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LEGAL PHILOSOPHY

1.

OPOSA VS. FACTORAN

(G.R. No. 101083, July 30, 1993)


FACTS:
The plaintiffs in this case are all minors duly represented and joined by their parents. The first complaint was filed as a
taxpayer's class suit at the Branch 66 (Makati, Metro Manila), of the Regional Trial Court, National capital Judicial Region
against defendant (respondent) Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Reasources (DENR). Plaintiffs
alleged that they are entitled to the full benefit, use and enjoyment of the natural resource treasure that is the country's
virgin tropical forests. They further asseverate that they represent their generation as well as generations yet unborn and
asserted that continued deforestation have caused a distortion and disturbance of the ecological balance and have
resulted in a host of environmental tragedies.
Plaintiffs prayed that judgement be rendered ordering the respondent, his agents, representatives and other persons
acting in his behalf to cancel all existing Timber License Agreement (TLA) in the country and to cease and desist from
receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving new TLAs.
Defendant, on the other hand, filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint had no cause of action against
him and that it raises a political question.
The RTC Judge sustained the motion to dismiss, further ruling that granting of the relief prayed for would result in the
impairment of contracts which is prohibited by the Constitution.
Plaintiffs (petitioners) thus filed the instant special civil action for certiorari and asked the court to rescind and set aside the
dismissal order on the ground that the respondent RTC Judge gravely abused his discretion in dismissing the action.
ISSUES:
(1) Whether or not the plaintiffs have a cause of action.
(2) Whether or not the complaint raises a political issue.
(3) Whether or not the original prayer of the plaintiffs result in the impairment of contracts.
RULING:
First Issue: Cause of Action.
Respondents aver that the petitioners failed to allege in their complaint a specific legal right violated by the respondent
Secretary for which any relief is provided by law. The Court did not agree with this. The complaint focuses on one
fundamental legal right -- the right to a balanced and healthful ecology which is incorporated in Section 16 Article II of the
Constitution. The said right carries with it the duty to refrain from impairing the environment and implies, among many
other things, the judicious management and conservation of the country's forests. Section 4 of E.O. 192 expressly
mandates the DENR to be the primary government agency responsible for the governing and supervising the exploration,
utilization, development and conservation of the country's natural resources. The policy declaration of E.O. 192 is also
substantially re-stated in Title XIV Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987. Both E.O. 192 and Administrative Code of
1987 have set the objectives which will serve as the bases for policy formation, and have defined the powers and
functions of the DENR. Thus, right of the petitioners (and all those they represent) to a balanced and healthful ecology is
as clear as DENR's duty to protect and advance the said right.

A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty or obligation to respect or protect or respect the
same gives rise to a cause of action. Petitioners maintain that the granting of the TLA, which they claim was done with
grave abuse of discretion, violated their right to a balance and healthful ecology. Hence, the full protection thereof requires
that no further TLAs should be renewed or granted.
After careful examination of the petitioners' complaint, the Court finds it to be adequate enough to show, prima facie, the
claimed violation of their rights.

Second Issue: Political Issue.


Second paragraph, Section 1 of Article VIII of the constitution provides for the expanded jurisdiction vested upon the
Supreme Court. It allows the Court to rule upon even on the wisdom of the decision of the Executive and Legislature and
to declare their acts as invalid for lack or excess of jurisdiction because it is tainted with grave abuse of discretion.

Third Issue: Violation of the non-impairment clause.


ANOTHER DIGEST:
The Court held that the Timber License Agreement is an instrument by which the state regulates the utilization and
disposition of forest resources to the end that public welfare is promoted. It is not a contract within the purview of the due
process clause thus, the non-impairment clause cannot be invoked. It can be validly withdraw whenever dictated by public
interest or public welfare as in this case. The granting of license does not create irrevocable rights, neither is it property or
property rights.
Moreover, the constitutional guaranty of non-impairment of obligations of contract is limit by the exercise by the police
power of the State, in the interest of public health, safety, moral and general welfare. In short, the non-impairment clause
must yield to the police power of the State.
The instant petition, being impressed with merit, is hereby GRANTED and the RTC decision is SET ASIDE.

A taxpayers class suit was initiated by the Philippine Ecological Network, Inc. (PENI) together with the minors Juan
Antonio Oposa et al and their parents. All were duly represented. They claimed that as taxpayers they have the right
to the full benefit, use and enjoyment of the natural resources of the countrys rainforests. They prayed that a
judgment be rendered ordering Secretary Fulgencio Factoran, Jr, his agents, representatives, and other persons
acting in his behalf to cancel all existing timber license agreements in the country and cease and desist from
receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving new timber license agreements, Factoran being the
secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners have a cause of action?
HELD: Yes, petitioners have a cause of action. The case at bar is of common interest to all Filipinos. The right to a
balanced and healthy ecology carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the environment. The said
right implies the judicious management of the countrys forests. This right is also the mandate of the government
through DENR. A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty or obligation to respect or
protect the same gives rise to a cause of action. All licenses may thus be revoked or rescinded by executive action.

2.

SALVACION VS. CENTRAL BANK

Salvacion v. Central Bank of the Philippines

278 SCRA 27
FACTS: Greg Bartelli, an American tourist, was arrested for committing four counts of rape and serious illegal detention
against Karen Salvacion. Police recovered from him several dollar checks and a dollar account in the China Banking
Corp. He was, however, able to escape from prison. In a civil case filed against him, the trial court awarded Salvacion
moral, exemplary and attorneys fees amounting to almost P1,000,000.00.
Salvacion tried to execute the judgment on the dollar deposit of Bartelli with the China Banking Corp. but the latter refused
arguing that Section 11 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 exempts foreign currency deposits from attachment,
garnishment, or any other order or process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body
whatsoever.
Salvacion therefore filed this action for declaratory relief in the Supreme Court.
ISSUE: Should Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 and Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6426, as amended by PD
1246, otherwise known as the Foreign Currency Deposit Act be made applicable to a foreign transient?
HELD: The provisions of Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 and PD No. 1246, insofar as it amends Section 8
of Republic Act No. 6426, are hereby held to be INAPPLICABLE to this case because of its peculiar circumstances.
Respondents are hereby required to comply with the writ of execution issued in the civil case and to release to petitioners
the dollar deposit of Bartelli in such amount as would satisfy the judgment.
RATIO: Supreme Court ruled that the questioned law makes futile the favorable judgment and award of damages that
Salvacion and her parents fully deserve. It then proceeded to show that the economic basis for the enactment of RA No.
6426 is not anymore present; and even if it still exists, the questioned law still denies those entitled to due process of law
for being unreasonable and oppressive. The intention of the law may be good when enacted. The law failed to anticipate
the iniquitous effects producing outright injustice and inequality such as the case before us.
The SC adopted the comment of the Solicitor General who argued that the Offshore Banking System and the Foreign
Currency Deposit System were designed to draw deposits from foreign lenders and investors and, subsequently, to give
the latter protection. However, the foreign currency deposit made by a transient or a tourist is not the kind of deposit
encouraged by PD Nos. 1034 and 1035 and given incentives and protection by said laws because such depositor stays
only for a few days in the country and, therefore, will maintain his deposit in the bank only for a short time. Considering
that Bartelli is just a tourist or a transient, he is not entitled to the protection of Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No.
960 and PD No. 1246 against attachment, garnishment or other court processes.
Further, the SC said: In fine, the application of the law depends on the extent of its justice. Eventually, if we rule that the
questioned Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 which exempts from attachment, garnishment, or any other order
or process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body whatsoever, is applicable to a
foreign transient, injustice would result especially to a citizen aggrieved by a foreign guest like accused Greg Bartelli. This
would negate Article 10 of the New Civil Code which provides that in case of doubt in the interpretation or application of
laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail.

Salvacion vs. Central Bank of the Philippines (G.R. No.


94723. August 21, 1997)
KAREN E. SALVACION, minor, thru Federico N. Salvacion, Jr., father and Natural Guardian, and Spouses
FEDERICO N. SALVACION, JR., and EVELINA E. SALVACION, petitioners,
vs.
CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, CHINA BANKING CORPORATION and GREG BARTELLI y
NORTHCOTT,respondents.

Ponente: TORRES, JR.

FACTS:
Respondent Greg Bartelli y Northcott, an American tourist, coaxed and lured the 12-year old petitioner Karen Salvacion to
go with him in his apartment where the former repeatedly raped latter. After the rescue, policemen recovered dollar and
peso checks including a foreign currency deposit from China Banking Corporation (CBC). Writ of preliminary attachment
and hold departure order were issued. Notice of Garnishment was served by the Deputy Sheriff to CBC which later
invoked R.A. No. 1405 as its answer to it. Deputy Sheriff sent his reply to CBC saying that the garnishment did not violate
the secrecy of bank deposits since the disclosure is merely incidental to a garnishment properly and legally made by
virtue of a court order which has placed the subject deposits in custodia legis. CBC replied and invoked Section 113 of
Central Bank Circular No. 960 to the effect that the dollar deposits of Greg Bartelli are exempt from attachment,
garnishment, or any other order or process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body,
whatsoever. Central Bank of the Philippines affirmed the defense of CBC.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Sec. 113 of Central Bank Circular 960 and Sec. 8 of RA 6426 amended by PD 1246 otherwise known as
the Foreign Currency Deposit Act be made applicable to a foreign transient.
HELD:
NO. The provisions of Section 113 of CB Circular No. 960 and PD No. 1246, insofar as it amends Section 8 of R.A. No.
6426 are hereby held to be INAPPLICABLE to this case because of its peculiar circumstances.
RATIO:
[T]he application of the law depends on the extent of its justice. Eventually, if we rule that the questioned Section 113 of
Central Bank Circular No. 960 which exempts from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of any court,
legislative body, government agency or any administrative body whatsoever, is applicable to a foreign transient, injustice
would result especially to a citizen aggrieved by a foreign guest like accused Greg Bartelli. This would negate Article 10 of
the New Civil Code which provides that in case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the
lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail.
Ninguno non deue enriquecerse tortizeramente con dano de otro. Simply stated, when the statute is silent or
ambiguous, this is one of those fundamental solutions that would respond to the vehement urge of conscience. It would
be unthinkable, that the questioned Section 113 of Central Bank No. 960 would be used as a device by accused Greg
Bartelli for wrongdoing, and in so doing, acquitting the guilty at the expense of the innocent.
Call it what it may but is there no conflict of legal policy here? Dollar against Peso? Upholding the final and executory
judgment of the lower court against the Central Bank Circular protecting the foreign depositor? Shielding or protecting the
dollar deposit of a transient alien depositor against injustice to a national and victim of a crime? This situation calls for
fairness against legal tyranny.

3. Tecson vs. Commission on Elections [GR 151434, 3 March


2004]
Facts: On 31 December 2003, Ronald Allan Kelly Poe, also known as Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ), filed his certificate of
candidacy for the position of President of the Republic of the Philippines under the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino
(KNP) Party, in the 2004 national elections. In his certificate of candidacy, FPJ, representing himself to be a natural-born
citizen of the Philippines, stated his name to be "Fernando Jr.," or "Ronald Allan" Poe, his date of birth to be 20 August
1939 and his place of birth to be Manila. Victorino X. Fornier, (GR 161824) initiated, on 9 January 2004, a petition (SPA
04-003) before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to disqualify FPJ and to deny due course or to cancel his
certificate of candidacy upon the thesis that FPJ made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by
claiming to be a natural-born Filipino citizen when in truth, according to Fornier, his parents were foreigners; his mother,
Bessie Kelley Poe, was an American, and his father, Allan Poe, was a Spanish national, being the son of Lorenzo Pou, a
Spanish subject. Granting, Fornier asseverated, that Allan F. Poe was a Filipino citizen, he could not have transmitted his
Filipino citizenship to FPJ, the latter being an illegitimate child of an alien mother. Fornier based the allegation of the
illegitimate birth of FPJ on two assertions: (1) Allan F. Poe contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez before
his marriage to Bessie Kelley and, (2) even if no such prior marriage had existed, Allan F. Poe, married Bessie Kelly only a
year after the birth of FPJ. On 23 January 2004, the COMELEC dismissed SPA 04-003 for lack of merit. 3 days later, or on
26 January 2004, Fornier filed his motion for reconsideration. The motion was denied on 6 February 2004 by the
COMELEC en banc. On 10 February 2004, Fornier assailed the decision of the COMELEC before the Supreme Court
conformably with Rule 64, in relation to Rule 65, of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. The petition likewise prayed for
a temporary restraining order, a writ of preliminary injunction or any other resolution that would stay the finality and/or
execution of the COMELEC resolutions. The other petitions, later consolidated with GR 161824, would include GR
161434 and GR 161634, both challenging the jurisdiction of the COMELEC and asserting that, under Article VII, Section
4, paragraph 7, of the 1987 Constitution, only the Supreme Court had original and exclusive jurisdiction to resolve the
basic issue on the case.
Issue: Whether FPJ was a natural born citizen, so as to be allowed to run for the offcie of the President of the Philippines.
Held: Section 2, Article VII, of the 1987 Constitution expresses that "No person may be elected President unless he is a
natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of
the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election." The term
"natural-born citizens," is defined to include "those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform
any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship." Herein, the date, month and year of birth of FPJ appeared to be
20 August 1939 during the regime of the 1935 Constitution. Through its history, four modes of acquiring citizenship naturalization, jus soli, res judicata and jus sanguinis had been in vogue. Only two, i.e., jus soli and jus sanguinis, could
qualify a person to being a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. Jus soli, per Roa vs. Collector of Customs (1912), did
not last long. With the adoption of the 1935 Constitution and the reversal of Roa in Tan Chong vs. Secretary of Labor
(1947), jus sanguinis or blood relationship would now become the primary basis of citizenship by birth. Considering the
reservations made by the parties on the veracity of some of the entries on the birth certificate of FPJ and the marriage
certificate of his parents, the only conclusions that could be drawn with some degree of certainty from the documents
would be that (1) The parents of FPJ were Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley; (2) FPJ was born to them on 20 August 1939;
(3) Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley were married to each other on 16 September, 1940; (4) The father of Allan F. Poe was
Lorenzo Poe; and (5) At the time of his death on 11 September 1954, Lorenzo Poe was 84 years old. The marriage
certificate of Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley, the birth certificate of FPJ, and the death certificate of Lorenzo Pou are
documents of public record in the custody of a public officer. The documents have been submitted in evidence by both
contending parties during the proceedings before the COMELEC. But while the totality of the evidence may not establish
conclusively that FPJ is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, the evidence on hand still would preponderate in his favor
enough to hold that he cannot be held guilty of having made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in
violation of Section 78, in relation to Section 74, of the Omnibus Election Code. Fornier has utterly failed to substantiate
his case before the Court, notwithstanding the ample opportunity given to the parties to present their position and
evidence, and to prove whether or not there has been material misrepresentation, which, as so ruled in RomualdezMarcos vs. COMELEC, must not only be material, but also deliberate and willful. The petitions were dismissed.

Tecson vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 161434. March 3, 2004


FACTS:

Victorino X. Fornier, petitioner initiated a petition before the COMELEC to disqualify FPJ and to deny due course or
to cancel his certificate of candidacy upon the thesis that FPJ made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of
candidacy by claiming to be a natural-born Filipino citizen when in truth, according to Fornier, his parents were
foreigners; his mother, Bessie Kelley Poe, was an American, and his father, Allan Poe, was a Spanish national,
being the son of Lorenzo Pou, a Spanish subject. Granting, petitioner asseverated, that Allan F. Poe was a Filipino
citizen, he could not have transmitted his Filipino citizenship to FPJ, the latter being an illegitimate child of an alien
mother. Petitioner based the allegation of the illegitimate birth of respondent on two assertions - first, Allan F. Poe
contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez before his marriage to Bessie Kelley and, second, even if no
such prior marriage had existed, Allan F. Poe, married Bessie Kelly only a year after the birth of respondent.
Petitioners also questioned the jurisdiction of the COMELEC in taking cognizance of and deciding the citizenship
issue affecting Fernando Poe Jr. They asserted that under Section 4(7), Article VII of the 1987 Constituition, only the
Supreme Court had original and exclusive jurisdiction to resolve the basic issue of the case.
ISSUES:
1) Whether or not FPJ is a natural born Filipino citizen?
2) Whether or not the Supreme Court have jurisdiction over the qualifications of presidential candidates?
RULING:
1) It is necessary to take on the matter of whether or not respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen, which, in turn,
depended on whether or not the father of respondent, Allan F. Poe, would have himself been a Filipino citizen and, in
the affirmative, whether or not the alleged illegitimacy of respondent prevents him from taking after the Filipino
citizenship of his putative father. Any conclusion on the Filipino citizenship of Lorenzo Pou could only be drawn from
the presumption that having died in 1954 at 84 years old, Lorenzo would have been born sometime in the year 1870,
when the Philippines was under Spanish rule, and that San Carlos, Pangasinan, his place of residence upon his
death in 1954, in the absence of any other evidence, could have well been his place of residence before death, such
that Lorenzo Pou would have benefited from the "en masse Filipinization" that the Philippine Bill had effected in
1902. That citizenship (of Lorenzo Pou), if acquired, would thereby extend to his son, Allan F. Poe, father of
respondent FPJ. The 1935 Constitution, during which regime respondent FPJ has seen first light, confers citizenship
to all persons whose fathers are Filipino citizens regardless of whether such children are legitimate or illegitimate.
But while the totality of the evidence may not establish conclusively that respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen of
the Philippines, the evidence on hand still would preponderate in his favor enough to hold that he cannot be held
guilty of having made a material misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in violation of Section 78, in relation
to Section 74, of the Omnibus Election Code.
2) No. An examination of the phraseology in Rule 12, 13, and Rule 14 of the "Rules of the Presidential Electoral
Tribunal," promulgated by the Supreme Court on April 1992 categorically speak of the jurisdiction of the tribunal over
contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the "President" or "Vice-President", of the Philippines,
and not of "candidates" for President or Vice-President. A quo warranto proceeding is generally defined as being an
action against a person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office. In such context,
the election contest can only contemplate a post-election scenario. In Rule 14, only a registered candidate who
would have received either the second or third highest number of votes could file an election protest. This rule again
presupposes a post-election scenario. It is fair to conclude that the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, defined by
Section 4, paragraph 7, of the 1987 Constitution, would not include cases directly brought before it, questioning the
qualifications of a candidate for the presidency or vice-presidency before the elections are held.