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Zambales Chromite v.

CA, 94 SCRA 261

Director Gozon issued an order dated October 5, 1960 wherein he
dismissed the case filed by the petitioners Zambales Chromite Mining
Co. In that case, they sought to be declared the rightful and prior
locators and possessors of sixty-nine mining claims located in Santa
Cruz, Zambales. On the basis of petitioners' evidence (the private
respondents did not present any evidence and they filed a demurrer to
the evidence or motion to dismiss the protest), Director Gozon found
that the petitioners did not discover any mineral nor staked and
located mining claims in accordance with law.
The petitioners then appealed from that order to the Secretary of
Agriculture and Natural Resources. While the appeal was pending,
Director Gozon was appointed Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources. Instead of inhibiting himself, he decided the appealas it he
was adjudicating the case for the first time. 'Thus, Secretary Gozon
exercised appellate jurisdiction over a case which he had decided as
Director of Mines. He acted as reviewing authority in the appeal from
his own decision. Or, to use another analogy, he acted as trial judge
and appellate judge in the same case.
Whether petitioners right of due process is violated
Yes. Petitioners-appellants were deprived of due process, meaning
fundamental fairness, when Secretary Gozon reviewed his own
decision as Director of Mines.
In order that the review of the decision of a subordinate officer might
not turn out to be a farce the reviewing officer must perforce be other
than the officer whose decision is under review; otherwise, there could
be no different viewor there would be no real review of the case. The
decision of the reviewing officer would be a biased view; inevitably, it
would be the same view since being human, he would not admit that
he was mistaken in his first view of the case.
A sense of proportion and consideration for the fitness of things should
have deterred Secretary Gozon from reviewing his own decision as
Director of Mines. He should have asked his undersecretary to
undertake the review.

In Re: Complaint against Atty. Patricio A. Asoy

Leonard Richards v. Atty. Patricio Asoy

A.C. No. 2655

9 July 1987
Sometime in 1982, Leonard Richards retained Atty. Patricio Asoy as
counsel in a civil case before the RTC of Pasay City. The terms of their
contract provide that Richards was to pay an acceptance fee of fifteen
thousand pesos and Php 300 for each court appearance. Thereafter,
Richards and his family permanently left for Australia, with the
understanding that Atty. Asoy would continue with the case.
The civil case was dismissed by the trial court for lack of interest, as
shown by the absence of their counsel despite notice. This decision
was overturned and the case was reinstated following the
reconsideration sought by Atty. Asoy. Two months after the
reinstatement, the case was again dismissed for lack of interest and/or
failure to prosecute.
For alleged Malpractice for non-attendance at Court hearing,
negligence, and lack of zeal in prosecuting a civil case for damages,
resulting in its dismissal for lack of interest and/or failure to prosecute,
Richards sued Atty. Asoy. Despite several attempts to serve him a copy
of the show-cause Resolution, Atty. Asoy remained elusive. He had
gone into hiding and was deliberately evading service of processes of
the court, and so the Supreme Court issued a resolution suspending
Atty. Asoy from the practice of law. Copies of the Resolution were
circularized to all Courts nationwide with the directive that should
Respondent appear before any lower Court, the latter shall serve upon
him a copy of the show-cause Resolution and require him to appear
within five days thereafter before the Deputy Clerk of Court and Bar
A little under a month after, Atty. Asoy filed a Manifestation submitting
himself voluntarily to the jurisdiction of the Court. He denied all
accusations and prayed that the order of suspension be lifted. He also
asked that he be excused from appearing before the Bar Confidant by
reason of financial constraints. The court denied the lifting but excused
him from appearing.
In his answer, Atty. Asoy reasoned that it was the failure of Richards to
give him their new address in Australia that led to his inability to
prosecute the case and also he was unable to shoulder the fees
required for the services of expert witnesses besides the fact that his
daughter was stricken with cerebral palsy. He also claimed that he had
no intention to delay Richards for money, and that he was deprived of
due process of law because he was not given an opportunity to be
heard before he was suspended.
Issue: Whether Atty. Asoy may be held liable.

Held/Ratio: Yes
As to the issue of due process, Atty. Asoy's side has been fully heard in
the pleadings he has filed before this Court. A trial-type hearing is not
needed. The requirement of due process has been duly satisfied. What
due process abhors is absolute lack of opportunity to be heard.
The facts disclosed require no further evidentiary hearing, and speak
for themselves. Res ipsa loquitur. The Orders of the Trial Court
dismissing the Civil Case are of record and Atty. Asoy's excuse that he
can no longer recall them is feeble.
Atty. Asoy is guilty of grave professional misconduct. He received from
Richards, his client, compensation to handle his case in the Trial Court,
but the same was dismissed for lack of interest and failure to
prosecute. He had abandoned his client in violation of his contract
ignoring the most elementary principles of professional ethics. That
Atty. Asoy also ignored the processes of the Court and it was only after
he was suspended from the practice of law that he surfaced, is highly
indicative of his disregard of an attorney's duties to the Court.
Mendoza v. NHA 111 SCRA 837
Santiago Mendoza, Carmen Urbano, Manuela Urbano, Renato De
Guzman, Raquel De Guzman, Rosette De Guzman, And Romeo De
Guzman (Mendoza, petitioners, are occupants of certain portions
of the Tatalon Estate in Quezon City. They all claim ownership of their
occupied lands:
Santiago Mendoza: acquired from the DEUDORS, as evidenced by an
Carmen Urbano and Manuela Urbano : by virtue of a contract and
Renato, Raquel, Rosette, and Romeo, all surnamed de Guzman:
inherited from their father Serafin de Guzman
On August 3, 1959, Republic Act No. 2616, took effect - authorized "the
expropriation of the Tatalon Estate jointly owned by the J.M. Tuason and
Company, Inc., Gregorio Araneta and Company, Inc., and Florencio
Deudor, et al.," for subdivision into small lots and its resale al cost to
the bona fide occupants thereof
Land Tenure Administration (LTA) was directed to institute the
proceeding for the expropriation of the Tatalon Estate
Before the complaint for eminent domain could be filed, the J.M. Tuason
and Company, Inc., claiming to be the owner of the Tatalon Estate
which was sought to be condemned, filed an action for prohibition with

preliminary injunction against the LTA, praying that Republic Act No.
2616 be declared unconstitutional: DENIED.
On September 15, 1978, the trial court recognized the Compromise
Agreement made by the Republic of the Philippines, now represented
by the National Housing Authority, and the J.M. Tuason and Co., Inc.
On June 11, 1978, the President of the Philippines issued Presidential
Decree No. 1472, authorizing the National Housing Authority (NHA) to
summarily eject any and all squatters from government resettlement
projects without the necessity of a judicial order.
Thereafter, on May 8, 1980, the President of the Philippines declared
the entire Metropolitan Manila Area as an Urban Land Reform Zone,
issued Proclamation No. 1967, proclaiming 244 sites in Metropolitan
Manila, including the Tatalon Estate, described as "Areas for Priority
Development and Urban Land Reform Zones.
On January 27, 1981, NHA wrote Manuela Urbano, informing her that
her request for inclusion in the list of Tatalon Estate beneficiaries could
not be favorably considered, for being an absentee structure owner,
and demanding that she demolish her structure built on the Tatalon
Estate and vacate the premises within 15 days from receipt thereof,
otherwise, NHA would summarily demolish her structure after the
expiration of the period without further notice.
In a letter, dated June 5, 1981, NHA also informed Romeo de Guzman
and Renato de Guzman that they cannot be granted a lot in the Tatalon
Estate after development because they were absentee structure
owners, as well. NHA, however, offered to buy their at a price to be
determined by it in order to avoid economic waste, but that if the
owner was not willing to sell the structure, he should demolish the
same within 10 days from notice, otherwise NHA would summarily
demolish the same without further notice.
In a letter dated August 27, 1981, the National Housing Authority also
ordered the petitioner Santiago Mendoza, "to demolish the illegal
extension of (his) structure located at the Tatalon Estate which
encroaches to the adjacent lot boundaries and pose obstruction/delay
in the allocation process", within 10 days from receipt thereof,
otherwise the NHA would summarily demolish the illegal construction
after the expiration of the period without further notice.
Due to the threat of demolition, Mendoza filed a petition for
prohibition, with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
injunction and/or restraining order, to restrain the NHA from the
threatened demolition of the petitioners' houses situated in Barangay
Tatalon, Quezon City; and to declare Presidential Decree No. 1472

Petitioners (Mendoza

They are rightful possessors of parcels of land within the Tatalon
The enforcement of Presidential Decree No. 1472 against them is
illegal and unconstitutional as it would deprive them of their property
without due process of law.
Respondents (NHA)
Urbano and the De Guzmans, being absentee structure owners, are not
entitled to lot allocations as they are bona fide occupants under P.D.
SECTION 3. Allocation of lots and/or housing units in the project area
shall be made by the Authority according to the following priority:
1Present occupants who were listed in the 1958 Araneta Census List of
Present occupants as determined by the Authority in its 1976 Census
Survey; and
Squatter families in the Tatalon Estate after the 1976 Census Survey.
Mendoza created an illegal extension of his structure on the subject lot
and, thus, must demolish the same.
Whether or not Mendoza are entitled to a lot allocation in the
Tatalon Estate
No. They are not entitled to lot allocations.
They falsely claim ownership over parcels of the Tatalon Estate. The
subject land is a property of the state after the expropriation
proceedings. They even admitted the States title when they applied
for inclusion as beneficiaries.
The petitioners, having actual knowledge of the expropriation of the
Tatalon Estate,should have vindicated their claim of ownership to the
land claimed by them in the expropriation proceedings, as intimated by
the Court in the case of J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. Land Tenure
Presidential Decree No. 1472 does not violate the constitutional due
process clause since it requires proper notice of ejectment to the
squatter or illegal occupant concerned either by personal service or by
posting the same in the lot or door of the apartment as the case may
be at least 10 days before his scheduled ejectment from the premises,
which has been amply complied with in the case of the petitioners.
Here, notices of ejectment were served upon the petitioners after it
had been determined that they are not "Tatalon Estate beneficiaries"
and, consequently, squatters on the land occupied by them.

Presidential Decree No. 1472 does not violate the constitutional due
process clause since it requires proper notice of ejectment to the
squatter or illegal occupant concerned either by personal service or by
posting the same in the lot or door of the apartment as the case may
be at least 10 days before his scheduled ejectment from the premises,
which has been amply complied with in the case of the petitioners.
Here, notices of ejectment were served upon the petitioners after it
had been determined that they are not "Tatalon Estate beneficiaries"
and, consequently, squatters on the land occupied by them.
Why are the petitioners not entitled to lot allocations?
They falsely claim ownership over parcels of the Tatalon Estate. The
subject land is a property of the state after the expropriation
proceedings. They even admitted the States title when they applied
for inclusion as beneficiaries.
The petitioners, having actual knowledge of the expropriation of the
Tatalon Estate,should have vindicated their claim of ownership to the
land claimed by them in the expropriation proceedings, as intimated by
the Court in the case of J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. vs. Land Tenure
What are the remedies against public nuisance?
Art. 699. The remedies against a public nuisance are:
(1) A prosecution under the Penal Code or any local ordinance: or
(2) A civil action; or
(3) Abatement, without judicial proceedings.
Sumulong vs. Guerrero
Facts: On 5 December 1977 the National Housing Authority (NHA) filed
a complaint for expropriation of parcels of land covering approximately
25 hectares, (in Antipolo Rizal) including the lots of Lorenzo Sumulong
and Emilia Vidanes-Balaoing with an area of 6,667 square meters and
3,333 square meters respectively. The land sought to be expropriated
were valued by the NHA at P1.00 per square meter adopting the
market value fixed by the provincial assessor in accordance with
presidential decrees prescribing the valuation of property in
expropriation proceedings. Together with the complaint was a motion
for immediate possession of the properties. The NHA deposited the
amount of P158,980.00 with the Philippine National Bank, representing
the "total market value" of the subject 25 hectares of land, pursuant to

Presidential Decree 1224 which defines "the policy on the expropriation

of private property for socialized housing upon payment of just
compensation." On 17 January 1978, Judge Buenaventura Guerrero
issued the order issuing a writ of possession in favor of NHA. Sumulong
and Vidanes-Balaoing filed a motion for reconsideration on the ground
that they had been deprived of the possession of their property without
due process of law. This was, however, denied. They filed a petition for
certiorari with the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether due process of law was observed in the expropriation
Held: The exercise of the power of eminent domain is subject to certain
limitations imposed by the constitution (1973), i.e. that private
property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation"
(Art. IV, sec. 9); and that 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" (Art. IV, sec. 1). The "public use"
requirement for a valid exercise of the power of eminent domain is a
flexible and evolving concept influenced by changing conditions. The
term "public use" has acquired a more comprehensive coverage. To the
literal import of the term signifying strict use or employment by the
public has been added the broader notion of indirect public benefit or
advantage. Specifically, urban renewal or redevelopment and the
construction of low-cost housing is recognized as a public purpose, not
only because of the expanded concept of public use but also because
of specific provisions in the Constitution. The 1973 Constitution made it
incumbent upon the State to establish, maintain and ensure adequate
social services including housing [Art. II, sec. 7]. Housing is a basic
human need. Shortage in housing is a matter of state concern since it
directly and significantly affects public health, safety, the environment
and in sum, the general welfare. The public character of housing
measures does not change because units in housing projects cannot be
occupied by all but only by those who satisfy prescribed qualifications.
A beginning has to be made, for it is not possible to provide housing for
all who need it, all at once. "Socialized housing" falls within the
confines of "public use". Provisions on economic opportunities
inextricably linked with low-cost housing, or slum clearance, relocation
and resettlement, or slum improvement emphasize the public purpose
of the project. Herein, the use to which it is proposed to put the subject
parcels of land meets the requisites of "public use". The lands in
question are being expropriated by the NHA for the expansion of
Bagong Nayon Housing Project to provide housing facilities to lowsalaried government employees. The Supreme Court holds that

"socialized housing" defined in Presidential Decree 1224, as amended

by Presidential Decrees 1259 and 1313, constitutes "public use" for
purposes of expropriation. However, as previously held by the Supreme
Court, the provisions of such decrees on just compensation are
unconstitutional. Herein, the Court finds that the Orders issued
pursuant to the corollary provisions of those decrees authorizing
immediate taking without notice and hearing are violative of due
Lumiqued vs. Exenea, 11/18/97 = GRACE
Arsenio P. Lumiqued was the Regional Director of the Department of
Agrarian Reform Cordillera Autonomous Region (DAR-CAR) until
President Fidel V. Ramos dismissed him from that position pursuant to
Administrative Order No. 52 dated May 12, 1993. In view of Lumiqueds
death on May 19, 1994, his heirs instituted this petition
for certiorari and mandamus, questioning such order.
The dismissal was the aftermath of three complaints filed by DAR-CAR
Regional Cashier and private respondent Jeannette Obar-Zamudio with
the Board of Discipline of the DAR. The first affidavit-complaint dated
November 16, 1989,[1] charged Lumiqued with malversation through
falsification of official documents. From May to September 1989,
Lumiqued allegedly committed at least 93 counts of falsification by
padding gasoline receipts. In her second affidavit-complaint dated
November 22, 1989,[2] private respondent accused Lumiqued with
violation of Commission on Audit (COA) rules and regulations, alleging
that during the months of April, May, July, August, September and
October, 1989, he made unliquidated cash advances in the total
amount of P116,000.00. The third affidavit-complaint dated December
15, 1989,[3] charged Lumiqued with oppression and harassment.
According to private respondent, her two previous complaints
prompted Lumiqued to retaliate by relieving her from her post as
Regional Cashier without just cause.The were referred in due course to
the Department of Justice (DOJ) for appropriate action. On May 20,
1992, Acting Justice Secretary Eduardo G. Montenegro issued
Department Order No. 145 creating a committee to investigate the
complaints against Lumiqued. Committee hearings on the complaints
were conducted on July 3 and 10, 1992, but Lumiqued was not assisted
by counsel. On the second hearing date, he moved for its resetting to
July 17, 1992, to enable him to employ the services of counsel. The
committee granted the motion, but neither Lumiqued nor his counsel

appeared on the date he himself had chosen, so the committee

deemed the case submitted for resolution.
Issue: Does the due process clause encompass the right to be assisted
by counsel during an administrative inquiry?
Ruling: No. The right to counsel, which cannot be waived unless the
waiver is in writing and in the presence of counsel, is a right afforded a
suspect or an accused during custodial investigation. It is not an
absolute right and may, thus, be invoked or rejected in a criminal
proceeding and, with more reason, in an administrative inquiry. In the
case at bar, Lumiqued invoked the right of an accused in criminal
proceedings to have competent and independent counsel of his own
choice. Lumiqued, however, was not accused of any crime. The
investigation conducted by the committee was for the purpose of
determining if he could be held administratively liable under the law
for the complaints filed against him. The right to counsel is not
indispensable to due process unless required by the Constitution or the
x x x. There is nothing in the Constitution that says that a party in a
non-criminal proceeding is entitled to be represented by counsel and
that, without such representation, he shall not be bound by such
proceedings. The assistance of lawyers, while desirable, is not
indispensable. The legal profession was not engrafted in the due
process clause such that without the participation of its members, the
safeguard is deemed ignored or violated. The ordinary citizen is not
that helpless that he cannot validly act at all except only with a lawyer
at his side.
In administrative proceedings, the essence of due process is simply the
opportunity to explain ones side. Whatever irregularity attended the
proceedings conducted by the committee was cured by Lumiqueds
appeal and his subsequent filing of motions for reconsideration.
The Supreme Court also emphasized that the constitutional provision
on due process safeguards life, liberty and property. Public office is a
public trust. It is not a property guaranteed of due process. But when
the dispute concerns ones constitutional right to security of tenure,
however, public office is deemed analogous to property in a limited
sense; hence, the right to due process could rightfully be invoked.
Nonetheless, the right to security of tenure is not absolute especially
when it was proven, as in this case, that the public officer (Lumiqued)
did not live up to the Constitutional precept i.e., that all public officers
and employees must serve with responsibility, integrity, loyalty and

CSC vs Lucas
Facts: Raquel P. Linatok, an assistant information officer at the
Agricultural Information Division, Department of Agriculture (DA for
brevity), filed with the office of the Secretary, DA, an affidavitcomplaint against respondent Jose J. Lucas, a photographer of the
same agency, for misconduct. Raquel felt Mr. Lucas hand touching her
thigh and running down his palm up to her ankle. She was shocked and
suddenly faced Mr. Lucas and admonished him not to do it again or she
will kick him. But Lucas touched her again and so she hit Mr. Lucas.
Suddenly Mr. Lucas shouted at her saying lumabas ka na at huwag na
huwag ka nang papasok dito kahit kailan A verbal exchange then
ensued and respondent Lucas grabbed Raquel by the arm and shoved
her towards the door causing her to stumble, her both hands protected
her face from smashing upon the door.Board of Personnel Inquiry, DA,
issued a summons requiring respondent to answer the complaint, not
to file a motion to dismiss, within five (5) days from receipt. On June
17, 1992, respondent Lucas submitted a letter to Jose P. Nitullano,
assistant head, BOPI, denying the charges. According to Lucas, he did
not touch the thigh of complainant Linatok, that what transpired was
that he accidentally brushed Linatoks leg when he reached for his
shoes and that the same was merely accidental and he did not intend
nor was there malice when his hand got in contact with Linatoks leg.
(a) Whether respondent was denied Due process when CSC found him
guilty of Grave Misconduct on a charge of simple misconduct
(b) whether the act complained constitute grave mis conduct
CSC issued a resolution finding respondent guilty of grave misconduct
and imposing on him the penalty of dismissal from the service.offenses
fall under different categories. This is clear from a perusal of
memorandum circular No. 49-89 (also known as the guidelines in the
application of penalties in administrative cases) itself which classifies
administrative offenses into three: grave, less grave and light offenses.
The charge of grave misconduct falls under the classification of grave
offenses while simple misconduct is classified as a less grave offense.
The former is punishable by dismissal while the latter is punishable
either by suspension (one month and one day to six months), if it is the
first offense; or by dismissal, if it is the second. Thus, they should be
treated as separate and distinct offenses. Grave misconduct as
distinguished from simple misconduct, the elements of corruption,
clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of established rule,
must be manifest,which is obviously lacking in respondents case.

Villegas v Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho GR No L-29646, November

10, 1978
The Municipal Board of Manila enacted Ordinance 6537 requiring aliens
(except those employed in the diplomatic and consular missions of
foreign countries, in technical assistance programs of the government
and another country, and members of religious orders or
congregations) to procure the requisite mayors permit so as to be
employed or engage in trade in the City of Manila. Thus, a case was
filed with CFI-Manila to stop enforcement of the ordinance. CFI-Manila
declared the ordinance void. Thus, the present petition for certiorari.
(1) Is the ordinance violative of the cardinal rule of uniformity of
(2) Does it violate the principle against undue designation of
legislative power?
(3) Does it violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the
(1) Yes. The P50 fee is unreasonable not only because it is excessive
but because it fails to consider valid substantial differences in situation
among individual aliens who are required to pay it. The same amount
of P50 is being collected from every employed alien whether he is
casual or permanent, part time or full time or whether he is a lowly
employee or a highly paid executive.
(2) Yes. It does not lay down any criterion or standard to guide the
Mayor in the exercise of his discretion. It has been held that where an
ordinance of a municipality fails to state any policy or to set up any
standard to guide or limit the action, thus conferring upon the Mayor
arbitrary and unrestricted power, such ordinance is invalid.
(3) Yes. Requiring a person before he can be employed to get a permit
from the City Mayor of Manila who may withhold or refuse it at will is
tantamount to denying him the basic right of the people in the
Philippines to engage in a means of livelihood. The shelter of
protection under the due process and equal protection clause is given
to all persons, both aliens and citizens.
Thus, the ordinance is invalid.
VILLEGAS VS. HIU CHIONG [86 SCRA 270; NO.L-29646; 10 NOV 1978]
Facts: The controverted Ordinance no. 6537 was passed by the
Municipal Board of Manila on February 22, 1968 and signed by Mayor

Villegas. It is an ordinance making it unlawful for any person not a

citizen of the Philippines to be employed in any place of employment
or to be engaged in any kind of trade business or occupation within the
city of Manila without securing an employment permit from the Mayor
of Manila and for other purposes.
Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho, who was employed in Manila filed a petition
praying for the writ of preliminary injunction and restraining order to
stop the enforcement of said ordinance.
Issue: Whether or Not Ordinance no.6537 violates the due process and
equal protection clauses of the Constitution.
Held: It is a revenue measure. The city ordinance which imposes a fee
of 50.00 pesos to enable aliens generally to be employed in the city of
Manila is not only for the purpose of regulation.
While it is true that the first part which requires the alien to secure an
employment permit from the Mayor involves the exercise of discretion
and judgment in processing and approval or disapproval of application
is regulatory in character, the second part which requires the payment
of a sum of 50.00 pesos is not a regulatory but a revenue measure.
Ordinance no. 6537 is void and unconstitutional. This is tantamount to
denial of the basic human right of the people in the Philippines to
engaged in a means of livelihood. While it is true that the Philippines as
a state is not obliged to admit aliens within it's territory, once an alien
is admitted he cannot be deprived of life without due process of law.
This guarantee includes the means of livelihood. Also it does not lay
down any standard to guide the City Mayor in the issuance or denial of
an alien employment permit fee.
People v. Vera, 65 Phil. 56 = GRACE
In 1934, Cu-Unjieng was convicted of criminal charges by the trial court
of Manila. He filed a motion for reconsideration and four motions for
new trial but all were denied. He then elevated to the Supreme Court
of United States for review, which was also denied. The SC denied the
petition subsequently filed by Cu-Unjieng for a motion for new trial
and thereafter remanded the case to the court of origin for execution
of the judgment. CFI of Manila referred the application for probation of
the Insular Probation Office which recommended denial of the same.
Later, 7th branch of CFI Manila set the petition for hearing. The Fiscal
filed an opposition to the granting of probation to Cu Unjieng, alleging,
among other things, that Act No. 4221, assuming that it has not been
repealed by section 2 of Article XV of the Constitution, is nevertheless
violative of section 1, subsection (1), Article III of the Constitution

guaranteeing equal protection of the laws. The private prosecution also

filed a supplementary opposition, elaborating on the alleged
unconstitutionality on Act No. 4221, as an undue delegation of
legislative power to the provincial boards of several provinces (sec. 1,
Art. VI, Constitution). The said law provides absolute discretion to
provincial boards and this also constitutes undue delegation of power
because providing probation, in effect, is granting freedom, as in
1. May the State question its own laws?
2. Is Act 4221 constitutional?
1. Yes. There is no law which prohibits the State, or its duly authorized
representative, from questioning the validity of a law. Estoppel will also
not lie against the State even if it had been using an invalid law.
2. No, Act 4221 or the [old] Probation Law is unconstitutional.
Violation of the Equal Protection Clause
The contention of HSBC and the Prosecution is well taken on this note.
There is violation of the equal protection clause. Under Act 4221,
provinces were given the option to apply the law by simply providing
for a probation officer. So if a province decides not to install a probation
officer, then the accused within said province will be unduly deprived
of the provisions of the Probation Law.
Undue Delegation of Legislative Power
There is undue delegation of legislative power. Act 4221 provides that
it shall only apply to provinces where the respective provincial boards
have provided for a probation officer. But nowhere in the law did it
state as to what standard (sufficient standard test) should provincial
boards follow in determining whether or not to apply the probation law
in their province. This only creates a roving commission which will act
arbitrarily according to its whims.
Encroachment of Executive Power
Though Act 4221 is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court recognized the
power of Congress to provide for probation. Probation does not
encroach upon the Presidents power to grant pardon. Probation is not
pardon. Probation is within the power of Congress to fix penalties while
pardon is a power of the president to commute penalties.
PJA v. Prado
G.R. No. 105371

Philippine Postal Corporation implemented Section 35 of R.A. No. 7354

which provides the measures to withdraw the franking privilege from
the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Regional Trial Courts, the
Metropolitan Trial Courts, the Municipal Trial Courts, and the Land
Registration Commission and its Registers of Deeds, along with certain
other government offices.
The petitioners are members of the lower courts who feel that their
official functions as judges will be prejudiced then questions the
validity of Sec. 35 of RA. 7354 on the ground that it is discriminatory
and encroaches on the independence of the Judiciary thus, violates of
the equal protection clause.
Whether or not RA 7354 denies the Judiciary of equal protection clause.
Yes. RA 7354 denies the Judiciary of equal protection clause.
The equal protection of the laws is embraced in the concept of due
process, as every unfair discrimination offends the requirements of
justice and fair play. It has nonetheless been embodied in a separate
clause in Article III Sec. 1., of the Constitution to provide for a more,
specific guaranty against any form of undue favouritism or hostility
from the government.
The equal protection clause does not require the universal application
of the laws on all persons or things without distinction. In the case, the
postal service office claims that the expense from judiciary with
regards to frank mails amounts to P 73,574,864 as compared to P
90,424,175 total volume of frank mails. The respondents are in effect
saying that the franking privilege should be extended only to those
who do not need it very much but not to those who need it badly
(especially the courts of justice).
Thus, RA 7354 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. This is not a question of wisdom or
power into which the Judiciary may not intrude. It is a matter of
arbitrariness that this Court has the duty and power to correct.
[G.R. No. 130716. December 9, 1998]
capacity as chairman of the PCGG), respondents. GLORIA A. JOPSON,
JOPSON, petitioners-in-intervention.

The Facts
Petitioner Francisco I. Chavez, as taxpayer, citizen and former
government official who initiated the prosecution of the Marcoses and
their cronies who committed unmitigated plunder of the public treasury
and the systematic subjugation of the countrys economy, alleges that
what impelled him to bring this action were several news
reports[2] bannered in a number of broadsheets sometime in
September 1997. These news items referred to (1) the alleged
discovery of billions of dollars of Marcos assets deposited in various
coded accounts in Swiss banks; and (2) the reported execution of a
compromise, between the government (through PCGG) and the Marcos
heirs, on how to split or share these assets.
Petitioner, invoking his constitutional right to information[3] and the
correlative duty of the state to disclose publicly all its transactions
involving the national interest,[4] demands that respondents make
public any and all negotiations and agreements pertaining to PCGGs
task of recovering the Marcoses ill-gotten wealth. He claims that any
compromise on the alleged billions of ill-gotten wealth involves an
issue of paramount public interest, since it has a debilitating effect on
the countrys economy that would be greatly prejudicial to the national
interest of the Filipino people. Hence, the people in general have a
right to know the transactions or deals being contrived and effected by
the government.
Respondents, on the other hand, do not deny forging a compromise
agreement with the Marcos heirs. They claim, though, that petitioners
action is premature, because there is no showing that he has asked the
PCGG to disclose the negotiations and the Agreements. And even if he
has, PCGG may not yet be compelled to make any disclosure, since the
proposed terms and conditions of the Agreements have not become
effective and binding.
Respondents further aver that the Marcos heirs have submitted the
subject Agreements to the Sandiganbayan for its approval in Civil Case
No. 141, entitled Republic v. Heirs of Ferdinand E. Marcos, and that the
Republic opposed such move on the principal grounds that (1) said
Agreements have not been ratified by or even submitted to the
President for approval, pursuant to Item No. 8 of the General
Agreement; and (2) the Marcos heirs have failed to comply with their
undertakings therein, particularly the collation and submission of an
inventory of their assets. The Republic also cited an April 11, 1995
Resolution in Civil Case No. 0165, in which the Sandiganbayan
dismissed a similar petition filed by the Marcoses attorney-in-fact.

Furthermore, then President Fidel V. Ramos, in his May 4, 1998

Memorandum[5] to then PCGG Chairman Magtanggol Gunigundo,
categorically stated:
This is to reiterate my previous position embodied in the Palace Press
Release of 6 April 1995 that I have not authorized you to approve the
Compromise Agreements of December 28, 1993 or any agreement at
all with the Marcoses, and would have disapproved them had they
been submitted to me.
The Full Powers of Attorney of March 1994 and July 4, 1994, did not
authorize you to approve said Agreements, which I reserve for myself
as President of the Republic of the Philippines.
The Oral Argument, held on March 16, 1998, focused on the following
(a) Procedural:
(1) Whether or not the petitioner has the personality or legal standing
to file the instant petition; and
(2) Whether or not this Court is the proper court before which this
action may be filed.
(b) Substantive:
(1) Whether or not this Court could require the PCGG to disclose to the
public the details of any agreement, perfected or not, with the
Marcoses; and
(2) Whether or not there exist any legal restraints against a
compromise agreement between the Marcoses and the PCGG relative
to the Marcoses ill-gotten wealth.
The Courts Ruling
The petition is imbued with merit.
First Procedural Issue: Petitioners Standing
Petitioner, on the one hand, explains that as a taxpayer and citizen, he
has the legal personality to file the instant petition. He submits that
since ill-gotten wealth belongs to the Filipino people and [is], in truth
and in fact, part of the public treasury, any compromise in relation to it
would constitute a diminution of the public funds, which can be
enjoined by a taxpayer whose interest is for a full, if not substantial,
recovery of such assets.
Besides, petitioner emphasizes, the matter of recovering the ill-gotten
wealth of the Marcoses is an issue of transcendental importance to the
public. He asserts that ordinary taxpayers have a right to initiate and
prosecute actions questioning the validity of acts or orders of
government agencies or instrumentalities, if the issues raised are of

paramount public interest; and if they immeasurably affect the social,

economic, and moral well-being of the people.
Moreover, the mere fact that he is a citizen satisfies the requirement of
personal interest, when the proceeding involves the assertion of a
public right,[14] such as in this case. He invokes several
decisions[15] of this Court which have set aside the procedural matter
of locus standi, when the subject of the case involved public interest.
On the other hand, the solicitor general, on behalf of respondents,
contends that petitioner has no standing to institute the present action,
because no expenditure of public funds is involved and said petitioner
has no actual interest in the alleged agreement. Respondents further
insist that the instant petition is premature, since there is no showing
that petitioner has requested PCGG to disclose any such negotiations
and agreements; or that, if he has, the Commission has refused to do
Indeed, the arguments cited by petitioner constitute the controlling
decisional rule as regards his legal standing to institute the instant
petition. Access to public documents and records is a public right, and
the real parties in interest are the people themselves.[16]
In Taada v. Tuvera,[17] the Court asserted that when the issue
concerns a public right and the object of mandamus is to obtain the
enforcement of a public duty, the people are regarded as the real
parties in interest; and because it is sufficient that petitioner is a
citizen and as such is interested in the execution of the laws, he need
not show that he has any legal or special interest in the result of the
action.[18] In the aforesaid case, the petitioners sought to enforce their
right to be informed on matters of public concern, a right then
recognized in Section 6, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution,[19] in
connection with the rule that laws in order to be valid and enforceable
must be published in the Official Gazette or otherwise effectively
promulgated. In ruling for the petitioners legal standing, the Court
declared that the right they sought to be enforced is a public right
recognized by no less than the fundamental law of the land.
Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission,[20] while reiterating Taada,
further declared that when a mandamus proceeding involves the
assertion of a public right, the requirement of personal interest is
satisfied by the mere fact that petitioner is a citizen and, therefore,
part of the general public which possesses the right.[21]
Further, in Albano v. Reyes,[22] we said that while expenditure of
public funds may not have been involved under the questioned
contract for the development, the management and the operation of
the Manila International Container Terminal, public interest [was]

definitely involved considering the important role [of the subject

contract] x x x in the economic development of the country and the
magnitude of the financial consideration involved. We concluded that,
as a consequence, the disclosure provision in the Constitution would
constitute sufficient authority for upholding the petitioners standing.
Similarly, the instant petition is anchored on the right of the people to
information and access to official records, documents and papers -- a
right guaranteed under Section 7, Article III of the 1987
Constitution. Petitioner, a former solicitor general, is a Filipino
citizen. Because of the satisfaction of the two basic requisites laid
down by decisional law to sustain petitioners legal standing, i.e. (1) the
enforcement of a public right (2) espoused by a Filipino citizen, we rule
that the petition at bar should be allowed.
In any event, the question on the standing of Petitioner Chavez is
rendered moot by the intervention of the Jopsons, who are among the
legitimate claimants to the Marcos wealth. The standing of the Jopsons
is not seriously contested by the solicitor general. Indeed, said
petitioners-intervenors have a legal interest in the subject matter of
the instant case, since a distribution or disposition of the Marcoses illgotten properties may adversely affect the satisfaction of their claims.
Second Procedural Issue:The Courts Jurisdiction
Petitioner asserts that because this petition is an original action
for mandamus and one that is not intended to delay any proceeding in
the Sandiganbayan, its having been filed before this Court was
proper. He invokes Section 5, Article VIII of the Constitution, which
confers upon the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over petitions for
prohibition and mandamus.
The solicitor general, on the other hand, argues that the petition has
been erroneously brought before this Court, since there is neither a
justiciable controversy nor a violation of petitioners rights by the
PCGG. He alleges that the assailed agreements are already the very lis
mota in Sandiganbayan Civil Case No. 0141, which has yet to dispose
of the issue; thus, this petition is premature. Furthermore, respondents
themselves have opposed the Marcos heirs motion, filed in the graft
court, for the approval of the subject Agreements. Such opposition
belies petitioners claim that the government, through respondents, has
concluded a settlement with the Marcoses as regards their alleged illgotten assets.
In Taada and Legaspi, we upheld therein petitioners resort to
a mandamus proceeding, seeking to enforce a public right as well as to
compel performance of a public duty mandated by no less than the
fundamental law.[23] Further, Section 5, Article VIII of the Constitution,

expressly confers upon the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over

petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo
warrantoand habeas corpus.
Respondents argue that petitioner should have properly sought relief
before the Sandiganbayan, particularly in Civil Case No. 0141, in which
the enforcement of the compromise Agreements is pending
resolution. There may seem to be some merit in such argument, if
petitioner is merely seeking to enjoin the enforcement of the
compromise and/or to compel the PCGG to disclose to the public the
terms contained in said Agreements. However, petitioner is here
seeking the public disclosure of all negotiations and agreement, be
they ongoing or perfected, and documents related to or relating to
such negotiations and agreement between the PCGG and the Marcos
In other words, this petition is not confined to the Agreements that
have already been drawn, but likewise to any other ongoing or future
undertaking towards any settlement on the alleged Marcos
loot.Ineluctably, the core issue boils down to the precise interpretation,
in terms of scope, of the twin constitutional provisions on public
transactions. This broad and prospective relief sought by the instant
petition brings it out of the realm of Civil Case No. 0141.
First Substantive Issue:
Public Disclosure of Terms of Any Agreement, Perfected or Not
In seeking the public disclosure of negotiations and agreements
pertaining to a compromise settlement with the Marcoses as regards
their alleged ill-gotten wealth, petitioner invokes the following
provisions of the Constitution:
Sec. 7 [Article III]. The right of the people to information on matters of
public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to
documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or
decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for
policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such
limitations as may be provided by law.
Sec. 28 [Article II]. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law,
the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all
its transactions involving public interest.
Respondents opposite view is that the above constitutional provisions
refer to completed and operative official acts, not to those still being
considered. As regards the assailed Agreements entered into by the
PCGG with the Marcoses, there is yet no right of action that has
accrued, because said Agreements have not been approved by the
President, and the Marcos heirs have failed to fulfill their express

undertaking therein. Thus, the Agreements have not become

effective. Respondents add that they are not aware of any ongoing
negotiation for another compromise with the Marcoses regarding their
alleged ill-gotten assets.
The information and the transactions referred to in the subject
provisions of the Constitution have as yet no defined scope and
extent. There are no specific laws prescribing the exact limitations
within which the right may be exercised or the correlative state duty
may be obliged. However, the following are some of the recognized
restrictions: (1) national security matters and intelligence information,
(2) trade secrets and banking transactions, (3) criminal matters, and
(4) other confidential information.
Limitations to the Right: (1) National Security Matters
At the very least, this jurisdiction recognizes the common law holding
that there is a governmental privilege against public disclosure with
respect to state secrets regarding military, diplomatic and other
national security matters.[24] But where there is no need to protect
such state secrets, the privilege may not be invoked to withhold
documents and other information,[25] provided that they are
examined in strict confidence and given scrupulous protection.
Likewise, information on inter-government exchanges prior to the
conclusion of treaties and executive agreements may be subject to
reasonable safeguards for the sake of national interest.[26]
(2) Trade Secrets and Banking Transactions
The drafters of the Constitution also unequivocally affirmed that, aside
from national security matters and intelligence information, trade or
industrial secrets (pursuant to the Intellectual Property Code[27] and
other related laws) as well as banking transactions (pursuant to the
Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act[28]) are also exempted from compulsory
(3) Criminal Matters
Also excluded are classified law enforcement matters, such as those
relating to the apprehension, the prosecution and the detention of
criminals,[30] which courts may not inquire into prior to such arrest,
detention and prosecution. Efforts at effective law enforcement would
be seriously jeopardized by free public access to, for example, police
information regarding rescue operations, the whereabouts of fugitives,
or leads on covert criminal activities.
(4) Other Confidential Information
The Ethical Standards Act[31] further prohibits public officials and
employees from using or divulging confidential or classified information

officially known to them by reason of their office and not made

available to the public.[32]
Other acknowledged limitations to information access include
diplomatic correspondence, closed door Cabinet meetings and
executive sessions of either house of Congress, as well as the internal
deliberations of the Supreme Court.[33]
Scope: Matters of Public Concern and Transactions Involving Public
In Valmonte v. Belmonte Jr.,[34] the Court emphasized that the
information sought must be matters of public concern, access to which
may be limited by law. Similarly, the state policy of full public
disclosure extends only to transactions involving public interest and
may also be subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law. As to
the meanings of the terms public interest and public concern, the
Court, in Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission,[35] elucidated:
In determining whether or not a particular information is of public
concern there is no rigid test which can be applied. Public concern like
public interest is a term that eludes exact definition. Both terms
embrace a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to
know, either because these directly affect their lives, or simply
because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary
citizen. In the final analysis, it is for the courts to determine on a case
by case basis whether the matter at issue is of interest or importance,
as it relates to or affects the public.
Considered a public concern in the above-mentioned case was the
legitimate concern of citizens to ensure that government positions
requiring civil service eligibility are occupied only by persons who are
eligibles. So was the need to give the general public adequate
notification of various laws that regulate and affect the actions and
conduct of citizens, as held in Taada. Likewise did the public nature of
the loanable funds of the GSIS and the public office held by the alleged
borrowers (members of the defunct Batasang Pambansa) qualify the
information sought in Valmonte as matters of public interest and
concern. In Aquino-Sarmiento v. Morato,[36] the Court also held that
official acts of public officers done in pursuit of their official functions
are public in character; hence, the records pertaining to such official
acts and decisions are within the ambit of the constitutional right
of access to public records.
Under Republic Act No. 6713, public officials and employees are
mandated to provide information on their policies and procedures in
clear and understandable language, [and] ensure openness of
information, public consultations and hearings whenever appropriate x

x x, except when otherwise provided by law or when required by the

public interest. In particular, the law mandates free public access, at
reasonable hours, to the annual performance reports of offices and
agencies of government and government-owned or controlled
corporations; and the statements of assets, liabilities and financial
disclosures of all public officials and employees.[37]
In general, writings coming into the hands of public officers in
connection with their official functions must be accessible to the public,
consistent with the policy of transparency of governmental affairs.This
principle is aimed at affording the people an opportunity to determine
whether those to whom they have entrusted the affairs of the
government are honestly, faithfully and competently performing their
functions as public servants.[38] Undeniably, the essence of
democracy lies in the free flow of thought;[39] but thoughts and ideas
must be well-informed so that the public would gain a better
perspective of vital issues confronting them and, thus, be able to
criticize as well as participate in the affairs of the government in a
responsible, reasonable and effective manner. Certainly, it is by
ensuring an unfettered and uninhibited exchange of ideas among a
well-informed public that a government remains responsive to the
changes desired by the people.[40]
The Nature of the Marcoses Alleged Ill-Gotten Wealth
We now come to the immediate matter under consideration.
Upon the departure from the country of the Marcos family and their
cronies in February 1986, the new government headed by President
Corazon C. Aquino was specifically mandated to [r]ecover ill-gotten
properties amassed by the leaders and supporters of the previous
regime and [to] protect the interest of the people through orders of
sequestration or freezing of assets or accounts.[41] Thus, President
Aquinos very first executive orders (which partook of the nature of
legislative enactments) dealt with the recovery of these alleged illgotten properties.
Executive Order No. 1, promulgated on February 28, 1986, only two (2)
days after the Marcoses fled the country, created the PCGG which was
primarily tasked to assist the President in the recovery of vast
government resources allegedly amassed by former President Marcos,
his immediate family, relatives and close associates both here and
Under Executive Order No. 2, issued twelve (12) days later, all persons
and entities who had knowledge or possession of ill-gotten assets and
properties were warned and, under pain of penalties prescribed by law,
prohibited from concealing, transferring or dissipating them or from

otherwise frustrating or obstructing the recovery efforts of the

On May 7, 1986, another directive (EO No. 14) was issued giving
additional powers to the PCGG which, taking into account the
overriding considerations of national interest and national survival,
required it to achieve expeditiously and effectively its vital task of
recovering ill-gotten wealth.
With such pronouncements of our government, whose authority
emanates from the people, there is no doubt that the recovery of the
Marcoses alleged ill-gotten wealth is a matter of public concern and
imbued with public interest.[42] We may also add that ill-gotten
wealth, by its very nature, assumes a public character. Based on the
aforementioned Executive Orders, ill-gotten wealth refers to assets and
properties purportedly acquired, directly or indirectly, by former
President Marcos, his immediate family, relatives and close associates
through or as a result of their improper or illegal use of government
funds or properties; or their having taken undue advantage of their
public office; or their use of powers, influences or relationships,
resulting in their unjust enrichment and causing grave damage and
prejudice to the Filipino people and the Republic of the
Philippines. Clearly, the assets and properties referred to supposedly
originated from the government itself. To all intents and purposes,
therefore, they belong to the people. As such, upon reconveyance they
will be returned to the public treasury, subject only to the satisfaction
of positive claims of certain persons as may be adjudged by competent
courts. Another declared overriding consideration for the expeditious
recovery of ill-gotten wealth is that it may be used for national
economic recovery.
We believe the foregoing disquisition settles the question of whether
petitioner has a right to respondents disclosure of any agreement that
may be arrived at concerning the Marcoses purported ill-gotten wealth.
Access to Information on Negotiating Terms
But does the constitutional provision likewise guarantee access to
information regarding ongoing negotiations or proposals prior to the
final agreement? This same clarification was sought and clearly
addressed by the constitutional commissioners during their
deliberations, which we quote hereunder:[43]
MR. SUAREZ. And when we say transactions which should be
distinguished from contracts, agreements, or treaties or whatever,
does the Gentleman refer to the steps leading to the consummation of
the contract, or does he refer to the contract itself?

MR. OPLE. The transactions used here, I suppose, is generic and,

therefore, it can cover both steps leading to a contract, and already a
consummated contract, Mr. Presiding Officer.
MR. SUAREZ. This contemplates inclusion of negotiations leading to the
consummation of the transaction?
MR. OPLE. Yes, subject to reasonable safeguards on the national
Considering the intent of the framers of the Constitution, we believe
that it is incumbent upon the PCGG and its officers, as well as other
government representatives, to disclose sufficient public information
on any proposed settlement they have decided to take up with the
ostensible owners and holders of ill-gotten wealth. Such information,
though, must pertain to definite propositions of the government, not
necessarily to intra-agency or inter-agency recommendations or
communications[44] during the stage when common assertions are
still in the process of being formulated or are in the exploratory
stage. There is a need, of course, to observe the same restrictions on
disclosure of information in general, as discussed earlier -- such as on
matters involving national security, diplomatic or foreign relations,
intelligence and other classified information.
Second Substantive Issue: Legal Restraints on a Marcos-PCGG
Petitioner lastly contends that any compromise agreement between
the government and the Marcoses will be a virtual condonation of all
the alleged wrongs done by them, as well as an unwarranted
permission to commit graft and corruption.
Respondents, for their part, assert that there is no legal restraint on
entering into a compromise with the Marcos heirs, provided the
agreement does not violate any law.
Prohibited Compromises
In general, the law encourages compromises in civil cases, except with
regard to the following matters: (1) the civil status of persons, (2) the
validity of a marriage or a legal separation, (3) any ground for legal
separation, (4) future support, (5) the jurisdiction of courts, and (6)
future legitime.[45] And like any other contract, the terms and
conditions of a compromise must not be contrary to law, morals, good
customs, public policy or public order.[46] A compromise is binding and
has the force of law between the parties,[47] unless the consent of a
party is vitiated -- such as by mistake, fraud, violence, intimidation or
undue influence -- or when there is forgery, or if the terms of the
settlement are so palpably unconscionable. In the latter instances, the
agreement may be invalidated by the courts.[48]

Effect of Compromise on Civil Actions

One of the consequences of a compromise, and usually its primary
object, is to avoid or to end a litigation.[49] In fact, the law urges
courts to persuade the parties in a civil case to agree to a fair
settlement.[50] As an incentive, a court may mitigate damages to be
paid by a losing party who shows a sincere desire to compromise.[51]
In Republic & Campos Jr. v. Sandiganbayan,[52] which affirmed the
grant by the PCGG of civil and criminal immunity to Jose Y. Campos and
family, the Court held that in the absence of an express prohibition, the
rule on compromises in civil actions under the Civil Code is applicable
to PCGG cases. Such principle is pursuant to the objectives of EO No.
14, particularly the just and expeditious recovery of ill-gotten wealth,
so that it may be used to hasten economic recovery. The same
principle was upheld in Benedicto v. Board of Administrators of
Television Stations RPN, BBC and IBC[53] and Republic v. Benedicto,
[54] which ruled in favor of the validity of the PCGG compromise
agreement with Roberto S. Benedicto.
Immunity from Criminal Prosecution
However, any compromise relating to the civil liability arising from an
offense does not automatically terminate the criminal proceeding
against or extinguish the criminal liability of the malefactor.[55] While
a compromise in civil suits is expressly authorized by law, there is no
similar general sanction as regards criminal liability. The authority must
be specifically conferred. In the present case, the power to grant
criminal immunity was conferred on PCGG by Section 5 of EO No. 14,
as amended by EO No. 14-A, which provides:
SECTION 5. The Presidential Commission on Good Government is
authorized to grant immunity from criminal prosecution to any person
who provides information or testifies in any investigation conducted by
such Commission to establish the unlawful manner in which any
respondent, defendant or accused has acquired or accumulated the
property or properties in question in any case where such information
or testimony is necessary to ascertain or prove the latters guilt or his
civil liability. The immunity thereby granted shall be continued to
protect the witness who repeats such testimony before the
Sandiganbayan when required to do so by the latter or by the
The above provision specifies that the PCGG may exercise such
authority under these conditions: (1) the person to whom criminal
immunity is granted provides information or testifies in an
investigation conducted by the Commission; (2) the information or
testimony pertains to the unlawful manner in which the respondent,

defendant or accused acquired or accumulated ill-gotten property; and

(3) such information or testimony is necessary to ascertain or prove
guilt or civil liability of such individual. From the wording of the law, it
can be easily deduced that the person referred to is a witness in the
proceeding, not the principal respondent, defendant or accused.
Thus, in the case of Jose Y. Campos, the grant of both civil and criminal
immunity to him and his family was [i]n consideration of the full
cooperation of Mr. Jose Y. Campos [with] this Commission, his voluntary
surrender of the properties and assets [--] disclosed and declared by
him to belong to deposed President Ferdinand E. Marcos [--] to the
Government of the Republic of the Philippines[;] his full, complete and
truthful disclosures[;] and his commitment to pay a sum of money as
determined by the Philippine Government.[56] Moreover, the grant of
criminal immunity to the Camposes and the Benedictos was limited to
acts and omissions prior to February 25, 1996. At the time such
immunity was granted, no criminal cases have yet been filed against
them before the competent courts.
Validity of the PCGG-Marcos Compromise Agreements
Going now to the subject General and Supplemental Agreements
between the PCGG and the Marcos heirs, a cursory perusal thereof
reveals serious legal flaws. First, the Agreements do not conform to the
above requirements of EO Nos. 14 and 14-A. We believe that criminal
immunity under Section 5 cannot be granted to the Marcoses, who are
the principal defendants in the spate of ill-gotten wealth cases now
pending before the Sandiganbayan. As stated earlier, the provision is
applicable mainly to witnesses who provide information or testify
against a respondent, defendant or accused in an ill-gotten wealth
While the General Agreement states that the Marcoses shall provide
the [government] assistance by way of testimony or deposition on any
information [they] may have that could shed light on the cases being
pursued by the [government] against other parties,[57] the clause
does not fully comply with the law. Its inclusion in the Agreement may
have been only an afterthought, conceived in pro formacompliance
with Section 5 of EO No. 14, as amended. There is no indication
whatsoever that any of the Marcos heirs has indeed provided vital
information against any respondent or defendant as to the manner in
which the latter may have unlawfully acquired public property.
Second, under Item No. 2 of the General Agreement, the PCGG
commits to exempt from all forms of taxes the properties to be
retained by the Marcos heirs. This is a clear violation of the
Constitution.The power to tax and to grant tax exemptions is vested in

the Congress and, to a certain extent, in the local legislative bodies.

[58] Section 28 (4), Article VI of the Constitution, specifically
provides: No law granting any tax exemption shall be passed without
the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress. The
PCGG has absolutely no power to grant tax exemptions, even under
the cover of its authority to compromise ill-gotten wealth cases.
Even granting that Congress enacts a law exempting the Marcoses
from paying taxes on their properties, such law will definitely not pass
the test of the equal protection clause under the Bill of Rights.Any
special grant of tax exemption in favor only of the Marcos heirs will
constitute class legislation. It will also violate the constitutional rule
that taxation shall be uniform and equitable.[59]
Neither can the stipulation be construed to fall within the power of the
commissioner of internal revenue to compromise taxes. Such authority
may be exercised only when (1) there
is reasonable doubt asto the validity of the claim against the taxpayer,
and (2) the taxpayers financial position demonstrates a clear inability
to pay.[60] Definitely, neither requisite is present in the case of the
Marcoses, because under the Agreement they are effectively
conceding the validity of the claims against their properties, part of
which they will be allowed to retain. Nor can the PCGG grant of tax
exemption fall within the power of the commissioner to abate or cancel
a tax liability. This power can be exercised only when (1) the tax
appears to be unjustly or excessively assessed, or (2) the
administration and collection costs involved do not justify the collection
of the tax due.[61] In this instance, the cancellation of tax liability is
done even before the determination of the amount due. In any event,
criminal violations of the Tax Code, for which legal actions have been
filed in court or in which fraud is involved, cannot be compromised.[62]
Third, the government binds itself to cause the dismissal of all cases
against the Marcos heirs, pending before the Sandiganbayan and other
courts.[63] This is a direct encroachment on judicial powers,
particularly in regard to criminal jurisdiction. Well-settled is the
doctrine that once a case has been filed before a court of competent
jurisdiction, the matter of its dismissal or pursuance lies within the full
discretion and control of the judge. In a criminal case, the manner in
which the prosecution is handled, including the matter of whom to
present as witnesses, may lie within the sound discretion of the
government prosecutor;[64] but the court decides, based on the
evidence proffered, in what manner it will dispose of the
case. Jurisdiction, once acquired by the trial court, is not lost despite a
resolution, even by the justice secretary, to withdraw the information

or to dismiss the complaint.[65] The prosecutions motion to withdraw

or to dismiss is not the least binding upon the court. On the contrary,
decisional rules require the trial court to make its own evaluation of the
merits of the case, because granting such motion is equivalent to
effecting a disposition of the case itself.[66]
Thus, the PCGG, as the government prosecutor of ill-gotten wealth
cases, cannot guarantee the dismissal of all such criminal cases
against the Marcoses pending in the courts, for said dismissal is not
within its sole power and discretion.
Fourth, the government also waives all claims and counterclaims,
whether past, present, or future, matured or inchoate, against the
Marcoses.[67] Again, this all-encompassing stipulation is contrary to
law. Under the Civil Code, an action for future fraud may not be
waived.[68] The stipulation in the Agreement does not specify the
exact scope of future claims against the Marcoses that the government
thereby relinquishes. Such vague and broad statement may well be
interpreted to include all future illegal acts of any of the Marcos heirs,
practically giving them a license to perpetrate fraud against the
government without any liability at all. This is a palpable violation of
the due process and equal protection guarantees of the Constitution. It
effectively ensconces the Marcoses beyond the reach of the law. It also
sets a dangerous precedent for public accountability. It is a virtual
warrant for public officials to amass public funds illegally, since there is
an open option to compromise their liability in exchange for only a
portion of their ill-gotten wealth.
Fifth, the Agreements do not provide for a definite or determinable
period within which the parties shall fulfill their respective
prestations. It may take a lifetime before the Marcoses submit an
inventory of their total assets.
Sixth, the Agreements do not state with specificity the standards for
determining which assets shall be forfeited by the government and
which shall be retained by the Marcoses. While the Supplemental
Agreement provides that the Marcoses shall be entitled to 25 per cent
of the $356 million Swiss deposits (less government recovery
expenses), such sharing arrangement pertains only to the said
deposits. No similar splitting scheme is defined with respect to the
other properties. Neither is there, anywhere in the Agreements, a
statement of the basis for the 25-75 percent sharing ratio. Public
officers entering into an arrangement appearing to be manifestly and
grossly disadvantageous to the government, in violation of the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act,[69] invite their indictment for
corruption under the said law.

Finally, the absence of then President Ramos approval of the principal

Agreement, an express condition therein, renders the compromise
incomplete and unenforceable. Nevertheless, as detailed above, even
if such approval were obtained, the Agreements would still not be
From the foregoing disquisition, it is crystal clear to the Court that the
General and Supplemental Agreements, both dated December 28,
1993, which the PCGG entered into with the Marcos heirs, are violative
of the Constitution and the laws aforementioned.
x -x
G.R. No. 193036
Pres. Aquino signed E. O. No. 1 establishing Philippine Truth
Commission of 2010 (PTC) dated July 30, 2010.
PTC is a mere ad hoc body formed under the Office of the President
with the primary task to investigate reports of graft and corruption
committed by third-level public officers and employees, their coprincipals, accomplices and accessories during the previous
administration, and to submit its finding and recommendations to the
President, Congress and the Ombudsman. PTC has all the powers of an
investigative body. But it is not a quasi-judicial body as it cannot
adjudicate, arbitrate, resolve, settle, or render awards in disputes
between contending parties. All it can do is gather, collect and assess
evidence of graft and corruption and make recommendations. It may
have subpoena powers but it has no power to cite people in contempt,
much less order their arrest. Although it is a fact-finding body, it cannot
determine from such facts if probable cause exists as to warrant the
filing of an information in our courts of law.
Petitioners asked the Court to declare it unconstitutional and to enjoin
the PTC from performing its functions. They argued that:
(a) E.O. No. 1 violates separation of powers as it arrogates the power of
the Congress to create a public office and appropriate funds for its

(b) The provision of Book III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of the

Administrative Code of 1987 cannot legitimize E.O. No. 1 because the
delegated authority of the President to structurally reorganize the
Office of the President to achieve economy, simplicity and efficiency
does not include the power to create an entirely new public office
which was hitherto inexistent like the Truth Commission.
(c) E.O. No. 1 illegally amended the Constitution and statutes when it
vested the Truth Commission with quasi-judicial powers duplicating,
if not superseding, those of the Office of the Ombudsman created
under the 1987 Constitution and the DOJ created under the
Administrative Code of 1987.
(d) E.O. No. 1 violates the equal protection clause as it selectively
targets for investigation and prosecution officials and personnel of the
previous administration as if corruption is their peculiar species even
as it excludes those of the other administrations, past and present,
who may be indictable.
Respondents, through OSG, questioned the legal standing of
petitioners and argued that:
1] E.O. No. 1 does not arrogate the powers of Congress because the
Presidents executive power and power of control necessarily include
the inherent power to conduct investigations to ensure that laws are
faithfully executed and that, in any event, the Constitution, Revised
Administrative Code of 1987, PD No. 141616 (as amended), R.A. No.
9970 and settled jurisprudence, authorize the President to create or
form such bodies.
2] E.O. No. 1 does not usurp the power of Congress to appropriate
funds because there is no appropriation but a mere allocation of funds
already appropriated by Congress.
3] The Truth Commission does not duplicate or supersede the functions
of the Ombudsman and the DOJ, because it is a fact-finding body and
not a quasi-judicial body and its functions do not duplicate, supplant or
erode the latters jurisdiction.
4] The Truth Commission does not violate the equal protection clause
because it was validly created for laudable purposes.
1. WON the petitioners have legal standing to file the petitions and
question E. O. No. 1;
2. WON E. O. No. 1 violates the principle of separation of powers by
usurping the powers of Congress to create and to appropriate funds for
public offices, agencies and commissions;
3. WON E. O. No. 1 supplants the powers of the Ombudsman and the

4. WON E. O. No. 1 violates the equal protection clause.
The power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there
must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of
judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have the
standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance;
otherwise stated, he must have a personal and substantial interest in
the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a
result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be
raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality
must be the very lis mota of the case.
1. The petition primarily invokes usurpation of the power of the
Congress as a body to which they belong as members. To the extent
the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the power of each member
thereof, since his office confers a right to participate in the exercise of
the powers of that institution.
Legislators have a legal standing to see to it that the prerogative,
powers and privileges vested by the Constitution in their office remain
inviolate. Thus, they are allowed to question the validity of any official
action which, to their mind, infringes on their prerogatives as
With regard to Biraogo, he has not shown that he sustained, or is in
danger of sustaining, any personal and direct injury attributable to the
implementation of E. O. No. 1.
Locus standi is a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given
question. In private suits, standing is governed by the real-parties-in
interest rule. It provides that every action must be prosecuted or
defended in the name of the real party in interest. Real-party-in
interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the
judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the avails of the suit.
Difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits. Here, the
plaintiff who asserts a public right in assailing an allegedly illegal
official action, does so as a representative of the general public. He has
to show that he is entitled to seek judicial protection. He has to make
out a sufficient interest in the vindication of the public order and the
securing of relief as a citizen or taxpayer.
The person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a
personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has
sustained, or will sustain direct injury as a result. The Court, however,
finds reason in Biraogos assertion that the petition covers matters of
transcendental importance to justify the exercise of jurisdiction by the

Court. There are constitutional issues in the petition which deserve the
attention of this Court in view of their seriousness, novelty and weight
as precedents
The Executive is given much leeway in ensuring that our laws are
faithfully executed. The powers of the President are not limited to
those specific powers under the Constitution. One of the recognized
powers of the President granted pursuant to this constitutionallymandated duty is the power to create ad hoc committees. This flows
from the obvious need to ascertain facts and determine if laws have
been faithfully executed. The purpose of allowing ad hoc investigating
bodies to exist is to allow an inquiry into matters which the President is
entitled to know so that he can be properly advised and guided in the
performance of his duties relative to the execution and enforcement of
the laws of the land.
2. There will be no appropriation but only an allotment or allocations of
existing funds already appropriated. There is no usurpation on the part
of the Executive of the power of Congress to appropriate funds. There
is no need to specify the amount to be earmarked for the operation of
the commission because, whatever funds the Congress has provided
for the Office of the President will be the very source of the funds for
the commission. The amount that would be allocated to the PTC shall
be subject to existing auditing rules and regulations so there is no
impropriety in the funding.
3. PTC will not supplant the Ombudsman or the DOJ or erode their
respective powers. If at all, the investigative function of the
commission will complement those of the two offices. The function of
determining probable cause for the filing of the appropriate complaints
before the courts remains to be with the DOJ and the Ombudsman.
PTCs power to investigate is limited to obtaining facts so that it can
advise and guide the President in the performance of his duties relative
to the execution and enforcement of the laws of the land.
4. Court finds difficulty in upholding the constitutionality of Executive
Order No. 1 in view of its apparent transgression of the equal
protection clause enshrined in Section 1, Article III (Bill of Rights) of the
1987 Constitution.
Equal protection requires that all persons or things similarly situated
should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities
imposed. It requires public bodies and institutions to treat similarly
situated individuals in a similar manner. The purpose of the equal
protection clause is to secure every person within a states jurisdiction
against intentional and arbitrary discrimination, whether occasioned by

the express terms of a statue or by its improper execution through the

states duly constituted authorities.
There must be equality among equals as determined according to a
valid classification. Equal protection clause permits classification. Such
classification, however, to be valid must pass the test of
reasonableness. The test has four requisites: (1) The classification rests
on substantial distinctions; (2) It is germane to the purpose of the law;
(3) It is not limited to existing conditions only; and (4) It applies equally
to all members of the same class.
The classification will be regarded as invalid if all the members of the
class are not similarly treated, both as to rights conferred and
obligations imposed.
Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the equal
protection clause. The clear mandate of truth commission is to
investigate and find out the truth concerning the reported cases of
graft and corruption during the previous administration only. The intent
to single out the previous administration is plain, patent and manifest.
Arroyo administration is but just a member of a class, that is, a class of
past administrations. It is not a class of its own. Not to include past
administrations similarly situated constitutes arbitrariness which the
equal protection clause cannot sanction. Such discriminating
differentiation clearly reverberates to label the commission as a
vehicle for vindictiveness and selective retribution. Superficial
differences do not make for a valid classification.
The PTC must not exclude the other past administrations. The PTC
must, at least, have the authority to investigate all past
The Constitution is the fundamental and paramount law of the nation
to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all
private rights determined and all public authority administered. Laws
that do not conform to the Constitution should be stricken down for
being unconstitutional.
WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. Executive Order No. 1 is
hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it is violative of the
equal protection clause of the Constitution.
People of the Philippines vs Cayat
68 Phil. 12 Political Law Constitutional Law Equal Protection
Requisites of a Valid Classification Bar from Drinking Gin
In 1937, there exists a law (Act 1639) which bars native non-Christians
from drinking gin or any other liquor outside of their customary
alcoholic drinks. Cayat, a native of the Cordillera, was caught with an

A-1-1 gin in violation of this Act. He was then charged and sentenced
to pay P5.00 and to be imprisoned in case of insolvency. Cayat
admitted his guilt but he challenged the constitutionality of the said
Act. He averred, among others, that it violated his right to equal
protection afforded by the constitution. He said this an attempt to treat
them with discrimination or mark them as inferior or less capable race
and less entitled will meet with their instant challenge. The law
sought to distinguish and classify native non-Christians from Christians.
ISSUE: Whether or not the said Act violates the equal protection clause.
HELD: No. The SC ruled that Act 1639 is valid for it met the requisites
of a reasonable classification. The SC emphasized that it is not enough
that the members of a group have the characteristics that distinguish
them from others. The classification must, as an indispensable
requisite, not be arbitrary. The requisites to be complied with are;
(1) must rest on substantial distinctions;
(2) must be germane to the purposes of the law;
(3) must not be limited to existing conditions only; and
(4) must apply equally to all members of the same class.
Act No. 1639 satisfies these requirements. The classification rests on
real or substantial, not merely imaginary or whimsical, distinctions. It is
not based upon accident of birth or parentage. The law, then, does
not seek to mark the non-Christian tribes as an inferior or less capable
race. On the contrary, all measures thus far adopted in the promotion
of the public policy towards them rest upon a recognition of their
inherent right to equality in the enjoyment of those privileges now
enjoyed by their Christian brothers. But as there can be no true
equality before the law, if there is, in fact, no equality in education, the
government has endeavored, by appropriate measures, to raise their
culture and civilization and secure for them the benefits of their
progress, with the ultimate end in view of placing them with their
Christian brothers on the basis of true equality.
Antero Sison Jr. vs Acting BIR Commissioner Ruben Ancheta et
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 and due process clauses of
the Constitution as well as of the rule requiring uniformity in taxation.
ISSUE: Whether the imposition of a higher tax rate on taxable net
income derived from business or profession than on compensation is
constitutionally infirm.
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
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.
Patricio Dumlao vs Commission on Elections
95 SCRA 392 Political Law Constitutional Law Equal Protection
Eligibility to Office after Being 65
Judicial Review; Requisites thereof
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.
ISSUE: Whether or not Dumlao, Igot, and Salapantan have a cause of
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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 provision.
Rufino Nuez vs Sandiganbayan & the People of the Philippines
Equal Protection Creation of the Sandiganbayan
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 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.
ISSUE: Whether or not the creation of Sandiganbayan violates equal
protection insofar as appeals would be concerned.
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 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 & dissenting)
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.

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 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.
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).
Taxicab Operators of Metro Manila Inc vs The Board of
Transportation et al
Equal Protection Phasing Out of Old Taxis in MM but not Elsewhere
On 10 Oct 1977, BOT issued Circ 77-42 which has for its purpose the
phasing out of old and dilapidated taxis which are 6 years older. The
law is set to be immediately implemented in Metro Manila first before it
would be implemented elsewhere. Pursuant to this, the Director of the
Bureau of Land Transportation issued Circ 52 which is the IRR of the
law in the NCR. TOMMI assailed the constitutionality of the law. It
avers, among other things, that the Circular in question violates their
right to equal protection of the law because the same is being enforced
in Metro Manila only and is directed solely towards the taxi industry. At
the outset it should be pointed out that implementation outside Metro
Manila is also envisioned in Memorandum Circular No. 77-42.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a violation of the equal protection
clause by the implementation of the said circular.
HELD: The SC held that Circ 77-42 is valid. BOTs reason for enforcing
the Circular initially in Metro Manila is that taxicabs in this city,
compared to those of other places, are subjected to heavier traffic
pressure and more constant use. Thus is of common knowledge.
Considering that traffic conditions are not the same in every city, a
substantial distinction exists so that infringement of the equal
protection clause can hardly be successfully claimed.

In so far as the non-application of the assailed Circulars to other

transportation services is concerned, it need only be recalled that the
equal protection clause does not imply that the same treatment be
accorded all and sundry. It applies to things or persons identically or
similarly situated. It permits of classification of the object or subject of
the law provided classification is reasonable or based on substantial
distinction, which make for real differences, and that it must apply
equally to each member of the class. What is required under the equal
protection clause is the uniform operation by legal means so that all
persons under identical or similar circumstance would be accorded the
same treatment both in privilege conferred and the liabilities imposed.
The challenged Circulars satisfy the foregoing criteria.


Facts:Petitioner, Phil association of Service Exporters, Inc., is engaged
principally in the recruitment of Filipino workers, male and female of
overseas employment. It challenges the constitutional validity of Dept.
Order No. 1 (1998) of DOLE entitled Guidelines Governing the
Temporary Suspension of Deployment of Filipino Domestic and
Household Workers. It claims that such order is a discrimination
against males and females. The Order does not apply to all Filipino
workers but only to domestic helpers and females with similar skills,
and that it is in violation of the right to travel, it also being an invalid
exercise of the lawmaking power. Further, PASEI invokes Sec 3 of Art 13
of the Constitution, providing for worker participation in policy and
decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may
be provided by law. Thereafter the Solicitor General on behalf of DOLE
submitting to the validity of the challenged guidelines involving the
police power of the State and informed the court that the respondent
have lifted the deployment ban in some states where there exists
bilateral agreement with the Philippines and existing mechanism
providing for sufficient safeguards to ensure the welfare and protection
of the Filipino workers.
Issue:Whether or not there has been a valid classification in the
challenged Department Order No. 1.
Decision:SC in dismissing the petition ruled that there has been valid
classification, the Filipino female domestics working abroad were in a
class by themselves, because of the special risk to which their class
was exposed. There is no question that Order No.1 applies only to
female contract workers but it does not thereby make an undue

discrimination between sexes. It is well settled hat equality before the

law under the constitution does not import a perfect identity of rights
among all men and women. It admits of classification, provided that:
1. Such classification rests on substantial distinctions
2. That they are germane to the purpose of the law
3. They are not confined to existing conditions
4. They apply equally to al members of the same class
In the case at bar, the classifications made, rest on substantial
Dept. Order No. 1 does not impair the right to travel. The consequence
of the deployment ban has on the right to travel does not impair the
right, as the right to travel is subjects among other things, to the
requirements of public safety as may be provided by law.
Deployment ban of female domestic helper is a valid exercise of police
power. Police power as been defined as the state authority to enact
legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order
to promote general welfare. Neither is there merit in the contention
that Department Order No. 1 constitutes an invalid exercise of
legislative power as the labor code vest the DOLE with rule making
Mary Concepcion Bautista et al vs Alfredo Juinio et al
Equal Protection Distinction Between Heavy and Extra Heavy Cars
and Others
Bautista is assailing the constitutionality of LOI 869 issued in 1979
which classified vehicles into Heavy and Extra Heavy. The LOI further
banned these vehicles during weekends and holidays that is from 5am
Saturday until 5am Monday. Purpose of this law is to curb down
petroleum consumption as bigger cars consume more oil. Bautista
claimed the LOI to be discriminatory as it made an assumption that H
and EH cars are heavy on petroleum consumption when in fact there
are smaller cars which are also big on oil consumption. Further, the law
restricts their freedom to enjoy their car while others who have smaller
cars may enjoy theirs. Bautista avers that there is no rational
justification for the ban being imposed on vehicles classified as heavy
(H) and extra-heavy (EH), for precisely those owned by them fall within
such category.
ISSUE: Whether or not the LOI violates equal protection.
HELD: The SC held that Bautista was not able to make merit out of her
contention. The classification on cars on its face cannot be
characterized as an affront to reason. The ideal situation is for the
laws benefits to be available to all, that none be placed outside the

sphere of its coverage. Only thus could chance and favor be excluded
and the affairs of men governed by that serene and impartial
uniformity, which is of the very essence of the idea of law. The actual,
given things as they are and likely to continue to be, cannot
approximate the ideal. Nor is the law susceptible to the reproach that it
does not take into account the realities of the situation. . . . To assure
that the general welfare be promoted, which is the end of law, a
regulatory measure may cut into the rights to liberty and property.
Those adversely affected may under such circumstances invoke the
equal protection clause only if they can show that the governmental
act assailed, far from being inspired by the attainment of the common
weal was prompted by the 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 imposed. Favoritism and undue preference cannot be
allowed. For the principle is that equal protection and security shall be
given to every person under circumstances, which if not identical are
analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of burden or charges, those
that fall within a class should be treated in the same fashion, whatever
restrictions cast on some in the group equally binding on the rest.
Ishmael Himagan vs People of the Philippines
237 SCRA 538 Political Law Constitutional Law Bill of Rights
Equal Protection Suspension of PNP Members Charged with Grave
Ishmael Himagan was a policeman assigned in Davao City. He was
charged for the murder of Benjamin Machitar, Jr. and for the attempted
murder of Benjamins younger brother, Barnabe. Pursuant to Section
47 of Republic Act No. 6975, Himagan was placed into suspension
pending the murder case. The law provides that:
Upon the filing of a complaint or information sufficient in form and
substance against a member of the PNP for grave felonies where the
penalty imposed by law is six (6) years and one (1) day or more, the
court shall immediately suspend the accused from office until the case
is terminated. Such case shall be subject to continuous trial and shall
be terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment of the
Himagan assailed the suspension averring that Section 42 of P.D. 807
of the Civil Service Decree provides that his suspension should be
limited to ninety (90) days only. He claims that an imposition of

preventive suspension of over 90 days is contrary to the Civil Service

Law and would be a violation of his constitutional right to equal
protection of laws .
ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 47, RA 6975 violates equal protection
guaranteed by the Constitution.
HELD: No. The language of the first sentence of Sec 47 of RA 6975 is
clear, plain and free from ambiguity. It gives no other meaning than
that the suspension from office of the member of the PNP charged with
grave offense where the penalty is six years and one day or more shall
last until the termination of the case. The suspension cannot be lifted
before the termination of the case. The second sentence of the same
Section providing that the trial must be terminated within ninety (90)
days from arraignment does not qualify or limit the first sentence. The
two can stand independently of each other. The first refers to the
period of suspension. The second deals with the time from within which
the trial should be finished.
The reason why members of the PNP are treated differently from the
other classes of persons charged criminally or administratively insofar
as the application of the rule on preventive suspension is concerned is
that policemen carry weapons and the badge of the law which can be
used to harass or intimidate witnesses against them, as succinctly
brought out in the legislative discussions.
If a suspended policeman criminally charged with a serious offense is
reinstated to his post while his case is pending, his victim and the
witnesses against him are obviously exposed to constant threat and
thus easily cowed to silence by the mere fact that the accused is in
uniform and armed. the imposition of preventive suspension for over
90 days under Sec 47 of RA 6975 does not violate the suspended
policemans constitutional right to equal protection of the laws.
Suppose the trial is not terminated within ninety days from
arraignment, should the suspension of accused be lifted?
The answer is certainly no. While the law uses the mandatory word
shall before the phrase be terminated within ninety (90) days,
there is nothing in RA 6975 that suggests that the preventive
suspension of the accused will be lifted if the trial is not terminated
within that period. Nonetheless, the Judge who fails to decide the case
within the period without justifiable reason may be subject to
administrative sanctions and, in appropriate cases where the facts so
warrant, to criminal or civil liability. If the trial is unreasonably
delayed without fault of the accused such that he is deprived of his
right to a speedy trial, he is not without a remedy. He may ask for the
dismissal of the case. Should the court refuse to dismiss the case, the

accused can compel its dismissal bycertiorari, prohibition or

mandamus, or secure his liberty by habeas corpus.
Tiu v. Court of Appeals, 301 SCRA 278 (1999)
Nature of the case: A petition for review to reverse the decision of the
Court of Appeals which upheld the constitutionality and validity of the
E.O. 97-A.
Facts of the case: The petitioners assail the constitutionality of the
said Order claiming that they are excluded from the benefits provided
by RA 7227 without any reasonable standards and thus violated the
equal protection clause of the Constitution. The Court of Appeals
upheld the validity and constitutionality and denied the motion for
reconsideration. Hence, this petition was filed.
Issue: WON E.O. 97-A violates the equal protection clause of the
Arguments: Petitioners contend that the SSEZ encompasses (1) the
City of Olongapo, (2) the Municipality of Subic in Zambales, and (3) the
area formerly occupied by the Subic Naval Base. However, EO 97-A,
according to them, narrowed down the area within which the special
privileges granted to the entire zone would apply to the present
fenced-in former Subic Naval Base only. It has thereby excluded the
residents of the first two components of the zone from enjoying the
benefits granted by the law. It has effectively discriminated against
them, without reasonable or valid standards, in contravention of the
equal protection guarantee.
The solicitor general defends the validity of EO 97-A, arguing that
Section 12 of RA 7227 clearly vests in the President the authority to
delineate the metes and bounds of the SSEZ. He adds that the
issuance fully complies with the requirements of a valid classification.
Decision: Panganiban J., The Court held that the classification was
based on valid and reasonable standards and does not violate the
equal protection clause.
The fundamental right of equal protection of the laws is not absolute,
but is subject to reasonable classification. If the groupings are
characterized by substantial distinctions that make real differences,
one class may be treated and regulated differently from another. The
classification must also be germane to the purpose of the law and must
apply to all those belonging to the same class.
Classification, to be valid, must (1) rest on substantial distinctions, (2)
be germane to the purpose of the law, (3) not be limited to existing
conditions only, and (4) apply equally to all members of the same

Ruling: Petition denied. The challenge decision and resolution were

Through a petition for prohibition, petitioners sought to prevent the
COMELEC from enforcing Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code on
the ground that it was violative of the Constitution in that if effective
shortens the terms of office of elected officials. Sec. 67 of the Omnibus
Election Code reads: Sec. 67. Candidates holding elective office Any
elective official, whether national or local, running for any office other
than the one which he is holding in a permanent capacity, except for
President and Vice-President, shall be considered ipso-facto resigned
from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.
The Court ruled that Section 67 does not unduly cut short the term of
office of local officials. The situation that results with the application of
Section 67 is covered by the term voluntary renunciation. Rather than
cut short the term of office of elective public officials, this statutory
provision seeks to ensure that such officials serve out their entire term
of office by discouraging them from running for another public office
and thereby cutting short their tenure by making it clear that should
they fail in their candidacy, they cannot go back to their former
Moreover, the act sought to be enjoined had already been
accomplished with the holding of the 1998 elections. Prohibition, as a
rule, does not lie to restrain an act that is already a fait accompli.
COMELEC asserts that the classification embodied in Section 67 is
reasonable and based on substantial distinction. It points out that
incumbents running for the same position are not considered resigned
because the intention of the law is to allow them to continue serving
their constituents and avoid a disruption in the delivery of essential
services. Those running for different positions are considered resigned
because they are considered to have abandoned their present position
by their act of running for other posts. For his part, the Solicitor

General points our that the issue regarding Section 67 had already
been passed upon by the Court in the case of Dimaporo v. Mitra, Jr.
Indeed, we have dealt squarely with the issue of the validity of Section
67 of the Omnibus Election Code in Dimaporo v. Mitra, Jr. Section 67
was crafted with the intention of giving flesh to the constitutional
pronouncement that public service is a public trust. Section 67 is not
violative of the Constitution as it does not unduly cut short the term of
office of local officials. The situation that results with the application of
Section 67 is covered by the term voluntary renunciation. Our
foregoing ruling in Dimaporo is still applicable in this case.
out that this present petition is one for prohibition which is a
preventive remedy. The act sought to be enjoined had already been
accomplished with the holding of the 1998 elections. Prohibition, as a
rule, does not lie to restrain an act that is already a fait accompli.
G.R. No. 132922, April 21, 1998
Facts: Petitioners challenge the validity of 92 of B.P. Blg. 881. on the
ground (1) that it takes property without due process of law and
without just compensation; (2) that it denies radio and television
broadcast companies the equal protection of the laws; and (3) that it is
in excess of the power given to the COMELEC to supervise or regulate
the operation of media of communication or information during the
period of election.
Issue: Whether is in excess of the power given to the COMELEC to
supervise or regulate the operation of media of communication or
information during the period of election.
Held: No. The petition is dismissed.
With the prohibition on media advertising by candidates themselves,
the COMELEC Time and COMELEC Space are about the only means
through which candidates can advertise their qualifications and
programs of government. More than merely depriving candidates of
time for their ads, the failure of broadcast stations to provide air time
unless paid by the government would clearly deprive the people of
their right to know. Art. III, 7 of the Constitution provides that the
right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be
recognized, while Art. XII, 6 states that the use of property bears a
social function [and] the right to own, establish, and operate economic
enterprises [is] subject to the duty of the State to promote distributive
justice and to intervene when the common good so demands.

To affirm the validity of 92 of B.P. Blg. 881 is to hold public

broadcasters to their obligation to see to it that the variety and vigor of
public debate on issues in an election is maintained. For while
broadcast media are not mere common carriers but entities with free
speech rights, they are also public trustees charged with the duty of
ensuring that the people have access to the diversity of views on
political issues. This right of the people is paramount to the autonomy
of broadcast media. To affirm the validity of 92, therefore, is likewise
to uphold the peoples right to information on matters of public
concern. The use of property bears a social function and is subject to
the states duty to intervene for the common good. Broadcast media
can find their just and highest reward in the fact that whatever
altruistic service they may render in connection with the holding of
elections is for that common good.
Rodolfo Farias vs Executive Secretary
417 SCRA 503 Political Law Constitutional Law The Legislative
Department How a Bill Becomes a Law Bicameral Conference
Committee Enrolled Bill Doctrine
Equal Protection Clause Valid Classification
Election Law Appointive Officials vs Elective Officials
In 2001, Republic Act No. 9006 or the Fair Election Act was signed into
law. Section 14 thereof repealed Section 67 of the Omnibus Election
Code which states that an elective official, except the President and
the Vice-President, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his
office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy. Hence, under RA
9006, an elective official shall no longer be deemed resigned if he files
his certificate of candidacy for an elective office while he is still in
Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, which provides that an
appointive official hall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office
upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy, was however retained by
the Fair Election Act.
Rodolfo Farias, then a Congressman belonging to the minority group,
questioned the constitutionality of Section 14 on the ground that it
violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution. He averred
that the repeal of Section 67 gave elective officials undue advantage
over appointive officials (discrimination).
The Farias group also questioned the validity of RA 9006 in its
entirety. They contend that irregularities attended to the creation of
the said law. Farias explained that RA 9006 originated as House Bill
No. 9000 and Senate Bill No. 1741; that there were contrasting

provisions between the two bills hence a Bicameral Conference

Committee was created; that in fact two subsequent BCCs were
convened which is irregular already in itself; that only the 1st BCC had
its record and the compromise bill from said 1st BCC was never
subjected to a conference with the lower house; that in the 2nd BCC, it
appeared that another compromised bill was agreed upon even though
there was no meeting at all and that the Report as to how said
compromise bill was reached was instantly made and made to be
passed around for signing all these irregularities made the law
unconstitutional for being procedurally infirm.
ISSUE: Whether or not Republic Act No. 9006 is constitutional.
HELD: Yes, RA 9006 is constitutional.
On Equal Protection
The equal protection of the law clause in the Constitution is not
absolute, but is subject to reasonable classification. If the groupings
are characterized by substantial distinctions that make real differences,
one class may be treated and regulated differently from the other.
In this case, substantial distinctions clearly exist between elective
officials and appointive officials. The former occupy their office by
virtue of the mandate of the electorate. They are elected to an office
for a definite term and may be removed therefrom only upon stringent
conditions. On the other hand, appointive officials hold their office by
virtue of their designation thereto by an appointing authority. Some
appointive officials hold their office in a permanent capacity and are
entitled to security of tenure while others serve at the pleasure of the
appointing authority. Further, appointive officials, as officers and
employees in the civil service, are strictly prohibited from engaging in
any partisan political activity or take part in any election except to
vote; while elective officials, or officers or employees holding political
offices, are obviously expressly allowed to take part in political and
electoral activities.
On the Enrolled Bill Doctrine
The contention that irregularities attended the creation of RA 9006 is
overridden by the enrolled bill doctrine. Under this doctrine, the signing
of a bill by the Speaker of the House and the Senate President and the
certification of the Secretaries of both Houses of Congress that it was
passed are conclusive of its due enactment. The Supreme Court is not
the proper forum for the enforcement of the internal rules of Congress,
whether House or Senate. Parliamentary rules are merely procedural
and with their observance the courts have no concern. Whatever
irregularities there may have been in the Bicameral Conference

Committee involve internal rules which cannot be inquired into by the

Congress enacted RA 8436 on December 22, 1997. On January 23,
2007. it enacted RA 9369, amending the previous act.
Pursuant to its constitutional mandate to enforce and administer
election laws, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 8678,4 the Guidelines on
the Filing of Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) and Nomination of Official
Candidates of Registered Political Parties in Connection with the May
10, 2010 National and Local Elections. Sections 4 and 5 of Resolution
No. 8678 provide:
SEC. 4. Effects of Filing Certificates of Candidacy.a)
Any person holding a public appointive office or position
including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and
other officers and employees in government-owned or controlled
corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office
upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.
Any person holding an elective office or position shall not be
considered resigned upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy for
the same or any other elective office or position.
SEC. 5. Period for filing Certificate of Candidacy.- The certificate of
candidacy shall be filed on regular days, from November 20 to 30,
2009, during office hours, except on the last day, which shall be until
Alarmed that they will be deemed ipso facto resigned from their
offices the moment they file their CoCs, petitioners Eleazar P. Quinto
and Gerino A. Tolentino, Jr., who hold appointive positions in the
government and who intend to run in the coming elections,5 filed the
instant petition for prohibition and certiorari, seeking the declaration of
the afore-quoted Section 4(a) of Resolution No. 8678 as null and void.
Do petitioners have locus standi?
Do the second proviso in paragraph 3, Section 13 of RA 9369,
Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code, and Section 4(a) of RA 8678
violate the equal protection clause?
The transcendental nature and paramount importance of the
issues raised and the compelling state interest involved in their early
resolution the period for the filing of CoCs for the 2010 elections has
already started and hundreds of civil servants intending to run for
elective offices are to lose their employment, thereby causing

imminent and irreparable damage to their means of livelihood and, at

the same time, crippling the government's manpowerfurther dictate
that the Court must, for propriety, if only from a sense of obligation,
entertain the petition so as to expedite the adjudication of all,
especially the constitutional, issues.
The Court, nevertheless, finds that, while petitioners are not yet
candidates, they have the standing to raise the constitutional
challenge, simply because they are qualified voters. A restriction on
candidacy, such as the challenged measure herein, affects the rights of
voters to choose their public officials.
The Court, in this case, finds that an actual case or controversy exists
between the petitioners and the COMELEC, the body charged with the
enforcement and administration of all election laws. Petitioners have
alleged in a precise manner that they would engage in the very acts
that would trigger the enforcement of the provisionthey would file their
CoCs and run in the 2010 elections. Given that the assailed provision
provides for ipso facto resignation upon the filing of the CoC, it cannot
be said that it presents only a speculative or hypothetical obstacle to
petitioners' candidacy.
It is noteworthy to point out that the right to run for public office
touches on two fundamental freedoms, those of expression and of
Here, petitioners' interest in running for public office, an interest
protected by Sections 4 and 8 of Article III of the Constitution, is
breached by the proviso in Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369.
In considering persons holding appointive positions as ipso facto
resigned from their posts upon the filing of their CoCs, but not
considering as resigned all other civil servants, specifically the elective
ones, the law unduly discriminates against the first class. The fact
alone that there is substantial distinction between those who hold
appointive positions and those occupying elective posts, does not
justify such differential treatment.
In order that there can be valid classification so that a discriminatory
governmental act may pass the constitutional norm of equal
protection, it is necessary that the four (4) requisites of valid
classification be complied with, namely:
It must be based upon substantial distinctions;
It must be germane to the purposes of the law;
It must not be limited to existing conditions only; and
It must apply equally to all members of the class.
The classification, even if based on substantial distinctions, will still be
invalid if it is not germane to the purpose of the law. Applying the four

requisites to the instant case, the Court finds that the differential
treatment of persons holding appointive offices as opposed to those
holding elective ones is not germane to the purposes of the law.
The challenged provision also suffers from the infirmity of being
overbroad. First, the provision pertains to all civil servants holding
appointive posts without distinction as to whether they occupy high
positions in government or not. Second, the provision is directed to the
activity of seeking any and all public offices, whether they be partisan
or nonpartisan in character, whether they be in the national, municipal
or barangay level.
Quinto Vs COMELEC 22 Feb. 2010
This is a motion for reconsideration of the Decision of the Supreme
Court in Quinto vs. COMELEC, 1 December 2009.
Do the assailed provisions violate the equal protection clause?
Do the assailed provisions suffer from overbreadth?
No. The intent of both Congress and the framers of our
Constitution to limit the participation of civil service officers and
employees in partisan political activities is too plain to be mistaken.
The equal protection of the law clause in the Constitution is not
absolute, but is subject to reasonable classification.
Substantial distinctions clearly exist between elective officials and
appointive officials. The former occupy their office by virtue of the
mandate of the electorate. They are elected to an office for a definite
term and may be removed therefrom only upon stringent conditions.
On the other hand, appointive officials hold their office by virtue of
their designation thereto by an appointing authority. Some appointive
officials hold their office in a permanent capacity and are entitled to
security of tenure while others serve at the pleasure of the appointing
Another substantial distinction between the two sets of officials is that
under Section 55, Chapter 8, Title I, Subsection A. Civil Service
Commission, Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive
Order No. 292), appointive officials, as officers and employees in the
civil service, are strictly prohibited from engaging in any partisan
political activity or take (sic) part in any election except to vote. Under
the same provision, elective officials, or officers or employees holding
political offices, are obviously expressly allowed to take part in political
and electoral activities.

Since the classification justifying Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006, i.e.,
elected officials vis--vis appointive officials, is anchored upon material
and significant distinctions and all the persons belonging under the
same classification are similarly treated, the equal protection clause of
the Constitution is, thus, not infringed.
Considering that elected officials are put in office by their constituents
for a definite term, it may justifiably be said that they were excluded
from the ambit of the deemed resigned provisions in utmost respect for
the mandate of the sovereign will. In other words, complete deference
is accorded to the will of the electorate that they be served by such
officials until the end of the term for which they were elected. In
contrast, there is no such expectation insofar as appointed officials are
The dichotomized treatment of appointive and elective officials is
therefore germane to the purposes of the law.
No. The view that the assailed provisions are overly broad
because they apply indiscriminately to all appointive civil servants
regardless of position obviously fails to consider a different, yet equally
plausible, threat to the government posed by the partisan potential of
a large and growing bureaucracy: the danger of systematic abuse
perpetuated by a "powerful political machine" that has amassed "the
scattered powers of government workers" so as to give itself and its
incumbent workers an "unbreakable grasp on the reins of power."
[T]he avoidance of such a "politically active public work force" which
could give an emerging political machine an "unbreakable grasp on the
reins of power" is reason enough to impose a restriction on the
candidacies of all appointive public officials without further distinction
as to the type of positions being held by such employees or the degree
of influence that may be attendant thereto.
Obviously, these rules and guidelines, including the restriction in
Section 4(a) of Resolution 8678, were issued specifically for purposes
of the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections, which, it must be
noted, are decidedly partisan in character. Thus, it is clear that the
restriction in Section 4(a) of RA 8678 applies only to the candidacies of
appointive officials vying for partisan elective posts in the May 10,
2010 National and Local Elections.
Central Bank Employees Association vs BSP GR 148208 15
December 2004
Facts: The New Central Bank Act abolished the old Central Bank and
created the new BSP on 1993 through RA No 7653. Central Bank
Employees Association assailed the provision of RA No 7653, Art II Sec

15(c). They contend that it makes an unconstitutional cut between two

classes of employees in the BSP, viz: (1) the BSP officers as exempt
class of Salary Standardization Law (RA 6758) and (2) the rank-and-file
non-exempt class. BSP contends that the exemption of officers (SG 20
and above) from the SSL was intended to address the BSPs lack of
competitiveness in terms of attracting competent officers and
executives. It was not intended to discriminate against the rank-andfile.
Issue: Whether or not Section 15(c) violates equal protection right of
the BSP r&f employees?
Decision: Sec 15(c) unconstitutional. Judicial notice that other Govt
Financial Institution undertook amendment of their charters from 1995
to 2004 a blanket provision for all employees to be covered by SSL.
The said subsequent enactments constitute significant changes in
circumstance that considerably alter the reasonability of the continued
operation of the last proviso of Section 15(c). Legal history shows that
GFIs have long been recognized as comprising one distinct class,
separate from other governmental entities. There is no substantial
distinctions so as to differentiate, the BSP rank-and-file from the other
rank-and-file of the seven GFIs. The equal protection clause does not
demand absolute equality but it requires that all persons shall be
treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to
privileges conferred and liabilities enforced. Those that fall within a
class should be treated in the same fashion; whatever restrictions cast
on some in the group is equally binding on the rest. It is clear that the
enactment of the seven subsequent charters has rendered the
continued application of the challenged proviso anathema to the equal
protection of the law, and the same should be declared as an outlaw.
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10354, otherwise known as the Responsible
Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RH Law), was
enacted by Congress on December 21, 2012.
Challengers from various sectors of society are questioning the
constitutionality of the said Act. The petitioners are assailing the
constitutionality of RH Law on the following grounds:
The RH Law violates the right to life of the unborn.
The RH Law violates the right to health and the right to protection
against hazardous products.
The RH Law violates the right to religious freedom.

The RH Law violates the constitutional provision on involuntary

The RH Law violates the right to equal protection of the law.
The RH Law violates the right to free speech.
The RH Law is void-for-vagueness in violation of the due process
clause of the Constitution.
The RH Law intrudes into the zone of privacy of ones family protected
by the Constitution
A. On the constitutionality of RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law
1. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is
unconstitutional for violating the right to life:
NO. Majority of the Members of the Court believe that the question of
when life begins is a scientific and medical issue that should not be
decided, at this stage, without proper hearing and evidence. However,
they agreed that individual Members could express their own views on
this matter.
Ponentes view (Justice Mendoza): Article II, Section 12 of the
Constitution states: The State recognizes the sanctity of family life
and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous
social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the
life of the unborn from conception.
In its plain and ordinary meaning (a canon in statutory construction),
the traditional meaning of conception according to reputable
dictionaries cited by the ponente is that life begins at fertilization.
Medical sources also support the view that conception begins at
The framers of the Constitution also intended for (a) conception to
refer to the moment of fertilization and (b) the protection of the
unborn child upon fertilization. In addition, they did not intend to ban
all contraceptives for being unconstitutional; only those that kill or
destroy the fertilized ovum would be prohibited. Contraceptives that
actually prevent the union of the male sperm and female ovum, and
those that similarly take action before fertilization should be deemed
non-abortive, and thus constitutionally permissible.
The intent of the framers of the Constitution for protecting the life of
the unborn child was to prevent the Legislature from passing a
measure prevent abortion. The Court cannot interpret this
otherwise. The RH Law is in line with this intent and actually prohibits
abortion. By using the word or in defining abortifacient (Section 4(a)),
the RH Law prohibits not only drugs or devices that prevent
implantation but also those that induce abortion and induce the
destruction of a fetus inside the mothers womb. The RH Law

recognizes that the fertilized ovum already has life and that the State
has a bounded duty to protect it.
However, the authors of the IRR gravely abused their office when they
redefined the meaning of abortifacient by using the term primarily.
Recognizing as abortifacients only those that primarily induce
abortion or the destruction of a fetus inside the mothers womb or the
prevention of the fertilized ovum to reach and be implanted in the
mothers womb (Sec. 3.01(a) of the IRR) would pave the way for the
approval of contraceptives that may harm or destroy the life of the
unborn from conception/fertilization. This violates Section 12, Article II
of the Constitution. For the same reason, the definition of
contraceptives under the IRR (Sec 3.01(j)), which also uses the term
primarily, must be struck down.
2. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is
unconstitutional for violating the right to health
NO. Petitioners claim that the right to health is violated by the RH Law
because it requires the inclusion of hormonal contraceptives,
intrauterine devices, injectables and other safe, legal, non-abortifacient
and effective family planning products and supplies in the National
Drug Formulary and in the regular purchase of essential medicines and
supplies of all national hospitals (Section 9 of the RH Law). They cite
risks of getting diseases gained by using e.g. oral contraceptive pills.
Some petitioners do not question contraception and contraceptives per
se. Rather, they pray that the status quo under RA 4729 and 5921 be
maintained. These laws prohibit the sale and distribution of
contraceptives without the prescription of a duly-licensed physician.
The RH Law does not intend to do away with RA 4729 (1966). With RA
4729 in place, the Court believes adequate safeguards exist to ensure
that only safe contraceptives are made available to the public. In
fulfilling its mandate under Sec. 10 of the RH Law, the DOH must keep
in mind the provisions of RA 4729: thecontraceptives it will procure
shall be from a duly licensed drug store or pharmaceutical company
and that the actual distribution of these contraceptive drugs and
devices will be done following a prescription of a qualified medical
Meanwhile, the requirement of Section 9 of the RH Law is to be
considered mandatory only after these devices and materials have
been tested, evaluated and approved by the FDA. Congress cannot
determine that contraceptives are safe, legal, non-abortificient and

3. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is

unconstitutional for violating the freedom of religion and right to free
The Court cannot determine whether or not the use of contraceptives
or participation in support of modern RH measures (a) is moral from a
religious standpoint; or, (b) right or wrong according to ones dogma or
belief. However, the Court has the authority to determine whether or
not the RH Law contravenes the Constitutional guarantee of religious
a.) WON the RH Law violates the guarantee of religious freedom since
it mandates the State-sponsored procurement of contraceptives, which
contravene the religious beliefs of e.g. the petitioners
NO. The State may pursue its legitimate secular objectives without
being dictated upon the policies of any one religion. To allow religious
sects to dictate policy or restrict other groups would violate Article III,
Section 5 of the Constitution or the Establishment Clause. This would
cause the State to adhere to a particular religion, and thus, establishes
a state religion. Thus, the State can enhance its population control
program through the RH Law even if the promotion of contraceptive
use is contrary to the religious beliefs of e.g. the petitioners.
b.) WON the RH Law violates the guarantee of religious freedom by
compelling medical health practitioners, hospitals, and health care
providers, under pain of penalty, to refer patients to other institutions
despite their conscientious objections
YES. Sections 7, 23, and 24 of the RH Law obliges a hospital or medical
practitioner to immediately refer a person seeking health care and
services under the law to another accessible healthcare provider
despite their conscientious objections based on religious or ethical
beliefs. These provisions violate the religious belief and conviction of a
conscientious objector. They are contrary to Section 29(2), Article VI of
the Constitution or the Free Exercise Clause, whose basis is the respect
for the inviolability of the human conscience.
The provisions in the RH Law compelling non-maternity specialty
hospitals and hospitals owned and operated by a religious group and
health care service providers to refer patients to other providers and
penalizing them if they fail to do so (Sections 7 and 23(a)(3)) as well
as compelling them to disseminate information and perform
RH procedures under pain of penalty (Sections 23(a)(1) and (a)(2) in
relation to Section 24) also violate (and inhibit) the freedom of religion.
While penalties may be imposed by law to ensure compliance to
it, a constitutionally-protected right must prevail over the effective
implementation of the law.

Excluding public health officers from being conscientious objectors

(under Sec. 5.24 of the IRR) also violates the equal protection clause.
There is no perceptible distinction between public health officers and
their private counterparts. In addition, the freedom to believe is
intrinsic in every individual and the protection of this freedom remains
even if he/she is employed in the government.
Using the compelling state interest test, there is no compelling state
interest to limit the free exercise of conscientious objectors. There is no
immediate danger to the life or health of an individual in the perceived
scenario of the above-quoted provisions. In addition, the limits do not
pertain to life-threatening cases.
The respondents also failed to show that these provisions are least
intrusive means to achieve a legitimate state objective. The Legislature
has already taken other secular steps to ensure that the right to health
is protected, such as RA 4729, RA 6365 (The Population Act of the
Philippines) and RA 9710 (The Magna Carta of Women).
c.) WON the RH Law violates the guarantee of religious freedom by
requiring would-be spouses, as a condition for the issuance of a
marriage license, to attend a seminar on parenthood, family planning,
breastfeeding and infant nutrition
NO. Section 15 of the RH Law, which requires would-be spouses to
attend a seminar on parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding and
infant nutrition as a condition for the issuance of a marriage license, is
a reasonable exercise of police power by the government. The
law does not even mandate the type of family planning methods to be
included in the seminar. Those who attend the seminar are free to
accept or reject information they receive and they retain the freedom
to decide on matters of family life without the intervention of the State.
4. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is
unconstitutional for violating the right to privacy (marital privacy and
YES. Section 23(a)(2)(i) of the RH Law, which permits RH procedures
even with only the consent of the spouse undergoing the provision
(disregarding spousal content),intrudes into martial privacy and
autonomy and goes against the constitutional safeguards for the family
as the basic social institution. Particularly, Section 3, Article XV of the
Constitution mandates the State to defend: (a) the right of spouses to
found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the
demands of responsible parenthood and (b) the right of families or
family associations to participate in the planning and implementation
of policies and programs that affect them. The RH Law cannot infringe

upon this mutual decision-making, and endanger the institutions of

marriage and the family.
The exclusion of parental consent in cases where a minor undergoing a
procedure is already a parent or has had a miscarriage (Section 7 of
the RH Law) is also anti-family and violates Article II, Section 12 of the
Constitution, which states: The natural and primary right and duty of
parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the
development of moral character shall receive the support of the
Government. In addition, the portion of Section 23(a)(ii) which reads
in the case of minors, the written consent of parents or legal guardian
or, in their absence, persons exercising parental authority or next-ofkin shall be required only in elective surgical procedures is invalid as it
denies the right of parental authority in cases where what is involved is
non-surgical procedures.
However, a minor may receive information (as opposed to procedures)
about family planning services. Parents are not deprived of parental
guidance and control over their minor child in this situation and may
assist her in deciding whether to accept or reject the information
received. In addition, an exception may be made in life-threatening
5. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is
unconstitutional for violating the freedom of expression and academic
NO. The Court declined to rule on the constitutionality of Section 14 of
the RH Law, which mandates the State to provide Age-and
Development-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education. Although
educators might raise their objection to their participation in the RH
education program, the Court reserves its judgment should an actual
case be filed before it.
Any attack on its constitutionality is premature because the
Department of Education has not yet formulated a curriculum on ageappropriate reproductive health education.
Section 12, Article II of the Constitution places more importance on the
role of parents in the development of their children with the use of the
term primary. The right of parents in upbringing their youth is
superior to that of the State.
The provisions of Section 14 of the RH Law and corresponding
provisions of the IRR supplement (rather than supplant) the right and
duties of the parents in the moral development of their children.
By incorporating parent-teacher-community associations, school
officials, and other interest groups in developing the mandatory RH

program, it could very well be said that the program will be in line with
the religious beliefs of the petitioners.
6. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is
unconstitutional for violating the due process clause
NO. The RH Law does not violate the due process clause of the
Constitution as the definitions of several terms as observed by the
petitioners are not vague.
The definition of private health care service provider must be seen in
relation to Section 4(n) of the RH Law which defines a public health
service provider. The private health care institution cited under
Section 7 should be seen as synonymous to private health care
service provider.
The terms service and methods are also broad enough to include
providing of information and rendering of medical procedures. Thus,
hospitals operated by religious groups are exempted from rendering
RH service and modern family planning methods (as provided for by
Section 7 of the RH Law) as well as from giving RH information and
The RH Law also defines incorrect information. Used together in
relation to Section 23 (a)(1), the terms incorrect and knowingly
connote a sense of malice and ill motive to mislead or misrepresent the
public as to the nature and effect of programs and services on
reproductive health.
7. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is
unconstitutional for violating the equal protection clause
NO. To provide that the poor are to be given priority in the
governments RH program is not a violation of the equal protection
clause. In fact, it is pursuant to Section 11, Article XIII of the
Constitution, which states that the State shall prioritize the needs of
the underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children and
that it shall endeavor to provide medical care to paupers.
The RH Law does not only seek to target the poor to reduce their
number, since Section 7 of the RH Law prioritizes poor and
marginalized couples who are suffering from fertility issues and desire
to have children. In addition, the RH Law does not prescribe the
number of children a couple may have and does not impose conditions
upon couples who intend to have children. The RH Law only seeks to
provide priority to the poor.
The exclusion of private educational institutions from the mandatory
RH education program under Section 14 is valid. There is a need to
recognize the academic freedom of private educational institutions

especially with respect to religious instruction and to consider their

sensitivity towards the teaching of reproductive health education.
8. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is
unconstitutional for violating the prohibition against involuntary
NO. The requirement under Sec. 17 of the RH Law for private and nongovernment health care service providers to render 48 hours of pro
bono RH services does not amount to involuntary servitude, for two
reasons. First, the practice of medicine is undeniably imbued with
public interest that it is both the power and a duty of the State to
control and regulate it in order to protect and promote the public
welfare. Second, Section 17 only encourages private and nongovernment RH service providers to render pro bono service. Besides
the PhilHealth accreditation, no penalty is imposed should they do
However, conscientious objectors are exempt from Sec. 17 as long as
their religious beliefs do not allow them to render RH service, pro
bono or otherwise (See Part 3b of this digest.)
B. WON the delegation of authority to the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) to determine WON a supply or product is to be
included in the Essential Drugs List is valid
NO. The delegation by Congress to the FDA of the power to determine
whether or not a supply or product is to be included in the Essential
Drugs List is valid, as the FDA not only has the power but also the
competency to evaluate, register and cover health services and
methods (under RA 3720 as amended by RA 9711 or the FDA Act of
C. WON the RH Law infringes upon the powers devolved to Local
Governments and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
NO. The RH Law does not infringe upon the autonomy of local
governments. Paragraph (c) of Section 17 provides a categorical
exception of cases involving nationally-funded projects, facilities,
programs and services. Unless a local government unit (LGU) is
particularly designated as the implementing agency, it has no power
over a program for which funding has been provided by the national
government under the annual general appropriations act, even if the
program involves the delivery of basic services within the jurisdiction
of the LGU.
In addition, LGUs are merely encouraged to provide RH services.
Provision of these services are not mandatory. Therefore, the RH Law
does not amount to an undue encroachment by the national
government upon the autonomy enjoyed by LGUs.

Article III, Sections 6, 10, and 11 of RA 9054 or the Organic Act of the
ARMM merely delineates the powers that may be exercised by the
regional government. These provisions cannot be seen as an
abdication by the State of its power to enact legislation that would
benefit the general welfare.
Ormoc Sugar Company Inc. vs Ormoc City et al
Equal Protection
In 1964, Ormoc City passed a bill which read: There shall be paid to
the City Treasurer on any and all productions of centrifugal sugar
milled at the Ormoc Sugar Company Incorporated, in Ormoc City a
municipal tax equivalent to one per centum (1%) per export sale to the
United States of America and other foreign countries. Though referred
to as a production tax, the imposition actually amounts to a tax on
the export of centrifugal sugar produced at Ormoc Sugar Company,
Inc. For production of sugar alone is not taxable; the only time the tax
applies is when the sugar produced is exported. Ormoc Sugar paid the
tax (P7,087.50) in protest averring that the same is violative of Sec
2287 of the Revised Administrative Code which provides: It shall not
be in the power of the municipal council to impose a tax in any form
whatever, upon goods and merchandise carried into the municipality,
or out of the same, and any attempt to impose an import or export tax
upon such goods in the guise of an unreasonable charge for wharfage,
use of bridges or otherwise, shall be void. And that the ordinance is
violative to equal protection as it singled out Ormoc Sugar As being
liable for such tax impost for no other sugar mill is found in the city.
ISSUE: Whether or not there has been a violation of equal protection.
HELD: The SC held in favor of Ormoc Sugar. The SC noted that even if
Sec 2287 of the RAC had already been repealed by a latter statute (Sec
2 RA 2264) which effectively authorized LGUs to tax goods and
merchandise carried in and out of their turf, the act of Ormoc City is
still violative of equal protection. The ordinance is discriminatory for it
taxes only centrifugal sugar produced and exported by the Ormoc
Sugar Company, Inc. and none other. At the time of the taxing
ordinances enactment, Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc., it is true, was the
only sugar central in the city of Ormoc. Still, the classification, to be
reasonable, should be in terms applicable to future conditions as well.
The taxing ordinance should not be singular and exclusive as to
exclude any subsequently established sugar central, of the same class
as plaintiff, from the coverage of the tax. As it is now, even if later a
similar company is set up, it cannot be subject to the tax because the

ordinance expressly points only to Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. as the

entity to be levied upon.
[G.R. No. 126594. September 5, 1997]
IMELDA MARCOS, petitioner, vs., The Honorable COURT OF APPEALS;
Honorable Judge GUILLERMO L. LOJA, SR., the Presiding Judge of Branch
26 of the RTC at Manila; and the PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, respondents.
In a petition for review on certiorari filed on November 5, 1996,
petitioner Imelda R. Marcos prays this Court to set aside the decision of
respondent Court of Appeals promulgated in CA-G.R. SP No. 35719 on
May 23, 1996, as well as its resolution of September 27, 1996 denying
her motion for the reconsideration of the judgment in said case.[1]
Preliminary, her motion for extension of time to file this petition was
denied for non-compliance with Revised Circular No. 1-88 and Circular
No. 19-91 because the affidavit of service, although otherwise
sufficient in form and substance, was not signed by the affiant, and the
registry receipt proving service of a copy of said motion to the Solicitor
General was not attached thereto. Hence, the petition subsequently
filed by her was dismissed for having been filed out of time in this
Courts resolution of November 27, 1996.[2]
Petitioner then moved for reconsideration, explaining the cause for the
procedural lapses and contending that, on the merits, the trial court
had no jurisdiction over the offenses charged; that no offenses actually
charged or that the facts alleged do not constitute the imputed
offenses; and, consequently, that the court a quo gravely abused its
discretion in denying the motion to quash.
Considering the number of criminal cases filed against petitioner, relief
from which is sought in the petition at bar and the issues wherein may
possibly be raised again in other cases of a similar nature, the Court
resolved on February 24, 1997 to require the Solicitor General to
comment thereon, in order that the adjudication of petitioners plaints
may not go off only on procedural points. In due time, such comment
was filed, albeit in abbreviated form, the Solicitor General correctly
pointing out that all the substantive issues now being raised before us
had also been extensively argued in and resolved by respondent
appellate court.
Indeed, an overall review of the allegations in the present petition
reveals that the same are merely a rehash of those already submitted

to respondent court and that this petition is apparently a reprise of the

certiorari petition in CA-G.R. SP No. 35719 filed in the Court of Appeals.
For facility of presentation, therefore, we need merely to reproduce
herein the findings in the assailed decision of respondent appellate
court, which are fully sustained by the records, excluding therefrom
those cases pertaining to CA-G.R. SP No. 35928 (except when involved
in the narration of the antecedents of this case) which was jointly
resolved by it but from which no appeals or other recourse was taken
by the petitioners therein.
We accordingly give credit to respondent court and adopt its recital of
the antecedents of the instant petition, to wit:
In CA-G.R. SP No. 35719, petitioner Marcos assails the Order dated June
9, 1994 which denied her Motion to Quash the eight (8) informations
filed against her in the consolidated Criminal Case Nos. 91-101732 to
91-101739 and the other fourteen (14) informations filed against her,
Benedicto and Rivera in the consolidated Criminal Case Nos. 91101879 to 91-101892, and Order dated August 30, 1994 which denied
her Motion for Reconsideration.
On October 21, 1983, pursuant to Monetary Board Resolution Nos.
1632 and 1718 dated September 30, 1983 and October 21, 1983,
respectively, the Central Bank (CB) of the Philippines (now Bangko
Sentral ng Pilipinas) issued Circular No. 960. The circular, which
consolidated the various rules and regulations promulgated by the CB
concerning foreign exchange non-trade transactions including those on
gold and silver, prohibits in its Section 4 residents, firms, association,
or corporations from maintaining foreign exchange accounts abroad
without prior authorization from the CB or without being permitted by
CB regulations; and requires in Section 10 thereof all residents who
habitually earn or receive foreign exchange from invisibles locally or
from abroad to submit reports of such earnings or receipts in
prescribed form with the proper CB department and to register with the
Foreign Exchange Department of the CB within 90 days from October
21, 1983. Violation of the provisions of the circular is punishable as a
criminal offense under Section 34 of R.A. No.265, as amended (the
Central Bank Act).
On December 20, 1991 or nearly six years after the 1986 EDSA
Revolution which toppled the Marcos regime, Marcos was, for allegedly
opening and maintaining foreign exchange accounts abroad on various
dates from 1968 to 1991 without prior authorization from the CB or
otherwise allowed by CB regulations, charged with violating Section 4
of CB Circular 960 before the RTC of Manila in eight (8) essentially

identically worded informations docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 91101732 to 101739, one of which reads as follows:
That from 1968 to June 6, 1991, both dates inclusive, the above-named
accused, in conspiracy with her late husband, then President Ferdinand
E. Marcos, while both residing in Malacaang Palace in the City of
Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court
did, then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously open and
maintain foreign exchange accounts abroad, particularly in Swiss Bank
Corporation (SBC) in Geneva, Switzerland, in the name of Maler
Establishment, later transformed into Maler Foundation, which was
organized by their dummies, nominees, fronts, agents or duly
appointed administrators among them Jean Louis Sunier who received
instructions from the accused and her husband who signed with their
alias JOHN LEWIS in order to maintain two accounts, one of which is
Account No. 98929 NY under Maler II with a balance of SF
16,195,258.00, without prior permission from the Central Bank of the
Philippines, and such act of maintaining foreign account abroad was
not permitted under Central Bank regulations.
- (Rollo, CA-G.R. SP No.35719, pp. 45-46)
The wordings of the other seven (7) informations differed only in the
dates of commission of the offense charged, the name/s of the
dummy/dummies, the balance of the foreign exchange accounts
maintained abroad and the name/s of the foreign bank/s where such
accounts were maintained.
Likewise, for allegedly failing to submit a report of their foreign
exchange earnings from abroad and/or to register with the Foreign
Exchange Department of the CB within the period mandated by
Section 10 of CB Circular No. 960, Marcos, Benedicto and Rivera were
similarly indicted on December 27, 1991 for violation of Section 10, CB
Circular No. 960 in relation to Section 34 of the Central Bank Act in five
(5) informations filed with the RTC of Manila which were docketed as
Criminal Case Nos. 91-101879 91-101883. On the same date, nine (9)
more informations essentially charging the same offense were filed
with the RTC of Manila, but this time only against Marcos and
Benedicto, which were docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 91-101884 to
91-101892. One of the informations reads:
That from September 21, 1983 up to December 26, 1985, both dates
inclusive, and for sometime thereafter, all accused, conspiring and
confederating with one another and with the late President Ferdinand
E. Marcos, all residing and/or doing business in Manila, Philippines,
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, and assisted by their
foreign agent or attorney-in-fact Stephen G. Cattaui, did then and there

wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously fail to submit reports in the

prescribed form and/or register with the Foreign Exchange Department
of the Central Bank within 90 days from October 21, 1983 as required
of them being residents habitually/customarily earning,
acquiring/receiving foreign exchange from whatever source or from
invisibles locally or from abroad, despite the fact that they actually
earned interests regularly for their investment of FIFTEEN MILLION
($15-million) DOLLARS, U.S. Currency, in Philippine-issued dollardenominated treasury notes with floating rates and in bearer form, in
the name of Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas (also known as Banque
Paribas) in Geneva, Switzerland but which was transferred on May 17,
1984 to Lombard, Odier et Cie, a bank also in Geneva, for the account
of COGES 00777 being managed by Mr. Stephane Cattaui for the
marcoses who also arranged the said investment of $15-million
through respondents Roberto S. Benedicto and Hector T. Rivera by
using the Royal Traders Bank in Manila as the custodian of the said
dollar-denominated treasury notes, which earned, acquired or received
for the accused Imelda Romualdez Marcos and her late husband an
interest of $13,229.16 for delay (December 16-19, 1995) plus
redemption of $15-million which was remitted to Lombard, Odier et Cie
through Chicago International Banking Corporation in New York, United
States of America, for the credit of said Account COGES 00777 of the
Marcoses for further investment outside the Philippines without first
complying with the reporting/registering requirements of the Central
- (Rollo, CA-G.R. SP No. 35928, pp. 45-46)
On January 3, 1992, eleven (11) more informations for alleged violation
of the aforesaid Section 10, CB Circular 960 were filed against Marcos
and Benedicto with the same court which were docketed as Criminal
Case Nos. 92-101959 to 92-101969.
All these thirty-three (33) cases were consolidated before Branch 26 of
the RTC of Manila presided by herein public respondent Judge Loja, Sr.
Marcos was arraigned on February 12, 1992 while Benedicto and
Rivera were arraigned on February 28, 1994.
During the pendency of these cases, CB Circular No. 1318 (Revised
Manual of Rules and Regulations Governing Non-Trade Foreign
Exchange Transactions) dated January 3, 1992 and CB Circular No.
1353 (Further Liberalizing Foreign Exchange Regulations) dated August
24, 1992 were issued by the CB. CB Circular No. 1318 repeals insofar
as inconsistent therewith all existing provisions of CB Circular No. 960,
among other circulars, while CB Circular No. 1353 repeals all the

provisions of Chapter X of CB Circular No. 1318 only insofar as they are

inconsistent therewith. Both circulars, however, contain a saving clause
excepting from the circular pending criminal actions involving
violations of CB Circular No. 960 and CB Circular No. 1318. (Italics
Invoking the abovementioned repeal as one of her grounds, Marcos
filed a Motion to Quash on May 23, 1994 seeking the dismissal of the
cases or the quashal of the informations filed against her in Criminal
Case Nos. 91-101732 to 91-101739 and 91-101879 to 91101892. Respondent People of the Philippines opposed the same on
June 2, 1994. [3]
Petitioners Marcos aforesaid motion was denied by the trial court in an
order dated June 9, 1994 and her motion for reconsideration was
likewise repudiated in an order of August 30, 1994. She then filed a
petition for certiorari and prohibition with respondent Court of Appeals
ascribing abuse of discretion on the part of respondent trial
judge. What transpired there is best taken from the account thereof in
the following portion of the impugned decision of respondent appellate
In CA-G.R. SP No. 35719, Marcos relied on two grounds in taking
respondent court to task, to wit: (1) respondent court has no
jurisdiction over the offenses charged; and (2) respondent court acted
with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in
denying her Motion to Quash.
Anent the first ground, Marcos argues that respondent court has no
jurisdiction over the cases as the informations clearly allege that the
acts complained of were committed outside Philippine territory, and
that her constitutional right to equal protection of the laws was
violated, the saving clause contained in CB Circular No. 1318 which
repealed CB Circular No. 960 being patently discriminatory as it was
purposedly designed to preserve the criminal cases lodged against her
and her co-accused.
As to the second ground, Marcos argues that the facts alleged in the
informations, even if true, do not constitute offenses and that in any
event the offenses charged have disappeared due to repeal.
Marcos asseverates that the saving clause (Section 111, Chapter X) of
CB Circular No. 1318 is invalid since the Monetary Board has no
authority to except therefrom pending criminal prosecutions, the power
being purely legislative and is not expressly granted in its charter; that
even assuming ad arguendo that the Monetary Board has the power,
the same is still invalid for being an encroachment and an invalid
delegation thereof, the power to declare what constitutes a crime and

how it should be punished being vested solely and exclusively in the

legislature; that even further assuming that there is no invalid
delegation of power to incorporate the saving clause, it is still invalid
for being ultra vires as it is not germane to the object and purpose of
the Central Bank Act which is to stabilize the monetary system; and in
any event, even if the power is unquestioned, the clause is still invalid
for being violative of the equal protection of (t)he law clause of the
constitution, it having been designed solely for the purpose of
preserving the criminal cases against her and her co-accused.
As regards the assertion that the facts alleged in the informations do
not constitute an offense, Marcos contends that since the allegations
unequivocally state that foreign foundations or trust, not the Marcoses,
opened and maintained the subject Swiss accounts and earned and
received the interest therefrom, she has no duty to report any earnings
and if at all, she was a mere beneficiary of the foreign foundations or
trusts; and that the acts having been committed abroad, they are
beyond the jurisdiction of respondent court.
Petitioners do not dispute the validity of CB Circular No. 960, the law
under which they are being prosecuted, and of CB Circular Nos. 1318
and 1353 which they allege repealed CB Circular No. 960, nor do they
challenge the authority of the Monetary Board to issue them.
Petitioners likewise do not dispute that violation of Section 4 of CB
Circular No. 960, as amended, which provides:
SEC. 4. Foreign exchange retention abroad. No person shall promote,
finance, enter into or participate in any foreign exchange transactions
where the foreign exchange involved is paid, retained, delivered or
transferred abroad while the corresponding pesos are paid for or are
received in the Philippines, except when specifically authorized by the
Central Bank or otherwise allowed under Central Bank regulations.
Residents, firms, associations, or corporations unless otherwise
permitted under CB regulations are prohibited from maintaining foreign
exchange accounts abroad.
Or of section 10 thereof, the pertinent portions of which provide:
SEC. 10. Reports of foreign exchange earners. All resident persons who
habitually/customarily earn, acquire, or receive foreign exchange from
invisibles locally or from abroad, shall submit reports in the prescribed
form of such earnings, acquisition or receipts with the appropriate CB
department. Those required to submit reports under this section shall
include, but need not necessarily be limited to the following:
xxx xxx xxx

Residents, firms or establishments habitually/customarily earning,

acquiring or receiving foreign exchange from sales of merchandise,
services or from whatever source shall register with the Foreign
Exchange Department of the Central Bank within ninety (90) days from
the date of this Circular.
is punishable as a criminal offense under Section 34 of the Central
Bank Act the pertinent portion of which provides:
SEC. 34 Proceedings upon violation of laws and regulations. -Whenever any person or entity wilfully violates this Act or any order,
instruction, rule or regulation issued by the Monetary Board, the
person or persons responsible for such violation shall be punished by a
fine of not more than twenty thousand pesos and by imprisonment of
not more than five years.[4]
In respondent Court of Appeals, however, it was petitioners insistent
position that violations of CB Circular No. 960, specifically Sections 4
and 10 thereof, ceased to be punishable upon the issuance in 1992 of
CB Circular Nos. 1318 and 1353, on the theory that the latter circulars
completely repealed the former, and that the reservations made in
each of the repealing clauses of the latter circulars are invalid. She now
reiterates the same contentions before us. Respondent appellate court
rejected her thesis on this score; we are sufficiently persuaded to do
The saving clause in CB Circular No. 1318, which petitioner questions,
SEC. 111. Repealing Clause. All existing provisions of Circulars 363,
960 and 1028, including amendments thereto, with the exception of
the second paragraph of Section 68 of Circular 1028, as well as all
other existing Central Bank rules and regulations or parts thereof,
which are inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of this
Circular, are hereby repealed or modified accordingly:Provided,
however, that regulations, violations of which are the subject of
pending actions or investigations, shall not be considered repealed
insofar as such pending actions or investigations are concerned, it
being understood that as to such pending actions or investigations, the
regulations existing at the time the cause of action accrued shall
govern (Italics ours).
The assailed saving clause in CB Circular No. 1353 is as follows:
SEC. 16. Final Provisions of CB Circular No. 1318. All the provisions in
Chapter X of CB Circular No. 1318 insofar as they are not inconsistent
with, or contrary to the provisions of this circular, shall remain in full
force and effect: Provided, however, that any regulation on non-trade
foreign exchange transactions which has been repealed, amended or

modified by this Circular, violations of which are the subject of pending

actions or investigations, shall not be considered repealed insofar as
such pending actions or investigations are concerned, it being
understood that as to such pending actions or investigations, the
regulations existing at the time of the cause of action accrued shall
govern (Italics also supplied).
We agree with respondent appellate court that such amendments and
saving clauses are valid and were authorized enactments under a
delegated power of the Monetary Board.Section 14 of the Central Bank
Act expressly grants the Monetary Board the power to prepare and
issue rules and regulations necessary for the effective discharge of the
responsibilities and exercise of the powers assigned to the Monetary
Board and to the Central Bank under this Act, and to report the same
thereafter to the President and Congress. In fact, this power of
subordinate legislation and its validity was admitted by petitioner in
the respondent appellate court.[5]
It cannot be plausibly claimed that there was undue delegation of
legislative power in this particular instance since it was the Central
Bank itself which defined the offense and provided the penalty
therefor. As respondent Court of Appeals points out, administrative
bodies have the authority to issue administrative regulations which are
penal in nature where the law itself makes the violation of the
administrative regulation punishable and provides for its penalty.
[6] This is still the rule on the matter and, in the instant case, the
Central Bank Act defined the offense and its penalty while the
questioned circular merely spelled out the details of the offense.
Ironically, petitioner concedes the greater power of the Board to repeal
CB Circular No. 960 through CB Circular No. 1318, yet she inexplicably
questions the lesser and incidental power to provide for saving clauses
Petitioners argument that the saving clauses are not germane to the
purposes of the Central Bank Act, and consequently ultra vires, has
been roundly confuted by respondent Court of Appeals. If, as she
claims, one of the objectives of that law is to stabilize the monetary
system, that is precisely why Congress punished as criminal offenses
the violations of the issuance of the Monetary Board necessary for the
effective discharged of its responsibilities, and to carry out which the
Board deemed it necessary to provide for the challenged saving
clauses.Obviously, these saving clauses were dictated by the need to
continue the prosecution of those who had already committed acts of
monetary destabilization. The opposite view posited by petitioner
would result in an absurdity.

Her lamentations that the aforementioned provisions are

discriminatory because they are aimed at her and her co-accused do
not assume the dignity of a legal argument since they are unwarranted
conjectures belied by even the text of the circulars alone. Hence, as
respondent appellate court correctly concludes, the foregoing facts
clearly disprove petitioners claim that her constitutional right to equal
protection of the law was violated. Should she nonetheless desire to
pursue such objection, she may always adduce additional evidence at
the trial of these cases since that is the proper stage therefor, and not
at their present posture.
Lastly, there is no need for us to tarry on petitioners hypothesis that
the acts charged in the questioned informations were committed by
foreign agents or juridical persons outside Philippine territory and that,
she being supposedly a mere beneficiary, this scenario divests the trial
court of jurisdiction over her insofar as the violations resulting from
such acts abroad are concerned. This is too simplistic an argument
because it would have the Court assume that she only had a passive
participation thereon or, if she is to be believed, none at all.
That is why respondent Court of Appeals decided to just graciously
quote, in refutation of such imposition on judicial credulity, the
perceptively succinct observation of respondent trial judge, to wit:
x x x In no uncertain terms, the corresponding informations clearly
state that the accused, in conspiracy with the late president x x x
opened and maintained foreign accounts abroad in the name of
foundations organized by their dummies. The same observation holds
true in Criminal Cases Nos. 91-101879-92 where the accused and her
co-accused are charged (with) violation of section 10, CB Circular
960. As easily gleaned therefrom, (the) criminal informations are not
only sufficient but clear in alleging that the accused earned foreign
exchange without proper reporting therof although camouflaged in the
name of foundations.
x x x accuseds contention that the acts charged were committed by
persons or agents who managed said foundation outside the country
and therefore beyond the jurisdiction of this court is misplaced
argument. As already stated and discussed, it is the accused who (was
alleged to have) maintained foreign accounts and earned
foreign exchange abroad camouflaged in the name of foreign agents
and/or foundations but neither obtained authority to do so nor reported
the earnings to the Central Bank.[7] (Words in parenthesis supplied).
All the way from the trial court, through the Court of Appeals, and now
before this court, petitioner has insistently repeated the selfsame

issues and arguments for the quashal of the charges against her, with
the result that the same have been deep-frozen since 1991. Inevitably,
the three-tiered adjudicature to which they have been subjected has
merely resulted in reiterations by the parties of their set issues,
congealed arguments and invariable conclusions.
It is time then to thaw those cases from the frigidity of their present
status so that petitioner may have the opportunity to prove her
defenses on the merits, instead of having those cases indefinitely
sidelined by legal strategy contingent on expectancies. For, in the
present posture thereof, it does not appear that respondent Court of
Appeals has committed any abuse of discretion, much less of a grave
or arbitrary nature, as would call for the extraordinary writ of
certiorari. We accordingly uphold the denial of petitioners motion to
quash so that the interlocutory proceedings may now move on to trial
wherein she can present such evidence as may possibly place her
protestations in another light as she claims.
WHEREFORE, the petition at bar is DENIED and the challenged
judgment of respondent Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED, with costs
against petitioner.
Nolasco v COMELEC
A disqualification case was filed against Meycauayan, Bulacan Mayorelect Florentino Blanco for alleged performing acts which are grounds
for disqualification under the Omnibus Election Code giving money to
influence, induce or corrupt the voters or public officials performing
election functions: for committing acts of terrorism to enhance his
candidacy, and for spending an amount for his campaign in excess of
what is allowed by the law.
The COMELEC First Division required both parties to submit their
position papers. The case was decided against Blanco.
A reconsideration was moved by Blanco in the COMELEC En Banc.
Nolasco, the vice-mayor-elect took part as intervenor, urging that
should Blanco be finally disqualified, the mayoralty position be turned
over to him. The parties were allowed to file their memoranda. En Banc
denied Blanco and Nolascos motions thus this petition for certiorari.
1. WON Blanco was denied due process and equal protection of laws
2. WON the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in
proclaiming Alarilla as the duly elected mayor

1. Blanco was not denied due process and equal protection of the laws.
He was given all the opportunity to prove that the evidence on his
disqualification was not strong. Blancos contention that the minimum
quantum of evidence was not met is untenable. What RA 6646 and the
COMELEC Rules of Procedure require is a mere evidence of guilt that
should be strong to justify the COMELEC in suspending a winning
candidates proclamation.
2. Nolasco, not Alarilla, is adjudged as the Mayor of Meycauayan. It is
already a settled principle in the case of Reyes v COMELEC that the
candidate with the second highest number of votes cannot be
proclaimed winner in case the winning candidate be disqualified. There
cannot be an assumption that the second placer would have received
the other votes otherwise it is a judgment substituting the mind of a
voter. It cannot be assumed that the second placer would have won
the elections because in the situation where the disqualified candidate
is excluded, the condition would have substantially changed.
Regala v. Sandiganbayan
Ponente: Kapunan
PCGG field a case against Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. for the recovery of illgotten wealth. Among the defendants were the ACCRA Law Firm and
Raul Roco, also a part of ACCRA. Case alleged that Cojuangco and
defendants conspired in setting up through the use of coco levy funds
numerous banks; that ACCRA acted as dummies.
ACCRA performed legal services for clients, with the incidental services
where its members acted as stockholders. In the process, members of
ACCRA acquired information relative to assets of clients and their
personal and business circumstances.
PCGG excluded Raul Roco from the complaint as party-defendant
because of his undertaking that he will reveal the identity of the
principals for whom he acted as nominee-stockholder in the companies
Sandiganbayan promulgated a Resolution denying the exclusion of
ACCRA members in the complaint as party-defendants. MR denied.
PETs contend: that the exclusion of Roco as party-defendant grants him
a favourable treatment, on the pretext of his alleged undertaking to
divulge the identity of his client, giving him an advantage over ACCRA
members; that lawyers are prohibited from revealing the identity of
their principal.

W/N privileged communication between atty and client may be

asserted in refusing to disclose the name of ACCRAs clients? Yes.
PETs inclusion as co-defendants is merely being used as leverage to
compel them to name their clients and consequently to enable PCGG
to nail these clients -> thus PCGG has no valid cause of action against
PETs and should exclude them from the complaint.
An atty is more than a mere agent or servant because he possesses
special powers of trust and confidence reposed on him by his client. If
the price of disclosure is too high, or if it amounts to self-incrimination,
then the flow of information would be curtailed, thereby rendering the
right to counsel practically nugatory.
An effective lawyer-client relationship is largely dependent upon the
degree of confidence which exists between lawyer and client which in
turn requires a situation which encourages a dynamic and fruitful
exchange and flow of information.
General rule: a lawyer may not invoke the privilege and refuse to
divulge the name or identity of his client.
1. client identity is privileged where a strong probability exists that
revealing the clients name would implicate that client in the very
activity which he sought the lawyers advice.
2. the content of any client communication to a lawyer lies within the
privilege if it is relevant to the subject matter of the legal problem on
which the client seeks legal assistance.
3. where the nature of the atty-client relationship has been previously
disclosed and it is the identity which is intended to be confidential, the
identity of the client has been held to be privileged
The instant case falls under exceptions: disclosure of clients name
would lead to establish said clients connection with the very fact in
issue of the case.
Link between the alleged criminal offense and the legal advice/service
sought duly established: clients consulted the PETs regarding structure,
framework and set-up of corporations. In turn, PETs gave professional
advice in the form of, among others, deeds of assignment covering
clients shareholdings.
Preparation of documents part of PETs legal service to clients. Thus
PETs have legitimate fear that identifying their clients would implicate
them in the very activity for which legal advice had been sought.
Revelation of clients name would provide necessary link for the
prosecution to build its case.

Where a client thinks he might have previously committed something

illegal and consults atty about it -> falls within the exception. But
where client seeks services of an atty for illicit purposes, seeking
advice about how to go around the law to commit illegal activities ->
not covered by privilege.
Purpose of privilege: to avoid fishing expedition by the prosecution.
There are alternative sources of information available to prosecutor w/c
do not depend on utilizing defendants counsel as source.
Duration of privilege: exists not only during relationship but extends
even after termination.
PCGG failed to show that Roco actually revealed identity of clients.
PCGG failed to show that Roco was treated as a species apart from the
rest of ACCRA lawyers -> no substantial distinctions between him and
ACCRA; violates equal protection clause.
In response to petitioners' last assignment of error, respondents allege
that the private respondent was dropped as party defendant not only
because of his admission that he acted merely as a nominee but also
because of his undertaking to testify to such facts and circumstances
"as the interest of truth may require, which includes... the identity of
the principal."[59]
First, as to the bare statement that private respondent merely acted as
a lawyer and nominee, a statement made in his out-of-court settlement
with the PCGG, it is sufficient to state that petitioners have likewise
made the same claim not merely out-of- court but also in their Answer
to plaintiff's Expanded Amended Complaint, signed by counsel,
claiming that their acts were made in furtherance of "legitimate
lawyering.[60] Being "similarly situated" in this regard, public
respondents must show that there exist other conditions and
circumstances which would warrant their treating the private
respondent differently from petitioners in the case at bench in order to
evade a violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
To this end, public respondents contend that the primary consideration
behind their decision to sustain the PCGG's dropping of private
respondent as a defendant was his promise to disclose the identities of
the clients in question. However, respondents failed to show - and
absolutely nothing exists in the records of the case at bar - that private
respondent actually revealed the identity of his client(s) to the
PCGG. Since the undertaking happens to be the leitmotif of the entire
arrangement between Mr. Roco and the PCGG, an undertaking which is
so material as to have justified PCGG's special treatment exempting
the private respondent from prosecution, respondent Sandiganbayan
should have required proof of the undertaking more substantial than a

"bare assertion" that private respondent did indeed comply with the
undertaking. Instead, as manifested by the PCGG, only three
documents were submitted for the purpose, two of which were mere
requests for re-investigation and one simply disclosed certain clients
which petitioners (ACCRA lawyers) were themselves willing to
reveal. These were clients to whom both petitioners and private
respondent rendered legal services while all of them were partners at
ACCRA, and were not the clients which the PCGG wanted disclosed for
the alleged questioned transactions.[61]
To justify the dropping of the private respondent from the case or the
filing of the suit in the respondent court without him, therefore, the
PCGG should conclusively show that Mr. Roco was treated as a species
apart from the rest of the ACCRA lawyers on the basis of a
classification which made substantial distinctions based on real
differences. No such substantial distinctions exist from the records of
the case at bench, in violation of the equal protection clause.
The equal protection clause is a guarantee which provides a wall of
protection against uneven application of statutes and regulations. In
the broader sense, the guarantee operates against
uneven application of legal norms so that all persons under similar
circumstances would be accorded the same treatment.[62] Those who
fall within a particular class ought to be treated alike not only as to
privileges granted but also as to the liabilities imposed.
x x x. What is required under this constitutional guarantee is the
uniform operation of legal norms so that all persons under similar
circumstances would be accorded the same treatment both in the
privileges conferred and the liabilities imposed. As was noted in a
recent decision: Favoritism and undue preference cannot be
allowed. For the principle is that equal protection and security shall be
given to every person under circumstances, which if not identical are
analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of burden or charges, those
that fall within a class should be treated in the same fashion, whatever
restrictions cast on some in the group equally binding the rest.[63]
We find that the condition precedent required by the respondent PCGG
of the petitioners for their exclusion as parties-defendants in PCGG
Case No. 33 violates the lawyer-client confidentiality privilege. The
condition also constitutes a transgression by respondents
Sandiganbayan and PCGG of the equal protection clause of the
Constitution.[64] It is grossly unfair to exempt one similarly situated
litigant from prosecution without allowing the same exemption to the
others. Moreover, the PCGGs demand not only touches upon the
question of the identity of their clients but also on documents related

to the suspected transactions, not only in violation of the attorneyclient privilege but also of the constitutional right against selfincrimination.Whichever way one looks at it, this is a fishing
expedition, a free ride at the expense of such rights.
An argument is advanced that the invocation by petitioners of the
privilege of attorney-client confidentiality at this stage of the
proceedings is premature and that they should wait until they are
called to testify and examine as witnesses as to matters learned in
confidence before they can raise their objections. But petitioners are
not mere witnesses. They are co-principals in the case for recovery of
alleged ill-gotten wealth. They have made their position clear from the
very beginning that they are not willing to testify and they cannot be
compelled to testify in view of their constitutional right against selfincrimination and of their fundamental legal right to maintain inviolate
the privilege of attorney-client confidentiality.
It is clear then that the case against petitioners should never be
allowed to take its full course in the Sandiganbayan. Petitioners should
not be made to suffer the effects of further litigation when it is obvious
that their inclusion in the complaint arose from a privileged attorneyclient relationship and as a means of coercing them to disclose the
identities of their clients.To allow the case to continue with respect to
them when this Court could nip the problem in the bud at this early
opportunity would be to sanction an unjust situation which we should
not here countenance. The case hangs as a real and palpable threat, a
proverbial Sword of Damocles over petitioners' heads. It should not be
allowed to continue a day longer.
While we are aware of respondent PCGGs legal mandate to recover illgotten wealth, we will not sanction acts which violate the equal
protection guarantee and the right against self-incrimination and
subvert the lawyer-client confidentiality privilege.
Olivarez vs Sandiganbayan GR 118533 04 October 1995
Facts: Paranaque Sanguaniang Bayan Resolution 744, approved by
Mayor Olivarez 6 Oct 1922, authorized Baclaran Credit Cooperative Inc
(BCCI) to set up a manfacturers night (Christmas Agro-Industrial Fair
sa Baclaran) during the Christmas fiesta celebration, at Baclaran for 60
days, (11 Nov 92 to 15 Feb 93) for which they will use a portion of the
service road of Roxas Boulevard.
Allegedly, BCCI exerted all possible efforts to secure the necessary
permit but Olivarez simply refused to issue the permit unless BCCI
gives money to the latter.

On 15 Dec 1992, BCCI charged Olivarez with violation of the Anti-Graft

and Corrupt Practices Act for unreasonably refusing to issue a mayors
permit deapite request and follow ups to implement SB Resolution 744.
After preliminary investigations and pleadings before the
Sandiganbayan, the case was remanded to the Office of the
Ombudsman. Consequently, the Ombudsman found Olivarez liable by
giving unwarranted benefit though manifest impartiality to another
group on the flimsy reason that complainant failed to apply for a
business permit.
Olivarez filed the petition for certiorari and prohibition.
Issue: Whether Paraaque Mayor Olivarez refusal to issue a mayor's
permit and refusal to act favorably on the application of the Baclaran
Credit Cooperative, Inc. (BCCI) was a violation of Sec. 3(e) of R.A. 3019.
Petitioner: Petitioner's main defense is that BCCI was not issued a
mayor's permit by reason of its failure to apply therefor and to comply
with the conditions set forth in Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 744.
Held: Yes, there is enough evidence to warrant the filing of a formal
charge in court against petitioner for a violation of Section 3(e) of
Republic Act No. 3019.
First. Initially, petitioner claims he could not grant a permit to BCCI,
which was allegedly demanding an exclusive authority to operate, on
the pretext that he can be held liable for a violation of Republic Act No.
3019 for giving unwarranted benefits to BCCI to the detriment of other
associations. Then, petitioner justifies the subsequent issuance of an
executive order granting a permit to another Baclaran-based vendors'
associations, by claiming it did not cause injury to BCCI since the
latters authority to operate is not exclusive.
Petitioner had taken it upon himself to categorize the exclusivity or
non-exclusivity of the authority to operate granted to BCCI, depending
on whether or not it would suit his preference. The inconsistent stand
taken by petitioner with regard to the character of BCCI's authority to
operate is inexplicable and casts sufficient doubt on the real motive
behind the non-issuance of the required permit.
Second. Petitioner asserted that the executive order granting a permit
to the other Baclaran-based vendors' associations was issued
supposedly in the best interest of the municipality as evidenced by its
13M earnings from the night fair. While the declared purpose may be
noble, it pales in contrast to what appears to be manifest partiality on
the part of petitioner in refusing to grant a permit to BCCI. Petitioner
could not demonstrate how the issuance of a permit to BCCI would so
adversely affect public interest as to warrant its denial.

On the contrary, the Sangguniang Bayan of Paraaque had passed a

resolution, which was even approved by herein petitioner, expressly
allowing BCCI to hold the night fair. This is concrete proof that the
grant of authority to operate in favor of BCCI was not contrary to law,
public policy, nor prejudicial to public interest as alleged by the
Petitioner's partiality may be gleaned from the fact that he issued a
permit in favor of the other Baclaran-based vendors' associations by
the mere executive order, whereas many requirements were imposed
on BCCI before it could be granted the same permit. Worse, petitioner
failed to show, in violation of BCCI's right to equal protection, that BCCI
and the other Baclaran-based vendors' associations were not similarly
situated as to give at least a semblance of legality to the apparent
haste with which said executive order was issued. The only interest
served by such executive order was that of the petitioner.
Lastly, Petitioner submits that no permit could be issued because BCCI
never filed an application with the proper office, the Business Permit
and Licensing Office. This is specious. It was shown that on November
13, 1992, BCCI, through its general manager, wrote petitioner
requesting for a permit to operate, but this was rejected by him on the
theory that the application should be made with the proper municipal
official. The indifference shown by petitioner to BCCI's application
taints his actuations with suspicion.
As the mayor of the municipality, the officials he referred to were
definitely under his authority and he was not without recourse to take
appropriate action on the letter-application of BCCI (although the same
was not strictly in accordance with normal procedure.) There was
nothing to prevent him from referring said letter-application to the
licensing department, but which paradoxically he refused to do.
Petitioner, as a municipal mayor, is expressly authorized and has the
power to issue permits and licenses for the holding of activities for any
charitable or welfare purpose, pursuant to Section 444 (b) (3) (iv and v)
of the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160). Hence,
he cannot feign total lack of authority to act on the letter-application of
Petitioner Ronald Soriano was convicted of the crime of Reckless
Imprudence resulting to homicide, serious physical injuries and
damage to property. His application for probation was granted with its
corresponding terms and conditions. In less than a year, Assistant

Prosecutor Benjamin A. Fadera filed a motion to cancel petitioners

probation due to his failure to satisfy his civil liability to the heirs of the
victim and a supplemental motion alleging petitioners commission of
another crime for which at that time he was awaiting arraignment. The
Parole and Probation Office, however, recommended the continuance
of petitioners probation and he be required to submit a program of
payment of his civil liability. The trial court denied the prosecutors
motion and directed petitioner to submit a program of payment of the
civil liability imposed upon him. The latter failed to comply with the
said order. The trial court issued an order declaring petitioner in
contempt of court for his failure to comply with its orders. The court
likewise revoked the grant of probation to petitioner and ordered that
he be arrested to serve the sentence originally imposed upon him.
Petitioner then filed a special civil action for certiorari with the Court of
Appeals. The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition, holding that
petitioners stubborn unwillingness to comply with the orders of the trial
court shows his refusal to reform himself and to correct a wrong.
Petitioners motion for reconsideration was likewise denied by the Court
of appeals. Hence, this petition for review. The only issue to be
resolved by the Supreme Court in this case is whether or not the
revocation of petitioners probation is lawful and proper.
There was no justifiable reason given by the petitioner for ignoring the
two orders of the court. The trial could not be faulted for citing him in
contempt for his failure to comply with its orders. Petitioners
continued refusal to submit a program of payment, along with his
prayer for the deletion of the requirement of payment of civil liability
from his probation order, creates the impression that he wanted to
completely avoid paying his civil liability, with or without a program of
payment. Having admittedly violated the terms and conditions of his
probation, petitioner cannot now assail the revocation of his probation.
The petition was denied by the Supreme Court.
CASE. Contrary to his assertion, payment of civil liability is not violative
of equal protection clause of the Constitution. Note that the payment
of civil liability is not made a condition precedent to probation. If it
were, then perhaps there might be some basis to petitioners assertion
that only moneyed convicts may avail of the benefits of probation. In
this case, however, petitioners application for probation had already
been granted. Satisfaction of his civil liability was not made a

requirement before he could avail of probation, but was a condition for

his continued enjoyment of the same. The trial court not have done
away with imposing payment of civil liability as a condition for
probation, as petitioner suggests. This is not an arbitrary imposition
but one required by law. It is a consequence of petitioners having been
convicted of a crime, and petitioner is bound to satisfy this obligation
regardless of whether or not he is placed under probation
wants to take exception to the rule that notice to counsel is notice to
client. The Court finds no reason to make an exception in this case.
Petitioners counsel has not been shown to be grossly irresponsible as
to cause prejudice to petitioners rights.
COURT OF APPEALS; PRESENT CASE. The question of whether or not
petitioner has, indeed, violated the terms and conditions of his
probation is evidently a factual one which had already been passed
upon by both the trial court and the Court of Appeals. Settled is the
rule in the jurisdiction that findings of fact of the trial court are entitled
to great weight, more so when they are affirmed by the Court of
Appeals, as in this case.
RATIONALE. Section 10 of the Probation Law states: SEC. 10 Conditions
of Probation -- xxx The court may also require the probationer to: (a)
Cooperate with a program of supervision; (b) Meet his family
responsibilities; (c) Devote himself to a specific employment and not to
change said employment without the prior written approval of the
probation officer. xxx (e) Pursue a prescribed secular study or
vocational; training; xxx Clearly, these conditions are not whims of the
trial court but are requirements laid down by statute. They are among
the conditions that the trial court is empowered to impose and the
petitioner, as probationer, is required to follow. Only by satisfying
these conditions may the purposes of probation be fulfilled. These
include promoting the correction and rehabilitation of an offender by
providing him with individualized treatment, and providing an
opportunity for the reformation of a penitent offender which might be
less probable if he were to serve a prison sentence. Failure to comply
will result in the revocation of the order granting probation pursuant to
the Probation Law.
5. ID.; ID.; PROBATION CONSTRUED. Probation is not an absolute right.
It is a mere privilege whose grant rests upon the discretion of the trial

court. Its grant is subject to certain terms and conditions that may be
imposed by the trial court. Having the power to grant probation, it

follows that the trial court also has the power to order its revocation in
a proper case and under appropriate circumstances.