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G.R. No.

88211 September 15, 1989
(PHILCONSA), represented by its President, CONRADO F.
ESTRELLA, petitioners,
DE VILLA, in their capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs,
Executive Secretary, Secretary of Justice, Immigration
Commissioner, Secretary of National Defense and Chief of Staff,
respectively, respondents.

Before the Court is a contreversy of grave national importance. While
ostensibly only legal issues are involved, the Court's decision in this case
would undeniably have a profound effect on the political, economic and
other aspects of national life.
We recall that in February 1986, Ferdinand E. Marcos was deposed from the
presidency via the non-violent "people power" revolution and forced into
exile. In his stead, Corazon C. Aquino was declared President of the
Republic under a revolutionary government. Her ascension to and
consilidation of power have not been unchallenged. The failed Manila Hotel
coup in 1986 led by political leaders of Mr. Marcos, the takeover of
television station Channel 7 by rebel troops led by Col. Canlas with the
support of "Marcos loyalists" and the unseccessful plot of the Marcos
spouses to surreptitiously return from Hawii with mercenaries aboard an
aircraft chartered by a Lebanese arms dealer [Manila Bulletin, January 30,
1987] awakened the nation to the capacity of the Marcoses to stir trouble
even from afar and to the fanaticism and blind loyalty of their followers in
the country. The ratification of the 1987 Constitution enshrined the victory
of "people power" and also clearly reinforced the constitutional moorings of
Mrs. Aquino's presidency. This did not, however, stop bloody challenges to
the government. On August 28, 1987, Col. Gregorio Honasan, one of the
major players in the February Revolution, led a failed coup that left scores
of people, both combatants and civilians, dead. There were several other
armed sorties of lesser significance, but the message they conveyed was
the same — a split in the ranks of the military establishment that
thraetened civilian supremacy over military and brought to the fore the
realization that civilian government could be at the mercy of a fractious

But the armed threats to the Government were not only found in
misguided elements and among rabid followers of Mr. Marcos. There are
also the communist insurgency and the seccessionist movement in
Mindanao which gained ground during the rule of Mr. Marcos, to the extent
that the communists have set up a parallel government of their own on the
areas they effectively control while the separatist are virtually free to move
about in armed bands. There has been no let up on this groups'
determination to wrest power from the govermnent. Not only through
resort to arms but also to through the use of propaganda have they been
successful in dreating chaos and destabilizing the country.
Nor are the woes of the Republic purely political. The accumulated foreign
debt and the plunder of the nation attributed to Mr. Marcos and his cronies
left the economy devastated. The efforts at economic recovery, three years
after Mrs. Aquino assumed office, have yet to show concrete results in
alleviating the poverty of the masses, while the recovery of the ill-gotten
wealth of the Marcoses has remained elusive.
Now, Mr. Marcos, in his deathbed, has signified his wish to return to the
Philipppines to die. But Mrs. Aquino, considering the dire consequences to
the nation of his return at a time when the stability of government is
threatened from various directions and the economy is just beginning to
rise and move forward, has stood firmly on the decision to bar the return of
Mr. Marcos and his family.
The Petition
This case is unique. It should not create a precedent, for the case of a
dictator forced out of office and into exile after causing twenty years of
political, economic and social havoc in the country and who within the
short space of three years seeks to return, is in a class by itself.
This petition for mandamus and prohibition asks the Courts to order the
respondents to issue travel documents to Mr. Marcos and the immediate
members of his family and to enjoin the implementation of the President's
decision to bar their return to the Philippines.
The Issue
Th issue is basically one of power: whether or not, in the exercise of the
powers granted by the Constitution, the President may prohibit the
Marcoses from returning to the Philippines.
According to the petitioners, the resolution of the case would depend on
the resolution of the following issues:
1. Does the President have the power to bar the return of
former President Marcos and family to the Philippines?

2) Everyone shall be free to leave any country. or property without due process of law.a. Assuming that she has made that finding (1) Have the requirements of due process been complied with in making such finding? (2) Has there been prior notice to petitioners? (3) Has there been a hearing? (4) Assuming that notice and hearing may be dispensed with. which had been ratified by the Philippines. including his own. in the interest of "national security. nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence. or public health a political question? d. Marcos and his family to return to the Philippines is guaranteed. have respondents established such fact? 3. pp. . been made known to petitioners so that they may controvert the same? c. or in excess of jurisdiction. within that territory." Nor may the President impair their right to travel because no law has authorized her to do so. pp. acted and would be acting without jurisdiction. Is this a political question? 2. or public health. Is the President's determination that the return of former President Marcos and his family to the Philippines is a clear and present danger to national security. including his own. xxx xxx xxx Section 6. 234-236. in performing any act which would effectively bar the return of former President Marcos and his family to the Philippines? [Memorandum for Petitioners. No person shall be deprived of life. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. and to return to his country. has the President's decision. The petitioners further assert that under international law. Likewise. public safety or public health a. public safety. They advance the view that before the right to travel may be impaired by any authority or agency of the government. therefore. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. public safety or public health? b. The petitioners contend that the President is without power to impair the liberty of abode of the Marcoses because only a court may do so "within the limits prescribed by law. in implementing the President's decision to bar the return of former President Marcos and his family. the right of Mr. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country. Rollo. there must be legislation to that effect. 5-7. or with grave abuse of discretion. Assuming that the Court may inquire as to whether the return of former President Marcos and his family is a clear and present danger to national security. provides: Article 12 1) Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall. to wit: Section 1. Assuming that the President has the power to bar former President Marcos and his family from returning to the Philippines. as may be provided by law. liberty. Has the President made a finding that the return of former President Marcos and his family to the Philippines is a clear and present danger to national security. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security. Have the respondents.1 The case for petitioners is founded on the assertion that the right of the Marcoses to return to the Philippines is guaranteed under the following provisions of the Bill of Rights. public safety. public safety. the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides: Article 13. or public health. including the grounds upon which it was based.

to wit: Section 4. pp. On the other hand. [Memorandum for Respondents. 4) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country. . or civil service. to wit: Do petitioners Ferdinand E. In support thereof. view this issue in a different light. Rollo. quoted in Memorandum for Respondents.3) The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law. [See Statement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Raul S. in the fulfillment thereof. Marcos and family have the right to return to the Philippines and reestablish their residence here? This is clearly a justiciable question which this Honorable Court can decide. all citizens may be required. Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez of El Salvador. Jorge Ubico of Guatemala. 314-319. Petitioners invoke these constitutional rights in vacuo without reference to attendant circumstances.] The parties are in agreement that the underlying issue is one of the scope of presidential power and its limits. Marcos and his family have the right to travel and liberty of abode. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people. Section 5. pp. military. Anastacio Somoza Jr. and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant. and Marcos Perez Jimenez of Venezuela were among the deposed dictators whose return to their homelands was prevented by their governments. they cite Article II of the Constitution. of Nicaragua. 116. We. The maintenance of peace and order. pp. Do petitioners Ferdinand E. 26-32. Respondents submit that in its proper formulation. Marcos and family impinge on or collide with the more primordial and transcendental right of the State to security and safety of its nationals. 101 SCt 2766. 78 SCt 1113. Rollo. Fulgencio batista of Cuba. public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others. Respondents also point out that the decision to ban Mr. and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy. Manglapus. we are not bound by its narrow confines in arriving at a solution to the controversy.S.] Respondents argue for the primacy of the right of the State to national security over individual rights. Dulles [357 U. the question involved is simply whether or not petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family have their right to return to the Philippines and reestablish their residence here even if their return and residence here will endanger national security and public safety? this is still a justiciable question which this Honorable Court can decide.S. King Farouk of Egypt. Is there danger to national security and public safety if petitioners Ferdinand E. Although we give due weight to the parties' formulation of the issues. however. According to the Solicitor General: As petitioners couch it. 280. Marcos and family shall return to the Philippines and establish their residence here? This is now a political question which this Honorable Court can not decide for it falls within the exclusive authority and competence of the President of the Philippines. pp. Supreme Court in the leading cases of Kent v. There are thus gradations to the question. 9-11. the question is not a political question as it involves merely a determination of what the law provides on the matter and application thereof to petitioners Ferdinand E. public order (order public). the question becomes political and this Honorable Court can not consider it. Marcos and family have the right to return to the Philippines and reside here at this time in the face of the determination by the President that such return and residence will endanger national security and public safety. the issue is whether or not petitioners Ferdinand E.S. It may be conceded that as formulated by petitioners. under conditions provided by law. But when the question is whether the two rights claimed by petitioners Ferdinand E. Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic. liberty. 2d 1204] and Haig v. to render personal. 297299. Marcos and family. The Government may call upon the people to defend the State and. we must state that it would not do to view the case within the confines of the right to travel and the import of the decisions of the U. the respondents' principal argument is that the issue in this case involves a political question which is non-justiciable. At the outset. and property. Marcos and family from returning to the Philippines for reasons of national security and public safety has international precedents. the protection of life. 2 L Ed. are necessary to protect national security. Agee [453 U.

it does not define what is meant by executive power" although in the same article it touches on the exercise of certain powers by the President. the right to leave a country. Then. it can equally be said of the executive power which is vested in one official the President. We shall first resolve whether or not the President has the power under the Constitution. Electoral Commission. a totally distinct right under international law. Sec. 139 (1936)]. against being "arbitrarily deprived" thereof [Art. the power to submit the budget to Congress. 11. 2d 640) which affirmed the right to travel and recognized exceptions to the exercise thereof. The issue before the Court is novel and without precedent in Philippine. allotment of power to the executive. and even in American jurisprudence. 11. The right to return to one's country is not among the rights specifically guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Sec. commutations and pardons. Section 1. An appropriate case for its resolution will have to be awaited. public health or morals or enter qqqs own country" of which one cannot be "arbitrarily deprived. and "[te judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law" [Art. 2 of the Constitution. As stated above. 12(2)] which rights may be restricted by such laws as "are necessary to protect national security. the Covenant guarantees the "right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence" [Art." [Art. Sec. to bar the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines.1 Thus. It must be emphasized that the individual right involved is not the right to travel from the Philippines to other countries or within the Philippines." [At 631-632. which treats only of the liberty of abode and the right to travel. The inevitable question then arises: by enumerating certain powers of the President did the framers of the Constitution intend that the President shall exercise those specific powers and no other? Are these se enumerated .1 If this can be said of the legislative power which is exercised by two chambers with a combined membership of more than two hundred members and of the judicial power which is vested in a hierarchy of courts. whether or not the President acted arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she determined that the return of the Marcose's to the Philippines poses a serious threat to national interest and welfare and decided to bar their return. public order.69 L Ed. the appointing power. and the right to enter one's country as separate and distinct rights. Consequently. 13(l)] separately from the "right to leave any country. including his own. However. as a generally accepted principle of international law and. the legislative and the judicial departments of the government. including his own. we shall determine. VII. Electoral Commission [63 Phil. i.] It would therefore be inappropriate to construe the limitations to the right to return to one's country in the same context as those pertaining to the liberty of abode and the right to travel. i. independent from although related to the right to travel. 626 (1910)] pointed out "a grant of the legislative power means a grant of all legislative power. and the power to address Congress [Art. 12(4). supra] but also confer plenary legislative. Cabangis [15 Phil. To recall the words of Justice Laurel in Angara v.] On the other hand. executive and judicial powers subject only to limitations provided in the Constitution." [Art. These are what the right to travel would normally connote. it is distinct and separate from the right to travel and enjoys a different protection under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. 14-23]. the power to enter into treaties or international agreements. Thus.] Thus.] These provisions not only establish a separation of powers by actual division [Angara v. the rulings in the cases Kent and Haig which refer to the issuance of passports for the purpose of effectively exercising the right to travel are not determinative of this case and are only tangentially material insofar as they relate to a conflict between executive action and the exercise of a protected right. VII. "[t]he executive power shall bevested in the President of the Philippines" [Art.e. and to return to his country. 12(l)] and the right to "be free to leave any country. VIII. the right involved is the right to return to one's country. 1]. II. pursuant to the express power of the Court under the Constitution in Article VIII. and a grant of the judicial power means a grant of all the judicial power which may be exercised under the government. respectively. the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of Congress." [Art. the power to execute the laws. "the Constitution has blocked but with deft strokes and in bold lines. 13(2). The Declaration speaks of the "right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state" [Art. the Universal Declaration of Humans Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights treat the right to freedom of movement and abode within the territory of a state. under our Constitution. Essentially. Our resolution of the issue will involve a two-tiered approach. Executive Power The 1987 Constitution has fully restored the separation of powers of the three great branches of government. 12 (4)." [Art. the power to grant reprieves. the power to contract or guarantee foreign loans. Sec. VII. the power of control over all executive departments. the powers under the commander-in-chief clause. bureaus and offices. 1. Sec. the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that "[the legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines" Art VI. For as the Supreme Court inOcampo v..] However. we find now a need to explain the methodology for its resolution. resolution by the Court of the well-debated issue of whether or not there can be limitations on the right to travel in the absence of legislation to that effect is rendered unnecessary. Having clarified the substance of the legal issue. the Constitution provides that "[t]he executive power shall be vested in the President of the Philippines. but it is our well-considered view that the right to return may be considered. Sec.." [At 157.e. is part of the law of the land [Art.

his power over the country's foreign relations. To those who think that a constitution ought to settle everything beforehand it should be a nightmare.. and what is not enumerated is impliedly denied to her. to state that "executive power" is the power to enforce the laws. 189 (1928). of cas President. its impact on the constitutional order. 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. he concluded that "what the presidency is at any particular moment depends in important measure on who is President. . 4Rollo p. expectations. executive power is more than the sum of specific powers so enumerated. . his habits. It also grants the President other powers that do not involve the execution of any provision of law.S. it should be a vision realized. style. to those who think that constitution makers ought to leave considerable leeway for the future play of political forces.g. phobias recast the WhiteHouse and pervaded the entire government. the way each President understood it as his personal obligation to inform and involve the Congress.S. Each President's distinctive temperament and character. we hold the view that although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations on the exercise ofspecific powers of the President. an agency of government subject to unvarying demands and duties no remained.S. in the landmark decision of Springer v. [At 212.] Reviewing how the powers of the U. It has been advanced that whatever power inherent in the government that is neither legislative nor judicial has to be executive. however. [The President: Office and Powers. the President became even more powerful. Aquino says it is or what she does but. in his monumental volume on the President of the United States grappled with the same problem. his values.] We do not say that the presidency is what Mrs. the powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only to the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution.] This view is shared by Schlesinger who wrote in The Imperial Presidency: For the American Presidency was a peculiarly personal institution. are not charged with the performance of any legislative functions or with the doing of anything which is in aid of performance of any such functions by the legislature. it maintains intact what is traditionally considered as within the scope of "executive power. e. p. brought back the presidential system of government and restored the separation of legislative. more than most agencies of government. executive and judicial powers by their actual distribution among three distinct branches of government with provision for checks and balances. to the point that he was also the de facto Legislature. Thus. 277 U. said: . they assert: "The President has enumerated powers." [At 30. Presidency after which ours is legally patterned.. 233. rather. on the issue of who between the Governor-General of the Philippines and the Legislature may vote the shares of stock held by the Government to elect directors in the National Coal Company and the Philippine National Bank." .. The 1973 Constitution attempted to modify the system of government into the parliamentary type. therefore altered from President to President. President. We encounter this characteristic of Article 11 in its opening words: "The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. however. . compulsions. by the same token. Above all. Government of the Philippine Islands.213. In other words. standards. pp. to earn and hold the confidence of the electorate and to render an accounting to the nation and posterity determined whether he strengthened or weakened the constitutional order.. Thus.Here the members of the legislature who constitute a majority of the "board" and "committee" respectively. said Clark Clifford." Corollarily. The executive branch. it remained of course. The thrust of the office. that the consideration of tradition and the development of presidential power under the different constitutions are essential for a complete understanding of the extent of and limitations to the President's powers under the 1987 Constitution.S. but through numerous amendments. But. The 1935 Constitution created a strong President with explicitly broader powers than the U. 3-4. Idiosyncrasies.** Corwin.1 This argument brings to mind the institution of the U. intensity and ethos according to the man in charge. was a chameleon. On these premises. President were exercised by the different persons who held the office from Washington to the early 1900's. Furthermore. It would not be accurate. it changed shape. The 1987 Constitution. and the swing from the presidency by commission to Lincoln's dictatorship. Supreme Court. in upholding the power of the Governor-General to do so. taking its color from the character and personality of the President. Inclusion unius est exclusio alterius[Memorandum for Petitioners. 17871957. the U.S.powers the breadth and scope of "executive power"? Petitioners advance the view that the President's powers are limited to those specifically enumerated in the 1987 Constitution. with the President as a mere figurehead. the Constitution itself provides that the execution of the laws is only one of the powers of the President. He said: Article II is the most loosely drawn chapter of the Constitution.

which I am far from believing that it is.R. Nos. Wide discretion. among other things. lest the officers of the Government exercising the powers delegated by the people forget and the servants of the people become rulers. Thus. For in making the President commander-in-chief the enumeration . It also may be viewed as a power implicit in the President's duty to take care that the laws are faithfully executed [see Hyman. Sec.. this case calls for the exercise of the President's powers as protector of the peace. in fulfilling presidential duties in times of peace is not in any way diminished by the relative want of an emergency specified in the commander-in-chief provision. II. It must be borne in mind that the Constitution. the problem is one of balancing the general welfare and the common good against the exercise of rights of certain individuals. promote their welfare and advance the national interest. the President has to consider these principles. or from another point of view. and adhere to them.] To the President. October 7. The President is not only clothed with extraordinary powers in times of emergency. For the exercise of even the preferred freedoms of speech and ofexpression. the Constitution reminds everyone that "[s]overeignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.] The resolution of the problem is made difficult because the persons who seek to return to the country are the deposed dictator and his family at whose door the travails of the country are laid and from whom billions of dollars believed to be ill-gotten wealth are sought to be recovered.] Admittedly. and property. the President is. it is clear that they are not legislative in character. in the exercise of presidential functions. were it ever so desirable to do so. G. as steward of the people. 1981. But in his enduring words of dissent we find reinforcement for the view that it would indeed be a folly to construe the powers of a branch of government to embrace only what are specifically mentioned in the Constitution: The great ordinances of the Constitution do not establish and divide fields of black and white. To paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt.[At 202-203. The constitutional guarantees they invoke are neither absolute nor inflexible. and the promotion of the general welfare are essentially ideals to guide governmental action. aside from being an allocation of power is also a social contract whereby the people have surrendered their sovereign powers to the State for the common good. liberty. Secs. admits of limits and must be adjusted to the requirements of equally important public interests [Zaldivar v. although couched in absolute terms. supra. the protection of life. More than that.. the President has the obligation under the Constitution to protect the people.Putting aside for the moment the question whether the duties devolved upon these members are vested by the Organic Act in the Governor-General.211. liberty and property." [Art. More particularly. Hence.The power of the President to keep the peace is not limited merely to exercising the commander-in-chief powers in times of emergency or to leading the State against external and internal threats to its existence. Faced with the problem of whether or not the time is right to allow the Marcoses to return to the Philippines. The American President.] We are not unmindful of Justice Holmes' strong dissent. constrained to consider these basic principles in arriving at a decision. It is a power borne by the President's duty to preserve and defend the Constitution. it is not only the power of the President but also his duty to do anything not forbidden by the Constitution or the laws that the needs of the nation demand [See Corwin. in drawing a plan of government. Emphasis supplied. 79690-707. service and protection of the people. 1. [At 210.. within the bounds of law. or that the Constitution requires. and in directing implementing action for these plans.. where the author advances the view that an allowance of discretionary power is unavoidable in any government and is best lodged in the President]. It is founded on the duty of the President. . in making any decision as President of the Republic.. under the Constitution.. Even the more specific of them are found to terminate in a penumbra shading gradually from one extreme to the other. and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy. the maintenance of peace and order. II. The fact that they do not fall within the authority of either of these two constitutes logical ground for concluding that they do fall within that of the remaining one among which the powers of government are divided . xxx xxx xxx It does not seem to need argument to show that however we may disguise it by veiling words we do not and cannot carry out the distinction between legislative and executive action with mathematical precision and divide the branches into watertight compartments. Sandiganbayan. The power involved is the President's residual power to protect the general welfare of the people. But such does not mean that they are empty words. Rossiter The American Presidency]. at 153]. but is also tasked with attending to the day-to-day problems of maintaining peace and order and ensuring domestic tranquility in times when no foreign foe appears on the horizon.the protection of life. and still more clear that they are not judicial.] The Power Involved The Constitution declares among the guiding principles that "[t]he prime duty of theGovernment is to serve and protect the people" and that "[t]he maintenance of peace and order. having sworn to defend and uphold the Constitution. 4 and 5." [Art.

and is manifested by the Resolution proposed in the House of Representatives and signed by 103 of its members urging the President to allow Mr. In that context. is not absolute. The present Constitution limits resort to the political question doctrine and broadens the scope of judicial inquiry into areas which the Court. December 11. The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission cited by petitioners show that the framers intended to widen the scope of judicial review but they did not intend courts of justice to settle all actual controversies before them. . for Congress or for the people themselves through a plebiscite or referendum. defining "judicial power." [House Resolution No. 1342. or to ascertain merely whether he has gone beyond the constitutional limits of his jurisdiction. What we are saying in effect is that the request or demand of the Marcoses to be allowed to return to the Philippines cannot be considered in the light solely of the constitutional provisions guaranteeing liberty of abode and the right to travel.R. However. such request or demand should submit to the exercise of a broader discretion on the part of the President to determine whether it must be granted or denied. in order to keep the peace." which specifically empowers the courts to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. the Executive is supreme within his own sphere. We cannot. rather. it goes hand in hand with the system of checks and balances. What is more. incorporates in the fundamental law the ruling in Lansang v. in this respect. Nor can we amend the Constitution under the guise of resolving a dispute brought before us because the power is reserved to the people. or acts. But nonetheless there remain issues beyond the Court's jurisdiction the determination of which is exclusively for the President. in turn. it would appear clear that the second paragraph of Article VIII. Sec. as regards the suspension of the privilege. but only if and when he acts within the sphere alloted to him by the Basic Law. and maintain public order and security. which. We cannot set aside a presidential pardon though it may appear to us that the beneficiary is totally undeserving of the grant. 42 SCRA 4481 that:] Article VII of the [1935] Constitution vests in the Executive the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus under specified conditions. VIII. question the President's recognition of a foreign government.] Accordingly. subject to certain exceptions. the Constitution limits the determination to whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the official whose action is being questioned. The Extent of Review Under the Constitution. There is nothing in the case before us that precludes our determination thereof on the political question doctrine. When political questions are involved. Section 1 of the Constitution. If grave abuse is not established.1 The Resolution does not question the President's power to bar the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines. no matter how premature or improvident such action may appear.of powers that follow cannot be said to exclude the President's exercising as Commander-in.Chief powers short of the calling of the armed forces. or suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or declaring martial law. L-33964. Rollo. If such postulates do exist. not to exercise the power vested in him or to determine the wisdom of his act [At 479-480. under previous constitutions. for example. would have normally left to the political departments to decide. is." [Art. 321. arbitrarily or that she has gravely abused her discretion in deciding to bar their return. the question for the Court to determine is whether or not there exist factual bases for the President to conclude that it was in the national interest to bar the return of the Marcoses to the Philippines. Pursuant to the principle of separation of powers underlying our system of government. under the Constitution. That the President has the power under the Constitution to bar the Marcose's from returning has been recognized by memembers of the Legislature. we cannot agree with the Solicitor General that the issue constitutes a political question which is beyond the jurisdiction of the Court to decide. It must be treated as a matter that is appropriately addressed to those residual unstated powers of the President which are implicit in and correlative to the paramount duty residing in that office to safeguard and protect general welfare. p. Garcia [G. the function of the Court is merely to check — not to supplant the Executive. 1971. 1] Given this wording. the Court will not substitute its judgment for that of the official concerned and decide a matter which by its nature or by law is for the latter alone to decide. it appeals to the President's sense of compassion to allow a man to come home to die in his country. Marcos to return to the Philippines "as a genuine unselfish gesture for true national reconciliation and as irrevocable proof of our collective adherence to uncompromising respect for human rights under the Constitution and our laws. the separation of powers. In this light. under which the Executive is supreme. it cannot be said that she has acted. or of case law which clearly never contemplated situations even remotely similar to the present one. and the authority to determine whether or not he has so acted is vested in the Judicial Department. In the exercise of such authority. No. constitutionally supreme. judicial power includes the duty to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.

the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED. that would be the time for the President to step in and exercise the commander-in-chief powers granted her by the Constitution to suppress or stamp out such violence. wherein petitioners and respondents were represented. acting through the Government. But it is the catalytic effect of the return of the Marcoses that may prove to be the proverbial final straw that would break the camel's back. cannot shirk from that responsibility. many of whom are still here in the Philippines in a position to destabilize the country. The military establishment has given assurances that it could handle the threats posed by particular groups. With these before her. from their oral arguments. there exist factual bases for the President's decision.We find that from the pleadings filed by the parties. WHEREFORE. As divergent and discordant forces. a separatist movement in Mindanao. is not precluded from taking pre. the murder with impunity of military men. the President cannot be said to have acted arbitrarily and capriciously and whimsically in determining that the return of the Marcoses poses a serious threat to the national interest and welfare and in prohibiting their return. We cannot also lose sight of the fact that the country is only now beginning to recover from the hardships brought about by the plunder of the economy attributed to the Marcoses and their close associates and relatives. to mention only a few. It will not do to argue that if the return of the Marcoses to the Philippines will cause the escalation of violence against the State. and the facts revealed during the briefing in chambers by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Security Adviser. The preservation of the State the fruition of the people's sovereignty is an obligation in the highest order.emptive action against threats to its existence if. sworn to preserve and defend the Constitution and to see the faithful execution the laws. as earlier narrated in this ponencia bolsters the conclusion that the return of the Marcoses at this time would only exacerbate and intensify the violence directed against the State and instigate more chaos. so to speak. and it being our well-considered opinion that the President did not act arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion in determining that the return of former President Marcos and his family at the present time and under present circumstances poses a serious threat to national interest and welfare and in prohibiting their return to the Philippines. in its efforts to recover the enormous wealth stashed away by the Marcoses in foreign jurisdictions. while the Government has barely scratched the surface. Protection of the people is the essence of the duty of government. rightist conspiracies to grab power. the enemies of the State may be contained. The President.. we cannot argue with that determination. which stifles and stagnates development and is one of the root causes of widespread poverty and all its attendant ills. We cannot ignore the continually increasing burden imposed on the economy by the excessive foreign borrowing during the Marcos regime. Then. The President has determined that the destabilization caused by the return of the Marcoses would wipe away the gains achieved during the past few years and lead to total economic collapse. The resulting precarious state of our economy is of common knowledge and is easily within the ambit of judicial notice. police officers and civilian officials. Given what is within our individual and common knowledge of the state of the economy. urban terrorism. SO ORDERED. . though still nascent they are perceived as apt to become serious and direct. The State. The documented history of the efforts of the Marcose's and their followers to destabilize the country. The Court cannot close its eyes to present realities and pretend that the country is not besieged from within by a well-organized communist insurgency.