You are on page 1of 15

[ G.R. NO.

152375, DECEMBER 13, 2011 ]


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS SANDIGANBAYAN (FOURTH DIVISION), JOSE L. AFRICA (SUBSTITUTED BY HIS
HEIRS), MANUEL H. NIETO, JR., FERDINAND E. MARCOS (SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS), IMELDA R. MARCOS, FERDINAND R.
MARCOS, JR., JUAN PONCE ENRILE, AND POTENCIANO ILUSORIO (SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS), RESPONDENTS.
FACTS: On July 22, 1987, the petitioner Republic of the Philippines, through the Presidential Commission on Good Government
(PCGG), filed a complaint against Jose L. Africa, Manuel H. Nieto, Jr., Ferdinand E. Marcos, Imelda R. Marcos, Ferdinand R. Marcos,
Jr., Juan Ponce Enrile, and Potenciano Ilusorio (collectively, the respondents) for reconveyance, reversion, accounting,
restitution,and damages before the Sandiganbayan. The petitioner alleged that the respondents illegally manipulated the purchase
of the major shareholdings of Cable and Wireless Limited in Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (ETPI), which shareholdings
respondents Jose Africa and Manuel Nieto, Jr. held for themselves and, through their holdings and the corporations they organized,
beneficially for respondents Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda R. Marcos. This case docketed as Civil Case No. 0009. Victor Africa
(Africa), son of the late Jose L. Africa, was not impleaded in and so is plainly not a party to Civil Case No. 0009. Civil Case No. 0009
spawned numerous incidental cases, among them, Civil Case No. 0130. The present respondents were not made parties in Civil Case
No. 0130.
Africa, as an ETPI stockholder, filed a petition for certiorari, with prayer for a temporary restraining order/preliminary injunction
with the Sandiganbayan (docketed as Civil Case No. 0130), seeking to nullify the order of the Sandiganbayan for the former to
account for his sequestered shares in ETPI and to cease and desist from exercising voting rights. During the pendency of Africas
petition, Civil Case No. 0130, Africa filed a motion with the Sandiganbayan, alleging that the PCGG had been illegally exercising
the rights of stockholders of ETPI, especially in the election of the members of the board of directors and prayed for the issuance of
an order for the calling and holding of [ETPI] annual stockholders meeting under the courts control and supervision. Sandiganbayan
favored Africas motion.
The PCGG assailed this resolution before this Court via a petition for certiorari docketed as G.R. No. 107789 (PCGGs petition),
imputing grave abuse of discretion on the Sandiganbayan for holding, inter alia, that the registered stockholders of ETPI had the
right to vote.[14] In our November 26, 1992 Resolution, we enjoined the Sandiganbayan from implementing its assailed resolution.
The Sandiganbayan ordered for the consolidation of Civil Cases Nos. 0009 and 0130, with the former as the main case and the latter
as an incident.
During the pendency of PCGGs petition (G.R. No. 107789), A Very Urgent Petition for Authority to Hold Special Stockholders
Meeting for the Sole Purpose of Increasing [ETPIs] Authorized Capital Stock (Urgent Petition) was filed by PCGG. In our May 7, 1996
Resolution, we referred this Urgent Petition to the Sandiganbayan for reception of evidence and immediate resolution which will
be in Civil Case No. 0130.
To resolve the Urgent Petition, the testimony of Mr. Maurice V. Bane (former director and treasurer-in-trust of ETPI) was taken at
the petitioners instance for the purpose for Bane to identify and testify on the facts in his affidavit so as to prove the ownership
issue in favor of the petitioner and/or establish the prima facie factual foundation for sequestration of ETPIs Class A stock in
support of the Urgent Petition. The notice also states that the petitioner shall use the Bane deposition in evidence in the main
case of Civil Case No. 0009. On the scheduled deposition date, only Africa was present and he cross-examined Bane.
The Sandiganbayan granted the Urgent Petition hence, Africa went to this Court via a petition for certiorari docketed as G.R. No.
147214 (Africas petition). The court resolved the PCGG and Africas petition and they were REFERRED to the Sandiganbayan for
reception of evidence and to decide it within 60 days from receipt of this resolution.

In Civil case 0009, the pre-trial conference was scheduled and concluded only on November 29, 1996 and March 17, 1997. Among the
witnesses offered was Maurice V. Bane representative of Cable and Wireless Limited (C & W) at the time ETPI was organized. After
the trial of Civil Case No. 009, the petitioner filed a motion to adopt the testimonies of the witnesses in Civil Case No. 0130,
including Bane. The Sandiganbayan promulgated the 1998 Resolution which denied the adoption of oral deposition of Bane because
he was not available for cross-examination.
The petitioners did not question the 1998 resolution, and instead they made its Formal Offer of Evidence. Significantly, the Bane
deposition was not included as part of its offered exhibits. In order to correct this, they filed a second motion with prayer for reopening of the case for the purpose of introducing additional evidence and requested the court to take judicial notice of the facts
established by the Bane deposition. This was denied by the Sandiganbayan in its November 6, 2000 resolution. A third motion was
filed by the petitioners on November 16, 2001 seeking once more to admit the Bane deposition which the Sandiganbayan for the
reason that without plaintiff having moved for reconsideration within the reglementary period, the resolution has attained
finality and its effect cannot be undone by the simple expedient of filing a motion.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of jurisdiction on holding that the 1998 resolution already attained
finality and that the 3rd motion for reconsideration of the petitioner is prohibited.
HELD: A judgment or order is considered final if the order disposes of the action or proceeding completely, or terminates a
particular stage of the same action; in such case, the remedy available to an aggrieved party is appeal. If the order or resolution,
however, merely resolves incidental matters and leaves something more to be done to resolve the merits of the case, the order is
interlocutory and the aggrieved partys remedy is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. Therefore, the 1998 resolution is
interlocutory. The Sandiganbayans denial of the petitioners 1st motion through the 1998 Resolution came at a time when the
petitioner had not even concluded the presentation of its evidence. Plainly, the denial of the motion did not resolve the merits of
the

case,

as

something

still

had

to

be

done

to

achieve

this

end.

The Sandiganbayans 1998 resolution which merely denied the adoption of the Bane deposition as part of the evidence in Civil Case
No. 0009 could not have attained finality.
The Sandiganbayan undoubtedly erred on a question of law in its ruling, but this legal error did not necessarily amount to a grave
abuse of discretion in the absence of a clear showing that its action was a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment affecting
its exercise of jurisdiction.[62] Without this showing, the Sandiganbayans erroneous legal conclusion was only an error of
judgment, or, at best, an abuse of discretion but not a grave one.
The 3rd motion could not also be considered as a prohibited motion because Section 5, Rule 37 of the Rules of Court clearly provides,
the proscription against a second motion for reconsideration is directed against a judgment or final order. But a second motion for
reconsideration of an interlocutory order can be denied on the ground that it is discusses again the arguments already passed upon
and resolved by the court. In this case, the latter is the reason cited by the respondents for the denial of the motion.

NICOLAS vs. ROMULO


FACTS:
Herein respondent, Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, is a member of the United States Armed Forces. He was charged
with the crime of rape committed against a Filipina, Suzette S. Nicolas.
Pursuant to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States, the
United States, at its request, was granted custody of defendant Smith pending the proceedings.

During the trial, the US Government faithfully complied with its undertaking to bring defendant Smith to the trial court
every time his presence was required.
Eventually, the Regional Trial Court rendered its Decision, finding defendant Smith guilty. He shall serve his sentence
in the facilities that shall be agreed upon by appropriate Philippine and United States pursuant to the VFA. Pending
agreement on such facilities, accused is hereby temporarily committed to the Makati City Jail.
However, defendant was taken out of the Makati jail by a contingent of Philippine law enforcement agents, and
brought to a facility for detention under the control of the United States government, provided for under new
agreements between the Philippines and the United States, referred to as the Romulo-Kenney Agreement. This
agreement provides that in accordance with the Visiting Forces Agreement signed, Smith, United States Marine Corps,
be returned to United States military custody at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
Petitioners contend that the Philippines should have custody of Smith because if they would allow such transfer of
custody of an accused to a foreign power is to provide for a different rule of procedure for that accused. The equal
protection clause of the Constitution is also violated.
ISSUE:
Whether or Not there is a violation of the equal protection clause.
HELD:
The equal protection clause is not violated, because there is a substantial basis for a different treatment of a member
of a foreign military armed forces allowed to enter our territory and all other accused.
The rule in international law is that a foreign armed forces allowed to enter ones territory is immune from local
jurisdiction, except to the extent agreed upon. The Status of Forces Agreements involving foreign military units
around the world vary in terms and conditions, according to the situation of the parties involved, and reflect their
bargaining power. But the principle remains, i.e., the receiving State can exercise jurisdiction over the forces of the
sending State only to the extent agreed upon by the parties.
As a result, the situation involved is not one in which the power of this Court to adopt rules of procedure is curtailed or
violated, but rather one in which, as is normally encountered around the world, the laws (including rules of procedure)
of one State do not extend or apply except to the extent agreed upon to subjects of another State due to the
recognition of extraterritorial immunity given to such bodies as visiting foreign armed forces.
Applying, however, the provisions of VFA, the Court finds that there is a different treatment when it comes to
detention as against custody.
It is clear that the parties to the VFA recognized the difference between custody during the trial and detention after
conviction, because they provided for a specific arrangement to cover detention. And this specific arrangement clearly
states not only that the detention shall be carried out in facilities agreed on by authorities of both parties, but also
that the detention shall be "by Philippine authorities." Therefore, the Romulo-Kenney Agreements of December 19 and
22, 2006, which are agreements on the detention of the accused in the United States Embassy, are not in accord with
the VFA itself because such detention is not "by Philippine authorities."
Respondents should therefore comply with the VFA and negotiate with representatives of the United States towards an
agreement on detention facilities under Philippine authorities as mandated by Art. V, Sec. 10 of the VFA.
The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States is UPHELD as
constitutional, but the Romulo-Kenney Agreements are DECLARED not in accordance with the VFA.
G.R. No. 178160, February 26, 2009
BASES CONVERSION AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, PETITIONER VS.
COMMISSION ON AUDIT, RESPONDENT
CARPIO, J.:
FACTS:
On 13 March 1992, Congress approved Republic Act No. 7227 creating the Bases Conversion And Development
Authority (BCDA). Sec 9 of RA No. 7227 states that the BCDA Board pf Directors shall exercise the power and functions
of the BCDA under Sec 10, the functions of the Board include the determination of the organizational structure and the
adoption of a compensation and benefit scheme at least equivalent to that of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Accordingly, the Board determined the organizational structure of the BCDA and adopted a compensation and benefit
scheme for its officials and employees.

On 20 December 1996, the Board adopted a new compensation and benefit scheme which included a P10,000 yearend benefit granted to each contractual employee, regular permanent employee, and Board member. In a
memorandum dated 25 August 1997, Board Chairman Victoriano A. Basco (Chairman Basco) recommended to
President Fidel V. Ramos (President Ramos) the approval of the new compensation and benefit scheme. In a
memorandum dated 9 October 1997, President Ramos approved the new compensation and benefit scheme.
In 1999, the BSP gave a P30,000 year-end benefit to its officials and employees. In 2000, the BSP increased the yearend benefit from P30,000 to P35,000. Pursuant to Section 10 of RA No. 7227 which states that the compensation and
benefit scheme of the BCDA shall be at least equivalent to that of the BSP, the Board increased the year-end benefit of
BCDA officials and employees from P10,000 to P30,000. Thus in 2000 and 2001, BCDA officials and employees
received a P30,000 year-end benefit, and, on 1 October 2002, the Board passed Resolution No. 2002-10-193approving
the
release
of
a
P30,000
year-end
benefit
for
2002.
Aside from the contractual employees, regular permanent employees, and Board members, the full-time consultants of
the BCDA also received the year-end benefit.
ISSUES:

Are the members of the Board of Directors entitled to YEB?


Does the presumption of good faith apply to the case at bar?

RULING:
The granting of YEB x x x is not without x x x limitation. DBM Circular Letter No. 2002-02 dated January 2, 2002
stating, viz:
2.0

To clarify and address issues/requests concerning the same, the following compensation
policies are hereby reiterated:

2.1

PERA, ADCOM, YEB and retirement benefits, are personnel benefits granted in addition to
salaries. As fringe benefits, these shall be paid only when the basic salary is also paid.

2.2

Members of the Board of Directors of agencies are not salaried officials of the government.
As non-salaried officials they are not entitled to PERA, ADCOM, YEB and retirement benefits
unless expressly provided by law.

2.3

Department Secretaries, Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries who serve as Ex-officio


Members of the Board of Directors are not entitled to any remuneration in line with the
Supreme Court ruling that their services in the Board are already paid for and covered by
the remuneration attached to their office. (underscoring ours)

Clearly, as stated above, the members and ex-officio members of the Board of Directors are not entitled to
YEB, they being not salaried officials of the government. The same goes with full time consultants wherein
no employer-employee relationships exist between them and the BCDA. Thus, the whole amount paid to them totaling
P342,000 is properly disallowed in audit.
The Board members and full-time consultants of the BCDA are not entitled to the year-end benefit.
The BCDA claims that the Board can grant the year-end benefit to its members and full-time consultants because,
under Section 10 of RA No. 7227, the functions of the Board include the adoption of compensation and benefit scheme.
The Court is not impressed. The Board's power to adopt compensation and benefit scheme is not unlimited. Section 9
of RA No. 7227 states that Board members are entitled to a per diem:
Members of the Board shall receive a per diem of not more than Five thousand pesos (P5,000) for every
board meeting: Provided, however, That the per diem collected per month does not exceed the
equivalent of four (4) meetings: Provided, further, That the amount of per diem for every board meeting may be
increased by the President but such amount shall not be increased within two (2) years after its last increase.
(Emphasis supplied)

A.M. No. 93-7-696-0 February 21, 1995


In Re JOAQUIN T. BORROMEO, Ex Rel. Cebu City Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
FACTS: The respondent in this case, Joaquin T. Borromeo, who has, for some sixteen (16) years now, from 1978 to the present, been
instituting and prosecuting legal proceedings in various courts, dogmatically pontificating on errors supposedly committed by the
courts, including the Supreme Court. Under the illusion that his trivial acquaintance with the law had given him competence to

undertake litigation, he has ventured to represent himself in numerous original and review proceedings. Expectedly, the results have
been disastrous. In the process, and possibly in aid of his interminable and quite unreasonable resort to judicial proceedings, he has
seen fit to compose and circulate many scurrilous statements against courts, judges and their employees, as well as his adversaries, for
which he is now being called to account. In those publicly circulated writings, he calls judges and lawyers ignorant, corrupt, oppressors,
violators of the Constitution and the laws, etc.
ISSUE:

Are

lawyers

entitled

to

the

same

degree

of

latitude

of

freedom

of

speech

towards

the

Court?

RULING: No. There can scarcely be any doubt of Borromeo's guilt of contempt, for abuse of and interference with judicial rules and
processes, gross disrespect to courts and judges and improper conduct directly impeding, obstructing and degrading the administration
of justice. He stubbornly litigated issues already declared to be without merit, rendered adversely to him in many suits and proceedings,
rulings which had become final and executory, obdurately and unreasonably insisting on the application of his own individual version of
the rules, founded on nothing more than his personal (and quite erroneous) reading of the Constitution and the law; he has insulted the
judges and court officers, including the attorneys appearing for his adversaries, needlessly overloaded the court dockets and sorely tried
the patience of the judges and court employees who have had to act on his repetitious and largely unfounded complaints, pleadings and
motions. On the contention that he "was exercising his rights of freedom of speech, of expression, and to petition the government for
redress of grievances as guaranteed by the Constitution (Sec. 4, Art. III) and in accordance with the accountability of public officials."
The constitutional rights invoked by him afford no justification for repetitious litigation of the same causes and issues, for insulting
lawyers, judges, court employees; and other persons, for abusing the processes and rules of the courts, wasting their time, and bringing
them into disrepute and disrespect
REPUBLIC vs. SANDIGANBAYAN (2011)
FACTS
A complaint was filed against the defendants Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., the ACCRA lawyers, Danilo Ursua and 71 corporations by the
Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) referred here as Republic of the Philippines with regard to a block of San
Miguel Corporation (SMC) stock which were allegedly bought through the CIIF Holding Companies and funded by the coconut levy fund
passing through the Unicom Oil Mills and directly from UCPB. The coconut levy funds were considered as government funds since this
came from contributions from the coconut farmers with the purpose of improving and stabilizing the coconut farming industry, however
these were said to be privatized under presidential directives of then Pres. Marcos. Defendant Cojuangco Jr., being close with the
Marcoses is said to have taken undue advantage of his association, influence and connection, embarked upon different devices and
schemes including the use of the ACCRA Lawyers as nominee shareholders and the defendant corporations as fronts to unjustly
enrich themselves at the expense of the Filipino people when he misused the coconut levy fund, amounting to $150 million, to purchase
33 million shares of the SMC through the holding companies. Hence with the allegations mentioned and with different cases and issues
which remain unresolved, the block of shares representing 20% of the outstanding capital stock of SMC remained sequestered by the
government.
During the pre-trial brief, the Sandiganbayan sought clarification from the parties, particularly the Republic, on their respective positions,
but at the end it found the clarifications "inadequately" enlightening. To resolve various pending motions and pleadings, Sandiganbayan
lifted and declared the Writs of Sequestration null and void.
Despite the lifting of the writs of sequestration, since the Republic continues to hold a claim on the shares which is yet to be resolved, it
is hereby ordered that the following shall be annotated in the relevant corporate books of San Miguel Corporation:
(1) any sale, pledge, mortgage or other disposition of any of the shares of the Defendants Eduardo Cojuangco, et al. shall be
subject to the outcome of this case;
(2) the Republic through the PCGG shall be given twenty (20) days written notice by Defendants Eduardo Cojuangco, et al. prior
to any sale, pledge, mortgage or other disposition of the shares;
(3) in the event of sale, mortgage or other disposition of the shares, by the Defendants Cojuangco, et al., the consideration
therefore, whether in cash or in kind, shall be placed in escrow with Land Bank of the Philippines, subject to disposition only
upon further orders of this Court; and
(4) any cash dividends that are declared on the shares shall be placed in escrow with the Land Bank of the Philippines, subject to
disposition only upon further orders of this Court. If in case stock dividends are declared, the conditions on the sale, pledge,
mortgage and other disposition of any of the shares as above-mentioned in conditions 1, 2 and 3, shall likewise apply.
Sandiganbayan denied both Motion for Reconsideration and Motion for Modification but eventually reduced its resolution deleting the
last 2 provisions. Cojuangco, et al. filed a Motion for Authority to Sell San Miguel Corporation (SMC) shares, praying for leave to allow

the sale of SMC shares and Sandiganbayan granted the motion. Cojuangco, et al. later rendered a complete accounting of the
proceeds from the sale of the Cojuangco block of shares of SMC stock, informing that a total amount of P 4,786,107,428.34 had been
paid to the UCPB as loan repayment.
ISSUE
Whether or not Sandiganbayan has committed grave abuse of dicretion in:
(a) in lifting the Writ of Sequestrations on the sequestered SMC shares.
(b) in deleting the last two conditions the Sandiganbayan had earlier imposed on the subject shares of stock.
RULING
Among the WOS issued, only one writ WOS 87-0218 complied with PCGG Rules and Regulations requirement that the issuance be
made by at least two Commissioners. However, even if Writ of Sequestration No. 87-0218 complied with the requirement that the same
be issued by at least two Commissioners, the records fail to show that it was issued with factual basis or with factual foundation. It is the
absence of a prima facie basis for the issuance of a writ of sequestration and not the lack of authority of two (2) Commissioners which
renders the said writ void ab initio. Thus, being the case, Writ of Sequestration No. 87-0218 must be automatically lifted. Consequently,
the writs of sequestration nos. 86-0062, 86-0069, 86-0085, 86-0095, 86-0096, 86-0097 and 86-0098 must be lifted for not having
complied with the pertinent provisions of the PCGG Rules and Regulations, all of which were issued by only one Commissioner.
Nor did the Sandiganbayan gravely abuse its discretion in reducing from four to only two the conditions imposed for the lifting of the
WOS. The Sandiganbayan thereby acted with the best of intentions, being all too aware that the claim of the Republic to the
sequestered assets and properties might be prejudiced or harmed pendente lite unless the protective conditions were annotated in the
corporate books of SMC. Moreover, the issue became academic following the Sandiganbayans promulgation of its decision dismissing
the Republic's Amended Complaint, which thereby removed the stated reason - "the Republic continues to hold a claim on the shares
which is yet to be resolved" - underlying the need for the annotation of the conditions (whether four or two).

G.R. No. 129406


March 6, 2006
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES represented by the PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD
GOVERNMENT (PCGG) vs.
SANDIGANBAYAN (SECOND DIVISION) and ROBERTO S. BENEDICTO.
FACTS: The PCGG issued writs placing under sequestration all business enterprises, entities and other properties, real
and personal, owned or registered in the name of private respondent Benedicto, or of corporations in which he
appeared to have controlling or majority interest due to his involvement in cases of ill-gotten wealth. Among the
properties thus sequestered and taken over by PCGG fiscal agents were the 227 shares in NOGCCI owned by and
registered under the name of private respondent. As sequester of the 227 shares formerly owned by Benedicto, PCGG
did not pay the monthly membership fee. Later on, the shares were declared to be delinquent to be put into an
auction sale. Despite filing a writ of injunction, it was nevertheless dismissed. So petitioner Republic and private
respondent Benedicto entered into a Compromise Agreement which contains a general release clause where petitioner
agreed and bound itself to lift the sequestration on the 227 NOGCCI shares acknowledging that it was within private
respondents capacity to acquire the same shares out of his income from business and the exercise of his
profession. Implied in this undertaking is the recognition by petitioner that the subject shares of stock could not have
been ill-gotten
Benedicto filed a Motion for Release from Sequestration and Return of Sequestered Shares/Dividends praying, inter
alia, that his NOGCCI shares of stock be specifically released from sequestration and returned, delivered or paid to
him as part of the parties Compromise Agreement in that case. It was granted but the shares were ordered to be put
under the custody of the Clerk of Court. Along with this, PCGG was ordered to deliver the shares to the Clerk of Court
which it failed to comply with without any justifiable grounds.
In a last-ditch attempt to escape liability, petitioner Republic, through the PCGG, invokes state immunity from suit.
ISSUE: WON the Republic can invoke state immunity.

HELD: NO. In fact, by entering into a Compromise Agreement with private respondent Benedicto, petitioner Republic
thereby stripped itself of its immunity from suit and placed itself in the same level of its adversary. When the State
enters into contract, through its officers or agents, in furtherance of a legitimate aim and purpose and pursuant to
constitutional legislative authority, whereby mutual or reciprocal benefits accrue and rights and obligations arise
therefrom, the State may be sued even without its express consent, precisely because by entering into a contract the
sovereign descends to the level of the citizen. Its consent to be sued is implied from the very act of entering into such
contract, breach of which on its part gives the corresponding right to the other party to the agreement.

Dept. of Education, Albay vs. Onate


Facts: Spouses Claro Onate and Gregoria Los Banos owns the disputed lot Lot No. 6849 (27,907 sqm) registered under
the Torrens System of land registration with an Original Certificate of Title (OCT). This lot was already settled through a
Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate and Cession in 1991, in favor of respondent as his three sisters waived their
rights to the property.
It turns out that the same land was where the Daraga North Central Elementary School was built and had been
operating since 1940, then named Bagumbayan Elementary School of Daraga. The Municipality of Daraga gave that
land to Dept. of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), now Dept. of Education (DepEd) through a Deed of Donation,
confident that the municipality owned the land through buying it from Claro Onate, the respondents grandfather,
sometime in 1940.
Respondent testified that he only knew of the dispute on 1973, from which he took possession of the lot the same
year; that he knew only of the schools occupation on a portion of the land on 1991 and knew of the Deed of Donation
on 1992. The petitioner then claimed that respondent was guilty of laches.
Issue:
(a) Is the respondent guilty of laches? Will it be applied to him in this case?
(b) Is the State immune from this case? Can DECS be sued independently from the State?
Ruling: YES. Laches is defined as the failure or neglect, or an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that
which could or should have been done earlier. Elements of laches have set in: 1) disputed land has been used for
public education since 1940, 2) respondent failed to prove that him and his predecessors undertook steps to regain the
use of their land, to protest the building of the school as early as 1940, 3) petitioner DECS did not anticipate that their
occupancy of the land would be later questioned, and 4) preliminary facts show grave prejudice to the petitioner DECS
as they have made major changes in construction and expansion of the school. The laches, however, apply only to
disputed Lot No. 6849-A. By virtue of laches, respondent Onate cannot claim Lot No. 6849-A anymore.
NO. DECS can be sued as a result of being privy to the Deed of Donation executed by the Municipality of Daraga (as its
recipient) over disputed property. By giving its consent to the donation, it brings DECS down to level of ordinary
citizen. YES, DECS can be sued independently from the State as it gave its authority to continue with the donation,
which carries with it the full responsibility of suing or being sued.
Therefore, DepEd (formerly DECS) now has the rights of possession and property over Lot No. 6849-A.
Onarte cannot sell, mortgage or encumber said Lot while still being used by DepEd. The lots rights will
be returned to respondents the moment DECS no longer needs it. DECS being nonsuable has become
moot.

A.M. No. RTJ-05-1959


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. JUDGE VICENTE A. HIDALGO, Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial
Court of Manila, Branch 37
FACTS: Tarcila Laperal Mendoza filed an action for the annulment or declaration of nullity of the title and deed of sale,
reconveyance and/or recovery of ownership and possession a property against the Republic of the Philippinesin the
RTC of Manila.
It is also known as the Arlegui Residence which housed two Philippine presidents and which now holds the Office of
the Press Secretary and the News Information Bureau.
The case was initially dismissed by the presiding Judge of the Manila RTC (Branch 35) on the ground of state
immunity. The case was re-raffled to the Manila RTC (Branch 37), with respondent Vicente A. Hidalgo as presiding

Judge. In an Order, Judge Hidalgo declared the Republic in default for failure of Solicitor Gabriel Francisco Ramirez, the
handling solicitor, to file the required Answer within the period prayed for in his motion for extension.
It is contended that the respondent Judge violated the Constitution and the fundamental rule that government funds
are exempt from execution or garnishment when he caused the issuance of the writ of execution against the Republic.
ISSUE: WON the Republic can invoke immunity from suit.
HELD: It is settled that when the State gives its consent to be sued, it does not thereby necessarily consent to an
unrestrained execution against it. Tersely put, when the State waives its immunity, all it does, in effect, is to give the
other party an opportunity to prove, if it can, that the state has a liability.
The functions and public services rendered by the State cannot be allowed to paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion
of public funds from their legitimate and specific objects, as appropriated by law.

G.R. No. 164282 October 12, 2005


TERESITA M. YUJUICO vs.
HON. JOSE L. ATIENZA, ET. AL.
FACTS: On 8 December 1995, the City Council of Manila enacted an ordinance authorizing the City Mayor to acquire
by negotiation or expropriation certain parcels of land for utilization as a site for the Francisco Benitez Elementary
School. Failing to acquire the land by negotiation, the City filed a case for eminent domain against petitioner as owner
of the property.
It is the City School Board which has the authority to pass a resolution allocating funds for the full satisfaction of the
just compensation fixed, the said body is hereby given thirty (30) days from receipt to pass the necessary resolution
for the payments of the remaining balance due to Yujuico. However, despite petitioner demanding compliance from
the CSB after 30 days, the latter still did not take action.
ISSUE: WON respondent is justified in not paying the petitioner her just compensation.
HELD:NO. While this Court recognizes the power of LGU to expropriate private property for public use, it will not stand
idly by while the expropriating authority maneuvers to evade the payment of just compensation of property already in
its possession.
The notion of expropriation is hard enough to take for a private owner. He is compelled to give up his property for the
common weal. But to give it up and wait in vain for the just compensation decreed by the courts is too much to bear.
In cases like these, courts will not hesitate to step in to ensure that justice and fair play are served.

Deutsche v CA GR 152318 Apr 16, 2009


F: GTZ...
H: GTZ was indeed exercising governmental functions - but cannot claim immunity from suits automatically
because just a portion of the German State...
...GTZ is akin to a GOCC w/o original charter governed by Corpo Code. It can be sued and can sue.
-doctrine of processual presumption: applied Corpo Code...GTZ can sue and be sued w/o its consent - so can be
sued!
*capacity to sue different from personality to sue!
-standing: relevant when questioning some law...but this would come under personality to sue
-capacity: won a person is allowed to sue...e.g. WON a minor can sue
Misjoinder/non-joinder of parties
*WON failure to join parties is a ground for dismissal?
It is a cause for dismissal only when there does not remain an indispensable parties among the defendants...
...if nonjoinder is such that the one that you sued is a real party in interest, you practically have no COA against
the person named as defendant - so NO COA!
...you can ask that an indispensable party

(pro-tip: huwag mo na lang i-upload sa internet kung ikaw lang din naman ang makakaintindi, k)

Senate of the Philippines vs. Eduardo Ermita


G.R. No. 169777 April 20, 2006
Carpio, Morales J.:
Facts: The Committee of the Senate as a whole issued invitations to various officials of the Executive Department for them to appear
as resource speakers in a public hearing on the railway project of the North Luzon Railways Corporation with the China National
Machinery and Equipment Group (hereinafter North Rail Project).
The President then issued Executive Order 464, Ensuring Observance of the Principle of Separation of Powers, Adherence to the Rule
on Executive Privilege and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in Legislative Inquiries in Aid of Legislation Under the
Constitution, and For Other Purposes, which, pursuant to Section 6 thereof, took effect immediately.
Issues:
(a) Whether or not E.O. 464 contravenes the power of inquiry vested in Congress;
(b) Whether or E.O. 464 violates the right of the people to information on matters of public concern; and
(c) Whether or not respondents have committed grave abuse of discretion when they implemented E.O. 464 prior to its
publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
Held:
(a) The Congress power of inquiry is expressly recognized in Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution. This power of inquiry is
broad enough to cover officials of the executive branch; it is co-extensive with the power to legislate. The matters which may be
a proper subject of legislation and those which may be a proper subject of investigation are one. It follows that the operation of
government, being a legitimate subject for legislation, is a proper subject for investigation.
(b) Yes. Although there are clear distinctions between the right of Congress to information which underlies the power of inquiry
and the right of the people to information on matters of public concern, any executive issuance tending to unduly limit
disclosures of information in investigations in Congress necessarily deprives the people of information which, being presumed
to be in aid of legislation, is presumed to be a matter of public concern.
(c) Yes. While E.O. 464 applies only to officials of the executive branch, it does not follow that the same is exempt from the need
for publication.
Caveat: Anyone who claims this digest as his own without proper authority shall be held liable under the
law of Karma. (c/o breakingomerta, motherfathers)

KMU vs. NEDA on separate document.

Republic v. Gingoyon
Facts: This case is a motion for reconsideration for a previous decision of the SC. In the assailed decision of the SC, it
ruled that PIATCO should be justly compensated before the Government can take over the NAIA Terminal 3. Now, the
Government is arguing that PIATCO should not be paid because it has pending obligations with
Takenaka Corporation (Takenaka) and Asahikosan (Asahikosan) Corporation for services rendered by the said
corporations in building the Terminal. It argues that the said corporations still has pending liens on the Terminal. The
situation the Republic now faces is that if any part of its Php3,002,125,000 deposit is released directly to PIATCO, and
PIATCO, as in the past, does not wish to settle its obligations directly to Takenaka, Asahikosan and Fraport, the Republic
may end up having expropriated a terminal with liens and claims far in excess of its actual value, the liens
remain unextinguished, and PIATCO on the other hand, ends up with the Php3,0002,125,000 in its pockets gratuitously.
Issue: Should the Government pay PIATCO just compensation before taking over the Terminal?
Held: Yes.
The Court is wont to reverse its previous rulings based on factual premises that are not yet conclusive or judicially
established. Certainly, whatever claims or purported liens Takenaka and Asahikosan against PIATCO or over the NAIA 3
have not been judicially established. Neither Takenaka norAsahikosan are parties to the present action, and thus have
not presented any claim which could be acted upon by this Court. The earlier adjudications in Aganv. PIATCO made no
mention of either Takenaka or Asahikosan, and certainly made no declaration as to their rights to any form of
compensation. If there is indeed any right to remuneration due to these two entities arising from NAIA 3, they have not
yet been established by the courts of the land.

It must be emphasized that the conclusive ruling in the Resolution dated 21 January 2004 in Agan v.
PIATCO (Agan 2004) is that PIATCO, as builder of the facilities, must first be justly compensated in accordance with law
and equity for the Government to take over the facilities. It is on that premise that the Court adjudicated this case in
its 19 December 2005 Decision.
While the Government refers to a judgment rendered by a London court in favor of Takenaka and Asahikosan against
PIATCO in the amount of US$82 Million, it should be noted that this foreign judgment is not yet binding on Philippine
courts. It is entrenched in Section 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of Civil Procedure that a foreign judgment on the mere
strength of its promulgation is not yet conclusive, as it can be annulled on the grounds of want of jurisdiction, want of
notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact. It is likewise recognized in Philippine jurisprudence
and international law that a foreign judgment may be barred from recognition if it runs counter to public policy.
Assuming that PIATCO indeed has corresponding obligations to other parties relating to NAIA 3, the Court does not see
how such obligations, yet unproven, could serve to overturn the Decision mandating that the Government first pay
PIATCO the amount of 3.02 Billion Pesos before it may acquire physical possession over the facilities. This directive
enjoining payment is in accordance with Republic Act No. 8974, and under the mechanism established by the law the
amount to be initially paid is that which is provisionally determined as just compensation. The provisional character of
this payment means that it is not yet final, yet sufficient under the law to entitle the Government to the writ of
possession over the expropriated property.
There are other judicial avenues outside of this Motion for Reconsideration wherein all other claims relating to the
airport facilities may be ventilated, proved and determined. Since such claims involve factual issues, they must first be
established by the appropriate trier of facts before they can be accorded any respect by or binding force on this Court.
in expropriation proceedings, entitlement of writ of possession is issued only after direct payment of just
compensation is given to property owner on the basis of fairness. The same principle applied in the 2004
Jurisprudence Resolution and the latest expropriation law (RA No. 8974).

Silverio v. Republic
October 22, 2007 (GR. No. 174689)
PARTIES:
(a) petitioner: Rommel Jacinto Dantes Silverio
(b) respondent: Republic of the Philippines
FACTS: On November 26, 2002, Silverio field a petition for the change of his first name Rommel Jacinto to Mely
and his sex from male to female in his birth certificate in the RTC of Manila, Branch 8, for reason of his sex
reassignment. He alleged that he is a male transsexual, he is anatomically male but thinks and acts like a female. The
Regional Trial Court ruled in favor of him, explaining that it is consonance with the principle of justice and equality.
The Republic, through the OSG, filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals alleging that there is no law
allowing change of name by reason of sex alteration. Petitioner filed reconsideration but was denied. Hence, this
petition.
ISSUE: WON change in name and sex in birth certificate are allowed by reason of sex reassignment.
HELD: NO. A change of name is a privilege and not a right. It may be allowed in cases where the name is ridiculous,
tainted with dishonor, or difficult to pronounce or write; a nickname is habitually used; or if the change will avoid
confusion. The petitioners basis of the change of his name is that he intends his first name compatible with the sex he
thought he transformed himself into thru surgery. The Court says that his true name does not prejudice him at all, and
no law allows the change of entry in the birth certificate as to sex on the ground of sex reassignment. The Court
denied the petition.

Southern Cross on separate document.

Sultan Osop Camid vs. The office of the President


G.R. No. 161414 January 14, 2005
Facts: The municipality of Andong, Lanao del Sur, is a town that is not supposed to exist yet is actually insisted by some as alive and
thriving. The creation of the putative municipality was declared void ab initio by the Supreme Court four decades ago, but the present
petition insists that Andong thrives on and, hence, its legal personality should be given judicial affirmation.

xxx
The factual antecedents derive from the ruling in Pelaez vs.Auditor General in 1965. Then President Diosdado Macapagal issued
several
Executive
Orders
creating
33
municipalities
in
Mindanao.
President Macapagal justified the creation of these municipalities citing his powers under Sec.68 of the Revised Admin. Code. Then VP
Emmanuel Pelaez filed a special civil action for a writ of prohibition alleging that the EOs were null and void, Sec. 68 having been
repealed by RA 2370, and said orders constituting an undue delegation of legislative power.
After due deliberation, the SC ruled that the challenged EOs were null and void since Sec. 68 of the Revised Admin. Code did not meet
the
well-settled
requirements
for
a
valid
delegation
of
legislative
power
to
the
executive
branch.
Among the EOs annulled was EO 107 which created the Municipality of Andong.
Petitioner represents himself as a current resident of Andong and alleged that Andong has metamorphosed into a full-blown
municipality with a complete set of officials appointed to handle essential services for the municipality and its constituents, despite the
fact that no person has been appointed, elected or qualified to serve any of the local government offices of Andong since 1968.
Camid imputed grave abuse of discretion on the part of DILG in not classifying [Andong] as a regular existing municipality and in not
including said municipality in its records and official database as [an] existing regular municipality. He argues that Pelaez has already
been modified by supervening events consisting of subsequent laws and jurisprudence, particularly citing Municipality of San Narciso
v. Hon. Mendez wherein the court affirmed the unique status of the Municipality of San Andres as a de facto municipal corporation.
Camid also cites Sec. 442(d) of the Local Government Code of 1991 as basis for the recognition of the impugned municipality.
Issue: Whether the judicial annulment of the Municipality of Andong continues despite the petitioners allegation that Andong has
thrived into a full-blown municipality
Held: Municipal corporations may exist by prescription where it is shown that the community has claimed and
exercised corporate functions with the knowledge and acquiescence of the legislature, and without interruption or
objection for period long enough to afford title by prescription. What is clearly essential is a factual demonstration of the
continuous exercise by the municipal corporation of its corporate powers, as well as the acquiescence thereto by instrumentalities of the
state. Camids plaint should have undergone the usual administrative gauntlet and, once that was done, should have been filed first with
the Court of Appeals, which at least would have had the power to make the necessary factual determinations. Petitioners seeming
ignorance of the principles of exhaustion of administrative remedies and hierarchy of courts, as well as the
concomitant prematurity of the present petition, cannot be countenanced.
The question as to whether a municipality previously annulled by the Supreme Court may attain recognition in the absence of any
curative/reimplementing statute has never been decided before. The effect of Sec. 442(d) of the Local Government Code on
municipalities such as Andong warrants explanation.
EO 107 which established Andong was declared null and void ab initio in 1965 by the Supreme Court in Pelaez vs. Auditor
General, 15 SCRA 569 (1965), along with 33 other EOs. The phrase ab initio means from the beginning. Pelaez was never
reversed by the SC but was rather expressly affirmed in the cases of Municipality of San Joaquin v. Siva, Municipality of
Malabang v. Benito, and Municipality of Kapalong v. Moya. No subsequent ruling declared Pelaez as overturned/inoperative. No
subsequent legislation has been passed since 1965 creating the Municipality of Andong. Given these facts, there is hardly any reason
to elaborate why Andong does not exist as a duly constituted municipality.
Pelaez and its offspring cases ruled that the President has no power to create municipalities yet limited its nullificatory effects to
the particular municipalities challenged in actual cases before this Court. With the promulgation of the LGC in 1991, the legal cloud was
lifted over the municipalities similarly created by executive order but not judicially annulled Sec. 442(b) of the LGC deemed curative
whatever legal defects to title these municipalities had labored under.
There are eminent differences between Andong and municipalities such as San Andres, Alicia and Sinacaban. Most prominent is the
fact that the EO creating Andong was expressly annulled by the SC in 1965. Court decisions cannot lose their efficacy
due to sheer defiance by the parties aggrieved.
Sec. 442(d) of the LGC does not serve to affirm/reconstitute the judicially dissolved municipalities which had been previously created by
presidential issuances/EOs. The provision only affirms the legal personalities of those municipalities which may have

been created using the same infirm legal basis, yet were fortunate enough not to have been judicially annulled . On the
other hand, the municipalities judicially dissolved remain inexistent unless recreated through specific legislative enactments.
The legal effect of the nullification of a municipality in Pelaez was to revert the constituent barrios of the voided town
back to their original municipalities.
If there is only a strong impulse for the reconstitution of the municipality nullified in Pelaez, the solution is through the legislature
and not judicial confirmation of void title. The time has come for the light to seep in and for the petitioner and
like-minded persons to awaken to legal reality.

Bai Sandra Sema vs. COMELEC


G.R. No. 177597
July 16, 2008
Facts: On August 28, 2006, the ARMM Regional Assembly, exercising its power to create provinces under Sec.19,
Art.VI of RA 9054, enacted Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 201 (MMA Act 201) creating the province of Shariff
Kabunsuan in the first district of Maguindanao.
The voters of Maguindanao ratified Shariff Kabunsuans creation in a plebiscite held on October 29, 2006.
On February 6, 2007, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cotabato City passed Resolution No. 3999 requesting
the COMELEC to clarify the status of Cotabato City in view of the conversion of the First District of Maguindanao into a
regular province under MMA Act 201.
In an answer to Cotabato Citys query, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 07-0407 maintaining the status quo with
Cotabato City as part of Shariff Kabunsuan in the FirstLegislative District of Maguindanao.
However, in preparation for the May 14, 2007 elections, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 7845 stating that
Maguindanaos first legislative district is composed only of Cotabato City because of the enactment of MMA Act No.
201. On May 10, 2007, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 7902 amending Resolution No. 07-0407 by renaming the
legislative district in question as Shariff Kabunsan Province with Cotabato City.
Sema, who was a candidate for Representative of Shariff Kabunsuan with Cotabato City prayed for the nullification of
Resolution No. 7902 and the exclusion from the canvassing of votes cast in Cotabato for that office. Sema contended
that Shariff Kabunsuan is entitled to one representative in Congress under Sec. 5(3), Art. VI of the Constitution and
Sec.3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution.
Issues:
a.
b.

Whether Sec. 19, Art. VI of RA 9054 delegating to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to create
provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays is constitutional.
Whether a province created under Sec. 19, Art.VI of RA 9054 is entitled to one representative in
the House of Representatives without need of a national law creating a legislative district for such
province.

Held:
1.Sec.19, Art.VI of RA 9054 is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, insofar as it grants to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power to
create provinces and cities,for being contrary to Sec. 5 of Art.VI and Sec.20 of Art. X of the Constitution, as well
as Sec.3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution.
The creation of LGUs is governed by Sec.10, Art.X of the Constitution:
No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished or its boundary substantially
altered except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code (LGC) and subject to approval
by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected.
Thus, the creation of any LGU must comply with 3 conditions: First, the creation of an LGU must follow the criteria fixed
in the LGC. Second, such creation must not conflict with any provision of the Constitution. Third, there must be a
plebiscite in the political units affected.

There is neither an express prohibition nor an express grant of authority in the Constitution for Congress
to delegate to regional/legislative bodies the power to create LGUs.However, under its plenary powers,
Congress can delegate to local legislative bodies the power to create LGUs subject to reasonable standards and
provided no conflict arises with any provisions of the Constitution. In fact, the delegation to regional legislative bodies
of the power to create municipalities and barangays is constitutional, provided the criteria established in the LGC and
the plebiscite requirement in Sec. 10, Art. X of the Constitution is complied.
However, the creation of provinces is another matter. Under the LGC, only x x x an Act of Congress can create
provinces, cities, or municipalities.
According to, Sec. 5 (3), Art.VI of the Constitution:
Each City with a population of at least 250,000, or each province, shall have at least 1 representative in the House of
Representatives.
Similarly, Sec. 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution provides,
Any province that may hereafter be created, or any city whose population may hereafter increase to more than
250,000 shall be entitled in the immediately following election to at least 1 Member.
Thus, only Congress can create provinces and cities because the creation of provinces and cities
necessarily includes the creation of legislative districts, a power only Congress can exercise under Sec. 5,
Art.VI of the Constitution and Sec.3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution.
2.Legislative Districts are created or reapportioned only by an act of Congress. Under the Constitution, the power to
increase the allowable membership in the House of Representatives, and to apportion legislative districts, is vested
exclusively in Congress.
Sec. 5 (1), Art.VI of the Constitution vests Congress the power to increase the allowable membership in the House of
Representatives. Sec. 5 (4) empowers Congress to reapportion legislative districts. The power to reapportion
legislative districts necessarily includes the power to create legislative districts out of existing
ones.Congress exercises these powers through a law the Congress itself enacts, not through a law enacted by
regional/local legislative bodies. The power of redistricting xxx is traditionally regarded as part of the power (of
Congress) to make laws, and is thus vested exclusively in (it) [Montejo v. COMELEC, 242 SCRA 415 (1995)].
An inferior legislative body cannot change the membership of the superior legislative body which created
it. Congress is a national legislature, and any changes in its membership through the creation of legislative districts
must be embodied in national law.
The power to create or reapportion legislative districts cannot be delegated by Congress but must be
exercised by Congress itself. Even the ARMM Regional Assembly recognizes this.
The ARMM cannot create a province without a legislative district because the Constitution mandates that
every province shall have a legislative district.
But this can never be legally possible because the creation of legislative districts is vested solely in Congress.
Moreover, the ARMM Regional Assembly cannot enact a law creating a national office because Sec. 20, Art.X of the
Constitution expressly provides that the legislative powers of regional assemblies are limited only within its territorial
jurisdiction. (Nothing in Sec. 20, Art.X of the Constitution authorizes autonomous regions to create/apportion
legislative districts for Congress.)
It is axiomatic that organic acts of autonomous regions cannot prevail over the Constitution . Since the
ARMM Regional Assembly has no legislative power to enact laws relating to national elections, it cannot create a
legislative district whose representative is elected in national elections.
At most, what ARMM can create are barangays not cities and provinces.
Thus, MMA Act 201 enacted by the ARMM Regional Assembly, creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan is void.

No digest for NPC-DAMA, apparently. Hafta make our own. Space reserved here.

Mago vs. Fermo in separate document.

Case Digest: Pamatong vs. Comelec


Prefatory Statement:
Last December 1 was the deadline for the filing of Certificate of Candidacies (COCs) for the 2010 Elections. In the end, a total of 99
filed their COCs for President. Among the lesser known presidentiables include someone called "Manok" (because apparently he can
mimic a cock's crow), a six-star general, and a future "emperor of the world." Considering that we would be having automated
elections next year and the list of all candidates are to be written in the ballots while voters are supposed to shade the circles
corresponding to their choices, would all 99 candidates be included? No. Aside from disqualification petitions filed against the
aspirants, the Comelec can also motu propio deny due course to the COCs. Aside from the qualifications set forth under the
Constitution, a candidate should also have the capacity and resources to launch a national campaign.
Under the Constitution (Article II, Section 26), "the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service xxx." Would
the Comelec's act of disqualifying the so-called "nuisance" candidates violate this constitutional provision?

CASE DIGEST
Rev. Ely Velez Pamatong Vs. Commission on Elections
G.R. No. 161872, April 13, 2004
FACTS: Petitioner Pamatong filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for President. Respondent COMELEC declared petitioner and 35
others as nuisance candidates who could not wage a nationwide campaign and/or are not nominated by a political party or are not
supported by a registered political party with a national constituency.
Pamatong filed a Petition For Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court claiming that the COMELEC violated his right to "equal access
to opportunities for public service" under Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, by limiting the number of qualified candidates
only to those who can afford to wage a nationwide campaign and/or are nominated by political parties. The COMELEC supposedly
erred in disqualifying him since he is the most qualified among all the presidential candidates, i.e., he possesses all the constitutional
and legal qualifications for the office of the president, he is capable of waging a national campaign since he has numerous national
organizations under his leadership, he also has the capacity to wage an international campaign since he has practiced law in other
countries, and he has a platform of government.
ISSUE: Is there a constitutional right to run for or hold public office?
RULING: No. What is recognized in Section 26, Article II of the Constitution is merely a privilege subject to limitations imposed by
law. It neither bestows such a right nor elevates the privilege to the level of an enforceable right. There is nothing in the plain language
of the provision which suggests such a thrust or justifies an interpretation of the sort.
The "equal access" provision is a subsumed part of Article II of the Constitution, entitled "Declaration of Principles and State Policies."
The provisions under the Article are generally considered not self-executing, and there is no plausible reason for according a different
treatment to the "equal access" provision. Like the rest of the policies enumerated in Article II, the provision does not contain any
judicially enforceable constitutional right but merely specifies a guideline for legislative or executive action. The disregard of the
provision does not give rise to any cause of action before the courts.
Obviously, the provision is not intended to compel the State to enact positive measures that would accommodate as many people as
possible into public office. Moreover, the provision as written leaves much to be desired if it is to be regarded as the source of positive
rights. It is difficult to interpret the clause as operative in the absence of legislation since its effective means and reach are not properly
defined. Broadly written, the myriad of claims that can be subsumed under this rubric appear to be entirely open-ended. Words and
phrases such as "equal access," "opportunities," and "public service" are susceptible to countless interpretations owing to their inherent
impreciseness. Certainly, it was not the intention of the framers to inflict on the people an operative but amorphous foundation from
which innately unenforceable rights may be sourced.
The privilege of equal access to opportunities to public office may be subjected to limitations. Some valid limitations specifically on the
privilege to seek elective office are found in the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code on "Nuisance Candidates. As long as the
limitations apply to everybody equally without discrimination, however, the equal access clause is not violated. Equality is not sacrificed
as long as the burdens engendered by the limitations are meant to be borne by anyone who is minded to file a certificate of candidacy. In
the case at bar, there is no showing that any person is exempt from the limitations or the burdens which they create.
The rationale behind the prohibition against nuisance candidates and the disqualification of candidates who have not evinced a bona
fide intention to run for office is easy to divine. The State has a compelling interest to ensure that its electoral exercises are rational,
objective, and orderly. Towards this end, the State takes into account the practical considerations in conducting elections. Inevitably,
the greater the number of candidates, the greater the opportunities for logistical confusion, not to mention the increased allocation of
time and resources in preparation for the election. The organization of an election with bona fide candidates standing is onerous
enough. To add into the mix candidates with no serious intentions or capabilities to run a viable campaign would actually impair the
electoral process. This is not to mention the candidacies which are palpably ridiculous so as to constitute a one-note joke. The poll body

would be bogged by irrelevant minutiae covering every step of the electoral process, most probably posed at the instance of these
nuisance candidates. It would be a senseless sacrifice on the part of the State.
The question of whether a candidate is a nuisance candidate or not is both legal and factual. The basis of the factual determination is not
before this Court. Thus, the remand of this case for the reception of further evidence is in order. The SC remanded to the COMELEC for
the reception of further evidence, to determine the question on whether petitioner Elly Velez Lao Pamatong is a nuisance candidate as
contemplated in Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Obiter Dictum: One of Pamatong's contentions was that he was an international lawyer and is thus more qualified compared to the
likes of Erap, who was only a high school dropout. Under the Constitution (Article VII, Section 2), the only requirements are the
following: (1) natural-born citizen of the Philippines; (2) registered voter; (3) able to read and write; (4) at least forty years of age on
the day of the election; and (5) resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.
At any rate, Pamatong was eventually declared a nuisance candidate and was disqualified.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v Concerned Residents of Manila Bay


GR No. 171947-48
December 18, 2008
FACTS: The complaint by the residents alleged that the water quality of the Manila Bay had fallen way below
the allowable standards
set by law, specifically Presidential
Decree No. (PD) 1152 or the Philippine
Environment Code and that ALL defendants (public officials) must be jointly and/or solidarily liable and collectively
ordered to clean up Manila Bay and to restore its water quality to class B, waters fit for swimming, diving, and other
forms of contact recreation.
ISSUES:
(1) WON Sections 17 and 20 of PD 1152 under the headings, Upgrading of Water Quality and Clean-up
Operations, envisage a cleanup in general or are they limited only to the cleanup of specific pollution incidents;
(2) WON petitioners be compel led by mandamus to clean up and rehabilitate the Manila Bay.
APPLICABLE LAWS:
PD 1152 Philippine Environmental Code Section 17. Upgrading of Water Quality. Where the quality of water
has deteriorated t o a degree where it s state will adversely affect its best u sage, the government agencies
concerned shall take such measures as may be necessary to upgrade the quality of such water to meet
the prescribed water quality standards. Section 20. Clean-up Operations.It shall be the responsibility of the
polluter to contain , remove and clean - up water pollution incidents at his own expense. In case of his
failure to do so, the government agencies concerned shall
undertake containment, removal and clean-up
operations and expenses incurred in said operation shall be charged against the persons and/ or entities responsible
for such pollution.
HELD:
(1) Sec. 17 does not in any way state that the government agencies concerned ought to confine themselves
to the containment, removal, and cleaning operations when a specific pollution incident occurs. On the contrary,
Sec. 17 requires them to act even in the absence of a specific pollution incident, as long as water quality
has deteriorated to a degree where its state will adversely affect its best usage. Section 17 & 20 are of general
application and are not for specific pollution incidents only. The fact that the pollution of the Manila Bay is of such
magnitude and scope that it is well -nigh impossible to draw the line between a specific and a general
pollution incident.
(2) The Cleaning or Rehabilitation of Manila Bay Can be Compelled by Mandamus. While the implementation of the
MMDA's mandated tasks may entail a decision-making process, the enforcement of the law or the very act of
doing what the law exacts to be done is ministerial in nature and may be compelled by mandamus. Under
what other judicial discipline describes as continuing mandamus , the Court may, under extraordinary
circumstances, issue directives with the end in view of ensuring that its decision would not be set to naught by
administrative inaction or indifference.
NOTE: This continuing mandamus is no longer applicable, since this is institutionalized in the rules of procedure for
environmental cases.
20 days Temporary restraining order