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Secretary of Education

The Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities filed a petition in court assailing that Act 2706 as amended by
Act 3075 and Commonwealth Act 180 be declared unconstitutional as it allegedly: requires a permit to be secured
from the Secretary of Education before a person may be granted the right to own and operate a private school. This
also gives the Secretary of Education the discretion to ascertain standards that must be followed by private schools.
It also provides that the Secretary of Education can and may ban certain textbooks from being used in schools.

PACU contends that the right of a citizen to own and operate a school is guaranteed by the Constitution, and any law
requiring previous governmental approval or permit before such person could exercise said right, amounts to
censorship of previous restraint, a practice abhorrent to our system of law and government. The Solicitor General on
the other hand points out that none of the petitioners has actual cause to present the issue because all of them have
permits to operate moreover, they allegedly do not assert that respondent Secretary of Education has threatened to
revoke their permits. They have suffered no wrong under the terms of the lawand, naturally need no relief in the
form they now seek to obtain.

ISSUE: WON Act 2706 as amended is unconstitutional



It is an established principle that to entitle private individual immediately in danger of sustaining a direct injury as the
result of that action and it is not sufficient that he has merely a general to invoke judicial power to determine the
validity of executive or legislative action he must show that he has sustained or is interest common to all members of
the public. The power of Courts to declare a law unconstitutional arises only when the interests of litigants require the
use of that judicial authority for their protection against actual interference, hypothetical threat being insufficient. Also,
Judicial power is limited to the decision of actual cases and controversies. The authority to pass on the validity of
statutes is incidental to the decision of such cases where conflicting claims under the Constitution and under a
legislative act assailed as contrary to the Constitution are raised.

In the present case at hand, there is no justiciable controversy presented. PACU did not show that it suffered
any injury from the exercise of the Secretary of Education of such powers granted to him by the said law as they in
fact have permits. Mere apprehension that the Secretary of Education might under the law withdraw the permit of one
of petitioners does not constitute a justiciable controversy.
Second, the State has the power to regulate, in fact control, the ownership of schools. The Constitution provides for
state control of all educational institutions even as it enumerates certain fundamental objectives of all education to wit,
the development of moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience and vocational efficiency, and instruction in
the duties of citizenship. The State control of private education was intended by the organic law.

Third, the State has the power to ban illegal textbooks or those that are offensive to Filipino morals. This is still part of
the power of control and regulation by the State over all schools.
Tan v. Macapagal


A 5-page petition was filed by Tan and friends for declaratory relief as taxpayers, purportedly suing for themselves
and in behalf of the Filipino people in assailing the validity of the Laurel-Leido Resolution dealing with the range of
the authority of the 1971 Constitutional Convention alleging that it is without power, under Section 1, Article 15 of the
Constitution and under RA 6132 to consider, discuss and adopt proposals which seek to revise the Constitution
through the adoption of a form of government other than the form now outlined in the present Constitution merely
empowered to propose improvements in the present Constitution without altering the general plan laid down therein.

Court issued a resolution dismissing it as the petitioners only submitted a 5-page petition stating that such petition
would have been bereft of utmost seriousness. Petitioners then filed a 32-page motion for reconsideration.


1. WON Court has jurisdiction over the case

2. WON Petitioners have the locus standi for this case


1. No, Court has no jurisdiction over the case.

The doctrine of separation of powers calls for the other departments being left alone to discharge their
duties as they see fit. The judiciary as Justice Laurel emphatically asserted will neither direct nor restrain
executive or legislative action. The legislative and executive branches are not bound to seek its advice as to
what to do or not to do. Judicial inquiry has to be postponed in the meanwhile as it is a prerequisite
that something had by then been accomplished or performed by either branch before a court may
come into the picture. At such a time, it may pass on the validity of what done but only when...
properly challenged in an appropriate legal proceeding.

The judiciary must leave it free to fulfill its responsibility according to its lights. There is to be no interference.
Its autonomy must be respected. It cannot be otherwise if it is to perform its function well. Such should be
the case not only because it is a coordinate agency but also because its powers are transcendent,
amounting as it does submitting for popular ratification proposals which may radically alter organization and
functions of all three departments, including the courts. It is therefore much more imperative that the rule of
non-interference be strictly adhered to until the appropriate time comes. More specifically as long as any
proposed amendment is still unacted by it, there is no room for interposition of judicial oversight. Only after it
has made concrete what it intends to submit for ratification may the appropriate case be instituted and until
then courts are devoid of jurisdiction.

2. No, the petitioners do not possess locus standi.

The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and
substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its
enforcement. There has been a relaxation of this rule. So it was announced that the validity of a statute may
be contested only by one who will sustain direct injury, in consequence of its enforcement. Moreover as far
as taxpayers suit is concerned, this Court is not devoid of discretion as to whether or not it should be
entertained. SCs view is a negative answer. As there was no amendment made, it can be said the
petitioners did not sustain injury over the creation of the Constitutional Convention; hence they do not
possess locus standi.
Dumlao v. COMELEC


The petitioners in this case are Dumlao, a former Governor of Nueva Vizcaya, who has filed COC for said position of
Governor in the forthcoming elections; Igot, taxpayer, qualified voter, and member of the Bar who took his oath to
support the Constitution and obey the laws of the land; and Salapantan who is also a taxpayer, qualified voter, and a
resident of San Miguel, Iloilo.

Dumlao questions the constitutionality of section 4, Batas Pambansa blg. 52 as discriminatory and contrary to equal
protection clause and due process:

Sec.4: Special Disqualification: Any retired elective provincial, city or municipal official who has received payment
of retirement benefits to which he is entitled under the law and who shall have been 65 years of age at the
commencement of the term of office to which he seeks to be elected, shall not be qualified to run for the same
elective local office from which he has retired.

He alleges that the said provision is directed specifically against him, and that the classification provided therein is
based on purely arbitrary grounds and, therefore, class legislation.

Petitioners Igot and Salapantan on the other hand, assail Section 7 of Batas Pambansa blg. 51 and Section 4 of
Batas Pambansa blg. 52:

Section 7. Term of Office: Unless sooner removed for cause, all local elective officials hereinabove
mentioned shall hold office for a term of 6 years.

Section 4. Any person who has committed an act of disloyalty to State, including acts amounting to
subversion, insurrection, rebellion or other similar crimes, shall not be qualified to be a candidate for any of
the offices covered by this Act, or to participate in any partisan political activity therein: provided, that a
judgment of conviction for any of the aforementioned crimes shall be conclusive evidence of such fact and.

All petitioners then pray that the said statutory provisions they have challenged be declared null and void for being
violative of Constitution.
ISSUE: WON Dumlao, Igot, and Salapantan have a cause of action


This case does not meet all the requisites so that itd be eligible for judicial review. The following standards
for judicial review are:
-existence of an actual case or controversy
-an interest personal and substantial by the party raising the constitutional question
-plea that the function be exercised at the earliest opportunity
-necessity that the constitutional question be passed upon in order to decide the case

In specifics, there is no actual case or controversy in this case. Dumlao assailing the constitutionality of
Section 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 52 because it allegedly is contrary to the equal protection clause is of no
moment as it was not shown that Dumlao was adversely affected by the application of the provision. There
is in fact no petition filed for his disqualification before the COMELEC. His is a question posed in the
abstract, a hypothetical issue, and in effect, a petition for an advisory opinion from this Court to be rendered
without the benefit of a detailed factual record. It is very clear however, that Dumlaos case is clearly within
the primary jurisdiction of COMELEC.

There is also no legal standing by the petitioners in this case. It is a long-standing rule has been that "the
person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such
that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement".

In the case of petitioners Igot and Salapantan, it was only during the hearing, not in their Petition, that Igot is
said to be a candidate for Councilor. Even then, it cannot be denied that neither one has been convicted nor
charged with acts of disloyalty to the State, nor disqualified from being candidates for local elective positions.
Neither one of them has been alleged to have been adversely affected by the operation of the statutory
provisions they assail as unconstitutional. Theirs is a generalized grievance. They have no personal nor
substantial interest at stake. In the absence of any litigate interest; they can claim no locus standi in seeking
judicial redress.

Also, there is no lis mota in this case. It is also a well-settled rule that the constitutionality of an act of the legislature
will not be determined by the courts unless that question is properly raised an presented in appropriate cases and is
necessary to a determination of the case; i.e., the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota presented."
We have already stated that, by the standards set forth in People vs. Vera, the present is not an "appropriate case"
for either petitioner Dumlao or for petitioners Igot and Salapantan. They are actually without cause of action. It follows
that the necessity for resolving the issue of constitutionality is absent and procedural regularity would require that his
suit be dismissed.

Ople v. Torres


AO 308 was issued by then President Fidel V. Ramos entitled Adoption of a National Computerized identification
reference system and was published in four newspapers of general circulation. Two days after this administrative
order was published, Petitioner Ople filed an instant petition against respondents then Executive Secretary Ruben
Torres and the heads of Government agencies, who were charged with the implementation of AO 308.

Petitioner Ople contends that AO 308 needs a legislative act and the President issuing the said order is thereby
usurping legislative powers that should belong to Congress and that the implementation of AO 308 insidiously laws
the groundwork for a system which will violate the right to privacy as enshrined in the bill of rights. Respondents
however contend that the present is not a justiciable one, that it does not in any usurp legislative powers nor does it
violate individuals interest in privacy. Moreover, respondents aver that Petitioner has no legal interest to uphold as
the implementing rules have yet to be promulgated.


1. WON Petitioner Ople has legal standing in this case

2. WON the case is a justiciable one


1. Yes, Petitioner Ople has legal standing in this case.

Petitioner Ople is a distinguished member of our Senate. As a Senator, petitioner is possessed of the
requisite standing to bring suit raising the issue that the issuance of AO 308 is a usurpation of legislative
power. As taxpayer and member of the GSIS, Petitioner can also impugn the legality of the misalignment of
public funds and misuse of GSIS funds to implement AO 308. Oples concern that the Executive branch not
to trespass on the lawmaking domain of Congress is understandable. The blurring demarcation line
between the power of legislature to make laws and the power of executive to execute laws will disturb their
delicate balance and cannot be allowed.

The ripeness for adjudication of the petition at bar is not affected by the fact that the implementing
rules of A.O. No. 308 have yet to be promulgated. Petitioner Ople assails A.O. No. 308 as invalid per se
and as infirmed on its face. His action is not premature for the rules yet to be promulgated cannot cure its
fatal defects. Moreover, the respondents themselves have started the implementation of A.O. No. 308
without waiting for the rules. As early as January 19, 1997, respondent Social Security System (SSS)
caused the publication of a notice to bid for the manufacture of the National Identification (ID) card.
Respondent Executive Secretary Torres has publicly announced that representatives from the GSIS and the
SSS have completed the guidelines for the national identification system. All signals from the respondents
show their unswerving will to implement A.O. No. 308 and we need not wait for the formality of the rules to
pass judgment on its constitutionality. In this light, the dissenters insistence that we tighten the rule on
standing is not a commendable stance as its result would be to throttle an important constitutional principle
and a fundamental right.

2. Yes, the case is a justiciable one.

(Justiciable Question: The power of the Court to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally
demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the branch or instrumentality of the Government.)

It cannot be simplistically argued that A.O. No. 308 merely implements the Administrative Code of 1987. It
establishes for the first time a National Computerized Identification Reference System. Such a System
requires a delicate adjustment of various contending state policies the primacy of national security, the
extent of privacy interest against dossier-gathering by government, the choice of policies, etc. Indeed, the
dissent of Mr. Justice Mendoza states that the A.O. No. 308 involves the all-important freedom of thought.

Nor is it correct to argue as the dissenters do that A.O. No. 308 is not a law because it confers no right,
imposes no duty, affords no protection, and creates no office. Under A.O. No. 308, a citizen cannot transact
business with government agencies delivering basic services to the people without the contemplated
identification card. No citizen will refuse to get this identification card for no one can avoid dealing with
government. It is thus clear as daylight that without the ID, a citizen will have difficulty exercising his rights
and enjoying his privileges. Given this reality, the contention that A.O. No. 308 gives no right and imposes
no duty cannot stand.

Also, the heart of A.O. No. 308 lies in its Section 4 which provides for a Population Reference Number (PRN)
as a "common reference number to establish a linkage among concerned agencies" through the use of
"Biometrics Technology" and "computer application designs." A.O. No. 308 should also raise our antennas
for a further look will show that it does not state whether encoding of data is limited to biological information
alone for identification purposes. In fact, the Solicitor General claims that the adoption of the Identification
Reference System will contribute to the "generation of population data for development planning." This is an
admission that the PRN will not be used solely for identification but for the generation of other data with
remote relation to the avowed purposes of A.O. No. 308. Clearly, the indefiniteness of A.O. No. 308 can
give the government the roving authority to store and retrieve information for a purpose other than the
identification of the individual through his PRN .

His transactions with the government agency will necessarily be recorded whether it be in the
computer or in the documentary file of the agency. The individual's file may include his transactions for loan
availments, income tax returns, statement of assets and liabilities, reimbursements for medication,
hospitalization, etc. The more frequent the use of the PRN, the better the chance of building a huge and
formidable information base through the electronic linkage of the files. The data may be gathered for gainful
and useful government purposes; but the existence of this vast reservoir of personal information constitutes
a covert invitation to misuse, a temptation that may be too great for some of our authorities to resist.

[Clearly, the law bordering on the possibility that it infringes legislative power as well as it violates the right to
privacy then we may infer that indeed it is a justiciable question.]
North Cotabato v. Republic


Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF, through the Chairpersons of their respective
peace panels, were scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain Aspect of the GRP-
MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The MOA-AD was preceded by a long process of negotiations and concluding of prior agreements between MILF
and GRP. On July 18, 1997, GRP and MILF Peace Panels signed the agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities
and the following year, signed the General Framework of Agreement of Intent. However, it was already evident that
there was not going to be any smooth sailing in the GRP-MILF Peace process.

A series of attacks by MILF as well as declaration of an all-out war by the Government was declared. Eventually,
attacks ceased and negotiations resumed and several exploratory talks were held which eventually led to the crafting
of the draft of MOA-AD in its final form.

On July 27, 2008, Province of North Cotabato and Vice Governor Pinol filed a petition for mandamus and prohibition
with prayer for issuance of writ for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order invoking right to information
on matters of public concern and of declaring MOA-AD to be unconstitutional hence, present petitions.


1. WON the petitions have become moot and academic

2. WON the constitutionality and legality of MOA is ripe for adjudication

1. The non-signing of the MOA-AD and eventual dissolution of GRP Peace Panel did not moot present
It has already been held in David v. Arroyo that the invocation of the moot and academic principle is not a
magical formula that automatically dissuades courts in resolving a case, Court will decide cases despite the
invocation of such principle if it finds that a) there is a grave violation of Constitution, situation is of
exceptional character and paramount public interest is involved; c)the constitutional issue raised requires
formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and d) the case is capable of
repetition yet evading review.

The petition is imbued with paramount public interest, involving a significant part of the countrys territory
and the wide-ranging political modifications of affected LGUs. The assertion that the MOA-AD is subject to
further legal enactments including possible Constitutional amendments more than ever provides
impetus for the Court to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, the public and,
in this case, the government and its negotiating entity.

2. Yes, the issue on the MOA is ripe for adjudication.

The contention of the SolGen is that there is no issue ripe for adjudication since the MOA-AD is only a
proposal and does not automatically create legally demandable rights and obligations. Such was denied.

The SC emphasized that the petitions are alleging acts made in violation of their duty or in grave abuse of
discretion. Well-settled jurisprudence states that acts made by authority which exceed their authority, by
violating their duties under E.O. No. 3 and the provisions of the Constitution and statutes, the petitions make
a prima facie case for Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus, and an actual case or controversy ripe for
adjudication exists. When an act of a branch of government is seriously alleged to have infringed the
Constitution, it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. This is
aside from the fact that concrete acts made under the MOA-AD are not necessary to render the present
controversy ripe and that the law or act in question as not yet effective does not negate ripeness.
Oposa v. Factoran


The complaint was instituted as taxpayers class suit and alleges that the plaintiffs (Oposa) are all citizens of the PH,
taxpayers and entitled to the full benefit, use and enjoyment of natural resource treasure that is the countrys virgin
tropical rainforests. The same was filed for themselves and others who are equally concerned about the preservation
of said resource but are so numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all before the Court. The minors further
asservated that they represent their generation as well as generations yet unborn to order the cancellation of all
existing timber license agreements in the country; cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing,
or approving of new TLAs considering the detrimental consequences of continued deforestation anchoring such
arguments under Arts. 19,20 and 21 of the Civil Code, Sec.4 of EO 192 creating DENR and Article 2 of the 1987
Constitution recognizing the right of people to a balanced and healthful ecology.

Original defendant, Secretary Factoran, Jr., on the other hand filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint based on two
(2) grounds, namely: (1) the plaintiffs have no cause of action against him and (2) the issue raised by the plaintiffs is
a political question which properly pertains to the legislative or executive branches of Government.


WON the petitioners have legal standing in this case

Yes, the petitioners have legal standing. SC finds no difficulty in ruling that they can, for themselves, for others of
their generation and for the succeeding generations, file a class suit. Their personality to sue in behalf of the
succeeding generations can only be based on the concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a
balanced and healthful ecology is concerned. Such a right, as hereinafter expounded, considers the "rhythm and
harmony of nature." Nature means the created world in its entirety. Such rhythm and harmony indispensably include,
inter alia, the judicious disposition, utilization, management, renewal and conservation of the country's forest, mineral,
land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore areas and other natural resources to the end that their exploration,
development and utilization be equitably accessible to the present as well as future generations. Needless to say,
every generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that rhythm and harmony for the full enjoyment of a
balanced and healthful ecology. Put a little differently, the minors' assertion of their right to a sound environment
constitutes, at the same time, the performance of their obligation to ensure the protection of that right for the
generations to come.
Kilosbayan v. Guingona


Pursuant to Section 1 of the charter of PCSO which grants it the authority to hold and conduct charity sweepstakes
races, lotteries, and other similar activities, the PCSO decided to establish an on-line lottery system for the purpose
of increasing its revenue base and diversifying its sources of funds. After learning that PCSO was interested in
operating an on-line lottery system, Berjaya Group Berhad, a multi-national company and one of the ten largest
public companies in Malaysia, long engaged in successful lottery operation in Asia became interested to offer its
services and resources to PCSO.

Berjaya Group Berhad organized with some Filipino investors in March 1993 a Philippine Corporation known as
PGMC which was intended to be the medium through which the technical and management services required for the
project would be offered and delivered to PCSO. PCSO then formally issued a request for proposal for the lease
contract of an online lottery system and PGMC submitted its bid to PCSO.

Bids were evaluated and were thereafter submitted to the President. Office of the President announced that it had
given respondent PGMC go-signal to operate the countrys online lottery system. Because of this, KILOSBAYAN
then sent a letter to then President FVR strongly opposing the setting up of online lottery system on the basis of
serious moral and ethical considerations. Amidst all the protest, the President denied all of it and in a statement
through Assistant Executive Secretary Renato Corona said that only a court injunction can stop Malacanang and
the imminent implementation of the said lease.

KILOSBAYAN then filed this petition averring that they are a non-stock domestic corporation composed of civic-
spirited citizens, pastors, priests, nuns, and lay leaders. The rest of the petitioners, except Senator Freddie Webb
and Wigberto Tanada and Rep. Joker Arroyo, are suing in their capacities as members of Board of Trustees of
KILOSBAYAN and as taxpayers and concerned citizens. Public respondents meanwhile allege that the petitioners
have no standing to maintain the instant suit.

ISSUE: WON petitioners have locus standi


Yes, the petitioners have.

A partys standing before this Court is a procedural technicality which it may, in the exercise of its discretion, set
aside in view of the importance of the issue raised but only those of transcendental importance to the public which
demands to be settled promptly and definitely, brushing aside, if we must, technicalities of procedure.

SC finds the instant petition to be of transcendental importance to the public. The issues it raised are of paramount
public interest and of a category even higher than those involved in many of the aforecited cases. The ramifications
of such issues immeasurably affect the social, economic, and moral well-being of people even in the remotest
barangays of the country and the counter-productive and retrogressive effects of the envisioned online lottery system
are as staggering as the billions in pesos it is expected to raise. The legal standing then of petitioners deserves
recognition and, in the exercise of its sound discretion, this Court hereby brushes aside procedural barrier which
respondents tried to take advantage of.
Kilosbayan v. Morato

As a result of the decision in Kilosbayan v. Guingona invalidating the Contract of Lease between PCSO and PGMC
on the ground that it had been made in violation of the charter of PCSO, PCSO and PGMC against entered into
negotiations for a new agreement that would be consistent with the latters charter and conformable to the previous

PCSO and PGMC signed an Equipment Lease Agreement (ELA) where PGMC will lease online lottery equipment
and accessories to PCSO in consideration of a rental equivalent to 4.3% of the gross amount of ticket sale derived by
PCSO from the operation of the lottery. The rental is to be computed and paid bi-weekly. In the event the bi-weekly
rentals in any year fall short of the annual minimum fixed rental thus computed, the PCSO agrees to pay the
deficiency out of the proceeds of its current ticket sales. Under the law, 30% of the net receipts from the sale of
tickets is allotted to charity.

In operation of the lottery, PCSO is to employ its own personnel as it will be responsible for the loss, or damage to
the equipment from any cause and for the cost of their maintenance and repair. Upon the expiration of the leases, the
PCSO has the option to purchase the equipment for the sum of P25 million. A copy of the ELA was submitted to the
Court by the PGMC in accordance with its manifestation in the prior case. However, a suit was filed seeking to
declare the ELA invalid on the ground that it is substantially the same contract as the one nullified in the previous

Respondents however countered questioning the petitioners standing to bring the suit. PCSO and PGMC maintain
that the ELA is a different lease contract with none of the vestiges of a joint venture in the Contract of Lease nullified
in the prior case, that the ELA did not have to be submitted to a public bidding, that the power to determine whether
ELA is advantageous to Government is vested in the Board of Directors of PCSO. Moreover, Respondents question
the right of petitioners to bring this suit on the ground that, not being parties to the contract of lease which they seek
to nullify, they have no personal and substantial interest likely to be injured by the enforcement of the contract.
Petitioners on the other hand contend that the ruling in the previous case sustaining their standing to challenge the
validity of the first contract for the operation of lottery is now the "law of the case" and therefore the question of their
standing can no longer be reopened.

ISSUE: WON Kilosbayan have legal standing in this case

No, KILOSBAYAN have no legal standing in this case.
Neither the doctrine of stare decisis nor that of "law of the case", nor that of conclusive of judgment poses a
barrier to a determination of petitioners' right to maintain this suit.
Stare decisis is usually the wise policy. But in this case, concern for stability in decisional law does not call for
adherence to what has recently been laid down as the rule. The previous ruling sustaining petitioners' intervention
may itself be considered a departure from settled rulings on "real parties in interest" because no constitutional issues
were actually involved.

Petitioners argue that inquiry into their right to bring this suit is barred by the doctrine of "law of the case." We do not
think this doctrine is applicable considering the fact that while this case is a sequel to G.R. No. 113375, it is not its
continuation: The doctrine applies only when a case is before a court a second time after a ruling by an appellate
[Law of the case: has been defined as the opinion delivered on a former appeal. More specifically, it means that
whatever is once irrevocably established as the controlling legal rule of decision between the same parties in the
same case continues to be the law of these case, whether correct on general principles or not, so long as the facts
on which such decision was predicated continue to be facts of the case before the court."]
As this Court explained in another case. "The law of the case, as applied to a former decision of an appellate court,
merely expresses the practice of the courts in refusing to reopen what has been decided. It differs from res judicata in
that the conclusiveness of the first judgment is not dependent upon its finality. The first judgment is generally, if not
universally, not final. It relates entirely to questions of law, and is confined in its operation to subsequent proceedings
in the same case . . . ." It follows that since the present case is not the same one litigated by the parties before in G.R.
No. 113375, the ruling there cannot in any sense be regarded as "the law of this case." The parties are the same but
the cases are not.

Not only is petitioners' standing a legal issue that may be determined again in this case. It is, strictly speaking, not
even the issue in this case, since standing is a concept in constitutional law and here no constitutional question is
actually involved. The issue in this case is whether petitioners are the "real parties-in-interest" within the meaning of
Rule 3, Sec. 2 of the Rules of Court which requires that "Every action must be prosecuted and defended in the name
of the real party-in-interest."

The difference between the rule on standing and real party-in-interest has been noted by authorities thus: "It is
important to note . . . that standing because of its constitutional and public policy underpinnings, is very different from
questions relating to whether a particular plaintiff is the real party-in-interest or has capacity to sue. Although all three
requirements are directed towards ensuring that only certain parties can maintain an action, standing restrictions
require a partial consideration of the merits, as well as broader policy concerns relating to the proper role of the
judiciary in certain areas.

Petitioners do not have such present substantial interest in the ELA as would entitle them to bring this suit.
Denying to them the right to intervene will not leave without remedy any perceived illegality in the execution
of government contracts. Questions as to the nature of validity of public contracts or necessity of public bidding
before they may be made can be raised in an appropriate case before COA or Ombudsman.

IBP v. Zamora

In view of the alarming increase in violent crimes in Metro Manila, like robberies, kidnappings, and carnappings, the
President in a verbal directive, ordered the PNP and the Marines to conduct joint visibility patrols for the purpose of
crime prevention and suppression. In compliance with the presidential mandate, PNP Chief formulated a letter of
Instruction detailing the manner by which joint visibility patrols, called Task Force Tulungan would be conducted.

Subsequently, the President confirmed his previous directive on the deployment of Marines in a Memorandum. In the
memorandum, President expressed his desire to improve the peace and order situation in Metro Manila through a
more effective crime prevention program including increased police patrols. The President further stated that to
heighten police visibility in metropolis, augmentation from AFP is necessary. Invoking his powers as Commander-in-
chief under Section 18, Article 7 of the Constitution, President directed AFP Chief of Staff and PNP Chief to
coordinate with each other for proper deployment and utilization of Marines to assist PNP in preventing or
suppressing criminal or lawless violence. Finally, President declared that the services of Marines in the anti-crime
campaign are merely temporary in nature and for a reasonable period only, until such time when the situation shall
have improved.

Because of this, IBP filed the instant petition to annul the Letter of Instruction and to declare the deployment of PH
Marines, null and void and unconstitutional arguing that no emergency situation obtains in Metro Manila as would
justify the deployment of soldiers for law enforcement work and creates dangerous tendency to rely on the military to
perform civilian functions of the government. Respondents however through the Solicitor General vigorously defends
the constitutionality of the act of the President in deploying the Marines contending that petitioner has no legal
standing; that the question of deployment of Marines is not proper for judicial scrutiny since the same involves a
political question; that the organization and conduct of police visibility patrols, which feature the team-up of one police
officer and one PH Marine soldier, does not violate civilian supremacy clause in the Constitution.

1. WON petitioner has legal standing

1. No, the petitioner has legal standing.
Petitioner failed to sufficiency show that it is in possession of the requisites of standing to raise the issues in
the petition.

The power of judicial review is set forth in Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution, to wit:
Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be
established by law.

Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which
are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the

When questions of constitutional significance are raised, the Court can exercise its power of judicial review
only if the following requisites are complied with, namely: (1) the existence of an actual and appropriate
case; (2) a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question; (3) the exercise
of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is the lis mota of
the case.

IBP has not sufficiently complied with the requisites of standing in this case.

Legal standing has been defined as personal and substantial interest in the case such that party has
sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being challenged. The term
interest means a material interest, an interest in issue affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere
interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental interest.

In the case at bar, IBP primarily anchors its standing on its alleged responsibility to uphold the rule of law
and the Constitution. Apart from this declaration, however, the IBP asserts no other basis in support of its
locus standi. The mere invocation by IBP of its duty to preserve the rule of law and nothing more, while true,
is insufficient which is shared by other groups and whole citizenry. Based on the standards above-stated,
IBP has failed to present a specific and substantial interest in the resolution of the case.

It should also be noted that the interest of the National President of the IBP who signed the petition, is his
alone, absent a formal board resolution authorizing him to file the present action. To be sure, members of
the BAR, those in the judiciary included, have varying opinions on the issue. Moreover, the IBP, assuming
that it has duly authorized the National President to file the petition, has not shown any specific injury which
it has suffered or may suffer by virtue of the questioned governmental act. Indeed, none of its members,
whom the IBP purportedly represents, has sustained any form of injury as a result of the operation of the
joint visibility patrols. Neither is it alleged that any of its members has been arrested or that their civil
liberties have been violated by the deployment of the Marines. What the IBP projects as injurious is the
supposed "militarization" of law enforcement which might threaten Philippine democratic institutions and
may cause more harm than good in the long run. Not only is the presumed "injury" not personal in character,
it is likewise too vague, highly speculative and uncertain to satisfy the requirement of standing. Since
petitioner has not successfully established a direct and personal injury as a consequence of the questioned
act, it does not possess the personality to assail the validity of the deployment of the Marines.

Having stated the foregoing, it must be emphasized that this Court has the discretion to take cognizance of
a suit which does not satisfy the requirement of legal standing when paramount interest is involved. In not a
few cases, the Court has adopted a liberal attitude on the locus standi of a petitioner where the petitioner is
able to craft an issue of transcendental significance to the people. Thus, when the issues raised are of
paramount importance to the public, the Court may brush aside technicalities of procedure. In this case, a
reading of the petition shows that the IBP has advanced constitutional issues which deserve the attention of
this Court in view of their seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents. Moreover, because peace and
order are under constant threat and lawless violence occurs in increasing tempo, undoubtedly aggravated
by the Mindanao insurgency problem, the legal controversy raised in the petition almost certainly will not go
away. It will stare us in the face again. It, therefore, behooves the Court to relax the rules on standing and to
resolve the issue now, rather than later.
Chavez vs Public Estate Authority

On Nov. 20 1973 Government through commissioner of Public Highways signed contract with CDPC (construction
and devlp, corp or the Ph) to reclaim certain foreshore and offshore areas of mnl bay, also in the contract, the
construction of phase 1 & 2 of Manila-Cavite coastal road.

On Nov. 1977, pres. Marcos issued pres. Decree 1084 creating PEA. PEA tasked to reclaim land including foreshore
and submerged areas and to develop improve acquire, lease and sell any and all kinds of land. Also on same day
marcos, issued decree 1085, that lands reclaimed in the foreshore and offshore of Manila bay be transferred to PEA,
now (MCCRRP- manila-cavite coastal road reclamation proj)

On December 29, 1981, Marcos issued memo, directing PEA to amend its contract with CDCP, that all future works
of MCCRRP xxx shall be funded and owned by PEA.

On January 19, 1988. Cory aqunio issued special patent 3517, granting and transferring to PEA the parcel of land
reclaimed under MCCRRP, total land: 1,915,894. Which freedom island itself has 1,578,441 sq/m

On april 25 1955, PEA entered into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with AMARI, private corporation, to develop the
freedom islands plus another 250 hectars or the surrounding to the islands, to complete the configuration of master
devlp plan of southern reclamation procject, MCCRRP, PEA and AMARI entered into the JOINT agreement w/out
public bidding. One jun 8 1995, Ramos, thru secretary torres approved JVA

On dec. 5 1997, pres. Ramos, issued pres.order 365- creating legal task force to conduct a study on the legality of
JVA, and legal task force upheald the legality of JVA, contraty to the conclustion reached by the senate committees.

on april 13 1998, zulueta filed in court a petition for prohibition wih application for the issueance of a TRO and Prelim
Injuction, seeking to nullify JVA.
court dismissed he petition for unwarranted disregard of judicial hierarchy

On april 27 1988, petitioner CHAVEZ, as a taxpayer filed the instatnt petition for mandamus w/ prayer for the
issuance of a writ of prelim injunction and TRO,


1)the Government stands to lose billions of peso in the sale by PEA of reclaimed lands to PEA
2) petitioner prays PEA publicly disclose the terms of any renegotiation of the JVA
(invoking right of people to information on matters of public concern)
3) that the sale to AMARI of lands of the public domain as a violation of sec3 art 12- prohibiting the sale of alienable
lands of the public domain to private corporation
4) that the loss of billions of pesos in proprieties of the state are of public dominion

on March 30 1999, PEA and AMARI signed amendment JVA, under administration of erap.

Chavez contends that JVA is unconstitutional thus null and void.

WON petitioner has locus standi to bring this suit.
The petitioner has standing to bring this taxpayers suit because the petition seeks to compel PEA to comply with its
constitutional duties. There are two constitutional issues involved here.

First is the right of citizens to information on matters of public concern.

Second is the application of a constitutional provision intended to insure the equitable distribution of alienable lands
of the public domain among Filipino citizens.

The thrust of the first issue is to compel PEA to disclose publicly information on the sale of government lands worth
billions of pesos, information which the Constitution and statutory law mandate PEA to disclose. The thrust of the
second issue is to prevent PEA from alienating hundreds of hectares of alienable lands of the public domain in
violation of the Constitution, compelling PEA to comply with a constitutional duty to the nation.

Yao v. CA


George Yaos legal dilemma commenced when the Philippine Electrical Manufacturing Company (PEMCO) noticed
the proliferation locally of General Electric (GE) lamp starters. As the only local subsidiary of GE-USA, Remandaman
was able to purchase from TCC fifty (50) pieces of fluorescent lamp starters with the GE logo and design. Assessing
that these products were counterfeit, PEMCO applied for the issuance of a search warrant. This was issued by the
MeTC, Branch 49, Caloocan City. Eight boxes, each containing 15,630 starters, were thereafter seized from the TCC
warehouse in Caloocan City.

The indictment charged YAO and Roxas of having mutually and in conspiracy sold fluorescent lamp starters which
have the General Electric (GE) logo, design and containers, making them appear as genuine GE fluorescent lamp
starters; and inducing the public to believe them as such.. Both accused pleaded not guilty. The MeTC acquitted
Roxas but convicted YAO. In acquitting Roxas, the trial court declared that the prosecution failed to prove that he
was still one of the Board of Directors at the time the goods were seized.

YAO filed a motion for reconsideration, which the MeTC denied. He then appealed to the Regional Trial Court of
Caloocan City (RTC). Judge Adoracion Angeles rendered a one-page Decision which affirmed in toto the MeTC

YAO filed a motion for reconsideration and assailed the decision as violative of Section 2, Rule 20 of the Rules of
Court. The RTC denied the motion for reconsideration as devoid of merit and reiterated that the findings of the trial
court are entitled to great weight on appeal and should not be disturbed on appeal unless for strong and cogent

YAO appealed to the Court of Appeals by filing a notice of appeal. The Court of Appeals granted YAO an extension
of twenty (20) days to file the Appellant's Brief. However, the Court of Appeals promulgated a Resolution declaring
that the decision of RTC has long become final and executory and ordering the records of the case remanded to said
court for the proper execution of judgment.

YAO filed an Urgent Motion to Set Aside Entry of Judgment contending that the resolution did not specifically dismiss
the appeal but the Court of Appeals denied the Urgent Motion to Set Aside the Entry of Judgment for lack of merit.

ISSUE: WON Yao was denied due process


Yes he was. The decision of the RTC affirming the conviction of YAO transgressed Section 14, Article VIII of the
Constitution, which states:

SECTION 14. No decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly
the facts and the law on which it is based.
The Court finds that the RTC decision at bar miserably failed to meet them and, therefore, fell short of the
constitutional injunction. The RTC decision achieved nothing and attempted at nothing, not even at a simple
summation of facts which could easily be done. The Court cannot consider or affirm said RTC decision as a
memorandum decision because it failed to comply with the measures of validity. It merely affirmed in toto the MeTC
decision without saying more. A decision or resolution, especially one resolving an appeal, should directly meet the
issues for resolution; otherwise, the appeal would be pointless.

Faithful adherence to the requirements of Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution is indisputably a paramount
component of due process and fair play. It is likewise demanded by the due process clause of the Constitution. The
parties to litigation should be informed of how it was decided, with an explanation of the factual and legal reasons
that led to the conclusions of the court. The losing party is entitled to know why he lost, so he may appeal to the
higher court, if permitted, should he believe that the decision should be reversed.

While he indeed resorted to the wrong mode of appeal and his right to appeal is statutory, it is still an essential part of
the judicial system that courts should proceed with caution so as not to deprive a party of the prerogative, but instead
afford every party-litigant the amplest opportunity for the proper and just disposition of his case, freed from the
constraints of technicalities.

A party-litigant is to be given the fullest opportunity to establish the merits of his complaint or defense rather than for
him to lose life, liberty, honor or property on mere technicalities. The Court withhold legal approbation on the RTC
decision at bar for its palpable failure to comply with the constitutional and legal mandates thereby denying YAO of
his day in court and reminding also all magistrates to heed the demand of Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution.
Noblejas v. Teehankee


Noblejas was the commissioner of land registration. Under RA 1151, he isentitled to the same compensation,
emoluments, and privileges as those of a Judge of CFI. He approved a subdivision plan covering certain areas that
are in excess of those covered by the title. The Secretary of Justice, Teehankee, sent a letter to Noblejas, requiring
himto explain why no disciplinary action should be taken against him. Noblejas answered, arguing that since he has a
rank equivalent to that of a Judge, he could only be suspended and investigated in the same manner as an ordinary
Judge, under the Judiciary Act. He claims that he may be investigated only by the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, he
was suspended by the Executive Secretary (ES). Noblejas filed this case claiming the lack of jurisdiction of the ES
and his abuse of discretion.


Whether the Commissioner of Land Registration may only be investigated by the Supreme Court (in view of his
having a rank equivalent to a judge).



If the law had really intended to include the general grant of rank and privileges equivalent to Judges, the right to be
investigated and be suspended or removed only by the Supreme Court, then such grant of privileges would be
unconstitutional, since it would violate the doctrine of separation of powers because it would charge the Supreme
Court with an administrative function of supervisory control over executive officials, simultaneously reducing pro tanto,
the control of the Chief Executive over such officials.

Petitioners theory that the grant of privilege of a Judge of First Instance includes by implication the right to be
investigated only by the Supreme Court and to be suspended or removed upon its recommendation, would
necessarily result in the same right being possessed by a variety of executive officials upon whom the legislature had
indiscriminately conferred the same privileges. This include (a) the Judicial Superintendent of the DOJ; (b) the
Assistant Solicitors General; (c) the City Fiscal of Quezon City; (d) the City Fiscal of Manila and (e) SEC

Also, the resolution of the consulta by a Register of Deeds is NOT a judicial function, but an administrative process. It
is conclusive and binding only upon the Register of Deeds, NOT the parties themselves. Even if the resolution is
appealable, it does not automatically mean that they are judicial in character.Still, the resolution of the consultas are
but a minimal portion of the administrative or executive functions. Petition is Dismissed.

Go Tek v. Deportation Board

This is a deportation case. On March 3, 1964 the chief prosecutor of the Deportation Board filed a complaint against
Go Tek a Chinaman residing at Ilagan, Isabela and 1208-B, Misericordia Street, Sta. Cruz Manila.

It was alleged in the complaint that in December, 1963 certain agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
searched an office located at 1439 O'Donnel Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila believed to be the headquarters of a guerilla
unit of the "Emergency Intelligence Section, Army of the United States" and that among those arrested thereat was
Go Tek an alleged sector commander and intelligence and record officer of that guerilla unit.

It was further alleged that fake dollar checks were found in Go Tek's possession and that, therefore, he had violated
article 168 of the Revised Penal Code and rendered himself an undesirable alien.

The prosecutor prayed that after trial the Board should recommend to the President of the Philippines the immediate
deportation of Go Tek as an undesirable alien, "his presence in this country having been, and will always be and a
menace to the peace , welfare, and security of the community

Go Tek filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint was premature bemuse them was a pending case
against him in the city fiscal's office of Manila for violation of article. He contended that the board had no jurisdiction
to try the case in view of the obiter dictum in Qua Chee Gan vs. Deportation Board.

The Board, composed of Manuel A. Concordia, Arturo A. Alafriz and Manuel V. Reyes, in its resolution of April 21,
1964 denied Go Teks motion. The Board reasoned out that a conviction is not a prerequisite before the State my
exercise its rights to deport an undesirable alien and that the Board is only a fact finding body whose function is to
make a report and recommendation to the President in whom is lodged the exclusive power to deport an alien or a
deportation proceeding.

In view of the denial of his motion to quash, Go Tek on June 10, 1964 filed in the Court of First Instance of Manila a
prohibition action against the Board. On July 8, 1964 the court issued a writ of preliminary injunction restraining the
board from hearing Go Tek's case.

After hearing, the trial court (Judge Federico C. Alikpala presiding) in its decision of 31, 1964 granted the writ
prohibition and the Board to desist from taking cognizance of the Go Tek.

The court, citing the said obiter dictum in the Qua Chee Gan case, held that mere ion of forged dollar checks is not a
ground for deportation under the Immigration Law; that under section 37(3) of the law before an alien may be
deported for having been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of one year or more for a crime
involving moral turpitude a conviction is and that since Go Tek had not been convicted of the offense punished in
article 168, the deportation was premature.

The Board appealed to this Court on the ground that the decision is contrary to law. The Solicitor General contends
that the trial court erred in assuming that the President may deport undesirable aliens only to grounds enumerated by
law; in holding that mere possession of forged dollar checks is not a ground for deportation and that a criminal
conviction is necessary, and in not finding that the Board has jurisdiction over Go Tek's case.

The parties stipulated that the Deportation Board is an of the President of the Philippines charged with the
investigation of undesirable aliens and to report and recommend proper action on the basis of its findings therein."


The issue is whether the Deportation Board can entertain a deportation proceeding based on a ground which is not
specified in section 37 of the Immigration Law and although the aliens has not yet been convicted of the offense
imputed to him.


We hold that the Board has jurisdiction to investigate Go Tek for illegal possession of fake dollar checks (as well as
his alleged "guerilla" activities) in spite of the fact that he has not yet been convicted of illegal possession thereof
under article 168 of the Revised Penal Code and notwithstanding that act is not the grounds for the deportation of
undesirable aliens as enumerated in section 37 of the Immigration Law. The charge against Go Tek before- the
Board was not premature.

The aforementioned obiter dictum the Qua Chee Gan case invoked by Go Tek and relied upon by the trial court, is
not of this case. In the Qua Chee Gan case the aliens were with economic sabotage which is a ground for
deportation under Republic Act No. 503.

The ratio decidendi of the Qua Chee Gan case is that the provision of Executive Order No. 398, of 1951, the
Deportation Board to issue a warrant of arrest upon the filing of formal charges against an alien, is "illegal" or
unconstitutional because it is contrary to the provinsion in section 1(3), Article III of the 1935 Constitution that
warrants shall issue upon to be de by the judge after e under oath the t and the witness he may produce. (Note that
under section 3, Article IV of the 1973 Constitution cause may be determined "by the judge, or such other
responsible officer as may be authorized by law".

On the other hand, section 37 of the Immigration Law Provides that certain aliens may be arrested upon the warrant
of the Commissioner of Immigration or of any other officer designated by him for the purpose and deported upon the
Commissioner's warrant - "after a determination by the Board of Commissioners of the existence of the ground for
deportation as charged against the alien." Thirteen classes of aliens who may be deported by the Commissioner are
specified in section 37 (See Po Siok Pin vs. Vivo, L-24792, February 14, 1975, 62 SCRA 363, 368).

So, under existing law; the deportation of an undesirable alien may be effected (1) by order of the President, after
due investigation, pursuant to section 69 of the Revised Administrative Code and (2) by the Commissioner of
Immigration upon recommendation of the Board of Commissioners under section 37 of the immigration Law (Qua
Chee Gan vs- Deportation Board, supra).

The State has the inherent power to deport undesirable aliens (Chuoco Tiaco vs. Forbes, 228 U.S. 549, 57 L. Ed.
960, 40 Phil. 1122, 1125). That power may be exercise by the Chief Executive "when he deems such action
necessary for the peace and domestic tranquility of the nation Justice Johnson's is that there the Chief Executive
rinds that there are aliens whose continued in the country is injurious to the public interest he may, even in the
absence of express law, deport them

As observed by Justice Labrador, there is no legal nor constitutes provision defining the power to deport aliens
because the intention of the law is to grant the Chief Executive "full discretion to determine whether an alien's
residence in the country is so undesirable as to affect or injure the security welfare or interest of the state. The
adjudication of facts upon which deportation is predicated also devolves on the Chief Executive whose decision is
final and executory." (Tan Tong vs. Deportation Board 96 Phil. 934, 936; Tan Sin vs. Deportation Board, 104 PhiL
868, 872).

It has been held that the Chief Executive is the sole and exclusive judge of the existence of facts which warrant the
deportation of aliens as disclosed in an investigation conducted in accordance with 69. No other tribunal is at liberty
to reexamine or to controvert the sufficiency of the evidence on which he acted

"It is fundamental that an executive order for deportation is not dependent on a prior judicial conviction in a case"
(Ang Bong vs. Commissioner of Immigration, 100 Phil. 801, 803). Thus, it was held that the fact that an alien has
been acquitted in a of the charge does not prevent the deportation of such alien based on the same charge. Such
acquittal does not constitute res judicata in the deportation proceedings. Conviction of a crime is not n to warrant
deportation. (3 C.J.S. 743, note 40, citing Lewis vs. Frick, 233 U.S. 291, 58 L. Ed. 967 and U.S. ex.. Mastoras vs.
McCandless 61 F. 2nd 366; Tama Miyake vs. U.S. 257 F. 732).

And in the Tan Tong case, supra, it was ruled that the Deportation Board could take cognizance of the charge of
illegal importation against an alien as a ground for deportation, even if he of the Deportation Board is merely
recommendatory. The Chief Executive has to approve the board's recommendatory Abuses or rents committed by
the prosecutor or by the Board should first be brought to his attention.

WHEREFORE, the lower court's decision is reversed and set aside. The writ of preliminary injunction is dissolved.
The case is to the Deportation Board for further proceedings. Costs against the petitioner-appellee. SO ORDERED.
Leyson v. Ombudsman


On 7 February 1996 International Towage and Transport Corporation (ITTC), a domestic corporation engaged in the
lighterage or shipping business, entered into a one (1)-year contract with Legaspi Oil Company, Inc. (LEGASPI OIL),
Granexport Manufacturing Corporation (GRANEXPORT) and United Coconut Chemicals, Inc. (UNITED COCONUT),
comprising the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) companies, for the transport of coconut oil in bulk through
MT Transasia. The majority shareholdings of these CIIF companies are owned by the United Coconut Planters Bank
(UCPB) as administrator of the CIIF. Under the terms of the contract, either party could terminate the agreement
provided a three (3)-month advance notice was given to the other party. However, in August 1996, or prior to the
expiration of the contract, the CIIF companies with their new President, respondent Oscar A. Torralba, terminated the
contract without the requisite advance notice. The CIIF companies engaged the services of another vessel, MT
Marilag, operated by Southwest Maritime Corporation. miso

On 11 March 1997 petitioner Manuel M. Leyson Jr., Executive Vice President of ITTC, filed with public respondent
Office of the Ombudsman a grievance case against respondent Oscar A. Torralba. The following is a summary of the
irregularities and corrupt practices allegedly committed by respondent Torralba: (a) breach of contract - unilateral
cancellation of valid and existing contract; (b) bad faith - falsification of documents and reports to stop the operation
of MT Transasia; (c) manipulation - influenced their insurance to disqualify MT Transasia; (d) unreasonable denial of
requirement imposed; (e) double standards and inconsistent in favor of MT Marilag; (f) engaged and entered into a
contract with Southwest Maritime Corp. which is not the owner of MT Marilag, where liabilities were waived and
whose paid-up capital is only P250,000.00; and, (g) overpricing in the freight rate causing losses of millions of pesos
to Cocochem.[1]

On 2 January 1998 petitioner charged respondent Tirso Antiporda, Chairman of UCPB and CIIF Oil Mills, and
respondent Oscar A. Torralba with violation of The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act also before the Ombudsman
anchored on the aforementioned alleged irregularities and corrupt practices. spped
On 30 January 1998 public respondent dismissed the complaint based on its finding that

The case is a simple case of breach of contract with damages which should have been filed in the regular court. This
Office has no jurisdiction to determine the legality or validity of the termination of the contract entered into by CIIF
and ITTC. Besides the entities involved are private corporations (over) which this Office has no jurisdiction.[2]

On 4 June 1998 reconsideration of the dismissal of the complaint was denied. The Ombudsman was unswayed in his
finding that the present controversy involved breach of contract as he also took into account the circumstance that
petitioner had already filed a collection case before the Regional Trial Court of Manila-Br. 15, docketed as Civil Case
No. 97-83354. Moreover, the Ombudsman found that the filing of the motion for reconsideration on 31 March 1998
was beyond the inextendible period of five (5) days from notice of the assailed resolution on 19 March 1998.[3] miso

Petitioner now imputes grave abuse of discretion on public respondent in dismissing his complaint. He submits that
inasmuch as Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED) v. PCGG[4] and Republic v.
Sandiganbayan[5] have declared that the coconut levy funds are public funds then, conformably with Quimpo v.
Tanodbayan,[6] corporations formed and organized from those funds or whose controlling stocks are from those
funds should be regarded as government owned and/or controlled corporations. As in the present case, since the
funding or controlling interest of the companies being headed by private respondents was given or owned by the CIIF
as shown in the certification of their Corporate Secretary,[7] it follows that they are government owned and/or
controlled corporations. Corollarily, petitioner asserts that respondents Antiporda and Torralba are public officers
subject to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman. Sdaadsc

Petitioner alleges next that public respondent's conclusion that his complaint refers to a breach of contract is
whimsical, capricious and irresponsible amounting to a total disregard of its main point, i. e., whether private
respondents violated The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when they entered into a contract with Southwest
Maritime Corporation which was grossly disadvantageous to the government in general and to the CIIF in particular.
Petitioner admits that his motion for reconsideration was filed out of time. Nonetheless, he advances that public
respondent should have relaxed its rules in the paramount interest of justice; after all, the delay was just a matter of
days and he, a layman not aware of technicalities, personally filed the complaint. Rtcspped

Private respondents counter that the CIIF companies were duly organized and are existing by virtue of the
Corporation Code. Their stockholders are private individuals and entities. In addition, private respondents contend
that they are not public officers as defined under The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act but are private executives
appointed by the Boards of Directors of the CIIF companies. They asseverate that petitioner's motion for
reconsideration was filed through the expert assistance of a learned counsel. They then charge petitioner with forum
shopping since he had similarly filed a case for collection of a sum of money plus damages before the trial court.


Whether private respondents violated The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when they entered into a contract
with Southwest Maritime Corporation which was grossly disadvantageous to the government in general and to the
CIIF in particular.

Whether or not they are public officers


We find no grave abuse of discretion committed by the Ombudsman. COCOFED v. PCGG referred to in Republic v.
Sandiganbayan reviewed the history of the coconut levy funds. I These funds actually have four (4) general classes:
(a) the Coconut Investment Fund created under R. A. No. 6260;[8] (b) the Coconut Consumers Stabilization Fund
created under P. D. No. 276;[9] (c) the Coconut Industry Development Fund created under P. D. No. 582;[10] and, (d)
the Coconut Industry Stabilization Fund created under P. D. No. 1841.[11]

The various laws relating to the coconut industry were codified in 1976. On 21 October of that year, P. D. No. 961[12]
was promulgated. On 11 June 1978 it was amended by P. D. No. 1468[13] by inserting a new provision authorizing
the use of the balance of the Coconut Industry Development Fund for the acquisition of "shares of stocks in
corporations organized for the purpose of engaging in the establishment and operation of industries x x x commercial
activities and other allied business undertakings relating to coconut and other palm oil indust(ries)."[14] From this
fund thus created, or the CIIF, shares of stock in what have come to be known as the "CIIF companies" were
purchased. miso

We then stated in COCOFED that the coconut levy funds were raised by the State's police and taxing powers such
that the utilization and proper management thereof were certainly the concern of the Government. These funds have
a public character and are clearly affected with public interest.

Quimpo v. Tanodbayan involved the issue as to whether PETROPHIL was a government owned or controlled
corporation the employees of which fell within the jurisdictional purview of the Tanodbayan for purposes of The Anti-
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. We upheld the jurisdiction of the Tanodbayan on the ratiocination that -

While it may be that PETROPHIL was not originally "created" as a government-owned or controlled corporation, after
it was acquired by PNOC, which is a government-owned or controlled corporation, PETROPHIL became a subsidiary
of PNOC and thus shed-off its private status. It is now funded and owned by the government as, in fact, it was
acquired to perform functions related to government programs and policies on oil, a vital commodity in the economic
life of the nation. It was acquired not temporarily but as a permanent adjunct to perform essential government or
government-related functions, as the marketing arm of the PNOC to assist the latter in selling and distributing oil and
petroleum products to assure and maintain an adequate and stable domestic supply. Korte

But these jurisprudential rules invoked by petitioner in support of his claim that the CIIF companies are government
owned and/or controlled corporations are incomplete without resorting to the definition of "government owned or
controlled corporation" contained in par. (13), Sec. 2, Introductory Provisions of the Administrative Code of 1987, i. e.,
any agency organized as a stock or non-stock corporation vested with functions relating to public needs whether
governmental or proprietary in nature, and owned by the Government directly or through its instrumentalities either
wholly, or, where applicable as in the case of stock corporations, to the extent of at least fifty-one (51) percent of its
capital stock. The definition mentions three (3) requisites, namely, first, any agency organized as a stock or non-stock
corporation; second, vested with functions relating to public needs whether governmental or proprietary in nature;
and, third, owned by the Government directly or through its instrumentalities either wholly, or, where applicable as in
the case of stock corporations, to the extent of at least fifty-one (51) percent of its capital stock.

In the present case, all three (3) corporations comprising the CIIF companies were organized as stock corporations.
The UCPB-CIIF owns 44.10% of the shares of LEGASPI OIL, 91.24% of the shares of GRANEXPORT, and 92.85%
of the shares of UNITED COCONUT.[15] Obviously, the below 51% shares of stock in LEGASPI OIL removes this
firm from the definition of a government owned or controlled corporation. Our concern has thus been limited to
GRANEXPORT and UNITED COCONUT as we go back to the second requisite. Unfortunately, it is in this regard that
petitioner failed to substantiate his contentions. There is no showing that GRANEXPORT and/ or UNITED
COCONUT was vested with functions relating to public needs whether governmental or proprietary in nature unlike
PETROPHIL in Quimpo. The Court thus concludes that the CIIF companies are, as found by public respondent,
private corporations not within the scope of its jurisdiction. Sclex

With the foregoing conclusion, we find it unnecessary to resolve the other issues raised by petitioner.

A brief note on private respondents' charge of forum shopping. Executive Secretary v. Gordon[16] is instructive that
forum shopping consists of filing multiple suits involving the same parties for the same cause of action, either
simultaneously or successively, for the purpose of obtaining a favorable judgment. It is readily apparent that the
present charge will not prosper because the cause of action herein, i. e., violation of The Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act, is different from the cause of action in the case pending before the trial court which is collection of a
sum of money plus damages. miso

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. The Resolution of public respondent Office of the Ombudsman of 30
January 1998 which dismissed the complaint of petitioner Manuel M. Leyson Jr., as well as its Order of 4 June 1998
denying his motion for reconsideration, is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.
Baluyot vs Holganza, GR No 136374

During a spot audit conducted on March 21, 1977 by a team of auditors from the Philippine National Red Cross
(PNRC) headquarters, a cash shortage of P154,350.13 was discovered in the funds of its Bohol chapter. The chapter
administrator, petitioner Francisca S. Baluyot, was held accountable for the shortage. Thereafter, on January 8, 1998,
private respondent Paul E. Holganza, in his capacity as a member of the board of directors of the Bohol chapter, filed
an affidavit-complaint1 before the Office of the Ombudsman charging petitioner of malversation under Article 217 of
the Revised Penal Code. The complaint was docketed as OMB-VIS-CRIM-98-0022. However, upon recommendation
by respondent Anna Marie P. Militante, Graft Investigation Officer I, an administrative docket for dishonesty was also
opened against petitioner; hence, OMB-VIS-ADM-98-0063.2

On February 6, 1998, public respondent issued an Order3 requiring petitioner to file her counter-affidavit to the
charges of malversation and dishonesty within ten days from notice, with a warning that her failure to comply would
be construed as a waiver on her part to refute the charges, and that the case would be resolved based on the
evidence on record. On March 14, 1998, petitioner filed her counter-affidavit,4 raising principally the defense that
public respondent had no jurisdiction over the controversy. She argued that the Ombudsman had authority only over
government-owned or controlled corporations, which the PNRC was not, or so she claimed.

On August 21, 1998, public respondent issued the first assailed Order5 denying petitioner's motion to dismiss. It
further scheduled a clarificatory hearing on the criminal aspect of the complaint and a preliminary conference on its
administrative aspect on September 2, 1998. Petitioner received the order on August 26, 1998 and she filed a motion
for reconsideration6 the next day.

On October 28, 1998, public respondent issued the second assailed Order7 denying petitioner's motion for
reconsideration. Hence, this recourse.

We dismiss the petition.


Whether or not PNRC is a private corporation?

Whether or not Ombudsman has the Jurisdiction?



Practically the same issue was addressed in Camporedondo v. National Labor Relations Commission, et. al.,10
where an almost identical set of facts obtained. Petitioner therein was the administrator of the Surigao del Norte
chapter of the PNRC. An audit conducted by a field auditor revealed a shortage in the chapter funds in the sum of
P109,000.00. When required to restitute the amount of P135,927.78, petitioner therein instead applied for early
retirement, which was denied by the Secretary General of the PNRC. Subsequently, the petitioner filed a complaint
for illegal dismissal and damages against PNRC before the National Labor Relations Commission. In turn, PNRC
moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, averring that PNRC was a government
corporation whose employees are embraced by civil service regulation. The labor arbiter dismissed the complaint,
and the Commission sustained his order. The petitioner assailed the dismissal of his complaint via a petition for
certiorari, contending that the PNRC is a private organization and not a government-owned or controlled corporation.
In dismissing the petition, we ruled thus:

Resolving the issue set out in the opening paragraph of this opinion, we rule that the Philippine National Red Cross
(PNRC) is a government owned and controlled corporation, with an original charter under Republic Act No. 95, as
amended. The test to determine whether a corporation is government owned or controlled, or private in nature is
simple. Is it created by its own charter for the exercise of a public function, or by incorporation under the general
corporation law? Those with special charters are government corporations subject to its provisions, and its
employees are under the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission, and are compulsory members of the
Government Service Insurance System. The PNRC was not "impliedly converted to a private corporation" simply
because its charter was amended to vest in it the authority to secure loans, be exempted from payment of all duties,
taxes, fees and other charges of all kinds on all importations and purchases for its exclusive use, on donations for its
disaster relief work and other services and in its benefits and fund raising drives, and be allotted one lottery draw a
year by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for the support of its disaster relief operation in addition to its
existing lottery draws for blood program.

Clearly then, public respondent has jurisdiction over the matter, pursuant to Section 13, of Republic Act No. 6770,
otherwise known as "The Ombudsman Act of 1989", to wit:

Sec. 13. Mandate. The Ombudsman and his Deputies, as protectors of the people, shall act promptly on
complaints filed in any form or manner against officers or employees of the Government, or of any subdivision,
agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and enforce their
administrative, civil and criminal liability in ever case where the evidence warrants in order to promote efficient
service by the Government to the people.

WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is hereby DISMISSED. Costs against petitioner.
Manila Public School Teachers Association v. Secretary of Education


September 17, 1990 fell on a Monday, which was also a regular school day. There is no question that the some 800
teachers who joined the mass action did not conduct their classes on that day; instead, as alleged in the petition in
G.R. No. 95590, 4 they converged at the Liwasang Bonifacio in the morning whence they proceeded to the National
Office of the Department of Education, Culture and Sport (DECS) for a whole-day assembly. At about 1:00 o'clock
p.m., three representatives of the group were allowed to see the respondent Secretary of Education who "brushed
aside their grievances," warned them that they would lose their jobs for going on illegal and unauthorized mass leave.
Upon leaving said respondent's presence, they were handed an order directing all participants in the mass action to
return to work in 24 hours or face dismissal, and a memorandum directing the DECS officials concerned to initiate
dismissal proceedings against those who did not comply and to hire their replacements. 5 Those directives
notwithstanding, the mass actions continued into the week, with more teachers joining in the days that followed. In its
issue of September 19, 1990, the newspaper Manila Standard reported that the day previous, the respondent
Secretary of Education had relieved 292 teachers who did not return to their classes. The next day, however, another
daily, Newsday, reported that the Secretary had revoked its dismissal order and instead placed 56 of the 292
teachers under preventive suspension, despite which the protesters' numbers had swelled to 4,000.

A "mass action" was undertaken by the 800 public school teachers, among them members of the petitioning
associations to "dramatize and highlight" the teachers' plight resulting from the alleged failure of the public authorities
to act upon grievances that had time and again been brought to the latter's attention. The petition alleges in great
detail the character and origins of those grievances as perceived by the petitioners, and the attempts to negotiate
their correction.

On the record, what did happen was that, based on reports submitted by the principals of the various public schools
in Metro Manila, the respondent Secretary of Education had filed motu proprio administrative complaints against the
teachers who had taken part in the mass actions and defied the return-to-work order on assorted charges like grave
misconduct, gross neglect of duty, gross violation of the Civil Service Law, absence without official leave, etc., and
placed them under 90-day preventive suspension. The respondents were served copies of the charge sheets and
given five (5) days to submit answer or explanation. Later, on October 8, 1990, the respondent Secretary constituted
an investigating committee of four (4) to determine and take the appropriate course of action on the formal charges
and designated the special prosecutors on detail with the DECS to handle their prosecution during the formal


Are employees in the public service prohibited from forming unions and holding strikes?



Employees in the public (civil) service, unlike those in the private sector, do not have the right to strike, although
guaranteed the right to self-organization, to petition Congress for the betterment of employment terms and conditions
and to negotiate with appropriate government agencies for the improvement of such working conditions as are not
fixed by law.

Public school teachers have the right to peaceably assemble for redress of grievances but NOT during class hours,
for then this would be a strike, which is illegal for them.
Social Security System Employees Association v. Court of Appeals


On June 11, 1987, the SSS filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a complaint for damages with a prayer
for a writ of preliminary injunction against petitioners, alleging that on June 9, 1987, the officers and members of
SSSEA staged an illegal strike and baricaded the entrances to the SSS Building, preventing non-striking employees
from reporting for work and SSS members from transacting business with the SSS; that the strike was reported to the
Public Sector Labor - Management Council, which ordered the strikers to return to work; that the strikers refused to
return to work; and that the SSS suffered damages as a result of the strike. The complaint prayed that a writ of
preliminary injunction be issued to enjoin the strike and that the strikers be ordered to return to work; that the
defendants (petitioners herein) be ordered to pay damages; and that the strike be declared illegal.

It appears that the SSSEA went on strike after the SSS failed to act on the union's demands, which included:
implementation of the provisions of the old SSS-SSSEA collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on check-off of union
dues; payment of accrued overtime pay, night differential pay and holiday pay; conversion of temporary or
contractual employees with six (6) months or more of service into regular and permanent employees and their
entitlement to the same salaries, allowances and benefits given to other regular employees of the SSS; and payment
of the children's allowance of P30.00, and after the SSS deducted certain amounts from the salaries of the
employees and allegedly committed acts of discrimination and unfair labor practices.

Whether or not employees of the Social Security System (SSS) have the right to strike.


The 1987 Constitution, in the Article on Social Justice and Human Rights, provides that the State "shall guarantee
the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities,
including the right to strike in accordance with law" [Art. XIII, Sec. 31].

Resort to the intent of the framers of the organic law becomes helpful in understanding the meaning of these
provisions. A reading of the proceedings of the Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution would
show that in recognizing the right of government employees to organize, the commissioners intended to limit the right
to the formation of unions or associations only, without including the right to strike.

The Constitutional provisions enshrined on Human Rights and Social Justice provides guarantee among workers with
the right to organize and conduct peaceful concerted activities such as strikes. On one hand, Section 14 of E.O No.
180 provides that the Civil Service law and rules governing concerted activities and strikes in the government
service shall be observed, subject to any legislation that may be enacted by Congress referring to Memorandum
Circular No. 6, s. 1987 of the Civil Service Commission which states that prior to the enactment by Congress of
applicable laws concerning strike by government employees enjoins under pain of administrative sanctions, all
government officers and employees from staging strikes, demonstrations, mass leaves, walk-outs and other forms of
mass action which will result in temporary stoppage or disruption of public service. Therefore in the absence of any
legislation allowing government employees to strike they are prohibited from doing so.

Considering that under the 1987 Constitution "the civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities,
and agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters" [Art.
IX(B), Sec. .2(l) see also Sec. 1 of E.O. No. 180 where the employees in the civil service are denominated as
"government employees"] and that the SSS is one such government-controlled corporation with an original charter,
having been created under R.A. No. 1161, its employees are part of the civil service [NASECO v. NLRC, G.R. Nos.
69870 & 70295, November 24,1988] and are covered by the Civil Service Commission's memorandum prohibiting
strikes. This being the case, the strike staged by the employees of the SSS was illegal.

Bitonio Jr. v. COA

The instant petition filed under Rule 64 of the Revised Rules of Court seeks the annulment of the Decision of the
Commission on Audit (COA) dated January 30, 2001 denying the petitioners motion for the reconsideration of the
COA Notices of Disallowance Nos. 98-008-101 (95) and 98-017-101 (97) dated July 31, 1998 and October 9, 1998,
respectively, involving the per diems the petitioner received from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA). In
order to avoid multiplicity of suits, an Amended Petition dated August 16, 2002 was later filed to include in the
resolution of the instant petition Notice of Disallowance No. 98-003-101 (96) dated July 31, 1998 which was belatedly
received by the petitioner on August 13, 2002

In 1994, petitioner Benedicto Ernesto R. Bitonio, Jr. was appointed Director IV of the Bureau of Labor Relations in the
Department of Labor and Employment.

In a Letter dated May 11, 1995 addressed to Honorable Rizalino S. Navarro, then Secretary of the Department of
Trade and Industry, Acting Secretary Jose S. Brilliantes of the Department of Labor and Employment designated the
petitioner to be the DOLE representative to the Board of Directors of PEZA. Such designation was in pursuance to
Section 11 of Republic Act No. 7916, otherwise known as the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995, which provides:

Section 11. The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Board. There is hereby created a body corporate to be
known as the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)

On November 24, 1998, the petitioner filed his motion for reconsideration to the COA on the following

1. The Supreme Court in its Resolution dated August 2, 1991 on the motion for clarification filed by the Solicitor
General modified its earlier ruling in the Civil Liberties Union case which limits the prohibition to Cabinet Secretaries,
Undersecretaries and their Assistants. Officials given the rank equivalent to a Secretary, Undersecretary or Assistant
Secretary and other appointive officials below the rank of Assistant Secretary are not covered by the prohibition.

2. Section 11 of R.A. No. 7916 provides the legal basis for the movant to receive per diem. Said law was enacted in
1995, four years after the Civil Liberties Union case became final. In expressly authorizing per diems, Congress
should be conclusively presumed to have been aware of the parameters of the constitutional prohibition as
interpreted in the Civil Liberties Union case.
On January 30, 2001, the COA rendered the assailed decision denying petitioners motion for

Hence, this petition.

The COA anchors the disallowance of per diems in the case of Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary
where the Court declared Executive Order No. 284 allowing government officials to hold multiple positions in
government, unconstitutional. Thus, Cabinet Secretaries, Undersecretaries, and their Assistant Secretaries, are
prohibited to hold other government offices or positions in addition to their primary positions and to receive
compensation therefor, except in cases where the Constitution expressly provides. The Courts ruling was in
conformity with Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution which reads:

Sec. 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not,
unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure. They shall not,
during their tenure, directly or indirectly, practice any other profession, participate in any business or be financially
interested in any other contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government or any
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporations or their
subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office.


Whether or not the COA correctly disallowed the per diems received by the petitioner for his attendance in the PEZA
Board of Directors meetings as representative of the Secretary of Labor.


The Solicitor General next asks: x x x may the Decision then control or otherwise encroach on the exclusive
competence of the legislature to provide funds for a public purpose, in terms of compensation or honoraria under
existing laws, where in the absence of such provision said laws would otherwise meet the terms of the exception by
law? Again, the question is anchored on a misperception. It must be stressed that the so-called exclusive
competence of the legislature to provide funds for a public purpose or to enact all types of laws, for that matter, is not
unlimited. Such competence must be exercised within the framework of the fundamental law from which the
Legislature draws its power and with which the resulting legislation or statute must conform. When the
Court sets aside legislation for being violative of the Constitution, it is not thereby substituting its wisdom
for that of the Legislature or encroaching upon the latters prerogative, but again simply discharging its
sacred task of safeguarding and upholding the paramount law.

The Board shall be composed of thirteen (13) members as follows: the Secretary of the Department of Trade
and Industry as Chairman, the Director General of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority as Vice-chairman, the
undersecretaries of the Department of Finance, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of [the]
Interior and Local Government, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of
Agriculture, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Science and Technology, the
Department of Energy, the Deputy Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority, one (1)
representative from the labor sector, and one (1) representative from the investors/business sector in the ECOZONE.
In case of the unavailability of the Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry to attend a particular board
meeting, the Director General of PEZA shall act as Chairman.

As can be gleaned from above, the members of the Board of Directors was increased from 8 to 13, specifying therein
that it is the undersecretaries of the different Departments who should sit as board members of the PEZA. The option
of designating his representative to the Board by the different Cabinet Secretaries was deleted. Likewise, the last
paragraph as to the payment of per diems to the members of the Board of Directors was also deleted, considering
that such stipulation was clearly in conflict with the proscription set by the Constitution.

Prescinding from the above, the petitioner is, indeed, not entitled to receive a per diem for his attendance at board
meetings during his tenure as member of the Board of Director of the PEZA.

IN LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, the petition is DISMISSED. The assailed decision of the COA is AFFIRMED.
Cayetano v. Monsod


Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. Aquino to the position of chairman of the
COMELEC. Petitioner opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not posses required qualification of
having been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. The 1987 constitution provides in Section 1, Article
IX-C: There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be
natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders
of a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding
elections. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have
been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.


Whether the respondent does not posses the required qualification of having engaged in the practice of law for at
least ten years.


In the case of Philippine Lawyers Association vs. Agrava, stated: The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of
cases or litigation in court; it embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special
proceeding, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and courts, and in
addition, conveying. In general, all advice to clients, and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law
incorporation services, assessment and condemnation services, contemplating an appearance before judicial body,
the foreclosure of mortgage, enforcement of a creditors claim in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, and
conducting proceedings in attachment, and in matters of estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law
practice. Practice of law means any activity, in or out court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure,
knowledge, training and experience.

The appointing process in a regular appointment as in the case at bar, consists of four (4) stages: (1) nomination; (2)
confirmation by the Commission on Appointments; (3) issuance of a commission (in the Philippines, upon submission
by the Commission on Appointments of its certificate of confirmation, the President issues the permanent
appointment; and (4) acceptance e.g., oath-taking, posting of bond, etc. . . . (Lacson v. Romero, No. L-3081, October
14, 1949; Gonzales, Law on Public Officers, p. 200)

The power of the Commission on Appointments to give its consent to the nomination of Monsod as Chairman of the
Commission on Elections is mandated by Section 1(2) Sub-Article C, Article IX of the Constitution which provides:

The Chairman and the Commisioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on
Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, three Members shall hold
office for seven years, two Members for five years, and the last Members for three years, without reappointment.
Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be
appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.

Anent Justice Teodoro Padilla's separate opinion, suffice it to say that his definition of the practice of law is the
traditional or stereotyped notion of law practice, as distinguished from the modern concept of the practice of law,
which modern connotation is exactly what was intended by the eminent framers of the 1987 Constitution. Moreover,
Justice Padilla's definition would require generally a habitual law practice, perhaps practised two or three times a
week and would outlaw say, law practice once or twice a year for ten consecutive years. Clearly, this is far from the
constitutional intent.

Upon the other hand, the separate opinion of Justice Isagani Cruz states that in my written opinion, I made use of a
definition of law practice which really means nothing because the definition says that law practice " . . . is what people
ordinarily mean by the practice of law." True I cited the definition but only by way of sarcasm as evident from my
statement that the definition of law practice by "traditional areas of law practice is essentially tautologous" or defining
a phrase by means of the phrase itself that is being defined.

Justice Cruz goes on to say in substance that since the law covers almost all situations, most individuals, in making
use of the law, or in advising others on what the law means, are actually practicing law. In that sense, perhaps, but
we should not lose sight of the fact that Mr. Monsod is a lawyer, a member of the Philippine Bar, who has been
practising law for over ten years. This is different from the acts of persons practising law, without first becoming

Justice Cruz also says that the Supreme Court can even disqualify an elected President of the Philippines, say, on
the ground that he lacks one or more qualifications. This matter, I greatly doubt. For one thing, how can an action or
petition be brought against the President? And even assuming that he is indeed disqualified, how can the action be
entertained since he is the incumbent President?

We now proceed:
The Commission on the basis of evidence submitted doling the public hearings on Monsod's confirmation, implicitly
determined that he possessed the necessary qualifications as required by law. The judgment rendered by the
Commission in the exercise of such an acknowledged power is beyond judicial interference except only upon a clear
showing of a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. (Art. VIII, Sec. 1 Constitution).
Thus, only where such grave abuse of discretion is clearly shown shall the Court interfere with the Commission's
judgment. In the instant case, there is no occasion for the exercise of the Court's corrective power, since no abuse,
much less a grave abuse of discretion, that would amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction and would warrant the
issuance of the writs prayed, for has been clearly shown.

Additionally, consider the following:

(1) If the Commission on Appointments rejects a nominee by the President, may the Supreme Court reverse the
Commission, and thus in effect confirm the appointment? Clearly, the answer is in the negative.

(2) In the same vein, may the Court reject the nominee, whom the Commission has confirmed? The answer is
likewise clear.

(3) If the United States Senate (which is the confirming body in the U.S. Congress) decides to confirm a Presidential
nominee, it would be incredible that the U.S. Supreme Court would still reverse the U.S. Senate.

Finally, one significant legal maxim is:

We must interpret not by the letter that killeth, but by the spirit that giveth life.

Take this hypothetical case of Samson and Delilah. Once, the procurator of Judea asked Delilah (who was Samson's
beloved) for help in capturing Samson. Delilah agreed on condition that

No blade shall touch his skin;

No blood shall flow from his veins.

When Samson (his long hair cut by Delilah) was captured, the procurator placed an iron rod burning white-hot two or
three inches away from in front of Samson's eyes. This blinded the man. Upon hearing of what had happened to her
beloved, Delilah was beside herself with anger, and fuming with righteous fury, accused the procurator of reneging
on his word. The procurator calmly replied: "Did any blade touch his skin? Did any blood flow from his veins?" The
procurator was clearly relying on the letter, not the spirit of the agreement.

In view of the foregoing, this petition is hereby DISMISSED.

The contention that Atty. Monsod does not possess the required qualification of having engaged in the practice of law
for at least ten years is incorrect since Atty. Monsods past work experience as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-
manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both rich and
the poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement for the position of COMELEC chairman, The
respondent has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years does In the view of the foregoing, the
petition is DISMISSED.
Canicosa v. Comelec

Ricardo Boy Canicosa and Severino Lajara were both candidates for mayor in Calamba, Laguna during the May 8,
1995 elections. Lajara was proclaimed winner by the Municipal Board of Canvassers. On May 15, 1995, Canicosa
filed with the COMELEC a Petition to Declare Failure of Election and to Declare Null and Void the Canvass and
Proclamation because of alleged widespread frauds and anomalies in casting and counting of votes, preparation of
election returns, violence, threats, intimidation, cote buying, unregistered voters voting, and delay in the delivery of
election documents and paraphernalia from the precincts to the Office of the Municipal Treasurer.

Canicosa particularly averred that: (a) the names of the registered voters did not appear in the list of voters in their
precincts; (b) more than one-half of the legitimate registered voters were not able to vote with strangers voting in their
stead; (c) he was credited with less votes than he actually received; (d) control data of the election returns was not
filled up in some precincts; (e) ballot boxes brought to the Office of the Municipal Treasurer were unsecured, i.e.,
without padlocks nor self-locking metal seals; and, (f) there was delay in the delivery of election returns. But the
COMELEC en banc dismissed the petition on the ground that the allegations therein did not justify a declaration of
failure of election.


1. Whether or not there is failure of election as alleged by Canicosa?

2. Whether or not COMELEC is correct in exercising its administrative functions?


1.No. the grounds cited by Canicosa do not warrant a declaration of failure of election. Section 6 of BP Blg. 881,
otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code, reads:

Sec. 6. Failure of election. - If, on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes the
election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed, or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law
for the closing of the voting, or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns
or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect, and in any of such cases the failure or
suspension of election would affect the result of the election, the Commission shall, on the basis of a verified petition
by any interested party and after due notice and hearing, call for the holding or continuation of the election not held,
suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect on a date reasonably close to the date of the election not held,
suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such
postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect.

Clearly, there are only three (3) instances where a failure of election may be declared, namely: (a) the election in any
polling place has not been held on the date fixed on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other
analogous causes; (b)the election in any polling place had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the
closing of the voting on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes; or (c) after
the voting and during the preparation and transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof,
such election results in a failure to elect on account of force majeure,violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous

2. Yes. The court ruled that before COMELEC can act on a verified petition seeking to declare a failure of
election, at least two (2) conditions must concur: (a) no voting has taken place in the precincts on the date fixed by
law, or even if there was voting, the election nevertheless resulted in failure to elect; and, (b) the votes that were not
cast would affect the result of the election. From the face of the instant petition, it is readily apparent than an election
took place and that it did not result in a failure to elect.

Canicosa insisted that it was error on the part of COMELEC sitting en banc to rule on his petition. He maintains that
his petition should have first been heard by a division of COMELEC and later by the COMELEC en banc upon motion
for reconsideration, pursuant to Sec. 3, Art. IX-C, of the Constitution. But, such provision applies only when the
COMELEC acts in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial functions and not when it merely exercises purely
administrative functions. To reiterate, the grounds cited by Canicosa in his petition are that: (a) the names of the
registered voters did not appear in the list of voters in their respective precincts; (b) more than one-half of the
legitimate registered voters were not able to vote with strangers voting in their stead; (c) he was credited with less
votes than he actually received; (d) the control data of the election returns was not filled up in some precincts; (e)
ballot boxes brought to the Office of the Municipal Treasurer were unsecured, i. e., without padlocks nor self-locking
metal seals; and, (f) there was delay in the delivery of election returns.

Clearly, all these matters require the exercise by the COMELEC of its administrative functions. Section 2, Art. IX-C,
of the 1987 Constitution grants extensive administrative powers to the COMELEC with regard to the enforcement and
administration of all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of elections. Likewise, Sec. 52 of BP Blg. 881,
otherwise known as the Omnibus Election Code, states:

Sec. 52. Powers and functions of the Commission on Elections. - In addition to the powers and functions conferred
upon it by the Constitution, the Commission shall have exclusive charge of the enforcement and administration of all
laws relative to the conduct of elections for the purpose of ensuring free, orderly and honest elections.

Aruelo v. CA

This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition under rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court, to set aside the Decision of
the Court of Appeals dated November 24, 1992 which ruled that the answer and counter-protest of respondent Danilo
F. Gatchalian was filed timely and ordered the Regional Trial Court, Branch 17, Malolos, Bulacan to continue with the
proceedings in the protest case filed by petitioner Gregorio N. Aruelo, Jr.
Aruelo and Gatchalian were rival candidates in the May 11, 1992 elections for the office of the Vice-Mayor of the
Municipality of Balagtas, Province of Bulacan. Gatchalian won over Aruelo by a margin of four votes, such that on
May 13, 1992, the Municipal Board of Canvassers proclaimed him as the duly elected Vice-Mayor of Balagtas,

On May 22, 1992, Aruelo filed with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) a petition docketed as SPC No. 92-
130, seeking to annul Gatchalian's proclamation on the ground of "fraudulent alteration and tampering" of votes in the
tally sheets and the election returns.

On June 2, 1992, Aruelo filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 17, Malolos, Bulacan, a petition docketed as Civil
Case No. 343-M-92 protesting the same election. Aruelo, however, informed the trial court of the pendency of the
pre-proclamation case before the COMELEC.

On June 10, 1992, Gatchalian was served an Amended Summons from the trial court, giving him five days within
which to answer the petition. Instead of submitting his answer, Gatchalian filed on June 15, 1992 a Motion to Dismiss
claiming that: (a) the petition was filed out of time; (b) there was a pending protest case before the COMELEC; and (c)
Aruelo failed to pay the prescribed filing fees and cash deposit on the petition.


Whether or not the CA committed grave abuse of discretion by declaring that Gatchalians answer with counter-
protest and counterclaim was timely filed?


The court found no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Court of Appeals. The petition is hereby DISMISSED.

Section 1, Rule 13, Part III of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure is not applicable to proceedings before the regular
courts. As expressly mandated by Section 2, Rule 1, Part I of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, the filing of motions
to dismiss and bill of particulars, shall apply only to proceedings brought before the COMELEC. Section 2, Rule 1,
Part I provides:

Sec. 2. Applicability These rules, except Part VI, shall apply to all actions and proceedings brought before the
Commission. Part VI shall apply to election contests and quo warranto cases cognizable by courts of general or
limited jurisdiction.
It must be noted that nowhere in Part VI of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure is it provided that motions to dismiss
and bill of particulars are not allowed in election protests or quo warranto cases pending before the regular courts.

Constitutionally speaking, the COMELEC cannot adopt a rule prohibiting the filing of certain pleadings in the regular
courts. The power to promulgate rules concerning pleadings, practice and procedure in all courts is vested on the
Supreme Court (Constitution, Art VIII, Sec. 5 [5]).

An election protest does not merely concern the personal interests of rival candidates for an office. Over and above
the desire of the candidates to win, is the deep public interest to determine the true choice of the people. For this
reason, it is a well-established principle that laws governing election protests must be liberally construed to the end
that the popular will, expressed in the election of public officers, will not, by purely technical reasons, be defeated.

NPC v. Comelec


It is principally argued by petitioners that Section 11 (b) of Republic Act No. 6646 invades and violates the
constitutional guarantees comprising freedom of expression. Petitioners maintain that the prohibition imposed by
Section 11 (b) amounts to censorship, because it selects and singles out for suppression and repression with criminal
sanctions, only publications of a particular content, namely, media-based election or political propaganda during the
election period of 1992. It is asserted that the prohibition is in derogation of medias role, function and duty to provide
adequate channels of public information and public opinion relevant to election issues.

Further, petitioners contend that Section 11 (b) abridges the freedom of speech of candidates, and that the
suppression of media-based campaign or political propaganda except those appearing in the Comelec space of the
newspapers and on Comelec time of radio and television broadcasts, would bring about a substantial reduction in the
quantity or volume of information concerning candidates and issues in the election thereby curtailing and limiting the
right of voters to information and opinion.

The statutory text that petitioners ask to strike down as unconstitutional is that of Section 11 (b) of Republic Act No.
6646, known as the Electoral Reforms Law of 1987:

Sec. 11. Prohibited Forms of Election Propaganda. In addition to the forms of election propaganda prohibited
under Section 85 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, it shall be unlawful:

881. b) for any newspapers, radio broadcasting or television station, other mass media, or any person making
use of the mass media to sell or to give free of charge print space or air time for campaign or other political purposes
except to the Commission as provided under Section 90 and 92 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881. Any mass media
columnist, commentator, announcer or personality who is a candidate for any elective public office shall take a leave
of absence from his work as such during the campaign period.


Whether Section 11 of Republic Act No. 6646 is valid/constitutional?


Yes. It seems a modest proposition that the provision of the Bill of Rights which enshrines freedom of speech,
freedom of expression and freedom of the press (Article III [4], Constitution) has to be taken in conjunction with
Article IX(C)(4) which may be seen to be a special provision applicable during a specific limited period i.e., during
the election period. It is difficult to overemphasize the special importance of the rights of freedom of speech and
freedom of the press in a democratic polity, in particular when they relate to the purity and integrity of the electoral
process itself, the process by which the people identify those who shall have governance over them. Thus, it is
frequently said that these rights are accorded a preferred status in our constitutional hierarchy. Withal, the rights of
free speech and free press are not unlimited rights for they are not the only important and relevant values even in the
most democratic of polities. In our own society, equality of opportunity to proffer oneself for public office, without
regard to the level of financial resources that one may have at ones disposal, is clearly an important value. One of
the basic state policies given constitutional rank by Article II, Section 26 of the Constitution is the egalitarian demand
that the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may
be defined by law.

The essential question is whether or not the assailed legislative or administrative provisions constitute a permissible
exercise of the power of supervision or regulation of the operations of communication and information enterprises
during an election period, or whether such act has gone beyond permissible supervision or regulation of media
operations so as to constitute unconstitutional repression of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The Court
considers that Section 11 (b) has not gone outside the permissible bounds of supervision or regulation of media
operations during election periods.

Section 11 (b) does, of course, limit the right of free speech and of access to mass media of the candidates
themselves. The limitation, however, bears a clear and reasonable connection with the constitutional objective set out
in Article IX(C)(4) and Article II (26) of the Constitution. For it is precisely in the unlimited purchase of print space and
radio and television time that the resources of the financially affluent candidates are likely to make a crucial
difference. Here lies the core problem of equalization of the situations of the candidates with deep pockets and the
candidates with shallow or empty pockets that Article IX(C)(4) of the Constitution and Section 11 (b) seek to address.
That the statutory mechanism which Section 11 (b) brings into operation is designed and may be expected to bring
about or promote equal opportunity, and equal time and space, for political candidates to inform all and sundry about
themselves, cannot be gainsaid.

(In relation to PRIOR RESTRAINT, the concept is found in the Dissenting Opinion of Justice Cruz)

But the most important objection to Section 11(b) is that it constitutes prior restraint on the dissemination of ideas. In
a word, it is censorship. It is that officious functionary of the repressive government who tells the citizen that he may
speak only if allowed to do so, and no more and no less than what he is permitted to say on pain of punishment
should he be so rash as to disobey. In his Appeal for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing, Milton deplored the
impossibility of finding a man base enough to accept the office of censor and at the same time good enough to
perform its duties. Yet a pretender to that meddler is in our midst today, smugly brandishing the threat of this
miserable law.

One could perhaps concede some permissible instances of censorship, as where private mail is screened during
wartime to prevent deliberate or unwitting disclosure of sensitive or classified matters that might prejudice the
national security or where, to take a famous example, a person is prohibited from shouting Fire! in a crowded
theater. But these exceptions merely make and bolster the rule that there should be no prior restraint upon a persons
right to express his ideas on any subject of public interest. The rule applies whether the censorship be in the form of
outright prohibition, as in the cases before us, or in more subtle forms like the imposition of a tax upon periodicals
exceeding a prescribed maximum number of copies per issue or allowing the circulation of books only if they are
judged to be fit for minors, thus reducing the reading tastes of adults to the level of juvenile morality.

I remind the Court of the doctrine announced in Bantam Books v. Sullivan that any system of prior restraints of
expression comes to this Court bearing a heavy presumption against its validity. That presumption has not been
refuted in the cases sub judice. On the contrary, the challenged provision appears quite clearly to be invalid on its
face because of its undisguised attempt at censorship. The feeble effort to justify it in the name of social justice and
clean elections cannot prevail over the self-evident fact that what we have here is an illegal intent to suppress free
speech by denying access to the mass media as the most convenient instruments for the molding of public opinion.
And it does not matter that the use of these facilities may involve financial transactions, for the element of the
commercial does not remove them from the protection of the Constitution.
Flores v. COMELEC


Roque Flores was declared by the board of canvassers as having the highest number of votes for kagawad on the
March 1989 elections, in Barangay Poblacion, Tayum, Abra, and thus proclaimed punong barangay in accordance
with Section 5 of R.A. 6679. However, his election was protested by private respondent Rapisora, who placed
second in the election with one vote less than the petitioner.

The Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Tayum sustained Rapisora and installed him as punong barangay in place of the
petitioner after deducting two votes as stray from the latters total. Flores appealed to the RTC, which affirmed the
challenged decision in toto. The judge agreed that the four votes cast for Flores only, without any distinguishing first
name or initial, should all have been considered invalid instead of being divided equally between the petitioner and
Anastacio Flores, another candidate for kagawad. The total credited to the petitioner was correctly reduced by 2,
demoting him to second place.

The petitioner went to the COMELEC, which dismissed his appeal on the ground that it had no power to review the
decision of the RTC, based on Section 9 of R.A. 6679 that decisions of the RTC in a protest appealed to it from the
municipal trial court in barangay elections on questions of fact shall be final and non-appealable. In his petition for
certiorari, the COMELEC is faulted for not taking cognizance of the petitioners appeal.


Whether or not the decisions of Municipal or Metropolitan Courts in barangay election contests are subject to the
exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the COMELEC considering Section 9 of R.A. No. 6679?


The dismissal of the appeal is justified, but on an entirely different and more significant ground, to wit, Article IX-C,
Section 2(2) of the Constitution, providing that the COMELEC shall Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all
contests relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial, and city officials, and
appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial courts of general
jurisdiction, or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of limited jurisdiction.
Obviously, the provision of Article IX-C, Section 2(2) of the Constitution that "decisions, final orders, or rulings of the
Commission on election contests involving elective municipal and barangay offices shall be final, executory, and not
appealable" applies only to questions of fact and not of law. That provision was not intended to divest the Supreme
Court of its authority to resolve questions of law as inherent in the judicial power conferred upon it by the Constitution.
We eschew a literal reading of that provision that would contradict such authority.

The issue the petitioner was raising was one of law, viz., whether he was entitled to the benefits of the equity-of-the-
incumbent rule, and so subject to our review. This issue was not resolved by the public respondent because it
apparently believed itself to be without appellate jurisdiction over the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Abra.
Considering that the public respondent has already manifested its position on this issue, as will appear presently, the
Court will now rule upon it directly instead of adopting the round-about way of remanding the case to the Commission
on Elections before its decision is elevated to this Court.

Municipal or Metropolitan Courts being courts of limited jurisdiction, their decisions in barangay election contests are
subject to the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the COMELEC under the afore-quoted section. Hence, the decision
rendered by the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, should have been appealed directly to the COMELEC and not to the
RTC. Accordingly, Section 9 of Rep. Act No. 6679, insofar as it provides that the decision of the municipal or
metropolitan court in a barangay election case should be appealed to the RTC, must be declared unconstitutional.

Garces v. CA


On July 27, 1986, petitioner Lucita Q. Garces was appointed Election Registrar for Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte,
replacing respondent Claudio Concepcion from the said position. The respondent was, in turn, to be transferred to
Liloy, Zamboanga Del Norte. The Civil Service Commission (CSC) approved the appointments which was supposed
to take effect upon assumption of office. Concepcion refused the transfer which made Garces unable to resume her
post in Gutalac. Also, the Provincial Election Supervisor Salvador Empeynado, also a respondent in this case, issued
a memorandum prohibiting her from assuming office in Gutalac as the same is not vacant.

On February 24, 1987, Garces was directed by the Office of the Assistant Director to defer her Gutalac post.
However, on April 15, 1987, the petitioner received a letter from Acting Manager of Finance Service Department with
enclosed check to cover expenses on construction of polling booths, addressed Mrs. Lucita Garces E.R. Gutalac,
Zamboanga del Norte which was interpreted by the petitioner to mean as overriding the previous deferment order
while COMELEC en banc cancelled Concepcions appointment to Liloy since he is still occupying the post in Gutalac.

On February 26, 1988, Garces filed a petition for mandamus with preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction
and damages against Empeynado and Concepcion which was later dismissed by the court a quo on two grounds: (1)
that the proper remedy is quo warranto and (2) that the matters referred under the constitution pertain only to those
involving the conduct of elections. COMELEC cancelled the appointments of Garces to Gutalac and Concepcion to
Liloy through a resolution passed en banc. Respondent Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the case by the
RTC, hence, the petition to this Court. Respondent Empeynado challenged the jurisdiction of the RTC contending
that this matter is cognizable by the COMELEC under Sec. 7 Art. IX A of the 1987 Constitution. He argues that this
case should bereviewed only by the Supreme Court and that if RTC has jurisdiction over COMELEC Resolutions
cancelation the appointments, then RTC becomes a reviewer of an en banc COMELEC resolution contrary to the
aforementioned provision of the Constitution.


Whether this case is cognizable by the Regional Trial Court or by the Supreme Court


The case is cognizable in the RTC.

Sec. 7, Art. IX-A of the Constitution provides:

Each commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its members any case or matter brought before it within sixty
days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted for decision or
resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the commission or by the
commission itself. Unless otherwise provided by this constitution or by law, any decision, order, or ruling of each
commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party within thirty days from receipt
of a copy thereof.

This provision is inapplicable as there was no case or matter filed before the COMELEC. On the contrary, it was the
COMELECs resolution that triggered this Controversy.

The case or matter referred to by the constitution must be something within the jurisdiction of the COMELEC, i.e.,
it must pertain to an election dispute. The settled rule is that decision, rulings, order of the COMELEC that may be
brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari under Sec. 7 Art. IX-A are those that relate to the COMELECs exercise of
its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers involving elective regional, provincial and city officials.

In this case, what is being assailed is the COMELECs choice of an appointee to occupy the Gutalac Post which is an
administrative duty done for the operational set-up of an agency. The controversy involves an appointive, not an
elective, official. Hardly can this matter call for the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

To rule otherwise would surely burden the Court with trivial administrative questions that are best ventilated before
the RTC, a court which the law vests with the power to exercise original jurisdiction over all cases not within the
exclusive jurisdiction of any court, tribunal, person or body exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
Philippine Airlines v. COA


PAL is a domestic corporation duly organized and existing under Philippine laws, principally engaged in the air
transport business, both domestic and international. At the time of the filing of the petition on February 8, 1990,
majority of its shares of stock was owned by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), a government

To assure itself of continuous, reliable and cost-efficient supply of fuel, PAL adopted a system of bidding out its fuel
requirements under a multiple supplier set-up whereby PAL awarded to the lowest bidder sixty percent (60%) of its
fuel requirements and to the second lowest bidder the remaining forty percent(40%), provided it matched the price of
the lowest bidder.

For the period September 1988 to August 1989, the fuel supply requirements of PAL were allocated among Petron,
Caltex and Shell

August 31, 1989. In this connection, you are advised to desist from bidding the company's fuel supply contracts,
considering that existing regulations require government-owned or controlled corporations and other agencies of
government to procure their petroleum product requirements from PETRON Corporation.

The existing regulations referred to in the letter were Department Order No. 19 dated May 1, 1974 of the
defunct Department of General Services, which required strict compliance with said Department Order No. 19, as
well as COA Memorandum No. 88-565 which states:

To give essence to the policy of: preference to government resources in the filling of the needs of the government for
supplies, It is hereby prescribed that all departments, bureaus, offices and/or agencies of the Philippine government,
procure their petroleum product requirements (gasoline, diesel fuel, bunker fuel, jet fuel, aviation oil, marine oil,
kerosene lubricants, greases and asphalt) from the PETROPHIL Corporation, a government-owned corporation,
whenever these commodities are adequately available and whenever practicable, at prices not exceeding those set
by the Oil Industry Commission.
The PETROPHIL Corporation shall furnish copies of the price lists, showing points of delivery, to the Commission on
Audit and all prospective government requisitioners.

PAL sought reconsideration of the August 17, 1989 advice for preferring to bid out and secure its fuel supply from
more than one supplier and for its contention that Department Order No. 19, s. 1974, as circularized by COA Office
Memorandum No. 490, should not apply to PAL.


Whether or not Department Order No. 19, s. 1974 will apply to PAL


The Supreme Court ruled that DO 19 really included PAL. As a corporation, the majority Shares of Stocks of which
were owned by the GSIS at that time, PAL could not hope to escape the operation of Memorandum No. 88-565.

However, Pursuant to the government's privatization program, PAL's shares of stock were bidded out early this year,
resulting in the acquisition by PR Holdings, a private corporation, of 67% PAL's outstanding stocks. PAL having
ceased to be a government-owned or controlled corporation, is no longer under the audit jurisdiction of the COA..
Accordingly, the question raised in this petition has clearly become moot and academic.

Had it not been for this supervening event, PAL would have obtained the relief sought in the instant petition. For
although COA was correct in ruling that Department Order No. 19 applied to PAL as a government agency at the
time, it nonetheless gravely abused its discretion in not exempting PAL therefrom.

The COA is clothed under Section 2(2), Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution with the "exclusive authority, subject to
the limitations in this Article, to define the scope of its audit and examination, establish the techniques and methods
required therefor, and promulgate accounting and auditing rules, and regulations including those for the prevention
and disallowance of irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable expenditures, or uses of
government funds and properties." The authority granted under this constitutional provision, being broad and
comprehensive enough, enables COA to adopt as its own, simply by reiteration or by reference, without the necessity
of repromulgation, already existing rules and regulations. It may also expand the coverage thereof to agencies or
instrumentalities under its audit jurisdiction. It is in this light that we view COA Memorandum No. 88-565 issued on
August 1, 1988.

The reasons that PAL gave were really persuasive. They had more weight than the policy enunciated in DO 19. It
was COAs duty to exempt PAL because not exempting PAL would lead to unnecessary spending-the very evil
sought to be prevented by the creation of COA.
Department Order 19 required all GOCCs to get their fuel from Petron. In this case, COA ordered PAL to follow DO
19. The very evil sought to be avoided in the creation of the COA the irregular, excessive or unconscionable
expenditures of the government. Thus, it has the power and the duty to exempt certain branches from any regulation
if, obedience to it would lead to those kinds of excessive expenditures.

However, PAL's corporate complexion having changed during the pendency of the instant petition from government-
controlled to private ownership, we dismiss the petition for being moot and academic.

National Housing Corporation v. COA


The Philippine Government forged an agreement on financial cooperation with the

Republic of Germany. The agreement involved the Republic of the Philippines as
Borrower and the National Housing Authority (NHA) as Project Sponsor, and the
Kreditanstalt Fur Weidaraufbau (KWF) as the lender, for the Urban Housing Dagat-
Dagatan Project II.
However, despite all the negotiations and contracts, the Urban Housing Dagat-
Dagatan Project II was not completed as scheduled. Thus an extension of the contract
was made since the NHA did not appear to have much choice. Several extensions
were made which triggered the difficulties experienced by NHA.


WON the COA has authority to disallow a duly entered contract and substitute its own
judgment or disposition in lieu of the decision of the management or governing body of
government entities


The COA has been enshrined by the government with powers to "promulgate
accounting and auditing rules and regulations, including those for the prevention and
disallowance of irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant, or unconscionable
expenditures, or uses of government funds and properties." It has been recognized in
Caltex Philippines, Inc. vs. COA, that COA has authority to disallow irregular,
unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable expenditures.

The nature of the terminal phase of the Dagat-Dagatan project does not require the
expertise of a foreign consultant and that the finishing stage merely requires simple
advisory services that can be undertaken by NHA or DPWH in-house technical staff or at
the most a local consultant. Our Constitution prohibits unnecessary expenses of public
funds. The postulates of our Constitution are not mere platitudes, which we should
honor only in rhetorics but not in reality. The power to contract a foreign loan does not
carry with it the authority to bargain away the ideals of our Constitution.
Luego v. CSC


Petitioner was appointed Administrative Officer II, Office of the City Mayor, Cebu City, by Mayor Florentino Solon on
18 February 1983. The appointment was described as permanent but the Civil Service Commission approved it as
temporary. On 22 March 1984, the Civil Service Commission found the private respondent better qualified than the
petitioner for the contested position and accordingly directed herein private respondent in place of petitioners
position. The private respondent was so appointed on 28 June 1984, by the new mayor; Mayor Ronald Duterte. The
petitioner is now invoking his earlier permanent appointment as well as to question the Civil Service Commissions
order and the private respondents title.


Whether or not the Civil Service Commission is authorized to disapprove a permanent appointment on the ground
that another person is better qualified than the appointee and, on the basis of this finding, order his replacement by
the latter?

The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. The Civil Service Commission is not empowered to determine the kind or
nature of the appointment extended by the appointing officer, its authority being limited to approving or reviewing the
appointment in the light of the requirements of the Civil Service Law. When the appointee is qualified and the other
legal requirements are satisfied, the Commission has no choice but to attest to the appointment in accordance with
the Civil Service Laws. Hence, the Civil Service Commissions resolution is set aside.

The appointment of the petitioner was not temporary but permanent and was therefore protected by Constitution. The
appointing authority indicated that it was permanent, as he had the right to do so, and it was not for the respondent
CSC to reverse him and call it temporary.

Section 9(h), Art V of the Civil Service Decree provides that the Commission shall have inter alia the power to
approve all appointments, whether original or promotional, to positions in the civil service .and disapprove
those where the appointees do not possess appropriate eligibility or required qualifications.

The CSC is not empowered to determine the kind or nature of the appointment extended by the appointing officer, its
authority being limited to approving or reviewing the appointment in the light of the requirements of the CSC Law.
When the appointee is qualified and all the other legal requirements are satisfied, the Commission has no choice but
to attest to the appointment in accordance with the CSC Laws.

CSC is without authority to revoke an appointment because of its belief that another person was better qualified,
which is an encroachment on the discretion vested solely in the city mayor.