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-EN BANC

b. The Highest Bidder must execute the Stock Purchase and
Sale Agreement with GSIS x x x x
K. DECLARATION OF THE WINNING BIDDER/STRATEGIC PARTNER -

[G.R. No. 122156. February 3, 1997]

The Highest Bidder will be declared the Winning Bidder/Strategic Partner
after the following conditions are met:
a. Execution of the necessary contracts with GSIS/MHC not
later than October 23, 1995 (reset to November 3, 1995); and

MANILA PRINCE HOTEL, petitioner, vs. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM,
MANILA HOTEL CORPORATION, COMMITTEE ON PRIVATIZATION and OFFICE OF
THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATE COUNSEL, respondents.
DECISION
BELLOSILLO, J.:
The Filipino First Policy enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, i.e., in the grant of rights,
privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall give
preference to qualified Filipinos,1 is invoked by petitioner in its bid to acquire 51% of the shares of
the Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC) which owns the historic Manila Hotel. Opposing, respondents
maintain that the provision is not self-executing but requires an implementing legislation for its
enforcement. Corollarily, they ask whether the 51% shares form part of the national economy and
patrimony covered by the protective mantle of the Constitution.
The controversy arose when respondent Government Service Insurance System (GSIS),
pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation No. 50
dated 8 December 1986, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the issued and
outstanding shares of respondent MHC. The winning bidder, or the eventual strategic partner, is
to provide management expertise and/or an international marketing/reservation system, and
financial support to strengthen the profitability and performance of the Manila Hotel .2 In a close
bidding held on 18 September 1995 only two (2) bidders participated: petitioner Manila Prince
Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% of the MHC or 15,300,000
shares at P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel
operator, which bid for the same number of shares at P44.00 per share, or P2.42 more than the
bid of petitioner.
Pertinent provisions of the bidding rules prepared by respondent GSIS state I. EXECUTION OF THE NECESSARY CONTRACTS WITH GSIS/MHC 1. The Highest Bidder must comply with the conditions set forth below
by October 23, 1995 (reset to November 3, 1995) or the Highest Bidder will
lose the right to purchase the Block of Shares and GSIS will instead offer the
Block of Shares to the other Qualified Bidders:
a. The Highest Bidder must negotiate and execute with the
GSIS/MHC
the
Management
Contract,
International
Marketing/Reservation System Contract or other type of contract
specified by the Highest Bidder in its strategic plan for the Manila
Hotel x x x x

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b. Requisite approvals from the GSIS/MHC and COP
(Committee on Privatization)/ OGCC (Office of the Government
Corporate Counsel) are obtained.3
Pending the declaration of Renong Berhard as the winning bidder/strategic partner and the
execution of the necessary contracts, petitioner in a letter to respondent GSIS dated 28
September 1995 matched the bid price of P44.00 per share tendered by Renong Berhad. 4 In a
subsequent letter dated 10 October 1995 petitioner sent a managers check issued by Philtrust
Bank for Thirty-three Million Pesos (P33,000,000.00) as Bid Security to match the bid of the
Malaysian Group, Messrs. Renong Berhad x x x x5 which respondent GSIS refused to accept.
On 17 October 1995, perhaps apprehensive that respondent GSIS has disregarded the tender
of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be hastened by respondent GSIS
and consummated with Renong Berhad, petitioner came to this Court on prohibition and
mandamus. On 18 October 1995 the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining
respondents from perfecting and consummating the sale to the Malaysian firm.
On 10 September 1996 the instant case was accepted by the Court En Banc after it was
referred to it by the First Division. The case was then set for oral arguments with former Chief
Justice Enrique M. Fernando and Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., as amici curiae.
In the main, petitioner invokes Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987 Constitution and
submits that the Manila Hotel has been identified with the Filipino nation and has practically
become a historical monument which reflects the vibrancy of Philippine heritage and culture. It is
a proud legacy of an earlier generation of Filipinos who believed in the nobility and sacredness of
independence and its power and capacity to release the full potential of the Filipino people. To all
intents and purposes, it has become a part of the national patrimony.6 Petitioner also argues that
since 51% of the shares of the MHC carries with it the ownership of the business of the hotel
which is owned by respondent GSIS, a government-owned and controlled corporation, the hotel
business of respondent GSIS being a part of the tourism industry is unquestionably a part of the
national economy. Thus, any transaction involving 51% of the shares of stock of the MHC is clearly
covered by the term national economy, to which Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, 1987 Constitution,
applies.7
It is also the thesis of petitioner that since Manila Hotel is part of the national patrimony and
its business also unquestionably part of the national economy petitioner should be preferred after
it has matched the bid offer of the Malaysian firm. For the bidding rules mandate that if for any
reason, the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares, GSIS may offer this to the
other Qualified Bidders that have validly submitted bids provided that these Qualified Bidders are
willing to match the highest bid in terms of price per share. 8
Respondents except. They maintain that: First, Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987
Constitution is merely a statement of principle and policy since it is not a self-executing provision

and requires implementing legislation(s) x x x x Thus, for the said provision to operate, there
must be existing laws to lay down conditions under which business may be done. 9
Second, granting that this provision is self-executing, Manila Hotel does not fall under the
term national patrimony which only refers to lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal,
petroleum and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber,
wildlife, flora and fauna and all marine wealth in its territorial sea, and exclusive marine zone as
cited in the first and second paragraphs of Sec. 2, Art. XII, 1987 Constitution. According to
respondents, while petitioner speaks of the guests who have slept in the hotel and the events that
have transpired therein which make the hotel historic, these alone do not make the hotel fall
under the patrimony of the nation. What is more, the mandate of the Constitution is addressed to
the State, not to respondent GSIS which possesses a personality of its own separate and distinct
from the Philippines as a State.
Third, granting that the Manila Hotel forms part of the national patrimony, the constitutional
provision invoked is still inapplicable since what is being sold is only 51% of the outstanding
shares of the corporation, not the hotel building nor the land upon which the building stands.
Certainly, 51% of the equity of the MHC cannot be considered part of the national patrimony.
Moreover, if the disposition of the shares of the MHC is really contrary to the Constitution,
petitioner should have questioned it right from the beginning and not after it had lost in the
bidding.
Fourth, the reliance by petitioner on par. V., subpar. J. 1., of the bidding rules which provides
that if for any reason, the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares, GSIS may offer
this to the other Qualified Bidders that have validly submitted bids provided that these Qualified
Bidders are willing to match the highest bid in terms of price per share, is misplaced. Respondents
postulate that the privilege of submitting a matching bid has not yet arisen since it only takes
place if for any reason, the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares. Thus the
submission by petitioner of a matching bid is premature since Renong Berhad could still very well
be awarded the block of shares and the condition giving rise to the exercise of the privilege to
submit a matching bid had not yet taken place.
Finally, the prayer for prohibition grounded on grave abuse of discretion should fail since
respondent GSIS did not exercise its discretion in a capricious, whimsical manner, and if ever it did
abuse its discretion it was not so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or
a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law. Similarly, the petition for mandamus should fail
as petitioner has no clear legal right to what it demands and respondents do not have an
imperative duty to perform the act required of them by petitioner.
We now resolve. A constitution is a system of fundamental laws for the governance and
administration of a nation. It is supreme, imperious, absolute and unalterable except by the
authority from which it emanates. It has been defined as the fundamental and paramount law of
the nation.10 It prescribes the permanent framework of a system of government, assigns to the
different departments their respective powers and duties, and establishes certain fixed principles
on which government is founded. The fundamental conception in other words is that it is a
supreme law to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights
must be determined and all public authority administered. 11 Under the doctrine of constitutional
supremacy, if a law or contract violates any norm of the constitution that law or contract whether
promulgated by the legislative or by the executive branch or entered into by private persons for
private purposes is null and void and without any force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is
the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute
and contract.

Admittedly, some constitutions are merely declarations of policies and principles. Their
provisions command the legislature to enact laws and carry out the purposes of the framers who
merely establish an outline of government providing for the different departments of the
governmental machinery and securing certain fundamental and inalienable rights of citizens. 12 A
provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Art. II of the 1987
Constitution, is usually not self-executing. But a provision which is complete in itself and becomes
operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which supplies
sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is selfexecuting. Thus a constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right
conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so that they can be
determined by an examination and construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating
that the subject is referred to the legislature for action. 13
As against constitutions of the past, modern constitutions have been generally drafted upon
a different principle and have often become in effect extensive codes of laws intended to operate
directly upon the people in a manner similar to that of statutory enactments, and the function of
constitutional conventions has evolved into one more like that of a legislative body. Hence, unless
it is expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate, the
presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution are self-executing. If the constitutional
provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing, the legislature would have
the power to ignore and practically nullify the mandate of the fundamental law. 14 This can be
cataclysmic. That is why the prevailing view is, as it has always been, that x x x x in case of doubt, the Constitution should be considered self-executing
rather than non-self-executing x x x x Unless the contrary is clearly intended, the
provisions of the Constitution should be considered self-executing, as a contrary rule
would give the legislature discretion to determine when, or whether, they shall be
effective. These provisions would be subordinated to the will of the lawmaking body,
which could make them entirely meaningless by simply refusing to pass the needed
implementing statute.15
Respondents argue that Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987 Constitution is clearly not
self-executing, as they quote from discussions on the floor of the 1986 Constitutional Commission
MR. RODRIGO. Madam President, I am asking this question as the Chairman of the
Committee on Style. If the wording of PREFERENCE is given to QUALIFIED
FILIPINOS, can it be understood as a preference to qualified Filipinos vis-a-vis
Filipinos who are not qualified. So, why do we not make it clear? To qualified
Filipinos as against aliens?
THE PRESIDENT. What is the question of Commissioner Rodrigo? Is it to remove the word
QUALIFIED?
MR. RODRIGO. No, no, but say definitely TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS as against whom? As
against aliens or over aliens ?
MR. NOLLEDO. Madam President, I think that is understood. We use the word QUALIFIED
because the existing laws or prospective laws will always lay down conditions
under which business may be done. For example, qualifications on capital,
qualifications on the setting up of other financial structures, et cetera
(underscoring supplied by respondents).
MR. RODRIGO. It is just a matter of style.

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MR. NOLLEDO. Yes.16
Quite apparently, Sec. 10, second par., of Art XII is couched in such a way as not to make it
appear that it is non-self-executing but simply for purposes of style. But, certainly, the legislature
is not precluded from enacting further laws to enforce the constitutional provision so long as the
contemplated statute squares with the Constitution. Minor details may be left to the legislature
without impairing the self-executing nature of constitutional provisions.

patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos, it means just that - qualified
Filipinos shall be preferred. And when our Constitution declares that a right exists in certain
specified circumstances an action may be maintained to enforce such right notwithstanding the
absence of any legislation on the subject; consequently, if there is no statute especially enacted
to enforce such constitutional right, such right enforces itself by its own inherent potency and
puissance, and from which all legislations must take their bearings. Where there is a right there is
a remedy. Ubi jus ibi remedium.

In self-executing constitutional provisions, the legislature may still enact legislation to
facilitate the exercise of powers directly granted by the constitution, further the operation of such
a provision, prescribe a practice to be used for its enforcement, provide a convenient remedy for
the protection of the rights secured or the determination thereof, or place reasonable safeguards
around the exercise of the right. The mere fact that legislation may supplement and add to or
prescribe a penalty for the violation of a self-executing constitutional provision does not render
such a provision ineffective in the absence of such legislation. The omission from a constitution of
any express provision for a remedy for enforcing a right or liability is not necessarily an indication
that it was not intended to be self-executing. The rule is that a self-executing provision of the
constitution does not necessarily exhaust legislative power on the subject, but any legislation
must be in harmony with the constitution, further the exercise of constitutional right and make it
more available.17 Subsequent legislation however does not necessarily mean that the subject
constitutional provision is not, by itself, fully enforceable.

As regards our national patrimony, a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission 34
explains -

Respondents also argue that the non-self-executing nature of Sec. 10, second par., of Art. XII
is implied from the tenor of the first and third paragraphs of the same section which undoubtedly
are not self-executing.18 The argument is flawed. If the first and third paragraphs are not selfexecuting because Congress is still to enact measures to encourage the formation and operation
of enterprises fully owned by Filipinos, as in the first paragraph, and the State still needs
legislation to regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its national
jurisdiction, as in the third paragraph, then a fortiori, by the same logic, the second paragraph can
only be self-executing as it does not by its language require any legislation in order to give
preference to qualified Filipinos in the grant of rights, privileges and concessions covering the
national economy and patrimony. A constitutional provision may be self-executing in one part and
non-self-executing in another.19

Manila Hotel has become a landmark - a living testimonial of Philippine heritage. While it was
restrictively an American hotel when it first opened in 1912, it immediately evolved to be truly
Filipino. Formerly a concourse for the elite, it has since then become the venue of various
significant events which have shaped Philippine history. It was called the Cultural Center of the
1930s. It was the site of the festivities during the inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth.
Dubbed as the Official Guest House of the Philippine Government it plays host to dignitaries and
official visitors who are accorded the traditional Philippine hospitality. 36

Even the cases cited by respondents holding that certain constitutional provisions are merely
statements of principles and policies, which are basically not self-executing and only placed in the
Constitution as moral incentives to legislation, not as judicially enforceable rights - are simply not
in point. Basco v. Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation 20 speaks of constitutional
provisions on personal dignity, 21 the sanctity of family life, 22 the vital role of the youth in nationbuilding,23 the promotion of social justice, 24 and the values of education. 25 Tolentino v. Secretary of
Finance26 refers to constitutional provisions on social justice and human rights 27 and on
education.28 Lastly, Kilosbayan, Inc. v. Morato29 cites provisions on the promotion of general
welfare,30 the sanctity of family life,31 the vital role of the youth in nation-building 32 and the
promotion of total human liberation and development. 33 A reading of these provisions indeed
clearly shows that they are not judicially enforceable constitutional rights but merely guidelines
for legislation. The very terms of the provisions manifest that they are only principles upon which
legislations must be based. Res ipsa loquitur.
On the other hand, Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory,
positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or
implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From its very words the provision does not require
any legislation to put it in operation. It is per se judicially enforceable. When our Constitution
mandates that [i]n the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering national economy and

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The patrimony of the Nation that should be conserved and developed refers not
only to our rich natural resources but also to the cultural heritage of our race. It
also refers to our intelligence in arts, sciences and letters. Therefore, we should
develop not only our lands, forests, mines and other natural resources but also the
mental ability or faculty of our people.
We agree. In its plain and ordinary meaning, the term patrimony pertains to heritage.35 When
the Constitution speaks of national patrimony, it refers not only to the natural resources of the
Philippines, as the Constitution could have very well used the term natural resources, but also to
the cultural heritage of the Filipinos.

The history of the hotel has been chronicled in the book The Manila Hotel: The Heart and
Memory of a City.37 During World War II the hotel was converted by the Japanese Military
Administration into a military headquarters. When the American forces returned to recapture
Manila the hotel was selected by the Japanese together with Intramuros as the two (2) places for
their final stand. Thereafter, in the 1950s and 1960s, the hotel became the center of political
activities, playing host to almost every political convention. In 1970 the hotel reopened after a
renovation and reaped numerous international recognitions, an acknowledgment of the Filipino
talent and ingenuity. In 1986 the hotel was the site of a failed coup d etat where an aspirant for
vice-president was proclaimed President of the Philippine Republic.
For more than eight (8) decades Manila Hotel has bore mute witness to the triumphs and
failures, loves and frustrations of the Filipinos; its existence is impressed with public interest; its
own historicity associated with our struggle for sovereignty, independence and nationhood. Verily,
Manila Hotel has become part of our national economy and patrimony. For sure, 51% of the equity
of the MHC comes within the purview of the constitutional shelter for it comprises the majority
and controlling stock, so that anyone who acquires or owns the 51% will have actual control and
management of the hotel. In this instance, 51% of the MHC cannot be disassociated from the
hotel and the land on which the hotel edifice stands. Consequently, we cannot sustain
respondents claim that the Filipino First Policy provision is not applicable since what is being sold
is only 51% of the outstanding shares of the corporation, not the Hotel building nor the land upon
which the building stands.38

The argument is pure sophistry. The term qualified Filipinos as used in our Constitution also
includes corporations at least 60% of which is owned by Filipinos. This is very clear from the
proceedings of the 1986 Constitutional Commission THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Davide is recognized.
MR. DAVIDE. I would like to introduce an amendment to the Nolledo amendment. And
the amendment would consist in substituting the words QUALIFIED FILIPINOS with
the following: CITIZENS OF THE PHILIPPINES OR CORPORATIONS OR ASSOCIATIONS
WHOSE CAPITAL OR CONTROLLING STOCK IS WHOLLY OWNED BY SUCH CITIZENS.
xxxx

MR. FOZ. If the foreigner is more qualified in some aspects than the Filipino enterprise,
will the Filipino still be preferred?
MR. NOLLEDO. The answer is yes.
MR. FOZ. Thank you.41
Expounding further on the Filipino First Policy provision Commissioner Nolledo continues
MR. NOLLEDO. Yes, Madam President. Instead of MUST, it will be SHALL - THE STATE
SHALL GIVE PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS. This embodies the so-called
Filipino First policy. That means that Filipinos should be given preference in the
grant of concessions, privileges and rights covering the national patrimony. 42

MR. MONSOD. Madam President, apparently the proponent is agreeable, but we have to
raise a question. Suppose it is a corporation that is 80-percent Filipino, do we not
give it preference?

The exchange of views in the sessions of the Constitutional Commission regarding the
subject provision was still further clarified by Commissioner Nolledo 43 -

MR. DAVIDE. The Nolledo amendment would refer to an individual Filipino. What about a
corporation wholly owned by Filipino citizens?

Paragraph 2 of Section 10 explicitly mandates the Pro-Filipino bias in all economic
concerns. It is better known as the FILIPINO FIRST Policy x x x x This provision was never
found in previous Constitutions x x x x

MR. MONSOD. At least 60 percent, Madam President.
MR. DAVIDE. Is that the intention?
MR. MONSOD. Yes, because, in fact, we would be limiting it if we say that the preference
should only be 100-percent Filipino.
MR. DAVIDE. I want to get that meaning clear because QUALIFIED FILIPINOS may refer
only to individuals and not to juridical personalities or entities.
MR. MONSOD. We agree, Madam President.

39

xxxx
MR. RODRIGO. Before we vote, may I request that the amendment be read again.
MR. NOLLEDO. The amendment will read: IN THE GRANT OF RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES AND
CONCESSIONS COVERING THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY, THE STATE
SHALL GIVE PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS. And the word Filipinos here, as
intended by the proponents, will include not only individual Filipinos but also
Filipino-controlled entities or entities fully-controlled by Filipinos. 40
The phrase preference to qualified Filipinos was explained thus MR. FOZ. Madam President, I would like to request Commissioner Nolledo to please
restate his amendment so that I can ask a question.
MR. NOLLEDO. IN THE GRANT OF RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES AND CONCESSIONS COVERING
THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY, THE STATE SHALL GIVE PREFERENCE
TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS.
MR. FOZ. In connection with that amendment, if a foreign enterprise is qualified and a
Filipino enterprise is also qualified, will the Filipino enterprise still be given a
preference?
MR. NOLLEDO. Obviously.

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The term qualified Filipinos simply means that preference shall be given to those
citizens who can make a viable contribution to the common good, because of credible
competence and efficiency. It certainly does NOT mandate the pampering and
preferential treatment to Filipino citizens or organizations that are incompetent or
inefficient, since such an indiscriminate preference would be counterproductive and
inimical to the common good.
In the granting of economic rights, privileges, and concessions, when a choice has
to be made between a qualified foreigner and a qualified Filipino, the latter shall be
chosen over the former.
Lastly, the word qualified is also determinable. Petitioner was so considered by respondent
GSIS and selected as one of the qualified bidders. It was pre-qualified by respondent GSIS in
accordance with its own guidelines so that the sole inference here is that petitioner has been
found to be possessed of proven management expertise in the hotel industry, or it has significant
equity ownership in another hotel company, or it has an overall management and marketing
proficiency to successfully operate the Manila Hotel.44
The penchant to try to whittle away the mandate of the Constitution by arguing that the
subject provision is not self-executory and requires implementing legislation is quite disturbing.
The attempt to violate a clear constitutional provision - by the government itself - is only too
distressing. To adopt such a line of reasoning is to renounce the duty to ensure faithfulness to the
Constitution. For, even some of the provisions of the Constitution which evidently need
implementing legislation have juridical life of their own and can be the source of a judicial remedy.
We cannot simply afford the government a defense that arises out of the failure to enact further
enabling, implementing or guiding legislation. In fine, the discourse of Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J.,
on constitutional government is apt The executive department has a constitutional duty to implement laws, including
the Constitution, even before Congress acts - provided that there are discoverable legal
standards for executive action. When the executive acts, it must be guided by its own
understanding of the constitutional command and of applicable laws. The responsibility
for reading and understanding the Constitution and the laws is not the sole prerogative
of Congress. If it were, the executive would have to ask Congress, or perhaps the Court,

for an interpretation every time the executive is confronted by a constitutional
command. That is not how constitutional government operates. 45
Respondents further argue that the constitutional provision is addressed to the State, not to
respondent GSIS which by itself possesses a separate and distinct personality. This argument
again is at best specious. It is undisputed that the sale of 51% of the MHC could only be carried
out with the prior approval of the State acting through respondent Committee on Privatization. As
correctly pointed out by Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., this fact alone makes the sale of the assets of
respondents GSIS and MHC a state action. In constitutional jurisprudence, the acts of persons
distinct from the government are considered state action covered by the Constitution (1) when
the activity it engages in is a public function; (2) when the government is so significantly involved
with the private actor as to make the government responsible for his action; and, (3) when the
government has approved or authorized the action. It is evident that the act of respondent GSIS in
selling 51% of its share in respondent MHC comes under the second and third categories of state
action. Without doubt therefore the transaction, although entered into by respondent GSIS, is in
fact a transaction of the State and therefore subject to the constitutional command. 46
When the Constitution addresses the State it refers not only to the people but also to the
government as elements of the State. After all, government is composed of three (3) divisions of
power - legislative, executive and judicial. Accordingly, a constitutional mandate directed to the
State is correspondingly directed to the three (3) branches of government. It is undeniable that in
this case the subject constitutional injunction is addressed among others to the Executive
Department and respondent GSIS, a government instrumentality deriving its authority from the
State.
It should be stressed that while the Malaysian firm offered the higher bid it is not yet the
winning bidder. The bidding rules expressly provide that the highest bidder shall only be declared
the winning bidder after it has negotiated and executed the necessary contracts, and secured the
requisite approvals. Since the Filipino First Policy provision of the Constitution bestows preference
on qualified Filipinos the mere tending of the highest bid is not an assurance that the highest
bidder will be declared the winning bidder. Resultantly, respondents are not bound to make the
award yet, nor are they under obligation to enter into one with the highest bidder. For in choosing
the awardee respondents are mandated to abide by the dictates of the 1987 Constitution the
provisions of which are presumed to be known to all the bidders and other interested parties.
Adhering to the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, the subject constitutional provision is,
as it should be, impliedly written in the bidding rules issued by respondent GSIS, lest the bidding
rules be nullified for being violative of the Constitution. It is a basic principle in constitutional law
that all laws and contracts must conform with the fundamental law of the land. Those which
violate the Constitution lose their reason for being.
Paragraph V. J. 1 of the bidding rules provides that [i]f for any reason the Highest Bidder
cannot be awarded the Block of Shares, GSIS may offer this to other Qualified Bidders that have
validly submitted bids provided that these Qualified Bidders are willing to match the highest bid in
terms of price per share.47 Certainly, the constitutional mandate itself is reason enough not to
award the block of shares immediately to the foreign bidder notwithstanding its submission of a
higher, or even the highest, bid. In fact, we cannot conceive of a stronger reason than the
constitutional injunction itself.
In the instant case, where a foreign firm submits the highest bid in a public bidding
concerning the grant of rights, privileges and concessions covering the national economy and
patrimony, thereby exceeding the bid of a Filipino, there is no question that the Filipino will have
to be allowed to match the bid of the foreign entity. And if the Filipino matches the bid of a foreign
firm the award should go to the Filipino. It must be so if we are to give life and meaning to the

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Filipino First Policy provision of the 1987 Constitution. For, while this may neither be expressly
stated nor contemplated in the bidding rules, the constitutional fiat is omnipresent to be simply
disregarded. To ignore it would be to sanction a perilous skirting of the basic law.
This Court does not discount the apprehension that this policy may discourage foreign
investors. But the Constitution and laws of the Philippines are understood to be always open to
public scrutiny. These are given factors which investors must consider when venturing into
business in a foreign jurisdiction. Any person therefore desiring to do business in the Philippines or
with any of its agencies or instrumentalities is presumed to know his rights and obligations under
the Constitution and the laws of the forum.
The argument of respondents that petitioner is now estopped from questioning the sale to
Renong Berhad since petitioner was well aware from the beginning that a foreigner could
participate in the bidding is meritless. Undoubtedly, Filipinos and foreigners alike were invited to
the bidding. But foreigners may be awarded the sale only if no Filipino qualifies, or if the qualified
Filipino fails to match the highest bid tendered by the foreign entity. In the case before us, while
petitioner was already preferred at the inception of the bidding because of the constitutional
mandate, petitioner had not yet matched the bid offered by Renong Berhad. Thus it did not have
the right or personality then to compel respondent GSIS to accept its earlier bid. Rightly, only after
it had matched the bid of the foreign firm and the apparent disregard by respondent GSIS of
petitioners matching bid did the latter have a cause of action.
Besides, there is no time frame for invoking the constitutional safeguard unless perhaps the
award has been finally made. To insist on selling the Manila Hotel to foreigners when there is a
Filipino group willing to match the bid of the foreign group is to insist that government be treated
as any other ordinary market player, and bound by its mistakes or gross errors of judgment,
regardless of the consequences to the Filipino people. The miscomprehension of the Constitution
is regrettable. Thus we would rather remedy the indiscretion while there is still an opportunity to
do so than let the government develop the habit of forgetting that the Constitution lays down the
basic conditions and parameters for its actions.
Since petitioner has already matched the bid price tendered by Renong Berhad pursuant to
the bidding rules, respondent GSIS is left with no alternative but to award to petitioner the block
of shares of MHC and to execute the necessary agreements and documents to effect the sale in
accordance not only with the bidding guidelines and procedures but with the Constitution as well.
The refusal of respondent GSIS to execute the corresponding documents with petitioner as
provided in the bidding rules after the latter has matched the bid of the Malaysian firm clearly
constitutes grave abuse of discretion.
The Filipino First Policy is a product of Philippine nationalism. It is embodied in the 1987
Constitution not merely to be used as a guideline for future legislation but primarily to be
enforced; so must it be enforced. This Court as the ultimate guardian of the Constitution will never
shun, under any reasonable circumstance, the duty of upholding the majesty of the Constitution
which it is tasked to defend. It is worth emphasizing that it is not the intention of this Court to
impede and diminish, much less undermine, the influx of foreign investments. Far from it, the
Court encourages and welcomes more business opportunities but avowedly sanctions the
preference for Filipinos whenever such preference is ordained by the Constitution. The position of
the Court on this matter could have not been more appropriately articulated by Chief Justice
Narvasa As scrupulously as it has tried to observe that it is not its function to substitute its
judgment for that of the legislature or the executive about the wisdom and feasibility of
legislation economic in nature, the Supreme Court has not been spared criticism for
decisions perceived as obstacles to economic progress and development x x x x in

connection with a temporary injunction issued by the Courts First Division against the
sale of the Manila Hotel to a Malaysian Firm and its partner, certain statements were
published in a major daily to the effect that that injunction again demonstrates that the
Philippine legal system can be a major obstacle to doing business here.
Let it be stated for the record once again that while it is no business of the Court to
intervene in contracts of the kind referred to or set itself up as the judge of whether
they are viable or attainable, it is its bounden duty to make sure that they do not violate
the Constitution or the laws, or are not adopted or implemented with grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. It will never shirk that duty, no
matter how buffeted by winds of unfair and ill-informed criticism. 48
Privatization of a business asset for purposes of enhancing its business viability and
preventing further losses, regardless of the character of the asset, should not take precedence
over non-material values. A commercial, nay even a budgetary, objective should not be pursued
at the expense of national pride and dignity. For the Constitution enshrines higher and nobler nonmaterial values. Indeed, the Court will always defer to the Constitution in the proper governance
of a free society; after all, there is nothing so sacrosanct in any economic policy as to draw itself
beyond judicial review when the Constitution is involved. 49
Nationalism is inherent in the very concept of the Philippines being a democratic and
republican state, with sovereignty residing in the Filipino people and from whom all government
authority emanates. In nationalism, the happiness and welfare of the people must be the goal.
The nation-state can have no higher purpose. Any interpretation of any constitutional provision
must adhere to such basic concept. Protection of foreign investments, while laudible, is merely a
policy. It cannot override the demands of nationalism. 50
The Manila Hotel or, for that matter, 51% of the MHC, is not just any commodity to be sold to
the highest bidder solely for the sake of privatization. We are not talking about an ordinary piece
of property in a commercial district. We are talking about a historic relic that has hosted many of
the most important events in the short history of the Philippines as a nation. We are talking about
a hotel where heads of states would prefer to be housed as a strong manifestation of their desire
to cloak the dignity of the highest state function to their official visits to the Philippines. Thus the
Manila Hotel has played and continues to play a significant role as an authentic repository of
twentieth century Philippine history and culture. In this sense, it has become truly a reflection of
the Filipino soul - a place with a history of grandeur; a most historical setting that has played a
part in the shaping of a country.51
This Court cannot extract rhyme nor reason from the determined efforts of respondents to
sell the historical landmark - this Grand Old Dame of hotels in Asia - to a total stranger. For,
indeed, the conveyance of this epic exponent of the Filipino psyche to alien hands cannot be less
than mephistophelian for it is, in whatever manner viewed, a veritable alienation of a nations soul
for some pieces of foreign silver. And so we ask: What advantage, which cannot be equally drawn
from a qualified Filipino, can be gained by the Filipinos if Manila Hotel - and all that it stands for is sold to a non-Filipino? How much of national pride will vanish if the nations cultural heritage is
entrusted to a foreign entity? On the other hand, how much dignity will be preserved and realized
if the national patrimony is safekept in the hands of a qualified, zealous and well-meaning Filipino?
This is the plain and simple meaning of the Filipino First Policy provision of the Philippine
Constitution. And this Court, heeding the clarion call of the Constitution and accepting the duty of
being the elderly watchman of the nation, will continue to respect and protect the sanctity of the
Constitution.
WHEREFORE, respondents GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, MANILA HOTEL
CORPORATION, COMMITTEE ON PRIVATIZATION and OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATE

[Type text]

COUNSEL are directed to CEASE and DESIST from selling 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel
Corporation to RENONG BERHAD, and to ACCEPT the matching bid of petitioner MANILA PRINCE
HOTEL CORPORATION to purchase the subject 51% of the shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation
at P44.00 per share and thereafter to execute the necessary agreements and documents to effect
the sale, to issue the necessary clearances and to do such other acts and deeds as may be
necessary for the purpose.
SO ORDERED.

beggar-thy-neighbor policies that unilaterally protect weak and inefficient domestic producers of
goods and services. In the words of Peter Drucker, the well-known management guru, Increased
participation in the world economy has become the key to domestic economic growth and
prosperity.
EN BANC
Brief Historical Background
[G.R. No. 118295. May 2, 1997]

WIGBERTO E. TAADA and ANNA DOMINIQUE COSETENG, as members of the Philippine
Senate and as taxpayers; GREGORIO ANDOLANA and JOKER ARROYO as
members of the House of Representatives and as taxpayers; NICANOR P.
PERLAS and HORACIO R. MORALES, both as taxpayers; CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION,
NATIONAL ECONOMIC PROTECTIONISM ASSOCIATION, CENTER FOR ALTERNATIVE
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES, LIKAS-KAYANG KAUNLARAN FOUNDATION, INC.,
PHILIPPINE RURAL RECONSTRUCTION MOVEMENT, DEMOKRATIKONG KILUSAN
NG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS, INC., and PHILIPPINE PEASANT INSTITUTE, in
representation of various taxpayers and as non-governmental organizations,
petitioners, vs. EDGARDO ANGARA, ALBERTO ROMULO, LETICIA RAMOSSHAHANI, HEHERSON ALVAREZ, AGAPITO AQUINO, RODOLFO BIAZON, NEPTALI
GONZALES, ERNESTO HERRERA, JOSE LINA, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO,
ORLANDO MERCADO, BLAS OPLE, JOHN OSMEA, SANTANINA RASUL, RAMON
REVILLA, RAUL ROCO, FRANCISCO TATAD and FREDDIE WEBB, in their respective
capacities as members of the Philippine Senate who concurred in the
ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing
the World Trade Organization; SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ, in his capacity as
Secretary of Budget and Management; CARIDAD VALDEHUESA, in her capacity
as National Treasurer; RIZALINO NAVARRO, in his capacity as Secretary of Trade
and Industry; ROBERTO SEBASTIAN, in his capacity as Secretary of Agriculture;
ROBERTO DE OCAMPO, in his capacity as Secretary of Finance; ROBERTO
ROMULO, in his capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs; and TEOFISTO T.
GUINGONA, in his capacity as Executive Secretary, respondents.
DECISION
PANGANIBAN, J.:
The emergence on January 1, 1995 of the World Trade Organization, abetted by the
membership thereto of the vast majority of countries has revolutionized international business
and economic relations amongst states. It has irreversibly propelled the world towards trade
liberalization and economic globalization. Liberalization, globalization, deregulation and
privatization, the third-millennium buzz words, are ushering in a new borderless world of business
by sweeping away as mere historical relics the heretofore traditional modes of promoting and
protecting national economies like tariffs, export subsidies, import quotas, quantitative
restrictions, tax exemptions and currency controls. Finding market niches and becoming the best
in specific industries in a market-driven and export-oriented global scenario are replacing age-old

[Type text]

To hasten worldwide recovery from the devastation wrought by the Second World War, plans
for the establishment of three multilateral institutions -- inspired by that grand political body, the
United Nations -- were discussed at Dumbarton Oaks and Bretton Woods. The first was the World
Bank (WB) which was to address the rehabilitation and reconstruction of war-ravaged and later
developing countries; the second, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which was to deal with
currency problems; and the third, the International Trade Organization (ITO), which was to foster
order and predictability in world trade and to minimize unilateral protectionist policies that invite
challenge, even retaliation, from other states. However, for a variety of reasons, including its nonratification by the United States, the ITO, unlike the IMF and WB, never took off. What remained
was only GATT -- the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. GATT was a collection of treaties
governing access to the economies of treaty adherents with no institutionalized body
administering the agreements or dependable system of dispute settlement.
After half a century and several dizzying rounds of negotiations, principally the Kennedy
Round, the Tokyo Round and the Uruguay Round, the world finally gave birth to that administering
body -- the World Trade Organization -- with the signing of the Final Act in Marrakesh, Morocco and
the ratification of the WTO Agreement by its members. 52
Like many other developing countries, the Philippines joined WTO as a founding member
with the goal, as articulated by President Fidel V. Ramos in two letters to the Senate (infra), of
improving Philippine access to foreign markets, especially its major trading partners, through the
reduction of tariffs on its exports, particularly agricultural and industrial products. The President
also saw in the WTO the opening of new opportunities for the services sector x x x, (the reduction
of) costs and uncertainty associated with exporting x x x, and (the attraction of) more
investments into the country. Although the Chief Executive did not expressly mention it in his
letter, the Philippines - - and this is of special interest to the legal profession - - will benefit from
the WTO system of dispute settlement by judicial adjudication through the independent WTO
settlement bodies called (1) Dispute Settlement Panels and (2) Appellate Tribunal. Heretofore,
trade disputes were settled mainly through negotiations where solutions were arrived at
frequently on the basis of relative bargaining strengths, and where naturally, weak and
underdeveloped countries were at a disadvantage.

The Petition in Brief

Arguing mainly (1) that the WTO requires the Philippines to place nationals and products of
member-countries on the same footing as Filipinos and local products and (2) that the WTO
intrudes, limits and/or impairs the constitutional powers of both Congress and the Supreme Court,
the instant petition before this Court assails the WTO Agreement for violating the mandate of the
1987 Constitution to develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively

1994. 56 On December 14. as it hereby concurs.controlled by Filipinos x x x (to) give preference to qualified Filipinos (and to) promote the preferential use of Filipino labor. Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and includes various agreements and associated legal instruments (identified in the said Agreement as Annexes 1. 1083. Article VII of the Constitution. and (b) to adopt the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. On December 9. declaring: NOW THEREFORE. of the concurrence of the Philippine Senate in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement. Morocco. domestic materials and locally produced goods. a resolution entitled Concurring in the Ratification of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. 57 The text of the WTO Agreement is written on pages 137 et seq. On August 13. 1994. as it is hereby resolved. President of the Republic of the Philippines. the members of the Philippine Senate received another letter from the President of the Philippines 55 likewise dated August 11. the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. then Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (Secretary Navarro. and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services are hereby submitted to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21. does the Philippine Constitution prohibit Philippine participation in worldwide trade liberalization and economic globalization? Does it prescribe Philippine integration into a global economy that is liberalized. signed in Marrakesh. 1994. the President of the Philippines certified the necessity of the immediate adoption of P. 97. 1994. This concurrence is embodied in Senate Resolution No. after having seen and considered the aforementioned Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the agreements and associated legal . representing the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. the assignment of public officials and employees. the President of the Philippines signed 58 the Instrument of Ratification. the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. be it known that I. 53 Secretary Navarro on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines. for brevity). as appropriate. 54 stating among others that the Uruguay Round Final Act is hereby submitted to the Senate for its concurrence pursuant to Section 21. as well as the use of government properties and resources by respondent-heads of various executive offices concerned therewith. By signing the Final Act. 97 which Resolved. with a view to seeking approval of the Agreement in accordance with their procedures.S. 1994. for brevity). in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. 1994. 1994 from the President of the Philippines. that the Senate concur. for brevity) and (2) for the prohibition of its implementation and enforcement through the release and utilization of public funds. Simply stated. Respondent Rizalino Navarro. dated December 14. the members of the Philippine Senate received a letter dated August 11. agreed: (a) to submit. FIDEL V. the Philippine Senate adopted Resolution No. RAMOS. 1994. 1994. which stated among others that the Uruguay Round Final Act. prohibition and mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court praying (1) for the nullification. Article VII of the Constitution. the WTO Agreement for the consideration of their respective competent authorities. for brevity) as follows: ANNEX 1 Annex 1A: Multilateral Agreement on Trade in Goods General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 Agreement on Agriculture Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement on Textiles and Clothing The Facts On April 15. 2 and 3 thereto and collectively referred to as Multilateral Trade Agreements. deregulated and privatized? These are the main questions raised in this petition for certiorari. On August 12. of Volume I of the 36-volume Uruguay [Type text] Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the General on Tariffs and Trade 1994 Agreement on Pre-Shipment Inspection Agreement on Rules of Origin Agreement on Imports Licensing Procedures Agreement on Subsidies and Coordinating Measures Agreement on Safeguards Annex 1B: General Agreement on Trade in Services and Annexes Annex 1C: Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ANNEX 2 Understanding on Rules Settlement of Disputes and Procedures Governing the ANNEX 3 Trade Policy Review Mechanism On December 16. on constitutional grounds. the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Negotiations (Final Act.

two (2) and three (3) of that agreement cited by petitioners directly contravene or undermine the letter. Whether or not the provisions of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization and the Agreements and Associated Legal Instruments included in Annexes one (1). two (2) and three (3) of that Agreement which are integral parts thereof. submitted their Compliance dated January 28. on the other hand. commercial presence and new financial service. among other things. spirit and intent of Section 19. Bautista. as counsel for respondents. G. the Solicitor General submitted a printed copy of the 36-volume Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. the WTO Agreement ratified by the President of the Philippines is composed of the Agreement Proper and the associated legal instruments included in Annexes one (1). do hereby ratify and confirm the same and every Article and Clause thereof. national treatment. the present petition was filed. to file (1) a list of Philippine treaties signed prior to the Philippine adherence to the WTO Agreement. Petitioners. market access. 2. and in another Compliance dated October 24. Article XII. the Final Act signed by Secretary Navarro embodies not only the WTO Agreement (and its integral annexes aforementioned) but also (1) the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions and (2) the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services. 1997.59 the Solicitor General describes these two latter documents as follows: The Ministerial Decisions and Declarations are twenty-five declarations and decisions on a wide range of matters. Morocco on 15 April 1994. 1995. to submit a paper. Whether the respondent members of the Senate acted in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when they voted for concurrence in the ratification of the constitutionally-infirm Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. Whether the petitioner members of the Senate who participated in the deliberations and voting leading to the concurrence are estopped from impugning the validity of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization or of the validity of the concurrence. Article VI. the Solicitor General as counsel for respondents synthesized the several issues raised by petitioners into the following: 61 1. By raising and arguing only four issues against the seven presented by petitioners. The Court also requested the Honorable Lilia R. under Sec. On the other hand. the Solicitor General has effectively ignored three. and Secs. D. and definitions of nonresident supplier of financial services. and not with the Presidential submission which included the Final Act. The Issues In their Memorandum dated March 11. restrict or impair the exercise of legislative power by Congress. such as measures in favor of least developed countries. 19. 4. Whether the provisions of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization contravene the provisions of Sec. relationship of WTO with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Whether provisions of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization interfere with the exercise of judicial power. Taada and Anna Dominique Coseteng) are estopped from joining this suit. C. 2. restrict and impair Philippine sovereignty specifically the legislative power which. the Court directed: (a) the petitioners to submit the (1) Senate Committee Report on the matter in controversy and (2) the transcript of proceedings/hearings in the Senate.instruments included in Annexes one (1). Whether the petition presents a political question or is otherwise not justiciable. Article II and Sections 10 and 12. 1996. B. to give due course to the petition. namely: (1) whether the petition presents a political question or is otherwise not justiciable. F. all of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Whether the respondent members of the Senate acted in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when they concurred only in the ratification of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. To emphasize. and (3) whether the respondent-members of the Senate acted in grave abuse of discretion when they . On the other hand. 1996. two (2) and three (3) of that Agreement which are integral parts thereof. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. hereafter referred to as Bautista Paper. (1) providing a historical background of and (2) summarizing the said agreements. the Court resolved on December 12. Whether or not certain provisions of the Agreement impair the exercise of judicial power by this Honorable Court in promulgating the rules of evidence. Whether or not the concurrence of the Senate in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization implied rejection of the treaty embodied in the Final Act. standstill or limitations and qualifications of commitments to existing nonconforming measures. Article II. signed at Marrakesh. After receipt of the foregoing documents. Whether or not certain provisions of the Agreement unduly limit. In a Compliance dated September 16. (2) whether petitioner-members of the Senate (Wigberto E. he listed the various bilateral or multilateral treaties or international instruments involving derogation of Philippine sovereignty. After careful deliberation on respondents comment and petitioners reply thereto. 1996. the Court said it would consider the case submitted for resolution. 1987 Philippine Constitution is vested in the Congress of the Philippines. Ministerial Declaration and Decisions. and agreements on technical barriers to trade and on dispute settlement. and the parties thereafter filed their respective memoranda. 1997. as soon as possible. In his Memorandum dated May 13. 1994. petitioners summarized the issues as follows: [Type text] A. During the Oral Argument held on August 27. 10 and 12. and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services. Whether provisions of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization unduly limit. notification procedures. On December 29. on January 30. which derogate from Philippine sovereignty and (2) copies of the multi-volume WTO Agreement and other documents mentioned in the Final Act. Switzerland. and (b) the Solicitor General. 1996. 3. the Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations stationed in Geneva.60 for brevity. 1996. E. The Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services dwell on.

we have no equivocation. quantitative restrictions. CONSIDERING THAT IT DID NOT INCLUDE THE FINAL ACT. it will only exercise its constitutional duty to determine whether or not there had been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the Senate in ratifying the WTO Agreement and its three annexes. it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. Neither will it rule on the propriety of the governments economic policy of reducing/removing tariffs. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature. even if ruled in petitions dismissal as there are petitioners other vulnerable to the defense of estoppel. RESTRICT. raised by the petition. agency. expenditures of public funds and serious international commitments of the nation are involved here. the Court noted that the respondents did not question the locus standi of petitioners. and that transcendental public interest requires that the substantive issues be met head on and decided on the merits. AND THE UNDERSTANDING ON COMMITMENTS IN FINANCIAL SERVICES? Constitution is upheld. who are not (3) The issue of alleged grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondent senators will be taken up as an integral part of the disposition of the four issues raised by the Solicitor General. taxes. AND SECS. 67 As explained by former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion. As this Court has repeatedly and firmly emphasized in many cases. 64 The jurisdiction of this Court to adjudicate the matters 65 raised in the petition is clearly set out in the 1987 Constitution. spirit and intent of the Constitution mandating economic nationalism are violated by the so-called parity provisions and national treatment clauses scattered in various parts not only of the WTO Agreement and its annexes but also in the Ministerial Decisions and Declarations and in the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services. instrumentality or department of the government. and up because this defense is waivable by not pursuing it in any of their respondents favor. The question thus posed is judicial rather than political. ARTICLE II. Where an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution. Petitioners vigorously argue that the letter. As the petition alleges grave abuse of discretion and as there is no other plain. It is an innovation in our political law. will not cause the than the two senators. the issues that will be ruled upon shortly are: (1) DOES THE PETITION PRESENT A JUSTICIABLE CONTROVERSY? OTHERWISE STATED. subsidies. the main issue. we have no hesitation at all in holding that this petition should be given due course and the vital questions raised therein ruled upon under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. and 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. digress from or abandon its sacred duty and authority to uphold the Constitution in matters that involve grave abuse of discretion brought before it in appropriate cases. or pass upon the merits of trade liberalization as a policy espoused by said international body. certiorari. this issue. On this. committed by any officer. ARTICLE XII. in deciding to take jurisdiction over this petition. 69 it will not shirk. They probably realized that grave constitutional issues. it becomes a legal issue which the Court is bound by constitutional mandate to decide. The foregoing text emphasizes the judicial departments duty and power to strike down grave abuse of discretion on the part of any branch or instrumentality of government including Congress. OF THE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION? (3) DO THE PROVISIONS OF SAID AGREEMENT AND ITS ANNEXES LIMIT. The duty (to adjudicate) remains to assure that the supremacy of the [Type text] This is the lis mota. the petition no doubt raises a justiciable controversy. Second Issue: The WTO Agreement and Economic Nationalism The First Issue: Does the Court Have Jurisdiction Over the Controversy? In seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Senate on the ground that it contravenes the Constitution. in any event. We should stress that. and other import/trade barriers.being very fundamental and vital. they are also deemed to have waived the benefit of such issue. when proper. Hence. OR IMPAIR THE EXERCISE OF LEGISLATIVE POWER BY CONGRESS? (4) DO SAID PROVISIONS UNDULY IMPAIR OR INTERFERE WITH THE EXERCISE OF JUDICIAL POWER BY THIS COURT IN PROMULGATING RULES ON EVIDENCE? (5) WAS THE CONCURRENCE OF THE SENATE IN THE WTO AGREEMENT AND ITS ANNEXES SUFFICIENT AND/OR VALID. Rather. prohibition and mandamus are appropriate remedies to raise constitutional issues and to review and/or prohibit/nullify. (2) The matter of estoppel will not be taken and the respondents have effectively waived it pleadings. and being a matter that probes into the very jurisdiction of this Court to hear and decide this case -was deliberated upon by the Court and will thus be ruled upon as the first issue. MINISTERIAL DECLARATIONS AND DECISIONS.voted for concurrence in the ratification of the WTO Agreement. During its deliberations on the case. .66 as follows: Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable.63 Once a controversy as to the application or interpretation of a constitutional provision is raised before this Court (as in the instant case). DOES THE PETITION INVOLVE A POLITICAL QUESTION OVER WHICH THIS COURT HAS NO JURISDICTION? (2) DO THE PROVISIONS OF THE WTO AGREEMENT AND ITS THREE ANNEXES CONTRAVENE SEC. 10 AND 12. The foregoing notwithstanding. acts of legislative and executive officials. rather than skirted or deflected by procedural matters.62 To recapitulate. Indeed. this Court will not review the wisdom of the decision of the President and the Senate in enlisting the country into the WTO. speedy or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. 19. this Court resolved to deal with these three issues thus: (1) The political question issue -.68 the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question of whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction.

1. and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony. and Article XXVI of GATT.Specifically. or in terms of proportion of volume or value of its local production. (b) the importation by an enterprise of products used in or related to its local production by restricting its access to foreign exchange inflows attributable to the enterprise. 12. or compliance with which is necessary to obtain an advantage. domestic materials and locally produced goods. or xx Article XII xx 1. of the Constitution. in terms of volume or value of products. emphasis supplied). purchase. Article XII. emphasis supplied). Vol. Petitioners aver that these sacred constitutional principles are desecrated by the following WTO provisions quoted in their memorandum: 70 a) In the area of investment measures related to trade in goods (TRIMS. offering for sale. (par. The paragraph 4 of Article III of GATT 1994 referred to is quoted as follows: The products of the territory of any contracting party imported into the territory of any other contracting party shall be accorded treatment no less favorable than that accorded to like products of national origin in respect of laws. (a) the importation by an enterprise of products used in or related to the local production that it exports. 31. Uruguay Round Legal Documents. The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos. or xx xx xx xx Sec. and which restrict: NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY xx xx (a) the purchase or use by an enterprise of products of domestic origin or from any domestic source. Uruguay Round. distribution or use. The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. (Annex to the Agreement on TradeRelated Investment Measures. 62 UMTS 82-84 in relation to paragraph 1(a) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994. emphasis supplied). Legal Instruments p. 27. whether specified in terms of particular products. b) In the area of trade related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS. and Secs. and which require: Sec. Vol. 1. Vol. for brevity): Article 2 National Treatment and Quantitative Restrictions. 10 and 12. The Annex referred to reads as follows: ANNEX Illustrative List [Type text] (c) the exportation or sale for export specified in terms of particular products. privileges. Article II. 19. Legal Instruments. 27. which are worded as follows: Article II DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES xx xx xx xx Sec. x x x. or in terms of a preparation of volume or value of its local production. Vol. The State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor. Legal Instruments. 19. Article 3. xx 2. Uruguay Round.177.. Uruguay Round. in terms of volume or value of products. xx xx xx (b) that an enterprises purchases or use of imported products be limited to an amount related to the volume or value of local products that it exports. the flagship constitutional provisions referred to are Sec. p. regulations and requirements affecting their internal sale. p. 2. and adopt measures that help make them competitive. as amended by the Protocol Modifying Part II. In the grant of rights. the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos. the provisions of this paragraph shall not prevent the application of differential internal transportation charges which are based exclusively on the economic operation of the means of transport and not on the nationality of the product. Agreement on Trade-Related Aspect of Intellectual Property rights. for brevity): Each Member shall accord to the nationals of other Members treatment no less favourable than that it accords to its own nationals with regard to the protection of intellectual property.22121.. 1. An Illustrative list of TRIMS that are inconsistent with the obligations of general elimination of quantitative restrictions provided for in paragraph I of Article XI of GATT 1994 is contained in the Annex to this Agreement. (Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures. TRIMS that are inconsistent with the obligation of national treatment provided for in paragraph 4 of Article III of GATT 1994 include those which are mandatory or enforceable under domestic law or under administrative rulings. Without prejudice to other rights and obligations under GATT 1994. (Article III. TRIMS that are inconsistent with the obligations of general elimination of quantitative restrictions provided for in paragraph 1 of Article XI of GATT 1994 include those which are mandatory or enforceable under domestic laws or under administrative rulings. 14 September 1948. p.22125. no Member shall apply any TRIM that is inconsistent with the provisions of Article III or Article XI of GATT 1994.25432 (emphasis supplied) . transportation. or compliance with which is necessary to obtain an advantage. GATT 1947. 10.

in respect of all measures affecting the supply of services. meaning a law should be passed by Congress to clearly define and effectuate such principles. 71 Petitioners further argue that these provisions contravene constitutional limitations on the role exports play in national development and negate the preferential treatment accorded to Filipino labor. Uruguay Round Legal Instruments. General Agreement on Trade in Services. . It seems to me important that the legal right which is an essential component of a cause of action be a specific. They do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights but guidelines for legislation. and that the trial court should have given petitioners an effective opportunity so to demonstrate. If the executive and the legislature failed to heed the directives of the article. there are due process dimensions to this matter. The counterpart of this article in the 1935 Constitution 72 is called the basic political creed of the nation by Dean Vicente Sinco. and by the legislature in its enactment of laws. To my mind. p. The second is a broader-gauge consideration -. In general. regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations as provided in the annexed agreements. xxx Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable.(c) In the area of the General Agreement on Trade in Services: National Treatment 1. In the sectors inscribed in its schedule. 3.D. either formally identical treatment or formally different treatment to that it accords to its own like services and service suppliers. (3) that read properly. (2) that these nationalistic portions of the Constitution invoked by petitioners should not be read in isolation but should be related to other relevant provisions of Art. XII. We shall now discuss and rule on these arguments. The constitutional conflict becomes more manifest when viewed in the context of the clear duty imposed on the Philippines as a WTO member to ensure the conformity of its laws. they are basically not self-executing. or failures to act. defendants may well be unable to defend themselves intelligently and effectively.that is or may be violated by the actions. One is that unless the legal right claimed to have been violated or disregarded is given specification in operational terms.22610 emphasis supplied). before the trial court. the court should be understood as simply saying that such a more specific legal right or rights may well exist in our corpus of law. 28. Feliciano in his concurring opinion in Oposa vs. particularly Secs. A Member may meet the requirement of paragraph I by according to services and service suppliers of any other Member. Justice Florentino P. p. Factoran. thus: On petitioners allegation that P. the disregard of which can give rise to a cause of action in the courts. 1869 violates Sections 11 (Personal Dignity) 12 (Family) and 13 (Role of Youth) of Article II. Vol. and subject to any conditions and qualifications set out therein. As held in the leading case of Kilosbayan. The electorate could express their displeasure with the failure of the executive and the legislature through the language of the ballot. II. treatment no less favourable than it accords to its own like services and service suppliers. 73 These principles in Article II are not intended to be self-executing principles ready for enforcement through the courts. Morato. domestic materials and locally produced goods. Formally identical or formally different treatment shall be considered to be less favourable if it modifies the conditions of completion in favour of services or service suppliers of the Member compared to like services or service suppliers of any other Member. (Article XVII. instead of aborting the proceedings on a motion to dismiss. Mr. 2. each Member shall accord to services and service suppliers of any other Member. in other words. The reasons for denying a cause of action to an alleged infringement of broad constitutional principles are sourced from basic considerations of due process and the lack of judicial authority to wade into the uncharted ocean of social and economic policy making. show a more specific legal right -. It is petitioners position that the foregoing national treatment and parity provisions of the WTO Agreement place nationals and products of member countries on the same footing as Filipinos and local products. the available remedy was not judicial but political. Jr.a right cast in language of a significantly lower order of generality than Article II (15) of the Constitution -. therefore.77 explained these reasons as follows: My suggestion is simply that petitioners must. rather than a constitutional or statutory policy. 75 the principles and state [Type text] policies enumerated in Article II and some sections of Article XII are not self-executing provisions. 2). On the other hand. suffice it to state also that these are merely statements of principles and policies. As such. we held in Basco vs. Vol. the 1935 provisions were not intended to be selfexecuting principles ready for enforcement through the courts. Section 13 (Social Justice) of Article XIII and Section 2 (Educational Values) of Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution.where a specific violation of law or applicable regulation is not alleged or proved. Pagcor76 that broad constitutional principles need legislative enactments to implement them. considering the general policy principles found in the Constitution and the existence of the Philippine Environment Code. imputed to the public respondent by petitioners so that the trial court can validly render judgment granting all or part of the relief prayed for. in contravention of the Filipino First policy of the Constitution. 1 and 13 thereof. (Bernas. for at least two (2) reasons. They allegedly render meaningless the phrase effectively controlled by Filipinos. and (4) that the WTO Agreement contains sufficient provisions to protect developing countries like the Philippines from the harshness of sudden trade liberalization. the cited WTO clauses do not conflict with the Constitution.. Incorporated vs. 74 They are used by the judiciary as aids or as guides in the exercise of its power of judicial review. respondents through the Solicitor General counter (1) that such Charter provisions are not self-executing and merely set out general policies. They were rather directives addressed to the executive and to the legislature. petitioners can be expected to fall back on the expanded conception of judicial power in the second paragraph of Section 1 of Article VIII of the Constitution which reads: Section 1. Article II of the Constitution is a declaration of principles and state policies. In the same light. operable legal right. Declaration of Principles Not Self-Executing By its very title.

labor and enterprises. At least in respect of the vast area of environmental protection and management. 2.and 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. it does not prohibit them either. while the Constitution indeed mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods. The State shall pursue a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity. Art. with each members vote equal in weight to that of any other. (2) by mandating the State to adopt measures that help make them competitive. our courts have no claim to special technical competence and experience and professional qualification. While the Constitution does not encourage the unlimited entry of foreign goods. It is true that in the recent case of Manila Prince Hotel vs. especially the underprivileged. 81 and speaks of industries which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets as well as of the protection of Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices. (Emphases supplied) When substantive standards as general as the right to a balanced and healthy ecology and the right to health are combined with remedial standards as broad ranging as a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. 10. a sustained increase in the amount of goods and services produced by the nation for the benefit of the people. the Constitution takes into account the realities of the outside world as it requires the pursuit of a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity. the Constitution then ordains the ideals of economic nationalism (1) by expressing preference in favor of qualified Filipinos in the grant of rights. as follows: 1. income. it is respectfully submitted. privileges and concessions covering national economy and patrimony and not to every aspect of trade and commerce. The State shall promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform. there are enough balancing provisions in the Constitution to allow the Senate to ratify the Philippine concurrence in the WTO Agreement. as a rule. From its very words the provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. A sustained increase in the amount of goods and services provided by the nation for the benefit of the people. and 3. With these goals in context. income and wealth. respondents maintain that the WTO itself has some built-in advantages to protect weak and developing economies. 10 and 12 of Article XII. 13. x x x xxx x x xx x x Sec. operable norms and standards are shown to exist. XII is self-executing or not. then the policy making departments -. at the same time. However. privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony 78 and in the use of Filipino labor.must be given a real and effective opportunity to fashion and promulgate those norms and standards. Any member may withdraw from the . it allows an exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity. and wealth. Sec. It is per se judicially enforceable. positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. services. And we hold that there are. It did not shut out foreign investments. especially Secs. decisions of the Ministerial Conference and the General Council shall be taken by the majority of the votes cast. Unlike in the UN where major states have permanent seats and veto powers in the Security Council. A more equitable distribution of opportunities. in the WTO. second par. In fact. and to implement them before the courts should intervene. goods and services in the development of the Philippine economy. and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. domestic materials and locally-produced goods. as the constitutional provision itself states. Government Service Insurance System. 10 of Art. to propel courts into the uncharted ocean of social and economic policy making. services and investments into the country. In the pursuit of these goals. However. et al. 79 and (3) by requiring the State to develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. It refers to exceptions rather than the rule. and an expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all. apart from merely laying down general principles relating to the national economy and patrimony. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory. all sectors of the economy and all regions of the country shall be given optimum opportunity to develop. Amendments would require two thirds vote in general..82 this Court held that Sec. An expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all especially the [Type text] underprivileged. Amendments to MFN provisions and the Amendments provision will require assent of all members. the result will be. WTO decides by consensus whenever possible. frowning only on foreign competition that is unfair. it recognizes the need for business exchange with the rest of the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino enterprises only against foreign competition and trade practices that are unfair. All told. decisions are made on the basis of sovereign equality. which comprise the vast majority of its members. There is no WTO equivalent of the UN Security Council. Secs. the State shall protect Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices. Rather. Economic Nationalism Should Be Read with Other Constitutional Mandates to Attain Balanced Development of Economy On the other hand. 1 and 13 thereof which read: Section 1. 83 In other words.. through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources. the Constitution did not intend to pursue an isolationist policy. The issue here is not whether this paragraph of Sec. The goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of opportunities. WTO Recognizes Need to Protect Weak Economies Upon the other hand. 1 lays down the basic goals of national economic development. 80 In similar language. except in cases of interpretation of the Agreement or waiver of the obligation of a member which would require three fourths vote. should be read and understood in relation to the other sections in said article. As pointed out by the Solicitor General. it is enforceable only in regard to the grants of rights. the issue is whether.the legislative and executive departments -. Where no specific. otherwise.

Being desirous of contributing to these objectives by entering into reciprocal and mutually advantageous arrangements directed to the substantial reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade and to the elimination of discriminatory treatment in international trade relations. and trade without discrimination cannot be struck down as unconstitutional as in fact they are rules of equality and reciprocity that apply to all WTO members. But such decision cannot be set aside on the ground of grave abuse of discretion. giving their domestic industries some protection from the rush of foreign competition. This is not merely a matter of practical alliances but a negotiating strategy rooted in law. GATT requires developed countries to reduce their budgetary outlays for export subsidy by 36% and export volumes receiving export subsidy by 21% within a period of six (6) years.Agreement upon the expiration of six months from the date of notice of withdrawals. the reduction rate is only two-thirds of that prescribed for developed countries and a longer period of ten (10) years within which to effect such reduction. Quite the contrary. (underscoring supplied. local industries and enterprises will all be wiped out and that Filipinos will be deprived of control of the economy. It contemplates neither economic seclusion nor mendicancy in the international community. but one in favor of the gradual development of robust industries that can compete with the best in the foreign markets. 84 Hence. It does not mean autarky or economic seclusion. Where local businesses are jeopardized by unfair foreign competition. the constitutional policy of a self-reliant and independent national economy 86 does not necessarily rule out the entry of foreign investments. the results of past trade liberalization efforts. thereby demonstrating a clear policy against a sheltered domestic trade environment. x x x. seeking both to protect and preserve the environment and to enhance the means for doing so in a manner consistent with their respective needs and concerns at different levels of economic development.) Specific WTO Provisos Protect Developing Countries So too. the weaker situations of developing nations like the Philippines have been taken into account. Resolved. the WTO Agreement grants developing countries a more lenient treatment. the basic principles underlying the WTO Agreement recognize the need of developing countries like the Philippines to share in the growth in international trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development. as compared to only 13% for developing countries to be effected within ten (10) years. 88 the fundamental law encourages industries that are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. rather. Filipino managers and Filipino enterprises have shown capability and tenacity to compete internationally. however. Thus. Aside from envisioning a trade policy based on equality and reciprocity. Determined to preserve the basic principles and to further the objectives underlying this multilateral trading system. Specifically.including the Philippines -. the Solicitor General points out that pursuant to and consistent with the foregoing basic principles. more viable and durable multilateral trading system encompassing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. ensuring full employment and a large and steadily growing volume of real income and effective demand. Within the WTO. GATT requires developed countries to reduce domestic support to agricultural products by 20% over six (6) years. 87 The WTO reliance on most favored nation. while allowing for the optimal use of the worlds resources in accordance with the objective of sustainable development. simply because we disagree with it or simply because we believe only in other economic policies. therefore. Moreover. As explained by Constitutional Commissioner Bernardo Villegas. it means avoiding mendicancy in the international community. Indeed. In regard to export subsidy for agricultural products. and expanding the production of and trade in goods and services. Filipino entrepreneurs and managers in Hongkong have demonstrated the Filipino capacity to grow and to prosper against the best offered under a policy of laissez faire. there would be no basis to say that in joining the WTO. There is hardly therefore any basis for the statement that under the WTO. preferential treatment is given to developing countries in terms of the amount of tariff reduction and the period within which the reduction is to be spread out. [Type text] In respect to domestic subsidy.are required to effect an average tariff reduction of only 24% within ten (10) years. Thus. Independence refers to the freedom from undue foreign control of the national economy. Recognizing that their relations in the field of trade and economic endeavour should be conducted with a view to raising standards of living. And given a free trade environment. GATT requires an average tariff reduction rate of 36% for developed countries to be effected within a period of six (6) years while developing countries -. the respondents have gravely abused their discretion. . sponsor of this constitutional policy: Economic self-reliance is a primary objective of a developing country that is keenly aware of overdependence on external assistance for even its most basic needs. poor countries can protect their common interests more effectively through the WTO than through one-on-one negotiations with developed countries. countervailing measures and safeguards against import surges. the Court in taking jurisdiction of this case will not pass upon the advantages and disadvantages of trade liberalization as an economic policy. GATT itself has provided built-in protection from unfair foreign competition and trade practices including anti-dumping measures. True. with respect to tariffs in general. they have made a bold decision to steer the ship of state into the yet uncharted sea of economic liberalization. Recognizing further that there is need for positive efforts designed to ensure that developing countries. Constitution Does Not Rule Out Foreign Competition Furthermore. goods and services. thus. These basic principles are found in the preamble85 of the WTO Agreement as follows: The Parties to this Agreement. secure a share in the growth in international trade commensurate with the needs of their economic development. As earlier stated. national treatment. For developing countries. to develop an integrated. and all of the results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. It will only perform its constitutional duty of determining whether the Senate committed grave abuse of discretion. especially in such strategic industries as in the development of natural resources and public utilities. and especially the least developed among them. developing countries can form powerful blocs to push their economic agenda more decisively than outside the Organization. the Philippines can avail of these measures.

Constitution Designed to Meet Future Events and Contingencies Sovereignty Limited by International Law and Treaties No doubt.Constitution Favors Consumers. the Constitution cannot. nor can it conjure by mere fiat an instant Utopia.international agreements must be performed in good faith. Did that necessarily mean that the then Constitution might not have contemplated a diminution of the absoluteness of sovereignty when the Philippines signed the UN Charter. employment. nations may surrender some aspects of their state power in exchange for greater benefits granted by or derived from a convention or pact. the sale or cession of territory. restricts and impairs Philippine sovereignty. the base and framework only of the edifice that is yet to rise. the country is bound by generally accepted principles of international law. it is however subject to restrictions and limitations voluntarily agreed to by the Philippines. the regulation of commercial relations. Such questions and the answers thereto are not subject to judicial pronouncements based on grave abuse of discretion. specifically the legislative power which under Sec. Consequently.expand the countrys exports and generate more employment? Third Issue: The WTO Agreement and Legislative Power The WTO Agreement provides that (e)ach Member shall ensure the conformity of its laws. like individuals. the regulation of conduct of hostilities. petitioners claim that said WTO proviso derogates from the power to tax. the laying down of rules governing conduct in peace and the establishment of international organizations. the formation of alliances. That does not mean however that the Charter is necessarily flawed in the sense that its framers might not have anticipated the advent of a borderless world of business. nor does it contain any specific pronouncement that Filipino companies should be pampered with a total proscription of foreign competition. After all. freedom. respondents claim that WTO/GATT aims to make available to the Filipino consumer the best goods and services obtainable anywhere in the world at the most reasonable prices. where it will in time develop its sinews and gradually gather its strength and finally achieve its substance. the Constitution did not envision a hermit-type isolation of the country from the rest of the world. not in a twinkling by mandate of our delegates. In its Declaration of Principles and State Policies. and other duties or imposts. for example. [Type text] By their inherent nature. the root and not the blossom.as promised by its promoters -. tonnage and wharfage dues. 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code. the question boils down to whether WTO/GATT will favor the general welfare of the public at large. and adheres to the policy of peace. 95 One of the oldest and most fundamental rules in international law is pacta sunt servanda -. cooperation and amity. equality. Article VI of the 1987 Philippine Constitution is vested in the Congress of the Philippines. the Constitution adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. treaties really limit or restrict the absoluteness of sovereignty. states. while sovereignty has traditionally been deemed absolute and all-encompassing on the domestic level. expressly or impliedly. they also commonly agree to limit the exercise of their otherwise absolute rights. 2. which is lodged in the Congress. In fine."94 By the doctrine of incorporation. Unquestionably. regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations as provided in the annexed Agreements.91 The responses to these questions involve judgment calls by our policy makers. By the same token. which not only relates to the trade in goods x x x but also to the flow of investments and money x x x as well as to a whole slew of agreements on socio-cultural matters x x x. By their voluntary act. However. treaties have been used to record agreements between States concerning such widely diverse matters as. such authority is subject to specified limits and x x x such limitations and restrictions as Congress may provide. A state which has contracted valid international obligations is bound to make in its legislations such modifications as may be necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the obligations undertaken. import and export quotas. with all nations. 93 as in fact it did under Sec. for which they are answerable to our people during appropriate electoral exercises. which are considered to be automatically part of our own laws. like the goddess Athena. It is but the core of the dream that must take shape. A treaty engagement is not a mere moral obligation but creates a legally binding obligation on the parties x x x. More specifically. 96 Will it bring more prosperity. It is to the credit of its drafters that a Constitution can withstand the assaults of bigots and infidels but at the same time bend with the refreshing winds of change necessitated by unfolding events. Not Industries or Enterprises The Constitution has not really shown any unbalanced bias in favor of any business or enterprise. the United Nations was not yet in existence when the 1935 Constitution became effective. purchasing power and quality products at the most reasonable rates to the Filipino public? It is not difficult to answer this question. rise full-grown from the brow of the Constitutional Convention. live with coequals. drawing from the vicissitudes of history the dynamism and vitality that will keep it. the lease of naval bases. the termination of war. 92 And while the Constitution allows Congress to authorize the President to fix tariff rates. as a member of the family of nations. living law attuned to the heartbeat of the nation. and in pursuit of mutually covenanted objectives and benefits. Will adherence to the WTO treaty bring this ideal (of favoring the general welfare) to reality? Will WTO/GATT succeed in promoting the Filipinos general welfare because it will -. far from becoming a petrified rule. As one eminent political law writer and respected jurist 89 explains: The Constitution must be quintessential rather than superficial. On the other hand. justice. but slowly in the crucible of Filipino minds and hearts. the WTO Agreement was not yet in existence when the Constitution was drafted and ratified in 1987. It must grow with the society it seeks to re-structure and march apace with the progress of the race.97 The sovereignty of a state therefore cannot in fact . Constitutions are designed to meet not only the vagaries of contemporary events. thereby effectively surrendering part of its control over its foreign relations to the decisions of various UN organs like the Security Council? This Court notes and appreciates the ferocity and passion by which petitioners stressed their arguments on this issue. They should be interpreted to cover even future and unknown circumstances.90 Petitioners maintain that this undertaking unduly limits. It is an assault on the sovereign powers of the Philippines because this means that Congress could not pass legislation that will be good for our national interest and general welfare if such legislation will not conform with the WTO Agreement. Thus. a pulsing. the settling of claims.

and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action. Hence. (e) Bilateral air transport agreement with Korea where the Philippines agreed to exempt from all customs duties. But unless anarchy in international relations is preferred as an alternative. inspection fees and other duties or taxes aircrafts of South Korea and the regular equipment. such provisos are however subject to enforcement measures decided by the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security under Chapter VII of the Charter. (g) Bilateral air service agreement with Belgium where the Philippines granted Belgian air carriers the same privileges as those granted to Japanese and Korean air carriers under separate air service agreements. 1961. the Philippines has entered into many other international pacts -both bilateral and multilateral -. The underlying consideration in this partial surrender of sovereignty is the reciprocal commitment of the other contracting states in granting the same privilege and immunities to the Philippines. smaller countries typically stand to gain disproportionately from trade liberalization. (j) Multilateral Convention on Special Missions. The age of interdependence is here. In addition. Today. or trade. in most cases we accept that the benefits of the reciprocal obligations involved outweigh the costs associated with any loss of political sovereignty. A final example: under Article 103. if established. providing. would constitute a breach of international obligation. thus unquestionably denying the Philippines -. eminent domain and police power. These are enumerated by the Solicitor General in his Compliance dated October 24. So too. excise taxes. 1996. Likewise. paragraph 2. in said convention. where the Philippines agreed to exempt from customs duties. Special Missions are also exempted from customs duties. taxes and related charges. among others. the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. where the Philippines agreed that premises of Special Missions in the Philippines are inviolable and its agents can not enter said premises without consent of the Head of Mission concerned. (c) Bilateral convention with the Kingdom of Sweden for the avoidance of double taxation. to exempt from tax. International treaties. The International Court of Justice has jurisdiction in all legal disputes concerning the interpretation of a treaty. when the Philippines joined the United Nations as one of its 51 charter members. 98 UN Charter and Other Treaties Limit Sovereignty Thus. as follows: (a) Bilateral convention with the United States regarding taxes on income. of the UN Charter. welldefined substantive norms and objective dispute resolution procedures reduce the risks of larger countries exploiting raw economic power to bully smaller countries. In the foregoing treaties. (T)rade treaties that structure relations by reference to durable. salaries and similar remunerations paid by the United States to its citizens for labor and personal services performed by them as employees or officials of the United States are exempt from income tax by the Philippines. (h) Bilateral notes with Israel for the abolition of transit and visitor visas where the Philippines exempted Israeli nationals from the requirement of obtaining transit or visitor visas for a sojourn in the Philippines not exceeding 59 days. the environment. lubricating oils. income received in the Philippines by.as a member -. the Philippines has effectively agreed to limit the exercise of its sovereign powers of taxation.and in reality be considered absolute. (i)n the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement. (k) Multilateral Convention on the Law of Treaties. 47-A Under Article 2 of the UN Charter. (I) Bilateral agreement with France exempting French nationals from the requirement of obtaining transit and visitor visa for a sojourn not exceeding 59 days. thereby limiting again the exercise of sovereignty of members within their own territory. (b) Bilateral agreement with Belgium. the International Court of Justice held that money used by the United Nations Emergency Force in the Middle East and in the Congo were expenses of the United Nations under Article 17. their obligation under the present charter shall prevail. the UN and its representatives enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities. Kennedy. any question of international law. Certain restrictions enter into the picture: (1) limitations imposed by the very nature of membership in the family of nations and (2) limitations imposed by treaty stipulations. constrain domestic political sovereignty through the assumption of external obligations. spare parts and supplies arriving with said aircrafts. whether relating to nuclear disarmament. It is compelled to appropriate funds whether it agrees with such peace-keeping expenses or not. regular equipment. if any. among others. spare parts. all its members must bear their corresponding share in such expenses. As aptly put by John F. for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on income.that involve limitations on Philippine sovereignty. human rights. [Type text] (d) Bilateral convention with the French Republic for the avoidance of double taxation. inspection fees and other similar duties. stores on board Japanese aircrafts while on Philippine soil.the sovereign power to make a choice as to which of conflicting obligations. wages. The age of self-sufficient nationalism is over. the law of the sea. the Philippines agreed to be governed by the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. This is due to the simple fact that liberalization will provide access to a larger set of potential new trading relationship than in case of the larger country gaining enhanced success to the smaller . (f) Bilateral air service agreement with Japan. it consented to restrict its sovereign rights under the concept of sovereignty as auto-limitation. the Philippine Congress is restricted in its power to appropriate. Such assistance includes payment of its corresponding share not merely in administrative expenses but also in expenditures for the peace-keeping operations of the organization. where the Philippines agreed. (a)ll members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter. taxes or charges fuel. no nation can build its destiny alone. among others. In this sense. by subjecting power relations to some form of legal ordering. Apart from the UN Treaty. (l) Declaration of the President of the Philippines accepting compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. The same reciprocity characterizes the Philippine commitments under WTO-GATT. In its advisory opinion of July 20. In this convention. under Article 105 of the said Charter. its officials and its citizens. the existence of any fact which. Another example: although sovereign equality and domestic jurisdiction of all members are set forth as underlying principles in the UN Charter. to honor. the Export/Import Bank of the United States. the Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the United States.

By and large. For the purposes of civil proceedings in respect of the infringement of the rights of the owner referred to in paragraph 1(b) of Article 28. members shall be free to determine the appropriate method of implementing the provisions of TRIPS within their own internal systems and processes. (b) if there is a substantial likelihood that the identical product was made by the process and the owner of the patent has been unable through reasonable efforts to determine the process actually used. Fourth Issue: The WTO Agreement and Judicial Power The foregoing should really present no problem in changing the rules of evidence as the present law on the subject. consistent as it is with due process and the concept of adversarial dispute settlement inherent in our judicial system. the patent owner still has the burden of proof since. such owner still has to introduce evidence of the existence of the alleged identical product. 102 it will be fruitful to restate its full text as follows: Article 34 Process Patents: Burden of Proof 1. the judicial authorities shall have the authority to order the defendant to prove that the process to obtain an identical product is different from the patented process. which in turn was the document signed by Secretary Navarro. in at least one of the following circumstances. The point is that. In the adduction of proof to the contrary. actually refers to the burden of evidence (burden of going forward) placed on the producer of the identical (or fake) product to [Type text] SEC. the arguments adduced in connection with our disposition of the third issue -derogation of legislative power . Article 34 of the General Provisions and Basic Principles of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) 100 intrudes on the power of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules concerning pleading. the adjustment in legislation and rules of procedure will not be substantial. Where either of these two provisos does not obtain.countrys market. 3. properly understood. the fact that it is identical to the genuine one produced by the patented process and the fact of newness of the genuine product or the fact of substantial likelihood that the identical product was made by the patented process. in representation of the Republic upon authority of the President. a WTO Member is required to provide a rule of disputable (note the words in the absence of proof to the contrary) presumption that a product shown to be identical to one produced with the use of a patented process shall be deemed to have been obtained by the (illegal) use of the said patented process. trademarks and copyrights.is defective and insufficient and thus constitutes abuse of discretion. Infringement. 60. Identity or substantial identity with the patented design or utility model shall constitute evidence of copying. using or selling of the article or product copying the patented design or utility model. or (2) where there is substantial likelihood that the identical product was made with the use of the said patented process but the owner of the patent could not determine the exact process used in obtaining such identical product. . that any identical product when produced without the consent of the patent owner shall. Besides. .99 show that his product was produced without the use of the patented process. (underscoring supplied) Moreover. From the above. practice and procedures. 165.Infringement of a design patent or of a patent for utility model shall consist in unauthorized copying of the patented design or utility model for the purpose of trade or industry in the article or product and in the making. based on the rationale that the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of x x x cooperation and amity with all nations. if the subject matter of a patent is a process for obtaining a product.but not in the other documents referred to in the Final Act. in the absence of proof to the contrary. Suffice it to say that the reciprocity clause more than justifies such intrusion. So too. Article 34 does not contain an unreasonable burden. regardless of the presumption provided under paragraph 1 of Article 34.will apply to this fourth issue also. the burden of proof contemplated by Article 34 should actually be understood as the duty of the alleged patent infringer to overthrow such presumption. if any actually exists. Therefore. 101 To understand the scope and meaning of Article 34. as amended. provides a similar presumption in cases of infringement of patented design or utility model. namely the Ministerial Declaration and Decisions and the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services -. Members shall provide.103 Fifth Issue: Concurrence Only in the WTO Agreement and Not in Other Documents Contained in the Final Act Petitioners allege that the Senate concurrence in the WTO Agreement and its annexes -. a portion of sovereignty may be waived without violating the Constitution. Republic Act No. it should be noted that the requirement of Article 34 to provide a disputable presumption applies only if (1) the product obtained by the patented process is NEW or (2) there is a substantial likelihood that the identical product was made by the process and the process owner has not been able through reasonable effort to determine the process used. They contend that the second letter of the President to the Senate 104 which enumerated what constitutes the Final Act should have been the subject of concurrence of the Senate. be deemed to have been obtained by the patented process: (a) if the product obtained by the patented process is new. otherwise known as the Patent Law. Any Member shall be free to provide that the burden of proof indicated in paragraph 1 shall be on the alleged infringer only if the condition referred to in subparagraph (a) is fulfilled or only if the condition referred to in subparagraph (b) is fulfilled. thus: Petitioners aver that paragraph 1. They submit that such concurrence in the WTO Agreement alone is flawed because it is in effect a rejection of the Final Act. 2. TRIPS. Such burden. the legitimate interests of defendants in protecting their manufacturing and business secrets shall be taken into account. Hence. as shown by the foregoing treaties. (1) where such product obtained by the patented product is new. The foregoing notwithstanding. since the Philippine is a signatory to most international conventions on patents.

he agreed to withdraw upon understanding that his suggestion for an alternative solution at that time was acceptable. The Plurilateral Trade Agreements do not create either obligation or rights for Members that have not accepted them. After reading the letter of President Ramos dated August 11. 2. It should be added that the Senate was well-aware of what it was concurring in as shown by the members deliberation on August 25. Mr. as appropriate. is an instrument which records the winding up of the proceedings of a diplomatic conference and usually includes a reproduction of the texts of treaties. Was the observation made by Senator Taada that what was submitted to the Senate was not the agreement on establishing the World Trade Organization by the final act of the Uruguay Round which is not the same as the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization? And on that basis. Can this Committee hear from Senator Taada and later on Senator Tolentino since they were the ones that raised this question yesterday? Senator Taada. concurrence of the Senate in the WTO Agreement. I of the 36-volume Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. clearing systems and refinancing available in the normal course of business. By signing said Final Act. The WTO shall provide the common institutional framework for the conduct of trade relations among its Members in matters to the agreements and associated legal instruments included in the Annexes to this Agreement." The assailed Senate Resolution No. temporary entry of personnel. in effect. ROMULO: Mr. Chairman. Senator Tolentino raised a point of order which. They were approved by the ministers by virtue of Article XXV: 1 of GATT which provides that representatives of the members can meet to give effect to those provisions of this Agreement which invoke joint action. annexed to the Final Act adopted at the conclusion of the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment. 108 On the other hand. The Ministerial Declarations and Decisions were deemed adopted without need for ratification. 4. the question of the validity of the submission came up in the first day hearing of this Committee yesterday. amended or modified (hereinafter referred to as GATT 1947). Senator Taada. Thank you. dated 30 October 1947. Secretary Romulo. The Agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annex 4 (hereinafter referred to as Plurilateral Trade Agreements) are also part of this Agreement for those Members that have accepted them. expansion of operation of existing financial service suppliers. the WTO Agreement itself expresses what multilateral agreements are deemed included as its integral parts. I have not seen the new submission actually transmitted to us but I saw the draft of his earlier. Chairman. is he making a new submission which improves on the clarity of the first submission? MR. . of President Ramos. please.109 as follows: Article II Scope of the WTO 1. it was his intention to clarify all matters by giving this letter. however. and are binding on those Members. and the Understanding and Commitments in Financial Services.. and 3 (hereinafter referred to as Multilateral Agreements) are integral parts of this Agreement. and generally with a view to facilitating the operation and furthering the objectives of this Agreement. . The Final Act itself specifies what is going to be submitted to with the governments of the participants. 97 expressed concurrence in exactly what the Final Act required from its signatories. The text of the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations is contained in just one page 106 in Vol. and national treatment with respect to access to payment. binding on all Members. namely. It is rather a summary of the proceedings of a protracted conference which may have taken place over several years. conventions. 105 It is not the treaty itself. Secretary Navarro as representative of the Republic of the Philippines undertook: "(a) to submit. 2. sometimes called protocol de clture. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 as specified in annex 1A (hereinafter referred to as GATT 1994) is legally distinct from the General Agreement on [Type text] Tariffs and Trade. free transfer and processing of information. and (b) to adopt the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. Mr. but rather the Agreement on the World Trade Organization as well as the Ministerial Declarations and Decisions. and with the Final Act itself. Now. THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Mr. Based on what Secretary Romulo has read. as subsequently rectified. TAADA: Thank you. and I think it now complies with the provisions of the Constitution.110 the senators of the Republic minutely dissected what the Senate was concurring in. I am now satisfied with the wording of the new submission of President Ramos. 3. 107 The Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services also approved in Marrakesh does not apply to the Philippines. It requires us to ratify the Agreement which is now being submitted. The Constitution does not require us to ratify the Final Act. as follows: 111 THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. 1994. SEN. is the President submitting a new. SEN TOLENTINO. it would now clearly appear that what is being submitted to the Senate for ratification is not the Final Act of the Uruguay Round. 1994. SEN. And so. recommendations and other acts agreed upon and signed by the plenipotentiaries attending the conference. THE CHAIRMAN. That suggestion was to treat the proceedings of the Committee as being in the nature of briefings for Senators until the question of the submission could be clarified. Chairman. . The Agreements and associated legal instruments included in Annexes 1. elimination of monopoly.. Chairman.A final act. Can we hear from Senator Tolentino? And after him Senator Neptali Gonzales and Senator Lina. . the WTO Agreement for the consideration of their respective competent authorities with a view to seeking approval of the Agreement in accordance with their procedures. It applies only to those 27 Members which have indicated in their respective schedules of commitments on standstill. to make sure that it is clear cut and there should be no misunderstanding. TAADA.

if not economic self-destruction. the WTO remains as the only viable structure for multilateral trading and the veritable forum for the development of international trade law. Unless convincing proof and persuasive arguments are [Type text] presented to overthrow such presumptions. President. this Court will resolve every doubt in its favor. whose act is under review. Notwithstanding objections against possible limitations on national sovereignty.113 Failure on the part of the petitioner to show grave abuse of discretion will result in the dismissal of the petition. through their duly authorized elected officers. WHEREFORE. do you want to make any comment on this? SEN. Duly enriched with original membership. what the Senate did was a valid exercise of its authority. Senator Gonzales. this Court cannot find any cogent reason to impute grave abuse of discretion to the Senates exercise of its power of concurrence in the WTO Agreement granted it by Sec. It is itself a constitutional body independent and coordinate. as alleged by petitioners. Thank you. Russia and Saudi Arabia negotiating for membership in the WTO. In other words. Ineludably. GONZALES. stagnation. speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. politically and culturally in the next century. Thank you. we read and I quote: By signing the present Final Act. I would consider the new submission as an act ex abudante cautela. But it is equally true that such principles -. or at least some of its members. SO ORDERED. the Philippines now straddles the crossroads of an international strategy for economic prosperity and stability in the new millennium. SEN. 112 Mere abuse of discretion is not enough. Mr. keenly aware of the advantages and disadvantages of globalization with its on-line experience. He refers to the free market espoused by WTO as the catalyst in this coming Asian ascendancy. . We find no patent and gross arbitrariness or despotism by reason of passion or personal hostility in such exercise. a writ of certiorari grounded on grave abuse of discretion may be issued by the Court under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court when it is amply shown that petitioners have no other plain. The alternative to WTO is isolation. Thank you. there are other equally fundamental constitutional principles relied upon by the Senate which mandate the pursuit of a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity and the promotion of industries which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. domestic materials and locally produced goods.114 In rendering this Decision. and thus its actions are presumed regular and done in good faith. and must be so patent and so gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act at all in contemplation of law. Using the foregoing well-accepted definition of grave abuse of discretion and the presumption of regularity in the Senates processes. Now. I believe. the alleged impairment of sovereignty in the exercise of legislative and judicial powers is balanced by the adoption of the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and the adherence of the Constitution to the policy of cooperation and amity with all nations. That is a matter between the elected policy makers and the people. that broad constitutional principles require the State to develop an independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. And they had been adequately reflected in the journal of yesterdays session and I dont see any need for repeating the same. and to protect and/or prefer Filipino labor. Epilogue In praying for the nullification of the Philippine ratification of the WTO Agreement. predicts an Asian Renaissance116 where the East will become the dominant region of the world economically. By grave abuse of discretion is meant such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. As to whether such exercise was wise. Chairman. It is not impossible to surmise that this Court. Chairman. the WTO Agreement allows withdrawal of membership. author of the best seller Megatrends. I agree with the observation just made by Senator Gonzales out of the abundance of question. it is not the Final Act that was agreed to be submitted to the governments for ratification or acceptance as whatever their constitutional procedures may provide but it is the World Trade Organization Agreement. Procedurally.while serving as judicial and legislative guides -. But that is not a legal reason to attribute grave abuse of discretion to the Senate and to nullify its decision. products. stating the obvious and therefore I have no further comment to make. As to whether the nation should join the worldwide march toward trade liberalization and economic globalization is a matter that our people should determine in electing their policy makers. Mr. and endowed with a vision of the future. Senator Tolentino. voluntarily and overwhelmingly gave its consent to the WTO Agreement thereby making it a part of the law of the land is a legitimate exercise of its sovereign duty and power. Moreover. So too.are not in themselves sources of causes of action. Let the people. That the Senate. is one of two sovereign houses of Congress and is thus entitled to great respect in its actions. should this be the political desire of a member. this Court never forgets that the Senate. It must be grave abuse of discretion as when the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility. Senator Lina. after deliberation and voting. Then the new submission is. beneficial or viable is outside the realm of judicial inquiry and review. I think it satisfies both the Constitution and the Final Act itself. petitioners are invoking this Courts constitutionally imposed duty to determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the Senate in giving its concurrence therein via Senate Resolution No. The eminent futurist John Naisbitt. Mr. To do so would constitute grave abuse in the exercise of our own judicial power and duty. make their free choice. THE CHAIRMAN. There are at present about 31 countries including China. May I call on Senator Gonzales. And if that is the one that is being submitted now. my views on this matter are already a matter of record. 21 of Article VII of the Constitution. After all. LINA. 97. 115 It is true. may even agree with petitioners that it is more advantageous to the national interest to strike down Senate Resolution No. the representatives agree: (a) to submit as appropriate the WTO Agreement for the consideration of the respective competent authorities with a view to seeking approval of the Agreement in accordance with their procedures. THE CHAIRMAN.In paragraph 2 of the Final Act. the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. thereby justifying its acceptance of said treaty. 97.

BAYONITO. 11132201C-11132250C issued to you on June 13. GRAFILO. private respondents Narciso Ra.J. Riego dated March 2.. where. Annex F Copy of the letter of Provincial Treasurer Lourdes P. . Annex B Voters Registration Record with SN 31326504 dated June 22. JR. Jr. in item 8 thereof his residence in the constituency where I seek to be elected immediately preceding the election as 3 years and 5 months. NARCISO Ra. 11132214C in the name of Juan Domino. Sarangani. Lim. 1997. in item 9. the stub of Community Tax Certificate containing Nos. 5. Chiongbian. 1997 indicating respondents registration at Precinct No. on September 22. ROSARIO SAMSON and DIONISIO P. filed with the COMELEC a Petition to Deny Due Course to or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy. Furthermore. Dema-ala. vs. he wrote his birth date as December 22. JR. Deputy Provincial & Municipal Treasurer of Alabel.declaration in the certificate of candidacy. Community Tax Certificate No. Sarangani. Annex E The triplicate copy of the Community Tax Certificate No. Juan P. addressed to Mr. 1997 addressed to and received by Election Officer Mantil Alim. 11132215C was issued in the name of Marianita Letigio on September 8. 1997 and paid under Official Receipt No. Annex C Respondents Community Tax Certificate No. July 19. Private respondents alleged that DOMINO. Dema-ala. 1997.. Barangay Balara. that he is registered voter of Precinct No. Sarangani. To substantiate their allegations. DOMINO filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of Representative of the Lone Legislative District of the Province of Sarangani indicating in item nine (9) of his certificate that he had resided in the constituency where he seeks to be elected for one (1) year and two (2) months immediately preceding the election. Jr. Herson D. 119 On 30 March 1998. Alabel. EN BANC 3. JR. much less a registered voter.. EDDY B. which was docketed as SPA No. Sr. DECISION DAVIDE.R. 14A-1. 98-022 and assigned to the Second Division of the COMELEC. 6. on March 17.. Deputy Provincial Treasurer and Municipal Treasurer of Alabel. No. in item 4 thereof. SR. Upon request of Congressman James L. The antecedents are not disputed. 8. Barangay Poblacion. Conrado G. in item 10. 11132214C in the name of Juan Domino dated September 5. Java. and the Decision of 29 May 1998 118 of the COMELEC en banc denying DOMINOs motion for reconsideration. Annex D Certified true copy of the letter of Herson D. 4. 1953. 7854744. 1997.. kindly turn-over to the undersigned for safekeeping. Quezon City. Annex A the Certificate of Candidacy of respondent for the position of Congressman of the Lone District of the Province of Sarangani filed with the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor of Sarangani on March 25. 134015. and. while Certificate No.. Grafilo. Eddy B. respondents. he claims he have resided in the constituency where he seeks election for one (1) year and two (2) months. Sarangani. Rosario Samson and Dionisio P. JUAN P. we are furnishing you herewith certified xerox copy of the triplicate copy of COMMUNITY TAX CERTIFICATE NO. National Capital Region. Juan Domino but was cancelled and serial no. 1953. petitioner.. in item 9. 1997. private respondents presented the following evidence: 1. where in item 4 thereof he wrote his date of birth as December 5. LIM. JAVA. 2. Old Balara. intervenor. that he is a registered voter of Precinct No. 1995. 1998. dated February 26. 11132213C was also issued to Mr. 4400-A. 1998. Bayonito. of the province of Sarangani where he seeks election. C. LUCILLE CHIONGBIAN-SOLON. On 25 March 1998. Butil. 1998 addressed to Mr. declaring petitioner Juan Domino (hereafter DOMINO) disqualified as candidate for representative of the Lone Legislative District of the Province of Sarangani in the 11 May 1998 elections. 11132212C of the same stub was issued to Carlito Engcong on September 5. is not a resident. contrary to his [Type text] In connection with your letter of even date. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. 182. Alabel. which states: For easy reference. and. which reads: [G. Annex H a copy of the APPLICATION FOR TRANSFER OF REGISTRATION RECORDS DUE TO CHANGE OF RESIDENCE of respondent dated August 30. Annex G Certificate of Candidacy of respondent for the position of Congressman in the 3rd District of Quezon City for the 1995 elections filed with the Office of the Regional Election Director.: Challenged in this case for certiorari with a prayer for preliminary injunction are the Resolution of 6 May 1998117 of the Second Division of the Commission on Elections (hereafter COMELEC). Quezon City. 1999] JUAN DOMINO. 11132214C dated January 15. 7.

9 with sub-markings 9-a and 9-b except Annex H. the undersigned has transferred and conducts his business and reside at Barangay Poblacion. 10. the Election Registration Board and other Comelec Offices of Alabel. JUAN DOMINO. Alabel. Their registration records (VRR) were transferred and are now in the possession of the Election Officer of Alabel.Certification dated April 16.The affidavit of respondent reciting the chronology of events and circumstances leading to his relocation to the Municipality of Alabel. [Type text] 5. stating among others. 13. of respondent.Copy of the Application for Transfer of Registration Records due to Change of Residence addressed to Mantil Alim. 14. G with sub-markings G-1 and G-2 and H his CTC No. 111`32214C dated September 5.Copy of claim card in the name of respondent showing his VRR No. in District III Quezon City as completely erroneous as petitioners were no longer residents of Quezon City but of Alabel. showing the spouses Juan and Zorayda Bailon Domino listed as numbers 111 and 112 both under Precinct No. Sarangani where they have been residing since December 1996. in Election Case NO. on April 18. Kayanan. DOMINO maintains that he had complied with the one-year residence requirement and that he has been residing in Sarangani since January 1997. 2. Declaring this erroneous registration of petitioners in Quezon City as done in good faith due to an honest mistake caused by circumstances beyond their control and without any fault of petitioners. 9. 4. 4. 6-a. Quezon City. 1997 as a registered voter of Precinct No. Petitioners. Annexes 9. Jupiter and Beberlie and the respondent on November 4. 14A1 of Barangay Poblacion of Alabel. 1998. 1998. the COMELEC 2nd Division promulgated a resolution declaring DOMINO disqualified as candidate for the position of representative of the lone district of Sarangani for lack of the one-year residence requirement and likewise ordered the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy. 6. 31326504 dated June 22. Spouses Juan and Zorayda Domino.True Carbon Xerox copy of the Decision dated January 19. 4400-A. COMELEC Registrar. and the Board of Election Inspectors of Precinct No. Annex 5 . Sarangani. Respondents. to wit: 1. 1997. respectively. of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Metro Manila. that [T]he undersigneds previous residence is at 24 Bonifacio Street. on the basis of the following findings: What militates against respondents claim that he has met the residency requirement for the position sought is his own Voters Registration Record No. Annex 8-e .Copy of the Extra-Judicial Settlement of Estate with Absolute Deed of sale executed by and between the heirs of deceased spouses Maximo and Remedios Dacaldacal. E. Annex 1 . Petition). DOMINO presented before the COMELEC the following exhibits. Sarangani since January 1997 up to present. III District. BIR form 2316 and W-2. 4400-A. F. Barangay Poblacion. Landero. D-1. 2. Election Officer. subscribed and sworn to before Notary Public Jose A. Election Officer IV. Ayala Heights. Old Balara. Quezon City. 1997. Quezon City. District III. Doria. Old Balara. and 4. B. Annexes 8-a.1997.Copy of the Contract of Lease between Nora Dacaldacal as Lessor and Administrator of the properties of deceased spouses Maximo and Remedios Dacaldacal and respondent as Lessee executed on January 15. 4400-A of Barangay Old Balara. 31326504 dated October 20. Quezon City. Annex 8 . 14A1. appending Annexes A. Annex 4 . Quezon City. District III. 14A1. Sarangani. Approving the transfer of registration of voters of petitioners from Precinct No. 7. the roster of applications for registration approved by the Election Registration Board on October 20. Alabel. 725 captioned as In the Matter of the Petition for the Exclusion from the List of voters of Precinct No. subscribed and sworn to before Notary Public Bonifacio.Certified True Copy of the Notice of Approval of Application. Coraminda Lomibao and Elena V. Sarangani. Barangay Old Balara. the last two names in the slate indicated as transferees without VRR numbers and their application dated August 30. Quezon City. Quezon City. Branch 35. Annex 2 . Annex I Copy of the SWORN APPLICATION FOR CANCELLATION OF VOTERS [TRANSFER OF] PREVIOUS REGISTRATION of respondent subscribed and sworn to on 22 October 1997 before Election Officer Mantil Allim at Alabel. wherein he is a registered voter and that for business and residence purposes. 120 For his defense. 1997. 1997 [Annex . 12. 4400-A Brgy. Declaring the registration of petitioners as voters of Precinct No. dated August 30. Alabel.Copy of the Sworn Application for Cancellation of Voters Previous Registration (Annex I. The dispositive portion of which reads: 1. Province of Sarangani prior to this application. In support of the said contention. issued by Atty. which reads: This is to certify that the spouses JUAN and ZORAYDA DOMINO are no longer registered voters of District III. Piodos subscribed and sworn to before Notary Public Bonifacio F. 11. Annex 6 . D. Annex 7-a .A certification dated April 20.Copies of Individual Income Tax Return for the year 1997. 1997. Annex 7 . Quezon City. 9. 3. declaring and certifying under oath that they personally know the respondent as a permanent resident of Alabel. -versus. containing a listing of the names of fifty-five(55) residents of Alabel. 1997. 8-c and 8-d . Ordering the respondents to immediately transfer and forward all the election/voters registration records of the petitioners in Quezon City to the Election Officer. 1998. 1997. which are the same as Annexes 1. Annex 6-a . Sarangani. subscribed and sworn to before Notary Public Johnny P. Sarangani. Kayanan. Sarangani. 121 On 6 May 1998. Hilario Fuentes. 8-b. namely: Maria Lourdes. Sarangani.Copies of the uniform affidavits of witness Myrna Dalaguit. C. 1997 and September 30. 2. This certification is being issued upon the request of Mr.. Alegario. Quezon City to Precinct No. 8. embodying their alleged personal knowledge of respondents residency in Alabel.Affidavit of Nora Dacaldacal and Maria Lourdes Dacaldacal stating the circumstances and incidents detailing their alleged acquaintance with respondent. 9-a and 9-b. Sarangani where the petitioners are obviously qualified to exercise their respective rights of suffrage. Jr. and. 5. Annex 10 . respectively. 3. 3. Elmer M.Elmer M.same as Annex 5 7. 1998. Sarangani. Annex 3 .

All told. It is highly improbable. 1998. 122 The determination of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City in the exclusion proceedings as to the right of DOMINO to be included or excluded from the list of voters in the precinct within its territorial jurisdiction. considering that the Resolution disqualifying him as candidate had not yet become final and executory. in the main. Even if the City Court had granted appellants petition for inclusion in the permanent list of voters on the allegation that she is a Filipino citizen qualified to vote. he lacks the qualification to run for the position of Congressman for the Lone District of the Province of Sarangani. Quezon City. the residence of the candidate. for respondent who previously ran for the same position in the 3rd Legislative District of Quezon City during the elections of 1995 to unwittingly forget the residency requirement for the office sought. The trial court has no power to order the change or transfer of registration from one place of residence to another for it is the function of the election . This evidence. the same does not constitute res adjudicata as to any of the matters therein contained. It is not within the competence of the trial court. to wit: a. except for the right to remain in the list of voters or for being excluded therefrom for the particular election in relation to which the proceedings had been held. therefore. In the exercise of the said jurisdiction. Quezon City to precinct 14A1 of Barangay Poblacion. Chiongbian-Solon. The COMELEC has jurisdiction as provided in Sec. as early as January 1997. the COMELEC issued Supplemental Omnibus Resolution No. it does not operate as a bar to any future action that a party may take concerning the subject passed upon in the proceeding. among others. Article VI of the Constitution.128 [Type text] Thus. Whether or not the judgment of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City declaring petitioner as resident of Sarangani and not of Quezon City is final. Lucille L. Ayala Heights. the day of the election. a decision in an exclusion or inclusion proceeding. On 15 May 1998.B. standing alone. Whether or not petitioner herein has resided in the subject congressional district for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the May 11.A. Counting. the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City in its 18 January decision exceeded its jurisdiction when it declared DOMINO a resident of the Province of Sarangani. Election Registrar132 we ruled that: xxx It is made clear that even as it is here held that the order of the City Court in question has become final. 1997 when respondent registered at Precinct No. nor bar subsequent proceedings on his right to be registered as a voter in any other election. which was denied by the COMELEC en banc in its decision dated 29 May 1998.124 shows that DOMINO garnered the highest number of votes over his opponents for the position of Congressman of the Province of Sarangani. in Tan Cohon v. the present Petition for Certiorari with prayer for Preliminary Mandatory Injunction alleging. Before us DOMINO raised the following issues for resolution. per Statement of Votes certified by the Chairman of the Provincial Board of Canvassers.129 In this sense. 4400-A. Sarangani. in an exclusion proceedings. the candidate receiving the second highest number of votes. up to and until the day of the elections on May 11. does not preclude the COMELEC.125 On 15 September 1998. negates all his protestations that he established residence at Barangay Poblacion. over a petition to deny due course to or cancel certificate of candidacy.130 Thus. 126 INTERVENOR in her Motion for Leave to Intervene and in her Comment in Intervention127 is asking the Court to uphold the disqualification of petitioner Juan Domino and to proclaim her as the duly elected representative of Sarangani in the 11 May 1998 elections. in the determination of DOMINOs qualification as a candidate. b. However. including the Commission on Elections. The first issue. from the day after June 22. Art. that will include.. 4400-A of Barangay Old Balara. The jurisdiction of the lower court over exclusion cases is limited only to determining the right of voter to remain in the list of voters or to declare that the challenged voter is not qualified to vote in the precinct in which he is registered. 3046. (hereafter INTERVENOR). Hence. petitioners evidence conspire to attest to respondents lack of residence in the constituency where he seeks election and while it may be conceded that he is a registered voter as contemplated under Section 12 of R. that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction when it ruled that he did not meet the one-year residence requirement. to declare the challenged voter a resident of another municipality. Alabel. even if final and unappealable. Sarangani. her alleged Filipino citizenship would still have been left open to question.123 The proceedings for the exclusion or inclusion of voters in the list of voters are summary in character. it is within the competence of the COMELEC to determine whether false representation as to material facts was made in the certificate of candidacy. It is ridiculous to suppose that such an important and intricate matter of citizenship may be passed upon and determined with finality in such a summary and peremptory proceeding as that of inclusion and exclusion of persons in the registry list of voters. On 14 July 1998. On 11 May 1998. was allowed by the Court to Intervene. Whether or not respondent COMELEC has jurisdiction over the petition a quo for the disqualification of petitioner. respondent clearly lacks the one (1) year residency requirement provided for candidates for Member of the House of Representatives under Section 6. to pass upon the issue of compliance with the residency requirement. IX of the Omnibus Election Code. conclusive and binding upon the whole world. approved and ordered the transfer of his voters registration from Precinct No. the authority to order the inclusion in or exclusion from the list of voters necessarily caries with it the power to inquire into and settle all matters essential to the exercise of said authority. and c. Alabel. acting on DOMINOs Motion for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order. 1998 elections. specifying the ground of the voters disqualification. Petition] and his address indicated as 24 Bonifacio St. a decision in an exclusion proceeding would neither be conclusive on the voters political status. the Court directed the parties to maintain the status quo prevailing at the time of the filing of the instant petition. ordering that the votes cast for DOMINO be counted but to suspend the proclamation if winning. The contention of DOMINO that the decision of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City in the exclusion proceedings declaring him a resident of the Province of Sarangani and not of Quezon City is final and conclusive upon the COMELEC cannot be sustained. Thus. the factual findings of the trial court and its resultant conclusions in the exclusion proceedings on matters other than the right to vote in the precinct within its territorial jurisdiction are not conclusive upon the COMELEC. nay incredible. DOMINO filed a motion for reconsideration of the Resolution dated 6 May 1998.131 The result of the election. does not acquire the nature of res judicata. Although the court in inclusion or exclusion proceedings may pass upon any question necessary to decide the issue raised including the questions of citizenship and residence of the challenged voter. 8189. 78. Old Balara. Moreover.

In the consideration of circumstances. the cause of action was that Norberto Guray had not the six months legal residence in the municipality of Luna to be a qualified voter thereof. p. while in the present proceeding of quo warranto.136 the Supreme Court in resolving a similar issue ruled that: The question to be solved under the first assignment of error is whether or not the judgment rendered in the case of the petition for the exclusion of Norberto Gurays name from the election list of Luna. whenever absent for business. While residence simply requires bodily presence in a given place. No. and (c) identity of issues (Aquino vs. Guray. or some other reasons. (2) when once established it remains until a new one is acquired. Neither does there exist therefore. Identity of parties. a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one and definite acts which correspond with the purpose. 850). (b) identity of things. While this may be so. 561. while in the present quo warranto proceeding.Registration Board as provided under Section 12 of R. or of issues or causes of action.134 Finally. In said case of the petition for exclusion. 23 Phil. in which case it may be appealed to the judge of first instance. or the litigious matter was the exclusion of Norberto Guray as a voter from the election list of the municipality of Luna. as an elected candidate for the same office. the principal elements of domicile. Old Balara. Neither herein Private Respondents nor INTERVENOR. A persons domicile once established is considered to continue and will not be deemed lost until a new one is established. 1259 of the Civil Code. Sarangani since December 1996 was sufficiently established by the lease of a house and lot located therein in January 1997 and by the affidavits and certifications under oath of the residents of that place that they have seen petitioner and his family residing in their locality.A. ( Art. 8189. Ilocos Sur 140 and that sometime in 1991. the object of the litigation. identity of subject matter and identity of causes of action. the cause of action is that Norberto Guray has not the one years legal residence required for eligibility to the office of municipal president of Luna. it is essential that there must be between the first and the second action identity of parties. Petitioner is now claiming that he had effectively abandoned his residence in Quezon City and has established a new domicile of choice at the Province of Sarangani. is of a summary character and the judgment rendered therein is not appealable except when the petition is tried before the justice of the peace of the capital or the circuit judge. 141 To successfully effect a change of domicile one must demonstrate an actual removal or an actual change of domicile. 756. et al. domicile requires not only such bodily presence in that place but also a declared and probable intent to make it ones fixed and permanent place of abode. one intends to return. It is doctrinally settled that the term residence. which imports not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place. there is no res judicata. upon receipt of the final decision. the object of the litigation. as shown by his certificate of candidacy for the position of representative of the 3 rd District of Quezon City in the May 1995 election. Estate of Alvarez. since it is not enough that there be an identity of persons. identity of causes of action. the application of the rule on res judicata is unavailing. which is now before us. and thereafter place the record in the inactive file. ones home. The Second Issue. or the litigious matter. the change of residence must be voluntary. 142 In other words. is res judicata. Director of Lands. against Norberto Guray. pleasure. there is no identity of parties in the two cases. as amended by Act No. The Petition for Exclusion was filed by DOMINO himself and his wife. To establish a new domicile of choice. identity of parties. subject matter and cause of action are indispensable requirements for the application of said doctrine. Intention to acquire a [Type text] ..144 In order that res judicata may exist the following are necessary: (a) identity of parties. The petition for exclusion was presented by Gregorio Nuval in his dual capacity as qualified voter of the municipality of Luna. 1165) In said case of the petition for the exclusion. In the case of Nuval v. The present proceeding of quo warranto was interposed by Gregorio Nuval in his capacity as a registered candidate voted for the office of municipal president of Luna. 138 Domicile is a question of intention and circumstances. praying that he and his wife be excluded from the Voters List on the ground of erroneous registration while the Petition to Deny Due Course to or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy was filed by private respondents against DOMINO for alleged false representation in his certificate of candidacy. or of things or litigious matter. or the litigious matter is his exclusion or expulsion from the office to which he has been elected. The procedure prescribed by section 437 of the Administrative Code. Was DOMINO a resident of the Province of Sarangani for at least one year immediately preceding the 11 May 1998 election as stated in his certificate of candidacy? We hold in the negative. Therefore. And as in the case of the petition for exclusion and in the present quo warranto proceeding. and (3) a man can have but one residence or domicile at a time.. any identity in the object of the litigation.143 It is the contention of petitioner that his actual physical presence in Alabel. as there is no As a general rule. but there must be an identity of capacities in which said persons litigate. Ayala Heights.135 In the present case. 137 Domicile denotes a fixed permanent residence to which. No change of domicile will result if either of these elements is absent. to remove the voters registration record from the corresponding book of voters. so as to prevent the institution and prosecution of an action in quo warranto. 3387. personal presence in the place must be coupled with conduct indicative of that intention. 39 Phil. and as a duly registered candidate for the office of president of said municipality. means the same thing as domicile. is for the Election Registration Board. and the residence at the place chosen for the new domicile must be actual. with whom said two lower judges have concurrent jurisdiction. there must basically be animus manendi coupled with animus non revertendi. the aforesaid essential requisites are not present. enter the order of exclusion therein. against Norberto Guray as a registered voter in the election list of said municipality. Bowler vs. he acquired a new domicile of choice at 24 Bonifacio St. Neither does there exist. as used in the law prescribing the qualifications for suffrage and for elective office. physical presence in the locality involved and intention to adopt it as a domicile. Quezon City. is a party in the exclusion proceedings. coupled with conduct indicative of such intention. For the decision to be a basis for the dismissal by reason of res judicata. 34 Corpus Juris. then. three rules must be borne in mind. par. namely: (1) that a man must have a residence or domicile somewhere. The purpose to remain in or at the domicile of choice must be for an indefinite period of time. actual and physical is not in itself sufficient to show that from said date he had transferred his residence in that place. 139 Records show that petitioners domicile of origin was Candon. must concur in order to establish a new domicile. 133 The only effect of the decision of the lower court excluding the challenged voter from the list of voters.

21.151 DOMINO still falls short of the one year residency requirement under the Constitution. the conditions would have substantially changed. Art.152 Dominos failure to do so rendered him ineligible and his election to office null and void. The general registration of voters for purposes of the May 1998 elections was scheduled for two (2) consecutive weekends. As previously mentioned. DOMINO was not proclaimed as Congressman-elect of the Lone Congressional District of the Province of Sarangani by reason of a Supplemental Omnibus Resolution issued by the COMELEC on the day of the election ordering the suspension of DOMINOs proclamation should he obtain the winning number of votes.156 The fact of obtaining the highest number of votes in an election does not automatically vest the position in the winning candidate. it does give rise to a strong presumption of residence especially in this case where DOMINO registered in his former barangay. that he sought cancellation of his previous registration in Quezon City on 22 October 1997. Hence.domicile without actual residence in the locality does not result in acquisition of domicile. may INTERVENOR. and is said to have decided preponderance is a doubtful case upon the place the elector claims as. 150 and that he applied for transfer of registration from Quezon City to Sarangani by reason of change of residence on 30 August 1997.148 His claim that his registration in Quezon City was erroneous and was caused by events over which he had no control cannot be sustained. 1997.149 While.153 The Third Issue. if for any reason no final judgment of disqualification is rendered before the election. 159 In every election. Dominos lack of intention to abandon his residence in Quezon City is further strengthened by his act of registering as voter in one of the precincts in Quezon City. no matter how long.155 It has been repeatedly held in a number of cases. does not adequately support a change of domicile.147 The fact that a party continuously voted in a particular locality is a strong factor in assisting to determine the status of his domicile. no one can be declared elected in his place. 162 Sound policy dictates that public elective offices are filled by those who have received the highest number of votes cast in the election for that office. as the candidate who received the next highest number of votes. The mere absence of individual from his permanent residence. nor does the fact of physical presence without intention.163 The effect of a decision declaring a person ineligible to hold an office is only that the election fails entirely. at all times. In the instant case. that the wreath of victory cannot be transferred 164 from the disqualified winner to the repudiated loser because the law then as now only authorizes a declaration of election in favor of . cannot be used.e. 15 January 1997. DOMINOs contention that the COMELEC has no jurisdiction in the present petition is bereft of merit. 146 Thus the date of the contract of lease of a house and lot located in the province of Sarangani. or believes to be. and the candidate facing disqualification is voted for and receives the highest number of votes 154 and provided further that the winning candidate has not been proclaimed or has taken his oath of office. IX of the Omnibus Election Code. his residence. 161 To simplistically assume that the second placer would have received the other votes would be to substitute our judgment for the mind of the voters. i. as the reckoning period of the one-year residence requirement.: June 14. the peoples choice is the paramount consideration and their expressed will must. be given effect. Dominos intention to establish residence in Sarangani can be gleaned from the fact that be bought the house he was renting on November 4. Considering that DOMINO has not been proclaimed as Congressman-elect in the Lone Congressional District of the Province of Sarangani he cannot be deemed a member of the House of Representative. 15. Exercising the right of election franchise is a deliberate public assertion of the fact of residence. be proclaimed as the winning candidate? It is now settled doctrine that the candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes may not be proclaimed winner in case the winning candidate is disqualified.160 It would be extremely repugnant to the basic concept of the constitutionally guaranteed right to suffrage if a candidate who has not acquired the majority or plurality of votes is proclaimed a winner and imposed as the representative of a constituency. 157 A candidate must be proclaimed and must have taken his oath of office before he can be considered a member of the House of Representatives.158 Issue raised by INTERVENOR. This resolution was issued by the COMELEC in view of the non-finality of its 6 May 1998 resolution disqualifying DOMINO as candidate for the position. in the absence of other circumstances. the COMELEC. viz. both intent and actual presence in the district one intends to represent must satisfy the length of time prescribed by the fundamental law. returns and [Type text] qualifications of members of Congress as provided under Section 17 of Article VI of the Constitution begins only after a candidate has become a member of the House of Representatives. The lease contract may be indicative of DOMINOs intention to reside in Sarangani but it does not engender the kind of permanency required to prove abandonment of ones original domicile. and it is fundamental idea in all republican forms of government that no one can be declared elected and no measure can be declared carried unless he or it receives a majority or plurality of the legal votes cast in the election. After finding that DOMINO is disqualified as candidate for the position of representative of the province of Sarangani. has jurisdiction over a petition to deny due course to or cancel certificate of candidacy. it is the COMELEC and not the Electoral Tribunal which has jurisdiction over the issue of his ineligibility as a candidate. under Sec. 78.. the majority of which have positively declared through their ballots that they do not choose him. and 22. While voting is not conclusive of residence. without the intention to abandon it does not result in loss or change of domicile. In showing compliance with the residency requirement. When the majority speaks and elects into office a candidate by giving the highest number of votes cast in the election for that office. that the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunals sole and exclusive jurisdiction over all contests relating to the election. Further. He could not be considered the first among qualified candidates because in a field which excludes the qualified candidate. 145 The lease contract entered into sometime in January 1997. Such jurisdiction continues even after election.

2003. the constitutional and legal dimensions involved. vs. denied the same under the aegis of Omnibus Resolution No. and he has a platform of government. are hereby AFFIRMED. 6604 dated February 11. the electors have failed to make a choice and the election is a nullity. or meaningless. petitioner seeks to reverse the resolutions which were allegedly rendered in violation of his right to "equal access to opportunities for public service" under Section 26. 161872 April 13.4 .e. The "equal access" provision is a subsumed part of Article II of the Constitution. Commissioner Sadain maintained his vote for petitioner. fully aware in fact and in law of a candidates disqualification so as to bring such awareness within the realm of notoriety. however. the provision does not contain any judicially enforceable constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for legislative or executive action. Thus the votes cast for DOMINO are presumed to have been cast in the sincere belief that he was a qualified candidate. Tancangco and Mehol K.the person who haS obtained a plurality of votes 165 and does not entitle the candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to be declared elected. There is nothing in the plain language of the provision which suggests such a thrust or justifies an interpretation of the sort. ESQUIRE.: Petitioner Rev.3 The disregard of the provision does not give rise to any cause of action before the courts. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article II. The COMELEC declared petitioner and thirty-five (35) others nuisance candidates who could not wage a nationwide campaign and/or are not nominated by a political party or are not supported by a registered political party with a national constituency. Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration was docketed as SPP (MP) No. in which case. Sadain voted to include petitioner as they believed he had parties or movements to back up his candidacy. Contrary to the claim of INTERVENOR. In fact. Although the resolution declaring him ineligible as candidate was rendered before the election. J." The provisions under the Article are generally considered not self-executing.1 by limiting the number of qualified candidates only to those who can afford to wage a nationwide campaign and/or are nominated by political parties. First. Petitioner likewise attacks the validity of the form for the Certificate of Candidacy prepared by the COMELEC. Thus. 6558. 6558 dated January 17. 3046 that allowed DOMINO to be voted for the office and ordered that the votes cast for him be counted as the Resolution declaring him ineligible has not yet attained finality. In this Petition For Writ of Certiorari. The COMELEC supposedly erred in disqualifying him since he is the most qualified among all the presidential candidates. respondent. In such case. ELLY CHAVEZ PAMATONG. he also has the capacity to wage an international campaign since he has practiced law in other countries. 2004. petitioner. Article II of the 1987 Constitution. The resolution dated 6 May 1998 of the COMELEC 2nd Division and the decision dated 29 May 1998 of the COMELEC En Banc. would nevertheless cast their votes in favor of the ineligible candidate. void. the electorate may be said to have waived the validity and efficacy of their votes by notoriously misapplying their franchise or throwing away their votes. petitioner was not notoriously known by the public as an ineligible candidate. particularly in his case. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. it was no less than the COMELEC in its Supplemental Omnibus Resolution No.2 and there is no plausible reason for according a different treatment to the "equal access" provision. On January 15. he is capable of waging a national campaign since he has numerous national organizations under his leadership. 2004. however. The COMELEC. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. Section 26. petitioner moved for reconsideration of Resolution No. Jr. 2004. In so doing. i. 2004 REV. By then. Petitioner claims that the form does not provide clear and reasonable guidelines for determining the qualifications of candidates since it does not ask for the candidate’s bio-data and his program of government. What is recognized is merely a privilege subject to limitations imposed by law. 166 To allow the defeated and repudiated candidate to take over the elective position despite his rejection by the electorate is to disenfranchise the electorate without any fault on their part and to undermine the importance and meaning of democracy and the peoples right to elect officials of their choice. he possesses all the constitutional and legal qualifications for the office of the president.R. SO ORDERED. without any intention to misapply their franchise. Elly Velez Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy for President on December 17. to seek the presidency. The decision. is misplaced. the instant petition is DISMISSED. the same is not yet final and executory.169 WHEREFORE. Respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) refused to give due course to [Type text] petitioner’s Certificate of Candidacy in its Resolution No. 04-001. petitioner argues that the COMELEC indirectly amended the constitutional provisions on the electoral process and limited the power of the sovereign people to choose their leaders. was not unanimous since Commissioners Luzviminda G. There is none. INTERVENORs reliance on the opinion made in the Labo. the eligible candidate obtaining the next higher number of votes may be deemed elected. Commissioner Tancangco had retired. entitled "Declaration of Principles and State Policies. Implicit in the petitioner’s invocation of the constitutional provision ensuring "equal access to opportunities for public office" is the claim that there is a constitutional right to run for or hold public office and. acting on petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration and on similar motions filed by other aspirants for national elective positions. said votes can not be treated as stray. RESOLUTION TINGA.. No. 167 INTERVENORs plea that the votes cast in favor of DOMINO be considered stray votes cannot be sustained. case168 to wit: if the electorate. Article II of the Constitution neither bestows such a right nor elevates the privilege to the level of an enforceable right.

successfully brought forth an amendment that changed the word "broaden" to the phrase "ensure equal access." He explained his proposal in this wise: I changed the word "broaden" to "ENSURE EQUAL ACCESS TO" because what is important would be equal access to the opportunity. Jr. in avoiding confusion. As observed in the COMELEC’s Comment: There is a need to limit the number of candidates especially in the case of candidates for national positions because the election process becomes a mockery even if those who cannot clearly wage a national campaign are allowed to run. it would necessarily mean that the government would be mandated to create as many offices as are possible to accommodate as many people as are also possible. The approval of the "Davide amendment" indicates the design of the framers to cast the provision as simply enunciatory of a desired policy objective and not reflective of the imposition of a clear State burden. Broadly written.000. 8 Words and phrases such as "equal access.11 The COMELEC itself recognized these practical considerations when it promulgated Resolution No. 15 Moreover. objective. The organization of an election with bona fide candidates standing is onerous enough. Thus. These practical difficulties should. In the case at bar. their presumed validity stands and has to be accorded due weight. Equality is not sacrificed as long as the burdens engendered by the limitations are meant to be borne by any one who is minded to file a certificate of candidacy. a disorderly election is not merely a textbook example of inefficiency. the ignominious nature of a nuisance candidacy becomes even more galling. At the same time. petitioner does not challenge the constitutionality or validity of Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code and COMELEC Resolution No. of course. the provision is not intended to compel the State to enact positive measures that would accommodate as many people as possible into public office. Ultimately. Some valid limitations specifically on the privilege to seek elective office are found in the provisions9 of the Omnibus Election Code on "Nuisance Candidates" and COMELEC Resolution No. 2002 outlining the instances wherein the COMELEC may motu proprio refuse to give due course to or cancel a Certificate of Candidacy." and the substitution of the word "office" to "service. whenever necessary and proper. adopting the study Memorandum of its Law Department dated 11 January 2004. the privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office may be subjected to limitations. it was not the intention of the framers to inflict on the people an operative but amorphous foundation from which innately unenforceable rights may be sourced. For the official ballots in automated counting and canvassing of votes. but a rot that erodes faith in our democratic institutions. not to mention the increased allocation of time and resources in preparation for the election. Article II had read. Certainly. It is difficult to interpret the clause as operative in the absence of legislation since its effective means and reach are not properly defined. the provision as written leaves much to be desired if it is to be regarded as the source of positive rights. Inevitably. never exempt the State from the conduct of a mandated electoral exercise. 13 watchers in the board of canvassers. in order that we should not mandate the State to make the government the number one employer and to limit offices only to what may be necessary and expedient yet offering equal opportunities to access to it."7 (emphasis supplied) Obviously. if no other. deception and even frustration of the democratic [process]. the greater the opportunities for logistical confusion. the equal access clause is not violated. Towards this end. That is the meaning of broadening opportunities to public service.An inquiry into the intent of the framers 5 produces the same determination that the provision is not self-executory. As earlier noted. 645210 dated December 10. the myriad of claims that can be subsumed under this rubric appear to be entirely open-ended. Moreover. The original wording of the present Section 26. most probably posed at the instance of these nuisance candidates. therefore. I change the word "broaden. Article II of the Constitution is misplaced." . The State has a compelling interest to ensure that its electoral exercises are rational. Their names would have to be printed in the Certified List of Candidates. As the United States Supreme Court held: [T]here is surely an important state interest in requiring some preliminary showing of a significant modicum of support before printing the name of a political organization and its candidates on the ballot – the interest.00). the State could exclude nuisance candidates and need not indulge in.000. "their trips to the moon on gossamer wings. Our election laws provide various entitlements for candidates for public office. 14 or even the receipt of electoral contributions. remedial actions should be available to alleviate these logistical hardships. 6558 on 17 January 2004. It would be a senseless sacrifice on the part of the State. there is no showing that any person is exempt from the limitations or the burdens which they create. 12 The preparation of ballots is but one aspect that would be affected by allowance of "nuisance candidates" to run in the elections. petitioner’s reliance on the equal access clause in Section 26. as the song goes. the State takes into account the practical considerations in conducting elections. This is not to mention the candidacies which are palpably ridiculous so as to constitute a one-note joke. The poll body would be bogged by irrelevant minutiae covering every step of the electoral process. no matter how slim. an additional page would amount to more or less FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY MILLION PESOS (P450. Significantly. "The State shall broaden opportunities to public office and prohibit public dynasties. Clearly. such as watchers in every polling place." "opportunities. [Type text] The rationale behind the prohibition against nuisance candidates and the disqualification of candidates who have not evinced a bona fide intention to run for office is easy to divine. xxx[I]t serves no practical purpose to allow those candidates to continue if they cannot wage a decent campaign enough to project the prospect of winning. however. Given these considerations. and orderly. Owing to the superior interest in ensuring a credible and orderly election. As long as the limitations apply to everybody equally without discrimination. Voters Information Sheet and the Official Ballots. To add into the mix candidates with no serious intentions or capabilities to run a viable campaign would actually impair the electoral process." and "public service" are susceptible to countless interpretations owing to their inherent impreciseness." 6 Commissioner (now Chief Justice) Hilario Davide. 6452 dated 10 December 2003. These would entail additional costs to the government. If you broaden. there are election rules and regulations the formulations of which are dependent on the number of candidates in a given election. the greater the number of candidates. So.

A word of caution is in order. The assailed resolutions of the COMELEC do not direct the Court to the evidence which it considered in determining that petitioner was a nuisance candidate. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. since such a review would necessarily take into account the matters which the COMELEC considered in arriving at its decisions. This provision specifically enumerates what a certificate of candidacy should contain. to our mind is. What is at stake is petitioner’s aspiration and offer to serve in the government. Petitioner has submitted to this Court mere photocopies of various documents purportedly evincing his credentials as an eligible candidate for the presidency. SO ORDERED. orderly and honest elections. The basis of the factual determination is not before this Court. the Constitution guarantees that only bona fide candidates for public office shall be free from any form of harassment and discrimination. to determine the question on whether petitioner Elly Velez Lao Pamatong is a nuisance candidate as contemplated in Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code. The COMELEC is mandated by the Constitution with the administration of elections 16 and endowed with considerable latitude in adopting means and methods that will ensure the promotion of free. Yet this Court. not being a trier of facts.The Omnibus Election Code and COMELEC Resolution No. It deserves not a cursory treatment but a hearing which conforms to the requirements of due process.17 Moreover. satisfactorily defined in the Omnibus Election Code. such as nuisance candidacies that distract and detract from the larger purpose. Now. [Type text] . SPP (MP) No. their proper application in the case of the petitioner cannot be tested and reviewed by this Court on the basis of what is now before it. 04-001 is hereby remanded to the COMELEC for the reception of further evidence. 6452 are cognizant of the compelling State interest to ensure orderly and credible elections by excising impediments thereto. As to petitioner’s attacks on the validity of the form for the certificate of candidacy. Neither the COMELEC nor the Solicitor General appended any document to their respective Comments. the needed factual premises. Thus. 18 The determination of bona fide candidates is governed by the statutes. can not properly pass upon the reproductions as evidence at this level. The question of whether a candidate is a nuisance candidate or not is both legal and factual. the remand of this case for the reception of further evidence is in order. However valid the law and the COMELEC issuance involved are. suffice it to say that the form strictly complies with Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code. This precludes the Court from reviewing at this instance whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying petitioner. and the concept. COMELEC Case No. The COMELEC is directed to hold and complete the reception of evidence and report its findings to this Court with deliberate dispatch. with the required information tending to show that the candidate possesses the minimum qualifications for the position aspired for as established by the Constitution and other election laws.

Consequently. To buttress his stance. however. 1989. He was also told that he may avail of the services of the company physician should he wish to do so. J. gaining 2 pounds from his previous weight. INC. petitioner made a commitment 3 to reduce weight in a letter addressed to Cabin Crew Group Manager Augusto Barrios. 43 pounds over his ideal weight. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila On April 26. No.. Apparently. he argues that (1) his dismissal does not fall under 282(e) of the Labor Code. After meeting the required weight. PAL Line Administrator Gloria Dizon personally visited petitioner at his residence to check on the progress of his effort to lose weight. Inc. the ideal weight being 166 pounds. Petitioner weighed 217 pounds. vs. 1989. respondents. He was advised that his case will be evaluated on July 3. We uphold the legality of dismissal. which is 49 pounds beyond the limit. and (3) he was discriminated against because other overweight employees were promoted instead of being disciplined. prompting another leave without pay from March 5.R. He was formally requested to trim down to his ideal weight and report for weight checks on several dates.: [Type text] On February 25. In line with company policy. he was removed from flight duty effective May 6. He stands five feet and eight inches (5’8") with a large body frame. Neither is it reflective of his moral character. 2 THIRD DIVISION G. The proper weight for a man of his height and body structure is from 147 to 166 pounds. The Facts Petitioner Armando G. He was overweight at 215 pounds. 1985 to November 1985. 1984 to March 4. 1989. petitioner weighed 209 pounds. (2) continuing adherence to the weight standards of the company is not a bona fide occupational qualification. He again went on leave without pay from October 17. PAL advised him to go on an extended vacation leave from December 29. On October 17. 1988 to February 1989. YRASUEGUI. Yrasuegui was a former international flight steward of Philippine Airlines. Back then.THIS case portrays the peculiar story of an international flight steward who was dismissed because of his failure to adhere to the weight standards of the airline company. weight. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES. DECISION REYES. instead of losing. 1989. It was discovered that he gained. his off-duty status was retained.. petitioners. 1989. 1989 to July 3. petitioner underwent weight check. as mandated by the Cabin and Crew Administration Manual 1 of PAL. He is now before this Court via a petition for review on certiorari claiming that he was illegally dismissed. The weight problem of petitioner dates back to 1984. reads: Dear Sir: . But petitioner’s weight problem recurred. This is so because his dismissal is not for serious misconduct. (PAL). 168081 October 17. After the visit. in full. petitioner was allowed to return to work. Separation pay. R. should be awarded in favor of the employee as an act of social justice or based on equity. After a meticulous consideration of all arguments pro and con. 1985 to address his weight concerns. 2008 ARMANDO G. petitioner failed to meet the company’s weight standards. The letter.T.

" 9 [Type text] On March 6. F/S Armando Yrasuegui4 Labor Arbiter. nothing was heard from petitioner until he followed up his case requesting for leniency on the latter part of 1992.000. 2000. Respectfully Yours..14 The Labor Arbiter held that the weight standards of PAL are reasonable in view of the nature of the job of petitioner. the NLRC rendered judgment24 in the following tenor: . petitioner ignored the directive and did not report for weight checks. On June 26.00 per month from his dismissal on June 15. 1992. Again. 1990. 1999. the Labor Arbiter issued a writ of execution directing the reinstatement of petitioner without loss of seniority rights and other benefits. Mr. He was reminded that his grounding would continue pending satisfactory compliance with the weight standards. i. 7 When petitioner tipped the scale on July 30. and Mr. PAL finally served petitioner a Notice of Administrative Charge for violation of company standards on weight requirements.17 Notably. 1989. What he claimed. which for purposes of appeal is hereby set from June 15. Mr. As usual. the Labor Arbiter denied21 the Motion to Quash Writ of Execution22 of PAL. petitioner was formally informed by PAL that due to his inability to attain his ideal weight. petitioner submitted his Answer. he did not deny being overweight. judgment is hereby rendered. 1990. 1992. He was given ten (10) days from receipt of the charge within which to file his answer and submit controverting evidence. although he was seen submitting his passport for processing at the PAL Staff Service Division. 1992. 2000. Despite that. 1993 until reinstated. Notably. Clearly. Palacios. petitioner was formally warned that a repeated refusal to report for weight check would be dealt with accordingly." his services were considered terminated "effective immediately. The dispositive part of the Arbiter ruling runs as follows: WHEREFORE. PAL appealed the denial of its motion to quash to the NLRC. 1992. 1990." He also claimed that PAL discriminated against him because "the company has not been fair in treating the cabin crew members who are similarly situated. he was informed of the PAL decision for him to remain grounded until such time that he satisfactorily complies with the weight standards. b.500. He weighed at 219 pounds on August 20. 1998. he was directed to report every two weeks for weight checks. On November 18. On April 17. Reyes ruled 13 that petitioner was illegally dismissed. From then on. NLRC and CA Dispositions Despite the lapse of a ninety-day period given him to reach his ideal weight. 6 Again.15 However. 1998 at P651. had already been condoned by PAL since "no action has been taken by the company" regarding his case "since 1988. if any. On January 3. Likewise. were promoted instead of being disciplined. 19 On October 8. Cui. is that his violation. 8 SO ORDERED. 18 Both parties appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). 2000. I promise to continue reducing at a reasonable percentage until such time that my ideal weight is achieved. petitioner could be transferred to other positions where his weight would not be a negative factor. other overweight employees. Labor Arbiter Valentin C. he was given one more month to comply with the weight requirement. He was given another set of weight check dates. 20 On February 1. the weight standards need not be complied with under pain of dismissal since his weight did not hamper the performance of his duties.e. Petitioner failed to report for weight checks. he was still way over his ideal weight of 166 pounds.I would like to guaranty my commitment towards a weight loss from 217 pounds to 200 pounds from today until 31 Dec. Backwages of Php10. in view of the foregoing. a clarificatory hearing was held where petitioner manifested that he was undergoing a weight reduction program to lose at least two (2) pounds per week so as to attain his ideal weight. 1993.10 On June 15. Attorney’s fees of five percent (5%) of the total award. petitioner failed to report for weight checks."11 His motion for reconsideration having been denied. 1993 up to August 15. petitioner remained overweight. 23 On June 23.5 Again. he weighed at 212 pounds. 1992 and 205 pounds on November 5. petitioner was required to explain his refusal to undergo weight checks. I promise to personally report to your office at the designated time schedule you will set for my weight check. he was asked to report for weight check on different dates. On November 13. "and considering the utmost leniency" extended to him "which spanned a period covering a total of almost five (5) years. 1990.00. On December 7. 12 petitioner filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against PAL. instead. and to pay him: a. declaring the complainant’s dismissal illegal. and ordering the respondent to reinstate him to his former position or substantially equivalent one. 16 Assuming that it did. Barrios. From thereon. On December 8.

inclusive of allowances and to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent instead of simply backwages. 30 By Decision dated August 31. PAL elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals (CA) via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The private respondent’s complaint is hereby DISMISSED. III. the Labor Arbiter should have limited himself to the issue of whether the failure of petitioner to attain his ideal weight constituted willful defiance of the weight standards of PAL.25 According to the NLRC. the NLRC found the weight standards of PAL to be reasonable. WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED WHEN IT BRUSHED ASIDE PETITIONER’S CLAIMS FOR REINSTATEMENT [AND] WAGES ALLEGEDLY FOR BEING MOOT AND ACADEMIC. 27 Like the Labor Arbiter. the same shall be deemed as complainant’s reinstatement through payroll and execution in case of non-payment shall accordingly be issued by the Arbiter. "obesity. the CA held that the weight standards of PAL are reasonable. 2004.34 The failure to adhere to the weight standards is an analogous cause for the dismissal of an employee under Article 282(e) of the Labor Code in relation to Article 282(a)." 36 In other words.32 The CA opined that there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the NLRC because it "looked at wrong and irrelevant considerations" 33 in evaluating the evidence of the parties." 37 Just like the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC. WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PETITIONER’S DISMISSAL FOR OBESITY CAN BE PREDICATED ON THE "BONA FIDE OCCUPATIONAL QUALIFICATION (BFOQ) DEFENSE". According to the NLRC. As explained by the CA: x x x [T]he standards violated in this case were not mere "orders" of the employer. "justifies an employee’s separation from the service. is hereby AFFIRMED and that part of the dispositive portion of said decision concerning complainant’s entitlement to backwages shall be deemed to refer to complainant’s entitlement to his full backwages. they were the "prescribed weights" that a cabin crew must maintain in . in case of violation. the CA held that the weight standards of PAL are a bona fide occupational qualification which. is a disease in itself. Both appeals of respondent thus. 39 It is obvious that the issue of discrimination was only invoked by petitioner for purposes of escaping the result of his dismissal for being overweight. The obesity of petitioner is a ground for dismissal under Article 282(e) Code. we hereby GRANT the petition. Contrary to the NLRC ruling. WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PETITIONER’S OBESITY CAN BE A GROUND FOR DISMISSAL UNDER PARAGRAPH (e) OF ARTICLE 282 OF THE LABOR CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 28 On May 10. petitioner was legally dismissed because he repeatedly failed to meet the prescribed weight standards. the CA denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. The assailed NLRC decision is declared NULL and VOID and is hereby SET ASIDE. or the tendency to gain weight uncontrollably regardless of the amount of food intake. IV. premises considered. whether physical or through payroll within ten (10) days from notice failing which. "the relevant question to ask is not one of willfulness but one of reasonableness of the standard and whether or not the employee qualifies or continues to qualify under this standard. No costs.] the Decision of the Arbiter dated 18 November 1998 as modified by our findings herein. 2005. PAL moved for reconsideration to no avail. Tersely put. an employee may be dismissed the moment he is unable to comply with his ideal weight as prescribed by the weight standards. II. from date of dismissal until his actual reinstatement or finality hereof.38 Thus. It is not willful disobedience as the NLRC seemed to suggest." 42 Issues In this Rule 45 petition for review. the following issues are posed for resolution: I. premises considered[. SO ORDERED.WHEREFORE. it found as unnecessary the Labor Arbiter holding that petitioner was not remiss in the performance of his duties as flight steward despite being overweight. Respondent is enjoined to manifests (sic) its choice of the form of the reinstatement of complainant. 35 Said the CA. the weight standards of PAL are meant to be a continuing qualification for an employee’s position. 29 Thus. The dismissal of the employee would thus fall under Article 282(e) of the Labor Code. 41 Elaborating on its earlier ruling. 40 [Type text] WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PETITIONER WAS NOT UNDULY DISCRIMINATED AGAINST WHEN HE WAS DISMISSED WHILE OTHER OVERWEIGHT CABIN ATTENDANTS WERE EITHER GIVEN FLYING DUTIES OR PROMOTED. are DISMISSED for utter lack of merit. there can be no intentional defiance or serious misconduct by petitioner to the lawful order of PAL for him to lose weight. "the element of willfulness that the NLRC decision cites is an irrelevant consideration in arriving at a conclusion on whether the dismissal is legally proper. However." 26 As a consequence.43 (Underscoring supplied) Our Ruling I. 44 of the Labor A reading of the weight standards of PAL would lead to no other conclusion than that they constitute a continuing qualification of an employee in order to keep the job. the CA reversed 31 the NLRC: WHEREFORE.

[Type text] In the case at bar. Petitioner cites Bonnie Cook v. thus. Respondent claimed. the evidence on record militates against petitioner’s claims that obesity is a disease. Third.. the rationale there cannot apply here.48 The reliance on Nadura is off-tangent. Nadura was not decided under the Labor Code. his fluctuating weight indicates absence of willpower rather than an illness. becomes an analogous cause under Article 282(e) of the Labor Code that justifies his dismissal from the service. but is nonetheless voluntary. This element . the employee who was a miner." By its nature. Under this perspective. when placed in the context of his work as flight attendant. They apply after hiring because an employee must continue to meet these standards while on the job in order to keep his job." According to the Circuit Judge. In 1988. As the CA correctly puts it. 47 he says his dismissal is illegal: Conscious of the fact that Nadura’s case cannot be made to fall squarely within the specific causes enumerated in subparagraphs 1(a) to (e). and cardiovascular systems. respiratory. In this sense. Inc. petitioner was dismissed for his failure to meet the weight standards of PAL. In other words. He could have easily availed the assistance of the company physician. It involves a dysfunction of both the metabolic system and the neurological appetite – suppressing signal system."46 Relying on Nadura v. The law applied in that case was Republic Act (RA) No. The appellate Court disagreed and held that morbid obesity is a disability under the Rehabilitation Act and that respondent discriminated against Cook based on "perceived" disability. In that case. 1992. petitioner was only less than 50 pounds over his ideal weight. The factual milieu in Nadura is substantially different from the case at bar. "illness cannot be included as an analogous cause by any stretch of imagination. the issue in Nadura is whether or not the dismissed employee is entitled to separation pay and damages. I can do it now." thus "mutability only precludes those conditions that an individual can easily and quickly reverse by behavioral alteration. though. except the just cause mentioned in sub-paragraph 1(a). petitioner is not morbidly obese. they were standards that establish continuing qualifications for an employee’s position. Cook worked from 1978 to 1980 and from 1981 to 1986 as an institutional attendant for the mentally retarded at the Ladd Center that was being operated by respondent. "[v]oluntariness basically means that the just cause is solely attributable to the employee without any external force influencing or controlling his actions. per the advice of PAL. petitioner has only himself to blame. which is capable of causing adverse effects within the musculoskeletal.e. a violation is not one of the faults for which an employee can be dismissed pursuant to pars. (a) to (d) of Article 282." 50 However. petitioner was accorded utmost leniency.order to qualify for and keep his or her position in the company. advances a very interesting argument. "she stood 5’2" tall and weighed over 320 pounds. He was not dismissed due to illness. Benguet invokes the provisions of subparagraph 1(f) and says that Nadura’s illness – occasional attacks of asthma – is a cause analogous to them." 49 True. Cook weighed "over 320 pounds" in 1988. Fourth. that morbid obesity could never constitute a handicap within the purview of the Rehabilitation Act. Fifth. all the others expressly enumerated in the law are due to the voluntary and/or willful act of the employee. He claims that obesity is a "physical abnormality and/or illness. however. Indeed. the employee can be dismissed simply because he no longer "qualifies" for his job irrespective of whether or not the failure to qualify was willful or intentional. How Nadura’s illness could be considered as "analogous" to any of them is beyond our understanding. in Nadura. during the clarificatory hearing on December 8. in Nadura. determination. Clearly. the issue centers on the propriety of the dismissal of petitioner for his failure to meet the weight standards of PAL. without offering a valid explanation. petitioner claims that reducing weight is costing him "a lot of expenses. 51 He chose to ignore the suggestion. Notably. x x x45 Petitioner. Cook was sometime before 1978 "at least one hundred pounds more than what is considered appropriate of her height. the employee was not accorded due process. there being no claim or pretense that the same was contracted through his own voluntary act. The failure to meet the employer’s qualifying standards is in fact a ground that does not squarely fall under grounds (a) to (d) and is therefore one that falls under Article 282(e) – the "other causes analogous to the foregoing. We hold that the obesity of petitioner. he repeatedly failed to report when required to undergo weight checks." It is clear that. i. Here. thus plaintiff could simply lose weight and rid herself of concomitant disability.52 decided by the United States Court of Appeals (First Circuit). First. Department of Mental Health. asthma. She twice resigned voluntarily with an unblemished record. Cook re-applied for a similar position. 1787. Even respondent admitted that her performance met the Center’s legitimate expectations. The evidence included expert testimony that morbid obesity is a physiological disorder. Retardation and Hospitals. as the trial court said. Here. the issue of flight safety is absent in Nadura. however. obesity is a mutable condition. Even a cursory reading of the legal provision under consideration is sufficient to convince anyone that. Cook contended that the action of respondent amounted to discrimination on the basis of a handicap. petitioner himself claimed that "[t]he issue is could I bring my weight down to ideal weight which is 172.. They apply prior to employment because these are the standards a job applicant must initially meet in order to be hired. State of Rhode Island. Here. was laid off from work because of illness. Second. Benguet Consolidated." Respondent claimed that the morbid obesity of plaintiff compromised her ability to evacuate patients in case of emergency and it also put her at greater risk of serious diseases. the Court stated that "mutability is relevant only in determining the substantiality of the limitation flowing from a given impairment. 53 which incorporates the remedies contained in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At his heaviest. In fine." Unlike Cook. Among others. In the words of the District Court for the District of Rhode Island. these "qualifying standards" are norms that apply prior to and after an employee is hired. He was given more than four (4) years to comply with the weight standards of PAL. That he was able to reduce his weight from 1984 to 1992 clearly shows that it is possible for him to lose weight given the proper attitude. Thus. His obesity may not be unintended. then the answer is yes. At that time. This was in direct violation of Section 504(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. that is not the case here. In fact. the failure to maintain these standards does not fall under Article 282(a) whose express terms require the element of willfulness in order to be a ground for dismissal. and self-discipline.

airlines need cabin attendants who have the necessary strength to open emergency doors. Simbol. 63 the Supreme Court of Canada adopted the so-called "Meiorin Test" in determining whether an employment policy is justified. most particularly the cabin flight deck crew who are on board the aircraft. a recognized just cause.55 In the United States. or national origin is an actual qualification for performing the job. and a flight engineer who was forced to retire at age 60. the test of reasonableness of the company policy is used because it is parallel to BFOQ. the primary objective of PAL in the imposition of the weight standards for cabin crew is flight safety. The rationale in Western Air Lines v. Too.59 the Labor Code. religion. It was held that the company policy is reasonable considering that its purpose is the protection of the interests of the company against possible competitor infiltration on its trade secrets and procedures. Inc. In other words. using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons. it must necessarily rely on its employees. The qualification is called a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ)."69 In Duncan Association of Detailman-PTGWTO v. The most important activity of the cabin crew is to care for the safety of passengers and the evacuation of the aircraft when an emergency occurs. is considered voluntary although it lacks the element of intent found in Article 282(a). 727761 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons62 contain provisions similar to BFOQ. expect no less than that airline companies transport their passengers to their respective destinations safely and soundly. Under this test. and that the weight standards "has nothing to do with airworthiness of respondent’s airlines. Passenger safety goes to the core of the job of a cabin attendant. They sued the airline company. 70 the Court did not hesitate to pass upon the validity of a company policy which prohibits its employees from marrying employees of a rival company." must fail. 64 (2) the employer must establish that the standard is reasonably necessary65 to the accomplishment of that work-related purpose. 68 BFOQ is valid "provided it reflects an inherent quality reasonably necessary for satisfactory job performance. It does not exist if there is no statute providing for it.71 NLRC.66 this Court held that in order to justify a BFOQ. especially the riding public. Thus.60 and RA No. the Labor Arbiter. (1) the employer must show that it adopted the standard for a purpose rationally connected to the performance of the job. the Constitution. Age-based BFOQ and being overweight are not the same. The case of overweight cabin attendants is another matter. the agility to attend to passengers in cramped working conditions. The dismissal of petitioner can be predicated on the bona fide occupational qualification defense. there are a few federal and many state job discrimination laws that contain an exception allowing an employer to engage in an otherwise unlawful form of prohibited discrimination when the action is based on a BFOQ necessary to the normal operation of a business or enterprise. religion. The British Columbia Government and Service Employee’s Union (BCGSEU)." 54 II. Truly. Given the cramped cabin space and narrow aisles and emergency exit doors of the airplane. it has committed itself to safely transport its passengers. in British Columbia Public Service Employee Commission (BSPSERC) v. 56 Petitioner contends that BFOQ is a statutory defense. with due regard for all the circumstances.72 and CA73 are one in holding that the weight standards of [Type text] PAL are reasonable. just like all common carriers. 58 Both arguments must fail.. or national origin unless the employer can show that sex. Criswell 76 relied upon by petitioner cannot apply to his case. The weight standards of PAL should be viewed as imposing strict norms of discipline upon its employees. whether they be in the nature of a wrongful action or omission. It cannot be gainsaid that cabin attendants must maintain agility at all times in order to inspire passenger confidence on their ability to care for the passengers when something goes wrong. and the stamina to withstand grueling flight schedules. Verily. there is no existing BFOQ statute that could justify his dismissal.57 Further. 77 It would also be absurd to require airline . 74 It is bound to carry its passengers safely as far as human care and foresight can provide. and (d). the arguments of respondent that "[w]hether the airline’s flight attendants are overweight or not has no direct relation to its mission of transporting passengers to their destination". there is no merit to the argument that BFOQ cannot be applied if it has no supporting statute. and narrow aisles and exit doors. On board an aircraft. thrive due to public confidence on their safety records. A lesser performance is unacceptable. 75 The law leaves no room for mistake or oversight on the part of a common carrier. in Star Paper Corporation v. That an obese cabin attendant occupies more space than a slim one is an unquestionable fact which courts can judicially recognize without introduction of evidence. any overweight cabin attendant would certainly have difficulty navigating the cramped cabin area. Aircrafts have constricted cabin space. and (2) that there is factual basis for believing that all or substantially all persons meeting the qualification would be unable to properly perform the duties of the job. First. Glaxo Wellcome Philippines. Employment in particular jobs may not be limited to persons of a particular sex. Thus. there is no need to individually evaluate their ability to perform their task. In order to achieve this. Second. and (3) the employer must establish that the standard is reasonably necessary in order to accomplish the legitimate work-related purpose.runs through all just causes under Article 282. What was involved there were two (2) airline pilots who were denied reassignment as flight engineers upon reaching the age of 60. As such. from the nature of its business and for reasons of public policy. (c). Similarly. It is not farfetched to say that airline companies. the employer must prove that (1) the employment qualification is reasonably related to the essential operation of the job involved. the body weight and size of a cabin attendant are important factors to consider in case of emergency. alleging that the age-60 retirement for flight engineers violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. People. The business of PAL is air transportation. it is only logical to hold that the weight standards of PAL show its effort to comply with the exacting obligations imposed upon it by law by virtue of being a common carrier. Gross and habitual neglect. The task of a cabin crew or flight attendant is not limited to serving meals or attending to the whims and caprices of the passengers. In short. A common carrier. is bound to observe extraordinary diligence for the safety of the passengers it transports.67 In short.

" 94 there is evidence that PAL opted to physically reinstate him to a substantially equivalent position in accordance with the order of the Labor Arbiter. in an emergency situation. except for pointing out the names of the supposed overweight cabin attendants. The employee shall either be admitted back to work under the same terms and conditions prevailing prior to his dismissal or separation or.95 In fact. no matter how egregious. cannot violate the equal protection guarantee. 89 which is the source of our equal protection guarantee. 81 Since the burden of evidence lies with the party who asserts an affirmative allegation. 88 Indeed. never did he question the authority of PAL when he was repeatedly asked to trim down his weight. in interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment. in the absence of governmental interference. 84 But the principle is not a hard and fast rule. Indeed. The job of a cabin attendant during emergencies is to speedily get the passengers out of the aircraft safely. Petitioner next claims that PAL is using passenger safety as a convenient excuse to discriminate against him. the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC inexplicably misappreciated evidence. the United States Supreme Court. It only applies if the findings of facts are duly supported by substantial evidence.93 the option to exercise actual reinstatement or payroll reinstatement belongs to the employer. We thus annul their findings. Indeed. at the option of the employer.78 In fact. III. Although an award or order of reinstatement is self-executory and does not require a writ of execution. as shown by his signature. Petitioner cannot establish discrimination by simply naming the supposed cabin attendants who are allegedly similarly situated with him. If it can be shown that administrative bodies grossly misappreciated evidence of such nature so as to compel a conclusion to the contrary. shall immediately be executory. To make his claim more believable. the periods they were allowed to fly despite their being overweight.96 . seconds are what cabin attendants are dealing with. the discriminating treatment they got from PAL. 92 At this point. There is nothing on the records which could support the finding of discriminatory treatment.85 Here. "from the time he was illegally dismissed" up to the time that the NLRC was reversed by the CA. He does not dispute that the weight standards of PAL were made known to him prior to his employment. 83 The reason is simple: administrative agencies are experts in matters within their specific and specialized jurisdiction. Petitioner is also in estoppel. These possibilities are not remote. petitioner miserably failed to indicate their respective ideal weights. Bona fides exigit ut quod convenit fiat. The claims of petitioner for reinstatement and wages are moot. not minutes. 87 Put differently. Evacuation might slow down just because a wide-bodied cabin attendant is blocking the narrow aisles. Article 223 of the Labor Code finds relevance: In any event. However. We agree with the CA that "[t]he element of discrimination came into play in this case as a secondary position for the private respondent in order to escape the consequence of dismissal that being overweight entailed. and other relevant data that could have adequately established a case of discriminatory treatment by PAL. should the occasion call for it. petitioner avers that his claims for reinstatement and wages have not been mooted. Factual findings of administrative agencies do not have infallibility and must be set aside when they fail the test of arbitrariness. Thus. He is entitled to reinstatement and his full backwages. the clear-cut rules obviate any possibility for the commission of abuse or arbitrary action on the part of PAL. their findings of facts must necessarily be reversed. merely reinstated in the payroll. Substantial proof must be shown as to how and why they are similarly situated and the differential treatment petitioner got from PAL despite the similarity of his situation with other employees. however discriminatory or wrongful. Contrary to the allegation of petitioner that PAL "did everything under the sun" to frustrate his "immediate return to his previous position. weights over their ideal weights. the weight standards of PAL provide for separate weight limitations based on height and body frame for both male and female cabin attendants. even finality. Kung ang tao ay tapat kanyang tutuparin ang napagkasunduan. the particular flights assigned to them. the decision of the Labor Arbiter reinstating a dismissed or separated employee. are accorded respect. The biggest problem with an overweight cabin attendant is the possibility of impeding passengers from evacuating the aircraft. Good faith demands that what is agreed upon shall be done. petitioner duly received the return to work notice on February 23.90 Private actions.companies to reconfigure the aircraft in order to widen the aisles and exit doors just to accommodate overweight cabin attendants like petitioner. like the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC. however. petitioner invokes the equal protection clause guaranty 86 of the Constitution. Too. petitioner has to prove his allegation with particularity. 2001. It does not belong to the employee. It is a confession-and-avoidance position that impliedly admitted the cause of dismissal. insofar as the reinstatement aspect is concerned. to the labor tribunals. the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be invoked. the Bill of Rights is not meant to be invoked against acts of private individuals. including the reasonableness of the applicable standard and the private respondent’s failure to comply. As his last contention. The law is very clear. A progressive discipline is imposed to allow non-compliant cabin attendants sufficient opportunity to meet the weight standards. Petitioner failed to substantiate his claim that he was discriminated against by PAL.79 We are constrained. Being overweight necessarily impedes mobility. The posting of a bond by the employer shall not stay the execution for reinstatement provided herein. is consistent in saying that the equal protection erects no shield against private conduct." 82 [Type text] We are not unmindful that findings of facts of administrative agencies. even pending appeal.91 IV. to hold otherwise. "PAL really had no substantial case of discrimination to meet. Three lost seconds can translate into three lost lives. or even to the courts. He is presumed to know the weight limit that he must maintain at all times. In the words of the CA." 80 It is a basic rule in evidence that each party must prove his affirmative allegation.

cities. 10153. who shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the Even before its formal passage. 2756 were challenged in WHEREFORE. The law reset the ARMM Normally. the Court ruled that the law does not exact compliance with the impossible. petitioner in effect wants to render the issues in the present case moot. Section 15 states: Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court Manila [Type text] years thereafter. There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting of provinces.104 It should include regular allowances which he might have been receiving. and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage. 10153 already spawned petitions filed with this Court. and to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from the time his compensation was withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement."102 In both instances. the appealed Decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED but MODIFIED in that petitioner Armando G. Republic Act (RA) No. through Sections 15 to 22.: On June 30. Time and again. 103 May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office. Factual Antecedents The State. creation of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras. Neither does it appear on record that he actually rendered services for PAL from the moment he was dismissed." Luckily for petitioner. He asks PAL to comply with the impossible. 4146 and Senate Bill No. . to the second Monday of May 2013 and every three (3) Exceptionally. EN BANC DATU MICHAEL ABAS KIDA v SENATE (2011) x------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION BRION. These petitions multiplied after RA No. We grant petitioner separation pay equivalent to one-half (1/2) month’s pay for every year of service. inclusive of allowances. separation pay is granted to a legally dismissed employee as an act "social justice. 105 We are not blind to the fact that he was not dismissed for any serious misconduct or to any act which would reflect on his moral character. House Bill No. it is obligatory on the part of the employer to reinstate and pay the wages of the employee during the period of appeal until reversal by the higher court.100 V. and other relevant characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines. a legally dismissed employee is not entitled to separation pay. Article X of the 1987 Constitution. entitled An Act Providing for the Synchronization of the Elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the Be that as it may. mandated the SO ORDERED. elections from the 8th of August 2011.Petitioner cannot take refuge in the pronouncements of the Court in a case 97 that "[t]he unjustified refusal of the employer to reinstate the dismissed employee entitles him to payment of his salaries effective from the time the employer failed to reinstate him despite the issuance of a writ of execution"98 and ""even if the order of reinstatement of the Labor Arbiter is reversed on appeal. 2011. This may be deduced from the language of Article 279 of the Labor Code that "[a]n employee who is unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to his full backwages. We also recognize that his employment with PAL lasted for more or less a decade. in order to insist on the payment of his full backwages. The law as well Section 15. this is not an ironclad rule. municipalities. the Regional Vice-Governor. National and Local Elections and for Other Purposes was enacted. In insisting that he be reinstated to his actual position despite being overweight. and the Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly. Yrasuegui is entitled to separation pay in an amount equivalent to one-half (1/2) month’s pay for every year of service. granted the President the power to appoint officers-in-charge (OICs) for the Office of the Regional Governor. petitions against their validity. J. which should include his regular allowances. to coincide with the countrys regular national and local elections. economic and social structures. it is required that the dismissal (1) was not for serious misconduct. all is not lost for petitioner. Here. Petitioner is entitled to separation pay."101 or based on "equity. the bills that became RA No. and (2) does not reflect on the moral character of the employee." 99 He failed to prove that he complied with the return to work order of PAL. 10153 was passed.

2 1 4 [Type text] 3 . Pursuant to RA No. But on June 30. Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. The initially assenting provinces were Lanao del Sur. As mentioned. 9054 to not later than August 15. 1989 or two years after the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution. the House of Representative concurred with the Senate amendments. On June 7. The law gave rise as well to the filing of the following petitions against its Congress passed the next law affecting ARMM RA No. cities. No. 10153 was enacted. 4146 and SB No. Maguindanao. 2011. family and property law jurisdiction consistent with the provisions of this Constitution and national laws. as Amended) was the next legislative plebiscite requirement. and on June 30. A plebiscite was held on November 6. 2756). On March 22. 9333. the early challenge to RA No. Unlike RA No. RA No. 6734. with one hundred ninety one (191) On August 1. 9333. Thirteen (13) Senators voted favorably for its passage. 10153 originated in the House of Representatives as House Bill ( HB) No. 9140 . 196305 filed another act passed. and reset the regular elections for the ARMM regional officials to the second With the enactment into law of RA No. Article X of RA No. Congress Members voting in its favor. acted through Republic Act (RA) No. 2756. to the 2 nd Monday of August 2005.on June 22. Sulu and Tawi-tawi. and geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous region. 6734 entitled An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. the House of Representatives passed HB No. on June 6. 2011. 9054. Senate Bill No.Section 18 of the Article. 4146. the COMELEC stopped its preparations for Monday of September 2001. The organic acts shall likewise provide for special courts with personal. petitioner Basari Mapupuno in G. 2011. 1962713 . The organic act shall define the basic structure of government for the region consisting of the executive department and legislative assembly. 2011. 2011. RA No. 10153. The creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when approved by a majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose. 6734. It likewise set the plebiscite to ratify RA No. The Congress shall enact an organic act for each autonomous region with the assistance and participation of the regional consultative commission composed of representatives appointed by the President from a list of nominees from multisectoral bodies. 9333 as well for non-compliance with the constitutional Providing for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.assailing the constitutionality of both HB No. COMELEC had begun preparations for these elections and had accepted certificates of candidacies for the various regional offices to be elected. to November 26. Region in Muslim Mindanao. RA No. 2001. 2001. seeking the postponement of the ARMM elections scheduled on August 8. RA No. the next ARMM regional elections should have been held on August 8. 9054 (entitled An Act to Strengthen and Expand the Organic Act for the Autonomous Court G. provided that only provinces. the ARMM on a date not earlier than 60 days nor later than 90 days after its ratification. original organic act. 4146. 2011. 2756 by Section 18(2). on the other hand. entitled An Act and challenging the validity of RA No. both of which shall be elective and representative of the constituent political units. 9054 was ratified in a plebiscite held on August 14. to coincide with the regular national and local elections of the country.R. 6734 scheduled the first regular elections for the regional officials of the President signed RA No. and on the same date every 3 years thereafter. 9054. RA No. No. 4146. This law 1 constitutionality: reset the first regular elections originally scheduled under RA No. directed Congress to enact an organic act for these autonomous regions to concretely carry into effect the granted autonomy. 6734 and RA No. This law provided further refinement in the basic ARMM structure first defined in the petition4 also assailing the validity of RA No. 2011.R. 2001. 93332 was subsequently passed by Congress to reset the ARMM regional elections Section 18. Thereafter. The province of Basilan and Marawi City voted to join ARMM on the same date. thus fully establishing the Autonomous Region of (SB No. 2001. 9333 was not ratified in a plebiscite. 1990 as required After the Senate received HB No. the ARMM elections. resetting the ARMM elections to May 2013. RA No. it adopted its own version. 10153 into law. 10153 came through a petition filed with this RA No. Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Anak Mindanao Party-List. 10153 assert that these laws docketed as G. RA No. Jr. 2011. Lastly. 2756.a) Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition5 filed by Rep. Ochoa. Article XVII of RA No. the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the House of Representatives against Paquito Ochoa. 9333 and RA No. 197454. 10153. docketed as G. 197280. 2011 and August 16. the Court granted the motion.. 9333. Intervention and Comment-in-Intervention dated July 18. Article VI of the Constitution. 197282. with the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (a political party with candidates cited as grounds are the alleged violations of the right of suffrage of the people of ARMM. Injunction and Preliminary Injunction 7 filed by Louis The Arguments Barok Biraogo against the COMELEC and Executive Secretary Paquito N. (in his capacity as the Executive implementation of RA No. c) Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus. Corrolarily. effective. 9054 and thus. 10153 violates Section 26(2). and the COMELEC. No.R. 9333 and RA No. No. 4146. 2011. 8 docketed as G. docketed as G. 10153 and ordering the incumbent elective officials of ARMM to Secretary) and the COMELEC. and Bangsamoro Solidarity Movement filed their own Motion for Leave to Admit their Motion for also argue that the power of appointment also gave the President the power of control over the ARMM. In the same Resolution. and RA No. Article X of the Constitution. RA No. Oral arguments were held on August 9. SB No. 2011. 2011. 10153 further maintain that it is unconstitutional for its failure Petitioners Alamarim Centi Tillah and Datu Casan Conding Cana as registered voters from to comply with the three-reading requirement of Section 26(2). Minority Rights Forum Philippines. 2011. the petitioners challenged the grant to the President constitutionality of RA No. the parties were instructed to submit their respective memoranda within twenty (20) days.R.R. The petitions assailing RA No. Romulo Macalintal as a taxpayer against the COMELEC. The Issues 10153. have to comply with the supermajority vote and plebiscite d) Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus filed by Jacinto Paras as a member of the House of requirements prescribed under Sections 1 and 3. Also the ARMM. 9140. No. From the parties submissions. Edcel Lagman as a member of the On September 13. On July 26. they Subsequently. the Court ordered the consolidation of all the petitions relating to the constitutionality of HB No. Thereafter. The petitioners assailing RA No. 9140. Jr. 9094 in order to become Representatives against Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa. 197221. RA No. in complete violation of Section 16. Whether the passage of RA No. also filed a Petition for Prohibition as the failure to adhere to the elective and representative character of the executive and and Mandamus9 against the COMELEC. to assail the legislative departments of the ARMM. docketed as G. No. and amend RA No. Inc. b) Petition for Mandamus and Prohibition 6 filed by Atty. continue to perform their functions should these cases not be decided by the end of their term on September 30.R. of the power to appoint OICs to undertake the functions of the elective ARMM officials until the officials elected under the May 2013 regular elections shall have assumed office. 197392. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution 7 8 9 [Type text] . as well in the ARMM regional elections scheduled for August 8. Whether the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of elections II. No. the following issues were recognized and argued by the parties in the oral arguments of August 9 and 16.R. 2011: 5 6 I. Jr. 2011).

2 and 5. 10153 requires a supermajority vote and plebiscite A. Section 18. Does the requirement of a plebiscite apply only in the creation of autonomous regions under paragraph 2. Whether the grant of the power to appoint OICs violates: Of the Senators elected in the election in 1992. Section 18. The first elections of Members of the Congress under this Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May. B. A. 11 No. While the Constitution does not expressly state that Congress has to synchronize national and local elections. the first twelve obtaining the highest number of votes shall serve for six year and the remaining twelve for three years. The first regular elections for President and Vice-President under this Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May. Article X of the 1987 Constitution? Whether RA No. We shall discuss these issues in the order they are presented above. Section 15. Article X of the 1987 Constitution Section 5. The Senators. Does the postponement of the ARMM regular elections constitute an amendment to Section 7.I. 1992. 10 which show the extent to which the Constitutional Commission. sought to attain synchronization of elections. Section 16. 10153 in toto. The respondent Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) argues that the Constitution mandates synchronization. 1986 election is. Synchronization as a recognized constitutional mandate III. We agree with this position. 1992. The first local elections shall be held on a date to be determined by the President. Article XVIII (Transitory Provisions) of the 1987 Constitution. 10 11 [Type text] . 9054 violate Section 1 and Section 16(2). Whether the proposal to hold special elections is constitutional and legal. It shall include the election of all Members of the city or municipal councils in the Metropolitan Manila area. 1987. Members of the House of Representatives and the local officials first elected under this Constitution shall serve until noon of June 30. Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and the corollary doctrine on irrepealable laws? C. hereby extended to noon of June 30. and in support of this position. which provides: Section 1. 9054? B. by deliberately making adjustments to the terms of the incumbent officials. 10153 violates the autonomy granted to the ARMM Section 2. Article X of the 1987 Constitution xxx C. IV. the clear intent towards this objective can be gleaned from the Transitory OUR RULING We resolve to DISMISS the petitions and thereby UPHOLD the constitutionality of RA Provisions (Article XVIII) of the Constitution. Whether the passage of RA No. Does the requirement of a supermajority vote for amendments or revisions to RA No. which may be simultaneous with the election of the Members of the Congress. cites Sections 1. Article X of the 1987 Constitution VI. for purposes of synchronization of elections. 1992. The six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice President elected in the February 7. Article XVIII of RA No. V.

often a community or minor political subdivision. its Constitutional Commission deliberations. There shall be autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao. cities. The Presidents Certification on the Urgency of RA No.] Government. It is likewise evident from the wording of the above-mentioned Sections that the term of synchronization is used synonymously as the phrase holding simultaneously since this is the precise intent in terminating their Office Tenure on the same day or occasion. which provides: Section 1.16 [a]s the Constitution is not primarily a lawyers document. That the election for Senators. and barangays. read with the provisions of the Transitory given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed. 15 As this Court once every three years. Although called regional elections. we explained: From the perspective of the Constitution. the President and the Vice-President have been synchronized to end on the same hour. in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails.12 This intention finds full support in the discussions during the explained in People v. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces. except when technical number of votes. Provisions of the Constitution. Autonomous regions are established and discussed under Sections 15 to 21 of this Article the article wholly devoted to Local Government. Commission on Elections. municipalities.The objective behind setting a common termination date for all elective officials. the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. We shall refer to synchronization in the course of our discussions below. 1992 and for all the needs of a particular limited district. vice-governor and regional assembly representatives obviously fall within this classification. the word local refers to something that primarily serves the synchronized national and local elections. the ARMM elections should be included among the elections to be synchronized as it is a local election based on the wording and structure of the Constitution. 1992. Members of the House of Representatives. Art. II. as evident from Article X of the Constitution entitled Local It is clear from the aforequoted provisions of the 1987 Constitution that the terms of office of Senators. Vol. II. This common termination date will synchronize future elections to once every three years (Bernas. Members of the House of Representatives and the local officials (under Sec. starting the second Monday of May. [Emphasis supplied. as this concept permeates the consideration of the various issues posed in this case and must be recalled time and again for its complete resolution. Derilo. Thus. XVIII) is likewise evident from the x x x records of the proceedings in the Constitutional Commission.13 language should be understood in the sense that it may have in common. all serve as patent indicators of the constitutional mandate to hold Understood in its ordinary sense. autonomous regions are considered one of the forms of local governments. Article X of the Constitution. and the Cordilleras as hereinafter provided. Its words should be These Constitutional Commission exchanges. elections in the ARMM for the positions of governor. In Osmea v. is to synchronize the holding of all future elections whether national or local to terms are employed. 14 who will serve within the limited region of ARMM. date and year noon of June 30. done A basic rule in constitutional construction is that the words used should be understood in among others through the shortening the terms of the twelve winning senators with the least the sense that they have in common use and given their ordinary meaning. Art. p. 605). 5. XVIII) will have to be synchronized with the election for President and Vice President (under Sec. 10153 12 15 13 16 14 17 [Type text] . since they pertain to the elected officials This Court was not left behind in recognizing the synchronization of the national and local elections as a constitutional mandate. the local officials. That an autonomous region is considered a form of local government is also reflected in Section 1. 17 Regional following elections. 2. we find the contention that the synchronization mandated by the Constitution does not include the regional elections of the ARMM unmeritorious.

nothing short of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the two houses of Congress can justify our intrusion under our power of judicial review. was passed on second and third readings in the House of Representatives on the same day [May 14. 10153 on the cited ground. the purpose with respect to Members of Congress is: (1) to inform the legislators of House of Representatives to certify the necessity of the immediate enactment of a law the matters they shall vote on and (2) to give them notice that a measure is in progress through synchronizing the ARMM elections with the national and local elections. In this On the follow-up contention that no necessity existed for the immediate enactment of light. Section 23(2) is subject to judicial review because basic rights of individuals may be of hazard.R. VI. which involves doing away with procedural requirements designed to insure that bills are duly considered by members of Congress. 10153 for its alleged failure to comply with Section 26(2). while the judicial department and this Court are not bound by the That upon the certification of a bill by the President. the enactment process. acceptance of the President's certification by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. the requirement of three readings on separate days and of printing and distribution can be dispensed with is supported by the weight of legislative practice. Hence. 197280 also challenge the validity of RA No.19 explained the effect of the Presidents certification of necessity in the following manner: The presidential certification dispensed with the requirement not only of printing but also that of reading the bill on separate days. 10153. For example. Secretary of Finance. 5440. Article VI of the Constitution 18 The sufficiency of the factual basis of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus or declaration of martial law Art.] which provides that before bills passed by either the House or the Senate can become laws. despite the Presidents certification. certainly should elicit a different standard of review. No. The exception is when the President certifies to the necessity of the bills immediate enactment. no reason exists to nullify RA No. But the factual basis of presidential certification of bills. caution a stay of the judicial hand. VI. failed to provide us with any cause or justification for this xxx course of action. The phrase "except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment. [Emphasis supplied. In the present case. however. the Presidents certification exempted both the House and the Senate from having to We find. these bills since there was no public calamity or emergency that had to be met. etc.The petitioners in G. they must pass through three readings on separate days." in Art. in Tolentino v. 21 The petitioners. the opponents of the proposed measure had sufficient opportunities to present their views. or the existence of a national emergency justifying the delegation of extraordinary powers to the President under Art. in consolidation with the Senate version. the records show that the President wrote to the Speaker of the Specifically. The Court. 1968] after the bill had been certified by the President as urgent. VII. the two-fold purpose that underlies the requirement for three readings on separate days of every bill must always be observed to enable our legislators and other parties interested in pending bills to intelligently respond to them. Under the circumstances. Section 26[2] qualifies the two stated conditions before a bill can become a law: [i] the bill has passed three readings on separate days and [ii] it has been printed in its final form and distributed three days before it is finally approved. became Republic Act No. prudent exercise of our powers and respect due our co-equal branches of government in matters committed to them by the Constitution. 22 In any case. again we hark back to our ruling in Tolentino: 18 21 19 22 20 23 [Type text] .23 20 Following our Tolentino ruling. the bill defining the certiorari jurisdiction of this Court which. based on the records of the deliberations on the law. that both advocates and comply with the three separate readings requirement. Section 18. The House of Representatives and the Senate in the exercise of their legislative discretion gave full recognition to the Presidents certification and promptly enacted RA No.

914030 to reset the date of the ARMM elections. Significantly. 901229 were all enacted by Congress to fix the dates of the ARMM elections. A need therefore existed for the Congress to fix the date of the subsequent ARMM regular elections. 9054.27 RA No. 10153 cannot be considered amendments to RA No. which it did by enacting RA No. Article XVII of RA No. 8176. 8753. RA No. Thereafter. RA No. These provisions require: Section 1. 9054 The effectivity of RA No. they were not amendments to this latter law. 6734. legislative enactment. 2001. 10153 are not amendments to RA No. 9333 nor RA No. Section 3. 31 which further reset the date of the ARMM regional elections.26 RA No. the new date of the ARMM regional elections fixed in RA No.28 and RA No. these subsequent laws RA No. The First Organic Act RA No. 10153. 10153 has also been challenged because they did not comply with Sections 1 and 3. it did not even fix the specific date of the first ARMM elections. RA No. there was no need to submit them to any plebiscite for ratification. 9333. 9333 and RA No.III. RA No. Consistent with the provisions of the Constitution. they merely filled in a gap in RA No. 10153 amends RA No. Obviously. Article XVII of RA No. this law was not ratified through a plebiscite. RA No. 9054. 9054. 9333 and RA No. 25 To recall. The Second Organic Act RA No. As an examination of these laws will show. A. while RA No. Any amendment to or revision of this Organic Act shall become effective only when approved by a majority of the vote cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose. 9054 which lapsed into law on March 31. We find no merit in this contention. B. 10153 without In the first place. Congress passed RA No. 24 leaving the date to be fixed in another 26 27 28 29 30 24 [Type text] 31 . From these legislative actions. 6734 not only did not fix the date of the subsequent elections. Congress only acted consistently with this intent when it passed RA No. Again. Thereafter. 9333 and RA No. 9333 and thereafter. 9140 also scheduled the plebiscite for the ratification of the Second Organic Act (RA No. 7647. 8746. 10153 is not the first law passed that rescheduled the ARMM elections. neither RA No. 9054 the character of an irrepealable law or revise any provision in the latter law. 9054 in amending this law. 9054). 25 RA No. this Organic Act may be reamended or revised by the Congress of the Philippines upon a vote of twothirds (2/3) of the Members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate voting separately. This view that Congress thought it best to leave the determination of the date of succeeding ARMM elections to legislative discretion finds support in ARMMs recent history. Congress passed RA No. 9140 was not among the provisions ratified in the plebiscite held to approve RA No. 9054 or supplemented the law by providing the date of the subsequent regular elections. which shall be held not earlier than sixty (60) days or later than ninety (90) days after the approval of such amendment or revision. ARMM elections and does not fix the date of the regular elections. 9054 only provides for the schedule of the first requiring compliance with the amendment prerequisites embodied in Section 1 and Section 3. Since these laws did not change or modify any part or provision of RA No. Supermajority voting requirement unconstitutional for giving RA No. Consequently. 9054 as they did not change III. provided that the first elections would be held on the second Monday of September 2001. Consequently. we see the clear intention of Congress to treat the laws which fix the date of the subsequent ARMM elections as separate and distinct from the Organic Acts.

a violation of the Constitution. a vote of majority is generally sufficient to enact laws or approve acts. Thus. It cannot declare in advance the intent of subsequent legislatures Section 18. This power of repeal may be exercised at the same session at which the original act was passed. With these wordings as standard. House of Representatives or the Senate are present. we find the enlargement of the plebiscite Congress to amend. Article X of the Constitution to be excessive to point of Davao v. Article VI of the Constitution provides that a majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business. but in order to effectively amend RA No. 9333 and RA No. and a legislature which attempts to forestall future amendments or repeals of its enactments labors under delusions of omniscience. whether pertaining to persons or things. These amendments to the Organic Act are those that relate to: 32 34 33 35 [Type text] . 9054. the supermajority (2/3) voting requirement required under Section 1. Section 1. and even while a bill is in its progress and before it becomes a law. those aspects specifically mentioned in the Constitution which Congress must provide for in the Organic Act require ratification through a plebiscite. considering that both assemblies are regarded with equal footing. 10153 did in fact amend RA No. Article XVII of RA No. as long as majority of the members of the of what the Constitution requires on the passage of bills and is constitutionally obnoxious because it significantly constricts the future legislators room for action and flexibility. The Courts pronouncement in City of requirement required under Section 18. Article X of the Constitution plainly states that The creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when approved by the majority of the votes case by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose. GSIS33 on this subject best explains the basis and reason for the unconstitutionality: absurdity and. Clearly. as embodied in its Section 3.. 9054 not only required an unwarranted supermajority. This legislature cannot bind a future legislature to a particular mode of repeal. 9054 the character of an irrepealable law by requiring more than what the Constitution demands. 35 questions on the extent of the matters requiring ratification may unavoidably arise because of the seemingly general terms of the Constitution and the obvious absurdity that would result if a plebiscite were to be required for every statutory amendment. while a supermajority is not a total ban against a repeal.Even assuming that RA No. and served to restrain the plenary powers of As we did on the supermajority requirement. hence. Perpetual infallibility is not one of the attributes desired in a legislative body. revise or repeal the laws it had passed. Article X of the Constitution In contrast. Moreover. The requirements of RA No. It cannot bind itself or its successors by enacting irrepealable laws except when so restrained. it would be noxious anathema to democratic principles for a legislative body to have the ability to bind the actions of future legislative body. this 2/3 voting requirement is higher than what enlarged as well the plebiscite requirement. Within a quorum. within its territorial jurisdiction. the Organic Act constitutionally-essential to the creation of autonomous regions i. it is a limitation in excess Section 16(2).) has to be struck down for giving RA No. the Constitution requires for the passage of bills. xxx A state legislature has a plenary law-making power over all subjects. voting separately. Article XVII of RA No. While the settled rule is that amendments to the Organic Act have to comply with the plebiscite requirement in order to become effective. Article X of the Constitution states that the plebiscite is required only for the creation of autonomous regions and for determining which provinces. Every legislative body may modify or abolish the acts passed by itself or its predecessors.e. cities and geographic areas will be included in the autonomous regions. or revisions of. we interpret the requirement to mean that only amendments to. Section 18. either to introduce new laws or repeal the old. unless prohibited expressly or by implication by the federal constitution or limited or restrained by its own.34 (Emphasis ours. C. In other words. 9054 32 or the effect of subsequent legislation upon existing statutes. 9054. 9054 excessively enlarged the plebiscite requirement found in Section 18. Article XVII of RA No. III. exercising as they do the same plenary powers. Section 3. these bodies have the quorum needed to conduct business and hold session. Article XVII of that Act. 9054 requires a vote of no less than twothirds (2/3) of the Members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate.

X of the Constitution. Sections 1 and 32. The with the fixed schedule of the national and local elections (fixed by RA No. 7166 already provides for the synchronization of local elections with autonomy as recognized and established under the 1987 Constitution. in the law. 36 The date of the ARMM elections does not fall under any of the matters that the As will be abundantly clear in the discussion below. the Court identified the three options open to Congress in provisions (such as the initiative and referendum clause of Article 6. or (3) to authorize the President to appoint OICs. and the order to resolve this problem. the second is the elections. the special those elected in the synchronized elections assume office. Constitution has lodged it elsewhere. State Policies (Article 2) and in the provisions Bill of Rights (Article 3). and the third is on the concept of current RA No. 41 Except as limited by the Constitution. given that regional elections are in reality local elections by express constitutional deemed to be legislative by usage and tradition. (c) the grant and extent of the ARMM. 38 (2) to hold special elections in the courts with personal.e. Other constitutional During the oral arguments. unless the recognition. Article assume office. an existing law in fact already exists RA No. 7166 to be held in May express limitations are generally provided in some provisions of the Declaration of Principles and 2013). i. 9054. chose the correct option and passed RA No.42 ARMMs regular elections (which should have been held in August 2011 based on RA No.(a) the basic structure of the regional government. 39 The terms are not constitutionally provided) and is technically a reiteration of what is already reflected legislative body possesses plenary power for all purposes of civil government. pursuant to Section 7(1). synchronization of national and local elections is a constitutional To fully appreciate the available options. 10153 as a assuming that the supermajority votes and the plebiscite requirements are valid. 9333) The constitutional limitations on legislative power are either express or implied. with the terms of those elected to expire when those elected in the synchronized elections legislative powers constitutionally conceded to the regional government under Section 20. IV. The first is the extent of the powers of Congress to legislate.. These options are: (1) to allow the elective officials in the ARMM to 38 remain in office in a hold over capacity. Article VII of RA No. pursuant to Section 3 of RA No. On this point. 10153 A. The Constitutionality of RA No. either expressly or 37 impliedly. 10153. also until those elected in the synchronized elections assume office. 40 Any power. Congress. any change in completely valid law. general and comprehensive. family. Therefore. until 39 40 36 41 37 42 [Type text] . 7166 as the forerunner of the constitutional mandate for the synchronization of elections. The synchronization issue Basic Underlying Premises As we discussed above. 10153. what RA No. and. is necessarily possessed by Congress. legislative power embraces all subjects and extends to all matters of general concern or To achieve synchronization. and property law jurisdiction. the national and congressional elections. Congress necessarily has to reconcile the schedule of the common interest. 10153 provides is an old matter for local governments (with the exception of barangay and Sanggunian Kabataan elections where the The grant of legislative power to Congress is broad. (b) the regions judicial system. even President the power to appoint OICs. Thus. in choosing to grant the Constitution specifically mandated Congress to provide for in the Organic Act. the date of elections cannot be construed as a substantial amendment of the Organic Act that would require compliance with these requirements. RA No. V. certain underlying material premises must be mandate that Congress must provide for and this synchronization must include the ARMM fully understood.

Sections 15 to 21 of Article X of the when it acted on RA No. to be sure. the present problem is with self-rule or self-government. prescribed basic structure of government i. the difference is in their coverage. is not a strange phenomenon in all powers and functions not granted by this Constitution or by law to the autonomous regions the Philippine legal landscape. 10153. in other words. the Constitution are required. the adjustment of elective terms and of elections The totality of Sections 15 to 21 of Article X should likewise serve as a standard that towards the goal of synchronization first transpired under the Transitory Provisions.autonomy provisions of Article X) provide their own express limitations. both autonomy and the synchronization of national and local qualified. however. The Congress must observe in dealing with legislation touching on the affairs of the autonomous adjustments. congressional and all requirements and its parameters. must not encroach on the legislative powers the terms of the Constitution and its established supporting jurisprudence. as they now stand. 44 In other words. both of which must be elective and representative of the The problem. too.47 As previously mentioned. Interim measures. failed to look far enough or deeply enough. The implied limitations are suggests directly carries a narrower regional effect although its national effect cannot be found in the evident purpose which was in view and the circumstances and historical events which discounted. The Constitutions Transitory Provisions themselves collectively shall be vested in the National Government. us today. thus. and with the respect granted under Section 20. To succinctly describe the legal situation that faced Congress Constitution constitute express limitations on legislative power as they define autonomy. provide measures for transition from the old constitution to the new 46 and for the introduction of new concepts.51 as the other. In the creation of Quezon del Sur 48 and Dinagat Islands. synchronization operates on and affects the whole country. Conversely and as expressly reflected in Section 17. due to the concept of autonomy. particularly into the problems regions. reject the notion of imperium et imperio45 in authorized the President to appoint an interim governor. The terms of these sections leave no doubt on what the Constitution intends the idea of that synchronizing regional autonomous elections would entail. vice-governor and members of the the relationship between the national and the regional governments. Article X. Article X. the appointive officials were to serve until a new set of provincial officials shall have been elected and In relation with synchronization. national government.49 the creating statutes and the supporting jurisprudence. while regional autonomy as the term 46 47 48 43 49 44 50 45 51 [Type text] . problem of how to provide the ARMM with governance in the intervening period between the expiration of the term of those elected in August 2008 and the assumption to office twenty- Of particular relevance to the issues of the present case are the limitations posed by the one (21) months away of those who will win in the synchronized elections on May 13. with one being as compelling sub-province to a province. the power to legislate on a wide array of social. as The creation of local government units also represents instances when interim measures expressed in the above-quoted Section 17 and in Section 15. consistent with constituent political units. its decision to synchronize the regional elections with the national. 2013. economic and administrative matters. 43 These underlying basic concepts characterize the powers and limitations of Congress The constitutional provisions on autonomy specifically. in particular.. But equally clear under these provisions are the permeating principles of national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Republic.e. led to the enactment of the particular provision as a part of organic law. its then. that the government must have an executive department and a legislative assembly.50 A similar authority to appoint is provided in the transition of a local government from a elections are recognized and established constitutional mandates. If their compelling force differs at all. sangguniang panlalawigan although these positions are essentially elective in character. was for interim measures for this period. thus limiting what is otherwise the unlimited power of Congress other local elections (save for barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections) left it with the to legislate on the governance of the autonomous region.

properly understood as interim measures that Congress had to provide. did Congress gravely abuse its discretion or violate the Constitution when it addressed through RA No. the term of three years for local officials should stay at three (3) years as fixed by the Constitution and cannot be extended by holdover by Congress. which shall be determined by law. Thus. arrangements and approaches were adopted or used in order to adjust to the goal or objective in sight in a manner that does not do violence to the Constitution and to reasonably accepted norms. 53 If at all. i.e. [Emphasis ours. the net result is for Congress to create a new term and to appoint the occupant for the new term. they cannot extend their term through a holdover. In American Jurisprudence it has been stated as follows: To return to the underlying basic concepts. the primacy of the Constitution as the supreme law of the land dictates that where the Constitution has itself made a determination or given its mandate. there is no legislative authority to continue the office beyond that period. This view like the extension of the elective term is constitutionally infirm because 53 52 [Type text] 54 . the need for interim measures is dictated by necessity. Article X of the Constitution. even though the successors fail to qualify within the time. this Court. out-of-the-way It is not competent for the legislature to extend the term of officers by providing that they shall hold over until their successors are elected and qualified where the constitution has in effect or by clear implication prescribed the term and when the Constitution fixes the day on which the official term shall begin. their term has been fixed clearly and unequivocally. The proper understanding of the options as interim measures assume prime materiality as it is under these terms that the passage of RA No. Since elective ARMM officials are local officials. then the matters so determined or mandated should be respected until the Constitution itself is changed by amendment or repeal through the applicable constitutional process.. by an act postponing the election to fill an office the term of which is limited by the Constitution. 10153 the concomitant problems that the adjustment of elections necessarily brought with it? Independently of the Osmea ruling. given the constitutional objective of synchronization that cannot legally be faulted. [emphases ours] allowing no room for any implementing legislation with respect to the fixed term itself and no vagueness that would allow an interpretation from this Court. A B. 10153 should be measured. Section 8.] brought about by the synchronization of the ARMM elections. these concepts shall serve as the guideposts and markers in our discussion of the options available to Congress to address the problems It has been broadly stated that the legislature cannot. The term of office of elective local officials. COMELEC: 52 If it will be claimed that the holdover period is effectively another term mandated by Congress. may only interpret the mandate if an interpretation is appropriate and called for. shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. the choice of measures was a question of wisdom left to congressional discretion. they are covered and bound by the threeyear term limit prescribed by the Constitution. except barangay officials. Holdover Option is Unconstitutional necessary corollary is that none of the three branches of government can deviate from the constitutional mandate except only as the Constitution itself may allow. 54 states: In the case of the terms of local officials. As this Court put in Osmea v. extend the term of the incumbent beyond the period as limited by the Constitution. on the other hand. This provision only pass legislation filing in details to fully operationalize the constitutional command or to implement it by legislation if it is non-self-executing. Under these limitations.In all these. Congress may We rule out the first option holdover for those who were elected in executive and legislative positions in the ARMM during the 2008-2011 term as an option that Congress could have chosen because a holdover violates Section 8.

58 and Montesclaros v.Congress cannot do indirectly what it cannot do directly. 9054 by completely removing this while Section 3. and there had been statutory basis for it (namely Section 7. holdover whichever way it is viewed is a constitutionally infirm option that Congress could not have undertaken. term. The COMELEC has no authority to order special elections power of the President. Because of their constitutionally limited term. No. The present case though COMELEC to immediately conduct special elections pursuant to Section 5 and 6 of Batas Pambansa Bilang (BP) 881. powers and functions and duties of local officials[. The Congress shall enact a local government code which shall provide for xxx the qualifications. this Court.. the regular election for President and Vice-President shall be held on the second Monday of May. made it explicitly clear that it had the intention of suppressing the holdover rule that prevailed under RA No. the regular election of the Senators and the Members of the House of Representatives shall be held on the second Monday of May. Comelec. salaries. it cannot apply where such contrary intent is Section 4. Comelec. 10153. the present case.61 Congress. Article VI. justice or expediency of legislation.] [Emphases ours] 57 58 59 60 61 [Type text] 62 . of course. in passing RA No. Section 4(3). appointment and removal. refers to local elective officials the ARMM Governor. the ARMM Vice-Governor. on local government. is not without examples of cases where the question of holdover was brought before. i.R. and the members of the Regional Legislative Assembly whose terms fall within the three-year term limit set by Section 8. differs significantly from past cases with contrary rulings. if acts that cannot be legally done directly can be in the exercise of its plenary legislative powers. Unless otherwise provided by law.e. Congress cannot legislate an extension beyond the term for which they were originally elected. 197282 is for this Court to compel Jurisprudence. Article X. on the other Section 8. 60 President. election. applicable to the legislature. appointment by Congress and an unconstitutional intrusion into the constitutional appointment C. 62 except where an attendant unconstitutionality or grave 55 Congress cannot also create a new term and effectively appoint the occupant of the position for the new term. [Emphasis ours] evident. This is effectively an act of abuse of discretion results.56 Hence. Article X of the Constitution. Article VII of RA No.59 where the Court ruled that the elective officials could hold on to their positions in a hold over capacity. states: we have to remember that the rule of holdover can only apply as an available option where no express or implied xxxx legislative intent to the contrary exists. and given the imprimatur of approval by. particularly from Sambarani v. provides: All these past cases refer to elective barangay or sangguniang kabataan officials whose terms of office are not explicitly provided for in the Constitution. [Emphasis ours] hand. the following provisions of the Constitution: Section 8. provides: 55 56 Section 3. The power to fix the date of elections is essentially legislative in nature. 9054) in the past. done indirectly. Article VII. as evident from. with the same tenor but applicable solely to the President and ViceEven assuming that holdover is constitutionally permissible. this Court cannot pass upon questions of wisdom. xxx Unless otherwise provided by law. Indeed. Another option proposed by the petitioner in G. to act in a way that would effectively provision. then all laws would be illusory. The deletion is a policy decision that is wholly within the discretion of Congress to make extend the term of the incumbents.57 Adap v. COMELEC. and exemplified by.

orderly and honest the power to postpone elections to another date. . or upon orders of a body or officer to whom Congress may have delegated either the power or the authority to ascertain or fill in the details in the execution of that power. on account of force majeure. Members of Congress and local officials. Under the principle of enforcing and administering all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election. Congress has acted on the ARMM elections by postponing the scheduled August 2011 elections and setting another date May 13. be exercised within. and (e) other analogous causes of such a nature that the holding of a free. congressional and other local elections. (c) terrorism. shall postpone the election therein to a date which should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held. suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect. orderly and contrast with the power of Congress to call for. Vice President. 65 ejusdem generis. [Emphasis ours] our power rests on very narrow ground and is merely to annul a contravening act of Congress. A close reading of Section 5 of BP 881 reveals that it is meant to address instances where elections have already been scheduled to take place but have to be postponed because of (a) violence. .R. contrary to what the petition in G.If. or other analogous causes the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed. fraud. such election results in a failure to elect. terrorism. 64 But Section 5. motu proprio or upon a verified petition by any interested party.These provisions support the conclusion that no elections may be held on any other date for the positions of President. (c) loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records. in majeure. Section 6. particularly. this power is limited to. or (e) other analogous causes the election in any polling place has 63 64 65 [Type text] not been held on the date fixed. neither the Executive nor the Judiciary can act to the contrary by ordering special elections instead at the call of the COMELEC. We quote: Similarly. and can only election should become impossible. orderly and honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision. 2011 for regional elections synchronized with the presidential. and after due notice and hearing. whereby all interested parties are afforded equal opportunity to be heard. or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting. it is not to supplant the decision of Congress nor to mandate what Congress itself should have done in the exercise of its legislative powers. (d) fraud. Thus. the Commission shall. However. the Commission. violence. is limited to honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision. (b) terrorism. By so doing. Failure of election. or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting. (b) violence. COMELEC with are further defined by the phrase of such nature that the holding of a free. the term analogous causes will be restricted to those unforeseen or Statutorily. Postponement of election. After Congress has so acted. terrorism. we have to bear in mind that the constitutional power of the COMELEC. COMELEC has no power to call for the holding of special elections unless pursuant to a unexpected events that prevent the holding of the scheduled elections. No. suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect on a date reasonably close to the date of the election not held. and other analogous causes of such a nature that the holding of a free. call for the holding or continuation of the election not held. force majeure. loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records. we cannot compel COMELEC to call for special elections. Congress did grant. or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of . suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause for such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect. via Sections 5 and 6 of BP 881. elections. This Court. the specific terms and circumstances provided for in the law. and to set the date of. (d) force Furthermore.63 Notably. To be sure. and in any of such cases the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election. These analogous causes specific statutory grant. cannot make this call without thereby supplanting the legislative decision and effectively legislating. except when so provided by another Act of Congress. True. Section 6 of BP 881 applies only to those situations where elections have already been scheduled but do not take place because of (a) force majeure. Congress itself has made a policy decision in the exercise of its legislative wisdom that it shall not call special elections as an adjustment measure in synchronizing the ARMM elections with the other elections.When for any serious cause such as violence. on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing. 197282 urges. or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof. the Court is not without the power to declare an act of Congress null and void for being unconstitutional or for having been exercised in grave abuse of discretion.

while the tenure represents the term during which the incumbent actually holds the office). while pertain to extralegal causes that obstruct the holding of elections. 73 The appointing power is 66 embodied in Section 16. neither Section 5 nor Section 6 of BP 881 can Neither we nor Congress can opt to shorten the tenure of those officials to be elected in apply to the present case and this Court has absolutely no legal basis to compel the COMELEC to hold special elections. which states: 67 68 71 69 72 70 73 [Type text] . 10153 and the appointment by the President of OICs to govern the ARMM during the pre-synchronization period pursuant to Sections 3. these limitations or particularly. the ARMM elections instead of acting on their term (where the term means the time during which the officer may claim to hold office as of right and fixes the interval after which the several incumbents shall succeed one another. special elections. or more. the power to fix the term of office of elective officials. as we ruled in Osmena. which all term of less than two years if a call for special elections shall prevail. nor include situations not Constitution. should be examined for any attendant constitutional infirmity. Even Congress itself may be denied such power. E. than the constitutionally mandated elect. as shown when the Constitution shortened the terms of twelve The above considerations leave only Congress chosen interim measure RA No. which can be exercised only in the case of barangay officials.. They would commit an unconstitutional act and gravely abuse their discretion if they do so. 66 Clearly. the Court is not empowered to adjust the terms of elective officials. Section 6 addresses instances where the elections do not occur three years71 as this tinkering would directly contravene Section 8. the term cannot be shortened by putting an expiration date earlier than national and local elections. by Thus. the result is at the cost of a violation of an express provision of the enlarge the scope of a statute under the guise of interpretation.67 is specifically given to Congress. The Court has no power to shorten the terms of elective officials Even assuming that it is legally permissible for the Court to compel the COMELEC to hold the Court has any legal basis to shorten the tenure of elective ARMM officials. 70 More on or qualifications to the exercise of this power should be strictly construed.e. 72 As with the fixing of the elective term. to be sure. not even Congress and certainly not this Court. Senators obtaining the least votes. 68 and extended the terms of the President and the VicePresident69 in order to synchronize elections. no legal basis likewise exists to rule that the newly elected ARMM officials shall hold office only until the ARMM officials elected in the synchronized elections shall have assumed office. The At the outset. Congress was not granted this same power. provided nor intended by the lawmakers. As in Section 5 of BP 881. By no stretch of the imagination can these reasons be given the same the three (3) years that the Constitution itself commands. Article VII of the Constitution. neither Congress nor D. 4 and 5 of this law as the only measure that Congress can make. such election results in a failure to elective local officials in the ARMM for less. however. This is what will happen a character as the circumstances contemplated by Section 5 or Section 6 of BP 881. Based on the Constitution. In the present case. Article X of the Constitution or had to be suspended because of unexpected and unforeseen circumstances. has the authority to fix the terms of qualifications must be clearly stated in order to be recognized.the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof. the power to appoint is essentially executive in nature. In sum. and the limitations settled rule is that terms fixed by the Constitution cannot be changed by mere statute. cannot synchronization is achieved. This choice itself. the postponement of the ARMM elections is by law i. in the same way that the term of elective ARMM officials cannot be extended congressional policy and is pursuant to the constitutional mandate of synchronization of through a holdover. The Presidents Power to Appoint OICs In the first place. Courts.

those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint. Second. it is purely and simply an interim measure responding to the adjustments that the synchronization requires. 75 Aside from its order for synchronization. it falls under the third group of officials that the President can appoint pursuant to Section 16. and other officers whose appointments are vested in the President in this Constitution. appoint the heads of the executive departments. This power is far different from appointing elective ARMM officials for the abbreviated term ending First. given the plain unconstitutionality of providing for a holdover and the unavailability of constitutional Since the Presidents authority to appoint OICs emanates from RA No. ambassadors. For then. the heads of the executive departments.units. agencies. does not in any way amend what the organic law of the ARMM (RA No. 9054) sets outs in terms of structure of governance. we hold that this alleged constitutional problem is more apparent than real and becomes very real only if RA No. from the rank of colonel or naval captain. or in the heads of departments. Thus. in the courts. the appropriate question to ask is whether the interim measure is an unreasonable move for Congress to adopt. and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution. These are: leaves the appointment of OICs constitutionally defective. 9054. Article VII of the Constitution an unconstitutional or unreasonable choice for Congress to make? If at all. 10153 did not amend RA No. The Congress may. and As we have already established in our discussion of the supermajority and plebiscite requirements. and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. other public ministers and on the assumption to office of the officials elected in the May 2013 elections. And this is how RA No. Third. 10153. is the choice of the Presidents power to appoint for a fixed and specific period as an interim measure. in fact.74 Thus. vest the appointment of other officers lower in rank in the President alone. the assailed law facially rests on clear constitutional basis. with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. consuls. 10153. provides only for synchronization of elections and for the interim measures that must in the meanwhile prevail. commissions. officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. [emphasis ours] This provision classifies into four groups the officers that the President can appoint. What RA No. the grant of the power to the President under other situations or where the power of appointment would extend beyond the adjustment period for synchronization would be to foster a government that is not democratic and republican. given the legal situation that the synchronization unavoidably brought with it. by law. In more concrete terms and based on the above considerations. He shall also appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law. ambassadors. Regional Vice Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office. The President shall nominate and. officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the President alone. 10153 were to be mistakenly read as a law that changes the elective and representative character of ARMM positions. however. RA No. and as allowed under Section 16. 10153 is the assertion that the Constitution requires that the ARMM executive and legislative officials to be elective and representative of the constituent political 74 [Type text] Admittedly. all other officers of the government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law. 10153 should be read in the manner it was written and based on its unambiguous facial terms. other public ministers and consuls or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain. the gravest challenge posed by the petitions to the authority to appoint OICs under Section 3 of RA No. This requirement indeed is an express limitation whose non-observance in the assailed law Section 16. 10153 in fact only does is to appoint officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor. Article VII of the Constitution. possibilities for lengthening or shortening the term of the elected ARMM officials. or boards. the legal reality is that RA No. 10153. RA No. Fourth. the peoples right to 75 . After fully examining the issue.

thus allowing him to replace elective officials with OICs. concrete terms in the Appointment of OIC. to address. 9054 will govern unchanged This claim apparently misunderstands that an across-the-board cancellation of elections and continuously. In this regard. 4 and 5 of the assailed law. the terms of governance both President the power to cancel elections anywhere in the country. upholding the constitutionality of RA No. To our mind. and cannot be transferred or applied to any other cause of the wider national demand for the synchronization of elections (considered vis--vis the regional for the cancellation of elections. too. it was for a very specific and take place under a situation of necessity and as an interim measure in the manner that interim limited purpose the synchronization of elections. This is the grant that would frontally breach the elective and Outside of the above concerns.choose the leaders to govern them may be said to be systemically withdrawn to the point of VI. 10153 would set a dangerous precedent of giving the But this conclusion would not be true under the very limited circumstances contemplated in RA No. but this will If RA No. in other words. RA No. RA No. RA No. some of them a law that is not violative of the Constitution (specifically. they transpired in the past. it would be reckless to assume that the presence of an acting ARMM Governor. as above discussed. can transpire in the countrys Muslim areas in this span of time in the way is reasonable as well under the circumstances. The adoption of these measures. with full effect in accordance with the Constitution. Article X of the Constitution and RA No. It is a power that falls within the and temporary measures that synchronization of elections requires. 78 . Viewed from another perspective. and one that critical and adverse. and their Qualifications. Article X of the Constitution. 10153 where the period is fixed and. It was a temporary means to a lasting end the measures have been adopted and used in the creation of local government units and the synchronization of elections. are used in light legislation are likewise clear and specific. Even Congress. powers of Congress in the exercise of its legislative powers. not for the President. the Court now has to deal with the dilemma of a vacuum in governance process. under Section 18. To emphasize the dire situation a vacuum brings. the ARMM. 9054 will not systemically be touched nor affected at all. 77 the reasonableness of the interim measure taken in light of the given circumstances. 10153 cancelled the regular August 2011 elections. synchronization will temporarily disrupt the election process in a local community. 10153 and the support that the Court gives this 76 These measures. more importantly. the appointment of OICs under the present 76 77 [Type text] circumstances is an absolute necessity. Other Constitutional Concerns fostering an undemocratic regime. it has been argued during the oral arguments that representative governance requirement of Section 18. as discussed above. Given that the incumbent ARMM elective officials cannot continue to act in a holdover Furthermore. in the ARMM. save only for the interim is a matter for Congress. the Manner and Procedure of Appointing OICs. 10153 significantly seeks to address concerns arising from the appointments by providing. many developments. As Based on these considerations. adjustments of sub-provinces to the status of provinces. of 21 months or close to 2 years intervenes from the time that the incumbent ARMM elective officials terms expired and the time the new ARMM elective officials begin their terms in 2013. is limited in what it can legislatively undertake with respect to elections. To repeat what has previously been said. and this Court cannot compel the COMELEC to affected by the appointment of OICs as this requirement is really a function of the appointment conduct special elections. it should not be forgotten that a period under Sections 3. is no different from the elections can occur only in accordance with the power already delegated by Congress to the exercise by Congress of the inherent police power of the State. 10153 viewed in its proper context is the lessons of our Mindanao history past and current teach us. 78 Thus. the representative character of the chosen leaders need not necessarily be capacity upon the expiration of their terms. Thus. only the elective aspect shall be supplanted by the appointment of OICs. where one of the essential tests is COMELEC. its autonomy provisions). as well as the communitys choice of leaders. an acting Vice-Governor and a fully functioning Regional Legislative Assembly can be done away with even temporarily. we hold that RA No. Any other localized cancellation of elections and call for special interests involved).

allowing the President in the exercise of his constitutionally- argument leaves us far from convinced of its merits. 81 and one mandate should not be given importance over the other except where the primacy of one over the other is clear. We find this to be an erroneous approach that violates a basic principle in constitutional construction ut magis valeat quam pereat: that the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole. When viewed in this context. Rather. Autonomy in the ARMM functions of the elective members of the Regional Legislative Assembly is neither novel nor It is further argued that while synchronization may be constitutionally mandated. Albeit both laws deal only with the filling of vacancies in appointive positions. Vice Governor. in the proper management the national and local elections in order to maintain the autonomy of the ARMM and insulate its of the affairs of the regional government. may be hampered. Necessarily. in our judgment. This argument has no merit.) Synchronization is an interest that is as constitutionally entrenched as regional autonomy. [Emphasis supplied. the constitution must be interpreted as a whole. etc. et al. in the way that Congress did in RA No.Significantly. would clearly cause Elsewhere. we have no problem ruling in favor of the President. Phrased in this manner. and in responding to critical developments that may own electoral processes from the rough and tumble of nationwide and local elections.80 (Emphasis ours. the grant to the President of the power to appoint OICs to undertake the B. to that extent. in case of any vacancy that may occur. 10153 which provides the measure to transit to synchronized regional elections with the least disturbance on the interests that must be respected. we see no cogent reason why the procedure thus outlined by the two laws may not be similarly applied in the present case. leaving the positions of ARMM Governor. As in Menzon. We hark back to our earlier pronouncement in Menzon v. or almost 2 years. the President is empowered to make temporary appointments in certain public offices. in the absence of any contrary provision in the Local Government Code and in the best interest of public service. as the law does not in any way alter. et al. Constitutional mandates synchronization and regional autonomy such that it is necessary to choose one over the other.83 thus: A provision of the constitution should not be construed in isolation from the rest. one would presume that there exists a conflict between two recognized It may be noted that under Commonwealth Act No.:79 cannot be used to defeat or to impede the autonomy that the Constitution granted to the ARMM. The respondents contend that the provincial board is the correct appointing power. In a republican form of government. As between the President who has supervision over local governments as provided by law and the members of the board who are junior to the vicegovernor. This arise. the management of governmental affairs is... regional autonomy will be respected instead of being sidelined. etc. the majority rules through their chosen few. 588 and the Revised Administrative Code of 1987. The ARMM as a regional entity thus continues to operate within the larger framework of the State and 81 79 82 80 83 [Type text] . However. and apparently. Particularly. there will be a consequent delay in the delivery of basic services to the people of Leyte if the Governor or the Vice-Governor is missing. except in a very temporary manner and only as necessitated by the attendant circumstances.. recognized appointment power to appoint OICs is.] A vacancy creates an anomalous situation and finds no approbation under the law for it deprives the constituents of their right of representation and governance in their own local government.82 We refer to the Courts declaration in Ang-Angco v. As heretofore mentioned and discussed. conflicting provisions should be reconciled and harmonized in a manner that may give to all of them full force and effect. Petilla. change or modify its governing features. and members of the Regional Legislative Assembly vacant for 21 months. They are interests that this Court should reconcile and give effect to. it innovative. Castillo. until the law provides otherwise. and if one of them is incapacitated or absent. a reasonable measure to take. it has also been argued that the ARMM elections should not be synchronized with disruptions and delays in the delivery of basic services to the people. while autonomous regions are granted political autonomy. the framers of the Constitution never equated autonomy with independence.

the Judiciary does not and cannot pass upon questions of wisdom. once and for all. xxx We do not see here a complete separation from the central government. no less than the Constitution. Therefore. despite our doubts about its wisdom. 10153. the national government has not completely relinquished all its powers over local governments. are essentially asking us to venture into the realm of judicial legislation. the regional autonomy granted to the ARMM cannot be used to exempt the region from having to act in accordance with a national policy mandated by Mr.84 [Emphasis supplied. v.90 87 84 88 85 89 86 90 [Type text] . justice or expediency of legislation. policy-setting for the entire country still lies in the President and Congress. otherwise. and by the express reservation under Section 1 of the same Article that autonomy shall be within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as the territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines. As reflected during the policies and concerns. Ople. Thus. We define it as a measure of self-government within the larger political framework of the nation.is still subject to the national policies set by the national government. Interestingly. 87 As judges. not a separation. Bennagen. Upon further reflection. economic. 10153.] Congress acted within its powers and pursuant to a constitutional mandate the synchronization of national and local elections when it enacted RA No. 88 Nor can the Court presume to dictate the means by which Congress should address what is essentially a legislative problem. Jr. the autonomy granted to the ARMM cannot be invoked to defeat national areas reserved by the Constitution for regional autonomous determination. We see this as an effective partnership. that we should act because Congress acted with grave abuse of discretion in enacting RA No. cannot repeal or amend it. including autonomous regions. The petitioners allege. believing it to be unnecessary in light of the enumeration of powers granted to autonomous regions in Section 20. Conclusion Mr. Aguirre86 which we quote: Under the Philippine concept of local autonomy. we can only interpret and apply the law and. Only administrative powers over local affairs are delegated to political subdivisions. the framers of the Constitution initially proposed to remove Section 17 of Article X. Since the synchronization of elections is not just a regional concern but a constitutional deliberations of the provisions on autonomous regions: national one. The purpose of the delegation is to make governance more directly responsive and effective at the local levels. Grave abuse of discretion is such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment that is patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law or to act at all in contemplation of the law as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion and hostility. the Court will be guilty of usurping the exclusive prerogative of Congress. the ARMM is subject to it. Romulo. too. Those not enumerated are actually to be exercised by the national government[. the framers decided to reinstate the provision in order to make it clear.] This exchange of course is fully and expressly reflected in the above-quoted Section 17. Mr. complete autonomy is not really thought of as complete independence. but rather an efficient working relationship between the autonomous region and the central government. But to enable the country to develop as a whole. [Emphasis ours. Article X of the Constitution. 89 The petitioners. that these are the limits of the powers of the autonomous government.]85 Of note is the Courts pronouncement in Pimentel. in asking this Court to compel COMELEC to hold special elections despite its lack of authority to do so. political and social development at the smaller political units are expected to propel social and economic growth and development. It is not within the Courts power to enlarge or abridge laws. save only for those specific In other words. In turn. the programs and policies effected locally must be integrated and coordinated towards a common national goal. which is abhorrent to one of the most basic principles of a republican and democratic government the separation of powers. This Court cannot question the manner by which Congress undertook this task. Article X of the Constitution. Hon.

To doubt is to sustain.. 2011 x .. Vice-Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly x x x on the second Monday of September 2001. and the party challenging the validity of a statute has the onerous task of rebutting this presumption. 9054 (RA 9054).. a law has been carefully studied and determined to be in G. it acted within due constitutional bounds and with marked reasonableness in light of the necessary adjustments that synchronization demands.. cannot be accused of any evasion of a positive duty or of a refusal to perform its duty. Background 91 92 93 94 [Type text] The ARMM Organic Act. 6734 (RA 6734). therefore.... 93 As this Court declared in Garcia v... ET AL. we can only reiterate the established rule that every statute is presumed valid..... 196271 DATU MICHAEL ABAS KIDA.. 10153 is unconstitutional... we must support and confirm its validity. SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES.R No.. On the general claim that RA No. EN BANC Executive Secretary:94 The policy of the courts is to avoid ruling on constitutional questions and to presume that the acts of the political departments are valid in the absence of a clear and unmistakable showing to the contrary. acted strictly within its constitutional accordance with the fundamental law before it was finally enacted..... This presumption is based on the doctrine of separation of powers which enjoins upon each department a becoming respect for the acts of the other departments... J. Republic Act No. Congress.. We thus find no reason to accord merit to the petitioners claims of grave abuse of discretion...95 [Emphasis ours.. ET AL.-x DISSENTING OPINION CARPIO..2 The elected officials would serve a three-year term beginning 30 September 2001. 92 95 Any reasonable doubt about the validity of the law should be resolved in favor of its constitutionality.... has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality of its acts. 10153. Petitioners. Respondents.... thus..] mandate. 10153.... Given an array of choices. 3 Before .. v..... October 18.. The theory is that as the joint act of Congress and the President of the Philippines.We find that Congress..... mandated the holding of the first regular elections for Governor. Given the failure of the petitioners to rebut the presumption of constitutionality in favor of RA No. 91 Congress.: The Cases These are original actions1 assailing the validity of statutes and bills on the holding of elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). as amended by Republic Act No.. in passing RA No..

After the President signed into law RA 10153. 196271 filed their petition assailing the constitutionality of HB 4146. 197392 and 197454 filed their petitions assailing the constitutionality of RA 10153. After receiving HB 4146. No. HB 4146 aimed to synchronize the ARMM elections with the local and national elections scheduled on the second Monday of May 2013. premises considered. Petitioners unanimity ends here. 6 The House of Representatives approved HB 4146 on 23 March 2011. treating RA 9333 as merely filling the void left by RA 9054 in failing to schedule the succeeding regular elections in the ARMM. purportedly following RA 9054. the President signed the measure into law as Republic Act No. Article XVII of RA 9054 8 for amending RA 9054. No. although the 191 affirmative votes in the Lower House for HB 4146 satisfied the 2/3 vote threshold in RA 9054. Congress enacted Republic Act No. and (2) submission of the amendments to ARMM voters in a plebiscite. Soon after. No. SO ORDERED. modifying some parts of HB 4146 but otherwise leaving its core provisions intact. in violation of the Constitution and RA 9054. 196271 and G. 9333 (RA 9333) fixing the date of the regular elections in the ARMM on the second Monday of August 2005 [and] x x x every three years thereafter. No. 197280 also assail the constitutionality of RA 9140 and RA 9333. 9140 (RA 9140). petitioner in G. Nos. defectively waived the Constitutions requirement for the separate reading of bills and the advance distribution of their printed copies because the Presidents certification for the urgent passage of HB 4146 and SB 2756 was not grounded on public calamity or emergency. (3) Congress. leave it to the Court to order special elections within a period reasonably close to the elections mandated in RA 9333. 4146 (HB 4146). A few months before the ARMM elections on the second Monday of August 2011. Petitioners in G. The following day. RA 9140. we DISMISS the consolidated petitions assailing the validity of RA No. The petition in G. as opposed to administrative concerns such as fixing election dates. 197280. limiting the plebiscite to cover amendatory laws affecting substantive matters.R. After the House of Representatives approved HB 4146. On the other hand. moving the date of the elections to the second Monday of May 2013 and x x x every three years thereafter. petitioners in G. the Senate finds irrelevant the twin requirements in RA 9054 in the enactment of the assailed laws. As the term of office of the then incumbent elective officials in the ARMM would expire on 30 September 2011. the 13 affirmative votes in the Senate for SB 2756 fell two votes short of the 2/3 vote threshold. voting 191.WHEREFORE. 13 . Another petition.R. The Senate disagrees with the proposition that RA 9333 constitutes an amendment to RA 9054. The affirmative votes were two votes short of 2/3 of the Senate membership (23). We likewise LIFT the temporary restraining order we issued in our Resolution of September 13. RA 9333 and RA 10153 do not provide for their submission to ARMM voters in a plebiscite. 12 The petitions against RA 10153 further raise the following issues: (1) postponing the ARMM elections to the second Monday of May 2013 undermines the republican and autonomous nature of the ARMM. however. in enacting RA 10153. however. 4 Nearly four years later. 197282. No costs.R. petitioners in G. No. These twin requirements are: (1) [Type text] approval by a 2/3 vote of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate voting separately. where a counterpart measure (Senate Bill No. the Senate gives a narrow construction to the plebiscite requirement in RA 9054. the Senate and the House of Representatives pray for the dismissal of the petitions. Alternatively. which finds RA 10153 unconstitutional. SB 2756 and RA 9333. for they differ on when the elections in the ARMM should take place.47 with two abstentions. On 30 June 2011. 2011. No. Thus. 196305 filed suit assailing the constitutionality of RA 9333. In their separate Comments to the petitions in G. for the petition in G.R. 197221. In a supplemental petition.5 Elections in the ARMM took place on the second Mondays of August 2005 and August 2008 following RA 9333. HB 4146 authorized the President to appoint officers-in-charge who would hold office from 30 September 2011 until 30 June 2013 when the officials elected in the May 2013 elections would have assumed office. for failing to include a provision requiring the submission of the anticipated law to ARMM voters in a plebiscite. and UPHOLD the constitutionality of this law. Congress moved the elections to 26 November 2001 by enacting Republic Act No.R. petitioners in G.11 seek the holding of elections on the second Monday of September 2011. several members of the House of Representatives jointly filed House Bill No. the Senate. The petitions against RA 10153 favor the holding of elections on the second Monday of August 20119 while those attacking RA 9333 only.R. 2756 [SB 2756]) was pending. approved its own version on 6 June 2011 by a vote of 13-7.R. 196271 extends the reach of its attack to HB 4146 and SB 2756. No. the September 2001 elections could take place. 196271 joined these latter petitions in questioning the constitutionality of RA 10153. and. 10 or together with RA 9140 and RA 10153. the House of Representatives adopted the Senates version. No. RA 9333 and RA 10153 7 treat these laws as amending RA 9054 and charge Congress with failing to comply with the twin requirements prescribed in Sections 1 and 3. 10153 for lack of merit. The petitions against RA 9140.R. 197280. 10153 (RA 10153). 196305.R. (2) granting the President the power to appoint OICs unconstitutionally expands his power over the ARMM to encompass not only general supervision but also control.

Article VII of the Constitution?. The Court granted intervention to four groups of parties who filed comments-in-intervention joining causes with respondents. Article XVIII of RA 9054? If in the affirmative 1. 4 and 5 of RA 10153 authorizing the President to appoint OICs in place of elective ARMM officials are unconstitutional. Article VII of RA 9054? Does RA 10153 implement Sections 2 and 5. Article VII of the Constitution authorizing the President to appoint those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. like the Senate. and 2. contending instead that it is analogous to Section 7. the OSG treats the authority as a species of legislation falling under Section 16. Section 18. The synchronization of the ARMM elections with the national and local elections under RA 10153 is constitutional. and (2) the rule against the passage of irrepealable laws. Does Section 3. On 9 August 2011. Article X of the Constitution?. Alternatively.The Issues The House of Representatives accepts the amendatory nature of RA 9333 but attacks the constitutionality of the twin requirements in RA 9054 mandating a supermajority vote of each House of Congress and the approval by ARMM voters in a plebiscite for purposes of amending RA 9054. 16. Hence. and 18. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). and RA 10153 partly unconstitutional. Article XVIII of the Constitution. the Constitution only requires a simple majority of a quorum in each House of Congress to enact. 4 and 5 of RA 10153 1. The following are the issues for resolution: I. respondent COMELEC should be ordered to hold special elections in the ARMM as soon as . authorizing the President for a limited period to appoint sectoral representatives in the House of Representatives. Article XVIII of the Constitution? I vote to declare RA 9333 constitutional. The Lower House grounds its attack on two points: (1) save in exceptional cases not applicable to the present petitions. The OSG rejects petitioners treatment of this authority as granting the President control over the ARMM. representing respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the other individual public respondents. On 13 September 2011. Article XVII of RA 9054 repugnant to Section 1 and Section 16(2). the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining respondents from implementing RA 10153. joined causes with the House of Representatives on the issue of the validity of the twin requirements in RA 9054 for the passage of amendatory laws. IV. 2. Repeal the second sentence of Section 7(1). elective officials of local government units like the ARMM cannot be appointed by the President but must be elected in special or regular elections. the Court authorized the then incumbent elective officials in the ARMM to continue in office in the event that the present petitions remain unresolved after the officials term of office expires on 30 September 2011. Violate Sections 15. Is Section 1. Article XVII of RA 9054 apply only in the creation of autonomous regions under paragraph 2. Save in newly created local government units prior to special or regular elections. narrowly construes the plebiscite requirement in RA 9054 to cover only amendatory laws creating or expanding the ARMMs territory. Do Sections 3. Fall under Section 16. Article VI of the Constitution? II. the House of Representatives. amend or repeal laws. and 3. However. Do Section 2 of RA 10153. Sections 3. In defending the Presidents authority under RA 10153 to appoint OICs. [Type text] III. Did the passage of RA 10153 violate Section 26(2). Article VI of the Constitution and violative of the rule against the passage of irrepealable laws?. the Court heard the parties in oral argument. Meanwhile. Section 1 of RA 9333 and Section 2 of RA 9140 constitute an amendment to Section 7. Article X of the Constitution? The Senate and the House of Representatives uniformly contend that the question on the constitutionality of HB 4146 and SB 2756 is non-justiciable.

15 The Court has refused in the past to subject to heightened scrutiny presidential certifications on the urgency of the passage of legislative measures. 18.possible. and printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed to its Members three days before its passage. 14 The Presidents Certification on Urgency of Legislation Not Subject to Heightened Scrutiny Petitioners in G. falling short of the Constitutions requirement of public calamity or emergency. and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter. is subject to judicial review because basic rights of individuals may be at hazard. except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. VI. It is noteworthy that no member of the Senate saw fit to controvert the reality of the factual basis of the certification. especially when no evidence has been shown that. thus dispensing with the bills separate reading and advanced distribution. In Tolentino v. the members of the Senate were deprived of the time needed for the study of a vital piece of legislation? The sufficiency of the factual basis of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus or declaration of martial law under Art. To the contrary. Should such certification be now reviewed by this Court. the President. as flimsy. Pending the assumption to office of the elected ARMM Governor. Such hold over violates the fixed term of office of elective local officials under the Constitution. under his general supervision over local governments. 1994. The Court declined to strike down the Presidents certification upon a showing that members of both Houses of Congress had the opportunity to study the bills and no fundamental constitutional rights were at hazard: It is nonetheless urged that the certification of the bill in this case was invalid because there was no emergency. (Emphasis supplied) [Type text] Although the President certified HB 4146 and SB 2756 as urgent measures. hence immediately dismissible. 1630 on second and third readings on March 24. Such appointment is absolutely necessary and unavoidable to keep functioning essential government services in the ARMM. which involves doing away with procedural requirements designed to insure that bills are duly considered by members of Congress.16 petitioners in that case questioned the sufficiency of the Presidents certification of a growing budget deficit as basis for the urgent passage of revenue measures. Until legislative bills become laws. claiming that this does not amount to a public calamity or emergency. certainly should elicit a different standard of review. which provides: No bill passed by either House shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days. 23(2). But the factual basis of presidential certification of bills. Article VI. the condition stated in the certification of a growing budget deficit not being an unusual condition in this country.R. may appoint an officer-in-charge in the office of the ARMM Governor. the Senate accepted the Presidents certification. (Emphasis supplied) . petitioners in G. No. Secretary of Finance. 197280 claim that Congress defectively passed RA 10153 for failing to comply with the requirement in the Constitution for the reading of bills on three separate days and the advanced distribution of their printed copies in final form under the second paragraph of Section 26. lying beyond the pale of judicial review. the need to protect x x x ARMMs autonomy x x x and provide mechanism to institutionalize electoral reforms. no amendment thereto shall be allowed. and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal. No. namely. VII. because S. The challenge against the constitutionality of HB 4146 and SB 2756 raises a non-justiciable question. 197280 find the basis of the Presidents certification.R. 1630 was taken up on second and third readings on the same day. Upon the last reading of a bill. No. Article VII of RA 9054 authorizing ARMM elective officials to hold over until the election and qualification of their successors. On the other hand. No. attacks against their constitutionality are premature. I vote to declare unconstitutional the second sentence of Section 7(1). or the existence of a national emergency justifying the delegation of extraordinary powers to the President under Art. by passing S.

Date of Election. it is only in Section 1 of RA 9333 and Section 2 of RA 10153 that Congress touched on the succeeding regular elections in the ARMM.18 Instead. There is thus no basis to depart from Tolentino. Congress. Congress filled this void by enacting RA 9333. Regional Vice-Governor and members of the regional legislative assembly under this Organic Act shall be held on the second Monday of September 2001. traces its roots in the ARMMs first Organic Act. that the amendments must be approved by a 2/3 vote of each House of Congress and submitted to ARMM voters in a plebiscite. This left open the scheduling of elections succeeding the first regular elections. in passing RA 10153. Regular Elections. The first regular elections of the Regional Governor. No. The Commission on Elections shall promulgate rules and regulations as may be necessary for the conduct of said election. 2. In the discharge of the same power.The regular elections for the Regional Governor. found sufficient the factual bases for President Aquinos certification of HB 4146 and SB 2756 as emergency measures. Section 2 of which states: SEC. .As in Tolentino. Regional Vice-Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) shall be held on the second (2nd) Monday of May 2013. The underlying assumption of petitioners theory that RA 9333 and RA 10153 amend RA 9054 is legally baseless. namely. (Emphasis supplied) xxxx The ambit of Section 7 is narrow. to take place not earlier than sixty (60) days or later than ninety (90) days after the ratification of RA 6743. (Emphasis supplied) RA 9333 and RA 10153 Supplement and do not Amend RA 9054 The petitions assailing RA 9333 and RA 10153 are united in their contention that these amendatory laws to RA 9054 are invalid for failure to comply with the twin requirements in RA 9054.17 In the exercise of its plenary legislative power. Succeeding regular elections shall be held on the same date every three years thereafter. 197280 do not allege. leaving the date of the succeeding regular elections for Congress to fix in a subsequent legislation. Tellingly.R. Article XVIII of RA 9054 on the holding of ARMM elections provides in part: First Regular Elections. and there is nothing on record to show. consistent with the three-year term of office of elective officials in the ARMM. RA 6734. it would have included in Section 7 of Article XVIII a provision stating to the effect that the succeeding regular elections shall be held on the same date every three years thereafter. The legislative practice of limiting the reach of the ARMM Organic Act to the first regular elections. Petitioners in G. The regular election for regional Governor and Regional Vice-Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) shall be held on the second Monday of August 2005. Section 7. Section 7 reads in full: . by uniformly providing that [s]ucceeding regular elections shall be held on the date indicated every three years thereafter. (Emphasis supplied) Section 7. [Type text] Had Congress intended RA 9054 to govern not only the first regular elections but also succeeding regular elections. Congress subsequently passed RA 10153. that members of Congress were denied the opportunity to examine HB 4146 and SB 2756 because of the Presidents certification. scheduled on the second Monday of September 2001. Succeeding regular elections shall be held on the same date every three (3) years thereafter. confined to the first regular elections. Article XIX of RA 6734 fixed the date of the first regular elections. RA 9054 confines itself to the first regular elections. Section 1 of which provides: Section 1.

which provides that [a] majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business x x x. 197280 attack Section 2 of RA 9140 also for its failure to comply with the twin requirements in amending RA 9054. Article XVII of RA 9054 requires a 2/3 supermajority vote of the members of each House of Congress to amend or repeal RA 9054. a majority of each House suffices for Congress to hold sessions and pass. The issue having been raised squarely.20 To recall. There is no reason to traverse this issue for the simple reason that Congress passed RA 9140 solely for the narrow purpose of fixing the date of the plebiscite for RA 9054 (Section 1) and the date of the first regular elections in the ARMM under RA 9054 (Section 2). these enactments merely filled a void created by the narrow wording of RA 6734. this Organic Act may be reamended or revised by the Congress of the Philippines upon a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate voting separately. a majority of a . stand-alone statutes that do not amend any provision of RA 9054. under Section 2 of RA 9140. First. COMELEC and individual officials assail this provisions constitutionality on two grounds. These requirements would have been left unreviewed were it not for the fact that respondents and intervenors vigorously insist on their invalidity. upon a vote of a majority of the members present who constitute a quorum. In short. which immediately preceded RA 9333. amend. a doctrine rooted on the plenary power of Congress to amend or repeal laws that it enacts.R. the date of the first elections in the ARMM under RA 9054 was moved to 26 November 2001. in this case. respectively. or repeal bills and resolutions. Article XVII of RA 9054 Requiring 2/3 Vote to Amend RA 9054 Unconstitutional RA 9140 Rendered Functus Officio after 26 November 2001 Elections Petitioners in G. Section 16 (2). (Emphasis supplied) Respondents House of Representatives. Under this provision. Granting that RA 9333 and RA 10153 Amend RA 9054. RA 9333 and RA 10153 are therefore separate. these Laws Remain Valid [Type text] Section 1. It is futile. No. sets the vote threshold for Congress to conduct its legislative work in plenary session. Congress passed several measures. Section 1. The Commission on Elections shall promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the conduct of said election. the Court should pass upon it. This provision states: Consistent with the provisions of the Constitution.The first regular elections of the Regional Governor. moving the election day as it deemed proper. Hence. it violates the doctrine barring the passage of irrepealable laws. Vice-Governor and Members of the Regional Assembly under this Organic Act shall be held not earlier than sixty (60) days or later than ninety (90) days after the ratification of this Act. RA 9140 became functus officio after 26 November 2001. Article VI of the Constitution. 19 Like RA 9333 and RA 10153. it is repugnant to Section 16 (2). That RA 9333 and RA 10153 merely filled a void in RA 9054 would have sufficed to dispose of the argument that these laws are invalid for non-compliance with the twin requirements in RA 9054. to review the validity of a functus officio law. (Emphasis supplied) To fix the date of the succeeding regular elections.21 Second. These electoral exercises took place on 14 August 2001 and 26 November 2001. Article VI of the Constitution requiring a mere majority of members of both Houses of Congress to constitute a quorum to do business.

at least 189 votes in the House of Representatives and at least 15 in the Senate are needed to enact the same amendatory or repealing legislation. To say that autonomy means shackling the hands of Congress in improving laws or passing remedial legislations betrays a gross misconception of autonomy. Article XVII of RA 9054 effectively ensures the near immutability of RA 9054. an act which does not involve any Presidential veto but operates as an auto-limitation on the plenary power of Congress to legislate.22 By providing that RA 9054 may be reamended or revised by the Congress of the Philippines upon a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate voting separately. amend or repeal laws or approve acts requiring the affirmative action of Congress. taking RA 9054 beyond the reach of Congress amendatory powers. The veto-override provision is a small but vital mechanism presidential systems adopt to calibrate the balance of power between the Executive and the Legislature. Nor is the provision in Section 27(1). Section 1. Set the quorum requirement any higher and plenary legislative work will most likely slow down if not grind to a halt. to amend the Constitution. Plebiscite Mandatory only The Constitutions rule allowing a simple majority of each House of Congress to do business evinces the framers familiarity with the perennial difficulty plaguing national legislative assemblies in constituting a quorum. Article X of the Constitution requires the holding of a plebiscite in the autonomous region for the approval of its creation. The repugnancy between the statutory provision and the Constitution is irreconcilable. even of the expanded type prevailing in the ARMM. Article XVII of RA 9054 is an additional safeguard[] to protect and guarantee the autonomy of the ARMM. it takes only 72 23 votes in the Lower House and 724 votes in the Senate to pass amendments or revisions to RA 9054. Article XVII of RA 9054. means vesting of more powers and resources to the local [Type text] in Approving Creation or Expansion of the ARMM The second paragraph of Section 18. effectively and unconstitutionally. With the same provision in the statute books. the Constitution prevails.quorum. amend or repeal laws. Article VI of the Constitution requiring a 2/3 vote for Congress to override a presidential veto an argument for the validity of Section 1. Needless to say. Article VI of the Constitution. unless the Constitution prescribes a qualified or supermajority in specific cases. amend or repeal laws. or a majority of a majority. 27 Autonomy. amend or repeal laws. without Section 1. No law can be passed fixing such a higher vote threshold because Congress has no power. Article XVII of RA 9054 erects a high vote threshold for each House of Congress to surmount. The Presidential veto is a power of the Executive to reject a law28 passed by Congress. assuming a simple quorum in attendance in either House. or regional government units. Article XVII of RA 9054. Unless the Constitution itself mandates a higher vote threshold to enact. The vetooverride provision cannot be used to immobilize future Congresses from amending or repealing laws by a simple majority vote as provided in Section 16(2). It ensures the Executive a substantial voice in legislation by requiring the Legislature to surmount a vote threshold higher than the simple majority required to pass the vetoed legislation. with the associated power of Congress to override such veto by a 2/3 vote. in derogation of Congress plenary power to amend or repeal laws. Article XVII of RA 9054 also runs afoul of the inherent limitation on Congress power barring it from passing irrepealable laws. (Emphasis supplied) . The 2/3 vote threshold in Section 1. thus: The creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when approved by a majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose. Article VI of the Constitution requires. Section 1. can enact. Thus. Article XVII of RA 9054 raised the vote threshold necessary to amend RA 9054 to a level higher than what Section 16 (2). This associated power of Congress is not an independent power to prescribe a higher vote threshold to enact. 26 each House of Congress can do so by simple majority of the members present who constitute a quorum. assuming the same simple quorum in either House.25 Section 1. There is no merit in the proposition that Section 1. The veto-override provision neither negates the simple majority rule for Congress to legislate nor allows the passage of irrepealable laws. One Congress cannot limit or reduce the plenary legislative power of succeeding Congresses by requiring a higher vote threshold than what the Constitution requires to enact. by ordinary legislation.

The Court anchored its negative answer. Thus. Article XVII of RA 9054 mandates the holding of a plebiscite in the ARMM to approve [a]ny amendment to or revision of RA 9054. extending in the process the initial tenure of the members of Congress and local officials. not on the ground that RA 8999 was invalid for not having been approved in a plebiscite. merged. vice-presidential. The narrow ambit of these constitutional provisions. creating [Type text] an office performing functions inconsistent with those created under the ARMM Organic Act. 7065 in Osmea for desynchronizing local and national elections. RA 10153 widens the ambit of the Constitutions policy of synchronizing elections by including the ARMM into the loop of synchronized elections. even if unrelated to the ARMMs creation. With the passage of RA 10153. congressional. By barring any change to RA 9054 from taking effect unless approved by ARMM voters in a plebiscite. signed into law in January 2001. is commonsensical. Section 3. which shall be held not earlier than sixty (60) days or later than ninety (90) days after the approval of such amendment or revision. furnishes no ground to support petitioners interpretation of Section 3. prevails over the latter. abolished. should not be left solely for politicians to decide but must be submitted for approval or rejection by the people affected. reduction or expansion. thus: Any amendment to or revision of this Organic Act shall become effective only when approved by a majority of the vote cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose. Datumanong32 that Republic Act No. impermissibly expands the scope of the subject matter that the Constitution requires to be submitted to a plebiscite. enacted in March 2001. Section 3 of Article XVII directly contravenes Section 18. the Court held in Disomangcop v. city and municipal officials. Section 3. 8999 and rendered DPWH Department Order No. as it is now. including the fixing of the date of elections in the ARMM that RA 10153 mandates. Congress Power to Synchronize National and Local Elections does not Encompass Appointment of OICs in Place of Elective Officials The Constitution impliedly requires the synchronization of elections for President. in disposing of the case. we ruled: WHEREFORE. VicePresident. (Emphasis supplied) Petitioners give a literal interpretation to this provision by applying it to all amendments to or revisions of RA 9054.35 As the Court confirmed in Osmea v.37 After the Court struck down Republic Act No. Article XVII of RA 9054. Article X of the Constitution. mandating that no local government unit shall be created. members of Congress and local officials after the end of their first term by simultaneously ending their tenure on 30 June 1992. or its boundaries substantially altered 29 unless. with the issue of whether a law changing the date of elections in the ARMM should be submitted to ARMM voters in a plebiscite. Article X of the Constitution. 34 x x x x (Emphasis supplied) The Court was not confronted in Disomangcop. the petition insofar as it seeks the writs of certiorari and prohibition is GRANTED. 33 This statement. 1992 or more specifically as provided for in Article XVIII. but on the fact that RA 8999.30 In sharp contrast to the narrow scope of Section 10 and Section 18 of Article X of the Constitution. limiting the plebiscite to changes in the size of the units territory. Article X of the Constitution. considering that Republic Act No. was repealed and superseded by RA 9054. 8999 (RA 8999) creating an engineering office within the ARMM is an amendatory law which should x x x first obtain the approval of the people of the ARMM before it can validly take effect. The Constitution requires that territorial changes.38 . Sec. only barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections are excluded from the synchronized national and local elections. 7166 (RA 7166) synchronizing elections for presidential. divided. 5 on the second Monday of May 1992. Commission on Elections:36 [t]he Constitution has mandated a synchronized national and local election prior to June 30. voters of the affected units approve the proposed measure in a plebiscite.Section 18 of Article X is substantially similar to Section 10. and population of a local government unit. What the Court resolved in Disomangcop was whether RA 8999.31 True. affecting the jurisdiction. By requiring the holding of a plebiscite to approve any amendment to or revision of RA 9054. Congress subsequently passed Republic Act No. 119 functus officio. provincial. income. 9054 repealed Republic Act No. obviously an obiter dicta. a supposed statutory implementation of the second paragraph of Section 18. Article XVII of RA 9054. among others.

47 The same authorization is found . cities and municipalities. absent an absolutely unavoidable necessity to keep functioning essential government services. 4 and 5 of RA 10153 Authorizing the President to Appoint OICs in Elective Local Offices in the Congress power to provide for the simultaneous holding of elections for national and local officials.R. elections in the ARMM take place every second Monday of August in a three-year cycle starting 2005. Article X of the Constitution provides that [t]he term of office of elective local officials. municipalities. Sections 3. than three years. Section 8. There are three apparent ways out of this dilemma. shall be three years x x x. national and local elections simultaneously take place every second Monday of May in a three-year cycle starting 1992. the ARMM is a local government unit just like provinces.46 Similarly. however. Options to Fill Vacancies in the ARMM [Type text] ARMM Unconstitutional Historically. the legislature has authorized the President to appoint OICs for elective local offices only as an incident to the creation of a new local government unit or to its transition from a sub-unit to a full-fledged political subdivision. Two petitions favor partial hold over pending the holding of special elections. namely: (1) allow the elective officials in the ARMM to remain in office in a hold over capacity. Clearly. Under RA 7166. There shall be autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras as hereinafter provided.The contention of petitioners in G. Section 1. 43 On the other hand.40 Thus. does not encompass the power to authorize the President to appoint officers-incharge in place of elective local officials. the OSG defends Congress choice under RA 10153 authorizing the President to appoint OICs who will hold office until 30 June 2013. The horn of the dilemma lies in how to fill up elective offices in the ARMM during this gap. In compliance with this provision. and the grant of powers to. To appoint officials to offices mandated by the Constitution to be elective. just like provinces. or (3) hold special elections in the ARMM. Article X of the Constitution. cities. On the other hand.41 Congress cannot fix the term of elective local officials in the ARMM for less.42 Offices declared by the Constitution as elective must be filled up by election and not by appointment. with the terms of those elected to expire on 30 June 2013. (Emphasis supplied) The entire Article X of the Constitution is entitled Local Government because Article X governs the creation of. Petitioners advance the theory that elections in the ARMM are not local elections because ARMM officials are not local officials within the meaning of Sections 2 and 5. canceling in the process scheduled local elections. ARMM elective officials serve three-year terms under RA 9054. 196271 that the elections in the ARMM cannot be synchronized with the existing synchronized national and local elections is untenable. elective officials in the ARMM are local officials and elections in the ARMM. or more. are local elections. and barangays. vice-governor and members of the sangguniang panlalawigan. (2) authorize the President to appoint OICs. No. and barangays. all local government units. the statute creating the municipality of Tboli in South Cotabato authorized the President to appoint the elective officials of the new Municipality who shall hold office until their successors shall have been duly elected in the general elections next following the issuance of this Decree. statutes creating the provinces of Quezon del Sur44 and Dinagat Islands45 uniformly authorized the President to appoint an interim governor. under RA 9333. a 21-month gap separates the two electoral cycles. a local government unit. municipalities. except barangay officials. Congress faced a dilemma arising from the different schedules of the election cycles under RA 7166 and RA 9333. Article XVIII of the Constitution. is a blatant violation of an express command of the Constitution. 39 Under Section 1. cities. Thus. Article X of the Constitution provides: The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the provinces. who shall serve only until a new set of provincial officials have been elected and qualified. To hold otherwise is to sanction the perversion of the Philippine States democratic and republican nature. Thus. which shall be determined by law. including autonomous regions. Elective Offices After 30 September 2011 In desiring to include elections in the ARMM in the existing synchronized national and local elections. elective officials of the ARMM are local officials because the ARMM is a local government unit.

Aquino wielded executive and legislative powers unconstrained by any specific constitutional limitation.in the Local Government Code for sub-provinces. Section 3 of RA 10153 negates the representative and democratic nature of the Philippine State and its political subdivisions such as the ARMM. In making her appointments. 54 The filling of seats in the House of Representatives under Section 7. Section 3 is supplemented by Section 4 which provides the manner and procedure of appointment49 while Section 5 states the qualifications for the OICs.48 These legislative authorizations are rendered imperative by the fact that incipient or transitioning local government units are devoid of elective officials prior to special or regular local elections. Article X of the Constitution by mandating the popular election of its executive and legislative officials. contravenes Section 18. the appointment by the President of OICs in the ARMM under Sections 3. both of which shall be elective and representative of the constituent political units. The mass replacement of elective local officials following the EDSA uprising in 1986 was part of the then revolutionary governments purging of the local government ranks of officials linked to the excesses of the previous regime. the Filipino people authorized the President to appoint sectoral representatives for a limited period. authorizing the President to appoint the interim governor. This is not the situation in the present case. Article VII of the Constitution authorizing the President to appoint those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. cannot be filled up through the appointment of OICs by the President without violating Section 18. Article XVIII of the Constitution is authorized by the Constitution itself and thus can never be questioned as unconstitutional. . 4 and 5 of RA 10153 is not authorized under the Constitution but is in fact in violation of the Constitution that the Filipino people ratified overwhelmingly. local government unit created more than two decades ago in 1989. as opposed to a newly created or transitioning. 50 It takes no extensive analysis to conclude that Section 3 is neither necessary nor unavoidable for the ARMM to function. 55 Wisely enough. authorizing the President to appoint OICs in place of elective officials in the ARMM. Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution. There is no merit in the OSGs argument that Section 3 of RA 10153 is similar to Section 7. Article X of the Constitution on the organic act of autonomous regions expressly requires the organic act to define the [b]asic structure of government for the region consisting of the executive department and legislative assembly. none of the respondents saw fit to invoke this provision as precedent. if such is made within a period of one year from February 25. Clearly. elected officials occupied all the elective offices in the ARMM. No one claims that it is impossible to hold special local elections in the ARMM to determine its next set of elective officials. Elective local offices in the ARMM. RA 6734. At the time of the passage of RA 10153. This provision does not empower Congress to authorize the President to fill up by appointment positions that. however. In authorizing the President to appoint OICs in the ARMM. are elective and representative offices. Nor is Section 3 of RA 10153 a species of legislation falling under Section 16. as amended by RA 9054. Article X of the Constitution. implements Section 18. negates Congress implementation of the Constitution under RA [Type text] 9054 by making the executive and legislative offices in the ARMM appointive. an existing local government unit. it becomes absolutely necessary and unavoidable for the legislature to authorize the President to appoint interim officials in elective local offices to insure that essential government services start to function. Article X of the Constitution. What Section 3 of RA 10153 approximates is the provision in the Freedom Constitution allowing [a]ll elective x x x officials [to] continue in office until otherwise provided by proclamation or executive order or upon the designation or appointment and qualification of their successors. authorizing the President to appoint sectoral representatives in Congress pending the passage of legislation on party-list representation. Article VII of the Constitution obviously refers only to appointive and not elective offices. 51 Section 18. The ARMM is an existing.The President shall appoint officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor. which mandates that the executive department and legislative assembly of the ARMM shall be elective and representative. However. Regional Vice-Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office.52 The ARMMs Organic Act. Where the law provides for the creation of a local government unit prior to the election of its local officials. In ratifying the Constitution. 1986. Section 16. by express mandate of the Constitution. after the ARMMs creation and holding of regular local elections. vice-governor and members of the sangguniang panlalawigan while the sub-provinces are transitioning to the status of a province. 53 Section 3 of RA 10153. Section 3 of RA 10153 provides: Appointment of Officers-in-Charge. then President Corazon C.

elected in special elections. assume office. Section 8. which shall begin at noon on the 30th day of September next following the day of the election and shall end at noon of the same date three (3) years thereafter. No. However. not absolutely necessary and unavoidable to appoint OICs in the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly because Section 22.58 The officer-in-charge in the office of the ARMM Governor shall disburse funds from the reenacted budget in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Local Government Code and its implementing rules. There is merit to this latter claim. which applies suppletorily to the ARMM. On the other hand. statutory and contractual obligations. under his power of general supervision over local governments. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected. Thus. Regional Vice-Governor and members of the Regional Assembly shall be for a period of three (3) years. However. all appointments made by the officer-in-charge shall terminate upon the assumption to office of the elected Governor. The Court reviewed such a law in Osmea and struck down the law. except barangay officials. respondents-intervenors 60 consider the same provision unconstitutional for extending the term of office of ARMM officials beyond the three years mandated in Section 8. which provides: Terms of Office of Elective Regional Officials. under Section 4. Article X of the Constitution. Article VII of RA 9054. the ARMM will have an operational budget for the next fiscal year. No. the President may. Regional Vice-Governor and members of the Regional Assembly shall be for a period of three (3) years. Article VII of RA 9054 Authorizing the Hold Over of ARMM Officials Unconstitutional [Type text] Petitioner in G. (1) Terms of Office. The ARMM Charter. complies with Section 8. the President exercises general supervision over all local governments. to three years: The term of office of elective local officials.R. Second Sentence of Section 7(1).59 (Emphasis supplied) as statutory authorization for ARMM elective officials at the time of the passage of RA 10153 to remain in office until their successors. RA 9054. In case it is absolutely necessary and unavoidable to keep functioning essential government services. except barangay officials. shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. The appointment of such officer-incharge is absolutely necessary and unavoidable because someone must insure that essential government services continue to function in the ARMM. the President may appoint an officer-in-charge in the office of the ARMM Governor pending the holding of special local elections in the ARMM. 62 The question of whether a law may constitutionally mandate the hold over of local officials beyond the expiration of their term as fixed in the Constitution is not novel. The incumbent elective officials of the autonomous region shall continue in office until their successors are elected and qualified.R. following the Local Government Code. The officer-in-charge shall exercise the powers and perform the functions of the ARMM Governor under RA 9054 and related laws until the assumption to office of the elected ARMM Governor. 57 only the annual appropriations for salaries and wages of existing positions. 197282 invokes the second sentence of Section 7(1). holding that it is not competent of the legislature to extend the term of officers by providing that they shall hold over until their successors are elected and qualified where the [C]onstitution has x x x prescribed the term: . appoint OICs where vacancies occur in existing elective local offices and the law does not provide for succession. and essential operating expenses authorized in the annual and supplemental budgets for the preceding year are deemed reenacted. or where succession is inapplicable because the terms of elective officials have expired. (Emphasis supplied) Elective ARMM officials are local officials 61 within the meaning of Section 8. It is. which shall be determined by law. Article X of the Constitution by providing that [t]he terms of office of the Regional Governor. Article X of the Constitution. Article X of the Constitution. however. 56 Even without OIC regional assembly members. Petitioner in G. 197221 adopts the same view. The terms of office of the Regional Governor. Article VII of RA 9054 provides for the automatic reenactment of the ARMM budget if the Regional Legislative Assembly fails to pass the appropriation bill for the ensuing fiscal year.However. Article X of the Constitution limits the term of office of elective local officials.

1992. x x x x In American Jurisprudence it has been stated as follows: It has been broadly stated that the legislature cannot. or authorizing the incumbent to remain in office until his successor is elected and qualified are unconstitutional as it amounts to an appointment of an official by Congress to a constitutional office. statutes which extend the term of an elective office as fixed in the Constitution either by postponing elections. which are found in the 1987 Constitution.63 (Boldfacing supplied. these incumbent local officials shall hold over beyond June 30. there must be periodic electoral exercises. It has been held that: It is not competent for the legislature to extend the term of officers by providing that they shall hold over until their successors are elected and qualified where the constitution has in effect or by clear implication prescribed the term and when the Constitution fixes the day on which the official term shall begin. . and paving the way for the newly elected officials to assume office. there is Section 8. if a public office is created by the Constitution with a fixed term.65 Such provisions. are framed upon the belief that to ensure democratic values. extend the term of the incumbent beyond the period as limited by the Constitution. Congress is devoid of any power to change the term of that office. . Thus. ensuring the holding of elections. Article XVIII of the Constitution x x x provides that the local official first elected under the Constitution shall serve until noon of June 30. 3 of RA 7056.64 or a negation of the term of office fixed in the Constitution. Also.[S]ection 2. changing the date of commencement of term of the successor. except barangay officials which shall be determined by law shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. the power of Congress to fix the terms of public offices stems from (1) its inherent power to create such public offices or (2) a constitutionally delegated power to that effect. a power vested either in the Executive or in the electorate. Article X of the Constitution which provides that: The term of office of elective local officials. by an act postponing the election to fill an office the term of which is limited by the Constitution. Second. the framers of the 1987 Constitution guaranteed not only the elective nature of these offices66 but also secured our democratic values. namely: . even though the successors fail to qualify with the time. By refusing to include hold over provisions in fixing the terms of elective national and non-barangay local officials. The wisdom of Osmea is magnified when the evils it seeks to bar are applied to the elective officials whose terms of office the 1987 Constitution fixed. Thus. But under Sec. First. or if the term of a public office created by Congress is fixed by the Constitution. [Type text] x x x . constitutional provisions fixing the terms of elective officials serve the ends of democratic republicanism by depriving elective officials of any legal basis to remain in office after the end of their terms. there is no legislative authority to continue the office beyond that period. 1992 and shall serve until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified. italicization in the original) Osmea is grounded on reasons of power and public policy.

VicePresident. unless otherwise provided by law. mandating the President. Article VII of RA 9054 a prejudgment of the provisions validity. with a term of six years beginning at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election. with a term of three years.69 Members of the House of Representatives. 3. for a maximum of three consecutive terms.71 A ruling contrary to Osmea would allow Congress to pass a law. finds no basis in the Constitution. 5. 70 and Local officials. On the other hand. The certainty of departure from office that term endings and term limits bring carries with it the certainty of the holding of regular and periodic elections. with a single term of six years. 72 This is consistent with the constitutional provision fixing the term. In doing so. COMELEC. Congress would have arrogated to itself the power to lengthen the terms of office of the President. 2. unless otherwise provided by law.73 The legislatures passage of RA 9164 is in accord with the Constitutions grant to Congress of the power to determine the term of barangay officials. The Local Government Code does not authorize the hold over of elective local officials. Vice-President. with a term of six years beginning at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election. with a term of three years beginning at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election. Congress passed a law to that effect (Section 5 of Republic Act No. Section 7(1). The absence in the Constitution of any provision allowing the hold over of national and non-barangay elective local officials or of any provision vesting on Congress the power to fix the terms of office of these officials means that any alteration in their terms of office can only be effected through a constitutional amendment. The Resolution of 13 September 2011 is a preliminary. Beyond the question of power. President. elective officials stand to gain nothing in sabotaging electoral processes to extend their stay in office. It is immaterial that the laws Congress enacted in the past postponing elections in the ARMM all contained provisions for the hold over of the incumbents until the election of their successors. in the guise of ensuring the continuity of public service and preventing a hiatus in office. eligible for one reelection. eligible for two consecutive reelections. ancillary remedy to ensure the continued functioning of essential government services in the ARMM. Osmea protects democratic values and assures public order. Implicit in the . With the exception of the hold over provision in RA 9054. of all elective [Type text] non-barangay local officials. Article X of the Constitution. Congress refrained from passing laws allowing hold over of non-barangay elective local officials. faced with no choice but to leave office on the day their terms end. thus the Court had no occasion to pass upon their validity. Senators. 68 Senators. Article VII of RA 9054. beginning at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election. Indeed.67 Vice-President. In contrast. Congressmen and elective local officials other than barangay officials to remain in office until their successors are elected and qualified. Congressmen and non-barangay elective local officials in contravention of their terms as fixed in the Constitution. without hold over. eligible for two consecutive reelections.1.75 Nor is the Courts Resolution of 13 September 2011 authorizing the then incumbent ARMM elective officials to continue in office under Section 7(1). securing the voters right to elect the officials for the new term. allowing for the hold over of elective local officials in the ARMM. Section 7(1) contravenes the Constitution by extending the term of office of such elective local officials beyond the three year period fixed in Section 8. Senators. 9164 [RA 9164]) only for barangay and sangguniang kabataan officials which the Court reviewed and upheld in Sambarani v. 74 None of these laws were challenged before the Court. except barangay officials. 4.

Electoral reform is mentioned in the Presidents certification on the urgency of HB 4146 and SB 2756 but RA 10153 itself is silent on such policy goal. political and economic ills plaguing it. and worse. it is a terribly dangerous precedent for this Court to legitimize the cancelation of scheduled local elections in the ARMM and allow the appointment of OICs in place of elected local officials for the purpose of reforming the ARMM society and curing all social. The postponement of the ARMM elections was an unavoidable result of the time lag legislative and judicial processes normally entail. If this can be done to the ARMM. The Muslim problem in southern Mindanao is rooted on the Philippine States failure to craft solutions sensitive to the Filipino Muslims common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage. cities and municipalities. 4 and 5 of RA 10153 leaves the holding of special elections as the only constitutionally permissible option to fill up the offices of the ARMM Governor. rampant criminality and highly dynastic politics. Genuine regional autonomy. in the OSGs view.77 In the first place. all for the ostensible purpose of reforming society a purpose that is perpetually a work-in-progress. is done cleaning the ARMM government. Section 5. Electoral and Other Reforms Must be Consistent With Principles of Regional Autonomy and [Type text] Representative Democracy Beyond the expressly stated policy in RA 10153 of synchronizing national and local elections. it can even be done to the entire Philippines: cancel scheduled elections. The ARMM officials to be elected in the special ARMM elections shall hold office until 30 June 2013. One has to see the problem in the Muslim South in the larger canvass of the Filipino Muslims centuries-old struggle for self-determination. Article VII of RA 9054. starts upon the assumption to office of the newly elected officials on 30 June 2013. Section 5 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 881 (BP 881). The only apparent reason for the enactment of RA 10153 is to synchronize the ARMM elections with the national and local elections. Vice-Governor and members of the Regional Legislative Assembly after 30 September 2011. provinces. is a cause analogous to the administrative mishaps covered in Section 5 of BP 881. the OSG calls the Courts attention to the governments other policy goals in enacting RA 10153. authorizes respondent COMELEC to hold special elections [w]hen for any serious cause such as x x x loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records x x x the holding of a free. The OSG presents RA 10153 as the cure for the ills plaguing the ARMM. and the filing of the present petitions shortly before and after the signing.issuance of the Resolution of 13 September 2011 is the understanding that such was without prejudice to the resolution of the issues raised in these petitions. as amended. This Court cannot allow itself to be co-opted into such a social re-engineering in clear violation of the Constitution. BP 881 Basis for Holding of Special Elections The unconstitutionality of Section 7(1). Article VII of RA 9054 and Sections 3. a policy the legislature can pursue even in the absence of a constitutional directive to synchronize all elections. it can also be done to other regions. when the national government. economic and social structures. In any event. manifested in the symptoms of padded voters list. and other relevant . among others. including the validity of Section 7(1). appoint OICs in place of elective officials. through the OICs. rendering impossible the holding of elections on 8 August 2011 as scheduled under RA 9333. when the terms of office of elective national and local officials covered by the synchronized elections also expire.76 The tight timeframe in the enactment and signing into law of RA 10153 on 30 June 2011. these policy goals to reform the ARMM society are nowhere stated or even implied in RA 10153. orderly and honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision x x x.

must necessarily be deontological. 196271. save those withheld by the Constitution and national laws. I further vote to declare UNCONSTITUTIONAL the second sentence of Section 7(1). Had it done so here. the cancelation of elections under RA 10153 speaks loudly why this entity [ARMM] is not autonomous. even for a single electoral cycle. RA 10153 strikes at the heart of the Constitutions project of creating autonomous regions. Article VII and Sections 1 and 3.80 The essence of an autonomous region is the untrammeled right of the people in the region to freely choose those who will govern them. 79 Lying at the heart of this unprecedented empowerment is the Constitutions guarantee that the executive and legislative offices of the autonomous region shall be be elective and representative of the constituent political units. Otherwise. as the last bulwark of democracy. 197392 and 197454 and declare UNCONSTITUTIONAL Sections 3. the cleansing of the voters list is on track. Private armies and political dynasties litter the length and breadth of this archipelago and spurious voters registration has perennially polluted the national voters list. 9054. as soon as possible. The ARMM enjoys no monopoly of the evils the government now belatedly claims it wants to eradicate in passing RA 10153. I vote to GRANT in part the petitions in G.78 The framers of the 1987 Constitution. by Manila. Pending the holding of special elections and the assumption to office of the elected ARMM Governor. denying them their fundamental right of electing their leaders and representatives. Respondent Commission on Elections should be ordered to hold. not on the laws supposed beneficial consequences. it is controlled. our Muslim brothers in the South who justifiably seek genuine autonomy for their region would find no peaceful solution under the Constitution. the Court. Article XVII of Republic Act No.83 The Court should strike a balance between upholding constitutional imperatives on regional autonomy and republican democratic principles. By disenfranchising voters in the ARMM. recognized these causes and devised a solution by mandating the creation of an autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao. The officials elected in the special elections should hold office until 30 June 2013. In the opinion of the biggest Islamic rebel group in the region. 197221.81 Contrary to the OSGs view. A region is not autonomous if its leaders are not elected by the people of the region but appointed by the central government in Manila. 10153. immediately putting at risk the promised reforms due to obvious conflict of interest. Vice-Governor and members of the Regional Legislative Assembly. the government recently upgraded the countrys age-old manual elections into an automated system. It is the solemn duty of this Court to uphold the genuine autonomy of the ARMM as crafted by the framers and enshrined in the Constitution. Nos. 4 and 5 of Republic Act No. The Court must determine the constitutionality of a law based on the laws adherence to the Constitution. Notably. denial of the right of suffrage is always too high a price to pay in exchange for promised reforms to be undertaken by OICs with no mandate from the people. on the one hand. . special elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao for the positions of Governor. without skipping a single electoral cycle. 197280. the Court would have faithfully performed its sworn duty to protect and uphold the Constitution without fear or favor.R. ridding the elections of the fraud-prone manual system. of the sovereign peoples constitutional right of suffrage to choose freely and periodically those whom they please to govern them. even if temporal. on the other hand. nay dictated. Incidentally. Similarly. and the incumbent administrations legislative initiative to synchronize elections. The solutions to these problems lie not in tinkering with democratic processes but in addressing their root causes. a political accommodation radically vesting State powers to the region.characteristics. for the first time. 197282. The laudable ends of legislative measures cannot justify the denial. the OICs to be appointed under RA 10153 are not even barred from running in the next ARMM elections. the President may appoint an officer-in-charge in the office of the ARMM Governor. with the incumbent head of respondent COMELEC himself admitting that the COMELEC is now 65%-70% done with biometrics registration. 82 [Type text] In reviewing legislative measures impinging on core constitutional principles such as democratic republicanism. Accordingly.

It was during these times that the country became witness to the deplorable practice of aspirants seeking confirmation of their appointment in the Judiciary to ingratiate themselves with the members of the legislative body. subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. the professor of law for three years. JR. FRANCIS JOSEPH G. SEN. except that the appointees must have all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications. DECISION MENDOZA. a representative of the Integrated Bar. vs. Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution allow more than one (1) member of Congress to sit in the JBC? Is the practice of having two (2) representatives from each house of Congress with one (1) vote each sanctioned by the Constitution? These are the pivotal questions to be resolved in this original action for prohibition and injunction. Petitioner. CHAVEZ. and a representative of the Congress as ex officio Members. Chavez (petitioner). triggered the filing of this case. J. Relegating it in the meantime to the back burner is not an option. 2012.R. term and functions are provided under Section 8.1 2 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Prompted by the clamor to rid the process of appointments to the Judiciary from political pressure and partisan activities. 2012 FRANCISCO I. Corona on May 29. No. (2) The regular members of the Council shall be appointed by the President for a term of four years with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. and a representative of the private sector. Article VIII of the Constitution. 202242 July 17. both the Malolos Constitution 1 and the 1935 Constitution2 had vested the power to appoint the members of the Judiciary in the President. Respondents. and the representative of the private sector for one year. 3 Then. competent and independent body to recommend nominees to the President. NIEL C. Of the Members first appointed. As the matter is of extreme urgency considering the constitutional deadline in the process of selecting the nominees for the vacant seat of the Chief Justice. (1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman. (3) The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be the Secretary ex officio of the Council and shall keep a record of its proceedings. Does the first paragraph of Section 8.5 the members of the Constitutional Commission saw the need to create a separate. a retired Member of the Supreme Court.. it conceived of a body representative of all the stakeholders in the judicial appointment process and called it the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC). . as his potential successor. the representative of the Integrated Bar shall serve for four years. The issue has constantly been nagging legal minds. viz: Section 8. It was absolute. the retired Justice for two years. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL. a professor of law. and the nomination of former Solicitor General Francisco I. with the fusion of executive and legislative power under the 1973 Constitution. yet remained dormant for lack of constitutional challenge. Thus. ESCUDERO and REP.: The issue at hand has been in hibernation until the unexpected departure of Chief Justice Renato C. 4 the appointment of judges and justices was no longer subject to the scrutiny of another body. Long before the naissance of the present Constitution. Its composition. TUPAS. the annals of history bear witness to the fact that the exercise of appointing members of the Judiciary has always been the exclusive prerogative of the executive and legislative branches of the government. Like their progenitor of American origins. the Court cannot delay the resolution of the issue a day longer. the Secretary of Justice.

abstained from recommending on how this constitutional issue should be disposed in gracious deference to the wisdom of the Court. however. II The framers of the Constitution clearly envisioned. In compliance therewith. with each having one-half (1/2) of a vote. curiously. III Had the framers of the Constitution intended that the JBC composed of the one member from the Senate and one member from the House of Representatives. definite and needs no interpretation in that the JBC shall have only one representative from Congress. the JBC was more than generous enough to offer the insights of various personalities previously connected with it. an eighth (8th) member was added to the JBC as two (2) representatives from Congress began sitting in the JBC . 12 Through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). Nonetheless. the JBC En Banc. Section 8. The Supreme Court shall provide in its annual budget the appropriations for the Council. 8 At present. Tupas. Congress had only one (1) representative. VI The JBC cannot conduct valid proceedings as its composition is illegal and unconstitutional. 9 setting forth the following GROUNDS FOR ALLOWANCE OF THE PETITION I Article VIII. (5) The Council shall have the principal function of recommending appointees to the Judiciary. designated one representative to sit in the JBC to act as one of the ex officio members. IV The composition of the JBC providing for three ex-officio members is purposely designed for a balanced representation of each of the three branches of the government. the House of Representatives and the Senate would send alternate representatives to the JBC. V One of the two (2) members of the JBC from Congress has no right (not even ½ right) to sit in the said constitutional body and perform the duties and functions of a member thereof. Senator Francis Joseph G. contemplated and decided on a JBC composed of only seven (7) members. In other words.(4) The regular Members of the Council shall receive such emoluments as may be determined by the Supreme Court. 2012. decided to allow the representatives from the Senate and the House of Representatives one full vote each. According to them. Jr. 7 Then. (respondents) simultaneously sit in the JBC as representatives of the legislature. It may exercise such other functions and duties as the Supreme Court may assign to it. It is this practice that petitioner has questioned in this petition. the JBC filed its Comment. from the moment of the creation of the JBC. 10 On July 9. 6 Perhaps in order to give equal opportunity to both houses to sit in the exclusive body. Congress. they could have easily said so as they did in the other provisions of the Constitution. 11 It.one from the House of Representatives and one from the Senate. 2012. in separate meetings held in 2000 and 2001. Escudero and Congressman Niel C. In 1994. the crux of the controversy is the phrase "a . the composition of the JBC was substantially altered. Instead of having only seven (7) members. respondents defended their position as members of the JBC in their Comment13 filed on July 12. Paragraph 1 is clear.

In fact. 19 In other words.23 As outlined in jurisprudence. 22 For the respondents. the electorate represented by Members of Congress will lose their only opportunity to participate in the nomination process for the members of the Judiciary. the mere allegation that this case is of transcendental importance does not excuse the waiver of the rule on locus standi. it is well-settled that for locus standi to lie. is not Congress. the presence of two (2) members from Congress will most likely provide balance as against the other six (6) members who are undeniably presidential appointees. Thus. 1986. thereby allocating "a representative of the National Assembly" to the JBC. and (2) Whether or not the current practice of the JBC to perform its functions with eight (8) members. the respondents claim that there is no personal stake on the part of petitioner that would justify his outcry of unconstitutionality.18 The ambiguity having resulted from a plain case of inadvertence. was not modified to aptly jive with the change to bicameralism. The Power of Judicial Review In its Comment. Therefore. runs counter to the letter and spirit of the 1987 Constitution. Moreover. however. The respondents also question petitioner’s belated filing of the petition. 20 The respondents further argue that the allowance of two (2) representatives of Congress to be members of the JBC does not render the latter’s purpose nugatory. they cite Section 1. the respondents urge the Court to look beyond the letter of the disputed provision because the literal adherence to its language would produce absurdity and incongruity to the bicameral nature of Congress. the legislative system finally adopted by the Constitutional Commission on July 21. or is about to be denied. petitioner failed to manifest his acceptance of his recommendation to the position of Chief Justice. effectively diminishing the republican nature of the government. no evil should be perceived in the current set-up of the JBC because two (2) members coming from Congress. In the same vein. they likewise cautioned the Court that this constitutional vision did not intend to entirely preclude political factor in said appointments. as well as the myriad of counterarguments proffered by the respondents."14 Reverting to the basics. does not necessarily amplify political partisanship in the JBC. without the Senate and vice-versa. who has been nominated to the position of Chief Justice. thereby divesting him of a substantial interest in the controversy. petitioner’s silence for eighteen (18) years show that the constitutional . According to respondents. the Framers originally envisioned a unicameral legislative body. 17 Tracing the subject provision’s history. in the first place. the Senate and the House of Representatives. The phrase. 21 The Issues In resolving the procedural and substantive issues arising from the petition. 24 Being aware that the current composition of the JBC has been in practice since 1994. however. placing either of the respondents in the JBC will effectively deprive a house of Congress of its representation. the case lacks the requisites therefor. if the Commissioners were made aware of the consequence of having a bicameral legislature instead of a unicameral one. While they admit that the purpose in creating the JBC was to insulate appointments to the Judiciary from political influence. Article VI of the Constitution 15 to determine the meaning of the term "Congress. the JBC submits that petitioner is clothed with locus standi to file the petition. petitioner must exhibit that he has been denied. Article VIII of the Constitution speaks of "a representative from Congress. Without his name in the official list of applicants for the post. the Court synthesized them into two: (1) Whether or not the conditions sine qua non for the exercise of the power of judicial review have been met in this case. of a personal right or privilege to which he is entitled. whose membership to certain political parties is irrelevant. they would have made the corresponding adjustment in the representation of Congress in the JBC. because. the respondents claim that when the JBC was established. Here. petitioner has no "real interest" in questioning the constitutionality of the JBC’s current composition. the House of Representatives. when Section 8(1). two (2) of whom are members of Congress. are permanent and mandatory components of "Congress." it should mean one representative each from both Houses which comprise the entire Congress. 16 Bicameralism." It is their theory that the two houses.representative of Congress. as the system of choice by the Framers. In simplistic terms. requires that both houses exercise their respective powers in the performance of its mandated duty which is to legislate. as a citizen and taxpayer." such that the absence of either divests the term of its substantive meaning as expressed under the Constitution.

a concerned citizen and a nominee to the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. (2) for taxpayers. the petition is also for prohibition under Rule 65 seeking to enjoin Congress from sending two (2) representatives with one (1) full vote each to the JBC. Clearly. 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. he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case. like almost all other powers conferred by the Constitution. namely: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power. It being so. representing the general public. Pursuant to the rule that the nature of an action is determined by the allegations therein and the character of the relief sought. Before addressing the above issues in seriatim. (4) for concerned citizens. especially when the constitutionality of an act by a co-equal branch of government is put in issue.26 At any rate. the Court deems it proper to first ascertain the nature of the petition. direct injury as a result of its enforcement. a party will be allowed to litigate only when these conditions sine qua non are present. taxpayers have been allowed to sue where there is a claim that public funds are illegally disbursed or that public money is being deflected to any improper purpose. Notwithstanding the fact that only questions of law are raised in the petition. there must be a claim that the official action complained of infringes upon their prerogatives as legislators. As a taxpayer. the Court deems it more prudent to take cognizance of it. Article VIII as the issue raised. not every case before the Court exhibits similar issues and facts. there must be a claim of illegal disbursement of public funds or that the tax measure is unconstitutional. The Courts’ power of judicial review. operation and proceedings from taxes paid. While it is true that a "personal stake" on the case is imperative to . The Court disagrees with the respondents’ contention that petitioner lost his standing to sue because he is not an official nominee for the post of Chief Justice. Anent locus standi. an action for declaratory relief is not among those within the original jurisdiction of this Court as provided in Section 5." 30 Notably. not only to government processes involved but also to the sanctity of the Constitution. voters. 29 In this case. such that he has sustained or will sustain. petitioner seeks judicial intervention as a taxpayer. concrete and legal conflict of rights and duties from the issues presented before the Court? In David v. Although this inventory is unnecessary to establish locus standi because obviously. the original jurisdiction over the petition lies with the appropriate Regional Trial Court (RTC). petitioner invokes his right to demand that the taxes he and the rest of the citizenry have been paying to the government are spent for lawful purposes. In public suits. (2) the person challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge. and (5) for legislators. asserts a "public right" in assailing an allegedly illegal official action. and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. concerned citizens. petitioner has the legal standing to bring the present action because he has a personal stake in the outcome of this controversy." or as a "citizen" or "taxpayer.issue being raised before the Court does not comply with the "earliest possible opportunity" requirement. There. the plaintiff." Thus. and legislators may be accorded standing to sue. is subject to several limitations. "since the JBC derives financial support for its functions. Macapagal-Arroyo. due to its serious implications. it was held that taxpayers. petitioner takes pains in enumerating past actions that he had brought before the Court where his legal standing was sustained. (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity. 27 Generally. provided that the following requirements are met: (1) cases involve constitutional issues. (3) for voters. there must be a showing that the issues raised are of transcendental importance which must be settled early. According to petitioner. and can be suing as a "stranger. The plaintiff may be a person who is affected no differently from any other person. After all. the Court recognizes the petitioner’s right to sue in this case. petitioner possesses as taxpayer both right and legal standing to demand that the JBC’s proceedings are not tainted with illegality and that its composition and actions do not violate the Constitution. there must be a showing of obvious interest in the validity of the election law in question.25 The Constitution as the subject matter. 28 the Court summarized the rules on locus standi as culled from jurisprudence. the petition should properly be considered as that which would result in the adjudication of rights sans the execution process because the only relief to be granted is the very declaration of the rights under the document sought to be construed. Article VIII of the Constitution. and the validity and construction of Section 8 (1). the Court views the petition as essentially an action for declaratory relief under Rule 63 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. or that public funds are wasted through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law. the question to be answered is this: does the party possess a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that there is real.

The allegations are substantiated by facts and. and free from ambiguity. Hence. plain. the JBC’s duty is not at all limited to the nominations for the highest magistrate in the land. lest a constitutional process be plagued by misgivings. It cannot be gainsaid that the JBC is a constitutional innovation crucial in the selection of the magistrates in our judicial system. clothed with legal standing and at the same time. On the second part lies the crux of the present controversy. and (3) the lack of any other party with a more direct and specific interest in the questions being raised. a representative of the Integrated Bar. 31 The allegations of constitutional violations in this case are not empty attacks on the wisdom of the other branches of the government. Article VIII of the Constitution. mistrust. the Secretary of Justice and "a representative of Congress. It is indicative of what the members of the Constitutional Commission had in mind. 33 Verba legis non est recedendum – from the words of a statute there should be no departure. The Court considers this a constitutional issue that must be passed upon. and a representative of the private sector. Then it goes to its composition where the regular members are enumerated: a representative of the Integrated Bar. Albeit heavily publicized in this regard. this is not to say that only official nominees for the post of Chief Justice can come to the Court and question the JBC composition for being unconstitutional. so provided. armed with issues of transcendental importance to society. The claim that the composition of the JBC is illegal and unconstitutional is an object of concern. A vast number of aspirants to judicial posts all over the country may be affected by the Court’s ruling. (1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman.have locus standi. because it is assumed that the words in which constitutional provisions are couched express the objective sought to be attained. The Composition of the JBC Central to the resolution of the foregoing petition is an understanding of the composition of the JBC as stated in the first paragraph of Section 8. it is not difficult to perceive from the opposing arguments of the parties that the determinants established in jurisprudence are attendant in this case: (1) the character of the funds or other assets involved in the case. but for all citizens who have the right to seek judicial intervention for rectification of legal blunders. 36 Moreover. With respect to the question of transcendental importance. in no uncertain terms. What it says according to the text of the provision to be construed compels acceptance and negates the power of the courts to alter it. who shall be its Chairman. Congress may designate only one (1) representative to the JBC. the Secretary of Justice. deserve an evaluation from the Court. It enumerates the ex officio or special members of the JBC composed of the Chief Justice. based on the postulate that the framers and the people mean what they say. under the maxim noscitur a sociis. the use of the singular letter "a" preceding "representative of Congress" is unequivocal and leaves no room for any other construction. it can readily be discerned that the provision is clear and unambiguous. The JBC likewise screens and nominates other members of the Judiciary. a professor of law. in whose consciousness it should ever be present as an important condition for the rule of law to prevail. and a representative of the Congress as ex officio Members. because the Constitution is not primarily a lawyer’s document but essentially that of the people. a professor of law. the legality of the very process of nominations to the positions in the Judiciary is the nucleus of the controversy. doubts and worse. From a simple reading of the above-quoted provision. The first paragraph calls for the creation of a JBC and places the same under the supervision of the Court. (2) the presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or instrumentality of the government." As petitioner correctly posits. It reads: Section 8. that is. the words of the Constitution should be understood in the sense they have in common use. As much as possible. it must be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation. a retired Member of the Supreme Court. 37 This is because a word or phrase in a . 32 It is a well-settled principle of constitutional construction that the language employed in the Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed. a citizen has a right to bring this question to the Court. a retired member of the Court and a representative from the private sector. therefore. The Court need not elaborate on the legal and societal ramifications of the issues raised. its correct construction may be made clear and specific by considering the company of words in which it is founded or with which it is associated. Had it been the intention that more than one (1) representative from the legislature would sit in the JBC. not just for a nominee to a judicial post. One of the primary and basic rules in statutory construction is that where the words of a statute are clear. the Framers could have. 34 The raison d’ être for the rule is essentially two-fold: First. 35 and second. where a particular word or phrase is ambiguous in itself or is equally susceptible of various meanings. More importantly.

Section 5. 43 xxx xxx xxx MR. there is no need to resort extrinsic aids such as records of the Constitutional Commission. then the provision will be exactly the same as the provision in the 1935 Constitution. RODRIGO.38 The particular words. 39 In short. RODRIGO: Let me go to another point then. 42 Not any of these instances. Even a municipal judge cannot be appointed by the President except upon recommendation or nomination of the three names by this Committee of seven people. In this proposal. thus. every meaning to be given to each word or phrase must be ascertained from the context of the body of the statute since a word or phrase in a statute is always used in association with other words or phrases and its meaning may be modified or restricted by the latter. Why are we going to . Mr. Section 5. If there is a Commission on Appointments. but the whole and every part of the statute must be considered in fixing the meaning of any of its parts and in order to produce a harmonious whole. it becomes apparent that the word "Congress" used in Article VIII. we would like to establish a new office. the spirit and reason of the statute may be passed upon where a literal meaning would lead to absurdity. The foregoing declaration is but sensible. a sort of a board composed of seven members called the Judicial and Bar Council. there will be no uniformity in our constitutional provisions on appointments. he will be limited to the recommendees of this Council. Applying the foregoing principle to this case. commissioners of the Commission on Elections. xxx xxx xxx If we do not remove the proposed amendment on the creation of the Judicial and Bar Council. Of the seven members of the Judicial and Bar Council. At present it is the President who appoints them. A statute must be so construed as to harmonize and give effect to all its provisions whenever possible. in either case. if this Council is created. generals of the Army will not come under this restriction. it is undeniable from the records thereof that it was intended that the JBC be composed of seven (7) members only. there is a novel provision about the appointments of members of the Supreme Court and judges of the lower courts. however. If my amendment is approved. as pointed out by an esteemed former member of the Court and consultant of the JBC in his memorandum.statute is always used in association with other words or phrases. contradiction. 40 "from the enumeration of the membership of the JBC. of the President of the Philippines elected by all the Filipino people. be modified or restricted by the latter. is present in the case at bench. this will be a diminution of the appointing power of the highest magistrate of the land. the COA and the Commission on Civil Service…even ambassadors. The members of the Judiciary will be segregated from the rest of the government. CONCEPCION. RODRIGO. the President appoints four of them who are regular members. injustice. And while the President will still appoint the member of the judiciary. Nevertheless. it is patent that each category of members pertained to a single individual only. only a singular representative may be allowed to sit in the JBC. Considering that the language of the subject constitutional provision is plain and unambiguous. but that. xxx xxx xxx MR. even if the Court should proceed to look into the minds of the members of the Constitutional Commission. On page 2. or defeat the clear purpose of the lawmakers. Thus: MR. then it is the President with the confirmation of the Commission on Appointment. The appointing power will be limited by a group of seven people who are not elected by the people but only appointed." 41 Indeed. and its meaning may. No particular allusion whatsoever is made on whether the Senate or the House of Representatives is being referred to. The only purpose of the Committee is to eliminate partisan politics. Section 8(1) of the Constitution is used in its generic sense. since. Article VIII. clauses and phrases should not be studied as detached and isolated expressions. Presiding Officer. xxx xxx xxx MR.

48 the declaration of an existence of a state of war. the word "Congress" in Section 8(1)." xxx The exofficio members of the Council consist of representatives from the three main branches of government while the regular members are composed of various stakeholders in the judiciary. While it would be unreasonable to expect that the Framers provide for every possible scenario. especially in the event a tie is reached. So it is futile he will be influence anyway by the President. And may I say. the Court cites the insightful analysis of another member of the Court and JBC consultant.to legislate. therefore. [Emphases and underscoring supplied] More than the reasoning provided in the above discussed rules of constitutional construction. when the Constitutional Commission eventually adopted a bicameral form of Congress. 46 Thus: A perusal of the records of the Constitutional Commission reveals that the composition of the JBC reflects the Commission’s desire "to have in the Council a representation for the major elements of the community.44 [Emphases supplied] At this juncture.segregate the Judiciary from the rest of our government in the appointment of high-ranking officials? Another reason is that this Council will be ineffective. is constitutionally treated as another co-equal branch of in the matter of its representative in the JBC. the controlling part in the legislature belongs to the President and. While the latter justifies and. failed to amend Article VIII. that is. 45 On this score. xxx xxx xxx No parallelism can be drawn between the representative of Congress in the JBC and the exercise by Congress of its legislative powers under Article VI and constituent powers under Article XVII of the Constitution. It is evident that the definition of "Congress" as a bicameral body refers to its primary function in government . the Framers. Article VIII of the Constitution should be read as including both the Senate and the House of Representatives. it is sensible to presume that they knew that an odd composition is the best means to break a voting deadlock. defeating the precise mechanism which the Constitution itself created. in fact. Section 8(1) was to treat each ex-officio member as representing one co-equal branch of government. to provide a solution should there be a stalemate in voting. Mr. the power of appropriation. 49 canvassing of electoral . or among any of the sitting members of the JBC for that matter. Sound reason and principle of equality among the three branches support this conclusion. necessitates the separateness of the two houses of Congress as they relate inter se. they would be kowtow the President. Congress. Another member represents the Legislature. A fifth member is the Minister of Justice. 47 In the passage of laws. This underlying reason leads the Court to conclude that a single vote may not be divided into half (1/2). in relation to the executive and judicial branches of government. They theorize that it was so worded because at the time the said provision was being drafted. Section 8 of the Constitution. It will just besmirch the honor of our President without being effective at all because this Council will be under the influence of the President. the JBC was designed to have seven voting members with the three ex-officio members having equal say in the choice of judicial nominees. Therefore. the Framers initially intended a unicameral form of Congress. no such dichotomy need be made when Congress interacts with the other two co-equal branches of government. Then. an alter ego of the President. In all probability. It is more in keeping with the co-equal nature of the three governmental branches to assign the same weight to considerations that any of its representatives may have regarding aspiring nominees to the judiciary. the Court finds the above thesis as the paramount justification of the Court’s conclusion that "Congress. retired Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago. between two representatives of Congress. xxx Thus." in the context of JBC representation. inter alia. This unsanctioned practice can possibly cause disorder and eventually muddle the JBC’s voting process. On the other hand. The respondents insist that owing to the bicameral nature of Congress. The unmistakeable tenor of Article VIII. through oversight. it is worthy to note that the seven-member composition of the JBC serves a practical purpose. that event the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is an appointee of the President. Presiding Officer. Four out of seven are appointees of the President and they can be reappointed when their term ends. this representative form the National Assembly is also under the influence of the President. the Constitution is explicit in the distinction of the role of each house in the process. the exercise of legislative and constituent powers requires the Senate and House of Representatives to coordinate and act as distinct bodies in furtherance of Congress’ role under our constitutional scheme. The same holds true in Congress’ non-legislative powers such as. The aforesaid purpose would then be rendered illusory. The representatives of the Senate and the House of Representatives act as such for one branch and should not have any more quantitative influence as the other branches in the exercise of prerogatives evenly bestowed upon the three. should be considered as one body.

They are not nullified. In Planters Products. 56 This rule. it is inoperative as if it has not been passed at all. Inc. In the interest of fair play under the doctrine of operative facts. whether with one whole vote or half (1/2) of it. cannot be said in the case of JBC representation because no liaison between the two houses exists in the workings of the JBC. as one of the co-equal branches of government. including the highest officials of the land."53 To quote one former Secretary of Justice: The present imbalance in voting power between the Legislative and the other sectors represented in the JBC must be corrected especially when considered vis-à-vis the avowed purpose for its creation. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. in creating a JBC. however. Thus. a pretext of oversight cannot prevail over the more pragmatic scheme which the Constitution laid with firmness.51 In the exercise of these powers. By allowing both houses of Congress to have a representative in the JBC and by giving each representative one (1) vote in the Council. 52 To ensure judicial independence. the Constitution employs precise language in laying down the roles which a particular house plays. and 2) in consonance with the principle of checks and balances. Article VIII of the Constitution. An inter-play between the two houses is necessary in the realization of these powers causing a vivid dichotomy that the Court cannot simply discount. only applies as a matter of equity and fair play. Constitutional doctrines must remain steadfast no matter what may be the tides of time. that is. null and void. however. No mechanism is required between the Senate and the House of Representatives in the screening and nomination of judicial officers. the private sector and the three branches of government would have an active role and equal voice in the selection of the members of the Judiciary. it affords no protection. regardless of whether the two houses consummate an official act by voting jointly or separately. Hence. any inclusion of another member. that the Constitution mandates that the JBC be composed of seven (7) members only. Doubtless. Fertiphil Corporation.returns for the President and Vice-President. to allow the Legislature to have more quantitative influence in the JBC by having more than one voice speak. it was applied to a criminal case when a declaration of unconstitutionality would put the accused in double jeopardy or would put in limbo the acts done by a municipality in reliance upon a law creating it. A fortiori. It cannot be simply made to sway and accommodate the call of situations and much more tailor itself to the whims and caprices of the government and the people who run it. Verily. Congress. the term "Congress" must be taken to mean the entire legislative department.1âwphi1 It nullifies the effects of an unconstitutional law by recognizing that the existence of a statute prior to a determination of unconstitutionality is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot always be ignored. each house is constitutionally granted with powers and functions peculiar to its nature and with keen consideration to 1) its relationship with the other chamber. an unconstitutional act is not a law. it imposes no duties. As to the effect of the Court’s finding that the current composition of the JBC is unconstitutional. any act of the government or of a public official or employee which is contrary to the Constitution is illegal. is accorded greater and unwarranted influence in the appointment of judges. it creates no office. that the JBC has a seat for a single representative of Congress. v. whether with one full vote or one-half (1/2) a vote each. actions previous to the declaration of unconstitutionality are legally recognized. Therefore. must defer. the Framers of our Constitution intended to create a JBC as an innovative solution in response to the public clamor in favor of eliminating politics in the appointment of members of the Judiciary. to insulate the appointments in the Judiciary against political influence. as one former congressman and member of the JBC put it. it confers no rights. 57 the Court explained: The doctrine of operative fact. .e. to the other branches of government. is not absolute. would. 50 and impeachment. 54 [Emphasis supplied] It is clear. providing Congress with an equal voice with other members of the JBC in recommending appointees to the Judiciary is explicit. they adopted a holistic approach and hoped that. Section 8(1). The doctrine is applicable when a declaration of unconstitutionality will impose an undue burden on those who have relied on the invalid law. as an exception to the general rule.. 55 Hence. "negate the principle of equality among the three branches of government which is enshrined in the Constitution. it bears mentioning that as a general rule. Any circumvention of the constitutional mandate should not be countenanced for the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. therefore. The Constitution is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all persons. as compared to the other members of the JBC. i. This. Thus. goes against that mandate.

while the Court finds wisdom in respondents' contention that both the Senate and the House of Representatives should be equally represented in the JBC. ESCUDERO and REP. former Solicitor General Francisco I. The courts merely give effect to the lawgiver's intent. No. This is a matter beyond the province of the Court and is best left to the determination of Congress. the remedy lies in the amendment of this constitutional provision. Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution. Respondents. JR. NIEL C. the Court is not in a position to stamp its imprimatur on such a construction at the risk of expanding the meaning of the Constitution as currently worded. On July 17. 2013 FRANCISCO I. Chavez (petitioner). In his initiatory pleading. Corona on May 29. disposing the same in the following manner: . petitioner asked the Court to determine 1] whether the first paragraph of Section 8. the Court takes the initiative to clarify that it is not in a position to determine as to who should remain as the sole representative of Congress in the JBC. vs. At this point.R. 2012. CHAVEZ. 2012.Considering the circumstances. Jr.. The Judicial and Bar Council is hereby enjoined to reconstitute itself so that only one ( 1) member of Congress will sit as a representative in its proceedings. RESOLUTION MENDOZA. as his potential successor. This disposition is immediately executory. SO ORDERED.: This resolves the Motion for Reconsideration1 filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on behalf of the respondents. Petitioner. the Court handed down the assailed subject decision. all its prior official actions are nonetheless valid. Escudero and Congressman Niel C. The solemn power and duty of the Court to interpret and apply the law does not include the power to correct. 202242 April 16. J. WHEREFORE. by reading into the law what is not written therein. (respondents). the present action stemmed from the unexpected departure of former Chief Justice Renato C. By way of recapitulation. 3 4 5 6 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution allows more than one (1) member of Congress to sit in the JBC. JUDICIALAND BAR COUNCIL. and 2] if the practice of having two (2) representatives from each House of Congress with one (1) vote each is sanctioned by the Constitution. duly opposed2 by the petitioner. TUPAS. and the nomination of petitioner. Tupas. Finally. Senator Francis Joseph G. FRANCIS JOSEPH G. SEN. the Court finds the exception applicable in this case and holds that notwithstanding its finding of unconstitutionality in the current composition of the JBC. in accordance with Section 8( 1 ). Needless to state. The current numerical composition of the Judicial and Bar Council IS declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL. the petition is GRANTED.

16 Pursuant to the constitutional provision that Congress is entitled to one (1) representative. The current numerical composition of the Judicial and Bar Council is declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL. In 1994. with each having one-half (1/2) of a vote. Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution. Grounds relied upon by Respondents Through the subject motion. 2012.7 On August 3. and a representative of the Congress as ex officio Members. The power became exclusive and absolute to the Executive. the appointment of judges and justices ceased to be subject of scrutiny by another body.13 Then. (1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman. not together. 2012 Decision. the exercise of appointing members of the Judiciary has always been the exclusive prerogative of the executive and legislative branches of the government. On July 31. 2012. following respondents’ motion for reconsideration and with due regard to Senate Resolution Nos. It was during these times that the country became witness to the deplorable practice of aspirants seeking confirmation of their appointment in the Judiciary to ingratiate themselves with the members of the legislative body. in accordance with Section 8(1). The decretal portion of the August 3. Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution in this wise: Section 8. the JBC En Banc decided to allow the representatives from the Senate and the House of Representatives one full vote each. the seven-member composition of the JBC was substantially altered. a professor of law. and a representative of the private sector. The Judicial and Bar Council is hereby enjoined to reconstitute itself so that only one (1) member of Congress will sit as a representative in its proceedings. From the moment of the creation of the JBC. This disposition is immediately executory. Until further orders. the Court discussed the merits of the arguments and agreed. 3] that two representatives from Congress would not subvert the intention of the Framers to insulate the JBC from political partisanship. SO ORDERED.3 112.6 the Court set the subject motion for oral arguments on August 2. it conceived of a body. subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.15 the members of the Constitutional Commission saw it wise to create a separate."9 Pursuant to the same resolution. the parties are hereby directed to submit their respective MEMORANDA within ten (10) days from notice. in the meantime. the petition is GRANTED. petitioner and respondents filed their respective memoranda. it bears reiterating that from the birth of the Philippine Republic.1âwphi1 An eighth member was added to the JBC as the two (2) representatives from Congress began sitting simultaneously in the JBC. Thus. 2] that the failure of the Framers to make the proper adjustment when there was a shift from unilateralism to bicameralism was a plain oversight.14 with the fusion of the executive and legislative powers in one body. under the 1973 Constitution.17 In 2001. to suspend the effects of the second paragraph of the dispositive portion of the July 17. respondents pray that the Court reconsider its decision and dismiss the petition on the following grounds: 1] that allowing only one representative from Congress in the JBC would lead to absurdity considering its bicameral nature. 2012 Resolution8 reads: WHEREFORE.5 and 114. a retired Member of the Supreme Court.4 113.18 It has been the situation since then. the Secretary of Justice. 111. Prompted by the clamor to rid the process of appointments to the Judiciary of the evils of political pressure and partisan activities. a representative of the Integrated Bar. but alternately or by rotation. and 4] that the rationale of the Court in declaring a seven-member composition would provide a solution should there be a stalemate is not exactly . 2012 Decision which decreed that it was immediately executory. Like their progenitor of American origins. both the Malolos Constitution11 and the 1935 Constitution12 vested the power to appoint the members of the Judiciary in the President. and called it the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC). subject only to the condition that the appointees must have all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications.10 Brief Statement of the Antecedents In this disposition.WHEREFORE. each House sent a representative to the JBC. which reads: "This disposition is immediately executory. competent and independent body to recommend nominees to the President. Congress designated one (1) representative to sit in the JBC to act as one of the ex-officio members. The Framers carefully worded Section 8. the Court hereby SUSPENDS the effect of the second paragraph of the dispositive portion of the Court’s July 17. representative of all the stakeholders in the judicial appointment process. 2012.

"22 In all these provisions. to say that the Framers simply failed to adjust Section 8. Whether in the exercise of its legislative23 or its non-legislative functions such as inter alia. In all these instances. The total is seven (7). It is very clear that the Framers were not keen on adjusting the provision on congressional representation in the JBC because it was not in the exercise of its primary function – to legislate. not because it was in the interest of a certain constituency. Article VIII. which provides that a tie in the presidential election shall be broken "by a majority of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress. the bicameral nature of Congress was recognized and. three (3) representatives from the major branches of government . as one whole body. Article VII. in the creation of the JBC. each House is constitutionally granted with powers and functions peculiar to its nature and with keen consideration to 1) its relationship with the other chamber. the corresponding adjustments were made as to how a matter would be handled and voted upon by its two Houses. the Constitution could have. the Secretary of Justice (representing the Executive Department). Puno: . is not persuasive enough. the Court shall discuss them jointly. voting separately. as to the other branches of government. and Congress. As stated in the July 17. Hon. Simeon A. voting separately. according to its text. limited and defined and by which those powers are distributed among the several departments for their safe and useful exercise for the benefit of the body politic. Significantly. For this reason."21 Similarly. submitted his well-considered position28 to then Chief Justice Reynato S. Congress has two (2) Houses. in the interpretation of the constitutional provisions. The need to recognize the existence and the role of each House is essential considering that the Constitution employs precise language in laying down the functions which particular House plays. the conclusion arrived at. the Framers simply gave recognition to the Legislature. the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus may be revoked or continued by the Congress. A reading of the 1987 Constitution would reveal that several provisions were indeed adjusted as to be in tune with the shift to bicameralism. 2012 Decision.24 the declaration of an existence of a state of war. Every word employed in the Constitution must be interpreted to exude its deliberate intent which must be maintained inviolate against disobedience and defiance. In checkered contrast. Datumanong. but in reverence to it as a major branch of government. there is essentially no interaction between the two Houses in their participation in the JBC. from the Second District of Maguindanao."20 Another is Section 8 thereof which requires the nominee to replace the Vice-President to be confirmed "by a majority of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress. The language used in the Constitution must be taken to have been deliberately chosen for a definite purpose. carries greater bearing in the final resolution of this case.26 and impeachment. Respondents cannot just lean on plain oversight to justify a conclusion favorable to them. the Court cannot accede to the argument of plain oversight in order to justify constitutional construction. JBC was created to support the executive power to appoint.25 canvassing of electoral returns for the President and Vice-President. in opting to use the singular letter "a" to describe "representative of Congress. so provided. the Court firmly relies on the basic postulate that the Framers mean what they say. the power of appropriation.the Chief Justice as ex-officio Chairman (representing the Judicial Department).correct. by sheer inadvertence. As these two issues are interrelated. with respect to the first and second grounds. was merely assigned a contributory non-legislative function. regardless of whether the two Houses consummate an official act by voting jointly or separately. What the Constitution clearly says. Had the intention been otherwise. in no uncertain terms. by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members." the Filipino people through the Framers intended that Congress be entitled to only one (1) seat in the JBC. compels acceptance and bars modification even by the branch tasked to interpret it. as can be read in its other provisions. One example is Section 4. it finds itself unable to reverse the assailed decision on the principal issues covered by the first and second grounds for lack of merit. No mechanism is required between the Senate and the House of Representatives in the screening and nomination of judicial officers. Rather. While the Court may find some sense in the reasoning in amplification of the third and fourth grounds listed by respondents. In so providing. Thus. not eight.19 The Framers reposed their wisdom and vision on one suprema lex to be the ultimate expression of the principles and the framework upon which government and society were to operate. Thus.27 the dichotomy of each House must be acknowledged and recognized considering the interplay between these two Houses. under Section 18. and a representative of the Congress (representing the Legislative Department). clearly. Ruling of the Court The Constitution evinces the direct action of the Filipino people by which the fundamental powers of government are established. still. On this score. and 2) in consonance with the principle of checks and balances. to their decision to shift to a bicameral form of the legislature. voting separately. the Framers arrived at a unique system by adding to the four (4) regular members. a Member of Congress. The underlying reason for such a limited participation can easily be discerned.

is constitutionally empowered to represent the entire Congress. two votes for Congress would increase the number of JBC members to eight. then Associate Justice Leonardo A. necessitates the separateness of the two Houses of Congress as they relate inter se. . Quisumbing. VIII. the interpretation of two votes for Congress runs counter to the intendment of the framers. In the JBC. (Emphases and underscoring supplied) In an undated position paper. thus. is worth reiterating." Thus. it is beyond dispute that Art. xxx No parallelism can be drawn between the representative of Congress in the JBC and the exercise by Congress of its legislative powers under Article VI and constituent powers under Article XVII of the Constitution. 2007. xxx Thus." Further.30 then Secretary of Justice Agnes VST Devanadera opined: As can be gleaned from the above constitutional provision. It may be a constricted constitutional authority. On the other hand. Section 8 (1) of the 1987 Constitution x x x. in relation to the executive and judicial branches of government. whether from the Senate or the House of Representatives. In view of the foregoing. to allow Congress to have two representatives in the Council. it is apt to mention that the oft-repeated doctrine that "construction and interpretation come only after it has been demonstrated that application is impossible or inadequate without them. two (2) representatives from Congress would increase the number of JBC members to eight (8). no such dichotomy need be made when Congress interacts with the other two co-equal branches of government. The aforesaid provision is clear and unambiguous and does not need any further interpretation. in fact. I vote for the proposition that the Council should adopt the rule of single representation of Congress in the JBC in order to respect and give the right meaning to the above-quoted provision of the Constitution. the exercise of legislative and constituent powers requires the Senate and the House of Representatives to coordinate and act as distinct bodies in furtherance of Congress’ role under our constitutional scheme. also a JBC Consultant. (Emphases and underscoring supplied) In this regard. the JBC was designed to have seven voting members with the three ex-officio members having equal say in the choice of judicial nominees." xxx The exofficio members of the Council consist of representatives from the three main branches of government while the regular members are composed of various stakeholders in the judiciary. the scholarly dissection on the matter by retired Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago. and the understanding is that seven (7) persons will compose the JBC. Thus. is to negate the principle of equality among the three branches of government which is enshrined in the Constitution. Sound reason and principle of equality among the three branches support this conclusion. with one vote each. [Emphases and underscoring supplied] The argument that a senator cannot represent a member of the House of Representatives in the JBC and viceversa is. any member of Congress. the JBC is composed of seven (7) representatives coming from different sectors. Perhaps. Section 8(1) was to treat each ex-officio member as representing one co-equal branch of government. is constitutionally treated as another co-equal branch in the matter of its representative in the JBC. While the latter justifies and. a number beyond what the Constitution has contemplated. As such. The unmistakeable tenor of Article VIII. while we do not lose sight of the bicameral nature of our legislative department. a former JBC consultant.I humbly reiterate my position that there should be only one representative of Congress in the JBC in accordance with Article VIII. submitted to the Chief Justice and ex-officio JBC Chairman his opinion. Two things can be gleaned from the excerpts and citations above: the creation of the JBC is intended to curtail the influence of politics in Congress in the appointment of judges.29 which reads: 8. From the enumeration it is patent that each category of members pertained to a single individual only. The representatives of the Senate and the House of Representatives act as such for one branch and should not have any more quantitative influence as the other branches in the exercise of prerogatives evenly bestowed upon the three. Section 8 (1) of the 1987 Constitution is explicit and specific that "Congress" shall have only "xxx a representative. Such interpretation actually gives Congress more influence in the appointment of judges. It is more in keeping with the co-equal nature of the three governmental branches to assign the same weight to considerations that any of its representatives may have regarding aspiring nominees to the judiciary. Also. Congress. misplaced.31 Thus: A perusal of the records of the Constitutional Commission reveals that the composition of the JBC reflects the Commission’s desire "to have in the Council a representation for the major elements of the community. but it is not an absurdity. which could lead to voting deadlock by reason of even-numbered membership. (Emphases and underscoring supplied) On March 14. and a clear violation of 7 enumerated members in the Constitution.

It would not be amiss to point out."36 "The Court cannot supply what it thinks the legislature would have supplied had its attention been called to the omission. all its prior official actions are nonetheless valid." is hereby LIFTED. between two representatives of Congress. only applies as a matter of equity and fair play. when the Constitution envisioned one member of Congress sitting in the JBC. the Court declines. however. True to its constitutional mandate. The principle of checks and balances is still safeguarded because the appointment of all the regular members of the JBC is subject to a stringent process of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Fertiphil Corporation:32 The doctrine of operative fact. They are not nullified. it is inoperative as if it has not been passed at all. 2012 Decision of the Court. it confers no rights. This is essential in the interest of fair play. Under the doctrine of operative facts. Well-settled is the rule that acts done in violation of the Constitution no matter how frequent. In other words. Considering that the Court is duty bound to protect the Constitution which was ratified by the direct action of the Filipino people. Respondents’ contention that the current irregular composition of the JBC should be accepted. in effect. To broaden the scope of congressional representation in the JBC is tantamount to the inclusion of a subject matter which was not included in the provision as enacted. To the exercise of this intrusion. Judicial activism should never be allowed to become judicial exuberance. the Court cannot craft and tailor constitutional provisions in order to accommodate all of situations no matter how ideal or reasonable the proposed solution may sound.From this score stems the conclusion that the lone representative of Congress is entitled to one full vote."35 Pursuant to this. Succinctly put. which reads. The suspension of the effects of the second paragraph of the dispositive portion of the July 17. Inc. the Court cannot supply the legislative omission. no amount of practical logic or convenience can convince the Court to perform either an excision or an insertion that will change the manifest intent of the Framers."34 "The principle proceeds from a reasonable certainty that a particular person."37 Stated differently. According to the rule of casus omissus "a case omitted is to be held as intentionally omitted. To do so would otherwise sanction the Court action of making amendment to the Constitution through a judicial pronouncement. the Motion for Reconsideration filed by respondents is hereby DENIED. which is composed of members of Congress. is not absolute. it was applied to a criminal case when a declaration of unconstitutionality would put the accused in double jeopardy or would put in limbo the acts done by a municipality in reliance upon a law creating it. Thus. object or thing has been omitted from a legislative enumeration. has more influence over the JBC simply because all of the regular members of the JBC are his appointees. After all. "the Court cannot under its power of interpretation supply the omission even though the omission may have resulted from inadvertence or because the case in question was not foreseen or contemplated. it imposes no duties. it is clearly against the essence of what the Constitution authorized. simply because it was only questioned for the first time through the present action. the Court finds the exception applicable in this case and holds that notwithstanding its finding of unconstitutionality in the current composition of the JBC. it cannot correct what respondents perceive as a mistake in its mandate. This pronouncement effectively disallows the scheme of splitting the said vote into half (1/2). Not only can this unsanctioned practice cause disorder in the voting process. actions previous to the declaration of unconstitutionality are legally recognized. The Court remains steadfast in confining its powers in the sphere granted by the Constitution itself. The doctrine is applicable when a declaration of unconstitutionality will impose an undue burden on those who have relied on the invalid law. as an exception to the general rule. v. read into the law something that is contrary to its express provisions and justify the same as correcting a perceived inadvertence.38 In cases like this. Neither can the Court. the Court has no power to add another member by judicial construction. it creates no office. in the exercise of its power to interpret the spirit of the Constitution. it is sensible to presume that this representation carries with him one full vote.33 Under the circumstances. deserves scant consideration. To permit or tolerate the splitting of one vote into two or more is clearly a constitutional circumvention that cannot be countenanced by the Court. To reiterate the doctrine enunciated in Planters Products. however. It nullifies the effects of an unconstitutional law by recognizing that the existence of a statute prior to a determination of unconstitutionality is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot always be ignored. "This disposition is immediately executory. as that would be judicial legislation. WHEREFORE. it affords no protection. . This rule. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. an unconstitutional act is not a law. The call for judicial activism fails to stir the sensibilities of the Court tasked to guard the Constitution against usurpation. basic and reasonable is the rule that what cannot be legally done directly cannot be done indirectly. It is also an error for respondents to argue that the President. that as a general rule. because once an act is considered as an infringement of the Constitution it is void from the very beginning and cannot be the source of any power or authority. usual or notorious cannot develop or gain acceptance under the doctrine of estoppel or laches.

SO ORDERED. 7 8 9 10 .

Provided. (SURNECO) is a rural electric cooperative organized and existing by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 99781. 7832. The relevant provisions of R. to include but not limited to. SP No. DECISION NACHURA. within thirty (30) working days after the conduct of hearings which must commence within thirty (30) working days upon the effectivity of this Act. issue the rules and regulation as may be necessary to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the provisions of this Act. Rules and Regulations. Respondent. There is hereby established a cap on the recoverable rate of system losses as follows: xxxx (b) For rural electric cooperatives: (i) Twenty-two percent (22%) at the end of the first year following the effectivity of this Act. 269. (ii) Twenty percent (20%) at the end of the second year following the effectivity of this Act. which provide Sec. taking into account the viability of rural electric cooperatives and the interest of consumers.A.) No. 96-49. and (v) Fourteen percent (14%) at the end of the fifth year following the effectivity of this Act. 7832 for compliance are Sections 10 and 14. (iii) Eighteen percent (18%) at the end of the third year following the effectivity of this Act. 14. 10. INC. 2010 SURIGAO DEL NORTE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE. and later consolidated with identical petitions of other associations of electric cooperatives in the Philippines. Rationalization of System Losses by Phasing Out Pilferage Losses as a Component Thereof. 20083 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. xxxx Sec. . 183626 : October 4. No. ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION.SECOND DIVISION G. (iv) Sixteen percent (16%) at the end of the fourth year following the effectivity of this Act. 20082 and the Resolution dated June 25. filed a petition before the then Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) for the approval of the formula for automatic cost adjustment and adoption of the National Power Corporation (NPC) restructured rate adjustment to comply with Republic Act (R. Petitioner. and as often as is necessary. v. as representative of SURNECO and of the other 33 rural electric cooperatives in Mindanao.R. that the ERB is hereby authorized to determine at the end of the fifth year following the effectivity of this Act. No. the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives. J. The ERB shall. The antecedent facts and proceedings follow Petitioner Surigao Del Norte Electric Cooperative.: Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court are the Decision dated April 17. in no case.4 The case was docketed as ERB Case No. 1996. On February 8. be lower than nine percent (9%) and accordingly fix the date of the effectivity of the new caps. whether the caps herein or theretofore established shall be reduced further which shall. the development of methodologies for computing the amount of electricity illegally used and the amount of payment or deposit contemplated in Section 7 hereof as a result of the presence of the prima facie evidence discovered.A. Inc.R. (SURNECO).

b. 2001-343. The maximum rate of system loss that the cooperative can pass on to its customers shall be as follows: a. Each and every cooperative shall file with the ERB. and confirmation. In the meantime. the power cost shall still be based on "gross.Corollary thereto. Sections 4 and 5 of Rule IX of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R." . Twenty-two percent (22%) effective on February 1996 billing. viz. The automatic cost adjustment of every electric cooperative shall be guided by the following formula: Purchased Power Adjustment Clause (PPA) = A B (C + D) Where: A = Cost of electricity purchased and generated for the previous month B = Total Kwh purchased and generated for the previous month C = The actual system loss but not to exceed the maximum recoverable rate of system loss in Kwh plus actual company use in kwhrs but not to exceed 1% of total kwhrs purchased and generated D = kwh consumed by subsidized consumers E = Applicable base cost of power equal to the amount incorporated into their basic rate per kwh. Fourteen percent (14%) effective on February 2000 billing. All pending cases before the ERB were transferred to the ERC. the passage of R. No. replacing and succeeding the ERB.A. Twenty percent (20%) effective on February 1997 billing. c. 7832 and its IRR. the Commission has resolved that: 1. d. the Commission noted that the PPA formula which was approved by the ERB was silent on whether the calculation of the cost of electricity purchased and generated in the formula should be "gross" or "net" of the discounts. No. the ERC clarified ERBs earlier policy regarding the PPA formula to be used by the electric cooperatives. 2003. verification. 1995. No. 7832 provide Section 4. ERB Case No. 96-49 was re-docketed as ERC Case No. In an Order5 dated February 19. 1997. To attain uniformity in the implementation of the PPA formula. Caps on System Loss allowed to Rural Electric Cooperatives. In the confirmation of past PPAs. on or before September 30. In the Order dated June 17. the power cost shall be based on "net. Let it be noted that the power cost is said to be at "gross" if the discounts are not passed-on to the end-users whereas it is said to be at "net" if the said discounts are passed-on to the end-users. 91366 led to the creation of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). e. Automatic Cost Adjustment Formula. Section 5.A. After a careful evaluation of the records." and 2. with a directive to submit relevant and pertinent documents for the Boards review. an application for approval of an amended Purchased Power Adjustment Clause that would reflect the new system loss cap to be included in its schedule of rates.A. Eighteen percent (18%) effective on February 1998 billing. the ERB granted SURNECO and other rural electric cooperatives provisional authority to use and implement the Purchased Power Adjustment (PPA) formula pursuant to the mandatory provisions of R. Sixteen percent (16%) effective on February 1999 billing. In the confirmation of future PPAs.

The computation and confirmation of the PPA prior to the Commissions Order dated June 17. The computation and confirmation of the PPA after the Commissions Order dated June 17. upon motion for reconsideration13 of SURNECO. B. (2) ordering it to deduct from the power cost or refund to its consumers the discounts extended to it by its power supplier. 2003 shall be based on the power cost "net" of discount. and c) Accomplish and submit a report in accordance with the attached prescribed format.9 mandating that the discounts earned by SURNECO from its power supplier should be deducted from the computation of the power cost. The Commission likewise confirms the PPA of SU0oRNECO for its Hikdop Island consumers for the period February 1996 to July 2004 which resulted to an under-recovery amounting to TWO MILLION FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY EIGHT THOUSAND FORTY FIVE PESOS (PhP2. 2007. b) Submit. On June 25. SO ORDERED. the computation and confirmation of the PPA shall be based on the cost at "gross. 2005. Hence. 2008. SURNECO went to the CA via a petition for review. and (3) ordering it to refund alleged overrecoveries arrived at by the ERC without giving SURNECO the opportunity to be heard. the CA denied SURNECOs petition and affirmed the assailed Orders of the ERC. If the approved PPA Formula is silent on the terms of discount. and C. the foregoing premises considered. SURNECO is directed to: a) Reflect the PPA refund/collection as a separate item in the bill using the phrase "Previous Years Adjustment on Power Cost".0500/kwh. the CA issued its Resolution denying the same. and confirmation of the electric cooperatives implementation of the PPA formula based on the available data and information submitted by the latter. Accordingly. Hence." subject to the submission of proofs that said discounts are being extended to the end-users. . with SURNECO ascribing error to the CA and the ERC in: (1) disallowing its use of the multiplier scheme to compute its systems loss. verification.478. this petition. the Commission hereby confirms the Purchased Power Adjustment (PPA) of Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative.00). Aggrieved.12 with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. 2007 on the ground that the motion did not raise any new matter which was not already passed upon by the ERC. seeking the annulment of the ERC Orders dated March 19. On March 19. 2007 and May 29. not a revenuegenerating scheme.The electric cooperatives filed their respective motions for clarification and/or reconsideration. so that the distribution utilities or the electric cooperatives must recover from their customers only the actual cost of purchased power. 2003 shall be based on the approved PPA Formula.10chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary SURNECO filed a motion for reconsideration.0500/kwh to its Main Island consumers starting the next billing cycle from receipt of this Order until such time that the full amount shall have been refunded. to wit A. SURNECO is hereby directed to refund the amount of PhP0. Inc. but it was denied by the ERC in its Order11 dated May 29. (SURNECO) for the period February 1996 to July 2004 which resulted to an over-recovery amounting to EIGHTEEN MILLION ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY EIGHT THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY FOUR PESOS (PhP18. stating that the PPA was a cost-recovery mechanism. on or before the 30th day of January of the succeeding year and every year thereafter until the amount shall have been fully refunded/collected. 2008. The ERC thus adopted a new PPA policy. the ERC issued an Order7 dated January 14. the ERC issued its assailed Order. In its Decision dated April 17. NPC.00) equivalent to PhP0. In this connection.8chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Thereafter.188. within ten (10) days from its initial implementation of the refund/collection.0100/kwh starting the next billing cycle from receipt of this Order until such time that the full amount shall have been collected.794. a sworn statement indicating its compliance with the aforecited directive. 2007. SURNECO is hereby authorized to collect from its Hikdop Island consumers the amount of PhP0.045. disposing in this wise WHEREFORE. the ERC continued its review.

7832. No. 7832 when it reviewed and confirmed SURNECOS PPA charges. a legislative enactment. 7832. revoked.The petition should be denied. The over-or-under recovery will be determined by comparing the allowable power cost with the actual revenue billed to end-users. The law took effect on January 17. Thus. in January 1984. As between NEA Memorandum No. Indeed. entered into a loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). No. and (c) if the approved PPA Formula is silent in terms of discount. the revised cooperatives multiplier will be as follows: 1. under NEA Memorandum No. 7832 without violating the non-impairment clause15 of the Constitution. However.A. and ordered the refund of the amount collected in excess of the allowable system loss caps through its continued use of the multiplier scheme.1 as provision for the corresponding increase in operating expenses to partly offset the effects of inflation. As the ERC held in its March 19. (b) the computation and confirmation of the PPA after the Commissions Order dated June 17. No. resolution. No. 1. However. 1-A. SURNECO points out that the National Electrification Administration (NEA). 7832.3 as allowance for 23% system loss and 0. which used to be the government authority charged by law with the power to fix rates of rural electric cooperatives. We disagree. it was authorized by the NEA that all increases in the NPC power cost (in case of NPC-connected cooperatives) shall be uniformly passed on to the member-consumers using the 1. The proceeds of the loan were intended for use by qualified rural electric cooperatives. revised the aforesaid issuance as follows Pursuant to NEA Board Resolution No. and also Section 11. 2005. 1-A. First. the NEA had authorized it to adopt a multiplier scheme as the method to recover system loss. or superseded by any order. 2003 shall be based on the power cost "net" of discount. the caps should have been applied as of January 17.A. SURNECO posits that. No.4 multiplier. in their rehabilitation and expansion projects.A. The ERC was merely implementing the system loss caps in R. but provided a Power Cost Adjustment Clause authorizing cooperatives to charge and show "system losses in excess of 15%" as a separate item in their consumers bill. 1-A. the Commission issued an Order adopting a new PPA policy as follows: (a) the computation and confirmation of the PPA prior to the Commissions Order dated June 17.A. which is divided into 1. per NEA Memorandum No.A. 1. Perusing Section 10. the cooperatives charged their consumer-members "System Loss Levy" for system losses in excess of the 15% cap. 7832. Second. It claims that this cannot be abrogated. SURNECO cannot insist on using the multiplier scheme even after the imposition of the system loss caps under Section 10 of R. No. it is totally repugnant to and incompatible with the system loss caps established in R. The loan agreement imposed a 15% system loss cap.2 Rural Electric Cooperatives (RECs) with system loss of 15% and below.A. SURNECO included. Thus.A. x x x. II. 7832 took effect. 2007 Order On January 14. a mere administrative issuance. 2003 shall be based on the approved PPA Formula.14 Subsequently. 98. now ERC. Series of 1991. through NEA Memorandum No. the use of the multiplier scheme allows the recovery of system losses even beyond the caps mandated in R. and R. the Commission deemed it appropriate to clarify its PPA confirmation process particularly on the treatment of the Prompt Payment Discount (PPD) granted to distribution utilities (DUs) by their power suppliers. the latter must prevail. 1995. subject to the submission of proofs that said discounts are indeed being extended to customers. No. 1-A dated March 30.3 RECs with system loss ranging from 16% to 22%. the NEA. 1995 when R.A.4 RECs with system loss of 23% and above. which is intended to gradually phase out pilferage losses as a component of the recoverable system losses by the distributing utilities such as SURNECO. 1992. to wit: I.16 providing for the application of the caps as of the date of the effectivity of R. readily shows that the imposition of the caps was self-executory and did not require the issuance of any enabling set of rules or any action by the then ERB. and is repealed by Section 1617 of the law. Calculation of the DUs allowable power cost as prescribed in the PPA formula: . or issuance by the ERC prescribing a certain formula to implement the caps of recoverable rate of system loss under R. 7832. SURNECO states that. the computation and confirmation of the PPA shall be based on the power cost at "gross" reduced by the amount of discounts extended to customers. No.

2.e.3190 January 1999 to .1. be higher than the discounts availed by the DU from its power supplier/s.794 0. and b. SURNECO submitted reports on its monthly implementation of the PPA covering the period January 1998 to July 2004 and attended the conferences conducted by the Commission on December 11.548.235 0.. the discount extended to end-users shall be added back to the actual revenue. Main Island Period Covered Over (Under) Recoveries (In PhP) Over (Under) Recoveries (In kWh) February 1996 to December 1998 20.a. 2003 and May 4. gross power cost minus discounts from power supplier/s) and the DU is extending discounts to end-users.2077 January 1999 to July 2004 (2. gross power cost minus discounts from power supplier/s) and the DU is not extending discounts to end-users.188. Calculation of DUs actual revenues/actual amount billed to end-users.1. b. the allowable power cost will be computed based on the specific provision of the formula. and a. If a DU bills at gross (i. In the meantime. the actual revenue shall be calculated as: gross power revenue less discounts extended to end-users. III. the allowable power cost will be computed at "net" of discounts availed from the power supplier/s. the amount of discounts extended to end-users shall.280) (0. In the calculation of the DUs actual revenues. On actual PPA computed at net of discounts availed from power supplier/s: a. if there be any. in no case.e. The foregoing clarification was intended to ensure that only the actual costs of purchased power are recovered by the DUs. 2005 relative thereto.0500 Schedule 2.e. a. IV.. Municipality of Hikdop February 1996 to December 1998 PPA Plus Basic Cha[r]ge 70.2..0097) TOTAL 18.e. which disclosed the following: Schedule 1.737. If a DU bills at net of discounts availed from the power supplier/s (i. the actual revenue should be equal to the allowable power cost. The result shall then be compared to the allowable power cost.. which may either be at "net" or "gross".074 0. If a DU bills at net of discounts availed from the power supplier/s (i. The Commission evaluated SURNECOs monthly PPA implementation covering the period February 1996 to July 2004. If the PPA formula explicitly provides the manner by which discounts availed from the power supplier/s shall be treated. gross power cost not reduced by discounts from power supplier/s) and the DU is extending discounts to end-users. On actual PPA computed at gross: b. and b. If a DU bills at gross (i. If the PPA formula is silent in terms of discounts. gross power cost not reduced by discounts from power supplier/s) and the DU is not extending discounts to end-users. the actual revenue shall be taken as is which shall be compared to the allowable power cost.

that the ERC issuances violated the NEA and ADB covenant. it ceases to be juris privati only and becomes subject to regulation. or any of its provisions. No. sales mix. The regulation is to promote the common good. SURNECOs basic charge for Hikdop end-users were beyond the approved basic charge for the period February 1996 to September 1998 resulting to a net over-recovery of PhP128. No. For the period August 2001 to June 2004. Submission to regulation may be withdrawn by the owner by discontinuing use. but as long as use of the property is continued.A. The PPA formula provided in the IRR of R.0100) The over-recoveries were due to the following: 1.00. It is beyond cavil that the State. No. and 2. based on technical parameters such as load density. When private property is used for a public purpose and is affected with public interest. safety. not through a collateral attack. Manila Electric Company20chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The regulation of rates to be charged by public utilities is founded upon the police powers of the State and statutes prescribing rules for the control and regulation of public utilities are a valid exercise thereof. education. the contract had to yield to the greater authority of the States exercise of police power.July 2004 (2. Striking down a legislative enactment. 7832 and must.489.00. and 3. or that they violate the non-impairment clause of the Constitution for allegedly traversing the loan agreement between NEA and ADB.A.196.377. and other technical considerations it may promulgate. It has long been settled that police power legislation. delivery voltage. For the period February 1996 to December 1998.A. in the exercise of police power. can regulate the rates imposed by a public utility such as SURNECO. merely for arguments sake. which only ensured that the PPA mechanism remains a purely cost-recovery mechanism and not a revenue-generating scheme for the electric cooperatives. No. cost of service. Third. 7832. peace. SURNECO erroneously deducted the Power Act Reduction Adjustments (PARA) in the total purchased power cost of its PPA computation resulting to an under-recovery of PhP1. therefore. and more so.045) (0. can be done only by way of a direct action. The new grossed-up factor scheme adopted by the Commission which provided a true-up mechanism to allow the DUs to recover the actual costs of purchased power. SURNECOs under recoveries for the period January 1999 to June 2004 were due to the following: 1.A. 7832 are arbitrary. adopted by the State to promote the health. We differ. good order.A.763. The Commission excluded those months which SURNECO did not impose variable charges to Hikdop end-user which resulted to a total net over-recovery of PhP21.19chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary In directing SURNECO to refund its over-recoveries based on PPA policies. The ERC simply performed its mandate to protect the public interest imbued in those rates. Likewise. SURNECO cannot validly assert that the caps set by R.00. 2.0097) TOTAL (2. The EPIRA allows the caps to remain until replaced by the caps to be determined by the ERC. As we held in Republic of the Philippines v. 7832 was only a model to be used as a guide by the electric .034.00. The challenge to the laws constitutionality should also be raised at the earliest opportunity. morals. We also disagree with SURNECO in its insistence that the PPA confirmation policies constituted an amendment to the IRR of R.280) (0.548. not for the first time on appeal in order to avoid compliance. No. the ERC merely exercised its authority to regulate and approve the rates imposed by the electric cooperatives on their consumers. the same is subject to public regulation. SURNECOs PPA computation included the power cost and the corresponding kWh purchased from Hikdop end-users.478.22chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary SURNECO also avers that the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) removed the alleged arbitrary caps in R. and general welfare of the people prevail not only over future contracts but even over those already in existence. pursuant to its delegated authority under Section 4323 of R.245. for all private contracts must yield to the superior and legitimate measures taken by the State to promote public welfare. SURNECOs power cost and kWh computation includes Dummy Load resulting to an under recovery amounting to PhP226. comply with the publication requirement for the effectivity of administrative issuances.21chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Even assuming. 9136 to prescribe new system loss caps.

if there were any. now the ERC. The IRR left to the ERB. therefore. 2008 and the Resolution dated June 25. the petition is DENIED. It is enough that the parties are given a fair and reasonable chance to demonstrate their respective positions and to present evidence in support thereof. a formal trial-type hearing is not even essential. its assailed Orders. The IRR did not provide for a specific formula.25chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Verily. we must sustain its findings.27chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary WHEREFORE. Sections 4 and 5. Costs against petitioner. It cannot be gainsaid. SP No. . the PPA confirmation necessitated a review of the electric cooperatives monthly documentary submissions to substantiate their PPA charges. Rule IX of the IRR directed the electric cooperatives to apply for approval of such formula with the ERB so that the system loss caps under the law would be incorporated in their computation of power cost adjustments. there was nothing in the IRR that was amended or could have been amended relative to the PPA formula. hearings were conducted. the core of the issues raised is factual in character.R. Finally. the electric cooperatives were allowed to file their respective motions for reconsideration. In fact. to discuss preliminary figures and to double-check these figures for inaccuracies. that SURNECO was not denied due process. SO ORDERED. It needs only to be reiterated that factual findings of administrative bodies on technical matters within their area of expertise should be accorded not only respect but even finality if they are supported by substantial evidence even if not overwhelming or preponderant. SURNECO included. the authority to approve and oversee the implementation of the electric cooperatives PPA formula in the exercise of its rate-making power over them. following the rule of non-interference on matters addressed to the sound discretion of government agencies entrusted with the regulation of activities coming their special technical knowledge and training. Moreover. In addition. Hence. the ERC conducted exit conferences with the electric cooperatives representatives. The Decision dated April 17.26 more so if affirmed by the CA. therefore. Administrative due process simply requires an opportunity to explain ones side or to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. Absent any grave abuse of discretion on the part of ERC. 2008 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. The cooperatives were duly informed of the need for other required supporting documents and were allowed to submit them accordingly. must be upheld. We likewise differ from SURNECOs stance that it was denied due process when the ERC issued its questioned Orders. after the issuance of the ERC Orders.cooperatives in proposing their own PPA formula for approval by the then ERB.24 It means being given the opportunity to be heard before judgment. 99781 are AFFIRMED. and for this purpose.

1996 and ordered the holding of a certification election. 1995. 1996. affirmed the Med-Arbiters order and remanded the case to the Med-Arbiter for the holding of a preelection conference on February 26. 2005 and Resolution dated June 4. 1998. owner of Heritage Hotel Manila. 1997. National Union of Workers in the Hotel. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. the DOLE Secretary. 2007. . RESTAURANT AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES-HERITAGE HOTEL MANILA SUPERVISORS CHAPTER (NUWHRAIN-HHMSC). a labor organization of the supervisory employees of Heritage Hotel Manila.Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court Manila SECOND DIVISION THE HERITAGE HOTEL MANILA. Petitioner. Respondent. it was held a year later. Grand Plaza Hotel Corporation. . The case stemmed from the following antecedents: On October 11. respondent filed with the Department of Labor and Employment-National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) a petition for certification election.versus NATIONAL UNION OF WORKERS IN THE HOTEL. or on February 20. DECISION NACHURA. Petitioner moved to archive or to dismiss the petition due to alleged repeated non-appearance of respondent. J. On appeal. The preelection conference resumed on January 29. but it was denied on September 23. The Med-Arbiter granted the petition on February 14. GRAND PLAZA HOTEL CORPORATION. in a Resolution dated August 15. The latter agreed to suspend proceedings until further notice. The preelection conference was not held as initially scheduled. Restaurant and Allied Industries-Heritage Hotel Manila Supervisors Chapter (NUWHRAIN-HHMSC). acting through its owner. 1996. The assailed Decision affirmed the dismissal of a petition for cancellation of union registration filed by petitioner. 2000. against respondent.: Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated May 30.

once respondents registration is cancelled. and that respondents members who held confidential or managerial positions be excluded from the supervisors bargaining unit. which include the right to be certified as the bargaining agent of the covered employees. the certification election pushed through on June 23. stating that the certification election held on June 23. and the commencement of bargaining negotiations. Nevertheless. . and 1999. on the ground of the non-submission of the said documents. 1997. (c) it has already complied with the reportorial requirements. 1996. 1997. petitioner reiterated its request by filing a Motion to Dismiss or Suspend the 7[Certification Election] Proceedings. It further requested the suspension of the certification election proceedings. its updated list of officers. It then prayed that the certification of the election results and winner be deferred until the petition for cancellation shall have been resolved. petitioner filed a Protest with Motion to Defer Certification of Election Results and Winner. and its list of members for the years 1995. 2000. and the members had manifested their will to be represented by respondent. and 1999. petitioner filed a Petition for Cancellation of Registration of respondent. (d) the petition is already moot and academic. On June 1. on May 19. considering that the certification election had already been held. arguing that the dismissal or suspension of the proceedings is warranted. it would no longer be entitled to be certified as the exclusive bargaining agent of the supervisory employees. Petitioner also claimed that some of respondents members were not qualified to join the union because they were either confidential employees or managerial employees. 2000 was an exercise in futility because. petitioner discovered that respondent had failed to submit to the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) its annual financial report for several years and the list of its members since it filed its registration papers in 1995. Petitioner prayed that respondents Certificate of Creation of Local/Chapter be cancelled and its name be deleted from the list of legitimate labor organizations. Petitioner maintained that the resolution of the issue of whether respondent is a legitimate labor organization is crucial to the issue of whether it may exercise rights of a legitimate labor organization. respondent filed its Answer to the petition for the cancellation of its registration. It averred that the petition was filed primarily to delay the conduct of the certification election. 1998. 1998. 2000. Respondent prayed for the dismissal of the petition for the following reasons: (a) petitioner is estopped from questioning respondents status as a legitimate labor organization as it had already recognized respondent as such during the preelection conferences.Subsequently. (b) petitioner is not the party-in-interest. On June 28. the respondents certification as the exclusive bargaining representative of the supervisory employees. as the union members are the ones who would be disadvantaged by the non-submission of financial reports. Meanwhile. 2000. considering that the legitimacy of respondent is seriously being challenged in the petition for cancellation of registration. having submitted its financial statements for 1996. Respondent emerged as the winner. 2000. Consequently.

2001. holding that the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of association and right of workers to self-organization outweighed respondents noncompliance with the statutory requirements to maintain its status as a legitimate labor organization. In view of the foregoing. Tomas) in the Resolution of August 21. Regional Director Maraanwhile emphasizing that the non-compliance with the law is not viewed with favorconsidered the belated submission of the annual financial reports and the list of members as sufficient compliance thereof and considered them as having been submitted on time. in an Order dated January 26. the Med-Arbiter held that the pendency of a petition for cancellation of registration is not a bar to the holding of a certification election. While finding that respondent had indeed failed to file financial reports and the list of its members for several years. premises considered. The appeal was later dismissed by DOLE Secretary Patricia A. she dismissed the appeal. In view of Director Cacdacs inhibition. 2002. DOLE Secretary Sto. Thus. Hon. petitioner appealed the decision to the BLR. Tomas (DOLE Secretary Sto. 2003. Restaurant and Allied Industries-Heritage Hotel Manila Supervisors Chapter from the roll of legitimate labor organizations is hereby DENIED. Regional Director Alex E. 2001 reads: WHEREFORE. the Med-Arbiter dismissed petitioners protest. but the motion was also denied. Aggrieved. The dispositive portion of the decision dated December 29. SO ORDERED. Sto. et al. He took into account the fact that respondent won the certification election and that it had already been certified as the exclusive bargaining agent of the supervisory employees. the instant petition to delist the National Union of Workers in the Hotel. BLR Director Hans Leo Cacdac inhibited himself from the case because he had been a former counsel of respondent. . Minister of Labor. Petitioner subsequently appealed the said Order to the DOLE Secretary. Laguesma. and certified respondent as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of all supervisory employees.Citing National Union of Bank Employees v. In a resolution dated February 21. ratiocinating that freedom of association and the employees right to self-organization are more substantive considerations. nonetheless. and Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Pacific Plastic v. Maraan (Regional Director Maraan) of DOLE-NCR finally resolved the petition for cancellation of registration. he. In the meantime. Petitioner moved for reconsideration. denied the petition. Tomas took cognizance of the appeal.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. the CA opined. the CA denied petitioners motion. Rule VIII. but the motion was likewise denied in a resolution dated May 30. there is no person more competent to resolve the appeal than the DOLE Secretary. Phils. In this petition. petitioner argues that: . the CA held that the requirements of registration of labor organizations are an exercise of the overriding police power of the State. The CA brushed aside the allegation of bias and partiality on the part of the DOLE Secretary. DOLE Secretary Sto. should not be exploited to work against the workers constitutionally protected right to self-organization. Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code. raising the issue of whether the DOLE Secretary acted with grave abuse of discretion in taking cognizance of the appeal and affirming the dismissal of its petition for cancellation of respondents registration. which categorically declared that the DOLE Secretary has no authority to review the decision of the Regional Director in a petition for cancellation of union registration. Employees Union. Echoing the DOLE Secretary. stating that the BLR Directors inhibition from the case was a peculiarity not present in the Abbott case. The CA opined that the DOLE Secretary may legally assume jurisdiction over an appeal from the decision of the Regional Director in the event that the Director of the BLR inhibits himself from the case. These requirements. Tomas admitted that it was the BLR which had jurisdiction over the appeal. 2005. Abbott Labs. but she pointed out that the BLR Director had voluntarily inhibited himself from the case because he used to appear as counsel for respondent. Inc. The CA also found that the DOLE Secretary did not commit grave abuse of discretion when she affirmed the dismissal of the petition for cancellation of respondents registration as a labor organization. considering that such allegation was not supported by any evidence. she therefore accepted the motion to inhibit and took cognizance of the appeal. v. the CA denied the petition. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. 2003. and Section 4. In order to maintain the integrity of the decision and of the BLR. in the absence of the BLR Director. designed for the protection of workers against potential abuse by the union that recruits them. In a Decision dated May 30.. According to the CA. and that such inhibition justified the assumption of jurisdiction by the DOLE Secretary. Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the CA. 2007. invoking this Courts ruling in Abbott Labs. In its Resolution dated June 4.

Who. if a certain power or authority is vested by law upon the Department Secretary. Such jurisdiction is conferred by law to the BLR. she merely stepped into the shoes of the BLR Director and performed a function that the latter could not himself perform. then. et al. The Court of Appeals seriously erred in ruling that the Labor Secretary properly assumed jurisdiction over Petitioners appeal of the Regional Directors Decision in the Cancellation Petition x x x. shall resolve the case in his place? In Abbott. Hon. pronounced that. II. When the DOLE Secretary resolved the appeal. In the instant case. In this case. et al. Jurisdiction is conferred only by law. M. A. This is clearly provided in the Implementing Rules of the Labor Code and enunciated by the Court in Abbott. She did so pursuant to her power of supervision and control over the BLR. the Court. B.. acquired jurisdiction over the case. Gatmaitan. Expounding on the extent of the power of control. then such power or authority may be exercised directly by the President. The unilateral inhibition by the BLR Director cannot justify the Labor Secretarys exercise of jurisdiction over the Appeal. The petition has no merit. Jurisdiction to review the decision of the Regional Director lies with the BLR. The Labor Secretary had no jurisdiction to review the decision of the Regional Director in a petition for cancellation. it remains with it until the full termination of the case. The Court of Appeals gravely erred in affirming the dismissal of the Cancellation Petition despite the mandatory and unequivocal provisions of the Labor Code and its Implementing Rules. The Labor Secretarys assumption of jurisdiction over the Appeal without notice violated Petitioners right to due process. the appeal was filed by petitioner with the BLR. jurisdiction remained with the BLR despite the BLR Directors inhibition. the appeal from the Regional Directors decision was directly filed with the Office of the DOLE Secretary. in Araneta. C. the BLR Director inhibited himself from the case because he was a former counsel of respondent. which. But as pointed out by the CA. who exercises supervision and control over the .I. v. undisputedly. O nce jurisdiction is acquired by the court. and we ruled that the latter has no appellate jurisdiction. the present case involves a peculiar circumstance that was not present or covered by the ruling in Abbott. Thus.

in the present case. Petitioner insists that the BLR Directors subordinates should have resolved the appeal. It is true that the power of control and supervision does not give the Department Secretary unbridled authority to take over the functions of his or her subordinate. This principle was incorporated in the Administrative Code of 1987. The provision clearly does not apply considering that the BLR Director was neither absent nor suffering from any disability.departments. Petitioner was not denied the right to due process when it was not notified in advance of the BLR Directors inhibition and the DOLE Secretarys assumption of the case. It would be well to state that a critical component of due process is a hearing before an impartial and disinterested tribunal. which defines supervision and control as including the authority to act directly whenever a specific function is entrusted by law or regulation to a subordinate. his duties shall be performed by the assistant head. he remained as head of the BLR. hence. it is clear that the DOLE Secretary. Petitioner points out that the Regional Director has admitted in its decision that respondent failed to submit the required documents for a number of years. an opportunity to explain ones side or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. Petitioner posits that once it is determined that a ground enumerated in Article 239 of the Labor Code is present. therefore. the DOLE Secretary opted to resolve the appeal herself. cancellation of registration should follow. the DOLE Secretarys act of taking over the function of the BLR Director was warranted and necessitated by the latters inhibition from the case and the objective to maintain the integrity of the decision. for all the elements of due process. it becomes the ministerial duty of the Regional Director to cancel the registration of the labor organization. to dispel any suspicion of bias. Applying the foregoing to the present case. has the authority to directly exercise the quasi-judicial function entrusted by law to the BLR Director. Such authority is subject to certain guidelines which are stated in Book IV. the use of the word shall. Petitioner also insists that respondents registration as a legitimate labor union should be cancelled. as applied to administrative proceedings. Chapter 8. cancellation of its registration should have followed as a matter of course. as well as the Bureau itself. like notice and hearing. It was precisely to ensure a fair trial that moved the BLR Director to inhibit himself from the case and the DOLE Secretary to take over his function. as the person exercising the power of supervision and control over the BLR. in case of the absence or disability of the head of a bureau or office. Petitioner had the opportunity to question the BLR Directors inhibition and the DOLE Secretarys taking cognizance of the case when it filed a motion for reconsideration of the latters decision. would be meaningless if the ultimate decision would come from a partial and biased judge. However. . or. Thus. Well-settled is the rule that the essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard. citing the provision under the Administrative Code of 1987 which states. Section 39(1)(a) of the Administrative Code of 1987.

that the said labor organization no longer meets one or more of the requirements herein prescribed. in fact. false entries or fraud in the preparation of the financial report itself. particularly. all the employees belonging to the appropriate bargaining unit should not be deprived of a bargaining agent. determining whether the union still meets the requirements prescribed by law. whether national or local. 238. 239. With the submission of the required documents by respondent. After all.We are not persuaded. the law requires the labor organization to submit the annual financial report and list of members in order to verify if it is still viable and financially sustainable as an organization so as to protect the employer and employees from fraudulent or fly-by-night unions. Articles 238 and 239 of the Labor Code read: ART. It is sufficient to give the Regional Director license to treat the late filing of required documents as sufficient compliance with the requirements of the law. though belatedly. xxxx (i) Failure to submit list of individual members to the Bureau once a year or whenever required by the Bureau. . shall be canceled by the Bureau if it has reason to believe. after due hearing. merely because of the negligence of the union officers who were responsible for the submission of the documents to the BLR. GROUNDS FOR CANCELLATION OF UNION REGISTRATION. CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION. These provisions give the Regional Director ample discretion in dealing with a petition for cancellation of a unions registration. The union members and. ART. We cannot ascribe abuse of discretion to the Regional Director and the DOLE Secretary in denying the petition for cancellation of respondents registration. The following shall constitute grounds for cancellation of union registration: xxxx (d) Failure to submit the annual financial report to the Bureau within thirty (30) days after the closing of every fiscal year and misrepresentation. the purpose of the law has been achieved. APPEAL The certificate of registration of any legitimate labor organization.

R. 2007 and became effective on June 14. (c) Voluntary dissolution by the members. it loses . 242-A. Thus. No.as a rule . (c) Its annual financial report within thirty (30) days after the close of every fiscal year. Grounds for Cancellation of Union Registration.A. minutes of the election of officers.Labor authorities should. the rights of all workers to self-organization. The amendment sought to strengthen the workers right to self-organization and enhance the Philippines compliance with its international obligations as embodied in the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. the minutes of ratification. In resolving the petition.A. which provides: ART. For without such registration. Section 3 of the Constitution. act with circumspection in treating petitions for cancellation of union registration. particularly the right to participate in or ask for certification election in a bargaining unit. 239. (b) Its list of officers. which lapsed into law on May 25. 2007. minutes of the election of officers. and list of voters within thirty (30) days from election. pertaining to the non-dissolution of workers organizations by administrative authority. Amending for the Purpose Presidential Decree No. and the list of members who took part in the ratification. and the list of members who took part in the ratification of the constitution and by-laws within thirty (30) days from adoption or ratification of the constitution and by-laws or amendments thereto.) No. Thus. 442. the minutes of ratification.its rights under the Labor Code. indeed. It is worth mentioning that the Labor Codes provisions on cancellation of union registration and on reportorial requirements have been recently amended by Republic Act (R. i. lest they be accused of interfering with union activities. collective bargaining and negotiations. 9481 amended Article 239 to read: ART. 87. and peaceful concerted activities. consideration must be taken of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Article XIII. and .A. false statements or fraud in connection with the election of officers. or amendments thereto.The following are documents required to be submitted to the Bureau by the legitimate labor organization concerned: (a) Its constitution and by-laws.e. An Act Strengthening the Workers Constitutional Right to Self-Organization. Labor authorities should bear in mind that registration confers upon a union the status of legitimacy and the concomitant right and privileges granted by law to a legitimate labor organization. 9481. 9481 also inserted in the Labor Code Article 242-A.The following may constitute grounds for cancellation of union registration: (a) Misrepresentation. false statement or fraud in connection with the adoption or ratification of the constitution and by-laws or amendments thereto. Reportorial Requirements. the cancellation of a certificate of registration is the equivalent of snuffing out the life of a labor organization.. (b) Misrepresentation. Otherwise Known as the Labor Code of the Philippines. and the list of voters. No. R. As Amended.

or any appropriate penalty. The ILO has expressed the opinion that the cancellation of union registration by the registrar of labor unions. Failure to comply with the above requirements shall not be a ground for cancellation of union registration but shall subject the erring officers or members to suspension. the existence of this ground should not necessarily lead to the cancellation of union registration. Although the ILO has allowed such measure to be taken. it would lead to an unconstitutional application of the statute and emasculation of public policy objectives. the Supreme Court ruled: As aptly ruled by respondent Bureau of Labor Relations Director Noriel: The rights of workers to self-organization finds general and specific constitutional guarantees. At any rate. It would be unreasonable for this Office to order the cancellation of the union and penalize the entire union membership on the basis of the negligence of its officers. provided that judicial safeguards are in place. i. For the record. ILO Convention No. The more substantive considerations involve the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of association and right of workers to self-organization. Also involved is the public policy to promote free trade unionism and collective bargaining as instruments of industrial peace and democracy. 14 December 1981. 110 SCRA 296. we do not view with favor appellees late submission. which we have ratified in 1953. Minister of Labor. involve serious consequences for occupational representation. and cancellation of registration for that matter. therefore. A healthy respect for the freedom of association demands that acts imputable to officers or members be not easily visited with capital punishments against the association itself.(d) Its list of members at least once a year or whenever required by the Bureau.. it has nonetheless reminded its members that dissolution of a union. In National Union of Bank Employees vs. An overly stringent interpretation of the statute governing cancellation of union registration without regard to surrounding circumstances cannot be allowed. from taking appropriate measures to correct its omissions. Yet there is more at stake in this case than merely monitoring union activities and requiring periodic documentation thereof. Moreover. However. appellee has substantially complied with its duty to submit its financial report for the said period. submission of the required documents is the duty of the officers of the union. Worse. L-53406. With this submission. Article 239 recognizes the regulatory authority of the State to exact compliance with reporting requirements. Otherwise. expulsion from membership. we note that on 19 May 2000. 87. it can render nugatory the protection to labor and social justice clauses that pervades the Constitution and the Labor Code. which is true in our jurisdiction. provides that workers and employers organizations shall not be liable to be dissolved or suspended by administrative authority. deemed it preferable if such actions were to be taken only as a last resort and after exhausting other possibilities with less serious effects on the organization. the right to appeal to a judicial body. appellee had submitted its financial statement for the years 1996-1999. which in our case is the BLR. Punctuality on . is tantamount to dissolution of the organization by administrative authority when such measure would give rise to the loss of legal personality of the union or loss of advantages necessary for it to carry out its activities. x x x Such constitutional guarantees should not be lightly taken much less nullified. We therefore quote with approval the DOLE Secretarys rationale for denying the petition.e. after having failed to meet its periodic obligations promptly. To rule differently would be to preclude the union. The aforesaid amendments and the ILOs opinion on this matter serve to fortify our ruling in this case. thus: It is undisputed that appellee failed to submit its annual financial reports and list of individual members in accordance with Article 239 of the Labor Code. It has.

: . 2005 and Resolution dated June 4. premises considered. J. JR. DECISION VILLARAMA. No. HON. HON. represented by its National President (BOCEA National Executive Council) Mr. Petitioner. Romulo A. in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Finance.the part of the union and its officers could have prevented this petition. 181704 December 6. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Respondents. LILIAN B. NAPOLEON L. MARGARITO B. HEFTI. MORALES. 2011 BUREAU OF CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (BOCEA). TEVES. WHEREFORE. Pagulayan. the Court of Appeals Decision dated May 30.R. in his capacity as Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs. vs. 2007 are AFFIRMED. in her capacity as Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. HON.. SO ORDERED.

] 9335. 9335 which took effect on February 11. (5) perform other functions. BIR. The Performance Contract pertinently provided: xxxx WHEREAS. xxxx NOW. NEDA. BOCEA made the following averments: Sometime in 2008. and became effective fifteen (15) days later. an association of rank-and-file employees of the Bureau of Customs (BOC). and represented by its National President. and Lilian B. 2006 in two newspapers of general circulation. Any incentive or reward is taken from the fund and allocated to the BIR and the BOC in proportion to their contribution in the excess collection of the targeted amount of tax revenue.Before this Court is a petition1 for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for injunctive relief/s under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The Boards in the BIR and the BOC are composed of the Secretary of the Department of Finance (DOF) or his/her Undersecretary. The DOF. we said of R. (4) prescribe a system for performance evaluation. that provides for the setting of criteria and procedures for removing from the service Officials and Employees whose revenue collection fall short of the target in accordance with Section 7 of Republic Act 9335. The Facts On January 25.A. No. and its Implementing Rules and Regulations3 (IRR) unconstitutional.2 otherwise known as the Attrition Act of 2005. as determined by the Development Budget and Coordinating Committee (DBCC). 25 (b) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Attrition Act of 2005. DBM.A. In its petition. in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Finance (DOF). Subsequently.) No. in his capacity as BOC Commissioner. Pagulayan (Pagulayan). in her capacity as Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). It covers all officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC with at least six months of service. (3) terminate personnel in accordance with the criteria adopted by the Board. to declare Republic Act (R. BOC and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) were tasked to promulgate and issue the implementing rules and regulations of RA [No. former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law R. high-ranking officials of the BOC pursuant to the mandate of R. 2006. the IRR was published on May 30. the Philippine Star and the Manila Standard. 2005. Hefti. The law intends to encourage BIR and BOC officials and employees to exceed their revenue targets by providing a system of rewards and sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fund (Fund) and a Revenue Performance Evaluation Board (Board). 2005. as amended. pursuant to the provisions of Sec. Each Board has the duty to (1) prescribe the rules and guidelines for the allocation. No. for and in consideration of the foregoing premises. 9335 and its IRR. parties unto this Agreement hereby . duly registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC). the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) or his/her Undersecretary.6 Contending that the enactment and implementation of R. started to disseminate Collection District Performance Contracts7 (Performance Contracts) for the lower ranking officials and rank-and-file employees to sign. the Commissioners of the BIR and the BOC or their Deputy Commissioners. to be approved by a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created for such purpose. The Fund is sourced from the collection of the BIR and the BOC in excess of their revenue targets for the year. Teves.5 The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee approved the assailed IRR on May 22. including the issuance of rules and regulations and (6) submit an annual report to Congress. Commissioner Napoleon L. Morales (Commissioner Morales).] 9335 was enacted to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). No. distribution and release of the Fund. and in order to comply with the stringent deadlines thereof. two representatives from the rank-and-file employees and a representative from the officials nominated by their recognized organization. 9335. Purisima4 (Abakada). Mr. 9335 are tainted with constitutional infirmities in violation of the fundamental rights of its members. Romulo A. petitioner Bureau of Customs Employees Association (BOCEA). 9335: RA [No. and the implementation thereof be enjoined permanently.A. No.A. In Abakada Guro Party List v. the Director General of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) or his/her Deputy Director General.A. regardless of employment status. THEREFORE. directly filed the present petition before this Court against respondents Margarito B. (2) set criteria and procedures for removing from the service officials and employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target.

A.agree and so agreed to perform the following: xxxx 2. be placed on floating status. The majority of them. signed the Performance Contracts. except a certain Atty. through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). 9335 and its IRR must enjoy the presumption of constitutionality. BOC Deputy Commissioner Reynaldo Umali (Deputy Commissioner Umali) individually spoke to said personnel to convince them to sign said contracts. 2008. Deputy Commissioner Umali denied having coerced any BOC employee to sign a Performance Contract. Said personnel were threatened that if they do not sign their respective Performance Contracts. BOCEA alleged that Commissioner Morales exerted heavy pressure on the District Collectors. No. but the latter merely said that he would look into the matter. Pagulayan approached Deputy Commissioner Umali to ask the BOC officials to stop all forms of harassment. and b. BOCEA further claimed that Pagulayan was constantly harassed and threatened with lawsuits. countered that R.A. that the law is unduly oppressive of BIR and BOC employees as it shifts the extreme burden upon their shoulders when the Government itself has adopted measures that make collection difficult such as reduced tariff rates to almost zero percent and tax exemption of big businesses. the occurrence of natural calamities and because of other economic factors. Likewise. 9335 employs means that are unreasonable to achieve its stated objectives. Carlos So of the Collection District III of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).14 BOC continually refused to provide BOCEA the Expenditure . BOCEA argued. Moreover. The OSG added that R. No. On February 5.A. BOCEA claimed that some BOC employees were coerced and forced to sign the Performance Contract. or worse. and sought several dialogues with BOC officials but the latter refused to heed them. The Performance Contract executed by the respective Examiners/Appraisers/Employees shall be submitted to the Office of the Commissioner through the LAIC on or before March 31. In their Comment. 9335 despite the fact that they were not the ones directly toiling to collect revenue. and that the law is discriminatory of BIR and BOC employees. requested for a certified true copy of the Performance Contract from Deputy Commissioner Umali but the latter failed to furnish them a copy. BOCEA through counsel wrote the Revenue Performance Evaluation Board (Board) to desist from implementing R.9 In his letter-reply10 dated February 12. BOCEA manifested that only the high-ranking officials of the BOC benefited largely from the reward system under R.12 respondents. In particular.A. R.A. Finally. R. did not sign. and at their and their respective families’ prejudice. 2008. however. officers of BOCEA were summoned and required to sign the Performance Contracts but they also refused. x x x x8 BOCEA opined that the revenue target was impossible to meet due to the Government’s own policies on reduced tariff rates and tax breaks to big businesses. despite the BOCEA’s numerous requests. and direct them to accept their individual target. invoking its mandate of merely implementing the law. among others.A. Principal Customs Appraisers and Principal Customs Examiners of the BOC during command conferences to make them sign their Performance Contracts. on separate occasions. that its members and other BOC employees are in great danger of losing their jobs should they fail to meet the required quota provided under the law. Pagulayan and BOCEA’s counsel. BOCEA asserted that in view of the unconstitutionality of R. 2008. direct resort to this Court is justified. Chiefs of Formal Entry Divisions. To ease the brewing tension. 9335 and its IRR and from requiring rank-and-file employees of the BOC and BIR to sign Performance Contracts. No. reshuffling. No. He also defended the BOC. No. Thus.) That he/she will cascade and/or allocate to respective Appraisers/Examiners or Employees under his/her section the said Revenue Collection Target and require them to execute a Performance Contract. No. all the District Collectors.11 This petition was filed directly with this Court on March 3.) That he/she will meet the allocated Revenue Collection Target and thereby undertakes and binds himself/herself that in the event the revenue collection falls short of the target with due consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of collection as provided in the rules and regulations promulgated under the Act and its IRR. The OSG stressed that the guarantee of security of tenure under the 1987 Constitution is not a guarantee of perpetual employment. 9335 and its IRR provided that an employee may only be separated from the service upon compliance with substantive and procedural due process. No. In its Reply. In addition. No. and their adverse effects on the constitutional rights of BOC officials and employees. they would face possible reassignment. 25 (b) of the IRR and Sec. BOCEA claimed that its officers sent letters. he/she will voluntarily submit to the provisions of Sec. 9335 and its IRR.13 BOCEA claimed that R. in clear violation of their constitutional right to security of tenure. 7 of the Act.A. The "Section 2. 2008. 9335 and its IRR do not violate the right to due process and right to security of tenure of BIR and BOC employees. PA/PE" hereby accepts the allocated Revenue Collection Target and further accepts/commits to meet the said target under the following conditions: a. Likewise.A. 9335 and its IRR provided a reasonable and valid ground for the dismissal of an employee which is germane to the purpose of the law.

9335 is presumed valid and effective even without the approval of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. events unfolded showing the patent unconstitutionality of R. Purisima.00.16 In Abakada.] III.00 while the top level officials partook of millions of the excess collections. The Court also held that until the contrary is shown. No.21 BOCEA manifested that while waiting for the Court to give due course to its petition. BOC employees were given their "reward" for surpassing said target only in 2008.22 It claims that the recipients thereof included lawyers. BOC employees exerted commendable efforts to attain their revenue target of P196 billion which they surpassed by as much as P2 billion for that year alone.] 9335 IS A BILL OF ATTAINDER AND HENCE[. this was attained only because oil companies made advance tax payments to BOC. 9335. this Court. REPUBLIC ACT [NO.23 .A. pending action on said motion. the consolidation of this case with Abakada was rendered no longer possible.A.] IV. Since BOCEA was seeking similar reliefs as that of the petitioners in Abakada Guro Party List v. WHETHER OR NOT REPUBLIC ACT [NO. 9335 to set out clear guidelines. REPUBLIC ACT [NO.500. dubious and fraudulent because only top officials of BOC got the huge sum of reward while the employees.Plan on how such reward was distributed. AND ITS IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS THESE VIOLATE THE RIGHT OF BIR AND BOC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES TO THE EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS[.] 9335 AND ITS IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS THEY CONSTITUTE UNDUE DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS TO THE REVENUE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION BOARD IN VIOLATION OF THE PRINCIPLE OF SEPARATION OF POWERS ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION[. now Chief Justice Renato C. AND] V. However. AND ITS IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS THESE VIOLATE THE RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF THE COVERED BIR AND BOC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES[. No. who performed no collection functions at all. who did the hard task of collecting.] 9335 AND ITS IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS VIOLATE THE RIGHT TO SECURITY OF TENURE OF BIR AND BOC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES AS ENSHRINED UNDER SECTION 2 (3). 9335 was upheld pursuant to Section 1318 of R. the distribution of which they described as unjust. 9335. WHETHER OR NOT REPUBLIC ACT [NO. BOCEA filed a Motion to Consolidate15 the present case with Abakada on April 16. No. unfair.] 9335. In the same manner.500.] 9335. WHETHER OR NOT THE ATTRITION LAW. the Court rendered its decision in Abakada on August 14. the IRR of R. However. both parties complied with our Resolution20 dated February 10. Moreover. The Issues BOCEA raises the following issues: I. It narrated that during the first year of the implementation of R. requiring them to submit their respective Memoranda.] II.A. support personnel and other employees. the constitutionality of the remaining provisions of R. No.A.] UNCONSTITUTIONAL BECAUSE IT INFLICTS PUNISHMENT THROUGH LEGISLATIVE FIAT UPON A PARTICULAR GROUP OR CLASS OF OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES WITHOUT TRIAL. 9335 creating a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee to approve the IRR as unconstitutional and violative of the principle of separation of powers. 2009. including a dentist.A.A. distribution and allocation of rewards was due to the failure of R. ARTICLE IX (B) OF THE CONSTITUTION[. received a mere pittance of around P8. These alleged anomalous selection. Thus. BOCEA relies on a piece of information revealed by a newspaper showing the list of BOC officials who apparently earned huge amounts of money by way of reward. Corona. 2008. WHETHER OR NOT THE ATTRITION LAW. However. declared Section 1217 of R. the Bonds Division of BOC-NAIA collected 400+% of its designated target but the higher management gave out to the employees a measly sum of P8.A. No. No. No. through then Associate Justice. 9335. WHETHER OR NOT REPUBLIC ACT [NO.19 Notwithstanding our ruling in Abakada. 2008.

which is tantamount to undue delegation of legislative power. No. No.A.A. it disregards the presumption of regularity in the performance of the official functions of a public officer. No.A. the legislative and executive departments’ promulgation of issuances and the Government’s accession to regional trade agreements have caused a significant diminution of the tariff rates. 9335. as per our ruling in Abakada. No. thus. BOCEA avers that the Board initiated the first few cases of attrition for the Fiscal Year 2007 by subjecting five BOC officials from the Port of Manila to attrition despite the fact that the Port of Manila substantially complied with the provisions of R. and in compliance with substantive and procedural due process. No. Further.A. far from violating the BIR and BOC employees’ right to due process. No. 9335 and its IRR effectively removed remedies provided in the ordinary course of administrative procedure afforded to government employees.A.A. 9335 and its IRR violate the BIR and BOC employees’ right to due process because the termination of employees who had not attained their revenue targets for the year is peremptory and done without any form of hearing to allow said employees to ventilate their side. by its nature. and worse. which is not provided under CSC rules and which is.24 BOCEA assails the constitutionality of R.A. and that the removal from service is immediately executory. No. 4. to optimize the revenue generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC. 9335 is based on a valid and substantial distinction since the revenue generated by the BIR and BOC is essentially in the form of taxes. No.A. the Air Transportation Office. among others. No. No.A. Finally. non-attainment of revenue collection target. that R.e. Whether there is undue delegation of legislative power to the Board.26 In essence. 9335 and its IRR are constitutional. that parameters were set in order that the Board may identify the officials and employees subject to attrition. decreasing over-all collection. R. No. the BIR and BOC are sui generis. 9335 amounting to a bill of attainder since R. actually serves as a notice of the revenue target they have to meet and the possible consequences of failing to meet the same. No. R.A. Such immediately executory nature of the Board’s decision negates the remedies available to an employee as provided under the CSC rules. the manner of allocating targets. that in view of their mandate. and the proper procedure for their removal in case they fail to meet the targets set in the Performance Contract were provided. which are not subject to attrition. 9335 complies with the "completeness" and "sufficient standard" tests for the permissive delegation of legislative power to the Board. the distribution of rewards and the determination of relevant factors affecting the targets of collection. respondents through the OSG stress that except for Section 12 of R. 2.A. No. 9335 is a bill of attainder because it inflicts punishment upon a particular group or class of officials and employees without trial. and that the rights of BIR and BOC employees to due process of law and security of tenure are duly accorded by R. No. the Land Transportation Office. Department of Transportation and Communication. Moreover. R.A. 3. while the revenue produced by other agencies is merely incidental or secondary to their governmental functions.A. The law likewise created another ground for dismissal. that the Board exercises its delegated power consistent with the policy laid down in the law.. 9335 and its IRR violate the rights of BOCEA’s members to: (a) equal protection of laws. The OSG opines that the Performance Contract. R. These unrealistic settings of revenue targets seriously affect BIR and BOC employees tasked with the burden of collection. the issues for our resolution are: 1. 9335 and its IRR violate the BIR and BOC employees’ right to security of tenure because R.A. that is.A. subjected them to attrition. the OSG argues that the classification of BIR and BOC employees as public officers under R. Nevertheless. 9335 and its IRR do not comply with the requirements under CSC rules and regulations as the dismissal in this case is immediately executory. No. 9335. R. It is thus submitted that the selection of these officials for attrition without proper investigation was nothing less than arbitrary. and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. 5. Whether R. 2.A. (b) . More. 9335 and its IRR unduly discriminates against BIR and BOC employees as compared to employees of other revenue generating government agencies like the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.A. This is evident from the fact that the law confers upon the Board the power to impose the penalty of removal upon employees who do not meet their revenue targets.In addition. the OSG reiterates that the separation from the service of any BIR or BOC employee under R.A. The OSG likewise maintains that there was no encroachment of judicial power in the enactment of R. that the same is without the benefit of hearing. No. 9335. No. R. 9335 and its IRR violate the 1987 Constitution because Congress granted to the Revenue Performance Evaluation Board (Board) the unbridled discretion of formulating the criteria for termination. Lastly. 9335 and its IRR merely defined the offense and provided for the penalty that may be imposed. 9335 and its IRR violate the BIR and BOC employees’ right to equal protection of the law because R. and for purposes of tax collection. rules and regulations. R. No. No. 9335 and its IRR shall be done only upon due consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of collection. unpredictable and therefore arbitrary and unreasonable. subject to Civil Service laws. which is the lifeblood of the State.A. i. there is nothing in the law which prevents the aggrieved party from appealing the unfavorable decision of dismissal.25 On the other hand. 9335 and its IRR on the following grounds: 1.

No. is hereby created. No. Section 2 spells out the policy of the law: "SEC. Declaration of Policy.A. A law is complete when it sets forth therein the policy to be executed.31 to wit: In the face of the increasing complexity of modern life. 9335 and its IRR.29 However. the standards prescribed by the law. and in fact uncontroverted.28 Necessarily imbedded in this doctrine is the principle of non-delegation of powers.32 Thus. It lays down a sufficient standard when it provides adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to map out the boundaries of the delegate’s authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. and 3. we find no merit in the petition and perforce dismiss the same. delegation of legislative power to various specialized administrative agencies is allowed as an exception to this principle.27 However. Given the volume and variety of interactions in today’s society. 9335 is a bill of attainder. in Abakada. we held." Section 4 "canalized within banks that keep it from overflowing" the delegated power to the President to fix revenue targets: "SEC. These requirements are denominated as the completeness test and the sufficient standard test. RA [No. it is doubtful if the legislature can promulgate laws that will deal adequately with and respond promptly to the minutiae of everyday life. which attained finality on September 17. 9335 and its IRR are being challenged. 2008. All that is required for the valid exercise of this power of subordinate legislation is that the regulation be germane to the objects and purposes of the law and that the regulation be not in contradiction to. Hence. Rewards and Incentives Fund. carried out or implemented by the delegate. No.] 9335 adequately states the policy and standards to guide the President in fixing revenue targets and the implementing agencies in carrying out the provisions of the law. We resolve the first issue in the negative. hereinafter referred to as the Fund. The Court already settled the majority of the same issues raised by BOCEA in our decision in Abakada. in the following percentages: . that BOCEA has locus standi. which means "what has been delegated.A. It must be noted that this is not the first time the constitutionality of R. Department of Energy. As such. this principle of non-delegation of powers admits of numerous exceptions. To be sufficient. — A Rewards and Incentives Fund. No. 4. The principle of separation of powers ordains that each of the three great branches of government has exclusive cognizance of and is supreme in matters falling within its own constitutionally allocated sphere." This doctrine is based on the ethical principle that such delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate through the instrumentality of his own judgment and not through the intervening mind of another.A. 2.security of tenure and (c) due process. we note that it is clear. to be sourced from the collection of the BIR and the BOC in excess of their respective revenue targets of the year. cannot be delegated. direct injury as a result of the enforcement of R. such that they have sustained or will sustain. the standard must specify the limits of the delegate’s authority.A. BOCEA impugns the constitutionality of R. announce the legislative policy and identify the conditions under which it is to be implemented. Two tests determine the validity of delegation of legislative power: (1) the completeness test and (2) the sufficient standard test. 9335 and its IRR because its members. but in conformity with. BOCEA’s members have a personal and substantial interest in the case. — It is the policy of the State to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) by providing for a system of rewards and sanctions through the creation of a Rewards and Incentives Fund and a Revenue Performance Evaluation Board in the above agencies for the purpose of encouraging their officials and employees to exceed their revenue targets. Our Ruling Prefatorily. as determined by the Development Budget and Coordinating Committee (DBCC). The rationale for the aforementioned exception was clearly explained in our ruling in Gerochi v. as expressed in the Latin maxim potestas delegata non delegari potest. are actually covered by the law and its IRR. the need to delegate to administrative bodies — the principal agencies tasked to execute laws in their specialized fields — the authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given statute and effectuate its policies. Whether R. our ruling therein is worthy of reiteration in this case. who are rank-and-file employees of the BOC.30 one of which is the delegation of legislative power to various specialized administrative agencies like the Board in this case.

A. Section 534 of R. Where the district or area of responsibility is newly-created. In this case. Powers and Functions of the Board. this Court has recognized the following as sufficient standards: "public interest".Excess of Collection [Over] the Revenue Targets Percent (%) of the Excess Collection to Accrue to the Fund 30% or below — 15% More than 30% — 15% of the first 30% plus 20% of the remaining excess The Fund shall be deemed automatically appropriated the year immediately following the year when the revenue collection target was exceeded and shall be released on the same fiscal year. Revenue targets shall refer to the original estimated revenue collection expected of the BIR and the BOC for a given fiscal year as stated in the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF) submitted by the President to Congress. 9335 clearly mandates and sets the parameters for the Board by providing that such rules and guidelines for the allocation. On the other hand. the determination of revenue targets does not rest solely on the President as it also undergoes the scrutiny of the DBCC. such as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officers and Employees and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. the declared policy of optimization of the revenue-generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC is infused with public interest. however. 7. . not exceeding two years in operation. "public convenience and welfare" and "simplicity.A. read and appreciated in its entirety.33 We could not but deduce that the completeness test and the sufficient standard test were fully satisfied by R. and 2.A. That the following exemptions shall apply: 1. No. No. That such decision shall be immediately executory: Provided. the Court finds that R. No. distribution and release of the fund shall be in accordance with Sections 4 and 5 of R. termination shall be considered only after careful and proper review by the Board. "justice and equity". is complete in all its essential terms and conditions. distribution and release of the district reward shall likewise be prescribed by the rules and regulations of the Revenue Performance and Evaluation Board. While it is apparent that the last paragraph of Section 5 provides that "[t]he allocation. Thus. 4 and 7 thereof.5% may be removed from the service: "SEC. and the collection districts in the case of the BOC. That when the district or area of responsibility covered by revenue or customs officials or employees has suffered from economic difficulties brought about by natural calamities or force majeure or economic causes as may be determined by the Board. subject to civil service laws." Section 7 (a)35 of R. 9335. Where the revenue or customs official or employee is a recent transferee in the middle of the period under consideration unless the transfer was due to nonperformance of revenue targets or potential nonperformance of revenue targets: Provided. 9335. Moreover.A. 9335 also provides for the incentives due to District Collection Offices. xxx xxx x x x" At any rate. rules and regulations and compliance with substantive and procedural due process: Provided. further. Section 7 specifies the limits of the Board’s authority and identifies the conditions under which officials and employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target by at least 7. as evident from the aforementioned Sections 2. That the application of the criteria for the separation of an official or employee from service under this Act shall be without prejudice to the application of other relevant laws on accountability of public officers and employees. and has no historical record of collection performance that can be used as basis for evaluation. No. xxx xxx x x x" Revenue targets are based on the original estimated revenue collection expected respectively of the BIR and the BOC for a given fiscal year as approved by the DBCC and stated in the BESF submitted by the President to Congress.5%). In sum. and that it contains sufficient standards as to negate BOCEA’s supposition of undue delegation of legislative power to the Board. economy and welfare". No. 9335.A. The BIR and the BOC shall submit to the DBCC the distribution of the agencies’ revenue targets as allocated among its revenue districts in the case of the BIR. — The Board in the agency shall have the following powers and functions: xxx xxx xxx (b) To set the criteria and procedures for removing from service officials and employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target by at least seven and a half percent (7. with due consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of collection as provided in the rules and regulations promulgated under this Act. (c) To terminate personnel in accordance with the criteria adopted in the preceding paragraph: Provided.

customs duties. (2) Account for all customs revenues collected. shall have the following functions: (1) Collect custom duties. the incentives and/or sanctions provided in the law should logically pertain to the said agencies. that is. the BOC has the following functions: "Sec. Moreover. (4) Prevent and suppress smuggling. The Bureau of Internal Revenue. xxx xxx x x x" On the other hand. fees and charges. the law concerns only the BIR and the BOC because they have the common distinct primary function of generating revenues for the national government through the collection of taxes. (8) Exercise supervision and control over its constituent units. its expressed public policy is the optimization of the revenue-generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC. on the issue on equal protection of the laws. 23. which shall be headed by and subject to the supervision and control of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. (5) Supervise and control exports. With respect to RA [No. and it may not draw distinctions between individuals solely on differences that are irrelevant to a legitimate governmental objective. The purpose of the equal protection clause is to secure every person within a state’s jurisdiction against intentional and arbitrary discrimination. fees and charges and account for all revenues collected. a classification that has a reasonable foundation or rational basis and not arbitrary. we held in Abakada: The equal protection clause recognizes a valid classification. (6) Administer all legal requirements that are appropriate. (3) Prevent and prosecute tax evasions and all other illegal economic activities. who shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary [of the DOF]. The BIR performs the following functions: "Sec. we resolve the second issue in the negative. both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. In other words. pilferage and all other economic frauds within all ports of entry. the concept of equal justice under the law requires the state to govern impartially. (9) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law. charges and penalties. and (5) Perform such other functions as may be provided by law. (7) Prevent and prosecute smuggling and other illegal activities in all ports under its jurisdiction. Since the subject of the law is the revenue-generation capability and collection of the BIR and the BOC. 18. They principally perform the special function of being the . Equal protection simply provides that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated in a similar manner.] 9335. — The Bureau of Customs which shall be headed and subject to the management and control of the Commissioner of Customs. xxx xxx x x x" Both the BIR and the BOC are bureaus under the DOF. (4) Exercise supervision and control over its constituent and subordinate units. whether occasioned by the express terms of a statute or by its improper execution through the state’s duly constituted authorities. foreign mails and the clearance of vessels and aircrafts in all ports of entry. (3) Exercise police authority for the enforcement of tariff and customs laws. who shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary [of the DOF] and hereinafter referred to as Commissioner. (2) Exercise duly delegated police powers for the proper performance of its functions and duties. The Bureau of Customs. imports. taxes and the corresponding fees.361awphil Thus. — The Bureau of Internal Revenue. shall have the following functions: (1) Assess and collect all taxes.Similarly.

The action for removal is also subject to civil service laws. 9335 merely lays down the grounds for the termination of a BIR or BOC official or employee and provides for the consequences thereof. that is.39 BOCEA’s apprehension of deprivation of due process finds its answer in Section 7 (b) and (c) of R.S. 303. contravening BOCEA’s claim that its members may be removed for unattained target collection even due to causes which are beyond their control. In the same manner. Brown. v. if it prescribed a penalty other than death) is in intent and effect a penal judgment visited upon an identified person or group of persons (and not upon the general community) without a prior charge or demand. and these issues were finally laid to rest. 90 L. In more modern terms.] 9335 fully satisfy the demands of equal protection. Caloocan City. the investigation on the veracity of. 366 [1867]). penal or otherwise. 9335. Ed. an employee’s right to be heard is not at all prevented and his right to appeal is not deprived of him. the issues on the security of tenure of affected BIR and BOC officials and employees and their entitlement to due process were also settled in Abakada: Clearly. In England a few centuries back. but rather in the faithful implementation thereof. No. 381 U. Feliciano traces the roots of a Bill of Attainder. the wisdom for the enactment of this law remains within the domain of the Legislative branch. and the lack of judicial trial.A. rules and regulations and compliance with substantive and procedural due process. the essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard.S. 9335 in accordance with the 1987 Constitution guarantees this. U. 356 [1867]. 9335 is a bill of attainder proscribed under Section 22. No. In the case of RA [No.46 Justice Florentino P.] 9335.A. No. 437.Ed. A final note. we hold that R. 328. Such is the archetypal bill of attainder wielded as a means of legislative oppression. these intentions do not actually pertain to the constitutionality of R. R. This standard is analogous to inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties. 9335 and its IRR. or as applied to administrative proceedings. Now. R. Ferrer. and the proper action on these anomalies are in the hands of the Executive branch. distribution and receipt of rewards. 277. Lovett. without an opportunity to defend. but by legislative fiat.44 Article III of the 1987 Constitution. a BIR or BOC official or employee in this case cannot be arbitrarily removed from the service without according him his constitutional right to due process.A. a bill of attainder (or bill of pains and penalties.38 In addition. Essential to a bill of attainder are a specification of certain individuals or a group of individuals.451avvphi1 In his Concurring Opinion in Tuason v. 18 L. 2d. 9335 does not possess the elements of a bill of attainder.S. the classification and treatment accorded to the BIR and the BOC under RA [No.S. 333. Hence. No. 484 [1965]. U. 9335 has in its favor the presumption of . 4 Wall.49 Just like any other law. Register of Deeds. No. it lays down a reasonable yardstick for removal (when the revenue collection falls short of the target by at least 7.A. Parliament would at times enact bills or statutes which declared certain persons attainted and their blood corrupted so that it lost all heritable quality (Ex Parte Garland.Ed. No less than R. RA [No. It does not seek to inflict punishment without a judicial trial. U.A. A bill of attainder is a legislative act which inflicts punishment on individuals or members of a particular group without a judicial trial.A. v. Moreover.A. 18 L. No.A. a ground for disciplinary action under civil service laws. 48 SCRA 382 [1972]. 9335 and its IRR clearly give due consideration to all relevant factors41 that may affect the level of collection. Correlatively. R. such substantial distinction is germane and intimately related to the purpose of the law. No.37 As it was imperatively correlated to the issue on equal protection. The guarantee of security of tenure only means that an employee cannot be dismissed from the service for causes other than those provided by law and only after due process is accorded the employee. On this score.43 In fine. x x x47 R. without notice and hearing. We have spoken. whether R.48 As the Court is not a trier of facts. 14 L. to wit: Bills of attainder are an ancient instrument of tyranny.Ed. a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain one’s side. No.A. Cummings and Missouri. R. the Court proceeds to resolve the last.] 9335 in no way violates the security of tenure of officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC. It envisages and effects the imposition of a penalty — the deprivation of life or liberty or property — not by the ordinary processes of judicial trial. No.A. 1252 [1945].instrumentalities through which the State exercises one of its great inherent functions — taxation. but new issue raised by BOCEA. Indubitably. exemptions42 were set. The Court has no discretion to give statutes a meaning detached from the manifest intendment and language thereof. The democratic processes are still followed and the constitutional rights of the concerned employee are amply protected. a bill of attainder is essentially a usurpation of judicial power by a legislative body.5%) with due consideration of all relevant factors affecting the level of collection. 9335 is not a bill of attainder.40 The concerned BIR or BOC official or employee is not simply given a target revenue collection and capriciously left without any quarter. 9335 itself does not tolerate these pernicious acts of graft and corruption. 4 Wall. We find that BOCEA’s petition is replete with allegations of defects and anomalies in allocation. We merely interpret the law as it is. No. the imposition of a punishment. While cast in the form of special legislation. without any of the civilized forms and safeguards of the judicial process as we know it (People v. While BOCEA intimates that it intends to curb graft and corruption in the BOC in particular and in the government in general which is nothing but noble.

the present petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for injunctive relief/s is DISMISSED.constitutionality. WHEREFORE. speculative. SO ORDERED. 9335 and its IRR are constitutional.A. and we now reiterate that R.50 We have so declared in Abakada. . No. or argumentative. No costs. there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution and not one that is doubtful. and to justify its nullification.

. Petitioner.4 Accordingly. The facts follow: On September 4. meanwhile. Petitioner. According to the investigators. ROY L. Province of Bohol. reported that employees of the LTO in Jagna. 180342 LEONARDO G. Incorrect names and/or addresses were also used on said file copies... the Philippine Star News.. Deloria of the Commission on Audit (COA) directed State Auditors Teodocio D... URSAL.. in his official capacity as Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas. EDGARDO G. No.R. No. OLAIVAR.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.. a local newspaper in Cebu City. Coloma of the Provincial Revenue Audit Group to conduct a fact-finding investigation. in his capacity as Transportation Regulation Officer and Officer-In-Charge of Land Transportation Office. 2006 Decision1 and September 21.. DECISION VILLARAMA.. were typed on to make it appear that the receipts were issued mostly for the registration of motorcycles with much lower registration charges. Jagna. JR. vs. Record. in his capacity as Graft Investigator Officer.-x G.: Three employees from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Jagna. MIRO... Cabalit and Emmanuel L. a total of 106 receipts were tampered. The scheme was done by detaching the Plate Release and Owner’s copy from the set of official receipts then typing thereon the correct details corresponding to the vehicle registered. Bohol were found by the Ombudsman to have perpetrated a scheme to defraud the government of proper motor vehicle registration fees. 1999. HON. Regional Director Ildefonso T. Respondent...R. 2012 GEMMA P.. 2000 and 2001 was then discovered by the investigators.. ATTY.. in his capacity as Regional Cluster Director. COMMISSION ON AUDIT-REGION VII.. x . Commission on Audit. The other copies... are shortchanging the government by tampering with their income reports. 180236 January 17. Bohol. A widespread tampering of official receipts of Motor Vehicle Registration during the years 1998. 2001. 2007 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) which affirmed with modification the Decision3 of the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas dismissing them from government service.. Respondents. CABALIT. vs. Cebu City. consisting of the copies for the Collector. CANTON. the owner’s name and address. J.. They now seek in the present consolidated petitions a judgment from this Court annulling the January 18. The difference between the amounts paid by the vehicle owners and the amounts appearing on the file copies were then pocketed . and the correct amount of registration fees. PRIMO C. EDP. Auditor. and Regional Office.

8 Section 3(e)9 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.10 In a Joint Evaluation Report.A.5 According to State Auditors Cabalit and Coloma in their Joint-Affidavit. State Auditor Cabalit testified on the investigation he conducted in the LTO in Jagna. for her part. However.19 No cross-examination of State Auditor Cabalit was therefore conducted. Cabalit. Cabalit as Cashier.S. Alabat. Complying with the above Order. Cabalit and Apit. he noticed that the amounts shown in the original copies were much bigger than those appearing in the file copies. and likewise violates Republic Act (R. claimed that her duty as cashier was to receive collections turned over to her and to deposit them in the Land Bank of the Philippines in Tagbilaran City. After paying. 2003. he allowed the scheme to be perpetrated. he maintained that the receipts were typed outside his office by regular and casual employees. Apit and Samuel T. He stressed that his only role in the issuance of the official receipts was to review and approve the applications. Cabalit. The correct amounts should have therefore appeared in the Report of Collections. Apit and Olaivar were indispensable to the issuance of the receipts. Cabalit. COA Regional Cluster Director Atty. She stressed in her position paper22 that had there been a thorough investigation of the questioned official receipts. respectively submitted their position papers on April 29. meanwhile. 2002.11 Hence. as computer evaluator.6 On August 8. alter or falsify any public document in the performance of his duties. 64056082 was Apit’s.12 Cabalit. She claimed that she was not even aware of any anomaly in the collection of fees prior to the investigation. the auditors would have discovered that the signatures appearing above her name were actually that of Olaivar. Olaivar. also signed the subject receipts allowing the irregularities to be perpetuated. all essentially denying knowledge and responsibility for the anomalies. and resulted in an unreported income totaling P169. amending the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman. Graft Investigators Pio R. which she prepares. 2004.) No. Apit and Alabat before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas. Upon comparison of the Owner’s copy with the Collector or Record’s copy.642.14 Alabat. As to Olaivar.1avvphi1 In his position paper. dated September 7. In compliance. Apit as Computer Evaluator. the data therein were already tampered reflecting a much lesser amount. Bohol. Apit and Alabat submitted separate counter-affidavits. 2004. typist and cashier. Ursal.15 During the hearing before Graft Investigator Pio R. Roy L. As to Cabalit.7 According to Atty. lesser amounts appeared on the Report of Collections. Dargantes. a formal charge for dishonesty was filed against Olaivar. In the same manner.20 the COA pointed out that the signatures of Cabalit. Gemma P.17 On February 12. in relation to Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code. for their part. it could be deduced that there was a concerted effort or conspiracy among the evaluator. but as already stated. the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas directed18 the parties to submit their position papers pursuant to Administrative Order (A. He insisted that the initial above his name on Official Receipt No. It begins when the registrant goes to the computer evaluator for the computation of applicable fees and proceeds to the cashier for payment.50. Apit. G. He claimed that the receipts were presented to him only for signature and he does not receive the payment when he signs the receipts. She outlined the standard paper flow of a regular transaction at the LTO. He claimed that upon being informed of the charge. In its position paper.21 Olaivar meanwhile insisted that he had no participation in the anomalies. and that he was the last one to sign the official receipts. while the initial on Official Receipt No. Filadelfo S. Ursal reported the tampering of official receipts to Deputy Ombudsman Primo C. By affixing his signature on the Report of Collections and thereby attesting that the entries therein were verified by him as correct. and Leonardo Olaivar as District Head. and the parties were required to submit their counteraffidavits. he admitted that he countersigned the official receipts. and only the lower amounts appearing on the retained duplicate file copies were reported in the Report of Collections. the COA submitted its position paper on March 18. the typist will prepare the official receipts . while he was kept blind of their modus operandi. 64056813 was that of Olaivar. As to Olaivar.16 In some official receipts. the scheme was perpetrated by LTO employees Leonardo G. 2004.) No. 2004 and March 15.P. questioned the findings of the investigators. the original receipts bear his signature. 2004. March 18. which included the tampered receipts. but their signatures do not appear on the file copies. As to Apit and Cabalit. Miro. Dargantes and Virginia Palanca-Santiago found grounds to conduct a preliminary investigation. thereby showing that he approved of the amounts collected for the registration charges. 6713. the COA pointed out that as cashier. for her part. He argued that based on the standard procedure for the processing of applications for registration of motor vehicles. the irregularity is penalized under Article 217. Olaivar. claimed he did not tamper. he verified the photocopies of the tampered receipts and was surprised to find that the signatures above his name were falsified. they are the other signatories of the official receipts. 17. Olaivar.13 As to Apit. He testified that he was furnished with the owner’s and duplicate copies of the tampered receipts. Cabalit. State Auditor Cabalit also declared that the basis for implicating Olaivar is the fact that his signature appears in all the 106 tampered official receipts and he signed as verified correct the Report of Collections.by the perpetrators. Cabalit’s signature on the receipts signified that she received the registration fees. when the receipts were reported in the Report of Collections. the Owner’s copy is signed by F.O. but he too denied being aware of any illegal activity in their office.

she has to accept the payment as a matter of ministerial duty.Cashier II. Cabalit and Apit performed vital functions by routinely signing LTO official receipts but did not have any knowledge of the irregularity in their office. which just shows that other personnel could have signed above the name of F. The assailed decision of the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas dated May 3. SP.R. judgment is hereby rendered by US DISMISSING the instant consolidated petitions.24 Petitioners sought reconsideration of the decision. 3. With regard to Olaivar. As the cashier.27 Hence. The OMB-Visayas ruled: WHEREFORE. but the CA denied their motions. while the remaining copies (Owner. The complaint regarding the LTO official receipts/MVRRs issued by the LTO Jagna District Office. 2004 in OMB-V-A-02-0415-H is hereby AFFIRMED with a modification that petitioner Olaivar be held administratively liable for gross neglect of duty which carries the same penalty as provided for dishonesty. and to the cashier for signature. which will be routed to the computer evaluator. but their motions were denied by the Ombudsman. 2006. LTO Jagna District Office Jagna. he signed the receipts relying on the faith that his co-employees had properly accomplished the forms. is hereby DISMISSED for insufficiency of evidence. The cashier retains the copies for the EDP. typist and cashier. Apit . the CA held him liable merely for gross neglect of duty. Bohol.Clerk II. stressed in his position paper23 that the strokes of the signatures appearing above his typewritten name on the official receipts are different. which are not covered by original copies are hereby DISMISSED without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate charges upon the recovery of the original copies thereof. Apit.consisting of seven (7) copies. Cabalit insisted that on several occasions Olaivar disregarded the standard procedure and directly accommodated some registrants who were either his friends or referred to him by friends. Collector and Auditor. premises considered. petitioner Cabalit argues that . WHEREFORE. indicating that the same are falsified. Dano admitted signing accomplished official receipts when the regular computer encoder is out.lawphil On May 3. The complaint against respondent Samuel T. He also pointed out that Engr. the CA promulgated the assailed Decision in CA-G. Leonardo G. it is hereby resolved that the following respondents be found guilty of the administrative infraction of DISHONESTY and accordingly be meted out the penalty of DISMISSAL FROM THE SERVICE with the accessory penalties of cancellation of civil service eligibility. to the district head. Nos. 2004. On January 18. Filadelpo S. presently the Head of Apprehension Unit of the Tagbilaran City LTO. as he is the one who computes the fees. SO ORDERED. Apit. Cabalit . The dispositive portion of the CA decision reads. Olaivar assumes the functions of computer evaluator.26 According to the CA.S. SO DECIDED. they filed the instant petitions before the Court. Olaivar -Transportation Regulation Officer II/ Office[r]-In-Charge LTO Jagna District Office Jagna. Bohol. the CA believed that the tampering of the receipts could have been avoided had he exercised the required diligence in the performance of his duties. Alabat. receives the payment and prepares the official receipts. Regional Office. Olaivar would then remit the payment to her. 2. premises considered. forfeiture of retirement benefits and disqualification from re-employment in the government service: 1. Petitioners sought reconsideration of the CA decision.25 Thus. No pronouncement as to costs. Gemma P. For such transactions. Thus. 86256. 86394 and 00047. Plate Release and Record’s copy) will be forwarded to the Releasing Section for distribution and release. Bohol. LTO Jagna District Office Jagna. In her petition. it was unbelievable that from 1998 to 2001. meanwhile. He also explained that considering that the LTO in Jagna issues around 20 to 25 receipts a day. they separately sought recourse from the CA. the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas rendered judgment finding petitioners liable for dishonesty for tampering the official receipts to make it appear that they collected lesser amounts than they actually collected.

III. Petitioner Cabalit also argues that the Office of the Ombudsman erred in applying the amendments under A. 17. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE ERROR WHEN IT AFFIRMED THE DECISION OF RESPONDENT OMBUDSMAN DESPITE HAVING FAILED TO MAKE A CATEGORICAL RULING ON THE ISSUE OF WHETHER THE QUESTIONED AND/OR FORGED SIGNATURES BELONG TO PETITIONER GEMMA CABALIT. 2008.O.O. It is only when the hearing officer determines that based on the evidence. 07. of the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman. the determination will not be disturbed by this Court. As regards the first issue. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN CONCLUDING THE DEFENSE OF PETITIONER APIT AS MERE DENIAL.I. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE ERROR WHEN IT FAILED TO RULE ON THE DOCTRINAL VALUE AND/OR APPLICABILITY OF THE TAPIADOR VS. Apit interposes the following arguments in his petition: I. No. We likewise find no merit in their contention that the new procedures under A. which took effect while the case was already undergoing trial before the hearing officer. She stressed that under A. Suffice to say. MARCH 15. their respective verified position papers on the basis of which. But the determination of the necessity for further proceedings rests on the sound discretion of the hearing officer. and (2) whether Cabalit. No. petitioners were not denied due process of law when the investigating lawyer proceeded to resolve the case based on the affidavits and other evidence on record. he assails the CA Decision raising the following issues: I. plainly provides that the hearing officer may issue an order directing the parties to file. the issues for our resolution are: (1) whether there was a violation of the right to due process when the hearing officer at the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas adopted the procedure under A. Section 5(b)(1)32 Rule 3. 17 IN THE PROCEEDINGS BELOW THAT WAS ALREADY ON TRIAL IN ACCORDANCE WITH ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO.O. Apit and Olaivar are administratively liable. along with the attachments thereto. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT ALTHOUGH THE TRIAL TYPE HEARING UNDER ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. [129124]. there is a need to conduct clarificatory hearings or formal investigations under Section 5(b)(2) and Section 5(b)(3) that such further proceedings will be conducted.R.30 On January 15.28 Meanwhile. OLAIVAR IS ADMINISTRATIVELY LIABLE FOR GROSS NEGLIGENCE. should not have been applied. PETITIONER WAS STILL ACCORDED HER RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS UNDER THE SUMMARY PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO.O. she was not given such option and was merely required to submit her position paper. 17. No. within ten days from receipt of the order. as amended by A. said petitions were consolidated.29 As for Olaivar. petitioners claim that they were denied due process of law when the investigating lawyer proceeded to resolve the case based only on the affidavits and other evidence on record without conducting a formal hearing. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN ITS FAILURE TO RECONSIDER THE EVIDENCE THAT CLEARLY PROVED THAT THE SIGNATURES ABOVE THE NAME OF PETITIONER APIT IN THE QUESTIONED RECEIPTS ARE ALL FORGED AND FALSIFIED. As the petitioners have utterly failed to show any cogent reason why the hearing officer’s determination should be overturned. 07 DID NOT PUSH THRU. . II. Here. No. II. 17 notwithstanding the fact that the said amendatory order took effect after the hearings had started. They lament that the case was submitted for decision without giving them opportunity to present witnesses and cross-examine the witnesses against them. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE OMBUDSMAN'S DECISION WHICH GAVE RETROACTIVE EFFECT TO THE NEW ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. No.O.O.31 Essentially. II. 17 to the trial of the case. III. 07. WHETHER THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED WHEN IT HELD THAT PETITIONER LEONARDO G. 2002) RULING HERE IN THE INSTANT CASE. No. Petitioners’ arguments deserve scant consideration. 07. OLAIVAR WAS NOT DENIED DUE PROCESS WHEN THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN VISAYAS FOUND HIM GUILTY FOR DISHONESTY AND METED OUT THE PENALTY OF DISMISSAL FROM SERVICE. WHETHER THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN FINDING THAT PETITIONER LEONARDO G. IV. the hearing officer may consider the case submitted for decision. she had the right to choose whether to avail of a formal investigation or to submit the case for resolution on the basis of the evidence on record. which was already in progress under the old procedures under A. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN (G. THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN LIMITING ADMINISTRATIVE DUE PROCESS AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD ONLY. 17.

) It is aphoristic that a re-examination of factual findings cannot be done through a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court because this Court is not a trier of facts. Their participation was found to have been indispensable as the irregularities could not have been committed without their participation. does not always and in all situations require a trial-type proceeding. Nor is the retroactive application of procedural statutes constitutionally objectionable.33 the Court elucidated: Statutes regulating the procedure of the courts will be construed as applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the time of their passage. the phrase "as amended" is correctly appended to A. the Office of the Ombudsman afforded petitioners every opportunity to defend themselves by allowing them to submit counter-affidavits. we note that both Cabalit and Apit raise essentially factual issues which are not proper in petitions filed under Rule 45. 38 Here. There have been various amendments made thereto but it has remained.The rule in this jurisdiction is that one does not have a vested right in procedural rules. Well to remember. When the findings of fact of the Ombudsman are supported by substantial evidence.35 Neither is there merit to Cabalit’s assertion that she should have been investigated under the "old rules of procedure" of the Office of the Ombudsman. The Supreme Court is not duty-bound to analyze and weigh again the evidence considered in the proceedings below. procedural laws. to date. position papers.O. But did the CA correctly rule that petitioners Cabalit and Apit are liable for dishonesty while petitioner Olaivar is liable for gross neglect of duty? Cabalit argues that the CA erred in affirming the decision of the Ombudsman finding her liable for dishonesty.O. nor arise from. and questions of fact are not entertained. Auditor. No. petitioners failed to show that application of A. They also concealed the misappropriation of public funds by falsifying the receipts. the only set of rules of procedure governing cases filed in the Office of the Ombudsman. name and vehicle in the Owner's or Plate Release copies and the File. judicial review by this Court does not extend to a reevaluation of the sufficiency of the evidence upon which the proper x x x tribunal has based its determination. as a constitutional precept.) While the rule admits of certain exceptions.36 we clarified that the Office of the Ombudsman has only one set of rules of procedure and that is A.37 the Court held: x x x [T]he scope of this Court’s judicial review of decisions of the Court of Appeals is generally confined only to errors of law. being supported by substantial evidence. More often. No. 17 is just one example of these amendments. they cannot rightfully complain that they were denied due process of law. Apit contends that the CA erred in not considering evidence which proves that the signatures appearing above his name are falsified. She asserts that it was not established by substantial evidence that the forged signatures belong to her. and Regional Office copies." In Marohomsalic v.O. Also. Settled jurisprudence dictates that subject to a few exceptions. A. and we said: Thus. and not under the "new rules. Hence. Court of Appeals. v. we find no reason to disturb the factual findings of .40 This Court recognizes the expertise and independence of the Ombudsman and will avoid interfering with its findings absent a finding of grave abuse of discretion. The reason is that as a general rule no vested right may attach to. the CA affirmed the findings of fact of the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas which are supported by substantial evidence such as affidavits of witnesses and copies of the tampered official receipts. memoranda and other evidence in their defense. Indeed. However. No. such as when the statute itself expressly or by necessary implication provides that pending actions are excepted from its operation. In administrative proceedings.39 The CA found that a perusal of the questioned receipts would easily reveal the discrepancies between the date. or where to apply it would impair vested rights. Cole. 7 every time it is invoked. whether civil or criminal. The fact that procedural statutes may somehow affect the litigants’ rights may not preclude their retroactive application to pending actions. It is satisfied when a person is notified of the charge against him and given an opportunity to explain or defend himself.41 Hence. Meanwhile. in this case. In Diokno v. No. of any other than the existing rules of procedure. and a litigant cannot insist on the application to the trial of his case. In Tan. it reviews only questions of law. Cacdac. Now. (Emphasis supplied. it should be considered as conclusive. series of 1990. only questions of law may be brought by the parties and passed upon by this Court in the exercise of its power to review. 17 to their case would cause injustice to them. the filing of charges and giving reasonable opportunity for the person so charged to answer the accusations against him constitute the minimum requirements of due process. this opportunity is conferred through written pleadings that the parties submit to present their charges and defenses. Procedural laws are retroactive in that sense and to that extent. as amended. superior courts are not triers of facts. We elucidated on our fidelity to this rule. (Emphasis supplied.34 But as long as a party is given the opportunity to defend his or her interests in due course. It has been held that "a person has no vested right in any particular remedy. Jr. It upheld the factual findings of the Ombudsman that petitioners Cabalit and Apit tampered with the duplicates of the official receipts to make it appear that they collected a lesser amount.O. Since petitioners have been afforded the right to be heard and to defend themselves. due process. The retroactive application of procedural laws is not violative of any right of a person who may feel that he is adversely affected. 07. only questions of law may be brought before the Court via a petition for review on certiorari. said party is not denied due process.

45 Moreover.44 Likewise. in Office of the Ombudsman v. censure. Later. the CA correctly imposed the proper penalty upon Olaivar. Thus. Olaivar personally brought the accomplished official receipts for him (Engr. typist and cashier. however. Witness Joselito Taladua categorically declared in his affidavit43 that he personally paid Olaivar the sum of P2. lack of honesty. he would verify the Report of Collections as correct. Cabalit contends that pursuant to the obiter in Tapiador v. Jacinto Jalop. they manifest that Olaivar committed acts of dishonesty. the facts of this case show more than a failure to mind one’s task. the records officer of the LTO in Jagna. Recently. the general rule is that factual findings of the CA are not reviewable by this Court. Under Section 52. She narrated in her position paper that on several times. We held. the CA should have found Olaivar liable for dishonesty. Engr. the CA found him liable only for gross neglect of duty. dishonesty.42 The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas found Olaivar administratively liable for dishonesty while the CA ruled that he may not be held liable for dishonesty supposedly for lack of sufficient evidence. Lowell A. The CA ruled that there was no substantial evidence to show that Olaivar participated in the scheme. he insists that the CA erred in holding him administratively liable for gross negligence when he relied to a reasonable extent and in good faith on the actions of his subordinates in the preparation of the applications for registration. Much to his dismay. It implies a disposition to lie. Dano) to sign. Dano confirmed that in several instances. received payment and prepared the official receipts for those transactions. More. demote. we also held— ‘While Section 15(3) of RA 6770 states that the Ombudsman has the power to "recommend x x x removal. lack of integrity. or prosecute an officer or employee is not merely advisory or recommendatory but is actually mandatory. there is clear evidence that Olaivar was involved in the anomalies. This. we find that Olaivar’s case falls in one of the recognized exceptions laid down in jurisprudence since the CA’s findings regarding his liability are premised on the supposed absence of evidence but contradicted by the evidence on record.675 for the renewal of registration of a jeep for which he was issued Official Receipt No. We reiterated this ruling in Office of the Ombudsman v. probity. demotion x x x" of government officials and employees. the same Section 15(3) also states that the Ombudsman in the alternative may "enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21" of RA 6770. Motor Vehicle Inspector Engr. but a much lower charge and an incorrect address were indicated in the other copies. She also revealed that Olaivar would ask her for unused official receipts and would later return the duplicate copies to her with the cash collections.49 Under Section 58.47 However. suspension. Bohol. suspend.48 Hence.46 Neglect of duty implies only the failure to give proper attention to a task expected of an employee arising from either carelessness or indifference. or integrity in principle. like gross neglect of duty." Implementation of the order imposing the penalty is. cheat. and that the vehicle was deemed unregistered for the year 2000. forfeiture of retirement benefits and disqualification from re-employment in the government service. Laja. Rather.51 the Office of the Ombudsman can only recommend administrative sanctions and not directly impose them. Court of Appeals. 47699853. But be that as it may. Cabalit pointed to Olaivar as the person behind the anomaly in the LTO-Jagna District Office. fine. and computed the fees. Masing.52 this Court has already settled the issue when we ruled that the power of the Ombudsman to determine and impose administrative liability is not merely recommendatory but actually mandatory. untrustworthiness. to be coursed through the proper officer.50 such penalty likewise carries with it the accessory penalties of cancellation of civil service eligibility.1avvphi1 While as stated above. however. He disclosed that the correct charges were typed in the Owner’s copy and the Plate Release copy of the official receipts. However. He questions the appellate court’s finding that he failed to exercise the required diligence in the performance of his duties. but the tampering of the official receipts could have been avoided had he exercised the required diligence in the performance of his duties as officer-incharge of the Jagna District Office. he witnessed Olaivar type the data himself in the official receipts even if they have a typist in the office to do the job. For one. which is defined as the concealment or distortion of truth in a matter of fact relevant to one’s office or connected with the performance of his duty.the Ombudsman which are affirmed by the CA. is clear error on the part of the CA.’ . or defraud. One final note. deceive. in Office of the Ombudsman v. He asserted that Olaivar was responsible for tampering the official receipts. is classified as a grave offense punishable by dismissal even if committed for the first time. illustrated how the official receipts were tampered. still. Office of the Ombudsman. Olaivar directly accommodated some registrants and assumed the functions of computer evaluator. where we emphasized that "the Ombudsman’s order to remove. Taladua later found out that his payment was not reflected correctly in the Report of Collections. Dano added that after typing. As for Olaivar. Rule IV of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.

55 the Court upheld the Ombudsman’s power to impose the penalty of removal.A. the Ombudsman is given full administrative disciplinary authority. By stating therefore that the Ombudsman "recommends" the action to be taken against an erring officer or employee. Administrative Complaints.(emphasis supplied. Section 12 of Article XI thereof states: Section 12. No. His power is not limited merely to receiving. including government-owned or controlled corporations. No. Consequently in Ledesma. notify the complainants of the action taken and the result thereof. and shall. immoral or devoid of justification. In the exercise of his duties. He is to conduct investigations. or prosecution of a public officer or employee found to be at fault in the exercise of its administrative disciplinary authority. suspension.)53 Subsequently. demote. or (6) Are otherwise irregular. provides: SEC. This is because the power of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute any illegal act or omission of any public official is not an exclusive authority but a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense charged.54 and Office of the Ombudsman v. Functions and Duties. (5) Are in the exercise of discretionary powers but for an improper purpose. or any subdivision. or censure of a public officer or employee. fine. oppressive or discriminatory. in turn. xxxx Section 19 of R. In addition. fine. 6770. in Ledesma v. demotion. In Office of the Ombudsman v.A. demotion.56 The duty and privilege of the Ombudsman to act as protector of the people against the illegal and unjust acts of those who are in the public service emanate from no less than the 1987 Constitution. demotion. in appropriate cases. we held that the exercise of such power is well founded in the Constitution and R. but not limited to acts or omissions which: (1) Are contrary to law or regulation.A. 6770 grants to the Ombudsman the authority to act on all administrative complaints: SEC. shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the Government. The Ombudsman and his Deputies. No. 19. censure. This includes the power to impose the penalty of removal. the Court affirmed the appellate court’s decision which had. hold hearings. 15. That the refusal by any officer without just cause to comply with an order of the Ombudsman to remove. processing complaints. or recommending penalties. otherwise known as The Ombudsman Act of 1989. agency or instrumentality thereof. Court of Appeals. fine. 6770 intended that the implementation of the order be coursed through the proper officer. – The Ombudsman shall act on all complaints relating. suspend. censure. thus: The Court further explained in Ledesma that the mandatory character of the Ombudsman’s order imposing a sanction should not be interpreted as usurpation of the authority of the head of office or any officer concerned. Court of Appeals. functions and duties: xxxx (3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public officer or employee at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law. or enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21 of this Act: Provided. affirmed an order of the Office of the Ombudsman imposing the penalty of suspension on the erring public official.57 . (2) Are unreasonable. Powers. fine. (4) Proceed from a mistake of law or an arbitrary ascertainment of facts. as protectors of the people. summon witnesses and require production of evidence and place respondents under preventive suspension. (3) Are inconsistent with the general course of an agency’s functions. unfair. Section 15 (3) of R. suspension. suspension. though in accordance with law. the provisions in the Constitution and in Republic Act No. and recommend his removal. Court of Appeals. censure or prosecute an officer or employee who is at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law shall be a ground for disciplinary action against said officer. – The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers. 6770. and ensure compliance therewith. or prosecution.

86256. 86394 and 00047 are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION.A. necessarily. public officers and employees must faithfully adhere to hold sacred and render inviolate the constitutional principle that a public office is a public trust. impose the said penalty. integrity. Nos. place under preventive suspension public officers and employees pending an investigation. These provisions cover the entire gamut of administrative adjudication which entails the authority to.1avvphi1 For this reason. the petitions for review on certiorari are DENIED. Olaivar is held administratively liable for DISHONESTY and meted the penalty of dismissal from the service as well as the accessory penalties inherent to said penalty. We find it worthy to state at this point that public service requires integrity and discipline. public servants must exhibit at all times the highest sense of honesty and dedication to duty.R. Petitioner Leonardo G. By the very nature of their duties and responsibilities.The provisions in R. loyalty and efficiency. and. 2006 and Resolution dated September 21. it is settled that the Office of the Ombudsman can directly impose administrative sanctions. 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.58 Thus. and must at all times be accountable to the people. summon witnesses and require the production of documents. hold hearings in accordance with its rules of procedure. determine the appropriate penalty imposable on erring public officers or employees as warranted by the evidence. The assailed Decision dated January 18. inter alia. With costs against petitioners. 11 12 . No. 6770 taken together reveal the manifest intent of the lawmakers to bestow on the Office of the Ombudsman full administrative disciplinary authority. conduct investigations. SP.59 WHEREFORE. serve them with utmost responsibility. receive complaints. SO ORDERED.

Laurentino L. DECISION BRION. into signing a "preparatory" Deed of Sale that the respondent converted into a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of his relatives. vs. ATTY. evaluation and recommendation. Ylaya (complainant) against Atty. Ylaya. Respondent. J. 6475 January 30. The complainant alleged that she and her late husband are the registered owners of two (2) parcels of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title ( TCT) Nos. GLENN CARLOS GACOTT. 162632 and 162633 located at Barangay Sta. YLAYA. 2013 FE A. Glenn Carlos Gacott (respondent) who allegedly deceived the complainant and her late husband.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION Adm. Complainant. .: For the Court's consideration is the disbarment complaint 1 tiled by Fe A. the Court referred the complaint to the Commission on Bar Discipline ofthe Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation. After the submission of the respondent's comment to the complaint. Case No.

00 purchase price or that they would sell the property "for such a measly sum" when they stood to get at least P6. Branch 95.00 as just compensation for the property. TCT No. Cirilo Arellano. 2001 even though Reynold and Sylvia (his mother’s sister) are his uncle and his aunt. 13 He also denied that the Deed of Absolute Sale contained blanks when they signed it.000. and contrary to their understanding – converted the "preparatory deed of sale" into a Deed of Absolute Sale dated June 4. 2006. and citizenship.2 The respondent briefly represented the complainant and her late husband in the expropriation case as intervenors for being the new registered owners of the property. 10 He claimed that the sale was their voluntary transaction and that he "simply ratified the document. 19 On December 5. 2006. unfounded and malicious" disbarment case.000.12 The respondent specifically denied asking the complainant and her late husband to execute any "preparatory deed of sale" in favor of the City Government.4 selling the subject property to Reynold So and Sylvia Carlos So for P200. the complainant filed an Ex Parte Motion to Withdraw the Verified Complaint and To Dismiss the Case dated November 14.00.20 On February 28.000. 2006 praying for the early resolution of the complaint. 8 The respondent argued that the complainant’s greed to get the just Compensation 9 caused her to file this "baseless.000. 2001. Puerto Princesa City. 17 Lastly. genuineness and due execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale notarized on March 6.6 The complainant also claimed that the respondent notarized the Deed of Absolute Sale dated June 4. because there were spaces for the buyer’s legal age. but he left blank the space for the name of the buyer and for the amount of consideration. that they were co-owners for some time. 2902. and was docketed as Civil Case No. not a juridical person. The expropriation case was filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Palawan and Puerto Princesa. 23 and the Deed of Absolute Sale notarized in 2001.5 The complainant denied that she and Laurentino were paid the P200. the complainant executed an Affidavit 21 affirming and confirming the existence.000. 2001.24 The respondent submitted this Affidavit to the IBP as an attachment to his Motion .00 as just compensation. 2000. 2008. The respondent further alleged that the deed would be used in the sale to the City Government when the RTC issues the order to transfer the titles. 14 That he filed for the spouses Ylaya and Reynold an opposition to the just compensation the RTC fixed proved that there was no agreement to use the document for the expropriation case. the respondent filed a Motion to Resolve or Decide the Case dated August 24. he denied violating the Rules on Notarial Practice. 2000. 1996 against its former registered owner. and that Laurentino subsequently sold his share to Reynold under a Deed of Absolute Sale dated June 4. Prior to the acquisition of these properties. 15 He also argued that it was clear from the document that the intended buyer was a natural person. 2006. 7 The respondent denied all the allegations in the complaint.Lourdes. 2000.000.3 The respondent then fraudulently – without their knowledge and consent. 22 the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) dated April 19.16 and he was even constrained to file a subsequent Motion to Intervene on behalf of Reynold because the complainant "maliciously retained" the TCTs to the subject properties after borrowing them from his office.18 On September 4. 162632 (property) was already the subject of expropriation proceedings filed by the City Government of Puerto Princesa (City Government) on May 23. respectively. The RTC already fixed the price and issued an order for the City Government to deposit P6." 11 He also claimed that Reynold and Laurentino had originally jointly purchased the properties from Cirilo Arellano on July 10. The complainant alleged that the respondent convinced them to sign a "preparatory deed of sale" for the sale of the property. marital status.

and. 30 By Resolution No. 2010. dishonest. 2008.29 On September 4.27 In its Resolution No. the respondent filed a Manifestation with the Supreme Court. This is not to mention that the complainant failed to offer corroborative proof to prove her bare allegations. Rule 1. immoral or deceitful conduct) and Canon 16 ("A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his possession) of the Code of Professional Responsibility.25 The IBP’s Findings In her Report and Recommendation dated November 19.01 (A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. and considering respondent’s violations of Canon 1.26 She recommended his suspension from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months. XVIII-2007-302. Rule IV of A.for Reconsideration of April 21. Atty. c) In totally ignoring the complainant’s Affidavit admitting the genuineness and due execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale in issue. 2006 for the expropriation case. [Rule] 1. 2012. [emphases supplied] On May 8. No. 31 the IBP Board of Governors denied the respondent’s Motion for Reconsideration for failing to raise any new substantial matter or any cogent reason to warrant a reversal or even a modification of its Resolution No. 2008. and Section 3(c). 02-8-13-SC (2004 Rules on Notarial Practice). finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules. violated the respondent’s right to due process as he was not able to cross-examine her. No. among others. Sec. and the Compromise Agreement between Reynold and the complainant dated November 14. d) In arbitrarily concluding the absence of co-ownership by Reynold So and Fe Ylaya of the subject lots despite the existence of a notarized MOA clearly showing the co-ownership of Ylaya and So. herein made part of this Resolution as Annex "A". 32 On March 14. the MOA between Laurentino and Reynold.M. 02-8-13-SC (2004 Rules on Notarial Practice). XIX-2010-545 dated October 8. and e) In finding the respondent/appellant’s act of notarizing the DOAS as contrary to the .01 and Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Rule IV. b) In sweepingly and arbitrarily disregarded/skirted (sic) the public documents (MOA and 2 other DOAS) duly executed by the parties therein and notarized by the respondent. requesting that the IBP be directed to resolve his Motion for Reconsideration. the Deed of Absolute Sale between Laurentino and Reynold. as follows:33 a) In conveniently concluding that the Deed of Absolute Sale was pre-signed and fraudulently notarized without requiring Fe Ylaya to adduce evidence in a formal hearing thus. 39(c) of A. 2008. the respondent filed a Motion for Reconsideration dated April 21. the IBP Board of Governors adopted the IBP Commissioner’s finding. IBP Commissioner Anna Caridad Sazon-Dupaya found the respondent administratively liable for violating Canon 1. the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner [in] the aboveentitled case. as it is hereby unanimously ADOPTED and APPROVED. with modification. 2007.M. 2007. a copy of the complainant’s Affidavit dated February 27. attaching. genuineness and due execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale between Cirilo and Laurentino. the respondent filed a Petition for Review (on appeal) assailing the IBP’s findings. admitting the existence. but increased the penalty imposed to two (2) years suspension and a warning: RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE. 2008. 2008. Glenn Carlos Gacott is hereby SUSPENDED from practice of law for two (2) years with a Warning that commission of a similar offense will be dealt with more severely. XVIII-2007-302 28 dated December 14.

Laguesma. He was even allowed to file a motion for reconsideration supported by his submitted evidence. position papers. The standard of due process that must be met in administrative tribunals allows a certain degree of latitude[. As a rule.03 for representing conflicting interests without the written consent of the represented parties. is accorded. Litigants may be heard through pleadings. v. in A. and Section 3(c). thus. which motion the IBP considered and ruled upon in its Resolution No.01 and Section 3(c).40 due process in an administrative context does not require trial-type proceedings similar to those in courts of justice.34 We however hold the respondent liable for violating Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for being remiss in his obligation to hold in trust his client’s properties. and in all situations. He insists that these defects rendered the complainant’s allegations as hearsay. We likewise find him liable for violation of (1) Canon 15. Arnaiz Realty. written explanations. Rule IV of A. provided that] fairness is not ignored. memoranda or oral arguments. The Issues From the assigned errors. 2005. to object to the admissibility of documents or present controverting evidence" 36 when the IBP rendered its conclusion without requiring the complainant to adduce evidence in a formal hearing and despite the absence of corroborative proof. before the IBP. no denial of procedural due process takes place.03 for neglecting a legal matter entrusted to him. as applied to administrative proceedings. 39 we held that due process. 02-8-13-SC. not legally objectionable for being violative of due process. require a trial-type proceeding.38 In Alliance of Democratic Free Labor Organization v.notarial rules. No. the complainant poses the following issues: (1) whether the IBP violated the respondent’s right to due process. Similarly. no denial of due process takes place where a party has been given an opportunity to be heard and to present his case. a. is the opportunity to explain one’s side. Rule 1. The requirements of due process are satisfied where the parties are afforded a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the controversy at hand.M. Rule IV of A. to cross examine the witness complainant. and (2) Canon 18. 37 the records reveal that the respondent fully participated during the entire proceedings and submitted numerous pleadings. does not always. therefore. Rule 18. Court of Appeals. The Court’s Ruling We set aside the findings and recommendations of the IBP Commissioner and those of the IBP Board of Governors finding the respondent liable for violating Canon 1. and the IBP’s report. Inc. 2010. as a constitutional precept. Denial of due process means the total lack of opportunity to be heard or to have one’s day in court. 35 what is prohibited is the absolute lack of opportunity to be heard. In Samalio v. Rules 1. XIX2010-545 dated October 8. and (2) whether the evidence presented supports a finding that the respondent is administratively liable for violating Canon 1. violating the rule on conflict of interests. Where the opportunity to be heard. Rule 15. including evidence. The respondent claims that the IBP violated his right to due process because he was not given the "amplest opportunity to defend himself. No. Although the respondent failed to have a face-to-face confrontation with the complainant when she failed to appear at the required mandatory conference on October 6. Due process violation The most basic tenet of due process is the right to be heard. either through oral arguments or through pleadings. It is.M.Z. Office of the President.01 and Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. 41 we held that "due process. recommendation or resolution null and void. 02-8-13-SC. for an administrative agency to resolve a case based solely on position .

notice. the outright dismissal of this case is warranted. 2007. Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court which provides that: No defect in a complaint. . XVIII-2007-302 45 dated December 14. the respondent filed his comment with all its attachments denying all the allegations in the complaint. the IBP Board of Governors found no defect or miscarriage of justice warranting a remedial action or the invalidation of the proceedings. On June 23. his submission of alleged controverting evidence. 2902 for Expropriation involving the same property. 2005. but modifying the penalty. Undoubtedly in this case. in which event the Board shall take such remedial action as the circumstances may warrant. affirming the IBP Commissioner’s findings. A denia of due process cannot be successfully invoked by a party who has had the opportunity to be heard on his motion for reconsideration. up to this date. considering that there is an on-going case in Branch 52 of the Regional Trial Court of Palawan in Civil Case No. 4. The respondent was heard through his pleadings."43 We also note that the respondent. There being no other genuine issues to be heard in this case as all the defenses and counter-arguments are supported by documentary evidence. submitted his case to the IBP for its resolution without any further hearings." 42 In this case. This is meant to expedite the termination of this case. affidavits or documentary evidence submitted by the parties. and his oral testimony during the October 6. The motion. the IBP Commissioner’s findings were twice reviewed by the IBP Board of Governors – the first review resulted in Resolution No. italics supplied) Finally. 5. or in the proceeding or the Investigator’s Report shall be considered as substantial unless the Board of Governors. the second review resulted in Resolution No. and were the bases for the IBP Board’s Resolution. "any seeming defect in the observance of due process is cured by the filing of a motion for reconsideration. 3. it is most respectfully prayed that the instant case be resolved on its merits or be ordered dismissed for lack of merit without further hearing. this motion. the requirement of the law was afforded to the respondent. waived her right to file the same. 2005 mandatory conference. evidence and testimony were received and considered by the IBP Commissioner when she arrived at her findings and recommendation. significantly did not contain any statement regarding a denial of due process. a complaint was filed in this case. 2004. Further. 2006. By contrast. XIX-2010-545 dated October 8. 46 denying the respondent’s motion for reconsideration. On June 30. 2004. the respondent also filed his supplemental position paper. In both instances. 2006. the respondent’s failure to cross-examine the complainant is not a sufficient ground to support the claim that he had not been afforded due process. the respondent himself waived his crossexamination of the complainant when he asked the IBP Board of Governors to resolve the case based on the pleadings and the evidence on record.papers. In this case. 2010. These pleadings. upon considering the whole record. including invalidation of the entire proceedings. we note Section 11. answer. filed almost one year after the mandatory conference on October 6. the respondent filed his position paper. In effect. finds that such defect has resulted or may result in a miscarriage of justice. Moreover. hence. on a Motion to Resolve or Decide the Case dated August 24. and 6. 2. On April 28. To quote his own submission: 1. the complainant/petitioner has not filed her verified position paper thus. and such fact was deliberately omitted by the complainant in her Verified Complaint as shown in the certification of non-forum shopping. 44 (underscore ours. On October 19. 2005.

their intelligence. b. a lawyer enjoys the legal presumption that he is innocent of the charges against him until the contrary is proven. In the Deed of Sale between Felix Arellano and Spouses Ylanas (sic). (b) the witnesses’ manner of testifying. Ylaya married to Fe A. in determining whether preponderance of evidence exists. there is neither a plaintiff nor a prosecutor therein. the nature of the facts to which they testify. the allegation of the respondent that Reynold So was actually co-owner of spouses Ylanas (sic) in the properties subject of the Deed of Sale between Felix Arellano and Spouses Ylanas (sic) is hard to believe despite the presentation of the Memorandum of Agreement. It may be initiated by the Court motu proprio. In such posture. the quantum of proof required is preponderance of evidence which the complainant has the burden to discharge. it is in no sense a criminal prosecution. he is presumed to have performed his duties in accordance with his oath. What is important is whether. Not being intended to inflict punishment. Neither purely civil nor purely criminal. their means and opportunity of knowing the facts to which they are testifying." 49 Preponderance of evidence means that the evidence adduced by one side is. It is elementary in Rules of Evidence that when the contents of a written document are put in issue. the buyer of the subject properties is only Laurentino L. . they involve investigations by the Court into the conduct of one of its officers. Hence. but is rather an investigation by the Court into the conduct of one of its officers. Disciplinary proceedings against lawyers are sui generis. upon due investigation. we find it clear that the complainant is not indispensable to the disciplinary proceedings and her failure to appear for cross-examination or to provide corroborative evidence of her allegations is of no merit.We emphasize that disciplinary proceedings against lawyers are sui generis in that they are neither purely civil nor purely criminal. the Court merely calls upon a member of the Bar to account for his actuations as an officer of the Court with the end in view of preserving the purity of the legal profession and the proper and honest administration of justice by purging the profession of members who by their misconduct have proved themselves no longer worthy to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities pertaining to the office of an attorney. It means evidence which is more convincing to the court as worthy of belief compared to the presented contrary evidence. Under Section 1. and that as an officer of the court. superior to or has a greater weight than that of the other. the best evidence would be the document itself. after a careful evaluation of the evidence presented by both parties. Rule 133 of the Rules of Court. From all these. 50 By law. they do not involve a trial of an action or a suit. Ylaya. although it does not mean that preponderance is necessarily with the greater number. and the real question for determination is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person to be allowed the privileges as such. and the probability or improbability of their testimony.51 The IBP Commissioner set out her findings as follows: The undersigned. Public interest is its primary objective. it is not mandatory to have a formal hearing in which the complainant must adduce evidence. 48 Flowing from its sui generis character. as a whole. there can thus be no occasion to speak of a complainant or a prosecutor. in the exercise of its disciplinary powers. Accordingly. the IBP Board of Governors finds sufficient evidence of the respondent’s misconduct to warrant the exercise of its disciplinary powers. The document does not state that Reynold So was likewise a buyer together with Laurentino Ylaya. finds that the charges of the complainant against the respondent are worthy of belief based on the following: First. (c) the witnesses’ interest or want of interest. and also their personal credibility so far as the same may ultimately appear in the trial. the court may consider the following: (a) all the facts and circumstances of the case.47 not the trial of an action or a suit. or that the former paid half of the purchase price. Merits of the Complaint "In administrative cases against lawyers. [emphases deleted] The complainant in disbarment cases is not a direct party to the case but a witness who brought the matter to the attention of the Court. and (d) the number of witnesses.

Disqualifications – a notary public is disqualified from performing a notarial act if he: (a) x x x. thereby making Laurentino Ylaya and co-owner Reynold So co-owners of the subject properties (Please see Annex "B" of respondent’s Comment). Section 3 (c) of A. That would mean that if Reynold So and the complainant were co-owners. far above the P200. and that the disbarment complaint arose from a misunderstanding. it is hard for this Commission to believe that Reynold So. assisted by a lawyer at that and who allegedly paid half of the purchase price. the complainant’s counsel in this administrative case. 200855 affirming and confirming the existence. ancestor.000. that the Memorandum of Agreement is valid. 58 According to the respondent. as the hand behind the complaint. both complainant and Reynold So were principal parties in the said Memorandum of Agreement. (b) x x x. the respondent still violated the Rules when he notarized the subject Memorandum of Agreement between Laurentino Ylaya and his uncle Reynold So.000. the P7.57 In all. miscommunication and improper appreciation of facts.00 and he was expecting to receive P7. 56 and to the Deed of Absolute Sale notarized in 2001. As to the second issue. 2006 where she stated that the parties have entered into a compromise agreement in Civil Case No.000. Furthermore. common-law partner. A close examination of the signatories in the said Memorandum of Agreement would reveal that indeed. descendant. He also points to Atty. this Commission finds it hard to believe Laurentino Ylaya would sell it to Reynold So for P200. Clearly. this Commission believes that the respondent committed serious error in notarizing the Deed of Sale and the Memorandum of Agreement between his uncle Reynold So and Laurentino Ylaya based on Rule IV.500. would not insist for the inclusion of his name in the Deed of Sale as well as the Transfer Certificate of Title subsequently issued. 2000. No. (c) is a spouse. Robert Peneyra.000.M.00 each.000. if we are to consider the argument of the respondent that his uncle was not a principal so as to apply the afore-quoted provision of the Rules." The defense therefore of the respondent that he did not violate the aforementioned Rule becausehis uncle Reynold So. Atty. false and untrue. the buyer is not the principal in the Subject Deed of Sale but the seller Laurentino Ylaya (please see page 3 of the respondent’s Supplemental Position Paper) is misplaced.53 to the complainant’s Ex Parte Motion to Withdraw the Verified Complaint and To Dismiss the Case dated November 14. This is not to mention the fact that the complainant denied ever having executed the Memorandum of Agreement. the respondent claims that these cited pieces of evidence prove that this administrative complaint against him is fabricated. genuineness and due execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale notarized on March 6. The Memorandum of Agreement between the spouses Ylaya and Reynold So produced by the respondent cannot overturn the belief of this Commission considering that the Memorandum of Agreement was executed more than a month AFTER the Deed of Sale between Felix Arellano and the Ylayas was notarized. specifically to the MOA executed by Laurentino and Reynold acknowledging the existence of a co-ownership. 02-8-13-SC which provides as follows: "Sec. 3. both the buyer and the seller in the instant case are considered principals in the contract entered into. for the sake of argument.00 selling price reflected in the presigned Deed of Sale. the alleged signatures of the complainant and her husband are not the same with their signatures in other documents. more or less. Peneyra harbors ill-will against him and his family after his father filed several .00. 2902. 54 to her Affidavit dated February 27.000. or relative by affinity or consanguinity of the principal within the fourth civil degree.00 would then be equally divided among them at P3.52 The respondent argues that the IBP Commissioner’s findings are contrary to the presented evidence. Assuming.000.000 x x x when his minimum expenses for the purchase thereof is already P225.Also. Clearly.

" 62 We do not agree with this finding. 2902 dated May 17.administrative cases against Atty. We are further persuaded. 2000. one of which resulted in the imposition of a warning and a reprimand on Atty. 2000 fixing the price of just compensation. at that time the respondent notarized the documents. the Court exercises its disciplinary power only if the complainant establishes her case by clear. While the facts of this case may raise some questions regarding the respondent’s legal practice. Peneyra. PENEYRA" at an MCLE seminar. 2004 against the charge of libel. by affinity or consanguinity. 65 the Deed of Absolute Sale dated June 4. 67 the Provincial Prosecutor’s Subpoena to the complainant in connection with the respondent’s complaint for libel. 2004. we agree with the respondent and find the evidence insufficient to prove the charge that he violated Canon 1. 2902 dated November 6. confirms that there was a co-ownership between him and Laurentino. the signatures of the complainant and of her husband on the MOA "are not the same with their signatures in other documents. and (2) no prohibition exists against the notarization of a document in which any of the parties interested is the notary’s relative within the 4th civil degree. 69 the complainant’s Counter Affidavit dated March 26. No. convincing. and satisfactory evidence. after noting that in disregarding the MOA. 2001 are spurious and that the respondent was responsible for creating these spurious documents. the burden of proof is on the complainant. When the pieces of evidence of the parties are evenly balanced or when doubt exists on the preponderance of evidence. 2003. and it is another to demonstrate by evidence the specific acts constituting these allegations. we nevertheless found nothing constituting clear evidence of the respondent’s specific acts of fraud and deceit. ROBERT Y. Peneyra. (1) the evidence against the respondent fails to show the alleged fraudulent and deceitful acts he has taken to mislead the complainant and her husband into signing a "preparatory deed of sale" and the conversion into a Deed of Absolute Sale dated June 4. and that the sale to Reynold was with the agreement and consent of the complainant who voluntarily signed the Deed of Sale. in his Affidavit dated October 11.63 her Motion for Leave to Intervene in Civil Case No. 71 We do not see these documentary pieces of evidence as proof of specific acts constituting deceit or fraud on the respondent’s part. Apart from her allegations. the IBP Commissioner failed to specify what differences she observed in the spouses Ylaya’s signatures in the MOA and what documents were used in comparison. show the breakdown of the attorney-client relationship between the respondent and the complainant. 2001 in favor of Reynold. 74 In this case. His failure to prove the existence of a co-ownership does not lead us to the conclusion that the MOA and the Deed of Absolute Sale dated June 4. filed with the RTC in Civil Case No. the equipoise rule dictates that the decision be against the party carrying the burden of proof.M. 2004.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Section 3(c). that Laurentino agreed to the price of P200.72 We reiterate that in disbarment proceedings. 02-8-13-SC. requesting for "official information regarding the actual attendance of Atty. that Laurentino decided to sell his half of the property to Reynold because he (Laurentino) had been sickly and in dire need of money to pay for his medical bills. 2002. It is one thing to allege deceit and misconduct. the complainant’s pieces of evidence consist of TCT Nos.59 Reynold. 2001. 2902. assailing the Motion to Deposit Just Compensation filed by the respondent on behalf of Reynold and manifesting the sale between Laurentino and Reynold.73 Preponderance of evidence means that the evidence adduced by one side is. Rule IV of A.68 the respondent’s complaint for libel against the complainant dated August 27. 70 and the respondent’s letter to the Provincial Attorney of Palawan dated April 5. 162632 and 162633. 66 the spouses Ylaya’s Verified Manifestation dated September 2. in her opinion. as a whole.000. 60 After examining the whole record of the case. superior to or has a greater weight than that of the other party.00 as this was almost the same value of his investment when he and Reynold jointly acquired the property. In her Report and Recommendation. Specifically. The documents by themselves are neutral and.61 the IBP Commissioner concluded that the respondent is liable for deceit and fraud because he failed to prove the existence of a co-ownership between Laurentino and Reynold. at the most. Rule 1. we find that the complainant’s evidence and the records of the case do not show the . 64 the RTC order in Civil Case No.

Canon 15. and under Canon 18. No. [emphasis ours] The relationship between a lawyer and his client should ideally be imbued with the highest level of trust and confidence. 2711 (the Revised Administrative Code of 1917) which did not contain the present prohibition against notarizing documents where the parties are related to the notary public within the 4th civil degree. Rule IV of A. whom the complainant alleges to be the respondent’s uncle because Reynold is married to the respondent’s maternal aunt. Rule 1. No.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The facts of this case show that the respondent retained clients who had close dealings with each other. We affirm the IBP Commissioner’s finding that the respondent violated Canon 16. a lawyer may not accept a retainer from a defendant after he has given professional advice to the plaintiff concerning his claim. The notarial law in force in the years 2000 .M. The respondent admits to acting as legal counsel for Cirilo Arellano. 02-8-13-SC on July 6. Based on the records. by affinity or consanguinity. Necessity and public interest require that this be so. 16 and 18 We find the respondent liable under Canon 15. we must likewise dismiss the charge for violation of A. 200176 and the MOA dated April 19. The respondent admits to losing certificates of land titles that were entrusted to his care by Reynold. 81 asserting Reynold’s ownership over the property against all other claims. 83 According to the respondent. if its acceptance involves a violation of the proscription against conflict of interest.82 We find no record of any written consent from any of the parties involved and we cannot give the respondent the benefit of the doubt in this regard. Part of the lawyer’s duty to his client is to avoid representing conflicting interests. the complainant "maliciously retained" the TCTs over the properties sold by Laurentino to Reynold after she borrowed them from his office. 02-8-13-SC. Rule 18. 02-8-13-SC because the Deed of Absolute Sale dated June 4.2001 was Chapter 11 of Act No. We find it clear from the facts of this case that the respondent retained Reynold as his client and actively opposed the interests of his former client. It is his duty to decline employment in any of these and similar circumstances in view of the rule prohibiting representation of conflicting interests.03 for representing conflicting interests without the written consent of all concerned. under Canon 16 for being remiss in his obligation to hold in trust his client’s properties. the complaint for fraud and deceit under Canon 1. 2902. 84 Reynold confirms that the TCTs were taken by the complainant from the respondent’s law office. No.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility must perforce be dismissed. no matter how attractive the fee offered may be.75 However. He is duty bound to decline professional employment. including that of the spouses Ylaya.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility – if there is a written consent from all the parties after full disclosure.85 . c.respondent’s deliberate fraudulent and deceitful acts. the complainant. Thus. Rule 15.M. He thus violated Canon 15. Thus. the spouses Ylaya and Reynold at one point during the proceedings in Civil Case No. this is of no moment as the respondent cannot be held liable for violating Section 3(c). 2004. Rule 15. Rule 15. or that there would be no occasion to use the confidential information acquired from one to the disadvantage of the other as the two actions are wholly unrelated." 79 The sole exception is provided in Canon 15. We note that the respondent has not squarely addressed the issue of his relationship with Reynold. 78 The proscription against representation of conflicting interest applies "even if the lawyer would not be called upon to contend for one client that which the lawyer has to oppose for the other. he represented only Reynold in the same proceedings. In the absence of such proof.M. 80 Subsequently. we find substantial evidence to hold the respondent liable for violating Canon 15. 2000 77 were notarized by the respondent prior to the effectivity of A. nor can he accept employment from another in a matter adversely affecting any interest of his former client. or any of the rules of professional conduct.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Liability under Canons 15. Rule 15.03 for neglecting a legal matter entrusted to him.03 states: A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. Rule 15. particularly the complainant.

Similar to Canoy.03 for neglecting a legal matter entrusted to him. Under the circumstances. Bernabe. and suspended him from the practice of law for one year for notarizing a document without requiring the affiant to personally appear before him.89 we held that a lawyer’s failure to file a position paper was per se a violation of Rule 18. 2006 90 and her Affidavit91 affirming and confirming the existence. complete exoneration is not the necessary legal effect as the submitted motion and affidavit are immaterial for purposes of the present proceedings.88 In Canoy v. While the submitted Ex Parte Motion to Withdraw the Verified Complaint and to Dismiss the Case and the Affidavit appear to exonerate the respondent. withdrawal of charges. or failure of the complainant to prosecute the same.000. "No investigation shall be interrupted or terminated by reason of the desistance. The records of the case. compromise. 93 she erroneously accused the respondent of ill motives and bad intentions. we find that there was want of diligence.000. the records show that he never filed such a motion for the spouses Ylaya. Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court states that. In Bautista v. which have since increased to P10. which include the Motion for Leave to Intervene filed by the spouses Ylaya. restitution. disqualified him from reappointment as a notary public for two years. we said: . d. The complainant herself states that she and her late husband were forced to file the Motion for Leave to Intervene on their own behalf.86 we nevertheless hold the respondent liable. We likewise find the respondent liable for violating Canon 18. Rule 18. he failed to exercise due diligence in caring for his client’s properties that were in his custody. as the TCTs were entrusted to his care and custody.98 we revoked the lawyer’s notarial commission. and his negligence in connection [therewith] shall render him liable. 2902. Rule 18. that such misunderstanding was due to her unfamiliarity with the transactions of her late husband during his lifetime. While we note that it was his legal staff who allowed the complainant to borrow the TCTs and it does not appear that the respondent was aware or present when the complainant borrowed the TCTs. Section 5. this is sufficient to hold the respondent liable for violating Canon 18.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The Complainant’s Ex Parte Motion to Withdraw the Verified Complaint and to Dismiss the Case and her Affidavit We are aware of the complainant’s Ex Parte Motion to Withdraw the Verified Complaint and To Dismiss the Case dated November 14. Ortiz. 94 The complainant now pleads for the respondent’s forgiveness. 87 Canon 18. Delante. we disbarred the respondent therein for taking advantage of his clients and for transferring the title of their property to his name.00. 95 We take note that under their Compromise Agreement dated November 14. but after being enlightened. settlement. 2000. without sufficient justification. support this conclusion. 2902. genuineness and due execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale notarized on March 6. he failed to file the Motion for Leave to Intervene on behalf of the spouses Ylaya. 96 the complainant and Reynold equally share the just compensation. and that this disbarment complaint was filed because of a "misunderstanding." What amounts to carelessness or negligence in a lawyer’s discharge of his duty to his client is incapable of an exact formulation.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility." In Angalan v. 92 The complainant explains that the parties have entered into a compromise agreement in Civil Case No.97 despite the Affidavit of Desistance. but the Court has consistently held that the mere failure of a lawyer to perform the obligations due his client is per se a violation.03 requires that a lawyer "shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. 2902 and that he purportedly filed a Motion for Leave to Intervene in their behalf. 2006 for the expropriation case. the respondent clearly failed in this case in his duty to his client when. Rule 18. without any explanation. In this cited case. miscommunication and improper appreciation of facts"." Allowing a party to take the original TCTs of properties owned by another – an act that could result in damage – should merit a finding of legal malpractice. Despite the respondent’s admission that he represented the complainant and her late husband in Civil Case No. she is convinced that he has no personal or pecuniary interests over the properties in Civil Case No. stating that he has been her and her late husband’s lawyer for over a decade and affirms her trust and confidence in him.The respondent is reminded that his duty under Canon 16 is to "hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his possession.

102 It exercises such disciplinary functions through the IBP. In Josefina M. and Rule 18. it shall issue a resolution setting forth its findings and recommendations which. This is particularly true in the present case where pecuniary consideration has been given to the complainant as a consideration for her desistance. the complainant is now amenable to the position of the respondent and/or Reynold. Glenn Carlos Gacott GUILTY of violating Rule 15. Rule 18. for violating Canon 15. premises considered.103 we imposed the penalty of suspension of six ( 6) months from the practice of law on the respondent therein for his violation of Canon 18. 2010 of the IBP Board of Governors. we set aside Resolution No. or half of the just compensation under the Compromise Agreement. because of the consideration. the charge of deceit and grossly immoral conduct has been proven. Aniñon v. 2007 and Resolution No. Under the circumstances. . Rule 15. e..03 of Canon 15. on the basis of the facts borne out by the record. in administrative proceedings against lawyers. What matters is whether.000. we consider the complainant’s desistance to be suspect. Atty. This rule is premised on the nature of disciplinary proceedings. determines that the respondent should be suspended from the practice of law or disbarred.03 of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. SO ORDERED. and find respondent Atty.1âwphi1 The Supreme Court exercises exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the practice of law. Review and decision by the Board of Governors. WHEREFORE. Jr. Clemencio Sabitsana.Complainant’s desistance or withdrawal of the complaint does not exonerate respondent or put an end to the administrative proceedings. he is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one (1) year. shall forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action. A case of suspension or disbarment may proceed regardless of interest or lack of interest of the complainant. we find a one (1) year suspension to be a sufficient and appropriate sanction against the respondent. Canon 16. but it does not relinquish its duty to form its own judgment. Disbarment proceedings are exercised under the sole jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Rule 139-B is clear on this point that: Section 12. Procedural aspect We remind all parties that resolutions from the IBP Board of Governors are merely recommendatory and do not attain finality without a final action from this Court. They are undertaken for the purpose of preserving courts of justice from the official ministration of persons unfit to practice in them. by the vote of a majority of its total membership.03 and Canon 16. and has generally no interest in the outcome except as all good citizens may have in the proper administration of justice. rather. XVIII-. XIX-2010-545 dated October 8. We note in this regard that she would receive P5.100 and thus agreed to withdraw all charges against the respondent. – xxxx (b) If the Board.99 In sum. As a penalty. and the IBP’s recommendations imposing the penalty of suspension from the practice of law or disbarment are always subject to this Court’s review and approval.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.00. The attorney is called to answer to the court for his conduct as an officer of the court.2007-302 dated December 14. A proceeding for suspension or disbarment is not a civil action where the complainant is a plaintiff and the respondent lawyer is a defendant. it is not grounded on the fact that the respondent did not commit any actual misconduct. Macalalad. together with the whole record of the case. The complainant or the person who called the attention of the court to the attorney’s alleged misconduct is in no sense a party. They are undertaken and prosecuted solely for the public welfare.104 we suspended the respondent therein from the practice of law for one (1) year. with a WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar act will be dealt with more severely. 101 From this perspective. Section 12. Disciplinary proceedings involve no private interest and afford no redress for private grievance. Rule 16. the complainant’s desistance or withdrawal does not terminate the proceedings.000. The Penalty In Solidon v.

a mass grave was discovered by elements of the 43rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army at Sitio Sapang Daco. No. vs. HON. in his capacity as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Hilongos. EPHREM S. Petitioner. x-----------------------x DECISION SERENO. ABANDO.1 The mass grave contained skeletal remains of individuals believed to be victims of "Operation Venereal Disease" (Operation VD) launched by members of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP/NPA/NDFP) to purge their ranks of suspected military informers. 2. Petitioners have raised several issues. Almaden (P C/Insp.: On 26 August 2006. in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Justice. in the exercise of sound judicial discretion and economy. but most are too insubstantial to require consideration. Police Chief Inspector George L. Accordingly. CESAR M. we take cognizance of these petitions considering that petitioners have chosen to take recourse directly before us and that the cases are of significant national interest. this Court will pass primarily upon the following: 1. his capacity as Approving Prosecutor and Officer-in-Charge.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. ANTECEDENT FACTS These are petitions for certiorari and prohibition2 seeking the annulment of the orders and resolutions of public respondents with regard to the indictment and issuance of warrants of arrest against petitioners for the crime of multiple murder. 2014 SATURNINO C. in his capacity as Investigating Prosecutor.R. CJ. Inopacan. ROSULO U. MERIN. Leyte. Barangay Kaulisihan. Whether the murder charges against petitioners should be dismissed under the political offense doctrine. RAUL M. VIVERO. Branch 18. Almaden) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Office 8 and Staff Judge Advocate Captain Allan Tiu (Army Captain Tiu) of the 8th Infantry . Respondents. Whether petitioners were denied due process during preliminary investigation and in the issuance of the warrants of arrest. OCAMPO. 176830 February 11. Leyte. GONZALEZ. in. While the doctrine of hierarchy of courts normally precludes a direct invocation of this Court’s jurisdiction.

Glecerio Roluna and Veronica P.21 On the basis of the 12 letters and their attachments. Operation VD was ordered in 1985 by the CPP/NPA/NDFP Central Committee. 11) Romeo Tayabas. Numeriano Beringuel. Counsel of petitioner Ladlad made a formal entry of appearance on 8 December 2006 during the preliminary investigation. Barangay Kaulisihan. elements of the 43rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army discovered a mass grave site of the CPP/NPA/NDFP at Sitio Sapang Daco.. from 11-17 September 2006. 12) Domingo Napoles. 5) Restituto Ejoc.17 and Vicente P. Jr. According to these former members.7 The Initial Specialist Report8 dated 18 September 2006 issued by the PNP Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame. 4) Teodoro Recones. The report recommended the conduct of further tests to confirm the identities of the remains and the time window of death. the Case Secretariat of the Regional and National Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG) came up with the names of ten (10) possible victims after comparison and examination based on testimonies of relatives and witnesses. Vivero (Prosecutor Vivero). 9) Zacarias Casil. at least 100 people had been abducted. among others. 6) Rolando Vasquez.9 However. 8) Crispin Dalmacio. They also expressed belief that their relatives’ remains were among those discovered at the mass grave site.19 From 1985 to 1992. preserve and analyze the skeletal remains. and to collect. tortured and executed by members of the CPP/NPA/NDF20 pursuant to Operation VD. including petitioners herein along with several other unnamed members. (1) the Intel Group responsible for gathering information on suspected military spies and civilians who would not support the movement. Tabara. and medico-legal and DNA experts.14 Allegedly.12 Leonardo C. Quezon City.22 Petitioner Ocampo submitted his counter-affidavit. including petitioners herein.13 According to them.3 The letters requested appropriate legal action on 12 complaint-affidavits attached therewith accusing 71 named members of the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP/NPA/NDFP) of murder.16 Rafael G.15 Randall B. Baylosis (Baylosis). Tanaid. in a Special Report10 dated 2 October 2006. Tanaid. Prosecutor Vivero recommended the filing of an Information for 15 counts of multiple murder against 54 named members of the CPP/NPA/NDFP. (3) the Investigation Group which would subject those arrested to questioning. an investigation team composed of intelligence officers. hog-tied. (2) the Arresting Group charged with their arrests.6 Also.27 In a Resolution28 dated 16 February 2007. namely. Ladlad (Ladlad)18 were then members of the Central Committee. petitioner Ladlad did not file a counter-affidavit because he was allegedly not served a subpoena. They narrated that they were former members of the CPP/NPA/NDFP. petitioners to submit their counter-affidavits and those of their witnesses. conducted forensic crime analysis and collected from alleged relatives of the victims DNA samples for matching. was inconclusive with regard to the identities of the skeletal remains and even the length of time that they had been buried. four sub-groups were formed to implement Operation VD. and (4) the Execution Group or the "cleaners" of those confirmed to be military spies and civilians who would not support the movement.Division of the Philippine Army sent 12 undated letters to the Provincial Prosecutor of Leyte through Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Rosulo U. for the death of the following: 1) Juanita Aviola. Ocampo (Ocampo).11 The 12 complaint-affidavits were from relatives of the alleged victims of Operation VD. 7) Junior Milyapis.23 Petitioners Echanis24 and Baylosis25 did not file counteraffidavits because they were allegedly not served the copy of the complaint and the attached documents or evidence. Also attached to the letters were the affidavits of Zacarias Piedad. 13) . Echanis (Echanis). The letters narrated that on 26 August 2006. All of them swore that their relatives had been abducted or last seen with members of the CPP/NPA/NDFP and were never seen again. Inopacan. Leyte.5 The PNP Scene of the Crime Operation (SOCO) Team based in Regional Office 8 was immediately dispatched to the mass grave site to conduct crime investigation. 3) Gregorio Eras. Prosecutor Vivero issued a subpoena requiring.4 Recovered from the grave site were 67 severely deteriorated skeletal remains believed to be victims of Operation VD. Floro M.26 However. petitioners Saturnino C. 2) Concepcion Aragon. 10) Pablo Daniel.

as their testimonies were vital to the success of the prosecution. H-1581. 2. 51 Petitioners Echanis and Baylosis filed a Motion for Reconsideration52 dated 30 May 2008."33 He ordered the issuance of warrants of arrest against them with no recommended bail for their temporary liberty. and 15) Ereberto Prado. The Information was filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Hilongos. and docketed as Criminal Case No.35 The petition prayed for the unconditional release of petitioner Ocampo from PNP custody. the prosecution filed a Motion to Admit Amended Information and New Informations on 11 April 2007.49 On 1 February 2008. Whether the present petition for certiorari and prohibition is the proper remedy of petitioner Ocampo.39 Putting forward the political offense doctrine. Leyte) presided by Judge Ephrem S. and set42 the case for oral arguments on 30 March 2007.45 On 3 April 2007. such as murder in this case.48 While the proceedings were suspended. Leyte was defective for charging 15 counts of murder.R.47 In an Order dated 27 July 2007.40 We required41 the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to comment on the petition and the prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order/ writ of preliminary injunction. petitioner Echanis was arrested on 28 January 2008 by virtue of the warrant of arrest issued by Judge Abando on 6 March 2007. Abando (Judge Abando) on 28 February 2007. No. Numeriano Beringuel and Glecerio Roluna be dropped as respondents and utilized as state witnesses. Assuming it is the proper remedy. are already absorbed by the crime of rebellion when committed as a necessary means. No. Judge Abando issued an Order denying the motion.50 On 30 April 2008.36 Petitioner Ocampo argued that a case for rebellion against him and 44 others (including petitioners Echanis and Baylosis37 and Ladlad38) docketed as Criminal Case No. 176830 before this Court. Branch 150 (RTC Makati). petitioner Ocampo argues that common crimes.34 On 16 March 2007. petitioners Echanis and Baylosis filed a Motion for Judicial Reinvestigation/ Determination of Probable Cause with Prayer to Dismiss the Case Outright and Alternative Prayer to Recall/ Suspend Service of Warrant.000 cash bond.32 On 6 March 2007.30 The Resolution was silent with regard to Veronica Tabara.Ciriaco Daniel.46 Acting on the observation of the Court during the oral arguments that the single Information filed before the RTC Hilongos.29 Prosecutor Vivero also recommended that Zacarias Piedad. 176830 seeking the annulment of the 6 March 2007 Order of Judge Abando and the 16 February 2007 Resolution of Prosecutor Vivero. as well as the issuance of a temporary restraining order/ writ of preliminary injunction to restrain the conduct of further proceedings during the pendency of the petition.31 Petitioner Ocampo filed an Ex Parte Motion to Set Case for Clarificatory Hearing dated 5 March 2007 prior to receiving a copy of the Resolution recommending the filing of the Information. Leyte. in connection with and in furtherance of rebellion. the parties were ordered to submit their memoranda within 10 days. 3. but before being able to rule . Whether the murder charges against him are already included in the rebellion charge against him in the RTC. 14) Crispin Prado.43 The following were the legal issues discussed by the parties during the oral arguments: 1. 06-944 was then pending before the RTC Makati. The OSG filed its Comment on 27 March 2007. Leonardo Tanaid. petitioner Ocampo filed before us this special civil action for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court and docketed as G.R.44 Afterwards. the Court ordered the provisional release of petitioner Ocampo under a P100. Judge Abando held in abeyance the resolution thereof and effectively suspended the proceedings during the pendency of G. Branch 18 (RTC Hilongos. Judge Abando issued an Order finding probable cause "in the commission by all mentioned accused of the crime charged. whether he was denied due process during preliminary investigation and in the issuance of the warrant of arrest.

the Court ordered the provisional release of petitioner Echanis under a P100. 190005 with G. to which the OSG did not interpose any objection on these conditions: that the temporary release shall only be for the purpose of his attendance and participation in the formal peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the CPP/NPA/NDFP. 190005. petitioner Echanis filed before us a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeking the annulment of the 30 April 2008 Order of Judge Abando and the 27 October 2008 Order of Judge Medina. and that his temporary release shall not exceed six (6) months. Judge Abando issued an Order dated 12 June 2008 transmitting the records of Criminal Case No. No. 185587 and 185636. the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed its Opposition68 to petitioner Ladlad’s motion to quash before the RTC Manila. On 11 January 2010. Nos. On 18 December 2008.69 On 6 May 2009.67 Meanwhile.000 cash bond.71 On 9 November 2009. No. 185587 and 185636 on 12 January 2009. Branch 32 (RTC Manila) presided by Judge Thelma BunyiMedina (Judge Medina) and re-docketed as Criminal Case No.R. H-1581 to the Office of the Clerk of Court.R. . the Court ordered the further consolidation of these two cases with G.R.62 On 3 March 2009. we ordered the consolidation of G. The trial court conducted a hearing on the motion on 13 February 2009. On 27 July 2010.R. Petitioners Echanis and Baylosis filed their Consolidated Reply78 on 7 June 2011. petitioner Ladlad filed with the RTC Manila a Motion to Quash and/or Dismiss.61 The Court consolidated G.R. prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order/ writ of preliminary injunction to restrain the implementation of the warrant of arrest against petitioner Baylosis. No.66 On 11 August 2009. we likewise required the OSG to file its Comment in G. such that his temporary liberty shall continue for the duration of his actual participation in the peace negotiations. docketed as G.53 The Order was issued in compliance with the Resolution dated 23 April 2008 of this Court granting the request of then Secretary of Justice Raul Gonzales to transfer the venue of the case.55 In an Order56 dated 27 October 2008.R.57 On 23 December 2008. 185587. 176830 by this Court.72 The petition was docketed as G.R. set to begin in August 2009. prayed for the unconditional and immediate release of petitioner Echanis. Nos. petitioners Echanis and Baylosis filed their Supplemental Arguments to Motion for Reconsideration.59 On 5 January 2009. for the purpose of his participation in the formal peace negotiations. Nos. RTC Manila. docketed as G. 65 The latter condition was later modified.73 We also required the OSG to file its comment thereon. The case was re-raffled to RTC Manila.60 The petition. as well as the issuance of a temporary restraining order/writ of preliminary injunction to restrain his further incarceration.75 These Comments were filed by the OSG on 13 December 201076 and on 21 January 2011.R. No. petitioner Baylosis filed before us a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court also seeking the annulment of the 30 April 2008 Order of Judge Abando and the 27 October 2008 Order of Judge Medina.58 The petition. 185636 and 185587. No. The OSG submitted its Comment74 on 7 May 2010. No. On 12 August 2008.thereon. Judge Medina suspended the proceedings of the case pending the resolution of G. 176830. The motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner Ladlad was also denied on 27 August 2009.54 Petitioner Echanis was transferred to the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.R. 08-262163. petitioner Ladlad filed before us a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeking the annulment of the 6 May 2009 and 27 August 2009 Orders of Judge Medina. Judge Medina issued an Order70 denying the motion to quash. 176830. Quezon City. 185636.63 We required64 the OSG to comment on the prayer for petitioner Echanis’s immediate release.77 respectively.

we granted the motions of petitioners Ladlad and Baylosis and fixed their bail in the amount of P100. "The essence of due process is reasonable opportunity to be heard and submit evidence in support of one's defense. Almaden and Army Captain Tiu to Prosecutor Vivero. and that it was the respondent who committed it. the investigating officer is bound to dismiss the complaint.98 As to the claim of petitioners Echanis and Baylosis. expense and anxiety of a public trial.000.] the respondents were issued and served with Subpoena at their last known address for them to submit . because the latter deliberately delayed the service of the Resolution by 19 days. and that the meeting actually took place in June 1985. they were deprived of the right to file counter-affidavits.93 Thus. surreptitiously inserted the Supplemental Affidavit of Zacarias Piedad in the records of the case without furnishing petitioner Ocampo a copy. it is a substantive right and a component of due process in the administration of criminal justice. OUR RULING Petitioners were accorded due process during preliminary investigation and in the issuance of the warrants of arrest. subject to the condition that their temporary release shall be limited to the period of their actual participation in the peace negotiations. Preliminary Investigation A preliminary investigation is "not a casual affair.000 cash bail to them considering that they were consultants of the NDFP negotiating team.95 Petitioner Ocampo refuted this claim in his Counteraffidavit dated 22 December 2006 stating that he was in military custody from October 1976 until his escape in May 1985.85 While the right to have a preliminary investigation before trial is statutory rather than constitutional.80 The OSG interposed no objection to the grant of a P100. which states: In connection with the foregoing and pursuant to the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure[. 89 Thus. when the launching of Operation VD was agreed upon.82 Petitioner Ladlad filed his Reply83 to the OSG Comment on 18 January 2013. in collusion with P C/Insp. effectively denying petitioner Ocampo his right to due process. the Supplemental Affidavit of Zacarias Piedad dated 12 January 2007 admitted that he made a mistake in his original affidavit. one who has been afforded a chance to present one’s own side of the story cannot claim denial of due process.81 On 17 January 2012. petitioner Ladlad was still not sent a subpoena through his counsels’ addresses. petitioner Ladlad filed an Urgent Motion to Fix Bail.90 Petitioners Echanis and Baylosis allege that they did not receive a copy of the complaint and the attached documents or evidence.86 In the context of a preliminary investigation.On 2 May 2011.96 Thereafter. petitioner Baylosis filed A Motion to Allow Petitioner to Post Bail.92 Furthermore. Petitioner Ocampo claims that Prosecutor Vivero. even though his counsels filed their formal entry of appearance before the Office of the Prosecutor. Afterwards. A. Almaden and Army Captain Tiu. the investigating officer shall decide whether the allegations and defenses lead to a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed."84 It is conducted to protect the innocent from the embarrassment. Otherwise.97 Petitioner Ocampo argues that he was denied the opportunity to reply to the Supplemental Affidavit by not being furnished a copy thereof.94 The original affidavit of Zacarias Piedad dated 14 September 2006 stated that a meeting presided by petitioner Ocampo was held in 1984. Petitioner Ocampo also claims that he was denied the right to file a motion for reconsideration or to appeal the Resolution of Prosecutor Vivero.91 Petitioner Ladlad claims that he was not served a subpoena due to the false address indicated in the 12 undated letters of P C/Insp. we quote the pertinent portion of Prosecutor Vivero’s Resolution. 79 On 21 July 2011. which was then holding negotiations with the GRP peace panel for the signing of a peace accord."88 What is proscribed is lack of opportunity to be heard. the right to due process of law entails the opportunity to be heard.87 It serves to accord an opportunity for the presentation of the respondent’s side with regard to the accusation.

had every opportunity to secure copies of the complaint after his counsel’s formal entry of appearance and. Thus."106 Having opted to remain passive during the preliminary investigation. it must be pointed out that the period for filing a motion for reconsideration or an appeal to the Secretary of Justice is reckoned from the date of receipt of the resolution of the prosecutor. which had ordered the launch of Operation VD. he refused to participate. As to his claim that he was denied the right to file a motion for reconsideration or to appeal the Resolution of Prosecutor Vivero due to the 19-day delay in the service of the Resolution. to participate fully in the preliminary investigation. not from the date of the resolution. However. Period to appeal. the Resolution stated that efforts were undertaken to serve subpoenas on the named respondents at their last known addresses.103 In connection with this claim. 3. On the other hand. The date of the execution of the Supplemental Affidavit was also clearly stated. Only one motion for reconsideration shall be allowed. and that she was among those mentioned in the Resolution as having timely submitted their counteraffidavits. Majority of the respondents did not submit their counter-affidavits because they could no longer be found in their last known address. that will provide petitioner Ocampo with the opportunity to question the execution of Zacarias Piedad’s Supplemental Affidavit. The OSG has asserted that the indictment of petitioner Ocampo was based on the collective affidavits of several other witnesses107 attesting to the allegation that he was a member of the CPP/NPA/NDFP Central Committee. Neither can we uphold petitioner Ocampo’s contention that he was denied the right to be heard. 104 was sent to the same address. Petitioner Ladlad claims that his subpoena was sent to the nonexistent address "53 Sct. or of the denial of the motion for reconsideration/ reinvestigation if one has been filed within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the assailed resolution. Petitioner Ladlad."102 which had never been his address at any time. QC. petitioner Ladlad and his counsel cannot now claim a denial of due process. We have previously cautioned that "litigants represented by counsel should not expect that all they need to do is sit back. Fides Lim.101 In this case. we take note of the fact that the subpoena to Fides Lim. per return of the subpoenas. For him to claim that he was denied due process by not being furnished a copy of the Supplemental Affidavit of Zacarias Piedad would imply that the entire case of the prosecution rested on the Supplemental Affidavit.105 Prosecutor Vivero had a reason to believe that petitioner Ladlad had received the subpoena and accordingly instructed his counsel to prepare his defense. thereafter. Neither do we find any merit in petitioner Ocampo’s allegation of collusion to surreptitiously insert the Supplemental Affidavit of Zacarias Piedad in the records. and he was given an opportunity to present countervailing evidence. since their failure to file a counter-affidavit was of their own doing.99 Section 3(d). Despite supposedly never receiving a subpoena. As long as efforts to reach a respondent were made. Instead.. It was only because a majority of them could no longer be found at their last known addresses that they were not served copies of the complaint and the attached documents or evidence. through his counsel. petitioner Ladlad’s wife.100 The rule was put in place in order to foil underhanded attempts of a respondent to delay the prosecution of offenses. This is sufficient for due process. Rallos St. (Emphasis supplied) . Vicente Ladlad and Jasmin Jerusalem failed to submit the required Counter Affidavits in spite entry of appearance by their respective counsels. petitioner Ladlad’s counsel filed a formal entry of appearance on 8 December 2006. allows Prosecutor Vivero to resolve the complaint based on the evidence before him if a respondent could not be subpoenaed. Rule 112 of the Rules of Court. it was clear that it was executed after petitioner Ocampo had submitted his counter-affidavit. Maureen Palejaro and Ruben Manatad submitted their Counter-Affidavits. Saturnino Ocampo @ Satur.their counter-affidavits and that of their witnesses. There was nothing surreptitious about the Supplemental Affidavit since it clearly alludes to an earlier affidavit and admits the mistake committed regarding the date of the alleged meeting. relax and await the outcome of their case. the preliminary investigation remains valid. – The appeal shall be taken within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the resolution. Should the case go to trial. This is clear from Section 3 of the 2000 National Prosecution Service Rule on Appeal: Sec.

116 Further elucidating on the wide latitude given to trial judges in the issuance of warrants of arrest.112 It is enough that the judge personally evaluates the prosecutor’s report and supporting documents showing the existence of probable cause for the indictment and. The trial court's exercise of its judicial discretion should not."118 Judge Abando’s review of the Information and the supporting documents is shown by the following portion of the judge’s 6 March 2007 Order: On the evaluation of the Resolution and its Information as submitted and filed by the Provincial . B. had Judge Abando painstakingly examined the records submitted by Prosecutor Vivero.111 In fact. when petitioner Ocampo received the Resolution of Prosecutor Vivero on 12 March 2007. As stated above. Again. certiorari will not lie to cure errors in the trial court's appreciation of the evidence of the parties. as well as the conclusions of law.114 Additionally. he finds no probable cause. x x x. Here. Instead. the judge would have inevitably dismissed the charge against them. on the basis of his evaluation. issue a warrant of arrest. Sandiganbayan117 as follows: x x x. "he sufficiently complies with the requirement of personal determination if he reviews the [I]nformation and the documents attached thereto. Indeed. or if." Petitioner Ocampo alleges that Judge Abando did not comply with the requirements of the Constitution in finding the existence of probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest against petitioners."110 Although the Constitution provides that probable cause shall be determined by the judge after an examination under oath or an affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses. and on the basis thereof forms a belief that the accused is probably guilty of the crime with which he is being charged. the trial judge’s appreciation of the evidence and conclusion of facts based thereon are not interfered with in the absence of grave abuse of discretion. we have ruled that a hearing is not necessary for the determination thereof. including other documents and/or evidence appended to the Information. to disregard the prosecutor's resolution and require the submission of additional affidavits of witnesses to aid him in determining its existence. petitioner Ocampo alleges that Judge Abando did not point out facts and evidence in the record that were used as bases for his finding of probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest. this Court stated in Sarigumba v. the conclusion of facts it reached based on the said findings. as a general rule. Issuance of the Warrants of Arrest Article III. petitioner Ocampo chose to file the instant petition for certiorari directly before this Court on 16 March 2007. on the basis thereof. the Resolution of the Investigating Prosecutor. Whether or not there is probable cause for the issuance of warrants for the arrest of the accused is a question of fact based on the allegations in the Informations. 108 the former had until 27 March 2007 within which to file either a motion for reconsideration before the latter or an appeal before the Secretary of Justice. the judge’s personal examination of the complainant and the witnesses is not mandatory and indispensable for determining the aptness of issuing a warrant of arrest.Thus.109 Probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest 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 by the person sought to be arrested. the allegations of petitioners point to factual matters indicated in the affidavits of the complainants and witnesses as bases for the contention that there was no probable cause for petitioners’ indictment for multiple murder or for the issuance of warrants for their arrest.115 The determination of probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest against petitioners is addressed to the sound discretion of Judge Abando as the trial judge. Section 2 of the Constitution provides that "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.113 Petitioners Echanis and Baylosis claim that. be interfered with in the absence of grave abuse of discretion.

Prosecution of Leyte Province supported by the following documents: Affidavits of Complainants, Sworn
Statements of Witnesses and other pertinent documents issued by the Regional Crime Laboratory
Office, PNP, Region VIII and Camp Crame, Quezon City, pictures of the grave site and skeletal remains,
this court has the findings [sic] of probable cause in the commission by all mentioned accused of the
crime charged.119
At bottom, issues involving the finding of probable cause for an indictment and issuance of a
warrant of arrest, as petitioners are doubtless aware, are primarily questions of fact that are normally
not within the purview of a petition for certiorari,120 such as the petitions filed in the instant
consolidated cases.
The political offense doctrine is not a
ground to dismiss the charge against
petitioners prior to a determination
by the trial court that the murders
were committed in furtherance of
rebellion.
Under the political offense doctrine, "common crimes, perpetrated in furtherance of a political
offense, are divested of their character as "common" offenses and assume the political complexion of
the main crime of which they are mere ingredients, and, consequently, cannot be punished separately
from the principal offense, or complexed with the same, to justify the imposition of a graver
penalty."121
Any ordinary act assumes a different nature by being absorbed in the crime of rebellion. 122 Thus,
when a killing is committed in furtherance of rebellion, the killing is not homicide or murder. Rather,
the killing assumes the political complexion of rebellion as its mere ingredient and must be prosecuted
and punished as rebellion alone.
However, this is not to say that public prosecutors are obliged to consistently charge respondents
with simple rebellion instead of common crimes. No one disputes the well-entrenched principle in
criminal procedure that the institution of criminal charges, including whom and what to charge, is
addressed to the sound discretion of the public prosecutor.123
But when the political offense doctrine is asserted as a defense in the trial court, it becomes crucial
for the court to determine whether the act of killing was done in furtherance of a political end, and for
the political motive of the act to be conclusively demonstrated.124
Petitioners aver that the records show that the alleged murders were committed in furtherance of
the CPP/NPA/NDFP rebellion, and that the political motivation behind the alleged murders can be
clearly seen from the charge against the alleged top leaders of the CPP/NPA/NDFP as co-conspirators.
We had already ruled that the burden of demonstrating political motivation must be discharged by
the defense, since motive is a state of mind which only the accused knows. 125 The proof showing
political motivation is adduced during trial where the accused is assured an opportunity to present
evidence supporting his defense. It is not for this Court to determine this factual matter in the instant
petitions.
As held in the case of Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Zamboanga Del Norte v. CA,126 if during
trial, petitioners are able to show that the alleged murders were indeed committed in furtherance of
rebellion, Section 14, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court provides the remedy, to wit:
SECTION 14. Amendment or substitution. — A complaint or information may be amended, in form or
in substance, without leave of court, at any time before the accused enters his plea. After the plea and
during the trial, a formal amendment may only be made with leave of court and when it can be done
without causing prejudice to the rights of the accused.
However, any amendment before plea, which downgrades the nature of the offense charged in or
excludes any accused from the complaint or information, can be made only upon motion by the
prosecutor, with notice to the offended party and with leave of court. The court shall state its reasons
in resolving the motion and copies of its order shall be furnished all parties, especially the offended
party. (n)

If it appears at any time before judgment that a mistake has been made in charging the proper
offense, the court shall dismiss the original complaint or information upon the filing of a new one
charging the proper offense in accordance with Section 19, Rule 119, provided the accused shall not be
placed in double jeopardy. The court may require the witnesses to give bail for their appearance at the
trial. (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, if it is shown that the proper charge against petitioners should have been simple rebellion,
the trial court shall dismiss the murder charges upon the filing of the Information for simple rebellion,
as long as petitioners would not be placed in double jeopardy.
Section 7, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court, states:
SEC. 7. Former conviction or acquittal; double jeopardy. — When an accused has been convicted or
acquitted, or the case against him dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent by a
court of competent jurisdiction, upon a valid complaint or information or other formal charge sufficient
in form and substance to sustain a conviction and after the accused had pleaded to the charge, the
conviction or acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case shall be a bar to another prosecution
for the offense charged, or for any attempt to commit the same or frustration thereof, or for any
offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the former
complaint or information.
Based on the above provision, double jeopardy only applies when: (1) a first jeopardy attached; (2)
it has been validly terminated; and (3) a second jeopardy is for the same offense as in the first.127
A first jeopardy attaches only after the accused has been acquitted or convicted, or the case has
been dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent, by a competent court in a valid
indictment for which the accused has entered a valid plea during arraignment.128
To recall, on 12 May 2006, an Information for the crime of rebellion, as defined and penalized under
Article 134 in relation to Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code, docketed as Criminal Case No. 06-944
was filed before the RTC Makati against petitioners and several others.129
However, petitioners were never arraigned in Criminal Case No. 06-944.1awp++i1 Even before the
indictment for rebellion was filed before the RTC Makati, petitioners Ocampo, Echanis and Ladlad had
already filed a petition before this Court to seek the nullification of the Orders of the DOJ denying their
motion for the inhibition of the members of the prosecution panel due to lack of impartiality and
independence.130 When the indictment was filed, petitioners Ocampo, Echanis and Ladlad filed
supplemental petitions to enjoin the prosecution of Criminal Case No. 06-944.131 We eventually
ordered the dismissal of the rebellion case. It is clear then that a first jeopardy never had a chance to
attach.
Petitioner Ocampo shall remain on provisional liberty under the P100,000 cash bond posted before
the Office of the Clerk of Court. He shall remain on provisional liberty until the termination of the
proceedings before the RTC Manila.1âwphi1
The OSG has given its conformity to the provisional liberty of petitioners Echanis, Baylosis and
Ladlad in view of the ongoing peace negotiations. Their provisional release from detention under the
cash bond of P100,000 each shall continue under the condition that their temporary release shall be
limited to the period of their actual participation as CPP-NDF consultants in the peace negotiations with
the government or until the termination of the proceedings before the RTC Manila, whichever is sooner.
It shall be the duty of the government to inform this Court the moment that peace negotiations are
concluded.
WHEREFORE, the instant consolidated petitions are DISMISSED. The RTC of Manila, Branch 32, is
hereby ORDERED to proceed with dispatch with the hearing of Criminal Case No. 08-262163. Petitioner
Saturnino C. Ocampo shall remain on temporary liberty under the same bail granted by this Court until
the termination of the proceedings before the RTC Manila. Petitioners Randall B. Echanis, Rafael G.
Baylosis and Vicente P. Ladlad shall remain on temporary liberty under the same bail granted by this
Court until their actual participation as CPP-NDF consultants in the peace negotiations with the
government are concluded or terminated, or until the termination of the proceedings before the RTC
Manila, whichever is sooner.
SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 122846

January 20, 2009

WHITE LIGHT CORPORATION, TITANIUM CORPORATION and STA. MESA TOURIST &
DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioners,
vs.
CITY OF MANILA, represented by DE CASTRO, MAYOR ALFREDO S. LIM, Respondent.
DECISION
Tinga, J.:
With another city ordinance of Manila also principally involving the tourist district as subject, the
Court is confronted anew with the incessant clash between government power and individual liberty in
tandem with the archetypal tension between law and morality.
In City of Manila v. Laguio, Jr., 1 the Court affirmed the nullification of a city ordinance barring the
operation of motels and inns, among other establishments, within the Ermita-Malate area. The petition
at bar assails a similarly-motivated city ordinance that prohibits those same establishments from
offering short-time admission, as well as pro-rated or "wash up" rates for such abbreviated stays. Our
earlier decision tested the city ordinance against our sacred constitutional rights to liberty, due process
and equal protection of law. The same parameters apply to the present petition.
This Petition2 under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules on Civil Procedure, which seeks the reversal of the
Decision3 in C.A.-G.R. S.P. No. 33316 of the Court of Appeals, challenges the validity of Manila City
Ordinance No. 7774 entitled, "An Ordinance Prohibiting Short-Time Admission, Short-Time Admission
Rates, and Wash-Up Rate Schemes in Hotels, Motels, Inns, Lodging Houses, Pension Houses, and
Similar Establishments in the City of Manila" (the Ordinance).

I.
The facts are as follows:
On December 3, 1992, City Mayor Alfredo S. Lim (Mayor Lim) signed into law the Ordinance. 4 The
Ordinance is reproduced in full, hereunder:
SECTION 1. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby the declared policy of the City Government to protect
the best interest, health and welfare, and the morality of its constituents in general and the youth in
particular.
SEC. 2. Title. This ordinance shall be known as "An Ordinance" prohibiting short time admission in
hotels, motels, lodging houses, pension houses and similar establishments in the City of Manila.
SEC. 3. Pursuant to the above policy, short-time admission and rate [sic], wash-up rate or other
similarly concocted terms, are hereby prohibited in hotels, motels, inns, lodging houses, pension
houses and similar establishments in the City of Manila.
SEC. 4. Definition of Term[s]. Short-time admission shall mean admittance and charging of room
rate for less than twelve (12) hours at any given time or the renting out of rooms more than twice a
day or any other term that may be concocted by owners or managers of said establishments but would
mean the same or would bear the same meaning.
SEC. 5. Penalty Clause. Any person or corporation who shall violate any provision of this ordinance
shall upon conviction thereof be punished by a fine of Five Thousand (P5,000.00) Pesos or
imprisonment for a period of not exceeding one (1) year or both such fine and imprisonment at the
discretion of the court; Provided, That in case of [a] juridical person, the president, the manager, or the
persons in charge of the operation thereof shall be liable: Provided, further, That in case of subsequent
conviction for the same offense, the business license of the guilty party shall automatically be
cancelled.
SEC. 6. Repealing Clause. Any or all provisions of City ordinances not consistent with or contrary to
this measure or any portion hereof are hereby deemed repealed.
SEC. 7. Effectivity. This ordinance shall take effect immediately upon approval.
Enacted by the city Council of Manila at its regular session today, November 10, 1992.
Approved by His Honor, the Mayor on December 3, 1992.
On December 15, 1992, the Malate Tourist and Development Corporation (MTDC) filed a complaint
for declaratory relief with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order
( TRO)5 with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 9 impleading as defendant, herein
respondent City of Manila (the City) represented by Mayor Lim. 6 MTDC prayed that the Ordinance,
insofar as it includes motels and inns as among its prohibited establishments, be declared invalid and
unconstitutional. MTDC claimed that as owner and operator of the Victoria Court in Malate, Manila it
was authorized by Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 259 to admit customers on a short time basis as well
as to charge customers wash up rates for stays of only three hours.
On December 21, 1992, petitioners White Light Corporation (WLC), Titanium Corporation (TC) and
Sta. Mesa Tourist and Development Corporation (STDC) filed a motion to intervene and to admit
attached complaint-in-intervention7 on the ground that the Ordinance directly affects their business

interests as operators of drive-in-hotels and motels in Manila. 8 The three companies are components
of the Anito Group of Companies which owns and operates several hotels and motels in Metro Manila. 9
On December 23, 1992, the RTC granted the motion to intervene. 10 The RTC also notified the
Solicitor General of the proceedings pursuant to then Rule 64, Section 4 of the Rules of Court. On the
same date, MTDC moved to withdraw as plaintiff.11

On December 28, 1992, the RTC granted MTDC's motion to withdraw. 12 The RTC issued a TRO on
January 14, 1993, directing the City to cease and desist from enforcing the Ordinance. 13 The City filed
an Answer dated January 22, 1993 alleging that the Ordinance is a legitimate exercise of police
power.14
On February 8, 1993, the RTC issued a writ of preliminary injunction ordering the city to desist from
the enforcement of the Ordinance. 15 A month later, on March 8, 1993, the Solicitor General filed his
Comment arguing that the Ordinance is constitutional.
During the pre-trial conference, the WLC, TC and STDC agreed to submit the case for decision
without trial as the case involved a purely legal question. 16 On October 20, 1993, the RTC rendered a
decision declaring the Ordinance null and void. The dispositive portion of the decision reads:
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, [O]rdinance No. 7774 of the City of Manila is hereby
declared null and void.
Accordingly, the preliminary injunction heretofor issued is hereby made permanent.
SO ORDERED.17
The RTC noted that the ordinance "strikes at the personal liberty of the individual guaranteed and
jealously guarded by the Constitution."18 Reference was made to the provisions of the Constitution
encouraging private enterprises and the incentive to needed investment, as well as the right to
operate economic enterprises. Finally, from the observation that the illicit relationships the Ordinance
sought to dissuade could nonetheless be consummated by simply paying for a 12-hour stay, the RTC
likened the law to the ordinance annulled in Ynot v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 19 where the
legitimate purpose of preventing indiscriminate slaughter of carabaos was sought to be effected
through an inter-province ban on the transport of carabaos and carabeef.
The City later filed a petition for review on certiorari with the Supreme Court.20 The petition was
docketed as G.R. No. 112471. However in a resolution dated January 26, 1994, the Court treated the
petition as a petition for certiorari and referred the petition to the Court of Appeals. 21
Before the Court of Appeals, the City asserted that the Ordinance is a valid exercise of police power
pursuant to Section 458 (4)(iv) of the Local Government Code which confers on cities, among other
local government units, the power:
[To] regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance of cafes, restaurants, beerhouses,
hotels, motels, inns, pension houses, lodging houses and other similar establishments, including tourist
guides and transports.22
The Ordinance, it is argued, is also a valid exercise of the power of the City under Article III, Section
18(kk) of the Revised Manila Charter, thus:
"to enact all ordinances it may deem necessary and proper for the sanitation and safety, the
furtherance of the prosperity and the promotion of the morality, peace, good order, comfort,
convenience and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, and such others as be necessary to
carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred by this Chapter; and to fix penalties for
the violation of ordinances which shall not exceed two hundred pesos fine or six months imprisonment,
or both such fine and imprisonment for a single offense. 23
Petitioners argued that the Ordinance is unconstitutional and void since it violates the right to
privacy and the freedom of movement; it is an invalid exercise of police power; and it is an
unreasonable and oppressive interference in their business.
The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the RTC and affirmed the constitutionality of the

Ordinance.24 First, it held that the Ordinance did not violate the right to privacy or the freedom of

movement, as it only penalizes the owners or operators of establishments that admit individuals for
short time stays. Second, the virtually limitless reach of police power is only constrained by having a
lawful object obtained through a lawful method. The lawful objective of the Ordinance is satisfied since
it aims to curb immoral activities. There is a lawful method since the establishments are still allowed to
operate. Third, the adverse effect on the establishments is justified by the well-being of its constituents
in general. Finally, as held in Ermita-Malate Motel Operators Association v. City Mayor of Manila, liberty
is regulated by law.
TC, WLC and STDC come to this Court via petition for review on certiorari. 25 In their petition and
Memorandum, petitioners in essence repeat the assertions they made before the Court of Appeals.
They contend that the assailed Ordinance is an invalid exercise of police power.
II.
We must address the threshold issue of petitioners’ standing. Petitioners allege that as owners of
establishments offering "wash-up" rates, their business is being unlawfully interfered with by the
Ordinance. However, petitioners also allege that the equal protection rights of their clients are also
being interfered with. Thus, the crux of the matter is whether or not these establishments have the
requisite standing to plead for protection of their patrons' equal protection rights.
Standing or locus standi is the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to
and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's participation in the case. More
importantly, the doctrine of standing is built on the principle of separation of powers, 26 sparing as it
does unnecessary interference or invalidation by the judicial branch of the actions rendered by its coequal branches of government.
The requirement of standing is a core component of the judicial system derived directly from the
Constitution.27 The constitutional component of standing doctrine incorporates concepts which
concededly are not susceptible of precise definition. 28 In this jurisdiction, the extancy of "a direct and
personal interest" presents the most obvious cause, as well as the standard test for a petitioner's
standing.29 In a similar vein, the United States Supreme Court reviewed and elaborated on the
meaning of the three constitutional standing requirements of injury, causation, and redressability in
Allen v. Wright.30
Nonetheless, the general rules on standing admit of several exceptions such as the overbreadth
doctrine, taxpayer suits, third party standing and, especially in the Philippines, the doctrine of
transcendental importance.31
For this particular set of facts, the concept of third party standing as an exception and the
overbreadth doctrine are appropriate. In Powers v. Ohio,32 the United States Supreme Court wrote
that: "We have recognized the right of litigants to bring actions on behalf of third parties, provided
three important criteria are satisfied: the litigant must have suffered an ‘injury-in-fact,’ thus giving him
or her a "sufficiently concrete interest" in the outcome of the issue in dispute; the litigant must have a
close relation to the third party; and there must exist some hindrance to the third party's ability to
protect his or her own interests."33 Herein, it is clear that the business interests of the petitioners are
likewise injured by the Ordinance. They rely on the patronage of their customers for their continued
viability which appears to be threatened by the enforcement of the Ordinance. The relative silence in
constitutional litigation of such special interest groups in our nation such as the American Civil
Liberties Union in the United States may also be construed as a hindrance for customers to bring
suit.34
American jurisprudence is replete with examples where parties-in-interest were allowed standing to
advocate or invoke the fundamental due process or equal protection claims of other persons or classes
of persons injured by state action. In Griswold v. Connecticut,35 the United States Supreme Court held
that physicians had standing to challenge a reproductive health statute that would penalize them as
accessories as well as to plead the constitutional protections available to their patients. The Court held
that:
"The rights of husband and wife, pressed here, are likely to be diluted or adversely affected unless
those rights are considered in a suit involving those who have this kind of confidential relation to

them."36
An even more analogous example may be found in Craig v. Boren,37 wherein the United States
Supreme Court held that a licensed beverage vendor has standing to raise the equal protection claim
of a male customer challenging a statutory scheme prohibiting the sale of beer to males under the age
of 21 and to females under the age of 18. The United States High Court explained that the vendors had
standing "by acting as advocates of the rights of third parties who seek access to their market or
function."38
Assuming arguendo that petitioners do not have a relationship with their patrons for the former to
assert the rights of the latter, the overbreadth doctrine comes into play. In overbreadth analysis,
challengers to government action are in effect permitted to raise the rights of third parties. Generally
applied to statutes infringing on the freedom of speech, the overbreadth doctrine applies when a
statute needlessly restrains even constitutionally guaranteed rights. 39 In this case, the petitioners
claim that the Ordinance makes a sweeping intrusion into the right to liberty of their clients. We can
see that based on the allegations in the petition, the Ordinance suffers from overbreadth.
We thus recognize that the petitioners have a right to assert the constitutional rights of their clients
to patronize their establishments for a "wash-rate" time frame.
III.
To students of jurisprudence, the facts of this case will recall to mind not only the recent City of
Manila ruling, but our 1967 decision in Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operations Association, Inc., v.
Hon. City Mayor of Manila.40 Ermita-Malate concerned the City ordinance requiring patrons to fill up a
prescribed form stating personal information such as name, gender, nationality, age, address and
occupation before they could be admitted to a motel, hotel or lodging house. This earlier ordinance
was precisely enacted to minimize certain practices deemed harmful to public morals. A purpose
similar to the annulled ordinance in City of Manila which sought a blanket ban on motels, inns and
similar establishments in the Ermita-Malate area. However, the constitutionality of the ordinance in
Ermita-Malate was sustained by the Court.
The common thread that runs through those decisions and the case at bar goes beyond the
singularity of the localities covered under the respective ordinances. All three ordinances were enacted
with a view of regulating public morals including particular illicit activity in transient lodging
establishments. This could be described as the middle case, wherein there is no wholesale ban on
motels and hotels but the services offered by these establishments have been severely restricted. At
its core, this is another case about the extent to which the State can intrude into and regulate the lives
of its citizens.
The test of a valid ordinance is well established. A long line of decisions including City of Manila has
held that for an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the corporate powers of the local
government unit to enact and pass according to the procedure prescribed by law, it must also conform
to the following substantive requirements: (1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute; (2)
must not be unfair or oppressive; (3) must not be partial or discriminatory; (4) must not prohibit but
may regulate trade; (5) must be general and consistent with public policy; and (6) must not be
unreasonable.41
The Ordinance prohibits two specific and distinct business practices, namely wash rate admissions
and renting out a room more than twice a day. The ban is evidently sought to be rooted in the police
power as conferred on local government units by the Local Government Code through such
implements as the general welfare clause.
A.
Police power, while incapable of an exact definition, has been purposely veiled in general terms to
underscore its comprehensiveness to meet all exigencies and provide enough room for an efficient and
flexible response as the conditions warrant. 42 Police power is based upon the concept of necessity of

the State and its corresponding right to protect itself and its people. 43 Police power has been used as
justification for numerous and varied actions by the State. These range from the regulation of dance

48 The purpose of the guaranty is to prevent arbitrary governmental encroachment against the life. by themselves. after all.S. The vitality though of constitutional due process has not been predicated on the frequency with which it has been utilized to achieve a liberal result for. Yet the desirability of these ends do not sanctify any and all means for their achievement. The due process guaranty serves as a protection against arbitrary regulation or seizure. B. the libertarian ends should sometimes yield to the prerogatives of the State."52 Consequently. Those means must align with the Constitution. Article III of the Constitution. The apparent goal of the Ordinance is to minimize if not eliminate the use of the covered establishments for illicit sex. . Supreme Court in U. yet another form of caution emerges. the courts are naturally inhibited by a due deference to the co-equal branches of government as they exercise their political functions.S.51 Footnote 4 of the Carolene Products case acknowledged that the judiciary would defer to the legislature unless there is a discrimination against a "discrete and insular" minority or infringement of a "fundamental right. is now confronted with a more rigorous level of analysis before it can be upheld. traditionally awesome as it may be. But when we are compelled to nullify executive or legislative actions. there would arise absurd situation of arbitrary government action. C. and. or property. two standards of judicial review were established: strict scrutiny for laws dealing with freedom of the mind or restricting the political process. Examples range from the form of notice given to the level of formality of a hearing. liberty.44 movie theaters. or property. The due process guaranty has traditionally been interpreted as imposing two related but distinct restrictions on government. prostitution. If due process were confined solely to its procedural aspects. and the rational basis standard of review for economic legislation. Even corporations and partnerships are protected by the guaranty insofar as their property is concerned.47 The awesome scope of police power is best demonstrated by the fact that in its hundred or so years of presence in our nation’s legal system. If the Court were animated by the same passing fancies or turbulent emotions that motivate many political decisions. and our emerging sophisticated analysis of its guarantees to the people. "procedural due process" and "substantive due process. and there is no surer way to that end than through the development of rigorous and sophisticated legal standards through which the courts analyze the most fundamental and far-reaching constitutional questions of the day. as guaranteed under Section 1. provided the proper formalities are followed. It inquires whether the government has sufficient justification for depriving a person of life. v. moreso than most other fields of law. its use has rarely been denied. the due process clause has acquired potency because of the sophisticated methodology that has emerged to determine the proper metes and bounds for its application. Instead. has reflected dynamism in progressive legal thought tied with the expanded acceptance of fundamental freedoms. drug use and alike. Carolene Products. Even as we design the precedents that establish the framework for analysis of due process or equal protection questions.halls. sometimes even. liberty. The general test of the validity of an ordinance on substantive due process grounds is best tested when assessed with the evolved footnote 4 test laid down by the U. We derive our respect and good standing in the annals of history by acting as judicious and neutral arbiters of the rule of law. Substantive due process completes the protection envisioned by the due process clause. are unimpeachable and certainly fall within the ambit of the police power of the State.45 gas stations46 and cockpits. The primary constitutional question that confronts us is one of due process. 50 The question of substantive due process. judicial integrity is compromised by any perception that the judiciary is merely the third political branch of government. Due process evades a precise definition.49 Procedural due process concerns itself with government action adhering to the established process when it makes an intrusion into the private sphere. liberty and property of individuals. Police power. the political majorities animated by his cynicism. These goals. The Bill of Rights stands as a rebuke to the seductive theory of Macchiavelli." Procedural due process refers to the procedures that the government must follow before it deprives a person of life.

laws or ordinances are upheld if they rationally further a legitimate governmental interest. it is those "trivial" yet fundamental freedoms – which the people reflexively exercise any day without the impairing awareness of their constitutional consequence – that accurately reflect the degree of liberty enjoyed by the people. In terms of judicial review of statutes or ordinances. it has in the United States since been applied in all substantive due process cases as well. Yet as earlier stated. We expounded on that most primordial of rights. We ourselves have often applied the rational basis test mainly in analysis of equal protection challenges. is not a Ten Commandments-style enumeration of what may or what may not be done. as integrally incorporated as a fundamental right in the Constitution. establish a home and bring up children. in a manner innately understood by them as inherent. and to pursue any avocation are all deemed embraced in the concept of liberty. The term cannot be dwarfed into mere freedom from physical restraint of the person of the citizen. to live and work where he will.[66] The U. guaranteed [by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments]. thus: Liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution was defined by Justice Malcolm to include "the right to exist and the right to be free from arbitrary restraint or servitude. Laguio. The rights at stake herein fall within the same fundamental rights to liberty which we upheld in City of Manila v. the term denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract. strict scrutiny refers to the standard for determining the quality and the amount of governmental interest brought to justify the regulation of fundamental freedoms. was later adopted by the U. Still. the Bill of Rights does not shelter gravitas alone. without doing harm or injury to others.S. denominated as heightened or immediate scrutiny.64 If we were to take the myopic view that an Ordinance should be analyzed strictly as to its effect only on the petitioners at bar.61 The United States Supreme Court has expanded the scope of strict scrutiny to protect fundamental rights such as suffrage. 59 Applying strict scrutiny. Supreme Court for evaluating classifications based on gender 53 and legitimacy. to engage in any of the common occupations of life. governmental interest and on the absence of less restrictive means for achieving that interest.54 Immediate scrutiny was adopted by the U. but is deemed to embrace the right of man to enjoy the facilities with which he has been endowed by his Creator. 62 judicial access63 and interstate travel. Viewed cynically. D. . these are not the sort of cherished rights that. the focus is on the presence of compelling. Concededly. 55 after the Court declined to do so in Reed v. rather than substantial.S. sought to clarify the meaning of "liberty. to acquire useful knowledge. would impel the people to tear up their cedulas. to marry."[ 65] In accordance with this case. we recognize the capacity of the petitioners to invoke as well the constitutional rights of their patrons – those persons who would be deprived of availing short time access or wash-up rates to the lodging establishments in question.56 While the test may have first been articulated in equal protection analysis. when proscribed. to worship God according to the .60 Strict scrutiny is used today to test the validity of laws dealing with the regulation of speech.S. the rights of the citizen to be free to use his faculties in all lawful ways. to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling. . Supreme Court in the case of Roth v. Indeed. then it would seem that the only restraint imposed by the law which we are capacitated to act upon is the injury to property sustained by the petitioners. Supreme Court in Craig. but rather an atmosphere of freedom where the people do not feel labored under a Big Brother presence as they interact with each other. Jr. subject only to such restraint as are necessary for the common welfare. Liberty. their society and nature. gender. or race as well as other fundamental rights as expansion from its earlier applications to equal protection.A third standard. governmental interest is extensively examined and the availability of less restrictive measures is considered. Hon. Board of Regents. an injury that would warrant the application of the most deferential standard – the rational basis test. Reed." It said: While the Court has not attempted to define with exactness the liberty . one might say that the infringed rights of these customers were are trivial since they seem shorn of political consequence. 58 Under intermediate review.57 Using the rational basis examination.

67 [Citations omitted] It cannot be denied that the primary animus behind the ordinance is the curtailment of sexual behavior. Thus it prevents legitimate use of places where illicit activities are rare or even unheard of. presence and exit and thus became the ‘ideal haven for prostitutes and thrill-seekers. there can be no doubt that the meaning of "liberty" must be broad indeed. as distinguished from those of a particular class. so very aptly stated: Man is one among many. In a Constitution for a free people. Our holding therein retains significance for our purposes: The concept of liberty compels respect for the individual whose claim to privacy and interference demands respect. Governmental powers should stop short of certain intrusions into the personal life of the citizen. broadly speaking. The City asserts before this Court that the subject establishments "have gained notoriety as venue of ‘prostitution. He cannot abandon the consequences of his isolation. If he surrenders his will to others. the right to privacy as a constitutional right was recognized in Morfe. as it was in the City of Manila case. 72 Lacking a concurrence of these requisites. . In transit passengers who wish to wash up and rest between trips have a legitimate purpose for abbreviated stays in motels or hotels. Indeed. As the case of Morfe v.dictates of his own conscience. Indeed any person or groups of persons in need of comfortable private spaces for a span of a few hours with purposes other than having sex or using illegal drugs can legitimately look to staying in a motel or hotel as a convenient alternative. in itself it is fully deserving of constitutional protection. adultery and fornications’ in Manila since they ‘provide the necessary atmosphere for clandestine entry. require an interference with private rights and the means must be reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive of private rights. 73 However. . E. his isolation. Entire families are known to choose pass the time in a motel or hotel whilst the power is momentarily out in their homes. If his will is set by the will of others. he ceases to be a master of himself. obstinately refusing reduction to unity. I cannot believe that a man no longer a master of himself is in any real sense free. the police measure shall be struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into private rights. Morfe accorded recognition to the right to privacy independently of its identification with liberty. personal rights and those pertaining to private property will not be permitted to be arbitrarily invaded. 75 The Ordinance makes no distinction between places frequented by patrons engaged in illicit activities and patrons engaged in legitimate actions. and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized . It must appear that the interests of the public generally. a reasonable relation must exist between the purposes of the measure and the means employed for its accomplishment. His separateness. they are so fundamental that they are the basis on which his civic obligations are built. this is not in any way meant to take it away from the vastness of State police power whose exercise enjoys the presumption of validity. Mutuc. which are. and the will built out of that experience personal to himself. the exercise of police power is subject to judicial review when life. liberty or property is affected. There are very legitimate uses for a wash rate or renting the room out for more than twice a day. 74 Similar to the Comelec resolution requiring newspapers to donate advertising space to candidates. as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. 70 We cannot discount other legitimate activities which the Ordinance would proscribe or impair. are indefeasible. he surrenders himself. More importantly. As held in Morfe v. A plain reading of section 3 of the Ordinance shows it makes no classification of places of lodging. Mutuc. borrowing the words of Laski. it cannot be denied that legitimate sexual behavior among willing married or consenting single adults which is constitutionally protected69 will be curtailed as well. for even under the guise of protecting the public interest. the invasion of which should be justified by a compelling state interest.71 It must also be evident that no other alternative for the accomplishment of the purpose less intrusive of private rights can work. this Ordinance is a blunt and heavy instrument. thus deems them all susceptible to illicit patronage and subject them without exception to the unjustified prohibition. . indeed. That the Ordinance prevents the lawful uses of a wash rate depriving patrons of a product and the petitioners of lucrative business ties in with another constitutional requisite for the legitimacy of the Ordinance as a police power measure. that his experience is private.’"68 Whether or not this depiction of a mise-en-scene of vice is accurate.

Moreover. will have its problems. but from our recognition that the individual liberty to make the choices in our lives is innate. even if it may foster wider debate on which particular behavior to penalize.76 and it is skeptical of those who wish to depict our capital city – the Pearl of the Orient – as a modern-day Sodom or Gomorrah for the Third World set. However well -intentioned the Ordinance may be. IV. 80 Our penal laws.79 To be candid about it. The Ordinance rashly equates wash rates and renting out a room more than twice a day with immorality without accommodating innocuous intentions. and . And while the tension may often be left to the courts to relieve. since as explained by Calabresi. for one. it is apparent that the Ordinance can easily be circumvented by merely paying the whole day rate without any hindrance to those engaged in illicit activities. Yet the continuing progression of the human story has seen not only the acceptance of the rightwrong distinction. that phrase is more accurately interpreted as meaning that efforts to legislate morality will fail if they are widely at variance with public attitudes about right and wrong. less drastic means to promote morality. WHEREFORE. by reason of their expression of consent to do so when they take the oath of office. 81 Even as the implementation of moral norms remains an indispensable complement to governance.78 The advancement of moral relativism as a school of philosophy does not de-legitimize the role of morality in law. and as long as there are widely accepted distinctions between right and wrong. Urban decay is a fact of mega cities such as Manila. especially in the face of the norms of due process of liberty. and protected by the State.77 The notion that the promotion of public morality is a function of the State is as old as Aristotle. but also the advent of fundamental liberties as the key to the enjoyment of life to the fullest. The solution to such perceived decay is not to prevent legitimate businesses from offering a legitimate product. its longtime home. and because they are entrusted by the people to uphold the law. the oft-quoted American maxim that "you cannot legislate morality" is ultimately illegitimate as a matter of law.The Court has professed its deep sentiment and tenderness of the Ermita-Malate area. cities revive themselves by offering incentives for new businesses to sprout up thus attracting the dynamism of individuals that would bring a new grandeur to Manila. Independent and fairminded judges themselves are under a moral duty to uphold the Constitution as the embodiment of the rule of law. It is conceivable that a society with relatively little shared morality among its citizens could be functional so long as the pursuit of sharply variant moral perspectives yields an adequate accommodation of different interests. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED. The promotion of public welfare and a sense of morality among citizens deserves the full endorsement of the judiciary provided that such measures do not trample rights this Court is sworn to protect. are founded on ageold moral traditions. Further. The Ordinance needlessly restrains the operation of the businesses of the petitioners as well as restricting the rights of their patrons without sufficient justification. Less intrusive measures such as curbing the proliferation of prostitutes and drug dealers through active police work would be more effective in easing the situation. Those still steeped in Nick Joaquin-dreams of the grandeur of Old Manila will have to accept that Manila like all evolving big cities. they will remain so oriented. that prerogative is hardly absolute. Rather. and vice is a common problem confronted by the modern metropolis wherever in the world. We reiterate that individual rights may be adversely affected only to the extent that may fairly be required by the legitimate demands of public interest or public welfare. the Petition is GRANTED. Our democracy is distinguished from non-free societies not with any more extensive elaboration on our part of what is moral and immoral. The State is a leviathan that must be restrained from needlessly intruding into the lives of its citizens. it is possible for the government to avoid the constitutional conflict by employing more judicious. These measures would have minimal intrusion on the businesses of the petitioners and other legitimate merchants. So would the strict enforcement of existing laws and regulations penalizing prostitution and drug use. it is in effect an arbitrary and whimsical intrusion into the rights of the establishments as well as their patrons. The behavior which the Ordinance seeks to curtail is in fact already prohibited and could in fact be diminished simply by applying existing laws. drug dealers and prostitutes can in fact collect "wash rates" from their clientele by charging their customers a portion of the rent for motel rooms and even apartments.

SO ORDERED.R. Petitioner. 7774 is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.. SHANGRI-LA PLAZA CORPORATION and SM PRIME HOLDINGS. INC. G. . Branch 9. is REINSTATED. 13 14 THIRD DIVISION THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL. No. 177056 DECISION . No pronouncement as to costs. ROBINSONS LAND CORPORATION.versus AYALA LAND INCORPORATED. Ordinance No. Respondents.the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila.

00-1210.R.00 for every succeeding hour Shangri-la Flat rate of P30. filed by petitioner Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). and Shangri-la maintain and operate shopping malls in various locations in Metro Manila. and SM Prime Holdings. They provide security personnel to protect the vehicles parked in their parking facilities and maintain order within the area. (SM Prime) could not be obliged to provide free parking spaces in their malls to their patrons and the general public. regardless of whether said persons are mall patrons or not: Respondent Parking Fees Ayala Land On weekdays. Quezon City. seeking the reversal and setting aside of the Decision[2] dated 25 January 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. which were constructed for the lessors account. The RTC adjudged that respondents Ayala Land Incorporated (Ayala Land). Shangri-la Plaza Corporation (Shangri-la). flat rate of P25.CHICO-NAZARIO. Respondents Ayala Land. Sta. Robinsons. Las Pias. on weekends. 76298. 00-1208 and No. Robinsons. Respondents Ayala Land.00 for the first three hours and P10. are SM City. In turn. J. Respondent Shangri-la is renting its parking facilities. either by way of parking spaces inside the mall buildings or in separate buildings and/or adjacent lots that are solely devoted for use as parking spaces. and (2) the Resolution[4] dated 14 March 2007 of the appellate court in the same case which denied the Motion for Reconsideration of the OSG. Manila. North Avenue. and leases out commercial buildings and other structures. CV No. they collect the following parking fees from the persons making use of their parking facilities. which affirmed in toto the Joint Decision[3] dated 29 May 2002 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City. The shopping malls operated or leased out by respondents have parking facilities for all kinds of motor vehicles. consisting of land and building specifically used as parking spaces. Branch 138.00 per day Robinsons P20. Respondent SM Prime constructs. Respondents expend for the maintenance and administration of their respective parking facilities. in Civil Cases No. and SM Southmall. Manila.00 for every succeeding hour. SM City. Inc.: Before this Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari. operates. P25.00 per day . among which. SM Centerpoint. Mesa.00 for the first four hours and P10. Robinsons Land Corporation (Robinsons).[1] under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court. and SM Prime spent for the construction of their own parking facilities.

00 for every succeeding hour or fraction thereof The parking tickets or cards issued by respondents to vehicle owners contain the stipulation that respondents shall not be responsible for any loss or damage to the vehicles parked in respondents parking facilities. 3 November.00 to P20. robbery.SM Prime P10. Obviously. the Committees find that the collection of parking fees by shopping malls is contrary to the National Building Code and is therefor [sic] illegal. Figuratively speaking. the afore-mentioned Senate Committees jointly issued Senate Committee Report No. After the enactment of the Local Government Code of 1991.. the officials from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). After three public hearings held on 30 September. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). however. including the imposition of penalties for administrative violations thereof to the Secretary of Public Works. In the position paper submitted by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). and (3) to determine the legality of the policy of shopping malls of denying liability in cases of theft.A. justifying the collection of parking fees) would be going against the declared policy of R. This interpretation is not only reasonable and logical but finds support in the actual practice in other countries like the United States of America where parking spaces owned and operated by mall owners are free of charge. both Committees believe that the reasonable and logical interpretation of the Code is that the parking spaces are for free. by invoking the waiver clause at the back of the parking tickets. Article II of R.00 (depending on whether the parking space is outdoors or indoors) for the first three hours and 59 minutes. and 1 December 1999. or carnapping. and other local government officials. In 1999. Section 201 of the National Building Code gives the responsibility for the administration and enforcement of the provisions of the Code. 9734 (Consumer Act of the Philippines) provides that it is the policy of the State to protect the interest of the consumers. and the Philippine Motorists Association (PMA) as representative of the consumers group. 7394. is not being carried out in reality. Hence. 225[5] on 2 May 2000. the local government units (LGUs) were tasked to discharge the regulatory powers of the DPWH. the Code has expropriated the land for parking something similar to the subdivision law which require developers to devote so much of the land area for parks. This set up. the Senate Committees on Trade and Commerce and on Justice and Human Rights conducted a joint investigation for the following purposes: (1) to inquire into the legality of the prevalent practice of shopping malls of charging parking fees. No. who operate the major malls in the country. Jejomar C. and P10.A. accurately pointed out that the Secretary of the DPWH is responsible for the implementation/enforcement of the National Building Code. without specifying whether it is free or not. Said Senate Committees invited the top executives of respondents. to find out the basis and reasonableness of the parking rates charged by shopping malls. While it is true that the Code merely requires malls to provide parking spaces. Binay. its chairman. a contrary interpretation (i. in which they concluded: In view of the foregoing. Moreover. (2) assuming arguendo that the collection of parking fees was legally authorized.e. in the . promote the general welfare and establish standards of conduct for business and industry.

local level. Towards this end. a Petition for Declaratory Relief[8] under Rule 63 of the Revised Rules of Court. notwithstanding the national character of the law. the DPWH Secretary and the local building officials of Manila. There is. Jr. The Office of the Solicitor General should institute the necessary action to enjoin the collection of parking fees as well as to enforce the penal sanction provisions of the National Building Code. however. 00-1208 and assigned to the RTC of Makati City. in coordination with the DPWH. against the DPWH Secretary and local building officials of Manila. and to impose upon said establishments penal sanctions under Presidential Decree No. respondent SM Prime filed. 2. The Department of Trade and Industry pursuant to the provisions of R. Furthermore.[7] Respondent SM Prime thereafter received information that. no single national department or agency directly tasked to supervise the enforcement of the provisions of the Code on parking. through the OSG. specifications and designs including parking space requirements. Branch 138. the Building Officials enforce all rules/ regulations formulated by the DPWH relative to all building plans. In its Petition. 225. The Office of the Solicitor General should likewise study how refund can be exacted from mall owners who continue to collect parking fees. not having been published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper .[6] Senate Committee Report No. the DTI. 7394. and Las Pias intended to institute. pursuant to Senate Committee Report No. with prior consultations with the local government units where these are located. and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). Finally. the DTI should formulate the necessary implementing rules and regulations on parking in shopping malls. respondent SM Prime prayed for judgment: a) Declaring Rule XIX of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the National Building Code as ultra vires. (Judge Marella). 3. contained the following recommendations: In light of the foregoing. the Committees on Trade and Commerce and Justice and Human Rights hereby recommend the following: 1. otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines should enforce the provisions of the Code relative to parking. Quezon City. shopping centers and other commercial establishments. prohibit them from invoking the waiver of liability.A. on 3 October 2000. thus. Said Petition was docketed as Civil Case No. malls. 1096. an action to enjoin respondent SM Prime and similar establishments from collecting parking fees. Quezon City. With the threatened action against it. should be empowered to regulate and supervise the construction and maintenance of parking establishments. presided over by Judge Sixto Marella. b) Declaring [herein respondent SM Prime]s clear legal right to lease parking spaces appurtenant to its department stores. and c) Declaring the National Building Code of the Philippines Implementing Rules and Regulations as ineffective. unconstitutional and void. No. Congress should amend and update the National Building Code to expressly prohibit shopping malls from collecting parking fees by at the same time. hence. and Las Pias. otherwise known as the National Building Code of the Philippines (National Building Code). 225.

a temporary restraining order and a writ of preliminary injunction be issued restraining respondents from collecting parking fees from their customers. 00-1208 and No. judgment be rendered declaring that the practice of respondents in charging parking fees is violative of the National Building Code and its Implementing Rules and Regulations and is therefore invalid. and 2. Whether declaratory relief is proper.[11] On 23 October 2000. Judge Ibay of the RTC of Makati City. 00-1210 under Presidential Decree No. The RTC resolved the first two issues affirmatively. the OSG filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and Injunction (with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and Writ of Preliminary Injunction)[10] against respondents. 478 and the Administrative Code of 1987. It ruled that the OSG can initiate Civil Case No. Petitioner prayed that the RTC: 1. Shangri-La and SM Prime are obligated to provide parking spaces in their malls for the use of their patrons or the public in general. 00-1210 to institute the present proceedings and relative thereto whether the controversy in the collection of parking fees by mall owners is a matter of public welfare. As a result of the pre-trial conference held on the morning of 8 August 2001. the RTC rendered its Joint Decision in Civil Cases No.[9] The very next day. This Petition was docketed as Civil Case No. Branch 135. Branch 138. free of charge. 4. to wit: . Robinsons. Capacity of the plaintiff [OSG] in Civil Case No. and making permanent any injunctive writ issued in this case. 00-1210 and raffled to the RTC of Makati. 4 October 2000. [Respondent SM Prime] further prays for such other reliefs as may be deemed just and equitable under the premises.[13] On 29 May 2002. Entitlement of the parties of [sic] award of damages. 2. After hearing. 3. After summary hearing. 00-1210 to the following: 1. 00-1208 pending before Judge Marella of RTC of Makati.of general circulation. Ibay (Judge Ibay). 1096. issued an Order consolidating Civil Case No. 00-1208 and No.[14] It also found that all the requisites for an action for declaratory relief were present. Whether respondent Ayala Land. Branch 135. 00-1210 with Civil Case No. Other reliefs just and equitable under the premises are likewise prayed for. as prescribed by Section 211 of Presidential Decree No. 00-1210. presided over by Judge Francisco B. the RTC issued a Pre-Trial Order[12] of even date which limited the issues to be resolved in Civil Cases No.

the Building Code does not so provide. because the enabling law.] Ayala Land. the RTC pronounced that: The Building Code. Shangri-La and SM [Prime] to provide parking spaces for free can be considered as an unlawful taking of property right without just compensation. the mall operators collect fees. Parking spaces in shopping malls are privately owned and for their use.[] xxxx The provision on ratios of parking slots to several variables.The requisites for an action for declaratory relief are: (a) there is a justiciable controversy. They can be looked at as necessary facilities to entice the public to increase patronage of their malls because without parking spaces. Should parking spaces be made free. Only those expressly determined in this Code or in special laws are demandable and shall be regulated by the precepts of the law which establishes them. 00-1208 and No. The RTC finally decreed in its 29 May 2002 Joint Decision in Civil Cases No. by the provisions of this Book (1090). loss of effective control over their property will ensue which is frowned upon by law. free of charge needs to be resolved. and (d) the issue involved is ripe for judicial determination. Further. the petitioner in Civil Case No. which is the enabling law and the Implementing Rules and Regulations do not impose that parking spaces shall be provided by the mall owners free of charge. SM.[16] The RTC then held that there was no sufficient evidence to justify any award for damages. The presence of parking spaces can be viewed in another light. The legal relationship could be either lease or deposit. like shopping floor area or customer area found in Rule XIX of the Implementing Rules and Regulations cannot be construed as a directive to provide free parking spaces.[15] As to the third and most contentious issue.] however[. 001-1208 [sic] is a mall operator who stands to be affected directly by the position taken by the government officials sued namely the Secretary of Public Highways and the Building Officials of the local government units where it operates shopping malls. Article 1158 of the Civil Code is clear: Obligations derived from law are not presumed.] business considerations which mall operators will have to decide for themselves. (c) the party seeking the relief has a legal interest in the controversy. Absent such directive[. x x x. These are[. 00-1210 that: . this right of mall owners shall be gone. The OSG on the other hand acts on a matter of public interest and has taken a position adverse to that of the mall owners whom it sued. and as to what has not been foreseen. without just compensation. They are not sufficient to justify a legal conclusion. a matter which the Court can take judicial notice and the unsettled issue of whether mall operators should provide parking facilities. To compel Ayala Land.] the mall owners have the right to collect money which translates into income. Shangri-la and SM [Prime] are under no obligation to provide them for free. (b) the controversy is between persons whose interests are adverse. Robinsons. as the OSG would like the Court to adopt that it is the obligation of the mall owners to provide parking spaces for free. The construction of new and bigger malls has been announced. This. going to their malls will be inconvenient. In either case[. Robinsons.

The sole assignment of error of the OSG in its Appellants Brief was: THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE NATIONAL BUILDING CODE DID NOT INTEND MALL PARKING SPACES TO BE FREE OF CHARGE[.] Inc. since CA-G.R. Robinsons Land Corporation. 76298 on 25 January 2007. Shangri-la Plaza Corporation and SM Prime Holdings[. CV No. No pronouncement as to costs. which raised issues worthy of consideration.. UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND VOID. HENCE. II THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO DECLARE THE IMPLEMENTING RULES INEFFECTIVE FOR NOT HAVING BEEN PUBLISHED AS REQUIRED BY LAW.[17] CA-G. not reviewable by the Court of Appeals. since the issue on whether or not the National Building Code and its implementing rules require shopping mall operators to provide parking facilities to the public for free was evidently a question of law. the Court of Appeals proceeded to rule on the merits of the case.] Inc.[21] Respondent Robinsons filed a Motion to Dismiss Appeal of the OSG on the ground that the lone issue raised therein involved a pure question of law.R. 76298 involved the separate appeals of the OSG[18] and respondent SM Prime[19] filed with the Court of Appeals. 76298 also included the appeal of respondent SM Prime. free of charge. are not obligated to provide parking spaces in their malls for the use of their patrons or public in general. The Court of Appeals promulgated its Decision in CA-G. and in order to satisfy the demands of substantial justice.][20] while the four errors assigned by respondent SM Prime in its Appellants Brief were: I THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO DECLARE RULE XIX OF THE IMPLEMENTING RULES AS HAVING BEEN ENACTED ULTRA VIRES. IV THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO DECLARE THAT THE OSG HAS NO LEGAL CAPACITY TO SUE AND/OR THAT IT IS NOT A REAL PARTY-IN-INTEREST IN THE INSTANT CASE. 00-1210 are dismissed. CV No. Even so. .R. The appellate court agreed with respondent Robinsons that the appeal of the OSG should suffer the fate of dismissal. the Court declares that Ayala Land[. III THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN FAILING TO DISMISS THE OSGS PETITION FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF AND INJUNCTION FOR FAILURE TO EXHAUST ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES.FOR THE REASONS GIVEN. CV No. All counterclaims in Civil Case No.

The OSG now comes before this Court. premises considered. respondents could not be obliged and expected to provide parking slots free of charge. the Court of Appeals affirmed the capacity of the OSG to initiate Civil Case No. without touching on the issue of the validity of the IRR.[23] In its Resolution issued on 14 March 2007. via the instant Petition for Review. Lastly.[24] The OSG argues that respondents are mandated to provide free parking by Section 803 of the National Building Code and Rule XIX of the IRR. The appellate court explained that an administrative review is not a condition precedent to judicial relief where the question in dispute is purely a legal one. 00-1208 and No. as such issue was not among those the parties had agreed to be resolved by the RTC during the pre-trial conference for Civil Cases No. unless the resolution thereof is indispensable to the determination of the case. It referred to the settled rule that courts should refrain from passing upon the constitutionality of a law or implementing rules. the instant appeals are DENIED. 00-1210 before the RTC as the legal representative of the government. finding that the grounds relied upon by the latter had already been carefully considered. The Court of Appeals likewise refused to rule on the validity of the IRR of the National Building Code. the Court of Appeals denied the Motion for Reconsideration of the OSG. . appealed Decision is hereby AFFIRMED in toto. the Court of Appeals declared that Section 803 of the National Building Code and Rule XIX of the IRR were clear and needed no further construction. the appellate court found that the controversy could be settled on other grounds. and there was no strong and cogent reason to modify much less reverse the assailed judgment.In its Decision. with a single assignment of error: THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE RULING OF THE LOWER COURT THAT RESPONDENTS ARE NOT OBLIGED TO PROVIDE FREE PARKING SPACES TO THEIR CUSTOMERS OR THE PUBLIC. 00-1210. The Court of Appeals rejected the contention of respondent SM Prime that the OSG failed to exhaust administrative remedies. Furthermore. The fallo of the 25 January 2007 Decision of the Court of Appeals reads: WHEREFORE. and nothing of an administrative nature is to be or can be done. evaluated. because of the principle that bars judicial inquiry into a constitutional question. Issues cannot be raised for the first time on appeal. In the absence of any express and clear provision of law. 225. Accordingly. and passed upon by the appellate court.[22] and as the one deputized by the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines through Senate Committee Report No. Said provisions were only intended to control the occupancy or congestion of areas and structures.

and public welfare. and height of the building and the use. consistent with the principles of sound environmental management and control.00 meters. use. Rule XIX of the old IRR. construction. m. are attendant-managed. The requirement of free-of-charge parking. the following provisions on parking and loading space requirements shall be observed: 1.4 meters by 5. quality of materials. (See Section 2 for computation of parking requirements).00 meters by 6. greatly contributes to the aim of safeguarding life. health. Moreover. Percentage of Site Occupancy (a) Maximum site occupancy shall be governed by the use. and location of the site.00 meters for parallel parking. and public welfare. a framework of minimum standards and requirements to regulate and control their location. In connection therewith. make it the purpose of this Code to provide for all buildings and structures.1 The size of an average automobile parking slot shall be computed as 2. property. occupancy. design. consistent with the principles of sound environmental management and control. of shopping floor area The OSG avers that the aforequoted provisions should be read together with Section 102 of the National Building Code. the OSG argues. property. nature.7 Neighborhood shopping center 1 slot/100 sq.60 meters by 12. and maintenance. xxxx 1. . and to this end. area.00 meters for perpendicular or diagonal parking. The parking slot shall be drawn to scale and the total number of which shall be indicated on the plans and specified whether or not parking accommodations.[25] provides: RULE XIX PARKING AND LOADING SPACE REQUIREMENTS Pursuant to Section 803 of the National Building Code (PD 1096) providing for maximum site occupancy.According to Section 803 of the National Building Code: SECTION 803. health. site. the power to regulate and control the use. A truck or bus parking/loading slot shall be computed at a minimum of 3. Declaration of Policy It is hereby declared to be the policy of the State to safeguard life. 2. type of construction. which declares: SECTION 102. Adequate parking spaces would contribute greatly to alleviating traffic congestion when complemented by quick and easy access thereto because of free-charge parking. The parking space ratings listed below are minimum off-street requirements for specific uses/occupancies for buildings/structures: 1. and subject to the provisions of the local zoning requirements and in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary.

partially or. and shall be regulated by the precepts of the law which establishes them. as set forth in the National Building Code. The explicit directive of the afore-quoted statutory and regulatory provisions. as operators/lessors of neighborhood shopping centers. Obligations derived from law are not presumed. Statutory construction has it that if a statute is clear and unequivocal. Only those expressly determined in this Code or in special laws are demandable.occupancy. While the first part of Section 102 of the National Building Code lays down the State policy. the term parking fees cannot even be found at all in the entire National Building Code and its IRR. Rule XIX of the IRR also mandates that such parking spaces be provided by building owners free of charge. and public welfare. health. the OSG had to resort to specious and feeble argumentation. to control -. and public welfare. are complied with. site. Consequently. and as to what has not been foreseen. in which the Court cannot concur. said provisions do not regulate the collection of the same. which states: Art. property. so as to include the regulation of parking fees. In fact. absolutely -. and maintenance. the OSG cannot claim that in addition to fixing the minimum requirements for parking spaces for buildings. then simply. in order to bring the matter of parking fees within the ambit of the National Building Code and its IRR. quality of materials. conversely. which reads. and maintenance of buildings and structures carries with it the power to impose fees and. occupancy. If Rule XIX is not covered by the enabling law.the imposition of such fees. a framework of minimum standards and requirements to regulate and control their location. The RTC and the Court of Appeals correctly applied Article 1158 of the New Civil Code. consistent with the principles of sound environmental management and control. it is the second part thereof that explains how said policy shall be carried out in the Code. it must be given its literal meaning and applied without any attempt at interpretation. 1158. garnered from a plain reading thereof. in accordance with the minimum ratio of one slot per 100 square meters of shopping floor area. as in this case. by the provisions of this Book.) Hence. construction. is that respondents. The OSG limits its citation to the first part of Section 102 of the National Building Code declaring the policy of the State to safeguard life. but totally ignores the second part of said provision. health. Section 102 of the National Building Code is not an all-encompassing grant of regulatory power to the DPWH Secretary and local building officials in the name of life. design. property.[26] Since Section 803 of the National Building Code and Rule XIX of its IRR do not mention parking fees. The OSG cannot rely on Section 102 of the National Building Code to expand the coverage of Section 803 of the same Code and Rule XIX of the IRR. The Court finds no merit in the present Petition. make it the purpose of this Code to provide for all buildings and structures. it limits the regulatory power of said officials to ensuring that the minimum standards and requirements for all buildings and structures. use. (Emphasis ours. There is nothing therein pertaining to the collection (or non-collection) of parking fees by respondents. On the contrary. should provide parking and loading spaces. then it cannot be added to or included in the . and to this end.

[27] From the RTC all the way to this Court. inspection and control. Traffic congestion constitutes a threat to the health. Indeed. The rule-making power of administrative agencies must be confined to details for regulating the mode or proceedings to carry into effect the law as it has been enacted. the OSG repeatedly referred to Republic v. welfare.implementing rules. and it is by virtue of said power that respondents may be required to provide free parking facilities. in City of Ozamis. place. safety and welfare. and it cannot be extended to amend or expand the statutory requirements or to embrace matters not covered by the statute. though. of course. In Republic and City of Ozamis. In Republic. the Municipality of Malabon sought to eject the occupants of two parcels of land of the public domain to give way to a road-widening project. Administrative regulations must always be in harmony with the provisions of the law because any resulting discrepancy between the two will always be resolved in favor of the basic law. caused the build up of traffic in the surrounding area to the great discomfort and inconvenience of the public who use the streets. mentioned the trend in other jurisdictions wherein the municipal governments themselves took the initiative to make more parking spaces available so as to alleviate the traffic problems. and for the safety and convenience of the public. Gonzales[28] and City of Ozamis v. and charge minimal fees for the street parking to cover the expenses for supervision. the present case deals with privately owned parking facilities available for use by the general public. parking in designated areas along public streets . in the instant case. the Court. Lumapas[29] to support its position that the State has the power to regulate parking spaces to promote the health. With the difference in subject matters and the bases for the regulatory powers being invoked. declared that the City had been clothed with full power to control and regulate its streets for the purpose of promoting public health. and manner of parking in the streets and public places. thus: Under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. It was in this context that the Court pronounced: Indiscriminate parking along F. safety and convenience of the people and it can only be substantially relieved by widening streets and providing adequate parking areas. the DPWH Secretary and local building officials regulate parking pursuant to their authority to ensure compliance with the minimum standards and requirements under the National Building Code and its IRR. Sevilla Boulevard and other main thoroughfares was prevalent. Republic and City of Ozamis involved parking in the local streets. instead of placing the burden on private persons to provide parking facilities to the general public. in contrast. Republic and City of Ozamis both contain pronouncements that weaken the position of the OSG in the case at bar. and welfare of the public. this. The Court. failed to consider the substantial differences in the factual and legal backgrounds of these two cases from those of the Petition at bar. In Republic. the concerned local governments regulated parking pursuant to their power to control and regulate their streets. safety. The City can regulate the time. Republic and City of Ozamis do not constitute precedents for this case. The OSG. to ensure the smooth flow of traffic in the environs of the public market.

Even so. conversely. absolutely. It is not sufficient for the OSG to claim that the power to regulate and control the use. the Court notes that Section 803 of the National Building Code falls under Chapter 8 on Light and Ventilation. It has been settled law in this jurisdiction that this broad and allcompassing governmental competence to restrict rights of liberty and property carries with it the undeniable power to collect a regulatory fee. the former does not necessarily include or imply the latter. fails to see the connection between regulating site occupancy to ensure proper light and ventilation in every building vis--vis regulating the collection by building owners of fees for the use of their parking spaces. Firstly. the provision by municipal governments of parking space is not limited to parking along public streets or highways. The OSG attempts to provide the missing link by arguing that: . American courts have upheld the right of municipal governments to construct off-street parking facilities as clearly redounding to the public benefit. Pursuant thereto. There has been a marked trend to build off-street parking facilities with the view to removing parked cars from the streets.or highways is allowed which clearly indicates that provision for parking spaces serves a useful purpose. Secondly. they cannot allow or prohibit such collection arbitrarily or whimsically. In other jurisdictions where traffic is at least as voluminous as here. assuming arguendo that the DPWH Secretary and local building officials do have regulatory powers over the collection of parking fees for the use of privately owned parking facilities. It looks to the enactment of specific measures that govern the relations not only as between individuals but also as between private parties and the political society. While the provision of off-street parking facilities or carparks has been commonly undertaken by private enterprise. the imposition of such fees. the Code deems it necessary to regulate site occupancy to ensure that there is proper lighting and ventilation in every building. if the regulatory agencies have the power to impose regulatory fees. and maintenance of buildings and structures carries with it the power to impose fees and. to control. they also have the power to remove the same. but the collection by respondents of parking fees from persons who use the mall parking facilities. compensation for parking attendants and security. it is worthy to note that the present case does not involve the imposition by the DPWH Secretary and local building officials of regulatory fees upon respondents. The Court. the action of the DPWH Secretary and local building officials must pass the test of classic reasonableness and propriety of the measures or means in the promotion of the ends sought to be accomplished. respondents also incur expenses in the maintenance and operation of the mall parking facilities. however. Whether allowing or prohibiting the collection of such parking fees. and upkeep of the physical structures.[31] True. partially or. It totally escapes this Court how lighting and ventilation conditions at the malls could be affected by the fact that parking facilities thereat are free or paid for. such as electric consumption. the fees within the power of regulatory agencies to impose are regulatory fees. Contrary to the averment of the OSG. depending on its specific use and/or floor area. the Court authorized the collection by the City of minimal fees for the parking of vehicles along the streets: so why then should the Court now preclude respondents from collecting from the public a fee for the use of the mall parking facilities? Undoubtedly. as in this case. Rule XIX of the IRR requires that a building.[30] In City of Ozamis. Evidently. [32] Keeping in mind the aforementioned test of reasonableness and propriety of measures or means. then conversely. should provide a minimum number of parking spaces. municipal governments have been constrained to put up carparks in response to public necessity where private enterprise had failed to keep up with the growing public demand. occupancy.

The power to regulate.Under Section 803 of the National Building Code. the annexed parking spaces would have served. with the exception of a few cases where there is a necessity to confiscate private property in order to destroy it for the purpose of protecting peace and order and of promoting the general welfare. forcing vehicle owners to just park in the streets. leaving more vehicles without parking spaces in the malls and parked in the streets instead. namely. the parking facilities would become full sooner. instead of taking public transport. It does not concern itself with traffic congestion in areas surrounding the building. It is usually exerted in order to merely regulate the use and enjoyment of the property of the owner. by setting the minimum specifications and requirements for the same. which are even fully occupied on some days. the power to regulate does not include the power to confiscate. A fortiori. does not include the power to prohibit. causing even more traffic congestion.[33] The Court is unconvinced. and not because they are deterred by the parking fees charged by respondents. The Court finds. and . the confiscation of an illegally possessed article. vehicle owners still use the mall parking facilities. the State is no longer exercising police power. Without using the term outright. for instance. Vehicle owners may be parking in the streets only because there are not enough parking spaces in the malls. [34] When there is a taking or confiscation of private property for public use. however. the OSG is actually invoking police power to justify the regulation by the State.[35] Normally. as a result. to the malls. the State would be acting beyond the bounds of police power. Police power is the power of promoting the public welfare by restraining and regulating the use of liberty and property. of privately owned parking facilities. including the collection by the owners/operators of such facilities of parking fees from the public for the use thereof. Free-of-charge parking avoids traffic congestion by ensuring quick and easy access of legitimate shoppers to off-street parking spaces annexed to the malls. Free parking spaces at the malls may even have the opposite effect from what the OSG envisioned: more people may be encouraged by the free parking to bring their own vehicles. the Court cannot simply assume. and thereby removing the vehicles of these legitimate shoppers off the busy streets near the commercial establishments. however. that in totally prohibiting respondents from collecting parking fees from the public for the use of the mall parking facilities. Police power does not involve the taking or confiscation of property. of course. that the traffic congestion in areas around the malls is due to the fact that respondents charge for their parking facilities. eminent domain. The National Building Code regulates buildings. such as opium and firearms. It is already a stretch to say that the National Building Code and its IRR also intend to solve the problem of traffic congestion around the buildings so as to ensure that the said buildings shall have adequate lighting and ventilation. through the DPWH Secretary and local building officials. which otherwise. The Court notes that despite the fees charged by respondents. which certainly affects the ventilation within the building itself. the power of eminent domain results in the taking or appropriation of title to. that is. but another of its inherent powers. as the OSG has apparently done. Moreover. thus. complimentary parking spaces are required to enhance light and ventilation. Eminent domain enables the State to forcibly acquire private lands intended for public use upon payment of just compensation to the owner. to avoid traffic congestion in areas surrounding the building.

for burial grounds of deceased paupers. the ordinance in question was null and void. Instead of' building or maintaining a public cemetery for this purpose. playgrounds. parks. Not only are they being deprived of the right to use a portion of their properties as they wish. are made to pay by the subdivision developer when individual lots are sold to homeowners. This has been the law. and practise in the past. for it authorized the taking of private property without just compensation: There is no reasonable relation between the setting aside of at least six (6) percent of the total area of all private cemeteries for charity burial grounds of deceased paupers and the promotion of' health. the City Government of Quezon City passed an ordinance obliging private cemeteries within its jurisdiction to set aside at least six percent of their total area for charity. requires payment of just compensation. and other public facilities from the land they sell to buyers of subdivision lots. According to the Court. safety. It is usually in cases where title remains with the private owner that inquiry should be made to determine whether the impairment of a property is merely regulated or amounts to a compensable taking. and convenience are very clear from said requirements which are intended to insure the development of communities with salubrious and wholesome environments. the Revised Charter of Quezon City which empowers the city council to prohibit the burial of the dead within the center of population of the city and to provide for their burial in a proper place subject to the provisions of general law regulating burial grounds and cemeteries. however. the expropriated property. unless the invasion of rights is so slight as to permit the regulation to be justified under the police power. When the Local Government Code. morals.possession of. is already tantamount to a taking or confiscation of their properties. but no cogent reason appears why the said power may not be availed of only to impose a burden upon the owner of condemned property. It continues to the present. Similarly. . and the owner may recover therefor. The necessities of public safety. 337 provides in Section 177(q) that a sangguniang panlungsod may "provide for the burial of the dead in such place and in such manner as prescribed by law or ordinance" it simply authorizes the city to provide its own city owned land or to buy or expropriate private properties to construct public cemeteries. The State is not only requiring that respondents devote a portion of the latters properties for use as parking spaces. Such is already an excessive intrusion into the property rights of respondents. The ordinance is actually a taking without compensation of a certain area from a private cemetery to benefit paupers who are charges of the municipal corporation. Batas Pambansa Blg. or the general welfare of the people. in turn.[36] It is a settled rule that neither acquisition of title nor total destruction of value is essential to taking. the prohibition against their collection of parking fees from the public. good order. Judge Ericta[38] is edifying. but is also mandating that they give the public access to said parking spaces for free. health. without loss of title and possession. The beneficiaries of the regulation. A regulation that deprives any person of the profitable use of his property constitutes a taking and entitles him to compensation. that is. they are further prohibited from profiting from its use or even just recovering therefrom the expenses for the maintenance and operation of the required parking facilities.[37] Although in the present case. The ruling of this Court in City Government of Quezon City v. Expropriation. The questioned ordinance is different from laws and regulations requiring owners of subdivisions to set aside certain areas for streets. for the use of said facilities. the city passes the burden to private cemeteries. Therein. a police regulation that unreasonably restricts the right to use business property for business purposes amounts to a taking of private property. title to and/or possession of the parking facilities remain/s with respondents. 'The expropriation without compensation of a portion of private cemeteries is not covered by Section 12(t) of Republic Act 537.

affirming in toto the Joint Decision dated 29 May 2002 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City.In conclusion.[39] WHEREFORE. CV No. No costs. . the Court finds no more need to address the issue persistently raised by respondent SM Prime concerning the unconstitutionality of Rule XIX of the IRR. SO ORDERED. The State also cannot impose the same prohibition by generally invoking police power. 00-1210. The Decision dated 25 January 2007 and Resolution dated 14 March 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari is hereby DENIED. Given the foregoing. in Civil Cases No. 12-08 and No. an ordinance or an act will not be resolved by courts if the controversy can be. as in this case it has been. during the pre-trial conference for Civil Cases No. Branch 138. 00-1210 are hereby AFFIRMED. agreed to submit for resolution of the RTC.R. 76298. a regulation. since said prohibition amounts to a taking of respondents property without payment of just compensation. It is likewise axiomatic that the constitutionality of a law. In addition. 001208 and No. the said issue was not among those that the parties. the total prohibition against the collection by respondents of parking fees from persons who use the mall parking facilities has no basis in the National Building Code or its IRR. settled on other grounds.

. Accreditation Fee xxxx 2. 2004 and the Order[3] dated September 30........THIRD DIVISION CHEVRON PHILIPPINES.... Royalty Fees ... Petitioner.... JR. 2005 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. which affirmed the Resolution[2] dated August 2.. 2002... INC. SP No.. 87117..... among others... x.. 04-D-170....R..... ... Case No....: This petition for review on certiorari assails the Decision[1] dated November 30. Respondents. the Board of Directors of respondent Clark Development Corporation (CDC) issued and approved Policy Guidelines on the Movement of Petroleum Fuel to and from the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) [4] which provided. Annual Inspection Fee xxxx 3.-x DECISION VILLARAMA...... (Formerly CALTEX PHILIPPINES.). for the following fees and charges: 1.versus BASES CONVERSION DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY and CLARK DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION.. The facts follow. J.P. On June 28... INC.. 2004 of the Office of the President in O...

The protest was however denied by BCDA in a letter[12] dated March 3. informing the petitioner that a royalty fee of P0. CDC sent a letter[6] to herein petitioner Chevron Philippines. (formerly Caltex Philippines. Inc. a domestic corporation which has been supplying fuel to Nanox Philippines. a locator inside the CSEZ since 2001.00 for its fuel sales from Coastal depot to Nanox Philippines from August 1-31 to September 3-21. On August 18. Mr. 2002. 2002 a Statement of Account[7] was sent by CDC billing the petitioner for royalty fees in the amount of P115. Angeles. 1996.). CDC again wrote a letter[9] to petitioner regarding the latters unsettled royalty fees covering the period of December 2002 to July 2003. 2002. Emmanuel Y. petitioner elevated the case to the CA which likewise dismissed[15] the appeal for lack of merit on November 30. Thereafter. 2002. On October 1. 2002 to the President and Chief Executive Officer of CDC. petitioner sent a letter[8] dated October 30. 2006. Petitioner responded through a letter[10] dated September 8. The request was denied by CDC in a letter[11] dated September 29. 2003. 2003 reiterating its continuing objection over the assessed royalty fees and requested a refund of the amount paid under protest on November 4. Claiming that nothing in the law authorizes CDC to impose royalty fees or any fees based on a per unit measurement of any commodity sold within the special economic zone.50 per liter those delivering Coastal petroleum fuel to CSEZ locators not sanctioned by CDC Php1. 2004.Suppliers delivering fuel from outside sources shall be assessed the following royalty fees: Php0. respondent CDC was exercising its right to regulate the flow of fuel into CSEZ. Petitioner nevertheless paid the said fees under protest on November 4. thus. Petitioner appealed to the Office of the President which dismissed[13] the appeal for lack of merit on August 2. which is bolstered by the fact that it possesses exclusive right to distribute fuel within CSEZ pursuant to its Joint Venture Agreement (JVA)[17] with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Coastal Subic Bay Terminal. 2005 and denied[16] the motion for reconsideration on July 26. akin to a tax. 2004. 2002. to protest the assessment for royalty fees. 2002. not on the sale. The appellate court also found that royalty fees were assessed on fuel delivered. Inc. by petitioner and that the basis of such imposition was petitioners delivery receipts to Nanox Philippines. 2004 and denied[14] petitioners motion for reconsideration thereof on September 30. Inc.50 per liter shall be assessed on its deliveries to Nanox Philippines effective August 1. 2003.000. Petitioner elevated its protest before respondent Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) arguing that the royalty fees imposed had no reasonable relation to the probable expenses of regulation and that the imposition on a per unit measurement of fuel sales was for a revenue generating purpose. The letter also asked CDC to revoke the imposition of such royalty fees. Gate Pass Fee x x x x[5] The above policy guidelines were implemented effective July 27. The fact that revenue is incidentally also obtained does not make the imposition a tax . on October 21. The CA held that in imposing the challenged royalty fees. 2002. (CSBTI) dated April 11.00 per liter those bringing-in petroleum fuel (except Jet A-1) from outside sources xxxx 4. Aggrieved.

[18] Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the CA denied the same in its Resolution[19] dated July 26. . Hence. Petitioner stresses that the royalty fee imposed by CDC is not regulatory in nature but a revenue generating measure to increase its profits and to further enhance its exclusive right to market and distribute fuel in CSEZ. THE COURT OF APPEALS FAILED TO GIVE DUE WEIGHT AND CONSIDERATION TO THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY CPI SUCH AS THE LETTERS COMING FROM RESPONDENT CDC ITSELF PROVING THAT THE QUESTIONED ROYALTY FEES ARE IMPOSED ON THE BASIS OF FUEL SALES (NOT DELIVERY OF FUEL) AND NOT FOR REGULATION BUT PURELY FOR INCOME GENERATION.[20] Petitioner argues that CDC does not have any power to impose royalty fees on sale of fuel inside the CSEZ on the basis of purely income generating functions and its exclusive right to market and distribute goods inside the CSEZ. Such being its main purpose. 2006.as long as the primary purpose of such imposition is regulation. they argue that the purpose of the royalty fees is to regulate the flow of fuel to and from the CSEZ. are unreasonable and are grossly in excess of regulation costs.[22] On the part of the respondents. It is their position that the regulation is a valid exercise of police power since it is aimed at promoting the general welfare of the public. They claim that being the administrator of the CSEZ. It adds that the amount of the fees should be presumed to be unreasonable and that the burden of proving that the fees are not unreasonable lies with the respondents. I. which the respondents have no power to impose. assuming arguendo they are regulatory in nature. IV. and revenue (if any) just an incidental product. THE RULING OF THE COURT OF APPEALS THAT THE CDC HAS THE POWER TO IMPOSE THE QUESTIONED ROYALTY FEES IS CONTRARY TO LAW.E. AND (ii) ANY REVENUE EARNED THEREFROM IS MERELY INCIDENTAL TO THE PURPOSE OF REGULATION.[21] Petitioner would also like this Court to note that the fees imposed. II.[23] The petition has no merit. III. AS PRICE OR CONSIDERATION FOR THE RIGHT TO MARKET AND DISTRIBUTE FUEL INSIDE THE CSEZ. Such imposition of royalty fees for revenue generating purposes would amount to a tax. THE COURT OF APPEALS WAS MANIFESTLY MISTAKEN AND COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND A CLEAR MISUNDERSTANDING OF FACTS WHEN IT RULED CONTRARY TO THE EVIDENCE THAT: (i) THE QUESTIONED ROYALTY FEE IS PRIMARILY FOR REGULATION. this petition raising the following grounds: I. the imposition cannot be considered a tax. THE ISSUE RAISED BEFORE THE COURT A QUO IS A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE NOT HERETOFORE DETERMINED BY THE HONORABLE SUPREME COURT. CDC is responsible for the safe distribution of fuel products inside the CSEZ.

it was erroneous for petitioner to argue that such exclusive right of respondent CDC to market and distribute fuel inside CSEZ is the sole basis of the royalty fees imposed under the Policy Guidelines. but if regulation is the primary purpose. Being the administrator of CSEZ. It is also declared the policy of CDC to operate and manage the CSEZ as a separate customs territory ensuring free flow or movement of goods and capital within.[24] the Court stated: The conservative and pivotal distinction between these two (2) powers rests in the purpose for which the charge is made. we hold that the subject royalty fee was imposed primarily for regulatory purposes. it can be gleaned that the Policy Guidelines was issued. However. Section 2 of Executive Order No. As pointed out by the respondents in their Comment. security. from the time the JVA took effect up to the time CDC implemented its Policy Guidelines on the Movement of Petroleum Fuel to and from the CSEZ. suppliers/distributors were allowed to bring in petroleum products inside CSEZ without any charge at all. in Gerochi v. if the purpose is primarily to regulate. If the purpose is primarily to raise revenue. the fact that revenue is incidentally raised does not make the imposition a tax. The Policy Guidelines on the Movement of Petroleum Fuel to and from the Clark Special Economic Zone[25] provides: DECLARATION OF POLICY It is hereby declared the policy of CDC to develop and maintain the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) as a highly secured zone free from threats of any kind. would-be investors. which could possibly endanger the lives and properties of locators. the determining factor is the purpose of the implemented measure.In distinguishing tax and regulation as a form of police power. and good condition of the petroleum fuel industry within the CSEZ.) From the foregoing. into and exported out of the CSEZ. then it is deemed a regulation and an exercise of the police power of the state. first and foremost. Department of Energy.[27] On this score. Addressing specific concerns demanded by the nature of goods or products involved is encompassed in the range of services which respondent CDC is expected to provide under the law. The fact that respondents have the exclusive right to distribute and market petroleum products within CSEZ pursuant to its JVA with SBMA and CSBTI does not diminish the regulatory purpose of the royalty fee for fuel products supplied by petitioner to its client at the CSEZ. revenue is generated. efficient and orderly distribution of fuel products within the Zone falls on CDC. If generation of revenue is the primary purpose and regulation is merely incidental. In the case at bar. and employees. 80[28] provides: . in pursuance of its general power of supervision and control over the movement of all supplies and equipment into the CSEZ.[26] (Emphasis supplied. to ensure the safety. The questioned royalty fees form part of the regulatory framework to ensure free flow or movement of petroleum fuel to and from the CSEZ. respondents were justified in charging royalty fees on fuel delivered by outside suppliers. and not for the generation of income or profits as petitioner claims. visitors. But this arrangement clearly negates CDCs mandate under the JVA as exclusive distributor of CSBTIs fuel products within CSEZ and respondents ownership of the Subic-Clark Pipeline. Thus. then it will be deemed a tax even though the measure results in some form of regulation. On the other hand. the imposition is a tax. the responsibility of ensuring the safe. even though incidentally.

SEC.) In relation to the regulatory purpose of the imposed fees. the greater the extent and frequency of supervision and inspection required to ensure safety. and to fix and collect the fees and charges for the issuance of permits. facilities and other properties owned and administered by the Authority. Explaining the regulatory feature of the charges imposed under the Policy Guidelines. this Court in Progressive Development Corporation v. shall determine the powers and functions of the CDC. then BCDA President Rufo Colayco in his letter dated March 3. the reasonable relation between the royalty fees imposed on a per liter basis and the regulation sought to be attained is that the higher the volume of fuel entering CSEZ. the imposition must also bear a reasonable relation to the probable expenses of regulation. to construct. 2. x x x x (Emphasis supplied. Bataan. electric light and power system. taking into account not only the costs of direct regulation but also its incidental consequences as well. own. licenses and the rendering of services not enumerated herein. (h) For the due and effective exercise of the powers conferred by law and to the extend (sic) [extent] requisite therefor. acquire. including rentals for the lease. Among those specific powers granted to CDC under Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. structure. For this purpose. 2004 addressed to petitioners Chief Corporate Counsel. Pursuant to Section 15 of RA 7227. use or occupancy of lands. administer and manage the export processing zone established in the Port of Mariveles. if left unchecked. water distribution. 66 are: (a) To operate. to exercise exclusive jurisdiction and sole police authority over all areas owned or administered by the Authority. It must be emphasized also that greater security measure must be observed in the CSEZ because of the presence of the airport which is a vital public . including the movement therein. Quezon City. as the incorporator and holding company of its Clark subsidiary. fuel is a highly combustible product which.[29] stated that x x x the imposition questioned must relate to an occupation or activity that so engages the public interest in health. buildings. factory building. assess and collect storage charges and fees. equipment. warehouses. telecommunications and transportation. security. wares. xxxx (g) To fix. operate and maintain infrastructure facilities. In the case at bar. the provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding. 66 (1972) as amended. of all cargoes. and such other export processing zones as may be established under this Decree. The BCDA. a set of guidelines was promulgated on 28 June 2002. the CDC shall have the specific powers of the Export Processing Zone Authority as provided for in Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. reservoir. such as terrorist strikes in airlines and military/government facilities. hence. poses a serious threat to life and property. Powers and Functions of the Clark Development Corporation. stressed: The need for regulation is more evident in the light of the 9/11 tragedy considering that what is being moved from one location to another are highly combustible fuel products that could cause loss of lives and damage to properties. the Authority shall have supervision and control over the bringing in or taking out of the Zone. morals.[30] In addition. or such other facilities and services necessary or useful in the conduct of commerce or in the attainment of the purposes and objectives of this Decree. Also. and order within the Zone. safety and development as to require regulation for the protection and promotion of such public interest. there can be no doubt that the oil industry is greatly imbued with public interest as it vitally affects the general welfare. warehouses. articles. Respondents submit that increased administrative costs were triggered by security risks that have recently emerged. supplies or merchandise of every type and description. machineries. lease. dams.

87117 is hereby AFFIRMED. the petition is DENIED for lack of merit and the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated November 30. we hold that no evidence was adduced by the petitioner to show that the fees imposed are unreasonable. With costs against the petitioner. Administrative issuances have the force and effect of law.R. We are therefore constrained to sustain the imposition of the royalty fees on deliveries of CPIs fuel products to Nanox Philippines.infrastructure. These two precepts place a heavy burden upon any party assailing governmental regulations. 2005 in CA-G.[31] As to the issue of reasonableness of the amount of the fees.[32] They benefit from the same presumption of validity and constitutionality enjoyed by statutes. SO ORDERED. SP No. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC . WHEREFORE.[33] Petitioners plain allegations are simply not enough to overcome the presumption of validity and reasonableness of the subject imposition.

Gonzales.000.500.A. Elena Palma-Gil. HON. No. who had lost their citizenship and now reside in the Philippines. Petitioners.A. After the two-year period. GOV. Second. Robert Ace S.00Exclusively for Filipino citizens and corporations wholly owned by Filipino citizens. RAFAEL BUENAVENTURA (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) and HON. ORLANDO FUA. JR. Defensor. On October 11.A.. Benjamin S.Category BUS$2.) 8762. 2010 REPRESENTATIVES GERARDO S. also known as the Retail Trade Liberalization Act of 2000. R. and protect Filipino enterprise against unfair competition and trade policies. The Facts and the Case On March 7. Gerardo S. to engage in the retail trade business with the same rights as Filipino citizens. JUAN MIGUEL ZUBIRI and FRANKLIN BAUTISTA. Prospero Amatong. Lim.. Raul M. destroy self-employment.A. Orlando Fua. 143855 September 21. J. Espina.A. PROSPERO AMATONG. (Executive Secretary). foreign ownership is allowed up to 60%. 1180. GONZALES.G. Jaime Jacob. ROBERT ACE S.Category DUS$250.A. 8762 now allows them to do so under four categories: Category ALess than US$2. Fourth. and bring about more unemployment. Third. Leonardo Montemayor.500.00For the first two years of R.00 per store of foreign enterprises specializing in high-end or luxury productsMay be wholly owned by foreigners. R. Apolinario Lozada. 8762 would lead to alien control of the retail trade. LILIA BAUTISTA (Chairman.R. JR. RAUL M.: This case calls upon the Court to exercise its power of judicial review and determine the constitutionality of the Retail Trade Liberalization Act of 2000. vs. Foreign investments for establishing a store in Categories B and C shall not be less than the equivalent in Philippine Pesos of US$830. Michael T. BARBERS.Category CUS$7. which taken together with alien dominance of other areas of business. which absolutely prohibited foreign nationals from engaging in the retail trade business. HON.00 up but less than US$7.00.000. and 20 of Article II of the Constitution which enjoins the State to place the national economy under the control of Filipinos to achieve equal distribution of opportunities. the implementation of R. Securities and Exchange Commission). Jr. Gunigundo I. Jr. Barbers. which has been assailed as in breach of the constitutional mandate for the development of a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos.000. 19. Estrada signed into law Republic Act (R.500.000.A. FELIPE MEDALLA (Secretary of National Economic and Development Authority). Ma. . 8762 on the following grounds: First.. 8762’s effectivity. HON. all members of the House of Representatives.. assailing the constitutionality of R. RONALDO ZAMORA. MAR ROXAS (Secretary of Trade and Industry). PROSPERO PICHAY. Enrique Garcia. Jr. would result in the loss of effective Filipino control of the economy. Sergio Apostol. Respondents. 2000 President Joseph E. 2000 petitioners ***Magtanggol T. 100% foreign equity shall be allowed. Juan Miguel Zubiri and Franklin Bautista.A. DECISION ABAD. It expressly repealed R. the law runs afoul of Sections 9. 8762 on the government as a condition for the release of certain loans.500. filed the present petition. the World Bank-International Monetary Fund had improperly imposed the passage of R. foreign retailers like Walmart and K-Mart would crush Filipino retailers and sari-sari store vendors. 8762 also allows natural-born Filipino citizens. Prospero Pichay. ESPINA. promote industrialization and full employment.000.00 or moreMay be wholly owned by foreigners.000.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. More particularly. standing refers to his personal and substantial interest in that he has suffered or will suffer direct injury as a result of the passage of that law.1 Legal standing or locus standi refers to the right of a party to come to a court of justice and make such a challenge.A. Rafael Buenaventura. petitioners have failed to overcome the presumption of constitutionality of R. they represent the small retail vendors in their respective districts but the petition does not allege that the subject law violates the rights of those vendors.5 Still the Court will resolve the question they raise since the rule on standing can be relaxed for nontraditional plaintiffs like ordinary citizens. Sections 9. They cannot invoke the fact that they are taxpayers since R.A. Indeed. 8762. 19. there is no clear showing that the implementation of the Retail Trade Liberalization Act prejudices petitioners or inflicts damages on them.A. Second. taxpayers. or of paramount public interest. The Issues Presented Simplified. Petitioners of course claim that. Whether or not R. Whether or not petitioner lawmakers have the legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of R. 8762 is unconstitutional. They invoke the provisions of the Declaration of Principles and State Policies under Article II of the 1987 Constitution. National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Felipe Medalla. It directs Congress to reserve to Filipino citizens certain areas of investments upon the recommendation of the NEDA and when the national interest so dictates. and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Lilia Bautista countered that: First. Nor can they invoke the fact that they are members of Congress since they made no claim that the law infringes on their right as legislators.A. which read as follows: . It does not prohibit Congress from enacting laws allowing the entry of foreigners into certain industries not reserved by the Constitution to Filipino citizens. they could not specify how the new law violates the constitutional provisions they cite. and legislators when as in this case the public interest so requires or the matter is of transcendental importance. Respondents Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora. and 20 of Article II of the Constitution are not self-executing provisions that are judicially demandable. Third.. petitioners have no legal standing to file the petition. of overarching significance to society. there is a clear and present danger that the law would promote monopolies or combinations in restraint of trade. and 2. 8762 violates the mandate of the 1987 Constitution for the State to develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. Jr. he must show that he has been or is about to be denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the law he complains of. The Court’s Ruling One. Trade and Industry Secretary Mar Roxas. 2 To put it another way.3 Here. But the Constitution leaves to the discretion of the Congress whether or not to make such reservation. as members of Congress. 8762. the case presents two issues: 1. the Constitution mandates the regulation but not the prohibition of foreign investments. the petition does not involve any justiciable controversy.A. Fourth.6 Two.Fifth. The long settled rule is that he who challenges the validity of a law must have a standing to do so. 8762 does not involve the disbursement of public funds. either as taxpayers 4 or as legislators. Petitioners mainly argue that R.

it also recognizes the need for business exchange with the rest of the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino enterprises only against foreign competition and trade practices that are unfair. The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its national jurisdiction and in accordance with its national goals and priorities. xxxx Section 19. certain areas of investments. Petitioners also invoke the provisions of the National Economy and Patrimony under Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. services. as the Court explained in Tañada v. upon recommendation of the economic and planning agency. The State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor. The Congress shall. and adopt measures that help make them competitive. domestic materials and locally produced goods. a rising standard of living. Angara. Indeed. Article II of the 1987 Constitution requires the development of a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipino entrepreneurs. The Court further explained in Tañada that Article XII of the 1987 Constitution lays down the ideals of economic nationalism: (1) by expressing preference in favor of qualified Filipinos in the grant of rights.lihpwal In other words. it does not impose a policy of Filipino monopoly of the economic environment. and (3) by requiring the State to develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services. But. privileges. while Section 19. the declarations of principles and state policies. which reads: Section 10. labor and enterprises. or such higher percentage as Congress may prescribe. and speaks of industries which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets as well as of the protection of Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices. The State shall pursue a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity. are not self-executing. domestic materials and locally-produced goods. reserve to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens.7 the provisions of Article II of the 1987 Constitution. 8ten. Section 13. encourages private enterprise. when the national interest dictates. The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos. and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony. and provides incentives to needed investments. privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony and in the use of Filipino labor. Section 20.Section 9. The State recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector. The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos. Thus. while the Constitution mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods. and an improved quality of life for all. the 1987 Constitution takes into account the realities of the outside world as it requires the pursuit of a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity. xxxx Section 12. promote full employment. In the grant of rights. The objective is simply to prohibit foreign powers or interests from maneuvering our economic policies and ensure that Filipinos are given preference in all areas of development. Legislative failure to pursue such policies cannot give rise to a cause of action in the courts. the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos. (2) by mandating the State to adopt measures that help make them competitive. 9 .

Filipinos continue to have the right to engage in the kinds of retail business to which the law in question has permitted the entry of foreign investors. Section 10. Here. Certainly. aliens can only engage in retail trade business subject to the categories above-enumerated. In sum. MA. 10 The key. 8762 would eventually lead to alien control of the retail trade business. The NEDA has not opposed such policy. In this case. the 1987 Constitution does not rule out the entry of foreign investments. Congress has decided to open certain areas of the retail trade business to foreign investments instead of reserving them exclusively to Filipino citizens. and Third. Permit Division. Congress enacted the Retail Trade Nationalization Act or R. 161107 March 12. In fact. In denying the petition assailing the validity of such Act for violation of the foreigner’s right to substantive due process of law. That law is not arbitrary. No costs. 1180 that restricts the retail business to Filipino citizens. to the extent that R. the Supreme Court held that the law constituted a valid exercise of police power. It can enact laws allowing the entry of foreigners into certain industries not reserved by the Constitution to Filipino citizens. While it does not encourage their unlimited entry into the country. A person’s right to property. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution gives Congress the discretion to reserve to Filipinos certain areas of investments upon the recommendation of the NEDA and when the national interest requires. The control and regulation of trade in the interest of the public welfare is of course an exercise of the police power of the State. it does not prohibit them either. it allows an exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity.In other words. whether he is a Filipino citizen or foreign national. 2013 HON.A. lessens the restraint on the foreigners’ right to property or to engage in an ordinarily lawful business. goods. restaurants and sari-sari stores and such other similar retailing activities.A. SO ORDERED. JOSEPHINE C. Thus – First. The Court is not convinced that the implementation of R. Second. LOURDES C.A. or juridical entities formed or incorporated in countries which allow the entry of Filipino retailers shall be allowed to engage in retail trade business. it cannot be said that the law amounts to a denial of the Filipinos’ right to property and to due process of law. 8762 save when it blatantly violates the Constitution. qualified foreign retailers shall not be allowed to engage in certain retailing activities outside their accredited stores through the use of mobile or rolling stores or carts.A. 11 The State had an interest in preventing alien control of the retail trade and R. there is no showing that the law has contravened any constitutional mandate. the use of sales representatives. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. 8762. is to strike a balance between protecting local businesses and allowing the entry of foreign investments and services. But as the Court has said. Petitioners have not mustered any concrete and strong argument to support its thesis. door-to-door selling. petitioners have not shown how the retail trade liberalization has prejudiced and can prejudice the local small and medium enterprises since its implementation about a decade ago. only nationals from. in her capacity as City Mayor of Marikina City. EVANGELIST A. No. The law itself has provided strict safeguards on foreign participation in that business. FERNANDO. cannot be taken from him without due process of law. frowning only on foreign competition that is unfair. Thus. Office of the City . it is not within the province of the Court to inquire into the wisdom of R.R. in her capacity as Chief.1avvphi1 More importantly. and services. Congress can determine what policy to pass and when to pass it depending on the economic exigencies. the Retail Trade Liberalization Act. as in all economies in the world.A. the Court DISMISSES the petition for lack of merit. In 1954. 1180 was reasonably related to that purpose. WHEREFORE.

and other lawless elements from the view of outsiders once they have gained ingress into these walls. WHEREAS. which seeks to set aside the December 1. Ordinance No. 4 entitled "Regulating the Construction of Fences and Walls in the Municipality of Marikina. and ALFONSO ESPIRITU. INC.Engineer. even protected burglars. coupled with urbanization and modernization.80 square meters.: Before this Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Presidential Decree No. 2003 Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. Scholastica’s College (SSC) and St. The property is enclosed by a tall concrete perimeter fence built some thirty (30) years ago. the formation house of the novices. as amended. On September 30. 2 Respondent SSC is the owner of four (4) parcels of land measuring a total of 56. commercial and industrial buildings. construction. DECISION MENDOZA. the adoption of such technical standards shall provide more efficient and effective enforcement of laws on public safety and security.R. Ordinance Nos. SCHOLASTICA'S ACADEMY-MARIKINA. otherwise known as the National Building Code of the Philippines. SP No. 1994. Malate." In 1995 and 1998. 192.306. Marikina City. and other improvements. it has occurred in not just a few occasions that high fences or walls did not actually discourage but. in terms of design. 3 The petitioners are the officials of the City Government of Marikina. The Facts Respondents St. Respondents.2 of Republic Act No. does not adequately provide technical guidelines for the construction of fences. Scholastica’s Academy-Marikina. Petitioners. vs. WHEREAS the effort of the municipality to accelerate its economic and physical development. Abutting the fence along the West Drive are buildings. 192. with principal offices and business addresses at Leon Guinto Street. Marikina Heights. under Section 447. in fact. 75691. WHEREAS. as follows: ORDINANCE No. the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Marikina City enacted Ordinance No. WHEREAS. . 1096. 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991 empowers the Sangguniang Bayan as the local legislative body of the municipality to "x x x Prescribe reasonable limits and restraints on the use of property within the jurisdiction of the municipality. 2175 and 2006 were enacted to amend Sections 7 and 5. 91537. robbers. and criteria. (SSAMarikina) are educational institutions organized under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. Located within the property are SSA-Marikina. 192 Series of 1994 ORDINANCE REGULATING THE CONSTRUCTION OF FENCES AND WALLS IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF MARIKINA WHEREAS. respectively. facilities. ST. and at West Drive. is reproduced hereunder. respectively. Inc. and the retirement house for the elderly sisters. in his capacity as City Engineer of Marikina City. located in Marikina Heights and covered by Transfer Certificate Title (TCT) No. J. the residence of the sisters of the Benedictine Order. SCHOLASTICA'S COLLEGE and ST. x x x". Manila.. makes imperative the adoption of an ordinance which shall embody up-to-date and modern technical design in the construction of fences of residential.

however. Open fence – type of fence which allows a view of "thru-see" of the inner yard and the improvements therein. and (2) Fences on the side and back yard – shall be in accordance with the provisions of P. (Examples: wrought iron. and commercial and industrial establishments in Marikina to two public hearings held on July 28. WHEREAS. the municipal government seeks to enact and implement rules and ordinances to protect and promote the health. Front gate – refers to the gate which serves as a passage of persons or vehicles fronting a street. high fences are unsightly that. 7160). Front Yard – refers to the area of the lot fronting a street. Coverage: This Ordinance regulates the construction of all fences. 1994 and August 25. 1994. at least eighty percent (80%) see-thru. with the "Clean and Green Program" of the government. such trees and ornamental plants are expected to create an aura of a clean. Definition of Terms: a. but becomes itself a "security problem". WHEREAS. people planted on sidewalks to "beautify" the façade of their residences but. to discourage. high and solid walls as fences are considered "un-neighborly" preventing community members to easily communicate and socialize and deemed to create "boxedin" mentality among the populace. and when visible. NOW. The standard height of fences or walls allowed under this ordinance are as follows: (1) Fences on the front yard – shall be no more than one (1) meter in height. commercial. cyclone wire) d. alley. or special purposes. fences not necessarily providing security. c.D. Fences in excess of one (1) meter shall be of an open fence type. industrial.hence. WHEREAS. green and beautiful environment for Marikeños. b. 1096 otherwise known as the National Building Code. become hazards and obstructions to pedestrians. to gather as wide-range of opinions and comments on this proposal. THEREFORE. and as a requirement of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R. No fence of any kind shall be allowed in areas specifically reserved or . in the past. lowering of fences and walls shall encourage people to plant more trees and ornamental plants in their yards. Back Yard – the part of the lot at the rear of the structure constructed therein. consistent too. alley or public thoroughfare.A. suppress or prevent the concealment of prohibited or unlawful acts earlier enumerated. Section 3. or public thoroughfare. WHEREAS. the rationale and mechanics of the proposed ordinance were fully presented to the attendees and no vehement objection was presented to the municipal government. BE IT ORDAINED BY THE SANGGUINANG BAYAN OF MARIKINA IN SESSION DULY ASSEMBLED: Section 1. WHEREAS. and as guardian of the people of Marikina. Section 4. wooden lattice. walls and gates on lots classified or used for residential. safety and morals of its constituents. the Sangguniang Bayan of Marikina invited presidents or officers of homeowners associations. Section 2. WHEREAS.

Transitory Provision. to move it back about six (6) meters to provide parking space for vehicles to park. and. rules and regulations or parts thereof in conflict with this Ordinance are hereby repealed and/or modified accordingly. including the issuance of the necessary implementing guidelines. local executive orders. Walls found not conforming to the provisions of this Ordinance shall be demolished by the municipal government at the expense of the owner of the lot or structure. as follows: (1) Residential houses – eight (8) years (2) Commercial establishments – five (5) years (3) Industrial establishments – three (3) years (4) Educational institutions – five (5) years8 (public and privately owned) Section 8. Fernando. insisted on the enforcement of the subject ordinance. and demolition of non-conforming walls at the lapse of the grace period herein provided. 7 Section 6. Section 10. the Sangguniang Bayan may allow the construction and/or maintenance of walls higher than as prescribed herein and shall issue a special permit or exemption. Section 9.classified as parks. Not in conformity. Separability Clause. the petitioners. amended or modified. 10 In response. 9 On April 26. Penalty. Repealing Clause. 2000. issuance of building and fencing permits. Rules and Regulations inconsistent with the foregoing provisions are hereby repealed. the respondents requested for an extension of time to comply with the directive. the respondents filed a petition for prohibition with an application for a writ of preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order before the Regional Trial Court. Real property owners whose existing fences and walls do not conform to the specifications herein are allowed adequate period of time from the passage of this Ordinance within which to conform. Section 7. All existing Ordinances and Resolutions. 2000. This ordinance takes effect after publication. (2) When public safety or public welfare requires. the City Government of Marikina sent a letter to the respondents ordering them to demolish and replace the fence of their Marikina property to make it 80% see-thru. (1) The Ordinance does not cover perimeter walls of residential subdivisions. . The Municipal Engineering Office is tasked to strictly implement this ordinance. If for any reason or reasons. through then City Mayor Bayani F. Section 5. Section 11. In no case shall walls and fences be built within the five (5) meter parking area allowance located between the front monument line and the building line of commercial and industrial establishments and educational and religious institutions. APPROVED: September 30. Section 12. Exemption. at the same time. 1994 (Emphases supplied) On April 2. Effectivity. Marikina.

Blessed Virgin Shrine. as amended. 2002. resulting in the permanent loss of their beneficial use. disposed: . 15 dated October 2. The RTC also found untenable the petitioners’ argument that Ordinance No. thus. and improvements. thus. which were brought about by the absence or insufficiency of laws. waiting area for students. facilities.02 square meters. area. 14 Ruling of the RTC On the merits. who were entitled to some sense of privacy in their affairs. which would be destroyed by the demolition of the walls and the seizure of the strips of land.Branch 273 (RTC). the same was valid and legal. asserting that such contravenes Section 1. provided for retroactive application. waiting area for visitors. It ruled that the assailed ordinance was neither remedial nor curative in nature.100. asserted that the implementation of the ordinance on their property would be tantamount to an appropriation of property without due process of law. that such retroactive effect should not impair the respondents’ vested substantive rights over the perimeter walls. 13 On June 30. It would also result in the destruction of the garbage house. on the other hand. 2000-381-MK.808. P. they could restrain property rights for the protection of public safety.34 square meters. 12 The petitioners. It also observed that Section 7 of Ordinance No. worth roughly P9. Article III of the 1987 Constitution. or the promotion of public convenience and general prosperity. That demolishing their fence and constructing it six (6) meters back would result in the loss of at least 1. covered walk. health. by virtue of which. granting the petition and ordering the issuance of a writ of prohibition commanding the petitioners to permanently desist from enforcing or implementing Ordinance No. countered that the ordinance was a valid exercise of police power. 192. the six-meter strips of land along the walls. considering that the property also served as a residence of the Benedictine sisters. along West Drive. guards’ post. 192. It held that the petitioners could not take the respondents’ property under the guise of police power to evade the payment of just compensation. electric house. considering that the respondents were already providing for sufficient parking in compliance with the standards under Rule XIX of the National Building Code. It also found that the respondents were able to prove that the danger to security had no basis in their case. enjoining the petitioners from implementing the demolition of the fence at SSC’s Marikina property.700. The RTC noted that the petitioners could still take action to expropriate the subject property through eminent domain.00. storage house. docketed as SCA Case No. and the ordinance did not refer to any previous legislation that it sought to correct. along East Drive. and the building.E.00. comfort rooms. It did not give weight to the petitioners’ contention that the parking space was for the benefit of the students and patrons of SSA-Marikina. and the multipurpose hall. Moreover. They also pointed out that the goal of the provisions to deter lawless elements and criminality did not exist as the solid concrete walls of the school had served as sufficient protection for many years. it held that the purpose of beautification could not be used to justify the exercise of police power. 192 was a remedial or curative statute intended to correct the defects of buildings and structures. 192 on the respondents’ property. considering that at the time the respondents’ perimeter wall was built. It held.954.11 The respondents argued that the petitioners were acting in excess of jurisdiction in enforcing Ordinance No. 2000. It further found that the 80% see-thru fence requirement could run counter to the respondents’ right to privacy. guards’ room.770.041. and at least 1. The RTC. structures. The RTC agreed with the respondents that the order of the petitioners to demolish the fence at the SSC property in Marikina and to move it back six (6) meters would amount to an appropriation of property which could only be done through the exercise of eminent domain. morals. The respondents. however. the RTC rendered a Decision. and that the petitioners could only appropriate a portion of their property through eminent domain. the RTC issued a writ of preliminary injunction. worth about P9.

they failed to comply with substantive due process. It found that the real intent of the setback provision was to make the parking space free for use by the public. the CA found that the petitioner failed to point out any irregularity or invalidity in the provisions of the National Building Code that required correction or cure. and undue restraint of trade. thus. 2003 Decision. Branch 273. Metro Manila. the benefit of the respondents for whom the easement was primarily intended. Marikina.762. and inure to. 192. No pronouncement as to costs. 3. 2002 Decision and the January 13. 192 did not justify the exercise of police power. granting petitioners-appellees’ petition for Prohibition in SCA Case No. Hence. considering that such would cease to be for the exclusive use of the school and its students as it would be situated outside school premises and beyond the school administration’s control. the use and ownership of which would remain with. 2003 Order of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Marikina City.1âwphi1 The October 2. . SO ORDERED. the instant appeal is DENIED. 192. The CA reasoned out that the objectives stated in Ordinance No. The CA also shot down the argument that the five-meter setback provision for parking was a legal easement. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DECLARING THAT THE CITY VIOLATED THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE IN IMPLEMENTING ORDINANCE NO. thus. 2000-381-MK are hereby AFFIRMED. ruled that the assailed ordinance could not be upheld as valid as it clearly invaded the personal and property rights of the respondents and "[f]or being unreasonable. SERIES OF 1994 IS NOT A VALID EXERCISE OF POLICE POWER. the CA dismissed the petitioners’ appeal and affirmed the RTC decision. but also involved the taking of the respondents’ property without due process of law.16 Ruling of the CA In its December 1. and a total of 3. as amended.WHEREFORE. the beneficial use of their structures.36 square meters of property. SO ORDERED. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DECLARING THAT CITY ORDINANCE NO. The writ of prohibition is hereby issued commanding the respondents to permanently desist from enforcing or implementing Ordinance No.18 Aggrieved by the decision of the CA. all foregoing premises considered. It noted that any correction in the Code should be properly undertaken by the Congress and not by the City Council of Marikina through an ordinance. the petition is GRANTED. on petitioners’ property in question located at Marikina Heights. the petitioners are now before this Court presenting the following ASSIGNMENT OF ERRORS 1." 17 It noted that although the petitioners complied with procedural due process in enacting Ordinance No. as it did not only seek to regulate. In affirming the RTC ruling that the ordinance was not a curative statute. The respondents were bound to lose an unquantifiable sense of security. 192. The CA. the failure of the respondents to attend the public hearings in order to raise objections did not amount to a waiver of their right to question the validity of the ordinance. It. disposed: WHEREFORE. Series of 1994. 192. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN RULING THAT THE AFOREMENTIONED ORDINANCE IS AN EXERCISE OF THE CITY OF THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN. 2.

To successfully invoke the exercise of police power as the rationale for the enactment of an ordinance and to free it from the imputation of constitutional infirmity. They also contend that Section 3. No. known as the General Welfare Clause. 303.25 discusses the test of a valid ordinance: The test of a valid ordinance is well established. it must not only be within the corporate powers of the local government unit to enact and pass according to the procedure prescribed by law. Under the rational relationship test. laws or ordinances are upheld if they rationally further a legitimate governmental interest. Jr.:28 As with the State. rather than substantial. known as the general legislative power. good order. (5) must be general and consistent with public policy. good order or safety and general welfare of the people. known as the police power proper. invalid. and for the protection of their property. and convenience of the municipality and its inhabitants."21 The State. must be complied with. governmental interest and on the absence of less restrictive means for achieving that interest. the focus is on the presence of compelling. series of 1994 must be struck down for not being reasonably necessary to accomplish the City’s purpose. More importantly. and (6) must not be unreasonable. Ordinance No. This delegation of police power is embodied in Section 1622 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R. 26 Ordinance No. (4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade. Applying strict scrutiny. series of 2000. (2) must not be unfair or oppressive." 24 White Light Corporation v.SERIES OF 1994. the petitioners argue that such invalidity was subsequently cured by Zoning Ordinance No.A.1 and 5 of Ordinance No. two tests have been used by the Court – the rational relationship test and the strict scrutiny test: We ourselves have often applied the rational basis test mainly in analysis of equal protection challenges. prosperity. AND 4. an ordinance must pass the following requisites as discussed in Social Justice Society (SJS) v. 192 was passed by the City Council of Marikina in the apparent exercise of its police power. morals. 192 are valid exercises of police power by the City Government of Marikina. it is oppressive of private rights. comfort. as it remains to be valid. authorizes the municipality to enact ordinances as may be necessary and proper for the health and safety. governmental interest is extensively examined and the availability of less restrictive measures is considered. Ruling of the Court The ultimate question before the Court is whether Sections 3. 23 which has two branches. as held by the lower courts. pertaining to the fivemeter setback requirement is. City of Manila. local governments may be considered as having properly exercised their police . 19 In this case. peace. it must also conform to the following substantive requirements: (1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute. authorizes the municipal council to enact ordinances and make regulations not repugnant to law. as may be necessary to carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred upon the municipal council by law. Using the rational basis examination. peace. 27 Even without going to a discussion of the strict scrutiny test. A long line of decisions including City of Manila has held that for an ordinance to be valid. (3) must not be partial or discriminatory. through the legislature. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN RULING THAT THE ABOVE-MENTIONED ORDINANCE CANNOT BE GIVEN RETROACTIVE APPLICATION. 20 Nonetheless. "The first. 7160). Atienza. relating to the 80% see-thru fence requirement. education. 192. morals. as agencies of the State. the petitioners admit that Section 5 of the assailed ordinance. Under intermediate review. The second. has delegated the exercise of police power to local government units. "Police power is the plenary power vested in the legislature to make statutes and ordinances to promote the health.

36 square meters of the respondents’ private property for public use without just compensation. finds Section 5 to be unreasonable and oppressive as it will substantially divest the respondents of the beneficial use of their property solely for aesthetic purposes. considering that it would no longer be for the exclusive use of the respondents as it would also be available for use by the general public. In short. In their Reply. Setback Requirement The Court first turns its attention to Section 5 which requires the five-meter setback of the fence to provide for a parking area. It is a settled rule that neither the acquisition of title nor the total destruction of value is essential to taking. Anent the objectives of prevention of concealment of unlawful acts and "un-neighborliness. there must be a concurrence of a lawful subject and lawful method. to wit: Section 3. Regarding the beautification purpose of the setback requirement. it is usually in cases where the title remains with the private owner that inquiry should be made to determine whether the impairment of a property is merely regulated or amounts to a compensable taking.1 and 5 of the assailed ordinance are pertinent to the issue at hand. require its exercise and (2) the means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. sought to prohibit the petitioners from requiring them to (1) demolish their existing concrete wall. however. thus. and that its use by the public on non-school days would only be incidental. xxx xxx xxx Section 5. In fact. The petitioners initially argued that the ownership of the parking area to be created would remain with the respondents as it would primarily be for the use of its students and faculty. in fact. 32 The Court is of the view that the implementation of the setback requirement would be tantamount to a taking of a total of 3. and (3) build the said fence six meters back in order to provide a parking area. Fences in excess of one (1) meter shall be an open fence type. the petitioners admitted that Section 5 was.762. the police power measure shall be struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into private rights and a violation of the due process clause. The respondents. 29 Lacking a concurrence of these two requisites. 33 The Court. provides that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. The Court joins the CA in finding that the real intent of the setback requirement was to make the parking space free for use by the public." it is obvious that providing for a parking area has no logical connection to. and is not reasonably necessary for. The standard height of fences of walls allowed under this ordinance are as follows: (1) Fences on the front yard – shall be no more than one (1) meter in height. 30 Section 3. invalid for being repugnant to the Constitution. in contravention to the Constitution. The petitioners cannot justify the setback by arguing that the ownership of the property will continue to remain with the respondents. it has long been settled that the State may not. Accordingly.31 The Court agrees with the latter position. a provision on eminent domain. Section 9 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution. thus. under the guise of police power. In no case shall walls and fences be built within the five (5) meter parking area allowance located between the front monument line and the building line of commercial and industrial establishments and educational and religious institutions. the accomplishment of these goals.power only if the following requisites are met: (1) the interests of the public generally. at least eighty percent (80%) see-thru. Section 5 of Ordinance . (2) build a fence (in excess of one meter) which must be 80% see-thru. permanently divest owners of the beneficial use of their property solely to preserve or enhance the aesthetic appearance of the community. as distinguished from those of a particular class.

however. theories. Series of 2000. 303 does not even appear to be for the purpose of providing a parking area. 80% See-Thru Fence Requirement The petitioners argue that while Section 5 of Ordinance No. 2000. while Ordinance No. the five-meter setback required by Ordinance No. The means employed by the petitioners. and due process. "cure" Section 5 of Ordinance No. or serve as a more satisfactory criminal deterrent. suppress or prevent the concealment of prohibited or unlawful acts. and arguments not adequately brought to the attention of the lower court will not be ordinarily considered by a reviewing court. and it does not appear obvious to this Court. has no bearing to the case at hand.1 is "to discourage. . and that a see-thru fence would be easier to bypass and breach. the petitioners could very well have raised it in their defense before the RTC in 2002. for even under the guise of protecting the public interest. the two ordinances have completely different purposes and subjects. The petitioners are mistaken. Points of law. therefore. is not reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of this purpose and is unduly oppressive to private rights. justice. Considering that Ordinance No. Section 3. The petitioners. as previously discussed. ` As to the beautification purpose of the assailed ordinance. inasmuch as they cannot be raised for the first time on appeal. The settled rule in this jurisdiction is that a party cannot change the legal theory of this case under which the controversy was heard and decided in the trial court. can Ordinance No. The Court cannot accommodate the petitioner. Ordinance No. argue that the invalidity of Section 5 was properly cured by Zoning Ordinance No. 192 and. 192 is invalid." The ultimate goal of this objective is clearly the prevention of crime to ensure public safety and security. The Court notes with displeasure that this argument was only raised for the first time on appeal in this Court in the petitioners’ Reply. under which a five-meter setback has been required. In any case. as such.No. the precise issue to be determined is whether the petitioners can be prohibited from enforcing the said ordinance. issues. however.1 to pass the rational relationship test. 303. For Section 3. against the respondents. and no other. It should be the same theory under which the review on appeal is conducted. 303. 303. In fact. It may even be argued that such exposed premises could entice and tempt would-be criminals to the property. 303 is a zoning ordinance which classifies the city into specific land uses. 303 was enacted on December 20. under the guise of police power. the clear subject of the petition for prohibition filed by the respondents is Ordinance No. This will be offensive to the basic rules of fair play. Compelling the respondents to construct their fence in accordance with the assailed ordinance is. The petitioners have not adequately shown.34 Series of 2000. 36 The principal purpose of Section 3. infringe on private rights solely for the sake of the aesthetic appearance of the community. the petitioners must show the reasonable relation between the purpose of the police power measure and the means employed for its accomplishment.1 limiting the height of fences to one meter and requiring fences in excess of one meter to be at least 80% seethru. It also appears that the respondents’ concrete wall has served as more than sufficient protection over the last 40 years. Similarly. 192. should remain valid and enforceable against the respondents. personal rights and those pertaining to private property will not be permitted to be arbitrarily invaded.35 Furthermore. By no stretch of the imagination. than a tall solid concrete wall. 192 may be invalid. the Court cannot perceive how a see-thru fence will foster "neighborliness" between members of a community. 192 aims to regulate the construction of fences. which classified the respondents’ property to be within an institutional zone. the State may not. that an 80% seethru fence would provide better protection and a higher level of security. Ordinance No.

as if existing laws have been complied with. The right to privacy has long been considered a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution that must be protected from intrusion or constraint. In aiming to cure this insufficiency. pass upon the issue for the sake of clarity. As such. thus. Paragraph 1. 192 (and not Ordinance No. before the enactment of the statute was invalid. 38 It is inherent in the concept of liberty. It also appears that requiring the exposure of their property via a see-thru fence is violative of their right to privacy.1 of Ordinance No. result in an undue interference with the respondents’ rights to property and privacy. Separability Sections 3. As found by the lower courts. also invalid and cannot be enforced against the respondents. are retroactive. 3(1). They are intended to enable persons to carry into effect that which they have designed or intended. by their very essence. 192. its failure to provide for adequate guidelines for the construction of fences. enshrined in the Bill of Rights (Article III) in Sections 1. The Court shall. namely. if susceptible to being separated from the invalid."41 The petitioners argue that Ordinance No. 39 The enforcement of Section 3. had more than sufficiently complied with the law. They make valid that which.thus. therefore. Section 3. therefore. the respondents provide a total of 76 parking slots for their 80 classrooms and. as amended. a clear encroachment on their right to property." 42 Thus. They are intended to supply defects. and 17. the other sections of the assailed ordinance remain valid and enforceable. but has failed of expected legal consequence by reason of some statutory disability or irregularity in their own action. No Retroactivity Ordinance No. Ordinance No. and giving said educational institutions five (5) years from the passage of Ordinance No. At any rate. 37 as governmental powers should stop short of certain intrusions into the personal life of its citizens. The petitioners fail to point out any irregular or invalid provision. 217) to conform to its provisions.1 and 5 of Ordinance No. 192 cannot be enforced against the respondents. 2. They ultimately seek to remedy an insufficiency in the law. which necessarily includes their right to decide how best to protect their property. abridge superfluities and curb certain evils. 192 by including the regulation of educational institutions which was unintentionally omitted. there appears to be no insufficiency in the National Building Code with respect to parking provisions in relation to the issue of the respondents. invalid and cannot be enforced against the respondents. Rule XIX of the Rules and Regulations of the said code requires an educational institution to provide one parking slot for every ten classrooms. not a curative statute which may be applied retroactively. while another part is valid. "Curative statutes are enacted to cure defects in a prior law or to validate legal proceedings which would otherwise be void for want of conformity with certain legal requirements. the petitioners attempt to add lacking provisions to the National Building Code. 192 is a curative statute as it aims to correct or cure a defect in the National Building Code. 192. thus. Nonetheless.1 would. Curative statutes. the assailed ordinance cannot qualify as curative and retroactive in nature. 217 amended Section 7 of Ordinance No. nevertheless. 192 is.1. thus. The right to privacy is essentially the right to be let alone.16. are.1 and 5 of Ordinance No. "the general rule is that where part of a statute is void as repugnant to the Constitution. This is not what is contemplated by curative statutes. Considering that Sections 3. considering that the residence of the Benedictine nuns is also located within the property.40 The petitioners argued that the amendment could be retroactively applied because the assailed ordinance is a curative statute which is retroactive in nature. it is no longer necessary to rule on the issue of retroactivity. Their purpose is to give validity to acts done that would have been invalid under existing laws. therefore. the valid portion. Article III of the 1987 Constitution. 8. 6. . which intend to correct irregularities or invalidity in the law. may stand and be enforced. as amended. is.

SO ORDERED.C. the petition is DENIED. (TITO) SAYSON AND RICARDO HAPITAN. 159110. The writ of prohibition is hereby issued commanding the respondents to permanently desist from enforcing or implementing Sections 3.Conclusion Considering the invalidity of Sections 3. BERSAMIN. Each political subdivision is thereby vested with such powers subject to constitutional and statutory limitations. WHEREFORE. 2013 VALENTINO L.1 and 5.1 and 5 of Ordinance No. it is clear that the petitioners were acting in excess of their jurisdiction in enforcing Ordinance No. The CA was correct in affirming the decision of the RTC in issuing the writ of prohibition. on the petitioners' property in question located in Marikina Heights. Metro Manila. The petitioners must permanently desist from enforcing Sections 3. Now challenged before the Court are the constitutionality and validity of one such ordinance on the ground that the ordinance constituted a . v.1 and 5 of the assailed ordinance on the respondents' property in Marikina City. the National Legislature has devolved the three great inherent powers of the State to the LGUs. No. To attain the goal. The October 2.: The goal of the decentralization of powers to the local government units (LGUs) is to ensure the enjoyment by each of the territorial and political subdivisions of the State of a genuine and meaningful local autonomy. Respondents. Petitioner.R. 2000-381-MK is AFFIRMED but MODIFIED to read as follows: WHEREFORE. the Local Government Code (LGC) has expressly empowered the LGUs to enact and adopt ordinances to regulate vehicular traffic and to prohibit illegal parking within their jurisdictions. T. J. No pronouncement as to costs. as amended. 192 against the respondents. CITY OF CEBU. EN BANC G. LEGASPI. the petition is GRANTED. 2002 Decision of the Regional Trial Court in SCA Case No. 192. Marikina. Series of 1994. In particular. December 10.

Section 3. any traffic enforcer of the City (regular PNP Personnel or Cebu City Traffic Law Enforcement Personnel) is hereby authorized to immobilize any violating vehicle as hereinabove provided. 801 (Traffic Code of Cebu City).) and his son Atty.3 Their complaint alleged that on June 23. then represented by Hon. 3. plus the administrative penalty of Five Hundred Pesos (P500. and the chairman and operatives or officers of the City Traffic Operations Management (CITOM). Antecedents On January 27. 1644 as unconstitutional for being in violation of due process and for being contrary to law. The challenge originated in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) at the instance of the petitioners – vehicle owners who had borne the brunt of the implementation of the ordinance – with the RTC declaring the ordinance unconstitutional. 3. Alvin Garcia. For this particular purpose. Bienvenido Jaban (Jaban. Fire and CITOM Penology 3. unless otherwise ordered released by any of the following officers:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary a) b) Chairman. Atty. be penalized with imprisonment of not less than one (1) month nor more than six (6) months or of a fine of not less than Two Thousand Pesos (P2. shall be liable for its loss or destruction and shall be prosecuted for such loss or destruction under pain or penalty under the Revised Penal Code and any other existing ordinance of the City of Cebu for the criminal act. 2 On July 29. owner or driver violating any ordinance on parking prohibitions. its City Mayor.00). Jr. 1664 read:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary Section 1. otherwise known as the Traffic Code of Cebu City. Committee c) Asst.2 Any immobilized vehicle which is unattended and constitute an obstruction to the free flow of traffic or a hazard thereof shall be towed to the city government impounding area for safekeeping and may be released only after the provision of Section 3 hereof shall have been fully complied with.000. in order to have a smooth flow of vehicular traffic in all the streets in the City of Cebu at all times. Jaban Sr.000. 1664 to authorize the traffic enforcers of Cebu City to immobilize any motor vehicle violating the parking restrictions and prohibitions defined in Ordinance No. shall be penalized in accordance with the penalties imposed in the ordinance so violated. IMMOBILIZATION OF VEHICLES – Any vehicle found violating any provision of any existing ordinance of the City of Cebu which prohibits.00) for the immobilization of the said vehicle. had properly parked his car in a paying parking .3 Any person who violates any provision of this ordinance shall. 1997 the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Cebu enacted Ordinance No. 1997. as may be provided under Ordinance No. on Police.contravention of the guaranty of due process under the Constitution by authorizing the immobilization of offending vehicles through the clamping of tires. or both such imprisonment and fine at the discretion of the court. Hon.1 Any person who tampers or tries to release an immobilized or clamped motor vehicle by destroying the denver boot vehicle immobilizer or other such special gadgets. the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cebu City and its Presiding Officer. seeking the declaration of Ordinance No. but it has now reached the Court as a consolidated appeal taken in due course by the petitioners after the Court of Appeals (CA) reversed the judgment of the RTC. Provided that any such act may not be compromised nor settled amicably extrajudicially. Renato V. and receipts of such payments presented to the concerned personnel of the bureau responsible for the release of the immobilized vehicle.1 The pertinent provisions of Ordinance No. regulates or restricts the parking of vehicles shall be immobilized by clamping any tire of the said violating vehicle with the use of a denver boot vehicle immobilizer or any other special gadget designed to immobilize motor vehicles. more particularly Ordinance No. City Fiscal Felipe Belciña Chairman. 1997. Bienvenido Douglas Luke Bradbury Jaban (Jaban. PENALTIES – Any motor vehicle. Osmeña. Section 2. regulations and/or restrictions. POLICY – It is the policy of the government of the City of Cebu to immobilize any motor vehicle violating any provision of any City Ordinance on Parking Prohibitions or Restrictions. Sr. or any other existing ordinance. and damages. in addition to his/her civil liabilities under the Civil Code of the Philippines. 801.00) nor more than Five Thousand Pesos (P5. provided that the vehicle immobilizer may not be removed or released without its owner or driver paying first to the City Treasurer of Cebu City through the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) all the accumulated penalties for all prior traffic law violations that remain unpaid or unsettled. as amended.) brought suit in the RTC in Cebu City against the City of Cebu. as amended. 801. upon conviction.

Cebu City to get certain records and documents from his office. and that he was compelled to pay the total sum of P1. which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial. Sayson. a hearing is always a pre– requisite. thus. 7red On August 11. 1664 enjoyed the presumption of constitutionality and validity. or Chairman.00 (itemized as P500. T. impelling him to go into the house to answer the call. further. 9 that while waiting for the anay exterminator to finish unloading. 1997. 1997. 6 that the fine was imposed without any court hearing and without due process of law. parked his car in a very secluded place where there was no sign prohibiting parking. he had left his car occupying a portion of the sidewalk and the street outside the gate of his house to make way for the vehicle of the anay exterminator who had asked to be allowed to unload his materials and equipment from the front of the residence inasmuch as his daughter’s car had been parked in the carport.00 for the release of his car without a court hearing and a final judgment rendered by a court of justice. restrycted (sic) or regulated area in the street or along the street.00 for the violation) without any court hearing and final judgment. 1997 while his car was parked properly in a parking lot in front of the San Nicolas Pasil Market in Cebu City without violating any traffic regulation or causing any obstruction. liberty or property must be done upon and with observance of the “due process” clause of the Constitution and the non–observance or violation thereof is. The vehicle immobilizer cannot be removed or released without the owner or driver paying first to the City Treasurer of Cebu through the Traffic Violations Bureau all the accumulated penalties of all unpaid or unsettled traffic law violations. or Asst. the phone in his office inside the house had rung. for he was not even told why his car had been immobilized. 1997. and a notice being posted on the car to the effect that it would be a criminal offense to break the clamp.” In both procedural and substantive due process. that he had undergone a similar incident of clamping of his car on the early morning of November 20. with the assurance that the unloading would not take too long. perforce.14 and that Ordinance No. Committee on Police. Ricardo Hapitan and John Does to demand the delivery of personal property. 4 that upon his return after less than 10 minutes. that his car was immobilized by CITOM operative Lito Gilbuena. hence. Valentino Legaspi (Legaspi) likewise sued in the RTC the City of Cebu. 15 The cases were consolidated before Branch 58 of the RTC. the taking or deprivation of one’s life. unconstitutional.400. In another case[s]. It should be stressed that the owner of the immobilized vehicle shall have to undergo all these ordeals at the mercy of the Traffic Law Enforcer who. the essence of due process was expressed by Daniel Webster as a “law which hears before it condemns”. 1999 its decision declaring Ordinance No.000.200. Jr. that after a short while. essentially stating that the traffic enforcers had only upheld the law by clamping the vehicles of the plaintiffs. that his car was impounded for three days. after trial. City Fiscal Felipe Belcina.00 as a fine to the City Treasurer of Cebu City for the release of his car.500. he had found his car being immobilized by a steel clamp. which. 1664.area on Manalili Street. 10 that he rushed outside and found a traffic citation stating that his car had been clamped by CITOM representatives with a warning that the unauthorized removal of the clamp would subject the remover to criminal charges. that he was compelled to pay P1. declaration of nullity of the Traffic Code of Cebu City. the immobilized vehicle shall be released only upon presentation of the receipt of said payments and upon release order by the Chairman. rendered on January 22. and damages. depriving its owner of the use thereof at the sole determination of any traffic enforcer or regular PNP personnel or Cebu City Traffic Law Enforcement Personnel. as the Ordinance in . Jaban. and was informed at the office of the CITOM that he had first to pay P4. CITOM. Under Ordinance No. his son–in–law informed him that unknown persons had clamped the front wheel of his car.” It contemplate(s) notice and opportunity to be heard before judgment is rendered affecting ones (sic) person or property. “procedural due process is that which hears before it condemns. when a vehicle is parked in a prohibited. 1664 as null and void upon the following ratiocination:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary In clear and simple phrase. that on May 19.8 He averred that on the morning of July 29. plus the administrative penalty of P500. The violating vehicle is immobilized. 5 that he had been infuriated by the immobilization of his car because he had been thereby rendered unable to meet an important client on that day. 11 and that in the late afternoon a group headed by Ricardo Hapitan towed the car even if it was not obstructing the flow of traffic. Fire and Penology.00 and.00 for the clamping and P1. 13 the City Attorney of Cebu presented similar defenses. 12 In separate answers for the City of Cebu and its co–defendants. the vehicle is immobilized by clamping any tire of said vehicle with the use of a denver boot vehicle immobilizer or any other special gadget which immobilized the motor vehicle.C.

00 representing the value of his car.000. arguendo.00 all as temperate or moderate damages. signposts. arguendo. regulate garages and the operation of conveyances for hire. because the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) had not been notified of the proceedings. 17 overturning the RTC and declaring Ordinance No. and it has been held. regulate the putting up of signs. awnings and awning posts on the streets. It then makes a general grant of the police power. as well as powers necessary. 1664 was unconstitutional.16 (citations omitted) The City of Cebu and its co–defendants appealed to the CA. and relates to such ordinances and regulations as may be necessary to carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred upon the . is the arresting officer. appropriate. the owner of the immobilized motor vehicle is deprived of his right to the use of his/her vehicle and penalized without a hearing by a person who is not legally or duly vested with such rights. improvement. park and other public places and approve the construction. – Every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted. x x x WHEREFORE. Thus.000.question mandates. x x x shall x x x (5) (v) Regulate the use of streets. Salaveria. the sum of P100. that Ordinance No. As in previous legislation. 1664 was unconstitutional. sidewalks. that Ordinance No. (vi) Regulate traffic on all streets and bridges. This provision contains what is traditionally known as the general welfare clause. the CA promulgated its assailed decision. assigning the following errors to the RTC. General Welfare. namely: (a) the RTC erred in declaring that Ordinance No. that the plaintiffs were entitled to damages. The scope of the legislative authority of the local government is set out in Section 16. 1664 unconstitutional and directing the defendant City of Cebu to pay the plaintiff Valentino Legaspi the sum of P110. With costs against defendant City of Cebu. prohibit encroachments or obstacles thereon and. (c) granting.00 each or P300. the general welfare clause has two branches.000. the RTC gravely erred in awarding damages to the plaintiffs. when necessary in the interest of public welfare. 39 Phil 102. (d) granting. the RTC gravely erred in holding that any violation prior to its declaration as being unconstitutional was irrelevant. 2003.000.000. The Ordinance in question is penal in nature. avenues. bridges. Otherwise stated. establish bus and vehicle stops and terminals or regulate the use of the same by privately owned vehicles which serve the public. power or authority. cleaning and sprinkling of streets and public places. otherwise known as the Local Government Code. Valentino L. A thematic analysis of the law on municipal corporations confirms this view. it enumerates the subjects on which the Sangguniang Panlungsod may exercise these powers. to wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary Section 16. judgment is hereby rendered declaring Ordinance No. SO ORDERED. as the legislative branch of the city. and to all the plaintiffs. Firstly.00 all as nominal damages and another P100. those necessarily implied therefrom. Defendants–appellants contend that the passage of Ordinance 1664 is in accordance with the police powers exercised by the City of Cebu through the Sangguniang Panlungsod and granted by RA 7160. premised (sic) considered. prosecutor. the damages awarded were excessive and contrary to law. and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare. arguendo. One branch attaches itself to the main trunk of municipal authority. and (e) the decision of the RTC was void. the Local Government Code delegates police powers to the local governments in two ways. repair and maintenance of the same. alleys. designate stands to be occupied by public vehicles when not in use. to wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary The principal thrust of this appeal is the constitutionality of Ordinance 1664. 1664 was unconstitutional. 1664 valid. Jaban and Bienvenido Douglas Luke Bradbury Jaban. and provide for the lighting.00 each or P300. (b) granting. Legaspi. On June 16. As expounded in United States vs. or incidental for its efficient and effective governance. Section 458 of the Code states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary Section 458 (a) The sangguniang panlungsod. Bienvenido P. with respect to the use of public streets. authorize the removal of encroachments and illegal constructions in public places. Judge and collector.

A long line of decisions has held that for an ordinance to be valid. is that the regulation must be reasonable... the general welfare clause complements the more specific powers granted a local government. and 2. 1664 complied with the requirements for validity and constitutionality. Jr. To ensure that a local government can react positively to the people’s needs and expectations. and not unreasonable or discriminatory. As explained in the preamble. Whether Ordinance No. A. This local law authorizes traffic enforcers to immobilize and tow for safekeeping vehicles on the streets that are illegally parked and to release them upon payment of the announced penalties. like the conformity of the ordinance with the limitations under the Constitution and the statutes. Laguio. (5) must be general and consistent with public policy. and whether it was passed in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law). 2003. (3) must not be partial or discriminatory. it has become necessary to resort to these measures because of the traffic congestion caused by illegal parking and the inability of existing penalties to curb it. the general welfare clause has been devised and interpreted to allow the local legislative council to enact such measures as the occasion requires. The appeals were consolidated. Ordinance 1664 may be deemed a legitimate exercise of the police powers of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Cebu. comfort and convenience of the people of Cebu. 1. and the substantive (i. (4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade. It serves as a catch–all provision that ensures that the local government will be equipped to meet any local contingency that bears upon the welfare of its constituents but has not been actually anticipated. The measure in question undoubtedly comes within these parameters. particularly the limitations set by the Constitution and the relevant statutes. Tests for a valid ordinance In City of Manila v. Upon the denial of their respective motions for reconsideration on August 4.19 As jurisprudence indicates. In a vital and critical way. Issues Based on the submissions of wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary the parties. .18 the Court restates the tests of a valid ordinance thusly:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary The tests of a valid ordinance are well established. Founded on clear authority and tradition. as declared in Salaveria. prosperity and convenience of the municipality and its inhabitants. 1664 was enacted within the ambit of the legislative powers of the City of Cebu. whether the ordinance was enacted within the corporate powers of the LGU. consistent with national laws and policies. The only restrictions to an ordinance passed under the general welfare clause. The ordinance is designed to improve traffic conditions in the City of Cebu and thus shows a real and substantial relation to the welfare.e. The second branch of the clause is much more independent of the specific functions of the council. to Ruling The petitions for review have no merit. and its consistency with public policy). the Jabans and Legaspi came to the Court via separate petitions for review on certiorari. Whether Ordinance No. (2) must not be unfair or oppressive. safety. it must not only be within the corporate powers of the local government unit to enact and must be passed according to the procedure prescribed by law. as well as with the requirements of fairness and reason. the following issues are decisive of the challenge. consonant with the general powers and purposes of the corporation. So varied and protean are the activities that affect the legitimate interests of the local inhabitants that it is well–nigh impossible to say beforehand what may or may not be done specifically through law.municipal council by law.e. involving inherent merit. the tests are divided into the formal (i.. and (6) must not be unreasonable. it must also conform to the following substantive requirements: (1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute. and authorizes such ordinances as shall seem necessary and proper to provide for health.

24 Section 458 of the LGC relevantly states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary Section 458. Congress enacted the LGC as the implementing law for the delegation to the various LGUs of the State’s great powers. we presume its full compliance with the test in that regard. namely: the police power. designate . avenues. 1664 within the corporate powers of the LGU of the City of Cebu? The answer is in the affirmative.B. Functions and Composition. and the power of taxation. the power of eminent domain. Once delegated. extending as it does ‘to all the great public needs. Inc. Indeed. Duties. either with penalties or without. The National Legislature. and in addition to said services and facilities. so far as it is reasonably consistent with the right enjoyment of rights by others. ordain and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws. that vesting cities like the City of Cebu with the legislative power to enact traffic rules and regulations was expressly done through Section 458 of the LGC.. It cannot be exercised by any group or body of individuals not possessing legislative power. In Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. (emphasis supplied) The CA opined. alleys. approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code and in the proper exercise of the corporate powers of the city as provided for under Section 22 of this Code. and of the subject of the same. to make. – (a) The sangguniang panlungsod. but also to establish for the intercourse of citizens with citizens. In particular. improvement repair and maintenance of the same. sidewalks. The LGC was fashioned to delineate the specific parameters and limitations to be complied with by each LGU in the exercise of these delegated powers with the view of making each LGU a fully functioning subdivision of the State subject to the constitutional and statutory limitations. as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the commonwealth. Powers. and shall: x x x (5) Approve ordinances which shall ensure the efficient and effective delivery of the basic services and facilities as provided for under Section 17 of this Code. not repugnant to the constitution. parks and other public places and approve the construction.” 21 According to Cooley: “[The police power] embraces the whole system of internal regulation by which the state seeks not only to preserve the public order and to prevent offences against itself. insistent and the least limitable of powers. establish bus and vehicle stops and terminals or regulate the use of the same by privately–owned vehicles which serve the public. and also generally by virtue of the General Welfare Clause embodied in Section 16 of the LGC. police power is regarded as “the most essential. Bel–Air Village Association. with no issues being hereby raised against the formalities attendant to the enactment of Ordinance No. however. and correctly so. may delegate this power to the President and administrative boards as well as the lawmaking bodies of municipal corporations or local government units. as the legislative body of the city. shall: x x x (v) Regulate the use of streets.” 22 In point is the exercise by the LGU of the City of Cebu of delegated police power. Compliance of Ordinance No. regulate garages and operation of conveyances for hire. statutes and ordinances. bridges. those rules of good manners and good neighborhood which are calculated to prevent the conflict of rights and to insure to each the uninterrupted enjoyment of his own.23 the Court cogently observed:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary It bears stressing that police power is lodged primarily in the National Legislature. 1664 with the formal requirements Was the enactment of Ordinance No. shall enact ordinances.’” 20 It is unquestionably “the power vested in the legislature by the constitution. the agents can exercise only such legislative powers as are conferred on them by the national lawmaking body. 1664.

The police power granted to local government units must always be exercised with utmost observance of the rights of the people to due process and equal protection of the law. regulate the putting up of signs. the LGUs would be in the best position to craft their traffic codes because of their familiarity with the conditions peculiar to their communities. Jr. viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary This clause has been interpreted as imposing two separate limits on government. In other words. No person shall be deprived of life. (vi) Regulate traffic on all streets and bridges. The guaranty of due process of law is a constitutional safeguard against any arbitrariness on the part of the Government. then the government will meet substantive due process only if it can prove that the law is necessary to achieve a compelling government purpose. he is denied the protection of due process. With the broad latitude in this regard allowed to the LGUs of the cities. liberty. authorize the removal of encroachments and illegal constructions in public places. or the Judiciary. and provide for the lighting. But if it is an area where strict scrutiny is used. be it the Constitution itself or merely a statute. the Executive. Any government act that militates against the ordinary norms of justice or fair play is considered an infraction of the great guaranty of due process.stands to be occupied by public vehicles when not in use. asks whether the government has an adequate reason for taking away a person’s life. liberty. Compliance of Ordinance No. 1664with the substantive requirements The first substantive requirement for a valid ordinance is the adherence to the constitutional guaranty of due process of law. Substantive due process.) tells us that whether there is such a justification depends very much on the level of scrutiny used. if a law is in an area where only rational basis review is applied. or property. and this is true whether the denial involves violation merely of the procedure prescribed by the law or affects the very validity of the law itself. nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. C.” Procedural due process. (emphasis supplied) The foregoing delegation reflected the desire of Congress to leave to the cities themselves the task of confronting the problem of traffic congestions associated with development and progress because they were directly familiar with the situations in their respective jurisdictions. refers to the procedures that the government must follow before it deprives a person of life. such as for protecting fundamental rights. prohibit encroachments or obstacles thereon and. It is a protection essential to every inhabitant of the country. or property. Such power cannot be . or property. their traffic regulations must be held valid and effective unless they infringed the constitutional limitations and statutory safeguards. Indeed. liberty. as that phrase connotes. The guaranty is embedded in Article III. usually called “procedural due process” and “substantive due process. Laguio. Whatsoever be the source of such rights. when necessary in the interest of public welfare. its unjustified withholding would also be a violation of due process. In City of Manila v. due process is likewise violated. substantive due process looks to whether there is sufficient justification for the government’s action. Section 1 of the Constitution. as the phrase implies. substantive due process is met so long as the law is rationally related to a legitimate government purpose. If the enjoyment of his rights is conditioned on an unreasonable requirement. If the law itself unreasonably deprives a person of his life.26 the Court expounded on the aspects of the guaranty of due process of law as a limitation on the acts of government. Case law in the United States (U. whether committed by the Legislature. which ordains:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary Section 1. signposts. for. liberty or property without due process of law. awnings and awning posts on the streets.. Classic procedural due process issues are concerned with that kind of notice and what form of hearing the government must provide when it takes a particular action. cleaning and sprinkling of streets and public places. as a commentator on Constitutional Law has vividly written: 25 x x x.S. For example.

Individual rights. the contentions of the petitioners cannot be sustained. But should there be any vagueness and ambiguity in the provisions. there is a need to amend City Ordinance No. was violative of the constitutional guaranty of due process. On his part. City Ordinance 1642 was enacted in order to address the traffic congestions caused by illegal parkings in the streets of Cebu City. 29 and that these consolidated cases should not be resolved differently from the resolution of a third case assailing the validity of Ordinance No. WHEREAS. There could be no confusion on the meaning and coverage of the ordinance. liberty and property. 31 there was nothing that a proper application of the basic rules of statutory construction could not justly rectify. judges and collectors all at the same time were vague and ambiguous. which the OSG does not concede. Judged according to the foregoing enunciation of the guaranty of due process of law. 1664 (Astillero case). and that the immobilization and the clamping of the cars and motor vehicles by the police or traffic enforcers could be subject to abuse. may be adversely affected only to the extent that may fairly be required by the legitimate demands of public interest or public welfare. 1664 violated the constitutional guaranty of due process for being arbitrary and oppressive. the plain objective of Ordinance No. 1664. despite the restrictions and prohibitions of parking on certain streets of Cebu City. as well as with the requirements of fairness and reason. to the very low penalties imposed under the Traffic Code of Cebu City. 1664 as unconstitutional had attained finality following the denial of due course to the appeal of the City of Cebu and its co–defendants. it bears emphasis. 801) as amended. 1664 for being vague and ambiguous cannot stand scrutiny. 30 (emphasis supplied) Considering that traffic congestions were already retarding the growth and progress in the population and economic centers of the country. viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary WHEREAS. in which the decision of the same RTC declaring Ordinance No. This aim was borne out by its Whereas Clauses. which were precisely the subject of Ordinance No. by leaving the confiscation and immobilization of the motor vehicles to the traffic enforcers or the regular personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) instead of to officials exercising judicial authority. and its consistency with public policy. its text was forthright and unambiguous in all respects. As can be readily seen.exercised whimsically. violations continued unabated due. WHEREAS. Ordinance No. arbitrarily or despotically as its exercise is subject to a qualification. provided for Parking Restrictions and Parking Prohibitions in the streets of Cebu City. limitation or restriction demanded by the respect and regard due to the prescription of the fundamental law. Its adoption was. . 1664 was to serve the public interest and advance the general welfare in the City of Cebu. supra. and that its provisions conferring upon the traffic enforcers the absolute discretion to be the enforcers.1642 in order to fully address and solve the problem of illegal parking and other violations of the Traffic Code of Cebu City. 27 The Jabans contend that Ordinance No. prosecutors. Legaspi likewise contends that Ordinance No. Legaspi’s attack against the provisions of Ordinance No. among others. particularly those forming part of the Bill of Rights. the City of Cebu enacted the Traffic Code (Ordinance No. Even under strict scrutiny review. 1664 met the substantive tests of validity and constitutionality by its conformity with the limitations under the Constitution and the statutes. the terms encroachment and obstacles used in Section 458 of the LGC. Due process requires the intrinsic validity of the law in interfering with the rights of the person to his life. in order to fulfill the compelling government purpose of immediately addressing the burgeoning traffic congestions caused by illegally parked vehicles obstructing the streets of the City of Cebu. were broad enough to include illegally parked vehicles or whatever else obstructed the streets. therefore. 1664 in avowedly aiming to ensure “a smooth flow of vehicular traffic in all the streets in the City of Cebu at all times” (Section 1). alleys and sidewalks. WHEREAS. that such confiscation and immobilization should only be after a hearing on the merits by courts of law. To us.28 He reminds that the grant of police powers for the general welfare under the LGC was not unlimited but subject to constitutional limitations.

For one. Finally. That none of the petitioners. because the connection between that case to these cases was not at all shown. 1664 unconstitutional bound the City of Cebu. the towing away of the immobilized vehicle was not equivalent to a summary impounding. the outcome of the appeal in these cases then pending before the CA would ultimately be elevated to and determined by no less than the Court itself. 1664. the circumstances set forth herein indicate that Ordinance No. supra. notice and hearing would be superfluous. resorted to such recourse did not diminish the fairness and reasonableness of the escape clause written in the ordinance. 1664 was far from oppressive and arbitrary. Did Ordinance No. otherwise. The owner of the towed vehicle would not be deprived of his property.32 Add to them the arrest of a person in flagrante delicto. 1664 like themselves were not accorded the opportunity to protest the clamping. In that situation. Nor should the lack of a trial–type hearing prior to the clamping constitute a breach of procedural due process. thereby precluding these consolidated appeals from being decided differently. Secondly. the immobilization of a vehicle by clamping pursuant to the ordinance was not necessary if the driver or vehicle owner was around at the time of the apprehension for illegal parking or obstruction. . and that the ordinance was oppressive and arbitrary for that reason. In fine. Ordinance No. 1664 are unwarranted. Legaspi undeservedly extends too much importance to an irrelevant decision of the RTC – irrelevant. the clamping of the illegally parked vehicles was a fair and reasonable way to enforce the ordinance against its transgressors. or to Asst. Fire and Penology of the City of Cebu. And. Among the instances are the cancellation of the passport of a person being sought for the commission of a crime. textually afforded an administrative escape in the form of permitting the release of the immobilized vehicle upon a protest directly made to the Chairman of CITOM. To reiterate. Under such circumstance. albeit lawyers all. The release could be ordered by any of such officials even without the payment of the stipulated fine. that the final decision of the RTC rendered in the Astillero case declaring Ordinance No. As already said. the immobilization of illegally parked vehicles by clamping the tires was necessary because the transgressors were not around at the time of apprehension. 1664 complied with the elements of fairness and reasonableness. The clamping would happen only to prevent the transgressor from using the vehicle itself to escape the due sanctions. Section 3 of Ordinance No. 1664 (and of the vehicles of others similarly situated) was of the same character as the aforecited established exceptions dispensing with notice and hearing. 1664 unconstitutional. For another. towing. he ignores that it should be the RTC that had improperly acted for so deciding the Astillero case despite the appeals in these cases being already pending in the CA. Yet. the enforcer would simply either require the driver to move the vehicle or issue a traffic citation should the latter persist in his violation. Legaspi’s position. for a lower court like itself.33 The clamping of the petitioners’ vehicles pursuant to Ordinance No. the preventive suspension of a civil servant facing administrative charges. Such anticipation should have made it refrain from declaring Ordinance No. lastly. and impounding of the vehicles. or even to be heard and to explain their side prior to the immobilization of their vehicles. Being the same court in the three cases. the prior intervention of a court of law was not indispensable to ensure a compliance with the guaranty of due process. In other words. City Prosecutor Felipe Belciña – officials named in the ordinance itself. is utterly untenable. Firstly. there are many instances under our laws in which the absence of one or both of such requirements is not necessarily a denial or deprivation of due process. 1664 meet the requirements of procedural due process? Notice and hearing are the essential requirements of procedural due process. the RTC should have anticipated that in the regular course of proceedings. or to the Chairman of the Committee on Police. The adverse assertions against Ordinance No. the padlocking of restaurants found to be unsanitary or of theaters showing obscene movies. the distraint of properties to answer for tax delinquencies. but designed to prevent the immobilized vehicle from obstructing traffic in the vicinity of the apprehension and thereby ensure the smooth flow of traffic. for giving the transgressors the chance to reverse the apprehensions through a timely protest could equally satisfy the need for a hearing. and the abatement of nuisance per se. Any driver or vehicle owner whose vehicle was immobilized by clamping could protest such action of a traffic enforcer or PNP personnel enforcing the ordinance. the transgressors would evade liability by simply driving away.The petitioners further assert that drivers or vehicle owners affected by Ordinance No.

against public respondents Secretaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Finance (DOF). 34 Such “becoming modesty” also forewarned that any declaration of unconstitutionality by an inferior court was binding only on the parties. That private establishments may claim the cost as tax credit. and amusement. vs. AFFIRMS the decision promulgated on June 16. DECISION DEL CASTILLO. carnivals and other similar places of culture. restaurants and recreation centers and purchase of medicine anywhere in the country: Provided.R.: When a party challeges the constitutionality of a law. the burden of proof rests upon him.” should have exercised a “becoming modesty” on the issue of the constitutionality of the same ordinance that the Constitution required the majority vote of the Members of the Court sitting en banc to determine.4 and the implementing rules and regulations issued by the DSWD and DOF insofar as these allow business establishments to claim the 20% discount given to senior citizens as a tax deduction. That their annual taxable income does not exceed the property level as determined by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for that year. 35 WHEREFORE. and ORDERS the petitioners to pay the costs of suit. INC. Before us is a Petition for Prohibition2 under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court filed by petitioners Manila Memorial Park. INC. the Court DENIES the petitions for review on certiorari for their lack of merit. AND LA FUNERARIA PAZ-SUCAT.. Petitioners. domestic corporations engaged in the business of providing funeral and burial services.appreciating its position in the “interrelation and operation of the integrated judicial system of the nation. No. circuses. Factual Antecedents On April 23. and La Funeraria Paz-Sucat. 175356 December 3.3 as amended by RA 9257. J. Inc. Inc. c) exemption from the payment of individual income taxes: Provided. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. Privileges for the Senior Citizens. Respondents. – The senior citizens shall be entitled to the following: a) the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount from all establishments relative to utilization of transportation services. leisure. 2003 by the Court of Appeals. cinema houses and concert halls. . 1992. granting senior citizens the following privileges: SECTION 4. RA 7432 was passed into law.. SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT and THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE. Petitioners assail the constitutionality of Section 4 of Republic Act (RA) No. b) a minimum of twenty percent (20%) discount on admission fees charged by theaters. 2013 MANILA MEMORIAL PARK. 7432. hotels and similar lodging establishment[s]. SO ORDERED. but that a declaration of unconstitutionality by the Court would be a precedent binding on all.

4. In turn. In effect. it means that the amount — when claimed — shall be treated as a reduction from any tax liability. The option to avail of the tax credit benefit depends upon the existence of a tax liability. which shall include the name. First. This contrived definition is improper. hotels and similar lodging establishments. giving 20% discounts to qualified senior citizens are required to keep separate and accurate record[s] of sales made to senior citizens. To deny such credit. restaurants. despite the plain mandate of the law and the regulations carrying out that mandate. 02-94 provide: Sec. f) to the extent practicable and feasible. circuses. 02-94 was issued to implement RA 7432. carnivals and other similar places of culture. drugstores. as the case may be. theaters. cinema houses. Sections 2(i) and 4 of RR No. or from gross sales for VAT or other percentage tax purposes. leisure and amusement. The amount of 20% discount shall be deducted from the gross income for income tax purposes and from gross sales of the business enterprise concerned for purposes of the VAT and other percentage taxes. considering that the latter has to be deducted from gross sales in order to compute the gross income in the income statement and cannot be deducted again. 2." In ordinary business language. RECORDING/BOOKKEEPING REQUIREMENTS FOR PRIVATE ESTABLISHMENTS. When the law says that the cost of the discount may be claimed as a tax credit. therefore. theaters.i and 4 of Revenue Regulations No. which discount shall be deducted by the said establishments from their gross income for income tax purposes and from their gross sales for valueadded tax or other percentage tax purposes. recreation centers." or "a reduction from the full amount or value of something. the tax credit benefit under RA 7432 is related to a sales discount.6 thus: RA 7432 specifically allows private establishments to claim as tax credit the amount of discounts they grant. especially a price. On August 23. the Government Service Insurance System and the Social Security System. – For purposes of these regulations: i. x x x x Sec. drugstores. 02-94 as erroneous because these contravene RA 7432. 1993. be stricken down. provide the procedures for its availment. plain and simple. discounts. Social Security System (SSS) and PAG-IBIG. the continuance of the same benefits and privileges given by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). issued pursuant thereto. Central Luzon Drug Corporation. dates of transactions and invoice number for every transaction. i. restaurants. the most common of which is that affecting the income statement or financial report upon which the income tax is based. cinema houses. transport services. the manner by which the discount shall be credited against taxes has not been clarified by the revenue regulations. It refers to tax credit as the amount representing the 20 percent discount that "shall be deducted by the said establishments from their gross income for income tax purposes and from their gross sales for value-added tax or other percentage tax purposes. but to limit the benefit to a sales discount — which is not even identical to the discount privilege that is granted by law — does not define it at all and serves no useful purpose. carnivals and other similar places of culture[. DEFINITIONS.d) exemption from training fees for socioeconomic programs undertaken by the OSCA as part of its work. gross sales/receipts. a discount is an "abatement or reduction made from the gross amount or value of anything. concert halls. the Implementing Rules and Regulations. the tax credit represents the amount of such discount. The definition must. subject to guidelines to be issued by the Department of Health. Tax Credit – refers to the amount representing the 20% discount granted to a qualified senior citizen by all establishments relative to their utilization of transportation services. circuses. In Commissioner of Internal Revenue v.." To be more precise. However. it is in business parlance "a deduction or lowering of an amount of money.] leisure and amusement. (RR) 2-94 define tax credit as the 20 percent discount deductible from gross income for income tax purposes. the definition given by petitioner is erroneous. is indefensible. hotels and similar lodging establishments.5 the Court declared Sections 2(i) and 4 of RR No. recreation centers.e. – Private establishments. even for purposes of computing the income tax. By ordinary acceptation. concert halls. identification number. Revenue Regulations (RR) No. xxxx Sections 2." In business there are many kinds of discount. Laws Not Amended by Regulations . e) free medical and dental services in government establishment[s] anywhere in the country. as are enjoyed by those in actual service.

the law must prevail. xxxx The establishment may claim the discounts granted under (a). OSCA . the need for certainty and predictability in the implementation of tax laws is crucial. In fact. Courts. if applicable. will not uphold these authorities’ interpretations when clearly absurd.i and 4 of RR 2-94 a meaning utterly in contrast to what RA 7432 provides. Their interpretation has muddled x x x the intent of Congress in granting a mere discount privilege. to wit: SECTION 4. who are certain that these will be followed by the courts. (5) The business establishment giving sales discounts to qualified senior citizens is required to keep separate and accurate record[s] of sales. for income tax purposes. That the cost of the discount shall be allowed as deduction from gross income for the same taxable year that the discount is granted. which shall include the name of the senior citizen." Conversely. for VAT or other percentage tax purposes. RA 92578 amended certain provisions of RA 7432. In the present case. it cannot engraft additional requirements not contemplated by the legislature. (2) The gross selling price and the sales discount MUST BE SEPARATELY INDICATED IN THE OFFICIAL RECEIPT OR SALES INVOICE issued by the establishment for the sale of goods or services to the senior citizen. 2004. a regulation that "operates to create a rule out of harmony with the statute is a mere nullity. further. a regulation or any portion thereof not adopted pursuant to law is no law and has neither the force nor the effect of law. – The senior citizens shall be entitled to the following: (a) the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount from all establishments relative to the utilization of services in hotels and similar lodging establishments. AVAILMENT BY ESTABLISHMENTS OF SALES DISCOUNTS AS DEDUCTION FROM GROSS INCOME. the tax authorities have given the term tax credit in Sections 2. (4) The discount can only be allowed as deduction from gross income for the same taxable year that the discount is granted. not a sales discount. (g) and (h) as tax deduction based on the net cost of the goods sold or services rendered: Provided. It is a cardinal rule that courts "will and should respect the contemporaneous construction placed upon a statute by the executive officers whose duty it is to enforce it x x x." In the scheme of judicial tax administration. TIN. Privileges for the Senior Citizens. restaurants and recreation centers. That the total amount of the claimed tax deduction net of value added tax if applicable. as amended.7 On February 26. (3) Only the actual amount of the discount granted or a sales discount not exceeding 20% of the gross selling price can be deducted from the gross income. the law cannot be amended by a mere regulation. Provided. however." it cannot prevail. – Establishments enumerated in subparagraph (6) hereunder granting sales discounts to senior citizens on the sale of goods and/or services specified thereunder are entitled to deduct the said discount from gross income subject to the following conditions: (1) Only that portion of the gross sales EXCLUSIVELY USED." The regulations these authorities issue are relied upon by taxpayers. The administrative agency issuing these regulations may not enlarge. In case of conflict. the pertinent provision of which provides: SEC. To implement the tax provisions of RA 9257. A "regulation adopted pursuant to law is law. and from gross sales or gross receipts of the business enterprise concerned. shall be included in their gross sales receipts for tax purposes and shall be subject to proper documentation and to the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code. the Secretary of Finance issued RR No. (f).Second. 4-2006. including funeral and burial services for the death of senior citizens. Our tax authorities fill in the details that "Congress may not have the opportunity or competence to provide. net of value added tax. CONSUMED OR ENJOYED BY THE SENIOR CITIZEN shall be eligible for the deductible sales discount. erroneous or improper. alter or restrict the provisions of the law it administers. 8. and purchase of medicines in all establishments for the exclusive use or enjoyment of senior citizens.

Medical and Dental Services in Private Facilities and Sections 10 and 11 – Air. The DSWD likewise issued its own Rules and Regulations Implementing RA 9257. further. (6) Only the following business establishments which granted sales discount to senior citizens on their sale of goods and/or services may claim the said discount granted as deduction from gross income. Sea and Land Transportation as tax deduction based on the net cost of the goods sold or services rendered. cremation cost and other related services for the senior citizen upon payment and presentation of [his] death certificate. WHETHER THE PETITION PRESENTS AN ACTUAL CASE OR CONTROVERSY. 9257 AND X X X ITS IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS. Provided. Tax Deduction of Establishments. praying that Section 4 of RA 7432."11 . [date] of [transaction] and invoice number for every sale transaction to senior citizen. to wit: RULE VI DISCOUNTS AS TAX DEDUCTION OF ESTABLISHMENTS Article 8.9 Petitioners’ Arguments Petitioners emphasize that they are not questioning the 20% discount granted to senior citizens but are only assailing the constitutionality of the tax deduction scheme prescribed under RA 9257 and the implementing rules and regulations issued by the DSWD and the DOF. B. and that the tax credit treatment of the 20% discount under the former Section 4 (a) of RA 7432 be reinstated. Section 9. Issues Petitioners raise the following issues: A. Section 4 – Discounts for Establishments. and the implementing rules and regulations issued by the DSWD and the DOF be declared unconstitutional insofar as these allow business establishments to claim the 20% discount given to senior citizens as a tax deduction. petitioners filed the present recourse. That the total amount of the claimed tax deduction net of value added tax if applicable. WHETHER SECTION 4 OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. gross sales/receipts. INSOFAR AS THEY PROVIDE THAT THE TWENTY PERCENT (20%) DISCOUNT TO SENIOR CITIZENS MAY BE CLAIMED AS A TAX DEDUCTION BY THE PRIVATE ESTABLISHMENTS. shall be included in their gross sales receipts for tax purposes and shall be subject to proper documentation and to the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code. Provided. such as casket. embalmment. sales discount granted. as amended. Provided. Section 9 of the Constitution. ARE INVALID AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL. namely: xxxx (i) Funeral parlors and similar establishments – The beneficiary or any person who shall shoulder the funeral and burial expenses of the deceased senior citizen shall claim the discount. that the implementation of the tax deduction shall be subject to the Revenue Regulations to be issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and approved by the Department of Finance (DOF). Feeling aggrieved by the tax deduction scheme. finally. That the cost of the discount shall be allowed as deduction from gross income for the same taxable year that the discount is granted. which provides that: "[p]rivate property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. that the DSWD and the DOF be prohibited from enforcing the same. as amended by RA 9257. – The establishment may claim the discounts granted under Rule V.ID.10 Petitioners posit that the tax deduction scheme contravenes Article III.

there are still traditional distinctions between the two" 18 and that "eminent domain cannot be made less supreme than police power.25 Consequently. respondents contend that petitioners failed to overturn its presumption of constitutionality.28 They likewise assert that there is no justiciable controversy as petitioners failed to prove that the tax deduction treatment is not a "fair and full equivalent of the loss sustained" by them.15 Petitioners likewise seek a reversal of the ruling in Carlos Superdrug Corporation16 that the tax deduction scheme adopted by the government is justified by police power. Department of Social Welfare and Development. Respondents.29 As to the constitutionality of RA 9257 and its implementing rules and regulations. An actual case or controversy exists when there is "a conflict of legal rights" or "an assertion of opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution. (2) the existence of personal and substantial interest on the part of the party raising the [question of constitutionality]. When the constitutionality of a law is put in issue. judicial review may be availed of only if the following requisites concur: "(1) the existence of an actual and appropriate case.23 Under the tax deduction scheme.13 and Carlos Superdrug Corporation v. and (4) the [question of constitutionality] is the lis mota of the case. the private sector shoulders 65% of the discount because only 35%24 of it is actually returned by the government.31 Our Ruling The Petition lacks merit. respondents maintain that the tax deduction scheme is a legitimate exercise of the State’s police power. in amending RA 7432. relied on an erroneous contemporaneous construction that prior payment of taxes is required for tax credit.14 where it was acknowledged that the tax deduction scheme does not meet the definition of just compensation. on the other hand.20 Petitioners also contend that the tax deduction scheme violates Article XV.12 where it was ruled that the 20% discount privilege constitutes taking of private property for public use which requires the payment of just compensation. oppose the Petition on the ground that there is no actual case or controversy.26 Thus.27 Respondents’ Arguments Respondents. petitioners cite Central Luzon Drug Corporation. petitioners are challenging the constitutionality of the tax deduction scheme provided in RA 9257 and the implementing rules and regulations issued by the DSWD and the DOF. We shall first resolve the procedural issue. there exists an actual case or controversy of transcendental importance which deserves judicious disposition on the merits by the highest court of the land."33 . There exists an actual case or controversy."19 Petitioners further claim that the legislature. Section 421 and Article XIII. however.17 They assert that "[a]lthough both police power and the power of eminent domain have the general welfare for their object. Section 1122 of the Constitution because it shifts the State’s constitutional mandate or duty of improving the welfare of the elderly to the private sector. (3) recourse to judicial review is made at the earliest opportunity. question the filing of the instant Petition directly with the Supreme Court as this disregards the hierarchy of courts. We do not agree with respondents."32 In this case. the implementation of the tax deduction scheme prescribed under Section 4 of RA 9257 affects the businesses of petitioners.In support of their position.30 More important.

Based on the afore-stated DOF Opinion.35 In that case. Having said that. There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged sick. disabled. Section 4 of the Constitution. women and children. Theoretically. Examining petitioners’ arguments. and to grant benefits and privileges to them for their improvement and well-being as the State considers them an integral part of our society. Section 11. this raises the question of whether the State. it would not meet the definition of just compensation. Just compensation is defined as the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator. Thus." Further. a tax-deductible expense that is subtracted from the gross income and results in a lower taxable income. 9257. 2. and 2) the law failed to provide a scheme whereby drugstores will be justly compensated for the discount. At the outset. As such. substantial. . In addition to this. elderly. The measure is not the taker’s gain but the owner’s loss.The Petition must therefore show that "the governmental act being challenged has a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it. This is because the discount is treated as a deduction. But if it is eminent domain. full and ample. the tax deduction scheme is unconstitutional because it is not a peso for peso reimbursement of the 20% discount given to senior citizens. No. Being a tax deduction. The validity of the 20% senior citizen discount and tax deduction scheme under RA 9257. were it not for R. the tax deduction scheme does not fully reimburse petitioners for the discount privilege accorded to senior citizens. Petitioners posit that the resolution of this case lies in the determination of whether the legally mandated 20% senior citizen discount is an exercise of police power or eminent domain. Stated otherwise. — Pursuant to Article XV. The discounts given would have entered the coffers and formed part of the gross sales of the private establishments. we ruled: Petitioners assert that Section 4(a) of the law is unconstitutional because it constitutes deprivation of private property. Compelling drugstore owners and establishments to grant the discount will result in a loss of profit and capital because 1) drugstores impose a mark-up of only 5% to 10% on branded medicines. If it is police power. we note that this question has been settled in Carlos Superdrug Corporation. the tax deduction scheme challenged by petitioners has a direct adverse effect on them. Section 10 in the Declaration of Principles and State Policies provides: "The State shall provide social justice in all phases of national development. no just compensation is warranted. Republic Act No. it is the duty of the family to take care of its elderly members while the State may design programs of social security for them. The Court believes so. it cannot be denied that there exists an actual case or controversy. The Senior Citizens Act was enacted primarily to maximize the contribution of senior citizens to nation-building. and to convey the idea that the equivalent to be rendered for the property to be taken shall be real. A tax deduction does not offer full reimbursement of the senior citizen discount. Declaration of Policies and Objectives. The word just is used to intensify the meaning of the word compensation."34 In this case. in promoting the health and welfare of a special group of citizens. as an exercise of police power of the State. Thus. Thus. This constitutes compensable taking for which petitioners would ordinarily become entitled to a just compensation. has already been settled in Carlos Superdrug Corporation. can impose upon private establishments the burden of partly subsidizing a government program. health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost. it is apparent that what petitioners are ultimately questioning is the validity of the tax deduction scheme as a reimbursement mechanism for the twenty percent (20%) discount that they extend to senior citizens." Consonant with these constitutional principles the following are the declared policies of this Act: ……… (f) To recognize the important role of the private sector in the improvement of the welfare of senior citizens and to actively seek their partnership. the treatment of the discount as a deduction reduces the net income of the private establishments concerned. Article XIII. it is an amount that is allowed by law to reduce the income prior to the application of the tax rate to compute the amount of tax which is due. it constitutes taking of private property without payment of just compensation. The permanent reduction in their total revenues is a forced subsidy corresponding to the taking of private property for public use or benefit.A. the Act provides: SEC. 7432 is hereby amended to read as follows: SECTION 1. the discount does not reduce taxes owed on a peso for peso basis but merely offers a fractional reduction in taxes owed. The priority given to senior citizens finds its basis in the Constitution as set forth in the law itself. provides: "The State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods.

and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws. Petitioners’ computation is flawed. and retails it at P39. The Court is not oblivious of the retail side of the pharmaceutical industry and the competitive pricing component of the business. and ordinances. but has been purposely veiled in general terms to underscore its comprehensiveness to meet all exigencies and provide enough room for an efficient and flexible response to conditions and circumstances. statutes.53 per tablet will be refunded and not the full amount of the discount which is P7. not on the amount of the discount. As a form of reimbursement. and that the continued implementation of the same would be unconscionably detrimental to . showing an accounting of petitioners' sales. carnivals. Lastly. petitioners must accept the realities of business and the State. the right to property has a social dimension. Accordingly. Even if the government will allow a tax deduction. An income statement. expenses. Absent any financial statement. petitioner Carlos Super Drug cited the anti-hypertensive maintenance drug Norvasc as an example. utilization of services in hotels and similar lodging establishments." For this reason. because petitioners have not taken time to calculate correctly and come up with a financial report. the law states that the cost of the discount shall be deducted from gross income. According to the latter. Undeniably. and diagnostic and laboratory fees. in the exercise of police power. the amount of income derived from all sources before deducting allowable expenses. it is unfair for petitioners to criticize the law because they cannot raise the prices of their medicines given the cutthroat nature of the players in the industry. the success of the senior citizens program rests largely on the support imparted by petitioners and the other private establishments concerned. only 32% of the 20% discount will be reimbursed to the drugstores. petitioners insist that they will incur losses because. and purchases of medicines for the exclusive use or enjoyment of senior citizens. in order to achieve the purpose or objective of the law. While the Constitution protects property rights. leisure and amusement. and of the subjects of the same. 9257 is arbitrary. extending as it does to all the great public needs. so that they have not been able to show properly whether or not the tax deduction scheme really works greatly to their disadvantage. as alleged by petitioners. has general welfare for its object. and other similar places of culture. it is incorrect for petitioners to insist that the grant of the senior citizen discount is unduly oppressive to their business. as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the commonwealth. In addition. Furthermore. is reasonably and directly related. the means employed in invoking the active participation of the private sector. Moreover. Moreover. In treating the discount as a tax deduction. air and sea travel." It is "[t]he power vested in the legislature by the constitution to make. then it would have to sell Norvasc at P31. similar to the power of eminent domain.60 (or at a margin of 5%). Given these. ordain. various laws and jurisprudence. If it grants a 20% discount to senior citizens or an amount equivalent to P7. No.32 will be refunded by the government by way of a tax deduction.92. the law provides that business establishments extending the twenty percent discount to senior citizens may claim the discount as a tax deduction. Police power is not capable of an exact definition. P0. For purposes of reimbursement. and net profit (or loss) for a given period could have accurately reflected the effect of the discount on their income. Here. property rights must bow to the primacy of police power because property rights. concert halls. though sheltered by due process.57 per tablet. petitioners cannot substantiate their claim that they will be operating at a loss should they give the discount. not repugnant to the constitution. the law grants a twenty percent discount to senior citizens for medical and dental services. To illustrate this point. the 32% tax rate is to be imposed on income. it acquires Norvasc from the distributors at P37. must yield to general welfare. Without sufficient proof that Section 4 (a) of R. admission fees charged by theaters. fares for domestic land. Inasmuch as pricing is a property right. insistent and the least limitable of powers. Selling the medicines below acquisition cost. can intervene in the operations of a business which may result in an impairment of property rights in the process. thus assuring the greatest benefits. there is no basis for its nullification in view of the presumption of validity which every law has in its favor. it has been described as "the most essential. While Article XIII of the Constitution provides the precept for the protection of property. for every P1. only P2.89 per tablet. petitioners tried to show a loss on a per transaction basis. circuses. The law is a legitimate exercise of police power which. In short. restaurants and recreation centers. is merely a result of this decision.68 will be shouldered by them as only P0. which will result in net income. simply because they cannot afford to raise their prices for fear of losing their customers to competition. either with penalties or without. Police power as an attribute to promote the common good would be diluted considerably if on the mere plea of petitioners that they will suffer loss of earnings and capital.68 which translates to a loss from capital of P5. petitioners cannot reproach the law for being oppressive. This being the case. continuously serve as x x x reminder[s] that the right to property can be relinquished upon the command of the State for the promotion of public good. which should not be the case. in the absence of evidence demonstrating the alleged confiscatory effect of the provision in question. It is a business decision on the part of petitioners to peg the mark-up at 5%.92. the questioned provision is invalidated.To implement the above policy.A. particularly on agrarian reform and the regulation of contracts and public utilities.00 senior citizen discount that petitioners would give. referring to the DOF Opinion. the computation was erroneously based on the assumption that their customers consisted wholly of senior citizens. when the conditions so demand as determined by the legislature.

the tax credit benefit granted to these establishments can be deemed as their just compensation for private property taken by the State for public use.: [T]he privilege enjoyed by senior citizens does not come directly from the State. The social justice consecrated in our [C]onstitution [is] not intended to take away rights from a person and give them to another who is not entitled thereto. but also to the promptness in its release. While it is a declared commitment under Section 1 of RA 7432. The discounts given would have entered the coffers and formed part of the gross sales of the private establishments concerned. but held synonymous with public interest. a private establishment that merely breaks even — without the discounts yet — will surely start to incur losses because of such discounts. Based on the afore-stated DOF Opinion. modify or abandon the ruling in Carlos Superdrug Corporation. and if all its sales come from retail purchases by senior citizens." In recent years. public welfare. such issuance — when not done within a reasonable time from the grant of the discounts — cannot be considered as just compensation.petitioners. respondent becomes entitled to a just compensation.42 (Italics in the original. As a result of the 20 percent discount imposed by RA 7432. No compelling reason has been proffered to overturn. found that the 20% discount as well as the tax deduction scheme is a valid exercise of the police power of the State. requiring the payment of just compensation. Aside from the observation we have already raised earlier. because no taxes are due from the latter. In effect. but rather from the private establishments concerned. Besides. through the certificate.39 They also point out that Carlos Superdrug Corporation40 recognized that the tax deduction scheme under the assailed law does not provide for sufficient just compensation. Tax measures are but "enforced contributions exacted on pain of penal sanctions" and "clearly imposed for a public purpose. and no administrative body can alter that fact." For this reason.36 (Bold in the original. Compelling drugstore owners and establishments to grant the discount will result in a loss of profit and capital because 1) drugstores impose a mark-up of only 5% to 10% on branded medicines. To put it differently. Examining petitioners’ arguments. It is in the tax credit that our legislators find support to realize social justice. The permanent reduction in their total revenues is a forced subsidy corresponding to the taking of private property for public use or benefit. thus. The discount privilege to which our senior citizens are entitled is actually a benefit enjoyed by the general public to which these citizens belong. This term refers not only to the issuance of a tax credit certificate indicating the correct amount of the discounts given. were it not for RA 7432. it will also be grossly unfair to an establishment if the discounts will be treated merely as deductions from either its gross income or its gross sales. and public convenience. Worse. the . a just compensation for income that is taken away from respondent becomes necessary. viz. the taxation power can also be used as an implement for the exercise of the power of eminent domain. The concept of public use is no longer confined to the traditional notion of use by the public. Operating at a loss through no fault of its own. of the equivalent amount it needs to cope with the reduction in its revenues. Accordingly. Petitioners argue that we have previously ruled in Central Luzon Drug Corporation37 that the 20% discount is an exercise of the power of eminent domain. and 2) the law failed to provide a scheme whereby drugstores will be justly compensated for the discount. thus. respondent is made to suffer the consequences of being immediately deprived of its revenues while awaiting actual receipt. social justice "cannot be invoked to trample on the rights of property owners who under our Constitution and laws are also entitled to protection. They urge us to re-examine our ruling in Carlos Superdrug Corporation 38 which allegedly reversed the ruling in Central Luzon Drug Corporation. Equivalent to the payment of property taken by the State. public welfare. The same effect is expected if its mark-up is less than 20 percent. it is apparent that what petitioners are ultimately questioning is the validity of the tax deduction scheme as a reimbursement mechanism for the twenty percent (20%) discount that they extend to senior citizens. it will realize that the tax credit limitation under RR 2-94 is inutile. and the equitable distribution of wealth. We agree with petitioners’ observation that there are statements in Central Luzon Drug Corporation41 describing the 20% discount as an exercise of the power of eminent domain. the power to tax has indeed become a most effective tool to realize social justice. public benefit. if not improper. emphasis supplied) The above was partly incorporated in our ruling in Carlos Superdrug Corporation43 when we stated preliminarily that— Petitioners assert that Section 4(a) of the law is unconstitutional because it constitutes deprivation of private property. the Court will refrain from quashing a legislative act. underline supplied) We. profit-generating businesses will be put in a better position if they avail themselves of tax credits denied those that are losing.

The Court believes so. it must have a lawful subject or objective and a lawful method of accomplishing the goal. despite the clear wording of the previous law that the same should be treated as a tax credit. therefore. it would not meet the definition of just compensation. can impose upon private establishments the burden of partly subsidizing a government program. We were.59 In other words. This is because the discount is treated as a deduction. does not provide for a peso for peso reimbursement of the 20% discount given by private establishments. not confronted in that case with the issue as to whether the 20% discount is an exercise of police power or eminent domain. Having said that. the discount does not reduce taxes owed on a peso for peso basis but merely offers a fractional reduction in taxes owed. through its tax deduction scheme (which abandoned the tax credit scheme under the previous law). "property rights of individuals may be subjected to restraints and burdens in order to fulfill the objectives of the government. We also note that petitioners’ arguments are a mere reiteration of those raised and resolved in Carlos Superdrug Corporation.55 Nonetheless. this raises the question of whether the State.tax deduction scheme does not fully reimburse petitioners for the discount privilege accorded to senior citizens. The discounts given would have entered the coffers and formed part of the gross sales of the private establishments.i and 4 of RR No. Theoretically."61 The State "may interfere with personal liberty. Being a tax deduction. we note that the above-quoted disquisition on eminent domain in Central Luzon Drug Corporation48 is obiter dicta and. not binding precedent. We have carefully reviewed the basis of our ruling in Carlos Superdrug Corporation53 and we find no cogent reason to overturn. lawful businesses and occupations to promote the general welfare [as long as] the interference [is] reasonable and not arbitrary. were it not for R. 2-94. The permanent reduction in their total revenues is a forced subsidy corresponding to the taking of private property for public use or benefit.47 First. This constitutes compensable taking for which petitioners would ordinarily become entitled to a just compensation."62 . to amplify our explanation in Carlos Superdrug Corporation56 as to why the 20% discount is a valid exercise of police power and why it may not. Just compensation is defined as the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator. notwithstanding. be considered as an exercise of the power of eminent domain contrary to the obiter in Central Luzon Drug Corporation. Police power is the inherent power of the State to regulate or to restrain the use of liberty and property for public welfare. we sustain Carlos Superdrug Corporation. property. No. under the specific circumstances of this case.57 Police power versus eminent domain. to be a valid exercise of police power. a tax-deductible expense that is subtracted from the gross income and results in a lower taxable income. no constitutional infirmity obtains because. affords an opportunity for us to clarify the above-quoted statements in Central Luzon Drug Corporation46 and Carlos Superdrug Corporation. and to convey the idea that the equivalent to be rendered for the property to be taken shall be real. The word just is used to intensify the meaning of the word compensation. substantial. even if the current law. we deem it proper.54 Thus. The measure is not the taker’s gain but the owner’s loss. being a valid exercise of police power. A fair reading of Carlos Superdrug Corporation52 would show that we categorically ruled therein that the 20% discount is a valid exercise of police power.49 we ruled that the BIR acted ultra vires when it effectively treated the 20% discount as a tax deduction. As such. under Sections 2.58 The only limitation is that the restriction imposed should be reasonable. 9257. The present case. A tax deduction does not offer full reimbursement of the senior citizen discount.51 this referred only to preliminary matters. in what follows. modify or abandon it. Thus. Second. full and ample. although we adverted to Central Luzon Drug Corporation50 in our ruling in Carlos Superdrug Corporation. it is an amount that is allowed by law to reduce the income prior to the application of the tax rate to compute the amount of tax which is due. we went on to rule in Carlos Superdrug Corporation45 that the 20% discount and tax deduction scheme is a valid exercise of the police power of the State. the treatment of the discount as a deduction reduces the net income of the private establishments concerned.60 Under the police power of the State. Stated otherwise. not oppressive. thus.44 This. in promoting the health and welfare of a special group of citizens. in Central Luzon Drug Corporation.A. payment of just compensation is not warranted. thus. As stated earlier.

and. or obscene materials to be destroyed in the interest of public morals)67 as well as zoning ordinances prohibiting the use of property for purposes injurious to the health. on the basis thereof.68 It has. been observed that. none of the bundle of rights which constitute ownership is appropriated for use by or for the benefit of the public. we now look at the nature and effects of the 20% discount to determine if it constitutes an exercise of police power or eminent domain. The 20% discount is intended to improve the welfare of senior citizens who.. in need of subsidy in purchasing basic commodities. payment of just compensation is warranted because of the burden placed on the property for the use or benefit of the public. the 20% discount is a regulation affecting the ability of private establishments to price their products and services relative to a special class of individuals.70 Examples of these include establishment of easements such as where the land owner is perpetually deprived of his proprietary rights because of the hazards posed by electric transmission lines constructed above his property71 or the compelled interconnection of the telephone system between the government and a private company.72 In these cases. at their age. is the inherent power of the State to take or appropriate private property for public use.. a building on the verge of collapse to be demolished for public safety. However. it does not purport to appropriate or burden specific properties. In the exercise of police power. However.76 In turn. thus. requires that private property shall not be taken without due process of law and the payment of just compensation.69 On the other hand. The judicious approach. whether the act is the exercise of police power or eminent domain. the profitability of a private establishment. although the private property owner is not divested of ownership or possession. Normally.63 The Constitution. Examples of these regulations are property condemned for being noxious or intended for noxious purposes (e. for which the Constitution affords preferential concern. It may not be amiss to mention also that the discount serves to honor senior citizens who presumably spent the productive years of their lives on contributing to the development and progress of the nation. This distinct cultural Filipino practice of honoring the elderly is an integral part of this law. is to look at the nature and effects of the challenged governmental act and decide. In such cases. there is no compensable taking. more prone to illnesses and other disabilities. senior citizens. Examples include the acquisition of lands for the construction of public highways as well as agricultural lands acquired by the government under the agrarian reform law for redistribution to qualified farmer beneficiaries. The 20% senior citizen discount is an exercise of police power. the title to and possession of the property are transferred to the expropriating authority. regulated or restricted66 to promote public welfare. however. Because of the exigencies of rapidly changing times. therefore.g. dividing a city’s territory into residential and industrial areas). this affects the amount of profits or income/gross sales that a private establishment can derive from senior citizens. hence. the subject regulation affects the pricing. in the exercise of police power (as distinguished from eminent domain). Congress may be compelled to adopt or experiment with different measures to promote the general welfare which may not fall squarely within the traditionally recognized categories of police power and eminent domain. property interests are appropriated and applied to some public purpose which necessitates the payment of just compensation therefor. As to its nature and effects. payment of just compensation is not required. for the use or benefit of the public.Eminent domain. It may not always be easy to determine whether a challenged governmental act is an exercise of police power or eminent domain. a property right is impaired by regulation. In other words. but merely regulates the pricing of goods and .65 or the use of property is merely prohibited. Thus. The very nature of police power as elastic and responsive to various social conditions73 as well as the evolving meaning and scope of public use74 and just compensation75 in eminent domain evinces that these are not static concepts. are less likely to be gainfully employed. although the regulation affects the right of ownership. thus. it is a settled rule that the acquisition of title or total destruction of the property is not essential for "taking" under the power of eminent domain to be present. and. morals or safety of the community (e. or senior citizens for that matter. hence. used in the operation or conduct of the business of private establishments.g. in the exercise of the power of eminent domain.64 Traditional distinctions exist between police power and eminent domain. on the other hand.

thus. It presupposes that the subject regulation. in most if not in all cases there must be an exercise of eminent domain and compensation to support the act. On its face. National Power Corporation. if no just compensation is paid even if the measure is not confiscatory. such as a financial report.83 petitioners. oppressive or confiscatory."82 The 20% senior citizen discount has not been shown to be unreasonable. price control or rate of return on investment control laws which are traditionally regarded as police power measures. the 20% discount may be properly viewed as belonging to the category of price regulatory measures which affect the profitability of establishments subjected thereto. Supreme Court has said that the issue of when regulation constitutes a taking is a matter of considering the facts in each case. the profitability of a private establishment. Justice Holmes recognized that it was "a question of degree and therefore cannot be disposed of by general propositions.services relative to..80 we recognized that— x x x a taking also could be found if government regulation of the use of property went "too far."79 In City of Manila v.84 We adopted a similar line of reasoning in Carlos Superdrug Corporation85 when we ruled that petitioners therein failed to prove that the 20% discount is arbitrary. No formula or rule can be devised to answer the questions of what is too far and when regulation becomes a taking. therefore. automatically amounts to a deprivation of property without due process of law. The reason is that (1) the discount would have formed part of the gross sales of the establishment were it not for the law prescribing the 20% discount. The timehonored rule is that the burden of proving the unconstitutionality of a law rests upon the one assailing it and "the burden becomes heavier when police power is at issue. Nonetheless. oppressive or confiscatory. under the previous law. at odds with the settled octrine that the State can employ police power measures to regulate the pricing of goods and services. Laguio." When regulation reaches a certain magnitude. In Alalayan v. or whether the loss should remain concentrated on those few persons subject to the public action. The subject regulation differs therefrom in that (1) the discount does not prevent the establishments from adjusting the level of prices of their goods and services. challenged the validity of a law limiting their allowable net profits to no more than 12% per annum of their investments plus two-month operating expenses. in an earlier case. and (2) the discount does not apply to all customers of a given establishment but only to the class of senior citizens. While property may be regulated to a certain extent. to the degree material to the resolution of this case. the profitability of business establishments in order to pursue legitimate State objectives for the common good. be determined on a case-to-case basis. but with substantial distinctions from. Jr. Whether that line between permissible regulation under police power and "taking" under eminent domain has been crossed must.S. which reduce the profits or income/gross sales of private establishments. describes the 20% discount as an exercise of the power of eminent domain and the tax credit. the U. who were franchise holders of electric plants. under the specific circumstances of this case. hence. hence." On many other occasions as well. oppressive or confiscatory. If this were so. equivalent to the amount of discount given as the just compensation therefor. The Court asks whether justice and fairness require that the economic loss caused by public action must be compensated by the government and thus borne by the public as a whole.77 These laws generally regulate public utilities or industries/enterprises imbued with public interest in order to protect consumers from exorbitant or unreasonable pricing as well as temper corporate greed by controlling the rate of return on investment of these corporations considering that they have a monopoly over the goods or services that they provide to the general public. at some level. it was found that 12% is a reasonable rate of return and that petitioners failed to prove that the aforesaid rate is confiscatory in view of the presumption of constitutionality. It would also mean that overnment cannot set price or rate of return on investment limits. senior citizens. In rejecting their plea. yet there is no provision for payment of just compensation. then all price and rate of return on investment control laws would have to be invalidated because they impact. We noted that no evidence. The obiter is. and (2) the permanent reduction in total revenues is a forced subsidy corresponding to the taking of private property for public use or benefit. the subject regulation is a police power measure. The flaw in this reasoning is in its premise. we ruled that. and the amount of profits or income/gross sales that such private establishments may derive from. thus.78 however. and. In Mahon. The subject regulation may be said to be similar to. be subject to proof and the one assailing the constitutionality of the regulation carries the heavy burden of proving that the measure is unreasonable. which impacts the pricing and. to establish the impact of the 20% discount on the .81 The impact or effect of a regulation. provided that the regulation does not go too far as to amount to "taking. must. such as the one under consideration. the regulated establishment’s profits or income/gross sales. if regulation goes too far it will be recognized as a taking. The obiter in Central Luzon Drug Corporation.

without the requisite showing of a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution. (Emphasis supplied) . – The senior citizens shall be entitled to the following: a) The grant of twenty percent (20%) discount from all establishments relative to utilization of transportation services. oppressive or confiscatory. this law pursues its social equity objective in a non-traditional manner unlike past and existing direct subsidy programs of the government for the poor and marginalized sectors of our society. Privileges for the Senior Citizens. or those not belonging to the senior citizen class. pursuant to Sections 2. who enjoys the rights. (3) the amount of mandatory discount is private property within the ambit of Article III. likewise. hotels and similar lodging establishment. legitimately concluded that the establishments.overall profitability of petitioners was presented in order to show that they would be operating at a loss due to the subject regulation or that the continued implementation of the law would be unconscionably detrimental to the business operations of petitioners. more importantly. courts will uphold a law’s validity if any set of facts may be conceived to sustain it. this goes into the wisdom. as a tax deduction instead of a tax credit despite the clear provision in that law which stated – SECTION 4. treated the senior citizen discount in the previous law. In sum.87 On its face. This.92 the BIR. thus. This is only fair. Hence. RA 7432. Refutation of the Dissent The main points of Justice Carpio’s Dissent may be summarized as follows: (1) the discussion on eminent domain in Central Luzon Drug Corporation89 is not obiter dicta . is unfair. In a way. we sustain our ruling in Carlos Superdrug Corporation88 that the 20% senior citizen discount and tax deduction scheme are valid exercises of police power of the State absent a clear showing that it is arbitrary. fail. that the discount will force establishments to raise their prices in order to compensate for its impact on overall profits or income/gross sales. the discounts resulting from sales to senior citizens will not be confiscatory or unduly oppressive. we find that there are at least two conceivable bases to sustain the subject regulation’s validity absent clear and convincing proof that it is unreasonable. is a taking of private property for public use or benefit. oppressive or confiscatory. is limited to property that is destroyed or placed outside the commerce of man for public welfare. arising from the mandatory discount. the individual. That private establishments may claim the cost as tax credit. Congress must be given sufficient leeway in formulating welfare legislations given the enormous challenges that the government faces relative to. But. have the capacity to revise their pricing strategy so that whatever reduction in profits or income/gross sales that they may sustain because of sales to senior citizens. hence. restaurants and recreation centers and purchase of medicines anywhere in the country: Provided. In fine. 2-94. As previously discussed. and (4) the permanent reduction in a private establishment’s total revenue. made to effectively shoulder the subsidy for senior citizens. likewise. petitioners proceeded with a hypothetical computation of the alleged loss that they will suffer similar to what the petitioners in Carlos Superdrug Corporation86 did. the present recourse must. among others. consistent with our previous ratiocinations. we note that petitioners hypothesize. benefits and privileges of living in a democratic polity.i and 4 of RR No. Section 990 of the Constitution. Conclusion In closing. resource adequacy and administrative capability in implementing social reform measures which aim to protect and uphold the interests of those most vulnerable in our society. As a result. are. can be recouped through higher mark-ups or from other products not subject of discounts. Verily. the validity of the assailed law must be sustained. in Central Luzon Drug Corporation. Petitioners went directly to this Court without first establishing the factual bases of their claims. must bear his share in supporting measures intended for the common good. As already mentioned. efficacy and expediency of the subject law which is not proper for judicial review. I We maintain that the discussion on eminent domain in Central Luzon Drug Corporation91 is obiter dicta. The general public. Concurrently. Congress may have legitimately concluded that business establishments have the capacity to absorb a decrease in profits or income/gross sales due to the 20% discount without substantially affecting the reasonable rate of return on their investments considering (1) not all customers of a business establishment are senior citizens and (2) the level of its profit margins on goods and services offered to the general public. an exercise of the power of eminent domain requiring the payment of just compensation. In the case at bar. which will be required to extend the 20% discount. In the process. Congress may be reasonably assumed to have foreseen this eventuality. in police power. (2) allowable taking. in petitioners’ view. Congress may have. Because all laws enjoy the presumption of constitutionality.

They came directly to this Court and provided a hypothetical computation of the loss they would allegedly suffer due to the operation of the assailed law. This was the case in Central Luzon Drug Corporation96 resulting in that unfortunate statement that the tax credit "can be deemed" as just compensation. A tax credit is used by a private establishment only after the tax has been computed.00 to the general public.93 As can be readily seen. fall under this category: Article 157 of the Labor Code. In such cases. P10. A close reading of Central Luzon Drug Corporation95 would show that the Court went on to state that the tax credit "can be deemed" as just compensation only to explain why the previous law provides for a tax credit instead of a tax deduction. This. Indeed.00 less 20%) to senior citizens. due to the 20% discount.. as will be shown below. In the case at bar. the provisions of the revenue regulation that withdraw or modify such grant are void. no compensation is required. thus. led to the erroneous conclusion. A court. likewise. then it shall be sold at P8. say. by imposing the senior citizen discount. First. As earlier mentioned.97 But this is not the case here. by deductive reasoning. morals. wholly unsupported by competent evidence. Sections 19 and 18 of the Social Security Law. in turn. And. these would include a building on the verge of collapse or confiscated obscene materials as well as those mentioned by the Dissent with regard to property used in violating a criminal statute or one which constitutes a nuisance. is contrary to settled principles in police power and eminent domain analysis. In such cases. the senior citizen discount law merely regulates the prices of the goods or services being sold to senior citizens by mandating a 20% discount. it must be emphasized that petitioners never presented any evidence to establish that they were forced to suffer enormous losses or operate at a loss due to the effects of the assailed law. the Court can invalidate a law which. laws regulating the operation of motels and hotels. However. RA 7432 unconditionally grants a tax credit to all covered entities. to use the term of the Dissent. II The Dissent discusses at length the doctrine on "taking" in police power which occurs when private property is destroyed or placed outside the commerce of man. The minimum wage law. Thus. statements made relative thereto are not always necessary in resolving the actual controversies presented before it. Thus. The examples cited by the Dissent. burden the conduct of the affairs of business establishments.e. These laws merely regulate or. The Dissent essentially adopts this theory and reasoning which. only that a 20% discount shall be given to senior citizens based on the price set . the land on which a manufacturing plant is constructed or the equipment being used to produce goods or services.Thus. is arbitrary. on its face. that the 20% discount is an exercise of the power of eminent domain. the discussion on eminent domain was not necessary in order to arrive at this conclusion. However. All that was needed was to point out that the revenue regulation contravened the law which it sought to implement.00 ( i. does not take any of the properties used by a business establishment like. a tax deduction. is a "taking" of private property for public purpose without payment of just compensation. rather than taking specific properties of a business establishment. before the tax is computed. zoning ordinances. However. there is a whole class of police power measures which justify the destruction of private property in order to preserve public health. payment of just compensation is not required because they fall within the sphere of permissible police power measures. The senior citizen discount law falls under this latter category. and Section 7 of the PagIBIG Fund Law. oppressive or confiscatory. The central premise of the Dissent’s argument that the 20% discount results in a permanent reduction in profits or income/gross sales. Second. if a product is sold at P10. and the like would fall under this category. The Court surmised that the tax credit was a form of just compensation given to the establishments covered by the 20% discount. Basic is the rule that administrative regulations cannot amend or revoke the law. price control laws. viz: The 20 percent discount required by the law to be given to senior citizens is a tax credit. and applying the settled principle that a regulation cannot amend the law it seeks to implement. employing the rules of statutory construction. this was done in Central Luzon Drug Corporation 94 by comparing the wording of the previous law vis-à-vis the revenue regulation. At the outset. not merely a tax deduction from the gross income or gross sale of the establishment concerned. the discussion on eminent domain is obiter dicta. it is equally true that there is another class of police power measures which do not involve the destruction of private property but merely regulate its use. To be sure. Note that the law does not impose at what specific price the product shall be sold. the reason why the previous law provided for a tax credit and not a tax deduction was not necessary to resolve the issue as to whether the revenue regulation contravenes the law. laws limiting the working hours to eight. safety or welfare. the Court ruled that the subject revenue regulation violated the law. Hence. or forces a business establishment to operate at a loss is. III The Dissent proceeds from the theory that the permanent reduction of profits or income/gross sales. in resolving cases before it. precisely. evidence is indispensable before a determination of a constitutional violation can be made because of the following reasons. the assailed law. may look into the possible purposes or reasons that impelled the enactment of a particular statute or legal provision.

will suffer no reduction in its profits or income/gross sales (or suffer some reduction but continue to operate profitably) despite giving the discount. . it does not prevent the business establishment from revising its pricing strategy. however. a business establishment can recoup any reduction of profits or income/gross sales which would otherwise arise from the giving of the 20% discount.00. The extent of the impact would.89 + P11. or. It is a basic postulate of our democratic system of government that the Constitution is a social contract whereby the people have surrendered their sovereign powers to the State for the common good. his income/gross sales would still be P20. will not be unduly burdened. To illustrate. for more consumers will suffer from the price increase than will benefit from the 20% discount. if not all.00 to senior citizens yet the business would still earn P3.00 to produce and is sold at P10. the business establishment may continue to earn P1.00). A business establishment is.00 less 20%) so that his income/gross sales would be P18. in turn.89 (i.00 less 20%) to senior citizens.00102 or a 30%103 profit margin. As a result.00 (i.106 But. it can increase the price of the above product to P20. business establishments have the capacity to adjust their prices so that they may remain profitable even under the operation of the assailed law. If a product costs P5. does not justify the wholesale nullification of these measures.11 per piece.104 But note that since not all customers of a business establishment are senior citizens. A sells his products at P10. the aforesaid product would have to be sold at P8. or has gone "too far" as to amount to a "taking.by the business establishment.00 (i.107 All persons may be burdened by regulatory measures intended for the common good or to serve some important governmental interest. because the law impacts the prices of the goods or services of a particular establishment relative to its sales to senior citizens. suppose A has two customers: X. a non-senior citizen.. its profits or income/gross sales are affected. however. by adjusting its prices. regulatory measures of the government on business establishments is ultimately passed on to the consumers but that. he sells his product to X at P8.00 + P10. Fourth.11 less 20%) and to Y at P11. then the profit98 is P5. and Y. by itself.00 + P10." Yet. free to adjust the prices of the goods or services it provides to the general public.A. by itself. then. in the alternative. With the passage of the law. On the other hand. depend on the profit margin of the business establishment on a particular good or service.00 to produce and is required to be sold at P8.00 a piece to X and Y resulting in income/gross sales of P20. such as protecting or improving the welfare of a special class of people for which the Constitution affords preferential concern. Such an economic justification is self-defeating.00. the establishment becomes more profitable than it was before the implementation of R. By revising its pricing strategy.00 to senior citizens. Third.e. the Dissent would have this Court nullify the law without any proof of such nature. . despite the application of the 20% discount.00 (P10. oppressive or confiscatory.11. if the product costs P9. such ability to increase prices cannot legally validate a violation of the eminent domain clause.00. how can there be a finding that the assailed law is an unconstitutional exercise of police power or eminent domain? That there may be a burden placed on business establishments or the consuming public as a result of the operation of the assailed law is not.e. by adjusting its prices. Indubitably. It was likewise suggested that if a company increases its prices.101 Under the assailed law.00 from non-senior citizens which. P11. when the law imposes the 20% discount in favor of senior citizens. A decides to increase the price of his products to P11.0099 or a profit margin100 of 50%. In other words.00 (P8. .e. P20. The cost of most. mitigate the reduction of their profits or income/gross sales even after the passage of the law.00 but is required to sell it at P16. a senior citizen.11). the one assailing the law has the heavy burden of proving that the regulation is unreasonable. thus. what would be the basis to strike down the law? If it is possible that the business establishment. states that – The explanation by the majority that private establishments can always increase their prices to recover the mandatory discount will only encourage private establishments to adjust their prices upwards to the prejudice of customers who do not enjoy the 20% discount. if it is possible that the business establishment. The Dissent. a ground to declare it unconstitutional for this goes into the wisdom and expediency of the law. A must now sell his product to X at P8. then the business would experience a loss of P1. Prior to the law. Even then.00105 (P8. here.00) or lower by P2. The capacity. P10. Thus. 7432. Accordingly. of business establishments to revise their pricing strategy makes it possible for them not to suffer any reduction in profits or income/gross sales. can offset any loss arising from sales to senior citizens. To prevent this from happening.

whether these establishments make a profit or suffer a loss. potential . that the subject regulation has transgressed constitutional limitations. There is.110 Two things may be said of this argument. there is no actual proof to back up this claim. when the Dissent now argues that the issue of profit or loss is immaterial. The law uniformly applies to all business establishments covered thereunder. the 20% discount applies to non-profit establishments like country.109 In fine. this argument suffers from the same flaw as the Dissent's original arguments. The shift from the tax credit to tax deduction scheme is a policy determination by Congress and the Court will respect it for as long as there is no showing. purchased. Thus. the lack of evidence constrains the Dissent to rely on speculative and hypothetical argumentation when it states that the 20% discount is a significant amount and not a minimal loss (which erroneously assumes that the discount automatically results in a loss when it is possible that the profit margin is greater than 20% and/or the pricing strategy can be revised to prevent or mitigate any reduction in profits or income/gross sales as illustrated above). And. They are all private property and any taking should be attended by corresponding payment of just compensation. the grim picture painted by petitioners on the unconscionable losses to be indiscriminately suffered by business establishments. It should be distinguished from properties like lands or buildings actually used in the operation of a business establishment which. In fact. oppressive or confiscatory. hence. as similarly observed by Justice Velasco in his Concurring Opinion. the presumption of constitutionality must prevail. we cannot assume that such reduction is arbitrary. social.Further. or golf clubs which are open to the public and not only for exclusive membership. that the 20% discount forces business establishments to suffer a significant loss or to operate at a loss. At the time the discount is imposed.113 which the Dissent essentially adopts and relies on. private property belonging to business establishments. donated. which should have led to the closure of numerous business establishments. even if we gratuitously assume that the 20% discount results in some degree of reduction in profits or income/gross sales. the 20% discount is not private property actually owned and/or used by the business establishment. much less that business establishments are forced to operate at a loss under the assailed law. 108 and not all private establishments make a 20% profit margin (which conversely implies that there are those who make more and. However. the State does not acquire or take anything from the business establishment in the way that it takes a piece of private land to build a public road. this Court is not the proper forum to debate the economic theories or realities that impelled Congress to shift from the tax credit to the tax deduction scheme. and it could be that the loss suffered by a business establishment was occasioned through its fault or negligence in not adapting to the effects of the assailed law. However. the 20% discount is a regulatory measure which impacts the pricing and." That is. It is not within our power or competence to judge which scheme is more or less burdensome to business establishments or the consuming public and. It does not state that there should be profit before the taking of property is subject to just compensation. Instead. we cannot assume that the 20% discount results in a permanent reduction in profits or income/gross sales. would not be greatly affected by this regulation). Unavoidably. According to the Dissent. the 20% discount is part of the gross sales and. has not come to pass. in order to justify that there is a "taking" under the power of eminent domain in this case. Without adequate proof. to wit: Section 9. no particular property of the business establishment can be said to be "taken. the law has been in operation for over nine years now. While the 20% discount may form part of the potential profits or income/gross sales114 of the business establishment. no unjust discrimination as the aforesaid business establishments are faced with the same constraints. IV At this juncture. After it states that the issue of profit or loss is immaterial. if appropriated for public use. thus. or as in this case. thereafter. therefore. because of the possible scenarios discussed above. Second. the profitability of business establishments. would amount to a "taking" under the power of eminent domain. Verily. as previously discussed. It is an erroneous characterization of the 20% discount. hence. we cannot invalidate the assailed law based on assumptions and conjectures. is premised on the permanent reduction of total revenues and the loss that business establishments will be forced to suffer in arguing that the 20% discount constitutes a "taking" under the power of eminent domain. to choose which scheme the State should use or pursue. as similarly characterized by Justice Bersamin in his Concurring Opinion. Article III of the 1987 Constitution speaks of private property without any distinction. The 20% discount granted to senior citizens belong to private establishments. it contradicts the rest of the arguments of the Dissent. The necessity of proof is all the more pertinent in this case because. as here. To repeat. it contradicts itself because it later argues. we note that the Dissent modified its original arguments by including a new paragraph. the Dissent proceeds to argue that the 20% discount is not a minimal loss111 and that the 20% discount forces business establishments to operate at a loss. mortgaged. The private property referred to for purposes of taking could be inherited. The issue of profit or loss to the establishments is immaterial. part of the gross sales of private establishments. First.112 Even the obiter in Central Luzon Drug Corporation.

petitioners in this case failed to prove that the subject regulation is unreasonable. If the business losses are not halted because of the continued operation of the regulation. Profits of establishments without franchises cannot be regulated permanently because there is no law regulating their profits. in full. the validity of the discount is to be determined based on its overall effects on the operations of the business establishment. They are a mere expectancy because they are potential fruits of the successful conduct of the business. Another way to view it. It should be noted though that potential profits or income/gross sales are relevant in police power and eminent domain analyses because they may. Prior to the sale of goods or services. Justice Leonen. (2) not all customers of a business establishment are senior citizens. again. These laws generally regulate public utilities or industries/enterprises imbued with public interest in order to protect consumers from exorbitant or unreasonable pricing as well as temper corporate greed by controlling the rate of return on investment of these corporations considering that they have a monopoly over the goods or services that they provide to the general public. price control or rate of return on investment control laws which are traditionally regarded as police power measures. Because (1) the profit margin of a product is not necessarily less than 20%. oppressive or confiscatory. it does not follow that the regulation is unreasonable. is that the business establishment merely has a right to profits. The Dissent further argues that we erroneously used price and rate of return on investment control laws to justify the senior citizen discount law. price control or rate of return on investment control laws which are traditionally regarded as police power measures. Rather. x x x116 The above paragraph. only profits from industries imbued with public interest may be regulated because this is a condition of their franchises. The Dissent concludes that the permanent reduction of total revenues or gross sales of business establishments without franchises is a taking of private property under the power of eminent domain. such reduction in profits or income/gross sales may be prevented or. the 20% discount does not mean that a 20% reduction in gross sales necessarily results. V. The Constitution adverts to it as the right of an enterprise to a reasonable return on investment. a business establishment may be subject to State regulations. serve as an indicia when a regulation has gone "too far" as to amount to a "taking" under the power of eminent domain.profits or income/gross sales are not private property. In such a case. the 20% discount does not automatically result in a 20% reduction in profits. When the deprivation or reduction of profits or income/gross sales is shown to be unreasonable. or. These laws generally regulate public utilities or industries/enterprises imbued with public interest in order to protect consumers from exorbitant or unreasonable pricing as well as temper . oppressive or confiscatory. this eventually leads to the destruction of the business and the total loss of the capital invested therein. when the regulation causes an establishment to incur losses in an unreasonable. characterizes "profits" (or income/gross sales) as an inchoate right. in appropriate cases. may be regulated under the police power of the State to achieve important governmental objectives like protecting the interests and improving the welfare of senior citizens. already belonging to the business establishment. it is not profits or income/gross sales which are actually taken and appropriated for public use. In fact. Thus. even if we gratuitously assume that some degree of reduction in profits or income/gross sales occurs because of the 20% discount. this right. in the alternative. and (3) the establishment may revise its pricing strategy. then the challenged governmental regulation may be nullified for being a "taking" under the power of eminent domain. it is unfortunate that the Dissent quotes only a portion of the ponencia – The subject regulation may be said to be similar to. mitigated so that the business establishment continues to operate profitably. as stated by Justice Velasco in his Concurring Opinion. but with substantial distinctions from. But. oppressive or confiscatory because the business establishment may make the necessary adjustments to continue to operate profitably. which may impact the level or amount of profits or income/gross sales that can be generated by such establishment. The subject regulation differs therefrom in that (1) the discount does not prevent the establishments from adjusting the level of prices of their goods and services. no evidence was presented by petitioners at all. in his Concurring and Dissenting Opinion. such as the 20% senior citizen discount. According to the Dissent. to align it with the term used by the Dissent. Again. specifically cash or money.115 Undeniably. as previously discussed. oppressive or confiscatory manner. and (2) the discount does not apply to all customers of a given establishment but only to the class of senior citizens. No evidence was presented by petitioners to show otherwise. what is actually taken is capital and the right of the business establishment to a reasonable return on investment. states – The subject regulation may be said to be similar to. For this reason. like any other right. but with substantial distinctions from. In making this argument.

and disposition" of property and its increments. As can be seen. The justification for the senior citizen discount law is the plenary powers of Congress. the net effect would be a permanent reduction in its profits or income/gross sales. assuming that the employer does not increase the prices of his goods or services. in turn. does this mean that the minimum wage law. a permanent reduction of profits or income/gross sales would result. likewise. if the establishment does not increase its prices.corporate greed by controlling the rate of return on investment of these corporations considering that they have a monopoly over the goods or services that they provide to the general public.. be integrated as part of the cost of its goods or services. to the degree material to the resolution of this case. in effect. i. When the Dissent. Following the reasoning of the Dissent that "any form of permanent . For what are franchises but mere legislative enactments? There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits Congress from regulating the profits or income/gross sales of industries and enterprises without franchises. the company incurs greater labor costs so that it now costs P7. The net effect would be the same as in the earlier example of granting a 20% senior citizen discount. Certainly. The permanent regulation of profits or income/gross sales of business establishments.e. business establishments may be compelled to contribute to uplifting the plight of vulnerable or marginalized groups in our society provided that the regulation is not arbitrary. Not at all. (Emphasis supplied) The point of this paragraph is to simply show that the State has. is unconstitutional because the consuming public is effectively made to subsidize the wage of a group of laborers. First. it must be emphasized that petitioners failed to present any proof to show that the effects of the assailed law on their operations has been unreasonable. What is more. in the past. To illustrate. minimum wage earners? The same reasoning can be adopted relative to the examples cited by the Dissent which. and Section 7 of the Pag-IBIG Fund Law would effectively increase the labor cost of a business establishment. the minimum wage law allows the State to set the minimum wage of employees in a given region or geographical area. establishments subject to price and rate of return on investment control laws cannot adjust prices accordingly. use. Because of the added labor costs arising from the minimum wage. Sections 19 and 18 of the Social Security Law. or is not in breach of some specific constitutional limitation. The subject regulation differs therefrom in that (1) the discount does not prevent the establishments from adjusting the level of prices of their goods and services. even those without franchises. therefore. The profit per product of the company would be reduced to P3. As previously discussed. the 20% discount may be properly viewed as belonging to the category of price regulatory measures which affects the profitability of establishments subjected thereto. likewise. Again. On the contrary. be declared unconstitutional on the mere plea that it results in a permanent reduction of profits? Taking it a step further. states that the "profits of private establishments which are non-franchisees cannot be regulated permanently. the ability to adjust prices allows the establishment subject to the senior citizen discount to prevent or mitigate any reduction of profits or income/gross sales arising from the giving of the discount. suppose the company decides to increase the price of its product in order to offset the effects of the increase in labor cost. In contrast. under the social justice policy of the Constitution. It is well within Congress’ legislative powers to regulate the profits or income/gross sales of industries and enterprises. according to it. Article 157 of the Labor Code. the minimum wage law could. second. This would. lead to a permanent reduction of profits. oppressive or confiscatory.00 with a profit margin of 30%. even those without franchises. this type of regulatory measures is traditionally recognized as police power measures so that the senior citizen discount may be considered as a police power measure as well. Nonetheless. For instance. and there is no such law regulating their profits permanently. suppose it costs a company P5. without qualification. ownership. is not as uncommon as the Dissent depicts it to be. again.118 Thus.00 to produce the same product.00 to produce a product and it sells the same at P10. the State increases the minimum wage. as previously noted. to attain the objective of diffusing wealth in order to protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity. The legislative power to regulate business establishments is broad and covers a wide array of areas and subjects. oppressive or confiscatory. As a result. Does this mean that the minimum wage law should. are valid police power regulations.117 This may cover the regulation of profits or income/gross sales of all businesses. there is no intention to say that price and rate of return on investment control laws are the justification for the senior citizen discount law. Congress can regulate such profits or income/gross sales because. the social justice provisions of the Constitution enjoin the State to regulate the "acquisition."119 it is assuming what it ought to prove. In other words. the substantial distinctions between price and rate of return on investment control laws vis-à-vis the senior citizen discount law provide greater reason to uphold the validity of the senior citizen discount law. there are laws which. permanently regulate profits or income/gross sales of establishments without franchises. Here. And. there is nothing in the Constitution to prevent it from doing so.00 with a 50% profit margin. following the reasoning of the Dissent. and RA 9257 is one such law. and (2) the discount does not apply to all customers of a given establishment but only to the class of senior citizens. Later. regulated prices and profits of business establishments.

WHEREFORE. thus. Gross sales must be clearly shown to be unreasonable.taking of private property (including profits or income/gross sales)120 is an exercise of eminent domain that requires the State to pay just compensation. Thus. It does not matter that these benefits are deemed part of the employees’ legislated wages because the net effect is the same. the Court will refrain form quashing a legislative act. at some level. November 26. SO ORDERED. and that the continued implementation of the same would be unconscionably detrimental to petitioners.123 If the Court were to sustain the Dissent’s theory. The police power of the State and the social justice provisions of the Constitution would. be rendered nugatory. No. cannot and should not be summarily invalidated on a mere allegation that it reduces the profits or income/gross sales of business establishments. FIRST DIVISION G. While the Constitution protects property rights petitioners must the realities of business and the State. is reasonably and directly related. While Article XIII of the Constitution provides the percept for the protection of property. the questioned provision is invalidated. such determination can only be made upon the presentation of competent proof which petitioners failed to do. likewise. No. oppressive or confiscatory. then a wholesale nullification of such measures would inevitably result. if not all. 9257 is arbitrary. in order to achieve the purpose or objective of the law. that is. the right to property has a social dimension. Moreover. This being the case. which has been in operation for many years and promotes the welfare of a group accorded special concern by the Constitution. we maintain that the correct rule in determining whether the subject regulatory measure has amounted to a "taking" under the power of eminent domain is the one laid down in Alalayan v.122 The point then is this – most. have to be declared unconstitutional. it leads to higher labor costs and a permanent reduction in the profits or income/gross sales of the business establishments. various laws and jurisprudence. xxxx The Court is not oblivious of the retail side of the pharmaceutical industry and the competitive pricing component of the business. This. regulatory measures imposed by the State on business establishments impact. we made clear in Carlos Superdrug Corporation:124 Police power as an attribute to promote the common good would be diluted considerably if on the mere plea of petitioners that they will suffer loss of earnings and capital. 167290. A law.125 In conclusion. Without sufficient proof that Section 4(a) of R. Moreover. Undeniably.R. the means employed in invoking the active participation of the private sector. continously serve as a reminder for the promotion of public good. the deprivation or reduction of profits or income. in the absence of evidence demonstrating the alleged confiscatory effect of the provision in question. the Petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. There is nothing sacrosanct about profits or income/gross sales. Under the specific circumstances of this case. 2014 ."121 then these statutory provisions would. the latter’s prices and/or profits or income/gross sales. particularly on agrarian reform and the regulation of contracts and public utilities.A. there is no basis for its nullification in view of the presumption of validity which every law has in its favor. in the exercise of police power. can intervene in the operations of a business which may result in an impairment of property rights in the process. National Power Corporation126 and f