Merjoff v Director of Prisons

G.R. No. L-4254; September 26, 1951
Ponente: Tuason, J.

The petitioner, Boris Mejoff, is a Russian who was brought in the Philippines from Shanghai as a
secret operative by the Japanese forces during the latter’s regime in these Islands. Upon liberation
he was arrested as a Japanese spy, by U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps. Later he was handed
to Commonwealth Government for disposition in accordance with Commonwealth Act. No. 682.
The People’s Court ordered his release but the deportation board take his case and found out that
he doesn’t have travel documents. They referred the case to the immigration authorities and the
investigation declared that Merjoff entered the Philippines illegally in 1944 without inspection and
admission in the immigration officials.
Further, by its Constitution (Art. II, Sec. 3) the Philippines "adopts the generally accepted
principles of international law as part of the law of Nation." And in a resolution entitled "Universal
Declaration of Human Rights", specifically Articles 1, 2, 8 and 9. After two years the petitioner is
not yet deported. Merjoff petitions for a writ of habeas corpus, but the Director of Prisons said that
Merjoff should stay in temporary detention as a necessary step in the process of exclusion or
expulsion of undesirable length of time.

Whether or not Merjoff should be released from prison awaiting his deportation.

Yes. In adherence with the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, the Court found it
necessary to grant the petitioner’s request. The Court held that the writ will be issued commanding
the respondents to release the petitioner from custody but he the petitioner should be placed under
surveillance of the immigration authorities or their agents to keep him in peace and available when
the Government is ready to deport him.

Kuroda v. Jalandoni
83 Phil. 171; 1949

Executive Order No. 68, an act establishing a national war crimes office and prescribing rules
and regulation governing the trial of accused war criminals. Shigenori Kuroda, formerly a
Lieutant –General of the Japanese Imperial Army and Commanding General of the Japanese
Imperial Forces in the Philippines during a period covering by the Chief of Staff of the Armed
forces of the Philippines with having unlawfully disregarded and failed “to discharge his duties
as such command, permitted them to commit brutal atrocities and other high crimes against
noncombatant civilians and prisoners of the Imperial Japanese Forces in violation of the laws
and customs of war” – Melville Hussey and Robert Port, American Lawyers, were appointed
prosecutors in behalf of USA .

Kuroda argues that: 1) The Executive Order No. 68 is illegal on the ground that it violates not
only the provisions of our constitutional law but also our local laws; 2) The participation of the
prosecution of the case against petitioner with attorneys Melvill Hussey and Rober Port is
violation of our Constitution for the reason that they are not qualified to practice law in the
Philippines and are not authorized by the Supreme Court. 3) The appointment of said attorneys
as prosecutors is a violative of our national sovereignty. And 4)That Attorneys Hussey and Port
have no personality as prosecutors, the United States not being a party in interest in the case.


1) Whether or not Executive No. 68 is valid and constitutional
2) Whether or not rules and regulations of the Hague and Geneva Conventions form part of the
law of the nation even if Philippines was not a signatory to the conventions embodying
3) Whether or not the American lawyers could participate in the prosecution of this case.


The Court ruled in accordance with the generally accepted principle of international law of the
present day including the Hague Convention the Geneva Convention and significant precedents
of international jurisprudent established by the United Nation, all those person military of
civilian who have been guilty of planning preparing or waging war of aggression and of the
commission the laws and customs of war, of humanity and civilization are held accountable

Consequently, in the promulgation and enforcement of Executive Order No. 68, the President of
the Philippines has acted in conformity with the generally accepted and policies of international
law which are part of our constitution. The Hague and Geneva conventions, United States and
Japan as signatories, form part of and are wholly based on the generally accepted principals of
international law even if the Philippines was not a signatory to the conventions embodying
them, for our Constitution has been deliberately general and extensive in its scope and is not
confined to the recognition of rules and principles of international law as contained in treaties to
which our government may have been or shall be signatory.

Additionally, when the crimes charged against petitioner were allegedly committed, the
Philippines was under the sovereignty of United States and thus we were equally bound
together with the United States and with Japan to the right and obligation contained in the
treaties between the belligerent countries.
There is nothing in said executive order which requires that counsel appearing before said
commission must be attorneys qualified to practice law in the Philippines in accordance with
the Rules of Court. Respondent Military Commission is a special military tribunal governed by
a special law and not by the Rules of Court which govern ordinary civil court. Secondly, the
appointment of the two American Attorneys is not violative of our Nation Sovereignty. It is
only fair and proper that United States be allowed representation in the trial of those very

Agustin v Edu
G.R. No. L-49112; February 2, 1979


Agustin, the petitioner, is the owner of a Volkswagen Beetle Car, Model 13035, already properly
equipped when it came out from the assembly lines with blinking lights fore and aft, which could
very well serve as an early warning device in case of the emergencies mentioned in Letter of
Instructions No. 229, as amended, as well as the implementing rules and regulations in
Administrative Order No. 1 issued by the land transportation Commission,"

The petitioner contends that said Letter of Instruction No. 229, as amended, "clearly violates the
provisions and delegation of police power. That they are "oppressive, unreasonable, arbitrary,
confiscatory, nay unconstitutional and contrary to the precepts of our compassionate New
Society.” He further contended that they are "infected with arbitrariness because it is harsh, cruel
and unconscionable to the motoring public;" are "one-sided, onerous and patently illegal and
immoral because [they] will make manufacturers and dealers instant millionaires at the expense
of car owners who are compelled to buy a set of the so-called early warning device at the rate of
P 56.00 to P72.00 per set." are unlawful and unconstitutional and contrary to the precepts of a
compassionate New Society [as being] compulsory and confiscatory on the part of the motorists
who could very well provide a practical alternative road safety device, or a better substitute to
the specified set of EWD's."

The petitioner prayed for a judgment both the assailed Letters of Instructions and Memorandum
Circular void and unconstitutional and for a restraining order in the meanwhile.

Whether or not the Letter of Instruction No. 229, as amended is unconstitutional.


No, the court said that the constitutional provision possessed relevance. The conclusion reached
by the Court that this petition must be dismissed is reinforced by this consideration. The petition
itself quoted these two whereas clauses of the assailed Letter of Instruction: "[Whereas], the
hazards posed by such obstructions to traffic have been recognized by international bodies
concerned with traffic safety, the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals and the
United Nations Organization (U.N.); Whereas, the said Vienna Convention, which was ratified
by the Philippine Government under P.D. No. 207, recommended the enactment of local
legislation for the installation of road safety signs and devices;"

It cannot be disputed then that this Declaration of Principle found in the Constitution possesses
relevance: "The Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part
of the law of the land” The 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals is impressed
with such a character. It is not for this country to repudiate a commitment to which it had
pledged its word. The concept of Pacta sunt servanda stands in the way of such an attitude,
which is, moreover, at war with the principle of international morality.
J.B.L. Reyes v. Bagatsing
G.R. No. 65366; Oct. 25, 1983
In behalf of Anti-Bases Coalition (ABC), retired Justice J. B. L. Reyes seeks for a petition for
mandamus with alternative prayer for writ of preliminary mandatory injunction since October
20, 1983, no action had been taken as yet by respondent Mayor Ramon Bagatsing of the City of
Manila on the request of such organization to hold a rally. The permit sought was "for the use of
the empty field in front of the Luneta Grandstand and Roxas Boulevard in front of the United
States Embassy on October 26, 1983, from 2:00-5:00 in the afternoon. It is sponsoring an
International Conference for General Disarmament, World Peace and the Removal of All
Foreign Military Bases. It proposes a March for Philippine Sovereignty and Independence,
participated in by foreign and Philippine delegates.
The respondents denied the permit being sought by the said organization, for the reason that he
stated "in receipt of police intelligence reports which strongly militate against the advisability of
issuing such permit at this time and at the place applied for." It was suggested, however, in
accordance with the recommendation of the police authorities that "a permit may be issued for
the rally if it is to be held at the Rizal Coliseum or any other enclosed area where the safety of
the participants themselves and the general public may be ensured." The respondent invokes
Ordinance No. 7295 of the City of Manila prohibiting the holding or staging of rallies or
demonstration within a radius of five hundred (500) feet from any foreign mission or chancery;
and for other purposes. Such an ordinance finds justification in Art. 22 of the Vienna Convention
on Diplomatic Relations adopted in Vienna in 1961. It was concurred in by the then Philippine
Senate on May 3, 1965 and the instrument of ratification signed by the President on October 11,
1965 and thereafter deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations on November 15.
As of that date then, it was binding on the Philippines.
Whether or not the Anti-Bases Coalition should be allowed to hold a peaceful protest rally in
front of the US Embassy.
The Philippines is a signatory to the Vienna Convention which calls for the protection of the
premises of a diplomatic mission. But, the denial of permit to rally in front of the US Embassy is
only justified in the presence of clear and present danger to life or property of the embassy.
To the extent that the Vienna Convention is a restatement of the generally accepted principles of
international law, it should be part of the law of the land. That being the case, if there were a
clear and present danger of any intrusion or damage or disturbance of peace of the mission or
impairment of its dignity, there would be a justification for the denial of the permit insofar as the
terminal point would be the US Embassy, but there was not any.
The mandatory injunction prayed for is granted. This resolution is without prejudice to a more
extended opinion.
Ichong v. Hernandez
G. R. No. L-7995; May 31, 1957


Petitioners, for and in his own behalf and own behalf of other alien residents, corporations and
partnerships adversely affected by the provision brought this action to obtain a judicial
declaration that said act is unconstitutional, violating the spirit of Sections 1 and 5 of Article XIII
and Section 8 of Article XIV of the Constitution.

R.A. 1180, entitled “An Act to Regulate the Retail Business”, was enacted by the Congress of
the Philippines prohibiting aliens, not citizen of the Philippines, from engaging directly or
indirectly in the retail trade in our country.


Whether or not the Congress violated the Constitution


The petition was denied by the court, providing that the disputed law was enacted to remedy a
real actual threat and danger to national economy posed by alien dominance and control of the
retail business and free citizens and country from dominance and control; that the enactment
clearly falls within the scope of the police power of the State, thru which and by which it protects
its own personality and insures its security and future; that the law does not violate the equal
protection clause of the Constitution because sufficient grounds exist for the distinction between
alien and citizen in the exercise of the occupation regulated, nor the due process of law clause,
because the law is prospective in operation and recognizes the privilege of aliens already
engaged in the occupation and reasonably protects their privilege.

IBP v. Hon. Ronaldo B. Zamora
G.R. No. 141284; August 15, 2000


The petitioner in this case, IBP, prays for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and to
nullify the President’s order of deploying the Marines to help the PNP. The IBP argue that the
deployment is null and void because it’s unconstitutional because there is no Emergency
Situation, in derogation of Art 2, Sec. 3 of the Constitution, the deployment is an insidious
incursion by the military into a civilian function of government, in derogation of Art 16, Sec.
5 of the Constitution and the deployment creates a dangerous tendency to rely on the military
for civilian government functions IBP says that it has standing because it is the official
organization of Filipino lawyers tasked with the bounden duty to uphold the rule of law and the


Whether or not the calling of AFP to assist the PNP in joint visibility patrols violate the
constitutional provisions on civilian supremacy over the military.


The deployment of the Marines does not constitute a breach of the civilian supremacy clause.
The calling of the Marines in this case constitutes permissible use of military assets for civilian
law enforcement. The participation of the Marines in the conduct of joint visibility patrols is
appropriately circumscribed. It is their responsibility to direct and manage the deployment of the
Marines. It is, likewise, their duty to provide the necessary equipment to the Marines and render
logistical support to these soldiers. In view of the foregoing, it cannot be properly argued that
military authority is supreme over civilian authority.

Moreover, the deployment of the Marines to assist the PNP does not unmake the civilian character
of the police force. Neither does it amount to an “insidious incursion” of the military in the task
of law enforcement in violation of Section 5(4), Article XVI of the Constitution.
People v. Lagman
G.R. No. 45892; 13 July 1938


This case at bar involves the case of People v. De Sosa (No. 45893, 13 July 1938).Both of
the respondents violated Sec. 60 of Commonwealth Act No. 1 (or the National Defense LawThe
respondents were 20 years old during the year of 1936 and they willfully and unlawfully refused
to render military service between the 1
and 7
of April 1936, notwithstanding that they were
required and duly notified by corresponding authorities to appear before the Acceptance Board to
register. They did not register up to the date of filing their information. Lagman argued that he has
a father to support; has no military leaning; and does not want to kill and wish to be killed. De
Sosa also argued that he is fatherless and has a mother and an 8-year old brother to support.

The Court of First Instance of Bataan ordered imprisonment for the both of them for 1 month and
1 day, with costs.


Whether or not the National Defense Law is unconstitutional for violating Article II of the 1935


The court ruled that, the National Defense Law is not a violation of Article II, and is in fact in
faithful compliance. The duty of the government to defend the State can’t be performed except
through an army. As regards the claim of Lagman and De Sosa, support does not excuse them from
their duty to present themselves before the Acceptance Board. Also, it is not valid as if such
circumstances exists, they can ask for determent in complying with their duty and at all events,
obtain pecuniary allowance to attend to family responsibilities.

People v. Manayao
78 Phil. 721; 1947


Japanese soldiers and a number of Filipinos affiliated with the Makapili, among them the instant
appellant, conceived the diabolical idea of killing the residents of Barrio Banaban of the same
municipality. Appellant alone killed about six women, two of whom he bayoneted to death in the
presence of their daughters, Maria Paulino and Clarita Perez, respectively the witnesses of this
case. Appellant Pedro Manayao and Filomeno Flores and Raymundo Flores were charged with
the high crime of treason with multiple murder in the People's Court. The Floreses not having
been apprehended, only Manayao was tried. The appellant himself admitted his participation in
the massacre in two sworn statements.

The appellant's counsel contends that appellant was a member of the Armed Forces of Japan, and
not subject to the jurisdiction of the People's Court; and in he contends the theory that appellant
had lost his Philippine citizenship and was therefore not amenable to the Philippine law of
treason. He invokes in its support paragraphs 3, 4 of section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 63.


Whether or not Manayao lost his citizenship therefore he is not subject to Philippine law of


The court ruled that there was no evidence that appellant has subscribed to an oath of allegiance
to support the constitution or laws of Japan. Neither is there any showing of the acceptance by
appellant of a commission "in the military, naval, or air service" of Japan. What he joined is the
Makapili, a group of Filipino traitors pure and simple.

Moreover, appellant's contention is repugnant to the most fundamental and elementary principles
governing the duties of a citizen toward his country under our Constitution. Article II, section 2,
of said constitution ordains: "SEC. 2. The defense of the State is a prime duty of government,
and in the fulfillment of this duty all citizens may be required by law to render personal, military
or civil service." (Emphasis supplied.). In this sense, the court said that no one can effectively
cast off his duty to defend the state by merely swearing allegiance to an enemy country.

Iglesia Ni Cristo v CA
G.R. No. 119673; July 26, 1996

Petitioner Iglesia ni Cristo, a duly organized religious organization, has a television program
entitled “Ang Iglesia ni Cristo” aired on Channel 2 every Saturday and on Channel 13 every
Sunday. The Board of Review for Motion Pictures and Television the VTR, classified the series
as “X” or not for public viewing on the ground that they “offend and constitute an attack against
other religions which is expressly prohibited by law” for the TV program’s Series Nos. 116, 119,
121 and 128. Petitioner appealed to the Office of the President and it was succeeded and the
decision was reversed. Petitioner also filed against the respondent Board alleging that the
respondent acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in requiring petitioner to
submit the VTR tapes of its programs and in x-rating them. The Board invoked its power under
P.D. No. 1986 in relation to Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code.
The Court grant petitioner the necessary permit for all the series of “Ang Iglesia Ni Cristo”
program. However the petitioner directed to refrain from offending and attacking other existing
religions in showing ‘Ang Iglesia Ni Cristo’ program. The petitioner moved for reconsideration
for the (a) deletion of the dispositive portion of the Decision and (b) for the Board to be perpetually
enjoined from requiring petitioner to submit for review the tapes of its program. The respondent
Board opposed the motion. And the trial court granted petitioner’s Motion for
Reconsideration. Respondents are further prohibited from requiring petitioner Iglesia ni Cristo to
submit for review VTR tapes of its religious program ‘Ang Iglesia ni Cristo.’
The Board appealed to the Court of Appeals after its motion for reconsideration was denied. The
respondent, CA, reversed the trial court. It ruled that: (1) the respondent board has jurisdiction and
power to review the TV program and (2) the respondent did not act with grave abuse of discretion
when it denied permit for the exhibition on TC of the three series of the TV program on the ground
that the materials constitute an attack against another religion. It also found that the series are
indecent, contrary to law and contrary to good customs.
(1) Whether or not the "Ang Iglesia Ni Cristo" program is not constitutionally protected as a form
of religious exercise and expression.
(2) Whether or not the honorable court of appeals erred in not holding that being an exercise of
religious freedom, the ‘Ang Iglesia Ni Cristo’ program is subject to the police power of the
state only in the extreme case that it poses a clear and present danger.

Yes. The court ruled that the Decision of the respondent Court of Appeals is affirmed insofar as it
sustained the jurisdiction of the respondent MTRCB to review petitioner’s TV program entitled
“Ang Iglesia ni Cristo,” and is reversed and set aside insofar as it sustained the action of the
respondent MTRCB x-rating petitioner’s TV Program Series Nos. 115, 119, and 121.
The right to religious freedom and worship has two-fold aspect: the freedom to believe and the
freedom to act on one’s belief. The first is absolute as long as the belief is confined within the
realm of thought. The second is subject to regulation where the belief is translated into external
acts that affect the public welfare. It is error to think that the mere invocation of religious freedom
will contest the State and render it impotent in protecting the general welfare. The inherent police
power can be exercised to prevent religious practices damaging the society.

Aglipay v Ruiz
G.R. No. L-45459; March 13, 1973
In May, 1963, Juan Ruiz, the respondent, announced in the dailies of Manila that he would order
the issues of postage stamps commemorating the celebration in the City of Manila of the 3

International Eucharist Congress, organized by Roman Catholic Church.
The petitioner, Mons. Aglipay, Supreme Head of the Philippine Independent Church, seeks the
issuance from the court of a writ of prohibition to prevent the respondent from issuing and
selling postage stamps commemorative of the 33
International Eucharist Congress.
The petitioner alleges that the said act is in violation of the principle of the separation of the
church and the State because the act is in support of one religious organization which is contrary
to the said principle. And that the Act No. 4052, appropriates fund for a certain religious
organization which is in violation also of the section 23, subsection 3, Article VI, of the
ISSUE: Whether or not the act of the respondents is violative of the principle of the separation of
the church and the state.
HELD: No. The the issuance of stamps is not a violation to the constitution, it is made rather to
adverise Philippines and attract more tourists to the country. It does not authorize the
appropriation, use or application of public money or property for the use, benefit or support of a
particular sect of a church. What is emphasized in the stamp is the map of the Philippines and
Manila being the focus. The court further explained, “The prohibition herein expressed is a direct
effect of the principle of separation of church and state. Without the necessity of adverting to the
historical background of this principle in our country, it is sufficient to say that our history, not to
speak of the history of mankind, has taught us that the union of church and state is prejudicial to
both, for occasions might arise when the estate will use the church, and the church the state, as a
weapon in the furtherance of their recognized this principle of separation of church and state in
the early stages of our constitutional development.
Religious freedom, however, as a constitutional mandate is not inhibition of profound
reverence for religion and is not denial of its influence in human affairs. Religion as a profession
of faith to an active power that binds and elevates man to his Creator is recognized. And, in so
far as it instills into the minds the purest principles of morality, its influence is deeply felt and
highly appreciated. When the Filipino people, in the preamble of their Constitution, implored
"the aid of Divine Providence, in order to establish a government that shall embody their ideals,
conserve and develop the patrimony of the nation, promote the general welfare, and secure to
themselves and their posterity the blessings of independence under a regime of justice, liberty
and democracy," they thereby manifested reliance upon Him who guides the destinies of men
and nations. The elevating influence of religion in human society is recognized here as
elsewhere. In fact, certain general concessions are indiscriminately accorded to religious sects
and denominations.
People v Palomar
G.R No. L-22008; Nov. 3, 1924

Macaria Fajardo was an employee of La Flor de la Isabela, a Tobacco factory. She was granted a
vacation leave, by reason of her pregnancy, which commenced on the 16th of July 1923.
According to Fajardo, during that time, she was not given the salary due her in violation of the
provisions of Act No. 3071. Fajardo filed a criminal complaint based on Section 13 and 15 of
said Act against the manager of the tobacco Factory, Julio Pomar, herein defendant. The latter,
on the other hand, claims that the facts in the complaint did not constitute an offense and further
alleges that the aforementioned provisions of Act No. 3071 was unconstitutional. Section 13, Act
No. 3071 provides that, “Every person, firm or corporation owning or managing a factory, shop
or place of labor of any description shall be obliged to grant to any woman employed by it as
laborer who may be pregnant, thirty days’ vacation with pay before and another thirty days after
confinement: Provided, That the employer shall not discharge such laborer without just cause,
under the penalty of being required to pay to her wages equivalent to the total of two months
counting from the day of her discharge.” Section 15 of the same Act provides for the penalty of
any violation of section 13. The latter was enacted by the legislature in the exercise of its
supposed Police Power with the purpose of safeguarding the health of pregnant women laborers
in "factory, shop or place of labor of any description," and of insuring to them, to a certain
extent, reasonable support for one month before and one month after their delivery. The trial
court rendered a decision in favor of plaintiff, sentencing the defendant to pay the fine of fifty
pesos and in case of insolvency, to suffer subsidiary imprisonment. Hence, the case was raised to
the Court of Appeals which affirmed the former decision.
Whether or not Section 13 of Act No. 3071 is unconstitutional.
The Court declared Section 13 of Act No. 3071 to be unconstitutional for being violative or
restrictive of the right of the people to freely enter into contracts for their affairs. It has been
decided several times, that the right to contract about one's affairs is a part of the liberty of the
individual, protected by the "due process of law" clause of the constitution. The contracting
parties may establish any agreements, terms, and conditions they may deem advisable, provided
they are not contrary to law, morals or public policy. The police power of the state is a very
broad and expanding power. The police power may encompass every law for the restraint and
punishment of crimes, for the preservation of the public peace, health, and morals. But that
power cannot grow faster than the fundamental law of the state, nor transcend or violate the
express inhibition of the constitution. The Police Power is subject to and is controlled by the
paramount authority of the constitution of the state, and will not be permitted to violate rights
secured or guaranteed by the latter.
Calalang v Williams
G.R. No. 47800; December 2, 1940

Maximo Calalang, in his capacity as a private citizen and as a taxpayer of Manila, brought before
this court this petition for a writ of prohibition against the respondents. That the respondents
caused to enforce the resolution of the National Traffic Commission dated July 17, 1940
pursuant to the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 548, that such enforcement is detrimental
not only of their owners but of the riding public as well.
The resolution of the NTC pursuant to the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 548 which
states that animal-drawn vehicles be prohibited from passing along Rosario Street extending
from Plaza Calderon de la Barca to Dasmariñas Street, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from
1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and along Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad crossing at Antipolo
Street to Echague Street, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., from a period of one year from the date of the
opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic.
The petition contends that the rules and regulations complained of infringe upon the
constitutional precept regarding the promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and
economic security of all the people.
Whether or not the rules and regulation promulgated by the respondents violates Art. 2, Sec. 10
of the Constitution.
No, the court explained “the promotion of social justice, however, is to be achieved not through a
mistaken sympathy towards any given group. Social justice is “neither communism, nor
despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy,” but the humanization of laws and the equalization of
social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular
conception may at least be approximated.
Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the
Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent elements of
society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the
interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of
measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying
the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema lex.
Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition of the necessity of interdependence
among divers and diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be equally and
evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and economic life, consistent
with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of promoting the health, comfort, and
quiet of all persons, and of bringing about “the greatest good to the greatest number.”
Hence, the petition for prohibition has been dismissed.
Bacani v. NACOCO
100 Phil. 468; 1956
The petitioners are court stenographers assigned in Branch VI of the CFI of Manila. During the
pendency of a civil case of said court, entitled Francisco Sycip vs. NACOCO, Assistant
Corporate Counsel Federico Alikpala, counsel for NACOCO, requested said stenographers for
copies of the transcript of the stenographic notes taken by them during the hearing. Plaintiffs
complied with the request by delivering to Counsel Alikpala the needed transcript containing 714
pages and thereafter submitted to him their bills for the payment of their fees. The National
Coconut Corporation paid the amount of P564 to Bacani and P150 to Matoto for said transcript
at the rate of P1 per page.
Upon inspecting the books of this corporation, the Auditor General disallowed the payment of
these fees and sought the recovery of the amounts paid. On January 1953, the Auditor General
required the Plaintiffs to reimburse said amounts on the strength of a circular of the Department
of Justice wherein the opinion was expressed that NACOCO, being a government entity, was
exempt from the payment of the fees in question. On Feb 1954, the Auditor General issued an
order directing the Cashier of the DOJ to deduct from the salary of Bacani the amount of P25
every payday and from the salary of Matoto the amount of P10 every payday beginning March
30, 1954. To prevent deduction of these fees from their salaries and secure a judicial ruling that
the NACOCO is not a government entity within the purview of section 16, Rule 130 of the Rules
of Court, this action was instituted in the CFI of Manila.

Whether or not NACOCO is part of the government.

GOCCs do not acquire that status for the simple reason that they do not come under the
classification of municipal or public corporation. Take for instance the NACOCO. While it was
organized with the purpose of “adjusting the coconut industry to a position independent of trade
preferences in the United States” and of providing “Facilities for the better curing of copra
products and the proper utilization of coconut by-products”, a function which our government
has chosen to exercise to promote the coconut industry, however, it was given a corporate power
separate and distinct from our government, for it was made subject to the provisions of our
Corporation Law in so far as its corporate existence and the powers that it may exercise are
concerned (sections 2 and 4, Commonwealth Act No. 518). It may sue and be sued in the same
manner as any other private corporations, and in this sense it is an entity different from our
Wherefore, the decision appealed from is affirmed, without pronouncement as to costs.
National Federation of Sugar Workers v. Ovejera,
114 SCRA 354; 1982


On January 22, 1982, NFSW filed with the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE)
Regional Office in Bacolod City a notice to strike based on non-payment of the 13th month pay,
under PD 851(13
Month Pay Law), to the CAC. Labor Arbiter Ethelwoldo R. Ovejera of the
National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), among others, declared the ongoing strike of the
NFSW at the CAC illegal, principally for being violative of Batas Pambansa Blg. 130, that is, the
strike was declared before the expiration of the 15-day cooling-off period for unfair labor
practice (ULP) strikes, and the strike was staged before the lapse of seven days from the
submission to MOLE of the result of the strike-vote.

Whether under Presidential Decree 851 (13th Month Pay Law), CAC is obliged to give its
workers a 13th month salary in addition to Christmas, milling and amelioration bonuses, the
aggregate of which admittedly exceeds by far the disputed 13th month pay.
The Court ruled that NFSW cannot insist on its claim that its members are entitled to a 13th
month pay in addition to the bonuses already paid by CAC and the CAC is not obliged to give its
workers a 13th month salary in addition to Christmas, milling and amelioration bonuses, the
aggregate of which admittedly exceeds by far the disputed 13th month pay.
The evident intention of the Presidential Decree No. 851, was to grant an additional income in
the form of a 13th month pay to employees not already receiving the same. Otherwise put, the
intention was to grant some relief,- not to all workers- but only to the unfortunate ones not
actually paid a 13th month salary or what amounts to it, by whatever name called; but it was not
envisioned that a double burden would be imposed on the employer already paying his
employees a 13th month pay or its equivalent — whether out of pure generosity or on the basis
of a binding agreement and, in the latter ease, regardless of the conditional character of the grant
(such as making the payment dependent on profit), so long as there is actual payment.

Roe v. Wade
410 U.S. 113; 1973
The petitioner is a pregnant single woman, brought a class action suit challenging the constitutionality
of the Texas abortion laws. These laws made it a crime to obtain or attempt an abortion except on
medical advice to save the life of the mother. The defendant was county District Attorney Wade. A
three-judge District Court panel tried the cases together and held that Roe and Hallford had standing
to sue and presented justiciable controversies, and that declaratory relief was warranted.
Roe and Hallford won their lawsuits at trial. The district court held that the Texas abortion statutes were
void as vague and for over broadly infringing the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the

Whether or not a woman’s right to privacy as protected by the constitution includes the right to abort her

Yes. The court ruled that the “right of privacy is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision
whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. The Court further said “we therefore conclude that the right
of personal privacy includes abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified and must be
considered against important state interests in regulation.” A state criminal abortion statute of the
current Texas type that exempts from criminality only a lifesaving procedure on behalf of the mother,
without regard to pregnancy stage and without recognition of the interests involved (such as liberty
interests), is violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Imbong v. Ochoa
G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, 204957, 204988,
205003, 205043, 205138, 205478, 205491,
205720, 206355; 08 April 2014


The case at bar is the petition for certiorari and prohibition by spouses Attys. James M. Imbong
and Lovely Ann C. Imbong, in their personal capacities as citizens, lawyers and taxpayers and on
behalf of their minor children; and the Magnificat Child Leaming Center, Inc., a domestic,
privately-owned educational institution. The petitioners contend that the RH Law violates the
right to life of the unborn.

The petitioners argued that the implementation of the RH Law would authorize the purchase of
hormonal contraceptives, intra-uterine devices and injectable which are abortive, in violation of
Section 12, Article II of the Constitution which guarantees protection of both the life of the
mother and the life of the unborn from conception. Also, The RH Law intrudes into the zone of
privacy of one's family protected by the Constitution. It is contended that the RH Law providing
for mandatory reproductive health education intrudes upon their constitutional right to raise their
children in accordance with their beliefs.

The respondents argues for the dismissal of the petitions for the reasons that: there is no actual
case or controversy and, therefore, the issues are not yet ripe for judicial determination.; some
petitioners lack standing to question the RH Law; the petitions are essentially petitions for
declaratory relief over which the Court has no original jurisdiction.

On May 30, 2013, the Court held a preliminary conference with the counsels of the parties to
determine and/or identify the pertinent issues raised by the parties and the sequence by which
these issues were to be discussed in the oral arguments. Thereafter, the Court directed the parties
to submit their respective memoranda within sixty (60) days and, at the same time posed several
questions for their clarification on some contentions of the parties.


Whether or not RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the
right to life and the righ to privacy.


Accordingly, the Court declares R.A. No. 10354 constitutional except with respect to the
following provisions which are declared unconstitutional
Section 23(a)(2)(i), Section 23(a)(2)(ii), Section 3.0l(a) and Section 3.01G).

The Court further opined, as follows:

1. Majority of the Members of the Court believe that the question of when life begins is
a scientific and medical issue that should not be decided, at this stage, without proper
hearing and evidence. However, they agreed that individual Members could express
their own views on this matter.

Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution states: “The State recognizes the sanctity of
family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social
institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn
from conception.”

In its plain and ordinary meaning (a canon in statutory construction), the traditional
meaning of “conception” according to reputable dictionaries cited by the ponente is
that life begins at fertilization. Medical sources also support the view that conception
begins at fertilization.

The framers of the Constitution also intended for (a) “conception” to refer to the
moment of “fertilization” and (b) the protection of the unborn child upon fertilization.
In addition, they did not intend to ban all contraceptives for being unconstitutional;
only those that kill or destroy the fertilized ovum would be prohibited. Contraceptives
that actually prevent the union of the male sperm and female ovum, and those that
similarly take action before fertilization should be deemed non-abortive, and thus
constitutionally permissible.

The intent of the framers of the Constitution for protecting the life of the unborn child
was to prevent the Legislature from passing a measure prevent abortion. The Court
cannot interpret this otherwise. The RH Law is in line with this intent and actually
prohibits abortion. By using the word “or” in defining abortifacient (Section 4(a)),
the RH Law prohibits not only drugs or devices that prevent implantation but also
those that induce abortion and induce the destruction of a fetus inside the mother’s
womb. The RH Law recognizes that the fertilized ovum already has life and that the
State has a bounded duty to protect it.

However, the authors of the IRR gravely abused their office when they redefined the
meaning of abortifacient by using the term “primarily”. Recognizing as abortifacients
only those that “primarily induce abortion or the destruction of a fetus inside the
mother’s womb or the prevention of the fertilized ovum to reach and be implanted in
the mother’s womb” (Sec. 3.01(a) of the IRR) would pave the way for the approval of
contraceptives that may harm or destroy the life of the unborn from
conception/fertilization. This violates Section 12, Article II of the Constitution. For
the same reason, the definition of contraceptives under the IRR (Sec 3.01(j)), which
also uses the term “primarily”, must be struck down.

2. Section 23(a)(2)(i) of the RH Law, which permits RH procedures even with only the
consent of the spouse undergoing the provision (disregarding spousal
content), intrudes into martial privacy and autonomy and goes against the
constitutional safeguards for the family as the basic social institution. Particularly,
Section 3, Article XV of the Constitution mandates the State to defend: (a) the right
of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the
demands of responsible parenthood and (b) the right of families or family associations
to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs that affect
them. The RH Law cannot infringe upon this mutual decision-making, and endanger
the institutions of marriage and the family.

The exclusion of parental consent in cases where a minor undergoing a procedure is
already a parent or has had a miscarriage (Section 7 of the RH Law) is also anti-
family and violates Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution, which states: “The
natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic
efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the
Government.” In addition, the portion of Section 23(a)(ii) which reads “in the case of
minors, the written consent of parents or legal guardian or, in their absence, persons
exercising parental authority or next-of-kin shall be required only in elective surgical
procedures” is invalid as it denies the right of parental authority in cases where what
is involved is “non-surgical procedures.”

Lastly, the Status Quo Ante Order is lifted, insofar as the provisions of R.A. No. 10354
which have been declared as constitutional. Hence, the petitions are PARTIALLY GRANTED.

Oposa v. Factoran, Jr.
224 SCRA 792; 1993

The 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).
The complaint was instituted as a taxpayers' class suit 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." This
instant petition was filed to seek for the cancelation of all existing timber license agreements
(TLAs) in the country and to cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or
approving new timber license agreements. Minor petitioners contend that continued granting of
timber license constitutes a misappropriation or impairment of the natural resource property and
violates their constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology (Art. II, Sec. 16, 1987
Constitution). As strong support, they presented scientific evidence that deforestation have
resulted in a host of environmental tragedies.
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.
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 self-preservation and self-perpetuation embodied in natural

1. Whether or not petitioners have a cause of action.
2. Whether or not the petitioners failed to allege in their complaint a specific legal right violated
by the respondent Secretary for which any relief is provided by law.


1. Every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that rhythm and harmony for the
full enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a little differently, 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 Court finds no
difficulty in ruling that they can file a class suit because 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. Such a right, as hereinafter expounded, considers the "rhythm
and harmony of nature."

2. 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). Hence, the
Court does not agree with the trial court's conclusions that the plaintiffs failed to allege with
sufficient definiteness a specific legal right involved or a specific legal wrong committed, and
that the complaint is replete with vague assumptions and conclusions based on unverified data.
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. The petitioners’ personality to
sue in behalf of their own as well as the future generations’ behalf can only be based on the
concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the said right is concerned.
Laguna Lake Development Authority v CA
G.R. No. 110120; March 16, 1994

The petitioner, Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), seeks for a review of the decision
of the Court of Appeals declaring LLDA no power and authority to issue a cease and desist order
enjoining the dumping of garbage in Barangay Camarin, Tala Estate, Caloocan City. The LLDA
issued a Cease and Desist Order

ordering the City Government of Caloocan, Metropolitan Manila
Authority, their contractors, and other entities, to completely halt, stop and desist from dumping
any form or kind of garbage and other waste matter at the Camarin dumpsite. The dumping
operation was stopped however the operation resumed.
Pending resolution of its motion for reconsideration earlier filed on September 17, 1992 with the
LLDA, the City Government of Caloocan filed with the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City an
action for the declaration of nullity of the cease and desist order with prayer for the issuance of
writ of injunction, docketed as Civil Case No. C-15598. In its complaint, the City Government of
Caloocan sought to be declared as the sole authority empowered to promote the health and safety
and enhance the right of the people in Caloocan City to a balanced ecology within its territorial

The City Government went to the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City to file an
action for the declaration of nullity of the cease and desist order and sought to be declared as the
sole authority empowered to promote the health and safety and enhance the right of the people in
Caloocan City to a balanced ecology within its territorial jurisdiction.
LLDA sought to dismiss the complaint, invoking the Pollution Control Law that the review of
cease and desist orders of that nature falls under the Court of Appeals and not the RTC. RTC
denied LLDA’s motion to dismiss, and issued a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining LLDA
from enforcing the cease and desist order during the pendency of the case. The Court of Appeals
promulgated a decision that ruled that the LLDA has no power and authority to issue a cease and
desist order enjoining the dumping of garbage. The residents seek a review of the decision.

Whether or not the LLDA has authority and power to issue an order which, in its nature and effect
was injunctive.
The petition is granted. The temporary restraining order issued by the Court on July 19, 1993
enjoining the City Mayor of Caloocan and/or the City Government of Caloocan from dumping
their garbage at the Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City is hereby made
permanent.vLLDA was been mandated by the law to manage the environment, preserve the quality
of human life and ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution in the Laguna Lake area and
surrounding provinces and cities, including mandated by law to manage the
environment, preserve the quality of human life and ecological systems and prevent undue
ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution in the Laguna Lake area and surrounding
provinces and cities, including Caloocan. While pollution cases are generally under the Pollution
Adjudication Board under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, it does not
preclude mandate from special laws that provide another forum. In this case, RA No. 4850 provides
that mandate to the LLDA. It is mandated to pass upon or approve or disapprove plans and
programs of local government offices and agencies within the region and their underlying
environmental/ecological repercussions. The DENR even recognized the primary jurisdiction of
the LLDA over the case when the DENR acted as intermediary at a meeting among the
representatives of the city government, LLDA and the residents. LLDA has the authority to issue
the cease and desist order.

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) v. Residents of Manila Bay
G.R. Nos. 171947-48; 2008
The concerned residents of Manila Bay filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court in Imus
Cavite for cleanup, rehabilitation, and protection of the Manila Bay since it the condition of
Manila Bay had fallen way below the allowable standards set by law, specifically Presidential
Decree No. (PD) 1152 or the Philippine Environment Code, that water quality to be class B
waters fit for swimming, skin-diving, and other forms of contact recreation.
The petitioners argued to the CA that PD 1152’s provision only pertain to the cleaning of
specific pollution incidents and do not cover cleaning in general but the CA affirmed the RTC’s

1. Whether Sections 17 and 20 of PD 1152 under the headings, Upgrading of water Quality and
Clean-up Operations, envisage a cleanup in general or are they limited to the cleanup of
specific pollution incidents
2. Whether petitioners be compelled by mandamus to clean up and rehabilitate the Manila Bay.
The Supreme Court held that Sections 17 and 20 of PD 1152 include cleaning in general. Section
17 provides that in case the water quality has deteriorated, the government agencies concerned
shall act on it to bring back the standard quality of water. It also emphasizes that government
agencies should clean that water for the sake of meeting and maintaining the right quality
standard. This presupposes that the government agencies concerned have the duties of cleaning
the water not only in times when water is polluted. While Section 20 also mandates the
government agencies concerned to take action in cleaning-up in case the polluters failed to do
their part.
According to the Supreme Court, the obligations to perform the duties of the petitioners and on
how they carry out such duties are two distinct concepts. That is, discretionary and ministerial
duty. As for this case it is the discretion of the petitioners to choose not to perform or to perform
their duties as defined by law and when they have chosen to perform their duties, the way they
carry out those duties are called ministerial acts.

It is very clear in their charters that aside from performing their main function as an agency, they
are also mandated to perform certain functions relating directly or indirectly to the cleanup,
rehabilitation, and preservation of the Manila Bay.

Basco v. PAGCOR
G.R. No.91649; May 14, 1991

Petitioners in this case, seeks to annul the PAGCOR because it is allegedly contrary to morals,
public policy and public order, among others.
On July 11, 1983, PAGCOR was created under Presidential Decree 1869, pursuant to the policy
of the government, “to regulate and centralize through an appropriate institution all games of
chance authorized by existing franchise or permitted by law.” This was subsequently proven to
be beneficial not just to the government but also to the society in general. It is a reliable source of
much needed revenue for the cash-strapped Government.
The petitioners argue that PD 1869 is unconstitutional because: 1.) it is contrary to morals, public
policy and public order; 2.) it constitutes a waiver of the right of the City of Manila to improve
taxes and legal fees; and that the exemption clause in PD 1869 is violative of constitutional
principle of Local Autonomy; 3.) it violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution in that
it legalizes gambling thru PAGCOR while most other forms are outlawed together with
prostitution, drug trafficking and other vices; and 4.) it is contrary to the avowed trend of the
Cory Government, away from monopolistic and crony economy and toward free enterprise and

Whether PD 1869 is unconstitutional.
The Court explained that “gambling, in all its forms, is generally prohibited, unless allowed by
law. But the prohibition of gambling does not mean that the government cannot regulate it in the
exercise of its police power, wherein the state has the authority to enact legislation that may
interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare.
The equal protection clause of the Constitution does not preclude classification of individuals
who may be accorded different treatment under the law, provided it is not unreasonable or
arbitrary. The clause does not prohibit the legislature from establishing classes of individuals or
objects upon which different rules shall operate.
Every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality, thus, to be nullified, it must be
shown that there is a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. In this case, the grounds
raised by petitioners have failed to overcome the presumption.
Therefore, the case is dismissed for lack of merit.