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TREATIES

Abbas vs Comelec (179 SCRA 287)

Facts:
1. The arguments against R.A. 6734 raised by petitioners may generally be categorized into either of the following:
(a) that R.A. 6734, or parts thereof, violates the Constitution, and
(b) that certain provisions of R.A. No. 6734 conflict with the Tripoli Agreement
2. The Tripoli Agreement, more specifically, the Agreement Between the government of the Republic of the
Philippines of the Philippines and Moro National Liberation Front with the Participation of the Quadripartie
Ministerial Commission Members of the Islamic Conference and the Secretary General of the Organization of
Islamic Conference" took effect on December 23, 1976. It provided for "[t]he establishment of Autonomy in the
southern Philippines within the realm of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines"
and enumerated the thirteen (13) provinces comprising the "areas of autonomy."
3. The 1976 Tripoli Agreement was signed on December 23, 1976 in Tripoli, Libya by Carmelo Z. Barbero,
representing the Government of the Philippines and Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front. The
agreement defined autonomous administrative divisions for Muslims in the southern Philippines, the
establishment of an autonomous government, judicial system for Sharia law and special security forces, and the
observance of a ceasefire. The autonomous region was to have its own economic system, including an Islamic
bank
4. Petitioner Datu Firdausi Abbas argues that R.A. No. 6734 unconditionally creates an autonomous region in
Mindanao, contrary to the aforequoted provisions of the Constitution on the autonomous region which make the
creation of such region dependent upon the outcome of the plebiscite.
5. In support of his argument, petitioner cites Article II, section 1(1) of R.A. No. 6734 which declares that [t]here is
hereby created the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, to be composed of provinces and cities voting
favorably in the plebiscite called for the purpose, in accordance with Section 18, Article X of the Constitution.
6. Petitioner contends that the tenor of the above provision makes the creation of an autonomous region absolute,
such that even if only two provinces vote in favor of autonomy, an autonomous region would still be created
composed of the two provinces where the favorable votes were obtained.The matter of the creation of the
autonomous region and its composition needs to be clarified.

RULING:

Petitioners premise their arguments on the assumption that the Tripoli Agreement is part of the law of the land,
being a binding international agreement . The Solicitor General asserts that the Tripoli Agreement is neither a binding
treaty, not having been entered into by the Republic of the Philippines with a sovereign state and ratified according to the
provisions of the 1973 or 1987 Constitutions, nor a binding international agreement.

We find it neither necessary nor determinative of the case to rule on the nature of the Tripoli Agreement and its
binding effect on the Philippine Government whether under public international or internal Philippine law. In the first place,
it is now the Constitution itself that provides for the creation of an autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao. The standard
for any inquiry into the validity of R.A. No. 6734 would therefore be what is so provided in the Constitution. Thus, any
conflict between the provisions of R.A. No. 6734 and the provisions of the Tripoli Agreement will not have the effect of
enjoining the implementation of the Organic Act. Assuming for the sake of argument that the Tripoli Agreement is a
binding treaty or international agreement, it would then constitute part of the law of the land. But as internal law it would
not be superior to R.A. No. 6734, an enactment of the Congress of the Philippines, rather it would be in the same class as
the latter. Thus, if at all, R.A. No. 6734 would be amendatory of the Tripoli Agreement, being a subsequent law. Only a
determination by this Court that R.A. No. 6734 contravened the Constitution would result in the granting of the reliefs
sought.

Secretary of Justice vs. Lantion


GR No. 139465 January 18, 2000
Doctrine of Incorporation; Adherence to International Law

FACTS:
1. Secretary of Justice Franklin Drilon, representing the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, signed in
Manila the extradition Treaty Between the Government of the Philippines and the Government of the U.S.A. The
Philippine Senate ratified the said Treaty.
2. On June 18, 1999, the Department of Justice received from the Department of Foreign Affairs U.S Note Verbale
No. 0522 containing a request for the extradition of private respondent Mark Jiminez to the United States.
3. On the same day petitioner designate and authorizing a panel of attorneys to take charge of and to handle the
case.
4. Pending evaluation of the aforestated extradition documents, Mark Jiminez through counsel, wrote a letter to
Justice Secretary requesting copies of the official extradition request from the U.S Government and that he be
given ample time to comment on the request after he shall have received copies of the requested papers but the
petitioner denied the request for the consistency of Article 7 of the RP-US Extradition Treaty stated in Article 7
that the Philippine Government must present the interests of the United States in any proceedings arising out of a
request for extradition.

ISSUE/S:
Whether or not to uphold a citizens basic due process rights or the governments binding duties under a treaty?

RULING:
The human rights of person, whether citizen or alien, and the rights of the accused guaranteed in our Constitution
should take precedence over treaty rights claimed by a contracting state. The duties of the government to the individual
deserve preferential consideration when they collide with its treaty obligations to the government of another state. This is
so although we recognize treaties as a source of binding obligations under generally accepted principles of international
law incorporated in our Constitution as part of the law of the land.
The doctrine of incorporation is applied whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with situation in which there
appears to be a conflict between a rule of international law and the provision of the constitution or statute of the local
state. Petitioner (Secretary of Justice) is ordered to furnish Mark Jimenez copies of the extradition request and its
supporting papers, and to grant him (Mark Jimenez) a reasonable period within which to file his comment with supporting
evidence.

Under the Doctrine of Incorporation, rules of international law form part of the law of the land and no further
legislative action is needed to make such rules applicable in the domestic sphere. The doctrine of incorporation is applied
whenever municipal tribunals are confronted with situations in which there appears to be a conflict between a rule of
international law and the provisions of the constitution or statute of the local state.
Efforts should first be exerted to harmonize them, so as to give effect to both since it is to be presumed that
municipal law was enacted with proper regard for the generally accepted principles of international law in observance of
the incorporation clause in the above cited constitutional provision.
In a situation, however, where the conflict is irreconcilable and a choice has to be made between a rule of
international law and a municipal law, jurisprudence dictates that municipal law should be upheld by the municipal courts,
for the reason that such courts are organs of municipal law and are accordingly bound by it in all circumstances.

The fact that international law has been made part of the law of the land does not pertain to or imply the primacy
of international law over national or municipal law in the municipal sphere. The doctrine of incorporation, as applied in
most countries, decrees that rules of international law are given equal standing with, but are not superior to, national
legislative enactments. Accordingly, the principle lex posterior derogate priori takes effect a treaty may repeal a statute
and a statute may repeal a treaty. In states where the Constitution is the highest law of the land, such as the Republic of
the Philippines, both statutes and treaties may be invalidated if they are in conflict with the constitution.
GUERREROS TRANSPORT SERVICES, INC. v. BLAYLOCK TRANSPORTATION SERVICES EMPLOYEES
ASSOCIATION-KILUSAN (BTEA-KILUSAN)
G.R. No. L-41518, June 30, 1976

FACTS

1. In 1972, the US Naval Base authorities in Subic conducted a public bidding for a 5-year contract for the right to
operate and/or manage the transportation services inside the naval base. This bidding was won by Santiago
Guerrero, owner-operator of Guerreros Transport Services, Inc. (Guerrero), over Concepcion Blayblock, the then
incumbent concessionaire doing business under the name of Blayblock Transport Services Blayblock. Blayblocks
395 employees are members of the union BTEA-KILUSAN (the Union).
2. When Guererro commenced its operations, it refused to employ the members of the Union. Thus, the Union filed
a complaint w/ the NLRC against Guerrero to compel it to employ its members, pursuant to Art. 1, Sec. 2 of the
RP-US Base Agreement.
3. The case was dismissed by the NLRC upon Guerreros MTD on jurisdictional grounds, there being no employer-
employee relationship between the parties. Upon appeal, the Sec. of Labor remanded the case to the NLRC. The
NLRC issued a Resolution ordering Guererro to absorb all complainants who filed their applications on or before
the deadline set by Guerrero, except those who may have derogatory records w/ the US Naval Authorities in
Subic. The Sec. of Labor affirmed.
4. Guerrero claims that it substantially complied w/ the decision of the Sec. of Labor affirming the NLRC Resolution,
& that any non-compliance was attributable to the individual complainants who failed to submit themselves for
processing & examination. The Labor Arbiter ordered the reinstatement of 129 individuals. The Union filed a
Motion for Issuance of Writ of Execution. The order wasnt appealed so it was declared final & executor
5. Subsequently, the parties arrived at a Compromise Agreement wherein they agreed to submit to the Sec. of Labor
the determination of members of the Union who shall be reinstated by Guerrero, w/c determination shall be final.
The agreement is deemed to have superseded the Resolution of the NLRC. The Sec. of Labor ordered the
absorption of 175 members of the Union subject to 2 conditions.

ISSUE: W/N the said members of the Union were entitled to be reinstated by Guerrero.

RULING:
YES. Pursuant to Sec. 6 of Art. I of the RP-US Labor Agreement, the US Armed Forces undertook, consistent w/
military requirements, to provide security for employment, and, in the event certain services are contracted out, the US
Armed Forces shall require the contractor or concessioner to give priority consideration to affected employees for
employment.

A treaty has 2 aspects as an international agreement between states, and as municipal law for the people of
each state to observe. As part of the municipal law, the aforesaid provision of the treaty enters into and forms part of the
contract between Guerrero and the US Naval Base authorities. In view of said stipulation, the new contractor (Guerrero)
is, therefore, bound to give priority to the employment of the qualified employees of the previous contractor (Blaylock). It
is obviously in recognition of such obligation that Guerrero entered into the aforementioned Compromise Agreement.

Under the Compromise Agreement, the parties agreed to submit to the Sec. of Labor the determination as to who
of the members of the Union shall be absorbed or employed by Guerrero, and that such determination shall be considered
as final. The Sec. of Labor issued an Order directing the NLRC, through Labor Arbiter Francisco de los Reyes, to
implement the absorption of the 175 members into Guerreros Transport Services subject to conditions. For this purpose,
Guerrero is ordered to submit to and secure from the appropriate authorities of the U.S. naval Base at Subic, Zambales
the requisite screening and approval, the names of the members of the Union. Considering that the Compromise
Agreement of the parties is more than a mere contract and has the force and effect of any other judgment, it is, therefore,
conclusive upon the parties and their privies. For it is settled that a compromise has, upon the parties, the effect and
authority of res judicata and is enforceable by execution upon approval by the court.
Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance
235 SCRA 630

FACTS:
1. Petitioners, Tolentino et. al, seek reconsideration of the Courts previous ruling dismissing the petitions filed for
the declaration of unconstitutionality of R.A. No. 7716, the Expanded Value-Added Tax Law. It is an act that
seeks to widen the tax base of the existing VAT system and enhance its administration by amending the National
Internal Revenue Code. There are various suits questioning and challenging the constitutionality of RA 7716 on
various grounds.
2. Petitioners contend that the R.A. did not originate exclusively in the House of Representative as required by
Article 6, Section 24 of the Constitution. And it did not pass three readings on separate days on the Senate thus
violating Article VI, Section 26(2) of the Constitution.
3. Even though RA 7716 originated as HB 11197 and that it passed the 3 readings in the HoR, the same did not
complete the 3 readings in Senate for after the 1st reading it was referred to the Senate Ways & Means
Committee thereafter Senate passed its own version known as Senate Bill 1630.
4. Tolentino averred that what Senate could have done is amend HB 11197 by striking out its text and substituting it
w/ the text of SB 1630 in that way so as to conform to the Constitution.

RULING:

The contention that the constitutional design is to limit the Senate's power in respect of revenue bills in order to
compensate for the grant to the Senate of the treaty-ratifying power 3 and thereby equalize its powers and those of the
House overlooks the fact that the powers being compared are different. We are dealing here with the legislative power
which under the Constitution is vested not in any particular chamber but in the Congress of the Philippines, consisting of
"a Senate and a House of Representatives." 4 The exercise of the treaty-ratifying power is not the exercise of legislative
power. It is the exercise of a check on the executive power. There is, therefore, no justification for comparing the
legislative powers of the House and of the Senate on the basis of the possession of such nonlegislative power by the
Senate. The possession of a similar power by the U.S. Senate 5 has never been thought of as giving it more legislative
powers than the House of Representatives.

Pimentel vs. Executive Secretary


G. R. No. 158088 July 16, 2008
Executive Department: Diplomatic Power

FACTS:
1. Petitioners filed a petition for mandamus to compel the Office of the Executive Secretary and the Department of
Foreign Affairs to transmit the signed copy of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to the Senate
of the Philippines for its concurrence pursuant to Sec. 21, Art VII of the 1987 Constitution.
2. The Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court which will have jurisdiction over the most serious
crimes as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression as defined by the Statute in
which the Philippines through the Chargie du Affairs in UN. The provisions of the Statute however require that it
be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval of the signatory state.
3. Petitioners contend that ratification of a treaty, under both domestic and international law, is a function of the
Senate, hence it is the duty of the Executive Department to transmit the signed copy to the senate to allow it to
exercise its discretion.
4. Respondents on the other hand, questioned the legal standing of herein petitioners and argued that executive
department has no duty to transmit the Rome Statute to the Senate for concurrence.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Exec. Secretary and the DFA have the ministerial duty to transmit to the Senate the copy of
the Rome Statute signed by a member of the Philippine mission to the U.N. even without the signature of the President?

RULING:

The Supreme Court ruled that the President has the sole authority to negotiate and enter into treaties; the
Constitution provides a limitation to his power by requiring the concurrence of 2/3 of all the members of the Senate for the
validity of the treaty entered into by him. Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution provides that no treaty or
international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the
Senate. The participation of the legislative branch in the treaty-making process was deemed essential to provide a check
on the executive in the field of foreign relations.

It should be emphasized that under our Constitution, the power to ratify is vested in the President, subject to the
concurrence of the Senate. The role of the Senate, however, is limited only to giving or withholding its consent, or
concurrence, to the ratification. Hence, it is within the authority of the President to refuse to submit a treaty to the Senate
or, having secured its consent for its ratification, refuse to ratify it. Although the refusal of a state to ratify a treaty which
has been signed in its behalf is a serious step that should not be taken lightly, such decision is within the competence of
the President alone, which cannot be encroach by this Court via a writ of mandamus. This Court has no jurisdiction over
actions seeking to enjoin the President in the performance of his official duties. The Court, therefore, cannot issue the writ
of mandamus prayed for by the petitioners as it is beyond its jurisdiction to compel the executive branch of the
government to transmit the signed text of Rome Statute to the Senate.

The signature does not signify final consent, it is ratification that binds the state to the provisions of the treaty and
renders it effective. Thus, the petition is dismissed.

Agustin v. Edu
88 SCRA 195

Facts:
1. This case is a petition assailing the validity or the constitutionality of a Letter of Instruction No. 229, issued by
President Ferdinand E. Marcos, requiring all vehicle owners, users or drivers to procure early warning devices to
be installed a distance away from such vehicle when it stalls or is disabled. In compliance with such letter of
instruction, the Commissioner of the Land Transportation Office issued Administrative Order No. 1 directing the
compliance thereof.
2. Leovillo Agustin, the owner of a Beetle, challenged the constitutionality of Letter of Instruction 229 and its
implementing order No. 1 issued by LTO Commissioner Romeo Edu. His car already had warning lights and did
not want to use this.
3. The LTO was the issuer of the device at the rate of not more than 15% of the acquisition cost. The triangular
reflector plates were set when the car parked on any street or highway for 30 minutes. It was mandatory.
4. Petitioner argues
a. LOI violated the provisions and delegation of police power, equal protection, and due process/
b. It was oppressive because the make manufacturers and car dealers millionaires at the expenseo f car
owners at 56-72 pesos per set.
5. The OSG denied the allegations in par X and XI of the petition with regard to the unconstitutionality and undue
delegation of police power to such acts.
6. The Philippines was also a member of the 1968 Vienna convention of UN on road signs as a regulation.
[Whereas], the hazards posed by such obstructions to traffic have been recognized by
international bodies concerned with traffic safety, the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and
Signals and the United Nations Organization (U.N.); [Whereas], the said Vienna Convention which
was ratified by the Philippine Government under P.D. No. 207, recommended the enactment of local
legislation for the installation of road safety signs and devices
7. To the petitioner, this was still an unlawful delegation of police power.
Issue:

Whether or not the Letter of Instruction No. 229 and the subsequent Administrative Order issued is unconstitutional?

Ruling:
The Supreme Court ruled for the dismissal of the petition. The statutes in question are deemed not
unconstitutional. These were definitely in the exercise of police power as such was established to promote public welfare
and public safety. In fact, the letter of instruction is based on the constitutional provision of adopting to the generally
accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. The letter of instruction mentions, as its premise and
basis, the resolutions of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals and the discussions on traffic safety by
the United Nations - that such letter was issued in consideration of a growing number of road accidents due to stalled or
parked vehicles on the streets and highways.

The conclusion reached by this Court that this petition must be dismissed (the implementing LOI constitutes an
exercise of police power) is reinforced by this consideration. The petition itself quoted these two whereas clauses of the
assailed Letter of Instruction: "[Whereas], the hazards posed by such obstructions to traffic have been recognized by
international bodies concerned with traffic safety, the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals and the United
Nations Organization (U.N.); [Whereas], the said Vionna Convention, which was ratified by the Philippine Government
under P.D. No. 207, recommended the enactment of local legislation for the installation of road safety signs and devices; *
* * " It cannot be disputed then that this Declaration of Principle found in the Constitution possesses relevance: "The
Philippines * * * adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land * * *." The 1968
Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals is impressed with such a character. It is not for this country to repudiate a
commitment to which it had pledged its word. The concept of Pacta sunt servanda stands in the way of such an attitude,
which is, moreover, at war with the principle of international morality.

International School Alliance v. Quisumbing


333 SCRA 13

Facts:
1. International School, Inc., pursuant to Presidential Decree 732, is a domestic educational institution established
primarily for dependents of foreign diplomatic personnel and other temporary residents. To enable the School to
continue carrying out its educational program and improve its standard of instruction, Section 2(c) of the same
decree authorizes the School to employ its own teaching and management personnel selected by it either locally
or abroad, from Philippine or other nationalities, such personnel being exempt from otherwise applicable laws and
regulations attending their employment, except laws that have been or will be enacted for the protection of
employees.
2. The School hires both foreign and local teachers as members of its faculty, classifying the same into two: (1)
foreign-hires and (2) local-hires. The School employs four tests to determine whether a faculty member should be
classified as a foreign-hire or a local hire: (a) What is one's domicile? (b) Where is one's home economy? (c) To
which country does one owe economic allegiance? (d) Was the individual hired abroad specifically to work in the
School and was the School responsible for bringing that individual to the Philippines? Should the answer to any of
these queries point to the Philippines, the faculty member is classified as a local hire; otherwise, he or she is
deemed a foreign-hire.
3. The School grants foreign-hires certain benefits not accorded local- hires. These include housing, transportation,
shipping costs, taxes, and home leave travel allowance. Foreign-hires are also paid a salary rate twenty-five
percent (25%) more than local-hires. The School justifies the difference on two "significant economic
disadvantages" foreign-hires have to endure, namely: (a) the "dislocation factor" and (b) limited tenure. The
compensation scheme is simply the School's adaptive measure to remain competitive on an international level in
terms of attracting competent professionals in the field of international education.

Issue:

Whether or not local hire teachers shall enjoy same salary as foreign hire teachers where they perform the same
work. This calls for the applicability of the principle of equal pay for equal work.
SC Ruling:
Notably, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, supra, in Article 7 thereof, provides:
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favorable
conditions of work, which ensure, in particular: ( a) Remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with: (i) Fair
wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind, in particular women being
guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men, with equal pay for equal work;

The foregoing provisions impregnably institutionalize in this jurisdiction the long honored legal truism of "equal pay
for equal work." Persons who work with substantially equal qualifications, skill, effort and responsibility, under similar
conditions, should be paid similar salaries. This rule applies to the School.
The School contends that petitioner has not adduced evidence that local-hires perform work equal to that of foreign-hires.
The Court finds this argument a little inconsiderate. If an employer accords employees the same position and rank, the
presumption is that these employees perform equal work. If the employer pays one employee less than the rest, it is not
for that employee to explain why he receives less or why the others receive more. The employer has discriminated
against that employee; it is for the employer to explain why the employee is treated unfairly.

In this case, the employer has failed to discharge this burden. There is no evidence here that foreign-hires
perform 25% more efficiently or effectively than the local-hires. Both groups have similar functions and responsibilities,
which they perform under similar working conditions. Thus the employees are entitled to same salary for performance of
equal work.

Marcos vs. Manglapus


177 SCRA 668

FACTS:
1. Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos was deposed from the presidency via the non-violent people power
revolution and was forced into exile. Marcos, in his deathbed, seeks return to the Philippines to die.
2. But President Corazon Aquino, considering the dire consequences to the nation of his return at a time when the
stability of government is threatened from various directions and the economy is just beginning to rise and move
forward, has stood firmly on the decision to bar the return of Marcos and his family.
3. Marcos filed for a petition of mandamus and prohibition to order the respondents to issue them their travel
documents and prevent the implementation of President Aquinos decision to bar Marcos from returning in the
Philippines.
4. Petitioner questions Aquinos power to bar his return in the country. He also questioned the claim of the President
that the decision was made in the interest of national security, public safety and health. Petitioner also claimed
that the President acted outside her jurisdiction.
5. According to the Marcoses, such act deprives them of their right to life, liberty, property without due process and
equal protection of the laws. They also said that it deprives them of their right to travel which according to Section
6, Article 3 of the constitution, may only be impaired by a court order.
6. They further assert that under international law, their right to return to the Philippines is guaranteed particularly by
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which has
been ratified by the Philippines.

Issue: Whether or not, in the exercise of the powers granted by the constitution, the President (Aquino) may prohibit the
Marcoses from returning to the Philippines?

Held:

"It must be emphasized that the individual right involved is not the right to travel from the Philippines to other
countries or within the Philippines. These are what the right to travel would normally connote. Essentially, the right
involved in this case at bar is the right to return to one's country, a distinct right under international law, independent from
although related to the right to travel. Thus, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights treat the right to freedom of movement and abode within the territory of a state, the right to leave
the country, and the right to enter one's country as separate and distinct rights. What the Declaration speaks of is the
"right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state". On the other hand, the Covenant
guarantees the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence and the right to be free to leave any
country, including his own. Such rights may only be restricted by laws protecting the national security, public order, public
health or morals or the separate rights of others. However, right to enter one's country cannot be arbitrarily deprived. It
would be therefore inappropriate to construe the limitations to the right to return to ones country in the same context as
those pertaining to the liberty of abode and the right to travel.

The Bill of rights treats only the liberty of abode and the right to travel, but it is a well considered view that the right
to return may be considered, as a generally accepted principle of International Law and under our Constitution as part of
the law of the land.

The court held that President did not act arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion in determining that the return
of the Former Pres. Marcos and his family poses a serious threat to national interest and welfare. President Aquino has
determined that the destabilization caused by the return of the Marcoses would wipe away the gains achieved during the
past few years after the Marcos regime. The return of the Marcoses poses a serious threat and therefore prohibiting their
return to the Philippines, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED.

Simon v. Commission on Human Rights


229 SCRA 117

FACTS:

1. On July 23, 1990, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) issued and order, directing the petitioners "to
desist from demolishing the stalls and shanties at North EDSA pending the resolution of the vendors/squatters
complaint before the Commission" and ordering said petitioners to appear before the CHR.
2. On September 10, 1990, petitioner filed a motion to dismiss questioning CHR's jurisdiction and supplemental
motion to dismiss was filed on September 18, 1990 stating that Commissioners' authority should be understood
as being confined only to the investigation of violations of civil and political rights, and that "the rights allegedly
violated in this case were not civil and political rights, but their privilege to engage in business".
3. On March 1, 1991, the CHR issued and Order denying petitioners' motion and supplemental motion to dismiss.
And petitioners' motion for reconsideration was denied also in an Order, dated April 25, 1991.
4. The Petitioner filed a a petition for prohibition, praying for a restraining order and preliminary injunction. Petitioner
also prayed to prohibit CHR from further hearing and investigating CHR Case No. 90-1580, entitled "Ferno, et.al
vs. Quimpo, et.al"

Whether the CHR is authorized to hear and decide on the "demolition case" and to impose a fine for contempt?

Ruling :

Section 18, Article XIII, of the 1987 Constitution empowered the CHR to investigate all forms of human rights
violations involving civil and political rights. The demolition of stalls, sari-sari stores and carenderia cannot fall within the
compartment of "human rights violations involving civil and political rights".

It can hardly be disputed that the phrase "human rights" is so generic a term that any attempt to define it, albeit
not a few have tried, could at best be described as inconclusive. Let us observe. In a symposium on human rights in the
Philippines, sponsored by the University of the Philippines in 1977, one of the questions that has been propounded is
"(w)hat do you understand by "human rights?" The participants, representing different sectors of the society, have given
the following varied answers:

Human rights are the basic rights which inhere in man by virtue of his humanity. They are the same in all
parts of the world, whether the Philippines or England, Kenya or the Soviet Union, the United States or
Japan, Kenya or Indonesia . . . .

Human rights include civil rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and property; freedom of speech, of the
press, of religion, academic freedom, and the rights of the accused to due process of law; political rights,
such as the right to elect public officials, to be elected to public office, and to form political associations
and engage in politics; and social rights, such as the right to an education, employment, and social
services. 25

Human rights are the entitlement that inhere in the individual person from the sheer fact of his humanity. .
. . Because they are inherent, human rights are not granted by the State but can only be recognized and
protected by it. 26

(Human rights include all) the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights defined in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. 27

Human rights are rights that pertain to man simply because he is human. They are part of his natural
birth, right, innate and inalienable. 28

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as, or more specifically, the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, suggests that the scope of human
rights can be understood to include those that relate to an individual's social, economic, cultural, political and civil
relations. It thus seems to closely identify the term to the universally accepted traits and attributes of an individual, along
with what is generally considered to be his inherent and inalienable rights, encompassing almost all aspects of life.

The final outcome, now written as Section 18, Article XIII, of the 1987 Constitution, is a provision empowering the
Commission on Human Rights to "investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights
violations involving civil and political rights" (Sec. 1).

The term "civil rights," 31 has been defined as referring

(t)o those (rights) that belong to every citizen of the state or country, or, in wider sense, to all its
inhabitants, and are not connected with the organization or administration of the government. They
include the rights of property, marriage, equal protection of the laws, freedom of contract, etc. Or, as
otherwise defined civil rights are rights appertaining to a person by virtue of his citizenship in a state or
community. Such term may also refer, in its general sense, to rights capable of being enforced or
redressed in a civil action.

Also quite often mentioned are the guarantees against involuntary servitude, religious persecution, unreasonable
searches and seizures, and imprisonment for debt. 32

Political rights, 33 on the other hand, are said to refer to the right to participate, directly or indirectly, in the establishment or
administration of government, the right of suffrage, the right to hold public office, the right of petition and, in general, the
rights appurtenant to citizenship vis-a-vis the management of government.

Philip-Morris vs Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 91332 July 16, 1993
Doctrine of Incorporation; Adherence to International Law

FACTS:

1. Philip Morris, Incorporated is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Virginia, United States of
America, and does business at 100 Park Avenue, New York, New York, United States of America. The two other
plaintiff foreign corporations, which are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Philip Morris, Inc., are similarly not doing
business in the Philippines but are suing on an isolated transaction.
2. As registered owners "MARK VII", "MARK TEN", and "LARK" per certificates of registration issued by the
Philippine Patent Office on April 26, 1973, May 28, 1964, and March 25, 1964, plaintiffs-petitioners asserted that
defendant Fortune Tobacco Corporation has no right to manufacture and sell cigarettes bearing the allegedly
identical or confusingly similar trademark "MARK" in contravention of Section 22 of the Trademark Law, and
should, therefore, be precluded during the pendency of the case from performing the acts complained of via a
preliminary injunction.
3. For its part, Fortune Tobacco Corporation admitted petitioners' certificates of registration with the Philippine
Patent Office subject to the affirmative and special defense on misjoinder of party plaintiffs.
4. Private respondent alleged further that it has been authorized by the Bureau of Internal Revenue to manufacture
and sell cigarettes bearing the trademark "MARK", and that "MARK" is a common word which cannot be
exclusively appropriated.
5. On March 28, 1983, petitioners' prayer for preliminary injunction was denied by the Presiding Judge of Branch
166 of the RTC of Pasig. In the process of denying petitioners' subsequent motion for reconsideration of the order
denying issuance of the requested writ, the court of origin took cognizance of the certification executed on
January 30, 1984 by the Philippine Patent Office attesting to the fact that private respondent's application for
registration is still pending appropriate action.
6. Apart from this communication, what prompted the trial court judge to entertain the idea of prematurity and
untimeliness of petitioners' application for a writ of preliminary injunction was the letter from the BIR
7. It appears from the testimony of Atty. Enrique Madarang, Chief of the Trademark Division of the then Philippine
Patent Office that Fortune's application for its trademark is still pending before said office.
8. The Court of Appeals initially issued a resolution which set aside the court of origin's order dated April 22, 1987,
and granted the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining Fortune, its agents, employees, and
representatives, from manufacturing, selling, and advertising "MARK" cigarettes.
9. After private respondent Fortune's motion for reconsideration was rejected, a motion to dissolve the disputed writ
of preliminary injunction with offer to post a counter bond was submitted which was favorably acted upon by the
Court of Appeals, premised on the filing of a sufficient counter bond to answer for whatever perjuicio petitioners
may suffer as a result thereof.

ISSUE/S:

Whether or not petitioners, as Philippine registrants of trademarks, are entitled to enforce trademark rights in this
country?

RULING:
In other words, petitioners may have the capacity to sue for infringement irrespective of lack of business activity in
the Philippines on account of Section 21-A of the Trademark Law but the question whether they have an exclusive right
over their symbol as to justify issuance of the controversial writ will depend on actual use of their trademarks in the
Philippines in line with Sections 2 and 2-A of the same law. It is thus incongruous for petitioners to claim that when a
foreign corporation not licensed to do business in Philippines files a complaint for infringement, the entity need not be
actually using its trademark in commerce in the Philippines. Such a foreign corporation may have the personality to file a
suit for infringement but it may not necessarily be entitled to protection due to absence of actual use of the emblem in the
local market.

Yet petitioners' perception along this line is nonetheless resolved by Sections 2 and 2-A of the Trademark Law
which speak loudly, about necessity of actual commercial use of the trademark in the local forum:

Sec. 2. What are registrable. Trademarks, tradenames and service marks owned by persons,
corporations, partnerships or associations domiciled in the Philippines and by persons, corporations,
partnerships or associations domiciled in any foreign country may be registered in accordance with the
provisions of this Act; Provided, That said trademarks, tradenames, or service marks are actually in use in
commerce and services not less than two months in the Philippines before the time the applications for
registration are filed; And provided, further, That the country of which the applicant for registration is a
citizen grants by law substantially similar privileges to citizens of the Philippines, and such fact is officially
certified, with a certified true copy of the foreign law translated into the English language, by the
government of the foreign country to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. (As amended by
R.A. No. 865).

Sec. 2-A. Ownership of trademarks, tradenames and service marks; how acquired. Anyone who
lawfully produces or deals in merchandise of any kind or who engages in any lawful business, or who
renders any lawful service in commerce, by actual use thereof in manufacture or trade, in business, and
in the service rendered, may appropriate to his exclusive use a trademark, a tradename, or a service
mark not so appropriated by another, to distinguish his merchandise, business or service from the
merchandise, business or service of others. The ownership or possession of a trademark, tradename,
service mark, heretofore or hereafter appropriated, as in this section provided, shall be recognized and
protected in the same manner and to the same extent as are other property rights known to the law. (As
amended by R.A. No. 638). (Kabushi Kaisha Isetan vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 203 SCRA 583
[1991], at pp. 589-590; emphasis supplied.)

Following universal acquiescence and comity, our municipal law on trademarks regarding the requirement of
actual use in the Philippines must subordinate an international agreement inasmuch as the apparent clash is being
decided by a municipal tribunal. Withal, the fact that international law has been made part of the law of the land does not
by any means imply the primacy of international law over national law in the municipal sphere. Under the doctrine of
incorporation as applied in most countries, rules of international law are given a standing equal, not superior, to national
legislative enactments.

A fundamental principle of Philippine Trademark Law is that actual use in commerce in the Philippines is a pre-
requisite to the acquisition of ownership over a trademark or a tradename. Adoption alone of a trademark would not give
exclusive right thereto. Such right grows out of their actual use. Adoption is not use. One may make advertisements, issue
circulars, give out price lists on certain goods; but these alone would not give exclusive right of use. For trademark is a
creation of use. The underlying reason for all these is that purchasers have come to understand the mark as indicating the
origin of the wares. Flowing from this is the trader's right to protection in the trade he has built up and the goodwill he has
accumulated from use of the trademark.In fact, a prior registrant cannot claim exclusive use of the trademark unless it
uses it in commerce.

The records show that the petitioner has never conducted any business in the Philippines. It has never promoted
its tradename or trademark in the Philippines. It is unknown to Filipino except the very few who may have noticed it while
travelling abroad. It has never paid a single centavo of tax to the Philippine government. Under the law, it has no right to
the remedy it seeks

La Chemise Lacoste v. Fernandez


129 SCRA 373

Facts:
Petitioner La Chemise Lacoste is a foreign corporation and the actual owner of the trademarks Lacoste,
Chemise Lacoste, and Crocodile Device used on clothing and other goods that are sold in many parts of the world.
Herein respondent Hemadas & Co., a domestic firm, applied and was granted registration of the mark Chemise Lacoste
and Crocodile Device for its garment products. Sometime later, petitioner applied for the registration of its mark Crocodile
Device and Lacoste but was opposed by herein respondent. Later, petitioner filed a letter-complaint of unfair competition
before the NBI which led to the issuance of search warrants and the seizure of goods of respondent Hemadas.
Respondent moved to quash the warrants alleging that its trademark was different from petitioners trademark.
Respondent court ruled to set aside the warrants and to return the seized goods.

Issue: Whether or not petitioners trademark is a well-known mark protected under the Paris Convention?

Ruling: YES
In upholding the right of the petitioner to maintain the present suit before our courts for unfair competition or
infringement of trademarks of a foreign corporation, we are moreover recognizing our duties and the rights of foreign
states under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property to which the Philippines and France are parties.

Pursuant to this obligation, the Ministry of Trade issued a memorandum addressed to the Director of the Patents
Office directing the latter to reject all pending applications for Philippine registration of signature and other world famous
trademarks by applicants other than its original owners or users. The conflicting claims over internationally known
trademarks involve such name brands as Lacoste, et. al. It is further directed that, in cases where warranted, Philippine
registrants of such trademarks should be asked to surrender their certificates of registration, if any, to avoid suits for
damages and other legal action by the trademarks foreign or local owners or original users.
The Intermediate Appellate Court, in the La Chemise Lacoste S.A. v. Sadhwani decision which we cite with
approval sustained the power of the Minister of Trade to issue the implementing memorandum and declared La Chemise
Lacoste S.A. the owner of the disputed trademark, stating: In the case at bar, the Minister of Trade, as the competent
authority of the country of registration, has found that among other well-known trademarks Lacoste is the subject of
conflicting claims. For this reason, applications for its registration must be rejected or refused, pursuant to the treaty
obligation of the Philippines.

In upholding the right of the petitioner to maintain the present suit before our courts for unfair competition or
infringement of trademarks of a foreign corporation, we are moreover recognizing our duties and the rights of foreign
states under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property to which the Philippines and France are parties.
We are simply interpreting and enforcing a solemn international commitment of the Philippines embodied in a multilateral
treaty to which we are a party and which we entered into because it is in our national interest to do so.

In Vanity Fair Mills, Inc. v. T Eaton Co. (234 F. 2d 633) the United States Circuit Court of Appeals had occasion to
comment on the extraterritorial application of the Paris Convention It said that:

[11] The International Convention is essentially a compact between the various member countries to
accord in their own countries to citizens of the other contracting parties trademark and other rights
comparable to those accorded their own citizens by their domestic law. The underlying principle is that
foreign nationals should be given the same treatment in each of the member countries as that country
makes available to its own citizens. In addition, the Convention sought to create uniformity in certain
respects by obligating each member nation 'to assure to nationals of countries of the Union an effective
protection against unfair competition.'

[12] The Convention is not premised upon the Idea that the trade-mark and related laws of each member
nation shall be given extra-territorial application, but on exactly the converse principle that each nation's
law shall have only territorial application. Thus a foreign national of a member nation using his trademark
in commerce in the United States is accorded extensive protection here against infringement and other
types of unfair competition by virtue of United States membership in the Convention. But that protection
has its source in, and is subject to the limitations of, American law, not the law of the foreign national's
own country. ...

By the same token, the petitioner should be given the same treatment in the Philippines as we make available to our own
citizens. We are obligated to assure to nationals of "countries of the Union" an effective protection against unfair
competition in the same way that they are obligated to similarly protect Filipino citizens and firms.

Pursuant to this obligation, the Ministry of Trade on November 20, 1980 issued a memorandum addressed to the Director
of the Patents Office directing the latter:

xxx xxx xxx

... to reject all pending applications for Philippine registration of signature and other world famous
trademarks by applicants other than its original owners or users.

The conflicting claims over internationally known trademarks involve such name brands as Lacoste,
Jordache, Gloria Vanderbilt, Sasson, Fila, Pierre Cardin, Gucci, Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin
Klein, Givenchy, Ralph Lauren, Geoffrey Beene, Lanvin and Ted Lapidus.

It is further directed that, in cases where warranted, Philippine registrants of such trademarks should be
asked to surrender their certificates of registration, if any, to avoid suits for damages and other legal
action by the trademarks' foreign or local owners or original users.

The memorandum is a clear manifestation of our avowed adherence to a policy of cooperation and amity with all nations.
It is not, as wrongly alleged by the private respondent, a personal policy of Minister Luis Villafuerte which expires once he
leaves the Ministry of Trade. For a treaty or convention is not a mere moral obligation to be enforced or not at the whims
of an incumbent head of a Ministry. It creates a legally binding obligation on the parties founded on the generally accepted
principle of international law of pacta sunt servanda which has been adopted as part of the law of our land. (Constitution,
Art. II, Sec. 3). The memorandum reminds the Director of Patents of his legal duty to obey both law and treaty. It must
also be obeyed.

Commissioner v. Gotamco and Sons


148 SCRA 36

Facts:
1. The World Health Organization (WHO for short) is an international organization which has a regional office in
Manila. An agreement was entered into between the Republic of the Philippines and the said Organization on July
22, 1951. Section 11 of that Agreement provides, inter alia, that "the Organization, its assets, income and other
properties shall be: (a) exempt from all direct and indirect taxes.
2. The WHO decided to construct a building to house its own offices, as well as the other United Nations offices
stationed in Manila. A bidding was held for the building construction. The WHO informed the bidders that the
building to be constructed belonged to an international organization exempted from the payment of all fees,
licenses, and taxes, and that therefore their bids "must take this into account and should not include items for
such taxes, licenses and other payments to Government agencies."
3. Thereafter, the construction contract was awarded to John Gotamco & Sons, Inc. (Gotamco for short).
Subsequently, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue sent a letter of demand to Gotamco demanding payment of
for the 3% contractor's tax plus surcharges on the gross receipts it received from the WHO in the construction of
the latter's building. WHO.
4. The WHO issued a certification that the bid of John Gotamco & Sons, should be exempted from any taxes in
connection with the construction of the World Health Organization office buildingbecause such can be considered
as an indirect tax to WHO.
5. However, The Commissioner of Internal Revenue contends that the 3% contractor's tax is not a direct nor an
indirect tax on the WHO, but a tax that is primarily due from the contractor, and thus not covered by the tax
exemption agreement

Issue: Whether or not the said 3% contractors tax imposed upon petitioner is covered by the direct and indirect tax
exemption granted to WHO by the government.

Held:
Yes. The 3% contractors tax imposed upon petitioner is covered by the direct and indirect tax exemption
granted to WHO. Hence, petitioner cannot be held liable for such contractors tax. The Supreme Court explained that
direct taxes are those that are demanded from the very person who, it is intended or desired, should pay them; while
indirect taxes are those that are demanded in the first instance from one person in the expectation and intention that he
can shift the burden to someone else. While it is true that the contractor's tax is payable by the contractor, However in the
last analysis it is the owner of the building that shoulders the burden of the tax because the same is shifted by the
contractor to the owner as a matter of self-preservation. Thus, it is an indirect tax against the WHO because, although it is
payable by the petitioner, the latter can shift its burden on the WHO.

In his first assignment of error, petitioner questions the entitlement of the WHO to tax exemption, contending that
the Host Agreement is null and void, not having been ratified by the Philippine Senate as required by the Constitution. We
find no merit in this contention. While treaties are required to be ratified by the Senate under the Constitution, less formal
types of international agreements may be entered into by the Chief Executive and become binding without the
concurrence of the legislative body. 1 The Host Agreement comes within the latter category; it is a valid and binding
international agreement even without the concurrence of the Philippine Senate.

The privileges and immunities granted to the WHO under the Host Agreement have been recognized by this Court as
legally binding on Philippine authorities. 2
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines v. Court of Appeals
65 SCRA 237

Facts:

1. Spouses Mendoza approached Mr. Reyes, the branch manager of Philippine Travel Bureau, for consultation
about a world tour which they were intending to make with their daughter and niece. Three segments of the trip,
the longest, was via KLM. Respondents decided that one of the routes they will take was a Barcelona-Lourdes
route with knowledge that only one airline, Aer Lingus, served it. Reyes made the necessary reservations.
2. To this, KLM secured seat reservations for the Mendozas and their companions from the carriers which would
ferry them throughout their trip, which the exception of Aer Lingus. When the Mendozas left the Philippines, they
were issued KLM tickets for the entire trip. However, their coupon for Aer Lingus was marked on request.
3. When they were in Germany, they went to the KLM office and obtained a confirmation from Aer Lingus. At the
airport in Barcelona, the Mendozas and their companions checked in for their flight to Lourdes. However, although
their daughter and niece were allowed to take the flight, the spouses Mendozas were off loaded on orders of the
Aer Lingus manager, who brusquely shoved them aside and shouted at them. So the spouses Mendozas took a
train ride to Lourdes instead.
4. Thus, they filed a complaint for damages against KLM for breach of contract of carriage. The trial court decided in
favor of the Mendozas. On appeal, the CA affirmed the decision.
5. The KLM prays for exculpation from damages on the strength of the following particulars which were advanced to
but rejected by the Court of Appeals:
(a) The air tickets issued to the respondents stipulate that carriage thereunder is subject to the "Convention for
the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Transportation by Air," otherwise known as the "Warsaw
Convention," to which the Philippine Government is a party by adherence, and which pertinently provides.
ART. 30. (1) In the case of transportation to be performed by various successive carriers and
failing within the definition set out in the third paragraph of Article I, each carrier who accepts passengers,
baggage, or goods shall be subject to the rules set out in the convention, and shall be deemed to be one
of the contracting parties to the contract of transportation insofar as the contract deals with that part of
transportation which is performed under his supervision. 2

(2) In the case of transportation of this nature, the passenger or his representative can take action
only against the carrier who performed the transportation during which the accident or the delay occured,
save in the case where, by express agreement, the first carrier has assumed liability for the whole
journey. (emphasis supplied)

6. Hence, KLM brings this petition to the Supreme Court. KLM cites Art 30 of the Warsaw Convention, which states:
the passenger or his representatives can take action only against the carrier who performed the transportation
during which the accident or delay occurred. Also, KLM avers that the front cover of each ticket reads: that liability
of the carrier for damages shall be limited to occurrences on its own line.
7. The respondents rebut the foregoing arguments, thus:(a) Article 30 of the Warsaw Convention has no application
in the case at bar which involves, not an accident or delay, but a willful misconduct on the part of the KLM's agent,
the Aer Lingus

Issue:

Whether or not KLM is liable for breach of contract of carriage?

Held:

1. The applicability insisted upon by the KLM of article 30 of the Warsaw Convention cannot be sustained. That article
presupposes the occurrence of either an accident or a delay, neither of which took place at the Barcelona airport; what is
here manifest, instead, is that the Aer Lingus, through its manager there, refused to transport the respondents to their
planned and contracted destination.

As the airline which issued the tickets, KLM was chargeable with the duty and responsibility of specifically
informing the spouses of the conditions prescribed in their tickets or to ascertain that the spouses read them before they
accepted their passage tickets.
The Supreme Court held that KLM cannot be merely assumed as a ticket-issuing agent for other airlines and limit its
liability to untoward occurrences on its own line. The court found, that the passage tickets provide that the carriage to be
performed therein by several successive carriers is to be regarded as a single operation.

In application to TREATY as SELF- EXECUTING:

Generally, for a treaty to be valid and effective, the Constitution requires only the concurrence of the Senate of
legal rights and obligations. Accordingly, the SC has applied treaties to which the Philippines is party, as self-
executing instruments, requiring no further prerequisite to their effectivity within Philippine jurisdiction.

Lim v. Executive Secretary


G.R. No. 151445, April 11, 2002
International Law v. Muncipal Law, Incorporation Clause, Treaties

FACTS:

1. Pursuant to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) signed in 1999, beginning 2002, personnel from the armed
forces of the United States started arriving in Mindanao, to take part, in conjunction with the Philippine military, in
Balikatan 02-1. In theory, they are a simulation of joint military maneuvers pursuant to the Mutual Defense
Treaty, a bilateral defense agreement entered into by the Philippines and the United States in 1951.
2. The exercise is rooted from the international anti-terrorism campaign declared by President George W. Bush in
reaction to the 3 commercial aircrafts hijacking that smashed into twin towers of the World Trade Center in New
York City and the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C. allegedly by the al-Qaeda headed by the Osama bin
Laden that occurred on September 11, 2001.
3. On Feb. 2002, Lim filed this petition for certiorari and prohibition, praying that respondents be restrained from
proceeding with the so-called Balikatan 02-1, and that after due notice and hearing, judgment be rendered
issuing a permanent writ of injuction and/or prohibition against the deployment of US troops in Basilan and
Mindanao for being illegal and in violation of the Constitution.
4. Petitioners contend that the RP and the US signed the Mutual Defense Treaty to provide mutual military
assistance in accordance with the constitutional processes of each country only in the case of a armed attack by
an external aggressor, meaning a third country, against one of them. They further argued that it cannot be said
that the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan constitutes an external aggressor to warrant US military assistance in accordance
with MDT of 1951. Another contention was that the VFA of 1999 does not authorize American soldiers to engage
in combat operations in Philippine territory.

ISSUE : Whether or not the Balikatan 02-1 activities are covered by the VFA?

RULING :

Petition is dismissed. The VFA itself permits US personnel to engage on an impermanent basis, in activities, the
exact meaning of which is left undefined. The sole encumbrance placed on its definition is couched in the negative, in that
the US personnel must abstain from any activity inconsistent with the spirit of this agreement, and in particular, from any
political activity.

Under these auspices, the VFA gives legitimacy to the current Balikatan exercises. It is only logical to assume
that Balikatan 02-1 a mutual anti terrorism advising assisting and training exercise falls under the umbrella of
sanctioned or allowable activities in the context of the agreement. Both the history and intent of the Mutual Defense Treaty
and the VFA support the conclusion that combat-related activities as opposed to combat itself such as the one subject
of the instant petition, are indeed authorized.

Interpretation of Treaty

The VFA permits United States personnel to engage, on an impermanent basis, in "activities," the exact meaning
of which was left undefined. The expression is ambiguous, permitting a wide scope of undertakings subject only to the
approval of the Philippine government. The sole encumbrance placed on its definition is couched in the negative, in that
United States personnel must "abstain from any activity inconsistent with the spirit of this agreement, and in particular,
from any political activity." All other activities, in other words, are fair game.
To aid in this, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties Article 31 SECTION 3 and Article 32 contains
provisos governing interpretations of international agreements. It is clear from the foregoing that the cardinal rule of
interpretation must involve an examination of the text, which is presumed to verbalize the parties' intentions. The
Convention likewise dictates what may be used as aids to deduce the meaning of terms, which it refers to as the context
of the treaty, as well as other elements may be taken into account alongside the aforesaid context. According to
Professor Briggs, writer on the Convention, the distinction between the general rule of interpretation and the
supplementary means of interpretation is intended rather to ensure that the supplementary means do not constitute an
alternative, autonomous method of interpretation divorced from the general rule.

The meaning of the word activities" was deliberately made that way to give both parties a certain leeway in
negotiation. Thus, the VFA gives legitimacy to the current Balikatan exercises. Both the history and intent of the Mutual
Defense Treaty and the VFA support the conclusion that combat-related activities -as opposed to combat itself -such as
the one subject of the instant petition, are indeed authorized.
The Terms of Reference are explicit enough. Paragraph 8 of section I stipulates that US exercise participants may not
engage in combat "except in self-defense." ." The indirect violation is actually petitioners' worry, that in reality, "Balikatan
02-1" is actually a war principally conducted by the United States government, and that the provision on self-defense
serves only as camouflage to conceal the true nature of the exercise. A clear pronouncement on this matter thereby
becomes crucial. In our considered opinion, neither the MDT nor the VFA allow foreign troops to engage in an offensive
war on Philippine territory. Under the salutary proscription stated in Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations.

Both the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement, as in all other treaties and international
agreements to which the Philippines is a party, must be read in the context of the 1987 Constitution especially Sec. 2, 7
and 8 of Article 2: Declaration of Principles and State Policies in this case. The Constitution also regulates the foreign
relations powers of the Chief Executive when it provides that "[n]o treaty or international agreement shall be valid and
effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate." Even more pointedly Sec. 25 on
Transitory Provisions which shows antipathy towards foreign military presence in the country, or of foreign influence in
general. Hence, foreign troops are allowed entry into the Philippines only by way of direct exception.

International Law vs. Fundamental Law and Municipal Laws

Conflict arises then between the fundamental law and our obligations arising from international agreements.

Philip Morris, Inc. v. Court of Appeals: Withal, the fact that international law has been made part of the law of the
land does not by any means imply the primacy of international law over national law in the municipal sphere. Under the
doctrine of incorporation as applied in most countries, rules of international law are given a standing equal, not superior, to
national legislation.

From the perspective of public international law, a treaty is favored over municipal law pursuant to the principle of
pacta sunt servanda. Hence, "[e]very treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in
good faith." Further, a party to a treaty is not allowed to "invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its
failure to perform a treaty."

Our Constitution espouses the opposing view as stated in section 5 of Article VIII: The Supreme Court shall have
the following powers: xxx
(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final
judgments and order of lower courts in:
(A) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential
decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question.

Ichong v. Hernandez: provisions of a treaty are always subject to qualification or amendment by a subsequent
law, or that it is subject to the police power of the State
Gonzales v. Hechanova: our Constitution authorizes the nullification of a treaty, not only when it conflicts with the
fundamental law, but, also, when it runs counter to an act of Congress.

The foregoing premises leave us no doubt that US forces are prohibited / from engaging in an offensive war on
Philippine territory.
Bayan Muna v. Executive Secretary
G.R. No. 158088, July 6, 2005

Abaya v. DPWH Secretary


G.R. No. 167919, February 4, 2007
FACTS:

1. On May 7, 2004 Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)
issued a Resolution No. PJHL-A-04-012. It was approved by DPWH Acting Secretary Florante Soriquez. This
resolution recommended the award to China Road & Bridge Corporation of the contract for the implementation of
civil works for Contract Package No. I (CP I), which consists of the improvement/rehabilitation of the San Andres-
Virac-Jct. Bago-Viga road, with the lengt of 79.818 kilometers, in the island province of Catanduanes.
2. This Loan Agreement No. PH-204 was executed by and between the JBIC and the Philippine Government
pursuant to the exchange of Notes executed by and between Mr. Yoshihisa Ara, Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Philippines, and then Foreign Affairs Secretary Siazon, in behalf of their respective
governments.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the Loan Agreement No. PH-204 between the JBIC and the Philippine Government is a kind of a treaty?

HELD:

The Loan Agreement No. PH-204 taken in conjunction with the Exchange of Notes dated December 27, 1999
between the Japanese Government and the Philippine Government is an executive agreement.
An exchange of notes is a record of a routine agreement that has many similarities with the private law contract. The
agreement consists of the exchange of two documents, each of the parties being in the possession of the one signed by
the representative of the other.
treaties, agreements, conventions, charters, protocols, declarations, memoranda of understanding, modus vivendi and
exchange of notes all are refer to international instruments binding at international law.
Although these instruments differ from each other by title, they all have common features and international law has
applied basically the same rules to all these instruments. These rules are the result of long practice among the States,
which have accepted them as binding norms in their mutual relations. Therefore, they are regarded as international
customary law.

That case was dismissed by the SCORP last Feb. 14 2007.

What the petitioners wanted was that Foreign funded projects also undergo the procurement process.
The dismissal of the case somehow gave justification for the delay of the implementing rules for foreign funded projects
(IRR-B) of the procurement law If we recall the decision of the Abaya vs Ebdane was used by the DOJ when the DOTC
Secretary was asking for an opinion from the former, during the ZTE controversy.as ruled by the Supreme Court in Abaya
v. Ebdane, an exchange of notes is considered a form of an executive agreement, which becomes binding through
executive action without need of a vote by the
Senate and that (like treaties and conventions, it is an international instrument binding at international law,
The second issue involves an examination of the coverage of Republic Act No. 9184, otherwise known as the
Government Procurement Reform Act. Section 4 of the said Act provides that it shall
apply to: the Procurement of infrastructure Projects, Goods and Consulting Services, regardless of source of funds,
whether local or foreign, by all branches and instrumentalities of government, its departments, offices and agencies,
including government-owned and/or -controlled corporations and local government units, subject to the provisions of
Commonwealth Act No. 138. Any treaty or international or executive agreement affecting the subject matter of this Act to
which the Philippine government is a signatory shall be observed.