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LAO H. ICHONG, in his own behalf and in behalf of other alien residents, corporations and partnerships adversely affected.

by Republic Act No.


1180, petitioner, vs. JAIME HERNANDEZ, Secretary of Finance, and MARCELINO SARMIENTO, City Treasurer of Manila, respondents.
G.R. No. L-7995
May 31, 1957
LABRADOR, J.:
FACTS: Republic Act No. 1180 is entitled "An Act to Regulate the Retail Business." In effect it nationalizes the retail trade business. The main provisions of the Act
are: (1) a prohibition against persons, not citizens of the Philippines, and against associations, partnerships, or corporations the capital of which are not wholly owned
by citizens of the Philippines, from engaging directly or indirectly in the retail trade; (2) an exception from the above prohibition in favor of aliens actually engaged in
said business on May 15, 1954, who are allowed to continue to engaged therein, unless their licenses are forfeited in accordance with the law, until their death or
voluntary retirement in case of natural persons, and for ten years after the approval of the Act or until the expiration of term in case of juridical persons; (3) an
exception therefrom in favor of citizens and juridical entities of the United States; (4) a provision for the forfeiture of licenses (to engage in the retail business) for
violation of the laws on nationalization, control weights and measures and labor and other laws relating to trade, commerce and industry; (5) a prohibition against the
establishment or opening by aliens actually engaged in the retail business of additional stores or branches of retail business, (6) a provision requiring aliens actually
engaged in the retail business to present for registration with the proper authorities a verified statement concerning their businesses, giving, among other matters, the
nature of the business, their assets and liabilities and their offices and principal offices of judicial entities; and (7) a provision allowing the heirs of aliens now engaged
in the retail business who die, to continue such business for a period of six months for purposes of liquidation.
Petitioner, for and in his own behalf and on behalf of other alien residents corporations and partnerships adversely affected by the provisions of Republic
Act. No. 1180, brought this action to obtain a judicial declaration that said Act is unconstitutional, and to enjoin the Secretary of Finance and all other persons acting
under him, particularly city and municipal treasurers, from enforcing its provisions. Petitioner attacks the constitutionality of the Act, contending that: (1) it denies to
alien residents the equal protection of the laws and deprives of their liberty and property without due process of law ; (2) the subject of the Act is not expressed or
comprehended in the title thereof; (3) the Act violates international and treaty obligations of the Republic of the Philippines; (4) the provisions of the Act against the
transmission by aliens of their retail business thru hereditary succession, and those requiring 100% Filipino capitalization for a corporation or entity to entitle it to
engage in the retail business, violate the spirit of Sections 1 and 5, Article XIII and Section 8 of Article XIV of the Constitution.
ISSUE: whether the disputed law violates the due process of law
HELD: No. IV. Preliminary consideration of legal principles involved
a. The police power.
There is no question that the Act was approved in the exercise of the police power, but petitioner claims that its exercise in this instance is attended by a violation of
the constitutional requirements of due process and equal protection of the laws. But before proceeding to the consideration and resolution of the ultimate issue
involved, it would be well to bear in mind certain basic and fundamental, albeit preliminary, considerations in the determination of the ever recurrent conflict between
police power and the guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws. What is the scope of police power, and how are the due process and equal
protection clauses related to it? What is the province and power of the legislature, and what is the function and duty of the courts? These consideration must be
clearly and correctly understood that their application to the facts of the case may be brought forth with clarity and the issue accordingly resolved.
It has been said the police power is so far - reaching in scope, that it has become almost impossible to limit its sweep. As it derives its existence from the very
existence of the State itself, it does not need to be expressed or defined in its scope; it is said to be co-extensive with self-protection and survival, and as such it is
the most positive and active of all governmental processes, the most essential, insistent and illimitable. Especially is it so under a modern democratic framework
where the demands of society and of nations have multiplied to almost unimaginable proportions; the field and scope of police power has become almost boundless,
just as the fields of public interest and public welfare have become almost all-embracing and have transcended human foresight. Otherwise stated, as we cannot
foresee the needs and demands of public interest and welfare in this constantly changing and progressive world, so we cannot delimit beforehand the extent or scope
of police power by which and through which the State seeks to attain or achieve interest or welfare. So it is that Constitutions do not define the scope or extent of the
police power of the State; what they do is to set forth the limitations thereof. The most important of these are the due process clause and the equal protection clause.
b. Limitations on police power.
The basic limitations of due process and equal protection are found in the following provisions of our Constitution:
SECTION 1.(1) No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor any person be denied the equal protection of the
laws. (Article III, Phil. Constitution)
These constitutional guarantees which embody the essence of individual liberty and freedom in democracies, are not limited to citizens alone but are admittedly
universal in their application, without regard to any differences of race, of color, or of nationality. (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, 30, L. ed. 220, 226.)
c. The, equal protection clause.
The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile discrimination or the oppression of inequality. It is not
intended to prohibit legislation, which is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by territory within which is to operate. It does not demand absolute equality
among residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities
enforced. The equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons
within such class, and reasonable grounds exists for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do not. (2 Cooley, Constitutional
Limitations, 824-825.)
d. The due process clause.
The due process clause has to do with the reasonableness of legislation enacted in pursuance of the police power. Is there public interest, a public purpose; is public
welfare involved? Is the Act reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the legislature's purpose; is it not unreasonable, arbitrary or oppressive? Is there
sufficient foundation or reason in connection with the matter involved; or has there not been a capricious use of the legislative power? Can the aims conceived be
achieved by the means used, or is it not merely an unjustified interference with private interest? These are the questions that we ask when the due process test is
applied.
The conflict, therefore, between police power and the guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws is more apparent than real. Properly related, the
power and the guarantees are supposed to coexist. The balancing is the essence or, shall it be said, the indispensable means for the attainment of legitimate
aspirations of any democratic society. There can be no absolute power, whoever exercise it, for that would be tyranny. Yet there can neither be absolute liberty, for
that would mean license and anarchy. So the State can deprive persons of life, liberty and property, provided there is due process of law; and persons may be
classified into classes and groups, provided everyone is given the equal protection of the law. The test or standard, as always, is reason. The police power legislation
must be firmly grounded on public interest and welfare, and a reasonable relation must exist between purposes and means. And if distinction and classification has
been made, there must be a reasonable basis for said distinction.
e. Legislative discretion not subject to judicial review.

Now, in this matter of equitable balancing, what is the proper place and role of the courts? It must not be overlooked, in the first place, that the legislature, which is
the constitutional repository of police power and exercises the prerogative of determining the policy of the State, is by force of circumstances primarily the judge of
necessity, adequacy or reasonableness and wisdom, of any law promulgated in the exercise of the police power, or of the measures adopted to implement the public
policy or to achieve public interest. On the other hand, courts, although zealous guardians of individual liberty and right, have nevertheless evinced a reluctance to
interfere with the exercise of the legislative prerogative. They have done so early where there has been a clear, patent or palpable arbitrary and unreasonable abuse
of the legislative prerogative. Moreover, courts are not supposed to override legitimate policy, and courts never inquire into the wisdom of the law.
V. Economic problems sought to be remedied
With the above considerations in mind, we will now proceed to delve directly into the issue involved. If the disputed legislation were merely a regulation, as its title
indicates, there would be no question that it falls within the legitimate scope of legislative power. But it goes further and prohibits a group of residents, the aliens, from
engaging therein. The problem becomes more complex because its subject is a common, trade or occupation, as old as society itself, which from the immemorial has
always been open to residents, irrespective of race, color or citizenship.
a. Importance of retail trade in the economy of the nation.
In a primitive economy where families produce all that they consume and consume all that they produce, the dealer, of course, is unknown. But as group life develops
and families begin to live in communities producing more than what they consume and needing an infinite number of things they do not produce, the dealer comes
into existence. As villages develop into big communities and specialization in production begins, the dealer's importance is enhanced. Under modern conditions and
standards of living, in which man's needs have multiplied and diversified to unlimited extents and proportions, the retailer comes as essential as the producer,
because thru him the infinite variety of articles, goods and needed for daily life are placed within the easy reach of consumers. Retail dealers perform the functions of
capillaries in the human body, thru which all the needed food and supplies are ministered to members of the communities comprising the nation.
There cannot be any question about the importance of the retailer in the life of the community. He ministers to the resident's daily needs, food in all its increasing
forms, and the various little gadgets and things needed for home and daily life. He provides his customers around his store with the rice or corn, the fish, the salt, the
vinegar, the spices needed for the daily cooking. He has cloths to sell, even the needle and the thread to sew them or darn the clothes that wear out. The retailer,
therefore, from the lowly peddler, the owner of a small sari-sari store, to the operator of a department store or, a supermarket is so much a part of day-to-day
existence.
b. The alien retailer's trait.
The alien retailer must have started plying his trades in this country in the bigger centers of population (Time there was when he was unknown in provincial towns
and villages). Slowly but gradually be invaded towns and villages; now he predominates in the cities and big centers of population. He even pioneers, in far away
nooks where the beginnings of community life appear, ministering to the daily needs of the residents and purchasing their agricultural produce for sale in the towns. It
is an undeniable fact that in many communities the alien has replaced the native retailer. He has shown in this trade, industry without limit, and the patience and
forbearance of a slave.
Derogatory epithets are hurled at him, but he laughs these off without murmur; insults of ill-bred and insolent neighbors and customers are made in his face, but he
heeds them not, and he forgets and forgives. The community takes note of him, as he appears to be harmless and extremely useful.
c. Alleged alien control and dominance.
There is a general feeling on the part of the public, which appears to be true to fact, about the controlling and dominant position that the alien retailer holds in the
nation's economy. Food and other essentials, clothing, almost all articles of daily life reach the residents mostly through him. In big cities and centers of population he
has acquired not only predominance, but apparent control over distribution of almost all kinds of goods, such as lumber, hardware, textiles, groceries, drugs, sugar,
flour, garlic, and scores of other goods and articles. And were it not for some national corporations like the Naric, the Namarco, the Facomas and the Acefa, his
control over principal foods and products would easily become full and complete.
Petitioner denies that there is alien predominance and control in the retail trade. In one breath it is said that the fear is unfounded and the threat is imagined; in
another, it is charged that the law is merely the result of radicalism and pure and unabashed nationalism. Alienage, it is said, is not an element of control; also so
many unmanageable factors in the retail business make control virtually impossible. The first argument which brings up an issue of fact merits serious consideration.
The others are matters of opinion within the exclusive competence of the legislature and beyond our prerogative to pass upon and decide.
The best evidence are the statistics on the retail trade, which put down the figures in black and white. Between the constitutional convention year (1935), when the
fear of alien domination and control of the retail trade already filled the minds of our leaders with fears and misgivings, and the year of the enactment of the
nationalization of the retail trade act (1954), official statistics unmistakably point out to the ever-increasing dominance and control by the alien of the retail trade.
The above figures reveal that in percentage distribution of assests and gross sales, alien participation has steadily increased during the years. It is true, of course,
that Filipinos have the edge in the number of retailers, but aliens more than make up for the numerical gap through their assests and gross sales which average
between six and seven times those of the very many Filipino retailers. Numbers in retailers, here, do not imply superiority; the alien invests more capital, buys and
sells six to seven times more, and gains much more. The same official report, pointing out to the known predominance of foreign elements in the retail trade, remarks
that the Filipino retailers were largely engaged in minor retailer enterprises. As observed by respondents, the native investment is thinly spread, and the Filipino
retailer is practically helpless in matters of capital, credit, price and supply.
d. Alien control and threat, subject of apprehension in Constitutional convention.
It is this domination and control, which we believe has been sufficiently shown to exist, that is the legislature's target in the enactment of the disputed nationalization
would never have been adopted. The framers of our Constitution also believed in the existence of this alien dominance and control when they approved a resolution
categorically declaring among other things, that "it is the sense of the Convention that the public interest requires the nationalization of the retail trade; . . . ." (II
Aruego, The Framing of the Philippine Constitution, 662-663, quoted on page 67 of Petitioner.) That was twenty-two years ago; and the events since then have not
been either pleasant or comforting. Dean Sinco of the University of the Philippines College of Law, commenting on the patrimony clause of the Preamble opines that
the fathers of our Constitution were merely translating the general preoccupation of Filipinos "of the dangers from alien interests that had already brought under their
control the commercial and other economic activities of the country" (Sinco, Phil. Political Law, 10th ed., p. 114); and analyzing the concern of the members of the
constitutional convention for the economic life of the citizens, in connection with the nationalistic provisions of the Constitution, he says:
But there has been a general feeling that alien dominance over the economic life of the country is not desirable and that if such a situation should remain,
political independence alone is no guarantee to national stability and strength. Filipino private capital is not big enough to wrest from alien hands the
control of the national economy. Moreover, it is but of recent formation and hence, largely inexperienced, timid and hesitant. Under such conditions, the
government as the instrumentality of the national will, has to step in and assume the initiative, if not the leadership, in the struggle for the economic
freedom of the nation in somewhat the same way that it did in the crusade for political freedom. Thus . . . it (the Constitution) envisages an organized
movement for the protection of the nation not only against the possibilities of armed invasion but also against its economic subjugation by alien interests in
the economic field. (Phil. Political Law by Sinco, 10th ed., p. 476.)
Belief in the existence of alien control and predominance is felt in other quarters. Filipino businessmen, manufacturers and producers believe so; they fear the
dangers coming from alien control, and they express sentiments of economic independence. Witness thereto is Resolution No. 1, approved on July 18, 1953, of the
Fifth National convention of Filipino Businessmen, and a similar resolution, approved on March 20, 1954, of the Second National Convention of Manufacturers and

Producers. The man in the street also believes, and fears, alien predominance and control; so our newspapers, which have editorially pointed out not only to control
but to alien stranglehold. We, therefore, find alien domination and control to be a fact, a reality proved by official statistics, and felt by all the sections and groups that
compose the Filipino community.
e. Dangers of alien control and dominance in retail.
But the dangers arising from alien participation in the retail trade does not seem to lie in the predominance alone; there is a prevailing feeling that such predominance
may truly endanger the national interest. With ample capital, unity of purpose and action and thorough organization, alien retailers and merchants can act in such
complete unison and concert on such vital matters as the fixing of prices, the determination of the amount of goods or articles to be made available in the market, and
even the choice of the goods or articles they would or would not patronize or distribute, that fears of dislocation of the national economy and of the complete
subservience of national economy and of the consuming public are not entirely unfounded. Nationals, producers and consumers alike can be placed completely at
their mercy. This is easily illustrated. Suppose an article of daily use is desired to be prescribed by the aliens, because the producer or importer does not offer them
sufficient profits, or because a new competing article offers bigger profits for its introduction. All that aliens would do is to agree to refuse to sell the first article,
eliminating it from their stocks, offering the new one as a substitute. Hence, the producers or importers of the prescribed article, or its consumers, find the article
suddenly out of the prescribed article, or its consumers, find the article suddenly out of circulation. Freedom of trade is thus curtailed and free enterprise
correspondingly suppressed.
We can even go farther than theoretical illustrations to show the pernicious influences of alien domination. Grave abuses have characterized the exercise of the retail
trade by aliens. It is a fact within judicial notice, which courts of justice may not properly overlook or ignore in the interests of truth and justice, that there exists a
general feeling on the part of the public that alien participation in the retail trade has been attended by a pernicious and intolerable practices, the mention of a few of
which would suffice for our purposes; that at some time or other they have cornered the market of essential commodities, like corn and rice, creating artificial
scarcities to justify and enhance profits to unreasonable proportions; that they have hoarded essential foods to the inconvenience and prejudice of the consuming
public, so much so that the Government has had to establish the National Rice and Corn Corporation to save the public from their continuous hoarding practices and
tendencies; that they have violated price control laws, especially on foods and essential commodities, such that the legislature had to enact a law (Sec. 9, Republic
Act No. 1168), authorizing their immediate and automatic deportation for price control convictions; that they have secret combinations among themselves to control
prices, cheating the operation of the law of supply and demand; that they have connived to boycott honest merchants and traders who would not cater or yield to their
demands, in unlawful restraint of freedom of trade and enterprise. They are believed by the public to have evaded tax laws, smuggled goods and money into and out
of the land, violated import and export prohibitions, control laws and the like, in derision and contempt of lawful authority. It is also believed that they have engaged in
corrupting public officials with fabulous bribes, indirectly causing the prevalence of graft and corruption in the Government. As a matter of fact appeals to
unscrupulous aliens have been made both by the Government and by their own lawful diplomatic representatives, action which impliedly admits a prevailing feeling
about the existence of many of the above practices.
The circumstances above set forth create well founded fears that worse things may come in the future. The present dominance of the alien retailer, especially in the
big centers of population, therefore, becomes a potential source of danger on occasions of war or other calamity. We do not have here in this country isolated groups
of harmless aliens retailing goods among nationals; what we have are well organized and powerful groups that dominate the distribution of goods and commodities in
the communities and big centers of population. They owe no allegiance or loyalty to the State, and the State cannot rely upon them in times of crisis or emergency.
While the national holds his life, his person and his property subject to the needs of his country, the alien may even become the potential enemy of the State.
f. Law enacted in interest of national economic survival and security.
We are fully satisfied upon a consideration of all the facts and circumstances that the disputed law is not the product of racial hostility, prejudice or discrimination, but
the expression of the legitimate desire and determination of the people, thru their authorized representatives, to free the nation from the economic situation that has
unfortunately been saddled upon it rightly or wrongly, to its disadvantage. The law is clearly in the interest of the public, nay of the national security itself, and
indisputably falls within the scope of police power, thru which and by which the State insures its existence and security and the supreme welfare of its citizens.
VI. The Equal Protection Limitation
a. Objections to alien participation in retail trade. The next question that now poses solution is, Does the law deny the equal protection of the laws? As pointed out
above, the mere fact of alienage is the root and cause of the distinction between the alien and the national as a trader. The alien resident owes allegiance to the
country of his birth or his adopted country; his stay here is for personal convenience; he is attracted by the lure of gain and profit. His aim or purpose of stay, we
admit, is neither illegitimate nor immoral, but he is naturally lacking in that spirit of loyalty and enthusiasm for this country where he temporarily stays and makes his
living, or of that spirit of regard, sympathy and consideration for his Filipino customers as would prevent him from taking advantage of their weakness and exploiting
them. The faster he makes his pile, the earlier can the alien go back to his beloved country and his beloved kin and countrymen. The experience of the country is that
the alien retailer has shown such utter disregard for his customers and the people on whom he makes his profit, that it has been found necessary to adopt the
legislation, radical as it may seem.
Another objection to the alien retailer in this country is that he never really makes a genuine contribution to national income and wealth. He undoubtedly contributes
to general distribution, but the gains and profits he makes are not invested in industries that would help the country's economy and increase national wealth. The
alien's interest in this country being merely transient and temporary, it would indeed be ill-advised to continue entrusting the very important function of retail
distribution to his hands.
The practices resorted to by aliens in the control of distribution, as already pointed out above, their secret manipulations of stocks of commodities and prices, their
utter disregard of the welfare of their customers and of the ultimate happiness of the people of the nation of which they are mere guests, which practices,
manipulations and disregard do not attend the exercise of the trade by the nationals, show the existence of real and actual, positive and fundamental differences
between an alien and a national which fully justify the legislative classification adopted in the retail trade measure. These differences are certainly a valid reason for
the State to prefer the national over the alien in the retail trade. We would be doing violence to fact and reality were we to hold that no reason or ground for a
legitimate distinction can be found between one and the other.
b. Difference in alien aims and purposes sufficient basis for distinction.
The above objectionable characteristics of the exercise of the retail trade by the aliens, which are actual and real, furnish sufficient grounds for legislative
classification of retail traders into nationals and aliens. Some may disagree with the wisdom of the legislature's classification. To this we answer, that this is the
prerogative of the law-making power. Since the Court finds that the classification is actual, real and reasonable, and all persons of one class are treated alike, and as
it cannot be said that the classification is patently unreasonable and unfounded, it is in duty bound to declare that the legislature acted within its legitimate prerogative
and it can not declare that the act transcends the limit of equal protection established by the Constitution.
Broadly speaking, the power of the legislature to make distinctions and classifications among persons is not curtailed or denied by the equal protection of the laws
clause. The legislative power admits of a wide scope of discretion, and a law can be violative of the constitutional limitation only when the classification is without
reasonable basis. In addition to the authorities we have earlier cited, we can also refer to the case of Linsey vs. Natural Carbonic Fas Co. (1911), 55 L. ed., 369,
which clearly and succinctly defined the application of equal protection clause to a law sought to be voided as contrary thereto:
. . . . "1. The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not take from the state the power to classify in the adoption of police laws, but
admits of the exercise of the wide scope of discretion in that regard, and avoids what is done only when it is without any reasonable basis, and therefore is

purely arbitrary. 2. A classification having some reasonable basis does not offend against that clause merely because it is not made with mathematical
nicety, or because in practice it results in some inequality. 3. When the classification in such a law is called in question, if any state of facts reasonably can
be conceived that would sustain it, the existence of that state of facts at the time the law was enacted must be assumed. 4. One who assails the
classification in such a law must carry the burden of showing that it does not rest upon any reasonable basis but is essentially arbitrary."
c. Authorities recognizing citizenship as basis for classification.
The question as to whether or not citizenship is a legal and valid ground for classification has already been affirmatively decided in this jurisdiction as well as in
various courts in the United States. In the case of Smith Bell & Co. vs. Natividad, 40 Phil. 136, where the validity of Act No. 2761 of the Philippine Legislature was in
issue, because of a condition therein limiting the ownership of vessels engaged in coastwise trade to corporations formed by citizens of the Philippine Islands or the
United States, thus denying the right to aliens, it was held that the Philippine Legislature did not violate the equal protection clause of the Philippine Bill of Rights. The
legislature in enacting the law had as ultimate purpose the encouragement of Philippine shipbuilding and the safety for these Islands from foreign interlopers. We
held that this was a valid exercise of the police power, and all presumptions are in favor of its constitutionality. In substance, we held that the limitation of domestic
ownership of vessels engaged in coastwise trade to citizens of the Philippines does not violate the equal protection of the law and due process or law clauses of the
Philippine Bill of Rights. In rendering said decision we quoted with approval the concurring opinion of Justice Johnson in the case of Gibbons vs. Ogden, 9 Wheat., I,
as follows:
"Licensing acts, in fact, in legislation, are universally restraining acts; as, for example, acts licensing gaming houses, retailers of spirituous liquors, etc. The
act, in this instance, is distinctly of that character, and forms part of an extensive system, the object of which is to encourage American shipping, and place
them on an equal footing with the shipping of other nations. Almost every commercial nation reserves to its own subjects a monopoly of its coasting trade;
and a countervailing privilege in favor of American shipping is contemplated, in the whole legislation of the United States on this subject. It is not to give
the vessel an American character, that the license is granted; that effect has been correctly attributed to the act of her enrollment. But it is to confer on her
American privileges, as contra distinguished from foreign; and to preserve the Government from fraud by foreigners; in surreptitiously intruding themselves
into the American commercial marine, as well as frauds upon the revenue in the trade coastwise, that this whole system is projected."
The rule in general is as follows:
Aliens are under no special constitutional protection which forbids a classification otherwise justified simply because the limitation of the class falls along
the lines of nationality. That would be requiring a higher degree of protection for aliens as a class than for similar classes than for similar classes of
American citizens. Broadly speaking, the difference in status between citizens and aliens constitutes a basis for reasonable classification in the exercise of
police power. (2 Am., Jur. 468-469.)
In Commonwealth vs. Hana, 81 N. E. 149 (Massachusetts, 1907), a statute on the licensing of hawkers and peddlers, which provided that no one can obtain a
license unless he is, or has declared his intention, to become a citizen of the United States, was held valid, for the following reason: It may seem wise to the
legislature to limit the business of those who are supposed to have regard for the welfare, good order and happiness of the community, and the court cannot question
this judgment and conclusion. In Bloomfield vs. State, 99 N. E. 309 (Ohio, 1912), a statute which prevented certain persons, among them aliens, from engaging in the
traffic of liquors, was found not to be the result of race hatred, or in hospitality, or a deliberate purpose to discriminate, but was based on the belief that an alien
cannot be sufficiently acquainted with "our institutions and our life as to enable him to appreciate the relation of this particular business to our entire social fabric", and
was not, therefore, invalid. In Ohio ex rel. Clarke vs. Deckebach, 274 U. S. 392, 71 L. ed. 115 (1926), the U.S. Supreme Court had under consideration an ordinance
of the city of Cincinnati prohibiting the issuance of licenses (pools and billiard rooms) to aliens. It held that plainly irrational discrimination against aliens is prohibited,
but it does not follow that alien race and allegiance may not bear in some instances such a relation to a legitimate object of legislation as to be made the basis of
permitted classification, and that it could not state that the legislation is clearly wrong; and that latitude must be allowed for the legislative appraisement of local
conditions and for the legislative choice of methods for controlling an apprehended evil. The case of State vs. Carrol, 124 N. E. 129 (Ohio, 1919) is a parallel case to
the one at bar. In Asakura vs. City of Seattle, 210 P. 30 (Washington, 1922), the business of pawn brooking was considered as having tendencies injuring public
interest, and limiting it to citizens is within the scope of police power. A similar statute denying aliens the right to engage in auctioneering was also sustained in Wright
vs. May, L.R.A., 1915 P. 151 (Minnesota, 1914). So also in Anton vs. Van Winkle, 297 F. 340 (Oregon, 1924), the court said that aliens are judicially known to have
different interests, knowledge, attitude, psychology and loyalty, hence the prohibitions of issuance of licenses to them for the business of pawnbroker, pool, billiard,
card room, dance hall, is not an infringement of constitutional rights. In Templar vs. Michigan State Board of Examiners, 90 N.W. 1058 (Michigan, 1902), a law
prohibiting the licensing of aliens as barbers was held void, but the reason for the decision was the court's findings that the exercise of the business by the aliens
does not in any way affect the morals, the health, or even the convenience of the community. In Takahashi vs. Fish and Game Commission, 92 L. ed. 1479 (1947), a
California statute banning the issuance of commercial fishing licenses to person ineligible to citizenship was held void, because the law conflicts with Federal power
over immigration, and because there is no public interest in the mere claim of ownership of the waters and the fish in them, so there was no adequate justification for
the discrimination. It further added that the law was the outgrowth of antagonism toward the persons of Japanese ancestry. However, two Justices dissented on the
theory that fishing rights have been treated traditionally as natural resources. In Fraser vs. McConway & Tarley Co., 82 Fed. 257 (Pennsylvania, 1897), a state law
which imposed a tax on every employer of foreign-born unnaturalized male persons over 21 years of age, was declared void because the court found that there was
no reason for the classification and the tax was an arbitrary deduction from the daily wage of an employee.
d. Authorities contra explained.
It is true that some decisions of the Federal court and of the State courts in the United States hold that the distinction between aliens and citizens is not a valid
ground for classification. But in this decision the laws declared invalid were found to be either arbitrary, unreasonable or capricious, or were the result or product of
racial antagonism and hostility, and there was no question of public interest involved or pursued. In Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, 70 L. ed. 1059 (1925), the United
States Supreme Court declared invalid a Philippine law making unlawful the keeping of books of account in any language other than English, Spanish or any other
local dialect, but the main reasons for the decisions are: (1) that if Chinese were driven out of business there would be no other system of distribution, and (2) that the
Chinese would fall prey to all kinds of fraud, because they would be deprived of their right to be advised of their business and to direct its conduct. The real reason for
the decision, therefore, is the court's belief that no public benefit would be derived from the operations of the law and on the other hand it would deprive Chinese of
something indispensable for carrying on their business. In Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, 30 L. ed 220 (1885) an ordinance conferring powers on officials to withhold consent
in the operation of laundries both as to persons and place, was declared invalid, but the court said that the power granted was arbitrary, that there was no reason for
the discrimination which attended the administration and implementation of the law, and that the motive thereof was mere racial hostility. In State vs. Montgomery, 47
A. 165 (Maine, 1900), a law prohibiting aliens to engage as hawkers and peddlers was declared void, because the discrimination bore no reasonable and just relation
to the act in respect to which the classification was proposed.
The case at bar is radically different, and the facts make them so. As we already have said, aliens do not naturally possess the sympathetic consideration and regard
for the customers with whom they come in daily contact, nor the patriotic desire to help bolster the nation's economy, except in so far as it enhances their profit, nor
the loyalty and allegiance which the national owes to the land. These limitations on the qualifications of the aliens have been shown on many occasions and
instances, especially in times of crisis and emergency. We can do no better than borrow the language of Anton vs. Van Winkle, 297 F. 340, 342, to drive home the
reality and significance of the distinction between the alien and the national, thus:

. . . . It may be judicially known, however, that alien coming into this country are without the intimate knowledge of our laws, customs, and usages that our
own people have. So it is likewise known that certain classes of aliens are of different psychology from our fellow countrymen. Furthermore, it is natural
and reasonable to suppose that the foreign born, whose allegiance is first to their own country, and whose ideals of governmental environment and control
have been engendered and formed under entirely different regimes and political systems, have not the same inspiration for the public weal, nor are they
as well disposed toward the United States, as those who by citizenship, are a part of the government itself. Further enlargement, is unnecessary. I have
said enough so that obviously it cannot be affirmed with absolute confidence that the Legislature was without plausible reason for making the
classification, and therefore appropriate discriminations against aliens as it relates to the subject of legislation. . . . .
VII. The Due Process of Law Limitation.
a. Reasonability, the test of the limitation; determination by legislature decisive.
We now come to due process as a limitation on the exercise of the police power. It has been stated by the highest authority in the United States that:
. . . . And the guaranty of due process, as has often been held, demands only that the law shall not be unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, and that the
means selected shall have a real and substantial relation to the subject sought to be attained. . . . .
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So far as the requirement of due process is concerned and in the absence of other constitutional restriction a state is free to adopt whatever economic
policy may reasonably be deemed to promote public welfare, and to enforce that policy by legislation adapted to its purpose. The courts are without
authority either to declare such policy, or, when it is declared by the legislature, to override it. If the laws passed are seen to have a reasonable relation to
a proper legislative purpose, and are neither arbitrary nor discriminatory, the requirements of due process are satisfied, and judicial determination to that
effect renders a court functus officio. . . . (Nebbia vs. New York, 78 L. ed. 940, 950, 957.)
Another authority states the principle thus:
. . . . Too much significance cannot be given to the word "reasonable" in considering the scope of the police power in a constitutional sense, for the test
used to determine the constitutionality of the means employed by the legislature is to inquire whether the restriction it imposes on rights secured to
individuals by the Bill of Rights are unreasonable, and not whether it imposes any restrictions on such rights. . . .
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. . . . A statute to be within this power must also be reasonable in its operation upon the persons whom it affects, must not be for the annoyance of a
particular class, and must not be unduly oppressive. (11 Am. Jur. Sec. 302., 1:1)- 1074-1075.)
In the case of Lawton vs. Steele, 38 L. ed. 385, 388. it was also held:
. . . . To justify the state in thus interposing its authority in behalf of the public, it must appear, first, that the interests of the public generally, as
distinguished from those of a particular class, require such interference; and second, that the means are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of
the purpose, and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. . . .
Prata Undertaking Co. vs. State Board of Embalming, 104 ALR, 389, 395, fixes this test of constitutionality:
In determining whether a given act of the Legislature, passed in the exercise of the police power to regulate the operation of a business, is or is not
constitutional, one of the first questions to be considered by the court is whether the power as exercised has a sufficient foundation in reason in
connection with the matter involved, or is an arbitrary, oppressive, and capricious use of that power, without substantial relation to the health, safety,
morals, comfort, and general welfare of the public.
b. Petitioner's argument considered.
Petitioner's main argument is that retail is a common, ordinary occupation, one of those privileges long ago recognized as essential to the orderly pursuant of
happiness by free men; that it is a gainful and honest occupation and therefore beyond the power of the legislature to prohibit and penalized. This arguments
overlooks fact and reality and rests on an incorrect assumption and premise, i.e., that in this country where the occupation is engaged in by petitioner, it has been so
engaged by him, by the alien in an honest creditable and unimpeachable manner, without harm or injury to the citizens and without ultimate danger to their economic
peace, tranquility and welfare. But the Legislature has found, as we have also found and indicated, that the privilege has been so grossly abused by the alien, thru
the illegitimate use of pernicious designs and practices, that he now enjoys a monopolistic control of the occupation and threatens a deadly stranglehold on the
nation's economy endangering the national security in times of crisis and emergency.
The real question at issue, therefore, is not that posed by petitioner, which overlooks and ignores the facts and circumstances, but this, Is the exclusion in the future
of aliens from the retail trade unreasonable. Arbitrary capricious, taking into account the illegitimate and pernicious form and manner in which the aliens have
heretofore engaged therein? As thus correctly stated the answer is clear. The law in question is deemed absolutely necessary to bring about the desired legislative
objective, i.e., to free national economy from alien control and dominance. It is not necessarily unreasonable because it affects private rights and privileges (11 Am.
Jur. pp. 1080-1081.) The test of reasonableness of a law is the appropriateness or adequacy under all circumstances of the means adopted to carry out its purpose
into effect (Id.) Judged by this test, disputed legislation, which is not merely reasonable but actually necessary, must be considered not to have infringed the
constitutional limitation of reasonableness.
The necessity of the law in question is explained in the explanatory note that accompanied the bill, which later was enacted into law:
This bill proposes to regulate the retail business. Its purpose is to prevent persons who are not citizens of the Philippines from having a strangle hold upon
our economic life. If the persons who control this vital artery of our economic life are the ones who owe no allegiance to this Republic, who have no
profound devotion to our free institutions, and who have no permanent stake in our people's welfare, we are not really the masters of our destiny. All
aspects of our life, even our national security, will be at the mercy of other people.
In seeking to accomplish the foregoing purpose, we do not propose to deprive persons who are not citizens of the Philippines of their means of livelihood.
While this bill seeks to take away from the hands of persons who are not citizens of the Philippines a power that can be wielded to paralyze all aspects of
our national life and endanger our national security it respects existing rights.
The approval of this bill is necessary for our national survival.
If political independence is a legitimate aspiration of a people, then economic independence is none the less legitimate. Freedom and liberty are not real and positive
if the people are subject to the economic control and domination of others, especially if not of their own race or country. The removal and eradication of the shackles
of foreign economic control and domination, is one of the noblest motives that a national legislature may pursue. It is impossible to conceive that legislation that
seeks to bring it about can infringe the constitutional limitation of due process. The attainment of a legitimate aspiration of a people can never be beyond the limits of
legislative authority.
c. Law expressly held by Constitutional Convention to be within the sphere of legislative action.
The framers of the Constitution could not have intended to impose the constitutional restrictions of due process on the attainment of such a noble motive as freedom
from economic control and domination, thru the exercise of the police power. The fathers of the Constitution must have given to the legislature full authority and
power to enact legislation that would promote the supreme happiness of the people, their freedom and liberty. On the precise issue now before us, they expressly
made their voice clear; they adopted a resolution expressing their belief that the legislation in question is within the scope of the legislative power. Thus they declared
the their Resolution:

That it is the sense of the Convention that the public interest requires the nationalization of retail trade; but it abstain from approving the amendment
introduced by the Delegate for Manila, Mr. Araneta, and others on this matter because it is convinced that the National Assembly is authorized to
promulgate a law which limits to Filipino and American citizens the privilege to engage in the retail trade. (11 Aruego, The Framing of the Philippine
Constitution, quoted on pages 66 and 67 of the Memorandum for the Petitioner.)
It would do well to refer to the nationalistic tendency manifested in various provisions of the Constitution. Thus in the preamble, a principle objective is the
conservation of the patrimony of the nation and as corollary the provision limiting to citizens of the Philippines the exploitation, development and utilization of its
natural resources. And in Section 8 of Article XIV, it is provided that "no franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of the public utility
shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines." The nationalization of the retail trade is only a continuance of the nationalistic protective policy laid down as a
primary objective of the Constitution. Can it be said that a law imbued with the same purpose and spirit underlying many of the provisions of the Constitution is
unreasonable, invalid and unconstitutional?
The seriousness of the Legislature's concern for the plight of the nationals as manifested in the approval of the radical measures is, therefore, fully justified. It would
have been recreant to its duties towards the country and its people would it view the sorry plight of the nationals with the complacency and refuse or neglect to adopt
a remedy commensurate with the demands of public interest and national survival. As the repository of the sovereign power of legislation, the Legislature was in duty
bound to face the problem and meet, through adequate measures, the danger and threat that alien domination of retail trade poses to national economy.
d. Provisions of law not unreasonable.
A cursory study of the provisions of the law immediately reveals how tolerant, how reasonable the Legislature has been. The law is made prospective and recognizes
the right and privilege of those already engaged in the occupation to continue therein during the rest of their lives; and similar recognition of the right to continue is
accorded associations of aliens. The right or privilege is denied to those only upon conviction of certain offenses. In the deliberations of the Court on this case,
attention was called to the fact that the privilege should not have been denied to children and heirs of aliens now engaged in the retail trade. Such provision would
defeat the law itself, its aims and purposes. Beside, the exercise of legislative discretion is not subject to judicial review. It is well settled that the Court will not inquire
into the motives of the Legislature, nor pass upon general matters of legislative judgment. The Legislature is primarily the judge of the necessity of an enactment or of
any of its provisions, and every presumption is in favor of its validity, and though the Court may hold views inconsistent with the wisdom of the law, it may not annul
the legislation if not palpably in excess of the legislative power. Furthermore, the test of the validity of a law attacked as a violation of due process, is not its
reasonableness, but its unreasonableness, and we find the provisions are not unreasonable. These principles also answer various other arguments raised against
the law, some of which are: that the law does not promote general welfare; that thousands of aliens would be thrown out of employment; that prices will increase
because of the elimination of competition; that there is no need for the legislation; that adequate replacement is problematical; that there may be general breakdown;
that there would be repercussions from foreigners; etc. Many of these arguments are directed against the supposed wisdom of the law which lies solely within the
legislative prerogative; they do not import invalidity.
VIII. Alleged defect in the title of the law
A subordinate ground or reason for the alleged invalidity of the law is the claim that the title thereof is misleading or deceptive, as it conceals the real purpose of the
bill which is to nationalize the retail business and prohibit aliens from engaging therein. The constitutional provision which is claimed to be violated in Section 21 (1) of
Article VI, which reads:
No bill which may be enacted in the law shall embrace more than one subject which shall be expressed in the title of the bill.
What the above provision prohibits is duplicity, that is, if its title completely fails to appraise the legislators or the public of the nature, scope and consequences of the
law or its operation (I Sutherland, Statutory Construction, Sec. 1707, p. 297.) A cursory consideration of the title and the provisions of the bill fails to show the
presence of duplicity. It is true that the term "regulate" does not and may not readily and at first glance convey the idea of "nationalization" and "prohibition", which
terms express the two main purposes and objectives of the law. But "regulate" is a broader term than either prohibition or nationalization. Both of these have always
been included within the term regulation.
Under the title of an act to "regulate", the sale of intoxicating liquors, the Legislature may prohibit the sale of intoxicating liquors. (Sweet vs. City of
Wabash, 41 Ind., 7; quoted in page 41 of Answer.)
Within the meaning of the Constitution requiring that the subject of every act of the Legislature shall be stated in the tale, the title to regulate the sale of
intoxicating liquors, etc." sufficiently expresses the subject of an act prohibiting the sale of such liquors to minors and to persons in the habit of getting
intoxicated; such matters being properly included within the subject of regulating the sale. (Williams vs. State, 48 Ind. 306, 308, quoted in p. 42 of Answer.)
The word "regulate" is of broad import, and necessarily implies some degree of restraint and prohibition of acts usually done in connection with the thing to
be regulated. While word regulate does not ordinarily convey meaning of prohibit, there is no absolute reason why it should not have such meaning when
used in delegating police power in connection with a thing the best or only efficacious regulation of which involves suppression. (State vs. Morton, 162 So.
718, 182 La. 887, quoted in p. 42 of Answer.)
The general rule is for the use of general terms in the title of a bill; it has also been said that the title need not be an index to the entire contents of the law (I
Sutherland, Statutory Construction, See. 4803, p. 345.) The above rule was followed the title of the Act in question adopted the more general term "regulate" instead
of "nationalize" or "prohibit". Furthermore, the law also contains other rules for the regulation of the retail trade which may not be included in the terms
"nationalization" or "prohibition"; so were the title changed from "regulate" to "nationalize" or "prohibit", there would have been many provisions not falling within the
scope of the title which would have made the Act invalid. The use of the term "regulate", therefore, is in accord with the principle governing the drafting of statutes,
under which a simple or general term should be adopted in the title, which would include all other provisions found in the body of the Act.
One purpose of the constitutional directive that the subject of a bill should be embraced in its title is to apprise the legislators of the purposes, the nature and scope of
its provisions, and prevent the enactment into law of matters which have received the notice, action and study of the legislators or of the public. In the case at bar it
cannot be claimed that the legislators have been appraised of the nature of the law, especially the nationalization and the prohibition provisions. The legislators took
active interest in the discussion of the law, and a great many of the persons affected by the prohibitions in the law conducted a campaign against its approval. It
cannot be claimed, therefore, that the reasons for declaring the law invalid ever existed. The objection must therefore, be overruled.
IX. Alleged violation of international treaties and obligations
Another subordinate argument against the validity of the law is the supposed violation thereby of the Charter of the United Nations and of the Declaration of the
Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. We find no merit in the Nations Charter imposes no strict or legal obligations regarding the rights
and freedom of their subjects (Hans Kelsen, The Law of the United Nations, 1951 ed. pp. 29-32), and the Declaration of Human Rights contains nothing more than a
mere recommendation or a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations (Id. p. 39.) That such is the import of the United Nations Charter aid of
the Declaration of Human Rights can be inferred the fact that members of the United Nations Organizations, such as Norway and Denmark, prohibit foreigners from
engaging in retail trade, and in most nations of the world laws against foreigners engaged in domestic trade are adopted.
The Treaty of Amity between the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of China of April 18, 1947 is also claimed to be violated by the law in question. All that
the treaty guarantees is equality of treatment to the Chinese nationals "upon the same terms as the nationals of any other country." But the nationals of China are not
discriminating against because nationals of all other countries, except those of the United States, who are granted special rights by the Constitution, are all prohibited
from engaging in the retail trade. But even supposing that the law infringes upon the said treaty, the treaty is always subject to qualification or amendment by a

subsequent law (U. S. vs. Thompson, 258, Fed. 257, 260), and the same may never curtail or restrict the scope of the police power of the State (plaston vs.
Pennsylvania, 58 L. ed. 539.)
X. Conclusion
Resuming what we have set forth above we hold that the disputed law was enacted to remedy a real actual threat and danger to national economy posed by alien
dominance and control of the retail business and free citizens and country from dominance and control; that the enactment clearly falls within the scope of the police
power of the State, thru which and by which it protects its own personality and insures its security and future; that the law does not violate the equal protection clause
of the Constitution because sufficient grounds exist for the distinction between alien and citizen in the exercise of the occupation regulated, nor the due process of
law clause, because the law is prospective in operation and recognizes the privilege of aliens already engaged in the occupation and reasonably protects their
privilege; that the wisdom and efficacy of the law to carry out its objectives appear to us to be plainly evident as a matter of fact it seems not only appropriate but
actually necessary and that in any case such matter falls within the prerogative of the Legislature, with whose power and discretion the Judicial department of the
Government may not interfere; that the provisions of the law are clearly embraced in the title, and this suffers from no duplicity and has not misled the legislators or
the segment of the population affected; and that it cannot be said to be void for supposed conflict with treaty obligations because no treaty has actually been entered
into on the subject and the police power may not be curtailed or surrendered by any treaty or any other conventional agreement.
PHILIPPINE PHOSPHATE FERTILIZER CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. HON. RUBEN D. TORRES, Secretary of Labor and Employment, HON. RODOLFO S.
MILADO, Department of Labor and Employment Mediator-Arbiter for Region VIII, Tacloban, City, and PHILPHOS MOVEMENT FOR PROGRESS, INC.
(PMPI), respondents.
G.R. No. L-98050 March 17, 1994
BELLOSILLO, J.:
FACTS: On 7 July 1989, Philphos Movement for Progress, Inc. (PMPI), filed with the DOLE a petition for certification election among the supervisory employees of
petitioner, alleging that as a supervisory union duly registered with the DOLE it was seeking to represent the supervisory employees of Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer
Corporation.
The petition for certification election filed by PMPI was not opposed by PHILPHOS. In fact, PHILPHOS submitted a position paper with the MediatorArbiter stating that its management welcomed the creation of a supervisory employees' union provided the necessary requisites of law were properly observed, but
exempting from the union its superintendents who were managerial and not supervisory employees as they managed a division, subdivision or section, and were
vested with powers or prerogatives to lay down and execute management policies. PHILPHOS also asserted that its professional or technical employees were not
within the definition of supervisory employees under the Labor Code as they were immediately under the direction and supervision of its superintendents and
supervisors. Moreover, the professional and technical employees did not have a staff of workers under them. Consequently, petitioner prayed for the exclusion of
its superintendents and professional/technical employees from the PMPI supervisory union.
On 13 October 1989, Mediator-Arbiter Milado issued an order directing the holding of a certification election among the supervisory employees of
petitioner, excluding therefrom the superintendents and the professional and technical employees. He also directed the parties to attend the pre-election conference
on 19 April 1990 for the determination of the mechanics of the election process and the qualifications and eligibility of those allowed to vote.
PMPI filed an amended petition with the Mediator-Arbiter wherein it sought to represent not only the supervisory employees of petitioner but also
its professional/technical and confidential employees. The amended petition was filed in view of the amendment of the PMPI Construction which included in its
membership the professional/technical and confidential employees.
On 14 December 1989, the parties therein agreed to submit their respective position papers and to consider the amended petition submitted for decision
on the basis thereof and related documents.
On 28 March 1990, Mediator-Arbiter Milado issued an order granting the petition and directing the holding of a certification election among
the "supervisory, professional (engineers, analysts, mechanics, accountants, nurses, midwives, etc.), technical, and confidential employees" to comprise the
proposed bargaining unit.
PHILPHOS appealed the order to the Secretary of Labor who rendered a decision dismissing the appeal. PHILPHOS moved for reconsideration but the
same was denied; hence, the instant petition alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of public respondents in rendering the assailed rulings.
ISSUES: (1) whether it was denied due process in the proceedings before respondent Mediator-Arbiter; and,
(2) whether its professional/technical and confidential employees may validly join respondent PMPI union which is composed of supervisors.
HELD: 1. No. PHILPHOS claims that it was denied due process when respondent Mediator-Arbiter granted the amended petition of respondent PMPI without
according PHILPHOS a new opportunity to be heard.
The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard or, as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one's side or an
opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. Where, as in the instant case, petitioner PHILPHOS agreed to file its position paper with
the Mediator-Arbiter and to consider the case submitted for decision on the basis of the position papers filed by the parties, there was sufficient compliance with the
requirement of due process, as petitioner was afforded reasonable opportunity to present its side. Moreover, petitioner could have, if it so desired, insisted on a
hearing to confront and examine the witnesses of the other party. But it did not; instead, it opted to submit its position paper with the Mediator-Arbiter. Besides,
petitioner had all the opportunity to ventilate its arguments in its appeal to the Secretary of Labor.
As regards the second issue, we are with petitioner that being a supervisory union, respondent PMPI cannot represent the professional/technical and confidential
employees of petitioner whose positions we find to be more of the rank and file than supervisory.
2. No. With the enactment in March 1989 of R.A. 6715, employees were thereunder reclassified into three (3) groups, namely: (a) managerial
employees, (b) supervisory employees, and (c) rank and file employees. The category of supervisory employees is once again recognized in the present law.
In its position paper submitted to the Mediator-Arbiter, petitioner described the positions and functions of itsprofessional/technical employees, (engineers,
analysts, mechanics, accountants, nurses, and midwives). The guidelines, which were not refuted by respondent PMPI, state:
. . . . Professional and Technical positions are those whose primary duty consists of the performance of work directly related to management
programs; who customarily, regularly and routinarily exercise judgment in the application of concepts, methods, systems and procedures in their
respective fields of specialization; who regularly and directly assist a managerial and/or supervisory employee, execute under general supervision, work
along specialized or technical lines requiring special training, experience or knowledge, or execute under general supervision special assignments and
task . . . . They are immediately under the direction and supervision of supervisors or superintendents. They have no men under them but are regularly
called upon by their supervisors or superintendents on some technical matters.

The certification of Personnel Officer Duhaylungsod that its professional/technical employees occupy positions that are non-supervisory is evidence that
said employees belong to the rank and file. Quite obviously, these professional/technical employees cannot effectively recommend managerial actions with the use
of independent judgment because they are under the supervision of superintendents and supervisors. Because it is unrefuted that these professional/technical
employees are performing non-supervisory functions, hence considered admitted, they should be classified, at least for purposes of this case, as rank and file
employees. Consequently, these professional/technical employees cannot be allowed to join a union composed of supervisors. Conversely,supervisory
employees cannot join a labor organization of employees under their supervision but may validly form a separate organization of their own.
Respondent PMPI is supposed to be a union of 125 supervisors. If the professional/technical employees are included as members, and records show that
they are 271 in all or much more than the supervisors, then PMPI will turn out to be a rank and file union with the supervisors as members.
This is precisely the situation which the law prohibits. It would create an obvious conflict of views among the members, or at least between two (2) groups
of members espousing opposing interests. The intent of the law is to avoid a situation where supervisors would merge with the rank and file, or where the
supervisors' labor organization would represent conflicting interests, especially where, as in the case at bar, the supervisors will be commingling with those
employees whom they directly supervise in their own bargaining unit. Members of the supervisory union might refuse to carry out disciplinary measures against their
co-member rank and file employees.
Supervisors have the right to form their own union or labor organization. What the law prohibits is a union whose membership comprises
of supervisors merging with the rank and file employees because this is where conflict of interests may arise in the areas of discipline, collective bargaining and
strikes. The professional/technical employees of petitioner therefore may join the existing rank and file union, or form a union separate and distinct from the existing
union organized by the rank and file employees of the same company.
As to the confidential employees of the petitioner, the latter has not shown any proof or compelling reason to exclude them from joining respondent PMPI
and from participating in the certification election, unless these confidential employees are the same professional/technical employees whom we find to be occupying
rank and file positions.
RESTITUTO YNOT, petitioner, vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, THE STATION COMMANDER, INTEGRATED NATIONAL POLICE, BAROTAC
NUEVO, ILOILO and THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY, REGION IV, ILOILO CITY, respondents.
G.R. No. 74457 March 20, 1987
CRUZ, J.:
FACTS: The essence of due process is distilled in the immortal cry of Themistocles to Alcibiades "Strike but hear me first!" It is this cry that the petitioner in effect
repeats here as he challenges the constitutionality of EO 626-A. The said executive order reads in full as follows:
WHEREAS, the President has given orders prohibiting the interprovincial movement of carabaos and the slaughtering of carabaos not complying with the
requirements of EO No. 626 particularly with respect to age;
WHEREAS, it has been observed that despite such orders the violators still manage to circumvent the prohibition against inter-provincial movement of
carabaos by transporting carabeef instead; and
WHEREAS, in order to achieve the purposes and objectives of Executive Order No. 626 and the prohibition against interprovincial movement of carabaos,
it is necessary to strengthen the said Executive Order and provide for the disposition of the carabaos and carabeef subject of the violation;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby
promulgate the following:
SECTION 1. Executive Order No. 626 is hereby amended such that henceforth, no carabao regardless of age, sex, physical condition or purpose and no
carabeef shall be transported from one province to another. The carabao or carabeef transported in violation of this Executive Order as amended shall be subject to
confiscation and forfeiture by the government, to be distributed to charitable institutions and other similar institutions as the Chairman of the National Meat Inspection
Commission may ay see fit, in the case of carabeef, and to deserving farmers through dispersal as the Director of Animal Industry may see fit, in the case of
carabaos.
The petitioner had transported six carabaos in a pump boat from Masbate to Iloilo on January 13, 1984, when they were confiscated by the police station
commander of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, for violation of the above measure. The petitioner sued for recovery, and the RTC of Iloilo City issued a writ of replevin upon his
filing of a supersedeas bond. The court sustained the confiscation of the carabaos. The court also declined to rule on the constitutionality of the executive order, as
raise by the petitioner, for lack of authority and also for its presumed validity. The petitioner appealed the decision to the IAC which upheld the trial court.
ISSUE: whether the executive order is unconstitutional
HELD: Yes. The thrust of his petition is that the executive order is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes outright confiscation of the carabao or carabeef being
transported across provincial boundaries. His claim is that the penalty is invalid because it is imposed without according the owner a right to be heard before a
competent and impartial court as guaranteed by due process. He complains that the measure should not have been presumed, and so sustained, as constitutional.
There is also a challenge to the improper exercise of the legislative power by the former President under Amendment No. 6 of the 1973 Constitution.
The challenged measure is denominated an executive order but it is really presidential decree, promulgating a new rule instead of merely implementing an
existing law. It was issued by President Marcos not for the purpose of taking care that the laws were faithfully executed but in the exercise of his legislative authority
under Amendment No. 6. It was provided thereunder that whenever in his judgment there existed a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof or whenever
the legislature failed or was unable to act adequately on any matter that in his judgment required immediate action, he could, in order to meet the exigency, issue
decrees, orders or letters of instruction that were to have the force and effect of law. As there is no showing of any exigency to justify the exercise of that
extraordinary power then, the petitioner has reason to question the validity of the executive order.
The due process clause was kept intentionally vague so it would remain also conveniently resilient. This was felt necessary because due process is not,
like some provisions of the fundamental law, an "iron rule" laying down an implacable and immutable command for all seasons and all persons. Flexibility must be the
best virtue of the guaranty. The very elasticity of the due process clause was meant to make it adapt easily to every situation, enlarging or constricting its protection
as the changing times and circumstances may require.
The minimum requirements of due process are notice and hearing which, generally speaking, may not be dispensed with because they are intended as a
safeguard against official arbitrariness. This is not to say that notice and hearing are imperative in every case for, to be sure, there are a number of admitted
exceptions. The conclusive presumption, for example, bars the admission of contrary evidence as long as such presumption is based on human experience or there
is a rational connection between the fact proved and the fact ultimately presumed therefrom. There are instances when the need for expeditions action will justify
omission of these requisites, as in the summary abatement of a nuisance per se, like a mad dog on the loose, which may be killed on sight because of the immediate
danger it poses to the safety and lives of the people. Pornographic materials, contaminated meat and narcotic drugs are inherently pernicious and may be summarily

destroyed. And the justification is found in the venerable Latin maxims, Salus populi est suprema lex and Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas, which call for the
subordination of individual interests to the benefit of the greater number.
It is this power that is now invoked by the government to justify Executive Order No. 626-A, amending the basic rule in Executive Order No. 626,
prohibiting the slaughter of carabaos except under certain conditions. The original measure was issued for the reason, as expressed in one of its Whereases, that
"present conditions demand that the carabaos and the buffaloes be conserved for the benefit of the small farmers who rely on them for energy needs." We affirm at
the outset the need for such a measure.
But while conceding that the amendatory measure has the same lawful subject as the original executive order, we cannot say with equal certainty that it
complies with the second requirement, viz., that there be a lawful method. We note that to strengthen the original measure, Executive Order No. 626-A imposes an
absolute ban not on the slaughter of the carabaos but on their movement. The reasonable connection between the means employed and the purpose sought to be
achieved by the questioned measure is missing
In the instant case, the carabaos were arbitrarily confiscated by the police station commander, were returned to the petitioner only after he had filed a
complaint for recovery and given a supersedeas bond of P12,000.00, which was ordered confiscated upon his failure to produce the carabaos when ordered by the
trial court. The executive order defined the prohibition, convicted the petitioner and immediately imposed punishment, which was carried out forthright. The measure
struck at once and pounced upon the petitioner without giving him a chance to be heard, thus denying him the centuries-old guaranty of elementary fair play.
It has already been remarked that there are occasions when notice and hearing may be validly dispensed with notwithstanding the usual requirement for
these minimum guarantees of due process. It is also conceded that summary action may be validly taken in administrative proceedings as procedural due process is
not necessarily judicial only. In the exceptional cases accepted, however. there is a justification for the omission of the right to a previous hearing, to wit,
the immediacy of the problem sought to be corrected and the urgency of the need to correct it.
In the case before us, there was no such pressure of time or action calling for the petitioner's peremptory treatment. The properties involved were not even
inimical per se as to require their instant destruction. Executive Order No. 626-A is penal in nature, the violation thereof should have been pronounced not by the
police only but by a court of justice, which alone would have had the authority to impose the prescribed penalty, and only after trial and conviction of the accused.
We also mark, on top of all this, the questionable manner of the disposition of the confiscated property as prescribed in the questioned executive order. It
is there authorized that the seized property shall "be distributed to charitable institutions and other similar institutions as the Chairman of the National Meat Inspection
Commission may see fit, in the case of carabeef, and to deserving farmers through dispersal as the Director of Animal Industry may see fit, in the case of carabaos."
The phrase "may see fit" is an extremely generous and dangerous condition, if condition it is. It is laden with perilous opportunities for partiality and abuse, and even
corruption. One searches in vain for the usual standard and the reasonable guidelines, or better still, the limitations that the said officers must observe when they
make their distribution. There is none. Their options are apparently boundless.
To sum up then, we find that the challenged measure is an invalid exercise of the police power because the method employed to conserve the
carabaos is not reasonably necessary to the purpose of the law and, worse, is unduly oppressive. Due process is violated because the owner of the
property confiscated is denied the right to be heard in his defense and is immediately condemned and punished. The conferment on the administrative
authorities of the power to adjudge the guilt of the supposed offender is a clear encroachment on judicial functions and militates against the doctrine of
separation of powers. There is, finally, also an invalid delegation of legislative powers to the officers mentioned therein who are granted unlimited
discretion in the distribution of the properties arbitrarily taken. For these reasons, we hereby declare Executive Order No. 626-A unconstitutional.
We agree with the respondent court, however, that the police station commander who confiscated the petitioner's carabaos is not liable in damages for
enforcing the executive order in accordance with its mandate. The law was at that time presumptively valid, and it was his obligation, as a member of the police, to
enforce it.
BAYANI M. ALONTE, petitioner, vs. HON. MAXIMO A. SAVELLANO JR., NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION and PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, respondents.
G.R. No. 131652 March 9, 1998
VITUG, J.:
FACTS: An information for rape was filed against petitioners Alonte, an incumbent Mayor of Bian, Laguna, and Buenaventura Concepcion. The case was assigned
by raffle to Branch 25 of the RTC of Bian, Laguna, presided over by Judge Francisco. Juvie-lyn Punongbayan filed with the Office of the Court Administrator a
Petition for a Change of Venue to have the case transferred and tried by any of the RTC in Metro Manila.
During the pendency of the petition for change of venue, Juvie-lyn Punongbayan, assisted by her parents and counsel, executed an affidavit of
desistance. On 28 June 1997, Atty. Casino moved to have the petition for change of venue dismissed on the ground that it had become moot in view of complainant's
affidavit of desistance.
This Court then issued a Resolution granting the petition for change of venue. The case was assigned by raffle to Branch 53, RTC Manila, with respondent
Judge Savellano, Jr., presiding.
Alonte submits the following grounds in support of his petition seeking to have the decision nullified and the case remanded for new trial; thus:
The respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion when he rendered a Decision in the case a quo without affording the petitioner his
Constitutional right to due process of law.
The respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting when he rendered a Decision in the case a quo in violation of the mandatory
provisions of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, specifically, in the conduct and order of trial (Rule 119) prior to the promulgation of a judgment (Rule 120).
The respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion when, in total disregard of the Revised Rules on Evidence and existing doctrinal
jurisprudence, he rendered a Decision in the case a quo on the basis of two (2) affidavits (Punongbayan's and Balbin's) which were neither marked nor
offered into evidence by the prosecution, nor without giving the petitioner an opportunity to cross-examine the affiants thereof, again in violation of
petitioner's right to due process (Article III, 1, Constitution).
The respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion when he rendered a Decision in the case a quo without conducting a trial on the facts which
would establish that complainant was raped by petitioner (Rule 119, Article III, 1, Constitution), thereby setting a dangerous precedent where heinous
offenses can result in conviction without trial (then with more reason that simpler offenses could end up with the same result).
On the other hand, Concepcion relies on the following grounds in support of his own petition; thus:
1. The decision of the respondent Judge rendered in the course of resolving the prosecution's motion to dismiss the case is a patent nullity for having
been rendered without jurisdiction, without the benefit of a trial and in total violation of the petitioner's right to due process of law.
2. There had been no valid promulgation of judgment at least as far as petitioner is concerned.
3. The decision had been rendered in gross violation of the right of the accused to a fair trial by an impartial and neutral judge whose actuations and
outlook of the case had been motivated by a sinister desire to ride on the crest of media hype that surrounded this case and use this case as a tool for his
ambition for promotion to a higher court.

4. The decision is patently contrary to law and the jurisprudence in so far as it convicts the petitioner as a principal even though he has been charged only
as an accomplice in the information.
ISSUE: whether the assailed judgment convicting petitioners is null and void for lack of due process
HELD: Yes. Jurisprudence 11 acknowledges that due process in criminal proceedings, in particular, require (a) that the court or tribunal trying the case is properly
clothed with judicial power to hear and determine the matter before it; (b) that jurisdiction is lawfully acquired by it over the person of the accused; (c) that the
accused is given an opportunity to be heard; and (d) that judgment is rendered only upon lawful hearing. 12
The above constitutional and jurisprudential postulates, by now elementary and deeply imbedded in our own criminal justice system, are mandatory and
indispensable. The principles find universal acceptance and are tersely expressed in the oft-quoted statement that procedural due process cannot possibly be met
without a "law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial." 13
The order of trial in criminal cases is clearly spelled out in Section 3, Rule 119, of the Rules of Court; viz:
Sec. 3. Order of trial. The trial shall proceed in the following order:
(a) The prosecution shall present evidence to prove the charge and, in the proper case, the civil liability.
(b) The accused may present evidence to prove his defense, and damages, if any, arising from the issuance of any provisional remedy in the case.
(c) The parties may then respectively present rebutting evidence only, unless the court, in furtherance of justice, permits them to present additional
evidence bearing upon the main issue.
(d) Upon admission of the evidence, the case shall be deemed submitted for decision unless the court directs the parties to argue orally or to submit
memoranda.
(e) However, when the accused admits the act or omission charged in the complaint or information but interposes a lawful defense, the order of trial may
be modified accordingly.
In Tabao vs. Espina, 14 the Court has underscored the need to adhere strictly to the above rules. It reminds that
. . . each step in the trial process serves a specific purpose. In the trial of criminal cases, the constitutional presumption of innocence in favor of an
accused requires that an accused be given sufficient opportunity to present his defense. So, with the prosecution as to its evidence.
Hence, any deviation from the regular course of trial should always take into consideration the rights of all the parties to the case, whether in the
prosecution or defense. In the exercise of their discretion, judges are sworn not only to uphold the law but also to do what is fair and just. The judicial
gavel should not be wielded by one who has an unsound and distorted sense of justice and fairness. 15
While Judge Savellano has claimed in his Comment that
Petitioners-accused were each represented during the hearing on 07 November 1997 with their respective counsel of choice. None of their counsel
interposed an intention to cross-examine rape victim Juvielyn Punongbayan, even after she attested, in answer to respondent judge's clarificatory
questions, the voluntariness and truth of her two affidavits one detailing the rape and the other detailing the attempts to buy her desistance; the
opportunity was missed/not used, hence waived. The rule of case law is that the right to confront and cross-examine a witness "is a personal one and may
be waived." (emphasis supplied)
it should be pointed out, however, that the existence of the waiver must be positively demonstrated. The standard of waiver requires that it "not only must be
voluntary, but must be knowing, intelligent, and done with sufficient awareness of the relevant circumstances and likely consequences." 16 Mere silence of the holder
of the right should not be so construed as a waiver of right, and the courts must indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver. 17 The Solicitor General has
aptly discerned a few of the deviations from what otherwise should have been the regular course of trial: (1) Petitioners have not been directed to present evidence to
prove their defenses nor have dates therefor been scheduled for the purpose; 18 (2) the parties have not been given the opportunity to present rebutting evidence nor
have dates been set by respondent Judge for the purpose; 19 and (3) petitioners have not admitted the act charged in the Information so as to justify any modification
in the order of trial. 20 There can be no short-cut to the legal process, and there can be no excuse for not affording an accused his full day in court. Due process,
rightly occupying the first and foremost place of honor in our Bill of Rights, is an enshrined and invaluable right that cannot be denied even to the most undeserving.
This case, in fine, must be remanded for further proceedings. And, since the case would have to be sent back to the court a quo, this ponencia has carefully avoided
making any statement or reference that might be misconstrued as prejudgment or as pre-empting the trial court in the proper disposition of the case. The Court
likewise deems it appropriate that all related proceedings therein, including the petition for bail, should be subject to the proper disposition of the trial court.
Nevertheless, it is needful to stress a few observations on the affidavit of desistance executed by the complainant.
Firstly, the affidavit of desistance of Juvie-Lyn Punongbayan, hereinbefore quoted, does not contain any statement that disavows the veracity of her complaint
against petitioners but merely seeks to "be allowed to withdraw" her complaint and to discontinue with the case for varied other reasons. On this subject, the case
ofPeople vs. Junio, 21 should be instructive. The Court has there explained:
The appellant's submission that the execution of an Affidavit of Desistance by complainant who was assisted by her mother supported the "inherent
incredibility of prosecution's evidence" is specious. We have said in so many cases that retractions are generally unreliable and are looked upon with
considerable disfavor by the courts. The unreliable character of this document is shown by the fact that it is quite incredible that after going through the
process of having accused-appellant arrested by the police, positively identifying him as the person who raped her, enduring the humiliation of a physical
examination of her private parts, and then repeating her accusations in open court by recounting her anguish, Maryjane would suddenly turn around and
declare that "[a]fter a careful deliberation over the case, (she) find(s) that the same does not merit or warrant criminal prosecution.
Thus, we have declared that at most the retraction is an afterthought which should not be given probative value. It would be a dangerous rule to reject the
testimony taken before the court of justice simply because the witness who has given it later on changed his mind for one reason or another. Such a rule
will make a solemn trial a mockery and place the investigation at the mercy of unscrupulous witnesses. Because affidavits of retraction can easily be
secured from poor and ignorant witnesses, usually for monetary consideration, the Court has invariably regarded such affidavits as exceedingly unreliable
[Flores vs. People, 211 SCRA 622, citing De Guzman vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 184 SCRA 128; People vs. Galicia, 123 SCRA 550.] 22
The Junio rule is no different from ordinary criminal cases. For instance, in People vs. Ballabare, 23 a murder case, the Court has ruled:
The contention has no merit. To begin with, the Affidavit executed by eyewitness Tessie Asenita is not a recantation. To recant a prior statement is to
renounce and withdraw it formally and publicly. [36 WORDS AND PHRASES 683, citing Pradlik vs. State, 41-A 2nd, 906, 907.] In her affidavit, Tessie
Asenita did not really recant what she had said during the trial. She only said she wanted to withdraw her testimony because her father, Leonardo
Tacadao, Sr., was no longer interested in prosecuting the case against accused-appellant. Thus, her affidavit stated:
3. That inasmuch as my father, Leonardo Tacadao, Sr., the complainant therein, was no longer interested to prosecute the case as manifested in the
Sworn Affidavit of Desistance before the Provincial Prosecutor, I do hereby WITHDRAW and/or REVOKE my testimony of record to confirm (sic) with my
father's desire;
It is absurd to disregard a testimony that has undergone trial and scrutiny by the court and the parties simply because an affidavit withdrawing the
testimony is subsequently presented by the defense. In the first place, any recantation must be tested in a public trial with sufficient opportunity given to

the party adversely affected by it to cross-examine the recanting witness. In this case, Tessie Asenita was not recalled to the witness stand to testify on
her affidavit. Her affidavit is thus hearsay. It was her husband, Roque Asenita, who was presented and the matters he testified to did not even bear on the
substance of Tessie's affidavit. He testified that accused-appellant was not involved in the perpetration of the crime.
In the second place, to accept the new evidence uncritically would be to make a solemn trial a mockery and place the investigation at the mercy of
unscrupulous witnesses. [De Guzman vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 184 SCRA 128, 134, citing People vs. Morales, 113 SCRA 683.] For even
assuming that Tessie Asenita had made a retraction, this circumstance alone does not require the court to disregard her original testimony. A retraction
does not necessarily negate an earlier declaration. [People vs. Davatos, 229 SCRA 647.] For this reason, courts look with disfavor upon retractions
because they can easily be obtained from witnesses usually through intimidation or for monetary considerations. [People vs. Clamor, 198 SCRA 642.]
Hence, when confronted with a situation where a witness recants his testimony, courts must not automatically exclude the original testimony solely on the
basis of the recantation. They should determine which testimony should be given credence through a comparison of the original testimony and the new
testimony, applying the general rules of evidence. [Reano vs. Court of Appeals, 165 SCRA 525.] In this case we think the trial court correctly ruled. 24
It may not be amiss to state that courts have the inherent power to compel the attendance of any person to testify in a case pending before it, and a party is not
precluded from invoking that authority. 25
Secondly, an affidavit of desistance by itself, even when construed as a pardon in the so-called "private crimes," is not a ground for the dismissal of the criminal case
once the action has been instituted. The affidavit, nevertheless, may, as so earlier intimated, possibly constitute evidence whose weight or probative value, like any
other piece of evidence, would be up to the court for proper evaluation. The decision in Junio went on to hold
While "[t]he offenses of seduction, abduction, rape or acts of lasciviousness, shall not be prosecuted except upon a complaint flied by the offended party
or her parents, grandparents, or guardian, nor in any case, if the offender has been expressly pardoned by the above named persons, as the case may
be," [Third par. of Art. 344, The Revised Penal Code.] the pardon to justify the dismissal of the complaint should have been made prior to the institution of
the criminal action. [People vs. Entes, 103 SCRA 162, cited by People vs. Soliao, 194 SCRA 250, which in turn is cited in People vs. Villorente, 210 SCRA
647.] Here, the motion to dismiss to which the affidavit of desistance is attached was filed after the institution of the criminal case. And, affiant did not
appear to be serious in "signifying (her) intention to refrain from testifying" since she still completed her testimony notwithstanding her earlier affidavit of
desistance. More, the affidavit is suspect considering that while it was dated "April 1992," it was only submitted sometime in August 1992, four (4) months
after the Information was filed before the court a quo on 6 April 1992, perhaps dated as such to coincide with the actual filing of the case. 26
In People vs. Miranda, 27 applying the pertinent provisions of Article 344 of the Revised Penal Code which, in full, states
Art. 344. Prosecution of the crimes of adultery, concubinage, seduction, abduction, rape, and acts of lasciviousness. The crimes of adultery and
concubinage shall not be prosecuted except upon a complaint filed by the offended spouse.
The offended party cannot institute criminal prosecution without including both the guilty parties, if they are both alive, nor, in any case, if he shall have
consented or pardoned the offenders.
The offenses of seduction, abduction, rape or acts of lasciviousness, shall not be prosecuted except upon a complaint filed by the offended party or her
parents, grandparents, or guardian, nor, in any case, if the offender has been expressly pardoned by the above named persons, as the case may be.
In cases of seduction, abduction, acts of lasciviousness and rape, the marriage of the offender with the offended party shall extinguish the criminal action
or remit the penalty already imposed upon him. The provisions of this paragraph shall also be applicable to the coprincipals, accomplices and accessories
after the fact of the above-mentioned crimes.
the Court said:
Paragraph 3 of the legal provision above quoted prohibits a prosecution for seduction, abduction, rape, or acts of lasciviousness, except upon a complaint
made by the offended party or her parents, grandparents, or guardian, nor, in any case, if the offender has been expressly pardoned by the above-named
persons, as the case may be. It does not prohibit the continuance of a prosecution if the offended party pardons the offender after the cause has been
instituted, nor does it order the dismissal of said cause. The only act that according to article 344 extinguishes the penal action and the penalty that may
have been imposed is the marriage between the offended and the offended party. 28
In People vs. Infante, 29 decided just a little over a month before Miranda, the Court similarly held:
In this court, after the case had been submitted, a motion to dismiss was filed on behalf of the appellant predicated on an affidavit executed by Manuel
Artigas, Jr., in which he pardoned his guilty spouse for her infidelity. But this attempted pardon cannot prosper for two reasons. The second paragraph of
article 344 of the Revised Penal Code which is in question reads: "The offended party cannot institute criminal prosecution without including both the guilty
parties, if they are both alive, nor, in any case, if he shall have consented or pardoned the offenders." This provision means that the pardon afforded the
offenders must come before the institution of the criminal prosecution, and means, further, that both the offenders must be pardoned by the offended
party. To elucidate further, article 435 of the old Penal Code provided: "The husband may at any time remit the penalty imposed upon his wife. In such
case the penalty imposed upon the wife's paramour shall also be deemed to be remitted." These provisions of the old Penal Code became inoperative
after the passage of Act No. 1773, section 2, which had the effect of repealing the same. The Revised Penal Code thereafter expressly repealed the old
Penal Code, and in so doing did not have the effect of reviving any of its provisions which were not in force. But with the incorporation of the second
paragraph of article 344, the pardon given by the offended party again constitutes a bar to the prosecution for adultery. Once more, however, it must be
emphasized that this pardon must come before the institution of the criminal prosecution and must be for both offenders to be effective circumstances
which do not concur in this case. 30
The decisions speak well for themselves, and the Court need not say more than what it has heretofore already held.
Relative to the prayer for the disqualification of Judge Savellano from further hearing the case, the Court is convinced that Judge Savellano should, given the
circumstances, the best excused from the case. Possible animosity between the personalities here involved may not all be that unlikely. The pronouncement of this
Court in the old case of Luque vs. Kayanan 31 could again be said: All suitors are entitled to nothing short of the cold neutrality of an independent, wholly-free,
disinterested and unbiased tribunal. Second only to the duty of rendering a just decision is the duty of doing it in a manner that will not arouse any suspicion as to the
fairness and integrity of the Judge. 32 It is not enough that a court is impartial, it must also be perceived as impartial.
The Court cannot end this ponencia without a simple reminder on the use of proper language before the courts. While the lawyer in promoting the cause of his client
or defending his rights might do so with fervor, simple courtesy demands that it be done within the bounds of propriety and decency. The use of intemperate
language and unkind ascriptions hardly can be justified nor can have a place in the dignity of judicial forum. Civility among members of the legal profession is a
treasured tradition that must at no time be lost to it.
Finally, it may be opportune to say, once again, that prosecutors are expected not merely to discharge their duties with the highest degree or excellence,
professionalism and skill but also to act each time with utmost devotion and dedication to duty. 33 The Court is hopeful that the zeal which has been exhibited many
times in the past, although regrettably a disappointment on few occasions, will not be wanting in the proceedings yet to follow.
WHEREFORE, conformably with all the foregoing, the Court hereby RULES that
(a) The submission of the "Affidavit of Desistance," executed by Juvie-Lyn Y. Punongbayan on 25 June 1997, having been filed AFTER the institution of
Criminal Case No. 97-159935, DOES NOT WARRANT THE DISMISSAL of said criminal case;

(b) For FAILURE OF DUE PROCESS, the assailed judgment, dated 12 December 1997, convicting petitioners is declared NULL AND VOID and thereby
SET ASIDE; accordingly, the case is REMANDED to the trial court for further proceedings; and
(c) Judge Maximo A. Savellano, Jr., presiding Judge of Branch 53 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, is ENJOINED from further hearing Criminal Case
No. 97-159935; instead, the case shall immediately be scheduled for raffle among the other branches of that court for proper disposition.
CONGRESSMAN FRANCISCO B. ANIAG, JR., petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SPECIAL TASK
FORCE, respondents.
G.R. No. 104961 October 7, 1994
BELLOSILLO, JR., J.:
FACTS: In preparation for the synchronized national and local elections on 11 May 1992, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 2323 otherwise referred to as the
"Gun Ban," promulgating rules and regulations on bearing, carrying and transporting of firearms or other deadly weapons, on security personnel or bodyguards, on
bearing arms by members of security agencies or police organizations, and organization or maintenance of reaction forces during the election period. Subsequently
COMELEC issued Resolution No. 2327 providing for the summary disqualification of candidates engaged in gunrunning, using and transporting of firearms,
organizing special strike forces, and establishing spot checkpoints.
Pursuant to the "Gun Ban," Mr. Taccad, Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Representatives, wrote petitioner who was then Congressman of the 1st District of
Bulacan requesting the return of the two (2) firearms issued to him by the House of Representatives. Petitioner immediately instructed his driver Arellano, to pick up
the firearms from petitioner's house at Valle Verde and return them to Congress.
In the afternoon of the same day, the PNP set up a checkpoint outside the Batasan Complex some twenty (20) meters away from its entrance. The
policemen manning the outpost flagged down the car driven by Arellano, searched the car and found the firearms neatly packed in their gun cases and placed in a
bag in the trunk of the car. Arellano was then apprehended and detained.
The City Prosecutor ordered Arellanos release and recommended that the case against Arellano be dismissed and that the "unofficial" charge against
petitioner be also dismissed. Nevertheless, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 92-0829 directing the filing of information against petitioner and Arellano for violation
of the Omnibus Election Code, in relation to Sec. 32 of R.A. No. 7166; and petitioner to show cause why he should not be disqualified from running for an elective
position. The COMELEC denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration. Hence, this recourse.
ISSUE: whether or not the manner by which COMELEC proceeded against petitioner runs counter to the due process clause of the Constitution
HELD: Yes. COMELEC claims that petitioner is charged with violation of Sec. 261, par. (q), in relation to Sec. 263, of B.P. Blg. 881 which provides that "the
principals, accomplices and accessories, as defined in the Revised Penal Code, shall be criminally liable for election offenses." It points out that it was upon
petitioner's instruction that Arellano brought the firearms in question outside petitioner's residence, submitting that his right to be heard was not violated as he was
invited by the City Prosecutor to explain the circumstances regarding Arellano's possession of the firearms. Petitioner also filed a sworn written explanation about the
incident. Finally, COMELEC claims that violation of
the "Gun Ban" is mala prohibita, hence, the intention of the offender is immaterial. 15
Be that as it may, we find no need to delve into the alleged constitutional infirmity of Resolution No. 2327 since this petition may be resolved without passing upon
this particular issue. 16
As a rule, a valid search must be authorized by a search warrant duly issued by an appropriate authority. However, this is not absolute. Aside from a search incident
to a lawful arrest, a warrantless search had been upheld in cases of moving vehicles and the seizure of evidence in plain view, 17 as well as the search conducted at
police or military checkpoints which we declared are not illegal per se, and stressed that the warrantless search is not violative of the Constitution for as long as the
vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is merely limited to a visual search. 18
Petitioner contends that the guns were not tucked in Arellano's waist nor placed within his reach, and that they were neatly packed in gun cases and placed inside a
bag at the back of the car. Significantly, COMELEC did not rebut this claim. The records do not show that the manner by which the package was bundled led the
PNP to suspect that it contained firearms. There was no mention either of any report regarding any nervous, suspicious or unnatural reaction from Arellano when the
car was stopped and searched. Given these circumstances and relying on its visual observation, the PNP could not thoroughly search the car lawfully as well as the
package without violating the constitutional injunction.
An extensive search without warrant could only be resorted to if the officers conducting the search had reasonable or probable cause to believe before the search
that either the motorist was a law offender or that they would find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to the commission of a crime in the vehicle to be
searched. 19 The existence of probable cause justifying the warrantless search is determined by the facts of each case. 20 Thus, we upheld the validity of the
warrantless search in situations where the smell of marijuana emanated from a plastic bag owned by the accused, or where the accused was acting suspiciously, and
attempted to flee. 21
We also recognize the stop-and-search without warrant conducted by police officers on the basis of prior confidential information which were reasonably corroborated
by other attendant matters, e.g., where a confidential report that a sizeable volume of marijuana would be transported along the route where the search was
conducted and appellants were caught in flagrante delicto transporting drugs at the time of their arrest; 22 where apart from the intelligence information, there were
reports by an undercover "deep penetration" agent that appellants were bringing prohibited drugs into the country; 23 where the information that a Caucasian coming
from Sagada bringing prohibited drugs was strengthened by the conspicuous bulge in accused's waistline, and his suspicious failure to produce his passport and
other identification papers; 24 where the physical appearance of the accused fitted the description given in the confidential information about a woman transporting
marijuana; 25 where the accused carrying a bulging black leather bag were suspiciously quiet and nervous when queried about its contents; 26 or where the identity
of the drug courier was already established by police authorities who received confidential information about the probable arrival of accused on board one of the
vessels arriving in Dumaguete City. 27
In the case at bench, we find that the checkpoint was set up twenty (20) meters from the entrance to the Batasan Complex to enforce Resolution
No. 2327. There was no evidence to show that the policemen were impelled to do so because of a confidential report leading them to reasonably believe that certain
motorists matching the description furnished by their informant were engaged in gunrunning, transporting firearms or in organizing special strike forces. Nor, as
adverted to earlier, was there any indication from the package or behavior of Arellano that could have triggered the suspicion of the policemen. Absent such justifying
circumstances specifically pointing to the culpability of petitioner and Arellano, the search could not be valid. The action then of the policemen unreasonably intruded
into petitioner's privacy and the security of his property, in violation of Sec. 2, Art. III, of the Constitution. Consequently, the firearms obtained in violation of
petitioner's right against warrantless search cannot be admitted for any purpose in any proceeding.
It may be argued that the seeming acquiescence of Arellano to the search constitutes an implied waiver of petitioner's right to question the reasonableness of the
search of the vehicle and the seizure of the firearms.

While Resolution No. 2327 authorized the setting up of checkpoints, it however stressed that "guidelines shall be made to ensure that no infringement of civil and
political rights results from the implementation of this authority," and that "the places and manner of setting up of checkpoints shall be determined in consultation with
the Committee on Firearms Ban and Security Personnel created under Sec. 5, Resolution No. 2323." 28 The facts show that PNP installed the checkpoint at about
five o'clock in the afternoon of 13 January 1992. The search was made soon thereafter, or thirty minutes later. It was not shown that news of impending checkpoints
without necessarily giving their locations, and the reason for the same have been announced in the media to forewarn the citizens. Nor did the informal checkpoint
that afternoon carry signs informing the public of the purpose of its operation. As a result, motorists passing that place did not have any inkling whatsoever about the
reason behind the instant exercise. With the authorities in control to stop and search passing vehicles, the motorists did not have any choice but to submit to the
PNP's scrutiny. Otherwise, any attempt to turnabout albeit innocent would raise suspicion and provide probable cause for the police to arrest the motorist and to
conduct an extensive search of his vehicle.
In the case of petitioner, only his driver was at the car at that time it was stopped for inspection. As conceded by COMELEC, driver Arellano did not know the purpose
of the checkpoint. In the face of fourteen (14) armed policemen conducting the operation, 29 driver Arellano being alone and a mere employee of petitioner could not
have marshalled the strength and the courage to protest against the extensive search conducted in the vehicle. In such scenario, the "implied acquiescence," if there
was any, could not be more than a mere passive conformity on Arellano's part to the search, and "consent" given under intimidating or coercive circumstances is no
consent within the purview of the constitutional guaranty.
Moreover, the manner by which COMELEC proceeded against petitioner runs counter to the due process clause of the Constitution. The facts show that petitioner
was not among those charged by the PNP with violation of the Omnibus Election Code. Nor was he subjected by the City Prosecutor to a preliminary investigation for
such offense. The non-disclosure by the City Prosecutor to the petitioner that he was a respondent in the preliminary investigation is violative of due process which
requires that the procedure established by law should be obeyed. 30
COMELEC argues that petitioner was given the change to be heard because he was invited to enlighten the City Prosecutor regarding the circumstances leading to
the arrest of his driver, and that petitioner in fact submitted a sworn letter of explanation regarding the incident. This does not satisfy the requirement of due process
the essence of which is the reasonable opportunity to be heard and to submit any evidence one may have in support of his defense. 31 Due process guarantees the
observance of both substantive and procedural rights, whatever the source of such rights, be it the Constitution itself or only a statute or a rule of court. 32 In Go v.
Court of Appeals, 33 we held
that
While the right to preliminary investigation is statutory rather than constitutional in its fundament, since it has in fact been established by
statute, it is a component part of due process in criminal justice. The right to have a preliminary investigation conducted before being bound
over to trial for a criminal offense and hence formally at risk of incarceration or some other penalty is not a mere formal or technical right; it is
a substantive right . . . . [T]he right to an opportunity to avoid a process painful to anyone save, perhaps, to hardened criminals is a valuable
right. To deny petitioner's claim to a preliminary investigation would be to deprive him of the full measure of his right to due process.
Apparently, petitioner was merely invited during the preliminary investigation of Arellano to corroborate the latter's explanation. Petitioner then was made to believe
that he was not a party respondent in the case, so that his written explanation on the incident was only intended to exculpate Arellano, not petitioner himself. Hence,
it cannot be seriously contended that petitioner was fully given the opportunity to meet the accusation against him as he was not apprised that he was himself a
respondent when he appeared before the City Prosecutor.
Finally, it must be pointed out too that petitioner's filing of a motion for reconsideration with COMELEC cannot be considered as a waiver of his claim to a separate
preliminary investigation for himself. The motion itself expresses petitioner's vigorous insistence on his right. Petitioner's protestation started as soon as he learned of
his inclusion in the charge, and did not ease up even after COMELEC's denial of his motion for reconsideration. This is understandably so since the prohibition
against carrying firearms bears the penalty of imprisonment of not less than one (1) year nor more than six (6) years without probation and with disqualification from
holding public office, and deprivation of the right to suffrage. Against such strong stance, petitioner clearly did not waive his right to a preliminary investigation.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The warrantless search conducted by the Philippine National Police on 13 January 1992 is declared illegal and the
firearms seized during the warrantless search cannot be used as evidence in any proceeding against petitioner. Consequently, COMELEC Resolution No. 92-0829
dated 6 April 1992 being violative of the Constitution is SET ASIDE.
PHILIPPINE COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE CORPORATION vs. JOSE LUIS A. ALCUAZ, as NTC Commissioner, and NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS
COMMISSION
G.R. No. 84818 December 18, 1989
REGALADO, J.:
FACTS: By virtue of Republic Act No. 5514, PHILCOMSAT was granted "a franchise to establish, construct, maintain and operate in the Philippines station or
stations and associated equipment and facilities for international satellite communications." It was likewise granted the authority to "construct and operate such
ground facilities as needed to deliver telecommunications services from the communications satellite system and ground terminal or terminals."
Pursuant to said franchise, petitioner established the some installations station in Pinugay, Rizal, Clark Air Field, Pampanga. Since 1968, the petitioner
has been leasing its satellite circuits to PLDT, Philippine Global Communications, Inc., Eastern Telecommunications Phils., Inc., Globe Mackay Cable and Radio
Corp. ITT; and Capitol Wireless, Inc. The satellite services thus provided by petitioner enable said international carriers to serve the public with communication
services.
Under Section 5 of Republic Act No. 5514, petitioner was exempt from the jurisdiction of the then Public Service Commission, now respondent NTC.
However, pursuant to Executive Order No. 196, petitioner was placed under the jurisdiction, control NTC. Implementing said EO, respondents required petitioner to
apply for the requisite certificate of public convenience and necessity covering its facilities and the services it renders, as well as the corresponding authority to
charge rates therefor.
Petitioner was granted a provisional authority to continue operating its existing facilities, to render the services it was then offering, and to charge the rates
it was then charging. This authority was valid for six (6) months. When said provisional authority expired, it was extended for another six (6) months.
The NTC order now in controversy had further extended the provisional authority of the petitioner for another six (6) months but it directed the petitioner to
charge modified reduced rates through a reduction of fifteen percent (15%) on the present authorized rates.
ISSUE: whether the Order issued by respondent which directs the provisional reduction of the rates is violative of the constitutional prohibition against:
1. undue delegation of legislative power and -NO
2. denial due process of law -YES
HELD: PHILCOMSAT assails the above-quoted order for the following reasons:
1. The enabling act (Executive Order No. 546) of respondent NTC empowering it to fix rates for public service communications does not provide the necessary
standards constitutionally required, hence there is an undue delegation of legislative power, particularly the adjudicatory powers of NTC;

2. Assuming arguendo that the rate-fixing power was properly and constitutionally conferred, the same was exercised in an unconstitutional manner, hence it is ultra
vires, in that (a) the questioned order violates procedural due process for having been issued without prior notice and hearing; and (b) the rate reduction it imposes is
unjust, unreasonable and confiscatory, thus constitutive of a violation of substantive due process.
I. Petitioner asseverates that nowhere in the provisions of Executive Order No. 546, providing for the creation of respondent NTC and granting its rate-fixing powers,
nor of Executive Order No. 196, placing petitioner under the jurisdiction of respondent NTC, can it be inferred that respondent NTC is guided by any standard in the
exercise of its rate-fixing and adjudicatory powers. While petitioner in its petition-in-chief raised the issue of undue delegation of legislative power, it subsequently
clarified its said submission to mean that the order mandating a reduction of certain rates is undue delegation not of legislative but of quasi-judicial power to
respondent NTC, the exercise of which allegedly requires an express conferment by the legislative body.
Whichever way it is presented, petitioner is in effect questioning the constitutionality of Executive Orders Nos. 546 and 196 on the ground that the same do not fix a
standard for the exercise of the power therein conferred.
We hold otherwise.
Fundamental is the rule that delegation of legislative power may be sustained only upon the ground that some standard for its exercise is provided and that the
legislature in making the delegation has prescribed the manner of the exercise of the delegated power. Therefore, when the administrative agency concerned,
respondent NTC in this case, establishes a rate, its act must both be non- confiscatory and must have been established in the manner prescribed by the legislature;
otherwise, in the absence of a fixed standard, the delegation of power becomes unconstitutional. In case of a delegation of rate-fixing power, the only standard which
the legislature is required to prescribe for the guidance of the administrative authority is that the rate be reasonable and just. However, it has been held that even in
the absence of an express requirement as to reasonableness, this standard may be implied. 7
It becomes important then to ascertain the nature of the power delegated to respondent NTC and the manner required by the statute for the lawful exercise thereof.
Pursuant to Executive Orders Nos. 546 and 196, respondent NTC is empowered, among others, to determine and prescribe rates pertinent to the operation of public
service communications which necessarily include the power to promulgate rules and regulations in connection therewith. And, under Section 15(g) of Executive
Order No. 546, respondent NTC should be guided by the requirements of public safety, public interest and reasonable feasibility of maintaining effective competition
of private entities in communications and broadcasting facilities. Likewise, in Section 6(d) thereof, which provides for the creation of the Ministry of Transportation and
Communications with control and supervision over respondent NTC, it is specifically provided that the national economic viability of the entire network or components
of the communications systems contemplated therein should be maintained at reasonable rates. We need not go into an in-depth analysis of the pertinent provisions
of the law in order to conclude that respondent NTC, in the exercise of its rate-fixing power, is limited by the requirements of public safety, public interest, reasonable
feasibility and reasonable rates, which conjointly more than satisfy the requirements of a valid delegation of legislative power.
II. On another tack, petitioner submits that the questioned order violates procedural due process because it was issued motu proprio, without notice to petitioner and
without the benefit of a hearing. Petitioner laments that said order was based merely on an "initial evaluation," which is a unilateral evaluation, but had petitioner been
given an opportunity to present its side before the order in question was issued, the confiscatory nature of the rate reduction and the consequent deterioration of the
public service could have been shown and demonstrated to respondents. Petitioner argues that the function involved in the rate fixing-power of NTC is adjudicatory
and hence quasi-judicial, not quasi- legislative; thus, notice and hearing are necessary and the absence thereof results in a violation of due process.
Respondents admit that the application of a policy like the fixing of rates as exercised by administrative bodies is quasi-judicial rather than quasi-legislative: that
where the function of the administrative agency is legislative, notice and hearing are not required, but where an order applies to a named person, as in the instant
case, the function involved is adjudicatory. 8 Nonetheless, they insist that under the facts obtaining the order in question need not be preceded by a hearing, not
because it was issued pursuant to respondent NTC's legislative function but because the assailed order is merely interlocutory, it being an incident in the ongoing
proceedings on petitioner's application for a certificate of public convenience; and that petitioner is not the only primary source of data or information since
respondent is currently engaged in a continuing review of the rates charged.
We find merit in petitioner's contention.
In Vigan Electric Light Co., Inc. vs. Public Service Commission, 9 we made a categorical classification as to when the rate-filing power of administrative bodies is
quasi-judicial and when it is legislative, thus:
Moreover, although the rule-making power and even the power to fix rates- when such rules and/or rates are meant to apply to all enterprises
of a given kind throughout the Philippines-may partake of a legislative character, such is not the nature of the order complained of. Indeed, the
same applies exclusively to petitioner herein. What is more, it is predicated upon the finding of fact-based upon a report submitted by the
General Auditing Office-that petitioner is making a profit of more than 12% of its invested capital, which is denied by petitioner. Obviously, the
latter is entitled to cross-examine the maker of said report, and to introduce evidence to disprove the contents thereof and/or explain or
complement the same, as well as to refute the conclusion drawn therefrom by the respondent. In other words, in making said finding of fact,
respondent performed a function partaking of a quasi-judicial character, the valid exercise of which demands previous notice and hearing.
This rule was further explained in the subsequent case of The Central Bank of the Philippines vs. Cloribel, et al. 10to wit:
It is also clear from the authorities that where the function of the administrative body is legislative, notice of hearing is not required by due
process of law (See Oppenheimer, Administrative Law, 2 Md. L.R. 185, 204, supra, where it is said: 'If the nature of the administrative agency
is essentially legislative, the requirements of notice and hearing are not necessary. The validity of a rule of future action which affects a group,
if vested rights of liberty or property are not involved, is not determined according to the same rules which apply in the case of the direct
application of a policy to a specific individual) ... It is said in 73 C.J.S. Public Administrative Bodies and Procedure, sec. 130, pages 452 and
453: 'Aside from statute, the necessity of notice and hearing in an administrative proceeding depends on the character of the proceeding and
the circumstances involved. In so far as generalization is possible in view of the great variety of administrative proceedings, it may be stated as
a general rule that notice and hearing are not essential to the validity of administrative action where the administrative body acts in the exercise
of executive, administrative, or legislative functions; but where a public administrative body acts in a judicial or quasi-judicial matter, and its acts
are particular and immediate rather than general and prospective, the person whose rights or property may be affected by the action is entitled
to notice and hearing. 11
The order in question which was issued by respondent Alcuaz no doubt contains all the attributes of a quasi-judicial adjudication. Foremost is the fact that said order
pertains exclusively to petitioner and to no other. Further, it is premised on a finding of fact, although patently superficial, that there is merit in a reduction of some of
the rates charged- based on an initial evaluation of petitioner's financial statements-without affording petitioner the benefit of an explanation as to what particular
aspect or aspects of the financial statements warranted a corresponding rate reduction. No rationalization was offered nor were the attending contingencies, if any,
discussed, which prompted respondents to impose as much as a fifteen percent (15%) rate reduction. It is not far-fetched to assume that petitioner could be in a
better position to rationalize its rates vis-a-vis the viability of its business requirements. The rates it charges result from an exhaustive and detailed study it conducts
of the multi-faceted intricacies attendant to a public service undertaking of such nature and magnitude. We are, therefore, inclined to lend greater credence to
petitioner's ratiocination that an immediate reduction in its rates would adversely affect its operations and the quality of its service to the public considering the
maintenance requirements, the projects it still has to undertake and the financial outlay involved. Notably, petitioner was not even afforded the opportunity to crossexamine the inspector who issued the report on which respondent NTC based its questioned order.

At any rate, there remains the categorical admission made by respondent NTC that the questioned order was issued pursuant to its quasi-judicial functions. It,
however, insists that notice and hearing are not necessary since the assailed order is merely incidental to the entire proceedings and, therefore, temporary in nature.
This postulate is bereft of merit.
While respondents may fix a temporary rate pending final determination of the application of petitioner, such rate-fixing order, temporary though it may be, is not
exempt from the statutory procedural requirements of notice and hearing, as well as the requirement of reasonableness. Assuming that such power is vested in NTC,
it may not exercise the same in an arbitrary and confiscatory manner. Categorizing such an order as temporary in nature does not perforce entail the applicability of a
different rule of statutory procedure than would otherwise be applied to any other order on the same matter unless otherwise provided by the applicable law. In the
case at bar, the applicable statutory provision is Section 16(c) of the Public Service Act which provides:
Section 16. Proceedings of the Commission, upon notice and hearing the Commission shall have power, upon proper notice and hearing in
accordance with the rules and provisions of this Act, subject to the limitations and exceptions mentioned and saving provisions to the contrary:
xxx xxx xxx
(c) To fix and determine individual or joint rates, ... which shall be imposed, observed and followed thereafter by any public service; ...
There is no reason to assume that the aforesaid provision does not apply to respondent NTC, there being no limiting, excepting, or saving provisions to the contrary
in Executive Orders Nos. 546 and 196.
It is thus clear that with regard to rate-fixing, respondent has no authority to make such order without first giving petitioner a hearing, whether the order be temporary
or permanent, and it is immaterial whether the same is made upon a complaint, a summary investigation, or upon the commission's own motion as in the present
case. That such a hearing is required is evident in respondents' order of September 16, 1987 in NTC Case No. 87-94 which granted PHILCOMSAT a provisional
authority "to continue operating its existing facilities, to render the services it presently offers, and to charge the rates as reduced by them "under the condition that
"(s)ubject to hearing and the final consideration of the merit of this application, the Commission may modify, revise or amend the rates ..." 12
While it may be true that for purposes of rate-fixing respondents may have other sources of information or data, still, since a hearing is essential, respondent NTC
should act solely on the basis of the evidence before it and not on knowledge or information otherwise acquired by it but which is not offered in evidence or, even if so
adduced, petitioner was given no opportunity to controvert.
Again, the order requires the new reduced rates to be made effective on a specified date. It becomes a final legislative act as to the period during which it has to
remain in force pending the final determination of the case. 13An order of respondent NTC prescribing reduced rates, even for a temporary period, could be unjust,
unreasonable or even confiscatory, especially if the rates are unreasonably low, since the utility permanently loses its just revenue during the prescribed period. In
fact, such order is in effect final insofar as the revenue during the period covered by the order is concerned. Upon a showing, therefore, that the order requiring a
reduced rate is confiscatory, and will unduly deprive petitioner of a reasonable return upon its property, a declaration of its nullity becomes inductible, which brings us
to the issue on substantive due process.
III. Petitioner contends that the rate reduction is confiscatory in that its implementation would virtually result in a cessation of its operations and eventual closure of
business. On the other hand, respondents assert that since petitioner is operating its communications satellite facilities through a legislative franchise, as such
grantee it has no vested right therein. What it has is merely a privilege or license which may be revoked at will by the State at any time without necessarily violating
any vested property right of herein petitioner. While petitioner concedes this thesis of respondent, it counters that the withdrawal of such privilege should nevertheless
be neither whimsical nor arbitrary, but it must be fair and reasonable.
There is no question that petitioner is a mere grantee of a legislative franchise which is subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by Congress when the common
good so requires. 14 Apparently, therefore, such grant cannot be unilaterally revoked absent a showing that the termination of the operation of said utility is required
by the common good.
The rule is that the power of the State to regulate the conduct and business of public utilities is limited by the consideration that it is not the owner of the property of
the utility, or clothed with the general power of management incident to ownership, since the private right of ownership to such property remains and is not to be
destroyed by the regulatory power. The power to regulate is not the power to destroy useful and harmless enterprises, but is the power to protect, foster, promote,
preserve, and control with due regard for the interest, first and foremost, of the public, then of the utility and of its patrons. Any regulation, therefore, which operates
as an effective confiscation of private property or constitutes an arbitrary or unreasonable infringement of property rights is void, because it is repugnant to the
constitutional guaranties of due process and equal protection of the laws. 15
Hence, the inherent power and authority of the State, or its authorized agent, to regulate the rates charged by public utilities should be subject always to the
requirement that the rates so fixed shall be reasonable and just. A commission has no power to fix rates which are unreasonable or to regulate them arbitrarily. This
basic requirement of reasonableness comprehends such rates which must not be so low as to be confiscatory, or too high as to be oppressive. 16
What is a just and reasonable rate is not a question of formula but of sound business judgment based upon the evidence 17 it is a question of fact calling for the
exercise of discretion, good sense, and a fair, enlightened and independent judgment. 18 In determining whether a rate is confiscatory, it is essential also to consider
the given situation, requirements and opportunities of the utility. A method often employed in determining reasonableness is the fair return upon the value of the
property to the public utility. Competition is also a very important factor in determining the reasonableness of rates since a carrier is allowed to make such rates as
are necessary to meet competition. 19
A cursory perusal of the assailed order reveals that the rate reduction is solely and primarily based on the initial evaluation made on the financial statements of
petitioner, contrary to respondent NTC's allegation that it has several other sources of information without, however, divulging such sources. Furthermore, it did not
as much as make an attempt to elaborate on how it arrived at the prescribed rates. It just perfunctorily declared that based on the financial statements, there is merit
for a rate reduction without any elucidation on what implications and conclusions were necessarily inferred by it from said statements. Nor did it deign to explain how
the data reflected in the financial statements influenced its decision to impose a rate reduction.
On the other hand, petitioner may likely suffer a severe drawback, with the consequent detriment to the public service, should the order of respondent NTC turn out to
be unreasonable and improvident. The business in which petitioner is engaged is unique in that its machinery and equipment have always to be taken in relation to
the equipment on the other end of the transmission arrangement. Any lack, aging, acquisition, rehabilitation, or refurbishment of machinery and equipment
necessarily entails a major adjustment or innovation on the business of petitioner. As pointed out by petitioner, any change in the sending end abroad has to be
matched with the corresponding change in the receiving end in the Philippines. Conversely, any in the receiving end abroad has to be matched with the
corresponding change in the sending end in the Philippines. An inability on the part of petitioner to meet the variegations demanded be technology could result in a
deterioration or total failure of the service of satellite communications.
At present, petitioner is engaged in several projects aimed at refurbishing, rehabilitating, and renewing its machinery and equipment in order to keep up with the
continuing charges of the times and to maintain its facilities at a competitive level with the technological advances abroad. There projected undertakings were
formulated on the premise that rates are maintained at their present or at reasonable levels. Hence, an undue reduction thereof may practically lead to a cessation of
its business. While we concede the primacy of the public interest in an adequate and efficient service, the same is not necessarily to be equated with reduced rates.
Reasonableness in the rates assumes that the same is fair to both the public utility and the consumer.
Consequently, we hold that the challenged order, particularly on the issue of rates provided therein, being violative of the due process clause is void and should be
nullified. Respondents should now proceed, as they should heretofore have done, with the hearing and determination of petitioner's pending application for a

certificate of public convenience and necessity and in which proceeding the subject of rates involved in the present controversy, as well as other matter involved in
said application, be duly adjudicated with reasonable dispatch and with due observance of our pronouncements herein.
WHEREFORE, the writ prayed for is GRANTED and the order of respondents, dated September 2, 1988, in NTC Case No. 87-94 is hereby SET ASIDE. The
temporary restraining order issued under our resolution of September 13, 1988, as specifically directed against the aforesaid order of respondents on the matter of
existing rates on petitioner's present authorized services, is hereby made permanent.
ANG TIBAY, represented by TORIBIO TEODORO, manager and propietor, and
NATIONAL WORKERS BROTHERHOOD, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS and NATIONAL LABOR UNION, INC., respondents.
G.R. No. L-46496
February 27, 1940
LAUREL, J.:
FACTS: The respondent National Labor Union, Inc. prays for the vacation of the judgement rendered by the majority of this Court and the remanding of the case to
the CIR for a new trial, and avers:
1. That Toribio Teodoro's claim that there was shortage of leather soles in ANG TIBAY making it necessary for him to temporarily lay off the members of the National
Labor Union Inc., is entirely false and unsupported by the records of the Bureau of Customs and the Books of Accounts
2. That the supposed lack of leather materials claimed by Toribio Teodoro was but a scheme to systematically prevent the forfeiture of this bond despite the breach of
his CONTRACT with the Phil.Army.
3. That Toribio Teodoro's letter to the Philippine Army was but a scheme to systematically prevent the forfeiture of this bond despite the breach of his CONTRACT
with the Philippine Army.
4. That the National Worker's Brotherhood of ANG TIBAY is a company or employer union dominated by Toribio Teodoro, the existence and functions of which are
illegal.
5. That in the exercise by the laborers of their rights to collective bargaining, majority rule and elective representation are highly essential and indispensable.
6. That the century provisions of the Civil Code which had been (the) principal source of dissensions and continuous civil war in Spain cannot and should not be
made applicable in interpreting and applying the salutary provisions of a modern labor legislation of American origin where the industrial peace has always been the
rule.
7. That the employer Toribio Teodoro was guilty of unfair labor practice for discriminating against the National Labor Union, Inc., and unjustly favoring the National
Workers' Brotherhood.
8. That the exhibits hereto attached are so inaccessible to the respondents that they could not be expected to have obtained them and offered as evidence in the
Court of Industrial Relations.
9. That the attached documents and exhibits are of such far-reaching importance and effect that their admission would necessarily mean the modification and
reversal of the judgment rendered herein.
ISSUE: whether a new trial should be granted because due process was not observed
HELD: Yes. The Court of Industrial Relations is a special court whose functions are specifically stated in the law of its creation (Commonwealth Act No. 103). It is
more an administrative than a part of the integrated judicial system of the nation.
The Court of Industrial Relations is not narrowly constrained by technical rules of procedure, and the Act requires it to "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 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." The fact, however, that the Court of Industrial
Relations may be said to be free from the rigidity of certain procedural requirements does not mean that it can, in justifiable cases before it, entirely ignore or
disregard the fundamental and essential requirements of due process in trials and investigations of an administrative character. There are primary rights which must
be respected even in proceedings of this character:
(1) The first of these rights is the right to a hearing, which includes the right of the party interested or affected to present his own case and submit evidence
in support thereof.
(2) Not only must the party be given an opportunity to present his case and to adduce evidence tending to establish the rights which he asserts but the
tribunal must consider the evidence presented.
(3) "While the duty to deliberate does not impose the obligation to decide right, it does imply a necessity which cannot be disregarded, namely, that of
having something to support it is a nullity, a place when directly attached."
(4) Not only must there be some evidence to support a finding or conclusion, but the evidence must be "substantial." It means such relevant evidence as
a reasonable mind accept as adequate to support a conclusion." But this assurance of a desirable flexibility in administrative procedure does not go far as
to justify orders without a basis in evidence having rational probative force. Mere uncorroborated hearsay or rumor does not constitute substantial
evidence.
(5) 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.
(6) The Court of Industrial Relations or any of its judges, therefore, must act on its or his own independent consideration of the law and facts of the
controversy, and not simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision.
(7) The Court of Industrial Relations should, in all controversial questions, render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know
the various issues involved, and the reasons for the decision rendered.
In the right of the foregoing fundamental principles, it is sufficient to observe here that, except as to the alleged agreement between the Ang Tibay and the
National Worker's Brotherhood, the record is barren and does not satisfy the thirst for a factual basis upon which to predicate, in a national way, a conclusion of law.
This result, however, does not now preclude the concession of a new trial prayed for the by respondent National Labor Union, Inc. We have considered the reply of
Ang Tibay and its arguments against the petition. By and large, after considerable discussions, we have come to the conclusion that the interest of justice would be
better served if the movant is given opportunity to present at the hearing the documents referred to in his motion and such other evidence as may be relevant to the
main issue involved. The legislation which created the Court of Industrial Relations and under which it acts is new. The failure to grasp the fundamental issue
involved is not entirely attributable to the parties adversely affected by the result.
Accordingly, the motion for a new trial should be and the same is hereby granted, and the entire record of this case shall be remanded to the Court of
Industrial Relations, with instruction that it reopen the case, receive all such evidence as may be relevant.
ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY, FATHER JOAQUIN BERNAS, S. J., DEAN CYNTHIA ROXAS-DEL CASTILLO, JUDGE RUPERTO KAPUNAN, JR.,
JUSTICE VENICIO ESCOLIN, FISCAL MIGUEL ALBAR, ATTYS. MARCOS HERRAS, FERDINAND CASIS, JOSE CLARO TESORO, RAMON CAGUIOA, and

RAMON ERENETA vs. HON. IGNACIO M. CAPULONG, Presiding Judge of the RTC-Makati, Br. 134, ZOSIMO MENDOZA, JR. ERNEST MONTECILLO, ADEL
ABAS, JOSEPH LLEDO AMADO SABBAN, DALMACIO LIM JR., MANUEL ESCONA and JUDE FERNANDEZ
G.R. No. 99327 May 27, 1993
ROMERO, J.:
FACTS: As a requisite to membership, the Aquila Legis, a fraternity organized in the Ateneo Law School, held its initiation rites on February 8, 9 and 10, 1991, for
students interested in joining its ranks. As a result of such initiation rites, Leonardo "Lennie" H. Villa, a first year student of petitioner university, died of serious
physical injuries at Chinese General Hospital on February 10, 1991. He was not the lone victim, though, for another freshman by the name of Bienvenido Marquez
was also hospitalized at the Capitol Medical Center for acute renal failure occasioned by the serious physical injuries inflicted upon him on the same occasion.
In a notice dated February 14, 1991, the Joint Administration-Faculty-Student Investigating Committee, after receiving the written statements and hearing
the testimonies of several witness, found a prima facie case against respondent students for violation of Rule 3 of the Law School Catalogue entitled "Discipline."
Petitioner Dean created a Disciplinary Board composed of petitioners. In a letter respondent students were informed that they had violated Rule No. 3 of
the Rules on Discipline contained in the Law School Catalogue. It ordered respondent students to file their written answers to the above charge on or before February
22 1991, otherwise they would be deemed to have waived their defenses.
In a motion dated February 21, 1991, respondent students, through counsel, requested that the investigation against them be held in abeyance.
Respondent students were then directed by the Board to appear before it at a hearing to clarify their answer with regard to the charges filed by the investigating
committee. Subsequently, respondent students were directed to appear for clarificatory questions. They were also informed that:
a) The proceedings will be summary in nature in accordance with the rules laid down in the case of Guzman vs. National University; b) Petitioners have no right to
cross-examine the affiants-neophytes; c) Hazing which is not defined in the School catalogue shall be defined in accordance with the proposed bill of Sen. Jose Lina,
Senate Bill No. 3815; d) The Board will take into consideration the degree of participation of the petitioners in the alleged hazing incident in imposing the penalty; e)
The Decision of the Board shall be appealable to the President of the University, i. e., Respondent Joaquin Bernas S. J.
The Board found respondent students guilty of violating Rule No. 3 of the Ateneo Law School Rules on Discipline which prohibits participation in hazing
activities. Petitioner Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, as President of the University, accepted the factual findings of the Board, imposed the penalty of dismissal on all
respondent students.
Respondent students filed with the RTC of Makati, a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with prayer for TRO and preliminary injunction. The
petition principally centered on the alleged lack of due process in their dismissal. On the same day, Judge Madayag issued a temporary restraining order the
enjoining petitioners from dismissing respondent students.
Hearings in connection with the issuance of the temporary restraining order were then held. On April 7, 1991, the temporary restraining order lapsed.
Consequently, Dean del Castillo created a Special Board to investigate the charges of hazing against respondent students Abas and Mendoza.
Respondent students reacted immediately by filing a Supplemental Petition of certiorari, prohibition andmandamus with prayer for a temporary restraining
order and preliminary injunction, to include the aforesaid members of the Special Board, as additional respondents to the original petition.
On May 17, 1991, respondent Judge ordered petitioners to reinstate respondent students. On the same date, May 17, 1991, the Special Board
investigating petitioners Abas and Mendoza and directed the dropping of their names from its roll of students. The following day, respondent judge issued the writ of
preliminary injunction. Hence, this special civil action of certiorari.
ISSUES: (1) whether a school is within its rights in expelling students from its academic community pursuant to its disciplinary rules and moral standards; and -Yes.
(2) whether or not the penalty imposed by the school administration is proper under the circumstances. Yes.
HELD: We grant the petition and reverse the order of respondent judge ordering readmission of respondent students. Respondent judge committed grave abuse of
discretion when he ruled that respondent students had been denied due process in the investigation of the charges against them.
It is the threshold argument of respondent students that the decision of petitioner Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S. J., then President of the Ateneo de Manila University, to
expel them was arrived at without affording them their right to procedural due process. We are constrained to disagree as we find no indication that such right has
been violated. On the contrary, respondent students' rights in a school disciplinary proceeding, as enunciated in the cases of Guzman v. National
University, 22 Alcuaz v. PSBA, Q.C. Branch 23 and Non v. Dames II 24 have been meticulously respected by petitioners in the various investigative proceedings held
before they were expelled.
Corollary to their contention of denials of due process is their argument that it is Ang Tibay case 25 and not theGuzman case which is applicable in the case at bar.
Though both cases essentially deal with the requirements of due process, the Guzman case is more apropos to the instant case, since the latter deals specifically
with the minimum standards to be satisfied in the imposition of disciplinary sanctions in academic institutions, such as petitioner university herein, thus:
(1) the students must be informed in writing of the nature and cause of any accusation against them; (2) that they shall have the right to answer
the charges against them with the assistance of counsel, if desired: (3) they shall be informed of the evidence against them (4) they shall have
the right to adduce evidence in their own behalf; and (5) the evidence must be duly considered by the investigating committee or official
designated by the school authorities to hear and decide the case. 26
It cannot seriously be asserted that the above requirements were not met. When, in view of the death of Leonardo Villa, petitioner Cynthia del Castillo, as Dean of the
Ateneo Law School, notified and required respondent students on February 11, 1991 to submit within twenty-four hours their written statement on the incident, 27 the
records show that instead of filing a reply, respondent students requested through their counsel, copies of the charges. 28While of the students mentioned in the
February 11, 1991 notice duly submitted written statements, the others failed to do so. Thus, the latter were granted an extension of up to February 18, 1991 to file
their statements. 29
Indubitably, the nature and cause of the accusation were adequately spelled out in petitioners' notices dated February 14 and 20, 1991. 30 It is to be noted that the
February 20, 1991 letter which quoted Rule No. 3 of its Rules of Discipline as contained in the Ateneo Law School Catalogue was addressed individually to
respondent students. Petitioners' notices/letters dated February 11, February 14 and 20 clearly show that respondent students were given ample opportunity to
adduce evidence in their behalf and to answer the charges leveled against them.
The requisite assistance of counsel was met when, from the very start of the investigations before the Joint Administration Faculty-Student Committee, the law firm of
Gonzales Batiler and Bilog and Associates put in its appearance and filed pleadings in behalf of respondent students.
Respondent students may not use the argument that since they were not accorded the opportunity to see and examine the written statements which became the
basis of petitioners' February 14, 1991 order, they were denied procedural due process. 31 Granting that they were denied such opportunity, the same may not be
said to detract from the observance of due process, for disciplinary cases involving students need not necessarily include the right to cross examination. An
administrative proceeding conducted to investigate students' participation in a hazing activity need not be clothed with the attributes of a judicial proceeding. A closer

examination of the March 2, 1991 hearing which characterized the rules on the investigation as being summary in nature and that respondent students have no right
to examine affiants-neophytes, reveals that this is but a reiteration of our previous ruling inAlcuaz. 32
Respondent students' contention that the investigating committee failed to consider their evidence is far from the truth because the February 14, 1992 ordered clearly
states that it was reached only after receiving the written statements and hearing the testimonies of several witnesses. 33 Similarly, the Disciplinary Board's resolution
dated March 10, 1991 was preceded by a hearing on March 2, 1991 wherein respondent students were summoned to answer clarificatory questions.
With regard to the charge of hazing, respondent students fault petitioners for not explicitly defining the word "hazing" and allege that there is no proof that they were
furnished copies of the 1990-91 Ateneo Law School Catalogue which prohibits hazing. Such flawed sophistry is not worthy of students who aspire to be future
members of the Bar. It cannot be overemphasized that the charge filed before the Joint Administration-Faculty-Student Investigating Committee and the Disciplinary
Board is not a criminal case requiring proof beyond reasonable doubt but is merely administrative in character. As such, it is not subject to the rigorous requirements
of criminal due process, particularly with respect to the specification of the charge involved. As we have had occasion to declare in previous cases a similar nature,
due process in disciplinary cases involving students does not entail proceedings and hearings identical to those prescribed for actions and proceedings in courts of
justice. 34Accordingly, disciplinary charges against a student need not be drawn with the precision of a criminal information or complaint. Having given prior notice to
the students involved that "hazing" which is not defined in the School Catalogue shall be defined in accordance with Senate Bill No. 3815, the proposed bill on the
subject of Sen. Jose Lina, petitioners have said what needs to be said. We deem this sufficient for purposes of the investigation under scrutiny.
Hazing, as a ground for disciplining a students, to the extent of dismissal or expulsion, finds its raison d' etre in the increasing frequency of injury, even death, inflicted
upon the neophytes by their insensate "masters." Assuredly, it passes the test of reasonableness and absence of malice on the part of the school authorities. Far
from fostering comradeship and esprit d' corps, it has merely fed upon the cruel and baser instincts of those who aspire to eventual leadership in our country.
Respondent students argue that petitioners are not in a position to file the instant petition under Rule 65 considering that they failed to file a motion for
reconsideration first before the trial court, thereby by passing the latter and the Court of Appeals. 35
It is accepted legal doctrine that an exception to the doctrine of exhaustion of remedies is when the case involves a question of law, 36 as in this case, where the
issue is whether or not respondent students have been afforded procedural due process prior to their dismissal from petitioner university.
Lastly, respondent students argue that we erred in issuing a Temporary Restraining Order since petitioners do not stand to suffer irreperable damage in the event
that private respondents are allowed to re-enroll. No one can be so myopic as to doubt that the immediate reinstatement of respondent students who have been
investigated and found by the Disciplinary Board to have violated petitioner university's disciplinary rules and standards will certainly undermine the authority of the
administration of the school. This we would be most loathe to do.
More importantly, it will seriously impair petitioner university's academic freedom which has been enshrined in the 1935, 1973 and the present 1987 Constitutions.
At this juncture, it would be meet to recall the essential freedoms subsumed by Justice Felix Frankfurter in the term "academic freedom" cited in the case of Sweezy
v. New Hampshire, 37 thus: (1) who may teach: (2) what may be taught; (3) how it shall be taught; and (4) who may be admitted to study.
Socrates, the "first of the great moralists of Greece," proud to claim the title "gadfly of the State" has deservedly earned for himself a respected place in the annals of
history as a martyr to the cause of free intellectual inquiry. To Plato, this great teacher of his was the "best, the most sensible, and the most sensible, and the most
just man of his age." In 399 B.C., he willingly quaffed the goblet of hemlock as punishment for alleged "corruption" of the youth of Athens. He describes in his own
words how this charge of "corruption," the forerunner of the concept of academic freedom, came about:
Young men of the richer classes, who have not much to do, come about me of their own accord: they like to heart the pretenders examined,
and they often imitate me, and examine others themselves; there are plenty of person, as they soon discover, who think that they know
something, but really know little or nothing; and then those who are examined by them instead of being angry with themselves are angry with
me. This confounded Socrates, they say; this villainous misleader of youth. And then if somebody asks them, Why, what evil does he practice
or teach? they do not know, and cannot tell; but in order that they may not appear to be at a loss, they repeat the ready-made charges which
are used against all philosophers about teaching things up in the clouds and under the earth, and having no gods, and making the worse
appear the better cause; for they do not like to confess that their pretense of knowledge has been detected which is the truth; and as they
are numerous and ambitious and energetic, and are all in battle array and have persuasive tongues, they have filled your ears with their loud
and inveterate calumnies. 38
Since Socrates, numberless individuals of the same heroic mold have similarly defied the stifling strictures of authority, whether State, Church, or various interest
groups, to be able to give free rein to their ideas. Particularly odious were the insidious and blatant attempts at thought control during the time of the Inquisition until
even the Medieval universities, renowned as intellectual centers in Europe, gradually lost their autonomy.
In time, such noble strivings, gathering libertarian encrustations along the way, were gradually crystallized in the cluster of freedoms which awaited the champions
and martyrs of the dawning modern age. This was exemplified by the professors of the new German universities in the 16th and 17th centuries such as the
Universities of Leiden (1554), Helmstatdt (1574) and Heidelberg (1652). The movement back to freedom of inquiry gained adherents among the exponents of
fundamental human rights of the 19th and 20th centuries. "Academic freedom", the term as it evolved to describe the emerging rights related to intellectual liberty,
has traditionally been associated with freedom of thought, speech, expression and the press; in other words, with the right of individuals in university communities,
such as professors, researchers and administrators, to investigate, pursue, discuss and, in the immortal words of Socrates, "to follow the argument wherever it may
lead," free from internal and external interference or pressure.
But obviously, its optimum impact is best realized where the freedom is exercised judiciously and does not degenerate into unbridled license. Early cases on this
individual aspect of academic freedom have been stressed the need for assuring to such individuals a measure of independence through the guarantees of
autonomy and security of tenure. The components of this aspect of academic freedom have been categorized under the areas of: (1) who may teach and (2) how to
teach.
It is to be realized that this individual aspects of academic freedom could have developed only pari passu with its institutional counterpart. As corporate entities,
educational institutions of higher learning are inherently endowed with the right to establish their policies, academic and otherwise, unhampered by external controls
or pressure. In the Frankfurter formulation, this is articulated in the areas of: (1) what shall be taught, e.g., the curriculum and (2) who may be admitted to study.
In the Philippines, the Acts which are passed with the change of sovereignty from the Spanish to the American government, namely, the Philippine Bill of 1902 and
the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916 made no mention of the rights now subsumed under the catch-all term of "academic freedom." This is most especially true with
respect to the institutional aspect of the term. It had to await the drafting of the Philippine Constitutions to be recognized as deserving of legal protection.
The breakthrough for the concept itself was found in Section 5 of the 1935 Constitution which stated: "Universities established by the State shall enjoy academic
freedom." The only State University at that time, being the University of the Philippines, the Charter was perceived by some as exhibiting rank favoritism for the said
institution at the expense of the rest.
In attempt to broaden the coverage of the provision, the 1973 Constitution provided in its Section 8(2): "All institutions of higher learning shall enjoy academic
freedom." In his interpretation of the provision, former U.P. President Vicente G. Sinco, who was also a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, declared that
it "definitely grants the right of academic freedom to the University as an institution as distinguished from the academic freedom of a university professor." 39
Has the right been carried over the to the present Constitution? In an attempt to give an explicit definition with an expanded coverage, the Commissioners of the
Constitutional Commission of the 1986 came up with this formulation: "Academic freedom shall be enjoyed by students, by teachers, and by researchers." After

protracted debate and ringing speeches, the final version which was none too different from the way it was couched in the previous two (2) Constitutions, as found in
Article XIV, Section 5(2) states: "Academic freedom shall be enjoyed in all institutions of higher learning." In anticipation of the question as to whether and what
aspects of academic freedom are included herein, ConCom Commissioner Adolfo S. Azcuna explained: "Since academic freedom is a dynamic concept, we want to
expand the frontiers of freedom, especially in education, therefore, we shall leave it to the courts to develop further the parameters of academic freedom." 40
More to the point, Commissioner Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon asked: "When we speak of the sentence 'academic freedom shall be enjoyed in all institutions of higher
learning,' do we mean that academic freedom shall be enjoyed by the institution itself?" Azcuna replied: "Not only that, it also includes . . . . " Gascon finished off the
broken thought, "the faculty and the students." Azcuna replied: "Yes."
Since Garcia v. Loyola School of Theology, 41 we have consistently upheld the salutary proposition that admission to an institution of higher learning is discretionary
upon a school, the same being a privilege on the part of the student rather than a right. While under the education Act of 1982, students have a right "to freely choose
their field of study, subject to existing curricula and to continue their course therein up to graduation," such right is subject, as all rights are, to the established
academic and disciplinary standards laid down by the academic institution. 42
"For private schools have the right to establish reasonable rules and regulations for the admission, discipline and promotion of students. This . . . extends as well to
parents . . . as parents are under a social and moral (if not legal) obligation, individually and collectively, to assist and cooperate with the schools." 43
Such rules are "incident to the very object of incorporation and indispensable to the successful management of the college. The rules may include those governing
student discipline." 44 Going a step further, the establishment of rules governing university-student relations, particularly those pertaining to student discipline, may be
regarded as vital, not merely to the smooth and efficient operation of the institution, but to its very survival.
Within memory of the current generation is the eruption of militancy in the academic groves as collectively, the students demanded and plucked for themselves from
the ponoply of academic freedom their own rights encapsulized under the rubric of "right to education" forgetting that, in Holfeldian terms, they have a concomitant
duty, and that is, their duty to learn under the rules laid down by the school.
Considering that respondent students are proud to claim as their own a Christian school that includes Theology as part of its curriculum and assidously strives to turn
out individuals of unimpeachable morals and integrity in the mold of the founder of the order of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and their God-fearing
forbears, their barbaric and ruthless acts are the more reprehensible. It must be borne in mind that universities are established, not merely to develop the intellect and
skills of the studentry, but to inculcate lofty values, ideals and attitudes; nay, the development, or flowering if you will, of the total man.
In essence, education must ultimately be religious not in the sense that the founders or charter members of the institution are sectarian or profess a religious
ideology. Rather, a religious education, as the renowned philosopher Alfred North Whitehead said, is "an education which inculcates duty and reverence." 45 It
appears that the particular brand of religious education offered by the Ateneo de Manila has been lost on the respondent students.
Certainly, they do not deserve to claim such a venerable institution as the Ateneo de Manila University as their own a minute longer, for they may foreseeably cast a
malevolent influence on the students currently enrolled, as well as those who come after them.
Quite applicable to this case is our pronouncement in Yap Chin Fah v. Court of Appeals that: "The maintenance of a morally conducive and orderly educational
environment will be seriously imperiled if, under the circumstances of this case, Grace Christian is forced to admit petitioner's children and to reintegrate them to the
student body." 46Thus, the decision of petitioner university to expel them is but congruent with the gravity of their misdeeds. That there must be such a congruence
between the offense committed and the sanction imposed was stressed inMalabanan v. Ramento. 47
Having carefully reviewed the records and the procedure followed by petitioner university, we see no reason to reverse its decision founded on the following
undisputed facts: that on February 8, 9 and 10, 1991, the Aquila Legis Fraternity conducted hazing activities; that respondent students were present at the hazing as
auxiliaries, and that as a result of the hazing, Leonardo Villa died from serious physical injuries, while Bienvenido Marquez was hospitalized. In light of the vicious
acts of respondent students upon those whom ironically they would claim as "brothers" after the initiation rites, how can we countenance the imposition of such
nominal penalties as reprimand or even suspension? We, therefore, affirm petitioners' imposition of the penalty of dismissal upon respondent students. This finds
authority and justification in Section 146 of the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools. 48
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED; the order of respondent Judge dated May 17, 1991 reinstating respondents students into petitioner university is
hereby REVERSED. The resolution of petitioner Joaquin Bernas S. J., then President of Ateneo de Manila University dated March 1991, is REINSTATED and the
decision of the Special Board DISMISSING respondent students ADEL ABAS and ZOSIMO MENDOZA dated May 20, 1991 is hereby AFFIRMED.
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS and HONGKONG & SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION,petitioners, vs. JOSE O. VERA, Judge . of the Court
of First Instance of Manila, and MARIANO CU UNJIENG, respondents.
G.R. No. L-45685
November 16, 1937
LAUREL, J.:
FACTS: Petitioners herein are respectively the plaintiff and the offended party, and the respondent herein Mariano Cu Unjieng is one of the defendants, in the
criminal case. Respondent Hon. Jose O. Vera, is the Judge ad interim of the seventh branch of the CFI of Manila, who heard the application of the defendant Mariano
Cu Unjieng for probation in the aforesaid criminal case.
The instant proceedings have to do with the application for probation filed by the herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng on
November 27, 1936, before
the trial court, under the provisions of Act No. 4221 of the defunct Philippine Legislature. Herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng states in his petition, inter alia, that
he is innocent of the crime of which he was convicted, that he has no criminal record and that he would observe good conduct in the future. The Court of First
Instance of Manila, Judge Pedro Tuason presiding, referred the application for probation of the Insular Probation Office which recommended denial of the same June
18, 1937. Thereafter, the Court of First Instance of Manila, seventh branch, Judge Jose O. Vera presiding, set the petition for hearing on April 5, 1937.
On April 2, 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila filed an opposition to the granting of probation to the herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng. The private
prosecution also filed an opposition on April 5, 1937, alleging, among other things, that Act No. 4221, assuming that it has not been repealed by section 2 of Article
XV of the Constitution, is nevertheless violative of section 1, subsection (1), Article III of the Constitution guaranteeing equal protection of the laws for the reason that
its applicability is not uniform throughout the Islands and because section 11 of the said Act endows the provincial boards with the power to make said law effective
or otherwise in their respective or otherwise in their respective provinces. The private prosecution also filed a supplementary opposition on April 19, 1937, elaborating
on the alleged unconstitutionality on Act No. 4221, as an undue delegation of legislative power to the provincial boards of several provinces.
On June 28, 1937, herein respondent Judge Jose O. Vera promulgated a resolution with a finding accused guilty of the crime but denying the latter's petition
for probation.
On July 3, 1937, counsel for the herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng filed an exception to the resolution denying probation and a notice of intention to file a
motion for reconsideration. An alternative motion for reconsideration or new trial was filed by counsel on July 13, 1937. This was supplemented by an additional
motion for reconsideration submitted on July 14, 1937. The aforesaid motions were set for hearing on July 31, 1937, but said hearing was postponed at the petition of
counsel for the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng because a motion for leave to intervene in the case as amici curiae signed by thirty-three (thirty-four) attorneys had
just been filed with the trial court. Attorney Eulalio Chaves whose signature appears in the aforesaid motion subsequently filed a petition for leave to withdraw his
appearance as amicus curiae on the ground that the motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae was circulated at a banquet given by counsel for Mariano Cu

Unjieng on the evening of July 30, 1937, and that he signed the same "without mature deliberation and purely as a matter of courtesy to the person who invited me
(him)."
On August 6, 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila filed a motion with the trial court for the issuance of an order of execution of the judgment of this court in
said case and forthwith to commit the herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng to jail in obedience to said judgment.
On August 7, 1937, the private prosecution filed its opposition to the motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae, asking that a date be set for a hearing of the
same and that said motion should be denied with respect to certain attorneys signing the same who were members of the legal staff of the several counsel for
Mariano Cu Unjieng. On August 10, 1937, herein respondent Judge issued an order requiring all parties including the movants for intervention as amici curiae to
appear before the court. On the same day, the Fiscal of the City of Manila moved for the hearing of his motion for execution of judgment in preference to the motion
for leave to intervene as amici curiae but, upon objection of counsel for Mariano Cu Unjieng, he moved for the postponement of the hearing of both motions. The
respondent judge thereupon set the hearing of the motion for execution, but proceeded to consider the motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae as in order.
Evidence was signed and submitted to court was to have been heard on August 19, 1937. But at this juncture, herein petitioners came to this court on extraordinary
legal process to put an end to what they alleged was an interminable proceeding in the Court of First Instance of Manila which fostered "the campaign of the
defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng for delay in the execution of the sentence imposed by this Honorable Court on him, exposing the courts to criticism and ridicule
because of the apparent inability of the judicial machinery to make effective a final judgment of this court imposed on the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng."
The scheduled hearing was suspended upon the issuance of a temporary restraining order.
ISSUES: (1) whether the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 has been properly raised in these proceedings Yes.
and (2) in the affirmative, whether or not said Act is constitutional No.
HELD: In their memorandums filed on October 23, 1937, counsel for the respondents maintain that Act No. 4221 is constitutional because, contrary to the
allegations of the petitioners, it does not constitute an undue delegation of legislative power, does not infringe the equal protection clause of the Constitution, and
does not encroach upon the pardoning power of the Executive. In an additional memorandum filed on the same date, counsel for the respondents reiterate the view
that section 11 of Act No. 4221 is free from constitutional objections and contend, in addition, that the private prosecution may not intervene in probation proceedings,
much less question the validity of Act No. 4221; that both the City Fiscal and the Solicitor-General are estopped from questioning the validity of the Act; that the
validity of Act cannot be attacked for the first time before this court; that probation in unavailable; and that, in any event, section 11 of the Act No. 4221 is separable
from the rest of the Act. The last memorandum for the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng was denied for having been filed out of time but was admitted by resolution of
this court and filed anew on
November 5, 1937. This memorandum elaborates on some of the points raised by the respondents and refutes those brought up
by the petitioners.
In the scrutiny of the pleadings and examination of the various aspects of the present case, we noted that the court below, in passing upon the merits of the
application of the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng and in denying said application assumed the task not only of considering the merits of the application, but of
passing upon the culpability of the applicant, notwithstanding the final pronouncement of guilt by this court. (G.R. No. 41200.) Probation implies guilt be final
judgment. While a probation case may look into the circumstances attending the commission of the offense, this does not authorize it to reverse the findings and
conclusive of this court, either directly or indirectly, especially wherefrom its own admission reliance was merely had on the printed briefs, averments, and pleadings
of the parties. As already observed by this court in Shioji vs. Harvey ([1922], 43 Phil., 333, 337), and reiterated in subsequent cases, "if each and every Court of First
Instance could enjoy the privilege of overruling decisions of the Supreme Court, there would be no end to litigation, and judicial chaos would result." A becoming
modesty of inferior courts demands conscious realization of the position that they occupy in the interrelation and operation of the intergrated judicial system of the
nation.
After threshing carefully the multifarious issues raised by both counsel for the petitioners and the respondents, this court prefers to cut the Gordian knot and
take up at once the two fundamental questions presented, namely, (1) whether or not the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 has been properly raised in these
proceedings; and (2) in the affirmative, whether or not said Act is constitutional. Considerations of these issues will involve a discussion of certain incidental questions
raised by the parties.
To arrive at a correct conclusion on the first question, resort to certain guiding principles is necessary. It is a well-settled rule that the constitutionality of an act
of the legislature will not be determined by the courts unless that question is properly raised and presented inappropriate cases and is necessary to a determination
of the case; i.e., the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota presented. (McGirr vs. Hamilton and Abreu [1915], 30 Phil., 563, 568; 6 R. C. L., pp. 76, 77; 12
C. J., pp. 780-782, 783.)
The question of the constitutionality of an act of the legislature is frequently raised in ordinary actions. Nevertheless, resort may be made to extraordinary legal
remedies, particularly where the remedies in the ordinary course of law even if available, are not plain, speedy and adequate. Thus, in Cu Unjieng vs.
Patstone ([1922]), 42 Phil., 818), this court held that the question of the constitutionality of a statute may be raised by the petitioner inmandamus proceedings (see,
also, 12 C. J., p. 783); and in Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Springer([1927], 50 Phil., 259 [affirmed in Springer vs. Government of the Philippine Islands
(1928), 277 U. S., 189; 72 Law. ed., 845]), this court declared an act of the legislature unconstitutional in an action of quo warranto brought in the name of the
Government of the Philippines. It has also been held that the constitutionality of a statute may be questioned in habeas corpus proceedings (12 C. J., p. 783; Bailey
on Habeas Corpus, Vol. I, pp. 97, 117), although there are authorities to the contrary; on an application for injunction to restrain action under the challenged statute
(mandatory, see Cruz vs. Youngberg [1931], 56 Phil., 234); and even on an application for preliminary injunction where the determination of the constitutional
question is necessary to a decision of the case. (12 C. J., p. 783.) The same may be said as regards prohibition and certiorari.(Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad [1925], 47
Phil., 385; [1926], 271 U. S., 500; 70 Law. ed., 1059; Bell vs. First Judicial District Court [1905], 28 Nev., 280; 81 Pac., 875; 113 A. S. R., 854; 6 Ann. Cas., 982; 1 L.
R. A. [N. S], 843, and cases cited). The case of Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, supra, decided by this court twelve years ago was, like the present one, an original action
forcertiorari and prohibition. The constitutionality of Act No. 2972, popularly known as the Chinese Bookkeeping Law, was there challenged by the petitioners, and the
constitutional issue was not met squarely by the respondent in a demurrer. A point was raised "relating to the propriety of the constitutional question being decided in
original proceedings in prohibition." This court decided to take up the constitutional question and, with two justices dissenting, held that Act No. 2972 was
constitutional. The case was elevated on writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States which reversed the judgment of this court and held that the Act
was invalid. (271 U. S., 500; 70 Law. ed., 1059.) On the question of jurisdiction, however, the Federal Supreme Court, though its Chief Justice, said:
By the Code of Civil Procedure of the Philippine Islands, section 516, the Philippine supreme court is granted concurrent jurisdiction in prohibition
with courts of first instance over inferior tribunals or persons, and original jurisdiction over courts of first instance, when such courts are exercising
functions without or in excess of their jurisdiction. It has been held by that court that the question of the validity of the criminal statute must usually be
raised by a defendant in the trial court and be carried regularly in review to the Supreme Court. (Cadwallader-Gibson Lumber Co. vs. Del Rosario, 26 Phil.,
192). But in this case where a new act seriously affected numerous persons and extensive property rights, and was likely to cause a multiplicity of actions,
the Supreme Court exercised its discretion to bring the issue to the act's validity promptly before it and decide in the interest of the orderly administration
of justice. The court relied by analogy upon the cases of Ex parte Young (209 U. S., 123;52 Law ed., 714; 13 L. R. A. [N. S.] 932; 28 Sup. Ct. Rep., 441;
14 Ann. Ca., 764; Traux vs. Raich, 239 U. S., 33; 60 Law. ed., 131; L. R. A. 1916D, 545; 36 Sup. Ct. Rep., 7; Ann. Cas., 1917B, 283; and Wilson vs. New,

243 U. S., 332; 61 Law. ed., 755; L. R. A. 1917E, 938; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 298; Ann. Cas. 1918A, 1024). Although objection to the jurisdiction was raise by
demurrer to the petition, this is now disclaimed on behalf of the respondents, and both parties ask a decision on the merits. In view of the broad powers in
prohibition granted to that court under the Island Code, we acquiesce in the desire of the parties.
The writ of prohibition is an extraordinary judicial writ issuing out of a court of superior jurisdiction and directed to an inferior court, for the purpose of preventing
the inferior tribunal from usurping a jurisdiction with which it is not legally vested. (High, Extraordinary Legal Remedies, p. 705.) The general rule, although there is a
conflict in the cases, is that the merit of prohibition will not lie whether the inferior court has jurisdiction independent of the statute the constitutionality of which is
questioned, because in such cases the interior court having jurisdiction may itself determine the constitutionality of the statute, and its decision may be subject to
review, and consequently the complainant in such cases ordinarily has adequate remedy by appeal without resort to the writ of prohibition. But where the inferior
court or tribunal derives its jurisdiction exclusively from an unconstitutional statute, it may be prevented by the writ of prohibition from enforcing that statute. (50 C. J.,
670; Ex parte Round tree [1874, 51 Ala., 42; In re Macfarland, 30 App. [D. C.], 365; Curtis vs. Cornish [1912], 109 Me., 384; 84 A., 799; Pennington vs. Woolfolk
[1880], 79 Ky., 13; State vs. Godfrey [1903], 54 W. Va., 54; 46 S. E., 185; Arnold vs. Shields [1837], 5 Dana, 19; 30 Am. Dec., 669.)
Courts of First Instance sitting in probation proceedings derived their jurisdiction solely from Act No. 4221 which prescribes in detailed manner the procedure
for granting probation to accused persons after their conviction has become final and before they have served their sentence. It is true that at common law the
authority of the courts to suspend temporarily the execution of the sentence is recognized and, according to a number of state courts, including those of
Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Ohio, the power is inherent in the courts (Commonwealth vs. Dowdican's Bail [1874], 115 Mass., 133; People vs. Stickel
[1909], 156 Mich., 557; 121 N. W., 497; People ex rel. Forsyth vs. Court of Session [1894], 141 N. Y., 288; Weber vs. State [1898], 58 Ohio St., 616). But, in the
leading case of Ex parte United States ([1916], 242 U. S., 27; 61 Law. ed., 129; L. R. A., 1917E, 1178; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 72; Ann. Cas. 1917B, 355), the Supreme
Court of the United States expressed the opinion that under the common law the power of the court was limited to temporary suspension, and brushed aside the
contention as to inherent judicial power saying, through Chief Justice White:
Indisputably under our constitutional system the right to try offenses against the criminal laws and upon conviction to impose the punishment
provided by law is judicial, and it is equally to be conceded that, in exerting the powers vested in them on such subject, courts inherently possess ample
right to exercise reasonable, that is, judicial, discretion to enable them to wisely exert their authority. But these concessions afford no ground for the
contention as to power here made, since it must rest upon the proposition that the power to enforce begets inherently a discretion to permanently refuse to
do so. And the effect of the proposition urged upon the distribution of powers made by the Constitution will become apparent when it is observed that
indisputable also is it that the authority to define and fix the punishment for crime is legislative and includes the right in advance to bring within judicial
discretion, for the purpose of executing the statute, elements of consideration which would be otherwise beyond the scope of judicial authority, and that
the right to relieve from the punishment, fixed by law and ascertained according to the methods by it provided belongs to the executive department.
Justice Carson, in his illuminating concurring opinion in the case of Director of Prisons vs. Judge of First Instance of Cavite (29 Phil., 265), decided by this court
in 1915, also reached the conclusion that the power to suspend the execution of sentences pronounced in criminal cases is not inherent in the judicial function. "All
are agreed", he said, "that in the absence of statutory authority, it does not lie within the power of the courts to grant such suspensions." (at p. 278.) Both petitioner
and respondents are correct, therefore, when they argue that a Court of First Instance sitting in probation proceedings is a court of limited jurisdiction. Its jurisdiction
in such proceedings is conferred exclusively by Act No. 4221 of the Philippine Legislature.
It is, of course, true that the constitutionality of a statute will not be considered on application for prohibition where the question has not been properly brought
to the attention of the court by objection of some kind (Hill vs. Tarver [1901], 130 Ala., 592; 30 S., 499; State ex rel. Kelly vs. Kirby [1914], 260 Mo., 120; 168 S. W.,
746). In the case at bar, it is unquestionable that the constitutional issue has been squarely presented not only before this court by the petitioners but also before the
trial court by the private prosecution. The respondent, Hon. Jose O Vera, however, acting as judge of the court below, declined to pass upon the question on the
ground that the private prosecutor, not being a party whose rights are affected by the statute, may not raise said question. The respondent judge cited Cooley on
Constitutional Limitations (Vol. I, p. 339; 12 C. J., sec. 177, pp. 760 and 762), and McGlue vs. Essex County ([1916], 225 Mass., 59; 113 N. E., 742, 743), as
authority for the proposition that a court will not consider any attack made on the constitutionality of a statute by one who has no interest in defeating it because his
rights are not affected by its operation. The respondent judge further stated that it may not motu proprio take up the constitutional question and, agreeing with Cooley
that "the power to declare a legislative enactment void is one which the judge, conscious of the fallibility of the human judgment, will shrink from exercising in any
case where he can conscientiously and with due regard to duty and official oath decline the responsibility" (Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., Vol. I, p. 332),
proceeded on the assumption that Act No. 4221 is constitutional. While therefore, the court a quo admits that the constitutional question was raised before it, it
refused to consider the question solely because it was not raised by a proper party. Respondents herein reiterates this view. The argument is advanced that the
private prosecution has no personality to appear in the hearing of the application for probation of defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng in criminal case No. 42648 of the
Court of First Instance of Manila, and hence the issue of constitutionality was not properly raised in the lower court. Although, as a general rule, only those who are
parties to a suit may question the constitutionality of a statute involved in a judicial decision, it has been held that since the decree pronounced by a court without
jurisdiction is void, where the jurisdiction of the court depends on the validity of the statute in question, the issue of the constitutionality will be considered on its being
brought to the attention of the court by persons interested in the effect to be given the statute.(12 C. J., sec. 184, p. 766.) And, even if we were to concede that the
issue was not properly raised in the court below by the proper party, it does not follow that the issue may not be here raised in an original action of certiorari and
prohibitions. It is true that, as a general rule, the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity, so that if not raised by the pleadings, ordinarily
it may not be raised at the trial, and if not raised in the trial court, it will not considered on appeal. (12 C. J., p. 786. See, also, Cadwallader-Gibson Lumber Co. vs.
Del Rosario, 26 Phil., 192, 193-195.) But we must state that the general rule admits of exceptions. Courts, in the exercise of sounds discretion, may determine the
time when a question affecting the constitutionality of a statute should be presented. (In re Woolsey [1884], 95 N. Y., 135, 144.) Thus, in criminal cases, although
there is a very sharp conflict of authorities, it is said that the question may be raised for the first time at any stage of the proceedings, either in the trial court or on
appeal. (12 C. J., p. 786.) Even in civil cases, it has been held that it is the duty of a court to pass on the constitutional question, though raised for the first time on
appeal, if it appears that a determination of the question is necessary to a decision of the case. (McCabe's Adm'x vs. Maysville & B. S. R. Co., [1910], 136 ky., 674;
124 S. W., 892; Lohmeyer vs. St. Louis Cordage Co. [1908], 214 Mo., 685; 113 S. W. 1108; Carmody vs. St. Louis Transit Co., [1905], 188 Mo., 572; 87 S. W., 913.)
And it has been held that a constitutional question will be considered by an appellate court at any time, where it involves the jurisdiction of the court below (State vs.
Burke [1911], 175 Ala., 561; 57 S., 870.) As to the power of this court to consider the constitutional question raised for the first time before this court in these
proceedings, we turn again and point with emphasis to the case of Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, supra. And on the hypotheses that the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking
Corporation, represented by the private prosecution, is not the proper party to raise the constitutional question here a point we do not now have to decide we
are of the opinion that the People of the Philippines, represented by the Solicitor-General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila, is such a proper party in the present
proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he
has sustained, or will sustained, direct injury as a result of its enforcement. It goes without saying that if Act No. 4221 really violates the constitution, the People of the
Philippines, in whose name the present action is brought, has a substantial interest in having it set aside. Of grater import than the damage caused by the illegal
expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute. Hence, the well-settled rule that the state
can challenge the validity of its own laws. In Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Springer ([1927]), 50 Phil., 259 (affirmed in Springer vs. Government of the
Philippine Islands [1928], 277 U.S., 189; 72 Law. ed., 845), this court declared an act of the legislature unconstitutional in an action instituted in behalf of the

Government of the Philippines. In Attorney General vs. Perkins ([1889], 73 Mich., 303, 311, 312; 41 N. W. 426, 428, 429), the State of Michigan, through its Attorney
General, instituted quo warranto proceedings to test the right of the respondents to renew a mining corporation, alleging that the statute under which the respondents
base their right was unconstitutional because it impaired the obligation of contracts. The capacity of the chief law officer of the state to question the constitutionality of
the statute was though, as a general rule, only those who are parties to a suit may question the constitutionality of a statute involved in a judicial decision, it has been
held that since the decree pronounced by a court without jurisdiction in void, where the jurisdiction of the court depends on the validity of the statute in question, the
issue of constitutionality will be considered on its being brought to the attention of the court by persons interested in the effect to begin the statute. (12 C.J., sec. 184,
p. 766.) And, even if we were to concede that the issue was not properly raised in the court below by the proper party, it does not follow that the issue may not be
here raised in an original action of certiorari and prohibition. It is true that, as a general rule, the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity,
so that if not raised by the pleadings, ordinarily it may not be raised a the trial, and if not raised in the trial court, it will not be considered on appeal. (12 C.J., p. 786.
See, also, Cadwallader-Gibson Lumber Co. vs. Del Rosario, 26 Phil., 192, 193-195.) But we must state that the general rule admits of exceptions. Courts, in the
exercise of sound discretion, may determine the time when a question affecting the constitutionality of a statute should be presented. (In re Woolsey [19884], 95 N.Y.,
135, 144.) Thus, in criminal cases, although there is a very sharp conflict of authorities, it is said that the question may be raised for the first time at any state of the
proceedings, either in the trial court or on appeal. (12 C.J., p. 786.) Even in civil cases, it has been held that it is the duty of a court to pass on the constitutional
question, though raised for first time on appeal, if it appears that a determination of the question is necessary to a decision of the case. (McCabe's Adm'x vs.
Maysville & B. S. R. Co. [1910], 136 Ky., 674; 124 S. W., 892; Lohmeyer vs. St. Louis, Cordage Co. [1908], 214 Mo. 685; 113 S. W., 1108; Carmody vs. St. Louis
Transit Co. [1905], 188 Mo., 572; 87 S. W., 913.) And it has been held that a constitutional question will be considered by an appellate court at any time, where it
involves the jurisdiction of the court below (State vs. Burke [1911], 175 Ala., 561; 57 S., 870.) As to the power of this court to consider the constitutional question
raised for the first time before this court in these proceedings, we turn again and point with emphasis to the case of Yu Cong Eng. vs. Trinidad, supra. And on the
hypothesis that the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, represented by the private prosecution, is not the proper party to raise the constitutional question
here a point we do not now have to decide we are of the opinion that the People of the Philippines, represented by the Solicitor-General and the Fiscal of the
City of Manila, is such a proper party in the present proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal
and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement. It goes without saying that if Act No. 4221
really violates the Constitution, the People of the Philippines, in whose name the present action is brought, has a substantial interest in having it set aside. Of greater
import than the damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid
statute. Hence, the well-settled rule that the state can challenge the validity of its own laws. In Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Springer ([1927]), 50 Phil.,
259 (affirmed in Springer vs. Government of the Philippine Islands [1928], 277 U.S., 189; 72 Law. ed., 845), this court declared an act of the legislature
unconstitutional in an action instituted in behalf of the Government of the Philippines. In Attorney General vs. Perkings([1889], 73 Mich., 303, 311, 312; 41 N.W., 426,
428, 429), the State of Michigan, through its Attorney General, instituted quo warranto proceedings to test the right of the respondents to renew a mining corporation,
alleging that the statute under which the respondents base their right was unconstitutional because it impaired the obligation of contracts. The capacity of the chief
law officer of the state to question the constitutionality of the statute was itself questioned. Said the Supreme Court of Michigan, through Champlin, J.:
. . . The idea seems to be that the people are estopped from questioning the validity of a law enacted by their representatives; that to an accusation
by the people of Michigan of usurpation their government, a statute enacted by the people of Michigan is an adequate answer. The last proposition is true,
but, if the statute relied on in justification is unconstitutional, it is statute only in form, and lacks the force of law, and is of no more saving effect to justify
action under it than if it had never been enacted. The constitution is the supreme law, and to its behests the courts, the legislature, and the people must
bow . . . The legislature and the respondents are not the only parties in interest upon such constitutional questions. As was remarked by Mr. Justice Story,
in speaking of an acquiescence by a party affected by an unconstitutional act of the legislature: "The people have a deep and vested interest in
maintaining all the constitutional limitations upon the exercise of legislative powers." (Allen vs. Mckeen, 1 Sum., 314.)
In State vs. Doane ([1916], 98 Kan., 435; 158 Pac., 38, 40), an original action (mandamus) was brought by the Attorney-General of Kansas to test the
constitutionality of a statute of the state. In disposing of the question whether or not the state may bring the action, the Supreme Court of Kansas said:
. . . the state is a proper party indeed, the proper party to bring this action. The state is always interested where the integrity of its Constitution
or statutes is involved.
"It has an interest in seeing that the will of the Legislature is not disregarded, and need not, as an individual plaintiff must,
show grounds of fearing more specific injury. (State vs. Kansas City 60 Kan., 518 [57 Pac., 118])." (State vs. Lawrence, 80 Kan.,
707; 103 Pac., 839.)
Where the constitutionality of a statute is in doubt the state's law officer, its Attorney-General, or county attorney, may exercise his bet judgment as
to what sort of action he will bring to have the matter determined, either by quo warranto to challenge its validity (State vs. Johnson, 61 Kan., 803; 60 Pac.,
1068; 49 L.R.A., 662), by mandamus to compel obedience to its terms (State vs. Dolley, 82 Kan., 533; 108 Pac., 846), or by injunction to restrain
proceedings under its questionable provisions (State ex rel. vs. City of Neodesha, 3 Kan. App., 319; 45 Pac., 122).
Other courts have reached the same conclusion (See State vs. St. Louis S. W. Ry. Co. [1917], 197 S. W., 1006; State vs. S.H. Kress & Co. [1934], 155 S., 823;
State vs. Walmsley [1935], 181 La., 597; 160 S., 91; State vs. Board of County Comr's [1934], 39 Pac. [2d], 286; First Const. Co. of Brooklyn vs. State [1917], 211
N.Y., 295; 116 N.E., 1020; Bush vs. State {1918], 187 Ind., 339; 119 N.E., 417; State vs. Watkins [1933], 176 La., 837; 147 S., 8, 10, 11). In the case last cited, the
Supreme Court of Luisiana said:
It is contended by counsel for Herbert Watkins that a district attorney, being charged with the duty of enforcing the laws, has no right to plead that a
law is unconstitutional. In support of the argument three decisions are cited, viz.: State ex rel. Hall, District Attorney, vs. Judge of Tenth Judicial District (33
La. Ann., 1222); State ex rel. Nicholls, Governor vs. Shakespeare, Mayor of New Orleans (41 Ann., 156; 6 So., 592); and State ex rel., Banking Co., etc.
vs. Heard, Auditor (47 La. Ann., 1679; 18 So., 746; 47 L. R. A., 512). These decisions do not forbid a district attorney to plead that a statute is
unconstitutional if he finds if in conflict with one which it is his duty to enforce. In State ex rel. Hall, District Attorney, vs. Judge, etc., the ruling was the
judge should not, merely because he believed a certain statute to be unconstitutional forbid the district attorney to file a bill of information charging a
person with a violation of the statute. In other words, a judge should not judicially declare a statute unconstitutional until the question of constitutionality is
tendered for decision, and unless it must be decided in order to determine the right of a party litigant. Stateex rel. Nicholls, Governor, etc., is authority for
the proposition merely that an officer on whom a statute imposes the duty of enforcing its provisions cannot avoid the duty upon the ground that he
considers the statute unconstitutional, and hence in enforcing the statute he is immune from responsibility if the statute be unconstitutional. State ex rel.
Banking Co., etc., is authority for the proposition merely that executive officers, e.g., the state auditor and state treasurer, should not decline to perform
ministerial duties imposed upon them by a statute, on the ground that they believe the statute is unconstitutional.
It is the duty of a district attorney to enforce the criminal laws of the state, and, above all, to support the Constitution of the state. If, in the
performance of his duty he finds two statutes in conflict with each other, or one which repeals another, and if, in his judgment, one of the two statutes is
unconstitutional, it is his duty to enforce the other; and, in order to do so, he is compelled to submit to the court, by way of a plea, that one of the statutes
is unconstitutional. If it were not so, the power of the Legislature would be free from constitutional limitations in the enactment of criminal laws.

The respondents do not seem to doubt seriously the correctness of the general proposition that the state may impugn the validity of its laws. They have not
cited any authority running clearly in the opposite direction. In fact, they appear to have proceeded on the assumption that the rule as stated is sound but that it has
no application in the present case, nor may it be invoked by the City Fiscal in behalf of the People of the Philippines, one of the petitioners herein, the principal
reasons being that the validity before this court, that the City Fiscal is estopped from attacking the validity of the Act and, not authorized challenge the validity of the
Act in its application outside said city. (Additional memorandum of respondents, October 23, 1937, pp. 8,. 10, 17 and 23.)
The mere fact that the Probation Act has been repeatedly relied upon the past and all that time has not been attacked as unconstitutional by the Fiscal of
Manila but, on the contrary, has been impliedly regarded by him as constitutional, is no reason for considering the People of the Philippines estopped from nor
assailing its validity. For courts will pass upon a constitutional questions only when presented before it in bona fide cases for determination, and the fact that the
question has not been raised before is not a valid reason for refusing to allow it to be raised later. The fiscal and all others are justified in relying upon the statute and
treating it as valid until it is held void by the courts in proper cases.
It remains to consider whether the determination of the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 is necessary to the resolution of the instant case. For, ". . . while the
court will meet the question with firmness, where its decision is indispensable, it is the part of wisdom, and just respect for the legislature, renders it proper, to waive
it, if the case in which it arises, can be decided on other points." (Ex parte Randolph [1833], 20 F. Cas. No. 11, 558; 2 Brock., 447. Vide, also Hoover vs. wood [1857],
9 Ind., 286, 287.) It has been held that the determination of a constitutional question is necessary whenever it is essential to the decision of the case (12 C. J., p. 782,
citing Long Sault Dev. Co. vs. Kennedy [1913], 158 App. Div., 398; 143 N. Y. Supp., 454 [aff. 212 N.Y., 1: 105 N. E., 849; Ann. Cas. 1915D, 56; and app dism 242
U.S., 272]; Hesse vs. Ledesma, 7 Porto Rico Fed., 520; Cowan vs. Doddridge, 22 Gratt [63 Va.], 458; Union Line Co., vs. Wisconsin R. Commn., 146 Wis., 523; 129
N. W., 605), as where the right of a party is founded solely on a statute the validity of which is attacked. (12 C.J., p. 782, citing Central Glass Co. vs. Niagrara F. Ins.
Co., 131 La., 513; 59 S., 972; Cheney vs. Beverly, 188 Mass., 81; 74 N.E., 306). There is no doubt that the respondent Cu Unjieng draws his privilege to probation
solely from Act No. 4221 now being assailed.
Apart from the foregoing considerations, that court will also take cognizance of the fact that the Probation Act is a new addition to our statute books and its
validity has never before been passed upon by the courts; that may persons accused and convicted of crime in the City of Manila have applied for probation; that
some of them are already on probation; that more people will likely take advantage of the Probation Act in the future; and that the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng
has been at large for a period of about four years since his first conviction. All wait the decision of this court on the constitutional question. Considering, therefore, the
importance which the instant case has assumed and to prevent multiplicity of suits, strong reasons of public policy demand that the constitutionality of Act No. 4221
be now resolved. (Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad [1925], 47 Phil., 385; [1926], 271 U.S., 500; 70 Law. ed., 1059. See 6 R.C.L., pp. 77, 78; People vs. Kennedy [1913],
207 N.Y., 533; 101 N.E., 442, 444; Ann. Cas. 1914C, 616; Borginis vs. Falk Co. [1911], 147 Wis., 327; 133 N.W., 209, 211; 37 L.R.A. [N.S.] 489; Dimayuga and
Fajardo vs. Fernandez [1922], 43 Phil., 304.) In Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, supra, an analogous situation confronted us. We said: "Inasmuch as the property and
personal rights of nearly twelve thousand merchants are affected by these proceedings, and inasmuch as Act No. 2972 is a new law not yet interpreted by the courts,
in the interest of the public welfare and for the advancement of public policy, we have determined to overrule the defense of want of jurisdiction in order that we may
decide the main issue. We have here an extraordinary situation which calls for a relaxation of the general rule." Our ruling on this point was sustained by the
Supreme Court of the United States. A more binding authority in support of the view we have taken can not be found.
We have reached the conclusion that the question of the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 has been properly raised. Now for the main inquiry: Is the Act
unconstitutional?
Under a doctrine peculiarly American, it is the office and duty of the judiciary to enforce the Constitution. This court, by clear implication from the provisions of
section 2, subsection 1, and section 10, of Article VIII of the Constitution, may declare an act of the national legislature invalid because in conflict with the
fundamental lay. It will not shirk from its sworn duty to enforce the Constitution. And, in clear cases, it will not hesitate to give effect to the supreme law by setting
aside a statute in conflict therewith. This is of the essence of judicial duty.
This court is not unmindful of the fundamental criteria in cases of this nature that all reasonable doubts should be resolved in favor of the constitutionality of a
statute. An act of the legislature approved by the executive, is presumed to be within constitutional limitations. The responsibility of upholding the Constitution rests
not on the courts alone but on the legislature as well. "The question of the validity of every statute is first determined by the legislative department of the government
itself." (U.S. vs. Ten Yu [1912], 24 Phil., 1, 10; Case vs. Board of Health and Heiser [1913], 24 Phil., 250, 276; U.S. vs. Joson [1913], 26 Phil., 1.) And a statute finally
comes before the courts sustained by the sanction of the executive. The members of the Legislature and the Chief Executive have taken an oath to support the
Constitution and it must be presumed that they have been true to this oath and that in enacting and sanctioning a particular law they did not intend to violate the
Constitution. The courts cannot but cautiously exercise its power to overturn the solemn declarations of two of the three grand departments of the governments. (6
R.C.L., p. 101.) Then, there is that peculiar political philosophy which bids the judiciary to reflect the wisdom of the people as expressed through an elective
Legislature and an elective Chief Executive. It follows, therefore, that the courts will not set aside a law as violative of the Constitution except in a clear case. This is a
proposition too plain to require a citation of authorities.
One of the counsel for respondents, in the course of his impassioned argument, called attention to the fact that the President of the Philippines had already
expressed his opinion against the constitutionality of the Probation Act, adverting that as to the Executive the resolution of this question was a foregone conclusion.
Counsel, however, reiterated his confidence in the integrity and independence of this court. We take notice of the fact that the President in his message dated
September 1, 1937, recommended to the National Assembly the immediate repeal of the Probation Act (No. 4221); that this message resulted in the approval of Bill
No. 2417 of the Nationality Assembly repealing the probation Act, subject to certain conditions therein mentioned; but that said bill was vetoed by the President on
September 13, 1937, much against his wish, "to have stricken out from the statute books of the Commonwealth a law . . . unfair and very likely unconstitutional." It is
sufficient to observe in this connection that, in vetoing the bill referred to, the President exercised his constitutional prerogative. He may express the reasons which
he may deem proper for taking such a step, but his reasons are not binding upon us in the determination of actual controversies submitted for our determination.
Whether or not the Executive should express or in any manner insinuate his opinion on a matter encompassed within his broad constitutional power of veto but which
happens to be at the same time pending determination in this court is a question of propriety for him exclusively to decide or determine. Whatever opinion is
expressed by him under these circumstances, however, cannot sway our judgment on way or another and prevent us from taking what in our opinion is the proper
course of action to take in a given case. It if is ever necessary for us to make any vehement affirmance during this formative period of our political history, it is that we
are independent of the Executive no less than of the Legislative department of our government independent in the performance of our functions, undeterred by
any consideration, free from politics, indifferent to popularity, and unafraid of criticism in the accomplishment of our sworn duty as we see it and as we understand it.
The constitutionality of Act No. 4221 is challenged on three principal grounds: (1) That said Act encroaches upon the pardoning power of the Executive; (2) that
its constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power and (3) that it denies the equal protection of the laws.
1. Section 21 of the Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, commonly known as the Jones Law, in force at the time of the approval of Act No. 4221, otherwise
known as the Probation Act, vests in the Governor-General of the Philippines "the exclusive power to grant pardons and reprieves and remit fines and forfeitures".
This power is now vested in the President of the Philippines. (Art. VII, sec. 11, subsec. 6.) The provisions of the Jones Law and the Constitution differ in some
respects. The adjective "exclusive" found in the Jones Law has been omitted from the Constitution. Under the Jones Law, as at common law, pardon could be
granted any time after the commission of the offense, either before or after conviction (Vide Constitution of the United States, Art. II, sec. 2; In re Lontok [1922], 43
Phil., 293). The Governor-General of the Philippines was thus empowered, like the President of the United States, to pardon a person before the facts of the case

were fully brought to light. The framers of our Constitution thought this undesirable and, following most of the state constitutions, provided that the pardoning power
can only be exercised "after conviction". So, too, under the new Constitution, the pardoning power does not extend to "cases of impeachment". This is also the rule
generally followed in the United States (Vide Constitution of the United States, Art. II, sec. 2). The rule in England is different. There, a royal pardon can not be
pleaded in bar of an impeachment; "but," says Blackstone, "after the impeachment has been solemnly heard and determined, it is not understood that the king's royal
grace is further restrained or abridged." (Vide, Ex parte Wells [1856], 18 How., 307; 15 Law. ed., 421; Com. vs. Lockwood [1872], 109 Mass., 323; 12 Am. Rep., 699;
Sterling vs. Drake [1876], 29 Ohio St., 457; 23 am. Rep., 762.) The reason for the distinction is obvious. In England, Judgment on impeachment is not confined to
mere "removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the Government" (Art. IX, sec. 4, Constitution of the
Philippines) but extends to the whole punishment attached by law to the offense committed. The House of Lords, on a conviction may, by its sentence, inflict capital
punishment, perpetual banishment, perpetual banishment, fine or imprisonment, depending upon the gravity of the offense committed, together with removal from
office and incapacity to hold office. (Com. vs. Lockwood, supra.) Our Constitution also makes specific mention of "commutation" and of the power of the executive to
impose, in the pardons he may grant, such conditions, restrictions and limitations as he may deem proper. Amnesty may be granted by the President under the
Constitution but only with the concurrence of the National Assembly. We need not dwell at length on the significance of these fundamental changes. It is sufficient for
our purposes to state that the pardoning power has remained essentially the same. The question is: Has the pardoning power of the Chief Executive under the Jones
Law been impaired by the Probation Act?
As already stated, the Jones Law vests the pardoning power exclusively in the Chief Executive. The exercise of the power may not, therefore, be vested in
anyone else.
". . . The benign prerogative of mercy reposed in the executive cannot be taken away nor fettered by any legislative restrictions, nor can like power be given by the
legislature to any other officer or authority. The coordinate departments of government have nothing to do with the pardoning power, since no person properly
belonging to one of the departments can exercise any powers appertaining to either of the others except in cases expressly provided for by the constitution." (20
R.C.L., pp., , and cases cited.) " . . . where the pardoning power is conferred on the executive without express or implied limitations, the grant is exclusive, and the
legislature can neither exercise such power itself nor delegate it elsewhere, nor interfere with or control the proper exercise thereof, . . ." (12 C.J., pp. 838, 839, and
cases cited.) If Act No. 4221, then, confers any pardoning power upon the courts it is for that reason unconstitutional and void. But does it?
In the famous Killitts decision involving an embezzlement case, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in 1916 that an order indefinitely suspending
sentenced was void. (Ex parte United States [1916], 242 U.S., 27; 61 Law. ed., 129; L.R.A. 1917E, 1178; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 72; Ann. Cas. 1917B, 355.) Chief Justice
White, after an exhaustive review of the authorities, expressed the opinion of the court that under the common law the power of the court was limited to temporary
suspension and that the right to suspend sentenced absolutely and permanently was vested in the executive branch of the government and not in the judiciary. But,
the right of Congress to establish probation by statute was conceded. Said the court through its Chief Justice: ". . . and so far as the future is concerned, that is, the
causing of the imposition of penalties as fixed to be subject, by probation legislation or such other means as the legislative mind may devise, to such judicial
discretion as may be adequate to enable courts to meet by the exercise of an enlarged but wise discretion the infinite variations which may be presented to them for
judgment, recourse must be had Congress whose legislative power on the subject is in the very nature of things adequately complete." (Quoted in Riggs vs. United
States [1926], 14 F. [2d], 5, 6.) This decision led the National Probation Association and others to agitate for the enactment by Congress of a federal probation law.
Such action was finally taken on March 4, 1925 (chap. 521, 43 Stat. L. 159, U.S.C. title 18, sec. 724). This was followed by an appropriation to defray the salaries and
expenses of a certain number of probation officers chosen by civil service. (Johnson, Probation for Juveniles and Adults, p. 14.)
In United States vs. Murray ([1925], 275 U.S., 347; 48 Sup. Ct. Rep., 146; 72 Law. ed., 309), the Supreme Court of the United States, through Chief Justice
Taft, held that when a person sentenced to imprisonment by a district court has begun to serve his sentence, that court has no power under the Probation Act of
March 4, 1925 to grant him probation even though the term at which sentence was imposed had not yet expired. In this case of Murray, the constitutionality of the
probation Act was not considered but was assumed. The court traced the history of the Act and quoted from the report of the Committee on the Judiciary of the
United States House of Representatives (Report No. 1377, 68th Congress, 2 Session) the following statement:
Prior to the so-called Killitts case, rendered in December, 1916, the district courts exercised a form of probation either, by suspending sentence or
by placing the defendants under state probation officers or volunteers. In this case, however (Ex parte United States, 242 U.S., 27; 61 L. Ed., 129; L.R.A.,
1917E, 1178; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 72 Ann. Cas. 1917B, 355), the Supreme Court denied the right of the district courts to suspend sentenced. In the same
opinion the court pointed out the necessity for action by Congress if the courts were to exercise probation powers in the future . . .
Since this decision was rendered, two attempts have been made to enact probation legislation. In 1917, a bill was favorably reported by the
Judiciary Committee and passed the House. In 1920, the judiciary Committee again favorably reported a probation bill to the House, but it was never
reached for definite action.
If this bill is enacted into law, it will bring the policy of the Federal government with reference to its treatment of those convicted of violations of its
criminal laws in harmony with that of the states of the Union. At the present time every state has a probation law, and in all but twelve states the law
applies both to adult and juvenile offenders. (see, also, Johnson, Probation for Juveniles and Adults [1928], Chap. I.)
The constitutionality of the federal probation law has been sustained by inferior federal courts. In Riggs vs. United States supra, the Circuit Court of Appeals of
the Fourth Circuit said:
Since the passage of the Probation Act of March 4, 1925, the questions under consideration have been reviewed by the Circuit Court of Appeals of
the Ninth Circuit (7 F. [2d], 590), and the constitutionality of the act fully sustained, and the same held in no manner to encroach upon the pardoning power
of the President. This case will be found to contain an able and comprehensive review of the law applicable here. It arose under the act we have to
consider, and to it and the authorities cited therein special reference is made (Nix vs. James, 7 F. [2d], 590, 594), as is also to a decision of the Circuit
Court of Appeals of the Seventh Circuit (Kriebel vs. U.S., 10 F. [2d], 762), likewise construing the Probation Act.
We have seen that in 1916 the Supreme Court of the United States; in plain and unequivocal language, pointed to Congress as possessing the requisite power
to enact probation laws, that a federal probation law as actually enacted in 1925, and that the constitutionality of the Act has been assumed by the Supreme Court of
the United States in 1928 and consistently sustained by the inferior federal courts in a number of earlier cases.
We are fully convinced that the Philippine Legislature, like the Congress of the United States, may legally enact a probation law under its broad power to fix the
punishment of any and all penal offenses. This conclusion is supported by other authorities. In Ex parte Bates ([1915], 20 N. M., 542; L.R.A. 1916A, 1285; 151 Pac.,
698, the court said: "It is clearly within the province of the Legislature to denominate and define all classes of crime, and to prescribe for each a minimum and
maximum punishment." And in State vs. Abbott ([1910], 87 S.C., 466; 33 L.R.A. [N. S.], 112; 70 S. E., 6; Ann. Cas. 1912B, 1189), the court said: "The legislative
power to set punishment for crime is very broad, and in the exercise of this power the general assembly may confer on trial judges, if it sees fit, the largest discretion
as to the sentence to be imposed, as to the beginning and end of the punishment and whether it should be certain or indeterminate or conditional." (Quoted in State
vs. Teal [1918], 108 S. C., 455; 95 S. E., 69.) Indeed, the Philippine Legislature has defined all crimes and fixed the penalties for their violation. Invariably, the
legislature has demonstrated the desire to vest in the courts particularly the trial courts large discretion in imposing the penalties which the law prescribes in
particular cases. It is believed that justice can best be served by vesting this power in the courts, they being in a position to best determine the penalties which an
individual convict, peculiarly circumstanced, should suffer. Thus, while courts are not allowed to refrain from imposing a sentence merely because, taking into
consideration the degree of malice and the injury caused by the offense, the penalty provided by law is clearly excessive, the courts being allowed in such case to

submit to the Chief Executive, through the Department of Justice, such statement as it may deem proper (see art. 5, Revised Penal Code), in cases where both
mitigating and aggravating circumstances are attendant in the commission of a crime and the law provides for a penalty composed of two indivisible penalties, the
courts may allow such circumstances to offset one another in consideration of their number and importance, and to apply the penalty according to the result of such
compensation. (Art. 63, rule 4, Revised Penal Code; U.S. vs. Reguera and Asuategui [1921], 41 Phil., 506.) Again, article 64, paragraph 7, of the Revised Penal
Code empowers the courts to determine, within the limits of each periods, in case the penalty prescribed by law contains three periods, the extent of the evil
produced by the crime. In the imposition of fines, the courts are allowed to fix any amount within the limits established by law, considering not only the mitigating and
aggravating circumstances, but more particularly the wealth or means of the culprit. (Art. 66, Revised Penal Code.) Article 68, paragraph 1, of the same Code
provides that "a discretionary penalty shall be imposed" upon a person under fifteen but over nine years of age, who has not acted without discernment, but always
lower by two degrees at least than that prescribed by law for the crime which he has committed. Article 69 of the same Code provides that in case of "incomplete selfdefense", i.e., when the crime committed is not wholly excusable by reason of the lack of some of the conditions required to justify the same or to exempt from
criminal liability in the several cases mentioned in article 11 and 12 of the Code, "the courts shall impose the penalty in the period which may be deemed proper, in
view of the number and nature of the conditions of exemption present or lacking." And, in case the commission of what are known as "impossible" crimes, "the court,
having in mind the social danger and the degree of criminality shown by the offender," shall impose upon him either arresto mayor or a fine ranging from 200 to 500
pesos. (Art. 59, Revised Penal Code.)
Under our Revised Penal Code, also, one-half of the period of preventive imprisonment is deducted form the entire term of imprisonment, except in certain
cases expressly mentioned (art. 29); the death penalty is not imposed when the guilty person is more than seventy years of age, or where upon appeal or revision of
the case by the Supreme Court, all the members thereof are not unanimous in their voting as to the propriety of the imposition of the death penalty (art. 47, see also,
sec. 133, Revised Administrative Code, as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 3); the death sentence is not to be inflicted upon a woman within the three years
next following the date of the sentence or while she is pregnant, or upon any person over seventy years of age (art. 83); and when a convict shall become insane or
an imbecile after final sentence has been pronounced, or while he is serving his sentenced, the execution of said sentence shall be suspended with regard to the
personal penalty during the period of such insanity or imbecility (art. 79).
But the desire of the legislature to relax what might result in the undue harshness of the penal laws is more clearly demonstrated in various other enactments,
including the probation Act. There is the Indeterminate Sentence Law enacted in 1933 as Act No. 4103 and subsequently amended by Act No. 4225, establishing a
system of parole (secs. 5 to 100 and granting the courts large discretion in imposing the penalties of the law. Section 1 of the law as amended provides; "hereafter, in
imposing a prison sentence for an offenses punished by the Revised Penal Code, or its amendments, the court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate
sentence the maximum term of which shall be that which, in view of the attending circumstances, could be properly imposed under the rules of the said Code, and to
a minimum which shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by the Code for the offense; and if the offense is punished by any other law,
the court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence, the maximum term of which shall not exceed the maximum fixed by said law and the minimum
shall not be less than the minimum term prescribed by the same." Certain classes of convicts are, by section 2 of the law, excluded from the operation thereof. The
Legislature has also enacted the Juvenile Delinquency Law (Act No. 3203) which was subsequently amended by Act No. 3559. Section 7 of the original Act and
section 1 of the amendatory Act have become article 80 of the Revised Penal Code, amended by Act No. 4117 of the Philippine Legislature and recently reamended
by Commonwealth Act No. 99 of the National Assembly. In this Act is again manifested the intention of the legislature to "humanize" the penal laws. It allows, in
effect, the modification in particular cases of the penalties prescribed by law by permitting the suspension of the execution of the judgment in the discretion of the trial
court, after due hearing and after investigation of the particular circumstances of the offenses, the criminal record, if any, of the convict, and his social history. The
Legislature has in reality decreed that in certain cases no punishment at all shall be suffered by the convict as long as the conditions of probation are faithfully
observed. It this be so, then, it cannot be said that the Probation Act comes in conflict with the power of the Chief Executive to grant pardons and reprieves, because,
to use the language of the Supreme Court of New Mexico, "the element of punishment or the penalty for the commission of a wrong, while to be declared by the
courts as a judicial function under and within the limits of law as announced by legislative acts, concerns solely the procedure and conduct of criminal causes, with
which the executive can have nothing to do." (Ex parte Bates, supra.) In Williams vs. State ([1926], 162 Ga., 327; 133 S.E., 843), the court upheld the constitutionality
of the Georgia probation statute against the contention that it attempted to delegate to the courts the pardoning power lodged by the constitution in the governor
alone is vested with the power to pardon after final sentence has been imposed by the courts, the power of the courts to imposed any penalty which may be from
time to time prescribed by law and in such manner as may be defined cannot be questioned."
We realize, of course, the conflict which the American cases disclose. Some cases hold it unlawful for the legislature to vest in the courts the power to suspend
the operation of a sentenced, by probation or otherwise, as to do so would encroach upon the pardoning power of the executive. (In re Webb [1895], 89 Wis., 354; 27
L.R.A., 356; 46 Am. St. Rep., 846; 62 N.W., 177; 9 Am. Crim., Rep., 702; State ex rel. Summerfield vs. Moran [1919], 43 Nev., 150; 182 Pac., 927; Ex
parte Clendenning [1908], 22 Okla., 108; 1 Okla. Crim. Rep., 227; 19 L.R.A. [N.S.], 1041; 132 Am. St. Rep., 628; 97 Pac., 650; People vs. Barrett [1903], 202 Ill, 287;
67 N.E., 23; 63 L.R.A., 82; 95 Am. St. Rep., 230; Snodgrass vs. State [1912], 67 Tex. Crim. Rep., 615; 41 L. R. A. [N. S.], 1144; 150 S. W., 162;Ex parte Shelor
[1910], 33 Nev., 361;111 Pac., 291; Neal vs. State [1898], 104 Ga., 509; 42 L. R. A., 190; 69 Am. St. Rep., 175; 30 S. E. 858; State ex rel. Payne vs. Anderson
[1921], 43 S. D., 630; 181 N. W., 839; People vs. Brown, 54 Mich., 15; 19 N. W., 571; States vs. Dalton [1903], 109 Tenn., 544; 72 S. W., 456.)
Other cases, however, hold contra. (Nix vs. James [1925; C. C. A., 9th], 7 F. [2d], 590; Archer vs. Snook [1926; D. C.], 10 F. [2d], 567; Riggs. vs. United States
[1926; C. C. A. 4th], 14]) [2d], 5; Murphy vs. States [1926], 171 Ark., 620; 286 S. W., 871; 48 A. L. R., 1189; Re Giannini [1912], 18 Cal. App., 166; 122 Pac., 831; Re
Nachnaber [1928], 89 Cal. App., 530; 265 Pac., 392; Ex parte De Voe [1931], 114 Cal. App., 730; 300 Pac., 874; People vs. Patrick [1897], 118 Cal., 332; 50 Pac.,
425; Martin vs. People [1917], 69 Colo., 60; 168 Pac., 1171; Belden vs. Hugo [1914], 88 Conn., 50; 91 A., 369, 370, 371; Williams vs. State [1926], 162 Ga., 327; 133
S. E., 843; People vs. Heise [1913], 257 Ill., 443; 100 N. E., 1000; Parker vs. State [1893], 135 Ind., 534; 35 N. E., 179; 23 L. R. A., 859; St. Hillarie, Petitioner [1906],
101 Me., 522; 64 Atl., 882; People vs. Stickle [1909], 156 Mich., 557; 121 N. W., 497; State vs. Fjolander [1914], 125 Minn., 529; State ex rel. Bottomnly vs. District
Court [1925], 73 Mont., 541; 237 Pac., 525; State vs. Everitt [1913], 164 N. C., 399; 79 S. E., 274; 47 L. R. A. [N. S.], 848; Stateex rel. Buckley vs. Drew [1909], 75 N.
H., 402; 74 Atl., 875; State vs. Osborne [1911], 79 N. J. Eq., 430; 82 Atl. 424; Ex parte Bates [1915], 20 N. M., 542; L. R. A., 1916 A. 1285; 151 Pac., 698; People
vs. ex rel. Forsyth vs. Court of Session [1894], 141 N. Y., 288; 23 L. R. A., 856; 36 N. E., 386; 15 Am. Crim. Rep., 675; People ex rel. Sullivan vs. Flynn [1907], 55
Misc., 639; 106 N. Y. Supp., 928; People vs. Goodrich [1914], 149 N. Y. Supp., 406; Moore vs. Thorn [1935], 245 App. Div., 180; 281 N. Y. Supp., 49; Re Hart [1914],
29 N. D., 38; L. R. A., 1915C, 1169; 149 N. W., 568; Ex parte Eaton [1925], 29 Okla., Crim. Rep., 275; 233 P., 781; State vs. Teal [1918], 108 S. C., 455; 95 S. E.,
69; State vs. Abbot [1910], 87 S. C., 466; 33 L.R.A., [N. S.], 112; 70 S. E., 6; Ann. Cas., 1912B, 1189; Fults vs. States [1854],34 Tenn., 232; Woods vs. State [1814],
130 Tenn., 100; 169 S. W., 558; Baker vs. State [1814], 130 Tenn., 100; 169 S. W., 558; Baker vs. State [1913],70 Tex., Crim. Rep., 618; 158 S. W., 998; Cook vs.
State [1914], 73 Tex. Crim. Rep., 548; 165 S. W., 573; King vs. State [1914], 72 Tex. Crim. Rep., 394; 162 S. W., 890; Clare vs. State [1932], 122 Tex. Crim. Rep.,
394; 162 S. W., 890; Clare vs. State [1932], 122 Tex. Crim. Rep., 211; 54 S. W. [2d], 127; Re Hall [1927], 100 Vt., 197; 136 A., 24; Richardson vs. Com. [1921], 131
Va., 802; 109 S.E., 460; State vs. Mallahan [1911], 65 Wash., 287; 118 Pac., 42; State ex rel. Tingstand vs. Starwich [1922], 119 Wash., 561; 206 Pac., 29; 26 A. L.
R., 393; 396.) We elect to follow this long catena of authorities holding that the courts may be legally authorized by the legislature to suspend sentence by the
establishment of a system of probation however characterized. State ex rel. Tingstand vs. Starwich ([1922], 119 Wash., 561; 206 Pac., 29; 26 A. L. R., 393),
deserved particular mention. In that case, a statute enacted in 1921 which provided for the suspension of the execution of a sentence until otherwise ordered by the
court, and required that the convicted person be placed under the charge of a parole or peace officer during the term of such suspension, on such terms as the court

may determine, was held constitutional and as not giving the court a power in violation of the constitutional provision vesting the pardoning power in the chief
executive of the state. (Vide, also, Re Giannini [1912], 18 Cal App., 166; 122 Pac., 831.)
Probation and pardon are not coterminous; nor are they the same. They are actually district and different from each other, both in origin and in nature. In
People ex rel. Forsyth vs. Court of Sessions ([1894], 141 N. Y., 288, 294; 36 N. E., 386, 388; 23 L. R. A., 856; 15 Am. Crim. Rep., 675), the Court of Appeals of New
York said:
. . . The power to suspend sentence and the power to grant reprieves and pardons, as understood when the constitution was adopted, are totally
distinct and different in their nature. The former was always a part of the judicial power; the latter was always a part of the executive power. The
suspension of the sentence simply postpones the judgment of the court temporarily or indefinitely, but the conviction and liability following it, and the civil
disabilities, remain and become operative when judgment is rendered. A pardon reaches both the punishment prescribed for the offense and the guilt of
the offender. It releases the punishment, and blots out of existence the guilt, so that in the eye of the law, the offender is as innocent as if he had never
committed the offense. It removes the penalties and disabilities, and restores him to all his civil rights. It makes him, as it were, a new man, and gives him
a new credit and capacity. (Ex parte Garland, 71 U. S., 4 Wall., 333; 18 Law. ed., 366; U. S. vs. Klein, 80 U. S., 13 Wall., 128; 20 Law. ed., 519; Knote vs.
U. S., 95 U. S., 149; 24 Law. ed., 442.)
The framers of the federal and the state constitutions were perfectly familiar with the principles governing the power to grant pardons, and it was
conferred by these instruments upon the executive with full knowledge of the law upon the subject, and the words of the constitution were used to express
the authority formerly exercised by the English crown, or by its representatives in the colonies. (Ex parte Wells, 59 U. S., 18 How., 307; 15 Law. ed., 421.)
As this power was understood, it did not comprehend any part of the judicial functions to suspend sentence, and it was never intended that the authority to
grant reprieves and pardons should abrogate, or in any degree restrict, the exercise of that power in regard to its own judgments, that criminal courts has
so long maintained. The two powers, so distinct and different in their nature and character, were still left separate and distinct, the one to be exercised by
the executive, and the other by the judicial department. We therefore conclude that a statute which, in terms, authorizes courts of criminal jurisdiction to
suspend sentence in certain cases after conviction, a power inherent in such courts at common law, which was understood when the constitution was
adopted to be an ordinary judicial function, and which, ever since its adoption, has been exercised of legislative power under the constitution. It does not
encroach, in any just sense, upon the powers of the executive, as they have been understood and practiced from the earliest times. (Quoted with approval
in Directors of Prisons vs. Judge of First Instance of Cavite [1915], 29 Phil., 265, Carson, J., concurring, at pp. 294, 295.)
In probation, the probationer is in no true sense, as in pardon, a free man. He is not finally and completely exonerated. He is not exempt from the entire
punishment which the law inflicts. Under the Probation Act, the probationer's case is not terminated by the mere fact that he is placed on probation. Section 4 of the
Act provides that the probation may be definitely terminated and the probationer finally discharged from supervision only after the period of probation shall have been
terminated and the probation officer shall have submitted a report, and the court shall have found that the probationer has complied with the conditions of probation.
The probationer, then, during the period of probation, remains in legal custody subject to the control of the probation officer and of the court; and, he may be
rearrested upon the non-fulfillment of the conditions of probation and, when rearrested, may be committed to prison to serve the sentence originally imposed upon
him. (Secs. 2, 3, 5 and 6, Act No. 4221.)
The probation described in the act is not pardon. It is not complete liberty, and may be far from it. It is really a new mode of punishment, to be
applied by the judge in a proper case, in substitution of the imprisonment and find prescribed by the criminal laws. For this reason its application is as
purely a judicial act as any other sentence carrying out the law deemed applicable to the offense. The executive act of pardon, on the contrary, is against
the criminal law, which binds and directs the judges, or rather is outside of and above it. There is thus no conflict with the pardoning power, and no
possible unconstitutionality of the Probation Act for this cause. (Archer vs. Snook [1926], 10 F. [2d], 567, 569.)
Probation should also be distinguished from reprieve and from commutation of the sentence. Snodgrass vs. State ([1912], 67 Tex. Crim. Rep., 615;41 L. R. A.
[N. S.], 1144; 150 S. W., 162), is relied upon most strongly by the petitioners as authority in support of their contention that the power to grant pardons and reprieves,
having been vested exclusively upon the Chief Executive by the Jones Law, may not be conferred by the legislature upon the courts by means of probation law
authorizing the indefinite judicial suspension of sentence. We have examined that case and found that although the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas held that the
probation statute of the state in terms conferred on the district courts the power to grant pardons to persons convicted of crime, it also distinguished between
suspensions sentence on the one hand, and reprieve and commutation of sentence on the other. Said the court, through Harper, J.:
That the power to suspend the sentence does not conflict with the power of the Governor to grant reprieves is settled by the decisions of the various
courts; it being held that the distinction between a "reprieve" and a suspension of sentence is that a reprieve postpones the execution of the sentence to a
day certain, whereas a suspension is for an indefinite time. (Carnal vs. People, 1 Parker, Cr. R., 262; In re Buchanan, 146 N. Y., 264; 40 N. E., 883), and
cases cited in 7 Words & Phrases, pp. 6115, 6116. This law cannot be hold in conflict with the power confiding in the Governor to grant commutations of
punishment, for a commutations is not but to change the punishment assessed to a less punishment.
In State ex rel. Bottomnly vs. District Court ([1925], 73 Mont., 541; 237 Pac., 525), the Supreme Court of Montana had under consideration the validity of the
adult probation law of the state enacted in 1913, now found in sections 12078-12086, Revised Codes of 1921. The court held the law valid as not impinging upon the
pardoning power of the executive. In a unanimous decision penned by Justice Holloway, the court said:
. . . . the term "pardon", "commutation", and "respite" each had a well understood meaning at the time our Constitution was adopted, and no one of
them was intended to comprehend the suspension of the execution of the judgment as that phrase is employed in sections 12078-12086. A "pardon" is an
act of grace, proceeding from the power intrusted with the execution of the laws which exempts the individual on whom it is bestowed from the punishment
the law inflicts for a crime he has committed (United States vs. Wilson, 7 Pet., 150; 8 Law. ed., 640); It is a remission of guilt (State vs. Lewis, 111 La.,
693; 35 So., 816), a forgiveness of the offense (Cook vs. Middlesex County, 26 N. J. Law, 326; Ex parte Powell, 73 Ala., 517; 49 Am. Rep., 71).
"Commutation" is a remission of a part of the punishment; a substitution of a less penalty for the one originally imposed (Lee vs. Murphy, 22 Grat. [Va.]
789; 12 Am. Rep., 563; Rich vs. Chamberlain, 107 Mich., 381; 65 N. W., 235). A "reprieve" or "respite" is the withholding of the sentence for an interval of
time (4 Blackstone's Commentaries, 394), a postponement of execution (Carnal vs. People, 1 Parker, Cr. R. [N. Y.], 272), a temporary suspension of
execution (Butler vs. State, 97 Ind., 373).
Few adjudicated cases are to be found in which the validity of a statute similar to our section 12078 has been determined; but the same objections
have been urged against parole statutes which vest the power to parole in persons other than those to whom the power of pardon is granted, and these
statutes have been upheld quite uniformly, as a reference to the numerous cases cited in the notes to Woods vs. State (130 Tenn., 100; 169 S. W.,558,
reported in L. R. A., 1915F, 531), will disclose. (See, also, 20 R. C. L., 524.)
We conclude that the Probation Act does not conflict with the pardoning power of the Executive. The pardoning power, in respect to those serving their
probationary sentences, remains as full and complete as if the Probation Law had never been enacted. The President may yet pardon the probationer and thus place
it beyond the power of the court to order his rearrest and imprisonment. (Riggs vs. United States [1926],
14 F. [2d], 5, 7.)
2. But while the Probation Law does not encroach upon the pardoning power of the executive and is not for that reason void, does section 11 thereof
constitute, as contended, an undue delegation of legislative power?

Under the constitutional system, the powers of government are distributed among three coordinate and substantially independent organs: the legislative, the
executive and the judicial. Each of these departments of the government derives its authority from the Constitution which, in turn, is the highest expression of popular
will. Each has exclusive cognizance of the matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere.
The power to make laws the legislative power is vested in a bicameral Legislature by the Jones Law (sec. 12) and in a unicamiral National Assembly by
the Constitution (Act. VI, sec. 1, Constitution of the Philippines). The Philippine Legislature or the National Assembly may not escape its duties and responsibilities by
delegating that power to any other body or authority. Any attempt to abdicate the power is unconstitutional and void, on the principle that potestas delegata non
delegare potest. This principle is said to have originated with the glossators, was introduced into English law through a misreading of Bracton, there developed as a
principle of agency, was established by Lord Coke in the English public law in decisions forbidding the delegation of judicial power, and found its way into America as
an enlightened principle of free government. It has since become an accepted corollary of the principle of separation of powers. (5 Encyc. of the Social Sciences, p.
66.) The classic statement of the rule is that of Locke, namely: "The legislative neither must nor can transfer the power of making laws to anybody else, or place it
anywhere but where the people have." (Locke on Civil Government, sec. 142.) Judge Cooley enunciates the doctrine in the following oft-quoted language: "One of
the settled maxims in constitutional law is, that the power conferred upon the legislature to make laws cannot be delegated by that department to any other body or
authority. Where the sovereign power of the state has located the authority, there it must remain; and by the constitutional agency alone the laws must be made until
the Constitution itself is charged. The power to whose judgment, wisdom, and patriotism this high prerogative has been intrusted cannot relieve itself of the
responsibilities by choosing other agencies upon which the power shall be devolved, nor can it substitute the judgment, wisdom, and patriotism of any other body for
those to which alone the people have seen fit to confide this sovereign trust." (Cooley on Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., Vol. I, p. 224. Quoted with approval in U.
S. vs. Barrias [1908], 11 Phil., 327.) This court posits the doctrine "on the ethical principle that such a delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be
performed by the delegate by the instrumentality of his own judgment acting immediately upon the matter of legislation and not through the intervening mind of
another. (U. S. vs. Barrias, supra, at p. 330.)
The rule, however, which forbids the delegation of legislative power is not absolute and inflexible. It admits of exceptions. An exceptions sanctioned by
immemorial practice permits the central legislative body to delegate legislative powers to local authorities. (Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro [1919], 39 Phil., 660;
U. S. vs. Salaveria [1918], 39 Phil., 102; Stoutenburgh vs. Hennick [1889], 129 U. S., 141; 32 Law. ed., 637; 9 Sup. Ct. Rep., 256; State vs. Noyes [1855], 30 N. H.,
279.) "It is a cardinal principle of our system of government, that local affairs shall be managed by local authorities, and general affairs by the central authorities; and
hence while the rule is also fundamental that the power to make laws cannot be delegated, the creation of the municipalities exercising local self government has
never been held to trench upon that rule. Such legislation is not regarded as a transfer of general legislative power, but rather as the grant of the authority to
prescribed local regulations, according to immemorial practice, subject of course to the interposition of the superior in cases of necessity." (Stoutenburgh vs.
Hennick, supra.) On quite the same principle, Congress is powered to delegate legislative power to such agencies in the territories of the United States as it may
select. A territory stands in the same relation to Congress as a municipality or city to the state government. (United States vs. Heinszen [1907], 206 U. S., 370; 27
Sup. Ct. Rep., 742; 51 L. ed., 1098; 11 Ann. Cas., 688; Dorr vs. United States [1904], 195 U.S., 138; 24 Sup. Ct. Rep., 808; 49 Law. ed., 128; 1 Ann. Cas., 697.)
Courts have also sustained the delegation of legislative power to the people at large. Some authorities maintain that this may not be done (12 C. J., pp. 841, 842; 6
R. C. L., p. 164, citing People vs. Kennedy [1913], 207 N. Y., 533; 101 N. E., 442; Ann. Cas., 1914C, 616). However, the question of whether or not a state has
ceased to be republican in form because of its adoption of the initiative and referendum has been held not to be a judicial but a political question (Pacific States Tel. &
Tel. Co. vs. Oregon [1912], 223 U. S., 118; 56 Law. ed., 377; 32 Sup. Cet. Rep., 224), and as the constitutionality of such laws has been looked upon with favor by
certain progressive courts, the sting of the decisions of the more conservative courts has been pretty well drawn. (Opinions of the Justices [1894], 160 Mass., 586; 36
N. E., 488; 23 L. R. A., 113; Kiernan vs. Portland [1910], 57 Ore., 454; 111 Pac., 379; 1132 Pac., 402; 37 L. R. A. [N. S.], 332; Pacific States Tel. & Tel. Co. vs.
Oregon, supra.) Doubtless, also, legislative power may be delegated by the Constitution itself. Section 14, paragraph 2, of article VI of the Constitution of the
Philippines provides that "The National Assembly may by law authorize the President, subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, to fix within
specified limits, tariff rates, import or export quotas, and tonnage and wharfage dues." And section 16 of the same article of the Constitution provides that "In times of
war or other national emergency, the National Assembly may by law authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribed,
to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out a declared national policy." It is beyond the scope of this decision to determine whether or not, in the absence of the
foregoing constitutional provisions, the President could be authorized to exercise the powers thereby vested in him. Upon the other hand, whatever doubt may have
existed has been removed by the Constitution itself.
The case before us does not fall under any of the exceptions hereinabove mentioned.
The challenged section of Act No. 4221 in section 11 which reads as follows:
This Act shall apply only in those provinces in which the respective provincial boards have provided for the salary of a probation officer at rates not lower
than those now provided for provincial fiscals. Said probation officer shall be appointed by the Secretary of Justice and shall be subject to the direction of
the Probation Office. (Emphasis ours.)
In testing whether a statute constitute an undue delegation of legislative power or not, it is usual to inquire whether the statute was complete in all its terms and
provisions when it left the hands of the legislature so that nothing was left to the judgment of any other appointee or delegate of the legislature. (6 R. C. L., p. 165.) In
the United States vs. Ang Tang Ho ([1922], 43 Phil., 1), this court adhered to the foregoing rule when it held an act of the legislature void in so far as it undertook to
authorize the Governor-General, in his discretion, to issue a proclamation fixing the price of rice and to make the sale of it in violation of the proclamation a crime.
(See and cf. Compaia General de Tabacos vs. Board of Public Utility Commissioners [1916], 34 Phil., 136.) The general rule, however, is limited by another rule that
to a certain extent matters of detail may be left to be filled in by rules and regulations to be adopted or promulgated by executive officers and administrative boards.
(6 R. C. L., pp. 177-179.)
For the purpose of Probation Act, the provincial boards may be regarded as administrative bodies endowed with power to determine when the Act should take
effect in their respective provinces. They are the agents or delegates of the legislature in this respect. The rules governing delegation of legislative power to
administrative and executive officers are applicable or are at least indicative of the rule which should be here adopted. An examination of a variety of cases on
delegation of power to administrative bodies will show that the ratio decidendiis at variance but, it can be broadly asserted that the rationale revolves around the
presence or absence of a standard or rule of action or the sufficiency thereof in the statute, to aid the delegate in exercising the granted discretion. In some
cases, it is held that the standard is sufficient; in others that is insufficient; and in still others that it is entirely lacking. As a rule, an act of the legislature is incomplete
and hence invalid if it does not lay down any rule or definite standard by which the administrative officer or board may be guided in the exercise of the discretionary
powers delegated to it. (See Schecter vs. United States [1925], 295 U. S., 495; 79 L. ed., 1570; 55 Sup. Ct. Rep., 837; 97 A.L.R., 947; People ex rel. Rice vs. Wilson
Oil Co. [1936], 364 Ill., 406; 4 N. E. [2d], 847; 107 A.L.R., 1500 and cases cited. See also R. C. L., title "Constitutional Law", sec 174.) In the case at bar, what rules
are to guide the provincial boards in the exercise of their discretionary power to determine whether or not the Probation Act shall apply in their respective provinces?
What standards are fixed by the Act? We do not find any and none has been pointed to us by the respondents. The probation Act does not, by the force of any of its
provisions, fix and impose upon the provincial boards any standard or guide in the exercise of their discretionary power. What is granted, if we may use the language
of Justice Cardozo in the recent case of Schecter, supra, is a "roving commission" which enables the provincial boards to exercise arbitrary discretion. By section 11
if the Act, the legislature does not seemingly on its own authority extend the benefits of the Probation Act to the provinces but in reality leaves the entire matter for the
various provincial boards to determine. In other words, the provincial boards of the various provinces are to determine for themselves, whether the Probation Law

shall apply to their provinces or not at all. The applicability and application of the Probation Act are entirely placed in the hands of the provincial boards. If the
provincial board does not wish to have the Act applied in its province, all that it has to do is to decline to appropriate the needed amount for the salary of a probation
officer. The plain language of the Act is not susceptible of any other interpretation. This, to our minds, is a virtual surrender of legislative power to the provincial
boards.
"The true distinction", says Judge Ranney, "is between the delegation of power to make the law, 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. Clinton County Comrs. [1852]; 1 Ohio St., 77, 88. See also, Sutherland on Statutory Construction, sec 68.) To
the same effect are the decision of this court in Municipality of Cardona vs. Municipality of Binangonan ([1917], 36 Phil., 547); Rubi vs. Provincial Board of
Mindoro ([1919],39 Phil., 660) andCruz vs. Youngberg ([1931], 56 Phil., 234). In the first of these cases, this court sustained the validity of the law conferring upon the
Governor-General authority to adjust provincial and municipal boundaries. In the second case, this court held it lawful for the legislature to direct non-Christian
inhabitants to take up their habitation on unoccupied lands to be selected by the provincial governor and approved by the provincial board. In the third case, it was
held proper for the legislature to vest in the Governor-General authority to suspend or not, at his discretion, the prohibition of the importation of the foreign cattle,
such prohibition to be raised "if the conditions of the country make this advisable or if deceased among foreign cattle has ceased to be a menace to the agriculture
and livestock of the lands."
It should be observed that in the case at bar we are not concerned with the simple transference of details of execution or the promulgation by executive or
administrative officials of rules and regulations to carry into effect the provisions of a law. If we were, recurrence to our own decisions would be sufficient. (U. S. vs.
Barrias [1908], 11 Phil., 327; U.S. vs. Molina [1914], 29 Phil., 119; Alegre vs. Collector of Customs [1929], 53 Phil., 394; Cebu Autobus Co. vs. De Jesus [1931], 56
Phil., 446; U. S. vs. Gomez [1915], 31 Phil., 218; Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro [1919], 39 Phil., 660.)
It is connected, however, that a legislative act may be made to the effect as law after it leaves the hands of the legislature. It is true that laws may be made
effective on certain contingencies, as by proclamation of the executive or the adoption by the people of a particular community (6 R. C. L., 116, 170-172; Cooley,
Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., Vol. I, p. 227). In Wayman vs. Southard ([1825], 10 Wheat. 1; 6 Law. ed., 253), the Supreme Court of the United State ruled that
the legislature may delegate a power not legislative which it may itself rightfully exercise.(Vide, also, Dowling vs. Lancashire Ins. Co. [1896], 92 Wis., 63; 65 N. W.,
738; 31 L. R. A., 112.) The power to ascertain facts is such a power which may be delegated. There is nothing essentially legislative in ascertaining the existence of
facts or conditions as the basis of the taking into effect of a law. That is a mental process common to all branches of the government. (Dowling vs. Lancashire Ins.
Co., supra; In re Village of North Milwaukee [1896], 93 Wis., 616; 97 N.W., 1033; 33 L.R.A., 938; Nash vs. Fries [1906], 129 Wis., 120; 108 N.W., 210; Field vs. Clark
[1892], 143 U.S., 649; 12 Sup. Ct., 495; 36 Law. ed., 294.) Notwithstanding the apparent tendency, however, to relax the rule prohibiting delegation of legislative
authority on account of the complexity arising from social and economic forces at work in this modern industrial age (Pfiffner, Public Administration [1936] ch. XX;
Laski, "The Mother of Parliaments", foreign Affairs, July, 1931, Vol. IX, No. 4, pp. 569-579; Beard, "Squirt-Gun Politics", in Harper's Monthly Magazine, July, 1930,
Vol. CLXI, pp. 147, 152), the orthodox pronouncement of Judge Cooley in his work on Constitutional Limitations finds restatement in Prof. Willoughby's treatise on
the Constitution of the United States in the following language speaking of declaration of legislative power to administrative agencies: "The principle which permits
the legislature to provide that the administrative agent may determine when the circumstances are such as require the application of a law is defended upon the
ground that at the time this authority is granted, the rule of public policy, which is the essence of the legislative act, is determined by the legislature. In other words,
the legislature, as it its duty to do, determines that, under given circumstances, certain executive or administrative action is to be taken, and that, under other
circumstances, different of no action at all is to be taken. What is thus left to the administrative official is not the legislative determination of what public policy
demands, but simply the ascertainment of what the facts of the case require to be done according to the terms of the law by which he is governed." (Willoughby on
the Constitution of the United States, 2nd ed., Vol. II, p. 1637.) In Miller vs. Mayer, etc., of New York [1883], 109 U.S., 3 Sup. Ct. Rep., 228; 27 Law. ed., 971, 974), it
was said: "The efficiency of an Act as a declaration of legislative will must, of course, come from Congress, but the ascertainment of the contingency upon which the
Act shall take effect may be left to such agencies as it may designate." (See, also, 12 C.J., p. 864; State vs. Parker [1854], 26 Vt., 357; Blanding vs. Burr [1859], 13
Cal., 343, 258.) The legislature, then may provide that a contingencies leaving to some other person or body the power to determine when the specified
contingencies has arisen. But, in the case at bar, the legislature has not made the operation of the Prohibition Act contingent upon specified facts or conditions to be
ascertained by the provincial board. It leaves, as we have already said, the entire operation or non-operation of the law upon the provincial board. the discretion
vested is arbitrary because it is absolute and unlimited. A provincial board need not investigate conditions or find any fact, or await the happening of any specified
contingency. It is bound by no rule, limited by no principle of expendiency announced by the legislature. It may take into consideration certain facts or conditions;
and, again, it may not. It may have any purpose or no purpose at all. It need not give any reason whatsoever for refusing or failing to appropriate any funds for the
salary of a probation officer. This is a matter which rest entirely at its pleasure. The fact that at some future time we cannot say when the provincial boards may
appropriate funds for the salaries of probation officers and thus put the law into operation in the various provinces will not save the statute. The time of its taking into
effect, we reiterate, would yet be based solely upon the will of the provincial boards and not upon the happening of a certain specified contingency, or upon the
ascertainment of certain facts or conditions by a person or body other than legislature itself.
The various provincial boards are, in practical effect, endowed with the power of suspending the operation of the Probation Law in their respective provinces. In
some jurisdiction, constitutions provided that laws may be suspended only by the legislature or by its authority. Thus, section 28, article I of the Constitution of Texas
provides that "No power of suspending laws in this state shall be exercised except by the legislature"; and section 26, article I of the Constitution of Indiana provides
"That the operation of the laws shall never be suspended, except by authority of the General Assembly." Yet, even provisions of this sort do not confer absolute
power of suspension upon the legislature. While it may be undoubted that the legislature may suspend a law, or the execution or operation of a law, a law may not be
suspended as to certain individuals only, leaving the law to be enjoyed by others. The suspension must be general, and cannot be made for individual cases or for
particular localities. In Holden vs. James ([1814], 11 Mass., 396; 6 Am. Dec., 174, 177, 178), it was said:
By the twentieth article of the declaration of rights in the constitution of this commonwealth, it is declared that the power of suspending the laws, or
the execution of the laws, ought never to be exercised but by the legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exercised in such particular cases only
as the legislature shall expressly provide for. Many of the articles in that declaration of rights were adopted from the Magna Charta of England, and from
the bill of rights passed in the reign of William and Mary. The bill of rights contains an enumeration of the oppressive acts of James II, tending to subvert
and extirpate the protestant religion, and the laws and liberties of the kingdom; and the first of them is the assuming and exercising a power of dispensing
with and suspending the laws, and the execution of the laws without consent of parliament. The first article in the claim or declaration of rights contained in
the statute is, that the exercise of such power, by legal authority without consent of parliament, is illegal. In the tenth section of the same statute it is
further declared and enacted, that "No dispensation by non obstante of or to any statute, or part thereof, should be allowed; but the same should be held
void and of no effect, except a dispensation be allowed of in such statute." There is an implied reservation of authority in the parliament to exercise the
power here mentioned; because, according to the theory of the English Constitution, "that absolute despotic power, which must in all governments reside
somewhere," is intrusted to the parliament: 1 Bl. Com., 160.
The principles of our government are widely different in this particular. Here the sovereign and absolute power resides in the people; and the
legislature can only exercise what is delegated to them according to the constitution. It is obvious that the exercise of the power in question would be
equally oppressive to the subject, and subversive of his right to protection, "according to standing laws," whether exercised by one man or by a number of

men. It cannot be supposed that the people when adopting this general principle from the English bill of rights and inserting it in our constitution, intended
to bestow by implication on the general court one of the most odious and oppressive prerogatives of the ancient kings of England. It is manifestly contrary
to the first principles of civil liberty and natural justice, and to the spirit of our constitution and laws, that any one citizen should enjoy privileges and
advantages which are denied to all others under like circumstances; or that ant one should be subject to losses, damages, suits, or actions from which all
others under like circumstances are exempted.
To illustrate the principle: A section of a statute relative to dogs made the owner of any dog liable to the owner of domestic animals wounded by it for the
damages without proving a knowledge of it vicious disposition. By a provision of the act, power was given to the board of supervisors to determine whether or not
during the current year their county should be governed by the provisions of the act of which that section constituted a part. It was held that the legislature could not
confer that power. The court observed that it could no more confer such a power than to authorize the board of supervisors of a county to abolish in such county the
days of grace on commercial paper, or to suspend the statute of limitations. (Slinger vs. Henneman [1875], 38 Wis., 504.) A similar statute in Missouri was held void
for the same reason in State vs. Field ([1853, 17 Mo., 529;59 Am. Dec., 275.) In that case a general statute formulating a road system contained a provision that "if
the county court of any county should be of opinion that the provisions of the act should not be enforced, they might, in their discretion, suspend the operation of the
same for any specified length of time, and thereupon the act should become inoperative in such county for the period specified in such order; and thereupon order
the roads to be opened and kept in good repair, under the laws theretofore in force." Said the court: ". . . this act, by its own provisions, repeals the inconsistent
provisions of a former act, and yet it is left to the county court to say which act shall be enforce in their county. The act does not submit the question to the county
court as an original question, to be decided by that tribunal, whether the act shall commence its operation within the county; but it became by its own terms a law in
every county not excepted by name in the act. It did not, then, require the county court to do any act in order to give it effect. But being the law in the county, and
having by its provisions superseded and abrogated the inconsistent provisions of previous laws, the county court is . . . empowered, to suspend this act and revive
the repealed provisions of the former act. When the question is before the county court for that tribunal to determine which law shall be in force, it is urge before us
that the power then to be exercised by the court is strictly legislative power, which under our constitution, cannot be delegated to that tribunal or to any other body of
men in the state. In the present case, the question is not presented in the abstract; for the county court of Saline county, after the act had been for several months in
force in that county, did by order suspend its operation; and during that suspension the offense was committed which is the subject of the present indictment . . . ."
(See Mitchell vs. State [1901], 134 Ala., 392; 32 S., 687.)
True, the legislature may enact laws for a particular locality different from those applicable to other localities and, while recognizing the force of the principle
hereinabove expressed, courts in may jurisdiction have sustained the constitutionality of the submission of option laws to the vote of the people. (6 R.C.L., p. 171.)
But option laws thus sustained treat of subjects purely local in character which should receive different treatment in different localities placed under different
circumstances. "They relate to subjects which, like the retailing of intoxicating drinks, or the running at large of cattle in the highways, may be differently regarded in
different localities, and they are sustained on what seems to us the impregnable ground, that the subject, though not embraced within the ordinary powers of
municipalities to make by-laws and ordinances, is nevertheless within the class of public regulations, in respect to which it is proper that the local judgment should
control." (Cooley on Constitutional Limitations, 5th ed., p. 148.) So that, while we do not deny the right of local self-government and the propriety of leaving matters of
purely local concern in the hands of local authorities or for the people of small communities to pass upon, we believe that in matters of general of general legislation
like that which treats of criminals in general, and as regards the general subject of probation, discretion may not be vested in a manner so unqualified and absolute
as provided in Act No. 4221. True, the statute does not expressly state that the provincial boards may suspend the operation of the Probation Act in particular
provinces but, considering that, in being vested with the authority to appropriate or not the necessary funds for the salaries of probation officers, they thereby are
given absolute discretion to determine whether or not the law should take effect or operate in their respective provinces, the provincial boards are in reality
empowered by the legislature to suspend the operation of the Probation Act in particular provinces, the Act to be held in abeyance until the provincial boards should
decide otherwise by appropriating the necessary funds. The validity of a law is not tested by what has been done but by what may be done under its provisions.
(Walter E. Olsen & Co. vs. Aldanese and Trinidad [1922], 43 Phil., 259; 12 C. J., p. 786.)
It in conceded that a great deal of latitude should be granted to the legislature not only in the expression of what may be termed legislative policy but in the
elaboration and execution thereof. "Without this power, legislation would become oppressive and yet imbecile." (People vs. Reynolds, 5 Gilman, 1.) It has been said
that popular government lives because of the inexhaustible reservoir of power behind it. It is unquestionable that the mass of powers of government is vested in the
representatives of the people and that these representatives are no further restrained under our system than by the express language of the instrument imposing the
restraint, or by particular provisions which by clear intendment, have that effect. (Angara vs. Electoral Commission [1936], 35 Off. Ga., 23; Schneckenburger vs.
Moran [1936], 35 Off. Gaz., 1317.) But, it should be borne in mind that a constitution is both a grant and a limitation of power and one of these time-honored
limitations is that, subject to certain exceptions, legislative power shall not be delegated.
We conclude that section 11 of Act No. 4221 constitutes an improper and unlawful delegation of legislative authority to the provincial boards and is, for this
reason, unconstitutional and void.
3. It is also contended that the Probation Act violates the provisions of our Bill of Rights which prohibits the denial to any person of the equal protection of the
laws (Act. III, sec. 1 subsec. 1. Constitution of the Philippines.)
This basic individual right sheltered by the Constitution is a restraint on all the tree grand departments of our government and on the subordinate
instrumentalities and subdivision thereof, and on many constitutional power, like the police power, taxation and eminent domain. The equal protection of laws,
sententiously observes the Supreme Court of the United States, "is a pledge of the protection of equal laws." (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins [1886], 118 U. S., 356; 30 Law.
ed., 220; 6 Sup. Ct. Rep., 10464; Perley vs. North Carolina, 249 U. S., 510; 39 Sup. Ct. Rep., 357; 63 Law. ed., 735.) Of course, what may be regarded as a denial of
the equal protection of the laws in a question not always easily determined. No rule that will cover every case can be formulated. (Connolly vs. Union Sewer Pipe Co.
[1902], 184, U. S., 540; 22 Sup. Ct., Rep., 431; 46 Law. ed., 679.) Class legislation discriminating against some and favoring others in prohibited. But classification on
a reasonable basis, and nor made arbitrarily or capriciously, is permitted. (Finely vs. California [1911], 222 U. S., 28; 56 Law. ed., 75; 32 Sup. Ct. Rep., 13; Gulf. C. &
S. F. Ry Co. vs. Ellis [1897], 165 U. S., 150; 41 Law. ed., 666; 17 Sup. Ct. Rep., 255; Smith, Bell & Co. vs. Natividad [1919], 40 Phil., 136.) The classification,
however, to be reasonable must be based on substantial distinctions which make real differences; it must be germane to the purposes of the law; it must not be
limited to existing conditions only, and must apply equally to each member of the class. (Borgnis vs. Falk. Co. [1911], 147 Wis., 327, 353; 133 N. W., 209; 3 N. C. C.
A., 649; 37 L. R. A. [N. S.], 489; State vs. Cooley, 56 Minn., 540; 530-552; 58 N. W., 150; Lindsley vs. Natural Carbonic Gas Co.[1911], 220 U. S., 61, 79, 55 Law.
ed., 369, 377; 31 Sup. Ct. Rep., 337; Ann. Cas., 1912C, 160; Lake Shore & M. S. R. Co. vs. Clough [1917], 242 U.S., 375; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 144; 61 Law. ed., 374;
Southern Ry. Co. vs. Greene [1910], 216 U. S., 400; 30 Sup. Ct. Rep., 287; 54 Law. ed., 536; 17 Ann. Cas., 1247; Truax vs. Corrigan [1921], 257 U. S., 312; 12 C. J.,
pp. 1148, 1149.)
In the case at bar, however, the resultant inequality may be said to flow from the unwarranted delegation of legislative power, although perhaps this is not
necessarily the result in every case. Adopting the example given by one of the counsel for the petitioners in the course of his oral argument, one province may
appropriate the necessary fund to defray the salary of a probation officer, while another province may refuse or fail to do so. In such a case, the Probation Act would
be in operation in the former province but not in the latter. This means that a person otherwise coming within the purview of the law would be liable to enjoy the
benefits of probation in one province while another person similarly situated in another province would be denied those same benefits. This is obnoxious
discrimination. Contrariwise, it is also possible for all the provincial boards to appropriate the necessary funds for the salaries of the probation officers in their

respective provinces, in which case no inequality would result for the obvious reason that probation would be in operation in each and every province by the
affirmative action of appropriation by all the provincial boards. On that hypothesis, every person coming within the purview of the Probation Act would be entitled to
avail of the benefits of the Act. Neither will there be any resulting inequality if no province, through its provincial board, should appropriate any amount for the salary
of the probation officer which is the situation now and, also, if we accept the contention that, for the purpose of the Probation Act, the City of Manila should be
considered as a province and that the municipal board of said city has not made any appropriation for the salary of the probation officer. These different situations
suggested show, indeed, that while inequality may result in the application of the law and in the conferment of the benefits therein provided, inequality is not in all
cases the necessary result. But whatever may be the case, it is clear that in section 11 of the Probation Act creates a situation in which discrimination and inequality
are permitted or allowed. There are, to be sure, abundant authorities requiring actual denial of the equal protection of the law before court should assume the task of
setting aside a law vulnerable on that score, but premises and circumstances considered, we are of the opinion that section 11 of Act No. 4221 permits of the denial
of the equal protection of the law and is on that account bad. We see no difference between a law which permits of such denial. A law may appear to be fair on its
face and impartial in appearance, yet, if it permits of unjust and illegal discrimination, it is within the constitutional prohibitions. (By analogy, Chy Lung vs. Freeman
[1876], 292 U. S., 275; 23 Law. ed., 550; Henderson vs. Mayor [1876], 92 U. S., 259; 23 Law. ed., 543; Ex parte Virginia [1880], 100 U. S., 339; 25 Law. ed., 676;
Neal vs. Delaware [1881], 103 U. S., 370; 26 Law. ed., 567; Soon Hing vs. Crowley [1885], 113 U. S., 703; 28 Law. ed., 1145, Yick Wo vs. Hopkins [1886],118 U. S.,
356; 30 Law. ed., 220; Williams vs. Mississippi [1897], 170 U. S., 218; 18 Sup. Ct. Rep., 583; 42 Law. ed., 1012; Bailey vs. Alabama [1911], 219 U. S., 219; 31 Sup.
Ct. Rep. 145; 55 Law. ed., Sunday Lake Iron Co. vs. Wakefield [1918], 247 U. S., 450; 38 Sup. Ct. Rep., 495; 62 Law. ed., 1154.) In other words, statutes may be
adjudged unconstitutional because of their effect in operation (General Oil Co. vs. Clain [1907], 209 U. S., 211; 28 Sup. Ct. Rep., 475; 52 Law. ed., 754; State vs.
Clement Nat. Bank [1911], 84 Vt., 167; 78 Atl., 944; Ann. Cas., 1912D, 22). If the law has the effect of denying the equal protection of the law it is unconstitutional. (6
R. C. L. p. 372; Civil Rights Cases, 109 U. S., 3; 3 Sup. Ct. Rep., 18; 27 Law. ed., 835; Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, supra; State vs. Montgomery, 94 Me., 192; 47 Atl., 165;
80 A. S. R., 386; State vs. Dering, 84 Wis., 585; 54 N. W., 1104; 36 A. S. R., 948; 19 L. R. A., 858.) Under section 11 of the Probation Act, not only may said Act be
in force in one or several provinces and not be in force in other provinces, but one province may appropriate for the salary of the probation officer of a given year
and have probation during that year and thereafter decline to make further appropriation, and have no probation is subsequent years. While this situation goes
rather to the abuse of discretion which delegation implies, it is here indicated to show that the Probation Act sanctions a situation which is intolerable in a government
of laws, and to prove how easy it is, under the Act, to make the guaranty of the equality clause but "a rope of sand". (Brewer, J. Gulf C. & S. F. Ry. Co. vs. Ellis
[1897], 165 U. S., 150 154; 41 Law. ed., 666; 17 Sup. Ct. Rep., 255.)lawph!1.net
Great reliance is placed by counsel for the respondents on the case of Ocampo vs. United States ([1914], 234 U. S., 91; 58 Law. ed., 1231). In that case, the
Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the decision of this court (18 Phil., 1) by declining to uphold the contention that there was a denial of the equal
protection of the laws because, as held in Missouri vs. Lewis (Bowman vs. Lewis) decided in 1880 (101 U. S., 220; 25 Law. ed., 991), the guaranty of the equality
clause does not require territorial uniformity. It should be observed, however, that this case concerns the right to preliminary investigations in criminal cases originally
granted by General Orders No. 58. No question of legislative authority was involved and the alleged denial of the equal protection of the laws was the result of the
subsequent enactment of Act No. 612, amending the charter of the City of Manila (Act No. 813) and providing in section 2 thereof that "in cases triable only in the
court of first instance of the City of Manila, the defendant . . . shall not be entitled as of right to a preliminary examination in any case where the prosecuting attorney,
after a due investigation of the facts . . . shall have presented an information against him in proper form . . . ." Upon the other hand, an analysis of the arguments and
the decision indicates that the investigation by the prosecuting attorney although not in the form had in the provinces was considered a reasonable substitute
for the City of Manila, considering the peculiar conditions of the city as found and taken into account by the legislature itself.
Reliance is also placed on the case of Missouri vs. Lewis, supra. That case has reference to a situation where the constitution of Missouri permits appeals to
the Supreme Court of the state from final judgments of any circuit court, except those in certain counties for which counties the constitution establishes a separate
court of appeals called St. Louis Court of Appeals. The provision complained of, then, is found in the constitution itself and it is the constitution that makes the
apportionment of territorial jurisdiction.
We are of the opinion that section 11 of the Probation Act is unconstitutional and void because it is also repugnant to equal-protection clause of our
Constitution.
Section 11 of the Probation Act being unconstitutional and void for the reasons already stated, the next inquiry is whether or not the entire Act should be
avoided.
In seeking the legislative intent, the presumption is against any mutilation of a statute, and the courts will resort to elimination only where an
unconstitutional provision is interjected into a statute otherwise valid, and is so independent and separable that its removal will leave the constitutional
features and purposes of the act substantially unaffected by the process. (Riccio vs. Hoboken, 69 N. J. Law., 649, 662; 63 L. R. A., 485; 55 Atl., 1109,
quoted in Williams vs. Standard Oil Co. [1929], 278 U.S., 235, 240; 73 Law. ed., 287, 309; 49 Sup. Ct. Rep., 115; 60 A. L. R., 596.) In Barrameda vs.
Moir ([1913], 25 Phil., 44, 47), this court stated the well-established rule concerning partial invalidity of statutes in the following language:
. . . where part of the a statute is void, as repugnant to the Organic Law, while another part is valid, the valid portion, if separable from the valid, may
stand and be enforced. But in order to do this, the valid portion must be in so far independent of the invalid portion that it is fair to presume that the
Legislative would have enacted it by itself if they had supposed that they could not constitutionally enact the other. (Mutual Loan Co. vs. Martell, 200
Mass., 482; 86 N. E., 916; 128 A. S. R., 446; Supervisors of Holmes Co. vs. Black Creek Drainage District, 99 Miss., 739; 55 Sou., 963.) Enough must
remain to make a complete, intelligible, and valid statute, which carries out the legislative intent. (Pearson vs. Bass. 132 Ga., 117; 63 S. E., 798.) The void
provisions must be eliminated without causing results affecting the main purpose of the Act, in a manner contrary to the intention of the Legislature. (State
vs. A. C. L. R., Co., 56 Fla., 617, 642; 47 Sou., 969; Harper vs. Galloway, 58 Fla., 255; 51 Sou., 226; 26 L. R. A., N. S., 794; Connolly vs. Union Sewer
Pipe Co., 184 U. S., 540, 565; People vs. Strassheim, 240 Ill., 279, 300; 88 N. E., 821; 22 L. R. A., N. S., 1135; State vs. Cognevich, 124 La., 414; 50
Sou., 439.) The language used in the invalid part of a statute can have no legal force or efficacy for any purpose whatever, and what remains must
express the legislative will, independently of the void part, since the court has no power to legislate. (State vs. Junkin, 85 Neb., 1; 122 N. W., 473; 23 L. R.
A., N. S., 839; Vide, also,. U. S., vs. Rodriguez [1918], 38 Phil., 759; Pollock vs. Farmers' Loan and Trust Co. [1895], 158 U. S., 601, 635; 39 Law. ed.,
1108, 1125; 15 Sup. Ct. Rep., 912; 6 R.C.L., 121.)
It is contended that even if section 11, which makes the Probation Act applicable only in those provinces in which the respective provincial boards provided for
the salaries of probation officers were inoperative on constitutional grounds, the remainder of the Act would still be valid and may be enforced. We should be inclined
to accept the suggestions but for the fact that said section is, in our opinion, is inseparably linked with the other portions of the Act that with the elimination of the
section what would be left is the bare idealism of the system, devoid of any practical benefit to a large number of people who may be deserving of the intended
beneficial result of that system. The clear policy of the law, as may be gleaned from a careful examination of the whole context, is to make the application of the
system dependent entirely upon the affirmative action of the different provincial boards through appropriation of the salaries for probation officers at rates not lower
than those provided for provincial fiscals. Without such action on the part of the various boards, no probation officers would be appointed by the Secretary of Justice
to act in the provinces. The Philippines is divided or subdivided into provinces and it needs no argument to show that if not one of the provinces and this is the
actual situation now appropriate the necessary fund for the salary of a probation officer, probation under Act No. 4221 would be illusory. There can be no probation
without a probation officer. Neither can there be a probation officer without the probation system.

Section 2 of the Acts provides that the probation officer shall supervise and visit the probationer. Every probation officer is given, as to the person placed in
probation under his care, the powers of the police officer. It is the duty of the probation officer to see that the conditions which are imposed by the court upon the
probationer under his care are complied with. Among those conditions, the following are enumerated in section 3 of the Act:
That the probationer (a) shall indulge in no injurious or vicious habits;
(b) Shall avoid places or persons of disreputable or harmful character;
(c) Shall report to the probation officer as directed by the court or probation officers;
(d) Shall permit the probation officer to visit him at reasonable times at his place of abode or elsewhere;
(e) Shall truthfully answer any reasonable inquiries on the part of the probation officer concerning his conduct or condition; "(f) Shall endeavor to be
employed regularly; "(g) Shall remain or reside within a specified place or locality;
(f) Shall make reparation or restitution to the aggrieved parties for actual damages or losses caused by his offense;
(g) Shall comply with such orders as the court may from time to time make; and
(h) Shall refrain from violating any law, statute, ordinance, or any by-law or regulation, promulgated in accordance with law.
The court is required to notify the probation officer in writing of the period and terms of probation. Under section 4, it is only after the period of probation, the
submission of a report of the probation officer and appropriate finding of the court that the probationer has complied with the conditions of probation that probation
may be definitely terminated and the probationer finally discharged from supervision. Under section 5, if the court finds that there is non-compliance with said
conditions, as reported by the probation officer, it may issue a warrant for the arrest of the probationer and said probationer may be committed with or without bail.
Upon arraignment and after an opportunity to be heard, the court may revoke, continue or modify the probation, and if revoked, the court shall order the execution of
the sentence originally imposed. Section 6 prescribes the duties of probation officers: "It shall be the duty of every probation officer to furnish to all persons placed on
probation under his supervision a statement of the period and conditions of their probation, and to instruct them concerning the same; to keep informed concerning
their conduct and condition; to aid and encourage them by friendly advice and admonition, and by such other measures, not inconsistent with the conditions imposed
by court as may seem most suitable, to bring about improvement in their conduct and condition; to report in writing to the court having jurisdiction over said
probationers at least once every two months concerning their conduct and condition; to keep records of their work; make such report as are necessary for the
information of the Secretary of Justice and as the latter may require; and to perform such other duties as are consistent with the functions of the probation officer and
as the court or judge may direct. The probation officers provided for in this Act may act as parole officers for any penal or reformatory institution for adults when so
requested by the authorities thereof, and, when designated by the Secretary of Justice shall act as parole officer of persons released on parole under Act Number
Forty-one Hundred and Three, without additional compensation."
It is argued, however, that even without section 11 probation officers maybe appointed in the provinces under section 10 of Act which provides as follows:
There is hereby created in the Department of Justice and subject to its supervision and control, a Probation Office under the direction of a Chief
Probation Officer to be appointed by the Governor-General with the advise and consent of the Senate who shall receive a salary of four eight hundred
pesos per annum. To carry out this Act there is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the Insular Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of fifty
thousand pesos to be disbursed by the Secretary of Justice, who is hereby authorized to appoint probation officers and the administrative personnel of the
probation officer under civil service regulations from among those who possess the qualifications, training and experience prescribed by the Bureau of
Civil Service, and shall fix the compensation of such probation officers and administrative personnel until such positions shall have been included in the
Appropriation Act.
But the probation officers and the administrative personnel referred to in the foregoing section are clearly not those probation officers required to be appointed
for the provinces under section 11. It may be said, reddendo singula singulis, that the probation officers referred to in section 10 above-quoted are to act as such, not
in the various provinces, but in the central office known as the Probation Office established in the Department of Justice, under the supervision of the Chief Probation
Officer. When the law provides that "the probation officer" shall investigate and make reports to the court (secs. 1 and 4); that "the probation officer" shall supervise
and visit the probationer (sec. 2; sec. 6, par. d); that the probationer shall report to the "probationer officer" (sec. 3, par. c.), shall allow "the probationer officer" to visit
him (sec. 3, par. d), shall truthfully answer any reasonable inquiries on the part of "the probation officer" concerning his conduct or condition (sec. 3, par. 4); that the
court shall notify "the probation officer" in writing of the period and terms of probation (sec. 3, last par.), it means the probation officer who is in charge of a particular
probationer in a particular province. It never could have been intention of the legislature, for instance, to require the probationer in Batanes, to report to a probationer
officer in the City of Manila, or to require a probation officer in Manila to visit the probationer in the said province of Batanes, to place him under his care, to supervise
his conduct, to instruct him concerning the conditions of his probation or to perform such other functions as are assigned to him by law.
That under section 10 the Secretary of Justice may appoint as many probation officers as there are provinces or groups of provinces is, of course possible. But
this would be arguing on what the law may be or should be and not on what the law is. Between is and ought there is a far cry. The wisdom and propriety of
legislation is not for us to pass upon. We may think a law better otherwise than it is. But much as has been said regarding progressive interpretation and judicial
legislation we decline to amend the law. We are not permitted to read into the law matters and provisions which are not there. Not for any purpose not even to
save a statute from the doom of invalidity.
Upon the other hand, the clear intention and policy of the law is not to make the Insular Government defray the salaries of probation officers in the provinces
but to make the provinces defray them should they desire to have the Probation Act apply thereto. The sum of P50,000, appropriated "to carry out the purposes of
this Act", is to be applied, among other things, for the salaries of probation officers in the central office at Manila. These probation officers are to receive such
compensations as the Secretary of Justice may fix "until such positions shall have been included in the Appropriation Act". It was the intention of the legislature to
empower the Secretary of Justice to fix the salaries of the probation officers in the provinces or later on to include said salaries in an appropriation act. Considering,
further, that the sum of P50,000 appropriated in section 10 is to cover, among other things, the salaries of the administrative personnel of the Probation Office, what
would be left of the amount can hardly be said to be sufficient to pay even nominal salaries to probation officers in the provinces. We take judicial notice of the fact
that there are 48 provinces in the Philippines and we do not think it is seriously contended that, with the fifty thousand pesos appropriated for the central office, there
can be in each province, as intended, a probation officer with a salary not lower than that of a provincial fiscal. If this a correct, the contention that without section 11
of Act No. 4221 said act is complete is an impracticable thing under the remainder of the Act, unless it is conceded that in our case there can be a system of
probation in the provinces without probation officers.
Probation as a development of a modern penology is a commendable system. Probation laws have been enacted, here and in other countries, to permit what
modern criminologist call the "individualization of the punishment", the adjustment of the penalty to the character of the criminal and the circumstances of his
particular case. It provides a period of grace in order to aid in the rehabilitation of a penitent offender. It is believed that, in any cases, convicts may be reformed and
their development into hardened criminals aborted. It, therefore, takes advantage of an opportunity for reformation and avoids imprisonment so long as the convicts
gives promise of reform. (United States vs. Murray [1925], 275 U. S., 347 357, 358; 72 Law. ed., 309; 312, 313; 48 Sup. Ct. Rep., 146; Kaplan vs. Hecht, 24 F. [2d],
664, 665.) The Welfare of society is its chief end and aim. The benefit to the individual convict is merely incidental. But while we believe that probation is
commendable as a system and its implantation into the Philippines should be welcomed, we are forced by our inescapable duty to set the law aside because of the
repugnancy to our fundamental law.

In arriving at this conclusion, we have endeavored to consider the different aspects presented by able counsel for both parties, as well in their memorandums
as in their oral argument. We have examined the cases brought to our attention, and others we have been able to reach in the short time at our command for the
study and deliberation of this case. In the examination of the cases and in then analysis of the legal principles involved we have inclined to adopt the line of action
which in our opinion, is supported better reasoned authorities and is more conducive to the general welfare. (Smith, Bell & Co. vs. Natividad [1919], 40 Phil., 136.)
Realizing the conflict of authorities, we have declined to be bound by certain adjudicated cases brought to our attention, except where the point or principle is settled
directly or by clear implication by the more authoritative pronouncements of the Supreme Court of the United States. This line of approach is justified because:
(a) The constitutional relations between the Federal and the State governments of the United States and the dual character of the American Government
is a situation which does not obtain in the Philippines;
(b) The situation of s state of the American Union of the District of Columbia with reference to the Federal Government of the United States is not the
situation of the province with respect to the Insular Government (Art. I, sec. 8 cl. 17 and 10th Amendment, Constitution of the United States; Sims vs.
Rives, 84 Fed. [2d], 871),
(c) The distinct federal and the state judicial organizations of the United States do not embrace the integrated judicial system of the Philippines
(Schneckenburger vs. Moran [1936], 35 Off. Gaz., p. 1317);
(d) "General propositions do not decide concrete cases" (Justice Holmes in Lochner vs. New York [1904], 198 U. S., 45, 76; 49 Law. ed., 937, 949) and,
"to keep pace with . . . new developments of times and circumstances" (Chief Justice Waite in Pensacola Tel. Co. vs. Western Union Tel. Co. [1899], 96
U. S., 1, 9; 24 Law. ed., 708; Yale Law Journal, Vol. XXIX, No. 2, Dec. 1919, 141, 142), fundamental principles should be interpreted having in view
existing local conditions and environment.
Act No. 4221 is hereby declared unconstitutional and void and the writ of prohibition is, accordingly, granted.
LAO H. ICHONG, in his own behalf and in behalf of other alien residents, corporations and partnerships adversely affected. by Republic Act No.
1180, petitioner, vs. JAIME HERNANDEZ, Secretary of Finance, and MARCELINO SARMIENTO, City Treasurer of Manila, respondents.
G.R. No. L-7995
May 31, 1957
LABRADOR, J.:
FACTS: Republic Act No. 1180 is entitled "An Act to Regulate the Retail Business." In effect it nationalizes the retail trade business. The main provisions of the Act
are: (1) a prohibition against persons, not citizens of the Philippines, and against associations, partnerships, or corporations the capital of which are not wholly owned
by citizens of the Philippines, from engaging directly or indirectly in the retail trade; (2) an exception from the above prohibition in favor of aliens actually engaged in
said business on May 15, 1954, who are allowed to continue to engaged therein, unless their licenses are forfeited in accordance with the law, until their death or
voluntary retirement in case of natural persons, and for ten years after the approval of the Act or until the expiration of term in case of juridical persons; (3) an
exception therefrom in favor of citizens and juridical entities of the United States; (4) a provision for the forfeiture of licenses (to engage in the retail business) for
violation of the laws on nationalization, control weights and measures and labor and other laws relating to trade, commerce and industry; (5) a prohibition against the
establishment or opening by aliens actually engaged in the retail business of additional stores or branches of retail business, (6) a provision requiring aliens actually
engaged in the retail business to present for registration with the proper authorities a verified statement concerning their businesses, giving, among other matters, the
nature of the business, their assets and liabilities and their offices and principal offices of judicial entities; and (7) a provision allowing the heirs of aliens now engaged
in the retail business who die, to continue such business for a period of six months for purposes of liquidation.
Petitioner, for and in his own behalf and on behalf of other alien residents corporations and partnerships adversely affected by the provisions of Republic
Act. No. 1180, brought this action to obtain a judicial declaration that said Act is unconstitutional, and to enjoin the Secretary of Finance and all other persons acting
under him, particularly city and municipal treasurers, from enforcing its provisions. Petitioner attacks the constitutionality of the Act, contending that: (1) it denies to
alien residents the equal protection of the laws and deprives of their liberty and property without due process of law ; (2) the subject of the Act is not expressed or
comprehended in the title thereof; (3) the Act violates international and treaty obligations of the Republic of the Philippines; (4) the provisions of the Act against the
transmission by aliens of their retail business thru hereditary succession, and those requiring 100% Filipino capitalization for a corporation or entity to entitle it to
engage in the retail business, violate the spirit of Sections 1 and 5, Article XIII and Section 8 of Article XIV of the Constitution.
ISSUE: whether the disputed law violates the equal protection clause
HELD: No. The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile discrimination or the oppression of
inequality. It is not intended to prohibit legislation, which is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by territory within which is to operate. It does not
demand absolute equality among residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges
conferred and liabilities enforced. The equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons falling within a specified class, if it
applies alike to all persons within such class, and reasonable grounds exists for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do not.
(2 Cooley, Constitutional Limitations, 824-825.)
We hold that the disputed law was enacted to remedy a real actual threat and danger to national economy posed by alien dominance and control of the
retail business and free citizens and country from dominance and control; that the enactment clearly falls within the scope of the police power of the State, thru which
and by which it protects its own personality and insures its security and future; that the law does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution because
sufficient grounds exist for the distinction between alien and citizen in the exercise of the occupation regulated, nor the due process of law clause, because the law is
prospective in operation and recognizes the privilege of aliens already engaged in the occupation and reasonably protects their privilege; that the wisdom and
efficacy of the law to carry out its objectives appear to us to be plainly evident as a matter of fact it seems not only appropriate but actually necessary and that
in any case such matter falls within the prerogative of the Legislature, with whose power and discretion the Judicial department of the Government may not interfere;
that the provisions of the law are clearly embraced in the title, and this suffers from no duplicity and has not misled the legislators or the segment of the population
affected; and that it cannot be said to be void for supposed conflict with treaty obligations because no treaty has actually been entered into on the subject and the
police power may not be curtailed or surrendered by any treaty or any other conventional agreement.
Some members of the Court are of the opinion that the radical effects of the law could have been made less harsh in its impact on the aliens. Thus it is
stated that the more time should have been given in the law for the liquidation of existing businesses when the time comes for them to close. Our legal duty, however,
is merely to determine if the law falls within the scope of legislative authority and does not transcend the limitations of due process and equal protection guaranteed in
the Constitution. Remedies against the harshness of the law should be addressed to the Legislature; they are beyond our power and jurisdiction.
(COMPLETE RULING ABOVE)
MAYOR ANTONIO J. VILLEGAS, petitioner, vs. HIU CHIONG TSAI PAO HO and JUDGE FRANCISCO ARCA, respondents.
G.R. No. L-29646 November 10, 1978

FERNANDEZ, J.:
FACTS: This is a petition for certiorari to review tile decision of respondent Judge Francisco Arca of the CFI Instance of Manila declaring Ordinance No. 6357 of the
City of Manila null and void.
Section 1 of said Ordinance No. 6537 prohibits aliens from being employed or to engage or participate in any position or 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.
Private respondent Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho who was employed in Manila, filed a petition with the Court of First Instance of Manila praying for a judgment
declaring said Ordinance No. 6537 null and void. 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.
On May 24, 1968, respondent Judge issued the writ of preliminary injunction and rendered judgment declaring Ordinance No. 6537 null and void and
making permanent the writ of preliminary injunction.
ISSUE: whether the ordinance in question violates the due process of law and equal protection rule
HELD: Yes. 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
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. Fugoso 12 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 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.
PATRICIO DUMLAO, ROMEO B. IGOT, and ALFREDO SALAPANTAN, JR. vs.COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS G.R. No. L-52245 January 22, 1980
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J:
FACTS: Petitioner Dumlao specifically questions the constitutionality of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 52 as discriminatory and contrary to the equal protection
and due process guarantees of the Constitution. Said Section 4 provides: Sec. 4. Special Disqualification in addition to violation of section 10 of Art. XI I-C of the
Constitution and disqualification mentioned in existing laws, which are hereby declared as disqualification for any of the elective officials enumerated in section 1
hereof.
Any retired elective provincial city or municipal official who has received payment of the retirement benefits to which he is entitled under the
law, and who shall have been 65 years of age at the commencement of the term of office to which he seeks to be elected shall not be qualified to run for
the same elective local office from which he has retired.
Petitioner Dumlao alleges that the aforecited provision is directed insidiously against him, and that the classification provided therein is based on "purely
arbitrary grounds and, therefore, class legislation."
For their part, petitioners Igot and Salapantan, Jr. assail the validity of the following statutory provisions:

Sec 7. Terms of Office Unless sooner removed for cause, all local elective officials hereinabove mentioned shall hold office for a term of six
(6) years, which shall commence on the first Monday of March 1980.
Sec. 4. ...Any person who has committed any act of disloyalty to the State, including acts amounting to subversion, insurrection, rebellion or
other similar crimes, shall not be qualified to be a candidate for any of the offices covered by this Act, or to participate in any partisan political activity
therein: provided that a judgment of conviction for any of the aforementioned crimes shall be conclusive evidence of such fact and the filing of charges for
the commission of such crimes before a civil court or military tribunal after preliminary investigation shall be prima fascie evidence of such fact.
Petitioners then pray that these statutory provisions be declared null and void for being violative of the Constitution.
ISSUE: whether Section 4 of BP Blg. 52 is contrary to the safeguard of equal protection
HELD: No.
Petitioners then pray that the statutory provisions they have challenged be declared null and void for being violative of the Constitution.
I . The procedural Aspect
At the outset, it should be stated that this Petition suffers from basic procedural infirmities, hence, traditionally unacceptable for judicial resolution. For one, there is a
misjoinder of parties and actions. Petitioner Dumlao's interest is alien to that of petitioners Igot and Salapantan Petitioner Dumlao does not join petitioners Igot and
Salapantan in the burden of their complaint, nor do the latter join Dumlao in his. The respectively contest completely different statutory provisions. Petitioner Dumlao
has joined this suit in his individual capacity as a candidate. The action of petitioners Igot and Salapantan is more in the nature of a taxpayer's suit. Although
petitioners plead nine constraints as the reason of their joint Petition, it would have required only a modicum more of effort tor petitioner Dumlao, on one hand said
petitioners lgot and Salapantan, on the other, to have filed separate suits, in the interest of orderly procedure.
For another, there are standards that have to be followed inthe exercise of the function of judicial review, namely (1) the existence of an appropriate case:, (2) an
interest personal and substantial by the party raising the constitutional question: (3) the plea that the function be exercised at the earliest opportunity and (4) the
necessity that the constiutional question be passed upon in order to decide the case (People vs. Vera 65 Phil. 56 [1937]).
It may be conceded that the third requisite has been complied with, which is, that the parties have raised the issue of constitutionality early enough in their pleadings.
This Petition, however, has fallen far short of the other three criteria.
A. Actual case and controversy.
It is basic that the power of judicial review is limited to the determination of actual cases and controversies.
Petitioner Dumlao assails the constitutionality of the first paragraph of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 52, quoted earlier, as being contrary to the equal protection
clause guaranteed by the Constitution, and seeks to prohibit respondent COMELEC from implementing said provision. Yet, Dumlao has not been adversely affected
by the application of that provision. No petition seeking Dumlao's disqualification has been filed before the COMELEC. There is no ruling of that constitutional body
on the matter, which this Court is being asked to review on Certiorari. His is a question posed in the abstract, a hypothetical issue, and in effect, a petition for an
advisory opinion from this Court to be rendered without the benefit of a detailed factual record Petitioner Dumlao's case is clearly within the primary jurisdiction (see
concurring Opinion of now Chief Justice Fernando in Peralta vs. Comelec, 82 SCRA 30, 96 [1978]) of respondent COMELEC as provided for in section 2, Art. XII-C,
for the Constitution the pertinent portion of which reads:
"Section 2. The Commission on Elections shall have the following power and functions:
1) xxx
2) Be the sole judge of all contests relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of all members of the National Assembly and elective
provincial and city officials. (Emphasis supplied)
The aforequoted provision must also be related to section 11 of Art. XII-C, which provides:
Section 11. Any decision, order, or ruling of the Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within
thirty days from his receipt of a copy thereof.
B. Proper party.
The long-standing rule has been that "the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has
sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement" (People vs. Vera, supra).
In the case of petitioners Igot and Salapantan, it was only during the hearing, not in their Petition, that Igot is said to be a candidate for Councilor. Even then, it cannot
be denied that neither one has been convicted nor charged with acts of disloyalty to the State, nor disqualified from being candidates for local elective positions.
Neither one of them has been calle ed to have been adversely affected by the operation of the statutory provisions they assail as unconstitutional Theirs is a
generated grievance. They have no personal nor substantial interest at stake. In the absence of any litigate interest, they can claim no locus standi in seeking judicial
redress.
It is true that petitioners Igot and Salapantan have instituted this case as a taxpayer's suit, and that the rule enunciated in People vs. Vera, above stated, has been
relaxed in Pascual vs. The Secretary of Public Works (110 Phil. 331 [1960], thus:
... it is well settled that the validity of a statute may be contested only by one who will sustain a direct injury in consequence of its enforcement.
Yet, there are many decisions nullifying at the instance of taxpayers, laws providing for the disbursement of public funds, upon the theory that
"the expenditure of public funds, by an officer of the State for the purpose of administering an unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication
of such funds," which may be enjoined at the request of a taxpayer.
In the same vein, it has been held:
In the determination of the degree of interest essential to give the requisite standing to attack the constitutionality of a statute, the general rule
is that not only persons individually affected, but also taxpayers have sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of moneys raised
by taxation and they may, therefore, question the constitutionality of statutes requiring expenditure of public moneys. (Philippine Constitution
Association, Inc., et als., vs. Gimenez, et als., 15 SCRA 479 [1965]).
However, the statutory provisions questioned in this case, namely, sec. 7, BP Blg. 51, and sections 4, 1, and 6 BP Blg. 52, do not directly involve the disbursement of
public funds. While, concededly, the elections to be held involve the expenditure of public moneys, nowhere in their Petition do said petitioners allege that their tax
money is "being extracted and spent in violation of specific constitutional protections against abuses of legislative power" (Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S., 83 [1960]), or
that there is a misapplication of such funds by respondent COMELEC (see Pascual vs. Secretary of Public Works, 110 Phil. 331 [1960]), or that public money is
being deflected to any improper purpose. Neither do petitioners seek to restrain respondent from wasting public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or
unconstitutional law. (Philippine Constitution Association vs. Mathay, 18 SCRA 300 [1966]), citing Philippine Constitution Association vs. Gimenez, 15 SCRA 479
[1965]). Besides, the institution of a taxpayer's suit, per se is no assurance of judicial review. As held by this Court in Tan vs. Macapagal (43 SCRA 677 [1972]),
speaking through our present Chief Justice, this Court is vested with discretion as to whether or not a taxpayer's suit should be entertained.
C. Unavoidability of constitutional question.

Again upon the authority of People vs. Vera, "it is a wellsettled rule that the constitutionality of an act of the legislature will not be determined by the courts unless that
question is properly raised and presented in appropriate cases and is necessary to a determination of the case; i.e., the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis
mota presented."
We have already stated that, by the standards set forth in People vs. Vera, the present is not an "appropriate case" for either petitioner Dumlao or for petitioners Igot
and Salapantan. They are actually without cause of action. It follows that the necessity for resolving the issue of constitutionality is absent, and procedural regularity
would require that this suit be dismissed.
II. The substantive viewpoint.
We have resolved, however, to rule squarely on two of the challenged provisions, the Courts not being entirely without discretion in the matter. Thus, adherence to
the strict procedural standard was relaxed in Tinio vs. Mina(26 SCRA 512 [1968]); Edu vs. Ericta (35 SCRA 481 [1970]); and in Gonzalez vs. Comelec (27 SCRA 835
[1969]), the Opinion in the Tinio and Gonzalez cases having been penned by our present Chief Justice. The reasons which have impelled us are the paramount
public interest involved and the proximity of the elections which will be held only a few days hence.
Petitioner Dumlao's contention that section 4 of BP Blg. 52 is discriminatory against him personally is belied by the fact that several petitions for the disqualification of
other candidates for local positions based on the challenged provision have already been filed with the COMELEC (as listed in p. 15, respondent's Comment). This
tellingly overthrows Dumlao's contention of intentional or purposeful discrimination.
The assertion that Section 4 of BP Blg. 52 is contrary to the safer guard of equal protection is neither well taken. The constitutional guarantee of equal protection of
the laws is subject to rational classification. If the groupings are based on reasonable and real differentiations, one class can be treated and regulated differently from
another class. For purposes of public service, employees 65 years of age, have been validly classified differently from younger employees. Employees attaining that
age are subject to compulsory retirement, while those of younger ages are not so compulsorily retirable.
In respect of election to provincial, city, or municipal positions, to require that candidates should not be more than 65 years of age at the time they assume office, if
applicable to everyone, might or might not be a reasonable classification although, as the Solicitor General has intimated, a good policy of the law would be to
promote the emergence of younger blood in our political elective echelons. On the other hand, it might be that persons more than 65 years old may also be good
elective local officials.
Coming now to the case of retirees. Retirement from government service may or may not be a reasonable disqualification for elective local officials. For one thing,
there can also be retirees from government service at ages, say below 65. It may neither be reasonable to disqualify retirees, aged 65, for a 65 year old retiree could
be a good local official just like one, aged 65, who is not a retiree.
But, in the case of a 65-year old elective local official, who has retired from a provincial, city or municipal office, there is reason to disqualify him from running for the
same office from which he had retired, as provided for in the challenged provision. The need for new blood assumes relevance. The tiredness of the retiree for
government work is present, and what is emphatically significant is that the retired employee has already declared himself tired and unavailable for the same
government work, but, which, by virtue of a change of mind, he would like to assume again. It is for this very reason that inequality will neither result from the
application of the challenged provision. Just as that provision does not deny equal protection neither does it permit of such denial (see People vs. Vera, 65 Phil. 56
[1933]). Persons similarly situated are sinlilarly treated.
In fine, it bears reiteration that the equal protection clause does not forbid all legal classification. What is proscribes is a classification which is arbitrary and
unreasonable. That constitutional guarantee is not violated by a reasonable classification based upon substantial distinctions, where the classification is germane to
the purpose of the law and applies to all Chose belonging to the same class (Peralta vs. Comelec, 82 SCRA 30 [1978] citing Felwa vs. Salas, 18 SCRA 606 [1966];
Rafael v. Embroidery and Apparel Control and Inspection Board, 21 SCRA 336 [1967]; Inchong etc., et al. vs. Hernandez 101 Phil. 1155 [1957]). The purpose of the
law is to allow the emergence of younger blood in local governments. The classification in question being pursuant to that purpose, it cannot be considered invalid
"even it at times, it may be susceptible to the objection that it is marred by theoretical inconsistencies" (Chief Justice Fernando, The Constitution of the Philippines,
1977 ed., p. 547).
There is an additional consideration. Absent herein is a showing of the clear invalidity of the questioned provision. Well accepted is the rule that to justify the
nullification of a law, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not a doubtful and equivocal breach. Courts are practically unanimous in the
pronouncement that laws shall not be declared invalid unless the conflict with the Constitution is clear beyond reasonable doubt (Peralta vs. COMELEC, 82 SCRA 55
[1978], citing Cooper vs. Telfair 4 Dall 14; Dodd, Cases on Constitutional Law, 3rd ed. 1942, 56). Lastly, it is within the compentence of the legislature to prescribe
qualifications for one who desires to become a candidate for office provided they are reasonable, as in this case.
In so far as the petition of Igot and Salapantan are concerned, the second paragraph of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 52, quoted in full earlier, and which they
challenge, may be divided in two parts. The first provides:
a. judgment of conviction jor any of the aforementioned crimes shall be conclusive evidence of such fact ...
The supremacy of the Constitution stands out as the cardinal principle. We are aware of the presumption of validity that attaches to a challenged statute, of the wellsettled principle that "all reasonable doubts should be resolved in favor of constitutionality," and that Courts will not set aside a statute as constitutionally defective
"except in a clear case." (People vs. Vera, supra). We are constrained to hold that this is one such clear case.
Explicit is the constitutional provision that, in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to
be heard by himself and counsel (Article IV, section 19, 1973 Constitution). An accusation, according to the fundamental law, is not synonymous with guilt. The
challenged proviso contravenes the constitutional presumption of innocence, as a candidate is disqualified from running for public office on the ground alone that
charges have been filed against him before a civil or military tribunal. It condemns before one is fully heard. In ultimate effect, except as to the degree of proof, no
distinction is made between a person convicted of acts of dislotalty and one against whom charges have been filed for such acts, as both of them would be ineligible
to run for public office. A person disqualified to run for public office on the ground that charges have been filed against him is virtually placed in the same category as
a person already convicted of a crime with the penalty of arresto, which carries with it the accessory penalty of suspension of the right to hold office during the term of
the sentence (Art. 44, Revised Penal Code).
And although the filing of charges is considered as but prima facie evidence, and therefore, may be rebutted, yet. there is "clear and present danger" that because of
the proximity of the elections, time constraints will prevent one charged with acts of disloyalty from offering contrary proof to overcome the prima facie evidence
against him.
Additionally, it is best that evidence pro and con of acts of disloyalty be aired before the Courts rather than before an administrative body such as the COMELEC. A
highly possible conflict of findings between two government bodies, to the extreme detriment of a person charged, will thereby be avoided. Furthermore, a
legislative/administrative determination of guilt should not be allowed to be substituted for a judicial determination.
Being infected with constitutional infirmity, a partial declaration of nullity of only that objectionable portion is mandated. It is separable from the first portion of the
second paragraph of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Big. 52 which can stand by itself.
WHEREFORE, 1) the first paragraph of section 4 of Batas pambansa Bilang 52 is hereby declared valid. Said paragraph reads:
SEC. 4. Special disqualification. In addition to violation of Section 10 of Article XII(C) of the Constitution and disqualifications mentioned in
existing laws which are hereby declared as disqualification for any of the elective officials enumerated in Section 1 hereof, any retired elective
provincial, city or municipal official, who has received payment of the retirement benefits to which he is entitled under the law and who shall

have been 65 years of age at the commencement of the term of office to which he seeks to be elected, shall not be qualified to run for the
same elective local office from which he has retired.
2) That portion of the second paragraph of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 52 providing that "... the filing of charges for the commission of
such crimes before a civil court or military tribunal after preliminary investigation shall be prima facie evidence of such fact", is hereby declared
null and void, for being violative of the constitutional presumption of innocence guaranteed to an accused.
SO ORDERED.
PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF SERVICE EXPORTERS, INC., petitioner, vs. HON. FRANKLIN M. DRILON as Secretary of Labor and Employment, and
TOMAS D. ACHACOSO, as Administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, respondents.
G.R. No. 81958 June 30, 1988
SARMIENTO, J.:
FACTS: The petitioner, Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI), a firm "engaged principally in the recruitment of Filipino workers, male and female,
for overseas placement," challenges the Constitutional validity of Department Order No. 1, Series of 1988, of the DOLE, in the character of "GUIDELINES
GOVERNING THE TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF DEPLOYMENT OF FILIPINO DOMESTIC AND HOUSEHOLD WORKERS," in this petition for certiorari and
prohibition. Specifically, the measure is assailed for "discrimination against males or females;" that it "does not apply to all Filipino workers but only to domestic
helpers and females with similar skills;" and that it is violative of the right to travel. It is held likewise to be an invalid exercise of the lawmaking power, police power
being legislative, and not executive, in character.
PASEI invokes Section 3, of Article XIII, of the Constitution, providing for worker participation "in policy and decision-making processes affecting their
rights and benefits as may be provided by law." Department Order No. 1, it is contended, was passed in the absence of prior consultations. It is claimed, finally, to be
in violation of the Charter's non-impairment clause, in addition to the "great and irreparable injury" that PASEI members face should the Order be further enforced.
On May 25, 1988, the Solicitor General filed a Comment informing the Court that the respondent Labor Secretary lifted the deployment ban in the states of
Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, Canada, Hongkong, United States, Italy, Norway, Austria, and Switzerland. * In submitting the validity of the challenged "guidelines," the Solicitor
General invokes the police power of the Philippine State.
ISSUE: whether or not Department Order No. 1 is valid under the Constitution
HELD: Valid. It is admitted that Department Order No. 1 is in the nature of a police power measure. The only question is whether or not it is valid under the
Constitution.
The concept of police power is well-established in this jurisdiction. It has been defined as the "state authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal
liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare." 5 As defined, it consists of (1) an imposition of restraint upon liberty or property, (2) in order to foster the
common good. It is not capable of an exact definition but has been, purposely, veiled in general terms to underscore its all-comprehensive embrace.
"Its scope, ever-expanding to meet the exigencies of the times, even to anticipate the future where it could be done, provides enough room for an efficient and
flexible response to conditions and circumstances thus assuring the greatest benefits." 6
It finds no specific Constitutional grant for the plain reason that it does not owe its origin to the Charter. Along with the taxing power and eminent domain, it is inborn
in the very fact of statehood and sovereignty. It is a fundamental attribute of government that has enabled it to perform the most vital functions of governance.
Marshall, to whom the expression has been credited, 7 refers to it succinctly as the plenary power of the State "to govern its citizens."8
"The police power of the State ... is a power coextensive with self- protection, and it is not inaptly termed the "law of overwhelming 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." 9
It constitutes an implied limitation on the Bill of Rights. According to Fernando, it is "rooted in the conception that men in organizing the state and imposing upon its
government limitations to safeguard constitutional rights did not intend thereby to enable an individual citizen or a group of citizens to obstruct unreasonably the
enactment of such salutary measures calculated to ensure communal peace, safety, good order, and welfare." 10 Significantly, the Bill of Rights itself does not
purport to be an absolute guaranty of individual rights and liberties "Even liberty itself, the greatest of all rights, is not unrestricted license to act according to one's
will." 11 It is subject to the far more overriding demands and requirements of the greater number.
Notwithstanding its extensive sweep, police power is not without its own limitations. For all its awesome consequences, it may not be exercised arbitrarily or
unreasonably. Otherwise, and in that event, it defeats the purpose for which it is exercised, that is, to advance the public good. Thus, when the power is used to
further private interests at the expense of the citizenry, there is a clear misuse of the power. 12
In the light of the foregoing, the petition must be dismissed.
As a general rule, official acts enjoy a presumed vahdity. 13 In the absence of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, the presumption logically stands.
The petitioner has shown no satisfactory reason why the contested measure should be nullified. There is no question that Department Order No. 1 applies only to
"female contract workers," 14 but it does not thereby make an undue discrimination between the sexes. It is well-settled that "equality before the law" under the
Constitution 15does not import a perfect Identity of rights among all men and women. It admits of classifications, provided that (1) such classifications rest on
substantial distinctions; (2) they are germane to the purposes of the law; (3) they are not confined to existing conditions; and (4) they apply equally to all members of
the same class. 16
The Court is satisfied that the classification made-the preference for female workers rests on substantial distinctions.
As a matter of judicial notice, the Court is well aware of the unhappy plight that has befallen our female labor force abroad, especially domestic servants, amid
exploitative working conditions marked by, in not a few cases, physical and personal abuse. The sordid tales of maltreatment suffered by migrant Filipina workers,
even rape and various forms of torture, confirmed by testimonies of returning workers, are compelling motives for urgent Government action. As precisely the
caretaker of Constitutional rights, the Court is called upon to protect victims of exploitation. In fulfilling that duty, the Court sustains the Government's efforts.
The same, however, cannot be said of our male workers. In the first place, there is no evidence that, except perhaps for isolated instances, our men abroad have
been afflicted with an Identical predicament. The petitioner has proffered no argument that the Government should act similarly with respect to male workers. The
Court, of course, is not impressing some male chauvinistic notion that men are superior to women. What the Court is saying is that it was largely a matter of evidence
(that women domestic workers are being ill-treated abroad in massive instances) and not upon some fanciful or arbitrary yardstick that the Government acted in this
case. It is evidence capable indeed of unquestionable demonstration and evidence this Court accepts. The Court cannot, however, say the same thing as far as men
are concerned. There is simply no evidence to justify such an inference. Suffice it to state, then, that insofar as classifications are concerned, this Court is content
that distinctions are borne by the evidence. Discrimination in this case is justified.
As we have furthermore indicated, executive determinations are generally final on the Court. Under a republican regime, it is the executive branch that enforces
policy. For their part, the courts decide, in the proper cases, whether that policy, or the manner by which it is implemented, agrees with the Constitution or the laws,
but it is not for them to question its wisdom. As a co-equal body, the judiciary has great respect for determinations of the Chief Executive or his subalterns, especially

when the legislature itself has specifically given them enough room on how the law should be effectively enforced. In the case at bar, there is no gainsaying the fact,
and the Court will deal with this at greater length shortly, that Department Order No. 1 implements the rule-making powers granted by the Labor Code. But what
should be noted is the fact that in spite of such a fiction of finality, the Court is on its own persuaded that prevailing conditions indeed call for a deployment ban.
There is likewise no doubt that such a classification is germane to the purpose behind the measure. Unquestionably, it is the avowed objective of Department Order
No. 1 to "enhance the protection for Filipino female overseas workers" 17 this Court has no quarrel that in the midst of the terrible mistreatment Filipina workers have
suffered abroad, a ban on deployment will be for their own good and welfare.
The Order does not narrowly apply to existing conditions. Rather, it is intended to apply indefinitely so long as those conditions exist. This is clear from the Order itself
("Pending review of the administrative and legal measures, in the Philippines and in the host countries . . ." 18), meaning to say that should the authorities arrive at a
means impressed with a greater degree of permanency, the ban shall be lifted. As a stop-gap measure, it is possessed of a necessary malleability, depending on the
circumstances of each case. Accordingly, it provides:
9. LIFTING OF SUSPENSION. The Secretary of Labor and Employment (DOLE) may, upon recommendation of the Philippine Overseas
Employment Administration (POEA), lift the suspension in countries where there are:
1. Bilateral agreements or understanding with the Philippines, and/or,
2. Existing mechanisms providing for sufficient safeguards to ensure the welfare and protection of Filipino workers. 19
The Court finds, finally, the impugned guidelines to be applicable to all female domestic overseas workers. That it does not apply to "all Filipina workers" 20 is not an
argument for unconstitutionality. Had the ban been given universal applicability, then it would have been unreasonable and arbitrary. For obvious reasons, not all of
them are similarly circumstanced. What the Constitution prohibits is the singling out of a select person or group of persons within an existing class, to the prejudice of
such a person or group or resulting in an unfair advantage to another person or group of persons. To apply the ban, say exclusively to workers deployed by A, but not
to those recruited by B, would obviously clash with the equal protection clause of the Charter. It would be a classic case of what Chase refers to as a law that "takes
property from A and gives it to B." 21 It would be an unlawful invasion of property rights and freedom of contract and needless to state, an invalid act. 22 (Fernando
says: "Where the classification is based on such distinctions that make a real difference as infancy, sex, and stage of civilization of minority groups, the better rule, it
would seem, is to recognize its validity only if the young, the women, and the cultural minorities are singled out for favorable treatment. There would be an element of
unreasonableness if on the contrary their status that calls for the law ministering to their needs is made the basis of discriminatory legislation against them. If such be
the case, it would be difficult to refute the assertion of denial of equal protection." 23 In the case at bar, the assailed Order clearly accords protection to certain
women workers, and not the contrary.)
It is incorrect to say that Department Order No. 1 prescribes a total ban on overseas deployment. From scattered provisions of the Order, it is evident that such a total
ban has hot been contemplated. We quote:
5. AUTHORIZED DEPLOYMENT-The deployment of domestic helpers and workers of similar skills defined herein to the following [sic] are
authorized under these guidelines and are exempted from the suspension.
5.1 Hirings by immediate members of the family of Heads of State and Government;
5.2 Hirings by Minister, Deputy Minister and the other senior government officials; and
5.3 Hirings by senior officials of the diplomatic corps and duly accredited international organizations.
5.4 Hirings by employers in countries with whom the Philippines have [sic] bilateral labor agreements or understanding.
xxx xxx xxx
7. VACATIONING DOMESTIC HELPERS AND WORKERS OF SIMILAR SKILLS--Vacationing domestic helpers and/or workers of similar skills
shall be allowed to process with the POEA and leave for worksite only if they are returning to the same employer to finish an existing or partially
served employment contract. Those workers returning to worksite to serve a new employer shall be covered by the suspension and the
provision of these guidelines.
xxx xxx xxx
9. LIFTING OF SUSPENSION-The Secretary of Labor and Employment (DOLE) may, upon recommendation of the Philippine Overseas
Employment Administration (POEA), lift the suspension in countries where there are:
1. Bilateral agreements or understanding with the Philippines, and/or,
2. Existing mechanisms providing for sufficient safeguards to ensure the welfare and protection of Filipino workers. 24
xxx xxx xxx
The consequence the deployment ban has on the right to travel does not impair the right. The right to travel is subject, among other things, to the requirements of
"public safety," "as may be provided by law." 25 Department Order No. 1 is a valid implementation of the Labor Code, in particular, its basic policy to "afford
protection to labor," 26 pursuant to the respondent Department of Labor's rule-making authority vested in it by the Labor Code.27 The petitioner assumes that it is
unreasonable simply because of its impact on the right to travel, but as we have stated, the right itself is not absolute. The disputed Order is a valid qualification
thereto.
Neither is there merit in the contention that Department Order No. 1 constitutes an invalid exercise of legislative power. It is true that police power is the domain of the
legislature, but it does not mean that such an authority may not be lawfully delegated. As we have mentioned, the Labor Code itself vests the Department of Labor
and Employment with rulemaking powers in the enforcement whereof. 28
The petitioners's reliance on the Constitutional guaranty of worker participation "in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits" 29 is not
well-taken. The right granted by this provision, again, must submit to the demands and necessities of the State's power of regulation.
The Constitution declares that:
Sec. 3. The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and
equality of employment opportunities for all. 30
"Protection to labor" does not signify the promotion of employment alone. What concerns the Constitution more paramountly is that such an employment be above
all, decent, just, and humane. It is bad enough that the country has to send its sons and daughters to strange lands because it cannot satisfy their employment needs
at home. Under these circumstances, the Government is duty-bound to insure that our toiling expatriates have adequate protection, personally and economically,
while away from home. In this case, the Government has evidence, an evidence the petitioner cannot seriously dispute, of the lack or inadequacy of such protection,
and as part of its duty, it has precisely ordered an indefinite ban on deployment.
The Court finds furthermore that the Government has not indiscriminately made use of its authority. It is not contested that it has in fact removed the prohibition with
respect to certain countries as manifested by the Solicitor General.
The non-impairment clause of the Constitution, invoked by the petitioner, must yield to the loftier purposes targetted by the Government. 31 Freedom of contract and
enterprise, like all other freedoms, is not free from restrictions, more so in this jurisdiction, where laissez faire has never been fully accepted as a controlling economic
way of life.
This Court understands the grave implications the questioned Order has on the business of recruitment. The concern of the Government, however, is not necessarily
to maintain profits of business firms. In the ordinary sequence of events, it is profits that suffer as a result of Government regulation. The interest of the State is to

provide a decent living to its citizens. The Government has convinced the Court in this case that this is its intent. We do not find the impugned Order to be tainted with
a grave abuse of discretion to warrant the extraordinary relief prayed for.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED.
ISHMAEL HIMAGAN, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and HON. JUDGE HILARIO MAPAYO, RTC, Br. 11, Davao City, respondents.
G.R. No. 113811 October 7, 1994
KAPUNAN, J.:
FACTS: Petitioner, a policeman assigned with the medical company of the Philippine National Police Regional Headquarters at Camp Catitigan, Davao City, was
implicated in the killing of Benjamin Machitar, Jr. and the attempted murder of Bernabe Machitar. After the informations for murder and attempted murder were filed
with the RTC, Branch 11, Davao City, the trial court issued an Order suspending petitioner until the termination of the case on the basis of Section 47, R.A. 6975,
otherwise known as Department of Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, which provides: Sec. 47. Preventive Suspension Pending Criminal Case. Upon the
filing of a complaint or information sufficient in form and substance against a member of the PNP for grave felonies where the penalty imposed by law is six (6) years
and one (1) day or more, the court shall immediately suspend the accused from office until the case is terminated. Such case shall be subject to continuous trial and
shall be terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment of the accused (Emphasis ours).
On October 11, 1993, petitioner filed a motion to lift the order for his suspension, relying on Section 42 of P.D. 807 of the Civil Service Decree, that his
suspension should be limited to ninety (90) days and, also, on our ruling in Deloso v. Sandiganbayan, and Layno v. Sandiganbayan. Respondent judge denied the
motion pointing out that under Section 47 of R.A. 6975, the accused shall be suspended from office until his case is terminated. The motion for reconsideration of the
order of denial was, likewise, denied. Hence, the petition for certiorari and mandamus to set aside the orders of respondent Judge and to command him to lift
petitioner's preventive suspension.
ISSUE: whether Section 47 of R.A. 6975 does violates the suspended policeman's constitutional right to equal protection of the laws
HELD: No. We find the petition devoid of merit.
There is no question that the case of petitioner who is charged with murder and attempted murder under the Revised Penal Code falls squarely under Sec. 47 of RA
6975 which specifically applies to members of the PNP. In dispute however, is whether the provision limits the period of suspension to 90 days, considering that while
the first sentence of Sec. 47 provides that the accused who is charged with grave felonies where the penalty imposed is six (6) years and one (1) day shall be
suspended from office "until the case is terminated", the second sentence of the same section mandates that the case, which shall be subject to continuous trial, shall
be terminated within 90 days from the arraignment of the accused.
Petitioner posits that as a member of the Philippine National Police, under Sec. 91 of RA 6975 which reads:
Sec. 91. The Civil Service Law and its implementing rules and regulations shall apply to all personnel of the Department.
he is covered by the Civil Service Law, particularly Sec. 42 of PD 807 of the Civil Service Decree, which limits the maximum period of suspension to ninety (90) days,
thus:
Sec. 42. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending Administrative Investigation. When the administrative case against the officer or
employee under preventive suspension is not finally decided by the disciplining authority within the period of ninety (90) days after the date of
suspension of the respondent who is not a presidential appointee, the respondent shall be automatically reinstated in the service; Provided,
That when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, the period of delay shall not be
counted in computing the period of suspension herein provided.
He claims that an imposition of preventive suspension of over 90 days is contrary to the Civil Service Law and would be a violation of his constitutional right to equal
protection of laws. He further asserts that the requirements in
Sec. 47 of R.A. 6975 that "the court shall immediately suspend the accused from office until the case is terminated" and the succeeding sentence, "Such case shall
be subject to continuous trial and shall be terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment of the accused" are both substantive and should be taken together to
mean that if the case is not terminated within 90 days, the period of preventive suspension must be lifted because of the command that the trial must be terminated
within ninety (90) days from arraignment.
We disagree.
First. The language of the first sentence of Sec. 47 of R.A. 6975 is clear, plain and free from ambiguity. It gives no other meaning than that the suspension from office
of the member of the PNP charged with grave offense where the penalty is six years and one day or more shall last until the termination of the case. The suspension
cannot be lifted before the termination of the case. The second sentence of the same Section providing that the trial must be terminated within ninety (90) days from
arraignment does not qualify or limit the first sentence. The two can stand independently of each other. The first refers to the period of suspension. The second deals
with the time frame within which the trial should be finished.
Suppose the trial is not terminated within ninety days from arraignment, should the suspension of accused be lifted? The answer is certainly no. While the law uses
the mandatory word "shall" before the phrase "be terminated within ninety (90) days", there is nothing in R.A. 6975 that suggests that the preventive suspension of
the accused will be lifted if the trial is not terminated within that period. Nonetheless, the Judge who fails to decide the case within the period without justifiable reason
may be subject to administrative sanctions and, in appropriate cases where the facts so warrant, to criminal 8 or civil liability. 9 If the trial is unreasonably delayed
without fault of the accused such that he is deprived of his right to a speedy trial, he is not without a remedy. He may ask for the dismissal of the case. Should the
court refuse to dismiss the case, the accused can compel its dismissal bycertiorari, prohibition or mandamus, or secure his liberty by habeas corpus. 10
Second. Petitioner misapplies Sec. 42 of PD 807. A meticulous reading of the section clearly shows that it refers to the lifting of preventive suspension in pending
administrative investigation, not in criminal cases, as here. What is more, Section 42 expressly limits the period of preventive suspension to ninety (90) days. Sec. 91
of R.A. 6975 which states that "The Civil Service Law and its implementing rules shall apply to all personnel of the Department" simply means that the provisions of
the Civil Service Law and its implementing rules and regulations are applicable to members of the Philippine National Police insofar as the provisions, rules and
regulations are not inconsistent with
R.A. 6975. Certainly, Section 42 of the Civil Service Decree which limits the preventive suspension to ninety (90) days cannot apply to members of the PNP because
Sec. 47 of R.A. 6995 provides differently, that is, the suspension where the penalty imposed by law exceeds six (6) years shall continue until the case is terminated.
Third. Petitioner's reliance on Layno and Deloso is misplaced. These cases all stemmed from charges in violation of R.A. 3019 (1060), otherwise known as the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act which, unlike
R.A. 6975, is silent on the duration of the preventive suspension. Sec. 13 of R.A. 3019 reads as follows:
Suspension and loss of benefits. Any public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this Act or under
the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on bribery is pending in court, shall be suspended from office. Should he be convicted by final
judgment, he shall lose all retirement or gratuity benefits under any law, but if he is acquitted, he shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the

salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension, unless in the meantime administrative proceedings have been filed against
him.
In the case of Layno, the duly elected mayor of Lianga, Surigao del Sur, was preventively suspended after an information was filed against him for offenses under
R.A. 3019 (1060), the Anti-Graft Corrupt Practices Act. He had been suspended for four (4) months at the time he filed a motion to lift his preventive suspension. We
held that his indefinite preventive suspension violated the "equal protection clause" and shortened his term of office. Thus:
2. Petitioner is a duly elected municipal mayor of Lianga, Surigao del Sur. His term of office does not expire until 1986. Were it not for this
information and the suspension decreed by the Sandiganbayan according to the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, he would have been all
this while in the full discharge of his functions as such municipal mayor. He was elected precisely to do so. As of October 26, 1983, he has
been unable to. It is a basic assumption of the electoral process implicit in the right of suffrage that the people are entitled to the services of
elective officials of their choice. For misfeasance or malfeasance, any of them could, of course, be proceeded against administratively or, as in
this instance, criminally. In either case, his culpability must be established. Moreover, if there be a criminal action, he is entitled to the
constitutional presumption of innocence. A preventive suspension may be justified. Its continuance, however, for an unreasonable length of
time raises a due process question. For even if thereafter he were acquitted, in the meanwhile his right to hold office had been nullified. Clearly,
there would be in such a case an injustice suffered by him. Nor is he the only victim. There is injustice inflicted likewise on the people of Lianga.
They were deprived of the services of the man they had elected to serve as mayor. In that sense, to paraphrase Justice Cardozo, the
protracted continuance of this preventive suspension had outrun the bounds of reason and resulted in sheer oppression. A denial of due
process is thus quite manifest. It is to avoid such an unconstitutional application that the order of suspension should be lifted.
3. Nor is it solely the denial of procedural due process that is apparent. There is likewise an equal protection question. If the case against
petitioner Layno were administrative in character the Local Government Code would be applicable. It is therein clearly provided that while
preventive suspension is allowable for the causes therein enumerated, there is this emphatic limitation on the duration thereof: "In all cases,
preventive suspension shall not extend beyond sixty days after the start of said suspension." It may be recalled that the principle against
indefinite suspension applies equally to national government officials. So it was held in the leading case of Garcia v. Hon. Executive Secretary.
According to the opinion of Justice Barrera: "To adopt the theory of respondents that an officer appointed by the President, facing
administrative charges, can be preventively suspended indefinitely, would be to countenance a situation where the preventive suspension can,
in effect, be the penalty itself without a finding of guilt after due hearing, contrary to the express mandate of the Constitution and the Civil
Service law." Further: "In the guise of a preventive suspension, his term of office could be shortened and he could in effect, be removed without
a finding of a cause duly established after due hearing, in violation of the Constitution. Clearly then, the policy of the law mandated by the
Constitution frowns at a suspension of indefinite duration. In this particular case, the mere fact that petitioner is facing a charge under the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act does not justify a different rule of law. To do so would be to negate the safeguard of the equal protection
guarantee. 11
The case of Deloso, likewise, involved another elective official who
was preventively suspended as provincial governor, also under RA 3019 the Anti-Graft Law. This Court, faced with similar factual circumstances as in Layno, applied
the ruling in the latter case "in relation to the principles of due process and equal protection."
It is readily apparent that Section 13 of R.A. 3019 upon which the preventive suspension of the accused in Laynoand Deloso was based is silent with respect to the
duration of the preventive suspension, such that the suspension of the accused therein for a prolonged and unreasonable length of time raised a due process
question. Not so in the instant case. Petitioner is charged with murder under the Revised Penal Code and it is undisputed that he falls squarely under Sec. 47 of R.A.
6975 which categorically states that his suspension shall last until the case is terminated. The succeeding sentence of the same section requires the case to be
subjected to continuous trial which shall be terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment of the accused. As previously emphasized, nowhere in the law does it
say that after the lapse of the 90-day period for trial, the preventive suspension should be lifted. The law is clear, the ninety (90) days duration applies to the trial of
the case not to the suspension. Nothing else should be read into the law. When the words and phrases of the statute are clear and unequivocal, their meaning
determined from the language employed and the statute must be taken to mean exactly what it says. 12
Fourth. From the deliberations of the Bicameral Conference Committee on National Defense relative to the bill that became R.A. 6975, the meaning of Section 47 of
R.A. 6975 insofar as the period of suspension is concerned becomes all the more clear. We quote:
So other than that in that particular section, ano ba itong "Jurisdiction in Criminal Cases?" What is this all about?
REP. ZAMORA. In case they are charged with crimes.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Ah, the previous one is administrative, no. Now, if it is charged with a crime, regular
courts.
SEN. GONZALES. Ano, the courts mismo ang magsasabing . . .
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). No, the jurisdiction.
REP. ZAMORA. The jurisdiction if there is robbery.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Okay. "Preventive Suspension Pending Criminal Case. Upon the filing of a complaint
or informations sufficient in form and substance against a member of the PNP for grave felonies where the penalty
imposed by law is six years and one day or more, the court shall immediately suspend the accused from the office until
the case is terminated."
REP. ALBANO. Where are we now Mr. Chairman.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Grave felonies ito e. Six years and one day or more.
SEN. SAGUISAG. Kung five years and litigation ng Supreme Court, ganoon ba and . . .?
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Hindi, dahil iyong iba panay disciplinary iyon e.
SEN. PIMENTEL. Anong page iyan, Rene?
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Page 29 Preventive Suspension.
REP. GUTANG. Ang complaint kasi ng mga tao, pagka may pulis na may criminal case at may baril pa rin at naguuniforme, hindi magandang tingnan e. So parang natatakot iyong mga witnesses.
SEN. GONZALES. Anyway, kung ma-exempt na rito naman siya e.
REP. GUTANG. Mayroong entitlement to reinstatement and pay. . . .
xxx xxx xxx
SEN. PIMENTEL. Dito sa "Preventive Suspension Pending Criminal Case." Okay ito but I think we should also mandate
the early termination of the case. Ibig sabihin, okay, hindi ba "the suspension of the accused from office until the case is
terminated?" Alam naman natin ang takbo ng mga kaso rito sa ating bansa e.
REP. ZAMORA. Twenty days, okay na.

SEN. PIMENTEL. Hindi, and ibig kong sabihin, let us just assume that a case can be, as Rene pointed out, can run to six
years bago
ma-terminate, sometimes ten years pa nga e. Okay, but maybe we should mandate. . .
REP. ZAMORA. Continuous hearing.
SEN. PIMENTEL. Not only that, but the case must be terminated within a period.
REP. ALBANO. Ninety days na ho sa Supreme Court the trial.
SEN. PIMENTEL. Ha?
REP. ALBANO. The trial must be done within ninety days,
SEN. PIMENTEL. Ang ibig kong sabihin kung maari sanang ilagay rito that the case shall also be terminated in one year
from the time . . . aywan ko kung kaya nating gawin iyon.
REP. ALBANO. One solution, Mr. Chairman.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Criminal case? Hindi ba that has all been held as directory even if you put it in the
law?
SEN. PIMENTEL. I know, but, iyon na nga, we are looking at some solution to a particular situation.
SEN. ANGARA. Let's have continuous hearing and be terminated not later than ninety days.
REP. ZAMORA. Ang point ni Ernie, that's really only the directory. All of these, well, looks exactly the same thing.
SEN. ANGARA. No, but at least, we will shorten it up in a case like this. We are really keen on having it quick, swift.
SEN. PIMENTEL. Swift justice.
REP. ALBANO. Mr. Chairman.
THE CHAIRMAN. (SEN. MACEDA). Yes.
REP. ALBANO. Following the Veloso case in Anti-graft cases before the Sandiganbayan, the preventive suspension is
only ninety days. In no case shall it go beyond ninety days which can also be applicable here because this is a preventive
suspension.
SEN. PIMENTEL. No, because you can legislate at least.
SEN. SAGUISAG. But then the case may be anti-graft ha. The case filed against a policeman may be anti-graft in nature.
..
SEN. PIMENTEL. Correct, correct, but is that a constitutional provision? Is it?
REP. ALBANO. No, but as a standard procedure.
SEN. PIMENTEL. Then you can legislate.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). No, because this particular provision is for criminal cases. I know anti-graft is a
criminal case but here we are talking, let's say, of murder, rape, treason, robbery. That's why it is in that context
that there is a difference between a purely anti-graft case and a criminal case which could be a serious case since it is six
years and one day or more, so it must be already a grave felony.
xxx xxx xxx
REP. ALBANO. . . .
What I mean to say is, preventive suspension, we can use the
Veloso case.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). No, that's too short, that's what I am saying. The feeling here is, for policeman, we
have to be stricter especially if it is a criminal case.
What Rene is just trying to say is, he is agreeable that the suspension is until the case is terminated, but he just wants
some administrative balancing to expedite it. So let us study what kind of language could be done along that line. So just
on the National Police Commission . . .
SEN. ANGARA. Can I suggest a language that may reflect. . .
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Okay, please.
SEN. ANGARA. "Such case shall be subject to continuous trial and be terminated not later than . . ." whatever we agree.
THE CHAIRMAN (SEN. MACEDA). Okay, so let's study that.
So if there are any further amendments to Chapter 2 on the National Police Commission. . . . . .13
The foregoing discussions reveal the legislative intent to place on preventive suspension a member of the PNP charged with grave felonies where the penalty
imposed by law exceeds six years of imprisonment and which suspension continues until the case against him is terminated.
The reason why members of the PNP are treated differently from the other classes of persons charged criminally or administratively insofar as the application of the
rule on preventive suspension is concerned is that policemen carry weapons and the badge of the law which can be used to harass or intimidate witnesses against
them, as succinctly brought out in the legislative discussions.
If a suspended policeman criminally charged with a serious offense is reinstated to his post while his case is pending, his victim and the witnesses against him are
obviously exposed to constant threat and thus easily cowed to silence by the mere fact that the accused is in uniform and armed. The imposition of preventive
suspension for over 90 days under Section 47 of
R.A. 6975 does not violate the suspended policeman's constitutional right to equal protection of the laws.
The equal protection clause exists to prevent undue favor or privilege. It is intended to eliminate discrimination and oppression based on inequality. Recognizing the
existence of real differences among men, the equal protection clause does not demand absolute equality. It merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike,
under like circumstances and conditions both as to the privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. 14 Thus, the equal protection clause does not absolutely forbid
classifications, such as the one which exists in the instant case. If the classification is based on real and substantial differences; 15 is germane to the purpose of the
law; 16 applies to all members of the same class; 17 and applies to current as well as future conditions, 18 the classification may not be impugned as violating the
Constitution's equal protection guarantee. A distinction based on real and reasonable considerations related to a proper legislative purpose such as that which exists
here is neither unreasonable, capricious nor unfounded.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby DISMISSED.
ELEAZAR P. QUINTO and GERINO A. TOLENTINO, JR. vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
G.R. No. 189698 December 1, 2009
NACHURA, J.:

FACTS: This controversy actually stems from the law authorizing the COMELEC to use an automated election system (AES).
On December 22, 1997, Congress enacted Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8436, entitled AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS TO USE AN
AUTOMATED ELECTION SYSTEM IN THE MAY 11, 1998 NATIONAL OR LOCAL ELECTIONS AND IN SUBSEQUENT NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTORAL
EXERCISES, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Almost a decade thereafter, Congress amended the law on January 23, 2007 by enacting R.A. No. 9369, entitled AN ACT AMENDING REPUBLIC ACT
NO. 8436, ENTITLED AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS TO USE AN AUTOMATED ELECTION SYSTEM IN THE MAY 11, 1998
NATIONAL OR LOCAL ELECTIONS AND IN SUBSEQUENT NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTORAL EXERCISES, TO ENCOURAGE TRANSPARENCY,
CREDIBILITY, FAIRNESS AND ACCURACY OF ELECTIONS, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE BATAS PAMPANSA BLG. 881, AS AMEMDED, REPUBLIC ACT
NO. 7166 AND OTHER RELATED ELECTION LAWS, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. Section 13 of the amendatory law
modified Section 11 of R.A. No. 8436, thus;
For this purpose, the Commission shall set the deadline for the filing of certificate of candidacy/petition of
registration/manifestation to participate in the election. Any person who files his certificate of candidacy within this period shall only
be considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign period for which he filed his certificate of candidacy: Provided, That,
unlawful acts or omissions applicable to a candidate shall take effect only upon the start of the aforesaid campaign
period: Provided, finally, That any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the armed
forces, and officers and employees in government-owned or -controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from
his/her office and must vacate the same at the start of the day of the filing of his/her certificate of candidacy.
Pursuant to its constitutional mandate to enforce and administer election laws, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 8678,[ the Guidelines on the Filing of
Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) and Nomination of Official Candidates of Registered Political Parties in Connection with the May 10, 2010 National and Local
Elections. Sections 4 and 5 of Resolution No. 8678 provide:
SEC. 4. Effects of Filing Certificates of Candidacy.a) Any person holding a public appointive office or position including active
members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other officers and employees in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be
considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.
b) Any person holding an elective office or position shall not be considered resigned upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy for
the same or any other elective office or position.
SEC. 5. Period for filing Certificate of Candidacy.The certificate of candidacy shall be filed on regular days, from November 20 to
30, 2009, during office hours, except on the last day, which shall be until midnight.
Alarmed that they will be deemed ipso facto resigned from their offices the moment they file their CoCs, petitioners Eleazar P. Quinto and Gerino A.
Tolentino, Jr., who hold appointive positions in the government and who intend to run in the coming elections,[5] filed the instant petition for prohibition
and certiorari, seeking the declaration of the afore-quoted Section 4(a) of Resolution No. 8678 as null and void.
ISSUE: whether the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of Republic Act No. 9369, Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code and Section 4(a) of
COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 are UNCONSTITUTIONAL
HELD: Yes.
I.
At first glance, the petition suffers from an incipient procedural defect. What petitioners assail in their petition is a resolution issued by the COMELEC in
the exercise of its quasi-legislative power. Certiorari under Rule 65, in relation to Rule 64, cannot be availed of, because it is a remedy to question decisions,
resolutions and issuances made in the exercise of a judicial or quasi-judicial function.[11] Prohibition is also an inappropriate remedy, because what petitioners
actually seek from the Court is a determination of the proper construction of a statute and a declaration of their rights thereunder. Obviously, their petition is one for
declaratory relief,[12] over which this Court does not exercise original jurisdiction.[13]
However, petitioners raise a challenge on the constitutionality of the questioned provisions of both the COMELEC resolution and the law. Given this
scenario, the Court may step in and resolve the instant petition.
The transcendental nature and paramount importance of the issues raised and the compelling state interest involved in their early resolutionthe period
for the filing of CoCs for the 2010 elections has already started and hundreds of civil servants intending to run for elective offices are to lose their employment,
thereby causing imminent and irreparable damage to their means of livelihood and, at the same time, crippling the governments manpowerfurther dictate that the
Court must, for propriety, if only from a sense of obligation, entertain the petition so as to expedite the adjudication of all, especially the constitutional, issues.
In any event, the Court has ample authority to set aside errors of practice or technicalities of procedure and resolve the merits of a case. Repeatedly
stressed in our prior decisions is the principle that the Rules were promulgated to provide guidelines for the orderly administration of justice, not to shackle the hand
that dispenses it. Otherwise, the courts would be consigned to being mere slaves to technical rules, deprived of their judicial discretion. [14]
II.
To put things in their proper perspective, it is imperative that we trace the brief history of the assailed provision. Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution No.
8678 is a reproduction of the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369, which for ready reference is quoted as follows:
For this purpose, the Commission shall set the deadline for the filing of certificate of candidacy/petition for registration/manifestation
to participate in the election. Any person who files his certificate of candidacy within this period shall only be considered as a candidate at the
start of the campaign period for which he filed his certificate of candidacy: Provided, That, unlawful acts or omissions applicable to a candidate
shall take effect only upon the start of the aforesaid campaign period:Provided, finally, That any person holding a public appointive office
or position, including active members of the armed forces, and officers and employees in government-owned or -controlled
corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his/her office and must vacate the same at the start of the day of the
filing of his/her certificate of candidacy.[15]

Notably, this proviso is not present in Section 11 of R.A. No. 8436, the law amended by R.A. No. 9369. The proviso was lifted from Section 66 of B.P.
Blg. 881 or the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) of the Philippines, which reads:
Sec. 66. Candidates holding appointive office or position.Any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active
members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and officers and employees in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be
considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.
It may be recalledin inverse chronologythat earlier, Presidential Decree No. 1296, or the 1978 Election Code, contained a similar provision, thus
SECTION 29. Candidates holding appointive office or position. Every person holding a public appointive office or position,
including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and officers and employees in government-owned or controlled corporations,
shall ipso facto cease in his office or position on the date he files his certificate of candidacy. Members of the Cabinet shall continue in the
offices they presently hold notwithstanding the filing of certificate of candidacy, subject to the pleasure of the President of the Philippines.
Much earlier, R.A. No. 6388, or the Election Code of 1971, likewise stated in its Section 23 the following:
SECTION 23. Candidates Holding Appointive Office or Position. Every person holding a public appointive office or position,
including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and every officer or employee in government-owned or controlled
corporations, shall ipso facto cease in his office or position on the date he files his certificate of candidacy: Provided, That the filing of a
certificate of candidacy shall not affect whatever civil, criminal or administrative liabilities which he may have incurred.
Going further back in history, R.A. No. 180, or the Revised Election Code approved on June 21, 1947, also provided that
SECTION 26. Automatic cessation of appointive officers and employees who are candidates. Every person holding a public
appointive office or position shall ipso facto cease in his office or position on the date he files his certificate of candidacy.
During the Commonwealth era, Commonwealth Act (C.A.) No. 725, entitled AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE NEXT ELECTION FOR PRESIDENT AND
VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES, SENATORS AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND APPROPRIATING THE NECESSARY
FUNDS THEREFOR, approved on January 5, 1946, contained, in the last paragraph of its Section 2, the following:
A person occupying any civil office by appointment in the government or any of its political subdivisions or agencies or government-owned or
controlled corporations, whether such office by appointive or elective, shall be considered to have resigned from such office from the moment
of the filing of such certificate of candidacy.
Significantly, however, C.A. No. 666, entitled AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE FIRST ELECTION FOR PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE
PHILIPPINES, SENATORS, AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, UNDER THE CONSTITUTION AND THE AMENDMENTS THEREOF,
enacted without executive approval on June 22, 1941, the precursor of C.A. No. 725, only provided for automatic resignation of elective, but not appointive, officials.
Nevertheless, C.A. No. 357, or the Election Code approved on August 22, 1938, had, in its Section 22, the same verbatim provision as Section 26 of R.A.
No. 180.
The earliest recorded Philippine law on the subject is Act No. 1582, or the Election Law enacted by the Philippine Commission in 1907, the last paragraph
of Section 29 of which reads:
Sec. 29. Penalties upon officers. x x x.
No public officer shall offer himself as a candidate for election, nor shall he be eligible during the time that he holds said public office
to election, at any municipal, provincial or Assembly election, except for reelection to the position which he may be holding, and no judge of the
Court of First Instance, justice of the peace, provincial fiscal, or officer or employee of the Bureau of Constabulary or of the Bureau of
Education shall aid any candidate or influence in any manner or take any part in any municipal, provincial, or Assembly election under penalty
of being deprived of his office and being disqualified to hold any public office whatever for a term of five years: Provided, however, That the
foregoing provisions shall not be construed to deprive any person otherwise qualified of the right to vote at any election.
From this brief historical excursion, it may be gleaned that the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369that any person
holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the armed forces, and officers, and employees in government-owned or controlled
corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his/her office and must vacate the same at the start of the day of the filing of his/her certificate of
candidacytraces its roots to the period of the American occupation.
In fact, during the deliberations of Senate Bill No. 2231, the bill later to be consolidated with House Bill No. 5352 and enacted as R.A. No. 9369, Senator
Richard Gordon, the principal author of the bill, acknowledged that the said proviso in the proposed legislative measure is an old provision which was merely copied
from earlier existing legislation, thus
Senator Osmea. May I just opine here and perhaps obtain the opinion of the good Sponsor. This reads like, ANY PERSON
HOLDING [means currently] A PUBLIC APPOINTIVE POSITION SHALL BE CONSIDERED IPSO FACTO RESIGNED [which means that
the prohibition extends only to appointive officials] INCLUDING ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES, OFFICERS AND

EMPLOYEES This is a prohibition, Mr. President. This means if one is chairman of SSS or PDIC, he is deemed ipso facto resigned when
he files his certificate of candidacy. Is that the intention?
Senator Gordon. This is really an old provision, Mr. President.
Senator Osmea. It is in bold letters, so I think it was a Committee amendment.
Senator Gordon. No, it has always been there.
Senator Osmea. I see.
Senator Gordon. I guess the intention is not to give them undue advantage, especially certain people.
Senator Osmea. All right.[16]
In that Senate deliberation, however, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago expressed her concern over the inclusion of the said provision in the new law,
given that the same would be disadvantageous and unfair to potential candidates holding appointive positions, while it grants a consequent preferential treatment to
elective officials, thus
Senator Santiago. On page 15, line 31, I know that this is a losing cause, so I make this point more as a matter of record than of any
feasible hope that it can possibly be either accepted or if we come to a division of the House, it will be upheld by the majority.
I am referring to page 15, line 21. The proviso begins: PROVIDED FINALLY, THAT ANY PERSON HOLDING A PUBLIC
APPOINTIVE OFFICESHALL BE CONSIDERED IPSO FACTO RESIGNED FROM HIS/HER OFFICE.
The point that I made during the appropriate debate in the past in this Hall is that there is, for me, no valid reason for exempting elective
officials from this inhibition or disqualification imposed by the law. If we are going to consider appointive officers of the government, including
AFP members and officers of government-owned and controlled corporations, or any other member of the appointive sector of the civil service,
why should it not apply to the elective sector for, after all, even senators and congressmen are members of the civil service as well?
Further, it is self-serving for the Senate, or for the Congress in general, to give an exception to itself which is not available to other
similarly situated officials of government. Of course, the answer is, the reason why we are special is that we are elected. Since we are
imposing a disqualification on all other government officials except ourselves, I think, it is the better part of delicadeza to inhibit ourselves as
well, so that if we want to stay as senators, we wait until our term expires. But if we want to run for some other elective office during our term,
then we have to be considered resigned just like everybody else. That is my proposed amendment. But if it is unacceptable to the
distinguished Sponsor, because of sensitivity to the convictions of the rest of our colleagues, I will understand.
Senator Gordon. Mr. President, I think the suggestion is well-thought of. It is a good policy. However, this is something that is already
in the old law which was upheld by the Supreme court in a recent case that the rider was not upheld and that it was valid.[17]
The obvious inequality brought about by the provision on automatic resignation of appointive civil servants must have been the reason why Senator Recto
proposed the inclusion of the following during the period of amendments: ANY PERSON WHO FILES HIS CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY WITHIN THIS PERIOD
SHALL ONLY BE CONSIDERED AS A CANDIDATE AT THE START OF THE CAMPAIGN PERIOD FOR WHICH HE FILED HIS COC.[18] The said proviso seems
to mitigate the situation of disadvantage afflicting appointive officials by considering persons who filed their CoCs as candidates only at the start of the campaign
period, thereby, conveying the tacit intent that persons holding appointive positions will only be considered as resigned at the start of the campaign period when they
are already treated by law as candidates.
Parenthetically, it may be remembered that Section 67 of the OEC and Section 11 of R.A. No. 8436 contained a similar provision on automatic resignation
of elective officials upon the filing of their CoCs for any office other than that which they hold in a permanent capacity or for President or Vice-President. However,
with the enactment of R.A. No. 9006, or the Fair Election Act,[19] in 2001, this provision was repealed by Section 14[20] of the said act. There was, thus, created a
situation of obvious discrimination against appointive officials who were deemed ipso facto resigned from their offices upon the filing of their CoCs, while elective
officials were not.
This situation was incidentally addressed by the Court in Farias v. The Executive Secretary[21] when it ruled that
Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006
Is Not Violative of the Equal
Protection Clause of the Constitution
The petitioners contention, that the repeal of Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code pertaining to elective officials gives undue
benefit to such officials as against the appointive ones and violates the equal protection clause of the constitution, is tenuous.
The equal protection of the law clause in the Constitution is not absolute, but is subject to reasonable classification. If the groupings
are characterized by substantial distinctions that make real differences, one class may be treated and regulated differently from the other. The
Court has explained the nature of the equal protection guarantee in this manner:
The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as
hostile discrimination or the oppression of inequality. It is not intended to prohibit legislation which is limited either in the

object to which it is directed or by territory within which it is to operate. It does not demand absolute equality among
residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to
privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. The equal protection clause is not infringed by legislation which applies only
to those persons falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons within such class, and reasonable
grounds exist for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do not.
Substantial distinctions clearly exist between elective officials and appointive officials. The former occupy their office by virtue of the
mandate of the electorate. They are elected to an office for a definite term and may be removed therefrom only upon stringent conditions. On
the other hand, appointive officials hold their office by virtue of their designation thereto by an appointing authority. Some appointive officials
hold their office in a permanent capacity and are entitled to security of tenure while others serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority.
Another substantial distinction between the two sets of officials is that under Section 55, Chapter 8, Title I, Subsection A. Civil
Service Commission, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. 292), appointive officials, as officers and employees in
the civil service, are strictly prohibited from engaging in any partisan political activity or take part in any election except to vote. Under the
same provision, elective officials, or officers or employees holding political offices, are obviously expressly allowed to take part in political and
electoral activities.
By repealing Section 67 but retaining Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, the legislators deemed it proper to treat these two
classes of officials differently with respect to the effect on their tenure in the office of the filing of the certificates of candidacy for any position
other than those occupied by them. Again, it is not within the power of the Court to pass upon or look into the wisdom of this classification.
Since the classification justifying Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006, i.e., elected officials vis-a-vis appointive officials, is anchored
upon material and significant distinctions and all the persons belonging under the same classification are similarly treated, the equal protection
clause of the Constitution is, thus, not infringed.[22]
However, it must be remembered that the Court, in Farias, was intently focused on the main issue of whether the repealing clause in the Fair Election Act
was a constitutionally proscribed rider, in that it unwittingly failed to ascertain with stricter scrutiny the impact of the retention of the provision on automatic resignation
of persons holding appointive positions (Section 66) in the OEC, vis--vis the equal protection clause. Moreover, the Courts vision in Farias was shrouded by the
fact that petitioners therein, Farias et al., never posed a direct challenge to the constitutionality of Section 66 of the OEC. Farias et al. rather merely questioned, on
constitutional grounds, the repealing clause, or Section 14 of the Fair Election Act. The Courts afore-quoted declaration inFarias may then very well be considered
as an obiter dictum.
III.
The instant case presents a rare opportunity for the Court, in view of the constitutional challenge advanced by petitioners, once and for all, to settle the
issue of whether the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369, a reproduction of Section 66 of the OEC, which, as shown above, was
based on provisions dating back to the American occupation, is violative of the equal protection clause.
But before delving into the constitutional issue, we shall first address the issues on legal standing and on the existence of an actual controversy.
Central to the determination of locus standi is the question of whether a party has alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to
assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional
questions.[23] In this case, petitioners allege that they will be directly affected by COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 for they intend, and they all have the qualifications,
to run in the 2010 elections. The OSG, for its part, contends that since petitioners have not yet filed their CoCs, they are not yet candidates; hence, they are not yet
directly affected by the assailed provision in the COMELEC resolution.
The Court, nevertheless, finds that, while petitioners are not yet candidates, they have the standing to raise the constitutional challenge, simply because
they are qualified voters. A restriction on candidacy, such as the challenged measure herein, affects the rights of voters to choose their public officials. The rights of
voters and the rights of candidates do not lend themselves to neat separation; laws that affect candidates always have at least some theoretical, correlative effect on
voters.[24] The Court believes that both candidates and voters may challenge, on grounds of equal protection, the assailed measure because of its impact on voting
rights.[25]
In any event, in recent cases, this Court has relaxed the stringent direct injury test and has observed a liberal policy allowing ordinary citizens, members of
Congress, and civil organizations to prosecute actions involving the constitutionality or validity of laws, regulations and rulings.[26]
We have also stressed in our prior decisions that the exercise by this Court of judicial power is limited to the determination and resolution of actual cases
and controversies.[27] The Court, in this case, finds that an actual case or controversy exists between the petitioners and the COMELEC, the body charged with the
enforcement and administration of all election laws. Petitioners have alleged in a precise manner that they would engage in the very acts that would trigger the
enforcement of the provisionthey would file their CoCs and run in the 2010 elections. Given that the assailed provision provides for ipso facto resignation upon the
filing of the CoC, it cannot be said that it presents only a speculative or hypothetical obstacle to petitioners candidacy.[28]
IV.
Having hurdled what the OSG posed as obstacles to judicial review, the Court now delves into the constitutional challenge.
It is noteworthy to point out that the right to run for public office touches on two fundamental freedoms, those of expression and of association. This
premise is best explained in Mancuso v. Taft,[29] viz.:

Freedom of expression guarantees to the individual the opportunity to write a letter to the local newspaper, speak out in a public
park, distribute handbills advocating radical reform, or picket an official building to seek redress of grievances. All of these activities are
protected by the First Amendment if done in a manner consistent with a narrowly defined concept of public order and safety. The choice of
means will likely depend on the amount of time and energy the individual wishes to expend and on his perception as to the most effective
method of projecting his message to the public. But interest and commitment are evolving phenomena. What is an effective means for protest
at one point in time may not seem so effective at a later date. The dilettante who participates in a picket line may decide to devote additional
time and resources to his expressive activity. As his commitment increases, the means of effective expression changes, but the expressive
quality remains constant. He may decide to lead the picket line, or to publish the newspaper. At one point in time he may decide that the most
effective way to give expression to his views and to get the attention of an appropriate audience is to become a candidate for public officemeans generally considered among the most appropriate for those desiring to effect change in our governmental systems. He may seek to
become a candidate by filing in a general election as an independent or by seeking the nomination of a political party. And in the latter instance,
the individual's expressive activity has two dimensions: besides urging that his views be the views of the elected public official, he is also
attempting to become a spokesman for a political party whose substantive program extends beyond the particular office in question.
But Cranston has said that a certain type of its citizenry, the public employee, may not become a candidate and may not engage in any
campaign activity that promotes himself as a candidate for public office. Thus the city has stifled what may be the most important expression an
individual can summon, namely that which he would be willing to effectuate, by means of concrete public action, were he to be selected by the
voters.
It is impossible to ignore the additional fact that the right to run for office also affects the freedom to associate. In Williams v.
Rhodes, supra, the Court used strict review to invalidate an Ohio election system that made it virtually impossible for third parties to secure a
place on the ballot. The Court found that the First Amendment protected the freedom to associate by forming and promoting a political party
and that that freedom was infringed when the state effectively denied a party access to its electoral machinery. The Cranston charter provision
before us also affects associational rights, albeit in a slightly different way. An individual may decide to join or participate in an organization or
political party that shares his beliefs. He may even form a new group to forward his ideas. And at some juncture his supporters and fellow party
members may decide that he is the ideal person to carry the group's standard into the electoral fray. To thus restrict the options available to
political organization as theCranston charter provision has done is to limit the effectiveness of association; and the freedom to associate is
intimately related with the concept of making expression effective. Party access to the ballot becomes less meaningful if some of those
selected by party machinery to carry the party's programs to the people are precluded from doing so because those nominees are civil
servants.
Whether the right to run for office is looked at from the point of view of individual expression or associational effectiveness, wide
opportunities exist for the individual who seeks public office. The fact of candidacy alone may open previously closed doors of the media. The
candidate may be invited to discuss his views on radio talk shows; he may be able to secure equal time on television to elaborate his campaign
program; the newspapers may cover his candidacy; he may be invited to debate before various groups that had theretofore never heard of him
or his views. In short, the fact of candidacy opens up a variety of communicative possibilities that are not available to even the most diligent of
picketers or the most loyal of party followers. A view today, that running for public office is not an interest protected by the First Amendment,
seems to us an outlook stemming from an earlier era when public office was the preserve of the professional and the wealthy. Consequently
we hold that candidacy is both a protected First Amendment right and a fundamental interest. Hence any legislative classification that
significantly burdens that interest must be subjected to strict equal protection review. [30]
Here, petitioners interest in running for public office, an interest protected by Sections 4 and 8 of Article III of the Constitution, is breached by the proviso in
Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369. It is now the opportune time for the Court to strike down the said proviso for being violative of the equal protection clause and for being
overbroad.
In considering persons holding appointive positions as ipso facto resigned from their posts upon the filing of their CoCs, but not considering as resigned all
other civil servants, specifically the elective ones, the law unduly discriminates against the first class. The fact alone that there is substantial distinction between those
who hold appointive positions and those occupying elective posts, does not justify such differential treatment.
In order that there can be valid classification so that a discriminatory governmental act may pass the constitutional norm of equal protection, it is necessary
that the four (4) requisites of valid classification be complied with, namely:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)

It must be based upon substantial distinctions;


It must be germane to the purposes of the law;
It must not be limited to existing conditions only; and
It must apply equally to all members of the class.

The first requirement means that there must be real and substantial differences between the classes treated differently. As illustrated in the fairly
recent Mirasol v. Department of Public Works and Highways,[31] a real and substantial distinction exists between a motorcycle and other motor vehicles sufficient to
justify its classification among those prohibited from plying the toll ways. Not all motorized vehicles are created equala two-wheeled vehicle is less stable and more
easily overturned than a four-wheel vehicle.
Nevertheless, the classification would still be invalid if it does not comply with the second requirementif it is not germane to the purpose of the law.
Justice Isagani A. Cruz (Ret.), in his treatise on constitutional law, explains,
The classification, even if based on substantial distinctions, will still be invalid if it is not germane to the purpose of the law. To illustrate,
the accepted difference in physical stamina between men and women will justify the prohibition of the latter from employment as miners or
stevedores or in other heavy and strenuous work. On the basis of this same classification, however, the law cannot provide for a lower passing
average for women in the bar examinations because physical strength is not the test for admission to the legal profession. Imported cars may

be taxed at a higher rate than locally assembled automobiles for the protection of the national economy, but their difference in origin is no
justification for treating them differently when it comes to punishing violations of traffic regulations. The source of the vehicle has no relation to
the observance of these rules.[32]
The third requirement means that the classification must be enforced not only for the present but as long as the problem sought to be corrected continues to
exist. And, under the last requirement, the classification would be regarded as invalid if all the members of the class are not treated similarly, both as to rights
conferred and obligations imposed.[33]
Applying the four requisites to the instant case, the Court finds that the differential treatment of persons holding appointive offices as opposed to those holding
elective ones is not germane to the purposes of the law.
The obvious reason for the challenged provision is to prevent the use of a governmental position to promote ones candidacy, or even to wield a dangerous or
coercive influence on the electorate. The measure is further aimed at promoting the efficiency, integrity, and discipline of the public service by eliminating the danger
that the discharge of official duty would be motivated by political considerations rather than the welfare of the public. [34] The restriction is also justified by the
proposition that the entry of civil servants to the electoral arena, while still in office, could result in neglect or inefficiency in the performance of duty because they
would be attending to their campaign rather than to their office work.
If we accept these as the underlying objectives of the law, then the assailed provision cannot be constitutionally rescued on the ground of valid classification.
Glaringly absent is the requisite that the classification must be germane to the purposes of the law. Indeed, whether one holds an appointive office or an elective one,
the evils sought to be prevented by the measure remain. For example, the Executive Secretary, or any Member of the Cabinet for that matter, could wield the same
influence as the Vice-President who at the same time is appointed to a Cabinet post (in the recent past, elected Vice-Presidents were appointed to take charge of
national housing, social welfare development, interior and local government, and foreign affairs). With the fact that they both head executive offices, there is no valid
justification to treat them differently when both file their CoCs for the elections. Under the present state of our law, the Vice-President, in the example, running this
time, let us say, for President, retains his position during the entire election period and can still use the resources of his office to support his campaign.
As to the danger of neglect, inefficiency or partisanship in the discharge of the functions of his appointive office, the inverse could be just as true and
compelling. The public officer who files his certificate of candidacy would be driven by a greater impetus for excellent performance to show his fitness for the position
aspired for.
Mancuso v. Taft,[35] cited above, explains that the measure on automatic resignation, which restricts the rights of civil servants to run for officea right
inextricably linked to their freedom of expression and association, is not reasonably necessary to the satisfaction of the state interest. Thus, in striking down a similar
measure in theUnited States, Mancuso succinctly declares
In proceeding to the second stage of active equal protection review, however, we do see some contemporary relevance of
the Mitchell decision. National Ass'n of Letter Carriers, supra. In order for the Cranston charter provision to withstand strict scrutiny, the city
must show that the exclusion of all government employees from candidacy is necessary to achieve a compelling state interest. And, as stated
in Mitchell and other cases dealing with similar statutes, see Wisconsin State Employees, supra; Broadrick, supra, government at all levels has
a substantial interest in protecting the integrity of its civil service. It is obviously conceivable that the impartial character of the civil service
would be seriously jeopardized if people in positions of authority used their discretion to forward their electoral ambitions rather than the public
welfare. Similarly if a public employee pressured other fellow employees to engage in corrupt practices in return for promises of post-election
reward, or if an employee invoked the power of the office he was seeking to extract special favors from his superiors, the civil service would be
done irreparable injury. Conversely, members of the public, fellow-employees, or supervisors might themselves request favors from the
candidate or might improperly adjust their own official behavior towards him. Even if none of these abuses actually materialize, the possibility of
their occurrence might seriously erode the public's confidence in its public employees. For the reputation of impartiality is probably as crucial as
the impartiality itself; the knowledge that a clerk in the assessor's office who is running for the local zoning board has access to confidential files
which could provide pressure points for furthering his campaign is destructive regardless of whether the clerk actually takes advantage of his
opportunities. For all of these reasons we find that the state indeed has a compelling interest in maintaining the honesty and impartiality of its
public work force.
We do not, however, consider the exclusionary measure taken by Cranston-a flat prohibition on office-seeking of all kinds by all
kinds of public employees-as even reasonably necessary to satisfaction of this state interest. As Justice Marshall pointed out in Dunn v.
Blumstein, [s]tatutes affecting constitutional rights must be drawn with precision. For three sets of reasons we conclude that
the Cranston charter provision pursues its objective in a far too heavy-handed manner and hence must fall under the equal protection clause.
First, we think the nature of the regulation-a broad prophylactic rule-may be unnecessary to fulfillment of the city's objective. Second, even
granting some sort of prophylactic rule may be required, the provision here prohibits candidacies for all types of public office, including many
which would pose none of the problems at which the law is aimed. Third, the provision excludes the candidacies of all types of public
employees, without any attempt to limit exclusion to those employees whose positions make them vulnerable to corruption and conflicts of
interest.
There is thus no valid justification to treat appointive officials differently from the elective ones. The classification simply fails to meet the test that it should
be germane to the purposes of the law. The measure encapsulated in the second proviso of the third paragraph of Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369 and in Section 66 of
the OEC violates the equal protection clause.
V.
The challenged provision also suffers from the infirmity of being overbroad.

First, the provision pertains to all civil servants holding appointive posts without distinction as to whether they occupy high positions in government or not.
Certainly, a utility worker in the government will also be considered asipso facto resigned once he files his CoC for the 2010 elections. This scenario is absurd for,
indeed, it is unimaginable how he can use his position in the government to wield influence in the political world.
While it may be admitted that most appointive officials who seek public elective office are those who occupy relatively high positions in government, laws
cannot be legislated for them alone, or with them alone in mind. For the right to seek public elective office is universal, open and unrestrained, subject only to the
qualification standards prescribed in the Constitution and in the laws. These qualifications are, as we all know, general and basic so as to allow the widest
participation of the citizenry and to give free rein for the pursuit of ones highest aspirations to public office. Such is the essence of democracy.
Second, the provision is directed to the activity of seeking any and all public offices, whether they be partisan or nonpartisan in character, whether they be
in the national, municipal or barangay level. Congress has not shown a compelling state interest to restrict the fundamental right involved on such a sweeping
scale.[36]
Specific evils require specific treatments, not through overly broad measures that unduly restrict guaranteed freedoms of the citizenry. After all,
sovereignty resides in the people, and all governmental power emanates from them.
Mancuso v. Taft,[37] on this point, instructs
As to approaches less restrictive than a prophylactic rule, there exists the device of the leave of absence. Some system of leaves of
absence would permit the public employee to take time off to pursue his candidacy while assuring him his old job should his candidacy be
unsuccessful. Moreover, a leave of absence policy would eliminate many of the opportunities for engaging in the questionable practices that
the statute is designed to prevent. While campaigning, the candidate would feel no conflict between his desire for election and his publicly
entrusted discretion, nor any conflict between his efforts to persuade the public and his access to confidential documents. But instead of
adopting a reasonable leave of absence policy, Cranston has chosen a provision that makes the public employee cast off the security of hardwon public employment should he desire to compete for elected office.
The city might also promote its interest in the integrity of the civil service by enforcing, through dismissal, discipline, or criminal
prosecution, rules or statutes that treat conflict of interests, bribery, or other forms of official corruption. By thus attacking the problem directly,
instead of using a broad prophylactic rule, the city could pursue its objective without unduly burdening the First Amendment rights of its
employees and the voting rights of its citizens. Last term in Dunn v. Blumstein, the Supreme Court faced an analogous question when the State
of Tennessee asserted that the interest of ballot box purity justified its imposition of one year and three month residency requirements before
a citizen could vote. Justice Marshall stated,inter alia, that Tennessee had available a number of criminal statutes that could be used to punish
voter fraud without unnecessary infringement on the newcomer's right to vote. Similarly, it appears from the record in this case that
the Cranstoncharter contains some provisions that might be used against opportunistic public employees.
Even if some sort of prophylactic rule is necessary, we cannot say that Cranston has put much effort into tailoring a narrow provision
that attempts to match the prohibition with the problem. The charter forbids a Cranston public employee from running for any office, anywhere.
The prohibition is not limited to the local offices of Cranston, but rather extends to statewide offices and even to national offices. It is difficult for
us to see that a public employee running for the United States Congress poses quite the same threat to the civil service as would the same
employee if he were running for a local office where the contacts and information provided by his job related directly to the position he was
seeking, and hence where the potential for various abuses was greater. Nor does the Cranston charter except the public employee who works
in Cranston but aspires to office in another local jurisdiction, most probably his town of residence. Here again the charter precludes candidacies
which can pose only a remote threat to the civil service. Finally, the charter does not limit its prohibition to partisan office-seeking, but sterilizes
also those public employees who would seek nonpartisan elective office. The statute reviewed in Mitchell was limited to partisan political
activity, and since that time other courts have found the partisan-nonpartisan distinction a material one. See Kinnear,
supra; Wisconsin State Employees, supra; Gray v. Toledo, supra. While the line between nonpartisan and partisan can often be blurred by
systems whose true characters are disguised by the names given them by their architects, it seems clear that the concerns of a truly partisan
office and the temptations it fosters are sufficiently different from those involved in an office removed from regular party politics to warrant
distinctive treatment in a charter of this sort.
The third and last area of excessive and overinclusive coverage of the Cranston charter relates not to the type of office sought, but
to the type of employee seeking the office. As Justice Douglas pointed out in his dissent in Mitchell, 330 U.S. at 120-126, 67 S.Ct.
556, restrictions on administrative employees who either participate in decision-making or at least have some access to information concerning
policy matters are much more justifiable than restrictions on industrial employees, who, but for the fact that the government owns the plant they
work in, are, for purposes of access to official information, identically situated to all other industrial workers. Thus, a worker in
the Philadelphia mint could be distinguished from a secretary in an office of the Department of Agriculture; so also could a janitor in the public
schools of Cranston be distinguished from an assistant comptroller of the same city. A second line of distinction that focuses on the type of
employee is illustrated by the cases ofKinnear and Minielly, supra. In both of these cases a civil service deputy decided to run for the elected
office of sheriff. The courts in both cases felt that the no-candidacy laws in question were much too broad and indicated that perhaps the only
situation sensitive enough to justify a flat rule was one in which an inferior in a public office electorally challenged his immediate superior. Given
all these considerations, we think Cranston has not given adequate attention to the problem of narrowing the terms of its charter to deal with
the specific kinds of conflict-of-interest problems it seeks to avoid.
We also do not find convincing the arguments that after-hours campaigning will drain the energy of the public employee to the extent
that he is incapable of performing his job effectively and that inevitable on-the-job campaigning and discussion of his candidacy will disrupt the
work of others. Although it is indisputable that the city has a compelling interest in the performance of official work, the exclusion is not welltailored to effectuate that interest. Presumably the city could fire the individual if he clearly shirks his employment responsibilities or disrupts the
work of others. Also, the efficiency rationale common to both arguments is significantly underinclusive. It applies equally well to a number of
non-political, extracurricular activities that are not prohibited by the Cranston charter. Finally, the connection between after-hours campaigning

and the state interest seems tenuous; in many cases a public employee would be able to campaign aggressively and still continue to do his job
well.[38]
Incidentally, Clements v. Fashing[39] sustained as constitutional a provision on the automatic resignation of District Clerks, County Clerks, County Judges,
County Treasurers, Criminal District Attorneys, County Surveyors, Inspectors of Hides and Animals, County Commissioners, Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs,
Assessors and Collectors of Taxes, District Attorneys, County Attorneys, Public Weighers, and Constables if they announce their candidacy or if they become
candidates in any general, special or primary election.
In Clements, it may be readily observed that a provision treating differently particular officials, as distinguished from all others, under a classification that is
germane to the purposes of the law, merits the stamp of approval from American courts. Not, however, a general and sweeping provision, and more so one violative
of the second requisite for a valid classification, which is on its face unconstitutional.
On a final note, it may not be amiss to state that the Americans, from whom we copied the provision in question, had already stricken down a similar
measure for being unconstitutional. It is high-time that we, too, should follow suit and, thus, uphold fundamental liberties over age-old, but barren, restrictions to such
freedoms.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is GRANTED. The second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of Republic Act No. 9369,
Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code and Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 are declared as UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

SO ORDERED.

LOUIS BAROK C. BIRAOGO, - versus - THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH


COMMISSION OF 2010
G.R. No. 193036 December 7, 2010
MENDOZA, J.:
FACTS: President Aquino, on July 30, 2010, signed Executive Order No. 1 establishing the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 (Truth Commission). The Philippine
Truth Commission (PTC) is a mere ad hoc body formed under the Office of the President with the primary task to investigate reports of graft and corruption
committed by third-level public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories during the previous administration, and thereafter to submit
its finding and recommendations to the President, Congress and the Ombudsman. Though it has been described as an independent collegial body, it is essentially
an entity within the Office of the President Proper and subject to his control. Doubtless, it constitutes a public office, as an ad hoc body is one.
To accomplish its task, the PTC shall have all the powers of an investigative body under Section 37, Chapter 9, Book I of the Administrative Code of
1987. It is not, however, a quasi-judicial body. All it can do is gather, collect and assess evidence of graft and corruption and make recommendations. It may have
subpoena powers but it has no power to cite people in contempt, much less order their arrest. Although it is a fact-finding body, it cannot determine from such facts if
probable cause exists as to warrant the filing of an information in our courts of law. Needless to state, it cannot impose criminal, civil or administrative penalties or
sanctions.
Barely a month after the issuance of Executive Order No. 1, the petitioners asked the Court to declare it unconstitutional and to enjoin the PTC from
performing its functions.
The petitioners contend that it does not apply equally to all members of the same class such that the intent of singling out the previous administration as
its sole object makes the PTC an adventure in partisan hostility. Thus, in order to be accorded with validity, the commission must also cover reports of graft and
corruption in virtually all administrations previous to that of former President Arroyo.
They assail the classification formulated by the respondents as it does not fall under the recognized exceptions because first, there is no substantial
distinction between the group of officials targeted for investigation by Executive Order No. 1 and other groups or persons who abused their public office for personal
gain; and second, the selective classification is not germane to the purpose of Executive Order No. 1 to end corruption.
ISSUE: whether EO No.1 is UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it is violative of the equal protection clause
HELD: Yes.
Nature of the Truth Commission
As can be gleaned from the above-quoted provisions, the Philippine Truth Commission (PTC) is a mere ad hoc body formed under the Office of the
President with the primary task to investigate reports of graft and corruption committed by third-level public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices
and accessories during the previous administration, and thereafter to submit its finding and recommendations to the President, Congress and the Ombudsman.
Though it has been described as an independent collegial body, it is essentially an entity within the Office of the President Proper and subject to his
control. Doubtless, it constitutes a public office, as an ad hoc body is one.[8]
To accomplish its task, the PTC shall have all the powers of an investigative body under Section 37, Chapter 9, Book I of the Administrative Code of
1987. It is not, however, a quasi-judicial body as it cannot adjudicate,arbitrate, resolve, settle, or render awards in disputes between contending parties. All it can do
is gather, collect and assess evidence of graft and corruption and make recommendations. It may have subpoena powers but it has no power to cite people in
contempt, much less order their arrest. Although it is a fact-finding body, it cannot determine from such facts if probable cause exists as to warrant the filing of an
information in our courts of law. Needless to state, it cannot impose criminal, civil or administrative penalties or sanctions.

The PTC is different from the truth commissions in other countries which have been created as official, transitory and non-judicial fact-finding bodies to
establish the facts and context of serious violations of human rights or of international humanitarian law in a countrys past.[9] They are usually established by states
emerging from periods of internal unrest, civil strife or authoritarianism to serve as mechanisms for transitional justice.
Truth commissions have been described as bodies that share the following characteristics: (1) they examine only past events; (2) they investigate
patterns of abuse committed over a period of time, as opposed to a particular event; (3) they are temporary bodies that finish their work with the submission of a
report containing conclusions and recommendations; and (4) they are officially sanctioned, authorized or empowered by the State.[10]Commissions members are
usually empowered to conduct research, support victims, and propose policy recommendations to prevent recurrence of crimes. Through their investigations, the
commissions may aim to discover and learn more about past abuses, or formally acknowledge them. They may aim to prepare the way for prosecutions and
recommend institutional reforms.[11]
Thus, their main goals range from retribution to reconciliation. The Nuremburg and Tokyo war crime tribunals are examples of a retributory or vindicatory
body set up to try and punish those responsible for crimes against humanity. A form of a reconciliatory tribunal is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South
Africa, the principal function of which was to heal the wounds of past violence and to prevent future conflict by providing a cathartic experience for victims.
The PTC is a far cry from South Africas model. The latter placed more emphasis on reconciliation than on judicial retribution, while the marching order of
the PTC is the identification and punishment of perpetrators. As one writer[12] puts it:
The order ruled out reconciliation. It translated the Draconian code spelled out by Aquino in his inaugural speech: To those who talk
about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to
say: There can be no reconciliation without justice. When we allow crimes to go unpunished, we give consent to their occurring over and over
again.
The Thrusts of the Petitions
Barely a month after the issuance of Executive Order No. 1, the petitioners asked the Court to declare it unconstitutional and to enjoin the PTC from
performing its functions. A perusal of the arguments of the petitioners in both cases shows that they are essentially the same. The petitioners-legislators
summarized them in the following manner:
(a) E.O. No. 1 violates the separation of powers as it arrogates the power of the Congress to create a public office and appropriate
funds for its operation.
(b) The provision of Book III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of the Administrative Code of 1987 cannot legitimize E.O. No. 1 because the
delegated authority of the President to structurally reorganize the Office of the President to achieve economy, simplicity and efficiency does not
include the power to create an entirely new public office which was hitherto inexistent like the Truth Commission.
(c) E.O. No. 1 illegally amended the Constitution and pertinent statutes when it vested the Truth Commission with quasi-judicial
powers duplicating, if not superseding, those of the Office of the Ombudsman created under the 1987 Constitution and the Department of
Justice created under the Administrative Code of 1987.
(d) E.O. No. 1 violates the equal protection clause as it selectively targets for investigation and prosecution officials and personnel of
the previous administration as if corruption is their peculiar species even as it excludes those of the other administrations, past and present,
who may be indictable.
(e) The creation of the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 violates the consistent and general international practice of four
decades wherein States constitute truth commissions to exclusively investigate human rights violations, which customary practice forms part of
the generally accepted principles of international law which the Philippines is mandated to adhere to pursuant to the Declaration of Principles
enshrined in the Constitution.
(f) The creation of the Truth Commission is an exercise in futility, an adventure in partisan hostility, a launching pad for
trial/conviction by publicity and a mere populist propaganda to mistakenly impress the people that widespread poverty will altogether vanish if
corruption is eliminated without even addressing the other major causes of poverty.
(g) The mere fact that previous commissions were not constitutionally challenged is of no moment because neither laches nor
estoppel can bar an eventual question on the constitutionality and validity of an executive issuance or even a statute.[13]
In their Consolidated Comment,[14] the respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG),essentially questioned the legal standing of
petitioners and defended the assailed executive order with the following arguments:
1] E.O. No. 1 does not arrogate the powers of Congress to create a public office because the Presidents executive power and power
of control necessarily include the inherent power to conduct investigations to ensure that laws are faithfully executed and that, in any event, the
Constitution, Revised Administrative Code of 1987 (E.O. No. 292), [15] Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1416[16] (as amended by P.D. No. 1772),
R.A. No. 9970,[17] and settled jurisprudence that authorize the President to create or form such bodies.
2] E.O. No. 1 does not usurp the power of Congress to appropriate funds because there is no appropriation but a mere allocation of
funds already appropriated by Congress.

3] The Truth Commission does not duplicate or supersede the functions of the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) and the
Department of Justice (DOJ), because it is a fact-finding body and not a quasi-judicial body and its functions do not duplicate, supplant or erode
the latters jurisdiction.
4] The Truth Commission does not violate the equal protection clause because it was validly created for laudable purposes.
The OSG then points to the continued existence and validity of other executive orders and presidential issuances creating similar bodies to justify the
creation of the PTC such as Presidential Complaint and Action Commission (PCAC) by President Ramon B. Magsaysay, Presidential Committee on Administrative
Performance Efficiency (PCAPE) by President Carlos P. Garcia and Presidential Agency on Reform and Government Operations(PARGO) by President Ferdinand E.
Marcos.[18]
From the petitions, pleadings, transcripts, and memoranda, the following are the principal issues to be resolved:
1.
Order No. 1;

Whether or not the petitioners have the legal standing to file their respective petitions and question Executive

2.
Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the principle of separation of powers by usurping the powers of
Congress to create and to appropriate funds for public offices, agencies and commissions;
3. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 supplants the powers of the Ombudsman and the DOJ;
4. Whether or not Executive Order No. 1 violates the equal protection clause; and
5. Whether or not petitioners are entitled to injunctive relief.
Essential requisites for judicial review
Before proceeding to resolve the issue of the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 1, the Court needs to ascertain whether the requisites for a valid exercise
of its power of judicial review are present.
Like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, the power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy
calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have the standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance; otherwise
stated, he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the
question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.[19]
Among all these limitations, only the legal standing of the petitioners has been put at issue.
Legal Standing of the Petitioners
The OSG attacks the legal personality of the petitioners-legislators to file their petition for failure to demonstrate their personal stake in the outcome of the
case. It argues that the petitioners have not shown that they have sustained or are in danger of sustaining any personal injury attributable to the creation of the PTC.
Not claiming to be the subject of the commissions investigations, petitioners will not sustain injury in its creation or as a result of its proceedings. [20]
The Court disagrees with the OSG in questioning the legal standing of the petitioners-legislators to assailExecutive Order No. 1. Evidently, their petition
primarily invokes usurpation of the power of the Congress as a body to which they belong as members. This certainly justifies their resolve to take the cudgels for
Congress as an institution and present the complaints on the usurpation of their power and rights as members of the legislature before the Court. As held
in Philippine Constitution Association v. Enriquez,[21]
To the extent the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the power of each member thereof, since his office confers a right to
participate in the exercise of the powers of that institution.
An act of the Executive which injures the institution of Congress causes a derivative but nonetheless substantial injury, which can be
questioned by a member of Congress. In such a case, any member of Congress can have a resort to the courts.
Indeed, legislators have a legal standing to see to it that the prerogative, powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in their office remain
inviolate. Thus, they are allowed to question the validity of any official action which, to their mind, infringes on their prerogatives as legislators.[22]
With regard to Biraogo, the OSG argues that, as a taxpayer, he has no standing to question the creation of the PTC and the budget for its
operations.[23] It emphasizes that the funds to be used for the creation and operation of the commission are to be taken from those funds already appropriated by
Congress. Thus, the allocation and disbursement of funds for the commission will not entail congressional action but will simply be an exercise of the Presidents
power over contingent funds.
As correctly pointed out by the OSG, Biraogo has not shown that he sustained, or is in danger of sustaining, any personal and direct injury attributable to
the implementation of Executive Order No. 1. Nowhere in his petition is an assertion of a clear right that may justify his clamor for the Court to exercise judicial power
and to wield the axe over presidential issuances in defense of the Constitution. The case of David v. Arroyo[24] explained the deep-seated rules on locus standi.
Thus:
Locus standi is defined as a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question. In private suits, standing is governed by
the real-parties-in interest rule as contained in Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. It provides that every

action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest. Accordingly, the real-party-in interest is the party who
stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. Succinctly put, the plaintiffs standing
is based on his own right to the relief sought.
The difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits. Here, the plaintiff who asserts a public right in assailing an allegedly
illegal official action, does so as a representative of the general public. He may be a person who is affected no differently from any other
person. He could be suing as a stranger, or in the category of a citizen, or taxpayer. In either case, he has to adequately show that he is
entitled to seek judicial protection. In other words, he has to make out a sufficient interest in the vindication of the public order and the
securing of relief as a citizen or taxpayer.
Case law in most jurisdictions now allows both citizen and taxpayer standing in public actions. The distinction was first laid down
in Beauchamp v. Silk, where it was held that the plaintiff in a taxpayers suit is in a different category from the plaintiff in a citizens suit. In the
former, the plaintiff is affected by the expenditure of public funds, while in the latter, he is but the mere instrument of the public concern. As
held by the New York Supreme Court in People ex rel Case v. Collins: In matter of mere public right, howeverthe people are the real
partiesIt is at least the right, if not the duty, of every citizen to interfere and see that a public offence be properly pursued and punished, and
that a public grievance be remedied. With respect to taxpayers suits, Terr v. Jordan held that the right of a citizen and a taxpayer to maintain
an action in courts to restrain the unlawful use of public funds to his injury cannot be denied.
However, to prevent just about any person from seeking judicial interference in any official policy or act with which he disagreed
with, and thus hinders the activities of governmental agencies engaged in public service, the United State Supreme Court laid down the more
stringent direct injury test in Ex Parte Levitt, later reaffirmed in Tileston v. Ullman. The same Court ruled that for a private individual to invoke
the judicial power to determine the validity of an executive or legislative action, he must show that he has sustained a direct injury as a
result of that action, and it is not sufficient that he has a general interest common to all members of the public.
This Court adopted the direct injury test in our jurisdiction. In People v. Vera, it held that the person who impugns the validity of
a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain direct injury as a
result. The Vera doctrine was upheld in a litany of cases, such as, Custodio v. President of the Senate, Manila Race Horse Trainers
Association v. De la Fuente, Pascual v. Secretary of Public Works and Anti-Chinese League of the Philippines v. Felix. [Emphases included.
Citations omitted]
Notwithstanding, the Court leans on the doctrine that the rule on standing is a matter of procedure, hence, can be relaxed for nontraditional plaintiffs like
ordinary citizens, taxpayers, and legislators when the public interest so requires, such as when the matter is of transcendental importance, of overreaching
significance to society, or of paramount public interest.[25]
Thus, in Coconut Oil Refiners Association, Inc. v. Torres,[26] the Court held that in cases of paramount importance where serious constitutional questions
are involved, the standing requirements may be relaxed and a suit may be allowed to prosper even where there is no direct injury to the party claiming the right of
judicial review. In the first Emergency Powers Cases,[27] ordinary citizens and taxpayers were allowed to question the constitutionality of several executive orders
although they had only an indirect and general interest shared in common with the public.
The OSG claims that the determinants of transcendental importance[28] laid down in CREBA v. ERC and Meralco[29] are non-existent in this case. The
Court, however, finds reason in Biraogos assertion that the petition covers matters of transcendental importance to justify the exercise of jurisdiction by the
Court. There areconstitutional issues in the petition which deserve the attention of this Court in view of their seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents. Where
the issues are of transcendental and paramount importance not only to the public but also to the Bench and the Bar, they should be resolved for the guidance of
all.[30] Undoubtedly, the Filipino people are more than interested to know the status of the Presidents first effort to bring about a promised change to the country. The
Court takes cognizance of the petition not due to overwhelming political undertones that clothe the issue in the eyes of the public, but because the Court stands firm
in its oath to perform its constitutional duty to settle legal controversies with overreaching significance to society.
Power of the President to Create the Truth Commission
In his memorandum in G.R. No. 192935, Biraogo asserts that the Truth Commission is a public office and not merely an adjunct body of the Office of the
President.[31] Thus, in order that the President may create a public office he must be empowered by the Constitution, a statute or an authorization vested in him by
law. According to petitioner, such power cannot be presumed[32] since there is no provision in the Constitution or any specific law that authorizes the President to
create a truth commission.[33] He adds that Section 31 of the Administrative Code of 1987, granting the President the continuing authority to reorganize his office,
cannot serve as basis for the creation of a truth commission considering the aforesaid provision merely uses verbs such as reorganize, transfer, consolidate,
merge, and abolish.[34] Insofar as it vests in the President the plenary power to reorganize the Office of the President to the extent of creating a public office,
Section 31 is inconsistent with the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution and must be deemed repealed upon the effectivity thereof.[35]
Similarly, in G.R. No. 193036, petitioners-legislators argue that the creation of a public office lies within the province of Congress and not with the
executive branch of government. They maintain that the delegated authority of the President to reorganize under Section 31 of the Revised Administrative Code: 1)
does not permit the President to create a public office, much less a truth commission; 2) is limited to the reorganization of the administrative structure of the Office of
the President; 3) is limited to the restructuring of the internal organs of the Office of the President Proper, transfer of functions and transfer of agencies; and 4) only to
achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency.[36] Such continuing authority of the President to reorganize his office is limited, and by issuing Executive Order No. 1, the
President overstepped the limits of this delegated authority.
The OSG counters that there is nothing exclusively legislative about the creation by the President of a fact-finding body such as a truth commission.
Pointing to numerous offices created by past presidents, it argues that the authority of the President to create public offices within the Office of the President Proper
has long been recognized.[37] According to the OSG, the Executive, just like the other two branches of government, possesses the inherent authority to create factfinding committees to assist it in the performance of its constitutionally mandated functions and in the exercise of its administrative functions. [38] This power, as the

OSG explains it, is but an adjunct of the plenary powers wielded by the President under Section 1 and his power of control under Section 17, both of Article VII of the
Constitution.[39]
It contends that the President is necessarily vested with the power to conduct fact-finding investigations, pursuant to his duty to ensure that all laws are
enforced by public officials and employees of his department and in the exercise of his authority to assume directly the functions of the executive department, bureau
and office, or interfere with the discretion of his officials.[40] The power of the President to investigate is not limited to the exercise of his power of control over his
subordinates in the executive branch, but extends further in the exercise of his other powers, such as his power to discipline subordinates,[41] his power for rule
making, adjudication and licensing purposes[42] and in order to be informed on matters which he is entitled to know.[43]
The OSG also cites the recent case of Banda v. Ermita,[44] where it was held that the President has the power to reorganize the offices and agencies in the
executive department in line with his constitutionally granted power of control and by virtue of a valid delegation of the legislative power to reorganize executive
offices under existing statutes.
Thus, the OSG concludes that the power of control necessarily includes the power to create offices. For the OSG, the President may create the PTC in
order to, among others, put a closure to the reported large scale graft and corruption in the government. [45]
The question, therefore, before the Court is this: Does the creation of the PTC fall within the ambit of the power to reorganize as expressed in Section 31
of the Revised Administrative Code? Section 31 contemplates reorganization as limited by the following functional and structural lines: (1) restructuring the internal
organization of the Office of the President Proper by abolishing, consolidating or merging units thereof or transferring functions from one unit to another; (2)
transferring any function under the Office of the President to any other Department/Agency or vice versa; or (3) transferring any agency under the Office of the
President to any other Department/Agency or vice versa. Clearly, the provision refers to reduction of personnel, consolidation of offices, or abolition thereof by
reason of economy or redundancy of functions. These point to situations where a body or an office is already existent but a modification or alteration thereof has to
be effected. The creation of an office is nowhere mentioned, much less envisioned in said provision. Accordingly, the answer to the question is in the negative.
To say that the PTC is borne out of a restructuring of the Office of the President under Section 31 is a misplaced supposition, even in the plainest meaning
attributable to the term restructure an alteration of an existing structure. Evidently, the PTC was not part of the structure of the Office of the President prior to the
enactment of Executive Order No. 1. As held in Buklod ng Kawaning EIIB v. Hon. Executive Secretary,[46]
But of course, the list of legal basis authorizing the President to reorganize any department or agency in the executive branch does
not have to end here. We must not lose sight of the very source of the power that which constitutes an express grant of power. Under Section
31, Book III of Executive Order No. 292 (otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987), "the President, subject to the policy in the
Executive Office and in order to achieve simplicity, economy and efficiency, shall have the continuing authority to reorganize the administrative
structure of the Office of the President." For this purpose, he may transfer the functions of other Departments or Agencies to the Office of the
President. In Canonizado v. Aguirre [323 SCRA 312 (2000)], we ruled that reorganization "involves the reduction of personnel, consolidation of
offices, or abolition thereof by reason of economy or redundancy of functions." It takes place when there is an alteration of the existing
structure of government offices or units therein, including the lines of control, authority and responsibility between them. The EIIB is
a bureau attached to the Department of Finance. It falls under the Office of the President. Hence, it is subject to the Presidents continuing
authority to reorganize. [Emphasis Supplied]
In the same vein, the creation of the PTC is not justified by the Presidents power of control. Control is essentially the power to alter or modify or nullify or
set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former with that of the latter.[47] Clearly, the
power of control is entirely different from the power to create public offices. The former is inherent in the Executive, while the latter finds basis from either a valid
delegation from Congress, or his inherent duty to faithfully execute the laws.
The question is this, is there a valid delegation of power from Congress, empowering the President to create a public office?
According to the OSG, the power to create a truth commission pursuant to the above provision finds statutory basis under P.D. 1416, as amended by P.D.
No. 1772.[48] The said law granted the President the continuing authority to reorganize the national government, including the power to group, consolidate bureaus
and agencies, to abolish offices, to transfer functions, to create and classify functions, services and activities, transfer appropriations, and to standardize salaries and
materials. This decree, in relation to Section 20, Title I, Book III of E.O. 292 has been invoked in several cases such as Larin v. Executive Secretary.[49]
The Court, however, declines to recognize P.D. No. 1416 as a justification for the President to create a public office. Said decree is already stale,
anachronistic and inoperable. P.D. No. 1416 was a delegation to then President Marcos of the authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the national
government including the power to create offices and transfer appropriations pursuant to one of the purposes of the decree, embodied in its last Whereas clause:
WHEREAS, the transition towards the parliamentary form of government will necessitate flexibility in the organization of the
national government.
Clearly, as it was only for the purpose of providing manageability and resiliency during the interim, P.D. No. 1416, as amended by P.D. No.
1772, became functus oficio upon the convening of the First Congress, as expressly provided in Section 6, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution. In fact, even the
Solicitor General agrees with this view. Thus:
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO: Because P.D. 1416 was enacted was the last whereas clause of P.D. 1416 says it was enacted to prepare
the transition from presidential to parliamentary. Now, in a parliamentary form of
government, the legislative and executive powers are fused, correct?

SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ:


ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO:

SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ:


ASSOCIATE JUSTICE CARPIO:
SOLICITOR GENERAL CADIZ:

Yes, Your Honor.


That is why, that P.D. 1416 was issued. Now would you agree with me that P.D. 1416 should not be
considered effective anymore upon the promulgation, adoption, ratification of the
1987 Constitution.
Not the whole of P.D. [No.] 1416, Your Honor.
The power of the President to reorganize the entire National Government is deemed repealed, at least,
upon the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, correct.
Yes, Your Honor.[50]

While the power to create a truth commission cannot pass muster on the basis of P.D. No. 1416 as amended by P.D. No. 1772, the creation of the PTC finds
justification under Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution, imposing upon the President the duty to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed. Section 17 reads:
Section 17. The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices. He shall ensure that the laws
be faithfully executed. (Emphasis supplied).
As correctly pointed out by the respondents, the allocation of power in the three principal branches of government is a grant of all powers inherent in them.
The Presidents power to conduct investigations to aid him in ensuring the faithful execution of laws in this case, fundamental laws on public accountability and
transparency is inherent in the Presidents powers as the Chief Executive. That the authority of the President to conduct investigations and to create bodies to
execute this power is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution or in statutes does not mean that he is bereft of such authority. [51] As explained in the landmark case
of Marcos v. Manglapus:[52]
x x x. The 1987 Constitution, however, brought back the presidential system of government and restored the separation of
legislative, executive and judicial powers by their actual distribution among three distinct branches of government with provision for checks and
balances.
It would not be accurate, however, to state that "executive power" is the power to enforce the laws, for the President is head of state
as well as head of government and whatever powers inhere in such positions pertain to the office unless the Constitution itself withholds
it. Furthermore, the Constitution itself provides that the execution of the laws is only one of the powers of the President. It also grants the
President other powers that do not involve the execution of any provision of law, e.g., his power over the country's foreign relations.
On these premises, we hold the view that although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations on the exercise of specific powers of
the President, it maintains intact what is traditionally considered as within the scope of "executive power." Corollarily, the powers of the
President cannot be said to be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution. In other words, executive power is more than
the sum of specific powers so enumerated.
It has been advanced that whatever power inherent in the government that is neither legislative nor judicial has to be executive. x x
x.
Indeed, the Executive is given much leeway in ensuring that our laws are faithfully executed. As stated above, the powers of the President are not limited to
those specific powers under the Constitution.[53] One of the recognized powers of the President granted pursuant to this constitutionally-mandated duty is the power
to createad hoc committees. This flows from the obvious need to ascertain facts and determine if laws have been faithfully executed. Thus, in Department of Health
v. Camposano,[54] the authority of the President to issue Administrative Order No. 298, creating an investigative committee to look into the administrative charges
filed against the employees of the Department of Health for the anomalous purchase of medicines was upheld. In said case, it was ruled:
The Chief Executives power to create the Ad hoc Investigating Committee cannot be doubted. Having been constitutionally
granted full control of the Executive Department, to which respondents belong, the President has the obligation to ensure that all executive
officials and employees faithfully comply with the law. With AO 298 as mandate, the legality of the investigation is sustained. Such validity is
not affected by the fact that the investigating team and the PCAGC had the same composition, or that the former used the offices and facilities
of the latter in conducting the inquiry. [Emphasis supplied]
It should be stressed that the purpose of allowing ad hoc investigating bodies to exist is to allow an inquiry into matters which the President is entitled to
know so that he can be properly advised and guided in the performance of his duties relative to the execution and enforcement of the laws of the land. And if history
is to be revisited, this was also the objective of the investigative bodies created in the past like the PCAC, PCAPE, PARGO, the Feliciano Commission, the Melo
Commission and the Zenarosa Commission. There being no changes in the government structure, the Court is not inclined to declare such executive power as nonexistent just because the direction of the political winds have changed.
On the charge that Executive Order No. 1 transgresses the power of Congress to appropriate funds for the operation of a public office, suffice it to say
that there will be no appropriation but only an allotment or allocations of existing funds already appropriated. Accordingly, there is no usurpation on the part of the
Executive of the power of Congress to appropriate funds. Further, there is no need to specify the amount to be earmarked for the operation of the commission
because, in the words of the Solicitor General, whatever funds the Congress has provided for the Office of the President will be the very source of the funds for the

commission.[55] Moreover, since the amount that would be allocated to the PTC shall be subject to existing auditing rules and regulations, there is no impropriety in
the funding.
Power of the Truth Commission to Investigate
The Presidents power to conduct investigations to ensure that laws are faithfully executed is well recognized. It flows from the faithful-execution clause of the
Constitution under Article VII, Section 17 thereof.[56] As the Chief Executive, the president represents the government as a whole and sees to it that all laws are
enforced by the officials and employees of his department. He has the authority to directly assume the functions of the executive department. [57]
Invoking this authority, the President constituted the PTC to primarily investigate reports of graft and corruption and to recommend the appropriate action. As
previously stated, no quasi-judicial powers have been vested in the said body as it cannot adjudicate rights of persons who come before it. It has been said that
Quasi-judicial powers involve the power to hear and determine questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to apply and to decide in accordance with the
standards laid down by law itself in enforcing and administering the same law.[58] In simpler terms, judicial discretion is involved in the exercise of these quasi-judicial
power, such that it is exclusively vested in the judiciary and must be clearly authorized by the legislature in the case of administrative agencies.
The distinction between the power to investigate and the power to adjudicate was delineated by the Court inCario v. Commission on Human
Rights.[59] Thus:
"Investigate," commonly understood, means to examine, explore, inquire or delve or probe into, research on, study. The dictionary
definition of "investigate" is "to observe or study closely: inquire into systematically: "to search or inquire into: x x to subject to an official probe x
x: to conduct an official inquiry." The purpose of investigation, of course, is to discover, to find out, to learn, obtain information. Nowhere
included or intimated is the notion of settling, deciding or resolving a controversy involved in the facts inquired into by application of the law to
the facts established by the inquiry.
The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by step by patient inquiry or observation. To trace or
track; to search into; to examine and inquire into with care and accuracy; to find out by careful inquisition; examination; the taking of evidence; a
legal inquiry;" "to inquire; to make an investigation," "investigation" being in turn described as "(a)n administrative function, the exercise of which
ordinarily does not require a hearing. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. 257; x x an inquiry, judicial or otherwise, for the discovery and collection of facts
concerning a certain matter or matters."
"Adjudicate," commonly or popularly understood, means to adjudge, arbitrate, judge, decide, determine, resolve, rule on, settle. The
dictionary defines the term as "to settle finally (the rights and duties of the parties to a court case) on the merits of issues raised: x x to pass
judgment on: settle judicially: x x act as judge." And "adjudge" means "to decide or rule upon as a judge or with judicial or quasi-judicial powers:
x x to award or grant judicially in a case of controversy x x."
In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. To determine finally. Synonymous
with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially, to decide, settle or decree, or to sentence or condemn. x x.
Implies a judicial determination of a fact, and the entry of a judgment." [Italics included. Citations Omitted]
Fact-finding is not adjudication and it cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or office. The function of
receiving evidence and ascertaining therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function. To be considered as such, the act of receiving evidence and
arriving at factual conclusions in a controversy must be accompanied by the authority of applying the law to the factual conclusions to the end that the controversy
may be decided or resolved authoritatively, finally and definitively, subject to appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law.[60] Even respondents
themselves admit that the commission is bereft of any quasi-judicial power.[61]
Contrary to petitioners apprehension, the PTC will not supplant the Ombudsman or the DOJ or erode their respective powers. If at all, the investigative function
of the commission will complement those of the two offices. As pointed out by the Solicitor General, the recommendation to prosecute is but a consequence of the
overall task of the commission to conduct a fact-finding investigation.[62] The actual prosecution of suspected offenders, much less adjudication on the merits of the
charges against them,[63] is certainly not a function given to the commission. The phrase, when in the course of its investigation, under Section 2(g), highlights this
fact and gives credence to a contrary interpretation from that of the petitioners. The function of determining probable cause for the filing of the appropriate complaints
before the courts remains to be with the DOJ and the Ombudsman.[64]
At any rate, the Ombudsmans power to investigate under R.A. No. 6770 is not exclusive but is shared with other similarly authorized government agencies.
Thus, in the case of Ombudsman v. Galicia,[65] it was written:
This power of investigation granted to the Ombudsman by the 1987 Constitution and The Ombudsman Act is not exclusive but is
shared with other similarly authorized government agencies such as the PCGG and judges of municipal trial courts and municipal circuit
trial courts. The power to conduct preliminary investigation on charges against public employees and officials is likewise concurrently shared
with the Department of Justice. Despite the passage of the Local Government Code in 1991, the Ombudsman retains concurrent jurisdiction
with the Office of the President and the local Sanggunians to investigate complaints against local elective officials. [Emphasis supplied].
Also, Executive Order No. 1 cannot contravene the power of the Ombudsman to investigate criminal cases under Section 15 (1) of R.A. No. 6770, which
states:
(1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office
or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable
by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of its primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of
government, the investigation of such cases. [Emphases supplied]

The act of investigation by the Ombudsman as enunciated above contemplates the conduct of a preliminary investigation or the determination of the
existence of probable cause. This is categorically out of the PTCs sphere of functions. Its power to investigate is limited to obtaining facts so that it can advise and
guide the President in the performance of his duties relative to the execution and enforcement of the laws of the land. In this regard, the PTC commits no act of
usurpation of the Ombudsmans primordial duties.
The same holds true with respect to the DOJ. Its authority under Section 3 (2), Chapter 1, Title III, Book IV in the Revised Administrative Code is by no means
exclusive and, thus, can be shared with a body likewise tasked to investigate the commission of crimes.
Finally, nowhere in Executive Order No. 1 can it be inferred that the findings of the PTC are to be accorded conclusiveness. Much like its predecessors, the
Davide Commission, the Feliciano Commission and the Zenarosa Commission, its findings would, at best, be recommendatory in nature. And being so, the
Ombudsman and the DOJ have a wider degree of latitude to decide whether or not to reject the recommendation. These offices, therefore, are not deprived of their
mandated duties but will instead be aided by the reports of the PTC for possible indictments for violations of graft laws.
Violation of the Equal Protection Clause
Although the purpose of the Truth Commission falls within the investigative power of the President, the Court finds difficulty in upholding the
constitutionality of Executive Order No. 1 in view of its apparent transgression of the equal protection clause enshrined in Section 1, Article III (Bill of Rights) of the
1987 Constitution. Section 1 reads:
Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the
equal protection of the laws.
The petitioners assail Executive Order No. 1 because it is violative of this constitutional safeguard. They contend that it does not apply equally to all
members of the same class such that the intent of singling out the previous administration as its sole object makes the PTC an adventure in partisan
hostility.[66] Thus, in order to be accorded with validity, the commission must also cover reports of graft and corruption in virtually all administrations previous to that
of former President Arroyo.[67]
The petitioners argue that the search for truth behind the reported cases of graft and corruption must encompass acts committed not only during the
administration of former President Arroyo but also during prior administrations where the same magnitude of controversies and anomalies[68] were reported to have
been committed against the Filipino people. They assail the classification formulated by the respondents as it does not fall under the recognized exceptions
because first, there is no substantial distinction between the group of officials targeted for investigation by Executive Order No. 1 and other groups or persons who
abused their public office for personal gain; and second, the selective classification is not germane to the purpose of Executive Order No. 1 to end corruption. [69] In
order to attain constitutional permission, the petitioners advocate that the commission should deal with graft and grafters prior and subsequent to the Arroyo
administration with the strong arm of the law with equal force.[70]
Position of respondents
According to respondents, while Executive Order No. 1 identifies the previous administration as the initial subject of the investigation, following Section
17 thereof, the PTC will not confine itself to cases of large scale graft and corruption solely during the said administration.[71] Assuming arguendo that the
commission would confine its proceedings to officials of the previous administration, the petitioners argue that no offense is committed against the equal protection
clause for the segregation of the transactions of public officers during the previous administration as possible subjects of investigation is a valid classification based
on substantial distinctions and is germane to the evils which the Executive Order seeks to correct.[72] To distinguish the Arroyo administration from past
administrations, it recited the following:
First. E.O. No. 1 was issued in view of widespread reports of large scale graft and corruptionin the previous administration which
have eroded public confidence in public institutions. There is, therefore, an urgent call for the determination of the truth regarding certain
reports of large scale graft and corruption in the government and to put a closure to them by the filing of the appropriate cases against those
involved, if warranted, and to deter others from committing the evil, restore the peoples faith and confidence in the Government and in their
public servants.
Second. The segregation of the preceding administration as the object of fact-finding is warranted by the reality that unlike with
administrations long gone, the current administration will most likely bear the immediate consequence of the policies of the previous
administration.
Third. The classification of the previous administration as a separate class for investigation lies in the reality that the evidence of
possible criminal activity, the evidence that could lead to recovery of public monies illegally dissipated, the policy lessons to be learned to
ensure that anti-corruption laws are faithfully executed, are more easily established in the regime that immediately precede the current
administration.
Fourth. Many administrations subject the transactions of their predecessors to investigations to provide closure to issues that are
pivotal to national life or even as a routine measure of due diligence and good housekeeping by a nascent administration like the Presidential
Commission on Good Government (PCGG), created by the late President Corazon C. Aquino under Executive Order No. 1 to pursue the
recovery of ill-gotten wealth of her predecessor former President Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies, and the Saguisag Commission created by
former President Joseph Estrada under Administrative Order No, 53, to form an ad-hoc and independent citizens committee to investigate all
the facts and circumstances surrounding Philippine Centennial projects of his predecessor, former President Fidel V. Ramos.[73] [Emphases
supplied]
Concept of the Equal Protection Clause

One of the basic principles on which this government was founded is that of the equality of right which isembodied in Section 1, Article III of the 1987
Constitution. The equal protection of the laws is embraced in the concept of due process, as every unfair discrimination offends the requirements of justice and fair
play. It has been embodied in a separate clause, however, to provide for a more specific guaranty against any form of undue favoritism or hostility from the
government. Arbitrariness in general may be challenged on the basis of the due process clause. But if the particular act assailed partakes of an unwarranted partiality
or prejudice, the sharper weapon to cut it down is the equal protection clause.[74]
According to a long line of decisions, equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights
conferred and responsibilities imposed.[75] It requires public bodies and institutions to treat similarly situated individuals in a similar manner. [76] The purpose of the
equal protection clause is to secure every person within a states jurisdiction against intentional and arbitrary discrimination, whether occasioned by the express
terms of a statue or by its improper execution through the states duly constituted authorities.[77] In other words, the concept of equal justice under the law requires
the state to govern impartially, and it may not draw distinctions between individuals solely on differences that are irrelevant to a legitimate governmental objective.[78]
The equal protection clause is aimed at all official state actions, not just those of the legislature. [79] Its inhibitions cover all the departments of the
government including the political and executive departments, and extend to all actions of a state denying equal protection of the laws, through whatever agency or
whatever guise is taken.[80]
It, however, does not require the universal application of the laws to all persons or things without distinction. What it simply requires is equality among
equals as determined according to a valid classification. Indeed, the equal protection clause permits classification. Such classification, however, to be valid must
pass the test ofreasonableness. The test has four requisites: (1) The classification rests on substantial distinctions; (2) It is germane to the purpose of the law; (3) It
is
not
limited
to
existing
conditions
only;
and

(4) It applies equally to all members of the same class.[81] Superficial differences do not make for a valid classification.[82]
For a classification to meet the requirements of constitutionality, it must include or embrace all persons who naturally belong to the class.[83] The
classification will be regarded as invalid if all the members of the class are not similarly treated, both as to rights conferred and obligations imposed. It is not
necessary that the classification be made with absolute symmetry, in the sense that the members of the class should possess the same characteristics in equal
degree. Substantial similarity will suffice; and as long as this is achieved, all those covered by the classification are to be treated equally. The mere fact that an
individual belonging to a class differs from the other members, as long as that class is substantially distinguishable from all others, does not justify the non-application
of the law to him.[84]
The classification must not be based on existing circumstances only, or so constituted as to preclude addition to the number included in the class. It must
be of such a nature as to embrace all those who may thereafter be in similar circumstances and conditions. It must not leave out or underinclude those that should
otherwise fall into a certain classification. As elucidated in Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers' Union[85] and reiterated in a long line of cases,[86]
The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality in the application of the laws upon all citizens of the state. It
is not, therefore, a requirement, in order to avoid the constitutional prohibition against inequality, that every man, woman and child should be
affected alike by a statute. Equality of operation of statutes does not mean indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons
according to the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, not identity of rights. The Constitution does not require that things
which are different in fact be treated in law as though they were the same. The equal protection clause does not forbid discrimination as to
things that are different. It does not prohibit legislation which is limited either in the object to which it is directed or by the territory within which it
is to operate.
The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows classification. Classification in law, as in the other departments of
knowledge or practice, is the grouping of things in speculation or practice because they agree with one another in certain particulars. A law is
not invalid because of simple inequality. The very idea of classification is that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of
inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. All that is required of a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which
means that the classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make for real differences, that it must be germane to the
purpose of the law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and that it must apply equally to each member of the class. This Court
has held that the standard is satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on a reasonable foundation or rational basis and is not palpably
arbitrary. [Citations omitted]
Applying these precepts to this case, Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the equal protection clause. The clear mandate of the
envisioned truth commission is to investigate and find out the truth concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during the previous administration[87] only.
The intent to single out the previous administration is plain, patent and manifest. Mention of it has been made in at least three portions of the questioned executive
order. Specifically, these are:
WHEREAS, there is a need for a separate body dedicated solely to investigating and finding out the truth concerning the reported cases of graft
and corruption during the previous administration, and which will recommend the prosecution of the offenders and secure justice for all;
SECTION 1. Creation of a Commission. There is hereby created the PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION, hereinafter referred to as
the COMMISSION, which shall primarily seek and find the truth on, and toward this end, investigate reports of graft and corruption of such
scale and magnitude that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people, committed by public officers and employees, their
co-principals, accomplices and accessories from the private sector, if any, during the previous administration; and thereafter recommend the
appropriate action or measure to be taken thereon to ensure that the full measure of justice shall be served without fear or favor.
SECTION 2. Powers and Functions. The Commission, which shall have all the powers of an investigative body under Section 37, Chapter 9,
Book I of the Administrative Code of 1987, is primarily tasked to conduct a thorough fact-finding investigation of reported cases of graft and
corruption referred to in Section 1, involving third level public officers and higher, their co-principals, accomplices and accessories from the
private sector, if any, during the previous administration and thereafter submit its finding and recommendations to the President, Congress
and the Ombudsman. [Emphases supplied]
In this regard, it must be borne in mind that the Arroyo administration is but just a member of a class, that is, a class of past administrations. It is not a
class of its own. Not to include past administrations similarly situated constitutes arbitrariness which the equal protection clause cannot sanction. Such discriminating
differentiation clearly reverberates to label the commission as a vehicle for vindictiveness and selective retribution.
Though the OSG enumerates several differences between the Arroyo administration and other past administrations, these distinctions are not substantial
enough to merit the restriction of the investigation to the previous administration only. The reports of widespread corruption in the Arroyo administration cannot be
taken as basis for distinguishing said administration from earlier administrations which were also blemished by similar widespread reports of impropriety. They are not
inherent in, and do not inure solely to, the Arroyo administration. As Justice Isagani Cruz put it, Superficial differences do not make for a valid classification.[88]
The public needs to be enlightened why Executive Order No. 1 chooses to limit the scope of the intended investigation to the previous administration
only. The OSG ventures to opine that to include other past administrations, at this point, may unnecessarily overburden the commission and lead it to lose its
effectiveness.[89] The reason given is specious. It is without doubt irrelevant to the legitimate and noble objective of the PTC to stamp out or end corruption and the
evil it breeds.[90]
The probability that there would be difficulty in unearthing evidence or that the earlier reports involving the earlier administrations were already inquired
into is beside the point. Obviously, deceased presidents and cases which have already prescribed can no longer be the subjects of inquiry by the PTC. Neither is the
PTC expected to conduct simultaneous investigations of previous administrations, given the bodys limited time and resources. The law does not require the
impossible (Lex non cogit ad impossibilia).[91]

Given the foregoing physical and legal impossibility, the Court logically recognizes the unfeasibility of investigating almost a centurys worth of graft
cases. However, the fact remains that Executive Order No. 1 suffers from arbitrary classification. The PTC, to be true to its mandate of searching for the truth, must
not exclude the other past administrations. The PTC must, at least, have the authority to investigate all past administrations. Whilereasonable prioritization is
permitted, it should not be arbitrary lest it be struck down for being unconstitutional. In the often quoted language of Yick Wo v. Hopkins,[92]

Though the law itself be fair on its face and impartial in appearance, yet, if applied and administered by public authority with an evil
eye and an unequal hand, so as practically to make unjust and illegal discriminations between persons in similar circumstances, material to
their rights,the denial of equal justice is still within the prohibition of the constitution. [Emphasis supplied]
It could be argued that considering that the PTC is an ad hoc body, its scope is limited. The Court, however, is of the considered view that although its
focus is restricted, the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the laws should not in any way be circumvented. The Constitution is the fundamental and
paramount law of the nation to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights determined and all public authority
administered.[93] Laws that do not conform to the Constitution should be stricken down for being unconstitutional. [94] While the thrust of the PTC is specific, that is, for
investigation of acts of graft and corruption, Executive Order No. 1, to survive, must be read together with the provisions of the Constitution. To exclude the earlier
administrations in the guise of substantial distinctions would only confirm the petitioners lament that the subject executive order is only an adventure in partisan
hostility. In the case of US v. Cyprian,[95] it was written: A rather limited number of such classifications have routinely been held or assumed to be arbitrary; those
include: race, national origin, gender, political activity or membership in a political party, union activity or membership in a labor union, or more generally the exercise
of first amendment rights.
To reiterate, in order for a classification to meet the requirements of constitutionality, it must include or embrace all persons who naturally belong to the
class.[96] Such a classification must not be based on existing circumstances only, or so constituted as to preclude additions to the number included within a class, but
must be of such a nature as to embrace all those who may thereafter be in similar circumstances and conditions. Furthermore, all who are in situations and
circumstances which are relative to the discriminatory legislation and which are indistinguishable from those of the members of the class must be brought under the
influence of the law and treated by it in the same way as are the members of the class.[97]
The Court is not unaware that mere underinclusiveness is not fatal to the validity of a law under the equal protection clause.[98] Legislation is not
unconstitutional merely because it is not all-embracing and does not include all the evils within its reach.[99] It has been written that a regulation challenged under the
equal protection clause is not devoid of a rational predicate simply because it happens to be incomplete. [100] In several instances, the underinclusiveness was not
considered a valid reason to strike down a law or regulation where the purpose can be attained in future legislations or regulations. These cases refer to the step by
step process.[101] With regard to equal protection claims, a legislature does not run the risk of losing the entire remedial scheme simply because it fails, through
inadvertence or otherwise, to cover every evil that might conceivably have been attacked.[102]
In Executive Order No. 1, however, there is no inadvertence. That the previous administration was picked out was deliberate and intentional as can be
gleaned from the fact that it was underscored at least three times in the assailed executive order. It must be noted that Executive Order No. 1 does not even mention
any particular act, event or report to be focused on unlike the investigative commissions created in the past. The equal protection clause is violated by purposeful
and intentional discrimination.[103]
To disprove petitioners contention that there is deliberate discrimination, the OSG clarifies that the commission does not only confine itself to cases of
large scale graft and corruption committed during the previous administration.[104] The OSG points to Section 17 of Executive Order No. 1, which provides:
SECTION 17. Special Provision Concerning Mandate. If and when in the judgment of the President there is a need to expand the mandate of
the Commission as defined in Section 1 hereof to include the investigation of cases and instances of graft and corruption during the prior
administrations, such mandate may be so extended accordingly by way of a supplemental Executive Order.
The Court is not convinced. Although Section 17 allows the President the discretion to expand the scope of investigations of the PTC so as to include the
acts of graft and corruption committed in other past administrations, it does not guarantee that they would be covered in the future. Such expanded mandate of the
commission will still depend on the whim and caprice of the President. If he would decide not to include them, the section would then be meaningless. This will only
fortify the fears of the petitioners that the Executive Order No. 1 was crafted to tailor-fit the prosecution of officials and personalities of the Arroyo administration.[105]

The Court tried to seek guidance from the pronouncement in the case of Virata v. Sandiganbayan,[106] that the PCGG Charter (composed of Executive
Orders Nos. 1, 2 and 14) does not violate the equal protection clause. The decision, however, was devoid of any discussion on how such conclusory statement was
arrived at, the principal issue in said case being only the sufficiency of a cause of action.
A final word
The issue that seems to take center stage at present is - whether or not the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its constitutionally mandated power of
Judicial Review with respect to recent initiatives of the legislature and the executive department, is exercising undue interference. Is the Highest Tribunal, which is
expected to be the protector of the Constitution, itself guilty of violating fundamental tenets like the doctrine of separation of powers? Time and again, this issue has
been addressed by the Court, but it seems that the present political situation calls for it to once again explain the legal basis of its action lest it continually be accused
of being a hindrance to the nations thrust to progress.

The Philippine Supreme Court, according to Article VIII, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution, is vested with Judicial Power that includes the duty of the
courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave
of abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.
Furthermore, in Section 4(2) thereof, it is vested with the power of judicial review which is the power to declare a treaty, international or executive
agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation unconstitutional. This power also includes the duty to rule on the
constitutionality of the application, or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and other regulations. These provisions,
however, have been fertile grounds of conflict between the Supreme Court, on one hand, and the two co-equal bodies of government, on the other. Many times the
Court has been accused of asserting superiority over the other departments.
To answer this accusation, the words of Justice Laurel would be a good source of enlightenment, to wit: And when the judiciary mediates to allocate
constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only
asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the
parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them.[107]
Thus, the Court, in exercising its power of judicial review, is not imposing its own will upon a co-equal body but rather simply making sure that any act of
government is done in consonance with the authorities and rights allocated to it by the Constitution. And, if after said review, the Court finds no constitutional
violations of any sort, then, it has no more authority of proscribing the actions under review. Otherwise, the Court will not be deterred to pronounce said act as void
and unconstitutional.
It cannot be denied that most government actions are inspired with noble intentions, all geared towards the betterment of the nation and its people. But
then again, it is important to remember this ethical principle: The end does not justify the means. No matter how noble and worthy of admiration the purpose of an
act, but if the means to be employed in accomplishing it is simply irreconcilable with constitutional parameters, then it cannot still be allowed.[108] The Court cannot
just turn a blind eye and simply let it pass. It will continue to uphold the Constitution and its enshrined principles.
The Constitution must ever remain supreme. All must bow to the mandate of this law. Expediency must not be allowed to sap its
strength nor greed for power debase its rectitude.[109]
Lest it be misunderstood, this is not the death knell for a truth commission as nobly envisioned by the present administration. Perhaps a revision of the
executive issuance so as to include the earlier past administrationswould allow it to pass the test of reasonableness and not be an affront to the
Constitution. Of all the branches of the government, it is the judiciary which is the most interested in knowing the truth and so it will not allow itself to be a hindrance
or obstacle to its attainment. It must, however, be emphasized that the search for the truth must be within constitutional bounds for ours is still a government of laws
and not of men.[110]
WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. Executive Order
protection clause of the Constitution.

No. 1 is hereby declaredUNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it is violative of the equal

As also prayed for, the respondents are hereby ordered to cease and desist from carrying out the provisions of Executive Order No. 1.
SO ORDERED.

COMMISSIONER JOSE T. ALMONTE, VILLAMOR C. PEREZ, NERIO ROGADO, and ELISA RIVERA vs. HONORABLE CONRADO M. VASQUEZ and
CONCERNED CITIZENS
G.R. No. 95367 May 23, 1995
MENDOZA, J.:
FACTS: Petitioner Jose T. Almonte was formerly Commissioner of the EIIB, while Villamor C. Perez is Chief of the EIIB's Budget and Fiscal Management Division.
The subpoena duces tecum was issued by the Ombudsman in connection with his investigation of an anonymous letter alleging that funds representing savings from
unfilled positions in the EIIB had been illegally disbursed. The letter, purporting to have been written by an employee of the EIIB and a concerned citizen, was
addressed to the Secretary of Finance, with copies furnished several government offices, including the Office of the Ombudsman.
The letter reads in pertinent parts:
1 These are the things that I have been observing. During the implementation of E.O. 127, 190 personnel were dismissed. Before that implementation, we
had a monthly savings of P500,000.00 from unfilled plantilla position plus the implementation of RA 6683 wherein seventy (70) regular employees availed a total
amount of P1,400,000.00 was saved from the government monthly. The question is, how do they used or disbursed this savings? The EIIB has a syndicate headed
by the Chief of Budget Division who is manipulating funds and also the brain of the so called "ghost agents" or the "Emergency Intelligence Agents" (EIA). The
Commissioner of EIIB has a biggest share on this. Among his activities are:
a) Supporting RAM wherein he is involved. He gives big amount especially during the Dec. Failed coup.
b) Payment for thirty five (30) mini UZI's.
c) Payment for the purchased of Maxima '87 for personal used of the Commissioner.
d) Another observation was the agents under the Director of NCR EIIB is the sole operating unit within Metro Manila which was approved by no less than
the Commissioner due to anomalous activities of almost all agents assigned at the central office directly under the Commissioner. Retired Brig. Gen. Almonte as one
of the Anti-Graft board member of the Department of Finance should not tolerate this. However, the Commissioner did not investigate his own men instead, he placed
them under the 15-30 payroll.
2. Sir, my question is this. Can your good office investigate EII intelligence funds particularly Personal Services (01) Funds? I wonder why the Dep't of
Budget & Mgmt. cannot compel EIIB to submit an actual filled up position because almost half of it are vacant and still they are releasing it. Are EIIB plantilla position
classified? It is included in the Personal Services Itemization (PSI) and I believe it is not classified and a ruling from Civil Service Commission that EIIB is not

exempted from Civil Service. Another info, when we had salary differential last Oct '88 all money for the whole plantilla were released and from that alone, Millions
were saved and converted to ghost agents of EIA.
3. Another thing that I have observed was the Chief Budget Division possesses high caliber firearms such as a mini UZI, Armalite rifle and two (2) 45 cal.
pistol issued to him by the Assistant Commissioner wherein he is not an agent of EIIB and authorized as such according to memorandum order number 283 signed
by the President of the Republic of the Philippines effective 9 Jan. 1990.
Another observation was when EIIB agents apprehended a certain civilian who possesses numerous assorted high powered firearms. Agents plus one
personnel from the legal proclaimed only five (5) firearms and the remaining was pilfered by them. Another observation is almost all EIIB agents collects payroll from
the big time smuggler syndicate monthly and brokers every week for them not to be apprehended. Another observation is the commissioner allocates funds coming
from the intelligence funds to the media to sustain their good image of the bureau.
In his comment on the letter-complaint, petitioner Almonte denied that as a result of the separation of personnel, the EIIB had made some savings.
Similarly petitioner Perez, budget chief of the EIIB, denied that savings had been realized from the implementation of E.O. No. 127, since the DBM provided
allocations for only the remaining 947 personnel.
The Graft Investigation Officer of the Ombudsman's office found the comments unsatisfactory and asked for authority to conduct a preliminary
investigation. Anticipating the grant of his request, he issued a subpoena to petitioners Almonte and Perez, requiring them to submit their counter-affidavits and the
affidavits of their witnesses, as well as a subpoena duces tecum to the Chief of the EIIB's Accounting Division ordering him to bring "all documents relating to
Personal Services Funds for the year 1988 and all evidence, such as vouchers (salary) for the whole plantilla of EIIB for 1988."
Petitioners Almonte and Perez moved to quash the subpoena and the subpoena duces tecum. Respondent Ombudsman granted the motion to quash the
subpoena in view of the fact that there were no affidavits filed against petitioners. But he denied their motion to quash the subpoena duces tecum. He ruled that
petitioners were not being forced to produce evidence against themselves, since the subpoena duces tecum was directed to the Chief Accountant, petitioner Nerio
Rogado.
Petitioners Almonte and Perez moved for a reconsideration, arguing that Rogado and Rivera were EIIB employees under their supervision and that the
Ombudsman was doing indirectly what he could not do directly. Petitioners' motion was denied in respondent Ombudsman's order. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: Is there a violation of petitioner's right to the equal protection of the laws?
HELD: None.
I.
There are several subsidiary issues raised by petitioners, but the principal ones revolve on the question whether petitioners can be ordered to produce documents
relating to personal services and salary vouchers of EIIB employees on the plea that such documents are classified. Disclosure of the documents in question is
resisted on the ground that "knowledge of EIIB's documents relative to its Personal Services Funds and its plantilla . . . will necessarily [lead to] knowledge of its
operations, movements, targets, strategies, and tactics and the whole of its being" and this could "destroy the EIIB." 9
Petitioners do not question the power of the Ombudsman to issue a subpoena duces tecum nor the relevancy or materiality of the documents required to be
produced, to the pending investigation in the Ombudsman's office. Accordingly, the focus of discussion should be on the Government's claim of privilege.
A.
At common law a governmental privilege against disclosure is recognized with respect to state secrets bearing on military, diplomatic and similar matters. This
privilege is based upon public interest of such paramount importance as in and of itself transcending the individual interests of a private citizen, even though, as a
consequence thereof, the plaintiff cannot enforce his legal rights. 10
In addition, in the litigation over the Watergate tape subpoena in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the right of the President to the confidentiality of his
conversations and correspondence, which it likened to "the claim of confidentiality of judicial deliberations." Said the Court in United States v. Nixon: 11
The expectation of a President to the confidentiality of his conversations and correspondence, like the claim of confidentiality of judicial
deliberations, for example, has all the values to which we accord deference for the privacy of all citizens and, added to those values, is the
necessity for protection of the public interest in candid, objective, and even blunt or harsh opinions in Presidential decision-making. A President
and those who assist him must be free to explore alternatives in the process of shaping policies and making decisions and to do so in a way
many would be unwilling to express except privately. These are the considerations justifying a presumptive privilege for Presidential
communications. The privilege is fundamental to the operation of the government and inextricably rooted in the separation of powers under the
Constitution. . . .
Thus, the Court for the first time gave executive privilege a constitutional status and a new name, although not necessarily a new birth. 12
"The confidentiality of judicial deliberations" mentioned in the opinion of the Court referred to the fact that Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and judges of lower
federal courts have traditionally treated their working papers and judicial notes as private property. A 1977 proposal in the U.S. Congress that Justices and judges of
lower federal courts "should be encouraged to make such arrangements as will assure the preservation and eventual availability of their personal papers, especially
the deposit of their papers in the same depository they select for [their] Public Papers" 13 was rebuffed by the Justices who, in a letter to the Chairman of the
Subcommittee on Regulation and Government Information of the U.S. Senate, referred to "difficult concerns respecting the appropriate separation that must be
maintained between the legislative branch and this Court." 14
There are, in addition to such privileges, statutorily-created ones such as the Government's privilege to withhold the identity of persons who furnish information of
violations of laws. 15
With respect to the privilege based on state secret, the rule was stated by the U.S. Supreme Court as follows:
Judicial control over the evidence in a case cannot be abdicated to the caprice of executive officers. Yet we will not go so far as to say that the
court may automatically require a complete disclosure to the judge before the claim of privilege will be accepted in any case. It may be possible
to satisfy the court, from all the circumstances of the case, that there is a reasonable danger that compulsion of the evidence will expose
military matters which, in the interest of national security, should not be divulged. When this is the case, the occasion for the privilege is
appropriate, and the court should not jeopardize the security which the privilege is meant to protect by insisting upon an examination of the
evidence, even by the judge alone, in chambers. . . . In each case, the showing of necessity which is made will determine how far the court
should probe in satisfying itself that the occasion for invoking the privilege is appropriate. Where there is a strong showing of necessity, the
claim of privilege should not be lightly accepted, but even the most compelling necessity cannot overcome the claim of privilege if the court is
ultimately satisfied that military secrets are at stake. A fortiori, where necessity is dubious, a formal claim of privilege, made under the
circumstances of this case, will have to prevail. 16
On the other hand, where the claim of confidentiality does not rest on the need to protect military, diplomatic or other national security secrets but on a general public
interest in the confidentiality of his conversations, courts have declined to find in the Constitution an absolute privilege of the President against a subpoena
considered essential to the enforcement of criminal laws. 17

B.
In the case at bar, there is no claim that military or diplomatic secrets will be disclosed by the production of records pertaining to the personnel of the EIIB. Indeed,
EIIB's function is the gathering and evaluation of intelligence reports and information regarding "illegal activities affecting the national economy, such as, but not
limited to, economic sabotage, smuggling, tax evasion, dollar salting." 18 Consequently, while in cases which involve state secrets it may be sufficient to determine
from the circumstances of the case that there is reasonable danger that compulsion of the evidence will expose military matters without compelling production, 19 no
similar excuse can be made for a privilege resting on other considerations.
Nor has our attention been called to any law or regulation which considers personnel records of the EIIB as classified information. To the contrary, COA Circular No.
88-293, which petitioners invoke to support their contention that there is adequate safeguard against misuse of public funds, provides that the "only item of
expenditure which should be treated strictly confidential" is that which refers to the "purchase of information and payment of rewards." Thus, part V, No. 7 of the
Circular reads:
The only item of expenditure which should be treated as strictly confidential because it falls under the category of classified information is that
relating to purchase of information and payment of rewards. However, reasonable records should be maintained and kept for inspection of the
Chairman, Commission on Audit or his duly authorized representative. All other expenditures are to be considered unclassified supported by
invoices, receipts and other documents, and, therefore, subject to reasonable inquiry by the Chairman or his duly authorized representative. 20
It should be noted that the regulation requires that "reasonable records" be kept justifying the confidential or privileged character of the information relating
to informers. There are no such reasonable records in this case to substitute for the records claimed to be confidential.
The other statutes and regulations 21 invoked by petitioners in support of their contention that the documents sought in the subpoena duces tecum of the
Ombudsman are classified merely indicate the confidential nature of the EIIB's functions, but they do not exempt the EIIB from the duty to account for its funds to the
proper authorities. Indeed by denying that there were savings made from certain items in the agency and alleging that the DBM had released to the EIIB only the
allocations needed for the 947 personnel retained after its reorganization, petitioners in effect invited inquiry into the veracity of their claim. If, as petitioners claim, the
subpoenaed records have been examined by the COA and found by it to be regular in all respects, there is no reason why they cannot be shown to another agency
of the government which by constitutional mandate is required to look into any complaint concerning public office.
On the other hand, the Ombudsman is investigating a complaint that several items in the EIIB were filled by fictitious persons and that the allotments for these items
in 1988 were used for illegal purposes. The plantilla and other personnel records are relevant to his investigation. He and his Deputies are designated by the
Constitution "protectors of the people" and as such they are required by it "to act promptly on complaints in any form or manner against public officials or employees
of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporation." 22
His need for the documents thus outweighs the claim of confidentiality of petitioners. What is more, while there might have been compelling reasons for the claim of
privilege in 1988 when it was asserted by petitioners, now, seven years later, these reasons may have been attenuated, if they have not in fact ceased. The agents
whose identities could not then be revealed may have ceased from the service of the EIIB, while the covert missions to which they might have been deployed might
either have been accomplished or abandoned. On the other hand, the Ombudsman's duty to investigate the complaint that there were in 1988 unfilled positions in the
EIIB for which continued funding was received by its officials and put to illegal use, remains.
Above all, even if the subpoenaed documents are treated as presumptively privileged, this decision would only justify ordering their inspection in camera but not their
nonproduction. However, as concession to the nature of the functions of the EIIB and just to be sure no information of a confidential character is disclosed, the
examination of records in this case should be made in strict confidence by the Ombudsman himself. Reference may be made to the documents in any decision or
order which the Ombudsman may render or issue but only to the extent that it will not reveal covert activities of the agency. Above all, there must be a scrupulous
protection of the documents delivered.
With these safeguards outlined, it is believed that a satisfactory resolution of the conflicting claims of the parties is achieved. It is not amiss to state that even matters
of national security have been inquired into in appropriate in camera proceedings by the courts. In Lansang v. Garcia 23 this Court held closed door sessions, with
only the immediate parties and their counsel present, to determine claims that because of subversion there was imminent danger to public safety warranting the
suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in 1971. Again in Marcos v.Manglapus 24 the Court met behind closed doors to receive military briefings on the threat posed
to national security by the return to the country of the former President and his family. In the United States, a similar inquiry into the danger to national security as a
result of the publication of classified documents on the Vietnam war was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. 25 We see no reason why similar safeguards cannot be
made to enable an agency of the Government, like the Office of the Ombudsman, to carry out its constitutional duty to protect public interests 26 while insuring the
confidentiality of classified documents.
C.
Petitioners contend that under Art. XI, 13(4) the Ombudsman can act only "in any appropriate case, and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law" and
that because the complaint in this case is unsigned and unverified, the case is not an appropriate one. This contention lacks merit. As already stated, the Constitution
expressly enjoins the Ombudsman to act on any complaint filed "in any form or manner" concerning official acts or omissions. Thus, Art. XI, 12 provides:
The Ombudsman and his Deputies, as protectors of the people, shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public
officials or employees of the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled
corporations and shall in appropriate cases, notify the complainants of the action taken and the result thereof. (Emphasis added)
Similarly, the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (Rep. Act No. 6770) provides in 26(2):
The Office of the Ombudsman shall receive complaints from any source in whatever form concerning an official act or omission. It shall act on
the complaint immediately and if it finds the same entirely baseless, it shall dismiss the same and inform the complainant of such dismissal
citing the reasons therefor. If it finds a reasonable ground to investigate further, it shall first furnish the respondent public officer or employee
with a summary of the complaint and require him to submit a written answer within seventy-two hours from receipt thereof. If the answer is
found satisfactory, it shall dismiss the case. (Emphasis added)
Accordingly, in Diaz v. Sandiganbayan 27 the Court held that testimony given at a fact-finding investigation and charges made in a pleading in a case in court
constituted a sufficient basis for the Ombudsman to commence investigation, because a formal complaint was really not necessary.
Rather than referring to the form of complaints, therefore, the phrase "in an appropriate case" in Art. XI, 12 means any case concerning official act or omission
which is alleged to be "illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient."28 The phrase "subject to such limitations as may be provided by law" refers to such limitations as may
be provided by Congress or, in the absence thereof, to such limitations as may be imposed by the courts. Such limitations may well include a requirement that the
investigation be concluded in camera, with the public excluded, as exception to the general nature of the proceedings in the Office of the Ombudsman. 29 A
reconciliation is thereby made between the demands of national security and the requirement of accountability enshrined in the Constitution. 30
What has been said above disposes of petitioners' contention that the anonymous letter-complaint against them is nothing but a vexatious prosecution. It only
remains to say that the general investigation in the Ombudsman' s office is precisely for the purpose of protecting those against whom a complaint is filed against
hasty, malicious, and oppressive prosecution as much as securing the State from useless and expensive trials. There may also be benefit resulting from such
limited in camera inspection in terms of increased public confidence that the privilege is not being abused and increased likelihood that no abuse is in fact occurring.
II.

Nor is there violation of petitioner's right to the equal protection of the laws. Petitioners complain that "in all forum and tribunals . . . the aggrieved parties . . . can only
hale respondents via their verified complaints or sworn statements with their identities fully disclosed," while in proceedings before the Office of the Ombudsman
anonymous letters suffice to start an investigation. In the first place, there can be no objection to this procedure because it is provided in the Constitution itself. In the
second place, it is apparent that in permitting the filing of complaints "in any form and in a manner," the framers of the Constitution took into account the well-known
reticence of the people which keep them from complaining against official wrongdoings. As this Court had occasion to point out, the Office of the Ombudsman is
different from the other investigatory and prosecutory agencies of the government because those subject to its jurisdiction are public officials who, through official
pressure and influence, can quash, delay or dismiss investigations held against them. 31 On the other hand complainants are more often than not poor and simple
folk who cannot afford to hire lawyers. 32
III.
Finally, it is contended that the issuance of the subpoena duces tecum would violate petitioners' right against self-incrimination. It is enough to state that the
documents required to be produced in this case are public records and those to whom the subpoena duces tecum is directed are government officials in whose
possession or custody the documents are. Moreover, if, as petitioners claim the disbursement by the EIIB of funds for personal service has already been cleared by
the COA, there is no reason why they should object to the examination of the documents by respondent Ombudsman.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED, but it is directed that the inspection of subpoenaed documents be made personally in camera by the Ombudsman, and
with all the safeguards outlined in this decision.
SO ORDERED.
ORMOC SUGAR COMPANY, INC., plaintiff-appellant, vs. THE TREASURER OF ORMOC CITY, THE MUNICIPAL BOARD OF ORMOC CITY, HON. ESTEBAN C.
CONEJOS as Mayor of Ormoc City and ORMOC CITY, defendants-appellees.
G.R. No. L-23794 February 17, 1968
BENGZON, J.P., J.:
FACTS: On January 29, 1964, the Municipal Board of Ormoc City passed Ordinance No. 4, Series of 1964, imposing "on any and all productions of centrifugal
sugar milled at the Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc., in Ormoc City a municipal tax equivalent to one per centum (1%) per export sale to the United States of America
and other foreign countries."
Payments for said tax were made, under protest, by Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc for P7,087.50 and on April 20, 1964 for P5,000, or a total of P12,087.50.
On June 1, 1964, Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. filed before the CFI of Leyte a complaint against the City of Ormoc as well as its Treasurer, Municipal Board
and Mayor, alleging that the afore-stated ordinance is unconstitutional for being violative of the equal protection clause and the rule of uniformity of taxation, aside
from being an export tax forbidden under Section 2287 of the Revised Administrative Code. It further alleged that the tax is neither a production nor a license tax
which Ormoc City under Section 15-kk of its charter and under Section 2 of Republic Act 2264, otherwise known as the Local Autonomy Act, is authorized to impose;
and that the tax amounts to a customs duty, fee or charge in violation of paragraph 1 of Section 2 of Republic Act 2264 because the tax is on both the sale and
export of sugar.
Answering, the defendants asserted that the tax ordinance was within defendant city's power to enact under the Local Autonomy Act and that the same did not
violate the afore-cited constitutional limitations. After
The CFI upheld the constitutionality of the ordinance and declared the taxing power of defendant chartered city broadened by the Local Autonomy Act to
include all other forms of taxes, licenses or fees not excluded in its charter.
Appeal therefrom was directly taken to SC by plaintiff Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc.
ISSUE: whether the challenged ordinance is unconstitutional
HELD: Yes.
The Constitution in the bill of rights provides: ". . . nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws." In Felwa vs. Salas, We ruled that the equal
protection clause applies only to persons or things identically situated and does not bar a reasonable classification of the subject of legislation, and a classification is
reasonable where (1) it is based on substantial distinctions which make real differences; (2) these are germane to the purpose of the law; (3) the classification applies
not only to present conditions but also to future conditions which are substantially identical to those of the present; (4) the classification applies only to those who
belong to the same class.
A perusal of the requisites instantly shows that the questioned ordinance does not meet them, for it taxes only centrifugal sugar produced and exported by the
Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. and none other. At the time of the taxing ordinance's enactment, Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc., it is true, was the only sugar central in
the city of Ormoc. Still, the classification, to be reasonable, should be in terms applicable to future conditions as well. The taxing ordinance should not be singular and
exclusive as to exclude any subsequently established sugar central, of the same class as plaintiff, for the coverage of the tax. As it is now, even if later a similar
company is set up, it cannot be subject to the tax because the ordinance expressly points only to Ormoc City Sugar Company, Inc. as the entity to be levied upon.
Appellant, however, is not entitled to interest; on the refund because the taxes were not arbitrarily collected. At the time of collection, the ordinance provided a
sufficient basis to preclude arbitrariness, the same being then presumed constitutional until declared otherwise.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee vs. ANDRE MARTI, accused-appellant.
G.R. No. 81561 January 18, 1991
BIDIN, J.:
FACTS: On August 14, 1987, between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m., the appellant and his common-law wife, Shirley Reyes, went to the booth of the "Manila Packing and
Export Forwarders" in the Pistang Pilipino Complex, Ermita, Manila, carrying with them four (4) gift wrapped packages. Anita Reyes (the proprietress and no relation
to Shirley Reyes) attended to them. The appellant informed Anita Reyes that he was sending the packages to a friend in Zurich, Switzerland. Appellant filled up the
contract necessary for the transaction, writing therein his name, passport number, the date of shipment and the name and address of the consignee, namely,
"WALTER FIERZ, Mattacketr II, 8052 Zurich, Switzerland"
Anita Reyes then asked the appellant if she could examine and inspect the packages. Appellant, however, refused, assuring her that the packages simply
contained books, cigars, and gloves and were gifts to his friend in Zurich. In view of appellant's representation, Anita Reyes no longer insisted on inspecting the
packages. The four (4) packages were then placed inside a brown corrugated box one by two feet in size (1' x 2'). Styro-foam was placed at the bottom and on top of
the packages before the box was sealed with masking tape, thus making the box ready for shipment.
Before delivery of appellant's box to the Bureau of Customs and/or Bureau of Posts, Mr. Job Reyes (proprietor) and husband of Anita (Reyes), following
standard operating procedure, opened the boxes for final inspection. When he opened appellant's box, a peculiar odor emitted therefrom. His curiousity aroused, he

squeezed one of the bundles allegedly containing gloves and felt dried leaves inside. Opening one of the bundles, he pulled out a cellophane wrapper protruding
from the opening of one of the gloves. He made an opening on one of the cellophane wrappers and took several grams of the contents thereof.
Job Reyes forthwith prepared a letter reporting the shipment to the NBI and requesting a laboratory examination of the samples he extracted from the
cellophane wrapper (tsn, pp. 5-6, October 6, 1987).
He brought the letter and a sample of appellant's shipment to the Narcotics Section of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), at about 1:30 o'clock in
the afternoon of that date, i.e., August 14, 1987. He was interviewed by the Chief of Narcotics Section. Job Reyes informed the NBI that the rest of the shipment was
still in his office. Therefore, Job Reyes and three (3) NBI agents, and a photographer, went to the Reyes' office at Ermita, Manila.
Job Reyes brought out the box in which appellant's packages were placed and, in the presence of the NBI agents, opened the top flaps, removed the
styro-foam and took out the cellophane wrappers from inside the gloves. Dried marijuana leaves were found to have been contained inside the cellophane wrappers.
The package which allegedly contained books was likewise opened by Job Reyes. He discovered that the package contained bricks or cake-like dried
marijuana leaves. The package which allegedly contained tabacalera cigars was also opened. It turned out that dried marijuana leaves were neatly stocked
underneath the cigars.
The NBI agents made an inventory and took charge of the box and of the contents thereof, after signing a "Receipt" acknowledging custody of the said
effects.
Thereupon, the NBI agents tried to locate appellant but to no avail. Appellant's stated address in his passport being the Manila Central Post Office, the
agents requested assistance from the latter's Chief Security. On August 27, 1987, appellant, while claiming his mail at the Central Post Office, was invited by the NBI
to shed light on the attempted shipment of the seized dried leaves. On the same day the Narcotics Section of the NBI submitted the dried leaves to the Forensic
Chemistry Section for laboratory examination. It turned out that the dried leaves were marijuana flowering tops as certified by the forensic chemist.
Thereafter, an Information was filed against appellant for violation of RA 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act.
After trial, the court a quo rendered the assailed decision.
ISSUE: whether the evidence subject of the imputed offense had been obtained in violation of constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure
HELD: 1. Appellant contends that the evidence subject of the imputed offense had been obtained in violation of his constitutional rights against unreasonable
search and seizure and privacy of communication (Sec. 2 and 3, Art. III, Constitution) and therefore argues that the same should be held inadmissible in evidence
(Sec. 3 (2), Art. III).
Sections 2 and 3, Article III of the Constitution provide:
Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of
whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to
be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
Sec. 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or
order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.
Our present constitutional provision on the guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure had its origin in the 1935 Charter which, worded as follows:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be
violated, and no warrants shall issue but uponprobable cause, to be determined by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the
complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
(Sec. 1 [3], Article III)
was in turn derived almost verbatim from the Fourth Amendment ** to the United States Constitution. As such, the Court may turn to the pronouncements of the
United States Federal Supreme Court and State Appellate Courts which are considered doctrinal in this jurisdiction.
Thus, following the exclusionary rule laid down in Mapp v. Ohio by the US Federal Supreme Court (367 US 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed. 1081 [1961]), this Court,
in Stonehill v. Diokno (20 SCRA 383 [1967]), declared as inadmissible any evidence obtained by virtue of a defective search and seizure warrant, abandoning in the
process the ruling earlier adopted in Moncado v. People's Court (80 Phil. 1 [1948]) wherein the admissibility of evidence was not affected by the illegality of its
seizure. The 1973 Charter (Sec. 4 [2], Art. IV) constitutionalized the Stonehill ruling and is carried over up to the present with the advent of the 1987 Constitution.
In a number of cases, the Court strictly adhered to the exclusionary rule and has struck down the admissibility of evidence obtained in violation of the constitutional
safeguard against unreasonable searches and seizures. (Bache & Co., (Phil.), Inc., v. Ruiz, 37 SCRA 823 [1971]; Lim v. Ponce de Leon, 66 SCRA 299 [1975];
People v. Burgos, 144 SCRA 1 [1986]; Roan v. Gonzales, 145 SCRA 687 [1987]; See also Salazar v. Hon. Achacoso, et al., GR No. 81510, March 14, 1990).
It must be noted, however, that in all those cases adverted to, the evidence so obtained were invariably procured by the State acting through the medium of its law
enforcers or other authorized government agencies.
On the other hand, the case at bar assumes a peculiar character since the evidence sought to be excluded was primarily discovered and obtained by a private
person, acting in a private capacity and without the intervention and participation of State authorities. Under the circumstances, can accused/appellant validly claim
that his constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizure has been violated? Stated otherwise, may an act of a private individual, allegedly in violation
of appellant's constitutional rights, be invoked against the State?
We hold in the negative. In the absence of governmental interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked against the State.
As this Court held in Villanueva v. Querubin (48 SCRA 345 [1972]:
1. This constitutional right (against unreasonable search and seizure) refers to the immunity of one's person, whether citizen or alien, from
interference by government, included in which is his residence, his papers, and other possessions. . . .
. . . There the state, however powerful, does not as such have the access except under the circumstances above noted, for in the traditional
formulation, his house, however humble, is his castle. Thus is outlawed any unwarranted intrusion by government, which is called upon to
refrain from any invasion of his dwelling and to respect the privacies of his life. . . . (Cf. Schermerber v. California, 384 US 757 [1966] and Boyd
v. United States, 116 US 616 [1886]; Emphasis supplied).
In Burdeau v. McDowell (256 US 465 (1921), 41 S Ct. 547; 65 L.Ed. 1048), the Court there in construing the right against unreasonable searches and seizures
declared that:
(t)he Fourth Amendment gives protection against unlawful searches and seizures, and as shown in previous cases, its protection applies to
governmental action. Its origin and history clearly show that it was intended as a restraint upon the activities of sovereign authority, and was not
intended to be a limitation upon other than governmental agencies; as against such authority it was the purpose of the Fourth Amendment to
secure the citizen in the right of unmolested occupation of his dwelling and the possession of his property, subject to the right of seizure by
process duly served.

The above ruling was reiterated in State v. Bryan (457 P.2d 661 [1968]) where a parking attendant who searched the automobile to ascertain the owner thereof found
marijuana instead, without the knowledge and participation of police authorities, was declared admissible in prosecution for illegal possession of narcotics.
And again in the 1969 case of Walker v. State (429 S.W.2d 121), it was held that the search and seizure clauses are restraints upon the government and its agents,
not upon private individuals (citing People v. Potter, 240 Cal. App.2d 621, 49 Cap. Rptr, 892 (1966); State v. Brown, Mo., 391 S.W.2d 903 (1965); State v. Olsen, Or.,
317 P.2d 938 (1957).
Likewise appropos is the case of Bernas v. US (373 F.2d 517 (1967). The Court there said:
The search of which appellant complains, however, was made by a private citizen the owner of a motel in which appellant stayed overnight
and in which he left behind a travel case containing the evidence***complained of. The search was made on the motel owner's own initiative.
Because of it, he became suspicious, called the local police, informed them of the bag's contents, and made it available to the authorities.
The fourth amendment and the case law applying it do not require exclusion of evidence obtained through a search by a private citizen. Rather,
the amendment only proscribes governmental action."
The contraband in the case at bar having come into possession of the Government without the latter transgressing appellant's rights against unreasonable search
and seizure, the Court sees no cogent reason why the same should not be admitted against him in the prosecution of the offense charged.
Appellant, however, would like this court to believe that NBI agents made an illegal search and seizure of the evidence later on used in prosecuting the case which
resulted in his conviction.
The postulate advanced by accused/appellant needs to be clarified in two days. In both instances, the argument stands to fall on its own weight, or the lack of it.
First, the factual considerations of the case at bar readily foreclose the proposition that NBI agents conducted an illegal search and seizure of the prohibited
merchandise. Records of the case clearly indicate that it was Mr. Job Reyes, the proprietor of the forwarding agency, who made search/inspection of the packages.
Said inspection was reasonable and a standard operating procedure on the part of Mr. Reyes as a precautionary measure before delivery of packages to the Bureau
of Customs or the Bureau of Posts (TSN, October 6 & 7, 1987, pp. 15-18; pp. 7-8; Original Records, pp. 119-122; 167-168).
It will be recalled that after Reyes opened the box containing the illicit cargo, he took samples of the same to the NBI and later summoned the agents to his place of
business. Thereafter, he opened the parcel containing the rest of the shipment and entrusted the care and custody thereof to the NBI agents. Clearly, the NBI agents
made no search and seizure, much less an illegal one, contrary to the postulate of accused/appellant.
Second, the mere presence of the NBI agents did not convert the reasonable search effected by Reyes into a warrantless search and seizure proscribed by the
Constitution. Merely to observe and look at that which is in plain sight is not a search. Having observed that which is open, where no trespass has been committed in
aid thereof, is not search (Chadwick v. State, 429 SW2d 135). Where the contraband articles are identified without a trespass on the part of the arresting officer, there
is not the search that is prohibited by the constitution (US v. Lee 274 US 559, 71 L.Ed. 1202 [1927]; Ker v. State of California 374 US 23, 10 L.Ed.2d. 726 [1963];
Moore v. State, 429 SW2d 122 [1968]).
In Gandy v. Watkins (237 F. Supp. 266 [1964]), it was likewise held that where the property was taken into custody of the police at the specific request of the
manager and where the search was initially made by the owner there is no unreasonable search and seizure within the constitutional meaning of the term.
That the Bill of Rights embodied in the Constitution is not meant to be invoked against acts of private individuals finds support in the deliberations of the Constitutional
Commission. True, the liberties guaranteed by the fundamental law of the land must always be subject to protection. But protection against whom? Commissioner
Bernas in his sponsorship speech in the Bill of Rights answers the query which he himself posed, as follows:
First, the general reflections. The protection of fundamental liberties in the essence of constitutional democracy. Protection against
whom? Protection against the state. The Bill of Rights governs the relationship between the individual and the state. Its concern is not the
relation between individuals, between a private individual and other individuals. What the Bill of Rights does is to declare some forbidden zones
in the private sphere inaccessible to any power holder. (Sponsorship Speech of Commissioner Bernas , Record of the Constitutional
Commission, Vol. 1, p. 674; July 17, 1986; Emphasis supplied)
The constitutional proscription against unlawful searches and seizures therefore applies as a restraint directed only against the government and its agencies tasked
with the enforcement of the law. Thus, it could only be invoked against the State to whom the restraint against arbitrary and unreasonable exercise of power is
imposed.
If the search is made upon the request of law enforcers, a warrant must generally be first secured if it is to pass the test of constitutionality. However, if the search is
made at the behest or initiative of the proprietor of a private establishment for its own and private purposes, as in the case at bar, and without the intervention of
police authorities, the right against unreasonable search and seizure cannot be invoked for only the act of private individual, not the law enforcers, is involved. In
sum, the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures cannot be extended to acts committed by private individuals so as to bring it within the ambit of
alleged unlawful intrusion by the government.
Appellant argues, however, that since the provisions of the 1935 Constitution has been modified by the present phraseology found in the 1987 Charter, expressly
declaring as inadmissible any evidence obtained in violation of the constitutional prohibition against illegal search and seizure, it matters not whether the evidence
was procured by police authorities or private individuals (Appellant's Brief, p. 8, Rollo, p. 62).
The argument is untenable. For one thing, the constitution, in laying down the principles of the government and fundamental liberties of the people, does not govern
relationships between individuals. Moreover, it must be emphasized that the modifications introduced in the 1987 Constitution (re: Sec. 2, Art. III) relate to the
issuance of either a search warrant or warrant of arrest vis-a-vis the responsibility of the judge in the issuance thereof (SeeSoliven v. Makasiar, 167 SCRA 393
[1988]; Circular No. 13 [October 1, 1985] and Circular No. 12 [June 30, 1987]. The modifications introduced deviate in no manner as to whom the restriction or
inhibition against unreasonable search and seizure is directed against. The restraint stayed with the State and did not shift to anyone else.
Corolarilly, alleged violations against unreasonable search and seizure may only be invoked against the State by an individual unjustly traduced by the exercise of
sovereign authority. To agree with appellant that an act of a private individual in violation of the Bill of Rights should also be construed as an act of the State would
result in serious legal complications and an absurd interpretation of the constitution.
Similarly, the admissibility of the evidence procured by an individual effected through private seizure equally applies, in pari passu, to the alleged violation, nongovernmental as it is, of appellant's constitutional rights to privacy and communication.
2. In his second assignment of error, appellant contends that the lower court erred in convicting him despite the undisputed fact that his rights under the constitution
while under custodial investigation were not observed.
Again, the contention is without merit, We have carefully examined the records of the case and found nothing to indicate, as an "undisputed fact", that appellant was
not informed of his constitutional rights or that he gave statements without the assistance of counsel. The law enforcers testified that accused/appellant was informed
of his constitutional rights. It is presumed that they have regularly performed their duties (See. 5(m), Rule 131) and their testimonies should be given full faith and
credence, there being no evidence to the contrary. What is clear from the records, on the other hand, is that appellant refused to give any written statement while
under investigation as testified by Atty. Lastimoso of the NBI, Thus:
Fiscal Formoso:
You said that you investigated Mr. and Mrs. Job Reyes. What about the accused here, did you investigate the accused together with the girl?
WITNESS:

Yes, we have interviewed the accused together with the girl but the accused availed of his constitutional right not to give any written statement,
sir. (TSN, October 8, 1987, p. 62; Original Records, p. 240)
The above testimony of the witness for the prosecution was not contradicted by the defense on cross-examination. As borne out by the records, neither was there
any proof by the defense that appellant gave uncounselled confession while being investigated. What is more, we have examined the assailed judgment of the trial
court and nowhere is there any reference made to the testimony of appellant while under custodial investigation which was utilized in the finding of conviction.
Appellant's second assignment of error is therefore misplaced.
3. Coming now to appellant's third assignment of error, appellant would like us to believe that he was not the owner of the packages which contained prohibited drugs
but rather a certain Michael, a German national, whom appellant met in a pub along Ermita, Manila: that in the course of their 30-minute conversation, Michael
requested him to ship the packages and gave him P2,000.00 for the cost of the shipment since the German national was about to leave the country the next day
(October 15, 1987, TSN, pp. 2-10).
Rather than give the appearance of veracity, we find appellant's disclaimer as incredulous, self-serving and contrary to human experience. It can easily be fabricated.
An acquaintance with a complete stranger struck in half an hour could not have pushed a man to entrust the shipment of four (4) parcels and shell out P2,000.00 for
the purpose and for appellant to readily accede to comply with the undertaking without first ascertaining its contents. As stated by the trial court, "(a) person would not
simply entrust contraband and of considerable value at that as the marijuana flowering tops, and the cash amount of P2,000.00 to a complete stranger like the
Accused. The Accused, on the other hand, would not simply accept such undertaking to take custody of the packages and ship the same from a complete stranger
on his mere say-so" (Decision, p. 19, Rollo, p. 91). As to why he readily agreed to do the errand, appellant failed to explain. Denials, if unsubstantiated by clear and
convincing evidence, are negative self-serving evidence which deserve no weight in law and cannot be given greater evidentiary weight than the testimony of credible
witnesses who testify on affirmative matters (People v. Esquillo, 171 SCRA 571 [1989]; People vs. Sariol, 174 SCRA 237 [1989]).
Appellant's bare denial is even made more suspect considering that, as per records of the Interpol, he was previously convicted of possession of hashish by the
Kleve Court in the Federal Republic of Germany on January 1, 1982 and that the consignee of the frustrated shipment, Walter Fierz, also a Swiss national, was
likewise convicted for drug abuse and is just about an hour's drive from appellant's residence in Zurich, Switzerland (TSN, October 8, 1987, p. 66; Original Records,
p. 244; Decision, p. 21; Rollo, p. 93).
Evidence to be believed, must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness, but it must be credible in itself such as the common experience and observation
of mankind can approve as probable under the circumstances (People v. Alto, 26 SCRA 342 [1968], citing Daggers v. Van Dyke, 37 N.J. Eg. 130; see also People v.
Sarda, 172 SCRA 651 [1989]; People v. Sunga, 123 SCRA 327 [1983]); Castaares v. CA, 92 SCRA 567 [1979]). As records further show, appellant did not even
bother to ask Michael's full name, his complete address or passport number. Furthermore, if indeed, the German national was the owner of the merchandise,
appellant should have so indicated in the contract of shipment (Exh. "B", Original Records, p. 40). On the contrary, appellant signed the contract as the owner and
shipper thereof giving more weight to the presumption that things which a person possesses, or exercises acts of ownership over, are owned by him (Sec. 5 [j], Rule
131). At this point, appellant is therefore estopped to claim otherwise.
Premises considered, we see no error committed by the trial court in rendering the assailed judgment.
WHEREFORE, the judgment of conviction finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged is hereby AFFIRMED.
HARRY S. STONEHILL, et al. petitioners, vs. HON. JOSE W. DIOKNO, et al.
G.R. No. L-19550
June 19, 1967
CONCEPCION, C.J.:
FACTS: Upon application of the officers Respondents-Prosecutors several judges hereinafter referred to as Respondents-Judges issued, on different
dates a total of 42 search warrants against petitioners and/or the corporations of which they were officers directed to the any peace officer, to search the persons
above-named and/or the premises of their offices, warehouses and/or residences, and to seize and take possession of the following personal property to wit:
Books of accounts, financial records, vouchers, correspondence, receipts, ledgers, journals, portfolios, credit journals, typewriters, and other documents
and/or papers showing all business transactions including disbursements receipts, balance sheets and profit and loss statements and Bobbins (cigarette
wrappers).
as "the subject of the offense; stolen or embezzled and proceeds or fruits of the offense," or "used or intended to be used as the means of committing the offense,"
which is described in the applications adverted to above as "violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue (Code) and the Revised
Penal Code."
Alleging that the aforementioned search warrants are null and void, as contravening the Constitution and the Rules of Court said petitioners filed with
the Supreme Court this original action for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus and injunction, and prayed that decision be rendered quashing the search warrants.
On March 22, 1962, this Court issued the writ of preliminary injunction prayed for in the petition. However, by resolution dated June 29, 1962, the writ was
partially lifted or dissolved, insofar as the papers, documents and things seized from the offices of the corporations above mentioned are concerned; but, the
injunction was maintained as regards the papers, documents and things found and seized in the residences of petitioners.
Thus, the documents, papers, and things seized under the alleged authority of the warrants in question may be split into two (2) major groups, namely: (a)
those found and seized in the offices of the corporations, and (b) those found and seized in the residences of petitioners.
ISSUE: whether the search warrants and the searches and seizures made under the authority thereof, are valid
HELD: Petitioners maintain that the aforementioned search warrants are in the nature of general warrants and that accordingly, the seizures effected upon the
authority there of are null and void. In this connection, the Constitution13 provides:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and
no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the
witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Two points must be stressed in connection with this constitutional mandate, namely: (1) that no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the
judge in the manner set forth in said provision; and (2) that the warrant shall particularly describe the things to be seized.
None of these requirements has been complied with in the contested warrants. Indeed, the same were issued upon applications stating that the natural and juridical
person therein named had committed a "violation of Central Ban Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue (Code) and Revised Penal Code." In other words,
nospecific offense had been alleged in said applications. The averments thereof with respect to the offense committed were abstract. As a consequence, it
was impossible for the judges who issued the warrants to have found the existence of probable cause, for the same presupposes the introduction of competent proof
that the party against whom it is sought has performed particular acts, or committed specific omissions, violating a given provision of our criminal laws. As a matter of
fact, the applications involved in this case do not allege any specific acts performed by herein petitioners. It would be the legal heresy, of the highest order, to convict
anybody of a "violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue (Code) and Revised Penal Code," as alleged in the aforementioned
applications without reference to any determinate provision of said laws or

To uphold the validity of the warrants in question would be to wipe out completely one of the most fundamental rights guaranteed in our Constitution, for it would
place the sanctity of the domicile and the privacy of communication and correspondence at the mercy of the whims caprice or passion of peace officers. This is
precisely the evil sought to be remedied by the constitutional provision above quoted to outlaw the so-called general warrants. It is not difficult to imagine what
would happen, in times of keen political strife, when the party in power feels that the minority is likely to wrest it, even though by legal means.
Such is the seriousness of the irregularities committed in connection with the disputed search warrants, that this Court deemed it fit to amend Section 3 of Rule 122
of the former Rules of Court 14 by providing in its counterpart, under the Revised Rules of Court 15 that "a search warrant shall not issue but upon probable cause in
connection with one specific offense." Not satisfied with this qualification, the Court added thereto a paragraph, directing that "no search warrant shall issue for more
than one specific offense."
The grave violation of the Constitution made in the application for the contested search warrants was compounded by the description therein made of the effects to
be searched for and seized, to wit:
Books of accounts, financial records, vouchers, journals, correspondence, receipts, ledgers, portfolios, credit journals, typewriters, and other documents
and/or papers showing all business transactions including disbursement receipts, balance sheets and related profit and loss statements.
Thus, the warrants authorized the search for and seizure of records pertaining to all business transactions of petitioners herein, regardless of whether the
transactions were legal or illegal. The warrants sanctioned the seizure of all records of the petitioners and the aforementioned corporations, whatever their nature,
thus openly contravening the explicit command of our Bill of Rights that the things to be seized be particularly described as well as tending to defeat its major
objective: the elimination of general warrants.
Relying upon Moncado vs. People's Court (80 Phil. 1), Respondents-Prosecutors maintain that, even if the searches and seizures under consideration were
unconstitutional, the documents, papers and things thus seized are admissible in evidence against petitioners herein. Upon mature deliberation, however, we are
unanimously of the opinion that the position taken in the Moncado case must be abandoned. Said position was in line with the American common law rule, that the
criminal should not be allowed to go free merely "because the constable has blundered," 16 upon the theory that the constitutional prohibition against unreasonable
searches and seizures is protected by means other than the exclusion of evidence unlawfully obtained, 17 such as the common-law action for damages against the
searching officer, against the party who procured the issuance of the search warrant and against those assisting in the execution of an illegal search, their criminal
punishment, resistance, without liability to an unlawful seizure, and such other legal remedies as may be provided by other laws.
However, most common law jurisdictions have already given up this approach and eventually adopted the exclusionary rule, realizing that this is the only practical
means of enforcing the constitutional injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures. In the language of Judge Learned Hand:
As we understand it, the reason for the exclusion of evidence competent as such, which has been unlawfully acquired, is that exclusion is the only
practical way of enforcing the constitutional privilege. In earlier times the action of trespass against the offending official may have been protection
enough; but that is true no longer. Only in case the prosecution which itself controls the seizing officials, knows that it cannot profit by their wrong will that
wrong be repressed.18
In fact, over thirty (30) years before, the Federal Supreme Court had already declared:
If letters and private documents can thus be seized and held and used in evidence against a citizen accused of an offense, the protection of the 4th
Amendment, declaring his rights to be secure against such searches and seizures, is of no value, and, so far as those thus placed are concerned, might
as well be stricken from the Constitution. The efforts of the courts and their officials to bring the guilty to punishment, praiseworthy as they are, are not to
be aided by the sacrifice of those great principles established by years of endeavor and suffering which have resulted in their embodiment in the
fundamental law of the land.19
This view was, not only reiterated, but, also, broadened in subsequent decisions on the same Federal Court. 20After reviewing previous decisions thereon, said Court
held, in Mapp vs. Ohio (supra.):
. . . Today we once again examine the Wolf's constitutional documentation of the right of privacy free from unreasonable state intrusion, and after its
dozen years on our books, are led by it to close the only courtroom door remaining open to evidence secured by official lawlessness in flagrant abuse of
that basic right, reserved to all persons as a specific guarantee against that very same unlawful conduct. We hold that all evidence obtained by searches
and seizures in violation of the Constitution is, by that same authority, inadmissible in a State.
Since the Fourth Amendment's right of privacy has been declared enforceable against the States through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth, it is
enforceable against them by the same sanction of exclusion as it used against the Federal Government. Were it otherwise, then just as without the Weeks
rule the assurance against unreasonable federal searches and seizures would be "a form of words," valueless and underserving of mention in a perpetual
charter of inestimable human liberties, so too, without that rule the freedom from state invasions of privacy would be so ephemeral and so neatly severed
from its conceptual nexus with the freedom from all brutish means of coercing evidence as not to permit this Court's high regard as a freedom "implicit in
the concept of ordered liberty." At the time that the Court held in Wolf that the amendment was applicable to the States through the Due Process Clause,
the cases of this Court as we have seen, had steadfastly held that as to federal officers the Fourth Amendment included the exclusion of the evidence
seized in violation of its provisions. Even Wolf "stoutly adhered" to that proposition. The right to when conceded operatively enforceable against the
States, was not susceptible of destruction by avulsion of the sanction upon which its protection and enjoyment had always been deemed dependent under
the Boyd, Weeks and Silverthorne Cases. Therefore, in extending the substantive protections of due process to all constitutionally unreasonable searches
state or federal it was logically and constitutionally necessarily that the exclusion doctrine an essential part of the right to privacy be also
insisted upon as an essential ingredient of the right newly recognized by the Wolf Case. In short, the admission of the new constitutional Right by Wolf
could not tolerate denial of its most important constitutional privilege, namely, the exclusion of the evidence which an accused had been forced to give by
reason of the unlawful seizure. To hold otherwise is to grant the right but in reality to withhold its privilege and enjoyment. Only last year the Court itself
recognized that the purpose of the exclusionary rule to "is to deter to compel respect for the constitutional guaranty in the only effectively available way
by removing the incentive to disregard it" . . . .
The ignoble shortcut to conviction left open to the State tends to destroy the entire system of constitutional restraints on which the liberties of the people
rest. Having once recognized that the right to privacy embodied in the Fourth Amendment is enforceable against the States, and that the right to be secure
against rude invasions of privacy by state officers is, therefore constitutional in origin, we can no longer permit that right to remain an empty promise.
Because it is enforceable in the same manner and to like effect as other basic rights secured by its Due Process Clause, we can no longer permit it to be
revocable at the whim of any police officer who, in the name of law enforcement itself, chooses to suspend its enjoyment. Our decision, founded on reason
and truth, gives to the individual no more than that which the Constitution guarantees him to the police officer no less than that to which honest law
enforcement is entitled, and, to the courts, that judicial integrity so necessary in the true administration of justice. (emphasis ours.)
Indeed, the non-exclusionary rule is contrary, not only to the letter, but also, to the spirit of the constitutional injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures.
To be sure, if the applicant for a search warrant has competent evidence to establish probable cause of the commission of a given crime by the party against whom
the warrant is intended, then there is no reason why the applicant should not comply with the requirements of the fundamental law. Upon the other hand, if he has no
such competent evidence, then it is not possible for the Judge to find that there is probable cause, and, hence, no justification for the issuance of the warrant. The

only possible explanation (not justification) for its issuance is the necessity of fishing evidence of the commission of a crime. But, then, this fishing expedition is
indicative of the absence of evidence to establish a probable cause.
Moreover, the theory that the criminal prosecution of those who secure an illegal search warrant and/or make unreasonable searches or seizures would suffice to
protect the constitutional guarantee under consideration, overlooks the fact that violations thereof are, in general, committed By agents of the party in power, for,
certainly, those belonging to the minority could not possibly abuse a power they do not have. Regardless of the handicap under which the minority usually but,
understandably finds itself in prosecuting agents of the majority, one must not lose sight of the fact that the psychological and moral effect of the possibility 21 of
securing their conviction, is watered down by the pardoning power of the party for whose benefit the illegality had been committed.
In their Motion for Reconsideration and Amendment of the Resolution of this Court dated June 29, 1962, petitioners allege that Rooms Nos. 81 and 91 of Carmen
Apartments, House No. 2008, Dewey Boulevard, House No. 1436, Colorado Street, and Room No. 304 of the Army-Navy Club, should be included among the
premises considered in said Resolution as residences of herein petitioners, Harry S. Stonehill, Robert P. Brook, John J. Brooks and Karl Beck, respectively, and that,
furthermore, the records, papers and other effects seized in the offices of the corporations above referred to include personal belongings of said petitioners and other
effects under their exclusive possession and control, for the exclusion of which they have a standing under the latest rulings of the federal courts of federal courts of
the United States. 22
We note, however, that petitioners' theory, regarding their alleged possession of and control over the aforementioned records, papers and effects, and the alleged
"personal" nature thereof, has Been Advanced, notin their petition or amended petition herein, but in the Motion for Reconsideration and Amendment of the
Resolution of June 29, 1962. In other words, said theory would appear to be readjustment of that followed in said petitions, to suit the approach intimated in the
Resolution sought to be reconsidered and amended. Then, too, some of the affidavits or copies of alleged affidavits attached to said motion for reconsideration, or
submitted in support thereof, contain either inconsistent allegations, or allegations inconsistent with the theory now advanced by petitioners herein.
Upon the other hand, we are not satisfied that the allegations of said petitions said motion for reconsideration, and the contents of the aforementioned affidavits and
other papers submitted in support of said motion, have sufficiently established the facts or conditions contemplated in the cases relied upon by the petitioners; to
warrant application of the views therein expressed, should we agree thereto. At any rate, we do not deem it necessary to express our opinion thereon, it being best to
leave the matter open for determination in appropriate cases in the future.
We hold, therefore, that the doctrine adopted in the Moncado case must be, as it is hereby, abandoned; that the warrants for the search of three (3) residences of
herein petitioners, as specified in the Resolution of June 29, 1962, are null and void; that the searches and seizures therein made are illegal; that the writ of
preliminary injunction heretofore issued, in connection with the documents, papers and other effects thus seized in said residences of herein petitioners is hereby
made permanent; that the writs prayed for are granted, insofar as the documents, papers and other effects so seized in the aforementioned residences are
concerned; that the aforementioned motion for Reconsideration and Amendment should be, as it is hereby, denied; and that the petition herein is dismissed and the
writs prayed for denied, as regards the documents, papers and other effects seized in the twenty-nine (29) places, offices and other premises enumerated in the
same Resolution, without special pronouncement as to costs.
MAXIMO V. SOLIVEN, ANTONIO V. ROCES, FREDERICK K. AGCAOLI, and GODOFREDO L. MANZANAS vs. THE HON. RAMON P. MAKASIAR, Presiding
Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 35, UNDERSECRETARY SILVESTRE BELLO III, of the Department of Justice, LUIS C. VICTOR, THE
CITY FISCAL OF MANILA and PRESIDENT CORAZON C. AQUINO, respondents.
G.R. No. 82585 November 14, 1988
PER CURIAM:
FACTS: In these consolidated cases, three principal issues were raised: (1) whether or not petitioners were denied due process when informations for libel were
filed against them although the finding of the existence of a prima facie case was still under review by the Secretary of Justice and, subsequently, by the President;
(2) whether or not the constitutional rights of Beltran were violated when respondent RTC judge issued a warrant for his arrest without personally examining the
complainant and the witnesses, if any, to determine probable cause; and (3) whether or not the President of the Philippines, under the Constitution, may initiate
criminal proceedings against the petitioners through the filing of a complaint-affidavit.
Subsequent events have rendered the first issue moot and academic. It may also be added that with respect to petitioner Beltran, the allegation of denial
of due process of law in the preliminary investigation is negated by the fact that instead of submitting his counter- affidavits, he filed a "Motion to Declare Proceedings
Closed," in effect waiving his right to refute the complaint by filing counter-affidavits. Due process of law does not require that the respondent in a criminal case
actually file his counter-affidavits before the preliminary investigation is deemed completed.
The second issue, raised by petitioner Beltran, calls for an interpretation of the constitutional provision on the issuance of warrants of arrest. The pertinent
provision reads:
Art. III, Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of
whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be
determined personally by the judge after examination nder oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly
describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
The addition of the word "personally" after the word "determined" and the deletion of the grant of authority by the 1973 Constitution to issue warrants to
"other responsible officers as may be authorized by law," has apparently convinced petitioner Beltran that the Constitution now requires the judge to personally
examine the complainant and his witnesses in his determination of probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest. This is not an accurate interpretation.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners interpretation of Art. III, Sec. 2 is correct
HELD: No. What the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy himself of the existence of probable cause.
In satisfying himself of the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, the judge is not required to personally examine the complainant and
his witnesses. Following established doctrine and procedure, he shall: (1) personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the fiscal
regarding the existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest; or (2) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, he may
disregard the fiscal's report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of probable
cause.
Sound policy dictates this procedure, otherwise judges would be unduly laden with the preliminary examination and investigation of criminal complaints
instead of concentrating on hearing and deciding cases filed before their courts.
The Supreme Court unanimously adopted Circular No. 12, setting down guidelines for the issuance of warrants of arrest. The procedure therein provided
is reiterated and clarified in this resolution.
It has not been shown that respondent judge has deviated from the prescribed procedure. Thus, with regard to the issuance of the warrants of arrest, a
finding of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction cannot be sustained.

Anent the third issue, petitioner Beltran argues that "the reasons which necessitate presidential immunity from suit impose a correlative disability to file
suit." He contends that if criminal proceedings ensue by virtue of the President's filing of her complaint-affidavit, she may subsequently have to be a witness for the
prosecution, bringing her under the trial court's jurisdiction. This, continues Beltran, would in an indirect way defeat her privilege of immunity from suit, as by testifying
on the witness stand, she would be exposing herself to possible contempt of court or perjury.
The rationale for the grant to the President of the privilege of immunity from suit is to assure the exercise of Presidential duties and functions free from any
hindrance or distraction, considering that being the Chief Executive of the Government is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office holder's time, also demands
undivided attention.
But this privilege of immunity from suit, pertains to the President by virtue of the office and may be invoked only by the holder of the office; not by any
other person in the President's behalf. Moreover, there is nothing in our laws that would prevent the President from waiving the privilege. Thus, if so minded the
President may shed the protection afforded by the privilege and submit to the court's jurisdiction. The choice of whether to exercise the privilege or to waive it is
solely the President's prerogative. It is a decision that cannot be assumed and imposed by any other person.
As regards the contention of petitioner Beltran that he could not be held liable for libel because of the privileged character or the publication, the Court
reiterates that it is not a trier of facts and that such a defense is best left to the trial court to appreciate after receiving the evidence of the parties.
As to petitioner Beltran's claim that to allow the libel case to proceed would produce a "chilling effect" on press freedom, the Court finds no basis at this
stage to rule on the point.
NICOMEDES SILVA @ " Comedes", MARLON SILVA, @ "Tama" and ANTONIETA SILVA, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL
TRIAL COURT OF NEGROS ORIENTAL, BRANCH XXXIII, DUMAGUETE CITY, respondent.
G.R. No. 81756 October 21, 1991
FERNAN, C.J.:
FACTS: M/Sgt. Ranulfo Villamor, Jr., as chief of the PC Narcom Detachment in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, filed an "Application for Search Warrant" with the
RTC Dumaguete City against petitioners Nicomedes Silva and Marlon Silva.This application was accompanied by a "Deposition of Witness" executed by Pfc. Arthur
M. Alcoran and Pat. Leon T. Quindo.
On the same day. Judge Nickarter A. Ontal, then Presiding Judge issued Search Warrant No. 1, directing the aforesaid police officers to search the room
of Marlon Silva in the residence of Nicomedes Silva for violation of RA No. 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. Pertinent portions of Search
Warrant No. 1 read as follows:
It appearing to the satisfaction of the undersigned after examining oath (sic) MSGT. Ranulfo T. Villamor, Jr. and his witnesses (sic) Pfc. Arthur
M. Alcoran and Pat. Leon T. Quindo that there is probable cause to believe that possession and control of Marijuana dried leaves, cigarettes, joint has
been committed or is about to be committed and that there are good and sufficient reasons to believe that marijuana dried leaves, cigarettes, joint has in
possession and/or control at Tama's Room (Rgt. side lst Floor) located at Nono-Limbaga Drive, Tanjay, Neg. Or. which is/are:
X (Subject of the offense stated above
(Stolen or embezzled or other proceeds of fruits of the offense;
X (Used or intended to be used as means of committing an offense.
You are hereby commanded to make an immediate search at any time of the day (night) of the room of Tama Silva residence of his father
Comedes Silva to open (sic) aparadors, lockers, cabinets, cartoons, containers, forthwith seize and take possession of the following property
Marijuana dried leaves, cigarettes, joint and bring the said property to the undersigned to be dealt with as the law directs.
In the course of the search, the serving officers also seized money belonging to Antonieta Silva in the amount of P1,231.40.
On June 16, 1986, Antonieta Silva filed a motion for the return of the said amount on the grounds that the search warrant only authorized the serving
officers to seize marijuana dried leaves, cigarettes and joint, and that said officers failed or refused to make a return of the said search warrant in gross violation of
Section 11, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court.
Acting on said motion, Judge Ontal stated that the court "holds in abeyance the disposition of the said amount of P1,231.40 pending the filing of
appropriate charges in connection with the search warrant." Petitioners then filed a motion to quash Search Warrant No. 1 on the grounds that (1) it was issued on
the sole basis of a mimeographed "Application for Search Warrant" and "Deposition of Witness", which were accomplished by merely filling in the blanks and (2) the
judge failed to personally examine the complainant and witnesses by searching questions and answers in violation of Section 3, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court.
Respondent trial court, through Judge Cruz, who, by then, had replaced retired Judge Ontal, issued an Order denying the motion for lack of merit. A
motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners was likewise denied.
Hence, this special civil action for certiorari.
ISSUE: whether the issuance of Search Warrant No. 1 was tainted with illegality
HELD: Yes. We rule for petitioners.
Section 2, Article III (Bill of Rights) of the 1987 Constitution guarantees the right to personal liberty and security of homes against unreasonable searches and
seizures. This section provides:
Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of
whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to
be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and
particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
The purpose of the constitutional provision against unlawful searches and seizures is to prevent violations of private security in person and property, and unlawful
invasion of the sanctity of the home, by officers of the law acting under legislative or judicial sanction, and to give remedy against such usurpations when
attempted. 8
Thus, Sections 3 and 4, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court provide for the requisites for the issuance of a search warrant, to wit:
SEC. 3. Requisite for issuing search warrant. A search warrant shall not issue but upon probable cause in connection with one specific
offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may
produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized.
SEC. 4. Examination of complainant; record. The judge must, before issuing the warrant, personally examine in the form of searching
questions and answers, in writing and under oath the complainant and any witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and
attach to the record their sworn statements together with any affidavits submitted.

Based on the aforecited constitutional and statutory provisions, the judge must, before issuing a search warrant, determine whether there is probable cause by
examining the complainant and witnesses through searching questions and answers.
In the case of Prudente vs. Dayrit, G.R. No. 82870, December 14, 1989, 180 SCRA 69, 767 this Court defined "probable cause" as follows:
The "probable cause" for a valid search warrant, has been defined "as such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet
and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed, and that objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought
to be searched". This probable cause must be shown to be within the personal knowledge of the complainant or the witnesses he may produce
and not based on mere hearsay.
In the case at bar, we have carefully examined the questioned search warrant as well as the "Application for Search Warrant" and "Deposition of Witness", and found
that Judge Ontal failed to comply with the legal requirement that he must examine the applicant and his witnesses in the form of searching questions and answers in
order to determine the existence of probable cause. The joint "Deposition of Witness" executed by Pfc. Alcoran and Pat. Quindo, which was submitted together with
the "Application for Search Warrant" contained, for the most part suggestive questions answerable by merely placing "yes" or "no" in the blanks provided thereon. In
fact there were only four (4) questions asked, to wit:
Q Do you personally know M/Sgt. Ranulfo Villamor, Jr. the applicant for a search warrant?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you have personal knowledge that the said premises subject of the offense stated above, and other proceeds of
fruit of the offense, used or obtain (sic) or intended to be used as means of committing an offense?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you know personally who is/are the person who has/have the property in his/their possession and control?
A Yes, sir.
Q How did you know all this (sic) things?
A Through discreet surveillance. 9
The above deposition did not only contain leading questions but it was also very broad. The questions propounded to the witnesses were in fact, not probing but were
merely routinary. The deposition was already mimeogragphed and all that the witnesses had to do was fill in their answers on the blanks provided.
In the case of Nolasco vs. Pao, G.R. No. 69803, October 8, 1985, 139 SCRA 152, 163, this Court held:
The "probable cause" required to justify the issuance of a search warrant comprehends such facts and circumstances as will induce a cautious
man to rely upon them and act in pursuant thereof. Of the 8 questions asked, the 1st, 2nd and 4th pertain to identity. The 3rd and 5th are
leading not searching questions. The 6th, 7th and 8th refer to the description of the personalities to be seized, which is identical to that in the
Search Warrant and suffers from the same lack of particularity. The examination conducted was general in nature and merely repetitious of the
deposition of said witness. Mere generalization will not suffice and does not satisfy the requirements or probable cause upon which a warrant
may issue.
Likewise, in the Prudente case cited earlier, this Court declared the search warrant issued as invalid due to the failure of the judge to examine the witness in the form
of searching questions and answers. Pertinent portion of the decision reads:
Moreover, a perusal of the deposition of P/Lt. Florencio Angeles shows that it was too brief and short. Respondent Judge did not examine him
"in the form of searching questions and answers". On the contrary, the questions asked were leading as they called for a simple "yes" or "no"
answer. As held in Quintero vs. NBI,"the questions propounded by respondent Executive Judge to the applicant's witness' are not sufficiently
searching to establish probable cause. Asking of leading questions to the deponent in an application for search warrant, and conducting of
examination in a general manner, would not satisfy the requirements for issuance of a valid search warrant. 10
Thus, in issuing a search warrant, the judge must strictly comply with the constitutional and statutory requirement that he must determine the existence of probable
cause by personally examining the applicant and his witnesses in the form of searching questions and answers. His failure to comply with this requirement constitutes
grave abuse of discretion. As declared in Marcelo vs. De Guzman, G.R. No. L-29077, June 29, 1982, 114 SCRA 657, "the capricious disregard by the judge in not
complying with the requirements before issuance of search warrants constitutes abuse of discretion".
The officers implementing the search warrant clearly abused their authority when they seized the money of Antonieta Silva. This is highly irregular considering that
Antonieta Silva was not even named as one of the respondents, that the warrant did not indicate the seizure of money but only of marijuana leaves, cigarettes and
joints, and that the search warrant was issued for the seizure of personal property (a) subject of the offense and (b) used or intended to be used as means of
committing an offense and NOT for personal property stolen or embezzled or other proceeds of fruits of the offense. Thus, the then presiding Judge Ontal likewise
abused his discretion when he rejected the motion of petitioner Antonieta Silva seeking the return of her seized money.
WHEREFORE, the petition is granted. Search Warrant No. 1 is hereby declared null and void. Respondent Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Negros Oriental,
Branch XXXIII is directed to order the return to petitioner Antonieta Silva of the amount of P1,231.40 which had earlier been seized from her by virtue of the illegal
search warrant. This decision is immediately executory. No costs.
ESTEBAN MORANO, CHAN SAU WAH and FU YAN FUN, petitioners-appellants, vs. HON. MARTINIANO VIVO in his capacity as Acting Commissioner of
Immigration, respondent-appellant.
G.R. No. L-22196
June 30, 1967
SANCHEZ, J.:
FACTS: Chan Sau Wah, a Chinese citizen born in Fukien, China on January 6, 1932, arrived in the Philippines on November 23, 1961 to visit her cousin, Samuel
Lee Malaps. She left in mainland China two of her children by a first marriage: Fu Tse Haw and Fu Yan Kai With her was Fu Yan Fun, her minor son also by the first
marriage, born in Hongkong on September 11, 1957.
Chan Sau Wah and her minor son Fu Yan Fun were permitted only into the Philippines under a temporary visitor's visa for two (2) months and after they
posted a cash bond of P4,000.00. On January 24, 1962, Chan Sau Wah married Esteban Morano, a native-born Filipino citizen. Born to this union on September 16,
1962 was Esteban Morano, Jr.
To prolong their stay in the Philippines, Chan Sau Wah and Fu Yan Fun obtained several extensions. The last extension expired on September 10, 1962.
The Commissioner of Immigration ordered Chan Sau Wah and her son, Fu Yan Fun, to leave the country on or before September 10, 1962 with a warning
that upon failure so to do, he will issue a warrant for their arrest and will cause the confiscation of their bond.
Instead of leaving the country Chan Sau Wah (with her husband Esteban Morano) and Fu Yan Fun petitioned the CFI of Manila for mandamus to compel
the Commissioner of Immigration to cancel petitioners' Alien Certificates of Registration; prohibition to stop the Commissioner from issuing a warrant for their arrest,
and preliminary injunction to restrain the Commissioner from confiscating their cash bond and from issuing warrants of arrest pending resolution of this case. The trial
court issued the writ of preliminary injunction prayed for. After trial and the stipulations of facts filed by the parties, the CFI rendered judgment granting this petition

for Mandamus and Prohibition with respect to petitioner CHAN SAU WAH, Dismissing this petition with respect to petitioner FU YAN FUN, Denying, for lack of merit,
the prayer to declare Sec. 37 (a) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 unconstitutional.
ISSUE: whether the constitutional guarantee set forth in Section 1 (3), Article III of the Constitution requiring that the issue of probable cause be determined by a
judge extends to deportation proceedings.
HELD: No.
We will deal with the claims of both appellants in their proper sequence.
1. The Solicitor General's brief assails the trial court's declaration that Chan Sau Wah is a citizen of the Philippines. The court a quo took the position that "Chan Sau
Wah became, by virtue of, and upon, her marriage to Esteban Morano, a natural-born Filipino, a Filipino citizen.2
Placed to the fore is paragraph 1, Section 15 of Commonwealth Act 473 [Revised Naturalization Act], which reads:
Sec. 15. Effect of the naturalization on wife children. Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married to a citizen of the Philippines, and who might
herself be lawfully naturalized shall be deemed a citizen of the Philippines.
To apply this provision, two requisites must concur: (a) valid marriage of an alien woman to a citizen of the Philippines and (b) the alien woman herself might be
lawfully naturalized.
We may concede that the first requisite has been properly met. The validity of the marriage is presumed.
But can the same be said of the second requisite? This question by all means is not new. In a series of cases, this Court has declared that the marriage of an alien
woman to a Filipino citizen does not ipso facto make her a Filipino citizen. She must satisfactorily show that she has all the qualifications and none of the
disqualifications required by the Naturalization Law.3 Ly Giok Ha alias Wy Giok Ha et al. vs. Emilio Galang, L-21332, March 18, 1966,* clearly writes down the
philosophy behind the rule in the following expressive language, viz:
Reflection will reveal why this must be so. The qualifications prescribed under section 2 of the Naturalization Act, and the disqualifications enumerated in
its section 4, are not mutually exclusive; and if all that were to be required is that the wife of a Filipino be not disqualified under section 4, the result might
well be that citizenship would be conferred upon persons in violation of the policy of the statute. For example, section 4 disqualifies only
"(c) Polygamists or believers in the practice of polygamy; and
(b) Persons convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude,"
so that a blackmailer, or a maintainer of gambling or bawdy houses, not previously convicted by a competent court, would not be thereby disqualified; still
it is certain that the law did not intend such a person to, be admitted as a citizen in view of the requirement of section 2 that an applicant for citizenship
"must be of good moral character."
Similarly, the citizen's wife might be a convinced believer in racial supremacy, in government by certain selected classes, in the right to vote exclusively by
certain "herrenvolk," and thus disbelieve in the principles underlying the Philippine Constitution; yet she would not be disqualified under section 4, as long
as she is not "opposed to organized government," nor affiliated to groups "upholding or teaching doctrines opposing all organized governments," nor
"defending or teaching the necessity or propriety of violence, personal assault or assassination for the success or predominance of their ideas." Et sic de
caeteris.
Upon the principle of selective citizenship, we cannot afford to depart from the wise precept affirmed and reaffirmed in the cases heretofore noted.
In the additional stipulation of facts of July 3, 1963, petitioners admit that Chan Sau Wah is not possessed of all the qualifications required by the Naturalization Law.
Because of all these we are left under no doubt that petitioner Chan Sau Wah did not become a Filipino citizen.
2. Squarely put in issue by petitioners is the constitutionality of Section 37 (a) of the Immigration Act of 1940, which reads:
Sec. 37. (a) The following aliens shall be arrested upon the warrant of the Commissioner of Immigration or of any other officer designated by him for the
purpose and deported upon the warrant of the Commissioner of Immigration after a determination by the Board of Commissioners of the existence of the
ground for deportation as charged against the alien:
xxx
xxx
xxx
(7) Any alien who remains in the Philippines in violation of any limitation or condition under which he was admitted as a nonimmigrant.
Petitioners argue that the legal precept just quoted trenches upon the constitutional mandate in Section 1 (3), Article III [Bill of Rights] of the Constitution, to wit:
(3) The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated,
and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and
the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
They say that the Constitution limits to judges the authority to issue warrants of arrest and that the legislative delegation of such power to the Commissioner of
Immigration is thus violative of the Bill of Rights.
Section 1 (3), Article III of the Constitution, we perceive, does not require judicial intervention in the execution of a final order of deportation issued in accordance with
law. The constitutional limitation contemplates an order of arrest in the exercise of judicial power4 as a step preliminary or incidental to prosecution or proceedings for
a given offense or administrative action, not as a measure indispensable to carry out a valid decision by a competent official, such as a legal order of deportation,
issued by the Commissioner of Immigration, in pursuance of a valid legislation.
The following from American Jurisprudence,5 is illuminating:
It is thoroughly established that Congress has power to order the deportation of aliens whose presence in the country it deems hurtful. Owing to the nature
of the proceeding, the deportation of an alien who is found in this country in violation of law is not a deprivation of liberty without due process of law. This
is so, although the inquiry devolves upon executive officers, and their findings of fact, after a fair though summary hearing, are made conclusive.
xxx
xxx
xxx
The determination of the propriety of deportation is not a prosecution for, or a conviction of, crime; nor is the deportation a punishment, even though the
facts underlying the decision may constitute a crime under local law. The proceeding is in effect simply a refusal by the government to harbor persons
whom it does not want. The coincidence of local penal law with the policy of Congress is purely accidental, and, though supported by the same facts, a
criminal prosecution and a proceeding for deportation are separate and independent.
In consequence, the constitutional guarantee set forth in Section 1 (3), Article III of the Constitution aforesaid, requiring that the issue of probable cause be
determined by a judge, does not extend to deportation proceedings.6
The view we here express finds support in the discussions during the constitutional convention. The convention recognized, as sanctioned by due process,
possibilities and cases of deprivation of liberty, other than by order of a competent court.7
Indeed, the power to deport or expel aliens is an attribute of sovereignty. Such power is planted on the "accepted maxim of international law, that every sovereign
nation has the power, as inherent in sovereignty, and essential to self-preservation, to forbid the entrance of foreigners within its dominions."8 So it is, that this Court
once aptly remarked that there can be no controversy on the fact that where aliens are admitted as temporary visitors, "the law is to the effect that temporary visitors

who do not depart upon the expiration of the period of stay granted them are subject to deportation by the Commissioner of Immigration, for having violated the
limitation or condition under which they were admitted as non-immigrants (Immigration Law, Sec. 37 (a), subsection (7); C.A. 613, as amended)."9
And, in a case directly in point, where the power of the Commissioner to issue warrants of arrest was challengedas unconstitutional, because "such power is only
vested in a judge by Section 1, paragraph 3, Article III of our Constitution," this Court declared
This argument overlooks the fact that the stay of appellant Ng Hua To as temporary visitor is subject to certain contractual stipulations as contained in the
cash bond put up by him, among them, that in case of breach the Commissioner may require the recommitment of the person in whose favor the bond has
been filed. The Commissioner did nothing but to enforce such condition. Such a step is necessary to enable the Commissioner to prepare the ground for
his deportation under section 37 (a) of Commonwealth Act 613. A contrary interpretation would render such power nugatory to the detriment of the State.10
It is in this context that we rule that Section 37 (a) of the Immigration Act of 1940 is not constitutionally proscribed.
3. A sequel to the questions just discussed is the second error set forth in the government's brief. The Solicitor General balks at the lower court's ruling that petitioner
Chan Sau Wah is entitled to permanent residence in the Philippines without first complying with the requirements of Sections 9 and 13 of the Immigration Act of 1940,
as amended by Republic Act 503.
We first go to the law, viz:
SEC. 9 [last paragraph]
An alien who is admitted as a nonimmigrant cannot remain in the Philippines permanently. To obtain permanent admission, a nonimmigrant alien must
depart voluntarily to some foreign country and procure from the appropriate Philippine consul the proper visa and thereafter undergo examination by the
officers of the Bureau of Immigration at a Philippine port of entry for determination of his admissibility in accordance with the requirements of this Act.
SEC. 13. Under the conditions set forth in this Act there may be admitted into the Philippines immigrants, termed "quota immigrants" not in excess of fifty
(50) of any one nationality or without nationality for any one calendar year, except that the following immigrants, termed "nonquota immigrants," maybe
admitted without regard to such numerical limitations.
The corresponding Philippine Consular representative abroad shall investigate and certify the eligibility of a quota immigrant previous to his admission into
the Philippines. Qualified and desirable aliens who are in the Philippines under temporary stay may be admitted within the quota, subject to the provisions
of the last paragraph of section 9 of this Act.
(a) The wife or the husband or the unmarried child under twenty-one years of age of a Philippine citizen, if accompanying or following to join such citizen;
(b) A child of alien parents born during the temporary visit abroad of the mother, the mother having been previously lawfully admitted into the Philippine for
permanent residence, if the child is accompanying or coming to join a parent and applies for admission within five years from the date of its birth;
Concededly, Chan Sau Wah entered the Philippines on a tourist-temporary visitor's visa. She is a non-immigrant. Under Section 13 just quoted, she may therefore be
admitted if she were a qualified and desirable alien and subject to the provisions of the last paragraph of Section 9. Therefore, first, she must depart voluntarily to
some foreign country; second, she must procure from the appropriate consul the proper visa; and third, she must thereafter undergo examination by the officials of
the Bureau of Immigration at the port of entry for determination of her admissibility in accordance with the requirements of the immigration Act.
This Court in a number of cases has ruled, and consistently too, that an alien admitted as a temporary visitor cannot change his or her status without first departing
from the country and complying with the requirements of Section 9 of the Immigration Act. 11
The gravamen of petitioners' argument is that Chan Sau Wah has, since her entry, married in Manila a native-born Filipino, Esteban Morano. It will not particularly
help analysis for petitioners to appeal to family solidarity in an effort to thwart her deportation. Chan Sau Wah, seemingly is not one who has a high regard for such
solidarity. Proof: She left two of her children by the first marriage, both minors, in the care of neighbors in Fukien, China.
Then, the wording of the statute heretofore adverted to is a forbidding obstacle which will prevent this Court from writing into the law an additional provision that
marriage of a temporary alien visitor to a Filipino would ipso factomake her a permanent resident in his country. This is a field closed to judicial action. No breadth of
discretion is allowed us. We cannot insulate her from the State's power of deportation.
Really, it would be an easy matter for an alien woman to enter the Philippines as a temporary visitor, go through a mock marriage, but actually live with another man
as husband and wife, and thereby skirt the provisions of our immigration law. Also, a woman of undesirable character may enter this country, ply a pernicious trade,
marry a Filipino, and again throw overboard Sections 9 and 13 of the Act. Such a flanking movement, we are confident, is impermissible.
Recently we confirmed the rule that an alien wife of a Filipino may not stay permanently without first departing from the Philippines. Reason: Discourage entry under
false pretenses. 12
The ruling of the trial court on this score should be reversed.
4. It is petitioners' turn to point as error the dismissal of the petition for mandamus and prohibition with respect to petitioner Fu Yan Fun.
Petitioners' line of thought is this: Fu Yan Fun follows the citizenship of his mother. They cite Section 15, paragraph 3, Commonwealth Act 473, which says that:
A foreign-born minor child, if dwelling in the Philippines at the time of the naturalization of the parent, shall automatically become a Philippine citizen. . . .
Petitioners' position is based on the assumption that Chan Sau Wah, the mother, is a Filipino citizen. We have held that she is not. At best, Fu Yan Fun is a step-son
of Esteban Morano, husband of Chan Sau Wah. A step-son is not a foreign-born child of the step-father. The word child, we are certain, means legitimate child, not a
step-child. We are not wanting in precedents. Thus, when the Constitution provides that "[t]hose whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines" are citizens
thereof, 13 the fundamental charter intends "those" to apply to legitimate children. 14 In another case, the term "minor children" or "minor child" in Section 15 of the
Revised Naturalization Law refers only to legitimate children of Filipino citizens. This Court, thru Mr. Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, there said: 15
It is claimed that the phrases "minor children" and "minor child," used in these provisions, include adopted children. The argument is predicated upon the
theory that an adopted child is, for all intents and purposes, a legitimate child. Whenever, the word "children" or "child" is used in statutes, it is generally
understood, however, to refer to legitimate children, unless the context of the law and its spirit indicate clearly the contrary. Thus, for instance, when the
Constitution provides that "those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines," and "those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines" who shall elect
Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority, are citizens of the Philippines (Article IV, Section 1, subdivisions [3] and [4]), our fundamental law
clearly refers to legitimate children (Chiongbian vs. De Leon, 46 Off. Gaz., 3652-3654; Serra v. Republic, L-4223, May 12, 1952).
At any rate, Fu Yan Fun entered the Philippines as a temporary visitor. The status of a temporary visitor cannot be converted into, that of a permanent resident, as
we have heretofore held, without first complying with Section 9 of the Immigration Law.
5. Petitioners finally aver that the lower court erred in authorizing respondent Commissioner to forfeit the bond filed by petitioners Chan Sau Wah and Fu Yan Fun in
the amount of P4,000.00.
Here is petitioners' posture. They enjoyed their stay in the Philippines upon a bond. Now they come to court and say that as the prescribed form of this bond was not
expressly approved by the Secretary of Justice in accordance with Section 3 of Commonwealth Act 613, which reads
SEC. 3. . . . He [Commissioner of Immigration] shall issue, subject to the approval of the Department Head, such rules and regulations and prescribes
such forms of bond, reports, and other papers, and shall issue from time to time such instruction, not inconsistent with law, as he shall deem best
calculated to carry out the provisions of the immigration laws. . . .
that bond is void.
Reasons there are which prevent us from giving our imprimatur to this argument.

The provision requiring official approval of a bond is merely directory. "Irregularity or entire failure in this respect does not affect the validity of the bond. 16 The reason
for the rule, is found in 9 C.J., p. 26 (footnote), which reads:
(a) Reason for rule. "Statutes requiring bonds to be approved by certain officials are not for the purpose of protecting the obligors in the bond, but are aimed to
protect the public, to insure their solvency, and to create evidence of an unimpeachable character of the fact of their execution. When they are executed for a legal
purpose, before a proper tribunal, and are in fact accepted and approved by the officer or body, whose duty it was to approve them, it could serve no useful purpose
of the law to hold them invalid, to release all the obligors thereon, and to defeat every purpose of its execution, simply because the fact of approval was not indorsed
precisely as had been directed by the Legislature." American Book Co. vs. Wells, 83 SW 622, 627, 26 Ky L-1159. (emphasis supplied)
And another. This bond was accepted by the government. It had been there. The form of the bond here used is of long continued usage. If the government did not
question the form of the bond at all, then we must assume that it counted with the Secretary's approval. For the presumption is that official duty has been legally
performed.
Surely enough, equitable considerations will stop petitioners from pleading invalidity of the bond. They offered that bond to enable them to enter and stay in this
country. They enjoyed benefits therefrom. They cannot, "in law, and good conscience, be allowed to reap the fruits" of that bond, and then jettison the same. They
are "precluded from attacking the validity" of such bond. 17
Actually, to petitioners the bond was good while they sought entry into the Philippines; they offered it as security for the undertaking; that they "will actually depart
from the Philippines" when their term of stay expires. Now that the bond is being confiscated because they overstayed, they make an about-face and say that such
bond is null and void. They shall not profit from this inconsistent position. Their bond should be confiscated.
Conformably to the foregoing, the judgment under review is hereby modified as follows:
(1) The portion thereof which reads:
(a) Granting their petition for Mandamus and Prohibition with respect to petitioner CHAN SAU WAH, who is hereby declared a citizen of the Philippines;
ordering the respondent to cancel her Alien Certificate of Registration and other immigration papers, upon the payment of proper dues; and declaring
preliminary injunction with respect to her permanent, prohibiting the respondent, his representatives or subordinates from arresting and/or deporting said
petitioner;
is hereby reversed: and, in consequence
The petition for mandamus and prohibition with respect to petitioner Chan Sau Wah is hereby denied; and the judgment declaring her a citizen of the Philippines,
directing respondent to cancel her Alien Certificate of Registration and other immigration papers, and declaring the preliminary injunction with respect to her
permanent, are all hereby set aside; and
(2) In all other respects, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed.