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DE LEON VS. ESGUERRA (G.R. NO. 78059. AUGUST 31, 1987)


In the May 17, 1982 Barangay elections, petitioner Alfredo M. De Leon was elected Barangay
Captain and the other petitioners Angel S. Salamat, et al., as Barangay Councilmen of Barangay Dolores,
Taytay, Rizal.
On February 9, 1987, petitioner Alfredo M, de Leon received a Memorandum antedated
December 1, 1986 but signed by respondent OIC Governor Benjamin Esguerra on February 8, 1987
designating respondent Florentino G. Magno as Barangay Captain of Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal.
The designation made by the OIC Governor was "by authority of the Minister of Local Government."
Also on February 8, 1987, Esguerra signed a Memorandum, antedated December 1, 1986 designating
respondents Remigio M. Tigas, et al., as members of the Barangay Council of the same Barangay and
Petitioners maintain that with the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, Esguerra no longer has
the authority to replace them and to designate their successors.
However, respondents rely on Section 2, Article III of the Provisional Constitution, which provided:
SECTION 2. All elective and appointive officials and employees under the 1973 Constitution shall
continue in office until otherwise provided by proclamation or executive order or upon the designation
or appointment and qualification of their successors, if such appointment is made within a period of one
year from February 25, 1986.

ISSUE: Whether the designation of the respondents to replace petitioners was validly made during the
one-year period which ended on February 25, 1987.

NO. While February 8, 1987 is ostensibly still within the one year deadline under the Provisional
Constitution, the same must be deemed to have been overtaken by Section 27, Article XVIII of the 1987
Constitution reading:
This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes
cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose and shall supersede all previous Constitutions.
The 1987 Constitution was ratified in a plebiscite on February 2, 1987. By that date, the
Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been superseded. Having become inoperative, Section
2, Article III of the Provisional Constitution could not be relied on by the respondent OIC Governor. The
memorandum dated February 8, 1987 by the respondent OIC Governor could no longer have any legal
force and effect.
The act of ratification is the act of voting by the people. The canvass of the votes thereafter is
merely the mathematical confirmation of what was done during the date of the plebiscite, and the
proclamation of the President is merely the official confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually
done by the Filipino people in adopting the Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of the
Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS
G.R. No. 122156 (February 3, 1997)

In line with the privatization program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation
No. 50 on December 8, 1986, the Government Service insurance System (GSIS) sold in
an auction 30% to 51% of the shares of Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC) to which the
highest bidder would provide management, marketing and financial expertise and
support to improve profitability and performance of the Manila Hotel. In the closed
bidding held on September 18, 1995, two bidders participated: the petitioner, Manila
Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation which bid 15,300,000 or 51% shares of
the MHC at P 41.58 per share and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, which offered to
buy the same number of shares at P 44.00 per share (a P 2.42 difference with that of
the petitioners bid). Pending the declaration of the Malaysian firm as the winning
bidder, Manila Price Hotel matched the bid price of P 44.00 per share in a letter to GSIS
dated September 28 1995 and sent a managers check in a succeeding letter of which
GSIS refused to accept on October 17, 1995.
Manila Prince Hotel, invoking the Filipino First Policy preserved in Section 10,
Paragraph 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution, seek prohibition and mandamus in
apprehension on the disregarded proposal of matching the bid as well as the hastened
sale of the 51% of MHC with Renong Berhad.

1. Whether or not Section 10, Paragraph 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution is a
self-executing provision and does not need implementing legislation to carry it
into effect
2. Assuming Section 10, Paragraph 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution is elf
executing, whether or not the 51% shares of MHC form part of national patrimony
3. Whether or not GSIS is included in the term State and therefore, obligated to
implement Section 10, Paragraph 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution
4. Assuming GSIS is part of the State, whether or not it should give preference to
the petitioner, a Filipino corporation over Renong Berhad, a foreign corporation,
in the sale of the shares of MHC

1. Yes, Section 10, Paragraph 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution is a self-
executing provision and does not need implementing legislation to carry it
into effect

Sec. 10, Par. 2, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is presented is such a way that it
appear to be non-self-executing but simply on the purposes of style. In this light,
it is important to note that the legislature is not prevented from enacting further
laws as long as the statute is in accordance with constitutional provisions.

Sec. 10, Par. 2, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution is a mandatory, positive
command which is complete in itself and which needs no further guidelines or
implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From its very words the provision
does not require any legislation to put it in operation. It is per se judicially
enforceable. When our Constitution mandates that [i]n the grant of rights,
privileges, and concessions covering national economy and patrimony, the State
shall give preference to qualified Filipinos, it means just that - qualified Filipinos
shall be preferred. And when our Constitution declares that a right exists in
certain specified circumstances an action may be maintained to enforce such
right notwithstanding the absence of any legislation on the subject; consequently,
if there is no statute especially enacted to enforce such constitutional right, such
right enforces itself by its own inherent potency and puissance, and from which
all legislations must take their bearings.

2. Yes, the 51% shares of the MHC form part of national patrimony of the

In its plain and ordinary meaning, the term patrimony pertains to heritage. When
the Constitution speaks of national patrimony, it refers not only to the natural
resources of the Philippines, as the Constitution could have very well used the
term natural resources, but also to the cultural heritage of the Filipinos.

Manila Hotel has been a witness to the triumphs and failures, loves and
frustrations of the Filipinos and has been historically associated with the nations
struggle for sovereignty, independence and nationhood. Also, 51% of the shares
comprises of the majority and controlling stock and hence would acquire control
and management of the hotel. In this sense, shares of the MHC cannot be
isolated from the hotel itself and the land on which its built.

As a result, respondents claim on the applicability of the Filipino First Policy

provision is dismissed since what is being sold is only 51% of the outstanding
shares of the corporation, not the Hotel building nor the land upon which the
building stands.
3. Yes, GSIS is included in the term State and therefore, obligated to
implement Section 10, Paragraph 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution

It is undisputed that the sale of the assets of respondents GSIS and MHC a state
action. In constitutional jurisprudence, the acts of persons distinct from the
government are considered state action. In constitutional jurisprudence, the acts
of persons distinct from the government are considered state action covered by
the Constitution (1) when the activity it engages in is a public function; (2) when
the government is so significantly involved with the private actor as to make the
government responsible for his action; and, (3) when the government has
approved or authorized the action. It is evident that the act of respondent GSIS
in selling 51% of its share in respondent MHC comes under the second and third
categories of state action. Without doubt therefore the transaction, although
entered into by respondent GSIS, is in fact a transaction of the State and
therefore subject to the constitutional command.

Furthermore, when the Constitution directs the State it refers to the people and
the government as its elements and in turn, the government, comprised of the
three powers namely executive, legislative and judicial. In the case at bar, the
Constitution orders the Executive Department and the respondent GSIS which
draws power from the State.

4. Yes, GSIS should give preference to the petitioner in the sale of the shares
of MHC

Since the Filipino First Policy provision of the Constitution bestows preference
on qualified Filipinos the mere tending of the highest bid is not an assurance
that the highest bidder will be declared the winning bidder. Resultantly,
respondents are not bound to make the award yet, nor are they under obligation
to enter into one with the highest bidder. For in choosing the awardee
respondents are mandated to abide by the dictates of the 1987 Constitution the
provisions of which are presumed to be known to all the bidders and other
interested parties.
3. Francisco vs. House of Representative
(GR NO. 160261, Nov. 10, 2003)


On July 22, 2002, the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution, which directed
the Committee on Justice "to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the manner of
disbursements and expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary
Development Fund (JDF).
On June 2, 2003, former President Joseph E. Estrada filed an impeachment complaint4
(first impeachment complaint) against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. and seven Associate
Justices of this Court for "culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the public trust and
other high crimes." The complaint was endorsed by Representatives Suplico, Zamora and
Dilangalen, and was referred to the House Committee on Justice in accordance with Section
3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution.
The House Committee on Justice ruled that the first impeachment complaint was
"sufficient in form," but voted to dismiss the same for being insufficient in substance.
On October 23, 2003, the second impeachment complait was filed with the Secretary
General of the House against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., founded on the alleged results
of the legislative inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House Resolution. This second
impeachment complaint was accompanied by a "Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment"
signed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House of Representatives.
Thus arose the instant petitions against the House of Representatives, et. al., most of
which petitions contend that the filing of the second impeachment complaint is unconstitutional
as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that "[n]o impeachment
proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one
Whether or not Constitution has excluded impeachment proceedings from the coverage of
judicial review.

No. In cases of conflict, the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can
be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments
and among the integral or constituent units thereof.
The Constitution is a definition of the powers of government. Who is to determine the
nature, scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the
instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. And when the judiciary mediates to allocate
constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments; it does
not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred
obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the
Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that
instrument secures and guarantees to them. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed
"judicial supremacy" which properly is the power of judicial review under the Constitution. More
than that, courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments, not only
because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary
in the determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect the wisdom and justice of the
people as expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments
of the government.
As pointed out by Justice Laurel, this "moderating power" to "determine the proper
allocation of powers" of the different branches of government and "to direct the course of
government along constitutional channels" is inherent in all courts as a necessary consequence
of the judicial power itself, which is "the power of the court to settle actual controversies
involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable."
To determine the merits of the issues raised in the instant petitions, this Court must
necessarily turn to the Constitution itself which employs the well-settled principles of
constitutional construction.
First, verba legis, that is, wherever possible, the words used in the Constitution
must be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed.
We look to the language of the document itself in our search for its meaning. We do not
of course stop there, but that is where we begin. It is to be assumed that the words in which
constitutional provisions are couched express the objective sought to be attained. They are to
be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed in which case the
significance thus attached to them prevails. As the Constitution is not primarily a lawyer's
document, it being essential for the rule of law to obtain that it should ever be present in the
people's consciousness, its language as much as possible should be understood in the sense
they have in common use. What it says according to the text of the provision to be construed
compels acceptance and negates the power of the courts to alter it, based on the postulate that
the framers and the people mean what they say. Thus these are the cases where the need for
construction is reduced to a minimum.
Gonzales vs. COMELEC

a.)On March 16, 1967, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the following resolutions:

R.B.H. (Resolution of Both Houses)

No. 1- Increase the number of the House of Representatives from 120 to 180 members.
No.2- Call a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution.
No.3- Senators and Congressmen are permitted to be members of the Constitutional Convention without
forfeiting their sits.

b.) Republic Act 4913- effective June 17, 1967, is an Act submitting to the Filipino people for approval the
amendments to the Constitution proposed by the Congress in R.B.H 1 and 3, adopted on March 16, 1967

c.) Petitioner Gonzales, as taxpayer, voter and citizen, and allegedly in representation thru class suit of all
citizens of this country, filed this suit for prohibition with preliminary injunction to restrain COMELEC from
implementing Republic Act 4913 assailing said law as unconstitutional.

d.) Petitioner PHILCONSA, as a civic, non-profit and non-partisan corporation, assails the constitutionality
not only of Republic Act 4913 but also of Resolutions of Both Houses Nos. 1 and 3 of March 16, 1967.


WHETHER RA 4913 is unconstitutional.

WHETHER the submission of the amendments to the people of the Philippines violate the spirit of the


NO. RA 4913 is constitutional.

NO. Said Act and R.B.H. 1 and 3 do not violate the spirit of the Constitution.

1. The measures undertaken by RA 4913 to inform the populace about the amendments are sufficient
under the Constitution. The Constitution does not forbid the submission of proposals for amendment to
the people except under certain conditions.

2. People may not be really interested on how the representatives are apportioned among the provinces
of the Philippines as per R.B.H. 1. Those who are interested to know the full details may enlighten
themselves by reading copies of the amendments readily available in the polling places. On the matter of
R.B.H. 3, the provisions of Article XV of the Constitution are satisfied so long as the electorate knows that
it permits Congressmen to retain their seats as legislators, even if they should run for and assume the
functions of delegates to the Convention.

(The majority voted that the RBH and the Act were unconstitutional but they did not reach specific number
of votes to invalidate under their Constitution)
Imbong vs COMELEC G.R. No. L-32432 September 11, 1970
RAUL M. GONZALES vs COMELEC G.R. No. L-32443 September 11, 1970
Ponente: Makasiar
These two separate but related petitions for declaratory relief were filed pursuant
to Sec. 19 of R.A. No. 6132 by petitioners Manuel B. Imbong and Raul M.
Gonzales, both members of the Bar, taxpayers and interested in running as
candidates for delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Both impugn the
constitutionality of R.A. No. 6132, claiming during the oral argument that it
prejudices their rights as such candidates.
On March 16, 1967, Congress, acting as a Constituent Assembly pursuant to Art.
XV of the Constitution, passed Resolution No. 2 which among others called for a
Constitutional Convention to propose constitutional amendments to be
composed of two delegates from each representative district who shall have the
same qualifications as those of Congressmen, to be elected on the second
Tuesday of November, 1970 in accordance with the Revised Election Code. On
June 17, 1969, Congress, also acting as a Constituent Assembly, passed
Resolution No. 4 amending the aforesaid Resolution No. 2 of March 16, 1967 by
providing that the convention shall be composed of 320 delegates apportioned
among the existing representative districts according to the number of their
respective inhabitants: Provided, that a representative district shall be entitled to
at least two delegates, who shall have the same qualifications as those required
of members of the House of Representatives, 1 and that any other details
relating to the specific apportionment of delegates, election of delegates to, and
the holding of, the Constitutional Convention shall be embodied in an
implementing legislation: Provided, that it shall not be inconsistent with the
provisions of this Resolution. 2
On August 24, 1970, Congress, acting as a legislative body, enacted Republic Act
No. 6132, implementing Resolutions Nos. 2 and 4, and expressly repealing R.A.
No. 4914.
Petitioner Raul M. Gonzales assails the validity of the entire law as well as the
particular provisions embodied in Sections 2, 4, 5, and par. 1 of 8(a). Petitioner
Manuel B. Imbong impugns the constitutionality of only par. I of Sec. 8(a) of said
R.A. No. 6132 practically on the same grounds advanced by petitioner Gonzales.
1. Whether the Congress has a right to call for Constitutional Convention;
2. Whether the parameters set by such a call is constitutional.
The Congress has the authority to call for a Constitutional Convention as a
Constituent Assembly. Furthermore, specific provisions assailed by the
petitioners are deemed as constitutional.
Sec 4 RA 6132: it is simply an application of Sec 2 Art 12 of Constitution
-Constitutionality of enactment of RA 6132:
Congress acting as Constituent Assembly, has full authority to propose
amendments, or call for convention for the purpose by votes and these votes
were attained by Resolution 2 and 4
Sec 2 RA 6132: it is a mere implementation of Resolution 4 and is enough that
the basis employed for such apportions is reasonable. Macias case relied by
Gonzales is not reasonable for that case granted more representatives to
provinces with less population and vice versa. In this case, Batanes is equal to
the number of delegates I other provinces with more population.
Sec 5: State has right to create office and parameters to qualify/disqualify
members thereof. Furthermore, this disqualification is only temporary. This is a
safety mechanism to prevent political figures from controlling elections and to
allow them to devote more time to the Constituional Convention.
Par 1 Sec 8: this is to avoid debasement of electoral process and also to assure
candidates equal opportunity since candidates must now depend on their
individual merits, and not the support of political parties. This provision does not
create discrimination towards any particular party/group, it applies to all
Dissenting Opinion:
Justice Fernando I find it difficult to reconcile the decision reached insofar as
the aforesaid ban on political parties and civic, professional and other
organizations is concerned with the explicit provision that the freedom to form
associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged. 2
The right of an individual to join others of a like persuasion to pursue common
objectives and to engage in activities is embraced within if not actually
encouraged by the regime of liberty ordained by the Constitution. This particular
freedom has an indigenous cast, its origin being traceable to the Malolos
Occena vs COMELEC
G.R. no. 56350, April 2, 1981
The petitioners are Samuel C. Occena and Ramon A. Gonzale, both taxpayers, both
members of the Philippine Bar and former delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention. The
petitioners challenging the validity of three Batasang Pambansa Resolutions proposing
constitutional amendments, which goes further than merely assailing their alleged constitutional
infirmity. The rather unborthodox aspect of these petitions is the assertion that the 1973
Constitution is not the fundamental law, the Javallena vs The Executive Secretary ruling to the
contrary nothwitsanding. The three Batasang Pambansa Resolutions were; (1)Proposing an
amendment allowing a natural-born citizen of the Philippines naturalized in a foreign country to
own a limited area of land for residential purposes; (2) Dealing with the Presidency, the Prime
Minister and the Cabinet, and the National Assembly; (3) Amendment to the Article on the
Commissions on Elections.
Suits were filed on March 6 and March 12, 1981. On March 10 and 13, the respondents
were required to answer each within ten days from notice. Cases were set for hearing and were
duly argued on March 26 by petitioners and Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza for
respondents. The cases were deemed submitted for the decision.
1. WON the 1973 Constitution is a fundamental law.
2. WON the Interim Batasang Pambansa has the power to propose amendments.
3. WON the three Batasang Pambansa Resolutions proposion constitutional amendments
are valid and what is the vote necessary to propose amendments as well as the
standard for proper submission?

The petitions were dismissed for lack of merits.
1. Citing the case of Javellana v. The Executive Secretary where they dismissed the
petitions for prohibition and mandamus to declare invalid its ratification with a vote of
six(6) to four(4), the Supreme Court said: This being the vote of majority, there is no
further judicial obstacle to the new constitution being considered in force and effect(in
force and effect on January 17, 1973). With such the pronouncement of the Supreme
Court, and with the recognition of the cardinal postulate that what the Supreme Court
says is not only entitled to respect but must also be obeyed, a factor for instability was
removed. Thereafter, as a matter of law, all doubts are resolved. The 1973 constitution is
a fundamental law.

2. The existence of the power of the Interim Batasang Pambansa is indubitable. The
applicable provision of the 1976 amendment is quite explicit, which reads: The Interim
Batasang Pambansa shall have the same powers and its Members shall have the same
functions, responsibilities, rights, privileges, and disqualifications as the interim National
Assembly and the regular National Assembly and the Members thereof." One of such
powers is precisely that of proposing amendments. The 1973 Constitution in its
Transitory Provisions vested the Interim National Assembly with the power to propose
amendments upon special call by the Prime Minister by a vote of the majority of its
members to be ratified in accordance with the Article on Amendments

3. The Interim Batasang Pambansa, sitting as a constituent body, can propose

amendments. In that capacity, only a majority vote is needed. It would be an indefensible
proposition to assert that the three-fourth votes required when it sits as a legislative body
applies as well when it has been convened as the agency through which amendments
could be proposed. That is not a requirement as far as a constitutional convention is
concerned. It is not a requirement either when, as in this case, the Interim Batasang
Pambansa exercises its constituent power to propose amendments. Moreover, even on
the assumption that the requirement of three- fourth votes applies, such extraordinary
majority was obtained. Resolution 1 was approved by a vote of 122 to 5; Resolution 2
was approved with a vote 147 to 5 with 1 abstention, and; Resolution 3 was approved
with a vote of 148 to 2 with 1 abstention. As to the requisite standard for a proper
submission, the question may be viewed not only from the standpoint of the period that
must elapse before the holding of the plebiscite but also from the standpoint of such
amendments having been called to the attention of the people so that it could not
plausibly be maintained that they were properly informed as to the proposed changes.
As to the period, the Constitution indicates the way the matter should be resolved. There
is no ambiguity to the applicable provision: "Any amendment to, or revision of, this
Constitution shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite
which shall be held not later than three months after the approval of such amendment or
revision." The Interim Batasang Pambansa sitting as a constituent assembly on
February 5 and 27, 1981, approved the three resolutions. Thus any argument to the
contrary is unavailing.
Arturo M. Tolentino and Arturo C. Mojica, petitioners, vs. Commission on Elections, Senator Ralph Recto and
Senator Gregorio Honasan, respondents

- Resolution No. 84 was issued to certify the existence of a vacancy in Senate brought
about by the confirmation of Senator Teofisto Guingona, Jr. as Vice-President to PGMA.
This same Resolution called on COMELEC to fill the vacancy through a special election,
to be held simultaneously with the regular elections on 14 May 2001. The Resolution
further provided that the senatorial candidate gathering the 13th highest number of
votes shall serve only for the unexpired term of former Senator Guingona (around 3
- On 5 June 2001, after COMELEC had canvassed the election results, it issued Resolution
No. 01-005 proclaiming 13 candidates as elected senators.
- On 20 June 2001, petitioners, as voters and taxpayers, filed the instant petition for
prohibition to set aside Resolution No. 01-005.
- The issuance of Resolution No. 01-006 in 21 July 2001, which declared official and
final the ranking of the 13 senators, likewise called the attention of the herein
petitioners. Their amended petition sought to nullify this same Resolution, and
impleaded Recto and Honasan, the 12th and 13th senators, as respondents.

Petitioners sought to enjoin COMELEC from proclaiming with finality the candidate for
Senator receiving the 13th highest number of votes as the winner in the special election.
They contend that COMELEC issued Resolution No. 01-005 without jurisdiction because
they (allegedly) violated the following:
o Sec. 2 of RA 6645 they failed to notify the electorate of the position to be filled
in the special election
o Sec. 73 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 they failed to require senatorial candidates
to indicate in their certificates of candidacy whether they seek election under the
special or regular elections
o Sec. 4, par.4 of RA 6646 they failed to specify in the Voters Information Sheet
the candidates seeking election under the special or regular elections

On preliminary matters:
1. WON the petition is a quo warranto petition over which the Senate Electoral Tribunal is
the sole judge (WON the Court has jurisdiction)
o A quo warranto proceeding is one to determine the right of a public officer in the
exercise of his office and to oust him from its enjoyment if his claim is not well-
o Sec. 17, Art. VI of the Constitution: Senate Electoral Tribunal is the sole judge of
all contests relating to the qualification of its members
- Honasan: This petition, which seeks to nullify his proclamation as senator, is a quo
warranto petition and the Court should dismiss the same for lack of jurisdiction.
- Petitioners: Petition is not quo warranto. What they are questioning is the validity of the
special election given the COMELECs alleged failure to comply with certain
requirements pertaining to its conduct. Their prayer for annulment of Honasans
proclamation is merely incidental to their cause of action.
- The Court can properly exercise jurisdiction over the instant petition.
2. WON the petition is moot
- COMELEC and Honasan: The proclamation and subsequent confirmation of the 13
senators render the instant petition moot and academic.
- SC: However, as an exception to the rule on mootness, courts will decide a question
otherwise moot if it is capable of repetition yet evading review (Acop v. Guingona, 2002;
Viola v. Hon. Alunan III, 1997)
o The mootness of the petition is no bar to its resolution (Alunan III v. Mirasol,
o The question of validity of a special election to fill a vacancy in the Senate in
relation to COMELECs failure to comply with the requirements is likely to arise
in every such election.
3. WON the petitioners have standing to file petition
- Honasan questions the petitioners standing to bring the instant petition as taxpayers
and voters because they do not claim that COMELEC illegally disbursed funds. Neither
do petitioners claim that they sustained personal injury because of the issuance of the
- Petitioners assert a harm classified as a general grievance, shared in substantially
equal measure by a large class of voters, if not all voters, who voted in that election.
- The Court has relaxed the requirement on standing and exercised its discretion to give
due course to voters suits involving the right to suffrage (De Guia v. COMELEC, 1992;
Gonzales v. COMELEC, 1967; Telecom. And Broadcast Attys. Of the Phil., Inc, 1998)
- The 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
same is able to craft an issue of transcendental significance to the people. (IBP v.

On the merits:
4. WON a special election for a single, three-year term senatorial seat was validly held on 14
May 2001
o Sec. 9, Art. VI of the Constitution: a special election may be called to fill any
vacancy in the Senate and the House of Rep in the manner prescribed by law
o To implement this provision, Congress passed RA 6645, section 2 of which
requires COMELEC:
(1) To call a special election by fixing the date of the special election, which shall
not be earlier than 60 days nor later than 90 days after the concurrence of the
vacancy in the Senate, the special election shall be held simultaneously with
the next succeeding regular election; and
(2) To give notice to the voters of, among other things, the offices to be voted for
o Question: Did COMELEC comply with the above requirements?
Petitioners: No, they did not. (Refer to their arguments on jurisdiction)
Survey of COMELEC Resolutions reveals that they contain nothing which
would amount to a compliance of the said requirements. Nowhere did
they state that they would hold a special election. Nor did they give formal
notice that theyd proclaim the 13th highest candidate as the winner of the
special election.
o Question: WON the COMELECs failure to comply with the requirements in Sec.2
of RA 6645 invalidated the conduct of the special senatorial election and
accordingly rendered Honasans proclamation void
SC: No. Election is valid for the following reasons:
1. COMELECs failure to give notice of the time of the special election
did not negate the calling of such election.
The right and duty to hold election emanate from the statute and
not from any call for the election by some authority. (26 A.M. JUR.
2d Elections sec.282, 1996)
Since it is RA 6645 which scheduled the special election to be
held simultaneously with the regular elections and the and the
COMELEC was not empowered to fix the date and time, the giving
of notice is not considered as mandatory.
2. No proof that COMELECs failure to give notice of the office to be
filled and the manner determining the winner in the special election
misled voters.
Absence of proof that COMELECs omission prejudiced voters in
the exercise of their right to suffrage
Lino Luna v. Rodriguez (1918): Innocent voters should not be
deprived of their participation in the affairs of their government
for mere irregularities on the part of the election officers, for
which they are in no way responsible.
** Separate documentation and canvassing not required under Sec. 2 of
RA 6645
Petitioner: The manner by which the COMELEC conducted the
special election is a nullity because COMELEC failed to document
separately the candidates and to canvass separately the votes cast
for election.
SC: No legal basis. No such requirements exist in our election
o Resolution No. 84 made no mention of the manner by
which the seat would be filled. The 13th highest manner
here was suggested by Senator Raul Roco, to which the
senators agreed and therefore amended the resolution.
Better for the candidates; less expensive
1951 and 1955 special elections: separate

- COMELECs failure to so call and give notice did not invalidate the special senatorial
elections held on 14 May 2001.
- Petition DISMISSED for lack of merit.
G.R. NO. L-44640. OCTOBER 12, 1976

Pablito Sanidad, a newspaper columnist of Overview, a weekly newspaper circulating
in Baguio and the Cordilleras, assailed the Constitutionality of Sec 19 of the Comelec
Resolution 2167 which provides that during the plebiscite campaign period, on the day before
and on plebiscite day, no mass media columnist, commentator, announcer or personality shall
use his column or radio or television time to campaign for or against the plebiscite issue.
Petitioner contends that it violates the freedom of expression and of the press. Hence,
constitutes as a prior restraint in his constitutional right. Solicitor General contends that it does
not violate the Constitution for it is a valid implementation of the power of Comelec to supervise
and regulate media during election or plebiscite period and can express his news through the
Comelec space & airtime.

ISSUE: Whether or not Comelec is granted the power to regulate mass media during election or
plebiscite period under Article 9C of the 19987 Constitution.

It is given that what was granted to Comelec was the power to supervise and regulate
the use and enjoyment of franchises, permits, or other grants issued for the operation of
transportation or other public utilities, media communication or information to the end that equal
opportunity, time and space, and the right to reply, including reasonable, equal rates therefore,
for public information campaign and forums among candidates are ensured. The evil sought to
be prevented is the possibility that a franchise holder may favor or give any undue advantage to
a candidate.
Neither the Constitution nor RA 6646 can be construed to mean that the Comelec has
also been granted the right to supervise and regulate the exercise by media practitioners
themselves of their right to expression during plebiscite periods. Media practitioners exercising
their freedom of expression during plebiscite periods are neither the franchise holders nor the
candidates. In fact, there are no candidates involved in a plebiscite. Comelec Resolution No
2167 has no statutory basis.
GR No. 183591, October 14, 2008

When President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed office, the military offensive against
the MILF was suspended and the government sought a resumption of the peace talks. The
MILF, according to a leading MILF member, initially responded with deep reservation, but when
President Arroyo asked the Government of Malaysia through Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohammad to help convince the MILF to return to the negotiating table, the MILF convened its
Central Committee to seriously discuss the matter and, eventually, decided to meet with the
The parties met in Kuala Lumpur on March 24, 2001, with the talks being facilitated by
the Malaysian government, the parties signing on the same date the Agreement on the General
Framework for the Resumption of Peace Talks between the GRP and the MILF. The MILF
thereafter suspended all its military actions.
Formal peace talks between the parties were held in Tripoli, Libya from June 20-22,
2001, the outcome of which was the GRP-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace (Tripoli Agreement
2001) containing the basic principles and agenda on the following aspects of the negotiation:
Security Aspect, Rehabilitation Aspect, and Ancestral Domain Aspect. With regard to the
Ancestral Domain Aspect, the parties in Tripoli Agreement 2001 simply agreed that the same
be discussed further by the Parties in their next meeting.
A second round of peace talks was held in Cyberjaya, Malaysia on August 5-7, 2001
which ended with the signing of the Implementing Guidelines on the Security Aspect of the
Tripoli Agreement 2001 leading to a ceasefire status between the parties. This was followed by
the Implementing Guidelines on the Humanitarian Rehabilitation and Development Aspects of
the Tripoli Agreement 2001, which was signed on May 7, 2002 at Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Nonetheless, there were many incidence of violence between government forces and the MILF
from 2002 to 2003. Meanwhile, then MILF Chairman Salamat Hashim passed away on July 13,
2003 and he was replaced by Al Haj Murad, who was then the chief peace negotiator of the
MILF. Murads position as chief peace negotiator was taken over by Mohagher Iqbal.
In 2005, several exploratory talks were held between the parties in Kuala Lumpur,
eventually leading to the crafting of the draft MOA-AD in its final form, which, as mentioned, was
set to be signed last August 5, 2008. Before the Court is what is perhaps the most contentious
consensus ever embodied in an instrument the MOA-AD which is assailed principally by the
present petitions bearing docket numbers 183591, 183752, 183893, 183951 and 183962.
Commonly impleaded as respondents are the GRP Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain and the
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (PAPP) Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. On July 23, 2008,
the Province of North Cotabato[and Vice-Governor Emmanuel Piol filed a petition, docketed as
G.R. No. 183591, for Mandamus and Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of Writ of
Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order. Invoking the right to information on
matters of public concern, petitioners seek to compel respondents to disclose and furnish them
the complete and official copies of the MOA-AD including its attachments, and to prohibit the
slated signing of the MOA-AD, pending the disclosure of the contents of the MOA-AD and the
holding of a public consultation thereon. Supplementarily, petitioners pray that the MOA-AD be
declared unconstitutional. This initial petition was followed by several other petitions by other
parties. The Court ordered the consolidation of the petitions.

Whether there is a violation of the peoples right to information on matters
of public concern (1987 Constitution, Article III, Sec. 7) under a state
policy of full disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest (1987
Constitution, Article II, Sec. 28) including public consultation under
Republic Act No. 7160 (LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991?

YES. The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be
recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts,
transactions, or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy
development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by
As early as 1948, in Subido v. Ozaeta, the Court has recognized the statutory right to
examine and inspect public records, a right which was eventually accorded constitutional status.
The right of access to public documents, as enshrined in both the 1973 Constitution and
the 1987 Constitution, has been recognized as a self-executory constitutional right.
In the 1976 case of Baldoza v. Hon. Judge Dimaano,the Court ruled that access to
public records is predicated on the right of the people to acquire information on matters of public
concern since, undoubtedly, in a democracy, the public has a legitimate interest in matters of
social and political significance. The incorporation of this right in the Constitution is a recognition
of the fundamental role of free exchange of information in a democracy. There can be no
realistic perception by the public of the nations problems, nor a meaningful democratic
decision-making if they are denied access to information of general interest. Information is
needed to enable the members of society to cope with the exigencies of the times. As has been
aptly observed: Maintaining the flow of such information depends on protection for both its
acquisition and its dissemination since, if either process is interrupted, the flow inevitably
In the same way that free discussion enables members of society to cope with the
exigencies of their time, access to information of general interest aids the people in democratic
decision-making by giving them a better perspective of the vital issues confronting the nation, so
that they may be able to criticize and participate in the affairs of the government in a
responsible, reasonable and effective manner. It is by ensuring an unfettered and uninhibited
exchange of ideas among a well-informed public that a government remains responsive to the
changes desired by the people.

The MOA-AD is a matter of public concern

That the subject of the information sought in the present cases is a matter of public
concern faces no serious challenge. In fact, respondents admit that the MOA-AD is indeed of
public concern. In previous cases, the Court found that the regularity of real estate transactions
entered in the Register of Deeds, the need for adequate notice to the public of the various laws,
the civil service eligibility of a public employee, the proper management of GSIS funds allegedly
used to grant loans to public officials, the recovery of the Marcoses alleged ill-gotten wealth,
[120] and the identity of party-list nominees, among others, are matters of public concern.
Undoubtedly, the MOA-AD subject of the present cases is of public concern, involving as it does
the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State, which directly affects the lives of the public
at large.
Matters of public concern covered by the right to information include steps and
negotiations leading to the consummation of the contract. In not distinguishing as to the
executory nature or commercial character of agreements, the Court has categorically ruled that
the right to information contemplates inclusion of negotiations leading to the consummation of
the transaction. Certainly, a consummated contract is not a requirement for the exercise of the
right to information. Otherwise, the people can never exercise the right if no contract is
consummated, and if one is consummated, it may be too late for the public to expose its
Requiring a consummated contract will keep the public in the dark until the contract,
which may be grossly disadvantageous to the government or even illegal, becomes fait
accompli. This negates the State policy of full transparency on matters of public concern, a
situation which the framers of the Constitution could not have intended. Such a requirement will
prevent the citizenry from participating in the public discussion of any proposed contract,
effectively truncating a basic right enshrined in the Bill of Rights. We can allow neither an
emasculation of a constitutional right, nor a retreat by the State of its avowed policy of full
disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest. Intended as a splendid symmetry to
the right to information under the Bill of Rights is the policy of public disclosure under Section
28, Article II of the Constitution. The policy of full public disclosure enunciated in above-quoted
Section 28 complements the right of access to information on matters of public concern found in
the Bill of Rights. The right to information guarantees the right of the people to demand
information, while Section 28 recognizes the duty of officialdom to give information even if
nobody demands.
The policy of public disclosure establishes a concrete ethical principle for the conduct of
public affairs in a genuinely open democracy, with the peoples right to know as the centerpiece.
It is a mandate of the State to be accountable by following such policy. These provisions are
vital to the exercise of the freedom of expression and essential to hold public officials at all times
accountable to the people.
Whether Section 28 is self-executory, the records of the deliberations of the
Constitutional Commission so disclose.
Santiago vs COMELEC G.R. No. 127325 March 19, 1997
Ponente: Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.
On 6 December 1996, Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with COMELEC a Petition to
Amend the Constitution to Lift Term Limits of elective Officials by Peoples
Initiative The COMELEC then, upon its approval
1. set the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country,
2. caused the necessary publication of the said petition in papers of general
circulation, and
3. instructed local election registrars to assist petitioners and volunteers in
establishing signing stations.
On 18 Dec 1996, Miriam Santiago et al filed a special civil action for prohibition
against the Delfin Petition. Also, Raul Roco filed with the COMELEC a motion to
dismiss the Delfin petition, the petition having been untenable due to the
foregoing. Santiago argues among others that the Peoples Initiative is limited to
amendments to the Constitution NOT a revision thereof. The extension or the
lifting of the term limits of those in power (particularly the President) constitutes
revision and is therefore beyond the power of peoples initiative. The respondents
argued that the petition filed by Roco is pending under the COMELEC hence the
Supreme Court cannot take cognizance of it.
1. Whether or not the COMELEC has the power to call for Peoples Initiative to
amend the constitution specifically to lift term limits of elected officials.
2. Whether or not the Supreme Court can take cognizance of the case
The COMELEC cannot validly promulgate rules and regulations to implement the
exercise of the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the
Constitution through the system of initiative.
Under R.A. No. 6735. Reliance on the COMELECs power under Section 2(1) of
Article IX-C of the Constitution is misplaced, for the laws and regulations referred
to therein are those promulgated by the COMELEC under (a) Section 3 of Article
IX-C of the Constitution, or (b) a law where subordinate legislation is authorized
and which satisfies the completeness and the sufficient standard tests.

Dissenting Opinion:
Justice Puno does not share the view that R.A. No. 5735 and COMELEC
Resolution No. 2300 are legally defective and cannot implement the peoples
initiative to amend the Constitution. I likewise submit that the petition with
respect to the Pedrosas has no leg to stand on and should be dismissed.
Significantly, the majority decision concedes that . . . R.A. No. 6735 was
intended to cover initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. It ought
to be so for this intent is crystal clear from the history of the law which was a
consolidation of House Bill No. 21505 3 and Senate Bill No. 17. 4 Senate Bill No.
17 was entitled An Act Providing for a System of Initiative and Referendum and
the Exception Therefrom, Whereby People in Local Government Units Can
Directly Propose and Enact Resolutions and Ordinances or Approve or Reject
any Ordinance or Resolution Passed by the Local Legislative Body. Beyond
doubt, Senate Bill No. 17 did not include peoples initiative to propose
amendments to the Constitution. In checkered contrast, House Bill No. 21505 5
expressly included peoples initiative to amend the Constitution.
Santiago vs COMELEC G.R. No. 127325 March 19, 1997
Ponente: Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.
On 6 December 1996, Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with COMELEC a Petition to
Amend the Constitution to Lift Term Limits of elective Officials by Peoples
Initiative The COMELEC then, upon its approval
4. set the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country,
5. caused the necessary publication of the said petition in papers of general
circulation, and
6. instructed local election registrars to assist petitioners and volunteers in
establishing signing stations.
On 18 Dec 1996, Miriam Santiago et al filed a special civil action for prohibition
against the Delfin Petition. Also, Raul Roco filed with the COMELEC a motion to
dismiss the Delfin petition, the petition having been untenable due to the
foregoing. Santiago argues among others that the Peoples Initiative is limited to
amendments to the Constitution NOT a revision thereof. The extension or the
lifting of the term limits of those in power (particularly the President) constitutes
revision and is therefore beyond the power of peoples initiative. The respondents
argued that the petition filed by Roco is pending under the COMELEC hence the
Supreme Court cannot take cognizance of it.
3. Whether or not the COMELEC has the power to call for Peoples Initiative to
amend the constitution specifically to lift term limits of elected officials.
4. Whether or not the Supreme Court can take cognizance of the case
The COMELEC cannot validly promulgate rules and regulations to implement the
exercise of the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the
Constitution through the system of initiative.
Under R.A. No. 6735. Reliance on the COMELECs power under Section 2(1) of
Article IX-C of the Constitution is misplaced, for the laws and regulations referred
to therein are those promulgated by the COMELEC under (a) Section 3 of Article
IX-C of the Constitution, or (b) a law where subordinate legislation is authorized
and which satisfies the completeness and the sufficient standard tests.

Dissenting Opinion:
Justice Puno does not share the view that R.A. No. 5735 and COMELEC
Resolution No. 2300 are legally defective and cannot implement the peoples
initiative to amend the Constitution. I likewise submit that the petition with
respect to the Pedrosas has no leg to stand on and should be dismissed.
Significantly, the majority decision concedes that . . . R.A. No. 6735 was
intended to cover initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. It ought
to be so for this intent is crystal clear from the history of the law which was a
consolidation of House Bill No. 21505 3 and Senate Bill No. 17. 4 Senate Bill No.
17 was entitled An Act Providing for a System of Initiative and Referendum and
the Exception Therefrom, Whereby People in Local Government Units Can
Directly Propose and Enact Resolutions and Ordinances or Approve or Reject
any Ordinance or Resolution Passed by the Local Legislative Body. Beyond
doubt, Senate Bill No. 17 did not include peoples initiative to propose
amendments to the Constitution. In checkered contrast, House Bill No. 21505 5
expressly included peoples initiative to amend the Constitution.
Digest Author: Randall
Petition: Petition for the issuance of writs of certiorari and mandamus against the COMELEC
Petitioner: Raul L. Lambino and Enrico B. Aumentado together with 6,327,952 voters
Respondent: Commission on Elections
Ponente: Justice Carpio
Date: October 25, 2006
August 25, 2006: The Lambino Group filed a petition with the COMELEC to hold plebiscite that will
ratify their initiative petition under Section 5(b) and (c) and Section 7 of RA 6735.

The Lambino Group claims that their petition has the support of 6,327,952 individuals satisfying the
requirement that the signatories of the petition constitute 12% of all registered voters with each
legislative district represented by at least 3% of its registered voters.

The Lambino Groups initiative petition modifies Sections 1-7 of Article VI and Sections 1-4 of Article VII
of the Constitution and adds Article XVIII entitled Transitory Provisions to it shifting the countrys form
of government from Bicameral-Presidential to Unicameral-Parliamentary.

August 30, 2006: The Lambino Group filed an amended petition with the COMELEC.

August 31, 2006: COMELEC issued its resolution denying due course to the Lambino Groupss petition
invoking Santiago v. Commission on Elections, which found RA 6735 as inadequate, in stating that there
is no enabling law governing initiative petitions such as that of the Lambino Group to amend the

The Lambino Group is petitioning for the issuance of writs of certiorari and mandamus to set aside the
COMELEC Resolution of August 31, 2006 and to compel the COMELEC to give due course to their
initiative petition.

The petitioners and supporting intervenors hold the view that COMELEC committed grave abuse of
discretion in relying on Santiago.

Opposing intervenors maintain that Santiago is a binding precedent and they also challenge:
o The Lambino Groups standing to file the petition

o The validity of the signature gathering and verification process

o The Lambino Groups compliance with Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution

o The nature of the proposed changes as revisions and not mere amendments
Digest Author: Randall
o The Lambino Groups compliance with RA 6735 limiting initiative petitions to only one subject.

Petrinent laws/provisions
Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution
o Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative
upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every
legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein. No
amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this
Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter.

The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.
Section 5 (b) and (c) of RA 6735

Sec. 5. Requirements. (a) To exercise the power of initiative or referendum, at least ten per centum
(10%) of the total number of the registered voters, of which every legislative district is represented by at
least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters thereof, shall sign a petition for the purpose and
register the same with the Commission.
(b) A petition for an initiative on the 1987 Constitution must have at least twelve per centum (12%) of
the total number of registered voters as signatories, of which every legislative district must be
represented by at least three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein. Initiative on the
Constitution may be exercised only after five (5) years from the ratification of the 1987 Constitution and
only once every five (5) years thereafter. chan robles virtual law library
(c) The petition shall state the following:
c.1. contents or text of the proposed law sought to be enacted, approved or rejected, amended or
repealed, as the case may be;
c.2. the proposition;
c.3. the reason or reasons therefor;
c.4. that it is not one of the exceptions provided herein; chan robles virtual law library
c.5. signatures of the petitioners or registered voters; and
c.6. an abstract or summary in not more than one hundred (100) words which shall be legibly written or
printed at the top of every page of the petition.
Section 7 of RA 6735
Digest Author: Randall
Sec. 7. Verification of Signatures. The Election Registrar shall verify the signatures on the basis of the
registry list of voters, voters' affidavits and voters identification cards used in the immediately preceding
1. WoN the Lambino Group's initiative petition complied with Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution.

2. WoN the Court should revisit its ruling on Santiago v. COMELEC which declared RA 6735 "incomplete,
inadequate, or wanting in essential terms and conditions" to implement the initiative clause proposals
to amend the Constitution.

3. WoN the COMELEC commited grave abuse of discretion in denying due course to the Lambino Group's

1. No, the Lambino Group did not comply with the requirements of Section 2, Article XVII for conducting
a people's initiative to amend the Constitution.

2. No, there is no need to revisit Santiago as the petition already warrants dismissal based on its failure
to comply with the requirements of the Constitution for peoples initiative.

3. No, the COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in denying due course to the Lambino

1. The Lambino Group failed to comply with Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution for the
following reasons:

The Lambino Groups Initiative does comply with the requirement that the amendment be directly
proposed by the people upon a petition because the Lambino group failed to present the full text of
the proposed changes to the Constitution to the signatories and thus it cannot be assumed that the
signatories had knowledge of the full nature and effect of the changes they were supporting. Given
that the Initiative first gathered signatures without showing the full text of the proposed
amendments, it can be seen as a gigantic fraud on the people.

While Section 2, Article XVII does not explicitly state that the full text of proposed amendments to
the constitution should be presented to the people before they sign the petition, as shown on the
record of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, it was the intent of the framers that an
amendment is directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition only if the
Digest Author: Randall
people sign on a petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments.

Numerous courts have already established that a signature requirement would be meaningless if the
signatories have not first been informed of the full extent of the proposal he/she is signing, and that the
attachment of the full text proposal would provide the assumption that people would be informed in
their decision whether to sign or not.
The signature sheet submitted by the Lambino Group to the Court does not contain the full text of
the proposed changes to the Constitution; instead, the signature sheet merely asks whether the people
approve a shift from a Bicameral-Presidential to a Unicameral-Parliamentary system of government.

The petitioners alleged that they circulated the draft of their 30 August 2006 amended petition
during the signature gathering from February to August 2006, having the Court believe that they
prepared their amended petition almost seven months earlier in February 2006 and even before they
filed their 25 August 2006 petition. While Aumentado gives as evidence ULAP Resolution No. 2006-02, as
proof that the amended petition was circulated six months before the petitions were filed, ULAP
Resolution No. 2006-02 does not authorize petitioner Aumentado to prepare the petitions, rather, it
only states that ULAP supports the proposals of the Consultative Commission on Charter Change
which are vastly different from the proposals of the Lambino Group, thus the ULAP Resolution does not
establish that the Lambino Group circulated the draft of the petition.

There is inconsistency in the story of the Lambino Group as it was first stated that they circulated
both the 25 August 2006 petion and the 30 August 2006 amended petion; however, Atty. Lambino later
changed the story stating that only the amended petition was circulated.

Even with the assumption that the amended petition was indeed circulated while the signatures
were being gathered it could still be concluded that there would not be enough copies of the petition for
all the signatories to see. As per Atty. Lambinos own admission only 100,000 copies could be confirmed
to have been printed as these were printed by Lambino himself. Assuming that each signature sheet,
which had space for 10 signatures, was attached with a copy of the petition, there would be enough
copies for only 1 million people, far from the 6,327,952 signatures gathered by the Lambino Group.

Having proved that majority of the signatories were not able to see the full text of the of the
proposed changes proposed signing, they could not have known the full nature and effect of the
proposed changes which include three controversial amendments:

The lifting of term limits on the members of the legislature.

Digest Author: Randall
The interim Parliament will continue to function indefinitely until it decides to call for parliamentary
elections thus enabling its members to determine when they will end their term.

Within 45 days after the proposed changes, the interim Parliament will convene to propose further
amendments to the constitution.
This provision is determined by the Court to be totally unrelated to the stated objective of the
initiative and is considered logrolling.
Logrolling = incorporation of an unrelated subject matter in the same petition thus creating two
propositions within one petition thus putting the people in a dilemma where since they can only say yes
or no to the whole petition they cannot agree to one proposition without also agreeing to the other.
Logrolling confuses and even deceives the people.
While Atty. Lambino states that this provision is surlusage and should thus be ignored, the Court
does not agree since this provision could effectively invalidate the whole exercise of the peoples
initiative as through this provision the interim Parliament could, in theory, propose amendments not
agreed upon by the signatories of the initial petition.

The Initiative violates the limitation stated in Section 2, Article XVII that the changes to the
constitution allowed through peoples initiative are limited to amendments and do not include
revisions since the changes the Lambino Group proposes are not merely amendments but constitute
revisions to the Constitution.

Based on the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, the framers intentionally made a
distinction between amendments and revisions. It was the intent, as is written, that only Congress or a
constitutional convention can propose revisions while a peoples initiative is limited only to the proposal
of amendments.

A revision implies a change that alters a basic principle in the constitution while amendment refers
to a change that adds, reduces, or deletes, without altering the basic principle of the constitution.
A change in a single word could already be considered a revision as long as it overhauls the structure
of government and the ideological basis of the Constitution.

California courts have developed a two-part test consisting of a quantitative and qualitative test to
determine whether proposed changes to the constitution constitute an amendment or a revision.

Quantitative test examines the number of provisions, not the degree of change, in order to test
how extensive the proposed changes are.
Digest Author: Randall
Based on the quantitative test, the proposal of the Lambino Group is a revision since it overhauls 2
articles (Article VI and VII) affecting a total of 105 provisions of the Constitution.

The Court cites the decision of the Supreme Court of Florida in Adams v. Gunter wherein a petition to
shift the legislature of Florida from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature was struck down. In the said
petition only 18 sections of the Florida Constitution would be affected by the change from a bicameral
to a unicameral legislature, which constituted a radical change in the pattern of government, how
much more the Lambino Groups petition which would affect 105 provisions.

Qualitative test based on qualitative effects, asks whether the proposed changes create far
reaching changes in the nature of the basic governmental plan thus amounting to a revision.

The prosed changes by the Lambino Group significantly alter the basic plan of government as it
would effectively alter the separation of powers through the abolition of the Office of the President and
merging of the legislative and executive, and alter the system of checks and balances within the
legislature through the abolition of one chamber of Congress.

Under both quantitative and qualitative tests, the Lambino Groups proposed changes constitute a
revision and not simply an amendment as it radically alters the framework of government set forth in
the Constitution.

The Lambino Group argued that the difference between a revision and an amendment is based on
procedure and not on substance. They state that changes to the constitution are called revisions when
the changes are made by members of a deliberative body that work full time on the changes. While such
changes would be called amendments when they are proposed by ordinary people.
By stating this argument, the Court states that the Lambino Group trivializes the matter. The
Lambino Group cannot argue that changes involving radical structural change in government do not
constitute a revision; doing so would be to go against the intent of the framers and what is stated in the

The Court states that since the proposed changes constitute a revision and would require far-
reaching amendments in not just the specified articles and provisions but also in several others, a
deliberative body with recorded proceedings would be the best vehicle to undertake them, as was
intended by the framers and is stated in the constitution, and not a peoples initiative.
Digest Author: Randall
2. There is no need to revisit the Courts ruling in Santiago since an affirmation or reversal of the said
ruling would not change the outcome of this petition.

Even if it is assumed RA 6735 is valid, contrary to the ruling in Santiago, the outcome of the Lambino
Groups petition would not change since before referring to RA 6735 a petition must first comply with
Section 2, Article XVII, and as was previously established, it does not.

The Lambino Groups also does not comply with RA 6735

It violates Section 5(b) of RA 6735 requiring that the signatories, consistitng of 12% of the total
number of registered voters, sign the petition since it has already been established that the 6 million
signatories only signed a signature sheet and not the petition itself.

It also violates Section 10(a) of RA 6735, which states that no more than 1 subject can be embraced
by a petition, through its provision which mandates the interim Parliament to propose further
amendments which as determined earlier is unrelated to the subject of a shift from presidential to
parliamentary form of government.

3. The COMELEC did not commit a grave of abuse of discretion in dismissing the Lambino Groups
Initiative petition since the COMELEC merely followed the Courts ruling in Santiago.

Concurring: Panganiban
o Considers RA 6735 to be adequate and more than sufficient authority for the people to propose
through initiative amendments to the Constitution.
o Considers the signatures contained in the Lambino Petition to be unverified.
o Reiterated that only amendments and not revisions may be proposed through initiative and that the
Lambino Groups petition contains revisions and not amendments.
o It was not proven by the Lambino Group that 12 percent of all registered voters and 3 percent in
every legislative district signed the petition.
o States that a remand, as is suggested by Justice Puno, is a cop-out and hand washing similar to that
done by Pontius Pilate.

Dissenting: Puno
o Petitioners Lambino and Aumentado are the proper parties to file the petitions for certiorari and
mandamus in behalf of the signatories of their initiative petition.
o The doctrine of stare decisis does not bar the examination of Santiago on the following grounds:
Digest Author: Randall
In the Santiago ruling, the court ruled RA 6735 as insufficient but if did not strike it down as
unconstitutional, by doing so the Court usurped the exclusive right of legislators to determine how far
laws implementing constitutional mandates should be crafted, defying the principle that courts cannot
dictate on Congress the style on writing laws and in doing so rendered an intolerable ruling.
The ruling in Santiago involves the sovereignty of the people.
The ruling should not impede the will of the 6.3 million signatories.
o RA 6735 is sufficient to implement the peoples initiative.
The intent of the legislators in enacting RA 6735 was the implementation of the right of the people
to propose amendments to the Constitution through direct action.
The court has the duty to give effect to the intent.
Only implementing details were omitted from RA 6735 and not fundamental principles. The
implementing details of a law can be delegated to the COMELEC.
o The proposed changes are amendments and can be undertaken through peoples initiative.
Using the same quantitative test it could be argued that since only 2 out of the 18 articles of the
1987 constitution will be changed and thus the big bulk of the 1987 Constitution would remain
Based on the work of Garner, who says that a good constitution is composed of the constitution of
liberty, constitution of government, and constitution of sovereignty, the proposed changes only affect
the constitution of government and even then the changes do not change the fundamental nature of
our state as a democratic and republican state.
According to Dean Vicente G. Sincon: revision refers to a consideration of the entire constitution
while amendment refers only to particular provisions to be added to or altered in a constitution. This
traditional distinction guided our people when they effected changes in the 1935 and 1975
o The issues in this case are not political questions since the requirements for peoples initiative
questioned in this case are provided for in the constitution and thus it falls under the power of the
Supreme Court for judicial review.
o The contentious issues involved in whether the petition complies with Section 2, Article XVII of the
Constitution and RA 6735 should first be resolved by COMELEC.
o COMELEC gravely abused its discretion since Santiago did not establish firm doctrine that RA 6735 is
not sufficient to implement peoples initiative.
A divided court, with 6 justices ruling 6735 as insufficient and the other 6 justice on the contrary,
does not establish a doctrine that could serve as precedent.
o The court should let the voice of the people be heard.
The petition for peoples initiative is but the first step towards the amendment of the constitution.
The petition, if approved, does not constitute already the amendment of the constitution. It will still
require debate and deliberation of
Digest Author: Randall
the people, as well as ratification by majority of the people. Every step of the way it is the people who
should decide, the court should not prohibit them from doing so.
CASE TITLE: The Collector of Internal Revenue vs Antonio Campos Rueda
GR NO: L 132052 (October 29, 1971)

FACTS: Antonio Campos Rueda is the administrator of the estate of the deceased, Doa Maria
de la Estrella Soriano Vda. de Cerdeira (Maria Cerdeira for short). Maria Cerdeira is a Spanish
national, by reason of her marriage to a Spanish citizen and was a resident of Tangier, Morocco
from 1931 up to her death on January 2, 1955.

At the time of her death she left, among others, intangible personal properties in the Philippines.
On September 29, 1955, Campos Rueda filed a provisional estate and inheritance tax return on
all the properties of the deceased. On the same year, the CIR issued an assessment for estate
and inheritance taxes claiming a total of 369, 383.96 of tax liability. Campos Rueda filed an
amended tax return claiming 396,308.90 worth of intangible personal properties. CIR denied the
exception on January 11, 1956 and demanded payment of the sums of 239,439.49 representing
deficiency estate and inheritance taxes including ad valorem penalties, surcharges, interests
and compromised penalties.

Denial by the CIR is on the ground that the law of Tangier has no reciprocity as to Section 122
of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). Campos Rueda was able to prove, in the Court
of Tax Appeals, that Tangier manifest the element of reciprocity of the said section.

The controlling legal provision as noted is a proviso in Section 122 of the National Internal
Revenue Code. It reads thus:

"That no tax shall be collected under this Title in respect of intangible personal property
(a) if the decedent at the time of his death was a resident of a foreign country which at
the time of his death did not impose a transfer tax or death tax of any character in
respect of intangible person property of the Philippines not residing in that foreign
country, or (b) if the laws of the foreign country of which the decedent was a resident at
the time of his death allow a similar exemption from transfer taxes or death taxes of
every character in respect of intangible personal property owned by citizens of the
Philippines not residing in that foreign country."

However, the CIR still denied any tax exemption in favor of the estate as it claimed that Tangier
is not a state as contemplated by Section 22 of the NIRC does not recognize Tangier as a
foreign country.
ISSUE: Whether or not Tangier, Morocco satisfies the requisites of statehood and satisfies the
definition of foreign country referred in Section 122 of the National Internal Revenue Code

RULING: Yes. For the purposes of the NIRC, Tangier, Morocco is a foreign country.

If a foreign country is to be identified with a state, it is required in line with Pound's formulation
that it be a politically organized sovereign community independent of outside control bound by
penalties of nationhood, legally supreme within its territory, acting through a government
functioning under a regime of law. It is thus a sovereign person with the people composing it
viewed as an organized corporate society under a government with the legal competence to
exact obedience to its commands. The stress is on its being a nation, its people occupying a
definite territory, politically organized, exercising by means of its government its sovereign will
over the individuals within it and maintaining its separate international personality.

Also, the court noted two (2) decided cases as follows:

Collector of Internal Revenue v. De Lara:
"Considering the State of California as a foreign country in relation to section 122 of our
Tax Code we believe and hold, as did the Tax Court, that the Ancilliary Administrator is
entitled the exemption from the inheritance tax on the intangible personal property found
in the Philippines."

What is undeniable is that even prior to the De Lara ruling, the Supreme Court did commit itself
to the doctrine that even a tiny principality, that of Liechtenstein, hardly an international
personality in the sense, did fall under this exempt category.

Kiene v. Collector of Internal Revenue:

"The Board found from the documents submitted to it proof of the laws of
Liechtenstein that said country does not impose estate, inheritance and gift taxes on
intangible property of Filipino citizens not residing in that country. Wherefore, the Board
declared that pursuant to the exemption above established, no estate or inheritance
taxes were collectible, Ludwig Kiene being a resident of Liechtestein when he passed
GR No. 187167
Prof. Merlin Magallona et al vs. Eduardo Ermita et al
Original action for the writs of certiorari and prohibition assails the constitutionality of RA
9522 adjusting the countrys archipelagic baselines and classifying the baseline as
island regime of nearby territories.
That on March 2009, congress amended RA 3046 by enacting RA 9255. The change
prompted by the need of Ra 3046 to be compliant on the terms of UNCLOS. Complying
with the requirements of UNCLOS, RA 9255:
1. Shortened one baseline;
2. Optimized the location of some base points around the Philippines archipelago;
3. Classified Kalayaan Island Group as an island regime.

Petitioners assail the constitutionality on the grounds that:

1. RA 9255 reduces the Philippine territory in violation of article 1 of the Philippine
2. RA 9255, opens the Philippine waters landwards of the vase lines to maritime
passage by all vessels and aircraft, undermining the Philippine sovereignty.

Commenting on the petition, respondents raised the issues:

1. Requirement for judicial review grounded on petitioners alleged lack of locus
2. The propriety of the writs of certiorari and prohibition to assail the constitutionality
of RA 9255. The respondents defended constitutionality of RA 9255 as the
countrys compliance to UNCLOS, preserving the Philippine territory over KIG/
Scarborough Shoal. Respondents add that RA 9255 doesnt undermine the
countrys security, environment and economic interests or relinquish the
Philippines claim to Sabah.

1. Whether petitioners possess locus standi to bring this suit and whether the writs
of certiorari and prohibition are the proper remedies to assail the constitutionality
of RA 9255;
2. On the merits, whether RA 9255 is unconstitutional.

1. Petitioners possess locus standi to bring these suits as citizens. Petitioners
themselves undermine their assertion of locus standi as legislators and taxpayers
because the petition alleges neither legislative prerogative nor misuse of public
funds. Citizens with constitutionality sufficient interest in the resolution of the
merits of the case which undoubtedly raises issues of national significance
necessitating urgent resolution. The peculiar nature of RA 9255, it is difficult to
find other litigants possessing more direct and specific interest to bring the suit,
thus satisfying one of the requirements for granting citizenship standing.

The writs of certiorari and prohibition are proper remedies to test the
constitutionality of statutes.

2. RA 9522 is Not Unconstitutional RA 9522 is a Statutory Tool to Demarcate the

Countrys Maritime Zones and Continental Shelf Under UNCLOS III, not to
Delineate Philippine Territory.

Petitioners submit RA 9255 dismembers a large portion of the national territory

because it discards pre-UNCLOS demarcation of the Philippine territory under
treaty of Paris, among others.

Petitioners theory failed to persuade the court.

UNCLOS has nothing to do with the acquisition or loss of territory. It is a

multilateral treaty regulating sea use over maritime zone.

Base line laws such as RA 9255 enacted by UNCLOS states parties to mark out
specific base line points along their coast.

Petitioners argument for the invalidity of RA 9255 for its failure to textualize the
Philippines claim over Sabah North Borneo is also untenable. Section 2 of RA
5446, which RA 9255 di not repeal, keeps open the door for drawing the base
lines of Sabah.

UNCLOS and RA 9255 is not incompatible with the constitutions delineation of

internal waters.

As petitioners final argument against the validity of RA 9255, petitioners contend

the law unconstitutionally converts internal waters into archipelagic waters
hence subject to the right of innocent passage under UNCLOS including
overflight. Petitioners extrapolate that these passage rights indutably expose
Philippines internal waters to nuclear and maritime pollution hazard in violation
of the constitution.
Whether refered to as Philippine internal waters under article 1 of the Philippine
constitution or archipelagic water under UNCLOS the Philippine exercises
sovereignty over the body of waters underlying landward of the base lines,
including the air space over it.


Bacani vs NACOCO
[G.R. No. L-9657]
29 November 1956

Plaintiffs Leopoldo Bacani and Mateo Matoto are both court stenographers assigned in
Branch VI of the Court of First Instance of Manila. During the pendency of Civil Case
No.2293 of the said court, entitled Francisco Sycip vs. National Coconut Corporation,
Federico Alikpala, the counsel for the defendant, requested said stenographers for copies
of the transcript of the stenographic notes taken by them during the hearing. Plaintiffs
complied with the request and delivered the needed transcript containing 714 pages and
thereafter submitted to Counsel Alikpala their bills for the payment of their fees. The
National Coconut Corporation paid the amount of P564 to Bacani, and P150 to Matoto for
the said transcript at the rate of P1 per page.

Upon inspecting the books of the corporation by the Auditor General, the payment of the
said fees was disallowed and recovery of the amounts paid was sought. On the 19th of
January 1953, the Auditor General required the plaintiffs to reimburse said amounts on the
strength of a circular of the Department of Justice, wherein it was expressed that
NACOCO, being a government entity, was exempt from the payment of the fees in

Bacani et al counter the deduction of the said fees from their salaries and that NACOCO is
not a government entity within the purview of section 16, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court.
The defendants set up as a defense that the NACOCO i9s a government entity within the
purview of section 2 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1917, and therefore, exempting
NACOCO from paying the stenographers fees under Rule 130 of the Rules of Court.

Whether or not the National Coconut Corporation (NACOCO) may be considered as a
government entity.

No. The Supreme Court held that the National Coconut Corporation does not acquire the
status of being part of the Government because they do not come under the
classification of municipal or public corporation. Although the said corporation was
organized with the purpose of promoting the coconut industry, it was given a corporate
power separate and distinct from that of our government, for it was made subject to the
provisions of our Corporation Law in so far as its corporate existence and the powers that
it may exercise are concerned. It may sue and be sued in the same manner as any other
private corporations, and in this sense it is an entity different from our government.

Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration (petitioner) Vs. Court of Industrial Relations

et al, (respondents)
Gr. No. L-32052 July 25, 1975

-On December 20, 1966, claimants, now private respondents, filed with respondent
Court a petition wherein they alleged their employment relationship, the overtime
services in excess of the regular eight hours a day rendered by them, and the failure to
pay them overtime compensation in accordance with Commonwealth Act No. 444. Their
prayer was for the differential between the amount actually paid to them and the amount
allegedly due them. There was an answer filed by petitioner Philippine Virginia Tobacco
Administration denying the allegations and raising the special defenses of lack of a
cause of action and lack of jurisdiction. 7 The issues were thereafter joined, and the
case set for trial, with both parties presenting their evidence. 8 After the parties
submitted the case for decision, the then Presiding Judge Arsenio T. Martinez of
respondent Court issued an order sustaining the claims of private respondents for
overtime services from December 23, 1963 up to the date the decision was rendered on
March 21, 1970, and directing petitioner to pay the same, minus what it had already
paid. 9 There was a motion for reconsideration, but respondent Court en banc denied
the same. 10 Hence this petition for certiorari.

Petitioner Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration, as had been noted, would

predicate its plea for the reversal of the order complained of on the basic proposition
that it is beyond the jurisdiction of respondent Court as it is exercising governmental
functions and that it is exempt from the operation of Commonwealth Act No. 444.

Whether or not petitioner, the Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration, discharges
governmental and not proprietary functions.
Yes, the Petitioner discharges governmental and not proprietory funtions.
The petitioner's plea that it performs governmental and not proprietary functions. As
originally established by Republic Act No. 2265, 12 its purposes and objectives were set
forth thus: "(a) To promote the effective merchandising of Virginia tobacco in the
domestic and foreign markets so that those engaged in the industry will be placed on a
basis of economic security; (b) To establish and maintain balanced production and
consumption of Virginia tobacco and its manufactured products, and such marketing
conditions as will insure and stabilize the price of a level sufficient to cover the cost of
production plus reasonable profit both in the local as well as in the foreign market; (c)
To create, establish, maintain, and operate processing, warehousing and marketing
facilities in suitable centers and supervise the selling and buying of Virginia tobacco so
that the farmers will enjoy reasonable prices that secure a fair return of their
investments; (d) To prescribe rules and regulations governing the grading, classifying,
and inspecting of Virginia tobacco; and (e) To improve the living and economic
conditions of the people engaged in the tobacco industry. The amendatory statute,
Republic Act No. 4155, 14 renders even more evident its nature as a governmental
agency. Its first section on the declaration of policy reads: "It is declared to be the
national policy, with respect to the local Virginia tobacco industry, to encourage the
production of local Virginia tobacco of the qualities needed and in quantities marketable
in both domestic and foreign markets, to establish this industry on an efficient and
economic basis, and, to create a climate conducive to local cigarette manufacture of the
qualities desired by the consuming public, blending imported and native Virginia leaf
tobacco to improve the quality of locally manufactured cigarettes." 15 The objectives are
set forth thus: "To attain this national policy the following objectives are hereby adopted:
1. Financing; 2. Marketing; 3. The disposal of stocks of the Agricultural Credit
Administration (ACA) and the Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration (PVTA) at the
best obtainable prices and conditions in order that a reinvigorated Virginia tobacco
industry may be established on a sound basis; and 4. Improving the quality of locally
manufactured cigarettes through blending of imported and native Virginia leaf tobacco;
such importation with corresponding exportation at a ratio of one kilo of imported to four
kilos of exported Virginia tobacco, purchased by the importer-exporter from the
Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration
WHEREFORE, the appealed Order of March 21, 1970 and the Resolution of
respondent Court en banc of May 8, 1970 denying a motion for reconsideration are
hereby affirmed. The last sentence of the Order of March 21, 1970 reads as follows: "To
find how much each of them [private respondents] is entitled under this judgment, the
Chief of the Examining Division, or any of his authorized representative, is hereby
directed to make a reexamination of records, papers and documents in the possession
of respondent PVTA pertinent and proper under the premises and to submit his report of
his findings to the Court for further disposition thereof." Accordingly, as provided by the
New Labor Code, this case is referred to the National Labor Relations Commission for
further proceedings conformably to law. No costs.

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, represented by the Treasurer of the

Philippine Islands, plaintiff-appellee, vs.
G.R. No. L-9959 December 13, 1916


On June 3, 1863 an earthquake took place in the Philippines (still under Spanish rule
that time) where after, about $400,000 were subscribed and paid into the Philippine Islands
treasury by the inhabitants of the Spanish Dominions as relief for those affected by the
earthquake. On October 6, a Central Relief Board was appointed by authority of the King of
Spain to distribute the money voluntarily contributed; after thorough investigation and
consideration, the relief board allotted $365,703.50 to the various sufferers named in its
resolution, dated September 22, 1866, and, by order of the Governor-General of the Philippine
Islands, a list of these allotments, together with the names of those entitled were published in
the Official Gazette of Manila dated April 7, 1870. The sum of $30,299.65 was later distributed
in accordance with the aforementioned allotment leaving a balance of $365,403.85 for
distribution. On February 1, 1833, Monte de Piedad sent a petition to the Governor-General of
the Philippines to save the establishment as their funds were exhausted in loans in jewelry,
thus, the Philippine Government, directed its treasurer to turn over to Monte de Piedad the sum
of $80,000 of the relief fund in installments of $20,000 each which were received on the
following dates: February 15, March 12, April 14, and June 2, 1883, and are still in the
possession of the Monte de Piedad.
On May 3, 1912, the Philippine government represented by the Treasurer of the
Philippine Islands brought a suit against the Monte de Piedad to recover the $80,000.00
together with interest, for the benefit of those persons or their heirs appearing in the list of
names published in the Official Gazette. After due trial, judgment was entered in favor of the
plaintiff for the sum of $80,000 in gold or its equivalent in Philippine currency, together with legal
interest from February 28, 1912, and the costs of the cause. The defendant appealed and
contended that the present Philippine Government cannot file suit on the ground that the
obligation of the former was wiped due to the change of sovereignty.

ISSUE: WON the government of the Philippine Islands has the capacity to file a suit against
Monte de Piedad to recover the said amount

RULING: YES. The Philippine Government as the sovereign is the parens patrie (the principle
that political authority carries with it the responsibility for protection of citizens) and therefore,
has the right to enforce all charities of public nature, by , virtue of it general superintending
authority over the public interests , where no other person is entrusted with it. This prerogative
of parens patrie is inherent in the supreme power of every State which is often necessary to be
exercised in the interest of humanity, and for the prevention of injury to those who cannot
protect themselves. Here, the Philippine Government is not a mere nominal party because it, in
bringing and prosecuting this action is exercising its sovereign functions or powers and is
seeking to carry out a trust developed upon it when the Philippine Islands were ceded to the
United States. The previous judgment was affirmed with costs against the appellant.

Co Kim Cham v. Valdez (Co Kim Cham v. Eusebio Valdez Tan Keh and Arsenio P.
Dizon, Judge of First Instance of Manila)
G.R. No. L-5 (Sept. 17, 1945)
A petition for mandamus was filed by the petitioner, Co Kim Cham that prays
Respondent Judge of the Lower Court be ordered to continue the proceedings in civil
Case No. 3012, which were initiated under the regime of the so-called Republic of the
Philippines established during the Japanese military occupation of these Islands.
Respondent Judge refused to take cognizance or jurisdiction and continue the
proceedings on the ground that the proclamation of General Douglas MacArthur issued
on October 23, 1944 had the effect of invalidating and nullifying all judicial proceedings
and judgements of the court of the Philippines under the Philippine Executive
Commission and the so-called Republic of the Philippines established during the
Japanese military occupation. The aforementioned proclamation stated: that all laws,
regulations and processes of any of the government in the Philippines than that of the
said Commonwealth are null and void and without legal effect in areas of the Philippines
free of enemy occupation and control. Furthermore, he argued that the lower courts
have no jurisdiction to take cognizance of and continue judicial proceedings pending in
the courts of the Japanese Sponsored Republic of the Philippines in the absence of an
enabling law granting such authority. He also contends that the government established
in the Philippines during the Japanese occupation were no de facto governments.
Whether or not the judicial acts and proceedings of the courts established in the
Philippines under the Philippine Executive Commission and the Republic of the
Philippines were good and valid and remained good and valid even after the liberation
or reoccupation of the Philippines from Japanese Rule
YES, under the general principles of International Law primarily the Principle of
Postliminy which was embodied in the Hague Convention of 1907 the acts and
proceedings of the legislative, executive and judicial departments of a de facto
government are good and valid so long as these acts and proceedings are not of
political complexion. The Philippine Executive Commission and the Japanese
Sponsored Republic of the Philippines qualifies as a De Facto Government of the
Second Kind because its existence is maintained by active military power with the
territories. Furthermore, under the description of the Hague Convention, De Facto
governments shall take steps in his power to reestablish and insure, as far as possible,
public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force
in the country which was done under the Japanese Military Rule.
More so, through the implications of Executive Order No. 37, issued by the Philippine
President on March 10, 1945, all the judgements and proceedings of the courts of
justice during the Japanese regime were not invalidated. The Executive Order has the
force of law by virtue of the emergency legislative power vested in him by the
Constitution and the laws of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.
Lastly, it is a well-established Legal Maxim that a Law once established continues until
changed by the some competent legislative power. It is not change merely by change of
3 Kinds of De Facto Government
1. Government de facto in a proper legal sense
- is that government that gets possession and control of, or usurps, by force or by the
voice of the majority, the rightful legal governments and maintains itself against the
will of the latter.
2. De Facto Governments established and maintained by military forces
-that its existence is maintained by active military power with the territories, and against
the rightful authority of an established and lawful government; and (2), that while it
exists it necessarily be obeyed in civil matters by private citizens who, by acts of
obedience rendered in submission to such force, do not become responsible, or
wrongdoers, for those acts, though not warranted by the laws of the rightful government.
Actual governments of this sort are established over districts differing greatly in extent
and conditions. They are usually administered directly by military authority, but they may
be administered, also, civil authority, supported more or less directly by military force.
3. De Facto Governments established as an independent government by the inhabitants
of a country Example: Confederate States of the US
People v. Gozo (1973)
G.R. No. L-36409

The accused bought a house and lot located inside the United States Naval Reservation within the
territorial jurisdiction of Olongapo City. She demolished the house and built another one in its place,
without a building permit from the City Mayor of Olongapo City, because she was told by one Ernesto
Evalle, an assistant in the City Mayor's office, as well as by her neighbors in the area, that such building
permit was not necessary for the construction of the house. On December 29, 1966, Juan Malones, a
building and lot inspector of the City Engineer's Office, Olongapo City, together with Patrolman Ramon
Macahilas of the Olongapo City police force apprehended four carpenters working on the house of the
accused and they brought the carpenters to the Olongapo City police headquarters for interrogation.
After due investigation, Loreta Gozo was charged with violation of Municipal Ordinance No. 14,
S. of 1964 with the City Fiscal's Office."
The City Court of Olongapo City found her guilty of violating Municipal Ordinance No. 14,
Series of 1964 and sentenced her to an imprisonment of one month as well as to pay the costs.
The Court of Instance of Zambales, on appeal, found her guilty on the above facts of violating
such municipal ordinance but would sentence her merely to pay a fine of P200.00 and to demolish the
house thus erected.
Accuseds Contention (CA): She questions the validity of such an ordinance on constitutional
ground, relying on the decision of the SC in People vs. Fajardo, or at the very least its applicability to
her in view of the location of her dwelling within the naval base.
The Court of Appeals, noting the constitutional question raised, certified the case to the SC.

ISSUE/S: 1. WON local government units have authority to require building permits

2. WON land found within US Naval Bases is beyond the Philippine governments power of

1. YES.

The Accused relies heavily on the case of Fajardo vs. People. In the said case the SC struck down
the application of an ordinance requiring a building permit, for being oppressive. Therein, Fajardo
had repeatedly applied for the permit and was repeatedly denied the issuance of the same, thereby
forcing him to build his him without a permit, because their previous home was destroyed by a
typhoon, and they badly needed a place of residence. Clearly then, the application of such an
ordinance to Fajardo was oppressive.
In this case, on the contrary, appellant never bothered to comply with the ordinance. Perhaps
aware of such a crucial distinction, she would assert in her brief: "The evidence showed that even
if the accused were to secure a permit from the Mayor, the same would not have been granted. To
require the accused to obtain a permit before constructing her house would be an exercise in
futility. It would be from her own version, at the very least then, premature to anticipate such
an adverse result, and thus to condemn an ordinance which certainly lends itself to an
interpretation that is neither oppressive, unfair, or unreasonable. That kind of interpretation
suffices to remove any possible question of its validity.

Appellant cannot therefore take comfort from any broad statement in the Fajardo opinion, which
incidentally is taken out of context, considering the admitted oppressive application of the
challenged measure in that litigation. So much then for the contention that she could not have
been validly convicted for a violation of such ordinance. Nor should it be forgotten that she did
suffer the same fate twice, once from the City Court and thereafter from the Court of First
Instance. The reason is obvious. Such ordinance applies to her.

2. NO. The non-application of ordinances based on the alleged absence of the rather novel concept
of administrative jurisdiction on the part of Olongapo City, cannot be countenanced and is
offensive to the juristic concept of jurisdiction.

In People vs. Acierto the SC held that: "By the Agreement, it should be noted, the Philippine
Government merely consents that the United States exercise jurisdiction in certain cases. The
consent was given purely as a matter of comity, courtesy, or expediency. The Philippine
Government has not abdicated its sovereignty over the bases as part of the Philippine territory or
divested itself completely of jurisdiction over offenses committed therein. Under the terms of the
treaty, the United States Government has prior or preferential but not exclusive jurisdiction of
such offenses. The Philippine Government retains not only jurisdictional rights not granted, but
also all such ceded rights as the United States Military authorities for reasons of their own decline
to make use of.

In Reagan vs. CIR the SC held that:"Nothing is better settled than that the Philippines being
independent and sovereign, its authority may be exercised over its entire domain. There is no
portion thereof that is beyond its power. Within its limits, its decrees are supreme, its commands
paramount. Its laws govern therein, and everyone to whom it applies must submit to its terms.
That is the extent of its jurisdiction, both territorial and personal. Necessarily, likewise, it has to
be exclusive. If it were not thus, there is a diminution of sovereignty."
The SC further espoused the principle of auto-limitation: "It is to be admitted any state may, by
its consent, express or implied, submit to a restriction of its sovereign rights. There may thus be a
curtailment of what otherwise is a power plenary in character. That is the concept of sovereignty
as auto-limitation, which, in the succinct language of Jellinek, "is the property of a state-force due
to which it has the exclusive capacity of legal self-determination and self-restriction." A state
then, if it chooses to, may refrain from the exercise of what otherwise is illimitable
competence." The opinion was at pains to point out though that even then, there is at the
most diminution of jurisdictional rights, not its disappearance. The words employed follow:
"Its laws may as to some persons found within its territory no longer control. Nor does the matter
end there. It is not precluded from allowing another power to participate in the exercise of
jurisdictional right over certain portions of its territory. If it does so, it by no means follows that
such areas become impressed with an alien character. They retain their status as native soil. They
are still subject to its authority. Its jurisdiction may be diminished, but it does not disappear. So it
is with the bases under lease to the American armed forces by virtue of the military bases
agreement of 1947. They are not and cannot be foreign territory."
Laurel vs Misa
[G.R. No. L-409, January 30, 1947 ]
Anastacio Laurel, Petitioner
Eriberto Misa, Respondent
Anastacio Laurel, petitioner, filed a petition for habeas corpus claiming that Filipino
citizen who adhered to the enemy giving the latter aid and comfort during the Japanese
occupation cannot be prosecuted for the crime of treason defriend and penalized by
article 114 of the Revised Penal Code. The claim of the petitioner was due to the reason
that the sovereignty of the legitimate government in the Philippines and, consequently,
the correlative allegiance of Filipino citizens thereto was then suspended; and that there
was a change of sovereignty over these Islands upon the proclamation of the Philippine
Whether or not the allegiance of the Filipino citizen to the sovereign is suspended
during the Japanese occupation
Whether or not the Filipino citizen who adhered to the enemy giving the latter aid and
comfort during the Japanese occupation is subject to article 114 of the Revised Penal
No. The allegiance of the Filipino citizen to the sovereign was not suspended during the
Japanese occupation. Allegiance of Filipino Citizen during is absolute and permanent,
not a qualified and temporary, which consists in the obligation of fidelity and obedience
to his government or sovereign. This should not be confused with the qualified and
temporary allegiance of a foreigner to the sovereign of the territory wherein he resides,
so long as he remains there in return for the protection he receives, and which consists
in the obedience to the laws of the government or sovereign.
Absolute and permanent allegiance of the inhabitants of a territory occupied by the
enemy of their legitimate government or sovereign is not abrogated or severed by the
enemy occupation, because the sovereignty of the government or sovereign de jure is
not transferred thereby to the occupier.

Yes. Change of change of our form of government from Commonwealth to Republic

does not affect the prosecution of those charged with the crime of treason committed
during the Commonwealth, because it is an offense against the same government and
the same sovereign people, for Article XVIII of our Constitution provides that "The
government established by this constitution shall be known as the Commonwealth of
the Philippines. Upon the final and complete withdrawal of the sovereignty of the United
States and the proclamation of Philippine independence, the Commonwealth of the
Philippines shall thenceforth be known as the Republic of the Philippines".

The Court denied the petition of the petitioner.

RAMON RUFFY, ET AL., petitioners,

G.R. No. L-533 August 20, 1946


During the outbreak of war on December 8, 1941 against the Japanese invaders, Major
Ruffy was the provincial commander stationed in Mindoro. On February 27, 1942, the
Japanese army entered the vicinity of Mindoro. Major Ruffy did not surrender, instead,
he lead a guerilla outfit known as the Bolo combat team of Bolo area. During this time,
General Peralta Jr. succeeded in contacting General McArthur in Australia, as a result,
the 6th Military District was recognized by the Headquarters of the Southwest Pacific
Area as a military unit and part of its command. Major Ruffy was assigned as the acting
commander for the province of Marinduque and Mindoro on February 13, 1943. The 6 th
military district sent Lieutenant Colonel Enrique Jurado to be the commanding officer.
On June 8, 1944 Major Ruffy was relieved of his assignment because of Lieutenant Col.
Jurado. Captain Beloncio replaced Major Ruffy. On October 19, 1944 Lieutenant Col.
Jurado was slain allegedly by the petitioners.


Whether or not the petitioners are subject to military law at the time they commit the

The petitioners were subject to military law at the time they commit the offense. The
petitioners were officers of Bolo area and the 6th Military district, operating under the
recognition of the US army. The petitioners assailed the constitutionality of 93 rd article of
war which violated the Article VIII, section 2, paragraph 4, of the Constitution of the
Philippines stating that the National Assembly may not deprive the Supreme Court of
its original jurisdiction over all criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is death or
life imprisonment. The petitioners are in error. This error arose from failure to perceive
the nature of courts martial and the sources of the authority for their creation. Thus the
petition has no merit and that it should be dismissed with costs.

Sanders v. Veridiano

G.R. No. L-46930


The petitioner Dale Sanders during the time the incident occured was the special
services director of the U.S. Naval Station (NAVSTA) in Olangapo City. Petitioner
Moreau was the commanding officer of the Subic Naval Base which includes the same
station. Private respondent Anthony M. Rossi is and American citizen with permanent
residence in the Philippines, so is the other private respondent, Ralph L. Wyers, who
died two years ago. Both respondents were employed as gameroom attendants in the
special services department of the NAVSTA.

On October 3, 1975, the private respondents were advised that their employment
had been converted from permanent full-time to permanent part-time, which will take
effect on October 18, 1975. They protested and instituted grievance proceedings
conformably to the pertinent rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Defense.
The result of which was the approval of the hearing officer who conducted the
proceedings for the reinstatement of the respondents to permanent full-time status plus

Sanders on the otherhand, disagreed with the hearing officer's report and
recommendation which was manifested on a letter he sent to petitioner Moreau. On
November 7, 1975, before the start of the grievance hearings petitioner Moreau as the
commanding general of the U.S. Naval Station in Subic bay, sent a letter to the Chief of
Naval Personnel ordering him to concur with the respondent's change of employment
Respondents then filed a complaint claiming that the letters contained libelous
imputations that had exposed them to ridicule and caused them mental anguish and
that the prejudgment of the grievance proceedings was an invasion of their personal
and proprietary rights.

Petitioner then argued that the acts complained were performed by them in the
discharge of their official duties and that, consequently, the court had no jurisdiction
over them under doctrine of state immunity.


Whether or not the petitioners can invoke the doctrine of state immunity


YES. It was evident on the present case that the acts for which the petitioners are
being called to account were performed by them in discharge of their official duties.
Sanders, being the director of the special services department of NAVSTA, has the
authority and supervision over its personnel which includes the private respondents.
Moreau, as the immediate superior of Sanders and directly answerable to naval
Personnel in matters involving the special department of NAVSTA is in fact in discharge
of his duty when the incident happened. The court finds that the acts of the petitioners
are protected by the presumption of good faith which has not been overturned by the
private respondents.

The court held that the petitioners cannot be sued, because it has been proven
that the petitioners acted on behalf of the government of United States and not
personally, thus it is the government and not the petitioners personally responsible for
their acts. As we follow the generally accepted principle of the sovereign equality of the
states which wisely admonishes that par in parem non habet imperium and that a
contrary attitude would "unduly vex the peace of nations". Thus, courts justification of
which was the our adherence to the percept formally expressed in Article II, Section 2,
of our Constitution where we reiterate from our previous charters that the Philippines
"adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the
Republic of the Philippines v. Sandoval
G.R. No. 84607 March 19, 1993

On January 22, 1987, the Mendiola Massacre took place. It was the end of the eight
days and seven nights of encampment by the members of the militant Kilusang
Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (KMP) at the then Ministry (now Department) of Agrarian
Reform (MAR) at the Philippine Tobacco Administration Building along Elliptical Road in
Diliman, Quezon City.
The heirs of the deceased, together with those injured (Caylao Group), instituted a
petition under Sec. 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. They sought to reverse and set
aside of the orders of respondent Judge Sandoval on May 31 and August 8, 1988
dismissing the complaint for damages against the Republic of the Philippines on the
case entitled, Erlinda Caylao, et al. v. Republic of the Philippines, et al.
The order on May 31, 1988 stated that the impleaded Military Officers, since they are
being charged in their personal and official capacity, and holding them liable, would not
result in financial responsibility of the government, the principle of immunity from suit
cannot be applied to them. The motions for reconsideration of the order was denied on
August 8, 1998 since respondent Judge found no cogent reason to disturb the said
The incident started when the farmers and their sympathizers presented their demands
for what they called "genuine agrarian reform". The KMP, led by its national president,
Jaime Tadeo, presented their problems and demands, among which were: (a) giving
lands for free to farmers; (b) zero retention of lands by landlords; and (c) stop
amortizations of land payments.
The dialogue between the farmers and the MAR officials began on January 15, 1987.
Two days later, there was a marked increase in people at the encampment. On January
20, 1987, Jaime Tadeo spoke with then Minister Heherson Alvarez, demanding that the
minimum comprehensive land reform program be granted immediately. Minister Alvarez
then promised to do his best to bring the matter to then Pres. Aquino during the cabinet
meeting the next day.
On the 7th day of encampment, the farmers barricaded the MAR premises and
prevented the employees from going inside their offices. They hoisted the KMP flag
together with the Phil flag. On Jan. 22, 1987, Tadeos group decided to march to
Malacanang to air their demands. On their way, they were joined by the members of
other sectoral organizations such as the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Bagong Alyansang
Makabayan (BAYAN), League of Filipino Students (LFS), and Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa
ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML).
Capital Regional Command (CAPCOM) inspected the adequacy of the preparations of
the government forces to quell impending attacks. Intelligence reports were also
received that the KMP was heavily infiltrated by CCP/NPA elements and that an
insurrection was impending. Government anti-riot forces were assembled at Mendiola.
At around 4:30pm, the marchers numbered about 10,000-15,000 and proceeded
towards the police line, without any dialogue taking place between them and the anti-riot
squad. It was at this moment that the clash occurred and pandemonium broke loose.
12 rallyists were killed, 39 were wounded by gunshots, and 12 sustained minor injuries.
Pres. Aquino issued AO No. 11 dated Jan. 22, 1987 which created the Citizens
Mendiola Commission for the purpose of conducting an investigation on the incident,
which then submitted their report and recommended for the prosecution of Tadeo for
the march without permit, as well as particular military officers and police forces
involved, and for the deceased and wounded victims of the Mendiola incident to be
compensated by the government. Notwithstanding such information, no concrete form
of compensation was received by the victims. They institution of action for damages
against the Republic of the Philippines which was dismissed on the ground that the
State cannot be sued without its consent. Petitioners contended that the State has
impliedly waived its immunity through the recommendations of the Committee and the
public addresses by then Pres. Aquino to which Judge Sandoval dismissed on the
ground that there was no such waiver.
Whether or not the State has waived its immunity from suit
No. According to Art. XIV, Sec. 3 of the 1987 Constitution, the State may not be sued
without its consent. The recommendations of the Citizens Mendiola Commission does
not in any way mean that liability automatically attaches to the State. AO 11 expressly
stated that the purpose of creating the Commission was only to conduct an investigation
of the disorder, deaths, and casualties that took place. Its findings and
recommendations shall serve only as cause of action for litigation; it does not bind the
State immediately, and are not final and executory. Pres. Aquinos public addresses are
likewise not binding on the State; they are not tantamount to a waiver by the State.
Some instances where a suit against the State is proper are: (1) When the Republic is
sued by name; (2) When the suit is against an unincorporated government agency; (3)
When the suit is on its face against a government officer but the case is such that the
ultimate liability will belong not to the officer but to the government.
As to the military officers and personnel, although they were performing their official
functions during the incident, their functions ceased to be official the moment they
exceeded their authority. They were deployed to ensure that the rally would be peaceful
and orderly as well as to guarantee the safety of the very people that they are duty-
bound to protect. However, the facts as found by the trial court showed that they fired at
the unruly crowd to disperse the latter. This court has made it quite clear that even a
high position in the government does not confer a license to persecute or recklessly
injure another.
Wherefore, finding there was no reversible error, the petitions were dismissed.
Festejo vs. Fernando ( L-5156, March 11, 1954)
Carmen Celebracion, owner of sugar lands of approximately 9 hectares, sued Isaiah Ferando,
Director of Public Works, for taking possession of portions of three parcel of land on or about
February 1951 and caused an irrigation canal to be constructed. Defendant (Isaiah Fernando)
being the Director of Public Works is responsible for system and projects of irrigation as well as
systems of officer irrigation in the country. However, in the possession of the land, defendant
pursued to do so without first obtaining authority from the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur, a
right of way, without the consent and knowledge of the plaintiff and against her express
WoN the defendant can be personally liable for actions he took in his official run concept with
respect to the possession of the land?
Article 32, Civil Code states:
Art. 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual who directly or indirectly
obstructs, defeats, violates, or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following right and liberties
of another person shall be liable for damages of the latter:
(6) The right against deprivation of property without due process of law;

Therefore, appealed order if revoked and ordered the continuation of the processing of
the claim under the regulations provided.
G.R. No. 76607 February 26, 1990
REEVES, petitioners,
HON. ELIODORO B. GUINTO, Presiding Judge, Branch LVII, Regional Trial
AND PABLO C. DEL PILAR, respondents.
These cases have been consolidated because they involve the same doctrine of
state immunity.
US v. Rodrigo (G.R. No. 79470, Feb. 26, 1990)
US v. Ceballos (G.R. No. 80018, Feb. 26, 1990)
US v. Vergara (GR No. 80258, Feb. 26, 1990)
GR 76607
The private respondents, Roberto T. Valencua, Emerencia C. Tanglao, and
Pablo C. del Pilar, are suing several USAF officers stationed in Clark Air base in
connection with the bidding which the latter conducted for contracts for barber
services in the said base. On Feb. 24, 1986 the Western Pacific Contracting
Office, Okinawa Area Exchange, US Air Force, solicited bids for such contracts.
The bidding was won by a Ramon Dizon. The private respondents objected,
claiming that Dizon had made a bid for four facilities, including the Civil
Engineering Area, which was not included in the invitation to bid. On June 30,
1986 the private respondents filed a complaint to cancel the award to Dizon and to
conduct a rebidding, and to allow the private respondents by a writ of preliminary
injunction to continue operating the concessions pending litigation.
Upon filing the complaint, the respondent court issued an ex parte order
directing the petitioners to maintain the status quo. On July 22, 1986 the
petitioners filed a motion to dismiss the case on the ground that the action was in
effect a suit against the USA, which had not waived its immunity. The individual
defendants, being official employees of the USAF were also immune.
On October 10, 1988 the RTC denied the motion to dismiss. The court stated
that a concessionaireship such as a barber shop is not under the RP-US Bases
GR 79470
Fabian Genove filed a complaint for damages againts the petitioners for his
dismissal as cook in the USAF Recreation Center at the John Hay Air Station in
Baguio City. It had been ascertained after investigation that Genove had poured
urine into the soup stock used in cooking the vegetables served to the club
customers. He was suspended and eventually dismissed by Anthony Lamachia,
who was then the club manager.
Genoves filed a complaint in the RTC of Baguio City against the individual
petitioners. On March 13, 1987, the defendants, joined by the USA, moved to
dismiss the complaint, alleging that Lamachia, as an officer of the USAF, is
immune from suit for his actions are within his official capacity.
On June 4, 1987, the motion was denied. The respondent judge stated that
although the petitioners acted initially in their official capacities, they went beyond
what their functions called for and thus no longer immune to suability.
GR 80018
Luis Bautista, employed as a barracks boy in Camp ODonnell, an extension
of Clark Air Base, was arrested following a buy-bust operation conducted by the
petitioners, Tomi King, Darrel Dye, and Stephen Bostick, who are USAF officers
and agents of the Air Force Office of Special Investigators. According to the sworn
statements of the petitioners, Bautista violated RA 6425, otherwise known as the
Dangerous Drugs Act, and therefore a case was filed against him in the RTC of
Tarlac. Bautista was eventually dismissed from his job. Bautista then filed a
complaint for damages against the petitioners.
The petitioners filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the basis that they
were acting in their official capacity when they did the acts complained.
The respondent judge dismissed the motion and held that the claimed
immunity under the Military Bases agreement covered only criminal and not civil
GR 80258
A complaint for damages was filed by the private respondents against the
petitioners, who are USAF officers--except the USA--for injuries allegedly
sustained by the former when they were beaten, handcuffed, and dogs were
unleashed upon them by the petitioners. However, the latter denied this stating
that the respondents were resisting arrest for theft and thus sustained the said
The petitioners filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the
acts done by them were in the performance of their official functions
The RTC denied the motion stating that the alleged criminal acts cannot be
deemed as Acts of State.
Whether or not the petitioners are immune from suit as provided by the
RP-US Bases Treaty.
According to Article XVI, Sec. 3 of the 1987 Constitution, a state may not be
sued without its consent. This provision was adopted from generally accepted
principles of international law (Art. II, Sec, 2). This immunity is not only applicable
to the state itself but also to its officials who commits acts in the performance of
their official duties. A suit filed against an official of a state in the performance of
his duties is also a suit filed against that state. However, the doctrine of state
immunity is not absolute. The state may not be sued without its consent, thus the
state may be sued if it consents.
The consent of the state to be sued may be manifested expressly or impliedly.
Expressed consent may be embodied in a general law or special law. Implied
consent is when the state enters into a contract or it commences litigation itself. In
Act no. 3083, the Philippines waives its state immunity from suit and consents
and submits to be sued on moneyed claim involving liability arising from contract,
express of implied, which could serve as a basis of civil action between private
parties. In Merritt v. Govt of the Philippine Is., When the government enters into
a contact, it is deemed to have descended to the level of the other contracting
party and divested of its sovereign immunity from suit with its implied consent.
Waiver is also implied when the government files a complaint, thus opening itself
to a counterclaim.
However, such rules are subject to qualification. Express consent is effected
only by the will of the legislature through the enactment of statues. Moreover, not
all contracts entered by the government will be considered as waiver of its
non-suability; a distinction must be made between its sovereign and proprietary
acts. As for the filing of a complaint by the government, the suability will result only
when claiming affirmative relief from the defendant.
The United States of America, like any other state, will be deemed to have
impliedly waived its immunity from suability if it has entered into a contract in its
proprietary or private capacity. It is only when the contract involves its sovereign
or governmental capacity that no such waiver may be implied.
As to activities of a state, there is a need to distinguish between sovereign and
governmental acts (jure imperii) and private, commercial and proprietary acts (jure
gestionis). State immunity only extends only to acts jure imperii. This rule is now
applicable in the US, UK, and other European states.
The other petitioners all claim that they have acted in the discharge of their
official functions as officers or agents of the US. However, this is still a matter of
evidence. The charges against them cannot be summarily dismissed on their
mere assertion of immunity from suit.
In US vs Guinto, it is found that the barbershops subject of the concessions
are commercial in nature and operated by private persons. They are not agencies
of the US Armed Forces and are not vital to its operation. Hence, the petitioners
cannot claim immunity from the complaint filed. The petition is DISMISSED,
respondent judge is directed to proceed with the hearing, TRO is LIFTED.
In US vs Rodrigo, the court assumes that the restaurant services offered at
the John Hay Air Station has the nature of a business enterprise undertaken by
the US govt in its proprietary capacity. Such services are not even free for
American servicemen, and are available to the public in general, including tourists,
all of which pay for the privileges therein as one would with an ordinary restaurant.
Thus operated for profit. The petitioners cannot invoke the doctrine of state
immunity. Even if they are acting their official duties, by the mere fact that the US
govt itself enters into contract with Genove as an act of its proprietary functions, it
is implied that it waives its immunity from suit. But even with these said
considerations, the complaint against the petitioners must till be dismissed. While
suable, the petitioners cannot be held liable. It is obvious that the claim for
damage cannot be allowed given the strength of the evidence. It has been
established upon thorough investigation that Genove has polluted the soup stock
with urine. disgusting offense. The peitioners acted properly in terminating
Genove. It is surprising that he should still have the temerity to file his complaint
for damages after committing his utterly disgusting offense. The petition is
GRANTED and the civil case is DISMISSED.
In US vs Ceballos, the petitioners were cleary, upon the study of the records,
acting in the exercise of their official functions when they conducted the buy-bust
operation against the complainant. By being special agents of the US govt, they
thus represent the USA, and thus immune from suability. The petition is
GRANTED and the civil case is DISMISSED.
In US vs Vergara, the contradictory factual allegations in this case need a
closer study of what actually happened. The record was too meager to indicate if
the defendants were really discharging their official duties or had actually
exceeded their authority when the incident occurred.The needed inquiry must first
be made by the lower court so it may assess and resolve the conflicting claims of
the parties. The petition is DISMISSED and the respondent court is directed to

proceed with the hearing and decision of civil case. TRO is LIFTED.

GR No. 91359 September 25, 1992

Facts: VMPSI filed a complaint in the RTC praying that: (1) the court issue a TRO to refrain from
committing acts that would result in the cancellation or non-renewal of VMPSI's license, (2) the court
issue a writ of preliminary injunctin to the same effect, (3) the court render their decision null and void the
amendment of Sec 4 of RA 5487 exempting organizations like PADPAO from prohibition that no person
shall organize or have interest in more than one agency, declaring PADPAO as an ilegal organization
existing in violatin if said prohibition. VMPSI alleges that RA 5487 violate the provisions of the 1987
Constituion Constitution against monopolies, unfair competition and combinations in restraint of trade and
tend to favor PADPAO. VMPSI questions the provision that "All private security agencies/companie
security forces must register as members of any PADPAO Chapter organized within the region". A
Memorandum of Agreement was executed by PADPAO and the PC Chief, which fixed the minimum
monthly rate of guards for eight hours of security service per day at P2,255.00 within Metro Manila and
P2,215.00 outside of Metro Manila. PADPAO found VMSI guilty of cut-throating hence the
recommendation of expulsion or cancellation of VMPSI's license. PC chief and PC SUSIA filed Motion to
Dismiss on the grounds that State which had not given consent thereto and that VMPSI'S license already
expired on March 31, 1988 hence TRO would not serve any purpose because there was no more license
to be cancelled.

ISSUE: WON VMPSI's complaint against PC chief and PC SUSIA is a suit against the state without its

RULING: The answer is yes. The state may not be sued without its consent, esp in this case because
VMPSI's complaint seeks not only to compel the public respodents to act in a certain way but because it
seeks actual and compensatory damages, exemplary damages and attorney's fees. A public official may
cometimes be held liable for his personal or private capacity if he acts in bad faith or beyond the scope of
his authority or jurisdiction but since the acts of PC CHIEF and PC SUSIA were performed by them as
part of their official duties, without malice, gross negligence, or bad faith, no recovery ay be had against
them in their prvate capacities. The petitiom for review is DENIED and the judgement appealed from is
AFFIRMED in toto. No costs.
Meritt vs Government of the Philippine Islands GR No. 11154, March 21 1916

E. Merrit, plaintiff, was riding a motorcycle that was going toward the western part of
calle Padre Faura, crashed into an ambulance of General Hospital. As a result of that,
he sustained multiple physical injuries which are fractured right leg and fractured skull. It
was determined that the cause of this accident was the chauffeur of the ambulance and
From this event, the Attorney General and the Director of Public Works recommended
that Act No. 2457(An act authorizing E. Merritt to bring suit against the Government of
the Philippine Islands and authorizing the Attorney General of said islands to appear In
said suit) to be passed by the legislature to allow E. Merritt to bring suit to the courts
against the Government.

WON the Government can sued and should be liable for the Tort committed by the
Chauffeur of the Ambulance of the General Hospital.

Since the laws of the Government of the Philippines is based on the United States
Federal Laws, the Enactment of the Act No. 2457 gives rise to the condition that the
state could be sued upon the determination of the high courts. According to section 1 of
the said act "SECTION 1. E. Merritt is hereby authorized to bring suit in the Court of
First Instance of the city of Manila against the Government of the Philippine Islands in
order to fix the responsibility for the collision between motorcycle and the ambulance of
the General Hospital, and to determine the amount of the damages, if any, to which Mr.
E. Merritt is entitled on account of said collision, and the Attorney General of the
Philippine Islands is hereby authorized and directed to appear at the trial on the behalf
of the Government of said Islands, to defend said Government at the same

According to Art.1903, par 5 of the Civil Code, The state is liable in this sense when it
acts through a special agent, but not when the damage should have been caused by
the official to whom properly it pertained to do the act performed, in which case the
provisions of the preceding article shall be applicable." In this sense, the chauffeur that
was employed at the time of that accident could not be considered to be a special
For the circumstances mentioned, the courts determined that the legislature should be
the one to determine up to what extent the government will be liable and the judgement
is reversed.

VICTORIA AMIGABLE, plaintiff-appellant,

NICOLAS CUENCA, as Commissioner of Public Highways and REPUBLIC OF THE
PHILIPPINES, defendants-appellees.

G.R. No. L-26400 February 29, 1972


This is an appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Cebu in its Civil Case No. R-
5977, dismissing the plaintiff's complaint.

The appellant Victoria Amigable is the registered owner of Lot No. 639 of the Banilad Estate in Cebu
City as shown by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-18060 issued to her by the Register of Deeds of
Cebu on February 1, 1924. No annotation in favor of the government of any right or interest in the
property appears at the back of the certificate.

Without prior expropriation or negotiated sale, the government used a portion of said lot, with an
area of 6,167 square meters, for the construction of the Mango and Gorordo Avenues.

It appears that said avenues already existed in 1921, the tracing of said roads began in 1924, and
the formal construction in 1925.

March 27, 1958 - Amigable's counsel wrote the President of the Philippines, requesting payment of
the portion of her lot which had been appropriated by the government.

December 9, 1958 - The claim was indorsed to the Auditor General, who disallowed it in his 9th
January 7, 1959 - A copy of said indorsement was transmitted to Amigable's counsel by the Office
of the President.

February 6, 1959 - Amigable filed in the court a quo a complaint, which was later amended on April
17, 1959 upon motion of the defendants, against the Republic of the Philippines and Nicolas Cuenca
for the recovery of ownership and possession of the 6,167 sq. m. of land traversed by the Mango
and Gorordo Avenues. She also sought the payment of compensatory damages for the illegal
occupation of her land, moral damages, attorney's fees and the costs of the suit.

The defendants filed a joint answer denying the material allegations of the complaint and interposing
the following affirmative defenses contending:

(1) that the action was premature

(2) that the right of action for the recovery of any amount had already prescribed

(3) that suit against the Government, the claim for moral damages, attorney's fees and costs had no
valid basis since as the Government had not given its consent to be sued

(4) that plaintiff had no cause of action against the defendants

July 29, 1959 - the court rendered its decision holding that it had no jurisdiction over the plaintiff's
cause of action for the recovery of possession and ownership of the portion of her lot in question on
the ground that the government cannot be sued without its consent; that it had neither original nor
appellate jurisdiction to hear, try and decide plaintiff's claim for compensatory damages in the sum of
P50,000.00, the same being a money claim against the government; and that the claim for moral
damages had long prescribed, nor did it have jurisdiction over said claim because the government
had not given its consent to be sued.

Accordingly, the complaint was dismissed. The plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeals, which
subsequently certified the case to Us, there being no question of fact involved.

ISSUE: Whether or not the appellant may properly sue the government under the facts of the case.


Considering that no annotation in favor of the government appears at the back of her certificate of
title and that she has not executed any deed of conveyance of any portion of her lot to the
government, the appellant remains the owner of the whole lot.

In a similar case involving a claim for payment of the value of a portion of land used for the widening of
the Gorordo Avenue in Cebu City (Ministerio vs. Court of First Instance of Cebu) , this Court, through
Mr. Justice Enrique M. Fernando, held that where the government takes away property from a private
landowner for public use without going through the legal process of expropriation or negotiated sale, the
aggrieved party may properly maintain a suit against the government without thereby violating the
doctrine of governmental immunity from suit without its consent.

Since restoration of possession of said portion by the government is neither convenient nor feasible
at this time because it is now and has been used for road purposes, the only relief available is for the
government to make due compensation which it could and should have done years ago. To
determine the due compensation for the land, the basis should be the price or value thereof at the
time of the taking.

The decision appealed from is hereby set aside and the case remanded to the court a quo for the
determination of compensation, including attorney's fees, to which the appellant is entitled as above
indicated. No pronouncement as to costs.

Republic of the Philippines (Presidential Commission on Good Government) Vs.
Sandiganbayan, Bienvenido R. Tantoco Jr. And Dominador R. Santiago
G.R. No. 90478
November 21, 1991

The case was commencedon July 21, 1987 by the Presidential Comission on Good
Government (PCGG) in behalf of the Republic of thePhilippines. The complaint which initiated
the action was denominated for the conveyance, reversion, accounting, restitution and
damages, and was filed pursuant to Executive Order No. 14 of the then President Corazon
Aquuino. After having been served with summons, Tantoco Jr. and Santiago, instead of filing
their answer, jointly filed a MOTION TO STRIKEOUT SOME PORTIONS OF THE
opposition thereto, and the movants files a reply to the opposition. The Sandiganbayan in
January 29, 1988, gave the PCGG 45 days to expand its complaint to make more specific
certain allegation, in order to expedite the proceedings and accomodate the defendants Tantoco
RULE 25 OF THE RULES OF COURT, to which the PCGGresponded by filing a motion. On
March 18, 1988, in compliance with the order of January 29, 1988, the PCGG filed an
EXPANDED COMPLAINT, to which the Sandiganbayan denied with a Resolution. Tantoco and
Santiago then filed with the Sandiganbayan a pleading dominated INTERROGATORIES TO
Sandiganbayan admitted the AMMENDED INTERROGATORIES and granted the Motion for
production and inspection of documents respectively. PCGG filed a MOTION FOR
an opposition to the AMMENDED INTERROGATORIES. Tantoco and Santiago filed a reply to
the opposition. After hearing, the Sandiganbayan promulgated 2 Resolutions on September 29,
1989: (1) denying reconsideration of the Resolution allowing the production of documents; and
(2) reiterating by implication the permission to serve the ammended interrogatories on the
plaintiff (PCGG). These Resolutions promulgated by the Sandiganbayan led to the petition of
PCGG contending that the said orders dated Sept.29, 1989 should be nullified, because the
said orders were rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction.
Whether or not the petitioner can object to the interrogatories served on it.
No. Under theDoctrine of State Immunity, the State may not be sued without its
consent. This is in recognition of the sovereign power of the State and of an express affirmation
of the unwritten rule insulating it from the jurisdiction of the courtsof justice. As for the case at
bar, the Sandiganbayan represents the State, therefore the PCGG cannot object to the
interrogatories served upon them. Also, the PCGG cannot claim a superior or preferred status to
the State, may it be while assuming to represent or act for the State.
Petition is DENIED, without pronnouncement as to costs.
Republic v Feliciano
[ G.R. No. 70853, March 12, 1987]
86 settlers of Barrio salvacion, appeal for the dismiss of the complaint filed by Feliciano,
because the Republic of the Philippines cannot be sued without its consent.
On January 22, 1970 respondent Feliciano complaint against the Republic of the
Philippines, represented by the Land Authority. For the recovery of ownership of parcel
of land consisting of 4 lots situated in Barrio of Salvacion, Municipality of Tinambac,
Camarines Sur. Plaintiff said that he bought the land from Victor Gariola which bought it
from the heirs of Francisco Abrazado, there was an Absolute Deed of sale and the
turnover of the informacion posesori. On November 1, 1954, President Ramon
Magsaysay issued a Proclamation No. 90 reserving for settlement purposes, under the
administration of the National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA).
The lands in question are included in the sub-division and distribution of land, so the
plaintiff said that it was a private property and therefore be excluded from NARRA
settlement reservation. On August 29, 1970 the trial court, through Judge Rafael Sison,
made the decision that lot No. 1 would be the private property of the plaintiff and lots 2,3
& 4 be given back to public domain. The motion to intervene was files by 86 settlers,
alleging among other things that the intervenors has been in possession of land for
more than 20 years.
On January 25, 1971 the court reconsidered its decision, reopened the case and
directed the intervenors to file and present pleadings and evidence. On August 20,
1971, the date of presentation of evidence, the intervenors did not show up and files for
postponement and resetting of the hearing for the next day, this was denied and so the
plaintiff showed evidence . August 31, 1971 Judge Sison reiterated his decision on
August 29, 1970. There was a motion for reconsideration made by the intervnors and a
motion for execution files by the plaintiff the latter was denied Judge Miguel Navarro
reopened the case.
On August 30, 1971, the intervenors filed for the motion to dismiss the decision on the
grounds that the Republic of the Philippines cannot be sued without its consent. On
August 21, 1980 the trial court through Judge Esteban Lising, dismissing the case for
lack of jurisdiction while the solicitor General, said that the dismissal was proper on the
ground that the existence of non-suability of the state was applicable in this case or/and
authenticity of the purported possessory information title of the respondents
predecessor-in- interest had not been demonstrated and that at any rat the same is not
an evidence of title , or if it is, its efficacy has been lost by prescription and laches.
Upon the denial of reconsideration plaintiff went gain to the Intermediate Appellate
Court on petition for certiorari. On April 30, 1985, the respondent appellate court
rendered its decision reversing the order of Judge Lising and remanding the case to the
court for further preceeding. Hence this petition.
The plaintiff has impleaded the Republic of the Philippines as defendant in an action for
recovery of ownership and possession of a parcel of land, bringing the state to court just
like any private person who is claimed to keep a piece of property. A suit for the recory
of property is not an action in rem, but an action in personam. The informacion
posesoria of the respondent had not been converted into a record of ownership.
Respondent must also contend with facts admitted by him and stated in the decision of
the courts that settlers have been occupying the land since before the outbreak of war.
Which puts in grace doubts his own claim to the lands. The Solicitor General pointed out
the respondents informacion posesaria, registered in the office of Register of deed in
Camarines Sur was a reconstituted one by his own. Reconstitution can only be validly
made in case of the original was lost, there was no mention of the original being lost.
Whether or not the state can be sued for recovery and possession of a parcel of land?
No, The state cannot be sued without its consent. Consent must be made by the
legislative body and it must be expressed or by implication with statutory language too
plain to be misinterpreted. A suit for the recovery of property is not an action in rem, but
an action in personam. It is an axtion directed against a specific party or parties and any
jusgement binds only such parties. The complaint files by the plaintiff is directed against
the Republic of the Philippines. There was no evidence showing that the state
consented to be sued.

US vs. Ruiz
G.R. No. L-35645, May 22, 1985


The United States of America had a naval base in Subic, Zambales. The base was one
of those provided in the Military Bases Agreement between the Philippines and the
United States. Sometime in May, 1972, the United States invited the submission of bids
for the following projects

1. Repair offender system, Alava Wharf at the U.S. Naval Station Subic Bay,
2. Repair typhoon damage to NAS Cubi shoreline; repair typhoon damage to
shoreline revetment, NAVBASE Subic; and repair to Leyte Wharf approach, NAVBASE
Subic Bay, Philippines.
Eligio de Guzman & Co., Inc. responded to the invitation and submitted bids.
Subsequent thereto, the company received from the United States two telegrams
requesting it to confirm its price proposals and for the name of its bonding company.
The company complied with the requests. In June, 1972, the company received a letter
which was signed by Wilham I. Collins, Director, Contracts Division, Naval Facilities
Engineering Command, Southwest Pacific, Department of the Navy of the United
States, who is one of the petitioners herein. The letter said that the company did not
qualify to receive an award for the projects because of its previous unsatisfactory
performance rating on a repair contract for the sea wall at the boat landings of the U.S.
Naval Station in Subic Bay. In the abovementioned Civil Case No. 779-M, the company
sued the United States of America and Messrs. James E. Galloway, William I. Collins
and Robert Gohier all members of the Engineering Command of the U.S. Navy. The
complaint is to order the defendants to allow the plaintiff to perform the work on the
projects and, in the event that specific performance was no longer possible, to order the
defendants to pay damages. The company also asked for the issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction to restrain the defendants from entering into contracts with third
parties for work on the projects.

The defendants entered their special appearance for the purpose only of questioning
the jurisdiction of this court over the subject matter of the complaint and the persons of
defendants, the subject matter of the complaint being acts and omissions of the
individual defendants as agents of defendant United States of America, a foreign
sovereign which has not given her consent to this suit or any other suit for the causes of
action asserted in the complaint."

Subsequently the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint which included an
opposition to the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction. The company opposed
the motion. The trial court denied the motion and issued the writ. The defendants moved
twice to reconsider but to no avail. Hence the instant petition which seeks to restrain
perpetually the proceedings in Civil Case No. 779-M for lack of jurisdiction on the part of
the trial court.

W/N Petitioners are entitled to State Immunity.

YES. The traditional rule of State immunity exempts a State from being sued in the
courts of another State without its consent or waiver. This rule is a necessary
consequence of the principles of independence and equality of States. However, the
rules of International Law are not petrified; they are constantly developing and evolving.
And because the activities of states have multiplied, it has been necessary to
distinguish them-between sovereign and governmental acts (jure imperii) and private,
commercial and proprietary acts (jure gestionis). The result is that State immunity now
extends only to acts jure imperil The restrictive application of State immunity is now the
rule in the United States, the United Kingdom and other states in western Europe. That
the correct test for the application of State immunity is not the conclusion of a contract
by a State but the legal nature of the act.

Petition is granted; the questioned orders of the respondent judge are set aside and
Civil Case No. is dismissed. Costs against the private respondent.

CASE #31
THE HON. ERIBERTO U. ROSARIO, JR., as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial
Court of Makati,
G.R. No. 101949
Petition arose from a controversy over a parcel of land located in Paranaque, Metro
Manila. Land 5-A,
registered under the name Holy See, was contiguous to Lot-B and 5-D under the name
of Philippine Realty
Corporation (PRC). The land was donated by the Archdiocese of Manila to the Papal
Nuncio, which represents
the Holy See, who exercises sovereignty over the Vatican City in Rome, Italy.
The said lots were sold through Msgr. Domingo A. Cirilios Jr. (Msgr. Cirilios), acting as
agent, to Ramon
Licup. He then assigned his rights to respondent Starbright Sales Enterprises
Dispute arose between the two parties when the squatters refuse to vacate the lots.
Both parties were unsure of
whose responsibility was it to evict the squatters. Starbright insists that Holy See should
clear the property while
the Holy See says that Starbright should do it or the earnest money* will be returned.
With this, Msgr. Cirilios
returned the P100, 000 as earnest money.
Complicating the relations of the parties was the sale made by the petitioner Holy See
of Lot 5-A to Tropicana
Properties and Development Corporation (Tropicana).
Starbright filed a suit for annulment of the sale, specific performances, and damages
against Msgr. Cirilios,
PRC, and Tropicana before the Makati RTC. The Holy See and Msgr. Cirilios moved to
dismiss the petition for
lack of jurisdiction based on sovereign immunity from suit. RTC denied the motion on
the ground that the
petitioner already shed off its immunity by entering into business contract.
The subsequent Motion for Reconsideration was also denied hence the special civil
action for certiorari was
forwarded to the Supreme Court.
ISSUE: WON the Holy See can invoke sovereign immunity.
The Supreme Court held that the Holy See may properly invoke sovereign immunity for
its non-suability, as
enshrined in Sec. 2 Article II of the 1987 Constitution. It was expressed we have
adopted the generally accepted
principles of International Law. Even without this affirmation, such principles of
International Law are deemed
incorporated as part of the law of the land as a condition and consequence of our
admission in the society of
Under Article 31(a) of the Convention, a diplomatic envoy is granted immunity from the
civil and
administrative jurisdiction of the receiving state over any real action relating to private
immovable property
situated in the territory of the receiving state which the envoy holds on behalf of the
sending state for the
purposes of the mission. If this immunity is provided for a diplomatic envoy, with all the
more reason should
immunity be recognized as regards the sovereign itself, which in this case is the Holy
The Holy See is immune from suit because the act of selling the lot is non-proprietary in
nature. The same was
acquired through a donation from the Archdiocese of Manila for the construction of the
official place of
residence of the Papal Nuncio.
In the case at bar, the decision to transfer the property and the subsequent disposal
thereof are likewise clothed
with a governmental character. Petitioner did not sell lot 5-A for profit or gain. It merely
wanted to dispose off
the same because the squatters living thereon made it almost impossible for petitioner
to use it for the purpose
of the donation.
In view of the foregoing, the Court granted the petition for certiorari and the complaints
were dismissed


Republic of the Philippines VS. Villasor

G.R. No. L-30671 (November 28, 1973)


-Honorable Guillermo P. Villasor rendered the decision in favor of respondents P.J. Kiener Co.,
Ltd, Gavino Unchuan and International Construction Corporation final and executory.

-The writ of execution was issued by the respondent, Honorable Guillermo Villasor. The sheriffs
of Rizal Province, Manila and Quezon city were then tasked to execute the decision made by
the respondent. The sheriffs of Rizal province served notices of Garnishment to several banks,
especially to PNB and Philippine Veteran's Bank.

-The funds of the Armed forces of the Philippines are deposited in PNB and Philippine Veteran's
Bank. These funds are duly allocated for retirees payments, military and civil personnel
allowances as well as for the AFP operations.
-On certiorari, the petitioner filed prohibitions proceedings with regards to respondent's action in
excess of jurisdiction with the grave abuse of discretion for granting the Writ of Execution
against the funds and properties of AFP. For this reason, the notices and garnishment were said
to be null and void.


The validity of the Writ of execution issued by the respondent, Judge Villasor.


The respondent's action/decision towards the case doesn't conform with the injunctions of the
Constitution. It is a fundamental postulate of constitutionalism which flows from the justifiable
concept of sovereignty that the state and government has immunity from suit unless it gives
consent. The sovereign (authority) is exempted from suit because of practical and logical
grounds with regards to no legal right as against the authority that makes the law on which the
rights are dependent. Before the State can be sued, there must be a consent. The judgement
against the state can't be enforced by execution because of the universal rule there were limited
only up to the completion of proceedings anterior to the state of execution and that the power
of the Courts ends when the judgement is rendered, since the garnishment of the funds and
properties of the government may not be seized under the Writ of Execution and garnishment
just to satisfy the judgement of the respondent. The functions and public services of the State
can't be disrupted by any form of diversion as they are subjected to legitimacy and policies as
appropriated by the law and the constitution itself.


certiorari- writ or order by which the higher court reviews the decision made by the lower court

writ- a form of written command in the name of a court or other legal authority to act (ex.
Subpoena, warrant, court order)
postulate- something that's suggested as true and factual as a basis of reasoning.

CASE #33


et al,

Roy Lago Salcedo for private respondents.

G.R. No. 104269 November 11, 1993

Vitug, J.


For consideration are the incidents that flow from the familiar doctrine of non-suability of the

On April 1, 1989, The Department of Agriculture entered into a contract with Sultan Security
Agency for security services. In the said contract, Sultan Security Agency is obliged to provide
security services to the petitioner. On May 1990, both parties once again had similar terms and
conditions apply to another contract. Pursuant to their arrangements, the Agency deployed
guards in various premises of the petitioner. However, on September of the same year, several
guards of the Agency filed a complaint against The Department of Agriculture and Sultan
Security Agency for:

1. Underpayment of wages
2. Non-payment of 13th month pay
3. Uniform allowances
4. Night shift differential pay
5. Holiday pay
6. Overtime Pay
7. As well as for damages.

The complaint was filed before the Regional Arbitration Branch of Cagayan de Oro. The
Executive Labor Arbiter the rendered its decision in favor of the security guards, hence
petitioner and the Agency are held jointly and severally liable for the payment of money
claims which amounted to P266, 483.91. No appeal was made by both petitioner and

On 18 July 1991, the Labor Arbiter issued a writ of execution. 5 commanding the City Sheriff to
enforce and execute the judgment against the property of the two respondents.

A petition for injunction, prohibition and mandamus, with prayer for preliminary writ of injunction
was filed by the department of agriculture with the National Labor Relations Commission
(NLRC), Cagayan de Oro, alleging, that the attachment or seizure of its property would hamper
and jeopardize petitioner's governmental functions to the prejudice of the public good. The
NLRC then ruled over the case, ordering the enforcement and execution of judgments against
the petitoners be temporarily suspended for 2 months

On 27 November 1991, the NLRC promulgated its assailed resolution; viz:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the following orders are issued:

1. The enforcement and execution of the judgments against petitioner in NLRC

RABX Cases Nos. 10-10-00455-90; 10-10-0481-90 and 10-10-00519-90 are
temporarily suspended for a period of two (2) months, but the petitioner is
ordered and directed to source for funds within the period above-stated and
to deposit the sums of money equivalent to the aggregate amount

The petitioner faults the NLRC asserting that the NLRC has disregarded the cardinal rule on the
non-suability of the State. The private respondents, on the other hand, argue that the petitioner
has impliedly waived its immunity from suit by concluding a service contract with Sultan Security


Whether or not the doctrine of non-suability of the State applies to this case.


Yes, the doctrine of non-suability of the State will apply to this case. It was ruled that the
basic postulate enshrined in the constitution that "(t)he State may not be sued without its
consent," 7 reflects nothing less than a recognition of the sovereign character of the State and
an express affirmation of the unwritten rule effectively insulating it from the jurisdiction of courts.
However, the said rule is not absolute since the doctrine says The State may not be sued
without its consent, hence, clearly saying that the State may give its consent, either expressly
or impliedly, to be sued. In this jurisdiction, the general law waiving the immunity of the state
from suit is found in Act No. 3083, where the Philippine government "consents and submits to
be sued upon any money claims involving liability arising from contract, express or implied,
which could serve as a basis of civil action between private parties."

However, not all contracts entered into by the government operates as a waiver of its non-
suability. A distinction must be made between one which is executed in the exercise of its
sovereign function and another which is done in its proprietary capacity. In this case, the
Department of Agriculture has not pretended to have assumed a capacity other than that being
a governmental entity, nor could it have performed any act proprietary in character.

But, be that as it may, the claims of private respondents, i.e. for underpayment of wages,
holiday pay, overtime pay and similar other items, arising from the Contract for Service, clearly
constitute money claims. Act No. 3083, gives the consent of the State to be "sued upon any
moneyed claim involving liability arising from contract, express or implied, . . . Pursuant,
however, to Commonwealth Act ("C.A.") No. 327, as amended by Presidential Decree ("P.D.")
No. 1145, the money claim first be brought to the Commission on Audit. ---- (Act No. 3083
provides for the legal basis for the State liability but prosecution, enforcement or
satisfaction must still pe pursued in accordance with the rules and procedures laid down
in Coomowealth Act 327 and PD 1445.)

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The resolution, dated 27 November 1991, is hereby
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The writ of execution directed against the property of the
Department of Agriculture is


G.R. No. L-33112


A writ of execution was issued by Judge Javier Pabalan against respondent Philippine
Virginia Tobacco Administration (PVTA), followed by a notice of garnishment of the funds of
PVTA. Philippine National Bank (PNB) invoked the doctrine of non-suability since PNB alleges
that the funds of PVTA in the PNB La Union branch amounting to 12, 724.66 Philippine Peso
are public in character.


Whether or not the doctrine of non-suability of the state exempts the respondent from


Wherefore, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition of PNB for certiorari and
prohibition with no cost. Thus, the writ of execution issued by Judge Pabalan must be imposed
immediately to PVTA. Also, the Supreme Court denied the non-suability clause raised by the
respondent as a government owned corporation. Quoting from Manila Hotel Employees
Association vs Manila Hotel Company that "it is well-settled that when the government enters
into commercial business, it abandons its sovereign capacity and is to be treated like any other

Doctrine of State Immunity

Rayo et al. vs CFI of Bulacan


Midnight of 1978, during typhoon Kading, Nat. Power Corp., through plant superintendent,
Benjamin Chavez, simultaneously opened the 3 floodgates of Angat Dam. As a direct and immediate
result of the said act, several towns in Bulacan were flooded, main hit was the Norzagay. Petitioners
filed eleven complaints for damages against the Corp. and Chavez. Respondent corp. invoked that they
were performing a governmental function as regards to the operation of the dam. Hence, it cannot be
sued without the consent of the state. Petitioners contended that the corp. is performing merely a
propriety function and that under RA 6395 Sec 3(d) it can be sued in any court. CIF dismissed all the

CFI: "It being an agency performing a purely governmental function in the operation of the
Angat Dam, said defendant was not given any right to commit wrongs upon individuals. To sue said
defendant for tort may require the express consent of the State."


1. W/N respondent performs a governmental function with respect to the operation of Angat Dam.

2. W/N the power of the respondent to sue and be sued under its organic charter includes the power to
be sued for tort.

1. No. As a GOCC, it has personality of its own distinct and separate from that of the government. The
government has organized a private corporation and has allowed it to sue and be sued in any curt under
its charter.

2. Yes. the charter provision that the NPC can "sue and be sued in any court" is without qualification on
the cause of action and accordingly it can include a tort claim such as the one instituted by the

Bureau of Printing (Serafin Salvador and Mariano Ledesma, petitioners) vs.

The Bureau of Printing Employees Association (NLU) (Pacifico Advincula,
Roberto Mendoza, Ponciano Arganda and Teodulo Toleran, respondents)
(G.R. No. L-15751, January 28, 1961)
Facts: The Bureau of Printing Employees Association (NLU) Pacifico Advincula,
Roberto Mendoza, Ponciano Arganda and Teodulo Toleran filed a complaint against
petitioners Bureau of Printing, Serafin Salvador, the Acting Secretary of the Department
of General Services, and Mariano Ledesma the Director of the Bureau of Printing due to
the unfair labor practices by interfering with employees of the Bureau of Printing,
particularly, the members of the complaining association petition, in their exercise of
their right to self-organization by discriminating in regard to hire and tenure of their
employment in order to discourage them from pursuing the union activities.
The petitioners denied the charges. Their affirmative defense were the following:
the respondents were suspended for breach of Civil Service rules and regulations
petitions; the Bureau of Printing has no juridical personality to sue and be sued; the
Bureau of Printing is not an industrial concern engaged for the purpose of gain but is an
agency of the Republic performing government functions. They petitioned for the
dismissal of the case for lack of jurisdiction. They filed an Omnibus Motion, or a legal
examination, before the hearing of the case in the Industrial Court. It was granted, but
after the hearing, the theory of the court that that the functions of the Bureau of Printing
are "exclusively proprietary in nature" is maintained. Therefore, their prayer of case
dismissal was denied. Reconsideration was also denied. As an effect, the petitioners
brought the case to the Supreme Court through the present petition for certiorari and
Issues: Whether or not the Bureau of Printing may be sued. | Whether or not the
complaint of the respondents is valid.
Ruling: The Bureau of Printing receives outside private printing jobs from time to
time (only 0.5% of their overall job), imposes overtime work with pay on their employees
when needed, but since its function is to meet the printing needs of the Government, it
is chiefly a service bureau, not a business with an aim to gain monetary profit. It is not
fully proprietary in nature. In relation to this, the Industrial Court has no jurisdiction in
taking over the case as it is not an industrial or a business organization. Therefore, the
Bureau of Printing cannot be sued. A suit, action or proceeding against it, would actually
be a suit, action or proceeding against the Government itself, and the Government
cannot be sued without its consent, much less over its objection, according to the Sec.
1, Rule 3, Rules of Court.
The case was proven to be a result of the charges against some officers of the
respondent Bureau of Printing Employees' Association by the Acting Secretary of
General Services due to insubordination, grave misconduct and acts prejudicial to
public service committed by inciting the employees, of the Bureau of Printing to walk out
of their jobs against the order of the duly constituted officials. The head may take
responsibility in investigating administrative charges against erring employees.
The petition for a writ of prohibition is granted, and the complaint for unfair labor
practice against the petitioners is dismissed, with costs against the respondents.