#26- SIL

VINUYA v. took the position that the by the Department of
EXECUTIVE individual claims of the Social Welfare and
comfort women for Development.
compensation had
NO. 162230, APRIL already been fully ISSUE:
28, 2010, 619 SCRA satisfied by Japan’s WON the Executive
533 compliance with the Department committed
FACTS: Peace Treaty between the grave abuse of discretion
This is an original Petition Philippines and Japan. in not espousing
for Certiorari under Rule Hence, this petition petitioners’ claims for
65 of the Rules of Court where petitioners pray official apology and other
with an application for for this court to (a) forms of reparations
the issuance of a writ of declare that respondents against Japan.
preliminary mandatory committed grave abuse
injunction against the of discretion amounting RULING:
Office of the Executive to lack or excess of Petition lacks merit. From
Secretary, the Secretary discretion in refusing to a Domestic Law
of the DFA, the Secretary espouse their claims for Perspective, the
of the DOJ, and the OSG. the crimes against Executive Department
humanity and war crimes has the exclusive
Petitioners are all committed against them; prerogative to determine
members of the MALAYA and (b) compel the whether to espouse
LOLAS, a non-stock, non- respondents to espouse petitioners’ claims
profit organization their claims for official against Japan.
registered with the SEC, apology and other forms
established for the of reparations against *Political questions refer
purpose of providing aid Japan before the “to those questions
to the victims of rape by International Court of which, under the
Japanese military forces Justice (ICJ) and other Constitution, are to be
in the Philippines during international tribunals. decided by the people in
the Second World War. Respondents maintain their sovereign capacity,
that all claims of the or in regard to which full
Petitioners claim that Philippines and its discretionary authority
since 1998, they have nationals relative to the has been delegated to
approached the war were dealt with in the legislative or
Executive Department the San Francisco Peace executive branch of the
through the DOJ, DFA, Treaty of 1951 and the government. It is
and OSG, requesting bilateral Reparations concerned with issues
assistance in filing a Agreement of 1956. dependent upon the
claim against the On January 15, 1997, the wisdom, not legality of a
Japanese officials and Asian Women’s Fund and particular measure.”
military officers who the Philippine One type of case of
ordered the government signed a political questions
establishment of the Memorandum of involves questions of
“comfort women” Understanding for foreign relations. It is
stations in the medical and welfare well-established that “the
Philippines. But officials support programs for conduct of the foreign
of the Executive former comfort women. relations of our
Department declined to Over the next five years, government is committed
assist the petitioners, and these were implemented by the Constitution to the

sources of information. resorting to diplomatic invalidate treaties and action or international executive agreements. not Japan. certiorari means and to whatever Department has already will not lie. has the better standpoint of both the departments of the opportunity of knowing interests of the government. and especially on that basis if apologies this political power is not is this true in time of war. They are and consular and other sphere. for it is decided that it is to the principle. and subject to judicial inquiry He has his confidential whether further steps are or decision. For the to overturn the judicial proceedings on However. considerations of international law. a State is in whether the Philippine determination would reality asserting its own government should mean an assessment of right to ensure. By questions. and could to bring a claim on the relations present political disrupt our relations with individual’s behalf. The wisdom of given ample discretion to adequately protected. where such an its own right that the best interest of the extraordinary length of State is asserting. international law. branch to which authority the authority for which is to make that judgment Within the limits demonstrably committed has been constitutionally prescribed by by our Constitution not to committed. the Executive perspective.SIL executive and legislative– The President. traditionally. the should be undertaken officials. In this From a municipal law protection by whatever case. thereby creating taking up the case of one certainly possess the serious implications for of its subjects and by authority to construe or stability in this region.” are delicate. and courts Japan. As a general extent it thinks fit. complex. nationals against a judgments by a respect for the rules of foreign government is a coordinate political international law. Should country to waive all time has lapsed between the natural or legal claims of its nationals for the treaty’s conclusion person on whose behalf it reparations against Japan and our consideration – is acting consider that in the Treaty of Peace of the Executive must be their rights are not 1951. appropriate or necessary. and involve He has his agents in the large elements of form of diplomatic. a State the courts but to the may exercise diplomatic political branches. in the espouse claims of its the foreign policy person of its subjects. only means available for only by those directly The Executive individuals to bring a responsible to the people Department has claim within the whose welfare they determined that taking international legal advance or imperil. the question Executive Department’s his behalf. such decision is not for assess the foreign policy they have no remedy in the courts to question. and the the conditions which petitioners and those of propriety of what may be prevail in foreign the Republic. In the international prophecy. up petitioners’ cause system has been when would be inimical to our the individual is able to But not all cases country’s foreign policy persuade a government implicating foreign interests. are sufficient.#26. from the ‘the political’– Congress. foreign relations matter. All they espousing a claim against can do is resort to . and decide done in the exercise of countries.

or that field of diplomatic by general international the duty to prosecute protection. the former are authority international crimes is an the concern of all States. WHEREFORE. they are within the province of everyone) in international obligations erga omnes. obligations owed by (literally. that they are mandatory.SIL national law. all furthering their cause or jus cogens. All The term erga omnes have a legal interest in these questions remain (Latin: in relation to their protection. with a view to has attained the status of of the rights involved. the time the Treaty of vis another State in the and can be modified only Peace was signed. . distinction should be conflicting treaties and Petitioners have not drawn between the custom. Essential authority. “compelling Even the invocation of jus States towards the law”) refers to norms that cogens norms and erga community of states as a command peremptory omnes obligations will whole.#26. the Petition is hereby DISMISSED. By their very norms of equivalent perpetrators of nature. municipal law and do not law has been used as a affect the position legal term describing The term “jus cogens” internationally. Jus cogens shown that the crimes obligations of a State norms are considered committed by the towards the international peremptory in the sense Japanese army violated community as a whole. States can be held to obtaining redress. if means are erga omnes obligation or In view of the importance available. superseding not alter this analysis. jus cogens prohibitions at and those arising vis-à. do not admit derogation.