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American Bible Society vs.

City of Manila
GR No. L-9637 | April 30, 1957

· American Bible Society is a foreign, non-stock, non-profit, religious, missionary corporation duly
registered and doing business in the Philippines through its Philippine agency established in Manila in
November, 1898
· City of Manila is a municipal corporation with powers that are to be exercised in conformity with the
provisions of Republic Act No. 409, known as the Revised Charter of the City of Manila
· American Bible Society has been distributing and selling bibles and/or gospel portions throughout the
Philippines and translating the same into several Philippine dialect
· City Treasurer of Manila informed American Bible Society that it was violating several Ordinances for
operating without the necessary permit and license, thereby requiring the corporation to secure the permit
and license fees covering the period from 4Q 1945-2Q 1953
· To avoid closing of its business, American Bible Society paid the City of Manila its permit and license
fees under protest
· American Bible filed a complaint, questioning the constitutionality and legality of the Ordinances 2529
and 3000, and prayed for a refund of the payment made to the City of Manila. They contended:
a. They had been in the Philippines since 1899 and were not required to pay any license fee or sales
b. it never made any profit from the sale of its bibles
· City of Manila prayed that the complaint be dismissed, reiterating the constitutionality of the
Ordinances in question
· Trial Court dismissed the complaint
· American Bible Society appealed to the Court of Appeals

Issue: WON American Bible Society liable to pay sales tax for the distribution and sale of bibles

Ruling: NO
· Under Sec. 1 of Ordinance 3000, one of the ordinance in question, person or entity engaged in any of
the business, trades or occupation enumerated under Sec. 3 must obtain a Mayor’s permit and license
from the City Treasurer. American Bible Society’s business is not among those enumerated
· However, item 79 of Sec. 3 of the Ordinance provides that all other businesses, trade or occupation not
mentioned, except those upon which the City is not empowered to license or to tax P5.00
· Therefore, the necessity of the permit is made to depend upon the power of the City to license or tax
said business, trade or occupation.
· 2 provisions of law that may have bearing on this case:
a. Chapter 60 of the Revised Administrative Code, the Municipal Board of the City of Manila is
empowered to tax and fix the license fees on retail dealers engaged in the sale of books
b. Sec. 18(o) of RA 409: to tax and fix the license fee on dealers in general merchandise, including
importers and indenters, except those dealers who may be expressly subject to the payment of some other
municipal tax. Further, Dealers in general merchandise shall be classified as (a) wholesale dealers and (b)
retail dealers. For purposes of the tax on retail dealers, general merchandise shall be classified into four
main classes: namely (1) luxury articles, (2) semi-luxury articles, (3) essential commodities, and (4)
miscellaneous articles. A separate license shall be prescribed for each class but where commodities of
different classes are sold in the same establishment, it shall not be compulsory for the owner to secure
more than one license if he pays the higher or highest rate of tax prescribed by ordinance. Wholesale
dealers shall pay the license tax as such, as may be provided by ordinance
· The only difference between the 2 provisions is the limitation as to the amount of tax or license fee that
a retail dealer has to pay per annum
· As held in Murdock vs. Pennsylvania, The power to impose a license tax on the exercise of these
freedoms provided for in the Bill of Rights, is indeed as potent as the power of censorship which this
Court has repeatedly struck down. It is not a nominal fee imposed as a regulatory measure to defray the
expenses of policing the activities in question. It is in no way apportioned. It is flat license tax levied and
collected as a condition to the pursuit of activities whose enjoyment is guaranteed by the constitutional
liberties of press and religion and inevitably tends to suppress their exercise. That is almost uniformly
recognized as the inherent vice and evil of this flat license tax.
· Further, the case also mentioned that the power to tax the exercise of a privilege is the power to control
or suppress its enjoyment. Those who can tax the exercise of this religious practice can make its exercise
so costly as to deprive it of the resources necessary for its maintenance. Those who can tax the privilege
of engaging in this form of missionary evangelism can close all its doors to all those who do not have a
full purse
· Under Sec. 27(e) of Commonwealth Act No. 466 or the National Internal Revenue Code, Corporations
or associations organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, . . . or educational purposes, .
. .: Provided, however, That the income of whatever kind and character from any of its properties, real or
personal, or from any activity conducted for profit, regardless of the disposition made of such income,
shall be liable to the tax imposed under this Code shall not be taxed
· The price asked for the bibles and other religious pamphlets was in some instances a little bit higher
than the actual cost of the same but this cannot mean that American Bible Society was engaged in the
business or occupation of selling said "merchandise" for profit
· Therefore, the Ordinance cannot be applied for in doing so it would impair American Bible Society’s
free exercise and enjoyment of its religious profession and worship as well as its rights of dissemination
of religious beliefs.

Wherefore, and on the strength of the foregoing considerations, We hereby reverse the decision appealed
from, sentencing defendant return to plaintiff the sum of P5,891.45 unduly collected from it
ANG LADLAD LGBT PARTY represented herein by its Chair, DANTON REMOTO,
Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondent.
G.R. No. 190582 : April 8, 2010


Ang Ladlad is an organization composed of men and women who identify themselves as lesbians, gays,
bisexuals, or trans-gendered individuals (LGBTs). Incorporated in 2003, Ang Ladlad first applied for
registration with the COMELEC in 2006. The application for accreditation was denied on the ground that
the organization had no substantial membership base. On August 17, 2009, Ang Ladlad again filed a
Petition for registration with the COMELEC.

Before the COMELEC, petitioner argued that the LGBT community is a marginalized and under-
represented sector that is particularly disadvantaged because of their sexual orientation and gender
identity; that LGBTs are victims of exclusion, discrimination, and violence; that because of negative
societal attitudes, LGBTs are constrained to hide their sexual orientation; and that Ang Ladlad complied
with the 8-point guidelines enunciated by this Court in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v.
Commission on Elections. Ang Ladlad laid out its national membership base consisting of individual
members and organizational supporters, and outlined its platform of governance.

On November 11, 2009, after admitting the petitioners evidence, the COMELEC (Second Division)
dismissed the Petition on moral grounds, stating that: This Petition is dismissible on moral grounds.
Petitioner defines the Filipino Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community, thus a
marginalized and under-represented sector that is particularly disadvantaged because of their sexual
orientation and gender identity. and proceeded to define sexual orientation as that which refers to a
persons capacity for profound emotional, affectional and sexual attraction to, and intimate and sexual
relations with, individuals of a different gender, of the same gender, or more than one gender.

ANG LADLAD collides with Article 695 of the Civil Code which defines nuisance as Any act, omission,
establishment, business, condition of property, or anything else which (3) shocks, defies; or
disregardsdecency or morality.

It also collides with Article 1306 of the Civil Code: The contracting parties may establish such
stipulations, clauses, terms and conditions as they may deem convenient, provided they are not contrary to
law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy. Art 1409 of the Civil Code provides that
Contracts whose cause, object or purpose is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public
policy are inexistent and void from the beginning.

Finally to safeguard the morality of the Filipino community, the Revised Penal Code, as amended,
penalizes Immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions and indecent shows as follows:

Art. 201. Immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions, and indecent shows.

When Ang Ladlad sought reconsideration, three commissioners voted to overturn the First Assailed
Resolution (Commissioners Gregorio Y. Larrazabal, Rene V. Sarmiento, and Armando Velasco), while
three commissioners voted to deny Ang Ladlads Motion for Reconsideration (Commissioners Nicodemo
T. Ferrer, Lucenito N. Tagle, and Elias R. Yusoph). The COMELEC Chairman, breaking the tie and
speaking for the majority in his Separate Opinion, upheld the First Assailed Resolution, stating that:

Ladlad is applying for accreditation as a sectoral party in the party-list system. Even assuming that it has
properly proven its under-representation and marginalization, it cannot be said that Ladlads expressed
sexual orientations per se would benefit the nation as a whole.

Thus, even if societys understanding, tolerance, and acceptance of LGBTs is elevated, there can be no
denying that Ladlad constituencies are still males and females, and they will remain either male or female
protected by the same Bill of Rights that applies to all citizens alike.

There is no question about not imposing on Ladlad Christian or Muslim religious practices. Neither is
there any attempt to any particular religious groups moral rules on Ladlad. Rather, what are being adopted
as moral parameters and precepts are generally accepted public morals. They are possibly religious-based,
but as a society, the Philippines cannot ignore its more than 500 years of Muslim and Christian
upbringing, such that some moral precepts espoused by said religions have sipped [sic] into society and
these are not publicly accepted moral norms.

On January 4, 2010, Ang Ladlad filed this Petition, praying that the Court annul the Assailed Resolutions
and direct the COMELEC to grant Ang Ladlads application for accreditation. Ang Ladlad also sought the
issuance ex parte of a preliminary mandatory injunction against the COMELEC, which had previously
announced that it would begin printing the final ballots for the May 2010 elections by January 25, 2010.

Issue: Whether the Application for accreditation by Ang Ladlad should be granted.

Held: The decision of the COMELEC is overruled.

POLITICAL LAW : equal protection clause

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender have the same interest in participating in the party-list system
on the same basis as other political parties similarly situated. State intrusion in this case is equally
burdensome. Hence, laws of general application should apply with equal force to LGBTs, and they
deserve to participate in the party-list system on the same basis as other marginalized and under-
represented sectors.

It bears stressing that our finding that COMELECs act of differentiating LGBTs from heterosexuals
insofar as the party-list system is concerned does not imply that any other law distinguishing between
heterosexuals and homosexuals under different circumstances would similarly fail. The Court disagree
with the OSGs position that homosexuals are a class in themselves for the purposes of the equal
protection clause. It should not single out homosexuals as a separate class meriting special or
differentiated treatment. We have not received sufficient evidence to this effect, and it is simply
unnecessary to make such a ruling today. Petitioner itself has merely demanded that it be recognized
under the same basis as all other groups similarly situated, and that the COMELEC made "an unwarranted
and impermissible classification not justified by the circumstances of the case."

POLITICAL LAW : freedom of expression and of association

Under our system of laws, every group has the right to promote its agenda and attempt to persuade society
of the validity of its position through normal democratic means. It is in the public square that deeply held
convictions and differing opinions should be distilled and deliberated upon.

In a democracy, this common agreement on political and moral ideas is distilled in the public square.
Where citizens are free, every opinion, every prejudice, every aspiration, and every moral discernment
has access to the public square where people deliberate the order of their life together. Citizens are the
bearers of opinion, including opinion shaped by, or espousing religious belief, and these citizens have
equal access to the public square. In this representative democracy, the state is prohibited from
determining which convictions and moral judgments may be proposed for public deliberation. Through a
constitutionally designed process, the people deliberate and decide. Majority rule is a necessary principle
in this democratic governance. Thus, when public deliberation on moral judgments is finally crystallized
into law, the laws will largely reflect the beliefs and preferences of the majority, i.e., the mainstream or
median groups. Nevertheless, in the very act of adopting and accepting a constitution and the limits it
specifies including protection of religious freedom "not only for a minority, however small not only for a
majority, however large but for each of us" the majority imposes upon itself a self-denying ordinance. It
promises not to do what it otherwise could do: to ride roughshod over the dissenting minorities.

Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society, and this
freedom applies not only to those that are favorably received but also to those that offend, shock, or
disturb. Any restriction imposed in this sphere must be proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued.
Absent any compelling state interest, it is not for the COMELEC or this Court to impose its views on the
populace. Otherwise stated, the COMELEC is certainly not free to interfere with speech for no better
reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one.

CIVIL LAW: principle of non-discrimination

All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of
the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and
effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion,
political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

In this context, the principle of non-discrimination requires that laws of general application relating to
elections be applied equally to all persons, regardless of sexual orientation. Although sexual orientation is
not specifically enumerated as a status or ratio for discrimination in Article 26 of the ICCPR, the ICCPR
Human Rights Committee has opined that the reference to "sex" in Article 26 should be construed to
include "sexual orientation." Additionally, a variety of United Nations bodies have declared
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation to be prohibited under various international agreements.
Hazel Ma. C. Antolin, Petitioner vs. Abelardo T. Domondon, Jose A. Gangan and Violeta J.
Josef, Respondents,
G.R. No. 165036; July 5, 2010
Hazel Ma. C. Antolin, Petitioner vs. Antonieta Fortuna-Ibe, Respondent,
G.R. No. 175705; July 5, 2010


Hazel Ma. C. Antolin (Petitioner) failed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Licensure Exam she took
in October 1997. Convinced she deserved to pass the Exam, she wrote to the Board of Accountancy
(Board), requesting that her answer sheets be re-corrected. She was shown her answer sheets but since
these showed only shaded marks, she was unable to determine why she failed the Exam. Consequently,
she asked the Board for copies of the questionnaire, her answer sheets, the answer keys and an
explanation of the grading system (collectively, the Examination Papers). Her request was denied on two
grounds: (1) Section 36, Article III of the Rules and Regulations Governing the Regulation and Practice
of Professionals, as amended by Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Resolution No. 332, series
of 1994, only allowed access to her answer sheets, and reconsideration of the result of her examination
can be made only on grounds of mechanical error in the grading of the answer sheets, or malfeasance; and
(2) the Board was precluded from releasing the Examination Papers (other than the answer sheets) by
Section 20, Article IV of PRC Resolution No. 338, series of 1994.
The Board later informed her that her exam was investigated and no mechanical error was found in the

Petitioner filed a Petition for Mandamus with Damages, with application for preliminary mandatory
injunction, against the Board and its members before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), praying that the
Board provide her with all documents that would show whether the Board fairly administered the exam
and correctly graded her answers, and if warranted, to issue to her a certificate of registration as a CPA.
She later amended her Petition to clarify that she only wanted access to the documents requested, not
recorrection of her exam, deleting in the process her original prayer for issuance of a certificate of
registration as CPA.

Petitioner passed the May 1998 CPA Licensure Exam and took her oath as a CPA. Consequently, the
RTC denied her application for mandatory injunction for being moot. She amended her Petition a second
time to implead the PRC and to ask, in addition to access to the documents she had requested, that if
warranted, appropriate revisions in the October 1997 Exam results be made by the Board and the PRC.
The RTC considered the matter moot and dismissed the petition. On her motion, however, the RTC
reconsidered the dismissal, holding that her passing of the subsequent CPA examination did not render
the petition moot because the relief “and if warranted, to issue to her a certificate of registration as
Certified Public Accountant” was deleted from the original petition. As regards whether she had the
constitutional right to have access to the documents she requested, the RTC resolved to let the parties first
adduce evidence, and to have PRC air its side of the case. The RTC also ordered the PRC to preserve and
safeguard the questionnaire, petitioner’s answer sheets, and the answer keys for the October 1997 CPA
Licensure Exam.

When their motion for reconsideration was denied, respondents brought the case to the Court of Appeals
(CA) which set aside the RTC’s decision and ordered the dismissal of the case because: (1) the petition
was mooted when petitioner passed the May 1998 CPA exam; (2) Section 20, Article IV of PRC
Resolution No. 338, series of 1994, constituted a valid limitation on her right to information and access to
government documents; (3) the Examination Documents were not of public concern, because she merely
sought review of her failing marks; (4) it was not the ministerial or mandatory function of the respondents
to review and reassess the answers to examination questions of a failing examinee; and (5) she failed to
exhaust administrative remedies when she did not elevate the matter to the PRC before seeking judicial
intervention. Petitioner, thus, brought the matter to the Supreme Court.

Issues: (1) Whether or not petitioner may seek judicial intervention to compel the re-correction of her
examination; (2) Whether or not petitioner failed to exhaust the administrative remedies; (3) Whether or
not the case was mooted by petitioner’s passing the May 1998 CPA Licensure Examination; and (4)
Whether or not petitioner has the constitutionalright to have access to the Examination Papers.

Held: (1) Any claim for re-correction or revision of petitioner’s 1997 examination cannot be compelled
by mandamus. In AgustinRamos vs. Sandoval[G.R. No. 84470, February 2, 1989 (Minute Resolution)],
where therespondent Judge was questioned for dismissing therein petitioners’ mandamus action to compel
the Medical Board of Examiners and the Professional Regulation Commission to re-correct their ratings,
the Supreme Court held that “(t)he function of reviewing and re-assessing the petitioners’ answers to the
examination questions, in the light of the facts and arguments presented by them x x x is a discretionary
function of the Medical Board, not a ministerial and mandatory one, hence, not within the scope of
thewrit of mandamus.” For a writ of mandamus to issue, the applicant must have a well-defined, clear,
and certain legal right to the thing demanded. The corresponding duty of the respondent to perform the
required act must be equally clear. No such clarity exists here. And despite petitioner’s assertion that she
did not demand re-correction, the most cursory perusal of her Second Amended Petition and her prayer
that respondents “make the appropriate revisions on the results of her examination” belied this claim.

(2) Like the claimants in Agustin, petitioner’s remedy from the Board’srefusal to release the Examination
Papers should have been through an appeal to the PRC. Under Section 5(c) of Presidential Decree No.
223, the PRC has the power to review and approve the policies, resolutions, rules and regulations, orders
and decisions of the various professional Boards, including the results of their licensure examinations, and
the decisions of the Boards on administrative cases shall be final and executory unless appealed to the
PRC within 30 days from promulgation. Contrary’s to petitioner’s claim, this power is not limited to
administrative investigations but encompassesrequests for documents. And since the PRC itself issued the
resolution (PRC Resolution No. 338) questioned by petitioner, it was in the best position to resolve
questions addressed to its area of expertise.

One of the reasons for exhaustion of administrative remedies is thewell-entrenched doctrine on separation
of powers, which enjoins upon the Judiciary a becoming policy of non-interference with matters falling
primarily (albeit not exclusively) within the competence of other departments. However, the principle of
exhaustion of administrative remedies is subject to exceptions, among which is when only a question of
law is involved.

Whether or not petitioner had a constitutional right to demand access to the Examination Papers was one
such question of law which cannot be resolved with finality by the administrative officer.

(3) An issue becomes moot and academic when it ceases to present a justiciable controversy, so that a
declaration on the issue would be of no practical use or value. In this jurisdiction, any citizen may
challenge any attempt to obstruct the exercise of his or her right to information and may seek its
enforcement by mandamus. And since every citizen possesses the inherent right to be informed by the
mere fact of citizenship, petitioner’s belated passing of the CPA Board Exams did not automatically mean
that her interest in the Examination Papers had become mere superfluity. Undoubtedly, the constitutional
question presented, in view of the likelihood that the issues in this case would be repeated, warranted
(4) Like all the constitutional guarantees, the right to information is not absolute; it is limited to “matters
of public concern” and is further “subject to such limitations as may be provided by law” (Section 7,
Article III, 1987 Constitution). Similarly, the State’s policy of full disclosure is limited to “transactions
involving public interest,” and is “subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law” (Sec. 28, Art. II,
1987 Constitution). The Court has always grappled with the meanings of “public interest” and “public
concern” which “embrace a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to know, either
because these directly affect their lives, or simply because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an
ordinary citizen,” and which are, in the final analysis, up to the courts to determine on a case by case basis
[Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission, 234 Phil. 521, 535 (1987)].

National board examinations such as the CPA Board Exams are matters of public concern. The populace
in general, and the examinees in particular, would understandably be interested in the fair and competent
administration of these exams in order to ensure that only those qualified are admitted into the accounting
profession. And as with all matters pedagogical, these examinations could be not merely quantitative
means of assessment, but also means to further improve the teaching and learning of the art and science of

The Court, nonetheless, realizes that there may be valid reasons to limit access to the Examination Papers
in order to properly administer the exam. More than the mere convenience of the examiner, it may well be
that there exist inherent difficulties in the preparation, generation, encoding, administration, and checking
of these multiple choice exams that require that the questions and answers remain confidential for a
limited duration. The PRC, however, had not been given an opportunity to explain the reasons behind
their regulations or articulate the justification for keeping the Examination Papers confidential. In view of
the far-reaching implications of this case, which may impact on every board examination administered by
the PRC, and in order that all relevant issues may be ventilated, the Court deemed it best to remand the
case to the RTC for further proceedings.
G.R. No. 133250
July 9, 2002


On November 20, 1973, the government, through the Commissioner of Public Highways, signed a
contract with the Construction and Development Corporation of the Philippines (“CDCP” for brevity) to
reclaim certain foreshore and offshore areas of Manila Bay. The contract also included the construction of
Phases I and II of the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road. CDCP obligated itself to carry out all the works in
consideration of fifty percent of the total reclaimed land.

On February 4, 1977, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1084 creating
PEA. PD No. 1084 tasked PEA “to reclaim land, including foreshore and submerged areas,” and “to
develop, improve, acquire, lease and sell any and all kinds of lands.”On the same date, then President
Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1085 transferring to PEA the “lands reclaimed in the foreshore and
offshore of the Manila Bay” under the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road and Reclamation Project (MCCRRP).

On December 29, 1981, then President Marcos issued a memorandum directing PEA to amend its
contract with CDCP, so that “[A]ll future works in MCCRRP x x x shall be funded and owned by PEA.”
Accordingly, PEA and CDCP executed a Memorandum of Agreement dated December 29, 1981, which

“CDCP shall undertake all reclamation, construction, and such other works in the MCCRRP as may be
agreed upon by the parties, to be paid according to progress of works on a unit price/lump sum basis for
items of work to be agreed upon, subject to price escalation, retention and other terms and conditions
provided for in Presidential Decree No. 1594. All the financing required for such works shall be provided
by PEA. CDCP shall give up all its development rights and hereby agrees to cede and transfer in favor of
PEA, all of the rights, title, interest and participation of CDCP in and to all the areas of land reclaimed by
CDCP in the MCCRRP as of December 30, 1981 which have not yet been sold, transferred or otherwise
disposed of by CDCP as of said date, which areas consist of approximately Ninety-Nine Thousand Four
Hundred Seventy Three (99,473) square meters in the Financial Center Area covered by land pledge No.
5 and approximately Three Million Three Hundred Eighty Two Thousand Eight Hundred Eighty Eight
(3,382,888) square meters of reclaimed areas at varying elevations above Mean Low Water Level located
outside the Financial Center Area and the First Neighborhood Unit.”
On January 19, 1988, then President Corazon C. Aquino issued Special Patent No. 3517, granting and
transferring to PEA “the parcels of land so reclaimed under the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road and
Reclamation Project (MCCRRP) containing a total area of one million nine hundred fifteen thousand
eight hundred ninety four (1,915,894) square meters.” Subsequently, on April 9, 1988, the Register of
Deeds of the Municipality of Parañaque issued Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 7309, 7311, and 7312,
in the name of PEA, covering the three reclaimed islands known as the “Freedom Islands” located at the
southern portion of the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road, Parañaque City. The Freedom Islands have a total
land area of One Million Five Hundred Seventy Eight Thousand Four Hundred and Forty One
(1,578,441) square meters or 157.841 hectares.

On April 25, 1995, PEA entered into a Joint Venture Agreement (“JVA” for brevity) with AMARI, a
private corporation, to develop the Freedom Islands. The JVA also required the reclamation of an
additional 250 hectares of submerged areas surrounding these islands to complete the configuration in the
Master Development Plan of the Southern Reclamation Project-MCCRRP. PEA and AMARI entered into
the JVA through negotiation without public bidding. On April 28, 1995, the Board of Directors of PEA,
in its Resolution No. 1245, confirmed the JVA.On June 8, 1995, then President Fidel V. Ramos, through
then Executive Secretary Ruben Torres, approved the JVA.

On November 29, 1996, then Senate President Ernesto Maceda delivered a privilege speech in the Senate
and denounced the JVA as the “grandmother of all scams.” As a result, the Senate Committee on
Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, and the Committee on Accountability of Public
Officers and Investigations, conducted a joint investigation. The Senate Committees reported the results
of their investigation in Senate Committee Report No. 560 dated September 16, 1997.Among the
conclusions of their report are: (1) the reclaimed lands PEA seeks to transfer to AMARI under the JVA
are lands of the public domain which the government has not classified as alienable lands and therefore
PEA cannot alienate these lands; (2) the certificates of title covering the Freedom Islands are thus void,
and (3) the JVA itself is illegal.

On December 5, 1997, then President Fidel V. Ramos issued Presidential Administrative Order No. 365
creating a Legal Task Force to conduct a study on the legality of the JVA in view of Senate Committee
Report No. 560. The members of the Legal Task Force were the Secretary of Justice, the Chief
Presidential Legal Counsel,and the Government Corporate Counsel. The Legal Task Force upheld the
legality of the JVA, contrary to the conclusions reached by the Senate Committees.

On April 4 and 5, 1998, the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Today published reports that there were on-
going renegotiations between PEA and AMARI under an order issued by then President Fidel V. Ramos.
According to these reports, PEA Director Nestor Kalaw, PEA Chairman Arsenio Yulo and retired Navy
Officer Sergio Cruz composed the negotiating panel of PEA.

On April 13, 1998, Antonio M. Zulueta filed before the Court a Petition for Prohibition with Application
for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction docketed as G.R. No.
132994 seeking to nullify the JVA. The Court dismissed the petition “for unwarranted disregard of
judicial hierarchy, without prejudice to the refiling of the case before the proper court.”

On April 27, 1998, petitioner Frank I. Chavez (“Petitioner” for brevity) as a taxpayer, filed the
instant Petition for Mandamus with Prayer for the Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and
Temporary Restraining Order. Petitioner contends the government stands to lose billions of pesos in the
sale by PEA of the reclaimed lands to AMARI. Petitioner prays that PEA publicly disclose the terms of
any renegotiation of the JVA, invoking Section 28, Article II, and Section 7, Article III, of the 1987
Constitution on the right of the people to information on matters of public concern. Petitioner assails the
sale to AMARI of lands of the public domain as a blatant violation of Section 3, Article XII of the 1987
Constitution prohibiting the sale of alienable lands of the public domain to private corporations. Finally,
petitioner asserts that he seeks to enjoin the loss of billions of pesos in properties of the State that are of
public dominion.

After several motions for extension of time, PEA and AMARI filed their Comments on October 19, 1998
and June 25, 1998, respectively. Meanwhile, on December 28, 1998, petitioner filed an Omnibus Motion:
(a) to require PEA to submit the terms of the renegotiated PEA-AMARI contract; (b) for issuance of a
temporary restraining order; and (c) to set the case for hearing on oral argument. Petitioner filed a
Reiterative Motion for Issuance of a TRO dated May 26, 1999, which the Court denied in a Resolution
dated June 22, 1999.

In a Resolution dated March 23, 1999, the Court gave due course to the petition and required the parties
to file their respective memoranda.

On March 30, 1999, PEA and AMARI signed the Amended Joint Venture Agreement (“Amended JVA,”
for brevity). On May 28, 1999, the Office of the President under the administration of then President
Joseph E. Estrada approved the Amended JVA.

Due to the approval of the Amended JVA by the Office of the President, petitioner now prays that on
“constitutional and statutory grounds the renegotiated contract be declared null and void.”

Issues: Whether or not the transfer is valid.

Held: No. To allow vast areas of reclaimed lands of the public domain to be transferred to Amari as
private lands will sanction a gross violation of the constitutional ban on private corporations from
acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain.

The Supreme Court affirmed that the 157.84 hectares of reclaimed lands comprising the Freedom Islands,
now covered by certificates of title in the name of PEA, are alienable lands of the public domain. The
592.15 hectares of submerged areas of Manila Bay remain inalienable natural resources of the public
domain. The transfer (as embodied in a joint venture agreement) to AMARI, a private corporation,
ownership of 77.34 hectares of the Freedom Islands, is void for being contrary to Section 3, Article XII of
the 1987 Constitution which prohibits private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land of
the public domain. Furthermore, since the Amended JVA also seeks to transfer to Amari ownership of
290.156 hectares of still submerged areas of Manila Bay, such transfer is void for being contrary to
Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits the alienation of natural resources other
than agricultural lands of the public domain.
Ebralinag vs. Division Superintendent of School of Cebu
GR 95770
29 December 1995


Two special civil actions for certiorari, Mandamus and Prohibition were filed and consolidated raising the
same issue whether school children who are members or a religious sect known as Jehovah’s Witnesses
may be expelled from school (both public and private), for refusing, on account of their religious beliefs,
to take part in the flag ceremony which includes playing (by a band) or singing the Philippine national
anthem, saluting the Philippine flag and reciting the patriotic pledge.

All of the petitioners in both (consolidated) cases were expelled from their classes by the public school
authorities in Cebu for refusing to salute the flag, sing the national anthem and recite the patriotic pledge
as required by Republic Act No. 1265 (An Act making flagceremony compulsory in all educational
institutions) of July 11, 1955 , and by Department Order No. 8 (Rules and Regulations for Conducting the
Flag Ceremony in All Educational Institutions)dated July 21, 1955 of the Department of Education,
Culture and Sports (DECS) making the flag ceremony compulsory in all educational institutions.

Petitioners are Jehovah’s Witnesses believing that by doing these is religious worship/devotion akin to
idolatry against their teachings. They contend that to compel transcends constitutional limits and invades
protection against official control and religious freedom. The respondents relied on the precedence of
Gerona et al v. Secretary of Education where the Court upheld the explulsions. Gerona doctrine provides
that we are a system of separation of the church and state and the flag is devoid of religious significance
and it doesn’t involve any religious ceremony. The children of Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot be exempted
from participation in the flag ceremony. They have no valid right to such exemption. Moreover,
exemption to the requirement will disrupt school discipline and demoralize the rest of the school
population which by far constitutes the great majority. The freedom of religious belief guaranteed by the
Constitution does not and cannot mean exemption from or non-compliance with reasonable and non-
discriminatory laws, rules and regulations promulgated by competent authority.

Issue: Whether or not the expulsion of petitioners violated their freedom of religion?

YES. The Court held that the expulsion of the petitioners from the school was not justified.

Religious freedom is a fundamental right of highest priority and the amplest protection among human
rights, for it involves the relationship of man to his Creator. The right to religious profession and worship
has a two-fold aspect, vis., freedom to believe and freedom to act on one’s belief. The first is absolute as
long as the belief is confined within the realm of thought. The second is subject to regulation where the
belief is translated into external acts that affect the public welfare. The only limitation to religious
freedom is the existence of grave and present danger to public safety, morals, health and interests where
State has right to prevent.
Petitioners stress that while they do not take part in the compulsory flag ceremony, they do not engage in
“external acts” or behavior that would offend their countrymen who believe in expressing their love of
country through the observance of the flag ceremony. They quietly stand at attention during the flag
ceremony to show their respect for the right of those who choose to participate in the solemn proceedings.
Since they do not engage in disruptive behavior, there is no warrant for their expulsion.
Estrada vs. Escritor
AM P-02-1651, August 4, 2003


Soledad Escritor is a court interpreter since 1999 in the RTC of Las Pinas City. Alejandro Estrada, the
complainant, wrote to Judge Jose F. Caoibes, presiding judge of Branch 253, RTC of Las Pinas City,
requesting for an investigation of rumors that Escritor has been living with Luciano Quilapio Jr., a man
not her husband, and had eventually begotten a son. Escritor’s husband, who had lived with another
woman, died a year before she entered into the judiciary. On the other hand, Quilapio is still legally
married to another woman. Estrada is not related to either Escritor or Quilapio and is not a resident of
Las Pinas but of Bacoor, Cavite. According to the complainant, respondent should not be allowed to
remain employed in the judiciary for it will appear as if the court allows such act.

Escritor is a member of the religious sect known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower and
Bible Tract Society where her conjugal arrangement with Quilapio is in conformity with their religious
beliefs. After ten years of living together, she executed on July 28, 1991 a “Declaration of Pledging
Faithfulness” which was approved by the congregation. Such declaration is effective when legal
impediments render it impossible for a couple to legalize their union. Gregorio, Salazar, a member of the
Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1985 and has been a presiding minister since 1991, testified and explained the
import of and procedures for executing the declaration which was completely executed by Escritor and
Quilapio’s in Atimonan, Quezon and was signed by three witnesses and recorded in Watch Tower Central


Whether or not respondent should be found guilty of the administrative charge of “gross and immoral
conduct” and be penalized by the State for such conjugal arrangement.


A distinction between public and secular morality and religious morality should be kept in mind. The
jurisdiction of the Court extends only to public and secular morality.
The Court states that our Constitution adheres the benevolent neutrality approach that gives room for
accommodation of religious exercises as required by the Free Exercise Clause. This benevolent neutrality
could allow for accommodation of morality based on religion, provided it does not offend compelling
state interests.

The state’s interest is the preservation of the integrity of the judiciary by maintaining among its ranks a
high standard of morality and decency. “There is nothing in the OCA’s (Office of the Court
Administrator) memorandum to the Court that demonstrates how this interest is so compelling that it
should override respondent’s plea of religious freedom. Indeed, it is inappropriate for the complainant, a
private person, to present evidence on the compelling interest of the state. The burden of evidence should
be discharged by the proper agency of the government which is the Office of the Solicitor General”.

In order to properly settle the case at bar, it is essential that the government be given an opportunity to
demonstrate the compelling state interest it seeks to uphold in opposing the respondent’s position that her
conjugal arrangement is not immoral and punishable as it is within the scope of free exercise protection.
The Court could not prohibit and punish her conduct where the Free Exercise Clause protects it, since this
would be an unconstitutional encroachment of her right to religious freedom. Furthermore, the court
cannot simply take a passing look at respondent’s claim of religious freedom but must also apply the
“compelling state interest” test.

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the case is REMANDED to the Office of the Court Administrator. The Solicitor
General is ordered to intervene in the case where it will be given the opportunity (a) to examine the
sincerity and centrality of respondent's claimed religious belief and practice; (b) to present evidence on
the state's "compelling interest" to override respondent's religious belief and practice; and (c) to show that
the means the state adopts in pursuing its interest is the least restrictive to respondent's religious freedom.
The rehearing should be concluded thirty (30) days from the Office of the Court Administrator's receipt of
this Decision.
G.R. No. L-53487. May 25, 1981.

Facts :

This case is about the constitutionality of four resolutions of the barangay council of Valencia, Ormoc
City, regarding the acquisition of the wooden image of San Vicente Ferrer to be used in the celebration of
his annual feast day. On March 23, 1976, the said barangay council adopted Resolution No. 5, "reviving
the traditional socio-religious celebration" every fifth day of April "of the feast day of Señor San Vicente
Ferrer, the patron saint of Valencia That resolution designated the members of nine committees who
would take charge of the 1976 festivity. lt provided for (1) the acquisition of the image of San Vicente
Ferrer and (2) the construction of a waiting shed as the barangay's projects. Funds for the two projects
would be obtained through the selling of tickets and cash donations On March 26, 1976, the barangay
council passed Resolution No. 6 which specified that, in accordance with the practice in Eastern Leyte,
Councilman Tomas Cabatingan, the Chairman or hermano mayor of the fiesta, would be the caretaker of
the image of San Vicente Ferrer and that the image would remain in his residence for one year and until
the election of his successor as chairman of the next feast day Funds were raised by means of
solicitations0 and cash donations of the barangay residents and those of the neighboring places of
Valencia. With those funds, the waiting shed was constructed and the wooden image of San Vicente
Ferrer was acquired in Cebu City by the barangay council for four hundred pesos A controversy arose
after the mass when the parish priest, Father Sergio Marilao Osmeña refused to return that image to the
barangay council on the pretext that it was the property of the church because church funds were used for
its acquisition. Because Father Osmeña did not accede to the request of Cabatingan to have custody of the
image and "maliciously ignored" the council's Resolution No. 6, the council enacted on May 12, 1976
Resolution No. 10, authorizing the hiring of a lawyer to file a replevin case against Father Osmeña for the
recovery of the image (Exh. C or 8). On June 14, 1976, the barangay council passed Resolution No. 12,
appointing Veloso as its representative in the replevin case (Exh. D or 9). Later, he and three other
persons, Andres Garces, a member of the Aglipayan Church, and two Catholic laymen, Jesus Edullantes
and Nicetas Dagar, filed against the barangay council and its members (excluding two members) a
complaint in the Court of First Instance at Ormoc City, praying for the annulment of the said resolutions.
The lower court dismissed the complaint. lt upheld the validity of the resolutions

Issue: WON The Barangay Council has the right over the custody of the Relic
Held: The questioned resolutions do not directly or indirectly establish any religion, nor abridge
religious liberty, nor appropriate public money or property for the benefit of any sect, priest or clergyman.
The image was purchased with private funds, not with tax money. The construction of a waiting shed is
entirely a secular matter The wooden image was purchased in connection with the celebration of the
barrio fiesta honoring the patron saint, San Vicente Ferrer, and not for the purpose of favoring any
religion nor interfering with religious matters or the religious beliefs of the barrio residents. One of the
highlights of the fiesta was the mass. Consequently, the image of the patron saint had to be placed in the
church when the mass was celebrated If there is nothing unconstitutional or illegal in holding a fiesta and
having a patron saint for the barrio, then any activity intended to facilitate the worship of the patron saint
(such as the acquisition and display of his image) cannot be branded as illegal. The barangay council
designated a layman as the custodian of the wooden image in order to forestall any suspicion that it is
favoring the Catholic church. There can be no question that the image in question belongs to the barangay
council. The council has the right to take measures to recover possession of the image by enacting
Resolutions Nos. 10 and 12. Not every governmental activity which involves the expenditure of public
funds and which has some religious tint is violative of the constitutional provisions regarding separation
of church and state, freedom of worship and banning the use of public money or property.
Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines, Inc. vs. Executive Secretary
G.R. No. 153888. July 9, 2003.

Petitioner is a non-governmental organization that extends voluntary services to the Filipino people,
especially to Muslim Communities. Petitioner began to issue, for a fee, halal certifications to qualified
products and food manufacturers on account of the actual need to certify food products as halal and also
due to halal food producers' request. Subsequently, Executive Order (EO) 46 was issued creating the
Philippine Halal Certification Scheme and designating respondent Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA) to
oversee its implementation. In this petition for prohibition, petitioner alleged, among others, that the
subject EO violates the constitutional provision on the separation of Church and State.

In granting the petition, the Supreme Court ruled that freedom of religion was accorded preferred status
by the framers of the fundamental law and it has consistently affirmed this preferred status. Without
doubt, classifying a food product as halal is a religious function because the standards used are drawn
from the Qur'an and Islamic beliefs. By giving the OMA the exclusive power to classify food products as
halal, EO 46 encroached on the religious freedom of Muslim organizations like herein petitioner to
interpret for Filipino Muslims what food products are fit for Muslim consumption. Also, by arrogating to
itself the task of issuing halal certifications, the State has in effect forced Muslims to accept its own
interpretation of the Qur'an and Sunnah on halal food.

The Court further ruled that only the prevention of an immediate and grave danger to the security and
welfare of the community can justify the infringement of religious freedom. In the case at bar, the Court
found no compelling justification for the government to deprive Muslim organizations, like herein
petitioner, of their religious right to classify a product as halal, even on the premise that the health of
Muslim Filipinos can be effectively protected by assigning to OMA the exclusive power to issue halal

Whether or not Eexecutive Order 46 violates the constitutional provision on the separation of
Church and State.
No. In granting the petition, the Supreme Court ruled that freedom of religion was accorded
preferred status by the framers of the fundamental law and it has consistently affirmed this preferred
status. Without doubt, classifying a food product as halal is a religious function because the standards
used are drawn from the Qur'an and Islamic beliefs. By giving the OMA the exclusive power to classify
food products as halal, Executive Order 46 encroached on the religious freedom of Muslim organizations
like herein petitioner to interpret for Filipino Muslims what food products are fit for Muslim
consumption. Also, by arrogating to itself the task of issuing halal certifications, the State has in effect
forced Muslims to accept its own interpretation of the Qur'an and Sunnah on halal food.

The Court further ruled that only the prevention of an immediate and grave danger to the security
and welfare of the community can justify the infringement of religious freedom. In the case at bar, the
Court found no compelling justification for the government to deprive Muslim organizations, like herein
petitioner, of their religious right to classify a product as halal, even on the premise that the health of
Muslim Filipinos can be effectively protected by assigning to OMA the exclusive power to issue halal

Only the prevention of an immediate and grave danger to the security and welfare of the
community can justify the infringement of religious freedom. If the government fails to show the
seriousness and immediacy of the threat, State intrusion is constitutionally unacceptable. In a society with
a democratic framework like ours, the State must minimize its interference with the affairs of its citizens
and instead allow them to exercise reasonable freedom of personal and religious activity. In the case at
bar, we find no compelling justification for the government to deprive Muslim organizations, like herein
petitioner, of their religious right to classify a product as halal, even on the premise that the health of
Muslim Filipinos can be effectively protected by assigning to OMA the exclusive power to issue halal
certifications. The protection and promotion of the Muslim Filipinos' right to health are already provided
for in existing laws and ministered to by government agencies charged with ensuring that food products
released in the market are fit for human consumption, properly labeled and safe. Unlike EO 46, these laws
do not encroach on the religious freedom of Muslims.
G.R. No. L-72119
May 29, 1987

The fundamental right of the people to information on matters of public concern is invoked in this special
civil action for mandamus instituted by petitioner Valentin L. Legaspi against the Civil Service
Commission. The respondent had earlier denied Legaspi's request for information on the civil service
eligibilities of certain persons employed as sanitarians in the Health Department of Cebu City. These
government employees, Julian Sibonghanoy and Mariano Agas, had allegedly represented themselves as
civil service eligibles who passed the civil service examinations for sanitarians.

Issue: WON the petitioner has legal to access government records to validate the civil service
eligibilities of the Health Department employees

Held: The constitutional guarantee to information on matters of public concern is not absolute. It does
not open every door to any and all information. Under the Constitution, access to official records, papers,
etc., are "subject to limitations as may be provided by law" The law may therefore exempt certain types of
information from public scrutiny, such as those affecting national security It follows that, in every case,
the availability of access to a particular public record must be circumscribed by the nature of the
information sought, i.e., (a) being of public concern or one that involves public interest, and, (b) not being
exempted by law from the operation of the constitutional guarantee. The threshold question is, therefore,
whether or not the information sought is of public interest or public concern. This question is first
addressed to the government agency having custody of the desired information. However, as already
discussed, this does not give the agency concerned any discretion to grant or deny access. In case of
denial of access, the government agency has the burden of showing that the information requested is not
of public concern, or, if it is of public concern, that the same has been exempted by law from the
operation of the guarantee. To hold otherwise will serve to dilute the constitutional right. As aptly
observed, ". . . the government is in an advantageous position to marshall and interpret arguments against
release . . ." (87 Harvard Law Review 1511 [1974]). To safeguard the constitutional right, every denial of
access by the government agency concerned is subject to review by the courts, and in the proper case,
access may be compelled by a writ of Mandamus Public office being a public trust it is the legitimate
concern of citizens to ensure that government positions requiring civil service eligibility are occupied
only by persons who are eligibles. Public officers are at all times accountable to the people even as to
their eligibilities for their respective positions. In the instant, case while refusing to confirm or deny the
claims of eligibility, the respondent has failed to cite any provision in the Civil Service Law which would
limit the petitioner's right to know who are, and who are not, civil service eligibles. We take judicial
notice of the fact that the names of those who pass the civil service examinations, as in bar examinations
and licensure examinations for various professions, are released to the public. Hence, there is nothing
secret about one's civil service eligibility, if actually possessed. Petitioner's request is, therefore, neither
unusual nor unreasonable. And when, as in this case, the government employees concerned claim to be
civil service eligibles, the public, through any citizen, has a right to verify their professed eligibilities
from the Civil Service Commission. The civil service eligibility of a sanitarian being of public concern,
and in the absence of express limitations under the law upon access to the register of civil service eligibles
for said position, the duty of the respondent Commission to confirm or deny the civil service eligibility of
any person occupying the position becomes imperative. Mandamus, therefore lies
G.R. No. 176625, February 25, 2010

Subject of this case is a lot (Lot No. 88) located in Lahug, Cebu City. Its original owner was Anastacio
Deiparine when the same was subject to expropriation proceedings, initiated by Republic, represented by
the then Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), for the expansion and improvement of the Lahug
Airport. During the pendency of the expropriation proceedings, respondent Bernardo L. Lozada, Sr.
acquired Lot No. 88 from Deiparine. The trial court ruled for the Republic and ordered the latter to pay
Lozada the fair market value of the lot. However, the projected improvement and expansion plan of the
old Lahug Airport, however, was not pursued. The plaintiff-respondents initiated a complaint for the
recovery of possession and reconveyance of ownership the subject lot. On the other hand, the petitioners
asked for the immediate dismissal of the complaint. They specifically denied that the Government had
made assurances to reconvey Lot No. 88 to respondents in the event that the property would no longer be
needed for airport operations. Petitioners instead asserted that the judgment of condemnation was
unconditional, and respondents were, therefore, not entitled to recover the expropriated property
notwithstanding non-use or abandonment thereof. The lower court ruled for herein plaintiff-respondents,
which decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. In this petition, the petitioners argued that the
judgment in Civil Case No. R-1881 was absolute and unconditional, giving title in fee simple to the

Issue: Whether or not a constructive trust was constituted in this case, and as such, the respondents
herein are entitled to the restitution of the expropriated property which was not used for a public purpose.

YES. Art. 1454 of the Civil Code provides: “If an absolute conveyance of property is made in order to
secure the performance of an obligation of the grantor toward the grantee, a trust by virtue of law is
established. If the fulfillment of the obligation is offered by the grantor when it becomes due, he may
demand the reconveyance of the property to him.”

Constructive trusts are fictions of equity which are bound by no unyielding formula when they are used
by courts as devices to remedy any situation in which the holder of legal title may not in good conscience
retain the beneficial interest.

In constructive trusts, the arrangement is temporary and passive in which the trustee’s sole duty is to
transfer the title and possession over the property to the plaintiff-beneficiary. Of course, the “wronged
party seeking the aid of a court of equity in establishing a constructive trust must himself do equity.”
Accordingly, the court will exercise its discretion in deciding what acts are required of the plaintiff-
beneficiary as conditions precedent to obtaining such decree and has the obligation to reimburse the
trustee the consideration received from the latter just as the plaintiff-beneficiary would if he proceeded on
the theory of rescission. In the good judgment of the court, the trustee may also be paid the
necessary expenses he may have incurred in sustaining the property, his fixed costs for improvements
thereon, and the monetary value of his services in managing the property to the extent that plaintiff-
beneficiary will secure a benefit from his acts.

The rights and obligations between the constructive trustee and the beneficiary, in this case, respondent
MCIAA and petitioners over Lots Nos. 916 and 920, are echoed in Art. 1190 of the Civil Code, “When
the conditions have for their purpose the extinguishment of an obligation to give, the parties, upon the
fulfillment of said conditions, shall return to each other what they have received x x x In case of the
loss, deterioration or improvement of the thing, the provisions which, with respect to the debtor, are laid
down in the preceding article shall be applied to the party who is bound to return
January 29, 1996
ALEJANDRO MANOSCA, et al. petitioners vs. COURT OF APPEALS, et al.,respondents
G.R. No. 106440

In this petition for review on certiorari, the Court is asked to resolve whether or not the “public use”
requirement of Eminent Domain is extant in the attempted expropriation by the Republic of a 492
-square- meter parcel of land so declared by the National Historical Institute (“NHI”) as a national
historical landmark. Petitioners inherited a 492 sq.m. land located at P. Burgos Street, Calzada, Taguig,
Metro Manila. When the parcel was ascertained by the NHI to have been the birth site of Felix Y.
Manalo, the founder of Iglesia Ni Cristo, it passed Resolution No. 1, Series of 1986, pursuant to Section
4 of Presidential Decree No. 260, declaring the land to be a national historical landmark. It was approved
byte Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, while the Secretary of Justice, in his opinion on the
legality of the measure, said in part that “the birth site of the founder of the

Iglesia ni Cristo, the late Felix Y. Manalo, who, admittedly, had made contributions to Philippine history
and culture has been declared as a national landmark. It has been held that places invested with unusual
historical interest isa public use for which the power of eminent domain may be authorized. it is believed
that the NHI…may initiate the institution of condemnation proceedings for the purpose of acquiring the lot
in question in accordance with the procedure provided for in Rule 67 of the Revised Rules of Court.”

In May 1989, the Republic, through the OSG, instituted a complaint for expropriation before RTCPasig
for and in behalf of the NHI. At the same time, it filed an urgent motion for the issuance of an order to
permit it to take immediate possession of the property. The motion was opposed by petitioners. The trial
court ruled in favor of the Republic. Petitioners moved to dismiss the complaint on the main thesis that
the intended expropriation was not for a public purpose and, incidentally, that the act would constitute an
application of public funds, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of Iglesia ni Cristo,
a religious entity, contrary to the provision of Section 29(2), Article VI, of the 1987 Constitution. Motion
was dismissed. Petitioners then lodged a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals.

Whether or not the expropriation of the land in the case at bar is for public use.
YES. Petitioners ask about the so-called unusual interest that the expropriation of (Felix Manalo’s)
birthplace become so vital as to be a public use appropriate for the exercise of the power of eminent
domain” when only members of the Iglesia ni Cristo would benefit. This attempt to give some religious
perspective to the case deserves little consideration, for what should be significant is the principal
objective of, not the casual consequences that might follow from, the exercise of the power. The purpose
in setting up the marker is essentially to recognize the distinctive contribution of the late Felix Manalo to
the culture of the Philippines, rather than to commemorate his founding and leadership of the Iglesia ni
Cristo. The practical reality that greater benefit may be derived by members of the Iglesia ni Cristo than
by most others could well be true but such a peculiar advantage still remains to be merely incidental and
secondary in nature. Indeed, that only a few would actually benefit from the expropriation of property
does not necessarily diminish the essence and character of public use. All considered, the Court finds the
assailed decision to be in accord with law and jurisprudence. The petition is DENIED.
Manotoc Vs. Court of Appeals
No. L-62100. May 30, 1986

There was a torrens title submitted to and accepted by Manotoc Securities Inc which was suspected to be
fake. 6 of its clients filed separate criminal complaints against the petitioner and Leveriza, President and
VP respectively. He was charged with estafa and was allowed by the Court to post bail. Petitioner filed
before each trial court motion for permission to leave the country stating his desire to go to US relative to
his business transactions and opportunities. Such was opposed by the prosecution and was also denied by
the judges. He filed petition for certiorari with CA seeking to annul the prior orders and the SEC
communication request denying his leave to travel abroad. According to the petitioner, having been
admitted to bail as a matter of right, neither the courts that granted him bail nor SEC, which has no
jurisdiction over his liberty, could prevent him from exercising his constitutional right to travel

Issue: WON the Court Acted with grave abuse of discretion

A court has the power to prohibit a person admitted to bail from leaving the Philippines. This is a
necessary consequence of the nature and function of a bail bond. Rule 114, Section 1 of the Rules of
Court defines bail as the security required and given for the release of a person who is in the custody of
the law, that he will appear before any court in which his appearance may be required as stipulated in the
bail bond or recognizance The condition imposed upon petitioner to make himself available at all times
whenever the court requires his presence operates as a valid restriction on his right to travel If the accused
were allowed to leave the Philippines without sufficient reason, he may be placed beyond the reach of the
courts As petitioner has failed to satisfy the trial courts and the appellate court of the urgency of his travel,
the duration thereof, as well as the consent of his surety to the proposed travel, We find no abuse of
judicial discretion in their having denied petitioner's motion for permission to leave the country, in much
the same way, albeit with contrary results, that We found no reversible error to have been committed by
the appellate court in allowing Shepherd to leave the country after it had satisfied itself that she would
comply with the conditions of her bail bond.
Lourdes De La Paz Masikip v City of Pasig
G.R. No. 136349
January 23, 2006

Petitioner Lourdes Dela Paz Masikip is the registered owner of a parcel of land with an area of 4,521
square meters located at Pag-Asa, Caniogan, Pasig City, Metro Manila. The then Municipality of Pasig,
now City of Pasig, respondent, notified petitioner of its intention to expropriate a 1,500 square meter
portion of her property to be used for the sports development and recreational activities of the residents of
Barangay Caniogan. This was pursuant to Ordinance No. 42, Series of 1993 enacted by the
then Sangguniang Bayan of Pasig.

Again, respondent wrote another letter to petitioner, but this time the purpose was allegedly in line with
the program of the Municipal Government to provide land opportunities to deserving poor sectors of our
community. Petitioner sent a reply to respondent stating that the intended expropriation of her property is
unconstitutional, invalid, and oppressive, as the area of her lot is neither sufficient nor suitable to provide
land opportunities to deserving poor sectors of our community.

Respondent filed with the trial court a complaint for expropriation and petitioner filed a Motion to
Dismiss the complaint alleging that plaintiff has no cause of action for the exercise of the power of
eminent domain considering that: (1) there is no genuine necessity for the taking of the property sought to
be expropriated; and (2) plaintiff has arbitrarily and capriciously chosen the property sought to be
expropriated. The trial court issued an Order denying the Motion to Dismiss, on the ground that there is a
genuine necessity to expropriate the property for the sports and recreational activities of the residents of
Pasig. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Hence, this petition.

Whether or not there is a genuine necessity for the taking of the property of petitioner.
The Supreme Court held that respondent City of Pasig has failed to establish that there is a genuine
necessity to expropriate petitioner’s property. The records show that the Certification issued by the
Caniogan Barangay Council the basis for the passage of Ordinance No. 42 s. 1993 authorizing the
expropriation, indicates that the intended beneficiary is the Melendres Compound Homeowners
Association, a private, nonprofit organization, not the residents of Caniogan. It can be gleaned that the
members of the said Association are desirous of having their own private playground and recreational
facility. Petitioner’s lot is the nearest vacant space available. The purpose is, therefore, not clearly and
categorically public. The necessity has not been shown, especially considering that there exists an
alternative facility for sports development and community recreation in the area, which is the Rainforest
Park, available to all residents of Pasig City, including those of Caniogan. Therefore, the petition for
review was granted.
National Power Corporation vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 113194. March 11, 1996.


At the height of the typhoon “Kading”, a flash flood covered the towns near the Angat Dam, causing
deaths and destructions to residents and their properties. Respondents blamed the tragedy to the reckless
and imprudent opening of the 3 floodgates by petitioner, without prior warning to the residents within the
vicinity of the dam. Petitioners denied the allegations and contended that they have kept the water at a
safe level, that the opening of floodgates was done gradually, that it exercises diligence in the selection of
its employees, and that written warnings were sent to the residents. It further contended that there was no
direct causal relationship between the damage and the alleged negligence on their part, that the residents
assumed the risk by living near the dam, and that what happened was a fortuitous event and are of the
nature of damnum absque injuria.


(1) Whether the petitioner can be held liable even though the coming of the typhoon is a fortuitous event

(2) Whether a notice was sent to the residents

(3) Whether the damage suffered by respondents is one of damnum absque injuria


(1) The obligor cannot escape liability, if upon the happening of a fortuitous event or an act of God, a
corresponding fraud, negligence, delay or violation or contravention in any manner of the tenor of the
obligation as provided in Article 1170 of the Civil Code which results in loss or damage. Even if there
was no contractual relation between themselves and private respondents, they are still liable under the law
on quasi-delict. Article 2176 of the Civil Code explicitly provides "whoever by act or omission causes
damage to another there being fault or negligence is obliged to pay for the damage done." Act of God
or force majeure, by definition, are extraordinary events not foreseeable or avoidable, events that could
not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, are inevitable. It is therefore not enough that the event should
not have been foreseen or anticipated, as is commonly believed, but it must be one impossible to foresee
or to avoid. The principle embodied in the act of God doctrine strictly requires that the act must be
occasioned solely by the violence of nature. Human intervention is to be excluded from creating or
entering into the cause of the mischief. When the effect is found to be in part the result of the participation
of man, whether due to his active intervention or neglect or failure to act, the whole occurrence is then
humanized and removed from the rules applicable to the acts of God. In the case at bar, although the
typhoon "Kading" was an act of God, petitioners can not escape liability because their negligence was the
proximate cause of the loss and damage.

(2) The letter itself, addressed merely "TO ALL CONCERNED", would not strike one to be of serious
importance, sufficient enough to set alarm and cause people to take precautions for their safety's sake.
The notices were not delivered, or even addressed to responsible officials of the municipalities concerned
who could have disseminated the warning properly. They were delivered to ordinary employees and
policemen. As it happened, the said notices do not appear to have reached the people concerned, which
are the residents beside the Angat River. The plaintiffs in this case definitely did not receive any such
warning. Indeed, the methods by which the defendants allegedly sent the notice or warning was so
ineffectual that they cannot claim, as they do in their second assignment of error, that the sending of said
notice has absolved them from liability.

(3) We cannot give credence to petitioners' third assignment of error that the damage caused by the
opening of the dam was in the nature of damnum absque injuria, which presupposes that although there
was physical damage, there was no legal injury in view of the fortuitous events. There is no question that
petitioners have the right, duty and obligation to operate, maintain and preserve the facilities of Angat
Dam, but their negligence cannot be countenanced, however noble their intention may be. The end does
not justify the means, particularly because they could have done otherwise than simultaneously opening
the spillways to such extent. Needless to say, petitioners are not entitled to counterclaim.
Padcom Condominium Corporation vs. Ortigas Center Association, Inc.
G.R. No. 146807. May 9, 2002.


Petitioner Padcom Condominium Corporation (PADCOM) owns and manages the Padilla Office
Condominium Building (PADCOM BUILDING). The land on which the building stands was originally
acquired from the Ortigas & Company, Limited Partnership, by Tierra Development Corporation (TDC)
under a Deed of Sale with a condition that the transferee and its successor-in-interest must become
members of an association for realty owners and long-term lessees in the area later known as the Ortigas
Center. Subsequently, the said lot, together with the improvements thereon, was conveyed by TDC in
favor of PADCOM in a Deed of Transfer.

Thereafter, respondent Ortigas Center Association, Inc. (ASSOCIATION) was organized to

advance the interests and promote the general welfare of the real estate owners and long-term lessees of
the lots in the Ortigas Center and sought the collection of membership dues from PADCOM. In view of
PADCOM'S failure and refusal to pay its arrears in monthly dues, the Association filed a complaint for
collection of sum of money before the trial court, but the same was dismissed. On appeal, the Court of
Appeals reversed and set aside the trial court's dismissal. Hence, this petition.

Whether or not PADCOM is unjustly enriched by the improvements made by the Association,
thus requiring the former to pay dues to the latter.


Yes. The Supreme Court held that as resident and lot owner in the Ortigas area, PADCOM was
definitely benefited by the Association's acts and activities to promote the interests and welfare of those
who acquire property therein or benefit from the acts or activities of the Association.

Generally, it may be said that a quasi-contract is based on the presumed will or intent of the
obligor dictated by equity and by the principles of absolute justice. Examples of these principles are: (1) it
is presumed that a person agrees to that which will benefit him; (2) nobody wants to enrich himself
unjustly at the expense of another; or (3) one must do unto others what he would want others to do unto
him under the same circumstances.

Finally, PADCOM's argument that the collection of monthly dues has no basis since there was no
board resolution defining how much fees are to be imposed deserves scant consideration. Suffice it is to
say that PADCOM never protested upon receipt of the earlier demands for payment of membership dues.
In fact, by proposing a scheme to pay its obligation, PADCOM cannot belatedly question the
Association's authority to assess and collect the fees in accordance with the total land area owned or
occupied by the members, which finds support in a resolution dated 6 November 1982 of the
Association's incorporating directors and Section 2 of its By-laws.
48 SCRA 382; NOS.L-32613-14;
27 DEC 1972


Hon. Judge Simeon Ferrer is the Tarlac trial court judge that declared RA1700 or the Anti-Subversive Act
of 1957 as a bill of attainder. Thus, dismissing the information of subversion against the following: 1.)
Feliciano Co for being an officer/leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) aggravated by
circumstances of contempt and insult to public officers, subversion by a band and aid of armed men to
afford impunity. 2.) Nilo Tayag and 5 others, for being members/leaders of the NPA, inciting, instigating
people to unite and overthrow the Philippine Government. Attended by Aggravating Circumstances of
Aid or Armed Men, Craft, and Fraud. The trial court is of opinion that 1.) The Congress usurped the
powers of the judge 2.) Assumed judicial magistracy by pronouncing the guilt of the CPP without any
forms of safeguard of a judicial trial. 3.) It created a presumption of organizational guilt by being
members of the CPP regardless of voluntariness.

The Anti Subversive Act of 1957 was approved 20June1957. It is an act to outlaw the CPP and similar
associations penalizing membership therein, and for other purposes. It defined the Communist Party being
although a political party is in fact an organized conspiracy to overthrow the Government, not only by
force and violence but also by deceit, subversion and other illegal means. It declares that the CPP is a
clear and present danger to the security of the Philippines. Section 4 provided that affiliation with full
knowledge of the illegal acts of the CPP is punishable. Section 5 states that due investigation by a
designated prosecutor by the Secretary of Justice be made prior to filing of information in court. Section 6
provides for penalty for furnishing false evidence. Section 7 provides for 2 witnesses inopen court for acts
penalized by prision mayor to death. Section 8 allows the renunciation of membership to the CCP through
writing under oath. Section 9 declares the constitutionality of the statute and its valid exercise under
freedom if thought, assembly and association.

(1) Whether or not RA1700 is a bill of attainder/ ex post facto law.

(2) Whether or Not RA1700 violates freedom of expression.


The court holds the VALIDITY Of the Anti-Subversion Act of 1957.

A bill of attainder is solely a legislative act. It punishes without the benefit of the trial. It is the
substitution of judicial determination to a legislative determination of guilt. In order for a statute be
measured as a bill of attainder, the following requisites must be present: 1.) The statute specifies persons,
groups. 2.) the statute is applied retroactively and reach past conduct. (A bill of attainder relatively is also
an ex post facto law.)

In the case at bar, the statute simply declares the CPP as an organized conspiracy for the overthrow of the
Government for purposes of example of SECTION 4 of the Act. The Act applies not only to the CPP but
also to other organizations having the same purpose and their successors. The Act’s focus is on the
conduct not person.

Membership to this organizations, to be UNLAWFUL, it must be shown that membership was acquired
with the intent to further the goals of the organization by overt acts. This is the element
of MEMBERSHIP with KNOWLEDGE that is punishable. This is the required proof of a member’s
direct participation. Why is membership punished. Membership renders aid and encouragement to the
organization. Membership makes himself party to its unlawful acts.

Furthermore, the statute is PROSPECTIVE in nature. Section 4 prohibits acts committed after approval of
the act. The members of the subversive organizations before the passing of this Act is given an
opportunity to escape liability by renouncing membership in accordance with Section 8. The statute
applies the principle of mutatis mutandis or that the necessary changes having been made.
The declaration of that the CPP is an organized conspiracy to overthrow the Philippine Government
should not be the basis of guilt. This declaration is only a basis of Section 4 of the Act.
The EXISTENCE OF SUBSTANTIVE EVIL justifies the limitation to the exercise of “Freedom of
Expression and Association” in this matter. Before the enactment of the statute and statements in the
preamble, careful investigations by the Congress were done. The court further stresses that whatever
interest in freedom of speech and association is excluded in the prohibition of membership in the CPP are

The court set basic guidelines to be observed in the prosecution under RA1700. In addition to proving
circumstances/ evidences of subversion, the following elements must also be established:

1. Subversive Organizations besides the CPP, it must be proven that the organization purpose is to
overthrow the present Government of the Philippines and establish a domination of a FOREIGN
POWER. Membership is willfully and knowingly done by overt acts.
2. In case of CPP, the continued pursuance of its subversive purpose.Membership is willfully and
knowingly done by overt acts.

The court did not make any judgment on the crimes of the accused under the Act. The Supreme Court set
aside the resolution of the TRIAL COURT.
Philippine Savings Bank v. Senate Impeachment Court,
G.R. No. 200238, February 9, 2012


Philippine Savings Bank (PS Bank) and its President, Pascual M. Garcia III, filed before the Supreme
Court an original civil action for certiorari and prohibition with application for temporary restraining
order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. The TRO was sought to stop the Senate, sitting as
impeachment court, from further implementing the Subpoena Ad Testificandum et Duces Tecum, dated
February 6, 2012, that it issued against the Branch Manager of PS Bank, Katipunan Branch. The
subpoena assailed by petitioners covers the foreign currency denominated accounts allegedly owned by
the impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona of the Philippine Supreme Court.


Should a TRO be issued against the impeachment court to enjoin it from further implementing the
subpoena with respect to the alleged foreign currency denominated accounts of CJ Corona?


The Court en banc ISSUED A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER enjoining the respondents from
implementing the subpoena. It also REQUIRED the respondents to COMMENT on the [merits of the]

YES, a TRO should be issued against the impeachment court to enjoin it from further implementing the
subpoena with respect to the alleged foreign currency denominated accounts of CJ Corona.

There are two requisite conditions for the issuance of a preliminary injunction:

(1) the right to be protected exists prima facie, and

(2) the acts sought to be enjoined are violative of that right. It must be proven that the violation sought
to be prevented would cause an irreparable injustice.
Under R.A. No. 6426 there is only a single exception to the secrecy of foreign currency deposits, that is,
disclosure is allowed only upon the written permission of the depositor. In Intengan v. Court of Appeals,
the Court ruled that where the accounts in question are U.S. dollar deposits, the applicable law is not
Republic Act No. 1405 but RA 6426. Similarly, in the recent case of Government Service Insurance
System v. 15thDivision of the Court of Appeals, the Court also held that RA 6426 is the applicable law for
foreign currency deposits and not Republic Act No. 1405.
G.R. No. 192100
March 12, 2014


Respondent is the registered owner of a 17,175-square meter property situated in San Simon, Pampanga.
On March 1, 2002, the Republic through the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) instituted expropriation
proceedings against the respondent over a portion of their property to be used for the NLEX project.

During the pre-trial conference, the parties agreed on TRB’s authority to expropriate the subject property
but disagreed as to the amount of just compensation. Petitioner offered to pay P607,200.00 for the portion
taken but respondent made a counter-offer of P1,821,600.00. The parties eventually agreed to submit the
issue of just compensation to three Commissioners composed of the Municipal Assessor of San Simon as
Chairman, and the RTC Branch Clerk of Court and the Register of Deeds for the Province of Pampanga
as Members.

In the absence of bona fide sales transaction in the area, the Assessor’s Office being aware of the actual
conditions of subject property decided to use opinion values stated by real estate brokers and banks in
the determination of the current and fair market value for the purpose of payment of just compensation.
The amount of P1,000.00 to P1,500.00 was arrived at by the commissioners due to the conversion of the
subject property from agricultural to industrial use.

Although there was no documentary evidence attached to substantiate the opinions of the banks and the
realtors indicated in the Commissioners’ Report, the Court finds the commissioners’ recommendation of
the valuation of industrial lands at P1,000.00 to P1,500.00 to be fair, and the Republic’s offer of P300 per
square meter to be very low.

CA upheld RTC’s decision.


Whether or not the Court judiciously determined the fair market value of the subject property.

Held: NO
The Court held that the trial court did not judiciously determine the fair market value of the subject
property as it failed to consider other relevant factors such as the zonal valuation, tax declarations and
current selling price supported by documentary evidence.

Section 5 of R.A. 8974 enumerates the standards for assessing the value of expropriated land taken for
national government infrastructure projects, thus:

SECTION 5. Standards for the Assessment of the Value of the Land Subject of Expropriation
Proceedings or Negotiated Sale. – In order to facilitate the determination of just compensation, the court
may consider, among other well-established factors, the following relevant standards:

(a) The classification and use for which the property is suited;

(b) The developmental costs for improving the land;

(c) The value declared by the owners;

(d) The current selling price of similar lands in the vicinity;

(e) The reasonable disturbance compensation for the removal and/or demolition of certain improvements
on the land and for the value of the improvements thereon;

(f) The size, shape or location, tax declaration and zonal valuation of the land;

(g) The price of the land as manifested in the ocular findings, oral as well as documentary evidence
presented; and

(h) Such facts and events as to enable the affected property owners to have sufficient funds to acquire
similarly-situated lands of approximate areas as those required from them by the government, and thereby
rehabilitate themselves as early as possible.

In this case, the trial court considered only (a) and (d): (1) the classification of the subject property which
is located in an area with mixed land use (commercial, residential and industrial) and the property’s
conversion from agricultural to industrial land, and (2) the current selling price of similar lands in the
vicinity – the only factors which the commissioners included in their Report. It also found the
commissioners’ recommended valuation of P1,000.00 to P1,500.00 per square to be fair and just despite
the absence of documentary substantiation as said prices were based merely on the opinions of bankers
and realtors.

Nonetheless, the Court did not subscribe to petitioner’s argument that just compensation for the subject
property should not exceed the zonal valuation (P300.00 per square meter). Zonal valuation is just one of
the indices of the fair market value of real estate. By itself, this index cannot be the sole basis of “just
compensation” in expropriation cases.
(Defensor-Santiago vs. Vasquez,
G.R. Nos. 99289-90
January 27, 1993


Miriam Defensor-Santiago was charged with violation of Section 3(e), Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise
known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act before the Sandiganbayan. An order of arrest was
issued against her with bail for her release fixed at P15,000.00. She filed an "Urgent Ex-parte Motion for
Acceptance of Cash Bail Bond". The Sandiganbayan issued a resolution authorizing the Santiago to post
cash bond which the later filed in the amount of P15,000.00. Her arraignmentwas set, but she asked for
the cancellation of her bail bond and that she be allowed provisional release on recognizance. The
Sandiganbayan deferred the arraignment. Meanwhile, it issued a hold departure order against Santiago by
reason of the announcement she made, which was widely publicized in both print and broadcast media,
that she would be leaving for the U.S. to accept a fellowship at Harvard University. She directly filed a
"Motion to Restrain the Sandiganbayan from Enforcing its Hold Departure Order with Prayer for the
Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction" with the SC. She argued that
the Sandiganbayan acted without or in excess of jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion in issuing
the hold departure order considering that it had not acquired jurisdiction over her person as she has
neither been arrested nor has she voluntarily surrendered. The hold departure order was also issued sua
sponte without notice and hearing. She likewise argued that the hold departure order violates her right to
due process, right to travel and freedom of speech.


1. Has the Sandiganbayan acquired jurisdiction over the person of Santiago?

2. Did the Sandiganbayan err when it issued the hold departure order without any motion from the
prosecution and without notice and hearing?

3. Has Santiago's right to travel been impaired?


1. How the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the accused.

It has been held that where after the filing of the complaint or information a warrant for the arrest of the
accused is issued by the trial court and the accused either voluntarily submitted himself to the court or
was duly arrested, the court thereby acquires jurisdiction over the person of the accused. The voluntary
appearance of the accused, whereby the court acquires jurisdiction over his person, is accomplished either
by his pleading to the merits (such as by filing a motion to quash or other pleadings requiring the exercise
of the court's jurisdiction thereover, appearing for arraignment, entering trial) or by filing bail. On the
matter of bail, since the same is intended to obtain the provisional liberty of the accused, as a rule the
same cannot be posted before custody of the accused has been acquired by the judicial authorities either
by his arrest or voluntary surrender.

Santiago is deemed to have voluntarily submitted herself to the jurisdiction of respondent court upon the
filing of her "Urgent Ex-parte Motion for Acceptance of Cash Bail Bond" wherein she expressly sought
leave "that she be considered as having placed herself under the jurisdiction of (the Sandiganbayan) for
purposes of the required trial and other proceedings," and categorically prayed "that the bail bond she is
posting in the amount of P15,000.00 be duly accepted" and that by said motion "she be considered as
having placed herself under the custody" of said court. Santiago cannot now be heard to claim otherwise
for, by her own representations, she is effectively estopped from asserting the contrary after she had
earlier recognized the jurisdiction of the court and caused it to exercise that jurisdiction over the
aforestated pleadings she filed therein.

2. The ex parte issuance of a hold-departure order was a valid exercise of the presiding court’s
inherent power to preserve and to maintain the effectiveness of its jurisdiction over the case and the
person of the accused.

Santiago does not deny and, as a matter of fact, even made a public statement that she had every intention
of leaving the country allegedly to pursue higher studies abroad. We uphold the course of action adopted
by the Sandiganbayan in taking judicial notice of such fact of petitioner's plan to go abroad and in
thereafter issuing sua sponte the hold departure order. To reiterate, the hold departure order is but an
exercise of respondent court's inherent power to preserve and to maintain the effectiveness of its
jurisdiction over the case and the person of the accused.

3. By posting bail, an accused holds himself amenable at all times to the orders and processes of the
court, thus, he may legally be prohibited from leaving the country during the pendency of the case.

Since under the obligations assumed by petitioner in her bail bond she holds herself amenable at all times
to the orders and processes of the court, she may legally be prohibited from leaving the country during the
pendency of the case. Parties with pending cases should apply for permission to leave the country from
the very same courts which, in the first instance, are in the best position to pass upon
such applications and to impose the appropriate conditions there for since they are conversant with the
facts of the cases and the ramifications or implications thereof.
Senate vs. Ermita
GR 169777
April 20, 2006

This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition proffer that the President has abused power by issuing E.O.
464 “Ensuring Observance of the Principles of Separation of Powers, Adherence to the Rule on Executive
Privilege and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in Legislative Inquiries in Aid of
Legislation Under the Constitution, and for Other Purposes”. Petitioners pray for its declaration as null
and void for being unconstitutional.
In the exercise of its legislative power, the Senate of the Philippines, through its various Senate
Committees, conducts inquiries or investigations in aid of legislation which call for, inter alia, the
attendance of officials and employees of the executive department, bureaus, and offices including those
employed in Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, the Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The Committee of the Senate issued invitations to various officials of the Executive Department for them
to appear as resource speakers in a public hearing on the railway project, others on the issues of massive
election fraud in the Philippine elections, wire tapping, and the role of military in the so-called
“Gloriagate Scandal”.
Said officials were not able to attend due to lack of consent from the President as provided by E.O. 464,
Section 3 which requires all the public officials enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the consent of the
President prior to appearing before either house of Congress.

Is Section 3 of E.O. 464, which requires all the public officials, enumerated in Section 2(b) to secure the
consent of the President prior to appearing before either house of Congress, valid and constitutional?

No. The enumeration in Section 2 (b) of E.O. 464 is broad and is covered by the executive privilege. The
doctrine of executive privilege is premised on the fact that certain information must, as a matter of
necessity, be kept confidential in pursuit of the public interest. The privilege being, by definition, an
exemption from the obligation to disclose information, in this case to Congress, the necessity must be of
such high degree as to outweigh the public interest in enforcing that obligation in a particular case.
Congress undoubtedly has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought in aid of
legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is privileged, it must
so assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must be respected.
The infirm provisions of E.O. 464, however, allow the executive branch to evade congressional requests
for information without need of clearly asserting a right to do so and/or proffering its reasons therefor. By
the mere expedient of invoking said provisions, the power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of
legislation is frustrated.
Silverio vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 94284. April 8, 1991.


Petitioner was charged with violation of Section 20 (4) of the Revised Securities Act in Criminal Case of
the Regional Trial Court of Cebu. In due time, he posted bail for his provisional liberty.

More than two (2) years after the filing of the Information, respondent People of the Philippines filed an
Urgent ex parte Motion to cancel the passport of and to issue a hold-departure Order against accused-
petitioner on the ground that he had gone abroad several times without the necessary Court approval
resulting in postponements of the arraignment and scheduled hearings.

Overruling opposition, the Regional Trial Court issued an Order directing the Department of Foreign
Affairs to cancel Petitioner’s passport or to deny his application therefor, and the Commission on
Immigration to prevent Petitioner from leaving the country. This order was based primarily on the Trial
Court’s finding that since the filing of the Information, “the accused has not yet been arraigned because
he has never appeared in Court on the dates scheduled for his arraignment and there is evidence to show
that accused Ricardo C. Silverio, Sr. has left the country and has gone abroad without the knowledge and
permission of this Court”. Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration was denied.


Whether or not the right to travel may be impaired by order of the court


The Supreme Court held that the foregoing condition imposed upon an accused to make himself
available at all times whenever the Court requires his presence operates as a valid restriction of his right
to travel. A person facing criminal charges may be restrained by the Court from leaving the country or, if
abroad, compelled to return. So it is also that “An accused released on bail may be re-arrested without the
necessity of a warrant if he attempts to depart from the Philippines without prior permission of the Court
where the case is pending.

Petitioner takes the posture, however, that while the 1987 Constitution recognizes the power of the
Courts to curtail the liberty of abode within the limits prescribed by law, it restricts the allowable
impairment of the right to travel only on grounds of interest of national security, public safety or public
health, as compared to the provisions on freedom of movement in the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions.
Sumulong vs. Guerrero
No. L-48685. September 30, 1987


On December 5, 1997 the National Housing Authority (NHA) filed a complaint for expropriation of
parcels of land for the expansion of Bagong Nayon Hosing Project to provide housing facilities to low-
salaried government employees, covering approximately twenty five (25) hectares in Antipolo, Rizal.
This included the lots of petitioners Lorenzo Sumulong (6,667 sq.m.) and Emilia Vidanes-Balaoing
(3,333 sq.m.). The land sought to be expropriated were valued by the NHA at one peso (P1.00) per square
meter adopting the market value fixed by the provincial assessor in accordance with presidential decrees
prescribing the valuation of property in expropriation proceedings.

Together with the complaint was a motion for immediate possession of the properties. The NHA
deposited the amount of P158,980.00 with the Phil. Nat’l Bank, representing the “total market value” of
the subject 25 ha. of land, pursuant to P.D. No. 1224 which defines “the policy on the expropriation of
private property for socialized housing upon payment of just compensation.”

On January 17, 1978, respondent Judge Buenaventura S. Guerrero issued a writ of possession pertaining
to the subject parcels of land. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration on the ground that they had
been deprived of the possession of their property without due process of law. This was however, denied.
Hence, this petition challenging the orders of respondent Judge and assailing the constitutionality of P.D.
No. 1224, as amended.

Petitioners contend that the taking of their property subsumed under the topics of public use, just
compensation, and due process.


(1) Whether “socialized housing” as defined in P.D. 1224, as amended, for the purpose
of condemnation proceedings is not “public use” since it will benefit only “a handful of people, bereft of
public character,” hence it is not a valid exercise of the State’s power of eminent domain.

(2) Whether NHA has the discretion to determine the size of the property/properties to be expropriated.

(3) Whether P.D. 1224, as amended, allows unjust and unfair valuations arbitrarily fixed by government

(4) Whether petitioners were denied due process because their parcels of land were immediately
possessed by the NHA by virtue of the writ of possession ordered by the respondent judge.


(1) P.D. 1224 defines “socialized housing” as, “the construction of dwelling units for the middle and
lower class members of our society, including the construction of the supporting infrastructure and other
facilities.” The “public use” requirement for a valid exercise of the power of eminent domain is a flexible
and evolving concept influenced by changing conditions. The taking to be valid must be for public use.
As long as the purpose of the taking is public, then the power of eminent domain comes into play. It is
accurate to state then that at present, whatever may be beneficially employed for the general welfare
satisfies the requirement of public use. Ergo, “socialized housing” falls within the confines of “public

(2) The State acting through the NHA is vested with broad discretion to designate the particular
property/properties to be taken for socialized housing purposes and how much thereof may be
expropriated. Absent a clear showing of fraud, bad faith, or gross abuse of discretion, which petitioners
failed to demonstrate, the Court will give due weight to and leave undisturbed the NHA’s choice and the
size of the site for the project. The right to use, enjoyment and disposal of private property is tempered by
and has to yield to the demands of the common good.

(3) Yes. The provisions on just compensation found in Presidential Decrees No. 1224, 1259, and 1313 are
the same provisions found in P.D. No.’s 76, 464, 794, and 1533 which were declaredunconstitutional for
being encroachments on judicial prerogative. Just compensation means the value of the property at the
time of the taking. It means a fair and full equivalent for the loss sustained. Tax values can serve as guides
but cannot be absolute substitute for just compensation.

(4) Yes. The petitioners were denied of due process. P.D. 1224, as amended, violates procedural due
process as it allows immediate taking of possession, control and disposition of property without giving
the owner his day in court. Respondent Judge ordered the issuance of a writ of possession without notice
and without hearing.
Taruc vs. Bishop Dela Cruz

G.R. No. 144801. March 10, 2005


Petitioners were lay members of the Philippine Independent Church (PIC). On June 28, 1993,

Bishop de la Cruz declared petitioners expelled/excommunicated from the Philippine Independent

Church. Because of the order of expulsion/excommunication, petitioners filed a complaint for damages

with preliminary injunction against Bishop de la Cruz before the Regional Trial Court.They contended

that their expulsion was illegal because it was done without trial thus violating their right to due process

of law.


Whether or not there was a violation of religious rights in this case?


No. The expulsion/excommunication of members of a religious institution/organization is a

matter best left to the discretion of the officials, and the laws and canons, of said institution/organization.

It is not for the courts to exercise control over church authorities in the performance of their discretionary

and official functions. Rather, it is for the members of religious institutions/organizations to conform to

just church regulations. “Civil Courts will not interfere in the internal affairs of a religious organization

except for the protection of civil or property rights. Those rights may be the subject of litigation in a civil

court, and the courts have jurisdiction to determine controverter claims to the title, use, or possession of

church property.” Obviously, there was no violation of a civil right in the present case.
University of the Philippines Board of Regents vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 134625. August 31, 1999

Herein respondents Camilo Peña and Domingo Cajipe (and seven others) were administratively charged
and investigated by a UP-PGH Investigating Committee for “grave misconduct and dishonesty” and
“infidelity in the custody of public documents" in their capacity as Assistant Cashier and Special
Disbursing Officer and Collection Officer, respectively, of the PGH.

After several hearings, the Board of Regents adopted a resolution approving the report of the committee
and fixing a penalty of dismissal for the respondents. Herein respondents then filed a petition for
injunction in the Court of First Instance of Manila, seeking to restrain the UP President from dismissing
them and nullify the findings of the investigating committee. They claimed that, as civil service
employees, the power to dismiss them did not belong to the UP President but to the Civil Service
Commissioner, subject to appeal to the Civil Service Board of Appeals. The respondents also filed a
supplemental petition for injunction, impleading the Board of Regents of the UP and the Director of the
PGH as additional respondents. The trial court granted the both original and supplementary petition.

Herein petitioners then appealed to the Court of Appeals but the trial court's decision was sustained.
Hence, the instant petition for Review by Certiorari by the Supreme Court.


WON the dismissal of the respondents by the Board of Regents was final, or requires further action by the
Civil Service Commission.


Legislature has established specific exceptions to the exclusive authority of the Civil Service
Commissioner, by lodging in various entities, the power over their employees. One instance is the UP
Charter, Section 6(e), which vested in the Board of Regents, the power to appoint, to fix employee
compensation and to remove them for cause after an investigation and hearing. The existence of these
exceptions to the general jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commissioner is also confirmed by the Civil
Service Law of 1959 (R.A. No. 2260).
Pursuant to the authority granted to the President of the Philippines by R.A. No. 51, PGH was transferred
from the Office of the President to the University of the Philippines by virtue of E.O. No. 94. The act of
the Chief Executive in transferring the Philippine General Hospital from the Office of the President to the
University of the Philippines clearly evinced the intention to place the Hospital employees under the
administrative power of the University in matters of their discipline, suspension or removal, on a par with
the other employees of the University. Had the intent been otherwise, the 1947 Executive Order No. 94
would have excepted or reserved the disciplinary power of the Commissioner of the Civil Service over the
transferred employees.

Ultimately, which is important is that the provisions of Article XII, Section 4, of the Constitution that "no
officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by
law," as well as the due process clause of the Bill of Rights, should be fully observed and implemented;
and the record is clear that in the case of herein respondents, no deficiency exists on this score. Pursuant
to the express precept in the University charter [in its Section 6 (e)], the herein respondents were
investigated by a committee of the University and the committee recommended their dismissal after
mature deliberation. Before the proceedings were closed, these respondents manifested that they had no
complaints regarding the procedure adopted, and were satisfied with the way the investigation was
conducted; and the Court of Appeals also explicitly stated in its decision that it did not find any violation
of the substantive rights of the respondents.

Whether the final decision should be made by the Civil Service Commissioner and on appeal by the Civil
Service Board of Appeals, or by the President of the University and its Board of Regents, does not in any
way impair any of the substantial rights of the respondents. However, the autonomy necessary to the
fulfillment of the educational and academic mission of the University demands that the administrative
decision of its authorities be made final as to its employees, there being no statutory or administrative
provision to the contrary. Thus, the President and Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines
possess full and final authority in the disciplining, suspension and removal of the civil service employees
of the University, including those of the Philippine General Hospital, independently of the Commissioner
of Civil Service and the Civil Service Board of Appeals.

The writ of certiorari applied for is granted, and the decisions under appeal are reversed and set aside.
G.R. No. L-14639
March 25, 1919

Facts :

One hundred and seventy women were isolated from society, and then at night, without their consent and
without any opportunity to consult with friends or to defend their rights, were forcibly hustled on board
steamers for transportation to regions unknown. Despite the feeble attempt to prove that the women left
voluntarily and gladly, that such was not the case is shown by the mere fact that the presence of the police
and the constabulary was deemed necessary and that these officers of the law chose the shades of night to
cloak their secret and stealthy acts. Indeed, this is a fact impossible to refute and practically admitted by
the respondents.

Issue: WON Mayor Lukban has the right to deport women with ill repute.


Law defines power. No official, no matter how high, is above the law. Lukban committed a grave abuse
of discretion by deporting the prostitutes to a new domicile against their will. There is no law expressly
authorizing his action. On the contrary, there is a law punishing public officials, not expressly authorized
by law or regulation, who compels any person to change his residence Furthermore, the prostitutes are
still, as citizens of the Philippines, entitled to the same rights, as stipulated in the Bill of Rights, as every
other citizen. Thei rchoice of profession should not be a cause for discrimination. It may make some, like
Lukban, quite uncomfortable but it does not authorize anyone to compel said prostitutes to isolate
themselves from the rest of the human race. These women have been deprived of their liberty by being
exiled to Davao without even being given the opportunity to collect their belongings or, worse, without
even consenting to being transported to Mindanao. For this, Lukban etal must be severely punished.
Vacco Vs. Quill


Quill (Plaintiff) and three gravely ill patients who have since died sued the New York State Attorney
General (Defendant). They urged that because New York (Defendant) permits a competent person to
refuse life-sustaining medical treatment, and the refusal of such treatment is "essentially the same thing"
as physician-assisted suicide, Defendant"s ban on assisted suicide was a violation of the Equal Protection
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court disagreed, but the court of appeals for the
Second Circuit reversed, finding that those in the final stages of fatal illness who were on life-support
systems were allowed to hasten their deaths by choosing to have those systems removed; but those who
were in a similar situation, except for the previous attachment of life-sustaining equipment, were not
allowed to hasten death by self-administering drugs prescribed by a doctor. The court of appeals
concluded that this supposed unequal treatment was not rationally related to any legitimate state interest.
Certiorari was granted by the Supreme Court.

Issue. Although there is a distinction between refusing lifesaving medical treatment and assisted suicide,
does this distinction operate in violation of the Equal Protection Clause by treating individuals who wish
to end their lives differently?


(Rehnquist, C.J.) No. Although there is a distinction between refusing lifesaving medical treatment and
assisted suicide, neither violates the Equal Protection Clause since they apply evenhandedly to all. Logic
and current practice support New York"s (Defendant) judgment that the two acts are different and,
therefore, Defendant may treat them differently, consistent with the Constitution. A doctor who assists a
suicide must, necessarily and unquestionably, primarily intend that the patient be made dead. The law has
long used actors" intent or purpose to distinguish between two acts that may have the same result. The
overwhelming majority of state legislatures have drawn a clear line between assisted suicide and
withdrawing or permitting the refusal of unwanted lifesaving medical treatment by prohibiting the former
but allowing the latter. New York"s (Defendant) statutes outlawing assisted suicide do not infringe
fundamental rights or involve suspect classifications, and therefore are entitled to a strong presumption of
validity. On their faces, neither Defendant"s ban on assisted suicide nor its statutes that allow patients to
refuse medical treatment treat anyone differently or draw any distinctions between individuals. Generally
speaking, laws that apply evenhandedly to all unquestionably comply with the Equal Protection Clause.
Ynot Vs. Intermediate Appellate Court
No. L-74457. March 20,1987


On January 13, 1984, the petitioner transported six carabaos in a pump boat from Masbate to Iloilo when
the same was confiscated by the police station commander of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo for the violation of
E.O. 626-A. A case was filed by the petitioner questioning the constitutionality of executive order and the
recovery of the carabaos. After considering the merits of the case, the confiscation was sustained and the
court declined to rule on the constitutionality issue. The petitioner appealed the decision to the
Intermediate Appellate Court but it also upheld the ruling of RTC.


Is E.O. 626-A unconstitutional?


The Respondent contends that it is a valid exercise of police power to justify EO 626-A amending EO 626
in asic rule prohibiting the slaughter of carabaos except under certain conditions. The supreme court said
that The reasonable connection between the means employed and the purpose sought to be achieved by
the questioned measure is missing the Supreme Court do not see how the prohibition of the inter-
provincial transport of carabaos can prevent their indiscriminate slaughter, considering that they can be
killed anywhere, with no less difficulty in one province than in another. Obviously, retaining the carabaos
in one province will not prevent their slaughter there, any more than moving them to another province
will make it easier to kill them there

The Supreme Court found E.O. 626-A unconstitutional. The executive act defined the prohibition,
convicted the petitioner and immediately imposed punishment, which was carried out forthright. Due
process was not properly observed. In the instant case, the carabaos were arbitrarily confiscated by the
police station commander, were returned to the petitioner only after he had filed a complaint for recovery
and given a supersedeas bond of P12,000.00. The measure struck at once and pounced upon the petitioner
without giving him a chance to be heard, thus denying due process.
MACABANGKIT, Respondents.
G.R. No. 165828 : August 24, 2011


Pursuant to its legal mandate under Republic Act No. 6395 (An Act Revising the Charter of the National
Power Corporation), NPC undertook the Agus River Hydroelectric Power Plant Project in the 1970s to
generate electricity for Mindanao. The project included the construction of several underground tunnels to
be used in diverting the water flow from the Agus River to the hydroelectric plants.

On November 21, 1997, the respondents as the owners of land with an area of 221,573 square meters
situated in Ditucalan, Iligan City, sued NPC in the RTC for the recovery of damages and of the property,
with the alternative prayer for the payment of just compensation. They alleged that they had belatedly
discovered that one of the underground tunnels of NPC that diverted the water flow of the Agus River for
the operation of the Hydroelectric Project in Agus V, Agus VI and Agus VII traversed their land; that
their discovery had occurred in 1995 after Atty. Saidali C. Gandamra, President of the Federation of
Arabic Madaris School, had rejected their offer to sell the land because of the danger the underground
tunnel might pose to the proposed Arabic Language Training Center and Muslims Skills Development
Center; that such rejection had been followed by the withdrawal by Global Asia Management and
Resource Corporation from developing the land into a housing project for the same reason; that Al-
Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines had also refused to accept their land as collateral
because of the presence of the underground tunnel; that the underground tunnel had been constructed
without their knowledge and consent; that the presence of the tunnel deprived them of the agricultural,
commercial, industrial and residential value of their land; and that their land had also become an unsafe
place for habitation because of the loud sound of the water rushing through the tunnel and the constant
shaking of the ground, forcing them and their workers to relocate to safer grounds.

In its answer with counterclaim, NPC countered that the Heirs of Macabangkit had no right to
compensation under section 3(f) of Republic Act No. 6395, under which a mere legal easement on their
land was established; that their cause of action, should they be entitled to compensation, already
prescribed due to the tunnel having been constructed in 1979; and that by reason of the tunnel being an
apparent and continuous easement, any action arising from such easement prescribed in five years.

After trial, the RTC ruled in favor of the plaintiffs (Heirs of Macabangkit).

Earlier, on August 18, 1999, the Heirs of Macabangkit filed an urgent motion for execution of judgment
pending appeal. The RTC granted the motion and issued a writ of execution, prompting NPC to assail the
writ by petition for certiorari in the CA. On September 15, 1999, the CA issued a temporary restraining
order (TRO) to enjoin the RTC from implementing its decision.The Heirs of Macabangkit elevated the
ruling of the CA (G.R. No. 141447), but the Court upheld the CA on May 4, 2006.

On October 5, 2004, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC.


1) Whether the CA and the RTC erred in holding that there was an underground tunnel traversing the
Heirs of Macabangkits land constructed by NPC; and

2) Whether the Heirs of Macabangkits right to claim just compensation had prescribed under section 3(i)
of Republic Act No. 6395, or, alternatively, under Article 620 and Article 646 of the Civil Code.

HELD: We uphold the liability of NPC for payment of just compensation.

REMEDIAL LAW: factual findings of the RTC, when affirmed by the CA, are binding

The existence of the tunnel underneath the land of the Heirs of Macabangkit, being a factual matter,
cannot now be properly reviewed by the Court, for questions of fact are beyond the pale of a petition for
review on certiorari. Moreover,the factual findings and determinations by the RTC as the trial court are
generally binding on the Court, particularly after the CA affirmed them. Bearing these doctrines in mind,
the Court should rightly dismiss NPCs appeal.

NPC argues, however, that this appeal should not be dismissed because the Heirs of Macabangkit
essentially failed to prove the existence of the underground tunnel. It insists that the topographic survey
map and the right-of-way map presented by the Heirs of Macabangkit did not at all establish the presence
of any underground tunnel.

NPC still fails to convince.

Even assuming, for now, that the Court may review the factual findings of the CA and the RTC, for NPC
to insist that the evidence on the existence of the tunnel was not adequate and incompetent remains futile.
On the contrary, the evidence on the tunnel was substantial, for the significance of the topographic survey
map and the sketch map (as indicative of the extent and presence of the tunnel construction) to the
question on the existence of the tunnel was strong, as the CA correctly projected in its assailed

Among the pieces of documentary evidence presented showing the existence of the said tunnel beneath
the subject property is the topographic survey map. The topographic survey map is one conducted to
know about the location and elevation of the land and all existing structures above and underneath it.
Another is the Sketch Map which shows the location and extent of the land traversed or affected by the
said tunnel.These two (2) pieces of documentary evidence readily point the extent and presence of the
tunnel construction coming from the power cavern near the small man-made lake which is the inlet and
approach tunnel, or at a distance of about two (2) kilometers away from the land of the plaintiffs-
appellees, and then traversing the entire and the whole length of the plaintiffs-appellees property, and the
outlet channel of the tunnel is another small man-made lake.This is a sub-terrain construction, and
considering that both inlet and outlet are bodies of water, the tunnel can hardly be noticed. All
constructions done were beneath the surface of the plaintiffs-appellees property. This explains why they
could never obtain any knowledge of the existence of such tunnel during the period that the same was
constructed and installed beneath their property.

The power cavern and the inlet and outlet channels established the presence of the underground tunnel,
based on the declaration in the RTC by Sacedon, a former employee of the NPC. It is worthy to note that
NPC did not deny the existence of the power cavern, and of the inlet and outlet channels adverted to and
as depicted in the topographic survey map and the sketch map. The CA cannot be faulted for crediting the
testimony of Sacedon despite the effort of NPC to discount his credit due to his not being an expert
witness, simply because Sacedon had personal knowledge based on his being NPCs principal engineer
and supervisor tasked at one time to lay out the tunnels and transmission lines specifically for the
hydroelectric projects, and to supervise the construction of the Agus 1 Hydroelectric Plant itself from
1978 until his retirement from NPC. Besides, he declared that he personally experienced the vibrations
caused by the rushing currents in the tunnel, particularly near the outlet channel. Under any
circumstances, Sacedon was a credible and competent witness.

The ocular inspection actually confirmed the existence of the tunnel underneath the land of the Heirs of

More so, the Ocular inspection conducted on July 23, 1998 further bolstered such claim of the existence
and extent of such tunnel. This was conducted by a team composed of the Honorable Presiding Judge of
the Regional Trial Court, Branch 01, Lanao del Norte, herself and the respective lawyers of both of the
parties and found that, among others, said underground tunnel was constructed beneath the subject

It bears noting that NPC did not raise any issue against or tender any contrary comment on the ocular
inspection report.

POLITICAL LAW: five-year prescriptive period under Section 3(i) of Republic Act No. 6395 does not
apply to claims for just compensation

Without necessarily adopting the reasoning of the CA, we uphold its conclusion that prescription did not
bar the present action to recover just compensation.

Section 3 (i) of Republic Act No. 6395, the cited law, relevantly provides:

Section 3.Powers and General Functions of the Corporation. The powers, functions, rights and activities
of the Corporation shall be the following: xxx

(i) To construct works across, or otherwise, any stream, watercourse, canal, ditch, flume, street, avenue,
highway or railway of private and public ownership, as the location of said works may require:Provided,
That said works be constructed in such a manner as not to endanger life or property; And provided,
further, That the stream, watercourse, canal ditch, flume, street, avenue, highway or railway so crossed or
intersected be restored as near as possible to their former state, or in a manner not to impair unnecessarily
their usefulness. Every person or entity whose right of way or property is lawfully crossed or intersected
by said works shall not obstruct any such crossings or intersection and shall grant the Board or its
representative, the proper authority for the execution of such work. The Corporation is hereby given the
right of way to locate, construct and maintain such works over and throughout the lands owned by the
Republic of the Philippines or any of its branches and political subdivisions. The Corporation or its
representative may also enter upon private property in the lawful performance or prosecution of its
business and purposes, including the construction of the transmission lines thereon;Provided,that the
owner of such property shall be indemnified for any actual damage caused thereby;Provided, further,That
said action for damages is filed within five years after the rights of way, transmission lines, substations,
plants or other facilities shall have been established;Provided, finally, That after said period, no suit shall
be brought to question the said rights of way, transmission lines, substations, plants or other facilities;

A cursory reading shows that Section 3(i) covers the construction of works across, or otherwise, any
stream, watercourse, canal, ditch, flume, street, avenue, highway or railway of private and public
ownership, as the location of said works may require. It is notable that Section 3(i) includes no limitation
except those enumerated after the termworks. Accordingly, we consider the term works as embracing all
kinds of constructions, facilities, and other developments that can enable or help NPC to meet its
objectives of developing hydraulic power expressly provided under paragraph (g) of Section 3.The CAs
restrictive construal of Section 3(i) as exclusive of tunnels was obviously unwarranted, for the provision
applies not only to development works easily discoverable or on the surface of the earth but also to
subterranean works like tunnels. Such interpretation accords with the fundamental guideline in statutory
construction that when the law does not distinguish, so must we not. Moreover, when the language of the
statute is plain and free from ambiguity, and expresses a single, definite, and sensible meaning, that
meaning is conclusively presumed to be the meaning that the Congress intended to convey.

Even so, we still cannot side with NPC.

We rule that the prescriptive period provided under Section 3(i) of Republic Act No. 6395 is applicable
only to an action for damages, and does not extend to an action to recover just compensation like this
case. Consequently, NPC cannot thereby bar the right of the Heirs of Macabangkit to recover just
compensation for their land.

POLITICAL LAW: just compensation

The action to recover just compensation from the State or its expropriating agency differs from the action
for damages. The former, also known as inverse condemnation, has the objective to recover the value of
property taken in fact by the governmental defendant, even though no formal exercise of the power of
eminent domain has been attempted by the taking agency.Just compensation is the full and fair equivalent
of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator. The measure is not the takers gain, but the
owner's loss. The word just is used to intensify the meaning of the word compensation in order to convey
the idea that the equivalent to be rendered for the property to be taken shall be real, substantial, full, and
ample. On the other hand, the latter action seeks to vindicate a legal wrong through damages, which may
be actual, moral, nominal, temperate, liquidated, or exemplary. When a right is exercised in a manner not
conformable with the norms enshrined in Article 19 and like provisions on human relations in the Civil
Code,and the exercise results to the damage of another, a legal wrong is committed and the wrongdoer is
held responsible.

The two actions are radically different in nature and purpose. The action to recover just compensation is
based on the Constitution while the action for damages is predicated on statutory enactments. Indeed, the
former arises from the exercise by the State of its power of eminent domain against private property for
public use, but the latter emanates from the transgression of a right. The fact that the owner rather than the
expropriator brings the former does not change the essential nature of the suit as an inverse
condemnation, for the suit is not based on tort, but on the constitutional prohibition against the taking of
property without just compensation. It would very well be contrary to the clear language of the
Constitution to bar the recovery of just compensation for private property taken for a public use solely on
the basis of statutory prescription.

Due to the need to construct the underground tunnel, NPC should have first moved to acquire the land
from the Heirs of Macabangkit either by voluntary tender to purchase or through formal expropriation
proceedings. In either case, NPC would have been liable to pay to the owners the fair market value of the
land, for Section 3(h) of Republic Act No. 6395 expressly requires NPC to pay the fair market value of
such property at the time of the taking, thusly:

(h)To acquire, promote, hold, transfer, sell, lease, rent, mortgage, encumber and otherwise dispose of
property incident to, or necessary, convenient or proper to carry out the purposes for which the
Corporation was created:Provided, That in case a right of way is necessary for its transmission lines,
easement of right of way shall only be sought:Provided, however,That in case the property itself shall be
acquired by purchase, the cost thereof shall be the fair market value at the time of the taking of such

POLITICAL LAW: NPCs construction of the tunnel constituted taking of the land, and entitled owners to
just compensation

The Court held in National Power Corporation v. Ibrahim that NPC was liable to pay not merely an
easement fee but rather the full compensation for land traversed by the underground tunnels,viz:

In disregarding this procedure and failing to recognize respondents ownership of the sub-terrain portion,
petitioner took a risk and exposed itself to greater liability with the passage of time. It must be
emphasized that the acquisition of the easement is not without expense. The underground tunnels impose
limitations on respondents use of the property for an indefinite period and deprive them of its ordinary
use. Based upon the foregoing, respondents are clearly entitled to the payment of just
compensation.Notwithstanding the fact that petitioner only occupies the sub-terrain portion, it is liable to
pay not merely an easement fee but rather the full compensation for land. This is so because in this case,
the nature of the easement practically deprives the owners of its normal beneficial use. Respondents, as
the owner of the property thus expropriated, are entitled to a just compensation which should be neither
more nor less, whenever it is possible to make the assessment, than the money equivalent of said property.

Here, like in National Power Corporation v. Ibrahim,NPC constructed a tunnel underneath the land of the
Heirs of Macabangkit without going through formal expropriation proceedings and without procuring
their consent or at least informing them beforehand of the construction. NPCs construction adversely
affected the owners rights and interests because the subterranean intervention by NPC prevented them
from introducing any developments on the surface, and from disposing of the land or any portion of it,
either by sale or mortgage.

We agree with both the RTC and the CA that there was a full taking on the part of NPC, notwithstanding
that the owners were not completely and actually dispossessed. It is settled that the taking of private
property for public use, to be compensable, need not be an actual physical taking or appropriation. Indeed,
the expropriators action may be short of acquisition of title, physical possession, or occupancy but may
still amount to a taking. Compensable taking includes destruction, restriction, diminution, or interruption
of the rights of ownership or of the common and necessary use and enjoyment of the property in a lawful
manner, lessening or destroying its value. It is neither necessary that the owner be wholly deprived of the
use of his property, nor material whether the property is removed from the possession of the owner, or in
any respect changes hands.

As a result, NPC should pay just compensation for the entire land. In that regard, the RTC pegged just
compensation at P500.00/square meter based on its finding on what the prevailing market value of the
property was at the time of the filing of the complaint, and the CA upheld the RTC.

POLITICAL LAW: reckoning point of just compensation on the value at the time the owners commenced
these inverse condemnation proceedings is entirely warranted.

We rule that the reckoning value is the value at the time of the filing of the complaint, as the RTC
provided in its decision. Compensation that is reckoned on the market value prevailing at the time either
when NPC entered or when it completed the tunnel, as NPC submits, would not be just, for it would
compound the gross unfairness already caused to the owners by NPCs entering without the intention of
formally expropriating the land, and without the prior knowledge and consent of the Heirs of
Macabangkit. NPCs entry denied elementary due process of law to the owners since then until the owners
commenced the inverse condemnation proceedings. The Court is more concerned with the necessity to
prevent NPC from unjustly profiting from its deliberate acts of denying due process of law to the owners.
As a measure of simple justice and ordinary fairness to them, therefore, reckoning just compensation on
the value at the time the owners commenced these inverse condemnation proceedings is entirely

In National Power Corporation v. Court of Appeals, a case that involved the similar construction of an
underground tunnel by NPC without the prior consent and knowledge of the owners, and in which we
held that the basis in fixing just compensation when the initiation of the action preceded the entry into the
property was the time of the filing of the complaint, not the time of taking, we pointed out that there was
no taking when the entry by NPC was made without intent to expropriate or was not made under warrant
or color of legal authority.

CIVIL LAW: awards for rentals, moral damages, exemplary damages, and attorney's fees are deleted for
insufficiency of factual and legal bases

We also reverse and set aside the decree of the RTC for NPC to pay to the Heirs of Macabangkit the sum
equivalent to 15% of the total amount awarded, as attorneys fees, and to pay the cost. The body of the
decision did not state the factual and legal reasons why NPC was liable for attorney's fees. The terse
statement found at the end of the body of the RTCs decision,stating: xxx The contingent attorney's fee is
hereby reduced from 20% to only 15% of the total amount of the claim that may be awarded to plaintiffs,
without more, did not indicate or explain why and how the substantial liability of NPC for attorneys fees
could have arisen and been determined.

In assessing attorney's fees against NPC and in favor of the respondents, the RTC casually disregarded the
fundamental distinction between the two concepts of attorneys fees the ordinary and the
extraordinary.These concepts were aptly distinguished in Traders Royal Bank Employees Union-
Independent v. NLRC, thus wise:

There are two commonly accepted concepts of attorneys fees, the so-called ordinary and extraordinary. In
its ordinary concept, an attorneys fee is the reasonable compensation paid to a lawyer by his client for the
legal services he has rendered to the latter. The basis of this compensation is the fact of his employment
by and his agreement with the client.

In its extraordinary concept, an attorneys fee is an indemnity for damages ordered by the court to be paid
by the losing party in a litigation. The basis of this is any of the cases provided by law where such award
can be made, such as those authorized in Article 2208, Civil Code, and is payable not to the lawyer but to
the client, unless they have agreed that the award shall pertain to the lawyer as additional compensation or
as part thereof.

By referring to the award as contingency fees, and reducing the award from 20% to 15%, the RTC was
really referring to supposed agreement on attorneys fees between the Heirs of Macabangkit and their
counsel. As such, the concept of attorneys fees involved was the ordinary.Yet, the inclusion of the
attorneys fees in the judgment among the liabilities of NPC converted the fees to extraordinary. We have
to disagree with the RTC thereon, and we express our discomfort that the CA did not do anything to
excise the clearly erroneous and unfounded grant.

An award of attorneys fees has always been the exception rather than the rule. To start with, attorneys
fees are not awarded every time a party prevails in a suit. Nor should an adverse decision ipso facto
justify an award of attorney's fees to the winning party. The policy of the Court is that no premium should
be placed on the right to litigate.Too, such fees, as part of damages, are assessed only in the instances
specified in Art. 2208,Civil Code. Indeed,attorneys fees are in the nature of actual damages.But even
when a claimant is compelled to litigate with third persons or to incur expenses to protect his rights,
attorney's fees may still be withheld where no sufficient showing of bad faith could be reflected in a
party's persistence in a suit other than an erroneous conviction of the righteousness of his cause.
And,lastly, the trial court must make express findings of fact and law that bring the suit within the
exception. What this demands is that the factual, legal or equitable justification for the award must be set
forth not only in the fallo but also in the text of the decision, or else, the award should be thrown out for
being speculative and conjectural.

CIVIL LAW: attorneys fees under quantum meruit principle are fixed at 10% of the judgment award;
quantum meruit; guidelines in determining the proper attorneys fees

Based on the pending motions of Atty. Macarupung Dibaratun and Atty. Manuel D. Ballelos to assert
their respective rights to attorneys fees, both contending that they represented the Heirs of Macabangkit in
this case, a conflict would ensue from the finality of the judgment against NPC.

Both Atty. Dibaratun and Atty. Ballelos posited that their entitlement to attorney's fees was contingent.
Yet, a contract for a contingent fees is an agreement in writing by which the fees, usually a fixed
percentage of what may be recovered in the action, are made to depend upon the success in the effort to
enforce or defend a supposed right. Contingent fees depend upon an express contract, without which the
attorney can only recover on the basis of quantum meruit.With neither Atty. Dibaratun nor Atty. Ballelos
presenting a written agreement bearing upon their supposed contingent fees, the only way to determine
their right to appropriate attorney's fees is to apply the principle of quantum meruit.

Quantum meruit literally meaning as much as he deserves is used as basis for determining an attorney's
professional fees in the absence of an express agreement. The recovery of attorneys fees on the basis of
quantum meruit is a device that prevents an unscrupulous client from running away with the fruits of the
legal services of counsel without paying for it and also avoids unjust enrichment on the part of the
attorney himself. An attorney must show that he is entitled to reasonable compensation for the effort in
pursuing the clients cause, taking into account certain factors in fixing the amount of legal fees.
Rule 20.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility lists the guidelines for determining the proper
amount of attorney fees, to wit:
Rule 20.1 A lawyer shall be guided by the following factors in determining his fees:
a) The time spent and the extent of the services rendered or required;
b) The novelty and difficult of the questions involved;
c) The important of the subject matter;
d) The skill demanded;
e) The probability of losing other employment as a result of acceptance of the proffered case;
f) The customary charges for similar services and the schedule of fees of the IBP chapter to which he
g) The amount involved in the controversy and the benefits resulting to the client from the service;
h) The contingency or certainty of compensation;
i) The character of the employment, whether occasional or established; and
j) The professional standing of the lawyer.

In the event of a dispute as to the amount of fees between the attorney and his client, and the intervention
of the courts is sought, the determination requires that there be evidence to prove the amount of fees and
the extent and value of the services rendered, taking into account the facts determinative
thereof.Ordinarily, therefore, the determination of the attorneys fees on quantum meruit is remanded to
the lower court for the purpose. However, it will be just and equitable to now assess and fix the attorneys
fees of both attorneys in order that the resolution of a comparatively simple controversy, as Justice
Regalado put it in Traders Royal Bank Employees Union-Independent v. NLRC, would not be needlessly
prolonged, by taking into due consideration the accepted guidelines and so much of the pertinent data as
are extant in the records.

In fairness and justice, the Court accords full recognition to Atty. Dibaratun as the counsel de parte of the
Heirs of Macabangkit who discharged his responsibility in the prosecution of the clients cause to its
successful end. It is he, not Atty. Ballelos, who was entitled to the full amount of attorneys fees that the
clients ought to pay to their attorney. Given the amount and quality of his legal work, his diligence and
the time he expended in ensuring the success of his prosecution of the clients cause, he deserves the
recognition, notwithstanding that some of the clients might appear to have retained Atty. Ballelos after the
rendition of a favorable judgment.

Atty. Ballelos may claim only from Cebu, Batowa-an, Sayana, Nasser, Manta and Edgar, the only parties
who engaged him. The Court considers his work in the case as very minimal. His compensation under the
quantum meruit principle is fixed at P5,000.00, and only the Heirs of Macabangkit earlier named are
liable to him.

WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the decision promulgated on October 5, 2004 by the Court of
Appeals, subject to the following MODIFICATIONS, to wit:

(a)Interest at the rate of 12%per annum is IMPOSED on the principal amount of P113,532,500.00 as just
compensation, reckoned from the filing of the complaint on November 21, 1997 until the full liability is

(b)The awards of P30,000.00 as rental fee,P200,000.00 as moral damages, and P200,000.00 as exemplary
damages are DELETED; and

(c) The award of 15% attorneys fees decreed to be paid by National Power Corporation to the Heirs of
Macabangkit is DELETED.

The Court PARTLY GRANTED the motion to register attorney's lien filed by Atty. Macarupung
Dibaratun, and FIXES Atty. Dibaratun's attorney's fees on the basis of quantum meruit at 10% of the
principal award of P113,532,500.00.

The motion to register attorney's lien of Atty. Manuel D.Ballelos is PARTLY GRANTED, and Atty.
Ballelos is DECLARED ENTITLED TO RECOVER from Cebu, Batowa-an, Sayana, Nasser, Manta and
Edgar, all surnamed Macabangkit, the amount of P5,000.00 as attorneys fees on the basis of quantum
Manotok v. NHA
No. L-55166. May 21, 1987


Petitioners are the owners of two large estates known as the Tambunting Estate and Sunog-Apog in
Tondo, Manila, both of which were declared expropriated in two decrees issued by President Marcos, PD
1669 and PD 1670. The petitioners contend that the decrees violate their constitutional right to due
process and equal protection since by their mere passage their properties were automatically expropriated
and they were immediately deprived of the ownership and possession thereof without being given the
chance to oppose such expropriation. The government on the other hand contends that the power of
eminent domain is inherent in the State and when the legislature or the President through his law-making
powers exercises this power, the public use and public necessity of the expropriation and the fixing of the
just compensation become political in nature and the courts must respect the decision.


The challenged decrees are unfair in the procedures adopted and the powers given to the NHA. The
Tambunting subdivision is summarily proclaimed a blighted area and directly expropriated by decree
without the slightest semblance of a hearing or any proceeding whatsoever. The expropriation is instant
and automatic to take effect immediately upon the signing of the decree. No deposit before the taking is
required. There is not provision for any interest to be paid upon unpaid installments. Not only are the
owners given absolutely no opportunity to contest the expropriation, or question the amount of payments
fixed by the decree, but the decision of the NHA are expressly declared beyond judicial review. PD 1669
and 1670 are declared unconstitutional.

Teehankee, CJ, concurring: The judgment at bar now learly overturns the majority ruling in JM Tuason v.
LTA that the power of Congress to designate the particular property to be taken adn how much may be
condemned thereof must be duly recognized, leaving only as a judicial question whether in the exercise of
such competence, the party adversely affected is the victim of partiality and prejudice. The SC now rules
that such singling out of properties does not foreclose judicial scrutiny as to whether such expropriation
by legislative act transgresses the due process and equal protection and just compensation guarantees of
the Constitution.
Occeña vs. Commission on Elections
No. L-60258. January 31, 1984


Samuel C. Occena filed a petition for prohibition seeking that sections 4 and 22 of Batas Pambansa Blg.
222, otherwise known as the Barangay Election Act of 1982, be declared as unconstitutional insofar as it
prohibits any candidate in the Barangay election of 17 May 1982 "from representing or allowing himself
to be represented as a candidate of any political party or prohibits a political party, political group,
political committee from intervening in the nomination of a candidate in the barangay election or in the
filing of his certificate of candidacy, or giving aid or support directly or indirectly, material or otherwise,
favorable to or against his campaign for election." On this basis, it is also prayed that "judgment be
rendered declaring the 1982 Barangay elections null and void ab initio, for being unconstitutional, and
directing the holding of new barangay elections without any ban on the involvement of political parties,
political committees, political organizations and other political group."

Issue: Whether the ban on the intervention of political parties in the election of barangay officials is
violative of the constitutional guarantee of the right to form associations and societies for purposes not
contrary to law.


The right to form associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law is neither absolute nor
illimitable; it is always subject to the pervasive and dominant police power of the state and may
constitutionally be regulated or curtailed to serve appropriate and important public interests (Gonzales vs.
Comelec, 27 SCRA 835; Imbong vs. Comelec, 35 SCRA 28). Whether a restriction imposed is
constitutionally permissible or not depends upon the circumstances of each case. Examining Section 4 of
the Barangay Election Act of 1982, the right to organize is intact. Political parties may freely be formed
although there is a restriction on their activities, i.e., their intervention in the election of barangay officials
on 17 May 1982 is proscribed. But the ban is narrow, not total. It operates only on concerted or group
action of political parties. Members of political and kindred organizations, acting individually, may
intervene in the barangay election. As the law says: "Nothing (therein) shall be construed as in any
manner affecting or constituting an impairment of the freedom of individuals to support or oppose any
candidate for any barangay office." Moreover, members of the family of a candidate within the fourth
civil degree of consanguinity or affinity as well as the personal campaign staff of a candidate (not more
than 1 for every 100 registered voters in his barangay) can engage in individual or group action to
promote the election of their candidate. There are reasons for insulating the barangay from the divisive
and debilitating effects of a partisan political campaign. The Barangay Captain and the Barangay Council,
apart from their legislative and consultative powers, also act as an agency for neutral community action
such as the distribution of basic foodstuff and as an instrument in conducting plebiscites and referenda.
The Barangay Captain, together with the members of the Lupon Tagapayapa appointed by him, exercises
administrative supervision over the barangay conciliation panels in the latter's work of settling local
disputes. The Barangay Captain himself settles or helps settle local controversies within the barangay
either through mediation or arbitration. It would definitely enhance the objective and impartial discharge
of their duties for barangay officials to be shielded from political party loyalty. In fine, the ban against the
participation of political parties in the barangay election is an appropriate legislative response to the
unwholesome effects of partisan bias in the impartial discharge of the duties imposed on the barangay and
its officials as the basic unit of our political and social structure.
Office of Administrative Vs. Macarine
A.M. No. MTJ-10-1770. July 18, 2012

To celebrate his 65th birthday, Judge Ignacio B. Macarine’s daughter, who works as a nurse in New
Jersey, U.S.A. gave him a trip to Hongkong as a gift. On August 13, 2009, Judge Macarine wrote the
then Court Administrator, Jose Portugal Perez requesting authority to travel to Hongkong with his family
for the period September 10-14, 2009, which travel shall be charged to his annual forced leave. However,
he did not submit the corresponding application for leave with the requirements stated in OCA Circular
No. 49-2003, which require, aside from the leave application favourably recommended by the Executive
Judge, a certification form the Statistics Division, Court Management Office, OCA as to the condition of
the docket. Hence, his application for leave remained unacted. Despite this, Judge Macarine proceeded
to travel abroad without the required travel authority. It was only on January 28, 2010 that his application
for leave was disapproved and he was informed by the OCA that his absences shall not be deducted from
his leave credits but from his salary. He was also required to submit his explanation. In his explanation,
Judge Macarine averred that he was informed by his daughter that she booked him and his wife and two
sons in a hotel in Hongkong from September 13 to 15, 2009. They flew to Manila on September 9, 2009
to prepare the necessary papers for his authority to travel from the Supreme Court the following day. Due
to time constraints, he opted not to immediately complete the requirements and went ahead with the travel
and thought of submitting his compliance upon his return to Manila. He admitted his mistake and
regretted his failure, promised not to commit the same infraction, but requested reconsideration of the
OCA’s intended action to deduct the absences from his salary, instead of the leave credits. The OCA, in
its Evaluation Report found Judge Macarine liable for violation of OCA Circular 49-2003, recommended
that he be fined P5,000.00, and deduction of his seven days absence from his salary instead of his leave

Whether or not Judge Macarine should be held liable for violation of OCA Circular 49-2003 for traveling
abroad without the required travel authority.

True, the right to travel is guaranteed by the Constitution. However, the exercise of such right is not
absolute. Section 6, Article III of the 1987 Constitution allows restrictions on one’s right to travel
provided that such restriction is in the interest of national security, public safety or public health as may
be provided by law. This, however, should by no means be construed as limiting the Court’s inherent
power of administrative supervision over lower courts. OCA Circular No. 49-2003 does not restrict but
merely regulates, by providing guidelines to be complied by judges and court personnel, before they can
go on leave to travel abroad. To “restrict” is to restrain or prohibit a person from doing something; to
“regulate” is to govern or direct according to rule.
To ensure management of court dockets and to avoid disruption in the administration of justice, OCA
Circular No. 49-2003 requires a judge who wishes to travel abroad to submit, together with his
application for leave of absence duly recommended for approval by his Executive Judge, a certification
from the Statistics Division, Court Management Office of the OCA, as to the condition of his docket,
based on his Certificate of Service for the month immediately preceding the date of his intended travel,
that he has decided and resolved all cases or incidents within three (3) months from date of submission,
pursuant to Section 15(1) and (2), Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution.⁠1
For traveling abroad without having been officially allowed by the Court, the respondent is guilty of
violation of OCA Circular No. 49-2003. Under Section 9(4), Rule 140 of the Revised Rules of Court,
violation of Supreme Court directives and circular is considered a less serious charge and, therefore,
punishable by suspension from office without salary and other benefits for not less than one (1) month nor
more than three (3) months; or a fine of more than P10,000.00 but not exceeding P20,000.00.⁠2
Section 53, Rule IV of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service grants the
disciplining authority the discretion to consider mitigating circumstances in the imposition of the proper
penalty. The Court had in several instances refrained from imposing the actual penalties in the presence of
mitigating facts, such as the employee’s length of service, acknowledgement of his or her infractions and
feelings of remorse for the same, advanced age, family circumstances, and other humanitarian and
equitable considerations.
In the present case, the respondent, after learning that his daughter had already booked him and his family
in a hotel in Hongkong, immediately went to Manila to secure his travel authority from the Court.
However, with the short period of time from their arrival in Manila on September 9, 2009 up to the time
of their booking in Hongkong from September 13 to 15, 2009, he was pressed for time and opted not to
complete the required travel authority, with the intention of securing one after his travel. The respondent
regretted his failure to comply with the requirements of OCA Circular No. 49-2003. He acknowledged his
mistake and promised not to commit the same infraction in the future.
We consider the outlined circumstances as mitigating. Following judicial precedents, the respondent
deserves some degree of leniency in imposing upon him the appropriate penalty.
WHEREFORE, respondent Judge Ignacio B. Macarine, Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Gen. Luna,
Surigao del Norte, is hereby given the ADMONITION that he acted irresponsibly when he opted not to
immediately secure a travel authority and is saved only from the full force that his violation carries by the
attendant mitigating circumstances. He is also WARNED that the commission of a similar violation in the
future will merit a more severe penalty. The recommendation of the Office of the Court Administration
that his absences, which were unauthorized, shall not be deducted from his leave credits but from his
salary is hereby APPROVED.
THE JUDICIARY. A. M. No. 09-8-6-SC, June 13, 2012.

Rowena Paraan, Research Director of the PCIJ, sought copies of the SALN of the Justices of the Supreme
Court for the year 2008. She also requested for copies of the Personal Data Sheet of the Justices of this
Court for the purpose of updating their database of information on government officials.

Can the SALN of justices be accessed via the right to information?
What are the limitations on the constitutional right to information?

Yes. The right to information goes hand-in-hand with the constitutional policies of full public disclosure
and honesty in the public service

The right to information is not absolute. It is further subject to such limitations as may be provided bylaw.
Jurisprudence has provided the following limitations to that right:(1) national security matters and
intelligence information;(2) trade secrets and banking transactions;(3) criminal matters; and(4)
other confidential information such as confidential or classified information officially known to public
officers and employees by reason of their office and not made available to the public as well as diplomatic
correspondence, closed door Cabinet meetings and executive sessions of either house of Congress, and
the internal deliberations of the Supreme Court.
REYES, respondents.
G.R. No. 160379. August 14, 2009

Reyes owns a prime lot which republic took possession of without expropriation proceedings. Reyes filed
a complaint claiming just compensation and damages against republic. Commissioners found that the
usable area left to Reyes after the taking would be very small and would not be ideal for any building.
RTC favored Reyes, granting consequential damages to Reyes (but RTC neglected to state in its ruling its
basis for the just compensation). Hence, on appeal, ca remanded the case to RTC for determination of just

1. WON proper to REMAND the case to the trial court to order the reconvening of the commissioners or
appointment of new commissioners to determine the consequential damages for the remaining 297-square
meter lot?

2. WON consequential damages awarded for the lot which was retained by the owner is tantamount to
unjust enrichment on the part of the latter? NO (not directly stated in the case as an issue


Rule 67 presupposes a prior filing of complaint for eminent domain with the appropriate court by the
expropriator if no such complaint is filed, the expropriator is considered to have violated procedural
requirements, and hence, waived the usual procedure prescribed in Rule 67, including the appointment of
commissioners to ascertain just compensation; When there is no action for expropriation and the case
involves only a complaint for damages or just compensation, the provisions of the Rules of Court on
ascertainment of just compensation (i.e., provisions of Rule 67) are no longer applicable, and a trial
before commissioners is dispensable.

RTC’s decision is not clear as to its basis for ascertaining just compensation.
The trial court mentioned in its decision the valuations in the reports of the City Appraisal Committee and
of the commissioners appointed pursuant to Rule 67. But whether the trial court considered these
valuations in arriving at the just compensation, or the court made its own independent valuation based on
the records, was obscure in the decision. The trial court simply gave the total amount of just
compensation due to the property owner without laying down its basis. Thus, there is no way to determine
whether the adjudged just compensation is based on competent evidence. For this reason alone, a remand
of the case to the trial court for proper determination of just compensation is in order. Although the
determination of just compensation lies within the trial court’s discretion, it should not be done arbitrarily
or capriciously. The decision of the trial court must be based on all established rules, correct legal
principles, and competent evidence. The court is proscribed from basing its judgment on speculations and

No actual taking of the remaining portion of the real property is necessary to grant consequential
If as a result of the expropriation made by REPUBLIC, the remaining lot (i.e., the 297-square meter lot)
of REYES suffers from an impairment or decrease in value, consequential damages may be awarded to
REYES. On the other hand, if the expropriation results to benefits to the remaining lot of REYES, these
consequential benefits may be deducted from the awarded consequential damages, if any, or from the
market value of the expropriated property. To determine just compensation, the trial court should first
ascertain the market value of the property, to which should be added the consequential damages after
deducting there from the consequential benefits which may arise from the expropriation, and if the
consequential benefits exceed the consequential damages, these items should be disregarded altogether as
the basic value of the property should be paid in every case
RALPH P. TUA, vs. HON. CESAR A. MANGROBANG, Presiding Judge, Branch 22,
Regional Trial Court, Imus,Cavite; and ROSSANA HONRADO-TUA,PERALTA, J p:
G.R. No. 170701. January 22, 2014.

Respondent and petitioner were married on January 10, 1998 in Makati City. They have three children,
namely, Joshua Raphael born on February 9, 1999, Jesse Ruth Lois, born on June 27, 2000, and Jezreel
Abigail, born on December 25, 2001. Respondent claimed, among others, that: there was a time when
petitioner went to her room and cocked his gun and pointed the barrel of his gun to his head as he wanted
to convince her not to proceed with the legal separation case she filed; she hid her fears although she was
scared; there was also an instance when petitioner fed her children with the fried chicken that her
youngest daughter had chewed and spat out; in order to stop his child from crying, petitioner would
threaten him with a belt; when she told petitioner that she felt unsafe and insecure with the latter's
presence and asked him to stop coming to the house as often as he wanted or she would apply for a
protection order, petitioner got furious and threatened her of withholding his financial support and even
held her by the nape and pushed her to lie flat on the bed; and, on May 4, 2005, while she was at work,
petitioner with companions went to her new home and forcibly took the children and refused to give them
back to her. Respondent thus filed a Petition for the issuance of a protection order, pursuant to Republic
Act (RA)9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, against her husband,
petitioner. The Petition was for herself and in behalf of her minor children. The RTC issued ex parte a
Temporary Protection Order (TPO).Petitioner assailed the constitutionality of RA 9262 and sought to lift
the TPO. Without awaiting the resolution of the RTC on the foregoing, Petitioner filed a petition for
certiorari with the CA assailing the TPO issued for violating the due process clause of the Constitution.

Issue: Is Section 15 of RA 9262, allowing ex parte application of a TPO, constitutional?

Held: Yes. The court is authorized to issue a TPO on the date of the filing of the application after ex
partedetermination that there is basis for the issuance thereof. Ex parte means that the respondent need
notbe notified or be present in the hearing for the issuance of the TPO.

G.R. No. 177382, February 17, 2016


On October 4, 2005, Viva Shipping Lines, Inc. (Viva Shipping Lines) filed a Petition for Corporate
Rehabilitation before the Regional Trial Court of Lucena City.The Regional Trial Court initially denied
the Petition for failure to comply with the requirements in Rule 4, Sections 2 and 3 of the Interim Rules of
Procedure on Corporate Rehabilitation. On October 17, 2005, Viva Shipping Lines filed an Amended

In the Amended Petition, Viva Shipping Lines claimed to own and operate 19 maritime vessels and Ocean
Palace Mall, a shopping mall in downtown Lucena City. Viva Shipping Lines also declared its total
properties' assessed value at about P45,172,790.00. However, these allegations were contrary to the
attached documents in the Amended Petition.

One of the attachments, the Property Inventory List, showed that Viva Shipping Lines owned only two
(2) maritime vessels: M/V Viva Penafrancia V and M/V Marian Queen. The list also stated that the fair
market value of all of Viva Shipping Lines' assets amounted to P447,860,000.00,P400 million more than
what was alleged in its Amended Petition. Some of the properties listed in the Property Inventory List
were already marked as "encumbered" by its creditors; hence, only PI47,630,000.00 of real property and
its vessels were marked as "free assets."

According to Viva Shipping Lines, the devaluation of the Philippine peso, increased competition, and
mismanagement of its businesses made it difficult to pay its debts as they became due. It also stated that
"almost all [its] vessels were rendered unserviceable either because of age and deterioration that [it] can
no longer compete with modern made vessels owned by other operators."

In its Company Rehabilitation Plan, Viva Shipping Lines enumerated possible sources of funding such as
the sale of old vessels and commercial lots of its sister company, Sto. Domingo Shipping Lines.It also
proposed the conversion of the Ocean Palace Mall into a hotel, the acquisition of two (2) new vessels for
shipping operations, and the "re-operation" of an oil mill in Buenavista, Quezon.

Viva Shipping Lines nominated two individuals to be appointed as rehabilitation receiver: Armando F.
Ragudo, a businessman from Tayabas, Quezon, and Atty. Calixto Ferdinand B. Dauz III, a lawyer from
Lucena City.A day after filing the Amended Petition, Viva Shipping Lines submitted the name of a third
nominee, Former Judge Jose F. Mendoza (Judge Mendoza).

On October 19, 2005, the Regional Trial Court found that Viva Shipping Lines' Amended Petition to be
"sufficient in form and substance," and issued a stay order. It stayed the enforcement of all monetary and
judicial claims against Viva Shipping Lines, and prohibited Viva Shipping Lines from selling,
encumbering, transferring, or disposing of any of its properties except in the ordinary course of
business.The Regional Trial Court also appointed Judge Mendoza as rehabilitation receiver.

Before the initial hearing scheduled on December 5, 2005, the City of Batangas, Keppel Philippines
Marine, Inc., and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank) filed their respective comments
and oppositions to Viva Shipping Lines' Amended Petition.

During the initial hearing, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (Pilipinas Shell) moved for additional
time to write its opposition to Viva Shipping Lines' Amended Petition.Pilipinas Shell later filed its
Comment/Opposition with Formal Notice of Claim.

Luzviminda C. Cueto, a former employee of Viva Shipping Lines, also filed a Manifestation and
Registration of Monetary Claim stating that Viva Shipping Lines owes her P232,000.00 as separation and
13th month pay.The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a Comment informing the Regional Trial
Court that Viva Shipping Lines violated certain laws and rules of the Commission.

On March 24, 2006, Judge Mendoza withdrew his acceptance of appointment as rehabilitation receiver.As
replacement, Viva Shipping Lines nominated Atty. Antonio Acyatan, while Metrobank nominated Atty.
Rosario S. Bernaldo. Keppel Philippines Marine, Inc. adopted Metrobank's nomination.

On April 4, 2006, Metrobank filed a Motion for Production or Inspection of relevant documents relating
to Viva Shipping Lines' business operations such as board resolutions, tax returns, accounting ledgers,
bank accounts, and contracts.Viva Shipping Lines filed its opposition. However, the Regional Trial Court
granted Metrobank's Motion.Viva Shipping Lines failed to comply with the Order to produce the
documents, as well as with the Regional Trial Court Order to submit a memorandum.

On September 27, 2006, Viva Shipping Lines' former employees Alejandro Olit, Nida Montilla, Pio
Hernandez, Eugenio Baculo, and Harlan Bacaltos (Alejandro Olit, et al.) filed their comment on the
Amended Petition, informing the Regional Trial Court of their pending complaint against Viva Shipping
Lines before the National Labor Relations Commission.

In the Order dated October 30, 2006, the Regional Trial Court lifted the stay order and dismissed Viva
Shipping Lines' Amended Petition for failure to show the company's viability and the feasibility of
rehabilitation. The Regional Trial Court summarized Viva Shipping Lines' creditors and debts:

The Regional Trial Court found that Viva Shipping Lines' assets all appeared to be non-performing.
Further, it noted that Viva Shipping Lines failed to show any evidence of consent to sell real properties
belonging to its sister company.

Aggrieved, Viva Shipping Lines filed a Petition for Review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court before
the Court of Appeals. It only impleaded Hon. Adolfo V. Encomienda, the Presiding Judge of the trial
court that rendered the assailed decision. It did not implead any of its creditors, but served copies of the
Petition on counsels for Metrobank, Keppel Philippines Marine, Inc., Pilipinas Shell, City of Batangas,
Province of Quezon, and City of Lucena.Viva Shipping Lines neither impleaded nor served a copy of the
Petition on its former employees or their counsels.

The Court of Appeals dismissed Viva Shipping Lines' Petition for Review in the Resolution dated January
5, 2007.It found that Viva Shipping Lines failed to comply with procedural requirements under Rule
43,The Court of Appeals ruled that due to the failure of Viva Shipping Lines to implead its creditors as
respondents, "there are no respondents who may be required to file a comment on the petition, pursuant to
Section 8 of Rule 43,"

Viva Shipping Lines moved for reconsideration. It argued that its procedural misstep was cured when it
served copies of the Petition on the Regional Trial Court and on its former employees.In the Resolution
dated March 30, 2007, the Court of Appeals denied Viva Shipping Lines' Motion for Reconsideration.

Viva Shipping Lines filed before this court a Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing the January 5,
2007 and March 30, 2007 Court of Appeals Resolutions. It prayed that the case be remanded to the Court
of Appeals for adjudication on the merits.

Without necessarily giving due course to the Petition, this court required respondents to comment.Keppel
Philippines Marine, Inc.,Pilipinas Shell,Metrobank,former employees Alejandro Olit et al.,the City of
Batangas, the City Treasurer of Lucena, and the Provincial Treasurer of Quezon filed their respective

On September 17, 2008,December 10, 2008, and July 20, 2009,this court required Viva Shipping Lines to
file replies to respondents' comments. Viva Shipping Lines' counsel, Abesamis Law Office, withdrew its
representation, which was accepted by this court. Viva Shipping Lines was unable to file its consolidated
reply; hence, this court resolved that Viva Shipping Lines' right to file a consolidated reply was deemed

On September 1, 2011, Atty. Vicente M. Joyas (Atty. Joyas) entered his appearance as Viva Shipping
Lines' new counsel.Atty. Joyas moved for several extensions of time to comply with this court's order to
file a consolidated reply. This court allowed Atty. Joyas' Motions, and Viva Shipping Lines' consolidated
reply was noted in our Resolution dated December 7, 2011.This court then ordered the parties to submit
their respective memoranda.

Viva Shipping Lines, Inc. and respondents Pilipinas Shell,Keppel Philippines Marine, Inc.,and
Metrobank[submitted their respective memoranda. This court dispensed with the filing of the other
respondents' memoranda

1. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing petitioner Viva Shipping Lines' Petition for Review
on procedural grounds; and
2. Whether petitioner was denied substantial justice when the Court of Appeals did not give due course to
its petition.

Petitioner's rehabilitation plan should have shown that petitioner has enough serviceable assets to be able
to continue its business. Yet, the plan showed that the source of funding would be to sell petitioner's old
vessels. Disposing of the assets constituting petitioner's main business cannot result in rehabilitation. A
business primarily engaged as a shipping line cannot operate without its ships. On the other hand, the plan
to purchase new vessels sacrifices the corporation's cash flow. This is contrary to the goal of corporate
rehabilitation, which is to allow present value recovery for creditors. The plan to buy new vessels after
selling the two vessels it currently owns is neither sound nor workable as a business plan.

The other part of the rehabilitation plan entails selling properties of petitioner's sister company. As
pointed out by the Regional Trial Court, this plan requires conformity from the sister company. Even if
the two companies have the same directorship and ownership, they are still two separate juridical entities.
In BPI Family Savings Bank v. St. Michael Medical Center, this court refused to include in the financial
and liquidity assessment the financial statements of another corporation that the petitioning-corporation
plans to merge with.

As pointed out by respondents, petitioner's rehabilitation plan is almost impossible to implement. Even an
ordinary individual with no business acumen can discern the groundlessness of petitioner's rehabilitation
plan. Petitioner should have presented a more realistic and practicable rehabilitation plan within the time
periods allotted after initiatory hearing, or otherwise, should have opted for liquidation.

Finally, petitioner argues that after Judge Mendoza's withdrawal as rehabilitation receiver, the Regional
Trial Court should have appointed a new rehabilitation receiver to evaluate the rehabilitation plan. We
rule otherwise. It is not solely the responsibility of the rehabilitation receiver to determine the validity of
the rehabilitation plan. The Interim Rules of Procedure on Corporate Rehabilitation allows the trial court
to disapprove a rehabilitation plan and terminate proceedings or, should the instances warrant, to allow
modifications to a rehabilitation plan.

The Regional Trial Court rendered a decision in accordance with facts and law. Thus, we deny the plea
for liberalization of procedural rules. To grant the plea would cause more economic hardship and injustice
to all those concerned.
Austria vs. National Labor Relations Commission
G.R. No. 123646
JULY 14, 1999



G.R. No. 171101. April 24, 2012


Manapat vs. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 110478.1 October 15, 2007