You are on page 1of 40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

TodayisSunday,October30,2016

RepublicofthePhilippines
SUPREMECOURT
Manila
ENBANC
G.R.No.159618February1,2011
BAYANMUNA,asrepresentedbyRep.SATUROCAMPO,Rep.CRISPINBELTRAN,andRep.LIZAL.MAZA,
Petitioner,
vs.
ALBERTOROMULO,inhiscapacityasExecutiveSecretary,andBLASF.OPLE,inhiscapacityasSecretary
ofForeignAffairs,Respondents.
DECISION
VELASCO,JR.,J.:
TheCase
Thispetition1forcertiorari,mandamusandprohibitionunderRule65assailsandseekstonullifytheNonSurrender
AgreementconcludedbyandbetweentheRepublicofthePhilippines(RP)andtheUnitedStatesofAmerica(USA).
TheFacts
Petitioner Bayan Muna is a duly registered partylist group established to represent the marginalized sectors of
society.RespondentBlasF.Ople,nowdeceased,wastheSecretaryofForeignAffairsduringtheperiodmaterialto
thiscase.RespondentAlbertoRomulowasimpleadedinhiscapacityasthenExecutiveSecretary.2
RomeStatuteoftheInternationalCriminalCourt
HavingakeydeterminativebearingonthiscaseistheRomeStatute3establishingtheInternationalCriminalCourt
(ICC)with"thepowertoexerciseitsjurisdictionoverpersonsforthemostseriouscrimesofinternationalconcernx
xxandshallbecomplementarytothenationalcriminaljurisdictions."4Theseriouscrimesadvertedtocoverthose
considered grave under international law, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of
aggression.5
OnDecember28,2000,theRP,throughChargedAffairesEnriqueA.Manalo,signedtheRomeStatutewhich,by
itsterms,is"subjecttoratification,acceptanceorapproval"bythesignatorystates.6Asofthefilingoftheinstant
petition, only 92 out of the 139 signatory countries appear to have completed the ratification, approval and
concurrenceprocess.ThePhilippinesisnotamongthe92.
RPUSNonSurrenderAgreement
OnMay9,2003,thenAmbassadorFrancisJ.RicciardonesentUSEmbassyNoteNo.0470totheDepartmentof
Foreign Affairs (DFA) proposing the terms of the nonsurrender bilateral agreement (Agreement, hereinafter)
betweentheUSAandtheRP.
ViaExchangeofNotesNo.BFO028037datedMay13,2003(E/NBFO02803,hereinafter),theRP,represented
bythenDFASecretaryOple,agreedwithandacceptedtheUSproposalsembodiedundertheUSEmbassyNote
advertedtoandputineffecttheAgreementwiththeUSgovernment.Inesse,theAgreementaimstoprotectwhatit
refers to and defines as "persons" of the RP and US from frivolous and harassment suits that might be brought
againstthemininternationaltribunals.8Itisreflectiveoftheincreasingpaceofthestrategicsecurityanddefense
partnershipbetweenthetwocountries.AsofMay2,2003,similarbilateralagreementshavebeeneffectedbyand
betweentheUSand33othercountries.9
TheAgreementpertinentlyprovidesasfollows:
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

1/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

1. For purposes of this Agreement, "persons" are current or former Government officials, employees
(includingcontractors),ormilitarypersonnelornationalsofoneParty.
2.PersonsofonePartypresentintheterritoryoftheothershallnot,absenttheexpressconsentofthefirst
Party,
(a) be surrendered or transferred by any means to any international tribunal for any purpose, unless
suchtribunalhasbeenestablishedbytheUNSecurityCouncil,or
(b) be surrendered or transferred by any means to any other entity or third country, or expelled to a
third country, for the purpose of surrender to or transfer to any international tribunal, unless such
tribunalhasbeenestablishedbytheUNSecurityCouncil.
3.Whenthe[US]extradites,surrenders,orotherwisetransfersapersonofthePhilippinestoathirdcountry,
the [US] will not agree to the surrender or transfer of that person by the third country to any international
tribunal,unlesssuchtribunalhasbeenestablishedbytheUNSecurityCouncil,absenttheexpressconsentof
theGovernmentoftheRepublicofthePhilippines[GRP].
4.Whenthe[GRP]extradites,surrenders,orotherwisetransfersapersonofthe[USA]toathirdcountry,the
[GRP] will not agree to the surrender or transfer of that person by the third country to any international
tribunal,unlesssuchtribunalhasbeenestablishedbytheUNSecurityCouncil,absenttheexpressconsentof
theGovernmentofthe[US].
5.ThisAgreementshallremaininforceuntiloneyearafterthedateonwhichonepartynotifiestheotherof
itsintenttoterminatetheAgreement.TheprovisionsofthisAgreementshallcontinuetoapplywithrespectto
anyactoccurring,oranyallegationarising,beforetheeffectivedateoftermination.
InresponsetoaqueryofthenSolicitorGeneralAlfredoL.Benipayoonthestatusofthenonsurrenderagreement,
AmbassadorRicciardonerepliedinhisletterofOctober28,2003thattheexchangeofdiplomaticnotesconstituted
alegallybindingagreementunderinternationallawandthat,underUSlaw,thesaidagreementdidnotrequirethe
adviceandconsentoftheUSSenate.10
In this proceeding, petitioner imputes grave abuse of discretion to respondents in concluding and ratifying the
Agreementandpraysthatitbestruckdownasunconstitutional,oratleastdeclaredaswithoutforceandeffect.
Fortheirpart,respondentsquestionpetitionersstandingtomaintainasuitandcounterthattheAgreement,beingin
thenatureofanexecutiveagreement,doesnotrequireSenateconcurrenceforitsefficacy.Andforreasonsdetailed
intheircomment,respondentsasserttheconstitutionalityoftheAgreement.
TheIssues
I. WHETHER THE [RP] PRESIDENT AND THE [DFA] SECRETARY x x x GRAVELY ABUSED THEIR
DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION FOR CONCLUDING THE RPUS
NON SURRENDER AGREEMENT BY MEANS OF [E/N] BFO02803 DATED 13 MAY 2003, WHEN THE
PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT HAS ALREADY SIGNED THE ROME STATUTE OF THE [ICC] ALTHOUGH
THISISPENDINGRATIFICATIONBYTHEPHILIPPINESENATE.
A.WhetherbyenteringintothexxxAgreementRespondentsgravelyabusedtheirdiscretionwhen
theycapriciouslyabandoned,waivedandrelinquishedouronlylegitimaterecoursethroughtheRome
Statuteofthe[ICC]toprosecuteandtry"persons"asdefinedinthexxxAgreement,xxxorliterally
anyconduitofAmericaninterests,whohavecommittedcrimesofgenocide,crimesagainsthumanity,
warcrimesandthecrimeofaggression,therebyabdicatingPhilippineSovereignty.
B. Whether after the signing and pending ratification of the Rome Statute of the [ICC] the [RP]
Presidentandthe[DFA]Secretaryxxxareobligedbytheprincipleofgoodfaithtorefrainfromdoing
allactswhichwouldsubstantiallyimpairthevalueoftheundertakingassigned.
C.WhetherthexxxAgreementconstitutesanactwhichdefeatstheobjectandpurposeoftheRome
StatuteoftheInternationalCriminalCourtandcontravenestheobligationofgoodfaithinherentinthe
signature of the President affixed on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and if so
whetherthexxxAgreementisvoidandunenforceableonthisground.
D. Whether the RPUS NonSurrender Agreement is void and unenforceable for grave abuse of
discretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdictioninconnectionwithitsexecution.
II. WHETHER THE RPUS NON SURRENDER AGREEMENT IS VOID AB INITIO FOR CONTRACTING
OBLIGATIONS THAT ARE EITHER IMMORAL OR OTHERWISE AT VARIANCE WITH UNIVERSALLY
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

2/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

RECOGNIZEDPRINCIPLESOFINTERNATIONALLAW.
III. WHETHER THE x x x AGREEMENT IS VALID, BINDING AND EFFECTIVE WITHOUT THE
CONCURRENCEBYATLEASTTWOTHIRDS(2/3)OFALLTHEMEMBERSOFTHESENATExxx.11
Theforegoingissuesmaybesummarizedintotwo:first,whetherornottheAgreementwascontractedvalidly,which
resolvesitselfintothequestionofwhetherornotrespondentsgravelyabusedtheirdiscretioninconcludingitand
second,whetherornottheAgreement,whichhasnotbeensubmittedtotheSenateforconcurrence,contravenes
andunderminestheRomeStatuteandothertreaties.Butbecauserespondentsexpectedlyraisedit,weshallfirst
tackletheissueofpetitionerslegalstanding.
TheCourtsRuling
Thispetitionisbereftofmerit.
ProceduralIssue:LocusStandiofPetitioner
Petitioner, through its three partylist representatives, contends that the issue of the validity or invalidity of the
Agreementcarrieswithitconstitutionalsignificanceandisofparamountimportancethatjustifiesitsstanding.Cited
in this regard is what is usually referred to as the emergency powers cases,12 in which ordinary citizens and
taxpayerswereaccordedthepersonalitytoquestiontheconstitutionalityofexecutiveissuances.
Locus standi is "a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question."13 Specifically, it is "a partys
personalandsubstantialinterestinacasewherehehassustainedorwillsustaindirectinjuryasaresult"14ofthe
actbeingchallenged,and"callsformorethanjustageneralizedgrievance."15Theterm"interest"referstomaterial
interest,asdistinguishedfromonethatismerelyincidental.16Therationaleforrequiringapartywhochallengesthe
validityofalaworinternationalagreementtoallegesuchapersonalstakeintheoutcomeofthecontroversyis"to
assure the concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely
dependsforilluminationofdifficultconstitutionalquestions."17
Locusstandi,however,ismerelyamatterofprocedureandithasbeenrecognizedthat,insomecases,suitsare
notbroughtbypartieswhohavebeenpersonallyinjuredbytheoperationofalaworanyothergovernmentact,but
byconcernedcitizens,taxpayers,orvoterswhoactuallysueinthepublicinterest.18Consequently,inacatenaof
cases,19thisCourthasinvariablyadoptedaliberalstanceonlocusstandi.
Going by the petition, petitioners representatives pursue the instant suit primarily as concerned citizens raising
issuesoftranscendentalimportance,bothfortheRepublicandthecitizenryasawhole.
When suing as a citizen to question the validity of a law or other government action, a petitioner needs to meet
certain specific requirements before he can be clothed with standing. Francisco, Jr. v. Nagmamalasakit na mga
ManananggolngmgaManggagawangPilipino,Inc.20expoundedonthisrequirement,thus:
In a long line of cases, however, concerned citizens, taxpayers and legislators when specific requirements have
beenmethavebeengivenstandingbythisCourt.
Whensuingasacitizen,theinterestofthepetitionerassailingtheconstitutionalityofastatutemustbedirectand
personal.Hemustbeabletoshow,notonlythatthelaworanygovernmentactisinvalid,butalsothathesustained
or is in imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not merely that he
sufferstherebyinsomeindefiniteway.Itmustappearthatthepersoncomplaininghasbeenorisabouttobedenied
some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be subjected to some burdens or
penalties by reason of the statute or act complained of. In fine, when the proceeding involves the assertion of a
publicright,themerefactthatheisacitizensatisfiestherequirementofpersonalinterest.21
Inthecaseatbar,petitionersrepresentativeshavecompliedwiththequalifyingconditionsorspecificrequirements
exacted under the locus standi rule. As citizens, their interest in the subject matter of the petition is direct and
personal.Attheveryleast,theirassertionsquestioningtheAgreementaremadeofapublicright,i.e.,toascertain
thattheAgreementdidnotgoagainstestablishednationalpolicies,practices,andobligationsbearingontheStates
obligationtothecommunityofnations.
Atanyevent,theprimordialimportancetoFilipinocitizensingeneraloftheissueathandimpelstheCourttobrush
asidetheproceduralbarrierposedbythetraditionalrequirementoflocusstandi,aswehavedoneinalonglineof
earliercases,notablyintheoldbutoftcitedemergencypowerscases22andKilosbayanv.Guingona,Jr.23Incases
of transcendental importance, we wrote again in Bayan v. Zamora,24 "The Court may relax the standing
requirementsandallowasuittoprosperevenwherethereisnodirectinjurytothepartyclaimingtherightofjudicial
review."
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

3/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

Moreover,bearinginmindwhattheCourtsaidinTaadav.Angara,"thatitwillnotshirk,digressfromorabandon
its sacred duty and authority to uphold the Constitution in matters that involve grave abuse of discretion brought
before it in appropriate cases, committed by any officer, agency, instrumentality or department of the
government,"25wecannotbutresolveheadontheissuesraisedbeforeus.Indeed,whereanactionofanybranch
of government is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution or is done with grave abuse of discretion, it
becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle it. As in this petition, issues are precisely
raisedputtingtotheforetheproprietyoftheAgreementpendingtheratificationoftheRomeStatute.
ValidityoftheRPUSNonSurrenderAgreement
PetitionersinitialchallengeagainsttheAgreementrelatestoform,itsthresholdposturebeingthatE/NBFO02803
cannotbeavalidmediumforconcludingtheAgreement.
Petitioners contentionperhaps taken unaware of certain wellrecognized international doctrines, practices, and
jargonsis untenable. One of these is the doctrine of incorporation, as expressed in Section 2, Article II of the
Constitution,whereinthePhilippinesadoptsthegenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawandinternational
jurisprudence as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, cooperation, and amity with all
nations.26 An exchange of notes falls "into the category of intergovernmental agreements,"27 which is an
internationallyacceptedformofinternationalagreement.TheUnitedNationsTreatyCollections(TreatyReference
Guide)definesthetermasfollows:
An"exchangeofnotes"isarecordofaroutineagreement,thathasmanysimilaritieswiththeprivatelawcontract.
Theagreementconsistsoftheexchangeoftwodocuments,eachofthepartiesbeinginthepossessionoftheone
signed by the representative of the other. Under the usual procedure, the accepting State repeats the text of the
offering State to record its assent. The signatories of the letters may be government Ministers, diplomats or
departmental heads. The technique of exchange of notes is frequently resorted to, either because of its speedy
procedure,or,sometimes,toavoidtheprocessoflegislativeapproval.28
In another perspective, the terms "exchange of notes" and "executive agreements" have been used
interchangeably,exchangeofnotesbeingconsideredaformofexecutiveagreementthatbecomesbindingthrough
executiveaction.29Ontheotherhand,executiveagreementsconcludedbythePresident"sometimestaketheform
ofexchangeofnotesandatothertimesthatofmoreformaldocumentsdenominatedagreementsorprotocols."30
AsformerUSHighCommissionertothePhilippinesFrancisB.Sayreobservedinhiswork,TheConstitutionalityof
TradeAgreementActs:
The point where ordinary correspondence between this and other governments ends and agreements whether
denominatedexecutiveagreementsorexchangeofnotesorotherwisebegin,maysometimesbedifficultofready
ascertainment.31xxx
ItisfairlyclearfromtheforegoingdisquisitionthatE/NBFO02803beitviewedastheNonSurrenderAgreement
itself, or as an integral instrument of acceptance thereof or as consent to be boundis a recognized mode of
concludingalegallybindinginternationalwrittencontractamongnations.
SenateConcurrenceNotRequired
Article2oftheViennaConventionontheLawofTreatiesdefinesatreatyas"aninternationalagreementconcluded
betweenstatesinwrittenformandgovernedbyinternationallaw,whetherembodiedinasingleinstrumentorintwo
ormorerelatedinstrumentsandwhateveritsparticulardesignation."32Internationalagreementsmaybeintheform
of(1)treatiesthatrequirelegislativeconcurrenceafterexecutiveratificationor(2)executiveagreementsthatare
similartotreaties,exceptthattheydonotrequirelegislativeconcurrenceandareusuallylessformalanddealwitha
narrowerrangeofsubjectmattersthantreaties.33
Underinternationallaw,thereisnodifferencebetweentreatiesandexecutiveagreementsintermsoftheirbinding
effects on thecontractingstatesconcerned,34 aslong asthenegotiating functionarieshaveremainedwithin their
powers.35 Neither, on the domestic sphere, can one be held valid if it violates the Constitution.36 Authorities are,
however, agreed that one is distinct from another for accepted reasons apart from the concurrencerequirement
aspect.37 As has been observed by US constitutional scholars, a treaty has greater "dignity" than an executive
agreement, because its constitutional efficacy is beyond doubt, a treaty having behind it the authority of the
President, the Senate, and the people38 a ratified treaty, unlike an executive agreement, takes precedence over
anypriorstatutoryenactment.39
PetitionerparlaysthenotionthattheAgreementisofdubiousvalidity,partakingasitdoesofthenatureofatreaty
hence,itmustbedulyconcurredinbytheSenate.PetitionertakesacuefromCommissionerofCustomsv.Eastern
SeaTrading,inwhichtheCourtreproducedthefollowingobservationsmadebyUSlegalscholars:"[I]nternational
agreementsinvolvingpoliticalissuesorchangesofnationalpolicyandthoseinvolvinginternationalarrangementsof
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

4/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

apermanentcharacterusuallytaketheformoftreaties[while]thoseembodyingadjustmentsofdetailcarryingout
well established national policies and traditions and those involving arrangements of a more or less temporary
naturetaketheformofexecutiveagreements."40
Pressing its point, petitioner submits that the subject of the Agreement does not fall under any of the subject
categories that are enumerated in the Eastern Sea Trading case, and that may be covered by an executive
agreement, such as commercial/consular relations, mostfavored nation rights, patent rights, trademark and
copyrightprotection,postalandnavigationarrangementsandsettlementofclaims.
In addition, petitioner foists the applicability to the instant case of Adolfo v. CFI of Zambales and Merchant,41
holdingthatanexecutiveagreementthroughanexchangeofnotescannotbeusedtoamendatreaty.
Wearenotpersuaded.
ThecategorizationofsubjectmattersthatmaybecoveredbyinternationalagreementsmentionedinEastern Sea
Tradingisnotcastinstone.Therearenohardandfastrulesontheproprietyofentering,onagivensubject,intoa
treatyoranexecutiveagreementasaninstrumentofinternationalrelations.Theprimaryconsiderationinthechoice
oftheformofagreementisthepartiesintentanddesiretocraftaninternationalagreementintheformtheysowish
tofurthertheirrespectiveinterests.Verily,thematterofformtakesabackseatwhenitcomestoeffectivenessand
binding effect of the enforcement of a treaty or an executive agreement, as the parties in either international
agreementeachlaborunderthepactasuntservanda42principle.
Asmaybenoted,almosthalfacenturyhaselapsedsincetheCourtrendereditsdecisioninEasternSeaTrading.
Sincethen,theconductofforeignaffairshasbecomemorecomplexandthedomainofinternationallawwider,asto
include such subjects as human rights, the environment, and the sea. In fact, in the US alone, the executive
agreements executed by its President from 1980 to 2000 covered subjects such as defense, trade, scientific
cooperation,aviation,atomicenergy,environmentalcooperation,peacecorps,armslimitation,andnuclearsafety,
amongothers.43Surely,theenumerationinEasternSeaTradingcannotcircumscribetheoptionofeachstateon
the matter of which the international agreement format would be convenient to serve its best interest. As Francis
Sayresaidinhisworkreferredtoearlier:
xxxItwouldbeuselesstoundertaketodiscussherethelargevarietyofexecutiveagreementsassuchconcluded
fromtimetotime.Hundredsofexecutiveagreements,otherthanthoseenteredintounderthetradeagreementact,
have been negotiated with foreign governments. x x x They cover such subjects as the inspection of vessels,
navigation dues, income tax on shipping profits, the admission of civil air craft, custom matters and commercial
relationsgenerally,internationalclaims,postalmatters,theregistrationoftrademarksandcopyrights,etc.xxx
And lest it be overlooked, one type of executive agreement is a treatyauthorized44 or a treatyimplementing
executiveagreement,45whichnecessarilywouldcoverthesamematterssubjectoftheunderlyingtreaty.
Butoverandabovetheforegoingconsiderationsisthefactthatsaveforthesituationandmatterscontemplatedin
Sec.25,Art.XVIIIoftheConstitution46whenatreatyisrequired,theConstitutiondoesnotclassifyanysubject,
like that involving political issues, to be in the form of, and ratified as, a treaty. What the Constitution merely
prescribesisthattreatiesneedtheconcurrenceoftheSenatebyavotedefinedthereintocompletetheratification
process.
PetitionersrelianceonAdolfo47ismisplaced,saidcasebeinginapplicableowingtodifferentfactualmilieus.There,
the Court held that an executive agreement cannot be used to amend a duly ratified and existing treaty, i.e., the
BasesTreaty.Indeed,anexecutiveagreementthatdoesnotrequiretheconcurrenceoftheSenateforitsratification
maynotbeusedtoamendatreatythat,undertheConstitution,istheproductoftheratifyingactsoftheExecutive
and the Senate. The presence of a treaty, purportedly being subject to amendment by an executive agreement,
doesnotobtainunderthepremises.
Consideringtheabovediscussion,theCourtneednotbelaboratlengththethirdmainissueraised,referringtothe
validity and effectivity of the Agreement without the concurrence by at least twothirds of all the members of the
Senate.TheCourthas,inEasternSeaTrading,48asreiteratedinBayan,49givenrecognitiontotheobligatoryeffect
ofexecutiveagreementswithouttheconcurrenceoftheSenate:
x x x [T]he right of the Executive to enter into binding agreements without the necessity of subsequent
Congressionalapprovalhasbeenconfirmedbylongusage.Fromtheearliestdaysofourhistory,wehaveentered
executive agreements covering such subjects as commercial and consular relations, most favorednation rights,
patentrights,trademarkandcopyrightprotection,postalandnavigationarrangementsandthesettlementofclaims.
Thevalidityofthesehasneverbeenseriouslyquestionedbyourcourts.
TheAgreementNotinContraventionoftheRomeStatute
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

5/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

ItisthepetitionersnextcontentionthattheAgreementunderminestheestablishmentoftheICCandisnullandvoid
insofarasitundulyrestrictstheICCsjurisdictionandinfringesupontheeffectivityoftheRomeStatute.Petitioner
positsthattheAgreementwasconstitutedsolelyforthepurposeofprovidingindividualsorgroupsofindividualswith
immunityfromthejurisdictionoftheICCandsuchgrantofimmunitythroughnonsurrenderagreementsallegedly
doesnotlegitimatelyfallwithinthescopeofArt.98oftheRomeStatute.Itconcludesthatstatepartieswithnon
surrenderagreementsarepreventedfrommeetingtheirobligationsundertheRomeStatute,therebyconstitutinga
breachofArts.27,5086,518952and9053thereof.
PetitionerstressesthattheoverallobjectandpurposeoftheRomeStatuteistoensurethatthoseresponsiblefor
the worst possible crimes are brought to justice in all cases, primarily by states, but as a last resort, by the ICC
thus,anyagreementlikethenonsurrenderagreementthatprecludestheICCfromexercisingitscomplementary
function of acting when a state is unable to or unwilling to do so, defeats the object and purpose of the Rome
Statute.
Petitioner would add that the President and the DFA Secretary, as representatives of a signatory of the Rome
Statute, are obliged by the imperatives of good faith to refrain from performing acts that substantially devalue the
purpose and object of the Statute, as signed. Adding a nullifying ingredient to the Agreement, according to
petitioner,isthefactthatithasanimmoralpurposeorisotherwiseatvariancewithapriorlyexecutedtreaty.
Contrary to petitioners pretense, the Agreement does not contravene or undermine, nor does it differ from, the
RomeStatute.Farfromgoingagainsteachother,onecomplementstheother.Asamatteroffact,theprincipleof
complementarityunderpinsthecreationoftheICC.Asaptlypointedoutbyrespondentsandadmittedbypetitioners,
thejurisdictionoftheICCisto"becomplementarytonationalcriminaljurisdictions[ofthesignatorystates]."54Art.1
oftheRomeStatutepertinentlyprovides:
Article1
TheCourt
AnInternationalCrimininalCourt("theCourt")isherebyestablished.Itxxxshallhavethepowertoexerciseits
jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of international concern, as referred to in this Statute, and
shallbecomplementarytonationalcriminaljurisdictions.ThejurisdictionandfunctioningoftheCourtshallbe
governedbytheprovisionsofthisStatute.(Emphasisours.)
Significantly, the sixth preambular paragraph of the Rome Statute declares that "it is the duty of every State to
exerciseitscriminaljurisdictionoverthoseresponsibleforinternationalcrimes."Thisprovisionindicatesthatprimary
jurisdiction over the socalled international crimes rests, at the first instance, with the state where the crime was
committed secondarily, with the ICC in appropriate situations contemplated under Art. 17, par. 155 of the Rome
Statute.
Ofparticularnoteistheapplicationoftheprincipleofnebisinidem56underpar.3ofArt.20,RomeStatute,which
againunderscorestheprimacyofthejurisdictionofastatevisavisthatoftheICC.Asfarasrelevant,theprovision
states that "no person who has been tried by another court for conduct x x x [constituting crimes within its
jurisdiction]shallbetriedbythe[InternationalCriminal]Courtwithrespecttothesameconductxxx."
The foregoing provisions of the Rome Statute, taken collectively, argue against the idea of jurisdictional conflict
between the Philippines, as party to the nonsurrender agreement, and the ICC or the idea of the Agreement
substantiallyimpairingthevalueoftheRPsundertakingundertheRomeStatute.Ignoringforawhilethefactthat
the RP signed the Rome Statute ahead of the Agreement, it is abundantly clear to us that the Rome Statute
expressly recognizes the primary jurisdiction of states, like the RP, over serious crimes committed within their
respectiveborders,thecomplementaryjurisdictionoftheICCcomingintoplayonlywhenthesignatorystatesare
unwillingorunabletoprosecute.
Given the above consideration, petitioners suggestionthat the RP, by entering into the Agreement, violated its
duty required by the imperatives of good faith and breached its commitment under the Vienna Convention57 to
refrainfromperforminganyacttendingtoimpairthevalueofatreaty,e.g.,theRomeStatutehastoberejected
outright. For nothing in the provisions of the Agreement, in relation to the Rome Statute, tends to diminish the
efficacyoftheStatute,letalonedefeatsthepurposeoftheICC.Lestitbeoverlooked,theRomeStatutecontainsa
proviso that enjoins the ICC from seeking the surrender of an erring person, should the process require the
requestedstatetoperformanactthatwouldviolatesomeinternationalagreementithasenteredinto.Wereferto
Art.98(2)oftheRomeStatute,whichreads:
Article98
Cooperationwithrespecttowaiverofimmunity
andconsenttosurrender
xxxx
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

6/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

2. The Court may not proceed with a request for surrender which would require the requested State to act
inconsistentlywithitsobligationsunderinternationalagreementspursuanttowhichtheconsentofasendingStateis
required to surrender a person of that State to the Court, unless the Court can first obtain the cooperation of the
sendingStateforthegivingofconsentforthesurrender.
Moreover, under international law, there is a considerable difference between a StateParty and a signatory to a
treaty. Under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a signatory state is only obliged to refrain from acts
whichwoulddefeattheobjectandpurposeofatreaty58whereasaStateParty,ontheotherhand,islegallyobliged
tofollowalltheprovisionsofatreatyingoodfaith.
Intheinstantcase,itbearsstressingthatthePhilippinesisonlyasignatorytotheRomeStatuteandnotaState
PartyforlackofratificationbytheSenate.Thus,itisonlyobligedtorefrainfromactswhichwoulddefeattheobject
andpurposeoftheRomeStatute.AnyargumentobligingthePhilippinestofollowanyprovisioninthetreatywould
bepremature.
As a result, petitioners argument that StateParties with nonsurrender agreements are prevented from meeting
their obligations under the Rome Statute, specifically Arts. 27, 86, 89 and 90, must fail. These articles are only
legallybindinguponStateParties,notsignatories.
Furthermore, a careful reading of said Art. 90 would show that the Agreement is not incompatible with the Rome
Statute. Specifically, Art. 90(4) provides that "[i]f the requesting State is a State not Party to this Statute the
requestedState,ifitisnotunderaninternationalobligationtoextraditethepersontotherequestingState,shallgive
prioritytotherequestforsurrenderfromtheCourt.xxx"Inapplyingtheprovision,certainundisputedfactsshould
bepointedout:first,theUSisneitheraStatePartynorasignatorytotheRomeStatuteandsecond,thereisan
internationalagreementbetweentheUSandthePhilippinesregardingextraditionorsurrenderofpersons,i.e.,the
Agreement. Clearly, even assuming that the Philippines is a StateParty, the Rome Statute still recognizes the
primacyofinternationalagreementsenteredintobetweenStates,evenwhenoneoftheStatesisnotaStateParty
totheRomeStatute.
SovereigntyLimitedbyInternationalAgreements
PetitionernextarguesthattheRPhas,throughtheAgreement, abdicated its sovereignty by bargaining away the
jurisdictionoftheICCtoprosecuteUSnationals,governmentofficials/employeesormilitarypersonnelwhocommit
serious crimes of international concerns in the Philippines. Formulating petitioners argument a bit differently, the
RP,byenteringintotheAgreement,doestherebyabdicateitssovereignty,abdicationbeingdonebyitswaivingor
abandoning its right to seek recourse through the Rome Statute of the ICC for erring Americans committing
internationalcrimesinthecountry.
Wearenotpersuaded.Asitwere,theAgreementisbutaformofaffirmanceandconfirmanceofthePhilippines
national criminal jurisdiction. National criminal jurisdiction being primary, as explained above, it is always the
responsibility and within the prerogative of the RP either to prosecute criminal offenses equally covered by the
RomeStatuteortoaccedetothejurisdictionoftheICC.Thus,thePhilippinesmaydecidetotry"persons"ofthe
US, as the term is understood in the Agreement, under our national criminal justice system. Or it may opt not to
exerciseitscriminaljurisdictionoveritserringcitizensoroverUS"persons"committinghighcrimesinthecountry
and defer to the secondary criminal jurisdiction of the ICC over them. As to "persons" of the US whom the
Philippines refuses to prosecute, the country would, in effect, accord discretion to the US to exercise either its
national criminal jurisdiction over the "person" concerned or to give its consent to the referral of the matter to the
ICCfortrial.Inthesamebreath,theUSmustextendthesameprivilegetothePhilippineswithrespectto"persons"
oftheRPcommittinghighcrimeswithinUSterritorialjurisdiction.
In the context of the Constitution, there can be no serious objection to the Philippines agreeing to undertake the
thingssetforthintheAgreement.Surely,oneStatecanagreetowaivejurisdictiontotheextentagreeduponto
subjectsofanotherStateduetotherecognitionoftheprincipleofextraterritorialimmunity.WhattheCourtwrotein
Nicolas v. Romulo59a case involving the implementation of the criminal jurisdiction provisions of the RPUS
VisitingForcesAgreementisapropos:
Nothing in the Constitution prohibits such agreements recognizing immunity from jurisdiction or some aspects of
jurisdiction (such as custody), in relation to longrecognized subjects of such immunity like Heads of State,
diplomatsandmembersofthearmedforcescontingentsofaforeignStateallowedtoenteranotherStatesterritory.
xxx
Tobesure,thenullityofthesubjectnonsurrenderagreementcannotbepredicatedonthepostulatethatsomeof
itsprovisionsconstituteavirtualabdicationofitssovereignty.Almosteverytimeastateentersintoaninternational
agreement,itvoluntarilyshedsoffpartofitssovereignty.TheConstitution,asdrafted,didnotenvisionareclusive
Philippines isolated from the rest of the world. It even adheres, as earlier stated, to the policy of cooperation and
amitywithallnations.60
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

7/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

Bytheirnature,treatiesandinternationalagreementsactuallyhavealimitingeffectontheotherwiseencompassing
andabsolutenatureofsovereignty.Bytheirvoluntaryact,nationsmaydecidetosurrenderorwaivesomeaspects
oftheirstatepoweroragreetolimittheexerciseoftheirotherwiseexclusiveandabsolutejurisdiction.Theusual
underlying consideration in this partial surrender may be the greater benefits derived from a pact or a reciprocal
undertakingofonecontractingpartytograntthesameprivilegesorimmunitiestotheother.Ontherationalethatthe
Philippineshasadoptedthegenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawaspartofthelawoftheland,aportion
of sovereignty may be waived without violating the Constitution.61 Such waiver does not amount to an
unconstitutionaldiminutionordeprivationofjurisdictionofPhilippinecourts.62
AgreementNotImmoral/NotatVariance
withPrinciplesofInternationalLaw
PetitionerurgesthattheAgreementbestruckdownasvoidabinitioforimposingimmoralobligationsand/orbeing
atvariancewithallegedlyuniversallyrecognizedprinciplesofinternationallaw.Theimmoralaspectproceedsfrom
thefactthattheAgreement,aspetitionerwouldputit,"leavescriminalsimmunefromresponsibilityforunimaginable
atrocitiesthatdeeplyshocktheconscienceofhumanityxxxitprecludesourcountryfromdeliveringanAmerican
criminaltothe[ICC]xxx."63
Theaboveargumentisakindofrecyclingofpetitionersearlierposition,which,asalreadydiscussed,contendsthat
theRP,byenteringintotheAgreement,virtuallyabdicateditssovereigntyandintheprocessundermineditstreaty
obligationsundertheRomeStatute,contrarytointernationallawprinciples.64
TheCourtisnotpersuaded.Sufficeittostateinthisregardthatthenonsurrenderagreement,asaptlydescribedby
theSolicitorGeneral,"isanassertionbythePhilippinesofitsdesiretotryandpunishcrimesunderitsnationallaw.
xxxTheagreementisarecognitionoftheprimacyandcompetenceofthecountrysjudiciarytotryoffensesunder
itsnationalcriminallawsanddispensejusticefairlyandjudiciously."
Petitioner, we believe, labors under the erroneous impression that the Agreement would allow Filipinos and
Americans committing high crimes of international concern to escape criminal trial and punishment. This is
manifestlyincorrect.PersonswhomayhavecommittedactspenalizedundertheRomeStatutecanbeprosecuted
andpunishedinthePhilippinesorintheUSorwiththeconsentoftheRPortheUS,beforetheICC,assuming,for
the nonce, that all the formalities necessary to bind both countries to the Rome Statute have been met. For
perspective,whattheAgreementcontextuallyprohibitsisthesurrenderbyeitherpartyofindividualstointernational
tribunals, like the ICC, without the consent of the other party, which may desire to prosecute the crime under its
existinglaws.Withtheviewwetakeofthings,thereisnothingimmoralorviolativeofinternationallawconceptsin
theactofthePhilippinesofassumingcriminaljurisdictionpursuanttothenonsurrenderagreementoveranoffense
consideredcriminalbybothPhilippinelawsandtheRomeStatute.
NoGraveAbuseofDiscretion
Petitioners final point revolves around the necessity of the Senates concurrence in the Agreement. And without
specificallysayingso,petitionerwouldarguethatthenonsurrenderagreementwasexecutedbythePresident,thru
theDFASecretary,ingraveabuseofdiscretion.
TheCourtneednotdelveonandbelaborthefirstportionoftheabovepostureofpetitioner,thesamehavingbeen
discussedatlengthearlieron.Astothesecondportion,WewishtostatethatpetitionervirtuallyfaultsthePresident
for performing, through respondents, a task conferred the President by the Constitutionthe power to enter into
internationalagreements.
Byconstitutionalfiatandbythenatureofhisorheroffice,thePresident,asheadofstateandgovernment,isthe
soleorganandauthorityintheexternalaffairsofthecountry.65TheConstitutionvestsinthePresidentthepowerto
enterintointernationalagreements,subject,inappropriatecases,totherequiredconcurrencevotesoftheSenate.
But as earlier indicated, executive agreements may be validly entered into without such concurrence. As the
Presidentwieldsvastpowersandinfluence,herconductintheexternalaffairsofthenationis,asBayanwouldput
it, "executive altogether." The right of the President to enter into or ratify binding executive agreements has been
confirmedbylongpractice.66
In thus agreeing to conclude the Agreement thru E/N BFO02803, then President Gloria MacapagalArroyo,
representedbytheSecretaryofForeignAffairs,actedwithinthescopeoftheauthorityanddiscretionvestedinher
by the Constitution. At the end of the day, the Presidentby ratifying, thru her deputies, the nonsurrender
agreementdidnothingmorethandischargeaconstitutionaldutyandexerciseaprerogativethatpertainstoher
office.
While the issue of ratification of the Rome Statute is not determinative of the other issues raised herein, it may
perhaps be pertinent to remind all and sundry that about the time this petition was interposed, such issue of
ratificationwaslaidtorestinPimentel,Jr.v.OfficeoftheExecutiveSecretary.67AstheCourtemphasizedinsaid
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

8/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

case,thepowertoratifyatreaty,theStatuteinthatinstance,restswiththePresident,subjecttotheconcurrenceof
the Senate, whose role relative to the ratification of a treaty is limited merely to concurring in or withholding the
ratification. And concomitant with this treatymaking power of the President is his or her prerogative to refuse to
submitatreatytotheSenateorhavingsecuredthelattersconsenttotheratificationofthetreaty,refusetoratify
it.68Thisprerogative,theCourthastenedtoadd,isthePresidentsaloneandcannotbeencroacheduponviaawrit
ofmandamus.Barringinterveningevents,then,thePhilippinesremainstobejustasignatorytotheRomeStatute.
UnderArt.12569thereof,thefinalactsrequiredtocompletethetreatyprocessand,thus,bringitintoforce,insofar
asthePhilippinesisconcerned,haveyettobedone.
AgreementNeedNotBeintheFormofaTreaty
OnDecember11,2009,thenPresidentArroyosignedintolawRepublicActNo.(RA)9851,otherwiseknownasthe
"PhilippineActonCrimesAgainstInternationalHumanitarianLaw,Genocide,andOtherCrimesAgainstHumanity."
Sec.17ofRA9851,particularlythesecondparagraphthereof,provides:
Section17.Jurisdiction.xxxx
Intheinterestofjustice,therelevantPhilippineauthoritiesmaydispensewiththeinvestigationorprosecutionofa
crime punishable under this Act if another court or international tribunal is already conducting the investigation or
undertakingtheprosecutionofsuchcrime.Instead,theauthoritiesmaysurrenderorextraditesuspectedoraccused
personsinthePhilippinestotheappropriateinternationalcourt,ifany,ortoanotherStatepursuanttotheapplicable
extraditionlawsandtreaties.(Emphasissupplied.)
AviewisadvancedthattheAgreementamendsexistingmunicipallawsontheStatesobligationinrelationtograve
crimes against the law of nations, i.e., genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Relying on the above
quoted statutory proviso, the view posits that the Philippine is required to surrender to the proper international
tribunal those persons accused of the grave crimes defined under RA 9851, if it does not exercise its primary
jurisdictiontoprosecutethem.
Thebasicpremiserestsontheinterpretationthatifitdoesnotdecidetoprosecuteaforeignnationalforviolationsof
RA9851,thePhilippineshasonlytwooptions,towit:(1)surrendertheaccusedtotheproperinternationaltribunal
or(2)surrendertheaccusedtoanotherStateifsuchsurrenderis"pursuanttotheapplicableextraditionlawsand
treaties."ButthePhilippinesmayexercisetheseoptionsonlyincaseswhere"anothercourtorinternationaltribunal
is already conducting the investigation or undertaking the prosecution of such crime" otherwise, the Philippines
mustprosecutethecrimebeforeitsowncourtspursuanttoRA9851.
PosingthesituationofaUSnationalunderprosecutionbyaninternationaltribunalforanycrimeunderRA9851,the
PhilippineshastheoptiontosurrendersuchUSnationaltotheinternationaltribunalifitdecidesnottoprosecute
suchUSnationalhere.TheviewassertsthatthisoptionofthePhilippinesunderSec.17ofRA9851isnotsubject
totheconsentoftheUS,andanyderogationofSec.17ofRA9851,suchasrequiringtheconsentoftheUSbefore
thePhilippinescanexercisesuchoption,requiresanamendatorylaw.Inlinewiththisscenario,theviewstrongly
argues that the Agreement prevents the Philippineswithout the consent of the USfrom surrendering to any
internationaltribunalUSnationalsaccusedofcrimescoveredbyRA9851,and,thus,ineffectamendsSec.17of
RA 9851. Consequently, the view is strongly impressed that the Agreement cannot be embodied in a simple
executiveagreementintheformofanexchangeofnotesbutmustbeimplementedthroughanextraditionlawora
treatywiththecorrespondingformalities.
Moreover,consonantwiththeforegoingview,citingSec.2,Art.IIoftheConstitution,wherethePhilippinesadopts,
asanationalpolicy,the"generallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawaspartofthelawoftheland,"theCourt
isfurtherimpressedtoperceivetheRomeStatuteasdeclaratoryofcustomaryinternationallaw.Inotherwords,the
Statuteembodiesprinciplesoflawwhichconstitutecustomaryinternationallaworcustomandforwhichreasonit
assumes the status of an enforceable domestic law in the context of the aforecited constitutional provision. As a
corollary, it is argued that any derogation from the Rome Statute principles cannot be undertaken via a mere
executiveagreement,which,asanexclusiveactoftheexecutivebranch,canonlyimplement,butcannotamendor
repeal,anexistinglaw.TheAgreement,sotheargumentgoes,seekstofrustratetheobjectsoftheprinciplesoflaw
oralterscustomaryrulesembodiedintheRomeStatute.
Prescindingfromtheforegoingpremises,theviewthusadvancedconsiderstheAgreementinefficacious,unlessitis
embodiedinatreatydulyratifiedwiththeconcurrenceoftheSenate,thetheorybeingthataSenateratifiedtreaty
partakesofthenatureofamunicipallawthatcanamendorsupersedeanotherlaw,inthisinstanceSec.17ofRA
9851 and the status of the Rome Statute as constitutive of enforceable domestic law under Sec. 2, Art. II of the
Constitution.
Weareunabletolendcogencytotheviewthustaken.Forone,wefindthattheAgreementdoesnotamendoris
repugnant to RA 9851. For another, the view does not clearly state what precise principles of law, if any, the
Agreementalters.Andforathird,itdoesnotdemonstrateintheconcretehowtheAgreementseekstofrustratethe
objectivesoftheprinciplesoflawsubsumedintheRomeStatute.
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

9/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

Far from it, as earlier explained, the Agreement does not undermine the Rome Statute as the former merely
reinforces the primacy of the national jurisdiction of the US and the Philippines in prosecuting criminal offenses
committedbytheirrespectivecitizensandmilitarypersonnel,amongothers.ThejurisdictionoftheICCpursuantto
the Rome Statute over high crimes indicated thereat is clearly and unmistakably complementary to the national
criminaljurisdictionofthesignatorystates.
Moreover,RA9851clearly:(1)definesandestablishesthecrimesagainstinternationalhumanitarianlaw,genocide
andothercrimesagainsthumanity70(2)providespenalsanctionsandcriminalliabilityfortheircommission71and
(3) establishes special courts for the prosecution of these crimes and for the State to exercise primary criminal
jurisdiction.72NowhereinRA9851isthereaprovisothatgoesagainstthetenoroftheAgreement.
Theviewmakesmuchoftheabovequotedsecondpar.ofSec.17,RA9851asrequiringthePhilippineStateto
surrendertotheproperinternationaltribunalthosepersonsaccusedofcrimessanctionedundersaidlawifitdoes
notexerciseitsprimaryjurisdictiontoprosecutesuchpersons.Thisviewisnotentirelycorrect,fortheabovequoted
provisoclearlyprovidesdiscretiontothePhilippineStateonwhethertosurrenderornotapersonaccusedofthe
crimesunderRA9851.Thestatutoryprovisousestheword"may."Itissettleddoctrineinstatutoryconstructionthat
the word "may" denotes discretion, and cannot be construed as having mandatory effect.73 Thus, the pertinent
secondpararagraphofSec.17,RA9851issimplypermissiveonthepartofthePhilippineState.
1avvphi1

Besides, even granting that the surrender of a person is mandatorily required when the Philippines does not
exercise its primary jurisdiction in cases where "another court or international tribunal is already conducting the
investigationorundertakingtheprosecutionofsuchcrime,"still,thetenoroftheAgreementisnotrepugnanttoSec.
17ofRA9851.Saidlegalprovisoaptlyprovidesthatthesurrendermaybemade"toanotherStatepursuanttothe
applicableextraditionlawsandtreaties."TheAgreementcanalreadybeconsideredatreatyfollowingthisCourts
decision in Nicolas v. Romulo74 which cited Weinberger v. Rossi.75 In Nicolas, We held that "an executive
agreementisatreatywithinthemeaningofthatwordininternationallawandconstitutesenforceabledomesticlaw
visvistheUnitedStates."76
Likewise, the Philippines and the US already have an existing extradition treaty, i.e., RPUS Extradition Treaty,
whichwasexecutedonNovember13,1994.ThepertinentPhilippinelaw,ontheotherhand,isPresidentialDecree
No. 1069, issued on January 13, 1977. Thus, the Agreement, in conjunction with the RPUS Extradition Treaty,
wouldneitherviolatenorruncountertoSec.17ofRA9851.
TheviewsrelianceonSuplicov.Neda77issimilarlyimproper.Inthatcase,severalpetitionswerefiledquestioning
thepowerofthePresidenttoenterintoforeignloanagreements.However,beforethepetitionscouldberesolvedby
the Court, the Office of the Solicitor General filed a Manifestation and Motion averring that the Philippine
GovernmentdecidednottocontinuewiththeZTENationalBroadbandNetworkProject,thusrenderingthepetition
moot.Inresolvingthecase,theCourttookjudicialnoticeoftheactoftheexecutivedepartmentofthePhilippines
(thePresident)andfoundthepetitiontobeindeedmoot.Accordingly,itdismissedthepetitions.
In his dissent in the abovementioned case, Justice Carpio discussed the legal implications of an executive
agreement.Hestatedthat"anexecutiveagreementhastheforceandeffectoflawxxx[it]cannotamendorrepeal
priorlaws."78Hence,thisargumentfindsnoapplicationinthiscaseseeingasRA9851isasubsequentlaw,nota
prior one. Notably, this argument cannot be found in the ratio decidendi of the case, but only in the dissenting
opinion.
TheviewfurthercontendsthattheRPUSExtraditionTreatyisinapplicabletoRA9851forthereasonthatunder
par.1,Art.2oftheRPUSExtraditionTreaty,"[a]noffenseshallbeanextraditableoffenseifitispunishableunder
the laws in both Contracting Parties x x x,"79 and thereby concluding that while the Philippines has criminalized
underRA9851theactsdefinedintheRomeStatuteaswarcrimes,genocideandothercrimesagainsthumanity,
thereisnosimilarlegislationintheUS.Itisfurtherarguedthat,citingU.S.v.Coolidge,intheUS,apersoncannot
be tried in the federal courts for an international crime unless Congress adopts a law defining and punishing the
offense.
Thisviewmustfail.
On the contrary, the US has already enacted legislation punishing the high crimes mentioned earlier. In fact, as
earlyasOctober2006,theUSenactedalawcriminalizingwarcrimes.Section2441,Chapter118,PartI,Title18of
theUnitedStatesCodeAnnotated(USCA)providesforthecriminaloffenseof"warcrimes"whichissimilartothe
warcrimesfoundinboththeRomeStatuteandRA9851,thus:
(a) Offense Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the
circumstancesdescribedinsubsection(b),shallbefinedunderthistitleorimprisonedforlifeoranytermof
years,orboth,andifdeathresultstothevictim,shallalsobesubjecttothepenaltyofdeath.
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

10/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

(b)CircumstancesThecircumstancesreferredtoinsubsection(a)arethatthepersoncommittingsuchwar
crimeorthevictimofsuchwarcrimeisamemberoftheArmedForcesoftheUnitedStatesoranationalof
theUnitedStates(asdefinedinSection101oftheImmigrationandNationalityAct).
(c)DefinitionAsusedinthisSectiontheterm"warcrime"meansanyconduct
(1) Defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August
1949,oranyprotocoltosuchconventiontowhichtheUnitedStatesisaparty
(2) Prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27 or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the
LawsandCustomsofWaronLand,signed18October1907
(3) Which constitutes a grave breach of common Article 3 (as defined in subsection [d]) when
committedinthecontextofandinassociationwithanarmedconflictnotofaninternationalcharacter
or
(4)Ofapersonwho,inrelationtoanarmedconflictandcontrarytotheprovisionsoftheProtocolon
Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, BoobyTraps and Other Devices as amended at
Genevaon3May1996(ProtocolIIasamendedon3May1996),whentheUnitedStatesisapartyto
suchProtocol,willfullykillsorcausesseriousinjurytocivilians.80
1avvphi1

Similarly,inDecember2009,theUSadoptedalawthatcriminalizedgenocide,towit:
1091.Genocide
(a) Basic Offense Whoever, whether in the time of peace or in time of war and with specific intent to
destroy,inwholeorinsubstantialpart,anational,ethnic,racialorreligiousgroupassuch
(1)killsmembersofthatgroup
(2)causesseriousbodilyinjurytomembersofthatgroup
(3)causesthepermanentimpairmentofthementalfacultiesofmembersofthegroupthroughdrugs,
torture,orsimilartechniques
(4) subjects the group to conditions of life that are intended to cause the physical destruction of the
groupinwholeorinpart
(5)imposesmeasuresintendedtopreventbirthswithinthegroupor
(6)transfersbyforcechildrenofthegrouptoanothergroup
shallbepunishedasprovidedinsubsection(b).81
Arguingfurther,anotherviewhasbeenadvancedthatthecurrentUSlawsdonotcovereverycrimelistedwithinthe
jurisdiction of the ICC and that there is a gap between the definitions of the different crimes under the US laws
versustheRomeStatute.TheviewusedareportwrittenbyVictoriaK.HoltandElisabethW.Dallas,entitled"On
Trial:TheUSMilitaryandtheInternationalCriminalCourt,"asitsbasis.
Attheoutset,itshouldbepointedoutthatthereportusedmaynothaveanyweightorvalueunderinternationallaw.
Article38oftheStatuteoftheInternationalCourtofJustice(ICJ)liststhesourcesofinternationallaw,asfollows:(1)
international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting
states(2)internationalcustom,asevidenceofageneralpracticeacceptedaslaw(3)thegeneralprinciplesoflaw
recognizedbycivilizednationsand(4)subjecttotheprovisionsofArticle59,judicialdecisionsandtheteachingsof
themosthighlyqualifiedpublicistsofthevariousnations,assubsidiarymeansforthedeterminationofrulesoflaw.
The report does not fall under any of the foregoing enumerated sources. It cannot even be considered as the
"teachingsofhighlyqualifiedpublicists."Ahighlyqualifiedpublicistisascholarofpublicinternationallawandthe
termusuallyreferstolegalscholarsor"academicwriters."82Ithasnotbeenshownthattheauthors83ofthisreport
arehighlyqualifiedpublicists.
Assuming arguendo that the report has weight, still, the perceived gaps in the definitions of the crimes are
nonexistent.Tohighlight,thetablebelowshowsthedefinitionsofgenocideandwarcrimesundertheRomeStatute
visvisthedefinitionsunderUSlaws:
RomeStatute
Article6
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

USLaw
1091.Genocide
11/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

Genocide
For the purpose of this Statute, "genocide"
means any of the following acts committed
with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a
national,ethnical,racialorreligiousgroup,as
such:
(a)Killingmembersofthegroup
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental
harmtomembersofthegroup
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group
conditions of life calculated to bring
aboutitsphysicaldestructioninwhole
orinpart
(d) Imposing measures intended to
preventbirthswithinthegroup
(e)Forciblytransferringchildrenofthe
grouptoanothergroup.

(a)BasicOffenseWhoever,whether
in the time of peace or in time of war
and with specific intent to destroy, in
wholeorinsubstantialpart,anational,
ethnic, racial or religious group as
such
(1)killsmembersofthatgroup
(2) causes serious bodily injury
tomembersofthatgroup
(3) causes the permanent
impairment of the mental
faculties of members of the
group through drugs, torture, or
similartechniques
(4) subjects the group to
conditions of life that are
intended to cause the physical
destruction of the group in
wholeorinpart
(5) imposes measures intended
to prevent births within the
groupor
(6)transfersbyforcechildrenof
thegrouptoanothergroup
shall be punished as provided in
subsection(b).

Article8
WarCrimes
2.ForthepurposeofthisStatute,"war
crimes"means:
(a) Grave breaches of the
Geneva Conventions of 12
August1949,namely,anyofthe
following acts against persons
or property protected under the
provisions of the relevant
GenevaConvention:xxx84
(b) Other serious violations of
thelawsandcustomsapplicable
in international armed conflict,
within
the
established
framework of international law,
namely, any of the following
acts:
xxxx
(c) In the case of an armed
conflict not of an international
character, serious violations of
article 3 common to the four
Geneva Conventions of 12
August1949,namely,anyofthe
followingactscommittedagainst
persons taking no active part in
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

(d)DefinitionAsusedinthisSection
the term "war crime" means any
conduct
(1) Defined as a grave breach in any
oftheinternationalconventionssigned
at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any
protocol to such convention to which
theUnitedStatesisaparty
(2) Prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27 or
28 of the Annex to the Hague
Convention IV, Respecting the Laws
and Customs of War on Land, signed
18October1907
(3) Which constitutes a grave breach
of common Article 3 (as defined in
subsection [d]85) when committed in
the context of and in association with
an armed conflict not of an
internationalcharacteror
(4) Of a person who, in relation to an
armed conflict and contrary to the
provisions of the Protocol on
ProhibitionsorRestrictionsontheUse
of Mines, BoobyTraps and Other
Devices as amended at Geneva on 3
May1996(ProtocolIIasamendedon
3 May 1996), when the United States
isapartytosuchProtocol,willfullykills
12/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

the
hostilities,
including
members of armed forces who
have laid down their arms and
thoseplacedhorsdecombatby
sickness, wounds, detention or
anyothercause:

orcausesseriousinjurytocivilians.86

xxxx
(d) Paragraph 2 (c) applies to
armed conflicts not of an
international character and thus
does not apply to situations of
internal
disturbances
and
tensions, such as riots, isolated
andsporadicactsofviolenceor
otheractsofasimilarnature.
(e) Other serious violations of
thelawsandcustomsapplicable
in armed conflicts not of an
international character, within
the established framework of
internationallaw,namely,anyof
thefollowingacts:xxx.

Evidently,thegapspointedoutastothedefinitionofthecrimesarenotpresent.Infact,thereportitselfstatedas
much,towit:
FewbelievedtherewerewidedifferencesbetweenthecrimesunderthejurisdictionoftheCourtandcrimeswithin
theUniformCodeofMilitaryJusticethatwouldexposeUSpersonneltotheCourt.SinceUSmilitarylawyerswere
instrumentalindraftingtheelementsofcrimesoutlinedintheRomeStatute,theyensuredthatmostofthecrimes
wereconsistentwiththoseoutlinedintheUCMJandgavestrengthtocomplementarityfortheUS.Smallareasof
potential gaps between the UCMJ and the Rome Statute, military experts argued, could be addressed through
existingmilitarylaws.87xxx
Thereportwentonfurthertosaythat"[a]ccordingtothoseinvolved,theelementsofcrimeslaidoutintheRome
StatutehavebeenpartofUSmilitarydoctrinefordecades."88Thus,theargumentprofferedcannotstand.
Nonetheless,despitethelackofactualdomesticlegislation,theUSnotablyfollowsthedoctrineofincorporation.As
earlyas1900,theesteemedJusticeGrayinThePaqueteHabana89casealreadyheldinternationallawaspartof
thelawoftheUS,towit:
Internationallawispartofourlaw,andmustbeascertainedandadministeredbythecourtsofjusticeofappropriate
jurisdiction as often as questions of right depending upon it are duly presented for their determination. For this
purpose,wherethereisnotreatyandnocontrollingexecutiveorlegislativeactorjudicialdecision,resortmustbe
had to the customs and usages of civilized nations, and, as evidence of these, to the works of jurists and
commentatorswhobyyearsoflabor,research,andexperiencehavemadethemselvespeculiarlywellacquainted
withthesubjectsofwhichtheytreat.Suchworksareresortedtobyjudicialtribunals,notforthespeculationsoftheir
authorsconcerningwhatthelawoughttobe,butforthetrustworthyevidenceofwhatthelawreallyis.90(Emphasis
supplied.)
Thus,apersoncanbetriedintheUSforaninternationalcrimedespitethelackofdomesticlegislation.Thecited
rulinginU.S.v.Coolidge,91whichinturnisbasedontheholdinginU.S.v.Hudson,92onlyappliestocommonlaw
and not to the law of nations or international law.93 Indeed, the Court in U.S. v. Hudson only considered the
question, "whether the Circuit Courts of the United States can exercise a common law jurisdiction in criminal
cases."94 Stated otherwise, there is no common law crime in the US but this is considerably different from
internationallaw.
The US doubtless recognizes international law as part of the law of the land, necessarily including international
crimes,evenwithoutanylocalstatute.95Infact,yearslater,UScourtswouldapplyinternationallawasasourceof
criminalliabilitydespitethelackofalocalstatutecriminalizingitassuch.SoitwasthatinExParteQuirin96theUS
SupremeCourtnotedthat"[f]romtheverybeginningofitshistorythisCourthasrecognizedandappliedthelawof
warasincludingthatpartofthelawofnationswhichprescribes,fortheconductofwar,thestatus,rightsandduties
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

13/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

ofenemynationsaswellasofenemyindividuals."97ItwentonfurthertoexplainthatCongresshadnotundertaken
thetaskofcodifyingthespecificoffensescoveredinthelawofwar,thus:
It is no objection that Congress in providing for the trial of such offenses has not itself undertaken to codify that
branchofinternationallawortomarkitspreciseboundaries,ortoenumerateordefinebystatutealltheactswhich
that law condemns. An Act of Congress punishing the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations is an
appropriateexerciseofitsconstitutionalauthority,Art.I,s8,cl.10,todefineandpunishtheoffensesinceithas
adopted by reference the sufficiently precise definition of international law. x x x Similarly by the reference in the
15thArticleofWartooffendersoroffensesthatxxxbythelawofwarmaybetriablebysuchmilitarycommissions.
Congress has incorporated by reference, as within the jurisdiction of military commissions, all offenses which are
definedassuchbythelawofwarxxx,andwhichmayconstitutionallybeincludedwithinthatjurisdiction.98xxx
(Emphasissupplied.)
Thisrulefindsanevenstrongerholdinthecaseofcrimesagainsthumanity.Ithasbeenheldthatgenocide,war
crimesandcrimesagainsthumanityhaveattainedthestatusofcustomaryinternationallaw.Someevengosofar
astostatethatthesecrimeshaveattainedthestatusofjuscogens.99
CustomaryinternationallaworinternationalcustomisasourceofinternationallawasstatedintheStatuteofthe
ICJ.100Itisdefinedasthe"generalandconsistentpracticeofstatesrecognizedandfollowedbythemfromasense
oflegalobligation."101 Inorder toestablishthecustomarystatusofaparticular norm,two elements must concur:
Statepractice,theobjectiveelementandopiniojurissivenecessitates,thesubjectiveelement.102
State practice refers to the continuous repetition of the same or similar kind of acts or norms by States.103 It is
demonstratedupontheexistenceofthefollowingelements:(1)generality(2)uniformityandconsistencyand(3)
duration.104While,opiniojuris,thepsychologicalelement,requiresthatthestatepracticeornorm"becarriedoutin
suchaway,astobeevidenceofabeliefthatthispracticeisrenderedobligatorybytheexistenceofaruleoflaw
requiringit."105
"Thetermjuscogensmeansthecompellinglaw."106Corollary,"ajuscogensnormholdsthehighesthierarchical
position among all other customary norms and principles."107 As a result, jus cogens norms are deemed
"peremptoryandnonderogable."108Whenappliedtointernationalcrimes,"juscogenscrimeshavebeendeemed
sofundamentaltotheexistenceofajustinternationallegalorderthatstatescannotderogatefromthem,evenby
agreement."109
Thesejuscogenscrimesrelatetotheprincipleofuniversaljurisdiction,i.e.,"anystatemayexercisejurisdictionover
anindividualwhocommitscertainheinousandwidelycondemnedoffenses,evenwhennootherrecognizedbasis
forjurisdictionexists."110 "The rationale behind this principle is that the crime committed is so egregious that it is
consideredtobecommittedagainstallmembersoftheinternationalcommunity"111andthusgrantingeveryState
jurisdictionoverthecrime.112
Therefore,evenwiththecurrentlackofdomesticlegislationonthepartoftheUS,itstillhasboththedoctrineof
incorporationanduniversaljurisdictiontotrythesecrimes.
Consequently,nomatterhowhardoneinsists,theICC,asaninternationaltribunal,foundintheRomeStatuteisnot
declaratoryofcustomaryinternationallaw.
Thefirstelementofcustomaryinternationallaw,i.e.,"established,widespread,andconsistentpracticeonthepart
ofStates,"113doesnot,underthepremises,appeartobeobtainingasreflectedinthissimplereality:AsofOctober
12, 2010, only 114114 States have ratified the Rome Statute, subsequent to its coming into force eight (8) years
earlier,oronJuly1,2002.Thefactthat114Statesoutofatotalof194115countriesintheworld,orroughly58.76%,
haveratifiedtheRomeStatutecastsdoubtonwhetherornottheperceivedprinciplescontainedintheStatutehave
attainedthestatusofcustomarylawandshouldbedeemedasobligatoryinternationallaw.Thenumberseventend
toargueagainsttheurgencyofestablishinginternationalcriminalcourtsenvisionedintheRomeStatute.Lestitbe
overlooked, the Philippines, judging by the action or inaction of its top officials, does not even feel bound by the
RomeStatute.Resipsaloquitur.Morethaneight(8)yearshaveelapsedsincethePhilippinerepresentativesigned
theStatute,butthetreatyhasnotbeentransmittedtotheSenatefortheratificationprocess.
AndthisbringsustowhatFr.Bernas,S.J.aptlysaidrespectingtheapplicationoftheconcurringelements,thus:
Customorcustomaryinternationallawmeans"ageneralandconsistentpracticeofstatesfollowedbythemfroma
senseoflegalobligation[opiniojuris]xxx."Thisstatementcontainsthetwobasicelementsofcustom:thematerial
factor,thatishowthestatesbehave,andthepsychologicalfactororsubjectivefactor,thatis,whytheybehavethe
waytheydo.
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

14/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

xxxx
The initial factor for determining the existence of custom is the actual behavior of states. This includes several
elements:duration,consistency,andgeneralityofthepracticeofstates.
Therequireddurationcanbeeithershortorlong.xxx
xxxx
Duration therefore is not the most important element. More important is the consistency and the generality of the
practice.xxx
xxxx
Oncetheexistenceofstatepracticehasbeenestablished,itbecomesnecessarytodeterminewhystates
behavethewaytheydo.Dostatesbehavethewaytheydobecausetheyconsideritobligatorytobehavethusor
dotheydoitonlyasamatterofcourtesy?Opiniojuris,orthebeliefthatacertainformofbehaviorisobligatory,is
whatmakespracticeaninternationalrule.Withoutit,practiceisnotlaw.116(Emphasisadded.)
Evidently,thereis,asyet,nooverwhelmingconsensus,letaloneprevalentpractice,amongthedifferentcountriesin
the world that the prosecution of internationally recognized crimes of genocide, etc. should be handled by a
particularinternationalcriminalcourt.
Absent the widespread/consistentpracticeofstates factor, the second or the psychological element must be
deemednonexistent,foraninquiryonwhystatesbehavethewaytheydopresupposes,inthefirstplace,thatthey
are actually behaving, as a matter of settled and consistent practice, in a certain manner. This implicitly requires
beliefthatthepracticeinquestionisrenderedobligatorybytheexistenceofaruleoflawrequiringit.117Likethefirst
element,thesecondelementhaslikewisenotbeenshowntobepresent.
Further,theRomeStatuteitselfrejectstheconceptofuniversaljurisdictionoverthecrimesenumeratedthereinas
evidencedbyitrequiringStateconsent.118Evenfurther,theRomeStatutespecificallyandunequivocallyrequires
that:"ThisStatuteissubjecttoratification,acceptanceorapprovalbysignatoryStates."119Theseclearlynegatethe
argumentthatsuchhasalreadyattainedcustomarystatus.
More importantly, an act of the executive branch with a foreign government must be afforded great respect. The
powertoenterintoexecutiveagreementshaslongbeenrecognizedtobelodgedwiththePresident.AsWeheldin
Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, "[t]he power to enter into an
executive agreement is in essence an executive power. This authority of the President to enter into executive
agreements without the concurrence of the Legislature has traditionally been recognized in Philippine
jurisprudence."120 Therationalebehind this principle is theinviolable doctrine of separationofpowers among the
legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government. Thus, absent any clear contravention of the law,
courtsshouldexerciseutmostcautionindeclaringanyexecutiveagreementinvalid.
Inlightoftheaboveconsideration,thepositionorviewthatthechallengedRPUSNonSurrenderAgreementought
tobeintheformofatreaty,tobeeffective,hastoberejected.
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. No
costs.
SOORDERED.
PRESBITEROJ.VELASCO,JR.
AssociateJustice
WECONCUR:
RENATOC.CORONA
ChiefJustice
ANTONIOT.CARPIO
AssociateJustice

CONCHITACARPIOMORALES
AssociateJustice

ANTONIOEDUARDOB.NACHURA
AssociateJustice

TERESITAJ.LEONARDODECASTRO
AssociateJustice

http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

15/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

ARTUROD.BRION
AssociateJustice

DIOSDADOM.PERALTA
AssociateJustice

LUCASP.BERSAMIN
AssociateJustice

MARIANOC.DELCASTILLO
AssociateJustice

ROBERTOA.ABAD
AssociateJustice

MARTINS.VILLARAMA,JR.
AssociateJustice

JOSEPORTUGALPEREZ
AssociateJustice

JOSECATRALMENDOZA
AssociateJustice

MARIALOURDESP.A.SERENO
AssociateJustice
CERTIFICATION
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above
DecisionhadbeenreachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassignedtothewriteroftheopinionoftheCourt.
RENATOC.CORONA
ChiefJustice

Footnotes
1Rollo,pp.241265.
2HeisnowtheDFASecretary.
3Rollo,pp.74145.
4RomeStatute,Art.1.
5Id.,Art.5.
6ROMESTATUTE,Article125.
7Rollo,pp.6869.
8Id.at72,PaperontheRPUSNonSurrenderAgreement.
9Id.at70.
10Id.at175.
11Id.at2527.
12 Philconsa v. Gimenez, No. L23326, December 18, 1965, 15 SCRA 479 Iloilo Palay & Corn Planters

Association,No.L24022,March3,1965,13SCRA377Aranetav.Dinglasan,84Phil.368(1949).
13Davidv.MacapagalArroyo,G.R.No.171396,May3,2006,489SCRA160.
14 Jumamil v. Caf, G.R. No. 144570, September 21, 2005, 470 SCRA 475 citing Integrated Bar of the

Philippinesv.Zamora,G.R.No.141284,August15,2000,338SCRA81.
15Id.
16Id.
17Fariasv.ExecutiveSecretary,G.R.Nos.147387&152161,December10,2003,417SCRA503citing

Bakerv.Carr,369U.S.186(1962).SeealsoGonzalesv.Narvasa,G.R.No.140835,August14,2000,337
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

16/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

SCRA733.
18Agan,Jr.v.PhilippineInternationalAirTerminalsCo.,Inc.,G.R.Nos.155001,155547&155661,May5,

2003,402SCRA612.
19Constantino,Jr.v.Cuisia,G.R.No.106064,October13,2005,472SCRA515Agan,Jr.,supranote18

Del Mar v. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, G.R. No. 138298, November 29, 2000, 346
SCRA 485 Tatad v. Garcia, G.R. No. 114222, April 6, 1995, 243 SCRA 436 Kilosbayan v. Guingona, Jr.,
G.R.No.113375,May5,1994,232SCRA110.
20G.R.No.160261,November10,2003,415SCRA45.
21Id.at136137.
22Supranote12.
23Supranote19.
24G.R.No.138587,October10,2000,342SCRA2000.
25G.R.No.118295,May2,1997,272SCRA18,4849.
26Cruz,PhilippinePoliticalLaw55(1995).
27Harris,CasesandMaterialsonInternationalLaw801(2004).
28OfficialWebsiteoftheUN<http://untreaty.un.org/English/guide.asp.>citedinAbayav.Ebdane,G.R.No.

167919,February14,2007,515SCRA720.
29Abayav.Ebdane,supra.
30Id.citingTheConstitutionalityofTradeAgreementActsbyFrancisSayre.
31CitedinCommissionerofCustomsv.EasternSeaTrading,113Phil.333(1961).
32ExecutiveOrderNo.459,datedNovember25,1997,containsasimilardefinition.
33B.A.Boczek,InternationalLaw:ADictionary346(2005).
34Bayanv.Zamora,supranote24citingRichardErickson,"TheMakingofExecutiveAgreementsbytheUS

DepartmentofDefense,"13BostonU.Intl.L.J.58(1955)Randall,TheTreatyPower,51OhioSt.L.J.,p.4
see also Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law 301 (1987), which states that "[t]he terminology
used for international agreements is varied. Among the terms used are: treaty, convention, agreement,
protocol, covenant, charter, statute, act, declaration, concordat, exchange of notes, agreed minute,
memorandumofagreement,memorandumofunderstanding,andmodusvivendi.Whatevertheirdesignation,
allagreementshavethesamelegalstatus,exceptastheirprovisionsorthecircumstancesoftheirconclusion
indicateotherwise."(Emphasissupplied.)
35Id.at489citing5Hackworth,DigestofInternationalLaw395citedinUSAFEVeteransAssociationInc.v.

TreasurerofthePhilippines,105Phil.1030,1037(1959).
36Reidv.Covert,354U.S.77S.Ct.1230.
37IntheUSconstitutionalsystem,itisthelegalforceoftreatiesandexecutiveagreementsonthedomestic

plane.
38Henkin,ForeignAffairsandtheUnitedStatesConstitution224(2nded.,1996).
39Prof.EdwinBorchard,TreatiesandExecutiveAgreementsReply,YaleLawJournal,June1945citedin

JusticeAntonioT.CarpiosDissentinNicolasv.Romulo,G.R.Nos.175888,176051&176222,February11,
2009,578SCRA438.
40No.L14279,October31,1961,3SCRA351,356.

http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

17/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

41No.L30650,July31,1970,34SCRA166.
42 Latin for "agreements must be kept," Blacks Law Dictionary (8th ed., 2004). The principle of pactasunt

servanda,initsmostcommonsense,referstoprivatecontracts,stressingthatthesepactsandclausesare
thelawbetweentheparties,andimplyingthatthenonfulfilmentofrespectiveobligationsisabreachofthe
pact.
Withregardtointernationalagreements,Art.26oftheViennaConventionontheLawofTreaties(signedon
May23,1969andenteredintoforceonJanuary27,1980)statesthat"everytreatyinforceisbindingupon
thepartiestoitandmustbeperformedbythemingoodfaith."Pactasuntservandaisbasedongoodfaith.
Thisentitlesstatestorequirethatobligationsberespectedandtorelyupontheobligationsbeingrespected.
Thisgoodfaithbasisoftreatiesimpliesthatapartytothetreatycannotinvokeprovisionsofitsdomesticlaw
as justification for a failure to perform. The only limit to pacta sunt servanda is jus cogens (Latin for
"compellinglaw"),theperemptorynormofgeneralinternationallaw.
43OonaA.Hathaway,PresidentialPowerOverInternationalLaw:RestoringtheBalance,119YLJ140,152

(2009).
44Rotunda,NowakandYoung,TreatiseonConstitutionalLaw394citedinthenChiefJusticePunosdissent

inBayanv.Zamora,supra.
45Nicolas,supranote39.
46 Sec. 25. After the expiration in 1991 of the [RPUS Military Bases Agreement] foreign military bases,

troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the
Senate, and when Congress so requires, ratified x x x in a national referendum held for that purpose, and
recognizedasatreatybythecontractingstate.
47Supranote39.
48Supranote41.
49Supranote31.
50Article27Irrelevanceofofficialcapacity
51. This Statue shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In

particular,officialcapacityasaHeadofStateorGovernment,amemberofaGovernmentorparliament,an
electedrepresentativeoragovernmentofficialshallinnocaseexemptapersonfromcriminalresponsibility
underthisStatute,norshallit,inandofitself,constituteagroundforreductionofsentence.
2.Immunitiesorspecialproceduralruleswhichmayattachtotheofficialcapacityofaperson,whether
undernationalorinternationallaw,shallnotbartheCourtfromexercisingitsjurisdictionoversucha
person.
[51]Article86
GeneralObligationtoCooperate
StatesPartiesshall,inaccordancewiththeprovisionsofthisStatute,cooperatefullywiththeCourtin
itsinvestigationandprosecutionofcrimeswithinthejurisdictionoftheCourt.
52Article89

SurrenderofpersonstotheCourt
1.TheCourtmaytransmitarequestforthearrestandsurrenderofaperson,togetherwiththe
materialsupportingtherequestoutlinedinarticle91,toanyStateontheterritoryofwhichthat
personmaybefoundandshallrequestthecooperationofthatStateinthearrestandsurrender
of such a person. States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and the
procedureundertheirnationallaw,complywithrequestsforarrestandsurrender.
2.Wherethepersonsoughtforsurrenderbringsachallengebeforeanationalcourtonthebasis
oftheprincipleofnebisinidemasprovidedinarticle20,therequestedStateshallimmediately
consultwiththeCourttodetermineiftherehasbeenarelevantrulingonadmissibility.Ifthecase
is admissible, the requested State shall proceed with the execution of the request. If an
admissibility ruling is pending, the requested State may postpone the execution of the request
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

18/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

forsurrenderofthepersonuntiltheCourtmakesadeterminationonadmissibility.
3.(a)AStatePartyshallauthorize,inaccordancewithitsnationalprocedurallaw,transportation
throughitsterritoryofapersonbeingsurrenderedtotheCourtbyanotherState,exceptwhere
transitthroughthatStatewouldimpedeordelaythesurrender.
(b) A request by the Court for transit shall be transmitted in accordance with article 87.
Therequestfortransitshallcontain:
(i)Adescriptionofthepersonbeingtransported
(ii)Abriefstatementofthefactsofthecaseandtheirlegalcharacterizationand
(iii)Thewarrantforarrestandsurrender
(c)Apersonbeingtransportedshallbedetainedincustodyduringtheperiodoftransit
(d) No authorization is required if the person is transported by air and no landing is
scheduledontheterritoryofthetransitState
(e) If an unscheduled landing occurs on the territory of the transit State, that State may
requirearequestfortransitfromtheCourtasprovidedforinsubparagraph(b).Thetransit
Stateshalldetainthepersonbeingtransporteduntiltherequestfortransitisreceivedand
thetransitiseffected,providedthatdetentionforpurposesofthissubparagraphmaynot
be extended beyond 96 hours from the unscheduled landing unless the request is
receivedwithinthattime.
4. If the person sought is being proceeded against or is serving a sentence in the requested
State for a crime different from that for which surrender to the Court is sought, the requested
State,aftermakingitsdecisiontogranttherequest,shallconsultwiththeCourt.
53Article90Competingrequests

1.AStatePartywhichreceivesarequestfromtheCourtforthesurrenderofapersonunderarticle89
shall, if it also receives a request from any other State for the extradition of the same person for the
same conduct which forms the basis of the crime for which the Court seeks the persons surrender,
notifytheCourtandtherequestingStateofthatfact.
2. Where the requesting State is a State Party, the requested State shall give priority to the request
fromtheCourtif:
(a)TheCourthas,pursuanttoarticle18or19,madeadeterminationthatthecaseinrespectof
which surrender is sought is admissible and that determination takes into account the
investigation or prosecution conducted by the requesting State in respect of its request for
extraditionor
(b)TheCourtmakesthedeterminationdescribedinsubparagraph(a)pursuanttotherequested
Statesnotificationunderparagraph1.
3.Whereadeterminationunderparagraph2(a)hasnotbeenmade,therequestedStatemay,atits
discretion, pending the determination of the Court under paragraph 2 (b), proceed to deal with the
requestforextraditionfromtherequestingStatebutshallnotextraditethepersonuntiltheCourthas
determined that the case is inadmissible. The Courts determination shall be made on an expedited
basis.
4.IftherequestingStateisaStatenotPartytothisStatutetherequestedState,ifitisnotunderan
internationalobligationtoextraditethepersontotherequestingState,shallgiveprioritytotherequest
forsurrenderfromtheCourt,iftheCourthasdeterminedthatthecaseisinadmissible.
5. Where a case under paragraph 4 has not been determined to be admissible by the Court, the
requested State may, at its discretion, proceed to deal with the request for extradition from the
requestingState.
6. In cases where paragraph 4 applies except that the requested State is under an existing
international obligation to extradite the person to the requesting State not Party to this Statute, the
requestedStateshalldeterminewhethertosurrenderthepersontotheCourtorextraditethepersonto
therequestingState.Inmakingitsdecision,therequestedStateshallconsideralltherelevantfactors,
includingbutnotlimitedto:
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

19/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

(a)Therespectivedatesoftherequests
(b) The interests of the requesting State including, where relevant, whether the crime was
committedinitsterritoryandthenationalityofthevictimsandofthepersonsoughtand
(c)ThepossibilityofsubsequentsurrenderbetweentheCourtandtherequestingState.
7. Where a State Party which receives a request from the Court for the surrender of a person also
receives a request from any State for the extradition of the same person for conduct other than that
whichconstitutesthecrimeforwhichtheCourtseeksthepersonssurrender:
(a)TherequestedStateshall,ifitisnotunderanexistinginternationalobligationtoextraditethe
persontotherequestingState,giveprioritytotherequestfromtheCourt
(b) The requested State shall, if it is under an existing international obligation to extradite the
person to the requesting State, determine whether to surrender the person to the Court or to
extradite the person to the requesting State. In making its decision, the requested State shall
consider all the relevant factors, including but not limited to those set out in paragraph 6, but
shallgivespecialconsiderationtotherelativenatureandgravityoftheconductinquestion.
8. Where pursuant to a notification under this article, the Court has determined a case to be
inadmissible,andsubsequentlyextraditiontotherequestingStateisrefused,therequestedStateshall
notifytheCourtofthisdecision.
54TenthpreambularparagraphoftheICCStatute.
551.Havingregardtoparagraph10ofthePreambleandArticle1,theCourtshalldeterminethatacaseis

inadmissiblewhere:
(a) The case is being investigated or prosecuted by a State which has jurisdiction over it, unless the
Stateisunwillingorunablegenuinelytocarryouttheinvestigationorprosecution
(b)ThecasehasbeeninvestigatedbyaStatewhichhasjurisdictionoveritandtheStatehasdecided
nottoprosecutethepersonconcerned,unlessthedecisionresultedfromtheunwillingnessorinability
oftheStategenuinelytoprosecute
(c)Thepersonconcernedhasalreadybeentriedforconductwhichisthesubjectofthecomplaint,and
atrialbytheCourtisnotpermittedunderarticle20,paragraph3
(d)ThecaseisnotofsufficientgravitytojustifyfurtheractionbytheCourt.
56Latinfor"nottwiceforthesame,"alegalprinciplethatmeansnolegalactioncanbeinstitutedtwiceforthe

same cause of action. In gist, it is a legal concept substantially the same as or synonymous to double
jeopardy.
57Astateisobligedtorefrainfromactsthatwoulddefeattheobjectandpurposeofatreatywhen:(a)ithas

signed the treaty or has exchanged instruments constituting the treaty subject to ratification, acceptance or
approval,untilitshallhavemadeitsintentionclearnottobecomeapartytothetreatyor(b)ithasexpressed
itsconsenttobeboundbythetreaty,pendingtheentryintoforceofthetreatyandprovidedthatsuchentry
intoforceisnotundulydelayed.
58ViennaConventionontheLawofTreaties,Art.18.
59Supranote39.
60Constitution,Art.II,Sec.2.
61Taadav.Angara,G.R.No.118295,May2,1997,272SCRA18.
62 Dizon v. Phil. Ryubus Command, 81 Phil. 286 (1948) cited in Agpalo, Public International Law 222223

(2006).
63Rollo,pp.5354.
64 Under Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Art. 18, a State has the obligations not to defeat the

objectandpurposeofatreatypriortoitsentryintoforcewhen(a)ithassignedthetreatyorhasexchanged
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

20/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

instrumentsconstitutingthetreatysubjecttoratification,acceptanceorapproval,untilitshallhavemadeits
intention clear not to become a party to the treaty or (b) it has expressed its consent to be bound by the
treaty,pendingtheentryintoforceofthetreatyandprovidedthatsuchentryintoforceisnotundulydelayed.
65Bayanv.Zamora,supra.
66Id.citingCommissionerofCustoms,supra.
67G.R.No.158088,July6,2005,462SCRA622.
68Id.at637638citingCruz,InternationalLaw174(1998).
69Signature,ratification,acceptance,approvaloraccession.

1.ThisStatuteshallbeopenforsignaturebyallStatesinRome,attheheadquartersoftheFoodand
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, on 17 July 1998. Thereafter, it shall remain open for
signatureinRomeattheMinistryofForeignAffairsofItalyuntil17October1998.Afterthatdate,the
Statute shall remain open for signature in New York, at United Nations Headquarters, until 31
December2000.
2. This Statute is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by signatory States. Instruments of
ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the SecretaryGeneral of the United
Nations.
3.ThisStatuteshallbeopentoaccessionbyallStates.Instrumentsofaccessionshallbedeposited
withtheSecretaryGeneraloftheUnitedNations.
70RA9851,Secs.46.
71Id.,Secs.712.
72Id.,Secs.1718.
73RepublicPlantersBankv.Agana,Sr.,G.R.No.51765,May3,1997,269SCRA1,12.
74Supranote39.
75456U.S.25(1982).
76Nicolasv.Romulo,G.R.Nos.175888,176051&176222,February11,2009,578SCRA438,467.
77G.R.No.178830,July14,2008,558SCRA329.
78Id.at376.(Emphasissupplied.)
79 Par. 1, Art. 2, RPUS Extradition Treaty, Senate Resolution No. 11, November 27, 1995 (emphasis

supplied).
8018U.S.C.A.2441.
8118U.S.C.A.1091.
82MalcolmShaw,InternationalLaw112(2008).
83VictoriaK.HoltandElisabethW.Dallas,"OnTrial:TheUSMilitaryandtheInternationalCriminalCourt,"

The Henry L. Stimson Center, Report No. 55, March 2006, p. 92 available at
<http://www.stimson.org/images/uploads/researchpdfs/US_Military_and_the_ICC_FINAL_website.pdf> last
visitedJanuary27,2011.WequoteHoltandDallasprofilesfromthereport:
VictoriaK.HoltisaseniorassociateattheHenryL.StimsonCenter,whereshecodirectstheFutureof
Peace Operations program. She has coauthored a study of peacekeeping reforms at the United
Nations, analyzing the implementation of the 2000 Brahimi Report recommendations, and recently
completed reports on African capacity for peace operations and the protection of civilians by military
forces.Ms.HoltjoinedtheStimsonCenterin2001,bringingpolicyandpoliticalexpertiseonUNand
peacekeeping issues from her work at the US Department of State, in the NGO community and on
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

21/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

Capitol Hill. She served as Senior Policy Advisor at the US State Department (Legislative Affairs),
where she worked with Congress on issues involving UN peacekeeping and international
organizations. Prior to joining State, she was Executive Director of the Emergency Coalition for US
FinancialSupportoftheUnitedNations,andalsodirectedtheProjectonPeacekeepingandtheUNat
the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation in Washington, DC. From 1987 to 1994, Ms. Holt
workedasaseniorCongressionalstaffer,focusingondefenseandforeignpolicyissuesfortheHouse
ArmedServicesCommittee.SheservedasLegislativeDirectorforRep.ThomasH.Andrewsandas
SeniorLegislativeAssistanttoRep.GeorgeJ.Hochbrueckner.Ms.HoltisagraduateoftheNavalWar
CollegeandholdsaB.A.withhonorsfromWesleyanUniversity.
Elisabeth W. Dallas is a research associate with the Henry L. Stimson Centers Future of Peace
Operations program and is focusing her work on the restoration of the rule of law in postconflict
settings. In particular, she is analyzing what legal mechanisms are required to allow for international
criminaljurisdictionwithinUNpeaceoperations.PriortoworkingattheStimsonCenter,Ms.Dallaswas
aSeniorFellowwiththePublicInternationalLaw&PolicyGroupinWashington,DC,wheresheserved
as a political and legal advisor for parties during international peace negotiations taking place in the
Middle East, the Balkans and South Asia. Ms. Dallas earned an MA from Tufts Universitys Fletcher
SchoolofLaw&DiplomacywithaconcentrationinInternationalNegotiation&ConflictResolutionand
PublicInternationalLaw,aswellasaCertificateinHumanSecurityandRuleofLaw.Sheearnedher
BAfromHaverfordCollege.(Emphasissupplied.)
84(i)Wilfulkilling

(ii)Tortureorinhumantreatment,includingbiologicalexperiments
(iii)Wilfullycausinggreatsuffering,orseriousinjurytobodyorhealth
(iv)Extensivedestructionandappropriationofproperty,notjustifiedbymilitarynecessityandcarried
outunlawfullyandwantonly
(v)CompellingaprisonerofwarorotherprotectedpersontoserveintheforcesofahostilePower
(vi)Wilfullydeprivingaprisonerofwarorotherprotectedpersonoftherightsoffairandregulartrial
(vii)Unlawfuldeportationortransferorunlawfulconfinement
(viii)Takingofhostages.
85(d)CommonArticle3violations.

(1)ProhibitedconductInsubsection(c)(3),theterm"gravebreachofcommonArticle3"meansany
conduct(suchconductconstitutingagravebreachofcommonArticle3oftheinternationalconventions
doneatGenevaAugust12,1949),asfollows:
(A) Torture. The act of a person who commits, or conspires or attempts to commit, an act
specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or
suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical
control for the purpose of obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation,
coercion,oranyreasonbasedondiscriminationofanykind.
(B)Cruelorinhumantreatment.Theactofapersonwhocommits,orconspiresorattemptsto
commit, an act intended to inflict severe or serious physical or mental pain or suffering (other
than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanction), including serious physical abuse, upon
anotherwithinhiscustodyorcontrol.
(C) Performing biological experiments. The act of a person who subjects, or conspires or
attempts to subject, one or more person within his custody or physical control to biological
experimentswithoutalegitimatemedicalordentalpurposeandinsodoingendangersthebody
orhealthofsuchpersonorpersons.
(D)Murder.Theactofapersonwhointentionallyorunintentionallyinthecourseofcommitting
any other offense under this subsection, one or more persons taking no active part in the
hostilities, including those placed out of combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other
cause.
(E) Mutilation or maiming. The act of a person who intentionally injures, or conspires or
attemptstoinjure,orinjureswhetherintentionallyorunintentionallyinthecourseofcommitting
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

22/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

any other offense under this subsection, one or more persons taking no active part in the
hostilities, including those placed out of combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other
cause,bydisfiguringthepersonorpersonsbyanymutilationthereoforbypermanentlydisabling
anymember,limb,ororganofhisbody,withoutanylegitimatemedicalordentalpurpose.
(F)Intentionallycausingseriousbodilyinjury.Theactofapersonwhointentionallycauses,or
conspires or attempts to cause, serious bodily injury to one or more persons, including lawful
combatants,inviolationofthelawofwar.
(G) Rape. The act of a person who forcibly or with coercion or threat of force wrongfully
invades, or conspires or attempts to invade, the body of a person by penetrating, however
slightly,theanalorgenitalopeningofthevictimwithanypartofthebodyoftheaccused,orwith
anyforeignobject.
(H) Sexual assault or abuse. The act of a person who forcibly or with coercion or threat of
forceengages,orconspiresorattemptstoengage,insexualcontactwithoneormorepersons,
orcauses,orconspiresorattemptstocause,oneormorepersonstoengageinsexualcontact.
(I) Taking hostages. The act of a person who, having knowingly seized or detained one or
more persons, threatens to kill, injure, or continue to detain such person or persons with the
intent of compelling any nation, person other than the hostage, or group of persons to act or
refrainfromactingasanexplicitorimplicitconditionforthesafetyorreleaseofsuchpersonor
persons.
(2)Definitions.Inthecaseofanoffenseundersubsection(a)byreasonofsubsection(c)(3)
(A)theterm"severementalpainorsuffering"shallbeappliedforpurposesofparagraphs(1)(A)
and(1)(B)inaccordancewiththemeaninggiventhatterminsection2340(2)ofthistitle
(B) the term "serious bodily injury" shall be applied for purposes of paragraph (1)(F) in
accordancewiththemeaninggiventhatterminsection113(b)(2)ofthistitle
(C) the term "sexual contact" shall be applied for purposes of paragraph (1)(G) in accordance
withthemeaninggiventhatterminsection2246(3)ofthistitle
(D)theterm"seriousphysicalpainorsuffering"shallbeappliedforpurposesofparagraph(1)(B)
asmeaningbodilyinjurythatinvolves
(i)asubstantialriskofdeath
(ii)extremephysicalpain
(iii)aburnorphysicaldisfigurementofaseriousnature(otherthancuts,abrasions,or
bruises)or
(iv)asignificantlossorimpairmentofthefunctionofabodilymember,organ,ormental
facultyand
(E)theterm"seriousmentalpainorsuffering"shallbeappliedforpurposesofparagraph(1)(B)
inaccordancewiththemeaninggiventheterm"severementalpainorsuffering"(asdefinedin
section2340(2)ofthistitle),exceptthat
(i)theterm"seriousshallreplacetheterm"sever"whereitappearsand
(ii)astoconductoccurringafterthedateoftheenactmentoftheMilitaryCommissionsAct
of2006,theterm"seriousandnontransitorymentalharm(whichneednotbeprolonged)"
shallreplacetheterm"prolongedmentalharm"whereitappears.
(3) Inapplicability of certain provisions with respect to collateral damage or incident of lawful
attack. The intent specified for the conduct stated in subparagraphs (D), (E), and (F) or
paragraph(1)precludestheapplicabilityofthosesubparagraphstoanoffenseundersubsection
(A)byreasonsofsubsection(C)(3)withrespectto
(A)collateraldamageor
(B)death,damage,orinjuryincidenttoalawfulattack.
(4)Inapplicabilityoftakinghostagestoprisonerexchange.Paragraph(1)(I)doesnotapplyto
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

23/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

an offense under subsection (A) by reason of subsection (C)(3) in the case of a prisoner
exchangeduringwartime.
(5)Definitionofgravebreaches.Thedefinitionsinthissubsectionareintendedonlytodefine
thegravebreachesofcommonArticle3andnotthefullscopeofUnitedStatesobligationsunder
thatArticle.
8618U.S.C.A.2441.
87VictoriaK.HoltandElisabethW.Dallas,supranote83,at7.
88Id.at35.
89175U.S.677,20S.Ct.290(1900).
90Id.at700citingHiltonv.Guyot,159U.S.113,163,164,214,215,40L.ed.95,108,125,126,16Sup.Ct.

Rep.139.
9114U.S.415,1816WL1770(U.S.Mass.)(1816).
9211U.S.(7Cranch)32(1812).
93JordanJ.Paust,CustomaryInternationalLawandHumanRightsTreatiesareLawoftheUnitedStates,20

MIJIL301,309(1999).
9411U.S.(7Cranch)32,32(1812).
95"xxx[C]ustomaryinternationallawispartofthelawoftheUnitedStatestothelimitedextentthat,where

thereisnotreaty,andnocontrollingexecutiveorlegislativeactorjudicialdecision,resortmustbehadtothe
customsandusagesofcivilizednations."U.S.v.Yousef,327F.3d56,92(2003).
96317U.S.1(1942).
97Id.at2728citingTalbotv.Jansen,3Dall.133,153,159,161,1L.Ed.540Talbotv.Seeman,1Cranch

1,40,41,2L.Ed.15Maleyv.Shattuck,3Cranch458,488,2L.Ed.498Fitzsimmonsv.NewportIns.Co.,4
Cranch185,199,2L.Ed.591TheRapid,8Cranch155,159164,3L.Ed.520TheSt.Lawrence,9Cranch
120,122,3L.Ed.676ThirtyHogsheadsofSugarv.Boyle,9Cranch191,197,198,3L.Ed.701TheAnne,3
Wheat.435,447,448,4L.Ed.428UnitedStatesv.Reading,18How.1,10,15L.Ed.291PrizeCases(The
AmyWarwick),2Black635,666,667,687,17L.Ed.459TheVenice,2Wall.258,274,17L.Ed.866The
WilliamBagaley,5Wall.377,18L.Ed.583Millerv.UnitedStates,11Wall.268,20L.Ed.135Colemanv.
Tennessee,97U.S.509,517,24L.Ed.1118UnitedStatesv.PacificR.R.,120U.S.227,233,7S.Ct.490,
492,30L.Ed.634JuraguaIronCo.v.UnitedStates,212U.S.297,29S.Ct.385,53L.Ed.520.
98Id.at2930.
99 Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and

Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro), Merits, I.C.J. judgment, February 26, 2007, 161 M. Cherif
Bassiouni,InternationalCrimes:JusCogensandObligatioErgaOmnes,59AUTLaw&Contemp.Probs.63,
68.
100I.C.J.Statute,art.38,1(b)internationalcustom,asevidenceofageneralpracticeacceptedaslaw.
101NorthSeaContinentalShelf,1969I.C.J.77citedinPatrickSimonS.Perillo,TransportingtheConcept

of Creeping Expropriation from De Lege Ferenda to De Lege Lata: Concretizing the Nebulous Under
InternationalLaw,53AteneoL.J.434,509510(2008).
102NorthSeaContinentalShelf,1969I.C.J.77D.J.Harris,CasesandMaterialsonInternationalLaw,22

(2004).
103NorthSeaContinentalShelf,1969I.C.J.at175(Tanaka,J.,dissenting).
104FisheriesJurisdiction(U.K.v.Ice)(Merits),1974I.C.J.3,8990(deCastro,J.,separateopinion).
105NorthSeaContinentalShelf,1969I.C.J.77.
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

24/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618


106 M. Cherif Bassiouni, International Crimes: Jus Cogens and Obligatio Erga Omnes, 59AUT Law &

Contemp.Probs.63,67.
107Id.
108Id.
109CarleeM.Hobbs,TheConflictBetweentheAlienTortStatuteLitigationandForeignAmnestyLaws,43

Vand.J.TransnatlL.505,521(20092010)citingJeffreyL.Dunoff,etal.,InternationalLaw:Norms,Actors
Process5859(2ded.,2006).
110Id.citingJeffreyL.Dunoffetal.,InternationalLaw:Norms,ActorsProcess380(2ded.,2006).
111Id.
112Id.
113PharmaceuticalandHealthCareAssociationofthePhilippinesv.DuqueIII,G.R.No.173034,October9,

2007,535SCRA265.
114See<http://www.icccpi.int/Menus/ASP/states+parties/>(lastvisitedJanuary26,2011).
115 <http://www.nationsonline.org oneworld /states.org> (last visited October 18, 2010). The list does not

includedependentterritories.
116JoaquinG.Bernas,S.J.,AnIntroductiontoPublicInternationalLaw1013(2002)citedinPharmaceutical

andHealthCareAssociationofthePhilippinesv.DuqueIII,supranote113,at292.
117 Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines, supra note 113, at 290291 citation

omitted.
118Article12.Preconditionstotheexerciseofjurisdiction.

1. A State which becomes a Party to this Statute thereby accepts the jurisdiction of the Court with
respecttothecrimesreferredtoinarticle5.
2.InthecaseofArticle13,paragraph(a)or(c),theCourtmayexerciseitsjurisdictionifoneormoreof
the following States are Parties to this Statute or have accepted the jurisdiction of the Court in
accordancewithparagraph3:
(a) The State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred or, if the crime was
committedonboardavesseloraircraft,theStateofregistrationofthatvesseloraircraft.
(b)TheStateofwhichthepersonaccusedofthecrimeisanational.
119RomeStatuteoftheInternationalCriminalCourt,Art.25,par.2.
120G.R.No.180643,September4,2003,564SCRA152,197198.
TheLawphilProjectArellanoLawFoundation

DISSENTINGOPINION
CARPIO,J.:
Idissent.
The RPUS NonSurrender Agreement (Agreement) violates existing municipal laws on the Philippine States
obligation to prosecute persons responsible for any of the international crimes of genocide, war crimes and other
crimes against humanity. Being a mere executive agreement that is indisputably inferior to municipal law, the
Agreementcannotprevailoverapriororsubsequentmunicipallawinconsistentwithit.
First, under existing municipal laws arising from the incorporation doctrine in Section 2, Article II of the Philippine
Constitution,1 the State is required to surrender to the proper international tribunal persons accused of grave
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

25/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

internationalcrimes,iftheStateitselfdoesnotexerciseitsprimaryjurisdictiontoprosecutesuchpersons.
Second, and more importantly, Republic Act No. 9851 (RA 9851) or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against
International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity requires that the RPUS Non
Surrender Agreement, which is in derogation of the duty of the Philippines to prosecute those accused of grave
internationalcrimes,shouldberatifiedasatreatybytheSenatebeforetheAgreementcantakeeffect.
Section2ofRA9851adoptsasaStatepolicythefollowing:
Section2.DeclarationofPrinciplesandStatePolicies.
(a)xxx
xxx
(e)Themostseriouscrimesofconcerntotheinternationalcommunityasawholemustnotgounpunished
andtheireffectiveprosecutionmustbeensuredbytakingmeasuresatthenationallevel,inordertoputan
endtoimpunityfortheperpetratorsofthesecrimesandthuscontributetothepreventionofsuchcrimes,it
being the duty of every State to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for
internationalcrimes.(Emphasissupplied)
ToimplementthisStatepolicy,Section17ofRA9851provides:
Section17.Jurisdiction.TheStateshallexercisejurisdictionoverpersons,whethermilitaryorcivilian,suspected
oraccusedofacrimedefinedandpenalizedinthisAct,regardlessofwherethecrimeiscommitted,provided,any
oneofthefollowingconditionsismet:
(a)TheaccusedisaFilipinocitizen
(b)Theaccused,regardlessofcitizenshiporresidence,ispresentinthePhilippinesor
(c)TheaccusedhascommittedthesaidcrimeagainstaFilipinocitizen.
Intheinterestofjustice,therelevantPhilippineauthoritiesmaydispensewiththeinvestigationorprosecutionofa
crime punishable under this Act if another court or international tribunal is already conducting the
investigation or undertaking the prosecution of such crime. Instead, the authorities may surrender or
extraditesuspectedoraccusedpersonsinthePhilippinestotheappropriateinternationalcourt,ifany,or
to another State pursuant to the applicable extradition laws and treaties. (Boldfacing, italicization and
underscoringsupplied)
Section2(e)andSection17imposeonthePhilippinesthe"duty"toprosecuteapersonpresentinthePhilippines,
"regardless of citizenship or residence" of such person, who is accused of committing a crime under RA 9851
"regardless of where the crime is committed." The Philippines is expressly mandated by law to prosecute the
accusedbeforeitsowncourts.
If the Philippines decides not to prosecute such accused, the Philippines has only two options. First, it may
surrender the accused to the "appropriate international court" such as the International Criminal Court (ICC). Or
second, it may surrender the accused to another State if such surrender is "pursuant to the applicable
extraditionlawsandtreaties."Underthesecondoption,thePhilippinesmusthaveanapplicableextraditionlaw
withtheotherState,orboththePhilippinesandtheotherStatemustbesignatoriestoanapplicabletreaty.Such
applicable extradition law or treaty must not frustrate the Philippine State policy, which embodies a generally
acceptedprincipleofinternationallaw,thatitis"thedutyofeveryStatetoexerciseitscriminaljurisdictionoverthose
responsibleforinternationalcrimes."
Inanycase,thePhilippinescanexerciseeitheroptiononlyif"anothercourtorinternationaltribunalisalready
conducting the investigation or undertaking the prosecution of such crime." Inshort,thePhilippines should
surrendertheaccusedtoanotherStateonlyifthereisassuranceorguaranteebytheotherStatethattheaccused
will be prosecuted under the other State's criminal justice system. This assurance or guarantee springs from the
principle of international law that it is "the duty of every State to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those
responsibleforinternationalcrimes."
Thereisatpresentno"applicable"extraditionlawortreatyallowingthesurrendertotheUnitedStatesof
U.S. nationals accused of crimes under RA 9851, specifically, Crimes against International Humanitarian
LaworWarCrimes,2Genocide,3andOtherCrimesagainstHumanity.4
TheRPUSExtraditionTreatycannotbeconsideredanapplicableextraditionlawortreaty.Paragraph1,Article2of
the RPUSExtradition Treatyprovides: "Anoffense shall be anextraditableoffenseif it is punishable under the
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

26/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

lawsinbothContractingPartiesxxx."5
TheruleintheUnitedStatesisthatapersoncannotbetriedinthefederalcourtsforaninternationalcrimeunless
theU.S.Congressadoptsalawdefiningandpunishingtheoffense.6InMedellinv.Texas,7theU.S.SupremeCourt
held that "while treaties may comprise international commitments ... they are not domestic law unless
Congresshaseitherenactedimplementingstatutesorthetreatyitselfconveysanintentionthatitbeself
executing and is ratified on these terms." The U.S. Congress has not enacted legislation to implement the
Geneva Conventions of 1949 (Geneva Conventions)8 which is one of the foundations of the principles of
InternationalHumanitarianLaw.WhiletheU.S.SenatehasratifiedtheGenevaConventions,9theratificationwas
notintendedtomaketheGenevaConventionsselfexecutingunderU.S.domesticlaw.10
The United States has not ratified the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court (Rome Statute). While the
Philippines has also not ratified the Rome Statute, it has criminalized under RA 9851 all the acts defined in the
RomeStatuteasGenocide,WarCrimesandOtherCrimesagainstHumanity.There is nosimilar legislation in
theUnitedStates.
NotallcrimespunishableundertheRomeStatuteareconsideredcrimesunderU.S.laws.Areport11basedpartly
oninterviewswithrepresentativesoftheU.S.delegationinRomestated:"ThedomesticlawsoftheUnitedStates
xxxdonotcovereverycrimelistedwithinthejurisdictionofthe[InternationalCriminal]Court."12Thereportfurther
explainedthegapbetweenthedefinitionsofGenocide,WarCrimesandOtherCrimesagainstHumanity,underthe
RomeStatuteandunderU.S.domesticlaws,inthiswise:13
ICCStatuteinContrasttotheUSCode
InconversationswithbothproponentsandopponentsoftheCourt,manysuggestedthatwhiletheUShasobjected
totheCourtspotentialauthority
overUSservicemembers,whatreallyliesbehindthatconcernistherecognitionthatthosemostvulnerabletothe
scrutinyoftheCourtarenotablyhigherupinthechainofcommand:thecivilianandseniormilitaryleadership.
Legalexperts,bothinthemilitaryandoutside,pointedoutthatthereweremorelikelytobe"gaps"betweentheUS
CodeandtheRomeStatutethangapswiththeUniformCodeofMilitaryJustice.Afterretirement,militarypersonnel
arenotcoveredbytheUCMJ,butinsteadwouldbeheldaccountabletotheUSCode,inparticularTitle10andTitle
18.Forsomeretiredmilitarypersonnel,thiswasanareaofsomeconcern.
Theseindividualsofferedthatformerleaders,inparticularthe"HenryKissingersoftheworld,"aremostat
risk.Indeed,theystressedthatasthemainconcernfortheUS:thattheCourtwilltakeupcasesofformer
seniorcivilianleadershipandmilitaryofficialswho,actingunderthelawsofwar,arenolongercoveredby
the UCMJ and therefore, potentially open to gaps in federal law where the US ability to assert
complementarityisnebulous.ThefearisthattheycouldbesubjecttoICCprosecutionforactionstheydid
previouslyinuniform.
OnelegalscholarpointedoutthatseveralcrimesdefinedwithintheRomeStatutedonotappearontheUS
books(e.g.,apartheid,persecution,enslavement,andextermination.)Whilesimilarlawsexist,itwouldbe
withinthecompetencyoftheChiefProsecutortoarguebeforethePreTrialChamber14thatinfact,theUS
doesnothavelawstoprosecuteforthecrimesthathavebeencommitted.Asimilarsituationarosein1996,
when Congressman Walter Jones (RNC) determined through a series of investigations that civilians serving
overseasunderacontractwiththeUSmilitarywerenotcoveredundertheUCMJ.IthadbeenassumedthattheUS
Code gave US primacy over civilians serving in a military capacity, but instead it was discovered that if a civilian
servingwithamilitaryunitdeployedoverseasisaccusedofwarcrime,theforeignstatewhoseterritorythecrimes
werecommittedinwouldinfacthaveprimaryjurisdictiontotrythecase.Therefore,Rep.Jonesauthoredthe"War
CrimesActof1996,"whichwasdesignedtocovercivilianservinginamilitarycapacity.15
To ensure that no gaps exist between the US Code, the UCMJ, and the crimes within the Courts
jurisdiction,asimilareffortcouldbemade.Thisprocesswouldneedtoidentifyfirstwherecrimesexistin
theStatutethatarenotcoveredinsomecontextthroughTitle10andTitle18oftheUSCodeandthendraft
legislationmodeledaftertheWarCrimesActdesignedtofillgaps.ThiswouldprotectformerUSservice
membersandseniorcivilianleadershipfromICCprosecution.
Thereisverylittlediscussiontodayaboutthe gapsin law. Scholars are awareof the potential gaps andsee this
areaasonewheretheUSmightbeabletomoveforwardtoclarifylegalambiguitiesthatmayexist,andtomake
correctionstoUSlaws.ThisexercisewouldstrengthentheUSassertionofcomplementarity.(Emphasissupplied)
Thesamereportadded,"AtRome,theU.S.wasconcernedwiththedefinitionofcrimes,especiallythedefinitionof
warcrimesand,tolesserextent,thedefinitionofcrimesagainsthumanityxxx"16thatthecrimeofgenocidewas
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

27/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

acceptabletotheU.S.delegationandthatthroughoutthenegotiations,theU.S.positionwastoseekonehundred
percentassurancethatU.S.servicememberswouldonlybeheldaccountabletoU.S.systemsofjustice.17
WiththeexistinggapbetweenthecrimesofGenocide,WarCrimesandOtherCrimesagainstHumanityunderthe
RomeStatutenowallcriminalizedinthePhilippinesunderRA9851ontheonehand,andU.S.domesticlawson
the other, these crimes cannot be considered "punishable under the laws in both Contracting Parties" as
requiredundertheRPUSExtraditionTreaty,andhence,cannotbeconsideredasextraditableoffensesunderthe
treaty. The crimes considered as Genocide, War Crimes, and Other Crimes against Humanity under the Rome
StatuteandRA9851maynotnecessarilybeconsideredassuchcrimesunderUnitedStateslaws.Consequently,
theRPUSExtraditionTreatydoesnotqualifyasan"applicable"extraditionlawortreatyunderSection17ofRA
9851, which allows the Philippines to surrender to another state a person accused of Genocide, War Crimes and
OtherCrimesagainstHumanity.Inshort,thePhilippinescannotsurrendertotheUnitedStatesaU.S.national
accused of any of these grave international crimes, when the United States does not have the same or
similarlawstoprosecutesuchcrimes.
NeitheristheRPUSNonSurrenderAgreementan"applicable"extraditionlawortreatyasrequiredinSection17of
RA 9851. Thus, the Agreement cannot be implemented by the Philippine Government in the absence of an
applicableextraditionlawortreatyallowingthesurrendertotheUnitedStatesofU.S.nationalsaccusedofcrimes
underRA9851.
IfaU.S.nationalisunderinvestigationorprosecutionbyaninternationaltribunalforanycrimepunishableunderRA
9851, the Philippines has the option to surrender such U.S. national to the international tribunal if the Philippines
decides not to prosecute such U.S. national in the Philippines. This option of the Philippine Government under
Section17ofRA9851isnotsubjecttotheconsentoftheUnitedStates.AnyderogationfromSection17,such
asrequiringtheconsentoftheUnitedStatesbeforethePhilippinescanexercisesuchoption,requiresan
amendment to RA 9851 by way of either an extradition law or treaty. Such an amendment cannot be
embodiedinamereexecutiveagreementoranexchangeofnotessuchastheassailedAgreement.
Section17ofRA9851hasclearlyraisedtoastatutorylevelthesurrendertoanotherStateofpersonsaccusedof
anycrimeunderRA9851.AnyagreementinderogationofSection17,suchasthesurrendertotheU.S.ofaU.S.
national accused of an act punishable under RA 9851 but not punishable under U.S. domestic laws, or the non
surrendertoaninternationaltribunal,withoutU.S.consent,ofaU.S.nationalaccusedofacrimeunderRA9851,
cannot be made in a mere executive agreement or an exchange of notes. Such surrender or nonsurrender,
being contrary to Section 17 of RA 9851, can only be made in an amendatory law, such as a subsequent
extraditionlawortreaty.
Moreover, Section 17 of RA 9851 allows the surrender to another State only "if another court xxx is already
conductingtheinvestigationorundertakingtheprosecutionofsuchcrime."Thismeansthatonlyiftheother
State is already investigating or prosecuting the crime can the Philippines surrender the accused to such other
State.TheRPUSNonSurrenderAgreementdoesnotrequirethattheUnitedStatesmustalreadybeinvestigating
or prosecuting the crime before the Philippines can surrender the accused. In fact, a U.S. national accused of a
crimeunderRA9851maynotevenbechargeableofsuchcrimeintheU.S.becausethesameactmaynotbea
crime under U.S. domestic laws. In such a case, the U.S. cannot even conduct an investigation of the accused,
much less prosecute him for the same act. Thus, the RPUS NonSurrender Agreement violates the condition in
Section17ofRA9851thattheotherStatemustalreadybeinvestigatingorprosecutingtheaccusedforthecrime
penalizedunderRA9851beforethePhilippinescansurrendersuchaccused.
To repeat, the assailed Agreement prevents the Philippines, without the consent of the United States, from
surrendering to any international tribunal U.S. nationals accused of crimes under RA 9851. Such consent is not
required under RA 9851which mandates that any nonsurrender without the consent of another State must be
embodiedinanextraditionlawortreaty.TheassailedAgreementalsodispenseswiththeconditioninSection17
that before the Philippines can surrender the accused to the United States, the accused must already be under
investigationorprosecutionbytheUnitedStatesforthecrimepenalizedunderRA9851,aconditionthatmaybe
impossibletofulfillbecausenotallcrimesunderRA9851arerecognizedascrimesintheUnitedStates.Thus,the
AgreementviolatesSection17ofRA9851aswellasexistingmunicipallawsarisingfromtheincorporation
doctrine of the Constitution. The Agreement cannot be embodied in a simple executive agreement or an
exchangeofnotes,butmustbeimplementedthroughanextraditionlaworatreatyratifiedwiththeconcurrenceof
atleasttwothirdsofallthemembersoftheSenate.
Ininternationallaw,thereisnodifferencebetweentreatiesandexecutiveagreementsontheirbindingeffectupon
party states, as long as the negotiating functionaries have remained within their powers.18 However, while the
differences in nomenclature and form of various types of international agreements are immaterial in international
law,theyhavesignificanceinthemunicipallawoftheparties.19Anexampleistherequirementofconcurrenceof
thelegislativebodywithrespecttotreaties,whereaswithrespecttoexecutiveagreements,theheadofStatemay
actalonetoenforcesuchagreements.20
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

28/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

The1987PhilippineConstitutionprovides:"Notreatyorinternationalagreementshallbevalidandeffectiveunless
concurred in by at least twothirds of all the Members of the Senate."21 This express constitutional requirement
makestreatiesdifferentfromexecutiveagreements,whichrequirenolegislativeconcurrence.
An executive agreement can only implement, and not amend or repeal, an existing law. As I have discussed in
Suplico v. National Economic and Development Authority,22 although an executive agreement has the force and
effect of law, just like implementing rules of executive agencies, it cannot amend or repeal prior laws, but must
comply with the laws it implements.23 An executive agreement, being an exclusive act of the Executive branch,
doesnothavethestatusofamunicipallaw.24Actingalone,theExecutivehasnolawmakingpowerandwhileit
hasrulemakingpower,suchpowermustbeexercisedconsistentwiththelawitseekstoimplement.25
Thus,anexecutiveagreementcannotamendorrepealapriorlaw,butmustcomplywithStatepolicy
embodiedinanexistingmunicipallaw.26Thisalsomeansthatanexecutiveagreement,whichatthetimeof
itsexecutioncomplieswiththenexistinglaw,isdeemedamendedorrepealedbyasubsequentlaw
inconsistentwithsuchexecutiveagreement.Undernocircumstancecanamereexecutiveagreement
prevailoverapriororsubsequentlawinconsistentwithsuchexecutiveagreement.
ThisisclearfromArticle7oftheCivilCode,whichprovides:
Article7.xxx
Administrativeorexecutiveacts,ordersandregulationsshallbevalidonlywhentheyarenotcontrarytothe
lawsortheConstitution.(Emphasissupplied)
AnexecutiveagreementliketheassailedAgreementisanexecutiveactofthePresident.UnderArticle7of
theCivilCode,anexecutiveagreementcontrarytoapriorlawisvoid.Similarly,anexecutiveagreementcontraryto
a subsequent law becomes void upon the effectivity of such subsequent law. Since Article 7 of the Civil Code
provides that "executive acts shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws," once an executive act
becomes contrary to law such executive act becomes void even if it was valid prior to the enactment of such
subsequentlaw.
Atreaty,ontheotherhand,acquiresthestatusofamunicipallawuponratificationbytheSenate.Hence,atreaty
mayamendorrepealapriorlawandviceversa.27Unlikeanexecutiveagreement,atreatymaychangestatepolicy
embodiedinapriorandexistinglaw.
In the United States, from where we adopted the concept of executive agreements, the prevailing view is that
executiveagreementscannotalterexistinglawbutmustconformtoallstatutoryrequirements.28 The U.S.
StateDepartmentmadeadistinctionbetweentreatiesandexecutiveagreementsinthismanner:
xxxitmaybedesirabletopointoutherethewellrecognizeddistinctionbetweenanexecutiveagreementanda
treaty.Inbrief,itisthattheformercannotaltertheexistinglawandmustconformtoallstatutoryenactments,
whereas a treaty, if ratified by and with the advice and consent of twothirds of the Senate, as required by the
Constitution, itself becomes the supreme law of the land and takes precedence over any prior statutory
enactments.29(Emphasissupplied)
The Agreement involved in this case is an executive agreement entered into via an exchange of notes.30 The
partiestotheAgreement(RPandUS)agreenottosurrendereachothersnationals31toanyinternationaltribunal
or to a third party for the purpose of surrendering to any international tribunal, without the others consent,
pursuant to the pronounced objective of "protect[ing] Philippine and American personnel from frivolous and
harassmentsuitsthatmightbebroughtagainstthemininternationaltribunals."32TheAgreementamendsexisting
Philippine State policy as embodied in municipal law arising from generally accepted principles of
international law which formpartofthe lawofthe land. The Agreement also runs counter to RA 9851 which
criminalizedwholesaleallactsdefinedasinternationalcrimesintheRomeStatute,aninternationaltreatywhichthe
Philippines has signed but has still to ratify.33 The Agreement frustrates the objectives of generally accepted
principlesofinternationallawembodiedintheRomeStatute.Thus,consideringitsnature,theAgreementshouldbe
embodiednotinanexecutiveagreement,butinatreatywhich,underthePhilippineConstitution,shallbevalidand
effectiveonlyifconcurredinbyatleasttwothirdsofallthemembersoftheSenate.
The1987PhilippineConstitutionstatesasoneofitsprinciples,asfollows:
ThePhilippinesxxxadoptsthegenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawaspartofthelawofthelandand
adherestothepolicyofpeace,equality,justice,freedom,cooperation,andamitywithallnations.34
ThisconstitutionalprovisionenunciatesthedoctrineofincorporationwhichmandatesthatthePhilippinesisbound
bygenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawwhichautomaticallyformpartofPhilippinelawbyoperationof
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

29/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

theConstitution.35
InKurodav.Jalandoni,36thisCourtheldthatthisconstitutionalprovision"isnotconfinedtotherecognitionofrules
and principles of international law as contained in treaties to which our government may have been or shall be a
signatory."ThepertinentportionofKurodastates:
ItcannotbedeniedthattherulesandregulationofTheHagueandGenevaConventionsformpartofand
arewhollybasedonthegenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallaw.xxxSuchruleandprinciples,
therefore,formpartofthelawofournationevenifthePhilippineswasnotasignatorytotheconventions
embodyingthem,forourConstitutionhasbeendeliberatelygeneralandextensiveinitsscopeandisnotconfined
totherecognitionofrulesandprinciplesofinternationallawascontainedintreatiestowhichourgovernmentmay
havebeenorshallbeasignatory.37(Emphasissupplied)
Hence,generallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawformpartofPhilippinelawseveniftheydonotderivefrom
treatyobligationsofthePhilippines.38
Generallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallaw,asreferredtointheConstitution,includecustomaryinternational
law.39CustomaryinternationallawisoneoftheprimarysourcesofinternationallawunderArticle38oftheStatute
oftheInternationalCourtofJustice.40Customaryinternationallawconsistsofactswhich,byrepetitionofStatesof
similarinternationalactsforanumberofyears,occuroutofasenseofobligation,andtakenbyasignificantnumber
ofStates.41Itisbasedoncustom,whichisaclearandcontinuoushabitofdoingcertainactions,whichhasgrown
undertheaegisoftheconvictionthattheseactionsare,accordingtointernationallaw,obligatoryorright.42Thus,
customary international law requires the concurrence of two elements: "[1] the established, widespread, and
consistent practice on the part of the States and [2] a psychological element known as opinion juris sive
necessitatis(opinionastolawornecessity).Implicitinthelatterelementisabeliefthatthepracticeinquestionis
renderedobligatorybytheexistenceofaruleoflawrequiringit."43
Some customary international laws have been affirmed and embodied in treaties and conventions. A treaty
constitutes evidence of customary law if it is declaratory of customary law, or if it is intended to codify customary
law.Insuchacase,evenaStatenotpartytothetreatywouldbeboundthereby.44Atreatywhichismerely
a formal expression of customary international law is enforceable on all States because of their
membership in the family of nations.45 For instance, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations is binding
even on nonparty States because the provisions of the Convention are mostly codified rules of customary
internationallawbindingonallStatesevenbeforetheircodificationintotheViennaConvention.46Anotherexample
is the Law of the Sea, which consists mostly of codified rules of customary international law, which have been
universallyobservedevenbeforetheLawoftheSeawasratifiedbyparticipatingStates.47
Corollarily, treaties may become the basis of customary international law. While States which are not parties to
treatiesorinternationalagreementsarenotboundthereby,suchagreements,ifwidelyacceptedforyearsbymany
States,maytransformintocustomaryinternationallaws,inwhichcase,theybindevennonsignatoryStates.48
InRepublicv.Sandiganbayan,49thisCourtheldthatevenintheabsenceoftheConstitution,50generallyaccepted
principlesofinternationallawremainpartofthelawsofthePhilippines.Duringtheinterregnum,ortheperiodafter
the actual takeover of power by the revolutionary government in the Philippines, following the cessation of
resistancebyloyalistforcesupto24March1986(immediatelybeforetheadoptionoftheProvisionalConstitution),
the 1973 Philippine Constitution was abrogated and there was no municipal law higher than the directives and
ordersoftherevolutionarygovernment.Nevertheless,thisCourtruledthatevenduringthisperiod,theprovisionsof
theInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRightsandtheUniversalDeclarationofHumanRights,towhichthe
Philippinesisasignatory,remainedineffectinthecountry.TheCovenantandDeclarationarebasedongenerally
acceptedprinciplesofinternationallawwhichareapplicableinthePhilippinesevenintheabsenceofaconstitution,
asduringtheinterregnum.Consequently,applyingtheprovisionsoftheCovenantandtheDeclaration,theFilipino
people continued to enjoy almost the same rights found in the Bill of Rights despite the abrogation of the 1973
Constitution.
TheRomeStatuteoftheInternationalCriminalCourtwasadoptedby120membersoftheUnitedNations(UN)on
17July1998.51Itenteredintoforceon1July2002,after60StatesbecamepartytotheStatutethroughratification
oraccession.52TheadoptionoftheRomeStatutefulfilledtheinternationalcommunityslongtimedreamofcreating
a permanent international tribunal to try serious international crimes. The Rome Statute, which established an
international criminal court and formally declared genocide, war crimes and other crimes against humanity as
seriousinternationalcrimes,codifiedgenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallaw,includingcustomary
internationallaws.TheprinciplesoflawembodiedintheRomeStatutewerealreadygenerallyacceptedprinciples
ofinternationallawevenpriortotheadoptionoftheStatute.Subsequently,theRomeStatuteitselfhasbeenwidely
acceptedand,asofNovember2010,ithasbeenratifiedby114states,113ofwhicharemembersoftheUN.53
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

30/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

There are at present 192 members of the UN. Since 113 member states have already ratified the Rome Statute,
morethanamajorityofalltheUNmembershavenowadoptedtheRomeStatuteaspartoftheirmunicipallaws.
Thus,theRomeStatuteitselfisgenerallyacceptedbythecommunityofnationsasconstitutingabodyofgenerally
acceptedprinciplesofinternationallaw.TheprinciplesoflawfoundintheRomeStatuteconstitutegenerally
accepted principles of international law enforceable in the Philippines under the Philippine Constitution.
TheprinciplesoflawembodiedintheRomeStatutearebindingonthePhilippineseveniftheStatutehasyettobe
ratified by the Philippine Senate. In short, the principles of law enunciated in the Rome Statute are now part of
PhilippinedomesticlawpursuanttoSection2,ArticleIIofthe1987PhilippineConstitution.
Article89(1)oftheRomeStatuteprovidesasfollows:
SurrenderofpersonstotheCourt
1. The Court may transmit a request for the arrest and surrender of a person, together with the material
supportingtherequestoutlinedinarticle91,toanyStateontheterritoryofwhichthatpersonmaybefound
andshallrequestthecooperationofthatStateinthearrestandsurrenderofsuchaperson.StatesParties
shall,inaccordancewiththeprovisionsofthisPartandtheprocedureundertheirnationallaw,complywith
requestsforarrestandsurrender.
xxxx
Itisaprincipleofinternationallawthatapersonaccusedofgenocide,warcrimesandothercrimes
againsthumanityshallbeprosecutedbytheinternationalcommunity.AStatewheresuchaperson
may be found has the primary jurisdiction to prosecute such person, regardless of nationality and
wherethecrimewascommitted.However,ifaStatedoesnotexercisesuchprimaryjurisdiction,then
such State has the obligation to turn over the accused to the international tribunal vested with
jurisdictiontotrysuchperson.ThisprinciplehasbeencodifiedinSection2(e)andSection17ofRA
9851.
Moreover, Section 15 of RA 9851 has expressly adopted "[r]elevant and applicable international human
rightsinstruments"assourcesofinternationallawintheapplicationandinterpretationofRA9851,thus:
Section15.ApplicabilityofInternationalLaw.IntheapplicationandinterpretationofthisAct,Philippine
courtsshallbeguidedbythefollowingsources:
(a)xxx
xxx
(e)Therulesandprinciplesofcustomaryinternationallaw
xxx
(g)Relevantandapplicableinternationalhumanrightsinstruments
(h)OtherrelevantinternationaltreatiesandconventionsratifiedoraccededtobytheRepublicofthe
Philippinesand
xxx.(Emphasissupplied)
TheRomeStatuteisthemostrelevantandapplicableinternationalhumanrightsinstrumentintheapplication
andinterpretationofRA9851.Section15(g)ofRA9851authorizestheuseoftheRomeStatuteasasource
of international law even though the Philippines is not a party to the Rome Statute. Section 15(g) does not
requireratificationbythePhilippinestosuchrelevantandapplicableinternationalhumanrightsinstruments.
International human rights instruments to which the Philippines is a party are governed by Section 15(h),
referring to treaties or conventions "ratified or acceded to" by the Philippines, which constitute a different
categoryofsourcesofinternationallawunderSection15ofRA9851.Thus,Section15(g)andSection15(h)
refertodifferentinstruments,theformertointernationalhumanrightsinstrumentstowhichthePhilippinesis
not a party, and the latter to international human rights instruments to which the Philippines is a party. By
mandate of Section 15 of RA 9851, both categories of instruments are sources of international law in the
applicationandinterpretationofRA9851.
However,paragraph2oftheassailedRPUSNonSurrenderAgreementprovidesasfollows:
2.PersonsofonePartypresentintheterritoryoftheothershallnot,absenttheexpressconsentofthefirst
Party,
(a) be surrendered or transferred by any means to any international tribunal for any purpose, unless
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

31/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

suchtribunalhasbeenestablishedbytheUNSecurityCouncil,or
(b) be surrendered or transferred by any means to any other entity or third country, or expelled to a
third country, for the purpose of surrender to or transfer to any international tribunal, unless such
tribunalhasbeenestablishedbytheUNSecurityCouncil.
Clearly,theAgreementisinderogationofArticle89(1)oftheRomeStatute.WhileArticle98(2)oftheRomeStatute,
whichstatesasfollows:
2. The Court may not proceed with a request for surrender which would require the requested State to act
inconsistentlywithitsobligationsunderinternationalagreementspursuanttowhichtheconsentofasendingState
isrequiredtosurrenderapersonofthatStatetotheCourt,unlesstheCourtcanfirstobtainthecooperationofthe
sendingStateforthegivingofconsentforthesurrender."(Emphasissupplied)
allows for derogation of Article 89(1) if there is an international agreement between States allowing such
derogation,suchinternationalagreement,beinginderogationofanexistingmunicipallawinsofarasthePhilippines
isconcerned,mustbeembodiedinatreatyandratifiedbythePhilippineSenate. Article98(2) doesnot ipso
facto allow a derogation of Article 89(1), but requires a further act, that is, the execution of an international
agreement. Since such international agreement is in derogation of Article 89(1) of the Rome Statute and
Section 17 of RA 8951, such international agreement must be ratified by the Senate to become valid and
effective.
Incidentally,theRPUSNonSurrenderAgreementallowsthePhilippinestosurrender,evenwithoutU.S.consent,
aU.S.nationalaccusedofacrimeunderRA9851providedthatthesurrenderismadetoan"internationaltribunal
xxxestablishedbytheUNSecurityCouncil."TheUnitedStatesagreestothisbecauseithasavetopowerinthe
UNSecurityCouncil,ablockingpowerwhichitdoesnothave,andcannothave,intheInternationalCriminalCourt.
TheInternationalCriminalCourtcreatedundertheRomeStatutewasdesignedtocomplementtheeffortsofstates
toprosecutetheirowncitizensdomesticallywhileensuringthatthosewhoviolateinternationallawwouldbebrought
tojustice.54Astateisgivenachancetoexercisecomplementarity55byinformingtheICCofitschoicetoinvestigate
andprosecuteitsownnationalsthroughitsowndomesticcourts.56Thus,theStatehastheprimaryjurisdictionto
investigateandprosecuteitsownnationalsinitscustodywhomayhavecommittedthegraveinternationalcrimes
specifiedintheRomeStatute.Underthesameprecept,Article98(2)oftheRomeStatuteallowstheStateofthe
accusedtoactconsistentlywithitsobligationsunderinternationalagreements,andtheICC"maynotproceedwitha
requestforsurrender"whichwouldrequiresuchStatetoactotherwise.TheICCstepsinandassumesjurisdiction
only if the State having primary jurisdiction and custody of the accused refuses to fulfill its international duty to
prosecutethoseresponsibleforgraveinternationalcrimes.
TheUnitedStateshasnotratifiedtheRomeStatute,andinstead,enteredintobilateralnonsurrenderagreements
withcountries,citingitsabilitytodosounderArticle98(2)oftheRomeStatute.57Theseagreements,alsocalled
BilateralImmunityAgreements(BIA),58 were intended as "means [to provide] assurances that no U.S. citizen
would be handed over to the (International Criminal) Court for investigation and prosecution of alleged
crimes that fell within the Courts jurisdiction. xxx"59 There is currently an argument within the international
community about the use of Article 98 agreements, as negotiated by the U.S. after the adoption of the Rome
Statute,andwhethertheyshouldberecognizedashavingprecedentoverICCsauthority.60WhenArticle98was
originallyincludedintheRomeStatute,itwasintendedtocoverStatusofForcesAgreements(SOFAs)andStatus
of Missions Agreements (SOMAs),61 which establish the responsibilities of a nation sending troops to another
country,aswellaswherejurisdictionliesbetweentheU.S.andthehostgovernmentovercriminalandcivilissues
involving the deployed personnel.62 However, under the BIAs, the standard definition of "persons" covered is
"currentorformerGovernmentofficials,employees(includingcontractors),ormilitarypersonnelornationalsofone
party."63 The Bush Administration64 contends that "such bilateral nonsurrender agreements are Article 98(2)
agreementsandthatallUScitizensofwhatevercharacterarecoveredbyanysuchagreement,xxx[andthis]US
position on scope of the bilateral nonsurrender agreements, namely that it includes UScitizens actingin their
private capacity, is legally supported by the text, the negotiating record, and precedent."65 Meanwhile,
internationallegalscholarsandmembersoftheUSJAGCorpsinvolvedinthedraftingoftheRomeStatute
expressedfrustrationwiththe"expansiveuseofArticle98agreementstoapplytoallAmericans,notjust
thoseindividualsusuallycoveredinSOFAsandSOMAs."66Thereareeventhosewhocontendthatsincethe
BIAsdonotdealsolelywiththeconductofofficialbusiness,rather,theyapplytoawidevarietyofpersonswhomay
be on the territory of either party for any purpose at any time, then "the Rome Statute does not authorize these
agreementsandbyadheringtothem,thecountrieswillviolatetheirobligationstothe[ICC]undertheStatute."67>
Regardlessofthesecontentions,however,theultimatejudgeastowhatagreementqualifiesunderArticle98(2)of
theRomeStatuteistheICCitself.68
The assailed RPUS NonSurrender Agreement covers "officials, employees, military personnel, and nationals."
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

32/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

UndertheAgreement,thePhilippinesisnotallowed,withoutU.S.consent,tosurrendertoaninternationaltribunal,
includingtheICC,U.S.nationalswhethermilitarypersonnelorplainciviliansaccusedofgenocide,warcrimes
andothercrimesagainsthumanity,thatis,thecrimescoveredbytheRomeStatuteandRA9851.Whetherornot
this Agreement would be recognized by the ICC as an "international agreement" qualified under Article 98(2)
depends on the ICC itself. In the domestic sphere, however, the Agreement, being in derogation of the generally
acceptedprinciplesofinternationallawembodiedinArticle89(1)oftheRomeStatute,aswellasbeingcontraryto
theprovisionsofSection17ofRA9851,shouldberatifiedbythePhilippineSenatetobevalidandeffective.
Insum,anyderogationfromthegenerallyacceptedprinciplesofinternationallawembodiedintheRomeStatute,
whichprincipleshavethestatusofmunicipallawinthiscountry,cannotbeundertakenthroughamereexecutive
agreementbecauseanexecutiveagreementcannotamendexistinglaws.AlaworatreatyratifiedbythePhilippine
Senate is necessary to amend, for purposes of domestic law, a derogable principle of international law, such as
Article89(1)oftheRomeStatute,whichhasthestatusofmunicipallaw.
Likewise,anyderogationfromthesurrenderoptionofthePhilippinesunderSection17ofRA9851mustbe
embodiedinanapplicableextraditionlawortreatyandnotinamereexecutiveagreementbecausesuch
derogationviolatesRA9851,whichissuperiorto,andprevailsover,apriorexecutiveagreementallowing
suchderogation.Undernocircumstancecanamereexecutiveagreementprevailoveraprioror
subsequentlawinconsistentwithsuchexecutiveagreement.Thus,theRPUSNonSurrenderAgreementtobe
validandeffectivemustberatifiedbythePhilippineSenate,andunlesssoratified,theAgreementiswithoutforce
andeffect.
Accordingly,IvotetoGRANTthepetitionandtoDECLAREtheRPUSNonSurrenderAgreementineffectiveand
unenforceableunlessanduntilratifiedbytheSenateofthePhilippines.
ANTONIOT.CARPIO
AssociateJustice

Footnotes
1 CONSTITUTION (1987), Art. II, Sec. 2 provides: "The Philippines xxx adopts the generally accepted

principlesofinternationallawaspartofthelawofthelandandadherestothepolicyofpeace,equality,
justice,freedom,cooperation,andamitywithallnations."
2Section4ofRA9851provides:

Section 4. War Crimes. For the purpose of this Act, "war crimes" or "crimes against International
HumanitarianLaw"means:
(a)Incaseofaninternationalarmedconflict,gravebreachesoftheGenevaConventionsof12August
1949,namely,anyofthefollowingactsagainstpersonsorpropertyprotectedunderprovisionsofthe
relevantGenevaConvention:
(1)Willfulkilling
(2)Tortureorinhumantreatment,includingbiologicalexperiments
(3)Willfullycausinggreatsuffering,orseriousinjurytobodyorhealth
(4) Extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and
carriedoutunlawfullyandwantonly
(5)Willfullydeprivingaprisonerofwarorotherprotectedpersonoftherightsoffairandregular
trial
(6)Arbitrarydeportationorforcibletransferofpopulationorunlawfulconfinement
(7)Takingofhostages
(8)Compellingaprisoneraprisonerofwarorotherprotectedpersontoserveintheforcesofa
hostilepowerand
(9)Unjustifiabledelayintherepatriationofprisonersofwarorotherprotectedpersons.
(b)Incaseofanoninternationalarmedconflict,seriousviolationsofcommonArticle3tothefour(4)
GenevaConventionsof12August1949,namely,anyofthefollowingactscommittedagainstpersons
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

33/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

takingnoactivepartinthehostilities,includingmemberofthearmedforceswhohavelaiddowntheir
armsandthoseplacedhorsdecombatbysickness,wounds,detentionoranyothercause
(1)Violencetolifeandperson,inparticular,willfulkillings,mutilation,crueltreatmentandtorture
(2) Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading
treatment
(3)Takingofhostagesand
(4) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment
pronouncedbyaregularlyconstitutedcourt,affordingalljudicialguaranteeswhicharegenerally
recognizedasindispensable.
(c)Otherseriousviolationsofthelawsandcustomsapplicableinarmedconflict,withintheestablished
frameworkofinternationallaw,namely:
(1) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual
civiliansnottakingdirectpartinhostilities
(2) Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, object which are not military
objectives
(3) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and
personnelusingthedistinctiveemblemsoftheGenevaConventionsorAdditionalProtocolIIIin
conformitywithintentionallaw
(4) Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles
involvedinahumanitarianassistanceorpeacekeepingmissioninaccordancewiththeCharter
oftheUnitedNations,aslongastheyareentitledtotheprotectiongiventociviliansorcivilian
objectsundertheinternationallawofarmedconflict
(5) Launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or
injurytociviliansordamagetocivilianobjectsorwidespread,longtermandseveredamageto
thenaturalenvironmentwhichwouldbeexcessiveinrelationtotheconcreteanddirectmilitary
advantageanticipated
(6) Launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the
knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians or damage to
civilianobjects,andcausingdeathorseriousinjurytobodyorhealth.
(7) Attacking or bombarding, by whatever means, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings which
are undefended and which are not military objectives, or making nondefended localities or
demilitarizedzonestheobjectofattack
(8) Killing or wounding a person in the knowledge that he/she is hors de combat, including a
combatant who, having laid down his/her arms or no longer having means of defense, has
surrenderedatdiscretion
(9)Makingimproperuseofaflagoftruce,oftheflagorthemilitaryinsigniaanduniformofthe
enemy or of the United Nations, as well as of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva
ConventionsorotherprotectivesignsunderInternationalHumanitarianLaw,resultingindeath,
seriouspersonalinjuryorcapture
(10)Intentionallydirectingattacksagainstbuildingsdedicatedtoreligion,education,art,science
orcharitablepurposes,historicmonuments,hospitalsandplaceswherethesickandwounded
arecollected,providedtheyarenotmilitaryobjectives.Incaseofdoubtwhethersuchbuildingor
placehasbeenusedtomakeaneffectivecontributiontomilitaryaction,itshallbepresumednot
tobesoused
(11) Subjecting persons who are in the power of an adverse party to physical mutilation or to
medical or scientific experiments of any kind, or to removal of tissue or organs for
transplantation, which are neither justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the
person concerned nor carried out in his/her interest, and which cause death to or seriously
endangerthehealthofsuchpersonorpersons
(12)Killing,woundingorcapturinganadversarybyresorttoperfidy
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

34/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

(13)Declaringthatnoquarterwillbegiven
(14) Destroying or seizing the enemys property unless such destruction or seizure is
imperativelydemandedbythenecessitiesofwar
(15)Pillagingatownorplace,evenwhentakenbyassault
(16) Ordering the displacement of the civilian population for reasons related to the conflict,
unlessthesecurityoftheciviliansinvolvedorimperativemilitaryreasonssodemand
(17) Transferring, directly or indirectly, by the occupying power of parts of its own civilian
population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the
populationoftheoccupiedterritorywithinoroutsidethisterritory
(18) Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading
treatment
(19) Committing rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced
sterilization,oranyotherformofsexualviolencealsoconstitutingagravebreachoftheGeneva
ConventionsoraseriousviolationofcommonArticle3totheGenevaConventions
(20)Utilizingthepresenceofacivilianorotherprotectedpersontorendercertainpoints,areas
ormilitaryforcesimmunefrommilitaryoperations
(21)Intentionallyusingstarvationofciviliansasamethodofwarfarebydeprivingthemofobjects
indispensable to their survival, including willfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under
theGenevaConventionsandtheirAdditionalProtocols
(22)Inaninternationalarmedconflict,compellingthenationalsofthehostilepartytotakepartin
the operations of war directed against their own country, even if they were in the belligerents
servicebeforethecommencementofthewar
(23)Inaninternationalarmedconflict,declaringabolished,suspendedorinadmissibleinacourt
oflawtherightsandactionsofthenationalsofthehostileparty
(24)Committinganyofthefollowingacts:
(i)Conscripting,enlistingorrecruitingchildrenundertheageoffifteen(15)yearsintothe
nationalarmedforces
(ii)Conscripting,enlistingorrecruitingchildrenundertheageofeighteen(18)yearsinto
anarmedforceorgroupotherthanthenationalarmedforcesand
(iii)Usingchildrenundertheageofeighteen(18)yearstoparticipateactivelyinhostilities
and
(25)Employingmeansofwarfarewhichareprohibitedunderinternationallaw,suchas:
(i)Poisonorpoisonedweapons
(ii) Asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or
devices
(iii) Bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with hard
envelopeswhichdonotentirelycoverthecoreorarepiercedwithincisionsand
(iv)Weapons,projectilesandmaterialandmethodsofwarfarewhichareofthenatureto
causesuperfluousinjuryorunnecessarysufferingorwhichareinherentlyindiscriminatein
violationoftheinternationallawofarmedconflict.
xxxx
3Section5ofRA9851provides:

Section5.Genocide.(a)ForthepurposeofthisAct,"genocide"meansanyofthefollowingactswith
intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, religious, social or any other similar
stableandpermanentgroupassuch:

http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

35/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

(1)Killingmembersofthegroup
(2)Causingseriousbodilyormentalharmtomembersofthegroup
(3) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical
destructioninwholeorinpart
(4)Imposingmeasuresintendedtopreventbirthswithinthegroupand
(5)Forciblytransferringchildrenofthegrouptoanothergroup.
(b)Itshallbeunlawfulforanypersontodirectlyandpubliclyinciteotherstocommitgenocide.
xxxx
4Section6ofRA9851provides:

Section 6. Other Crimes Against Humanity. For the purpose of this Act, "other crimes against
humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic
attackdirectedagainstanycivilianpopulation,withknowledgeoftheattack:
(a)Willfulkilling
(b)Extermination
(c)Enslavement
(d)Arbitrarydeportationorforcibletransferofpopulation
(e)Imprisonmentorotherseveredeprivationofphysicallibertyinviolationoffundamentalrules
ofinternationallaw
(f)Torture
(g)Rape,sexualslavery,enforcedprostitution,forcedpregnancy,enforcedsterilization,orany
otherformofsexualviolenceofcomparablegravity
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic,
cultural,religious,gender,sexualorientationorothergroundsthatareuniversallyrecognizedas
impermissibleunderinternationallaw,inconnectionwithanyactreferredtointhisparagraphor
anycrimedefinedinthisAct
(i)Enforcedorinvoluntarydisappearanceofpersons
(j)Apartheidand
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious
injurytobodyortomentalorphysicalhealth.
xxxx
5Emphasissupplied.
6U.S.v.Coolidge,14U.S.415,1816WL1770(U.S.Mass.)4L.Ed.124,1Wheat.415.
7552U.S.491,128S.Ct.1346(2008).
8TheGenevaConventionsof12August1949consistsoffourConventionsorInternationalAgreements:

ConventionIfortheAmeliorationoftheConditionoftheWoundedandSickinArmedForcesinthe
Field.(1864)ConventionIIfortheAmeliorationoftheConditionofWounded,SickandShipwrecked
Members of Armed Forces at Sea (1906) Convention III Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of
War(1929)andConventionIVRelativetotheProtectionofCivilianPersonsinTimeofWar(1949).
TherearethreeProtocolstotheGenevaConventions:ProtocolIRelatingtotheProtectionofVictims
ofInternationalArmedConflicts,8June1977ProtocolIIRelatingtotheProtectionofVictimsofNon
InternationalArmedConflicts,8June1977andProtocolIIIRelatingtotheAdoptionofanAdditional
Distinctive
Emblem,
8
December
2005.
See
http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/genevaconventionslastvisitedon21July2010.
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

36/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618


9TheU.S.ratifiedtheGenevaConventionsof1949on02August1955theU.S.madeReservationson02

August
1955,
04
March
1975,
and
31
December
1974.
http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/NORM/D6B53F5B5D14F35AC1256402003F9920?OpenDocument

See

lastvisitedon21July2010.
10InMedellinv.Texas,supranote7,theU.S.SupremeCourtemphasized:

"This Court has long recognized the distinction between treaties that automatically have effect as
domestic law, and those that while they constitute international law commitments do not by
themselvesfunctionasbindingfederallaw.xxxatreatyisequivalenttoanactofthelegislature,and
henceselfexecuting,whenitoperatesofitselfwithouttheaidofanylegislativeprovision.xxxWhen,
incontrast,[treaty]stipulationsarenotselfexecutingtheycanonlybeenforcedpursuanttolegislation
tocarrythemintoeffect."(Citationsomitted)
11VictoriaK.HoltandElisabethW.Dallas,"OnTrial:TheUSMilitaryandtheInternationalCriminalCourt,"

The
Henry
L.
Stimson
Center,
Report
No.
55,
March
2006
available
at
http://www.stimson.org/fopo/pdf/US_Military_and_the_ICC_FINAL_website.pdf last visited on 02 August
2010.
This is a Report issued by the Henry Stimson Center which is described as a nonprofit, nonpartisan
institution devoted to enhancing international peace and security through a unique combination of
rigorous analysis and outreach. It has a stated mission of "urging pragmatic steps toward the ideal
objectives of international peace and security." See http://www.stimson.org/ about/?
sn=AB2001110512lastvisitedon11August2010.
12Id.at3435.

The"Court"referstotheInternationalCriminalCourt.
13Id.at4546.
14 The International Criminal Court has four organs: the Chambers, the Presidency, the Registry and the

OfficeoftheProsecutor.TheChambersiscomposedof18judgesdividedintothreedivisions:thePreTrial
Chamber,theTrialChamberandtheAppealsChamber.[Id.at22.]
15ReportsFootnote:"HeamendedArticle18section2441oftheUSFederalCode2441.USCode,Title18,

Part1,Chapter118,Section2441,states...(b)CircumstancesThecircumstancesreferredtoinsubsection
(a)arethatthepersoncommittingsuchwarcrimeorthevictimofsuchwarcrimeisamemberoftheArmed
ForcesoftheUnitedStatesoranationaloftheUnitedStates(asdefinedinsection101oftheImmigration
andNationalityAct)."[Id.at45.]
16Id.at34.
17Id.,citingInterviewswithrepresentativesoftheUSdelegationinRome,28June2005and6October2005,

andcommentsfromtheStimsonWorkshop.
18 Bayan v. Zamora, G.R. No. 138570, 10 October 2000, 342 SCRA 449, 489, citing Richard J. Erickson,

"The Making of Executive Agreements by the United States Department of Defense: An Agenda for
Progress,"13BostonU.Intl.L.J.58(1995).
19JorgeR.CoquiaandMiriamDefensorSantiago,PublicInternationalLaw(1984),p.585.
20Id.
21CONSTITUTION(1987),Art.VII,Sec.21.
22DissentingOpinion,G.R.No.178830,14July2008,558SCRA329,360391.
23Id.at376,citingLandBankofthePhilippinesv.CourtofAppeals,319Phil.246(1995).
24Id.
25Id.

http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

37/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

26Id.
27Id.,citingSecretaryofJusticev.Lantion,379Phil.165(2000).
28Id.at377.
29 Id., citing Prof. Edwin Borchard (Justus S. Hotchkiss Professor of Law, Yale Law School), Treaties and

Executive Agreements A Reply, Yale Law Journal, June 1945, citing Current Information Series, No. 1, 3
July1934,quotedin5Hackworth,DigestofInternationalLaw(1943)pp.425426.
30E/NBFO02803PaperontheRPUSNonSurrenderAgreement,rollo,p.72.

An"exchangeofnotes"is"aninterchangeofdiplomaticnotesbetweenadiplomaticrepresentativeand
theministerofforeignaffairsoftheStatetowhichheisaccredited.xxx"[CoquiaandSantiago,supra
note 3, p. 584.] It is a record of routine agreement, consisting of the exchange of two or more
documents,eachofthepartiesbeinginthepossessionoftheonesignedbytherepresentativeofthe
other, and is resorted to because of its speedy procedure, or to avoid the process of legislative
approval.[RubenAgpalo,PublicInternationalLaw(2006),p.379.]
31 The Agreement actually uses the term "persons" which refer to "Government officials, employees

(includingcontractors),ormilitarypersonnelornationalsofoneParty."Seerollo,p.68.
32PaperontheRPUSNonSurrenderAgreement,supranote30.
33ThePhilippinessignedtheRomeStatuteofInternationalCriminalCourton28December2000,buthasyet

toratifythesame.Seewww.iccnow.orglastvisitedon12July2010.
34CONSTITUTION(1987),Art.II,Sec.2.
35Agpalo,supranote30,p.421.
3683Phil.171,178(1949).
37Id.
38Mijaresv.Ranada,G.R.No.139325,12April2005,455SCRA397,421citingH.Thirlway,"TheSources

ofInternationalLaw,"InternationalLaw(ed.byM.Evans,1sted,2003),p.124.
39JovitoSalongaandPedroYap,PublicInternationalLaw,5thed.(1992),p.12.
40Article38oftheStatuteofInternationalCourtofJusticereads:

1. The Court, whose function is to decide in accordance with international law such disputes as are
submittedtoit,shallapply:
a. international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly
recognizedbythecontestingstates
b.internationalcustom,asevidenceofageneralpracticeacceptedaslaw
c.thegeneralprinciplesoflawrecognizedbycivilizednations
d.subjecttotheprovisionsofArticle59,judicialdecisionsandtheteachingsofthemosthighly
qualifiedpublicistsofthevariousnations,assubsidiarymeansforthedeterminationofrulesof
law.
xxxx
41Agpalo,supranote30,p.6.
42Id.,citingOppenheimersInternationalLaw,9thed.,p.27.
43Id.at7,citingMijaresv.Ranada,supranote38.
44IsaganiCruz,InternationalLaw(1998),p.23.
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

38/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

45Id.at175.
46Agpalo,supranote30,p.9.
47Id.
48Id.at6.
49G.R.No.104768,23July2003,407SCRA10,51,5657.
50The1973PhilippineConstitutionalsoprovidesfortheDoctrineofIncorporation,towit:

ArticleII
DeclarationofPrinciplesandStatePolicies
xxxx
Section 3. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally
accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land, and adheres to the policy of
peace,equality,justice,freedom,cooperation,andamitywithallnations.
51http://www.un.org/News/facts/iccfact.htmlastvisitedon1November2010.
52Id.
53Seehttp://www.un.org/en/members/index.shtmlandhttp://www.icccpi.int/Menus/ASP/states+parties last

visitedon1November2010.
54VictoriaK.HoltandElisabethW.Dallas,"OnTrial:TheUSMilitaryandtheInternationalCriminalCourt,"

TheHenryL.StimsonCenter,ReportNo.55,supranote11,pp.2122.
55 "Under the premise of complementarity, the primary jurisdiction for any case lies first with the states

nationaljudicialsystems."[Id.at35.]
56IftheICCProsecutorbelievesthatthecrimecommittediswithintheICCsdiscretionandthatinvestigations

shouldbeinitiated,theProsecutormustseekauthorizationfromthePreTrialChamber,whichisthejudicial
body charged with evaluating and commencing investigations. If the PreTrial Chamber believes there is a
"reasonablebasistoproceedwithaninvestigation,"andthecase"appearstofallwithinthejurisdictionofthe
Court,"theProsecutormustinformthestatesandpartiesinvolved."xxx[A]state,whetherornotamemberof
the ICC, can exercise complementarity by informing the Court within one month of notification by the
Prosecutor,thatitchoosestoinvestigatethecaseand,ifsufficientevidenceexists,toprosecutethroughits
own national criminal justice systems. Under the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor must defer to the states
requesttoinvestigateandprosecuteatthatnationallevelunlessthePreTrialChamberdeterminesthatthe
state is unable or unwilling to exercise jurisdiction effectively and decides to authorize the Prosecutor to
investigatetheclaim.[Id.at2425,citingtheRomeStatute,Articles15(4),18(13)and19.]
57Id.at16.
58Id.at53.
59Id.at11.

As of May 2005, the U.S. Administration has signed bilateral agreements with 100 countries, 42 of
whicharestatespartiestotheRomeStatute,inwhichtheypledgednottoturnAmericancitizensover
totheCourt.[Id.at13and53.]
60Id.at54.
61 Id., citing AMICC, "Bilateral Immunity Agreements," available at http://www.amicc.org/usinfo/

administration_policy_BIAs.html.
62 Id., citing Global Security, "Status of Forces Agreements," available at http://www.globalsecurity.

org/military/facility/sofa.htm.
SOFAsdefinethelegalstatusofU.S.personnelandpropertyintheterritoryofanothercountry.Their
http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

39/40

10/30/2016

G.R. No. 159618

purpose is to set forth rights and responsibilities between the U.S. and the host country on such
matters as civil and criminal jurisdiction, the wearing of the uniform, the carrying of arms, tax and
customs relief, entry and exit of personnel and property, and resolving damage claims. [Global
Security,"StatusofForcesAgreements,"id.lastvisitedon11August2010.]
63 David Scheffer, "Article 98(2) of the Rome Statute: Americas Original Intent," pp. 344345 available at

http://jicj.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/3/2/333lastvisitedon6August2010.
64TheadministrationofformerU.S.PresidentGeorgeW.Bush.
65DavidScheffer,"Article98(2)oftheRomeStatute:AmericasOriginalIntent,"supranote63,pp.344345

citing "Proposed Text of Article 98 Agreements with the United States," July 2002, available at
http://www.iccnow.org/documents/otherissues/impunityart98/USArticle98Agreement/ Aug02.pdf and L.
Bloomfield,"TheU.S.GovernmentandtheInternationalCriminalCourt,"RemarkstotheParliamentariansfor
GlobalAction,ConsultativeAssemblyofParliamentariansfortheInternationalcriminalCourtandtheRuleof
Law,NewYork,12September2003,availableathttp://www.amicc.org/docs/Bolton11_3_03.pdf.
66VictoriaK.HoltandElisabethW.Dallas,"OnTrial:TheUSMilitaryandtheInternationalCriminalCourt,"

TheHenryL.StimsonCenter,ReportNo.55,supranote11,citingtheStimsonWorkshop.
67AMICC,"BilateralImmunityAgreements,"supranote61lastvisitedon11August2010.
68 The determination would be done by the ICCs Chambers comprised of 18 judges. [Victoria K. Holt and

ElisabethW.Dallas,"OnTrial:TheUSMilitaryandtheInternationalCriminalCourt,"TheHenryL.Stimson
Center,ReportNo.55supranote11,pp.54and22seealsonote14.]
TheLawphilProjectArellanoLawFoundation

http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2011/feb2011/gr_159618_2011.html

40/40