilled. Identity . regardless of the presumption provided under paragraph 1 of Article 34. (1) where such product obtained by the patented product is new. 3.

They contend that the second letter of the President to the Senate which enumerated what constitutes the Final Act should have been the subject of concurrence of the Senate. trademarks and copyrights. recommendations and other acts agreed upon and signed by the plenipotentiaries attending the conference. By and large. members shall be free to determine the appropriate method of implementing the provisions of TRIPS within their own internal systems and processes. [53] “A final act. conventions.or substantial identity with the patented design or utility model shall constitute evidence of copying.will apply to this fourth issue also.but not in the other documents referred to in the Final Act. consistent as it is with due process and the concept of adversarial dispute settlement inherent in our judicial system. the arguments adduced in connection with our disposition of the third issue -. I of the 36-volume Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. Article 34 does not contain an unreasonable burden.” (underscoring supplied) Moreover.is defective and insufficient and thus constitutes abuse of discretion. namely the Ministerial Declaration and Decisions and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services -. So too. if any actually exists. Besides. The text of the “Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations” is contained in just one page in Vol.” It is not the treaty itself. the adjustment in legislation and rules of procedure will not be substantial.derogation of legislative power . is an instrument which records the winding up of the proceedings of a diplomatic conference and usually includes a reproduction of the texts of treaties. They submit that such concurrence in the WTO Agreement alone is flawed because it is in effect a rejection of the Final Act. since the Philippine is a signatory to most international conventions on patents. [52] Fifth Issue: Concurrence Only in the WTO Agreement and Not in Other Documents Contained in the Final Act Petitioners allege that the Senate concurrence in the WTO Agreement and its annexes -. it should be noted that the requirement of Article 34 to provide a disputable presumption applies only if (1) the product obtained by the patented process is NEW or (2) there is a substantial likelihood that the identical product was made by the process and the process owner has not been able through reasonable effort to determine the process used. Where either of these two provisos does not obtain. in representation of the Republic upon authority of the President. It is rather a summary of the proceedings of a protracted conference which may have taken place over several years. Secretary Navarro as representative of the Republic of the Philippines undertook: [54] [55] . Suffice it to say that the reciprocity clause more than justifies such intrusion. sometimes called protocol de clôture. which in turn was the document signed by Secretary Navarro. By signing said Final Act.

"(a) to submit. concurrence of the Senate in the WTO Agreement." The assailed Senate Resolution No. the WTO Agreement itself expresses what multilateral agreements are deemed included as its integral parts. the WTO Agreement for the consideration of their respective competent authorities with a view to seeking approval of the Agreement in accordance with their procedures. binding on all Members. They were approved by the ministers by virtue of Article XXV: 1 of GATT which provides that representatives of the members can meet “to give effect to those provisions of this Agreement which invoke joint action. 2.” [56] The Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services also approved in Marrakesh does not apply to the Philippines. and are binding on those Members. and generally with a view to facilitating the operation and furthering the objectives of this Agreement. The Ministerial Declarations and Decisions were deemed adopted without need for ratification. as appropriate. 97 expressed concurrence in exactly what the Final Act required from its signatories. 2. free transfer and processing of information. . elimination of monopoly. and national treatment with respect to access to payment. The Agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annexes 1.” [57] On the other hand. 3. namely. expansion of operation of existing financial service suppliers. as follows: [58] “Article II Scope of the WTO 1. It applies only to those 27 Members which “have indicated in their respective schedules of commitments on standstill. The Plurilateral Trade Agreements do not create either obligation or rights for Members that have not accepted them. clearing systems and refinancing available in the normal course of business. and 3 (hereinafter referred to as “Multilateral Agreements”) are integral parts of this Agreement. temporary entry of personnel. The WTO shall provide the common institutional framework for the conduct of trade relations among its Members in matters to the agreements and associated legal instruments included in the Annexes to this Agreement. and (b) to adopt the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. The Agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annex 4 (hereinafter referred to as “Plurilateral Trade Agreements”) are also part of this Agreement for those Members that have accepted them.

but rather the Agreement on the World Trade Organization as well as the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. amended or modified (hereinafter referred to as “GATT 1947”). Chairman. in effect. please. the senators of the Republic minutely dissected what the Senate was concurring in. dated 30 October 1947. is he making a new submission which improves on the clarity of the first submission? MR. ROMULO: Mr. and the Understanding and Commitments in Financial Services. It should be added that the Senate was well-aware of what it was concurring in as shown by the members’ deliberation on August 25. 1994. Mr. SEN. Based on what Secretary Romulo has read. is the President submitting a new. Secretary Romulo.. as follows: [59] [60] “THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. Chairman. And so.. Now. however. That suggestion was to treat the proceedings of the Committee as being in the nature of briefings for Senators until the question of the submission could be clarified. as subsequently rectified. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 as specified in annex 1A (hereinafter referred to as “GATT 1994”) is legally distinct from the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. it would now clearly appear that what is being submitted to the Senate for ratification is not the Final Act of the Uruguay Round. Senator Tolentino raised a point of order which. it was his intention to clarify all matters by giving this letter. the question of the validity of the submission came up in the first day hearing of this Committee yesterday. annexed to the Final Act adopted at the conclusion of the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment. THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Was the observation made by Senator Tañada that what was submitted to the Senate was not the agreement on establishing the World Trade Organization by the final act of the Uruguay Round which is not the same as the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization? And on that basis. TAÑADA: Thank you. Can this Committee hear from Senator Tañada and later on Senator Tolentino since they were the ones that raised this question yesterday? Senator Tañada. to make sure that it is clear cut and there should be no misunderstanding. he agreed to withdraw upon understanding that his suggestion for an alternative solution at that time was acceptable.4. . 1994. After reading the letter of President Ramos dated August 11.

TAÑADA. of President Ramos. Senator Lina. It requires us to ratify the Agreement which is now being submitted. Mr. Thank you. May I call on Senator Gonzales. And if that is the one that is being submitted now.’ In other words.I am now satisfied with the wording of the new submission of President Ramos. the representatives agree: (a) to submit as appropriate the WTO Agreement for the consideration of the respective competent authorities with a view to seeking approval of the Agreement in accordance with their procedures. In paragraph 2 of the Final Act. Now. my views on this matter are already a matter of record. Senator Tañada. THE CHAIRMAN. The Final Act itself specifies what is going to be submitted to with the governments of the participants. Chairman. . Thank you. Chairman. we read and I quote: ‘By signing the present Final Act. The Constitution does not require us to ratify the Final Act. Senator Tolentino. and I think it now complies with the provisions of the Constitution. SEN TOLENTINO. THE CHAIRMAN. I have not seen the new submission actually transmitted to us but I saw the draft of his earlier. . . it is not the Final Act that was agreed to be submitted to the governments for ratification or acceptance as whatever their constitutional procedures may provide but it is the World Trade Organization Agreement. THE CHAIRMAN. Chairman. SEN. SEN. Mr. GONZALES. Chairman. Senator Gonzales. I think it satisfies both the Constitution and the Final Act itself. Mr. I would consider the new submission as an act ex abudante cautela. and with the Final Act itself. And they had been adequately reflected in the journal of yesterday’s session and I don’t see any need for repeating the same. do you want to make any comment on this? . Thank you. Mr. Thank you. Can we hear from Senator Tolentino? And after him Senator Neptali Gonzales and Senator Lina.

this Court never forgets that the Senate.” thereby justifying its acceptance of said treaty. products. and thus its actions are presumed regular and done in good faith. I agree with the observation just made by Senator Gonzales out of the abundance of question. Using the foregoing well-accepted definition of grave abuse of discretion and the presumption of regularity in the Senate’s processes. this Court will resolve every doubt in its favor. petitioners are invoking this Court’s constitutionally imposed duty “to determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction” on the part of the Senate in giving its concurrence therein via Senate Resolution No.are not in themselves sources of causes of action. Mere abuse of discretion is not enough. and must be so patent and so gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. and to protect and/or prefer Filipino labor. Mr. is one of two sovereign houses of Congress and is thus entitled to great respect in its actions. this Court cannot find any cogent reason to impute grave abuse of discretion to the Senate’s exercise of its power of concurrence in the WTO Agreement granted it by Sec.while serving as judicial and legislative guides -. It is itself a constitutional body independent and coordinate. But it is equally true that such principles -. It must be grave abuse of discretion as when the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility. By grave abuse of discretion is meant such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Failure on the part of the petitioner to show grave abuse of discretion will result in the dismissal of the petition. [64] It is true. that broad constitutional principles require the State to develop an independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. So too. domestic materials and locally produced goods. whose act is under review. President.” Epilogue In praying for the nullification of the Philippine ratification of the WTO Agreement. I believe. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Procedurally. 97. Then the new submission is. [61] [62] [63] In rendering this Decision.SEN. as alleged by petitioners. Unless convincing proof and persuasive arguments are presented to overthrow such presumptions. stating the obvious and therefore I have no further comment to make. a writ of certiorari grounded on grave abuse of discretion may be issued by the Court under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court when it is amply shown that petitioners have no other plain. Moreover. the alleged impairment of sovereignty in the exercise of legislative and judicial powers is balanced . 21 of Article VII of the Constitution. there are other equally fundamental constitutional principles relied upon by the Senate which mandate the pursuit of a “trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity” and the promotion of industries “which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. LINA.

As to whether such exercise was wise. To do so would constitute grave abuse in the exercise of our own judicial power and duty. if not economic self-destruction. 97. Puno. the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. through their duly authorized elected officers. dated August 8. predicts an Asian Renaissance where “the East will become the dominant region of the world economically. After all. Narvasa. or at least some of its members. 1996.. The eminent futurist John Naisbitt. World Trade Organization and other international organizations Lilia R. the Philippines now straddles the crossroads of an international strategy for economic prosperity and stability in the new millennium. Kapunan. Francisco. Russia and Saudi Arabia negotiating for membership in the WTO. should this be the political desire of a member. may even agree with petitioners that it is more advantageous to the national interest to strike down Senate Resolution No.. author of the best seller Megatrends. stagnation. after deliberation and voting. [65] WHEREFORE. what the Senate did was a valid exercise of its authority. SO ORDERED. Jr. 1996.J. But that is not a legal reason to attribute grave abuse of discretion to the Senate and to nullify its decision. concur. and Torres. The alternative to WTO is isolation.. keenly aware of the advantages and disadvantages of globalization with its on-line experience. We find no “patent and gross” arbitrariness or despotism “by reason of passion or personal hostility” in such exercise. Duly enriched with original membership. In Annex “A” of her Memorandum. Davide. That the Senate.. in the result. Ineludably. Padilla. It is not impossible to surmise that this Court. Hermosisima. There are at present about 31 countries including China. Regalado. make their free choice. As to whether the nation should join the worldwide march toward trade liberalization and economic globalization is a matter that our people should determine in electing their policy makers. Let the people. and endowed with a vision of the future. JJ. JJ.. Jr.” He refers to the “free market” espoused by WTO as the “catalyst” in this coming Asian ascendancy. Bellosillo.. That is a matter between the elected policy makers and the people. Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations. beneficial or viable is outside the realm of judicial inquiry and review. voluntarily and overwhelmingly gave its consent to the WTO Agreement thereby making it “a part of the law of the land” is a legitimate exercise of its sovereign duty and power. Notwithstanding objections against possible limitations on national sovereignty. Romero. politically and culturally in the next century. Mendoza. Bautista (hereafter referred to as “Bautista Paper”) submitted a “46-year Chronology” of GATT as follows: [1] . and Vitug.by the adoption of the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and the adherence of the Constitution to the policy of cooperation and amity with all nations. Jr. C. the WTO Agreement allows withdrawal of membership. Melo. received by this Court on August 12. the WTO remains as the only viable structure for multilateral trading and the veritable forum for the development of international trade law.

the chairman of the panel of imminent economist. Brazil. the participants completed some 123 negotiations and established 20 schedules containing the tariff reductions and bindings which became an integral part of GATT. The secretariat of the Interim Commission for the ITO. Czechoslovakia. South Africa. New York. Second Round at Annecy. the contracting parties exchange some 8. These schedules resulting from the first Round covered some 45. Cuba. The Agreement contained tariff concessions agreed to in the first multilateral trade negotiations and a set of rules designed to prevent these concessions from being frustrated by restrictive trade measures. Syria. United Kingdom and United States. New Zealand. The 23 founding contracting parties were members of the Preparatory Committee established by the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1946 to draft the charter of the International Trade Organization (ITO). Pakistan. from governments to ratification and. delegations from 56 countries met in Havana. to consider the ITO draft as a whole. the GATT commercial policy course for officials of developing countries was inaugurated. GATT was conceived as an interim measure that put into effect the commercialpolicy provisions of the ITO. which served as the ad hoc secretariat of GATT.later the World Bank).5 billion worth of tariff reductions. Luxemburg. Third Round At Torquay. Southern Rhodesia. the ITO was stillborn. the United States indicated that the ITO Charter would not be re-submitted to the US congress. GATT published Trends in International Trade in October. Canada. On 30 October 1947. The first Session of the contracting parties was held from February to March in Havana. The Haberler Report. however. the contracting parties exchange some 5. There was no commitment. Burma.700 tariff concessions in the English town. Known as the "Haberler Report" in honour of Professor Gottfried Haberler. to Geneva. Cuba. Chile. At their third Session. The Contracting Parties at their 13th Sessions. During the fifth Session of the Contracting Parties. the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was signed by 23 nations at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. this. Ceylon. At the beginning of the year. In November. China. On 1 January 1948. In parallel with this task. the Committee members decided to negotiate tariff concessions among themselves.000 tariff concessions and about $10 billion in trade. The ITO was envisaged as the final leg of a triad of post-War economic agencies (the other two were the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction . GATT entered into force. leaving GATT as the only international instrument governing the conduct of world trade. The fourth Round was completed in May and produce some $2. The Contracting Parties held their second session in Geneva from August to September. move from lake Placid. meant that ITO would not come into operation. it provided initial guidelines for the work of GATT. From September 1950 to April 1951. 1948 Entry into force. in the end. Cuba.“1947 The birth of GATT. yielding tariff reduction of about 25 per cent in relation to the 1948 level. Lebanon. After long and difficult negotiations. Fourth Round at Geneva. The 23 founding members were: Australia. 1949 1950 1956 1958 . Belgium. India. held from April to August at Annecy. they also dealt with the accession of ten more countries. some 53 countries signed the Final Act authenticating the text of the Havana Charter in March 1948. France. Netherlands. Four more countries acceded to GATT. From April to October 1947. in effect. During the second Round of trade negotiations. France. Norway.000 tariff concession.

For the first time. chemical products and a Code on Anti-Dumping. In the preceding year. In February. adopted the text of Part IV on Trade and Development. meeting in a special session. A New Chapter. lasting until 1974 when the Multifibre Arrangement entered into force. trade in bovine meat. GATT had established the International Trade Center (ITC) to help developing countries in trade promotion and identification of potential markets. The working hypothesis of a 50 per cent target cut in tariff levels was achieved in many areas. the weighted average tariff on manufactured goods in the world's nine major Industrial Markets declined from 7. the Contracting Parties. Meeting at Ministerial Level. Separate agreements were reached on grains. At the end of the Round in November 1979. In June 1967. The early 1960s marked the accession to the General Agreement of many newly-independent developing countries. the Round was concluded in July 1962 and resulted in about 4.0 to 4. subsequently established 3 committees in GATT: Committee I to convene a further tariff negotiating conference. and the second was a further general round of tariff negotiations. technical barriers to trade. The fifth Round opened in September and was divided into two phases: the first was concerned with EEC members states for the creation of a single schedule of concessions for the Community based on its Common External Tariff. Agreements were reached in the following areas. The seventh Round was launched by Ministers in September at the Japanese capital. a revised anti-dumping code. subsidies and countervailing measures.400 tariff concessions covering $4. Since 1968. negotiation departed from product-by-product approach used in the previous Rounds to an across-theboard or linear method of cutting tariffs for industrial goods. The Short-Term Arrangement covering cotton textiles was agreed as an exception to the GATT rules. import licensing procedures. A committee on Trade and Development was established to oversee the functioning of the new GATT provisions. a Trade Negotiations Committee formally opened the Kennedy Round in May. The additional chapter to the GATT required developed countries to accord high priority to the reduction of trade barriers to products of developing countries.7 per cent.9 billion of trade. Concessions covered an estimated total value of trade of about $40 billion.attended by Ministers. customs valuation. The first concrete result of the Round was the reduction of import duties and other trade 1961 1964 1965 1973 . 1960 The Dillon Round. In 1962 the "Short Term " Arrangement become the "Long term" Arrangement. The Tokyo Round. The establishment of the European Economic Community during the previous year also demanded large scale tariff negotiation under Article XXIV 6 of the General Agreement. government procurement. Named in honor of US Under-Secretary of State Douglas Dillon who proposed the negotiations. participants exchange tariff reduction and bindings which covered more than $300 billion of trade. the ITC had been jointly operated by GATT and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Committee II To review the agricultural policies of member governments and Committee III to tackle the problems facing developing countries in their trade. As a result of these cuts. Some 99 countries participated in negotiating a comprehensive body of agreements covering both tariff and nontariff matters. trade in daily products and trade in civil aircraft. The Kennedy Round. the Round's Final Act was signed by some 50 participating countries which together accounted for 75 per cent of world trade. The arrangement permitted the negotiation of quota restrictions affecting the exports of cotton-producing countries.

The Punta del Este. State of Kuwait. In the area of trade in goods. Hong Kong. in trade. United Mexican States. Kingdom of Morocco. Haiti. Hellenic Republic. Envisaged to last four years. People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Korea. the GATT dispute-settlement procedure. State of Bahrain. Republic of Namibia. 1982. Dominican Republic. State of Qatar. French Republic.barriers by industrial countries on tropical products exported by developing countries. Guatemala. Republic of Benin. Republic of Austria. Costa Rica. Philippines. Kingdom of Norway. Honduras. launched the eighth Round of Trade Negotiations on 20 September. Republic of Mauritius. the Arrangement Regarding International Trade in textiles. Ghana. Chad. Botswana. The MFA was extended in 1978. Republic of Cote d’Ivoire. negotiations started in early February 1987 in the following areas: tariffs. They also established a wide-ranging work programme for the GATT which was to laid down the ground work for a new Round. Colombia. entered into force. Finland. MFA members account for most of the world exports of textiles and clothing which in 1986 amounted to US$128 billion. Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Gambia. Republic of Fiji. Kingdom of the Netherlands. Barbados. the GATT Ministers in November at Geneva reaffirmed the validity of GATT rules for the conduct of international trade and committed themselves to combating protectionist pressures. Kenya. textiles and clothing. Ministerial Meeting. Antigua and Barbuda. Cyprus. agriculture. Burundi. Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Kingdom of Lesotho. Nicaragua. Republic of Malta. Cuba. Brunei Darussalam. The MFA seeks to promote the expansion and progressive liberalization of trade in textile product while at the same time avoiding disruptive effects in individual markets in lines of production. The work of other groups included a review of GATT articles. natural resource-based products. 1986. Meeting for the first time in nearly ten years. Uruguay. as well as functioning of the GATT system as a whole. Argentine Republic. Federal Republic of Nigeria. Arab Republic of Egypt. Portuguese Republic. The Kingdom of Belgium. Paraguay. Republic of Mali. . Principality of Liechtenstein. Commonwealth of Dominica. Czech Republic. 1974 On 1 January 1974. Australia. State of Israel. Cameroon. Republic of Maldives. Indonesia. European Communities. The First covered negotiations on Trade in goods and the second initiated negotiation on trade in services. Islamic Republic of Pakistan. New Zealand. It is agreed that there be a one year transition period during which certain GATT 1947 bodies and commitments would co-exist with those of the World Trade Organization. People’s Republic of China. declarations. India. Burkina Faso. Jamaica. the Tokyo Round agreements. El Salvador. Brazil. Grenada. Hungary. subsidies. Canada. namely Algeria. Angola. otherwise known as the Multifibre Arrangement (MFA). Republic of Guyana. trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights including trade in counterfeit goods. non-tariff measures. Ireland. 1991 and 1992. tropical products. Federal Republic of Germany. Italian Republic. Republic of Madagascar." 1982 1994 [2] The Final Act was signed by representatives of 125 entities. Macau. Poland. 1986 The Uruguay Round. Chile.related investment measures. Peru. Congo. Republic of Malawi. Republic of Guinea-Bissau. Central African Republic. "GATT 1994" is the updated version of GATT 1947 and takes into account the substantive and institutional changes negotiated in the Uruguay Round. Republic of Niger. while representing a single political undertaking. Its superseded the arrangement that had been governing trade in cotton textiles since 1961. Republic of Mozambique. Gabonese Republic. the Ministers committed themselves to a "standstill" on new trade measures inconsistent with their GATT obligations and to a "rollback" programme aimed at phasing out existing inconsistent measures. Malaysia. Bolivia. Union of Myanmar. Iceland. Belize. GATT 1994 is an integral part of the World Trade Organization established on 1 January 1995. Japan. Kingdom of Denmark. The GATT Trade Ministers meeting at Punta del Este. safeguards. was divided into two section.

Vol. Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. This will be on top of the normal increase in exports that the Philippines may experience. The Final Act will also open up new opportunities for the services sector in such areas as the movement of personnel. computer-related services). 301 of the United States’ Omnibus Trade Law). Republic of Zaire. cross-border supply (e. Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. A draft of a proposed Resolution giving its concurrence to the aforesaid Agreement is enclosed. RAMOS [4] 11 August 1994 The Honorable Members Senate . Venezuela. Togolese Republic. (e. Singapore. see pp. Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Sierra Leone. Kingdom of Thailand. Slovak Republic. tourism. especially its major trading partners through the reduction of tariffs on its exports particularly agricultural and industrial products. Kingdom of Swaziland. The Uruguay Round Final Act aims to liberalize and expand world trade and strengthen the interrelationship between trade and economic policies affecting growth and development. Very truly yours. Republic of Zambia.) FIDEL V. 1.g. Sec. the provision of adequate protection for intellectual property rights is expected to attract more investments into the country and to make it less vulnerable to unilateral actions by its trading partners (e. Saint Lucia. (SGD. The clarified and improved rules and disciplines on anti-dumping and countervailing measures will also benefit Philippine exporters by reducing the costs and uncertainty associated with exporting while at the same time providing a means for domestic industries to safeguard themselves against unfair imports.7 Billion annually under Uruguay Round. Saint Kitts and Nevis. Kingdom of Spain. 6-25. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Eastern Republic of Uruguay. The Final Act will improve Philippine access to foreign markets. Republic of Zimbabwe. Article VII of the Constitution. South Africa. Navarro for the Philippines on 15 April 1994 in Marrakesh. consumption abroad (e.g.g.) and commercial presence. [3] 11 August 1994 The Honorable Members Senate Through Senate President Edgardo Angara Manila Ladies and Gentlemen: I have the honor to forward herewith an authenticated copy of the Uruguay Round Final Act signed by Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Rizalino S. etc. Senegal. the Philippines can acquire additional export revenues from $2. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.2 to $2. convention services. United States of America. Swiss Confederation. Morocco. Republic of Surinam. professional services and construction services).g. the Uruguay Round Final Act is hereby submitted to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21. Likewise. By GATT estimates.Romania. United Republic of Tanzania. These concessions may be availed of by the Philippines. Tunisia. Kingdom of Sweden. Uganda. Turkey. Rwandese Republic. In view of the foregoing. only if it is a member of the World Trade Organization. United Arab Emirates.

.. convention services.g. 1994 HON. EDGARDO J. Very truly yours. the Philippines. professional services and construction services).7 Billion annually under Uruguay Round.. tourism. the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. Navarro for the Philippines on 13 April 1994 in Marrakech (sic). Sec.g.Through Senate President Edgardo Angara Manila Ladies and Gentlemen: I have the honor to forward herewith an authenticated copy of the Uruguay Round Final Act signed by Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Rizalino S. and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services. RAMOS [5] December 9. which included the Philippines. computer-related services). only if it is a member of the World Trade Organization. cross-border supply (e. (SGD. and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services embody the results of their negotiations and form an integral part of the Uruguay Round Final Act. By signing the Uruguay Round Final Act.g.) and commercial presence.2 to $2. and (b) To adopt the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. The Final Act will improve Philippine access to foreign markets. Likewise. The Uruguay Round Final Act aims to liberalize and expand world trade and strengthen the interrelationship between trade and economic policies affecting growth and development. Article VII of the Constitution. 301 of the United States Omnibus Trade Law). agreed: (a) To submit the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21. A draft of a proposed Resolution giving its concurrence to the aforesaid Agreement is enclosed.g. (e. These concessions may be availed of by the Philippines.) FIDEL V. through Secretary Navarro. the Philippines can acquire additional export revenues from $2. The clarified and improved rules and disciplines on anti-dumping and countervailing measures will also benefit Philippine exporters by reducing the costs and uncertainty associated with exporting while at the same time providing a means for domestic industries to safeguard themselves against unfair imports. This will be on top of the normal increase in the exports that the Philippines may experience. etc. ANGARA . By GATT estimates. especially its major trading partners through the reduction of tariffs on its exports particularly agricultural and industrial products. Morocco. the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions.. Article VII of the Constitution. In view of the foregoing. as embodied in the Uruguay Round Final Act and forming and integral part thereof are hereby submitted to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21. the Uruguay Round Final Act. consumption abroad (e. The Final Act will also open up new opportunities for the services sector in such areas as the movement of personnel. agreed that the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. Members of the trade negotiations committee. the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. the provision of adequate protection for intellectual property rights is expected to attract more investments into the country and to make it a less vulnerable to unilateral actions by its trading partners (e.

Senate President Senate, Manila Dear Senate President Angara: Pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 26 (2) Article VI of the Constitution, I hereby certify to the necessity of the immediate adoption of P.S. 1083, entitled: “CONCURRING IN THE RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION” to meet a public emergency consisting of the need for immediate membership in the WTO in order to assure the benefits to the Philippine economy arising from such membership. Very truly yours, (SGD.) FIDEL V. RAMOS
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Attached as Annex A, Petition; rollo, p. 52. P.S. 1083 is the forerunner of assailed Senate Resolution No. 97. It was prepared by the Committee of the Whole on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade chaired by Sen. Blas F. Ople and co-chaired by Sen. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; see Annex C, Compliance of petitioners dated January 28, 1997. The Philippines is thus considered an original or founding member of WTO, which as of July 26, 1996 had 123 members as follows: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chili, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, European Community, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hongkong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands -- for the Kingdom in Europe and for the Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. See Annex A, Bautista Paper, infra. The full text, without the signatures, of the Final Act is as follows:

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[55]

“Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations 1. Having met in order to conclude the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, representatives of the governments and of the European Communities, members of the Trade Negotiations Committee, agree that the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (referred to in the Final Act as the “WTO Agreement”), the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions, and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services, as annexed hereto, embody the results of their negotiations and form an integral part of this Final Act. 2. By signing to the present Final Act, the representatives agree. “(a) to submit, as appropriate, the WTO Agreement for the consideration of their respective competent authorities with a view to seeking approval of the Agreement in accordance with their procedures; and (b) to adopt the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions.” 3. The representatives agree on the desirability of acceptance of the WTO Agreement by all participants in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations (hereinafter referred to as “participants”) with a view to its entry into force by 1 January 1995, or as early as possible thereafter. Not later

than late 1994, Ministers will meet, in accordance with the final paragraph of the Punta del Este Ministerial Declarations, to decide on the international implementation of the results, including the timing of their entry into force. 4. The representatives agree that the WTO Agreement shall be opened for acceptance as a whole, by signature or otherwise, by all participants pursuant to Article XIV thereof. The acceptance and entry into force of a Plurilateral Trade Agreement included in Annex 4 of the WTO Agreement shall be governed by the provisions of that Plurilateral Trade Agreement. 5. Before accepting the WTO Agreement, participants which are not contracting parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade must first have concluded negotiations for their accession to the General Agreement and become contracting parties thereto. For participants which are not contracting parties to the general Agreement as of the date of the Final Act, the Schedules are not definitive and shall be subsequently completed for the purpose of their accession to the General Agreement and acceptance of the WTO Agreement. 6. This Final Act and the Texts annexed hereto shall be deposited with the Director-General to the CONTRACTING PARTIES to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade who shall promptly furnish to each participant a certified copy thereof. DONE at Marrakesh this fifteenth day of April One thousand nine hundred and ninety-four, in a single copy, in the English, French and Spanish languages, each text being authentic."
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San Sebastian College vs. Court of Appeals, 197 SCRA 138, 144, May 15, 1991; Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. Court of Tax Appeals, 195 SCRA 444, 458 March 20, 1991; Simon vs. Civil Service Commission, 215 SCRA 410, November 5, 1992; Bustamante vs. Commissioner on Audit, 216 SCRA 134, 136, November 27, 1992. Paredes vs. Civil Service Commission, 192 SCRA 84, 94, December 4, 1990. “Sec. 21. 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.”

[63]

[64]

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC

G.R. No. 96681 December 2, 1991 HON. ISIDRO CARIÑO, in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Education, Culture & Sports, DR. ERLINDA LOLARGA, in her capacity as Superintendent of City Schools of Manila, petitioners, vs. THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, GRACIANO BUDOY, JULIETA BABARAN, ELSA IBABAO, HELEN LUPO, AMPARO GONZALES, LUZ DEL CASTILLO, ELSA REYES and APOLINARIO ESBER, respondents.

NARVASA, J.:p

The issue raised in the special civil action of certiorari and prohibition at bar, instituted by the Solicitor General, may be formulated as follows: where the relief sought from the Commission on Human Rights by a party in a case consists of the review and reversal or modification of a decision or order issued by a court of justice or government agency or official exercising quasi-judicial functions, may the Commission take cognizance of the case and grant that relief? Stated otherwise, where a particular subject-matter is placed by law within the jurisdiction of a court or other government agency or official for purposes of trial and adjudgment, may the Commission on Human Rights take cognizance of the same subject-matter for the same purposes of hearing and adjudication? The facts narrated in the petition are not denied by the respondents and are hence taken as substantially correct for purposes of ruling on the legal questions posed in the present action. These facts, 1 together with others involved in related cases recently resolved by this Court 2 or otherwise undisputed on the record, are hereunder set forth. 1. On September 17, 1990, a Monday and a class day, some 800 public school teachers, among them members of the Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA) and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) undertook what they described as "mass concerted actions" to "dramatize and highlight" their plight resulting from the alleged failure of the public authorities to act upon grievances that had time and again been brought to the latter's attention. According to them they had decided to undertake said "mass concerted actions" after the protest rally staged at the DECS premises on September 14, 1990 without disrupting classes as a last call for the government to negotiate the granting of demands had elicited no response from the Secretary of Education. The "mass actions" consisted in staying away from their classes, converging at the Liwasang Bonifacio, gathering in peaceable assemblies, etc. Through their representatives, the teachers participating in the mass actions were served with an order of the Secretary of Education to return to work in 24 hours or face dismissal, and a memorandum directing the DECS officials concerned to initiate dismissal proceedings against those who did not comply and to hire their replacements. Those directives notwithstanding, the mass actions continued into the week, with more teachers joining in the days that followed. 3 Among those who took part in the "concerted mass actions" were the eight (8) private respondents herein, teachers at the Ramon Magsaysay High School, Manila, who had agreed to support the nonpolitical demands of the MPSTA. 4 2. For failure to heed the return-to-work order, the CHR complainants (private respondents) were administratively charged on the basis of the principal's report and given five (5) days to answer the charges. They were also preventively suspended for ninety (90) days "pursuant to Section 41 of P.D. 807" and temporarily replaced (unmarked CHR Exhibits, Annexes F, G, H). An investigation committee was consequently formed to hear the charges in accordance with P.D. 807. 5 3. In the administrative case docketed as Case No. DECS 90-082 in which CHR complainants Graciano Budoy, Jr., Julieta Babaran, Luz del Castillo, Apolinario Esber were, among others, named respondents, 6 the latter filed separate answers, opted for a formal investigation, and also moved "for suspension of the administrative proceedings pending resolution by . . (the Supreme) Court of their application for issuance of an injunctive writ/temporary restraining order." But when their motion for suspension was denied by Order dated November 8, 1990 of the Investigating Committee, which later also denied their motion for reconsideration orally made at the hearing of November 14, 1990, "the respondents led by their counsel staged a walkout signifying their intent to boycott the entire proceedings." 7 The case eventually resulted in a Decision of Secretary Cariño dated December 17, 1990, rendered after evaluation of the evidence as well as the answers, affidavits and documents

" it heard the complainants' counsel (a) explain that his clients had been "denied due process and suspended without formal notice. the Commission will resolve the complaint on the basis of complainants' evidence. are hereby enjoined to appear and enlighten the Commission en banc on October 19. since they did not join the mass leave.R. the respondent teachers submitted sworn statements dated September 27. 8 4. ." 14 8. decreeing dismissal from the service of Apolinario Esber and the suspension for nine (9) months of Babaran. allegedly without notice and consequently for reasons completely unknown to them. In the meantime. Annex I). Otherwise. and "other teacher-members so numerous similarly situated" or "other similarly situated public school teachers too numerous to be impleaded . as aforestated. 1990 alleging as grounds therefor." all numbering forty-two (42) — were docketed as "Striking Teachers CHR Case No. 90775. with the Chairman presiding. Budoy and del Castillo. . in an attempt to nullify said dismissal.M. the MPSTA went to the Supreme Court (on certiorari. viz. considering that these forty two teachers are now suspended and deprived of their wages. Monteiro. . (DECS). Erlinda Lolarga. "that the complaint states no cause of action and that the CHR has no jurisdiction over the case. of the Department of Education. . and Commissioners Hesiquio R. proceeded to hear the case. judgments affecting the "striking teachers" were promulgated in two (2) cases. 1990 to the Commission on Human Rights to complain that while they were participating in peaceful mass actions. Culture and Sports. docketed as G.R. xxx xxx xxx 7. and to bring with them any and all documents relevant to the allegations aforestated herein to assist the Commission in this matter." and (b) expatiate on the grievances which were "the cause of the mass leave of MPSTA teachers. Secretary Isidro Cariño. . (and) with which causes they (CHR complainants) sympathize. too. His motion to dismiss was submitted on November 14. which they need very badly. school superintendent of Manila and the Principal of Ramon Magsaysay High School. Through the Office of the Solicitor General. (the) Commission. Later." 9 Both petitions in this Court were filed in behalf of the teacher associations. . No. Pending determination by the Commission of the motion to dismiss." 5. which was dismissed (unmarked CHR Exhibit. 10 6. Dr. In the meantime. a few named individuals. supra.submitted by the respondents." although it said that it was "not certain whether he (Sec. they suddenly learned of their replacements as teachers. 11 On the day of the "dialogue. 1990. Their complaints — and those of other teachers also "ordered suspended by the . Secretary Cariño sought and was granted leave to file a motion to dismiss the case. 1990 at 11:00 A. and unjustly. 95445." In connection therewith the Commission scheduled a "dialogue" on October 11. the "MPSTA filed a petition for certiorari before the Regional Trial Court of Manila against petitioner (Cariño). Cariño) received the subpoena which was served at his office. and sent a subpoena to Secretary Cariño requiring his attendance therein." 12 The Commission thereafter issued an Order 13 reciting these facts and making the following disposition: To be properly apprised of the real facts of the case and be accordingly guided in its investigation and resolution of the matter. 95590. Mallilin and Narciso C. The ACT also filed a similar petition before the Supreme Court . .: . grounded on the) alleged violation of the striking teachers" right to due process and peaceable assembly docketed as G. Manila. No.

The Court declares the Commission on Human Rights to have no such power. and while expressing its "utmost respect to the Supreme Court . 1990. or the power to try and decide. preventively suspend them. exercise jurisdiction over the following general issues: 1) whether or not the striking teachers were denied due process. The threshold question is whether or not the Commission on Human Rights has the power under the Constitution to do so. . to try and decide or hear and determine.e. like alleged human rights violations involving civil or political rights. this Court having in fact. . if still timely. and issue decision on those charges. The Commission on Human Rights has made clear its position that it does not feel bound by this Court's joint Resolution in G. they should not have been replaced without a chance to reply to the administrative charges. The Commission evidently intends to itself adjudicate. 95445 and 95590 dismissing the petitions "without prejudice to any appeals. 1990 of Education Secretary Cariño in Case No. the same issues which have been passed upon and decided by the Secretary of Education. . in behalf of petitioner Cariño. whether or not. 90-775) on the merits." It intends." there had been a violation of their civil and political rights which the Commission was empowered to investigate." 16 and inter alia "ruling that it was prima facie lawful for petitioner Cariño to issue return-to-work orders." 18 It held that the "striking teachers" "were denied due process of law. 95445 and 95590. certain specific type of cases. (and) with which causes they (CHR complainants) sympathize. 95445 and 95590. Cariño's motion to dismiss and required him and Superintendent Lolarga "to submit their counter-affidavits within ten (10) days . . decreeing dismissal from the service of Apolinario Esber and the suspension for nine (9) months of Babaran. Nos. 20 it has jurisdiction or adjudicatory powers over.e. i. in other words. or duplicate much less take over the functions of the latter. Nos. It is to invalidate and set aside this Order of December 28.R. that is to say.a) The Decision dated December l7. . . . . Budoy and del Castillo. DECS 90-082. 1991 in G. that the individual petitioners may take to the Civil Service Commission on the matters complained of.. subject to appeal to the Civil Service Commission." justify their mass action or strike. supra). and that it was not meant by the fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this country. determine with character of finality and definiteness. 1990 that the Solicitor General. or hear and determine. supra. respondent Commission denied Sec." 17 9.R. It has also made plain its intention "to hear and resolve the case (i. Nos. (after which) the Commission shall proceed to hear and resolve the case on the merits with or without respondents counter affidavit. and just cause exists for the imposition of administrative disciplinary sanctions on them by their superiors.R. (it) are different from those in the case decided by the Supreme Court" (the reference being unmistakably to this Court's joint Resolution of August 6.. 19 or even a quasi-judicial agency. as aforementioned. In an Order dated December 28. and 2) whether or not the grievances which were "the cause of the mass leave of MPSTA teachers. . 15 and b) The joint Resolution of this Court dated August 6. the facts before . like a court of justice. Culture & Sports. has commenced the present action of certiorari and prohibition. . Striking Teachers HRC Case No. if still timely. 1991 in G. file administrative charges against recalcitrants. declared that the teachers affected may take appeals to the Civil Service Commission on said matters.

To be considered such. (6) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights. to repeat. on its own or on complaint by any party. education. (4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails. receive evidence and make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and political rights. or agency in the performance of its functions. and (11) Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law. i. and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice. (7) Monitor the Philippine Government's compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights. the Commission does not have. The Commission was created by the 1987 Constitution as an independent office.e. (9) Request the assistance of any department. all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. (3) Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines. (2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure. or detention facilities. it succeeded and superseded the Presidential Committee on Human Rights existing at the time of the effectivity of the Constitution. (5) Establish a continuing program of research. and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court. prisons. 24 Its powers and functions are the following 25 (1) Investigate. (8) Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation conducted by it or under its authority. the faculty of receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those factual conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or determined authoritatively. (10) Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law. But fact finding is not adjudication. or their families. 22 The proposition is made clear by the constitutional provisions specifying the powers of the Commission on Human Rights. and provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection. The function of receiving evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function. properly speaking. bureau. 21 This function. office. or even a quasi-judicial agency or official.. 23 Upon its constitution. . as well as Filipinos residing abroad. finally and definitively.The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may investigate. subject to such appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law. and information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights.

. obtain information. "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. to award or grant judicially in a case of controversy . explore. . Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense. resolve. to subject to an official probe . and the failure of the teachers to discontinue those actions. these terms have well understood and quite distinct meanings. judge. for the discovery and collection of facts concerning a certain matter or matters. in the conduct of its investigation or in extending such remedy as may be required by its findings. . The dictionary defines the term as "to settle finally (the rights and duties of the parties to a court case) on the merits of issues raised: . act as judge. or even quasi-judicial bodies do. means to examine. It may exercise that power pursuant to such rules of procedure as it may adopt and." 29 "Adjudicate. . the exercise of which ordinarily does not require a hearing. or civil or political rights had been transgressed. judicial or otherwise. settle or decree. . . determine. settle. . a legal inquiry.: to conduct an official inquiry.As should at once be observed. To determine finally." commonly or popularly understood. study. The dictionary definition of "investigate" is "to observe or study closely: inquire into systematically. research on. initiated and conducted by the DECS. the taking of evidence." 28 "to inquire. rule on." 27 The purpose of investigation. 26 But it cannot try and decide cases (or hear and determine causes) as courts of justice. The Constitution clearly and categorically grants to the Commission the power toinvestigate all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by step by patient inquiry or observation. to find out by careful inquisition. and the entry of a judgment. cite for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court. Whether in the popular or the technical sense. ." commonly understood. decide. bureau. of course. or agency in the performance of its functions. to find out. office. . the Commission has no power to "resolve on the merits" the question of (a) whether or not the mass concerted actions engaged in by the teachers constitute and are prohibited or otherwise restricted by law. as it has announced it means to do." 30 And "adjudge" means "to decide or rule upon as a judge or with judicial or quasi-judicial powers: ." 31 In the legal sense. examination. To trace or track. . and return to their classes . only the first of the enumerated powers and functions bears any resemblance to adjudication or adjudgment. and it cannot do so even if there be a claim that in the administrative disciplinary proceedings against the teachers in question. to learn. To investigate is not to adjudicate or adjudge. their human rights. to make an investigation. . 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. to examine and inquire into with care and accuracy. It can exercise that power on its own initiative or on complaint of any person. . inquire or delve or probe into. in cases of violations of said rules. an inquiry." cannot and should not "try and resolve on the merits" (adjudicate) the matters involved in Striking Teachers HRC Case No. . . deciding or resolving a controversy involved in the facts inquired into by application of the law to the facts established by the inquiry. In the course of any investigation conducted by it or under its authority. 257. 90-775. . "to search or inquire into: ." "investigation" being in turn describe as "(a)n administrative function. to search into. to decide. arbitrate. having merely the power "to investigate. . . is to discover. it may grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth. (b) whether or not the act of carrying on and taking part in those actions. . It may also request the assistance of any department. means to adjudge. to pass judgment on: settle judicially: . . or to sentence or condemn. "Investigate. More particularly." 32 Hence it is that the Commission on Human Rights. Nowhere included or intimated is the notion of settling." and "adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially. Implies a judicial determination of a fact.

34 Now. and whether or not the Secretary of Education had in truth committed "human rights violations involving civil and political rights. and even this Court itself has had occasion to pass upon said issues. that would be the Civil Service Commission.. it would have no power anyway to reverse the Secretary's conclusions. the petition is granted. if it concludes that Secretary Cariño was in error. whether or not the proceedings themselves are void or defective in not having accorded the respondents due process. as above narrated. The Commission on Human Rights simply has no place in this scheme of things. within the appellate jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. is to refer the matter to the appropriate Government agency or tribunal for assistance. Regalado. or are justified by the grievances complained of by them. constitute infractions of relevant rules and regulations warranting administrative disciplinary sanctions. JJ. 1990 is ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. if any. and also. Griño-Aquino. Feliciano. it is quite obvious that whether or not the conclusions reached by the Secretary of Education in disciplinary cases are correct and are adequately based on substantial evidence. It will not be permitted to be done. This cannot be done. This would accord success to what may well have been the complaining teachers' strategy to abort. Reversal thereof can only by done by the Civil Service Commission and lastly by this Court. and in the event of an adverse verdict. The only thing the Commission can do. Davide. concur. These are matters undoubtedly and clearly within the original jurisdiction of the Secretary of Education. 33 and it appears that appeals have been seasonably taken by the aggrieved parties to the Civil Service Commission." SO ORDERED. It has no business intruding into the jurisdiction and functions of the Education Secretary or the Civil Service Commission. and the respondent Commission on Human Rights and the Chairman and Members thereof are prohibited "to hear and resolve the case (i. 35 It cannot arrogate unto itself the appellate jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission.e. and Romero.despite the order to this effect by the Secretary of Education. WHEREFORE. the Order of December 29. . the investigation by the Commission on Human Rights would serve no useful purpose. 90-775) on the merits. Bidin." are matters which may be passed upon and determined through a motion for reconsideration addressed to the Secretary Education himself. may properly be imposed for said acts or omissions. may be reviewed by the Civil Service Commission and eventually the Supreme Court. Jr. the Secretary of Education has. already taken cognizance of the issues and resolved them. In any event. Cruz. being within the scope of the disciplinary powers granted to him under the Civil Service Law. and (c) what where the particular acts done by each individual teacher and what sanctions. Medialdea. frustrate or negate the judgment of the Education Secretary in the administrative cases against them which they anticipated would be adverse to them. Indeed. Melencio-Herrera. Striking Teachers HRC Case No. If its investigation should result in conclusions contrary to those reached by Secretary Cariño. It has no business going over the same ground traversed by the latter and making its own judgment on the questions involved.

. concurring: I concur with the brilliant and enlightening decision of Chief Justice Andres R. JUDGES. and JUSTICES. J. (3) not only with the human rights of those who rise against the government but also those who defend the same.Separate Opinions GUTIERREZ. PARAS. .. JR. (2) not only with the human rights of the accused but also the human rights of the victims and the latter's families. concurring: I concur in the result. dissenting: I vote to dismiss the petition for the same reasons stated in my earlier separate opinion filed in this case. J... The defense of human rights is not a monopoly of a government agency (such as the Commission on Human Rights) nor the monopoly of a group of lawyers defending so-called "human rights' but the responsibility of ALL AGENCIES (governmental or private) and of ALL LAWYERS. Finally. The teachers are not to be blamed for exhausting all means to overcome the Secretary's arbitrary act of not reinstating them. (4) not only the human rights of striking laborers but also those who as a consequence of strikes may be laid off because of financial repercussions. the Commission should realize that while there are "human rights"." PADILLA. Narvasa I wish to add however that the Commission on Human Rights should concern itself in this case and in many other similar cases: (1) not only with the human rights of striking teachers but also the human rights of students and their parents. J. there are also corresponding "human obligations.

J.# Separate Opinions GUTIERREZ. J. JR. (2) not only with the human rights of the accused but also the human rights of the victims and the latter's families. dissenting: I vote to dismiss the petition for the same reasons stated in my earlier separate opinion filed in this case. The defense of human rights is not a monopoly of a government agency (such as the Commission on Human Rights) nor the monopoly of a group of lawyers defending so-called "human rights' but the responsibility of ALL AGENCIES (governmental or private) and of ALL LAWYERS. (3) not only with the human rights of those who rise against the government but also those who defend the same. The teachers are not to be blamed for exhausting all means to overcome the Secretary's arbitrary act of not reinstating them. the Commission should realize that while there are "human rights". Finally. Narvasa I wish to add however that the Commission on Human Rights should concern itself in this case and in many other similar cases: (1) not only with the human rights of striking teachers but also the human rights of students and their parents... and JUSTICES. (4) not only the human rights of striking laborers but also those who as a consequence of strikes may be laid off because of financial repercussions. PARAS. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC ." PADILLA. concurring: I concur with the brilliant and enlightening decision of Chief Justice Andres R. concurring: I concur in the result.. J. JUDGES. there are also corresponding "human obligations..

the private respondents (being the officers and members of the North EDSA Vendors Association. 5 the CHR. 100150 January 5. 90-1580. The City Attorney for petitioners. et al. asking the late CHR Chairman Mary Concepcion Bautista for a letter to be addressed to then Mayor Brigido Simon. the respondents were given a grace-period of three (3) days (up to 12 July 1990) within which to vacate the questioned premises of North EDSA. of Quezon City to stop the demolition of the private respondents' stalls. with prayer for a restraining order and preliminary injunction. JR. sari-sari stores. ROQUE FERMO. The Solicitor General for public respondent. et al. Incorporated). was sent to." 6 A motion to dismiss. vs. the private respondents were informed by petitioner Quimpo that their stalls should be removed to give way to the "People's Park". VITUG. sari-sari stores and carinderia. Jr.: The extent of the authority and power of the Commission on Human Rights ("CHR") is again placed into focus in this petition for prohibition. J. The motion also averred. with the warning that violation of said order would lead to a citation for contempt and arrest. 90-1580.. directing the petitioners "to desist from demolishing the stalls and shanties at North EDSA pending resolution of the vendors/squatters' complaint before the Commission" and ordering said petitioners to appear before the CHR. the CHR issued an Order. 2 On 12 July 1990. among other things.R. No. the group. as well as CHR's own ocular inspection. in its resolution of 1 August 1990. andcarinderia along North EDSA. In said notice.00 in favor of the private respondents to purchase light housing materials and food under the Commission's supervision and again directed the petitioners to "desist from further demolition. and convinced that on 28 July 1990 the petitioners carried out the demolition of private respondents' stalls.G. signed by Carlos Quimpo (one of the petitioners) in his capacity as an Executive Officer of the Quezon City Integrated Hawkers Management Council under the Office of the City Mayor. 1994 BRIGIDO R. led by their President Roque Fermo. 4 On the basis of the sworn statements submitted by the private respondents on 31 July 1990. SIMON. CARLOS QUIMPO. AND GENEROSO OCAMPO. that: . 1 Prior to their receipt of the demolition notice.. filed a letter-complaint (Pinag-samang Sinumpaang Salaysay) with the CHR against the petitioners." The case all started when a "Demolition Notice. respondents. AND OTHERS AS JOHN DOES. The complaint was docketed as CHR Case No. Quimpo. ordered the disbursement of financial assistance of not more than P200. vs. petitioners. entitled "Fermo.000. and received by. The petitioners ask us to prohibit public respondent CHR from further hearing and investigating CHR Case No. 3 On 23 July 1990." dated 9 July 1990. CARLITO ABELARDO. COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS. questioned CHR's jurisdiction. 7 dated 10 September 1990.

to revoke or cancel a permit. that the complainants (were) occupying government land. in this wise: Clearly. along with the contempt charge that had meantime been filed by the private respondents.00 on each of them. On 1 March 1991. a perusal of the said Agreement (revealed) that the moratorium referred to therein refers to moratorium in the demolition of the structures of poor dwellers. but it (should) be (considered) a quasi-judicial body with the power to provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines . 13 The CHR opined that "it was not the intention of the (Constitutional) Commission to create only a paper tiger limited only to investigating civil and political rights. the CHR cited the petitioners in contempt for carrying out the demolition of the stalls. 5. arguing that the motion to dismiss set for 21 September 1990 had yet to be resolved. . and it imposed a fine of P500. that the complainants in this case (were) not poor dwellers but independent business entrepreneurs even this Honorable Office admitted in its resolution of 1 August 1990 that the complainants are indeed." 9 On 21 September 1990. . and that "the rights allegedly violated in this case (were) not civil and political rights. 12 the CHR issued an Order. upon grounds clearly specified by law and ordinance. denying petitioners' motion to dismiss and supplemental motion to dismiss. . sari-sari stores and carinderia despite the "order to desist". albeit vigorously objected to by petitioners (on the ground that the motion to dismiss was still then unresolved). . The motion to dismiss should be and is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. and 6. . vendors. . 11 dated 25 September 1990. . the Commission on Human Rights under its constitutional mandate had jurisdiction over the complaint filed by the squatters-vendors who complained of the gross violations of their human and constitutional rights. if already issued. that the City Mayor of Quezon City (had) the sole and exclusive discretion and authority whether or not a certain business establishment (should) be allowed to operate within the jurisdiction of Quezon City. this case came about due to the alleged violation by the (petitioners) of the InterAgency Memorandum of Agreement whereby Metro-Manila Mayors agreed on a moratorium in the demolition of the dwellings of poor dwellers in Metro-Manila. the motion to dismiss was heard and submitted for resolution.1. . . 4. On 18 September 1990 a supplemental motion to dismiss was filed by the petitioners. the petitioners moved for postponement. (but) their privilege to engage in business." It added: . 10 In an Order. Quezon City. . particularly the sidewalk of EDSA corner North Avenue. 8 During the 12 September 1990 hearing. stating that the Commission's authority should be understood as being confined only to the investigation of violations of civil and political rights. xxx xxx xxx 3. The petitioners likewise manifested that they would bring the case to the courts.

in our resolution 16 of 18 June 1991. 14 dated 25 April 1991. (3) Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines.00 each on the petitioners. in which we also issued a temporary restraining order. and c) to disburse the amount of P200. dated 18 July 1991. The latter thus filed its own comment.The right to earn a living is a right essential to one's right to development. it was subsequently reinstated. 163. In an Order. 19 It was formally constituted by then President Corazon Aquino via Executive Order No. who were witness and exposed to such a violent demonstration of Man's inhumanity to man." 17 The petitioners pose the following: Whether or not the public respondent has jurisdiction: a) to investigate the alleged violations of the "business rights" of the private respondents whose stalls were demolished by the petitioners at the instance and authority given by the Mayor of Quezon City. thus: to — (1) Investigate. safety and welfare. as well as Filipinos residing abroad. one of its Commissioners. The petition has merit. and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court. 21 The powers and functions 22 of the Commission are defined by the 1987 Constitution. the Solicitor-General was excused from filing his comment for public respondent CHR. All these brazenly and violently ignored and trampled upon by respondents with little regard at the same time for the basic rights of women and children. 901580. The petition was initially dismissed in our resolution 15 of 25 June 1991. however. The Commission on Human Rights was created by the 1987 Constitution. the Presidential Committee on Human Rights. 18 through Hon. who had since failed to comply with the resolution. In the Court's resolution of 10 October 1991. this recourse. Samuel Soriano. in the exercise of her legislative power at the time. It succeeded.000. on its own or on complaint by any party. and provide for . Their actions have psychologically scarred and traumatized the children.00 as financial aid to the vendors affected by the demolition. The Court also resolved to dispense with the comment of private respondent Roque Fermo. and their health. b) to impose the fine of P500. petitioners' motion for reconsideration was denied. all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. (2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure. Hence. requiring such comment. 20issued on 5 May 1987. to life and to dignity. but so superseded as well. directing the CHR to "CEASE and DESIST from further hearing CHR No.

office. has not heretofore been shared by this Court. (9) Request the assistance of any department. was not meant by the fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this country. . the Commission does not have. (4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails. In Cariño v. and information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights. . (10) Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law.. . 24 the Court. 23 This view. The function of receiving evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function. In its Order of 1 March 1991. (8) Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation conducted by it or under its authority. The Court explained: . or agency in the performance of its functions. properly speaking. To be considered such. . or detention facilities. and (11) Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law. (7) Monitor the Philippine Government's compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights. or their families. the faculty of receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those factual conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or determined authoritatively. has observed that it is "only the first of the enumerated powers and functions that bears any resemblance to adjudication or adjudgment. or duplicate much less take over the functions of the latter. This function. The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may investigate. . now Chief Justice Andres Narvasa. prisons.e. finally and definitively. bureau. or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. to repeat. education. denying petitioners' motion to dismiss. and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice. (6) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights. Commission on Human Rights. however. (T)he Commission on Human Rights . But fact finding is not adjudication. (5) Establish a continuing program of research. receive evidence and make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and political rights." but that resemblance can in no way be synonymous to the adjudicatory power itself. subject to such appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law.preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection. through then Associate Justice. the CHR theorizes that the intention of the members of the Constitutional Commission is to make CHR a quasi-judicial body. i.

and social services. encompassing almost all aspects of life. could at best be described as inconclusive. and cultural rights defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. to determine the extent of CHR's investigative power. such as the right to life. It thus seems to closely identify the term to the universally accepted traits and attributes of an individual.After thus laying down at the outset the above rule. . entitled "Present State of Human Rights in the Philippines. and property. Among those voices. human rights are not granted by the State but can only be recognized and protected by it. Let us observe. Have these broad concepts been equally contemplated by the framers of our 1986 Constitutional Commission in adopting the specific provisions on human rights and in creating an independent commission to safeguard these rights? It may of value to look back at the country's experience under the martial law regime which may have. Kenya or the Soviet Union. have given the following varied answers: Human rights are the basic rights which inhere in man by virtue of his humanity. of the press. freedom of speech. or more specifically. innate and inalienable. comes from Mr. Reyes. They are part of his natural birth. Individuals by the thousands became subject to arrest upon suspicion. In a symposium on human rights in the Philippines.B. in fact. political and civil relations. albeit not a few have tried. aptly represented perhaps of the sentiments expressed by others. as well as. 25 Human rights are the entitlement that inhere in the individual person from the sheer fact of his humanity. right. without charges. impelled the inclusions of those provisions in our fundamental law. political rights. Human rights include civil rights. representing different sectors of the society. 28 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. and social rights. one of the questions that has been propounded is "(w)hat do you understand by "human rights?" The participants. we now proceed to the other kernel of this controversy and. sponsored by the University of the Philippines in 1977. of religion. Justice J. Because they are inherent. until ordered released by the Commander-in- . the International Covenant on Economic. such as the right to an education. and were detained and held for indefinite periods. and the rights of the accused to due process of law. cultural." 29 observes: But while the Constitution of 1935 and that of 1973 enshrined in their Bill of Rights most of the human rights expressed in the International Covenant. along with what is generally considered to be his inherent and inalienable rights. liberty. in his paper. these rights became unavailable upon the proclamation of Martial Law on 21 September 1972. . They are the same in all parts of the world. . economic. its is. employment. Kenya or Indonesia . . . economic. It can hardly be disputed that the phrase "human rights" is so generic a term that any attempt to define it. a respected jurist and an advocate of civil liberties. political. academic freedom. 27 Human rights are rights that pertain to man simply because he is human. sometimes for years. such as the right to elect public officials. Many voices have been heard. Social and Cultural Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. whether the Philippines or England. to be elected to public office. suggests that the scope of human rights can be understood to include those that relate to an individual's social. Arbitrary action then became the rule. who. social. . the United States or Japan.L. 26 (Human rights include all) the civil. and to form political associations and engage in politics.

Otherwise. MR. . Martial law brought with it the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. hence. So. That is precisely my difficulty because civil and political rights are very broad. The Article on the Bill of Rights covers civil and political rights. and judges lost independence and security of tenure. Press and other mass media were subjected to censorship and short term licensing. MR. xxx xxx xxx . its effectivity would also be curtailed . we might diffuse its impact and the precise nature of its task. Yes. GARCIA. and there are other violations of rights of citizens which can be addressed to the proper courts and authorities. GARCIA . Every single right of an individual involves his civil right or his political right.Chief or this representative. and as I have mentioned. Torture to extort confessions were practiced as declared by international bodies like Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists. if we cover such a wide territory in area. BENGZON. and so on. these civil and political rights have been made clear in the language of human rights advocates. and these are precisely what we want to defend here. GARCIA. The right to petition for the redress of grievances became useless. the right against torture. So as to distinguish this from the other rights that we have? MR. would the commissioner say civil and political rights as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? MR. BENGZON. the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights distinguished this right against torture. except members of the Supreme Court. because the other rights will encompass social and economic rights. . . where do we draw the line? MR. So. Converging our attention to the records of the Constitutional Commission. So. BENGZON. Yes. the right to fair and public hearing. They were required to submit letters of resignation and were dismissed upon the acceptance thereof. MR. specifically the Bill of Rights and subsequent legislation. we can see the following discussions during its 26 August 1986 deliberations: MR. it is important to delienate the parameters of its tasks so that the commission can be most effective. So were strikes. These are very specific rights that are considered enshrined in many international documents and legal instruments as constituting civil and political rights. the primacy of its (CHR) task must be made clear in view of the importance of human rights and also because civil and political rights have been determined by many international covenants and human rights legislations in the Philippines. as well as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which addresses a number of articles on the right to life. Actually. as well as the Constitution. GARCIA. since group actions were forbidden.

In connection with the discussion on the scope of human rights. and. Am I correct? MR. BENGZON. especially of political detainees or prisoners. I go back to that question that I had. Therefore. Those are the rights that we envision here? MR. GARCIA. No. No. We have already mentioned earlier that we would like to define the specific parameters which cover civil and political rights as covered by the international standards governing the behavior of governments regarding the particular political and civil rights of citizens. they had defended the rights of people to decent living. 3) fair and public trials. everytime we invoke the violation of human rights. MR. GARCIA. I think we should really limit the definition of human rights to political rights . so as not to confuse the issue ? MR. Then. 5) salvagings and hamletting. Thank You Madam President. xxx xxx xxx MR. food. I would like to state that in the past regime. decent housing and a life consistent with human dignity. xxx xxx xxx The PRESIDENT. 2) treatment of prisoners and the prevention of tortures. There are actually six areas where this Commission on Human Rights could act effectively: 1) protection of rights of political detainees. This particular aspect we have experienced during martial law which we would now like to safeguard. what we are really trying to say is. Commissioner Guingona is recognized. Is that the sense of the committee. SARMIENTO. In fact. MR. So. So. GUINGONA. the Marcos regime came out with the defense that. BENGZON. GARCIA. . Yes. we will authorize the commission to define its functions. in doing that the commission will be authorized to take under its wings cases which perhaps heretofore or at this moment are under the jurisdiction of the ordinary investigative and prosecutorial agencies of the government. MR. therefore. they are also enshrined in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution.MR. as a matter of fact. 4) cases of disappearances. perhaps. BENGZON. They are integral parts of that. I would like to continue and respond also to repeated points raised by the previous speaker. Madam President. Yes. and 6) other crimes committed against the religious . is the Gentleman saying that all the rights under the Bill of Rights covered by human rights? MR. only those that pertain to civil and political rights . at the proper time we could specify all those rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and defined as human rights. GARCIA. Therefore. MR. RAMA.

without prejudice to expansion later on. but the commissioner mentioned another. but to give the sense of the Commission as to what human rights would be included. Correct. For example. Madam President. Madam President. the other one is the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights of which we are signatory. after mentioning the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. MR." rather than specify the rights contained in the convention. before the period of amendments. GUINGONA. Madam President. I see.I would like to start by saying that I agree with Commissioner Garcia that we should. just for the record. the Gentlemen is no longer linking his concept or the concept of the Committee on Human Rights with the socalled civil or political rights as contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Commissioner Garcia. although later on. It is quite possible that there are rights specified in that other convention which may not be specified here. could specify to us which of these articles in the Declaration will fall within the concept of civil and political rights. Therefore. GUINGONA. I do not have a copy of the other covenant mentioned. So. delimit as much as possible. mentioned or linked the concept of human right with other human rights specified in other convention which I do not remember. MR. this was qualified to refer to civil and political rights contained therein. although I have a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights here. When I mentioned earlier the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. GARCIA. GARCIA. right to fair and public trials. MR. MR. without prejudice to future expansion . GARCIA. as well as crimes involving disappearance. we are not opening it up to all of the definite areas. If I remember correctly. if the need arises. As far as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is concerned. The coverage of the concept and jurisdictional area of the term "human rights". . The only problem is that. Is Commissioner Guingona referring to the Declaration of Torture of 1985? MR. the Committee. I was referring to an international instrument. I was actually disturbed this morning when the reference was made without qualification to the rights embodied in the universal Declaration of Human Rights. it is limited to politically related crimes precisely to protect the civil and political rights of a specific group of individuals. I have to repeat the various specific civil and political rights that we felt must be envisioned initially by this provision — freedom from political detention and arrest prevention of torture. salvagings. GARCIA. I do not know. GUINGONA. hamlettings and collective violations. in order to make the proposed Commission more effective. and therefore. Am I correct? MR. It is not a civil right? MR. I was wondering whether it would be wise to link our concept of human rights to general terms like "convention. there was no definite reply to the question of Commissioner Regalado as to whether the right to marry would be considered a civil or a social right. not for the purpose of including these in the proposed constitutional article.

Thank you. Yes. of the 1987 Constitution. men in the military and big shots. in wider sense. and are not connected with the organization or administration of the government. MR. xxx xxx xxx SR. GUINGONA. Or. Another reason is. . equal protection of the laws. Madam President. GUINGONA." 31 has been defined as referring — (t)o those (rights) that belong to every citizen of the state or country. all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights" (Sec. housing. I am not even clear as to the distinction between civil and social rights. the little individual who needs this kind of help and cannot get it. housing and health. GUINGONA. is a provision empowering the Commission on Human Rights to "investigate. . et cetera. or. MR. GARCIA. on its own or on complaint by any party. The second covenant contains all the different rights-the rights of labor to organize. There are two international covenants: the International Covenant and Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic. picking up without any warrant of arrest. 1). etc. They cannot pay and very few lawyers will accept clients who do not pay. Social and Cultural Rights. . And so. shelter. GUINGONA. MR. MR. And I think we should concentrate only on civil and political violations because if we open this to land. to all its inhabitants. they are the ones more abused and oppressed. 30 (emphasis supplied) The final outcome. MR. I know. massacre — and the persons who are allegedly guilty are people in power like politicians. the cases involved are very delicate — torture. especially for the little Filipino. I would like very much to emphasize how much we need this commission. Article XIII. as otherwise defined civil rights are rights appertaining to a person by virtue of his citizenship in a state or . MR. salvaging. we will have no place to go again and we will not receive any response. Madam President. . the right to education. . So we are just limiting at the moment the sense of the committee to those that the Gentlemen has specified. TAN. this Human Rights Commission must be independent. GARCIA. now written as Section 18. Therefore. But it does not mean that we will refer to each and every specific article therein.MR. GARCIA. The term "civil rights. They include the rights of property. to civil and political rights. . . I cannot stress more on how much we need a Commission on Human Rights. human rights victims are usually penniless. as we understand it in this Commission on Human Rights. freedom of contract. from the standpoint of the victims of human rights. . . marriage. but only to those that pertain to the civil and politically related.

In Export Processing Zone Authority vs.community. we are not prepared to conclude that the order for the demolition of the stalls. is not investigatorial in character but prescinds from an adjudicative power that it does not possess. speaking through Madame Justice Carolina Griño-Aquino. for instance. or who decline to honor summons. the right of suffrage. Such term may also refer. it is readily apparent that the delegates envisioned a Commission on Human Rights that would focus its attention to the more severe cases of human rights violations. mentioned such areas as the "(1) protection of rights of political detainees. and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court. the delegates did not apparently take comfort in peremptorily making a conclusive delineation of the CHR's scope of investigatorial jurisdiction. 36 the Court. the right of petition and." That power to cite for contempt. are said to refer to the right to participate. and to impose the appropriate penalties in accordance with the procedure and sanctions provided for in the Rules of Court. is a busy national highway. the right to hold public office. the land adjoins the North EDSA of Quezon City which. 33 on the other hand. the CHR is constitutionally authorized to "adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure. significant for the tone it has set. the power to cite for contempt could be exercised against persons who refuse to cooperate with the said body. Be that as it may. more than just expressing a statement of priority. More than that. in the establishment or administration of government. (3) fair and public trials. explained: The constitutional provision directing the CHR to "provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated . if it is. even be invoked. (5) salvagings and hamletting. Delegate Garcia. sari-saristores and carinderia. and imprisonment for debt. unreasonable searches and seizures. the CHR acted within its authority in providing in its revised rules. sari-sari stores and carinderia of the private respondents can fall within the compartment of "human rights violations involving civil and political rights" intended by the Constitution. directly or indirectly. the rights appurtenant to citizenship vis-a-vis the management of government. In any event. however. Commission on Human Rights. should be understood to apply only to violations of its adopted operational guidelines and rules of procedure essential to carry out its investigatorial powers. looking at the standards hereinabove discoursed vis-a-vis the circumstances obtaining in this instance." While the enumeration has not likely been meant to have any preclusive effect. in the first place. and (6) other crimes committed against the religious. 34 Recalling the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. On its contempt powers. in pursuing its investigative work. or who unduly withhold relevant information. erected by private respondents on a land which is planned to be developed into a "People's Park". however. its power "to cite or hold any person in direct or indirect contempt. that "Congress may provide for other cases of violations of human rights that should fall within the authority of the Commission. it is. this Court can take judicial notice of. religious persecution. in general. in fact. there is no cavil that what are sought to be demolished are the stalls." 35 In the particular case at hand. and the like. (2) treatment of prisoners and the prevention of tortures. (4) cases of disappearances. taking into account its recommendation. It is indeed paradoxical that a right which is claimed to have been violated is one that cannot. Also quite often mentioned are the guarantees against involuntary servitude. as well as temporary shanties." Accordingly. To exemplify. The consequent danger to life and limb is not thus to be likewise simply ignored. nonetheless. They have thus seen it fit to resolve. to rights capable of being enforced or redressed in a civil action. extant. 32 Political rights. in its general sense. aforequoted. instead. The "order to desist" (a semantic interplay for a restraining order) in the instance before us.

Feliciano.or need protection" may not be construed to confer jurisdiction on the Commission to issue a restraining order or writ of injunction for. ..00 fine for contempt.. the "preventive measures and legal aid services" mentioned in the Constitution refer to extrajudicial and judicial remedies (including a writ of preliminary injunction) which the CHR may seek from proper courts on behalf of the victims of human rights violations. C. Bidin. Quiason and Puno. 90-1580. Narvasa. or by a Justice of the Court of Appeals. 90-1580) has already been fully heard. or of the Supreme Court. It is available only in a pending principal action. Nocon. JJ. It is true that prohibition is a preventive remedy to restrain the doing of an act about to be done. The Commission does have legal standing to indorse. 37 The challenge on the CHR's disbursement of the amount of P200. and not intended to provide a remedy for an act already accomplished. "Jurisdiction is conferred only by the Constitution or by law". Romero. The public respondent explains that this petition for prohibition filed by the petitioners has become moot and academic since the case before it (CHR Case No. No costs. Separate Opinions . Cruz. Not only is there lack of locus standion the part of the petitioners to question the disbursement but. the writ prayed for in this petition is GRANTED. . Melo. 90-1580 and from implementing the P500. for the preservation or protection of the rights and interests of a party thereto. The Commission on Human Rights is hereby prohibited from further proceeding with CHR Case No. SO ORDERED. said Commission admittedly has yet to promulgate its resolution in CHR Case No.J. and for no other purpose. Evidently. the CHR itself has no jurisdiction to issue the writ. It is never derived by implication. and that the matter is merely awaiting final resolution. 39 WHEREFORE. to also prevent CHR from precisely doing that. 38 Here. . it that were the intention. for appropriate action. among other things. more importantly. for a writ of preliminary injunction may only be issued "by the judge of any court in which the action is pending [within his district].. Bellosillo.000. A writ of preliminary injunction is an ancillary remedy. the matter lies with the appropriate administrative agencies concerned to initially consider." (footnotes omitted). its findings and recommendations to any appropriate agency of government. The temporary restraining order heretofore issued by this Court is made permanent.00 by way of financial aid to the vendors affected by the demolition is not an appropriate issue in the instant petition. however. the Constitution would have expressly said so. Not being a court of justice. concur. Jr. Regalado. The instant petition has been intended. Davide.

under the definition of civil rights cited by the majority opinion (pp.PADILLA. The Commission on Human rights. 20-21) and which the CHR has unquestioned authority to investigate (Section 18. that such cease and desist order maybe necessary in situations involving a threatened violation of human rights." G. sari-sari stores and carinderias as well as the temporary shanties owned by the private respondents as posing prima facie a case of human rights violation because it involves an impairment of the civil rights of said private respondents. dissenting: I reiterate my separate opinion in "Carino. et al. 1987 Constitution). I vote to DISMISS the petition and to remand the case to the CHR for further proceedings. 204 SCRA 483 in relation to the resolution of 29 January 1991 and my dissenting opinion in "Export Processing Zone Authority vs. 20-21) and which the CHR has unquestioned authority to investigate (Section 18.. which the CHR intents to investigate. I am of the considered view that the CHR can issue a cease and desist order to maintain a status quo pending its investigation of a case involving an alleged human rights violation. et al. 101476. vs. In the case at bench." G. under the definition of civil rights cited by the majority opinion (pp.. et al. I would consider the threatened demolition of the stalls. The Commission on Human rights.R. In the case at bench. 2 December 1991. Certainly. ACCORDINGLY. from the start." G. XIII.R. No. 14 April 1992. which the CHR intents to investigate. 2 December 1991. into a tiger without dentures but with maimed legs to boot. The Commission on Human Rights..R. I submit the CHR should be given a wide latitude to look into and investigate situations which may (or may not ultimately) involve human rights violations. 204 SCRA 483 in relation to the resolution of 29 January 1991 and my dissenting opinion in "Export Processing Zone Authority vs... 14 April 1992. 208 SCRA 125." G. Art. XIII. Human rights demand more than lip service and extend beyond impressive displays of placards at street corners. 1987 Constitution). The Commission on Human Rights. J. that such cease and desist order maybe necessary in situations involving a threatened violation of human rights. Art.R. I would consider the threatened demolition of the stalls. et al. No. No. # Separate Opinions PADILLA. 101476. vs. dissenting: I reiterate my separate opinion in "Carino. Positive action and results are what count. J. sari-sari stores and carinderias as well as the temporary shanties owned by the private respondents as posing prima facie a case of human rights violation because it involves an impairment of the civil rights of said private respondents.. I am of the considered view that the CHR can issue a cease and desist order to maintain a status quo pending its investigation of a case involving an alleged human rights violation. the cause of human rights is not enhanced when the very constitutional agency tasked to protect and vindicate human rights is transformed by us. 96681. No. et al. 208 SCRA 125. . et al. 96681.

from the start. the cause of human rights is not enhanced when the very constitutional agency tasked to protect and vindicate human rights is transformed by us. I vote to DISMISS the petition and to remand the case to the CHR for further proceedings. I submit the CHR should be given a wide latitude to look into and investigate situations which may (or may not ultimately) involve human rights violations.Human rights demand more than lip service and extend beyond impressive displays of placards at street corners. . ACCORDINGLY. into a tiger without dentures but with maimed legs to boot. Positive action and results are what count. Certainly.