You are on page 1of 7

Javier vs COMELEC

Petitioner Javier and private respondent Pacificador, a member of the KBL under Marcos,
were rivals to be members of the Batasang Pambansa in May 1984 in Antique. During
election, Petitioner Javier complained of massive terrorism, intimidation, duress, votebuying, fraud, tampering and falsification of election returns under duress, threat and
intimidation, snatching of ballot boxes perpetrated by the armed men of Pacificador.
COMELEC just referred the complaints to the AFP.
On the same complaint, the 2nd Division of the Commission on Elections directed the
provincial board of canvassers of Antique to proceed with the canvass but to suspend the
proclamation of the winning candidate until further orders.
On June 7, 1984, the same 2nd Division ordered the board to immediately convene and to
proclaim the winner without prejudice to the outcome of the case before the Commission. On
certiorari before the SC, the proclamation made by the board of canvassers was set aside as
premature, having been made before the lapse of the 5-day period of appeal, which the Javier
had seasonably made. Javier pointed out that the irregularities of the election must first
be resolved before proclaiming a winner. Further, Opinion, one of the Commissioners
should inhibit himself as he was a former law partner of Pacificador. Also, the
proclamation was made by only the 2 nd Division but the Constitute requires that it be proclaimed
by the COMELEC en banc. In Feb 1986, during pendency, Javier was gunned down. The Solicitor
General then moved to have the petition close it being moot and academic by virtue of Javiers
ISSUE: Whether or not there had been due process in the proclamation of Pacificador.
The SC ruled in favor of Javier and has overruled the Sol-Gens tenor.
The SC has repeatedly and consistently demanded the cold neutrality of an
impartial judge as the indispensable imperative of due process. To bolster that
requirement, we have held that the judge must not only be impartial but must also appear
to be impartial as an added assurance to the parties that his decision will be just. The litigants
are entitled to no less than that. They should be sure that when their rights are violated they can
go to a judge who shall give them justice. They must trust the judge, otherwise they will not go
to him at all. They must believe in his sense of fairness, otherwise they will not seek his
judgment. Without such confidence, there would be no point in invoking his action for the justice
they expect.

Due process is intended to insure that confidence by requiring compliance with what
Justice Frankfurter calls the rudiments of fair play. Fair play calls for equal justice. There cannot
be equal justice where a suitor approaches a court already committed to the other party and with
a judgment already made and waiting only to be formalized after the litigants shall have
undergone the charade of a formal hearing. Judicial (and also extrajudicial) proceedings are not
orchestrated plays in which the parties are supposed to make the motions and reach the
denouement according to a prepared script. There is no writer to foreordain the ending. The
judge will reach his conclusions only after all the evidence is in and all the arguments are filed,
on the basis of the established facts and the pertinent law.

Central Bank vs BSP

On July 3, 1993, R.A. No. 7653 (the New Central Bank Act) took effect. It abolished the old
Central Bank of the Philippines, and created a new BSP.
On June 8 2001, petitioner Central Bank (now BSP) Employees Association Inc. filed a petition
against the Executive Secretary of the Office of the President to restrain BSP from implementing the
last proviso in Section 15 (i), Article II of RA 7653 which pertains to establishment of a Human resource
management system and a compensation structure as part of the authority of the Monetary Board.
Employees whose positions fall under Salary Grade 19 and below shall be in accordance with
the rates in the salary standardization act.
Petitioner contends that the classification is not reasonable, arbitrary and violates the equal
protection clause. The said proviso has been prejudicial to some 2994 rank- and file BSP employees.
Respondent on the other hand contends that the provision does not violate the equal protection
clause, provided that it is construed together with other provisions of the same law such as the
fiscal and administrative autonomy of the Bangko Sentral and the mandate of its monetary
The Solicitor General, as counsel of the Executive Secretary defends the provision, that the
classification of employees is based on real and actual differentiation and it adheres to the policy of RA
7653 to establish professionalism and excellence within the BSP subject to prevailing laws and policies of
the government.
Issue: Whether or not the contended proviso if RA 7653 violates the equal protection of laws, hence
Yes. The proviso is unconstitutional as it operates on the salary grade or the officer employee
status, it distinguishes between economic class and status with the higher salary grade recipients are of
greater benefit above the law than those of mandated by the Salary Standardization Act.
The constitutionality of a statute cannot, in every instance, be determined by a mere comparison of
its provisions with applicable provisions of the Constitution, since the statute may be constitutionally valid
as applied to one set of facts and invalid in its application to another.
A statute valid at one time may become void at another time because of altered circumstances. Thus, if
a statute in its practical operation becomes arbitrary or confiscatory, its validity, even though affirmed by
a former adjudication, is open to inquiry and investigation in the light of changed conditions.
Under most circumstances, the Court will exercise judicial restraint in deciding questions of
constitutionality, recognizing the broad discretion given to Congress in exercising its legislative power.
Judicial scrutiny would be based on the rational basis test, and the legislative discretion would
be given deferential treatment.
But if the challenge to the statute is premised on the denial of a fundamental right or the perpetuation
of prejudice against persons favored by the Constitution with special protection, judicial scrutiny ought to
be more strict. A weak and watered down view would call for the abdication of this Courts solemn duty to
strike down any law repugnant to the Constitution and the rights it enshrines. This is true whether the
actor committing the unconstitutional act is a private person or the government itself or one of its
instrumentalities. Oppressive acts will be struck down regardless of the character or nature of the actor.
In the case at bar, the challenged proviso operates on the basis of the salary grade or officer-employee
status. It is akin to a distinction based on economic class and status, with the higher grades as
recipients of a benefit specifically withheld from the lower grades. Officers of the BSP now receive
higher compensation packages that are competitive with the industry, while the poorer, low-salaried
employees are limited to the rates prescribed by the SSL.
The implications are quite disturbing: BSP rank-and-file employees are paid the strictly regimented
rates of the SSL while employees higher in rank - possessing higher and better education and opportunities
for career advancement - are given higher compensation packages to entice them to stay. Considering that
majority, if not all, the rank-and-file employees consist of people whose status and rank in life are less and

limited, especially in terms of job marketability, it is they - and not the officers - who have the real
economic and financial need for the adjustment This is in accord with the policy of the Constitution "to free
the people from poverty, provide adequate social services, extend to them a decent standard of living, and
improve the quality of life for all.
Any act of Congress that runs counter to this constitutional desideratum deserves strict
scrutiny by this Court before it can pass muster.
To be sure, the BSP rank-and-file employees merit greater concern from this Court. They represent the
more impotent rank-and-file government employees who, unlike employees in the private sector, have no
specific right to organize as a collective bargaining unit and negotiate for better terms and conditions of
employment, nor the power to hold a strike to protest unfair labor practices.
These BSP rank-and-file employees represent the politically powerless and they should not be
compelled to seek a political solution to their unequal and iniquitous treatment. Indeed, they have waited
for many years for the legislature to act. They cannot be asked to wait some more for discrimination
cannot be given any waiting time. Unless the equal protection clause of the Constitution is a mere
platitude, it is the Courts duty to save them from reasonless discrimination.
Agbayani obtained a loan amounting to P450 maturing on 1944 secured by a real estate mortgage.
1959- PNB instituted extra-judicial foreclosure proceedings. Agbayani countered alleging that the mortgage
sought to be foreclosed had long prescribed, fifteen years having elapsed from the date of maturity.
Defendant Bank in its answer prayed for the dismissal of the suit as even on plaintiff's own theory
the defense of prescription would not be available if the period from March 10, 1945, when
Executive Order No. 32 1 was issued, to July 26, 1948, when the subsequent legislative
act 2 extending the period of moratorium was declared invalid, were to be deducted from the
computation of the time during which the bank took no legal steps for the recovery of the loan.
Agbayani here obtained a favorable judgment in her suit against PNB enjoining the latter from
proceeding with an extra-judicial foreclosure sale of land belonging to Agbayani mortgaged to PNB to
secure a loan declared no longer enforceable, the prescriptive period having lapsed.
There was thus a failure to sustain the defense raised by PNB that if the moratorium under an
Executive Order and later an Act subsequently found unconstitutional were to be counted in the
computation, then the right to foreclose the mortgage was still subsisting.
Issue: What is the effect of a statute subsequently declared invalid.
The decision now on appeal reflects the orthodox view that an unconstitutional act, for that matter
an executive order or a municipal ordinance likewise suffering from that infirmity, cannot be the source of
any legal rights or duties. Nor can it justify any official act taken under it. Its repugnancy to the
fundamental law once judicially declared results in its being to all intents and purposes a mere scrap of
paper. As the new Civil Code puts it: "When the courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the
Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern. Administrative or executive acts, orders
and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws of the Constitution. 3 It is
understandable why it should be so, the Constitution being supreme and paramount. Any legislative or
executive act contrary to its terms cannot survive.
In the language of an American Supreme Court decision: "The actual existence of a statute, prior to
such a determination [of unconstitutionality], is an operative fact and may have consequences which
cannot justly be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. The effect of the

subsequent ruling as to invalidity may have to be considered in various aspects, with respect to particular
relations, individual and corporate, and particular conduct, private and official."
Such an approach all the more commends itself whenever police power legislation intended to
promote public welfare but adversely affecting property rights is involved. While subject to be assailed on
due process, equal protection and non-impairment grounds, all that is required to avoid the corrosion of
invalidity is that the rational basis or reasonableness test is satisfied. The legislature on the whole is not
likely to allow an enactment suffering, to paraphrase Cardozo, from the infirmity of out running the bounds
of reason and resulting in sheer oppression. It may be of course that if challenged, an adverse judgment
could be the result, as its running counter to the Constitution could still be shown. In the meanwhile
though, in the normal course of things, it has been acted upon by the public and accepted as
valid. To ignore such a fact would indeed be the fruitful parent of injustice. Moreover, as its
constitutionality is conditioned on its being fair or reasonable, which in turn is dependent on the actual
situation, never static but subject to change, a measure valid when enacted may subsequently, due to
altered circumstances, be stricken down.

That is precisely what happened in connection with Republic Act No. 342, the moratorium legislation, which
continued Executive Order No. 32, issued by the then President Osmea, suspending the enforcement of payment
of all debts and other monetary obligations payable by war sufferers.
Precisely though because of the judicial recognition that moratorium was a valid governmental response to the
plight of the debtors who were war sufferers, this Court has made clear its view in a series of cases impressive in
their number and unanimity that during the eight-year period that Executive Order No. 32 and Republic Act No. 342
were in force, prescription did not run.
The error of the lower court in sustaining plaintiff's suit is thus manifest. From July 19, 1944, when her loan matured,
to July 13, 1959, when extra-judicial foreclosure proceedings were started by appellant Bank, the time consumed is
six days short of fifteen years. The prescriptive period was tolled however, from March 10, 1945, the effectivity of
Executive Order No. 32, to May 18, 1953, when the decision of Rutter v. Esteban was promulgated, covering eight
years, two months and eight days. Obviously then, when resort was had extra-judicially to the foreclosure of the
mortgage obligation, there was time to spare before prescription could be availed of as a defense.

CIR vs San Roque

The primary issue in the three (3) consolidated cases involving San Roque Power, Taganito Mining
and Philex Mining decided last February 12, 2013 revolves around the proper period for filing the
judicial claim for refund or credit of creditable input tax. Under Section 112(A) and 112(C) of the
Tax Code, a taxpayer whose sales are zero-rated or effectively zero-rated can file his
administrative claim for refund or credit at anytime within two (2) years after the taxable quarter
when the sales were made and, after full or partial denial of the claim or failure of the
Commissioner to act on his application within 120 days from submission of the same, he may,
within 30 days from receipt of the decision denying the claim or after the expiration of the 120day period, file his judicial claim with the CTA.
These cases all involved the timely filing by the taxpayers of their administrative claims with the
Commissioner of Internal Revenue. However, San Roque and Taganito both prematurely filed
their judicial claims without waiting for the 120-day period (for the Commissioner to act on their
administrative claims) to lapse, whereas Philex was a case of late filing since it did not file its
judicial claim until after 426 days beyond the 120 + 30 day periods. Voting 9 to 6, the majority,
in a decision penned by Justice Carpio, denied tax refund or credit to San Roque and Philex, but
granted the same to Taganito.

The majority denied refund to San Roque on the basis, among others, that the waiting period for
filing a judicial claim is mandatory and jurisdictional and has been in the Tax Code for more than
15 years before San Roque filed its judicial claim in April 10, 2003 (barely 13 days after it filed its
administrative claim). The majority, however, granted refund to Taganito who, although like San
Roque filed its judicial claim without waiting for the 120-day period to lapse, was deemed to have
filed its judicial claim on time since it was filed on February 14, 2007 or after the issuance of BIR
Ruling No. DA-489-03 on December 10, 2003 (which states that the taxpayer need not wait for
the 120-day period to lapse before it could seek judicial relief with the CTA) but before the
October 6, 2010 Supreme Court (SC) decision in Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Aichi
Forging Company of Asia (reinstating the 120+30 day periods as mandatory and jurisdictional).
The majority held that since the Commissioner has exclusive and original jurisdiction to interpret
tax laws under Section 4 of the Tax Code, a taxpayer should not be prejudiced by an erroneous
interpretation by the Commissioner and, under Section 246, a reversal of a BIR ruling cannot
adversely prejudice a taxpayer like Taganito who in good faith relied on it prior to its reversal.
In denying Philexs judicial claim for refund filed on October 17, 2007, the majority ruled that the
inaction of the Commissioner during the 120-day period is a deemed denial and Philexs failure
to file an appeal within 30 days from the expiration of the 120-day period rendered the deemed
denial decision of the Commissioner final and inappealable.
In his dissenting opinion, J. Velasco, joined by J. Mendoza and J. Perlas-Bernabe, suggested that
the doctrine applicable to a claim for refund depends on the operative case and the prevailing
rulings and practices at the time of filing the claim. In San Roque, since both the administrative
and judicial claims were filed during the effectivity of RR 7-95 (which still applied the 2-year
prescriptive period to judicial claims), San Roque can claim good faith reliance on RR 7-95 and
the then prevailing practices of the BIR and CTA to believe that the 120 + 30-day periods are
dispensable so long as both administrative and judicial claims are filed within the 2-year period.
In denying refund to Taganito, however, the dissenter pointed out that Taganito cannot claim
reliance in good faith on RR 7-95 since it filed its judicial claim after November 1, 2005 when RR
16-2005 took effect and superseded RR 7-95 (including BIR Ruling No. DA-489-03 relied upon by
the majority in granting refund to Taganito and which this dissenter believed was a mere
application of RR 7-95), deleting the reference therein to the 2-year period for filing judicial
claims. Philex, on the other hand, filed its claim belatedly under both the superseded RR 7-95
and the effective RR 16-2005. This dissenter thus voted to grant refund to San Roque, but to
deny it to Taganito and Philex.
In his separate dissenting opinion, CJ Sereno, concurred with J. Velascos dissent in San Roque
and Philex but disagreed with the latters stand in Taganito since, at the time Taganito filed its
administrative and judicial claims for refund, the 2-year prescriptive period remained the
unreversed interpretation of the court. Thus, Taganito cannot be faulted for relying on court
interpretations even with the existence of RR 16-2005, and for preferring to abide by court
interpretations over mere administrative issuances as the latters validity is still subject to
judicial determination. This dissenter believed that the mandatory and jurisdictional nature of the
120+30 day periods was only definitely and categorically declared by the SC in Aichi on October
6, 2010 and should only be applied prospectively from that time, and that previous regard to the
120+30-day periods is an exceptional circumstance which warrants procedural liberality to
taxpayers who relied on such interpretations.
In his separate dissenting opinion, J. Leonen, joined by J. del Castillo, disagreed that SC
interpretations of the law take effect only prospectively, since the SCs duty is to construe and
not to make law, and its interpretation became part of the law from the date it was originally
passed. This dissenter further reminds us that an erroneous application of the law by public
officers does not preclude a subsequent correct application of the statute, and the Government is
never estopped by mistake or error on the part of its agents. Accordingly, while the
Commissioner is given power and authority to interpret tax laws, it cannot legislate guidelines

contrary to the law it is tasked to implement. Hence its interpretation is not conclusive and will
be ignored if judicially found to be erroneous. And while concededly any reversal of any BIR
ruling cannot adversely prejudice a taxpayer who in good faith relied on it prior to its reversal, if
it is patently clear that the ruling is contrary to the text itself, there can be no reliance in good
faith. Further, that it is the duty of the lawyers of private parties to best discern the acceptable
interpretation of legal text and, in doing so, they take the risk that the SC will rule otherwise,
especially if the text of the law as in this case is very clear. This dissenter thus voted to deny
refund to all three taxpayers.