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114SCRA77PoliticalLawAbrogationofPoliticalLawsChangeofSovereign

LegalEthicsJudicialEthicsPropertyDealingsofJudgesInvolvingaLitigantsProperty

CivilLawLawonSalesContractofSaleSubjectMatterUnderLitigation

In1963,BernarditaMacariolaandherstepsisterandotherkins(PriscillaReyesetal)hadadisputeover
theirinheritanceinvolvingparcelsoflandlocatedinLeyte.AtrialensuedandJudgeEliasMacariola,after
determiningthelegibilityofthepartiestoinheritrenderedadecisioninthecivilcase.Thereafter,the
counselsofthepartiessubmittedaprojectpartitionreflectingthepreferenceoftheparties.Theproject
partitionwas,however,unsignedbyMacariola.ButherlawyerassuredAsuncionthatheisdulyauthorized
byMacariolaascounsel.Thejudgethenapprovedtheprojectpartition.Thedecisionbecamefinalin1963
aswell.

ReyesetalsoldsomeoftheirsharestoArcadioGalapon,wholatersoldthepropertytoJudgeAsuncionin
1965.

InAugust1968,MacariolafiledacomplaintagainstJudgeAsuncionwithactsunbecomingajudgeon
thegroundthatheboughtaproperty(formerlyownedbyMacariola)whichwasinvolvedinacivilcase
decidedbyhim;thisactbyAsuncionisaverredbyMacariolatobeagainstArt.1491,par.5oftheCivil
Codewhichprovides:

Also,MacariolasaidthatAsuncionsacttaintedhisearlierjudgment.Macariolasaidthattheproject
partitionwasunsignedbyherandthatwhatwasgiventoherinthepartitionwereinsignificantportionsof
theparcelsofland.

Further,MacariolaallegedthattheactofAsuncionengagingincommerceissaidtobeaviolationofpars.
1and5,Art.14oftheCodeofCommercewhichprohibitsjudgesinactiveservice(amongothers)todoso
withinthelimitsoftheplacewheretheydischargetheirduties.

ISSUES:

1.WhetherornotJudgeAsuncionviolatedthesaidCivilCodeprovision.

2.WhetherornotJudgeAsuncionviolatedthesaidCodeofCommerceprovision.

HELD:

1.No.Theprohibitiononlyappliesifthelitigationisunderpendency.Thejudgeboughtthepropertyin
19652yearsafterhisdecisionbecamefinal.Further,Asunciondidnotbuythepropertydirectlyfrom
anyofthepartiessincethepropertywasdirectlyboughtbyGalapon,whothensoldthepropertyto
Asuncion.TherewasnoshowingthatGalaponactedasadummyofAsuncion.

Also,Macarioladidnotshowproofthattherewasagrossinequalityinthepartition;orthatwhatshegot
wereinsignificantportionsoftheland.

TheSupremeCourthoweveradmonishedJudgeAsunciontobemorediscreetinhispersonaltransactions.
2.No.Article14(AntiGraftandCorruptPracticesAct,effectiveAugust1888)oftheCodeof
Commerce,prohibitingjudgesfromengagingincommercewaspoliticalinnatureandsowas
automaticallyabrogatedwiththeendofSpanishruleinthecountry(ChangeofSovereigntytotheUSby
virtueofcession,1898TreatyofParis).

The provision in the Code of Commerce which prohibits judges,


justices, etc., (public officers) from engaging in business within the
territorial jurisdiction of their courts is political in nature and therefore,
said provision was deemed abrogated when there was a change of
sovereignty from Spain to the United States at the turn of the century.
Political laws are deemed abrogated if there is a change of sovereignty
and unless re-enacted under the new sovereign, the same is without
force and effect.

LAWYERSLEAGUEVS.AQUINO,ETAL.G.R.No.73748,May22,1986

Ponente:GLORIAC.PARAS

FACTS:

OnFebruary25,1986,PresidentCorazonAquinoissuedProclamationNo.1announcingthatshe
andVicePresidentLaurelweretakingpower.

OnMarch25,1986,proclamationNo.3wasissuedprovidingthebasisoftheAquinogovernment
assumptionofpowerbystatingthatthenewgovernmentwasinstalledthroughadirectexerciseof
thepoweroftheFilipinopeopleassistedbyunitsoftheNewArmedForcesofthePhilippines.

ISSUE:

WhetherornotthegovernmentofCorazonAquinoislegitimate

Decision:

AsearlyasApril10,1986,thisCourt*hadalreadyvotedtodismissthepetitionsforthereasonstobe
statedbelow.

1. OnApril17,1986,Atty.LozanoascounselforthepetitionersinG.R.Nos.73748and73972
withdrewthepetitionsandmanifestedthattheywouldpursuethequestionbyextrajudicial
methods.Thewithdrawalisfunctusoficio.
2. ThelegitimacyoftheAquinogovernmentisnotajusticiablematter.Itbelongstotherealm
ofpoliticswhereonlythepeopleofthePhilippinesarethejudge.Andthepeoplehavemade
thejudgment;theyhaveacceptedthegovernmentofPresidentCorazonC.Aquino

3. Thecommunityofnationshasrecognizedthelegitimacyofthepresentgovernment.Allthe
elevenmembersofthisCourt,asreorganized,havesworntoupholdthefundamentallawof
theRepublicunderhergovernment.

INRESATURNINOBERMUDEZ,G.R.76180,October24,1986

SaturninoBermudez,asalawyer,questionedthevalidityofthefirstparagraphofSection5ofArticle
XVIIIoftheproposed1986Constitution,whichprovidesinfullasfollows:

Sec.5.ThesixyeartermoftheincumbentPresidentandVicePresidentelectedintheFebruary7,
1986electionis,forpurposesofsynchronizationofelections,herebyextendedtonoonofJune30,
1992.

ThefirstregularelectionsforthePresidentandVicePresidentunderthisConstitutionshallbeheldon
thesecondMondayofMay,1992.

Bermudezclaimsthatthesaidprovisionisnotclearastowhomitrefers,hethenaskstheCourtto
declareandanswerthequestionoftheconstructionanddefinitenessastowho,amongthepresent
incumbentPresidentCorazonAquinoandVicePresidentSalvadorLaurelandtheelectedPresident
FerdinandE.MarcosandVicePresidentArturoM.Tolentinobeingreferredtoastheincumbent
president.

ISSUE:Whetherornotsaidprovisionisambiguous.

HELD:No.Bermudezsallegationofambiguityorvaguenessoftheaforequotedprovisionis
manifestlygratuitous,itbeingamatterofpublicrecordandcommonpublicknowledgethatthe
ConstitutionalCommissionrefersthereintoincumbentPresidentAquinoandVicePresidentLaurel,
andtonootherpersons,andprovidesfortheextensionoftheirtermtonoonofJune30,1992for
purposesofsynchronizationofelections.Hence,thesecondparagraphofthecitedsectionprovidesfor
theholdingonthesecondMondayofMay,1992ofthefirstregularelectionsforthePresidentand
VicePresidentundersaid1986Constitution.Inpreviouscases,thelegitimacyofthegovernmentof
PresidentAquinowaslikewisesoughttobequestionedwiththeclaimthatitwasnotestablished
pursuanttothe1973Constitution.ThesaidcasesweredismissedoutrightbytheSupremeCourtwhich
heldthat:Petitionershavenopersonalitytosueandtheirpetitionsstatenocauseofaction.Forthe
legitimacyoftheAquinogovernmentisnotajusticiablematter.Itbelongstotherealmofpolitics
whereonlythepeopleofthePhilippinesarethejudge.Andthepeoplehavemadethejudgment;they
haveacceptedthegovernmentofPresidentCorazonC.Aquinowhichisineffectivecontrolofthe
entirecountrysothatitisnotmerelyadefactogovernmentbutinfactandinlawadejure
government.Moreover,thecommunityofnationshasrecognizedthelegitimacyofthepresent
government.
ALFREDOM.DELEONvs.HON.BENHAMINB.ESGUERRA(153
SCRA602)CaseDigest

Facts:

In 1982, Alfredo M. De Leon was elected as Baranggay Captain along with the other petitioners as
Barangay Councilmen of Baranggay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal. On February 9, 1987, he received a
Memorandum antedated December 1, 1986, signed on February 8, 1987 by OIC Gov. Benhamin B.
EsguerradesignatingFlorentinoMagnoasnewBarangayCaptain.AseparateMemorandumwiththesame
dateswasalsoissuedbyHon.EsguerrareplacingtheBarangayCouncilmen.DeLeonalongwiththeother
petitionersfiledapetitiontodeclarethesubjectMemorandumnullandvoidandpreventtherespondents
fromtakingovertheirpositionsintheBarangay.ThepetitionersmaintainedthatOICGov.Esguerrano
longerhavetheauthoritytoreplacethemunderthe1987Constitutionandthattheyshallserveatermofsix
(6)yearsinpursuanttoSection3oftheBarangayElectionActof1982.

Issue:

WasthedesignationofthenewBarangayOfficialsvalid?

Ruling:

TheeffectivityoftheMemorandumshouldbebasedonthedatewhenitwassigned,February8,1987.By
that time, the 1987 Constitution was already in effect, thus superseding all previous constitution as
providedinSection27ofitsTransitoryProvisions.RespondentOICGovernorcouldnolongerrelyon
Section2,ArticleIIIoftheProvisional Constitutiontodesignaterespondentstotheelectivepositions
occupiedbypetitioners.

BarangayElectionActof1982shouldstillgovernsinceitisnotinconsistentwiththe1987Constitution.

Wherefore,thedesignationbytheOICGovernorofnewBarangayOfficialswasdeclaredNOLEGAL
FORCEANDEFFECTandtheWritforProhibitionisGRANTEDenjoiningrespondentsperpetuallyfrom
ouster/takeoverofpetitionerspositionsubjectofthispetition.

TAADA VS. TUVERA

146 SCRA 446 (December 29, 1986)

FACTS:

This is a motion for reconsideration of the decision promulgated on


April 24, 1985. Respondent argued that while publication was
necessary as a rule, it was not so when it was otherwise as when the
decrees themselves declared that they were to become effective
immediately upon their approval.

ISSUES:

1. Whether or not a distinction be made between laws of general


applicability and laws which are not as to their publication;
2. Whether or not a publication shall be made in publications of
general circulation.

HELD:

The clause unless it is otherwise provided refers to the date of


effectivity and not to the requirement of publication itself, which
cannot in any event be omitted. This clause does not mean that the
legislature may make the law effective immediately upon approval, or
in any other date, without its previous publication.

Laws should refer to all laws and not only to those of general
application, for strictly speaking, all laws relate to the people in general
albeit there are some that do not apply to them directly. A law without
any bearing on the public would be invalid as an intrusion of privacy or
as class legislation or as an ultra vires act of the legislature. To be
valid, the law must invariably affect the public interest eve if it might
be directly applicable only to one individual, or some of the people
only, and not to the public as a whole.

All statutes, including those of local application and private laws, shall
be published as a condition for their effectivity, which shall begin 15
days after publication unless a different effectivity date is fixed by the
legislature.

Publication must be in full or it is no publication at all, since its purpose


is to inform the public of the content of the law.

Article 2 of the Civil Code provides that publication of laws must be


made in the Official Gazette, and not elsewhere, as a requirement for
their effectivity. The Supreme Court is not called upon to rule upon the
wisdom of a law or to repeal or modify it if it finds it impractical.

The publication must be made forthwith, or at least as soon as


possible.

J. Cruz:
Laws must come out in the open in the clear light of the sun instead of
skulking in the shadows with their dark, deep secrets. Mysterious
pronouncements and rumored rules cannot be recognized as binding
unless their existence and contents are confirmed by a valid
publication intended to make full disclosure and give proper notice to
the people. The furtive law is like a scabbarded saber that cannot faint,
parry or cut unless the naked blade is drawn.

Collector of Internal Revenue v Campos Rueda


COLLECTOROFINTERNALREVENUEVCAMPOSRUEDA

FERNANDO;October29,1971

FACTS

CollectorofInternalRevenueheldAntonioCamposRueda,asadministratoroftheestateofthe
lateEstrellaSorianoVda.deCerdeira,liableforthestunofP161,974.95asdeficiencyestateand
inheritancetaxesforthetransferofintangiblepersonalpropertiesinthePhilippines,thedeceased,aSpanish
nationalhavingbeenaresidentofTangier,Moroccofrom1931uptothetimeofherdeathin1955.
RuedasrequestforexemptionwasdeniedonthegroundthatthelawofTangierisnotreciprocaltoSection
122oftheNationalInternalRevenueCode.Ruedarequestedforthereconsiderationofthedecision
denyingtheclaimfortaxexemption.However,respondentdeniedthisrequestonthegroundsthattherewas
noreciprocity[withTangier,whichwasmoreover]amereprincipality,notaforeigncountry.CourtofTax
Appealsruledthattheexpression'foreigncountry,'usedinthelastprovisoofSection122oftheNational
InternalRevenueCode,referstoagovernmentofthatforeignpowerwhich,althoughnotaninternational
personinthesenseofinternationallaw,doesnotimposetransferordeathtaxesuponintangiblepersonal
propertiesofourcitizensnotresidingtherein,orwhoselawallowsasimilarexemptionfromsuchtaxes.It
is,therefore,notnecessarythatTangiershouldhavebeenrecognizedbyourGovernmentinordertoentitle
thepetitionertotheexemptionbenefitsofthelastprovisoofSection122ofourTaxCode.

ISSUE

Whetherornottherequisitesofstatehood,oratleastsomuchthereofasmaybenecessaryfor
theacquisitionofaninternationalpersonality,mustbesatisfiedfora"foreigncountry"tofallwithin
theexemptionofSection122oftheNationalInternalRevenueCode

HELDSupremeCourtaffirmedCourtoftaxAppealsRuling.
Ifaforeigncountryistobeidentifiedwithastate,itisrequiredinlinewithPound'sformulationthatitbe
apoliticallyorganizedsovereigncommunityindependentofoutsidecontrolboundbytiesofnationhood,
legallysupremewithinitsterritory,actingthroughagovernmentfunctioningunderaregimeoflaw.itis
thusasovereignpersonwiththepeoplecomposingitviewedasanorganizedcorporatesocietyundera
governmentwiththelegalcompetencetoexactobediencetoitscommands.Thestressisonitsbeinga
nation,itspeopleoccupyingadefiniteterritory,politicallyorganized,exercisingbymeansofits
governmentitssovereignwillovertheindividualswithinitandmaintainingitsseparateinternational
personality.Stateisaterritorialsocietydividedintogovernmentandsubjects,claimingwithinitsallotted
areaasupremacyoverallotherinstitutions.Moreover,similarlywouldpointtothepowerentrustedto
itsgovernmenttomaintainwithinitsterritorytheconditionsofalegalorderandtoenterinto
internationalrelations.Withthelatterrequisitesatisfied,internationallawdoesnotexactindependenceasa
conditionofstatehood.CollectorofInternalRevenuev.DeLara:TherecanbenodoubtthatCaliforniaas
astateintheAmericanUnionwaslackingintheallegedrequisiteofinternationalpersonality.Nonetheless,
itwasheldtobeaforeigncountrywithinthemeaningofSection122oftheNationalInternalRevenue
Code.ThisCourtdidcommititselftothedoctrinethatevenatinyprincipality,thatofLiechtenstein,
hardlyaninternationalpersonalityinthetraditionalsense,didfallunderthisexemptcategory.
Theprovinceofnorthcotabatovs.thegovernmentoftheRPpeacepanel,grno.183591,oct.14,2008

TheGovernmentandtheMILFwerescheduledtosignaMemorandumofAgreementontheAncestralDomain
(MOAAD) aspectof theGRPMILF TripoliAgreementonPeaceof2001inKualaLumpur,Malaysia.TheGRPMILF
agreementistheresultofaformalpeacetalksbetweenthepartiesinTripoli,Libyain2001.Thepertinentprovisionsinthe
MOAADprovidesfortheestablishmentofanassociativerelationshipbetweentheBangsamoroJuridicalEntity(BJE)and
theCentralGovernment.ItspeaksoftherelationshipbetweentheBJEandthePhilippinegovernmentasassociative,thus
implyinganinternationalrelationshipandthereforesuggestinganautonomousstate.Furthermore,undertheMOAAD,the
GRPPeacePanelguaranteesthatnecessaryamendmentstotheConstitutionandthelawswilleventuallybeputinplace.Is
thesaidMOAADconstitutional?

ANSWER:

No.TheSCruledthattheMOAADcannotbereconciledwiththepresentConstitutionandlaws.Notonlyitsspecific
provisionsbuttheveryconceptunderlyingthem,namely,theassociativerelationshipenvisionedbetweentheGRPandtheBJE,are
unconstitutional, for the concept presupposes that the associated entity is a state and implies that the same is on its way to
independence,itsaid.Moreover,astheclauseisworded,itvirtuallyguaranteesthatthenecessaryamendmentstotheConstitution
andthelawswilleventuallybeputinplace.NeithertheGRPPeacePanelnorthePresidentherselfisauthorizedtomakesucha
guarantee.Upholdingsuchanactwouldamounttoauthorizingausurpationoftheconstituentpowers vestedonlyinCongress,a
ConstitutionalConvention,orthepeoplethemselvesthroughtheprocessofinitiative,fortheonlywaythattheExecutivecan
ensuretheoutcomeoftheamendmentprocessisthroughanundueinfluenceorinterferencewiththatprocess.WhiletheMOAAD
wouldnotamounttoaninternationalagreement orunilateraldeclarationbindingonthePhilippinesunderinternationallaw,
respondents act of guaranteeing amendments is, by itself, already a constitutional violation that renders the MOAAD fatally
defective.

JusticeSantiagosaid,amongothers,thattheMOAADcontainsprovisionswhicharerepugnanttotheConstitutionand
whichwillresultinthevirtualsurrenderofpartofthePhilippinesterritorialsovereignty.ShefurthersaidthathadtheMOA
ADbeensignedbyparties,wouldhave boundthe governmenttothe creationofaseparate Bangsamorostate havingitsown
territory,government,civilinstitutions,andarmedforcesThesovereigntyandterritorialintegrityofthePhilippineswouldhave
beencompromised.(GRNo.183591,ProvinceofNorthCotabatov.Republic,October14,2008)