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Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc.

No. L-31195. June 5, 1973.
PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS EMPLOYEES ORGANIZATION, NICANOR TOLENTINO,FLORENCIO
PADRIGANO,RUFINO, ROXAS,MARIANO DE LEON,ASENCION PACIENTE,BONIFACIO VACUNA,BENJAMIN
PAGCU and RODULFO MUNSOD, petitioners, vs. PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS CO., INC.and COURT OF
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, respondents.

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Political and Constitutional Law; Basic concepts and principles underlying a democracy.—In a
democracy, the preservation and enhancement of the dignity and worth of the human personality is the
central core as well as the cardinal article of faith of our civilization. The inviolable character of man as
an individual must be "protected to the largest possible extent in his thoughts and in his beliefs as the
citadel of his person."

Same; Purpose of Bill of Rights.—The Bill of Rights is designed to preserve the ideals of liberty, equality
and security "against the assaults of opportunism, the expediency of the passing hour, the erosion of
small encroachments, and the scorn and derision of those who have no patience with general
principles." The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to "withdraw subjects from the vicissitudes of political
controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials, and to establish them as legal
principles to be applied by the courts..."

Same; Same.—The freedoms of expression and of assembly as well as the right to petition are included
among the immunities reserved by the sovereign people, in the rhetorical aphorism of Justice Holmes,
to protect the ideas that we abhor or hate more than the ideas we cherish; or as Socrates insinuated,
not only to protect the minority who want to talk, but also to benefit the majority who refuse to listen.
And as Justice Douglas cogently stresses it, the liberties of one are the liberties of all; and the liberties of
one are not safe unless the liberties of all are protected.

Same; Same.—The rights of free expression, free assembly and petition, are not only civil rights but also
political rights essential to man's enjoyment of his life, to his happiness and to his full and complete
fulfillment. Thru these freedoms the citizens can participate not merely in the periodic establishment of
the government through their suffrage but also in the administration of public affairs as well as in the
discipline of abusive public officers. The citizen is accorded these rights so that he can appeal to the
appropriate governmental officers or agencies for redress and protection as well as for the imposition of
the lawful sanctions on erring public officers and employees.

Same; Same; Human rights supreme to property rights.—While the Bill of Rights also protects property
rights, the primacy of human rights over property rights is recognized. Because these freedoms are
"delicate and vulnerable, as well as supremely precious in our society" and the "threat of sanctions may
deter their exercise

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almost as potently as the actual application of sanctions," they "need breathing space to survive,"
permitting government regulation only "with narrow specificity." Property and property rights can be
lost thru prescription; but human rights are imprescriptible. If human rights are extinguished by the
passage of time, then the Bill of Rights is a useless attempt to limit the power of government and ceases
to be an efficacious shield against the tyranny of officials, of majorities, of the influential and powerful,
and of oligarchs—political, economic or otherwise.

Same; Same; Same; Freedom of assembly and expression occupy a preferred position.—In the hierarchy
of civil liberties, the rights of free expression and of assembly occupy a preferred position as they are
essential to the preservation and vitality of our civil and political institutions; and such "priority gives
these liberties the sanctity and the sanction not permitting dubious intrusions."

Same; Same; Same; Why human civil liberties more superior than property rights disclosed.—The
superiority of these freedoms over property rights is underscored by the fact that a mere reasonable or
rational relation between the means employed by the law and its object or purpose—that the law is
neither arbitrary nor discriminatory nor oppressive—would suffice to validate a law which restricts or
impairs property rights. On the other hand, a constitutional or valid infringement of human rights
requires a more stringent criterion, namely, existence of a grave and immediate danger of a substantive
evil which the State has the right to prevent. So it has been stressed in the main opinion of Mr. Justice
Fernando in Gonzales vs. Comelec and reiterated by the writer of the opinion in Imbong vs. Ferrer. It
should be noted that Mr. Justice Barredo in Gonzales vs. Comelec, like Justices Douglas, Black and
Goldberg in N.Y. Times Co. vs. Sullivan, believes that the freedoms of speech and of the press as well as
of peaceful assembly and of petition for redress of grievances are absolute when directed against public
officials or "when exercised in relation to our right to choose the men and women by whom we shall be
governed," even as Mr. Justice Castro relies on the balancing-of-interest test. Chief Justice Vinson is
partial to the improbable danger rule formulated by Chief Judge Learned Hand, viz.—whether the
gravity of the evil, discounted by its improbability, justifies such invasion of free expression as is
necessary to avoid the danger.

Same; Same; Same; Labor Law; Workers who joined a demonstration against police abuses did not
violate CBA "no-strike no-lockout" provision.—Tested against the foregoing principles, the

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conclusion of the Court of Industrial Relations that the petitioners by their "concerted act and the
occurrence of a temporary stoppage of Work," are guilty of bargaining in bad faith and hence violated
the collective bargaining agreement cannot be sustained. The demonstration held by petitioners on
March 4, 1969 before Malacanang was against alleged abuses of some Pasig policemen, not against
their employer, herein private respondent firm. Said demonstration was purely and completely an
exercise of their freedom of expression in general and of their right of assembly and of petition for
redress of grievances in particular before appropriate governmental agency, the Chief Executive, against
the police officers of the municipality of Pasig.

Same; Same; Same; Same; It is the duty of employer to protect employees against police abuses.—As a
matter of fact, it was the duty of herein respondent firm to protect herein petitioner Union and its
members from the harassment of local police officers. It was to the interest of herein respondent firm to
rally to the defense of, and to take up the cudgels for, its employees, so that they can report to work
free from harassment, vexation or peril and as a consequence perform more efficiently their respective
tasks to enhance its productivity as well as profits.

Same; Same; Same; Demonstration against police abuses not a violation of collective bargaining
agreement.—As heretofore stated, the primacy of human rights—freedom of expression, of peaceful
assembly and of petition for redress of grievances—over property rights has been sustained. Emphatic
reiteration of this basic tenet as a coveted boon—at once the shield and armor of the dignity and worth
of the human personality, the all-consuming ideal of our enlightened civilization—becomes Our Duty, if
freedom and social justice have any meaning at all for him who toils so that capital can produce
economic goods that can generate happiness for all. To regard the demonstration against police officers,
not against the employer, as evidence of bad faith in collective bargaining and hence a violation of the
collective bargaining agreement and a cause for the dismissal from employment of the demonstrating
employees, stretches unduly the compass of the collective bargaining agreement, is "a potent means of
inhibiting speech" and therefore inflicts a moral as well as mortal wound on the constitutional
guarantees of free expression, of peaceful assembly and of petition.

Same; Demonstration against police abuses could not have been enjoined by any court.—The mass
demonstration staged by the employees on March 4, 1969 could not have been legally enjoined by

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any court, for such an injunction would be trenching upon the freedom of expression of the workers,
even if it legally appears to be an illegal picketing or strike.

Same; Labor Law; All employees of a firm and not merely those belonging to a particular shift may join
demonstration.—The respondent firm claims that there was no need for all its employees to participate
in the demonstration and that they suggested to the Union that only the first and regular shift from 6
a.m. to 2 p.m. should report for work in order that loss or damage to the firm will be averted. This stand
failed to appreciate the sine qua non of an effective demonstration especially by a labor union, namely,
the complete unity of the Union members as well as their total presence at the demonstration site in
order to generate the maximum persuasive force that will gain for them not only public sympathy for
the validity of their cause but also immediate action on the part of the corresponding government
agencies with jurisdiction over the issues they raised against the local police. Circulation is one of the
aspects of freedom of expression. If demonstrators are reduced by one-third, then by that much the
circulation of the issues raised by the demonstration is diminished. ... At any rate, the Union notified the
company two days in advance of their projected demonstration and the company could have made
arrangements to counteract or prevent whatever losses it might sustain by reason of the absence of its
workers for one day, especially in this case when the Union requested it to excuse only the day shift
employees who will join the demonstration. ... There was a lack of human understanding or compassion
on the part of the firm in rejecting the request... And to regard as a ground for dismissal the mass
demonstration held against the Pasig police, not against the company, is gross vindictiveness on the part
of the employer, which is as unchristian as it is unconstitutional.

Same; Same; Employer who refuses its employees to join demonstration against police abuse guilty of
unfair labor practice.—Because the refusal on the part of the respondent firm to permit all its
employees and workers to join the mass demonstration against alleged police abuses and the
subsequent separation of the eight petitioners from the service constituted an unconstitutional restraint
on their freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of petition for redress of grievances,
the respondent firm committed an unfair labor practice defined in Section 4(a-1) in relation to Section 3
of R.A. No. 875, otherwise known as the Industrial Peace Act. Section 3 of R.A. 875 guarantees to the
employees the right "to engage in concerted activities for xxx mutual

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Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc.

aid or protection"; while Section 4(a-1) regards as an unfair labor practice for an employer "to interfere
with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed in Section Three." xxx The
insistence on the part of the respondent firm that the workers for the morning and regular shifts should
not participate in the mass demonstration, under pain of dismissal, was as heretofore state, "a potent
means of inhibiting speech."

Evidence; Lack of finding the company did not suffer any loss means not such loss was sustained.—
While the respondent Court found that the demonstration "paralyzed to a large extent the operations of
the complainant company," the said court did not make any finding as to the fact of loss actually
sustained by the firm. This significant circumstance can only means that the firm did not sustain any loss
or damage.

Constitutional and Political Law; Labor Law; Dismissal from work of leaders of demonstration against
police abuses constitutes denial of social justice.— Section 5 of Article II of the Constitution imposes
upon the State "the promotion of social justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all of
the people," which guarantee is emphasized by the other directive in Section 6 of Article XIV of the
Constitution that "the State shall afford protection to labor xxx". Respondent Court as an agency of the
State is under obligation at all times to give meaning and substance to these constitutional guarantees in
favor of the working man; for otherwise these constitutional safeguards would be merely a lot of
"meaningless constitutional patter." Under the Industrial Peace Act, the Court of Industrial Relations is
enjoined to effect the policy of the law "to eliminate the causes of industrial unrest by encouraging and
protecting the exercise by employees of their right to self-organization for the purpose of collective
bargaining and for the promotion of their moral, social and economic well-being." It is most unfortunate
that said court failed to implement this policy.xxx

Same; When a court acts against the Constitution, its judgments and orders become null and void.—
Having violated the basic human rights of the laborers, the Court of Industrial Relations ousted itself of
jurisdiction and the questioned orders it issued in the instant case are a nullity.

Same; CIR rules against late filing of a motion for reconsideration cannot prevail over basic
constitutional rights.—Does the mere fact that the motion for reconsideration was filed two days late
defeat the rights of the petitioning employees for their

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reinstatement? The answer should be obvious in the light of the aforecited cases. To accord supremacy
to the foregoing rules of the Court of Industrial Relations over basic human rights sheltered by the
Constitution, is not only incompatible with the basic tenet of constitutional government that the
Constitution is superior to any statute or subordinate rules and regulations, but also does violence to
natural reason and logic. The dominance and superiority of the constitutional right over the aforesaid
court procedural rule of necessity should be affirmed.

Same.—It is thus seen that a procedural rule of Congress or of the Supreme Court gives way to a
constitutional right. In the instant case, the procedural rule of the Court of Industrial Relations, a
creature of Congress, must likewise yield to the constitutional rights invoked by herein petitioners even
before the institution of the unfair labor practice charged against them and in their defense to the said
charge. In the case at bar, enforcement of the basic human freedoms sheltered no less by the organic
law, is a most compelling reason to deny application of a CIR rule which impinges on such human rights.

Same; Civil Procedure; Court may suspend its own rules.—It is an accepted principle that the Supreme
Court has inherent power to "suspend its own rules or to except a particular case from its operation,
whenever the purposes of justice requires." Mr. Justice Barredo in his concurring opinion in Estrada vs.
Sto. Domingo reiterated this principle and added that "Under this authority, this Court is enabled to
cope with all situations without concerning itself about procedural niceties that do not square with the
need to do justice..." If we can disregard our own rules when justice requires it, obedience to the
Constitution renders more imperative the suspension of a CIR rule that classes with the human rights
sanctioned and shielded with resolute concern by the specific guarantees outlined in the organic law.

Same; Same; Suspension of CIR rules authorized by C.A. 103.—The suspension of the application of
Section 15 of the CIR rules with reference to the case at bar, is also authorized by Section 20 of C.A. 103,
the CIR charter, which enjoins the Court of Industrial Relations to "act according to justice and equity
and substantial merits of the case, without regard to technicalities or legal forms."

PETITION FOR REVIEW of a decision of the Court of Industrial Relations.

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Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

L.S. Osorio & P. B. Castillon and J. C. Espinas & Associates for petitioners.

Demetrio B. Salem & Associates for private respondent.

MAKASIAR, J.:

The petitioner Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization (hereinafter referred to as PBMEO) is a
legitimate labor union composed of the employees of the respondent Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc.,
and petitioners Nicanor Tolentino, Florencio Padrigano, Rufino Roxas, Mariano de Leon, Asencion
Paciente, Bonifacio Vacuna, Benjamin Pagcu and Rodulfo Munsod are officers and members of the
petitioner Union.

Petitioners claim that on March 1, 1969, they decided to stage

a mass demonstration at Malacañang on March 4, 1969, in protest against alleged abuses of the Pasig
police, to be participated in by the workers in the first shift (from 6 A.M. to 2 P.M.) as well as those in
the regular second and third shifts (from 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. and from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., respectively); and
that they informed the respondent Company of their proposed demonstration.

The questioned order dated September 15, 1969, of Associate Judge Joaquin M. Salvador of the
respondent Court reproduced the following stipulation of facts of the parties—

"3. That on March 2, 1969 complainant company learned of the projected mass demonstration at
Malacanang in protest against alleged abuses of the Pasig Police Department to be participated by the
first shift (6:00 AM - 2:00 PM) workers as well as those working in the regular shifts (7:00 A.M. to 4:00
PM and 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) in the morning of March 4, 1969;
"4. That a meeting was called by the Company on March 3, 1969 at about 11:00 A.M. at the
Company's canteen, and those present were: for the Company: (1) Mr. Arthus L. Ang, (2) Atty. Cesareo
S. de Leon, Jr., (3) and all department and section heads. For the

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PBMEO: (1) Florencio Padrigano, (2) Rufino Roxas, (3) Mariano de Leon, (4) Asencion Paciente, (5)
Bonifacio Vacuna and (6) Benjamin Pagcu.
"5. That the Company asked the union panel to confirm or deny said projected mass demonstration at
Malacañang on March 4, 1969. PBMEO, thru Benjamin Pagcu who acted as spokesman of the union
panel, confirmed the planned demonstration and stated that the demonstration or rally cannot be
cancelled because it has already been agreed upon in the meeting. Pagcu explained further that the
demonstration has nothing to do with the Company because the union has no quarrel or dispute with
Management;
"6. That Management, thru Atty. C.S. de Leon, Company personnel manager, informed PBMEO that
the demonstration is an inalienable right of the union guaranteed by the Constitution but emphasized,
however, that any demonstration for that matter should not unduly prejudice the normal operation of
the Company. For which reason, the Company, thru Atty. C.S. de Leon, warned the PBMEO
representatives that workers who belong to the first and regular shifts, who without previous leave of
absence approved by the Company, particularly the officers present who are the organizers of the
demonstration, who shall fail to report for work the following morning (March 4, 1969) shall be
dismissed, because such failure is a violation of the existing CBA and, therefore, would be amounting to
an illegal strike;
"7. That at about 5:00 P.M. on March 3, 1969, another meeting was convoked. Company represented
by Atty. C.S. de Leon, Jr. The Union panel was composed of: Nicanor Tolentino, Rodolfo Munsod,
Benjamin Pagcu and Florencio Padrigano. In this afternoon meeting of March 3, 1969, Company
reiterated and appealed to the PBMEO representatives that while all workers may join the Malacanang
demonstration, the workers for the first and regular shift of March 4, 1969 should be excused from
joining the demonstration and should report for work; and thus utilize the workers in the 2nd and 3rd
shifts in order not to violate the provisions of the CBA, particularly Article XXIV: 'NO LOCKOUT - NO
STRIKE'. All those who will not follow this warning of the Company shall be dismissed; De Leon
reiterated the Company's warning that the officers shall be primarily liable being the organizers of the
mass demonstration. The union panel countered that it was rather too late to change their plans
inasmuch as the Malacanang demonstration will be held the following morning; and

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"8. That a certain Mr. Wilfredo Ariston, adviser of PBMEO sent a cablegram to the Company which
was received 9.50 A.M., March 4, 1969, the contents of which are as follows: 'REITERATING REQUEST
EXCUSE DAY SHIFT EMPLOYEES JOINING DEMONSTRATION MARCH 4, 1969.' " (Pars. 3-8, Annex "F", pp.
42-43, rec)
.

Because the petitioners and their members numbering about 400 proceeded with the demonstration
despite the pleas of the respondent Company that the first shift workers should not be required to
participate in the demonstration and that the workers in the second and third shifts should be utilized
for the demonstration from 6 A.M. to 2 P.M. on March 4, 1969, respondent Company filed on March 4,
1969, with the respondent Court, a charge against petitioners and other employees who composed the
first shift, charging them with a "violation of Section 4(a)-6 in relation to Sections 13 and 14, as well as
Section 15, all of Republic Act No. 875, and of the CBA providing for 'No Strike and No Lockout.' " (Annex
"A", pp. 19-20, rec). The charge was accompanied by the joint affidavit of Arthur L. Ang and Cesareo de
Leon, Jr. (Annex "B", pp. 21-24, rec). Thereafter, a corresponding complaint was filed, dated April 18,
1969, by Acting Chief Prosecutor Antonio T. Tirona and Acting Prosecutor Linda P. Ilagan (Annex "C", pp.
25-30, rec.).

In their answer, dated May 9, 1969, herein petitioners claim that they did not violate the existing CBA
because they gave the respondent Company prior notice of the mass demonstration on March 4, 1969;
that the said mass demonstration was a valid exercise of their constitutional freedom of speech against
the alleged abuses of some Pasig policemen; and that their mass demonstration was not a declaration of
strike because it was not directed against the respondent firm (Annex "D", pp. 31-34, rec.).

After considering the aforementioned stipulation of facts submitted by the parties, Judge Joaquin M.
Salvador, in an order dated September 15, 1969, found herein petitioner PBMEO guilty of bargaining in
bad faith and herein petitioners Florencio Padrigano, Rufino Roxas Mariano de Leon, Asencion Paciente,
Bonifacio Vacuna, Benjamin Pagcu, Nicanor

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Tolentino and Rodulfo Munsod as directly responsible for perpetrating the said unfair labor practice and
were, as a consequence, considered to have lost their status as employees of the respondent Company
(Annex "F", pp. 42-56, rec.).

Herein petitioners claim that they received on September 23, 1969, the aforesaid order (p. 11, rec.); and
that they filed on September 29, 1969, because September 28, 1969 fell on Sunday (p. 59, rec.), a
motion for reconsideration of said order dated September 15, 1969, on the ground that it is contrary to
law and the evidence, as well as asked for ten (10) days within which to file their arguments pursuant to
Sections 15, 16 and 17 of the Rules of the CIR, as amended (Annex "G", pp. 57-60, rec.).

In its opposition dated October 7, 1969, filed on October 11, 1969 (p. 63, rec.), respondent Company
averred that herein petitioners received on September 22, 1969, the order dated September 17 (should
be September 15), 1969; that under Section 15 of the amended Rules of the Court of Industrial
Relations, herein petitioners had five (5) days from September 22, 1969 or until September 27, 1969,
within which to file their motion for reconsideration; and that because their motion for reconsideration
was two (2) days late, it should be accordingly dismissed, invoking Bien vs. Castillo,1 which held among
others, that a motion for extension of the five-day period for the filing of a motion for reconsideration
should be filed before the said five-day period elapses (Annex "M", pp. 61-64, rec.).

Subsequently, herein petitioners filed on October 14, 1969 their written arguments dated October 11,
1969, in support of their motion for reconsideration (Annex "I", pp. 65-73, rec.).

In a resolution dated October 9, 1969, the respondent Court en banc dismissed the motion for
reconsideration of herein petitioners for being pro forma as it was filed beyond the reglementary period
prescribed by its Rules (Annex "J", pp. 74-75, rec.), which herein petitioners received on October 28,
1969 (pp. 12 & 76, rec.).

________________

1 L-7428, May 24, 1955.

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At the bottom of the notice of the order dated October 9, 1969, which was released on October 24,
1969 and addressed to the counsels of the parties (pp. 75-76, rec.), appear the requirements of Sections
15, 16 and 17, as amended, of the Rules of the Court of Industrial Relations, that a motion for
reconsideration shall be filed within five (5) days from receipt of its decision or order and that an appeal
from the decision, resolution or order of the C.I.R., sitting en banc, shall be perfected within ten (10)
days from receipt thereof (p. 76, rec.).

On October 31, 1969, herein petitioners filed with the respondent court a petition for relief from the
order dated October 9, 1969, on the ground that their failure to file their motion for reconsideration on
time was due to excusable negligence and honest mistake committed by the president of the petitioner
Union and of the office clerk of their counsel, attaching thereto the affidavits of the said president and
clerk (Annexes "K", "K-1" and "K-2", rec.).

Without waiting for any resolution on their petition for relief from the order dated October 9, 1969,
herein petitioners filed on November 3, 1969, with the Supreme Court, a notice of appeal (Annex "L",
pp. 88-89, rec.).
I

There is need of briefly restating basic concepts and principles which underlie the issues posed by the
case at bar.

(1) In a democracy, the preservation and enhancement of the dignity and worth of the human
personality is the central core as well as the cardinal article of faith of our civilization. The inviolable
character of man as an individual must be "protected to the largest possible extent in his thoughts and
in his beliefs as the citadel of his person."2
(2) The Bill of Rights is designed to preserve the ideals of liberty, equality and security "against the
assaults of opportunism, the expediency of the passing hour, the erosion of

_______________

2 American Com. vs. Douds, 339 U.S. 382, 421.

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small encroachments, and the scorn and derision of those who have no patience with general
principles."3

In the pithy language of Mr. Justice Robert Jackson, the purpose of the Bill of Rights is to withdraw
"certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of
majorities and officials, and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's rights
to life, liberty and property, to free speech, or free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other
fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections."4
Laski proclaimed that "the happiness of the individual, not the well-being of the State, was the criterion
by which its behaviour was to be judged. His interests, not its power, set the limits to the authority it
was entitled to exercise."5

(3) The freedoms of expression and of assembly as well as the right to petition are included among the
immunities reserved by the sovereign people, in the rhetorical aphorism of Justice Holmes, to protect
the ideas that we abhor or hate more than the ideas we cherish; or as Socrates insinuated, not only to
protect the minority who want to talk, but also to benefit the majority who refuse to listen.6 And as
Justice Douglas cogently stresses it, the liberties of one are the liberties of all; and the liberties of one
are not safe unless the liberties of all are protected.7
(4) The rights of free expression, free assembly and petition, are not only civil rights but also political
rights essential to man's enjoyment of his life, to his happiness and to his full and complete fulfillment.
Thru these freedoms the citizens can participate not merely in the periodic establishment of the

_______________

3 Justice Cardoso, Nature of Judicial Process, 90-93; Tañada and Fernando, Constitution of the
Philippines, 1952 ed., 71.

4 West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 638, italics supplied.

5 Laski, The State in Theory and Practice, 35-36.

6 See Chafee on Freedom of Speech and Press, 1955, pp. 13-14.

7 Justice Douglas, A Living Bill of Rights (1961), p. 64, cited by Justice Castro in Chavez v. Court of
Appeals, 24 SCRA, 663, 692.

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government through their suffrage but also in the administration of public affairs as well as in the
discipline of abusive public officers. The citizen is accorded these rights so that he can appeal to the
appropriate governmental officers or agencies for redress and protection as well as for the imposition of
the lawful sanctions on erring public officers and employees.
(5) While the Bill of Rights also protects property rights, the primacy of human rights over property
rights is recognized.8 Because these freedoms are "delicate and vulnerable, as well as supremely
precious in our society" and the "threat of sanctions may deter their exercise almost as potently as the
actual application of sanctions," they "need breathing space to survive," permitting government
regulation only "with narrow specificity."9

Property and property rights can be lost thru prescription; but human rights are imprescriptible. If
human rights are extinguished by the passage of time, then the Bill of Rights is a useless attempt to limit
the power of government and ceases to be an efficacious shield against the tyranny of officials, of
majorities, of the influential and powerful, and of oligarchs—political, economic or otherwise.

In the hierarchy of civil liberties, the rights of free expression and of assembly occupy a preferred
position as they are essential to the preservation and vitality of our civil and political institutions;10 and
such priority "gives these liberties the sanctity and the sanction not permitting dubious intrusions."11

The superiority of these freedoms over property rights is underscored by the fact that a mere
reasonable or rational

_______________

8 Marsh vs. Alabama, 326 U.S. 501, 509; Tucker vs. Texas, 326 U.S. 517, 519-520.

9 NACCP vs. Button (Jan. 14, 1963) 371 U.S. 415, 433, 9 L.Ed. 2nd 405, 418.

10 Terminiello vs. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1.

11 Thomas vs. Collins (1945), 323 U.S., 516, 530, cited by Mr. Justice Castro in his concurring opinion in
Gonzales vs. Comelec, April 18, 1969, 27 SCRA 835, 895.

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relation between the means employed by the law and its object or purpose—that the law is neither
arbitrary nor discriminatory nor oppressive—would suffice to validate a law which restricts or impairs
property rights.12 On the other hand, a constitutional or valid infringement of human rights requires a
more stringent criterion, namely existence of a grave and immediate danger of a substantive evil which
the State has the right to prevent. So it has been stressed in the main opinion of Mr. Justice Fernando in
Gonzales vs. Comelec and reiterated by the writer of the opinion in Imbong vs. Ferrer.13 It should be
added that Mr. Justice Barredo in Gonzales vs. Comelec, supra, like Justices Douglas, Black and Goldberg
in N.Y. Times Co. vs. Sullivan,14 believes that the freedoms of speech and of the press as well as of
peaceful assembly and of petition for redress of grievances are absolute when directed against public
officials or "when exercised in relation to our right to choose the men and women by whom we shall be
governed,"15 even as Mr. Justice Castro relies on the balancing-of-interests test.16 Chief Justice Vinson
is partial to the improbable danger rule formulated by Chief Judge Learned Hand, viz.—whether the
gravity of the evil, discounted by its improbability, justifies such invasion of free expression as is
necessary to avoid the danger.17
II

The respondent Court of Industrial Relations, after opining that the mass demonstration was not a
declaration of strike,

_________________

12 Edu vs. Ericta, L-32096, Oct. 24, 1970, 35 SCRA 481, 489; Ichong vs. Hernandez, 101 Phil. 1155, 1165-
66, 1175.

13 L-27833, April 18, 1969, 27 SCRA 835; L-32432, Sept. 11, 1970, 35 SCRA 28; Ignacio vs. Ela (1965), 99
Phil. 346; Primicias vs. Fugoso (1948), 80 Phil 71; Terminiello vs. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1; Virginia State Board
of Education vs. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 639; 87 Law. Ed. 1628, 1638.

14 March 9, 1964, 376 U.S. 254, 270; Greenbelt, etc. vs. Bresler (May 18, 1970), 398 U.S. 6, 20; see also
Justice Fernando, Bill of Rights, 1970 Ed., pp. 78-81, 96-113.

15 Gonzales vs. Comelec, supra.

16 Gonzales vs. Comelec, supra.

17 Dennis vs. U.S. (1951), 341 U.S. 494.

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concluded that by their "concerted act and the occurrence of a temporary stoppage of work," herein
petitioners are guilty of bargaining in bad faith and hence violated the collective bargaining agreement
with private respondent Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc. Set against and tested by the foregoing
principles governing a democratic society, such a conclusion cannot be sustained. The demonstration
held by petitioners on March 4, 1969 before Malacañang was against alleged abuses of some Pasig
policemen, not against their employer, herein private respondent firm, said demonstration was purely
and completely an exercise of their freedom of expression in general and of their right of assembly and
of petition for redress of grievances in particular before the appropriate governmental agency, the Chief
Executive, against the police officers of the municipality of Pasig. They exercised their civil and political
rights for their mutual aid and protection from what they believe were police excesses. As a matter of
fact, it was the duty of herein private respondent firm to protect herein petitioner Union and its
members from the harassment of local police officers. It was to the interest of herein private
respondent firm to rally to the defense of, and to take up the cudgels for, its employees, so that they
can report to work free from harassment, vexation or peril and as a consequence perform more
efficiently their respective tasks to enhance its productivity as well as profits. Herein respondent
employer did not even offer to intercede for its employees with the local police. Was it securing peace
for itself at the expense of its workers? Was it also intimidated by the local police or did it encourage the
local police to terrorize or vex its workers? Its failure to defend its own employees all the more
weakened the position of its laborers vis-a-vis the alleged oppressive police, who might have been all
the more emboldened thereby to subject its lowly employees to further indignities.

In seeking sanctuary behind their freedom of expression as well as their right of assembly and of petition
against alleged persecution of local officialdom, the employees and laborers of herein private
respondent firm were fighting for their very survival, utilizing only the weapons afforded them by the
Constitution—the untrammelled enjoyment of their basic human rights. The pretension of their
employer that it would

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suffer loss or damage by reason of the absence of its employees from 6 o'clock in the morning to 2
o'clock in the afternoon, is a plea for the preservation merely of their property rights. Such apprehended
loss or damage would not spell the difference between the life and death of the firm or its owners or its
management. The employees' pathetic situation was a stark reality—abused, harassed and persecuted
as they believed they were by the peace officers of the municipality. As above intimated, the condition
in which the employees found themselves vis-a-vis the local police of Pasig, was a matter that vitally
affected their right to individual existence as well as that of their families. Material loss can be repaired
or adequately compensated. The debasement of the human being—broken in morale and brutalized in
spirit—can never be fully evaluated in monetary terms. The wounds fester and the scars remain to
humiliate him to his dying day, even as he cries in anguish for retribution, denial of which is like rubbing
salt on bruised tissues.

As heretofore stated, the primacy of human rights—freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly and of
petition for redress of grievances—over property rights has been sustained.18 Emphatic reiteration of
this basic tenet as a coveted boon—at once the shield and armor of the dignity and worth of the human
personality, the all-consuming ideal of our enlightened civilization—becomes Our duty, if freedom and
social justice have any meaning at all for him who toils so that capital can produce economic goods that
can generate happiness for all. To regard the demonstration against police officers, not against the
employer, as evidence of bad faith in collective bargaining and hence a violation of the collective
bargaining agreement and a cause for the dismissal from employment of the demonstrating employees,
stretches unduly the compass of the collective bargaining agreement, is "a potent means of inhibiting
speech" and therefore inflicts a moral as well as mortal wound on the constitutional guarantees of free
expression, of peaceful assembly and of petition.19

_______________

18 Marsh vs. Alabama, 326 U.S. 501; Tucker vs. Texas, 326 U.S. 517.

19 Pickering vs. Board of Education, 391 U.S. 563, 574 (1968).

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The collective bargaining agreement which fixes the working shifts of the employees, according to the
respondent Court of Industrial Relations, in effect imposes on the workers the "duty x x x to observe
regular working hours." The strained construction of the Court of Industrial Relations that such
stipulated working shifts deny the workers the right to stage a mass demonstration against police
abuses during working hours, constitutes a virtual tyranny over the mind and life of the workers and
deserves severe condemnation. Renunciation of the freedom should not be predicated on such a
slender ground.

The mass demonstration staged by the employees on March 4, 1969 could not have been legally
enjoined by any court, for such an injunction would be trenching upon the freedom of expression of the
workers, even if it legally appears to be an illegal picketing or strike.20 The respondent Court of
Industrial Relations in the case at bar concedes that the mass demonstration was not a declaration of a
strike "as the same is not rooted in any industrial dispute although there is a concerted act and the
occurrence of a temporary stoppage of work." (Annex "F", p. 45, rec.).

The respondent firm claims that there was no need for all its employees to participate in the
demonstration and that they suggested to the Union that only the first and regular shift from 6 A.M. to 2
P.M. should report for work in order that loss or damage to the firm will be averted. This stand failed to
appreciate the sine qua non of an effective demonstration especially by a labor union, namely the
complete unity of the Union members as well as their total presence at the demonstration site in order
to generate the maximum sympathy for the validity of their cause but also immediate action on the part
of the corresponding government agencies

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20 Security Bank Employees Union-NATU vs. Security Bank and Trust Co., April 30, 1968, 23 SCRA 503-
515; Caltex vs. Lucero, April 28, 1962, 4 SCRA 1196, 1198-99; Malayang Manggagawa sa ESSO vs. ESSO,
July 30, 1965, 14 SCRA 801, 806, 807; De Leon vs. National Labor Union, 100 Phil., 792; PAFLU vs. Barot,
99 Phil. 1008; Continental Manufacturing Employees Assoc., et al. vs. C.I.R., et al., L-26849, Sept. 30,
1970, 35 SCRA 204.

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with jurisdiction over the issues they raised against the local police. Circulation is one of the aspects of
freedom of expression.21 If demonstrators are reduced by one-third, then by that much the circulation
of the issues raised by the demonstration is diminished. The more the participants, the more persons
can be apprised of the purpose of the rally. Moreover, the absence of one-third of their members will be
regarded as a substantial indication of disunity in their ranks which will enervate their position and abet
continued alleged police persecution. At any rate, the Union notified the company two days in advance
of their projected demonstration and the company could have made arrangements to counteract or
prevent whatever losses it might sustain by reason of the absence of its workers for one day, especially
in this case when the Union requested it to excuse only the day-shift employees who will join the
demonstration on March 4, 1969 which request the Union reiterated in their telegram received by the
company at 9:50 in the morning of March 4, 1969, the day of the mass demonstration (pp. 42-43, rec.).
There was a lack of human understanding or compassion on the part of the firm in rejecting the request
of the Union for excuse from work for the day shifts in order to carry out its mass demonstration. And to
regard as a ground for dismissal the mass demonstration held against the Pasig police, not against the
company, is gross vindictiveness on the part of the employer, which is as unchristian as it is
unconstitutional.
III

The respondent company is the one guilty of unfair labor practice. Because the refusal on the part of the
respondent firm to permit all its employees and workers to join the mass demonstration against alleged
police abuses and the subsequent separation of the eight (8) petitioners from the

______________

21 Sotto vs. Ruiz, 41 Phil. 468; Shuttleworth vs. Birmingham (1969), 394 U.S. 147; Largent vs. Texas, 318
U.S. (1943) 418; Jamison vs. Texas, (1943) 318 U.S. 413; Lovell vs. Griffin (1938) 303 U.S. 444; Grosjean
vs. American Press Co. (1936) 297 U.S. 233; Subido vs. Ozaeta, 80 Phil., 383; Justice Fernando, Bill of
Rights, 1970 Ed., pp. 90-93.

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service constituted an unconstitutional restraint on their freedom of expression, freedom of assembly
and freedom to petition for redress of grievances, the respondent firm committed an unfair labor
practice defined in Section 4(a-1) in relation to Section 3 of Republic Act No. 875, otherwise known as
the Industrial Peace Act. Section 3 of Republic Act No. 875 guarantees to the employees the right "to
engage in concerted activities for x x x mutual aid or protection"; while Section 4(a-1) regards as an
unfair labor practice for an employer "to interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of
their rights guraranteed in Section Three."

We repeat that the obvious purpose of the mass demonstration staged by the workers of the
respondent firm on March 4, 1969, was for their mutual aid and protection against alleged police
abuses, denial of which was interference with or restraint on the right of the employees to engage in
such a common action to better shield themselves against such alleged police indignities. The insistence
on the part of the respondent firm that the workers for the morning and regular shifts should not
participate in the mass demonstration, under pain of dismissal, was as heretofore stated, "a potent
means of inhibiting speech."22

Such a concerted action for their mutual help and protection, deserves at least equal protection as the
concerted action of employees in giving publicity to a letter complaint charging a bank president with
immorality, nepotism, favoritism and discrimination in the appointment and promotion of bank
employees.23 We further ruled in the Republic Savings Bank case, supra, that for the employees to
come within the protective mantle of Section 3 in relation to Section 4(a-1) of Republic Act No. 875, "it is
not necessary that union activity be involved or that collective bargaining be contemplated," as long as
the concerted activity is for the furtherance of their interests.24

_______________

22 Pickering vs. Board of Education, 391 U.S. 563, 574, 20 L.Ed. 2nd, 811, 820.

23 Republic Savings Bank vs. C.I.R., et al., Sept. 27, 1967, 21 SCRA 226, 232, 233, 661, 662, 663-664.

24 21 SCRA 233.

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As stated clearly in the stipulation of facts embodied in the questioned order of respondent Court dated
September 15, 1969, the company, "while expressly acknowledging, that the demonstration is an
inalienable right of the Union guaranteed by the Constitution," nonetheless emphasized that "any
demonstration for that matter should not unduly prejudice the normal operation of the company" and
"warned the PBMEO representatives that workers who belong to the first and regular shifts, who
without previous leave of absence approved by the Company, particularly the officers present who are
the organizers of the demonstration, who shall fail to report for work the following morning (March 4,
1969) shall be dismissed, because such failure is a violation of the existing CBA and, therefore, would be
amounting to an illegal strike (;)" (p. III, petitioner's brief). Such threat of dismissal tended to coerce the
employees from joining the mass demonstration. However, the issues that the employees raised against
the local police, were more important to them because they had the courage to proceed with the
demonstration, despite such threat of dismissal. The most that could happen to them was to lose a day's
wage by reason of their absence from work on the day of the demonstration. One day's pay means
much to a laborer, more especially if he has a family to support. Yet, they were willing to forego their
one-day salary hoping that their demonstration would bring about the desired relief from police abuses.
But management was adamant in refusing to recognize the superior legitimacy of their right of free
speech, free assembly and the right to petition for redress.

Because the respondent company ostensibly did not find it necessary to demand from the workers proof
of the truth of the alleged abuses inflicted on them by the local police, it thereby concedes that the
evidence of such abuses should properly be submitted to the corresponding authorities having
jurisdiction over their complaint and to whom such complaint may be referred by the President of the
Philippines for proper investigation and action with a view to disciplining the local police officers
involved.

On the other hand, while the respondent Court of Industrial Relations found that the demonstration
"paralyzed to a large

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extent the operations of the complainant company," the respondent Court of Industrial Relations did
not make any finding as to the fact of loss actually sustained by the firm. This significant circumstance
can only mean that the firm did not sustain any loss or damage. It did not present evidence as to
whether it lost expected profits for failure to comply with purchase orders on that day; or that penalties
were exacted from it by customers whose orders could not be filled that day of the demonstration; or
that purchase orders were cancelled by the customers by reason of its failure to deliver the materials
ordered; or that its own equipment or materials or products were damaged due to absence of its
workers on March 4, 1969. On the contrary, the company saved a sizable amount in the form of wages
for its hundreds of workers, cost of fuel, water and electric consumption that day. Such savings could
have amply compensated for unrealized profits or damages it might have sustained by reason of the
absence of its workers for only one day.
IV

Apart from violating the constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly as well as the right to
petition for redress of grievances of the employees, the dismissal of the eight (8) leaders of the workers
for proceeding with the demonstration and consequently being absent from work, constitutes a denial
of social justice likewise assured by the fundamental law to these lowly employees. Section 5 of Article II
of the Constitution imposes upon the State "the pomotion of social justice to insure the well-being and
economic security of all of the people," which guarantee is emphasized by the other directive in Section
6 of Article XIV of the Constitution that "the State shall afford protection to labor x x x". Respondent
Court of Industrial Relations as an agency of the State is under obligation at all times to give meaning
and substance to these constitutional guarantees in favor of the working man; for otherwise these
constitutional safeguards would be merely a lot of "meaningless constitutional patter." Under the
Industrial Peace Act, the Court of Industrial Relations is enjoined to effect the policy of the law "to
eliminate the causes of industrial unrest by encouraging and protecting the exercise by

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employees of their right to self-organization for the purpose of collective bargaining and for the
promotion of their moral, social and economic well-being." It is most unfortunate in the case at bar that
respondent Court of Industrial Relations, the very governmental agency designed therefor, failed to
implement this policy and failed to keep faith with its avowed mission—its raison d'etre—as ordained
and directed by the Constitution.
V

It has been likewise established that a violation of a constitutional right divests the court of jurisdiction;
and as a consequence its judgment is null and void and confers no rights. Relief from a criminal
conviction secured at the sacrifice of constitutional liberties, may be obtained through habeas corpus
proceedings even long after the finality of the judgment. Thus, habeas corpus is the remedy to obtain
the release of an individual, who is convicted by final judgment through a forced confession, which
violated his constitutional right against self-incrimination;25 or who is denied the right to present
evidence in his defense as a deprivation of his liberty without due process of law,26 even after the
accused has already served sentence for twenty-two years.27

Both the respondents Court of Industrial Relations and private firm trenched upon these constitutional
immunities of petitioners. Both failed to accord preference to such rights and aggravated the
inhumanity to which the aggrieved workers claimed they had been subjected by the municipal police.
Having violated these basic human rights of the laborers, the Court of Industrial Relations ousted itself
of jurisdiction and the questioned orders it issued in the instant case are a nullity. Recognition and
protection of such freedoms are imperative on all public offices including

_______________

25 Justice Sanchez in Chavez vs. Court of Appeals, 24 SCRA 663, 692, Aug. 19, 1968; see also concurring
opinion of Justice Castro; Camasura vs. Provost Marshall, 78 Phil. 131.

26 Abriol vs. Homeres, 84 Phil. 525, 1949.

27 Fay vs. Noia, 372 U.S. 391 (1963).

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the courts28 as well as private citizens and corporations, the exercise and enjoyment of which must not
be nullified by a mere procedural rule promulgated by the Court of Industrial Relations exercising a
purely delegated legislative power, when even a law enacted by Congress must yield to the
untrammelled enjoyment of these human rights. There is no time limit to the exercise of these
freedoms. The right to enjoy them is not exhausted by the delivery of one speech, the printing of one
article or the staging of one demonstration. It is a continuing immunity, to be invoked and exercised
when exigent and expedient whenever there are errors to be rectified, abuses to be denounced,
inhumanities to be condemned. Otherwise, these guarantees in the Bill of Rights would be vitiated by a
rule on procedure prescribing the period for appeal. The battle then would be reduced to a race for
time. And in such a contest between an employer and its laborer, the latter eventually loses because he
cannot employ the best and dedicated counsel who can defend his interest with the required diligence
and zeal, bereft as he is of the financial resources with which to pay for competent legal services.28-a
VI

The Court of Industrial Relations rule prescribes that a motion for reconsideration of its order or writ
should be filed within five (5) days from notice thereof and that the arguments in support of said motion
shall be filed within ten (10) days from the date of filing of such motion for reconsideration (Sec. 16). As
above intimated, these rules of procedure were promulgated by the Court of Industrial Relations
pursuant to a legislative delegation.29

The motion for reconsideration was filed on September 29, 1969, or seven (7) days from notice on
September 22, 1969 of the order dated September 15, 1969 or two (2) days late.

_____________

28 West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette, supra.

28-a Victorias Milling Co., Inc. vs. W.C.C., L-25665, May 22, 1969, 28 SCRA 285-298.

29 Sec. 20, Com. Act No. 103, as amended.

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Petitioners claim that they could have filed it on September 28, 1969, but it was a Sunday.

Does the mere fact that the motion for reconsideration was filed two (2) days late defeat the rights of
the petitioning employees? Or more directly and concretely, does the inadvertent omission to comply
with a mere Court of Industrial Relations procedural rule governing the period for filing a motion for
reconsideration or appeal in labor cases, promulgated pursuant to a legislative delegation, prevail over
constitutional rights? The answer should be obvious in the light of the aforecited cases. To accord
supremacy to the foregoing rules of the Court of Industrial Relations over basic human rights sheltered
by the Constitution, is not only incompatible with the basic tenet of constitutional government that the
Constitution is superior to any statute or subordinate rules and regulations, but also does violence to
natural reason and logic. The dominance and superiority of the constitutional right over the aforesaid
Court of Industrial Relations procedural rule of necessity should be affirmed. Such a Court of Industrial
Relations rule as applied in this case does not implement or reinforce or strengthen the constitutional
rights affected, but instead constrict the same to the point of nullifying the enjoyment thereof by the
petitioning employees. Said Court of Industrial Relations rule, promulgated as it was pursuant to a mere
legislative delegation, is unreasonable and therefore is beyond the authority granted by the Constitution
and the law. A period of five (5) days within which to file a motion for reconsideration is too short,
especially for the aggrieved workers, who usually do not have the ready funds to meet the necessary
expenses therefor. In case of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, a period of fifteen (15) days
has been fixed for the filing of the motion for re hearing or reconsideration (Sec. 10, Rule 51; Sec. 1, Rule
52; Sec. 1, Rule 56, Revised Rules of Court). The delay in the filing of the motion for reconsideration
could have been only one day if September 28, 1969 was not a Sunday. This fact accentuates the
unreasonableness of the Court of Industrial Relations rule insofar as circumstances of the instant case

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are concerned.

It should be stressed here that the motion for reconsideration dated September 27, 1969, is based on
the ground that the order sought to be reconsidered "is not in accordance with law, evidence and facts
adduced during the hearing," and likewise prays for an extension of ten (10) days within which to file
arguments pursuant to Sections 15, 16 and 17 of the Rules of the Court of Industrial Relations (Annex
"G", pp. 57-60, rec.); although the arguments were actually filed by the herein petitioners on October
14, 1969 (Annex "I", pp. 70-73, rec.), long after the 10-day period required for the filing of such
supporting arguments counted from the filing of the motion for reconsideration. Herein petitioners
received only on October 28, 1969 the resolution dated October 9, 1969 dismissing the motion for
reconsideration for being pro forma since it was filed beyond the reglementary period (Annex "J", pp.
74-75, rec.)

It is true that We ruled in several cases that where a motion to reconsider is filed out of time, or where
the arguments in support of such motion are filed beyond the 10 day reglementary period provided for
by the Court of Industrial Relations rules, the order or decision subject of reconsideration becomes final
and unappealable.29-a But in all these cases, the constitutional rights of free expression, free assembly
and petition were not involved.

It is a procedural rule that generally all causes of action and defenses presently available must be
specifically raised in the complaint or answer; so that any cause of action or defense not raised in such
pleadings, is deemed waived.

______________

29-a Elizalde & Co., Inc. vs. C.I.R., et al., September 23, 1968, 25 SCRA 58, 61-63; Bien vs. Castillo, 97 Phil.
956; Pangasinan Employees, etc. vs. Martinez, May 20, 1960, 108 Phil. 89; Local 7, etc. vs. Tabigne, Nov.
29, 1960, 110 Phil. 276; Luzon Stevedoring vs. C.I.R., July 26, 1963, 8 SCRA, 447; Manila Metal, etc. vs.
C.I.R., July 31, 1963, 8 SCRA 552.

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However, a constitutional issue can be raised any time, even for the first time on appeal, if it appears
that the determination of the constitutional issue is necessary to a decision of the case, the very lis mota
of the case without the resolution of which no final and complete determination of the dispute can be
made.30 It is thus seen that a procedural rule of Congress or of the Supreme Court gives way to a
constitutional right. In the instant case, the procedural rule of the Court of Industrial Relations, a
creature of Congress, must likewise yield to the constitutional rights invoked by herein petitioners even
before the institution of the unfair labor practice charged against them and in their defense to the said
charge.

In the case at bar, enforcement of the basic human freedoms sheltered no less by the organic law, is a
most compelling reason to deny application of a Court of Industrial Relations rule which impinges on
such human rights.30-a

It is an accepted principle that the Supreme Court has the inherent power to "suspend its own rules or
to except a particular case from its operation, whenever the purposes of justice require."30-b Mr.
Justice Barredo in his concurring opinion in Estrada vs. Sto. Domingo30-c reiterated this principle and
added that

"Under this authority, this Court is enabled to cope with all situations without concerning itself about
procedural niceties that do not square with the need to do justice, in any case, without further loss of
time, provided that the right of the parties to a full day in court is not substantially impaired. Thus, this
Court may treat an appeal as a certiorari and vice-versa. In other words, when all the material facts are
spread in the records before Us, and all the parties have been duly heard, it matters little that the error
of the court a quo is of judgment or of jurisdiction, We can then and there render

_______________

30 People vs, Vera, 65 Phil. 56. 82; Mercado vs. Bio O.G. 5360

30-a See Workmen's Ins. Co., Inc. vs. Augusto, L-31060, July 29, 1971, 40 SCRA 123, 127.

30-b Ronquillo vs. Marasigan, L-11621, May 31, 1962, 5 SCRA 304, 312-312; Ordoveza vs. Raymundo, 63
Phil. 275.

30-c L-30570, July 29, 1969, 28 SCRA 890, 933-34.

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the appropriate judgment. It is within the contemplation of this doctrine that as it is perfectly legal and
within the power of this Court to strike down in an appeal acts without or in excess of jurisdiction or
committed with grave abuse of discretion, it cannot be beyond the ambit of its authority, in appropriate
cases, to reverse in a certain proceeding any error of judgment of a court a quo which cannot be exactly
categorized as a flaw of jurisdiction. If there can be any doubt, which I do not entertain, on whether or
not the errors this Court has found in the decision of the Court of Appeals are short of being
jurisdictional nullities or excesses, this Court would still be on firm legal grounds should it choose to
reverse said decision here and now even if such errors can be considered as mere mistakes of judgment
or only as faults in the exercise of jurisdiction, so as to avoid the unnecessary return of this case to the
lower courts for the sole purpose of pursuing the ordinary course of an appeal." (Italics supplied.)30-d

Insistence on the application of the questioned Court of Industrial Relations rule in this particular case at
bar would be an unreasoning adherence to "procedural niceties," which denies justice to the herein
laborers, whose basic human freedoms, including the right to survive, must be accorded supremacy over
the property rights of their employer firm, which has been given a full hearing on this case, especially
when, as in the case at bar, no actual material damage has been demonstrated as having been inflicted
on its property rights.

If We can disregard our own rules when justice requires it, obedience to the Constitution renders more
imperative the suspension of a Court of Industrial Relations rule that clashes with the human rights
sanctioned and shielded with resolute concern by the specific guarantees outlined in the organic law. It
should be stressed that the application in the instant case of Section 15 of the Court of Industrial
Relations rules relied upon by herein respondent firm, is unreasonable and therefore such application
becomes unconstitutional as it subverts the human rights of petitioning labor union and workers in the
light of the peculiar facts and circumstances revealed by the record.

The suspension of the application of Section 15 of the Court of Industrial Relations rules with reference
to the case at bar,

____________

30-d 28 SCRA 933-934.

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is also authorized by Section 20 of Commonwealth Act No. 103, the C.I.R. charter, which enjoins the
Court of Industrial Relations to "act according to justice and equity and substantial merits of the case,
without regard to technicalities or legal forms x x."

On several occasions, We emphasized this doctrine which was re-stated by Mr. Justice Barredo, speaking
for the Court, in the 1970 case of Kapisanan, etc. vs. Hamilton, etc., et al.,30-e thus:

"As to the point that the evidence being offered by the petitioners in the motion for new trial is not
'newly discovered,' as such term is understood in the rules of procedure for the ordinary courts, We
hold that such criterion is not binding upon the Court of Industrial Relations. Under Section 20 of
Commonwealth Act No. 103, 'The Court of Industrial Relations shall adopt its rules or procedure and
shall have such other powers as generally pertain to a court of justice: Provided, however, That in the
hearing, investigation and determination of any question or controversy and in exercising any duties and
power under this Act, the Court shall act according to justice and equity and substantial merits of the
case, without regard to technicalities or legal forms and shall not be bound by any technical rules of
legal evidence but may inform its mind in such manner as it may deem just and equitable.' By this
provision, the industrial court is disengaged from the rigidity of the technicalities applicable to ordinary
courts. Said court is not even restricted to the specific relief demanded by the parties but may issue such
orders as may be deemed necessary or expedient for the purpose of settling the dispute or dispelling
any doubts that may give rise to future disputes. (Ang Tibay v. C.I.R., G.R., No. 46496, Feb. 17, 1940;
Manila Trading & Supply Co. v. Phil. Labor, 71 Phil. 124.) For these reasons, We believe that this
provision is ample enough to have enabled the respondent court to consider whether or not its previous
ruling that petitioners constitute a minority was founded on fact, without regard to the technical
meaning of newly discovered evidence.x x x x (Alonso v. Villamor, 16 Phil. 315; Chua Kiong v. Whitaker,
46 Phil. 578)." (italics supplied.)

To apply Section 15 of the Court of Industrial Relations rules with "pedantic rigor" in the instant case is
to rule in effect

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30-e L-23714, June 13, 1970, 33 SCRA 887, 907-908.

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Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc.

that the poor workers, who can ill-afford an alert and competent lawyer, can no longer seek the
sanctuary of the human freedoms secured to them by the fundamental law, simply because their
counsel—erroneously believing that he received a copy of the decision on September 23, 1969, instead
of September 22, 1969—filed his motion for reconsideration on September 29, 1969, which practically is
only one day late, considering that September 28, 1969 was a Sunday.

Many a time, this Court deviated from procedural technicalities when they ceased to be instruments of
justice, for the attainment of which such rules have been devised. Summarizing the jurisprudence on
this score, Mr. Justice Fernando, speaking for a unanimous Court in Palma vs. Oreta,30-f stated:

"As was so aptly expressed by Justice Moreland in Alonso v. Villamor (16 Phil. 315 [1910]. The Villamor
decision was cited with approval in Register of Deeds v. Phil. Nat. Bank, 84 Phil. 600 [1949]; Potenciano
v. Court of Appeals, 104 Phil. 156 [1958] and Uy v. Uy, L-14243, June 30, 1961, 2 SCRA 675.), decided as
far back as 1910, 'technicality, when it deserts its proper office as an aid to justice and becomes its great
hindrance and chief enemy, deserves scant consideration from courts.' (Ibid., p, 322.) To that norm, this
Court has remained committed. The late Justice Recto in Blanco v. Bernabe, (63 Phil. 124 [1936]) was of
a similar mind. For him the interpretation of procedural rule should never 'sacrifice the ends of justice.'
While 'procedural laws are no other than technicalities' to view them in their entirety, 'they were
adopted not as ends in themselves for the compliance with which courts have been organized and
function, but as means conducive to the realization of the administration of the law and of justice. (Ibid.,
p. 128). We have remained steadfastly opposed, in the highly rhetorical language of Justice Felix, to 'a
sacrifice of substantial rights of a litigant in the altar of sophisticated technicalities with impairment of
the sacred principles of justice.' (Potenciano v. Court of Appeals, 104 Phil. 156, 161 [1958]). As succinctly
put by Justice Makalintal, they 'should give way to the realities of the situation.' (Urbayan v. Caltex, L-
15379, Aug. 31, 1962, 5 SCRA 1016, 1019). In the latest decision in point, promulgated in 1968, (Udan v.
Amon, L-24288, 1968, 23 SCRA 837 citing McEntee v. Manotok, L-14968, Oct. 27, 1961, 3 SCRA 272.)
Justice Zaldivar was partial to an earlier formulation of Justice

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30-f L-27807, Aug. 31, 1970, 34 SCRA 738, 742-3.

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Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc.

Labrador that rules of procedure 'are not to be applied in a very rigid, technical sense'; but are intended
'to help secure substantial justice.' (Ibid., p. 843).xx"30-g

Even if the questioned Court of Industrial Relations orders and rule were to be given effect, the dismissal
or termination of the employment of the petitioning eight (8) leaders of the Union is harsh for a one-day
absence from work. The respondent Court itself recognized the severity of such a sanction when it did
not include the dismissal of the other 393 employees who are members of the same Union and who
participated in the demonstration against the Pasig police. As a matter of fact, upon the intercession of
the Secretary of Labor, the Union members who are not officers, were not dismissed, and only the
Union itself and its thirteen (13) officers were specifically named as respondents in the unfair labor
practice charge filed against them by the firm (pp. 16-20, respondent's Brief; Annexes "A", "B" and "C",
pp. 20-30, rec.). Counsel for respondent firm insinuates that not all the 400 or so employees participated
in the demonstration, for which reason only the Union and its thirteen (13) officers were specifically
named in the unfair labor practice charge (p. 20, respondent's brief). If that were so, then many, if not
all, of the morning and regular shifts reported for work on March 4, 1969 and that, as a consequence,
the firm continued in operation that day and did not sustain any damage.

The appropriate penalty—if it deserves any penalty at all—should have been simply to charge said one-
day absence against their vacation or sick leave. But to dismiss the eight (8) leaders of the petitioner
Union is a most cruel penalty, since as aforestated the Union leaders depend on their wages for their
daily sustenance as well as that of their respective families aside from the fact that it is a lethal blow to
unionism, while at the same time strengthening the oppressive hand of the petty tyrants in the
localities.

Mr. Justice Douglas articulated this pointed reminder:

"The challenge to our liberties comes frequently not from those

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30-g 34 SCRA 742-743.

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Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc.

who consciously seek to destroy our system of government, but from men of goodwill—good men who
allow their proper concerns to blind them to the fact that what they propose to accomplish involves an
impairment of liberty.

"x x The Motives of these men are often commendable. What we must remember, however, is that
preservation of liberties does not depend on motives. A suppression of liberty has the same effect
whether the suppressor be a reformer or an outlaw. The only protection against misguided zeal is
constant alertness of the infractions of the guarantees of liberty contained in our Constitution. Each
surrender of liberty to the demands of the moment makes easier another, larger surrender. The battle
over the Bill of Rights is a never ending one.

"x x The liberties of any person are the liberties of all of us.

"x x In short, the Liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected.

"x x But even if we should sense no danger to our own liberties, even if we feel secure because we
belong to a group that is important and respected, we must recognize that our Bill of Rights is a code of
fair play for the less fortunate that we in all honor and good conscience must be observe.31

The case at bar is worse.

Management has shown not only lack of good-will or good intention, but a complete lack of sympathetic
understanding of the plight of its laborers who claim that they are being subjected to indignities by the
local police. It was more expedient for the firm to conserve its income or profits than to assist its
employees in their fight for their freedoms and security against alleged petty tyrannies of local police
officers. This is sheer opportunism. Such opportunism and expediency resorted to by the respondent
company assaulted the immunities and welfare of its employees. It was pure and simple selfishness, if
not greed.

Of happy relevance is the 1967 case of Republic Savings Bank

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31 A Living Bill of Rights (1961), pp. 61, 62, 64; 24 SCRA, 690-692; italics supplied.

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vs. C.I.R.,32 where the petitioner Bank dismissed eight (8) employees for having written and published
"a patently libelous letter x x x to the Bank president demanding his resignation on the grounds of
immorality, nepotism in the appointment and favoritism as well as discrimination in the promotion of
bank employees." Therein, thru Mr. Justice Castro, We ruled:

"It will avail the Bank none to gloat over this admission of the respondents. Assuming that the latter
acted in their individual capacities when they wrote the letter-charge they were nonetheless protected
for they were engaged in concerted activity, in the exercise of their right of self organization that
includes concerted activity for mutual aid and protection, (Section 3 of the Industrial Peace Act x x x).
This is the view of some members of this Court. For, as has been aptly stated, the joining in protests or
demands, even by a small group of employees, if in furtherance of their interests as such, is a concerted
activity protected by the Industrial Peace Act. It is not necessary that union activity be involved or that
collective bargaining be contemplated. (Annot., 6 A.L.R. 2d 416 [1949]).

XX XX XX XX XX

"Instead of stifling criticism, the Bank should have allowed the respondents to air their grievances.

xx xx xx xx xx

"The Bank defends its action by invoking its right to discipline for what it calls the respondents' libel in
giving undue publicity to their letter-charge. To be sure, the right of self-organization of employees is
not unlimited (Republic Aviation Corp. vs. NLRB, 324 U.S. 793 [1945]), as the right of the employer to
discharge for cause (Philippine Education Co. v. Union of Phil. Educ. Employees, L-13773, April 29, 1960)
is undenied. The Industrial Peace Act does not touch the normal exercise of the right of the employer to
select his employees or to discharge them. It is directed solely against the abuse of that right by
interfering with the countervailing right of self organization (Phelps Dodge Corp. v. NLRB, 313 U.S. 177
[1941]).

XX XX

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32 21 SCRA 226-241, Sept. 27, 1967.

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc.

xx xx xx xx xx

"In the final sum and substance, this Court is in unanimity that the Bank's conduct, identified as an
interference with the employees' right of self-organization, or as a retaliatory action, and/or as a refusal
to bargain collectively, constituted an unfair labor practice within the meaning and intendment of
section 4(a) of the Industrial Peace Act." (Italics supplied.)33

If free expression was accorded recognition and protection to fortify labor unionism in the Republic
Savings case, supra, where the complaint assailed the morality and integrity of the bank president no
less, such recognition and protection for free speech, free assembly and right to petition are rendered
all the more justifiable and more imperative in the case at bar, where the mass demonstration was not
against the company nor any of its officers.

WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered:

(1) setting aside as null and void the orders of the respondent Court of Industrial Relations dated
September 15 and October 9, 1969; and
(2) directing the reinstatement of the herein eight (8) petitioners, with full back pay from the date of
their separation from the service until reinstated, minus one day's pay and whatever earnings they
might have realized from other sources during their separation from the service.

With costs against private respondent Philippine Blooming Company, Inc.

Zaldivar, Castro, Fernando and Esguerra, JJ., concur.

Makalintal, C.J., took no part.

Teehankee, J., concurs in a separate opinion.

Barredo, J., dissents.

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33 21 SCRA 232-237.

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Antonio, J., concurs in the dissenting opinion.

BARREDO, J.: Dissenting—

I bow in respectful and sincere admiration, but my sense of duty compels me to dissent.

The background of this case may be found principally in the stipulation of facts upon which the decision
under review is based. It is as follows:

"1. That complainant Philippine Blooming Mills, Company, Inc., is a corporation existing and operating
under and by virtue of the laws of the Philippines with corporate address at 666 Muelle de Binondo,
Manila, which is the employer of respondent;
"2. That Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization, PBMEO for short, is a legitimate labor
organization, and the respondents herein are either officers of respondent PBMEO or members thereof;
"3. That on March 2, 1969 complainant company learned of the projected mass demonstration at
Malacañang in protest against alleged abuses of the Pasig Police Department to be participated by the
first shift (6:00 AM - 2:00 PM) workers as well as those working in the regular shifts (7:00 A.M. to 4:00
PM and 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) in the morning of March 4, 1969;
"4. That a meeting was called by the Company on March 3, 1969 at about 11:00 A.M. at the
Company's canteen, and those present were: for the Company: (1) Mr. Arthur L. Ang, (2) Atty. Cesareo S.
de Leon, Jr. (3) and all department and section heads. For the PBMEO: (1) Florencio Padrigano, (2)
Rufino Roxas, (3) Mariano de Leon, (4) Asencion Paciente, (5) Bonifacio Vacuna and (6) Benjamin Pagcu.
"5. That the Company asked the union panel to confirm or deny said projected mass demonstration at
Malacañang on March 4, 1969. PBMEO, thru Benjamin Pagcu who acted as the spokesman of the union
panel, confirmed the planned demonstration and stated that the demonstration or rally cannot be
cancelled because it has already been agreed upon in the meeting. Pagcu explained further that the
demonstration has nothing to do with the Company because the union has no quarrel or dispute with
Management;

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Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc.

"6. That Management, thru Atty. C. S. de Leon, Company personnel manager, informed PBMEO that
the demonstration is an inalienable right of the union guaranteed by the Constitution but emphasized,
however, that any demonstration for that matter should not unduly prejudice the normal operation of
the Company. For which reason, the Company, thru Atty. C.S. de Leon, warned the PBMEO
representatives that workers who belong to the first and regular shifts, who without previous leave of
absence approved by the Company, particularly the officers present who are the organizers of the
demonstration, who shall fail to report for work the following morning (March 4, 1969) shall be
dismissed, because such failure is a violation of the existing CBA and, therefore, would be amounting to
an illegal strike;
"7. That at about 5:00 P.M. on March 3, 1969, another meeting was convoked. Company represented
by Atty. C. S. de Leon, Jr. The Union panel was composed of: Nicanor Tolentino, Rodulfo Munsod,
Benjamin Pagcu and Florencio Padrigano. In this afternoon meeting of March 3, 1969, Company
reiterated and appealed to the PBMEO representatives that while all workers may join the Malacañang
demonstration, the workers for the first and regular shift of March 4, 1969 should be excused from
joining the demonstration and should report for work; and thus utilize the workers in the 2nd and 3rd
shifts in order not to violate the provisions of the CBA, particularly Article XXIV: "NO LOCKOUT - NO
STRIKE". All those who will not follow this warning of the Company shall be dismissed; De Leon
reiterated the Company's warning that the officers shall be primarily liable being the organizers of the
mass demonstration. The union panel countered that it was rather too late to change their plans
inasmuch as the Malacañang demonstration will be held the following morning; and
"8. That a certain Mr. Wilfredo Ariston, adviser of PBMEO sent a cablegram to the Company which
was received 9:50 A.M., March 4, 1969, the contents of which are as follows: 'REITERATING REQUEST
EXCUSE DAY SHIFT EMPLOYEES JOINING DEMONSTRATION MARCH 4, 1969.' "

Additionally, the trial court found that "the projected demonstration did in fact occur and in the process
paralyzed to a large extent the operations of the complainant company".(p. 5, Annex F).

Upon these facts the Prosecution Division of the Court of

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Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc.

Industrial Relations filed with said court a complaint for Unfair Labor Practice against petitioners
charging that:

"3. That on March 4, 1969, respondents (petitioners herein) particularly those in the first shift, in
violation of the existing collective bargaining agreement and without filing the necessary notice as
provided for by law, failed to report for work, amounting to a declaration of strike;
"4. That the above acts are in violation of Section 4(a) sub-paragraph 6, in relation to Sections 13, 14
and 15 of Republic Act No. 875, and of the collective bargaining agreement." (Pars. 3 and 4, Annex C.)

After due hearing, the court rendered judgment, the dispositive part of which reads:

"IN VIEW HEREOF, the respondent Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization is found guilty of
bargaining in bad faith and is hereby ordered to cease and desist from further committing the same and
its representatives namely: respondent Florencio Padrigano, Rufino Roxas, Mariano de Leon, Asencion
Paciente, Bonifacio Vacuna, Benjamin Pagcu, Nicanor Tolentino and Rodulfo Munsod who are directly
responsible for perpetrating this unfair labor practice act, are hereby considered to have lost their status
as employees of the Philippine Blooming Mills, Inc." (p. 8, Annex F.)

Although it is alleged in the petition herein that petitioners were notified of this decision on September
23, 1969, there seems to be no serious question that they were actually served therewith on September
22, 1969. In fact, petitioners admitted this date of notice in paragraph 2 of their Petition for Relief dated
October 30, 1969 and filed with the industrial court on the following day. (See Annex K.)

It is not controverted that it was only on September 29, 1969, or seven (7) days after they were notified
of the court's decision, that petitioners filed their motion for reconsideration with the industrial court;
as it is also not disputed that they filed their "Arguments in Support of the Respondents' Motion for
Reconsideration" only on October 14, 1969. (See Annex I.) In other words, petitioners' motion for
reconsideration was filed

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Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc.

two (2) days after the lapse of the five (5) day period provided for the filing thereof in the rules of the
Court of Industrial Relations, whereas the "Arguments" were filed five (5) days after the expiration of
the period therefor also specified in the same rules.

Accordingly, the first issue that confronts the Court is the one raised by respondent private firm, namely,
that in view of the failure of petitioners to file not only their motion for reconsideration but also their
arguments in support thereof within the periods respectively fixed in the rules therefor, the Court of
Industrial Relations acted correctly and within the law in rendering and issuing its impugned order of
October 9, 1969 dismissing petitioners' motion for reconsideration.

Respondent's contention presents no problem. Squarely applicable to the facts hereof is the decision of
this Court in Elizalde & Co. Inc. vs. Court of Industrial Relations1 wherein it was ruled that:

"August 6, 1963. Petitioner received a copy of the decision of the then Associate Judge Arsenio I.
Martinez, the dispositive part of which was set forth earlier in this opinion.

"August 12, 1963. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. No arguments were advanced in support
thereof.

"August 21, 1963. Petitioner moved for additional time to file its arguments in support of its motion to
reconsider.

"August 27, 1963. Petitioner filed its arguments in support of its aforesaid motion seeking
reconsideration.

"September 16, 1963. CIR en banc resolved to dismiss the motion for reconsideration. Ground therefor
was that the arguments were 'filed out of time'.

"October 3, 1963. Petitioner filed its notice of appeal and at the same time lodged the present petition
with this Court.

"Upon respondent Perlado's return and petitioner's brief

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1 25 SCRA 58.

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(respondents did not file their brief), the case is now before us for resolution.

"1. That the judgment appealed from is a final judgment—not merely an interlocutory order—there is
no doubt. The fact that there is need for computation of respondent Perlado's overtime pay would not
render the decision incomplete. This in effect is the holding of the Court in Pan American World Airways
System (Philippines) vs. Pan American Employees Association, which runs thus: 'It is next contended that
in ordering the Chief of the Examining Division or his representative to compute the compensation due,
the Industrial Court unduly delegated its judicial functions and thereby rendered an incomplete decision.
We do not believe so. Computation of the overtime pay involves a mechanical function, at most. And
the report would still have to be submitted to the Industrial Court for its approval, by the very terms of
the order itself. That there was no specification of the amount of overtime pay in the decision did not
make it incomplete, since this matter would necessarily be made clear enough in the implementation of
the decision (see Malate Taxicab & Garage, Inc. vs. CIR, et al., L-8718, May 11, 1956).'
"2. But has that judgment reached the stage of finality in the sense that it can no longer be disturbed?

"CIR Rules of Procedure, as amended, and the jurisprudence of this Court both answer the question in
the affirmative.

"Section 15 of the CIR Rules requires that one who seeks to reconsider the judgment of the trial judge
must do so within five (5) days from the date on which he received notice of the decision, subject of the
motion. Next follows Section 16 which says that the motion must be submitted with arguments
supporting the same. But if said arguments could not be submitted simultaneously with the motion, the
same section commands that 'the movant shall file the same within ten (10) days from the date of the
filing of his motion for reconsideration'. Section 17 of the same rules admonishes a movant that
'(f)ailure to observe the above-specified periods shall be sufficient cause for dismissal of the motion for
reconsideration or striking out of the answer and/or the supporting arguments, as the case may be'.

"Not that the foregoing rules stand alone. Jurisprudence has since stabilized the enforceability thereof.
Thus, in Bien vs. Castillo,

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Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc.

(97 Phil. 956) we ruled that where a pro forma motion for reconsideration was filed out of time its
denial is in order pursuant to CIR rules, regardless of whether the arguments in support of said motion
were or were not filed on time. Pangasinan Employees Laborers & Tenants Association (PELTA) vs.
Martinez, (L-13846, May 20, 1960) pronounced that where a motion to reconsider is filed out of time,
the order or decision subject of reconsideration becomes final. And so also, where the arguments in
support of the motion for reconsideration are filed beyond the ten-day reglementary period, the pro
forma motion for reconsideration although seasonably filed must nevertheless be denied. This in
essence is our ruling in Local 7, Press & Printing Free Workers (FFW) vs. Tabigne. The teaching in Luzon
Stevedoring Co., Inc. vs. Court of Industrial Relations, is that where the motion for reconsideration is
denied upon the ground that the arguments in support thereof were filed out of time, the order or
decision subject of the motion becomes 'final and unappealable'.

"We find no difficulty in applying the foregoing rules and pronouncements of this Court in the case
before us. On August 6, petitioner received a copy of the judgment of Judge Arsenio I. Martinez
aforesaid. Petitioner's motion to reconsider—without arguments in support thereof—of August 12 was
filed on time. For, August 11, the end of the five-day reglementary period to file a motion for
reconsideration, was a Sunday. But, actually, the written arguments in support of the said motion were
submitted to the court on August 27. The period from August 12 to August 27, is a space of fifteen (15)
days. Surely enough, said arguments were filed out of time—five (5) days late. And the judgment had
become final.

"3. There is, of course, petitioner's motion of August 21, 1963 seeking extension of time within which to
present its arguments in support of its motion. Counsel in his petition before this Court pleads that the
foregoing motion was grounded on the 'extremely busy and difficult schedule of counsel' which would
not enable him to do so within the stated ten-day reglementary period. The arguments were only filed
on August 27—five (5) days late, as aforesaid.

"The foregoing circumstances will not avail petitioner any. It is to be noted that the motion for
expansion of time was filed only on August 21, that is, one day before the due date which is August 22. It
was petitioner's duty to see to it that the court act on this motion forthwith or at least inquire as to the
fate thereof not later than the 22nd of August. It did not. It merely filed its arguments on the 27th.

"To be underscored at this point is that 'obviously to speed up

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the disposition of cases', CIR 'has a standing rule against the extension of the ten-day period for filing
supporting arguments'. That no-extension policy should have placed petitioner on guard. It should not
have simply folded its arms, sit by supinely, and relied on the court's generosity. To compound
petitioner's neglect, it filed the arguments only on August 27, 1953, knowing full well that by that time
the reglementary period had expired.

"Petitioner cannot complain against CIR's ruling of September 16, 1963 dismissing the motion for
reconsideration on the ground that the supporting arguments were filed out of time. That ruling in
effect denied the motion for extension.

"We rule that CIR's judgment has become final and unappealable. We may not review the same."

Notwithstanding this unequivocal and unmistakable precedent, which has not been in any way
modified, much less revoked or reversed by this Court, the main opinion has chosen not only to go into
the merits of petitioners' pose that the respondent court erred in holding them guilty of bargaining in
bad faith but also to ultimately uphold petitioners' claim for reinstatement on constitutional grounds.

Precisely because the conclusions of the main opinion are predicated on an exposition of the
constitutional guarantees of freedoms of speech and peaceful assembly for redress of grievances, so
scholarly and masterful that it is bound to overwhelm Us unless We note carefully the real issues in this
case, I am constrained, over and above my sincere admiration for the eloquence and zeal of Mr. Justice
Makasiar's brilliant dissertation, to dutifully state that as presented by petitioners themselves and in the
light of its attendant circumstances, this case does not call for the resolution of any constitutional issue.
Admittedly, the invocation of any constitutional guarantee, particularly when it directly affects
individual freedoms enshrined in the bill of rights, deserves the closest attention of this Court. It is my
understanding of constitutional law and judicial practices related thereto, however, that even the most
valuable of our constitutional rights may be protected by the courts only when their jurisdiction over the
subject matter is unquestionably established and the applicable rules of

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procedure consistent with substantive and procedural due process are observed. No doubt no
constitutional right can be sacrificed in the altar of procedural technicalities, very often fittingly
downgraded as niceties, but as far as I know, this principle is applied to annul or set aside final
judgments only in cases wherein there is a possible denial of due process. I have not come across any
instance, and none is mentioned or cited in the well-documented main opinion, wherein a final and
executory judgment has been invalidated and set aside upon the ground that the same has the effect of
sanctioning the violation of a constitutional right, unless such violation amounts to a denial of due
process.

Without support from any provision of the constitution or any law or from any judicial precedent or
reason of principle, the main opinion nudely and unqualifiedly asserts, as if it were universally
established and accepted as an absolute rule, that "a violation of a constitutional right divests the court
of jurisdiction; and as a consequence its judgment is null and void and confers no rights". Chavez vs.
Court of Appeals, 24 SCRA 663, which is mentioned almost in passing, does uphold the proposition that
"relief from a criminal conviction secured at the sacrifice of constitutional liberties, may be obtained
through habeas corpus proceedings even after the finality of the judgment". And, of course, Chavez is
correct; as is also Abriol vs. Homeres,2 which, in principle, served as its precedent, for the very simple
reason that in both of those cases, the accused were denied due process. In Chavez, the accused was
compelled to testify against himself as a witness for the prosecution; in Abriol, the accused was denied
his request to be allowed to present evidence to establish his defense after his demurrer to the People's
evidence was denied.

As may be seen, however, the constitutional issues involved in those cases are a far cry from the one
now before Us. Here, petitioners do not claim they were denied due process. Nor do they pretend that
in denying their motion for reconsideration, "the respondent Court of Industrial Relations and private
firm trenched upon any of their constitutional immunities . . .,"

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2 86 Phil. 525.

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contrary to the statement to such effect in the main opinion. Indeed, neither in the petition herein nor
in any of the other pleading of petitioners can any direct or indirect assertion be found assailing the
impugned decision of the respondent court as being null and void because it sanctioned a denial of a
valued constitutional liberty.

In their petition, petitioners state the issue for Our resolution as follows:

"Petitioners herein humbly submit that the issue to be resolved is whether or not the respondent Court
en banc under the facts and circumstances, should consider the Motion for Reconsideration filed by
your petitioners.

"Petitioners, therefore, in filing this petition for a writ of certiorari, humbly beg this Honorable Court to
treat this petition under Rule 43 and 65 of the Rules of Court."

"x x x x x.

"The basic issue therefore is the application by the Court en banc of the strict and narrow technical rules
of procedure without taking into account justice, equity and substantial merits of the case."

On the other hand, the complete argument submitted by petitioners on this point in their brief runs
thus:

"III
ISSUES

"1. Does the refusal to heed a warning in the exercise of a fundamental right to peaceably assemble and
petition the government for redress of grievances constitute bargaining in bad faith? and,

"Do the facts found by the court below justify the declaration and conclusion that the union was guilty
of bargaining in bad faith meriting the dismissal of the persons allegedly responsible therefor?

"2. Was there grave abuse of discretion when the respondent court refused to act one way or another
on the petition for relief from

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the resolution of October 9, 1969?

IV
ARGUMENT

The respondent Court erred in finding the petitioner union guilty of bargaining in bad faith and
consequently dismissing the persons allegedly responsible therefor, because such conclusion is contrary
to the evidence on record; that the dismissal of leaders was discriminatory.

"As a result of exercising the constitutional rights of freedom to assemble and petition the duly
constituted authorities for redress of their grievances, the petitioners were charged and then
condemned of bargaining in bad faith.

"The findings that petitioners were guilty of bargaining in bad faith were not borne out by the records. It
was not even alleged nor proven by evidence. What has been alleged and which the respondent
company tried to prove was that the demonstration amounted to a strike and hence, a violation of the
provisions of the 'no-lockout—no strike' clause of the collective bargaining agreement. However, this
allegation and proof submitted by the respondent company were practically resolved when the
respondent court in the same decision stated categorically:

'The company alleges that the walkout because of the demonstration is tantamount to a declaration of a
strike. We do not think so, as the same is not rooted in any industrial dispute although there is a
concerted act and the occurrence of a temporary stoppage of work.' (Italics supplied, p. 4, 5th
paragraph, Decision.)

"The respondent court's findings that the petitioner union bargained in bad faith is not tenable because:

"First, it has not been alleged nor proven by the respondent company;

"Second, before the demonstration, the petitioner union and the respondent company convened twice
in a meeting to thresh out the matter of demonstration. Petitioners requested that the employees and
workers be excused but the respondent company instead of granting the request or even settling the
matter so that the hours of

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work will not be disrupted, immediately threatened the employees of mass dismissal;

"Third, the refusal of the petitioner union to grant the request of the company that the first shift shall be
excluded in the demonstration is not tantamount to bargaining in bad faith because the company knew
that the officers of the union belonged to the first shift, and that the union cannot go and lead the
demonstration without their officers. It must be stated that the company intends to prohibit its officers
to lead and join the demonstration because most of them belonged to the first shift; and

"Fourth, the findings of the respondent court that the demonstration if allowed will practically give the
union the right to change the working conditions agreed in the CBA is a conclusion of facts, opinionated
and not borne by any evidence on record. The demonstration did not practically change the terms or
conditions of employment because it was only for one (1) day and the company knew about it before it
went through. We can even say that it was the company who bargained in bad faith, when upon
representation of the Bureau of Labor not to dismiss the employees demonstrating, the company tacitly
approved the same and yet while the demonstration was in progress, the company filed a ULP Charge
and consequently dismissed those who participated.

"Records of the case show that more or less 400 members of the union participated in the
demonstration and yet, the respondent court selected the eight officers to be dismissed from the union
thus losing their status as employees of the respondent company. The respondent court should have
taken into account that the company's action in allowing the return of more or less three hundred
ninety two (392) employees/members of the union is an act of condonation and the dismissal of the
eight (8) officers is an act of discrimination (Phil. Air Lines Inc., vs. Phil. Air Lines Employees Association,
G.R. No. L-8197, Oct. 31, 1958). Seemingly, from the opinion stated in the decision by the court, while
there is a collective bargaining agreement, the union cannot go on demonstration or go on strike
because it will change the terms and conditions of employment agreed in the CBA. It follows that the
CBA is over and above the constitutional rights of a man to demonstrate and the statutory rights of a
union to strike as provided for in Republic Act 875. This creates a bad precedent because it will appear
that the rights of the union is solely dependent upon the CBA.

"One of the cardinal primary rights which must be respected in

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proceedings before the Court of Industrial Relations is that 'the decision must be rendered on the
evidence presented at the hearing, or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties
affected.' (Interstate Commerce Commission vs. L & N R. Co., 227 U.S. 88, 33 S. Ct. 185, 57 Law ed. 431.)
Only by confining the administrative tribunal to the evidence disclosed to the parties, can the latter be
protected in their rights to know and meet the case against them. (Ang Tibay vs. CIR, G.R. No. L-45496,
February 27, 1940.)

"The petitioners respectfully and humbly submit that there is no scintilla of evidence to support the
findings of the respondent court that the petitioner union bargained in bad faith. Corollary therefore,
the dismissal of the individual petitioners is without basis either in fact or in law."

Additionally, in their reply they also argued that:

"1) That respondent court's finding that petitioners have been guilty of bargaining in bad faith and
consequently lost their status as employees of the respondent company did not meet the meaning and
comprehension of 'substantial merits of the case.' Bargaining in bad faith has not been alleged in the
complaint (Annex "C", Petition) nor proven during the hearing of the case. The important and
substantial merit of the case is whether under the facts and circumstances alleged in respondent
company's pleadings, the demonstration done by the petitioners amounted to on 'illegal strike' and
therefore in violation of the 'no strike—no lock out' clause of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Petitioners respectfully reiterate and humbly submit, that the respondent court had altogether opined
and decided that such demonstration does not amount to a strike. Hence, with that findings, petitioners
should have been absolved of the charges against them. Nevertheless, the same respondent court
disregarding, its own findings, went out of bounds by declaring the petitioners as having 'bargained in
faith.' The stand of the respondent court is fallacious, as it follows the principle in logic as 'non-siquitor';
"2) That again respondents wanted to impress that the freedom to assemble peaceably to air
grievances against the duly constituted authorities as guaranteed in our Constitution is subject to the
limitation of the agreement in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The fundamental rights of the
petitioners to free speech and assembly is paramount to the provision in the Collective Bargaining
Agreement and such attempt to override the constitutional provision

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would be null and void. These fundamental rights of the petitioners were not taken into consideration in
the deliberation of the case by the respondent court;"

Thus, it is clear from the foregoing contentions that petitioners are not raising any issue of due process.
They do not posit that the decision of the industrial court is null and void on that constitutional ground.
True it is that they fault the respondent court for having priced the provisions of the collective
bargaining agreement herein involved over and above their constitutional right to peaceably assemble
and petition for redress of their grievances against the abuses of the Pasig police, but in no sense at all
do they allege or contend that such action affects its jurisdiction in a manner that renders the
proceedings a nullity. In other words, petitioners themselves consider the alleged flaw in the court's
action as a mere error of judgment rather than that of jurisdiction which the main opinion projects. For
this Court to roundly and indignantly condemn private respondent now for the grievous violation of the
fundamental law the main opinion sees in its refusal to allow all its workers to join the demonstration in
question, when that specific issue has not been duly presented to Us and properly argued, is to my mind
unfair and unjust, for the simple reason that the manner this case was brought to Us does not afford it
the opportunity to be heard in regard to such supposed constitutional transgression.

To be sure, petitioners do maintain, that respondent court committed an error of jurisdiction by finding
petitioners guilty of bargaining in bad faith when the charge against them alleged in the complaint was
for having conducted a mass demonstration, which "amounted to a strike", in violation of the Collective
Bargaining Agreement, but definitely, this jurisdictional question has no constitutional color. Indeed, We
can even assume for the sake of argument, that the trial judge did err in not giving preferential
importance to the fundamental freedoms invoked by the petitioners over the management and
proprietary attributes claimed by the respondent private firm—still, We cannot rightly hold that such
disregard of petitioners' priceless liberties divested His Honor of jurisdiction in the premises. The
unbending doctrine

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of this Court is that "decisions, erroneous or not, become final after the period fixed by law; litigations
would be endless; no questions would be finally settled; and titles to property would become precarious
if the losing party were allowed to reopen them at any time in the future".3

I only have to add to this that the fact that the error is in the interpretation, construction or application
of a constitutional precept, not constituting a denial of due process, should not make any difference.
Juridically, a party cannot be less injured by an overlooked or erroneously sanctioned violation of an
ordinary statute than by a misconstrued or misapplied constitutional injunction affecting his individual
freedoms. In both instances, there is injustice which should be intolerable were it not for the more
paramount considerations that inform the principle of immutability of final judgments. I dare say this
must be the reason why, as I have already noted, the main opinion does not cite any constitutional
provision, law or rule or any judicial doctrine or principle supporting its basic holding that infringement
of constitutional guarantees, other than denial of due process, divests courts of jurisdiction to render
valid judgments.

In this connection, it must be recalled that the teaching of Philippine Association of Colleges and
Universities vs. Secretary of Education,4 following Santiago vs. Far Eastern Broadcasting,5 is that "it is
one of our (the Supreme Court's) decisional practices that unless a constitutional point is specifically
raised, insisted upon and adequately argued, the court will not consider it". In the case at bar, the
petitioners have not raised, they are not insisting upon, much less have they adequately argued the
constitutional issues so extendedly and ably discussed in the main opinion.

Indeed, it does not seem wise and sound for the Supreme Court to hold that the erroneous resolution by
a court of a

_______________

3 Daquis vs. Bustos, 94 Phil. 913, reiterated in Maramba vs. Lozano, 20 SCRA 474. See also Vicente vs.
Lucas, 95 Phil. 716

4 97 Phil. 806, at p. 816.

5 73 Phil. 408.

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constitutional issue not amounting to a denial of due process renders its judgment or decision null and
void, and, therefore, subject to attack even after said judgment or decision has become final and
executory. I have actually tried to bring myself into agreement with the views of the distinguished and
learned writer of the main opinion, if only to avoid dissenting from his well prepared thesis, but its
obvious incongruity with settled jurisprudence always comes to the fore to stifle my effort.

As a matter of fact, for a moment, it appeared to me as if I could go along with petitioners under the
authority of our constitutionally irreducible appellate jurisdiction under Section 2(5) of Article VII of the
1935 Constitution of the Philippines6 (reenacted practically ipssisimis verbis in Section 5(2) (e) of the
1973 Constitution), only to realize upon further reflection that the very power granted to Us to review
decisions of lower courts involving questions of law (and these include constitutional issues not affecting
the validity of statutes, treaty, executive agreement, etc.) is not unqualified but has to be exercised only
in the manner provided in the law or the Rules of Court. In other words, before We can exercise
appellate jurisdiction over constitutional issues, no matter how important they may be, there must first
be a showing of compliance with the applicable procedural law or rules, among them, those governing
appeals from the Court of Industrial Relations involved herein. Consequently, if by law or rule, a
judgment of the industrial court is already final and executory, this Court would be devoid of power and
authority to review, much less alter or modify the same, absent any denial of due process or fatal defect
of jurisdiction. It must be borne in mind that the situation confronting Us now is not merely whether or
not We should pass upon a question or issue not specifically raised by the party concerned, which, to be
sure, could be enough reason to dissuade Us from taking pains in resolving the same; rather, the real
problem here is whether or not We have jurisdiction to entertain it. And, in this regard, as already stated
earlier, no less than Justice Conrado Sanchez, the writer of Chavez, supra., which is being relied upon by
the main

_______________

6 Under which this case was filed.

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opinion, already laid down the precedent in Elizalde vs. Court, supra, which for its four-square
applicability to the facts of this case, We have no choice but to follow, that is, that in view of the failure
of the petitioners to file not only their motion for reconsideration but even their argument supporting
the same within the prescribed period, "the judgment (against them) has become final, beyond recall".

Indeed, when I consider that courts would be useless if the finality and enforceability of their judgments
are made contingent on the correctness thereof from the constitutional standpoint, and that in truth,
whether or not they are correct is something that is always dependent upon combined opinion of the
members of the Supreme Court, which in turn is naturally as changeable as the members themselves are
changed, I cannot conceive of anything more pernicious and destructive to a trustful administration of
justice than the idea that, even without any showing of denial of due process or want of jurisdiction of
the court, a final and executory judgment of such court may still be set aside or reopened in instances
other than those expressly allowed by Rule 38 and that of extrinsic fraud under Article 1146(1) of the
Civil Code.7 And just to emphasize the policy of the law of respecting judgments once they have become
final, even as this Court has ruled that final decisions are mute in the presence of fraud which the law
abhors,8 it is only when the fraud is extrinsic and not intrinsic that final and executory judgments may
be set aside,9 and this only when the remedy is sought within the prescriptive period.10

Apropos here is the following passage in Li Kim Tho vs. Go Sin Kaw, 82 Phil. 776:

"Litigation must end and terminate sometime and somewhere, and it is essential to an effective and
efficient administration of

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7 Mauricio vs. Villanueva, 106 Phil. 1159, cited by Moran in Vol. II, p. 246 (1970 ed.).

8 Garchitorena vs. Sotelo, 74 Phil. 25.

9 Amuran vs. Aquino, 38 Phil. 29; Javier vs. Paredes, 52 Phil. 910; Domingo vs. David, 68 Phil. 134.

10 Quion v. Claridad, 74 Phil. 100.

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justice that once a judgment has become final, the winning party be not, through a mere subterfuge,
deprived of the fruits of the verdict. Courts must therefore guard against any scheme calculated to bring
about that result. Constituted as they are to put an end to controversies, courts should frown upon any
attempt to prolong them."

Likewise the stern admonition of Justice George Malcolm in Dy Cay v. Crossfield, 38 Phil. 521, thus:

"x x x. Public policy and sound practice demand that, at the risk of occasional errors, judgments of courts
should become final at some definite date fixed by law. The very object for which courts were instituted
was to put an end to controversies. To fulfill this purpose and to do so speedily, certain time limits, more
or less arbitrary, have to be set up to spur on the slothful. 'If a vacillating, irresolute judge were allowed
to thus keep causes ever within his power, to determine and redetermine them term after term, to
bandy his judgments about from one party to the other, and to change his conclusions as freely and as
capriciously as a chamelon may change its hues, then litigation might become more intolerable than the
wrongs it is intended to redress.' (See Arnedo vs. Llorente and Liongson (1911), 18 Phil., 257.)."

My disagreement with the dissenters in Republic vs. Judge de los Angeles, L-26112, October 4, 1971, 41
SCRA 422, was not as to the unalterability and invulnerability of final judgments but rather on the
correct interpretation of the contents of the judgment in question therein. Relevantly to this case at bar,
I said then:

"The point of res adjudicata discussed in the dissents has not escaped my attention. Neither am I
overlooking the point of the Chief Justice regarding the dangerous and inimical implications of a ruling
that would authorize the revision, amendment or alteration of a final and executory judgment. I want to
emphasize that my position in this opinion does not detract a whit from the soundness, authority and
binding force of existing doctrines enjoining any such modifications. The public policy of maintaining
faith and respect in judicial decisions, which inform said doctrines, is admittedly of the highest order. I
am not advocating any departure from them. Nor am I trying to put forth for execution a decision that I
believe should have been rather than what it is. All I am doing is to view not the judgment of Judge
Tengco but the decision of this Court in G.R. No.

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L-20950, as it is and not as I believe it should have been, and, by this opinion, I would like to guide the
court a quo as to what, in my honest view, is the true and correct meaning and implications of the
decision of this Court, not that of Judge Tengco's."

The main opinion calls attention to many instances, precisely involving cases in the industrial court,
wherein this Court refused to be constrained by technical rules of procedure in its determination to
accord substantial justice to the parties. I still believe in those decisions, some of which were penned by
me. I am certain, however, that in none of those precedents did this Court disturb a judgment already
final and executory. It is too obvious to require extended elucidation or even reference to any precedent
or authority that the principle of immutability of final judgments is not a mere technicality, and if it may
be considered to be in a sense a procedural rule, it is one that is founded on public policy and cannot,
therefore, yield to the ordinary plea that it must give priority to substantial justice.

Apparently bent on looking for a constitutional point of due process to hold on, the main opinion goes
far as to maintain that the long existing and constantly applied rule governing the filing of motions for
reconsideration in the Court of Industrial Relations, "as applied in this case does not implement or
reinforce or strengthen the constitutional rights affected, but instead constricts the same to the point of
nullifying the enjoyment thereof by the petitioning employees. Said Court of Industrial Relations Rule,
promulgated as it was pursuant to a mere legislative delegation, is unreasonable and therefore is
beyond the authority granted by the Constitution and the law. A period of five (5) days within which to
file a motion for reconsideration is too short, especially for the aggrieved workers, who usually do not
have the ready funds to meet the necessary expenses therefor. In case of the Court of Appeals and the
Supreme Court, a period of fifteen (15) days has been fixed for the filing of the motion for re-hearing or
reconsideration (Sec. 10, Rule 51; Sec. 1, Rule 52; Sec. 1, Rule 56, Revised Rules of Court). The delay in
the filing of the motion for reconsideration could have been only one day if September 28, 1969 was not
a Sunday. This fact accentuates the unreasonableness of the Court of Industrial Relations Rule insofar as
circumstances of the instant case are concerned."

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I am afraid the zeal and passion of these arguments do not justify the conclusion suggested. Viewed
objectively, it can readily be seen that there can hardly be any factual or logical basis for such a critical
view of the rule in question. Said rule provides:

"MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION

"Sec. 15. The movant shall file the motion, in six copies, within five (5) days from the date on which he
receives notice of the order or decision, object of the motion for reconsideration, the same to be
verified under oath with respect to the correctness of the allegations of fact, and serving a copy thereof,
personally or by registered mail, on the adverse party. The latter may file an answer, in six (6) copies,
duly verified under oath.

"Sec. 16. Both the motion and the answer shall be submitted with arguments supporting the same. If the
arguments can not be submitted simultaneously with said motions, upon notice to the Court, the
movant shall file same within ten (10) days from the date of the filing of his motion for reconsideration.
The adverse party shall also file his answer within ten (10) days from the receipt by him of a copy of the
arguments submitted by the movant.

"Sec. 17. After an answer to the motion is registered, or after ten (10) days from the receipt of the
arguments in support of said motion having been filed, the motion shall be deemed submitted for
resolution of the Court in banc, unless it is considered necessary to hear oral arguments, in which case
the Court shall issue the corresponding order or notice to that effect.

"Failure to observe the above-specified periods shall be sufficient cause for dismissal of the motion for
reconsideration or striking out of the answer and/or the supporting arguments, as the case may be. (As
amended April 20, 1951, Court of Industrial Relations.)."

As implemented and enforced in actual practice, this rule, as everyone acquainted with proceedings in
the industrial court well knows, precisely permits the party aggrieved by a judgment to file no more than
a pro-forma motion for reconsideration without any argument or lengthy discussion and with barely a
brief statement of the fundamental ground or grounds therefor, without prejudice to supplementing the

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same by making the necessary exposition, with citations of laws and authorities, in the written
arguments to be filed ten (10) days later. In truth, such a pro-forma motion has the effect of just
advising the court and the other party that the movant does not agree with the judgment due to
fundamental defects stated in brief and general terms. Evidently, the purpose of this requirement is to
apprise everyone concerned within the shortest possible time that a reconsideration is to be sought,
and thereby enable the parties concerned to make whatever adjustments may be warranted by the
situation, in the meanwhile that the litigation is prolonged. It must be borne in mind that cases in the
industrial court may involve or affect the operation of vital industries in which labor-management
problems might require day-to-day solutions and it is to the best interests of justice and all concerned
that the attitude of each party at every important juncture of the case be known to the other so that
other avenues for earlier settlement may, if possible, be explored.

There can be no reason at all to complain that the time fixed by the rule is short or inadequate. In fact,
the motion filed by petitioners was no more than the following:

"MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

"COME NOW movant respondents, through counsel, to this Honorable Court most respectfully moves
for the RECONSIDERATION of the Order of this Honorable Court dated September 17, 1969 on the
ground that the same is not in accordance with law, evidence and facts adduced during the hearing of
the above-entitled case.

"Movant-respondents most respectfully move for leave to file their respective arguments within ten (10)
days pursuant to Sections 15, 16 & 17 as amended of the Rules of Court.

"WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that this Motion for Reconsideration be admitted.

"Manila, September 27, 1969."

To say that five (5) days is an unreasonable period for the filing of such a motion is to me simply
incomprehensible. What is

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worse in this case is that petitioners have not even taken the trouble of giving an explanation of their
inability to comply with the rule. Not only that, petitioners were also late five (5) days in filing their
written arguments in support of their motion, and, the only excuse offered for such delay is that both
the President of the Union and the office clerk who took charge of the matter forgot to do what they
were instructed to do by counsel, which, according to this Court, as I shall explain anon, "is the most
hackneyed and habitual subterfuge employed by litigants who fail to observe the procedural
requirements prescribed by the Rules of Court". (Philippine Airlines, Inc. vs. Arca, infra). And yet, very
indignantly, the main opinion would want the Court to overlook such nonchalance and indifference.

In this connection, I might add that in my considered opinion, the rules fixing periods for the finality of
judgments are in a sense more substantive than procedural in their real nature, for in their operation
they have the effect of either creating or terminating rights pursuant to the terms of the particular
judgment concerned. And the fact that the court that rendered such final judgment is deprived of
jurisdiction or authority to alter or modify the same enhances such substantive character. Moreover,
because they have the effect of terminating rights and the enforcement thereof, it may be said that said
rules partake of the nature also of rules of prescription, which again are substantive. Now, the twin
predicates of prescription are inaction or abandonment and the passage of time or a prescribed period.
On the other hand, procrastination or failure to act on time is unquestionably a form of abandonment,
particularly when it is not or cannot be sufficiently explained. The most valuable right of a party may be
lost by prescription, and he has no reason to complain because public policy demands that rights must
be asserted in time, as otherwise they can be deemed waived.

I see no justification whatsoever for not applying these self-evident principles to the case of petitioners.
Hence, I feel disinclined to adopt the suggestion that the Court suspend, for the purposes of this case
the rules aforequoted of the Court of Industrial Relations. Besides, I have grave doubts as to

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whether we can suspend rules of other courts, particularly one that is not under our supervisory
jurisdiction, being an administrative agency under the Executive Department. Withal, if, in order to
hasten the administration of substantial justice, this Court did exercise in some instances its reserve
power to amend its rules, I am positively certain, it has never done it for the purpose of reviving a case
in which the judgment has already become final and executory.

Before closing, it may be mentioned here, that as averred in their petition, in a belated effort to salvage
their cause, petitioners filed in the industrial court on October 31, 1969 a petition for relief alleging that
their failure to file their "Arguments in Support of their Motion for Reconsideration" within the
reglementary period or five (5), if not seven (7), days late "was due to excusable negligence and honest
mistake committed by the President of the respondent Union and of the office clerk of the counsel for
respondents as shown and attested in their respective affidavits", (See Annexes K, K-1, and K-2) which in
brief, consisted allegedly of the said President's having forgotten his appointment with his lawyer
"despite previous instructions" and of the said office employee having also coincidentally forgotten "to
do the work as instructed (sic) to (him) by Atty. Osorio" because he "was too busy with clerical jobs". No
sympathy at all can be evoked by these allegations, for, under probably more justifying circumstances,
this Court ruled out a similar explanation in a previous case this wise:

"We find merit in PAL's petition. The excuse offered by respondent Santos as reason for his fail ure to
perfect in due time his appeal from the judgment of the Municipal Court, that counsel's clerk forgot to
hand him the court notice, is the most hackneyed and habitual subterfuge employed by litigants who fail
to observe the procedural requirements prescribed by the Rules of Court. The uncritical acceptance of
this kind of commonplace excuses, in the face of the Supreme Court's repeated rulings that they are
neither credible nor constitutive of excusable negligence (Gaerlan vs. Bernal, L 4039, 29 January 1952;
Mercado vs. Judge Domingo, L-19457, 17 December 1966) is certainly such whimsical exercise of
judgment as to be a grave abuse of discretion." (Philippine Air Lines, Inc. vs. Arca, 19 SCRA 300.)

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For the reason, therefore, that the judgment of the industrial court sought to be reviewed in the present
case has already become final and executory, nay, not without the fault of the petitioners, hence, no
matter how erroneous from the constitutional viewpoint it may be, it is already beyond recall, I vote to
dismiss this case, without pronouncement as to costs.
SEPARATE OPINION

TEEHANKEE,J., concurring:

For having carried out a mass demonstration at Malacañang on March 4, 1969 in protest against alleged
abuses of the Pasig police department, upon two days' prior notice to respondent employer company,
as against the latter's insistence that the first shift1 should not participate but instead report for work,
under pain of dismissal, the industrial court ordered the dismissal from employment of the eight
individual petitioners as union officers and organizers of the mass demonstration.

Respondent court's order finding petitioner union guilty on respondent's complaint of bargaining in bad
faith and unfair labor practice for having so carried out the mass demonstration, notwithstanding that it
concededly was not a declaration of strike nor directed in any manner against respondent employer,
and ordering the dismissal of the union officers, manifestly constituted grave abuse of discretion in fact
and in law.

There could not be, in fact, bargaining in bad faith nor unfair labor practice since respondent firm
conceded that "the demonstration is an inalienable right of the union guaranteed by the Constitution"
and the union up to the day of the demonstration pleaded by cablegram to the company to excuse the
first shift and allow it to join the demonstration in accordance with their previous requests.

_____________

1 The first shift comprised the workers from 6 A. M. to 2 P.M. Respondent company had no objection to
the two regular shifts workers (7 A.M. to 4 P.M. and 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.) being excused from work for the
mass demonstration.

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Neither could there be, in law, a willful violation of the collective bargaining agreement's "no-strike"
clause as would warrant the union leaders' dismissal, since as found by respondent court itself the mass
demonstration was not a declaration of a strike, there being no industrial dispute between the
protagonists, but merely "the occurrence of a temporary stoppage of work" to enable the workers to
exercise their constitutional rights of free expression, peaceable assembly and petition for redress of
grievance against alleged police excesses.

Respondent court's en banc resolution dismissing petitioners' motion for reconsideration for having
been filed two days late, after expiration of the reglementary five-day period fixed by its rules, due to
the negligence of petitioners' counsel and/or the union president should likewise be set aside as a
manifest act of grave abuse of discretion. Petitioners' petition for relief from the normal adverse
consequences of the late filing of their motion for reconsideration due to such negligence—which was
not acted upon by respondent court—should have been granted, considering the monstrous injustice
that would otherwise be caused the petitioners through their summary dismissal from employment,
simply because they sought in good faith to exercise basic human rights guaranteed them by the
Constitution. It should be noted further that no proof of actual loss from the oneday stoppage of work
was shown by respondent company, providing basis to the main opinion's premise that its insistence on
dismissal of the union leaders for having included the first shift workers in the mass demonstration
against its wishes was but an act of arbitrary vindictiveness.

Only thus could the basic constitutional rights of the individual petitioners and the constitutional
injunction to afford protection to labor be given true substance and meaning. No person may be
deprived of such basic rights without due process—which is but "responsiveness to the supremacy of
reason, obedience to the dictates of justice. Negatively put, arbitrariness is ruled out and unfairness
avoided . . . Due process is thus hostile to any official action marred by lack of reasonableness. Correctly
it has been identified as freedom

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from arbitrariness."2

Accordingly, I vote for the setting aside of the appealed orders of the respondent court and concur in
the judgment for petitioners as set forth in the main opinion.

Judgment set aside and directing the re-instatement of the herein eight (8) petitioners.

Notes.—The rule is that the law forms part of, and is read into, every contract, unless clearly excluded
therefrom in those cases where such exclusion is allowed (Liberation Steamship Co., Inc. vs. Court of
Industrial Relations, L-25389, June 27, 1968, 23 SCRA 1105; National Development Company vs.
Unlicensed Crew Members of Three Doña Vessels (PMIU), L-25390, June 27, 1968, 23 SCRA 1105).

It has also been held that as a matter of principle the provisions of the Industrial Peace Act granting
freedom to employees to organize themselves and select their representatives for entering into
bargaining agreements, should be subordinated to the constitutional provision protecting the sanctity of
contracts. (Victorias Milling Co., Inc. vs. Victorias Manapla Workers Organization PAFLU, L-18467, Sept.
30, 1963, 9 SCRA 154).

LEGAL RESEARCH SERVICE

See SCRA Quick Index-Digest, volume 1, page 375 on Constitutional Law.

See also SCRA Quick Index-Digest, volume 2, page 1167 on Labor Laws.

Fernando, E.M., The Bill of Rights, 1972 Edition with 1973 Supplement.

Carlos, G.R., and Fernando, E.M., Labor and Social

______________

2 Ermita-Malate Hotel Operators Ass'n. vs. City Mayor, 20 SCRA 849 (1967), per Fernando, J.

248

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Burca vs. Republic

Legislation in the Philippines, 1964 Edition.

CBSI Editorial Staff, Compilation of Labor and Social Legislation.

Fernandez, P.V. and Quiason, C.P., Labor and Social Legislation, 1964-71 Edition. [Philippine Blooming
Mills Employees Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc., 51 SCRA 189(1973)]
G.R. No. 100150. January 5, 1994.*
BRIGIDO R. SIMON, JR., CARLOS QUIMPO, CARLITO ABELARDO, AND GENEROSO OCAMPO, petitioners,
vs. COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, ROQUE FERMO, AND OTHERS AS JOHN DOES, respondents.

Constitutional Law; Bill of Rights; Human Rights; Commission on Human Rights; Creation of.—The
Commission on Human Rights was created by the 1987 Constitution. It was formally constituted by then
President Corazon Aquino via Executive Order No. 163, issued on 5 May 1987, in the exercise of her
legislative power at the time. It succeeded, but so superseded as well, the Presidential Committee on
Human Rights.

Same; Same; Same; Same; Words and Phrases; The phrase “human rights” is so generic a term that any
attempt to define it could at best be described as inconclusive.—It can hardly be disputed that the
phrase “human rights” is so generic a term that any attempt to define it, albeit not a few have tried,
could at best be described as inconclusive. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or more
specifically, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, suggests that the scope of human rights can be understood to
include those that relate to an individual’s social, economic, cultural, political and civil relations. It thus
seems to closely identify the term to the universally accepted traits and attributes of an individual, along
with what is generally considered to be his inherent and inalienable rights, encompassing almost all
aspects of life.

Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; “Civil Rights”, defined.—The term “civil rights,” has been defined as
referring—“(to) those (rights) that belong to every citizen of the state or country, or, in a wider sense, to
all its inhabitants, and are not connected with the organization or administration of government. They
include the rights of property, marriage, equal protection of the laws, freedom of contract, etc. Or, as
otherwise defined civil rights are rights appertaining to a person by virtue of his citizenship in a state or
community. Such term may also refer, in its general sense, to rights capable of being enforced or
redressed in a civil action.” Also quite often mentioned are the guaran-

________________

* EN BANC.

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Simon, Jr. vs. Commission on Human Rights

tees against involuntary servitude, religious persecution, unreasonable searches and seizures, and
imprisonment for debt.

Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; “Political Rights”, explained.—Political rights, on the other hand, are
said to refer to the right to participate, directly or indirectly, in the establishment or administration of
government, the right of suffrage, the right to hold public office, the right of petition and, in general, the
right appurtenant to citizenship vis-a-vis the management of government.

Same; Same; Same; Same; The Constitutional Commission delegates envisioned a Commission on
Human Rights that would focus its attention to the more severe cases of human rights violations.—
Recalling the deliberation of the Constitutional Commission, aforequoted, it is readily apparent that the
delegates envisioned a Commission on Human Rights that would focus its attention to the more severe
cases of human rights violations. Delegate Garcia, for instance, mentioned such areas as the “(1)
protection of rights of political detainees, (2) treatment of prisoners and the prevention of tortures, (3)
fair and public trials, (4) cases of disappearances, (5) salvagings and hamletting, and (6) other crimes
committed against the religious.” While the enumeration has not likely been meant to have any
preclusive effect, more than just expressing a statement of priority, it is, nonetheless, significant for the
tone it has set. In any event, the delegates did not apparently take comfort in peremptorily making a
conclusive delineation of the CHR’s scope of investigatorial jurisdiction. They have thus seen it fit to
resolve, instead, that “Congress may provide for other cases of violations of human rights that should
fall within the authority of the Commission, taking into account its recommendation.”

Same; Same; Same; Same; Demolition of stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia does not fall within the
compartment of “human rights violations involving civil and political rights” intended by the
Constitution.—In the particular case at hand, there is no cavil that what are sought to be demolished are
the stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia, as well as temporary shanties, erected by private respondents
on a land which is planned to be developed into a “People’s Park.” More than that, the land adjoins the
North EDSA of Quezon City which, this Court can take judicial notice of, is a busy national highway. The
consequent danger to life and limb is not thus to be likewise simply ignored. It is indeed paradoxical that
a right which is claimed to have been violated is one that cannot, in the first place, even be invoked, if it
is not, in fact, extant. Be that as it may, looking at the standards hereinabove discoursed vis-a-vis the
circumstances obtaining in this

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instance, we are not prepared to conclude that the order for the demolition of the stalls, sari-sari stores
and carinderia of the private respondents can fall within the compartment of “human rights violations
involving civil and political rights” intended by the Constitution.

Same; Same; Same; Same; Contempt; The CHR is constitutionally authorized to cite or hold any person
in direct or indirect contempt.—On its contempt powers, the CHR is constitutionally authorized to
“adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations thereof in
accordance with the Rules of Court.” Accordingly, the CHR acted within its authority in providing in its
revised rules, its power “to cite or hold any person in direct or indirect contempt, and to impose the
appropriate penalties in accordance with the procedure and sanctions provided for in the Rules of
Court.” That power to cite for contempt, however, should be understood to apply only to violations of
its adopted operational guidelines and rules of procedure essential to carry out its investigatorial
powers. To exemplify, the power to cite for contempt could be exercised against persons who refuse to
cooperate with the said body, or who unduly withhold relevant information, or who decline to honor
summons, and the like, in pursuing its investigative work.

Same; Same; Same; Same; An “order to desist”, however, is not investigatorial in character but prescinds
from an adjudicative power that the CHR does not possess.—The “order to desist” (a semantic interplay
for a restraining order) in the instance before us, however, is not investigatorial in character but
prescinds from an adjudicative power that it does not possess.

Prohibition; Moot and Academic; Prohibition not moot simply because the hearings in the proceedings
sought to be restrained have been terminated where resolution of the issues raised still to be
promulgated.—The public respondent explains that this petition for prohibition filed by the petitioners
has become moot and academic since the case before it (CHR Case No. 90-1580) has already been fully
heard, and that the matter is merely awaiting final resolution. It is true that prohibition is a preventive
remedy to restrain the doing of an act about to be done, and not intended to provide a remedy for an
act already accomplished. Here, however, said Commission admittedly has yet to promulgate its
resolution in CHR Case No. 90-1580. The instant petition has been intended, among other things, to also
prevent CHR from precisely doing that.

SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION for prohibition.

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The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

The City Attorney for petitioners.

The Solicitor General for public respondent.

VITUG, J.:

The extent of the authority and power of the Commission on Human Rights (“CHR”) is again placed into
focus in this petition for prohibition, with prayer for a restraining order and preliminary injunction. The
petitioners ask us to prohibit public respondent CHR from further hearing and investigating CHR Case
No. 90-1580, entitled “Fermo, et al. vs. Quimpo, et al.”

The case all started when a “Demolition Notice,” dated 9 July 1990, signed by Carlos Quimpo (one of the
petitioners) in his capacity as an Executive Officer of the Quezon City Integrated Hawkers Management
Council under the Office of the City Mayor, was sent to, and received by, the private respondents (being
the officers and members of the North EDSA Vendors Association, Incorporated). In said notice, the
respondents were given a grace-period of three (3) days (up to 12 July, 1990) within which to vacate the
questioned premises of North EDSA.1 Prior to their receipt of the demolition notice, the private
respondents were informed by petitioner Quimpo that their stalls should be removed to give way to the
“People’s Park.”2 On 12 July 1990, the group, led by their President Roque Fermo, filed a letter-
complaint (Pinag-samang Sinumpaang Salaysay) with the CHR against the petitioners, asking the late
CHR Chairman Mary Concepcion Bautista for a letter to be addressed to then Mayor Brigido Simon, Jr.,
of Quezon City to stop the demolition of the private respondents’ stalls, sari-sari stores, and carinderia
along NORTH EDSA. The complaint was docketed as CHR Case No. 90-1580.3 On 23 July 1990, the CHR
issued an order, directing the petitioners “to desist from demolishing the stalls and shanties at North
EDSA pending resolution of the vendors/squatters’ complaint before the Commission” and ordering said
petitioners

_________________

1 Rollo, p. 16.

2 Rollo, p. 17.

3 Ibid., pp. 16-17.

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to appear before the CHR.4

On the basis of the sworn statements submitted by the private respondents on 31 July 1990, as well as
CHR’s own ocular inspection, and convinced that on 28 July 1990 the petitioners carried out the
demolition of private respondents’ stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia,5 the CHR, in its resolution of 1
August 1990, ordered the disbursement of financial assistance of not more than P200,000.00 in favor of
the private respondents to purchase light housing materials and food under the Commission’s
supervision and again directed the petitioners to “desist from further demolition, with the warning that
violation of said order would lead to a citation for contempt and arrest.”6

A motion to dismiss,7 dated 10 September 1990, questioned CHR’s jurisdiction. The motion also
averred, among other things, that:

“1. this case came about due to the alleged violation by the (petitioners) of the Inter-Agency
Memorandum of Agreement whereby Metro-Manila Mayors agreed on a moratorium in the demolition
of the dwellings of poor dwellers in Metro-Manila;
“* * * * * *
“3. * * *, a perusal of the said Agreement (revealed) that the moratorium referred to therein refers to
moratorium in the demolition of the structures of poor dwellers;
“4. that the complainants in this case (were) not poor dwellers but independent business
entrepreneurs even this Honorable Office admitted in its resolution of 1 August 1990 that the
complainants are indeed vendors;
“5. that the complainants (were) occupying government land, particularly the sidewalk of EDSA corner
North Avenue, Quezon City; * * * and
“6. that the City Mayor of Quezon City (had) the sole and exclusive discretion and authority whether
or not a certain business establishment (should) be allowed to operate within the jurisdiction of Quezon
City, to revoke or cancel a permit, if already issued, upon grounds clearly specified by law and
ordinance.”8

_________________

4 Ibid., p. 21.

5 Ibid; see also Annex “C-3,” Rollo, pp. 102-103.

6 Ibid., p. 79.

7 Annex “C,” Rollo, p. 26.

8 Rollo, pp. 26-27.

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During the 12 September 1990 hearing, the petitioners moved for postponement, arguing that the
motion to dismiss set for 21 September 1990 had yet to be resolved. The petitioners likewise manifested
that they would bring the case to the courts.

On 18 September 1990, a supplemental motion to dismiss was filed by the petitioners, stating that the
Commission’s authority should be understood as being confined only to the investigation of violations of
civil and political rights, and that “the rights allegedly violated in this case (were) not civil and political
rights, (but) their privilege to engage in business.”9

On 21 September 1990, the motion to dismiss was heard and submitted for resolution, along with the
contempt charge that had meantime been filed by the private respondents, albeit vigorously objected to
by the petitioners on the ground that the motion to dismiss was still then unresolved.10

In an Order,11 dated 25 September 1990, the CHR cited the petitioners in contempt for carrying out the
demolition of the stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia despite the “order to desist,” and it imposed a
fine of P500.00 on each of them.

On 1 March 1991,12 the CHR issued an Order, denying petitioners’ motion to dismiss and supplemental
motion to dismiss, in this wise:

“Clearly, the Commission on Human Rights under its constitutional mandate had jurisdiction over the
complaint filed by the squatters-vendors who complained of the gross violations of their human and
constitutional rights. The motion to dismiss should be and is hereby DENIED for lack of merit.”13

The CHR opined that “it was not the intention of the (Constitutional) Commission to create only a paper
tiger limited only to investigating civil and political rights, but it (should) be (considered) a quasi-judicial
body with the power to provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all
persons

__________________

9 Annex “E,” Ibid., p. 34.

10 Rollo, p. 5.

11 Annex “F,” Petition, Rollo, pp. 36-42.

12 Annex “G,” Petition, Rollo, pp. 44-46.

13 Rollo, p. 46.

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within the Philippines * * *.” It added:

“The right to earn a living is a right essential to one’s right to development, to life and to dignity. All
these brazenly and violently ignored and trampled upon by respondents with little regard at the same
time for the basic rights of women and children, and their health, safety and welfare. Their actions have
psychologically scarred and traumatized the children, who were witness and exposed to such a violent
demonstration of Man’s inhumanity to man.”

In an Order,14 dated 25 April 1991, petitioners’ motion for reconsideration was denied.

Hence, this recourse.

The petition was initially dismissed in our resolution15 of 25 June 1991; it was subsequently reinstated,
however, in our resolution16 of 18 June 1991, in which we also issued a temporary restraining order,
directing the CHR to “CEASE and DESIST from further hearing CHR No. 90-1580.”17

The petitioners pose the following:

Whether or not the public respondent has jurisdiction:

a) to investigate the alleged violations of the “business rights” of the private respondents whose stalls
were demolished by the petitioners at the instance and authority given by the Mayor of Quezon City;
b) to impose the fine of P500.00 each on the petitioners; and
c) to disburse the amount of P200,000.00 as financial aid to the vendors affected by the demolition.

In the Court’s resolution of 10 October, the Solicitor General was excused from filing his document for
public respondent CHR. The latter thus filed its own comment,18 through Hon. Samuel Soriano, one of
its Commissioners. The Court also resolved to dispense with the comment of private respondent Roque
Fermo, who had since failed to comply with the resolution, dated 18 July 1991, requiring such comment.

_______________

14 Annex “J,” pp. 56-57.

15 Rollo, p. 59.

16 Ibid., p. 66.

17 Ibid., pp. 67.

18 Rollo, pp. 77-88.

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The petition has merit.

The Commission on Human Rights was created by the 1987 Constitution.19 It was formally constituted
by then President Corazon Aquino via Executive Order No. 163,20 issued on 5 May 1987, in the exercise
of her legislative power at the time. It succeeded, but so superseded as well, the Presidential Committee
on Human Rights.21

The powers and functions22 of the Commission are defined by the 1987 Constitution, thus: to—

“(1) Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violation involving
civil and political rights;
“(2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations
thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court;
“(3) Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the
Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measures and legal aid
services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection;
“(4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities;
“(5) Establish a continuing program of research, education, and information to enhance respect for
the primary of human rights;
“(6) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for
compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families;
“(7) Monitor the Philippine Government’s compliance with international treaty obligations on human
rights;
“(8) Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of
documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation
conducted by it or under its authority;
“(9) Request the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or

__________________

19 Art. XIII, Sec. 17, [1].

20 DECLARING THE EFFECTIVITY OF THE CREATION OF THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AS
PROVIDED FOR IN THE 1987 CONSTITUTION, PROVIDING GUIDELINES FOR THE OPERATION THEREOF,
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

21 Ibid., Sec. 17, [3]; E.O. No. 163, Sec. 4.

22 Ibid., Sec. 18.

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agency in the performance of its functions;
“(10) Appoints its officers and employees in accordance with law; and
“(11) Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law.”

In its Order of 1 March 1991, denying petitioners’ motion to dismiss, the CHR theorizes that the
intention of the members of the Constitutional Commission is to make CHR a quasi-judicial body.23 This
view, however, has not heretofore been shared by this Court. In Carino v. Commission on Human
Rights,24 The Court, through then Associate Justice, now Chief Justice Andres Narvasa, has observed
that it is “only the first of the enumerated powers and functions that bears any resemblance to
adjudication or adjudgment,” but that resemblance can in no way be synonymous to the adjudicatory
power itself. The Court explained:

“* * * (T)he Commission on Human Rights * * * was not meant by the fundamental law to be another
court or quasi-judicial agency in this country, or duplicate much less take over the functions of the latter.

“The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may
investigate, i.e., receive evidence and make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations
involving civil and political rights. But fact finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to the
judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. The function of receiving
evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function, properly
speaking. To be considered such, the faculty of receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a
controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to those factual conclusions to
the end that the controversy may be decided or determined authoritatively, finally and definitively,
subject to such appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law. This function, to repeat, the
Commission does not have.”

After thus laying down at the outset the above rule, we now proceed to the order kernel of this
controversy and, it is, to determine the extent of CHR’s investigative power.

_______________

23 Rollo, p. 45.

24 204 SCRA 483, 492.

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It can hardly be disputed that the phrase “human rights” is so generic a term that any attempt to define
it, albeit not a few have tried, could at best be described as inconclusive. Let us observe. In a symposium
on human rights in the Philippines, sponsored by the University of the Philippines in 1977, one of the
questions that has been propounded is “(w)hat do you understand by ‘human rights?” The participants
representing different sectors of the society, have given the following varied answers:

“Human rights are the basic rights which inhere in man by virtue of his humanity. They are the same in
all parts of the world, whether the Philippines or England, Kenya or the Soviet Union, the United States
or Japan, Kenya or Indonesia * * *.

“Human rights include civil rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and property; freedom of speech, of
the press, of religion, academic freedom, and the rights of the accused to due process of law; political
rights, such as the right to elect public officials, to be elected to public office, and to form political
associations and engage in politics; and social rights, such as the right to an education, employment, and
social services.”25

“Human rights are the entitlement that inhere in the individual person from the sheer fact of his
humanity. * * * Because they are inherent, human rights are not granted by the State but can only be
recognized and protected by it.”26

“(Human rights include all) the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights defined in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”27

“Human rights are rights that pertain to man simply because he is human. They are part of his natural
birth right, innate and inalienable.”28

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as, or more specifically, the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Politi-

_________________

25 Remigio Agpalo, Roxas Professor of Political Science, University of the Philippines, Human Rights in
the Philippines: An Unassembled Symposium, 1977, pp. 1-2.

26 Emerenciana Arcellana, Department of Political Science, U.P., Ibid., pp. 2-3.

27 Nick Joaquin, National Artist, Ibid., p. 15.

28 Salvador Lopez, Professor, U.P. Law Center, Ibid., p. 20.

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cal Rights, suggests that the scope of human rights can be understood to include those that relate to an
individual’s social, economic, cultural, political and civil relations. It thus seems to closely identify the
term to the universally accepted traits and attributes of an individual, along with what is generally
considered to be his inherent and inalienable rights, encompassing almost all aspects of life.

Have these broad concepts been equally contemplated by the framers of our 1986 Constitutional
Commission in adopting the specific provisions on human rights and in creating an independent
commission to safeguard these rights? It may be of value to look back at the country’s experience under
the martial law regime which may have, in fact, impelled the inclusions of those provisions in our
fundamental law. Many voices have been heard. Among those voices, aptly representative perhaps of
the sentiments expressed by others, comes from Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes, a respected jurist and an
advocate of civil liberties, who, in his paper, entitled “Present State of Human Rights in the Philip-
pines,”29 observes:

“But while the Constitution of 1935 and that of 1973 enshrined in their Bill of Rights most of the human
rights expressed in the International Covenant, these rights became unavailable upon the proclamation
of Martial Law on 21 September 1972. Arbitrary action then became the rule. Individuals by the
thousands became subject to arrest upon suspicion, and were detained and held for indefinite periods,
sometimes for years, without charges, until ordered released by the Commander-in-Chief or this
representative. The right to petition for the redress of grievances became useless, since group actions
were forbidden. So were strikes. Press and other mass media were subjected to censorship and short
term licensing. Martial law brought with it the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and judges lost
independence and security of tenure, except members of the Supreme Court. They were required to
submit letters of resignation and were dismissed upon the acceptance thereof. Torture to extort
confessions were practiced as declared by international bodies like Amnesty International and the
International Commission of Jurists.”

__________________

29 Submitted to the LAWASIA Human Rights Standing Committee: Recent Trends in Human Rights, circa,
1981-1982, pp. 47-52.

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Converging our attention to the records of the Constitutional Commission, we can see the following
discussion during its 26 August 1986 deliberations:

“MR. GARCIA. * * *, the primacy of its (CHR) task must be made clear in view of the importance of
human rights and also because civil and political rights have been determined by many international
covenants and human rights legisla-tions in the Philippines, as well as the Constitution, specifically the
Bill of Rights and subsequent legislation. Otherwise, if we cover such a wide territory in area, we might
diffuse its impact and the precise nature of its task, hence, its effectivity would also be curtailed.

“So, it is important to delineate the parameters of its task so that the commission can be most effective.

“MR. BENGZON. That is precisely my difficulty because civil and political rights are very broad. The
Article on the Bill of Rights covers civil and political rights. Every single right of an individual involves his
civil right or his political right. So, where do we draw the line?

“MR. GARCIA. Actually, these civil and political rights have been made clear in the language of human
rights advocates, as well as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which addresses a number of
articles on the right to life, the right against torture, the right to fair and public hearing, and so on. These
are very specific rights that are considered enshrined in many international documents and legal
instruments as constituting civil and political rights, and these are precisely what we want to defend
here.

“MR. BENGZON. So, would the commissioner say civil and political rights as defined in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights?

“MR. GARCIA. Yes, and as I have mentioned, the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights
distinguished this right against torture.

“MR. BENGZON. So as to distinguish this from the other rights that we have?

“MR. GARCIA. Yes because the other rights will encompass social and economic rights, and there are
other violations of rights of citizens which can be addressed to the proper courts and authorities.

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“* * *

“MR. BENGZON. So, we will authorize the commission to define its functions, and, therefore, in doing
that the commission will be authorized to take under its wings cases which perhaps heretofore or at this
moment are under the jurisdiction of the ordinary investigative and prosecutorial agencies of the
government. Am I correct?

“MR. GARCIA. No. We have already mentioned earlier that we would like to define the specific
parameter which cover civil and political rights as covered by the international standards governing the
behavior of governments regarding the particular political and civil rights of citizens, especially of
political detainees or prisoners. This particular aspect we have experienced during martial law which we
would now like to safeguard.

“MR. BENGZON. Then, I go back to that question that I had. Therefore, what we are really trying to say
is, perhaps, at the proper time we could specify all those rights stated in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and defined as human rights. Those are the rights that we envision here?

“MR. GARCIA. Yes. In fact, they are also enshrined in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution. They are
integral parts of that.

“MR. BENGZON. Therefore, is the Gentleman saying that all the rights under the Bill of Rights covered by
human rights?

“MR. GARCIA. No, only those that pertain to civil and political rights.

“* * *

“MR. RAMA. In connection with the discussion on the scope of human rights. I would like to state that in
the past regime, everytime we invoke the violation of human rights, the Marcos regime came out with
the defense that, as a matter of fact, they had defended the rights of people to decent living, food,
decent housing and a life consistent with human dignity.

“So, I think we should really limit the definition of human rights to political rights. Is that the sense of
the committee, so as not to confuse the issue?

“MR. SARMIENTO. Yes, Madam President.

“MR. GARCIA. I would like to continue and respond also to repeated points raised by the previous
speaker.

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There are actually six areas where this Commission on Human Rights could act effectively: 1) protection
of rights of political detainees; 2) treatment of prisoners and the prevention of tortures; 3) fair and
public trials; 4) cases of disappearances; 5) salvagings and hamletting; and 6) other crimes committed
against the religious.

“* * *

“The PRESIDENT. Commissioner Guingona is recognized.

“MR. GUINGONA. Thank you Madam President.

“I would like to start by saying that I agree with Commissioner Garcia that we should, in order to make
the proposed Commission more effective, delimit as much as possible, without prejudice to future
expansion. The coverage of the concept and jurisdictional area of the term ‘hu-man rights.’ I was
actually disturbed this morning when the reference was made without qualification to the rights
embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, although later on, this was qualified to refer to
civil and political rights contained therein.

“If I remember correctly, Madam President, Commissioner Garcia, after mentioning the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, mentioned or linked the concept of human right with other
human rights specified in other convention which I do not remember. Am I correct? “MR. GARCIA. Is
Commissioner Guingona referring to the Declaration of Torture of 1985?

“MR. GUINGONA. I do not know, but the commissioner mentioned another.

“MR. GARCIA. Madam President, the other one is the International Convention on Civil and Political
Rights of which we are signatory.

“MR. GUINGONA. I see. The only problem is that, although I have a copy of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights here, I do not have a copy of the other covenant mentioned. It is quite possible that there
are rights specified in that other convention which may not be specified here. I was wondering whether
it would be wise to link our concept of human rights to general terms like ‘convention,’ rather than
specify the rights contained in the convention.

“As far as the Universal Declaration of Human

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Rights is concerned, the Committee, before the period of amendments, could specify to us which of
these articles in the Declaration will fall within the concept of civil and political rights, not for the
purpose of including these in the proposed constitutional article, but to give the sense of the
Commission as to what human rights would be included, without prejudice to expansion later on, if the
need arises. For example, there was no definite reply to the question of Commissioner Regalado as to
whether the right to marry would be considered a civil or a social right. It is not a civil right?

“MR. GARCIA. Madam President, I have to repeat the various specific civil and political rights that we felt
must be envisioned initially by this provision—freedom from political detention and arrest prevention of
torture, right to fair and public trials, as well as crimes involving disappearance salvagings, hamlettings
and collective violations. So, it is limited to politically related crimes precisely to protect the civil and
political rights of a specific group of individuals, and therefore, we are not opening it up to all of the
definite areas.

“MR. GUINGONA. Correct. Therefore, just for the record, the Gentlemen is no longer linking his concept
or the concept of the Committee on Human Rights with the so-called civil or political rights as contained
in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“MR. GARCIA. When I mentioned earlier the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I was referring to an
international instrument.

“MR. GUINGONA. I know.

“MR. GARCIA. But it does not mean that we will refer to each and every specific article therein, but only
to those that pertain to the civil and politically related, as we understand it in this Commission on
Human Rights.

“MR. GUINGONA. Madam President, I am not even clear as to the distinction between civil and social
rights.

“MR. GARCIA. There are two international covenants: the International Covenant and Civil and Political
Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The second covenant
contains all the different rights—the rights of labor to organize, the right to education, housing, shelter,
etcetera.

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Simon, Jr. vs. Commission on Human Rights

“MR. GUINGONA. So we are just limiting at the moment the sense of the committee to those that the
Gentlemen has specified.

“MR. GARCIA. Yes, to civil and political rights.

“MR. GUINGONA. Thank you.

“* * *

“SR. TAN. Madam President, from the standpoint of the victims of human rights, I cannot stress more on
how much we need a Commission on Human Rights. * * *

“* * * human rights victims are usually penniless. They cannot pay and very few lawyers will accept
clients who do not pay. And so, they are the ones more abused and oppressed. Another reason is, the
cases involved are very delicate—torture, salvaging, picking up without any warrant of arrest,
massacre—and the persons who are allegedly guilty are people in power like politicians, men in the
military and big shots. Therefore, this Human Rights Commission must be independent.

“I would like very much to emphasize how much we need this commission, especially for the little
Filipino, the little individual who needs this kind of help and cannot get it And I think we should
concentrate only on civil and political violations because if we open this to land, housing and health, we
will have no place to go again and we will not receive any response. * * *”30 (italics supplied.)

The final outcome, now written as Section 18, Article XIII, of the 1987 Constitution, is a provision
empowering the Commission on Human Rights to “investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party,
all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights” (Sec. 1).

The term “civil rights,”31 has been defined as referring—

“(to) those (rights) that belong to every citizen of the state or country, or, in a wider sense, to all its
inhabitants, and are not

_______________

30 Records of the Constitutional Commission, Volume 3, pp. 722-723; 731; 738-739.

31 Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth edition, 1324; Handbook of Ameri-can Constitutional Law, (4th ed.,
1927), p. 524.

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connected with the organization or administration of government. They include the rights of property,
marriage, equal protection of the laws, freedom of contract, etc. Or, as otherwise defined civil rights are
rights appertaining to a person by virtue of his citizenship in a state or community. Such term may also
refer, in its general sense, to rights capable of being enforced or redressed in a civil action.”

Also quite often mentioned are the guarantees against involuntary servitude, religious persecution,
unreasonable searches and seizures, and imprisonment for debt.32

Political rights,33 on the other hand, are said to refer to the right to participate, directly or indirectly, in
the establishment or administration of government, the right of suffrage, the right to hold public office,
the right of petition and, in general, the rights appurtenant to citizenship vis-a-vis the management of
government.34

Recalling the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, aforequoted, it is readily apparent that the
delegates envisioned a Commission on Humans Rights that would focus its attention to the more severe
cases of human rights violations. Delegate Garcia, for instance, mentioned such areas as the “(1)
protection of rights of political detainees, (2) treatment of prisoners and the prevention of tortures, (3)
fair and public trials, (4) cases of disappearances, (5) salvagings and hamletting, and (6) other crimes
committed against the religious.” While the enumeration has not likely been meant to have any
preclusive effect, more than just expressing a statement of priority, it is, nonetheless, significant for the
tone it has set. In any event, the delegates did not apparently take comfort in peremptorily making a
conclusive delineation of the CHR’s scope of investigatorial jurisdiction. They have thus seen it fit to
resolve, instead, that “Congress may provide for other cases of violations of human rights that should
fall within the authority of the Commission, taking into account its recommendation.”35

________________

32 Malcolm, The Constitutional Law of the Philippine Islands, (2nd ed., 1926), pp. 431-457.

33 Black’s Law Dictionary, Ibid., p. 1325.

34 Anthony vs. Burrow, 129 F. 783, 789 [1904].

35 Sec. 19, Art. XIII.

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Simon, Jr. vs. Commission on Human Rights

In the particular case at hand, there is no cavil that what are sought to be demolished are the stalls, sari-
sari stores and carinderia, as well as temporary shanties, erected by private respondents on a land which
is planned to be developed into a “People’s Park.” More than that, the land adjoins the North EDSA of
Quezon City which, this Court can take judicial notice of, is a busy national highway. The consequent
danger to life and limb is not thus to be likewise simply ignored. It is indeed paradoxical that a right
which is claimed to have been violated is one that cannot, in the first place, even be invoked, if it is not,
in fact, extant. Be that as it may, looking at the standards hereinabove discoursed vis-a-vis the
circumstances obtaining in this instance, we are not prepared to conclude that the order for the
demolition of the stalls, sari-sari stores and carinderia of the private respondents can fall within the
compartment of “human rights violations involving civil and political rights” intended by the
Constitution.

On its contempt powers, the CHR is constitutionally authorized to “adopt its operational guidelines and
rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court.”
Accordingly, the CHR acted within its authority in providing in its revised rules, its power “to cite or hold
any person in direct or indirect contempt, and to impose the appropriate penalties in accordance with
the procedure and sanctions provided for in the Rules of Court.” That power to cite for contempt,
however, should be understood to apply only to violations of its adopted operational guidelines and
rules of procedure essential to carry out its investigatorial powers. To exemplify, the power to cite for
contempt could be exercised against persons who refuse to cooperate with the said body, or who
unduly withhold relevant information, or who decline to honor summons, and the like, in pursuing its
investigative work. The “order to desist” (a semantic interplay for a restraining order) in the instance
before us, however, is not investigatorial in character but prescinds from an adjudicative power that it
does not possess. In Export Processing Zone Authority vs. Commission on Human Rights,36 the Court,
speaking through Madame

_________________

36 208 SCRA 125, 131.

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Justice Carolina Griño-Aquino, explained:

“The constitutional provision directing the CHR to ‘provide for preventive measures and legal aid
services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection’ may not be
construed to confer jurisdiction on the Commission to issue a restraining order or writ of injunction for,
it that were the intention, the Constitution would have expressly said so. ‘Jurisdiction is conferred only
by the Constitution or by law.’ It is never derived by implication.” “Evidently, the ‘preventive measures
and legal aid services’ mentioned in the Constitution refer to extrajudicial and judicial remedies
(including a writ of preliminary injunction) which the CHR may seek from the proper courts on behalf of
the victims of human rights violations. Not being a court of justice, the CHR itself has no jurisdiction to
issue the writ, for a writ of preliminary injunction may only be issued ‘by the judge of any court in which
the action is pending [within his district], or by a Justice of the Court of Appeals, or of the Supreme
Court. * * *. A writ of preliminary injunction is an ancillary remedy. It is available only in a pending
principal action, for the preservation or protection of the rights and interest of a party thereto, and for
no other purpose.” (footnotes omitted)

The Commission does have legal standing to indorse, for appropriate action, its findings and
recommendations to any appropriate agency of government.37

The challenge on the CHR’s disbursement of the amount of P200,000.00 by way of financial aid to the
vendors affected by the demolition is not an appropriate issue in the instant petition. Not only is there
lack of locus standi on the part of the petitioners to question the disbursement but, more importantly,
the matter lies with the appropriate administrative agencies concerned to initially consider.

The public respondent explains that this petition for prohibition filed by the petitioners has become
moot and academic since the case before it (CHR Case No. 90-1580) has already been fully heard, and
that the matter is merely awaiting final resolution. It is true that prohibition is a preventive remedy to
restrain the doing of an act about to be done, and not intended to provide a

_________________

37 See Export Processing Zone Authority vs. Commission on Human Rights, 208 SCRA 125.

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Simon, Jr. vs. Commission on Human Rights

remedy for an act already accomplished.38 Here, however, said Commission admittedly has yet to
promulgate its resolution in CHR Case No. 90-1580. The instant petition has been intended, among other
things, to also prevent CHR from precisely doing that.39

WHEREFORE, the writ prayed for in this petition is GRANTED. The Commission on Human Rights is
hereby prohibited from further proceeding with CHR Case No. 90-1580 and from implementing the
P500.00 fine for contempt. The temporary restraining order heretofore issued by this Court is made
permanent. No costs.

SO ORDERED.

Narvasa (C.J.), Cruz, Feliciano, Bidin, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Nocon, Bellosillo, Melo, Quiason
and Puno, JJ., concur.

Padilla, J., See dissenting opinion.
DISSENTING OPINION

PADILLA, J.:

I reiterate my separate opinion in “Carino, et al. vs. The Commission on Human Rights, et al.,” G.R. No.
96681, 2 December 1991, 204 SCRA 483 in relation to the resolution of 29 January 1991 and my
dissenting opinion in “Export Processing Zone Authority vs. The Commission on Human Rights, et al.,”
G.R. No. 101476, 14 April 1992, 208 SCRA 125. I am of the considered view that the CHR can issue a
cease and desist order to maintain the status quo pending its investigation of a case involving an alleged
human rights violation; that such cease and desist order may be necessary in situations involving a
threatened violation of human rights, which the CHR intents to investigate.

__________________

38 Cabanero vs. Torres, 61 Phil. 523; Agustin vs. dela Fuente, 84 Phil. 515; Navarro vs. Lardizabal, 25
SCRA 370.

39 See Magallanes vs. Sarita, 18 SCRA 575.

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In the case at bench, I would consider the threatened demolition of the stalls, sari-sari stores and
carinderias as well as the temporary shanties owned by the private respondent as posing prima facie a
case of human rights violation because it involves an impairment of the civil rights of said private
respondents, under the definition of civil rights cited by the majority opinion (pp. 20-21) and which the
CHR has unquestioned authority to investigate (Section 18, Art. XIII, 1987 Constitution).

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

ACCORDINGLY, I vote to DISMISS the petition and to remand the case to the CHR for further
proceedings.

Petition granted.

Notes.—The constitutional provision directing the CHR to “provide for preventive measures and legal aid
services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection” may not be
construed to confer jurisdiction on the Commission to issue a restraining order or writ of injunction for,
if that were the intention, the Constitution would have expressly said so. “Jurisdiction is conferred by
the Constitution or by law.” It is never derived by implication (Export Processing Zone Authority vs.
Commission on Human Rights, 208 SCRA 125 [1992]).

In the Philippine setting, the authority to issue Writs of Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus involves
the exercise of original jurisdiction. Thus, such authority has always been expressly conferred, either by
the Constitution or by law. As a matter of fact, the well-settled rule is that jurisdiction is conferred only
by the Constitution or by law (Garcia vs. De Jesus, 206 SCRA 779 [1992]). [Simon, Jr. vs. Commission on
Human Rights, 229 SCRA 117(1994)]
No. L-24693. July 31, 1967.
ERMITA-MALATE HOTEL AND MOTEL OPERATORS ASSOCIATION, INC., HOTEL DEL MAR, INC. and Go
CHIU, petitioners-appellees, vs. THE HONORABLE CITY MAYOR OF MANILA, respondent-appellant.
VICTOR ALABANZA, intervenor-appellee.

Constitutional Law; Municipal Corporations; Presumption as to constitutionality of ordinance; Evidence
is necessary to show invalidity.—An ordinance, having been enacted by coun-cilors who must, in the
very nature of things, be familiar with the necessities of their particular municipality or city and with all
the facts and circumstances which surround the subject and necessitate action, must be presumed to be
valid and should not be set aside unless there is a clear invasion of personal or property rights under the
guise of police regulation. Unless, therefore, the ordinance is void on its face, the necessity for evidence
to rebut its validity is unavoidable. Where there was no factual foundation laid for overthrowing an
ordinance which is not void on its face, the presumption of constitution-ality must prevail.

Same; Police power; Ordinance regulating hotels, motels, etc.—A Manila ordinance regulating the
operation of hotels, motels and lodging-houses is a police power measure specifically aimed to
safeguard public morals. As such, it is immune from any imputation of nullity resting purely on
conjecture and unsupported by anything of substance. To hold otherwise would be to unduly restrict
and narrow the scope of police power which has been properly characterized as the most essential,
insistent and the least limitable of powers, extending as it does "to all the great public needs".

Same; Nature of police power; Judicial inquiry.—On the legislative organs of the government, whether
national or local, primarily rests the exercise of the police power, which is the power to prescribe
regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, good order, safety and general welfare of the people.
In view of the requirements of certain constitutional guarantees,

850

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

the exercise of such police power, however, insofar as it may affect the life, liberty or property of any
person, is subject to judicial inquiry. Where such exercise of police power may be considered as either
capricious, whimsical, unjust or unreasonable, a denial of due process or a violation of any other
applicable constitutional guarantee may call for correction by the courts.

Municipal Corporations; Municipal license fees.—Municipal license fees can be classified into those
imposed for regulating occupations or regular enterprises, for the regulation or restriction of non-useful
occupations or enterprises and for revenue purposes only. Licenses for non-useful occupations are
incidental to the police power, and the right to exact a fee may be implied from the power to license
and regulate, but in fixing the amount of license fees the municipal corporations are allowed a wide
discretion in this class of cases. Aside from applying the well-known legal principle that municipal
ordinances must not be unreasonable, oppressive, or tyrannical, courts have, as a general rule, declined
to interfere with such discretion. The desirability of imposing restraint upon the number of persons who
might otherwise engage in non-useful enterprises is, of course, generally an important factor in the
determination of the amount of this kind of license fee.

Same; Discretion in fixing license fees.—Much discretion is given to municipal corporations in
determining the amount of license fees to be imposed for revenue. The mere fact that some individuals
in the community may be deprived of their present business or a particular mode of earning a living
cannot prevent the exercise of the police power. Persons licensed to pursue occupations which may in
the public need and interest be affected by the exercise of the police power embark in those
occupations subject to the disadvantages which may result from the exercise of that power.

Constitutional Law; Due process; Standards of legal infirmity.—There is no controlling and precise
definition of due process. It furnishes though a standard to which governmental action should conform
in order that deprivation of life, liberty or property, in each appropriate case, be valid. The standard of
due process which must exist both as a procedural and as substantive requisite to free the challenged
ordinance, or any governmental action for that matter, from imputation of legal infirmity, is
responsiveness to the supremacy of reason. obedience to the dictates of justice. It would be an affront
to reason to stigmatize an ordinance enacted precisely to meet what a municipal lawmaking body
considers an evil of rather serious pro portions as an arbitrary and capricious exercise of authority. What
should be deemed unreasonable and what would amount

851

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Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

to an abdication of the power to govern is inaction in the face of an admitted deterioration of the state
of public morals.

Same; Reasonableness of ordinance regulating hotels, etc.— The provision in Ordinance No. 4760 of the
City of Manila, making it unlawful for the owner, manager, keeper or duly authorized representative of
any hotel, motel, lodging house, tavern, common inn or the like, to lease or rent any room or portion
thereof more than twice every 24 hours, with a proviso that in all cases full payment shall be charged,
cannot be viewed as a transgression against the command of due process. The prohibition is neither
unreasonable nor arbitrary, because there appears a correspondence between the undeniable existence
of an undesirable situation and the legislative attempt at correction. Moreover, every regulation of
conduct amounts to curtailment of liberty, which cannot be absolute.

Same; Public interest; Government interference.—The policy of laissez faire has to some extent given
way to the assumption by the government of the right of intervention even in contractual relations
affected with public interest. If the liberty invoked were freedom of the mind or the person, the
standard for the validity of governmental acts is much more rigorous and exacting, but where the liberty
curtailed affects at the most rights of property, the permissible scope of regulatory measures is wider.

Statutes; When statute is void because of ambiguity.— What makes a statute susceptible to a charge
that it is void on its face for alleged vagueness or uncertainty is an enactment either forbidding or
requiring the doing of an act that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and
diff er as to its application.

APPEAL from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

Panganiban, Abad & Associates Law Office for respondent-appellant.

J. M. Aruego, Tenchavez & Associates for intervenorappellee.

FERNANDO, J,:

The principal question in this appeal from a judgment of the lower court in an action for prohibition is
whether Ordinance No. 4760 of the City of Manila is violative of the due process clause. The lower court
held that it is and adjudged it "unconstitutional, and, therefore, null and void." For reasons to be more
specifically set forth, such

852

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

judgment must be reversed, there being a failure of the requisite showing to sustain an attack against its
validity.

The petition for prohibition against Ordinance No. 4760 was filed on July 5, 1963 by the petitioners,
Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, one of its members, Hotel del Mar, Inc., and a
certain Go Chiu, who is "the president and general manager of the second petitioner" against the
respondent Mayor of the City of Manila who was sued in his capacity as such "charged with the general
power and duty to enforce ordinances of the City of Manila and to give the necessary orders for the
faithful execution and enforcement of such ordinances." (par. 1). It was alleged that the petitioner non-
stock corporation is dedicated to the promotion and protection of the interest of its eighteen (18)
members "operating hotels and motels, characterized as legitimate businesses duly licensed by both
national and city authorities, regularly paying taxes, employing and giving livelihood, to not less than
2,500 person and representing an investment of more than P3 million."1 (par. 2). It was then alleged
that on June 13, 1963, the Municipal Board of the City of Manila enacted Ordinance No. 4760, approved
on June 14, 1963 by the then ViceMayor Herminio Astorga, who was at the time acting as Mayor of the
City of Manila. (par. 3).

After which the alleged grievances against the ordinance were set forth in detail. There was the
assertion of its being beyond the powers of the Municipal Board of the City of Manila to enact insofar as
it would regulate motels, on the ground that in the revised charter of the City of Manila or in any other
law, no reference is made to motels; that Section 1 of the challenged ordinance is unconstitutional and
void for being unreasonable and violative of due procfess insofar as it would impose ?6,000.00 fee per
annum for first class motels and P4,500.00 for second class motels;

_______________

1 The eighteen members are Waldorf Hotel, Hotel Monte Carlo, Golden Gate Motel, Miami Hotel, Palm
Spring Hotel, Flamingo Motel, Holiday Motel, Rainbow Motel, Palo Alto Hotel, Paradise Hotel, Mayfair
Hotel, Siesta Court, Sun Valley Hotel, Springfield Hotel, New Palace Hotel, Hotel del Mar, Longbeach
Hotel and Ritz Motel.

853

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Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila,

that the provision in the same section which would require the owner, manager, keeper or duly
authorized representative of a hotel, motel, or lodging house to refrain from entertaining or accepting
any guest or customer or letting any room or other quarter to any person or persons without his filling
up the prescribed form in a lobby open to public view at all times and in his presence, wherein the
surname, given name and middle name, the date of birth, the address, the occupation, the sex, the
nationality, the length of stay and the number of companions in the room, if any, with the name,
relationship, age and sex would be specified, with data furnished as to his residence certificate as well as
his passport number, if any, coupled with a certification that a person signing such form has personally
filled it up and affixed his signature in the presence of such owner, manager, keeper or duly authorized
representative, with such registration forms and records kept and bound together, it also being
provided that the premises and facilities of such hotels, motels and lodging houses would be open for
inspection either by the City Mayor, or the Chief of Police, or their duly authorized representatives is
unconstitutional and void again on due process grounds, not only for being arbitrary, unreasonable or
oppressive but also for being vague, indefinite and uncertain, and likewise for the alleged invasion of the
right to privacy and the guaranty against self-incrimination; that Section 2 of the challenged ordinance
classifying motels into two classes and requiring the maintenance of certain minimum facilities in f irst
class motels such as a telephone in each room, a dining room or, restaurant and laundry similarly
offends against the due process clause for being arbitrary, unreasonable and oppressive, a conclusion
which applies to the portion of the ordinance requiring second class motels to have a dining room; that
the provision of Section 2 of the challenged ordinance prohibiting a person less than 18 years old from
being accepted in such hotels, motels, lodging houses, tavern or common inn unless accompanied by
parents or a lawful guardian and making it unlawful for the owner, manager, keeper or duly authorized
representative of such establishments to lease any room or portion

854

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

thereof more than twice every 24 hours, runs counter to the due process guaranty for lack of certainty
and for its unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive character; and that insofar as the penalty provided for
in Section 4 of the challenged ordinance for a subsequent conviction would cause the automatic
cancellation of the license of the offended party, in effect causing the destruction of the business and
loss of its investments, there is once again a transgression of the due process clause.

There was a plea for the issuance of preliminary injunction and for a final judgment declaring the above
ordinance null and void and unenforceable. The lower court on July 6, 1963 issued a writ of preliminary
injunction ordering respondent Mayor to refrain from enforcing said Ordinance No. 4760 from and after
July 8, 1963.

In the answer filed on August 3, 1963, there was an admission of the personal circumstances regarding
the respondent Mayor and of the fact that petitioners are licensed to engage in the hotel or motel
business in the City of Manila, of the provisions of the cited Ordinance but a denial of its alleged nullity,
whether on statutory or constitutional grounds. After setting forth that the petition did fail to state a
cause of action and that the challenged ordinance bears a reasonable relation, to a proper purpose,
which is to curb immorality, a valid and proper exercise of the police power and that only the guests or
customers not before the court could complain of the alleged invasion of the right to privacy and the
guaranty against selfincrimination, with the assertion that the issuance of the preliminary injunction ex
parte was contrary to law, respondent Mayor prayed f or its dissolution and the dismissal of the
petition.

Instead of evidence being offered by both parties, there was submitted a stipulation of facts dated
September 28, 1964, which reads:

"1. That the petitioners Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. and Hotel del Mar,
Inc. are duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines, both with offices in the City of
Manila, while the petitioner Go Chiu is the president and general manager of Hotel del Mar, Inc., and

855

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Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

the intervenor Victor Alabanza is a resident of Baguio City, all having the capacity to sue and be sued;

"2. That the respondent Mayor is the duly elected and incumbent City Mayor and chief executive of the
City of Manila charged with the general power and duty to enforce ordinances of the City of Manila and
to give the necessary orders for the faithful execution and enforcement of such ordinances;

"3. That the petitioners are duly licensed to engage in the business of operating hotels and motels in
Malate and Ermita districts in Manila;

"4. That on June 13, 1963, the Municipal Board of the City of Manila enacted Ordinance No. 4760, which
was approved on June 14, 1963, by Vice-Mayor Herminio Astorga, then the acting City Mayor of Manila,
in the absence of the respondent regular City Mayor, amending sections 661, 662, 668-a, 668-b and 669
of the compilation of the ordinances of the City of Manila besides inserting therein three new sections.
This ordinance is similar to the one vetoed by the respondent Mayor (Annex A) for the reasons stated in
its 4th Indorsement dated February 15, 1963 (Annex B);

"5. That the explanatory note signed by then Councilor Herminio Astorga was submitted with the
proposed ordinance (now Ordinance 4760) to the Municipal Board, copy of which is attached hereto as
Annex C;

"6. That the City of Manila derived in 1963 an annual income of P101,904.05 from license fees paid by
the 105 hotels and motels (including herein petitioners) operating in the City of Manila."

Thereafter came a memorandum for respondent on January 22, 1965, wherein stress was laid on the
presumption of the validity of the challenged ordinance, the burden of showing its lack of conf ormity to
the Constitution resting on the party who assails it, citing not only U.S. v. Salaveria, but likewise
applicable American authorities. Such a memorandum likewise refuted point by point the arguments
advanced by petitioners against its validity. Then barely two weeks later, on February 4, 1965, the
memorandum for petitioners was filed reiterating in detail what was set forth in the petition, with
citations of what they considered to be applicable American authorities and praying for a judgment
declaring the challenged ordinance "null and void and unenforceable" and making permanent the writ
of preliminary injunction issued.

856

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

After referring to the motels and hotels, which are members of the petitioners association, and referring
to the alleged constitutional questions raised by the party, the lower court observed: "The only
remaining issue here being purely a question of law, the parties, with the nod of the Court, agreed to file
memoranda and thereafter, to submit the case for decision of the Court." It does appear obvious then
that without any evidence submitted by the parties, the decision passed upon the alleged infirmity on
constitutional grounds of the challenged ordinance, dismissing as is undoubtedly right and proper the
untenable objection on the alleged lack of authority of the City of Manila to regulate motels, and came
to the conclusion that "the challenged Ordinance No. 4760 of the City of Manila, would be
unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void." It made permanent the preliminary injunction issued
against respondent Mayor and his agents "to restrain him from enforcing the ordinance in question.''"
Hence this appeal.

As noted at the outset, the judgment must be reversed. A decent regard for constitutional doctrines of a
fundamental character ought to have admonished the lower court against such a sweeping
condemnation of the challenged ordinance. Its decision cannot be allowed to stand, consistently with
what has hitherto been the accepted standards of constitutional adjudication, in both procedural and
substantive aspects.

Primarily what calls for a reversal of such a decision is the absence of any evidence to offset the
presumption of validity that attaches to a challenged statute or ordinance. As was expressed
categorically by Justice Malcolm: "The presumption is all in favor of validity. x x x The action of the
elected representatives of the people cannot be lightly set aside. The councilors must, in the very nature
of things, be familiar with the necessities of their particular municipality and with all the facts and
circumstances which surround the subject and necessitate action. The local legislative body, by enacting
the ordinance, has in effect given notice that the regulations are essential to the wellbeing of the
people. x x x The Judiciary should not lightly set aside legislative action when there is not a clear invasion

857

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Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

of personal or property rights under the guise of police regulation."2

It admits of no doubt therefore that there being a presumption of validity, the necessity for evidence to
rebut it is unavoidable, unless the statute or ordinance is void on its f ace, which is not the case here.
The principle has been nowhere better expressed than in the leading case of O'Gorman & Young v.
Hartford Fire Insurance Co.,3 where the American Supreme Court through Justice Brandeis tersely and
succinctly summed up the matter thus: "The statute here questioned deals with a subject clearly within
the scope of the police power. We are asked to declare it void on the ground that the specif ic method
of regulation prescribed is unreasonable and hence deprives the plaintiff of due process of law. As
underlying questions of fact may condition the constitutionality of legislation of this character, the
presumption of constitutionality must prevail in the absence of some factual foundation of record for
overthrowing the statute." No such factual foundation being laid in the present case, the lower court
deciding the matter on the pleadings and the stipulation of f acts, the presumption of validity must
prevail and the judgment against the ordinance set aside.

Nor may petitioners assert with plausibility that on its face the ordinance is fatally defective as being
repugnant to the due process clause of the Constitution. The mantle of protection associated with the
due process guaranty does not cover petitioners. This particular manifestation of a police power
measure being specifically aimed to safeguard public morals is immune from such imputation of nullity
resting purely on conjecture and unsupported by anything of substance. To hold otherwise would be to
unduly restrict and narrow the scope of police power which has been properly characterized as the most
essential, insistent and the

_______________

2 US. v. Salaveria (1918), 39 Phil. 102, at p. 111. There was an affirmation of the presumption of validity
of municipal ordinance as announced in the leading Salaveria decision in Eboña v. Daet, (1950) 85 Phil.
369.

3 282 US 251, 328, January 5, 1931.

858

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

least limitable of powers,4 extending as it does "to all the great public needs."5 It would be, to
paraphrase another leading decision, to destroy the very purpose of the state if it could be deprived or
allowed itself to be deprived of its competence to promote public health, public morals, public safety
and the general welfare.6 Negatively put, police power is "that inherent and plenary power in the State
which enables it to prohibit all that is hurtful to the comfort, safety, and welfare of society."7

There is no question but that the challenged ordinance was precisely enacted to minimize certain
practices hurtful to public morals. The explanatory note of the then Councilor Herminio Astorga included
as annex to the stipulation of facts, speaks of the alarming increase in the rate of prostitution, adultery
and fornication in Manila traceable in great part to the existence of motels, which "provide a necessary
atmosphere for clandestine entry, presence and exit" and thus become the "ideal haven for prostitutes
and

________________

4 Cf. Ichong v. Hernandez, (1957) 101 Phil. 1155, at p. 1163. AIso: 'To Frankfurter the police power, true
to its etymology, is the power to shape policy. It def ies legal definition; as a response to the dynamic
aspects of society, it cannot be reduced to a constitutional formula. The law must be sensitive to life; in
resolving cases. it must not fall back upon sterile claims; its judgments are not derived from an abstract
duel between liberty and the police power. Instead, in a world of trusts and unions and large-scale
industry, it must meet the challenge of drastic social change. For him as for Holmes, 'society is more
than bargain and business' and the jurist's art rises to no higher peak than in vindicating interests not
represented by the items in a balance-sheet. In a progressive society, new interests emerge, new
attitudes appear, social consciousness quickens. In the face of the unknown one cannot choose with
certainty. Nor as yet, has the whole of truth been brought up from its bottomless well and how f ragile
in scientif ic proof is the ultimate validity of any particular economic adjustment. Social development is a
process of trial and error; in the making of policy the f ullest possible opportunity must be given for the
play of the human mind. If Congress or legislature does not regulate, laissez faire—not the individual—
must be the regulator. (Hamilton, Pre view of a Justice (1939) 48 Yale Law Journal, 819).

5 Noble state Bank v. Haskell, 219 U.S. 412.

6 U.S. v. Gomez-Jesus, (1915) 31 Phil. 218.

7 Rubi v. Provincial Board, (1918) 39 Phil. 660.

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Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs, City Mayor of Manila

thrill-seekers." The challenged ordinance then "proposes to check the clandestine harboring of
transients and guests of these establishments by requiring these transients and guests to fill up a
registration form, prepared for the purpose, in a lobby open to public view at all times, and by
introducing several other amendatory provisions calculated to shatter the privacy that characterizes the
registration of transients and guests." Moreover, the increase in the licensed fees was intended to
discourage "establishments of the kind from operating for purpose other -than legal" and at the same
time, to increase "the income of the city government." It would appear therefore that the stipulation of
facts, far from sustaining any attack against the validity of the ordinance, argues eloquently for it,

It is a fact worth noting that this Court has invariably stamped with the seal of its approval, ordinances
punishing vagrancy and classifying a pimp or procurer as a vagrant;8 providing a license tax for and
regulating the maintenance or operation of public dance halls;9 prohibiting gambling;10 prohibiting
jueteng;11 and monte,12 prohibiting playing of panguingui on days other than Sundays or legal
holidays;13 prohibiting the operation of pinball machines;14 and, prohibiting any person from keeping,
conducting or maintaining an opium joint or visiting a place where opium is, smoked or otherwise
used,15 all of which are intended ,to protect public morals. ,

On the legislative organs of the government, whether national or local, primarily rest the exercise of the
police power, which, it cannot be too often emphasized, is the

________________

8 U.S. vs. Giner Cruz, (1918) 38 Phil. 677.

9 U.S. vs. Rodriguez, (1918) 38 Phil. 759. See also Sarmiento v. Belderol, L-15719, May 31, 1961; Lapera
v. Vicente, L-18102, June 30, 1962.

10 U.S. v. Pacis, (1915) 31 Phil. 524.

11 U.S. vs. Espiritu-Santo, (1912) 23 Phil. 610; U.S. vs. Joson, (1913) 26 Phil. 1; People vs. Chan Hong,
(1938) 65 Phil. 625

12 U.S. v. Tamparong, (1915) 31 Phil. 321.

13 U.S. v. Salaveria, (1918) 39 Phil. 102.

14 Uy Ha v. The City Mayor, L-14149, May 30, 1969; Miranda v. City of Manila, L-17252, May 31, 1961.

15 U.S. v. Ten Yu, (1912) 24 Phil. 1.

860

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, good order, safety and general
welfare of the people. In view of the requirements of due process, equal protection and other applicable
constitutional guaranties, however, the exercise of such police power insofar as it may affect the life,
liberty or property of any person is subject to judicial inquiry. Where such exercise of police power may
be considered as either capricious, whimsical, unjust or unreasonable, a denial of due process or a
violation of any other applicable constitutional guaranty may call for correction by the courts.

We are thus led to considering the insistent, almost shrill tone, in which the objection is raised to the
question of due process.16 There is no controlling and precise definition of due process. It furnishes
though a standard to which the governmental action should conform in order that deprivation of life,
liberty or property, in each appropriate. case, be valid. What then is the standard of due process which
must exist both as a procedural and a substantive requisite to free the challenged ordinance, or any
governmental action for that matter, from the imputation of legal infirmity sufficient to spell its doom?
It is responsiveness to the supremacy of reason, obedience to the dictates of justice. Negatively put,
arbitrariness is ruled out and unfairness avoided. To satisfy the due process requirement, official action,
to paraphrase Cardozo, must not outrun the bounds of reason and result in sheer oppression. Due
process is thus hostile to any official action marred by lack of reasonableness. Correctly it has been
identified as freedom from arbitrariness. It is the embodiment of

_______________

16 There is no occasion to consider even cursorily the alleged invasion of the right of privacy or the
prohibition against self-incrimination. Petitioners obviously are not the proper parties to do so. Nor may
such an incurable defect be remedied by an accommodating intervenor "who has always taken
advantage of, as he exclusively relies on, the facilities, services and accommodations offered by
petitioner-motels. A general merchant, doing business not only in Baguio City but in the City of Manila,
has no legitimate cause for complaint. At least, not according to the case as it has been developed.

861

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Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

the sporting idea of fair play.17 It exacts fealty "to those strivings for justice" and judges the act of
officialdom of whatever branch "in the light of reason drawn from considerations of fairness that reflect
[democratic] traditions of legal and political thought."18 It is not a narrow or "technical conception with
fixed content unrelated to time, place and circumstances,"19 decisions based on such a clause requiring
a "close and perceptive inquiry into fundamental principles of our society."20 Questions of due process
are not to be treated narrowly or pedantically in slavery to form or phrases.21

It would thus be an affront to reason to stigmatize an ordinance enacted precisely to meet what a
municipal lawmaking body considers an evil of rather serious proportion an arbitrary and capricious
exercise of authority. It would seem that what should be deemed unreasonable and what would amount
to an abdication of the power to govern is inaction in the face of an admitted deterioration of the state
of public morals. To be more specific, the Municipal Board of the City of Manila felt the need for a
remedial measure. It provided it with the enactment of the challenged ordinance. A strong case must be
found in the records, and, as has been set forth, none is even attempted here to attach to an ordinance
of such character the taint of nullity for an alleged failure to meet the due process requirement. Nor
does it lend any semblance even of deceptive plausibility to petitioners' indictment of Ordinance No.
4760 on due process grounds to single out such features as the increased fees for motels and hotels, the
curtailment of the area of freedom to contract, and, in certain particulars, its alleged vagueness.

Admittedly there was a decided increase of the annual license fees provided for by the challenged
ordinance for

________________

17 Frankfurter, Mr. Justice Holmes and the Supreme Court, (1938) pp. 32-33.

18 Frankfurter, Hannah v. Larche, (1960) 363 U.S. 420, at 487.

19 Cafeteria Workers v. McElroy, (1961) 367 U.S. 1230.

20 Bartkus v. Illinois, (1959) 359 U.S. 121.

21 Pearson v. McGraw, (1939) 308 U.S. 313.

862

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

both hotels and motels, 150% for the former and over 200% for the latter, f irst-class motels being
required to pay a P6,000 annual fee and second-class motels, P4,500 yearly. It has been the settled law
however, as far back as 1922 that municipal license fees could be classified into those imposed for
regulating occupations or regular enterprises, for the regulation or restriction of non-useful occupations
or enterprises and for revenue purposes only.22 As was explained more in detail in the above Cu
Unjieng case: "(2) Licenses for non-useful occupations are also incidental to the police power and the
right to exact a fee may be implied from the power to license and regulate, but in fixing amount of the
license fees the municipal corporations are allowed a much wider discretion in this class of cases than in
the former, and aside from applying the well-known legal principle that municipal ordinances must not
be unreasonable, oppressive, or tyrannical, courts have, as a general rule, declined to interfere with
such discretion. The desirability of imposing restraint upon the number of persons who might otherwise
engage in non-usef ul enterprises is, of course, generally an important factor in the determination of the
amount of this kind of license fee. Hence license fees clearly in the nature of privilege taxes for revenue
have frequently been upheld, especially in cases of licenses for the sale of liquors. In fact, in the latter
cases the fees have rarely been declared unreasonable."23

________________

22 Cu Unjieng v. Patstone, (1922) 42 Phil. 818, 828.

23 Citing Swarth v. People, 109 111. 621; Dennehy v. City of Chicago, 120 111. 627; 12 N.E., 227; United
States Distilling Co. v. City of Chicago, 112 111. 19; Drew County v. Bennet, 43 Ark. 364; Merced County
v. Fleming, 111 Cal. 46; 43 Pac. 392; Williams v. City Council of West Point, 68 Ga. 816; Cheny v.
Shellbyville, 19 Ind. 84; Wiley v. Owens, 39 Ind. 429; Sweet v. City of Wabash, 41 Ind. 7; Jones v. Grady,
25 La. Ann. 586; Goldsmith v. City of New Orleans, 31 La. Ann. 646; People ex rel., Cramer v. Medberry,
39 N.Y.S. 207; 17 Misc. Rep., 8; McGuigan v. Town of Belmont, 89 Wis. 637; 62 N.W., 421; Ex parte
Burnett, 30 Ala. 461; Craig v. Burnett, 32 Ala., 728, and Muhlenbrinck v. Long Branch Commissioner, 42
N.J.L. 364; 36 Am. Rep., 518. At pp. 829-830.

863

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Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

Moreover, in the equally leading case of Lutz v. Araneta24 this Court affirmed the doctrine earlier
announced by the American Supreme Court that taxation may be made to implement the state's police
power. Only the other day, this Court had occasion to affirm that the broad taxing authority conferred
by the Local Autonomy Act of 1959 to cities and municipalities is sufficiently plenary to cover a wide
range of subjects with the only limitation that the tax so levied is for public purposes, just and
uniform.25

As a matter of fact, even without reference to the wide latitude enjoyed by the City of Manila in
imposing licenses for revenue, it has been explicitly held in one case that "much discretion is given to
municipal corporations in determining the amount," here the license fee of the operator of a massage
clinic, even if it were viewed purely as a police power measure.26 The discussion of this particular
matter may fitly close with this pertinent citation from another decision of significance: "It is urged on
behalf of the plaintiffs-appellees that the enforcement of the ordinance could deprive them of their
lawful occupation and means of livelihood because they can not rent stalls in the public markets. But it
appears that plaintiffs are also dealers in refrigerated or cold storage meat, the sale of which outside the
city markets under certain conditions is permitted. x x x And surely, the mere fact, that some individuals
in the community may be deprived of their present business or a particular mode of earning a living
cannot prevent the exercise of the police power. As was said in a case, persons licensed to pursue
occupations which may in the public need and interest be affected by the exercise of the police power
embark in these occupations

________________

24 98 Phil. 148 (1955), citing Great Atl. & Pac. Tea Co. v. Grosjean, 301 U.S. 412, 81 L. Ed. 1193; U.S. v.
Butler, 297 U.S. 1, 80 L. Ed 477; M'Culloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 4 L. Ed. 579. The Lutz decision was
followed in Republic v. BacolodMurcia Milling, L-19824, July 9, 1966.

25 Ormoc Sugar Co. v. Municipal Board of Ormoc City, L-24322, July 21, 1967.

26 Physical Therapy Organization v. Municipal Board, (1957) 101 Phil. 1142.

864

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

subject to the disadvantages which may result from the legal exercise of that power."27

Nor does the restriction on the freedom to contract, insofar as the challenged ordinance makes it
unlawful for the owner, manager, keeper or duly authorized representative of any hotel, motel, lodging
house, tavern, common inn or the like, to lease or rent any room or portion thereof more than twice
every 24 hours, with a proviso that in all cases full payment shall be charged, call for a different
conclusion. Again, such a limitation cannot be viewed as a transgression against the command of due
process. It is neither unreasonable nor arbitrary. Precisely it was intended to curb the opportunity for
the immoral or illegitimate use to which such premises could be, and, according to the explanatory note,
are being devoted. How could it then be arbitrary or oppressive when there appears a correspondence
between the undeniable existence of an undesirable situation and the legislative attempt at correction.
Moreover, petitioners cannot be unaware that every regulation of conduct amounts to curtailment of
liberty which as pointed out by Justice Malcolm cannot be absolute. Thus: "One thought which runs
through all these different conceptions of liberty is plainly apparent. It is this: 'Liberty' as understood in
democracies, is not license; it is 'liberty regulated by law.' Implied in the term is restraint by law for the
good of the individual and for the greater good of the peace and order of society and the general
wellbeing. No man can do exactly as he pleases. Every man must renounce unbridled license. The right
of the individual is necessarily subject to reasonable restraint by general law for the common good. x x x
The liberty of the citizen may be restrained in the interest of the public health, or of the public order and
safety, or otherwise within the proper scope of the police power."28

_______________

27 Co Kian & Lee Ban v. City of Manila, (1955) 96 Phil. 649, 654, citing City of New Orleans v. Stafford, 27
L. Ann. 417.

28 Rubi v. Provincial Board, (1919) 39 Phil. 660, at 706, citing Hall v. Geiger-Jones (1916), 242 U.S. 539;
Hardie-Tynes Manufacturing Co. vs. Cruz (1914), 189 Ala. 66.

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Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila,

A similar observation was made by Justice Laurel: "Public welfare, then, lies at the bottom of the
enactment of said law, and the state in order to promote the general welfare may interfere with
personal liberty, with property, and with business and occupations. Persons and property may be
subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens, in order to secure the general comfort, health, and
prosperity of the state x x x. To this fundamental aim of our Government the rights of the individual are
subordinated. Liberty is a blessing without which life is a misery, but liberty should not be made to
prevail over authority because then society will fall into anarchy. Neither should authority be made to
prevail over liberty because then the individual will fall into slavery. The citizen should achieve the
required balance of liberty and authority in his mind through education and personal discipline, so that
there may be established the resultant equilibrium, which means peace and order and happiness for
all."29

It is noteworthy that the only decision of this Court nullifying legislation because of undue deprivation of
freedom to contract, People v. Pomar,30 no longer "retains its virtuality as a living principle. The policy
of laissez faire has to some extent given way to the assumption by the government of the right of
intervention even in contractual relations affected with public interest."31 What may be stressed
sufficiently is that if the liberty involved were freedom of the mind or the person, the standard for the
validity of governmental acts is much more rigorous and exacting, but where the liberty curtailed affects
at the most rights of property, the permissible scope of regulatory

________________

29 Calalang v. Williams (1940), 70 Phil. 726, at 733-734

30 46 Phil 440 (1924). The Philippines was then under American sovereignty, American Supreme Court
decisions hav-ing thus an obligatory effect. No alternative was left to this Court except to follow the
then controlling decision in Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1924), 261 U.S. 525, which subsequently was
overruled in West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937), 300 U.S. 379

31 Antamok Goldfields Mining Co. v. Court (1940) 70 Phil. 340, at 360, quoting a concurring opinion of
Justice Laurel in Ang Tibay v. Court, G.R. No. 46496.

866

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of Manila

measure is wider.32 How justify then the allegation of a denial of due process?

Lastly, there is the attempt to impugn the ordinance on another due process ground by invoking the
principle of vagueness or uncertainty. It would appear/from a recital in the petition itself that what
seems to be the gravamen of the alleged grievance is that the provisions are too detailed and specific
rather than vague or uncertain. Petitioners, however, point to the requirement that a guest should give
the name, relationship, age and sex of the companion or companions as indefinite and uncertain in view
of the necessity for determining whether the companion or companions referred to are those arriving
with the customer or guest at the time of the registry or entering the room with him at about the same
time or coming at any indefinite time later to join him; a proviso in one of its sections which cast doubt
as to whether the maintenance of a restaurant in a motel is dependent upon the discretion of its owners
or operators; another proviso which from their standpoint would require a guess as to whether the "full
rate of payment" to be charged for every such lease thereof means a full day's or merely a half-day's
rate. It may be asked, do these allegations suffice to render the

_______________

32 Cf. "In weighing arguments of the parties it is important to distinguish between the due process
clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as an instrument for transmitting the principles of the First
Amendment and those cases in which it is applied for its own sake. The test of legislation which collides
with the Fourteenth Amendment, because it also collides with the principles of the First, is much more
definite than the test when only the Fourteenth is involved. Much of the vagueness of the due process
clause disappears when the specific prohibition of the First become its standard. The right of a State to
regulate, for example, a public utility may well include, so far as the due process test is concerned,
power to impose all of the restrictions which a legislature may have a 'rational basis' for adopting. But
freedoms of speech and of press, of assembly, and of worship may well be infringed on such slender
grounds. They are susceptible of restriction only to prevent an immediate danger to interests which the
state may lawfully protect." (West Virginia State Bd. of Edu. v. Barnette, (1942), 319 U.S. 624, at 639).

867

VOL. 20, JULY 31, 1967


867

Acuña vs. Yatco

ordinance void on its face for alleged vagueness or uncertainty? To ask the question is to answer it.
From Connally v. General Construction Co.33 to Adderley v. Florida,34 the principle has been
consistently upheld that what makes a statute susceptible to such a charge is an enactment either
forbidding or requiring the doing of an act that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its
meaning and differ as to its application. Is this the situation before us? A citation from Justice Holmes
would prove illuminating: "We agree to all the generalities about not supplying criminal laws with what
they omit, but there is no canon against using common sense in construing laws as saying what they
obviously mean."35

That is all then that this case presents. As it stands, with all due allowance for the arguments pressed
with such vigor and determination, the attack against the validity of the challenged ordinance cannot be
considered a success. Far from it. Respect for constitutional law principles so uniformly held and so
uninterruptedly adhered to by this Court compels a reversal of the appealed decision.

Wherefore, the judgment of the lower court is reversed and the injunction issued lifted forthwith. With
costs.

Reyes, J.B.L., Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., Zaldivar, Sanchez, Castro and Angeles, JJ., concur.

Concepcion, C.J., and Dizon, J., are on official leave.

Judgment reversed. [Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. vs. City Mayor of
Manila, 20 SCRA 849(1967)]
No. L-29646. November 10, 1978.*
MAYOR ANTONIO J. VILLEGAS, petitioner, vs. HIU CHIONG TSAI PAO HO and JUDGE FRANCISCO ARCA,
respondents.

Local Governments; Taxation; A city ordinance of Manila which imposes a fee of P50.00 to enable aliens
generally to be employed in the City is a revenue measure.—The contention that Ordinance No. 6537 is
not a purely tax or revenue measure because its principal purpose is regulatory in nature has no merit.
While it is true that the first part which requires that the alien shall secure an employment permit from
the Mayor involves the exercise of discretion and judgment in the processing and approval or
disapproval of applications for employment permits and therefore is regulatory in character, the second
part which requires the payment of P50.00 as employee’s fee is not regulatory but a revenue measure.
There is no logic or justification in exacting P50.00 from aliens who have been cleared for employment.
It is obvious that the purpose of the ordinance is to raise money under the guise of regulation.

Same; The fee off P50.00 imposed by a city ordinance of Manila on alien’s employment is unreasonable
because it failed to consider valid differences in situation among aliens required to pay it.—The P50.00
fee is unreasonable not only because it is excessive but because it fails to consider valid substantial
differences in situation among individual aliens who are required to pay it. Although the equal
protection clause of the Constitution does not forbid classification, it is imperative that the classification
should be based on real and substantial differences having a reasonable relation to the subject of

_______________

* EN BANC.

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Villegas vs. Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho

the particular legislation. The same amount to P50.00 is being collected from every employed alien,
whether he is casual or permanent, part time or full time or whether he is a lowly employee or a highly
paid executive.

Same; A city ordinance which does not lay down any standard to guide the city mayor in the issuance or
denial of an alien employment permit fee is null and void.—Ordinance No. 6537 does not lay down any
criterion or standard to guide the Mayor in the exercise of his discretion. It has been held that where an
ordinance of a municipality fails to state any policy or to set up any standard to guide or limit the
mayor’s action, expresses no purpose to be attained by requiring a permit, enumerates no conditions
for its grant or refusal, and entirely lacks standard, thus conferring upon the Mayor arbitrary and
unrestricted power to grant or deny the issuance of building permits, such ordinance is invalid, being an
undefined and unlimited delegation of power to allow or prevent an activity per se lawful.

Same; Constitutional law; A city ordinance which requires aliens to secure a mayor’s permit before they
can earn a means of livelihood in the City of Manila is void and unconstitutional.—Requiring a person
before he can be employed to get a permit from the City Mayor of Manila who may withhold or refuse it
at will is tantamount to denying him the basic right of the people in the Philippines to engage in a means
of livelihood. While it is true that the Philippines as a State is not obliged to admit aliens within its
territory, once an alien is admitted, he cannot be deprived of life without due process of law. This
guarantee includes the means of livelihood. The shelter of protection under the due process and equal
protection clause is given to all persons, both aliens and citizens.

PETITION for certiorari to review the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila. Arca, J.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

Angel C. Cruz, Gregorio A. Ejercito, Felix C. Chaves & Jose Laureta for petitioner.

Sotero H. Laurel for respondents.

FERNANDEZ, J.:

This is a petition for certiorari to review the decision dated September 17, 1968 of respondent Judge
Francisco Arca of the

272

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Villegas vs. Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho

Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch I, in Civil Case No. 72797, the dispositive portion of which
reads:

“Wherefore, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the petitioner and against the respondents,
declaring Ordinance No. 6537 of the City of Manila null and void. The preliminary injunction is hereby
made permanent. No pronouncement as to cost.

SO ORDERED.

Manila, Philippines, September 17, 1968.

(SGD.) FRANCISCO ARCA
Judge”1

The controverted Ordinance No. 6537 was passed by the Municipal Board of Manila on February 22,
1968 and signed by the herein petitioner Mayor Antonio J. Villegas of Manila on March 27, 1968.2

City Ordinance No. 6537 is entitled:

“AN ORDINANCE MAKING IT UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON NOT A CITIZEN OF THE PHILIPPINES TO BE
EMPLOYED IN ANY PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT OR TO BE ENGAGED IN ANY KIND OF TRADE, BUSINESS OR
OCCUPATION WITHIN THE CITY OF MANILA WITHOUT FIRST SECURING AN EMPLOYMENT PERMIT FROM
THE MAYOR OF MANILA; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”3

Section 1 of said Ordinance No. 65374 prohibits aliens from being employed or to engage or participate
in any position of

___________________

1 Annex “F”, Petition, Rollo, p. 64.

2 Petition, Rollo, p. 28.

3 Annex “A” of Petition, Rollo, pp. 37-38.

4 Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any person not a citizen of the Philippines to be employed in any kind
of position or occupation or allowed directly or indirectly to participate in the functions, administration
or management in any office, corporation, store, restaurant, factory, business firm, or any other place of
employment either as consultant, adviser, clerk, employee, technician, teacher, actor, actress, acrobat,
singer or other theatrical performer, laborer, cook, etc., whether temporary, casual, permanent or
otherwise and irrespective of the source or origin of his compensation or number of

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occupation or business enumerated therein, whether permanent, temporary or casual, without first
securing an employment permit from the Mayor of Manila and paying the permit fee of P50.00 except
persons employed in the diplomatic or consular missions of foreign countries, or in the technical
assistance programs of both the Philippine Government and any foreign government, and those working
in their respective households, and members of religious orders or congregations, sect or denomination,
who are not paid monetarily or in kind.

Violations of this ordinance is punishable by an imprisonment of not less than three (3) months to six (6)
months or fine of not less than P100.00 but not more than P200.00 or both such fine and imprisonment,
upon conviction.5

On May 4, 1968, private respondent Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho, who was employed in Manila, filed a
petition with the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch I, denominated as Civil Case No. 72797,
praying for the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction and restraining order to stop the
enforcement of Ordinance No. 6537 as well as for a judgment declaring said Ordinance No. 6537 null
and void.6

______________

hours spent in said office, store, restaurant, factory, corporation or any other place of employment, or
to engage in any kind of business and trade within the City of Manila, without first securing an
employment permit from the Mayor of Manila, and paying the necessary fee therefor to the City the
City Treasurer: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That persons employed in diplomatic and consular missions of
foreign countries and in technical assistance programs agreed upon by the Philippine Government and
any foreign government, and those working in their respective households, and members of different
congregations or religious orders of any religion, sect or denomination, who are not paid either
monetarily or in kind shall be exempted from the provisions of this Ordinance.

5 Section 4. Any violation of this Ordinance shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment of not
less than three (3) months but not more than six (6) months or by a fine of not less than one hundred
pesos (P100.00) but not more than two hundred pesos (P200.00), or by both such fine and
imprisonment, in the discretion of the Court: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That in case of juridical persons, the
President, the Vice-President or the person in charge shall be liable.

6 Annex “B”, Petition, Rollo, p. 39.

274

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Villegas vs. Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho

In this petition, Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho assigned the following as his grounds for wanting the ordinance
declared null and void:

1) As a revenue measure imposed on aliens employed in the City of Manila, Ordinance No. 6537 is
discriminatory and violative of the rule of the uniformity in taxation;
2) As a police power measure, it makes no distinction between useful and non-useful occupations,
imposing a fixed P50.00 employment permit, which is out of proportion to the cost of registration and
that it fails to prescribe any standard to guide and/or limit the action of the Mayor, thus, violating the
fundamental principle on illegal delegation of legislative powers:
3) It is arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable, being applied only to aliens who are thus, deprived of
their rights to life, liberty and property and therefore, violates the due process and equal protection
clauses of the Constitution.7

On May 24, 1968, respondent Judge issued the writ of preliminary injunction and on September 17,
1968 rendered judgment declaring Ordinance No. 6537 null and void and making permanent the writ of
preliminary injunction.8

Contesting the aforecited decision of respondent Judge, then Mayor Antonio J. Villegas filed the present
petition on March 27, 1969. Petitioner assigned the following as errors allegedly committed by
respondent Judge in the latter’s decision of September 17, 1968:9

“I

THE RESPONDENT JUDGE COMMITTED A SERIOUS AND PATENT ERROR OF LAW IN RULING THAT
ORDINANCE NO. 6537 VIOLATED THE CARDINAL RULE OF UNIFORMITY OF TAXATION.

II

RESPONDENT JUDGE LIKEWISE COMMITTED A GRAVE AND PATENT ERROR OF LAW IN RULING THAT OR-

___________________

7 Ibid.

8 Annex “F”, Petition, Rollo, pp. 75-83.

9 Petition, Rollo, p. 31.

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Villegas vs. Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho

DINANCE NO. 6537 VIOLATED THE PRINCIPLE AGAINST UNDUE DESIGNATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWER.

III

RESPONDENT JUDGE FURTHER COMMITTED A SERIOUS AND PATENT ERROR OF LAW IN RULING THAT
ORDINANCE NO. 6537 VIOLATED THE DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSES OF THE
CONSTITUTION.”

Petitioner Mayor Villegas argues that Ordinance No. 6537 cannot be declared null and void on the
ground that it violated the rule on uniformity of taxation because the rule on uniformity of taxation
applies only to purely tax or revenue measures and that Ordinance No. 6537 is not a tax or revenue
measure but is an exercise of the police power of the state, it being principally a regulatory measure in
nature.

The contention that Ordinance No. 6537 is not a purely tax or revenue measure because its principal
purpose is regulatory in nature has no merit. While it is true that the first part which requires that the
alien shall secure an employment permit from the Mayor involves the exercise of discretion and
judgment in the processing and approval or disapproval of applications for employment permits and
therefore is regulatory in character the second part which requires the payment of P50.00 as
employee’s fee is not regulatory but a revenue measure. There is no logic or justification in exacting
P50.00 from aliens who have been cleared for employment. It is obvious that the purpose of the
ordinance is to raise money under the guise of regulation.

The P50.00 fee is unreasonable not only because it is excessive but because it fails to consider valid
substantial differences in situation among individual aliens who are required to pay it. Although the
equal protection clause of the Constitution does not forbid classification, it is imperative that the
classification should be based on real and substantial differences having a reasonable relation to the
subject of the particular legislation. The same amount of P50.00 is being collected from every employed
alien, whether he is casual or permanent, part time or full time or whether he is a lowly employee or a
highly paid executive.

276

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Villegas vs. Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho

Ordinance No. 6537 does not lay down any criterion or standard to guide the Mayor in the exercise of
his discretion. It has been held that where an ordinance of a municipality fails to state any policy or to
set up any standard to guide or limit the mayor’s action, expresses no purpose to be attained by
requiring a permit, enumerates no conditions for its grant or refusal, and entirely lacks standard, thus
conferring upon the Mayor arbitrary and unrestricted power to grant or deny the issuance of building
permits, such ordinance is invalid, being an undefined and unlimited delegation of power to allow or
prevent an activity per se lawful.10

In Chinese Flour Importers Association vs. Price Stabilization Board,11 where a law granted a
government agency power to determine the allocation of wheat flour among importers, the Supreme
Court ruled against the interpretation of uncontrolled power as it vested in the administrative officer an
arbitrary discretion to be exercised without a policy, rule, or standard from which it can be measured or
controlled.

It was also held in Primicias vs. Fugoso12 that the authority and discretion to grant and refuse permits of
all classes conferred upon the Mayor of Manila by the Revised Charter of Manila is not uncontrolled
discretion but legal discretion to be exercised within the limits of the law.

Ordinance No. 6537 is void because it does not contain or suggest any standard or criterion to guide the
mayor in the exercise of the power which has been granted to him by the ordinance.

The ordinance in question violates the due process of law and equal protection rule of the Constitution.

Requiring a person before he can be employed to get a permit from the City Mayor of Manila who may
withhold or refuse it at will is tantamount to denying him the basic right of the people in the Philippines
to engage in a means of livelihood. While it is true that the Philippines as a State is not obliged to

___________________

10 People vs. Fajardo, 104 Phil. 443, 446.

11 89 Phil. 439, 459-460.

12 80 Phil. 86.

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admit aliens within its territory, once an alien is admitted, he cannot be deprived of life without due
process of law. This guarantee includes the means of livelihood. The shelter of protection under the due
process and equal protection clause is given to all persons, both aliens and citizens.13

The trial court did not commit the errors assigned.

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed, without pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

Barredo, Makasiar, Muñoz Palma, Santos, and Guerrero, JJ., concur.

Castro, C.J., Antonio and Aquino, JJ., concur in the result.

Fernando, J., concurring in the result, relies primarily on the ultra vires character of the ordinance and
expresses comformity with the concurring opinion of Justice Teehankee.

Teehankee, J., concurs on a separate opinion.

Concepcion Jr., J., did not take part.
SEPARATE OPINION

TEEHANKEE, J., concurring:

I concur in the decision penned by Mr. Justice Fernandez which affirms the lower court’s judgment
declaring Ordinance No. 6537 of the City of Manila null and void for the reason that the employment of
aliens within the country is a matter of national policy and regulation, which properly pertain to the
national government officials and agencies concerned and not to local governments, such as the City of
Manila, which after all are mere creations of the national government.

The national policy on the matter has been determined in the statutes enacted by the legislature, viz,
the various Philippine nationalization laws which on the whole recognize the right of aliens to obtain
gainful employment in the country

_________________

13 Kwong Sing vs. City of Manila, 41 Phil. 103.

278

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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Villegas vs. Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho

with the exception of certain specific fields and areas. Such national policies may not be interfered with,
thwarted or in any manner negated by any local government or its officials since they are not separate
from and independent of the national government.

As stated by the Court in the early case of Phil. Coop. Livestock Ass’n. vs. Earnshaw, 59 Phil. 129: “The
City of Manila is a subordinate body to the Insular (National Government . . . . . .). When the Insular
(National) Government adopts a policy, a municipality is without legal authority to nullify and set at
naught the action of the superior authority.” Indeed, “not only must all municipal powers be exercised
within the limits of the organic laws, but they must be consistent with the general law and public policy
of the particular state. . .” (I McQuillin, Municipal Corporations, 2nd sec. 367, p. 1011).

With more reason are such national policies binding on local governments when they involve our foreign
relations with other countries and their nationals who have been lawfully admitted here, since in such
matters the views and decisions of the Chief of State and of the legislature must prevail over those of
subordinate and local governments and officials who have no authority whatever to take official acts to
the contrary.

Decision affirmed.

Notes.—The City can validly Tax the sales of matches outside the city as long as the orders for matches
are booked and paid for in the company’s branch office in the city. (Philippine Match Co., Ltd. vs. City of
Cebu, 81 SCRA 99).

An increase in the rate of tax alone would not support the claim that the tax is oppressive, unjust and
confiscatory; municipal corporations are allowed much discretion in determining the rates of imposable
license fees, even in cases of purely police-power measures. There must be proof of the existing
municipal conditions and the nature of the business being taxed, as well as other factors that would be
relevant to the issue of arbitrariness or unreasonableness of the questioned

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Arrazola vs. Bernas

rates. (Northern Philippines Tobacco Corp. vs. Municipality of Agoo, La Union, 31 SCRA 304).

Persons selling in public markets are engaged in an occupation or business and a city can impose upon
market vendors or retailers fees designed to obtain revenue for the city, above or in addition to the
amount needed to reimburse it for strictly supervening services. (Chamber of Filipino Retailer, Inc. vs.
Villegas, 44 SCRA 405).

The power of a municipal corporation to tax in order to exist, must be granted expressly, never impliedly
or inferentially. (Icard vs. City Council of Baguio, 83 Phil. 870).

The general welfare clause found in city charters cannot be used as legal basis or source of taxing power.
(Lacson vs. Bacolod City, 4 SCRA 1001).

Municipal power to tax should be strictly construed. (City of Ozamer vs. Lumapas, 65 SCRA 33.)

The taxing power of municipal corporations was broadened by Local Autonomy Act of 1959. (City of
Bacolod vs. Enriquez, 65 SCRA 381).

Under the Local Autonomy Act a municipal ordinance which prescribes a set ratio between volume of
sales and amount of tax is a sales tax beyond a municipality’s power to enact. (Arabay, Inc. vs. Court of
First Instance of Zamboanga del Norte, 66 SCRA 617).

The City of Manila has power to regulate and fix the license fees for slot machines which include juke
boxes, pinball machines and other coin-operate contrivances. (Morcoin Co., Ltd. vs. City of Manila, 1
SCRA 310). [Villegas vs. Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho, 86 SCRA 270(1978)]
[No. 14078. March 7, 1919.]
RUBI ET AL. (manguianes), plaintiffs, vs. THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF MINDORO, defendant.

1. STATUTES; SECTION 2145 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1917; VALIDITY; CONSTRUCTION ;
HISTORY.—Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 reads as follows: "With the prior approval
of the Department Head, the provincial governor of any province in which non-Christian inhabitants are
found is authorized, when such a course is deemed necessary in the interest of law and order, to direct
such inhabitants to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands to be selected by him
and approved by the provincial board." Beginning with Act No. 387, sections 68-71, having reference to
the Province of Nueva Vizcaya, Acts Nos. 411, 422, 445, 500, 547, 548, 549, 550, 579, 753, 855, 1113,
1145, 1268, 1306 were enacted for the province of Abra, Antique, Bataan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur,
Isabela, Lepanto-Bontoc, Mindoro, Misamis, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Paragua (Palawan), Tarlac,
Tayabas, and Zambales. Act No. 547 referred especially to the Manguianes.

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

All of these special laws with the exception of Act No. 1306 were repealed by Acts Nos. 1396 and
1397. ,The last named Act incorporated and embodied the provisions in general language. In turn, Act
No. 1397 was repealed by the Administrative Code of 1916. The last Administrative Code retains the
provision which originated in Act No. 387, enacted in 1902, in section 2145 herein quoted.

2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; GOVERNMENT POLICY.—These different laws denote an anxious regard for the
welfare of the non-Christian inhabitants of the Philippines and a settled and consistent practice with
reference to the method to be followed for their advancement.

3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—Every really new question that comes before the courts is in the last analysis
determined by the application of public policy as a ratio decidendi. In balancing conflicting solutions,.
that one is perceived to tip the scales which the court believes will best promote the public welfare in its
probable operation as a general rule or principle.

4. ID.; ID.; ID.; "NON-CHRISTIAN ;" HISTORY.—A skeleton history of the attitude assumed towards the
backward inhabitants of the Islands both before and after the acquisition of the Philippines by the
United States is set forth in the opinion. The most important of the laws of the Indies having reference
to the subject are compiled in Book 6, Title 3. A clear exposition of the purposes of the Spanish
government in its efforts to improve the conditions of such inhabitants by concentrating them in
"reducciones" is f ound in the Decree of the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands of January 14,
1881. Ever since the acquisition of the Philippine Islands by the United States, the question as to the
best method for dealing with the primitive inhabitants has been a perplexing one. Organic and statutory
law has given the subject consideration.

5. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; DEFINED.—"Non-Christian" is an awkward and unsatisfactory expression.
Legislative, judicial, and executive authority has held that the term "non-Christian" should not be given a
literal meaning or a religious signification, but that it was intended to relate to degree of civilization. This
has been the uniform construction of executive officials who have been called upon to interpret and
enforce the law. The term "non-Christian" refers not to religious belief, but in a way to geographical
area, and more directly to natives of the Philippine Islands of a low grade of civilization.

6. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; THE "MANGUlANES."—The name "Manguian" signifies savage, mountaineer, pagan,
negro. The Manguianes are very low in culture.

662

662


PHILIPPINE REPORTS ANNOTATED

Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

7. ID.; ID.; ID.; AMERICAN INDIAN POLICY.— From the beginning of the United States, and even
before, the Indians have been treated as "in a state of pupilage." The recognized relation between the
Government of the United States and the Indians may be described as that of guardian and ward. It is
for the Congress to determine when and how the guardianship shall be terminated. The Indians are
always subject to the plenary authority of the United States.

8. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—With reference to the laws affecting the Indians, it has been held that it is not
within the power of the courts to overrule the judgment of Congress. For very good reason, the subject
has always been deemed political in nature, not subject to the jurisdiction of the judicial department of
the Government.

9. ID.; ID.; CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWER.—The maxim of
constitutional law forbidding the delegation of legislative power should be zealously protected.

10. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—"The true distinction, therefore, is between the delegation of power to make the
law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring authority or discretion
as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the
latter no valid objection can be made." (Cincinnati, W. & Z. R. Co. vs. Comrs. Clinton County [1852], 1
Ohio St., 88.)

11. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—The legislature may make decisions of executive departments or subordinate
officials thereof, to whom it has committed the execution of certain acts, final on questions of fact. The
growing tendency in the decisions is to give prominence to the "necessity," of the case.

12. ID. ; ID. ; ID. ; ID.—An exception to the general rule, sanctioned by immemorial practice, permits
the central legislative body to delegate legislative powers to local authorities.

13. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is not an unlawful delegation of
legislative power by the Philippine Legislature to provincial officials and a department head.

14. ID.; ID.; ID.; RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION.—Since the term "nonChristian" is here construed to
refer to natives of the Philippine Islands of a low grade of civilization, section 2145 of the Administrative
Code of 1917 does not discriminate between individuals on account of religious differences and is
therefore not invalid.

15. ID.; ID.; ID.; CIVIL LIBERTY.—Various conceptions of civil liberty are quoted in the opinion. Civil
liberty may be said to mean that measure of freedom which may be enjoyed in a, civilized

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663

Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

community, consistently with the peaceful enjoyment of like freedom in others. Liberty includes the
right of the citizen to be free to use his faculties in all lawful ways; to live and work where he will; to
earn his livelihood by any lawful calling; to pursue any avocation, and for that purpose, to enter into all
contracts which may be proper, necessary, and essential to his carrying out these purposes to a
successful conclusion.

16. ID. ; ID. ; ID. ; ID.—"Liberty" as understood in democracies is not license; it is "liberty regulated by
law." Whenever and whereever the natural rights of citizen would, if exercised without restraint,
deprive other citizens of rights which are also and equally natural, such assumed rights must yield to the
regulation of law.

17. ID. ; ID. ; ID. ; ID.—The authority conferred upon executive officials by section 2145 of the
Administrative Code of 1917 does not unduly interfere with the liberty of the citizen when the degree of
civilization of the Manguianes is considered.

18. ID.; ID.; ID.; DUE PROCESS OF LAW; EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS.—"Due process of law" is
defined and analyzed in the opinion. The pledge that no person shall be denied the equal protection of
the laws is not infringed by a statute which is applicable to all of a class.

19. ID. ; ID. ; ID. ; ID. ; ID.—Due process of law and the equal protection of the laws are not violated by
section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 since there exists a law; the law seems to be
reasonable; it is enforced according to regular methods of procedure; and it applies to all of a class.

20. ID.; ID.; ID.; SLAVERY AND INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE.—Slavery and involuntary servitude, together
with their corollary, peonage, all denote "a condition of enforced, compulsory service of one to
another."

21. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—Confinement in reservations in accordance with section 2145 of the
Administrative Code of 1917 does not constitute slavery and involuntary servitude.

22. ID.; ID.; ID.; THE POLICE POWER.—The police power of the State is a power coextensive with self-
protection, and is not inaptly termed the "law of overruling necessity."

23. ID. ; ID. ; ID. ; ID.—The Government of the Philippine Islands has both on reason and authority the
right to exercise the sovereign police power in the promotion of the general welfare and the public
interest.

24. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—The doctrines of laissez faire and of unrestricted freedom of the individual, as
axioms of economics and political theory, are of the past. The modern period has shown

664

664


PHILIPPINE REPORTS ANNOTATED

Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

a widespread belief in the amplest possible demonstration of governmental activity.

25. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—Considered purely as an exercise of the police power, the courts cannot fairly say
that the Legislature has exceeded its rightful authority in enacting section 2145 of the Administrative
Code of 1917.

26. ID.; ID.; ID.; STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION ; LEGISLATIVE INTENTION.—The fundamental objective of
governmental policy is to establish friendly relations with the so-called non-Christians, and to promote
their educational, agricultural, industrial, and economic development and advancement in civilization.

27. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—In so far as the Manguianes themselves are concerned, the purposes of the
Government are to gather together the children for educational purposes, and to improve the health
and morals—is in fine, to begin the process of civilization.

28. ID. ; ID. ; ID. ; ID. ; ID.—In so far as the relation of the Manguianes to the State is concerned, the
purposes of the Legislature in enacting the law, and of the executive branch in enforcing it, are to
protect the settlers in Mindoro and to develop the resources of that great Island.

29. ID. ; ID. ; ID. ; ID. ; PRESUMPTION.—Most cautiously should the power of this court to overrule the
judgment of the Philippine Legislature, a coordinate branch, be exercised. The whole tendency of the
best considered cases is toward non-interference on the part of the courts whenever political ideas are
the moving consideration.

30. ID.; ID.; ID.—Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is constitutional.

Per CARSON, J., concurring:

31. STATUTES; "NON-CHRISTIAN;" DEFINED.—The words "non-Christian" have a clear, definite and
well settled signification when used in the Philippine statute-book as a descriptive adjective, applied to
"tribes," "peoples" or "inhabitants," dwelling in more or less remote districts and-provinces throughout
the Islands.

32. ID. ; ID. ; ID. ; TESTS.—The tests for the determination of the fact that an individual or tribe is, or is
not of the "low grade of civilization" denoted by the words "non-Christian" are, and throughout the
period of American occupation always have been, "the mode of life, the degree of advancement in
civilization, and connection or lack of connection with some civilized community."

33. ID.; ID.; STANDARD OF CIVILIZATION OF INHABITANTS NOT NON

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

CHRISTIAN.—The legislative and administrative history of the Philippine Islands clearly discloses that
the standard of civilization to which a specific tribe must be found to have advanced, to justify its
removal from the class embraced within the descriptive term "non-Christian," as that term" is used in
the Philippine statute-book, is that degree of civilization which results in a mode of life within the tribe,
such that it is feasible and practicable to extend to, and enforce upon its membership the general laws
and regulations, administrative, legislative, and judicial, which control the conduct of the admittedly
civilized inhabitants of the Islands; a mode of life, furthermore, which does not find expression in tribal
customs or practices which tend to brutalize or debauch the members of the tribe indulging in such
customs or practices, or to expose to loss or peril the lives or property of those who may be brought in
contact with the members of the tribe.

34. ID.; ID.; ID.—So the standard of civilization to which any given number or group of inhabitants of a
particular province in these Islands, or any individual member of such a group, must be found to have
advanced, in order to remove such group or individual from the class embraced within the statutory
description of "non-Christian," is that degree of civilization which would naturally and normally result in
the withdrawal by such persons of permanent allegiance or adherence to a "non-Christian" tribe, had
they at any time adhered to or maintained allegiance to such a tribe; and which would qualify them
whether they reside within or beyond the habitat of a "non-Christian" tribe, not only to maintain a mode
of life independent of and apart from that maintained by such tribe, but such a mode of life as would
not be inimical to the lives or property or general welfare of the civilized inhabitants of the Islands with
whom they are brought in contact.

35. ID.; SECTION 2145 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1917; BASIS; WHEN PROPERLY
APPLICABLE.—The power to provide for the issuance of the reconcentration orders contemplated in
section 2145 of the Administrative Code rests upon analogous principles to those upon which the liberty
and freedom of action of children and persons of unsound minds is restrained, without consulting their
wishes, but for their own good and the general welfare. The power rests upon necessity, that "great
master of all things," and is properly exercised only where certain individuals or groups of individuals are
found to be of such a low grade of civilization, that their own wishes cannot be permitted to determine
their mode of life or place of residence.

666

666


PHILIPPINE REPORTS ANNOTATED

Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

ORIGINAL ACTION in the Supreme Court. Habeas corpus.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the court.

D. R. Williams and Filemon Sotto for plaintiff.

Solicitor-General Paredes for def endant.

MALCOLM, J.:

In one of the cases which denote a landmark in American Constitutional History (Worcester vs. Georgia
[1832], 6 Pet., 515), Chief Justice Marshall, the first luminary of American jurisprudence, began his
opinion (relating to the status of an Indian) with words which, with a slight change in phraseology, can
be made to introduce the present opinion—This cause, in every point of view in which it can be placed,
is of the deepest interest. The legislative power of a state, the controlling power of the constitution and
laws, the rights, if they have any, the political existence of a people, the personal liberty of a citizen, are
all involved in the subject now to be considered.

To imitate still further the opinion of the Chief Justice, we adopt his outline and proceed first, to
introduce the facts and the issues, next to give a history of the socalled "non-Christians," next to
compare the status of the "non-Christians" with that of the American Indians, and, lastly, to resolve the
constitutional questions presented.

I. INTRODUCTION.

This is an application for habeas corpus in f avor of Rubi and other Manguianes of the Province of
Mindoro. It is alleged that the Manguianes are being illegally deprived of their liberty by the provincial
officials of that province. Rubi and his companions are said to be held on the reservation established at
Tigbao, Mindoro, against their will, and one Dabalos is said to be held under the custody of the
provincial sheriff in the prison at Calapan for having run away from the reservation.

The return of the Solicitor-General alleges:

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

"1. That on February 1, 1917, the provincial board of Mindoro adopted resolution No. 25 which is as
follows:

" The provincial governor, Hon. Juan Morente, jr., presented the following resolution:

" 'Whereas several attempts and schemes have been made for the advancement of the non-Christian
people of Mindoro, which were all a f ailure,

" 'Whereas it has been found out and proved that unless some other measure is taken for the Mangyan
work of this province, no successful result will be obtained toward educating these people.

" 'Whereas it is deemed necessary to oblige them to live in one place in order to make a permanent
settlement,

" 'Whereas the provincial governor of any province in which non-Christian inhabitants are found is
authorized, when such a course is deemed necessary in the interest of law and order, to direct such
inhabitants to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands to be selected by him and
approved by the provincial board,

" 'Whereas the provincial governor is of the opinion that the sitio of Tigbao on Lake Naujan is a place
most convenient f or the Mangyanes to live on, Now, theref ore be it

" 'Resolved, That under section 2077 of the Administrative Code, 800 hectares of public land in the sitio
of Tigbao on Naujan Lake be selected as a site for the permanent settlement of Mangyanes in Mindoro
subject to the approval of the Honorable Secretary of the Interior, and

" 'Resolved further, That Mangyans may only solicit homesteads on this reservation providing that said
homestead applications are previously recommended by the provincial governor.

"2. That said resolution No. 25 (series 1917) of the provincial board of Mindoro was approved by the
Secretary of the Interior of February 21, 1917.

"3. That on December 4, 1917, the provincial governor of Mindoro issued executive order No. 2 which
says:

" 'Whereas the provincial board, by Resolution No. 25,

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current series, has selected a site in the sitio of Tigbao on Naujan Lake for the permanent settlement of
Mangyanes in Mindoro.

" 'Whereas said resolution has been duly approved by the Honorable, the Secretary of the Interior, on
February 21, 1917.

" 'Now, therefore, I, Juan Morente, jr., provincial governor of Mindoro, pursuant to the provisions of
section 2145 of the revised Administrative Code, do hereby direct that all the Mangyans in the vicinities
of the townships of Naujan and Pola and the Mangyans east of the Baco River including those in the
districts of Dulangan and Rubi's place in Calapan, to take up their habitation on the site of Tigbao,
Naujan Lake, not later than December 31, 1917.

" 'Any Mangyan who shall refuse to comply with this order shall upon conviction be imprisoned not
exceeding sixty days, in accordance with section 2759 of the revised Administrative Code.'

"4. That the resolution of the provincial board of Mindoro copied in paragraph 1 and the executive order
of the governor of the same province copied in paragraph 3, were necessary measures for the
protection of the Mangyanes of Mindoro as well as the protection of public forests in which they roam,
and to introduce civilized customs among them.

"5. That Rubi and those living in his ranchería have not fixed their dwellings within the reservation of
Tigbao and are liable to be punished in accordance with section 2759 of Act No. 2711.

"6. That the undersigned has no information that Doroteo Dabalos is being detained by the sheriff of
Mindoro but if he is so detained it must be by virtue of the provisions of articles Nos. 2145 and 2759 of
Act No. 2711."

It thus appears that the provincial governor of Mindoro and the provincial board thereof directed the
Manguianes in question to take up their habitation in Tigbao, a site on the shore of Lake Naujan,
selected by the provincial

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governor and approved by the provincial board. The action was taken in accordance with section 2145
of the Administrative Code of 1917, and was duly approved by the Secretary of the Interior as required
by said action. Petitioners, however, challenge the validity of this section of the Administrative Code.
This, therefore, becomes the paramount question which the court is called upon to decide.

Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 reads as follows:

"SEC. 2145. Establishment of non-Christians upon sites selected by provincial governor.—With the prior
approval of the Department Head, the provincial governor of any province in which non-Christian
inhabitants are found is authorized, when such a course is deemed necessary in the interest of law and
order, to direct such inhabitants to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public' lands to be
selected by him and approved by the provincial board."

In connection with the above-quoted provision, there should be noted section 2759 of the same Code,
which reads as follows:

"SEC. 2759. Refusal of a non-Christian to take up appointed habitation.—Any non-Christian who shall
refuse to comply with the directions lawfully given by a provincial governor, pursuant to section two
thousand one hundred and forty-five of this Code, to take up habitation upon a site designated by said
governor shall upon conviction be imprisoned for a period not exceeding sixty days."

The substance of what is now found in said section 2145 is not new to Philippine law. The genealogical
tree of this section, if we may be permitted to use such terminology, would read: Section 2077,
Administrative Code of 1916; section 62, Act No. 1397; section 2 of various special provincial laws,
notably of Act No. 547, specifically relating to the Manguianes; section 69, Act No. 387.

Section 2145 and its antecedent laws make use of the term "non-Christians." This word, as will later be
dis-

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closed, is also found in varying forms in other laws of the Philippine Islands. In order to put the phrase in
its proper category, and in order to understand the policy of the Government of the Philippine Islands
with ref erence to the uncivilized elements of the Islands, it is well first of all to set down a skeleton
history of the attitude assumed by the authorities towards these "non-Christians," with particular regard
for the legislation on the subject.

II. HISTORY.

A. BEFORE ACQUISITION OF THE PHILIPPINES BY THE
UNITED STATES.

The most important of the laws of the Indies having reference to the subject at hand are compiled in
Book VI, Title III, in the following language:

"LAW I.

"The Emperor Charles and the Prince, the governor, at Cigales, on March 21, 1551. Philip II at Toledo, on
February 19, 1560. In the forest of Segovia on September 13, 1565. In the Escorial on November 10,
1568. Ordinance 149 of the poblaciones of 1573. In San Lorenzo, on May 20, 1578.

"THAT THE 'INDIOS' BE REDUCED INTO 'POBLACIONES' (COM
MUNITIES) .

"In order that the indios may be instructed in the Sacred Catholic Faith and the.evangelical law, and in
order that they may forget the.blunders of their ancient rites and ceremonies to the end that they may
live in harmony and in a civilized manner, it has always been endeavored, with great care and special
attention, to use all the means most convenient to the attainment of these purposes. To carry out this
work with success, our Council of the Indies and other religious persons met at various times; the
prelates of New Spain assembled by order of Emperor Charles V of glorious memory in the year one
thousand five hundred and forty-six—all of which meetings were actuated with a desire

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to serve God and our Kingdom. At these meetings it was resolved that indios be made to live in
communities, and not to live in places divided and separated from one another by sierras and
mountains, wherein they are deprived of all spiritual and temporal benefits and wherein they Can not
profit f rom the aid of our ministers and from that which gives rise to those human necessities which
men are obliged to give one another. Having realized the convenience of this resolution, our kings, our
predecessors, by different orders, have entrusted and ordered the viceroys, presidents, and governors
to execute with great care and moderation the concentration of the indios into reducciones; and to deal
with their doctrine with such f orbearance and gentleness, without causing inconveniences, so that
those who would not presently settle and who would see the good treatment and the protection of
those already in settlements would, of their own accord, present themselves, and it is ordained that
they be not required to pay taxes more than what is ordered. Because the above has.been executed in
the greater part of our Indies, we hereby order and decree that the same be complied with in all the
remaining parts of the Indies, and the encomenderos shall entreat compliance thereof in the manner
and form prescribed by the laws of this title."

"LAW VIII.

"Philip II at the Pardo, on December 1, 1573. Philip III at Madrid, October 10, 1618.

"THAT THE 'REDUCCIONES' BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH
THE CONDITIONS OF THIS LAW.

"The places wherein the pueblos and reducciones shall be formed, should have the facilities of waters,
lands, and mountains, ingress and egress, husbandry and a passageway of one league long, wherein the
indios can have their live stock that they may not be mixed with those of the Spaniards;

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"LAW IX.

"Philip II at Toledo, on February 19, 1560.

"THAT THE 'INDIOS' IN 'REDUCCIONES' BE NOT DEPRIVED OF
THE LANDS PREVIOUSLY HELD BY THEM.

"With more good-will and promptness, the indios shall be concentrated in reducciones. Provided they
shall not be deprived of the lands and granaries which they may have in the places left by them. We
hereby order that no change shall be made in this respect, and that they be allowed to retain the lands
held by them previously so that they may cultivate them and profit therefrom."

* * * * * * *

"LAW XIII.

"THE SAME AS ABOVE.

"THAT THE 'REDUCCIONES' BE NOT REMOVED WITHOUT ORDER
OF THE KING, VICEROY, OR COURT.

"No governor, or magistrate, or alcalde mayor, or any other court, has the right to alter or to remove the
pueblos or the reducciones once constituted and founded, without our express order or that of the
viceroy, ,president, or the royal district court, provided, however, that the encomenderos, priests, or
indios request such a change or consent to it by offering or giving information to that end. And, because
these claims are often made for private interests and not for those of the indios, we hereby order that
this law be always complied with, otherwise the change will be considered fraudulently obtained. The
penalty of one thousand pesos shall be imposed upon the judge or encomendero who should violate
this law."

"LAW XV.

"Philip III at Madrid, on October 10, 1618.

"THAT THERE BE MAYORS AND ALDERMEN IN THE 'REDUC
CIONES,' WHO SHALL BE 'INDIOS.'

"We order that in each town and reducción there be a mayor, who should be an indio of the same
reducción;

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if there be more than eighty houses, there should be two mayors and two aldermen, also indios; and,
even if the town be a big one, there should, nevertheless, be more than two mayors and four aldermen.
If there be less than eighty indios but not less than forty, there should be not more than one mayor and
one alderman, who should annually elect nine others, in the presence of the priests, as is the practice in
town inhabited by Spaniards and indios."

"LAW XXI.

"Philip II, in Madrid, on May 2, 1563, and on November 25, 1578. At Tomar, on May 8, 1581. At Madrid,
on January 10, 1589. Philip III, at Tordesillas, on July 12, 1600. Philip IV, at Madrid, on October 1 and
December 17, 1646. For this law and the one following, See Law I, Tit. 4, Book 7.

"THAT IN THE TOWNS OF THE 'INDIOS,' THERE SHALL LIVE
NO SPANIARDS, NEGROES, 'MESTIZOS,' AND MULATTOES.

"We hereby prohibit and forbid Spaniards, negroes, mulattoes, or mestizos to live in the reducciones
and towns of the indios, because it has been found that some Spaniards who deal, trade, live, and
associate with the indios are men of troublesome nature, of dirty ways of living; robbers, gamblers, and
vicious and useless men; and, to avoid the wrongs done them, the indios would leave their towns and
provinces; and the negroes, mestizos, and mulattoes, besides maltreating them and utilizing their
services, contaminate them with their bad customs, idleness, and also some of their blunders and vices
which may corrupt and pervert the goal which we desire to reach with regard to their salvation,
increase, and tranquility. We hereby order the imposition of grave penalties upon the commission of the
acts above-mentioned which should not be tolerated in the towns, and that the viceroys, presidents,
governors, and courts take great care in executing the law within their powers and avail themselves of
the

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cooperation of the ministers who are truly honest. As regards the mestizos and Indian and Chinese half-
breeds (zambaigos), who are children of indias and born among them, and who are to inherit their
houses and haciendas, they shall not be affected by this law, it appearing to be a harsh thing to separate
them from their parents." (Law of the Indies, vol. 2, pp. 228, 229, 230, 231.)

A clear exposition of the purposes of the Spanish government, in its efforts to improve the condition of
the less advanced inhabitants of the Islands by concentrating them in "reducciones," is found in the
Decree of the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands of January 14, 1881, reading as follows:

"It is a legal principle as well as a national right that every inhabitant of a territory recognized as an
integral part of a nation should respect and obey the laws in f orce therein; while, on the other 'hand, it
is the duty to conscience and to humanity for all governments to civilize those backward races that
might exist in the nation, and which, living in the obscurity of ignorance, lack all the notions which
enable them to grasp the moral and material advantages that may be acquired in those towns under the
protection and vigilance afforded them by the same laws.

"It is equally highly depressive to our national honor to tolerate any longer the separation and isolation
of the non-Christian races from the social life of the civilized and Christian towns; to allow any longer the
commission of depredations, precisely in the Island of Luzon wherein is located the seat of the
representative of the Government of the metropolis.

"It is but just to admit the fact that all the governments have occupied themselves with, this most
important question, and that much has been heretofore accomplished with the help and self-denial of
the missionary fathers who have even sacrificed their lives to the end that those degenerate races might
be brought to the principles of Christianity, but the means and the preaching employed to allure them
have been insufficient to complete the work under-

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taken. Neither have the punishments imposed been sufficient in certain cases and in those which have
not been guarded against, thus giving way for the majority of these races to persist in their mode of
living and customs of isolation.

"As it is impossible to consent to the continuation of such a lamentable state of things, taking into
account the prestige which the country demands and the inevitable duty which every government has in
enforcing respect and obedience to the national laws on the part of all who reside within the territory
under its control, I have proceeded in the premises by giving the most careful study of this serious
question which involves important interests for civilization, from the moral and material as well as the
political standpoints. After hearing the illustrious opinions of all the local authorities, ecclesiastics, and
missionaries of the provinces of Northern Luzon, and also after finding the unanimous conformity 'of the
meeting held with the Archbishop of Manila, the Bishops of Jaro and Cebu, and the provincial prelates of
the Orders of the Dominicans, Agustinians, Recoletos, Franciscans, and Jesuits as also of the meeting of
the Council of Authorities, held for the object so indicated, I have arrived at an intimate conviction of
the inevitable necessity of proceeding in a practical manner for the submission of the said pagan and
isolated races, as well as of the manner and the only f orm of accomplishing such la task.

"For the reasons above stated and for the purpose of carrying out these objects, I hereby promulgate
the following:

"DECREE.

"1. All the indian inhabitants (indios) of the Island of Luzon are, from this date, to be governed by the
common law, save those exceptions prescribed in this decree which are based upon the differences of
instruction, of the customs, and of the necessities of the different pagan races which occupy a part of its
territory.

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"2. The diverse rules which should be promulgated for each of these races—which may be divided into
three classes: one, which comprises those which live isolated and roaming about without f orming a
town nor a home; another, made up of those subdued pagans who have not as yet entered completely
the social life; and the third, of those mountain and rebellious pagans—shall be published in their
respective dialects, and the officials, priests, and missionaries of the provinces wherein they are found
are hereby entrusted in the work of having these races learn these rules. These rules shall have
executive character, beginning with the first day of next April, and, as to their compliance, they must be
observed in the manner prescribed below.

"3. The provincial authorities in conjunction with the priests shall proceed, from now on, with all the
means which their zeal may suggest to them, to the taking of the census of the inhabitants of the towns
or settlements already subdued, and shall adopt the necessary regulations for the appointment of local
authorities, if there be none as yet; for the construction of courts and schools, and for the opening or
fixing up of means of communication, endeavoring, as regards the administrative organization of the
said towns or settlements, that this be finished before the first day of next July, so that at the beginning
of the fiscal year they shall have the same rights and obligations which affect the remaining towns of the
archipelago, with the only exception that in the first two years they shall not be obliged to render
personal services other than those previously indicated.

"4. So long as these subdued towns or settlements are located in fertile lands appropriate for
cultivation, the inhabitants thereof shall not be obliged to move their dwelling-houses; and only in case
of absolute necessity shall a new residence be fixed for them, choosing for this purpose the place most
convenient for them and which prejudices the least their interests; and, in either of these cases, an

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effort must be made to establish their homes within the reach of the sound of the bell.

"5. For the protection and defense of these new towns, there shall be established an armed force
composed precisely of native Christians, the organization and service of which shall be determined in a
regulation based upon that of the abolished Tercios de Policía (division of the Guardia Civil).

"6. The authorities shall see to it that the inhabitants of the new towns understand all the rights and
duties affecting them and the liberty which they have as to where and how they shall till their lands and
sell the products thereof, with the only exception of the tobacco which shall be bought by the Hacienda
at the same price and conditions allowed other producers, and with the prohibition against these new
towns as well as the others from engaging in commerce or any other transaction with the rebellious
indios, the violation of which shall be punished with deportation.

"7. In order to properly carry out this express prohibition, the limits of the territory of the rebellious
indios shall be fixed; and whoever should go beyond the said limits shall be detained and assigned
governmentally wherever convenient.

"8. For the purpose of assisting in the conversion of the pagans into the fraternity of the Catholic
Church, all who have settled and who profess our sacred religion shall by this fact alone be exempt for
eight years from rendering personal labor.

"9. The authorities shall offer in the name of the State to the races not subdued (aetas and mountain
igorrots) the following advantages in return for their voluntary submission: to live in towns; unity among
their families; concession of good' lands and the right to cultivate them in the manner they wish and in
the way they deem most productive; support during a year, and clothes upon affecting submission;
respect for their habits and customs in

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so far as the same are not opposed to natural law; freedom to decide of their own accord as to whether
they want to be Christians or not; the establishment of missions and families of recognized honesty who
shall teach, direct, protect, and give them security and trust them; the purchase or facility of the sale of
their harvests; the exemption from contributions and tributes for ten years and from the quintas (a kind
of tax) for twenty years; and lastly, that those who are governed by the local authorities as the ones who
elect such officials under the direct charge of the authority of the province or district.

"10. The races indicated in the preceding article, who voluntarily admit the advantages offered, shall, in
return, have the obligation of constituting their new towns, of constructing their town hall, schools, and
country roads which place them in communication with one another and with the Christians; provided,
that the location of these towns be distant from their actual residences, when the latter do not have the
good conditions of location and cultivation, and provided further that the putting of families in a place
so selected by them be authorized in the towns already constituted.

"11. The armed force shall proceed to the prosecution and punishment of the tribes, that, disregarding
the peace, protection, and advantages offered them, continue in their rebellious attitude on the first of
next April, committing from now on the crimes and vexations against the Christian towns; and for this
purpose, the Captain General's Office shall proceed with the organization of the divisions of the Army
which, in conjunction with the rural guards (cuadrilleros), shall have to enter the. territory of such tribes.
On the expiration of the term, they shall destroy their dwelling-houses, labors, and implements, and
confiscate their products and cattle. Such a punishment shall necessarily be repeated twice a year, and
for this purpose the military headquarters shall immediately order a detachment of the military staff to
study the zones where such

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operations shall take place and everything conducive to the successful accomplishment of the same.

"12. The chiefs of provinces, priests, and missionaries, local authorities, and other subordinates to my
authority, civil as well as military authorities, shall give the most effective aid and cooperation to the
said forces in all that is within the attributes and the scope of the authority of each.

"13. With respect to the reducción of the pagan races found in some of the provinces in the southern
part of the Archipelago, which I intend to visit, the preceding provisions shall conveniently be applied to
them.

"14. There shall be created, under my presidency as Governor-General, Vice-Royal Patron, a council or
permanent commission which shall attend to and decide all the questions relative to the application of
the foregoing regulations that may be brought to it for consultation by the chiefs of provinces and
priests and missionaries.

"15. The secondary provisions which may be necessary, as a complement to the foregoing, in bringing
about due compliance with this decree, shall be promulgated by the respective official centers within
their respective jurisdictions." (Gaceta de Manila, No. 15) (Diccionario de la Administración, vol. 7, pp.
128-134.)

B. AFTER ACQUISITION OF THE PHILIPPINES BY THE UNITED
STATES.

Ever since the acquisition of the Philippine Islands by the United States, the question as to the best
method for dealing with the primitive inhabitants has been a perplexing ,one.

1. Organic law.

The first order of an organic character after the inauguration of the American Government in the
Philippines, was President McKinley's Instructions to the Commission of April 7, 1900, later expressly
approved and ratified by section 1 of the Philippine Bill, the Act of Congress of

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July 1,1902. Portions of these instructions have remained undisturbed by subsequent congressional
legislation. One paragraph of particular interest should here be quoted, namely:

"In dealing with the uncivilized tribes of the Islands, the Commission should adopt the same course
followed by Congress in permitting the tribes of our North American Indians to maintain their tribal
organization and government and under which many of these tribes are now living in peace and
contentment, surrounded by civilization to which they are unable or unwilling to conform. Such tribal
governments should, however, be subjected to wise and firm regulation; and, without undue or petty
interference, constant and active effort should be exercised to prevent barbarous practices and
introduce civilized customs."

Next comes the Philippine Bill, the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, in the nature of an Organic Act for the
Philippines. The purpose of section 7 of the Philippine Bill was to provide for a legislative body and, with
this end in view, to name the prerequisites for the organization of the Philippine Assembly. The
Philippine Legislature, composed of the Philippine Commission and the Philippine Assembly, was to have
jurisdiction over the Christian portion of the Islands. The Philippine Commission was to retain exclusive
jurisdiction of that part of said Islands inhabited by Moros or other non-Christian tribes.

The latest Act of Congress, nearest to a Constitution for the Philippines, is the Act of Congress of August
29, 1916, commonly known as the Jones Law. This law transferred the exclusive legislative jurisdiction
and authority theretofore exercised by the Philippine Commission, to the Philippine Legislature (sec. 12).
It divided the Philippine Islands into twelve senatorial districts, the twelfth district to be composed of
the Mountain Province, Baguio, Nueva Vizcaya, and the Department of Mindanao and Sulu. The
Governor-General of the Philippine Islands was authorized

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to appoint senators and representatives for the territory which, at the time of the passage of the Jones
Law, was not represented in the Philippine Assembly, that is, for the twelfth district (sec. 16). The law
established a bureau to be known as the "Bureau of non-Christian Tribes" which shall have general
supervision over the public affairs of the inhabitants which are represented in the Legislature by
appointed senators and representatives (sec. 22).

Philippine organic law may, therefore, be said to recognize a dividing line between the territory not
inhabited by Moros or other non-Christian tribes, and the territory which is inhabited by Moros or other
non-Christian tribes.

2. Statute law.

Local governments in the Philippines have been provided for by various acts of the Philippine
Commission and Legislature. The most notable are Acts Nos. 48 and 49 concerning the Province of
Benguet and the Igorots; Act No. 82, the Municipal Code; Act No. 83, the Provincial Government Act; Act
No. 183, the Charter of the city of Manila; Act No. 787, providing f or the organization and government
of the Moro Province; Act No. 1396, the Special Provincial Government Act; Act No. 1397, the Township
Government Act; Act No. 1667, relating to the organization of settlements; Act No. 1963, the Baguio
Charter; and Act No. 2408, the Organic Act of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu. The major portion
of these laws have been carried forward into the Administrative Codes of 1916 and 1917.

Of more particular interest are certain special laws concerning the government of the primitive peoples.
Beginning with Act No. 387, sections 68-71, enacted on April 9, 1902, by the United States Philippine
Commission, having reference to the Province of Nueva Vizcaya, Acts Nos. 411, 422, 445, 500, 547, 548,
549, 550, 579, 753. 855, 1113, 1145, 1268, 1306 were enacted for the provinces of Abra, Antique,
Bataan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela,

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Lepanto-Bontoc, Mindoro, Misamis, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Paragua (Palawan), Tarlac, Tayabas, and
Zambales. As an example of these laws, because referring to the Manguianes, we insert Act No. 547:

"No. 547.—AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF LOCAL CIVIL GOVERNMENTS FOR THE
MANGUIANES IN THE PROVINCE OF MINDORO.

"By authority of the United States, be it enacted by the Philippine Commission, that:

"SECTION 1. Whereas the Manguianes of the Province of Mindoro have. not progressed sufficiently in
civilization to make it practicable to bring them under any form of municipal government, the provincial
governor is authorized, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, in dealing with these
Manguianes to appoint officers from among them, to fix their designations and badges of office, and to
prescribe their powers and duties: Provided, That the powers and duties thus prescribed shall not be in
excess of those conferred upon township officers by Act Numbered Three hundred and eighty-seven
entitled 'An Act providing for the establishment of local civil governments in the townships and
settlements of Nueva Vizcaya.'

"SEC. 2. Subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, the provincial governor is further
authorized, when he deems. such a course necessary in the interest of law and order, to direct such
Manguianes to take up their habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands to be selected by him and
approved by the 'provincial board. Manguianes who refuse to comply with such directions shall upon
conviction be imprisoned for a period not exceeding sixty days.

"SEC. 3. The constant aim of the governor shall be to aid the Manguianes of his province to acquire the
knowledge and experience necessary for successful local popular government, and his supervision and
control over them shall be exercised to this end, and to the end that law and order and individual
freedom shall be maintained.

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"SEC. 4. When in the .opinion of the provincial board of Mindoro any settlement of Manguianes has
advanced sufficiently to make such a course practicable, it may be organized under the provisions of
sections one to sixty-seven, inclusive, of Act Numbered three hundred and eighty-seven, as a township,
and the geographical limits of such township shall be fixed by the provincial board.

"SEC. 5. The public good requiring the speedy enactment of this bill, the passage of the same is hereby
expedited in accordance with section two of' An Act prescribing the order of procedure by the
Commission in the enactment of laws,' passed September twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred.

"SEC. 6. This Act shall take effect on its passage.

"Enacted, December 4, 1902."

All of these special laws, with the exception of Act No. 1306, were repealed by Acts Nos. 1396 and 1397.
The last named Act incorporated and embodied the provisions in general language. In turn, Act No. 1397
was repealed by the Administrative Code of 1916. The two Administrative Codes retained the provisions
in question.

These different laws, if they mean anything, denote an anxious regard for the welfare of the non-
Christian inhabitants of the Philippines and a settled and consistent practice with reference to the
methods to be followed for their advancement.

C. TERMINOLOGY.

The terms made use of by these laws, organic and statutory, are found in varying forms.

""Uncivilized tribes" is the denomination in President McKinley's instructions to the Commission.

The most commonly accepted usage has sanctioned the term "non-Christian tribes." These words are to
be found in section 7 of the Philippine Bill and in' section 22 of the Jones Law. They are also to be found
in Act No. 253 of the Philippine Commission, establishing a Bureau of nonChristian Tribes and in Act No.
2674 of the Philippine Legislature, carried forward into sections 701-705 of the Ad-

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ministrative Code of 1917, reestablishing this Bureau. Among other laws which contain the phrase, there
can be mentioned Acts Nos. 127, 128, 387, 547, 548, 549, 550, 1397, 1639, and 2551.

"Non-Christian people," "non-Christian inhabitants," and "non-Christian Filipinos" have been the favorite
nomenclature, in lieu of the unpopular word "tribes," since the coming into being of a Filipinized
legislature. These terms can be found in sections 2076, 2077, 2390, 2394, Administrative Code of 1916;
sections 701-705, 2145, 2422, 2426, Administrative Code of 1917; and in Acts Nos. 2404, 2435, 2444,
2674 of the Philippine Legislature, as well as in Act No. 1667 of the Philippine Commission.

The Administrative Code specifically provides that the term "non-Christian" shall include Mohammedans
and pagans. (Sec. 2576, Administrative Code of 1917; sec. 2561, Administrative Code of 1916, taken
from Act No. 2408, sec, 3.)

D. MEANING OF TERM "NON-CHRISTIAN."

If we were to follow the literal meaning of the word "non-Christian," it would of course result in giving to
it a religious signification. Obviously, Christians would be those who profess the Christian religion, and
non-Christians, would be those who do not profess the Christian religion. In partial corroboration of this
view, there could also be cited section 2576 of the last Administrative Code and certain well-known
authorities, as Zuñiga, "Estadismo de las Islas Filipinas," Professor Ferdinand Blumentritt, "Philippine
Tribes and Languages," and Dr. N. M. Saleeby, "The Origin of Malayan Filipinos." (See Blair & Robertson,
"The Philippine Islands," 1493-1898, vol. III, p. 300, note; Craig-Benitez, "Philippine Progress prior to
1898," vol. I, p. 107.)

Not content with the apparent definition of the word, we shall investigate- further to ascertain what is
its true meaning.

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In one sense, the word can have a geographical signification. This is plainly to be seen by the provisions
of many laws. Thus, according to the Philippine Bill, the authority of the Philippine Assembly was
recognized in the "territory" of the Islands not inhabited by Moros or other nonChristian tribes. Again,
.the Jones Law confers similar recognition in the authorization of the twelfth senatorial district for the
"territory not now represented in the Philippine Assembly." The Philippine Legislature has, time and
again, adopted acts making certain other acts applicable to that "part" of the Philippine Islands
inhabited by Moros or other non-Christian tribes.

Section 2145, is found in article XII of the Provincial Law of the Administrative Code. The first section of
this article, preceding section 2145, makes the provisions of the article applicable only in specially
organized provinces. The specially organized provinces are the Mountain Province, Nueva Vizcaya,
Mindoro, Batanes, and Palawan. These are the provinces to which the Philippine Legislature has never
seen fit to give all the powers of local self-government. They do not, however, exactly coincide with the
portion of the Philippines which is not granted popular representation. Nevertheless, it is still a
geographical description.

It is well-known that within the specially organized provinces, there live persons some of whom are
Christians and some of whom are not Christians. In fact, the law specifically recognizes this. (Sec. 2422,
Administrative Code of 1917, etc.)

If the religious conception is not satisfactory, so again the geographical conception is likewise
inadequate. The reason is that the motive of the law relates not to a particular people, because of their
religion, or to a particular province because of its location, but the whole intent of the law is predicated
on the civilization or lack of civilization of the inhabitants.

At most, "non-Christian" is an awkward and unsatis-

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factory word. Apologetic words usually introduce the term. "The so-called non-Christian" is a favorite
expression. The Secretary of the Interior who for so many years had these people under his jurisdiction,
recognizing the difficulty of selecting an exact designation, speaks of the "backward Philippine peoples,
commonly known as the 'nonChristian tribes.'" (See Hearings before the Committee on the Philippines,
United States Senate, Sixty-third Congress, third session on H. R. 18459, An Act to declare the purpose of
the people of the United States as to the future political status of the Philippine Islands and to provide a
more autonomous government for the Islands, pp. 346, 351; letter of the Secretary of the Interior of
June 30, 1906, circulated by the Executive Secretary.)

The idea that the term "non-Christian" is intended to relate to degree of civilization, is substantiated by
reference to legislative, judicial, and executive authority.

The legislative intent is borne out by Acts Nos. 48, 253, 387, 1667, and 2674, and sections 701 et seq.,
and sections 2422 et seq., of the Administrative Code of 1917. For instance, Act No. 253 charged the
Bureau of non-Christian tribes to conduct "systematic investigations with reference to non-Christian
tribes * * * with special view to determining the most practicable means for bringing about their
advancement in civilization and material prosperity."

As authority of a judicial nature is the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of United States vs.
Tubban [Kalinga] ([1915], 29 Phil., 434). The question here arose as to the effect of a tribal marriage in
connection with article 423 of the Penal Code concerning the husband who surprises his wife in the act
of adultery. In discussing the point, the court makes use of the following language:

"* * * we are not advised of any provision of law which recognizes as legal a tribal marriage of so-called
non-Christians or members of uncivilized tribes, celebrated within that province without compliance
with the requisites prescribed by General Orders No. 68. * * * We hold

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also that the f act that the accused is shown to be a member of an uncivilized. tribe, of a low order of
intelligence, uncultured and uneducated, should be taken into consideration as a second marked
extenuating circumstance."

Of much more moment is the uniform construction of executive officials who have been called upon to
interpret and enforce the law. The official who, as a member of the Philippine Commission, drafted
much of the legislation relating to the so-called non-Christians and who had these people under his
authority, was the former Secretary of the Interior. Under date of June 30, 1906, this official addressed a
letter to all governors of provinces, organized under the Special Provincial Government Act, a letter
which later received recognition by the Governor-General and was circulated by the Executive Secretary,
reading as follows:

"SIR: Within the past few months, the question has arisen as to whether people who were originally
non-Christians but have recently been baptized or who are children of persons who have been recently
baptized are, for the purposes of Acts 1396 and 1397, to be considered Christian or non-Christians.

"It has been extremely difficult, in framing legislation for the tribes in these islands which are. not
advanced far in civilization, to hit upon any suitable designation which will fit all cases. The number of
individual tribes is so -great that it is almost out of the question to enumerate all of them in an Act. It
was finally decided to adopt the designation 'non-Christians' as the one most satisfactory, but the real
purpose of the Commission was not so much to legislate for people having any particular religious belief
as for those lacking sufficient advancement so that they could, to their own advantage, be brought
under the Provincial Government Act and the Municipal Code.

"The mere act of baptism does not, of course, in itself change the degree of civilization to which the
person baptized has attained at the time the act of baptism is performed. For practical purposes,
therefore, you will give

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the member of so-called 'wild tribes' of your province the benefit of the doubt even though they may
recently have embraced Christianity.

"The determining factor in deciding whether they are to be allowed to remain under the jurisdiction of
regularly organized municipalities or what form of government shall be afforded to them should be the
degree of civilization to which they have attained and you are requested to govern yourself accordingly.

"I have discussed this matter with the Honorable, the Governor-General, who concurs in the opinion
above expressed and who will have the necessary instructions given to the governors of the provinces
organized under the Provincial Government Act." (Internal Revenue Manual, p. 214.)

The present Secretary of the Interior, in a memorandum furnished a member of this court, has the
following to say on the subject:

"As far as names are concerned the classification is indeed unfortunate, but while no other better
classification has as yet been made the present classification should be allowed to stand. * * * I believe
the term carries the same meaning as that expressed in the letter of the Secretary of the Interior (of
June 30, 1906, herein quoted). It is indicative of the degree of civilization rather than of religious
denomination, for to hold that it is indicative of religious denomination will make the law invalid as
against that Constitutional guaranty of religious freedom."

Another official who was concerned with the status of the non-Christians, was the Collector of Internal
Revenue. The question arose for ruling relative to the cedula taxation of the Manobos and the Aetas.
Thereupon, the view of the Secretary of the Interior was requested on the point, who, by return
indorsement, agreed with the interpretation of the Collector of Internal Revenue. This construction of
the Collector of Internal Revenue can be found in circular letter No. 188 of the Bureau of Internal

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Revenue, dated June 11, 1907, reading as follows (Internal Revenue Manual, p. 214):

"The internal revenue law exempts 'members of nonChristian tribes' from the payment of cedula taxes.
The Collector of Internal Revenue has interpreted this provision of law to mean not that persons who
profess some form of Christian worship are alone subject to the cedula tax, and that all other persons
are exempt; he has interpreted it to mean that all persons preserving tribal relations with the so-called
non-Christian tribes are exempt f rom the cedula tax, and that all others, including Jews,
Mohammedans, Confucians, Buddists, etc., are subject to said tax so long as they live in cities or towns,
or in the country in a civilized condition. In other words, it is not so much a matter of a man's form of
religious worship or profession that decides whether or not he is subject to the cedula tax; it is
moredependent on whether he is living in a civilized manner or is associated with the mountain tribes,
either as a member thereof or as a recruit. So far, this question has not come up as to whether a
Christian, maintaining his religious belief, but throwing his lot and living with a non-Christian tribe,
would or would not be subject to the cedula tax. On one occasion a prominent Hebrew of Manila
claimed to this office that he was exempt from the cedula tax, inasmuch as he was not a Christian. This
Office, however, continued to collect cedula taxes from all of the Jews, East Indians, Arabs, Chinamen,
etc., residing in Manila. Quite a large proportion of the cedula taxes paid in this city are paid by men
belonging to the nationalities mentioned. Chinamen, Arabs and others are quite widely scattered
throughout the Islands, and a condition similar to that which exist in Manila also exists in most of the
large provincial towns. Cedula taxes are therefore being collected by this Office in all parts of these
Islands on the broad ground that civilized people are subject to such taxes, and, non-civilized people
preserving their tribal relations are not subject thereto.

(Sgd.) "JNO. S. HORD,
"Collector of Internal Revenue."

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On September 17, 1910, the Collector of Internal Revenue addressed circular letter No. 327, approved
by the Secretary of Finance and Justice, to all provincial treasurers. This letter in part reads:

"In view of the many questions that have been raised by provincial treasurers regarding cedula taxes
due from members of non-Christian tribes when they come in from the hills for the purpose of settling
down and becoming members of the body politic of the Philippine Islands, the following clarification of
the laws governing such questions and digest of rulings thereunder is hereby published for the
information of all concerned:

"Non-Christian inhabitants of the Philippine Islands are so classed, not by reason of the fact that they do
not profess Christianity, but because of their uncivilized mode of life and low state of development. All
inhabitants of the Philippine Islands classed as members of non-Christian tribes may be divided into
three classes in so far as the cedula tax law is concerned. * * *

"Whenever any member of a non-Christian tribe leaves his wild and uncivilized mode of life, severs
whatever tribal relations he may have had and attaches himself to some civilized community, becoming
a member of the body politic, he thereby makes himself subject to precisely the same law that governs
the other members of that community and from and after the date when he so attaches himself to the
community the same cedula and other taxes are due from him as from other members thereof. If he
comes in after the expiration of the delinquency period the same rule should apply to him as to persons
arriving from foreign countries or reaching, the age of eighteen subsequent to the expiration of such
period, and a regular class A, D, F, or H cedula, as the case may be, should be furnished him without
penalty and without requiring him to pay the tax for former years.

"In conclusion, it should be borne in mind that the prime factor in determining whether or not a man is
subject to the regular cedula tax is not the circumstance that he does

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or does not profess Christianity; nor even his maintenance of or failure to maintain tribal relations with
some of the well known wild tribes, but his mode of life, degree of advancement in civilization and
connection or lack of connection with some civilized community. For this reason go called 'Remontados'
and 'Montescos' will be classed by this office as members of non-Christian tribes in so far as the
application of the Internal Revenue Law is concerned, since, even though they belong to no well
recognized tribe, their mode of lif e, degree of advancement and so f orth are practically the same as
those of the Igorrots and members of other recognized non-Christian tribes.

"Very respectfully,

(Sgd.) "ELLIS CROMWELL,
"Collector of Internal Revenue,

"Approved:
(Sgd.) "GREGORIO ARANETA,
"Secretary of Finance and Justice."

The two circulars above quoted have since been repealed by Bureau of Internal Revenue Regulations
No. 1, promulgated by Venancio Concepcion, Acting Collector of of Internal Revenue, and approved on
April 16, 1915, by Honorable Victorino Mapa, Secretary of Finance and Justice. Section 30 of the
regulations is practically a transcript of Circular Letter No. 327.

The subject has come before the Attorney-General for consideration. The Chief of Constabulary
requested the opinion of the Attorney-General as to the status of a nonChristian who has been baptized
by a minister of the Gospel. The precise questions were these: "Does he remain non-Christian or is he
entitled to the privileges of a Christian? By purchasing intoxicating liquors, does he commit an infraction
of the law and does the person selling same lay himself liable under the provision of Act No. 1639?" The
opinion of Attorney-General Avanceña, after quoting the same authorities hereinbefore set out,
concludes:

"In conformity with the above quoted constructions, it

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

is probable that the person in question remains a nonChristian, so that in purchasing intoxicating liquors
both he and the person selling the same make themselves liable to prosecution under the provisions of
Act No. 1639. At least, I advise you that these should be the constructions placed upon the law until a
court shall hold otherwise."

Solicitor-General Paredes in his brief in this case says:

"With respect to the meaning which the phrase nonChristian inhabitants has in the provisions of the
Administrative Code which we are studying, we submit that said phrase does not have its natural
meaning which would include all non-Christian inhabitants of the Islands, whether Filipinos or strangers,
civilized or uncivilized, but simply refers to those uncivilized members of the non-Christian tribes of the
Philippines who, living without home or fixed residence, roam in the mountains, beyond the reach of
law and order. * * *

"The Philippine Commission in denominating in its laws that portion of the inhabitants of the Philippines
which live in tribes as non-Christian tribes, as distinguished from the common Filipinos which carry on a
social and civilized life, did not intend to establish a distinction based on the religious belief s of the
individual, but, without dwelling on the difficulties which later would be occasioned by the phrase,
adopted the expression which the Spanish legislation employed to designate the uncivilized portion of
the inhabitants of the Philippines.

"The phrase 'non-Christian inhabitants' used in the provisions of articles 2077 and 2741 of Act No. 2657
(articles 2145 and 2759) should be understood as equivalent to members of uncivilized tribes of the
Philippines, not only because this is the evident intention of the law, but because to give it its literal
meaning would make the law null and unconstitutional as making distinctions based on the religion of
the individual,"

The Official Census of 1903, in the portion written by no less an authority than Dr. David P. Barrows,
then "Chief of the Bureau of non-Christian Tribes," divides the popu-

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lation into Christian or Civilized Tribes, and non-Christian or Wild Tribes. (Census of the Philippine Islands
[1903], vol. 1, pp. 411 et seq.) The present Director of the Census, Hon. Ignacio Villamor, writes that the
classification likely to be used in the Census now being taken is: "Filipinos and Primitive Filipinos." In a
Pronouncing Gazetteer and Geographical Dictionary of the Philippine Islands, prepared in the Bureau of
Insular Affairs, War Department, a subdivision under the title non-Christian tribes is, "Physical and
Political Characteristics of the non-Christian Tribes," which sufficiently shows that the term refers to
culture and not to religion.

In resumé, therefore, the Legislature and the Judiciary, inferentially, and different executive officials,
specifically, join in the proposition that the term "non-Christian" ref ers, not to religious belief, but, in a
way, to geographical area, and, more directly, to natives of the Philippine Islands of a low grade of
civilization, usually living in tribal relationship apart f rom settled communities.

E. THE MANGUIANES.

The so-called non-Christians are in various stages approaching civilization. The Philippine Census of 1903
divided ,them into f our classes. Of the third class, are the Manguianes (or Mangyans) of Mindoro.

Of the derivation of the name "Manguian" Dr. T. H. Pardo de Tavera in his Etimología, de los nombres de
Razas de. Filipinas, says:

"In Tagalog, Bícol, and Visaya, Manguian signifies 'savage,' 'mountainer,' 'pagan,' 'negro.' It may be that
the use of this word is applicable to a great number of Filipinos, but nevertheless it has been applied
only to certain inhabitants of Mindoro. Even in primitive times without doubt this name was given to
those of that island who bear it to-day, but its employment in three Filipino languages shows that the
radical ngian had in all these languages a sense to-day forgotten. In Pampango this ending still exists and
signifies 'ancient/ from which we can deduce

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that the name was applied to men considered to be the ancient inhabitants, and that these men were
pushed back into the interior by the modern invaders, in whose language they were called the
'ancients.'"

The Manguianes are very low in culture. They have considerable Negrito blood and have not advanced
beyond the Negritos in civilization. They are a peaceful, timid, primitive, semi-nomadic people. They
number approximately 15,000. The Manguianes 'have shown no desire for community life, and, as
indicated in the preamble to Act No. 547, have not progressed sufficiently in civilization to make it
practicable to bring them under any form of municipal government. (See Census of the Philippine Islands
[1903], vol. I, pp. 22, 23, 460.)

III. COMPARATIVE—THE AMERICAN INDIANS.

Reference was made in the President's instructions to the Commission to the policy adopted by the
United States for the Indian Tribes. The methods followed by the Government of the Philippine Islands
in its dealings with the so-called non-Christian people is said, on argument, to be practically identical
with that followed by the United States Government in its dealings with the Indian tribes. Valuable
lessons, it is insisted, can be derived by an investigation of the American-Indian policy.

From the beginning of the United States, and even before, the Indians have been treated as "in a state
of, pupilage." The recognized relation between the Government of the United States and the Indians
may be described as that of guardian and ward. It is for the Congress to determine when and how the
guardianship shall be terminated. The Indians are always subject to the plenary authority of the United
States. .

Chief Justice Marshall in his opinion in Worcester vs. Georgia, hereinbefore mentioned, tells how the
Congress passed an Act in 1819 "for promoting those humane designs of civilizing the neighboring
Indians." After quoting the Act, the opinion goes on—"This act avowedly contem-

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro,

plates the preservation of the Indian nations as an object sought by the United States, and proposes to
effect this object by civilizing and converting them from hunters into agriculturists,"

A leading case which discusses the status of the Indians is that of the United States vs. Kagama ([1886],
118 U. S., 375). Reference is herein made to the clause of the United States Constitution which gives
Congress "power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with
the Indian tribes." The court then proceeds to indite a brief history of the position of the Indians in the
United States (a more extended account of which can be found in Marshall's opinion in Worcester vs.
Georgia, supra), as follows:

"The relation of the Indian tribes living within the borders of the United States, both before and since
the Revolution, to the people of the United States, has always been an anomalous one and of a complex
character.

"Following the policy of the European Governments in the discovery of America towards the Indians
who were found here, the colonies before the Revolution and the States and the United States since,
have recognized in the Indians a possessory right to the soil over which they roamed and hunted and
established occasional villages. But they asserted an ultimate title in the land itself, by which the Indian
tribes were forbidden to sell or transfer it to other nations or peoples without the consent of this
paramount authority. When a tribe wished to dispose of its land, or any part of it, or the State or the
United States wished to purchase it, a treaty with the tribe was the only mode in which this could be
done. The United States recognized no right in private persons, or in other nations, to make such a
purchase by treaty or otherwise. With the Indians themselves these relations are equally difficult to
define. They were, and always have been, regarded as having a semi-independent position when they
preserved their tribal relations; not as States, not as nations, not as possessed of the full attributes of
sovereignty, but as a separate people,

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Rubi vs.. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

with the power of regulating their internal and social relations, and thus far not brought under the laws
of the Union or of the State within whose limits they resided."

The opinion then continues:

"It seems to us that this (effect of the law) is within the competency of Congress. These Indian tribes are
the wards of the nation. They are communities dependent on the United States. Dependent largely for
their daily food. Dependent for their political rights. They owe no allegiance to the States, and receive
from them no protection. Because of the local ill feeling, the people of the States where they are found
are often their deadliest enemies. From their very weakness and helplessness, so largely due to the
course of dealing of the Federal Government with them and the treaties in which it has been promised,
there arise the duty of protection, and with it the power. This has always been recognized by the
Executive and by Congress, and by this court, whenever the question has arisen. * * * The power of the
General Government over these remnants of a race once powerful, now weak and diminished in
numbers, is necessary to their protection, as well as to the safety of those among whom they dwell. It
must exist in that government, because it never has existed anywhere else, because the theater of its
exercise is within the geographical limits of the United States, because it has never been denied, and
because it alone can enforce its laws on all the tribes."

In the later case of United States vs. Sandoval ([1913], 231 U. S., 28) the question to be considered was
whether the status of the Pueblo Indians and their lands was such that Congress could prohibit the
introduction of intoxicating liquor into those lands notwithstanding the admission of New Mexico to
statehood. The court looked to the reports of the different superintendents charged with guarding their
interests and found that these Indians are dependent upon the fostering care and protection of the
government "like reservation Indians in general." Continuing, the court said "that during the Spanish
dominion, the Indians of the pueblos were treated as wards requiring special protection, were

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subjected to restraints and official supervision in the alienation of their property." And finally, we note
the following: "Not only does the Constitution expressly authorize Congress to regulate commerce with
the Indian tribes, but longcontinued legislative and executive usage and an unbroken current of judicial
decisions have attributed to the United States as a superior and civilized nation the power and the duty
of exercising a fostering care and protection over all dependent Indian communities within its borders,
whether within its original territory or territory subsequently acquired, and whether within or without
the limits of a state."

With reference to laws affecting the Indians, it has been held that it is not within the power of the courts
to overrule the judgment of Congress. For very good reason, the subject has always been deemed
political in nature, not subject to the jurisdiction of the judicial department of the government. (Matter
of Heff [1905], 197 U. S., 488; U. S. vs. Celestine [1909], 215 U. S., 278; U. S. vs. Sandoval, supra;
Worcester vs. Georgia, supra; U. S. vs. Rogers [1846], 4 How., 567; The Cherokee Tobacco [1871], 11
Wall., 616; Roff vs. Burney [1897], 168 U. S., 218; Thomas vs. Gay [1898], 169 U. S., 264; Lone Wolf vs.
Hitchcock [1903], 187 U. S., 553; Wallace vs. Adams [1907], 204 U. S., 415; Conley vs. Bollinger [1910],
216 U. S., 84; Tiger vs. Western Invest. Co. [1911], 221 U. S., 286; U. S. vs. Lane [1913], 232 U. S., 598;
Cyr vs. Walker [1911], 29 Okla., 281; 35 L. R. A. [N. S.], 795.) Whenever, therefore, the United States sets
apart any public land as an Indian reservation, it has full authority to pass such laws and authorize such
measures as may be necessary to give. to the Indians thereon full protection in their persons and
property. (U. S. vs. Thomas [1894], 151 U. S., 577.)

All this is borne out by long-continued legislative and executive usage, and an unbroken line of judicial
decisions.

The only case which is even remotely in point and which, if followed literally, might result in the issuance
of habeas corpus, is that of United States vs. Crook ([1879], Fed. Cas. No. 14891). This was a hearing
upon return to a writ of

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habeas corpus issued against Brigadier General George Crook at the relation of Standing Bear and other
Indians, formerly belonging to the Ponca Tribe of Indians. The petition alleged in substance that the
relators are Indians who have f ormerly belonged to the Ponca tribe of lndians, now located in the
Indian Territory; that they had some time previously withdrawn from the tribe, and completely severed
their tribal relations therewith, and had adopted the general habits of the whites, and were then
endeavoring to maintain themselves by their own exertions, and without aid or assistance from the
general government; that whilst they were thus engaged, and without being guilty of violating any of the
laws of the United States, they were arrested and restrained of their liberty by order of the respondent,
George Crook. The substance of the return to the writ was that the relators are individual members of,
and connected with, the Ponca tribe of Indians; that they had fled or escaped from a reservation
situated some place within the limits of the Indian Territory—had departed therefrom without
permission from the Government; and, at the request of the Secretary of the Interior, the General of the
Army had issued an order which required the respondent to arrest and return the relators to their tribe
in the Indian Territory, and that, pursuant to the said order, he had caused the relators to be arrested on
the Omaha Indian Territory.

The first question was whether an Indian can test the validity of an illegal imprisonment by habeas
corpus. The second question, of much greater importance, related to the right of the Government to
arrest and hold the relators for a time, for the purpose of being returned to the Indian Territory from
which it was alleged the Indian escaped. In discussing this question, the court reviewed the policy the
Government had adopted in its dealings with the friendly tribe of Poncas. Then, continuing, the court
said: "Laws, passed for the government of the Indian country, and for the purpose of regulating trade
and intercourse with the

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Indian tribes, conf er upon certain officers of the Government almost unlimited power over the persons
who go upon the reservations without lawful authority. * * * Whether such an extensive discretionary
power is wisely vested in the commissioner of Indian affairs or not, need not be questioned. It is enough
to know that the power rightfully exists, and, where existing, the exercise of the power must be upheld."
The decision concluded as follows:

"The reasoning advanced in support of my views, leads me to conclude:

"1. That an Indian is a 'person' within the meaning of the laws of the United States, and has, therefore,
the right to sue out a writ of habeas corpus in a federal court, or before a federal judge, in all cases
where he may be confined or in custody under color of authority of the United States or where he is
restrained of liberty in violation of the constitution or laws of the United States.
"2. That General George Crook, the respondent, being commander of the military department of the
Platte, has the custody of the relators, under color of authority of the United States, and in violation of
the laws thereof.
"3. That no rightful authority exists for removing by force any of the relators to the Indian Territory, as
the respondent has been directed to do.
"4. That the Indians possess the inherent right of expatriation, as well as the more fortunate white
race, and have the inalienable right to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness/ so long as they obey
the laws and do not trespass on forbidden ground. And.
"5. Being restrained of liberty under color of authority of the United States, and in violation of the
laws thereof, the relators must be discharged from custody, and it is so ordered."

As far as the first point is concerned, the decision just quoted could be used as authority to determine
that Rubi, the Manguian petitioner, a Filipino, and a citizen of the Philippine Islands, is a "person" within
the meaning of

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board .of Mindoro.

the Habeas Corpus Act, and as such, entitled to sue out a writ in the Philippine courts. (See also In re
Race Horse [1895], 70 Fed., 598.) We so decide.

As to the second point, the facts in the Standing Bear case and the Rubi case are not exactly identical.
But even admitting similarity of facts, yet it is known to all that Indian reservations do exist in the United
States, that Indians have been taken from different parts of the country and placed on these
reservations, without any previous consultation as to their own wishes, and that, when once so located,
they have been made to remain on the reservation for their own good and for the general good of the
country. If any lesson can be drawn from the Indian policy of the United States, it is that the
determination of this policy is for the legislative and executive branches of the government and that
when once so decided upon, the courts should not interfere to upset a carefully planned governmental
system. Perhaps, just as many forceful reasons exist for the segregation of the Manguianes in Mindoro
as existed for the segregation of the different Indian tribes in the United States.

IV. CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS.

A. DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWER.

The first constitutional objection which confronts us is that the Legislature could not delegate this power
to provincial authorities. In so attempting, it is contended, the Philippine Legislature has abdicated its
authority and avoided its full responsibility.

That the maxim of Constitutional Law forbidding the delegation of legislative power should be zealously
protected, we agree. An understanding of the rule will, however, disclose that it has not been violated in
this instance.

The rule has nowhere been better stated than in the early Ohio case decided by Judge Ranney, and since
followed in a multitude of cases, namely: "The true distinction therefore is between the delegation of
power to make the law,

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which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring an authority or discretion as
to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the
latter no valid objection can be made." (Cincinnati, W. & Z. R. Co. vs. Comm'rs. Clinton County [1852], 1
Ohio St., 88.) Discretion, as held by Chief Justice Marshall in Wayman vs. Southard ([1825], 10 Wheat., 1)
may be committed by the Legislature to an executive department or official. The Legislature may make
decisions of executive departments or subordinate officials thereof, to whom it has committed the
execution of certain acts, final on questions of fact. (U. S. vs. Kinkead [1918], 248 Fed., 141.) The growing
tendency in the decisions is to give prominence to the "necessity" of the case.

Is not all this exactly what the Legislature has attempted to accomplish by the enactment of section
2145 of the Administrative Code? Has not the Legislature merely conferred upon the provincial
governor, with the approval of the provincial board and the Department Head, discretionary authority
as to the execution of the law? Is not this "necessary"?

The case of West vs. Hitchock, ([1906], 205 U. S., 80) was a petition for mandamus to require the
Secretary of the Interior to approve the selection and taking of one hundred and sixty acres by the
relator out of the lands ceded to the United States by the Wichita and affiliated bands of Indians.
Section 463 of the United States Revised Statutes provided: "The Commissioner of Indian Affairs shall,
under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, and agreeably to such regulations as the President
may prescribe, have the management of all Indian affairs, and of all matters arising out of the Indian
relations." Justice Holmes said: "We should hesitate a good deal, especially in view of the long
established practice of the Department, before saying that this language was not broad enough to
warrant a regulation obviously made for the welfare of

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the rather helpless people concerned. The power of Congress is not doubted. The Indians have been
treated as wards of the nation. Some such supervision was necessary, and has been exercised. In the
absence of special provisions naturally it would be exercised by the Indian Department." (See also as
corroborative authority, if any is needed, Union Bridge Co. vs. U. S. [1907], 204 U. S., 364, reviewing the
previous decisions of the United States Supreme Court; U. S. vs. Lane [1914], 232 U. S., 598.)

There is another aspect of the question, which once accepted, is decisive. An exception to the general
rule, sanctioned by immemorial practice, permits the central legislative body to delegate legislative
powers to local authorities. The Philippine Legislature has here conferred authority upon the Province of
Mindoro, to be exercised by the provincial governor and the provincial board.

Who but the provincial governor and the provincial board, as the official representatives of the province,
are better qualified to judge "when such a course is deemed necessary in the interest of law and order
?" As officials charged with the administration of the province and the protection of its inhabitants, who
but they are better fitted to select sites which have the conditions most favorable for improving the
people who have the misfortune of being in a backward state?

Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is not an unlawful delegation of legislative power by
the Philippine Legislature to provincial officials and a department head.

B. RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION.

The attorney de officio, for petitioners, in a truly remarkable brief, submitted on behalf of his unknown
clients, says that—"The statute is perfectly clear and unambiguous. In limpid English, and in words as
plain and unequivocal as language can express, it provides for the segregation of 'non-Christians' and
none other." The inevitable result, then, is that the law "constitutes an attempt by the Legisla-

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ture to discriminate between individuals because of their religious beliefs, and is, consequently,
unconstitutional."

Counsel's premise once being conceded, his argument is unanswerable—the Legislature must be
understood to mean what it has plainly expressed; judicial construction is then excluded; religious
equality is demanded by the Organic Law; the statute has violated this constitutional guaranty, and Q. E.
D. is invalid. But, as hereinbefore stated, we do not feel free to discard the long continued meaning
given to a common expression, especially as classification of inhabitants according to religious belief
leads the court to what it should avoid, the nullification of legislative action.

We hold that the term "non-Christian" refers to natives of the Philippine Islands of a low grade of
civilization, and that section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917, does not discriminate between
individuals on account of religious differences.

C. LIBERTY; DUE PROCESS OF LAW; EQUAL PROTECTION OF
THE LAWS.

The third constitutional argument is grounded on those portions of the President's instructions to the
Commission, the Philippine Bill, and the Jones Law, providing "That no law shall be enacted in said
Islands which shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or deny to
any person therein the equal protection of the laws." This constitutional limitation is derived from the
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution—and these provisions, it has been said, "are
universal in their application, to all persons within the territorial jurisdiction, without regard to any
differences of race, of color, or of nationality." (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins [1886], 118 U. S., 356.) The
protection afforded the individual is then as much for the non-Christian as for the Christian.

The conception of civil liberty has been variously expressed thus:

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"Every man may claim the fullest liberty to exercise his faculties, compatible with the possession of like
liberty by every other." (Spencer, Social Statistics, p. 94.)

"Liberty is the creature of law, essentially different from that authorized licentiousness that trespasses
on right. It is a legal and a refined idea, the offspring of high civilization, which the savage never
understood, and never can understand. Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint; the more
restraint on others to keep off from us, the more liberty we have. * * * That man is free who is
protected from injury." (II Webster's Works, p. 393.)

"Liberty consists in the ability to do what one ought to desire and in not being forced to do what one
ought not to desire." (Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws.)

"Even liberty itself, the greatest of all rights, is not unrestricted license to act according to one's own
will. It is only freedom from restraint under conditions essential to the equal enjoyment of the same
right by others." (Field, J., in Crowley vs. Christensen [1890], 137 U. S., 86.)

"Liberty does not import 'an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances,
wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject
for the common good. On any other basis, organized society could not exist with saf ety to its members.
Society based on the rule that each one is a law unto himself would soon be confronted with disorder
and anarchy. Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the
right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property,
regardless of the injury that may be done to others. * * * There is, of course, a sphere within which the
individual may assert the supremacy of his own will, and rightfully dispute the authority of any human
government—especially of any free government existing under a written Constitution—to interf ere
with the exercise of that will. But it is equally

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true that in every well-ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members,
the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be
subjected to such restraint to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public
may demand.'" (Harlan, J., in Jacobson vs. Massachusetts [1905] 197 U. S., 11.)

"Liberty is freedom to do right and never wrong; it is ever guided by reason and the upright and
honorable conscience of the individual." (Apolinario Mabini.)

Civil liberty may be said to mean that measure of freedom which may be enjoyed in a civilized
community, consistently with the peaceful enjoyment of like freedom in others. The right to liberty
guaranteed by the Constitution includes the right to exist and the right to be free from arbitrary
personal restraint or servitude. The term cannot be dwarfed into mere freedom from physical restraint
of the person of the citizen, but is deemed to embrace the right of man to enjoy the faculties with which
he has been endowed by his Creator, subject only to such restraints as are necessary for the common
welfare. As enunciated in a long array of authorities including epoch-making decisions of the United
States Supreme Court, liberty includes the right of the citizen to be free to use his faculties in all lawful
ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling; to pursue any
avocation, and for that purpose, to enter into all contracts which may be proper, necessary, and
essential to his carrying out these purposes. to a successful conclusion. The chief elements of the
guaranty are the right to contract, the right to choose one's employment, the right to labor, and the
right of locomotion.

In general, it may be said that liberty means the opportunity to do those things which are ordinarily
done by free men. (There can be noted Cummings vs. Missouri [1866], 4 Wall., 277; Wilkinson vs. Leland
[1829], 2 Pet., 627; Williams vs. Fears [1900], 179 U. S., 274; Allgeyer

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vs. Louisiana [1896], 165 U. S., 578; State vs. Kreutzberg [1902], 114 Wis., 530. See 6 R. C. L., 258, 261.)

One thought which runs through all these different conceptions of liberty is plainly apparent. It is this:
"Liberty" as understood in democracies, is not license; it is "liberty. regulated by law." Implied in the
term is restraint by law for the good of the individual and for the greater good of the peace and order of
society and the general well-being. No man can do exactly as he pleases. Every man must renounce
unbridled license. The right of the individual is necessarily subject to reasonable restraint by general law
for the common good. Whenever and wherever the natural rights of citizens would, if exercised without
restraint, deprive other citizens of rights which are also and equally natural, such assumed rights must
yield to the regulation of law. The liberty of the citizen may be restrained in the interest of the public
health, or of the public order and safety, or' otherwise within the proper scope of the police power. (See
Hall vs. Geiger-Jones [1916], 242 U. S., 539; Hardie-Tynes Manufacturing Co. vs. Cruz [1914], 189 Ala.,
66.)

None of the rights of the citizen can be taken away except by due process of law. Daniel Webster, in the
course of the argument in the Dartmouth College Case before the United States Supreme Court, since a
classic in forensic literature, said that the meaning of "due process of law" is, that "every citizen shall
hold his life, liberty, property, and immunities under the protection of the general rules which govern
society." To constitute "due process of law," as has been often held, a judicial proceeding is not always
necessary. In some instances, even a hearing and notice are not requisite, a rule which is especially true
where much must be left to the discretion of the administrative officers in applying a law to particular
cases. (See McGehee, Due Process of Law, p. 371.) Neither is due process a stationary and blind sentinel
of liberty. "Any legal proceeding enforced by public authority, whether sanc-

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tioned by age and custom, or newly devised in the discretion of the legislative power, in furtherance of
the public good, which regards and preserves these principles of liberty and justice, must be held to be
due process of law." (Hurtado vs, California [1883], 110 U. S., 516.) "Due process of law" means simply *
* * "first, that there shall be a law prescribed in harmony with the general powers of the legislative
department of the Government; second, that this law shall. be reasonable in its operation; third, that it
shall be enforced according to the regular methods of procedure prescribed; and fourth, that it shall be
applicable alike to all the citizens of the state or to all of a class." (U. S. vs. Ling Su Fan [1908], 10 Phil.,
104, affirmed on appeal to the United States Supreme Court.1) "What is due process of law depends on
circumstances. It varies with the subject-matter and necessities of the situation." (Moyer vs. Peabody
[1909], 212 U. S., 82.)

The pledge that no person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws is not infringed by a statute
which is applicable to all of a class. The classification must have a reasonable basis and cannot be purely
arbitrary in nature.

We break off with the foregoing statements, leaving the logical deductions to be made later on.

D. SLAVERY AND INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE.

The fourth constitutional contention of petitioner relates to the Thirteenth Amendment to the United
States Constitution particularly as found in those portions of Philippine Organic Law providing "That
slavery shall not exist in said Islands; nor shall involuntary servitude exist except as a punishment for
crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." It is quite possible that the Thirteenth
Amendment, since reaching to "any place subject to" the "jurisdiction" of the United States, has force in
the Philippines. However this may be, the Philippine Legislature has, by adoption, with necessary
modifications, of sections 268 to 271 inclusive of the United States Criminal

____________

1 218 U. S., 302; 64 L. ed., 1049.

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Code, prescribed the punishment f or these crimes. 'Slavery and involuntary servitude, together with
their corollary, peonage, all denote "a condition of enforced, compulsory service of one to another."
(Hodges vs. U. S. [1906], 203 U. S., 1.) The term of broadest scope is possibly involuntary servitude. It has
been applied to any servitude in fact involuntary, no matter under what form such servitude may have
been disguised. (Bailey vs. Alabama [1910], 219 U. S., 219.)

So much for an analysis of those constitutional provisions on which petitioners rely for their freedom.
Next must come a description of the police power under which the State must act if section 2145 is to
be held valid.

E. THE POLICE POWER.

Not attempting to phrase a definition of police power, all that it is necessary to note at this moment is
the farreaching scope of the power, that it has become almost impossible to limit its sweep, and that
among its purposes is the power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, peace, morals,
education, and good order of the people, and to legislate so as to increase the industries of the State,
develop its resources and add to its wealth and prosperity. (See Barbier vs. Connolly [1884], 113 U. S.,
27.) What we are most interested in is the right of the government to restrain liberty by the exercise of
the police power.

"The police power of the State," one court has said, * * * "is a power coextensive with self-protection,
and is not inaptly termed the 'law of overruling necessity.' It may be said to be that inherent and plenary
power in the State which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful to the comfort, safety and welfare of
society." (Lake View vs. Rose Hill Cemetery Co. [1873], 70 111., 191.) Carried onward by the current of
legislation, the judiciary rarely attempts to dam the onrushing power of legislative discretion, provided
the purposes of the law do not go beyond the great principles that mean security f or the public wel-

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fare or' do not arbitrarily interfere with the right of the individual.

The Government of the Philippine Islands has both on reason and authority the right to exercise the
sovereign police power in the promotion of the general welfare and the public interest. "There can be
no doubt that the exercise of the police power of the Philippine Government belongs to the Legislature
and that this power is limited only by the Acts of Congress and those fundamental principles which lie at
the f oundation of all republican f orms of government." (Churchill and Tait vs. Rafferty [1915], 32 Phil.,
580; U. S. vs. Pompeya [1915], 31 Phil., 245.)

With the foregoing approximation of the applicable basic principles before us, before finally deciding
whether any constitutional provision has indeed been violated by section 2145 of the Administrative
Code, we should endeavor to ascertain the intention of the Legislature in enacting this section. If legally
possible, such legislative intention should be effectuated.

F. LEGISLATIVE INTENT.

The preamble of the resolution of the provincial board of Mindoro which set apart the Tigbao
reservation, it will be remembered, assigned as reasons for the action, the following: (1) The failure of
former attempts for the advancement of the non-Christian people of the province; and (2) the only
successful method for educating the Manguianes was to oblige them to live in a permanent settlement.
The Solicitor-General adds the following: (3) The protection of the Manguianes; (4) the protection of the
public forests in which they roam; (5) the necessity of introducing civilized customs among the
Manguianes.

The present Secretary of the Interior says of the Tigbao reservation and of the motives for its selection,
the following:

"To inform himself of the conditions of those Manguianes who were taken together to Tigbao, the
Secretary of

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the Interior on June 10 to 13, 1918, made a trip to that place. There he found that the site selected is a
good one; that creditable progress has been made in the clearing of forests, construction of buildings,
etc., that there appears to be encouraging reaction by the boys to the work of the school the
requirements of which they appear to meet with enthusiastic interest after the first weeks which are
necessarily a somewhat trying period for children wholly unaccustomed to orderly behaviour and habit
of life. He also gathered the impression that the results obtained during the period of less than one year
since the beginning of the institution definitely justify its continuance and development.

"Of course, there were many who were protesting against that segregation. Such was, naturally to be
expected. But the Secretary of the Interior, upon his return to Manila, made the following statement to
the press:

" 'lt is not deemed wise to abandon the present policy over those who prefer to live a nomadic life and
evade the influence of civilization. The Government will follow its policy to organize them into political
communities and to educate their children with the object of making them useful citizens of this
country. To permit them to live a wayfaring life will ultimately result in a burden to the state and on
account of their ignorance, they will commit crimes and make depredations, or if not they will be subject
to involuntary servitude by those who may want to abuse them.'"

The Secretary of the Interior, who is the official charged with the supervision of all the non-Christian
people, has adopted as the polaris of his administration—"The advancement of the non-Christian
elements of our population to equality and unification with the highly civilized Christian inhabitants."
This is carried on by the adoption of the following measures:

"(a) Pursuance of the closer settlement policy whereby people of seminomadic race are induced to
leave their wild habitat and settle in organized communities.
"(b) The extension of the public school system and the

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system of public health throughout the regions inhabited by the non-Christian people.
"(c) The extension of public works throughout the Mohammedan regions to facilitate their
development and the extension of government control.
" (d) Construction of roads and trails between one place and another among non-Christians, to
promote social and commercial intercourse and maintain amicable relations among them and with the
Christian people.
"(e) Pursuance of the development of natural economic resources, especially agriculture.
"(f) The encouragement of immigration into, and of the investment of private capital in, the fertile
regions of Mindanao and Sulu."

The Secretary adds:

"To attain the end desired, work of a civilizing influence have been continued among the non-Christian
people. These people are being taught and guided to improve their living conditions in order that they
may fully appreciate the benefits of civilization. Those of them who are still given to nomadic habits are
being persuaded to abandon their wild habitat and settle in organized settlements. They are being made
to understand that it is the purpose of the Government to organize them politically into fixed and
permanent communities, thus bringing them under the control of the Government, to aid them to live
and work, protect them from involuntary servitude and abuse, educate their children, and show them
the advantages of leading a civilized life with their civilized brothers. In short, they are being impressed
with the purposes and objectives of the Government of leading them to economic, social, and political
equality, and unification with the more highly civilized inhabitants of the country." (See Report of the
Department for 1917.)

The fundamental objective of governmental policy is to establish friendly relations with the so-called
non-Christians, and to promote their educational, agricultural, industrial, and economic development
and advancement in

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civilization; (Note Acts Nos. 2208, 2404, 2444.) Act No. 2674 in reestablishing the Bureau of non-
Christian Tribes, defines the aim of the Government towards the nonChristian people in the following
unequivocal terms:

"It shall be the duty of the Bureau of non-Christian Tribes to continue the work for advancement and
liberty in favor of the regions inhabited by non-Christian Filipinos and foster by all adequate means and
in a systematical, rapid, and complete manner the moral, material, economic, social, and political
development of those regions, always having in view the aim of rendering permanent the mutual
intelligence between, and complete fusion of, all the Christian and non-Christian elements populating
the provinces of the Archipelago." (Sec. 3.)

May the Manguianes not be considered, as are the Indians in the United States, proper wards of the
Filipino people? By the fostering care of a wise Government, may not these unfortunates advance in the
"habits and arts of civilization?" Would it be advisable for the courts to intrude upon a plan, carefully
formulated, and apparently working out for the ultimate good of these people?

In so far as the Manguianes themselves are concerned, the purpose of the Government is evident. Here,
we have on the Island of Mindoro, the Manguianes, leading a nomadic life, making depredations on
their more fortunate neighbors, uneducated in the ways of civilization, and doing nothing for the
advancement of the Philippine Islands. What the Government wished to do by bringing them into a
reservation was to gather together the children for educational purposes, and to improve the health and
morals—was in fine, to begin the process of civilization. This method was termed in Spanish times,
"bringing under the bells." The same idea adapted to the existing situation, has been followed with
reference to the Manguianes and other peoples of the same class, because it required, if they are to be
improved, that they be gathered together. On these few reservations there live under restraint in .some
cases, and in other instances voluntarily, a few

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thousands of the uncivilized people. Segregation really constitutes protection for the Manguianes.

Theoretically, one may assert that all men are created free and equal. Practically, we know that the
axiom is not precisely accurate. The Manguianes, f or instance, are not free, as civilized men are free,
and they are not the equals of their more fortunate brothers. True, indeed,, they are citizens, with many
but not all the rights which citizenship implies. And true, indeed, they are Filipinos. But just as surely, the
Manguianes are citizens of a low degree of intelligence, and Filipinos who are a drag upon the progress
of the State.

In so f ar as the relation of the Manguianes to the State is concerned, the purposes of the Legislature in
enacting the law, and of the executive branch in enforcing it, are again plain. Settlers in Mindoro must
have their crops and persons protected from predatory men, or they will leave the country. It is no
argument to say that such crimes are punished by the Penal Code, because these penalties are imposed
after commission of the offense and not before. If immigrants are to be encouraged to develop the
resources of the great Island of Mindoro, and its, as yet, unproductive regions, the Government must be
in a position to guarantee peace and order.

Waste lands do not produce wealth. Waste people do not advance the interest of the State. Illiteracy
and thriftlessness are not conducive to homogeneity. The State to protect itself from destruction must
prod on the laggard and the sluggard. The great law of overwhelming necessity is all convincing.

To quote again from the instructive memorandum of the Secretary of the Interior:

"Living a nomadic and a wayfaring life and evading the influence of civilization, they (the Manguianes)
are engaged in the works of destruction—burning and destroying the forests and making illegal caiñgins
thereon. Not bringing any benefit to the State but instead injuring and damaging its interests, what will
ultimately become of these

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people with the sort of liberty they wish to preserve and for which they are now fighting in court? They
will ultimately become a heavy burden to the State and on account of their ignorance they will commit
crimes and make depredations, or if not they will be subjected to involuntary servitude by those who
may want to abuse them.

"There is no doubt in my mind that this people has not a right conception of liberty and does not
practise liberty in a rightful way. They understand liberty as the right to do anything they will—going
from one place to another in the mountains, burning and destroying forests and making illegal caingins
thereon.

"Not knowing what true liberty is and not practising the same rightfully, how can they allege that they
are being deprived thereof without due process of law?

* * * * * * *

"But does the Constitutional guaranty that 'no person shall be deprived of his liberty without due
process of law' apply to a class of persons who do not have a correct idea of what liberty is and do not
practise liberty in a rightful way?

"To say that it does will mean to sanction and defend an erroneous idea of such class of persons as to
what liberty is. It will mean, in the- case at bar, that the Government should. not adopt any measures
looking to the welfare and advancement of the class of persons in question. It will mean that this people
should be let alone in the mountains and in a permanent state of savagery without even the remotest
hope of coming to understand liberty in its true and noble sense.

"In dealing with the backward population, like the Manguianes, the Government has been placed in the
alternative of either letting them alone or guiding them in the path of civilization. The latter measure
was adopted as the one more in accord with humanity and with national conscience."

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"The national legislation on the subject of non-Christian people has tended more and more towards the
education and civilization of such people and fitting them to be citizens. The progress of those people
under the tutelage of the Government is indeed encouraging and the signs of the times point to a day
which is not f ar distant when they will become usef ul citizens. In the light of what has already been
accomplished which has been winning the gratitude of most of the backward people, shall we give up
the noble work simply because a certain element, believing that their personal interests would be
injured by such a measure has come forward and challenged the authority of the Government to lead
this people in the path of civilization ? Shall we, after expending sweat, treasure, and even blood only to
redeem this people from the claws of ignorance and superstition, now willingly retire because there has
been erroneously invoked in their favor that Constitutional guaranty that no person shall be deprived of
his liberty without due process of law? To allow them to successfully invoke that Constitutional guaranty
at this time will leave the Government without recourse to pursue the works of civilizing them and
making them useful citizens. They will thus be left in a permanent state of savagery and become a
vulnerable point of attack by those who doubt, nay challenge, the ability of the nation to deal with our
backward brothers.

"The Manguianes in question have been directed to live together at Tigbao. There they are being taught
and guided to improve their living conditions. They are being made to understand that the object of the
government is to organize them politically into fixed and permanent communities. They are being aided
to live and work. Their children are being educated in a school especially established for them. In short,
everything is being done for them in order that their advancement in civilization and material prosperity
may be assured. Certainly their living together in Tigbao does not make them slaves or put them in a
condi-

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tion compelled to do services for another. They do not work for anybody but for themselves. There is,
therefore, no involuntary servitude.

"But they are compelled to live there and prohibited from emigrating to some other place under penalty
of imprisonment. Attention in this connection is invited to the fact that this people, living a nomadic and
wayfaring life, do not have permanent individual property. They move from one place to another as the
conditions of living warrant, and the entire space where they are roving about is the property of the
nation, the greater part being lands of public domain. Wandering from one place to another on the
public lands, why can not the government adopt a measure to concentrate them in a certain fixed place
on the public lands, instead of permitting them to roam all over the entire territory? This measure is
necessary both in the interest of the public as owner of the lands about which they are roving and for
the proper accomplishment of the purposes and objectives. of the Government. For as people
accustomed to nomadic habit, they will always long to return to the mountains and follow a wayfaring
life, and unless a penalty is provided for, you can not make them live together and the noble intention of
the Government of organizing them politically will come to naught."

G. APPLICATION AND CONCLUSION.

Our exhaustive study should have left us in a position to answer specific objections and to reach a
general conclusion.

In the first place, it is argued that the citizen has the right, generally speaking, to go where he pleases.
Could he not, however, be kept away from certain localities? To furnish an example from the Indian
legislation. The early Act of Congress of 1802 (2 U. S. Stat. at L., p. 141) punished those intruders who
should cross the line into an Indian reservation. Those citizens certainly did not possess absolute
freedom of locomotion. Again the same law provided for the apprehension of marauding Indians.
Without

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any doubt, this law and other similar laws were accepted and followed time and again without question.

It is said that, if we hold this section to be constitutional, we leave this weak and defenseless people
confined as in a prison at the mercy of unscrupulous officials. What, it is asked, would be the remedy of
any oppressed Manguian? The answer would naturally be that the official into whose hands are given
the enforcement of the law would have little or no motive to oppress these people; on the contrary, the
presumption would all be that they would endeavor to carry out the purposes of the law intelligently
and patriotically. If, indeed, they did ill-treat any person thus confined, there always exists the power of
removal in the hands of superior officers, and the courts are always open for a redress of grievances.
When, however, only the validity of the law is generally challenged and no particular case of oppression
is called to the attention of the courts, it would seem that the Judiciary should not unnecessarily hamper
the Government in the accomplishment of its laudable purpose.

The question is above all one of sociology. How far, consistently with freedom, may the rights and
liberties of the individual members of society be subordinated to the will of the Government? It is a
question which has assailed the very existence of government f rom the beginning of time. Not now
purely an ethical or philosophical subject, nor now to be decided by force, it has been transferred to the
peaceful forum of the Judiciary. In resolving such an issue, the Judiciary must realize that the very
existence of government renders imperative a power to restrain the individual to some extent,
dependent, of course, on the necessities of the class attempted to be benefited. As to the particular
degree to which the Legislature and the Executive can go in interfering with the rights of the citizen, this
is, and for a long time to come will be, impossible for the courts to determine.

The doctrines of laissez faire and of unrestricted free-

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

dom of the individual, as axioms of economics and political theory, are of the past. The modern period
has shown a widespread belief in the amplest possible demonstration of governmental activity. The
courts unfortunately have sometimes seemed to trail after the other two branches of the Government
in this progressive march. ,

Considered, therefore, purely as an exercise of the police power, the courts cannot fairly say that the
Legislature has exceeded its rightful authority. It is, indeed, an unusual exercise of that power. But a
great malady requires an equally drastic remedy.

Further, one cannot hold that the liberty of the citizen is unduly interfered with when the degree of
civilization of the Manguianes is considered. They are restrained for their own good and the general
good of the Philippines. Nor can one say that due process of law has not been followed. To go back to
our definition of due process of law and equal protection of the laws. there exists a law; the law seems
to be reasonable; it is enforced according to the regular methods of procedure prescribed; and it applies
alike to all of a class.

As a point which has been left for the end of this decision and which, in case of doubt, would lead to the
determination that section 2145 is valid, is the attitude which the courts should assume towards the
settled policy of the Government. In a late decision with which we are in full accord, Gamble vs.
Vanderbilt University (200 Southwestern Reporter, 510) the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of
Tennessee writes:

"We can see no objection to the application of public policy as a ratio decidendi. Every really new
question that comes before the courts is, in the last analysis, determined on that theory, when not
determined by differentiation of the principle of a prior case or line of cases, or by the aid of analogies
furnished by such prior cases. In balancing conflicting solutions, that one is perceived to tip the scales
which the court believes will best promote the public welfare in its probable operation as a general rule

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or principle. But public policy is not a thing inflexible. No court is wise enough to forecast its influence in
all possible contingencies. Distinctions must be made from time to time as sound reason and a true
sense of justice may dictate."

Our attempt at giving a brief history of the Philippines with reference to the so-called non-Christians has
been in vain, if we fail to realize that a consistent governmental policy has been effective in the
Philippines from early days to the present. The idea is to unify the people of the Philippines so that they
may approach the highest conception of nationality. If all are to be equal before the law, all must be
approximately equal in intelligence. If the Philippines is to be a rich and powerful country, Mindoro must
be populated, and its fertile regions must be developed, The public policy of the Government of the
Philippine Islands is shaped with a view to benefit the Filipino people as a whole. The Manguianes, in
order to fulfill this governmental policy, must be confined for a time, as we have said, for their own good
and the good of the country.

Most cautiously should the power of this court to overrule the judgment of the Philippine Legislature, a
coordinate branch, be exercised. The whole tendency of the best considered cases is toward non-
interference on the part of the courts whenever political ideas are the moving consideration. Justice
Holmes, in one of the aphorisms for which he is justly famous, said that "constitutional law, like other
mortal contrivances, has to take some chances." (Blinn vs. Nelson [1911], 222 U. S., 1.) If in the final
decision of the many grave questions which this case presents, the court must take "a chance," it should
be, with a view to upholding the law, with a view to the effectuation of the general governmental policy,
and with a view to the court's performing its duty in no narrow and bigoted sense, but with that broad
conception which will make the courts as progressive and effective a force as are the other departments
of the Government.

We are of the opinion that action pursuant to section

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

of his liberty without due process of law and does not deny to him the equal protection of the laws, and
that confinement in reservations in accordance with said section does not constitute slavery and
involuntary servitude. We are further of the opinion that section 2145 of the Administrative Code is a
legitimate exertion of the police power, somewhat analogous to the Indian policy of the United States.
Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is constitutional.

Petitioners are not unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of their liberty. Habeas corpus can, therefore,
not issue. This is the ruling of the court. Costs shall be taxed against petitioners. So ordered.

Arellano, C. J., Torres, and Avanceña, JJ., concur.

CARSON, J., concurring:

I fully concur in the reasoning and the conclusions of Justice Malcolm as set forth in the prevailing
opinion.

The words "non-Christian" have a clear, definite and well settled signification when used in the
Philippine statutebook as a descriptive adjective, applied to "tribes," "people," or "inhabitants," dwelling
in more or less remote districts and provinces throughout the Islands.

Justice Malcolm, as I think, correctly finds that these words, as used in this connection in our statute-
book, denote the "low grade of civilization" of the individuals included in the class to which they are
applied. To this I would add that the tests for the determination of the fact that an individual or tribe is,
or is not of the "low grade of civilization" denoted by the words "non-Christian" are, and throughout the
period of American occupation always have been, "the mode of lif e, the degree of advancement in
civilization, and connection or lack of connection with some civilized community." (Cf. letter of Collector
of Internal Revenue dated September 17, 1910, and set out in the principal opinion.)

The legislative and administrative history of the Philip

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pine Islands clearly discloses that the standard of civilization to which a specific tribe must be found to
have advanced, to justify its removal from the class embraced within the descriptive term "non-
Christian," as that term is used in the Philippine statute-book, is that degree of civilization which results
in a mode of life within the tribe, such that it is feasible and practicable to extend to, and enforce upon
its membership the general laws and regulations, administrative, legislative, and judicial, which control
the conduct of the admittedly civilized inhabitants of the Islands; a mode of life, furthermore, which
does not find expression in tribal customs or practices which tend to brutalize or debauch the members
of the tribe indulging in such customs or practices, or to expose to loss or peril the lives or property of
those who may be brought in contact with the members of the tribe.

So the standard of civilization to which any given number or group of inhabitants of a particular province
in these Islands, or any individual member of such a group, must be found to have advanced, in order to
remove such group or individual from the class embraced within the statutory description of "non-
Christian," is that degree of civilization which would naturally and normally result in the withdrawal by
such persons of permanent allegiance or adherence to a "non-Christian" tribe, had they at any time
adhered to or maintained allegiance to such a tribe; and which Would qualify them whether they reside
within or beyond the habitat of a "non-Christian" tribe, not only to maintain a mode of life independent
of and apart from that maintained by such tribe, but a mode of life as would not be inimical to the lives
or property or general welfare of the civilized inhabitants of the Islands with whom they are brought in
contact.

The contention that, in this particular case, and without challenging the validity of the statute, the writ
should issue because of the failure to give these petitioners, as well as the rest of the fifteen thousand
Manguianes affected

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by the reconcentration order, an opportunity to be heard before any attempt was made to enforce it,
begs the question and is, of course, tantamount to a contention that there is no authority in law for the
issuance of such an order.

If the fifteen thousand Manguianes affected by the order complained of had attained that degree of
civilization which would have made it practicable to serve notice upon, and give an opportunity for a
real hearing, to all the members of the tribe affected by the order, it may well be doubted whether the
provincial board and the Secretary of the Interior would have been justified in its enforcement. By what
proceeding known to the law, or to be specially adopted in a particular case, could the officers of any
province provide for a genuine hearing upon a proposal to issue a reconcentration order upon a head-
hunting tribe in the north of the Island of Luzon; or upon one of the nomadic tribes whose habitat is in
the mountain fastnesses of Mindanao, and whose individual members have no fixed or known place of
residence, or upon the fifteen thousand Manguianes roaming in the wilds of Mindoro?

Of course, friendly headmen or chief might and, as a rule, should be consulted, after the practice in the
United States when tribes or groups of American Indians have been placed upon reservations; but since
non-Christian headmen and chiefs in the Philippines have no lawful authority to bind their peoples by
their acts or their consent, the objection based on lack of a hearing, would have the same force whether
the issuance of a reconcentration order was or was not preceded by a pow-wow of this kind.

The truth of the matter is that the power to provide for the issuance of such orders rests upon
analogous principles to those upon which the liberty and freedom of action of children and persons of
unsound minds is restrained, without consulting their wishes, but for their own good and the general
welfare. The power rests upon necessity, that "great master of all things," and is properly exercised only
where certain individuals or groups of individuals are found to be of such a low grade of civilization,

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

that their own wishes cannot be permitted to determine their mode of life or place of residence.

The status of the non-Christian inhabitants of these Islands, and the special and necessarily paternal
attitude assumed toward them by the Insular Government is well illustrated by the following provisions
found in the Administrative Code of 1917:

"SEC. 705. Special duties and purposes of Bureau (of non-Christian tribes).—It shall be the duty of the
Bureau of non-Christian tribes to continue the work for advancement and liberty in favor of the regions
inhabited by nonChristian Filipinos and to foster by all adequate means and in a systematic, rapid, and
complete manner the moral, material, economic, social and political development of those regions,
always having in view the aim of rendering permanent the mutual intelligence between and complete f
usion of all the Christian and non-Christian elements populating the provinces of the Archipelago."

"SEC. 2116. Township and settlement fund.—There shall be maintained in the provincial treasuries of
the respective specially organized provinces a special fund to be known as the-township and settlement
fund, which shall be available, exclusively, for expenditures for the benefit of the townships and
settlements of the province, and non-Christian inhabitants of the province, upon approval of the
Secretary of the Interior."

As I understand it, the case at bar does not raise any real question as to the jurisdiction of the courts of
these Islands in habeas corpus proceedings, to review the action of the administrative authorities in the
enforcement of reconcentration orders issued, under authority of section 2145 of the Administrative
Code, against a petitioner challenging the alleged fact that he is a "non-Christian" as that term is used in
the statute. I, therefore, express no opinion on that question at this time.

JOHNSON, J., dissenting:

I dissent. The petitioners were deprived of their liberty without a hearing. That fact is not denied. I
cannot

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give my consent to any act which deprives the humblest citizen of his just liberty without a hearing,
whether he be a Christian or non-Christian. All persons in the Philippine Islands are entitled to a hearing,
at least, before they are deprived of their liberty.

MOIR, J., with whom ARAULLO, and STREET, JJ., concur,
dissenting:

I dissent.

I realize that a dissenting opinion carries little weight, but my sense of justice will not permit me to let
this decision go on record without expressing my strong dissent from the opinion of Justice Malcolm,
concurred in by a majority of the court. I shall not attempt to analyze the opinion or to go into the
questions in detail. I shall simply state, as briefly as may be, the legal and human side of the case as it
presents itself to my mind.

The facts are that one Rubi and various other Manguianes in the Province of Mindoro were ordered by
the provincial governor of Mindoro to remove their residence from their native habitat and to establish
themselves on a reservation at Tigbao in the Province of Mindoro and to remain there, or be punished
by imprisonment if they escaped. This reservation, as appears from the resolution of the provincial
board, extends over an area of 800 hectares of land, which is approximately 2,000 acres, on which about
three hundred Manguianes are confined. One of the Manguianes, Dabalos, escaped from the
reservation' and was taken in hand by the provincial sheriff -and placed in prison at Calapan, solely
because he escaped from the reservation. The Manguianes sued out a writ of habeas corpus in this
court, alleging that they are deprived of their liberty in violation of law.

The Solicitor-General of the Philippine Islands makes return to the writ copied in the majority opinion
which states that the provincial governor of Mindoro with the prior approval of his act by the
Department Secretary or-

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

dered the placing of the petitioners and others on a reservation.

The Manguianes, it is stated on page 694 of the majority opinion, "are very low in culture. They have
considerable Negrito blood and have not advanced beyond the Negritos in civilization. They are
peaceful, timid, primitive, seminomadic people. They number approximately 15,000 (?). The
Manguianes have shown no desire for community life, and, as indicated in the preamble to Act No. 547,
have not progressed sufficiently in civilization to make it practicable to bring them under any form of
municipal government."

It may be Well to add that the last P. I. Census (1903) shows that the Island of Mindoro (not including
the smaller islands which together make the Province of Mindoro) has an area of 3,851 square miles
and, a population of 28,361 of which 7,369 are wild or uncivilized tribes (Manguianes). This appears to
be the total Mangyan population of the province. The total population was less than seven to the mile
(Vol. 2, P. L Census, pp. 30 and 407).

The Island is fertile, heavily wooded and well watered.

It has no savage population, but it is sparsely settled by Christian Filipinos along the coast and by
Manguianes.

The Manguianes roamed its mountains and valleys, fishing and hunting at will long before Magallanes
[Magellan] anchored his boats in the waters of Cebu. They have made little or no progress in the ways of
civilization. "They are a peaceful, timid, primitive, seminomadic people," whom the Government of the
Philippine Islands would bring under the beneficient influence of civilization and progress.

The law provides for it in section 2145 of the Administrative Code, and for those who like Dabalos do not
take kindly to the ways provided for civilizing them section 2759 provides the punishment.

The attorney for the petitioners has raised various constitutional questions, but only the fundamental
one will

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

be considered by me. It is that the sections of the Administrative Code, 2145 and 2759, quoted in the
majority opinion, are in violation of the first paragraph of section 3 of the Act of Congress of August 29,
1916, which reads as follows:

"That no law shall be enacted in said Islands which shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property
without due process of law, or deny to any person therein the equal protection of the laws."

It is not necessary to argue that a Mangyan is one of the persons protected by that provision.

The Attorney-General argues that the treatment provided for the Manguianes is similar to that accorded
the Indians in the United States, and reference is made all through the court's decision to the decisions
of the United States Supreme Court with reference to the Indians. It is not considered necessary to go
into these cases for the simple reason that all the Indian. nations in the United States were considered
as separate nations and all acts taken in regard to them were the result of separate treaties made by the
United States Government with the Indian nations, and, in compliance with these treaties, reservations
were set apart f or them on which they lived and were protected from intrusion and molestation by
white men. Some of these reservations were larger than the Island of Luzon, and they were not
measured in hectares but in thousands of square miles.

The Manguianes are not a separate state. They have no treaty with the Government of the Philippine
Islands by which they have agreed to live within a certain district where they are accorded exclusive
rights. They are citizens of the Philippine Islands. Legally they are Filipinos. They are entitled to all the
rights and privileges of any other citizen of this country. And when the provincial governor of the
Province of Mindoro attempted to take them from their native habitat and to hold them on the little
reservation of about 800 hectares, he deprived them

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of their rights and their liberty without due process of law, and they were denied the equal protection of
the law.

The majority opinion says "they are restrained for their own good and the general good of the
Philippines."

They are to be made to accept the civilization of the more advanced Filipinos whether they want it or
not. They are backward and 'deficient in culture and must be moved from their homes, however humble
they may be and "brought under the bells" and made to stay on a reservation.

Are these petitioners charged with any crime? There is no mention in the return of the Solicitor-General
of the Philippine Islands of any crime having been committed by these "peaceful, timid, primitive, semi-
nomadic people."

A memorandum of the Secretary of the Interior of the Philippine Islands is copied in extenso in the
majority opinion, and from it I gather the nature of their offense which is that—

"Living a nomadic and wayfaring life and evading the influence of civilization, they (the Manguianes) are
engaged in the works of destruction—burning and destroying the forests and making illegal caingins
thereon. Not bringing any benefit to the State but, instead, injuring and damaging its interests, what will
ultimately become of those people with the sort of liberty they wish to preserve and f or which they are
now fighting in court? They will ultimately become a heavy burden to the State and, on account of their
ignorance, they will commit crimes and make depredations, or if not they will be subjected to
involuntary servitude by those who may want to abuse them.

'There is no doubt in my mind that this people has not a right conception of liberty and does not practice
liberty in a rightful way. They understand liberty as the right to do anything they will—going from one
place to another in the mountains, burning and destroying forests and making illegal caingins thereon.

"Not knowing what true liberty is and not practising

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

the same rightf ully, how can they allege that they are being deprived thereof without due process of
law?

* * * * * * *

"But does the Constitutional guaranty that 'no person shall be deprived of his liberty without due
process of law' apply to a class of persons who do not have a correct idea of what liberty is and do not
practise liberty in a rightful way ?

"To say that it does will mean to sanction and defend an erroneous idea of such class of persons as to
what liberty is. It will mean, in the case at bar, that the Government should not adopt any measures
looking to the welfare and advancement of the class of persons in question. It will mean that this people
should be let alone in the mountains and in a permanent state of savagery without even .the remotest
hope of coming to understand liberty in its true and noble sense.

"In dealing with the backward population, like the Manguianes, the Government has been placed in the
alternative of either letting them alone or guiding them in the path of civilization. The latter measure
was adopted as the one more in accord with humanity and with national conscience.

* * * * * * *

"The national legislation on the subject of non-Christian people has tended more and more towards the
education and civilization of such people and fitting them to be citizens."

There appear to be two intimations or charges in this memorandum; one is that the Manguianes destroy
the forests by making a caingin, What is a "caingin?" Simply this.- These people move their camp or
place of abode frequently and when they do move to a new place, it is necessary to clear the land in
order to plant corn and camotes (sweet potatoes) and they cut down the smaller trees and burn these
around the larger ones, killing them, so that they can plant their crops. The fires never spread in the
tropical undergrowth of an island' like Mindoro, but the trees within the caingin are killed and crops are
planted

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and harvested. This land may be abandoned later on—due to superstition, to a lack of game in the
neighborhood, to poor crops from exhausted fertility, or to a natural desire to move on.

Granting that the Manguianes do make caingins or clear lands in spots and then abandon them f or the
more f ertile lands, which every man knows to be just over the hills, we cannot see that they are
committing such a great abuse as to justify incarcerating them on a small tract of land—for incarceration
it is and nothing less.

The second intimation or charge is that "they will become a heavy burden to the state and on account of
their ignorance they will commit crimes and make depredations, or if not they will be subjected to
involuntary servitude by those who want to abuse them." They have never been a burden to the state
and never will be. They have not committed crimes and, when they do, let the law punish them. The
authorities are anticipating too much from these "peaceful, timid, primitive, semi-nomadic people."
Their history does not demonstrate that we must expect them to commit crimes and jail them to
prevent the possibility. But the Secretary says "they will be subjected to involuntary servitude by those
who want to abuse them." Are they more liable to be subjected to involutary servitude when left free to
roam their native hills and gain a livelihood as they have been accustomed to for hundreds of years,
than they will be if closely confined on a narrow reservation from which they may not escape without
facing a term in jail? Is it not more likely that they will be glad to exchange their "freedom" on a small
reservation for the great boon of binding themselves and their children to the more fortunate Christian
Filipinos who will feed them and clothe them in return for their services?

I think it not only probable but almost a certainty that they will all be subjected to involuntary personal
servitude if their freedom is limited as it has been. How will they live? There may be persons who are
willing to lend them money with which to buy food on the promise that they

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

will work for them. And if they accept the loan and do not work for the lender we have another law on
the statute books, Act No. 2098, into whose noose they run their necks, and they may be fined not more
than two hundred pesos or imprisoned for not exceeding six months or both, and when the sentence
expires they must again go into debt or starve, and if they do not work will again go to jail, and this may
be repeated till they are too old to work and are cast adrift.

The Manguianes have committed no offense and are charged with none. It does not appear that they
were ever consulted about their reconcentration. It does not appear that they had any hearing or were
allowed to make any def ense. It seems they were gathered here and there whenever found by the
authorities of the law and forcibly placed upon the reservation, because they are "non-Christians," and
because the provincial governor ordered it. Let it be clear there is no discrimination because of religion.
The term "non-Christian" means one who is not a Christian Filipino, but it also means any of the so-
called "wild" or backward tribes of the Philippines. These non-Christian tribes are Moros, Igorrotes,
Bukidnons, Ifugaos, Manguianes and various others, about one million souls all together. Some of them,
like the Moros, Tinguianes and Ifugaos, have made great progress in civilization. They have beautiful
fields reclaimed by hard labor—they have herds of cattle and horses and some few of them are well
educated. Some of the non-Christians, like the Aetas and the Negritos, are very low in the scale of
civilization, but they are one and all "non-Christians," as the term is used and understood in law and in
fact.

All of them, according to the court's opinion under the present law, may be taken from their homes and
herded on a reservation at the instance of the provincial governor, with the prior approval of the
department head. To state such a monstrous proposition is to show the wickedness and illegality of the
section of the law under which these people are restrained of their-liberty. But it is argued that there

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is no probability of the department head ever giving his approval to such a crime, but the f act that he
can do it and has done it in the present case is what makes the law unconstitutional. The arbitrary and
unrestricted power to do harm should be the measure by which a law's legality is tested and not the
probability of doing harm.

"It has been said that this is a government of laws and not of men; that there is no arbitrary body of
individuals; that the constitutional principles upon which our government and its institutions rest do not
leave room for the play and action of purely personal and arbitrary power, but that all in authority are
guided and limited by these provisions which the people have, through the organic law, declared shall
be the measure and scope of all control exercised over them. In particular the fourteenth amendment,
and especially the equal protection clause, thereof, forbids that the individual shall be subjected to any
arbitrary exercise of the powers of government; it was intended to prohibit, and does prohibit, any
arbitrary deprivation of life or liberty, or arbitrary spoliation of property.

"As we have seen, a statute which makes a purely arbitrary or unreasonable classification, or which
singles out any particular individual or class as the subject of hostile and discriminating legislation, is
clearly unconstitutional as being opposed to the fourteenth amendment and especially to the equal
protection clause thereof. This is a plain case, and requires no further discussion." (Vol. 4, Encyclopedia
of U. S. Supreme Court Reports, p. 366.)

"When we consider the nature and the theory -of our institutions of government, the principles upon
which they are supposed to rest, and review the history of their development, we are constrained to
conclude that they do not mean to leave room for the play and-action of purely personal and arbitrary
power. Sovereignty itself is, of course, not subject to law, for it is the author and source of law; but in
our system, while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government, sovereignty itself
remains

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

with the people, by whom and for whom all government exists and acts. And the law is the definition
and limitation of power. It is, indeed, quite true, that there must always be lodged somewhere, and in
some person or body, the authority of final decision; and, in many cases of mere administration the
responsibility is purely political, no appeal lying except to the ultimate tribunal of the public judgment,
exercised either in the pressure of opinion or by means of the suffrage. But the fundamental rights to
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, considered as individual possessions, are secured by those
maxims of constitutional law which are the monuments showing the victorious progress of the race in
securing to men the blessings of civilization under the reign of just and equal laws, so that, in the famous
language of Massachusetts Bill of Rights, the Government of Commonwealth 'may be a government of
law and not of men.' For the very idea that one man may be compelled to hold his life, or the means of
living, or any material right essential to the enjoyment of life, at the mere will of another, seems to. be
intolerable in any country where freedom prevails, as being the essence of slavery itself." (Yick Wo vs.
Hopkins, 118 U. S., 374.)

It is said that the present law is an old Act being in substance Act No. 547 of the Philippine Commission.
But it has never been brought before this court for determina-tion of its constitutionality. No matter
how beneficient the motives of the lawmakers if the law tends to deprive any man of life, liberty, or
property without due process of law, it is void.

In my opinion the acts complained of which were taken in conformity with section 2145 of the
Administrative Code not only deprive these Manguianes of their liberty, without due process of law, but
will in all probability deprive them of their life, without due process of law. History teaches that to take a
semi-nomadic tribe from their native fastnesses and to transfer them to the narrow confines of a
reservation is to invite disease and suffering and death.

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

From my long experience in the Islands, I should say that it would be a crime of little less magnitude to
take the Ifugaos from their mountain homes where they have reclaimed a wilderness and made it a land
of beauty and fruitfulness and to transfer them to the more fertile, unoccupied, malaria infested valleys
which they look down upon from their fields—than it would be to order their decapitation en masse.

There can be no denial that the Ifugaos are "non-Christians," or "wild tribes" and are in exactly the same
category as the Manguianes. If the Manguianes may be so taken from their native habitat and
reconcentrated on a reservation—in effect an open air jail—then so may the Ifugaos, so may the
Tinguianes, who have made more progress than the Ifugaos, and so may the Moros.

There are "non-Christian" in nearly every province in the Philippine Islands. All of the thirty-nine
governors upon the prior approval of the head of the department, have the power under this law to
take the non-Christian inhabitants of their different provinces from their homes and put them on a
reservation for "their own good and the general good of the Philippines," and the courts will grant them
no relief. These unfortunate citizens of the Philippine Islands would hold their liberty, and their lives,
may be, subject to the unregulated discretion of the provincial governor.

.And who would be safe?

After the reservation is once established might not a provincial governor decide that some political
enemy was a non-Christian, and that he would be safer on the reservation. No matter what his
education and culture, he could have no trial, he could make no defense, the judge of the court might be
in a distant province and not within reach, and the provincial governor's fiat is final.

The case of the United States vs. Crook (Federal Cases 14891), cited in the majority opinion, should be
quoted at length. District Judge Dundy said:

"During the fifteen years in which I have been engaged

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PHILIPPINE REPORTS ANNOTATED

Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

in administering the laws of my country, I have never been called upon to hear or decide a case that
appealed so strongly to my sympathy as the one now under consideration. On the one side, we have a
few of the remnants of a once numerous and powerful, but now weak, insignificant, únlettered, and
generally despised race; and the other, we have the representative of one of the most powerf ul, most
enlightened, and most christianized nations of modern times. On the one side, we have the
representatives of this wasted race coming into this national tribunal of ours, asking for justice and
liberty to enable them to adopt our boasted civilization, and to pursue the arts of peace, which have
made us great and happy as a nation; on the other side, we have this magnificent, if not magnanimous,
government, resisting this application with the determination of sending these people back to the
country which is to them, less desirable than perpetual imprisonment in their own native land. But I
think it is creditable to the heart and mind of the brave and distinguished officer who is made
respondent herein to say that he has no sort of sympathy in the business in which he is f orced by his
position to bear a part so conspicuous; and, so far as I am individually concerned, I think it not improper
to say that, if the strongest possible sympathy could give the relators title to freedom, they would have
been restored to liberty the moment the arguments in their behalf were closed. No examination or
further thought would then have been necessary or expedient. -But in a country where liberty is
regulated by law, something more satisfactory and enduring than mere sympathy must furnish and
constitute the rule and basis of judicial action. It follows that this case must be examined and decided on
principles of law, and that unless the relators are entitled to their discharge under the constitution or
laws of the United States, or some treaty made pursuant thereto, they must be remanded to the
custody of the officer who caused their arrest, to be returned to the Indian Territory which they left
without the consent of the government.

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735

Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

"On the 8th of April, 1879, the relators Standing Bear and twenty-five others, during the session of the
court held at that time at Lincoln, presented their petition, duly verified, praying for the allowance of a
writ of habeas corpus and their final discharge from custody thereunder.

"The petition alleges, in substance, that the relators are Indians who have formerly belonged to the
Ponca tribe .of Indians now located in the Indian Territory; that they had some time previously
withdrawn from the tribe, and completely severed their tribal relations therewith, and had adopted the
general habits of the whites, and were then endeavoring to maintain themselves by their own exertions,
and without aid or assistance f rom the general government; that whilst they were thus engaged, and
without being guilty of violating any of the laws of the United States, they were arrested and restrained
of their liberty by order of the respondent, George Crook.

"The writ was issued and served on the respondent on the 8th day of April, and, the distance between
the place where the writ was made returnable and the place where the relators were confined being
more than twenty miles, ten days were allotted in which to make return.

"On the 18th of April the writ was returned, and the authority for the arrest and detention is therein
shown. The substance of the return to the writ, and the additional statement since filed, is that the
relators are individual members of, and connected with, the Ponca tribe of Indians; that they had fled or
escaped from a reservation situated in some place within the limits of the Indian Territory—had
departed therefrom without permission from the government; and, at the request of the secretary of
the interior, the general of the army had issued an order which required the respondent to arrest and
return the relators to their tribe in the Indian Territory,. and that, pursuant to the said order, he had
caused the relators to be arrested on the Omaha Indian reservation, and that they were in his custody
for the purpose of being returned to the Indian Territory.

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PHILIPPINE REPORTS ANNOTATED

Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

"It is claimed upon the one side, and denied upon the other, that the relators had withdrawn and
severed, for all time, their connection with the 'tribe to which they belonged; and upon this point alone
was there any testimony produced by either party hereto. The other matter stated in the petition and
the! return to the writ are conceded to be true; so that the questions to be determined are purely
questions of law.

"On the 8th of March, 1859, a treaty was made by the United States with the Ponca tribe of Indians, by
which a certain tract of country, north of the Niobrara river and west of the Missouri, was set apart for
the permanent home of the said Indians, in which the government agreed to protect them during their
good behaviour. But just when or how, or why, or under what circumstances, the Indians left their
reservation in Dakota and went to the Indian Territory does not appear.

* * * * * * *

"A question of much greater importance remains for consideration, which, when determined, will be
decisive of this whole controversy. This relates to the right of the government to arrest and hold the
relators for a time, for the purpose of being returned to a point in the Indian Territory from which it is
alleged the Indians escaped. I am not vain enough to think that I can do full justice to a question like the
one under consideration. But, as the matter furnishes so much valuable material for discussion, and so
much food for reflection, I shall try to present it as viewed from my own standpoint, without reference
to consequences or criticisms, which, though not specially invited, will be sure to follow.

* * * * * * *

"On the 15th day of August, 1876, Congress passed the general Indian appropriation bill, and in it we
find a provision authorizing the secretary of the interior to use $25,000 for the removal of the Poncas to
the Indian Ter-

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Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro.

ritory, and providing them a home therein, with consent of the tribe. (19 Sta., 192.)

* * * * * * *

"The Poncas lived upon their reservation in southern Dakota, and cultivated a portion of the same,- until
two or three years ago, when they removed therefrom, but whether by force or otherwise does not
appear. At all events, we find a portion of them, including the relators, located at some point in the
Indian Territory. There, the testimony seems to show, is where the trouble commenced. Standing Bear,
the principal witness, states that out of five hundred and eighty-one Indians who went from the
reservation in Dakota to the Indian Territory, one hundred and fiftyeight died within a year or so, and a
great proportion of the others were sick and disabled, caused, in a great measure, no doubt, from
change of climate; and to save himself and the survivors of his wasted family, and the feeble remnant of
his little band of followers, he determined to leave the Indian Territory and return to his old home,
where, to use his own language, 'he might live and die in peace, and be buried with his fathers/ He also
stated that he informed the agent of their final purpose to leave, never to return, and that he and his
followers had finally, fully, and forever severed his and their connection with the Ponca tribe of Indians,
and had resolved to disband as a tribe, or band of Indians, and to cut loose f rom the government, go.to
work, become self-sustaining, and adopt the habits and customs of a higher civilization. To accomplish
what would seem to be a desirable and laudable purpose, all who were able to do so went to work to
earn a living. The Omaha Indians, who speak the same language, and with whom many of the Poncas
have long continued to intermarry, gave them employment and ground to cultivate, so as to make them
self-sustaining. And it was when at the Omaha reservation, and when thus employed, that they were
arrested by order of the government, for the purpose of being taken back to the Indian Territory. They

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PHILIPPINE REPORTS ANNOTATED

United States vs. Ramirez.

claim to be unable to see the justice, or reason, or wisdom, or necessity, of removing them by force
from their own native plains and blood relations to a far-off country, in which they can see little but
new-made graves opening for their reception. The land from which they fled in fear has no attractions
for them. The love of home and native land was strong enough in the minds of these people to induce
them to brave every peril to return and live and die where they: had been reared. The bones of the dead
son of Standing Bear were not to repose in the land they hoped to be leaving forever, but were carefully
preserved and protected and formed a part of what was to them a melancholy procession homeward.
Such instances of parental affections, and such love of home and native land, may be heathen in origin,
but it seems to me that they are not unlike Christian in principle."

And the court declared that the Indians were illegally held by authority of the United States and in
violation of their right to life, liberty, and the; pursuit of happiness, and ordered their release from
custody.

This case is very similar to the case of Standing Bear and others.

'I think this Court should declare that sections 2145 and 2759 of the Administrative Code of 1917 are
unconstitutional, null and void, and that the petitioners are illegally restrained of their liberty, and that
they have been denied the equal protection of the laws, and order the respondents immediately to
liberate all of the petitioners.

Writ denied. [Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro., 39 Phil., 660(1919)]