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G.R. No.

L-13250 October 29, 1971

FACTS: In January 1955, Maria Cerdeira died in Tangier, Morocco (an international
zone [foreign country] in North Africa). At the time of her death, she was a Spanish
citizen and was a resident of Tangier. She however left some personal properties
(shares of stocks and other intangibles) in the Philippines. The designated
administrator of her estate here is Antonio Campos Rueda.
In the same year, the Collector of Internal Revenue (CIR) assessed the estate for
deficiency tax amounting to about P161k. Campos Rueda refused to pay the
assessed tax as he claimed that the estate is exempt from the payment of said
taxes pursuant to section 122 of the Tax Code which provides:
That no tax shall be collected under this Title in respect of intangible personal
property (a) if the decedent at the time of his death was a resident of a foreign
country which at the time of his death did not impose a transfer tax or death tax of
any character in respect of intangible person property of the Philippines not residing
in that foreign country, or (b) if the laws of the foreign country of which the
decedent was a resident at the time of his death allow a similar exemption from
transfer taxes or death taxes of every character in respect of intangible personal
property owned by citizens of the Philippines not residing in that foreign country.
Campos Rueda was able to prove that there is reciprocity between Tangier and the
However, the CIR still denied any tax exemption in favor of the estate as it averred
that Tangier is not a state as contemplated by Section 22 of the Tax Code and that
the Philippines does not recognize Tangier as a foreign country.
ISSUE: Whether or not Tangier is a state.
HELD: Yes. For purposes of the Tax Code, Tangier is a foreign country.
A foreign country to be identified as a state must be a politically organized
sovereign community independent of outside control bound by penalties of
nationhood, legally supreme within its territory, acting through a government
functioning under a regime of law. The stress is on its being a nation, its people
occupying a definite territory, politically organized, exercising by means of its
government its sovereign will over the individuals within it and maintaining its
separate international personality.
Further, the Supreme Court noted that there is already an existing jurisprudence
(Collector vs De Lara) which provides that even a tiny principality, that of
Liechtenstein, hardly an international personality in the sense, did fall under
the exempt category provided for in Section 22 of the Tax Code. Thus, recognition is
not necessary. Hence, since it was proven that Tangier provides such exemption to

personal properties of Filipinos found therein so must the Philippines honor the
exemption as provided for by our tax law with respect to the doctrine of reciprocity.

Suzette Nicolas vs Alberto Romulo

On the 1st of November 2005, Daniel Smith committed the crime of rape against
Nicole. He was convicted of the said crime and was ordered by the court to suffer
imprisonment. Smith was a US serviceman convicted of a crime against our penal
laws and the crime was committed within the countrys jurisdiction. But pursuant to
the VFA, a treaty between the US and Philippines, the US embassy was granted
custody over Smith. Nicole, together with the other petitioners appealed before the
SC assailing the validity of the VFA. Their contention is that the VFA was not ratified
by the US senate in the same way our senate ratified the VFA.
ISSUE: Is the VFA void and unconstitutional & whether or not it is self-executing.
HELD: The VFA is a self-executing Agreement because the parties intend its
provisions to be enforceable, precisely because the VFA is intended to carry out
obligations and undertakings under the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty. As a matter of
fact, the VFA has been implemented and executed, with the US faithfully complying
with its obligation to produce Smith before the court during the trial.
The VFA is covered by implementing legislation inasmuch as it is the very purpose
and intent of the US Congress that executive agreements registered under this Act
within 60 days from their ratification be immediately implemented. The SC noted
that the VFA is not like other treaties that need implementing legislation such as the
Vienna Convention. As regards the implementation of the RP-US Mutual Defense
Treaty, military aid or assistance has been given under it and this can only be done
through implementing legislation. The VFA itself is another form of implementation
of its provisions.