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G.R. No. 122156, February 3, 1!

Supremacy of the Constitution Filipino First Policy National Patrimony Qualified
Pursuant to the privatization program of the government, GSIS decided to sell 51% of
the Manila Hotel Corporation !"o #idders participated, Manila Prince Hotel $MPH%, a
&ilipino corporation, and Mala'sian &irm (enong )erhad $()% MPH*s #id "as at
P+15,-per share "hile ()*s #id "as at P++..-share () "as the highest #idder
hence it "as logicall' considered as the "inning #idder #ut is 'et to #e declared so
Pending declaration, MPH matches ()*s #id and invo/ed the &ilipino &irst polic'
enshrined under par 0, Sec 1., 1rt 10 of the 12,3 Constitution viz4 In the grant of
rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the
State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos )ut GSIS refused to accept In turn
MPH filed a petition for prohi#ition and mandamus to avoid the
perfection-consummation of the sale to () 1 !(5 "as issued against () () then
assailed the !(5 arguing among others that4
1 Par 0, Sec 1., 1rt 10 of the 12,3 Constitution needs an implementing la"
#ecause it is merel' a statement of principle and polic' $not self6e7ecuting%8
0 9ven if said passage is self6e7ecuting, Manila Hotel does not fall under
national patrimon'
ISS#E" :hether or not () should #e admitted as the highest #idder and hence #e
proclaimed as the legit #u'er of shares
;o MPH should #e a"arded the sale pursuant to 1rt 10 of the 12,3 Const !his is in
light of the &ilipino &irst Polic' Par 0, Sec 1., 1rt 10 of the 12,3 Constitution is self6
1 constitution is a s'stem of fundamental la"s for the governance and administration
of a nation !he fundamental conception is that it is a supreme la" to "hich all other
la"s must conform and in accordance "ith "hich all private rights must #e determined
and all pu#lic authorit' administered <nder the doctrine of constitutional supremac', if
a la" or contract violates an' norm of the constitution that la" or contract "hether
promulgated #' the legislative or #' the e7ecutive #ranch or entered into #' private
persons for private purposes is null and void and "ithout an' force and effect !hus,
since the Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme la! of the nation, it
is deemed !ritten in every statute and contract
It should #e stressed that "hile the Mala'sian firm offered the higher #id it is not 'et the
"inning #idder !he #idding rules e7pressl' provide that the highest #idder shall onl'
#e declared the "inning #idder after it has negotiated and e7ecuted the necessar'
contracts, and secured the re=uisite approvals Since the >&ilipino &irst Polic' provision
of the Constitution #esto"s preference on =ualified &ilipinos the mere tending of the
highest #id is not an assurance that the highest #idder "ill #e declared the "inning
#idder (esultantl', respondents are not #ound to ma/e the a"ard 'et, nor are the'
under o#ligation to enter into one "ith the highest #idder &or in choosing the a"ardee
respondents are mandated to a#ide #' the dictates of the 12,3 Constitution the
provisions of "hich are presumed to #e /no"n to all the #idders and other interested
1dhering to the doctrine of constitutional supremac', the su#?ect constitutional
provision is, as it should #e, impliedl' "ritten in the #idding rules issued #' respondent
GSIS, lest the #idding rules #e nullified for #eing violative of the Constitution It is a
#asic principle in constitutional la" that all la"s and contracts must conform "ith the
fundamental la" of the land !hose "hich violate the Constitution lose their reason for
Paragraph @ A 1 of the #idding rules provides that "if# for any reason the $ighest
%idder cannot &e a!arded the %loc' of Shares, (SIS may offer this to other Qualified
%idders that have validly su&mitted &ids provided that these Qualified %idders are
!illing to match the highest &id in terms of price per share) Certainl', the constitutional
mandate itself is reason enough not to a"ard the #loc/ of shares immediatel' to the
foreign #idder not"ithstanding its su#mission of a higher, or even the highest, #id
Sec 1., second par, 1rt BII of the of the 12,3 Constitution is a mandator', positive
command "hich is complete in itself and "hich needs no further guidelines or
implementing la"s or rules for its enforcement It is per se ?udiciall' enforcea#le :hen
our Constitution mandates that "i#n the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions
covering national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified
Filipinos, it means ?ust that C =ualified &ilipinos shall #e preferred 1nd "hen our
Constitution declares that a right e7ists in certain specified circumstances an action
ma' #e maintained to enforce such right not"ithstanding the a#sence of an' legislation
on the su#?ect8 conse=uentl', if there is no statute especiall' enacted to enforce such
constitutional right, such right enforces itself #' its o"n inherent potenc' and
puissance, and from "hich all legislations must ta/e their #earings :here there is a
right there is a remed'
*anila $otel falls under national patrimony) Patrimony in its plain and ordinary
meaning pertains to heritage) :hen the Constitution spea/s of national patrimon', it
refers not onl' to the natural resources of the Philippines, as the Constitution could
have ver' "ell used the term natural resources, #ut also to the cultural heritage of the
&ilipinos It also refers to our intelligence in arts, sciences and letters !herefore, "e
should develop not onl' our lands, forests, mines and other natural resources #ut also
the mental a#ilit' or facult' of our people ;ote that, for more than , decades $2 no"%
Manila Hotel has #ore mute "itness to the triumphs and failures, loves and frustrations
of the &ilipinos8 its e7istence is impressed "ith pu#lic interest8 its o"n historicit'
associated "ith our struggle for sovereignt', independence and nationhood