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MAGALLONA v. ERMITA, G.R.

187167, August 16, 2011


Facts:
In 1961, Congress passed R.A. 3046 demarcating the maritime baselines of the Philippines as an Archepelagic
State pursuant to UNCLOS I of 9158, codifying the sovereignty of State parties over their territorial sea. Then in
1968, it was amended by R.A. 5446, correcting some errors in R.A. 3046 reserving the drawing of baselines
around Sabah.
In 2009, it was again amended by R.A. 9522, to be compliant with the UNCLOS III of 1984. The requirements
complied with are: to shorten one baseline, to optimize the location of some basepoints and classify KIG and
Scarborough Shoal as regime of islands.
Petitioner now assails the constitutionality of the law for three main reasons:
1. it reduces the Philippine maritime territory under Article 1;
2. it opens the countrys waters to innocent and sea lanes passages hence undermining our sovereignty and
security; and
3. treating KIG and Scarborough as regime of islands would weaken our claim over those territories.
Issue: Whether R.A. 9522 is constitutional?
Ruling:
1. UNCLOS III has nothing to do with acquisition or loss of territory. it is just a codified norm that regulates
conduct of States. On the other hand, RA 9522 is a baseline law to mark out basepoints along coasts, serving as
geographic starting points to measure. it merely notices the international community of the scope of our maritime
space.
2. If passages is the issue, domestically, the legislature can enact legislation designating routes within the
archipelagic waters to regulate innocent and sea lanes passages. but in the absence of such, international law
norms operate.
the fact that for archipelagic states, their waters are subject to both passages does not place them in lesser footing
vis a vis continental coastal states. Moreover, RIOP is a customary international law, no modern state can invoke
its sovereignty to forbid such passage.
3. On the KIG issue, RA 9522 merely followed the basepoints mapped by RA 3046 and in fact, it increased the
Phils. total maritime space. Moreover, the itself commits the Phils. continues claim of sovereignty and
jurisdiction over KIG.
If not, it would be a breach to 2 provisions of the UNCLOS III:
Art. 47 (3): drawing of basepoints shall not depart to any appreciable extent from the general configuration of the
archipelago.
Art 47 (2): the length of baselines shall not exceed 100 mm.
KIG and SS are far from our baselines, if we draw to include them, well breach the rules: that it should follow the
natural configuration of the archipelago.

Govt of the Phil. Islands vs. Monte de Piedad


FACTS:
On June 3, 1863, a devastating earthquake in the Philippines took place. The Spanish dominions
provided $400,000 aid as received by the National Treasury as relief of the victims of the earthquake.
The government used the money as such but $80,000 was left untouched and was thus invested to
Monte de Piedad bank, which was in turn invested as jewelries, equivalent to the same amount.
In June 1983, the Department of Finance called upon the same bank to return the $80,000 deposited
from before. The Monte de Piedad declined to comply with this order on the ground that the GovernorGeneral of the Philippine Islands and not the Department of Finance had the right to order the
reimbursement because the Philippine government is not the affected party. On account of various
petitions of the persons, the Philippine Islands brought a suit against Monte de Piedad for a recovery of
the $80,000 together with interest, for the benefit of those persons and their heirs. Respondent refuse to
provide the money, hence, this appeal.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the Philippine government is authorized to file a reimbursement of the money of the
people deposited in respondent bank.
HELD:
The Court held that the Philippine government is competent to file a complaint/reimbursement against
respondent bank in accordance to the Doctrine of Parens Patriae. The government is the sole protector
of the rights of the people thus, it holds an inherent supreme power to enforce laws which promote
public interest. The government has the right to "take back" the money intended fro people. The
government has the right to enforce all charities of public nature, by virtue of its general
superintending authority over the public interests, where no other person is entrusted with it.
Appellate court decision was affirmed. Petition was thereby GRANTED. The Court ordered that
respondent bank return the amount to the rightful heirs with interest in gold or coin in Philippine peso.
Constitutional Law 1: State Functions / Concept of State (Textbook: Cruz, Professor: Atty. Usita)

Cabanas vs. Pilapil


FACTS:
Florentino Pilapil insured himself and he indicated in his insurance plan that his child will be his
beneficiary. He also indicated that if upon his death the child is still a minor; the proceeds of his
benefits shall be administered by his brother, FranciscoPilapil. The child was only ten years of age
when Florentino died and so Franciscothen took charge of Florentinos insurance proceeds for the
benefit of the child.
On the other hand, the mother of the child Melchora Cabanas filed a complaint seeking the delivery of
the insurance proceeds in favor and for her to be declared as the childs trustee. Francisco asserted the
terms of the insurance policy and that as a private contract its terms and obligations must be binding
only to the parties and intended beneficiaries.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the state may interfere by virtue of parens patriae to the terms of the insurance
policy.
HELD:
Yes. The Constitution provides for the strengthening of the family as the basic social unit, and that
whenever any member thereof such as in the case at bar would be prejudiced and his interest be
affected then the judiciary if a litigation has been filed should resolve that case according to the best
interest of that person. The uncle here should not be the trustee, it should be the mother as she was the
immediate relative of the minor child and it is assumed that the mother shall show more care towards
the child than the uncle will. The application of parens patriae here is in consonance with this
countrys tradition of favoring conflicts in favor of the family hence preference to the parent (mother)
is observed.
LAWYERS LEAGUE FOR A BETTER PHILIPPINES vs. AQUINO
(G.R. No. 73748 - May 22, 1986)
-----------------------(There is no "Full-Text" of this case. This is a Minute Resolution made by the SC.)
Minute Resolutions
EN BANC
[G.R. No. 73748, May 22, 1986]
LAWYERS LEAGUE FOR A BETTER PHILIPPINES AND/OR OLIVER A. LOZANO VS.
PRESIDENT CORAZON C. AQUINO, ET AL.
SIRS/MESDAMES:
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court MAY 22, 1986.

In G.R. No. 73748, Lawyers League for a Better Philippines vs. President Corazon C. Aquino, et al.;
G.R. No. 73972, People's Crusade for Supremacy of the Constitution vs. Mrs. Cory Aquino, et al., and
G.R. No. 73990, Councilor Clifton U. Ganay vs. Corazon C. Aquino, et al., the legitimacy of the
government of President Aquino is questioned. It is claimed that her government is illegal because it
was not established pursuant to the 1973 Constitution.
As early as April 10, 1986, this Court* had already voted to dismiss the petitions for the reasons to be
stated below. On April 17, 1986, Atty. Lozano as counsel for the petitioners in G.R. Nos. 73748 and
73972 withdrew the petitions and manifested that they would pursue the question by extra-judicial
methods. The withdrawal is functus oficio.
The three petitions obviously are not impressed with merit. Petitioners have no personality to sue and
their petitions state no cause of action. For the legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable
matter. It belongs to the realm of politics where only the people of the Philippines are the judge. And
the people have made the judgment; they have accepted the government of President Corazon C.
Aquino which is in effective control of the entire country so that it is not merely a de factogovernment
but is in fact and law a de jure government. Moreover, the community of nations has recognized the
legitimacy of the present government. All the eleven members of this Court, as reorganized, have
sworn to uphold the fundamental law of the Republic under her government.
In view of the foregoing, the petitions are hereby dismissed.
Very truly yours,
(Sgd.) GLORIA C. PARAS
Clerk of Court
* The Court was then composed of Teehankee, C.J. and Abad Santos., Melencio-Herrera, Plana,
Escolin, Gutierrez, Jr., Cuevas, Alampay and Patajo, JJ.-----------------------------------------DIGEST
FACTS:
On February 25, 1986, President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation No. 1 announcing that she and
Vice President Laurel were taking power.
On March 25, 1986, proclamation No.3 was issued providing the basis of the Aquino government
assumption of power by stating that the "new government was installed through a direct exercise of the
power of the Filipino people assisted by units of the New Armed Forces of the Philippines."
ISSUE:
Whether or not the government of Corazon Aquino is legitimate.
HELD:
Yes. The legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter but belongs to the realm of
politics where only the people are the judge.
The Court further held that:
The people have accepted the Aquino government which is in effective control of the entire country;

It is not merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure government; and
The community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the new government.
People vs Perfecto
Macariola vs Asuncion

BAYAN v. ZAMORA
Facts:
The United States panel met with the Philippine panel to discussed, among others, the possible
elements of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). This resulted to a series of conferences and
negotiations which culminated on January 12 and 13, 1998. Thereafter, President Fidel Ramos
approved the VFA, which was respectively signed by Secretary Siazon and United States Ambassador
Thomas Hubbard.
Pres. Joseph Estrada ratified the VFA on October 5, 1998 and on May 27, 1999, the senate approved it
by (2/3) votes.
Cause of Action:
Petitioners, among others, assert that Sec. 25, Art XVIII of the 1987 constitution is applicable and not
Section 21, Article VII.
Following the argument of the petitioner, under they provision cited, the foreign military bases,
troops, or facilities may be allowed in the Philippines unless the following conditions are sufficiently
met:
a) it must be a treaty,
b) it must be duly concurred in by the senate, ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a national
referendum held for that purpose if so required by congress, and
c) recognized as such by the other contracting state.
Respondents, on the other hand, argue that Section 21 Article VII is applicable so that, what is requires
for such treaty to be valid and effective is the concurrence in by at least two-thirds of all the members
of the senate.
ISSUE:
Is the VFA governed by the provisions of Section 21, Art VII or of Section 25, Article XVIII of the
Constitution?
HELD:
Section 25, Article XVIII, which specifically deals with treaties involving foreign military bases,
troops or facilities should apply in the instant case. To a certain extent and in a limited sense, however,
the provisions of section 21, Article VII will find applicability with regard to the issue and for the sole
purpose of determining the number of votes required to obtain the valid concurrence of the senate.
The Constitution, makes no distinction between transient and permanent. We find nothing in
section 25, Article XVIII that requires foreign troops or facilities to be stationed or placed permanently
in the Philippines.
It is inconsequential whether the United States treats the VFA only as an executive agreement because,
under international law, an executive agreement is as binding as a treaty.