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GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp
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General Principles
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1) Liban v Gordon (G. R. No.175352: January 18, 2011)

LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:

FACTS: Respondent filed a motion for partial recommendation on a Supreme Court decision
which ruled that being chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) did not disqualify
him from being a Senator, and that the charter creating PNRC is unconstitutional as the PNRC
is a private corporation and the Congress is precluded by the Constitution to create such.The
Court then ordered the PNRC to incorporate itself with the SEC as a private corporation.
Respondent takes exception to the second part of the ruling, which addressed the
constitutionality of the statute creating the PNRC as a private corporation. Respondent avers
that the issue of constitutionality was only touched upon in the issue of locus standi. It is a rule
that the constitutionality will not be touched upon if it is not the lis mota of the case.

ISSUE: Whether or not it was proper for the Court to have ruled on the constitutionality of the
PNRC statute.

HELD: Petition has merit.

Political Law: It has been consistently held in Jurisprudence that the Court should exercise
judicial restraint when it comes to issues of constitutionality where it is not the lis mota of the
case.

In the case at bar, the constitutionality of the PNRC statute was raised in the issue of standing.
As such, the Court should not have declared certain provisions of such as unconstitutional. On
the substantive issue, the PNRC is sui generis. It is unlike the private corporations that the
Constitution wants to prevent Congress from creating. First, the PNRC is not organized for
profit. It is an organization dedicated to assist victims of war and administer relief to those who
have been devastated by calamities, among others. It is entirely devoted to public service. It is
not covered by the prohibition since the Constitution aims to eliminate abuse by the Congress,
which tend to favor personal gain. Secondly, the PNRC was created in order to participate in
the mitigation of the effects of war, as embodied in the Geneva Convention. The creation of the
PNRC is compliance with international treaty obligations. Lastly, the PNRC is a National
Society, an auxiliary of the government. It is not like government instrumentalities and GOCC.
The PNRC is regulated directly by international humanitarian law, as opposed to local law
regulating the other mentioned entities. As such, it was improper for the Court to have declared
certain portions of the PNRC statute as unconstitutional. However, it is the stand of Justice
Carpio that there is no mandate for the Government to create a National Society to this effect.

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I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp
A. Corpora
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B. Principle
s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority)
He also raises the fact that the PNRC is not sui generis in being a private corporation
organized for public needs. Justice Abad is of the opinion that the PNRC is neither private or
governmental, hence it was within the power of Congress to create.

2) Boy Scouts of the Phil v COA, G.R. No. 177131. June 7, 2011

Justice Abad

Facts:
COA issued a Resolution No. 99-011 on August 19, 1999, with the subject “Defining the
Commission’s Policy with respect to the audit of the Boy Scout of the Philippines.” The BSP
which was created as a public corporation, and that in BSP vs. NLRC, the Supreme Court
ruled that the BSP, as constituted under its charter, was a Government Owned and Controlled
Corporation within the meaning of Art. IX (B) (2) (1) of the Constitution, and that the BSP is
regarded as a government instrumentality under the Administrative Code. For the purposes of
audit supervision, the BSP shall be classified among the government corporations to be
audited by employing the team audit approach. The BSP sought reconsideration of the COA
Resolut
ion in a letter signed by then BSP National President Jejomar C. Binay, saying that it is not
subject to the COA’s jurisdiction.

Issues:
Whether or not the Boy Scout of the Philippines is a government owned and controlled
corporation?
Whether or not it is under the jurisdiction of the COA?

Held:
After looking at the legislative history of its amended charter and carefully studying the
applicable laws and the arguments of both parties, The SC finds that the BSP is a public
corporation and its funds are subject to the COA’s audit jurisdiction.

The BSP is a public corporation or a government agency or instrumentality with juridical
personality, which does not fall within the constitutional prohibition in Article XII, Section 16,
notwithstanding the amendments to its charter. Not all corporations, which are not government
owned or controlled, are ipso facto to be considered private corporations as there exists
another distinct class of corporations or chartered institutions which are otherwise known as
"public corporations." These corporations are treated by law as agencies or instrumentalities of
the government which are not subject to the tests of ownership or control and economic
viability but to different criteria relating to their public purposes/interests or constitutional
policies and objectives and their administrative relationship to the government or any of its
Departments or Offices.

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we come to the inevitable conclusion that it is subject to the exercise by the COA of its audit jurisdiction in the manner consistent with the provisions of the BSP Charter. On December 1. XIII. 148 recalled the said powers. Commonwealth Act No. G. No. citing Sec . GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. However. 2007 Facts: PSPCA was incorporated as a juridical entity by virtue of Act No. an audit team from the Commission on Audit visited petitioner’s office to conduct a survey. Held: No.2(1). 169752. Art.R. 3) PSPCA vs Commission on Audit. 2003.I. Sec. The charter test cannot be applied. 1285 by the Philippine Commission in order to enforce laws relating to the cruelty inflicted upon animals and for the protection of and to perform all things which may tend to alleviate the suffering of animals and promote their welfare. capture. IX of the Constitution. Mayors of chartered cities and every municipal president to detail and organize special officers to watch. Issues: WON the PSPCA is subject to CoA’s Audit Authority. September 25. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) Since the BSP. President Quezon then issued Executive Order No. Corpora tion B.7. under its amended charter. Since the underpinnings of the charter test had been introduced by the 1935 Constitution and not earlier. It is predicated on the legal regime established by the 1935 Constitution. Provost Marshal General as head of the Constabulary Division of the Philippine Army. and prosecute offenders of criminal-cruelty laws. the test cannot be applied to PSPCA which was 3 of 22 . Art. continues to be a public corporation or a government instrumentality. PSPCA demurred on the ground that it was a private entity and not under the CoA’s jurisdiction. PSPCA was initially imbued with (1) power to apprehend violators of animal welfare laws and (2) share 50% of the fines imposed and collected through its efforts pursuant to the violations of related laws. 63 directing the Commission of Public Safety. In order to enhance its powers.

and (4) laws interpreting others. The fact that a private corporation is impressed with public interest does not make the entity a public corporation. authority and jurisdiction over all natural resources within internal waters. have no retroactive effect unless the contrary is provided. No. None of the exceptions apply in the instant case. G. PSPCA’s employees are registered and covered by the SSS at the latter’s initiative and not through the GSIS.R. the Philippine Bill of 1902 was the applicable law and no proscription similar to the charter test can be found therein. generally. (2) remedial statutes. Corpora tion B. (3) curative statutes. Laws. At the time PSPCA was formed. It is public if it is created by the latter ’s own agency or instrumentality.I. Like all private corporations. the successors of its members are determined voluntarily and solely by the petitioner. 4 of 22 . They may be considered quasi-public corporations which are private corporations that render public service. There are a few exceptions: (1) when expressly provided. There was no restriction on the legislature to create private corporations in 1903. otherwise. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) incorporated on January 19. October 14 2008 FACTS: The Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) brought about by the Government of the republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as an aspect of Tripoli Agreement of Peace in 2001 is scheduled to be signed in Kuala Lumpur. and may exercise powers generally accorded to private corporations. The agreement mentions “Bangsamoro Juridical Entity” (BJE) to which it grants the authority and jurisdiction over the Ancestral Domain and Ancestral Lands of the Bangsamoro. 4) Province of North Cotabato v Govt of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel. The true criterion to determine whether a corporation is public or private is found in the totality of the relation of the corporate to the State. supply public wants and pursue other exemplary objectives. it is private. This agreement was petitioned by the Province of North Cotabato for Mandamus and Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order. 1905. The amendments introduced by CA 148 made it clear that PSPCA was a private corporation. The mere fact that a corporation has been created by a special law doesn’t necessarily qualify it as a public corporation. The agreement is composed of two local statutes: the organic act for autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao and the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA). not a government agency. PSPCA’s charter shows that it is not subject to control or supervision by any agency of the State. Malaysia. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. 183591.

LGC (1991). 7. Corpora tion B. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law . 28. There shall be autonomous regions on Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera as hereinafter provided. 21. or decisions. REASONING: The GRP is required by this law to carry out public consultations on both national and local levels to build consensus for peace agenda and process and the mobilization and facilitation of people’s participation in the peace process. 1. The territorial and political subdivisions of the Republic of the Philippines are the province. access to official records and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts. municipalities and barangays. No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. Article II Sec. No project or program be implemented unless such consultations are complied with and approval mus be obtained. subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. that state adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest. The right of people on matters of public concern shall be recognized. “require all national agencies and officers to conduct periodic consultations. 5 of 22 . transactions. Article X. Article III (Bill of Rights) Sec. cities. as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development shall be afforded the citizen.I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) ISSUE: Whether or not the GRP violated the Constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and the right to information when they negotiated and initiated the MOA-AD and Whether or not the MOA-AD brought by the GRP and MILF is constitutional HELD: GRP violated the Constitutional and statutory provisions on public consultation and the right to information when they negotiated and initiated the MOA-AD and it are unconstitutional because it is contrary to law and the provisions of the constitution thereof.” Article VII (Executive Department) Sec. (Local Government) Sec.

18. Sec. cities and geographic areas voting favourably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous region. Section 4. Any amendment to. Any amendment to. The creation of autonomous region shall be effective when approved by a majority of the votes cast by the constituents units in a plebiscite called for the purpose. The Congress. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) Sec. 20. Personal. MOA-AD states that all provisions thereof which cannot be reconciled with the present constitution and laws “shall come into force upon signing of a comprehensive compact and 6 of 22 . There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting of provinces. and 9. ARTICLE XVII (AMENDMENTS OR REVISIONS) Section 1. or revision of. and property relations. Educational policies. provided that only provinces. Sec. Administrative organization. Economic. Such other matters as may be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region. and tourism development. The President has sole authority in the treaty-making. or 2. cities.I. the organic act of autonomous regions shall provide for legislative powers over: 1. social. Section 16. 15. family. Regional urban and rural planning development. Preservation and development of the cultural heritage. 7. 2. upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members. Corpora tion B. The President shall exercise general supervision over autonomous regions to ensure that laws are faithfully executed. 8. 5. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. 4. or revision of. this Constitution under Section 1 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such amendment or revision. A constitutional convention. this Constitution may be proposed by: 1. 3. economic and social structures and other relevant characteristics within the framework of this constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines. municipalities and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage. Creation of sources of revenues. 6. Within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national laws. Ancestral domain and natural resources.

” The president’s authority is limited to proposing constitutional amendments. family. Corpora tion B. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal framework. J. provided that only provinces. and geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous region. of course. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. Congress has broad discretion to determine the shape and powers of the autonomous region with the limitation that everything should be consistent with the Constitution.Bernas How may Congress handle the Bangsamoro bill? Fr. The challenges to it are aplenty. “The creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when approved by majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose. Joaquin G. the power to formulate constitutional amendments or proposals. 7 of 22 . But aside from legislative power. The organic act shall define the basic structure of government for the region consisting of the executive department and legislative assembly. it can be handled by Congress as a legislative bill in the exercise of its ordinary legislative power. Article X. (PDI Opinion) What is before Congress now is the Bangsamoro bill and. The organic act shall likewise provide for special courts with personal. MOA-AD itself presents the need to amend therein. Might the new Bangsamoro law be occasion for Congress to use its constituent power? The constitutional provision on autonomous regions is very economical. Congress also has constituent power—that is. She cannot guarantee to any third party that the required amendments will eventually be put in place nor even be submitted to a plebiscite. ARTICLES: BBL .” As can be seen. and property law jurisdiction consistent with the provisions of this Constitution and national laws. some on the basis of unwisdom but the more serious ones are on the basis of unconstitutionality. Now comes the Bangsamoro bill. both of which shall be elective and representative of the constituent political units. Section 18 says: “The Congress shall enact an organic act for each autonomous region with the assistance and participation of the regional consultative commission composed of representatives appointed by the President from a list of nominees from multi-sectoral bodies. cities.I. Bernas S.

but the constitutional issues are more delicate.” If. BBL . it must be presented to the people for ratification in a plebiscite. The plebiscite on the original Bangsamoro law was considered sufficient to satisfy the requirement “that only provinces. that for the plebiscite to create a constituent effect.I. it must be nationwide. But if the plebiscite is clearly constituent in intent. the MILF’s chief negotiator for the old MOA-AD and for the new Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) upon which the BBL is anchored is one and the same person: Mohagher Iqbal. however. How may they be handled? I suggest that they can be handled by Congress through the exercise of its constituent powers. the result will be an ordinary statute. It will be recalled that the current Bangsamoro organic act was not approved in a nationwide plebiscite. What are considered as unconstitutional in such statute will be challenged as such before the Supreme Court. But the Constitution does not prohibit Congress from making the plebiscite a constituent exercise at least with respect to the provisions challenged as unconstitutional. If Congress presents the law in a plebiscite without the specification of constituent intent. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. As I explained last Sunday. And the MILF’s chair to whom Iqbal reports is also the same: Al Haj 8 of 22 . Panganiban (PDI Opinion) In “North Cotabato vs Government” (Oct. Notably. Corpora tion B. True. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) The wisdom issues are regular fare for Congress. cities. it will affect not only a limited number of provinces but the entire nation. 2008). the new law will contain constitutional amendments. the Supreme Court struck down the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and declared unconstitutional the underlying “associative” relationship between the government and the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity. This should require a nationwide plebiscite.” still the MILF’s lofty aspiration for self-determination remains unchanged. the result can be beyond the reach of the review powers of the Supreme Court. although the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) changed the word “associative” to “asymmetric. 14.Panganiban Three vital references for BBL by: Artemio V. I would add. Already the Constitution contains the elements that Congress can use. however. All that is needed is for Congress to specify and explain the scope of the plebiscite. This can result in new constitutional provisions. The Constitution already requires that for the organic act to be effective. Exclusive and distinct. the Constitution does not say that the plebiscite will be a constituent exercise. and geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous region.

The justices are its high priests and zealous guardians. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. the three other still-sitting justices. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) Murad Ebrahim. Teresita J.. has retired from the Court. Corpora tion B. is there a chance that the Court may change its mind and uphold the BBL in its present form? I do not think so. the Supreme Court is a continuing entity that rarely reverses or modifies landmark decisions that are protective of the Constitution. would be unconstitutional. and distinct from any self-governance given by our Constitution to any local government unit. the current most senior justice. Carpio. Antonio T. and given the utter importance of peace to our country. Civil Service Commission and Commission on Human Rights). Brion. 9 of 22 . Commission on Audit. It goes far beyond what has been granted to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Velasco Jr. their dissents were not so much on the substantive issue of constitutionality as on the procedural questions of mootness and prematurity of the petitions challenging the MOA-AD. The three jurists opined that the case was mooted after then President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo advised the Court that the MOA-AD would no longer be signed and that she had dissolved the government negotiating panel. Despite changes in its composition. city or town. For without the Constitution. True. Will SC change ruling? Given that only four of the original 15 Supreme Court justices who decided the North Cotabato case are still sitting now. Office of the Ombudsman. Thus. immediately or remotely. or to any province. The Constitution is the singular deity of the Court. legislative or judicial) or to any independent agency (Commission on Elections. Justice Conchita Carpio Morales. wrote a concurring opinion that found more constitutional objections than the decision itself. especially those that involve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country. Though the decision writer. the Court’s decision is emphatic in clarity: Any law that dilutes. their common dream for self-rule remains the same. The MILF’s aspiration for self-rule. the Supreme Court is nothing. However. Leonardo-de Castro and Arturo D. who are ever ready to strike down anything that desecrates and defiles it directly or indirectly.I. equivocates or degrades any power or authority granted by the Charter to any of the three branches of government (executive. However. even though worded differently and the implementing details watered down. is exclusive to the Bangsamoro only. Presbitero J. It is the Court’s raison d’être. by the very terms of the BBL. Understandably then. it was pointless to discuss its constitutionality. restricts. wrote dissenting opinions.

In past columns. the shadows of which can be gleaned in the BBL. This time around. the stirring opinion of Justice Carpio and the cogent arguments of CJ Sereno. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. Although not a member of the Court when the North Cotabato case was decided. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. (2) the concurring opinion of Justice Carpio. the Court did not intervene midstream despite the filing of petitions to stop the CAB. quite significantly. lest unrealistic expectations spoil the actual viewing. Pangalangan (PDI Opinion) One does not rise to a standing ovation for a trailer even before the movie is made. I know that our peace panel worked long and hard to address sensitive issues.I. And I still do. Similarly. The Framework says little but the public has been conditioned to believe it says everything. BBL . the Framework Agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is a milestone for sure. participated in the controversy as counsel for Sen. Justice Carpio unflinchingly declared unconstitutional not only the underlying “associative” concept but. but unrestrained hype may well derail peace in the end. How ironic it would be if. She detailed “the constitutional violations … [that] eroded the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines …. (now Senate President) Franklin M. also 36 specific provisions of the MOA- AD. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) On the other hand. CJ Sereno’s position. I strongly supported the peace process. Together with its MILF counterpart. who was an intervenor. Congress would be well-advised to ingest very well three vital documents: (1) the North Cotabato decision. despite the lessons taught by the North Cotabato decision. Corpora tion B. I believe that before enacting the BBL. nonetheless. the Court did not issue a TRO.” At bottom. the panel succeeded in producing the CAB without any judicial interference. unlike the MOA- AD which did not even see the light of day because its signing was struck down by a temporary restraining order (TRO) of the Supreme Court. Sereno. A. and (3) the memorandum of then Attorney Sereno. Congress would still enact a constitutionally-defective BBL. What will happen when our people check under the hood and discover what’s not there? 10 of 22 . This time. Drilon.Pangalangan A Framework with missing Agreements by: Raul C. split its national identity … [and] created a state within a state—a concept alien and antithetical to the one sovereign nation embodied in the Constitution. Her 72-page memorandum was a brilliant defense of the Constitution and veritable source of her mindset on the conduct of peace negotiations.

To say that the ARMM has little to show for these funds is to be too kind. Worse. EU and Muslim countries’ exuberance. chartered institutions [like state universities and colleges] and GOCCs. Analyzing what is in the Framework itself. Of the “850 million pesos allocated for infrastructure projects in ARMM’s 2010 budget. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) Most importantly.” suggesting an orgy of ghost employees. and it is clear that those annexes still do not exist. In sum. if the negotiators have their way. This is not about missing footnotes but goes to the heart of a peace pact: What will be in the “Annex on Power Sharing.” “Annex on Wealth Sharing. I thought the missing annexes would soon follow.” and “Annex on Transitional Arrangements”? How exactly will power and wealth be shared in the future? There can be no “just and lasting peace” unless we agree on these.” and excludes all the Cabinet departments and their bureaucracies.I. the Bangsamoro gets a free pass to the expected bonanza from gung-ho foreign sponsors and. including GOCCs.” This language is so slippery. among other grounds.” How can we consent in advance to terms that do not exist and retroactively write them into the Framework? This was the Supreme Court’s point exactly in 2008. without even having to amend the Philippine Constitution. while limiting the COA to locally generated funds. Even worse. But the Framework signing has come and gone.” We’re talking about a lot of funds here. For example. that money has not been accounted for. the Supreme Court struck down the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain in 2008 because. After all. 11 of 22 . each annex is declared to “form part of this Framework Agreement. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. Corpora tion B. The government peacemakers’ website highlights that the porous auditing of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao funds has been a real pain. not one construction budget (sic) was completed. I am concerned that the Bangsamoro’s relationship to our constitutional bodies remains unclear. it lacked transparency. the term “instrumentality” is actually limited by the Administrative Code merely to “regulatory agencies. given US. It purports to affirm COA jurisdiction but it furtively lays the basis for the Bangsamoro government to access foreign funds without independent audit.” It adds that “90 percent of ARMM’s funding was allocated to ‘Personnel Services’ and until now. Then why does the Framework now virtually exempt the Bangsamoro from the Commission on Audit’s reach? It says that the Bangsamoro “may create its own auditing body [for] funds generated … from external sources. the Framework treats constitutional accountability for funds as a triviality. The Agreement then mentions the COA’s power but limited only to funds held by “any government instrumentality. the key Framework provisions each refer to an “Annex” that does not exist. When the Framework was first published online.

and weaken Manila’s hold. and along the way. In 2012. After Edsa 1. Corpora tion B. Panfilo Lacson asks whether the Bangsamoro will have a separate police force. I pointed out the mischief in the term “asymmetric” to describe the relation between the Central and Bangsamoro governments.” Say that again. Last week. or instrumentalities” and “[n]o law shall be passed exempting any entity of the Government or its subsidiaries in any guise whatever.” Surely that includes the “new autonomous political entity” called the Bangsamoro and its in-house “auditing body. if the manna from abroad is more bountiful. agencies. then who’s above and who’s below? The COA exemption demonstrates one ominous asymmetry: Foreign funds are COA- exempt. We all want peace.Panganiban Federalism 101 By: Artemio V. Let us instead be sure that all our vows for peace to Muslim and Christian alike are made crystal-clear before we place them alongside our Constitution. and we must do right by our Muslim countrymen.I. and settle all accounts [of] the Government.” Even more sinister. this covenant cannot be unraveled by unwritten promises. Panganiban (PDI Opinion) 12 of 22 . Carving out a regional auditing body defies the historical record and is akin to setting the fox to guard the chicken coop. Sen. The COA exemption and the Bangsamoro veto over Manila’s funding are not the only mysteries in the Framework. which merits only one passing mention. notice a strange clause that occurs not once but twice in the Framework: The Bangsamoro rulers may “block grants and subsidies from the Central Government. the better to strengthen the Bangsamoro government’s hand versus its component units. But an overplayed agreement referring to nonexistent annexes is a shaky foundation for peace. or any of its subdivisions. the Filipino people thought hard and wrote down all their promises to future generations in our Constitution. while local funds held by lowly “instrumentalities” are not. please? Spurn manna from heaven? Why not. Federalism . If they’re not equal. Miriam Defensor-Santiago insists that the Framework needs constitutional amendments because of the Bangsamoro shift to a “ministerial” and federal system of government. Don’t get me wrong. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) Yet the Constitution is explicit that the COA shall have the power “to examine. Former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza asks whether the Framework is even subject to the Constitution. Sen. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. audit.

which tried to devolve government authority to the cities. laws are enacted by our bicameral Congress. a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention (ConCon). He passionately believes that only federalism can finally solve the “Imperial Manila” lament of our Southern brethren. A cornerstone of that change is his proposed shift to the federal system. provinces and barangays. again. much less take away. Congress—via the House of Representatives—is supposed to address the plight of local communities. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. And yet. where the 50 states are constitutionally guaranteed exclusive powers which the federal government cannot intrude into. But. to trickle to the countryside. Thus. these do not seem to be enough because our Constitution mandates one national police to which the local police are legally beholden. by the people and for the people. It is true that local government units also enact local ordinances.” Jose 13 of 22 . was addressed by the Local Government Code. but these must always conform to and cannot contradict or modify congressional edicts.I. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) “Change is coming!” is the battle cry of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. Basic concept.” Sovereign power is currently centralized in Metro Manila. too. So. Theoretically. Basically. This incongruence of a too-powerful central government lording it over local governance. if ever. Corpora tion B. and the centuries-old armed conflict in Mindanao. federalism is the decentralization of sovereign powers to make the government truly “of the people. the enforcement of laws is centralized in the Manila-based president. Salvador Araneta. much of the lawsuits in the US Supreme Court are about the delineation of authority between the federal and state governments. often ignorantly and ineffectively. specifically the Department of Interior and Local Government. he or she is assisted by executive offices. Constitutional delineation. The idea of federalism is not really new to us. the reality is that “Imperial Manila” is too far removed from the daily needs of the rural folks who constitute the vast majority of our people. This is exactly the system in the United States. and the Department of Budget and Management which could withhold IRAs. But the reality is that the economy’s bounties and benefits take time. granting them the power to ensure peace and order and to receive internal revenue allotments (IRAs). To be effective and meaningful. However. he did not give details of his federalist concept. federalists want the Constitution to separate the powers of the federal from the local governments. In fact. True. proposed it in his “Bayanikasan Constitution.

the aspiration for a federal system in our country should be carved from our unique history as a nation. Strong executive. True.I. a strong executive who dispenses governmental powers and largesse. there were sultanates in Mindanao which the Spanish conquistadors and the American colonizers could not subdue. In fact. the US federal system grew from the aspirations of the original 13 colonies and was forged from the civil strife between the Northern Union and the Southern Confederation. Our people have always looked up to a father figure. it has brought. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) Abueva. the secretary of the same ConCon. Likewise. No serious attempt was made by the 1986 Constitutional Commission to install the federal system in the 1987 Constitution. the very quality he may need. And yet. uprooting from the European parliamentary system and planting it in our presidential form. Abueva proposed two stages. They are not imported from foreign soils and implanted automatically in the homeland. are born out of the experience and history of peoples and nations.) Relevantly. democratic or socialist. ironically. particularly in Davao. drugs and corruption in three to six months can hardly happen if he does not have that central authority. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. For instance. has written several papers detailing his version of federalism. (More on these two proposals in another column. But it did not gain traction. presidential or parliamentary. Instituting the federal system in our country will not be easy because our government.to three-year timetable that some proponents want. federalism was discussed. Now. to diffuse and devolve authority. Indeed. True. has always been centralized and unitary. whether central or federal. Dr. The forms and structures of governments. since the Spanish and American colonial periods. if any. while Dr. within a 10-year period. By the same token. during consultations and public hearings. his promise to eradicate crime. it may not be possible to institute federalism in the two. it is difficult to straighten out the confusion it has wrought and to figure out what benefit. Even Duterte’s election was predicated largely upon his personal charisma. Corpora tion B. the Federation of Malaysia was born out of the common desire of various sultanates to form a nation independent from British rule. Araneta believed the system could be implemented within 10-20 years. it would not be amiss to recall that the party-list system was crafted rather hastily and haphazardly as an “experiment” in the Constitution and in the implementing law. But are there parallel communities in the Visayas and Luzon showing the same independent historical streaks? 14 of 22 .

GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. Corpora tion B. as the franchise holder from paying any “tax of any kind or form.D. whether National or Local” is violative of the local autonomy principle. as well as fees. PAGCOR’s charter was updated through PD 1869. drug trafficking and other vices. ISSUE: 1. operate and maintain gambling casinos on land or water within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines.” PAGCOR’s operation was a success hence in 1978. PD 1067-B meanwhile granted PAGCOR the power “to establish. Anent the issue of local autonomy. charges or levies of whatever nature.I. Atty. Declaration of Policy. Basco et al argued that PD 1869 violates the equal protection clause because it legalizes PAGCOR-conducted gambling. 1869 forced cities like Manila to waive its right to impose taxes and legal fees as far as PAGCOR is concerned. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the State to centralize and integrate all games of chance not heretofore authorized by existing franchises or permitted by law. discussion and time are needed to craft a federal system suited to our needs. Section 1 of PD 1869 provides: Section 1. PD 1399 was passed which expanded PAGCOR’s power. 15 of 22 . Principles of Local Autonomy 1) Humberto Basco v PAGCOR 197 SCRA 52 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – Bill of Rights – Equal Protection ClauseMunicipal Corporation – Local Autonomy – Imperium in Imperio FACTS: In 1977. Humberto Basco and several other lawyers assailed the validity of the law creating PAGCOR. aspiration and history as a people. that Section 13 par. while most other forms of gambling are outlawed. General Principles B. In 1983.D. together with prostitution. Basco et al contend that P. while our new President deserves leeway to implement his dreams for a better Philippines. PAGCOR’s charter provides that PAGCOR shall regulate and centralize all games of chance authorized by existing franchise or permitted by law. the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) was created by Presidential Decree 1067-A. sufficient study. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) At bottom. income or otherwise. (2) of P. 1869 which exempts PAGCOR. Whether or not PD 1869 violates the equal protection clause. They claim that PD 1869 is unconstitutional because a) it violates the equal protection clause and b) it violates the local autonomy clause of the constitution.

No. Further. 16 of 22 . the City of Manila. The Charter of the City of Manila is subject to control by Congress. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. Section 5. therefore. It should be stressed that “municipal corporations are mere creatures of Congress” which has the power to “create and abolish municipal corporations” due to its “general legislative powers”. Corpora tion B. it can also provide for exemptions or even take back the power. A law does not have to operate in equal force on all persons or things to be conformable to Article III. 1869 for one. A close reading of the above provision does not violate local autonomy (particularly on taxing powers) as it was clearly stated that the taxing power of LGUs are subject to such guidelines and limitation as Congress may provide. while others are prohibited. No. The mere fact that some gambling activities like cockfighting (PD 449) horse racing (RA 306 as amended by RA 983). Basco’s posture ignores the well-accepted meaning of the clause “equal protection of the laws. The Constitution does not require situations which are different in fact or opinion to be treated in law as though they were the same. PD. Article 10 of the 1987 Constitution provides: Each local government unit shall have the power to create its own source of revenue and to levy taxes. has the power of control over Local governments. sweepstakes. And if Congress can grant the City of Manila the power to tax certain matters. unconstitutional. and other charges subject to such guidelines and limitation as the congress may provide. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) 2.I.” The clause does not preclude classification of individuals who may be accorded different treatment under the law as long as the classification is not unreasonable or arbitrary. being a mere Municipal corporation has no inherent right to impose taxes. fees and charges shall accrue exclusively to the local government. Sec 1 of the Constitution. does not render the applicable laws. Just how PD 1869 in legalizing gambling conducted by PAGCOR is violative of the equal protection is not clearly explained in Basco’s petition. 2. consistent with the basic policy on local autonomy. lotteries and races (RA 1169 as amended by BP 42) are legalized under certain conditions. Congress. Whether or not PD 1869 violates the local autonomy clause. The “equal protection clause” does not prohibit the Legislature from establishing classes of individuals or objects upon which different rules shall operate. Such taxes. HELD: 1. fees.

1995which was issued on September 18. Francisco Dizon Paño. impeded or subjected to control by a mere Local government. Municipal Mayor Calixto R. respondents. Laguna. He asked Mayor Calixto Cataquiz. and (3) an order annulling or declaring as invalid Kapasiyahan Blg. v HON. However. ISSUE: WON Kapasiyahan Blg. 1997. In the said complaint. (2) an order requiring Hon. This was denied by Mayor Cataquiz in a letter dated February 19. PD 1869. LINA. SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF LAGUNA.As a result of this resolution of denial. promulgated his decision enjoining the petitioners from implementing or enforcing resolution or Kapasiyahan Blg. PAGCOR is a government owned or controlled corporation with an original charter. 508. T. 508. JOSE D. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) Further still. Cataquiz to issue a business permit for the operation of a lotto outlet. Otherwise. for a mayor’s permit to open the lotto outlet. respondent Calvento asked the Regional Trial Court of San Pedro Laguna. 1995. 1995 is valid HELD: As a policy statement expressing the local government’s objection to the lotto. 129093 FACTS: On December 29. 17 of 22 . T. FRANCISCO DIZON PAÑO and TONY CALVENTO. T. Mayor of San Pedro.On February 10. the respondent judge. JR.I. 1995. Branch 93. ordering the defendants to refrain from implementing or enforcing Kapasiyahan Blg. This doctrine emanates from the “supremacy” of the National Government over local governments. The ground for said denial was an ordinance passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna entitled Kapasiyahan Blg. Corpora tion B. local governments have no power to tax instrumentalities of the National Government. T. and HON.CALIXTO CATAQUIZ. T. petitioners. All of its shares of stocks are owned by the National Government. this freedom to exercise contrary views does not mean that local governments may actually enact ordinances that go against laws duly enacted by Congress. 1996. 508. This is part of the local government’s autonomy to air its views which may be contrary to that of the national government’s. 2) HON. respondent Calvento filed a complaint for declaratory relief with prayer for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. for the following reliefs: (1) a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order. 508. G. such resolution is valid.. 508. 1995. respondent Tony Calvento was appointed agent by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to install Terminal OM 20 for the operation of lotto. No. 1995. its operation might be burdened.R. 1995.

Corpora tion B. What is the extent of self-government given to the autonomous governments of Region XII? Held: Autonomy is either decentralization of administration or decentralization of power. However. was elected Speaker of the Regional Legislative Assembly or Batasang Pampook of Central Mindanao (Assembly). ordinances should not contravene an existing statute enacted by Congress. Sultan Alimbusar Limbona. the assailed resolution in this case could not and should not be interpreted as a measure or ordinance prohibiting the operation of lotto. the Assembly held a session in defiance of the Limbona's advice. The President exercises "general supervision" over them. Issue: Whether or not the courts of law have jurisdiction over the autonomous governments or regions. Mangelin GR No. Decentralization of 18 of 22 . Petitioner accepted the invitation and informed the Assembly members through the Assembly Secretary that there shall be no session in November as his presence was needed in the house committee hearing of Congress. invited petitioner in his capacity as Speaker of the Assembly of Region XII in a consultation/dialogue with local government officials. but only to "ensure that local affairs are administered according to law. At the same time. the SC received a resolution from the Assembly expressly expelling petitioner's membership therefrom. Pryce Properties Corp 3) Limbona vs. On October 21.I. Pending further proceedings of the case. 1987 Congressman Datu Guimid Matalam. 80391 28 February 1989 Facts: Petitioner. As held in Tatel vs." for which the respondents now submit that the petition had become "moot and academic" because its resolution. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. The reasons for this is obvious. as elucidated in Magtajas v. where he was unseated from his position. Respondents argue that petitioner had "filed a case before the Supreme Court against some members of the Assembly on a question which should have been resolved within the confines of the Assembly. Petitioner prays that the session's proceedings be declared null and void and be it declared that he was still the Speaker of the Assembly. on November 2. it relieves the central government of the burden of managing local affairs and enables it to concentrate on national concerns." He has no control over their acts in the sense that he can substitute their judgments with his own. Chairman of the Committee on Muslim Affairs of the House of Representatives. the power of local government units to legislate and enact ordinances and resolutions is merely a delegated power coming from Congress. Virac.n our system of government. 1987. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) Given this premise. There is decentralization of administration when the central government delegates administrative powers to political subdivisions in order to broaden the base of government power and in the process to make local governments "more responsive and accountable".

Where a law is capable of two interpretations. the autonomous government is free to chart its own destiny and shape its future with minimum intervention from central authorities. Datumanong (Tinga. an autonomous government of the former class is. say. And if we can make an inquiry in the validity of the expulsion in question. Sec. 4) Disomangcop v. Art." Hence. Corpora tion B. Also. the invitation tendered by the Committee on Muslim Affairs of the House of Representatives provided a plausible reason for the intermission sought. If the Sangguniang Pampook (of Region XII). PD No. But if it is autonomous in the former category only. mandates that "[t]he President shall have the power of general supervision and control over Autonomous Regions. we assume jurisdiction. we still invalidate the twin sessions in question. since at the time the petitioner called the "recess. Upon the facts presented. it does not appear that the respondents called his attention to this mistake. of the Congress of the Philippines are beyond our jurisdiction." On the other hand. on the other hand. What appears is that instead. assuming that a valid recess could not be called. An autonomous government that enjoys autonomy of the latter category [CONST. under the supervision of the national government acting through the President (and the Department of Local Government). that of local autonomy. the scales must be weighed in favor of autonomy. This case involves the application of a most important constitutional policy and principle.] is subject alone to the decree of the organic act creating it and accepted principles on the effects and limits of "autonomy.I. It is true that under Section 31 of the Region XII Sanggunian Rules. (1987). In that case. debatably beyond the domain of this Court in perhaps the same way that the internal acts." it was not a settled matter whether or not he could do so. "[s]essions shall not be suspended or adjourned except by direction of the Sangguniang Pampook". 1618. then. one in favor of centralized power in Malacañang and the other beneficial to local autonomy. Under the circumstances. 1987 sessions were invalid. its acts are. 2004) 19 of 22 . In the second place. with more reason can we review the petitioner's removal as Speaker. is autonomous in the latter sense. For this reason. in the first place. it comes unarguably under our jurisdiction. as we noted. X. we hold that the November 2 and 5. 15. we uphold the "recess" called on the ground of good faith. involves an abdication of political power in the favor of local governments units declared to be autonomous. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) power. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. We have to obey the clear mandate on local autonomy. they opened the sessions themselves behind his back in an apparent act of mutiny. But while this opinion is in accord with the respondents' own. we find equity on his side. An examination of the very Presidential Decree creating the autonomous governments of Mindanao persuades us that they were never meant to exercise autonomy in the second sense (decentralization of power).

RA 8999 is patently inconsistent with RA 9054 which is a later law. − On March 31. RA 9054. Vigilar. 1989. 1999. The province of Basilan and the City of Marawi voted to join ARMM through said law. Issue: WON DO 119 and RA 8999 are both invalid and constitutionally infirm. By creating an office with previously devolved functions. − Peti tioners Disomangcop and Dimalotang in their capacity as OIC and Enginer II respectively of the First Engineering District of DPWH-ARMM in Lanao del Sur filed a petition questioning the constitutionality and validity of DO 119 and RA 8999 on the ground that they contravene the constitution and the organic acts of the ARMM. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. Estrada. Held and Ratio: On RA 8999 − RA 8999 never became operative and was superseded or repealed by a RA 9054. RA 6734 devolved the functions of the DPWH to ARMM which includes Lanao del Sur. 17. Hence. RA 8999. Cory Aquino on Oct. RA 6734 was passed (Organic Act of ARMM). 1990. − Mor eover. in essence sought to amend RA 6074. Maguindanao. which is an organic act which enjoys affirmation through a plebiscite. namely: Lanao del Sur. − On Jan. 2001. 1. RA 8999 which created a new Engineering District in the first district of Lanao del Sur was passed by Pres. The same devolved to the ARMM the power of the DPWH. − On May 20. RA 9054 which amended RA 6734 was passed. Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. DO 119 was issued by DPWH Sec. 20 of 22 . The amendatory law needs to be submitted also to a plebiscite which is lacking in the case of RA 8999. Four provinces voted for inclusion in ARMM. EO 426 was issued by Pres.I. 2001. Corpora tion B. It created a DPWH Marawi Sub-District Engineering Office which shall have jurisdiction over all national infrastructure projects and facilities under the DPWH within Marawi City and Lanao del Sur. the provisions thereof cannot be amended by an ordinary statute such as RA 8999. 12. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) Facts: − On Aug. − In accordance with it.

THE BATANGAS CITY SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD and BATANGAS CITY MAYOR. Because of this. the National Telecommunications Commission has the sole authority to regulate the CATV operation in the Philippines. petitioner. is a duplication.00 per month. install. 205. Petitioner then filed a petition for injunction. INC. The DO in effect takes back powers which have been previoulsy devolved under EO 426. respondents. It alleged that Sangguniang Panlungsod has no authority to regulate the subscriber rates charged by CATV operators because under Executive Order No. However. the respondent threatened to cancel its permit unless it secures the approval of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. DO 119 creating the Marawi Sub-District Engineering Office which has jurisdiction over infrastructure projects within Marawi City and Lanao del Sur is violative of the provisions of EO 426 which implements the transfer of control and supervision of the DPWH to the ARMM in line with RA 6734.00 to Php 180. FACTS: In 1986. THE COURT OF APPEALS. 21 of 22 . Sangguniang Panlungsod enacted Resolution No. x 5) BATANGAS CATV. On DO 119 . ISSUES: Whether or not the Local Government Units can regulate subscriber rates of CATV within their jurisdiction. RA 8999 ventures to reestablisht he National Government's jurisdiction over the infrastructure programs in Lanao del Sur. and it destroys the latter law's objective of devolution of the functions of DPWH in line with the policy of the Constitution to grant LGUs meaningful and authentic regional autonomy. The rates increased from Php 88. The office created under DO 119 having essentially the same powers with the District Engineering Office of Lanao del Sur as created under EO 426. RA 8999 is patently inconsistent with RA 9054. The trial court in favour of the petitioner. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) which is anchored on the 1987 Constitution advances the constitutional grant of autonomy by detailing the powers of the ARMM which covers among others Lanao del Sur.. 210 granting petitioner a permit to construct. Corpora tion B. vs. Section 8 provides that the petitioner is authorized to charge its subscribers the maximum rates specified therein but it should be approves by the Sangguniang Panlungsod.I. and operate a CATV system in Batangas City. RA 9054 however has repealed DO 119 because the former seeks to transfer control and supervision of DPWH offices to ARMM.

O. 22 of 22 . The respondents drifted from the limits of its power. morals. No. and that the LGUs cannot exercise regulatory power over it without appropriate legislation. under R. the proper action is not to uphold one and annul the other but to give effect to both by harmonizing them if possible. No. GENERAL PRINCIPLES Pub Corp A. both laws become equally effective and mutually complementary. Because of the conflicting laws.O.A. Principle s of Local Autonomy (Principle of Local Authority) HELD: The sole agency of the government which can regulate CATV operation. 7160. including the fixing of subscriber rates. Like any other enterprise. good order or safety and general welfare of their constituents. 7160 (Local Government Code of the Philippines).I. 210 violates the mandates of existing laws and violates the State’s deregulation policy over the CATV industry. including specifically the fixing of subscriber rates. No. Resolution No. is the NTC. In effect. Then the NTC. This is primarily because the CATV system commits the indiscretion of crossing public properties. 205. 205 (mandated the NTC to grant Certificates of Authority to CATV operators and to issue the necessary implementing rules and regulations) and R. between E. to prescribe regulations to promote the health. has exclusive jurisdiction over matters affecting CATV operation. CATV operation maybe regulated by LGUs under the general welfare clause. No. under E. Corpora tion B. but nothing herein precludes LGUs from exercising its general power. education.A. peace.