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342 SCRA 449
BAYAN (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan), a Junk VFA Movement, Bishop Tomas Millamena (Iglesia
Filipina Independiente), Bishop Elmer Bolocan (United Church of Christ of the Phil.), Dr. Reynaldo
Legasca, Md, Kilusang Mambubukid Ng Pilipinas, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Gabriela, Prolabor, and The Public
Interest Law Center, petitioners, vs. Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora, Foreign Affairs Secretary
Domingo Siazon, Defense Secretary Orlando Mercado, Brig. Gen. Alexander Aguirre, Senate President
Marcelo Fernan, Senator Franklin Drilon, Senator Blas Ople, Senator Rodolfo Biazon, And Senator
Francisco Tatad, respondents.
FACTS: On March 14, 1947, the Philippines and the United States of America forged a Military Bases
Agreement which formalized, among others, the use of installations in the Philippine territory by United
States military personnel. In view of the impending expiration of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement in
1991, the Philippines and the United States negotiated for a possible extension of the military bases
agreement. On September 16, 1991, the Philippine Senate rejected the proposed RP-US Treaty of
Friendship, Cooperation and Security which, in effect, would have extended the presence of US military
bases in the Philippines. On July 18, 1997, the United States panel, headed by US Defense Deputy
Assistant Secretary for Asia Pacific Kurt Campbell, met with the Philippine panel, headed by Foreign
Affairs Undersecretary Rodolfo Severino Jr., to exchange notes on “the complementing strategic interests
of the United States and the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific region.” Both sides discussed, among other
things, the possible elements of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA for brevity). Thereafter, then
President Fidel V. Ramos approved the VFA, which was respectively signed by public respondent
Secretary Siazon and Unites States Ambassador Thomas Hubbard. On October 5, 1998, President
Joseph E. Estrada, through respondent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, ratified the VFA. On October 6, 1998,
the President, acting through respondent Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora, officially transmitted to
the Senate of the Philippines, the Instrument of Ratification, the letter of the President and the VFA, for
concurrence pursuant to Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution
ISSUES (justiciable controversy): (1) Whether or not petitioners have legal standing as concerned
citizens, taxpayers, or legislators to question the constitutionality of the VFA; (2) whether the VFA is
governed by the provisions of Section 21, Article VII or of Section 25, Article XVIII of the Constitution; (3)
and whether or not the Supreme Court has jurisdiction.
RULING: (1) No. Petitioners failed to show that they have sustained, or are in danger of sustaining any
direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the VFA. As taxpayers, petitioners have not established that
the VFA involves the exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending powers. On this point, it bears
stressing that a taxpayer’s suit refers to a case where the act complained of directly involves the illegal
disbursement of public funds derived from taxation.
(2) Yes.The fact that the President referred the VFA to the Senate under Section 21, Article VII, and that
the Senate extended its concurrence under the same provision, is immaterial. For in either case, whether
under Section 21, Article VII or Section 25, Article XVIII, the fundamental law is crystalline that the
concurrence of the Senate is mandatory to comply with the strict constitutional requirements.
(3) No. In fine, absent any clear showing of grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondents, the
Court as the final arbiter of legal controversies and staunch sentinel of the rights of the people is then
without power to conduct an incursion and meddle with such affairs purely executive and legislative in
character and nature. For the Constitution no less, maps out the distinct boundaries and limits the metes
and bounds within which each of the three political branches of government may exercise the powers
exclusively and essentially conferred to it by law.

in his well read treatise on statutory interpretation applies that the court should not overthrow the principle by treating as co-equal the enacted statues and the legislative hearings or committee reports. No. this time charging the accused no longer with rape but with acts of lasciviousness. 8353. Instrument or object is a phrase. private respondent. and does not thwart or defeat the same. Respondents. Ballentine’s Law Dictionary defines object as a material thing. Acting on a motion in favour of respondent Liron. however. 2001 FACTS: Jaime Liron. any tangible thing. Hence. arbitrary and capricious delimitation of what the law had set out to expand. Dickerson. Clearly. .LINA OBANA Y ZAMORA VS JUDGE ANDRES SORIANO G. AUGUST 29. The title of the statute itself expands the definition of the crime of rape. Petitioners argue that to exclude fingers under the context “instrument or object”. It may be uncommon to refer to his finger as an object. that does not include the fingers. Paragraph 2 of R. requires that the construction be limited or enlarged. It is a rule in statutory construction that where such construction is consonant and not in variance with the purpose of the statute. 60353.A. It is also based on the rule that statutes should be construed as a whole for the purpose of the law itself. the Information alleging that he had committed the crime by inserting his finger in the vagina of petitioner Jolyna Obana y Zamora against her will and without her consent. R. for their part. citing a piece of legislative history in the discussion in the Bicameral Conference Committee of Congress that apparently records the decision to exclude the fingers. Excluding the insertion of finger would be unintelligible. but it would not do such violence to the term object for even in common use. ISSUE: Whether or not the term “instrument or object” into the genital or anal orifice of another person include fingers under Article 266 A. was earlier charged before the trial court with rape. this petition. the trial court referred the case to the Office of the Prosecutor. but the text of the law itself. a finger falls within the ambit of this concept. RULING: The starting point of construction should not be journals of debates or committee discussion. it is synonymous to a thing. visible or capable of discernment by the senses. or the remedy to be advanced. absurdity will result. or where it is not obvious from the statute that the evil to be suppressed. insist that what the law reads is all the courts can apply. they submit. It falls under the consequential analysis or absurdity rule where the courts must work with norms of reasonableness or fairness.

Rule 14 of the Rules of Court applies only to actions in rem. ISSUES: 1.SANTOS JR. The rules. respondent sought and was granted leave of court to effect the service of summons upon him by publication in anewspaper of general circulation. service may. 3. not actions in personam. Subsequently. 2. petitioner was proper served with summons by publication and that there is jurisdiction over his person. Petitioner still failed to answer within the prescribed period despite the publication of summons. respondent. Thereafter. in the RTC of Pasig. the trial court allowed service of summons by publication. Section 14. or whenever his whereabouts are unknown and cannot be ascertained by diligent inquiry. respondent filed a motion for the reception of its evidence ex parte. do not require that the affidavit of complementary service be executed by the clerk of court. HELD: 1. Rule 14 provides that in any action where the defendant is designated as an unknown owner or the like or when his whereabouts are unknown and cannot be ascertained by diligentinquiry. or the like. on respondent’s motion. the petitioner’s contention that the complaint filed against him is not covered by the said rule because the action for recovery of sum of money is an action in personam is not applicable anymore. Respondent caused the publication of the summons in Remate. postage for prepaid. 2. Hence. Hence. . Trial court granted said motion and proceeded with the ex parte presentation and formal offer of its evidence. This complementary service is evidenced by an affidavit “showing the deposit of a copy of the summons and order for publication in the post office. Whether or not the affidavit of service of the copy of the summons should have been prepared by the clerk of court and not respondent’s messenger. this petition. respondent submitted the affidavit of publication and the affidavit of service of respondent’s employee to the effect that he sent a copy of the summons by registered mail to petitioner’s last known address. Rule 14 of the Rules of Court as it was not executed by the clerk of court. alleging that the affidavit of service submitted by respondent failed to comply with Section 19. Whether or not there is lack of jurisdiction over the petitioner due to improper service of summons. by leave of court. Hence. The present rule expressly states that it applies “in any action where the defendant is designated as an unknown owner. however. the duty to make the complementary service by registered mail is imposed on the party who resorts to service by publication. it now applies to any action. directed to the defendant by registered mail to his last known address”. be effected upon him by publication in a newspaper of general circulation and in such places and for such times as the court may order. The amount sought to be collected was the petitioner’s unpaid balance of the car loan advanced to him by respondent when he was still a member of its board of directors. Whether or not the rule on service by publication under Section 14. While the trial court ordinarily does the mailing of copies of its orders and processes. Thus. Personal service of summons were made to petitioner but failed because the latter cannot be located in his last known address despite earnest efforts to do so. The service of summons by publication is complemented by service of summons by registered mail to defendant’s last known address. It also denied the motion to admit petitioner’s answer because the same was filed way beyond the reglementary period. Since petitioner could not be personally served with summons despite diligent efforts to locate his whereabouts. Trial court denied the said motion and held that the rules did not require such execution with the clerk of court. filed a complaint for a sum of money against petitioner Pedro Santos Jr. a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines. Petitioner appeals to the CA via a petition for certiorari but failed and even sustained the trial courts decision and ordered the former to pay the amount plus legal interest and cost of suit. 3. Petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and to Admit Attached Answer. The in rem/in personam distinction was significant under the old rule because it was silent as to the kind of action to which the rule was applicable but this has been changed. VS PNOC EXPLORATION CORPORATION 566 SCRA 272 FACTS: PNOC Exploration Corporation.

Such a policy would perpetuate conflicts instead of attaining their just solution. and aim to favor usurpers.221). therefore. art. The first reason is that Section 7 of Act 1170 of the old Philippine Legislature. 1947. double dealing. at the time of the acquisition of the Tambobong Estate by the Government. respondent herein. 539. while the Commonwealth acts deleted the term "actual" and solely used the words "bona fide occupant". ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners are bona fide occupants of the lot in question. ignorance of a superior claim. et al . for resale at reasonable prices to " their bona fide tenants or occupants. 17 Atl. The term "bona fide occupant" (admittedly petitioner is not a tenant) has been defined as "one who supposes he has a good title and knows of no adverse claim" (Philips vs. 539. The essence of the bona fides or good faith. Ware to that of a possessor in good faith in our Civil Law (Civil Code of 1889.BERNARDO VS BERNARDO 96 PHIL 202 FACTS: On December 31. thereby emphasizing the requirement that the prospective beneficiaries of the acts should be endowed with legitimate tenure. art. the Republic of the Philippines purchased from Roman Catholic Church the estate known as the "Capelania de Tambobong" in Malabon. as the term is used in Commonwealth Act. Petitioners Enrique Bernardo. 220. and absence of intention to over each another. under the provisions of section 1. It is safe to say that the term "bona fide occupants" was not designed to cloak and protect violence. Bernardo. the government could not simply lay aside moral standards. plainly indicating that "actual" and "bona fide" are not synonymous. The SC ruled that a person who. The second reason is that in carrying out its social readjustment policies. strategy. Rizal. and intruders. Said Act authorizes the expropriation or purchase of private lands and that lands acquired thereunder should be subdivided into lots. or breach of trust.. "one who not only honestly supposes himself to be vested with true title but is ignorant that the title is contested by any other person claiming a superior right to it" (Gresham vs. and who does not own the house erected on such lot. has been gratuitously occupying a lot therein by mere tolerance of its lessee. HELD: No. is not a "bona fide occupant" entitled to its acquisition. 433. . contested the application and claimed preferential right to such purchase. and on January 12. The respondents then appealed to the Court of First Instance of Rizal. employs the terms "actual bona fide settlers and occupants". new Civil Code. Enrique does not come under the description of bona fide tenant or occupant employed in the statute. unmindful of the lawful or unlawful origin and character of their occupancy. Stroup. lies in honest belief in the validity of one's right. of Commonwealth Act No. 1948. the Rural Progress Administration resolved to recognize the petitioners as entitled to preference. applied to the Rural Progress Administration for the purchase of the lot in question." Crisostomo R. It is also in contrary that the words "bona fide occupants" employed in the Commonwealth Acts are equivalent to "actual" occupants. squatters. 526). and the latter upheld their claim. and the decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. No.

meters and including the application for revocable permit to occupy the said land for planting of Bakawan which later develop to fishpond seven years later after acquiring ordinary fishpond permit from BFAR. 7-1. ISSUE: Whether or not the continues and exclusive possession of the private respondent could nullify the petitioner’s preferential right to lease the land by reason of his riparian rights? RULING: The Director of Land ruled that the disputed land was subject to “reparian rights” which may he invoked by petitioner Julian Santulan as owner of the upland in accordance with section 32 of Lands Administrative Order No. 29. and that he had used it as a site of his fish corrals. 986 of the Kawit cadastre. The 1942 foreshore lease applications of Petitioner Santulan and private respondent Lusin gave rise to Bureau of Lands Conflict. and the petitioner was the first to enter the land and to make dikes thereon. It was found out that the disputed land is foreshore land covered and uncovered by the flow and ebb of the ordinary tides that is an extension of Santulan’s Lot No. registered in his name in 1937 under Original Certificate of Title No. Kawit Cavite. and allegedly converted two (2) hectares into fishpond enclosed with mud dikes and provided with a concrete sluice gate and another sluice gate made of wood. . private respondent Lusin was reported and was being summoned that he was illegally entered the area covered by the petitioners fishpond permit and was refrain from introducing improvements. On the northern part of the land bordering the bay were bamboo stakes placed at close intervals to serve as water breakers to protect the mud dikes from being washed away by the action of the sea. 1942 to lease for five (5) years for agricultural purposes an area of 36. 6 which was issued by virtue of a free patent. with an area of 17. The private respondent said that he introduced the alleged improvements from 1951 to 1953. The Petitioner Santulan surveyed the land on December 5.PEOPLE VS DELA CUESTA 304 SCRA 83 FACTS: Petitioner Julian Santulan and Antonio Lusin who have been succeeded by their heirs were rival claimants with respect to the lease of a parcel of foreshore land of public domain with an area of about 4 ½ hectares located at Barrio Kaingin. However. 120 sq. 1942 and filed an application on Dec. On the other hand. private respondent Lusin filed applications 1n 1942 and 1945 for a revocablepermit and a lease of a foreshore for the purpose of producing salt in the said land. 301 square meters. He also contends that he had been in the continues and exclusive possession of the land since 1920 when it was still under water. and the said foreshore land was allegedly formed by soil deposits accumulated by the alluvial action of the sea.

Strictly speaking. the rejection of the private respondent’s revocable permit and foreshore lease is proper. meaning the owners of lands bordering the shore of the sea or lake or other tidal waters. and latter’s allegation with respect to the possession and improvements could not nullify the petitioner’s preferential right to lease the land by reason of his riparian rights. subject to the laws and regulations governing lands of this nature. 1936 32. The littoral is the coastal region including both the land along the coast and the water near the coast or the shore zone between the high and low watermarks. marshy lands or lands covered with water bordering upon shores or banks of navigable lakes or rivers. “Riparian owner" embraces not only the owners of lands on the banks of rivers but also the littoral owners. 7-1 dated April 30. A riparian owner is a person who owns land situated on the bank of a river. Lands Administrative Order No. "riparian" refers to rivers. . shall be given preference to apply for such lands adjoining his property as may not be needed for the public service. provided that he applies therefore within sixty (60) days from the date he receives a communication from the Director of Lands advising him of his preferential right. Preference of the Reparian Owner The owner of the property adjoining foreshore lands.Private Respondent Antonio Lusin was found out to be possessor in bad faith. Therefore.

Slander. Hence. in said city. the said accused. 1959. of the same Code. and with the malicious intent of exposing him to public hatred. theatrical exhibition. Quiapo. cinematographic exhibition. feloniously. maliciously and publicly call said Mayor Arsenio H. Defendant moved to quash this information upon the ground that the crime charged therein is. thru the medium of an amplifier system and before a crowd of around a hundred persons. — Oral defamation shall be punished by arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period if it is of a serious and insulting nature. Philippines. which are false. painting. shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from 200 to 6. in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party. or any similar means. in the course of a political speech delivered at 392 Fraternal. pinakawalang hiyang Alkalde. in the City of Manila. not libel. Lacson. but solely for the purpose of injuring the name and reputation of said Mayor Arsenio H. malicious and highly defamatory statements against Mayor Arsenio H. or both. and of impeaching and besmirching the latter's virtue. Lacson and to expose him to public hatred. under Article 358 of the Revised Penal Code. ART. otherwise the penalty shall bearresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos". . for the evident purpose of injuring the name and reputation of Arsenio H. did then and there wilfully. quashed the information. 355. 1960. — A libel committed by means of writing. honor and reputation. Lacson. delivered with no good intentions or justifiable motive. printing. Mayor Lacson raped a woman at the Aroma Cafe and another City Hall employee in Shellborne Hotel". accordingly.000 pesos.PEOPLE VS SANTIAGO 5 SCRA 231 The information herein alleges that defendant Isauro Santiago has committed the crime of "libel" as follows: That on or about the 5th day of October 1959. in relation to Article 353. contempt and ridicule. or more than six (6) months prior to the filing of the information on August 11. honesty. phonograph. this appeal by the prosecution. Said provisions read: ART. 358. engraving. Lacson. Libel by means of writings or similar means. contempt and ridicule. with costs de oficio. to wit: "Arsenio Hayop Lacson. or libel. The only issue in this case is whether the crime charged in the information is oral defamation. The Court of First Instance of Manila granted this motion and. but oral defamation. radio. it having been allegedly committed on October 5. the following. under Article 355. which has already prescribed. lithography.

L. Bengzon. printing. condition. or any act. thru which the defamatory statements imputed to the accused were allegedly made.R.ART. theatrical exhibition or cinematographical exhibition" — all of which have a common characteristic. Nules vs. radio. 963). . falls within the purview of the terms "writing.. . phonograph. engraving. PA-124 A. and this explains the graver penalty for libel than that prescribed for oral defamation. p. or of a vice or defect. but not appearing thereon (Summit Hotel Co. discredit. painting. is on leave. 82. . 18 Encyclopedia Britanica. Padilla. in view of which the order appealed from is affirmed. The prosecution maintains that "the medium of an amplifier system". or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor. Thus. real or imaginary. cinematographic exhibition. it has been held that slanderous statements forming part of a manuscript read by a speaker over the radio constitute libel (Sorensen vs. theatrical exhibition. National Broadcasting Co. at least. that in "amplifier system" is a means "similar" to "radio".R.ñët IN SHORT. 353. painting. or on April 5. or contempt of a natural or juridical person. . . Revised Penal Code).L. This pretense is untenable. . Reyes. Wasner. namely. Secondly. 20 P. Definition of libel. without special pronouncement as to costs. which prescribed six (6) months after its commission. concur. lithography. over four (4) months before the filing of said information. J. omission. or any similar means". 877). status.. 1109. printing. It is so ordered. and the receiver . Bautista Angelo. . C. "is not thru "electromagnetic waves" and is with the use of "conducting wires" intervening between the transmitter . in the sense. Barrera. whereas the rules governing such offense were declared inapplicable to extemporaneous remarks of scurrilous nature. even the word "radio" used in said Article 355. or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.1äwphï1. lithography. made ad libitum in the course of a radio broadcast by a person hired to read a prepared text.L. . appearing in said Article 355. 285).J. should be considered in relation to the terms with which it is associated — "writing. JJ. also. such as the one mentioned in the information.W. "while transmission of words by means of an amplifier system". phonograph. [2d] 487. engraving . Paredes and Dizon.R.. the facts alleged in the information constitute the crime of oral defamation punished in Article 358 of the Revised Penal Code. 1960 (Articles 90 and 91. vs. their permanent nature as a means of publication. as correctly stated in defendant's brief.B. 243 N.L. — A libel is a public and malicious imputation of a crime. 82 A.. "radio as a means of publication is "the transmission and reception of electromagnetic waves without conducting wires intervening between transmitter and receiver" (Library of Universal Knowledge)" (see. Wood. 104 A. To begin with.