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Javellana v.

The Executive Secretary


50 SCRA 30; March 31, 1973
Ponente: Concepcion, C.J

On January 20, 1973, Josue Javellana filed a prohibition case to restrain respondents from implementing
any of the provisions of the proposed constitution not found in the present constitution. Javellana
maintained that the respondents are acting without or in excess of jurisdiction in implementing
proposed constitution and that the president is without power to proclaim the ratification of the
constitution. Similar actions were filed by Vidal Tan, Gerardo Roxas, among others. Petitioners pray for
the nullification of Proclamation 1102 (Citizens Assemblies) and any order, decree, and proclamation
which are similar in objective.

1. Is the validity of Proclamation No. 1102 justiciable?
2. Was the constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention ratified validly in compliance
to applicable laws?
3. Was the proposed Constitution acquiesced by the people?
4. Are the petitioners entitled relief?
5. Is the proposed Constitution in force?

Whether a constitutional amendment has been properly adopted according to an existing constitution is
a judicial question as it is the absolute duty of the judiciary to determine whether the Constitution has
been amended in the manner required by the constitution. The Constitution proposed by the 1971
Convention was not validly ratified in accordance with Article XV section 1 of the 1935 Constitution
which provides only one way for ratification (election or plebiscite held in accordance with law and only
with qualified voters). Due to the environmental and social conditions in the Philippines (i.e. martial law)
the Court cannot honestly say that the people acquiesced to the proposed Constitution. The majority
ruled to dismiss the cases as the effectivity of the proposed Constitution is the basic issue posed by the
cases which considerations other than judicial are relevant and unavoidable. The new constitution is in
force as there are not enough votes to say otherwise.

101 PHIL 155


The Congress of the Philippines enacted the act which nationalizes the retail trade business,
Republic Act No. 1180 entitled An Act to Regulate theRetail Business, prohibiting aliens in
general to engage in retail trade in our country. Petitioner, for and in his own behalf and on
behalf of other alien residents, corporations and partnerships adversely affected by the
provisions of RA No.1180, brought this action to obtain a judicial declaration that said Act is


Whether Congress in enacting R.A. No. 1180 violated the UN Charter, the UN Declaration of
Human Rights and the Philippine-Chinese Treaty of Amity.


The UN Charter imposes no strict or legal obligations regarding the rights and freedom of their
subjects, and the Declaration of Human Rights contains nothing more than a mere
recommendation, or a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. The
Treaty of Amity between the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of China guarantees
equality of treatment to the Chinese nationals upon the same terms as the nationals of any
other country. But the nationals of China are not discriminated against because nationals of all
other countries, except those of the United States, who are granted special rights by the
Constitution, are all prohibited from engaging in the retail trade. But even supposing that the
law infringes upon the said treaty, the treaty is always subject to qualification or amendment by
a subsequent law, and the same may never curtail or restrict the scope of the police power of
the State.
Almario vs Alba
G.R. No. L-66088 25 Jan 1984
127 SCRA 69


As provided for in Batas Pambansa Blg. 643, the Filipino electorate will go to the polls on
January 27, 1984 to either approve or reject amendments to the Constitution proposed by
Resolution Nos. 104, 105, 110, 111, 112, and 113 of the Batasang Pambansa. The proposed
amendments are embodied in four (4) separate questions to be answered by simple YES or NO
answers. Petitioners herein seek to enjoin the submission on January 27, 1984 of Question Nos.
3 (grant as an additional mode of acquiring lands belonging to the public domain) and 4 (the
undertaking by the government of a land reform program and a social reform program), which
cover Resolution Nos. 105 and 113, to the people for ratification or rejection on the ground that
there has been no fair and proper submission following the doctrine laid down in Tolentino v.
COMELEC. The petitioners do not seek to prohibit the holding of the plebiscite but only ask for
more time for the people to study the meaning and implications of Resolution Nos. 105 and 113
until the nature and effect of the proposals are fairly and properly submitted to the electorate.

ISSUE: Whether or not Questions 3 and 4 can be presented to the people on a later date.


The necessity, expediency, and wisdom of the proposed amendments are beyond the power of
the courts to adjudicate. Precisely, whether or not "grant" of public land and "urban land
reform" are unwise or improvident or whether or not the proposed amendments are
unnecessary is a matter which only the people can decide. The questions are presented for
their determination. Assuming that a member or some members of this Court may find
undesirable any additional mode of disposing of public land or an urban land reform program,
the remedy is to vote "NO" in the plebiscite but not to substitute his or their aversion to the
proposed amendments by denying to the millions of voters an opportunity to express their own
likes or dislikes. The issue before us has nothing to do with the wisdom of the proposed
amendments, their desirability, or the danger of the power being abused. The issue is whether
or not the voters are aware of the wisdom, the desirability, or the dangers of abuse. The
petitioners have failed to make out a case that the average voter does not know the meaning of
"grant" of public land or of "urban land reform."