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Magallona v.

Ermita and classify KIG and Scarborough Shoal as regime of

(Case Digest) islands.

MAGALLONA v. ERMITA, G.R. 187167, August 16, 2011 Petitioner now assails the constitutionality of the law
for three main reasons:

1. it reduces the Philippine maritime territory under

In 1961, Congress passed R.A. 3046 demarcating the Article 1;
maritime baselines of the Philippines as an
Archepelagic State pursuant to UNCLOS I of 9158, 2. it opens the countrys waters to innocent and sea
codifying the sovereignty of State parties over their lanes passages hence undermining our sovereignty
territorial sea. Then in 1968, it was amended by R.A. and security; and
5446, correcting some errors in R.A. 3046 reserving
the drawing of baselines around Sabah. 3. treating KIG and Scarborough as regime of islands
would weaken our claim over those territories.
In 2009, it was again amended by R.A. 9522, to be
compliant with the UNCLOS III of 1984. The Issue: Whether R.A. 9522 is constitutional?
requirements complied with are: to shorten one
baseline, to optimize the location of some basepoints Ruling:
1. UNCLOS III has nothing to do with acquisition or loss modern state can invoke its sovereignty to forbid such
of territory. it is just a codified norm that regulates passage.
conduct of States. On the other hand, RA 9522 is a
baseline law to mark out basepoints along coasts, 3. On the KIG issue, RA 9522 merely followed the
serving as geographic starting points to measure. it basepoints mapped by RA 3046 and in fact, it
merely notices the international community of the increased the Phils. total maritime space. Moreover,
scope of our maritime space. the itself commits the Phils. continues claim of
sovereignty and jurisdiction over KIG.
2. If passages is the issue, domestically, the
legislature can enact legislation designating routes If not, it would be a breach to 2 provisions of the
within the archipelagic waters to regulate innocent UNCLOS III:
and sea lanes passages. but in the absence of such,
international law norms operate. Art. 47 (3): drawing of basepoints shall not depart to
any appreciable extent from the general configuration
the fact that for archipelagic states, their waters are of the archipelago.
subject to both passages does not place them in
lesser footing vis a vis continental coastal states. Art 47 (2): the length of baselines shall not exceed
Moreover, RIOP is a customary international law, no 100 mm.
(2) Should mandamus issue against respondents to compel PUVs to use
KIG and SS are far from our baselines, if we draw to
CNG as alternative fuel?
include them, well breach the rules: that it should
follow the natural configuration of the archipelago. APPLICABLE LAWS:

Section 16,12 Article II of the 1987 Constitution

Henares v LTFRB (Environmental Law)
The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced
Henares v LTFRB
and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
GR No. 158290

October 23, 2006

Section 414 of Republic Act No. 8749 otherwise known as the "Philippine
Clean Air Act of 1999." SEC. 4. Recognition of Rights. Pursuant to the
FACTS: above-declared principles, the following rights of citizens are hereby
sought to be recognized and the State shall seek to guarantee their
Petitioners challenge this Court to issue a writ of mandamus commanding
a) The right to breathe clean air;
respondents Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board
(LTFRB) and the Department of Transportation and Communications b) The right to utilize and enjoy all natural resources according to the
(DOTC) to require public utility vehicles (PUVs) to use compressed natural principle of sustainable development;
gas (CNG) as alternative fuel.
c) The right to participate in the formulation, planning, implementation and
monitoring of environmental policies and programs and in the decision-
making process;
d) The right to participate in the decision-making process concerning
development policies, plans and programs, projects or activities that may
(1) Do petitioners have legal personality to bring this petition before us? have adverse impact on the environment and public health;
e) The right to be informed of the nature and extent of the potential hazard (2) NO. plain, speedy and adequate remedy herein sought by petitioners,
of any activity, undertaking or project and to be served timely notice of any i.e., a writ of mandamus commanding the respondents to require PUVs to
significant rise in the level of pollution and the accidental or deliberate use CNG, is unavailing. Mandamus is available only to compel the doing of
release into the atmosphere of harmful or hazardous substances; an act specifically enjoined by law as a duty. Here, there is no law that
mandates the respondents LTFRB and the DOTC to order owners of motor
f) The right of access to public records which a citizen may need to
vehicles to use CNG. Mandamus will not generally lie from one branch of
exercise his or her rights effectively under this Act;
government to a coordinate branch, for the obvious reason that neither is
g) The right to bring action in court or quasi-judicial bodies to enjoin all inferior to the other.
activities in violation of environmental laws and regulations, to compel the
rehabilitation and cleanup of affected area, and to seek the imposition of
penal sanctions against violators of environmental laws; and It appears that more properly, the legislature should provide first the
specific statutory remedy to the complex environmental problems bared by
h) The right to bring action in court for compensation of personal damages
herein petitioners before any judicial recourse by mandamus is taken.
resulting from the adverse environmental and public health impact of a
project or activity.

RULING: Oposa vs. Factoran Case Digest (G.R.

No. 101083, July 30, 1993)
(1) YES. There is no dispute that petitioners have standing to bring their
case before this Court. Moreover, as held previously, a party's standing The plaintiffs in this case are all minors duly represented and joined by
before this Court is a procedural technicality which may, in the exercise of their parents. The first complaint was filed as a taxpayer's class suit at the
the Court's discretion, be set aside in view of the importance of the issue Branch 66 (Makati, Metro Manila), of the Regional Trial Court, National
raised. We brush aside this issue of technicality under the principle of the capital Judicial Region against defendant (respondent) Secretary of the
Department of Environment and Natural Reasources (DENR). Plaintiffs
transcendental importance to the public, especially so if these cases
alleged that they are entitled to the full benefit, use and enjoyment of the
demand that they be settled promptly.
natural resource treasure that is the country's virgin tropical forests. They
further asseverate that they represent their generation as well as
generations yet unborn and asserted that continued deforestation have
caused a distortion and disturbance of the ecological balance and have (3) Whether or not the original prayer of the plaintiffs result in the
resulted in a host of environmental tragedies. impairment of contracts.

Plaintiffs prayed that judgement be rendered ordering the respondent, his

agents, representatives and other persons acting in his behalf to cancel all
existing Timber License Agreement (TLA) in the country and to cease and
desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or approving new
TLAs. First Issue: Cause of Action.

Defendant, on the other hand, filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that Respondents aver that the petitioners failed to allege in their complaint a
the complaint had no cause of action against him and that it raises a specific legal right violated by the respondent Secretary for which any
political question. relief is provided by law. The Court did not agree with this. The complaint
focuses on one fundamental legal right -- the right to a balanced and
healthful ecology which is incorporated in Section 16 Article II of the
Constitution. The said right carries with it the duty to refrain from impairing
The RTC Judge sustained the motion to dismiss, further ruling that
the environment and implies, among many other things, the judicious
granting of the relief prayed for would result in the impairment of contracts
management and conservation of the country's forests. Section 4 of E.O.
which is prohibited by the Constitution.
192 expressly mandates the DENR to be the primary government agency
responsible for the governing and supervising the exploration, utilization,
development and conservation of the country's natural resources. The
Plaintiffs (petitioners) thus filed the instant special civil action for certiorari
policy declaration of E.O. 192 is also substantially re-stated in Title XIV
and asked the court to rescind and set aside the dismissal order on the
Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987. Both E.O. 192 and
ground that the respondent RTC Judge gravely abused his discretion in
Administrative Code of 1987 have set the objectives which will serve as
dismissing the action.
the bases for policy formation, and have defined the powers and functions
of the DENR. Thus, right of the petitioners (and all those they represent) to
a balanced and healthful ecology is as clear as DENR's duty to protect and
ISSUES: advance the said right.

(1) Whether or not the plaintiffs have a cause of action. A denial or violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty
(2) Whether or not the complaint raises a political issue. or obligation to respect or protect or respect the same gives rise to a
cause of action. Petitioners maintain that the granting of the TLA, which or public welfare as in this case. The granting of license does not create
they claim was done with grave abuse of discretion, violated their right to a irrevocable rights, neither is it property or property rights.
balance and healthful ecology. Hence, the full protection thereof requires
that no further TLAs should be renewed or granted.
Moreover, the constitutional guaranty of non-impairment of obligations of
contract is limit by the exercise by the police power of the State, in the
After careful examination of the petitioners' complaint, the Court finds it to interest of public health, safety, moral and general welfare. In short, the
be adequate enough to show, prima facie, the claimed violation of their non-impairment clause must yield to the police power of the State.

The instant petition, being impressed with merit, is hereby GRANTED and
the RTC decision is SET ASIDE.

Second Issue: Political Issue.

Second paragraph, Section 1 of Article VIII of the constitution provides for

the expanded jurisdiction vested upon the Supreme Court. It allows the
Court to rule upon even on the wisdom of the decision of the Executive
Land Titles And Deeds Case
and Legislature and to declare their acts as invalid for lack or excess of
jurisdiction because it is tainted with grave abuse of discretion.
Digest: Carino V. Insular
Government (1909)
449 February 23, 1909
Lessons Applicable: (Land Titles and Deeds)
Third Issue: Violation of the non-impairment clause.

Sec. 2 Art. XII 1987 Constitution

The Court held that the Timber License Agreement is an instrument by

which the state regulates the utilization and disposition of forest resources FACTS:
to the end that public welfare is promoted. It is not a contract within the
purview of the due process clause thus, the non-impairment clause cannot
be invoked. It can be validly withdraw whenever dictated by public interest
Carino is an Igorot of the Province of Benguet, where show that ancient possession, as a valid title by
the land lies filed for writ of error because the CFI and SC prescription." For cultivated land, 20 years, uninterrupted,
dismissed his petition for application is enough. For uncultivated, 30.

For more than 50 years before the Treaty of Paris, April Applicant's possession was not unlawful, and no attempt at any such
11, 1899, he and his ancestors had held the land as proceedings against him or his father ever was made.
recognized owners by the Igorots. (grandfather maintain
fences for holding cattle>father had cultivated parts and Every native who had not a paper title is not a trespasser.
used parts for pasturing cattle>he used it for pasture)
There must be a presumption against the government when a private
1893-1894 & 1896-1897: he made an application but with no avail individual claims property as his or her own. It went so far as to say that
the lands will be deemed private absent contrary proof.
1901: petition alleging ownership under the mortgage law and the
lands were registered to him but process only established possessory title

Even if the applicant have title, he cannot have it registered, because Cruz vs Secretary of DENR
the Philippine Commission's Act No. 926, of 1903, excepts the Province Natural Resources and Environmental Law; Constitutional
Law; IPRA; Regalian Doctrine
of Benguet among others from its operation

ISSUE: W/N Carino has ownership and is entitled to registration. GR. No. 135385, Dec. 6, 2000
HELD: YES. Petition Granted.
Land was not registered, and therefore became, if it was not always,
public land.
Petitioners Isagani Cruz and Cesar Europa filed a suit for
Spanish Law: "Where such possessors shall not be able prohibition and mandamus as citizens and taxpayers, assailing
the constitutionality of certain provisions of Republic Act No.
to produce title deeds, it shall be sufficient if they shall
8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of
1997 (IPRA) and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). the State. However, the right of ownership and possession by the
The petitioners assail certain provisions of the IPRA and its IRR ICCs/IPs of their ancestral domains is a limited form of
on the ground that these amount to an unlawful deprivation of ownership and does not include the right to alienate the same.
the States ownership over lands of the public domain as well as
minerals and other natural resources therein, in violation of the
regalian doctrine embodied in section 2, Article XII of the
Do the provisions of IPRA contravene the Constitution? Posted by kaye lee on 9:43 PM

G.R. No. 183591 October 14 2008
No, the provisions of IPRA do not contravene the Constitution.
Examining the IPRA, there is nothing in the law that grants to Province of North Cotabato vs Government of the Republic of the
the ICCs/IPs ownership over the natural resources within their Philippines
ancestral domain. Ownership over the natural resources in the
ancestral domains remains with the State and the rights granted
by the IPRA to the ICCs/IPs over the natural resources in their
ancestral domains merely gives them, as owners and occupants
of the land on which the resources are found, the right to the On August 5, 2008, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines
small scale utilization of these resources, and at the same time, a and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were scheduled to sign a
priority in their large scale development and exploitation. Memorandum of Agreement of the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the
GRP - MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of 2001 in Kuala Lumpur,
Additionally, ancestral lands and ancestral domains are not part
of the lands of the public domain. They are private lands and Invoking the right to information on matters of public concern, the
belong to the ICCs/IPs by native title, which is a concept of petitioners seek to compel respondents to disclose and furnish them
private land title that existed irrespective of any royal grant from the complete and official copies of the MA-AD and to prohibit the
slated signing of the MOA-AD and the holding of public consultation RULINGS:
thereon. They also pray that the MOA-AD be declared unconstitutional.
1. Yes, the petitions are ripe for adjudication. The failure of the
The Court issued a TRO enjoining the GRP from signing the same.
respondents to consult the local government units or communities
affected constitutes a departure by respondents from their mandate
under EO No. 3. Moreover, the respondents exceeded their authority
by the mere act of guaranteeing amendments to the Constitution. Any
1. Whether or not the constitutionality and the legality of the MOA is alleged violation of the Constitution by any branch of government is a
ripe for adjudication; proper matter for judicial review.

2. Whether or not there is a violation of the people's right to As the petitions involve constitutional issues which are of paramount
information on matters of public concern (Art 3 Sec. 7) under a state public interest or of transcendental importance, the Court grants the
policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest petitioners, petitioners-in-intervention and intervening respondents
(Art 2, Sec 28) including public consultation under RA 7160 (Local the requisite locus standi in keeping with the liberal stance adopted in
Government Code of 1991) David v. Macapagal- Arroyo.

3. Whether or not the signing of the MOA, the Government of the In Pimentel, Jr. v. Aguirre, this Court held:
Republic of the Philippines would be binding itself
x x x [B]y the mere enactment of the questioned law or the
a) to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) approval of the challenged action, the dispute is said to have
as a separate state, or a juridical, territorial or political ripened into a judicial controversy even without any other overt
subdivision not recognized by law;
act . Indeed, even a singular violation of the Constitution and/or the
b) to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to law is enough to awaken judicial duty.x x x x
conform to the MOA;
By the same token, when an act of the President, who in our
c) to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic
constitutional scheme is a coequal of Congress, is seriously alleged to
Liberation Front for ancestral domain in violation of Republic Act
No. 8371 (THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS ACT OF 1997), have infringed the Constitution and the laws x x x settling the dispute
becomes the duty and the responsibility of the courts.
particularly Section 3(g) & Chapter VII (DELINEATION,
That the law or act in question is not yet effective does not negate
2. Yes. The Court finds that there is a grave violation of the
Constitution involved in the matters of public concern (Sec 7 Art III)
Yes. The provisions of the MOA indicate, among other
under a state policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving things, that the Parties aimed to vest in the BJE the
public interest (Art 2, Sec 28) including public consultation under RA status of an associated state or, at any rate, a status
7160 (Local Government Code of 1991). closely approximating it.

(Sec 7 ArtIII) The right to information guarantees the right of the The concept of association is not recognized under the present
people to demand information, while Sec 28 recognizes the duty of
officialdom to give information even if nobody demands. The complete
and effective exercise of the right to information necessitates that its
No province, city, or municipality, not even the ARMM, is
complementary provision on public disclosure derive the same self-
recognized under our laws as having an associative
executory nature, subject only to reasonable safeguards or limitations relationship with the national government. Indeed, the concept
as may be provided by law. implies powers that go beyond anything ever granted by the
Constitution to any local or regional government. It also implies
The contents of the MOA-AD is a matter of paramount public concern the recognition of the associated entity as a state. The
involving public interest in the highest order. In declaring that the right Constitution, however, does not contemplate any state in this
to information contemplates steps and negotiations leading to the jurisdiction other than the Philippine State, much less does it
consummation of the contract, jurisprudence finds no distinction as to provide for a transitory status that aims to prepare any part of
the executory nature or commercial character of the agreement. Philippine territory for independence.

E.O. No. 3 itself is replete with mechanics for continuing consultations

on both national and local levels and for a principal forum for The BJE is a far more powerful entity than the
consensus-building. In fact, it is the duty of the Presidential Adviser on autonomous region recognized in the Constitution. It is not
the Peace Process to conduct regular dialogues to seek relevant merely an expanded version of the ARMM, the status of its
relationship with the national government being fundamentally
information, comments, advice, and recommendations from peace
different from that of the ARMM. Indeed, BJE is a state in all
partners and concerned sectors of society. but name as it meets the criteria of a state laid down in
the Montevideo Convention, namely, a permanent
population, a defined territory, a government, and a
3. capacity to enter into relations with other states.

a) to create and recognize the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE)

as a separate state, or a juridical, territorial or political
subdivision not recognized by law;
Even assuming arguendo that the MOA-AD would not necessarily It will be observed that the President has authority, as stated in
sever any portion of Philippine territory, the spirit animating it her oath of office, only to preserve and defend the Constitution.
which has betrayed itself by its use of the concept of Such presidential power does not, however, extend to allowing
association runs counter to the national sovereignty and her to change the Constitution, but simply to recommend
territorial integrity of the Republic. proposed amendments or revision. As long as she limits herself
to recommending these changes and submits to the proper
procedure for constitutional amendments and revision, her mere
recommendation need not be construed as an unconstitutional
The defining concept underlying the relationship between the
national government and the BJE being itself contrary to the
present Constitution, it is not surprising that many of the specific
provisions of the MOA-AD on the formation and powers of the BJE
are in conflict with the Constitution and the laws. The BJE is more The suspensive clause in the MOA-AD viewed in light of the
of a state than an autonomous region. But even assuming that it above-discussed standards.
is covered by the term autonomous region in the constitutional
provision just quoted, the MOA-AD would still be in conflict with it.
Given the limited nature of the Presidents authority to
propose constitutional amendments, she cannot
guarantee to any third party that the required
amendments will eventually be put in place, nor even be
b) to revise or amend the Constitution and existing laws to submitted to a plebiscite. The most she could do is submit
conform to the MOA: these proposals as recommendations either to Congress or the
people, in whom constituent powers are vested.

The MOA-AD provides that any provisions of the MOA-AD

requiring amendments to the existing legal framework shall c) to concede to or recognize the claim of the Moro Islamic
come into force upon the signing of a Comprehensive Compact Liberation Front for ancestral domain in violation of Republic Act
and upon effecting the necessary changes to the legal No. 8371 (THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS ACT OF 1997),
framework, implying an amendment of the Constitution to
accommodate the MOA-AD. This stipulation, in effect, particularly Section 3(g) & Chapter VII (DELINEATION,
guaranteed to the MILF the amendment of the
This strand begins with the statement that it is the birthright of
all Moros and all Indigenous peoples of Mindanao to identify
themselves and be accepted as Bangsamoros. It defines
Bangsamoro people as the natives or original inhabitants of
Mindanao and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu residing in such locality, is implemented therein. The MOA-AD is one
archipelago at the time of conquest or colonization, and their
peculiar program that unequivocally and unilaterally vests ownership
descendants whether mixed or of full blood, including their
spouses. of a vast territory to the Bangsamoro people, which could pervasively
and drastically result to the diaspora or displacement of a great
number of inhabitants from their total environment.
Thus, the concept of Bangsamoro, as defined in this strand of
the MOA-AD, includes not only Moros as traditionally
understood even by Muslims, but all indigenous peoples of
Mindanao and its adjacent islands. The MOA-AD adds that the
freedom of choice of indigenous peoples shall be respected. What
this freedom of choice consists in has not been specifically PANDACAN OIL DEPOT MUST GO:
defined. The MOA-AD proceeds to refer to the Bangsamoro
homeland, the ownership of which is vested exclusively in the
Bangsamoro people by virtue of their prior rights of occupation. ATIENZA CASE DIGEST
Both parties to the MOA-AD acknowledge that ancestral domain
does not form part of the public domain. By: Atty.Fred | February 15, 2008 in Elections and
Constitutional Law, Obiter/News

Leave a reply | Related posts at the bottom of article

Republic Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997
provides for clear-cut procedure for the recognition and delineation of (Just the other day, the Supreme Court affirmed the authority of Manila
ancestral domain, which entails, among other things, the observance City to issue and enforce an Ordinance reclassifying certain areas
of the free and prior informed consent of the Indigenous Cultural within the city. The reclassification adversely affected the oil
Communities/Indigenous Peoples. Notably, the statute does not grant companies, which are now forced to relocate their oil terminals in
the Executive Department or any government agency the power to Pandacan. This is a digest of Social Justice Society vs. Atienza, G.R.
delineate and recognize an ancestral domain claim by mere agreement
No. 156052, 13 February 2008. Other procedural issues are not
or compromise.
The Social Justice Society sought to compel respondent Hon. Jose L.
Two, Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991
Atienza, Jr., then mayor of the City of Manila, to enforce Ordinance
requires all national offices to conduct consultations beforeany project
No. 8027 that was enacted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of
or program critical to the environment and human ecology including
Manila in 2001. Ordinance No. 8027 reclassified the area described
those that may call for the eviction of a particular group of people
therein from industrial to commercial and directed the owners and Intervention is a remedy by which a third party, not originally
operators of businesses disallowed under the reclassification to impleaded in the proceedings, becomes a litigant therein to enable
cease and desist from operating their businesses within six months him, her or it to protect or preserve a right or interest which may
from the date of effectivity of the ordinance. Among the businesses be affected by such proceedings. The allowance or disallowance of
situated in the area are the so-called Pandacan Terminals a motion to intervene is addressed to the sound discretion of the
of the oil companies (the brief history of the Pandacan Oil court. While the motions to intervene respectively filed by the oil
Terminals is here). companies and the DOE were filed out of time, these motions were
In 2002, the City of Manila and the Department of Energy (DOE) granted because they presented novel issues and arguments.
entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the oil DOEs intervention was also allowed considering the
companies. They agreed that the scaling down of the Pandacan transcendental importance of this case.
Terminals [was] the most viable and practicable option. The
Sangguniang Panlungsod ratified the MOU in Resolution No. 97. In Ordinance No. 8119 did not impliedly repeal Ordinance No.
the same resolution, the Sanggunian declared that the MOU was 8027
effective only for a period of six months starting 25 July 2002, which Repeal by implication proceeds on the premise that where a statute
period was extended up to 30 April 2003. of later date clearly reveals the intention of the legislature to
abrogate a prior act on the subject, that intention must be given
This is the factual backdrop of the Supreme Courts 7 March 2007 effect. Implied repeals are not favored and will not be so declared
Decision. The SC ruled that respondent had the ministerial duty unless the intent of the legislators is manifest.
under the Local Government Code (LGC) to enforce all laws
and ordinances relative to the governance of the city, including There are two kinds of implied repeal. The first is: where the
Ordinance No. 8027. After the SC promulgated its Decision, provisions in the two acts on the same subject matter are
Chevron Philippines Inc. (Chevron), Petron Corporation (Petron) irreconcilably contradictory, the latter act, to the extent of the
and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (Shell) (the oil conflict, constitutes an implied repeal of the earlier one. The
companies) and the Republic of the Philippines, represented by second is: if the later act covers the whole subject of the earlier one
the DOE, sought to intervene and ask for a reconsideration of and is clearly intended as a substitute, it will operate to repeal the
the decision. earlier law. The oil companies argue that the situation here falls
Intervention of the oil companies and the DOE allowed in the under the first category.
interest of justice
For the first kind of implied repeal, there must be an irreconcilable executive departments of the government in the legitimate
conflict between the two ordinances. However, there was no exercise of its powers, there is an exception to enforce mere
legislative purpose to repeal Ordinance No. 8027. There is no ministerial acts required by law to be performed by some officer
conflict since both ordinances actually have a common thereof. A writ of mandamus is the power to compel the
objective, i.e., to shift the zoning classification from industrial to performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty
commercial (Ordinance No. 8027) or mixed residential/commercial resulting from office, trust or station.
(Ordinance No. 8119). While it is true that both ordinances relate to
the same subject matter, i.e., classification of the land use of the The oil companies also argue that petitioners had a plain, speedy
area where Pandacan oil depot is located, if there is no intent to and adequate remedy to compel respondent to enforce Ordinance
repeal the earlier enactment, every effort at reasonable No. 8027, which was to seek relief from the President of the
construction must be made to reconcile the ordinances so that Philippines through the Secretary of the Department of Interior and
both can be given effect. Local Government (DILG) by virtue of the Presidents power of
Moreover, it is a well-settled rule in statutory construction that a supervision over local government units. This suggested process,
subsequent general law does not repeal a prior special law on the however, would be unreasonably long, tedious and consequently
same subject unless it clearly appears that the legislature has injurious to the interests of the local government unit (LGU) and its
intended by the latter general act to modify or repeal the earlier constituents whose welfare is sought to be protected. A party need
special law. The special law must be taken as intended to constitute not go first to the DILG in order to compel the enforcement of an
an exception to, or a qualification of, the general act or provision. ordinance. Besides, the resort to an original action for mandamus
Ordinance No. 8027 is a special law since it deals specifically with a before the SC is undeniably allowed by the Constitution.
certain area described therein (the Pandacan oil depot area)
whereas Ordinance No. 8119 can be considered a general law as it Ordinance No. 8027 is constitutional and valid
covers the entire city of Manila. The tests of a valid ordinance are well established. For an
ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the corporate
Mandamus lies to compel respondent Mayor to enforce powers of the LGU to enact and be passed according to the
Ordinance No. 8027 procedure prescribed by law, it must also conform to the following
The oil companies insist that mandamus does not lie against substantive requirements: (1) must not contravene the Constitution
respondent in consideration of the separation of powers of the or any statute; (2) must not be unfair or oppressive; (3) must not be
executive and judiciary. However, while it is true that Courts will not partial or discriminatory; (4) must not prohibit but may regulate
interfere by mandamus proceedings with the legislative or trade; (5) must be general and consistent with public policy and (6)
must not be unreasonable. There is no showing that the Ordinance distinguished from those of a particular class, require its exercise;
is unconstitutional. and (2) the means employed are reasonably necessary for the
accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon
The City of Manila has the power to enact Ordinance No. 8027 individuals. In short, there must be a concurrence of a lawful
Ordinance No. 8027 was passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of subject and a lawful method.
Manila in the exercise of its police power. Police power is the
plenary power vested in the legislature to make statutes and Ordinance No. 8027 is a valid police power measure because there
ordinances to promote the health, morals, peace, education, good is a concurrence of lawful subject and lawful method. It was
order or safety and general welfare of the people. This power flows enacted for the purpose of promoting sound urban planning,
from the recognition that salus populi est suprema lex (the welfare of ensuring health, public safety and general welfare of the
the people is the supreme law). residents of Manila. The Sanggunian was impelled to take
While police power rests primarily with the national legislature, measures to protect the residents of Manila from catastrophic
such power may be delegated. Section 16 of the LGC, known as the devastation in case of a terrorist attack on the Pandacan Terminals.
general welfare clause, encapsulates the delegated police power to Towards this objective, the Sanggunian reclassified the area
local governments. LGUs like the City of Manila exercise police defined in the ordinance from industrial to commercial.
power through their respective legislative bodies, in this case, the
Sangguniang Panlungsod or the city council. Specifically, the The ordinance was intended to safeguard the rights to life, security
Sanggunian can enact ordinances for the general welfare of the and safety of all the inhabitants of Manila and not just of a
city. particular class. The depot is perceived, rightly or wrongly, as a
representation of western interests which means that it is a
This police power was also provided for in RA 409 or the Revised terrorist target. As long as it there is such a target in their midst, the
Charter of the City of Manila. Specifically, the Sanggunian has the residents of Manila are not safe. It therefore became necessary to
power to reclassify land within the jurisdiction of the city. remove these terminals to dissipate the threat. Wide discretion is
vested on the legislative authority to determine not only what the
The enactment of Ordinance No. 8027 is a legitimate exercise interests of the public require but also what measures are
of police power necessary for the protection of such interests. Clearly, the
As with the State, local governments may be considered as having Sanggunian was in the best position to determine the needs of its
properly exercised their police power only if the following constituents.
requisites are met: (1) the interests of the public generally, as
In the exercise of police power, property rights of individuals may According to the oil companies, Ordinance No. 8027 is unfair and
be subjected to restraints and burdens in order to fulfill the oppressive as it does not only regulate but also absolutely prohibits
objectives of the government. Otherwise stated, the government them from conducting operations in the City of Manila. However,
may enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty, the oil companies are not prohibited from doing business in other
property, lawful businesses and occupations to promote the appropriate zones in Manila. The City of Manila merely exercised its
general welfare. However, the interference must be reasonable and power to regulate the businesses and industries in the zones it
not arbitrary. And to forestall arbitrariness, the methods or means established.
used to protect public health, morals, safety or welfare must have a
reasonable relation to the end in view. The oil companies also argue that the ordinance is unfair and
oppressive because they have invested billions of pesos in the
The means adopted by the Sanggunian was the enactment of a depot, and the forced closure will result in huge losses in income
zoning ordinance which reclassified the area where the depot is and tremendous costs in constructing new facilities. This argument
situated from industrial to commercial. A zoning ordinance is has no merit. In the exercise of police power, there is a limitation
defined as a local city or municipal legislation which logically on or restriction of property interests to promote public welfare
arranges, prescribes, defines and apportions a given political which involves no compensable taking. Compensation is necessary
subdivision into specific land uses as present and future projection only when the states power of eminent domain is exercised. In
of needs. As a result of the zoning, the continued operation of the eminent domain, property is appropriated and applied to some
businesses of the oil companies in their present location will no public purpose. Property condemned under the exercise of police
longer be permitted. The power to establish zones for industrial, power, on the other hand, is noxious or intended for a noxious or
commercial and residential uses is derived from the police power forbidden purpose and, consequently, is not compensable. The
itself and is exercised for the protection and benefit of the restriction imposed to protect lives, public health and safety from
residents of a locality. Consequently, the enactment of Ordinance danger is not a taking. It is merely the prohibition or abatement of
No. 8027 is within the power of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the a noxious use which interferes with paramount rights of the public.
City of Manila and any resulting burden on those affected cannot In the regulation of the use of the property, nobody else acquires
be said to be unjust. the use or interest therein, hence there is no compensable taking.

Ordinance No. 8027 is not unfair, oppressive or confiscatory In this case, the properties of the oil companies and other
which amounts to taking without compensation businesses situated in the affected area remain theirs. Only their
use is restricted although they can be applied to other profitable germane to the purpose of the ordinance. The classification is not
uses permitted in the commercial zone. limited to the conditions existing when the ordinance was enacted
but to future conditions as well. Finally, the ordinance is applicable
Ordinance No. 8027 is not partial and discriminatory to all businesses and industries in the area it delineated.
The oil companies take the position that the ordinance has
discriminated against and singled out the Pandacan Terminals Ordinance No. 8027 is not inconsistent with RA 7638 and RA
despite the fact that the Pandacan area is congested with buildings 8479
and residences that do not comply with the National Building Code, The oil companies and the DOE assert that Ordinance No. 8027 is
Fire Code and Health and Sanitation Code. unconstitutional because it contravenes RA 7638 (DOE Act of 1992)
and RA 8479 (Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Law of 1998).
An ordinance based on reasonable classification does not violate
the constitutional guaranty of the equal protection of the law. The It is true that ordinances should not contravene existing statutes
requirements for a valid and reasonable classification are: (1) it enacted by Congress. However, a brief survey of decisions where
must rest on substantial distinctions; (2) it must be germane to the the police power measure of the LGU clashed with national laws
purpose of the law; (3) it must not be limited to existing conditions shows that the common dominator is that the national laws were
only; and (4) it must apply equally to all members of the same class. clearly and expressly in conflict with the ordinances/resolutions of
The law may treat and regulate one class differently from another the LGUs. The inconsistencies were so patent that there was no
class provided there are real and substantial differences to room for doubt. This is not the case here. The laws cited merely
distinguish one class from another. gave DOE general powers to establish and administer
programs for the exploration, transportation, marketing,
Here, there is a reasonable classification. What the ordinance seeks distribution, utilization, conservation, stockpiling, and storage of
to prevent is a catastrophic devastation that will result from a energy resources and to encourage certain practices in the
terrorist attack. Unlike the depot, the surrounding community is [oil] industry which serve the public interest and are intended to
not a high-value terrorist target. Any damage caused by fire or achieve efficiency and cost reduction, ensure continuous supply of
explosion occurring in those areas would be nothing compared to petroleum products. These powers can be exercised without
the damage caused by a fire or explosion in the depot itself. emasculating the LGUs of the powers granted them. When these
Accordingly, there is a substantial distinction. The enactment of the ambiguous powers are pitted against the unequivocal power of the
ordinance which provides for the cessation of the operations of LGU to enact police power and zoning ordinances for the general
these terminals removes the threat they pose. Therefore it is welfare of its constituents, it is not difficult to rule in favor of the
latter. Considering that the powers of the DOE regarding the Ordinance No. 8027 is not invalid for failure to comply with RA
Pandacan Terminals are not categorical, the doubt must be 7924 and EO 72
resolved in favor of the City of Manila. The oil companies argue that zoning ordinances of LGUs are
required to be submitted to the Metropolitan Manila Development
The principle of local autonomy is enshrined in and zealously Authority (MMDA) for review and if found to be in compliance with
protected under the Constitution. An entire article (Article X) of the its metropolitan physical framework plan and regulations, it shall
Constitution has been devoted to guaranteeing and promoting the endorse the same to the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
autonomy of LGUs. The LGC was specially promulgated by (HLURB). Their basis is Section 3 (e) of RA 7924 and Section 1 of E.O.
Congress to ensure the autonomy of local governments as 72. They argue that because Ordinance No. 8027 did not go
mandated by the Constitution. There is no showing how the laws through this review process, it is invalid.
relied upon by the oil companies and DOE stripped the City of
Manila of its power to enact ordinances in the exercise of its police The argument is flawed. RA 7942 does not give MMDA the authority
power and to reclassify the land uses within its jurisdiction. to review land use plans and zoning ordinances of cities and
municipalities. This was only found in its implementing rules which
The DOE cannot exercise the power of control over LGUs made a reference to EO 72. EO 72 expressly refers to
Another reason that militates against the DOEs assertions is comprehensive land use plans (CLUPs) only. Ordinance No. 8027 is
that Section 4 of Article X of the Constitution confines the admittedly not a CLUP nor intended to be one. Instead, it is a very
Presidents power over LGUs to one of general supervision. specific ordinance which reclassified the land use of a defined area
Consequently, the Chief Executive or his or her alter egos, cannot in order to prevent the massive effects of a possible terrorist
exercise the power of control over them. The President and his or attack. It is Ordinance No. 8119 which was explicitly formulated as
her alter egos, the department heads, cannot interfere with the the Manila [CLUP] and Zoning Ordinance of 2006. CLUPs
activities of local governments, so long as they act within the scope are the ordinances which should be submitted to the MMDA for
of their authority. Accordingly, the DOE cannot substitute its own integration in its metropolitan physical framework plan and
discretion for the discretion exercised by the sanggunian of the City approved by the HLURB to ensure that they conform with national
of Manila. In local affairs, the wisdom of local officials must prevail guidelines and policies. Moreover, even assuming that the MMDA
as long as they are acting within the parameters of the Constitution review and HLURB ratification are necessary, the oil companies did
and the law. not present any evidence to show that these were not complied
with. In accordance with the presumption of validity in favor of an
ordinance, its constitutionality or legality should be upheld in the
absence of proof showing that the procedure prescribed by law and 7312) by the Register of Deeds of Paranaque to PEA covering the
was not observed. three reclaimed islands known as the FREEDOM ISLANDS.

Subsquently, PEA entered into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with

AMARI, a Thai-Philippine corporation to develop the Freedom Islands.
Along with another 250 hectares, PEA and AMARI entered the JVA
Chavez v. Pea and Amari which would later transfer said lands to AMARI. This caused a stir
especially when Sen. Maceda assailed the agreement, claiming that
such lands were part of public domain (famously known as the mother

24 SEP
of all scams).

Peitioner Frank J. Chavez filed case as a taxpayer praying for

Chavez v. Pea and Amari mandamus, a writ of preliminary injunction and a TRO against the sale
of reclaimed lands by PEA to AMARI and from implementing the JVA.
Fact: Following these events, under President Estradas admin, PEA and
In 1973, the Comissioner on Public Highways entered into a contract to AMARI entered into an Amended JVA and Mr. Chaves claim that the
reclaim areas of Manila Bay with the Construction and Development contract is null and void.
Corportion of the Philippines (CDCP).
PEA (Public Estates Authority) was created by President Marcos under w/n: the transfer to AMARI lands reclaimed or to be reclaimed as part
P.D. 1084, tasked with developing and leasing reclaimed lands. These of the stipulations in the (Amended) JVA between AMARI and PEA
lands were transferred to the care of PEA under P.D. 1085 as part of violate Sec. 3 Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution
the Manila Cavite Road and Reclamation Project (MCRRP). CDCP and w/n: the court is the proper forum for raising the issue of whether the
PEA entered into an agreement that all future projects under the amended joint venture agreement is grossly disadvantageous to the
MCRRP would be funded and owned by PEA. government.

By 1988, President Aquino issued Special Patent No. 3517 transferring Held:
lands to PEA. It was followed by the transfer of three Titles (7309, 7311 On the issue of Amended JVA as violating the constitution:
1. The 157.84 hectares of reclaimed lands comprising the Freedom
Islands, now covered by certificates of title in the name of PEA, are PEA may reclaim these submerged areas. Thereafter, the government
alienable lands of the public domain. PEA may lease these lands to can classify the reclaimed lands as alienable or disposable, and further
private corporations but may not sell or transfer ownership of these declare them no longer needed for public service. Still, the transfer of
lands to private corporations. PEA may only sell these lands to such reclaimed alienable lands of the public domain to AMARI will be
Philippine citizens, subject to the ownership limitations in the 1987 void in view of Section 3, Article XII of the 1987Constitution which
Constitution and existing laws. prohibits private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable
land of the public domain.
2. The 592.15 hectares of submerged areas of Manila Bay remain
inalienable natural resources of the public domain until classified as
alienable or disposable lands open to disposition and declared no
longer needed for public service. The government can make such

Francisco Chavez
classification and declaration only after PEA has reclaimed these
submerged areas. Only then can these lands qualify as agricultural
lands of the public domain, which are the only natural resources the
government can alienate. In their present state, the 592.15 hectares of
submerged areas are inalienable and outside the commerce of man. vs Public Estates
3. Since the Amended JVA seeks to transfer to AMARI, a private
corporation, ownership of 77.34 hectares110 of the Freedom Islands,
Authority (July
such transfer is void for being contrary to Section 3, Article XII of the
1987 Constitution which prohibits private corporations from acquiring 2002)
any kind of alienable land of the public domain.
384 SCRA 152 Civil Law Land Titles and Deeds Lands of
4. Since the Amended JVA also seeks to transfer to AMARI ownership the Public Domain
of 290.156 hectares111 of still submerged areas of Manila Bay, such
transfer is void for being contrary to Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 The Public Estates Authority (PEA) is the central implementing
Constitution which prohibits the alienation of natural resources other agency tasked to undertake reclamation projects nationwide. It
than agricultural lands of the public domain. took over the leasing and selling functions of the DENR
(Department of Environmental and Natural Resources) insofar
as reclaimed or about to be reclaimed foreshore lands are contrary to Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which
concerned. prohibits the alienation of natural resources other than
agricultural lands of the public domain.
PEA sought the transfer to the Amari Coastal Bay and
Development Corporation, a private corporation, of the
ownership of 77.34 hectares of the Freedom Islands. PEA also
sought to have 290.156 hectares of submerged areas of Manila
Bay to Amari. Legaspi v CSC 150 SCRA 530 (1987)
Facts: The petitioner invokes his constitutional right to information
ISSUE: Whether or not the transfer is valid. on matters of public concern in a special civil action for mandamus
HELD: No. To allow vast areas of reclaimed lands of the public against the CSC pertaining to the information of civil service
domain to be transferred to Amari as private lands will sanction a eligibilities of certain persons employed as sanitarians in the Health
Department of Cebu City. The standing of the petitioner was
gross violation of the constitutional ban on private corporations
challenged by the Solicitor General of being devoid of legal right to
from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain.
be informed of the civil service eligibilities of government employees
The Supreme Court affirmed that the 157.84 hectares of for failure of petitioner to provide actual interest to secure the
reclaimed lands comprising the Freedom Islands, now covered information sought.
by certificates of title in the name of PEA, are alienable lands of
the public domain. The 592.15 hectares of submerged areas of
Issue: Whether or not petitioner may invoke his constitutional right
Manila Bay remain inalienable natural resources of the public
to information in the case at bar.
domain. The transfer (as embodied in a joint venture
agreement) to AMARI, a private corporation, ownership of 77.34 Held: The court held that when the question is one of public right
and the object of the mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a
hectares of the Freedom Islands, is void for being contrary to
public duty, the people are regarded as the real party in interest and
Section 3, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits
the relator at whose instigation the proceedings are instituted need
private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land of not show that he has any legal or special interest in the result, it
the public domain. Furthermore, since the Amended JVA also being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and as such interested in
seeks to transfer to Amari ownership of 290.156 hectares of still the execution of the laws. The Constitution provides the guarantee
submerged areas of Manila Bay, such transfer is void for being of adopting policy of full public disclosure subject to reasonable
conditions prescribed by law as in regulation in the manner of a public office is a public trust. Public employees therefore are
examining the public records by the government agency in custody accountable to the people even as to their eligibilities to their
thereof. But the constitutional guarantee to information on matters positions in the government. The court also noted that the
of public concern is not absolute. Under the Constitution, access to information on the result of the CSC eligibility examination is
official records, papers, etc., are "subject to limitations as may be released to the public therefore the request of petitioner is one that
provided by law" (Art. III, Sec. 7, second sentence). The law may is not unusual or unreasonable. The public, through any citizen, has
therefore exempt certain types of information from public scrutiny, the right to verify the civil eligibilities of any person occupying
such as those affecting national security. government positions.

The court delves into determining whether the information sought

for by the petitioner is of public interest. All appointments in the Civil
Service Commission are made according to merit and fitness while