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College of Law

First Semester Cases

Digested by:

Jian Alexie Arbis Julia Oliva

Julius Eco Crystal Joyce Diadem Pido
Rijene Apryl Marie Ayupan Artem Ron Raymundo
Ivy Casiano Dianne Maurice Gomez
Marjoerie Castor Jerome Rey Banate
Ma. Lovella Cordero Ryan Mantac
Tanya Lynne Diestro Quennie Dame Falsario
Stephanie Rose Javellana Val Justin Deatras
Hartney Mae Labaco Jon Paolo Velasco
Aleane Jessa Moncada Niezel Anen Sabrido
Don Christian Ycay Marieh Hermione Boco


State Immunity From Suit

Don Christian B. Ycay 1. Republic v. Villasor, 54 SCRA 83
2. Lasco v. URENRE, 241 SCRA 681
3. SEAFDEC v. NLRC, 241 SCRA 580
Principles and State Policies
Ivy C. Casiano 1. Villavicencio v. Lukban, supra
2. Kuroda v. Jalandoni, 83 PHIL 171 (1949)
3. Agustin v. Edu 88 SCRA 195 (1997)
Jon Paolo P. Velasco 4. Ichong v. Hernandez 101 PHIL 115 (1957)
5. Gonzales v. Hechanova 9 SCRA 230 (1963)
6. In Re: Garcia 2 SCRA 984 (1961)

Separation of Powers

Delegation of Powers
Tanya Lynne M. Diestro 5. Tablarin vs. Gutierrez 152 SCRA 730
6. Pelaez vs. Auditor General 15 SCRA 569
7. Pacific Steam Laundry Inc. vs. Laguna
Lake Development Authority, Dec. 18, 2009

Republic v. Villasor, 54 SCRA 83

In the petition filed by the Republic of the Philippines on July 7, 1969, a summary
of facts was set forth thus: "7. On July 3, 1961, a decision was rendered in Special
Proceedings No. 2156-R in favor of respondents P. J. Kiener Co., Ltd., Gavino Unchuan,
and International Construction Corporation, and against the petitioner herein, confirming
the arbitration award in the amount of P1,712,396.40, subject of Special Proceedings.

On June 24, 1969, respondent Honorable Guillermo P. Villasor, issued an Order

declaring the aforestated decision of July 3, 1961 final and executory. Pursuant to the
said Order dated June 24, 1969, the corresponding Alias Writ of Execution [was issued]
dated June 26, 1969.

The Republic of the Philippines filed a certiorari and prohibition proceeding

challenging the validity of an order issued by respondent Judge Guillermo P. Villasor.
Is the Writ of Execution issued by Judge Villasor valid?
The writs of certiorari and prohibition are granted, nullifying and setting aside both
the order of June 24, 1969 declaring executory the decision of July 3, 1961 as well as the
alias writ of execution issued thereunder. The preliminary injunction issued by this Court
on July 12, 1969 is hereby made permanent.

It is a fundamental postulate of constitutionalism flowing from the juristic concept

of sovereignty that the state as well as its government is immune from suit unless it gives
its consent. A sovereign is exempt from suit, not because of any formal conception or
obsolete theory, but on the logical and practical ground that there can be no legal right as
against the authority that makes the law on which the right depends.

A corollary, both dictated by logic and sound sense from a basic concept is that
public funds cannot be the object of a garnishment proceeding even if the consent to be
sued had been previously granted and the state liability adjudged. The universal rule that
where the State gives its consent to be sued by private parties either by general or special
law, it may limit claimant's action 'only up to the completion of proceedings anterior to the
stage of execution' and that the power of the Courts ends when the judgment is rendered,
since government funds and properties may not be seized under writs of execution or
garnishment to satisfy such judgments, is based on obvious considerations of public
policy. Disbursements of public funds must be covered by the corresponding
appropriation as required by law. The functions and public services rendered by the State
cannot be allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds from their
legitimate and specific objects, as appropriated by law.
Lasco v. URENRE, 241 SCRA 681

This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court to set
aside the Resolution dated January 25, 1993 of the National Labor Relations Commission
(NLRC), Fifth Division, Cagayan de Oro City.

Petitioners were dismissed from their employment with private respondent, the
United Nations Revolving Fund for Natural Resources Exploration (UNRFNRE), which is
a special fund and subsidiary organ of the United Nations. The UNRFNRE is involved in
a joint project of the Philippine Government and the United Nations for exploration work
in Dinagat Island. Petitioners are the complainants in NLRC Cases for illegal dismissal
and damages.

In its Motion to Dismiss, private respondent alleged that respondent Labor Arbiter
had no jurisdiction over its personality since it enjoyed diplomatic immunity pursuant to
the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. In support
thereof, private respondent attached a letter from the Department of Foreign Affairs dated
August 26, 1991, which acknowledged its immunity from suit. The letter confirmed that
private respondent, being a special fund administered by the United Nations, was covered
by the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations of which
the Philippine Government was an original signatory

Petitioners argued that the acts of mining exploration and exploitation are outside
the official functions of an international agency protected by diplomatic immunity. Even
assuming that private respondent was entitled to diplomatic immunity, petitioners insisted
that private respondent waived it when it engaged in exploration work and entered into a
contract of employment with petitioners.

Whether or not specialized agencies enjoy diplomatic immunity.


The petition is DISMISSED. The diplomatic immunity of private respondent was

sufficiently established by the letter of the Department of Foreign Affairs, recognizing and
confirming the immunity of UNRFNRE in accordance with the 1946 Convention on
Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations where the Philippine Government was a
party. The issue whether an international organization is entitled to diplomatic immunity
is a "political question" and such determination by the executive branch is conclusive on
the courts and quasi-judicial agencies (The Holy See v. Hon. Eriberto U. Rosario, Jr.,
G.R. No. 101949, Dec. 1, 1994; International Catholic Migration Commission v. Calleja,

This is an original petition for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for the
issuance of a restraining order, to set aside the order of respondent labor arbiter, dated
20 September 1990, denying herein petitioner's motion to dismiss the cases subject
matter of the petition for lack of jurisdiction.

Two labor cases were filed by the herein private respondents against the petitioner,
Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), before the National Labor
Relations Commission (NLRC), Regional Arbitration Branch, Iloilo City. In these cases,
the private respondents claim having been wrongfully terminated from their employment
by the petitioner.

The petitioner, contending to be an international inter-government organization,

composed of various Southeast Asian countries, filed a Motion to Dismiss, challenging
the jurisdiction of the public respondent in taking cognizance of the above cases.
The private respondents, as well as respondent labor arbiter, allege that the petitioner is
not immune from suit and assuming that if, indeed, it is an international organization, it
has, however, impliedly, if not expressly, waived its immunity by belatedly raising the
issue of jurisdiction.

Whether or not the petitioner is immune from suit.


The Court ruled for the petitioner. It is beyond question that petitioner SEAFDEC
is an international agency enjoying diplomatic immunity. It has already been held in
Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aquaculture Department vs. National
Labor Relations Commission (G.R. No. 86773, 206 SCRA 283/1992). Petitioner
Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-
AQD) is an international agency beyond the jurisdiction of public respondent NLRC.
Being an intergovernmental organization, SEAFDEC including its Departments
(AQD), enjoys functional independence and freedom from control of the state in whose
territory its office is located. One of the basic immunities of an international organization
is immunity from local jurisdiction, i.e., that it is immune from the legal writs and processes
issued by the tribunals of the country where it is found. The obvious reason for this is that
the subjection of such an organization to the authority of the local courts would afford a
convenient medium thru which the host government may interfere in their operations or
even influence or control its policies and decisions of the organization; besides, such
objection to local jurisdiction would impair the capacity of such body to discharge its
responsibilities impartially on behalf of its member-states.





Republic Act No. 1180 entitled An Act to Regulate the Retail Business, prohibiting
in general aliens to engage in retail and trade in our country, which was enacted by The
Congress of The Philippines and is an act which nationalizes the retail and trade business.


1. Whether congress violated the U.N. Charter, Philippines-Chinese Treaty of Amity,

and the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights by enacting Republic Act No. 1180.


The UN Charter imposes no strict or legal obligations regarding the rights and
freedom of their subjects, and the Declaration of Human Rights contains nothing more
than a mere recommendation, or a common standard of achievement for all peoples and
all nations.

The treaty of Amity between the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of
China guarantees equality of treatment to the Chinese nationals upon the same terms
as the nationals of any other country. But the nationals of China are not discriminated
against because nationals of all other countries, except those of the United States, who
are granted special rights by the Constitution, are all prohibited from engaging in the retail

But even supposing that the law infringes upon the said treaty, the treaty is always
subject to qualification or amendment by a subsequent law, and the same may never
curtail or restrict the scope of the police power of the State.




The importation of foreign rice to be purchased from private resources was

authorized by the Executive Secretary.
A petition was filed by by Ramon A. Gonzales a rice planter, which questions the
validity of the attempt to import foreign rice. His contention is that it is against RA 3452
which prohibits importation of corn and rice by the Rice and Corn administration or and
other government agency.



Rufino G. Hechanova countered that the importation is authorized by the President

for military stockpile purposes. He further contends that there is no prohibition on
importation made by the Government itself. He also argued that the Government has
entered into 2 contracts with Burma and Vietnam. Under International Law these
contracts constitute valid executive agreements; that such agreements become binding
and effective upon signing thereof by the representatives of both parties.

It is argued that when there is a conflict between a treaty and a statute, then the
conflict must be resolved in favor of which is the latest in point of time. (in this case the
treaty is the latest one)


1. What is the nature of the government contracts with Vietnam and Burma?
2. Which should prevail, the contracts of RA 3452?


Under the Constitution, the main function of the Executive is to enforce the laws
enacted by Congress. He may not defeat legislative enactments by indirectly repealing
the same through an executive agreement providing for the performance of the very act
prohibited by said laws, Although the President may enter into executive agreement
without previous legislative authority, he may not, by executive agreement, enter into a
transaction which is prohibited by statutes enacted prior thereto.

Supreme Court also has jurisdiction over the case and The Constitution authorizes
the nullification of a treaty not only when there is conflict with the fundamental law, but
also when it runs counter with Congress.

Judgment is hereby rendered declaring that respondent Executive Secretary had

and has no power to authorize the importation in question; that he exceeded his
jurisdiction in granting said authority; said importation is not sanctioned by law and is
contrary to its provisions; and that, for lack of majority, the injunction prayed for must be
and is, accordingly denied. It is so ordered.



Arturo E. Garcia without submitting to the required bar examinations applies for
the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines. In his verified petition, he avers,
among others, that he is a Filipino Citizen born in Bacolod, of Filipino parentage; that he
had taken and finished in Spain the course of Bachillerato Superior; that he was
approved, selected and qualified by the instituto de Cervantes for admission to the
Central University of Madrid where he studied and finished the law course graduating as
Licenciado en derecho; and thereafter he was allowed in Spain to practice the law
profession, and that under provisions of the Treaty on Academic decrees and the
Exercise of Profession between Spain and The Republic of the Philippines, he is entitled
to the practice of the law profession in the Philippines without submitting to the required
bar examinations.


1. Whether or not the treaty can modify regulations governing admission to the
Philippine Bar?


The court resolved to deny the petition.

The provision of the treaty on Academic Degrees and Exercise of Profession

between Spain and Republic of The Philippines cannot be invoked by applicant. The
intention of the treaty is to govern Filipino citizens desiring to practice their profession in
Spain., and the citizens of Spain desiring to practice their profession in the Philippines.
Applicant is a Filipino Citizen desiring to practice profession in The Philippines. He is
therefore subject to the laws of his own country and is not entitled to the privileges
extended to Spanish nationals desiring to practice law in the Philippines. The applicant
invoked the privileges provided in the treaty and made expressly subject to the laws and
regulations on the contracting state in whose territory it is desired to practice the legal

The aforementioned Treaty, between Spain and the Republic of The Philippines
concluded that it could not have been intended to modify the laws and regulations
governing admission to the practice of law in the Philippines, for the reason is that the
Executive Department may not encroach upon the constitutional prerogative of the
Supreme Court to promulgate rules for admission to the practice of law in the Philippines,
the power to alter, repeal, or supplement such rules are reserved only to the Congress of
the Philippines.



G. R. No. L-10520, February 28, 1957, CONCEPCION, J.

After the general elections held on November 1955, the Senate was mainly comprised of
the members of the Nacionalista Party (NP) with Lorenzo M. Taada, President of the
Citizens Party as the lone opposition senator. On the other hand, Diosdado Macapagal
is a Liberal Party (LP) candidate with a pending electoral protest before the Senate
Electoral Tribunal (SET).

It is provided that the SET is composed of 9 members: 3 Supreme Court Justices, 3

Senators from the majority party and 3 Senators from the minority party. During the
Senate session, three representatives from the NP were chosen together with Senator
Taada to compose the SET. Since there was only one minority senator, Senator
Cipriano Primicias, on behalf of the Committee on Rules of the Senate nominated
Senators Mariano Cuenco and Francisco Delgado as members of the SET. Senator
Taada assailed the process before the Supreme Court, alleging that it was clearly in
violation of the Constitution. Mr. Macapagal likewise assailed the process believing that
with majority of the NP composing the SET, this would be prejudicial to the electoral
protest filed by the LP. This was contested by the respondents claiming that the Supreme
Court cannot take cognizance of the case as it is a political question.


Whether or not the issue is a political question.

Is the election of Senators Cuenco and Delgado, by the Senate, as members of the
Electoral Tribunal, valid and lawful?


No. The Supreme Court ruled that it is a justiciable question. The Court further ruled that
it is within its jurisdiction and duty to consider and determine the issue raised. SC stated
that while a political question connotes a question of policy, to be decided by the people
in their sovereign capacity, such does not apply in the case. The Senate is not clothed
with full discretionary authority in the choice of the members of the Senate Electoral
Tribunal. The exercise of its power is subject to constitutional limitations which is clearly
within the legitimate province of the judicial department to pass judgment upon the validity
of the proceedings in connection therewith.

One department is just as representative as the other, and the judiciary is the department
which is charged with the special duty of determining the limitations which the law places
upon all official action.

Further, the Court ruled that the nomination and election of Senators Cuenco and
Delgado as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal are null and void ab initio. The
Committee on Rules for the Senate has no valid standing to make such nomination. The
majority party may nominate not more than 3 members of the SET. The nominations for
the 3 seats which should be filled by minority members is exclusively vested in the party
owith the second largest number of votes. No other person or party may nominate these
remaining 3 senators who shall sit in the Senate Electoral Tribunal.


G.R. No. 74457, March 20, 1987, CRUZ, J.

Delegation of Power


G.R. NO. 78164, July 31, 1987

FACTS: The petitioners sought admission into colleges or schools of medicine for the
school year 1987-1988. However, either they did not take or did not successfully take the
National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) required by the Board of Medical Education,
one of the public respondents, and administered by the private respondent, the Center
for Educational Measurement (CEM).
The petitioners sought to enjoin the Secretary of Education, Culture, and Sports,
the Board of Medical Education and the Center for Educational Measurement from
enforcing Section 5 (a) and (f) of Republic Act No. 2382, as amended, and MECS Order
No. 52, series of 1985, from requiring the taking and passing of the NMAT as a condition
for securing certificates of eligibility for admission, from proceeding with accepting
applications for taking the NMAT and from administering the NMAT as scheduled on 26
April 1987 and in the future.The trial court denied said petition, and the NMAT was
conducted and administered as previously scheduled.
One of the basic objectives of Republic Act. No. 2383, as amended by Republic
Acts Nos. 4224 and 5946, known as the Medical Act of 1959, was to standardize and
regulate medical education. The Statute, among other things, created a Board of Medical
Education. Section 5 of the Statute specified its functions, among other things, to (a)
determine and prescribe requirements for admission into a recognized college of
medicine; and (f) to accept applications for certification for admission to a medical school
and keep a register of those issued said certificate; and to collect from said applicants the
amount of twenty-five pesos each which shall accrue to the operating fund of the Board
of Medical Education. Section 7 of the same statute prescribes certain minimum
requirements for applicants to medical schools, one of which is a certificate of eligibility
for entrance to a medical school from the Board of Medical Education. MECS Order No.
52, s. 1985 issued by then Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, established a
uniform admission test called the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) as an
additional requirement for issuance of a certificate of eligibility for admission into medical
schools of the Philippines, beginning with the school year 1986-1987.
Pursuant to MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, the private respondent Center
conducted NMATs for entrance to medical colleges during the school year 1986-1987
and in April 1987.
The fundamental issue if the constitutionality of the statute or order assailed.
Petitioners had made the argument that Sec. 5 (a) and (f) of R.A. No. 2382, as amended,
offend against the constitutional principle which forbids the undue delegation of legislative
power, by failing to establish the necessary standard to be followed by the delegate, the
Board of Medical Education.
ISSUE: Whether or not there exists a sufficient standard to be follow by the Board of
Medical Education
RULING: Yes. The standards set for subordinate legislation in the exercise of rule making
authority by an administrative agency like the Board of Medical Education are necessarily
broad and highly abstract. As explained by then Mr. Justice Fernando in Edu vs. Ericta:

The standard may be either expressed or implied. If the former, the non-
delegation objection is easily met. The standard though does not have to be spelled out
specifically. It could be implied from the policy and purpose of the act considered as a
whole. In the Reflector Law, clearly the legislative objective is public safety. What is
sought to be attained as in Calalang vs. Williams is safe transit upon the roads.

We believe and so hold that the necessary standards are set forth in Section 1 of the
1959 Medical Act: the standardization and regulation of medical education and in
Section 5 (a) and 7 of the same Act, the body of the statute itself, and that these
considered together are sufficient compliance with the requirements of the non-delegation

FACTS: The President of the Philippines, from September 4 to October 29,

1964, purporting to act pursuant to Sec. 68 of the Revised Administrative Code, issued
Executive Orders Nos. 93 to 121, 124 and 126-129; creating thirty-three (33)
municipalities. Petitioner Emmanuel Pelaez, as Vice President of the Philippines and as
taxpayer, instituted the present special civil action, for a writ of prohibition with preliminary
injunction, against the Auditor General, to restrain him, as well as his representatives and
agents, from passing in audit any expenditure of public funds in implementation of said
executive orders and/or any disbursement by said municipalities. Petitioner alleges that
said executive orders are null and void, upon the ground that said Sec. 68 has been
impliedly repealed by R.A. No. 2370 and constitutes an undue delegation of legislative
power. Hence,when R.A. No. 2370 became effective, barrios may not be created or their
boundaries altered nor their names changed except by Act of Congress or of the
corresponding provincial board upon petition of a majority of the voters in the areas
affected and the recommendation of the council of the municipality or municipalities in
which the proposed barrio is situated.
ISSUE: WON there is an undue delegation of legislative power upon the chief executive
RULING: Although Congress may delegate to another branch of the Government the
power to fill in the details in the execution, enforcement or administration of a law, it is
essential, to forestall a violation of the principle of separation of powers, that said law: (a)
be complete in itself and (b) fix a standard to which the delegate must conform in the
performance of his functions. Sec. 68 of the Revised Administrative Code does not meet
these well-settled requirements for a valid delegation of the power to fix the details in the
enforcement of a law. It does not enunciate any policy to be carried out or implemented
by the President. Neither does it give a standard sufficiently precise to avoid the evil
effects above referred to. In this connection, we do not overlook the fact that, under the
last clause of the first sentence of Sec. 68, the President: may change the seat of the
government within any subdivision to such place therein as the public welfare may
require. It is apparent, however, from the language of this clause that the phrase as the
public welfare may require qualified, not the clauses preceding the one just quoted, but
only the place to which the seat of the government may be transferred. Section 10 (1) of
Article VII of our fundamental law ordains: The President shall have control of all the
executive departments, bureaus or offices, exercise general supervision over all local
governments as may be provided by law, and take care that the laws be faithfully
executed. The power of control under this provision implies the right of the President to
interfere in the exercise of such discretion as may be vested by law in the officers of the
executive departments, bureaus or offices of the national government, as well as to act
in lieu of such officers. The fundamental law permits him to wield no more authority than
that of checking whether said local governments or the officers thereof perform their
duties as provided by statutory enactments. If the President could create a municipality,
he could, in effect, remove any of its officials, by creating a new municipality and including
therein the barrio in which the official concerned resides, for his office would thereby
become vacant. This, by merely brandishing the power to create a new municipality (if he
had it), without actually creating it, he could compel local officials to submit to his dictation,
thereby, in effect, exercising over them the power of control denied to him by the
Constitution. In other words, Sec. 68 does not merely fail to comply with the constitutional
mandate above quoted. Instead of giving the President less power over local
governments than that vested in him over the executive departments, bureaus or offices,
it reverses the process and does the exact opposite, by conferring upon him more power
over municipal corporations than that which he has over said executive departments,
bureaus or offices. Even if it did entail an undue delegation of legislative powers, Sec. 68
must be deemed repealed by the subsequent adoption of the Constitution, in 1935, which
is utterly incompatible and inconsistent with said statutory enactment. The Executive
Orders in question are hereby declared null and void ab initio.


G.R. NO. 165299, December 18, 2009
FACTS: Petitioner Pacific Steam Laundry, Inc. is a company engaged in the business of
laundry services. On 6 June 2011, the Environmental Management Bureau of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) endorsed to respondent
Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) the inspection report on the complaint of
black smoke emission from petitioners plant. One 22 June 2001, LLDA conducted an
investigation and found that untreated wastewater generated from petitioners laundry
washing activities was discharged directly to the San Francisco Del Monte River.
Furthermore, the Investigation Report stated that petitioners plant was operating without
LLDA clearance, and Discharge Permit from LLDA. After yet another wastewater
sampling, the result still showed non-compliance with effluent standards. Consequently,
LLDA issued to petitioner a Notice of Violation dated 30 October 2011. Petitioner
submitted its application for LLDA Clearance and Discharge Permit and informed LLDA
that it would undertake the necessary measures to abate the water pollution. However,
no compliance followed. It was reported that petitioners wastewater treatment facility was
under construction. Subsequently, another wastewater sampling was conducted but the
results still showed non-compliance.
On 15 April 2002, a Pollution Control and Abatement case was filed against
petitioner before the LLDA. Petitioner requested for another wastewater sampling, which
finally showed compliance with the effluent standard in all parameters. Another public
hearing was held to discuss the dismissal of the water pollution case and the payment of
the accumulated daily penalty. Respondent, now herein petitioner, prayed that the Notice
of Violation issued on 30 October 2011 and its corresponding daily penalty be set aside
and that the imposable penalty be reckoned from the date of actual hearing and not on 5
September 2001. It is respondents position that the Notice of Violation and the imposition
of penalty had no legal and factual basis because it had already installed the necessary
wastewater treatment to abate the water pollution.
This Public Hearing Committee finds respondents, now herein petitioner,
arguments devoid of merit. P.D. No. 984 prohibits the discharge of pollutive wastewater
and any person found in violation thereof shall pay a fine not exceeding five thousand
pesos (Php 5,000.00) for conforming with the effluent standard is the violation referred to
in P.D. No. 984.

The Court of Appeals held that LLDA has the power to impose fines.

ISSUE: Whether or not the grant of implied power to LLDA to impose penalties violate
the rule on non-delegation of legislative powers

RULING: Petitioner contends that if LLDA is deemed to have implied power to impose
penalties, then LLDA will have unfettered discretion to determine for itself the penalties it
may impose, which will amount to undue delegation of legislative power. However, the
Supreme Court does not agree. LLDAs power to impose fines is not unrestricted. In this
case, LLDA investigated the pollution complaint against petitioner and conducted
wastewater sampling of petitioners effluent. It was only after the investigation result
showing petitioners failure to meet the established water and effluent quality standards
that LLDA imposed a fine against petitioner. LLDA then imposed upon petitioner a penalty
of P1,000 per day of discharging pollutive wastewater. The P1,000 penalty per day is in
accordance with the amount of penalty prescribed under PD 984.

Wherefore, we deny the petition. We affirm the decision dated 30 June 2004 and
the Resolution dated 8 September 2004 of the Court of Appeals.