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Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

Inherent Powers of the State

Police Power
Edu v Ericta Digest

1. Assailed is the validity of the Reflector

Law and Admin Order No. 2 which
implements it. Under the law, a vehicle has
to comply with the requirements of having
reflective device prior to being registered at
the LTO.
2. The respondent Galo on his behalf and
that of other motorists, filed a suit for
certiorari and prohibition with preliminary
injunction assailing the validity of the
challenged Act as an invalid exercise of the
police power for being violative of the due
process clause. This he followed on May 28,
1970 with a manifestation wherein he sought
as an alternative remedy that, in the event
that respondent Judge would hold said
statute constitutional, Administrative Order

No. 2 of the Land Transportation

Commissioner, now petitioner,
implementing such legislation be nullified as
an undue exercise of legislative power.

Issue: W/N Reflector Law is

unconstitutional, and w/n AO2 is valid

Its scope, ever-expanding to meet the

exigencies of the times, even to anticipate
the future where it could be done, provides
enough room for an efficient and flexible
response to conditions and circumstances
thus assuring the greatest benefits. In the
language of Justice Cardozo: "Needs that
were narrow or parochial in the past may be
interwoven in the present with the wellbeing of the nation.

YES, both the law and AO 2 are valid.

2. Delegation of Legislative Power
It is thus obvious that the challenged statute
is a legislation enacted under the police
power to promote public safety. What is
delegated is authority which is nonlegislative in character, the completeness of
the statute when it leaves the hands of
Congress being assumed.

1. Police Power
It is in the above sense the greatest and most
powerful attribute of government. "the most
essential, insistent, and at least illimitable of
powers," (Justice Holmes) aptly pointed out
"to all the great public needs."

It is a fundamental principle flowing from

the doctrine of separation of powers that
Congress may not delegate its legislative
power to the two other branches of the
government, subject to the exception that
local governments may over local affairs
participate in its exercise. What cannot be
delegated is the authority under the
Constitution to make laws and to alter and
repeal them; the test is the completeness of
the statute in all its term and provisions
when it leaves the hands of the legislature.
To determine whether or not there is an
undue delegation of legislative power the
inquiry must be directed to the scope and

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

definiteness of the measure enacted. The

legislature does not abdicate its functions
when it describes what job must be done,
who is to do it, and what is the scope of his
authority. For a complex economy, that may
indeed be the only way in which the
legislative process can go forward. A
distinction has rightfully been made between
delegation of power to make the laws which
necessarily involves a discretion as to what
it shall be, which constitutionally may not be
done, and delegation of authority or
discretion as to its execution to exercised
under and in pursuance of the law, to which
no valid objection call be made. The
Constitution is thus not to be regarded as
denying the legislature the necessary
resources of flexibility and practicability.

To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation,

there must be a standard, which implies at
the very least that the legislature itself
determines matters of principle and lay
down fundamental policy. Otherwise, the
charge of complete abdication may be hard
to repel. A standard thus defines legislative
policy, marks its limits, its maps out its
boundaries and specifies the public agency

to apply it. It indicates the circumstances

under which the legislative command is to
be effected. It is the criterion by which
legislative purpose may be carried out.
Thereafter, the executive or administrative
office designated may in pursuance of the
above guidelines promulgate supplemental
rules and regulations.

The standard may be either express or

implied. If the former, the non-delegation
objection is easily met. The standard though
does not have to be spelled out specifically.
It could be implied from the policy and
purpose of the act considered as a whole. In
the Reflector Law, clearly the legislative
objective is public safety.
Ermita-Malate Hotel/Motel vs. City of
Manila (20 SCRA 849)
Posted by taxcasesdigest on Tuesday, July
14, 2009
Labels: constitutional law, due
process, police power
Facts: On June 13, 1963, the Municipal
Board of Manila passed Ordinance No. 4760

with the following provisions questioned for

its violation of due process:
1. refraining from entertaining or
accepting any guest or customer
unless it fills out a prescribed form in
the lobby in open view;
2. prohibiting admission o less than 18
years old;
3. usurious increase of license fee to
P4,500 and 6,000 o 150% and 200%
respectively (tax issue also);
4. making unlawful lease or rent more
than twice every 24 hours; and
5. cancellation of license for
subsequent violation.
The lower court issued preliminary
injunction and petitioners raised the case to
SC on certiorari.
Issue: Is the ordinance compliant with the
due process requirement of the constitution?
Held: Ordinance is a valid exercise of police
power to minimize certain practices hurtful
to public morals. There is no violation o
constitutional due process for being

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

reasonable and the ordinance is enjoys the

presumption of constitutionality absent any
irregularity on its face. Taxation may be
made to implement a police power and the
amount, object, and instance of taxation is
dependent upon the local legislative body.
Judgment of lower court reversed and
injunction lifted.



and guests to fill up a registration form,

prepared for the purpose, in a lobby open to
public view at all times, and by introducing
several other amendatory provisions
calculated to shatter the privacy that
characterizes the registration of transients
and guests. "Moreover, the increase in the
licensed fees was intended to discourage
"establishments of the kind from operating
for purpose other than legal" and at the same
time, to increase "the income of the city
government. The lower court ruled in favor
of the petitioners.
Hence, the appeal.



The petitioners filed a petition for

prohibition against Ordinance No. 4760 for
being violative of the due process clause,
contending that said ordinance is not only
arbitrary, unreasonable or oppressive but
also vague, indefinite and uncertain, and
likewise allege the invasion of the right to
privacy and the guaranty against selfincrimination. Ordinance No. 4760 proposes
to check the clandestine harboring
of transients and guests of these
establishments by requiring these transients

Whether or not Ordinance No. 4760 is

The mantle of protection associated with the
due process guaranty does not cover
petitioners. This particular manifestation of
a police power measure being specifically
aimed to safeguard public morals is immune

from such imputation of nullity resting

purely on conjecture and unsupported by
anything of substance. To hold otherwise
would be to unduly restrict and narrow the
scope of police power which has been
properly characterized as the most essential,
insistent and the least limitable of powers,
extending as it does "to all the great public
needs." It would be, to paraphrase another
leading decision, to destroy the very purpose
of the state if it could be deprived or allowed
itself to be deprived of its competence to
promote public health, public morals, public
safety and the general welfare. Negatively
put, police power is that inherent and
plenary power in the State which enables it
to prohibit all that is hurt full to the comfort,
safety, and welfare of society. On the
legislative organs of the government,
whether national or local, primarily rest the
exercise of the police power, which, it
cannot be too often emphasized, is the
power to prescribe regulations to promote
the health, morals, peace, good order, safety
and general welfare of the people. In view of
the requirements of due process, equal
protection and other applicable
constitutional guaranties however, the
exercise of such police power insofar as it

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

may affect the life, liberty or property of any

person is subject to judicial inquiry. Where
such exercise of police power may be
considered as either capricious, whimsical,
unjust or unreasonable, a denial of due
process or a violation of any
other applicable constitutional guaranty may
call for correction by the courts. The Court
reversed the judgment of the lower court and
lifted the injunction on the Ordinance in
Liberty is a blessing, without which life is a
misery, but liberty should not be made
to prevail over authority because then
society will fall into anarchy. Neither should
authority be made to prevail over liberty
because then the individual will fall into
Secretary of the Department of Labor &
Employment, and JOSE N.

SARMIENTO, as Administrator of the

[G.R. No. 101279. August 6, 1992.]

FACTS: DOLE Secretary Ruben D. Torres

issued Department Order No. 16 Series of
1991 temporarily suspending the recruitment
by private employment agencies of Filipino
domestic helpers going to Hong Kong. As a
result of the department order DOLE,
through the POEA took over the business of
deploying Hong Kong bound workers.

The petitioner, PASEI, the largest

organization of private employment and
recruitment agencies duly licensed and
authorized by the POEA to engage in the
business of obtaining overseas employment
for Filipino land-based workers filed a
petition for prohibition to annul the
aforementioned order and to prohibit

1. whether or not respondents acted
with grave abuse of discretion and/or
in excess of their rule-making
authority in issuing said circulars;
2. whether or not the assailed DOLE
and POEA circulars are contrary to
the Constitution, are unreasonable,
unfair and oppressive; and
3. whether or not the requirements of
publication and filing with the Office
of the National Administrative
Register were not complied with.
HELD: FIRST, the respondents acted well
within in their authority and did not commit
grave abuse of discretion. This is because
Article 36 (LC) clearly grants the Labor
Secretary to restrict and regulate recruitment
and placement activities, to wit:

Art. 36. Regulatory Power. The Secretary

of Labor shall have the power to restrict and
regulate the recruitment and placement
activities of all agencies within the coverage
of this title [Regulation of Recruitment and
Placement Activities] and is hereby

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

authorized to issue orders and promulgate

rules and regulations to carry out the
objectives and implement the provisions of
this title.

SECOND, the vesture of quasi-legislative

and quasi-judicial powers in administrative
bodies is constitutional. It is necessitated by
the growing complexities of the modern

THIRD, the orders and circulars issued are

however, invalid and unenforceable. The
reason is the lack of proper publication and
filing in the Office of the National
Administrative Registrar as required in
Article 2 of the Civil Code to wit:

Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen

(15) days following the completion of their
publication in the Official Gazatte, unless it
is otherwise provided;

Article 5 of the Labor Code to wit:

Art. 5. Rules and Regulations. The

Department of Labor and other government
agencies charged with the administration
and enforcement of this Code or any of its
parts shall promulgate the necessary
implementing rules and regulations. Such
rules and regulations shall become effective
fifteen (15) days after announcement of their
adoption in newspapers of general

and Sections 3(1) and 4, Chapter 2, Book

VII of the Administrative Code of 1987
which provide:

Sec. 4. Effectivity. In addition to other

rule-making requirements provided by law
not inconsistent with this Book, each rule
shall become effective fifteen (15) days
from the date of filing as above provided
unless a different date is fixed by law, or
specified in the rule in cases of imminent
danger to public health, safety and welfare,
the existence of which must be expressed in
a statement accompanying the rule. The
agency shall take appropriate measures to
make emergency rules known to persons
who may be affected by them. (Chapter 2,
Book VII of the Administrative Code of
JMM Promotion and Management vs
Court of Appeals

Sec. 3. Filing. (1) Every agency shall file

with the University of the Philippines Law
Center, three (3) certified copies of every
rule adopted by it. Rules in force on the date
of effectivity of this Code which are not
filed within three (3) months shall not
thereafter be the basis of any sanction
against any party or persons. (Chapter 2,
Book VII of the Administrative Code of

Police Power
Due to the death of one Maricris Sioson in
1991, Cory banned the deployment of
performing artists to Japan and other
destinations. This was relaxed however with
the introduction of the Entertainment
Industry Advisory Council which later

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

proposed a plan to POEA to screen and train

performing artists seeking to go abroad. In
pursuant to the proposal POEA and the
secretary of DOLE sought a 4 step plan to
realize the plan which included an Artists
Record Book which a performing artist must
acquire prior to being deployed abroad. The
Federation of Talent Managers of the
Philippines assailed the validity of the said
regulation as it violated the right to travel,
abridge existing contracts and rights and
deprives artists of their individual rights.
JMM intervened to bolster the cause of
FETMOP. The lower court ruled in favor of
ISSUE: Whether or not the regulation by
EIAC is valid.
HELD: The SC ruled in favor of the lower
court. The regulation is a valid exercise of
police power. Police power concerns
government enactments which precisely
interfere with personal liberty or property in
order to promote the general welfare or the
common good. As the assailed Department
Order enjoys a presumed validity, it follows
that the burden rests upon petitioners to
demonstrate that the said order, particularly,
its ARB requirement, does not enhance the

public welfare or was exercised arbitrarily or

unreasonably. The welfare of Filipino
performing artists, particularly the women
was paramount in the issuance of
Department Order No. 3. Short of a total and
absolute ban against the deployment of
performing artists to high risk
destinations, a measure which would only
drive recruitment further underground, the
new scheme at the very least rationalizes the
method of screening performing artists by
requiring reasonable educational and artistic
skills from them and limits deployment to
only those individuals adequately prepared
for the unpredictable demands of
employment as artists abroad. It cannot be
gainsaid that this scheme at least lessens the
room for exploitation by unscrupulous
individuals and agencies.

Chavez vs Romulo GR 157036 09

June 2004

11WednesdayMar 2015

Posted by Rachel Chan in Case

Digests, Constitutional Law II
Leave a comment
Facts: GMA delivered a speech to PNP
directing PNP Chief Hermogenes Ebdane to
suspend the issuance pf Permit to Carry
Firearms Outside of Residence PTCFOR).
Ebdane issued guidelines banning carrying
firearms outside of residence. Petitioner,
Francisco Chaves requested DILG to
reconsider the implementation. The request
was denied. Hence the petition for
prohibition and injunction against Executive
Secretary Alberto Romulo and PNP Chief
Issue: Whether or not revocation of
PTCFOR is a violation of right to
property? Whether or not the banning of
carrying firearms outside the residence is a
valid exercise of police power?
Decision: Petition dismissed. Just like
ordinary licenses in other regulated fields,
PTCFOR may be revoked any time. It does
not confer an absolute right, but only a
personal privilege to be exercised under
existing restrictions. A licensee takes his
license subject to such conditions as the

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

Legislature sees fit to impose, and one of the

statutory conditions of this license is that it
might be revoked. Revocation of it does not
deprive the defendant of any property,
immunity, or privilege.
The basis for its issuance was the need for
peace and order in the society. the assailed
Guidelines do not entirely prohibit
possession of firearms. What they proscribe
is merely the carrying of firearms outside of
residence. However, those who wish to carry
their firearms outside of their residences
may re-apply for a new PTCFOR. This is a
reasonable regulation. If the carrying of
firearms is regulated, necessarily, crime
incidents will be curtailed.
National Development Company and New
Agrix vs. Philippine Veterans Bank
(192 SCRA 257)
Agrix Marketing executed in favor of
respondent a real estate mortgage over three
parcels of land.
Agrix later on went bankrupt. In order to
rehabilitate the company, then President
Marcos issued

Presidential Decree 1717 which mandated,

among others, the extinguishing of all the
mortgages and
liens attaching to the property of Agrix, and
creating a Claims Committee to process
claims against the
company to be administered mainly by
NDC. Respondent thereon filed a claim
against the company
before the Committee. Petitioners however
filed a petition with the RTC of Calamba,
Laguna invoking
the provision of the law which cancels all
mortgage liens against it. Respondent took
measures to
extrajudicially foreclose which the
petitioners opposed by filing another case in
the same court. These
cases were consolidated. The RTC held in
favor of the respondent on the ground of
of the decree; mainly violation of the
separation of powers, impairment of
obligation of contracts, and

violation of the equal protection clause.

Hence this petition.
Is the respondent estopped from
questioning the constitutionality of the law
since they first
abided by it by filing a claim with the
Is PD 1717 unconstitutional?
On the issue of estoppel, the Court held that
it could not apply in the present case since
the respondent filed his claim, President
Marcos was the supreme ruler of the country
and they could
not question his acts even before the courts
because of his absolute power over all
institutions when he was the President.
The creation of New Agrix as mandated by
the decree was also ruled as unconstitutional
since it

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

violated the prohibition that the Batasang

Pambansa (Congress) shall not provide for
the formation,
organization, or regulation of private
corporations unless such corporations are
owned or controlled
by the government.
PD 1717 was held as unconstitutional on the
other grounds that it was an invalid exercise
police power, It had no lawful subject and
no lawful method. It violated due process by
all mortgages and liens and interests which
are property rights unjustly taken. It also
violated the equal
protection clause by lumping together all
secured and unsecured creditors. It also
impaired the
obligation of contracts, even though it only
involved purely private interests.
MMDA v. Garin, 456 SCRA 176, GR
130230 (2005)

Facts: The issue arose from an incident

involving the respondent Dante O. Garin, a
lawyer, who was issued a traffic violation
receipt (TVR) by MMDA and his driver's
license confiscated for parking illegally
along Gandara Street, Binondo, Manila, on
August 1995.
Shortly before the expiration of the TVR's
validity, the respondent addressed a letter to
then MMDA Chairman Prospero Oreta
requesting the return of his driver's license,
and expressing his preference for his case to
be filed in court.
Receiving no immediate reply, Garin filed
the original complaint with application for
preliminary injunction, contending that, in
the absence of any implementing rules and
regulations, Sec. 5(f) of Rep. Act No. 7924
grants the MMDA unbridled discretion to
deprive erring motorists of their licenses,
pre-empting a judicial determination of the
validity of the deprivation, thereby violating
the due process clause of the Constitution.

The respondent further contended that the

provision violates the constitutional
prohibition against undue delegation of
legislative authority, allowing as it does the
MMDA to fix and impose unspecified
and therefore unlimited fines and other
penalties on erring motorists.

The trial court rendered the assailed decision

in favor of herein respondent.
1. WON MMDA, through Sec. 5(f) of Rep.
Act No. 7924 could validly exercise police

HELD: Police Power, having been lodged

primarily in the National Legislature, cannot
be exercised by any group or body of
individuals not possessing legislative power.
The National Legislature, however, may
delegate this power to the president and
administrative boards as well as the
lawmaking bodies of municipal corporations
or local government units (LGUs). Once
delegated, the agents can exercise only such

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

legislative powers as are conferred on them

by the national lawmaking body.
Our Congress delegated police power to the
LGUs in the Local Government Code of
1991. 15 A local government is a "political
subdivision of a nation or state which is
constituted by law and has substantial
control of local affairs." 16 Local
government units are the provinces, cities,
municipalities and barangays, which
exercise police power through their
respective legislative bodies.
Metropolitan or Metro Manila is a body
composed of several local government units.
With the passage of Rep. Act No. 7924 in
1995, Metropolitan Manila was declared as
a "special development and administrative
region" and the administration of "metrowide" basic services affecting the region
placed under "a development authority"
referred to as the MMDA. Thus:
The MMDA is, as termed in the charter
itself, a "development authority." It is an
agency created for the purpose of laying
down policies and coordinating with the
various national government agencies,
people's organizations, non-governmental

organizations and the private sector for the

efficient and expeditious delivery of basic
services in the vast metropolitan area. All its
functions are administrative in nature and
these are actually summed up in the charter

to whom may be delegated certain authority,

subject to such conditions and requirements
as the Authority may impose."

* Section 5 of Rep. Act No. 7924

enumerates the "Functions and Powers of
the Metro Manila Development Authority."
The contested clause in Sec. 5(f) states that
the petitioner shall "install and administer a
single ticketing system, fix, impose and
collect fines and penalties for all kinds of
violations of traffic rules and regulations,
whether moving or non-moving in nature,
and confiscate and suspend or revoke
drivers' licenses in the enforcement of such
traffic laws and regulations, the provisions
of Rep. Act No. 4136 and P.D. No. 1605 to
the contrary notwithstanding," and that
"(f)or this purpose, the Authority shall
enforce all traffic laws and regulations in
Metro Manila, through its traffic operation
center, and may deputize members of the
PNP, traffic enforcers of local government
units, duly licensed security guards, or
members of non-governmental organizations

Posted on June 20, 2013 by winnieclaire



Facts: In January of 1994, the New Tropical
Medicine Foundation, with the assistance of
the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) released its final
report of a study on the Philippine blood
banking system entitled Project to Evaluate
the Safety of the Philippine Blood Banking
System. It was revealed that of the blood
units collected in 1992, 64.4 % were
supplied by commercial blood banks, 14.5%
by the PNRC, 13.7% by government
hospital-based blood banks, and 7.4% by
private hospital-based blood banks ;
showing that the Philippines heavily relied
on commercial sources of blood. It was
further found, among other things, that
blood sold by persons to blood commercial
banks are three times more likely to have

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

any of the four (4) tested infections or blood

transfusion transmissible diseases, namely,
malaria, syphilis, Hepatitis B and Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) than
those donated to PNRC.
Republic Act No. 7719 or the National
Blood Services Act of 1994 was then
enacted into law on April 2, 1994. The Act
seeks to provide an adequate supply of safe
blood by promoting voluntary blood
donation and by regulating blood banks in
the country. One of the provisions of the
said act was the phasing out of commercial
blood banks within 2 years from its
Petitioners, comprising the majority of the
Board of Directors of the Philippine
Association of Blood Banks assail the
constitutionality of RA 7719 on the ground
among others that it is an improper and
unwarranted delegation of legislative power.
According to petitioners, the Act was
incomplete when it was passed by the
Legislature, and the latter failed to fix a
standard to which the Secretary of Health
must conform in the performance of his
functions. Petitioners also contend that the
two-year extension period that may be
granted by the Secretary of Health for the

phasing out of commercial blood banks

pursuant to Section 7 of the Act constrained
the Secretary to legislate, thus constituting
undue delegation of legislative power.
Held: In testing whether a statute constitutes
an undue delegation of legislative power or
not, it is usual to inquire whether the statute
was complete in all its terms and provisions
when it left the hands of the Legislature so
that nothing was left to the judgment of the
administrative body or any other appointee
or delegate of the Legislature. Except as to
matters of detail that may be left to be filled
in by rules and regulations to be adopted or
promulgated by executive officers and
administrative boards, an act of the
Legislature, as a general rule, is incomplete
and hence invalid if it does not lay down any
rule or definite standard by which the
administrative board may be guided in the
exercise of the discretionary powers
delegated to it.

Republic Act No. 7719 or the National

Blood Services Act of 1994 is complete in
itself. It is clear from the provisions of the
Act that the Legislature intended primarily
to safeguard the health of the people and has
mandated several measures to attain this
objective. One of these is the phase out of
commercial blood banks in the country. The
law has sufficiently provided a definite
standard for the guidance of the Secretary of
Health in carrying out its provisions, that is,
the promotion of public health by providing
a safe and adequate supply of blood through
voluntary blood donation. By its provisions,
it has conferred the power and authority to
the Secretary of Health as to its execution, to
be exercised under and in pursuance of the
The Secretary of Health has been given,
under Republic Act No. 7719, broad powers
to execute the provisions of said Act.
Specifically, Section 23 of Administrative
Order No. 9 provides that the phase-out
period for commercial blood banks shall be
extended for another two years until May
28, 1998 based on the result of a careful
study and review of the blood supply and
demand and public safety. This power to
ascertain the existence of facts and

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

conditions upon which the Secretary may

effect a period of extension for said phaseout can be delegated by Congress. The true
distinction between the power to make laws
and discretion as to its execution is
illustrated by the fact that the delegation of
power to make the law, which necessarily
involves a discretion as to what it shall be,
and conferring an authority or discretion as
to its execution, to be exercised under and in
pursuance of the law. The first cannot be
done; to the latter no valid objection can be

White Light Corp., vs City of Manila

November 22, 2010

Police Power Not Validly Exercised

Infringement of Private Rights
On 3 Dec 1992, then Mayor Lim signed into
law Ord 7774 entitled An Ordinance
prohibiting short time admission in hotels,
motels, lodging houses, pension houses and
similar establishments in the City of Manila.

White Light Corp is an operator of mini

hotels and motels who sought to have the
Ordinance be nullified as the said Ordinance
infringes on the private rights of their
patrons. The RTC ruled in favor of WLC. It
ruled that the Ordinance strikes at the
personal liberty of the individual guaranteed
by the Constitution. The City maintains that
the ordinance is valid as it is a valid exercise
of police power. Under the LGC, the City is
empowered 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. The CA ruled in favor
of the City.
ISSUE: Whether or not Ord 7774 is valid.
HELD: The SC ruled that the said
ordinance is null and void as it indeed
infringes upon individual liberty. It also
violates the due process clause which serves
as a guaranty for protection against arbitrary
regulation or seizure. The said ordinance
invades private rights. Note that not all who
goes into motels and hotels for wash up rate
are really there for obscene purposes only.
Some are tourists who needed rest or to

wash up or to freshen up. Hence, the

infidelity sought to be avoided by the said
ordinance is more or less subjected only to a
limited group of people. The SC reiterates
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.
Eminent Domain
Association of Small Landowners in the
Philippines, Inc. vs Secretary of Agrarian

175 SCRA 343 Political Law

Constitutional Law Bill of Rights Equal
Protection Valid Classification
Eminent Domain Just Compensation
These are four consolidated cases
questioning the constitutionality of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Act (R.A.
No. 6657 and related laws i.e., Agrarian
Land Reform Code or R.A. No. 3844).
Brief background: Article XIII of the
Constitution on Social Justice and Human

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

Rights includes a call for the adoption by the

State of an agrarian reform program. The
State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian
reform program founded on the right of
farmers and regular farmworkers, who are
landless, to own directly or collectively the
lands they till or, in the case of other
farmworkers, to receive a just share of the
fruits thereof. RA 3844 was enacted in 1963.
P.D. No. 27 was promulgated in 1972 to
provide for the compulsory acquisition of
private lands for distribution among tenantfarmers and to specify maximum retention
limits for landowners. In 1987, President
Corazon Aquino issued E.O. No. 228,
declaring full land ownership in favor of the
beneficiaries of PD 27 and providing for the
valuation of still unvalued lands covered by
the decree as well as the manner of their
payment. In 1987, P.P. No. 131, instituting a
comprehensive agrarian reform program
(CARP) was enacted; later, E.O. No. 229,
providing the mechanics for its (PP131s)
implementation, was also enacted.
Afterwhich is the enactment of R.A. No.
6657, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
in 1988. This law, while considerably
changing the earlier mentioned enactments,
nevertheless gives them suppletory effect

insofar as they are not inconsistent with its

[Two of the consolidated cases are discussed
G.R. No. 78742: (Association of Small
Landowners vs Secretary)
The Association of Small Landowners in the
Philippines, Inc. sought exception from the
land distribution scheme provided for in
R.A. 6657. The Association is comprised of
landowners of ricelands and cornlands
whose landholdings do not exceed 7
hectares. They invoke that since their
landholdings are less than 7 hectares, they
should not be forced to distribute their land
to their tenants under R.A. 6657 for they
themselves have shown willingness to till
their own land. In short, they want to be
exempted from agrarian reform program
because they claim to belong to a different
G.R. No. 79777: (Manaay vs Juico)
Nicolas Manaay questioned the validity of
the agrarian reform laws (PD 27, EO 228,
and 229) on the ground that these laws
already valuated their lands for the agrarian

reform program and that the specific amount

must be determined by the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR). Manaay averred
that this violated the principle in eminent
domain which provides that only courts can
determine just compensation. This, for
Manaay, also violated due process for under
the constitution, no property shall be taken
for public use without just compensation.
Manaay also questioned the provision which
states that landowners may be paid for their
land in bonds and not necessarily in cash.
Manaay averred that just compensation has
always been in the form of money and not in
1. Whether or not there was a violation of
the equal protection clause.
2. Whether or not there is a violation of due
3. Whether or not just compensation, under
the agrarian reform program, must be in
terms of cash.


Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

1. No. The Association had not shown any

proof that they belong to a different class
exempt from the agrarian reform program.
Under the law, classification has been
defined as the grouping of persons or things
similar to each other in certain particulars
and different from each other in these same
particulars. To be valid, it must conform to
the following requirements:
(1) it must be based on substantial
(2) it must be germane to the purposes of the
(3) it must not be limited to existing
conditions only; and
(4) it must apply equally to all the members
of the class.
Equal protection simply means that all
persons or things similarly situated must be
treated alike both as to the rights conferred
and the liabilities imposed. The
Association have not shown that they belong
to a different class and entitled to a different
treatment. The argument that not only
landowners but also owners of other
properties must be made to share the burden

of implementing land reform must be

rejected. There is a substantial distinction
between these two classes of owners that is
clearly visible except to those who will not
see. There is no need to elaborate on this
matter. In any event, the Congress is allowed
a wide leeway in providing for a valid
classification. Its decision is accorded
recognition and respect by the courts of
justice except only where its discretion is
abused to the detriment of the Bill of Rights.
In the contrary, it appears that Congress is
right in classifying small landowners as part
of the agrarian reform program.
2. No. It is true that the determination of just
compensation is a power lodged in the
courts. However, there is no law which
prohibits administrative bodies like the DAR
from determining just compensation. In fact,
just compensation can be that amount agreed
upon by the landowner and the government
even without judicial intervention so long
as both parties agree. The DAR can
determine just compensation through
appraisers and if the landowner agrees, then
judicial intervention is not needed. What is
contemplated by law however is that, the
just compensation determined by an
administrative body is merely preliminary. If

the landowner does not agree with the

finding of just compensation by an
administrative body, then it can go to court
and the determination of the latter shall be
the final determination. This is even so
provided by RA 6657:
Section 16 (f): Any party who disagrees with
the decision may bring the matter to the
court of proper jurisdiction for final
determination of just compensation.
3. No. Money as [sole] payment for just
compensation is merely a concept
in traditional exercise of eminent domain.
The agrarian reform program is a
revolutionary exercise of eminent domain.
The program will require billions of pesos in
funds if all compensation have to be made in
cash if everything is in cash, then the
government will not have sufficient money
hence, bonds, and other securities, i.e.,
shares of stocks, may be used for just


147511; 20 JAN 2003]

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

Saturday, January 31, 2009 Posted

by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law
Facts: Respondent National Housing
Authority (NHA) filed complaints for
the expropriation of sugarcane lands
belonging to the petitioners. The stated
public purpose of the expropriation was the
expansion of the
Dasmarias Resettlement Project to
accommodate the squatters who were
relocated from the Metropolitan Manila
area. The trial court rendered judgment
ordering the expropriation of these lots and
the payment of just compensation. The
Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the
lower court.
A few years later, petitioners contended that
respondent NHA violated the stated public
purpose for the expansion of the
Dasmarias ResettlementProject when it
failed to relocate the squatters from
the Metro Manila area, as borne out by the
ocular inspection conducted by the trial
court which showed that most of the
expropriated properties remain unoccupied.
Petitioners likewise question the

public nature of the use by respondent NHA

when it entered into a contract for the
construction of low cost housing units,
which is allegedly different from the stated
public purpose in
theexpropriation proceedings. Hence, it is
claimed that respondent NHA has forfeited
its rights and interests by virtue of
the expropriation judgment and the
expropriated properties should now be
returned to herein petitioners.

Issue: Whether or not the judgment

of expropriation was forfeited in the light of
the failure of respondent NHA to use the
expropriated property for the intended
purpose but for a totally different purpose.

Held: The Supreme Court held in favor of

the respondent NHA. Accordingly,
petitioners cannot insist on a restrictive view
of the eminentdomain provision of the
Constitution by contending that the contract
for low cost housing is a deviation from the
stated public use. It is now settled doctrine
that the concept of public use is no longer
limited to traditional purposes. The term

"public use" has now been held to be

synonymous with "public interest," "public
benefit," "public welfare," and "public
convenience." Thus, whatever may be
beneficially employed for the general
welfare satisfies the requirement of public
In addition, the expropriation of private land
for slum clearance and urban development is
for a public purpose even if the developed
area is later sold to private homeowners,
commercials firms, entertainment and
service companies, and other private
concerns. Moreover, the Constitution itself
allows the State to undertake, for
the common good and in cooperation with
the private sector, a continuing program of
urban land reform and housing which will
make at affordable cost decent housing
and basic services to underprivileged and
homeless citizens in
urban centers and resettlementareas.
The expropriation of private property for the
purpose of socialized housing for the
marginalized sector is in furtherance of
social justice.


Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

City of Mandaluyong vs. Aguilar [GR

137152, 29 January 2001] First Division,
Puno (J): 4 concur

Facts: Antonio, Francisco, Thelma, Eusebio,

and Rodolfo N. Aguilar, constructed
residential houses several decades ago on a
portion of the 3 lots located at 9 de Febrero
Street, Barangay Mauwag, City of
Mandaluyong. The Aguilars had since leased
out these houses to tenants until the present.
On the vacant portion of the lots, other
families constructed residential structures
which they likewise occupied. In 1983, the
lots were classified by Resolution 125 of the
Board of the Housing and Urban
Development Coordinating Council as an
Area for Priority Development for urban
land reform under Proclamation 1967 and
2284 of then President Marcos. As a result
of this classification, the tenants and
occupants of the lots offered to purchase the
land from the Aguilars, but the latter refused
to sell. On 7 November 1996, the
Sangguniang Panlungsod of Mandaluyong,
upon petition of the Kapitbisig, an
association of tenants and occupants of the
subject land, adopted Resolution 516, Series

of 1996 authorizing Mayor Benjamin Abalos

of the City of Mandaluyong to initiate action
for the expropriation of the subject lots and
construction of a medium-rise condominium
for qualified occupants of the land. On 10
January 1996, Mayor Abalos allegedly sent
a letter to the Aguilars offering to purchase
the said property at P3,000.00 per square
meter. On 4 August 1997, the City filed with
the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 168,
Pasig City a complaint for expropriation,
seeking to expropriate 3 adjoining parcels of
land with an aggregate area of 1,847 square
meters in the names of the Aguilars, and
praying that the fixing of just compensation
at the fair market value of P3,000.00 per
square meter. In their answer, the Aguilars,
except Eusebio who died in 1995, denied
having received a copy of Mayor Abalos'
offer to purchase their lots. They alleged that
the expropriation of their land is arbitrary
and capricious, and is not for a public
purpose; that the subject lots are their only
real property and are too small for
expropriation, while the City has several
properties inventoried for socialized
housing; and that the fair market value of
P3,000.00 per square meter is arbitrary
because the zonal valuation set by the

Bureau of Internal Revenue is P7,000.00 per

square meter. As counterclaim, the Aguilars
prayed for damages of P21 million. On 5
November 1997, the City filed an Amended
Complaint and named as an additional
defendant Virginia N. Aguilar and, at the
same time, substituted Eusebio Aguilar with
his heirs. The City also excluded from
expropriation TCT N59870 and thereby
reduced the area sought to be expropriated
from three (3) parcels of land to two (2)
parcels totaling 1,636 square meters. The
Amended Complaint was admitted by the
trial court on 18 December 1997. On 17
September 1998, the trial court issued an
order dismissing the Amended Complaint
after declaring the Aguilars as "small
property owners" whose land is exempt
from expropriation under Republic Act
7279. The court also found that the
expropriation was not for a public purpose
for the City's failure to present any evidence
that the intended beneficiaries of the
expropriation are Constitutional Law II,
2005 ( 14 ) Narratives (Berne Guerrero)
landless and homeless residents of
Mandaluyong. The City moved for
reconsideration. On 29 December 1998, the

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

court denied the motion. The City filed a

petition for review with the Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether the City has exhausted all

means to acquire the land under the hands of
private persons, but which is within the
Areas for Priority Development (APD).

Held: Presidential Decree (PD) 1517, the

Urban Land Reform Act, was issued by then
President Marcos in 1978. The decree
adopted as a State policy the liberation of
human communities from blight, congestion
and hazard, and promotion of their
development and modernization, the
optimum use of land as a national resource
for public welfare. Pursuant to this law,
Proclamation 1893 was issued in 1979
declaring the entire Metro Manila as Urban
Land Reform Zone for purposes of urban
land reform. This was amended in 1980 by
Proclamation 1967 and in 1983 by
Proclamation 2284 which identified and
specified 245 sites in Metro Manila as Areas
for Priority Development and Urban Land
Reform Zones. The acquisition of lands for
socialized housing is governed by several

provisions in the law. Pursuant to Section 9

of RA 7279, Lands for socialized housing
are to be acquired in the following order: (1)
government lands; (2) alienable lands of the
public domain; (3) unregistered or
abandoned or idle lands; (4) lands within the
declared Areas for Priority Development
(APD), Zonal Improvement Program (ZIP)
sites, Slum Improvement and Resettlement
(SIR) sites which have not yet been
acquired; (5) BLISS sites which have not yet
been acquired; and (6) privatelyowned
lands. Section 9, however, is not a single
provision that can be read separate from the
other provisions of the law. It must be read
together with Section 10 of RA 7279. Thus,
lands for socialized housing under RA 7279
are to be acquired in several modes. Among
these modes are the following: (1)
community mortgage; (2) land swapping, (3)
land assembly or consolidation; (4) land
banking; (5) donation to the government; (6)
joint venture agreement; (7) negotiated
purchase; and (8) expropriation. The mode
of expropriation is subject to two conditions:
(a) it shall be resorted to only when the other
modes of acquisition have been exhausted;
and (b) parcels of land owned by small
property owners are exempt from such

acquisition. The acquisition of the lands in

the priority list must be made subject to the
modes and conditions set forth in the next
provision. In other words, land that lies
within the APD may be acquired only in the
modes under, and subject to the conditions
of, Section 10. Herein, the City claims that it
had faithfully observed the different modes
of land acquisition for socialized housing
under RA 7279 and adhered to the priorities
in the acquisition for socialized housing
under said law. It, however, did not state
with particularity whether it exhausted the
other modes of acquisition in Section 9 of
the law before it decided to expropriate the
subject lots. The law states "expropriation
shall be resorted to when other modes of
acquisition have been exhausted." The City
alleged only one mode of acquisition, i.e.,
by negotiated purchase. The City, through
the City Mayor, tried to purchase the lots
from the Aguilars but the latter refused to
sell. As to the other modes of acquisition, no
mention has been made. Not even
Resolution 516, Series of 1996 of the
Sangguniang Panlungsod authorizing the
Mayor of Mandaluyong to effect the
expropriation of the subject property states
whether the city government tried to acquire

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

the same by community mortgage, land

swapping, land assembly or consolidation,
land banking, donation to the government,
or joint venture agreement under Section 9
of the law.

Petitioners vs.
G.R. No. 155746, October 13, 2004

The Province of Cebu donated 210 lots to
the City of Cebu. But then, in late 1965, the
210 lots, including Lot 1029, reverted to the
Province of Cebu. Consequently, the
province tried to annul the sale of Lot 1029
by the City of Cebu to the petitioners. This

prompted the latter to sue the province for

specific performance and damages in the
then Court of First Instance. The court a quo
ruled in favor of petitioners and ordered
the Province of Cebu to execute the final
deed of sale in favor of petitioners. The
Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of
the trial court. After acquiring title,
petitioners tried to take possession of the lot
only to discover that it was
already occupied by squatters. Thus
petitioners instituted ejectment proceedings
against thesquatters. The Municipal Trial
Court in Cities (MTCC) ordering the
squatters to vacate the lot. On appeal, the
RTC affirmed the MTCCs decision and
issued a writ of execution and order
of demolition. However, when the
demolition order was about to be
implemented, Cebu City Mayor Alvin
Garcia wrote two letters to the MTCC,
requesting the deferment of the demolition
on the ground that the City was still looking
for a relocation site for the squatters. Acting
on the mayors request, the MTCC issued
two orders suspending the demolition.
Unfortunately for petitioners, during the
suspension period, the

Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) of Cebu

City passed a resolution which identified Lot
1029 as a socialized housing site pursuant to
RA 7279.Petitioners filed with the RTC an
action for declaration of nullity of Ordinance
No. 1843 for being unconstitutional.

WON the Ordinance No. 1843
is unconstitutional as it sanctions the
expropriation of their property for the purpo
se of selling it to the squatters, an endeavor c
ontrary to the concept of public use
contemplated in the Constitution.

Under Section 48 of RA 7160, otherwise
known as the Local Government Code
of 1991, local legislative power shall be
exercised by the Sangguniang
Panlungsod of the city. The legislative acts
of the
Sangguniang Panlungsod in the exercise of
its lawmaking authority are denominated
ordinances. Local government units have no

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

inherent power of eminent domain and can

exercise it only when expressly authorized
by the legislature. By virtue of RA 7160,
Congress conferred upon local government
units the power to expropriate. Ordinance
No. 1843 which authorized the expropriation
of petitioners lot was enacted by the SPof
Cebu City to provide socialized housing for
the homeless and low-income residents of
the City. However, while we recognize that
housing is one of the most serious social
problems of the country, local government
units do not possess unbridled authority to
exercise their power of eminent domain
in seeking solutions to this problem. There
are two legal provisions which limit the
exercise of this power: (1) no person shall be
deprived of life, liberty, or property without
due process of law, nor shall any person be
denied the equal protection of the laws; and
(2) private property shall not be taken for
public use without just compensation. Thus,
the exercise by local government units of the
power of eminent domainis not absolute. In
fact, Section 19 of RA 7160 itself explicitly
states that such exercise must comply with
the provisions of the Constitution and
pertinent laws.

Antero Sison Jr. vs Acting BIR
Commissioner Ruben Ancheta et al

and due process clauses of the Constitution

as well as of the rule requiring uniformity in

ISSUE: Whether the imposition of a higher

tax rate on taxable net income derived from
business or profession than on compensation
is constitutionally infirm.

Equal Protection
Sison assails the validity of BP 135 w/c
further amended Sec 21 of the National
Internal Revenue Code of 1977. The law
provides that thered be a higher tax impost
against income derived from professional
income as opposed to regular income
earners. Sison, as a professional
businessman, and as taxpayer alleges that by
virtue thereof, he would be unduly
discriminated against by the imposition of
higher rates of tax upon his income arising
from the exercise of his profession vis-a-vis
those which are imposed upon fixed income
or salaried individual taxpayers. He
characterizes the above section as arbitrary
amounting to class legislation, oppressive
and capricious in character. There is a
transgression of both the equal protection

HELD: The SC ruled against Sison. The

power to tax, an inherent prerogative, has to
be availed of to assure the performance of
vital state functions. It is the source of the
bulk of public funds. Taxes, being the
lifeblood of the government, their prompt
and certain availability is of the essence.
According to the Constitution: The rule of
taxation shall be uniform and equitable.
However, the rule of uniformity does not
call for perfect uniformity or perfect
equality, because this is hardly attainable.
Equality and uniformity in taxation means
that all taxable articles or kinds of property
of the same class shall be taxed at the same
rate. The taxing power has the authority to
make reasonable and natural classifications
for purposes of taxation. Where the

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

differentiation complained of conforms to

the practical dictates of justice and equity it
is not discriminatory within the meaning of
this clause and is therefore uniform. There
is quite a similarity then to the standard of
equal protection for all that is required is
that the tax applies equally to all persons,
firms and corporations placed in similar
What misled Sison is his failure to take into
consideration the distinction between a tax
rate and a tax base. There is no legal
objection to a broader tax base or taxable
income by eliminating all deductible items
and at the same time reducing the applicable
tax rate. Taxpayers may be classified into
different categories. In the case of the gross
income taxation embodied in BP 135, the
discernible basis of classification is the
susceptibility of the income to the
application of generalized rules removing all
deductible items for all taxpayers within the
class and fixing a set of reduced tax rates to
be applied to all of them. Taxpayers who are
recipients of compensation income are set
apart as a class. As there is practically no
overhead expense, these taxpayers are not
entitled to make deductions for income tax
purposes because they are in the same

situation more or less. On the other hand, in

the case of professionals in the practice of
their calling and businessmen, there is no
uniformity in the costs or expenses
necessary to produce their income. It would
not be just then to disregard the disparities
by giving all of them zero deduction and
indiscriminately impose on all alike the
same tax rates on the basis of gross income.
There is ample justification then for the
Batasang Pambansa to adopt the gross
system of income taxation to compensation
income, while continuing the system of net
income taxation as regards professional and
business income.

GR Nos. L-49839-46, April 26, 1991
196 SCRA 322

FACTS: Petitioners JBL Reyes et al. owned

a parcel of land in Tondo which are leased
and occupied as dwelling units by tenants
who were paying monthly rentals of not
exceeding P300. Sometimes in 1971 the

Rental Freezing Law was passed prohibiting

for one year from its effectivity, an increase
in monthly rentals of dwelling units where
rentals do not exceed three hundred pesos
(P300.00), so that the Reyeses were
precluded from raising the rents and from
ejecting the tenants. In 1973, respondent
City Assessor of Manila re-classified and
reassessed the value of the subject properties
based on the schedule of market values,
which entailed an increase in the
corresponding tax rates prompting
petitioners to file a Memorandum of
Disagreement averring that the
reassessments made were "excessive,
unwarranted, inequitable, confiscatory and
unconstitutional" considering that the taxes
imposed upon them greatly exceeded the
annual income derived from their
properties. They argued that the income
approach should have been used in
determining the land values instead of the
comparable sales approach which the City
Assessor adopted.

ISSUE: Is the approach on tax assessment

used by the City Assessor reasonable?

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

HELD: No. The taxing power has the
authority to make a reasonable and natural
classification for purposes of taxation but
the government's act must not be prompted
by a spirit of hostility, or at the very least
discrimination that finds no support in
reason. It suffices then that the laws operate
equally and uniformly on all persons under
similar circumstances or that all persons
must be treated in the same manner, the
conditions not being different both in the
privileges conferred and the liabilities
Consequently, it stands to reason that
petitioners who are burdened by the
government by its Rental Freezing Laws
(then R.A. No. 6359 and P.D. 20) under the
principle of social justice should not now be
penalized by the same government by the
imposition of excessive taxes petitioners can
ill afford and eventually result in the
forfeiture of their properties.

REVENUE, petitioner, vs. SOLIDBANK
CORPORATION, respondent.

Under the Tax Code, the earnings of banks
from passive income are subject to a twenty
percent final withholding tax (20%
FWT). This tax is withheld at source and is
thus not actually and physically received by
the banks, because it is paid directly to the
government by the entities from which the
banks derived the income. Apart from the
20% FWT, banks are also subject to a five
percent gross receipts tax (5% GRT) which
is imposed by the Tax Code on their gross
receipts, including the passive income.
Since the 20% FWT
is constructively received by the banks and
forms part of their gross receipts or earnings,
it follows that it is subject to the 5%
GRT. After all, the amount withheld is paid
to the government on their behalf, in
satisfaction of their withholding taxes. That
they do not actually receive the amount does
not alter the fact that it is remitted for their
benefit in satisfaction of their tax
Stated otherwise, the fact is that if there
were no withholding tax system in place in

this country, this 20 percent portion of the

passive income of banks would actually be
paid to the banks and then remitted by them
to the government in payment of their
income tax. The institution of the
withholding tax system does not alter the
fact that the 20 percent portion of their
passive income constitutes part of
their actual earnings, except that it is paid
directly to the government on their behalf in
satisfaction of the 20 percent final income
tax due on their passive incomes.
The Case
Before us is a Petition for Review[1] under
Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, seeking to
annul the July 18, 2000 Decision[2] and
the May 8, 2001 Resolution[3] of the Court of
Appeals[4] (CA) in CA-GR SP No.
54599. The decretal portion of the assailed
Decision reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM in toto the
assailed decision and resolution of the Court
of Tax Appeals.[5]
The challenged Resolution denied
petitioners Motion for Reconsideration.
The Facts

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

Quoting petitioner, the CA[6] summarized the

facts of this case as follows:
For the calendar year 1995, [respondent]
seasonably filed its Quarterly Percentage
Tax Returns reflecting gross receipts
(pertaining to 5% [Gross Receipts Tax] rate)
in the total amount ofP1,474,691,693.44
with corresponding gross receipts tax
payments in the sum of P73,734,584.60,
broken down as follows:
Period Covered Gross Receipts Gross
Receipts Tax
January to March
1994 P 188,406,061.95 P 9,420,303.10
April to June
1994 370,913,832.70 18,545,691.63
July to September
1994 481,501,838.98 24,075,091.95
October to December
1994 433,869,959.81 21,693,497.98
Total P 1,474,691,693.44 P 73,734,584.60
[Respondent] alleges that the total gross
receipts in the amount of P1,474,691,693.44
included the sum of P350,807,875.15

representing gross receipts from passive

income which was already subjected to 20%
final withholding tax.
On January 30, 1996, [the Court of Tax
Appeals] rendered a decision in CTA Case
No. 4720 entitled Asian Bank Corporation
vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue[,]
wherein it was held that the 20% final
withholding tax on [a] banks interest income
should not form part of its taxable gross
receipts for purposes of computing the gross
receipts tax.
On June 19, 1997, on the strength of the
aforementioned decision, [respondent] filed
with the Bureau of Internal Revenue [BIR] a
letter-request for the refund or issuance of
[a] tax credit certificate in the aggregate
amount of P3,508,078.75, representing
allegedly overpaid gross receipts tax for the
year 1995, computed as follows:
Gross Receipts Subjected to the Final Tax
Derived from Passive
[Income] P 350,807,875.15
Multiply by Final Tax rate 20%
20% Final Tax Withheld at
Source P 70,161,575.03

Multiply by [Gross Receipts Tax] rate 5%

Overpaid [Gross Receipts
Tax] P 3,508,078.75
Without waiting for an action from the
[petitioner], [respondent] on the same day
filed [a] petition for review [with the Court
of Tax Appeals] in order to toll the running
of the two-year prescriptive period to
judicially claim for the refund of [any]
overpaid internal revenue tax[,] pursuant to
Section 230 [now 229] of the Tax Code [also
National Internal Revenue Code] x x x.
After trial on the merits, the [Court of Tax
Appeals], on August 6, 1999, rendered its
decision ordering x x x petitioner to refund
in favor of x x x respondent the reduced
amount ofP1,555,749.65 as overpaid [gross
receipts tax] for the year 1995. The legal
issue x x x was resolved by the [Court of
Tax Appeals], with Hon. Amancio Q. Saga
dissenting, on the strength of its earlier
pronouncement in x x x Asian Bank
Corporation vs. Commissioner of Internal
Revenue x x x, wherein it was held that the
20% [final withholding tax] on [a] banks
interest income should not form part of its

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

taxable gross receipts for purposes of

computing the [gross receipts tax].[7]
Ruling of the CA
The CA held that the 20% FWT on a banks
interest income did not form part of the
taxable gross receipts in computing the 5%
GRT, because the FWT was not actually
received by the bank but was directly
remitted to the government. The appellate
court curtly said that while the Tax Code
does not specifically state any exemption, x
x x the statute must receive a sensible
construction such as will give effect to the
legislative intention, and so as to avoid an
unjust or absurd conclusion.[8]
Hence, this appeal.[9]
Petitioner raises this lone issue for our
Whether or not the 20% final withholding
tax on [a] banks interest income forms part
of the taxable gross receipts in computing
the 5% gross receipts tax.[10]
The Courts Ruling

The Petition is meritorious.

Sole Issue:
Whether the 20% FWT Forms Part
of the Taxable Gross Receipts
Petitioner claims that although the 20%
FWT on respondents interest income was
not actually received by respondent because
it was remitted directly to the government,
the fact that the amount redounded to the
banks benefit makes it part of the taxable
gross receipts in computing the 5%
GRT. Respondent, on the other hand,
maintains that the CA correctly ruled
We agree with petitioner. In fact, the same
issue has been raised recently in China
Banking Corporation v. CA,[11] where this
Court held that the amount of interest
income withheld in payment of the 20%
FWT forms part of gross receipts in
computing for the GRT on banks.
The FWT and the GRT:
Two Different Taxes

The 5% GRT is imposed by Section

119[12] of the Tax Code,[13] which provides:
SEC. 119. Tax on banks and non-bank
financial intermediaries. There shall be
collected a tax on gross receipts derived
from sources within the Philippines by all
banks and non-bank financial intermediaries
in accordance with the following schedule:
(a) On interest, commissions and discounts
from lending activities as well as income
from financial leasing, on the basis of
remaining maturities of instruments from
which such receipts are derived.
Short-term maturity not in excess of two (2)
Medium-term maturity over two (2) years
but not exceeding four (4) years....3%
Long-term maturity:
(i) Over four (4) years but not exceeding
seven (7) years1%
(ii) Over seven (7) years..0%
(b) On dividends...0%

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(c) On royalties, rentals of property, real or

personal, profits from exchange and all other
items treated as gross income under Section
28[14] of this
Provided, however, That in case the maturity
period referred to in paragraph (a) is
shortened thru pretermination, then the
maturity period shall be reckoned to end as
of the date of pretermination for purposes of
classifying the transaction as short, medium
or long term and the correct rate of tax shall
be applied accordingly.
Nothing in this Code shall preclude the
Commissioner from imposing the same tax
herein provided on persons performing
similar banking activities.
The 5% GRT[15] is included under Title V.
Other Percentage Taxes of the Tax Code and
is not subject to withholding. The banks and
non-bank financial intermediaries liable
therefor shall, under Section 125(a)(1),
file quarterly returns on the amount of
gross receipts and pay the taxes due thereon
within twenty (20)[17] days after the end of
each taxable quarter.

The 20% FWT,[18] on the other hand, falls

under Section 24(e)(1)[19] of Title II. Tax on
Income. It is a tax on passive income,
deducted and withheld at source by the
payor-corporation and/or person as
withholding agent pursuant to Section 50,
and paid in the same manner and subject
to the same conditions as provided for in
Section 51.[21]
A perusal of these provisions clearly shows
that two types of taxes are involved in the
present controversy: (1) the GRT, which is a
percentage tax; and (2) the FWT, which is an
income tax. As a bank, petitioner is covered
by both taxes.
A percentage tax is a national tax measured
by a certain percentage of the gross selling
price or gross value in money of goods sold,
bartered or imported; or of the gross receipts
or earnings derived by any person engaged
in the sale of services.[22] It is not subject to
An income tax, on the other hand, is a
national tax imposed on the net or the gross
income realized in a taxable year.[23] It is
subject to withholding.

In a withholding tax system, the payee is the

taxpayer, the person on whom the tax is
imposed; the payor, a separate entity, acts as
no more than an agent of the government for
the collection of the tax in order to ensure its
payment. Obviously, this amount that is used
to settle the tax liability is deemed sourced
from the proceeds constitutive of the tax
base.[24] These proceeds are either actual or
constructive. Both parties herein agree that
there is no actual receipt by the bank of the
amount withheld.What needs to be
determined is if there is constructive receipt
thereof. Since the payee -- not the payor -- is
the real taxpayer, the rule on constructive
receipt can be easily rationalized, if not
made clearly manifest.[25]
Constructive Receipt
Versus Actual Receipt
Applying Section 7 of Revenue Regulations
(RR) No. 17-84,[26] petitioner contends that
there is constructive receipt of the interest
on deposits and yield on deposit substitutes.
Respondent, however, claims that even if
there is, it is Section 4(e) of RR 12-80[28] that
nevertheless governs the situation.
Section 7 of RR 17-84 states:

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SEC. 7. Nature and Treatment of Interest on

Deposits and Yield on Deposit Substitutes.
(a) The interest earned on Philippine
Currency bank deposits and yield from
deposit substitutes subjected to the
withholding taxes in accordance with these
regulations need not be included in the gross
income in computing the
depositors/investors income tax liability in
accordance with the provision of Section
29(b),[29] (c)[30] and (d) of the National
Internal Revenue Code, as amended.
(b) Only interest paid or accrued on bank
deposits, or yield from deposit substitutes
declared for purposes of imposing the
withholding taxes in accordance with these
regulations shall be allowed as interest
expense deductible for purposes of
computing taxable net income of the payor.
(c) If the recipient of the above-mentioned
items of income are financial institutions,
the same shall be included as part of the tax
base upon which the gross receipt[s] tax is
Section 4(e) of RR 12-80, on the other hand,
states that the tax rates to be imposed on the
gross receipts of banks, non-bank financial

intermediaries, financing companies, and

other non-bank financial intermediaries not
performing quasi-banking activities shall be
based on all items of
income actually received. This provision

from the FWT, because the income is

subjected to a tax burden immediately upon
receipt through the withholding
process. Moreover, the earlier RR 12-80
covered matters not falling under
the later RR 17-84.[31]

SEC. 4. x x x x x x x x x

We are not persuaded.

(e) Gross receipts tax on banks, non-bank

financial intermediaries, financing
companies, and other non-bank financial
intermediaries not performing quasi-banking
activities. The rates of tax to be imposed on
the gross receipts of such financial
institutions shall be based on all items of
income actually received. Mere accrual shall
not be considered, but once payment is
received on such accrual or in cases of
prepayment, then the amount actually
received shall be included in the tax base of
such financial institutions, as provided
hereunder x x x.

By analogy, we apply to the receipt of

income the rules
on actual and constructive possession
provided in Articles 531 and 532 of our
Civil Code.

Respondent argues that the above-quoted

provision is plain and clear: since there is
no actual receipt, the FWT is not to be
included in the tax base for computing the
GRT.There is supposedly no pecuniary
benefit or advantage accruing to the bank

Under Article 531:[32]

Possession is acquired by the material
occupation of a thing or the exercise of a
right, or by the fact that it is subject to the
action of our will, or by the proper acts and
legal formalities established for acquiring
such right.
Article 532 states:
Possession may be acquired by the same
person who is to enjoy it, by his legal
representative, by his agent, or by any
person without any power whatever; but in
the last case, the possession shall not be
considered as acquired until the person in

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whose name the act of possession was

executed has ratified the same, without
prejudice to the juridical consequences
of negotiorum gestioin a proper case.[33]
The last means of acquiring possession
under Article 531 refers to juridical acts -the acquisition of possession by sufficient
title to which the law gives the force of acts
of possession.[34] Respondent argues that
only items of income actually received
should be included in its gross receipts. It
claims that since the amount had already
been withheld at source, it did not
have actual receipt thereof.
We clarify. Article 531 of the Civil Code
clearly provides that the acquisition of the
right of possession is through the proper acts
and legal formalities established
therefor.The withholding process is one such
act. There may not be actual receipt of the
income withheld; however, as provided for
in Article 532, possession by any person
without any power whatsoever shall be
considered as acquired when ratified by the
person in whose name the act of possession
is executed.

In our withholding tax system, possession is

acquired by the payor as the withholding
agent of the government, because the
taxpayer ratifies the very act of possession
for the government. There is
thus constructive receipt. The processes of
bookkeeping and accounting for interest on
deposits and yield on deposit substitutes that
are subjected to FWT are indeed -- for legal
purposes -- tantamount to delivery, receipt
or remittance.[35] Besides, respondent itself
admits that its income is subjected to a tax
burden immediately upon receipt, although
it claims that it derives no pecuniary benefit
or advantage through the withholding
process. There being constructive receipt of
such income -- part of which is withheld -RR 17-84 applies, and that income is
included as part of the tax base upon which
the GRT is imposed.
RR 12-80 Superseded by RR 17-84
We now come to the effect of the revenue
regulations on interest
income constructively received.
In general, rules and regulations issued by
administrative or executive officers pursuant
to the procedure or authority conferred by

law upon the administrative agency have the

force and effect, or partake of the nature, of
a statute.[36] The reason is that statutes
express the policies, purposes, objectives,
remedies and sanctions intended by the
legislature in general terms. The details and
manner of carrying them out are oftentimes
left to the administrative agency entrusted
with their enforcement.
In the present case, it is the finance secretary
who promulgates the revenue regulations,
upon recommendation of the BIR
commissioner. These regulations are the
consequences of a delegated power to issue
legal provisions that have the effect of law.

A revenue regulation is binding on the

courts as long as the procedure fixed for its
promulgation is followed. Even if the courts
may not be in agreement with its stated
policy or innate wisdom, it is nonetheless
valid, provided that its scope is within the
statutory authority or standard granted by
the legislature.[38] Specifically, the regulation
must (1) be germane to the object and
purpose of the law;[39] (2) not contradict, but
conform to, the standards the law prescribes;
and (3) be issued for the sole purpose of

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carrying into effect the general provisions of

our tax laws.[41]
In the present case, there is no question
about the regularity in the performance of
official duty. What needs to be determined is
whether RR 12-80 has been repealed by RR
A repeal may be express or implied. It is
express when there is a declaration in a
regulation -- usually in its repealing clause -that another regulation, identified by its
number or title, is repealed. All others are
implied repeals.[42] An example of the latter
is a general provision that predicates the
intended repeal on a substantial conflict
between the existing and the prior
As stated in Section 11 of RR 17-84, all
regulations, rules, orders or portions thereof
that are inconsistent with the provisions of
the said RR are thereby repealed. This
declaration proceeds on the premise that RR
17-84 clearly reveals such an intention on
the part of the Department of
Finance. Otherwise, later RRs are to be
construed as a continuation of, and not a
substitute for, earlier RRs; and will continue

to speak, so far as the subject matter is the

same, from the time of the first
There are two well-settled categories of
implied repeals: (1) in case the provisions
are in irreconcilable conflict, the later
regulation, to the extent of the conflict,
constitutes an implied repeal of an earlier
one; and (2) if the later regulation covers the
whole subject of an earlier one and is clearly
intended as a substitute, it will similarly
operate as a repeal of the earlier one.
There is no implied repeal of an earlier
RR by the mere fact that its subject matter is
related to a later RR, which may simply be a
cumulation or continuation of the earlier
Where a part of an earlier regulation
embracing the same subject as a later one
may not be enforced without nullifying the
pertinent provision of the latter, the earlier
regulation is deemed impliedly amended or
modified to the extent of the repugnancy.
The unaffected provisions or portions of
the earlier regulation remain in force, while
its omitted portions are deemed repealed.
An exception therein that is amended by
its subsequent elimination shall now cease to

be so and instead be included within the

scope of the general rule.[49]
Section 4(e) of the earlier RR 12-80
provides that only items of
income actually received shall be included
in the tax base for computing the GRT, but
Section 7(c) of the later RR 17-84 makes no
such distinction and provides
that all interests earned shall be
included. The exception having been
eliminated, the clear intent is that the later
RR 17-84 includes the exception within the
scope of the general rule.
Repeals by implication are not favored and
will not be indulged, unless it is manifest
that the administrative agency intended
them. As a regulation is presumed to have
been made with deliberation and full
knowledge of all existing rules on the
subject, it may reasonably be concluded that
its promulgation was not intended to
interfere with or abrogate any earlier rule
relating to the same subject, unless it is
either repugnant to or fully inclusive of the
subject matter of an earlier one, or unless the
reason for the earlier one is beyond
peradventure removed.[50] Every effort must
be exerted to make all regulations stand -26

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and a later rule will not operate as a repeal

of an earlier one, if by any reasonable
construction, the two can be reconciled.[51]
RR 12-80 imposes the GRT only on all
items of income actually received, as
opposed to their mere accrual, while RR 1784 includes all interest income in computing
the GRT. RR 12-80 is superseded by the
later rule, because Section 4(e) thereof is not
restated in RR 17-84. Clearly therefore, as
petitioner correctly states, this particular
provision was impliedly repealed when the
later regulations took effect.[52]
Reconciling the Two Regulations
Granting that the two regulations can be
reconciled, respondents reliance on Section
4(e) of RR 12-80 is misplaced and
deceptive. The accrual referred to therein
should not be equated with the
determination of the amount to be used as
tax base in computing the GRT. Such
accrual merely refers to an accounting
method that recognizes income as earned
although not received, and expenses as
incurred although not yet paid.
Accrual should not be confused with the
concept of constructive possession or receipt

as earlier discussed. Petitioner correctly

points out that income that is
merelyaccrued -- earned, but not yet
received -- does not form part of the taxable
gross receipts; income that has been
received, albeit constructively, does.[53]
The word actually, used confusingly in
Section 4(e), will be clearer if removed
entirely. Besides, if actually is that
important, accrual should have been
eliminated for being a mere surplusage. The
inclusion of accrual stresses the fact that
Section 4(e) does not distinguish
between actual and constructive receipt. It
merely focuses on the method of accounting
known as the accrual system.
Under this system, income is accrued or
earned in the year in which the taxpayers
right thereto becomes fixed and definite,
even though it may not be actually received
until a later year; while a deduction for a
liability is to be accrued or incurred and
taken when the liability becomes fixed and
certain, even though it may not
be actually paid until later.[54]
Under any system of accounting, no duty or
liability to pay an income tax upon a

transaction arises until the taxable year in

which the event constituting the condition
precedent occurs.[55] The liability to pay a
tax may thus arise at a certain time and the
tax paid within another given time.[56]
In reconciling these two regulations, the
earlier one includes in the tax base for
GRT all income,
whether actually or constructively received,
while the later one includes specifically
interest income. In computing the income
tax liability, the only exception cited in the
later regulations is the exclusion from gross
income of interest income, which is already
subjected to withholding. This exception,
however, refers to a different tax
altogether. To extend mischievously such
exception to the GRT will certainly lead to
results not contemplated by the legislators
and the administrative body promulgating
the regulations.
Manila Jockey Club
In Commissioner of Internal Revenue v.
Manila Jockey Club,[57] we held that the term
gross receipts shall not include money
which, although delivered, has been

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

especially earmarked by law or regulation

for some person other than the taxpayer.[58]
To begin, we have to nuance the definition
of gross receipts[59] to determine what it is
exactly. In this regard, we note that US cases
have persuasive effect in our jurisdiction,
because Philippine income tax law is
patterned after its US counterpart.[60]
[G]ross receipts with respect to any period
means the sum of: (a) The total amount
received or accrued during such period from
the sale, exchange, or other disposition of x
x x other property of a kind which would
properly be included in the inventory of the
taxpayer if on hand at the close of the
taxable year, or property held by the
taxpayer primarily for sale to customers in
the ordinary course of its trade or business,
and (b) The gross income, attributable to a
trade or business, regularly carried on by the
taxpayer, received or accrued during such
period x x x.[61]
x x x [B]y gross earnings from operations x
x x was intended all operations xxx
including incidental, subordinate, and
subsidiary operations, as well as principal

When we speak of the gross earnings of a

person or corporation, we mean the entire
earnings or receipts of such person or
corporation from the business or operations
to which we refer.[63]
From these cases, gross receipts[64] refer to
the total, as opposed to the net, income.
These are therefore the total receipts
before any deduction[66] for the expenses of
management.[67] Websters New International
Dictionary, in fact, defines gross as whole or
Statutes taxing the gross receipts, earnings,
or income of particular corporations are
found in many jurisdictions.[68] Tax thereon
is generally held to be within the power of a
state to impose; or constitutional, unless it
interferes with interstate commerce or
violates the requirement as to uniformity of
Moreover, we have emphasized that the BIR
has consistently ruled that gross receipts
does not admit of any deduction.
Following the principle of legislative
approval by reenactment,[71] this
interpretation has been adopted by the
legislature throughout the various

reenactments of then Section 119 of the Tax

Given that a tax is imposed upon total
receipts and not upon net earnings,[73] shall
the income withheld be included in the tax
base upon which such tax is imposed? In
other words, shall interest
income constructively received still be
included in the tax base for computing the
We rule in the affirmative.
Manila Jockey Club does not apply to this
case. Earmarking is not the same
as withholding. Amounts earmarked do not
form part of gross receipts, because,
although delivered or received, these are by
law or regulation reserved for some person
other than the taxpayer. On the contrary,
amounts withheld form part of gross
receipts, because these are
in constructive possession and not subject to
any reservation, the withholding agent being
merely a conduit in the collection process.
The Manila Jockey Club had to deliver to
the Board on Races, horse owners and
jockeys amounts that never became the
property of the race track.[74] Unlike these

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amounts, the interest income that had

been withheld for the government became
property of the financial institutions
upon constructive possession
thereof. Possession was indeed acquired,
since it was ratified by the financial
institutions in whose name the act of
possession had been executed. The money
indeed belonged to the taxpayers; merely
holding it in trust was not enough.[75]
The government subsequently becomes the
owner of the money when the financial
institutions pay the FWT to extinguish their
obligation to the government. As this Court
has held before, this is the consideration for
the transfer of ownership of the FWT from
these institutions to the government.[76] It is
ownership that determines whether interest
income forms part of taxable gross receipts.
Being originally owned by these financial
institutions as part of their interest income,
the FWT should form part of their taxable
gross receipts.
Besides, these amounts withheld are in
payment of an income tax liability, which is
different from a percentage tax
liability. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
v. Tours Specialists, Inc. aptly held thus:[78]

x x x [G]ross receipts subject to tax under

the Tax Code do not include monies or
receipts entrusted to the taxpayer which do
not belong to them and do not redound to
the taxpayers benefit; and it is not necessary
that there must be a law or regulation which
would exempt such monies and receipts
within the meaning of gross receipts under
the Tax Code.[79]
In the construction and interpretation of tax
statutes and of statutes in general, the
primary consideration is to ascertain and
give effect to the intention of the legislature.
We ought to impute to the lawmaking
body the intent to obey the constitutional
mandate, as long as its enactments fairly
admit of such construction.[81] In fact, x x x
no tax can be levied without express
authority of law, but the statutes are to
receive a reasonable construction with a
view to carrying out their purpose and
Looking again into Sections 24(e)(1) and
119 of the Tax Code, we find that the first
imposes an income tax; the second, a
percentage tax. The legislature clearly
intended two different taxes. The FWT is a
tax on passive income, while the GRT is on

business.[83] The withholding of one is not

equivalent to the payment of the other.
Non-Exemption of FWT from GRT:
Neither Unjust nor Absurd
Taxing the people and their property is
essential to the very existence of
government. Certainly, one of the highest
attributes of sovereignty is the power of
taxation,[84]which may legitimately be
exercised on the objects to which it is
applicable to the utmost extent as the
government may choose.[85] Being an
incident of sovereignty, such power is
coextensive with that to which it is an
incident.[86] The interest on deposits and
yield on deposit substitutes of financial
institutions, on the one hand, and their
business as such, on the other, are the two
objects over which the State has chosen to
extend its sovereign power. Those not so
chosen are, upon the soundest principles,
exempt from taxation.[87]
While courts will not enlarge by
construction the governments power of
taxation,[88] neither will they place upon tax
laws so loose a construction as to permit
evasions, merely on the basis of fanciful and

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

insubstantial distinctions.[89] When the

legislature imposes a tax on income and
another on business, the imposition must be
respected. The Tax Code should be so
construed, if need be, as to avoid empty
declarations or possibilities of crafty tax
evasion schemes. We have consistently ruled
x x x [I]t is upon taxation that the
[g]overnment chiefly relies to obtain the
means to carry on its operations, and it is of
the utmost importance that the modes
adopted to enforce the collection of the taxes
levied should be summary and interfered
with as little as possible. x x x.[90]
Any delay in the proceedings of the officers,
upon whom the duty is devolved of
collecting the taxes, may derange the
operations of government, and thereby cause
serious detriment to the public.[91]
No government could exist if all litigants
were permitted to delay the collection of its
A taxing act will be construed, and the intent
and meaning of the legislature ascertained,
from its language.[93] Its clarity and implied
intent must exist to uphold the taxes as

against a taxpayer in whose favor doubts

will be resolved.[94] No such doubts exist
with respect to the Tax Code, because the
income and percentage taxes we have cited
earlier have been imposed in clear and
express language for that purpose.[95]
This Court has steadfastly adhered to the
doctrine that its first and fundamental duty is
the application of the law according to its
express terms -- construction and
interpretation being called for only when
such literal application is impossible or
inadequate without them.[96] In Quijano v.
Development Bank of the Philippines,[97] we
stressed as follows:
No process of interpretation or construction
need be resorted to where a provision of law
peremptorily calls for application. [98]
A literal application of any part of a statute
is to be rejected if it will operate unjustly,
lead to absurd results, or contradict the
evident meaning of the statute taken as a
whole.[99] Unlike the CA, we find that the
literal application of the aforesaid sections
of the Tax Code and its implementing
regulations does not operate unjustly or
contradict the evident meaning of the statute

taken as a whole. Neither does it lead to

absurd results. Indeed, our courts are not to
give words meanings that would lead to
absurd or unreasonable consequences.
We have repeatedly held thus:
x x x [S]tatutes should receive a sensible
construction, such as will give effect to the
legislative intention and so as to avoid an
unjust or an absurd conclusion.[101]
While it is true that the contemporaneous
construction placed upon a statute by
executive officers whose duty is to enforce it
should be given great weight by the courts,
still if such construction is so erroneous, x x
x the same must be declared as null and
It does not even matter that the CTA, like
in China Banking Corporation,[103] relied
erroneously on Manila Jockey Club. Under
our tax system, the CTA acts as a highly
specialized body specifically created for the
purpose of reviewing tax cases.[104] Because
of its recognized expertise, its findings of
fact will ordinarily not be reviewed, absent
any showing of gross error or abuse on its
part.[105] Such findings are binding on the
Court and, absent strong reasons for us to

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delve into facts, only questions of law are

open for determination.[106]
Respondent claims that it is entitled to a
refund on the basis of excess GRT
payments. We disagree.
Tax refunds are in the nature of tax
exemptions.[107] Such exemptions are strictly
construed against the taxpayer, being highly
disfavored[108] and almost said to be odious
to the law. Hence, those who claim to be
exempt from the payment of a particular tax
must do so under clear and unmistakable
terms found in the statute. They must be
able to point to some positive provision, not
merely a vague implication,[109] of the law
creating that right.[110]
The right of taxation will not be surrendered,
except in words too plain to be
mistaken. The reason is that the State cannot
strip itself of this highest attribute of
sovereignty -- its most essential power of
taxation -- by vague or ambiguous
language. Since tax refunds are in the nature
of tax exemptions, these are deemed to be in
derogation of sovereign authority and to be
construed strictissimi juris against the
person or entity claiming the exemption.[111]

No less than our 1987 Constitution provides

for the mechanism for granting tax
exemptions.[112] They certainly cannot be
granted by implication or mere
administrative regulation. Thus, when an
exemption is claimed, it must indubitably be
shown to exist, for every presumption is
against it,[113] and a well-founded doubt is
fatal to the claim.[114]In the instant case,
respondent has not been able to satisfactorily
show that its FWT on interest income is
exempt from the GRT. Like China Banking
Corporation, its argument creates a tax
exemption where none exists.[115]
No exemptions are normally allowed when a
GRT is imposed. It is precisely designed to
maintain simplicity in the tax collection
effort of the government and to assure its
steady source of revenue even during an
economic slump.[116]

The Court finds none.

Double taxation means taxing the same
property twice when it should be taxed only
once; that is, x x x taxing the same person
twice by the same jurisdiction for the same
thing.[117] It is obnoxious when the taxpayer
is taxed twice, when it should be but once.
Otherwise described as direct duplicate
taxation,[119] the two taxes must be imposed
on the same subject matter, for the same
purpose, by the same taxing authority,
within the same jurisdiction, during the
same taxing period; and they must be of the
same kind or character.[120]

No Double Taxation

First, the taxes herein are imposed on two

different subject matters. The subject matter
of the FWT is the passive income generated
in the form of interest on deposits and yield
on deposit substitutes, while the subject
matter of the GRT is the privilege of
engaging in the business of banking.

We have repeatedly said that the two taxes,

subject of this litigation, are different from
each other. The basis of their imposition
may be the same, but their natures are
different, thus leading us to a final point. Is
there double taxation?

A tax based on receipts is a tax on business

rather than on the property; hence, it is an
excise[121] rather than a property tax.[122] It is
not an income tax, unlike the FWT. In fact,
we have already held that one can be taxed
for engaging in business and further taxed

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

differently for the income derived therefrom.

Akin to our ruling in Velilla v. Posadas,
these two taxes are entirely distinct and
are assessed under different provisions.
Second, although both taxes are national in
scope because they are imposed by the same
taxing authority -- the national government
under the Tax Code -- and operate within the
same Philippine jurisdiction for the same
purpose of raising revenues, the taxing
periods they affect are different. The FWT is
deducted and withheld as soon as the
income is earned, and is paid after
every calendar quarter in which it is
earned. On the other hand, the GRT is
neither deducted nor withheld, but is paid
only after everytaxable quarter in which it is
Third, these two taxes are of different kinds
or characters. The FWT is an income tax
subject to withholding, while the GRT is a
percentage tax not subject to withholding.
In short, there is no double taxation, because
there is no taxing twice, by the same taxing
authority, within the same jurisdiction, for
the same purpose, in different taxing
periods, some of the property in the territory.


Subjecting interest income to a 20%

FWT and including it in the computation of
the 5% GRT is clearly not double taxation.
WHEREFORE, the Petition
is GRANTED. The assailed Decision and
Resolution of the Court of Appeals are
Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman), YnaresSantiago, Carpio, and Azcuna, JJ., concur.

Lung Center of the Philippines vs.

Quezon City [GR No. 144104 June 29,
Post under case digests, Taxation at Tuesday,
March 20, 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic
Facts: Lung Center of the Philippines is a
non-stock and non-profit entity established
by virtue of PD No. 1823. It is
the registeredowner of the land on which the
Lung Center of the Philippines Hospital is
erected. A big space in the ground floor of
the hospital is being leased to private parties,

for canteen and small store spaces, and to

medical or professional practitioners who
use the same as their private clinics. Also, a
big portion on the right side of the hospital
is being leased for commercial purposes to
a privateenterprise known as the Elliptical
Orchids and Garden Center.

When the City Assessor of Quezon City

assessed both its land and hospital building
for real property taxes, the Lung Center of
the Philippines filed a claim for exemption
on its averment that it is a charitable
institution with a minimum of 60% of its
hospital beds exclusively used for charity
patients and that the major thrust of its
hospital operation is to serve charity
patients. The claim for exemption was
denied, prompting a petition for the reversal
of the resolution of the
City Assessor with the Local Board
of AssessmentAppeals of Quezon City,
which denied the same. On appeal, the
Central Board of Assessment Appeals of
Quezon City affirmed the local boards
decision, finding that Lung Center of the
Philippines is not a charitable institution and
that its properties were not actually, directly

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

and exclusively used for charitable purposes.

Hence, the present petition for review with
averments that the Lung Center of the
Philippines is a charitable institution under
Section 28(3), Article VI of the Constitution,
notwithstanding that it accepts paying
patients and rents out portions of the
hospital building to private individuals and

Issue: Is the Lung Center of the Philippines

a charitable institution within the context of
the Constitution, and therefore, exempt from
real property tax?

Held: The Lung Center of the Philippines is

a charitable institution. To determine
whether an enterprise is a charitable
institution or not, the elements which should
be considered include the statute creating the
enterprise, its corporate purposes, its
constitution and by-laws, the methods of
administration, the nature of the actual work
performed, that character of the services
rendered, the indefiniteness of the
beneficiaries and the use and occupation of
the properties.

However, under the Constitution, in order to

be entitled to exemption from real property
tax, there must be clear and unequivocal
proof that (1) it is a charitable institution and
(2)its real properties are ACTUALLY,
charitable purposes. While portions of the
hospital are used for treatment of patients
and the dispensation of medical services to
them, whether paying or non-paying, other
portions thereof are being leased
toprivate individuals and enterprises.

Exclusive is defined as possessed and

enjoyed to the exclusion of others, debarred
from participation or enjoyment. If real
property is used for one or more commercial
purposes, it is not exclusively used for the
exempted purposes but is subject to

NAPOCOR vs. City of Cabanatuan

Post under case
digests, Taxation at Wednesday, February
08, 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic Mind

Facts: City of Cabanatuan filed a collection

suit against NAPOCOR, a governmentowned and controlled corporation
demanding that the latter pay the assessed
franchise tax due, plus surcharge and
interest. It alleged that NAPOCORs
exemption from local taxes has already been
withdrawn by the Local Government Code.
NAPOCOR submitted that it is not liable to
pay an annual franchise because the citys
taxing power is limited to private entities
that are engaged in trade or occupation for
profit, and that the NAPOCOR Charter,
being a valid exercise of police power,
should prevail over the LGC.
Issue: Whether NAPOCOR is liable to
pay annual franchise tax to the City of

Held: Yes. The power to tax is no longer

vested exclusively on Congress; local
legislative bodies are now given direct
authority to levy taxes, fees and other
charges. Although as a general rule, LGUs
cannot impose taxes, fees or charges of any
kind on the National Government,
its agencies and instrumentalities, this rule

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

now admits of an exception, i.e., when

specific provisions of the LGC authorize the
LGUs to impose taxes, fees or charges on
the aforementioned entities. Nothing
prevents Congress from decreeing that even
instrumentalities or agencies of the
government performing governmental
functions may be subject to tax.

National Power Corporation vs. City of


A franchise is a privilege conferred by

government authority, which does not
belong to citizens of the country generally as
a matter of common right. It may be
construed in two senses: the right vested in
the individuals composing the corporation
and the right and privileges conferred upon
the corporation. A franchise tax is
understood in the second sense; it is not
levied on the corporation simply for existing
as a corporation but on its exercise of the
rights or privileges granted to it by the
government. NAPOCOR is covered by the
franchise tax because it exercises a franchise
in the second sense and it is exercising its
rights or privileges under this franchise
within the territory of the City.

NAPOCOR, the petitioner, is a governmentowed and controlled corporation created

under Commonwealth Act 120. It is tasked
to undertake the development of
hydroelectric generations of power and the
production of electricity from nuclear,
geothermal, and other sources, as well as,
the transmission of electric power on a
nationwide basis.

GR. No. 149110

April 9, 2003


For many years now, NAPOCOR sells

electric power to the resident Cabanatuan
City, posting a gross income of
P107,814,187.96 in 1992. Pursuant to Sec.
37 of Ordinance No. 165-92, the respondent
assessed the petitioner a franchise tax
amounting to P808,606.41, representing
75% of 1% of the formers gross receipts for
the preceding year.

Petitioner, whose capital stock was

subscribed and wholly paid by the
Philippine Government, refused to pay the
tax assessment. It argued that the respondent
has no authority to impose tax on
government entities. Petitioner also contend
that as a non-profit organization, it is
exempted from the payment of all forms of
taxes, charges, duties or fees in accordance
with Sec. 13 of RA 6395, as amended.

The respondent filed a collection suit in the

RTC of Cabanatuan City, demanding that
petitioner pay the assessed tax, plus
surcharge equivalent to 25% of the amount
of tax and 2% monthly interest. Respondent
alleged that petitioners exemption from
local taxes has been repealed by Sec. 193 of
RA 7160 (Local Government Code). The
trial court issued an order dismissing the
case. On appeal, the Court of Appeals
reversed the decision of the RTC and
ordered the petitioner to pay the city
government the tax assessment.


Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

(1) Is the NAPOCOR excluded from the
coverage of the franchise tax simply because
its stocks are wholly owned by the National
Government and its charter characterized is
as a non-profit organization?

(2) Is the NAPOCORs exemption from all

forms of taxes repealed by the provisions of
the Local Government Code (LGC)?

(1) NO. To stress, a franchise tax is imposed
based not on the ownership but on the
exercise by the corporation of a privilege to
do business. The taxable entity is the
corporation which exercises the franchise,
and not the individual stockholders. By
virtue of its charter, petitioner was created as
a separate and distinct entity from the
National Government. It can sue and be sued
under its own name, and can exercise all the
powers of a corporation under the
Corporation Code.

To be sure, the ownership by the National

Government of its entire capital stock does
not necessarily imply that petitioner is no
engage din business.

such exemptions or privileges. No more

unequivocal language could have been used.
Bill of Rights
Due Process

(2) YES. One of the most significant

provisions of the LGC is the removal of the
blanket exclusion of instrumentalities and
agencies of the National Government from
the coverage of local taxation. Although as a
general rule, LGUs cannot impose taxes,
fees, or charges of any kind on the National
Government, its agencies and
instrumentalities, this rule now admits an
exception, i.e. when specific provisions of
the LGC authorize the LGUs to impose
taxes, fees, or charges on the
aforementioned entities. The legislative
purpose to withdraw tax privileges enjoyed
under existing laws or charter is clearly
manifested by the language used on Sec. 137
and 193 categorically withdrawing such
exemption subject only to the exceptions
enumerated. Since it would be tedious and
impractical to attempt to enumerate all the
existing statutes providing for special tax
exemptions or privileges, the LGC provided
for an express, albeit general, withdrawal of

Rubi vs Provincial Board of Mindoro

39 Phil. 660 Political Law Delegation of
Powers Liberty and due process
Rubi and various other Manguianes
(Mangyans) in the province of Mindoro
were ordered by the provincial governor of
Mindoro to remove their residence from
their native habitat and to established
themselves on a reservation in Tigbao, still
in the province of Mindoro, and to remain
there, or be punished by imprisonment if
they escaped. Manguianes had been ordered
to live in a reservation made to that end and
for purposes of cultivation under certain
plans. The Manguianes are a Non-Christian
tribe who were considered to be of very
low culture.
One of the Manguianes, a certain Dabalos,
escaped from the reservation but was later
caught and was placed in prison at Calapan,

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

solely because he escaped from the

reservation. An application for habeas
corpus was made on behalf by Rubi and
other Manguianes of the province, alleging
that by virtue of the resolution of the
provincial board of Mindoro creating the
reservation, they had been illegally deprived
of their liberty. In this case, the validity of
Section 2145 of the Administrative Code,
which provides:
With the prior approval of the Department
Head, the provincial governor of any
province in which non-Christian inhabitants
are found is authorized, when such a course
is deemed necessary in the interest of law
and order, to direct such inhabitants to take
up their habitation on sites on unoccupied
public lands to be selected by him and
approved by the provincial board.
was challenged.
ISSUE: Whether or not Section 2145 of the
Administrative Code constitutes undue
delegation. Whether or not the Manguianes
are being deprived of their liberty.

I. No. By a vote of five to four, the Supreme

Court sustained the constitutionality of this
section of the Administrative Code. Under
the doctrine of necessity, who else was in a
better position to determine whether or not
to execute the law but the provincial
governor. It is optional for the provincial
governor to execute the law as
circumstances may arise. It is necessary to
give discretion to the provincial
governor. The Legislature may make
decisions of executive departments of
subordinate official thereof, to whom it has
committed the execution of certain acts,
final on questions of fact.
II. No. Among other things, the term nonChristian should not be given a literal
meaning or a religious signification, but that
it was intended to relate to degrees of
civilization. The term non-Christian it was
said, refers not to religious belief, but in a
way to geographical area, and more directly
to natives of the Philippine Islands of a low
grade of civilization. In this case, the
Manguianes were being reconcentrated in
the reservation to promote peace and to
arrest their seminomadic lifestyle. This will
ultimately settle them down where they can
adapt to the changing times.

The Supreme Court held that the resolution

of the provincial board of Mindoro was
neither discriminatory nor class legislation,
and stated among other things: . . . one
cannot hold that the liberty of the citizen is
unduly interfered with when the degree of
civilization of the Manguianes is considered.
They are restrained for their own good and
the general good of the Philippines. Nor can
one say that due process of law has not been
followed. To go back to our definition of due
process of law and equal protection of the
laws, there exists a law; the law seems to be
reasonable; it is enforced according to the
regular methods of procedure prescribed;
and it applies alike to all of a class.

Ynot v IAC (1987) 148 SCRA 659

J. Cruz

Petitioner transported 6 caracbaos from
Masbate to Iloilo in 1984 and these wer
confiscated by the station commander in
Barotac, Iloilo for violating E.O. 626 A
which prohibits transportation of a carabao

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

or carabeef from one province to another.

Confiscation will be a result of this.
The petitioner sued for recovery, and the
Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City issued a
writ of replevin upon his filing of a
supersedeas bond of P12,000.00. After
considering the merits of the case, the court
sustained the confiscation of the carabaos
and, since they could no longer be produced,
ordered the confiscation of the bond. The
court also declined to rule on the
constitutionality of the executive order, as
raise by the petitioner, for lack of authority
and also for its presumed validity.
The same result was decided in the trial
In the Supreme Court, he then petitioned
against the constitutionality of the E.O. due
to the outright confiscation without giving
the owner the right to heard before an
impartial court as guaranteed by due
process. He also challenged the improper
exercise of legislative power by the former
president under Amendment 6 of the 1973
constitution wherein Marcos was
given emergency powers to issue letters of
instruction that had the force of law.

Issue: Is the E.O. constitutional?

Holding: The EO is unconstitutional.

Petition granted.

The lower courts are not prevented from
examining the constitutionality of a law.
Constitutional grant to the supreme court to
Justice Laurel's said, courts should not
follow the path of least resistance by simply
presuming the constitutionality of a law
when it is questioned. On the contrary, they
should probe the issue more deeply, to
relieve the abscess, and so heal the wound or
excise the affliction.
The challenged measure is denominated
an executive order but it is really
presidential decree, promulgating a new rule
instead of merely implementing an existing
law due to the grant of legislative authority

over the president under Amendment

number 6.
Provisions of the constitution should be cast
in precise language to avoid controvery. In
the due process clause, however, the
wording was ambiguous so it would remain
resilient. This was due to the avoidance of
an iron rule laying down a stiff command
for all circumstances. There was flexibility
to allow it to adapt to every situation with
varying degrees at protection for the
changing conditions.
Courts have also refrained to adopt a
standard definition for due processlest they
be confined to its interpretation like a
There must be requirements of notice and
hearing as a safeguard against arbitrariness.
There are exceptions such as conclusive
presumption which bars omission of
contrary evidence as long as such
presumption is based on human experience
or rational connection between facts proved
and fact presumed. An examplesis
a passport of a person with a criminal
offense cancelled without hearing.

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

The protection of the general welfare is the

particular function of police power which
both restrains and is restrained by dure
process. This power was invoked in 626-A,
in addition to 626 which prohibits slaughter
of carabos with an exception.

This was a clear encroachment on judicial

functions and against the separataion of

While 626-A has the same lawful subjectas

the original executive order, it cant be said
that it complies with the existence of a
lawful method. The transport prohibition
and the purpose sought has a gap.



Summary action may be taken in valid

admin proceedings as procedural due
process is not juridical only due to the
urgency needed to correct it.
There was no reason why the offense in the
E.O. would not have been proved in a court
of justice with the accused acquired the
rights in the constitution.
The challenged measure was an invalid
exercise of police power because the method
toconfiscate carabos was oppressive.
Due process was violated because the
owener was denied the right to be heard or
his defense and punished immediately.

The policeman wasnt liable for damages

since the law during that time was valid.


ORDER NO. 04-92 (PPA-AO NO. 04-92),







Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests





TAADA vs TUVERA Case Digest

Persons and Family Relation G.R. No. L63915 :

Facts: Invoking the people's right to be

informed on matters of public concern as
well as the principle that laws to be valid
and enforceable must be published in the
Official Gazette or otherwise effectively
promulgated, petitioners seek a writ of
mandamus to compel respondent public
officials to publish, and/or cause the
publication in the Official Gazette of various
presidential decrees, letters of instructions,
general orders, proclamations, executive
orders, letter of implementation and
administrative orders. The respondents,
through the Solicitor General, would have
this case dismissed outright on the ground
that petitioners have no legal personality or
standing to bring the instant
petition, absence of any showing that
petitioners are personally and directly
affected or prejudiced by the alleged nonpublication of the presidential issuances in
question said petitioners are without the

requisite legal personality to institute this

mandamus proceeding, they are not being
"aggrieved parties." Petitioners maintain that
since the subject of the petition concerns a
public right and its object is to compel the
performance of a public duty, they need not
show any specific interest for their petition
to be given due course. Respondents further
contend that publication in the Official
Gazette is not a sine qua non requirement for
the effectivity of laws where the laws
themselves provide for their own effectivity
dates. It is thus submitted that since the
presidential issuances in question contain
special provisions as to the date they are to
take effect, publication in the Official
Gazette is not indispensable for their

Issues: Whether the petitioners have legal

personality to bring the instant petition?

Whether publication is needed to

make the law effective?

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

Held: Clearly, the right sought to be

enforced by petitioners herein is a public
right recognized by no less than the
fundamental law of the land. Court has ruled
that publication in the Official Gazette is
necessary in those cases where the
legislation itself does not provide for its
effectivity date-for then the date of
publication is material for determining its
date of effectivity, which is the fifteenth day
following its publication-but not when the
law itself provides for the date when it goes
into effect. Considered in the light of other
statutes applicable to the issue at hand, the
conclusion is easily reached that said Article
2 does not preclude the requirement of
publication in the Official Gazette, even if
the law itself provides for the date of its
effectivity. Without such notice and
publication, there would be no basis for the
application of the maxim "ignorantia legis
non excusat." That duty must be enforced if
the Constitutional right of the people to be

informed on matters of public concern is to

be given substance and reality. The law itself
makes a list of what should be published in
the Official Gazette. The publication of all
presidential issuances "of a public nature" or
"of general applicability" is mandated by
law. Obviously, presidential decrees that
provide for fines, forfeitures or penalties for
their violation or otherwise impose a burden
or. the people, such as tax and revenue
measures, fall within this category. Other
presidential issuances which apply only to
particular persons or class of persons such as
administrative and executive orders need not
be published on the assumption that they
have been circularized to all concerned.


146 SCRA 446 (December 29, 1986)
This is a motion for reconsideration of the
decision promulgated on April 24, 1985.
Respondent argued that while publication
was necessary as a rule, it was not so when
it was otherwise as when the decrees

themselves declared that they were to

become effective immediately upon their
1. Whether or not a distinction be made
between laws of general applicability and
laws which are not as to their publication;
2. Whether or not a publication shall be
made in publications of general circulation.
The clause unless it is otherwise provided
refers to the date of effectivity and not to the
requirement of publication itself, which
cannot in any event be omitted. This clause
does not mean that the legislature may make
the law effective immediately upon
approval, or in any other date, without its
previous publication.
Laws should refer to all laws and not only
to those of general application, for strictly
speaking, all laws relate to the people in
general albeit there are some that do not
apply to them directly. A law without any
bearing on the public would be invalid as an

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

intrusion of privacy or as class legislation or

as an ultra vires act of the legislature. To be
valid, the law must invariably affect the
public interest eve if it might be directly
applicable only to one individual, or some of
the people only, and not to the public as a

Publication must be in full or it is no

publication at all, since its purpose is to
inform the public of the content of the law.

Rufino Nuez vs Sandiganbayan & the

People of the Philippines

PD1486, as amended, is violative of the due

process, equal protection, and ex post facto
clauses of the Constitution. He claims that
the Sandiganbayan proceedings violates
Nuezs right to equal protection, because
appeal as a matter of right became
minimized into a mere matter of discretion;
appeal likewise was shrunk and limited
only to questions of law, excluding a review
of the facts and trial evidence; and there is
only one chance to appeal conviction, by
certiorari to the SC, instead of the traditional
two chances; while all other estafa indictees
are entitled to appeal as a matter of right
covering both law and facts and to two
appellate courts, i.e., first to the CA and
thereafter to the SC.

Article 2 of the Civil Code provides that

publication of laws must be made in the
Official Gazette, and not elsewhere, as a
requirement for their effectivity. The
Supreme Court is not called upon to rule
upon the wisdom of a law or to repeal or
modify it if it finds it impractical.

Equal Protection Creation of the


ISSUE: Whether or not the creation of

Sandiganbayan violates equal protection
insofar as appeals would be concerned.

Nuez assails the validity of the PD 1486

creating the Sandiganbayan as amended by
PD 1606. He was accused before the
Sandiganbayan of estafa through
falsification of public and commercial
documents committed in connivance with
his other co-accused, all public officials, in
several cases. It is the claim of Nuez that

HELD: The SC ruled against Nuez. The

1973 Constitution had provided for the
creation of a special court that shall have
original jurisdiction over cases involving
public officials charged with graft and
corruption. The constitution specifically
makes mention of the creation of a special
court, the Sandiganbayan, precisely in

All statutes, including those of local

application and private laws, shall be
published as a condition for their effectivity,
which shall begin 15 days after publication
unless a different effectivity date is fixed by
the legislature.

The publication must be made forthwith, or

at least as soon as possible.

J. Cruz:
Laws must come out in the open in the clear
light of the sun instead of skulking in the
shadows with their dark, deep secrets.
Mysterious pronouncements and rumored
rules cannot be recognized as binding unless
their existence and contents are confirmed
by a valid publication intended to make full
disclosure and give proper notice to the
people. The furtive law is like a scabbarded
saber that cannot faint, parry or cut unless
the naked blade is drawn.


Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

response to a problem, the urgency of which

cannot be denied, namely, dishonesty in the
public service. It follows that those who may
thereafter be tried by such court ought to
have been aware as far back as January 17,
1973, when the present Constitution came
into force, that a different procedure for the
accused therein, whether a private citizen as
petitioner is or a public official, is not
necessarily offensive to the equal protection
clause of the Constitution. Further, the
classification therein set forth met the
standard requiring that it must be based on
substantial distinctions which make real
differences; it must be germane to the
purposes of the law; it must not be limited to
existing conditions only, and must apply
equally to each member of the class.
Further still, decisions in the Sandiganbayan
are reached by a unanimous decision from 3
justices a showing that decisions therein
are more conceivably carefully reached than
other trial courts.

Justice Makasiar (concurring &


Persons who are charged with estafa or

malversation of funds not belonging to the
government or any of its instrumentalities or
agencies are guaranteed the right to appeal
to two appellate courts first, to the CA,
and thereafter to the SC. Estafa and
malversation of private funds are on the
same category as graft and corruption
committed by public officers, who, under
the decree creating the Sandiganbayan, are
only allowed one appeal to the SC (par. 3,
Sec. 7, P.D. No. 1606). The fact that the
Sandiganbayan is a collegiate trial court
does not generate any substantial distinction
to validate this invidious discrimination.
Three judges sitting on the same case does
not ensure a quality of justice better than
that meted out by a trial court presided by
one judge. The ultimate decisive factors are
the intellectual competence, industry and
integrity of the trial judge. But a review by
two appellate tribunals of the same case
certainly ensures better justice to the
accused and to the people.

of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion,

and not questions of fact nor findings or
conclusions of the trial court. In other
criminal cases involving offenses not as
serious as graft and corruption, all questions
of fact and of law are reviewed, first by the
CA, and then by the SC. To repeat, there is
greater guarantee of justice in criminal cases
when the trial courts judgment is subject to
review by two appellate tribunals, which can
appraise the evidence and the law with
greater objectivity, detachment and
impartiality unaffected as they are by views
and prejudices that may be engendered
during the trial.

Then again, par 3 of Sec 7 of PD 1606, by

providing that the decisions of the
Sandiganbayan can only be reviewed by the
SC through certiorari, likewise limits the
reviewing power of the SC only to question

Ang Tibay vs Court of Industrial


Limiting the power of review by the SC of

convictions by the Sandiganbayan only to
issues of jurisdiction or grave abuse of
discretion, likewise violates the
constitutional presumption of innocence of
the accused, which presumption can only be
overcome by proof beyond reasonable doubt
(Sec. 19, Art. IV, 1973 Constitution).

Remedial Law Civil Procedure Motion

For New Trial; Grounds

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

Teodoro Toribio owns and operates Ang

Tibay, a leather company which supplies the
Philippine Army. Due to alleged shortage of
leather, Toribio caused the lay off of a
number of his employees. However, the
National Labor Union, Inc. (NLU)
questioned the validity of said lay off as it
averred that the said employees laid off were
members of NLU while no members of the
rival labor union (National Workers
Brotherhood) were laid off. NLU claims that
NWB is a company dominated union and
Toribio was merely busting NLU.

inaccessible to them at the time of the trial

that even with the exercise of due diligence
they could not be expected to have obtained
them and offered as evidence in the Court of
Industrial Relations. Further, the attached
documents and exhibits are of such farreaching importance and effect that their
admission would necessarily mean the
modification and reversal of the judgment
rendered (said newly obtained records
include books of business/inventory
accounts by Ang Tibay which were not
previously accessible but already existing).

The case reached the Court of Industrial

Relations (CIR) where Toribio and NWB
won. Eventually, NLU went to the Supreme
Court invoking its right for a new trial on
the ground of newly discovered evidence.
The Supreme Court agreed with NLU. The
Solicitor General, arguing for the CIR, filed
a motion for reconsideration.

The SC also outlined that administrative

bodies, like the CIR, although not strictly
bound by the Rules of Court must also make
sure that they comply to the requirements of
due process. For administrative bodies, due
process can be complied with by observing
the following:

ISSUE: Whether or not the National Labor

Union, Inc. is entitled to a new trial.
HELD: Yes. The records show that the
newly discovered evidence or documents
obtained by NLU, which they attached to
their petition with the SC, were evidence so

(1) The right to a hearing which includes

the right of the party interested or
affected to present his own case and submit
evidence in support thereof.
(2) Not only must the party be given an
opportunity to present his case and to
adduce evidence tending to establish the

rights which he asserts but the tribunal must

consider the evidence presented.
(3) While the duty to deliberate does not
impose the obligation to decide right, it does
imply a necessity which cannot be
disregarded, namely, that of having
something to support its decision. A decision
with absolutely nothing to support it is a
nullity, a place when directly attached.
(4) Not only must there be some evidence
to support a finding or conclusion but the
evidence must be substantial. Substantial
evidence is more than a mere scintilla It
means such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion.
(5) The decision must be rendered on the
evidence presented at the hearing, or at least
contained in the record and disclosed to the
parties affected.
(6) The administrative body or any of its
judges, therefore, must act on its or his own
independent consideration of the law and
facts of the controversy, and not simply
accept the views of a subordinate in arriving
at a decision.

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

(7) The administrative body should, in all

controversial questions, render its decision
in such a manner that the parties to the
proceeding can know the various issues
involved, and the reasons for the decisions
rendered. The performance of this duty is
inseparable from the authority conferred
upon it.
Pollution Adjudication Board vs. CA et al.
G.R. No. 93891, 11 March 1991
Third Division, Feliciano (J), 4 concur
FACTS: Respondent, Solar Textile
Finishing Corporation was involved in
bleaching, rinsing and dyeing textiles with
wastewater being directly discharged into a
canal leading to the adjacent TullahanTinerejos River. Petitioner Board, an agency
of the Government charged with the task of
determining whether the effluents of a
particular industrial establishment comply
with or violate applicable anti-pollution
statutory and regulatory provisions, have
been remarkably forbearing in its efforts to
enforce the applicable standards vis-a-vis
Solar. Solar, on the other hand, seemed very
casual about its continued discharge of
untreated, pollutive effluents into the river.

Petitioner Board issued an ex parte Order

directing Solar immediately to cease and
desist from utilizing its wastewater pollution
source installations. Solar, however, with
preliminary injunction against the Board,
went to the Regional Trial Court on petition
for certiorari, but it was dismissed upon two
(2) grounds, i.e., that appeal and not
certiorari from the questioned Order of the
Board as well as the Writ of Execution was
the proper remedy, and that the Board's
subsequent Order allowing Solar to operate
temporarily had rendered Solar's petition
moot and academic. Dissatisfied, Solar went
on appeal to the Court of Appeals, which
reversed the Order of dismissal of the trial
court and remanded the case to that court for
further proceedings. In addition, the Court of
Appeals declared the Writ of Execution null
and void. At the same time, the CA said that
certiorari was a proper remedy since the
Orders of petitioner Board may result in
great and irreparable injury to Solar; and
that while the case might be moot and
academic, "larger issues" demanded that the
question of due process be settled. Petitioner
Board moved for reconsideration, without

Arguing that that the ex parte Order and the

Writ of Execution were issued in accordance
with law and were not violative of the
requirements of due process; and the ex
parte Order and the Writ of Execution are
not the proper subjects of a petition for
certiorari, Oscar A. Pascua and Charemon
Clio L. Borre for petitioner asked the
Supreme Court to review the Decision and
Resolution promulgated by the Court of
Appeals entitled "Solar Textile Finishing
Corporation v. Pollution Adjudication
Board," which reversed an order of the
Regional Trial Court. In addition, petitioner
Board claims that under P.D. No. 984,
Section 7(a), it has legal authority to issue
ex parte orders to suspend the operations of
an establishment when there is prima facie
evidence that such establishment is
discharging effluents or wastewater, the
pollution level of which exceeds the
maximum permissible standards set by the
NPCC (now, the Board). Petitioner Board
contends that the reports before it
concerning the effluent discharges of Solar
into the River provided prima facie evidence
of violation by Solar of Section 5 of the
1982 Effluent Code. Solar, on the other

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hand, contends that under the Board's own

rules and regulations, an ex parte order may
issue only if the effluents discharged pose an
"immediate threat to life, public health,
safety or welfare, or to animal and plant
life." In the instant case, according to Solar,
the inspection reports before the Board made
no finding that Solar's wastewater
discharged posed such a threat.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of
Appeals erred in reversing the trial court on
the ground that Solar had been denied due
process by the Board.
HELD: The Court found that the Order and
Writ of Execution were entirely within the
lawful authority of petitioner Board. Ex
parte cease and desist orders are permitted
by law and regulations in situations like
here. The relevant pollution control statute
and implementing regulations were enacted
and promulgated in the exercise of that
pervasive, sovereign power to protect the
safety, health, and general welfare and
comfort of the public, as well as the
protection of plant and animal life,
commonly designated as the police power. It
is a constitutional commonplace that the

ordinary requirements of procedural due

process yield to the necessities of protecting
vital public interests like those here
involved, through the exercise of police
power. Hence, the trial court did not err
when it dismissed Solar's petition for
certiorari. It follows that the proper remedy
was an appeal from the trial court to the
Court of Appeals, as Solar did in fact appeal.
The Court gave due course on the Petition
for Review and the Decision of the Court of
Appeals and its Resolution were set aside.
The Order of petitioner Board and the Writ
of Execution, as well as the decision of the
trial court were reinstated, without prejudice
to the right of Solar to contest the
correctness of the basis of the Board's Order
and Writ of Execution at a public hearing
before the Board.
Non v. Dames
[GR 89317, 20 May 1990]Facts:
Ariel Non, Rex Magana, Alvin Agura,
Normandy Occiano, Jorge Dayaon, Lourdes
Banares, Bartolome Ibasco,Emmanuel
Barba, Sonny Moreno. Giovani Palma,
Joselito Villalon, Luis Santos and Daniel
Torres, students in Mabini Colleges, Inc. in

Daet, Camarines Norte, were not allowed to

re-enroll by the school for the academic
year1988-1989 for leading or participating
in student mass actions against the school in
the preceding semester. They thusfiled a
petition in the Regional Trial Court of Daet
(Branch 38) seeking their readmission or reenrollment to theschool, but the trial court
dismissed the petition in an order dated 8
August 1988. A motion for reconsideration
wasfiled, but this was denied by the trial
court on 24 February 1989; stating that they
waived-their privilege to be admitted for reenrollment with respondent college when
they adopted, signed, and used its
enrollment form for the first semester of
school year 1988-89. In addition, for the
same semester, they duly signed pledges "to
abide and comply with all the rules and
regulations laid down by competent
authorities in the College Department or
School in which Iam enrolled." Hence, the
affected students filed the petition for
certiorari with prayer for preliminary
mandatory injunction before the Supreme


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Whether the school excludes students
because of failing grades when the cause for
the action taken against them relates to
possible breaches of discipline.
The contract between the school and the
student is not an ordinary contract. It is
imbued with public interest, considering the
high priority given by the Constitution to
education and the grant to the State of
supervisory and regulatory powers over all
educational institutions. The authority for
schools to refuse enrollment to a student on
the ground that his contract, which has a
term of one semester, has already expired,
cannot be justified. Still, institutions'
discretion on the admission and enrollment
of students as a major component of the
academic freedom guaranteed to institutions
of higher learning. The right of an institution
of higher learning to set academic standards,
however, cannot be utilized to discriminate
against students who exercise their
constitutional rights to speech and assembly,
forotherwise there will be a violation of their

right to equal protection. Thus, an institution

of learning has a contractual obligation to
afford its students a fair opportunity to
complete the course they seek to pursue.
However, when a student commits a serious
breach of discipline or fails to maintain the
required academic standard, he forfeits his
contractual right; and the court should not
review the discretion of university
authorities. Excluding students becauseof
failing grades when the cause for the action
taken against them undeniably related to
possible breaches of discipline not only is a
denial of due process but also constitutes a
violation of the basic tenets of fair play.
Further, the failures in one or two subjects
by some cannot be considered marked
academic deficiency. Neither can the
academic deficiency be gauged from the
academic standards of the school due to
insufficiency of information. Herein, the
students could have been subjected
to disciplinary proceedings in connection
with the mass actions, but the penalty that
could have been imposed must be
commensurate to the offense committed and
it must be imposed only after the
requirements of procedural due process have
been complied with (Paragraph 145, Manual

of Regulations for Private Schools). But this

matter of disciplinary proceedings and the
imposition of administrative sanctions have
become moot and academic; as the students
have been refused readmission or reenrollment and have been effectively
excluded from for 4 semesters, have already
been more than sufficiently penalized
for any breach of discipline they might have
committed when they led and participated in
the mass actions that resulted in the
disruption of classes. To still subject them to
disciplinary proceedings would serve no
useful purpose and would only further
aggravate the strained relations between the
students and the officials of the school
which necessarily resulted from the heated
legal battle.
Equal Protection
Central Bank Employees Association v.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
GR No 148208
Puno, J.
RA 7653 otherwise known as the New
Central Bank Act took effect July 3 1993,
effectively replacing the earlier Central

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Bank of the Philippines (established 1949)

by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. On June
8 2001, petitioner Central Bank (now BSP)
Employees Association Inc. filed a petition
against the Executive Secretary of the Office
of the President to restrain BSP from
implementing the last proviso in Section 15
(i), Article II of RA 7653 which pertains to
establishment of a Human resource
management system and a compensation
structure as part of the authority of the
Monetary Board. Employees whose
positions fall under SG 19 and below shall
be in accordance with the rates in the salary
standardization act. Petitioner contends that
the classifications is not reasonable,
arbitrary and violates the equal protection
clause. The said proviso has been prejudicial
to some 2994 rank- and file BSP
employees. Respondent on the other hand
contends that the provision does not violate
the equal protection clause, provided that it
is construed together with other provisions
of the same law such as the fiscal and
administrative autonomy of the Bangko
Sentral and the mandate of its monetary
board. The Solicitor General, as counsel of
the Executive Secretary defends the
provision, that the classification of
employees is based on real and actual
differentiation and it adheres to the policy of
RA 7653 to establish professionalism and
excellence within the BSP subject to

prevailing laws and policies of the

Issue: Whether or not the contended proviso
if RA 7653 violates the equal protection of
laws, hence unconstitutional.
Held: Yes the proviso is unconstitutional as
it operate on the salary grade or the officer
employee status, it distinguishes between
economic class and status with the higher
salary grade recipients are of greater benefit
above the law than those of mandated by the
Salary Standardization Act. Officers of the
BSP receive higher wages that those of rankand-file employees because the former are
not covered by the salary standardization act
as provided by the proviso.
G.R. No. 105371 November 11, 1993
The Philippine Judges Association, etc.,
vs Hon. Pete Prado, etc., respondents
Ponente: Cruz
The petitioners are members of the mower
courts who feel that their official functions
as judges will be prejudiced by the Section
35 of RA No. 7354 through Circular No. 9298 withdrawing the franking privilege from
the SC, CA, RTC, MTCs and Land

Registration of Deeds and other government

Petitioners assails the constitutionality of
RA No. 7354 on the grounds: (1) its title
embraces more than one subject and does
not express its purposes; (2) it did not pass
the required readings in both Houses of
Congress and printed copies of the bill in its
final form were not distributed among the
members before its passage; and (3) it is
discriminatory and encroaches on the
independence of the Judiciary.
Issue: the independence of the Judiciary.
(1) We are convinced that the withdrawal of
the franking privilege from some agencies is
germane to the accomplishment of the
principal objective of R.A. No. 7354, which
is the creation of a more efficient and
effective postal service system. Our ruling is
that, by virtue of its nature as a repealing
clause, Section 35 did not have to be
expressly included in the title of the said
(2) Applying these principles, we shall
decline to look into the petitioners' charges
that an amendment was made upon the last
reading of the bill that eventually became
R.A. No. 7354 and that copies thereof in its
final form were not distributed among the

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members of each House. Both the enrolled

bill and the legislative journals certify that
the measure was duly enacted i.e., in
accordance with Article VI, Sec. 26(2) of the
Constitution. We are bound by such official
assurances from a coordinate department of
the government, to which we owe, at the
very least, a becoming courtesy.
(3) The respondents counter that there is no
discrimination because the law is based on a
valid classification in accordance with the
equal protection clause. In fact, the franking
privilege has been withdrawn not only from
the Judiciary but also the Office of Adult
Education, the Institute of National
Language; the Telecommunications Office;
(4) We are unable to agree with the
respondents that Section 35 of R.A. No.
7354 represents a valid exercise of
discretion by the Legislature under the
police power. On the contrary, we find its
repealing clause to be a discriminatory
provision that denies the Judiciary the equal
protection of the laws guaranteed for all
persons or things similarly situated. The
distinction made by the law is superficial. It
is not based on substantial distinctions that
make real differences between the Judiciary
and the grantees of the franking privilege.

It is unconstitutional.

Ichong vs Hernandez
The Legislature passed R.A. 1180 (An Act
to Regulate the Retail Business). Its purpose
was to prevent persons who are not citizens
of the Phil. from having a stranglehold upon
the peoples economic life.
a prohibition against aliens and
against associations, partnerships, or
corporations the capital of which are
not wholly owned by Filipinos, from
engaging directly or indirectly in the
retail trade
aliens actually engaged in the retail
business on May 15, 1954 are
allowed to continue their business,
unless their licenses are forfeited in
accordance with law, until their death
or voluntary retirement. In case of
juridical persons, ten years after the
approval of the Act or until the
expiration of term.
Citizens and juridical entities of the United
States were exempted from this Act.
provision for the forfeiture of
licenses to engage in the retail
business for violation of the laws on
nationalization, economic control

weights and measures and labor and

other laws relating to trade,
commerce and industry.
provision against the establishment
or opening by aliens actually
engaged in the retail business of
additional stores or branches of retail
Lao Ichong, in his own behalf and behalf of
other alien residents, corporations and
partnerships affected by the Act, filed an
action to declare it unconstitutional for the
ff: reasons:
1. it denies to alien residents the equal
protection of the laws and deprives
them of their liberty and property
without due process
2. the subject of the Act is not
expressed in the title
3. the Act violates international and
treaty obligations
4. the provisions of the Act against the
transmission by aliens of their retail
business thru hereditary succession
ISSUE: WON the Act deprives the aliens of
the equal protection of the laws.
HELD: The law is a valid exercise of police
power and it does not deny the aliens the
equal protection of the laws. There are real
and actual, positive and fundamental
differences between an alien and a citizen,
which fully justify the legislative
classification adopted.

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

The equal protection clause does not
demand absolute equality among residents.
It merely requires that all persons shall be
treated alike, under like circumstances and
conditions both as to privileges conferred
and liabilities enforced.
The classification is actual, real and
reasonable, and all persons of one class are
treated alike.
The difference in status between citizens and
aliens constitutes a basis for reasonable
classification in the exercise of police
Official statistics point out to the everincreasing dominance and control by alien
of the retail trade. It is this domination and
control that is the legislatures target in the
enactment of the Act.
The mere fact of alienage is the root cause
of the distinction between the alien and the
national as a trader. The alien is naturally
lacking in that spirit of loyalty and
enthusiasm for the Phil. where he
temporarily stays and makes his living. The
alien owes no allegiance or loyalty to the
State, and the State cannot rely on him/her
in times of crisis or emergency.

While the citizen holds his life, his person

and his property subject to the needs of the
country, the alien may become the potential
enemy of the State.
The alien retailer has shown such utter
disregard for his customers and the people
on whom he makes his profit. Through the
illegitimate use of pernicious designs and
practices, the alien now enjoys a
monopolistic control on the nations
economy endangering the national security
in times of crisis and emergency.
Benjamin Victoriano vs Elizalde Rope
Workers Union
FACTS: Benjamin Victoriano, an Iglesia ni
Cristo (INC) member, has been an employee
of the Elizalde Rope Factory (ERF) since
1958. He was also a member of the EPWU
(Elizalde Rope Workers Union). Under the
collective bargaining agreement (CBA)
between ERF and EPWU, a close shop
agreement is being enforced which means
that employment in the factory relies on the
membership in the EPWU; that in order to
retain employment in the said factory one
must be a member of the said Union. In
1962, Victoriano tendered his resignation
from EPWU claiming that as per RA 3350
he is an exemption to the close shop
agreement by virtue of his being a member
of the INC because apparently in the INC,

one is forbidden from being a member of

any labor union. It was only in 1974 that his
resignation from the Union was acted upon
by EPWU which notified ERF about it. ERF
then moved to terminate Victoriano due to
his non-membership from the EPWU.
EPWU and ERF reiterated that he is not
exempt from the close shop agreement
because RA 3350, which provides that close
shop agreements shall not cover members of
any religious sects which prohibit affiliation
of their members in any such labor
organization, is unconstitutional and that
said law violates the EPWUs and ERFs
legal/contractual rights.
ISSUE: Whether or not RA 3350 is
HELD: No. The right to religion prevails
over contractual or legal rights. As such, an
INC member may refuse to join a labor
union and despite the fact that there is a
close shop agreement in the factory where
he was employed, his employment could not
be validly terminated for his nonmembership in the majority therein. Further,
the right to join a union includes the right
not to join a union. The law is not
unconstitutional. It recognizes both the
rights of unions and employers to enforce
terms of contracts and at the same time it
recognizes the workers right to join or not
to join union. RA 3550 recognizes as well

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

the primacy of a constitutional right over a

contractual right.
Patricio Dumlao vs Commission on
FACTS: Patricio Dumlao was the former
governor of Nueva Vizcaya. He has already
retired from his office and he has been
receiving retirement benefits therefrom.
In 1980, he filed for reelection to the same
office. Meanwhile, Batas Pambansa Blg. 52
was enacted. This law provides, among
others, that retirees from public office like
Dumlao are disqualified to run for office.
Dumlao assailed the law averring that it is
class legislation hence unconstitutional. In
general, Dumlao invoked equal protection in
the eye of the law.
His petition was joined by Atty. Romeo Igot
and Alfredo Salapantan, Jr. These two
however have different issues. The suits of
Igot and Salapantan are more of a taxpayers
suit assailing the other provisions of BP 52
regarding the term of office of the elected
officials, the length of the campaign, and the

provision which bars persons charged for

crimes from running for public office as
well as the provision that provides that the
mere filing of complaints against them after
preliminary investigation would already
disqualify them from office.

The SC ruled however that the provision

barring persons charged for crimes may not
run for public office and that the filing of
complaints against them and after
preliminary investigation would already
disqualify them from office as null and void.

ISSUE: Whether or not Dumlao, Igot, and

Salapantan have a cause of action.

The assertion that BP 52 is contrary to the

safeguard of equal protection is neither well
taken. The constitutional guarantee of equal
protection of the laws is subject to rational
classification. If the groupings are based on
reasonable and real differentiations, one
class can be treated and regulated differently
from another class. For purposes of public
service, employees 65 years of age, have
been validly classified differently from
younger employees. Employees attaining
that age are subject to compulsory
retirement, while those of younger ages are
not so compulsorily retirable.

HELD: No. The SC pointed out the

procedural lapses of this case for this case
should have never been merged. Dumlaos
issue is different from Igots. They have
separate issues. Further, this case does not
meet all the requisites so that itd be eligible
for judicial review. There are standards that
have to be followed in the exercise of the
function of judicial review, namely: (1) the
existence of an appropriate case; (2) an
interest personal and substantial by the party
raising the constitutional question; (3) the
plea that the function be exercised at the
earliest opportunity; and (4) the necessity
that the constitutional question be passed
upon in order to decide the case.
In this case, only the 3rd requisite was met.

In respect of election to provincial, city, or

municipal positions, to require that
candidates should not be more than 65 years
of age at the time they assume office, if
applicable to everyone, might or might not
be a reasonable classification although, as

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

the Solicitor General has intimated, a good

policy of the law should be to promote the
emergence of younger blood in our political
elective echelons. On the other hand, it
might be that persons more than 65 years old
may also be good elective local officials.
Retirement from government service may or
may not be a reasonable disqualification for
elective local officials. For one thing, there
can also be retirees from government service
at ages, say below 65. It may neither be
reasonable to disqualify retirees, aged 65,
for a 65-year old retiree could be a good
local official just like one, aged 65, who is
not a retiree.
But, in the case of a 65-year old elective
local official (Dumalo), who has retired
from a provincial, city or municipal office,
there is reason to disqualify him from
running for the same office from which he
had retired, as provided for in the challenged


Petitioner is a national organization which
represents the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and
trans-genders. It filed a petition for
accreditation as a party-list organization to
public respondent. However, due to moral
grounds, the latter denied the said petition.
To buttress their denial, COMELEC cited
certain biblical and quranic passages in their
decision. It also stated that since their ways
are immoral and contrary to public policy,
they are considered nuissance. In fact, their
acts are even punishable under the Revised
Penal Code in its Article 201.
A motion for reconsideration being denied,
Petitioner filed this instant Petition on
Certiorari under Rule 65 of the ROC.
Ang Ladlad argued that the denial of
accreditation, insofar as it justified the
exclusion by using religious dogma, violated
the constitutional guarantees against the
establishment of religion. Petitioner also
claimed that the Assailed Resolutions
contravened its constitutional rights to
privacy, freedom of speech and assembly,
and equal protection of laws, as well as
constituted violations of the Philippines

international obligations against

discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In its Comment, the COMELEC reiterated
that petitioner does not have a concrete and
genuine national political agenda to benefit
the nation and that the petition was validly
dismissed on moral grounds. It also argued
for the first time that the LGBT sector is not
among the sectors enumerated by the
Constitution and RA 7941, and that
petitioner made untruthful statements in its
petition when it alleged its national
existence contrary to actual verification
reports by COMELECs field personnel.
WON Respondent violated the Nonestablishment clause of the Constitution;
WON Respondent erred in denying
Petitioners application on moral and legal
Respondent mistakenly opines that our
ruling in Ang Bagong Bayani stands for the
proposition that only those sectors
specifically enumerated in the law or related
to said sectors (labor, peasant, fisherfolk,
urban poor, indigenous cultural

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

communities, elderly, handicapped, women,

youth, veterans, overseas workers, and
professionals) may be registered under the
party-list system. As we explicitly ruled in
Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v.
Commission on Elections, the enumeration
of marginalized and under-represented
sectors is not exclusive. The crucial
element is not whether a sector is
specifically enumerated, but whether a
particular organization complies with the
requirements of the Constitution and RA
Our Constitution provides in Article III,
Section 5 that [n]o law shall be made
respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof. At
bottom, what our non-establishment clause
calls for is government neutrality in
religious matters. Clearly, governmental
reliance on religious justification is
inconsistent with this policy of neutrality.
We thus find that it was grave violation of
the non-establishment clause for the
COMELEC to utilize the Bible and the
Koran to justify the exclusion of Ang
Ladlad. Be it noted that government action
must have a secular purpose.

Respondent has failed to explain what

societal ills are sought to be prevented, or
why special protection is required for the
youth. Neither has the COMELEC
condescended to justify its position that
petitioners admission into the party-list
system would be so harmful as to
irreparably damage the moral fabric of
We also find the COMELECs reference to
purported violations of our penal and civil
laws flimsy, at best; disingenuous, at worst.
Article 694 of the Civil Code defines a
nuisance as any act, omission,
establishment, condition of property, or
anything else which shocks, defies, or
disregards decency or morality, the
remedies for which are a prosecution under
the Revised Penal Code or any local
ordinance, a civil action, or abatement
without judicial proceedings. A violation of
Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code, on
the other hand, requires proof beyond
reasonable doubt to support a criminal
conviction. It hardly needs to be emphasized
that mere allegation of violation of laws is
not proof, and a mere blanket invocation of
public morals cannot replace the institution
of civil or criminal proceedings and a

judicial determination of liability or

As such, we hold that moral disapproval,
without more, is not a sufficient
governmental interest to justify exclusion of
homosexuals from participation in the partylist system. The denial of Ang Ladlads
registration on purely moral grounds
amounts more to a statement of dislike and
disapproval of homosexuals, rather than a
tool to further any substantial public interest.

Tatad v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No.

124360, November 5, 1997

(En Banc)





Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

Petitioners assailed 5(b) and 15 of R.A.

No. 8180, the Downstream Oil Industry
Deregulation Act of 1996.

5(b) of the law provided that tariff duty

shall be imposed . . . on imported crude oil
at the rate of three percent (3%) and
imported refined petroleum products at the
rate of seven percent (7%) . . . On the other
hand, 15 provided that [t]he DOE shall,
upon approval of the President, implement
the full deregulation of the downstream oil
industry not later than March 1997. As far
as practicable, the DOE shall time the full
deregulation when the prices of crude oil
and petroleum products in the world market
are declining and when the exchange rate of
the peso in relation to the US dollar
is stable . . .

Petitioners argued that 5(b) on tariff

differential violates the provision of the
Constitution requiring every law to have
only one subject which should be expressed
in its title.

They also contended that the phrases as far

as practicable, decline of crude oil prices
in the world market and stability of the
peso exchange rate to the US dollar are
ambivalent, unclear and inconcrete since
they do not provide determinate or
determinable standards that can guide the
President in his decision to fully deregulate
the downstream oil industry.

Petitioners also assailed the Presidents E.O.

No. 392, which proclaimed the full
deregulation of the downstream oil industry
in February 1997. They argued that the
Executive misapplied R.A. No. 8180 when it
considered the depletion of the OPSF fund
as a factor in the implementation of full

Finally, they asserted that the

law violated 19, Article XII of the
Constitution prohibiting monopolies,
combinations in restraint of trade and unfair


1. Did 5(b) violate the one title-one

subject requirement of the Constitution?
2. Did 15 violate the constitutional
prohibition on undue delegation of power?
3. Was E.O. No. 392 arbitrary and
4. Did R.A. No. 8180 violate 19, Article
XII of the Constitution prohibiting
monopolies, combinations in restraint of
trade and unfair competition?


[The Court GRANTED the petition.

It DECLARED R.A. No. 8180
unconstitutional and E.O. No. 372 void.]

1. NO, 5(b) DID NOT violate the one

title-one subject requirement of the


Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

As a policy, this Court has adopted a liberal

construction of the one title-one subject
rule. [T]he title need not mirror, fully index
or catalogue all contents and minute details
of a law. A law having a single general
subject indicated in the title may contain any
number of provisions, no matter how diverse
they may be, so long as they are not
inconsistent with or foreign to the general
subject, and may be considered in
furtherance of such subject by providing for
the method and means of carrying out the
general subject. [S]ection 5(b) providing for
tariff differential is germane to the subject of
R.A. No. 8180 which is the deregulation of
the downstream oil industry. The section is
supposed to sway prospective investors to
put up refineries in our country and make
them rely less on imported petroleum.

2. NO, 15 DID NOT violate the

constitutional prohibition on undue
delegation of power.

of the power to make law itself. We

delineated the metes and bounds of these
tests in Eastern Shipping Lines,
Inc. VS. POEA, thus:
There are two accepted tests to determine
whether or not there is a valid delegation of
legislative power, viz: the completeness test
and the sufficient standard test. Under the
first test, the law must be complete in all its
terms and conditions when it leaves the
legislative such that when it reaches the
delegate the only thing he will have to do is
to enforce it. Under the sufficient standard
test, there must be adequate guidelines or
limitations in the law to map out the
boundaries of the delegate's authority and
prevent the delegation from running riot.
Both tests are intended to prevent a total
transference of legislative authority to the
delegate, who is not allowed to step into the
shoes of the legislature and exercise a power
essentially legislative.

Two tests have been developed to determine
whether the delegation of the power to
execute laws does not involve the abdication



Section 15 can hurdle both the completeness

test and the sufficient standard test. It will
be noted that Congress expressly provided in
R.A. No. 8180 that full deregulation will
start at the end of March 1997, regardless of
the occurrence of any event. Full
deregulation at the end of March 1997 is
mandatory and the Executive has no
discretion to postpone it for any purported
reason. Thus, the law is complete on the
question of the final date of full
deregulation. The discretion given to the
President is to advance the date of full
deregulation before the end of March 1997.
Section 15 lays down the standard to guide
the judgment of the President --- he is to
time it as far as practicable when the prices
of crude oil and petroleum products in the
world market are declining and when the
exchange rate of the peso in relation to the
US dollar is stable.

Petitioners contend that the words as far as

practicable, declining and stable
should have been defined in R.A. No. 8180
as they do not set determinate or
determinable standards. The stubborn
submission deserves scant consideration.

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

The dictionary meanings of these words are

well settled and cannot confuse men of
reasonable intelligence. Webster defines
practicable as meaning possible to
practice or perform, decline as meaning to
take a downward direction, and stable as
meaning firmly established. The fear of
petitioners that these words will result in the
exercise of executive discretion that will run
riot is thus groundless. To be sure, the
Court has sustained the validity of similar, if
not more general standards in other cases.

3. YES, E.O. No. 392 was arbitrary and


A perusal of section 15 of R.A. No. 8180

will readily reveal that it only enumerated
two factors to be considered by the
Department of Energy and the Office of the
President,viz.: (1) the time when the prices
of crude oil and petroleum products in the
world market are declining, and (2) the time
when the exchange rate of the peso in
relation to the US dollar is stable. Section
15 did not mention the depletion of the
OPSF as a factor to be given weight by the

Executive before ordering full deregulation.

On the contrary, the debates in Congress
will show that some of our legislators
wanted to impose as a pre-condition to
deregulation a showing that the OPSF fund
must not be in deficit. We therefore hold
that the Executive department failed to
follow faithfully the standards set by R.A.
No. 8180 when it considered the extraneous
factor of depletion of the OPSF fund. The
misappreciation of this extra factor cannot
be justified on the ground that the Executive
department considered anyway the stability
of the prices of crude oil in the world market
and the stability of the exchange rate of the
peso to the dollar. By considering another
factor to hasten full deregulation, the
Executive department rewrote the standards
set forth in R.A. 8180. The Executive is
bereft of any right to alter either by
subtraction or addition the standards set
in R.A. No. 8180 for it has no power to
make laws. To cede to the Executive the
power to make law is to invite tyranny,
indeed, to transgress the principle of
separation of powers. The exercise of
delegated power is given a strict scrutiny by
courts for the delegate is a mere agent whose
action cannot infringe the terms of agency.

In the cases at bar, the Executive co-mingled

the factor of depletion of the OPSF fund
with the factors of decline of the price of
crude oil in the world market and the
stability of the peso to the US dollar. On the
basis of the text of E.O. No. 392, it
is impossible to determine the weight given
by the Executive department to the depletion
of the OPSF fund. It could well be the
principal consideration for the early
deregulation. It could have been accorded
an equal significance. Or its importance
could be nil. In light of this uncertainty,
we rule that the early deregulation under
E.O. No. 392 constitutes a misapplication
of R.A. No. 8180.

4. YES, R.A. No. 8180 violated 19,

Article XII of the Constitution prohibiting
monopolies, combinations in restraint of
trade and unfair competition.

[I]t cannot be denied that our downstream

oil industry is operated and controlled by an
oligopoly, a foreign oligopoly at that.
Petron, Shell and Caltex stand as the only
major league players in the oil market. All

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

other players belong to the lilliputian league.

As the dominant players, Petron, Shell and
Caltex boast of existing refineries of various
capacities. The tariff differential of 4%
therefore works to their immense benefit.
Yet, this is only one edge of the tariff
differential. The other edge cuts and cuts
deep in the heart of their competitors. It
erects a high barrier to the entry of new
players. New players that intend to equalize
the market power of Petron, Shell and
Caltex by building refineries of their own
will have to spend billions of pesos. Those
who will not build refineries but compete
with them will suffer the huge disadvantage
of increasing their product cost by 4%. They
will be competing on an uneven field. The
argument that the 4% tariff differential is
desirable because it will induce prospective
players to invest in refineries puts the cart
before the horse. The first need is to attract
new players and they cannot be attracted by
burdening them with heavy disincentives.
Without new players belonging to the league
of Petron, Shell and Caltex, competition in
our downstream oil industry is an idle

The provision on inventory widens the

balance of advantage of Petron, Shell and
Caltex against prospective new players.
Petron, Shell and Caltex can easily comply
with the inventory requirement of R.A. No.
8180 in view of their existing storage
facilities. Prospective competitors again will
find compliance with this requirement
difficult as it will entail a prohibitive cost.
The construction cost of storage facilities
and the cost of inventory can thus scare
prospective players. Their net effect is to
further occlude the entry points of new
players, dampen competition and enhance
the control of the market by the three (3)
existing oil companies.

Finally, we come to the provision on

predatory pricing which is defined as . . .
selling or offering to sell any product at a
price unreasonably below the industry
average cost so as to attract customers to the
detriment of competitors. Respondents
contend that this provision works against
Petron, Shell and Caltex and protects new
entrants. The ban on predatory pricing
cannot be analyzed in isolation. Its validity
is interlocked with the barriers imposed by

R.A. No. 8180 on the entry of new players.

The inquiry should be to determine whether
predatory pricing on the part of the
dominant oil companies is encouraged by
the provisions in the law blocking the entry
of new players. Textwriter Hovenkamp gives the authoritative
answer and we quote:



The rationale for predatory pricing is the

sustaining of losses today that will give a
firm monopoly profits in the future. The
monopoly profits will never materialize,
however, if the market is flooded with new
entrants as soon as the successful predator
attempts to raise its price. Predatory pricing
will be profitable only if the market contains
significant barriers to new entry.

As aforediscussed, the 4% tariff differential

and the inventory requirement are
significant barriers which discourage new
players to enter the market. Considering
these significant barriers established by R.A.
No. 8180 and the lack of players with the
comparable clout of PETRON, SHELL and
CALTEX, the temptation for a dominant

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

player to engage in predatory pricing and

succeed is a chilling reality. Petitioners
charge that this provision on predatory
pricing is anti-competitive is not without

[R.A. No. 8180 contained a separability

clause, but the High Tribunal held that the
offending provisions of the law so
permeated its essence that it had to be
struck down entirely. The provisions on
tariff differential, inventory and predatory
pricing were among the principal props of
R.A. No. 8180. Congress could not have
deregulated the downstream oil industry
without these provisions.]

Garcia vs. J. Drilon and Garcia, G. R. No.

179267, 25 June 2013
posted in RESWRI2 cases by katcobing
Nature of the Case: Petition for Review of
Republic Act (R.A.) 9262
Private respondent Rosalie
filed a petition before the RTC of Bacolod
City a Temporary Protection Order against
her husband, Jesus, pursuant to R.A. 9262,
entitled An Act Defining Violence against

Women and Their Children, Providing for

Protective Measures for Victims, Prescribing
Penalties Therefor, and for Other Purposes.
She claimed to be a victim of physical,
emotional, psychological and economic
violence, being threatened of deprivation of
custody of her children and of financial
support and also a victim of marital
infidelity on the part of petitioner.
The TPO was granted but the petitioner
failed to faithfully comply with the
conditions set forth by the said TPO,
private-respondent filed another application
for the issuance of a TPO ex parte. The trial
court issued a modified TPO and extended
the same when petitioner failed to comment
on why the TPO should not be modified.
After the given time allowance to answer,
the petitioner no longer submitted the
required comment as it would be an
axercise in futility.
Petitioner filed before the CA a petition for
prohibition with prayer for injunction and
TRO on, questioning the constitutionality of
the RA 9262 for violating the due process
and equal protection clauses, and the
validity of the modified TPO for being an
unwanted product of an invalid law.
The CA issued a TRO on the enforcement of
the TPO but however, denied the petition for
failure to raise the issue of constitutionality
in his pleadings before the trial court and the
petition for prohibition to annul protection

orders issued by the trial court constituted

collateral attack on said law.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration
but was denied. Thus, this petition is filed.
Issues: WON the CA erred in dismissing the
petition on the theory that the issue of
constitutionality was not raised at the
earliest opportunity and that the petition
constitutes a collateral attack on the validity
of the law.
WON the CA committed serious error in
failing to conclude that RA 9262 is
discriminatory, unjust and violative of the
equal protection clause.
WON the CA committed grave mistake in
not finding that RA 9262 runs counter to the
due process clause of the Constitution
WON the CA erred in not finding that the
law does violence to the policy of the state
to protect the family as a basic social
WON the CA seriously erredin declaring RA
9262 as invalid and unconstitutional because
it allows an undue delegation of judicial
power to Brgy. Officials.
1. Petitioner contends that
the RTC has limited authority and
jurisdiction, inadequate to tackle the
complex issue of constitutionality. Family
Courts have authority and jurisdiction to
consider the constitutionality of a statute.
The question of constitutionality must be

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

raised at the earliest possible time so that if

not raised in the pleadings, it may not be
raised in the trial and if not raised in the trial
court, it may not be considered in appeal.
2. RA 9262 does not violate the guaranty of
equal protection of the laws. Equal
protection simply requires that all persons or
things similarly situated should be treated
alike, both as to rights conferred and
responsibilities imposed. In Victoriano v.
Elizalde Rope Workerkers Union, the Court
ruled that all that is required of a valid
classification is that it be reasonable, which
means that the classification should be based
on substantial distinctions which make for
real differences; that it must be germane to
the purpose of the law; not limited to
existing conditions only; and apply equally
to each member of the class. Therefore,
RA9262 is based on a valid classification
and did not violate the equal protection
clause by favouring women over men as
victims of violence and abuse to whom the
Senate extends its protection.
3. RA 9262 is not violative of the due
process clause of the Constitution. The
essence of due process is in the reasonable
opportunity to be heard and submit any
evidence one may have in support of ones
defense. The grant of the TPO exparte
cannot be impugned as violative of the right
to due process.
4. The non-referral of a VAWC case to a
mediator is justified. Petitioners contention

that by not allowing mediation, the law

violated the policy of the State to protect and
strengthen the family as a basic autonomous
social institution cannot be sustained. In a
memorandum of the Court, it ruled that the
court shall not refer the case or any issue
therof to a mediator. This is so because
violence is not a subject for compromise.
5. There is no undue delegation of judicial
power to Barangay officials. Judicial power
includes the duty of the courts of justice to
settle actual controversies involving rights
which are legally demandable and
enforceable and to determine whether or not
there has been a grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
on any part of any branch of the
Government while executive power is the
power to enforce and administer the laws.
The preliminary investigation conducted by
the prosecutor is an executive, not a judicial,
function. The same holds true with the
issuance of BPO. Assistance by Brgy.
Officials and other law enforcement
agencies is consistent with their duty
executive function.
The petition for review on certiorari is
denied for lack of merit.
Search and Seizure

Stonehill V. Diokno (1967)

G.R. No. L-19550
June 19, 1967
Lessons Applicable: Right against
warrantless searches and seizures
Laws Applicable: bill of rights
In violation of Central Bank Laws,
Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal
Revenue (Code) and the Revised
Penal Code, 42 warrants were issued
against petitioners or the corporation
where they are officers to search the
persons above-named and/or the
premises of their offices, warehouses
and/or residences, and to seize and
take possession of their books of
accounts, financial records,
vouchers, correspondence, receipts,
ledgers, journals, portfolios, credit
journals, typewriters, and other
documents and/or papers showing all
business transactions including
disbursements receipts, balance
sheets and profit and loss statements
and Bobbins (cigarette wrappers)
which are the subject of the offense.

Human Rights Law Case Digest:

Petitioners filed with the Supreme

Court this original action for

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

certiorari, prohibition, mandamus

and injunction, and prayed that,
pending final disposition of the
present case, a writ of preliminary
injunction be issued alleging the
search warrants to be void since (1)
they do not describe with
particularity the documents, books
and things to be seized; (2) cash
money, not mentioned in the
warrants, were actually seized; (3)
the warrants were issued to fish
evidence against the aforementioned
petitioners in deportation cases filed
against them; (4) the searches and
seizures were made in an illegal
manner; and (5) the documents,
papers and cash money seized were
not delivered to the courts that issued
the warrants, to be disposed of in
accordance with law
ISSUE: W/N the seizure is valid
HELD: YES. warrants for the search of 3
residences null and void; searches and
seizures made are illegal; that the writ of
preliminary injunction issued

the documents, papers, and things

seized under the alleged authority of
the warrants in question may be split
into two (2) major groups, namely:

(a) those found and seized in

the offices of the
aforementioned corporations,

have no cause of
action to assail the legality of
the contested warrants and of
the seizures made in
pursuance thereof, for the
simple reason that said
corporations have their
respective personalities,
separate and distinct from the
personality of herein
petitioners, regardless of the
amount of shares of stock or
of the interest of each of them
in said corporations, and
whatever the offices they hold
therein may be.
question of the
lawfulness of a seizure can be
raised only by one whose
rights have been invaded.
Certainly, such a seizure, if
unlawful, could not affect the
constitutional rights of
defendants whose property
had not been seized or the
privacy of whose homes had
not been disturbed

(b) those found and seized in

the residences of petitioners

2 points must be stressed in

connection with this constitutional
mandate, namely:

(1) that no warrant shall issue

but upon probable cause, to
be determined by the judge in
the manner set forth in said
provision; and - not met

(2) that the warrant shall

particularly describe the
things to be seized. - not met

without reference to
any determinate
provision of said

the warrants
authorized the search
for and seizure of
records pertaining to
all business
transactions of
petitioners herein,

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

regardless of whether
the transactions were
legal or illegal.

To uphold the validity of the

warrants in question would be to
wipe out completely one of the most
fundamental rights guaranteed in our
Constitution, for it would place the
sanctity of the domicile and the
privacy of communication and
correspondence at the mercy of the
whims caprice or passion of peace

Jose Burgos vs. Chief of Staff

G.R. No L-64261
December 26, 1984
Two warrants were issued against petitioners
for the search on the premises of
Metropolitan Mail and We Forum
newspapers and the seizure of items alleged
to have been used in subversive activities.
Petitioners prayed that a writ of preliminary
mandatory and prohibitory injunction be
issued for the return of the seized articles,
and that respondents be enjoined from using
the articles thus seized as evidence against

Petitioners questioned the warrants for the

lack of probable cause and that the two
warrants issued indicated only one and the
same address. In addition, the items seized
subject to the warrant were real properties.
Whether or not the two warrants were valid
to justify seizure of the items.
The defect in the indication of the same
address in the two warrants was held by the
court as a typographical error and
immaterial in view of the correct
determination of the place sought to be
searched set forth in the application. The
purpose and intent to search two distinct
premises was evident in the issuance of the
two warrant.
As to the issue that the items seized were
real properties, the court applied the
principle in the case of Davao Sawmill Co.
v. Castillo, ruling that machinery which is
movable by nature becomes immobilized
when placed by the owner of the tenement,
property or plant, but not so when placed by
a tenant, usufructuary, or any other person
having only a temporary right, unless such
person acted as the agent of the owner. In
the case at bar, petitioners did not claim to
be the owners of the land and/or building on
which the machineries were placed. This

being the case, the machineries in question,

while in fact bolted to the ground remain
movable property susceptible to seizure
under a search warrant.
However, the Court declared the two
warrants null and void.
Probable cause for a search is defined as
such facts and circumstances which would
lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man
to believe that an offense has been
committed and that the objects sought in
connection with the offense are in the place
sought to be searched.
The Court ruled that the affidavits submitted
for the application of the warrant did not
satisfy the requirement of probable cause,
the statements of the witnesses having been
mere generalizations.
Furthermore, jurisprudence tells of the
prohibition on the issuance of general
warrants. (Stanford vs. State of Texas). The
description and enumeration in the warrant
of the items to be searched and seized did
not indicate with specification the
subversive nature of the said items.
G.R. No. 81561 January 18, 1991

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

August 14, 1957, the appellant and his
common-law wife, Sherly Reyes, went to
the booth of the Manila Packing and Export
Forwarders carrying Four (4) wrapped
packages. The appellant informed Anita
Reyes that he was sending the packages to a
friend in Zurich, Switzerland. Anita Reyes
asked if she could examine and inspect the
packages. She refused and assures her that
the packages simply contained books,
cigars, and gloves.
Before the delivery of appellants box to the
Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Posts, Mr.
Job Reyes (Proprietor), following the
standard operating procedure, opened the
boxes for final inspection. A peculiar odor
emitted from the box and that the gloves
contain dried leaves. He prepared a letter
and reported to the NBI and requesting a
laboratory examinations. The dried
marijuana leaves were found to have
contained inside the cellophane wrappers.
The accused appellant assigns the
following errors: The lower court erred in
admitting in evidence the illegality of search
and seized objects contained in the four (4)
Whether or not the seizing of illegal objects
is legal?

Yes, appellant guilty beyond reasonable
Article III, Sections 2 and 3, 1987
Mapp vs Ohio, exclusionary rule
Stonehill vs Diokno, declared as
inadmissible any evidence obtained by
virtue of a defective search warrant,
abandoning in the process the ruling earlier
adopted in Mercado vs Peoples Court.
The case at the bar assumes a peculiar
character since the evidence sought to be
excluded was primarily discovered and
obtained by a private person, acting in a
private capacity and without the intervention
and participation of state authorities. Under
the circumstances, can accused / appellant
validly claim that his constitutional right
against unreasonable search and seizure.
The contraband in this case at bar having
come into possession of the government
without the latter transgressing appellants
rights against unreasonable search and
seizure, the Court sees no cogent reason
whty the same should not be admitted.

Readily foreclose the proportion that NBI
agents conducted an illegal search and
seizure of the prohibited merchandise,
clearly that the NBI agents made no search
and seizure much less an illegal one,
contrary to the postulate of accused /
CHADWICK vs STATE, having observed
that which is open, where no trespass has
been committed in aid thereof
The protection of fundamental liberties in
the essence of constitutional democracy,
protection against whom, protection against
the STATE.
G.R. NO. 120515; 13 APR 1998]
Friday, February 06, 2009 Posted
by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law
Facts: On Dec. 13, 1988, P/Lt. Abello was
tipped off by his informant that a certain
Aling Rosa will be arriving from Baguio
City with a large volume of marijuana and
assembled a team. The next day, at the
Victory Liner Bus terminal they waited for

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

the bus coming from Baguio, when the

informer pointed out who Aling Rosa was,
the team approached her and introduced
themselves as NARCOM agents. When
Abello asked aling Rosa about the
contents of her bag, the latter handed it out
to the police. They found dried marijuana
leaves packed in a plastic bag marked cash
Instead of presenting its evidence, the
defense filed a demurrer to evidence
alleging the illegality of the search and
seizure of the items. In her testimony, the
accused claimed that she had just come from
Choice theatre where she watched a movie
Balweg. While about to cross the road an
old woman asked her for help in carrying a
shoulder bag, when she was later on arrested
by the police. She has no knowledge of the
identity of the old woman and the woman
was nowhere to be found. Also,
no search warrant was presented.
The trial court convicted the accused in
violation of the dangerous drugs of 1972

provided or allowed by law:

1. Warrantless search incidental to a lawful
arrest recognized under Section 12, Rule
126 of the Rules of Court 8 and by
prevailing jurisprudence
2. Seizure of evidence in "plain view," the
elements of which are: (a) a prior valid
intrusion based on the valid warrantless
arrest in which the police are legally present
in the pursuit of their official duties; (b) the
evidence was inadvertently discovered by
the police who had the right to be where
they are; (c) the evidence must be
immediately apparent, and (d) "plain view"
justified mere seizure of evidence without
further search;
3. Search of a moving vehicle. Highly
regulated by the government, the vehicle's
inherent mobility reduces expectation of
privacy especially when its transit in public
thoroughfares furnishes a highly reasonable
suspicion amounting to probable cause that
the occupant committed a criminal activity;

The essential requisite of probable cause

must still be satisfied before a
warrantless search and seizure can be
lawfully conducted.
The accused cannot be said to be
committing a crime, she was merelycrossing
the street and was not acting suspiciously for
the Narcom agents to conclude that she was
committing a crime. There was no legal
basis to effect a warrantless arrest of the
accuseds bag, there was no probable cause
and the accused was not lawfully arrested.
The police had more than 24 hours to
procure a search warrant and they did not do
so. The seized marijuana was illegal and
inadmissible evidence.
Section 5. Arrest without warrant; when
lawful. A peace officer or a private
person may, without a warrant, arrest a

4. Consented warrantless search;

Issue: Whether or Not the police
correctly searched and seized the drugs from
the accused.

5. Customs search;
6. Stop and Frisk;

Held: The following cases are specifically

7. Exigent and Emergency Circumstances.

(a) When, in his presence, the person to be

arrested has committed, is actually
committing, or is attempting to commit an
(b) When an offense has just been
committed, and he has probable cause to

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

believe based on personal knowledge of

facts or circumstances that the person to be
arrested has committed it; and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a
prisoner who has escaped from a penal
establishment or place where he is serving
final judgment or is temporarily confined
while his case is pending, or has escaped
while being transferred from
one confinement to another.
In cases falling under paragraph (a) and (b)
above, the person arrested without a warrant
shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest
police station or jail and shall be proceeded
against in accordance with section 7 of Rule
Section 2. Court
where application for search warrant shall be
filed. Anapplication for search warrant
shall be filed with the following:
a) Any court within whose territorial
jurisdiction a crime was committed.
b) For compelling reasons stated in
the application, any court within the judicial
region where the crime was committed if the
place of the commission of the crime is
known, or any court within the judicial
region where the warrant shall be enforced.

However, if the criminal action has already

been filed, the application shall only be
made in the court where the criminal
action is pending.
Section 7. Right to break door or window to
effect search. The officer, if refused
admittance to the place of
directed search after giving notice of his
purpose and authority, may break open any
outer or inner door or window of a house or
any part of a house or anything therein to
execute the warrant or liberate himself or
any person lawfully aiding him when
unlawfully detained therein.
Section 12. Delivery of property
and inventory thereof to court; return and
proceedings thereon.
(a) The officer must forthwith deliver the
property seized to the judge who issued the
warrant, together with a
true inventory thereof duly verified under
(b) Ten (10) days after issuance of
the search warrant, the issuing judge shall
ascertain if the return has been made, and if
none, shall summon the person to whom the
warrant was issued and require him to
explain why no return was made. If the
return has been made, the judge shall
ascertain whether section 11 of this Rule has

been complained with and shall require that

the property seized be delivered to him. The
judge shall see to it that subsection (a)
hereof has been complied with.
(c) The return on the search warrant shall be
filed and kept by the custodian of the log
book on search warrants who shall enter
therein the date of the return, the result, and
other actions of the judge.
A violation of this section shall constitute
contempt of court.
The Checkpoints Case : Valmonte v. De
Villa, G.R. No. 83988 September 29, 1989
(173 SCRA 211)


On 20 January 1987, the National Capital

Region District Command (NCRDC) was
activated pursuant to Letter of Instruction
02/87 of the Philippine General
Headquarters, AFP, with the mission of
conducting security operations within its
area of responsibility and peripheral areas,
for the purpose of establishing an effective
territorial defense, maintaining peace and
order, and providing an atmosphere

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

conducive to the social, economic and

political development of the National
Capital Region. As part of its duty to
maintain peace and order, the NCRDC
installed checkpoints in various parts of
Valenzuela, Metro Manila.

[The Court, voting 13-2, DISMISSED the


Petitioners Atty. Ricardo Valmonte, who is a

resident of Valenzuela, Metro Manila, and
the Union of Lawyers and Advocates For
Peoples Rights (ULAP) sought
the declaration of checkpoints in Valenzuela,
Metro Manila and elsewhere as
unconstitutional. In the alternative, they
prayed that respondents Renato De Villa and
the National Capital Region District
Command (NCRDC) be directed to
formulate guidelines in the implementation
of checkpoints for the protection of the
people. Petitioners contended that the
checkpoints gave the respondents blanket
authority to make searches and seizures
without search warrant or court order in
violation of the Constitution.

xxx. Not all searches and seizures are

prohibited. Those which are reasonable are
not forbidden. A reasonable search is not to
be determined by any fixed formula but is to
be resolved according to the facts of each



Do the military and police checkpoints

violate the right of the people against
unreasonable search and seizures?


NO, military and police checkpoints DO

NOT violate the right of the people against
unreasonable search and seizures.

Where, for example, the officer merely

draws aside the curtain of a vacant vehicle
which is parked on the public fair grounds,
or simply looks into a vehicle, or flashes a
light therein, these do not constitute
unreasonable search.
The setting up of the questioned checkpoints
in Valenzuela (and probably in other areas)
may be considered as a security measure to
enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission of
establishing effective territorial defense and
maintaining peace and order for the benefit
of the public. Checkpoints may also be
regarded as measures to thwart plots to
destabilize the government, in the interest of
public security. In this connection, the Court
may take judicial notice of the shift to urban
centers and their suburbs of the insurgency
movement, so clearly reflected in the

increased killings in cities of police and

military men by NPA sparrow units, not to
mention the abundance of unlicensed
firearms and the alarming rise in lawlessness
and violence in such urban centers, not all of
which are reported in media, most likely
brought about by deteriorating economic
conditions which all sum up to what one
can rightly consider, at the very least, as
abnormal times. Between the inherent right
of the state to protect its existence and
promote public welfare and an individual's
right against a warrantless search which is
however reasonably conducted, the former
should prevail.
True, the manning of checkpoints by the
military is susceptible of abuse by the men
in uniform, in the same manner that all
governmental power is susceptible of abuse.
But, at the cost of occasional inconvenience,
discomfort and even irritation to the citizen,
the checkpoints during these abnormal
times, when conducted within reasonable
limits, are part of the price we pay for an
orderly society and a peaceful community.
G.R. NO. 104961; 7 OCT 1994]
Sunday, February 01, 2009 Posted
by Coffeeholic Writes
Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

Facts: In preparation for

the synchronized national and local
elections, the COMELEC
issued Resolution No. 2323, Gun Ban,
promulgating rules and regulations on
bearing, carrying and transporting of firearm
or other deadly weapons on security
personnel or bodyguards, on bearing arms
by members of security agencies or
police organizations, and organization or
maintenance of reaction forces during the
election period. COMELEC also
issued Resolution No. 2327 providing for
the summary disqualification
ofcandidates engaged in gunrunning, using
and transporting of firearms, organizing
special strike forces, and establishing
spot checkpoints. Pursuant to the Gun
Ban, Mr. Serrapio Taccad, Sergeant at
Arms of the House of Representatives,
wrote petitioner for the return of the two
firearms issued to him by the House of
Representatives. Petitioner then instructed
his driver, Arellano, to pick up the firearms
from petitioners house and return them to
Congress. The PNP set up a checkpoint.
When the car driven by Arellano approached
the checkpoint, the PNP searched the car
and found the firearms. Arellano was
apprehended and detained. He then
explained the order of petitioner. Petitioner
also explained that Arellano was only
complying with the firearms ban, and that he

was not a security officer or a bodyguard.

Later, COMELEC issued Resolution No.920829 directing the filing of information
against petitioner and Arellano for violation
of the Omnibus Election Code, and for
petitioner to show cause why he should not
be disqualified from running for an elective
position. Petitioner then questions
the constitutionality of Resolution No. 2327.
He argues that gunrunning, using or
transporting firearms or similar weapons
and other acts mentioned in
the resolution are not within
the provisions of the Omnibus Election
Code. Thus, according to
petitioner, Resolution No. 2327 is
unconstitutional. The issue on the
disqualification of petitioner from running in
the elections was rendered moot when he
lost his bid for a seat in Congress in the
Issue: Whether or Not petitioner can be
validly prosecuted for instructing his driver
to return the firearms issued to him on the
basis of the evidence gathered from the
warrant less search of his car
Held: A valid search must be authorized by
a search warrant issued by an appropriate
authority. However, a warrantless search is
not violative of the Constitution for as long

as the vehicle is neither searched nor its

occupants subjected to a body search, and
the inspection of the vehicle is merely
limited to a visual search. In the case at bar,
the guns were not tucked in Arellanos waist
nor placed within his reach, as they were
neatly packed in gun cases and placed inside
a bag at the back of the car. Given these
circumstances, the PNP could not have
thoroughly searched the car lawfully as well
as the package without violating the
constitutional injunction. Absent any
justifying circumstance specifically pointing
to the culpability of petitioner and Arellano,
the search could not have been valid.
Consequently, the firearms obtained from
the warrantless search cannot be admitted
for any purpose in any proceeding. It was
also shown in the facts that the PNP had not
informed the public of the purpose of setting
up the checkpoint. Petitioner was also not
among those charged by the PNP with
violation of the Omnibus Election Code. He
was not informed by the City Prosecutor that
he was a respondent in the preliminary
investigation. Such constituted a violation of
his right to due process. Hence, it cannot be
contended that petitioner was fully given the
opportunity to meet the accusation against
him as he was not informed that he was
himself a respondent in the case. Thus, the
warrantless search conducted by the PNP is
declared illegal and the firearms seized
during the search cannot be used as evidence

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

in any proceeding against the

petitioner. Resolution No. 92-0829 is
unconstitutional, and therefore, set aside.

Caballes vs Court of Appeals

(January 15, 2002)
Ponente: Puno
Nature: Petition for review on certiorari of a
decision of the Court of Appeals
While on a routine patrol in Brgy
Sampalucan, Pagsanjan, Laguna, Sgt.
Victorino Nocejo and Pat. Alex deCastro
spotted a passenger jeep unusually covered
with kakawati leaves. Suspecting that the
jeep was loaded with smuggled goods, the
two officers flagged down the vehicle.
Being the driver of the jeep, Caballes was
asked by the officers as to what was loaded
in the jeep, to which he did not respond,
appearing pale and nervous. The officers
checked the cargo and discovered bundles of
galvanized conductor wires exclusively
owned by National Power Corporation.
Caballes and the vehicle with the highvoltage wires were brought to the Pagsanjan
Police Station, where he was imprisoned for
7 days. The trial court found Caballes guilty
of the crime of Theft of property. Upon

appeal, the Court fo Aooeaksm affirmed the

trial courts judgment of conviction.
WON the evidence taken from the
warrantless search is admissible against
No; the evidence are not admissible in
The constitutional proscription against
warrantless searches and seizures is not
absolute, but admits of certain exceptions.
The situation in the case at bar does not fall
under any of the accepted exceptions.
1. Search of a moving vehicle (ito yung
sense ng case talaga) The rules governing
searches and seizures of moving vehicles
have been liberalized for the purposes
of practicality. Obtaining a warrant for
a moving vehicle is particularly difficult for
want of a specific description of the place,
things, and persons to be searches. Also, it
is not practicable to secure a warrant
because the vehicle can be quickly moved
out of the jurisdiction in which the warrant
must be sought. Still, however, there must
be probable cause to conduct such
warrantless search. One form of search of
moving vehicles is the stop-and-search
without warrant at checkpoints, which has

been declared as not illegal per se, for as

long as it is warranted by the exigencies of
public order and conducted in a way least
intrusive to motorists. A checkpoint may
either be a mere routine inspection or it may
involve an extensive search. Routine
inspections are not regarded as violative of
an individuals right against unreasonable
search. The circumstances in this case,
however, do not constitute a routine
inspection. They had to reach inside
the vehicle, lift the leaves and look inside
the sacks before they were able to see the
cable wires. When a vehicle is stopped and
subjected to an extensive search, such a
search would be constitutionally permissible
only if the officers have probable cause to
believe that either the motorist is a lawoffender or they will find the instrumentality
or evidence pertaining to a crime in the
vehicle to be searched. In this case, the
officers flagged down the jeep because they
became suspicious when they saw that
the back of the vehicle was covered with
kakawati leaves, which, to them, was
unusual and uncommon. The Court believes
that the fact that the vehicle looked
suspicious simply because it is not common
for such to be covered in kakawati leaves
does not constitute probable cause to justify
a search without a warrant. In addition, there
was no tip or confidential information that
could have backed up their search,
as jurisprudence is replete with cases where

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

tipped information has become sufficient to

constitute probable cause.
2. Plain view doctrine It is clear from the
records that the cable wires were not
exposed to sight because they were placed in
sacks and covered with leaves. They had no
clue as to what was underneath the leaves.
Object was not in plain view which could
have justified mere seizure without further
3. Consented search At most, there was only
implied acquiescence, a mere passive
conformity, which is no consent at all within
the purview of the constitutional guarantee.
Evidence is lacking that Caballes
intentionally surrendered his right against
unreasonable searches.
Privacy of Communication
G.R. No. L-69809 | October 16, 1986 | J.
Gutierrez Jr.
Complainant Atty. Tito Pintor and his client
Manuel Montebon were in the living room
of complainants residence discussing the
terms for the withdrawal of the complaint
for direct assault which they filed with the
Office of the City Fiscal of Cebu against
Leonardo Laconico. After they had decided
on the proposed conditions, complainant

made a telephone call to Laconico. That

same morning, Laconico telephoned
appellant, who is a lawyer, to come to his
office and advise him on the settlement of
the direct assault case because his regular
lawyer, Atty. Leon Gonzaga, went on a
business trip.
When complainant called, Laconico
requested appellant to secretly listen to the
telephone conversation through a telephone
extension so as to hear personally the
proposed conditions for the
settlement. Twenty minutes later,
complainant called again to ask Laconico if
he was agreeable to the conditions. Laconico
answered Yes. Complainant then told
Laconico to wait for instructions on where
to deliver the money.
Complainant called again and instructed
Laconico to give the money to his wife at
the office of the then Department of Public
Highways. Laconico who earlier alerted his
friend Colonel Zulueta of the Criminal
Investigation Service of the Philippine
Constabulary, insisted that complainant
himself should receive the money. When he
received the money at the Igloo Restaurant,
complainant was arrested by agents of the
Philippine Constabulary.
Appellant executed on the following day an
affidavit stating that he heard complainant
demand P8,000.00 for the withdrawal of the
case for direct assault. Laconico attached the
affidavit of appellant to the complainant for

robbery/extortion which he filed against

complainant. Since appellant listened to the
telephone conversation without
complainants consent, complainant charged
appellant and Laconico with violation of the
Anti-Wiretapping Act.
The lower court found both Gaanan and
Laconico guilty of violating Section 1 of
Republic Act No. 4200, which prompted
petitioner to appeal. The IAC affirmed with
modification hence the present petition for
W/N an extension telephone is covered by
the term device or arrangement under
Rep. Act No. 4200
No. The law refers to a tap of a wire or
cable or the use of a device or
arrangement for the purpose of secretly
overhearing, intercepting, or recording the
communication. There must be either a
physical interruption through a wiretap or
the deliberate installation of a device or
arrangement in order to overhear, intercept,
or record the spoken words.
An extension telephone cannot be placed in
the same category as a dictaphone,
dictagraph or the other devices enumerated
in Section 1 of RA No. 4200 as the use
thereof cannot be considered as tapping
the wire or cable of a telephone line. The
telephone extension in this case was not

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

installed for that purpose. It just happened to

be there for ordinary office use.
G.R. No. 93833 | September 28, 1995 | J.
A civil case damages was filed by
petitioner Socorro Ramirez in the Quezon
City RTC alleging that the private
respondent, Ester Garcia, in a
confrontation in the latters office,
allegedly vexed, insulted and humiliated
her in a hostile and furious mood and
in a manner offensive to petitioners
dignity and personality, contrary to
morals, good customs and public policy.
In support of her claim, petitioner
produced a verbatim transcript of the
event and sought damages. The transcript
on which the civil case was based was
culled from a tape recording of the
confrontation made by petitioner.

As a result of petitioners recording of the

event and alleging that the said act of
secretly taping the confrontation was
illegal, private respondent filed a criminal
case before the Pasay RTC for violation of
Republic Act 4200, entitled An Act to
prohibit and penalize wire tapping and
other related violations of private
communication, and other purposes.
Petitioner filed a Motion to Quash the
Information, which the RTC later on
granted, on the ground that the facts
charged do not constitute an offense,
particularly a violation of R.A. 4200.
The CA declared the RTCs decision null
and void and denied the petitioners MR,
hence the instant petition.

W/N the Anti-Wiretapping Act applies in
recordings by one of the parties in the


Yes. Section 1 of R.A. 4200 entitled, An

Act to Prohibit and Penalized Wire
Tapping and Other Related Violations of
Private Communication and Other
Purposes, provides:
Sec. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person,
not being authorized by all the parties to
any private communication or spoken
word, to tap any wire or cable, or by
using any other device or arrangement, to
secretly overhear, intercept, or record
such communication or spoken word by
using a device commonly known as a
dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone
or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or
however otherwise described.
The aforestated provision clearly and
unequivocally makes it illegal for any
person, not authorized by all the parties
to any private communication to secretly
record such communication by means of a
tape recorder. The law makes no
distinction as to whether the party sought
to be penalized by the statute ought to be
a party other than or different from those
involved in the private communication.
The statutes intent to penalize all persons
unauthorized to make such recording is

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

underscored by the use of the qualifier

any. Consequently, as respondent
Court of Appeals correctly concluded,
even a (person) privy to a
communication who records his private
conversation with another without the
knowledge of the latter (will) qualify as a
violator under this provision of R.A.
A perusal of the Senate Congressional
Records, moreover, supports the
respondent courts conclusion that in
enacting R.A. 4200 our lawmakers indeed
contemplated to make illegal,
unauthorized tape recording of private
conversations or communications taken
either by the parties themselves or by
third persons.
The nature of the conversations is
immaterial to a violation of the statute.
The substance of the same need not be
specifically alleged in the information.
What R.A. 4200 penalizes are the acts of
secretly overhearing, intercepting or
recording private communications by
means of the devices enumerated therein.
The mere allegation that an individual
made a secret recording of a private

communication by means of a tape

recorder would suffice to constitute an
offense under Section 1 of R.A. 4200. As
the Solicitor General pointed out in his
COMMENT before the respondent court:
Nowhere (in the said law) is it required
that before one can be regarded as a
violator, the nature of the conversation, as
well as its communication to a third
person should be professed.
Petitioners contention that the phrase
private communication in Section 1 of
R.A. 4200 does not include private
conversations narrows the ordinary
meaning of the word communication to
a point of absurdity. The word
communicate comes from the latin
word communicare, meaning to share or
to impart. In its ordinary signification,
communication connotes the act of
sharing or imparting signification,
communication connotes the act of
sharing or imparting, as in
a conversation, or signifies the process
by which meanings or thoughts are
shared between individuals through a
common system of symbols (as language
signs or gestures)

These definitions are broad enough to

include verbal or non-verbal, written or
expressive communications of meanings
or thoughts which are likely to include
the emotionally-charged exchange, on
February 22, 1988, between petitioner
and private respondent, in the privacy of
the latters office. Any doubts about the
legislative bodys meaning of the phrase
private communication are,
furthermore, put to rest by the fact that
the terms conversation and
communication were interchangeably
used by Senator Taada in his
Explanatory Note to the Bill.
Right to Privacy
Ople vs Torres GR No 127685 23
July 1998
Facts: Administrative Order No 308,
otherwise known as Adoption of a
National Computerized Identification
Reference System was issued by
President Fidel Ramos on 12 December
1996. Senator Blas Ople filed a petition to
invalidate the said order for violating the
right to privacy. He contends that the
order must be invalidated on two

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

constitutional grounds, (1) that it is a

usurpation of the power to legislate; and
(2) that it intrudes the citizens right to
Issue: Whether or not Senator Ople has
standing to maintain suit?
Decision: Petitioner, Senator Ople is a
distinguished member of the Senate. As a
Senator, petitioner is possessed of the
requisite standing to bring suit raising the
issue that the issue of Administrative
Order No 308 is a usurpation of
legislative power. Oples concern that the
Executive branch not to trespass on the
lawmaking domain of Congress is
understandable. The blurring
demarcation line between the power of
legislature to make laws and the power of
executive to execute laws will disturb
their delicate balance and cannot be
Ayer Production PTY Ltd. V Capulong

Pivate respondent Juan Ponce
Enrile filed an action in the RTC of
Makati to enjoin the petitioners from
producing the movie "The Four Day
Revolution," a documentary of the EDSA
Revolution in 1986 on the ground that it
violated his right to privacy. Petitioners
contended that the movie would not
involve his private life not that of his
family. But the trial court issued a writ of
preliminary injunction and ordered
petitioners to desist from making the
movie making reference whatsoever to
Ponce Enrile. This, this action for
HELD: Freedom of speech and
expression includes freedom to produce
motion pictures and to exhibit them.
What is involved is a prior restraint by
the Judge upon the exercise of speech and
of expression by petitioners. Because of
the preferred character of speech and of
expression, a weighty presumption of
invalidity vitiates measures of prior
restraint. The Judge should have stayed
his hand considering that the movie was
yet uncompleted and therefore there was
no "clear and present danger." The

subject matter of the movie does not

relate to the private life of Ponce Enrile.
The intrusion is no more than necessary
to keep the film a truthful historical
account. He is, after all, a public figure.
The line of equilibrium in the specific
context of the instant case between
freedom of speech and of expression and
the right of privacy may be marked out in
terms of a requirement that the proposed
motion picture must be fairly truthful and
historical in its presentation of facts.
There must be no showing of a reckless
disregard of truth.Notes: Ayer sought to
produce a movie on the 4-day revolution.
Enrile, who had previously been asked for
the use of his character in the movie and
had refused the offer, sued to enjoin the
filming because he did not want any
mention of his and his family's name.
The SC lifted the injunction issued by the
lower court on the ground that it
amounted to prior restraint, which is no
better if imposed by the courts than if
imposed by administrative bodies or by
ecclesiatical officials.In Ayer, the
reference to Enrile is unavoidable because
his name is part of history and this cannot
be changed or altered; thus his name can

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

be used so long as only his public life is

dwelled only. But in Lagunzad, although
Moises Padilla was also a public figure,
the movie dealth with both the public and
private lives of Moises Padilla.

Social Justice Society vs Dangerous Drugs

NOTE: This is consolidated with Laserna vs
Dangerous Drugs Board (G.R. No. 158633)
and Pimentel vs COMELEC (G.R. No.
In 2002, Republic Act No. 9165 or
the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of
2002 was implemented. Section 36 thereof
requires mandatory drug testing of
candidates for public office, students of
secondary and tertiary schools, officers and
employees of public and private offices, and
persons charged before the prosecutors
office with certain offenses.
In December 2003, COMELEC issued
Resolution No. 6486, prescribing the rules
and regulations on the mandatory drug
testing of candidates for public office in
connection with the May 10, 2004

synchronized national and local elections.

Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., a senator and a
candidate for re-election in the May
elections, filed a Petition for Certiorari and
Prohibition under Rule 65. In it, he seeks
(1) to nullify Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and
COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 dated
December 23, 2003 for being
unconstitutional in that they impose a
qualification for candidates for senators in
addition to those already provided for in the
1987 Constitution; and (2) to enjoin the
COMELEC from implementing Resolution
No. 6486.
According to Pimentel, the Constitution only
prescribes a maximum of five (5)
qualifications for one to be a candidate for,
elected to, and be a member of the Senate.
He says that both the Congress and
COMELEC, by requiring, via RA 9165 and
Resolution No. 6486, a senatorial aspirant,
among other candidates, to undergo a
mandatory drug test, create an additional
qualification that all candidates for senator
must first be certified as drug free. He adds
that there is no provision in the Constitution
authorizing the Congress or COMELEC to
expand the qualification requirements of
candidates for senator.

ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 36 of RA

9165 and Resolution 6486 are constitutional.
HELD: No. Pimentels contention is valid.
Accordingly, Sec. 36 of RA 9165 is
unconstitutional. It is basic that if a law or
an administrative rule violates any norm of
the Constitution, that issuance is null and
void and has no effect. The Constitution is
the basic law to which all laws must
conform; no act shall be valid if it conflicts
with the Constitution. In the discharge of
their defined functions, the three
departments of government have no choice
but to yield obedience to the commands of
the Constitution. Whatever limits it imposes
must be observed.
The provision [n]o person elected to any
public office shall enter upon the duties of
his office until he has undergone mandatory
drug test is not tenable as it enlarges the
qualifications. COMELEC cannot, in the
guise of enforcing and administering
election laws or promulgating rules and
regulations to implement Sec. 36, validly
impose qualifications on candidates for
senator in addition to what the Constitution
prescribes. If Congress cannot require a
candidate for senator to meet such additional

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

qualification, the COMELEC, to be sure, is

also without such power. The right of a
citizen in the democratic process of election
should not be defeated by unwarranted
impositions of requirement not otherwise
specified in the Constitution.

Rhonda Vivares vs St. Theresas College

Political Law Constitutional Law Bill of
Rights Right to Privacy Online Privacy
(Social Media)
Remedial Law Special Proceedings Writ
of Habeas Data
In January 2012, Angela Tan, a high school
student at St. Theresas College (STC),
uploaded on Facebook several pictures of
her and her classmates (Nenita Daluz and
Julienne Suzara) wearing only their
Thereafter, some of their classmates
reported said photos to their teacher, Mylene
Escudero. Escudero, through her students,
viewed and downloaded said pictures. She
showed the said pictures to STCs
Discipline-in-Charge for appropriate action.

Later, STC found Tan et al to have violated

the students handbook and banned them
from marching in their graduation
ceremonies scheduled in March 2012.

3. The intrusion into the Facebook accounts,

as well as the copying of information, data,
and digital images happened at STCs
Computer Laboratory;

The issue went to court but despite a TRO

(temporary restraining order) granted by the
Cebu RTC enjoining the school from barring
the students in the graduation ceremonies,
STC still barred said students.

They prayed that STC be ordered to

surrender and deposit with the court all soft
and printed copies of the subject data and
have such data be declared illegally obtained
in violation of the childrens right to privacy.

Subsequently, Rhonda Vivares, mother of

Nenita, and the other mothers filed a petition
for the issuance of the writ of habeas data
against the school. They argued, among
others, that:

The Cebu RTC eventually denied the

petition. Hence, this appeal.

1. The privacy setting of their childrens

Facebook accounts was set at Friends
Only. They, thus, have a reasonable
expectation of privacy which must be

HELD: Yes, it is proper but in this case, it

will not prosper.

2. The photos accessed belong to the girls

and, thus, cannot be used and reproduced
without their consent. Escudero, however,
violated their rights by saving digital copies
of the photos and by subsequently showing
them to STCs officials. Thus, the Facebook
accounts of the children were intruded upon;

ISSUE: Whether or not the petition for writ

of habeas data is proper.

Contrary to the arguments of STC, the

Supreme Court ruled that:
1. The petition for writ of habeas data can be
availed of even if this is not a case of
extralegal killing or enforced disappearance;
2. The writ of habeas data can be availed of
against STC even if it is not an entity
engaged in the business of gathering,
collecting, or storing data or information

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

regarding the person, family, home and

correspondence of the aggrieved party.
First, the Rule on Habeas Data does not state
that it can be applied only in cases of
extralegal killings or enforced
disappearances. Second, nothing in the Rule
would suggest that the habeas data
protection shall be available only against
abuses of a person or entity engaged in the
business of gathering, storing, and collecting
of data.
Right to Privacy on Social Media (Online
Networking Sites)
The Supreme Court ruled that if an online
networking site (ONS) like Facebook has
privacy tools, and the user makes use of
such privacy tools, then he or she has
a reasonable expectation of privacy (right
to informational privacy, that is). Thus, such
privacy must be respected and protected.
In this case, however, there is no showing
that the students concerned made use of
such privacy tools. Evidence would show
that that their post (status) on Facebook
were published as Public.

Facebook has the following settings to

control as to who can view a users posts on
his wall (profile page):
(a) Public the default setting; every
Facebook user can view the photo;
(b) Friends of Friends only the users
Facebook friends and their friends can view
the photo;
(c) Friends only the users Facebook
friends can view the photo;
(d) Custom the photo is made visible only
to particular friends and/or networks of the
Facebook user; and
(e) Only Me the digital image can be
viewed only by the user.
The default setting is Public and if a user
wants to have some privacy, then he must
choose any setting other than Public. If it
is true that the students concerned did set the
posts subject of this case so much so that
only five people can see them (as they
claim), then how come most of their
classmates were able to view them. This fact
was not refuted by them. In fact, it was their
classmates who informed and showed their
teacher, Escudero, of the said pictures.

Therefore, it appears that Tan et al never use

the privacy settings of Facebook hence, they
have no reasonable expectation of privacy
on the pictures of them scantily clad.
STC did not violate the students right to
privacy. The manner which the school
gathered the pictures cannot be considered
illegal. As it appears, it was the classmates
of the students who showed the picture to
their teacher and the latter, being the
recipient of said pictures, merely delivered
them to the proper school authority and it
was for a legal purpose, that is, to discipline
their students according to the standards of
the school (to which the students and their
parents agreed to in the first place because
of the fact that they enrolled their children

Read full text

Some notable foreign jurisprudence used by

the Supreme Court in this case:
1. United States v. Gines-Perez: A person
who places a photograph on the Internet
precisely intends to forsake and renounce all

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

privacy rights to such imagery, particularly

under circumstances such as here, where the
Defendant did not employ protective
measures or devices that would have
controlled access to the Web page or the
photograph itself.
2. United States v. Maxwell: The more
open the method of transmission is, the less
privacy one can reasonably expect.
Messages sent to the public at large in the
chat room or e-mail that is forwarded from
correspondent to correspondent loses any
semblance of privacy.
3. H v. W, (South Africa Case dated January
30, 2013): The law has to take into account
the changing realities not only
technologically but also socially or else it
will lose credibility in the eyes of the
people. x x x It is imperative that the courts
respond appropriately to changing times,
acting cautiously and with wisdom.
This case recognized this ability of
Facebook users to customize their privacy
settings, but did so with this caveat:
Facebook states in its policies that,
although it makes every effort to protect a

users information, these privacy settings are

not foolproof.

Freedom of Speech
RAUL M. GONZALES, in his capacity as
the Secretary of the Department of
Justice; and NTC
G.R. No. 168338, February 15, 2008
FACTS: Sometime before 6 June 2005, the
radio station dzMM aired the Garci Tapes
where the parties to the conversation
discussed rigging the results of the 2004
elections to favor President Arroyo. On 6
June 2005, Presidential spokesperson Bunye
held a press conference in Malacaang
Palace, where he played before the
presidential press corps two compact disc
recordings of conversations between a
woman and a man. Bunye identified the
woman in both recordings as President
Arroyo but claimed that the contents of the
second compact disc had been spliced to
make it appear that President Arroyo was
talking to Garcillano.
However, on 9 June 2005, Bunye
backtracked and stated that the womans
voice in the compact discs was not President
Arroyos after all.3 Meanwhile, other

individuals went public, claiming possession

of the genuine copy of the Garci Tapes.
Respondent Gonzalez ordered the NBI to
investigate media organizations which aired
the Garci Tapes for possible violation of
Republic Act No. 4200 or the AntiWiretapping Law.
On 11 June 2005, the NTC issued a press
release warning radio and television stations
that airing the Garci Tapes is a cause for
the suspension, revocation and/or
cancellation of the licenses or
authorizations issued to them. On 14 June
2005, NTC officers met with officers of the
broadcasters group KBP, to dispel fears of
censorship. The NTC and KBP issued a joint
press statement expressing commitment to
press freedom
On 21 June 2005, petitioner Francisco I.
Chavez (petitioner), as citizen, filed this
petition to nullify the acts, issuances, and
orders of the NTC and respondent
Gonzalez (respondents) on the following
grounds: (1) respondents conduct violated
freedom of expression and the right of the
people to information on matters of public
concern under Section 7, Article III of the
Constitution, and (2) the NTC acted ultra
vires when it warned radio and television
stations against airing the Garci Tapes.
ISSUE: The principal issue for resolution is
whether the NTC warning embodied in the
press release of 11 June 2005 constitutes an

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impermissible prior restraint on freedom of

1. Standing to File Petition
Petitioner has standing to file this petition.
When the issue involves freedom of
expression, as in the present case, any
citizen has the right to bring suit to question
the constitutionality of a government action
in violation of freedom of expression,
whether or not the government action is
directed at such citizen. Freedom of
expression, being fundamental to the
preservation of a free, open and democratic
society, is of transcendental importance that
must be defended by every patriotic citizen
at the earliest opportunity.
2. Overview of Freedom of Expression,
Prior Restraint and Subsequent Punishment
Freedom of expression is the foundation of a
free, open and democratic society. Freedom
of expression is an indispensable condition8
to the exercise of almost all other civil and
political rights. Freedom of expression
allows citizens to expose and check abuses
of public officials. Freedom of expression
allows citizens to make informed choices of
candidates for public office.
Section 4, Article III of the Constitution
prohibits the enactment of any law curtailing
freedom of expression:
No law shall be passed abridging the
freedom of speech, of expression, or the
press, or the right of the people peaceably to

assemble and petition the government for

redress of grievances.
Thus, the rule is that expression is not
subject to any prior restraint or censorship
because the Constitution commands that
freedom of expression shall not be abridged.
Over time, however, courts have carved out
narrow and well defined exceptions to this
rule out of necessity.
The exceptions, when expression may be
subject to prior restraint, apply in this
jurisdiction to only four categories of
expression, namely:
false or misleading advertisement,
advocacy of imminent lawless action, and
danger to national security.
All other expression is not subject to prior
Expression not subject to prior restraint is
protected expression or high-value
expression. Any content-based prior restraint
on protected expression is unconstitutional
without exception. A protected expression
means what it says it is absolutely
protected from censorship. Thus, there can
be no prior restraint on public debates on the
amendment or repeal of existing laws, on the
ratification of treaties, on the imposition of
new tax measures, or on proposed
amendments to the Constitution.
If the prior restraint is not aimed at the
message or idea of the expression, it is
content-neutral even if it burdens

expression. A content-neutral restraint is a

restraint which regulates the time, place or
manner of the expression in public places
without any restraint on the content of the
expression. Courts will subject contentneutral restraints to intermediate scrutiny.
An example of a content-neutral restraint is
a permit specifying the date, time and route
of a rally passing through busy public
streets. A content-neutral prior restraint on
protected expression which does not touch
on the content of the expression enjoys the
presumption of validity and is thus
enforceable subject to appeal to the courts.
Expression that may be subject to prior
restraint is unprotected expression or lowvalue expression. By definition, prior
restraint on unprotected expression is
content-based since the restraint is imposed
because of the content itself. In this
jurisdiction, there are currently only four
categories of unprotected expression that
may be subject to prior restraint. This Court
recognized false or misleading
advertisement as unprotected expression
only in October 2007.
Only unprotected expression may be subject
to prior restraint. However, any such prior
restraint on unprotected expression must
hurdle a high barrier. First, such prior
restraint is presumed unconstitutional.
Second, the government bears a heavy
burden of proving the constitutionality of the
prior restraint.

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

Prior restraint is a more severe restriction on

freedom of expression than subsequent
punishment. Although subsequent
punishment also deters expression, still the
ideas are disseminated to the public. Prior
restraint prevents even the dissemination of
ideas to the public.
While there can be no prior restraint on
protected expression, such expression may
be subject to subsequent punishment,27
either civilly or criminally. Similarly, if the
unprotected expression does not warrant
prior restraint, the same expression may still
be subject to subsequent punishment, civilly
or criminally. Libel falls under this class of
unprotected expression.
However, if the expression cannot be subject
to the lesser restriction of subsequent
punishment, logically it cannot also be
subject to the more severe restriction of
prior restraint. Thus, since profane language
or hate speech against a religious minority
is not subject to subsequent punishment in
this jurisdiction, such expression cannot be
subject to prior restraint.
If the unprotected expression warrants prior
restraint, necessarily the same expression is
subject to subsequent punishment. There
must be a law punishing criminally the
unprotected expression before prior restraint
on such expression can be justified.
The prevailing test in this jurisdiction to
determine the constitutionality of
government action imposing prior restraint

on three categories of unprotected

expression pornography,31 advocacy of
imminent lawless action, and danger to
national security is the clear and present
danger test.32 The expression restrained
must present a clear and present danger of
bringing about a substantive evil that the
State has a right and duty to prevent, and
such danger must be grave and imminent.
Prior restraint on unprotected expression
takes many forms it may be a law,
administrative regulation, or impermissible
pressures like threats of revoking licenses or
withholding of benefits.34 The
impermissible pressures need not be
embodied in a government agency
regulation, but may emanate from policies,
advisories or conduct of officials of
government agencies.
3. Government Action in the Present Case
The government action in the present case is
a warning by the NTC that the airing or
broadcasting of the Garci Tapes by radio and
television stations is a cause for the
suspension, revocation and/or cancellation
of the licenses or authorizations issued to
radio and television stations. The NTC
warning, embodied in a press release, relies
on two grounds. First, the airing of the Garci
Tapes is a continuing violation of the AntiWiretapping Law and the conditions of the
Provisional Authority and/or Certificate of
Authority issued to radio and TV stations.
Second, the Garci Tapes have not been

authenticated, and subsequent investigation

may establish that the tapes contain false
information or willful misrepresentation.
The NTC does not claim that the public
airing of the Garci Tapes constitutes
unprotected expression that may be subject
to prior restraint. The NTC does not specify
what substantive evil the State seeks to
prevent in imposing prior restraint on the
airing of the Garci Tapes. The NTC does not
claim that the public airing of the Garci
Tapes constitutes a clear and present danger
of a substantive evil, of grave and imminent
character, that the State has a right and duty
to prevent.
The NTC did not conduct any hearing in
reaching its conclusion that the airing of the
Garci Tapes constitutes a continuing
violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law.
There is also the issue of whether a wireless
cellular phone conversation is covered by
the Anti-Wiretapping Law.
Clearly, the NTC has no factual or legal
basis in claiming that the airing of the Garci
Tapes constitutes a violation of the AntiWiretapping Law. The radio and television
stations were not even given an opportunity
to be heard by the NTC. The NTC did not
observe basic due process as mandated in
Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations.
The NTC concedes that the Garci Tapes
have not been authenticated as accurate or
truthful. The NTC also concedes that only
after a prosecution or appropriate

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

investigation can it be established that the

Garci Tapes constitute false information
and/or willful misrepresentation. Clearly,
the NTC admits that it does not even know
if the Garci Tapes contain false information
or willful misrepresentation.
4. Nature of Prior Restraint in the Present
The NTC action restraining the airing of the
Garci Tapes is a content-based prior restraint
because it is directed at the message of the
Garci Tapes. The NTCs claim that the Garci
Tapes might contain false information
and/or willful misrepresentation, and thus
should not be publicly aired, is an admission
that the restraint is content-based.
5. Nature of Expression in the Present Case
The public airing of the Garci Tapes is a
protected expression because it does not fall
under any of the four existing categories of
unprotected expression recognized in this
jurisdiction. The airing of the Garci Tapes is
essentially a political expression because it
exposes that a presidential candidate had
allegedly improper conversations with a
COMELEC Commissioner right after the
close of voting in the last presidential
Obviously, the content of the Garci Tapes
affects gravely the sanctity of the ballot.
Public discussion on the sanctity of the
ballot is indisputably a protected expression
that cannot be subject to prior restraint. In
any event, public discussion on all political

issues should always remain uninhibited,

robust and wide open.
The rule, which recognizes no exception, is
that there can be no content-based prior
restraint on protected expression. On this
ground alone, the NTC press release is
unconstitutional. Of course, if the courts
determine that the subject matter of a
wiretapping, illegal or not, endangers the
security of the State, the public airing of the
tape becomes unprotected expression that
may be subject to prior restraint. However,
there is no claim here by respondents that
the subject matter of the Garci Tapes
involves national security and publicly
airing the tapes would endanger the security
of the State.
The airing of the Garci Tapes does not
violate the right to privacy because the
content of the Garci Tapes is a matter of
important public concern. The Constitution
guarantees the peoples right to information
on matters of public concern. The remedy of
any person aggrieved by the public airing of
the Garci Tapes is to file a complaint for
violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law after
the commission of the crime. Subsequent
punishment, absent a lawful defense, is the
remedy available in case of violation of the
Anti-Wiretapping Law.
While there can be no prior restraint on
protected expression, there can be
subsequent punishment for protected
expression under libel, tort or other laws. In

the present case, the NTC action seeks prior

restraint on the airing of the Garci Tapes, not
punishment of personnel of radio and
television stations for actual violation of the
Anti-Wiretapping Law.
6. Only the Courts May Impose ContentBased Prior Restraint
The NTC has no power to impose contentbased prior restraint on expression. The
charter of the NTC does not vest NTC with
any content-based censorship power over
radio and television stations.
In the present case, the airing of the Garci
Tapes is a protected expression that can
never be subject to prior restraint. However,
even assuming for the sake of argument that
the airing of the Garci Tapes constitutes
unprotected expression, only the courts have
the power to adjudicate on the factual and
legal issue of whether the airing of the Garci
Tapes presents a clear and present danger of
bringing about a substantive evil that the
State has a right and duty to prevent, so as to
justify the prior restraint.
Any order imposing prior restraint on
unprotected expression requires prior
adjudication by the courts on whether the
prior restraint is constitutional. This is a
necessary consequence from the
presumption of invalidity of any prior
restraint on unprotected expression.
7. Government Failed to Overcome
Presumption of Invalidity
Respondents did not invoke any compelling

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

State interest to impose prior restraint on the

public airing of the Garci Tapes. The
respondents claim that they merely fairly
warned radio and television stations to
observe the Anti-Wiretapping Law and
pertinent NTC circulars on program
standards. Respondents have not explained
how and why the observance by radio and
television stations of the Anti-Wiretapping
Law and pertinent NTC circulars constitutes
a compelling State interest justifying prior
restraint on the public airing of the Garci
Violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law, like
the violation of any criminal statute, can
always be subject to criminal prosecution
after the violation is committed.
Respondents have not explained how the
violation of the Anti-Wiretapping Law, or of
the pertinent NTC circulars, can incite
imminent lawless behavior or endanger the
security of the State.
8. The NTC Warning is a Classic Form of
Prior Restraint
The NTC press release threatening to
suspend or cancel the airwave permits of
radio and television stations constitutes
impermissible pressure amounting to prior
restraint on protected expression. Whether
the threat is made in an order, regulation,
advisory or press release, the chilling effect
is the same: the threat freezes radio and
television stations into deafening silence.
Radio and television stations that have

invested substantial sums in capital

equipment and market development
suddenly face suspension or cancellation of
their permits. The NTC threat is thus real
and potent.
9. Conclusion
In sum, the NTC press release constitutes an
unconstitutional prior restraint on protected
expression. There can be no content-based
prior restraint on protected expression. This
rule has no exception.
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan
Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiff,
Sullivan (Plaintiff) sued the Defendant, the
New York Times Co. (Defendant), for
printing an advertisement about the civil
rights movement in the south that defamed
the Plaintiff.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The constitutional
guarantees require a federal rule that
prohibits a public official from recovering
damages for a defamatory falsehood relating
to his official conduct unless he proves that
the statement was made with actual malice
that is, with knowledge that it was false or
with reckless disregard of whether it was
false or not.
Facts. The Plaintiff was one of three
Commissioners of Montgomery, Alabama,

who claimed that he was defamed in a fullpage ad taken out in the New York Times.
The advertisement was entitled, Heed Their
Rising Voices and it charged in part that an
unprecedented wave of terror had been
directed against those who participated in
the civil rights movement in the South.
Some of the particulars of the advertisement
were false. Although the advertisement did
not mention the Plaintiff by name, he
claimed that it referred to him indirectly
because he had oversight responsibility of
the police. The Defendant claimed that it
authorized publication of the advertisement
because it did not have any reason to believe
that its contents were false. There was no
independent effort to check its accuracy. The
Plaintiff demanded that the Defendant
retract the advertisement. The Defendant
was puzzled as to why the Plaintiff thought
the advertisement reflected adversely on
him. The jury found the ad libe
lous per se and actionable without proof of
malice. The jury awarded the Plaintiff
$500,000 in damages. The Alabama
Supreme Court affirmed. The Defendant
Issue. Is the Defendant liable for defamation
for printing an advertisement, which
criticized a public officials official conduct?
Held. No. Reversed and remanded.
* Safeguards for freedom of speech and of

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the press are required by the First and

Fourteenth Amendments of the United
States Constitution (Constitution) in a libel
action brought by a public official against
critics of his official conduct.
* Under Alabama law, a publication is
libelous per se if the words tend to injure a
person in his reputation or to bring him into
public contempt. The jury must find that the
words were published of and concerning the
plaintiff. Once libel per se has been
established, the defendant has no defense as
to stated facts unless he can persuade the
jury that they were true in all their
* Erroneous statement is inevitable in free
debate and it must be protected if the
freedoms of expression are to have the
breathing space that the need to survive.
* The constitutional guarantees require a
federal rule that prohibits a public official
from recovering damages for a defamatory
falsehood relating to his official conduct
unless he proves that the statement was
made with actual malice that is, with
knowledge that it was false or with reckless
disregard of whether it was false or not.
* The Supreme Court of the United States
(Supreme Court) holds that the Constitution
delimits a States power to award damages
for libel in actions brought by public
officials against critics of their official
conduct. In this case, the rule requiring
proof of actual malice is applicable.

* The Defendants failure to retract the

advertisement upon the Plaintiffs demand is
not adequate evidence of malice for
constitutional purposes. Likewise, it is not
adequate evidence of malice that the
Defendant failed to check the
advertisements accuracy against the news
stories in the Defendants own files. Also,
the evidence was constitutionally defective
in another respect: it was incapable of
supporting the jurys finding that the
allegedly libelous statements were made of
and concerning the Plaintiff.
Concurrence. Justice Hugo Black (J. Black)
argued that the First and Fourteenth
Amendments of the Constitution do not
merely delimit a States power to award
damages, but completely prohibit a State
from exercising such a power. The
Defendant had an absolute, unconditional
right to publish criticisms of the
Montgomery agencies and officials.

SWS vs Comelec

Discussion. In order for a public official to

recover in a defamation action involving his
official conduct, malice must be proved.
Without the showing of malice, the Supreme
Court felt that a defamation action in this
case would severely cripple the safeguards
of freedom speech and expression that are
guaranteed in the First Amendment of the
Constitution and applicable to the States via
the Fourteenth Amendment of the

No. The Court held that Section (5)4 is
invalid because (1) it imposes a prior
restraint on the freedom of expression, (2) it
is a direct and total suppression of a
category of expression even though such
suppression is only for a limited period, and
(3) the governmental interest sought to be
promoted can be achieved by means other

Petitioner SWS and KPC states that it
wishes to conduct an election survey
throughout the period of the elections and
release to the media the results of such
survey as well as publish them directly.
Petitioners argue that the restriction on the
publication of election survey results
constitutes a prior restraint on the exercise
of freedom of speech without any clear and
present danger to justify such restraint.
Are the Comelec Resolutions prohibiting the
holding of pre-polls and exit polls and the
dissemination of their results through mass
media, valid and constitutional?


Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

than suppression of freedom of expression.

It has been held that "[mere] legislative
preferences or beliefs respecting matters of
public convenience may well support
regulation directed at other personal
activities, but be insufficient to justify such
as diminishes the exercise of rights so vital
to the maintenance of democratic
Disini v. The Secretary of Justice
Case Summary and Outcome
The Supreme Court of Philippines declared
Sections 4(c)(3), 12, and 19 of
the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 as
unconstitutional. It held that Section 4(c)(3)
violated the right to freedom of expression
by prohibiting the electronic transmission of
unsolicited commercial communications. It
found Section 12 in violation of the right to
privacy because it lacked sufficient
specificity and definiteness in collecting
real-time computer data. It struck down
Section 19 of the Act for giving the
government the authority to restrict or block
access to computer data without any judicial

The case arises out of consolidated petitions

to the Supreme Court of the Philippines on
the constitutionality of several provisions of
the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, Act
No. 10175.
The Petitioners argued that even though the
Act is the governments platform in
combating illegal cyberspace activities, 21
separate sections of the Act violate their
constitutional rights, particularly the right to
freedom of expression and access to
In February 2013, the Supreme Court
extended the duration of a temporary
restraining order against the government to
halt enforcement of the Act until the
adjudication of the issues.
Decision Overview
Justice Abad delivered the Courts opinion.
The government of Philippines adopted the
Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 for the
purpose of regulating access to and use of
cyberspace. Several sections of the law
define relevant cyber crimes and enable the
government to track down and penalize
Among 21 challenged sections, the Court
declared Sections 4(c)(3), 12, and 19 of the
Act as unconstitutional.
Section 4(c)(3) prohibits the transmission of
unsolicited commercial electronic
communications, commonly known as

spams, that seek to advertise, sell, or offer

for sale of products and services unless the
recipient affirmatively consents, or when the
purpose of the communication is for service
or administrative announcements from the
sender to its existing users, or when the
following conditions are present: (aa) The
commercial electronic communication
contains a simple, valid, and reliable way for
the recipient to reject receipt of further
commercial electronic messages (opt-out)
from the same source; (bb) The commercial
electronic communication does not
purposely disguise the source of the
electronic message; and (cc) The
commercial electronic communication does
not purposely include misleading
information in any part of the message in
order to induce the recipients to read the
The government argued that unsolicited
commercial communications amount to both
nuisance and trespass because they tend to
interfere with the enjoyment of using online
services and that they enter the recipients
domain without prior permission.
The Court first noted that spams are a
category of commercial speech, which does
not receive the same level of protection as
other constitutionally guaranteed forms of
expression ,but is nonetheless entitled to
protection. It ruled that the prohibition on
transmitting unsolicited
communications would deny a person the

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

right to read his emails, even unsolicited

commercial ads addressed to him.
Accordingly, the Court declared Section4(c)
(3) as unconstitutional.
Section 12 of the Act authorizes the law
enforcement without a court warrant to
collect or record traffic data in real-time
associated with specified communications
transmitted by means of a computer
system. Traffic data under this Section
includes the origin, destination, route, size,
date, and duration of the communication, but
not its content nor the identity of users.
The Petitioners argued that such warrantless
authority curtails their civil liberties and set
the stage for abuse of discretion by the
government. They also claimed that this
provision violates the right to privacy and
protection from the governments intrusion
into online communications.
According to the Court, since Section 12
may lead to disclosure of private
communications, it must survive the rational
basis standard of whether it is narrowly
tailored towards serving a governments
compelling interest. The Court found that
the government did have a compelling
interest in preventing cyber crimes by
monitoring real-time traffic data.
As to whether Section 12 violated the right
to privacy, the Court first recognized that the
right at stake concerned informational
privacy, defined as the right not to have
private information disclosed, and the right

to live freely without surveillance and

intrusion. In determining whether a
communication is entitled to the right of
privacy, the Court applied a two-part test:
(1) Whether the person claiming the right
has a legitimate expectation of privacy over
the communication, and (2) whether his
expectation of privacy can be regarded as
objectively reasonable in the society.
The Court noted that internet users have
subjective reasonable expectation of privacy
over their communications transmitted
online. However, it did not find the
expectation as objectively reasonable
because traffic data sent through internet
does not disclose the actual names and
addresses (residential or office) of the sender
and the recipient, only their coded Internet
Protocol (IP) addresses.
Even though the Court ruled that real-time
traffic data under Section 12 does not enjoy
the objective reasonable expectation of
privacy, the existence of enough data may
reveal the personal information of its sender
or recipient, against which the Section fails
to provide sufficient safeguard. The Court
viewed the law as virtually limitless,
enabling law enforcement authorities to
engage in fishing expedition, choosing
whatever specified communication they
Accordingly, the Court struck down Section
12 for lack of specificity and definiteness as
to ensure respect for the right to privacy.

Section 19 authorizes the Department of

Justice to restrict or block access to a
computer data found to be in violation of the
Act. The Petitioners argued that this section
also violated the right to freedom of
expression, as well as the constitutional
protection against unreasonable searches and
The Court first recognized that computer
data constitutes a personal property, entitled
to protection against unreasonable searches
and seizures. Also, the Philippines
Constitution requires the government to
secure a valid judicial warrant when it seeks
to seize a personal property or to block a
form of expression. Because Section 19
precluded any judicial intervention, the
Court found it unconstitutional.
Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire
Brief Fact Summary. Chaplinsky was
convicted under a State statute for calling a
City Marshal a God damned racketeer and
a damned fascist in a public place.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Fighting words
are not entitled to protection under the First
Amendment of the United States
Constitution (Constitution)
Facts. A New Hampshire statute prohibited
any person from addressing any offensive,

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

derisive or annoying word to any other

person who is on any street or public place
or calling him by any derisive name.
Chaplinsky, a Jehovahs Witness, called a
City Marshal a God damned racketeer and
a damned fascist in a public place and was
therefore arrested and convicted under the
Issue. Did the statute or the application of
the statute to Chaplinskys comments violate
his free speech rights under the First
Amendment of the Constitution?
Held. No. The lower court is affirmed.
Considering the purpose of the First
Amendment of the Constitution, it is
obvious that the right to free speech is not
absolute under all circumstances. There are
some narrowly defined classes of speech
that have never been protected by the First
Amendment of the Constitution. These
include fighting words, words that inflict
injury or tend to excite an immediate breach
of the peace. Such words are of such little
expositional or social value that any benefit
they might produce is far outweighed by
their costs on social interests in order and
The statute at issue is narrowly drawn to
define and punish specific conduct lying
within the domain of government power.
Moreover, the Supreme Court of New
Hampshire, which is the ultimate arbiter of

the meanings of New Hampshire law, has

defined the Statute as applying only to
fighting words. Therefore, the Statute
does not unconstitutionally impinge upon
the right of free speech.
Discussion. By holding that fighting
words are not protected forms of speech the
Supreme Court of the United States
(Supreme Court) announced a rare form of
content based restriction on speech that is
permissible. The student should consider
what characteristics distinguish a fight
word from a bona fide criticism. One
difference may lie in the speakers intent.
Fighting words are intended to inflict
harm, bona-fide criticisms are intended to
communicate ideas. Another difference may
lie in the differing likely effects of each:
fighting words are likely to provoke the
average person to violence while bona fide
criticisms are not.
MVRS vs Islamic DaWah Council of the
Phils. (2003)
Bellosillo, J.
a. Islamic Da'wah Council of the
Philippines, Inc., a local federation
of more than seventy (70) Muslim
religious organizations, and

individual Muslims (Linzag, Arcilla,

de Guzman, da Silva, Junio) filed in
the RTC a complaint for damages in
their own behalf and as a class suit in
behalf of the Muslim members
nationwide against MVRS
Publications, Inc., arising from an
article published in the 1 August
1992 issue of Bulgar, a daily tabloid.
The article reads:
Na ang mga baboy at kahit anong uri ng
hayop sa Mindanao ay hindi kinakain ng
mga Muslim?
Para sa kanila ang mga ito ay isang
sagradong bagay. Hindi nila ito kailangang
kainin kahit na sila pa ay magutom at
mawalan ng ulam sa tuwing sila ay kakain.
Ginagawa nila itong Diyos at sinasamba pa
nila ito sa tuwing araw ng kanilang
pangingilin lalung-lalo na sa araw na
tinatawag nilang 'Ramadan'."
b. Islamic DaWah: the libelous
statement was insulting and
damaging to the Muslims; not only
published out of sheer ignorance but
with intent to hurt the feelings, cast
insult and disparage the Muslims and
Islam,; that on account of these
libelous words Bulgar insulted not
only the Muslims in the Philippines
but the entire Muslim world
c. MVRS Publications, Inc.,: the article
did not mention respondents as the

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

object of the article and therefore

were not entitled to damages; and,
that the article was merely an
expression of belief or opinion and
was published without malice nor
intention to cause damage
d. RTC: dismissed the complaint;
persons allegedly defamed by the
article were not specifically
e. CA: reversed RTC decision. The
defamation was directed to all
adherents of the Islamic faith. The
suit for damages was a "class suit"
INC.'s religious status as a Muslim
umbrella organization gave it the
requisite personality to sue and
protect the interests of all Muslims.
1. WON Islamic DaWah has a cause of
action for libel. NO.
2. WON in the alternative, the action can be
considered as one is for intentional tort and
not libel. NO.
3. WON this is a valid class suit. NO.
1. NO, there is no cause of action for libel.
Defamation - which includes libel and
slander, means the offense of injuring a

person's character, fame or reputation

through false and malicious statements. It is
that which tends to injure reputation or to
diminish the esteem, respect, good will or
confidence in the plaintiff or to excite
derogatory feelings or opinions about the
plaintiff.6 It is the publication of anything
which is injurious to the good name or
reputation of another or tends to bring him
into disrepute.7 Defamation is an invasion of
a relational interest since it involves the
opinion which others in the community may
have, or tend to have, of the plaintiff.
Words which are merely insulting are not
actionable as libel or slander per se, and
mere words of general abuse however illnatured, whether written or spoken, do not
constitute a basis for an action for
defamation in the absence of an allegation
for special damages. The fact that the
language is offensive to the plaintiff does
not make it actionable by itself.10
Declarations made about a large class of
people cannot be interpreted to advert to an
identified or identifiable individual. Absent
circumstances specifically pointing or
alluding to a particular member of a class,
no member of such class has a right of
action without at all impairing the equally
demanding right of free speech and
expression, as well as of the press.
APPLICATION: there was no fairly
identifiable person who was allegedly
injured by the Bulgar article. Since the

persons allegedly defamed could not be

identifiable, private respondents have no
individual causes of action; hence, they
cannot sue for a class allegedly disparaged.
An individual Muslim has a reputation that
is personal, separate and distinct in the
community. A Muslim may find the article
dishonorable, even blasphemous; others may
find it as an opportunity to strengthen their
faith and educate the non-believers and the
"infidels." There is no injury to the
reputation of the individual Muslims who
constitute this community that can give rise
to an action for group libel. Each reputation
is personal in character to every person.
Together, the Muslims do not have a single
common reputation that will give them a
common or general interest in the subject
matter of the controversy.
DOCTRINE: If the group is a very large
one, then the alleged libelous statement is
considered to have no application to anyone
in particular, since one might as well defame
all mankind. As the size of these groups
increases, the chances for members of such
groups to recover damages on tortious libel
become elusive.
This principle is said to embrace two (2)
important public policies:
first, where the group referred to is large, the
courts presume that no reasonable reader
would take the statements as so literally
applying to each individual member.

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

second, the limitation on liability would

satisfactorily safeguard freedom of speech
and expression, as well as of the press,
effecting a sound compromise between the
conflicting fundamental interests involved in
libel cases.
APPLICATION: The Muslim community
is too vast as to readily ascertain who among
the Muslims were particularly defamed.
Newsweek, Inc. v. Intermediate
Appellate Court: associations of
sugarcane planters in Negros
Occidental filed against
Newsweek over an article "Island
of Fear" allegedly depicting
Negros Province as a place
dominated by exploitative
wealthy landowners and sugar
planters who also brutalized and
killed underpaid planters. SC
dismissed complaint on the
ground that no allegation in the
complaint that the article
complained of specifically
referred to any of them. Where
the defamation is alleged to have
been directed at a group or class,
it is essential that the statement
must be so sweeping or allembracing as to apply to every
individual in that group or class,
or sufficiently specific so that

each individual in the class or

group can prove that the
defamatory statement specifically
pointed to him, so that he can
bring the action separately, if
need be.
Arcand v. The Evening Call
Publishing Company: US CA
held that the one guiding
principle of group libel is that
defamation of a large group does
not give rise to a cause of action
on the part of an individual
unless it can be shown that he is
the target of the defamatory
Mr. Justice Reynato S. Punos
opinion :
Defamation is made up of the twin torts of
libel (written) and slander (oral). In either
form, defamation is an invasion of the
interest in reputation and good name. This is
a "relational interest" since it involves the
opinion others in the community may have,
or tend to have of the plaintiff.
The law of defamation protects the
interest in reputation the interest in
acquiring, retaining and enjoying one's
reputation as good as one's character and
conduct warrant. Defamation requires that
something be communicated to a third
person that may affect the opinion others
may have of the plaintiff. It must be shown
that this communication would tend to hurt

plaintiff's reputation, to impair plaintiff's

standing in the community.
Although the gist of an action for
defamation is an injury to reputation, the
focus of a defamation action is upon the
allegedly defamatory statement itself and its
predictable effect upon third persons.
The Restatement of Torts defines a
defamatory statement as one that "tends to
so harm the reputation of another as to lower
him in the estimation of the community or to
deter third persons from associating or
dealing with him."
Consequently as a prerequisite to
recovery, it is necessary for the plaintiff to
prove: (1) published a statement that was (2)
defamatory (3) of and concerning the
plaintiff. The rule in libel is that the action
must be brought by the person against whom
the defamatory charge has been made.
Plaintiff must be the person with reference
to whom the statement was made.
If the defamatory statements were
directed at a small, restricted group of
persons, they applied to any member of the
group, and an individual member could
maintain an action for defamation. In
contrast, if defamatory words are used
broadly in respect to a large class or group
of persons, and there is nothing that points,
or by proper colloquium or innuendo can be
made to apply, to a particular member of the
class or group, no member has a right of
action for libel or slander. A prime

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

consideration, therefore, is the public

perception of the size of the group and
whether a statement will be interpreted to
refer to every member.
2. Regarding the argument that the present
case is an intentional tortious act causing
mental distress and not an action for libel.
Invoking Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire
where the U.S. SC held that profanity,
intended merely to incite hostility, have no
social value and do not enjoy protection; and
Beauharnais v. Illinois where it was also
ruled that hate speech against a group (based
on religion, ethnicity, etc.) may validly be
COURT: NO. "Emotional distress" tort
action is personal in nature; it is a civil
action filed by an individual to assuage the
injuries to his emotional tranquility due to
personal attacks on his character.
APPLICATION: no particular individual
was identified in the disputed article of
Bulgar. Here, it is relational harm which
includes harm to social relationships in the
community in the form of defamation; as
distinguished from the principle of reactive
harm which includes injuries to
individual emotional tranquility in the form
of an infliction of emotional distress.
Second Restatement of the Law, to
recover for the intentional infliction of

emotional distress the plaintiff must show

that: (a) The conduct of the defendant was
intentional or in reckless disregard of the
plaintiff; (b) The conduct was extreme and
outrageous; (c) There was a causal
connection between the defendant's conduct
and the plaintiff's mental distress; and, (d)
The plaintiff's mental distress was extreme
and severe.
"Extreme and outrageous conduct" means
conduct that is so outrageous in character,
and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond
all possible bounds of decency, and to be
regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable
in civilized society.
"Emotional distress" means any highly
unpleasant mental reaction such as extreme
grief, shame, humiliation, embarrassment,
anger, disappointment, worry, nausea,
mental suffering and anguish, shock, fright,
horror, and chagrin.
"Severe emotional distress," - he or she
has suffered emotional distress so severe
that no reasonable person could be expected
to endure it; severity of the distress is an
element of the cause of action, not simply a
matter of damages.31
Hustler Magazine v. Falwell: A parody
appeared in Hustler magazine featuring
Reverend Falwell depicting him in an
inebriated state having an incestuous, sexual
liaison with his mother. US Court held that it
was not libelous, because no reasonable
reader would have understood it as a factual

assertion. But still $200,000 awarded on a

separate count of "intentional infliction of
emotional distress," a cause of action that
did not require a false statement of fact to be
made. Here, an intentional tort causing
emotional distress gives way to the
fundamental right to free speech.
APPLICATION: the conduct of petitioners
was not extreme or outrageous. Neither was
the emotional distress allegedly suffered by
respondents so severe that no reasonable
person could be expected to endure it. There
is no evidence on record that points to that
i.) Professor William Prosser: Liability
of course cannot be extended to
every trivial indignity. One must
necessarily be expected and required
to be hardened to a certain amount of
rough language, and to acts that are
definitely inconsiderate and unkind.
One cannot recover merely because
of hurt feelings.
ii.) Professor Calvert Magruder: There is
no occasion for the law to intervene
in every case where someone's
feelings are hurt. There must still be
freedom to express an unflattering
iii.)Chaplinsky and Beauharnais had
largely been superseded by Cohen
and Branderburg. American courts

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

no longer accept the view that speech

may be proscribed merely because it
is "lewd," "profane," "insulting" or
otherwise vulgar or offensive.
iv.) Cohen v. California: Cohen wore a
jacket bearing the words "Fuck the
Draft". No one present in the
courthouse would have regarded
Cohen's speech as a direct personal
insult, nor was there any danger of
reactive violence against him. No
specific individual was targeted in
the allegedly defamatory words
printed on Cohen's jacket. There was
no showing that Cohen's jacket
bearing the words "Fuck the Draft"
had threatened to provoke imminent
v.) Brandenburg v. Ohio: a leader of the
Ku Klux Klan was convicted for
advocating unlawful methods of
terrorism as a means of
accomplishing reforms; U.S.
Supreme Court, held that the
advocacy of illegal action becomes
punishable only if such advocacy is
directed to inciting or producing
imminent lawless action and is likely
to incite or produce such action.
3. NO, it is not a valid class suit.
DOCTRINE: Mr. Justice Jose C. Vitug:
class suit elements: (a) whether the interest
of the named party is coextensive with the

interest of the other members of the class;

(b) the proportion of those made parties as it
so bears to the total membership of the class;
and, (c) any other factor bearing on the
ability of the named party to speak for the
rest of the class.
APPLICATION: Islamic Da'wah Council
of the Philippines, Inc., seeks in effect to
assert the interests not only of the Muslims
in the Philippines but of the whole Muslim
world as well. But they obviously lack the
sufficiency of numbers to represent such a
global group and were not able to
demonstrate they have the same interests
with the rest of Muslims.
Miller v. California
Brief Fact Summary. The Defendant,
Millers (Defendant) conviction for mailing
advertisements for adult books to
unwilling recipients was vacated and
remanded in an effort to shift the burden of
obscenity determinations to the state and
local courts.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. In determining
whether speech is obscene, the basic
guidelines for the trier of fact must be: (a)
whether the average person, applying
contemporary community standards would
find the material, taken as a whole, appeals
to the prurient interest of sex, (b) whether
the work depicts or describes, in a patently
offensive way, sexual conduct specifically

defined by the applicable state law, and (c)

whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks
serious literacy, artistic, political, or
scientific value.
Facts. The Defendant was convicted under
the California Penal Code for mailing
advertisements for adult material to nonsoliciting recipients.
Issue. Whether state statutes may regulate
obscene material without limits?
Held. No. Judgment of the lower court
vacated and remanded for further
proceedings. In determining whether speech
is obscene, the basic guidelines for the trier
of fact must be: (a) whether the average
person, applying contemporary community
standards would find the material, taken as
a whole, appeals to the prurient interest of
sex, (b) whether the work depicts or
describes, in a patently offensive way,
sexual conduct specifically defined by the
applicable state law, and (c) whether the
work, taken as a whole, lacks serious
literacy, artistic, political, or scientific value.
The Supreme Court of the Untied States
(Supreme Court) does not adopt as a
constitutional standard the utterly without
redeeming social value test. If a state law
that regulates obscene material is thus
limited, as written or construed, First
Amendment constitutional values are
adequately protected by the ultimate power

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

of appellate courts to conduct an

independent review of constitutional claims
when necess
Dissent. To send men to jail for violating
standards that they cannot understand due to
vagueness, denies them of due process.
The statute in question is overbroad and
thus, unconstitutional.
Discussion. This case attempts a new
definition and clarification of obscenity
while also trying to shift the burden of
obscenity determinations to the state and
local courts.
Pita V CA G.R. No. 80806 October 5, 1989
J. Sarmiento
In 1983, elements of the Special AntiNarcotics Group, and the Manila Police,
seized and confiscated from dealers along
Manila sidewalks, magazines believed to be
obscene. These were later burned. One of
the publications was Pinoy Playboy
published by Leo Pita.
He filed an injunction case against the
mayor of manila to enjoin him from
confiscating more copies of his magazine
and claimed that this was a violation of
freedom of speech. The court ordered him to
show cause. He then filed an Urgent Motion

for issuance of a temporary restraining

order against indiscriminate seizure.
Defendant Mayor Bagatsing admitted the
confiscation and burning of obscence
reading materials but admitted that these
were surrendered by the stall owners and the
establishments were not raided.
The other defendant, WPD Superintendent,
Narcisco Cabrera, filed no answer.
On January 11, 1984, the trial court issued
an Order setting the case for hearing on
January 16, 1984 "for the parties to adduce
evidence on the question of whether the
publication 'Pinoy Playboy Magazine
alleged (sic) seized, confiscated and/or
burned by the defendants, are obscence per
se or not".
On February 3, 1984, the trial court
promulgated the Order appealed from
denying the motion for a writ of preliminary
injunction, and dismissing the case for lack
of merit
The CA also dismissed the appeal due to the
argument that freedom of the press is not
without restraint.
In the SC, the petitioner claimed that:
1. The CA erred in holding that the police
officers could without any court warrant or
order seize and confiscate petitioner's
magazines on the basis simply of their
determination that they are obscene.
2. The Court of Appeals erred in affirming
the decision of the trial court and, in effect,
holding that the trial court could dismiss the

case on its merits without any hearing

thereon when what was submitted to it for
resolution was merely the application of
petitioner for the writ of preliminary
Issue: Was the seizure constitutional?
Held: No. Petition granted
Test for obscenity: "whether the tendency of
the matter charged as obscene, is to deprave
or corrupt those whose minds are open to
such immoral influences and into whose
hands a publication or other article charged
as being obscene may fall
Also, "whether a picture is obscene or
indecent must depend upon the
circumstances of the case, and that
ultimately, the question is to be decided by
the "judgment of the aggregate sense of the
community reached by it." (Kottinger)
When does a publication have a corrupting
tendency, or when can it be said to be
offensive to human sensibilities?
The issue is a complicated one, in which the
fine lines have neither been drawn nor
Katigbak- "Whether to the average person,
applying contemporary standards, the
dominant theme of the material taken as a
whole appeals to prurient interest."

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

Kalaw-Katigbak represented a marked

departure from Kottinger in the sense that it
measured obscenity in terms of the
"dominant theme" of the work, rather than
isolated passages, which were central to
Kottinger (although both cases are agreed
that "contemporary community standards"
are the final arbiters of what is "obscene").
Kalaw-Katigbak undertook moreover to
make the determination of obscenity
essentially a judicial question and as a
consequence, to temper the wide discretion
Kottinger had given unto law enforcers.
The latest say on American jurisprudence
was Miller v. California, which
expressly abandoned Massachusettes, and
established "basic guidelines," to wit: "(a)
whether 'the average person, applying
contemporary standards' would find the
work, taken as a whole, appeals to the
prurient interest . . .; (b) whether the work
depicts or describes, in a patently offensive
way, sexual conduct specifically defined by
the applicable state law; and (c) whether the
work, taken as a whole, lacks serious
literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
The lack of uniformity in American
jurisprudence as to what constitutes
"obscenity" has been attributed to the
reluctance of the courts to recognize the
constitutional dimension of the problem.
Apparently, the courts have assumed that
"obscenity" is not included in the guaranty
of free speech, an assumption that, as we

averred, has allowed a climate of opinions

among magistrates predicated upon
arbitrary, if vague theories of what is
acceptable to society.
In the case at bar, there is no challenge on
the right of the State, in the legitimate
exercise of police power, to suppress smut
provided it is smut. For obvious reasons,
smut is not smut simply because one insists
it is smut. So is it equally evident that
individual tastes develop, adapt to wideranging influences, and keep in step with the
rapid advance of civilization. What shocked
our forebears, say, five decades ago, is not
necessarily repulsive to the present
But neither should we say that "obscenity" is
a bare (no pun intended) matter of opinion.
As we said earlier, it is the divergent
perceptions of men and women that have
probably compounded the problem rather
than resolved it.
Undoubtedly, "immoral" lore or literature
comes within the ambit of free expression,
although not its protection. In free
expression cases, this Court has consistently
been on the side of the exercise of the right,
barring a "clear and present danger" that
would warrant State interference and action.
But the burden to show this lies with the
"There must be objective and convincing,
not subjective or conjectural, proof of the
existence of such clear and present danger."

As we so strongly stressed in Bagatsing, a

case involving the delivery of a political
speech, the presumption is that the speech
may validly be said. The burden is on the
State to demonstrate the existence of a
danger, a danger that must not only be: (1)
clear but also, (2) present, to justify State
action to stop the speech.
The Court is not convinced that the private
respondents have shown the required proof
to justify a ban and to warrant confiscation
of the literature for which mandatory
injunction had been sought below. First of
all, they were not possessed of a
lawful court order: (1) finding the said
materials to be pornography, and (2)
authorizing them to carry out a search and
seizure, by way of a search warrant.
Has petitioner been found guilty for
publishing obscene works under
Presidential Decrees Nos. 960 and 969? This
not answered, one can conclude that the fact
that the former respondent Mayor's act was
sanctioned by "police power" is no license
to seize property in disregard of due process.
The PDs dont give the authorities the
permission to execute high-handed acts.
It is basic that searches and seizures may be
done only through a judicial warrant,
otherwise, they become unreasonable and
subject to challenge.
There is of course provision for warrantless
searches under the Rules of Court but as the
provision itself suggests, the search must

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

have been an incident to a lawful arrest and

it must be on account fo a crime committed.
The Court rejected the argument that
"[t]here is no constitutional nor legal
provision which would free the accused of
all criminal responsibility because there had
been no warrant, and there is no "accused"
here to speak of, who ought to be
Second, to say that the respondent Mayor
could have validly ordered the raid (as a
result of an anti-smut campaign) without a
lawful search warrant because, in his
opinion, "violation of penal laws" has been
committed, is to make therespondent Mayor
judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one.
New York v. Ferber
Brief Fact Summary. The Respondent,
Ferber (Respondent), was convicted of
distributing child pornography in violation
of New York state law.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Child
pornography is obscene without exception.
Facts. Use of children in pornographic
materials has increased over the years
causing the introduction of many state laws
prohibiting such activity. The Respondent
was a storeowner who sold material showing
children under the age of 16 engaged in
sexual activities.

Issue. Is child pornography a form of

obscenity that may be constitutionally
Held. Yes. The prohibition on the sale and
distribution of child pornography is
constitutional even if the material is not
Distribution of these materials is
intrinsically related to child abuse.
Advertising and selling these types of
materials provide an economic motive to
engage in illegal activity.
The value of showing children engaged in
sex is de minimis.
Concurrence. It is possible for some
depictions of child sex acts to have serious
literary, artistic, scientific or medical value.
Discussion. These laws protect the children
from being exploited and abused. This
protection of children is a legitimate state
interest that outweighs an adults freedom to
enjoy sexually explicit material.
appeal from the united states district court
for the eastern district of pennsylvania
No. 96-511. Argued March 19, 1997Decided June 26, 1997
Two provisions of the Communications
Decency Act of 1996 (CDA or Act) seek to
protect minors from harmful material on the

Internet, an international network of

interconnected computers that enables
millions of people to communicate with one
another in "cyberspace" and to access vast
amounts of information from around the
world. Title 47 U. S. C. A. 223(a)(1)(B)(ii)
(Supp. 1997) criminalizes the "knowing"
transmission of "obscene or indecent"
messages to any recipient under 18 years of
age. Section 223(d) prohibits the
"knowin[g]" sending or displaying to a
person under 18 of any message "that, in
context, depicts or describes, in terms
patently offensive as measured by
contemporary community standards, sexual
or excretory activities or organs."
Affirmative defenses are provided for those
who take "good faith, . . . effective . . .
actions" to restrict access by minors to the
prohibited communications, 223(e)(5)(A),
and those who restrict such access by
requiring certain designated forms of age
proof, such as a verified credit card or an
adult identification number, 223(e)(5)(B).
A number of plaintiffs filed suit challenging
the constitutionality of 223(a)(1) and
223(d). After making extensive findings of
fact, a three-judge District Court convened
pursuant to the Act entered a preliminary
injunction against enforcement of both
challenged provisions. The court's judgment
enjoins the Government from enforcing
223(a)(1)(B)'s prohibitions insofar as they
relate to "indecent" communications, but

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

expressly preserves the Government's right

to investigate and prosecute the obscenity or
child pornography activities prohibited
therein. The injunction against enforcement
of 223(d) is unqualified because that
section contains no separate reference to
obscenity or child pornography. The
Government appealed to this Court under
the Act's special review provisions, arguing
that the District Court erred in holding that
the CDA violated both the First Amendment
because it is overbroad and the Fifth
Amendment because it is vague.
Held: The CDA's "indecent transmission"
and "patently offensive display" provisions
abridge "the freedom of speech" protected
by the First Amendment. Pp. 17-40.
(a) Although the CDA's vagueness is
relevant to the First Amendment overbreadth
inquiry, the judgment should be affirmed
without reaching the Fifth Amendment
issue. P. 17.
(b) A close look at the precedents relied on
by the Government-Ginsberg v. New York,
390 U. S. 629; FCC v. Pacifica Foundation,
438 U. S. 726; and Renton v.Playtime
Theatres, Inc., 475 U. S. 41-raises, rather
than relieves, doubts about the CDA's
constitutionality. The CDA differs from the
various laws and orders upheld in those
cases in many ways, including that it does
not allow parents to consent to their
children's use of restricted materials; is not
limited to commercial transactions; fails to

provide any definition of "indecent" and

omits any requirement that "patently
offensive" material lack socially redeeming
value; neither limits its broad categorical
prohibitions to particular times nor bases
them on an evaluation by an agency
familiar with the medium's unique
characteristics; is punitive; applies to a
medium that, unlike radio, receives full First
Amendment protection; and cannot be
properly analyzed as a form of time, place,
and manner regulation because it is a
content-based blanket restriction on speech.
These precedents, then, do not require the
Court to uphold the CDA and are fully
consistent with the application of the most
stringent review of its provisions. Pp. 17-21.
(c) The special factors recognized in some
of the Court's cases as justifying regulation
of the broadcast media-the history of
extensive government regulation of
broadcasting, see, e.g., Red Lion
Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 395 U. S. 367,
399-400; the scarcity of available
frequencies at its inception, see, e.g., Turner
Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC, 512 U. S.
622, 637-638; and its "invasive" nature,
see Sable Communications of Cal., Inc.
v. FCC, 492 U. S. 115, 128-are not present
in cyberspace. Thus, these cases provide no
basis for qualifying the level of First
Amendment scrutiny that should be applied
to the Internet. Pp. 22-24.

(d) Regardless of whether the CDA is so

vague that it violates the Fifth Amendment,
the many ambiguities concerning the scope
of its coverage render it problematic for
First Amendment purposes. For instance, its
use of the undefined terms "indecent" and
"patently offensive" will provoke
uncertainty among speakers about how the
two standards relate to each other and just
what they mean. The vagueness of such a
content-based regulation, see, e.g., Gentile
v. State Bar of Nev., 501 U. S. 1030, coupled
with its increased deterrent effect as a
criminal statute, see, e.g., Dombrowski
v. Pfister, 380 U. S. 479, raise special First
Amendment concerns because of its obvious
chilling effect on free speech. Contrary to
the Government's argument, the CDA is not
saved from vagueness by the fact that its
"patently offensive" standard repeats the
second part of the three-prong obscenity test
set forth in Miller v. California, 413 U. S.
15, 24. The second Miller prong reduces the
inherent vagueness of its own "patently
offensive" term by requiring that the
proscribed material be "specifically defined
by the applicable state law." In addition, the
CDA applies only to "sexual conduct,"
whereas, the CDA prohibition extends also
to "excretory activities" and "organs" of
both a sexual and excretory nature. Each
of Miller's other two prongs also critically
limits the uncertain sweep of the obscenity
definition. Just because a definition

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

including three limitations is not vague, it

does not follow that one of those limitations,
standing alone, is not vague. The CDA's
vagueness undermines the likelihood that it
has been carefully tailored to the
congressional goal of protecting minors
from potentially harmful materials. Pp. 2428.
(e) The CDA lacks the precision that the
First Amendment requires when a statute
regulates the content of speech. Although
the Government has an interest in protecting
children from potentially harmful materials,
see, e.g., Ginsberg, 390 U. S., at 639, the
CDA pursues that interest by suppressing a
large amount of speech that adults have a
constitutional right to send and receive,
see, e.g., Sable, supra, at 126. Its breadth is
wholly unprecedented. The CDA's burden
on adult speech is unacceptable if less
restrictive alternatives would be at least as
effective in achieving the Act's legitimate
purposes. See, e.g., Sable, 492 U. S., at 126.
The Government has not proved otherwise.
On the other hand, the District Court found
that currently available user-based software
suggests that a reasonably effective method
by which parents can prevent their children
from accessing material which the parents
believe is inappropriate will soon be widely
available. Moreover, the arguments in this
Court referred to possible alternatives such
as requiring that indecent material be
"tagged" to facilitate parental control,

making exceptions for messages with

artistic or educational value, providing
some tolerance for parental choice, and
regulating some portions of the Internet
differently than others. Particularly in the
light of the absence of any detailed
congressional findings, or even hearings
addressing the CDA's special problems, the
Court is persuaded that the CDA is not
narrowly tailored. Pp. 28-33.
(f) The Government's three additional
arguments for sustaining the CDA's
affirmative prohibitions are rejected. First,
the contention that the Act is constitutional
because it leaves open ample "alternative
channels" of communication is unpersuasive
because the CDA regulates speech on the
basis of its content, so that a "time, place,
and manner" analysis is inapplicable.
See, e.g., Consolidated Edison Co. of N.
Y. v. Public Serv. Comm'n of N. Y., 447 U. S.
530, 536. Second, the assertion that the
CDA's "knowledge" and "specific person"
requirements significantly restrict its
permissible application to communications
to persons the sender knows to be under 18
is untenable, given that most Internet
forums are open to all comers and that even
the strongest reading of the "specific
person" requirement would confer broad
powers of censorship, in the form of a
"heckler's veto," upon any opponent of
indecent speech. Finally, there is no textual
support for the submission that material

having scientific, educational, or other

redeeming social value will necessarily fall
outside the CDA's prohibitions. Pp. 33-35.
(g) The 223(e)(5) defenses do not
constitute the sort of "narrow tailoring" that
would save the CDA. The Government's
argument that transmitters may take
protective "good faith actio[n]" by "tagging"
their indecent communications in a way that
would indicate their contents, thus
permitting recipients to block their reception
with appropriate software, is illusory, given
the requirement that such action be
"effective": The proposed screening
software does not currently exist, but, even
if it did, there would be no way of knowing
whether a potential recipient would actually
block the encoded material. The
Government also failed to prove that
223(b)(5)'s verification defense would
significantly reduce the CDA's heavy burden
on adult speech. Although such verification
is actually being used by some commercial
providers of sexually explicit material, the
District Court's findings indicate that it is
not economically feasible for most
noncommercial speakers. Pp. 35-37.
(h) The Government's argument that this
Court should preserve the CDA's
constitutionality by honoring its severability
clause, 608, and by construing
nonseverable terms narrowly, is acceptable
in only one respect. Because obscene speech
may be banned totally, see Miller, supra, at

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

18, and 223(a)'s restriction of "obscene"

material enjoys a textual manifestation
separate from that for "indecent" material,
the Court can sever the term "or indecent"
from the statute, leaving the rest of 223(a)
standing. Pp. 37-39.
(i) The Government's argument that its
"significant" interest in fostering the
Internet's growth provides an independent
basis for upholding the CDA's
constitutionality is singularly unpersuasive.
The dramatic expansion of this new forum
contradicts the factual basis underlying this
contention: that the unregulated availability
of "indecent" and "patently offensive"
material is driving people away from the
Internet. P. 40.
929 F. Supp. 824, affirmed.
Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the
Court, in which Scalia, Kennedy, Souter,
Thomas, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined.
O'Connor, J., filed an opinion concurring in
the judgment in part and dissenting in part,
in which Rehnquist, C. J., joined.
NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal
revision before publication in the
preliminary print of the United States
Reports. Readers are requested to notify the
Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the
United States, Wash-ington, D.C. 20543, of
any typographical or other formal errors, in
order that corrections may be made before
the preliminary print goes to press.

certiorari to the united states court of

appeals for the eleventh circuit
No. 06694.Argued October 30, 2007
Decided May 19, 2008
After this Court found facially overbroad a
federal statutory provision criminalizing the
possession and distribution of material
pandered as child pornography, regardless of
whether it actually was that, Ashcroft v. Free
Speech Coalition, 535 U. S. 234, Congress
passed the pandering and solicitation
provision at issue, 18 U. S. C. 2252A(a)(3)
(B). Respondent Williams pleaded guilty to
this offense and others, but reserved the
right to challenge his pandering convictions
constitutionality. The District Court rejected
his challenge, but the Eleventh Circuit
reversed, finding the statute both overbroad
under the First Amendment and
impermissibly vague under the Due Process
1. Section 2252A(a)(3)(B) is not
overbroad under the First Amendment.
Pp. 618.
(a) A statute is facially invalid if it
prohibits a substantial amount of protected
speech. Section 2252A(a)(3)(B) generally
prohibits offers to provide and requests to
obtain child pornography. It targets not the
underlying material, but the collateral
speech introducing such material into the
child-pornography distribution network. Its
definition of material or purported material

that may not be pandered or solicited

precisely tracks the material held
constitutionally proscribable in New
York v. Ferber, 458 U. S. 747,
and Miller v. California,413 U. S. 15:
obscene material depicting (actual or virtual)
children engaged in sexually explicit
conduct, and any other material depicting
actual children engaged in sexually explicit
conduct. The statutes important features
include: (1) a scienter requirement; (2)
operative verbs that are reasonably read to
penalize speech that accompanies or seeks to
induce a child pornography transfer from
one person to another; (3) a phrasein a
manner that reflects the belief, ibid.that
has both the subjective component that the
defendant must actually have held the
belief that the material or purported
material was child pornography, and the
objective component that the statement or
action must manifest that belief; (4) a phrase
in a manner that is intended to cause
another to believe, ibid that has only the
subjective element that the defendant must
intend that the listener believe the material
to be child pornography; and (5) a sexually
explicit conduct definition that is very
similar to that in the New York statute
upheld in Ferber. Pp. 611.
(b) As thus construed, the statute does
not criminalize a substantial amount of
protected expressive activity. Offers to
engage in illegal transactions are

Constitutional Law 2 Case Digests

categorically excluded from First

Amendment protection. E.g., Pittsburgh
Press Co. v. Pittsburgh Commn on Human
Relations, 413 U. S. 376, 388. The Eleventh
Circuit mistakenly believed that this
exclusion extended only to commercial
offers to provide or receive contraband. The
exclusions rationale, however, is based not
on the less privileged status of commercial
speech, but on the principle that offers to
give or receive what it is unlawful to possess
have no social value and thus enjoy no First
Amendment protection. The constitutional
defect in Free Speech Coalitions pandering
provision was that it went beyond pandering
to prohibit possessing material that could not
otherwise be proscribed. The Eleventh
Circuits erroneous conclusion led it to apply
strict scrutiny to 2252A(a)(3)(B), lodging
three fatal objections that lack merit. Pp. 11

2. Section 2252A(a)(3)(B) is not

impermissibly vague under the Due Process
Clause. A conviction fails to comport with
due process if the statute under which it is
obtained fails to provide a person of
ordinary intelligence fair notice of what is
prohibited, or is so standardless that it
authorizes or encourages seriously
enforcement. Hill v. Colorado, 530 U. S.
703, 732. In the First Amendment context
plaintiffs may argue that a statute is
overbroad because it is unclear whether it
regulates a substantial amount of protected
speech. Hoffman Estates v. Flipside,
Hoffman Estates, Inc., 455 U. S. 489, 494
495, and nn. 6 and 7. The Eleventh Circuit
mistakenly believed that in a manner that
reflects the belief and in a manner that
is intended to cause another to believe were
vague and standardless phrases that left the

public with no objective measure of

conformance. What renders a statute vague,
however, is not the possibility that it will
sometimes be difficult to determine whether
the incriminating fact it establishes has been
proved; but rather the indeterminacy of what
that fact is.
See, e.g., Coates v. Cincinnati, 402 U. S.
611, 614. There is no such indeterminacy
here. The statutes requirements are clear
questions of fact. It may be difficult in some
cases to determine whether the requirements
have been met, but courts and juries every
day pass upon the reasonable import of a
defendants statements and upon
knowledge, belief and intent. American
Communications Assn. v. Douds, 339 U. S.
382, 411. Pp. 1821.