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CUGCO (GR L-21484, 29 November 1969)

The Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA) vs. Confederation of
Unions in Government Corporations and Offices (CUGCO), etc.
[GR L-21484, 29 November 1969]; also The Agricultural Credit Administration (ACA) vs. ACCFA
Supervisors' Association (ASA), etc. [GR L-23605]
En Banc, Makalintal (J): 7 concur, 1 concurs in result, 1 concurs in separate opinion
FACTS: On 4 September 1961 a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which was to be effective for
a period of 1 year from 1 July 1961, was entered into by and between the Unions and the Agricultural
Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA). A few months thereafter, the Unions
started protesting against alleged violations and non-implementation of said agreement. Finally, on 25
October 1962 the Unions declared a strike, which was ended when the strikers voluntarily returned to
work on 26 November 1962. On 30 October 1962 the Unions, together with its mother union, the
Confederation of Unions in Government Corporations and Offices (CUGCO), filed a complaint with
the Court of Industrial Relations against the ACCFA (Case 3450-ULP) for having allegedly committed
acts of unfair labor practice, namely: violation of the CBA in order to discourage the members of the
Unions in the exercise of their right to self-organization, discrimination against said members in the
matter of promotions, and refusal to bargain. The ACCFA denied the charges and interposed as
affirmative and special defenses lack of jurisdiction of the CIR over the case, illegality of the
bargaining contract, expiration of said Contract and lack of approval by the office of the President of
the fringe benefits provided for therein. Brushing aside the foregoing defenses, the CIR in its decision
dated 25 March 1963 ordered the ACCFA (1) to cease and desist from committing further acts tending
to discourage the members of complainant unions in the exercise of their right to self organization; (2)
to comply with and implement the provision of the collective bargaining contract executed on 4
September 1961, including the payment of P30.00 a month living allowance; and (3) to bargain in good
faith and expeditiously with the herein complainants. ACCFA moved to reconsider but was turned
down in a resolution dated 25 April 1963 of the CIR en banc. Thereupon it brought the appeal by
certiorari to the Supreme Court (GR L-21484). During the pendency of the ACCFA's case, specifically
on 8 August 1963, the President of the Philippines signed into law the Agricultural Land Reform Code
(Republic Act 3844), which among other things required the reorganization of the administrative
machinery of the Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA) and changed
its name to Agricultural Credit Administration (ACA).
On 17 March 1964 the ACCFA Supervisors' Association and the ACCFA Workers' Association filed a
petition for certification election with the Court of Industrial Relations (Case 1327-MC) praying that
they be certified as the exclusive bargaining agents for the supervisors and rank-and-file employees,
respectively, in the ACA. The trial Court in its order dated 30 March 1964 directed the Manager or
Officer-in-Charge of the ACA to allow the posting of said order "for the information of all employees
and workers thereof," and to answer the petition. In compliance therewith, the ACA, while admitting
most of the allegations in the petition, denied that the Unions represented the majority of the
supervisors and rank-and-file workers, respectively, in the ACA. It further alleged that the petition was
premature, that the ACA was not the proper party to be notified and to answer the petition, and that the
employees and supervisors could not lawfully become members of the Unions, nor be represented by
them. However, in a joint manifestation of the Unions dated 7 May 1964, with the conformity of the
ACA Administrator and of the Agrarian Counsel in his capacity as such and as counsel for the National
Land Reform Council, it was agreed "that the union in this case represent the majority of the employees
in their respective bargaining units" and that only the legal issues raised would be submitted for the
resolution of the trial Court. Finding the remaining grounds for ACA's opposition to the petition to be

without merit, the trial Court in its order dated 21 May 1964 certified the ACCFA Workers' Association
and the ACCFA Supervisors' Association as the sole and exclusive bargaining representatives of the
rank-and-file employees and supervisors, respectively, of ACA. Said order was affirmed by the CIR en
banc in its resolution dated 24 August 1964.
On 2 October 1964 the ACA filed in the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari with urgent motion to
stay the CIR order (GR L-23605). In a resolution dated 6 October 1964, the Supreme Court dismissed
the petition for 'lack of adequate allegations," but the dismissal was later reconsidered when the ACA
complied with the formal requirement stated in said resolution. As prayed for, the Court ordered the
CIR to stay the execution of its order of 21 May 1964.
ISSUE: Whether the ACA is engaged in governmental or proprietary functions.
HELD: The ACA is a government office or agency engaged in governmental, not proprietary functions.
These functions may not be strictly what President Wilson described as "constituent" (as distinguished
from "ministrant"), such as those relating to the maintenance of peace and the prevention of crime,
those regulating property and property rights, those relating to the administration of justice and the
determination of political duties of citizens, and those relating to national defense and foreign relations.
Under this traditional classification, such constituent functions are exercised by the State as attributes
of sovereignty, and not merely to promote the welfare, progress and prosperity of the people these
latter functions being ministrant, the exercise of which is optional on the part of the government. The
growing complexities of modern society, however, have rendered this traditional classification of the
functions of government quite unrealistic, not to say obsolete. The areas which used to be left to private
enterprise and initiative and which the government was called upon to enter optionally, and only
"because it was better equipped to administer for the public welfare than is any private individual or
group of individuals" continue to lose their well-defined boundaries and to be absorbed within
activities that the government must undertake in its sovereign capacity if it is to meet the increasing
social challenges of the times. Here as almost everywhere else the tendency is undoubtedly towards a
greater socialization of economic forces. Here of course this development was envisioned, indeed
adopted as a national policy, by the Constitution itself in its declaration of principle concerning the
promotion of social justice. It was in furtherance of such policy that the Land Reform Code was
enacted and the various agencies, the ACA among them, established to carry out its purposes. There can
be no dispute as to the fact that the land reform program contemplated in the said Code is beyond the
capabilities of any private enterprise to translate into reality. It is a purely governmental function, no
less than, say, the establishment and maintenance of public schools and public hospitals. And when,
aside from the governmental objectives of the ACA, geared as they are to the implementation of the
land reform program of the State, the law itself declares that the ACA is a government office, with the
formulation of policies, plans and programs vested no longer in a Board of Governors, as in the case of
the ACCFA, but in the National Land Reform Council, itself a government instrumentality; and that its
personnel are subject to Civil Service laws and to rules of standardization with respect to positions and
salaries, any vestige of doubt as to the governmental character of its functions disappears. In view of
the foregoing premises, the Unions are not entitled to the certification election sought in the lower
Court. Such certification is admittedly for purposes of bargaining in behalf of the employees with
respect to terms and conditions of employment, including the right to strike as a coercive economic
weapon, as in fact the said unions did strike in 1962 against the ACCFA (GR L-21824). This is contrary
to Section 11 of Republic Act 875. With the reorganization of the ACCFA and its conversion into the
ACA under the Land Reform Code and in view of the Court's ruling as to the governmental character
of the functions of the ACA, the decision of the lower Court, and the resolution en banc affirming it, in
the unfair labor practice case filed by the ACCFA, which decision is the subject of the present review in

GR L-21484, has become moot and academic, particularly insofar as the order to bargain collectively
with the Unions is concerned.
FACTS: The PHHC seeks a reversal of the Resolution of the CIR en banc in ordering them to pay
private respondents wage differential for work. The Philippine government and World Food Program
(WFP) entered into an agreement in a plan for the Sapang Palay resettlement area in the PHHC
proposing a self-help project to be undertaken by the squatter families for the construction of two dams.
The undertaking is for the purpose of water irrigation to be used for additional food production. In
recruiting participants to the program, the WFP issued an application form mentioning the voluntary
nature of the work to be rendered. The participants were assigned to work on canals and roads;
however, the projects agreed between the PHHC and WFP were never fully implemented. They were
ordered to accomplish a time sheet which is the basis for the payment of 50 centavos/day and a weekly
food ration. They were also provided with work tools and assigned a work supervisor to manage and
administer the Sapang Palay project in which the latter also conducted ocular inspection in the area.
However, the participants went to the Department of Labor complaining about their work and
compensation which Secretary Ople suggest that the workers in the said project must be paid in
minimum wage law. After that, petitioner suspended work and the workers assert their minimum wage
and the 50 centavos be paid to them. The petitioner answered before the CIR that they were exercising
governmental functions and that they did not hire private respondents and CIR had no jurisdiction over
them. The Court dismissed the action of the petitioner since there was no evidence that private
respondents rendered overtime work. The petitioner moved to reconsider before the CIR but denied the
claims. Thus, they elevated the case to the Supreme Court.
Issue: WON the CIR has jurisdiction over PHHC, a government owned and/or controlled corporation
performing governmental function.
Held: The Court ruled that the Court of First Instance had jurisdiction over labor disputes involving
GOCC but not the performing governmental functions. Since the National Housing Association was
created, the Philippine government has carried mass housing and resettlement program to meet the
needs of Filipinos. The PHHC is governmental institution performing governmental functions. Thus,
the Court grant the petition and set aside the assailed resolution of the Court of CIR.

G.R. No. L-55963, February 27, 1991
Petitioners: Spouses Jose Fontanilla and Virginia Fontanilla
Respondents: Hon. Inocencio D. Maliaman and National Irrigation Administration (NIA)
FACTS On December 1, 1989, the Court rendered a decision declaring National Irrigation
Administration (NIA), a government agency performing proprietary functions. Like an ordinary
employer, NIA was held liable for the injuries, resulting in death, of Francisco Fontanilla, son of
petitioner spouses Jose and Virginia Fontanilla, caused by the fault and/or negligence of NIAs driver

employee Hugo Garcia; and NIA was ordered to pay the petitioners the amounts of P 12,000 for the
death of the victim; P3,389 for hospitalization and burial expenses; P30,000 as moral damages; P8,000
as exemplary damages, and attorneys fees of 20% of the total award.
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) maintains, however, that it does not perform solely and
primarily proprietary functions, but is an agency of the government tasked with governmental
functions, and is therefore not liable for the tortuous act of its driver Garcia, who was not its special
agent. For this, they have filed a motion for reconsideration on January 26, 1990.
NIA believes this bases this on:
PD 552 amended some provisions of RA 3601 (the law which created the NIA)
The case of Angat River Irrigation System v. Angat River Workers Union
Angat Case: Although the majority opinion declares that the Angat System, like the NIA, exercised a
governmental function because the nature of its powers and functions does not show that it was
intended to bring to the Government any special corporate benefit or pecuniary profit, a strong
dissenting opinion held that Angat River system is a government entity exercising proprietary
The Angat dissenting opinion:
Alegre protested the announced termination of his employment. He argued that although his contract
did stipulate that the same would terminate on July 17, 1976, since his services were necessary and
desirable in the usual business of his employer, and his employment had lasted for five years, he had
acquired the status of regular employee and could not be removed except for valid cause.
The employment contract of 1971 was executed when the Labor Code of thePhilippines had not yet
been promulgated, which came into effect some 3 years after the perfection of the contract.
ISSUE : Whether or not NIA is a government agency with a juridical personality separate and distinct
from the government, thereby opening it up to the possibility that it may be held liable for the damages
caused by its driver, who was not its special agent
Reasoning the functions of government have been classified into governmental or constituent and
proprietary or ministrant. The former involves the exercise of sovereignty and considered as
compulsory; the latter connotes merely the exercise of proprietary functions and thus considered as
The National Irrigation Administration was not created for purposes of local government. While it may
be true that the NIA was essentially a service agency of the government aimed at promoting public
interest and public welfare, such fact does not make the NIA essentially and purely a "governmentfunction" corporation. NIA was created for the purpose of "constructing, improving, rehabilitating, and
administering all national irrigation systems in the Philippines, including all communal and pump
irrigation projects." Certainly, the state and the community as a whole are largely benefited by the
services the agency renders, but these functions are only incidental to the principal aim of the agency,
which is the irrigation of lands.
NIA is a government agency invested with a corporate personality separate and distinct from the
government, thus is governed by the Corporation Law. Section 1 of Republic Act No. 3601 provides:
Sec. 1. Name and Domicile A body corporate is hereby created which shall be known as the
National Irrigation Administration. . . . which shall be organized immediately after the approval of this
Act. It shall have its principal seat of business in the City of Manila and shall have representatives in all
provinces, for the proper conduct of its business. (Emphasis for emphasis).
Besides, Section 2, subsection b of P.D. 552 provides that:
(b) To charge and collect from the beneficiaries of the water from all irrigation systems constructed by

or under its administration, such fees or administration charges as may be necessary to cover the cost of
operation, maintenance and insurance, and to recover the cost of construction within a reasonable
period of time to the extent consistent with government policy; to recover funds or portions thereof
expended for the construction and/or rehabilitation of communal irrigation systems which funds shall
accrue to a special fund for irrigation development under section 2 hereof;
Unpaid irrigation fees or administration charges shall be preferred liens first, upon the land benefited,
and then on the crops raised thereon, which liens shall have preference over all other liens except for
taxes on the land, and such preferred liens shall not be removed until all fees or administration charges
are paid or the property is levied upon and sold by the National Irrigation Administration for the
satisfaction thereof. . . .
The same section also provides that NIA may sue and be sued in court.
It has its own assets and liabilities. It also has corporate powers to be exercised by a Board of Directors.
Section 2, subsection (f): . . . and to transact such business, as are directly or indirectly necessary,
incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above powers and objectives, including the power to
establish and maintain subsidiaries, and in general, to exercise all the powers of a corporation under
the Corporation Law, insofar as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act.
DISPOSITION: The court concluded that the National Irrigation Administration is a government
agency with a juridical personality separate and distinct from the government. It is not a mere agency
of the government but a corporate body performing proprietary functions. Therefore, it may be held
liable for the damages caused by the negligent act of its driver who was not its special agent.
ACCORDINGLY, the Motion for Reconsideration dated January 26, 1990 is DENIED WITH
FINALITY. The decision of this Court in G.R. No. 55963 and G.R. No. 61045 dated December 1,
1989 is hereby AFFIRMED.
DISSENTING: PADILLA: to say that NIA has opened itself to suit is one thing; to say that it is liable
for damages arising from tort committed by its employees, is still another thing.
The state or a government agency performing governmental functions may be held liable for tort
committed by its employees only when it acts through a special agent.
GR # 55963 and 61045, Feb. 27, 1991 (Constitutional Law Government Agency, Proprietary
FACTS: National Irrigation Administration (NIA), a government agency, was held liable for damages
resulting to the death of the son of herein petitioner spouses caused by the fault and/or negligence of
the driver of the said agency. NIA maintains that it is not liable for the act of its driver because the
former does not perform primarily proprietorship functions but governmental functions.
ISSUE: Whether or not NIA may be held liable for damages caused by its driver.
HELD: Yes. NIA is a government agency with a corporate personality separate and distinct from the
government, because its community services are only incidental functions to the principal aim which is
irrigation of lands, thus, making it an agency with proprietary functions governed by Corporation Law
and is liable for actions of their employees.

G.R. No. 129406 March 6,

FACTS: The PCGG issued writs placing under sequestration all business enterprises, entities and other
properties, real and personal, owned or registered in the name of private respondent Benedicto, or of
corporations in which he appeared to have controlling or majority interest due to his involvement in
cases of ill-gotten wealth. Among the properties thus sequestered and taken over by PCGG fiscal agents
were the 227 shares in NOGCCI owned by and registered under the name of private respondent. As
sequester of the 227 shares formerly owned by Benedicto, PCGG did not pay the monthly membership
fee. Later on, the shares were declared to be delinquent to be put into an auction sale.
Despite filing a writ of injunction, it was nevertheless dismissed. So petitioner Republic and private
respondent Benedicto entered into a Compromise Agreement which contains a general release clause
where petitioner agreed and bound itself to lift the sequestration on the 227 NOGCCI shares
acknowledging that it was within private respondents capacity to acquire the same shares out of his
income from business and the exercise of his profession. Implied in this undertaking is the recognition
by petitioner that the subject shares of stock could not have been ill-gotten Benedicto filed a Motion for
Release from Sequestration and Return of Sequestered
Shares/Dividends praying, inter alia, that his NOGCCI shares of stock be specifically released from
sequestration and returned, delivered or paid to him as part of the parties Compromise Agreement in
that case. It was granted but the shares were ordered to be put under the custody of the Clerk of Court.
Along with this, PCGG was ordered to deliver the shares to the Clerk of Court which it failed to
comply with without any justifiable grounds. In a last-ditch attempt to escape liability, petitioner
Republic, through the PCGG, invokes state immunity from suit.
ISSUE: WON the Republic can invoke state immunity.
HELD: NO. In fact, by entering into a CompromiseAgreement with private respondent Benedicto,
petitioner Republic thereby stripped itself of its immunity from suit and placed itself in the same level
of its adversary. When the State enters into contract, through its officers or agents, in furtherance of a
legitimate aim and purpose and pursuant to constitutional legislative authority, whereby mutual or
reciprocal benefits accrue and rights and obligations arise therefrom, the State may be sued even
without its express consent, precisely because by entering into a contract the sovereign descends to the
level of the citizen. Its consent to be sued is implied from the very act of entering into such contract,
breach of which on its part gives the corresponding right to the other party to the agreement.


G.R. No. 101083 July 30, 1993

The case of Oposa vs. Factoran, G.R. No. 101083 July 30, 1993, has unusual petitioners and an unusual
cause of action, making it a novel case in more ways than one.
FACTS: This case is unique in that it is a class suit brought by 44 children, through their parents,
claiming that they bring the case in the name of their generation as well as those generations yet
unborn. Aiming to stop deforestation, it was filed against the Secretary of the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources, seeking to have him cancel all the timber license agreements
(TLAs) in the country and to cease and desist from accepting and approving more timber license
agreements. The children invoked their right to a balanced and healthful ecology and to protection by
the State in its capacity as parens patriae. The petitioners claimed that the DENR Secretary's refusal to
cancel the TLAs and to stop issuing them was "contrary to the highest law of humankind-- the natural
law-- and violative of plaintiffs' right to self-preservation and perpetuation." The case was dismissed in
the lower court, invoking the law on non-impairment of contracts, so it was brought to the Supreme
Court on certiorari.
ISSUE: Did the children have the legal standing to file the case?
RULING: Yes. The Supreme Court in granting the petition ruled that the children had the legal standing
to file the case based on the concept of intergenerational responsibility. Their right to a healthy
environment carried with it an obligation to preserve that environment for the succeeding generations.
In this, the Court recognized legal standing to sue on behalf of future generations. Also, the Court said,
the law on non-impairment of contracts must give way to the exercise of the police power of the state
in the interest of public welfare.
Principal petitioners, are all minors duly represented and joined by their respective parents. Impleaded
as an additional plaintiff is the Philippine Ecological Network, Inc. (PENI), a domestic, non-stock and
non-profit corporation organized for the purpose of, inter alia, engaging in concerted action geared for
the protection of our environment and natural resources. The original defendant was the Honorable
Fulgencio S. Factoran, Jr., then Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR). His substitution in this petition by the new Secretary, the Honorable Angel C. Alcala, was
subsequently ordered upon proper motion by the petitioners. The complaint was instituted as a
taxpayers' classsuit and alleges that the plaintiffs "are all citizens of the Republic of the Philippines,
taxpayers, and entitled to the full benefit, use and enjoyment of the natural resource treasure that is the
country's virgin tropical forests." The same was filed for themselves and others who are equally
concerned about the preservation of said resource but are "so numerous that it is impracticable to bring
them all before the Court."
On 22 June 1990, the original defendant, Secretary Factoran, Jr., filed a Motion to Dismiss the
complaint based on two grounds, namely: the plaintiffs have no cause of action against him and, the
issue raised by the plaintiffs is a political question which properly pertains to the legislative or
executive branches of Government. In their 12 July 1990 Opposition to the Motion, the petitioners
maintain that, the complaint shows a clear and unmistakable cause of action, the motion is dilatory and
the action presents a justiciable question as it involves the defendant's abuse of discretion.

On 18 July 1991, respondent Judge issued an order granting the aforementioned motion to dismiss. In
the said order, not only was thedefendant's claim that the complaint states no cause of action against
him and that it raises a political question sustained, the respondent Judge further ruled that the granting
of the relief prayed for would result in the impairment of contracts which is prohibited by the
fundamental law of the land.
Plaintiffs thus filed the instant special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of
Court and ask this Court to rescind and set aside the dismissal order on the ground that the respondent
Judge gravely abused his discretion in dismissing the action. Again, the parents of the plaintiffs-minors
not only represent their children, but have also joined the latter in this case.
Petitioners contend that the complaint clearly and unmistakably states a cause of action as it contains
sufficient allegations concerning their right to a sound environment based on Articles 19, 20 and 21 of
the Civil Code (Human Relations), Section 4 of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 192 creating the DENR,
Section 3 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1151 (Philippine Environmental Policy), Section 16, Article
II of the 1987 Constitution recognizing the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology, the
concept of generational genocide in Criminal Law and the concept of man's inalienable right to selfpreservation and self-perpetuation embodied in natural law. Petitioners likewise rely on the
respondent's correlative obligation per Section 4 of E.O. No. 192, to safeguard the people's right to a
healthful environment.
It is further claimed that the issue of the respondent Secretary's alleged grave abuse of discretion in
granting Timber License Agreements (TLAs) to cover more areas for logging than what is available
involves a judicial question.
Anent the invocation by the respondent Judge of the Constitution's non-impairment clause, petitioners
maintain that the same does not apply in this case because TLAs are not contracts. They likewise
submit that even if TLAs may be considered protected by the said clause, it is well settled that they
may still be revoked by the State when the public interest so requires.
(1) Whether or not the petitioners have locus standi.
(2) Whether or not the petiton is in a form of a class suit.
(3) Whether or not the TLAs can be out rightly cancelled.
(4) Whether or not the petition should be dismissed.
Held: As to the matter of the cancellation of the TLAs, respondents submit that the same cannot be
done by the State without due process of law. Once issued, a TLA remains effective for a certain period
of time usually for twenty-five (25) years. During its effectivity, the same can neither be revised nor
cancelled unless the holder has been found, after due notice and hearing, to have violated the terms of
the agreement or other forestry laws and regulations. Petitioners' proposition to have all the TLAs
indiscriminately cancelled without the requisite hearing would be violative of the requirements of due

The subject matter of the complaint is of common and general interest not just to several, but to all
citizens of the Philippines. Consequently, since the parties are so numerous, it, becomes impracticable,
if not totally impossible, to bring all of them before the court. The plaintiffs therein are numerous and
representative enough to ensure the full protection of all concerned interests. Hence, all the requisites
for the filing of a valid class suit under Section 12, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court are present
both in the said civil case and in the instant petition, the latter being but an incident to the former.
Petitioners minors assert that they represent their generation as well as generations yet unborn. Their
personality to sue in behalf of the succeeding generations can only be based on the concept of
intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is concerned.
Nature means the created world in its entirety. Every generation has a responsibility to the next to
preserve that rhythm and harmony for the full enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. The
minors' assertion of their right to a sound environment constitutes, at the same time, the performance of
their obligation to ensure the protection of that right for the generations to come.
The complaint focuses on one specific fundamental legal right the right to a balanced and healthful
ecology which, for the first time in our nation's constitutional history, is solemnly incorporated in the
fundamental law. Section 16, Article II of the 1987 Constitution.
While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under the Declaration of Principles
and State Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less important than any
of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. Such a right belongs to a different category of
rights altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-preservation and self-perpetuation aptly and
fittingly stressed by the petitioners the advancement of which may even be said to predate all
governments and constitutions. As a matter of fact, these basic rights need not even be written in the
Constitution for they are assumed to exist from the inception of humankind. If they are now explicitly
mentioned in the fundamental charter, it is because of the well-founded fear of its framers that unless
the rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and to health are mandated as state policies by the
Constitution itself, thereby highlighting their continuing importance and imposing upon the state a
solemn obligation to preserve the first and protect and advance the second, the day would not be too far
when all else would be lost not only for the present generation, but also for those to come generations
which stand to inherit nothing but parched earth incapable of sustaining life.
Conformably with the enunciated right to a balanced and healthful ecology and the right to health, as
well as the other related provisions of the Constitution concerning the conservation, development and
utilization of the country's natural resources, then President Corazon C. Aquino promulgated on 10
June 1987 E.O. No. 192, Section 4 of which expressly mandates that the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources "shall be the primary government agency responsible for the conservation,
management, development and proper use of the country's environment and natural resources,
specifically forest and grazing lands, mineral, resources, including those in reservation and watershed
areas, and lands of the public domain, as well as the licensing and regulation of all natural resources as
may be provided for by law in order to ensure equitable sharing of the benefits derived therefrom for
the welfare of the present and future generations of Filipinos." Section 3 thereof makes the following
statement of policy:
The above provision stresses "the necessity of maintaining a sound ecological balance and protecting
and enhancing the quality of the environment." Section 2 of the same Title, on the other hand,
specifically speaks of the mandate of the DENR; however, it makes particular reference to the fact of

the agency's being subject to law and higher authority.

It may, however, be recalled that even before the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, specific statutes
already paid special attention to the "environmental right" of the present and future generations. On 6
June 1977, P.D. No. 1151 and P.D. No. 1152 were issued. Thus, the right of the petitioners to a
balanced and healthful ecology is as clear as the DENR's duty under its mandate and by virtue of its
powers and functions under E.O. No. 192 and the Administrative Code of 1987 to protect and advance
the said right.
A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty or obligation to respect or
protect the same gives rise to a cause of action. Petitioners maintain that the granting of the TLAs,
which they claim was done with grave abuse of discretion, violated their right to a balanced and
healthful ecology; hence, the full protection thereof requires that no further TLAs should be renewed or
It is settled in this jurisdiction that in a motion to dismiss based on the ground that the complaint fails to
state a cause of action; the question submitted to the court for resolution involves the sufficiency of the
facts alleged in the complaint itself. No other matter should be considered; furthermore, the truth of
falsity of the said allegations is beside the point for the truth thereof is deemed hypothetically admitted.
Policy formulation or determination by the executive or legislative branches of Government is not
squarely put in issue. What is principally involved is the enforcement of a right vis-a-vis policies
already formulated and expressed in legislation. It must, nonetheless, be emphasized that the political
question doctrine is no longer, the insurmountable obstacle to the exercise of judicial power or the
impenetrable shield that protects executive and legislative actions from judicial inquiry or review.
In the second place, even if it is to be assumed that the same are contracts, the instant case does not
involve a law or even an executive issuance declaring the cancellation or modification of existing
timber licenses. Hence, the non-impairment clause cannot as yet be invoked. Nevertheless, granting
further that a law has actually been passed mandating cancellations or modifications, the same cannot
still be stigmatized as a violation of the non-impairment clause. This is because by its very nature and
purpose, such as law could have only been passed in the exercise of the police power of the state for the
purpose of advancing the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology, promoting their health
and enhancing the general welfare.
Finally, it is difficult to imagine, as the trial court did, how the non-impairment clause could apply with
respect to the prayer to enjoin the respondent Secretary from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing
or approving new timber licenses for, save in cases of renewal, no contract would have as of yet existed
in the other instances. Moreover, with respect to renewal, the holder is not entitled to it as a matter of
Petition is hereby GRANTED, and the challenged Order of respondent Judge of 18 July 1991
dismissing Civil Case No. 90-777 is hereby set aside. The petitioners may therefore amend their
complaint to implead as defendants the holders or grantees of the questioned timber license


G.R. No. 161872, April 13, 2004

FACTS: Petitioner Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for President. Respondent
COMELEC declared petitioner and 35 others as nuisance candidates who could not wage a nationwide
campaign and/or are not nominated by a political party or are not supported by a registered political
party with a national constituency.
Pamatong filed a Petition For Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court claiming that the COMELEC
violated his right to "equal access to opportunities for public service" under Section 26, Article II of the
1987 Constitution, by limiting the number of qualified candidates only to those who can afford to wage
a nationwide campaign and/or are nominated by political parties. The COMELEC supposedly erred in
disqualifying him since he is the most qualified among all the presidential candidates, i.e., he possesses
all the constitutional and legal qualifications for the office of the president, he is capable of waging a
national campaign since he has numerous national organizations under his leadership, he also has the
capacity to wage an international campaign since he has practiced law in other countries, and he has a
platform of government.
ISSUE: Is there a constitutional right to run for or hold public office?
RULING: No. What is recognized in Section 26, Article II of the Constitution is merely a privilege
subject to limitations imposed by law. It neither bestows such a right nor elevates the privilege to the
level of an enforceable right. There is nothing in the plain language of the provision which suggests
such a thrust or justifies an interpretation of the sort.
The "equal access" provision is a subsumed part of Article II of the Constitution, entitled "Declaration
of Principles and State Policies." The provisions under the Article are generally considered not selfexecuting, and there is no plausible reason for according a different treatment to the "equal access"
provision. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article II, the provision does not contain any
judicially enforceable constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for legislative or executive
action. The disregard of the provision does not give rise to any cause of action before the courts.
Obviously, the provision is not intended to compel the State to enact positive measures that would
accommodate as many people as possible into public office. Moreover, the provision as written leaves
much to be desired if it is to be regarded as the source of positive rights. It is difficult to interpret the
clause as operative in the absence of legislation since its effective means and reach are not properly
defined. Broadly written, the myriad of claims that can be subsumed under this rubric appear to be
entirely open-ended. Words and phrases such as "equal access," "opportunities," and "public service"
are susceptible to countless interpretations owing to their inherent impreciseness. Certainly, it was not
the intention of the framers to inflict on the people an operative but amorphous foundation from which
innately unenforceable rights may be sourced.
The privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office may be subjected to limitations. Some
valid limitations specifically on the privilege to seek elective office are found in the provisions of the
Omnibus Election Code on "Nuisance Candidates. As long as the limitations apply to everybody
equally without discrimination, however, the equal access clause is not violated. Equality is not
sacrificed as long as the burdens engendered by the limitations are meant to be borne by any one who is
minded to file a certificate of candidacy. In the case at bar, there is no showing that any person is
exempt from the limitations or the burdens which they create.

The rationale behind the prohibition against nuisance candidates and the disqualification of candidates
who have not evinced a bona fide intention to run for office is easy to divine. The State has a
compelling interest to ensure that its electoral exercises are rational, objective, and orderly. Towards
this end, the State takes into account the practical considerations in conducting elections. Inevitably, the
greater the number of candidates, the greater the opportunities for logistical confusion, not to mention
the increased allocation of time and resources in preparation for the election. The organization of an
election with bona fide candidates standing is onerous enough. To add into the mix candidates with no
serious intentions or capabilities to run a viable campaign would actually impair the electoral process.
This is not to mention the candidacies which are palpably ridiculous so as to constitute a one-note joke.
The poll body would be bogged by irrelevant minutiae covering every step of the electoral process,
most probably posed at the instance of these nuisance candidates. It would be a senseless sacrifice on
the part of the State.
The question of whether a candidate is a nuisance candidate or not is both legal and factual. The basis
of the factual determination is not before this Court. Thus, the remand of this case for the reception of
further evidence is in order. The SC remanded to the COMELEC for the reception of further evidence,
to determine the question on whether petitioner Elly Velez Lao Pamatong is a nuisance candidate as
contemplated in Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Obiter Dictum: One of Pamatong's contentions was that he was an international lawyer and is thus
more qualified compared to the likes of Erap, who was only a high school dropout. Under the
Constitution (Article VII, Section 2), the only requirements are the following: (1) natural-born citizen
of the Philippines; (2) registered voter; (3) able to read and write; (4) at least forty years of age on the
day of the election; and (5) resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such
At any rate, Pamatong was eventually declared a nuisance candidate and was disqualified.

[ G.R. No. 179918, September 08, 2010 ]

This case is about a question of jurisdiction over an action against a petroleum contractor, whose
pipeline operation has allegedly driven the fish away from coastal areas, inflicting loss of earnings
among fishermen.
The Facts and the Case
On December 11, 1990 petitioner Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (Shell) and the Republic of the
Philippines entered into Service Contract 38 for the exploration and extraction of petroleum in
northwestern Palawan. Two years later, Shell discovered natural gas in the Camago-Malampaya area
and pursued its development of the well under the Malampaya Natural Gas Project. This entailed the

construction and installation of a pipeline from Shell's production platform to its gas processing plant in
Batangas. The pipeline spanned 504 kilometers and crossed the Oriental Mindoro Sea.
On May 19, 2003, respondents Efren Jalos, Joven Campang, Arnaldo Mijares, and 75 other individuals
(Jalos, et al) filed a complaint for damages [1] against Shell before the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
Branch 41, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro. Jalos, et al claimed that they were all subsistence
fishermen from the coastal barangay of Bansud, Oriental Mindoro whose livelihood was adversely
affected by the construction and operation of Shell's natural gas pipeline.
Jalos, et al claimed that their fish catch became few after the construction of the pipeline. As a result,
their average net income per month fell from a high of P4,848.00 to only P573.00. They said that "the
pipeline greatly affected biogenically hard-structured communities such as coral reefs and led [to]
stress to the marine life in the Mindoro Sea." They now have to stay longer and farther out at sea to
catch fish, as the pipeline's operation has driven the fish population out of coastal waters.[2]
Instead of filing an answer, Shell moved for dismissal of the complaint. It alleged that the trial court
had no jurisdiction over the action, as it is a "pollution case" under Republic Act (R.A.) 3931, as
amended by Presidential Decree (P.D.) 984 or the Pollution Control Law. Under these statutes, the
Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) has primary jurisdiction over pollution cases and actions for
related damages.[3]
Shell also claimed that it could not be sued pursuant to the doctrine of state immunity without the
State's consent. Shell said that under Service Contract 38, it served merely as an agent of the
Philippine government in the development of the Malampaya gas reserves.
Moreover, said Shell, the complaint failed to state a cause of action since it did not specify any
actionable wrong or particular act or omission on Shell's part that could have caused the alleged injury
to Jalos, et al. The complaint likewise failed to comply with requirements of a valid class suit,
verification and certification against forum shopping, and the requisites for a suit brought by pauper
On March 24, 2004 the RTC dismissed the complaint. It ruled that the action was actually pollutionrelated, although denominated as one for damages. The complaint should thus be brought first before
the PAB, the government agency vested with jurisdiction over pollution-related cases.[5]
Jalos, et al assailed the RTC's order through a petition for certiorari[6] before the Court of Appeals
(CA). In due course, the latter court reversed such order and upheld the jurisdiction of the RTC over
the action. It said that Shell was not being sued for committing pollution, but for constructing and
operating a natural gas pipeline that caused fish decline and considerable reduction in the fishermen's
income. The claim for damages was thus based on a quasi-delict over which the regular courts have
The CA also rejected Shell's assertion that the suit was actually against the State. It observed that the
government was not even impleaded as party defendant. It gave short shrift to Shell's insistence that,
under the service contract, the government was solidarily liable with Shell for damages caused to third
persons. Besides, the State should be deemed to have given its consent to be sued when it entered into
the contract with Shell.
The CA also held that the complaint sufficiently alleged an actionable wrong. Jalos, et alinvoked their

right to fish the sea and earn a living, which Shell had the correlative obligation to respect. Failure to
observe such obligation resulted in a violation of the fishermen's rights and thus gave rise to a cause of
action for damages.[7]
Finally, the CA held that Jalos, et al substantially complied with the technical requirements for filing
the action. But since they failed to prove the requisites of a class suit, only those who have verified the
complaint should be deemed party plaintiffs.[8]
Shell moved for reconsideration of the CA's decision but the same was denied. [9] Hence, it filed this
petition for review under Rule 45.
The Issues Presented
The case presents the following issues:
Whether or not the complaint is a pollution case that falls within the primary jurisdiction of the PAB;
Whether or not the complaint sufficiently alleges a cause of action against Shell; and
Whether or not the suit is actually against the State and is barred under the doctrine of state immunity.
The Court's Rulings
First. Although the complaint of Jalos, et al does not use the word "pollution" in describing the cause
of the alleged fish decline in the Mindoro Sea, it is unmistakable based on their allegations that Shell's
pipeline produced some kind of poison or emission that drove the fish away from the coastal areas.
While the complaint did not specifically attribute to Shell any specific act of "pollution," it alleged that
"the pipeline greatly affected biogenically hard-structured communities such as coral reefs and led [to]
stress to the marine life in the Mindoro Sea."[10] This constitutes "pollution" as defined by law.
Section 2(a) of P.D. 984 defines "pollution" as "any alteration of the physical, chemical and biological
properties of any water x x x as will or is likely to create or render such water x x x harmful,
detrimental or injurious to public health, safety or welfare or which will adversely affect their
utilization for domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational or other legitimate purposes."
It is clear from this definition that the stress to marine life claimed by Jalos, et al is caused by some
kind of pollution emanating from Shell's natural gas pipeline. The pipeline, they said, "greatly
affected" or altered the natural habitat of fish and affected the coastal waters' natural function as fishing
grounds. Inevitably, in resolving Jalos, et al's claim for damages, the proper tribunal must determine
whether or not the operation of the pipeline adversely altered the coastal waters' properties and
negatively affected its life sustaining function. The power and expertise needed to determine such
issue lies with the PAB.
Executive Order 192 (1987) transferred to the PAB the powers and functions of the National Pollution
and Control Commission provided in R.A. 3931, as amended by P.D. 984. [11] These empowered the
PAB to "[d]etermine the location, magnitude, extent, severity, causes and effects" of water pollution.[12]
Among its functions is to "[s]erve as arbitrator for the determination of reparation, or restitution of the
damages and losses resulting from pollution." In this regard, the PAB has the power to conduct
hearings,[13] impose penalties for violation of P.D. 984,[14] and issue writs of execution to enforce its
orders and decisions.[15] The PAB's final decisions may be reviewed by the CA under Rule 43 of the
Rules of Court.[16]
Jalos, et al had, therefore, an administrative recourse before filing their complaint with the regular

courts.[17] The laws creating the PAB and vesting it with powers are wise. The definition of the term
"pollution" itself connotes the need for specialized knowledge and skills, technical and scientific, in
determining the presence, the cause, and the effects of pollution. These knowledge and skills are not
within the competence of ordinary courts.[18] Consequently, resort must first be made to the PAB,
which is the agency possessed of expertise in determining pollution-related matters.
To this extent, the failure of Jalos, et al to allege in their complaint that they had first taken resort to
PAB before going to court means that they failed to state a cause of action that the RTC could act on.
This warranted the dismissal of their action.[19]
Second. Still, Shell points out that the complaint also states no cause of action because it failed to
specify any actionable wrong or particular act or omission on Shell's part. The Court cannot agree.
As mentioned above, the complaint said that the natural gas pipeline's construction and operation
"greatly affected" the marine environment, drove away the fish, and resulted in reduced income for
Jalos, et al. True, the complaint did not contain some scientific explanation regarding how the
construction and operation of the pipeline disturbed the waters and drove away the fish from their usual
habitat as the fishermen claimed. But lack of particulars is not a ground for dismissing the complaint.
A cause of action is the wrongful act or omission committed by the defendant in violation of the
primary rights of the plaintiff.[20] Its elements consist of: (1) a right existing in favor of the plaintiff,
(2)a duty on the part of the defendant to respect the plaintiff's right, and (3) an act or omission of the
defendant in violation of such right.[21] To sustain a motion to dismiss for lack of cause of action,
however, the complaint must show that the claim for relief does not exist and not only that the claim
was defectively stated or is ambiguous, indefinite or uncertain.[22]
Here, all the elements of a cause of action are present. First, Jalos, et al undoubtedly had the right to
the preferential use of marine and fishing resources which is guaranteed by no less than the
Constitution.[23] Second, Shell had the correlative duty to refrain from acts or omissions that could
impair Jalos, et al's use and enjoyment of the bounties of the seas. Lastly, Shell's construction and
operation of the pipeline, which is an act of physical intrusion into the marine environment, is said to
have disrupted and impaired the natural habitat of fish and resulted in considerable reduction of fish
catch and income for Jalos, et al.
Thus, the construction and operation of the pipeline may, in itself, be a wrongful act that could be the
basis of Jalos, et al's cause of action. The rules do not require that the complaint establish in detail the
causal link between the construction and operation of the pipeline, on the one hand, and the fish decline
and loss of income, on the other hand, it being sufficient that the complaint states the ultimate facts on
which it bases its claim for relief. The test for determining the sufficiency of a cause of action rests on
whether the complaint alleges facts which, if true, would justify the relief demanded. [24] In this case, a
valid judgment for damages can be made in favor of Jalos, et al, if the construction and operation of the
pipeline indeed caused fish decline and eventually led to the fishermen's loss of income, as alleged in
the complaint.
Third. Shell claims that it cannot be sued without the State's consent under the doctrine of state
immunity from suit. But, to begin with, Shell is not an agent of the Republic of the Philippines. It is
but a service contractor for the exploration and development of one of the country's natural gas
reserves. While the Republic appointed Shell as the exclusive party to conduct petroleum operations in
the Camago-Malampayo area under the State's full control and supervision, [25] it does not follow that

Shell has become the State's "agent" within the meaning of the law.
An agent is a person who binds himself to render some service or to do something in representation or
on behalf of another, with the consent or authority of the latter.[26] The essence of an agency is the
agent's ability to represent his principal and bring about business relations between the latter and third
persons.[27] An agent's ultimate undertaking is to execute juridical acts that would create, modify or
extinguish relations between his principal and third persons. [28] It is this power to affect the principal's
contractual relations with third persons that differentiates the agent from a service contractor.
Shell's main undertaking under Service Contract 38 is to "[p]erform all petroleum operations and
provide all necessary technology and finance" as well as other connected services[29] to the Philippine
government. As defined under the contract, petroleum operation means the "searching for and
obtaining Petroleum within the Philippines", including the "transportation, storage, handling and sale"
of petroleum whether for export or domestic consumption. [30] Shell's primary obligation under the
contract is not to represent the Philippine government for the purpose of transacting business with third
persons. Rather, its contractual commitment is to develop and manage petroleum operations on behalf
of the State.
Consequently, Shell is not an agent of the Philippine government, but a provider of services,
technology and financing[31] for the Malampaya Natural Gas Project. It is not immune from suit and
may be sued for claims even without the State's consent. Notably, the Philippine government itself
recognized that Shell could be sued in relation to the project. This is evident in the stipulations agreed
upon by the parties under Service Contract 38.
Article II, paragraph 8, Annex "B" of Service Contract 38[32] states that legal expenses, including
"judgments obtained against the Parties or any of them on account of the Petroleum Operations", can
be recovered by Shell as part of operating expenses to be deducted from gross proceeds. Article II,
paragraph 9B of the same document allows a similar recovery for "[a]ll actual expenditures incurred
and paid by CONTRACTOR [Shell] in settlement of any and all losses, claims, damages, judgments,
and any other expenses not covered by insurance, including legal services." This signifies that the State
itself acknowledged the suability of Shell. Since payment of claims and damages pursuant to a
judgment against Shell can be deducted from gross proceeds, the State will not be required to perform
any additional affirmative act to satisfy such a judgment.
In sum, while the complaint in this case sufficiently alleges a cause of action, the same must be filed
with the PAB, which is the government agency tasked to adjudicate pollution-related cases. Shell is not
an agent of the State and may thus be sued before that body for any damages caused by its operations.
The parties may appeal the PAB's decision to the CA. But pending prior determination by the PAB,
courts cannot take cognizance of the complaint.
WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition and REVERSES the decision of the Court of Appeals
in CA-G.R. CV 82404 dated November 20, 2006. Respondent Efren Jalos, et al's complaint for
damages against Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. in Civil Case P-1818-03 of the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 41, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro is ordered DISMISSED without prejudice to its
refiling with the Pollution Adjudication Board or PAB.
Carpio, Peralta, Del Castillo,* and Mendoza, JJ., concur.


FACTS: Civil case was filed against Enrile in the Sandiganbayan for alleged illegal activities made by
Enrile during the Marcos era. Enrirle filed a motion to dismiss and compulsory counter-claim. In the
counter-claim Enrile moved to implead Chavez and other PCGG officials on the basis that the case
field agaisnt him was a harassment suit. The motion to implead Chavez and others was granted by
the Sandiganbayan.
Chavez and the PCGG officials raised the defense that they are immune from suit by virtue of
Sec. 4 of Executive Order NO. 1. It was found in the records of the PCGG, declared by Jovito Salonga,
the there are no proof linking Enrile with the illegal activities performed by Marcos. It was further
averred that the case filed against Enrile was instigated by Sol. Gen. Chavez.
Sol. Gen. Chavez defended himself by saying that he was acting as a counsel and cannot by
made a defendant in a counter-claim.
ISSUE: Whether or not Sol. Gen. Chavez can be made liable for damages in filing the suit against
HELD: The court held that the grounds for allowing the compulsory counter-claim of Enrile was based
on the malice or bad faith of Chavez in filing the suit.
It was further stated by the court that immunity from suit is granted only because of the fact that
the Commission has a multitude of task. Immunity for suit on members of the PCGG and other public
officers is available only if such officers are acting in good faith and in the performance of their duty.
If the acts done are tainted with bad faith or in excess of authority they can be held liable personally for
In the case at bar the Sol. Gen. exceeded his authority and his act is tainted with bad faith by
filing baseless suit against Enrile. His office does not give him the license to prosecute recklessly to the
injury of another. Thus he is made liable fro his actions in the opinion of the court.

[ G.R. No. L-30098, February 18, 1970 ]


Commissioner of Public Highways vs San Diego
31 SCRA 616
FACTS: Before WWII, the Philippine Government filed an action for the expropriation of a parcel of
land owned by Hashim for the construction of a public road. Government took possession over the
property after the deposit of the amount of 23, 413.64. Records of the case were destroyed during the
WWII. After the war, Hashim filed an action for money claims before the CFI against Bureau of Public

The parties entered into a compromise agreement wherein the Bureau shall pay almost half of the
amount claimed. The bureau failed to pay so Hashim filed a motion for the issuance of a writ of
execution. Respondent judge granted the motion. The sheriff served the writ with a Notice of
Garnishment to PNB against the Bureaus funds. Hashim further filed a motion for issuance of an
order ordering the release of the amount. It was granted. PNB released the amount. Petitioner filed this
petition for certiorari with mandatory injunction to reimburse the amount released.
1. Whether or not the State may invoke its immunity from suit
2. Whether or not the State may impugn the validity of the compromise agreement
3. Whether or not the orders were valid
RULING: In expropriation proceedings, the State submits to the courts jurisdiction and asks the
court to affirm its right to take the property sought to be expropriated. State immunity does not apply.
Only the principal can question the authority of the counsel to enter into a compromise agreement. The
state cannot raise it.
The assailed orders are void. Government funds are not subject to garnishment.

LANSANG VS. CA G.R. NO. 102667, FEBRUARY 23, 2000

FACTS: Private respondents General Assembly of the Blind, Inc. (GABI) and Jose Iglesias were
allegedly awarded a verbal contract of lease in 1970 to occupy a portion of Rizal Park by the National
ParksDevelopment Committee (NPDC), a government initiated civic body engaged in the development
of national parks. Private respondents were allegedly given office and library space as well as kiosks
area selling food and drinks. Private respondent GABI was to remit to NPDC 40% of the profits
derived from operating the kiosks. After the EDSA Revolution, petitioner Lansang, the new Chairman
of the NPDC, sought to clean up Rizal Park. Petitioner terminated the so-called verbal agreement with
GABI and demanded that the latter vacate the premises and the kiosks it ran privately within the public
park. On the day of the supposed eviction, GABI filed an action for damages and injunction against
ISSUE: Whether or not the complaint filed against the petitioner is in reality a complaint against the
State, which could not prosper without the States consent
HELD: The doctrine of state immunity from suit applies to complaints filed against public officials for
acts done in the performance of their duties. The rule is that the suit must be regarded as one against the
state where satisfaction of the judgment against the public official concerned will require the state itself
to perform a positive act, such as appropriation of the amount necessary to pay the damages awarded
to the plaintiff.
The rule does not apply where the public official is charged in his official capacity for acts that are
unlawful and injurious to the rights of others. Public officials are not exempt, in their personal capacity,
from liability arising from acts committed in bad faith. Neither does itsapply where the public official
is clearly being sued not in his official capacity but in his personal capacity, although the acts
complained of may have been committed while he occupied a public position.
In the case, the petitioner is being sued not in his capacity as NPDC chairman but in his personal
capacity. It is also evident the petitioner is sued allegedly for having personal motives in ordering the

ejectment of GABI from Rizal Park.

The important question to consider is whether or not petitioner abused his authority in ordering the
ejectment of GABI.
The Court found no evidence of such abuse of authority. Rizal Park is beyond the commerce of man
and, thus, could not be the subject oflease contract. That private respondents were allowed to occupy
office and kiosk spaces in the park was only a matter of accommodation by the previous administrator.
This being so, petitioner may validly discontinue the accommodation extended to private respondents,
who may be ejected from the park when necessary. Private respondents cannot and do not claim a
vested right to continue to occupy Rizal Park.


The antecedent facts of this case emerged upon the passing of Republic Act 3046 in 1961. The laws
purpose is
to demarcate the maritime baselines of the Philippines as it was deemed to be an archipelago. RA 3046 stoodunchallenged
until 2009, when Congress amended it and passed RA 9522. This amending law shortened onebaseline and determined
new base points of the archipelago. Moreso, it has identified the Kalayaan IslandGroup and the Scarborough Shoal, as
"regimes of islands", generating their own maritime zones.The petitioners filed a case assailing the constitutionality of RA
9522. To their opinion, the law has effectivelyreduced the maritime territory of the country. With this, Article I of the 1987
Constitution will be violated. Thepetitioners also worried that that because of the suggested changes in the maritime
baselines will allow for
foreign aircrafts and vessels to traverse the Philippine territory freely. In effect, it steps on the states
sovereignty and national security.Meanwhile, the Congress insisted that in no way will the amendments affect any
pertinent power of the state. Italso deferred to agree that the law impliedly relinquishes the Philippines claims over Sabah.
Lastly, they havequestioned the normative force of the notion that all the waters within the rectangular boundaries in the
Treatyof Paris. Now, because this treaty still has undetermined controversies, the Congress believes that in theperspective
of international law, it did not see any binding obligation to honor it. Thus, this case of prayer forwrits of certiorari and
prohibition is filed before the court, assailing the constitutionality of RA 9522.
The Court dismissed the case. It upheld the constitutionality of the law and made it clear that it has merely
demarcated the countrys maritime zones and continental shelves in accordance to UNCLOS III.
Secondly, the
Court found that the framework of the regime of islands suggested by the law is not incongruent with the
Philippines enjoyment of terri
torial sovereignty over the areas of Kalayaan Group of Islands and theScarborough. Third, the court reiterated that the
claims over Sabah remained even with the adoption of theamendments.Further, the Court importantly stressed that the
baseline laws are mere mechanisms for the UNCLOS III toprecisely describe the delimitations. It serves as a notice to the
international family of states and it is in no wayaffecting or producing any effect like enlargement or diminution of
territories.With regard to th
e petitioners assertion that RA 9522 has converted the internal waters into archipelagic

waters, the Court did not appear to be persuaded. Instead, the Court suggested that the political branches of Government
can pass domestic laws that will aid in the competent security measures and policies that willregulate innocent passage.
Since the Court emphasized innocent passage as a right based on customary law, italso believes that no state can validly
invoke sovereignty to deny a right acknowledged by modern states.In the case of archipelagic states such as ours,
UNCLOS III required the imposition of innocent passage as aconcession in lieu of their right to claim the entire waters
landward baseline. It also made it possible forarchipelagic states to be recognized as a cohesive entity under the UNCLOS

Ruling in the case of MAGALONA VS. ERMITA

Ruling in the case of MAGALONA VS. ERMITA
1. UNCLOS III has nothing to do with the acquisition (or loss) of territory. It is a multilateral
treaty regulating, among others, sea-use rights over maritime zones, and continental shelves
that UNCLOS III delimits.UNCLOS III was the culmination of decades-long negotiations
among United Nations members to codify norms regulating the conduct of States in the
worlds oceans and submarine areas, recognizing coastal and archipelagic States graduated
authority over a limited span of waters and submarine lands along their coasts.
On the other hand, baselines laws such as RA 9522 are enacted by UNCLOS III States parties
to mark-out specific basepoints along their coasts from which baselines are drawn, either
straight or contoured, to serve as geographic starting points to measure the breadth of the
maritime zones and continental shelf
2. No. Nevertheless, R.A. 9522 weakens our otherwise strongterritorial claim over the KIG,
when it classified it under the regimeof islands. This constitutes a grave abuse of discretion
amounting toan excess or lack of jurisdiction on the part of the Legislative andExecutive
Worse, R.A. 9522 altogether abandons our territorialclaim over Sabah, which is based on
strong historical grounds. Thisfurther constitutes a grave abuse on the part of the Legislative
andExecutive Departments
3. petitioners argument for the invalidity of RA 9522 for its failure to textualize the Philippines
claim over Sabah in North Borneo is also untenable. Section 2 of RA 5446, which RA 9522 did
not repeal, keeps open the door for drawing the baselines of Sabah:
Section 2. The definition of the baselines of the territorial sea of the Philippine Archipelago
as provided in this Act is without prejudice to the delineation of the baselines of the
territorial sea around the territory of Sabah, situated in North Borneo, over which the
Republic of the Philippines has acquired dominion and sovereignty. (Emphasis supplied)
4. Whether referred to as Philippine internal waters under Article I of the Constitution 39 or as archipelagic
waters under UNCLOS III (Article 49 [1]), the Philippines exercises sovereignty over the body of water lying
landward of the baselines, including the air space over it and the submarine areas underneath. UNCLOS III
affirms this:
Article 49. Legal status of archipelagic waters, of the air space over archipelagic waters and of their
bed and subsoil.

1. The sovereignty of an archipelagic State extends to the waters enclosed by the archipelagic
baselines drawn in accordance with article 47, described as archipelagic waters, regardless of their depth or
distance from the coast.
2. This sovereignty extends to the air space over the archipelagic waters, as well as to their bed and
subsoil, and the resources contained therein.
4. The regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage established in this Part shall not in other respects
affect the status of the archipelagic waters, including the sea lanes, or the exercise by the
archipelagic State of its sovereignty over such waters and their air space, bed and subsoil, and
the resources contained therein. (Emphasis supplied)
The fact of sovereignty, however, does not preclude the operation of municipal and international law norms
subjecting the territorial sea or archipelagic waters to necessary, if not marginal, burdens in the interest of
maintaining unimpeded, expeditious international navigation, consistent with the international law principle of
freedom of navigation. Thus, domestically, the political branches of the Philippine government, in the competent
discharge of their constitutional powers, may pass legislation designating routes within the archipelagic waters to
regulate innocent and sea lanes passage