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G.R. No. 131457. April 24, 1998


This case involves a 144-hectare land located at San Vicente, Sumilao, Bukidnon,
owned by the Norberto Quisumbing, Sr. Management and Development Corporation
(NQSRMDC), one of the petitioners. In 1984, the land was leased as a pineapple
plantation to the Philippine Packing Corporation, now Del Monte Philippines, Inc.
(DMPI). In October, 1991, during the existence of the lease, the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) placed the entire 144-hectare property under compulsory
acquisition and assessed the land value at P2.38 million.

Notwithstanding the foregoing favorable recommendations of different administration

and including Governor Carlos O. Fortich, however, on November 14, 1994, the DAR,
thru Secretary Garilao, invoking its powers to approve conversion of lands, issued an
Order denying the instant application for the conversion of the subject land from
agricultural to agro-industrial and, instead, placed the same under the compulsory
coverage of CARP and directed the distribution thereof to all qualified beneficiaries. To
prevent the enforcement of the DAR Secretarys order, NQSRMDC, on June 29, 1995,
filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari, prohibition with preliminary

In resolving the appeal, the Office of the President (OP), issued a decision which
approved the conversion of a one hundred forty-four (144)-hectare land from agricultural
to agro-industrial/institutional area and had become final and executory.

When NQSRMDC was about to transfer the title over the 4-hectare donated to DECS, it
discovered that the title over the subject property was no longer in its name. NQSRMDC
then filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) for annulment and
cancellation of title, damages and injunction against DAR and 141 others. The RTC
then issued a Temporary Restraining Order and a Writ of Preliminary Injunction on May
19, 1997, restraining the DAR and 141 others from entering, occupying and/or wresting
from NQSRMDC the possession of the subject land.
On October 9, 1997, some alleged farmer-beneficiaries began their hunger strike in
front of the DAR Compound in Quezon City to protest the OP Decision of March 29,
1996. To resolved the strikers protest, the Office of the President issued the so-called
Win/Win Resolution penned by then Deputy Executive Secretary Renato C. Corona,
which modified the earlier Decision after it had already become final and executory. The
said Resolution modified the approval of the land conversion to agro-industrial area only
to the extent of forty-four (44) hectares, and ordered the remaining one hundred (100)
hectares to be distributed to qualified farmer-beneficiaries.


Whether or not the win-win resolution, issued after the original decision had become
final and executory, had any legal effect.


No. When the OP issued the Order dated June 23,1997 declaring the Decision of March
29, 1996 final and executory, as no one has seasonably filed a motion for
reconsideration thereto, the said Office had lost its jurisdiction to re-open the case, more
so modify its Decision. Having lost its jurisdiction, the Office of the President has no
more authority to entertain the second motion for reconsideration filed by respondent
DAR Secretary, which second motion became the basis of the assailed Win-Win
Resolution. Section 7 of Administrative Order No. 18 and Section 4, Rule 43 of the
Revised Rules of Court mandate that only one (1) motion for reconsideration is allowed
to be taken from the Decision of March 29, 1996. And even if a second motion for
reconsideration was permitted to be filed in exceptionally meritorious cases, as
provided in the second paragraph of Section 7 of AO 18, still the said motion should not
have been entertained considering that the first motion for reconsideration was not
seasonably filed, thereby allowing the Decision of March 29, 1996 to lapse into
finality. Thus, the act of the Office of the President in re-opening the case and
substantially modifying its March 29,1996 Decision which had already become final and
executory, was in gross disregard of the rules and basic legal precept that
accord finality to administrative determinations.

The orderly administration of justice requires that the judgments/resolutions of a

court or quasi-judicial body must reach a point of finality set by the law, rules and
regulations. The noble purpose is to write finis to disputes once and for all. This is a
fundamental principle in our justice system, without which there would be no end to
litigations. Utmost respect and adherence to this principle must always be maintained
by those who wield the power of adjudication. Any act which violates such principle
must immediately be struck down.
Therefore, the assailed Win-Win Resolution which substantially modified the
Decision of March 29, 1996 after it has attained finality, is utterly void. Such void
resolution, as aptly stressed by Justice Thomas A. Street in a 1918 case, is a lawless
thing, which can be treated as an outlaw and slain at sight, or ignored wherever and
whenever it exhibits its head.
G.R. No. 127685. July 23, 1998


On December 12, 1996, President Fidel Ramos issued an Administrative Order No.
308 entitled "Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System. It
was published in four newpapers of general circulation on January 22, 1997 and
January 23, 1997.

On January 24, 1997, petitioner, Senator Blas F. Ople, filed the instant petition against
respondents, then Executive Secretary Ruben Torres and the heads of the government
agencies, who as members of the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee, are charged
with the implementation of A.O. No. 308. Petitioner Ople prays that we invalidate
Administrative Order No. 308 on two important constitutional grounds, viz: one, it is a
usurpation of the power of Congress to legislate, and two, it impermissibly intrudes on
our citizenry's protected zone of privacy.


Whether or not the issuance of A.O. No. 308 is an unconstitutional usurpation of the
power of Congress to legislate.


Yes. Legislative power is the authority to make laws, and to alter and repeal them. The
Constitution has vested this power in the Congress. The grant of legislative power to
Congress is broad, general, and comprehensive. Any power deemed to be legislative
by usage and tradition, is necessarily possessed by Congress, unless the Constitution
has lodged it elsewhere.

The executive power, on the other hand, is vested in the President. It is generally
defined as the power to enforce and administer the laws. It is the power of carrying the
laws into practical operation and enforcing their due observance. As head of the
Executive Department, the President is the Chief Executive. He represents the
government as a whole and sees to it that all laws are enforced by the officials and
employees of his department. He has control over the executive department, bureaus
and offices. Corollary to the power of control, the President also has the duty of
supervising the enforcement of laws for the maintenance of general peace and public
order. Thus, he is granted administrative power over bureaus and offices under his
control to enable him to discharge his duties effectively. Administrative power is
concerned with the work of applying policies and enforcing orders as determined by
proper governmental organs. To this end, he can issue administrative orders, rules and
regulations. Prescinding from these precepts, we hold that A.O. No. 308 involves a
subject that is not appropriate to be covered by an administrative order.

An administrative order is an ordinance issued by the President which relates to specific

aspects in the administrative operation of government. It must be in harmony with the
law and should be for the sole purpose of implementing the law and carrying out the
legislative policy. We reject the argument that A.O. No. 308 implements the legislative
policy of the Administrative Code of 1987. The Code is a general law and incorporates
in a unified document the major structural, functional and procedural principles of
governance and embodies changes in administrative structure and procedures
designed to serve the people.

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. As
said administrative order redefines the parameters of some basic rights of our citizenry
vis-a-vis the State as well as the line that separates the administrative power of the
President to make rules and the legislative power of Congress, it ought to be evident
that it deals with a subject that should be covered by law.

Petition is granted and A.O. No. 308 is declared null and void for being unconstitutional.

G.R. No. 141284. August 15, 2000


In view of the alarming increase in violent crimes in Metro Manila, like

robberies, kidnappings and carnappings, President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, 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, the PNP Chief, through Police Chief Superintendent Edgar B. Aglipay,
formulated Letter of Instruction 02/2000 (the LOI) which detailed the manner by which
the joint visibility patrols, called Task Force Tulungan. The President declared that the
services of the 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.

On 17 January 2000, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (the IBP) filed the instant
petition to annul LOI 02/2000 and to declare the deployment of the Philippine Marines,
null and void and unconstitutional.


(1) Whether or not the Presidents factual determination of the necessity of calling the
armed forces is subject to judicial review
(2) Whether or not the calling of the armed forces to assist the PNP in joint visibility
patrols violates the constitutional provisions on civilian supremacy over the military and
the civilian character of the PNP


1. No. When the President calls the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless
violence, invasion or rebellion, he necessarily exercises a discretionary power solely
vested in his wisdom. Under Sec. 18, Art. VII of the Constitution. This is clear from the
intent of the framers and from the text of the Constitution itself. The Court, thus, cannot
be called upon to overrule the Presidents wisdom or substitute its own. But Congress
may revoke such proclamation of martial law or suspension of the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus and the Court may review the sufficiency of the factual basis thereof.
However, there is no such equivalent provision dealing with the revocation or review of
the Presidents action to call out the armed forces. The distinction places the calling out
power in a different category from the power to declare martial law and power to
suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, otherwise, the framers of the
Constitution would have simply lumped together the three powers and provided for their
revocation and review without any qualification.

The reason for the difference in the treatment of the said powers highlights the intent to
grant the President the widest leeway and broadest discretion in using the power to call
out because it is considered as the lesser and more benign power compared to the
power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the power to impose
martial law, both of which involve the curtailment and suppression of certain basic civil
rights and individual freedoms, and thus necessitating safeguards by Congress and
review by the Court.

In view of the constitutional intent to give the President full discretionary power to
determine the necessity of calling out the armed forces, it is incumbent upon the
petitioner to show that the Presidents decision is totally bereft of factual basis. The
present petition fails to discharge such heavy burden as there is no evidence to support
the assertion that there exists no justification for calling out the armed forces. There is,
likewise, no evidence to support the proposition that grave abuse was committed
because the power to call was exercised in such a manner as to violate the
constitutional provision on civilian supremacy over the military.

2. No. The Court disagrees to the contention that by the deployment of the Marines
constitutes a breach of the civilian supremacy clause under Sec. 3, Art. II of the
Constitution. The calling of the Marines in this case constitutes permissible use of
military assets for civilian law enforcement. The participation of the Marines in the
conduct of joint visibility patrols is appropriately circumscribed. The limited participation
of the Marines is evident in the provisions of the LOI itself, which sufficiently provides
the metes and bounds of the Marines authority. It is noteworthy that the local police
forces are the ones in charge of the visibility patrols at all times, the real authority
belonging to the PNP. Under the LOI, the police forces are tasked to brief or orient the
soldiers on police patrol procedures.It is their responsibility to direct and manage the
deployment of the Marines. It is, likewise, their duty to provide the necessary equipment
to the Marines and render logistical support to these soldiers.

The real authority in these operations, as stated in the LOI, is lodged with the head of a
civilian institution, the PNP, and not with the military. Since none of the Marines was
incorporated or enlisted as members of the PNP, there can be no appointment to
civilian position to speak of. Hence, the deployment of the Marines in the joint visibility
patrols does not destroy the civilian character of the PNP.